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The MEETING Team (PLOT)

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Silverishness
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Re: The MEETING Team (PLOT)

Post by Silverishness on Fri Mar 25, 2016 3:17 pm

Post 33



Citadark Isle||Morning



He laughed.

He just... laughed.

It wasn't the gleeful, giddy laugh Eldes had heard at his own expense earlier during the dirt fiasco. It was bitter, cruel, and overall, victorious, though admittedly still at his own expense. It chilled him to the core. Eldes's face contorted more into one of pain as his suffering and demands were simply dismissed. It was a show of how truly powerless he was now, facing his brother like this. And it agonized and terrified him.

"It would seem the tables have turned, would it not? It was just minutes ago that I was the screaming heathen and you were begging me to listen to reason, that your words were never lies. Well it would seem to be my turn then, wouldn't it?" Ardos leaned down and casually pulled out a drawer, unfazed by Eldes' emotional outburst. It didn't take him long to fish out a thin blue file, which he then placed in front of Eldes proudly. The former detective made no move to take it, however, instead choosing to watch Ardos more closely. "Not one thing I have said to you since your little tantrum has bore even an ounce of falsehood. You are right, that someone who had taken out an International Detective would have gloated, and none have. Whatever happened to your man did not come from myself or anyone under my domain." Ardos took the slight pause in his triumphant rant to nudge the file closer to Eldes, who still refrained. Was this a trap? He wasn't sure how it could be, since, well, he was already trapped, but his mind was too frayed to think very logically. "Yet unlike you, I bear proof of my claims. You, though at the time I did not know it to be you, left me no choice. I had to sell our greatest asset in order to bring back Father's vision. And the highest bidder was someone you are not going to like. Open it."

Eldes' eyes opened wide at the free admittance. Ardos sold the Shadow Serum? His heart nearly stopped at the news, his mind beginning to go through each and every arrest he'd caused to put against Ardos' claims. Eldes had never thought that Ardos would have ever sold anything from Cipher to keep it afloat, their father's very dreams too precious to auction off. But if Ardos' priority lie with Cipher itself and not the Shadow Pokemon Project... Emerald eyes went down to the file as horror began to dawn on him. Had... he forced Ardos' hand? Oh holy God, did he cause this? Heart racing and his breath beginning to quicken, he finally reached for the file and opened it, revealing a neat display of the most truthful documents in human history: Receipts.

Eldes had to lean forward a little as his eyes began to search the papers, anxious to find the little tidbit his brother was so smug over. Though he knew his brother to be cold, calculating and literal, too often did he have a flair for the dramatic. If he were forcing Eldes to look on his own, then... it was probably a big bomb in the papers before him. He swallowed hard, finally finding the piece of information he was looking for. There was the amount paid, which was... Christ, that was a lot of zeros. But the payer-- Eldes nearly choked on his own air, sitting up and almost recoiling from the file as if it'd suddenly become dangerous.

Giovanni.

"Rocket?!" he blurted out, his wide eyes going back to his brother. "You... You sold the serum to Rocket?" His face drained of color and his vision swam. All those people. All those innocent lives. All the culture, history... gone. Looker... The image of Giovanni's ever smirking face flashed in his mind and replaced Ardos as Looker's killer, a vision of the poor man being mercilessly murdered and tossed in a ditch to rot, never to be found bursting into his mind in vivid detail. He felt light-headed, hot, unsteady. His breathing heavy, he focused back on his twin and shook his head. "They... disbanded... years ago..." His voice had lost all edge and even from the first syllable, he knew he'd fallen prey to his brother's proof. He'd made a mistake. He'd made a huge, glaring mistake. And the world died for it. "Where did they get that kind of money? Giovanni's assets were all frozen-- there's no way he could have had that amount in cash..."


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Re: The MEETING Team (PLOT)

Post by Ardos on Fri Mar 25, 2016 5:25 pm


Citadark Isle | Morning
33


"Rocket?! You... You sold the serum to Rocket?" The satisfied, toothy smile that pulled at his lips gave his already harsh face an even uglier visage, an aura of self-serving smug just radiating from his already casual demeanor. He watched with sickening glee as Eldes began to put all the pieces together, the sound of the irrefutable proof of Ardos's innocence trembling in his twin's hand music to the Cipher head. He had won, and now Eldes knew it too. "They... disbanded... years ago..." The pitiful attempt at rationalizing what was already blatantly obvious made Ardos snort in amusement, tossing his twin a little wave as thought to say 'you mean like Cipher?' as he chuckled. "Where did they get that kind of money? Giovanni's assets were all frozen-- there's no way he could have had that amount in cash..."

"Cash, mostly, but a few assets were traded as well. You don't really think that a mafia lord and a fellow genius would be simple enough to leave all his accounts traceable, do you?" The blue haired man was thoroughly amused by the entire situation, but forced himself calm anyway to continue the conversation. He brought his legs back down off of the desk and sat up proper, clearing his throat gently and motioning for Eldes to continue. "Do you have anymore questions, then?"
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Re: The MEETING Team (PLOT)

Post by Silverishness on Sat Mar 26, 2016 7:18 am

Post 34



Citadark Isle||Morning



Eldes' mind was nothing but a whirling maelstrom of thought as he processed the information before him. Ardos' sickening hubris revealing itself on his face. He sat there, basking in the glory of his triumph, and bragged. His brother was innocent, Eldes had hated him for years for nothing, had dogged down the wrong person and wasted so much time and energy that could have been directed at making sure Giovanni was actually gone, and had started a chain reaction that ended with him sitting pretty on the verge of a mental breakdown in the middle of the apocalypse. It was near enough to make Eldes queasy. "Cash, mostly, but a few assets were traded as well. You don't really think that a mafia lord and a fellow genius would be simple enough to leave all his accounts traceable, do you?"

Of course he didn't. Of course Giovanni was smart enough to have placed caches, used contacts they'd had no idea existed. Of course he would have made a safety net so massive, there was little chance of finding it all. He was mostly successful with Ardos because he simply knew where to look; Eldes himself had maintained many of those suppliers on his own, but with Giovanni? Though he'd never had the unfortunate luck of ever meeting the man, it'd been made clear in his dossier that the man was nothing if not resourceful, manipulative and an expert in money laundering. Christ, Eldes, it's a miracle you ever were able to do your fucking job! he berated himself, his breath quick and panicked. A hand was over his mouth as his eyes continued to stare down at the receipts and papers in horror. He should have focused on the bigger criminal... All of that time and effort should have gone to the man the world feared rather than the one Eldes feared. Instead, he had chosen vengeance. "Do you have any more questions, then?"

It took a moment for Eldes to realize Ardos had taken his feet off the desk, apparently satisfied with his victory enough to move the conversation along. His eyes went up to his brother and in that moment, his mind went blank. He knew he did, but he had to sort out the false information and substitute the new; a difficult task for a man already preoccupied with his rapidly approaching death. "I..." He shook his head and stood, a hand in front of him silently asking for Ardos to refrain from attacking further. "Give me a minute... please." Eldes' feet needed to move, his body needed it as he processed everything. It was a habit they both shared, pacing. He made a path from one side of the office to the other, one hand still on his mouth and the other on his hip for support as he walked, eyes on the carpeted floor before him. After a few strides, he returned to the desk, snatching the file back up to look over it once more.

With a clearer mind, his emerald eyes scoured the papers before him, finding at its end an actual written contract. It was lengthy, which didn't surprise Eldes in the least as both men were notoriously thorough. He wouldn't have the time, patience or care to actually read the entire thing, but there was a particular passage that he needed to find. He flipped through a few pages, his pacing coming to a slow as he found his prize in a category titled, "Traded Assets".

There were a few items listed on Giovanni's side, mostly personnel from the look of it, as well as weapons and a few bits of machinery. But from Ardos... "You... gave them Ein?" He stopped in his path to look back at his brother, confused. "We could barely control him while he was in Cipher and you just tossed him at Giovanni? Of all people?"


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Re: The MEETING Team (PLOT)

Post by Ardos on Tue Mar 29, 2016 7:47 am


Citadark Isle | Morning
34


"I..."

"Give me a minute... please."

At his brother's gesture Ardos simply nodded, willing to give the red head as much time as he needed to process his own wrongdoing. He sat patiently at his desk, watching and waiting, as Eldes paced the room. It was a pleasant reminder that despite how greatly the other man had strayed from his roots they were still twins, subject to many of the same mannerisms. After all, hadn't he been doing the exact same thing only a few hours before? Eventually Eldes seemed to realize that he hadn't read the full file and snatched it up, skimming through it rapidly in search of his target. Ardos had handed it to him knowing full well what was in there, but there was one part he was waiting for his brother to notice.

"You... gave them Ein?"

There it was. The dawn of recognition and the hollow that remained after the fragile shell of lies Eldes had surrounded himself came crashing down around him. "We could barely control him while he was in Cipher and you just tossed him at Giovanni? Of all people?" Ardos gave a nonchalant shrug to the query. "It was actually carefully considered," he replied cooly, leaning back and steepling his fingers once again. "If I simply gave Giovanni the formula he would have taken it, reneged on his word, and stolen it for his own purposes. Ein is the formula, so by giving him Ein in exchange for one of his own I ensured that with the formula went a supervisor. No one would have sheltered the secrets of the Shadow serum better than Ein, he's notoriously possessive and prideful. And while I made every effort to monitor him while he was away it seemed he still found time to play with the design, catastrophically resulting in the world you have been living in these last few years." He shrugged once again. "My reach did not extend as far as I thought with Ein, and I failed to stop him. And I did try. So I prepared for the inevitable."
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Re: The MEETING Team (PLOT)

Post by Silverishness on Tue Mar 29, 2016 12:17 pm

Post 35



Citadark Isle||Late Morning

"It was actually carefully considered," Ardos cooly replied as he steepled his fingers together again. Eldes pushed away the irritation from his brother's silent boasting and waited for him to continue instead. "If I simply gave Giovanni the formula he would have taken it, reneged on his word, and stolen it for his own purposes. Ein is the formula, so by giving him Ein in exchange for one of his own I ensured that with the formula went a supervisor. No one would have sheltered the secrets of the Shadow serum better than Ein; he's notoriously possessive and prideful. And while I made every effort to monitor him while he was away it seemed he still found time to play with the design, catastrophically resulting in the world you have been living in these last few years." Eldes' mind blanked as Ardos shrugged. "My reach did not extend as far as I thought with Ein, and I failed to stop him. And I did try. So I prepared for the inevitable."

It wasn't Ardos. It actually wasn't Ardos. All those years of hating him, of spiting his name and memory... for nothing. Eldes blinked and was surprised to feel moisture run down his cheeks as he stared at his brother. His soul had felt torn for so long, torn with duty and the love for his brother and now... He knew it didn't have to be. Not the extent that he'd felt. He almost staggered back to the chair, plopping down in it as his eyes remained wide and tears streamed from them. Ein. This entire time it had been Ein and Giovanni...

He found his shoulders quivering and his breath quickening. But not from the tears, no-- it was laughter. He burst out into a fit, relief washing over him like a wave. His laugh, in contrast to Ardos' not minutes prior, was bittersweet and nearly giddy. "You... didn't kill him," were his soft words after the laughter had naturally quieted. "You didn't kill Looker... You didn't..." He let out another small chuckle, tears still managing to pour steadily from his eyes.

"I thought..." he began, shaking his head a little as he straightened. "I thought for so long, you hated me, Ardos. And I was so angry at you, and..." His voice failed him as more emotion poured and the true confession began, the giddiness souring back into sorrow. "You left me... in prison... and the things... the things they did to me, I--" A hand went up to his mouth, as even his subconscious silenced him from going further. No, not that. Never say what happened. You were never supposed to tell. Shaking his head again, he stared down at the desk, unable to stop the flow of tears. "A-And I thought... I-I th-thought that y-you no longer wanted..." Another sentence he couldn't finish. "I thought y-you wanted me to suffer... so that's... that's why I went after you. I hunted everyone down to find you. Because I... I needed to...

"But then Looker was killed, and I... And the Honchkrow, and..."
A sob cut out of him as the past few years of spite and anger were purged through his tears. A small smile lifted his mouth, however, as he leaned back a little, eyes still down. "But you... didn't. It wasn't you... I don't think... I've heard better news in years."


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Re: The MEETING Team (PLOT)

Post by Ardos on Fri Apr 01, 2016 1:19 pm


Citadark Isle | Morning
35


"You... didn't kill him,"
"You didn't kill Looker... You didn't..."

Ardos watched as his brother descended into several different stages of emotion, practically falling into the chair as he struggled to cope with all of his newfound information. Despite knowing they were twins it was almost uncanny how each brother always seemed to experience the exact same thing as the other and yet still come to different conclusions. Ardos had discovered that years of thinking Eldes dead had been false, discovered that Eldes had in fact been a traitor to him in every way shape and form during his entire absence, and he had fallen apart at the seams.

Meanwhile, Eldes had spent years the same time thinking his brother was a traitor, hating and hunting him for things he had been falsely accused of and was now finding out he was wrong. Yet he was coming to peace, rather than pieces. It was a hard thing for Ardos to admit that his brother had always been the happier of the two, that his happiness didn't depend on the blue haired male like his did on the red head. But it was for that very reason Ardos believed his twin held their heart while he held their mind, two souls separated at birth and only complete when together.

"I thought for so long, you hated me, Ardos. And I was so angry at you, and...You left me... in prison... and the things... the things they did to me, I--" The Cipher head watched carefully as Eldes began pouring himself out emotionally, listening intently to each and every word. When the other man gasped and put his hand up to his mouth Ardos knew that he had nearly revealed something the other was not meant to know, and felt a sudden flush of anger override his smug self-satisfaction at having beaten Eldes. But it wasn't anger towards the red head, oh no, it was at what he was about to say. Something had happened to him while in prison that had him near tears and terrified to speak of it, even to his own flesh and blood. And Ardos was not happy about that. Even if Eldes was a traitor he was still his twin, and no one dared to touch his twin. "A-And I thought... I-I th-thought that y-you no longer wanted..." He felt his fists clenching as Eldes once again stammered to a pause.

"I thought y-you wanted me to suffer... so that's... that's why I went after you. I hunted everyone down to find you. Because I... I needed to...But then Looker was killed, and I... And the Honchkrow, and..." He sobbed loudly for a few moments before beginning to relax, a calming aura suddenly enveloping him and allowing him to smile through the tears as his head lolled back in the chair. "But you... didn't. It wasn't you... I don't think... I've heard better news in years."

Ardos stood up slowly from his desk, the chair scratching in a low, sombre tone as it slid back on the floor to allow him passage and he stepped carefully around his desk to where Eldes sat. He loomed over his brother closely, but the air of danger was gone. Instead a look of inner guilt, anger, and worry played across his features as the red head's face came into view. "You stopped mid sentence a moment ago. What are you not telling me?" His voice was still somewhat stern, but didn't hold nearly the edge in it that it had earlier. "I think I deserve to know what you thought I let happen to you, don't you?"
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Re: The MEETING Team (PLOT)

Post by Silverishness on Sat Apr 02, 2016 8:56 am

Post 36



Citadark Isle||Late Morning



Eldes' eyes opened when he heard the sound of Ardos' chair scraping against the floor, indicating he stood. Though it likely meant that his twin was done hearing Eldes' story and was now time for his execution, his sense of calm remained. He lifted his head slightly as Ardos came into view, stern and sullen demeanor intact, but not the edge of anger he'd held minutes prior. Eldes could only look up and wait for Ardos' words. "You stopped mid sentence a moment ago. What are you not telling me?" Eldes couldn't help but blink up at him; he... hadn't expected that. "I think I deserve to know what you thought I let happen to you, don't you?"

The calm Eldes had wreathed himself with quickly gave way to bubbling anxiety. Oh, no. He... he couldn't. He couldn't tell Ardos. He couldn't tell anyone. He shifted uncomfortably in his chair, expression guarded. Eldes didn't feel the need to sully his image even further in front of his twin than what he'd already achieved. "...It was prison, Ardos," he deflected, unwilling to go into the gruesome details. "Lots of bad things happened. That's just what happens there."


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Re: The MEETING Team (PLOT)

Post by Ardos on Mon Apr 04, 2016 11:55 am


Citadark Isle | Late Morning
36


Ardos couldn't help but allow his expression to sour as he heard Eldes trying to deflect the question, his pride as a man and his honor as Eldes's twin wounded by the attempt. "...It was prison, Ardos. Lots of bad things happened. That's just what happens there." The red head had all but accused him directly of being responsible for the events that occurred while he was incarcerated, in his use of saying that he thought Ardos wanted them to happen which is why he left him there. In truth Ardos had been buying time to see if Eldes would contact him to get him out, but nothing ever came, and by the time he decided to remove his twin from the legal system on his own Eldes had already vanished. No prison record indicated his release. It was as though he had simply vanished one day from the roster, leading the blue haired male to believe he had been too late in saving his other half and mourn his loss for nearly two years.

He deserved an explanation.

"I don't believe that for an instant," he scolded, eying Eldes down. "You wouldn't have accused me of orchestrating it if it were simple 'prison life.' Tell me the truth, now." The stern tone of his voice thankfully hid the bitter pain trying to creep out, his eyes stinging from fresh tears at the thought of Eldes being harmed and thinking him responsible. He would never have wished that on his twin. Ever. Yet his belief that Ardos wanted it to happen was yet another betrayal stacked upon the others already weighing heavily on the haggard man's heart, and it was becoming too much to bear.
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Re: The MEETING Team (PLOT)

Post by Silverishness on Mon Apr 04, 2016 12:37 pm

Post 37



Citadark Isle||Late Morning



"I don't believe that for an instant," Ardos scolded, his voice stern but not cold and indifferent like it had been earlier. It was progress, at least. "You wouldn't have accused me of orchestrating it if it were simple 'prison life.' Tell me the truth, now."

Eldes looked up to his twin, once more unable to see his true expression thanks to the opaque shades adorning the man's face. He wanted to break them. Flashes of the pain, of the fear, echoes of his own screams and his assailant's triumphant laughter and jeering... Eldes couldn't hold Ardos' authoritative gaze while the memories plagued him. He sighed and looked away, still unwilling to reveal how weak and pathetic he'd been rendered in the past. It was a disgrace. "I was wrong, Ardos, to accuse you. I was scared and pathetic, is all, and I held onto the belief you'd abandoned me to... I guess... add to my own penance." He frowned, only then taking the moment to look back up at his twin. "I'd really rather not go into it. Spare me having to revisit it."


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Re: The MEETING Team (PLOT)

Post by Ardos on Mon Apr 04, 2016 12:56 pm


Citadark Isle | Late Morning
37


"I was wrong, Ardos, to accuse you. I was scared and pathetic, is all, and I held onto the belief you'd abandoned me to... I guess... add to my own penance." He couldn't help but sneer internally, adding a mental 'yes, yes you were' to the end of the word wrong. But that didn't stop him from feeling he was owed more than a simple brush off, especially when Eldes begged him to drop it. "I'd really rather not go into it. Spare me having to revisit it." Ardos shook his head negatively, not willing to let up until he got something more concrete than 'bad things happened.'

"I was the one you abandoned, lest you forgot, so if anyone has a right to feel as though their twin wanted them to suffer it is I. You threw away everything, including me, to chase after some reckless teen's flawed ideals. I am not the one who sent you to prison. I am not the one who forced you into physical and mental anguish. But I do think, given everything else you have put me through, I deserve to know who did."
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Re: The MEETING Team (PLOT)

Post by Silverishness on Mon Apr 04, 2016 3:23 pm

Post 38



Citadark Isle||Late Morning



"I was the one you abandoned, lest you forgot, so if anyone has a right to feel as though their twin wanted them to suffer it is I. You threw away everything, including me, to chase after some reckless teen's flawed ideals. I am not the one who sent you to prison. I am not the one who forced you into physical and mental anguish. But I do think, given everything else you have put me through, I deserve to know who did."

Eldes' eye twitched as his anger flared again, his mind quickly latching onto another subject with which to distract Ardos away from his time in prison. "'Flawed ideals'?" Eldes retorted, eyeing his twin with a narrowed gaze. "How can you even say that? What Father had done, what he'd done to us for our entire lives-- we were finally free of it and the crime he drowned us in. What was left to stay in? The crumbling ruins of Cipher weren't fit for either of us, and when I begged you to come with us, you turned your back on us. On the Father you've so readily defended for forty years. Who, by the way, tortured us, broke us and brainwashed us into nothing but compliant robots, Ardos! So, what, the 'flawed ideals' you're spitting on are freedom, personal rights and justice?

"I didn't throw you away. You didn't want to see what he'd done to us, what he's still doing to you, despite being dead. And I... I couldn't live with the idea of committing so many heinous crimes and simply walking away from it, scot-free."


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Re: The MEETING Team (PLOT)

Post by Ardos on Tue Apr 05, 2016 9:36 am


Citadark Isle | Late Morning
38


"'Flawed ideals'?" Eldes seemed to have a renewed fire after his burden releasing revelation only moments before, glaring at Ardos as he began yet another rant about their childhood. "How can you even say that? What Father had done, what he'd done to us for our entire lives-- we were finally free of it and the crime he drowned us in. What was left to stay in? The crumbling ruins of Cipher weren't fit for either of us, and when I begged you to come with us, you turned your back on us. On the Father you've so readily defended for forty years. Who, by the way, tortured us, broke us and brainwashed us into nothing but compliant robots, Ardos! So, what, the 'flawed ideals' you're spitting on are freedom, personal rights and justice?

Ardos arched his eyebrow and backed away slowly, fingers twitching as the desire to smack some sense into his twin became overwhelmingly strong. He balled his hands into fists to control the urge, nails digging into his palms so deeply they began to bleed. Why was it every time Eldes brought up their Father he suffered from the same delusion that they were liable under the mainland's laws? They never had been, and they never would be. Cipher was above the petty Orre government, and any other civilization the mainland had to offer. It's why they had their own home, their own land, off shore and away from the common, vulgar, weak, licentious crowds.

"I didn't throw you away. You didn't want to see what he'd done to us, what he's still doing to you, despite being dead. And I... I couldn't live with the idea of committing so many heinous crimes and simply walking away from it, scot-free." He couldn't keep quiet any longer as Eldes mocked everything Ardos held dear, and finally snapped as the red head came to his conclusion. "So you walked away from your family instead," he hissed angrily. "You not only threw me away but threw away everything you had ever known. Criminal only applies to those who live under the law they are supposedly breaking, Cipher has no law but its own. Citadark is its own nation, and we have never been subject to the backwards, primitive cultures that populate the world. Cipher is above all of them. Freedom? Personal rights? Justice?! All of them fabricated lies to keep people from seeing the truth of their enslavement to outdated ideals and the corruption of their own leaders as they destroyed their world in the name of 'free will.'"

He stood proudly before Eldes, looking down at his brother as he harshly judged the red head for choosing a false life over a life with him. "I will never belittle my very soul just to stand by them."
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Re: The MEETING Team (PLOT)

Post by Silverishness on Tue Apr 05, 2016 11:26 am

Post 39



Citadark Isle||Late Morning



Ardos had backed away, his fists almost white from the force that kept them balled. "So you walked away from your family instead," he hissed angrily. Eldes' frown deepened with the accusation, huffing as Ardos continued on his own rant. "You not only threw me away but threw away everything you had ever known. 'Criminal' only applies to those who live under the law they are supposedly breaking; Cipher has no law but its own. Citadark is its own nation, and we have never been subject to the backwards, primitive cultures that populate the world. Cipher is above all of them. 'Freedom'? 'Personal rights'? 'Justice'?! All of them fabricated lies to keep people from seeing the truth of their enslavement to outdated ideals and the corruption of their own leaders as they destroyed their world in the name of 'free will.'"

Ardos stood sternly in front of Eldes as the latter rose to his feet, their glares meeting the other with quickly rising ferocity. This, this was the argument Eldes had long wanted to have with his brother, to knock some damn sense into him. "I will never belittle my very soul just to stand by them." But of course, it seemed Ardos was every bit as stubborn as the last time they had this conversation.

"You decided the corpse of Cipher was better than finding a new life with your twin, Ardos!" Eldes spat, his own fists balling in anger as well. "The corpse of a institution that functioned on stripping us of our individuality, of our thoughts, dreams and hopes and replaced with with nothing but acidic venom designed to keep us in line! Do you not understand what Father did? He dehumanized us! He made us into slaves, Ardos-- stop defending him and his filthy fucking Cipher! Cipher was never above the law-- it was a criminal organization that focused on abuse and trafficking. That's all it was, Ardos-- a way for Father to simulate control over his life when his twin boys killed his wife!"

He strode back over to Ardos, eyes bright with fury. "All our lives, he did nothing but hurt us. Torture us. Belittle and brainwash us. And you keep defending him, his ideals and his horrible empire. That's not loyalty, Ardos-- that's Stockholm Syndrome."


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Re: The MEETING Team (PLOT)

Post by Ardos on Tue Apr 05, 2016 12:31 pm


Citadark Isle | Late Morning
39


"You decided the corpse of Cipher was better than finding a new life with your twin, Ardos!" What new life?! The life Eldes had found was not a life to him, it was enslavement to baser instinct that left nothing but a hollow guilt to eat away at your soul as you watched the world die around you because you poisoned it. "The corpse of a institution that functioned on stripping us of our individuality, of our thoughts, dreams and hopes and replaced with with nothing but acidic venom designed to keep us in line! Do you not understand what Father did? He dehumanized us! He made us into slaves, Ardos-- stop defending him and his filthy fucking Cipher! Cipher was never above the law-- it was a criminal organization that focused on abuse and trafficking. That's all it was, Ardos-- a way for Father to simulate control over his life when his twin boys killed his wife!"

"All our lives, he did nothing but hurt us. Torture us. Belittle and brainwash us. And you keep defending him, his ideals and his horrible empire. That's not loyalty, Ardos-- that's Stockholm Syndrome." Ardos had enough of his twin's wicked tongue and as the red head stepped up to confront him face to face the blue haired male felt his last resolve snap. Roughly he grabbed a fist full of Eldes's shirt and pushed him back, not stopping until the others knees hit the chair and buckled to let Ardos drop him unceremoniously back into the seat. "Know your place traitor!" he seethed. "You gave up any right to question me or my motives when you left everything behind. Cipher was no corpse you fool! It had merely lost its figurehead, which is why I was so adamant to Father that we could rebuild. But no. You had to go spouting your fucking nonsense and throw everything away for what? A clean conscience?!" He leaned down and gripped the armrests on either side of Eldes, leaning in close as he practically spat out his rage.

"The outside world doesn't deserve you or your help! Their chaotic nature has destroyed everything you so foolishly chose against your family, against me. Cipher is order! Cipher is the future! And when all the rest of the world has finished burning away we will rise to claim it, ushering in a new era of peace the likes of which the world has never seen. Do not mistake my acceptance of Father's teaching as any love for the man himself. He was a monster. But just because he failed as a human worthy of the future doesn't mean he was wrong about how to correct it."
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Re: The MEETING Team (PLOT)

Post by Silverishness on Tue Apr 05, 2016 1:16 pm

Post 40



Citadark Isle||Late Morning


Eldes hadn't been prepared for Ardos' hands snatching at his turtleneck and therefore couldn't fight the sudden force that propelled him backwards. His long legs tried in vain to keep their ground against his twin's fury, but too soon his legs hit the chair once more and he toppled back into its hold, trapped by his brother. "Know your place, traitor!" Ardos snapped hatefully. "You gave up any right to question me or my motives when you left everything behind. Cipher was no corpse, you fool! It had merely lost its figurehead, which is why I was so adamant to Father that we could rebuild. But no. You had to go spouting your fucking nonsense and throw everything away for what? A clean conscience?!" Bony fingers gripped the armrests at Eldes' side as he leaned in, further trapping Eldes in his spot. Both men held the other's furious gaze, neither backing down.

"The outside world doesn't deserve you or your help! Their chaotic nature has destroyed everything you so foolishly chose against your family, against me. Cipher is order! Cipher is the future! And when all the rest of the world has finished burning away we will rise to claim it, ushering in a new era of peace the likes of which the world has never seen. Do not mistake my acceptance of Father's teaching as any love for the man himself. He was a monster. But just because he failed as a human worthy of the future doesn't mean he was wrong about how to correct it."

Eldes felt no fear from his twin's act of intimidation. "Like he 'corrected' us? Bullshit! Cipher destroyed us, Ardos. Destroyed our Father by consuming him with warmongering and a thirst for power, destroyed you and I by turning us into mindless cogs in a fucking machine. Cipher was death. Cipher was a broken old man's wet dream for power, nothing more! But now? Cipher is a fucking CULT, Ardos-- that's what you've made it!" His hand shot out, shoving Ardos back easily before standing once more, his frame strong and sturdy.

"I'm only a traitor to Cipher, Ardos. You're the one that's determined to embody it. You could have left it and all those years of pain behind, but you embraced it. Even after everything Father did to us. If you were so true to his teachings, then, Brother mine, why is she still alive?!" He picked up Oasis' ball, holding it out almost as if the ball itself were a weapon and not what lay dormant within it. "Why did you save her? Why, if Father's teachings were so fucking important to you, did you choose me over them then? Why couldn't you make that choice again, when it mattered most?!" Eldes put the ball back down on the pile, tears once more threatening his eyes. Fucking hell. Couldn't he have, what, five fucking minutes without bursting into tears? God only knew how he didn't die of dehydration by this point.

"YOU left ME for the very thing that destroyed any chance of a normal life we could ever have. You're standing here, against me, defending it and you'll be killing me after this is over for it. Is it still fucking worth it, Ardos? Abandoning me to be alone in a world that hated us to hide in here like criminal scum and letting the world go to pot around you?"


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Re: The MEETING Team (PLOT)

Post by Ardos on Wed Apr 06, 2016 11:59 am


Citadark Isle | Late Morning
40


"Like he 'corrected' us? Bullshit! Cipher destroyed us, Ardos. Destroyed our Father by consuming him with warmongering and a thirst for power, destroyed you and I by turning us into mindless cogs in a fucking machine. Cipher was death. Cipher was a broken old man's wet dream for power, nothing more! But now? Cipher is a fucking CULT, Ardos-- that's what you've made it!" At hearing how disgusting a view Eldes had on his beloved society Ardos opened his mouth to retaliate, but found himself quickly shoved back out of the way as his brother stood back up. Despite his early burst of strength Ardos was not strong enough to resist the assault and found himself stumbling backwards, barely catching himself on the desk before nearly hitting the floor.

"I'm only a traitor to Cipher, Ardos. You're the one that's determined to embody it. You could have left it and all those years of pain behind, but you embraced it. Even after everything Father did to us. If you were so true to his teachings, then, Brother mine, why is she still alive?!" The flygon's ball was quickly snatched from beside him on the desk as Ardos looked up into the furious face of his twin, his own matching it perfectly as Eldes spat on everything he believed in. "Why did you save her? Why, if Father's teachings were so fucking important to you, did you choose me over them then? Why couldn't you make that choice again, when it mattered most?!"

Ardos pulled himself back up to his full height, using the desk as a brace, and confronted his fuming brother. "Because I was a stupid child then! Father's lessons seemed harsh then but only now, as an adult, can I truly understand what his purpose was. I actually regret that I allowed my feelings for you to cloud my better judgement, because maybe if you had lost everything keeping you tethered to your rebellion you may have actually learned something! Maybe you wouldn't have fucking left!" As if to emphasize his point Ardos slammed his open palm down on the desk, aggravating the deep laceration in his hand and spilling blood all over the polished wood top. He didn't even notice the blood seeping around and through his fingers as he pushed his weight onto the arm, the pain signals lost in the rage fogging his mind.

"YOU left ME for the very thing that destroyed any chance of a normal life we could ever have. You're standing here, against me, defending it and you'll be killing me after this is over for it. Is it still fucking worth it, Ardos? Abandoning me to be alone in a world that hated us to hide in here like criminal scum and letting the world go to pot around you?" Unable to express his anger any other way Ardos gave a broad sweep with his arm to everything on his desk, launching it all in the direction of his brother along with a light spray of blood from his hand. "Fuck you, you hypocrite! You preferred that world to anything you had with me, you never wanted to stay. You abandoned me long before that idiot child showed up, you just used him as your excuse to finally walk out for good. And yes, it was worth it to watch the world around me burn, as it was always meant to. It meant Father and I were right. You just don't want to admit it."
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Re: The MEETING Team (PLOT)

Post by Silverishness on Wed Apr 06, 2016 6:50 pm

Post 41



Citadark Isle||Late Morning



Eldes hadn't been prepared for Ardos to retaliate physically, subconsciously thinking that anything his malnourished twin could dish out was easily sustainable. But when his hand slapped Eldes' pokemon off the desk, as well as the file and a few other sparse things, the ginger twin was taken off guard. "Fuck you, you hypocrite! You preferred that world to anything you had with me, you never wanted to stay. You abandoned me long before that idiot child showed up, you just used him as your excuse to finally walk out for good. And yes, it was worth it to watch the world around me burn, as it was always meant to. It meant Father and I were right. You just don't want to admit it."

"Oh REALLY? The same Father who came to the same conclusion I did and left? The one who confessed to only using us as servants because he blamed us for Mother's death? The one who, according to your logic, abandoned you too?!" He stepped forward again, the pain and hate for their father burning in his emerald eyes. "Call me what you will, Ardos, but never, NEVER SAY you meant nothing to me." His lips quivered as he spoke, his emotions raging far too powerfully for him to control. "Don't you FUCKING say that. Watching you defend him was a knife in my soul. The man that broke us-- you DEFENDED him! After everything he did to us, to ME. WE were supposed to be one, Ardos. And I thought we were. I thought we were suffering together, and when I saw a way out, I took it. But you... you wanted to STAY."

He shook his head, grabbing Ardos' robe. "You defended our attacker. MY attacker. It meant that everything he ever did to me was in the right! You insulted me, spat on me, and then turned your back on me when I stopped him from blowing up your precious fucking Citadark! Where was I supposed to go, Ardos?! I hated Father. You hated me. The only parts of my life that I knew rejected me, wholly and without abandon. I HAD to go out there, out into the ACTUAL world and carve out a life-- and even then, I wasn't wanted! I was tortured in prison, I was tortured when I was out of it, ridiculed by my peers-- NO ONE wants an ex-con, Ardos! What was I supposed to do? The only answer I had was that you despised me and it left me with NOTHING!"


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Re: The MEETING Team (PLOT)

Post by Ardos on Sun Apr 10, 2016 2:54 pm


Citadark Isle | Late Morning
41


"Oh REALLY? The same Father who came to the same conclusion I did and left? The one who confessed to only using us as servants because he blamed us for Mother's death? The one who, according to your logic, abandoned you too?!" He stepped forward again, the pain and hate for their father burning in his emerald eyes. "Call me what you will, Ardos, but never, NEVER SAY you meant nothing to me." Ardos’s jaw clenched. “Father was a coward!” he hissed, struggling to not simply punch his twin in the face. "Don't you FUCKING say that. Watching you defend him was a knife in my soul. The man that broke us-- you DEFENDED him! After everything he did to us, to ME. WE were supposed to be one, Ardos. And I thought we were. I thought we were suffering together, and when I saw a way out, I took it. But you... you wanted to STAY."

He wasn’t prepared for Eldes grabbing him again, his foot tripping over the leg of the desk and giving the red head leverage to manhandle him with ease. "You defended our attacker. MY attacker. It meant that everything he ever did to me was in the right! You insulted me, spat on me, and then turned your back on me when I stopped him from blowing up your precious fucking Citadark! Where was I supposed to go, Ardos?!” He felt something inside him grow colder at his brother’s words, his already wounded spirit shrinking into darkness of the familiar shadow that was his twin. ‘It’s always about you…isn’t it?’ he thought bitterly as Eldes continued his rant. “I hated Father. You hated me. The only parts of my life that I knew rejected me, wholly and without abandon. I HAD to go out there, out into the ACTUAL world and carve out a life-- and even then, I wasn't wanted! I was tortured in prison, I was tortured when I was out of it, ridiculed by my peers-- NO ONE wants an ex-con, Ardos! What was I supposed to do? The only answer I had was that you despised me and it left me with NOTHING!"

He waited for the other male to finish his rant before reaching up through his arms and splitting them, brushing them off to the side angrily. “What else was I supposed to do? Follow you into the sinister limelight of the world’s hatred? I was scared Eldes! Terrified! I knew what awaited us if we surrendered, it is why I pleaded with Father to scrap everything and run. Why I begged you not to leave me. I did everything I could to break you out after I found out where you were but by the time I gathered enough resources to actually do anything about it you were gone. And there was nothing that could help me find you. Your records just….stopped. I have been under the assumption for years that you were dead! And now I find out that I didn’t try hard enough to save you! What else did you want from me?!
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Re: The MEETING Team (PLOT)

Post by Silverishness on Mon Apr 11, 2016 7:09 am

Post 42



Citadark Isle||Late Morning


Ardos broke free of Eldes' grip, earning a frustrated, sharp inhale from the latter. “What else was I supposed to do? Follow you into the sinister limelight of the world’s hatred? I was scared Eldes! Terrified! I knew what awaited us if we surrendered, it is why I pleaded with Father to scrap everything and run. Why I begged you not to leave me. I did everything I could to break you out after I found out where you were but by the time I gathered enough resources to actually do anything about it you were gone. And there was nothing that could help me find you. Your records just…. stopped. I have been under the assumption for years that you were dead! And now I find out that I didn’t try hard enough to save you! What else did you want from me?!

Eldes snarled at Ardos' words, refusing to let his sympathy drag down his anger. No. Ardos wouldn't turn this around. He was the one that spat on Eldes first, on that fateful day so many years ago. Eldes wouldn't be made into the monster here. "Bullshit!" the ginger snapped, his hands curling into fists. "You don't think I was terrified?! Terrified to go headfirst into a world that hated me? But more than that-- you didn't beg anything of me or father. You SPAT on me, called me a traitor and a coward, and then stormed out!" He shook his head, his glare turning more and more painful as he spoke. "And no. I don't believe you did everything in your power. Because I knew that power, Ardos. I knew your contacts, your web that Father unwittingly left you. You had spies and subterfuge at your fingertips. The same people that infiltrated an entire country! And it's not like my trial and sentence were kept under wraps-- it was big news. Everywhere I went, there were cameras and reporters, including the prison I was sentenced to. It was HUGE. Sure, you may not have been able to see me in person and that's fine-- but letters? Mail? Smoke signals? ANYTHING? With so many experts in espionage, you'd THINK that at least ONE of them would have been able to manage getting word to your fucking twin! But no. You didn't. And it was because you didn't want to."

It was Eldes' turn to circle his brother, his physical prowess now much more obvious as his larger form continued to block Ardos from his and backed him a little more against the wall. "I spent years in HELL with nothing but silence and hatred to accompany me. I thought -and knew- that you had long abandoned me because of what happened not 200 feet from this room. That all the pain we had endured together under Father's tyranny meant nothing to you because I finally stood up for what I believed in. What did I want from you, Ardos? To act like a fucking BROTHER! To help me, or at least attempt to make contact with me while I was being tortured. That even though we didn't agree, you still cared what happened to me. To let me know that maybe, MAYBE, once I got out, we would still be able to speak. But that never happened. Every day that no word came from you was just more evidence that you had truly rid yourself of me. And it destroyed me."


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Re: The MEETING Team (PLOT)

Post by Ardos on Tue Apr 12, 2016 1:45 pm


Citadark Isle | Late Morning
42


"Bullshit!"

Ardos could practically taste the mounting tension as it grew thicker in the room, both brothers unwilling to let go of their perception of reality. "You don't think I was terrified?! Terrified to go headfirst into a world that hated me? But more than that-- you didn't beg anything of me or father. You SPAT on me, called me a traitor and a coward, and then stormed out!" "That is not what happened you liar! I begged first, pleaded to blow up the island and let that kid die where he stood. I wanted us to run and start over. You spat at ME and said Cipher was finished just because some kid showed up and beat us at a Pokemon battle. You know what we had that he didn't? Guns and bombs. I didn't storm off until you sided with some snot nosed brat over your own twin!"

"And no. I don't believe you did everything in your power. Because I knew that power, Ardos. I knew your contacts, your web that Father unwittingly left you. You had spies and subterfuge at your fingertips. The same people that infiltrated an entire country! And it's not like my trial and sentence were kept under wraps-- it was big news. Everywhere I went, there were cameras and reporters, including the prison I was sentenced to. It was HUGE. Sure, you may not have been able to see me in person and that's fine-- but letters? Mail? Smoke signals? ANYTHING? With so many experts in espionage, you'd THINK that at least ONE of them would have been able to manage getting word to your fucking twin! But no. You didn't. And it was because you didn't want to."

What was this idiot on about? Besides ignoring his argument to continue his own. Of course he had written his brother after he found out he was in jail. Granted it had taken a while, because he had to hide out and lived on the streets for a time, but he had. Once again Eldes was lying to fuel his own selfish desire to get back at Ardos for some imagined wrong doing. "I spent years in HELL with nothing but silence and hatred to accompany me. I thought -and knew- that you had long abandoned me because of what happened not 200 feet from this room. That all the pain we had endured together under Father's tyranny meant nothing to you because I finally stood up for what I believed in. What did I want from you, Ardos? To act like a fucking BROTHER! To help me, or at least attempt to make contact with me while I was being tortured. That even though we didn't agree, you still cared what happened to me. To let me know that maybe, MAYBE, once I got out, we would still be able to speak. But that never happened. Every day that no word came from you was just more evidence that you had truly rid yourself of me. And it destroyed me."

"Don't be stupid Eldes!" Ardos retorted, foot hitting the wall to stop his retreat as Eldes tried to corner him. "I wrote you nearly every day after I found out where you were! You never responded! I didn't know anything for almost a year because you know what homeless people eking out a meager existence on the street don't have? Television! After you abandoned me I challenged Michael again in the Colosseum, to prove he wasn't as great as everyone thought he was, but living in the gutter hadn't exactly done wonders for my health or sleep and I lost. I barely managed to escape getting caught for that stunt. After that I retreated into the abandoned underground, living like a sewer rat for months as I couldn't show my face in the daylight for fear of being arrested."

He pushed back off of the wall and began to advance on Eldes, eyes blazing with fury. "No one would talk to me. Not my contacts, not my suppliers, not my informants. No one would come near me while I was a wanted man. I ended up having to hide out with Venus after falling deathly ill from living in the gutter, I could barely move I was so weak. When I was strong enough I was able to go through old tabloids online and found out where you were. I immediately began sending you letters to ask about your well-being and your sentence. I must have sent hundreds of letters, but not once did you ever send me anything in return. You want to talk about being abandoned? About being soulless? Live in my shoes!"
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Re: The MEETING Team (PLOT)

Post by Silverishness on Tue Apr 12, 2016 2:52 pm

Post 43



Citadark Isle||Late Morning



"Don't be stupid Eldes!" Ardos spat back, his foot bracing itself against the wall to keep him from retreating further. Eldes scoffed at his brother's weak insult. "I wrote you nearly every day after I found out where you were! You never responded! I didn't know anything for almost a year because you know what homeless people eking out a meager existence on the street don't have? Television! After you abandoned me I challenged Michael again in the Colosseum, to prove he wasn't as great as everyone thought he was, but living in the gutter hadn't exactly done wonders for my health or sleep and I lost. I barely managed to escape getting caught for that stunt. After that I retreated into the abandoned underground, living like a sewer rat for months as I couldn't show my face in the daylight for fear of being arrested."

He pushed back against the wall to advance, but Eldes retained his ground. "Why in hell would you fight against Michael, again, after he beat you, at the height of his popularity and strength!? Eldes cried, unwilling to accept the horror his brother just revealed. That he was homeless, starving and nearly had died without anyone else. That he'd had just as hard a time without Eldes as Eldes had without Ardos.

But Ardos ignored his question. "No one would talk to me. Not my contacts, not my suppliers, not my informants. No one would come near me while I was a wanted man. I ended up having to hide out with Venus after falling deathly ill from living in the gutter, I could barely move I was so weak. When I was strong enough I was able to go through old tabloids online and found out where you were. I immediately began sending you letters to ask about your well-being and your sentence. I must have sent hundreds of letters, but not once did you ever send me anything in return. You want to talk about being abandoned? About being soulless? Live in my shoes!"

Silence stretched between the two men as Ardos' words sank in. Eldes slowly shook his head; something was wrong. Very, very wrong. He took in a long, deep breath. "I never. Got. Anything," he said in a lower voice, though his consonants were over-articulated as he tried to ebb his fury. "Ever. Nothing. Not a single whisper. I hadn't seen or heard or read anything about you or from you since that day on Citadark, Ardos. Hell, for a while, I thought you were dead." He bit the inside of his cheek and pinched the bridge of his nose as his mind raced and he thought aloud. Another deep breath was needed as he forced himself to calm and think this strange situation through.

"Look. I never got anything from you. I don't... see why you would lie about sending any letters, and there's absolutely no reason for me to lie about not getting them. The prison might have withheld mail from me, but... I remember getting mail. Death threats, mostly, along with a few legal letters from lawyers and some reporters. And any personal items were returned to me once I was released, including anything withheld." His eyes searched his brother's form, as if it held any of the answers, when his eyes spotted crimson against the pallid cream of his brother's skin and teal of his robes. Eldes' face fell a little more as he gently pursed his lips. "You're bleeding..."

Heaving one last sigh, he turned from Ardos to fetch the medical kit that had been thrown against the other wall, placing it on the desk to open it. He quickly grabbed a few items from the white plastic container and went back to Ardos. "Let me see it?" His voice was soft now-- tired, even. Most of the anger had left him once he'd seen the blood.


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Re: The MEETING Team (PLOT)

Post by Ardos on Fri Apr 15, 2016 12:14 pm


Citadark Isle | Late Morning
43


"I never. Got. Anything." Ardos braced himself for another verbal onslaught, his brother's over-articulated tone gearing up for another assault. "Ever. Nothing. Not a single whisper. I hadn't seen or heard or read anything about you or from you since that day on Citadark, Ardos. Hell, for a while, I thought you were dead." Ardos grit his teeth as he watched Eldes show signs of an exhaustion headache, pinching his nose and lowering his eyes. "Well guess what? That makes two of us. Funny how when I said the same thing I was told it wasn't an excuse."

"Look. I never got anything from you. I don't... see why you would lie about sending any letters, and there's absolutely no reason for me to lie about not getting them. The prison might have withheld mail from me, but... I remember getting mail. Death threats, mostly, along with a few legal letters from lawyers and some reporters. And any personal items were returned to me once I was released, including anything withheld." The blue haired male noticed the deflation in his brother's posture, his tone growing more gentle the more he spoke. It seemed as if this round of the argument was over when suddenly his twin's gaze settled on the balled fist at his side. "You're bleeding..."

Ardos blinked a few times and stared at Eldes in bewilderment before following his gaze down to his own hand, opening up his palm and seeing that there was indeed a pool of crimson slowly trailing down his pale skin and dripping down to the floor. It was even smearing his robe, which he hadn't noticed before. "Oh..." he muttered offhand, still staring at the ruby liquid staining his complexion. He vaguely processed Eldes moving around the office out of the corner of his eye and didn't register what he was doing until his voice called out from right in front of him again. "Let me see it?" He looked up at his twin's face, confusion written all over his face as he tried to process why his brother wanted his hand, but then he noticed what Eldes was holding. He wanted to bandage him? "Okay..." Ardos held out his hand carefully to the red-head, unsure why he was being helped but too disoriented to argue.
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Re: The MEETING Team (PLOT)

Post by Silverishness on Fri Apr 15, 2016 5:08 pm

Post 44



Citadark Isle||Late Morning




"Okay..."

For a moment, Eldes' mind went to their childhood. A point where they had been playing outside and Ardos had fallen from a tree and broke his arm. The deja vu from that memory caused him to pause a little before gently taking Ardos' slim pale hand. The redhead could do little else but push the memory back in order to focus on the wound in front of him. He pulled the rubbing alcohol from the case, dousing a cotton swab with the stuff and began to clean the wound, his emotions swirling once more.

"...I'm sorry..." His voice was quiet again as he worked at the hand. "I... shouldn't have assumed so much about you. It's just... hard to think beyond yourself when so much has... has gone wrong."


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Re: The MEETING Team (PLOT)

Post by Ardos on Tue Apr 19, 2016 1:37 pm


Citadark Isle | Late Morning
44


He hissed slightly as the cleaning solution touched his palm, the clear liquid coldly exploring the deep crevasse carved into his skin and bubbling slightly. It was deeper than he expected which made the fact he didn't feel it at all until Eldes said something all the more troubling. But he was too entranced by the suddenly tender care he was being offered to question much more. "...I'm sorry..." Ardos's gaze shifted from his hand to the hung head of his brother, waiting for him to continue. "I... shouldn't have assumed so much about you. It's just... hard to think beyond yourself when so much has... has gone wrong."

"I know," he admitted. "It seems that even when apart we suffer the same fates, yet still end up with different outcomes. We are eternal balance, you and I." He lifted one hand and cupped it over the tanner one tending his wound, pausing it in its mission to simply hold it for a moment. "Please...I need to know what happened to you when I should have protected you. I need to know how I failed."
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Re: The MEETING Team (PLOT)

Post by Silverishness on Tue Apr 19, 2016 1:57 pm

Post 45



Citadark Isle||Noon



"I know," Ardos replied gently. The change in tone was welcome as Eldes tended to the bloodied hand of his brother; he felt exhausted from arguing for hours on end. "It seems that even when apart we suffer the same fates, yet still end up with different outcomes. We are eternal balance, you and I." Eldes gave a mirthless chuckle at the words, as they were fond and familiar memories. But the small, tired grin that appeared faded as Ardos' free hand gently placed itself on Eldes', silently asking for him to stop his work. Eldes lifted his emerald gaze to his mirror, confused. "Please...I need to know what happened to you when I should have protected you. I need to know how I failed."

Pain immediately was visible in Eldes' expression, the flashes of memory and nightmares bombarding him for a horrible moment. He hadn't told anyone. Not Michael. Not Looker. No one else knew besides... him. Shame, humiliation and disgust at his own weakness bubbled to the surface, sickened with the fact that he couldn't protect himself, that he had been at the whims of a madman. He had to look away from Ardos, as even looking into the shades his twin sported was too much eye contact.

As much as he didn't want to... if anyone should know, it... it would be his twin.

"...I said 'no'..." he began quietly, gently pushing aside Ardos' good hand so he could continue to work. He needed to work. He needed something else in the background while he vomited up the memories and horror and guilt. "In prison, a lot... a lot of men made... passes. But they seemed to... back off when I wasn't... interested." He could feel the tears again and once more he cursed them. Why couldn't he have a steely interior or malfunctioning sinuses that would prevent him from crying so damn much? "But then a guard... he asked... and I said 'no' and... well... he didn't like that."

His jeers, his disgusting breath, the way his grubby fingers reached out for him-- Eldes mind brought it up almost eagerly, as if it hadn't tortured him enough over the years. "He accosted me. Attacked me. Beat me within an inch of my life when I tried to defend myself... He... he took me, Ardos." He wasn't sobbing, but the tears poured steadily from his eyes as he worked, careful to keep the droplets out of his brother's wound. "And when I finally stopped fighting, he branded me. Carved his name in my back, so... so everyone knew. So no one else would want me. So I'd never forget."


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