Ookla the Meeker

Investiture for a Better Life Foundation

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"Sure, boss, sure. They had a mental link with you, so you could easily put them to sleep. But me and him." He pointed at Galvris "Not so much. You can bet he has some sort of shield in place. I know I do." Rick chuckled "You can bet I do."

Edited by Ookla the Benefactor
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He looked to Rick, "yes, of course I do.  What do you take me for?"  Turning back to Solace he said, "probably not, but being a vigilante requires a special brand of crazy."  Galvris sent flows of air to bind Solace head to foot.  He then attempted to make a spirit block to block him off from his investiture.  Spirit was never his strong suit, so the block fell apart.  He wove fire and air to use healing methods.  Healing was difficult, but he'd practiced quite a lot.  He was successfully able to enter a healing flow into Solaces mind.  He then proceeded to increase Solaces tiredness, his weariness.  He grinned, it was almost like soothing.

@Ookla the Meeker

Edited by Ookla the spearman
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Sephtis brought up his psychic shield as soon as he felt the tiredness creep in. "Bind me if you will. But that will not stop me." He said. "Aurell. I need you to fire some awakened bullets."

Aurell complied firing the bullets in seemingly meaningless directions. With his Telekinesis Sephtis guided them to the heads and hearts of his foes.

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Spoilered for length, since I ended up more scenes, than just one.

Since Althea is asleep, these are (some) of her dreams. I mostly grabbed scenes of her past and adapted them, changed them to dreams, so there are of course some inconsistencies. But I think if you're interested, you should be able to discern where the past ends and the dream begins. There is one scene that plays in the future, and is therefore 100%  a dream.

 

The spike

Spoiler

The girl followed the man through the hallways, gawking at the strange things she saw here.
"So, I've been told, that you might be clever enough to work here."
the man told her and she nodded eagerly. She remembered the nice woman, who had asked around in the orphanage for those clever enough, and strong enough to lead, to keep the other kids at bay. Be weak and your stomach is empty, be strong and your stomach is full, be clever and strong and you might even get a family, or a place to work. Clever and strong and you can escape. Althea tried to not show her fear of this man, with his cold eyes, of his emotionless face. She didn't want to go back, she wanted to leave, to escape. And if that meant to work for him, she would do it. Because she was clever and strong, and snuffed out her sympathy for those too weak to fight for lives out long ago. She would do, what he wanted her to do, no matter the cost.
The man held his thumb against a strange device and a door opened. Althea followed him into the room. A man was lying on a table, his arms and legs tightly bound, his head and chest bound to the cold metal. The bright light hurt her eyes and she put her sunglasses on. The man ignored it, only handed her a long metal spike. It was heavy, and she had to held it with both hands, to make sure it didn't fall on the ground. He put a stool next to the table and she climbed on it, when he told her so. He showed her where to place the spike and then put one of his hands on top of it. Althea eyed the bound man, saw his fear, the pain in his eyes, where the ropes had chafed it legs and arms bare. Her hands shook when she placed the spike as the man showed her. Somewhere over the stomach. Gulping down the bile rising in her throat she looked at the man questionly.
"Shove it in to his body."
he instructed, and placed one of his hands on top of the spike, but making no move to shove it in by himself. Althea looked again at the man, at the fear in his eyes, mirroring her own.
"Clever and strong."
the man observed her tightly.
"But are you also brave?"
she nodded, she needed this job, this place to stay. She didn't want to get back. Closing her eyes for a moment she took a deep, steadying breath and then she pushed downwards. Blood sprayed over her heads, her dress and she shoved with all she had, deeper and deeper. Blood hit her face, dripped into her mouth and she firmly shut it, tasted the fierce, copperlike taste of it. Smelled it. And it still sprayed out of his body, and then the man took over, shoved the spike down, and deep into the body of their victim. Althea only stood there, stared at her hands, at her fingers, at the blood.
"Brave."
the man nodded. He pulled out the spike and looked at her.
"Now to you."
a devilish grin spread over his face as he stepped closer, one arm lifting her off the ground, pressing her against a wall.
"A spike is a good thing. It will help you, it will strengthen you. And at the same time, it will make you vulnerable to those that can control your emotions. So be careful, little one."
He placed the spike over her chest and shoved.
Althea screamed. She screamed and screamed, until her voice was hoarse, until she was panting. Some part of her knew, that it was time to wake up, but something kept her here. For a moment she felt divided between the child she had been and the woman she had become. And she screamed again. The man pulled the spike out again.
"Remember this little one, if you are to work here."
Althea toppled to the ground, thankfully blackening out.

A normal evening

Spoiler

Althea stood in her kitchen and cooked some pasta. The sun was shining through the window of her little flat in Oasis City, the sky was blue and cloudless. She had cut the tomatoes into small pieces, heated some oil in a pan, plucked some herbs from her balkony. Roasting the tomatoes, until they were soft and their water was moving around in the pan, she added the herbs and some nuts, as well as garlic and some salt and pepper. Adding the tagliatelle she stired again and then dumped everything on a plate. The steam settled on her glasses and with a sigh she put them off, closed her eyes while she wiped them clean, careful to put them on again, before opening her eyes. The glass was dark, so dark her world was tinted in greys and blacks, but at least she was able to see, and she was used to it. When it was dark outside, she could remove them, dim the light and then suddenly her world turned colorful again. Brashed waited at her small table, as she sat down on her only stool and started eating. She liked pasta, easy to make and tasty at the same time.
"How was work?"
Brashen asked and she smiled at him.
"Alright, I guess. We conducted some experiments on birds, but I guess it didn't really work well. The seals didn't stick and the forger was impatient and in the end everybody was annoyed. Then our boss came by, something about an order from the higher ups and half of the team left. I spent the rest of the day cleaning up the mess they let behind, and finishing the notes. But I think we might make progress in a few days or weeks."
Brashed nodded, and started toying with a pencil lying around.
"Let's take a walk later."
she proposed and immediatly he jerked upright.
"A walk, or a walk?"
he asked back Althea smiled at his eager tone.
"A walk she clarified."
and Brashed hopped over, seated himself on her shoulder and hugged her head.
"A walk."
he repeated and Althea pushed him out of the way to finish eating.
"And afterwards we can continue with the new book I bought."
She finished her meal in silence and then cleaned her plate and put it away. She took the time to clean up the kitchen as well, she prefered to keep her place neat and tidy. It was hers, and she planed to keep it.

Holding out her arm to Brashen she smiled at him.
"Let's go?"
he hopped onto it and Althea breathed in stormlight, reached out for Shadesmar.
"Is all that we see or seem, but a dream within a dream?"
she quoted at Brashen and took her glasses of. Her spren stood next to her and offered her an arm. It was great to see him like this, here where belonged to, more than she did. Here where she wished, to belong as much as he did.
"Maybe?"
he replied.
"I guess it depends on what you consider a dream."
Quietly smiling Althea rested her head on her friend's shoulder and they set of, to take a walk.

Soulcasting

Spoiler

Althea closed the clasp of the soulcaster and concentrated. She reached out for the water in front of her, concentrated on it's essence. It was water. It was wild, it was cool. Strong and yet flexible. Neccessary and beautiful, strange and dangerous. She needed to figure this out. They let her work here, she needed to show them, she was worth their time. Her heart beat in her chest and she felt her stomach tighten at the thought to be lost again, to have no place to stay. Soulcasting. She needed to manage this skill. She needed to. It would make her more valuable. She touched the water, tried to understand the water and then she changed it. Red liquid reflected the light of her sole candle and for a moment she only sat there, then a smile spread on her face. She made it. She MADE it. She grabbed the glass and carefully lifted it to her nose. Copper, blood. She made it. Water to blood. Her smile got wider, almost a grin as she emptied the glas and refilled it again. And again and again. Turning water to blood and blood to water. Then she looked at her stool and concentrated again. Wood to sand. Laughing she stared at the pile of sand next to her matress. Sand to wood. A new stool, a better stool. Althea grabed her soulcaster and turned around, changed her room, changed her clothes, changed her matress until she stood in a beautiful chamber, until she was wearing the gown of a princess, her hair a dark brown, her eyes a nice green. Her skin darker, her eyes healthy. Laughing again, she left the room, stepped out into the bright sunlight. She was outside, in the middle of a beautiful field, flower brushing against her skirts. Althea started to run and run, the sun on her skin warm, but not burning, caressing, but not hurting. She ran and ran, until she reached the sea, until she could sit down on the beach, feel the soft sand beneath her bare feet. She toyed with the sand, pulled of her dress, until she wore nothing but some cloths to bath in and then ran into the water. Free.

Max

Spoiler

Smiling Althea stepped out of her lab and walked over to Max. He looked fantastic. No armour today, instead a set of fitting cloths, enhancing his good looks, with their style and colour. Her heart jumped in joy as she stopped close to him, still smiling. A real smile, that made her eyes shine bright, that let her spirit soar high through the clouds.
"Althea."
he greeted her with a curt nod and then gestured for her to walk beside him, following a small Alley. Althea followed him slightly irritated, but Max changed his moods, his behaviour, maybe he simply a bad day. She felt her smile slowly vanish, while she walked next to him.
"How was your day?"
she attemted some small talk, following him into a small cafe.
"Business as usual."
he replied, without really looking at her and ordered something for both of them, then seated himself at a table. Althea slowly sat down, her eyes on his face. This was strange, this was wrong. Whatever was happening here was wrong.
"I wanted to talk to you."
he told her.
"You know, I've met someone. She is nice, beautiful and she doesn't spike people for dinner."
Althea wanted to protest, to tell him, that she didn't someone everyday, that a lot of her work consisted of research, of meetings, of planning, but he simply went on.
"It's over."
his voice was cold and she tried to reply something, to tell him no, that she loved him, that she needed him. Instead she only whispered his name, not able to speak out loudly.
"Max."
"Don't Max me."
he shook his head.
"You were a nice distraction, while we looked after that matter with Solace. Someone to take my mind of what happened at Oasis, but honestly, did you really think I would spend my life with someone like you? Just look at yourself. You're a freak."
Althea tried to grab his hand, but he pulled it away. A freak. Feeling numb, she sat there, stared at him. He had told her, he loved her, he had held her close, had been ready to defend her. He had cared. When did he stop to care? Nodding again he stood up, as the waiter brought a single glas of water.
"Water. Maybe you can meet someone else to drink a glas of water with."
He walked out of the cafe, not even looking back once. Althea stared at the glas of water, slowly realizing what had happened. He had left her. Her had cast her aside, as soon as he found someone else. She stared at the water and then stood up, left some chrysts on the table and walked away. Why? Her thoughts returned to that point again and again, why. Because she was a freak. Because she was ugly, because she wasn't a person you spent your life with. Her heart cracked, when she remembered his voice, his hand in her hair. How he had held her close, sheltered her. How he had cupped her face, how warm and loving his eyes had been. Something shattered inside her chest and she heaved a sobbing breath, elsecalled away, flew from the village and the news it had brought her today.

 

Edited by Sorana
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Again, the bullets melted to slag in front of Rick, and he nodded to Galvris. "Bind her, or better, if you can, take her through a gateway." He stared Solace in the eyes, "Soon enough, my friend, soon enough." 

@King Taravangian

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“Not so quickly fellows.”

Solace mentally bound the two of them where the stood and inflicted physical wounds on them. Additionally he put inhibitors on their minds. Slowing and stopping at higher cognitive functions. 

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Isn't Solace's telepthy affected by Investiture?

 

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It is hard depending on the person and their amount of investiture. It doesnt have to work. That is just how I wrote it  

 

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Ok, I might do something with the Blade's healing capabilties 

 

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Sephtis sighed. "I don't have time for this. Aurell I need you to hold them off for a good Fifteen minutes maybe more."

"Roger sir." Aurell responded.

Sephtis released the three men. He teleported, along with Althea, to a white room somewhere in the lab. He healed her of the bullet wounds and took off the mental sleep.

 Althea snapped awake. She focused on Sephtis. "Where am I? Where is Max?"

Sephtis sighed. "I am sorry to inform you that he is dead. Galvris and Rick killed him. If you doubt me, I can show you."

@Sorana

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Althea stared at him in disbelieve, her eyes watering in the bright light of the room. She still remembered the dream, Max leaving her, throwing her away, it had left her with a strange feeling, almost like a premonition. Absently minded she reached for her sunglasses and put them on.
"He's dead?"
she asked, her voice toneless.
"Show me."

@Ookla the Meeker

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Sephtis smiled inwardly. He touched her mind and showed her the memory.

====

Just after Althea was shot and "fell" unconscious.

====

A force field expanded over Althea. Max shouted.  “Solace!” He said. “We need to talk!"

Solace walked forward. "You don't understand I can teleport into these things." He said amused. "We will talk on my terms." 

Balefire hit the shield. Reducing it to non-existence. 

"My you are persistent." Sephtis said.

He dodged another bolt of balefire. Sephtis watched in horror as the flame flew towards Max. It passed his ear by a hairbreadth. Then Rick was there, with a thrust of his Shard, Max fell to the ground dead.

====

"I am sorry." Sephtis said. "You have two options. The first is to serve me and get your revenge against those murderers or second try to save me as per your plan."

Sephtis smiled inwardly to himself, while he showed her the memory he planted a trigger in Althea mind. Should she meet Max in the near future she would not recognize him, and would hear a different name should he introduce himself to her.

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Althea stared at the scene, extended a hand as if to touch Max.
"Breath."
Brashen whispered and she did as he told her. Her sister and Max. Both dead the same day. Feeling weak she sat down, lifted a hand to her head, remember Max hand in her hair, how he stroked it softly, how he had lifted her head up to him. How he had told her, that he loved her. She had been safe with, accepted if only for a short moment. Emptiness almost chocked her, a loneliness so powerful that she clenched her hand around her head, so hard it hurt. Pain. She welcomed the pain, it was better than this void, better than trying to understand what had happened.
"Where is his body?"
she whispered and only then realized that Sephtis was talking to her.

"I am sorry." Sephtis said. "You have two options. The first is to serve me and get your revenge against those murderers or second try to save me as per your plan."

He offered her revenge? The great mind reading Sephtis offered her revenge? The one thing she had no interest in? Althea almost stopped listening, there and then. Save him. Max had wanted to save him. That's what she needed to do. Take a step forward, save him. Slowly she got to her feet, walked over to Septhis, stepped in front of him, looked into his eyes.
"You said you have no reason to be here."
she stated, her voice heavy. Go on. Manage. You can collapse after you've tried Max ideas.
"Look. Use whatever you do and look, I have something to show you, too."

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Sephtis sighed. "If have a Cosmere to conquer and a Alleyverse to rule. It had better not take long." 

With that he reached into her mind.

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Rick laughed and tapped Max on the shoulder, trying to wake him up. 

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So is Max awake now?

 

 

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Nope. Sephy-boi is coming back for him

 

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Althea shivvered when she felt Sephtis, instinctively shrank back before his presence. With a sob she forced herself to remember their plan, or at least a part of it and wished Max was here. She had counted on him, had relied on him, the hole in her chest opened wider and the took a step back. Mourn later. As he had told her. Sephtis now, mourning later. He suppressed his emotions, had put them away, but she didn't. And this was her mind, her emotions. She knew close to nothing about his powers, but she knew about her own, knew about the silent power resting in thoughts, in imagination, in emotions and in what you believed you were. Her mind, her emotions, her story.

She showed him the orphanage, the hunger, the fights between them about a piece of bread or a sip of water. The taunts of the other children, the cruelty they all so easily used to get what they wanted. Sorted the weak ones out, got stronger themselves. She skipped over this time, only showed him, because she needed him to understand what was to come, then moved forward to her training. How she had learned hemalurgy, how she had killed, how she had got up each morning, faced her live, faced her colleagues and their taunts, their annoyance when the efficiency she worked with was approved by those above them. She stopped by the strength it had started to cost her to get up each morning to go on, to manage, showed him the desperation, the emptyness slowly settling in her chest, domination her thoughts and her actions, until one day, she lifted her foot of the ground and took a step backwards.

The wind blew around her, caressing her face and body. It tore at her skirts, wiped her hair around. Rain fell from the sky, fell fast and hard, cold as ice. She barely felt the wind and the rain, the cold. She accepted them, they were part of everything around her, part of the scenery, as she herself was a part of the scenery. Slowly she sat down, looked out at the see. It would be quite the drop until she would hit she rocks below, until her body would shatter, and her blood mix with the waves. It would be alright she guessed. She would fly - and then she would land.

She lay back, looking up at the sky, ignoring the water, dropping into her eyes, letting her blink. It was a good night to go, a good night to end this. The storm would carry her away, take her where ever she belonged to. Althea looked at the sky, even with the clouds covering it, it was still beautiful, so far away. Shadows covered the ground around her, shifting their forms every now and then, depending on the light. Sometimes sharp, as if drawn with a ruler, sometimes soft, as a piece of cloth. She ignored them, continued to lay there, simply looking up. It took her a while to realize, that one of the shadows stepped towards her, that he confronted her, and yet, she ignored him. Let him kill her, it would only save her the time she needed to get up and throw herself from the cliff.

"You have given up."

he stated and she turned her head to look at him. A black shadowlike figure, a man it seemed.

"Yes."

she replied and then looked back at the sky.

"I have given up."

saying it loud sounded strange in her own ears. She had given up. She had fought her whole live, but now, now she had given up? She had. Her hand played with some dirt. There was no sense to go on, to go back to them. No sense to fight for every single step, to confront her colleagues day after day, to continue to live. She had no reason to go on. No reason to get up in the morning. And so she would get up tomorrow morning. Get up one last time. Take off her sunglasses and her hat, throw away her gloves. She would stand in the sunlight and then she would jump.

"Why?"

he asked, his voice was soft and comforting, resonating within her.

"There is no sense in going on anymore. No one cares if I am here or not, they won't realize I am gone, for a while. Not until they me to do something."

sitting up she looked at him. No human, he was a spren. Her mind displayed the answer and she shook her head.

"What are you?"

she inquired and he laughed.

"I could tell you. But then you can't find out on your own."

Althea thought about this for a moment, and then shook her head.

"I don't want to find it out on my own. The only thing I will do, is jump from the cliff and end this."

The spren stepped closer, kneeled down next to her.

"So you will choose your own weakness? You will choose death? You believe you have reached your destination?"

Althea looked at him, not quite understanding.

"I chose to die. I chose a way out."

He shook his head.

"You flee."

he accused her.

"You run away, like those cowards at the orphanage. You don't face your problems, your fears, instead you look for the easiest way out and follow it."

"I don't run away."

Althea protested and then realized, that he was right. And yet, fighting took so much strength, and she had none left. No reason to go on, to really follow through with it.

He tsked and shook his head again.

"You are weak. Stupid and weak."
The figure stood up and offered her a hand.
"It is your choice. You can jump off the cliff, you can run away and flee, or you can face what life throws at you and take my hand. Your choice."

 

 

She cut off the memory there, letting it hang between them for a moment. The desperation, the pain, the senselessness of her life. He had told her, he had no reason to live, and that was something she knew, she knew too well. Althea realized, she was shaking, she had never planed to confront this part of herself again, the emptiness threatening to eat her up, taking away everything she held dear, replacing it by nothing worth fighting for. Weakness and fear and a woman, that ran away from both. It took her a moment to collect herself, to free herself from this and then forced herself to go on.

 

The storm was replaced by her, her hand on Brashen's arm, walking through Shadesmar, quietly discussing the book the were reading. Content and joy filled her heart and she shared it, shared the light Brashen had lit, had nurtured until she had gotten up eager each morning, until she found joy in her life again. She showed him her enthusiasm when a difficult experiment went right after hundreds of times it had went wrong, her happiness when she got a promoted, when she climed up through the ranks. Her unwavering loyalty and how she put everything she had into a cause she belived in, supported those she believed in. She showed him her sister, the moment when she had learned that she wasn't alone, that she had someone left. And finally she seperated the pain from the pure joy in her heart when Max had hugged her, when he had comforted her. When she knew, that they would go on together. The way her heart had beaten faster, while her head had trouble to keep up with the situation.

 

Althea looked at his presence again and then sent him a last message. He had offered her two paths. Serve him, or go on and save him. She didn't answer his question, instead she extended a hand of her own. She had been at a point without a reason to go on, and someone had extended his hand. She had asked for death, had decided, that her journey was over, that she had reached her destination, and someone offered her a new way. Solace had asked her to kill him, several times, he had given himself up to heal Max. It all came down to Brashen's words. Giving up, choosing weakness, choosing an easy way out. Handing the responsibility to others. They, no it was she, he was gone, pain, again pain, heart breaking, soul shattering pain, could walk his path with him, his steps, she could help him fight back, find a way out as friends. Friends that trusted each other, told each other when they were being stupid, that could look into each other eyes and know, that the other one would support if neccessary and stop if neccessary. Friendship based on trust and honesty, on loyalty and opening up, on supporting each other, while also leaving the space to breathe. It was an offer for something they could create together, but never alone. An extended hand in the darkness.

 

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That ended up longer than planed.

 

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