S4-AlraDani

Alra:
Alra struggled against her impulses. Pound Tiny Spider into the dirt. Break the arm of the militia captain. There was a fight to be had, and this was new territory. Undead. Like her parents had fled from. Rotting Legion? Some shithead necromancer taking over Plainston? He had no idea the fury that was coming down on him. The Alraune and her allies, the Lenai: Gay Knight, Kind Wizard, Tiny Spider, Fucking Claire, and dearest sestra. Tiny Spider had almost decided not to come but she? had changed her mind at the last minute. She… yes, yes, it was Esnya itself inside her, unleashing a woman's natural fury. Alra had raised her voice at the poor thing. She felt a moment's regret. She was a decade older than the tricky bitch. She should have admired her anger against the pathetic militia. Now, Alra felt the pangs of guilt. She had screamed and sworn at a child. She tried to focus on the lesson Liam had given her in syntax and verb-agreement and approached the girl, beginning in Neslethean. "Mister Spider, Alra is remorse. Raise voice to you with no recognition of your passion. No recognition of your justice. Alra think only of glory, only of power inside tower. Not for Alra, but perhaps for Mister Spider too. Alra wish to apologize serious. But also… Alra was hurt by words yours. Alra thinks Spider just not understand, and Alra would like to explain with no angry. Da?"

Dani:
Dani looked up through their eyelashes from where they sat on the floor adjusting their boot laces. They yanked the final knot tight and straightened their legs out, unafraid of taking up space. Irritation simmered hotly under their indifferent gaze, and each movement drawled with a dangerous, youthful attitude. "I'm listening." If being called mister bothered them, there was no sign of that. They leaned back on both hands, toes tapping together with impatient restlessness.

Alra:
"Web Queen and Haggar, different Gods. Different peoplings. Different languages." She smiled. "Ja ne peltz – It is nothing. You are called here. You are called here with us. Yes," Alra turned her face towards the militia barracks and shouted, "PATHETIC, WEAK, PISSPANTS MILITIA." Returning to meet Dani's gaze. "They are useless people. They think of coin and of sex. They do not know survival like you and I. They have not been hungry. So too with the other Lenai, yes? But consider this: Illyana sent you into world with purpose of greatness and Illyana watch over you. Haggar send Alra out into world to scream his name atop the battered bodies of many enemies. Alra see this with fortuneteller. Alra know destiny. Destiny for Alra? Gladiator. The best. Haggar himself will call me his favorite. But you know this of me, yes? You know I fight. But what else you knowing of fighting? You know it not all brawn. Sometimes, you can walk over inn. Da?"

Dani:
The quirk of a smile pulled at the corner of Dani’s mouth, but the deep furrow between their brow returned after a moment. The indifference was fading to show turbulence. “You have Haggar at your back, gladiator. You know He watches over you. Illyana did not send me on this journey. The temple knows not where I am. I have travelled with the Lenai out of my own selfish stupidity, and now I will face the consequences. Illyana may have forsaken me with what I have done since arriving at Web’s Edge. I will not know until those abominations have my life in their hands.” Dani’s shoulders began to sink, and their age began to show. As they moved aside to give Alra room to sit as well, they looked more like the scared child that grew up on the streets than a proud Cleric of the Web Queen.

Alra:
It reminded her of calming sestra after a particularly bad round in the ring, or when mother fell ill and the thoughts of plague would not abate until she was better. “Mister Spider…” Alra’s voice lowered to the lowest whisper she could manage, to make clear the conversation was for them and them alone. “You are young yet. Things seem difficult when easy, easy when difficult. You outsmart Alra. No easy. Give Alra this, yes? But what happens when faced with challenge? Do you skitter like militia into hiding? Do you…” Alra struggles for the word. “Walk swiftly away?” Alra shakes her head. “No. There is braveness in you. Alra respect one thing in peoples all over world more than all others. This in you. Brave. If Esnya were lucky enough to birth you, you would be proud son of Haggar. Instead, you are Web Queen’s.” Alra’s hands made a gesture of concession. “Alra no trust Web Queen.” A knowing smile. “Alra know better than to trust Tiny Spider. But one thing you, friend, may do? Trust Alra. If in tower there is truly danger you are not strong for on this days, you will be strong for future days. But today? Alra stand by you.”

Dani:
A genuine smile, albeit small, came through. Dani nodded and turned away to hide their face. Life had never put Dani on a team. Life was something that had everyone on their own, fending for themselves. That was the Ostainian way. But Alra was Esnyan. Even if Dani fought alone, they wondered if Alra would truly follow their word and watch their back. It was a… peculiar notion, but one that lightened Dani’s heart just a little. They licked their lips and took a deep breath, regaining their composure and giving Alra another, firmer nod. “My apologies. I meant you no offense with what I said before. I’m just so… angry.”

Alra:
At the word “angry,” Alra’s eyes lit up. She knew this word. She knew this word well. She knew this word so very, very well. “Anger is serdtse deep inside chest screaming for justice, malyutka!” She lost all of her concentration, occasionally slipping in and out of Esnyan because she was just so excited to have finally arrived somewhere she knew she could drive the point home. “Anger is Haggar’s part in our tela, and you feel it here now because Esnya itself is home of yarost. Glorious yarost that inspired brilliant men and women like Lenai to take up sword, shield, book, and yes, malyutka… Sorry. Yes, Spider. Brain. Haggar, God of War. This is his land. This is my land. In your land, perhaps…” Alra chuckled to herself. “Perhaps little one teach Gladiator how to sneak. How to hide until right moment, then strike with great force like tychos Illyana. Forgetting not: Alra know something of tycho fight.” Slowly, and with a gentleness uncharacteristic of her, Alra leaned down in front of Dani and moved her hand to Dani’s knee. “Anger good. Anger tool. Trust Alra for today. Alra show little one. Think back to minutes before, when chertov mudak shlyukhi militia put anger into Alra. Today is day of fight. Of battle. Glorious. Lenai not die in tower. Lenai humiliate weaklings in tower. Lenai drag necromancer by his balls to militia and spit at militia for not have strength to do themselves. Seven dead because of Lenai? Seven dead because of cherto—-…. Them. Them.” She pointed towards the barracks. “We fix what they break true.”

 

Dani:

Dani remembered anger. They remembered anger when the healer refused to help their parents. They remembered anger when their parents refused to get better. They remembered anger at themselves when they had to steal food and food and food. The coins in their pouch weighed heavy with anger. The crystal around their neck weighed heavy with anger. Every forward step Dani had ever taken had been driven by anger. And it would be anger that would get Dani through that tower today.
As Alra spoke, Dani’s determination grew. Their attention was drawn as Mouse crawled down their leg and onto the hand Alra still had on their knee. The righteous indignation cracked. Mouse was still with them. If Illyana had forsaken them, She would have recalled Her spider. There should be no fear in them. As the gladiator had said, Illyana would be with them. They knew this to be true now. Dani held out their hand for Alra to help them stand, their grip strong and sure.

Alra:

Alra saw the fire spark at last in her eyes and smiled wide at Dani. Even without speaking perfectly, she had reached the little hellion. She noticed the cleric’s little companion move to her hand. ‘Thanks for the help, even littler spider.’ As she helped Dani up, Alra allowed Mouse to crawl from the back of her hand to her palm as she offered it back to the Ostanian. “Allow Alra one last thing. Three words Esnyan. Da? Ja ne peltz. It is Alra saying when win. Big battles only, hard battles, but also sometimes just fun battles. Close matches with friends. With sestra mine. Ja ne is…” She had made sure Liam helped her with this. “It is…?” But she’d forgotten the last word. She’d said it today, she was sure of it, it just wasn’t there. She paused momentarily in consideration. Ja ne peltz. It is… it is… No. It was…”

Dani:

Dani took Mouse and held them tenderly. Mouse had been their only friend. Now they looked over at the gladiator beside them, and the respect that originally drew Dani and Mouse together was also in Alra. Perhaps, just perhaps, Dani may have found another friend in this chaotic adventure. “Nothing?” Dani offered, voice almost playful.

Alra:
Alra groaned with relief, eyes rolling upwards. Of course it was “nothing,” she had just allowed herself to get so excited that she couldn’t remember nothing was no things as well as the state of nothing. She smirked at herself, nodding Dani’s way in a gesture of concession. Ja ne peltz, malyutka. It was nothing, little one.”

S4-AlraDani

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