Wandering Mask’s Profile
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One who burned their wings away that we might thaw the bitter cold. Here we remember the thieves of fire. The titan who gave up everything, chained by the children he once fought alongside. The white and rainbow crows whose beautiful plumage was stained with soot and songs were cracked with the heat of coals. Thieves who stole fire, and freedom.
"Get rid of it." "I'm adding 'unwarranted resentment towards superior intellect' to your file. And probably 'doesn't play well with others'." "SPARK-!" Eric hissed. There was never a good time for their particular attitude, but this felt like an especially bad one. Everyone was watching him with apprehension, distrust, curiosity, and in Aem's case... Her eyes were so cold. "You look different,” "I went through a door and a lot changed." He wished he had a better explanation. "I don''t know where the others are anymore." He slid back another step, carefully. He didn't want to be seen as a threat. Didn't want to fight. Didn't want to see the ice in Aem's eyes. "I will leave if you want." "Or you could take advantage of the advanced guidance system literally staring you in the face, and the living forklift here. Unless you're having a really good time carrying Tall, Bleeding, and Judgemental all by yourselves."
He should have run, he knew that. Staying was stupid. The movement wasn't just one person, it was several, and not one sounded familiar... Except one seemed like it was. So he stood, and he waited as they came through the trees. "Are you lost too?" The question was so calm and civil. It took Eric a moment to process that this stranger had just asked him a question instead of reacting with alarm. But he managed to nod, eventually. "Yes." He almost missed the words from the one being carried- the somewhat familiar one who was clearly badly wounded. "Very pretty." What was pretty? SPARK? He supposed they were, now. The AI sprite must have agreed, because they zipped over to within a couple meters of the two tall humans and lit up with a greenish blue aura. “My name is Aem. Who are you?” It was them. The one who had comforted him, helped him when he fell apart in front of everyone. ...And now, they had no idea who he was. "Aem? I'm Eric..." What...What was he going to say? If they were like Manny, than to them he'd seem an even bigger monster than before. And there was something...something scratching the back of his mind about the way she placed herself in front of the other two, something in her face that didn't quite fit the words she was saying. He took a careful step back, smaller arms raised palms out. "You helped me in the..." what was the word, someone had used it for the wooden building... "the book room." SPARK practically cut him off with a small, vaguely-alarmed chime. "Legs here isn't doing so hot." Eric shot a glance over at the AI, who continued to slowly hover ever closer to the humans. "These readings are f*cked to sh*t, folks. Even more than big blue's here. How many times did this guy walk into a machete?" Eric just stared at the little collection of light and angles and blinked. Slowly.
He heard the echo of laughter, a buzzing giggle with an edge to it. Then the earth hit his back. His eyes opened slowly. New breezes brushed his spines and the sensitive gills on his neck, bringing the scents and temperatures of yet another alien forest he'd never encountered before. Another new environment he had no knowledge of how to survive. Idiot. Idiot. He was all alone again, because he'd panicked. He'd run and left Manny behind. But Solus' face when they'd looked at him... No. He couldn't have stayed. Better Manny protect an angel than a monster. "Ss...SPARK?" His voice was a whisper, but it felt loud in the quiet of the woods. "Morning, sunshine." Eric looked up. A tiny shimmering form hung in the air above him, like a firefly made of angles and projected light. "Is that...the update?" That couldn't be right, could it? An AI transplant didn't gain new hardware from a software update. "Sure, why not. Hey watch this:" The angular wings swayed as SPARK bobbed and wove in the air. "Ah, sweet freedom of movement. Does my power know no bounds." Eric couldn't help it- a soft "oh" of appreciation escaped at the sight of the AI's iridescent flight. SPARK was... pretty. "Please, try to contain yourself. There's a child present." AI weren't generally meant to sound self-important, but in this case, as many others, SPARK seemed to have very little regard for the standard. "I don't think I count." "Sure. Talk to me again once you've had more than two birthdays." SPARK easily avoided the half-hearted flick Eric gave with one outstretched claw. Then, rather suddenly, they held very still, and their form tightened slightly. Their hue adjusted from a wavering blue and yellow to a more orange tint. "Company's coming." There was someone moving through the brush, and getting closer.
Above: a beautiful picture of myself and my ferrec ally Sept by the talented keii4ii.