Seeking the Keys

Pt. III: A New Face


Cowboy Ghostie


Oh Fuck... Will thought as he watched the ground rush up at him. He tried to force his wings through the restraints that burned his skin, but they just wouldn't come...

He felt himself grabbed by his collar and yanked sideways as his so-called savior banked sharply. Will gripped the others hands, and just hoped to hell this guy actually meant what he said...

The full impact of what he was in for had hit him long ago, but he couldn't help having second thoughts yet again... He wasn't stupid and he wanted to keep his skin intact.

The flight was frightful as the shade flew erratically, skeletal wings barely missing the sides of buildings and alleyways, finally he was thrown downwards, landing with a crash into a dumpster, the shade back-winging above him as he recovered his form.

Will didn't bother cussing him out for that, he simply extricated himself from the rubbish, the shade watching him with a bit of a knowing smirk as the wings folded themselves back into its body... He brushed himself off and looked up at this so-called savior again, half tempted to give him a withering glare...

Instead will stayed quiet a moment, glaring off at nothing before turning a more... respectful gaze on the shade. He spoke in a quiet hiss... "Warn me next time you're going to do that..."

The shade just laughed at him, a quiet rumble: "And why should I? Your face was absolutely priceless..."

"So I don't like being thrown off a building... " Will couldn't help a scowl, he rubbed at his wrists absently, then realized that damned restraining cuff was still on him: "Any chance I can get this thing off me?"

The shade leapt off the dumpster, landing with a heavy thud next to him. Will reacted on his guard, never trusting of a sudden move. However, as fast as he was he wasn't fast enough, his wrists were seized in the shade's clawlike hands and they began to melt.

Will couldn't resist, only praying he understood the intent. After a moment the left cuff fell to the ground, having slipped off of what was left of his hand. His mind cleared of the fog, and his intellect shocked at the sudden clarity. Why hadn't he noticed that before?

The cuff on the right however, was of a different make, and would not budge for all the shade's efforts. Almost like it was a part of him, after a minute he whispered... "Leave it... It does no harm."

Will leaned on the wall behind him a moment, then shook his head to clear it further...

"Thank you..." He glanced up at him, far from shocked by the feral smile he received as the shade remade his hands, normal this time, instead of the claws they were. "Do you have a preferred name?"

"My name is Razor, cub, don't forget it. You belong to me now, because one wrong step and I'll throw you to the Legionnaires." The shade stood taller, his form changing to that of your average restless, brown hair, brown eyes... Will wished for a moment he could do that, but then, disguise should be easy enough.... "Understood?"

Their eyes met and will nodded, lowering his: "Yes, Sir." He'd have to be careful of his thoughts around this one, he had a feeling he'd be being read at Razor's whim. Damn Mnemoi, more trouble than they're worth...

Hate them... They don't care... A whisper in the Silence.

So he was still there, Will had wondered. Hey, Casper, where else are we going to go? Pull this stuff on our own? We'd last a week, methinks...

Better than working with HIM...

Razor turned, having apparently made up his mind and walked down the alleyway without saying a word. But then, he didn't need to... Will bent and picked up the dropped cuff, wrapping it in a bit of discarded rag. Never know when this could be useful, he followed quietly in his new master's wake.

* * *

Days later Will found himself with a new part to play. Just a minor character in a bigger plot, of course.

He was supposed to gather information, something he was rather used to by now, the only change in his character was he had to play it steady. He had to keep a good rein on his temper, for if he didn't, it was just inviting trouble from the first wraith with a trace of castigate and a whiff of suspicion. It was his skin on the line, nobody else's, so he better play this good.

Today he was 'Raymond Chase' - quiet assistant to the ever-absent Lady Bryant. A new face, eager blue eyes and nondescript, off-white T-shirt and bluejeans.

Of course, instead of dying in a studio fire, Raymond had been simply hit by a car... He'd enough new 'memories' to know exactly what that felt like, it wasn't a pleasant experience, but at least now he could fake a good story if he had to.

Hmm, A Masquer and a Mnemoi, it just gets better and better, he could be anyone anywhere and you'd never know it, till he read your mind anyways... A sick laugh from his other half. And then he'd kill you-

Stop that, one would think I'm the good half and you're the bad. If you're going to play my conscience you'd better straighten up...
Will shook his head and ran a hand through his short cropped hair. Almost sounds like you're drunk. Or Mad. Either way I shan't pay attention until you make more sense.

So what if I'm Mad? Aren't we all - And drop the accent with me!

Do Stop that.
Will peeked out around the corner, looking for a likely target to make a first impression on. Not the pardoner, tall dark and obviously stuck up, goodness no, that would do to break his cover almost immediately, if only he could disguise the fact that he wasn't quite a wraith anymore.

He needed a circle of friends, good ones. But where to start? Not someone with too terribly many contacts, not yet anyways. Will scanned the streets, pretending to be lost as he crept out of the alley... There, that one, the tall dark and not very handsome staring up at the stars. Probably as much a dreamer as he used to be.

He let his eyes slide right off of him and turned around, looking upwards at the buildings... Turning back, touch of a stumble, always used to throw people off guard. "Oh..." He came 'a little too close' then backed up, blinking at him. "Sorry... "

The Dreamer blinked, turning his slightly sad gaze from the stars for a moment. "Need something...?" It was almost an attempt at frightening him.

Will just blinked... "Err... Just a little lost, new to town. Which way would the Trinity church be?" He took a step back, not that he was actually afraid, but it was always prudent to be out of grabbing range.

This new one blinked, and gestured vaguely to a building across the street, which of course Will knew was there, he was just playing the not so observant kid. "Oh!... Dear... Terribly sorry."

The dreamer just gives him a strange look, then shifts and leans on the light post again. "Name?"

This one was rather curt, Will liked it. Less bullshit, more brains... "Raymond, Raymond Chase..." A short pause. "And you?"

"Jess..." The dreamer cocked his head at Will. "So you're new... Planning on staying?"

"Until Lady Bryant wants me to accompany her elsewhere..." Will straightened his T-shirt absently, Ray was the type to fidget.

"Under someone's thumb. Feh... It figures." Jess turned away, dark hair ruffling in the night-time wind.

"I am not!" Will stood a little straighter, then tapered off... "She's just good to me, that's all..." He glanced towards the church, he needed out of this one... His judgment of character must be a little off today...

"Oh!" Will looked back at Jess, feigning a bit of surprise, "There she goes... Must be going... See you around..." He trotted across the road and into the shadows of the church...