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Oct 28, 2021 10:25 AM
someone needs to tell first age exalted ellie and fate that you're not supposed to select the same person for all of "bed, wed, behead"
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"Busy." She doesn't look up. "Come back tomorrow."

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"Too fucking bad," she says. "You shouldn't have started a 'busy' project when the twins' coming of age was fucking yesterday."

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"Hm."

"They'll be thirteen tomorrow, too."

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Snarl. "This is not as important as your daughters!"

Her body seems to be moving on its own, now. 

She goes to strike the stupid thing out of Elathea's hands. 

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This, finally, gets Elathea's full attention. She stands, dropping the tools-

-and the collar around Gleam's neck is suddenly tighter than it ever has been.

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- That brings her up short. Elathea has never -

(She grabs at the collar, reflexively, trying to loosen it in a moment of panic (she isn't hiding her fear, not right now), she can't breathe - )

Elathea swore an oath to listen to her. Gleam can't even get enough oxygen right now to invoke it. Gleam - can't quite get blood to her head, there's dots swimming in her vision and her thoughts are spiraling and shattering, if it was any tighter it would have broken her neck -

She can pull on the reserves of power deep within her, the ones she's tried her hardest to never touch in anger -

She can wrap herself in a storm of Essence as fear and rage and betrayal crash through her, reducing her pain, making it not matter quite as much that her wife is worse than strangling her - 

There's not even a second before Gleam is lunging at Elathea. She doesn't have the time to think, to deescalate, she's terrified of passing out first -

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Elathea summons her spear to let Gleam charge into the butt of it, loosens the collar just enough to not snap Gleam's neck.

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She still can't breathe, can't talk. 

But she's used Essence before to add a bit of extra time to their play - it twists through her, and suddenly she doesn't need to breathe, isn't nearly as hindered by the blood being mostly cut off - she's never gotten it this fully before, but rage and desperation can drive her to very interesting heights. 

She twists around Elathea's spear, lightning quick, and lashes out with silver claws.

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The rhythm of the fight is familiar, even if the tempo is charged. Parry, counterattack, dodge, reset.

After a brief exchange, she uses the cover of a blinding burst of light to jump away for space to reset herself.

She swaps the grip of her spear around to point the lethal edge at Gleam and relaxes the hold the collar has on her. "Scream for mercy," she says as Gleam gasps. "And perhaps I will grant it."

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The Essence storm isn't perfect. It fucks with her head, and it's allowing her to keep going with basically no blood to her brain, no oxygen to her blood, running entirely on Essence -

But not all of her body has gotten the memo that she really needs to stop relying on having a biology right now. Her peripheral vision isn't really working. She feels dizzy, askew, like the world is spinning, even though her reaction times and balance are Exalt-perfect. Her heart is pounding like it hasn't gotten the message that there's no point, and her chest hurts, her arms hurt, her jaw hurts in a way she can't really separate from how much her neck hurts when she's this dizzy - and she has no idea how she's still standing, still acting, she's so cold, her hands and feet can't seem to decide if they'd rather burn or go numb so they've decided to do both -

She half collapses in the time it takes Elathea to relax the collar all the way. 

 

So she isn't very happy when Elathea relaxes it only to -

To -

 

Nobody has told Gleam to beg for mercy in a very, very long time. 

And injured, afraid, an angry Solar standing over her -

It brings back memories. Gleam's dizzy, and confused, and it isn't Elathea she sees. 

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"I'd rather DIE!"

She lunges, her anima surging to a blinding brilliance Elathea has never seen, a whirlwind of silver and shadow, a moonlight tiger pouncing with her, her skin glowing with tiger stripes, scenes of transformation, rebellion, bindings and breakings flickering in the light corruscating around her. 

Her claws are moonsilver, and her body is mighty, and she is nothing less than the full, deep rage Luna could never let loose on the world. 

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Well then. Elathea stops holding back.


Golden perfection wars against argent fury, and the ground shakes.

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She's thrown free of the fight at one point, her passage shattering the walls of Elathea's workshop. She catches herself before she ends up rolling across the ground, and takes a moment to breathe, reorient, analyze her surroundings -

A coldness settles in her stomach, her body. A new kind of fear.

They're very, very close to the primary house, embedded within the workings of their manse for all that the workshop is a bit separate - the lights are on, and there's a buzz of panic. 

Exalt fights are massive. 

And they're surrounded by their servants - Gleam's friends -

 

Her children are in that house. Maybe Micqui has thought to flee with the twins, has gotten them far away to safety. 

Maybe not. 

The rage shatters, leaving Gleam so, so cold.

 

She drops to her knees in the dirt, Essence still billowing around her, and tries to think through the fear. Tries to plan, before Elathea follows her out - she has the oath, she can command her wife to stop -

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She has bare seconds to think before Elathea is charging back at her to close the gap.

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"By the oath you swore to me," she says, voice loud, shaking, resolute, terrified - she doesn't try to defend herself, just gets the words out -

"Stop!"

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As if simple words could influence her, at this point.

Elathea does not stop.

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