An Unexpected Side Trip: Ajeni Darrow.   Posted by The GM.Group: 0
The GM
 GM, 230 posts
Mon 9 Nov 2015
at 04:04
An Unexpected Side Trip: Ajeni Darrow
-= from Pophar's Estate: Ajeni Darrow =-

As the blinding white light fades from Ajeni's vision, she finds herself flat on her back on a stout wooden floor, staring up at a wooden ceiling. Looking around a bit, she's in the middle of a long, narrow hallway with many doors in both directions and double doors at the ends. All of the doors are closed. The wide arched entry into the hallway is right above her head. It feels unusually warm in here, and there's a faint crackling noise coming from all around. She's wearing the uniform of a Trincal constable, but otherwise has everything she had with her at Pophar's.
Ajeni Darrow
 player, 87 posts
Tue 10 Nov 2015
at 04:13
An Unexpected Side Trip: Ajeni Darrow
Ajeni gets to her feet, and looks over herself with an irritated grumble. Glancing up and down the hallway, she starts to reach out for the knob of the nearest door, but reconsiders, instead setting off down the hallway towards the double-doors at one end.

She tries to resist for a moment, but ultimately can't keep herself from calling out an exasperated "Hellooo?"
The GM
 GM, 231 posts
Wed 11 Nov 2015
at 02:27
An Unexpected Side Trip: Ajeni Darrow
As Ajeni starts walking, she becomes aware of a faint haze in the air. Also, something somewhere seems to be burning, and the smell is getting stronger - and the crackling noise louder - as she gets closer to the end of the hallway. Also it's getting much warmer.

At her call, there comes a muffled, indistinct yell from the other side of the double doors, of an adult male voice.

The knobs to the double doors are very warm.

This message was last edited by the GM at 03:07, Wed 11 Nov 2015.

Ajeni Darrow
 player, 88 posts
Fri 13 Nov 2015
at 00:46
An Unexpected Side Trip: Ajeni Darrow
Ajeni pulls her hand back from the doorknob, and frowns at it for a moment. Cupping her hands around the sides of her face, she leans in towards the door, peering through it like a window.

Voice raised a bit louder, she calls out again. "Hello?"
The GM
 GM, 236 posts
Fri 13 Nov 2015
at 02:52
An Unexpected Side Trip: Ajeni Darrow
On the other side of the double doors is a darkened sitting room filled with thick smoke. Flickering orange light filters through the smoke from doorways to the left and right, and from holes in the ceiling above. Some support beams have collapsed on the far side of the room, and someone is on the floor under them. He gives another nonverbal yell at Ajeni's second call, and Ajeni recognizes Constable Browner.

This message was last edited by the GM at 02:54, Fri 13 Nov 2015.

Ajeni Darrow
 player, 89 posts
Sun 15 Nov 2015
at 04:18
An Unexpected Side Trip: Ajeni Darrow
Ajeni recognizes the constable with a sharp intake of breath that sets her coughing. "Bee..!"

Grabbing the knob again, she yanks at the door. (Or shoves, if that's what the door looks like it wants...)
The GM
 GM, 240 posts
Sun 15 Nov 2015
at 18:04
An Unexpected Side Trip: Ajeni Darrow
The door opens easily, and thick smoke billows out and fills the end of the hall. Constable Browner turns his head to look.

"Is that you, Dee? The mission's aborted," he says, then goes into a coughing fit. "Damn arsonists got here first." More coughing. "This whole place is about to fall down."

From the doorway to the left, Ajeni can hear small children crying for help on the other side of rather horrific looking flames that have engulfed nearly the entire room.

The room to the right is also on fire. It seems to be filled with stacks of wooden crates. By the flickering light of the flames, Ajeni can make out that one of them has a full-color picture of an elephant garlic press on its side.
Ajeni Darrow
 player, 90 posts
Tue 17 Nov 2015
at 04:00
An Unexpected Side Trip: Ajeni Darrow
Ajeni flinches in the blast of heat, and covers her nose and mouth with a crooked elbow as she double-times it over to Browner. She hesitates for an instant, glancing around at the deteriorating...situation before dropping to hands and knees beside the fallen beam. "Are...are you okay? What happened?"

Getting to her feet again, she takes hold of the beam with both hands, and tries to lift it off the constable. "Okay, confession time. I'm not actually the...hulking mass of sinew and muscle...I may appear to be..." She bares her teeth and strains under its weight.

This message was last edited by the player at 12:36, Tue 17 Nov 2015.

The GM
 GM, 243 posts
Wed 18 Nov 2015
at 04:43
An Unexpected Side Trip: Ajeni Darrow
The beam doesn't budge despite Ajeni's best efforts, though there does come an ominous creaking noise from somewhere where the beam's other end probably is. Constable Browner chuckles weakly at Ajeni, then stops chuckling to look worriedly in the direction of the far wall. He waves for her to stop.

"Never mind me. It's my own fault anyway for not watching where I was going with all the fire in the way, and I fell through the ceiling. At least I found all the contraband, sort of." He waves in the general direction of the room with the crates. "No time to get it now though. Go get those kids out of here before it's too late."

The children in the other room start crying for help louder as the far wall emits a low, trembling groan.
Ajeni Darrow
 player, 91 posts
Fri 20 Nov 2015
at 00:24
An Unexpected Side Trip: Ajeni Darrow
Ajeni's eyes widen with surprise and concern, and then slowly narrow into a scowl. She mutters under her breath, "Oh, sure. Cobin gets to visit his village and play raider-fight, and I just get to decide who lives and who dies..."

She gives an affectedly-nonchalant shrug, and rolls her eyes, and raises her voice. "Yeah. Fine. Whatever. But I am so gonna punch you when I see you again..."

With a glance back at the room of contraband, and another down at Browner, she buries her face in her elbows again and dives through the flames to the left.
The GM
 GM, 246 posts
Sat 21 Nov 2015
at 15:12
An Unexpected Side Trip: Ajeni Darrow
There's a moment of uncomfortable heat and blindingly thick smoke, but the moment passes and Ajeni finds herself in what looks like a children's bedroom, but about the size of a large closet. Two triple-bunk beds have somehow been crammed into the tiny space. All of the furniture is on fire.

Three toddlers are huddled together in one of the corners. They're dressed in the dull green singlets that the orphans wear in Trincal's orphanage. They look up when they see Ajeni, whimpering with hope in their eyes.

Above them is a small window too high for them to reach, and higher than Ajeni's head. Stars are visible beyond it.
Ajeni Darrow
 player, 92 posts
Sun 22 Nov 2015
at 15:23
An Unexpected Side Trip: Ajeni Darrow
Ajeni surveys the room with an almost wistful expression. "Well. Doesn't this take me back. I guess maybe that's the point...?"

She drops down to one knee in front of the window, lacing her fingers together and holding her hands cupped at about knee level. She nods to one of the children, and jerks her chin up toward the window. A moment later, she sighs and stands up again. "Ah, who am I kidding? Can any of you even talk yet?"

She starts to reach out towards them, but draws back. "Ech...why green, today of all days?" Pulling her sleeves up around her hands to avoid touching their clothes, she reaches out again, intending to grab one of the children and stuff them through the window.
The GM
 GM, 248 posts
Wed 25 Nov 2015
at 03:35
An Unexpected Side Trip: Ajeni Darrow
The first child does not resist being picked up and pushed through the window. After she goes through, however, there's a squeal of fright that ends a moment later with a thump. Then she starts crying.

The other two children reach their arms up at Ajeni. "Momma?" says one of them.
Ajeni Darrow
 player, 93 posts
Fri 27 Nov 2015
at 01:24
An Unexpected Side Trip: Ajeni Darrow
Ajeni winces at the sounds from outside, sucking air through her teeth even as she lifts the second child. "Yeeaah,'d be advised temper your expectations, in that regard. I'm pretty sure I've got all the maternal instincts of a bag of snakes, so you're probably only marginally better off with me than with the fire."

Rising up onto her toes, she lowers the second child through the window as far as she can reach. "I mean, for instance, it never occurred to me to check that we were actually on the ground floor before I started chucking you lot out the window. That's got to be, like...Basic Child Care, day one..."

Ajeni presses her face into the wall to check out the situation outside before letting the child go.
The GM
 GM, 251 posts
Fri 27 Nov 2015
at 02:57
An Unexpected Side Trip: Ajeni Darrow
Looking outside, Ajeni sees that the ground is about three feet below the dangling legs of the child she's holding. The first child is sitting on the ground, crying but otherwise looks okay. It's a clear moonlit night, and she can see the parts of Trincal that would be visible if she were inside the orphanage. At the bottom edge of her vision, as if something might be underneath the building, she can see a shimmering blue glow.
Ajeni Darrow
 player, 94 posts
Sun 29 Nov 2015
at 00:00
An Unexpected Side Trip: Ajeni Darrow
"Hmm. Okay. Well...there y'go." Ajeni drops the orphan without ceremony and turns to the last. Darting a glance back at the flames, she hunkers down next to the child. "We'd probably better speed things up a bit. Turns out the building's on fire. Here..." She pulls the child onto her back, securing the arms around her neck before standing up again and testing the weight.

"Just don't strangle me, or anything...that wouldn't turn out very well for either of us. Have you ever heard that fable, The Odilark and the Strangle-Husk? Y'see, the husk was trying to cross a river or something, I think, and--hang on..." Backing up a few steps, Ajeni gets a running start to scamper up the wall and through the window.
The GM
 GM, 253 posts
Wed 2 Dec 2015
at 04:50
An Unexpected Side Trip: Ajeni Darrow
The child makes fussing noises in Ajeni's ear as she easily gets up the wall and through the window and down to the ground on the other side. There's a whooomp! from the building, and a moment later, flames engulf the window that they had all just exited. The other two children are both sitting on the ground crying. The third one, on her back, says contentedly, "Momma bag snakes."

At the base of the wall is a tall, shimmering blue oval. The child on her back points to it and says "Momma go cross."
Ajeni Darrow
 player, 95 posts
Fri 4 Dec 2015
at 00:49
An Unexpected Side Trip: Ajeni Darrow
Ajeni glances back and forth between the portal and the crying children, and slowly sinks to the ground with a tired sigh. Squeezing her eyes shut, she rubs at them with the heels of her hands for a few moments, then pats at her pockets.

"I don't suppose any of you have any cigarettes? No...? Gotta tell you, I'm already getting a bit of buyer's remorse, here. I knew I should've gotten a receipt..."

She regards them silently for a little longer, and gives another sigh.

"Come on now, don't cry. You've got your whole lives ahead of you...assuming my leaving doesn't negate your existence, or anything. You've already got a leg-up on me, at your age. You don't seem all that factory-irregular--well, besides the obvious, I mean..." Reaching out, she boops one of them on the nose with an extended index finger. "I'm sure there's someone who'll find that...uh...endearing enough to take you in. And if not, there's still nothing preventing you from growing up to be a well-adjusted and contributing member of society, just like yours trul--hnck!" Ajeni chokes on a cross between a snort and something that almost resembles a genuine chuckle. "Yeah, okay, that was a long shot, but I'm feeling bold today and I thought I might actually be able to make it through that sentence with a straight face. Ah, well..." Prising the arms from around her neck, she gets to her feet.

"Sooo, uh...good luck with the...continuing-to-exist thing, I guess?" With a shrugging kind of half-wave, she steps through the portal.
The GM
 GM, 258 posts
Sat 5 Dec 2015
at 03:28
An Unexpected Side Trip: Ajeni Darrow
The child on her back fusses some more, clearly not wanting to stop clinging to Ajeni. After she's been dislodged from around Ajeni's neck, she goes to sit with the other two children and joins them in the crying.

Entering the portal, the blueness brightens until it's all Ajeni can see. Then it flashes up to blinding, and all other sensations cease.

-= to Mudsticks: Ajeni Darrow =-