Nightwhispers: Prologue/Narg

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The sounds of banging metal, and a painful vibration, bring Narg to the land of the wake. Their eyes spring open, and are greeted by darkness. Another thwack of stone on metal and their wrist shakes. Aching pangs in their wrists, and body as they hand from what seem to be manacles. The only warmth another body nearby. And then another slam comes, and the sound of iron fracturing and one of their wrists is free. Moving to groan of speak, is accompanied by a hand paw covering their muzzle, and a harsh 'shhh' in their ear, which twitches from the hot breath. Total blinding darkness isn't helping. More banging on their other wrist, and soon it's free.

Narg takes the scene in - they can't see in the banging of metal on their manacles, Narg would knock the lights out of this person banging on her wrist manacles but remains composed after being told to keep quiet. She rolls her wrists around to bring some life back to them and then looks or at least tries to look at her rescuer or fellow prisoner, what else would they be?

The voice is soft, and somehow familiar in a way that scratches at the back of the brain. Comforting quiet words and then they prop Narg up on their shoulder and start to walk some direction in the dark. The smells finally hit, the smell of death and dying, and the pang of absolute hunger inside starving any strength. The ever present feeling of true emptiness, and the sympathetic smells make it clear others are in the same state in this strange endless darkness, so thick it could almost be choked on. The words whispered softly one of the only things to bring hope in this.

Narg follows along with her rescuer trying to hold herself up as best she can trying to place the familiar voice but the owners name seems to be just out of reach of her mind, that’s when the smells hit and she wrinkles her muzzle at it, a small spark of anger lights up as she broods on what she would do to those who have captured her and the others in this dungeon, quickly she stops the breathing that she uses as a sort of comforting action and plods along with the speaker asking with no small amount of anger about this situation "Why....."

A breath that quells a gasp of shock, "Have... have you forgotten? The stress really has broken..." the feeling of the woman's shoulder shrugging as she sighs noticeable, and then they're moving again. She whispers, "Not long and we'll be able to get you somewhere safe, but quiet, we can't awaken them..." the travelling is laborious, even with the support legs just don't work properly, arms and limbs have no strength or energy.

Narg scowls imperceptibly as her legs and body seem not to work drained of all energy that they have, she finds no reason to awaken 'them' whoever they are and continues her leaning against, an idea comes to mind and she begins to use the abilities she has from being an adept to reconstruct herself, maybe add a bit more strength to her weakened form.

Attempting to call to something inside only causes internal pain, and Narg collapses after trying, and a sharp hiss from the voice, "What, are you insane?" and then they're lifted, and practically dragged, faster now. The woman must be summoning something from inside as they scoop Narg's body up and start to run, the sounds of her claws on the stone floor echoing.

Narg urks quietly in pain and frustration from helplessness as she falls to the ground, this is not a feeling she likes at all and would normally call a rage out from her..... but there isn't anything to smash and it's not like she could do much smashing in the first place in her current state. Narg has so many questions but has to keep her mouth shut if she wants to avoid waking 'them' up. She tries drawing anything, absolutely anything from memory so she could figure out what happened to her and why she was here as her rescuer runs along with her in their arms.

Faint memories bubble to the surface, flashes of her friends, the death of her mates, utter hopelessness and despair begin to invade as if a leak has sprung. And then from darkness, there's sudden light. A tunnel in a mountainside, pockmarked with holes. The glaring light is blinding, and the sun is low on the horizon, but Narg feels as if their eyes haven’t seen daylight in centuries. The woman continues running, her spotted fur helps to keep the desiccated victim in her arms warm despite a chill breeze coming across the hill. She has a flurry of tails, that can be seen fluttering behind her, but her face is not REDACTED'. A memory hits like a rising tide, this one a flash of REDACTED being cut open by one of her own blades, and slumping to the ground, and a familiar face of Sorien twisted into something unholy behind her, blade in hand. Snapping back to reality they've made great distance from the caves and hit wooded cover, although the trees look like new growth, only having sprung up in the last few years.

Narg would blanch at the memories if she wasn't already feeling so pale and weak, her anger and sorrow flares for a moment as she sees her dead mates and REDACTED being cut down by her very own mate only to bottled up inside. Then as she snaps back into reality she blinks and blinks again as she adjusts to the light... and if REDACTED was dead there is only one person that this could be who rescued her, only one person she has seen with those tails and fur patterns, and now that they are far away from those cursed caves she manages to ask this question "Kaylah? Kaylah is that you?"

Kaylah's harsh features flash with warmth, "You do remember then?" she breathes in, her nostrils flaring and she finally stops to rest. She helps Narg down onto the ground who can't even stand under her own strength, her skin stretched taught over bone, and fur remains only patchy. Kaylah kneels down and takes a pouch of water and hands it to Narg, "Drink, but slowly. It will hurt but you need it." she holds the pouch out, warmth on her features, but her eyes look very, very tired. She returns to her feet, her head snapping around toward the noise of a fallen branch, her hackles raised. It takes far longer than it should to calm. "We can't stay long, your masters will come hunting for you soon enough." she sighs, her shoulders slumping, "You have no idea how long it took me to find you, but it's look like it paid off."

Narg drinks the contents slowly as ordered but it does sting like hell, which she conveys with a grimace "ouch.... ahem, testing... alright then get yourself a little bit of rest as you answer these questions..." she takes a breath "What masters? Where was I? And why are my mates dead?" she seems to have lost a bit of memories in there or they have been hidden by her own mind "Be quick though if they are hunting we need ta get goin..." Narg adds "and how long did it take to find me?"

Kaylah's expression changes to sadness. "I... I worried this would happen. The nanites inside you are the only thing keeping you, and everyone else down there alive. You are /his food/," she spits, her eyes flaring with anger and all her fur bristling. "You... you haven't forgotten that much." She continues, "You've been underground a very long time, ever since my..." she chokes a moment, but quickly quells it, "Ever since my mother was turned... it's gone to hell. You, you've been down there since the early days, all of you cattle. It was so long ago, and it's taken the last twenty five years to find where you were taken." she shifts a bit, "But that's enough talk, we need to keep moving before they come for us." and she offers a hand out to take the water back.

Narg hands Kaylah the water and attempts to stand "So I was Shadow's food eh? Bastard if I ever find the strength I'll wring his neck, tear out his gizzards, pluck out his eyeballs and do various other things to his corpse..... righto let's get goin you can fill me in when we get to any... and I mean any safe haven." Twenty years it has been? Those years must have flashed by like lightning if she's only now noticing the fact that she has been trapped by the shadow all that time.

Kaylah once again offers support, but refrains from carrying Narg. Their pace is hurried, but not an outright run like before. Time is weird, the sun overhead seems to not have moved. Kay's eyes look determined, and she stops every once in a while to try to hide their tracks and progress. She's methodical and practiced. She recounts to Narg small stories of the remaining resistance, of those who have fallen. She talks about the Shadow eating Coyote, and using his power in the body of her mother to strip the land of hope like a blight. Her eyes go dark every time she mentions her mother, in singular, never referencing her other, perhaps intentionally. She admits how good it is to see someone still alive from her childhood, and seems pleased to still see some fight left in Narg despite the years of hopelessness. "I thought I was going to find a broken shell... you must have crawled inside yourself and hidden from reality all those years just to survive," she admits.

Narg nods as she hobbles alongside Kaylah "Me an empty husk? pfft! I may look like one but I'd rather die than become such... or hideaway and play some games or run over thoughts of vengeance in my mind till the opportune moment presents itself, like I did... though I admit there may have never been such a case..." she looks at her surroundings and peers at the sun noticing that it doesn't seem to have moved an inch. "Why hasn't the sun moved? It has to be getting quite late."

Kaylah answers swiftly, "He used Coyote's power to steal the moon, and now night never falls, and there is always shadow." she slumps a bit. "We aren't far..." and then the smell of smoke and fear comes across the breeze, and her eyes go wide. She almost drops Narg, but stops herself before she does. She picks up their pace, pushing them both into almost a sprint.

Narg blinks in surprise and attempts to keep the sprint up with Kaylah, she does a pretty good job all things considered but earflats at the tinge of smoke and fear, "That can't be good... no that can't be good at all." She continues to smell the air trying to discern any other smells if she can... "You know if one side of the world is always light then the other has to always be dark...." a rather out of the place remark but hey it just kinda popped in her head.

Kaylah's too focused to try to turn Narg's logic against them. She huffs hard, tired not from doing all the lifting and walking, but adrenaline is pushing her. Clearly in a panic at this point they find their way to the edge of a road, and she pulls Narg north along it. She stops when they reach a bridge, and heads underneath, through the underpasses' shadow makes Narg practically sick, and then they reach the other side and there's a town, where one couldn't be seen before. But it's burning, shadows flickering in the moonlight above. Kaylah freezes.

Narg raises questioning eyes at the moonlight after the many fits of nausea from passing beneath all those shadows.. ugh they won't ever see a shadow the same way again... maybe. Then she looks down on the burning town "What happened here?" is asked rather nonchalantly "And I assume this was the safe house... damn it..." she hugs on Kaylah and tries to comfort her, but she is more of the listening type than the comforting kind and may not be the best at it

Kaylah stiffens, and then hurries over to a place for Narg to stay, she holds her finger up to her muzzle and then bolts off after something, running speedily on all fours like REDACTED used to do. Narg, now all alone, is surrounded by firelight, shadows and smoke. Loneliness, and memories overtake again, flashes of images from the end times. Of Sorien slaughtering everyone she once loved, using Coyote magic like a tool to unlock horrors for her new master, the black shadows overtaking cities. Stronger survivors being taken away... and then an image hits, the masters, the ones who tied her up. The image burning into her, and she opens her mouth and screams uncontrollably.

Narg watches as Kaylah runs off... then as the vivid memories flash through her eyes she does scream and screams loudly! Her mind races for brief seconds before she can muster enough willpower to crawl closer to the closest ground fire, she puts a paw in to test if she was still fire immune, if it doesn't burn she pulls herself into said fire and curls up shuddering at what the memories showed her trying to contain the sorrow and the anger that wells up deep inside, and if it does burn she gets as far she can from any light and finds a nice dark area, for shadow cannot exist where there is no light right?

Narg finds a place underneath one of the surviving buildings out of the shadows. Her scream must have drawn attention, but so far nothing. And then Kaylah comes out of one of the burning huts, her eyes filled with tears and a small child in her arms. She stiffens, and watches the shadows coalesce in front of her, and out of them walks her mother.

Narg growls immediately and tries to get up unsheathing her claws from their hiding places in her fists, her bottle of rage uncorked giving her strength and energy... but would it be enough for the desiccated form.. if not then all she can do is sit there and vent at the air... but if it is enough she walks from the building and makes her way towards mother's backside slowly and quietly, she can't let this woman harm either of the two, and she feels no pity and yet no anger directly towards the creature that is surely no longer the woman she knew, silently uttering what she believes may be her last prayers ever she manages to get directly behind the beast and uses her claws to stab and punch through the vessel of the Shadow shouting at Kay to run for it.