Self-interest is divine
Amalia
Samuel Wordsworth
Book maker/seller / Naturals Advisor
Portal Calibrator
Age: 27 | Height: 5' 5" | Race: Ascended | Nationality: Natural
Level: 7 - Strg: 24 - Dext: 20 - Endr: 22 - Luck: 21
MIA - Regular - Ragdoll Cat
Played by: Lancydulac Offline
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Posts: 1,834
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#1
You know I still like you the most
The best of the best
When Sam had escaped from the temple with The Voice's blessing, he had immediately noticed that the non-Ascended in the building had not been saved; even if he had not Wessex's cry shortly after would have told him. Even with his recent fight with Amalia, he had felt a sharp stab in his chest as he stared at the broken building before them, imagining her body twisted beneath. He'd left sure she was dead, unable to find how he felt about it within his mind.

A couple of days later he heard that she was in fact alive, in the infirmary; badly hurt they said, but alive. It was a shock and one that motivated him to do something about their shattered relationship, before it got worse. Yes, they were on entirely different sides in regards to their Gods...but he had achieved something like peace with Jigano, despite their differences. Perhaps he could find a similar line with Amalia - after all, she had been there his whole life, in one way or another, and since she was alive she would continue to be.

Entering the infirmary, he wasn't sure what to expect. He knew it was entirely possible Amalia would tell him to get out immediately (and he would. There was no point forcing this) or would scream the whole temple down trying to curse him out. It had a lot of chances to go horribly wrong...but there was one, small possibility that it could go right, and it was that which kept him walking into the ward.

Standing at the foot of her bed, he cleared his throat. "Amalia? ..I...heard you were hurt. I wanted to see how you were."
and the worst of the worst
You'll always be my favorite ghost
SAMuEL
Base Code by Sky!
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 12 - Strg: 34 - Dext: 34 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 34
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
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Posts: 1,924
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#2
until i'm ready, let me be
Well, here is a visit she did not expect.

Earlier that morning Amalia had received a letter addressed to her and written in an unfamiliar hand. She hadn't thought much of it, assuming it to be from someone inquiring about when the bakery would re-open, or wishing her well. She'd left it at her bedside as she went about her morning, the strange routine of the infirmary harrowing in how natural it had all become. Wake up, stretch. Sit up, eat. Spend three hours trying to move her feet (she's gotten her toes to wiggle, a minor miracle!). Eat again, despite her lack of appetite.

Open up a mysterious letter and learn in the span of three minutes that a) she has a father, b) he's an asshole, c) she has siblings, and d) she's not supposed to tell anyone.

Spend the next hour staring blankly at the note, her mind reeling without any ability to formulate anything resembling real thought, except:

What the actual Voice-cursed fuck.

So you can imagine how she feels when the next person to walk into her room is none other than Samuel fucking Wordsworth, official errand boy for the Voice and, apparently, her half-brother.

It takes her a minute to do anything other than stare intently at Sam, the letter still open in her trembling hands, her expression a tangled mix of indignation, disbelief, guilt, and pure befuddlement. His greeting passes right over her head like so much hot air: there's only one thought that she can hold onto with any success, bouncing and ricocheting through her brain, a bullet fired in an enclosed space. Her voice is raw when she finally says it, flat and accusatory, pointed and quiet.

"Did you know?"
i have to heal myself
AmaLiA
Samuel Wordsworth
Book maker/seller / Naturals Advisor
Portal Calibrator
Age: 27 | Height: 5' 5" | Race: Ascended | Nationality: Natural
Level: 7 - Strg: 24 - Dext: 20 - Endr: 22 - Luck: 21
MIA - Regular - Ragdoll Cat
Played by: Lancydulac Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,834
MP:
#3
You know I still like you the most
The best of the best
Amalia sat silently for a moment, simply staring back at Sam - he wondered if she was going to refuse to speak to him. It wasn't impossible, after the argument they'd had, and she had to be tired from her ordeal. There was a letter in her hands, he noticed now, Sam gritted his teeth, worrying he had entered on a private moment or a particularly bad time of grief for her lost legs.

Though it seemed she had a question for him, one that he didn't know how to answer at first. Did he know what? As far as Sam was aware, The Voice hadn't done anything new for everyone to object to since the last time they'd met...he tried to think over the fight at the temple, searching for things Amalia could be asking about. Finally, he thought he might have touched upon it: "...Yes, I did know you were still in the temple. I asked Wessex about you, after The Voice helped us get out. I...did not think you would survive, honestly; if I had known you were in there I would have immediately come looking."
and the worst of the worst
You'll always be my favorite ghost
SAMuEL
Base Code by Sky!
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 12 - Strg: 34 - Dext: 34 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 34
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,924
MP:
#4
until i'm ready, let me be
Oh, that's right, isn't it- Sam hadn't been there when she emerged from the temple, the only one to flee the scene before determining she was okay. Amalia hadn't even noticed, too caught up in the prospect of dying to register who was and was not there. But of course Sam had expected her to die, and a part of her wonders if he didn't hope for it. It would certainly have made things easier for him, she thinks, her dark eyes flaring as she glares him down.

"Sorry to disappoint," Amalia snaps, nostrils flaring in her rage. In truth she is angry at far more than Sam, far more than the letter- but gods if he isn't an excellent target, arriving prophetically at the worst possible time. Her fingers tighten around the letter, white-knuckled, claws threatening to tear the paper as fur sprouts up behind her ears and her eyes narrow down to feline slits. "I'm sure it would save you a lot of trouble if I died. And a lot of embarrassment. Did you know?"
i have to heal myself
AmaLiA
Samuel Wordsworth
Book maker/seller / Naturals Advisor
Portal Calibrator
Age: 27 | Height: 5' 5" | Race: Ascended | Nationality: Natural
Level: 7 - Strg: 24 - Dext: 20 - Endr: 22 - Luck: 21
MIA - Regular - Ragdoll Cat
Played by: Lancydulac Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,834
MP:
#5
You know I still like you the most
The best of the best
Amalia looked back to him with hatred in her eyes; Sam supposed he probably deserved it (though she, in equal measure, deserved it from him) and so didn't say anything, though at her words...it struck him all at once just how evil she truly thought he was now, all because he chose to serve the Voice.

He couldn't help it: he felt the backs of his eyes prick with tears. Was it so easy for her to believe he'd revel in her death? "Amalia...I...I don't want you to die. We might disagree about The Voice but..." Uselessly Sam gestured in front of himself, hands moving without purpose as he struggled to find the right words and took in a shaking breath that betrayed his near-tears. "I'm not cruel, or a bad person."

Taking a step back at the sight of Amalia's claws, going slightly translucent, Sam looked her up and down with nervous eyes. "...I don't...know what else you mean."
and the worst of the worst
You'll always be my favorite ghost
SAMuEL
Base Code by Sky!
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 12 - Strg: 34 - Dext: 34 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 34
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,924
MP:
#6
until i'm ready, let me be
Is it him she thinks evil, or the world? Right now it's hard to distinguish: this newest blow is too much to carry, her already fragile psyche now we'll and truly snapped. Anger rises in her like a ride; she wants to rip the world apart, or maybe just rip out her own throat. It's one thing too many, and she's fucking done.

"Your words, not mine." It's such a petty, childish retort, something a sister might say to her brother- and oh, but that thought shakes something loose in her, leaves her somewhere between laughter and sobs. Is she going crazy? A madness inherited from her dear dead dad?

"Maybe were both bad people." At last Amalia looks away, her eyes turning back to the paper in her lap. "Did you think of that? It kind of makes sense, in a fucked up way- both of us winding up like this. Always trying so damn hard, and always coming up short."

Again the baker glances up, a sharp vulnerability in her eyes as she slices them across Sam's face. "Would your father be proud of me, do you think? Am I what he would want his child to be?"
i have to heal myself
AmaLiA
Samuel Wordsworth
Book maker/seller / Naturals Advisor
Portal Calibrator
Age: 27 | Height: 5' 5" | Race: Ascended | Nationality: Natural
Level: 7 - Strg: 24 - Dext: 20 - Endr: 22 - Luck: 21
MIA - Regular - Ragdoll Cat
Played by: Lancydulac Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,834
MP:
#7
You know I still like you the most
The best of the best
Sam had never been very good at coming up with quick retorts in difficult situations; when he had fought with Amalia in the mountains of Halo he'd been reminded why he was often so hesitant to speak. He regretted so many of the things he'd said, the way he'd said them. Not wanting to get into the same situation he stood silently, trying desperately to remind himself that Amalia was hurt, likely desperate, needing to lash out--

That was, until she mentioned his father, something so needlessly personal he couldn't just leave it be. "I...would rather you didn't bring up my father like that. I don't...think it's productive. I have a lot of hard memories of him." His voice was quiet, almost a whisper; there were a million things unsaid but he didn't dare put them out in the real world. "I don't see what that has to do with anything, anyway."
and the worst of the worst
You'll always be my favorite ghost
SAMuEL
Base Code by Sky!
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 12 - Strg: 34 - Dext: 34 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 34
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,924
MP:
#8
until i'm ready, let me be
Slowly, steadily, Amalia catches her breath, fury dissapating into a tired resignation at Sam's quiet simpering, because at the end of the day it's confirmation: he truly doesn't know.

It would be easier if he did, she thinks. It would be easier if she could hate him, see him as her enemy, a laughing face behind panes of glass. If he was part of the lie she could blame him for it; instead it falls on her to decide if he should be let in on the joke.

For a long, long minute Amalia is silent, her dark eyes dull as they study Sam. Behind the veneer a war is waging, the decision eating at her, tearing her apart. Tell him? Don't? Fulfil her father's (ugh) wishes and keep it to herself? Does she even want to be his sister, to change their already strained dynamic and add another dangerous layer? Once upon a time she would have loved to gain more family; even now had it been Evie who came to her rather than Sam her reaction would be entirely different.

Exhaling deeply, Amalia forces her hands to relax out of tight clasped claws, the now fairly battered paper coming loose within her grasp. Wordlessly she extends it toward the Ascended, an invitation should he choose to accept, still gauging his reactions with attentive, tired eyes. Let him decide if he wants to read it, and how he will respond. Let it be on his shoulders now.

He is her older brother, after all. Time to step up to the plate.
i have to heal myself
AmaLiA
Samuel Wordsworth
Book maker/seller / Naturals Advisor
Portal Calibrator
Age: 27 | Height: 5' 5" | Race: Ascended | Nationality: Natural
Level: 7 - Strg: 24 - Dext: 20 - Endr: 22 - Luck: 21
MIA - Regular - Ragdoll Cat
Played by: Lancydulac Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,834
MP:
#9
You know I still like you the most
The best of the best
Amalia took in a breath and Sam watched, no small amount of confusion creasing his brow. Was she simply trying to find things to say that might hurt him, or was there something going on he didn't understand? He really wasn't sure. It seemed that most days recently he found out something new, good or bad - confusion was a regular state.

She held out her letter to him. He'd barely really registered it, assuming it to be well-wishes from someone close to her. Automatically he took it and once he did his lips parted and he held it closer. "This is...my father's handwriting." He'd had his own letter, one he'd read a paragraph of then burnt, knowing it was not anything worth his time. Frowning he looked down to read, surprised to find it was in fact addressed to Amalia.

He had always been a quick reader, able to get through difficult texts with relative ease (and this one was indeed difficult), but Sam found he had to go over this one again. Once he had confirmed that it did say what it did, he lowered it from his eyes and simply stared at Amalia, unsure of what to do. If the letter was accurate, she was his half sister.

Did that change anything? He didn't know.

It was hardly like he'd ever felt any connection to his father; if this had been the Sam from a year ago he would have likely totally dismissed the whole thing, but recently he'd gotten closer to Evie - the value of another sister was not lost on him. That sister being Amalia, though...he pinched the bridge of his nose as he looked down at the floor and tried to think of anything to say.

Eventually, finally, he handed her back the letter and simply said: "I...can promise you I never knew this. I...knew my father had slept with other women...I did not know any children had resulted." Of course, that didn't say if he was happy about the revelation or not. ".....How...do you feel about it?"
and the worst of the worst
You'll always be my favorite ghost
SAMuEL
Base Code by Sky!
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 12 - Strg: 34 - Dext: 34 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 34
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,924
MP:
#10
until i'm ready, let me be
Oh, a truly astute observation from Sam. Amalia continues to simply stare as his eyes trace down the letter, trying to read a reaction from his face, to see if he's been lying to her this whole time. It's hard to say what she wants from him, exactly - anger? Joy? Surprise? Guilt?

Anything other than the nothing she gets.

In the growing silence she wonders if maybe Sam can hear her thundering heart, the erratic way it hammers and beats beneath her slender, shallow breast. The seconds feel like hours, the moments eons: she wants something from him, and he seems reluctant to give her even that. The only movement is her long-fanged fingers coiling and uncoiling into fists. The anticipation is exhausting, invigorating, her body and mind wound taut as a spring-

And when he finally speaks, well, it's like a slap in the face. Dropping her gaze from Sam back to the ground, Amalia blinks back a sudden well of tears, trying to hide the stunned hurt in her expression, the way his blase acceptance stings. I knew my father slept with other women... so her mother was not special. She is not special - indeed, she might be one of many half-Wordsworth children. None of this is a revelation for him the way it is for her, and that thought is strangely isolating, a sucker-punch she did not expect. "Oh," Amalia says back simply, looking at the paper now returned to her hands. "I see."

And then he asks her how she feels, and Amalia nearly laughs.

"I don't know," is the honest answer, bitten out from between clenched teeth, her head falling slightly to the side. Tilting her face up to Sam, she eyes him skeptically. "How am I supposed to feel? I have a family again, I guess, that doesn't want me. I have a father who was too ashamed of my existence to acknowledge me. I have a half-brother who hates me. And I can't leave this fucking bed."
i have to heal myself
AmaLiA
Samuel Wordsworth
Book maker/seller / Naturals Advisor
Portal Calibrator
Age: 27 | Height: 5' 5" | Race: Ascended | Nationality: Natural
Level: 7 - Strg: 24 - Dext: 20 - Endr: 22 - Luck: 21
MIA - Regular - Ragdoll Cat
Played by: Lancydulac Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,834
MP:
#11
You know I still like you the most
The best of the best
Sam's non-reaction was perhaps a symptom of shock or his general distaste towards his father, but that did not mean he had no feelings about the matter, all beginning to compete for his attention as the seconds ticked on. He had no idea what to say in the face of this, frankly didn't feel like it was even real. Amalia is my sister, he tried to say to himself in his mind, and it came out to nothing comprehensible in the chaos of his feelings.

Her words though, did draw one from him to the forefront: regret. That the words he'd said in Halo had left Amalia feeling quite so alone, sure that he hated her - because the truth was that he really didn't, even with all the difficulties between them.

Closing his eyes and taking in a breath, he tried to gather himself before walking closer to Amalia's bed and taking a seat next to it, looking over to her as he spoke: "I don't hate you. And I...I'm um..." A breakthrough of his true emotions came in the slightly too shaky half-laugh half-sigh he gave out, an odd noise with no amusement to it. "I don't know what to think about any of this either. I actually..um...well I...I came today hoping we could find a peace. I suppose...we have a good reason to, now?"
and the worst of the worst
You'll always be my favorite ghost
SAMuEL
Base Code by Sky!
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 12 - Strg: 34 - Dext: 34 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 34
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,924
MP:
#12
until i'm ready, let me be
The half-laugh shatters her fury like a hammer striking glass, her tremulous rage and aching anxieties suddenly breaking apart into splinters. In its place, bemusement, a wild sort of amazement at the absurdity of it all. "I don't hate you, either," she admits, her own mirthless smile cutting an awkward line on her face. What a wild way to start a family: no admissions of love, no strengthening bonds, but hey, at least they do not loathe each other.

It feels like a small, rather stupid first step.

Rebuild bridges, tie back torn bonds. It feels so unattainable, that she and Sam could ever be anything even remotely resembling whole given how far apart they stand. She thinks of Wessex, firmly planted on her side of the invisible line that grows like a maw between them; is it really Sam, of all the people, who wants to reach across to the other side?

"I still serve the old gods," she points out, trying to keep the bitterness out of her voice. "And you still serve the Voice." It's not an outright dismissal, because deep down she is desperate for this to maybe, possibly, actually work. How many bridges has she already burnt with her pride and stubbornness, her unyielding expectations of the world? Maea, Wessex, her own mother... maybe Jigano. Maybe more.

She scans his face with frank black eyes, leaning forward, the letter waved demonstratively in her hand. "This... news... it doesn't change that. We're always going to be on opposite sides."
i have to heal myself
AmaLiA
Samuel Wordsworth
Book maker/seller / Naturals Advisor
Portal Calibrator
Age: 27 | Height: 5' 5" | Race: Ascended | Nationality: Natural
Level: 7 - Strg: 24 - Dext: 20 - Endr: 22 - Luck: 21
MIA - Regular - Ragdoll Cat
Played by: Lancydulac Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,834
MP:
#13
You know I still like you the most
The best of the best
Neither of them hated each other, which was probably a good start; as Amalia admitted her side of it Sam smiled just a little, corners of his mouth twitching up. It was such a low bar to start from, but it was something. He felt far more comfortable to sit next to her, pulled his chair a little further forward so he could look more directly into his half-sister's eyes.

Of course, she was right. There was still the great rift between them of the Gods, of Old and New, Tradition and Innovation. Though Sam disagreed with her on the latter point. The letter changed everything. Perhaps it was some old sense of Wordsworth pride, but Sam suddenly felt desperate to make their relationship work in a way he hadn't before, grasp himself more family where he had hardly any. His Ascended family were amazing, but to find something positive in his nightmare of a childhood, his mess of a bloodline? It would be revolutionary.

Maybe something good could come of his father after all.

"What...what if, we stopped thinking of it as opposite sides?" He said quietly, looking up to nervously meet Amalia's eyes, saying words he'd wanted to for a long time. "What if we tried to find a way to work together? We both want the best for Caido, right? We both grew up here. Maybe...maybe we can try and say what it is we feel our particular Gods bring and listen, really listen, to each other."
and the worst of the worst
You'll always be my favorite ghost
SAMuEL
Base Code by Sky!
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 12 - Strg: 34 - Dext: 34 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 34
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,924
MP:
#14
until i'm ready, let me be
Amalia had long since given up daydreaming on the nature of her father. As a child she often bothered her mother for details on the mysterious man, and was always rebuffed with the same non-answers: I don't remember or it doesn't matter or he was just a man, and anyway, don't you have something better to be doing with your time? She'd never dreamed it would be a figure she grew up knowing the children of, someone so firmly cemented in the outskirts of her history.

And after a while, she hadn't dreamed of it at all.

Now she looks at Sam's half-smile and feels a tug of something strange, long-since dormant in her chest. Familial loyalty, an obligation to blood, ties of history too deep to unravel, too primal to ignore any longer. They're so similar, she reflects, shaking her head at his suggestion, though not unkindly, not with her old dismissive rage. "Do you really... really think it's possible?" she wonders frankly, running her hand up over her arm, the letter still clutched between her fingers. To find common ground, but also to be family: it all seems so improbable, like a child's dream.
i have to heal myself
AmaLiA


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