Caution Resonating [Kidman (Neb)/Flag]

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This thread may include adult content including violence, strong language or nudity, readers' discretion is advised.


The VILEiest VILE to ever VILE a VILE
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Nebuchadnezzar (Neb) Ullyss (formerly Kid Kidman), Kitty, Seryy Pripyat
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Every time Flag entered the decrepit bank he felt that he should at least be somewhat worried that someone would nail him for trespassing; that something as stupid as a recurring B&E would be what finally does him in. These fears were unfounded and as usual, there was nobody to stop him from entering

He had heard of cities being referenced as "sleepy" before, but this one was comatose. Even in the daylight hours, one would be hard-pressed to find people in the heart of downtown Jacksonville, Florida. How it was that Carmen (or rather a different version of her) had once chosen this void of human activity to play host to her eccentric lunacy was beyond him. Yet, as he stood in the very spot where she had saved him from certain death time and time again, he found himself grateful for it.

The sorcerer absently pressed the point of a wicked dagger into the calloused tip of his index finger as he paced the floor in thought. Now that he had all of the elements needed to create the amulet he wanted, it seemed obvious as to why all his previous attempts had failed.

With a sigh of frustration, he dropped his hands and made his way back to the marble counter that his charge had been leaning on. She had been a regular annoyance ever since their assignment and yet he suspected that she could play a necessary role in the task at hand.

"You've let it slip a few times that you have certain... abilities. What exactly can you do?"

Kidman froze and fear nettled under her skin. “What? I never said." came her forced reply.

He watched her reaction carefully. While it was true that she never actually came out and said anything of the sort, certain aspects of her body language reflected those of magicians that hid from him on his home planet.

"You don't have to lie to me. I know."

Kidman’s heart sank. Of course Flag would know. He was of her kind.

“Why do you want to know?” she asked as she took a step away. While she respected her senior and did her best to aid him, this was a far more dire matter and something about him frightened her.

Flag had bluffed, of course. However now that she openly admitted it he was glad he had taken the gamble. Next, he just had to confirm a suspicion that he had regarding the hand gestures she made at him after he had stolen the Sherlock Holmes statue.

"Because I need help." He admitted and glanced over at the faded remnants of a diagram he drew almost a year ago.

The girl’s attention steered away from his knife at the word ‘help’. “With... what?” she asked cautiously.

The sorcerer reached into the pocket of his coat and fished out a small plastic syringe box, which he then tossed to her. Inside it was the diamond that he had stolen from the Russians, though now it had been split into four and placed into a golden triangle setting.

"That. I can't hold it." He said as he held up his left hand to showcase the burn marks he received.

Kidman eyed the pendant dubiously, then back at the sorcerer’s burnt hand. “Then why would I be able to?”

"Because it's not attuned to you. Go ahead and try it."

She gingerly touched the thing in the box, but nothing happened.

“You just want me to hold this for you?”

"I want you to hand it to me when the time is right." He corrected before getting to the point of her involvement. "What I need to know is if you are a healer or not."

Kidman nodded slowly.

"How much damage can you heal?"

“I don’t know. I wanted to find out in Kamchatka, but...” She still didn’t know what had happened to that mercenary and Kidman pushed the possibilities away. “What sort of damage?”

Her rambling grated on him. "A potentially fatal wound. Depends on how much of my blood the amulet needs."

She was about to decline when a memory came to her. “I can mend a torn jugular vein.”

His expression flattened at her suggestion of taking time, largely because if it were an option, they would not be here. The event she recalled however, was more in line with what he wanted to hear.

"Then... you should be able to handle this." He stated as he fished his journal and a piece of chalk out of his satchel.

Kidman watched him with growing ill ease. The sorcerer wouldn’t be making this sort of request unless she was his only option, and that made her responsible.“Tell me why I should.”

He raised an eyebrow at that. "Have I offended you so grievously that you wish me dead?"

She winced. “This diamond is worth risking your life over?”

He leveled his gaze at her. "Yes. It is."

“Why?” She replied as she fought for calm.

The sorcerer shifted his gaze towards the dust-covered windows and weighed the evening shadows he saw there against each other. He was becoming impatient with her questions and it showed.

"I need it to save my wife."

“Flag….” The girl murmured softly, momentarily caught off guard. She could see truth in his eyes, and she slackened with a sigh of defeat. “What do I do?”

Taking her hand, he led her over to the dust-covered diagram and pointed at a spot in particular. "I need to fix a few things, but when I get to this point, hand me the pendant." He then directed her further down the elaborate drawing and stopped on another spot and offered her the dagger.

"When I get here, kill me."

“Kill you? I said I could heal you, not raise the dead.”

He shot her a look. If their conversation carried any weight, she'd realize that he wanted her to help him survive the wound she inflicted. However, he also did not want her to hold back while inflicting it.

"You will."

With the knife in her hands he stood up and walked across the diagram to what one would assume to be his starting point. "I need to redraw some things. Use that time to compose yourself."

The knife now seethed with such cruel anticipation that the girl fumbled and dropped it, then frantically rubbed her hands on her pants.

“Dammit.” she muttered as she retrieved it, then watched the tall man in black retrace his lines in the waning light, trying to ignore the wriggling sting in her palm and the rising bile in her stomach. The dust disturbed by his footsteps added an ethereal quality to something so solemn, and she dreaded the moment they’d stop.

An eternity passed while he checked, double-checked, and rewrote things on the floor in chalk. It was then something of a shock when he was suddenly upon her again.

"Before we begin, I want a demonstration of your abilities." He held out his right hand - palm up- towards her. "Heal that."

She stared at it, unsure of what he was talking about, then realized he wanted her to make the wound herself. “Jesus Flag…” she muttered bitterly, then closed her eyes and gave him a fair paper cut.

He frowned as a tiny bead of his own blood accented the shallow cut. "That's pathetic."

“I have my limits too.” she shot back shakily. “If you waste me on a big wound now, I won’t be able to finish the real task.”

Flag held back anything else he could have said in favor of watching her carefully as she grabbed his bleeding finger and forcefully shocked it back into its former state. As the tiny slice in his finger vanished, the faintest of grins appeared on his face. Apparently satisfied, he made his way back the center of the diagram and signaled the start of the ritual.

Although Flag was speaking his native language, he sounded like he was merely practicing a rehearsed speech as he read notes from the floor. Contrary to his muted tones, the markings on the ground glowed vibrantly as as they fed off of a charge from the sorcerer himself.

Kidman took a step back as the air crackled to life. Her body responded to it and for a moment she knew a new kind of peace before reality returned. The knife in her hand seemed desperate to infect while the amulet awoke with its own signature, and she clutched both tightly as she waited for Flag’s sign.

Casually, he paced the perimeter of the circle furthest from her while continuing his quiet monologue. However, he was soon making his way up the larger one and heading in her direction. Once he was within an arms reach, he held his hand out to receive the charm from her.

With trembling hand she passed it to him and braced for what may come.

Flag grit his teeth and withdrew his hand back against the burning coal in his hand. Fighting the pain for the sake of the ritual, he pushed onward; mouthing his focus as he traced the second of the three outlying circles.

Although his hand was clasped tightly around the pendant, Kidman could see that it was glowing and getting brighter with every step that brought him back to her. This time when he was within arm reach, he shot his hand out and grabbed her shoulder - a wordless indication that it was her turn to act.

“Oh god, Flag… Forgive me.” Kidman whispered as she grabbed his wrist. The air between them was wild with a charge that whipped her hair from her face. In the last few moments she had sought something to compel her to stab him; some anger, some vengeance, even some form of dutiful detachment, but only through love could she find the means to harm him, slicing down the length of his wrist for the sake of his wife.

Although her task was done, he maintained an iron grip on her shoulder in order to keep himself from reeling back from the dagger's bite. Throughout this, he continued to chant and when she dropped the dagger he held the pendant downward so that gravity - with the aid of his heartbeat - could do its job.

The blood pouring from his wound was pulled into specially crafted channels in the setting that somehow didn't overflow and the light the diamonds cast began to pulse green. The charged air around them to become heavy and humid.

Without a single drop of blood hitting the ground, the only indication that Flag was dying was his sagging posture and slightly relaxed grip on Kidman's shoulder. Just as he was about to collapse the amulet flashed a blinding white light and flicked off.

As vision returned she could see that he was grinning.

The sorcerer dug his nails in and sent a jolt through her as he completed a circuit with her subclavian and axillary arteries. He then changed the energy so that it matched that of when she healed the sliver on his finger, eliciting a similar response.

She was healing him now regardless of if she was prepared or not.

“Flag!” Kidman gasped as the man tore through ages of psychic wreckage to get what he wanted, and she sagged against him, clinging to his wounded arm as the flood overrode her senses.

He fought to keep from be dragged down by the weight of the girl as he drained her. Before she became another corpse to deal with, he broke contact by shoving her aside and dropping her to the ground. Flag then staggered a couple of steps before righting his stance and closing off the ritual.

With the last circle traced and the words said, he opened his hand and inspected the amulet. It's glow was gone and the gem's sparkle along with it. It seemed faded and further study would show that the four parts of the once flawless diamond were now riddled with inclusions.

It was perfect.

The alien was almost giddy when he made his way back over to where the girl was laying. Knowing that she wasn't dead, he nudged her with his the toe of his boot.

"Get up. It's time to leave."

(art by @Flag )

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