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Dark Before The Dawn

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Dark Before The Dawn Empty Wed Jan 03, 2024 8:14 am


WORDS: 320 | Who Knows?

“Hnnnmmmm… Rmmnnngggg…” The tight and almost vice-like grip of unconsciousness seeming to recede slowly but at least thankfully given how it had seemed to hold her, with whatever which had seized her form now behind her or the majority of it at least cleared from her system Ursula Wick seemed to grow restless and groan as something within her fought against that lingering embrace, and gently seemed to writhe as she battled against a force which she now could triumph against.
“FUCK!” Not that she did so in a terribly ladylike fashion as she lurched upward with a king of expletives seeming to spring from her mouth with just as much vehemence as her motion, those lids snapped open and pulse seemed to pound as she rose from whatever it was she had found herself laying upon into a sitting position, and then looked around herself in confusion as she recognised nothing of the environment into which she had so vociferously lunged. Sure as hell wasn't her room, at least.

“Whew…” Not that she had much time to consider such a matter as she found her chest heaving from either the exertion or the sense of panic which had forced her into such a bold and loud act, it was honestly surprising just how exhausted she felt after apparently just waking up, and as such all she could do was linger for a moment and gasp for air to steady herself as she lifted an arm which felt like a lead weight to her brow and rubbed it, only for something else to hit her like a ton of freight.
“ S-Shit…” Suddenly feeling her head throb rather fiercely and agonisingly and noticing now how any source of light around her seemed to practically claw at her eyes, all she could do was veil her eyes with that same palm and grunt out further words of displeasure, and linger as she tried to garner her bearings…


You're afraid of a big, bad wolf~?
- Ursula Wilke -

credit to nat of adoxography.

Last edited by Ursula on Wed Jan 10, 2024 11:45 am; edited 1 time in total


Dark Before The Dawn Empty Wed Jan 03, 2024 9:05 am

Lost in the expanse of the night sky, Tōga languidly connected the stars before him into invisible constellations, his gaze tracing meandering paths across the dark canvas visible through the pristine hotel room window. Time seemed to stand still as he lost himself among those distant celestial orbs - spheres of burning gas and ancient light, separated from him by unfathomable leagues of memory and possibility. The infinity of space was mirrored by the uncounted potentialities that lay within this sky; yet here on Earthland, the paths forward were few enough to tally on one hand. A soft sigh, resonating almost as a purr in his throat, escaped Tōga's lips as he contemplated the contrast between what was and what could be.

Tōga tore his gaze from the hypnotic night sky, amber eyes landing on the once-sleeping woman now stirring awake in the rumpled hotel bed behind him. Profanities spilled freely past her lips as she emerged bewildered from slumber's embrace, body aching and contorting as consciousness slowly returned. Tōga watched her familiar form with a hint of amusement glinting in his eyes, wordlessly taking in her disheveled state emerging from beneath the twisted sheets. Her unrestrained outburst seemed to disrupt the pensive silence that had previously filled the shadowed room. Yet despite her evident discomfort and confusion, there remained an unguarded beauty about her as she moved with casual abandon, the last vestiges of sleep fading into alert wakefulness.

"It's alright," Tōga soothed gently, though in truth he did not know if Ursula retained any memory of him or their crazed night together, or even where she found herself now in her disorientation. He raised open palms toward her, calming any alarm as he beckoned her into a state of trusting ease. "Here, drink this – it's water," he murmured, moving slowly so as not to startle her still-bleary mind. With deliberate care he lifted the perspiring glass waiting beside the bed, condensation pooling beneath it atop the nightstand. Tenderly he offered her the glass, his movements flowing with patience and tranquility as if coaxing a frightened doe. All tension seemed to seep from the room as a wordless understanding passed between them, and Ursula's chaotic emergence into wakefulness was quelled under Tōga's pacific influence.

"You were drugged at the club – I gotcha outta there," Tōga explained gently, keenly aware that the disoriented woman had awoken into a precarious reality after her intoxicated night out. Like emerging from one nightmare into another, she now had to piece together the blurred fragments of how she came to this unfamiliar hotel room and bed. Fortunately, Tōga had intervened early after spotting the surreptitious dosing, swiftly whisking her away before further harm befell. The evening's events had left her with memory shattered like fragmented mirror glass...yet aside from the hangover's pounding headache, she had mercifully been spared any darker consequences thanks to Tōga's watchful protectiveness. Details could come later; for now, reassuring calm and recovery were paramount. Tōga observed her closely as awareness slowly returned to her gaze, patient and non-judgmental in the sanctity of the night.



Dark Before The Dawn Empty Fri Jan 05, 2024 6:50 am


WORDS: 320 | Who Knows?

Drugged…? Club? The brow of the belle in the bed seeming to wrinkle as a face which seemed both familiar and unknown seemed to speak to her and explain the situation, such revelation was something that seemed to send an immediate shiver through her body unlike any other, as if every guard she had around herself had suddenly been stripped away and she was left naked, at least metaphorically speaking. The fox feeling so rattled by the truth in fact that she couldn't help but wrap her arms around herself and feel a sense of relief in the in the fact that she wasn't more literally exposed as well, her cheeks flushed with a mix of anger for what had happened to her as well as a hefty dose of embarrassment as well, for the fact that she had been stupid enough to let this happen to her and that she had needed someone to come and rescue her as well.

“T-Thanks, I guess?” For some reason not doubting this figure however and gingerly reaching for the glass of water which he offered to her with a lingering shiver, in truth Ursula hated the way in which her fingers seemed to quiver as she did so and once she had a grasp on the item plucked it toward her and nursed it in both hands, staring toward the item for more than a moment of empty headed contemplation before she took a small and gentle sip.
“What is this place…?” Looking to the lad once she had done so in a manner which was not flooded with recognition and trying to force herself to remember something or anything about him, especially why she felt an instinct to trust him, after a beat or two she next looked about their surrounding and questioned it. It didn’t seem much like a hospital? Was this his place? All she could do was guess…


You're afraid of a big, bad wolf~?
- Ursula Wilke -

credit to nat of adoxography.


Dark Before The Dawn Empty Fri Jan 05, 2024 10:08 am

Tōga gazed upon Ursula's face, watching in fascination as the story of last night played out across her perplexed expressions. Her memories swirled within her mind, blurred and disjointed, like trying to read a book written in an indecipherable foreign script. The cocktail she had downed in the club now fogged her recollection, obscuring the details of that night behind shadows and fractured images. As understanding slowly returned to her eyes, Tōga could see her struggling to piece together fragmented moments - a whispered word here, a flashing light there. The threads of the tale lurked just out of reach, glimpsed only briefly before darting away, pages in a book blown open by a fleeting breeze then snatched shut once more.

"No need to thank me..." Tōga's words faded into the tense air between them, drifting off like fireflies blinking out one by one. He watched Ursula closely, knowing she must feel trapped here with a stranger in this unfamiliar hotel room. Though he had rescued her from the sinister clutches of the club and her would-be assailant, he knew she had every right to feel uneasy. After all, waking up with missing memories in the private quarters of someone she barely knew had surely neverbeen part of her plans for the evening. Yet despite her potential anger, confusion and distrust, Tōga hoped she would come to understand he had simply acted to keep her safe. There had been little time to think as he swept her vacant body from that den of wolves, determined only to spirit her away somewhere secure until the drugs wore off. They stood now in the eye of the storm - the club's chaos held at bay beyond these quiet walls, but the path ahead still unclear. He could see the questions churning behind her eyes, this mysterious hotel room now the sole setting she knew from the missing chapters of her night. Watching Ursula wrestle with faded recollections and newfound uncertainty, Tōga wondered if bringing her here had truly been the right choice after all.

"It's a hotel room I got for us," Tōga began, though his own words rang hollow. He struggled to explain himself under her questioning gaze - how could he make her understand when even he scarcely believed the night's events? "I knew taking you to a hospital would raise alarms, so I brought you here to sleep off the drugs safely." Her eyes clouded further at the mention of hospital and drugs, blurry snippets of the night flickering through her mind. He could see the gaps where memory faded to black, and he rushed to fill them..

I’m Tōga, a Rune Knight --- I was investigating a string of disappearances and drugging’s and kinda stumbled upon the club you were at,”

wc: 463 [977]


Dark Before The Dawn Empty Sun Jan 07, 2024 4:19 pm


WORDS: 270 | Who Knows?

Rune Knight…? Investigation…? Something about the name she was given seeming to spark greater familiarity in her mind but the rest seeming to wash across her like water on a well oiled pan, the brow of the black belle seemed to furrow as she contemplated what she was told and had no reason to doubt it, but none to accept it either for that matter.
“R-Right… Don't suppose you have uh… Some kinda badge?” For that reason the lupine lass perhaps seeming perhaps a bit obstinate on the matter and feeling her anxiety soothed little by such verbal assurance, while she was sure that it was likely to seem rather distrusting to a figure who claimed to have saved her from a rather dicey situation Ursula still couldn't help but to ask for some means of proof of his story, and continued to hug herself as she did so.

“Sorry, just… Waking up in a strange place with a boy who… It's hard to feel… all that trusting?” Perhaps some part of her which seemed to recognise something about this boy throbbing with guilt at her request all the same, despite the comfort it might provide her to have a token of assurance that she wasn't being spun some yarn by an opportunistic creep who was taking advantage of her in her hour of need she still felt the need to explain herself, and in part hoped that her request would meet with some comfort in him for that fact. Something told her he wasn't a bad guy, but at the same time, right now safety seemed paramount to sorriness, no?


You're afraid of a big, bad wolf~?
- Ursula Wilke -

credit to nat of adoxography.


Dark Before The Dawn Empty Mon Jan 08, 2024 9:41 am

"Oh, yeah sure!" Tōga exclaimed as he sprang up from his seated position, responding swiftly to Ursula's request to see some identification. It was an understandable ask given the circumstances—she had awoken disoriented in an unfamiliar hotel room with a virtual stranger who claimed to be her savior from a seedy club the night before where she may have been drugged. Though not new to the Rune Knight duties, Tōga found himself on unfamiliar ground having rescued someone under such questionable conditions. Feverishly patting himself down, he rifled through pockets and compartments on his person in search of the badge that would offer Ursula some form of reassurance.

"Aha, found it!" Tōga exclaimed triumphantly as he pulled from the depths of his overshirt a gleaming medallion identifying him as a Major of the Rune Knights, a prestigious position denoting his high rank and acclaim. Though he cared little for the status, in that urgent moment, the badge served as a vital form of verification to assuage Ursula's doubts and fears. With an earnest expression, Tōga presented the medallion to her, hoping it would offer some comfort and confidence in his intentions after the distressing events that led to their puzzling yet providential encounter. The engraved emblem represented his pledge to protect and prove his capability to provide her safe passage until the mysteries surrounding them could be further uncovered.

"I understand this is likely overwhelming for you," Tōga offered gently as he perched on the window ledge, hoping to convey some sentiment of empathy to the clearly shaken Ursula. "I can step out if you need time to process everything or just have a moment to yourself - no pressure at all. But at some point, when you're ready, we will need to discuss what happened last night." He assured her he would not encroach on her space uninvited; she could shower, sleep, or simply sit with her swirling thoughts and emotions. Tōga had a duty, yes, but not at the expense of Ursula's comfort. Though their chance encounter at the club had led to an enjoyable evening, his role now as a Rune Knight demanded he piece together events and pursue the perpetrator - not only for Ursula but for all those targeted. Still, the mission could wait; for now, offering this rattled young woman even a small measure of agency and compassion took priority. When she was steadied, they would unravel the mysteries together.

WC: 407 [1384]


Dark Before The Dawn Empty Tue Jan 09, 2024 9:50 am


WORDS: 350 | Who Knows?

He's a bit goofy, huh? The frostiness of the femme seeming to soften a little as she watched the boy seem to fumble in his effort to provide her with some identification and with it so too her expression that little bit, there was something familiar and endearing about that hint of clumsiness which he showed which seemed to help to set her at ease, and though she scanned the item he offered her still she did so with a dash more reassurance for it.
“Toga Himura, huh? I'm Ursula. Wilke. If you uh, didn't know that?” The behaviour of the boy as comforting for her as any kind of warrant or badge that he could give her because there was just something about it which settled her, the frown which she wore began to melt away as she reviewed his name and then looked to him again with a little of her confidence seeming to return, as well as a tentative trust in the idea that what he had been telling her was the truth as well.

“You can… You can stay?” For that reason the lupine lass seeming to shake her head as her supposed saviour asked if she needed some space to process things but if anything Miss Wilke hating the idea of being alone right now more than anything, without even realizing it she reached a finger or two for his arm to steady him and stay him in place, though when she realised what she was doing found warmth and pinkness rolling into her cheeks again.
“I don't really know what happened but… I do feel like I can trust you?” Never one who was all that good at presenting her feelings in a naked manner and as such found glancing from his gaze as she admitted that she could more than tolerate him, she sighed outward shakily as she sipped on the drink he had offered her before and tried to force herself to remember what had happened before this, but really could only summon flashes and vague faces, and perhaps some rather distinctive pink hair with them…


You're afraid of a big, bad wolf~?
- Ursula Wilke -

credit to nat of adoxography.

Last edited by Ursula on Tue Jan 09, 2024 11:23 am; edited 1 time in total


Dark Before The Dawn Empty Tue Jan 09, 2024 11:00 am

Tōga's features softened with warmth as Ursula seemed to find refuge in a growing ease with his company. His badge had granted specifics - a name and title - and done enough to temper her suspicions, allowing some seed of comfort to take root even amidst vulnerability and chaos. That was all the earnest Rune Knight had hoped for, his empathetic brown eyes still gently settling on the lovely young woman who had suffered such a grievous betrayal of trust. This fleeting moment of connection kindled a flicker of respite as she oriented to this unfamiliar situation. Tōga hovered nearby, a patient, reassuring presence should she need further support - whether more information or just silent understanding. For now, building even tentative trust took precedence over pressing for details; there would be time enough to illuminate sinister shadows.

"Oh yeah, Ursula-chan!" Tōga smiled, softly running his lightly tanned fingers along his nape beneath the pink, spiked tresses. "It's nice to put a full name to the prettyface." A light laugh escaped to hide the flush spreading across his cheeks as delicate fingers suddenly encircled his arm. He looked down to see Ursula gently reaching out to brush his wrist, catalyzing a spark of connection. Her initiative surprised and moved the Rune Knight, still adjusting to their unexpected collision of fates the night prior. Though much remained uncertain between the strangers tossed together by ominous chances, the tender gesture kindled warmth and forged the first fragile strands of understanding. For now, in the stillness, the mysteries paused their swirling, two minds meeting in a quiet moment of resonant humanity.

"Oh...okay, I'll stay," Tōga softened, settling back against the window ledge. His gaze tenderly took in Ursula's splendor emerging before him. Content without agenda, he allowed minutes to meander, letting the intimate room's quiet spell provide a sanctuary for Ursula to steady after the chaos that flung them together.

"Well, that's good," Tōga affirmed, his amiable smile lingering as he returned the Rune Knight badge to his pocket, releasing a pensive breath as he mentally revisited the prior night. "I wish I had more details to share. We started dancing and your symptoms kicked in so rapidly. I couldn't identify a potential perpetrator. But recalling who manned the bar last night shouldn't prove too difficult." Brow furrowed, Tōga retraced his memories, navigating the flashing, blaring fragments seeking clues - visions churning of figures through smoky air, garish neon splashing over anonymous faces now indistinct, music and heartbeats blending to a pounding roar. Like grasping at lost dreams upon waking, facts remained ephemeral...for now. But beneath furrowed contemplation, Tōga's eyes continued emanating patient warmth - still an anchor in shared adversity as delicate ideas and hopes took new form in Ursula's emergent courage.

But we’ll figure it out, and make things right,

wc: 486 [1870]


Dark Before The Dawn Empty Tue Jan 09, 2024 11:22 am


WORDS: 360 | Who Knows?

“Chan? Shit, real sense of deja-vu there…” The strange turn of phrase triggering more than one little something in the mind of Miss Wilke, the very fact that she had to question the odd appendage to her name appeared to remind her of the fact that this was not the first time she had done so, and from what sparked inside her not the first time with this boy either. Damn, he really WAS telling her the truth, wasn't he?
“Damn, some weird things jog the memory, huh?” The lupine lass left to shake her head because of that and how such a seemingly innocuous little detail seemed to fill her mind more than any effort of force, something flashed within her brain that showed her questioning the eastern custom he had shown before in the bar, and once more did she seem to soften in her manner as she drew upon it for greater recognition of the figure who had rescued her.

“Lucky for me you were there, and unlucky for you I was…” That one little drop seeming to ripple and reveal more details which she probably didn't want to focus upon all that much either, especially those flashes of herself hanging from a frame she could now sense smelled an awful lot like his now that she was waking up, Ursula felt glad for the fact that she had stumbled across someone who would have taken care of her in that situation though was a little guilty that her apparent stupidity had cost him his case.
“The bartender? Hmmmm… Well that part ain't so fuzzy, but I'm not sure what I can remember that might help? He was practically tending in absentia?” Perhaps for that reason the raven trying all the more to help him out, though likely a liar if she said she didn't feel quite a stake in the matter given what she had been through too, frankly the fox wanted to know what the hell had happened as much for the chance to tear a chunk out of whoever had made her look such a fool as she did anything else, and probably wouldn’t deny that fact either if she was asked…


You're afraid of a big, bad wolf~?
- Ursula Wilke -

credit to nat of adoxography.


Dark Before The Dawn Empty Tue Jan 09, 2024 1:12 pm

Old habits die hard, as Tōga was reminded yet again when he slipped into the familiar comfort of his native Joyan speech patterns, laughing with chagrin, "Oh, my bad! I keep forgetting not everyone is familiar with Joyan customs." In truth, this entire situation went beyond normal, straining even Tōga's usually unflappable equanimity. Ursula, still regaining her senses after the attack, had suffered a crime, the details of which continued to elude. Both she and Tōga grasped at fragments of memory from that night, seeking to piece together a coherent narrative, yet neither could summon much more than vague impressions, their recollections as diaphanous as smoke. They would have to be content with each other's limited perspectives as they supported Ursula through her recovery and sought belated justice.

"I think we both helped each other out, so don't beat yourself up," Tōga consoled, hoping to ease Ursula's distress. His case had slammed into a brick wall, and he would be lying if he claimed to have uncovered any promising leads thus far. Yet their serendipitous meeting affirmed his reasons for being in Stella; that club would be their scene, the epicenter from which to unfurl this mystery. Now was the time to commence the meticulous work of peeling back layers in search of clues that might explicate the shadows obscuring what transpired that night. Tōga settled in for the slog, resolved to redeem meaning from the hideous crime inflicted on this woman who had stumbled unexpectedly into his path, two strangers now bound by the gossamer threads of memory in their joint quest for long-delayed justice.

"True, but people like that are creatures of habit," Tōga mused, finding a glimmer of hope even amidst the darkness shrouding their situation. "Since we didn't report it and the club was overflowing that night, I reckon it's safe to assume we didn't raise any alarms." He clenched his fist with rising conviction as the glimmer ignited into fiery purpose. "Bold enough to spike your drink out in the open, yet daft enough to slink back to the feeding ground night after night - I bet they’re stupid enough to try again there tonight." Certainty steeling his nerves, Tōga met Ursula’s eyes with blazing resolve, ready to snare the unsuspecting monster who viewed that pulsating club as its own personal hunting ground.

I’ll go back tonight and scout out. I’m sure something will turn up.”

He paused.

I understand if you don’t want to come – you’re more than welcome to stay here tonight,”

wc: 419 [2289]


Dark Before The Dawn Empty Wed Jan 10, 2024 11:41 am


WORDS: 420 | TOTAL: 2030 | Who Knows?

“I think… You've told me that before, huh?” The explanation which Toga offered for his unusual turns of phrase something which sounded only too familiar to a fox whose memory was finally catching up with herself, for the first time since she had woken up she seemed to crack a smile as she smirked at him and noted her growing recollection, and then pushed her hand back through her hair as she found that untangled knot in her mind seeming to courteously unravel others like a lighthouse shining across both land and sea to brighten it up.

“Shit… It's starting to come back to me now and wow… Good thing I can blame that stuff for how I acted? Still feel pretty embarrassed though… You might not believe it but, usually I'm a lot cooler at parties than I was last night? Try not to hold it against me, okay?” Gaining more and more flashes of interaction between them and while some sweet others seeming to make her cringe, she couldn't help but wince internally both as she saw herself hanging off him and coming on hard and strong, and let loose a gentle joke that she at the very least had something to excuse her behaviour. Not that, she suspected, there wasn't a certain degree of truth in her exaggerated responses in places though.

“Tonight…?” A shiver seeming to run through the siren however when the lad spoke of making another attempt at the scene this very evening and for a moment even one so usually dauntless as Ursula Wilke feeling intimidated by the prosect, returning to the scene of the crime sent a sense of fear through her for a moment that she did not expect, though thankfully did not linger for more than a moment of worry on her face.
“Nah, shit, if the bastard's gonna be there again I'm definitely taking that ticket? Got a hell of a bone to pick with 'em now?” All too soon the prospect of running into the party responsible for what had happened to her and perhaps also what might have happened to her if not for the luck of a responsible ally, the knowledge that such a creep could be trying the same thing tonight on someone else only seemed to further flush the fox with further fury at the prospect, and fuel her desire for vengeance all the more. I mean she had gotten mad, so now it seemed it was time to get even, right?


You're afraid of a big, bad wolf~?
- Ursula Wilke -

credit to nat of adoxography.


Dark Before The Dawn Empty Wed Jan 10, 2024 2:04 pm

Tága's soft smile remained as Ursula's memory continued to return in fragments, the puzzle pieces of recollection slowly connecting to fill in parts of the picture. The use of honorific titles followed the eastern customs of Joya, traditions Tága clung to dearly, yet he realized some compromise was needed if true inclusion was his goal, especially with someone who had been in an altered state the night he originally explained the meaning behind the formalities.

"Honestly, it wasn't all bad," Tága quipped, "You seemed to be enjoying yourself, but we can blame the drugs for you picking such a silly guy like me, hahaha." Before the ill effects of whatever toxin Ursula ingested fully took hold, her delight and desire appeared focused on the dragon slayer who was at the club solely for reconnaissance. Though the night spiraled into darkness and terror, what transpired earlier read like a fairy tale - a princess finding her prince, even in the most improbable of venues. Tága sensed their meeting was not mere happenstance, yet the emotions Ursula displayed, though tainted, could not have stemmed fully from artificial means...right? Lingering over the fragments of memory, Tága wondered if traces of genuine affection had emerged unbidded, or if it was all just a cruel trick of chemistry.

When Ursula resolutely decided to accompany him that evening to the club to unravel the mystery of the doctored drinks, Tága could only beam and nod. "Okay, we'll head out in 6 hours. Get some rest - it's going to be a long night," the Rune Knight declared. He was pleasantly surprised to see Ursula had no intention of fleeing from her demons, but rather looked to stare them down unflinchingly. It was an admirable quality, this staunch bravery in the face of inner turmoil. Tonight would provide the chance for this formidable mage to face the shadows that had haunted her, and hopefully illuminate the path forward. Tága admired her courage and was honored to stand by her side on this mission to rectify past wrongs and bring justice to light.

wc: 344 [2633]
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