This RP is part of the Great Reformation arc.
Synopsis: Ordered by Croix to go track down Bartholomew, Ahab decides to make a quick stop at the East Train Station to bid farewell to his old life and meets Leynie, a lycan looking for adventure. She decides to tag along with Ahab in search of Bartholomew, and together, they discover some similarities and differences about their unique conditions.
Characters: Ahab and Leynie
Location: East Train Station Ruins, East Ankou
East Train Station Ruins
The only sounds that ever permeate the area are the clicks of the mechanical guard and the hiss of the steam engine that rolls in every few days like clockwork with a one-way ticket destination. That is all that is ever promised, and the east side train station gives the first hints as to why. The train station seems to be falling apart. Bricks and debris lay strewn between the overgrown foliage that seeks to reclaim all of the land it had once lost. Only a single oiled railroad track remains, allowing the only apparent escape back to the more habitable side of the island. No oil lamps can be found at the train station, nor any hints of human habitation. Clockwork and steam sentries, as well as more lethal cyborg creations, stand watch at the train station. They look old and near the point of giving out after the ages, but they never fail to make sure that nothing, healthy or infected, boards the train to cross back to the West. One way means one way. It has been rumored, however, that the train's operator has disembarked and survived to make the trip home.
Ahab hadn't quite left for the West yet. That's a lie. He had, but he was taking his sweet time getting there. Places to visit. First and foremost, the train station. After centuries of work, the clockwork guards were finally beginning to fail. Not that they had a job anymore; with the infection being cured, there was no danger of anyone getting on the train, not anymore. And Ahab knew, with the wall about to fall, that truly this would soon be an obsolete relic. Maybe that's why Ahab was here, crouched down outside the train station and watching, not bothering to hide himself, in plain view of the station and its mechanical attendants. To pay his last respects to a dying relic. With his harpoon stuck into the ground propping him up, his clothes tattered and held together only with ropes and scraps, he was amused by the fact he could relate to a building. "Ugh." Pushing himself up, he would have left were it not for the hiss of steam as another train rolled in. Curious, he propped himself up again and stayed, waiting to see who'd be unfortunate enough to disembark. Though the East was far safer now and the threat of the infection was null and void, no one could save anyone from the horror of entering, for all intents and purposes, a dying world being brought back from the verge of destruction.
Leynie sat patient and pretty on the train as it traveled along the tracks, her body swaying as it hit each overlap of metal. She fiddled with her pistol-dagger, prepping the ignition but not the ammo. She had heard that the plague was finished, but she still didn't know what waited for her on the other side of the wall. People could be crazy, after all. Eventually she felt as the train began to slow, heard as the brakes squealed and the steam hissed. It was just about time. She rose, stumbling only once as the train came to a complete stop, and headed for the door of the car, exiting out onto the platform. She was certainly a fancy sight for this side of the wall, washed and in clean clothing. If she had ever been to the east, it was not recently. The clockwork heels of her boots clacked against the ground as the lycan bounced on the balls of her feet a few times as her eyes traveled, taking in the sights. So the sentries still stood. She wondered if they'd attack her, viewing her curse as something that needed to be kept out of the west. Leynie's nose rose, scrunching as she sniffed. She could smell the old metal, the overgrowth...They were strange things to have smelled together, and strong as a fart under the sheets. "I should have brought some perfume," she said to herself, trying to shake the scent from her nose. "I don't suppose you have any?" the woman asked, pointing her empty pistol Ahab's way. Just what were his intentions, she wondered.
Ahab watched her as she exited the train station...and then was pointing a pistol at him. His brain had barely registered what she said. Something about...perfume? "Perfume...s'that fancy smellin' shit people use to doll 'emselves up all pretty, yeah? Or'sthat makeup?" He had no idea, he was probably wrong. Leaning on the harpoon, he tilted his head and watched her with a dull look on his face. He looked tired. Not entirely awake. The eyes, though; the eyes had it, sharp gaze focused on her face. Even half-lidded, it was all a deceptive mask to seem unguarded. "Fuck y'comin' East fer, lady? Shit's done, s'over. Plague's gone, infected're bein' rounded up 'n cured bit by bit...come t'see what's left? Maybe yer pickin' for scraps...maybe yer curious 'n wanna see what coulda happened West-side, ehn?" Head slowly tilted the opposite way, and he flashed her a smile. It showed fangs. This man was not human. "Why'dja come here? One way ticket, y'know."
Leynie watched the man as he spoke, purple irises flashing as they rolled through the light at just the right angle. They looked green for that briefest of moments. "All of the above," she replied, her lips twisted into the slightest of frowns as she caught sight of the fangs. "And I figured the hunting might be easier on this side of the wall. Perhaps even more game." She lowered the pistol, finally, though it did not go to the holster on her bandolier. She strode forward a few steps, her eyes once more moving to the automatons. She didn't trust them, she didn't trust the man. "Why are you here, fangs?" Keen eyesight, this woman. What else could be different about her?
Ahab raised an eyebrow. Well. Maybe he shouldn't have judged entirely by the cover of this book. She even SMELLED different. Something about the blood...strange. "Payin' my respects, lady. The ol' East is dyin', and since this buildin' an' I are both part of it, well..." He tipped an imaginary hat. "Figured I'd see it off, y'know? Ain't gonna have no place in the new East, 'n neither am I. Feel like joinin' an ol' survivor in seein' it off?" He pushed himself off the harpoon and removed it from the ground, hoisting it over one shoulder as he offered the building and automatons a half-assed salute. Regardless how she felt in joining him, he spoke. "Here's t'you, train station. Y'brought more idiots t'get bit, 'n when I headed West, y'brought me back home. In conclusion, go fuck yerself, please rot!" And in actual conclusion, he flipped the building off with an almost wistful sigh, jamming the harpoon back into the ground and leaning on it. He wasn't even looking at her now. "Y'know, if we were gonna try 'n kill eachother, we woulda tried by now. Seein' as neither of us have, that makes us not idiots...ahh, I'm gonna miss this buildin'." His eyes darted her way. He didn't look unattentive anymore. "Name's Ahab."
Leynie stood mute through the man's farewell to the train station, listened to his words. So the man had gone to the safe side of the wall and back again, of his own volition. That surprised her. She let her eyes drink in more of the fellow, his build, his harpoon. He hardly looked incapable. He couldn't have been, if he survived on this side with the plague. She wore a smirk by the time he finished with his drinkless toast. "Perhaps we won't," she said as she finally slid her pistol into its holster. "Wouldn't be too sure about not being imbeciles, though." She laughed, the sound much like a series of sharp barks. "A...pleasure...to make your acquaintance, Ahab. I am Leynie." Heels once more clicked as she ventured towards the man, her eyes ever on the weapon, her had ever twitchy. "You say you have no place this side of the wall. Does that mean you think you'll have any more of a place on the other side? You should know better, fangs."
Ahab chuckled, at her assessment. As if he'd have a place on either side. "No dice, Leynie. I've been West 'n the only thing I liked their was the cathouse with the orchestra. 'n even then, I was only there fer the music. Beyond that..." He shook his head. "No place fer me in 'civilization'." That last word was practically spat out, said with such venom it may as well have poisoned everyone who heard it. "No, more likely I'll disappear. Become a big ol' boogeyman people worry is watchin' 'em. Maybe I'll die. Maybe I'll find 'n make peace with myself 'fore then, 'n find my place in that." He looked her way. "Maybe you'll shoot me! Fact'o the matter is, nothin's concrete 'n we're all gonna die anyways, so best I can do I reckon...is just live. Survive for as long as I can. Been doin' it long enough that survivin' don't seem like too bad an existence." He pushed himself off the harpoon, but left it buried where it was. He wouldn't need it anymore. "I best be doin' my actual job, though. Gotta head West 'n find a man 'fer my..." Boss? Employer? Friend? What WAS Croix? "...boss. Then once I finish that, I'll go my own way. Maybe go find one o' those warehouses where I helped round up a bunch'a infected 'n let loose."
Leynie sighed at the mention of the orchestra, letting her gaze flicker over her shoulder back towards civilization. "Yes, the music is quite exquisite, isn't it?" The sheer ambiance of surrender in the man's voice, however, stole the joviality from her, pulling her away from the sweet memories of lovely music in the night. "Ya know, for someone who has managed to make it through the plague, you sure have a defeatist attitude." He came closer yet to the man, putting herself face-to-face with him and looking him as close to in the eyes as she could. She sniffed and sniffed again, eyes furrowing as she took in Ahab's scent. "There are few enough things that go bump in the night without them getting suicidal. You want to die after you finish your business, do it with some balls, why don't you?" She wore a sneer as she stormed away a few steps, coming up towards one of the sentinels. "So you said the man is on the west side? Where? And why the hell are we still standing here, hm? Let's get a move on, Fangs."
Ahab had almost let himself drift away into memories of the orchestra, only to find Leynie getting right in his face. And then she was...sniffing. "Personal space, much--" But what she said stopped him. Do it with some balls. Was she implying he was a godforsaken coward? Oh THIS bitch. He liked this one. "Yeah, westerner. Lives by the airport -- wait a sec, lady, y'ain't suggestin' y'come with, yeah?" He had to make sure he had interpreted her correctly.
Leynie spun about on the ball of her foot, a hand on her hip and her head cocked to the side. "And what if I am? You said yourself, the train's a one-way ticket. It'll be useful to know the way back." Her toe tapped, the metal sole clacking with each drop, and those fingers on her hip began drumming. "Alright, so, airport. We have ourselves a start. So let's move, and you can fill me in on whatever else you know about this mark of yours." She waited a heartbeat, maybe two before she spread her arms, exasperated. "Well, Fangs? Come on!" She sighed, shaking her head. "And they call my kind dogs. I've certainly never had to be given commands."
Ahab opened his mouth as if to object, but...he squashed it. Well fine. If he had someone to come with him, so what? Why not? Nothing he could do about it, and he wouldn't complain. "Wait, hold up. I ain't too...y'know. Versed in the ways'a 'things that go bump in the night', like y'put it. So I'll be upfront; I'm a vamp. But you...y'smell different. Somethin' 'bout'cher blood...y'said 'dogs'...?" He pulled the harpoon out of the ground and hoisted it over his shoulder again. Maybe he'd need it after all. Not for Leynie, of course. "Not hundo percent sure I follow. Let's go. Y'can explain'long the way." With that, he was already beginning to walk away from the train station. Seems he'd have a guest with him in the tunnels.
Leynie very nearly swooned with relief to be getting on their way, and so she rushed to fall into step with the man. "The chompers made me think that you were already," she said as she walked beside him. "You don't smell like a normal one, though. You're as different from a regular vampire as I am." She grinned at that thought. She wondered how he'd feel about that when she got around to revealing what she was. "Yes, I said dogs. It's a common insult that the humans like to throw around about werewolves." She let her eyes slip to the side to gauge the vampire's reaction to the revelation. She wondered if this alliance would falter before it truly began. It would make an impressive confrontation...at least, if she were at full strength. Maybe where ever the man was leading them would take her towards food.
Ahab continued walking. And at Ahab's next sentence, Leynie may very well realize that Ahab...clearly had never left the island of Ankou in all his life; "Hell's a werewolf?" His reaction was more puzzled, than anything. He could read books, but that doesn't mean he ever had. Or even heard about what a werewolf is. The only books he had ever read had been notes about the plague. "Sooo...I mean, s'clearly got somethin' to do with you 'n wolves...'n people are stupid enough to insult'cha 'bout it? Yeeeeesh. Don't get me wrong, I'm picky 'bout who I eat cuz I don't wanna kill nobody who ain't half bad, but that kinda stupidity is the kind ASKIN' to be eaten."
Leynie faltered a step and stared dumbstruck at Ahab's back. What was a werewolf? Was he serious? Did they not have those on this side of the wall? Of course, she hadn't met another one on the other side, either. Perhaps she was the only one on the island? Now that was a scary thought. "No one said the normals are the smartest bunch," she said, finally moving to catch back up. "But yes, it has everything to do with me and wolves. I'm not young, but I'm not old, either, so with the full moon I change into an oversized wolf, or a humanoid wolf. The most I've figured so far is that it's determined by how starved I am." She shrugged as she turned her eyes Ahab's harpoon. "So, Mr. Fisherman, am I going to want to have my gun ready before we get to this path between the sides?"
Ahab mused on what she was for a moment. So she could turn into a wolf. Or a human-like wolf. He grinned. "That's pretty amazin', ain't gonna lie. Hot damn. Here I thought I got the good end'a the stick. 'n nawww, I just carry this shit around. No more infected 'n people ain't a threat t'me unless they're a good shot. They'll know who I work fer anyways." Swinging the harpoon from one shoulder to the other, he looked over at her. "So...what else can y'tell me 'bout 'werewolves'? Cuz now y'got me interested."
Leynie sighed. Of course. "Well, there goes supper, then. Or, at least, a supper no one would miss." The lycanthrope shook her head and moved on with the topic. "It's not all fun times and sunshine. We get the fast healing and exceptional strength like your kind do, but there's the obvious drawback of certain things being surefire to kill us." She made certain not to say just what those things were. It would have been stupid to tell someone how to kill her, after all. "And the hybrid form...well, I don't control it as much as I'd like. I'm not so young so that it's impossible, but by the gods does it get taxing using that form." The entire time she was speaking, Leynie's eyes had been turning side to side, watching the path they were taking. "So, your turn to explain some things. What's special about this bloke we're after? Why does your boss want him?"
Ahab shrugged. "We'll find dinner, trust me. Only we're sharin'. I ain't a blood-drinker, more a people eater. As fer this guy...iunno. Croix wants him, Croix gets him. Think he's got somethin' to do with the airport 'n helpin' her out, s'the best I got. Croix's fixin' up the East. Corralin' infected 'n findin' out which of 'em is gonna make it. Makin' things...better. Kinda like bringin' hope to the East, almost." He sighed, clearly not too happy with the situation. "Course, I believe she's gonna succeed. S'just...weird. Whole life has been survivin', huntin', killin' infected 'n just makin' it day to day barely 'n that whoooole way'a'life s'goin' out the window. So I gotta adjust 'n adapt. 'n it's hard." He shook his head. "Hoo boy is it ever. Anyways. There's a tunnel...comes out under the playhouse. We go through that. S'a long walk, but it's the easiest way over. When we get outta the playhouse, first order'a business is findin' us some poor sap no one will miss. Also known as dinner. Then we'll shack up 'fer the night no doubt, 'n move on in the mornin' to try 'n find ol' Bartholomew." He looked her way, then, as the quarry started to come into sight. "Sound like a plan?"
Leynie blinked quite a few times, rapidly, as she listened to what the man had to say. So that was the rumblings she had been hearing about back to the west. The plagued were being cured! "Well...at least food this side will be fresher now..." She snorted as she shook her head. So very much to take in. The plan played through her mind, and she found herself nodding along with it. "Aye, sounds like a plan. There's bound to be some homeless bum slumming it in an alley somewhere. Maybe around where we'll come out, even. I remember some beggars around the entertainment houses, waiting for handouts."
Ahab offered her a thumbs up. "Alright. Stick with me 'n lemme do the talkin'. Shouldn't be too hard to get 'em to let us pass, considerin' who I work for." And it wasn't. Ahab, with Leynie, was able to walk right into the quarry with no trouble. No one aimed guns at them. They knew who Ahab was and just assumed Leynie was someone to be taken over for business. Within minutes, they were walking right on through and into the tunnel. Once they were into the long tunnel with the occasional lantern, he looked her way. "I'd say we grab a lantern but we both know you 'n I don't need 'er. S'a looong walk, Leynie. But this is yer ticket back West." He gestured to the tunnel. "Let's get t'walkin'. Y'know, I like you so far. Not remiss t'findin' a meal amongst the regulars."
Leynie nodded her consent to letting him do the talking. As they passed through the quarry, her eyes were constantly alert, watching the firearms that were held by those around them. She sniffed the air more than once, discretely. She wanted to know if trouble was coming before it happened. Luckily, the worst she smelled was a fart. Someone wasn't getting enough fiber. "Eh, lanterns are overrated, anyways." She looked down at the boots she was wearing, and she winced. "I'm so glad I heal fast. These heels are going to leave blisters after this. I think flats are in order the next time I decide to go east." She grinned at Ahab, softly punching his shoulder. "You're not too bad either, Fangs. If you ever want to have a fright night get together if you decide to stay among the land of the living, you definitely can come calling on me. I have a feeling we can have some grand adventures together."
Ahab casually swung the harpoon up 'n down as he swung his arms while walking. "Yeah, don'tcha worry. We'll be restin' the night once we get outta here. Plenty'o time to rest. As for adventurin'..." He didn't finish the sentence. Leynie had told him he had a defeatist attitude. So had Milon. And Croix. And Clara. And Kordellia. A COMPLETE STRANGER had told him something that everyone else, who was closer to him, had. Maybe people were onto something, for a change. "...yeah. I like the sound'a that. Don't know where my place is gonna be in the new Ankou. But y'know, I'll carve it out all the same. Hell, people're gonna wanna hire a decent killer fer a bodyguard or somethin', yeah? 'n hell, once Croix fixes the East, we got a lotta corrupt shit to fix West side." He smiled in the dark, then. Maybe he shouldn't be so negative all the goddamn time. He did survive this long. "Grand adventures. Sounds 'bout right fer me."
Leynie smiled. She looked out the corner of her eyes at Ahab. The man sounded far less apt to kill himself now than at the train station. Good. Even monsters deserve to live. "Corruption, hey? Sounds like all-you-can-eat, to me. You can sign me up for helping with that." She continued on in relative silence, save for the clicking of her heels. It was past the halfway point before she started wincing, though. Yes, definitely blisters tonight. "So, which side of the island are you originally from, anyways? I imagine the east, from the way you talk? I haven't heard anyone speak like you in the west."
Ahab let himself lapse into silence, comfortable with it. That was another thing he'd have to learn; when to shut the hell up. When she asked, he responded. "Yep. Easterner born 'n raised. Diggin' holes to sleep in an' killin' infected day in day out was how I spent the time, really. An' yeah, the accent gets t'people. Not as thick as it was, though, livin' amongst people who ain't got it." He looked her way. "How 'bout you. Westerner, I'm assumin'? Otherwise I'da seen y'round."
Leynie let loose her barking laugh. "A vampire taking a dirt nap. There's some irony." She definitely liked this easterner. Not nearly as stick-up-the-ass as westerners. "Stick around those people without the accent, and you'll wind up sounding like a proper, civilized bloke. Maybe even respectable. And yes, I'm a westerner. With my...pedigree, however, staying in one place proves problematic. People tend to notice when a human doesn't age."
Ahab snorted at mention of unaging. Yeah, that'd be a problem for him in due time. "Bah. When the time comes 'n people start questionin' why I ain't growin' old...if they're a friend, I'll tell 'em why. If they ain't, I'll kill 'em. It'll condition people right quick to not ask too many questions about 'that crazy guy with the meat cleaver'. Which..." He looked at his right hand, flexing it experimentally. "Normally I'd have that. Y'know. Cleaver. But uh. I kinda lost that in the sewers, East side. Think it's still lodged in some poor fucker's head. Oh yeah, that's a big thing." He turned around, still walking, and opened his mouth to show her his fangs. "These fuckers keep growin' if I don't eat on the regular. So if y'see me gnawin' on a bone, probably ain't cuz i'm hungry. Just tryin' to keep the bastards down."
Leynie stumbled over herself. Gnawing on a bone. Oh, by the gods, this was turning out to be more than she could handle. Vampires that could be called dogs along with the best of her kind. The next thing she knew, they'd be saying she needed to suck blood to survive. Wouldn't that be a hoot and a holler? "Heh...eheh...You'd think you're part of a pack instead of a fang. You're not going to go woof now, are you?" She grinned. She was certainly going to enjoy having another creature to be around. "As for your cleaver, I'm sure you can find a new one on the west side. A nice shiny one. Or maybe one that squeaks." Hide the grin, Ley. Hide the grin.
Ahab continued walking backwards, folding his arms. "I ain't no dog 'n no wolf, that's fer sure. Though hell, maybe it woulda suited me better all things considered." And the squeaky toy joke went right over his head as he turned out. "We're close. Shit all, I ain't even dressed right fer this...ugh. Whatever. Not like I'm gonna be out 'n about much anyways 'fer I head to a safehouse for a goddamn shower. Never knew what those were till I went west 'n hot damn do I see why people like 'em."
Leynie followed Ahab the rest of the way through the tunnel, up and out into the playhouse. She wasn't dressed for showing up in the place, either, but she was a sight better than Ahab, that was certain. Her clothes and skin were only mildly dirty from the travel through the quarry and tunnel. In fact, she seemed right proper, her bearing suddenly turning more along the regal line. She smiled at a few of the people that came nearest, playing cordial and wanting nothing more than to eat their faces. But no, the rich would be missed. She can't eat them. "So. Let's find that meal, hm? Make this a proper first date."
Ahab came up and out of the playhouse along with her. Honestly, amidst the faces and dress of the West, he looked a complete and utter mess. But people would just mistake him for a beggar of sorts; their last mistake. Tilting his head to either side, neck cracking as he did so, he rolled his shoulders. "Sounds good. I ain't hunted a live one in a while. Probably gonna be way easier with you around." Offering her a smile and a pat on the shoulder, Ahab was off like a gun into a nearby alley. Tonight, Leynie would join his hunt.