Grave Choices: 5

Oh Jeeze another one of those 'I had it on the back burner so long I forgot what I was doing' stories.

So for those that are new here let me sum up the concept. Marrik is the grandson of somebody that tried pulling a Jenova and eat the life energy of the world to ascend to Godhood and possibly succeeded but probably didn't. We haven't seen why just yet but Marrik has been part of a group of people that'd been learning what is essentially forbidden magic because it uses life rather than ambient energy as a fuel for the special effects bits. Usually this involves killing people. A few people, Marrik included, have found another way to go about it but when you're using the same sort of magic that some crazy selfish hoodoo man attempted years back you kinda get lumped in with all the bad eggs.

Well for anyone interested.
Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4
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[5]

"Sir Marrik." The voice was cultured, enunciated each word very clearly, and belonged to a dead man. I didn't want to listen so I pulled the pillow over my head to try, without any real hope of succeeding at, muffling the noise.

Rough hands shook me. "Rise. There's men at the shop door." There was an edge of panic to the voice. The dead shouldn't sound panicked by anything. They were dead and beyond petty concerns like people trying to steal random knickknacks in the middle of the night.

"The wards'll get 'em." My words slurred and I rolled the other way. I hadn't the focus to do much else. Nevermind the fact this ghost lived with me and I owed it something of a debt or some other honor bound oath. I was too tired to care.

Then I heard Sparks. "The shop's on fire!" It was her voice that snapped me awake. I looked across my little apartment and grabbed a few things, stuffing them in a bag that had a few essentials already packed. I couldn't fight a fire, and Fire trumps pretty much any sort of standing enchantment including wards.

My bag didn't have much in it, couple changes of clothes, a small coin purse, Food. You know The sorts of things that might help me get somewhere else and would be really great ot have except for the fact I'd never really planned for the fact I'd have to get out of my home without using stairs.

Most everything downstairs was good fuel for a fire and I could already smell smoke wafting up through the cracks in the floor. It wasn't much right now but if I didn't get out soon then the floor wouldn't be strong enough to hold me or my furniture up. OK think. Think. People that've set my shop on fire are probably hanging around out front just to make sure I couldn't magic the flames down enough to make an escape.

Think. How else do I get out. I opened the window in my bedroom and looked down at the street. Other than the fact it was a drop straight onto cobblestone no real problems or guards or anything like that. So I grabbed the sheets of my bed and tied them together, tied the free end of one to the bed frame and shoved the whole thing to the window before tossing the mattress out. Hey Anything at all to blunt me falling.

I looked first from Sparks, who was hovering outside, then to the ghost that woke me who seemed to ignore the trivialities oof gravity to stand on thin air just on the othrer sideo f the window sil. He said something to me and then I climbed out the window.

Most people don't do much climbing, which includes me but it was less 'climbing down' and more 'slide down the sheet as far as it would go then drop.' Simple, even with the added 'try hitting the mattress' complication. Also the landing hurt. Couldn't lay there though since i"m sure the firebugs out front heard my exit. Nothing felt Broke when I got up. Sure most everything hurt but it could've been a lot worse.

Sparks flew ahead of me, Soft light given off by her wings acted as a guide since I was still disoriented and she flew like she had a destination in mind. While I followed her I glanced at the ghost that had in all likelihood saved my life. "Sir Rin as always you have both the best and worst timing."

The man gave a bark of a laugh. "I would go back to see if you're being persued, but givin the company you keep."

Since ghosts were basically defensless against even the most inexperianced of my now former order Rin's reluctant was understandable. "Whre ya been anyway?" We ducked into an allyway and I busied myself by huddling in with the homeless that had curled up for the night. "Not that I don't want you to move on, go to whatever paridise you got promised, but-"

He put a hand on my shoulder. It passed through my clothes, but it felt real to the touch. Maybe I was unconsciously working magic, or maybe it was one of the downsides of my craft that ghosts were solid to us but there you go. Of course anyone else looking on would only see me talking to thin air but what's one more drunk in the night?

"I've told you Sir Marrik you have a good heart no matter what hand you had in my slaying." The ghost of a former knight of the realm sat crosslegged by me. "Try getting some sleep. I doubt very much we'll be spotted, and even then they'll probably just take me as some other kind soul watching over the unfortunates here."

Sleep wasn't in the cards. No not because I'd heard people coming or was worried we'd been spotted. There were four or five people huddled along with me and to be uncharitable they stank, a couple of them snored, and I couldn't find a comfortable position.

Looking at them though I was struck by the fact that now not only was I without livelihood but also without home. It could be worse above and beyond me dying from the smoke since between containment magics the city's fire brigade has, and everything being brick and mortar rather than wood exterior means the neighborhood is probably safe. At least safe enough that me sitting in an alleyway trying to keep my head down could be excused.

My mind drifted.

Rin was there watching all of us. Sure he was even less substantial than the wind but somehow him just being there was a comfort. He was a good man. Good enough to try helping me out of this hole I'd dug myself into anyway. Hope he'd understand me not sharing since, let's face it, I lost Everything and assuming Will or a couple of his men aren't involved in this mess I'm going to do good convincing him to give me an advance on consulting fees so I can sleep somewhere with a roof.



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