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 Some Things Never Change, The Warehouse, Tag - Zea
Ilyas Aylin
 Posted: May 13 2014, 12:18 PM
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It was late. Very late. There were little people out on the streets. The only ones out were far too drunk to recognize who was passing them by anyway, so they would not form a problem. Sane people, with clear minds, were in bed at this hour. Not Ari, obviously, but Ari had just proved that he wasn’t a sane person, because sane people didn’t ask people like Ilyas to join the Diggers. But right now, that wasn’t so important. Right now, Ilyas had something else to do.

Walking down the streets with a bottle of hard liquor in his hand was perhaps nothing new for Ilyas, but this time, the bottle had not been opened. The seal was still in tact. Actually, he was not going to open it either. That was up to someone else to do.

A good while ago, he had learned not to walk on the soil that surrounded the paths near Zea’s warehouse. Terrible things lingered in the dirt around her house. Almost as terrible as the things that lived inside of it. It was dark now, though. Ilyas could not see well in the dark, if at all. And the path was very close to the dirt.

Ilyas had not thought this through too well.

He moved slowly, so that he would be able to feel where the pavement would end and the danger zone started. The last thing anyone wanted now were for maggots to sprout from the ground and magically explode. But none of that happened. He reached the door, without any ado. Which was a miracle in itself, because at Zea’s house, nothing ever happened without any ado.

Ilyas kind of missed that. He hadn’t heard Zea’s voice inside his head, which was strange, because he’d expected her to check in. Maybe she was busy with her boyfriend, though. Or maybe it wasn’t that simple.

Maybe it was gone.

He had died, after all. His body was still malfunctioning. Maybe what they had was gone. Maybe he’d never hear Zea’s voice inside his head again. It was a very strange thought and, if Ilyas were to be completely honest, it was not a thought he very much liked. Maybe he didn’t want to think about it much at all. He’d promised to let her know, though. If he were okay. He’d let her know. And if they could no longer hear each other’s voices, what other way to let her know than by sending her a present?

The bottle was placed by the door. She’d find it there. Maybe not for a couple more days, but people knew better than to tread on Zea’s property and take things that belonged to her. It would stay there until she picked it up. She would probably recognize who the bottle of Brandy came from too, but just to be sure, Ilyas had added a little note.

THANKS MOMMA.

There. Now she would know, if she cared to know. Knowing Zea, she probably wanted to know. Ilyas could leave now. There was no reason to wake anyone up in the middle of the night. He could just slowly move back down the path.

Slowly. Painfully slowly.

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Zea Mazuo
 Posted: May 18 2014, 11:26 PM
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Necromancy was frequently a nighttime sort of a business. There was no reason for it to be, unless one robbed graves more often than Zea did. Still. It was hard to justify getting up at the crack of dawn for a perfectly preserved corpse that didn't care what time she managed to put on pants. She heard a scratching at her wall, and straightened from her stoop over the lab table.

"Hello?"

A little patter of little palms.

Did Zea have company? At this hour? That didn't bode well. Respectable people did daytime business on her property. Only Zea's sort of person crept around El Barrio in the dark of night. She grabbed a sickle from beneath her kitchen sink and headed back to the warehouse door. On her way out, Zea almost tripped over the most awful thing.

It was a bottle, and if the note were any indication it was not some kind of terrible spirit bound into a stoppered glass prison. Unless it had fallen into the hands of the only person who called her Momma, in which case he had damn well better give it to her.

No...

The bottle purported to contain brandy.

Foul beverage.

It meant that Blondie was feeling a little better, which was good. And he'd come here? Could he have? Zea hadn't known how to talk to him after... after. She listened in sometimes, but there was a big difference between straining to hear that someone was still there and... talking. What were they supposed to talk about now? What were they supposed to call each other now? Were they friends?

Was that a thing either of them did? Have friends?

How did a person know if they had a friend? Zea wondered whom she could ask. It was a question to which she would need to learn the answer--apparently. For now, Blondie had figured out how to break that anxious silence between them, and Zea spent a moment to indulge in relieved gratitude before she answered.

"Oh my God, you dickhead. I perform highly unethical experiments on your corpse and this is the thanks I get? Brandy? How'm I supposed to get rid of this."

Zea had an idea, but she couldn't just offer. They didn't do that. Did they?

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Ilyas Aylin
 Posted: May 18 2014, 11:50 PM
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How long did it take Ilyas to get to the end of the path that lead towards Zea’s warehouse, without straying from it or unleashing some hidden force of death to hunt him or anyone else in this town down?

It took a while, but nothing remotely terrible seemed to happen, which made Ilyas conclude that coming here wasn’t the worst decision he’d made ever. Zea was going to yell at him, one way or another. It would be a good reminder. It’d be for old times sake. It’d be familiar for the both of them.

Maybe that’s what they needed. Something familiar.

The yelling happened sooner rather than later. Zea was quick, or Ilyas was simply so slow that everything everyone else could possibly do seemed quick. He turned around, but it was dark, so he couldn’t see her. Could she see him? Was she outside the house? Was he still close enough for her to spot him?

Maybe she was talking to him inside his head. Maybe it wasn’t gone. Maybe he could try it too. Maybe it’d work still.

You got a sink, don’t you?

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Zea Mazuo
 Posted: May 18 2014, 11:56 PM
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There he was. Now he was finally talking.

Zea had worked so hard to achieve sole entrance rights to her own mind that she'd never expected to feel uncomfortably solitary there. Having the occasional intrusion from someone who didn't mean her ill and didn't need her to be nice to him? It was actually pretty okay. If she were someone else she might have missed it a little, which meant that it was good for both of them that Zea was most definitely always and only Zea.

I have too much respect for my sink. Last time there was brandy around I got lucky and found some random jerk to pour it into. How often can I have that kind of luck?

Momma, he called her.

What an asshole.

She was so glad he'd decided not to stay dead.

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Ilyas Aylin
 Posted: May 19 2014, 12:04 AM
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Zea’s words came with some static and most definitely a nasty pounding inside Ilyas’ head. The first time she’d spoke, that hadn’t happened, so that probably meant she’d been talking out loud. This time, though. This time, she had not spoken out loud. And yet, Ilyas had managed to catch and understand most of her message anyway.

This probably meant it still worked. Somewhat.

What was this? An invitation? A ‘get the hell off my property’? Ilyas hadn’t been around Zea for a good while, and the last time they’d seen each other, everything had been messed up and different and now it was difficult to read what it actually was she wanted. All the Defiance-kindness had clouded Ilyas’ mind. That, and dying.

You seem pretty good at surrounding yourself with assholes.

Ilyas hadn’t been the first asshole Zea had gotten acquainted to. He probably also wouldn’t be the last.

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Zea Mazuo
 Posted: May 19 2014, 12:08 AM
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Zea strode on her not-injured legs toward the edge of the property to track down the actual physical form of a person whose body she had last seen dead. Was this better for him or something? Did he not want to talk in words out loud?

Maybe it's magic. Maybe I should pin you all under glass to see what you have in common that draws you to me.

Obviously it was a problem with them. Nothing about Zea attracted assholes. They must have just had some... some extra organ or lobe in their brain that pulled them inexorably into orbit around her life. Nothing a little dissection couldn't answer, right?

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Ilyas Aylin
 Posted: May 19 2014, 12:13 AM
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You examining living people? Don’t make me laugh.

Because that would hurt. Luckily Ilyas hardly laughed, because that surely wasn’t going to help make him feel any better or make his body heal more or make him a happy person. Tsk.

Had Zea ever examined living people that weren’t Ilyas? Did she go and pour peroxide onto others too? Had she stapled more heads of those who were still in the here and now and conscious and all? If so, that would be a serious insult.

Some things were for assholes and their mothers only.

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Zea Mazuo
 Posted: May 19 2014, 12:17 AM
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There he was. Shuffling hobbling pitiful Blondie. What a fucking wreck. This was what happened when people wandered their silly asses out of the hospital to go heal up in a gutter. They ended up all fucked up like this. Zea wasn't fixing any of this foolishness; as he'd so astutely observed, living bodies were not her specialty. She'd only helped him that one time because he had been dead and Zea had responsibilities to the local deceased community.

Those other times he had presented her with interesting and amusing medical and/or arcane problems.

Series of isolated coincidental non-events.

"Hey now," she said from behind him. "Vivisection is a completely legitimate exploratory procedure."

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Ilyas Aylin
 Posted: May 19 2014, 12:29 AM
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Ilyas’ sight did not work, but his hearing did. This time when Zea spoke, his head did not pound a ridiculous amount and Zea’s voice clearly came from behind, instead of from within his own mind. There was a significant difference, even though it could at times be challenging to recognize said difference.

Of course the first thing they discussed was business. Well, the first thing after the assholes in Zea’s life. Which was a topic they’d definitely have to talk about some more at some point in time, but Zea wanted to talk business. Out loud.

They would talk business. Out loud.

“I bet.” He could turn towards the spot the sound had come from, which evidently had to be where Zea was standing. “Just like crying on hospital floors is a completely involuntary malfunction of the human body and psyche.”

Business.

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Zea Mazuo
 Posted: May 19 2014, 12:33 AM
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Zea jaw dropped. He wasn't even going to go there. He'd shit himself when he died because that was how bodies worked but Zea couldn't have some kind of neurological episode without him bringing it up later as some kind of evidence of... of...

Well it didn't matter. Whatever the implication was, it was outrageous.

"It's a neurological thing," she said. "Just like if I kicked you really hard in between your ass cheeks right now you'd vomit black stuff."

Hypothetically.

Not that Zea was the kind of person who did things like that.

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Ilyas Aylin
 Posted: May 19 2014, 12:40 AM
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Ilyas snorted then. Laughter. It turned out he was capable of laughing after all. Not the full-out hilarious rolling on the floor type of laughter, but the Ilyas sneaky bitch-I-made-you-talk-back laughter. Was it truly this easy to get to Zea? Didn’t it used to be a lot harder.

Had his whole dying thing truly changed that much?

“I don’t need your help to vomit. I do that just fine on my own.” Although it was true that Zea was the one and only expert and queen on choking up black things and liquids. No one could deny that.

There were some other things that no one could deny too, although Zea seemed to want to keep trying. That was truly an Ilyas-thing to do. She was very considerate. “Are you okay?”

One of them had to start anyway.

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Zea Mazuo
 Posted: May 19 2014, 12:48 AM
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Zea snorted in return at the revelation that Blondie--legendary vagrant drunk extraordinaire--could in fact puke unassisted. Thank goodness his esophageal peristalsis could still turn itself backward. Might help mitigate the possibility of slow death by alcohol poisoning, if such a thing were even avoidable. It'd add extra effort to the task anyway, and perhaps sheer laziness would buy him another year or two before he really made it stick.

She sobered quickly herself at a real question, like one real person to another.

Her first instinct was to give him a flip reply, tell him that she was always okay. If she did that, though, he might never ask again. Somehow that... felt... bad. Zea didn't like thinking about that being the thing that happened. She supposed she would have to answer.

"Yeah." She shoved her hands in her pockets with her thumbs left on the outside and shifted her weight onto one leg. "Was a little cold there for a while."

There.

She'd answered. The real way. Kind of.

It was a start?

It was a start.

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Ilyas Aylin
 Posted: May 19 2014, 12:55 AM
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Zea was okay. Her answer wasn’t all that convincing, but then again, it was semi-sarcastic and it focussed on the things that didn’t truly matter, which probably was a good way to describe exactly what it was that happened between Zea and Ilyas every time they met.

Except when either one of them started to cry or die or there were hand-ostriches or leeches involved.

Zea did not have to ask Ilyas how he was. It would be a stupid, obvious question and by now, Ilyas liked to think that Zea knew his opinion on stupid, obvious questions.

“Is your boyfriend in?” For Ilyas, it would possibly not a good thing for Zea’s hairy man to be in. It meant trouble, or at least confrontation. But for Zea, though. For Zea, it would be a good thing for someone to be with her. But she said it’d been cold. Hairy guys with lots of hair in all the right and wrong places didn’t usually leave their women cold.

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Zea Mazuo
 Posted: May 19 2014, 01:04 AM
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"He's--"

But was he? She was going to say that he wasn't her boyfriend, but she did not know enough about Fynn's habits with University alumnae to know whether anyone else who caused him as much trouble as she did would get as much of his attention. She could not say yes or no, because she did not know what they were. She was not entirely sure that she and Blondie were friends. They knew each other's true names, they'd each been there to catch and guide the other when they were likely to die without it, but was that friendship? She didn't trust herself to classify it properly.

"...no. He got me through the night okay but I mean."

But saving someone's life was a little different than feeling something unusual for them, or at least for people like Fynn Zea assumed it must be.

"It's not my turn to be dying at my place until next time, so." She flicked her eyebrows upward in what was almost a forcibly-casual smile. "Maybe he'll be here then?"

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Ilyas Aylin
 Posted: May 19 2014, 01:11 AM
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Smiles – or any facial expressions – were a little wasted on Ilyas currently, but Zea probably didn’t know that. It was dark, after all. It was natural for humans to see little when there was hardly any light around. And it was natural for Ilyas and Zea not to question things about each other too much.

But normal. Normal was no more.

Professor Carebear wasn’t here. And from Zea’s words, it seemed that Professor Carebear was only around when Zea was dying or anywhere near it. That did not sound like a very good agreement to Ilyas.

Maybe?” he asked. So it wasn’t even certain her boyfriend would be here if she was dying? Wow. And Ilyas thought he was an indecent person.

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