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Family and Honor

Discussion in 'Skyrim Fan Fiction' started by Simus, Dec 24, 2012.

  1. Simus

    Simus An Excellent Site Member

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    Family and Honor

    A happy little family lives in the Imperial City during the 200th year of the 4th era. Cyrodiil has enjoyed 29 years of peace since the Great War, the terrible conflict between The Empire and the Aldmeri Dominion. The wealth and safety of this family is a testament to that peace but they harbor a forbidden secret: They worship the hero-god of mankind, Talos, in direct violation of the White-Gold Concordat. This family has kept its secret well but the Thalmor have been given free reign to hunt down so called “heretics” and they will not be fooled forever. This tale is of this family’s exposure to the Thalmor and of its extraordinary adventure afterwards.

    Author’s Note: Anyone who’s roleplayed with me will recognize at least some of the characters contained within this tale, which is essentially a fleshing out of who the Psyrakon family used to be and how it got broken up by the Thalmor. For those of you not familiar with my work, I hope to produce a fine and epic tale for your pleasure. I’m not sure how long this will be but I can promise if you keep reading I’ll keep writing. If I see people reading and leaving comments, I’ll try my darndest to post once a week.


    Chapter 1

    The half-set sun set an orange glow over the Imperial City, producing a pretty autumn night. It was the 18th of Hearthfire and the cold weather was making itself known in Cyrodiil. Alice squinted her eyes against the fast-fading light of day and knocked an arrow. It was almost 7:00 p.m and she would soon be called for dinner but she knew she could get in a few more shots. Her brother’s lucky streak of ten bull’s eyes from a single quiver’s arrows was an affront to her reputation and she had to correct that.

    She steadied her left arm and pulled the bow back with her right, bringing the arrow back to her check. Nine bull’s eye’s down with three out of thirty arrows left. She closed her eyes, took a deep breath and let the world around her fade. The grass of her backyard, the low stone walls that lined their property, the two oak trees flanking the yard with her mother’s garden in the middle, the two story white stone house that had sheltered her since she was a babe, all of it disappeared in Alice’s mind as she focused her vision into a tunnel between herself and the target. She let her arrow fly and it struck the target less than a second later, square in the middle of the red bull’s eye that made up its center.

    Yes, she thought. Once again we’re even Titus. Now I just have to beat you.

    She knocked a second arrow, heady with confidence and pulled back just as before. Years of hunting with her mother and brother had made Alice a skilled archer, especially since she was only seventeen years old. She wasn’t as good as her mother yet, but she came close. She fired straight and true but her moment of pride had shifted her aim ever so slightly. The arrow flew just as hard and just as fast but missed the bull’s eye by a hair’s breadth, landing on the border between the target’s red center and its blue inner circle. It was a close shot, but according to the rulings her father had set down, there was no cigar.

    “Damn.” Alice muttered under her breath.

    She should have made that shot. It was easy. The target was only ten yards out after all, and she had beaten Titus plenty of times. Then again that was always in the presence of her father, her mother, her little sister or someone else that loved and admired her. She always did better when she was being supported or being tested. This was just practice so it was neither. As far as Alice knew, there was no one out here for her to put on a show for.

    What is it with me? She though. Am I really so much of a diva that I need a crowd just to do a practice shot? Am I getting sloppy without the attention? Or is it just because I’m not shooting a deer? Wait a minute…

    This train of thought gave her an idea: An idea that would guarantee another perfect shot. She translocated her mind away from the confines of the Imperial City, away from it’s pristine streets and whitewashed buildings and its crowds of people and its huge white walls that everyone was confined in. She moved it to The Great Forest.

    This was her second home, her constant sanctuary in the middle of Cyrodiil. She would go out with her mother about once a month to hike and hunt but she made it out by herself whenever she could. It was quiet, detached, a place of sheltering oak trees and cool shade. It was a place of peace and reflection and a refuge from the busy life of the city. Alice would wander the forest for hours on end, even in the dead of winter: Especially in the dead of winter. After all, no one was out there in the cold months between Sun’s Dawn and First Seed and not many people hunted until the full of spring in Second Seed, so Alice had it all to herself. Whenever she got tired and hungry, she would have a campsite and a warm fire waiting for her, along with either a warm meal of fried fish caught by her father or venison hunted by her mother depending on who accompanied her out of the city. Her mother worried about her more than her father did but still let her eldest daughter roam as she would. Her brothers and sister would be there as well and everything would be prepared for her when she got back. That’s what Alice loved about her family: They gave her enough freedom to do what she loved but they were always there for her.

    Her mind was in the forest now, at peace and completely focused. With a relaxed posture and a content smile, Alice drew her last arrow and nailed the shot, splitting her first arrow right down the middle.

    “Eleven.” She muttered. “Take that Titus.”

    Her reputation as the best archer in the family reestablished, Alice gave a prideful smile. She took a few moments to revel in her glory but it was soon broken by the call of her mother.

    “Alice!?” She called from the back door of the house. “It’s time for dinner!”

    “I’m coming!” Alice called back. She quickly crossed the yard and went over to the target, shouldering her bow and returning the arrows to their quiver. After a few minutes she had found them all and they all appeared intact save for her twenty-ninth shot which had been split down the middle.

    “I saw what you did out there.” Her mother said, giving her daughter an impressed look. “Looks like all our hunting’s paying off. Titus is gonna be sore when he hears what you did.”

    “I had a good teacher.” Alice said, smiling at her mother and grateful for her approval. “Besides, Titus is too quick a shot.”

    “Maybe.” Her mother said. “But you my dear tend to hesitate. Considering how good a shot you are I’m not sure why that is.”

    “I guess I just want to wait until the perfect moment. That’s why I never miss.” Alice said.

    “Almost.” Her mother said.

    “Almost.” Alice added in agreement. “What’s for dinner?”

    “Chicken and brauts.” Her mother said. “C’mon, we’re waiting on you.”

    Alice followed her mother into the house just as the sun was finished setting. She was greeted by the smell of hot food and a warm fire.

    ***

    The back door led into a spacious but cozy living room with a large and well lit fireplace directly across from it. A few feet in front of the door was an L shaped leather couch that went out wide enough for two people then curved all the way to the wall, ending right next to the fireplace. Another three people could fit on this longer side. An assortment of pillows and folded blankets were place at regular intervals. To the left of the couch about where the fourth corner would be was a padded wooden rocking chair. A large coffee table was in the middle of all this to create a comfortable and efficient meeting area. A full bookshelf was against the wall on the far right side of the room was the kitchen with a large oval shaped table in the middle of it. On this table was laden a delicious looking dinner of large chicken breasts, fat crispy sausages, a large basket of fluffy white biscuits glistening with butter, a bowel of fresh and crisp peas and two large ice-cold pitchers: one of milk and one of beer. Around this table starting at the nine o’clock position was an aged Imperial in his mid-fifties with straight shoulder length silver hair and four red scars running down his now-blind left eye. He was wearing a green collared shirt with the sleeves rolled up and the top button undone, as well as a blue pair of tough cloth pants. Two pieces of soft white cloth tied at the ankles covered his feet. The eleven and one o’clock positions held his two boys, the first being seventeen with shoulder length unkempt ebony hair and a lean strong body despite being a mere five feet tall. His face had the same triangle shape as his twin sister. His was the only plate with food and he awaited only his mother’s word to dig into his dinner. His brother was beside him and a full seven inches taller, just as tall as their dad. His hair was short, brown and neater than his brother’s and his was a calmer disposition. The boys wore a set of scaled armor with a fighting harness in place of the shirt and a blue mage’s robe respectively. Their mother Amy was a tall and attractive woman the same height as her husband. She had long ebony hair, cool blue eyes, a thin oval face and a warm smile as she put the finishing touches onto dinner. Her youngest daughter, about eleven, sat next to her with pretty brown hair, a sweet face and a short blue dress with white extensions on the sleeves and skirt that reached her wrists and ankles. A white belt tied in a bow at her back kept her midsection orderly. She was in quite conversation with her oldest brother when her elder sister came in, removing her leather jacket and placing it on the back of the empty chair: the final place setting was for her.

    “Bout time you showed up.” Titus said, greeting his twin sister with a nod. “I’m about to faint from hunger.”

    “You clearly survived.” Alice said, smoothing out the mid-thigh-length skirt of her short sleeved blue dress and adjusting the long sleeves of her white shirt underneath it. She unzipped and removed her brown leather knee-high boots to reveal the white leggings and footwraps underneath before taking her place at the table. “Eleven.”

    “…No.” Titus said, surprise covering his face, shortly followed by disbelief. “You’ve never gotten eleven! I had to go through an entire quiver to build up to TEN! How did you get to ELEVEN so fast? You cheated, you must have!”

    “No precognitive abilities or magic were used in this official record stomping of little boys who think they can outshoot their sisters.” Alice said, sticking her lounge out, breaking her wide grin.

    “Ooooh!” Cilla said from next to Alice, offering a low five to her sister which she accepted.

    “Gods damnit.” Titus mumbled. “How’d you do it?”

    “It doesn’t take me five arrows to shoot a doe from ten feet away. That’s how.” Alice said.

    “Alright you two, that’s enough.” Simus said. “And watch your language Titus. Your sister doesn’t need to hear that sort of talk.”

    “She’s said worse during sparring dad.” Titus said rather cheekily to his father. “I guess the gods don’t show her EVERY move before it happens.”

    “Your OTHER sister dingus.” Simus. “The little one? The one who’s twelve? Remember that one.”

    “Okay, whatever, I got the message.” Titus said. “Can we please eat now?”

    “We ready mama?” Simus asked.

    “I believe so.” Amy said, putting out a dish of mustard for the sausage. “Okay guys, dig in.”

    “Finally.” Titus exclaimed, falling upon his food like a wolf as everyone else fixed their plates and passed the food around the table, Titus being most unhelpful in this regard. He and his father had glasses of beer while everyone else had milk.He and Simus had large glasses of beer while everyone else had milk. After a few minutes, everyone was settled and started on their dinner, Alice’s polite meal and good table manners in stark contrast to Titus shoveling in his edible mountain. Simus soon called everyone to order.

    “Guys?” Simus asked. “Can we talk about our week for a second?” He paused for a moment to let everyone focus their attention.

    “So mom, what do you have for…?” He paused again to grab Titus’ hair and pull his head up, interrupting his attempt to shove an entire biscuit into his mouth.

    “Son?” Simus asked. “Can you talk to us?”

    “Yuh-huh.” Titus said, dropping the biscuit out of his mouth and swallowing his current bite.

    “Now then.” Simus started again. “Mom? What do you have going on this week?”

    “Well,” Amy began. “As you guys know, the Arena Games start up in about three weeks and that means lots of orders for the shop. Suppliers all over Cyrodiil are making wares for the Games but Dad and I will probably work late nonetheless.”

    “That means you guys are going to need to help mom with dinner this week.” Simus said. “All four of you, as in don’t just dump it on Alice and Cilla.”

    “She cooks better than the rest of us. Why not just let her take over?” Stephen said, being quiet until now.

    “Because if you all work at it together, it’ll be an easier job for everyone.” Simus said. “Furthermore I said so. Now Cilla?”

    “I’ve got a test on factoring and division on Monday.” Cilla said, giving her dad a beaming smile. “We’ve covered all the material in class already so this week is mostly review and study. I think I’ll do okay.”

    “I’ve been working with her.” Alice said. “I think she’s ready.”

    “Then let’s hope you do good sweetheart.” Simus said. “Your sister’s a good resource. Use her to help you. I can help you too when I get home. Alice?”

    “This week looks pretty hum-drum.” Alice said. “We’re supposed to start talking about the importance of the moons in Khajiit culture in Anthropology of Elsweyr tomorrow, but Dr. J’Zargo is going to call in sick tomorrow so we’ll have a free period. I’ll probably use that time to read ahead on Nightingale Study. Our next reading is going to be larger than usual.”

    “All right then.” Simus said. “And remember about your appointment with Severus tomorrow at 4?”

    “Mhmm.” Alice said.

    “And you haven’t had any weird or unusually crazy visions?” Amy asked.

    “No ma’am.” Alice said.

    “And you would tell us if you did, right?” Amy added.

    “Of course I would.” Alice said. “I’m doing okay mom.”

    “Okay.” Amy said. “Just checking: It’s my job to make a fuss you know.”

    If Alice was with anyone besides her family, the fact that she had just predicted the illness of one of her teachers and the result of such would cause the table to go quiet. Due to circumstances none of them quite understood, Alice had the ability to see the future. At times it was a blessing but most of the time it was annoying and in rare instances it was a curse. This hardly made her omniscient but it did give her some insight into things to come as well as give her greater empathy and acceptance of change than most people. Severus was a Master Mage of Mysticism and Divination that Alice saw every week to make sure her mind was healthy and properly defended from unwanted entities. Her early adolescent years were turbulent ones but as of late she was doing very well.

    Simus smiled at his daughter then turned to his boys.

    “Guys?” he asked. “What have you got?”

    “Stuff.” Titus said.

    “What kind of stuff?” Simus asked, trying to focus his younger son.

    “You know, stuff.” Titus said between mouthfuls. “School stuff and fighting stuff and workout stuff. Probably going to the gym with Reman and Wags-His-Tail.”

    “After you get your homework done right?” Simus asked.

    “Yuh-huh.” Titus said.

    “And you’re gonna be on time for school every day this week right?”

    “Yeah.” Titus said. “I’ve only been late a couple of times.”

    “You’ve only been late a couple of times EVERY WEEK.” Simus said. “These habits are gonna catch up with you mister and if you don’t finish the year out you can’t go into the Games next year.”

    “Dad, chill.” Titus said, not wanting to be grilled by his father about his attendance issues for the umpteenth time. “I’ve got this.”

    “We’ll see. You’ve been all vine and no tater so far.” Amy chimed in, frustrated at what was becoming a weekly conversation.

    “Okay, Stephen?” Simus asked.

    “I’ve been working on a new ice spell I’m hoping to present in Advanced Destruction this week.” Stephen said. “It’s a standard ice spike spell that shatters into fragments upon impact, doing severe secondary damage to all nearby targets.”

    “Cool.” Simus said. “You’ll have to show it to me before you present it. Could I take a look at your scrolls after dinner?”

    “Sure.” Stephen said. “I’ve also got some new Illusion spells you might like Alice, if you’re interested of course.”

    “Sure, I’d love to.” Alice said.

    Her older brother was a talented mage and she always enjoyed seeing his work in action. With their week concluded, the family resumed dinner, Simus and Amy discussing their day and the week’s work for the blacksmith’s shop they ran together, A Fighting Chance. Cilla and Titus were keenly interested in smithing and listened intently to the conversation. Alice and Stephen didn’t care so much and zoned out as they ate their dinner. Everyone was done after about twenty minutes and Amy cleared the table with the assistance of Alice. As they started the dishes and the others dispersed, a knock on the front door. He headed down the short hallway toward the front door, passing the alchemy/enchanting room and first floor bathroom to his right and the open sewing and dining room to his left. The front door was a few feet in front of the steps leading to the second floor. As Simus opened the door a young Legion Soldier in Light Imperial Armor was at the threshold holding out a letter.

    “Good evening Citizen.” The soldier said, saluting Simus. “I’m sorry to bother you at this time of night but I have a letter addressed to Simus Psyrakon. Is he available?”

    “That’s me.” Simus said, smiling at the young man who was no older than Titus. “And don’t worry about the hour, you’re no bother. We just finished dinner as a matter of fact so your timing was good.”

    “I’m glad to hear that Mr. Psyrakon.” The young soldier said. “I’m looking forward to dinner myself. What did you all have?”

    “Chicken and brauts.” Simus said. “Please, come in. Get out of the cold.”

    “Sounds delicious.” The soldier said while stepping inside, Simus shutting the door behind him. “Thank you for the offer. It’s getting pretty cold outside.”

    “Good evening.” Amy said, coming from the kitchen to greet their guest and having overheard the conversation. “We’ve got some leftovers from dinner. Would you like some?”

    “No thank you madam.” The soldier said. “I’ve got several deliveries to make tonight and I won’t have time to eat until after my shift. Even so, thank you very much.”

    He handed Simus the letter and Amy gave him a handful of septims in return, which the young man greatly appreciated.

    “Looks like that’s it, got to go.” The soldier said. “Thank you very much Mr. and Mrs. Psyrakon. Have a good evening.”

    “Same to you.” Amy said with a smile. “Goodnight.”

    The soldier left the house and took off down the street. Simus and Amy were left with the strange letter stamped with the Imperial Seal and the Seal of the Thalmor. Every piece of mail in Cyrodiil had these seals, considering the Thalmor walked the province as if they owned it, so this wasn’t so odd. What made Simus nervous was the return address for the Thalmor Embassy in the Imperial City, Sinisterly located on the upper level of the Imperial Prison. He opened the letter and scanned it, Amy putting her left arm around his waist as she read over his shoulder. The letter was a summons for both of them to report to the Thalmor Embassy at 10:00 a.m tomorrow. They were to meet for an interview but for what subject was unclear.

    “Simus?” Amy said nervously. “What do you think this is?”

    “I’m not sure sweetie.” Simus said, looking into his wife’s eyes with the same concern as she showed him but doing his best to keep calm.

    “What if they know?” Amy said. “What happens if they know?”

    “Then we stick with our plan.” Simus said calmly, taking Amy into his arms. “It’s gonna be okay sweetie. We’ve planned for this. We’re ready for this. We’re gonna be allright.”

    ***

    The entire house had found out about the letter within minutes. Simus and Amy had gathered their children, told them what was going on and promised that this was nothing to worry about. None of them were convinced of this however. All four of them were clever and educated enough to know who the Thalmor were and what they did to people like their parents. Neither of them had hid their faith in Talos to their children and had indeed passed it along as best they could, all in direct violation of the White-Gold Concordate, the treaty that ended the Great War thirty years ago. Alice and Stephen were fervent Talos worshippers themselves and vehemently protested against this summons but they knew there was nothing they could do. Once you were summoned by the Thalmor, there was no refusing them. Their parents calmed them as best they could and everyone decided simply to drop the matter until tomorrow, for nothing could be accomplished tonight.

    The next couple of hours saw everyone dispersing to their respective hobbies, things that they found solace in. Cilla in her chalk drawings, Alice and Simus in their books, Titus and Stephen challenging each other to card and dice games, Amy in her quilting. The boys decided that their parents could take care of themselves and that whatever would happen would happen. They retired for the night without much fuss but Alice and Cilla needed some comfort. Cilla was old enough to process what was going on and be frightened for it but still young enough to have absolute faith in her parents. Her mother had helped her into her white footy pajamas with blue raindrops, her favorite pair. She then gave her a warm glass of milk and a big hug before tucking her into bed and hugging her again. That was enough to get her to sleep. Alice however was harder to pacify. Simus had spent over an hour reading Gods and Worship to her while she was curled up by him on the couch downstairs. Prior to this she had changed into her own pajamas, which were identical to her sister’s except hers had laughing black skulls rather than raindrops. Simus had accompanied her to the room she shared with her sister and led her to her own bed but she was still worried about tomorrow. Simus tucked his daughter in and soothed her as best he could, careful not to wake Cilla, who was fast asleep with her mom by now.

    “I don’t understand it dad.” Alice said, her worry mixing with fatigue to make a rather distraught young lady. “Why do the Thalmor want you and mom? Why now?”

    “It’s like we told you guys downstairs honey.” Simus said, sitting on her bed and resting his hand on her covered stomach, softly rubbing it. “We don’t know what the Thalmor want with us and we won’t know until tomorrow. In the meantime there’s nothing we can do.”

    “How can you just accept that given your history?” Alice asked. “And mom’s? She’s a Blade remember?”

    “I remember.” Simus said. “So does she.”

    “Then how can you stay so calm?” Alice pleaded.

    “Because this is completely out our control at the moment.” Simus said. “Alice, your mom and I have a long history together, gotten into all sorts of trouble. We know the Thalmor better than anyone and we’ve got more friends than enemies. A lot more. We’ve also taken very thorough tracks to cover up both our histories and if you don’t think we haven’t thought of and planned for every possible contingency the Thalmor can throw at us, then you either don’t know your parents very well or you’re too tired to see reason. Given the circumstances, which do you think is more plausible?”

    Alice thought for a second. He had a good point, he always did. Her mother hadn’t had any contact with the Blades in over thirty years and all possible documentation linking her or her father to the order was destroyed. The precautions her parents had taken to hide themselves had, she thought, flirted with paranoia. Now she was eternally grateful for such vigilance. The Thalmor didn’t know who they were, they couldn’t know.

    “Maybe you’re right.” She said, satisfied with her own logic and a smile replacing her frown. “I mean, the Thalmor do a lot more for Cyrodiil than hunt for traitors. A lot of Thalmor I’ve met have been pretty nice.”

    “Exactly.” Simus said. “See? You worry too much. All you’ve got to do is stop and think and things aren’t so bad are they?”

    “I guess not.” Alice said, smiling up at her father. “Thanks dad. I love you.”

    “I love you too honey.” Simus said, giving her a kiss on the forhead before she undid her covers to give him a big hug. He gladly returned it and then retucked her.

    “Goodnight.” He whispered.

    “Goodnight.” She whispered back.

    Simus then left the room, motioning Amy to discreetly get out of Cilla’s bed and follow. Alice fell asleep within minutes with absolute faith in her father’s words. If there were two people in this world the Thalmor could never take, it was her parents.

    Everything would be okay.
     
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    Latest Given Reputation Points:
    Docta Corvina: 8 Points (This is a great start! Well done, and I'm looking forward to more! :)) Dec 26, 2012
    Hermaeus_Mora: 8 Points (Really good story.) Dec 27, 2012
    Madrar: 17 Points (I've just started reading. Intriguing so far.) Apr 16, 2015
  2. Docta Corvina

    Docta Corvina Well-Known Member

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    Like I said in an earlier convo, you have a great knack for creating the family's dynamic and even in these introductory passages, I can clearly see how each member relates to one another. It's an ominous beginning, with a summons from the Thalmor, and I'm very curious to see how it all unfolds.

    Well done! :)
     
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  3. Simus

    Simus An Excellent Site Member

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    Thanks for the rep and the support Docta. I really had fun writing the dinner scene. I really wanted everyone who reads this to relate to at least one of the characters. I've had all of the archetypes in my own family at one time or another lol. For the next chapter I have oppertunity to create Thalmor that are actually nice reasonable people. Something I've never know to exist lol! Thanks for reading :)
     
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  4. Hermaeus_Mora

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    This is very good work, Simus! I'd rep you, but i'm on my phone right now :-/
     
  5. Simus

    Simus An Excellent Site Member

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  6. Hermaeus_Mora

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    And i will first thing in the morning! I really liked it, please write another chapter ;) It'd be very cool to see how the situation develops.
     
  7. Hale Loneshadow

    Hale Loneshadow Well-Known Member

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    GAH. I can't rep cause of that stupid rule of repping 5 different people...but you have 6 points from my heart buddy haha, nice work. Inspired me ( and reminded me!) to continue the story of Hale xD
     
  8. Simus

    Simus An Excellent Site Member

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    Yay! I assume it was nice finally getting to meet the rest of Alice's crazy family?
     
  9. Hale Loneshadow

    Hale Loneshadow Well-Known Member

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    Haha oh definitely! It's cool to finally get a more detailed glimpse into Alice's and Simus' past :D
     
  10. thesuldani

    thesuldani New Member

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    This is absolutely brilliant. Great writing and an interesting story. I can't wait to read more.
     
  11. Simus

    Simus An Excellent Site Member

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    Thanks for the kind words thesuldani :) I really appreciate it. Another chapter will be here soon!
     
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  12. thesuldani

    thesuldani New Member

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    awesome :) keep this up, it is writers like you that keep inspiring me to continue my own writing, and to improve on it.
     
  13. Simus

    Simus An Excellent Site Member

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    Behold! My long silence is now broken, and I am made whole once more!

    I'm so sorry for abandoning this. I couldn't get to it because of life and RP's and I lost interest for a while because I figure I've been forgotten around here. But, I'm back and I'm gonna try and keep up with this. I feel like it would be easier to post chapters in chunks, rather than giant blocks in one post, so I might do that. What do my fellow fanficcers think?

    Anywhoo, without further ado, chapter 2! Woohoo!


    Chapter 2

    Simus and Amy walked quietly out of the girls’ room and down the hallway to check on the boys before heading back to their own room, passing the guest room twice along the way. When looking at the house from the outside, Titus and Stephen’s room was on the left side of the upstairs floor with the girls’ room on the right, the guest room just across the hallway from the boys and Simus and Amy’s room next to the girls. About six inches of stone and plaster separated the rooms, creating a sturdy wall to maintain privacy but not so thick as to block out sound. The result was mom and dad being able to hear what was going on in the other room which was useful since Alice had a history of nightmares and Cilla would get some every so often. Alice was a good big sister and took care of Cilla whenever she got scared or sad or just wanted someone to talk to. Sometimes Cilla would still come to her mama but Alice handled it many times. This resulted in the two sisters having a very close bond and it always warmed Amy’s heart when Alice would get into bed with Cilla and just talk with her about ordinary things.

    This didn’t just help Cilla but also Alice. She and Cilla had shared a room together ever since Cilla was old enough to sleep in a bed. Having a roommate made Alice’s nightmares come less often and helped her sleep better. Taking care of her little sister also gave her some purpose and something to focus on if she was having a troubled night. Alice still went to her mother for things she couldn’t handle herself but Cilla helped some. Right now both girls were fast asleep so all was quiet for the moment. Simus had changed into a t shirt and soft cotton pants and Amy into a long white nightgown. After brushing their teeth they got into bed together and tried to go to sleep but neither of them could. They just lay down under the covers and looked at each other.

    They both were wondering what to do and neither could come up with an answer. The last time they were in danger from the Thalmor a war was on and you were allowed to kill any you saw. Plus, they had an entire army to back them up along with several special interest groups and free agents who owed them favors. Now almost thirty years had gone by. They had both gotten old and out of practice and they weren’t in the Imperial Legion anymore. They still had old friends and contacts and they could still fight but with their house and their livelihoods and their children, especially their children, they had so much to lose.

    “I guess you can’t sleep either?” Amy asked.

    “No.” Simus said. “I think they found us Amy.”

    “We don’t know that.” She said, taking her husband into her arms and he reciprocating. “You said it yourself. We don’t know what the summons is for and we were expecting something like this.

    “Yeah but what are we really gonna do about it?” He asked. “Most of our plans involve running, hiding or when we’ve got the stones for it, fighting. We’re not as young as we used to be Amy and we can’t run off on some half-cocked adventure like we’re still eighteen.”

    “I know that.” Amy said, rubbing her husband’s cheek gently. “We may not be able to become the hands of vengeance like we used to be Simus but we’ve got other resources, other means of fighting them. And we have strong children. We’ve taught them well. You’ve taught them well. If things come to their worst they can help us.”

    “This isn’t their fight Amy.” Simus said. “They’re innocent. We can’t get them involved.”

    “We may have to.” She said plainly. “If that time comes baby you’re going to have to accept that.”

    “Well, the boys can fight. I’ve seen to that.”He said. “Cilla can’t fight yet but she’s fast and clever and we can all protect her. What about Alice? She’s one hell of a shot but she’s just okay with a sword. Plus with her very tender heart I’m not sure if she could kill when she has to.”

    “Let me worry about Alice.” Amy said. “Besides, you don’t really know if you can kill until you have to. You know that very well my friend. She’s stronger than she looks.”

    “I know.” Simus said. “We’ve both worked with her and she’s much better than she used to be but she’s…fragile. Plus there are her visions.”

    “Like I said,” Amy repeated “She’s stronger than she looks. You can bend grass six ways to Sundas but it’s difficult to break. It always bounces back. Alice is going to be okay Simus. You know how I know that?”

    “Because you’re her mother?” He asked

    “No,” She said. “Because you’re her dad. She looks like me, no one’s disputing that, but she’s your daughter Simus. She’s got your fire and your spirit, not to mention your interests. Think of how much time you guys spend together studying scripture, talking about magic, practicing enchanting, playing with swords. Think of how deeply you two can talk together, more deeply than Titus or Cilla or even Stephen. Think about those things Simus and tell me she doesn’t have your strength.”

    Simus laid his head down on his pillow and looked at her. She gave him that soft commanding look that Alice did so well when she wanted something. It was amazing how much of her mother Alice had: Her face, her eyes, her beautiful ebony hair, her posture. If it weren’t for her distinctly different dress and shorter hair, neck length versus shoulder length, Simus would get them confused. Their personalities were also so much alike. They were both beautiful, not just physically thought that was certainly obvious. They had beautiful souls, souls that had suffered terrible scarring but are the better for it. Now those scars were healed by love and newfound strength. His love, their love, the love of the rest of the children and the life their parents had built for them. Alice and her mother were kindred spirits in another aspect as well, that of mysticism and divination. They both practiced it and the both had real understanding of it. Or at least that was the way it looked to Simus, who had never really understood how it worked. Amy didn’t have the magnitude of power Alice did. She couldn’t see as much or as often but she had greater control and experience than Alice. Amy saw different things besides the future. Where people were, where things were, how to find them. Alice’s power was more towards events, outcomes, what happened to people and what they did about it. This did not always come with an answer as to why or what came next, but it was enough to deduce a picture of things to come. As well as helping to tongue-tie some of the meaner girls at school who tried to make trouble for Alice and her small group of friends. After all, it’s easier to win an argument when you know what your opponent’s going to say before they do.

    Simus gazed into Amy’s eyes and found solace in these thoughts. Hope, love, good memories: These were things not even the Thalmor could take away, hard as they tried. Amy gazed back and knew that she had consoled him well. Simus was stubborn and proud sometimes but he was a good man. His heart was always in the right place and she knew exactly how to soothe it when it was troubled.

    She took his face into her hands and kissed him passionately. He gladly accepted it and held her there for several moments.

    “Go to sleep honey.” She whispered.

    “I’m not tired.” He said with a mischievous smile.

    “Oh really?” She asked, not missing that smile. “Well what do you propose we do young man?”

    “Oh.” He said casually, “I think we can find something to pass the time.”

    Amy giggled as Simus got on top of her and “attacked”, tickling her sides, kissing her throat as he “ripped” it out and touching her in all the right places to send shivers of pleasure down her spine. She playfully fought back, half-heartedly beating his hands and mouth away and grabbing his sides to “gouge” them open. What resulted was an increasingly loud tickle fight that culminated in Simus pulling Amy’s ankle-length skirt over her thighs. He disrobed himself and got back on top of her, causing moans of pleasure to fill the room.

    ***

    Alice woke in bed with a fright, clutching her warm quilts close to her chest as she realized where she was. She was no longer trapped in the rather troubling vision she just had. She was awake and back in her room. She was safe. Nothing was lurking in the shadows ready to spontaneously rip her footies to shreds and leave her cold and naked. It was just dark as all.

    She extended her left index finger and produced a tiny candlelight spell, a hovering ball of blue light that floated just above her finger. She used it to help her scan the room and everything seemed right where it should be. She was still snug in bed, in her little corner of the room and the doorway across from her to her right. Cilla had the other corner and was sound asleep. Their large window still had all eight of its clear glass panes and it was still closed and locked with the blinds down. Her dresser was still its usual spotless walnut color and it still had an orderly arranged silver mirror and jewelry box. Locked of course so Titus couldn’t get into it to try and spite her, being the overgrown child he was. Inside she knew all her jewelry, mostly polished silver with various gemstones, was still where it should be: Rings to the left, bracelets to the right, earrings below the bracelets and necklaces in the center. Her box of makeup was next to the jewelry box. This was her small touch up box, not her full makeup collection. That was in the bathroom and it was really a cabinet just for her. Plus another one for less important things like soap and toothbrushes and other grooming items.

    Giving a sigh of relief, Alice extinguished the magelight point so as to not wake Cilla. She was such a sweet little girl and Alice couldn’t bear the thought of what might happen if their parents didn’t protect them all. If the Thalmor did come, they would have to fight. This concerned her greatly, especially in light of her recent vision. She could wield a sword well enough but her parents had the true talent in that area. Her dad was the best at two swords, her mother best with a sword and shield and Titus best at wielding big weapons with both hands. Stephen didn’t really use weapons but he didn’t need to. He was an amazing mage. One of the best in his class when he graduated from the Arcane Univesity and now he was back doing graduate work in spellcrafting. Granted he really didn’t have any money and couldn’t get a job out of school but this was where he wanted to be. He had wielded and created spells that none of them had ever seen before. Not even their dad, who was really good at magic himself and taught Alice most of what she knew, could know everything Stephen did.

    Most everybody in her family had a focus but Alice was different. She liked to work with swords, she really liked to shoot a bow and hunt and range through the woods and she loved magic in all its forms. She could tap into magic that no one else but her mother understood but that was exactly the problem. It was hard to understand Alice sometimes and that made her feel…undervalued.

    Letting these thoughts get to her and shaken from her vision, Alice quietly got out of bed and walked out of her and Cilla’s room. She went across the hallway and slowly opened the door to her parents’ room. They had gone to sleep by now, their hot and heavy love not lasting much more than twenty minutes. Alice crept into the room, went up to the bed and shook what she guessed was her mother. It was pitch black so it was hard to tell.

    “Mama?” She whispered. “It’s Alice. I had a vision.”

    Simus mumbled unintelligibly as he felt his daughter’s soft hand shaking his shoulder.

    “Mmm…Alice?” He asked wearily, shaken from a tired sleep.

    “Oh” Alice said in realization, embarrassed at getting the wrong parent up. “Uhh…”

    “Mmm…hi sweetie.” Amy said, now awake on the other side of the bed and giving her daughter what tired attention she could.

    “What’s up?” She asked groggily.

    Alice walked over to the other side of the bed and stretched her hand out. Amy grabbed and gently clutched it with her own, softly rubbing it and knowing that her baby wanted her mama.

    “I had a vision mama.” Alice said, allowing herself to sound worried now.

    “You wanna talk about it?” Amy said wearily.

    “Yeah.” Alice said.

    “Here or your room?” Amy asked

    “We should probably go to my room. Let dad get some sleep.”

    “Huh…what?” Simus said, hearing his name.

    “Go back to sleep honey. I’ve got this.” Amy said.

    Simus gave a groggy mhmm and fell back to sleep. This wasn’t the first time Alice had come to them with a scary vision and it certainly wouldn’t be the last. Ever since she was thirteen it was something like this two or three times a month. They didn’t mind. Alice’s vision were usually something important and they usually didn’t make her happy and comfortable so Simus and Amy promised her that she could always come to them for anything she saw, no matter how large or small the problem was. They were her mom and dad and they loved her, that would never change. They needed to know what was going on with her and got worried when she got quiet. Stephen got that way too but Alice was more fragile than she was. Not like Stephen or Cilla. Something was wrong, they would tell you up front and without any mincing of words. No beating around the bush.

    Amy got up wearily and straightened her nightgown. It was simple, without any lace or frivolities, but it was long and comfortable. It always kept her warm, especially with Simus next to her and it was soft. Good for certain girls who got their mothers out of bed in the middle of the night when they saw the coming of the mudcrab kings or giant skeevers or something equally outlandish. She led Alice back to bed and pulled the covers back for both of them. She took a moment to enjoy how cute Alice looked in her footy pj’s and then got into bed with her, getting both of them under the covers and pulling her into a protective embrace. Once they were both settled and comfortable she spoke up.

    “So what did you see honey?”

    Alice took a deep breath and snuggled up to her mother, hugging her tightly. She was safe now.

    “I saw you and dad at the embassy.” She said in a tired but determined voice. “There was a Thalmor Justiciar talking with you about your beliefs in Talos. You both denied it of course and he wasn’t able to get any solid proof on you. You were let go and it was all very civil but he wasn’t convinced. He sent soldiers to follow you both to the house and then…well…you fought.”

    Amy listened patiently as Alice spoke, stroking her hair and holding her close. She had a very active imagination and that amplified her visions. It tended to make them more spectacular than they really were. This was probably a possible outcome of their trip to the embassy tomorrow but it wouldn’t end that way. Amy and Simus were cool customers under pressure. They wouldn’t say anything stupid enough to get themselves arrested. Amy would certainly want to but Simus was able to stabilize her wild side enough to get her to bite her tongue.

    “What happened next?” She asked softly.

    “Well.” Alice said. “There was a lot of noise obviously, and a lot of sudden moves as is common in a fight but things seemed indecisive. I’m not really sure, my focus wavered at that point. I didn’t see how it ended but there were at least ten of them in full elven armor with elven weapons and there were just the two of you. In regular clothes and with a sword each and some magic. I just don’t see how you guys could fight out of that. And I didn’t see Cilla or Stephen or anyone else, so that’s what scared me. I’m worried you and dad might die tomorrow.”

    Amy hugged her daughter tighter and kissed her forehead. Alice put her face into her chest. She wasn’t crying but she was clearly scared and just wanted her mama. Amy was perfectly okay with this. Alice was going to be eighteen in a few weeks and she had grown into a beautiful and talented young woman but she was still her mama’s little faerie. She always would be, that would never change. Her dad felt the same way and they would always be there for her. Sometimes when Simus looked at her he still saw a six year old Alice, ready to explore the entire world all at once and with more energy than she knew what to do with. She loved to read even back then and she loved to explore the world around her. She was ready to walk all of Tamriel just to see what was on the other side. So long as she had a steady supply of cookies and apple juice that is: And a mama or papa to hold her when she was ready for a nap. Alice had only gotten more curious over the years but had difficulty reconciling her exploratory spirit with the comforts of home that she really didn’t like to be without. That may change soon.

    “Is that what’s keeping you awake Alice?” Amy asked. “You’re afraid we’re going to get whacked by some Thalmor cronie?”

    “Yeah.” Alice said tearfully, giving a small nod.

    “Well that’s not gonna happen baby.” Amy said, continuing to stroke Alice’s hair and hold her. “Your dad and I have been on the lookout for the Thalmor for a long, long time. Since before any of you guys were born. You know how many ‘collection teams’ they’ve tried to send against us over the years?”

    “Not really.” Alice admitted. “How many?”

    “A lot.” Amy said.

    “Well how much is a lot?” Alice asked.

    “A whole helluva lot.” Amy said. “Enough to make ‘em think twice about sending more against us.”

    “Really?” Alice asked. “You didn’t do all this alone did you?”

    “Oh honey no.” Amy said. “Dad and I’ve got friends in high and low places. People who can help protect us. People who’ve been helping to protect us ever since you were born. If anything at all happens to dad and I or to any of you guys, they’ll know about it before we will. I promise you Alice, you have nothing to worry about. And I don’t plan on dyin’ tomorrow. Nether does dad. We’re all gonna be okay.”

    “Do you promise?” Alice asked.

    “I promise.” Amy said with a warm smile.

    “Okay.” Alice said. “I believe you.”

    Amy gave her a kiss. “Go to sleep sweetie.”

    “Mhmm.” Alice said, already in that direction. “Hey mama?” Ske asked

    “Hmm?” Amy asked.

    “I love you.” Alice said, falling asleep in her mother’s chest.

    “I love you too.” Amy said.
    She stayed with Alice and listened to her breathing as it got softer and softer. Eventually Alice fell back asleep and was totally gone. Amy gently lifted her off her chest and tucked her back in, creeping out of the room afterwards. She went across the hall and got back into bed with Simus, trying to get the last few hours of sleep before dawn came.
     
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  14. The OP3RaT0R

    The OP3RaT0R Call me Op. Or Smooth.

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    I read Simus' dialogue in Liam Neeson's voice.
     
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  15. Simus

    Simus An Excellent Site Member

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  16. randomguyintheroom

    randomguyintheroom New Member

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    good story even though I didn't read it....
     
  17. Simus

    Simus An Excellent Site Member

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  18. Simus

    Simus An Excellent Site Member

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    Soooo...any comments? Thoughts? Suggestions? Unleavened hate or praise? Anybody?
     
  19. Simus

    Simus An Excellent Site Member

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    Thanks for reading Docta. I appreciate it :)
     
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  20. Docta Corvina

    Docta Corvina Well-Known Member

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    No problem, Simus. :) I really enjoy your style, it's fluid and straightforward without purple-prosey pretention (yay alliteration!). The only thing I would say is that you have some areas where punctuation is an issue. But that's really it.

    Great work so far!
     
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