Justaria watched from her favorite tree. Her eyes locked on Alastair. The bastard threw her in a bloody <i>canyon</i> earlier. Or was it him? She didn't remember much because all Zafira could remember was screaming. Of course. He'd tied himself to her mentally and physically. Justaria jumped down from the tree and stood a good fifteen feet from Alastair.
"Pokey!" She laughed. She figured he'd murder her in close range, but she wanted his attention. She wanted Alexis too. Well Zafira did.
Alastair cocked his head to the side, grinning. "Hello, love. What do you want?" A strong breeze tossed her hair back and sent a few sticks flying into her face. In a matter of seconds, it grew until she felt a moment longer would sweep her right off her feet, and then stopped just as suddenly. His eyes glittered the way they always did when he /knew/ he was more than a match for his chosen victim. "I hope you know I can attack you perfectly well from here."
Justaria kept silent as the breeze kept going until it stopped suddenly. She stepped forward and rolled her eyes,
"Show off." She told Alastair laughing, "I came to uhm talk to you. Well try to." She felt shadows around her. She could see the flow of magic come from Alastair. He was powerful and that made her nervous.
"You should be nervous. But if I'd wanted to kill you, I'd have done it already. You want to talk? By all means," he gestured outwards, as if presenting her with an invisible audience, "Talk." While his favorite thing to do, invariably, was maim and kill, he was first and foremost a curious creature, and he liked questions and discussions, even when he didn't start them. He also liked to see how many people he could convince of his own philosophy before he killed them. The percentage was high enough to suit him, although he was fairly certain Justaria already liked pain well enough.
Justaira looked him in the eyes. Her heart was racing. She knew how dangerous he was and she was certain he'd kill or torture her but she spoke her voice relatively normal,
"Alastair, why did you take Alexis, Zafira and Aretha hostage? Mainly why take Alexis?" Justaria moved forward closer to Alastair more like a normal person would choose to near someone who they were conversing with.
His eyes glittered. He still had Alexis, and she had a beautiful scream. It was so raw, and hopeful. His favorite thing about children was how strong their instinctual will to live was. The younger they were, the more little they knew, and when they're small enough the only thing they know is their own will to survive. He liked to hear their little hearts pounding, racing, so powerful. So intense. Their tears were so honest, their pain was so pure. "She's a child. I like children. And she's your child. I can kill two birds with one stone, so to speak, as long as I have her." He stepped around her, observing her as if apprising her value. "But why would you ask a silly thing like that? Surely you could figure it out by just thinking. What do you really want from me?" He came around full circle, and stopped, staring back into her eyes.
Justaria listening to him thinking how truly insane Alastair was. It was a miracle Niccolò had some control over this name, well did.
"Why? Why hurt us? We all want Niccolò back. Is that so hard to do? Don't answer. I know what you'll do. You'll stand here and tell me how it was his own fault for stealing your name. So again, why do you want to torture us all?" Justaria remained semi calm. She realized how epically screwed she was if Alastair wanted to hurt her. It was a risk worth taking.
"Tell me," he said, flashing images of thousands of eyes, all wide with fear as they glazed over, each accompanied by a scream, "Doesn't some part of you like to see people suffer? I know you do. We all do. The only thing that makes me different is that I embrace that part of myself. I let it run rampant." He grinned. "You ought to try it sometime. It's loads of fun."
Justaria winced seeing the images.
"Not the innocent. I never would hurt an innocent child or adult. I'm not like you. I'm normal." She said. Alastair was weird but this was toping the weird. "Why would I see joy in hurting people?"
"No," he told her, "Don't be modest. We both know you're far from normal. You'd harm your own daughter if you thought you could get away with it. In fact, you will. Give it a few weeks, maybe a month or so. You will. And you say not the innocent as if that makes you a saint. Think about it. You know those people who always get in your way? They're so irritating, aren't they? And you'd love to see them suffer. That's no different." Alastair sighed, before drawing a knife from his coat and stepping closer till the blade brushed against her cheek. "Don't try to be normal. It makes you so bland."
Justaria listened to him thinking how to actually to reply. She felt the knife against her and she could hear Zafira's petrified screams inside her mind. Justaria kept calm,
"Right. Like I'll hurt Alexis, compared to you dear Alastair I am sane. I rather be normal then clinically insane." She replied cooly. Her eyes flickered to Alastair's hands. She didn't know what he wanted to do to her and she stupidly had come alone. If he wanted to hurt her no other Bloglandian would hear her screams. A mistake on her part.
"Oh, you will. I've seen it." He trailed the knife over her smooth skin, pressing just hard enough to make a thin slice across her face. "I don't have premonitions often, but when I do," he leaned in close and whispered, "They're always right."
He laughed, low and cold, into her ear before pulling away. "I'm scaring you, love. It's fun." She felt the cold blade slip away and he brushed his fingers against her jaw instead, lifting her chin so their eyes met. "You know, I've seen better, but your eyes are rather pretty when you're frightened." He grinned, his eyes sparkling.
Justaria saw his dark eyes she actually wished it was Niccolò.
"Scaring me? And thank you, you can hardly compliment me, Alastair. I must say you are rather attractive when torturing people." She smiled. It didn't matter to her if this man could kill him, she was already prepared for that. But as he wouldn't give her an explanation to her likings, she would mess with him and see how far she could take it.
"Oh, am I?" He smirked. "I'd thank you, but it's not my body, and this isn't torture. When I make you scream until your throat bleeds, that's torture. This is child's play. But you're not the first to think that. I doubt you want to know what I did to the others."
Justaria gave a wicked smile. Her mind raced, could she do this? Without him killing her? She had to save Alexis.
"What did you look like?" She asked cautiously. She kept her gaze on him not hinting her next move at all. The shadows formed and she appears next to Alastair, now holding her own knife to him.
"Now, let's play on MY terms shall we?"
It was all he could do not to throw his head back and laugh. "Go on, do it. I dare you. Drag your blade across my neck and see if it'll kill me." He took a moment to consider the fact that she actually thought they would work, and then laugh lightly, before he continued. "It won't, in case you were wondering. But you can try anyway. What would your terms be, anyway? What do you care about the little girl?"
Justaria bit back a snarl. She used the knife that she held and quickly stabbed him in the stomach.
"She is my daughter. I may not have been in control but she is my daughter, Zafira or I would die to protect her, something the clinically insane like you cannot comprehend." She twisted and pull the knife out.
"My, you really are fun when you don't listen. I mean, honestly, this is bordering on outright stupidity." He healed himself quickly, and wondered for a moment why she'd chosen to stab him in the stomach instead of slicing his neck open. Choosing the former would be a deadly mistake on any other day, but he wanted her to live to the day when she would attack Alexis. For a moment he almost forgot she was there. "Are you done yet? He asked her, quickly growing bored.
"No. I planned to kill you." She spat. She focused on trying to enter his mind. Maybe she could get Alexis out this way. It was a long shot, he could easily trap her again.
He sent a round kick into her left leg, then another just after it, before actually bothering to try to push her out of his mind. "Oh come on, you know that's not going to work. Will you just give up so I can go actually kill someone? Or at least make yourself more interesting."
For being kicked she didn't move.
"No." She said, a gleam in her eyes. Justaria grabbed him by the throat shoving him into a tree. Her free hand drew her knife as she slowly cut something into his face, barely missing the eye.
"Hamarabi's code said an eye for an eye I can take that litteral"
"Well, if you wanted to take it literally, we'd either have to exchange eyes- you'd be even more hopeless than I thought if you trusted me to do that- or you'd have to steal the consciousness of my daughter. But I don't have one." He shifted easily into a bird and slipped through her fingers, flying upwards until he found a branch large enough to stand on, and landed as a human. His face was healed again before his feet touched down. "Let's just face it- you know you can't beat me. And I don't want you dead before you get a chance to harm your precious little girl. So we might as well just stop wasting time and go our separate ways. To put it frankly, you're boring."
"I don't run. You run like a coward. And I really don't want your eyes, well Niccolò's eyes as you're not really anyone but him you're simply a name, a screwed up name. You say I bore you you won't fight back, wow Niccolò must have had courage to steal your name." She laughed and pushed the air attempting to knock him off the branch.
"I'm not fighting back /because/ I'm bored. This is a waste of time. And you know I can overtake you easily. I've already done it, what, three times? And you always start out bold like this, like you can do anything. But you can't." He used the breeze she provided as a cushion as he jumped off the branch, landing gracefully on the ground. "Thanks for the air." And without another word, he vanished.
Justaria cursed. She hated when he did that. She walked to the treehouse and Zafira was out. She climbed up beside Javier.
"No." She said burying her head against him. All they wanted was Alexis back. Javier's eyes were soft as he held her. Maybe Niccolò would come back, maybe Alastair would get bored.