thecoldshoulder: (Huh?)
Algidus ([personal profile] thecoldshoulder) wrote in [community profile] ataraxionlogs2016-02-06 08:06 pm

DON'T LET YOUR DREAMS BE DREAMS

CHARACTERS: Algidus ([personal profile] thecoldshoulder) and Carlisle ([personal profile] tongueamok).
LOCATION: In the jungle that lines the camp.
WARNINGS: BIRDS
SUMMARY: Shrine-building adventures turn into self-esteem building exercises at the expense of local wildlife.
NOTES: Backdated to the beginning of February.


It has been some time since the mysterious Crickets had decided to make themselves known to the survivors living in the shadow of the Tranquility's wreck. Algidus had been among the group of people working the wall that had first spotted the returning crowd; out of everyone that had been taken, Carlisle had been one of the only one he'd recognized. He also recognized the fact that the man was probably going to be the easiest to get to cough up information... and even though there wasn't much available at the time, he'd agreed to let Algidus know if he learned anything else about them in the future.

So today the ice alien was going to take him up on it. He'd been out in the jungle hunting quite a bit, and those excursions had brought him into direct contact with the maddened, infected wildlife. He'd gotten used to those brief and furious bursts of conflict; he even reveled in it. What was considerably more surprising was when a group of the Crickets themselves showed up during one of the scuffles; at first Algidus had been defensive, wondering if they had come to attempt and take him prisoner as they had done with the others. Apparently they had other plans, working with quick efficiency to help him put down the pack of creatures that he'd been fighting with. After that they vanished into the jungle as quickly as they had come, seeming just as wary of the ice alien as he was of them.

What had started out as a chance occurrence quickly became repeated impromptu hunting sessions. They Crickets appeared to have a vested interest in controlling the population of the infected animals, and Algidus had provided himself adept at hunting them. Through these semi-frequent encounters, he was even able to develop a rapport with specific Crickets that recognized him... and had learned to interpret their odd bursts of telepathically projected images and colors as sorts of "names". For all intents and purposes, the other aliens seemed helpful enough, but Algidus was not ready to let his guard down just yet. He needed more information; he needed to know if anyone else had made contact with the Crickets in a similar manner. Carlisle had promised to let him know if he had learned anything else, so the man was a the natural starting point. Lucky him.

The ice alien didn't know exactly where the man had settled, so he spent some time picking through the camp, poking his head under awnings and looking in tents to try and find the timid human. It was probably one of the least efficient ways of searching, and it forced Algidus to make a mental note to keep better track of the people that were agreeing to be his informants. Luck was on his side today, however, as he eventually caught sight of the man heading towards a particular dwelling... it looked a little run-down, which must have happened while Carlisle had been in the custody of the crickets. He didn't seem like the sort to let his living space go to ruins. Algidus was quick to swoop up on the man, but the moment he poked his head inside he saw an odd furnishing, comprised of rocks and bark and other miscellany, and his questions about alien life and their potential schemes were waylaid for the moment.

"What are you... what is that?" The alien asked, frowning, forgetting in his curiosity that he had basically barged in on the man and hadn't even properly greeted him. It was definitely not the best way to go about striking up conversation with Carlisle, especially given how easily frightened the man could be, but Algidus had a lot of questions on his mind and they were taking up his full attention. Sometimes it was hard to stay his inquisitive streak.
tongueamok: (➣ then we'll both be miserable)

[personal profile] tongueamok 2016-02-07 05:53 am (UTC)(link)
Since his return to the camp, Carlisle had been trying to get his life back in order. The changes to the camp, while necessary, had left the site feeling foreign to him, as though he didn't belong there anymore. Repairing his ramshackle abode seemed like a logical first step toward making himself at home again, but no matter how he tried to push the walls back into position or replace the ceiling, it just didn't feel like a sanctuary. It never would, if he was honest with himself, but there had to be some way of making it, at the very least, acceptable.

Rebuilding his shrine seemed like a far more manageable goal, and so, upon fixing his roof to where his shelter would be tolerable if it rained, he turned his focus toward the comforting familiarity of his religious practices. Much like the rest of his home, the shrine had been in complete disarray upon his return. That had partially been his own fault -- it had been outside the shack before, so moving it inside seemed like a grand idea. Reconstructing it would take but time and new materials: he had plenty of the former, but the latter had sent him into the jungle a few afternoons, and even then, his scavenging hadn't been terribly successful.

Curiously, his mind had turned to the wreckage a few times in the past several days, pondering what he could gather there for his endeavor. Those thoughts were quickly dismissed -- the wreck was dangerous, as he'd seen well enough with the salvage team. That, and the Camisou favored the natural elements of the world. There was nothing natural about that ship, nor anything it had done... and yet, he couldn't fully pry that notion, that inkling that he should scavenge the ruined vessel, from the back of his mind.

And so, Carlisle had busied himself instead. Scribbling down a small list of objects he still needed for an appropriate altar, he didn't hear Algidus approach his home -- so was his distraction that it wasn't until the alien spoke that he was even aware he was being watched. His pen scratched sharply across the page of his journal, a jagged line following behind it on the paper as he stiffened in alarm. So much for that list.

"Des—" He stopped himself, turning to his visitor as he substituted a politer profanity. "Cisth, don't do that. Knock, heavens."

His shrine was in as many pieces as his home, but it looked like he was beginning to put things in order: a tower of small, metal boxes served as a pedestal, atop which sat two long pieces of bark. Pebbles were arranged atop the wood, following along the outside -- there were a few gaps in the lines, pieces not yet found. On the ground next to the shrine was a pile of assorted treasures: smooth stones, branches, colorful leaves and flower petals, all awaiting their placement in the final design.

"It's a shrine," Carlisle answered, capping his pen and closing his book. "Or what I've been able to make of one. I thought having a suitable place of worship might help my nerves, as well as make this a proper home. Well, as proper as it'll get."
Edited 2016-02-08 16:54 (UTC)
tongueamok: (➣ i thought of what i missed)

[personal profile] tongueamok 2016-02-08 05:16 pm (UTC)(link)
"Ah, yes!" Carlisle answers, thrilled to hear someone speaking of makers, gods, deities -- it's a subject he holds in high regard, and not just because of his chosen profession. His enthusiasm is stifled almost immediately as Algidus, a complete stranger to his religion, both notices and points out the flaws in his shrine. "Ah, yes," he repeats as he looks back to his altar, somber. "She is missing a few teeth, isn't she? Not actual teeth, as I don't think I could get any here, but I haven't yet found the proper stones I need, nor anything even remotely appropriate to use for her eye. And then there's the tongue, which, um... hm."

He returns his attention to Algidus, scratching at his chest, feeling the lump where his holy symbol hangs beneath his tabard. "I was considering heading out again to look for materials for it, if you'd like to accompany me."
Edited 2016-02-08 17:17 (UTC)
tongueamok: (➣ this just got very heavy indeed)

[personal profile] tongueamok 2016-02-08 11:01 pm (UTC)(link)
"Er, no," Carlisle corrects with half a smile, despite the fact that Algidus had openly stated a lack of confidence that he could scavenge the jungle alone without getting mauled. To be fair, the clergyman had been captured while wandering alone -- it was better to partner up, to have someone watch his back during even mundane tasks, at least for the time being. They were not alone in the woods; perhaps they never had been.

"I don't need real teeth, though it'd be nice to get my hands on some," he continues, picking up his badger-pelt back and throwing the strap over his shoulder. He pauses, taking one more look around what's left of his home, thinking. He finally decides on what he wants to say, trying to sound as friendly as possible with his suggestion as he gives Algidus a cautious look to accompany his nervous grin: "And, um. Again, my name is Carlisle."
tongueamok: (➣ i'm still not sure what was said)

[personal profile] tongueamok 2016-02-09 05:57 am (UTC)(link)
That silence that accompanies Algidus' stare seems to stretch on forever; Carlisle manages to hold his anxious, pleading smile until the alien finally relents, saying his name. He lets out a relieved sigh -- being called 'human' rather than his name made him feel less like a person and more like a potential meal, but asking for Algidus to do otherwise had been terrifying in its own right.

But at least it's over and done with -- now comes the hunt, which Algidus describes as though it'd be a recreational activity. "Fun?" Carlisle asks incredulously, sliding past Algidus and out the door. "I'm not sure I'd describe anything involving the acquisition of real teeth..."

He trails off as he glances back toward the alien, catching sight of that sneer and losing his voice as the rest of him stiffens. Though not the outright terror he's experience in past conversations, he's visibly rattled as he tries to continue. "... Er, as fun, though I'm sure it might be for s- someone more, um. Uh."

His mouth opens and closes a couple more times as he struggles for a word; he finally buckles under his anxiety and averts his eyes, despite his best efforts and much to his inward annoyance. He's not sure if it's Algidus' towering height, the spikes jutting from his monstrous form, or the fact that the alien has made a hobby out of intimidation, but he certainly has no trouble unnerving him, even when they're on fairer terms than most.
Edited 2016-02-09 20:15 (UTC)
tongueamok: (➣ it's true and also not true)

[personal profile] tongueamok 2016-02-10 02:37 am (UTC)(link)
"That's not what I meant," Carlisle utters in a hushed tone, his eyes on Algidus' hand rather than meeting his gaze; he shrivels at the touch, as though the physical contact would kill him if continued too long. His relief as Algidus removes his hand is short-lived: the alien's resumed sneering is easily felt, piercing what little stubbornness Carlisle has under his nervous demeanor.

He rubs his shoulder where Algidus' hand had been only moments before, smoothing out his tabard. "I meant someone with more of a taste for violence," he finally clarifies. He swallows down his nerves, taking the only route he knows for deterring the alien from any unfriendly behavior: flattery. "Someone more capable of dealing with the dangers this land has shown us. I can hardly hold a weapon, let alone w- wield one, but you clearly have an abundance of skill to match your imposing appearance."
tongueamok: (➣ i have to keep some secrets)

[personal profile] tongueamok 2016-02-10 05:43 am (UTC)(link)
"Yes," Carlisle agrees, pleased his attempt at to redirect Algidus' threatening glares worked for the moment. "Yes, let's."

He cocks his head in one direction, a motion to follow, and leads the way out of the camp.

"Now," he starts as they near the fence that surrounds the settlement, his voice edging on excitement, "again, I don't need real teeth, though it will be fantastic for the teeth to actually be teeth rather than stones. And then there's the tongue, but I would prefer to use a root for that. More thematically appropriate, and not as grisly as putting an actual tongue on an altar. I can't imagine anyone actually doing that, can you?"

Carlisle chuckles to himself, as though he hadn't been talking more to himself at the end there.
Edited 2016-02-10 06:14 (UTC)
tongueamok: (➣ a touch of uncertainty)

[personal profile] tongueamok 2016-02-11 03:46 am (UTC)(link)
That gets him to shut his trap. "Er, right," he utters apologetically. "Yes, real teeth then. We'll have to find something out there with teeth to take, but teeth it is."

He's silent for a minute or two after that. After they've put some distance between themselves and the camp, he slows his gait, not sure if Algidus wants to take the lead on the part where they find something and pry its jaws open. "My apologies for my uncertainty regarding this. I do appreciate you coming with me. It's been some time since I tried anything beyond scavenging for my shrine. Hunting isn't exactly my favorite hobby, if you couldn't guess."
Edited 2016-02-11 04:08 (UTC)
tongueamok: (➣ earnestness only goes so far)

[personal profile] tongueamok 2016-02-12 02:31 am (UTC)(link)
He watches as Algidus slows, and realizes he's being given the reins regarding this venture. While he doesn't look terribly thrilled by the idea, he does start walking again the moment the alien questions his demeanor.

"Do we not all fear our own demise? What awaits us on the other side?"
tongueamok: (➣ i'm still not sure what was said)

[personal profile] tongueamok 2016-02-13 04:56 am (UTC)(link)
The question strikes Carlisle a little too hard, cuts him a little too deeply. His head turns only a hair as he keeps walking, as though he'd thought about glancing Algidus' way and changed his mind at the last second.

"I've done nothing," he answers quickly. "It's not the gods I fear, but rather what awaits me after life. The, ah" —he stops for a fraction of a second— "they say the Land Beyond Living is not a place anyone wants to see too soon, as that is where we all go in the end."

That much was true -- everyone was told that; however, he didn't need anyone to tell him what it was like. He'd seen enough of it as it was on his first trip.
tongueamok: (➣ i can see i'm going to have to ask)

[personal profile] tongueamok 2016-02-14 06:58 am (UTC)(link)
Though Carlisle catches that lapse in protocol, he doesn't address it this time around: he keeps walking, his eyes ahead, searching for movement in the woods.

"Barren," he starts, his tone flat. "Colorless, and cold. Those who are trapped there are damned to wander the plane, their souls never finding rest. I have learned here that other worlds have other gods, and therefore, they likely have some equivalent of the Land Beyond Living as well."

He finally looks over his shoulder to his companion. "Is that the case where you come from, Algidus?"
tongueamok: (➣ it's true and also not true)

[personal profile] tongueamok 2016-02-16 04:55 am (UTC)(link)
"They do sound generous," Carlisle notes somberly. "The deities who created the world I'm from -- the Camisou and the Domu -- are not quite as benevolent to those who would break the rules they've set forth."

He catches how awful that sounds somewhere in the pause after the statement has left his lips -- he is speaking ill of his gods and their decisions, talking as though some laws should be rewritten. It's not something a man of his status and profession should honestly express, and he does his best to cover for it immediately, just in case his gods are listening in this strange world.

"Ah, but the number of the irredeemable are minimal," he clarifies. "Most of us are meant to return to the earth, as that is the way they would rather it be."
tongueamok: (➣ then we'll both be miserable)

[personal profile] tongueamok 2016-02-17 10:39 pm (UTC)(link)
Carlisle's response is immediate -- and defensive. "Of course not," he insists with a glare over his shoulder, his voice louder than before as Algidus cuts too close to things he'd rather left unsaid. The suddenness of his remark breaks the relative silence surrounding them, and the trees shift with life as a few winged lizards go flying from the nearby vines. Their appearance spooks Carlisle: he freezes and pulls in a gasp through gritted teeth, his eyes casting themselves to the trees above, watching for anything that might attack them.

As the creatures climb into the canopy and vanish completely, he exhales in relief, his fingers still tightened around the strap to his badger-pelt bag. As he continues, he lowers his voice so as not to disturb any more of the local fauna, even though hunting is the reason they're out there.

"I am a cleric in service of the Camisou herself," he responds, turning to Algidus. "I, of all people, have no reason to be one of the irredeemable."
tongueamok: (➣ i'm still not sure what was said)

[personal profile] tongueamok 2016-02-18 01:53 am (UTC)(link)
Willing to drop his offense in favor of changing from what was, ultimately and obviously, a touchy subject for the clergyman, Carlisle looks around. He beelines for one of the trees, taking the excuse to avert his eyes from the icy giant.

"I could use some of this bark," he says as he reaches into his bag, producing a crude knife. Jamming the blade's edge into the tree, he yanks downward on the weapon, scraping off a sizable piece. "I think we'll need to go deeper if we want any actual teeth, though. What might have had teeth around here just took off into the sky, so unless you're better at climbing than I am, I expect we'd be better off continuing our search."
Edited 2016-02-18 01:53 (UTC)

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