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Momma! Momma! Momma! Where are you?” Cristiano called out towards her, Carmela turned in circles only being able to see utter darkness. She went to scream out but no voice left her throat. Her hand shot to her neck as she began to cough up dirt. Gasping and struggling for air jolted the Aurazin awake as she gasped for air. The nightmares of not being able to get to Cristiano had been frequent. She needed to get some form of proper sleep, but being trapped in Evermore, no way through the veil, was driving her mad.
As she sat up her eyes drifted towards the window of her room in the Aurazin home. The room was small, they all where but It was more than she needed. A place to lay her head, though sleep seemed utterly impossible at this point anymore. As her eyes focused on the night outside of the window she noticed the lights casting a glow upon the outside, it was clear that someone was awake. She rose to her feet, her long pale nightgown hitting mid shin. Her mind wondering if whomever it was had coffee, maybe something sweet even. Though she knew she shouldn’t eat such things.
She found herself wondering through the halls of the home. She wondered if whomever it was had nightmares like she was having. As she came around the corner seeing the glow from the kitchen/dining area she paused in the frame way. Her eyes landed on Lucian who stood in the middle of the room with a paper in his hand. She raised a brow towards him, she seem to have gone unnoticed to him. So she cleared her throat as she leaned against the frame of the doorway.
“Hey, I couldn’t sleep and saw the lights on. Do you have coffee? Or you know… Something sweet.” She said the last part in a joking tone but really after the nightmares she could go for something that would ease the pain even if it was addictive to them. “Nightmares have been constant.” She said softly to her leader, He was one that understood, since his wife was locked in the veil. It had been a year since the veil closing and it seemed they where no closer to getting back there then the day they were trapped here.
Lucien swirled the dark liquid around in his glass, his eyes staring outside of the window at absolutely nothing at all. The night was jet black, but the sky was dotted with stars and bright in the sky which was clear enough to see satellites orbiting with no clouds obstructing one's view. The moon alone would've been bright enough to bring light to the entire dining room if he didn't have the lodge's electric lighting on. All of these things went unnoticed though as his hues continued to focus on an arbitrary spot in the prairies, being too lost in his thoughts to notice the natural beauty right before his eyes. It was the sudden clearing of someone's throat which brought him around finally, turning his head to see who it was that caught him by surprise.
"Miss Carmela," he greeted, standing up straighter in habit since a woman was entering the room. Some customs of his former life he didn't think he would ever get over, though he didn't believe this formality was so bad to lose. He placed the map he'd been holding down on the table and brought his attention to her instead, suddenly glad for the interruption. Staring at the circled locations on the paper wasn't going to bring him any closer to the answers he was looking for.
He smirked at her request and shook his head once. "I'm sorry, I don't have either." Luke rose his glass to her with a smirk. "Something a bit stronger than coffee or sweets, though I think the coffee maker and I have finally come to an understanding if you would like a cup." Leading the way into the kitchen, he filled a cup of water and poured it into the machine, remembering the days when Maddison had put a piece of paper with directions on how to use the coffee maker on it for all the Aurazin who were technology challenged. It didn't stop with just that. Small pieces of post-its were attached all over the lodge to help those from other decades and centuries learn how to use many of the items in their new home.
As he poured the hot coffee into a mug for her, Lucien glanced upwards to the top of the fridge where a tin of cookies were. "I believe Hudson brought those home if you would like. I haven't had a chance to try one myself." He handed the cup to Carmela and then leaned against the counter thoughtfully. Knowing what it was like to have nightmares be your bedfellow was something he was used to. It was why he was up now. Sleep and him didn't get on most nights because he was still too concerned with the fate of his species. More and more he was losing hope that he and his kind would ever return to the veil which meant the ones that they left behind would be gone from their lives forever. He may never see his wife again... It was overwhelming to think about. He couldn't let the Aurazin down and having to tell Carmela she would never see her son again was something Luke could not accept. "Would you like to talk about the dream?"
Carmela was one that enjoyed his habit of straightening when she walked into a room, it showed a respect many these days lacked when it came to women. Carmela's dark gaze looked at the map that he sat down on the table, she understood his hopeless feeling, after all all Aurazin understood. That hollowness of not knowing if they would ever be able to get back. Answers seemed to not be coming anytime soon. She gave him a gentle smile though, she was always one to keep that smile on her face even if it hurt. She didn’t want others to worry or be fearful.
At his smirk she gave a playful frown as her acquisition of sweets or coffee seemed they may go unanswered. Yet when he mentioned he was drinking something stronger. She chuckled, following behind him as she leaned her slim frame against the entry to the kitchen as she watched him remembering how to understand to make coffee. “I thank you for doing so, I am sure I could have figured it out.” The technology of this world nowadays is far different than they all seemed to understand. As he made the cups she moved to grab another mug and poured half of it in the empty one. She then took his stronger drink and split it between them evenly before offering it back to him. “Trust me.” She said softly for a moment as her dark gaze held his lighten one.
As he got the tin of cookies she moved to open it. She opened it and picked out one of the cookies before she leaned beside him. Taking a bit of the cookie letting the sugar explode upon her taste buds and let out a gentle groan. “You should try.” She said softly as she leaned there bringing the alcohol spiked coffee to her lips. That fear of never seeing her son again was there even if he didn’t express it. She was sure he was worried about never seeing his wife again. They all were trying to cling to the hope but the reality as the days passed that they would never return was growing heavy in all their minds.
“Cristiano,” she said softly as she looked to the coffee for a long moment. “He is screaming for me, and as I try to reach him I try to scream out for him then I am choking on dirt as I am buried alive.” She sighed, raising the coffee to her lips again taking a long sip from it. She pushed off the counter and moved towards the dining room once again. “I know we all share the same worries about getting back into the Veil.” She said softly as she looked over her shoulder to him. “Do you dream of your wife?” She asked softly.
Lucien watched as she divvied up the coffee mixed with the spirit he'd just been drinking, giving a small chuckle. "Oh, I am sure I will like this just as much if not more." He took a sip of the new drink and nodded with approval before looking to the sweets before them. He tried to stay away from the downward spiral that could be sugary ecstasy, but tonight there was too much on his mind to care. Instead, he reached for one he thought was fairly familiar to him from his human life. The buttery cookie crumbled in his mouth, mixing well with the taste of the coffee on his tongue. A magical experience, but even more so than it would normally be in his previous form on Earth. Such a strange thing to happen to their kind after their transformation. One that could hinder an Aurazin useless if they were to have enough of it.
He reached for one more, but was all ears to Carmela's words as she explained the content of her nightmare, following her out into the quiet dining room once again. Luke pulled out one of the chairs for Carmela before taking a seat next to her at the head of the table. "I'm sorry. That cannot be easy to shake off." It was an awful thing to have dreamed about. Though he didn't have any children of his own, Luke had always imagined he would've liked the opportunity one day. Sadly, that path of his life was stripped from him the night he and his wife were murdered. There were many what-ifs he had thought of over the course of the centuries in the veil, but it never did well to dwell on those when there couldn't be a chance to experience them no matter how much one may want the chance.
Carmela's question echoed in his head. The answer was simple; Yes. It just didn't seem to be an easy thing to say aloud as the imagery was vivid and the ache was always fresh no matter how long they'd been away from their true home. He gave a half smile somewhat sadly as he peered into his cup before meeting her eyes. "I do." Never did Lucien talk about these things with anyone. Somehow it made it more real. His feelings and the pain. "The night she was killed. We were killed. It is a reoccurring dream that likes to torture me. I am never able to save her and when we die, we end up in the void. I'm running through the darkness calling her name and I hear her calling mine. She sounds so close, as close as you and I are now, but I cannot see her. The voidlings come and I hear her scream, then the tear opens up. The one that cast me to Earth during the fall. I'm plummeting through the clouds and to the ground becoming further and further away from her. Still, I helplessly call out to her, but the ground eventually comes to meet me and it's just darkness thereafter. That's when I wake."
Though his gaze was on hers, he probably seemed far off while explaining the daunting nightmare. Lucien refocused to her face and let his features soften again, relaxing the tightened grip he had on the mug. "I wish I could do more. More for your son. I wish I had more answers." His voice was low and pained, full of the uncertainty that he always kept at bay now threatening to take over his countenance. The two had always agreed that getting back to the veil was the most important thing and though they had a strong sense of duty as Aurazin, their reasoning was more personal. They each had someone to go home to. He wouldn't say it to Carmela, but that hope had waned in him like diminishing ashes and he was beginning to realize he'd probably never see his wife again.
When Luke reached for the sugary treat that was when she knew he was really wanting to shut down the emotional pain swirling in him. She had gotten good at reading the others around the house, him included even if she didn’t say a word. Instead she sipped on the spike coffee and closed her eyes for a moment before dropping the rest of the cookie into the coffee to soak up some of the hot bean juice. Once it was squishy she fished it out by bringing the cup to her lips and tilting it. Her tongue skillfully darting out to drag it to her lips and devour the sweet in seconds. She gave him a satisfied grin. She enjoyed the sugar rush she got from the treats even if she knew she had to keep the urges intact.
Though the smile didn’t last as she spoke of her nightmare to him, as the chair came out she slid into it, “Thank you.” she said softly before crossing her legs under the table resting her mug to the table. “I don’t think it's easy for any of us to shake off the dreams we get.” She was more than sure by the screams that happened from time to time she wasn’t the only one in this position. “Just makes you wonder if this is going to be the permanent normal, no matter how much we don’t want it to be.” She frowned softly as she trailed her finger against the mug's handle. Their lives consisted of nothing but what-ifs, if it wasn’t for the aspects would they even be able to survive? Nothing had ever prepared any of them for this.
Knowing he dreamed of his wife, her chest sank in a little as the relief that she really wasn’t the only one to have those kinds of nightmares. Not that she should wish that upon another, just made her feel less crazy. “I am sorry you are plagued with such dreams.” Her hand reached out to touch his lightly as she pulled her dark gaze to his once again. “I would say you shouldn’t blame yourself. Yet I think we both know that we will always blame ourselves.” she swallowed some before shaking her head to him. “You are doing everything you can Lucien. I thank you for being able to help us survive in this world at all. If it wasn’t for your ability to contact the aspects who knows what would have happened to us all.” She said as her hands wrapped around the mug for a moment.
“The real question is though. Is holding on to hope to return home foolish? Should we accept our new lives? Should we try to find happiness, we wear ourselves out endlessly for answers that may not come.” She was probably the least likely person Lucien expected to hear those words from as she moved her gaze out the window and stared off into the darkness, letting the tear run down her cheek hoping it was unseen by Lucien “We may never see t-them again.” She felt the lump in her throat as she spoke her fingers tightening on the mug. “I can’t live the rest of eternity…” she couldn’t bring herself to say alone. “Without something to work towards outside of being an Aurazin. I have been thinking since I am always at the hospital in my free time becoming a midwife, or a nurse.” She said softly the finality of accepting this was more like a forever situation setting in.
Carmela's comforting words were ones he heard often from his people and he smiled softly to her momentarily before it slipped away again. Though he was praised for being able to bring everyone together, Lucien didn't feel like he should be given much credit at all. He was a stranger to this world and the only reason for this new position among them was because of his senior position in the veil. Otherwise, someone who had been born in the last thirty years let alone this century would've been a better fit in his opinion. He'd lost that human connection the aurazin were known for. They were beings meant for empathy and the endless amount of time he'd been in the void had turned him more into a soldier than one with compassion when fighting the voidlings became his passion more than saving the souls they tried to devour. When things needed in a human life such as sleeping and eating didn't matter after death, it only gave the sentry more time to be chasing those monsters. He knew it was becoming an unhealthy obsession before his wife finally voiced it herself after he wasn't coming home in days.
Time moved differently up there. Down here the days somehow seemed longer when time was something he was so focused on. The months continued to slip away and still there were no real answers. His eyes glanced to the map he'd left on the table for a moment of self-doubt before Carmela's sudden words of despair made him look to her in surprise. If there was one person in the lodge among them that he knew would always hold onto hope, Luke thought it would be her, but now even she was aligning with his feelings as well. He wasn't sure if that made him want to try harder or fall further into hopelessness just then, but hearing her voice catch tore through him and touched on that empathic side that was natural to their kind, but sometimes foreign to him. No, he had to keep trying to find answers. He would not stop trying.
Lucien reached into his inside coat pocket and drew the handkerchief from its home, offering it to her. He tried to smile reassuringly and placed his hand over hers this time in comfort, staying quiet for a moment. Frivolous words of hope seemed lost on him then, but he would not give in. "I think that's an excellent idea." He knew how well she'd done in her role after death as an empath. A midwife or nurse seemed a perfect fit. "I believe I had better do the same myself." His eyes glanced around the lodge for a moment as he sat back in the chair and took hold of his cup. tapping his thumb on the brim. "Staying here and coming up with mostly no answers to our predicament is taking its toll as much as I don't want to admit it. I just feel like all of my time should be dedicated to that cause and that cause alone. I keep telling everyone that I'm fine, but I'm not and I'm sure it's plainly obvious. I was thinking of working at the museum. Maybe volunteering more at the library, though I believe they are probably sick of my face now." Lucien was most certain that Miss Kathy from the public library was very tired of pulling old historical accounts of weird phenomena in Evermore every few days when he would visit the building. "If we are to live here until we find answers, I believe we are more than capable of still being aurazin and your choice to continue helping others is a testament to that. The world is lucky to have you here again, Miss Carmela."
She could feel his gaze upon her in shock as she spoke the despair in her soul into the world. There was no real point in hiding the pain and the fear they had in their heart. In the years being on the other side she learned that no matter how you are feeling it's better to let it out, then dwell over them in silence. Yet she found it surprising that some of the other Aurazin always got shocked if she talked that way. One could only be strong for so long, at least she could only be strong for so long. “I know it's surprising to hear that from me, I rather not keep it inside. Already so much going on in my head with missing my son. I just know you can relate having your wife on the other side.” She said softly as she took the handkerchief in her hand and dried her tears.
She turned her hand over under his to hold his hand back for the quiet moment. Having a sad smile with a nod of her head for a moment. “Being around the sick babies I have been holding just has been making that drive to be around them to help all the time more. I figured helping those mothers would make things easier on the infants. Or that is the hope.” She said softly as trailed her fingers along the handkerchief. “What are you interested in doing? Going to a history museum and correcting all the things they got wrong from your time?” She asked with a slight chuckle from her lips as he stated the same idea at the same time, it was something she heard him correct once or twice hoping it would lighten the mood she had brought into the room.
“It weighs on all of us, I am sure you more so since you were given the task to care for all of us. I know I wouldn’t be able to handle the pressure of that.” She said softly as she held out the handkerchief towards him to take back now dampened by her tears. “It's okay that you are not fine Lucien. None of us are. If you can find any escape to ease your soul. I say take it.” She said honestly as she knew the feeling that maybe something none magical related would help him not feel so lost in this world. She let her eyes fall from him for the moment as he complimented her. “I believe that it is my purpose in life to be there for others. Since I understand how dark and lonely things can feel otherwise.” She said softly to him before letting his hand go finally and finishing off her spiked coffee. She stood up and then looked down to him for a moment. “Would you like to go for a night walk?” she asked him softly.
As Lucien placed the handkerchief back in this coat, he took in the words she spoke. The honesty was nice to hear even though many of their kind were not the type to do so when their greater purpose in their given roles required more sacrifice on one's personal feelings to help humans pull through the worst of theirs. "I keep thinking we've done something wrong to displease the beings that have given us our new purpose, but it feels much more sinister in nature. I just can't understand what that is yet." His eyes glanced to the map on the table again before looking back up to her. "It's very frustrating for my logical mind." He grinned sadly, looking into his mug in thought as he continued speaking. "Though the meaning of logic has changed greatly since my death and finding out about what comes next."
His eyes followed her as she stood and offered a break from their current ordeal. Lucien rose from the chair in turn and bowed his head slightly at the proposal. "I would like that very much, Miss Carmela, thank you." The sentry shrugged his long coat off and opened it for her to wear as she was still only in her nightdress before heading towards the large double doors. Pulling it open for her, his gaze moved upwards towards the darkened halls upstairs where the rest of his kind was fast asleep before following after her and closing the doors. He wondered if he'd ever get the knack for sleeping again.
The night was still as quiet as it had looked when he was staring from the window for who knew how long. Lucien closed his eyes for a moment at the peacefulness he wished to absorb into him before turning to Carmela with a soft smile. He offered his arm to her and led the way down the few steps, into the open fields. How they were so lucky to be given such a place to call their own was what he considered a small miracle. That and the magic of an aspect who had gifted them more than they could ask for. If this did become their forever home, Luke could at least be happy it was here. Even when some of the others if not most decided they were comfortable enough to leave, he knew he never would.
"Feels like the veil doesn't it?" He looked to the endless prairie fields that blew softly in the night air and then to the sky as the cloudless night showed off the stars. "I'll never understand how some of the others enjoy the city more than this tranquility. I'd be clawing to get back here. Maybe even drive," he joked, as everyone in the lodge knew Lucien hated the idea of being behind the wheel of an automobile.
Camela let her gaze stay on the map for a long moment. “One of us would have to be doing something truly evil to piss off whomever created us in order for that to be the case. Have you ever heard of tails of an Aurazin going awol and doing such things?” She wondered knowing he had been like their kind longer than most. “Sinister doesn’t even truly touch what could be going on.” She muttered softly as she looked towards him once again as he stared at the map, she couldn’t help but let the stifled chuckle pass her lips on willingly. “Logic went out a long time ago after death took hold but didn’t drag us fully away.” She agreed with him in that moment, “Though the want to understand will never fade I feel.” She said softer as her fingers moved along the mug handle softly, as if they were dancing along it.
The fresh air would do well for them both, after all it would be welcomed to her. So as he offered her his long coat she slid her arms into it offering him an easy smile. “I like that you are such a gentleman, these youngsters could learn a thing or two from you. Thank you.” She said as she moved out of the door he opened for her. As she stepped out and down into the grass of the Prairies lands they had been privileged to live on in that moment. It had such beauty that it made her forget the pain of being trapped sometimes. Yet it would always scratch its way back in unwilling to let her forget long that she was locked away here, without her son. She trailed her bare foot along the ground.
As his arm was offered she linked her slender arm with his as the pair started to move through the grasslands. She looked up to the calm night soaking in the moonlight. As he spoke about it feeling like the veil she nodded for a moment. Her eyes closed at the gentle breeze that picked up her hair, whipping it around her face as she looked to him once again. “It is a comforting place to be when there is so much uncertainty. Having that familiarity makes it easier to breathe some days.” She admitted softly as she felt the gentle laugh left her lips that turned into a gentle smirk.
“I mean the ones that have found their way into the city have comfort of time on their side I think. They are far less disconnected to the new world like us. It still takes me a lot of effort to be in the present world. All the shiny and new things are overwhelming and for us we need this tranquil place or we may lose our minds so much we would attempt to drive when we shouldn’t” she teased him with a gentle bump of her shoulder to him for a moment. An idea did cross her mind, “Why don’t you get a horse?” She asked looking around, “Would be nice to have a lovely creature like a horse around and gives you something to tend too.” She pointed out. “Maybe rest would find you easier also.” She said softer knowing they both had issues sleeping.
Lucien gave a soft smile at her teasing, but found that what she had said was quite true. The world was an overwhelming place for him and those other Aurazin who found themselves coming back to Earth after hundreds of years of being away. Even when they were set on their missions as shepherds, they were never meant to walk the world for so long and see how much of it might've changed since their passing. He himself was incredibly guilty of being away from what humanity had become since his death as he remained at war in the void, fighting back the creatures in the dark to save the wandering souls which belonged in the light. The sentry couldn't stay hidden forever in his office, he knew. It was time he walked the new world.
"A horse?!" He chuckled at Carmela's suggestion, a note of surprise at what he initially thought would be a preposterous idea. Then the notion began to sound more and more like something he would rather enjoy. Riding had always felt like a sense of freedom for him when he was alive. Luke let the thought roll around some more in his mind before giving a slight shrug. "I suppose it would give me something else to focus on, though they are probably just as expensive to care for. Perhaps I could at least work at a nearby stable if anything. Think they will let me borrow said horse to traverse the city?" he joked, smirking to her. "I still say they will always be better than those metal death machines."
A thought came into Luciens' head then and he slowed their pace slightly while thinking it through. "We should do it together. Go try and be in this new world. Normally if I was with someone in the city, we were checking out some clue that might lead us to answers on why we were expelled to Earth, but never to really take in this new present." The first time he traversed the bus system, Luke thought he would never find his way back to the terminal for Hudson to pick him up, but he did admit it was a bit fun all the same. The driver didn't much appreciate Luke pulling the cord to stop at all the bus stops to ensure he wouldn't miss where he was supposed to be and if looks could kill...
"I think it would be fun to have someone else experiencing it all with me. The museum helps me feel a bit content. Close to a life I used to have, even a little sad. I still haven't explored much else of the city. Is there much to do around the hospital?"
Carmela spotted the soft smile, it warmed her heart she could at least cause the all too serious leader to smile even if it was just for a moment. When he sounded surprised by what many would never suggest. She watched the gears grind the thoughts together on how it wasn’t that crazy of an idea. Watching him come to the idea of working in a stable made the woman smile as she gave a nod of her head. “Well who knows, you may have to train them to walk among the busy streets. So you may actually.” she said with a serious tone as she knew she had seen a few horses being trained around cars on her way back and forth. “I believe there is a place down that dirt road not far away. Called Forrest Ranch. Maybe you can check there?” She suggested.
As their pace slowed, her gaze naturally hung on her leader. Her hand came out to his for a moment to give it a gentle squeeze before she nodded her head. “We should. Most of my time away is helping people through their grieving or holding sick children. I haven’t had much time to explore past the graveyards where I have been placing flowers and toys on the graves.” She said honestly. Even after the Vile closed she stayed focused on trying to make sure she was doing the job to the point she had run herself into the ground. Never letting the others see how tired she would get. Using sugar as a high around them. It wasn’t until recently she realized killing herself again wouldn’t do any of them good.
“Well I am no Kaia but I would be honored to explore this old new world with you.” She moved her hand over her heart and bowed slightly to him before straightening back up with a smile to him. “You will have to show me the museum some time, I have yet to venture in.” Feeling the turn of guilt in her stomach as it would be a good place to learn about history between her death and now. “Well I haven’t overly explored the city, but I do have a list of things I would like to do.” She admitted as she ran her bare foot along the dewy grass under her feet.
“Hospital is in the center of town, so there is a lot around it. The ride into the city is where I have made my list in my journal.” She gestured towards the cabin before she took his hand and placed it on her hip, taking his other hand as she started to lead him in a dance, seeing if he would pick it up. “There are all these stores lined with things I would never know, unless I went in. There is a park that holds what looks like a festival. All kinds of food to eat. If you wish to look at the list and pick something, we could do something together when the sun rises.”