Author's Notes: As the title description says, The Tragedy of Repetition is just going to be a place to put various snippets and scenes of a fanfic I'm writing. It's unlikely that any of this will ever make it into said fanfic, but I went through the trouble of writing them, so I figured it wouldn't be too much trouble to post them up. There won't be any spoilers, at least any major spoilers, because the fic I'm writing has no definite timeline except the beginning and end.
WARNING: Everything I write tends to be dark, but this fic will be especially bad in that regard. So, if dark-fics aren't your thing, I suggest you stay far away from this, because it definitely isn't for you.
Disclaimer: I own nothing from The Elder Scrolls. All of it is owned by Bethesda. In addition, the setting belongs to the Immortal Blood Timeline, but nothing I do will interact with the Timeline for the duration of this fic. It's merely contained within the setting. For those who don't know what the Immortal Blood timeline is, since I'm posting this in multiple places, it's an online RP that centers around the conflicts between various nations after the collapse of the Empire following the Oblivion crisis. All you really need to know is that Hammerfell, led by the city of Sentinel, defeated the Ruby Ranks of the Empire in open war, the Aldmeri Dominion has resurfaced under the leadership of the former terrorist group The Beautiful, and has since conquered Valenwood and is now invading Elsweyr, that Morrowind is in total chaos following the disappearance of Vivec and the Oblivion Crisis, which hit them as hard as it did Cyrodiil, and that the Empire has crumbled into almost nothing, with the main armies of man now being the Knights of the Nine, who are currently fighting the heathen Redguards of Sentinel to reclaim Hammerfell in the name of the Divines. All that really pertains to this fic is the bit about the Dominion, though. If you want to read more about it, the RP is still ongoing and has been for the past few years on Bethesda's official forums.
In addition, I make several distinct references to a certain series about magical serial killers in this scene. If anyone recognizes the references, congratulations! You've seen my favorite series of all time!
The Subtle Taste of Blood
A figure ran through the alleys of Sunhold. The city of the Sun, which looked so magnificent during the day, filled with prismatic colors, was now like a tomb, dead and foreboding without the slightest sign of life. After all, anyone with sense was inside, sequestered in their homes with as much security as they could muster to protect them. They didn't know why they were doing this, only that they must. It was a primal thing, more in line with the actions of the simple creatures of the forest than the proud species of Mer that had once controlled the great Aldmeri Dominion, and now did so again after freeing themselves from the chains of the Empire.
Of course, none of these thoughts were relevant to Elidor. He was a simple crime lord, after all, and not predisposed to thinking of politics or anything more complicated than the art of making others bow to his will with whatever crude methods are at hand. He was a worthless Mer, to be sure, and undoubtedly the world at large would be better if he were no longer alive, though he, and perhaps some others, would argue vehemently against that. It's too bad then, that neither he nor his few friends have a choice in the matter.
Though he did not know it at the time, he was already dead. Fate had judged him, and found him lacking. Now it was merely a matter of waiting for time to catch up with reality. However, since he did not know this, he continued to run. He knew the alleys well, had lived in them all his life, and he was a good runner. There was no way that demon-woman would catch him. So confident was Elidor that he failed to notice the figure running above him, sprinting across the rooftops.
Just as he broke out from the dark, foreboding alley and into a better lit clearing, one outside a safe house of his, in fact, the predator he thought he had escaped descended. One of the fools Elidor had gotten to guard this particular safe house, so typical of the sort of brutish thug that many would expect from an Orc, shouted a warning as his mouth caught up with his mind.
Elidor spun, looking up into the moonlight, and saw the eyes of his killer. The world froze in that moment, as red eyes, the color of blood that had just been spilled, met green, bright and full of life that did not want to be ended. A hand extended. And fire exploded into the darkness.
In a rare moment of clarity, Elidor did the one thing he was truly competent at. He made things burn. The right hand of the falling demon-woman descended towards the fire, as if she could ward it off merely with a gesture, and for a moment, Elidor thought she would do exactly that. She was unnatural, after all, why would that not be in the realm of possibilities.
The fire continued, though. It impacted the woman's arm, flaying it, burning and crackling at her lifeblood and growing ever fiercer as it traveled up her arm, as if feeding on the rage and hatred of this person it had come into contact with.
But the woman did not stop. Her momentum was too great, and her bloodlust too high; and so, just as Elidor thought he had felled the demon-woman he had been fleeing from all night, her form passed through the blaze, much worse for wear, but still descending.
To his credit, Elidor did not scream. He did not panic and try to turn to run again, and did not try to call for his guards, who were much too far away to save him. Instead, he readied another spell, hoping to cast it before the blade that was now moving through the air like a pendulum could slice open his throat.
In this, he failed. However, the movement he was making to cast saved his life, as the blade passed mere millimeters in front of his skin as the demon-woman crashed into him. There was a heavy thump as both bodies fell impacted on the stone street, and a lighter sound as the dagger skipped across the ground, away from the now struggling pair.
Elidor, a fairly large and bulky man for an Altmer, automatically assumed he had an advantage. However, in his haste to free himself, he overlooked one very important detail. The demon-woman's arm was still on fire, and he had since lost control of the spell, letting it burn and consume all it touches. Such as his face, when the woman grabbed his head with her flaming hand, the magic fire having already burned the skin to ask and leaving only blood, muscle, and bone, which too would be reduced to nothing if the fire was not soon extinguished.
For the moment, however, the fire was sated in eating away at the flesh of its caster, and Elidor screamed in agony and the fire spread to his well-kept blonde hair, his expression twisted in a mix of pain and fear, even as the woman's lips quirked in a cruel smile. The thugs at the door of Elidor's safe house began moving now, in a vain attempt to save their master. Or rather, they would have, if their feet hadn't been locked in place with a wave of ice, apparently conjured from nowhere, even as the blood red eyes of the murderess turned to glance at them dismissively.
Elidor continued screaming, and for the first time that night, he said something coherent, "Please! I don't want to die!"
The woman looked back down at him, smiling as her eyes met his, joy in her expression despite how her right arm was continuing to wither and die. Her left arm, now free, as her legs were pinning the Altmer's arms to the ground, reached to her waist, where a sheath containing an exquisite knife rested. She drew it, the blade of the small weapon glinting in the moonlight and reflecting Elidor's terrified face back at him. Her lips quirked again, before she spoke, her voice smooth and calming in a clear dissonance to the situation.
"I want to kill you."
The blade descended, and Elidor's screams ceased as red fluids arced up into the air. A single swift movement had ended the crime lord's life, for better or worse, and his Orc servants could only stand and watch in horror.
Then, as if from nowhere, a figure materialized a few feet from the still burning woman and the man whose life she had ended. The old illusionist clicked his tongue with an expression of disappointment. "You shouldn't allow yourself to get such wounds, Alara. You're a better killer than that. It should have been easily avoided. Why did you let yourself be hit by that spell?"
The woman, now known as Alara did not answer. Rather, the response came as a wave of ice covered her now disfigured arm, silencing the hungry flames, and then melted as quick as it had been formed, leaving only a grotesque, twisted remnant of what had once been her right arm.
With her left hand, she sheathed her dagger once more without cleaning off the blood, which made the man's lips move downwards into a frown. The frown deepened even more when Alara, apparently almost in a trance, reaching down with the same hand towards the rapidly spreading pool of blood underneath Elidor's grievously mangled head.
"Alara, what are you doing?" The old man asked, now wary as well as concerned.
Again, she gave no response, but moved her index finger through the blood, making circles as if she were a toddler drawing. Then, she lifted her fingers up, and to the old man's horror, spread the blood she had collected across her lips. For one whimsical moment, the illusionist wondered if Alara had been turned into a vampire while he wasn't looking, but she did not drink the blood, merely leaving it spread across her lips in a smear. She threw her head back in almost ecstasy, and her eyes, now the same color as her lips, shifted towards the old man, filled with loathing. And then, in a sublime moment of realization, he understood. It was the first lipstick she had ever worn.
Her eyes, filled with hatred, but also now something else, more similar to love or appreciation, met his dull blue ones, and Verus, the seasoned killer that he was, understood the message. It's your fault. You did this to me. And one day, your blood will coat my lips as well.
Thoroughly disturbed, Verus moved towards her and gathered her slim, now unresponsive form in his arms, and took her back to the shack they had taken as their own, even as the Orcs that had been watched now realized the ice around their feet had melted. Upon arriving at their destination, the old man cleaned the blood from her face, healed her arm as best he could with what Restoration magic he knew, and put her to bed. All the while, those same red eyes were watching him. Accusing him. So it was a relief when she apparently finally fell asleep, so that Verus could do what he had been meaning to do ever since he had picked her up from the corpse of her target. He began to weep.