Mortal Kombat - Halfdeadasaurus Orphanage

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Description: Left to her own devices by Takako Fujiwa, the defeated Alexis Lovell sits upon the cold stone floor of the tower's portal chambers. Her brush with death comes to a strange head when Howard Rust, Jr. and his adopted son Jao Puntasrima - for reasons unknown - just happen along her way. Hope, despair, and resignation all seem to be juggled amongst one another, but who knows what each will ultimately keep hold of in the coming days?

Alexis' world is red.

The sky is red; or orange, or somewhere between - it is neither clear nor constant, giving way to the black void sooner than it should, were this Earth - Earthrealm as it is known to the inhabitants of this realm. She is not on Earth, though, a fact that could only be made more present in her mind if it were less given over to trying to blot out the pain running through her. Ironically, it may be the closest to Earth that she could be; from the tower where she languishes, swirling vortexes bridging Outworld and other realms are visible in the sky. To the best of her knowledge and that of anyone she's had a chance to question on the subject, though, the portals don't allow for escape from this realm - only entry.

She is also dressed in red - nearly the entirety of her clothing save for the black bands around her neck and waist are a shade of scarlet. Covering more than the clothing, though, is the drying blood that drenches her limbs, her face, her hair, her body. The source is evident: what was once some sort of leotard has been shredded nearly to ribbons, and clotted gashes cover her arms and legs, one across her cheek appearing to have barely avoided lethality.

She leans against a pillar, every now and then taking a deep, ragged breath. Each time she does, a faint keening comes from the dimly glowing gem at her throat, attached to a black choker. It's nearly the only sound, though the tower is not otherwise deserted - silent monks lurk ever-present to watch over the portals. None make a move to assist or interfere with the young woman. Though she is in clear need of medical assistance, she seems amazingly stable for her condition - while the blood seems to have left her body violently and rapidly, she isn't bleeding out at present, though she's certainly a shade or two paler than normal.

Aquamarine eyes lingering on one of the hooded figures, Alexis reaches down to the cloth belt at her waist, which somehow still hangs together. Her grip tightens around a carved length of wood, and she pulls it free, raising it to her mouth. Drawing in a deep breath, she positions her fingers on the holes that dot the length of the thing, puts her lips on the end, and blows.

An awful noise breaks the near-silence, causing one of the hooded monks to flinch briefly.

"Thought so, asshole," Alexis mutters under her breath, half-smirking in spite of her condition before she starts to blow again. Whatever it's meant to sound like, the hand-carved flute is distinctly lacking in pitch precision to an almost demonic degree.

The world is not the colors it 'should' be.
Those from the Earthrealm, as it is called, have certain expectations to be met about the way things look, the way things move, the way things ought to be. Almost none of this applies, any more. Gravity itself seems to be something of a suggestion towards the outer edges of the chamber dedicated to the mysterious portals that twist and contort what bizarre colors dot the sky around Shang Tsung's tower.
Sound, at least, behaves like it should. There's two sets of footsteps coming up from below, and then there's one set. One of them didn't fall off - there's a lack of a 'thud'. No, instead there's a set of voices that are difficult to decipher above the ambient swirling of fell energies coalescing here in this hell.
Two sets of footsteps again. They're approaching. One's a bit more rapid than the other. There's another stop between them. Some more talking, though it's clearer now. A man's voice - kind of familiar? Alexis might be certain she's heard them before... and there's one of a younger man. Teenager.
A visual follows. A luxurious mane of black (though, in this light it really does look purple) hair done up in braids, dressed in dirtied blue clothing, legs bare from the knees down aside from sandals... hm. Wait. Could that be--
"Just a little more, Jao," says this very familiar man, whose back is now turned to the injured Alexis as he omes into view, helping up a young teenager of Thai descent dressed in old brown rags - brown rags not unlike what Alexis may have seen some others here wear - towards the top.
"I hate this, father! I hate it!" The kid in question cries, face buried in a pair of hands as he makes it up to the stone grounds that make up the floor of the chamber.
"Shh. Shh. I know. Last floor was, uh," as he turns to regard the rest of the room, he looks like he's about lost for words. What can he say? What can he do? "But I'd li--"
That's when he sees her, taking his right hand up against the side of his head. Wordlessly, he jogs over down to Alexis' side. The child he's with follows suit, if only half-way, averting their gaze once it's clearer as to what they're seeing over there.
"Alexis?" Asks the one and only Howard Rust, Jr., who seems remarkably together aside from the dirt, grime, bruises, and other signs of having been part of a thorough beating. "Well, there you're in! Jao!" He turns back to signal the kid over, prominently showing off a beaded bracelet of sorts on his right wrist. The beads in question are misshapen and uneven, but all very dimly glow to highlight its sapphire hues.
'Jao,' this kid in question, seems hesitant to approach...

The red-clad young lady doesn't quite hear the sound of approaching footsteps over the hateful sound that her makeshift pipe is playing - at least, not at first. It's not until she catches movement on the periphery of her vision that Alexis lowers her weapon, eyes squinting past her bangs toward the battered man in blue and the youth that's with him.


Her tone is incredulous - as questioning of her own mind as it is of her fellow Canadian. It seems almost impossible that Howard Rust Jr. would be here, almost certainly a hallucination conjured by her blood-deprived brain to soften her predicament before she expires. What are the odds that her teammate and sometime mentor from the King of Fighters tournament, a man whose status as a champion among fighters had secured their team's invitation to participate, would happen to be here, at a tournament for fighters of notable status?

Well, probably relatively decent, when one phrases it that way, but why is his hair still /purple/ in this lighting?

Pushing the questions from her mind results in them spilling out of her mouth instead. "What are you... doing here, eh?" she asks, her voice sabulous and breathing uneven after wasting so much air seconds before on attempting to torment the silent wardens of the portal chamber. She reaches up to place a hand on the stone cylinder behind her to steady herself as she forces herself to stand. She flinches as she does.

"It's okay, kid, I'm not... dead," she calls to reassure the youth, though she doesn't sound entirely confident either in what she's trying to convey or whether it's true. She looks back at Rust, eye catching the bracelet, of all things. "Nice jewelry. Did you, uhh... bring it with you, or...?"

Generally, his existence raises more questions than it solves. This may be one of the treasured moments in which there are precious few good questions to be raised about the hows and whys of his presence in a place so very few people would ever want to go. (Almost.)
"Ahh, you know, it's, ah... a long story," the other Canadian gathered here seems to all but dismiss it, but it could be a story far too long for anyone's good, given the advanced state of injury that Alexis presently suffers. Maybe he might actually be cognizant of that? For once?
Alexis' attempts at reassuring the kid seem to be met with a lack of clear results. He continues to dislike the idea of approaching or... even going anywhere, standing near the center which is the furthest possible point he can find from anything and everything that looks threatening or wrong. (Which is to say, everything!)
"Whoop. Easy. Easy." The middle-aged man reaches out with his left hand to offer support around Alexis, should she ask for it. "I'll help you down." Down where? There doesn't seem to be any place whatsoever that's free of... blood, death, spikes, or anywhere that would be good for someone to rest and recover.
"This thing?" He raises his right wrist. "Uhhh... maybe?" He laughs nervously. "Too busy with-- Jao, hey. Say hi to Alexis! You saw her at King of Fighters!"
Jao doesn't say 'hi.' His eyes do, however, visibly trail towards her choker, holding up the arm that adorns a similar piece of jewelry to the older man with him...
...His is of a yellow color. Something about this difference seems to visibly disturb him, through and through, as though on some fundamental level a great, fearful distrust.
"'n that's my son, Jao," Jr. explains, "ahh, he's... he's had some day. Days." That may be putting it mildly, as Jao himself looks like he's been put through the wringer - if not to the degree of Rust over there.

Alexis allows Rust's assistance to manifest, even offering a quiet 'thanks' as she leans on the middle-aged man for support. After all, she was willing to trust him with an impromptu trip to the heart of the Rockies through a blizzard, and that had worked out; it's hardly the time to let her trust falter now. Somehow, Alexis has it in her head that Rust probably knows what he's doing, in spite of all evidence to the contrary that might present itself.

"Last I heard you were in hospital, I think," Alexis murmurs before drawing in a sharp breath and raising her hand to brush the blood-streaked bangs from her eyes. The dubious wooden pipe has been tucked back into her belt. "Don't suppose you'd know how to get back from here, eh?"

She starts to laugh, which quickly proves to be a mistake - wincing as the quaking of her body sends pain shooting through her nerves, the cuts burning afresh. She turns an eye back to Rust's son as she quiets again.

"Hi, Jao. I'm Lexi," she introduces herself, offering what looks to be a genuine, if pained, smile. "Guess you ended up here the hard way too, eh?" She points her chin briefly at the rags that form the basis of her assumption. "I think I remember seeing you there, yeah. King of Fighters. Nashville, eh?"

She looks up at the hellish sky.

"Least we're not in Nashville anymore," she muses.

For his carelessness in the carefree way he carries himself, the aging Canadian handyman ninja at least expresses the very basics of caution and care for someone who may or may not be about to bleed out from their injuries. Back in Nashville, at least, even surrounded by carefully manufactured grunge and rough edges, they were a part of a society that least understood when it was time to get someone to the ICU.
Such a thing... doesn't seem like it exists, here.
"Hoo... yeah," he reminisces about the hospital bit, "sorry, couldn't get back in touch so fast. One thing after another, but, we're here!" He's smiling.
There's something wrong about this smile. How can he smile? They're caught in a hell realm with no sure-fire way to say things are going to be okay. Everything here is wrong, looks wrong, looks like they were never meant to step foot here, and yet...
Jao is motionless when Alexis speaks to him. In fact, as the two of them (very slowly) approach the steps, he shrinks away and tries to work out some sort of internal math about how to maintain a proper distance from just about every worrying element here. He keeps eyes locked on the musician, as though untrusting - what is he afraid of?
"'s a nice sky out at," Rust Jr. dares say with a nod about Nashville, of twisted colors and altered shapes that do not resemble anything on Earth - nor speak of anything good about them. "Two floors down... a temple. Lots of beds."
Beds? If Alexis looked around the temple when she was brought here by the sorcerer's commands, she might recall that they look nothing like beds down there. He probably means altars. Altars that might be meant for other things than just a simple night's rest. And yet...
"It'll get your feet up. Yep, best I can see right now," he keeps that smile going, "all three of us could use one, eh?"
Unless Alexis has any better ideas about where to go or what to do next, he starts trying to guide her slowly down the stairs - and presumably past the morbid tomb on the next floor down, the one with all the spikes in the ceiling.
Based on how Jao starts to hide his eyes, he might be fully aware of what's there.


Alexis' tone is dazed and confused by the assertion, not moving quickly enough in her current state to come up with a logical conclusion as to Rust's meaning. She had taken time to observe the architecture when she'd ascended the tower for the battle that had left her in her current state, and she certainly doesn't remember seeing any beds, only thinking that it would have made a nice set for a music video.

On the other hand, the only beds she does know of are in the palace, which feels miles away right now. She opts to trust Rust's word again, at least enough to follow him down the winding staircase for the time being. "We'll see if I make it that far, eh? If I don't, you can always leave me in one of those boxes on the one in between. Pretty sure they'd be good for a long sleep."

She has a smile on, too, though it's part for Jao's benefit and more than a little ironic. For some reason, it's usually after a sound thrashing that one can find Alexis in one of her better moods, but the logic that would extend that to a near death experience seems tenuous at best.

"If you do, and you see a girl later with a wooden sword, tell her I said she should hook up with my band. They'll need another singer, and she had a hell of a set of pipes," she rambles, before giving another glance toward Jao. "Hey, I can try and walk myself if you wanna walk with your dad, kiddo," she offers.

"Beds!" So he replies. The exclamation mark shouldn't be taken as a snap, or a shout. That sounds more and more like a man who just might be reaching to give some sort of passing comfort to a young woman that might be on death's door - but if it is, he's putting a good front about it. "Ahh, you'll make it down there. Get a nice rest..."
In her condition, going down stairs might yet be a very tall task, but he stands there as a pillar of support unless the universe aligns and decides to stick a banana peel under his sandal-clad heel... but it can be a reasonable guarantee that he'll get her down there in some form or another.
Jao does not seem to be any more at ease with the smile levied at him by Lexi. She might see it, just looking at him - he is a truly frightened, scared young man now a part of a culture that tends to emphasize that men be bold, tough, stoic, and not openly afraid. The few times Alexis might have seen him before all this, he was timid at best. Now...
"Girl with a wooden sword, you say?" He doesn't seem to connect the dots as to why such a descriptor would be mentioned out of the blue. He raises his unoccupied arm up and lowers it down, as if dismissive. "Take it easy. Don't think the band'd ever replace you."
Jao shakes his head at the invitation that follows, starting to back away from the steps...
"Jao. Come here." The friendlier, more easy-going tone of his voice seems to dampen just that little. "Take my hand." He extends his right hand, to a young teenage boy who might now emotionally be little better than a frightened five-year-old. (Aren't we glad we don't have to watch over any actual five-year-olds?)
Jao, with some reluctance, moves forth and silently takes hold of his father's open hand as they all come towards the staircase. It's /just/ wide enough for all three to go down at once.
"We're all going together! Had an exciting day... yep. Got trounced by one of the King of Fighters," he laughs. This is not a memory that Jao would consider funny. "She was right fierce! Wouldn't think it with how short she was... fought like her life depended on it." Well, it did!! To a point. "Think you'd like her, Alexis. Name started with 'M.'"
Someone's cheerful about their own near-death experience!
"Ahh. Well. I can talk your ears off after we all get some rest... move slow. Steady. We'll get there before you know it..."

Alexis is getting a little more sure of her own footing with each step, and a little better at hiding the accompanying pain. Ultimately, her wounds aren't as bad as they look - or as bad as they should be, owing to forces she could sense at the time but beyond her comprehension. Somehow, whatever resides within the red jewel on her neck - her 'gift' from the Elder Gods, it would seem - had not allowed her to simply bleed to death. Her veins have been sealed, though mercy seems a doubtful cause when posited against the perpetuation of suffering.

"Eh, maybe you're right. They're all good, but I don't think any of 'em would be doing the band thing if I wasn't making 'em," Alexis comments. "Sword girl's the one who ginsu'd me. I dunno if she knew it was gonna happen. Definitely surprised me how that thing got so sharp alluva sudden." Her brow furrows a bit in thought, and a frown crosses her lips. "Said something about sending her back to the grave, so, I guess she used to be dead or something? Not sure how that works."

As her mind turns to the subject, Alexis finds her eyes drawn back to Jao - and the yellow bracelet that he's wearing. An indistinct notion pulls at her thoughts - an imagined surge of power and release. A dull whistle in her ear that almost becomes a whisper. Warmth coming from her throat.

Abruptly, Alexis' hand shoots up, pulling and straining at the choker as if to rip it off, as if it were constricting around her neck. Her fingers search for a gap to get a grip on the accessory, but it refuses to allow her one. The digits wrap around the scarlet jewel and pull - and her hand jerks away as if stung. The jewel is unmoved.

"Dammit," she growls under her breath with a hiss, before swallowing thickly as she regains her composure. The entire ordeal, though only lasting a couple of seconds, causes her to pause her steps, breathing in and out slowly. "Sorry," she apologizes, not quite making eye contact with Jao or Rust.

"Dead, huh?" Without a free hand to stroke his chin as though this were the more interesting commentary beyond the idea of something getting 'so sharp.' The most he can do to show additional thoughtfulness other than to say the words is to just tilt his head. His impossibly healthy hair sways in the sickly breeze of a discolored sky behind the three of them.
"If it means anything, we aren't dead, I'll tell ya that!" Rust seems to squeeze Jao's hand just a bit tighter while saying that. Was he checking to be sure? Can he really feel a pulse with gloves on? Jao flinches a bit.
This flinch happens about the same time Alexis is casting eyes upon the young teenage boy, who seems to see it fit to look back at her for once. This act of courage lasts only for the passage of maybe two seconds before he looks away again.
When Alexis starts to go at her own throat, it's so sudden and surprising that Jr. nearly takes a tumble down the steps - his eyes bug out comically, standing at the very precipice of lost balance by the very tip of a sandal as one of his legs raise back, knee bent upward. Jao wraps both his arms around his dad's torso... but is that really for balance?
It may be telling when Alexis regains her composure that the youngest of them doesn't get out of his father's frame. Rust Jr. avoids adding another incident to the long list of physical comedy routines he has performed over the years, steadying himself in appropriately exaggerated fashion as his raised leg touches back down, doing a few tippy-toe steps back before flattening his feet.
"Oh, it's fine!" He tries to laugh it off. Well, no, he does laugh it off! This guy came within inches of grievous harm or worse, whe-- wait, he has the blue blessing. Of course he'd laugh, wouldn't he? He's safe, according to the will of the Elder Gods. He could afford to laugh it up all he wants, couldn't he?
"Tell you what, maybe I'll just drag the bed up in, uhh," he bows his head down as if to survey the steps, "somehow." Is he implying that he's intending to somehow remove and relocate /a stone altar up two levels of a tower/? That seems out there even for him.
"Uhh," he keeps 'uhh'-ing, maybe he has caught on to how silly this idea is, "if you, ah... don't think you can make the trip down."

It takes a few seconds for Alexis to regain her focus, her hands dropping down at her sides. She's broken away from the other pair - realising as she comes to that she was actually precariously close to the edge of the steps herself. Whatever brought the episode on seems to have passed, and she turns an apologetic look toward Rust and Jao as the tension in her posture slackens.

"Sorry," she says in a low and hoarse voice, tapping at the black band around her neck. "Got a bit... tight for a minute. It's not mine. Won't come off, though. Showed up while I was fighting... Takako. Man, that girl was loud."

She edges back closer to Rust, though not quite imposing her mobility on his good will again. "If you're gonna move a bed all the way up here, can you get me a ten gallon bucket of water to clean off with while you're at it? Or maybe a whole tub, eh?"

The expression on her face is clearly ironic - at least, it would certainly be clear to most people.

"Nah, I can make it down there, I think. Maybe further. Might just need another sit-down." Alexis frowns. "Especially with those woods out there. Would be a bad place to take a rest, I think."

"Huh, that so... maybe I shoulda brought a chainsaw," he muses, looking upwards.
That's a joke, right? He appears to be seriously contemplating the very idea, and if so, one should be very happy that he did not bring a chainsaw. Using a chainsaw to take care of a simple fashion accessory that just won't come off. Pfft. Who in this lifetime would ever think of that? What kind of upbringing did this man have to ever even consider such a thought!
Wordlessly, there's no protest to her coming back towards him, nodding his head along towards the ideas of getting a ten gallon bucket of water, maybe even a whole tu--
"You bet!" Now is a bad time for him to not pick up on sarcasm, he looks about ready to try and cobble together /just that/, the eagerness in his step slowed only with the reaffirmation of her confidence about being able to make it down there on her own.
"Ahh... lots to see out there, yep." He's been there? "Left the castle grounds because Jao didn't feel safe, came about in..." Can anywhere else ever be seen as an improvement? Really? That's a lot of good questions one could ask - how on earth could he have gotten here safely with a kid in one piece, and still have hospitality to spare?!
Jao doesn't seem ready to provide any answers, reasonable, thoughtful, nor humorous, still expertly hiding himself behind dad to avoid eye contact with Alexis.
"Well, let's get you two down to the beds." By which he means the altars, but this insistent terminology doesn't look like it's about to be shaken within the next few minutes. The dad of the duo re-wraps his arm around Jao's upper back, gently coaxing him back to his side rather than to his back as he starts down the steps.
Jao covers his eyes instinctually with one hand, not looking forward to being surprised by all the dead bodies in the ceiling of the tomb on the next floor down.
"Whatever it all means... sure means to be a hell of a time, eh?" These should be words of resignation to a grim battle to decide the fate of Earth, but no, he seems to be taking the whole picture remarkably easy - maybe a little... too easy, in contrast to the existential dread and fears eminating between Alexis and Jao alike.

"Emphasis on the 'hell,' eh?"

The young Canadian takes the steps one at a time, her boots creaking quietly on the stone as she goes. Her gloved arms wrap gingerly around her midsection, covering over some of the slashed sections of her clothing. The mild but constant burn proves more comfortable than the sting of moving air against her wounds.

"I guess a chainsaw would be handy," Alexis muses as she reaches a hand up to rub her cheek and eye, inadvertently staining half her face with a faint bloody handprint. Apparently the young woman missed the fact that the handyman was referring to removing the thing around her neck.

"I think I liked the bug people better than this," she says grimly, eyes lingering too long on the spiked ceiling and its occupants as the trio pass through the tower's tomb. "Maybe I should try and find Zabel. I know he's on the island. See if this is where he was talking about when he said he'd been to Hell before. I mean, if odds are I'm gonna die here, maybe I could get some tips from him on what to do about it if I do."

Nearly tripping as her boot catches on a crevice while she's talking about watching the ceiling, Alexis stumbles, but catches her balance in the time it takes her to swear loudly. Glancing at Jao, she frowns.


"Oh, you know that one?" Jr. seems intrigued by this. (Or jealous?!)
Zabel Zarock - probably the most infamous name in music outside of whatever the current topical hip hop celebrity's present misbehavior is. Even then, that name comes up every so often in regards to terrible influences on youth, the suggestive power of music, a whole lot of cans of worms that unite into one big giant container of worms (that is also open and wriggling like it's feasting on a corpse and... where this metaphor is going has been lost as of a few sentences ago).
Whatever he has to say about /that/ Zabel is interrupted by her near career-ending stumble that might've put an interesting message on her headstone right then and there. Jr. even starts to take a step forward as if to catch her, when she centers herself... he exhales, has a tired smile, and slowly steps back.
"Ahh... he's heard 'em all at home." Jr. doesn't seem to come off as much of a potty mouth, though...? Maybe he's just saying that to make Alexis feel better? Jao's continued shrinking and hiding - somehow finding new ways every passing second to invent further expressions of body language highlighting such - is not that much indicative one way or the other.
With his free hand, he starts rubbing at one side of his head. The eye nearer to the rubbing in question shuts closed, with a hiss of a wince that passes by in... passing.
"What's wrong wi--"
"Don't worry about it," his hand snaps down from his head, reaching over to pat the hand of Jao that holds onto him, keeping that smile of his that does not belong anywhere in this hellish landscape as he turns back over to Alexis while continuing that steady downward climb.
"Got lots to see, lots to do," like they're on some kind of crazed vacation, "I'm sure things'll line up. One way or another!" A sentiment almost no one shares on this island. "You're gonna have a whole lot of stories to tell your bandmates after all this."

"Yeah! He just showed up out of the blue or... whereever it is people like him show up from while me and the band were playing a gig at some shithole in Japan," Alexis tells Rust, her voice still scratchy but at least a bit more animated at recounting the story. "He told us we could be an opening act for his tour. I mean, we haven't done any yet - I think the whole Metro City thing kinda put a delay in things. Hopefully neither of us dies here." Her lips quirk. "I mean... like, /really/ dies."

Apparently there are degrees of death, particularly where the devil's music is concerned.

"I'd definitely... it'd be good to see them again. If I don't, though..." Alexis frowns. "Tell Kim to sell all my stuff on e-bay. She'll know what to do with the money. Oh, and make sure everyone knows, the band'll probably sell more records that way."

Alexis' tone is entirely pragmatic. While she doesn't fully understand the meaning of the items of power that they've acquired, somehow, she gets the sense that Rust will be making it out of the Outworld, even if she doesn't. Her eyes remain ahead, more vigilant, yet thoughtful, after the near-spill.

"I think... I could definitely use a nap."

Jao keeps ever close to his father at mentioning about dying while dad politely keeps quiet and listens along the way down. No matter where one goes, no matter one looks, they can see, smell, hear, feel, and maybe even taste death. It's only natural to allow such a concept to overtake thought itself. Mortal Kombat, a kontest of death...
"Let's not think too far ahead yet!" Jr. advises, even before the reasonable gameplan laid out for an uncomfortably likely reality of Alexis not being able to... continue to go on tour. Whatever her instincts are, however deeply rooted in pragmatism and reality, this man... doesn't seem to operate that way.
Even after accounting for that whole adventure in the Rockies on one of the strangest pretenses anyone's ever had for going deep in there, this almost seems willfully ignorant... something seems off, in some ways, about the young adults being more worldly and pragmatic in comparison to this guy!
"Won't be a dirt nap." Jr. says, smiling on over as he reaches out with a hand to invite Alexis - bloodied as she is! - further down with him. "Just get everyone rested up. Then we'll head on back... quite a walk!"
Going through that living forest, if they actually did and didn't somehow stumble on some amazing shortcut, is more than 'quite a walk.' It's a miracle either of them appear to be here still alive!
"If it puts you at ease, Lexi, ahhh, well, I'll remember to tell 'em." He doesn't make eye contact with her when he says this, as he's now looking over to his frightened son who needs a little more gentle coaxing to keep going. Despair is written all over him - what was he expecting to find outside of the castle grounds, anyway? Why would his father humor him so readily to go see more of what's out there? This ain't a freakin' picnic!!
When he does look back to her, though...
"I'll keep watch while you two rest." He kind of does appear as though he could use sleep himself, though. There's those little rings under his eyes. Everyone probably has them, but... "I'm used to staying up all night! I'm a dad. Uh. In the very beginning, when you're a dad, you... you sort of do that by default, yep..."
He says that with a more tired smile.

Rust's reassurances are enough to put Alexis more at ease. She takes the offered hand and falls in with Rust and Jao as they make their way toward the promise of stone beds. At least there would be a watch shift - lying unconscious on one of the altars without anyone at the alert would just seem far too inviting to those of sinister intent.

"Sounds good to me," she says, before falling into a silence that's not uncomfortable, but more the result of a mind at rest and a body that's wanting to be. It's just one more flight of stairs before she can expect to lay herself on the stone and drift off. Given any other reasonable option, it wouldn't be her choice.

Then again, here on Shang Tsung's island, there seems to be precious little that is...

Log created on 20:47:43 09/19/2016 by Rust, and last modified on 20:15:19 09/20/2016.