Title: [F]Into The Abyss
Orin Acheron - December 20, 2010 11:07 PM (GMT)
Orin had never deluded himself about the nature of the seas. It was an unforgiving environment, deadly as any there were. Still, the sea's waters had been as much a home to him as anything else that he had ever known, and the mother ocean's waters had often been as comforting as anything. Once. For as warm and nurturing as they had once been, now their embrace was like a symphony in repose. But how could he feel anything else from it but that, after all that it he had lost within the waters? His son. His wife. His heart. Even in his dreams he felt the sting of it.
His dreams were where he had found himself now. They say that when you dream, your senses don't operate normally. In the dream you might be deaf. Or perhaps your olfactory senses aren't functioning. You don't feel, or taste. There's always something missing. Except.. he could smell the bring within the dream. Taste the salt water pounding through his teeth. He could feel the crush of the current and see the world spinning around him as the waters tried to pull him down into whirlpool that turned beneath him; hear the roar of the furious ocean.
Orin couldn't help but hope to Poseidon that whomever 'they' were, they were misinformed... otherwise he was in serious trouble. "So," he could hear a voice call from beyond, "now you know. About your mother and me. In that case, I must warn you... it's only going to get worse," the man said, and Orin could only just make out blonde hair. Atlan, he couldn't help but wonder. Orin reached out to the man, trying to find a footing or an arm or something that he could use to pull himself away from the whirlpool's pull, only to find his hand go straight through the man's.
"Oh dear," the man mused as Orin was pulled into the whirlpool, "I'm afraid you're on your own." The King of Atlantis cast his gaze down at the bottom of the whirlpool, where he saw it waiting for him; a pair of colossal, horrendous jaws. Its teeth were grinding and as he was pulled in, he was overwhelmed by a fetid stench. He grasped onto the teeth, trying to keep the jaws open; to keep them from closing around him – an effort wholly in vain as he found when they clenched shut around him and Orin snapped awake with a shout within the cave that he had resigned to while he scribed in his mother's journal.
"Just a dream," he murmured as he pinched his brow. As if his waking life was that much better.
Mera Acheron - December 21, 2010 09:24 PM (GMT)
Mera paused in her motions, allowing the gentle current of the sea to wash around her as she glanced around. She glanced back toward where Atlantis was briefly before continuing on her way, making her way toward the cave that Orin often went to. She shook her head at herself as the entrance of the cave came into view and she paused once more, regarding it.
She wasn't sure how Orin would react to her interrupting him. Once, she knew that he wouldn't mind, but since she left after their son died she wasn't sure how the man would react about anything any more. That was her own fault she knew that and the only way she would know is if she did it and found out. She moved to the entrance, resting her hands lightly against the rock of the cave entrance. She hesitated for a just a moment before slipping inside.
"Orin," she called out softly to let the man know that it was her. She made her way slowly through the cave, running the fingertips of one hand lightly along the wall as she moved forward. She stopped when she saw him and frowned slightly when it seemed that he was bothered by something. "Whats wrong?" she asked gently as she moved closer to him. She knew that it could be any number of things, life in the ocean was not an easy one, especially for the King of Atlantis and those that were closest to him it seemed.
Orin Acheron - December 24, 2010 12:21 AM (GMT)
Orin pinched his brow as his senses began to weave themselves together again. Part of him thought that it was ridiculous that he was allowing himself to be quite so given over to the dreams that had been plaguing him; dreams of prophecy and the sorcerer that his mother had claimed was his father within her journals. A throw back to Atlantis when it had been greater still than it was now. Orin had never really put much weight to the notions of fate and destiny, but he was beginning to feel that perhaps that had been a foolishness in its own right.
Reading through the predictions that Atlan had made to Atlanna – he didn't like to claim them as prophecies – it was difficult to refute the possibility of destiny, especially considering all that he had seen... Glancing at the inert waterbearer hand – little more than a wisp of water that extended from the end of the cap on the end of his hand, curling loosely around his waist – he couldn't help but reflect on the tie to The Clear it represented. How could he refute the notion of a greater design when he could practically see the ties that bound every living thing within the ocean?
He sighed softly as the water came together, condensing into a solidified hand that he ran through his bedraggled locks of hair, drifting up from the bed that he had lain upon. If there was such a thing as fate, it seemed that Atlantis had always been its play thing. Orin wasn't sure how he was to face his people with that knowledge bearing upon his brow. How could he tell them that it didn't matter where they placed their faith or whom they followed and where they were led; that no matter what they did it was the wheels of destiny that determined where they wound up?
He was brought out of his thoughts – and perhaps was grateful for it, too – when he heard a familiar voice ring through his thoughts, the words unheard through the waters as her expression settled lightly, directly within his mind. "Mera," he responded, clearing his throat as he did. He was aware that he was something of a state – thick curls of hair hanging loosely to his shoulders and a full beard having set across his jawline; far from the state in which he would have wished her to see him, especially considering their... estrangement – but he couldn't exactly ignore her presence. Not when he would have given his other hand to speak with her.
Orin felt his heart leap by the faintest of increments even as it sank through his stomach at the very same moment, and he gave an absent shake of his head; not quite certain what it was he was shaking his head at. It could have been at her question, it could have been at her finding her way to the cave at probably the worst of times, just as he came out of another one of those irritatingly prophetic dreams – the ones that always seemed to leave some particular meaning laced within their substance; one that he would have to parse through by himself. Because, naturally, nothing was ever simple. That would be too much to expect.
"The ocean is at war with itself. The surface constantly, unintentionally, crafts our ruin. Our people our guided by folly and they're led by a man who walks blindly," he muttered aloud, having to keep himself from commenting on the fact that they looked for protection from a man who hadn't even been able to protect his own child. "Is there anything that's right, Mera?" Self-pity wasn't becoming, he was aware of that; and it certainly wasn't a regal quality. But he wasn't sure that it even was self-pity. He felt more sorry for his subjects than he did for himself.
Mera Acheron - December 24, 2010 12:59 AM (GMT)
A soft smile touched Mera's lips when Orin's voice, speaking her name, brushed through her mind. She tilted her head as she took in his appearance, her hand itching to reach out to touch the curls, to feel the texture of the beard that adorned his jaw. While she didn't reach out to touch him, she did move slightly closer to him.
She sighed softly at the answer he gave her to her question, shaking her head slightly. She had to think of it, but she had seen the things that were crafted on the surface during her time there. It saddened her to see the things the people that lived on the surface did to the waters, not even knowing or caring about the damage they were causing to the ocean. From the chemicals that their ships leaked to the waste that they allowed to run into the sea.
Shaking her head slowly at his comment she did reach out to rest her fingertips lightly against his arm. "Orin, you walk no more blindly then the rest of us in this world of ours. Things are changing more then any of us could have imagined, and rapidly at that," she said softly. "I know that you are only doing the best you can.
Perhaps at first she had placed some of the blame for the death of their son upon his shoulders, and had left him to suffer through the grief on his own. But, while she had wandered she had come to realize she was as much at fault for the loss of their child as the man before her. "You ask me if there is anything that is right and I do not have an answer for you Orin. I am sorry," she said, not simply apologizing for lacking an answer to his question, but for not being the wife he had expected. She looked at his hand, the one crafted of water, for a moment before lifting her eyes to meet his.
Orin Acheron - January 4, 2011 06:13 PM (GMT)
Arthur turned to Mera when she began to respond to his statement, his gaze meeting hers. Orin ruled over more than three quarters of the world. He could control the creatures from which all life had been spawned. His very thoughts could shape the tides and the flow of the ocean itself. And yet he felt utterly impotent when Mera's green eyes settled upon him; because all he could think of was what he felt whenever he had looked into his son's eyes. The unconditional love. The dependence. The trust. The innate faith within the child that no matter what happened, his father would always ensure he was safe and cared for. The same faith that their people had in him. And yet for all that he had done, for every effort that he had made to preserve his child, it had all been for nothing.
He had defeated Orm, he had lost his hand, and in the end, he had lost his son anyway. If perhaps he had simply been a father and a husband – or if perhaps he had even simply been a king – then his son would have been safe; he wouldn't have been pursued so relentlessly. But his life was mired in so much damned chaos, shaped by the tides of 'destiny' as Atlan would have no doubt put it, and with that came enemies. Enemies by the scores, all of whom would lash out at the people that he loved simply to hurt him or Atlantis. If he had been a simple man, Mera would never have had to fear for their son... So when he looked into Mera's eyes, all he saw was his inability to protect the ones he loved. Perhaps that was why he had turned so fiercely now on those that would be his enemy or would harm Atlantis; from the gaudy costumed individuals to the terrorists, even bubbling up to the surface as a whole.
It was simple; Orin wouldn't allow anything to harm anything he cared for again. And if that meant that he had to turn savagely on everything outside of Atlantis, then so be it. He had only failed once, but once had been enough. All there was to be done now was vow 'never again'. The corner of his lips turned up in the faintest hint of a scowl when Mera described the changes that the tides, the seas, the world as a whole were taking. "Of course, Mera." he responded, turning away from her. "It's destiny, didn't you know?" Orin murmured, disdain practically dripping from the word 'destiny' as he made his way out of the cave with a shape of his head.
Mera Acheron - January 4, 2011 07:36 PM (GMT)
Mera pursed her lips faintly as Orin left the cave and she briefly considered not following him, to allow him to have his space. But, she couldn't bring herself to do that, not after such a long time of being separated from him. She sighed softly as she followed him out of the cave, waiting until they were clear of it to maneuver in front of him, reaching out to rest a hand lightly against his cheek, feeling his beard tickle her palm.
"Don't we shape our own destinies Orin?" she asked gently, her brow arching slightly. She was confused by the disdain that had dripped from his voice when he spoke the word destiny. She found herself wondering what it was that he had dreamed or seen in the cave. She lowered her hand slowly, rather reluctantly, but she didn't want to crowd him. Her guilt for abandoning him was eating at her, though she didn't let it show as she watched him.
Orin Acheron - January 6, 2011 04:33 PM (GMT)
Orin grimaced to himself as soon as he had made his way out of the cave; already regretting turning his back on Mera like that and walking – or rather, swimming – out on her. For one brief moment, spawned of a lingering bitterness that he could deny but not wholly ignore, he saw a fittingness to it; after all, she had walked out on him when he had needed her. Perhaps when he had needed her the most. Theirs had always been an open relationship, even as King and Queen – something that was relatively typical of Atlantean culture – but the love that they had shared had been, at least in his mind, undeniable regardless of that; and in that moment, as far as he was concerned, she had betrayed that by abandoning him. In the next moment, however, he pushed the thought of his mind with a shake of his head. It was, as he had noted, one that had been spawned of bitterness and a wholly irrational one at that.
He ruled over three quarters of the world. He couldn't afford for such pettiness to rule his mind; and even if it had been acceptable in his own mind – leaving aside entirely the perception of others – he couldn't cast such selfishness upon a woman whose love he had once shared. She had lost her son, one that she had born for nine months, given birth to, reared and suckled. Even if a small part of him felt as if she had only come back to Altantis because she needed something – needed her nephew to be saved from Manta's grasp – he still wished that he could imagine that the bitterness that he had aimed at her within his own mind had never wrought influence upon his thoughts and his emotions; even for a moment. For everything that Arthur had lost when their son perished, he didn't for a moment presume to believe that he could understand or compare to what she had lost.
He would have kicked himself for the selfishness of the thought he had born just a moment ago if it wasn't for the fact that he could feel the vibrations of the waves rippling behind him, letting him know that she was following after him even if he couldn't feel the echoes of the shapes of her thoughts echoing through the waters toward him. Not the actual thoughts themselves, though, he had blocked them out; he had a feeling he didn't want to know exactly what it was that Mera was thinking at that moment. He did allow himself to slow in his stroke when Mera pulled around to face him, resting her hand against his cheek; and he folded his arms loosely across his chest, falling silent to give her a chance to respond without his perhaps overly strong opinions brushing aside her comments before she had a chance to get them out. Once she had, however, he had to expend some effort not to snort in response.
"Our own destinies, Mera?" Orin responded, arching a brow at her question. "We're tools; tracing the path that the wheels of destiny have crafted for us," he murmured with a faint shake of his head. "At least, that seems to be what the great mages of Atlantis would have us believe. The truth is that 'destiny' is meaningless," Orin stated flatly. Of course, it was probably easy to dismiss the notion of destiny when you had slain a god with your own hands – or at least to long with every fibre of your being that you could dismiss the notion of destiny when your father had laid out the course of your life before you with predictions uttered a lifetime ago; more than eighty years hence to Orin's mother as they conceived him. This wasn't Camelot and he wasn't Arthur of England; Atlantis' Arthur did not take kindly to having his life mapped out for him from the moment of his conception.
Mera Acheron - January 6, 2011 07:58 PM (GMT)
Mera absently held her hands out to the side slightly, hands moving lightly through the water as she floated in front of Orin, frowning slightly at the harshness of his words. His voice itself wasn't overly harsh, but the words were. She felt her guilt eating at her and she was certain that it showed in her eyes now, she couldn't hold it at bay any longer. She could easily fault herself for the majority of his bitterness, she had been selfish when she had left him to wander in her sorrow. She had not considered his feelings and had been foolish enough to place the blame for their son's death solely on his shoulders. That had been wrong of her, she was as much to blame as the man that floated in the water before her.
She shook her head and reached out to rest a hand lightly on his arm, her fingertips barely touching his skin as she looked up to meet his eyes. "I do not blame you Orin," she sent to him softly. No, he wasn't to blame for the things that had happened to him and his people, to her and their son. No, the blame belonged solely on the shoulders of those that wished them harm
She truly wanted to try to repair the damage she caused to their relationship, but she wasn't sure if he would allow her, if he would ever trust her enough to forgive her. Nor could she blame him if that was the case. Even if he didn't it wouldn't change the fact that she still trusted him with her life and still felt love for him. She kept her hand lightly on his arm, and would leave it resting there until he either pushed it away or moved away. "If we are only tools, then let us be sharp ones that can slice through those that wish us ill. If destiny is meaningless then lets face what life throws at us with strength," she said quietly.
Orin Acheron - January 12, 2011 01:15 PM (GMT)
Orin ran his fingers through his hair – more a frustrated gesture than one that served any sort of purpose, as the water just brushed the hair around his head with every stroke that drew him away from the cave. He had gone to the cave in the first place to gather his thoughts; to help ascertain that he wasn't going insane after all. That with everything he knew, everything that he had read and everything that he had recorded, it did make sense that he was Atlan's son. He wasn't losing his judgement and what scattered degree of wisdom he had born in allowing himself to believe the tale his mother had catalogued of a wizard seducing her and siring him.
But he had found that the longer he remained confined within the cave, alone with nothing but his own thoughts, the longer he seemed to be driven into a degree of introspectiveness that he was less than comfortable with; mostly because it brought to light things that it seemed he had known much longer than he allowed himself to admit, and that he almost certainly wished that he hadn't ever realised he knew. Out in the expanse of the ocean itself, the waters barraged him the emotions and thoughts of the denizens of the deep; an assault comprised of a dissonant cacophony – and one within which, despite all appearances, one could find a rare serenity. At the very least, it distracted Orin from his own thoughts and that was plenty for now.
He was snapped back to the present and the immediate, however, when Mera placed her hand against his arm and fixed her gaze upon his own. Arthur glanced away from her, averting his gaze from hers and setting it on the endless stretch of the ocean that lay before him; intent on looking anywhere other than her and the eyes in which he just saw his son staring back at him. "That makes one of us," he responded brusquely, his gaze wandering over the deep blue of the ocean before him. If it hadn't been for Manta's madness then their son would still be amongst them; but if it hadn't been for Orin, then Manta's madness would have likely had another target altogether and Mera and their child would never have had to suffer the brunt of it.
He continued to refuse to meet her gaze, but he did nothing to shift her hand from where it had settled on his arm. He longed for that closeness, for the silken touch of her fingertips against his skin, for her gentle caress; but when he couldn't even meet her gaze with his own none of it meant a thing. "Strong, sharp tools," he murmured absently in response to her comment, the faintest touch of sardonism marking his words. "That would please the cogs of fate, wouldn't it? Good, sturdy tools doing their work," Orin mused before giving a faint shake of his head as he pushed the bitter self-pity from his mind; it was both a weakness that he couldn't afford and an indulgence that was, frankly, making him feel a little sick with himself. "You're right. But then, you always did face a challenge with poise and elegance where I would go at it with instinct and bluster."
Mera Acheron - January 12, 2011 07:31 PM (GMT)
Mera flinched slightly as his brusque tone, but she kept her hand lightly on his arm as she shook her head slightly. She could understand that he blamed himself, she blamed herself as well for the loss of their son. She lifted her free hand to brush lightly over his hair briefly before lowering it again."I do not have the answers you seek Orin, I never have. All I can offer is my support, but I understand if you no longer want it. I was wrong to leave you," she said softly, glancing away from him even though she left her hand resting lightly on his arm.
No, she didn't always face a challenge with poise and elegance. Even she had her moments or reacting harshly and with instinct. Her leaving him in her grief a good case in point. She shook her head slightly at herself and glanced back up to him. "We will keep our people safe Orin, destiny, cogs of fate, or not, we will keep them safe," she said firmly. She would give her life to that purpose if she needed to, and she was ready to do just that if it was called for. With her son gone, Orin and her people were the most important things in her life and she would do a better job to protect them then she did to protect her son.
Orin Acheron - January 18, 2011 02:09 PM (GMT)
Trying hard not to respond to her flinch, Orin watched her absently as she grazed her hand against his hair; neither moving into it, nor moving away, and his gaze always lingered away from her eyes, settling for one moment on her jaw, in the other on her cheek, and in the next on her striking, red hair. Never her eyes. His capacity to look at that particular loss head on was growing weaker and weaker with every passing moment. He frowned faintly at her final comment and pursed his lips faintly, uncertain of how to respond to that. "You needed space," he responded plainly. "You needed time. Who knows. Maybe you still do."
As far as he was concerned, it was his failing that resulted in Arthur Jr. being taken from them. There was very little that could be said against her decision to leave him. Their son had been lost to the senseless conflicts that shook the ocean almost constantly. So often those maniacs that had launched their little campaigns against Altantis had seemed like poor foods or misguided idiots that stepped out of Saturday morning cartoons. They were trussed up in their armours and their colourful costumes, making them so difficult to take seriously. Making it almost impossible to see them as anything other than jokes or passing amusements.
Orin certainly had seen them that way most of the time; how could the people of Atlantis be blamed for having seen them the same way? But the enemies grew darker, the conflicts grew more grim, the hazards greater and the stakes ever higher. His half-brother cracked and pushed things to the limit, bearing down upon them and whisking the prince of Atlantis away, tossing him callously to a stream of piranhas. He managed to save his son, yes, but it had been one of the steeper steps in the spiral that ran down from the amusing adventures that the overblown, ridiculous challengers to Atlantis had posed into the nightmares that haunted their people and their kingdom.
All of them were drawn to Orin in some sort of... contestual existence, a constant striving to overcome the alpha male and present themselves as the alpha male plus. Kill the king, take the kingdom and the woman. It was as if they existed solely with a Neanderthalic mindframe, incapable of moving on from the R complex within their tragically underdeveloped mind. And when they found that it wasn't quite that simple, that it never worked out the way they wanted, they grew frustrated. They acted out of that frustration and delved deeper into it, almost to the point of a lingering, pervasive insanity. If the challenge hadn't been presented to begin with, if it hadn't stood out almost as if it was a taunt, the podium to which no-one could ascend.
It must have been maddening to them; and all it had done was make a target out of Atlantis. He grimaced faintly, remembering how avid Tula's attempts to overthrow Nakran when he seized control of Atlantis... perhaps he himself was the lesser of two evils. It was almost impossible to put much vehemence into his response to Mera's sentiment when he himself was a reason for so much of Atlantis' woe, but bearing that notion of being the lesser of the two evils, he gave a faint nod. "And Hades keep those that would bring harm to our tides," he stated, his eyes flashing for a brief moment.
Mera Acheron - January 18, 2011 07:10 PM (GMT)
Mera lowered her hand and frowned faintly at his comment, feeling a slight tinge of anger at that, mostly aimed at herself, but some of it aimed at him as well. "No, Orin, my husband, I do not need more space and time. What I need is for my husband to stop pushing me away, but I can't force him to do that. I was wrong to leave you to grieve alone, Orin. I should have been here for us to grieve together," she said firmly, her hand actually itching to backhand him, it was a gesture that the man did often enough that perhaps his needed to action done to him to make him listen.
She shook her head slightly and moved back slightly to keep from crowding him, since it seemed that he didn't want her anywhere near him. "Do you want me to leave Orin? All you have to do is say so and you know that I will obey your word. Despite what you think, I do still love you," she said softly, watching him.
Holding her arms loosely at her sides, moving her hands slightly to help her hold her position in the water. She nodded in agreement with his last comment. She would do everything in her power to help Orin to keep their people safe.
Orin Acheron - February 1, 2011 11:15 AM (GMT)
Orin glanced at Mera at her comment. Pushing her away. Like she had pushed him away? He couldn't help it; the thought settled within his mind before he had a chance to dissuade it, and he regretted it the moment that it emerged amidst his thoughts. There wasn't anything that he could have done for it, though. As much as he wished it wasn't the case, there was still resentment that lingered within his mind. It was just the faintest shade, however; for the most part, he had understood it. For the most part, he even thought that she was not only justified in it, but outright right for having done it. She had needed her space. Even if it hadn't been in large part because of him that they had lost their son, he could barely look at her without seeing Arthur Jr. He couldn't look into her eyes without seeing their baby son's eyes looking back at him. He couldn't look at her smooth features without imagining those of their son's. Orin couldn't even imagine what it was like for Mera.
He couldn't even conceive of the kind of pain that she just have been going through. Arthur Jr. had been his flesh and blood, yes, but Mera had carried him within her body for nine months. She had suckled him from her breasts. Arthur Jr. had been his flesh and blood, but he had literally come of Mera; he was her flesh in the most literally sense possible. As it was, he simply gave a faint shake of his head as he regarded Mera. He didn't want to push her away, but he couldn't help it. Every moment was a reminder of what they had lost. He didn't even know how she could bear to be this close to him; she must have been feeing the very same thing that he was. He glanced away again as she continued, and he found himself wishing more than anything that she hadn't asked him that. Orin didn't want her to go away, he didn't want to push her away even more, but the constant reminder of their son... "That... that might be best," he responded quietly.
Mera Acheron - February 4, 2011 01:04 AM (GMT)
Mera watched Orin as he considered her words, looking away after a moment to watch the waters around them. It still hurt to look at him and to wonder if their son would have grown into a fine man like his fater, if he would have had her temperament or his fathers. She closed her eyes and shook her head at herself, a soft sigh leaving her lips in a faint trail of bubbles. She kept her eyes closed for a long moment, only opening them again after he had spoke.
His words both did and didn't surprise her. She suspected he felt that way, but she hadn't been sure if he would actually voice the words. She straightened her back and bowed to him formally. "As my King wishes," she said softly. She was not going to return to the surface, no she had her nephew to train and other duties to attend to in the city now that she had returned, but she could stay out of his way and sight unless she had need to be in his presence.
She straightened back up and glanced at him once more before turning to swim back to the city, her tears thankfully blending into the waters around her. She wasn't crying because of the words he had said to her, no she was crying because she was to blame for him feeling that way. She shook her head at herself and forced the tears to stop before she reached the city.
Orin Acheron - March 6, 2011 12:46 AM (GMT)
It was possibly the very last thing that Orin needed, considering all that was running through his mind and the likelihood that latching onto any of the stimuli that someone could provide him with could spare him all of that, even if just for a moment, but it seemed that Orin had something of a natural talent at pushing himself into that state. He was beginning to think that it must have been his natural state, or at least as close to it as possible. Those that he didn't push away one way or another, he hurt so severely – typically through association – that they wound up doing it themselves. And then there was Mera. Beautiful Mera who still had his heart, whose eyes he couldn't look into without seeing the other thing that had his heart. And he had pushed her away simply because of how one person she loved tethered to the only one who could have ever truly been competition for his affections; and, more like than not, hurt her further in the process. "Congratulations, Orin," he muttered to himself before swimming out deeper into the ocean.