A monster. He lives in the shadows and watches her dreams and punishes those she thinks are in the wrong. Souls, ripped away from their bodies and shambling shells left behind.
|Seems to be in his 30s. Maybe 40s.|
| Tall and swarthy, with skin darkened by the sun and glossy black hair that seems windswept and purposely styled, Ravi is good looking in an intense and brooding way, with piercing dark eyes that seem to stare straight into your soul.|
Maybe they do.
He is almost always dressed in very luxurious and fabrics. Fancy pirate wear. Or brocade robes. Slick suits that precisely match his rangy frame. As if he has been carefully and meticulously styled for his role.
Maybe he has.
|Ravi is quiet. He is intense, preferring to watch and calculate rather than throwing himself into the fray. He has an arrogant way of speaking and can often rub alpha males the wrong way. Not quite likeable, but with arresting charisma that still draws you to his orbit, it is as if someone mashed together the qualities of a leading man and gave them a thirst for vengeance and blood.|
|Ravi exists in the shadows. He is vengeance and justice and karma, able to steal away an individual’s soul. Sometimes, the body goes missing- other times, the body remains; there is just something a little bit lacking about the person. As if the light has gone out of them.|
Trigger warning: Hospitals. Death. Murder. Pulling souls out of bodies by force.
The room was dim, lit mostly by the machines that tracked vitals. A small nightlight glowed in the corner near the door, just enough to highlight panels and switches. The figure that lay prone on the bed was slight, more bones than skin, with softly shorn hair worn in a feathered cap.
The room was dim, but it was not dark. Shadows coalesced in the corners and seemed to thicken, stretching and gaining shape until it was tall and broad shouldered, humanoid with long legs that strode towards the bed.
An arm made of shadows reached out, gently clasping the frail hand that lay on the bed. Warmed by the contact, the shadows seemed to melt away into bronzed skin and a long-sleeved silk shirt, a heavily brocaded jacket.
“I’m here.” A deep voice murmured, and shadows continued to melt around a tall man with thick, curling dark hair and steady eyes that were dark with pity. He leaned over, pressing his lips against the forehead of the patient. “I’ll make them pay.”
He was not a tall man. Of average height, of average build, with hair that straddled an incongruous line between russet and brown, black framed glasses, and the beginnings of a five o’clock shadow.
He was not a tall man, nor was he particularly memorable. But he strode through the halls of the medical unit with purpose and slight irritation, with always that sliver of annoyance, arrogance.
The not tall, not memorable man walked out of the hospital with a harried pace towards his car, keys held in one hand, phone in the other, too busy to notice the shadow that peeled away from the lamppost and seemed to keep face with him.
Too busy to notice the shadow lengthen and grow into a tall, humanoid form, to see hands form, spear through his chest.
It was too late by then, although, surprisingly, there was no pain. Surprise, maybe, as he watched his body fall and crumble to the ground. The hands continued to hold him, somehow. Caged between claws that had curled around his form.
‘Why?’ he had no voice, no vocal chords, but he could feel the shadows understand his question.
‘Because you wronged her.’ He could not hear the response, but he could feel it.
That was the last the not tall, not memorable man remembered.
A shrill scream shattered the silence of the Labs.
Sh’an burst out of his room, running down the hallway before slamming into a closed door. His fists banged out a panicked beat against the surface even as he tried the doorknob. Locked.
A sleepy head peeked out a few doors down, Imraan yawning as he waved his hand towards the frame. It shifted, groaning in obedience as it stretched wider, the door itself swinging inwards.
Sh’an ran through, through the small receiving room towards the private sleeping quarters in the back.
‘She is fine, Search Rider’ a voice murmured, a slight spike of aggravation in its husky tones, but no panic, no pain. ‘A bad dream’
Sh’an ignored the words and strode towards the bed where Sidhu sat, her knees raised and her arms curled around them. Her hair was wild, hiding a face that was pressed against her knees. Raising himself onto the bed and pulling the sheets to bring her closer to him, he curled his arms around her.
“What’s wrong, Sidhu?” he murmured, one hand running down her hair and her back in a soothing, repetitive motion. “What happened?”
Sidhu took in a shuddering breath. “I’m fine. I am fine.” She enunciated her words carefully.
“You don’t have bad dreams. Not without a reason.”
She took in another shuddering breath. “A nightmare. I’m sure. I am not hurt. I just-“ she paused, raising her head, her eyes a bright molten gold that seemed to glow in the darkness. “Something is broken.”
Not wrong. Broken. Gathering her close and running his hands over her body to make sure that indeed nothing was broken, he nodded his head and straightened. “Okay. Get ready.”
“Ready?” her words held more control, slight annoyance. “Get ready for what?”
“We will go see the scientist and see what is broken.”
The molten gold shimmer dulled, a warm hazel tone bleeding through as she frowned. “It is in the middle of the night, Sh’an. It can wait. Get some sleep. I will… I will try to get some sleep too.”
Sh’an scowled. “Your scream woke half the Labs. He will be up, or someone will wake him. Let’s go.”
Sh’an was not wrong. The private receiving room of the Scientist was warmly lit, a small pot of tea and two dainty teacups, a French press with a sturdier cup, and a small assortment of fruits and cheese were waiting for them when they arrived.
Monique, her hair rumpled, her sleep gown fluffy and feathery sat in plush cat tower, her hands wrapped around a mug of hot chocolate liberally sprinkled with marshmallows.
Ari stood, hair perfectly coiffed, silk dress perfectly pressed, as she arranged another small dish of mini quiches.
“Do you not sleep?” Sh’an muttered irritably. The adrenaline and fear was gone now, leaving him tired and cranky.
“Her scream woke half the Labs. Drink your coffee.” Came the steely tone of the aide.
“There now.” Shy crooned as he stepped out, dressed in a loose and flowing robe. He reached out with both hands and gathered Sidhu for a hug, murmuring something soft and lyrical into her ears. “Sit, drink. Tell me what happened.”
Sidhu nodded, moving slowly to a chair. Sh’an was immediately behind her, hand on her back and shoulder as he helped her sit.
“You’re not fine.” He muttered, turning towards the table.
Ari had already poured a small cup of tea and was holding it out for him.
With suspicious eyes he took it, muttering a quick thanks before pressing it into Sidhu’s hands. “Now tell us. Tell him. Make him fix it.”
Sidhu looked down at the cup of tea. She took a small sip, looking up and then back down at her knees. “It seems stupid now.” She whispered.
“I heard the pain in your scream, Dreamcatcher.” Monique’s voice drifted towards them from the cat tower. “Tell us what the girl has dreamed up this time.”
“Girl?” Ari’s quiet query was almost ignored.
“A monster.” Sidhu murmured. “Gold eyes. But not like ours. Maybe… maybe it was just the light. But a monster. He lives in the shadows and watches her dreams and punishes those she thinks are in the wrong. Souls, ripped away from their bodies and shambling shells left behind. It…” she shuddered. “I saw him reach for a soul and rip it out. Consume it. I wasn’t supposed to see it. See him. He saw me and-“
“Did he hurt you?” Sh’an words were immediate, bitten off with anger.
“No! No. He seemed… surprise. But you know?” Sidhu lifted her head and stared at Monique. “She dreams them up? Who is she?”
“Child.” An odd term from a tiny frame. “You know sometimes I know as much as you do, when I speak.” Monique took a slow sip of her hot chocolate.
“Is it dangerous?”
“Everything is dangerous. The Death Court is a danger. I, am considered a danger. The little brat modeled after the Red Mage is a danger. But is this a danger to us?” Monique paused. “Yes.” Monique tested out the word, and scrunched her nose. “No. No? No. It is not a danger to us.”
“You should not use words to test the future, Monique.” Shy chided.
“The Dreamcatcher asked.” The Oracle retorted. “The monster is not a danger to us.”
“No.” Sh’an shook his his head. “He did not hurt Sidhu this time, but what if she meets him again? What if the next time, she stands in his way? It might not be a danger right now, but it can be. We need to find it.”
“And what? Search Rider?” The Oracle laughed. “Will you kill it, and have the girl dream up more monsters? Or will you befriend it?” the Oracle’s smile turned sly. “We do need more weapons against the Death Court, don’t we Shy? We are always looking for Weapons.”
The woman was small and round, her skirt ill-fitting and her hair uneven. She frowned as she typed something on her keyboard, her gaze fixed on the screen in front of her. Every so often she would stop, looking down at the keys, peering closer at the screen, before continuing.
The room was brightly lit, but there were always shadows. In the corners where the floor and walls met, hidden behind cabinets and drawers. The shadows lengthened, long claws creeping along the floor, slow, deliberate movements. Extending from the corners of the walls towards the desk, the chair, towards the woman who laboriously made progress on her report.
They stopped their slow progress just under the chair, wiggling a greeting upwards before yanking the chair backwards.
The woman had time to utter a startled shriek before the shadows swallowed her whole.
“What is it?” Monique asked, her tone utterly delighted as she walked slowly around the abandoned office, the sleeves of her grown dragging on the floor behind her. “Humanoid, intelligent?”
“A monster.” Sidhu murmured, bangles on her wrists chittering as she shifted her weight from foot to foot. “It was different, this time. It… took all of her.”
“Less of a mess, really.” She commented, kneeling on the ground and patting at the carpet. “Some sort of teleporter?”
“You sound too fascinated by all of this.”
“Shy needs to add weapons to collection, this one seems quite delightful.” Monique laughed, a happy sound that was out of place with the tension and nerves on Sidhu’s face. “Do you think it can be reasoned with?”
“I don’t know what ‘it’ is, yet.”
“Don’t worry. You’ll figure it out.” Monique clapped her hands with delight as she straightened. “And next time, we’ll be there to meet him.”
There were less lights on the machines monitoring her vitals. Maybe that was better. The room was still as dimly lit as before, maybe even dimmer. The shadows were comfortable now, forming not in the corners and in the darkness but closer to the light, under the shade of the bed, behind the monitors.
Always at night, always when nobody was watching. The tall man sat with one hand clasped around a smaller, frailer hand, his other hand gently stroking the top of her head. Murmuring words in a deep voice that was hard to hear but provided texture and comfort.
Soft, bright, curious. The words had no place breaking the silence and the moment. The man froze, shadows sharpening around him into jagged claws.
“It has taken me a long time to find you.” Monique sounded smug. “But I did. Because you gave my sister nightmares, and I want to know what you are. Would you like to chat with me?”
The shadow disappeared.
A muffled curse and a crash as something fragile slammed into the wall. Sh’an tilted his head as he watched Monique throw another mug against the wall.
“Did she just expect a creature, who might not even speak our language, to suddenly fall in love with her and agree to her demands?”
He caught the mug that was thrown in his direction with a deft hand.
“Not fall in love, but maybe agree to a meeting.” Ari supplied from her seat.
“He. Just. Disappeared!” an exasperated scream as she threw a plate against the wall. “Left! ME!”
“This arrogance, it is a Project trait?” Sylden sat carefully poised next to Ari, her hand tightening around her cup.
“No, no. It is entirely a Monique trait.” Sh’an walked over to greet the journeywoman geneticist, leaning over to peck her cheek. “Normally she does try to behave in front of guests, and keeps the temper tantrums for family.”
Sylden smiled wryly. “I will take it as a compliment then, that she thinks I am family.”
“Of course you are.” Monique muttered, stomping over back to the temple. “Saniyath is one of Shy’s, so we are related in some… way.” She frowned as she hoisted herself up onto a chair. “Somehow. I’m sure we are family.”
“Yes dear.” Ari answered obliquely, to which Monique wrinkled her nose.
“Back to business then. What are we going to do now? We don’t really have to try to chase him down.”
“No, no. We do.” Molten gold flashed across Monique’s eyes. “There is a reason Sidhu keeps tapping into his actions while she sleeps. We need to see what the link is.”
“But he will not speak to you?” Sylden asked.
“No. He seems quite… shy.”
Sh’an coughed. “Or sane. Maybe it is instinct telling him to stay away from us. Stay far, far away from where the Scientist can get to you.”
“And how do you think we can help you?”
Ari turned her attention towards the geneticist. “We were hoping the next time Sidhu has a dream, maybe you and Saniyath could take a look. Figure out what he is. Saniyath’s abilities are growing, I would like to figure out if she could get a sense of what his weaknesses might be.”
“Test out my beloved against a monster that scares your Dreamcatcher?” there was no heat to the words as Sylden smiled. “Let us see what he is then.”
Sidhu’s soul shattering scream woke the Labs for a second night.
This time the Lab was prepared.
“That is him?” Sylden asked, her words hushed.
A tall shadow stood in front of a four story white washed building, arms outstretched; shadows coalescing and moving in jerking, jagged motions towards the hospital.
Sidhu stood with her arms wrapped around herself, nodded her head once.
‘He does not seem to be too intimidating’ Saniyath nodded.
‘I am sure there is more to him than meets the eye’ Sylden sent back.
The Imperial Court dragoness, a comforting presence in Sylden’s mind peered at the figure as the shadows surrounded the building, and one by one, lights started to turn off in the building.
“You need to stop him.” Sidhu’s words were ragged, horrified. “He’s taking them all. You need to- you need to stop him before the final light goes out.”
“I’m here.” Sh’an’s word’s were hard, grim. “I’ll get him, Sidhu. Tell me, Journeywoman. What is his weakness?”
‘He doesn’t have one. Not really’. Surprise colored the Imperial dragon’s tone. ‘He’s not quite real, is he? Not quite there. You cannot fight his gifts: his shadows will consume you. But maybe, you can, talk to him?’
Monique snorted. “That didn’t work, clearly.”
“Maybe you were the wrong person?” Sylden suggested, straightening her shoulders as three pair of molten gold eyes held hers.
She would never get used to that eerie feeling. Of something quite other assessing her.
“Please.” Sidhu said aloud, taking one step, then another towards the figure. “Please. It hurts. It can’t be what she wants. Not really.”
The tall man ignored her, and lights continued to darken in the windows.
“What do you want?” Sidhu asked. “What does she want?” she begged. “Because it can’t be this.”
The tall man turned, slowly, and the shadows froze. Gold eyes, Sylden noted. Not molten gold. A flat, brassy, one dimensional shade that didn’t seem quite real. They blinked once, dark color flooding them.
“They wronged her.” He answered, his words modulated rich and buttery.
“They wronged her.” He repeated. “I will make them pay.”
“That can’t be what she wants.”
‘Who is this she they refer to?’
‘Hush, Saniyath. We don’t know if he can read minds’
“They wronged her.” He repeated. “I must make them pay.”
Sidhu took a hesitate step forward, and Sh’an followed.
“Is she the woman I’ve seen you with, in the hospital room?” Sidhu asked.
For dark eyes that had watched her so carefully brightened into a flat, one dimensional brassy shade again.
“You don’t understand.” He answered simply.
“He. Keeps. Doing. That.” Monique snarled, slamming her glass onto the table. “Then he disappears and it takes us weeks to chase him down. For what? For more mysterious words?”
“Did you see his eyes though? Like ours, but not.” S’han took a slow, considering sip of his coffee, pushing a plate of fruits towards Sidhu.
“Flatter, somehow.” Sylden answered. “Saniyath believes he’s not quite real, not the way we are.”
Monique snorted. “I’ll make him less real the next time I see him.”
“What does that even mean?” Sh’an wondered outloud, laughing as he dodged a thrown muffin. “Do you really think we need to do this again?”
“I have a link… with him. I think.” Sidhu answered slowly. “He spoke to me. He acknowledged me. I think, the next time I see him… I might get through.”
Sh’an reached out to squeeze Sidhu’s hand. “I’ll be there for you.” He promised.
No one was.
The sun was warm, the sky was blue, and the wind had just enough of a chill to it to ensure the weather was enjoyable.
Sidhu stood dressed in a simple black dress; no adornment, no frippery, her hair braided loosely down her back and a veil covering her face. A young woman sat alone in front of a grave, her shoulders wracked with sobs.
“Her.” A voice spoke behind her, the tone rough, gritty. “I do it for her.”
The woman crying at the grave was different from the woman Sidhu had seen in her dreams: she was younger, with long pale colored hair and skin blotchy with grief. Sidhu nodded her head.
“Did she… create you?” she asked carefully.
The figure took a few steps foreward until they stood shoulder to shoulder. He shrugged. “Maybe. Or maybe she woke me, gave me purpose.”
“And your purpose, is it done, now?”
“I cannot bring people back from the dead.” He shrugged again. “But when she grieves and feels that people have wronged her, maybe, I will be back.”
“How fascinating.” Shy marveled, circling the man in front of him.
The man turned with Shy, as if some base instinct warned him that this scientist was not one you wanted at your back unaware.
“He is also quite pretty.” Monique commented, tilting her head. “Is this by design?”
“Does it matter?” Shy quipped. “Show me again, if you don’t mind. What you do.”
The man nodded, stretching out his hand. Shadows coalesced below him, stretching and twining on the ground. They snapped and shifted and paused, nipping at the edges of the Projects that stood within the room.
“Can you only attack those that have wronged her?” Shy asked.
The man shook his head. “I help her because she calls out to me.” He looked around the room. “If there is a test-“
“The Death-“ Monique started.
“No.” Shy frowned, his gaze troubled. “The Empress does not want me to attack them, not yet. She’s naively working on a peace treaty with a dragon with delusions of grandeur and a harem of sycophants. I have been asked not to stir up trouble.”
“I am sure it chafes at you to be so obedient, Shy.” Ari noted dryly, walking in the room with a tablet in her hand and a Pigeon sitting on her shoulder. “I am not sure if it would be wise for him to stay here.”
Shy sniffed. “The Labs-“ he started.
“Would be too sterile an environment also. Imraan is still rebuilding the Labs. You prioritized the Vella Crean to appease the council, and now he has delayed work he needs to catch up on.” Ari scanned something on the tablet and nodded. “Maybe we can second him.”
“Maybe.” The man answered. “It would be best for you not to consider me an obedient pet.”
Shy and Monique froze, and Ari turned another assessing look towards the man. She pursued her lips, and nodded. “You are right. Mr-“
The man stared blankly.
“She wants to know your name, pretty boy.” Monique offered, her smile coy. “What do people call you?”
The man’s lip curled.
“What do people say when they meet you for the first time?” she asked again.
“Please god? Oh no?”
Shy laughed, a little titter of a noise as he shook his head. “That would not work for a name.”
“And she? What does she call you?” Ari asked.
The man’s face carefully blanked, his eyes brightening to the same glassy, one dimensional shade of gold. “That is private.”
“Those eyes. How remarkable. Not as beautiful as the shade my children carry, but still. Unique.” Shy reached out with one hand and the man took a careful step back. “What makes yours eyes shift?”
“Ours change color when we expend too much of our gifts.” Monique responded. “But you do not seem to be spending more of our gifts.”
“It helps us communicate.”
Shy and Ari asked the questions simultaneously, and the man nodded.
“Yes. Us.” He seemed somewhat amused. “I am not the only one who woke when she called.”
“There are others?” Shy’s tone took one of greed, avarice. “More like you?”
“Different.” The man confirmed. “Difference. But awake, because she needs us.”
“She was wronged, and we are here to help her.”
A plan was created. A team of projects assembled to find the ‘others’. Other creatures with flat brassy eyes and different abilities who had been created (or awakened), with Shy putting a priority on the girl who was dreaming up monsters.
“I must know.” He insisted. “Who this girl is and if she can help us in the fight against the Death Court.”
The man was given a name; Ravi. He agreed it would do for now, and until she called again he did not mind staying with the curious molten gold eyed individuals.
Such curiosities they were to him, with their own gifts and abilities.
A little boy with tentacles made up of smoke found him a kindred spirit; a pair of bronze skinned fighers who laughed like hyenas and boasted of a four digit kill count liked to test his shadows and claws.
But Ari was never happy with his residence at the Vella Crean: to close to the Death Court, to the council that was trying to control the Lab.
“Maybe” Monique offered slyly. “We can ask Sylden to host him at Dawn Watch.”
Ari snorted. “Why not Isla? We have our own residences there.”
“They are stricter than the Empress on weaponry and dangerous Projects.”
“The Refugium? Our embassy could provide neutral ground.”
“It is too unusual. Too many creatures, aliens. Species. Pern is safe- safer.” Monique amended. “Besides. Don’t you think Sylden will find him fascinating? He could be homework.”
“One day she will want to engineer her own projects, don’t you think?” Monique offered again, her golden eyes glinting with humor. “Maybe she will be able to figure out what Ravi is.”
Sylden voices her objections about the Projects using Dawn Watch as a “dumping ground for dangerous weapons.”
“But we are family, Syl.” Monique whined. “Ravi needs a place to stay.”
Monique sometimes overestimates her abilities of persuasion: but Ari eventually brings her around. Ravi is quiet, unassuming, obviously an other-worlder but passively playing a human male in his prime.
“He has powers.” Ari whispered. “Smoke that turns into claws, the ability to destroy souls, taking just the soul or the body. He could be a wealth of information for you.”
In exchange for weekly study sessions and biweekly bloodwork, Ravi is allowed to stay. A Vella Crean trader, they say. Here to watch and study Dawn Watch, to understand Pern a little better.
The two scaled hatchlings had separated when they reached the first rank of candidates. The smaller one turned and walked along the line, looking up into each face as she went. Each time she had a gentle word to those she rejected, but rejected they still were, none of them quite right to fit the space in her mind. The other walked determinedly through the group, looking up here and there but always continuing on. When they reached the back of the group they paused, glancing about with a puzzled expression, before it suddenly cleared and they went galloping off down the expanse of sand which separated the clutch and candidates from those who watched.
Ravi, why are you all the way over here? He came to a stop before the man with a spray of sand, looking up with bright rainbow eyes. That was not a fun walk. Far to far to find you. Still, I have you now.
The Balanced Scales Sport
Pernese Dragon x Rainwing Hybrid
Bonded to: Ravi (Naeodin)
#181818 | #3F0606 | #731919 | #7F1F12 | #C4551B
Loyal | Quick-witted | Practical | Protective
Nexus Teleportation – Nelduth will be a natural at jumping between dimensions
Location Sense – Nelduth has an uncanny sense for knowing when and where he is in the Nexus
Ravi’s Cameo Appearances