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    welcome to across the chessboard! we're an alice in wonderland based site with an original plot and slight modern dystopian twist and canon characters from alice's adventures in wonderland and through the looking glass and what alice found there, both by lewis carroll. for a longer summary, please visit our information center here. if you have any questions, feel free to give an admin a shout in the cbox (it's to your left- just click the chatter button and it should pop open). again, welcome, and we hope you join us!

    it is currently summer 2015 in london.
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    Wonderland wasn't always this way. There was a time when it mirrored medieval England, albeit with a few magical elements: a few quirks and eccentricities that made it truly unique. While all feared the Queen's mercurial temper and the fine blade of her Guillotine, all was well, until a little girl named Alice Liddell disturbed the status quo and sparked a revolution. The kingdom began to fall into decay as the taint of the modern world invaded. History is beginning to repeat itself and no one is happy. As the Queen of Hearts tangles in a battle of wits and riddles with the Cheshire Cat, the rest are starting to wonder ... is it true that the White Rabbit is bringing humans to Wonderland when they themselves are banned from going to London?

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 Alone in the World, Tag: Aria
terrence chelony
 Posted: Sep 7 2015, 05:47 PM
Quote
........Sometimes........ he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.
36BlackMock Turtle117 postsapplicationplotting
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terrence chelony


How long had it been? Three, four days? Five? He didn't know exactly how long it had been, but it was less than a week. Less than a week since his world-view had collapsed in on itself for the first time in a long time. Less than a week since he'd met the man that had single-handedly destroyed his life. Less than a week since he'd come face-to-face with the murderous knight who had rounded up his brothers and sisters and dragged them off to be made into Mock Turtle Soup.

Less than a week since he'd invited the man in for tea and biscuits.

He'd had a lot of time to himself to think about all of this. No one had come to bother him in the few days that had passed, not even Pierre the Gryphon. He had all this time to sit in solitude and contemplate everything, as he had done so often in the old days, before Alice. As much as he enjoyed not being bothered, he didn't want to be alone with these thoughts, these memories. He'd worked so hard to forget.

He wrapped his hands in his long, black, silky scarf that didn't match the rest of his late-summer outfit. He didn't care if it was boiling out, he would always wear this scarf. It kept him grounded. It reminded him of London, of his humanity. It wrapped around him like the gentle arms of a friend, whispering gently that it was all okay. He needed it. He needed to remember he wasn't a mock turtle anymore.

And that was why he was here, walking down the wooded path to the outer villages instead of home at the beach. He couldn't be surrounded by sand and old memories right now. He was having enough trouble keeping himself together as it was. He didn't want to cry. He'd been doing so well until all of this. He'd been getting better, and then life had to remind him of his own uselessness.

Why hadn't he gotten angry with the Red Knight? After all, the knight had taken his family from him. The only reason he'd been spared was because he was a runt. He had been too small to be worth the effort of dragging away and killing. No family, no home. He was too afraid to leave the sand and go into the ocean alone. He was a failure of a turtle. A Mock Turtle. He lived on the sand and in all his years there he'd never seen another turtle come to nest there. No sign of his parents that had left their eggs there. No cousins, no aunts, uncles, grandparents. No one came back to the beach. Perhaps they'd been turned into soup too. It was the only explanation he could come up with.

He was a failure. He was alone. He deserved to be alone. It was the world's punishment for being so useless.

Perhaps that was why he hadn't gotten mad at the knight. Sure, the knight had done it, but the knight was just a force of nature. An inevitability drawn there by his own fault. As a child he had been afraid of the knight the same was he was afraid of storms. But you don't hate a storm. It just is was it is. Unfortunate, but natural.

But he wasn't that same scared child anymore. He wasn't even that same creature anymore. He was human, even if he forgot sometimes... or at least he tried to be. He tried not to be the sad, pitiful Mock Turtle that people knew him to be. He didn't want to be the Mock Turtle. He wanted to be Terrence. He wanted to be Terry. Terry the human, completely normal.

He missed London for that reason. He hated that everyone in Wonderland remembered his old form. He hated being here and remembering that he was a failure. At least in London he fit in. No one knew him, he could start over. He could just be Terrence without looking and seeing his past all around him.

But after his meeting with the Knight he felt more like a Mock Turtle than ever. He felt worse than ever. What good was being a mock turtle? What good was a mock turtle besides being soup?

He felt tears stinging at his eyes and he looked up at the trees, blinking the water away as he took in a few deep breaths to calm himself. He didn't want to be a Mock Turtle. Or a Mock Human, as he was now. He wanted to be a human, or a real turtle. He always had wanted that. Both of those things. Before London he wanted to be a turtle. Maybe if he were a turtle he'd have a family somewhere. After London he wanted to be human. If he were human he could live in London and be happy. Instead he was THIS. This pitiful creature. He hated it. He hated himself.

But he didn't hate the knight, and he didn't hate people for eating Mock Turtle Soup. In fact he'd written a song about the soup when he was young, after his family was taken. 'Beautiful Soup', he called it. When he sang it he wanted to cry, and when he'd sung it to the knight the man had cringed. It had helped a bit to know that the knight was sorry for everything, but sorry didn't bring his family back.

He'd been walking for ages now, quite far from his beachfront home. And he was so lost in thought that he failed to notice another figure just up the road from him. Someone he didn't know. Someone he'd never seen before? It was strange. He'd met so many people. Though it was possible he knew her, and just didn't recognize her new human form. It happened a lot in Wonderland. He approached and gave a pitiful wave, hand still tangled up in his scarf. The gesture nearly made him choke himself, but he recovered quickly.

".....Hello." he said, voice shaky and weak as he was still composing himself to keep from crying in front of the stranger. "Who are you?" he frowned softly "...that wouldn't tell me very much... Who WERE you?" he corrected. He hated having to ask it. He knew if he did he'd have to admit to being the damned Mock Turtle, but other people had such strong connections to who they were before it was rude not to ask.

"I'm Terrence..... I was the mock turtle.... " He frowned deeper, eyebrows knitting together. The words were bitter on his tongue. Oh well.

"What a lovely surprise to finally discover how unlonely being alone can be." -- Ellen Burstyn
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aria judd
 Posted: Sep 7 2015, 09:57 PM
Quote
Put all of your anger on. In the truly gruesome do we trust, I will always land on you like a sucker punch. Singing "I am your worst, I am your worst nightmare"
25RedJubjub Bird17 postsapplicationplotting
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aria judd


Walking was the worst thing in the world.

Aria didn't know how humans had done it for years and years. It took so long to get places. There had been a time where she could fly from village to village with nothing more than a few flaps of her wings. Now, it took a whole day to get from one place to the other. At least here on the outskirts, outside of the tightly packed community of the royal city.

Aria stopped on the side of the path, sinking down to sit on a convenient boulder. Walking was exhausting and pointless and she hated it. She was so tired... the girl lifted her eyes to the sky. She had been a human for so long now, but it never got any easier. That was fine. It being easy would mean she had gone weak. Better to be in pain from her new form than to expect it.

She was out here for a job-- some unpleasant creature had asked for an escort and paid well enough that Aria could deal with her company. Now, she was trying to get back to the city. But it was easy to get turned around, especially when seeing the world from this level. Not that Aria was lost...that was hardly something she would admit...

She heard him before she saw him, eyes snapping to look down the path in alarm. Her hand went to the hilt of one of the daggers at her side. All sorts of strange people used these paths, and she was not about to be taken off guard.

He didn't notice her right away, but that did not stop her from remaining poised to strike should the situation change. Whoever he was, he looked strange, all lanky limbs and clinging to a scarf around his neck. When he eventually looked up, he seemed surprised. She probably could have struck him before he even realized he wasn't alone.

He would have made a terrible Jubjub Bird.

Aria kept her eyes trained on him, even as he tried to wave and almost choked himself. It was very difficult not to roll her eyes. When he drew closer, she stood, and the question of who (or what) she was prompted her to draw her dagger, holding it towards him.

"Why do you want to know?" she asked suspiciously. Aria was not fully convinced there weren't people still looking for the last Jubjub Bird, now made slightly more helpless with the whole non-feathered bit.

He went on to introduce himself, though she did not ask. "I don't care what you are," she spat, baffled that he would be so open. "Are you always so foolish as to give yourself away to strangers?"

You are a brick tied to me that's dragging me down
Strike a match and I'll burn you to the ground
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terrence chelony
 Posted: Sep 7 2015, 10:46 PM
Quote
........Sometimes........ he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.
36BlackMock Turtle117 postsapplicationplotting
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terrence chelony


Terry's eyebrows raised as she drew the dagger on him, but didn't pull apart. It was just a shift of expression from confusion to teary-eyed worry, though it hardly made a difference on his face. He looked weak and pitiful either way. He wasn't used to being threatened, and wasn't entirely sure what to do about it. He wasn't even really sure if he should be afraid or not.

Probably? But what difference did it really make? If she were going to kill him she'd do it whether he was afraid or not... He didn't have a shell anymore, so he didn't really have much in the way of hiding- though his shoulders pulled up instinctively anyway to brush his chin with the edge of his scarf. He couldn't run. His top running speed was as mediocre as it had been in his turtle days. And, if he were honest, death had never been really something he was afraid of. And he'd been recently reminded that he had been very close to being turned into soup. If he were to die now it would almost be ironic.

"Er...." he said nervously "....Should I not be so forward?" Terry asked, taking a slight step back. "Isn't that how people introduce themselves? I only asked who you were because I'm not sure if I met you back then or not, and a lot of people still like being called by their old titles... I don't, but some do. "

He hoped he hadn't broken some social norm. Being 'friendly' wasn't really in his repertoire of skills. That was Pierre's job, and Pierre was a bit TOO much. His own usual way would have been to keep walking and pretending not to see her, and Pierre's would be to squawk at the top of his lungs and try to hug her. He assumed saying hello and introducing himself was a decent middle ground. If he'd known he'd have a pointy object pointed at himself for it he would have kept walking!

He eyed the dagger again "Why do you even have that?" he asked "We're nowhere near the Tulgey Wood or the City. The Jabberwocky and the Bandersnatch are city dwellers and the Cat sticks close to home, most days. Nothing out here would attack you, certainly not an ex-mock turtle. I'm sorry if I offended you, or something, so why don't you put that down?"

He sounded every bit as nervous as he looked, though he wasn't so much afraid as concerned and just a nervous creature in general. He knew nothing of the Jubjub or her kind, and so was unaware that he really should be afraid.

That's what happens when you have no natural predators and are too weak and slow to do anything if you did. The closest thing he had to a natural predator was the Royal Court, and they weren't a threat so much now that he wasn't a turtle.... though he wasn't willing to discount the idea of Mock Human Soup being a delicacy at some point. That worry would have to come later, when he wasn't being threatened at knife-point.

"What a lovely surprise to finally discover how unlonely being alone can be." -- Ellen Burstyn
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aria judd
 Posted: Sep 8 2015, 12:24 AM
Quote
Put all of your anger on. In the truly gruesome do we trust, I will always land on you like a sucker punch. Singing "I am your worst, I am your worst nightmare"
25RedJubjub Bird17 postsapplicationplotting
raeni is Offline
aria judd


Her eyes narrowed as she studied him. Honestly, he did not look a threat. He seemed incredibly distracted, and not very strong. Then again, most people assumed Aria was not a threat because of her small, human girl frame. They would be quite wrong.

As he took a step back, Aria straightened her arm, not allowing him too much space beyond the end of her knife. "I don't know how people introduce themselves and I don't care," she said pointedly. The ways of humans were often strange, and buried in layers of not saying what one meant. Aria didn't have time to learn the human rules, much less put them in action.

She uttered a small sigh, "Never met no Mock Turtle," she grumbled. They certainly had never been worth eating, with their shells and such. Though it was strange-- she hadn't heard anything about Mock Turtles for ages. She thought they had all died out.

Aria puffed up a bit, posture straightening as he questioned her weapons. That she would worry about the Cat made her scoff. "I'm not scared of anything. Certainly no Jabberwocky or Bandersnatch. They couldn't hurt me, anyway." She stared at him a moment longer. This man was not a threat to her. Even if he tried, she was certain she could take him.

Slowly, she drew back her blade, returning it to her hip. "I won't hesitate to draw it again," she warned him. "And what is a Mock Turtle doing here, anyway?"

You are a brick tied to me that's dragging me down
Strike a match and I'll burn you to the ground
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terrence chelony
 Posted: Sep 8 2015, 08:03 AM
Quote
........Sometimes........ he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.
36BlackMock Turtle117 postsapplicationplotting
Bro is Offline
terrence chelony


Terry relaxed a bit as she put her blade away, attempting to be less nervous now that his life wasn't in immediate danger. He was, however, still far too aware that she could kill him before he even had time to notice. But he'd spent the afternoon with the Queen's Executioner that murdered his entire species just the other day, so worries about his own skin were a bit limited.

"Not so much 'is a' as 'was The'." Terrence said, almost helpfully as he attempted to correct her. "I'm not a turtle anymore, and I was sort of the definite article of Mock Turtle since before Alice." He said the last past with a tinge of sadness, though he said most things with a tinge of sadness this one was a bit more painful.

He noticed her complete lack of mention of the Cat. He understood that Judas wasn't usually on the list of Wonderland's Most Terrifying Beasties, but he knew for a fact that he was equally menacing in both Cat and human forms, and unlike some he had the power to change at will. Terry was glad he'd sided with the Cat. He didn't want to end up on the madman's bad side.

"And as for being afraid of things I have no doubt that you aren't scared... I haven't met the Jabberwocky or the Bandersnatch, but I'm quite glad for it. I don't have the kind of confidence to say something like that. The universe would probably throw me off my cliff for even thinking it. "

It almost sounded like a joke. Almost. If it was intended as one it fell flat, and if it wasn't then it was just awkwardly phrased. That was the Mock Turtle's humor in a nutshell, really. Self-depreciating awkwardness.

"What a lovely surprise to finally discover how unlonely being alone can be." -- Ellen Burstyn
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aria judd
 Posted: Sep 13 2015, 09:50 PM
Quote
Put all of your anger on. In the truly gruesome do we trust, I will always land on you like a sucker punch. Singing "I am your worst, I am your worst nightmare"
25RedJubjub Bird17 postsapplicationplotting
raeni is Offline
aria judd


Aria didn't understand the strange way this man, or Mock Turtle, spoke. Dancing around something he wouldn't just say while looking mournful. It infuriated her. Whatever he had been before, he obviously had spent too much time around humans, because he had picked up their ways.

It took a moment before the true meaning of "definite article" struck her. She held up her hand, interrupting him in her lack of concern for what he was saying. "Wait, are you saying...you're the last Mock Turtle?"

There was a sort of thrill in hearing that. Aria knew nothing about Mock Turtles-- she cared nothing for them or their species. But she had never before met someone who understood what it was like to be the last of something.

Whatever he was jabbering on about fear and such matters was instantly ignored. Aria was laser-focused on the matter at hand. "What happened to them?" she demanded, eyes fiery. "The Mock Turtles? Did the humans kill them?" It seemed so obvious: of course they did. "They kill everything they touch..." She growled, more to herself. Aria looked up at the man/turtle, waiting for an answer with intensity.

You are a brick tied to me that's dragging me down
Strike a match and I'll burn you to the ground
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terrence chelony
 Posted: Sep 13 2015, 10:50 PM
Quote
........Sometimes........ he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.
36BlackMock Turtle117 postsapplicationplotting
Bro is Offline
terrence chelony


"I am." Terrence said, then shook his head " Was. Not a mock turtle anymore, really. More of a Mock Human. I wanted to be a real turtle, but it didn't quite go as I'd hoped...Apparently calling myself a 'mock' human is bad, though, or so I'm told. Something about self pride... " He trailed off as he spoke. He did that a lot, especially when he ran out of things to say and he couldn't think of a good way to finish a thought.

He ran a hand through his hair and then down over his scarf, wrapping his hands in the fabric again. The topic was getting heavy again. This stranger was far more interested in his sad sob story than anyone else had ever been. He wasn't sure how to respond, if he were honest, but he'd come up with something. After all, the memories were freshly dredged up from the pit. He could even still see the the Knight's face.

"Humans?" he asked "No. Not humans... not London humans, anyway. Wonderlanders from the Royal City.... just one, actually. The Red Knight. When I was very young he came to the beach with a mission from the Mad Queen to gather ingredients for Mock Turtle Soup. "

Terry's eyes were beginning to water, but he sniffled weakly and continued. "My siblings and I were just hatchlings, not even out to sea yet, but he gathered them all up. I was too small, apparently. Not worth the effort it would take to scoop me out of my shell. So he kicked sand over me and pretended he didn't see me, and disappeared with my entire family."

He wiped his eyes with his scarf and sighed "I still live on the beach, you know? And I haven't seen a single turtle since- Mock or not. "

"What a lovely surprise to finally discover how unlonely being alone can be." -- Ellen Burstyn

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aria judd
 Posted: Sep 13 2015, 11:05 PM
Quote
Put all of your anger on. In the truly gruesome do we trust, I will always land on you like a sucker punch. Singing "I am your worst, I am your worst nightmare"
25RedJubjub Bird17 postsapplicationplotting
raeni is Offline
aria judd


He talked entirely too much. Aria's body tensed with impatience. Really, it was almost not worth hearing the story if she had to deal with his prattling.

"You are still a Mock Turtle-- no matter what you appear," Aria said fiercely. It was not to comfort him. Not in the slightest. It was something she had to tell herself every single day to keep her resolve. And it would not help her to have this...turtle come and try and disprove her.

Was there a difference between London humans and the Wonderland sort? They could swear up and down they were, but Aria couldn't see it. "Humans are all the same," she claimed bitterly. Her eyes lifted slightly when the man was able to identify a culprit. "The Red Knight?" Who was this knight? Had he killed a Jubjub Bird? Her memories of her flocks' deaths were foggy-- occasionally she remembered flashes of armor and weaponry, but it was like the details had slipped away through the cracks.

"So you killed him?" Aria asked, almost triumphantly as she assumed the answer would be obvious. "I envy you. The people who killed my brothers and sisters were never so easily identified. If I could find them..." her voice trailed, but the turtle could easily fill in the blanks.

You are a brick tied to me that's dragging me down
Strike a match and I'll burn you to the ground

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terrence chelony
 Posted: Sep 13 2015, 11:17 PM
Quote
........Sometimes........ he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.
36BlackMock Turtle117 postsapplicationplotting
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terrence chelony


Terry wasn't comforted in the least by her claiming he was still a Mock Turtle. He felt quite the opposite, in fact. He didn't want to be a mock turtle. He'd never wanted to be a mock turtle. He wanted to be a REAL turtle! He never could understand why other people didn't get that. was it really so hard to imagine wanting to change something about yourself?

"I'm glad I'm not a Mock Turtle anymore." He said finally, the culmination of his thoughts. "If I was, I'd be big enough to be turned into soup. Or I'd be even more alone than I am now as a Mock Human. I don't like being lonely. " He said it honestly, though he did like being alone on his own time. He just didn't like having it imposed on him.

He frowned deeply when she asked if he'd killed the Red Knight. The idea had never even crossed his mind. Not once. Not only did he rightfully doubt he could, but he couldn't even wrap his head around why he would do something like that. Solving bloodshed with bloodshed? Meaningless.

"Kill the Red Knight?" He asked "No. Alice, no." He added, using the dead human girl's name as a substitute for a human deity. "Why would I want to do that? What good would it do? No. I invited him in for tea.... His name is Achilles. He's actually rather nice, aside from the genocide. And very awkward with speech... I hope I don't see him again, though. Not on a surprise like that, anyway. He left far too much sand on my floor."

"What a lovely surprise to finally discover how unlonely being alone can be." -- Ellen Burstyn
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aria judd
 Posted: Sep 13 2015, 11:53 PM
Quote
Put all of your anger on. In the truly gruesome do we trust, I will always land on you like a sucker punch. Singing "I am your worst, I am your worst nightmare"
25RedJubjub Bird17 postsapplicationplotting
raeni is Offline
aria judd


Aria was not easily taken off guard. She was always very sharp and aware-- or at least she strived for vigilance. Thus, the Turtle accomplished a task not often completed by leaving Aria somewhat speechless at his claim that he never wanted to be a Mock Turtle. She blinked at him, eyes wide, mouth popping open into an "o" shape. For a moment, she looked like an average girl from the streets of the royal city, less cold and hard than she appeared in the every day.

She caught herself quickly, her face returning to the mask of icy glares, though shock lingered on her expression. Perhaps she could forgive this. "But you are the last," she reminded him, as if this should make a large difference in his opinion.

She probably could have forgiven this. But his next statement was utterly unforgivable.

He didn't kill the knight at all. That sent almost a physical pain through Aria. "For tea?" She asked, her voice rising. "You let him into...into your home?" Her fingers started to twitch at her side. "The man who killed your brothers and sisters...you saw him...and you let him live?"

It was far too much.

Aria's hand whipped from her side, gripping his scarf and balling it in her fist. She yanked on it, trying to bring him down to her eye level as she burned with fury. "What are you?" Aria growled. "What are you playing? You are no last of anything if you can be so base as to let their killer into your home. So you must be lying." And Aria did not like being lied to. "Give me a reason to not slit your throat right now. If not for lying, than for dishonoring your brethren in such a way." Her other hand was at her hilt, prepared to draw her dagger and make good on the threat.

You are a brick tied to me that's dragging me down
Strike a match and I'll burn you to the ground

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