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Private (M) a tutelage gone wrong

Discussion in 'Dread Wastes' started by NPC, Nov 1, 2019.

  1. NPC

    NPC

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    @Ambrose Spellman & @Ozma
    NOV 17 Y109


    Maybe you don't remember falling asleep, but regardless you wake up in an unfamiliar room. Although, perhaps, calling it a "room" is a little too kind. A windowless box is a better suited word with seemingly no door to speak of. The walls a plain color-- made of concrete, perhaps. It's hard to tell when any damage attempted on it doesn't seem to do anything at all. In fact, the closer you seem to be to breaking through the more the room seems to react-- Little pricks at fingers, more pain, and sometimes it even seems the walls begin to close in on you the more you try (or maybe that's just you going slowly insane).

    Despite your kidnapping, the room is surprisingly not completely barren. A small prison-grade cot sits to one edge of the room. A pail that's emptied, for waste if you like. A side table sits near the cot, notebook and paper standing ready for you to use. Further investigation of the notebook will give instructions and a list of pairs. The pairs seem to be other participants in the game. One page within the book is dedicated to writing down your decisions. The rest... Well, perhaps if you write a name and send a message one of the others will receive it?

    Perhaps the most haunting thing in the room of all is a screen on the wall opposite of the cot. On its display is always another room-- Clearly other participants. It changes from time-to-time, but really all you can do is watch those others trapped within.

    The letter reads as followed:

    The saying you mortals have is "life is precious because it's fleeting". Is that not true?
    A sentiment a being such as myself cannot understand. That is why you are here: Show me the the price of a life to you. You have twelve hours. Tell me what you have to offer that you believe is the equivalent. Choose one of you to die if what you give is deemed unimportant. Oh, and just for fun you should know: You're not the only ones here. Should you win someone else will positively die anyway.
    Have fun.




    OOC INFORMATION


    Any questions? Please refer to the OOC plotting post or Google Doc. If you have any further questions contact @Emi either through PM or on Discord. Preferably the former as she can be a bit scattered in DMs! Remember to have all turn-ins pmed to Emi by no latter than Nov 15th. The turn-in form can be found in the google doc. Make sure to use it or you may be judged differently if all information isn't included.
     
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  2. Ozma

    Ozma RWBY

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    Oz wasn't surprised.

    His life had briefly looked better. It had looked amazing. Salem dead, Toby safe, James still somehow allowing him to hide in his house while he regained his bearings. In fact, within a week, Oz had planned on returning to Schola Praeditos - back to something he was good at, that was good for the world.

    Now, he was in a prison cell without even a window. He was furious, but...

    No, Oz wasn't surprised.

    He noticed Ambrose immediately, but he didn't acknowledge him right away, as much as he wanted to. A conversation would detract from the situation at hand, and goodness knew Ambrose knew how to talk. In a predicament like this, he was more likely to be a distraction than anything else, so Oz took advantage of appearing as a stranger to the younger man, and walked past as brusquely as he could with one leg throbbing where he had shoddily healed his own broken bones in a pinch.

    Picking up the notebook, Oz scanned the written words, feeling his anger mounting with every word. Mortals, price of life, choose one of you to die...

    Blazing with scarcely contained wrath, he turned to Ambrose at last, and tossed the book at him rudely. "I assume we arrived at the same time. Or have you had any time to suss something out?" He demanded bluntly, then sucked in a breath and squeezed his eyes shut. They had twelve hours. There was no need to be brusque. Not yet.

    "It's very good to see you, Ambrose... though I do wish it had been in better circumstances." Oz said softly, trying and failing to smile. He knew what he had brought upon the poor warlock. With everything else that had happened, Ozma had... rather cruelly compartmentalized his feelings on the matter, but he was glad to see Ambrose alive and whole.

    Speaking of which... "Oh, I suppose you mustn't recognize me like this." He held up his cane and gave it a brief twirl, smiling earnestly.

    @Ambrose Spellman


     
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  3. Ambrose Spellman

    Ambrose Spellman The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

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    He hasn’t awoken from an unwanted slumber long before the man he thought to be a stranger had. Ambrose had looked his way, gotten to his feet, trailed his fingers across the walls that closed them in. No windows, no doors, just a prison with a screen, and it was that screen which pulled his attention immediately as he stood there, staring wordlessly at the sight of another room, another pair of occupants. What the heaven was this? He watched their panicked movements as one of them read from a paper. He hadn’t read from theirs yet, but already, there was a feeling of dread in this pit of his stomach.

    Somewhere behind him, Ambrose heard movement, but he didn’t react to it right away, struggling to tear his gaze away from the screen. It was only when he felt something smacking into his shoulder, he whirled around and fumbled with the book before managing to catch it in his hands, finally taking the opportunity to stare down at it. The longer he read it, the more he felt. Fear? Cockiness? He didn’t know which. By technical means, he wasn’t a mortal. He had abilities granted to him by the Dark Lord himself. But the lines of mortality had always been blurred in Pandora. Age would never take him, but there were other things that would.

    He knew that firsthand, didn’t he?

    Still, there was a part of him that felt selfish, that wanted to say that no matter what, he had done his time and he deserved to live. It was a bitterness and an anger that he didn’t quite know how to quell, and the sound of his name from the lips of a stranger didn’t help either. Ambrose turned his head toward him, brow furrowed with confusion because a second look only told him that he had absolutely never seen him before in his life.

    And yet, there was a familiarity there that not even he could deny. Maybe it was the way he carried himself or the way that he spoke, but whatever the case, it didn’t occur to him until his eyes glimpsed the cane in his hand. He would have recognized it anywhere.

    Just like that, it came together. At first, Ambrose both did and said nothing, just staring at him, his eyes widening. His chest rose and fell and his grip on the notebook in his hand slackened until it fell to the floor at his feet. Feeling a rush of anger in his chest strengthening the frustration he had already been feeling, a hotheadedness overtook Ambrose in a way the other man had never witnessed before as he crossed the room, fingers curling into the fabric of his shirt as he shoved him backward into the wall.

    “You?! Is this a joke?!” he ground out, the nature of their predicament and the words scrawled on the notebook momentarily forgotten in his fit of rage.

    Now it was good to see him?
     
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  4. Ozma

    Ozma RWBY

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    He hated himself for struggling to remember the exact situation that Ambrose had found himself in, before Salem had killed Oz and he'd then come back with a head full of a million ancient memories that felt like they'd happened only yesterday. Like so many things from before, Ozma had to sort through a dozen conflicting recollections that all felt like they were from the same span of time, and Ambrose had just...

    Ambrose had faded to the very back of his thoughts until now, and Oz only flinched when his shirt was grabbed and he found himself shoved against the wall. The back of his head banged against it hard enough to daze him for a split second, but he caught himself before he reacted instinctively. Instead, his fingers merely curled around Ambrose's wrist absently, not quite pushing him away, but not dismissing the notion outright.

    Staring at him evenly, distantly bemused that they were suddenly about the same height, Oz breathed in deeply. "I understand that you're upset, Ambrose, but this isn't my idea of a joke and you know it." He said steadily, lips curling into a frown. "This is some would-be god's tacky idea of a joke." Oz added, hoping to gently steer the warlock's anger in a more productive direction.

    "But, by all means: If you wish to air your grievances now, Ambrose, I don't think I could leave even if I wanted to. If that note is to be believed, you may even get to kill me yet, so do try not to lose hope." He patted his wrist with a wry smile.


     
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  5. Ambrose Spellman

    Ambrose Spellman The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

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    There wasn't a single time in his life he could remember feeling this angry. Miserable, of course. Depressed beyond belief, plagued with a sense of melancholia that he used outwardly as a sort of defense mechanism, of course. But anger. That was different. He didn't think he even felt angry with Aleister Crowley for placing him in the position that he had been placed in when a plot had been formed to blow up the vatican. In some ways, that had been on him. He had chosen to follow Crowley's ideals, he had chosen those beliefs for that time in his life, and in some senses, there was shame and there was guilt and maybe never giving up the names of his accomplices brought upon him a punishment that he thought he had deserved.

    And then Pandora had come along. Ozpin had come along, and things had been good. Things had been incredible, and this was a man who had become almost an idol to him. He had looked up to him, he had appreciated his power, his calm, even his eccentricities.

    Somehow, in such a short span of time, that had all come crumbling down and here they stood now, Ambrose pinning him up against a wall, hating him more than he thought he had ever hated anybody in his life. It wasn't necessarily even hatred. It was hurt, it was betrayal. Ozpin had meant the world to him and where he didn't expect the feeling to be mutual, he thought, he had hoped, that he cared. Oz tried to steer Ambrose's attention toward the issue at hand, the message scrawled onto the notepad that had been dropped onto the floor, but that didn't matter to him, not in that moment. They had fourteen hours to worry about that.

    "I know how this goes. They don't want somebody who doesn't stay dead, Ozpin," he ground out, using his full name because he couldn't remember the last time he had used the name Oz. Nicknames like that only felt comfortable with friends. Giving him another shove, Ambrose released him, taking a step backward. He glanced idly to the notebook on the ground, such a normal object that held such heavy connotations now by sight alone. Eventually, he turned his head to look back to him. "You don't even know what happened, do you?"
     
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  6. Ozma

    Ozma RWBY

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    Oz didn't challenge Ambrose's grip on him, but his eyes began to wander the small room they were trapped in, looking for any way out of the current predicament before this devolved into the warlock before him strangling Ozma for his past indiscretions. It would be justice, in a way, but it wasn't how he wanted to leave this world.

    "I stay dead now, Ambrose. More has changed than you realize." Oz said calmly, wincing at his final shove and bringing a hand up to his collar, absently massaging the skin there as he cleared his throat. After a moment, Ozma moved away from the wall, still watching Ambrose cautiously. After what had already happened, he didn't put it past the younger man not to break his nose before this was all said and done.

    Closing his eyes, Oz sank tentatively onto the cot. "No. I don't. I... had hoped that I could draw Salem's attention back to myself by avoiding you - and everyone else she was trying to target. Then, when she murdered Merlin, I realized it wasn't working. I was dead a week later." The timeline of events was... jumbled. It was hard to keep it all linear in his head, with so many conflicting memories bouncing around in between his thoughts.

    "Ambrose, I'm sorry. I did... I did what I thought was best, but I was frightened. Terrified. It was you and others who paid the price for my weakness, and I am truly sorry for that. You did not deserve to ever face something like that alone, and I was a coward not to do more." He looked down at his hands, nervously picking at his cuticles. "For... for what it's worth, I killed her. She's dead now."


     
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  7. Ambrose Spellman

    Ambrose Spellman The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

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    More had changed than he had realized. As calmly as Ozma said those words, Ambrose couldn't help but hear them as though they were an attack, as though he had decided to patronize him. As though in all of Oz's silence, he should somehow have known more than what little he already did. He couldn't help what he wasn't told, he couldn't help that the only helpful detail this man had ever thought to give him was a name. Ambrose couldn't do anything with a name. He couldn't stop her with a name or hide from her with a name or even hope to fight her with a name. And besides that, Ambrose had never been a fighter. He was skilled in magic, but from a distance. He worked in the shadows. He dealt in hexes and curses.

    All this situation had really ever proven of Ambrose Spellman was just how much of a coward he really was.

    When she murdered Merlin. Ambrose scoffed at that openly, not even trying to hide it. Only then had Ozpin realized, not after Ambrose had begged and begged and begged. As far as he was aware, nobody had known why the headmaster had died, but hearing this news, Ambrose didn't find himself surprised. But he did find himself frustrated, more-so than he had been even a moment before. Ozma, like Ambrose, seemed to have a gift for frustrating people. Merlin had died long after Ambrose had. He knew this because Merlin had also died long after Michael had gripped his soul and pulled it from the depths of that place he had been trapped in. He didn't know if he had ever felt right since. He didn't sleep, he didn't eat very much either anymore. Michael had warned him that it would take time.

    "Congratulations," he murmured after Ozma had finished with his little speech, and while there was a part of him that appreciated the apology and was perhaps even surprised by it, Ambrose's pride wouldn't let him accept it. Not yet. He was still too angry, too hurt. Silence lingered between them for a moment. The message scrawled onto his notebook was there in the back of his mind, but the witch didn't know if he would ever get the chance to have this conversation again. It felt important. It felt like months upon months of holding it all in because there was nowhere else to put it, nothing to take out all of that anger of his on.

    "Merlin died two weeks after I did," Ambrose finally started, his voice more hushed this time, but his dark eyes never did leave Oz's. "I kept moving. I went ... all the way to the other side of the world. Pretty little place called Horizon far out in the Wastes." He did remembering liking that place, but there was a taint on it now in his eyes. He didn't bother continuing that line of thought. What followed was obvious, he didn't need to spell out for him that she had followed him all the way there, that she had finally taken his life from him, and although she had held him down and removed any hope of escape with the aid of witchcraft, Ambrose did wonder whether or not he would have given up then and there were that not the case. He had been so tired. "Nobody knew. About anything. Except for you."

    There was a certain sadness in knowing that not a soul had even known of his death, that Ozpin had never asked or wondered.

    "... I know that I have been ... a lot of things to you. An annoyance. Words. So many words. But-" But what? He'd thought what? That he had cared? It had just been a repeat of the past, Ambrose looking for a father figure in all the wrong places. "I begged you. Not once. Not twice. Why wouldn't you listen to me? Why couldn't you hear what I was saying to you?"
     
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  8. Ozma

    Ozma RWBY

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    Oz didn't know what he had expected. Maybe that Salem had hurt Ambrose in some way, or had tormented him. Even knowing Salem as well as he did, he...

    Who was he trying to fool? Ozma knew what Salem did to those she set her sights on. He had known the moment Ambrose pleaded with him for aid, and he had made the conscious decision to turn away. To keep fighting the good fight and to count this boy as a loss, because Oz had learned many centuries ago that he could not be all the things for all the people. He could not have protected Ambrose, even if he had tried. No more than he had protected Merlin, or anyone else he loved whom Salem had mercilessly slaughtered just to laugh at his reactions.

    He'd learned, over the years, not to have reactions. If he didn't react, he thought, maybe Salem would stop doing it.

    Of course, she did not stop. She never stopped.

    "Ambrose, I'm sorry." Oz choked, unsure of what else to say to assuage him. He had never been in this position before, where his inaction returned to haunt him as directly as this. His hands clenched and released, then clenched again. "I'm so sorry. I--" He felt panic crawling up his throat, as it always did when he was confronted with his mistakes and his acts of indirect cruelty. Like a child caught in the act, Ozma never knew how to respond. He felt sweat prickling the back of his neck.

    He breathed in deeply, squeezing his eyes shut. "I knew what you were saying, but I couldn't help you. I knew that i couldn't help you, and I didn't... I was afraid to..." Oz fell forward, cradling his head in his hands. "If I had found you... if I had tried to help you... it would have been worse, Ambrose. I can promise you that. She would have dragged your death out for days or longer, just to get a reaction from me." He looked up wearily, sorrow plain on his expression.

    "She'd already killed me four... five times by then, just in a month. I was frightened. It was wrong of me, and I accept that. I was weak, and cowardly, and it cost you and others their lives... and I am sorry for that. If killing me will make it better for you in any way, I won't stop you."


     
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  9. Ambrose Spellman

    Ambrose Spellman The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

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    Ozpin was breaking down. Ambrose had never seen him like this before, and he didn't ... he didn't like it. It wasn't the Ozpin he knew, but then, this entire process left him wondering how much he knew about him at all? He had poured so much trust into a man who wouldn't open up and tell him what was happening, a man who was too afraid to give him an explanation. She would have drawn his death out, she had claimed, but maybe they could have talked, formulated a plan. What did it matter when Ambrose was already as good as dead? What did it matter if it all went to heaven? Ambrose would have dropped everything to help him not unlike the way that he would have dropped everything to help Sabrina.

    "Satan, we don't kill people because we're angry, we kill people for ritual sacrifice!" he shouted as though that were a perfectly reasonable thing to say. And, of course, in his family, it was. Spellman morals had always been more than just a little bit skewed, Sabrina excluded, of course, though he couldn't deny the immediate change that he had seen in her after she began to attend the academy and open up more to her powers.

    For a moment, he just stood there, staring at Ozpin's miserable form sat on that cot, and then he took in a deep breath, shaky as he held back his emotions. There was a part of him that wanted to cower at the thought alone of the emptiness that came with death, a part of him that wanted to ask the other man if he experienced that place over and over again each time he died or if he was jetted instantaneously back into life. That sort of immortality didn't sound so back if you could skip Pandora's version of hell. Salem had been frightening. Death had been frightening. But that place had been worse than all of it. The blackness and the silence and the endlessness that came with it all. Michael Langdon had been the singular light in all of it as he grasped him and pulled him back into life.

    "Get up," he finally said, turning away from him and snatching the notebook back up off of the floor to scan the words again. "Make yourself useful. We have twelve hours to decide whether or not these are just words. If we can get out, then we get out. If we don't, then logically, you're the best option for death. No offense." It wasn't all just bitterness. In his mind, it was logic, realistically logic. Even if the man couldn't just spring back up again like he tended to do, then there were other options. Maybe now was the time Ozpin realized that he former assistant was actually useful for something or another.
     
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  10. Ozma

    Ozma RWBY

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    Even in the midst of his quiet self-loathing, Oz flinched and looked up when Ambrose shouted. A moment later, his eyes narrowed in befuddlement and he drew his head back. "Ambrose, that's awful." He pointed out bluntly. Different worlds had different customs, of course, but...

    Well, ritual sacrifice was not okay in any world. Not according to Ozma, anyway.

    Immediately, Oz sprang onto his feet and stood awkwardly in the corner of the room, one arm gently clutching the other with obvious discomfort as Ambrose spoke. Then, breathing in deeply, he shook himself all over and took a few hesitant steps forward. Glancing at Ambrose, he tried to smile. "You should stand back a bit. If we can break out, I'll be able to do it." He explained softly, then addressed the blank canvas walls.

    Closing his eyes, Ozma allowed his magic to channel into his form unfettered, pouring it outward and into the room around them. Squeezing his eyes shut, he funneled more and more power into the structure, silently urging it to break, break, break, break. The walls began to shake and the air took on a static atmosphere, like standing in a storm just before a lightning strike. Licking traces of green energy circled Oz as he hammered more and more of his magic into the building around them, compelling it to fall apart. Ordering it to fall apart, even as what felt like a vice clamped down on his form.

    It started as mere discomfort, but grew steadily into a whole body burn. He choked once, staggering against the floor, then threw even more power at the room.

    Then, with a cry of pain, Oz pulled away abruptly and his hands shot to his head. His eyes. It felt like someone had stabbed two hot needles into his pupils, and he stumbled blindly back to the cot, clutching at his face and blinking frantically. His vision was hazy and unfocused. The room was unscathed.

    "Won't work." He gasped, rubbing his hands against his eyes again, unashamed by the flood of tears the stabbing pain had caused. "It has some kind of... defense."


     
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  11. Ambrose Spellman

    Ambrose Spellman The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

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    As Oz openly objected to the comment about ritual sacrifice, Ambrose scrunched up his face a bit and gestured a bit as thought to say 'what?' As though he'd never before heard of somebody rejecting the idea of it. Then again, he didn't think he'd ever brought it up to anybody who wasn't a witch, at least not in his sense. And Oz's sense of being a witch was, of course, vastly different. There was the Satanist aspect, of course, which the man, well ... well, he wouldn't survive at all a Satanist, certainly not if he didn't approve of the nitty gritty aspects of it all. No, he wouldn't have survived in the Church of Night.

    Whatever the case, Ambrose didn't want to argue it. He didn't really want to argue anymore at all, so they moved on. Stepping back as Oz worked his magic, quite literally, the warlock folded his arms over his chest, gaze fixed on the man until the moment things began to grow more intense, the walls shaking around them. The harder the man tried, the more the room seemed to respond, but not in a way that was beneficial to them. Or safe for them either. Dropping his arms to his sides, his expression grew more cautious until the final moment when the pain seemed hit Oz full blown. He watched as the man stumbled backward, landing on the cot again, eyes wet with tears from the sheer pain of what he had just experienced.

    "Perhaps they don't appreciate your lack of subtlety," he suggested, a brow arching. Falling silent for a moment as he listened to the sounds of Ozpin's light panting where he sat, Ambrose scoured his mind for ideas. And they were there, but there was the matter of how. His eyes slipped toward the other man. "If we can't break out from the inside, then the outside may prove more useful." Astral projection was always a danger, but desperate times called for desperate measures. And Ambrose had projected for far less. "You're capable of conjuring objects. I need candles. A lot of them."
     
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  12. Ozma

    Ozma RWBY

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    "My lack of subtlety usually gets the job done." Oz admitted in a tight voice as he squinted and blinked some more. His vision was getting a little clearer, but for the most part the world was still a foggy mess of color and blobs that moved in odd patterns. He hung his head again, nursing the searing pain behind his eyes. "This is the first building I've been in that could resist that much magic. Let alone turn it back on me like that." Ozma added thickly.

    He didn't look up at Ambrose's request, but Oz did push off the cot and land on the floor on his knees. Spreading his hands wide, he focused, drawing some more of his magic out again with trepidation. The room seemed to allow it, however, and packs of emergency candles began to stack up around them. The little globes full of liquid wax were the last candles Ozma had seen, and so they were the first ones that his magic had reached out for.

    He winced when he turned his head to look at Ambrose, and the world seemed to tip to the side. Clutching his temple, Oz sucked in a shaky breath. "Is this enough?" He demanded hoarsely, gesturing at the small mountain of paraffin candles. "If you need more, tell me. And, just so you're aware, I can barely make out your shape right now... so I hope you don't need me to look at anything."


     
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  13. Ambrose Spellman

    Ambrose Spellman The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

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    By then, he had torn his gaze away from Ozma and had his eyes fixed on the screen across the room, which was still flicking from scene to scene, and they weren't scenes necessarily unfamiliar. They were others in the same predicament that they were in. It was sight of one blonde head of hair in particular which caused him to freeze, his eyes widening a fraction more. Sabrina. Sabrina was in one of those rooms. Heart pounding all the more quickly, Ambrose eventually turned to express his urgency only to find the sorcerer there on his knees surrounded by candles.

    A lot of candles.

    Brows perking up with surprise, they kept appearing and by the time he was done, there was a small mountain of them and Ambrose exhaled a laugh. "I would say this is more than enough," he told him, moving toward them and piling them into his arms. Returning to the center of the room, he took a seat and began to position them around him in a large circle. "I don't need your eyes, but I do need your ears. Astral Projection is not without its risks. If something seems wrong, you need to wake me up." He thought that perhaps that was something he could still count on the man for. If not, well ... he'd never been trapped on the astral plane before. Ambrose paused a beat and smirked. "I'll be surrounded by candles, so do try not to burn yourself in the process if it comes to that. We don't need you blind and burnt, too."

    His attention had returned to the candles by then, which came to life with a lift of his hands and the single uttering of a foreign words. "If you have any brilliant suggestions before I go, Ozpin, now would be the time."
     
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  14. Ozma

    Ozma RWBY

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    Astral projecting. Ambrose said it very matter of factly, but the words meant little to Oz. He could only assume, based on context, that it would involve Ambrose's body remaining in the room while... his spirit went elsewhere? His soul? He was supposed to wake him up if something went wrong - but how was Oz to know if something went wrong? He felt a spike of anxiety, but quashed it immediately, shuffling closer to Ambrose.

    "I won't burn myself, and I'm not completely blind."
    Oz scoffed, though there was no denying the trace amount of dread on his expression, and at the last second he reached out and grabbed Ambrose's sleeve tightly, trying desperately to actually see his expression. It was still too blurry to make much out, and his grip tightened. "Remember I'm not from your world, Ambrose. What am I supposed to be looking for? Listening for? How do I know if something's gone wrong?" He demanded hoarsely.

    He loosened his grip, then finally let the younger warlock go against his better judgement. "Don't do anything stupid, Ambrose. I owe you, and I can't imagine you want to pass up on that."


     
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  15. Ambrose Spellman

    Ambrose Spellman The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

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    There he'd been, ready to go, and it wasn't that he didn't have a care in the world. It wasn't that he wasn't just a little bit nervous. This was, after all, different. This wasn't about something as small as wanting to go on a date with a boy you ordinarily would never be able to go on a date with because you were under house arrest. This was life or death on a quite literal level, and not just for him. Not just for Ozpin. For his cousin, and he knew her. He knew her like he knew the back of her hand. He knew what sort of a choice she would make if she had to make it.

    Before he could go, though, before he could lay back and close his eyes, he felt Ozpin reaching for him, catching him by the sleeve. Ambrose froze and turned toward him, understanding his concern as he was reminded that they were not from the same world. That was right. Their magics were hardly the same and Ambrose's had far more in limitation than Ozpin's did. "It's not subtle," he assured him, the faintest upward quirk at the corner of his lips as though amused by the topic of subtlety coming up once more. Usually there was convulsing or choking involved. Ozpin wouldn't have any trouble there. The actual act of waking him up, well ... he was sure he'd work something out.

    Eventually, Ozpin released him, but Ambrose didn't look away immediately. He pressed his lips to a fine line and then twisted a bit on the floor, gesturing to the screen in question. The scene had not changed. "I assume you've seen this. We're not the only ones, and not only is that girl there in that room your student, she is my cousin and she is all that I have," he told him firmly. "If doing something stupid figures all of this out and keeps her from doing something considerably more stupid - and she will do something considerably more stupid - then ..." He trailed off and spread his arms, palms turning toward the ceiling as though to ask him what other choice he had.
     
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  16. Ozma

    Ozma RWBY

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    "That's helpful." Oz deadpanned, though in some ways he was assuaged. At least if Ambrose found any trouble, it would (hopefully) be clear even to his untrained eye. Then it would just be a matter of waking him up, and he wanted to hope that, at least, that wouldn't be any different than usual.

    His eyes snapped up to the screen, and even though Oz hadn't actually looked at it closely before (and all he saw now were some blobs of color), he knew who Ambrose was referring to. Feeling the bottom drop out of his stomach, he turned his attention back to the younger warlock with a more determined expression. "I understand, Ambrose. I have met Sabrina before." He explained simply. "She's a talented young lady, but she does strike me as having an impulsive streak a mile long when she gets an idea in her head. I... know you have reservations about me at the moment, but anything we can do to help her, I assure you, I'll do it without compunction." He nodded firmly, and then shuffled back, folding his legs tailor-style with his elbows on his knees, watching Ambrose as best he could.

    "Just... don't do anything too incredibly stupid, Ambrose. If we're going to be idiots, I would rather it be a joint decision between us."


     
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  17. Ambrose Spellman

    Ambrose Spellman The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

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    Somehow, when it came to his students, when it came to the youth, Ozpin's tune changed. He would have done anything to protect them and maybe he understood the level of protectiveness Ambrose felt over his cousin. She was the only family that he had left. Listening to him now, he wished Ozpin had felt that amount of care the first, second, or third time that he had texted him begging for help, when he had insisted that his words were not just some sort of mischief. There was more to Ambrose Spellman than mischief. He cared so much and he felt so much.

    For a moment, he simply stared at the other man and then nodded his head. "Got it. Only mildly stupid then." There was the faintest smile, the thinnest of them, before he turned to lay down within the circle of candles. Closing his dark eyes, he breathed in deep, exhaled, again and again and again until his lips parted and he was uttering an incantation that he had uttered once more before not particularly long before he had arrived in Pandora. The circumstances had been less dire, but then, in a way, the circumstances were always dire when projecting. He'd never done it in Pandora, so he didn't know whether or not it all worked the same way, a fact that he had intentionally not disclosed to Ozpin for reasons that may have been obvious if his rage weren't causing doubts toward the man. Whatever the case, he still intended to keep an eye out for psychopomps lest the vicious little creatures decide to whisk his soul off to the hereafter.

    Whatever that meant in Pandora. Ambrose didn't want to know.

    Five minutes passed, then ten, fifteen, twenty, and there was no change in the witch laying still there on the floor. His chest continued to rise and fall as his spirit traveled from room to room, seeing just how many were trapped in the same predicament that they were in. Their little pair was not unique in any way and, in fact, it seemed as though whatever would-be god had decided to play this little game had utilized nothing more than a Satan-damned random number generator to choose their victims. There were people panicking, people striking the walls in hopes that they weren't as trapped as they seemed, and Ambrose watched the room react with hostility in the same way that it had reacted to Ozpin and attacked his eyes. He shouted at them, tried to get their intention, but he went unnoticed, which was ... impossible. That wasn't how Astral Projection worked. He came across Sabrina, herself, trapped in a room with some man, stood in front of her, reached uselessly for her only for his hand to slip right through her form like a cloud. There was something numbing about not being seen, not being heard. This wasn't how it worked. A bird caught his attention flitting about near the ceiling, no telling how it had gotten in or how it could get out. But neither of the room's occupants could see it. Only him, and Ambrose knew what that meant.

    But he couldn't give up yet.

    His spirit left the facility entirely, ventured out into the endless wastes that surrounded them. They were far from any sense of civilization, but Ambrose couldn't tell how far because it was just so far. He supposed that had always been the draw of the Dread Wastes to some people. The endlessness. The total lack of proper civilization. Horizon didn't count, wherever that diamond in the rough was in comparison to this place, but it was so small, so unknown to the world around it. And even if he tried to get there, how would he find help?

    There was the chirp of a bird somewhere far to his right and Ambrose's turned his head to look. Another landed next to it, and another, a fourth, a fifth until they were beginning to swarm the dirt at his feet. Panic was starting to rise in his chest and he thought he could hear his Auntie's warnings in his head, could hear her advising him against a decision like this one entirely. But it wasn't only the psychopomps interfering. He tried to return, but the attempt alone felt suffocating to him and he was struggling. He was struggling to grasp life again, he was struggling to grip the world of the living and pull himself back into his body as though the psychopomps and the room itself were warring and he was trapped somewhere in the middle.

    It's not subtle, Ambrose had said, and he had meant it. By then, nearly an hour had passed, and feet from Ozpin's form there on the floor, the witch's body had started to move suddenly. The candles flickered and Ambrose's lips parted, a sound of anguish escaping his lips, and it was not soft, not subtle, not quiet in any way, shape, or form. His body began to convulse this way and that, but his eyes remained closed even as he arched his back, even as he shouted, even as he struggled for breath.
     
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  18. Ozma

    Ozma RWBY

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    Ozma wasn't good at waiting.

    He had never had to wait, because he was always the one leading the charge. More often than not, in his memories of Vytal, Ozma was the only one in any sort of conflict. He turned down armies and warriors aplenty in favor of striking out alone, and he had never felt helpless. Not until... what had eventually happened.

    His death. His resurrection. Salem.

    Even then, Oz wasn't one to stand by while someone else risked their life. That was something he had grown more accustomed to in later years of his existence, but it still rested heavy on his soul, and so he watched Ambrose's still form with mounting frustration. His fingers started twitching against his cane, flexing around the handle over and over. His toes curled and relaxed.

    But he didn't move, and he didn't look away, even as minutes droned on. Absently, Oz realized that they were wasting precious time, but what right did he have to tell Ambrose no? Ozma had taken his shot at the room, and his eyes were still foggy as a result. If the younger warlock had a plan that could work, then it was worth sacrificing an hour. Still--

    He was stirred from his thoughts when Ambrose jerked into movement. Leaning forward with an intense expression, Oz began to form words immediately - ready to demand to know what had happened, only to realize immediately that something was wrong. Ambrose's eyes were still shut, and he was convulsing, making sounds...

    "Ambrose!" Lunging forward, Oz grabbed at his shirt, trying to shake him awake. A moment later, feeling desperate and helpless, he drew back his arm and laid a punch across Ambrose's face as hard as he felt he could without doing any permanent damage. Shaking him again, Ozma's magic began to crackle in the air around them as his panic mounted. "Ambrose!"


     
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  19. Ambrose Spellman

    Ambrose Spellman The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

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    Each second was more and more of a struggle and Ambrose felt with every attempt that he was only suffocating more and more. Those tell-tale birds were still there around him, hundreds of them now. He'd never seen so many. The last time, he'd seen three of them and gotten spooked enough to return to the world of the living, but the situation they were in, the magic that he was up against, it wasn't letting him go. It was difficult than that and with each second that ticked on by, he began to wonder whether or not this might be it for him. He supposed he'd asked for it. He supposed he'd walked into all of this, knowing full well the risks.

    Suddenly, there was a pain flaring up in him, unsure of where it had come from, but it was enough to jerk him back into existence, eyes bursting open, lips parting as he gasped loudly for air. His dark eyes stared up at the ceiling, sight momentarily hazy as they adjusted to the light around him, and then they swung toward the unfamiliar head of dark hair knelt over him. It took a moment as though he had already forgotten who was trapped here in this room with him, or maybe he was still expected the light-haired man who looked considerably more time-weathered than this one did. Whatever the case, it all came back to him, including the throbbing pain in his face.

    "You punched me!" he suddenly ground out quietly, sounding almost indignant as he considered that. The truth was, though, he wasn't considering anything, he was just trying to get his bearings back. Projection was always a startling thing and he was realizing now that the longer you were in there, the less right you felt coming back out of it. Still, it didn't compare to the way he had felt when Michael had pulled him out of Hell, or wherever it was he had been.

    He didn't get up yet, just laid there, squeezing his eyes shut again, breathing in deep, in and out, in and out, trying to ease the pounding in his head and throbbing in his face. Had he been afraid? He didn't want to allude to that, but it was true. Old as Ambrose was, some days, some situations, he felt so much like a child.
     
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  20. Ozma

    Ozma RWBY

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    As soon as Ambrose jolted back into consciousness, Oz scrambled backwards in a bid to give him space. Still, he watched intensely to ensure that no permanent harm had been done, noting with relief that his vision was finally starting to clear again. Ambrose was still a bit distorted, and his features were a bit of a blob, but Ozma could see enough to recognize that he was clearly rattled by the experience.

    Breathing in deeply, he pushed his own frustration down as well as he could. "Yes, well, you weren't responding to anything gentler than that." Oz pointed out waspishly, because apparently he wasn't as good at pushing his frustration down as he had been before. He closed his eyes and breathed in again, before addressing Ambrose with a more even expression. "Are you all right? Is there anything I can do? That was an absolutely foolish thing to do, Ambrose. You've already gone over our quota for stupidity."

    Oz hesitated, and then smiled weakly. "Shame on you for forcing me to be the responsible one." He added lightly. A moment later, Ozma laid back against the floor and stared up at the ceiling, allowing some time to pass by in tense silence.

    "I suppose you didn't find any secret ways out of this, did you?" He sighed.


     
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