Kait

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They were in a basement level hallway. Since it was so late, only half of the hallway's fluorescent lights were on - they were saving electricity. Chloe thought it was kind of funny that, even on a magic island, the school would go to the effort to keep the electricity bill down.

It was dark and, except for the three of them, empty. Ozerchabal stood ready with the soft, power-nullifying cuffs they had found in a sex shop - not as useful as what the police had, but they would do the job. Nona stood off to the side, dripping as she usually did. Chloe made a note to track down a 'wet floor' sign before she left.

Assuming she survived this whole ordeal. If she didn't get it right, her father would kill her.

"Well, before we start," Chloe said, "I... I want you both to know that I appreciate you. You didn't have to go through with this with me. I'm glad that you did."

Ozerchabal nodded. Nonabtaob gave an uncomfortable smile.

Chloe uttered the incantation to summon Arach. She would appear on Chloe's neck, as a small spider, as she always did. Chloe would have a finger on her neck, expecting Arach to climb onto it. She would then hold out her hand. The commands started immediately. Chloe usually wasn't like this with her.

"Assume your human form. Stand in front of me with your arms behind you. Don't fight."

Ozerchabal would fasten the cuffs to her.

"So. How much do you know about what I've been planning?"

@Hyper
 

Hyper

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Arach had always been at the ready to answer Chloe's summons since the incident last year. She decided never to miss a second as soon as as called for her. She decided she was never too late for anything. That was her pride as a familiar.

But as of late, she'd noticed... well, quite a lot of things. She didn't consider herself much of a genius, but she'd be utterly stupid not to notice what's been going on with Chloe. Something happened; something clicked, and slowly but surely, Chloe began plotting. Arach kept quiet and observed, just as she always did.

The demon familiar answered the summon just as she had always done, appearing in her least conspicious form on her master's shoulder. Arach noted everything in her surrounding at that moment. There was a moment's hesitation before Arach climbed onto the offered hand and yet another one, before she followed the commands given.

Arach stood in her human form before Chloe, her expression almost unreadable under the dim lights. Her gaze never left Chloe even as Ozerchabal had stepped behind her to fasten the cuffs. She had the sense to resist, but chose to follow orders and allowed it. Chloe rarely gave her orders that way, she noted.

She took a moment to pass until Ozerchabal had stepped away from where she stood still. "I can say I know enough. I must say I'm a bit surprised to know you have the audacity to even consider the idea of sending us away," she replied, her speech pattern stiffer than her usual. "Rest assured that I haven't allowed My Lord to know any of this for your safety, but I was also hoping for you to reconsider. It seems that won't be the case at all. Is it?"

 

Kait

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Chloe had been hoping Arach wouldn't know. This could complicate things. Because, of course, Chloe wasn't going to take her claim at face value - it would be much safer to assume her father knew too.

"You're right."

She took a moment to think - how would Arach have learned? Was she not careful enough? She couldn't afford to dwell on this for too long. With some hesitation, she decided to go on with the same offer.

"But there's a reason I brought you here before doing it. I've heard the way he talks about you, and to you. I've seen how he treats the people below him, how he views them as dispensible, how he would lash out at any of them for the smallest things." She thought about how she had to convince Mikhainon - and she did know his name now - not to make Arach suffer eternally for 'failing to protect Chloe.' Arach laid down her life to let Chloe escape, and still Mikhainon wanted to make her suffer. Nothing was good enough for him, and for his servants, all roads led to failure. That's why Chloe didn't want to become one. It had been eating away at her for months - the gnawing realization that she didn't really matter to him.

"If you want, you can come with me. You don't even need to work for me anymore if you don't want. I could set you free."
 

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The demon familiar resisted the urge to bare her fangs; it wouldn't have been for her own defense but as an old reflex to anyone that spoke unpleasant things about Mikhainon. They were almost always mostly true though; and there was no lie in what Chloe had said. She said nothing to confirm or deny it but they both already knew that wasn't needed. Chloe heard it with her own ears, and Arach was more than simply familiar with Mikhainon's ways. Despite being at the top of his servants, having stayed loyal for millenia, she was always just moments from being replaced for every little mistake.

Arach hesitated to speak, opening and closing her mouth as she held back a response. Freedom. She considered it more than once, but never acted on it, knowing the possible consequences if she attempted so. She was far from her goal by now; so she chose to accept what she had. But Arach had always been unsatisfied that never once did she stop thinking of moments she was free from his rule.

"You do realize if this fails, he won't be very kind to either of us," she spoke instead. "Are you sure you want this, Chloe?"

 

Kait

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Chloe hesitated.

Again, she had to ask herself, is this the right thing? It probably wasn't too late to turn back, scuttle the ritual, try to forget this ever happened. And she knew she was giving up so many nice things - her lifestyle of wealth and glamour was going away as soon as she pulled the trigger on this. Plus, she wouldn't be able to provide for Amber anywhere near as well.

But it wouldn't be worth it. "The way I see it, Arach... I don't think I can do what he wants me to do. Working for him forever. Eventually, I would have to deny him, and it would end badly for both of us anyway. At least I get a chance this way." Chloe took a deep breath. She was shaking. She had been shaking when she drew her sigils on the floor of the classroom next to them, too - that was a large part of why this took so long, along with all the double- and triple-checking.

"So. You want in? Or do you want to take your chances with him?"

She would give Arach some time to decide if she needed it. They weren't on that tight of a time frame.
 

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The expression on Arach's face seemed to soften as she heard Chloe's confirmation. Oftentimes she found herself a little envious of her position; but they both seem to know what was behind all the lavish gifts Mikhainon gave her. They both understood what Mikhainon wanted for her and that was now clear for Chloe. The dim light kept her from seeing much, but she could hear the way Chloe spoke

It wasn't just recently when she found out but she'd pretended she didn't hear anything. She never brought it up but she wouldn't be so surprised of Mikhainon knew of it. Perhaps she would be punished for not keeping her eye on her, or convincing her to do otherwise, or possibly even aiding her with this rebellion. Either way, he would have her head on a plate.

The familiar wouldn't have had any choice in the matter if Chloe herself hadn't offered one. She considered reporting to Mikhainon beforehand but the offer made her think. Arach looked at Chloe with calculating eyes. Had she thought of this beforehand or was this something simply to appease her? Arach couldn't think to trust anyone at that moment.

Arach didn't respond immediately, quieting down to dwell in her thoughts. In either scenarios, she would have to be punished for her 'incompetence', or for her betrayal. In either of those scenarios where she takes one side or the other, she could be dead. Still, whether or not they succeed, the risk would have been worth it.

The corner of her lips quirked into a small smile, "Honestly, I never understood how your mind worked, Chlo," she said, finally relaxing her stance. "Alright then. So what else do you need done?"

 

Kait

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"Well..." Chloe breathed. "We're almost done, actually. If you're wondering what my game is, I actually do care about you. I can't turn off my human side. But, it would be risky if I didn't have you where I could see you, while I was doing this stuff. I guess you could also say I brought you here because I fear and respect you."

Chloe opened the door to an unused classroom, and they all went in. The desks had been pushed to the back, and on the floor lay two different ritual circles. One, large, contained Mikhainon's symbol. It was obviously for a summoning, with a lot of special charms, symbols, and markings added for various arcane purposes. The other, smaller and in the corner of the room, was for something else entirely and contained no Goetic symbols. It was all lit by candlelight.

They weren't alone in the room. One of Chloe's old DSU friends worked with the fire department now, and he sat in the corner, waiting with a fire extinguisher just in case any candles got knocked over and caused a problem. "The school wouldn't let me use the room like this if I didn't have him," she explained as Ozzy led Arach to sit at a desk.

"Uh, Chloe? Why is she...?"

"If you take off your silencing charms during the rituals she might eat you. Don't worry about it." Chloe winked at Arach.
 
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Hyper

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I can't turn off my human side, Chloe told her familiar. Arach would have laughed if it were any other situation; but that was also one of the things Arach praised her for. Arach would have also considered it as a weakness: If she were any other demon, Chloe's show of compassion would have been already a mistake on her part but Arach had always acted out from her design. On the other hand, Chloe acknowledgement of her existence earned her more consideration from the familiar. She gave Chloe a smile that seemed to reach her eyes. "You know your people so well," she spoke vaguely.

Arach didn't add anything more to what she said, simply following Chloe and the other pair to the other room. Her eyes were quick to study her surroundings: desks set aside, ritual circles at the ready. As she was lead to the desk, she turned her attention to the other person in the room. It was not a stranger's face, but it was one person she didn't deem worthy to pay more attention to anyway. She heard their exchange and resisted the giggle that bubbled from her throat. Arach responded with a grin to Chloe, "I am a little bit peckish. I could really use a snack."

The little jest kept her mind out of the moment for just a second. She wouldn't admit aloud that she felt some semblance nervousness when she laid her eyes on the circles on the floor, but she was indeed nervous. There was a chill she felt down her spine that she swore she would have felt even in her real body back in Hell. For now, that was only a mere thought while settled on the spot where she sat.

"You sure you're all set, Chlo?"

 

Kait

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Deep breath. "As ready as I'll ever be. So, uh, silencing charms, dude." She pointed in the general direction of their unwanted guest, and he did what he was told.

"So, here's the plan," Chloe said, walking towards the smaller circle. "If I summon him straight away, he has way too much control over me, because he sort of owns me. But! As it turns out, it would be really easy for me to just submit myself to a new master." She sighed, and knelt down next to it. "That's what I was working out with Pandora, by the way. I think she'll be alright."

She looked to Arach for a moment, hesitating. She was hoping for some kind of confirmation that this was a good idea, and not a horrifyingly bad one. Sacrificing a portion of her own free will didn't sit well with her, even under these circumstances.

But no matter what Arach said, she would still do it. She had to, at this point.
 

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Arach gazed back at Chloe, looking for the hints of hesitation in her eyes. For the type Arach was, she would have though willingly sacrificing one's own free will was a load of bullshit. Being real though, she would be a hypocrite and the circumstances between her and Chloe were vastly different. She just went to look for an easy way out; Chloe needed this more than she did then.

Still, she had to ask questions. "You're absolutely sure Pandora is the right choice?" It wasn't that she didn't trust Pandora, but the more she asked questions, the more she could be sure Chloe really thought it through. She was all set, Arach could see that, but she wanted to be sure Chloe wouldn't hesitate at the last minute.

 

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