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To Hunt and Trap A Beast

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Such ferocity, such... tenacity.

Zenos Yae Galvus was a man who wasn't shy about taking what he wanted. He never asked permission, never waited for consent. He took what he pleased, and what he pleased was the male standing before him. Weapon drawn, eyes furious and focused on nothing but him. Zenos felt a tug, as if drawing him to the marvelous beast before him. No one had defied him so vehemently, no one had been strong enough. But this creature was made to be hunted, to be trapped and trained. How glorious would it be to have him fighting with him, at his side, instead of flailing around with rabble who couldn't begin to utilize the full extent of his true power?

Like a mother bird watching the young fledgling take flight for the first time, Zenos had seen the warrior before him spread his wings, only to bare his talons and come right back for a killing blow. Ah, what a glorious sight, and such an invigorating battle that could come between the two of them. The beast before him had bathed in blood, in the death of his enemies in order to gain power, to finally be on even grounds with Zenos himself. Such dedication aught to be rewarded, and while he reveled in the idea of hunting the warrior before him down like the magnificent animal he was, Zenos found himself entertaining yet another idea that he found equally as invigorating.

What would it take to train such a fascinating creature? What kind of chains would be required to keep him by his side, rabid and furious and oh so alluring?

   "It fills you even now, doesn't it? The hunger. To bite down on my jugular, to feel the warmth fill your mouth and run over even as you drink deep. Good, good! This is the beast I have longed to face!" Zenos crowed, blue eyes elated to see the warrior before him tense, hands tightening on his weapon as realization dawned upon him that the hunt was nothing more than a manic game to the Garlean. A tense jaw, and those eyes... Like a prowling predator, watchful and just waiting for the chance to strike. And strike he shall, but would it be enough? Zenos was not without his tricks after all, and any hunter knows that a good trap is one of the best ways to capture his prey. Much like... A smile stretched across thin lips.

A step back, then another, and then Zenos was retreating into the shadows of the darkened hall behind him. He knew that the eikon-slayer would follow, as he was wont to do many times before without waiting for reinforcements. Sure enough he heard footsteps, fast and light as boots hit the stone floor. Light, agile, strong. The perfect prey. Zenos almost licked his lips in anticipation for what was to come.

As he stepped out of the dark hall and into the warm sunlight that graced the Royal Menagerie, the sound of electricity crackling seemed out of place in the serene garden. It had once been filled with animals from across the sea, rare in the lands of Eorzea. But Zenos... had found them tedious, boring even. Nothing like the two creatures that were within it now, those light footsteps coming to a standstill behind him. Weapon no doubt still drawn, ready to strike him down. But Zenos knew the creature he hunted more than anyone knew. He knew that the Resistance favored talking and negotiating over action. He knew without a doubt that the supposed hero at his back would give him the benefit of the doubt...

Sure enough, the tell tale sign of a weapon being sheathed met his ears, and ever so slowly he turned to face his newest acquisition. Bright eyes, so full of fire before, were now focused in disbelief to the sky above him. Disbelief, and a little fear. Interesting, was the legendary eikon-slayer truly afraid of his favored pet? The dragon was wrapped around itself, contained within the magitek force field until which time he deigned it to be released. The hero before him was looking between him and the dragon, as if trying to decide who was the truer threat. Ah, if only he knew. He would not have been so negligent to come alone then.

   "Welcome to the Royal Menagerie." Zenos greeted, a small smile on his lips as he watched those bright eyes snap back to him, all attention focused back to him. Ah, wonderful, those eyes should always be watching him. Wary, defiant. He wanted them, more than anything he's wanted in the world. Someone equal to his power, nay, more powerful if properly trained. Those fools in the Resistance had no idea of the weapon they held within their ranks. But Zenos did, he knew the potential for destruction, the sheer power contained within one small being. Glorious, ferocious... and it will be his. One way or another he will claim what was his, and so he began to talk, to distract the hero while he gathered the Resonant energy within his being. Explaining how the Echo would be utilized, to control. To manipulate the primals he so prided himself in defeating.

   "I know you understand this." Zenos all but cooed towards the warrior. "You and I are one and the same." He added, delighting in the look of distaste and denial directed his way. Oh, did the beast think that they were nothing alike? How adorable. "You live for these moments, when all hangs in the balance. When the difference between life and death is but a single stroke."

The warrior faltered slightly before him, alarm flickering through those defiant eyes. Ah, now he was beginning to notice it. Zenos lifted his weapon, pointing it at the warrior who took a defensive step back, his hand moving instinctively to his weapon. He did not draw it though, the hesitation clear in his gaze as he contemplated Zenos' words. "I live for them too. This is who we are my friend! This is all we are! Ala Mhigo and Doma and Garlemald be damned!" He yelled, a grin stretching across his lips, pale blue eyes wild with fevered elation at seeing the creature before him become conflicted.

Zenos lowered his weapon, and the warrior relaxed somewhat, eyes once again narrowing in distrust. "Together..." Zenos started, seeing those shoulders tense up. Shoulders so used to carrying the failures of others, the shortcomings of comrades and the weight of others problems. Ah, so strong, but so naive. "Together, we could while away the quiet hours...." He continued, his weapon lowered still as he took a small step closer. Again those hands went for a weapon, but did not draw. "As friends and confidant, if you will accept me." Zenos continued, and he knew the trap had been set. No matter the answer, this marvelous creature was his.

In but a flash, Zenos was on the warrior before he could react, his sword flashing in the warm light of a setting sun before the sound of steel hitting steel echoed across the otherwise empty menagerie. The warrior had barely managed to draw his weapon to block Zenos' attack, not that it would have killed him. Zenos knew that his newest pet wouldn't die so easily, and that's what he was counting on. Wrapping his other hand around the male's throat, Zenos lifted him with ease, his eyes flashing from their cold blue to the violent eyes of a Resonant. He watched, and felt, the fear crawl through the so called Warrior of Light, the slayer of Bahamut, the Liberator of Doma, and he had never felt so alive before that moment. He pushed, feeling the will of the Echo coming from the warrior fighting back, and he knew he didn't have the strength to shatter it. But he could overwhelm it, starve it, blight it until it staggered.

And stagger it did, the sheer force of Zenos' Resonance tearing at the warrior's own Echo until something gave. With his lack of training, it wasn't long before the warrior's weapon slipped from his fingers, and the once struggling body went still, limp in his grasp. Feeling a pleased smile stretch over his lips, Zenos laid the warrior down in the field of flowers and sheathed his sword before kneeling to lift the unconscious figure into his arms.

   "Sleep well beast, I expect a fight when you awaken." He purred, carrying his newest prize back into the darkened halls of the Palace, intending to leave this place to the dogs. Let them have their victory, he had what he wanted after all. Pausing at the door, he looked back to Shinryu, locked within its cage. He'll send for an air carrier to take the dragon somewhere where the Resistance mutts couldn't get their filthy hands on it, for he wasn't quite done with the massive creature just yet. But time was ticking, and he should like to get his warrior to a place that was a little more accommodating for what he had planned next.