Hidden 2 yrs ago 9 mos ago Post by Mortim
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*Crunch... Crunch... Crunch...-* 'What an annoying sound.'- One would likely find themselves thinking, their world firstly enveloped by darkness before the company of ominous ambiance consumes their peaceful pondering. Telling's of forward momentum fill the gut as clarity begins growth. This wouldn't have been the first of Anora's familiar dreams, though it is most certainly more vivid than any previous trance. Of course, one must question whether they knew this to be a dream or not in the first place once beginning the immersion to soon be named.

*-Crunch... Crunch... Crunch...-* There was no time for frivolous query, sounds liken to gravel being trod upon once more populate immediate space. Cloth raiment lightly clasping either leg can be faintly recollected between what feel as trained steps inside complete shadow. 'I've been traveling awhile, haven't I?' This question somehow settles inwardly as relevant, yet one could hardly tell how. Strange enough, this wasn't troubling, when on common days it may indicate soreness or lack of rest.

Light suddenly splits surrounding gloom, ebony blankets giving way to vast arrays of profound and mythical hues of red and white. Clearer than ever before would be something of vibrant queerness. Yet, what's strangest of all is the clarity of it. Anora could likely say that this vision was of a deeper reality than her waking life, all five senses feeling stronger than ever observed; perhaps it was some drug to enhance one’s perception?

Before her now extends an endless field of white. Speckled pockets of black show her to be ambling across small ivory objects, this indicates her gravel-born steps. Said landscape was flat, it's crumbling surface hardly the first of many remarkable details. Several miles in every direction our landscape would end in spherical fashion, much like a cliff, as if one found themselves standing atop a massive disk-like platform. Of course, this wasn’t the most remarkable of things.

Far away and surrounding Anora from all angles would be massive, perfectly circular pillars larger than any man-made structure. This wasn't to say these pillars were shrunken by great distance, in fact, they could be tens-of-hundreds of miles away and yet they would appear to swallow entire flanks with their immeasurable girth. All pillars were of the same bleached shade as her current landscape and would each end somewhere far in the sky above. Some were facing straight upwards, others would be skewed and leaning as if somehow pushed partially over. They continued endlessly in number, a sea of these objects being shown to continue on as an ocean. There was no ground beneath them, we appeared to be far too elevated to observe any such thing as Earth. Perhaps we're at the relative peak of this place?

Regardless, another oddity would be the sky above. It was red, a deep and cloudless red. This didn't at all change the way other colors were perceived, the light above reflecting off objects as our natural Sun's light would. Looking down, Anora might also notice what she was walking upon wasn't gravel at all, but rather small fragments of assorted bone. Joints, cracked limbs, spinal disks, even small human skulls could be spotted in several choice locations. Yet, for some unknown reason, Anora's own body could not be perceived as if it were somehow out of focus with the rest of reality. Her limbs were all unable to be commanded aside from their constant aforementioned pace, continuing against all struggle of will.

*Grooooooom-rumble!* 'He's here.' Anora would find herself thinking as a distant quaking is registered against faint winds and relative silence. Such a thought felt only natural in response to said event.

*BOOM!* A massive human hand nearly dwarfing some of the surrounding pillars would suddenly shoot into the air before Anora's current place of standing several miles in the distance, it's titanic shadow consumes her, an open palm indicating action to soon grasp for any available ledge by slow and labored motion. It's skin ripples during slow descent, small humanoid mouths spewing crimson fluid crack open all across it's exterior surface. This is easily perceived, yet the rest of our gargantuan being remains hidden somewhere below. Danger is felt, flight or fight kicking in as waves of assorted human screams blast Anora backwards with one unstoppable shockwave. 'Shit! If I don't make the first move he'll-...

Her eyes would now open in real life, all visions ending completely as if they'd never occurred. Well, perhaps one should say 'as if they weren't currently occurring'. Either way, another day is to begin. Though, it's likely this day wouldn't be the same as most…

((I just reposted this from the first RP with a few minor edits as it still certainly applies to Anora.))
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‘I’d open my eyes if you weren’t around...’ The words of an ambiguous lover plague one young man’s thoughts, his tired gaze awakened to view the swirling Earth about him. His left hand raises to place two fingers upon an aching cranium, both ligaments press and spin against either temple. Being roused from a park bench nap by regrettable memories is never on the pleasurable side of an agenda.

“S***..” He quietly utters aloud, distaste plain by tone of retired torment. He was bid to be here against all protest and complaint. ‘Earth, what a backwater planet..’ He finds himself thinking. Though his appearance certainly didn’t denote it, he had been to many a world besides our circular terra. One could argue that they were overly qualified to be on the errand this locale demands, that is, of course, if their superiors hadn’t violently rejected all arguments as this boy’s did.

His left hand finally falls from above overly pained eyes, their incessant blinks denoting an individual still adjusting to the early light of day. This same hand reaches deep into the pocket of his jeans whilst his hips twist in allowing an aching upper body to sit rightfully upwards. Eventually, and after much digging, one rectangular object similar to our modern-day smartphone is retrieved. This miniscule slab is held gingerly beneath our lads hunched form, it’s smooth surface reading several listed statements in shimmering white letters:

CANDIDATE DARSBY PROVISIONAL LOG
OBJECTIVE THREAT: KNIGHT2 - POTENTIAL THREAT: KAIZER9
CURRENT WORLD ROTARY CYCLE # 46
DUKE LIMITER - 4TH DEGREE (FULL CAMO)- 1:A 2:A 3:A 4:A

---Current Cycle Objective{s}---
-Suspected carrier B-3-P to appear in local area.
-Precise Coordinates TBD.
-Move towards Sherman Ave.


“S***..” He’d say again, sighing louder than necessary whilst standing upright from his seated position now to move away from what he’d have said to be ”One d*** lumpy bench.”.’Crack-pop-crack’ an out-of-sorts spine quakes in protest to sudden movement. Clumsy steps likened to an intoxicated individual fall to the earth beneath dilapidated sneakers. This boy’s left hand returns aforementioned slab to its respective pocket whilst he heads towards Sherman Ave., near the center of this city’s infrastructure. He’s in the process of tracking ‘Carrier B-3-P’, or as she’d be known on Earth, one Anora Rose Feldington.
Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by Siaya Dragalorn
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Dreams are such odd things. They lurk in the depths of the mind, emerging when we succumb to the sweet, healing unconsciousness of sleep. For most, they are little more than wisps of visions that blow away with the waking world. They are quickly lost and forgotten, leaving only the haunting feeling that something had happened inside your head while you slumbered. And even that was rare for some, their dreams consumed by the forgetful darkness of the mind long before waking.
But Anora had not had the luxury of a dreamless sleep for what felt like ages.
She was sure she had gone to bed, but sounds and sensations still surrounded her. The persistent, steady crunch reminiscent of gravel beneath her feet filled the darkness she had thought was the product of sleep. But that was wrong. Shadows. She was wading on expert feet through an obsidian blanket of shadows. She had been traveling for a while, hadn’t she? Yet, the journey had done nothing to ware her down.
Streams of light streaked through the wall of black, but Anora did not so much as blink at the sudden light. The rays created a gray haze before the darkness fully pulled away. For a moment, she could only marvel at the vividness of the colors of her surroundings. Beautiful, but deadly-looking shades of deep red saturated the cloudless sky, illuminating the world despite the lack of a visible sun. Contrasting shades of a white expanse stretched around her, rounding off then dropping into crimson oblivion far in the distance. The indentations left by her steps allowed shadows to pool inside them. But it was not just her sight that felt enhanced; every one of her senses had intensified as if someone had cranked her body’s perception dial to its breaking point. From the gentle breeze carrying a sour scent, to the sensation of gravel crunching unevenly beneath her feet, this relatively quiet place was unquestionably real, more tangible, even, than the world she had left behind.
Further off, gigantic, baseless pillars that could put even the Tokyo Skytree to shame surrounded her like a stone forest. It was impossible to tell whether the massive, perfectly round structures were one or thousands of miles away. Some of them leaned drunkenly while others stood imposingly straight. She glanced from them to the gravel through which they seemed to have sprouted, as opposed to being built upon.
No, not gravel. Bones. For as far as she could see, a harrowing array of human-like bones littered the ground and cracked unnervingly beneath each of her steps, the occasional small skull smiling emptily up at her.
She tried to gasp, to step back, but her body did not obey her. It kept going forward. Of course it did. She was on a mission, and this was no ordinary dream, even by her standards. This time, her body was not hers, driven forward by a consciousness not her own.
A scratching rumble sent a violent tremble through the ground beneath her feet. A thought not of her thinking, yet fitting all the same, crossed her mind: He’s here.
Not-her-body tensed, ready for action. Where was he? For that matter, who was he?
With a chest-rattling eruption, a colossal hand burst from the ground, sending a rain of bones clattering for miles. Its enormous palm reached slowly toward the ground as if hoping to pull up the rest of its body still hidden below. Its skin appeared to ripple as thousands of mouths opened. What looked unnervingly like blood gushed from their lips. The shock and dread blooming in not-her combined with the fearful awe that flooded through Anora.
What sounded like the tortured wails of millions of souls trapped in the underworld sent a shock wave toward her from the hand, knocking her back. She skidded painfully to her back, the carpet of bones poking at her through her clothes.
Not-her cursed and scrambled to her feet. If I don’t make the first move, he’ll--


* * *

Still half in the dream, Anora jumped up from her bed, an electric purple energy speckled with gold and black forming around her hands. She had to attack first, and fast, but her blanket caught around her legs and made her fall to the floor with a shout. The energy she had summoned burst from her hands with a whizzing crackle and shot into her dresser. The wood of one of the drawers shattered, sending an array of splinters and scorched undergarments into the air before falling about the threadbare carpet.
Her heart still pounding madly in her chest, Anora pushed her upper body up and looked around. At last, she registered the familiar surroundings of her bedroom.
The peeling wallpaper displayed an ugly, faded floral pattern. Her desk, the only thing messy about the room besides the debris of the drawer now strewn over the carpet, was cluttered with stray papers, half-finished drawings, and paintbrushes lazily left dipped in water. The few posters and pictures she had put up to try countering the wallpaper stared back at her.
Her gaze settled on the damage she had done to the dresser. With a groan, she plopped fully onto the carpet, her arms on the floor above her head. It was too early to deal with that.
“Could my dreams get any weirder?” she asked into the brown carpet.
Though it offered her no answer, at least it was not made of bone. Though, it would not surprise her if there were a few skeletons hidden between the walls somewhere. She could feel her black hair sticking up at odd angles, making her scalp itch as it tried to fall back into place.
Without fully sitting up, she twisted her body to get a look at her alarm clock. It told her it was a little before noon.
“Crap!” She hurried to her feet, this time careful to not let her blanket best her. She had wanted to get up earlier, but either her alarm failed to go off, or she slept through it. Either way, if she wanted to make it to the grocery store before her shift at the dinner, she would have to book it, or wait until tomorrow. With only enough food in the apartment to make a Jell-O and Lucky Charms sandwich, there was no way she was waiting.
As quickly as she could and trying to not think about her dream, she got ready for her day. She donned a tight-fitting black t-shirt adorned elegantly with a leather strip of silver studs on one side and various sizes of chains draped over the other. A matching pair of jeans followed, and her current favorite pair of mid-calf platform boots decorated with exaggeratedly large buckles came last, a knife ever hidden inside the left one.
As she hurried from her room, she paused to glance at the mess on her desk. The partially-painted sketch on top depicted a fierce, bloody battle she had borne witness to in yet another of her increasing dreams.
She shuddered at the thought of the hand that had haunted her last night. That was certainly another one to put in the books. Her dreams had felt real since they had first begun, but this had taken it to a whole new level.
Deciding her dresser could wait until later, she hurried from her bedroom. She strode down a short hall, and paused in the living room that served as the entrance area. She glanced to her small dining table, which took up half of the kitchen, even with only two chairs. She stared at her car keys nestled in a porcelain dish atop the table, the glaze shining over gilded Chinese dragons, debating on if she wanted to take her car, or walk.
Deciding it would be quicker and mean she could stock up on more groceries than what she could carry, she grabbed her car keys, shoved the wallet beside it into her back pocket, and hurried to the front door of the single-bedroomed apartment.
She rushed down the creaky stairs to the first floor, her car keys swirling absently around one finger by a key ring, then emerged into the summery outdoors. She stopped and blinked slightly in the sunlight. Once her eyes adjusted, she examined the lawn suspiciously, half expecting another hand to come bursting through the ground. Of course, it did not.
She shifted her weight, a frown pulling at her lips. Something felt off, but she could not say what for the life of her. She shook her head, trying to brush off the notion, but a small part of her clung to it. Something different would happen today. Though the thought often crossed her mind, this time, it had to be true.
Anora gripped her keys and made her way slowly across the grassy lawn between complexes toward the parking lot where her hand-me-down BMW waited. She glanced into the backseat as she unlocked the door, making sure her worn backpack still occupied the seat she had forgotten it on the previous night.
Satisfied she had her trusty sketchbook with her, she slid inside and started the car, her stomach ready for breakfast.
Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by Mortim
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*Beep!...Beep!...Beep!...-* Our young vagabond had been wandering in a daze for many a moment before being pulled into waking reality by several shrill beeps emanating from his left pocket. ‘Ah yes, the mission..’ He’d ponder between swaying tides of reluctance whilst neglecting the muffled alarm. Both hands come to slowly rub his face of the malaise that’s plagued it since coming to this ruinous rock, blocking his sight for several moments whilst doing so.

*Beep!. Beep!. Beep!* He’s been in a kind of fugue state for roughly a year now, “-occupying his time-” as his master would bid has hardly done a thing to ease an aching soul such as this. Groans and moans follow his drunken pace as the ambiance of pedestrians and passing vehicles draw ever closer, either hand having yet to be released from blatantly exhausted features.

*Beep!Beep!BEEP!BEEP!* The incessant chiming of one pulsating rectangular tablet reverberates from the man’s left pocket, growing ever louder and faster in pace. For one brief moment he removes his hands from that sunken expression to shout aloud whilst reaching for said device, continuing his gate forward whilst yelling despite the suddenly alarmed words of those near him. He’d regrettably realize what those nearby were belting in less than a breath of exasperated speech towards himself and his situation.

“Fine! Seriously, fine! I get that the targets clo-*THWAM!!” Little did the lad know, he’d walked right into traffic, earth’s roads and many vehicles appeared as something rather foreign to him for many moons now. The car which had collided with him, a well-used BMW, had been driven by Anora Rose Feldington. She’d been going around forty five miles per hour down a busy city street before some aimless sap stepped right out into the middle of the street with less than a second of time for her or anyone else to react.

*CRUNCH!-CRACK!* His body is propelled from the earth, spinning into pavement with immense force to continue with a short tumble into one rusted lamp-post. The sounds of cracking bones and shifted innards likened to meat being thrown harshly upon a grill with the sizzle to be replaced by flesh against stone bursts into the air to many a bystander’s dismay. A limp form is all that’s left after just three short blinks of motion, the overall injury having been dealt in one clean second.

His motionless corpse rested there for several moments, roughly five to ten seconds, as cars near Anora’s panicked vehicle react with surprising promptness to not collide with her automobile. There’s several rear endings and countless horns blared down the line but it’s certainly less damage than one would expect from severe swerving on a populated multi-lane city road. The bloodied body and it’s unnaturally twisted limbs twitches for several moments before laying still again, the crimson now staining his clothes grows into many large shades of mixed red. A variable puddle begins to form underneath his left flank.

The man was caucasian, of moderate height, had blond hair, was of a lean build and adorned simple clothing. Though much of it was now stained in fluids and dirt, one could make out that he had been wearing a brown denim jacket, a white t-shirt, blue jeans, and worn-out sneakers. It was a rather pitiful sight, the small splattered marks and skids of brownish-red leading to an overly twisted body which still quivered by faint reminiscence of healthy-life. Whether Anora had thought to do it or not, it’s certain someone had already called an emergency contact number. Everyone present could practically hear the sirens less than half a minute after the event, this particular spot being somewhat close to a general hospital making things move rather quickly.

Should Anora stay in her vehicle, she’ll likely be questioned by authorities as to what exactly happened several minutes from now. They would be here soon and would certainly respond promptly. She had, after all, been going ten miles above the speed limit as everyone else had been in the afternoon rush.

Should Anora exit her vehicle and come to the young man's side she’d firstly see his right shoulder moved towards the heavens as his contorted chest had been left in such a position after skidding against the ground and slamming ribs-first into aforementioned light-pole. Though his face is half-planted into the earth below, and his breath can hardly be made out between sporadic spits and gurgles, several hoarse words could eventually be interpreted.

“..g-*Cough!*..-garrl..B-B-3-P...Carr*COUGH!Hack!*-...D-dom’t..d-dom’t go*wheeze-wheeze*..” He’d exert one breath before vomiting a small fount of bright-red fluids and continuing to attempt speech. His constant stutters and spasms stem from resisting an overwhelming flood of shock. “..s-s-stay...D-dom’t*BLEGH!*-” He vomits another bout of liquid “-..Stay-y...s-stay with m-m-me-me pleeashe...Pleashe, Resgunnd-d-..-” His voice of urgency fades into a wheeze and gurgle before his eyes begin to flutter and roll into a bruised skull. His words and still beating heart are miraculous, continuing to survive in such a condition is a feat in itself.

Before his gaze had faded, there was something intense about those eyes. They seemed to look right through Anora, an energy the likes of which she’d only felt in her vivid dreams pouring into her body for the briefest of moments. Powerful emotions denoting an intense longing to be with another, the innocence of simply existing in close understanding with a specific sentient being tear into every fiber of her very soul for two short heart beats before shooting back into the oblivion from whence they came. Should she think on what had just happened, and how his eyes had really looked, it would have been obvious that he wasn’t ever looking at her. He had been looking at the memory of another person leering over him, the shock having contorted Anora’s form into whatever else he’d been calling out to.

’I’d open my eyes if you weren’t around..’ Somber words holding androgynous tones of nostalgic affection slip into the back of Anora’s mind before finding their way out of her thoughts as quickly as they’d arrived. This last telepathic event would occur regardless as to whether or not Anora had left the car. Though, by this point, I’m sure it’s true that the man’s body is rather crowded by people wishing to help and other such less-noble civilians only wanting a glance at the horrific scene before them. Likely, Anora is just as powerless as they to help.
Hidden 2 yrs ago 2 yrs ago Post by Siaya Dragalorn
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Anora could have driven the streets of this side of town with her eyes closed. She knew the path to the supermarket by heart, having even walked the few miles there on many occasions when she wanted the exercise.
Going the speed of traffic, Anora sighed. Only half paying attention to the cars around her, she glanced in her rearview mirror. So far, the day had been the same as any other. Sure, it had only been a few minutes since she had had that morning’s rushed, subconscious session of “believing six impossible things before breakfast,” but still. Not the most promising of star—
A sickening thud and stomach-churning, jerking vibration went through her car, wrenching her from her thoughts. With a shocked, horrified gasp, she instinctively slammed on her breaks, bringing the vehicle to a screeching halt, but it was too late. The world seemed to slow around her, turning the half a second it took for the now broken body of a man to go flying across the street and into a lamppost into minutes.
It took her brain and body a couple moments to catch up with what had just happened. She stared, petrified, the seconds that ticked by feeling more like a hazy eternity. Her stomach lurched, and she felt sick; she had just hit someone!
“No,” she breathed. Her hands begun to shake despite her tight grip on the steering wheel. “No, no, NO!
In a panicked haste, she unbuckled and jumped from her car. The angry honks from cars further behind whose drivers had not witnessed what had happened fell on def ears. A couple cars from the other lanes going opposite her had stopped. A crowd had already begun to gather, many with cellphones to their ears or snapping pictures and videos, but it was only the mangled body that held Anora’s gaze. She stared at it almost impassively, her mind refusing to fully take in the gory sight.
There was no way he could be alive.
Please don’t be dead!” she plead quietly. She skidded to a stop and fell to her knees beside him, accidentally kneeling in a portion of the pool of blood that had begun to soak the concrete.
He looked even worse up close. She felt bile rise in her throat. She gasped and swallowed when she noticed he was still breathing, still impossibly conscious.
Realizing his gurgled rasps were an attempt at speech, she tried to shush him, but could barely get out enough air. Her body trembling, she gently placed a hand on his better shoulder, too afraid to put any real pressure on him else risk causing more pain.
“D-don’t speak,” she choked out. She licked her lips, trying to ignore the crimson dripping over his face. Already, the sirens of an ambulance sounded not far in the distance. “I-I-It’ll be okay. Just… just don’t try to move.” She was only vaguely aware of the hoarse words that left her mouth.
This did not feel real. Could not be real. She had to still be dreaming, still asleep in bed. But a cruel voice at the back of her mind assured her she was not.
Despite her order, the man still struggled out wheezing words. She leaned forward with bated breath, trying to make out what he was saying amidst the growing background noise.
“I-I—” she stuttered at his request. She leaned back, scrunched her eyes shut, and clenched her teeth when he coughed up a mouthful of frothy blood. She tried to swallow again, trying to keep herself from vomiting, but her mouth had gone dry, and her throat constricted. “I-I’m not going anywhere,” she breathed, opening her eyes at the urgency in his voice. “I promise.”
She again looked to him. This time, their eyes locked for a brief moment, her violate gaze filled with terror and confusion, and his distant, as if he looked not at her, but at her soul. She gasped, drew her hand away, and sat back on her feet in surprise at the sensations and emotions that spiked through her before his eyes closed.
She stared, gaping, trying to figure out what had just happened, when a quiet voice echoed in her head.
For the first time, she glanced up, trying to figure out who had spoken. At last, she noticed the murmuring crowd circling them. People from the stopped vehicles had gotten out. Some stared at them with horror, some with shock, and some with appalled hatred.
The roaring sirens of an ambulance speeding down the street forced them scattering back to the sidewalk. Anora got shakily to her feet, some of the man’s blood dusting her palm and soaking the fabric of her jeans at her right knee.
The EMTs wasted no time. The moment the ambulance had stopped, two men hopped out and started shouting orders at each other and the bystanders.
One, a burly man with the beginning whiskers of a beard, rushed toward Anora and the injured—or perhaps dead—man. “Miss, return to the sidewalk,” he instructed Anora brusquely. “We’ve got it from here.”
Anora shook her head, scarcely aware she had moved. “Please. Can… can I come with?” she asked, watching distantly as the man’s youthful companion pulled a stretcher from the back of the ambulance.
The EMT glanced up at her as he carefully examined and moved the man’s lifeless, bloody body. “Are you family?”
“No. I…” She clenched her fists, trying to stop their trembling. “I’m who…” She could not bring herself to say it. “Please,” she pleaded as his partner set up the stretcher. “He—he wanted me to… I-I promised I wouldn’t leave him,” she finished softly. “I need to… I have to…”
I have to know if he’ll make it, she finished silently, incapable of forming a complete sentence.
The man glanced toward her BMW, a streak of red staining its right-hand headlight. Hesitantly, he nodded. “Alright. As long as you’re not a minor.”
She exhaled heavily. She gave a quick nod of thanks, then, adrenaline rushing through her, ran back to her car as they began to carefully transfer the man’s broken body onto the stretcher. As quickly as she could, she grabbed her backpack from the backseat, slung it over a shoulder, and returned to the ambulance as they loaded the man inside.
Don’t die, she thought as she hopped in after one of the EMTs. Please don’t die!
This was not the kind of adventure she had been hoping for.
Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by Mortim
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*Thud!* Our ambulance door slams shut after Anora’s entrance, she’s now locked into a chain of events she'd surely have trouble escaping should she suddenly find the urge to do so.Yet, aside from all ill-omens, our young man had been moved easily enough onto a pasty white surface now to be worked over by those skilled in healing the critically wounded.

“How’s he-....?” The younger emt muttered under his breath, cutting words short before uttering the foreboding statement ’How’s he still alive..?’, as it would only distract from what needs to be done for someone still clinging to life.

Tension and experienced instincts fill the air, all unnecessary emotion drains away as both technicians move to address what is before them. The younger, focused gentlemen had nearly finished attaching several wires and small devices to said patient’s right arm to gather vital signs. The older, whiskered man slid his left hand under our injured lad’s shirt-cuff whilst his right went to work splitting crimson-stained fabric down the middle with a pair of angled scissors. The bare chest revealed is coated in large, jagged scars and half-visible tribal tattoos now caked in dark crimson. Small white cloths dabb and slide where necessary in attempting to find any visible cuts or gaping wounds, yet, none were found. In fact, ever since being moved to the ambulance, the patient had looked to cease all profound bleeding that had been witnessed earlier. One would also notice that his breathing had regulated itself whilst tremors and incessant shaking gradually came to an end. His vitals, which, when first hooked into the machine appeared as critical, were now moving into the only moderately-dangerous areas of slight stability.

“Uhm…-” The whiskered emt hesitated for only a moment, instincts screaming that injury’s could still be found anywhere other than what had looked to be the central point of impact. “-Phill, Jeans.” His hurried voice would order the younger technician to go to work cutting away at the patients pants whilst our more aged pair of hands chopped away at denim jacket with expert precision.

Phill takes a sharp breath in before continuing to work as he spots his seasoned partner gingerly withdrawing one compact revolver from an inner pocket of our patients jacket. The wet pistol is placed inside an empty container off to the side and out of Anora’s possible reach. They both continue on as they had before.

Underneath sleeves and pant-legs it’d be revealed most all limbs were, in fact, quite out of sorts. The lack of cuts was astounding, though, it didn’t stop either worker from checking as the process of splinting the head, neck, and all but the right leg is initiated.

By this time they’d nearly arrived at the hospital, small verbalities denoting someone talking into a radio for preparation of a room having been heard from the front cabin of the vehicle throughout their short trip.

*Click* The ambulance door swings open to reveal several nurses and a hospital bed ready for patient transit. One nurse, a stern-faced woman with vibrant red hair, spoke to Anora in calm words filled with quiet authority.

“You need to step from the vehicle ma’am.” Her deep-brown eyes focused into the ambulance then back towards the sheet-covered bed behind them, likely showing Anora without too much body language that to move our injured man she’d first need to get out of the way.

People eventually moved to and fro towards the hospital, another injured body now en-route to an operating room capable of fully examining whatever harm may have caused such intense injurious responses. Anora would be allowed to follow up until entering such a room, outside which there would be a small waiting area full of old wooden chairs and manila wallpaper that peeled at the edges after it’s long soak in this buildings sterilized air.

Seconds would turn into minutes, minutes would turn to hours, and time would likely pass as painfully as it ever had when turmoil of this degree presents its ebon gaze. Two hours, thirty six minutes and forty seven seconds later one tired-looking doctor had exited the ER into the small exterior foyer Anora had likely occupied, assuming she hadn’t left for food or other such callings at the time. If she had, an announcement would chime on the PA describing her physical appearance and requesting her presence in the ER lobby. His green eyes held suitcases beneath them, jagged strings of hair entangling themselves with each other just above chalky features. His gaze would alight ever-so-slightly upon spotting Anora, words beginning to paint chapped lips in chalky overtures.

“So, uhm, he’s fine. Well, as fine as I can say after being informed of his insurance situation. He’ll be discharged soon, but, until then, he’s been asking for you. He’ll be in room 8 until requested to leave in about two hours.” His pace had initiated before he’d finished speaking, lithe feet in cozy, worn shoes carried this tired physician towards his next patient without regard for the presently uninjured Anora.

Should Anora head to room 8 she’d find a perturbed man awaiting her. His scarred features were young and mildly feminine in their narrow construction. Cheekbones pressed harshly against thin skin beneath furrowed eyebrows. Messy hair which somehow maintained a hint of vogue style sprouted as sharp waves into oneself. Either average ear was visible due to the faded cut on the sides of his head. His chin speared into the air below chapped and cracked lips, one thin nose of moderate size flaring just before speech.

“What do they call you?”His words were immediate and sharp, having split the air between them with blatantly flustered overtones before Anora could fully enter the room. His unexpectedly hearty voice courses through the air as a raging sea of deeply-seeded confidence. Either lithe arm can be found as crossed over one lean, apron-coated chest.

What is most striking about him, and perhaps what was noticed last simply due to their oddly overwhelming aura, were his eyes. Two ferocious, nearly luminescent, pinkish spheres jabbed their spear-like oppression into the girl, cutting into every part of her whether she chose to fully reveal herself or not. Their half-closed position shown either an intense focus not to be underestimated, or an exhausted rage resting in all general directions just above small dark bags beneath roseate iris’s.
Hidden 2 yrs ago 2 yrs ago Post by Siaya Dragalorn
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Inside, Anora sat in a padded seat the elder of the two EMTs nodded to. Once everything was quickly settled, the younger banged on the front of the ambulance, letting the driver know they were all set, then the two set to work, the younger muttering something Anora did not quite catch.
Movement rushed around the ambulance, both inside and out, in a blur. Anora clutched her backpack to her chest, hardly breathing as she watched the EMTs work. She inhaled through her nose at the sight of his scarred chest, scars that went beyond just being hit by a car. But worse was the state of his limbs. She bit her lower lip and looked away, listening to the monitors’ warnings about his poor vitals.
Be okay, be okay! she pleaded silently. The phrase repeated in her head in a loop.
If only there had been something she could do, some healing aspect to her powers she could have extended to him. Instead, she could only watch and listen. Her brows furrowed as the monitors’ frantic beeping and humming began to slow. Not by much, but enough for a small hope to bud in Anora.
She looked up just as the younger EMT, Phill, dropped a blood-stained revolver into a bin. She blinked at it in surprise.
W-who is this guy? she wondered, breaking her hopeful mantra. She glanced once more to his chest covered with crimson, ink, and healed wounds, trying to ignore the state of the rest of him.
Phil reached to grab an instrument from a cabinet, blocking her view, and Anora looked away once more.
The minutes it took to get to the hospital felt far longer, but at last, she felt the ambulance come to a stop. She looked up at the sound of the doors unlatching, and stared for a short moment at the staff gathered there.
Anora did not wait to be told twice to get out. She stood, one of the few chains draped across her black jeans momentarily snagging the edge of the seat she had been sitting on, and hurried out of the way.
She slung her backpack over a shoulder once more, gripping the strap tightly as the man was transferred for a second time.
Once he was safely loaded, she hurried after the nurses carting him away, refusing to break her promise until they made her stop to wait in a waiting room just outside the ER. Running a hand through her long black hair, she stood there for a long moment after the nurses and doctors had disappeared inside. A receptionist finally bade her to sit down—or, at the very least, move away from the double doors.
Swallowing hard, Anora sat in one of the stiff, pleather chairs, once more holding her bag in her hands. She stared at the tattoo-style skull she had painted on its front, its white grin standing out against the black fabric. The dried, flaking crimson still dusting her hand caught her attention. She removed it from the bag, staring it it as she flexed her fingers.
Blood. His blood. Blood she had spilled.
The knot in her stomach tied a couple more loops, the image of him on the sidewalk burned into her head. It overlapped with his twisted form in the ambulance.
Unsure if she would be sick, she quickly located the sign for the restrooms and half-ran to the nearest one. If he died, she did not know if she could live with herself.
Thankful the bathroom was a single-seater, she locked the door, dropped her backpack to the floor, and braced herself over the sink. She took a few deep breaths, trying to convince herself that the man would be okay, and that she would not throw up. Somehow, against all odds, it had looked like he had been improving on the way there. Though, with the amount she knew in the field of medical studies, she could be completely wrong.
She took another breath. With a trembling hand, she turned on the water of the faucet. Avoiding looking in the mirror, she let the water get warm. She quickly washed the red from her hand, and did her best to clean up the dark stain at the knee of her jeans. But no matter how clean she managed to make it, it felt like it was still there.
She splashed some water on her face, wishing she could wash the afternoon away. She exhaled slowly, then dried her face, a few beads of water dripping from the front of the bleached tips of her hair.
Doing her best to calm herself, though to little avail, she tugged down the hem of her black t-shirt, and adjusted the hoodie she kept tied around her waist. With another shaky exhale, she returned to her backpack. Instead of bending over to pick it up, she simply opened her hand as if ready to grab it. In the blink of an eye, purple mist speckled with gold formed at her palm, curled around her backpack, and, like a rope, pulled the backpack’s strap into her hand.
Back in the waiting room, the minutes ticked by in an eternity. Every time she glanced at the clock, only seconds had passed, but she swore it had been hours. All thoughts of food had left her mind. Not that she could have kept it down, anyway. Perhaps it was a good thing she had not eaten that morning.
Inevitably, the police came in to question her. At first, she was afraid they would arrest her, that she would not get the chance to make sure the man was okay for herself, but, miraculously, they did not. Instead, they got her statement and information, checked that she was not drunk, and told her to not leave town. There would be consequences, of course—her car had already been impounded, and the possibility of a revoked license was not off the table, depending on if her story checked out or not—but that was the least of her concerns. All that mattered was they let her stay.
The police’s presence did nothing to make the time pass. For all she knew, the man was on his deathbed, and she did not even know so much as his name.
She tried to distract herself, pulling her favorite pen from her pocket and going back over the now faded lines of some intricate Celtic knotwork on her left hand. But even drawing did not have its usual calming effects.
At last, the knot in her stomach turned into more of a hunger. Hesitantly, she stood, ready to hunt down a vending machine. Before she could decide where to start looking or who to ask, a doctor entered the lobby. She watched him, holding her breath as she had every time anyone had exited the ER.
The doctor’s overworked gaze swept over the couple others waiting. Recognition entered his eyes when it settled on her.
Finally! Fearing the worst, she gathered her backpack and stepped toward the doctor.
She felt herself nearly melt at the first words that left the doctor’s mouth. He was fine. Caught up in her relief, she nearly missed the rest of what he had to say.
“Wait.” Her brows furrowed. “He’s… being discharged? Today?” She gawked at the doctor. “How’s that even…” she shook her head. “Thanks,” she muttered.
Not waiting for a response, she rushed off to find a room marked with an ‘8,’ properly shouldering her backpack as she went.
In her haste, she accidentally rushed passed the room. Catching her mistake, she back-paddled, the heels of her tall, platform boots skidding on the tiled floor and body twisting awkwardly as she hurried back to the room.
She heard his voice before she had time to get a good look at him. For a moment, she could only stare, his question going unanswered.
No casts. No IVs. Besides a couple scrapes and looking a bit disheveled, he looked hardly worse for wear. She was no medical professional, but she knew enough to know that that was far from normal. As glad as she was to have an image of him in one piece and not coated in red, he should have been dead. Yet there he was, sitting up, arms crossed over his chest as if it was just another day that ended in a Y.
Then there were his eyes. Even half-closed, as if somewhere between awake and asleep, they seemed to glow from the inside. To top it off, they were pink. She had never seen anyone with pink eyes before. At least, not while she was awake.
Realizing she still needed to answer his question, she took a deep breath, not daring to go further than the doorway. She had already hit the man. She did not need to add imposing on him to that list.
“Anora,” she answered uncertainty. She searched his face for any signs of anger at what she had done. She licked her lips and swallowed at the hatred she practically felt emanating from his stare. “Anora Feldington,” she continued quietly, glancing to the floor. “Most just call me Nora.” She inhaled through her nose and took a tentative step further inside. Despite her fear of how he would take her apology, she dared raise her violet gaze, but her eyes did not quite meet his. “I-I’m so sorry. I… I didn’t see you. On the road.”
She eyed him suspiciously, warily. To be in as good condition as he was now, either this man had someone up above watching out for him, or he had some kind of magic up his sleeves. There was no way she could have imagined the damage she had done to him.
She shifted uncomfortably beneath his stare. “How… how are you…”
She was unsure if she wanted to ask how he was feeling, or how he was alive. Or even if she should, given the circumstances. There was not exactly an etiquette book about how to interact with someone you just ran over. Instead, she let the question hang unfinished between them, and gripped her backpack straps tightly, expecting the worst.
Hidden 2 yrs ago 2 yrs ago Post by Mortim
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“Lucky.” The response of an openly perturbed man.

His frustration isn’t aimed towards Anora. Those sunken eyes hold within them many years of prolonged exhaustion, worn to near-comfort atop an exasperated expression. Should one guess he was always upset over one thing or another, they wouldn’t be entirely wrong.

A thin hand rose from alabaster sheets to stroke callous temples. Our man's arm, which was visibly shattered not hours ago, appears to be without splint or scar of any kind. In fact, his entire body looks of good health. His hips and shoulders twist in allowing him to clumsily exit the bed from the left side. Both legs tremble for the first few moments of upright posture, that attenuated body having held only slight preparation for average physical activity.

“You, girl, will be calling me Dorsby.” Though Anora had uttered her name, the one they call Dorsby shows neglect in putting it to memory.

Dorsby stumbles forward, his eyes having left the woman before him to pace aggressively across surrounding space as if in search of something valuable. Perhaps he wasn’t specifically angered by present circumstance, he’d look to live in a constant state of naturally demanding fatigue.

Once having entered the open space just beyond the foot of his bed, Dorsby stops abruptly. One hand moves to massage the lower area of his back whilst his upper body stretches backwards in one jagged motion full of sighs and pained groans. *Pop-pop-POP!* An out-of-place spinal column is realigned with such intonations as to make someone several yards away flinch in surprise.

“We’ve got a few things to speak about.” He’d remark casually whilst smacking his lips between deliberate blinks. Anora could guess Dorsby just woke from an uncomfortable nap with a severe headache had she not seen him near-death moments before.

Dorsby’s left hand extends into open air by practiced movement, snapping lithe fingers together Prior to elaborating on his statement. *Snap!* A little, rectangular box materializes from apparent nothingness within said palm. *Snap!* With another click of pallid fingers a metallic rod emerges from oblivion inside his unused right hand. From a small, dark porthole of a box that's colored green and plastered in vibrant designs is drawn one hand-rolled cigarette. Dorsby then taps aforementioned metallic rod against his wrist just after placing the ‘cigarette’ between his lips. A small flame alights at the tip of the metal rod, and, in one smooth motion he lights the cigarette, snaps his fingers, and inhales a haze of grey as all aforementioned items aside from the now lit rod vanish from sight.

“Look-..” Dorsby pauses, withdrawing his cancer stick to exhale a first cloud of grey. His free hand rises to rub the bridge between his eyes in smooth circular motions for several brief moments, that smooth face lined by the deep ridges of a grimace. “..-I’ll start by asking, do you know anyone by the name of Pahn, Greed, or Zahllster?” He then places his smoldering cigarette to rest against chapped lips whilst either arm laces into one another. His posture isn’t aggressive, though one shouldn’t say it doesn’t look impatient with those tone arms crossed over an apron-coated chest.

The smoke emanating from Dorsby’s mouth doesn’t act or smell as regular smoke does. It’s moved by an unseen and unfelt breeze, twisting in perfectly circular spirals. Several tendrils split and swirl to create whats looks as a multitude of impossibly perfect whirlpools above our disheveled man’s head. The edge of his cigarette doesn’t retain it’s ash to be dumped aside as other such products might, instead, the grey flakes detach and float into the ocean-like haze above. Smells likened to oak and fresh handfuls of dirt fill this room as not an employee nor fire-alarm is set off by aforementioned unearthly cloud. Whatever he has is far from earthly tobacco products, though, it doesn’t look to immediately affecting him in any way.

Darsby has a pinkish scar just above his right eye, forming an X which stretches nearly into his cheek. His hair, which once held human color, looks to be slowly changing into shaded hues of pink right in front of Anora’s eyes without any external influence.
Hidden 2 yrs ago 2 yrs ago Post by Siaya Dragalorn
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“That’s one way to put it.” Anora took another cautious step toward him and away from the doorway to get a better look at him, trying to gauge exactly how angry he was. Looking at him closer, she realized it wasn’t directed exactly—or just—at her.
She watched as the man raised an arm, her gaze following it. The image of it broken and bloody flashed through her mind. She clenched her teeth and her eyes flicked to the side for a second. She swallowed, trying to dispel the image.
She looked back to him as he moved to get up. She took another quick step toward him when he stood shakily, ready to help him if his legs gave out. She stood near him, watching, waiting, but he managed to stay on his feet.
Her brows rose when, instead of an introduction, he demanded she call him Dorsby. He did not even bother to use her name. “Want me to add ‘His Majesty’ before that?” she asked lightly, crossing her arms.
All the same, she watched him worriedly as he stumbled forward. “Maybe you shouldn’t be standing yet,” she suggested, watching him as he searched the room for something. He shouldn’t even be breathing, let alone standing, she added silently. “I mean. You just… well. You know.” She rubbed the back of her neck sheepishly, then cleared her throat.
She cringed when he stopped to pop his back, the unnerving, unnatural sound making an empathetic ache and a shudder run down her own spine.
Who is this guy? she wondered yet again that day as he straightened. She shook her head in disbelief at his condition.
“Yeah, I’d say we have more than just a few things to talk about.” As glad as she was that she had not killed him, she needed answers. Answers about how he had recovered so quickly.
She watched him curiously when he lifted his hand in front of him. She took a cautious step back. The tingle of her powers licked at her skin in preparation for use in her uncertainty about him. But he only snapped his fingers.
But it was more than that. With that simple action, he had summoned two objects that had definitely not been there before. He had confirmed, at least in part, one of her two suspicions about his condition.
“You have magic!” she exclaimed as he withdrew a cigarette from the box. Her voice echoed in the room a bit louder than she had intended, and she almost felt like laughing. She closed another step’s worth of space between them in her exuberance.
At last, she had found someone else with powers. Though she would have preferred a method of discovery that did not include hitting him with her car, her eyes lit up with excitement. Her years of hoping she was not alone had, at last, paid off.
He excitement faltered when a new thought entered her mind as the unusual smoke rose from the man’s cigarette. He was openly using his magic in front of her. Which meant either he knew she had abilities of her own, did not care who saw him use magic, or he did not intend to let her spread the word.
She took a step back, looking him over with a new frame of mind. He did not appear ready to attack, but she remained watchful, nonetheless. She met his gaze when he spoke again.
Her brows furrowed at the strange names he asked her about.
“Only if you count Peter Pan.” She uncrossed her arms and placed her thumbs in the pockets of her jeans. She tried to look relaxed, but suspicion rested in her purple eyes.
She looked to the smoke, watching its uncharacteristic movements. She gawked as she noticed the ash rising instead of falling from the cherry. Was he trying to show off, or just that uncaring about who might walk in and notice?
What in the world is he even smoking? she wondered as the woodsy scent of the smoke filled her nostrils. She glanced to the doorway, wondering if anyone would smell it and come investigate.
“Who are you?” she asked, a tinge of awe in her voice as his hair changed to various shades of pink. “How are you…?” She gestured to the spiraling smoke as it danced in its own private breeze and swirled at the tiled ceiling.
Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by Mortim
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Darsby’s pink eyes faltered in their pronounced sharpness for that of only a few brief moments immediately after Anora asked her final question of ‘how..’. No matter the smallest movement, he’d been following her up to that point. She’d likely have felt unnerved a minute or two sooner by the nature in which his gaze tracked her motions. He’d be watching her breath, her heart, the fluttering of her eyes and twitch of her fingers long before she’d show any immediate of sign for change in whatever speakable direction one might imagine. Perhaps she’d think he looked in expectance towards her legs long before she’d decided to move towards or away from him. This all occurs beneath the half-shut monotony clasping both near-luminescent iris’s.

Perhaps it was some form of disgust that took hold of him. Regardless, whether or not Anora had caused this would be difficult to determine. He’d looked away and been lost in his thoughts for five consecutive seconds before looking back towards the girl then down to casually examine his left palm.

“Woman.. We have bigger problems.” Darsby would sigh, the cigarette never leaving his lips during speech, talking while smoking being obvious habit as it bounces by each syllable. His left hand clenches just before another *Snap!*. The compact revolver Anora had seen in the ambulance before fabricates within his trained grasp. It’s make is simple, wooden hilt alongside a grey, metallic finish. His eyes now raise towards the door, this being made obvious by their small tracking movements not having touched every twitch of her body.

Darsby’s weak legs carry him towards the exit, his body and eyes ignoring the girl regardless as to her being in the way of said threshold. Should she try to stop him in departing, or neglect to move from his path, he’d stumble to the side in a motion that would appear clumsy and drunken, but, would prove to be impossible to grasp or halt. One could think his slightest movements were all predestined by precise thought, projected through a body that can hardly keep up to properly showcase elegance.

Once having exited, he’d disperse another plume of smoke. Oddly enough, not a nurse nor doctor notices the man. Perhaps Anora is truly the only one able to pay any mind to his lower cheeks being in the wind behind an ill-fitted garb…

After two or three seconds of Darsby looking back and forth down either hall, he’d begin heading towards the ER lobby. While treading ground for more than just a few short steps his overall injury would still bear it’s dulled fangs. A slight limp plagues his right leg, his shoulders tremble following each breath, his left hand remains loose in it’s trained grasp of aforementioned weaponry whilst his right curls tightly into bare skin, whitening his knuckles in a sign of obvious pain.

Darsby’s attentions were obviously directed towards some other concerning circumstance. Anora could guess she wasn’t his gravest concern, by this, she could likely take comfort despite whatever intentions he might hold. Should Anora not follow him, he’d look back down the hall to give an exasperated gesture for her to follow just before he moves to push swinging doors open into the lobby where our heroine had previously held tightly to somewhat misled worryment. Should she follow him, he’d blatantly ignore what she might be saying to him as he had done in the room with all of her initial responses to him standing and using magic.

Behind Darsby rests an ageless river of spiraling artistry born of his lessening cancer stick and dry lips. This grey haze continues to develop it’s elegant and ever-deepening designs rather than fading from view or vanishing into nothingness no matter how thin it may be spread. None pay it any mind, extinguishing it’s existence from their perception just as they do with him. This effect did not spread to Anora, so whatever she may say or attempt to do to him would seem rather queer to those around her. Arousing enough suspicion may attract the wrong kind of health-centered provision.

Upon entering the lobby, using whatever drunken movements Darsby may have exhibited before to avoid general people and Anora, he’d look in each of the four compass directions. Found there is an old couple, two distressed teenagers impatiently shuffling about between feverish chatting, and one bright young nurse behind an aged reception desk.

“‘If only I could look beneath these fat feet of mine…’-” Darsby would quietly say to himself initially, as if quoting someone else. Darsby regularly speaks like an exhausted college student who’s given up on life in general after discovering their final exam will ruin their gpa and educational career in one fel swoop.

Alongside another aggravated grunt, and while laxadly scratching the lower left side of his scalp with the hilt of his loaded revolver, he’d speak to Anora. This is, of course, assuming she followed him to the lobby. He’d begin talking regardless as to whether or not she was already speaking, and, if she was, he’d have cut her short on purpose. All words spoken are projected whilst he’s fixated on the nearest exit, that being the entrance to whatever ambulance may be arriving with newfound patients. The entrance his body was first carted through. An expression of slight confusion has painted itself unnaturally over Darsby’s posture.

“So… You’ve never seen anyone else who can use ‘magic’?-” Darsby’s free hand raises to add sarcastic quotations to the word ‘magic’. His eyes still fixated on the door.
“-Because, like, if you haven’t then I assume you’ve lived in a place like… ‘this’ most of your life?-” For this remark he’d gesture towards nearby civilians and the building at large as if society as a whole were at fault for whatever condition may be plaguing Anora. His left hand ceases scratching and falls back to his side.
“-So, if, uhm, I’m taking all that into account. Then I’m gonna need to warn you of a few rules you should probably acknowledge.-” His overall air of narcissistic sarcasm would likely be driven to a point after the first sentence or two.
“One.-” He raises his free hand to jab one finger into the air. “-Don’t look into the blue things.-” He sighs between vapid blinks whilst raising a second finger, as if his issues were further deepening.
“-Two. Don’t be afraid to kick some ass, they’re armed… So to speak..-” His shouldersperform an under-enthused shrug at that last statement, as if it weren’t pertinent to him.
“-And, three. I’ll be working on a way out of here. So if you could find it in your head to think of at least one or two methods to not get in my way, I’d appreciate it.” At that he let his right hand drop just before it raises again to rub his temples as it seems to often be tasked with.

The doors had at this point ceased shaking against moderate winds, in fact, all exits to the outside end movement or trembling of any kind. One might think this building alone had been separated from the outside world via an invisible field of some kind. Locks might not have clicked, but, everyone in the hospital would soon enough find that leaving is an impossibility. Darsby steps forward, limping up until he reaches said door, softly placing one pale hand upon a still surface. He sighs before closing either eye, letting his head fall against its exterior with a gentle *thud..*.

*Bang!-Thud-thud..-bang..-* For several moments the successive thuds and bangs of windows in varying sizes can be heard shutting by excessive force down the halls. It wouldn’t be too long before people partly realize what’s transpiring. This isn’t to mention an ambulance is only two minutes out with another patient and Darsby likely isn’t going to move from his current position for roughly another forty seconds as he silently deliberates over whatever it is his exasperated mind may be contemplating.

From Deep within the hospital, likely in another ward, someone masculine can be heard screaming. Their shouts are shrill and inconsistent, this isn’t pain they’re expressing, it’s life-threatening fear. Everyone aside from Darsby shoots up at the echoing cry, their separate minds already set to attention by the bangs and thuds only moments before. *Thud.* Darsby gently hits his head against the door he’s found himself practically leaning up against just after this event.

The power looks to go out, emergency red light plaguing this particular set of rooms and corridors. Through a nearby window, across one shabby courtyard, another ward can be seen to have fully-powered pale luminescence pasting their chipped wallpaper. What’s different about the ER? *Thud!* Darsby hits his head against the door once more, forty seconds nearly coming to a close as the screaming ends abruptly and panicked murmurs permeate the air.

“Alright, I’m gonna need everyone to stay calm. I’ll be here to look after ya’ll while my partner goes to turn the power back on.” Two police officers on standby have entered the lobby from the ER’s patient-care section and stepped into trained action. One brown haired female possessing a southern accent, the one who’d announced their presence, stays behind whilst her caucasian male partner leaves the lobby.
“Are you okay, hun?” She’d gently prod Anora from a distance as she was the immediately closest. She’d soon move on to everyone else after acquiring a reassuring response.

Darsby remains in his current place until the allotted time ends, muttering curses and something about an ‘idiot teacher’ all the while.
Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by Siaya Dragalorn
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Noticing exactly how closely the man had been watching her beneath his half-lidded eyes, Anora took another slight step back in experimentation. His gaze seemed to follow her a millisecond before she actually moved.
Anora stared at him curiously when he looked away. In the short few seconds, she reminded herself that perhaps not all people with powers were good.
She scowled when he looked back to her and addressed her as ‘woman.’ “Nora,” she reminded him. “And what ‘bigger prob—’”
Her question cut off when he snapped his fingers a gun she recognized from the ambulance appeared in his hand.
She gasped through her nose, her heart beating faster in her chest. In her panic that he planned on using it on her, she pulled her thumbs from her pockets and raised her hands defensively. The electric purple mist sparked to life at her fists, ready to form a barrier or strike out if Darsby so much as twitched to point the revolver at her.
Instead, his gaze shifted to the door. Her head twitched slightly in the direction he looked, but she did not take her eyes from him. He stepped toward her, and the swirling mist curled down her arms. But whatever he was after, it was not her. He paid her no mind, heading instead to the door.
The relief that she was not his target was short lived. After all, he was after something.
“Nuh uh! You're not going anywhere!” She reached to grab his arm, to stop him from leaving the room with what she assumed was a loaded gun. But he stumbled and wriggled away from her grasp. She staggered and her hand closed on empty air.
“Hey!” she called after him, righting herself as he left the room.
For a man with a limp, he moved rather swiftly. She exhaled in a half snort, half growl. Whoever—or whatever, she supposed—he was, she could not let him wander about unchecked. Who knew what kind of damage he could do?
Anora let her powers extinguish at her hands, then hurried after him. She turned down the hall to follow it back toward the waiting room.
“Hey!” she shouted again, gaining the attention of a few workers mulling behind a nurse’s station.
“I said, you’re not going anywhere!” She reached to grab him again, but, once more, his body moved awkwardly and out of her reach.
Ignoring the others around her, each blind to the appearance of her powers, she extended a palm toward him. The familiar mist of her powers grew around her hand, directed by her thoughts. A sparking coil of gold and violet dripped from her palm and slithered across the floor, shooting toward Darsby to wrap around his legs and force him to a stop. If not for the sake of whoever he intended to use the gun on, then for his own before he did more damage to his still wounded body.
She shouted and turned when a male nurse dressed in blue scrubs placed a hand on her shoulder. Her coil burst into a series of harmless sparks millimeters before it reached its target, then disappeared.
“Is everything okay, ma’am?” the nurse asked, his voice higher-pitched than she would have expected from someone of his girth.
She gave him a look that asked, ‘Are you serious?’ She looked after Darsby once more.
Her brows furrowed as she realized the only person the other nurses were looking at, was her. She took a deep breath as that fully sunk it. She was the only one who could see the man and the trail of smoke he left in his wake.
Anora looked back into the hospital room, almost expecting to see a patient still in bed and find that she was hallucinating. But the bed was empty, a thin blanket crumpled at its foot.
She snorted and a smile quirked the corner of her lips as she looked back down the hall. Somehow, he was shielding himself from the hospital staff.
“Yep, everything’s fine,” she offered the nurse rather unconvincingly. “My mistake.”
Well ahead of her by now, Darsby paused just long enough to gesture for her to follow him.
“Gotta go.” Anora adjusted her backpack and hurried after Darsby. She glanced up, taking in the intricate patterns of smoke that lapped at the ceiling, refusing to obey the laws of physics and dissipate.
The door had already closed behind Darsby by the time she caught up with him. Once she had opened it and stepped through, she looked around frantically for him. She spotted him not far from the door. She reached behind her to one of the side pockets in her backpack and pulled out her phone as she hurried over to him. Pretending to call someone on the device as a cover for talking to no one, she stood in front of him.
“Look. You’re still hurt!” she scolded him, holding the phone to her ear. “You need to—”
Darsby cut her off, making her scowl. The expression deepened when he added quotations to the word she had used.
“I was born here, thank you very much,” she growled to his second statement. The tone he used only irked her that much more.
Remembering the gun, she glanced to it nervously. There was no telling what could trigger him to use it. She had no idea what kind of mental state he was in. She looked back to his face as he continued speaking.
“Blue things?” she asked dubiously. “What ‘blue things?’”
Instead of answering, he continued with his count. Her lips pursed with an irritated snort. Though she wondered who ‘they’ were, she did not bother to waste her breath with the question.
Her eyes narrowed at his last statement. “There’s always the front door,” she offered flatly as Darsby rubbed his temples. “But you’re still hurt. And barely dressed.” Her eyebrows rose at the last.
The unusual statement gained a curious glance from the nearest of the two teenagers in the waiting room. A girl with short curly hair, she stared at Anora for a moment. The boy she was with, who looked like he could be her brother, regained her attention, engaging her in another round of distraught discussion.
Anora offered the teenagers little more than a quick glance to make sure they would not be a problem. She gave an irritated huff when Darsby defiantly went to the doors she had used to enter through. She followed slowly, trying to make the action look natural as she told the emptiness on the other end of her phone that she could wait.
As he neared, she glanced from him to the doors. Her brows furrowed, noticing their unusual stillness. She glanced around, suddenly aware of exactly how quiet it had become. Though the chatter of the teens still periodically filled the air, noises from the outside—sounds she had paid little mind to until they were gone—had fallen dormant.
A soft thud made her attention snap back to Darsby when he thunked his head on the door.
That… should have opened. At least a little. She shifted her weight uneasily, but she did not have time to dwell on the thought.
She shouted and spun around to face the rest of the hospital as a series of slams and bangs filled the halls. The woman at the reception desk jumped to her feet, and other hospital staff started rushing about frantically, trying to find the source of the uproar. The teenagers grew more frantic and stepped closer to the elderly couple. The elderly woman's eyes widened, and the man placed a hand on hers reassuringly despite his own surprise.
Anora inhaled when, though faint, a man began screaming from deeper in the hospital.
“Whatever you’re doing—” she hissed at Darsby, pausing when the lights flickered once, then went out. “Stop it!”
The teenage girl shouted in surprise in the short moment of darkness before the backup generators kicked on. The eerie red glow of the emergency lights filled the halls. Despite having some form of light again, tension hung amidst the unnerved quiet that had settled in the waiting room.
She glanced over when two police officers appeared and addressed the few people there.
“Yeah, fine,” she answered the officer when the woman addressed her in her Southern drawl. “Thanks.”
Anora watched, relieved, when the officer went to check on the others. Making sure no one was paying her any attention, she looked back to Darsby.
“What do you think you’re doing?” Confusion, agitation, and unease mingled in her eyes. She reached for his shoulder to force him from the door and to look at her. “And [i]how[i] are you doing it?” she could not help but add.
She cast another quick glance over her shoulder to make sure she was not being watched. The dimness of the lights made shadows cling to corners and people, and bathed everything in an unnerving shade of crimson.
Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Mortim
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Darsby would have moved, spoken, and acted exactly as prescribed concerning aforementioned circumstance. He’d remain wordless as Anora spoke to him, shoving blame in his direction via panicked speech.

When Anora reached for Darsby, he’d have twisted about rather suddenly. His body now faces her after one clumsy spin of the heel. Her hand, regrettably, would grasp aimlessly at his chest, feeling at ridges of thin but noticeably tone muscle.
Our man, unlike most, appears to ignore Anora’s touch entirely, one could think it’s to the point of him not feeling anything in the first place. His face was callous as ever during all action, mayhaps he looked to be furthered exhausted by some unknown strain.

“Why is this all ‘my’ fault?-” Darsby would immediately say, exasperation plain as day by each syllable. His arms spread to the side in stressed gesticulation.
“-What? You meet a strange person and you just assume whatever other weird things happen are all because of them? That’s mean, you’re kind of being a jerk after hitting me with your car.” He scoffs, his head gyrating by last spoken sentence to drive the point home. Darsby then turns away to walk towards the receptionist desk.

Darsby stumbles towards his destination at a gradual pace, another oceanic cloud of grey consuming allotted space above him. Whilst strutting forward his right hand would unlock the cartridge holding all six revolver shells from it’s typical hinges, spinning the mechanism whilst sighing down towards it’s fully loaded visage. *Click!* The weapon is set back to normality, his stance following suite just before he seeks to lean on the nearby counter with his left elbow. His head turns back towards Anora, an air of understanding coming over him. Those eyes, in all their jaded exasperation, hold no malice for her whilst speaking.

“Look… I get it. This is all a little crazy, and, truth be told, it’s about to get really crazy. I’m sorry, honestly, I’m..-” Darsby interrupts himself with a confused scoff, struggling to find proper words whilst his right hand runs with a tentative tremble through rose pink hair.
“This would be simpler if you weren’t already part of an ‘average’ society.-” His free hand gestures towards the uneased few near them, an odd sadness denoting painful memory robs his vacant gaze from present circumstance.
“But, now, you’re involved. You kind of always were, but, like… It’s gonna be hard from now on. I’m a crappy guy and-.. it’s just gonna kind of suck that you’re dealing with me.” He then steps away from the counter, looking away from Anora wherever she may by now. Darsby’s shoulders would spread to the edge of a bowed head as if he were trying to look solemn and heroic in a difficult situation. In truth, Darsby could do nothing to hide the fact that what he had just said made it too difficult to look this young woman in her ponderous eyes. Pain took hold for a few brief seconds before he’d revert to his previously witnessed states of sapped rage.

There was little time to debate what Darsby’s words meant. *Bang!-Bang!Bang!* Three bullets leave a now heated chamber some distance in the direction of where our male police officer had departed earlier. The badged woman near Anora would grip her firearm with one hand whilst her other would grab at the lapel mic near her chin.

“Rodgers!? Rodgers what happened!?” Static is the only response to this suddenly sharpened law-holder. Her hand switches from the mic to wave with an open palm towards everyone in the room.
“I’m gonna need everyone to stay here and remain calm.” She says before removing the gun from it’s holster to pace the wide hallways leading towards whatever weapons discharge may have occurred.

Darsby watches, openly unconcerned over whatever nameless threat may be rearing its head. Soon after said officer leaves, the man spits his cindered cigarette into open air. This cherried vessel combusts, small red sparks and a poof of smoke being left in its wake as the entirety of one swirling ocean above quickly fades from view as if it had never existed. All queer grey trails and scents dissipate from sensory perception.

“Uhm, s-sir?-” Our young receptionist looked to Darsby, blinking soundlessly for several seconds. They were at a lack for words over their present situation, let alone the fact that a random patient had silently appeared before them.
“-S-sir!” The nurse would shout between hurried breathes, Darsby having begun to walk towards the path taken by both police officers of earlier mention.
“Shut up, stay seated.” Darsby would casually order, his left hand raised to point loaded firearm at the one attempting to halt him. Our injured man wouldn’t have looked away from the space before him or ceased his stride whilst doing this, entering the hall soon after.

Those within the room had gasped at sight of a weapon, shocked by the appearance of another dangerous element. Darsby cares little, letting loose a winded sigh as he stares down a corridor fifteen feet in length, ever-shortening before his slow gait. Several patients look from their rooms to gasp at one of two things, his openly visible buttcheeks, or the revolver at his side.
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Anora’s fingers instead brushed over Darsby’s chest, his muscles surprisingly firm beneath the thin gown. She pulled away and inhaled when he turned to her, unsure of what to expect from this odd man. A couple purple sparks flashed into life around her fingers at her uncertainty.
“Because you’re the only other person here with powers!” she answered his first question, her voice hushed.
As soon as it left her mouth, she questioned the validity of the statement. Was he the only other person in the building with powers? Or could there be others—in the hospital, or even anywhere else in the city—lurking about, hiding what they could do, just as she had?
Darsby did not give her time to think about it. At his accusatory words and his reminder that she had hit him, her teeth snapped closed and she glanced away.
“I’m sorry,” she offered quietly. “But if it’s not you doing it, then who?” She looked up at him, but he had already turned and started toward the receptionist’s desk.
She frowned, irritation at being ignored mingling with her guilt. She hurried after him. Anora’s steps faltered as the movement of him checking his ammunition caught her eye.
She stepped up beside him, keeping a wary eye on the weapon. Her attention turned instead to his face when he looked to her and spoke.
Her brow rose at the understatement of everything being just a little crazy. She watched him, her irritation giving way to concern at the tremble in his hand as he ran it through his hair. Whether he shook from fatigue or fear was anyone’s guess with his unchanging expression.
Anora glanced to the “average” people when Darsby gestured to them. Does that mean there’re magic communities out there? she wondered, a spark of excitement igniting in her chest.
She let out a snorted chuckle at his comments about himself. “At least you’re self-aware, I suppose,” she said with a smirk.
But the expression vanished nearly as quickly as it had come.
Gunshots rang from further in the hospitial. The teenage girl in the waiting room shouted in shock, and the family huddled closer together. Anora’s breath caught in her throat as she looked, wide-eyed toward the door through which one of the police officers had left. The door that had muted the shots.
Her head twitched slightly toward the female officer at the sound of her talking on the radio. Anora's heart skipped a couple beats when only static answered the woman.
She glanced to Darsby, who looked disturbingly calm. He knew something, but seemed to have no inclination to share with the rest of the panicking class.
She bit her lip as the officer headed to the door, wanting to tell her to stay put, that whatever was going on was probably beyond the woman’s pay grade, but she resisted. There was nothing she could say that the woman would believe.
Startled, she flinched away, more purple sparks flashing into life around her tensed fingers, when Darsby spat out his cigarette and it burst from existence with a fiery pop.
Anora’s attention snapped to the receptionist when the woman finally noticed Darsby. Anora glanced between the man and the receptionist just to make sure, then to where his cigarette had exploded. Its swirling gray smoke had nearly dissipated, apparently lifting whatever spell it had cast to keep Darsby hidden.
She focused back on Darsby and the situation at hand as the woman called out to him a second time.
“HEY!” Anora shouted in a panic when he pointed the gun at the receptionist.
In a swift motion, she extended an open palm toward him. In the span of a blink, her eyes glowed gently, their colors intensifying, and sparkling gold lightning and purple mist shot from her palm to encompass the gun a second before he began to lower it.
At her mental direction, her powers formed a solid bubble around the barrel and reached toward his wrist, the translucent violet streaked with gold. But it did not hold.
Anora gasped as a sensation she had never felt before emanated through her. She felt as her powers dripped away from his gun as it lowered, sliding from it and melting into a fine lilac mist before vanishing.
Her hand dropped to her side and she let out a shaky breath.
Darsby spared her scarcely a glance and faint sigh before heading through the door. It closed behind him, leaving Anora staring at it.
Darsby had brushed her powers away as if they were little more than an irritating gnat. She raised a hand in front of her and looked down to it, her phone still clutched in the other. Purple and gold flashed to life, jumping between her fingers. They licked over her hand, making her skin tingle pleasantly with the power radiating from it.
She took a deep breath. Terrified whispers and a conversation heated by panic between the elderly man and the young receptionist sounded behind her.
Whatever caused the power outage had to be powerful. Though she had no clue how much more so—or less than—Darsby, she could not even stop him from shooting someone had he wanted to.
She glanced over her shoulder as the receptionist tried to calm the elderly man, his wife clutching at one of his arms. She considered staying, to make sure these people would be okay if anything came bursting into the waiting room. Even if she could not do much, she could at least try. But that meant letting her only link to the world of magic walk away. It meant letting Darsby, still recovering, face whatever danger lurked about alone in his injured state. That she may never get the answers she wanted, needed.
“Miss?” the receptionist called uneasily out to Anora.
She exhaled slowly, her decision made. She shoved her phone in a pocket and her powers extinguished. Before the receptionist could address her again, she hurried through the door after Darsby.
Though he had quite the head start, she could still see him further down the hall, his shock of pink hair and limping gait hard to miss. She adjusted the straps of her backpack, then ran after him, closing the distance between them as quickly as she could.
Doctors and nurses scurried about like ants under a magnifying glass, creating obstacles she had to skirt around. The hall was an echoing mess of noise. Shouts from the staff carryied from adjoining halls as they tried to rush patients to safety, shutting doors or ushering people into the safety of tornado shelters. Those they had yet to get to called out from their rooms, some even daring to venture outside for answer. Various machines powered by the backup generators or their own power supplies beeped, buzzed, and clicked away madly.
The angry red lighting bathing the halls did little to help the situation. It turned carts, wheelchairs, and stands for IVs into a menacing-looking mix of shadows and tinted light.
“Darsby!” she shouted. She slowed to match his pace as she neared. “If you’re actually sorry about getting me dragged into this, then at least tell me what ’this’ is! I’d even settle for the Cliff’s Notes version!”
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Darsby found means to propel himself to the intersection ahead, one hall rushing into crimson oblivion on either side of his stumbling form. The lean humanoid shape this man found himself piloting continued to sway and tremble under the duress of walking. He stopped for a brief moment to heave against another apathetic sigh before turning to address the woman rushing to catch up. His chapped lips relinquished an entirely relaxed tone of voice upon Anora by her request of an explanation.

“Well, you could say something rather hungry has arrived, and it’s likely that we’re both considered… erhm, edible.” Darsby shrugs at that last word, turning from left to right whilst clumsily scratching the back of his head with the aforementioned compact revolver. He takes time staring down each aisle, leaning forward to sniff the air as if some peculiar scent should be presenting itself.
“They’re small, assuming they haven't taken a host. But, the...-” He paused, apparently deciding on the left passage as suitable for whatever palette of aroma’s he’s been sharpening. “-the important thing is to not look directly into the blue light they spit everywhere.”

Darsby glanced towards Anora with a somewhat different expression before he disembarked down the targeted hall full of panicked staff and patients. Sympathy purses those lips and cheeks while his eyebrows show faint furrows of unbiased concern. Perhaps some present part of the man stepped aside to realize Anora isn’t experienced in the least with these matters.

“Stay close to me, okay? I’ll answer the rest later.” He spoke in a mildly softer tone than usual, for the first time committing to express emotion. His outbreak of oddly positive sentiment is soon swept under familiar waves of exhausted concentration, half-shut eyes bearing vigilance above darkened craters of skin.

They’d have taken four or five steps before another alarming noise occurs. Nurses had been rushing to and fro on their comfortable shoes, panicked sweat beading their brows whilst attempting to console patients in this time of unexplainable crisis. Several alarmed shrieks are heard upon witnessing Darsby with a firearm, disparate people's immediate thoughts being that this man is the one who’s caused such an uproar. One particularly fierce looking woman in her middle years had been staring as if to intervene just as gunfire rang further down the hall *Bang! Bang!* two shots followed by one effeminate scream. Silence now momentarily envelops both Anora and her injured guide, most individuals present being too immediately frightened to do much other than hide and remain quiet.

About twenty feet down the corridor several emergency lights flicker. Underneath the uneven strobe, a figure emerges from behind one of many vacant stretchers lining the walls. Four black limbs carry a round body of similar color. The whole thing looked like an ebony pumpkin with spindly legs supporting its frame. This dog-sized creature moved in uneven ways, an unnatural cadence producing slight scraping sounds upon the tiles beneath it. There was no head, only a small blue light against what was the front and leading end. It went from left to right, crashing frantically into objects as if it were frenzied into searching for something.

“Anora-..” Darsby whispered. “-.. Can you try to hold it still…?” His firearm is raised to point directly at the scuttling thing.

Should Anora comply, or should she wait for it to come closer than fifteen feet in its progression towards them, she’d likely spot further details of this queer beast. Its limbs were more like vines, thin, scaly things with an odd oozing substance leaking from between cracked flesh. This mucus had left tracks and stains on the walls and floor wherever it proceeded to go. The spherical torso throbbed and convulsed as if it were an enormous beating heart, thick exterior veins pushing the aforementioned fluid into its legs. That singular blue light looked to be an opening of some kind into the rest of its body. Overall, it was rather silent by nature, not projecting any sounds aside from its strut and collisions with external forces.
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Anora stopped beside Darsby when the man at last paused. She fidgeted with a strap of her backpack as she once more took in the frail appearance of the man. No matter how well armed, difficulties simply standing never made for a fair fight.
She met his gaze when he at last addressed her, the clamor of the hospital sounding all around them. She blinked in surprise at the tone he used instead of the tired, almost callous one she had already grown to expect.
She inhaled slowly at the concept of her and Darsby being ‘edible.’ Which meant everyone in the hospital could make for a decent afternoon snack. She winced when he carelessly scratched his head with his weapon, her gaze watching it uneasily.
“Great. Very helpful,” she muttered, a tinge of fear at the unknown mingling with exasperation. She watched him as he leaned forward, sniffing at the air. “What in the world are you doing?”
Curious, she, too, sniffed, wondering what smell he was trying to find. Only the overwhelming scents of sanitizer and body odor greeted her.
Her attention returned to him when he continued speaking, only to pause again.
“A… host?” She gawked at him as he decided on a direction. “Wait, wait, wait,” she hurried after him, speaking quickly. “We talking demonic possession, or invasion of the body snatchers?” She took a deep breath, catching Darsby’s glance in the corner of her eye, the hubbub of a hospital in panic fading more into background noise.
Part of her felt like this had to be a dream, from his magic to the chaos around them. Perhaps her lucid dreams had taken an unusual turn, and she was still in bed. But then, this felt different. Her real life had never integrated itself into them before, the drabness of reality merging with the luridness of her dreams.
There’s always a first for everything…
Darsby’s voice regained her attention, interrupting her silent debate. Her steps faltered when she again met his gaze, his expression uncharacteristically empathetic.
Anora took another deep breath and nodded once. Though she hated not at least knowing exactly what she was up against, another part of her relished the excitement of not knowing. Besides, the panic and terror hanging thick in the air reminded her that now was not exactly the time for explanations or debating on what was real. She could decide if she was dreaming later.
Right now, Darsby was—or at least seemed to be—on a mission to save the people in the hospital. And she out to make sure he succeeded. She was the reason he could hardly walk straight. The least she could do was make sure he survived.
Though his empathy disappeared as suddenly as it had come, at least it had been something. She stepped after them, determination on her face as she kept a vigilant eye out for the next few paces, ready to look away at the smallest hint of blue.
Noticing a woman who looked about ready to play hero against the heroes—if Darsby really was one of the good guys—Anora moved to place herself between Darsby and the woman. Purple crackled at her fingertips, ready to create a barrier to keep the woman back, but the magic proved unnecessary.
The piercing bang of gunshots echoed down the hall, freezing Anora’s feet, heart, and lungs for a precious second. Screams rang off the tiles as shouting workers, patients, and guests scurried for cover. The woman lost her nerve and ducked into the nearest room, slamming the door behind her. Anora could only stare down the hall, hoping the shots meant a police officer had taken down whatever plagued the wing.
An instinct to run toward the sound, to make sure no one had been hurt, made her take a hasty step forward before the lighting flickered ominously where the hall branched off again. In the silence of everyone taking cover, a sliding scuttle replaced the sounds of fear in the now mostly deserted space.
She gasped and stumbled back when something crawled into their view only a few yards away. She watched the spider-like creature, eyes wide in awe and fear. It clumsily banged into anything it could find, searching, oblivious to its remaining audience. The clatter of medical equipment, papers, and furniture scattering over the linoleum drowned out the soft sound of of its lurching movements.
She took another partial step back so she stood slightly behind Darsby. “What—” she began, but Darsby interrupted.
“I…” She quickly wiped the shock from her face as well as she could, her voice just loud enough for him to hear over the monster's rumpus. “Yeah,” she affirmed, her voice firm. “I’ve got this.”
Acting quickly before the thing’s attention turned to them, Anora moved her right foot forward, angling herself toward the creature and giving her a better shot. Purple mist formed and curled over her arm, the gold ring of her eyes intensifying and their violet glowing faintly in the dim light.
She watched the creature for only a second as it crashed its way closer, then thrust her arm toward it.
In the blink of an eye, energy surged down her hand and from her fingers, lighting the hallway. Four strands of misty black-speckled-violet and golden sparks shot toward the creature, following Anora’s silent orders to tangle around the monster from all sides, ready to shift trajectory or explode into a confining shield if the spidery thing tried to dodge or attack.
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"You don't have the sense for it yet." Darsby gave a quick response to Anora's earlier question as to why he was sniffing the open air.
"..Body Snatchers..?" Would be his self-directed answer to her question over the looming threat, his relatively alien origin offering no assistance in explaining her societal slang. After this pair came upon the beast, things may have unfolded in haste.

The aberration, having instinctually sensed Anora's preparation to catch it, moved only too late to avoid her grasp. After darting to the left, her net would have wrapped its crackling surface over one moist, pulsating exterior. The beast writhes and twitches, squirming moment after moment whilst Darsby neglects to fire upon it. Our frail wizard's arm rises, ready to shoot, though his aim appears to be slightly above the captured entity.

"They're called Blouth's. These are the scouts of their species. I need you to hold it; we're drawing out the nearest Alpha... Assuming there's only one.." As if in recognition of Darsby's dry tone of voice and it's nutshelled explanation of current events, the creature ceases its movements to begin a process of signaling whatever brethren may be nearest.

The blouth scout curls its legs into itself, shuddering in paced succession as aberrant croaks slip from its glowing orifice. The entirety of the fiend swells before croaking, deflating as each crackling reverberation clashes with the silence about it.

"With the doors sealed shut like this, we're facing a pack. They were drawn to me when I forced a quick recovery. If we kill the nearest Alpha, it's possible we can escape through the closest window. The barrier section it's maintaining might cease for a moment." Darsby's voice may hold it's typical level of exasperation, yet somehow he sounded severe. This explanation was meant to give Anora a slight picture of things before it all comes to a head.

*Creeeee!* A door several yards behind the blouth scout slowly opens. One trembling foot slams clumsily against the ground just beyond the now open threshold. The thing eventually emerging can only be described as a horror. What was once the female law-holder, the cop we'd previously witnessed in the ER, was now an emergent scourge of the mind. Her entire body was caked in crimson and yellow fluids all the way to the tips of toes and fingers. Her chest was that of shredded cloth and bulging blue tubes tightly wrapped against sundered flesh. Her head no longer rested atop this shambling form, all that remains is one massive orifice emitting intense beams of ethereal blue light from where a neck should be. Small claw-like tendrils twitch and flail all about its upper body.

"Remember, look away from the light!" Darsby would quickly say as he closes his eyes. Should Anora have gazed into the light, she would instantly feel her mind slipping, as if she were only a faint wisp of mist near an enormous tornado.

*BANG!BANG!BANG!* Three bullets are loosed from his weapon in quick, precise succession. Firstly, the scout is hit through Anora's barrier. Yellow fluids spray everywhere several yards from them as if having burst from a paint-filled balloon. Next, two rounds are loosed directly into the chest of our freshly presented nightmare, impact causing either clumsy leg to stumble several steps backward.

"Crap..-" Darsby grumbles as his second target fails to collapse via blind accuracy. "-Anora, get to the closest window and break it on my signal. We'll sprint for your car. I'll be right behind you." His voice, holding that quaint severity, is like the eye of a storm. Regardless as to all happenings about him, he remains only faintly moved from his typical tantrums of exhausted callousness.

Darsby relinquishes a deliberate sigh as his weapon-occupied hand begins to tremble visibly. Focus paints his features in narrow lines against an angular surface of sharp cheekbones and steep temples. Slight ebon threads swirl in ethereal spirals near his barrel, some faintly visible magic being prepared from oblivion as the targetted entity in it's proposed trajectory is nearly recovered.

*BANGBANGBANG!* Three bullets, nearly sounding like one, emerge from metallic chambers. These projectiles collide, yet, rather than exploding with momentum against fleshy surfaces, act as blades with powerful cutting force. What was once a headless opponent is now separated into three sections of twitching mass before one could blink. All three substantial chunks slide for several meters away from the location of impact.

Darsby opens his eyes, looking about him. He shows expectation for Anora to be away from his side, standing by the nearest window. Should she be, he'd be obliged to shout "Now!" and attempt her transport through shattered glass. Should she not be, or if our madam followed a separate course of actions, some entirely different chain of events may have been prone to unfold.
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Anora’s tendrils of mist wrapped around the creature, binding it in place.
“HA!” Her triumphant cry echoed louder than she had intended in the empty hallway. A grin spread over her lips; at last, she was using her powers for something more than play!
But Darsby reminded her adrenaline-enhanced excitement about what they faced. She blinked, a hand still extended toward the creature to aid in directing her powers. “We’re doing what now?”
She felt the creature move between the mist like a sixth sense, regaining her attention. Her expression sobered and she focused once more on the Blouth. In precaution, with a flash, the tendrils spread over the beast and hardened instead into a barrier, preventing it from escaping. But it did little good to keep it still. Its body rose and fell, like a croaking bellows.
She opened her mouth to yell at Darsby to shoot the darned thing already, but then put two-and-two together; the beast was calling the Alpha.
“A pack?” she interrupted. Great! Is it calling an Alpha, or its pack? She grit her teeth as Darsby went on. Confident she would sense if her barrier began to weaken, she looked around the hall, searching for a window.
Behind them at the hall's end, a window let in a slice of daylight, its light welcoming amidst the dim emergency lighting. Dustmotes flitted in and out lazily, oblivious to the threat plaguing the hospital. Before she could inform Darsby, a door creaked open.
Her attention snapped forward. She searched for the sound, more purple sparks igniting over her fingers in preparation to fight or defend. But nothing could have prepared her for the monstrosity that clambered its way into the main hall.
Anora had seen plenty of horror films, and even a few decently-done sci-fi ones. But those paled in comparison to the very real monster standing before her. If she did not know better, she would have said it had crawled straight from one of her lucid nightmares. Barely recognizable, only the shreds of the thing’s uniform survived to identify the decapitated female cop.
Horror froze Anora in place. The light of her barrier flickered. Seeing grotesque figures in her nightmares was one thing. As real as they seemed, she would always wake up, and could usually ultimately pick out the difference between them and reality. But seeing them in person, facing them in her waking world, was something else entirely.
The moment her gaze inadvertently settled on the blue light, her earlier mantra returned to the forefront of her mind. She tried to look away, to tear herself from it before she could find out why she was not supposed to look at it, but it was already too late. She heard Darsby’s warning, but it reached her in a jumbled, far-away mush, like it belonged somewhere outside her life, outside of time, her thoughts and will slipping from her.
She stared numbly at the creature. Her arm lowered without her conscious command. The glow in her violet eyes extinguished with her barrier, the magic fizzling from existence with a burst of purple and gold sparks.
The earsplitting bang of gunshots broke whatever spell the light held over her. The sound still echoing painfully in her ears, she wrenched her gaze from the light. She scrunched her eyes shut and shook her head to dispel the lingering sensations of whatever the creature had done to her.
She heard her name. It took her a moment to realize Darsby had stopped firing. She looked to him as he gave her orders, her heart pounding in her throat.
Taking a deep breath, she steeled herself as well as she could. Returning fully to her senses and the situation at hand, she eyed him for scarcely a second.
Despite his cool, casual demeanor, his shaking hand gave him away. Either he, too, felt fear, or his injuries were catching up to him. Magic bullets or no magic bullets, every body had its limits. For all she knew, he had already overstepped his.
She hesitated, not wanting to leave him, worried he would collapse. Nonetheless, she took a breath and nodded.
“Y-You’d better be. There’s a window at the end of the hall.” Not waiting for a response, she turned and jogged toward the window. “But my car’s impounded!” she called behind her. “We’ll have find—!”
Gunshots echoed through the hall again, cutting her off and making her flinch. Gritting her teeth, she skid to a stop a yard from the window. Keeping a hand over one ear to protect at least some of her hearing, she inhaled and summoned a crackling ball of energy. She held her hand in front of her as the magic formed over her clenched fist, waiting for Anora to release it.
She glanced back, her eyes carefully on the floor to avoid being sucked back into the Alpha’s light. She looked just in time to see the parts of the Alpha’s body slide over the tiles slickened with pus-colored slime.
“Now!”
The ball of energy shot from Anora’s fist to the window. The thick glass shattered, sending a spray of glittering shards into the afternoon sunlight. With a last glance behind her to be sure Darsby held true to his word of following, she raced the last couple feet to the window. She hastily shrugged from her backpack, tossed it out the window ahead of her, and jumped outside after it as fast as she could.
She hissed and grit her teeth when she misjudged the space, and a shard still sticking into the frame sliced into her arm. But she paid it little mind. She had bigger things to worry about. She stumbled when she landed on a patch of grass beside a sidewalk, thankful the ER was on the first floor.
Glass crunching beneath her boots, she spun back around to face the window. She stepped backward, watching for Darsby to hop out the window behind her, ready to leap back in and help if he was not at her heels.
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'Well.. She understands instruction.' Darsby grins to himself, knowing the value of someone who can understand commands far exceeds that of a needlessly rebellious free-thinker. His eyes, imbued with complex magics, steer from left to right for observation of a fading barrier. Blouth alpha's trap their prey in invisible cages few can detect. Luckily, escaping the barrier is always as easy as eliminating the nearest alpha.

Darsby spins on his heel to turn into following Anora. He feels his sealed body quake in protest to the sudden movement, tremors surging upwards from either trembling knee. "Crap.." He mumbles to himself whilst taking a moment to deliberate over his present situation. Circumstance dictates healing is less essential than escape, using whatever magic stores remain to achieve this goal is paramount. Blouth aren't our pair's only worry; there will undoubtedly be influential earth-based organizations coming to investigate this magic-filled event.

"Lestiess-Lestuary" Grey smoke permeates the air surrounding Darsby as ethereal words pass into conscious space near him via supernatural speech. His body merges with the smoke, splitting into several surging tendrils of cool mist. These flowing masses rend the air in passing through the window Anora shattered. Said grey mass reassembles itself into Darsby's familiar form once having emerged from the hospital.

"We're taking one of these metal wagons. You're piloting." Darsby speaks quickly, weakly gesturing with his gun towards the nearest parking lot. He begins to hobble in that ordered direction, his bare feet softly pattering against pavement and grass.

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For a heart-wrenching moment, Darsby did not follow Anora. The inside of the hospital became a black hole lurking beyond the window in comparison to the sunlight blaring all around her. Sparks igniting over her tense fingers. She took a step toward the window, preparing to jump back inside to see what kept him, multiple grim causes for his delay running through her head in an instant.
She shouted in surprise and stumbled away from the window when tendrils of misty gray smoke rushed through the broken glass. Her sparks turned into glowing masses encompassing her hands, licks of sparkling purple, gold, black curling up her outspread arms in anticipation.
A solid figure quickly began to form out of the mist just beyond the spray of glass shards. Not knowing what to expect—the Blouth? An Alpha? Darsby?—the glow in both her powers and gaze intensified with the pounding of her heart.
“Darsby!” she breathed through a heavy sigh of relief. Her powers extinguished and she hurried to his side.
It took her a heartbeat to realize what he meant by ‘metal wagons.’ She blinked at him when it set in. “You want to steal a car?” She asked as he began hobbling away.
She glanced back at the hospital as the first hint of police sirens whispered through the air as they raced to the aid of their comrades. Comrades who had quickly fallen. None of them had any idea what they were up against. None of them stood a chance. With herself no longer in immediate danger, her conscious finally got a word in:
What about everyone else?
“Darsby, wait!”
She reached a hand out toward her backpack as she ran toward Darsby. In the blink of an eye, purple mist surrounded her pack and it shot into her open hand, Anora catching it by a strap. She quickly caught up to him before he reached the nearest parking lot. She reached out to his non-weapon wielding arm with her free hand.
She expected him to evade her touch as he had before. To her surprise, her hand closed on his upper arm, her grip gentle, yet firm. She stepped around him to stand in front of him, hoping to make him face her.
“I’m not going anywhere. We weren't the only people in there.” Releasing him, she gestured to the hospital, unwavering determination in her gaze. “They have no clue what’s in there, let alone how to stop them! We have to help. Or…” She paused, taking in his weak, tired form. He had definitely reached his limits. She took a deep breath. “Or tell me how to stop them, and I’ll help.”
Though the idea of facing those things alone made fear churn in her stomach, she refused to let it sway her decision. Her powers may not have worked on Darsby, but they had worked on the Blouth, which was enough for her. There was no telling how many people were in the hospital, how many potential victims those monsters had at their disposal to eat or take as hosts, or whatever else they did.
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Darsby had become distant the moment he'd stepped from the hospital. Goal-oriented drive enveloped his mind in swathes of deliberate planning he felt he'd likely need to make. Anora appeared kind and dependable to him so long as she wasn't given a scenario which contradicted good morals. This had its uses and downfalls in their present circumstance. From his perspective, she'd be invaluable upon finally leaving the hospital premises; contrasting this, she would become a hindrance should she see this predicament as her responsibility. An inexperienced native magic user against the possible beasts to be faced here would require excruciating guidance Darsby is far from presently being able to provide without extreme action. Then, he felt her hand.

What she'd first perceive is cold, porcelain skin; its surface is smooth to the touch yet as unyielding as stone. Darsby would likely be a marvel if he weren't notably trembling, those labored lurches one might call a stride full of an exhausted malaise. Her grasp had pulled him from his deliberation to face the very thing he was deliberating over. She was more present in this event than he likely had been from the beginning. Her fresh, young eyes held many wonders he'd somehow misplaced some time ago.

"You do your people an injustice." Darsby would firmly state, wrenching his hand from Anora's grasp with whatever physical strength he could muster. Despite all weakness, something about this man was undoubtedly resolute. One could think they'd be able to peel away every bit of his body before his mind and speech would give in to any demand but his own.
"Do you honestly believe humanity has no defense for this?-" An unknown plagued Darsby's features, something Anora hadn't yet seen. Genuine distaste split the air between them, his features wrinkling into mildly angered disgust for the first time. His emotions had a disarming purity to them as if each separate feeling had been worn into place by vast breadths of time. "-The very forces prepared for these threats are about to make our lives a lot harder the second they arrive." He didn't appear to have any reason for lies here. In fact, one could say there were hints of unease over these spoken truths.

Our once more callous hospital patient immediately continued his sickly limp to the nearest car after initially speaking. Upon reaching a black family van, and likely taking little heed to whatever retort Anora may have had, Darsby goes to work. He snaps several times, thin bands of electricity arcing from his finger to collide with the car. The van's two front doors open as if by some powerful magnetic force, it's engine roaring to life by a vigorous howl. Darsby then moves as if to step into the passenger seat, yet, he stops halfway there. Gently, one hand is placed on the hood of the car to support him as he half-turns towards Anora.

"Look, it makes sense. You can help, so you want to. But, is it your job? Or are the people who do this for a living nothing more than an after-thought?-" Darsby's typically exhausted nature has once more overtaken him as he finishes turning towards his young companion to address her fully. "-Right now you have somewhere you need to go. I intend to get you there." Truthfully, Darsby was betting more than he'd be likely to share on those last words. He wasn't entirely sure she was his first lead, but she'd caused him a hell of a lot of inconveniences, and he'd be damned if she didn't owe him for that.

Regardless as to all these events, the initial emergency personnel are closing fast. They'd likely be overwhelmed in less than a minute, police and other such institutions have been on their way for quite some time before Darsby and Anora's exit from the hospital. Escape from this parking lot itself was far less unlikely than one should count on. Leaving in a car, let alone on foot, was more of a fantasy by each passing second. You couldp ractically see flashing lights entering our respective parking lot already.

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"Yea... Yeah, we're on our way. Don't worry about clean-up. You know I don't mind paperwork." Thin, leathery fingers pull a cellular device from its familiar position near an enamored expression. Drake didn't mind his job; in fact, he rather enjoyed it. Communicating with his superiors over small incidents like this were hardly ever a hassle. Yet, he had a bad feeling in his gut that the current case he's following is going to be anything but simple. After just now getting off the phone with local HQ he'd at least make a simple task of covering this blouth event.

Red and blue lights screamed alongside their companion sirens up ahead, several law enforcement vehicles peeling through a four-way intersection on their way to what's being presently reported as a terrorist shooting. Drake's leather-coated foot presses ever-harder into the gas of his jet-black vehicle, it's sport engine booming into the ambiance of this small city. He and his partner were close behind the cops on this.

"I've finished the shroud. Don't expect anything else out of me today." Rippling muscles throb in contrast to powerful effeminate features next to drake in the passenger seat of his Camaro. His dominant wizard partner had spoken, her callous voice caked in its constantly conceited overtones.
"I would never." Drake responds after passing her a sidelong glance. 'She'd be beautiful if she didn't think the world was beneath her' He thinks to himself after shortly resuming his focus on the road ahead. He never minded small events like this, they were easy to cover-up with memory-magic and minor conflict. Regrettably, the one these two are genuinely tracking is anything but a small-time target.
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“An injustice?” Anora interrupted heatedly, taken aback. She eyed him, a mixture of strength and frailness warring in him as he spoke. She was not sure if she felt like she should be more angry or concerned. He looked weaker than he had been even just moments before. If her own powers could drain her, she wondered, did his drain him, too?
She opened her mouth to respond with a firm, “Yeah, because they don’t!” to his question, but the words died on her lips at the emotion emitting from him, forming into a palpable sensation swirling in the air between them.
At his final words, Anora glanced back to the hospital, then to the road. Rather, to the direction of the approaching police.
She doubted “Blouth Slaying 101” was a class offered in police academy.
But what if it is? She looked to Darsby as he neared a black van. She stepped a bit closer to him and the vehicle, curious as he raised a hand and snapped his fingers.
She stumbled back with a surprised shout when lightning hit the car, bringing the inanimate thing to life. So to speak.
Catching Darsby’s half-turn toward her, she shifted her gawking gaze to him. She quickly tried to wipe the look away, replacing it with as good of a, ‘Yep, just another Monday,’ expression as she could. She succeeded only in looking like a child trying to not show enjoyment to a parent they were mad at.
She eyed him, her head tilting slightly as Darsby continued speaking.
“We talking like Men in Black or the Ministry of Magic's clean-up crew?” A hint of excitement tinged her words despite her attempts to keep it filled with a façade of healthy disbelief. No matter how hard she tried, it was impossible for her to doubt him. She did not want to doubt him. If there really were people trained for this off the books, it meant there were more out there like her and Darsby. More monsters—for better or worse—like the Blouth.
It meant she was not alone.
She blinked and inhaled when he continued despite yet another interruption. Somewhere… I need to go? Her heart pounded a little faster, questions swirling around in her mind in a noisy, infuriating jumblement, each one demanding to get an answer. Whoever this man was, whatever he wanted with her, he had the answers. And clearly no intention of staying to help those stuck in the hospital. Her staying to help meant losing the only person she knew who could satisfy her need to know more.
Her attention shot toward one of the parking lot entrances as the first flashes of red and blue from police cars dusted the buildings. The lights spurred her into action.
“Then get in already, Agent K!” She practically ran the last couple steps toward the open driver’s side of the van.
She hastily tossed her backpack between the open middle of the seats. “Places to go, things to see!” She hopped inside as the first of the police cars sped into view, slowing only to turn safely into the parking lot.
Anora frowned, panic at being trapped just outside the hospital, of being stuck without getting the answers she craved, tightening her chest. “Don’t suppose you have an invisibility spell handy, do you?” she asked, her voice rushed as she reached to close the door.
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