Hidden 10 mos ago 10 mos ago Post by Lord Wraith
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Lord Wraith Leaf on the Wind

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There once was a woman who lived a life so strange it had to be true...
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╚════════════════════════════════════════════ J Ä G E R B O M B ═══════════════════════════════════════════╝
Location The Sunset Stretch - Santa Celia Coast
Post #2.08: Riddles

| She did not know what a wicked creature he was, and was not at all afraid of him.

The motorcycle weaved in and out of traffic as Ellara’s hair blew loosely in the wind. Revving the engine beneath her, the bike protested ever so slightly before launching forward, the front tire lifting up from the ground before roughly slamming back down just in time for Ellara to guide the agile vehicle around the rear bumper of a large sedan.

Her head was a mess, images of a different time, a different person’s memories flashed across her mind as her thoughts returned to the murder by her workplace. Why was this hanging over her, why should she care about a random murder in the street? Ellara knew deep down that it was likely only because it was so close to her place of work, but part of her couldn’t help but feel there was something more. Some sort of unspoken connection, and she couldn’t be the only one who thought so either.

The people in the bar, what had they asked her? Something in another language, they had accused her of being something, something that had triggered a memory.
You’re a Jäger.

The words echoed around in Ellara’s head as she bit down on her lip, revving the engine of the bike hard, a steady whine echoing over the street as she rode the middle line. What did it mean, why did that word keep repeating itself. A woman’s face appeared before her, suddenly twisting as the skin turned a pale green, the eyes disappearing into her empty sockets as a voice like wind rattling dry bones echoed through Ellara’s skill.

Jäger

The apparition’s voice haunted Ellara as she merged into a new lane, coming around the left side of the the lined up traffic ahead of her. The bike fought against the road below as Ellara moved over the rumble strip before gripping into the shoulder as Ellara’s own mind tossed around the foreign word.

Jäger

Her mother’s voice echoed her own as the word began to take on a certain familiarity. Echoes of her parents talking, her Aunt and even her Uncle’s voice began to float through Ellara’s head as tears welled up in the corners of her eyes, the sudden sadness invoking first feelings of regret, then pain, and finally anger. Maxing out the throttle, Ellara jumped back into the lane as she guided the motorcycle onto the next exit ramp. Lost in her thoughts, Ellara failed to notice the whine of another motorcycle behind her as the woman from the bar filled her head again.

German for hunter, but a special type.

The woman had been cryptic and intentionally so. The primary question had to ask was why? Secrecy had plagued her entire life, her father had refused to reveal the cause of her mother’s death, his reasons for leaving Ellara in the care of her Aunt. Her Aunt had refused to comment on the matter as well and Ellara’s Uncle had pulled away from her after her Aunt, like her mother, died under mysterious circumstances.

Only we can see the darkness in people, the monsters that hide within.

Ellara couldn’t help but find it maddening as the memories came and went, abstract phrases and words lacking context taunted her like riddles that were never meant to be solved. Pulling under the bridge, Ellara guided her bike towards the tier, the glint of a headlight in her rearview mirror finally catching her eye as she was ripped from the past and placed back firmly in the present as the other rider began to gain on her.

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Hidden 10 mos ago 10 mos ago Post by SepticGentleman
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SepticGentleman "We will all go together."

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Kyle and Kayla Foster

Written with @JunkMail




They were back at the motel now, and they wasted no time going over what they’d found. Kyle was seated at a small desk, reviewing the footage that had been found on the drone’s SD card through use of a laptop. Meanwhile, Kayla was seated on one of the nearby beds, combing through the old grimoire she had borrowed forever from one Riley Sheridan.

“This doesn’t look like the work of an average vampire.” Kyle said, being the first to speak up. Still looking at a paused moment of the footage, with as close a view of the body as the drone had gotten, he continued to say, “Victim’s throat was completely torn open, then he was drained through the wound.”

“Could’ve been an especially sloppy vampire.” Kayla replied, “Or just incredibly hungry to the point of feral behavior.”

“Hmmm.” Was all Kyle returned.

“Strigoi, maybe?” Kayla asked, “They have those… tongues.”

“I’m not sure. Can’t be conclusive with just this footage.”

“Should’ve gone in for a closer look then.”

“Not with that many people watching, Kayla. This is the best we’ve got for now.”

“We probably wouldn’t know without a necropsy either way.” Kayla mused. She looked up from the book and leaned towards the screen. “Hold on a second, pause?” She asked. Kyle hit the spacebar of his laptop, and the video stopped rolling. The drone’s footage was directly above the victim. “Look at the neck again. You seeing what I’m seeing?”

“Just tell me what I missed.” Kyle said, almost sounding a little deflated.

“I mean, you didn’t miss anything obvious but his neck? That’s not a slash or a regular tear. That was made with teeth.” She said, placing her finger on the laptop screen and dragging her finger around the man’s neck area in a lazy circle. “It looks like a lateral bite, lengthways around the sides of the neck. Teeth were obviously thin.”

“Like… snake’s teeth?” Kyle said.

“Like snake’s teeth, yeah.” She commended, bringing her arm away from the computer so her brother could look more closely. “Most vampires go for the neck because, duh. But it looks like there’s postmortem swelling all around the sides of this man’s neck. Way more teeth than a normal vampire.”

“Anything in that book you picked up that points closer to what exactly it might be?” Kyle asked.

“Penangglan, maybe? They have the teeth. Depends on where it came from. Let me look again.” Kayla said, moving back to her book. “So, snakelike features, needle like teeth, prefers male victims. Could be a Lamia.” Kayla said, still obviously speaking from memory rather than the book.

Kyle exhaled through his nose. After a moment of silence, he said, “Y’know, regardless of what it is, that bartender you gave an… episode earlier, she was pretty liberal with details about this Sixth Street Blood Cult.”

“And?” Kayla asked.

“Organized crime with vampires involved is a problem in and of itself.” Kyle replied, “So whether or not they’re responsible for this particular murder, I think we oughta go about getting some information on them. Numbers, operations, whatever we can dig up. See what all it’s going to take to snuff them out.”

“I can always find that Oliver guy that the ex-cop told me about while you do that.” Kayla mused. “You tend to be a lot better at getting people to talk when they don't have interest in talking.” She cast a knowing gaze up at her brother but didn't say anything after. They have had a few disagreements on the… methods that were sometimes employed. Although, Kayla could not deny the effectiveness they had when Kyle used them.

She looked down again, and sighed. “We’ve hit a bit of a roadblock, here. And a lead. What do you want first, good news or bad news?”

“Bad.”

“What we’re dealing with is a very general term used to describe a variety of creatures called an Aswang. Good news is, Aswangs only have a few potential clarifications. No way to tell for sure, though. They’re all vampiric. ”

Kyle shook his head.

“Y’know, maybe we should just hit Parker with the update on the whole situation here.” Kayla said, “Figure out what to do tomorrow.”

“You go ahead and talk to him.” Kyle replied, “I’m gonna get dinner started.”

Kayla nodded. She stood up and placed a hand on his shoulder as she passed him in thanks. She never could cook well. She left Kyle’s quarters and stepped into her room, which was right next to his. She sat on the bed and grabbed the telephone that was on the motel nightstand. She sighed and dialed in a number she had long since memorized.

“Thank you for calling the New Alton Tourism Center, this is Meredith speaking, how may I help you?”

“Hi Meredith, this is Kayla speaking. I’m calling to ask about the weather in Greece this year. Do you know the highs and lows?”

“Let me put you through to our weather department. Please hold.”

The line went quiet for a moment before another voice replaced the woman’s. It was deep, with a gravelly southern drawl. “Kayla Foster, was wonderin’ when I’d hear from you two.”

Kayla smiled despite herself. “It hasn’t even been one day!”

“Doesnt take you two long to find yer way into trouble. So tell me, to what do I owe the pleasure?”

Kayla sighed. “We’ve got trouble with vampires.”

“Blood suckin’ parasites. Was out the other day and found a tick crawlin’ up my leg. Squashed that sucker quick. Sucks that they come in human form, usually harder to get rid of.”

Kayla rolled her eyes. “Well, we have Grim Vampires that have formed some kind of coven. We also have a chain of murders as of late. Definitely vampiric, but different signatures than usual.”

“Oh? Do tell.”

“I’m led to believe it’s an Aswang of some sort.”

“You said it was vampiric, right?”

“Yes?”

“Aswang is an umbrella Filipino term. That means that it has to be a-”

“Penanggalan, Tiyanak, or a Manananggal.”

“Atta girl.” Parker said. There was chuckling on Parker’s side of the phone, from a woman who was no doubt listening in on their conversation. “Taught you and your brother well.”

“Yeah well you can pat yourself on the back later.” Kayla said, sighing. “I still don't know what I’m dealing with. Not entirely.”

“I have a feeling you know exactly who to talk to about that one, hun.” Parker said knowingly. Kayla was going to ask him how he knew about Oliver, but was cut off when Parker continued. “Speaking of talkin’, you ever find that Jäger I mentioned?”

“No. Just the vampires and a bartender that had a case of fugue mid conversation and started speaking a different language.”

This seemed to catch Parker’s attention. “What language?”

“What?”

“What language, Kayla.”

“It- I dunno, it sounded German, maybe?”

“You know several languages, Kayla. Try again.”

She sighed hard, having been sufficiently reminded that even in their more friendly moments Parker still decided to evaluate her. It was moments like these where she remembered why Kyle wasn’t exactly fond of the man and his expectations.

“It was German.”

“Sounds like you found your Jäger.”

“Wh-”

“Unactivated, until recently. Likely untrained, but this person might be worth revisiting if you plan to do something about that coven you mentioned. You and Kyle might also get some other unexpected help.” Parker said cryptically. Kayla opened her mouth to question him, but quickly remembered Parker’s aversion to straight answers and decided not to waste her breath.

“Was good to talk to you, Parker.”

“And to you, as always, Kayla. You have a good night, and tell your brother I said hello for me would you?”

Parker hung up before she could respond, and then Kayla was much more alone in her room.
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Hidden 10 mos ago 10 mos ago Post by Typical
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Typical

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Everly


The compact mirror in Everly’s hands blurred, her reflection wavering into nondescript shapes before fading into a separate scene entirely. A low-lit bedroom appeared, then faded into a darkened kitchen, then a face of fabric—a curtain. As the scenes flicked by, Everly flipped through a notebook, adding new marks here and there.

When she got to the entry of interest, though, Everly paused. The mirror reflected a living room furnished with a sofa and coffee table, the latter of which was piled with various crumpled cans and takeout cartons. Other than the flickering light emanating from the corner of the room, though, the space was still. Everly frowned, and the living room was replaced with a dark room—a bedroom, the bedsheets and blankets dangling haphazardly off one side of the empty bed. Another scene took its place, dark as well, then another, this one with a trace of light from the living room but no other sign of activity.

Setting the mirror down, Everly pushed back her chair and walked over to the door, opening it quietly and peeking into the hallway. The apartment was dark, as was the room down the hall from hers.

Closing the door behind her, Everly slipped on her mask, adjusting it as she pressed a hand to the full-length mirror on her door. Her reflection wavered, then disappeared, a portion of the mirror replaced by blackness—the bathroom, currently void of life. Stepping into the mirror, Everly stepped onto the sink carefully, careful not to knock anything over as she slid onto the floor. The apartment was quiet around her, the only noise coming from the streets outside. A full sweep of the place showed that the living room and bedroom were the only rooms with lights on. The kitchen and bathroom were bare, and the living room offered little more in terms of value than a sheathed katana on display above the television. The bedroom, though, yielded a tin of jewelry, previously stowed away in a closet corner, and a bundle of bills stuffed between the mattresses. These Everly brought with her back to the living room, where she paused, looking at the hanging katana. Then, retrieving that as well, Everly slipped back through the mirror, stowing the money away in her own closet.



A backpack under her oversized trench coat made her figure seem almost hunchbacked, and it wasn’t something Everly could wear around during the day. Southern California weather could hardly be described as cold considering the sunny skies, but after sunset the air tended to cool down quickly. Under the cover of night, Everly wore the coat as both a disguise and a deterrent, using it to ferry what she needed around the city while warding off attention. Few people looked twice at a hunched and hooded figure. This, as well as her ability to cut her trekking distance, made her walk a relatively short and relaxed one block when she started at the corner store window.

Her destination was, per usual, a dinky little shack of a store situated between a herb store and a take-out restaurant that was closed more often than not. “Lucky Pawn Shop,” as it was called, was run by Madame Su, a greying woman whose vision was as gone as the gold paint that had previously furnished the store exterior. Although her hearing wasn’t fairing much better these days, she had the help of her sons to manage the place, as well as her grandsons’ “friends.” However, their dealings, from what Everly knew, were mostly overseas, so she tended to turn a blind eye. In Santa Celia, they were working to survive as much as the next store over. What got smuggled on and off cargo ships was hardly her business as long as her money went where it should.

“Everly! My favorite young lady! Come in, come in!” The bell on the door jingled as Madame Su cackled from behind the counter. Wrinkled and tanned, the Madame easily looked the part of a grandmother, with a gap-toothed smile and bobby pins in her hair. The atmosphere could almost be described as friendly if not for the man in the muscle tank sitting behind her.

“Hello Madame Su.” Everly smiled, dropping her coat on the coat rack and walking over. Taking care to move slowly so as to not alarm the watchman, she unloaded her collection one item at a time onto the counter before the Madame. Out came a bronze statuette, a small collection of silverware and china, and the katana from earlier that night.

“Oh, very good.” Picking up the items as they were set down, the Madame brought each close to her face, eyeing and sniffing the pieces. Murmuring to herself, she appraised them silently, then muttered her conclusions to the man behind her in Chinese before setting the pieces down on either the left or the right side of the counter. Everly watched the right side as the items were divided, knowing the objects that went on that side would determine her payout. As such, she was a bit dismayed to see the katana get sorted to the left.

“Is the katana not real?”

“Real steel, sure. Not worth explaining to officials to, though, and definitely not worth reselling.” The Madame continued without missing a beat, stashing half the china on each side and only one piece of silverware on the left. When all the objects had a side, she straightened, dusting her hands. “Eight-fifty. Nine hundred for the lot.”

Everly paused, then nodded. “Nine hundred.” None of the silver had been antique, and she hadn’t expected the statuette to amount to much anyway. The katana, though, was disappointing. It’d been the biggest item in the stash but had failed to return profit accordingly.

“Very good.” Producing a stack of bills, the Madame smiled, flashing a silver molar as the man behind her collected the items. “And do you have any jewelry for me today?”

Everly nodded, producing the tin she’d found.

“Good, good. You always find good things, Everly dear,” the Madame said, rubbing her palms together as Everly poured out the contents of the tin. Sliding on a loupe, the Madame pulled her retractable lamp closer. “Pearls and jewels—my favorite.”

Everly waited patiently as the Madame shifted through the contents. For this lot, she was expecting at least a few thousand, considering that there was a variety of gold and silver. It was the holiday season, and thieves had turned to the wealthier side of town, so the chance of fakes was low.

“Oh, how pretty,” the Madame said, holding a silvery engagement ring up to the light. “Such a tragedy that this got lost.” A grin appeared on the Madame’s face as she peered at Everly over her loupe. “Everly, dear, could this possibly be yours?”

Everly stared at her blankly, and the Madame burst into laughter.

“Just teasing, dear. Let’s see. For everything… Let’s make it forty-three hundred, minus the ring.”

“What about—”

“Sadly, I don’t have enough cash on me to take this beautiful piece off your hands,” the Madame said, sliding the ring back to Everly, who met her eyes with a frown. Madame Su always had enough cash, and they both knew it.

“Next time.”

“Okay, next time.” The Madame grinned, setting her loupe on the counter beside her. “Forty-three hundred?”

“Forty-three hundred.”



Everly knew she wouldn’t be able to sleep much tonight. She could feel the weariness in her bones and the edges of fog in her head, but her mind kept shuffling through thoughts—of the Madame, of the money, of Emily. When she got home, she hadn’t even bothered to try sleeping. Instead, she opted to clean up and head to the restaurant early. On days sleep eluded her, she didn’t like staying home, lest her sister see how tired she was. Emily deserved nothing short of the best, everything considered, and Everly hated when she couldn’t provide that. The Golden Harbor, on these days, was her safe haven, since the staff were quick to clear out after the restaurant closed its doors at eleven. With the space to herself, Everly usually used the time to get ahead on her studies or update the budget and records. There was no winning on these nights, and since the next few would only get worse, she tried to get the important things out of the way on the first night.

So, with a post-it on the fridge, she packed her bag, intending on going straight to the restaurant through the mirror set up in her office. Though she’d been the one who’d suggested that security cameras be put up, the back camera was usually turned off at night since there were no streetlights in the back and therefore nothing to film.

When she touched her mirror, however, she was surprised to see that could see a faint light from under her office door. Her eyes shot to her digital clock, then back to the mirror. It was one of those nights, then.

Entering her office, Everly dropped off her backpack, then unlocked the door to head to the kitchen. The hallway was dark, but the kitchen was bright, and there she found Tim sitting at the counter, his head propped up by a hand. Everly cleared her throat, and he snapped up, eyes wide before recognizing her and relaxing.

“Oh, Everly.” Tim sighed, sinking back into his seat. “So it’s one of those nights, huh?”

“Yeah.” Everly pulled up a seat across from him. “Is the sign on?”

“No, I… I thought I was heading home soon.”

Everly reached out to put a hand on Tim’s shoulder. “I’ll go turn on it on.”

Leaving Tim in the kitchen, Everly walked to the front, flicking switches as she went. At the very front, she found the switch she was looking for, and the neon sign blinked to life after a brief moment of hesitation, clear against the windowpane.

OPEN
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Hidden 10 mos ago 10 mos ago Post by SepticGentleman
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SepticGentleman "We will all go together."

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Kyle Foster




The following day…

Kyle had begun his reconnaissance fairly early in the day. While Kayla was handling leads on the murder victim, he was set about discerning the overall threat level of the 6th Street Blood Cult. He’d taken the truck and started driving through town, covering whatever grounds he could. As he was looking for vampires, he needed a better way to pinpoint them. Hard to do when the sun was up, and especially without Kayla around, but he had a solution saved for times like this.

Kyle was wearing an old pair of welding goggles that had been enchanted to detect supernatural entities. Much like how his sister did, but far less subtle. Plus they didn’t last forever - needed to be recharged with arcane energy after about an hour of consecutive use. So he was being sparing with how often he had them activated.

They could see faint traces of supernatural beings through walls, but not from very far away. Kyle was driving from block to block, occasionally stopping and scanning various buildings around him. After about an hour and a half of work, he wasn’t coming up with anything. He didn’t expect the Blood Cult to be literally everywhere of course, but he was starting to figure he wasn’t going to get incredibly lucky with his findings.

He was scanning another building with the goggles activated - nothing, as per usual - and that’s when it happened.

From the seat of his truck, Kyle saw a smaller car head past him. Without deactivating the goggles, he gave the car a quick glance, doing a double-take. Inside was a red, shimmering clouds in the shape of a man, sitting in the back middle seat. A vampire having someone else drive him through town in the morning, probably all bundled up to avoid direct sunlight. Kyle obviously didn’t know for sure if he was Blood Cult but, this was the best lead he’d gotten so far.

He took to following them, taking care not to drive too closely behind, changing up routes every now and again. He almost lost track of them once or twice, but eventually followed them quite a few blocks down to a tenement building on a street corner. No windows were open. Absolutely none of them.

Parked a ways away, Kyle watched with a pair of binoculars as the two men exited the car - a guard who had been sitting in the passenger seat, and the vampire himself. Slick coat, gloves, wide brim hat, all fitting clothes to keep the sunlight at bay. He made a brisk walk towards the front door, heading inside with his cohort while the car went off to who-knows-where. Another guard was stationed outside, sitting on the stairs, looking out for trouble.

Either this vampire was Blood Cult, or he simply had his own little gang of thralls and confidants, but Kyle was confident in the former idea. He was set to get some information out of him - whatever he could, at least. He sat in the truck for a moment, pondering. There was probably a more subtle way to go about this, but he wasn’t about to sit around making plans and not taking direct action once again.

He had to prepare himself.



The guard was still seated, more focused on his phone than his surroundings. He was completely oblivious to the man approaching him along the sidewalk. Kyle, now dressed in a heavy brown coat with a gray padded mantle and hood. Black gloves, and a full black face mask covering all but his eyes - which were now shielded by the enchanted goggles. Once Kyle was standing directly in front of the seated guard, he looked up at the unfamiliar figure and began to speak.

“Who the fuck are y-”

Kyle interrupted the man by grabbing his phone out of his hands and tossing it onto the sidewalk, very visibly breaking it. The guard wasn’t given any time to react to the affront as Kyle proceeded to deliver a swift punch to his nose, and then grabbing him and slamming his head against the metal rails on the sides of the front stairs. The guard was out cold, and Kyle proceeded to lift him halfway up and toss him down the stairs on the side, leading into the basement section of the tenement. Out of sight, for the most part.

Kyle turned his attention upward, scanning the building. A few red human shapes stuck out thanks to the goggles. Vampires just lounging about on multiple floors, in the dark. Didn’t look to be no more than six in total. One was right inside past the front door, in a seated position. Kyle reached into his inner coat pocket and brandished an M1911, heavily engraved with a pearl grip. A flashlight, or similar device, was attached to the underside of the barrel, with a small rune etched on it. He took out the clip - a small rune was etched on its base, ‘stretching’ the interior and effectively quintupling its bullet capacity. Not as much reloading needed. He double checked to make sure he had silver bullets loaded in, and then put the clip back into the gun.

He didn’t bother scanning the area outside for any onlookers. He figured being quick would benefit him most. He readied the pistol, marching up to the front door. He proceeded to barge in, arm outstretched. The room was dimly lit by a ceiling lamp, with multiple couches claimed by loosely dressed women, dazed out of their minds or fully asleep. A mismatch of drugs lied on the table they all surrounded.

They all turned their attention to Kyle as he barged in - the ones who still had some sense in them, at least. Kyle aimed his pistol at the one girl who was fully awake. She immediately stood up, her eyes turning bloodshot and her mouth opening wide, teeth bared. Kyle immediately shot her head from across the room, her black blood splattering across the wall behind her as her body slumped back, falling to the feet of several drugged-up women.

The ones who didn’t immediately start screaming were either spurning themselves awake or making for the still-open door. Kyle let them pass, not wanting to bring harm to any human beings in the building, thrall or otherwise.

“We got trouble!” Kyle heard a man loudly shout, as down the hall from the room he was in, a guard proceeded to draw his own firearm. Kyle reacted immediately, aiming his gun but not firing. He pressed a button on the flashlight at the end, causing it to emit an extremely bright, flashing light. The guard immediately shielded his eyes and ducked behind the corner at the end of the wall. Kyle ran forward, darting to the guard’s side and grabbing his shirt collar. He threw him down and kicked the gun out of his hand, then proceeding to stomp his face twice, rendering him unconscious - and rather damaged. Kyle wasn’t gonna kill any humans, but he wasn’t above inflicting heavy bodily harm on them.

Make through the building. Kill all vampires, neutralize any hostile humans. Find the vampire from earlier and get some info on the Blood Cult out of him.

Kyle could hear movement and shouts above him on the upper floors of the building. He had to move, and fast.
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Hidden 10 mos ago 10 mos ago Post by Skai
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Skai Student

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Vertigo


In the Middle of the Night

Flashing red and blue lights illuminated a shattered windowpane that belonged to a small convenience store. Outside a flustered worker made large gestures between the broken window and the two dazed men currently being read their Miranda rights.

"-but just as I'm about to hand over the cash this chick bursts in! She's got on a lace mask that covered the top half of her face. I thought I was about to be double-robbed. The ugly one," he said as he gestured towards the blonde man ducking his head as he was shoved into a cruiser, "turned the gun towards her and just as he's about to pull the trigger the chick snaps her fingers." He snapped his finger as a demonstration, accidentally startling the officer.

"These guys flip out asking what happened to the lights and acting like they couldn't see. Ugly misses the girl and shoots the window. He starts whipping the gun around but the girl is right there whipping out a baton and whacks it out of his hand before he could shoot again. I dive for the phone while they're distracted and as I'm giving my address I hear this loud crashing sound." He gestured with both hands towards the scattered pieces of glass on the sidewalk.

"When I stand up, I see that the window is completely broken, those assholes are laying outside the store, and the chick is still standing. I think she pushed them out of the window!"

The officer skeptically looked at the broken glass. His brows furrowed before he turned to the clerk. "So, you're saying that a masked woman blinded the robbers, unarmed them, and threw them out of the window?"

The man nodded enthusiastically. "Uh-huh. She was a little below 6 feet and was wearing all black." He watched the police officer take note of this. "The lace was black too."




Eli slowed to a stop as the flashing lights no longer lit the sky behind her. She was drunk with exhaustion, and was about to consider an Uber home when she noticed two steps up ahead. She gratefully sat down, resting her back against the door behind her. Loud club music drifted through it, and muted voices could be heard between the loud thumps of the stereos.

Five minutes, Eli. After five minutes you'll walk yourself straight home to your bed. She thought to herself. Her eyes slowly shut, deciding to just listen to the music as she rested. She'd just been about to fall asleep when footsteps could be heard approaching the door alongside the voice of a man and a woman. Eli shoved herself to her feet, stumbling every other step as she moved to hide behind a dumpster.

Moments later, she heard the door open. The woman was laughing, obviously a little too intoxicated. The man's voice sounded clear and sober as he murmured something into her ear. Soon after, the two could be heard kissing. Eli rolled her eyes, pivoting on her foot as she prepared to quietly make her way out of the alley.

"You're gonna like hangin' with us," the man said as the woman stopped to catch her breath. "You're gonna help us find more pretty girls just like you."

Eli stopped moving just as she reached the other side of the dumpster, peeking around the dumpster to check if the two lovers were distracted. The man was leaning in to kiss her neck, his hands gripping her albeit rather tightly. Just as Eli was about to make her getaway, the man emitted a loud hiss. As Eli turned her head back to the two, the woman screamed, her pain echoing in the alley.

Adrenaline instantly flooded her system as the scream rattled Eli's bones. She'd never heard someone scream like that before, and it seemed as if all of the color was draining from the woman's face. She was dying, and Eli couldn't allow that to happen.

"Let her go!" She shouted to the man as she walked straight towards him. She reached for her baton, but froze as the man turned his head. The whites of his eyes were an intense crimson, and he released another hiss through bloody fangs. "Oh look, I've found your first meal," he purred to the pale woman in his hands before he let her slump to the ground. Before Eli could make the first move, the man lunged towards her.

It happened quickly. Eli first removed the man's perception of light completely, and he hissed as his hands grasped at nothing but air. He inhaled deeply and grinned, turning to face the exact position Eli had shifted to. "You're a tricky catch. I bet you'd do well workin' for us. I'll let my partner decide once we get you girls home." He lunged again, and this time as Eli ducked to the side he turned as well. In instant she felt his vice-like grip on her arms, and the air was forced from her lungs as he pinned her against the wall.

Her focus on him instantly vanished and the man regained his sight. Eli looked right into the eyes of the vampire, the realization dawning on her. Without a warning, the limit of her abilities reached it's peak. Her body slackened, and she muttered one word as her vision faded to black.

"Vampire"


One Recharge Later

Eli's eyes slowly opened to a dimly lit room. She was laying on a couch facing the cushions, and it smelt of iron and death. Behind her she could hear someone writhing in agony. A man's voice sounded nearby. "I don't know, man. She's definitely got the looks, and if she can do what you say she can she'd double the amount of girls we'd get." The man seemed to be thinking hard. "I just knows she's gonna be a bitch to train."

As the vampires continued to argue, probably about what to do with her, Eli remained in her "sleeping" position while her eyes scanned what she could see through the lace in such a dark room. She turned her eyes to see a thick, black curtain covering what she assumed was a window. Well... I guess I'll have to hope that sunlight does burn a vampire's skin. She thought just in time to hear the men reach a conclusion. "Whatever, man. Do what you want. If she starts causin' problems, we'll just get rid of her." The other man spoke and she recognized his voice. It was the one from the alley. "Don't you worry about that, X. She won't be the first bitch I've broken." She could hear him stepping towards her. "Anyways, it looks like the one from the club isn't going to make it."

Eli clenched her jaw. She was not about to find out what these vampires were doing with women firsthand. When it sounded like the vampire was in front of the couch, she shot up and grabbed the curtain with both hands. She tugged with all of her might, ripping the curtain from it's place. Sunlight poured into the room, and Eli realized that she had missed work this morning. She was at least thankful that it was daylight, and she turned to see the vampire's skin begin to boil. He let out an enraged cry. "Uuugghh! You fuckin' bitch!"

Satisfied that her theory was right, she looked to see the other vampire calling for backup. She saw another window across the room and ran for it. She had to step to the side to avoid the inflamed arms reaching her way. With a small jump she was able to grab the curtain's rail and she used her weight to rip it off of it's mount. The room was filled with more sunlight, and the unscathed vampire stepped back to avoid the light. "Alright, cunt, you know there's only one way out of here now, and that's going to happen as soon as my buddies get up here. Step out of the light and I'll even let it happen quickly. We're under protection of the 6th Street Blood Cult, and if you make it out of here alive they will find you."

Eli frowned and ripped the curtain off of the rail, brandishing the latter like a weapon. "That girl is dying because of you two, and I'm feeling a lot stronger than I was when I met your blistering friend here. Let's see how you and your buddies do and we'll go from there." She quipped, her eyes glinting in the sunlight from beneath the lace. She seemed confident on the outside, but inside she wondered if she really could take on a group of vampires. She remained in the light, gathering any courage and energy she could as she waited for his first move.
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Hidden 10 mos ago Post by SepticGentleman
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SepticGentleman "We will all go together."

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Kyle Foster and Vertigo

Written with @Skai




Kyle made his way up the first set of stairs, gun raised. He could see the red shapes of the vampires moving about now, alerted to the commotion. One floor above where he was, two were situated at the opposite end of the building. One appeared to be on the floor, writhing in pain - not Kyle’s doing. Did someone open a window? Who else in this building was fighting these things but him?

He stopped paying all the questions anymore of his mind and moved up to the second floor. Hearing footsteps, he took cover behind the hallway corner. Shots from two guards’ handguns rang through, splintering the walls. Kyle took a moment to reach into his coat pocket, fiddling a bit with whatever was inside. He took out a small pouch and-

No, no, wrong pouch. Explosives. Not right.

He put the pouch back quick and reached for the next pocket down, just as the the two guards had stopped firing. They began moving up. Kyle took out the correct pouch this time, taking out a small marble-like object. He tossed it down the hallway, the two guards reacting immediately, albeit with some confusion as to what the hell a marble was supposed to do.

Then, it gave off a faint, pale-blue glow, and detonated with extreme concussive force. As it was in-between the two guards, one was sent flying back, slamming into the wall at the end of the hallway, while the forward guard came flying towards Kyle, making an impact on the wooden staircase railing, neatly breaking right through it. Slumped on the ground but still moving a bit, Kyle proceeded to kick his nose, putting him out for the count.

Just then, another guard lunged forward from the stairs leading to the next floor, armed with a metal bat this time rather than a firearm. He brought the bat down on Kyle, the latter dodging right, now pinned on the broken wooden rail, dropping his pistol on the floor. The guard raised the bat again, with Kyle proceeding to push forward, slamming his own body against the guard’s. He grabbed his hands and attempted to wrestle the bat from him, the two quickly collapsing onto the floor. Kyle managed to free the bat from the guard’s grasp, tossing it aside. Now unarmed, the guard proceeded to repeatedly slam his fist against the side of Kyle’s head. Kyle, after taking two hits to the noggin, flung his right arm back and grabbed the guard’s arm, quickly and repeatedly elbowing his face with his free one. The guard was dazed, with Kyle throwing himself forward and twisting around. A kick to the guard’s face put him out of commission.

Kyle took a hurried moment to regain his composure and pick up his gun. He made his way upstairs, in the direction of the two vampires at the other end of the third floor. But before he could get a shot at the one at the end of the hall, someone grabbed him from behind - another female vampire - and threw him forward. Kyle sailed through the hall, landing at the feet of the male vampire across the way, who proceeded to turn around and look down at him. He exclaimed, “Who the fuck is this!?”

His received answer was Kyle proceeding to aim his gun upwards and shoot the vampire a total of five times, the silver bullets turning his head and upper torso into a bloody mess. Kyle attempted once more to regain his composure, only for the female vampire who jumped him to quickly rush forward and toss him against another wall. He landed on the wooden floor, fairly dazed, his vision filled a bright light - not from any serious concussive injury, but from the light from outside flooding into the room. There was heavily burned vampire lying on the sunlit section of the floor. And an unfamiliar female figure standing there, across from the attacking vampire.

Eli stood in shock as she looked over the man that had just obliterated her opponent. She lowered the rail a small distance, struggling to decide whether he was friend or foe. Who the hell is that? She thought. Before she could assume anything about the man, an infuriated hiss sounded in the hallway. Eli moved quickly towards the doorway, swinging the rail around into the hallway in time to connect with the head of a female vampire. Let’s hope this man is quick to draw. She thought, realizing that she wasn’t under the protection of the light anymore.

Upon this discovery, she decided that she wasn’t going to rely on the man’s help. Without another moment wasted, Eli stepped further into the hallway and faced the vamp. She’d retracted a few feet from the two humans and was pushing her wild hair out of her face. “You’ve messed with the wrong vamp, little girl!” She spat with a voice as eerie as the row of teeth in her mouth. She came at Eli with full force, but this time Eli was prepared to react quickly. She focused on the woman’s perception, altering the hallway to appear a foot or two longer than it was. It was a subtle enough distance that the vampire wouldn’t notice, but it gave Eli an advantage. The vampire quickened her pace to reach her faster, and the second she was in spitting distance Eli shoved the rail against the walls. It stuck in place, and Eli slipped underneath of it as the vampire ducked to miss it. The vampire spun around to face Eli again, baring her teeth in a snarl.

Kyle was slowly making his way back to an upright position. He had a better overall perception of the room now, the smell of the sunbaked vampire corpse just now piercing his nostrils. Wincing a bit under his mask, he quickly put it past him and stood upright, looking in the direction of the ongoing commotion. He stepped towards the hallway, gun raised. The moment he caught sight of the red shape of the female vampire, he opened fire. Within the two shots he got off before the vampire took action, he only managed to hit her shoulder. Still somewhat dazed, his aim was taking a hit. The vampire jumped upward, clinging to the ceiling with claws extending from both her hands and her bare feet. Kyle shot at her several more times, missing due to her rapidly skittering across the wooden surface. The vampire headed down the hall in Eli’s direction, lunging forward and disappearing down the staircase.

Kyle lowered his gun. The red shape quickly darted around the second floor, before moving down another, and then even further down again - out of the goggles’ perceivable range. He could be heard letting out labored breaths beneath his cloth mask. He turned his attention towards Eli, without saying anything.

Eli stood straight from her ducked position, looking rather shocked and disgusted after watching the vampire’s escape. She turned to face the man, at a loss for words. She began by removing the rail from the walls, gently letting it drop to the floor. She cleared her throat and looked towards the man. ”Are there any more up here?” She asked, deciding that it was best to ensure their safety before any small talk began.

Kyle paused for a moment before looking upward. He caught sight of another red shape, the vampire he’d followed in here, but only a faint trace. Just near the edge of the range limit.

“There’s one above us.” Kyle said, “Other two are below. Basement, most likely.” After a brief moment of silence between the two, Kyle proceeded to ask Eli, “Who are you?”

Eli nodded in response to his answers, glancing between the stairs that led down and the ones that led upwards. She raised an eyebrow beneath the mask as the man questioned her identity. ”I should ask you the same, but I suppose we can get to that later.” She gave the stranger a soft smile. ”They call me Vertigo, but there aren’t many that know me.” She observed the way the man stood, looking over the goggles he wore on his eyes and the gun within his hands. Her eyes soon returned to his masked face. ”Well, are we going up or down first?”

“I need the one above us alive, so-”

Kyle’s response cut off by a distant roar, emanating from several floors down. He looked down at the floor, as did Eli - though she couldn’t see what Kyle was seeing. A faint red shimmer came into view, away from the stairs, as if it burst through the floor entirely. It did so again, coming into clearer view - and its bulk becoming more apparent. Kyle immediately stepped back as the figure lunged upward once more, bursting through the floor between him and Eli. An absolutely massive vampire, riddled with musculature, acting more like a beast than a man, or even a proper vampire. The brute looked at Kyle, roaring with his jagged teeth bared.

A ways behind Eli, the female vampire from before crept up the staircase, eyeing her prey.

They were in for a fight - all four of them.
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Hidden 10 mos ago Post by Skai
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Skai Student

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Vertigo and Kyle Foster

Written with @SepticGentleman




The brutish vampire charged forth towards Kyle, who reacted by ducking past the creature as it lunged forward. As the two reoriented to face each other once again, Kyle made the split second decision to jump down the hole in the floor that the vampire had made with his entrance. Not standing to lose sight of his prey, the vampire snarled loudly, spraying a bit of blood-mixed saliva out of his fetid hole of a mouth, before jumping upwards and stamping his feet hard on the wooden floor, which proceeded to break beneath him. He’d dropped to the next floor down, in pursuit of his prey.

Above them, Eli was just now regaining her composure. The monster vampire had horrified Eli into a state of frozen shock. The fact that normal vampires existed had been enough for Eli to grasp already, but the fact that things like this thing lived in the city was a bit harder to comprehend. Nonetheless, the danger that both herself and this masked man were now in filled Eli with an intense need to neutralize the threat. This monster couldn’t be set free into the city. It shouldn’t even exist!

Now awakened from her stupor, Eli dashed towards the stairs to join the man on the floor below. The dimly lit hallway hid the awaiting ambush, and just as Eli enhanced her perception of light the vampire attacked. Eli had only taken her first step into the dark stairway when out of the blue the vampire barreled into her. Sharp, claw-like nails dug into Eli’s shoulders, and the two were sent backwards into the hallway. Eli’s back took most of the impact, and Eli felt her breath leave her body for the second time.

Ssstupid human,” the woman hissed down at her prey as she straddled Eli. She dug her claws further into Eli’s shoulders and grinned when she felt them break through Eli’s clothing and into warm skin. Eli wriggled beneath her, finding it difficult to reduce her own perception of the pain. She clenched her teeth together and glared up at her attacker, sucking air back into her lungs with a grimace. ”I thought you left the party,” she grunted as she strained to move out from under the vampire.

“I brought someone to finish your friend off. I’m going to join him right after I feast on you.” The vampire ran her tongue over her razor-sharp fangs. She released Eli’s left shoulder and raised a bloody nail to her mouth. Eli huffed, her eyebrows furrowing in anger as the concentrated on the woman’s perception. When she finally tasted the blood, it would be as tasteless as water.

The vampire’s face contorted in disgust, looking down at Eli. “What the fuck?” She leant down until she was inches away from Eli’s throat and inhaled deeply through her mouth. Eli’s body was tense beneath her, but she kept her head together.

”You will never smell or taste blood again. What you enjoy the most in your wretched life has been taken away forever.” She said cooly. The vampire didn’t know that it was a lie and as her fury turned her eyes a scarlet hue Eli took advantage of her momentary lapse of control. She bucked the vampire off of her, sending the enraged female tumbling forwards and into the floor below.

The vampire landed with a thud on her back. Momentarily dazed, her view of the floor above cleared just in time to see Eli jump through the hole. She let out a murderous snarl just before the rail sunk straight into the vampire’s mouth. The sharp fangs snapped and fell into the back of the vampire’s throat, and the impact of the rail landing against her windpipe had been enough to shatter the already broken bones in her neck.

Now paralyzed, the vampire’s body twitched between Eli’s feet. She stepped away from the vamp and pushed a few stray hairs away from her face. For a moment Eli felt relief, until the weight of her actions dawned on her. She’s going to starve. She thought, regretfully releasing her abilities affect on the vampire.

And just as the brief moment of reprise began, it ended with the two downstairs bringing their fight back up to its previous elevation. Kyle, looking worse for wear, suddenly shot upwards through one of the holes in the floor, catching the edge and scrambling upwards. The moment he was free, the brute vampire followed in, looking like just as much damage had been done to him. Bullet wounds riddled his arms, as if he had been using them as a shield, and they seemed somewhat limp from all the silver stinging him from the inside. Kyle, now upright, moved away from the vampire towards Eli, and raised his gun towards the creature. As the vampire stood upright, Kyle began shooting once more. The vampire charged forward, holding his arms up to cover his head as the bullets tore through his upper body.

The brute was coming at Kyle full force, relying on pure instincts to guide him to his next meal. Suddenly a louder noise pierced his pointy ears, and it intensified until it was the only sound the monster could hear. Enraged, the monster barreled straight over Kyle. Claw marks were left inches away from the Tourist’s torso and head. The monster grabbed at the walls beside him, lurching him forwards towards the human creating the sound.

Eli immediately stopped hitting the wall with her fist, glad that her trick had worked. She stepped backwards into a room with a larger curtain than the one she awoke in. She grabbed the curtain and tore it down. The sunlight was enough to blind Eli momentarily. She turned in time for the monster reached the room, and warped his vision into seeing nothing but darkness. He burst through the doorway, leaving a large chunk missing from the frame, and dove straight into the sunlight.

Eli backed away, shielding her eyes as the monster instantly burst into flame. The monster collapsed to the ground, emitting a shriek loud enough to hurt Eli’s eardrums. It angrily started towards Eli, writhing as it drug its burning body across the floor. As it attempted to pick itself up to make one final attempt on her life, its movement - and its screams - were both halted by a barrage of bullets embedded in the creature’s back, and several in its head, rattling around in its skull and tearing its brain apart.

It went limp, falling forward. With a loud thud, all that was left of the brute was an actively burning corpse, though the flames began to wane rather quickly once the creature’s un-life came to a conclusive end. Eli’s attention was drawn away from the slain creature to the man who had slain it. Kyle lowered his gun, staring down at the vampire, no expression escaping through his mask and goggles.

With a moment to relax, Eli took a deep breath. She immediately gagged to herself and covered her mouth and nose with her hand. Ugh,” she muttered before looking over at the masked man. “Thanks.” She moved towards him, stepping around the enormous pile of burnt flesh.

“Still one more, above us,” Kyle replied, with only a nod before he spoke. “Need info out of him. C’mon.” He turned, rather confident that he and Eli were on the same proverbial page. As he went down the hallway, he didn’t give so much as a pause as he aimed his pistol down at the paralyzed female vampire, putting one bullet in her head and killing her for good. He made his way towards the greatly damaged staircase, with Eli in tow.
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Hidden 10 mos ago 10 mos ago Post by Lord Wraith
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Lord Wraith Leaf on the Wind

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There once was a woman who lived a life so strange it had to be true...
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╚════════════════════════════════════════════ J Ä G E R B O M B ═══════════════════════════════════════════╝
Location Pier Fifty-Three - Santa Celia Coast
Post #2.14: Call Me A Bitch

| Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the wolfsbane blooms, and the autumn moon is bright.

The male rider took an interest in the smaller bike as bobbed and weaved between traffic with near reckless abandon. Revving the engine of the large American-built Indian between his legs, the newer motorcycle easily took off as it veered out along the centerline and quickly began closing the distance between the other rider and himself. Departing the highway, the taller man followed at a slight distance as the female ahead drove towards Santa Celia’s fifty third pier as it towered over the sugar-like sand of the Southern Beach. Suddenly her bike began to pick up speed, indicating without a shadow of doubt that she knew the game was afoot. Smiling to himself beneath his full face helmet, the male revved the engine of the powerful bike again before he gave chase, quickly bearing down on the other rider.

Snaking along the coastal highway that wrapped around the Southern Beaches, the two motorcycles weaved in and out of the notably lighter night time traffic. Keeping a close watch over her shoulder, Ellara watched the other rider toyed with her by purposefully holding his motorcycle back to wait and see what exactly she would do. Knowing she couldn’t outrun the bike, Ellara suddenly extended the fingers on her right hand as she pulled her front brake in hard, the bike suddenly lurched as the wheel ceased to roll. Leaning down into her handlebars as the bike’s tail end went into the air, Ellara used her legs to swing the rear of the bike around while pivoting the bike on its front tire. As the aft end swung around, Ellara twisted the throttle, the engine roaring loudly as the tire began to spin. Biting into the asphalt as it landed with a thud, the bike rocketed forward, pulling the front tire into the air as Ellara and her motorcycle were launched forward in the opposite direction, now heading directly towards her tail.

The male was almost taken aback as the woman came directly towards him, weaving between the oncoming traffic as she set herself on a collision course with him. Scoffing, he revved his engine louder before leaning into his own bike and turning it directly towards the woman as she bore down on him. Both riders were unwavering in their resolve as the game of chicken appeared to be a draw until at the very last second, the male flinched. Banking his bike to the right hard, he drifted onto the other side of the road, hitting his throttle as the bike swung around before chasing after the woman.

A smug smile crossed Ellara’s face as she saw the other bike swing around in her mirror. Guiding her bike back into the correct lane, Ellara increased her speed as she came out of a curve, pushing her bike towards one of the city’s aging lighthouses that dotted the Southern Coastline. Leaving the city road behind, the bike almost audibly protested as Ellara took it onto the rough side roads that dotted the Santa Celia’s beaches and cliffs. To her surprise, her pursuer still followed, his bike notably slowed by the rougher terrain. Mentally noting that her next bike ought to be a scrambler instead of a bobber as Ellara pushed the bike as hard it would go, maintaining her lead over the cruiser in chase.

The further she headed along the rough path, the thicker the trees became. Seeing an opportunity, Ellara pushed her bike a little harder, the engine whining as she rounded a corner, the path ahead filled with tight turns and twists that would allow her to break eye contact with her pursuer. Rounding another corner, Ellara pulled her bike off the road, killing the engine as jumped off the saddle. Taking a hold of a large branch, she pulled the bough back as far as she could, releasing it as the rider came into view.

A muffled yell signified contact as the heavy limb sailed into the pursuer’s chest, carrying him off of the American motorcycle and delivering him firmly onto the rough road. The bike on the other hand careened off the path, falling over before it could collide with anything, the smell of spilled gasoline seeping into the night air.

“What the hell do you want with me?” Ellara asked, her fists raised as she looked at the downed figure. The male groaned, a hand going to his chest as he took a few deep breaths before attempting to sit up only to lay down again immediately.

“C’mon, get up. Be thankful I didn’t fuckin’ shoot you.”

“Think I would have preferred that.” The male grumbled as he propped himself up on his elbows, one arm moving to his chin as he undid the straps on his helmet before sliding it off.

“I’m not looking to hurt you, you know?”

“You’ve got a fuckin’ funny way of showing it, asshole!” Ellara retorted, her arms slightly as she released her fists before crossing them.

“You certainly know how to handle that bike, I’d wager you did most of the work on it.” The male stated as he stood up, his full height nearly dwarfing as Ellara as he smiled down at her.

“Yeah, and what’s that to you?” She replied, raising an accusatory eyebrow. “I don’t much see how that warrants chasing me down in the middle of the damn night.”

“Rare to see someone of your caliber not clanned up yet.” The male replied as Ellara found herself staring up into his eyes. They were gentle, disarming even, but there was something wild hiding behind the amber irises. His smile was warm, almost to the point of being goofy as he eagerly waited for her to respond.

“I’m not much of a team player you’ll find.” Ellara stated coolly as she walked over to her bike, swinging her leg over the saddle only to pause as the male called after her.

“Hey wait, at least let me buy you a drink, something to apologize for scaring you.”

“I wasn’t scared.” Ellara scoffed as the man smiled. She had to admit, he was at least attractive. Tall, dark hair with a tidy beard adorning his chiseled face atop what Ellara could only assume to be a very well kept body. Raising her leg to strike her kickstart, Ellara hesitated before answering.

“Fuck it,” She muttered before turning back to the male, “What the hell is your name anyways?” Ellara asked as his eyes lit up.

“Caleb.” The male replied almost immediately, “Caleb Murdoch, but all of my friends call me Cal.”

“Well Cal, most of my friends call me a bitch, but my parents called me Ellara.” Ellara replied with a slight smile. “You can’t buy me a drink, but I do have a bottle of bourbon at my place that I think needs to be drunk tonight. Don’t suppose you could help a girl out?”

“Think we might be able to do something about that.” Cal smiled as he stood his own bike up, checking the tank to ensure he hadn’t lost all of his fuel before speaking again. “Why don’t you lead the way.”

“Just try to fuckin’ keep up.” Ellara taunted as her bike roared to life.

Location Unit 814, Ruthven Heights - Milk Street Bottling District, Santa Celia

| The Following Morning...

The morning traffic moved along the road eight floors below with a steady hum of traffic that echoed throughout Ellara’s small bedroom as her eyes shot open as the foreign smell of a man’s cologne. Laying beside her on the mattress that rested firmly on her bedroom’s floor was the toned and scarred abdomen of her pursuer from last night. Beside the bed lay not only the one promised bottle of alcohol but several others, along with their respect clothing garments as passion laden memory fragments came rushing back to Ellara’s pounding head.

Sitting up, Ellara watched as Cal’s eye rolled open, moving around in its socket as he tried to gauge his location before it was trained on her. Watching as the eye slowly moved downwards, Ellara looked down, realizing that much like Cal beside her, she too was completely naked.

“Seriously? They’re just fuckin’ boobs.” Ellara smirked, standing up before walking over to the one of several piles of clothes as she began to find something to pull on.

“Hey, it’s not like I get to see them every damn day.”

“I’m pretty damn sure you got more than a good fuckin’ look last night.” Ellara retorted, slipping into a pair of shorts before pulling a tank top on.

“I think you purposefully fed me enough booze so I wouldn’t have the pleasure of revisiting the memory.” Cal groaned.

“Sucks for you,” Ellara smiled as she opened the door to the room before pausing.

Fuckin' hell! She muttered as Cal suddenly sat up, reaching for his pants.

“What’s wrong?” He asked.

“I think my roommate’s home.”
Hidden 10 mos ago 10 mos ago Post by Hour Error
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Hour Error A Visitor of Strange Hours

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Sir Skeleton and Laser Girl
Pearl's Girl, Track 2



"You've got the codes?""

Of course, the hollow not-voice echoed through Laser Girl's still developing mind. A skeletal hand reached into the waist pocket of the coal-black coat, handing the other woman a carefully folded piece of paper from within. Laser Girl knew that it was lined with a flowing series of numbers and letters, a password written in lovely red in. She knew better than to ask Sir Skeleton the source of the red ink. She already knew. She'd always known she presumed. It was one of his strange habits. One of his rituals. One of his interests. She might have called it a hobby, but she did not know if he had hobbies, not in the way that she meant when she described playing the keyboard as a hobby of hers.

"How long before they find out?" the voice purred in reply.

A day, maybe less.

"That's more than enough time, baby."

"What gives? D'you really need us for this job," Laser Girl sulked, interrupting. She didn't enjoy torture, even when it paid well. It killed her vibe, threw her off the beat, and she hated the way it made her feel. A job was a job though, as Sir Skeleton said, and mercs-for-hire didn't have time to worry about morals.

"Hey now, honey. It's not easy to get past a Cybozu mainframe, not when it's packed to the brim with Black ICE. Not if you don't want the jerks pinging you, and delivering a package of Semtex within the hour. No baby, Sometimes you just need that human touch, you know? A little bit of that good, old fashioned human engineering," The woman added with a laugh, and a Cheshire grin in Sir Skeleton's direction.

Laser Girl had already decided she liked her. Whoever she was, she was rad. She was a killer, a real killer, a hit of adrenaline straight to the heart. The perfect upper, the perfect boost to bring her back from the lows of ecstasy withdrawal. Laser Girl could practically feel the lovely dopamine, beloved serotonin, and thrilling norepinephrine surging back into her blood. Laser Girl could smell the death on the other women, she'd learned, she'd had too. The scent reminded her of Sir Skeleton, only it wasn't cold that she felt. The death that she felt was full of emotion, and electric energy.

It left Laser Girl with the tingling taste of electricity running across her tongue. She felt alive again, as her nervous system screamed. Begging that she move, that she run, that she escape.

It was all so cool.
It was all so wonderful.
It was all so interesting.

Our payment, Sir Skeleton stated in his wonderfully ominous way.

The woman nodded, and handed Laser Girl a briefcase. It was heavy, much heavier than it had seemed in her hands. Laser Girl didn't bother to check what was inside of it. Sir Skeleton would not have allowed it. He said it was rude. He said there were formalities to respect, and rituals to adhere to. There were rules to the game they played. They were not amateurs. They did not deal with amateurs. Mutual respect, and trust were the necessary foundations of their profession. There could be no accord, no contract without them.

"You can feel it can't you?" The woman asked, staring up into the night sky, moving as if caught in a slow dance. Moonlight danced in her eyes. "I can. I can smell it in the air. I can feel it in the wind. I can hear it in the shadows. The game commences."

Sir Skeleton merely nodded, tipping his hat an inch. Laser Girl shuddered, she feared Sir Skeleton's indifference more than she feared his anger. It was as if he'd forgotten how to be human, how to pretend, and how to feel. If he'd ever been human she thought wryly. She wasn't sure, not anymore. Not that it mattered. He was fun. He was interesting. He provided her with money. He provided her with fun. And that was all that she needed. That was all that she wanted.

Laser Girl watched the woman vanish into the alley with a slow wave of a pale hand, grey eyes shifting out of existence in a blink. Tendrils of smoke fading into the shadows.

She'd couldn't wait to see her again.

She wanted to dance.
She wanted to sing.
She wanted to live.
She wanted to kill.


Aquila
Journey Into Night, Track 3




The man dangled from the top of the lamp post, blood slowly pooling beneath him in a small puddle. The electrical wire that imprisoned him, was wound tight around his body several times over. Sarah could see the skin around his wrists beginning to turn a shade of blue. She didn't feel sorry for him. She didn't care. He deserved so much worse. He'd earned every bruise, every cut, every broken bone.

She didn't want to hurt him, she didn't want to kill him. Not really, not yet. She felt the steel shifting beneath her fingernails, it would have been so easy. It would have been so quick. Sarah grabbed the man's shoulders, and shook him awake.

"Name," she demanded.

"Wha- Who," the man groaned. One of his eyes was swollen shut, the other opened slowly, and grew wide with fear.

"Name," Sarah demanded again, pushing him. He swayed in the air, and the lamppost creaked in protest.

"STOP! Wait! Sergei, I'm Sergei, Sergei Gulayev," the man gulped, struggling against the torn wires.

"Alright, Sergei, what were you doing in my neighborhood?"

"Your neighborhood? What the fuck are you talking about?"

"Yes. My neighborhood. What are you doing in my neighborhood?"

"This is the Wiseman's neighborhood," Sergei sputtered, his one good eye shining bright with bravado. "I payed him his cut, so what's the deal with this shakedown? This is some fucking bullshi-"

"New management, new rules," Sarah said, covering his mouth with a hand. "But I'll tell you what, you tell me where I can find this so-called Wiseman, and I'll leave you hanging here in one piece."

"Leave me here? Hanging? What-"

"Yes. You see I left a lovely note for the police, and all of your stash, alright most of your stash, right by the lamppost. I'm sure you know each other. I'm sure they'll be more than happy to see you."

"Fuck you," Sergei swore, fighting against the wires that bound him, and kicking his legs.

Sarah clocked him with a good left, it was soft, soft for her, soft for what he'd done, but she could tell it hurt. He groaned, and spat out a stringy strand of blood, perhaps a tooth. It was hard to tell.

"Fine, fine. 53rd Lambert Street, the street corner, he owns the pizzeria. Uses it to peddle his drugs. Just, fuck, don't tell him I told you."

Sarah smiled, patting Sergei gently on the cheek, wiping her bloodied hands against his faded coat. "Now Sergei, I'm only going to tell you this once, because I like you, you seem like a smart man. If I ever see you in my neighborhood again...well, let's just say I won't be so nice."

"What do you mean?"

"I mean, if I so much as see you crossing 2nd Ave, well, then I'm going to throw you off of the Bauer Buildings. The police will be scraping you off the sidewalk. And that, that will be the last anyone ever hears of Sergei Gulayev," Sarah said with a laugh.

Sarah could hear him muttering, no praying, in Russian as she stepped back into the darkness of the alley. Pulling out small black notebook she brought out a pen and began to write. Names, addresses, safe-houses, mules, corner boys, muscle, and more packages. She smiled, the Wiseman didn't know it, but she had found him, she knew him, she knew his sins, she knew the drugs that had built his modest empire, and she knew the innocent blood that stained his hands.

She was patient. She would prepare. She would watch. She would wait. She would strike when he least expected it. He'd never expect death to come for him from the sky. They never did.

Justice, justice was coming for the Wiseman. And when she finally caught him, she would tear him to shreds, limb by limb, piece by piece.
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Hidden 10 mos ago 9 mos ago Post by Lord Wraith
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Lord Wraith Leaf on the Wind

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I hate what I've become, the nightmare's just begun, I must confess that I feel like a...
M O N S T E R



Time of Day: Morning
Weather: Clear and Sunny


The bustling city of Santa Celia hid many secrets throughout the sprawling coastal metropolis. Among these secrets were the abandoned railway tunnels that dated all the way back to the days when California was still in possession of the Spanish. Over the years they had been retrofitted and updated, seeing use well into the late twentieth century before they were tossed aside for the city’s modern monorail. Opting to suspend the city’s public travel above sea level and instead of below it, numerous funds were put into ensuring the success of the project while the tunnels were slowly forgotten.

The tunnels still found use though, maintenance workers used them for easy traversal of the city’s underbelly and some of the more central tunnels had found new life, converted into a larger sewer to accommodate the city’s significant population growth. But for the most part the tunnels remained buried and forgotten, the last of the city’s street cars laid to rest into the dark corridors.

Which made them the perfect place to hide.

Crawling along the ceiling of one such tunnel, the pale creature made its way easily through the darkness. Its dark pupils unphased by the lack of light as a constant ‘ticking’ sound echoed through the barren passage ways. Its long tongue hung loosely between the rows of needle like teeth, its bottom jaw hanging ajar as the tongue swung back and forth in rhythm with the creatures movements.

Scurrying down the rounded wall, the creature’s nostrils flared as he reared up onto its hind legs, assuming a bipedal, vaguely human stance. Continuing forward, it slowed, the edges of its mouth widening as the creature’s gaze was cast upon a dozen egg-shaped sacs firmly adhered to the walls and floor of the tunnel by a darkly-coloured ooze.

A small silhouette was visible from beneath the translucent membrane that covered the fluid filled sac. The creature’s tongue suddenly moved through the air, snaking towards the top of the womb-like egg, the needle like tip piercing the nipple atop the membrane as the stolen blood was fed into the fetus inside.

From within the tunnel, a second rhythm of ticking echoed as a larger creature stepped out of the shadows. Similar to the first except in size, the female’s mate walked towards their offspring as its tongue suddenly too snaked through the air before feeding a second fetus.

The two rhythms synchronized as the pair moved through the remaining eggs, retracting their long tongues upon feeding the final two fetuses. Looking towards one another, the female clicked her tongue as the male shrieked in response before replying with a series of slaps from the pair of wings that adorned his back.

The female clicked her tongue again as the male nodded, extending his wings as he moved into the air before picking up the female and carrying her through the darkness.

They would yet need more blood.

Continued Here:
Hidden 10 mos ago 10 mos ago Post by SepticGentleman
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SepticGentleman "We will all go together."

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Kyle Foster and Vertigo

Written with @Skai




The newfound duo of a gun toting Tourist and an illusionist vigilante made their way upstairs through the tenement. Five dead vampires behind them, only one left to go. They stopped at the top floor of the tenement, Kyle motioning for Eli to stay behind him. As they neared the top of the stairs, shots rang from the end of the hallway leading to the last vampire’s assumed-to-be office. Seems he had one more pair of human guards to serve as his last line of defense - in place of all his vampiric cohorts. Probably wouldn’t be his first choice in better circumstances.

The two ducked and moved to cover behind the hallway corner. The guards were keeping them pinned. Kyle looked down at his pistol for a brief moment, thinking of what proper course of action to take.

Eli had been wondering if their journey upstairs was a bit too easy, and as she ducked behind the hallway corner she realized that her thoughts had been answered. She pressed her back against the wall. First a franken-vamp and now a gunfight? She thought bitterly. She couldn’t tell which was worse between the two. It didn’t help that this was the first time she had faced both.

”I thought you said there was only one more!”

“One more vampire. Couldn’t see the guards.”

Eli nodded and rolled her eyes. Of course not. She took a deep breath and slowly exhaled through her nose. Her eyes closed, and her mind focused on the remaining minds left in the building. It took her a few moments to push the limit of her ability, but as soon as she felt ready she took control of the situation. The two gunmens’ vision blurred, and a nauseous feeling overcame them as they lost the ability to distinguish up from down. They collapsed to their knees and as Eli heard the thumps she tapped her partner’s arm. ”Take care of them. I can only hold this for a little bit.”

Kyle acted without hesitation, exiting from cover and darting down the hallway. The moment he entered the office, he slammed his fist into the left guard’s nose, the right one’s, the left one’s throat, and then the right one’s. Both of them went down, dazed and incapacitated.

Surprisingly enough, the vampire seated in the leather swivel chair before him did naught but clap a few times. “Very nice,” he exclaimed, “very nice. Looks like Van Helsing and his honey have come to-”

Kyle, not one to put up with anymore nonsense than he preferred to, cut the vampire’s little speech short with a shot to one of his kneecaps. His arrogant grin was replaced with a pain-induced snarl as he grabbed his wounded leg, the silver lodged inside stinging something awful. Kyle didn’t stop there however, putting one more shot into the vampire’s hand - one of his fingers flying off and falling on the floor.

“You... fucker!” The vampire called out, falling out of his chair and onto the floor. He didn’t give the impression of being someone very experienced with his undead condition. He held his wounds as best he could, his hand not hurting quite so much with no bullet lodged inside. Kyle stepped forward and held the gun to the vampire’s forehead.

“Everything you have on the Blood Cult. Now.”

“Fuck you!”

Kyle’s response was whipping the vampire’s face with the blunt end of the pistol’s grip, and then aiming down at him once again once he was down on his side.

“You give me what I want and you get to limp out of here and tell your superiors what happened,” Kyle began, “or I can kill you now and ransack the place. It’s your choice.”

The vampire grunted in pain again, still holding his knee. He reached into his coat pocket and, after some fiddling, pulled out his phone, holding it up to Kyle. He took it with his free hand and eyed it for a moment, turning it on and seeing the passcode screen.

“Eveything I got’s… on there,” the vampire said, pained, “Happy?”

“Passcode,” Kyle said sternly.

“Five-five-nine-two…”

Kyle input the code on the phone, bringing it up to the home screen. He nodded, satisfied, and said to the vampire, “Thanks.” And he then proceeded to shoot him thrice in his brainpan. He went limp, slumping onto the floor, ichor pooling around his torn-up head.

In the doorway behind Kyle, Eli stood in silence. She had only reached the door by the time to hear the vampire receive an ultimatum. Since then, she had simply observed the two. She now looked from the bloody body and up at the man who, she realized, was still a stranger. She still didn’t feel threatened by him, although the man had just brutally murdered the vampire.

”I suppose now is the time for explanations.” She said, eyeing the phone in his hand.

“No,” Kyle responded, “Cops’ll be here soon. Need to leave. Follow me and we’ll talk outside.” He shut the phone off completely and then passed Eli, making his way back through the hallway, confident that he got everything he needed. Eli, not necessarily presented with any other options, followed suit.



They’d made their way out of the building through use of the fire escape ladder leading into the alleyway. Kyle led Eli to his truck parked a short ways away from the tenement. They heard sirens in the distance as they neared the vehicle, Kyle directing Eli to get in the passenger’s seat. Once they were both inside, Kyle put down his hood and did away with his mask and goggles, finally revealing his face to the stranger he’d been working with for the duration of the raid. He took his glasses out of his inner coat pocket and put them on. Once they were mobile, and confident no one was on their tail, Kyle spoke.

“You okay?”

Eli nodded, yet she felt odd riding through the city with a mask on in daylight. She reached up to remove her mask, calmly tucking it into her jacket before she zipped it up. Her eyes turned to face the now unmasked man before her and she briefly took in the face that had been completely covered minutes ago.

”Nothing a day of rest can’t cure,” she mused. It felt a little strange to reveal her face to someone who now knew what she could do.

“I’m… sorry, you got caught up in all that,” Kyle said to the best of his confidence, maintaining his focus on the road. He proceeded to ask her, “How did you end up in there in the first place?”

Eli watched him as he apologized, but as soon as he asked the second question she averted her eyes. Her gaze moved towards the traffic before them. She took a moment to think over exactly how she had gotten herself there. ”I was resting in the alley behind a club. The pile of ashes you saw near me were the remains of a vampire who lured a woman into it. He attacked her, and I tried to stop it.” She furrowed her brows. ”Next thing I know I wake up on their couch.”

“Well, you handled yourself very well afterwards,” Kyle said. After a moment’s hesitation, he decided to divulge a couple more important details.

“Kyle Foster. I’m a Tourist.”

Eli looked over at the man with a raised eyebrow. His concern amused her. She chuckled softly before she introduced herself. ”My name is Eli. It’s nice to meet you.” She glanced around at the truck, trying to figure out what this man was doing there. ”I’m assuming you aren’t a normal tourist?” His truck revealed no signs of corny tourist items.

Realizing the error in his wordplay, Kyle replied, “No, we’re… it’s… it’d take a while to explain fully. How much do you… know?”

”Today is my first day, really. I had no idea they existed until last night. Does that mean…?”

“Yeah, it’s a… bit of a bombshell. Not just them either. Monsters, magic… all real. Although judging by what you… did, back in there, you’re at least somewhat aware of things that fall out of the… mundane variety. Right?”

”At least I’m human.” A brief pause. ”I haven’t exactly met a human like me either. I know they’re out there, but I didn’t expect to meet a monster hunter before that.”

“Yeah. I’m… well, me and one other person, my sister - another Tourist - we came here to… basically, to take care of all the problems involving anything supernatural. That includes the Blood Cult, and this string of murders we’ve heard about.”

”The string of murders aren’t related to the vampires?”

“I don’t think they are. At least, I don’t think who or whatever’s behind them is involved with the Blood Cult. What we gathered on the last victim didn’t point to the work of a typical vampire. My sister is pursuing a lead to see if she can nail down what exactly it is.”

”I wish her luck… Did you find what you were looking for back there?”

“Hopefully. I’m trying to get a sense of just how serious the Blood Cult is as an overall threat. The phone could be a decent start to telling me what they have going on. Not gonna set my expectations… too high, though.”

A moment of silence passed between them.

“Is there somewhere I can drop you off? A… safehouse of yours? If you have one?”

”Somewhere up the street will do fine.” Eli said with a laugh. ”Thank you.”

Kyle nodded. After a bit, he pulled up to a fairly active sidewalk, parking the truck. He took a moment to grab a notebook and pen out of the middle compartment between the truck’s driver and passenger seats, writing down a phone number on it.

“I know this seems rather forward,” he said, handing the note to Eli, “but having some form of network helps in situations like this. My sister and I… we’ll be getting involved in some dangerous things here. And you’ve more than demonstrated you’re capable of handling stuff like that. So… would it be too bold of me to assume we can count on each other’s aid?”

Eli looked at the note, and after a short moment of hesitation she took it from his hand. ”I’ll send you a message so you have my number.” She said, acknowledging that she accepted. She turned to open the door, stepping out onto the sidewalk before pausing. ”I wish you luck, Foster.”

“Same to you, Eli,” Kyle replied with a nod, “Stay safe out there.”

With that, Eli closed the truck door and made her way away from the Tourist, as Kyle proceeded to rejoin the flow of traffic.

A strange circumstance to make acquaintances under.
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Hidden 10 mos ago Post by JunkMail
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JunkMail Shitpost Supreme

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Kayla Foster


The following day…

Unlike her more driven sibling, Kayla was not keen on waking up early to begin her side of the assignment. Due to her magic usage the night before and her general laziness she had slept in until around midday. After getting dressed and ready for the day Kayla spent most of her time during lunch perusing the grimoire for any more potential information on the Aswang she was dealing with, and taking notes on the information that the, er, civilian investigator had provided for her. Her person of interest was a man named Oliver Whittle and was the first and only person to have survived an attack. This Oliver Whittle now resides in the Murdoch Mental Hospital- and likely wasn't going anywhere anytime soon as a result.

The process of actually getting to the hospital took longer than anticipated- mostly because Kyle took the car. An Uber took care of that issue pretty quickly- it wasn't her first solo rodeo. When the driver dropped her off, she took one look up at the hospital and was instantly disappointed with how mundane it was. It looked like a surprisingly nice place, which irked Kayla. She was an energetic person, and she usually relished the danger and excitement that came with her line of work. This place was all safe and easy and normal. Checking into the hospital was predictably easy- she simply walked in the front doors and approached the lady at the front desk. The lady requested her name and her business being here, which Kayla easily answered.

"Jane Whittle- my brother, Oliver Whittle, was recently admitted to this hospital. I flew in to visit as soon as I could."

The attendant nodded but didn't press her for further information. "His wife has been visiting him a lot since he was admitted, she might even be there right now." she said, her attention very obviously on other tasks- namely the file organization that she seemed engrossed in. Eventually though, she got around to printed and handing Kayla a sticker with her 'name' on it. Kayla quickly stuck it to her chest. "He's in room 113C. Try not to be too loud, sometimes it upsets the patients." The woman said, returning to her work.

113C. Kayla could remember that. As she walked the halls of the hospital, she couldn't help but note how clean everything was. She always hated the completely sterile feeling that hospitals had. It just felt so unnatural, and out of all the things Kayla had experienced in her life, that gave her the creeps. Lost in her thoughts, Kayla initially walked right past 113C, she realized it about five steps too late. She backpedaled, and read the number on the door. It matched, and there was even a name tag stuck to the door to confirm it for her: Oliver Whittle. Kayla reached for the handle and quietly opened the door as to not disturb Oliver's neighbors. As she entered the room, she noted that it was extremely tidy. Either the people that did the cleaning around here were extremely thorough, or most of the room hadn't been touched in a while. There were only two other doors in the room, one was open and displaying a very obvious bathroom. The other door was closed, likely the bedroom. Kayla walked to the door and entered the bedroom. Oliver was laying in his bed, asleep. There were pieces of paper on his nightstand with drawings of something on them. His wife was slumped against the bed and Oliver. She was also fast asleep, but she was holding Oliver's hand. The scene tugged at Kayla's heart, but she did not wake the woman. It would make things more... complicated. She also doubted her ability to ask his wife to leave- she couldnt even imagine what the woman was going through.

Kayla gingerly sat down on the side of Oliver's bed, and frowned deeply. There were bandages along the nape of his neck- likely concealing wounds left by claws in a raking motion if the long extremities on the ends of his drawing's hands were anything to go by. She signed, and placed her left hand on his heart, and her right thumb on his forehead.

"Nyara amin lle narn," she whispered. She began to feel herself dive into Oliver's mind, and upon his resistance, she added "-Ten' amin naa sinome fallan." She took a deep breath and felt Oliver's mind submit to the prodding. Taking the opportunity, she quickly prodded his mind for the right memory. Anything that was out of the normal, something horrid, life changing even. Upon touching one particular memory, she felt Oliver's mind tense. Ah, there it is.

It had been an exceptionally long day of work. The firm Oliver worked for had finally closed a deal with a foreign investor after a lengthy, uphill battle. As one of the project’s leads, Oliver wasn’t about to turn down a drink. Immediately agreeing after being asked by a couple of his coworkers if he wanted to accompany them to the ‘Watering Hole’, Oliver and his crew made their way down to the small pub later that evening. It wasn’t a far walk, the firm occupied one of Santa Celia’s towering skyscrapers that comprised the city’s skyline and Oliver quickly found himself losing track of time as the drinks kept coming.

Stumbling out of the pub several hours later, Oliver and one of his coworkers made their way back towards their respective car. Taking a shortcut through a nearby alley, the pair stumbled upon a crying woman. Oliver’s companion, a woman by the name of Karen, moved to comfort the other female only for her face to suddenly change. It was as though she was shedding a mask as her skin turned a pale grey, perfect teeth replaced with rows of thin needles a long tongue snaked out of her mouth.

Karen didn’t have a chance to react as the creature pulled her forward, its snake-like tongue wrapping around her neck, cutting off her air supply before retracting between the thin teeth as they closed around Karen’s flushed neck. Oliver screamed as the creature dropped Karen’s body, its dark, beady eyes eyeing him hungrily. It leaped into the air, running along the wall, as Oliver scrambled to get out of the alley, long claws raking across his neck as it tried to take down the larger man. Falling out of the alley, Oliver yelled for help as bystanders quickly moved to aid the man.

But it was too late, the alley was empty, save for Karen’s lifeless body.


A Manananggal. Female, that had to be it. She felt Oliver's mind relax as the memory faded, and suddenly she sitting under a tree next to what could only be Oliver himself. She looked over at him, and he looked right back at her with wide eyes.

"Who are you?"

Kayla looked away from Oliver and down to her feet. "Well, according to the secretary, I'm your sister Jane."

"I dont have a sister."

Kayla hummed. "Suppose you'd know better than I do, there."

"So who- what are you?"


Kayla met his eyes once more and there was a pregnant pause, then she reached over and hugged Oliver.

"I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry." She said. Oliver hesitated, but eventually hugged her back. She eventually brought Oliver to arm's length apart. "Oliver, I'm going to fix this."

"Are you a guardian angel?"


Kayla bit her tongue, she had been told to never answer those types of questions when doing this. It was always better when they knew less.

"Oliver, right now your wife is by your bedside, and she needs you. Come back to her. Talk to them."

"But what if it happens again?"

"It wont."

"How do you know?"

"It wont, Oliver. I promise."


As quickly as she had entered Oliver's mind, she felt herself pulling out. When she came to, she felt the familiar feeling of her phone buzzing in her pocket- likely what had cut her distraction to begin with. She brought her hand away from the still sleeping form of Oliver and took out her phone. It was a text from Kyle.

Made a new friend today. is all it said. She smiled and texted back. Manananggal, female. Meet me at the motel?

Kayla looked up at the sleeping forms of Oliver and his wife and sighed. She couldn't do anything more- it was all up to Kyle to decide if he wanted to come back now. But, he was awake again, and likely thinking. Perhaps he would recover yet.

Kayla stood and crept out of the room, then left the hospital. They knew what they were hunting. Now came the fun part.
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Hidden 10 mos ago 9 mos ago Post by Lord Wraith
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Lord Wraith Leaf on the Wind

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You better think it through, to steal her from the taker is a worthless thrill. Don't try to fake her with love that's not real...
R E M E M B E R T H E T A K E R



Time of Day: Morning
Weather: Clear Skies


Wiping the condensation from the bathroom mirror, Riley looked at his reflection. His own tired eyes stared back him, the dark circles beneath them emphasizing the exhaustion. It had been a restless night as Riley had tossed and turned in his bed, the memories or yesterday, or rather the lack therefore of, had kept him awake, denying his mind any peace.

One minute he had been operating his drone, the next he was being woken up by Officer Richards as he came to on the sidewalk, his book gone, his drone smashed and his backpack tucked under his head. To anyone else, that would have meant they had been mugged, but to Riley Sheridan that could only mean one thing.

He had gotten too close to the truth once again.

While he couldn’t deny that the loss of the book was a major blow, Riley at least had made a couple scans of the pages relating to a creature known as an ‘Aswang’. Having uploaded the pages to a forum of other paranormal investigators, he and several other anonymous users had concluded it was the mostly likely culprit. The creature in question, this so-called ‘Aswang’, matched to the majority of the characteristics that had been attributed to what now tallied up to be four murders. The only thing that seemed odd based on what Riley had been able to read from the various languages inscribed in the book, was that the Aswang normally didn’t feed this frequently.

Nonetheless, without being able to decipher the book for further information, Riley was at something of a loss of where to go with his investigation. There was one place he could go though, one person he believed might be able to help.

Mayhew.

Grabbing his denim jacket and leather satchel, Riley ensured his laptop was still tucked inside before locking his apartment behind him and making his way out of the building towards the communal bus stop. Rocking back and forth anxiously on his heels, Riley adjusted the beanie lazily pulled over the back of his head before tucking his hands into the jacket’s pockets as he looked up and down for the bus.

Sighing in relief as he boarded, the young male showed his pass before taking a seat somewhere in the middle of the vehicle. Rustling around in his bag, Riley retrieved a pair of sunglasses as he gingerly placed them on his face and turned his gaze out the bus’ window.

Mayhew’s shop was located in one of the city’s older quarters, residing along the waterfront in the shadow of the Rook Bridge. The bridge’s stone guardians, casting their long, fanged shadows over the mysterious man’s antiquity shop.

Riley’s eyes had almost closed as he thought about his destination without paying attention to the fact he was almost upon it. The continual Victorian styling along the row of townhouses across the road caused him to side up in his seat as the young man realized the bus was nearing his stop in the district of Regina’s Court.

The loud hiss of the brakes being applied prompted Riley from his seat as he rose and made his way down the alley towards the exit. Stepping off of the bus, he made his way down the road, before following a pathway down to the Del Vida Boardwalk as Riley ventured under the towering bridge and through the fish market towards Mayhew’s shop.

The clang of a rather obnoxious bell signaled his arrival as the familiar earthy smell hit his nose underneath a cloud of freshly burned incense. From the door behind the counter emerged an older man, a full head of dark hair was groomed neatly back leaving his widow’s peak as the single most predominant feature on his relatively smooth forehead. A short and obviously well-trimmed beard adorned his face, the single streak of silver travelling down his chin hinting towards his true age as similar crests of silver were visible on either temple.

His suit was in pristine condition, perfectly pressed as it was properly buttoned atop a slim fitting waistcoat. A large Windsor knot held his tie in place as it was tucked beneath the waist coat. Each garment of his three-piece suit was black as the night itself and it was a mystery to Riley how his pale complexion didn’t stand out more against the contrasting colour.

“Mr. Sheridan,” Xander Mayhew purred, “I didn’t expect to see you again so soon.”

“Well, uh,” Riley replied, a hand wandering to the back of his head as he accidentally pulled his beanie off before holding the soft hat in front of him with both hands as he found his words once again. “It would seem that I, uh, lost the book.”

“Lost?” Mayhew asked with an inquisitive eyebrow, the way in which the words had been said obviously not lost on the older man.

“Taken I guess you could say,” Riley replied, “While I looking into the Aswang’s latest victim.” He added, swearing that Mayhew’s ears had twitched at the mention of the creature. “I was wondering if you had another one of those books.”

“Did it look like a mass publication to you?” Mayhew scolded, “No, that book was one of a kind. I simply can’t go in the back and bring you out another.” He paused, a hand wandering to his goatee. “Who took the book?”

“I-I-I-” Riley stammered as he tried to force his mind to remember but it was as though it was blocked, nothing was coming to mind, not a sound, not a smell, not a single memory. “I don’t know.” He replied sheepishly as Mayhew stepped forward. The older man’s hands tucked behind his back as he bent his head down slightly towards Riley as though he was smelling the younger man.

Before Riley could react, Mayhew’s hands moved into action, his left one falling over Riley’s heart before his opposite hand came towards Riley’s head as Mayhew placed his thumb directly on his forehead.

“Amin mind a' lle.” His voice was deep and commanding as Riley felt his eyes rolled back into his skull, the last thing he saw was Mayhew’s own eyes glowing as they clouded over. Mayhew’s eyes suddenly snapped open as he possessed Riley’s memory, looking back directly at Kayla as he relived the moment the younger witch had stolen the bestiary from the boy. Smiling, Mayhew’s mouth opened as his voice came out, travelling across time and space as he taunted the Tourist.

“Creosa a' amin tal, Kuruni Agar.”

Releasing Riley, the younger man stumbled backwards looking up at Mayhew in confusion before resuming their conversation from several minutes ago.

“I honestly have no idea how it was stolen, Mr. Mayhew.” Riley stated as Mayhew moved back behind his counter, reaching down into the jewelry cabinet before producing a ring.

“Well, I feel terrible about that I have nothing else to offer you, Mr. Sheridan.” Mayhew stated as he held up the ring, “I’d like you to have this.”

“What is it?” Riley asked as he accepted the ring, putting it on almost immediately as a strange sensation washed over his body.

“Think of it as a good luck charm.” Mayhew smiled as he watched Riley flexing his fist as he smiled back at the shop owner.

“It feels... good, real good.” Riley stated as Mayhew nodded. “Anyways, I have to go, I’ll be back again.” The young man called as he made his way out the door.

“Oh I know you will,” Mayhew smiled as he rested his hands together on the counter, “I know you will.”

Location Outside the Woven Roast - Valley Edge, Santa Celia

While the East side of the city was a little out of his way, Riley loved the peace and quiet he often found on this side of the city, specifically in one of the private cafes, the locally owned ‘Woven Roast’. The West Side of the city often fell prey to the traditional Californian hustle and bustle, the mindset of other cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles, but here along the edge of the Árido Valley, the city took on the best elements of the nearby rural community.

Departing the bus once again, Riley rubbed his tired eyes before entering the ‘Roast’ as he made his way past the small tables, eying up Nicole’s newest designs as he scanned her handmade clothing before making his way up to the counter to order.

“Hey, can I get a large Blue Suede Brew? Black, please.” Riley asked as he put a couple crinkled bills down on the counter, picking up one of them and shoving it in the nearby tip jar before nodding to the individual behind the counter.

“I’ll be right back to grab that, just want to set my laptop up.” He stated as he stepped away from the counter and made a beeline for his usual table. Situated right by one of the few outlets in the store, it was thankfully empty as Riley placed his bag on the table before pulling out the thin, black, notebook. Unwrapping the power cord, he quickly bent over, plugging it into the receptacle before connecting it to the laptop and turning the power on.

Returning to the counter, Riley graciously accepted the caffeine laced drink, cradling the warm mug between his two hands as he struck up a minor conversation with the individual behind the counter.

“So, business been keeping you busy ‘round here?”

Continued Here:

You pray for the storm of your life, it's over and nothing survived...
H A R D C A M E T H E R A I N



Time of Day: Late Afternoon
Weather: Clear Skies


”I’m not fuckin’ making this up!”

Vinne let out an exasperated groan as the rest of the gathered gang in front of him held their sides in pained mirth. Tears rolled down their faces as they barely held back any further laughter.

“There was a fuckin’ giant ass lizard! And some bitch that smell like Freckles’ hamburgers!” Vinnie repeated describing the scene from the previous night. “The bitch was going to kill me and feed me to the lizard, I swear it on my nana’s life.”

“Ain’t yo nana been six feet under for like three years now.”

“Ah hell, don’t you grill me like that,” Vinnie whined, “Fine, then I swear it on Monty’s life.”

“Hey, my life means jackshit, damned idiot went and made me a cripple!”

“But yous was there!” Vinnie stressed with outstretched hands as Monty waved one of his own dismissively. “You should be backing me the fuck up on this!”

“Damned thing almost killed me once, what would you have us do, Vinnie?” Monty asked with his own exasperated tone. “Load up on guns and brings our friends, go gator-”

“Lizard!”

“Fuck man!” Monty snapped, “Fine, lizard huntin’ in the what? The streets, in the damned sewers? Where the hell you expecting this thing to turn up again.”

“Maybe the girl keeps it as a pet!” Vinnie replied excitedly, “You ever think about that? It seemed like she could tell it what to do!”

“How the fuck would you know what she did?” Monty smirked leaning towards Vinnie on one of his crutches, “She was choking you off and fuckin’ let her, fifty shades lovin’ muthafucka.”

“Bitch was plenty strong, I already told you that.”

“So what you’re saying is we have a giant lizard and a superwoman running around the fuckin’ city, is that all?”

“Yes!”

“Next thing he gonna say is he believes the damned cult is vampires too.”

“No.” Vinnie replied. “That’d be fuckin’ ridiculous, get your shit together.”

“Vinnie, focus.” Monty replied as he raised his hand from between his hands, “What’s the point in all this?”

“We gotta kill it!”

“What.”

“The lizard!” Vinnie repeated, “We have to kill the damned lizard. We’d be heroes, maybe we could even get paid!” He added, the mention of money causing a murmur among the gang as they quickly became far more interested.

“And how do we find the damned giant ass lizard?” Monty asked, his tone dripping in sarcasm. “Last time the damned thing stumbled onto us and then proceeded to wipe the floor with our asses.”

Vinnie smiled stupidly from ear to ear as he held up a booklet of coupons for one of the city’s numerous fast-food chains.

“We eat at Freckles!” He replied with a wide grin. “Find the bitch, kill the beast.”

Continued Here:
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Hidden 10 mos ago Post by Hillan
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Hillan The Real Dinoman

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In the minds of
C R O S S R O A D



AWAKENING
Location Doctor Faust's Manor - Outskirts of the city
Part IV / Finale

18:45 PM - The Next Day


Joseph was having nightmares. Fragmented, fractured and broken, like he was looking at them through the shards of a broken mirror, but everytime he tried to peer into a shard, he was flung into another dream. It was exhausting and terrifying. The only things he could comprehend were darkness and evil, a unimaginable amount of evil. Hatred, rage, anger, vengeance and self-vindication. And the voice. That god damned voice. Murmuring in the darkness, as if from the abyss below, howling at him and mocking his despair, his confusion and his pain deep down into his subconcious. He woke up with a turn, twisting in the bed, looking over to his side. He was in a different room now, on the other side of the building after the break-in the previous night.

Before him sat a shadow on the edge of the bed. Well, not quite a shadow. It was hard to tell what it was. It looked like the silhouette of a man, arms, legs, torso, head. But there were no features on the man, only a distorted outline that looked a almost fuzzy kind of red in the darkness. "What the fuc-" He exclaimed, as the shadow quickly put it's finger to it's mouth and shushed him, and for some reason he did it, almost instinctively. Like a dog following the orders of it's master.

"You've been asleep for far too long, child. It is time for you to awaken. There is much work to be done. The voice spoke, the same one he had heard before. But this time it was so much clearer, almost unbearable. It felt like it was coming both out of the man itself, but also from the very room itself, echoing like the most expensive home cinema in the world. At some point it would've hit Joseph that the voice was also coming from inside of him, it was echoing inside of his head and all around him. There was no escape. Yet, the old detective wasn't scared. No, he was terrified. But he wasn't going to try to run away, not at all. He was oddly calm in his terror, almost rational and this was the first bit of clarity he had felt since he had woken up for the first time two weeks ago.

"Who are you?.. What are you?" Joseph spoke, carefully and the man shifted on the edge of the bed, and then he smiled, a red streak appeared in the almost void-like blackness on his face.
"You got balls, kid." The voice said with a chuckle that almost shattered the windows.

"An all mighty lord of hell - King of Demons shows up at your bedside, and you ask me for my badgenumber? I'm impressed. The voice admitted coyly, a playful smirk on his face.

"A.. a demon? Hell?"

"What do you think those visions you've been having are? It's your feeble human brain trying to grasp what the big oven's really like. Well, what's left of your brain after I pieced it all back together for you. Was quite the mess, it being spilled all over the road after you got killed."

"I.. Died? Bullet, right? Joseph fumbled, feeling the scar on the back of his head.

"You didn't just die, Joseph. You got destroyed. Executed like a dog in the street. No one came for you. No one to help you. No one but me."

"But it's a miracle that I'm alive." Joseph tried to protest and the voice laughed at him - not with him this time.

"It wasn't a miracle that brought you back to life and pieced you back together. No miracle could do that. Me, however? Not even a sweat. That's our deal, after all. The demon taunted him as Joseph got vertigo and felt like he was shot out of a cannon and into a brick wall, a falling sensation as he woke up - this time for real. Drenched in sweat, his new hand had pierced the mattress and tore the bed almost in half. His heart was racing and he felt like he was about to fall apart. A sense of terror he had never felt before, an adrenaline rush than he had ever felt during his times in a war zone. He was quivering, freezing and sweating like a pig. His jaw hurt from clenching his teeth too hard. amongst the visions he had seen in his dream one thing remained constant, the pressence of the woman. The woman who's name is forever etched onto his wrist.

Karen.

He had to get out of here.

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Hidden 10 mos ago 10 mos ago Post by SepticGentleman
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SepticGentleman "We will all go together."

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Kyle and Kayla Foster

Written with @JunkMail



With Kyle a few vampires higher in his kill count and Kayla having unburdened a troubled man’s psyche, the Fosters moved to return to the motel and figure out what to do next, now that they had a solid grasp of the creature they were hunting - an aswang, specifically the vampiric manananggal.

Kyle arrived first, due in part to him already being in the truck and closer to the motel, though traffic did keep him a bit. Kayla arrived not too long after via Uber. Kyle waited beside the truck as Kayla approached.

“Hey.” They said to each other.

“How’d you get along?” Kyle asked his sister.

“Got what we needed out of Mr. Whittle.” She said, placing her hand on her hip and giving him a smile. “Name’s Jane Whittle now, by the way. Hopefully, he can start making a recovery from what he’s been through. Mentally, at least. What about you?”

“Raided a small Blood Cult den. Six dead vampires, not all of which were solely my doing.”

“Yeah, tell me about this new friend of yours?”

“Inside.” Kyle said, and the two made their way up to the second floor.

...

“Illusions?” Kayla asked.

“Seemed like it.” Kyle replied, “She was messing with their heads somehow. Fooling them into traps or just incapacitating them.”

“And it wasn’t magic?”

“My amulet went quiet as soon as the last vampire was dead. It was some form of natural mentalism.”

“Huh.”

“We have heard of a few cases of them before, at the Center. Never had any around though.” Kyle stated, “They’re a phenomenon, to put it plainly.”

“I see.” Kayla replied, “Well, this ‘Vertigo’ lady… how much did you tell her?”

“Just enough. She made herself sound like a novice but she was well composed during the raid.”

“So did you give her your info, or- heh, did she give you hers?” She said hopefully.

“Kayla.”

“Oh c’mon! Honest question!” she replied, throwing her arms in the air in self defense.

“That is not what we are here for.” Kyle retorted.

“I’m just saying, it would be a pleasant surprise if one of these days, you actually made an effort to get to know a nice girl.”

“I’m gonna put a stop, to this topic…” Kyle said, motioning his hand in a halting fashion, “And ask you, politely, to move on to the more important matter. This… ‘manananggal’ creature.”

“Okay so, you know chameleons right?” Kayla began, “They’re like… lizards that were tricked out by Q Branch in James Bond. Got that long ass tongue? Imagine that, but on a vampire.” she explained. “That’s their… proboscis of sorts. The teeth just make the wound. Likely human sized, or only slightly larger. Long claws, too. Whittle was carved up pretty bad.” she went quiet for a moment, but Kyle knew better than to speak. His sister always had at least one more thing to add in situations like this. Something about dramatic flair.

“Some folklore say that they have wings too, but that could be a subspecies or an undescribed species. Either way, hope you’ve been practicing your skeet shooting.”

“Alright.” Kyle replied, taking in all the info he was dealt. He then asked, “How do we go about finding it?”

Kayla sighed. “From what I saw of Oliver’s memory, this one seems to like playing helpless and picking unprepared or unarmed victims. I have an idea, but you’re not going to like it.”

“You want to set me up as bait for a trap.” Kyle replied, very plainly. Like he’d said those exact words many times before.

“Well, it likes men. But it gets worse. We have to replicate what happened to Oliver.” She explained, motioning with her hands. “Oliver was inebriated when he was attacked. I’m not going to ask you to get drunk, but a shot or two before taking to the streets may make you smell enough like alcohol to make it think you’re an easy target.”

Kyle just blew a puff of air out of his nose in mild annoyance. “Fine.” He replied, “And you’ll be doing what, exactly?”

“From what happened with Oliver, it didn’t take issue with attacking two people at once. I’ll be right behind you as backup. Likely also somewhat inebriated.” she said, looking down and then up at Kyle again with somewhat odd mixture that could only be a distraught smile. “So, at least it’s not just you as bait. It’s US as bait.”

Kyle just shook his head a bit.

“Only been here two days and I already hate this town.”
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Hidden 10 mos ago 10 mos ago Post by Silver Carrot
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Silver Carrot Spectrumized

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Archie and Natalie

| Written with @JunkMail


Despite what he had said earlier, it did not take Archie very long to fall into his old habits of drinking the evening away. He had split off from the girls not long after the three entered to order himself a drink because he had decided that the stool was more comfortable than standing by a pool table or socializing. He was pretended to be interested in one of the TVs that was playing a sport of some kind. He didn't like sports and couldn't tell you the name of any of the players on any well-known team, but he needed a drink and knew from experience that people were less likely to talk to him if it looked like he was into something. He waved the bartender over and pushed his glass out.

"Another."

The bartender, a man this time as opposed to the normal woman- what was her name? Ella? Elsa? No, that was Frozen. Archie didn’t know, and he stopped caring when the barkeep pushed the refilled glass back before moving on to the other patrons. He stared down at the drink, swirling it around, watching as the ice cubes clinked together. He'd never been much of an liquor kind of guy until the past few months, but sometimes he needed something stronger and faster than beer.

Natalie had looked forward to coming here and seeing her roomate at work, but on learning that Ellara had left in a strange manner, she made a mental note to try and catch her and talk to her about it tomorrow morning. At least there was Nicole, who Natalie had tried and failed to make small talk with, and Archie, who was in the corner, drinking at watching the TV. Natalie furrowed her brow and approached him.

”Don’t tell me you’re planning to spend the whole night alone, drinking in the corner and watching sports. Coming here in a group was your idea.”

Archie looked over at Nat and smirked. “Sometimes you just gotta.” he replied easily. He patted the stool next to him, urging Natalie to sit. Archie could feel the numbing effect of the alcohol cloud his mind. It was one of the best feelings in the world. His thoughts receded into the depths of his mind and he let his mind go blank. But then, out of nowhere, a thought forced its way out. It was a deep-rooted fear of his that he never really allowed himself to think about because Archie Malcom Anderson refused to admit he was afraid. The mixture he was drinking thought otherwise, though. Nat sighed, and took the seat besides Archie. She stared at his drink with something that almost looked like jealousy. ”I used to love a drink, but ever since...I got my powers, I’ve been too scared to. I’m terrified of losing any control over myself, like you almost saw me do in that house. Stone cold sober for over two years now. It sucks...” she chuckled, as she stared down. So long, she’d spent keeping everything a secret. It felt so good to have met somebody who she could actually talk about her life to, who would believe her, and who wouldn’t call the police.

"Do you ever wonder if there's any point to it all, then?"

It was a vague question, but Archie knew that Natalie would understand what he meant. He waited for an answer. Out of anyone, they stood the best chance of making themselves feel better – She'd probably give him some philosophical answer that would help make their existence make sense.

"I just don't understand it sometimes – the constant control and struggling and for what? To not be you?"

He was drunk, and he knew it. But he didn't care.

"I get that you're worried about it, but what happened in the house happened when you were sober. If you want to drink, have a drink. Might help you loosen up.” Archie looked down the bar and raised his hand. “Paddy, can I get another one of these?” He said, lazily motioning to his currently unfinished concocktion. “For the lady.”

Paddy, seeing that Archie wasn’t alone for once, got to work in helping the regular out. To him, it seemed like both man and woman needed it. After a few moments of making another vodka based mixed drink, he walked over and placed it in front of Archie, who then pushed it in front of Natalie.

“If you want it, it’s on me. If not, I’m sure I’ll get to it eventually.” he grumbled, taking a sip of his own drink, not even wincing slightly at its bite. He returned his attention to the TV, letting Natalie mull the decision over.

Natalie was silent for this whole affair, mulling over Archie’s words and processing them, while staring at the drink in front of her. He was right in that she had never drunk since Project Lion, and had still lost control several times, even if, before last night, she’d had over a year with no incidents. Thinking back to all those times, it was violence and confrontation that had caused her to snap. Was sobriety really helping her? Or was this whole thought chain just her giving in and trying to justify it? She wanted this drink, she really did. She wanted to let go and loosen up so badly. Archie was right again. It was true, she had turned her life of crime around with her new lifestyle, but was it too clean? She had no friends, never had real fun, never let loose. Sure, she enjoyed painting and playing the piano, but when was the last time, before today, that she laughed?

”Screw it!” she abruptly exclaimed, before grabbing the glass, and downing the whole drink in one breath. 0 days since her last drink, and it felt so liberating! A wide, beaming smile broke out on her face as she sighed with relief.

”Paddy, can I get another one of whatever that was?” she asked the barman.

Archie jumped at Natalie’s exclamation, turning his head quickly to the suddenly much more giddy woman and the much more empty drink. “Woah, woah, woah. Where’s the fire?” He said, meeting her gaze once again. “Tryn’a get drunk or enjoy it? Have you had anything to eat recently?”

He probably wasn’t helping a ton, considering he had just encouraged her to live a little, but he didn’t want her to go crazy in case something bad did happen. “Easy there.” He said, placing his hand on her shoulder and giving her a smile for her benefit. “With the amount you just drank you’ll feel it in no time. No need to rush.”

Natalie gave a low sheepish chuckle, and looked away. ”Sorry. The last time I drank, I was twenty four, and I was in a gang. It got wild. You might need to teach me how to drink like an actual adult with a job. And the last time I ate was at work. It was a Freckles’ big box meal. That would have been about six.” She wiped her mouth and when her new drink came, she eyed it but didn’t drink it just yet.

Archie raised an eyebrow are her comment about the gang, but his better judgement won out despite the liquor in his system and he did not press her for more information. “Okay, step one of drinking like an adult with a job- remember you have work in the morning.” He said, flashing her a goofy smile. “Not that I’m particularly good at adulting. Wish a job made the difference. All it means is a bigger house and more bathrooms to clean. Speaking of, where do you live?”

Natalie groaned, and immediately took a large sip when he reminded her that she had work tomorrow morning. ”Urgh. Don’t remind me. I’ve got the lunchtime shift tomorrow too. And I live up on Ruthven Heights. I rent and share a two bedroom apartment on Stoker Street. My housemate actually works at this bar, but I guess she isn’t here right now.”

Archie finally decided to pop a risque question. He’d been single for a while now. Couldn’t hurt. “Want me to walk you back then, before it gets too late?”

Natalie nodded, and downed her drink, before standing up, and following up with the telltale ‘I stood up too fast’ sway. She didn’t necessarily think that Archie was chatting her up, but she thought about it for the first time. He wasn’t bad-looking. Sure, he was clearly older than her, but age was just a number once you’re over 25.

”Sure, I’d like that. Thank you.” she grinned, without making eye contact.

In Archie’s mind, he was doing the right thing, but a small part of him was catching on to Natalie’s bashful behavior. Perhaps this was something they both needed. The better part of him was telling him to at least say goodbye to Nicole, but the rest of him was saying that it wasn’t important. At least not compared to the prospect of whatever this was turning out to be. He slid out of his chair and reached into his back pocket for his wallet, leaving Paddy a few bills and a tip for his services. “No time like the present.” he said offhandedly. He slid his arm around her shoulders to lead her towards the pub door. “Just lead the way.”



Archie woke up the following morning with no clothing and a feeling particularly sore- as if he had lost a fight. He groaned and turned over, only to be reminded that this was not his room, this was not his bed, and he was sharing it with someone. As the sleep fled from his eyes he was able to deduce why he felt like he’d been hit by a bus. Super strength. Probably should’ve seen that one coming. He looked over his side of the bed and sighed when he saw his pants. Putting those on would certainly make this less… awkward. His movements in bed must’ve woken Natalie, because he felt her shift in the bed beside him.

“Well, good morning.” he said, looking over his shoulder at her but turning away again in case she wasn’t comfortable with him seeing her body when her better judgement was in control.

Natalie jumped, and sat bolt upright in bed when she heard a man’s voice in her room. Her memory frantically scrambled to put together a recollection of last night’s events. When everything came back to her, the ‘deer-in-headlights’ look vanished from her eyes, and she leaned back against the pillows. She smiled at Archie, and blushed when she realised that all she was wearing were her vest top, and her socks.

”Morning,” she replied sleepily, not quite remembering how to do morning-after talk. Luckily, it didn’t seem Archie did either. Natalie wasn’t that drunk, so she remembered the events of the night in perfect clarity. Even the profuse apologizing afterwards, on her part. She might have gotten a bit too rough in the heat of the moment. Some memories, she wished she had been drunk enough to forget. At least she didn’t cry.

”What happened last night, I just wanna apologize again, if I hurt you. Also, do you know what time it is? Oh, I hope I haven’t overslept...”

Archie raised his eyebrows and checked his wrist out of habit, only to realize that he still did not have his watch on. He sighed, but with mirth and pinched the bridge of his nose out of embarrassment and then cast his eyes up to Natalie once again. “No need to apologize. Maybe again sometime.” He said. For once, he was pretty happy to be up for the day. Even that all too familiar heat in his chest didn’t so much as stir. “I suppose now’s as good as a time as any to greet the day.” he commented, sliding out of the bed and retrieving his shirt from last night. “You should probably take point- your roommate didn’t see us come in last night. Might’ve heard us though.”

The moment Archie had checked his empty wrist, Nat tried to hide a smile as she reached for the desk and checked her phone. Good. It was 8:20. She wouldn’t be late. Archie’s suggestion that maybe they could meet up again sometime froze Natalie in her tracks. The blush rapidly spread from her cheeks, across her face, and started to encroach upon her upper chest.

”Yeah, I...I wouldn’t say no. But maybe we should, I dunno, dinner and a movie next time. My number should be on my phone. Feel free to take it down. I need to get changed,” she replied quietly, before picking up her panties, putting them on while under the covers, and sliding out of bed. She went to her wardrobe and took out her work uniform; grey slacks, black belt, and the ‘iconic’ red, orange and yellow polo shirt and matching cap of Freckles’ staff. With a quick spray of deodorant, she quickly put on everything except the cap, then moved to her makeup table/computer desk/reading desk. After applying her makeup with a well-practiced efficiency, and finally looking presentable now there were no bags under her eyes, she stood up and headed for the door, slamming her cap on like it was any protection against having to explain herself to Ellara.

”Ready to face the music?” she asked back to Archie.
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Hidden 10 mos ago Post by The Bork Lazer
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The Bork Lazer Chomping Time

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Moses Muller





“Crap. Crap. Crap.”

Moses prayed under his breath, weaving, side-stepping and dodging like a drunkard as the distortion moved towards him like a living chainsaw, shredding all in its path. He took a moment to curse the Law of Life; that arbitrary limitation in his magic that had given birth to this monstrosity.

Moses continued his mad attempts to fight the distortion, using the pan in his hand as more of a shield rather than a sword. He wasn’t a fighter with 20 different degrees in a myriad of obscure martial arts. He was a twenty-year old street-artist, for crying out loud! A wild swipe elicited a yelp out of him as he awkwardly dodged it, raising his pan up to defend himself once more. Facing the distortion with a weapon was far more terrifying than facing him without one. It was lashing out wildly like a feral animal, contorting its body into a series of scorpion-like tentacles. Moses bit back a curse as one of its arms missed his head and instead, broke one of his canvas painting inwards.

One thing was for certain, though. He shouldn’t have been able to fight like this for so long. His stick-thin, caffeine addicted, lay-man body was begging to be broken apart. He didn’t know why he felt like he was getting stronger the longer the fight went on. Being close to the pan was like the rush after having eaten a home-cooked meal. There was a little more bounce in his steps, a vigour that couldn’t be gained through a coffee binge. Moses sloppilly ducked a wild swing that cleaved a ceramic mug in twain, the edge of his pan skidding on top of the cheap plastic counter-top. With every growing second, the heat of the pan handle grew into an warm inferno that suffused every molecule in his body. Unnatural strength filled his veins as he stumbled, dodging a charge and slamming the pan down on the backside of the distortion.

He needed to find an opening soon. The distortion made another wild charge for him, Moses pressing his back against the wall before narrowly escaping certain death as it plowed straight into it like an angry rhino. Its head was momentarily embedded as the distortion tried to dislodge itself.

There!

Moses slammed the pan downwards on the creature with a untrained, shaky blow, waiting for the inevitable crunch of skull, bone, meat or whatever the hell the creature was made of, bracing for the wet impact…..

Except it never came.

The damn distortion had caught the pan in one of its multi-digited limbs, ignoring the fact that its limbs were searing and charring upon contact with the pan. It reminded him of burning kerosene as Moses choking on the odorous fumes. Hell, if he wasn’t mistaken, it almost seem to be enjoying the pain, given the fact that it was transfixed on his trinket like a toy.

Hmm, all of this pain is...exciting. It seems you do still possess your magics…..”

It began to insert the pan into its open maw, crushing it and chewing it apart like hard candy, even as its body continued to melt apart under the sheer heat that the trinket was emitting. Well, it was distracted. For the moment. Moses slowly walked backwards in horror before he bumped into a desk with a binder of white paper and several pencils. He looked between it and the distortion, the gears crunching in his head, as a determined look came over his face. He grabbed a pencil and began to speed-draw in practiced motions, his eyes fidgeting between his drawing and the distortion.

Hopefully, he wouldn’t be too slow….

The distortion had finished devouring his pan and rounded upon him, not minding the fact that half of its body was covered in emberous burns with ash flaking off its multi-coloured skin. It had a shivering look of pleasure on its face, not minding the hideous amount of wounds covering its body. It looked around for him in the darkly lit room, a dozen blinking irises protruding out of its head.

“ Now, what were we - “

Before it could even react, Moses ran towards it with a nervous expression on his face and grasping what seemed like a miniature pineapple. He was holding onto it like it was a hot potato, sweat beading on his left palm. He ripped the leafy fronds off with his teeth and spat it out before doing the unthinkable. The distortion was too late to stop Moses from ramming the trinket in its throat, pushing his elbow deep past its teeth. He pushed further before he yelled in pain and wrenched his hand out, nursing it.

The distortion immediately backed away from him, clawing at its throat and hacking like a one-lunged smoker. It stumbled on its legs as it tripped and fell backwards through Moses shattered window, never bothering to break its eternal stare at him. Moses ran toward the window, peering out as its body fell on top of a garbage bin and flattened it apart. There was a sudden flash of light, the sounds of paint splattering onto the walls and then, nothing. Moses lowered his arms which stopped him from being blinded and nearly vomited at the scene. The lower half of the distortion had been blown apart into smithereens, paint strewn out from a mangled body with several of its limbs strewn across the entire lower alley-way. A second later, a shockwave of wailing filled in the apartment block as windows lighted up. The light scent of pineapple cocktail strewn with oil paint poured out from the window with the warbling echoes of a screeching laugh.

He managed to breathe a sign of elation before buzzing began to fill his head.

“ YOUR MAGIC IS LIKE A MUSCLE, MULLER."

His heart thudded like a rusty engine. His feeet began to stumble.

" WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUR MUSCLES IF YOU DON’T USE THEM?”

Dark ants crawled over his vision as he fainted, unconscious even before he hit the ground.

" PERHAPS, THERE IS HOPE FOR YOU STILL."

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Hidden 10 mos ago Post by chukklehed
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chukklehed Sorcerer Supreme with a medium rootbeer

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Nicole




Time of day: Morning
Location: Nicole's bedroom, above the Woven Roast

Nicole woke slowly, keeping her knees pressed against her chest and her face buried as far down as it would go. She didn't want to get up, to face the day all alone. If she stayed put and didn't open her eyes, she could pretend to hear her mother making a racket in the kitchen, or maybe she was still in college and her roommate was just across the hallway. As long as she stayed where she was, she could pretend that there was someone waiting for her to wake up.

But that was all a lie. Slowly, the illusion lost it's power and she was forced to face reality again. She had to get up and do the work she had promised people, but maybe she didn't have to do it wallowing in her own worries. Rolling out of her bed, Nicole went through the motions of getting ready for the day: Teeth brushed, body showered, clothes worn, etc. Throughout all of that, though, she had her mind focused on a new project. Archie's clothes. She didn't know exactly what he would need, since she hadn't seen him change yet, but she figured the major problem was that he grew. The clothes he brought her were always torn at the waist and seams, but that was the majority of the damage, so she would start with that problem.

Finding herself already standing at the front door as her attention returned to her own body, Nicole took a deep breath and let it out in a huff, putting on her best smile and taking the normal 'open' sign down, instead replacing it with a more personalized one.

"Today is a slow day, please be patient"




It wasn't too much longer before the door opened for the first time. Nicole looked up from the thin belt of cloth she was experimenting with behind the cafe counter, recognizing the customer. He had walked in one day and asked for something apparently on a whim, and she had had to make something up on the spot. Apparently he had liked it though, because-

“Hey, can I get a large Blue Suede Brew? Black, please.”

He was still asking for it. Nicole pushed her work to the side and started working at the coffee machine, dropping a premade sachet into the filter. It was mostly normal coffee, but she had crushed in various sweet and neutral spices on a whim. It probably wasn't great for the machine, but she had bought a new one just for this so she figured it would be fine. She placed the finished drink on the counter just as the man returned for it. It must be a slow morning for him because he decided to stop and make smalltalk with her.

“So, business been keeping you busy ‘round here?”

"Busy enough to keep the store open," Nicole hedged with a grin, "Most of what I sell people consider luxuries though, and with the city the way it's been..." She trailed off, a worried note creeping into her voice. She wasn't scared about her shop, since she was fairly certain the different thread-based security measures she had taken were enough to keep her safe. She couldn't say the same about other people though, especially with people suddenly using their powers in the open. Archie and Nat seemed like good people, but she was sure it wasn't just good people who had been given unfair advantages.
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Hidden 10 mos ago 10 mos ago Post by Lord Wraith
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Lord Wraith Leaf on the Wind

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There once was a woman who lived a life so strange it had to be true...
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╚════════════════════════════════════════════ J Ä G E R B O M B ═══════════════════════════════════════════╝

Location Unit 814, Ruthven Heights - Milk Street
Post #2.20 / 5.02: If Three’s A Crowd, Then Four’s A Party

| A Collaboration with @Junkmail & @Silver Carrot

Despite Ellara’s first instincts, hiding in her room and waiting for Natalie to leave for work wasn’t the appropriate course of action to take. The pair of girls had been living together for over eight months, one of them was bound to bring home a bedmate after one too many drinks by now.

It did not however, mean that she had to like it.

Tossing Cal his jeans and shirt, Ellara grabbed a nearby bra, giving it a quick sniff before lifting her tank top and slipping it on. Allowing herself one last look at Cal’s rippling form, Ellara moved to exit the room before catching a glimpse of herself. Quickly running her fingers through her tousled brown hair, she did her best to alleviate the appearance of ‘sex hair’ before emerging from the bedroom.

“Did you want some coffee, asshole?” She asked Cal before turning towards the cupboard, only to pause as she noticed the word ‘kahvi’ in her own writing, quickly scribbled onto her and Natalie’s grocery list.

“Are you always this charming in the morning?” He replied with a smile watching as Ellara’s head turned away from the fridge in evident confusion and towards a box that had been left atop the counter, haphazardly tossed aside and very obviously empty.

“Only after a go-” Her words were cut short as Ellara registered what the box was. Motherfucker!” Ellara cursed before looking back at Cal with a sheepish look.

“...Or not,” She muttered before turning back to Cal, “No fuckin’ coffee I guess...”

Her voice trailed off as Ellara looked around the kitchen again before tossing a chair beside the counter. Determined to have her morning cup of coffee, Ellara climbed atop it before rummaging through the cupboard quickly to ensure that she and Natalie were in fact completely out of coffee. Despite her best efforts however, Ellara drew back from the cupboard empty handed as she looked around the kitchen one last time, her eye settling on a bottle within arm’s reach.

“Bourbon?” She joked, offering the a nearly empty bottle as she picked it up, its remaining contents sloshed around as it was lifted into the air.

“I’m good, really.” Cal replied with a wide smile as he held the palms of his hands towards Ellara.

“Suit yourself,” She replied with a shrug, finishing the bottle.

It was at this point where Natalie Ellis emerged from her bedroom, in full Freckles’ uniform, and headed into the kitchen. The moment she saw Ellara with a guy, she immediately breathed a massive sigh of relief, before her eyes drifted to the open cabinet, and she gasped, before facepalming.

”Shit, I forgot the coffee! I am so sorry, El! I got a bit sidetracked last night,” she explained, hoping that Archie would rear his head sooner rather than later. She gestured to Cal, whilst grinning at Ellara. ”So aren’t you going to introduce us?”

Ellara was taken aback by how forward Natalie was this morning. The girls barely spoke on most days, and the first time Ellara has a guy who didn’t jump out the fire escape, Natalie was acting as though they were Ellara was bringing her college boyfriend home for the holidays. Though, Ellara could tell there was something off about Natalie this morning too. The girl was flustered, and it wasn’t because of forgetting the coffee.

No, she was giddy.

A foreign smell reached Ellara’s nose as it twitched in response to the unknown smell. It was definitely the smell of another person. Another person who was inside their apartment and based on the direction of the smell, was inside Natalie’s room. Her eyes darted towards the other girl’s room, listening for sounds on the other side of the door before realizing she had yet to answer Natalie.

“Uh, yeah this is, uh...” Ellara looked back quickly towards the male as he mouthed his name towards her. “Cal.” She added hastily before her eyes turned towards Natalie.

“Is there someone in your fuckin’ room?” She asked bluntly, looking past the taller girl towards the cracked door. As if on cue, Archie gently pushed the door open and stepped out into the open. Upon realizing that everyone’s attention was on him he froze and gave them a sheepish smile, raising his hand in greeting.

“Uh, good morning.” He said, trying to break the ice. He looked between Cal, Ellara, and Natalie and remembered that Nat had just asked Ellara about Cal’s name. He predicted Ellara’s follow up question and followed his greeting with an introduction.

“My name is Archie. I- uh, I know you.” He said, meeting Ellara’s eyes. He shifted his gaze to Cal, who was simply staring at him. “You, not so much. Nice to meet you.”

Cal seemed… uncomfortable. But not the kind of of awkward uncomfortable that would normally be associated with this situation. It was the kind of tension that was usually associated with two predators interacting with one another for the first time. In Cal’s mind, alarm bells were going off, because Archie wasn’t like him. He knew the smell of members who shared the beast blood. Archie on the other hand, didn’t feel anything especially odd other than a burning sensation in his chest that was usually associated with the other guy. He wasn’t particularly worried, as it tended to be particularly ornery in the mornings whenever he woke up. As if it didn’t enjoy being dragged out of bed itself. That being said all of his transformations to date, aside from one, had occured in the evening. Archie’s ignorance to the situation translated as general ease to Cal, which was unnerving him more and more by the minute.

“Er, likewise, Archie.” Cal replied, tacking on his name as if it were an afterthought. He was too busy trying to read Archie’s expression and body language for something- but was largely unsuccessful. Something in Archie decided to give Cal a smile that was all teeth, and Cal finally broke Archie’s gaze and looked away quickly. Then the heat in his chest disappeared quickly. Odd, but not exactly something that could be mentioned in casual conversation. Not that he wanted anyone in the room but Natalie to know about his, er, condition.

Ellara's eyes shifted from Natalie to Archie and then to Cal and back again as she kept careful watch on all three, especially the two men. Never before had the girls’ apartment felt so small as it did while the two males were sizing each other up, practically circling each other in the middle of the kitchen. Ellara had seen it happen more than a million times at the bar, two men ready to fight over little more than a few misspoken words and aggressive body language. But, she was more than ready to step in should a fight break out between Archie and Cal.

Natalie was also watching the proceedings with baited breath, sensing the tension. She had no doubt she’d be able to hold the men apart if it came to that, but then she’d have to explain herself to her housemate, and she didn’t want Ellara thinking her a freak from now on. That would make living together so much more awkward.

Thankfully, the situation didn't escalate and nothing else happened. Cal looked away from Archie before slumping lazily into a nearby chair, leaving Ellara free to address Archie's earlier statement. She had no doubt in her mind that it was his words that had triggered the testosterone fueled chest pounding between the two larger males.

“What did you say like a fuckin’ minute ago?” Ellara asked looking up at Archie. “You said you knew me, but look, I don’t know what the fuck you meant by that, ‘cause no offense to my roommate here but I'm sure as hell you and I never knocked boots before.”

Her words exhibited a subtle sigh of relief from Cal, one that was near inaudible to anyone else in the room, save Ellara and her enhanced senses. Archie laughed, shaking his head at Ellara’s insinuation.

“Not like that. You work at the bar. I go there pretty regularly.” He explained.

The image of Ellara and Archie knocking boots was now firmly lodged in Natalie’s brain, and she tried desperately to get it out. It did surprise her that the thought was making her a little jealous, which she knew made no logical sense. She nervously chuckled as she made introductions, accompanied by gestures.

“Archie, this is my housemate Elara. Ellara, this is Archie. We, uh, met last night. Now, I need to have breakfast, then get to work.”

She left the two, heading past Cal and over to the fridge. As she passed the unfamiliar man, she gave him a small, polite yet uncomfortable smile. She didn’t look back over to him, or to El or Archie, as she set about preparing herself a bowl of cereal.

The awkwardness of the moment was broken by the ringing of Ellara’s cell phone. Looking down, Ellara was surprised to see the device poking out of the waistband of her shorts. Despite having no recollection of tucking the device there, she quickly pulled the phone out, giving the screen a quick look before swiping her thumb across the screen.

“Uncle Roy?”

“Hey, Ellara,” Came the man’s reply as Ellara moved out of the kitchen and into the hallway. “I decided that it’d be best if I got rid of this stuff as soon as possible, so I’ve been driving most of the night but I’m just entering the city now. Can you meet me at your bar in about half an hour?”

“Uh, yeah.” Ellara replied taken aback as she looked around the corner at the full apartment. “I might be a little fuckin’ longer than that.”

“If you could hurry, it’d be appreciated.” Roy replied, his voice strained but Ellara chalked it up to a combination of fatigue and forced politeness.

“I’ll fuckin’ do what I can.” She snapped back hanging the phone up as she poked her head back into the kitchen and addressed Natalie. “Seeing as you’re already dressed, Nat, you don’t need the shower right?”

Natalie looked up, and frantically tried to swallow the cereal that was in her mouth, resulting in a few coughs and splutters. She then cleared her throat. “No, I went yesterday morning and I’m kind of in a hurry. I might have a bath tonight instead. It’s all yours.”

“Aight,” Ellara replied before motioning towards Cal, “You’re coming too, asshole. You smell like a fuckin’ wet dog.”

With an apologetic smile, Cal shrugged his shoulders as he stood.

“Good meeting both of you, really,” He assured Natalie and Archie before pausing briefly, “I uh,” He looked over his shoulder quickly towards the direction Ellara had left choosing his next words carefully, “I really hope she’s not always like this.”

“Heard that, fucker!”

“Guess that’s my cue then.” Cal chuckled with a small salute as he followed the path Ellara had left in.

Archie watched the two leave and sighed. “I suppose I’ll take my leave then.” He said, shoving his hands in his pockets and heading towards what had to be the front door based on the many shoes by it. After putting his own shoes one, he looked back over to Natalie and cleared her throat to get her attention, mouthed ‘See you later’, and then slipped out the door.

“Yeah, see you,” she replied, before adding “Do you have my number?” but it was too late. By that time, he’d gone, and the door was closed. Natalie hoped that he did. If not, she could always hang round the Tír na nÓg and try to catch him. Finishing up on her breakfast, she slipped her own shoes on, retrieved her coat from her room, and slipped it on as she left. It still had a bloodstained sleeve, but she still had a bandaged hand.

She’d have plenty of time to think up excuses on the walk to Freckles’.
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Natalie Ellis



Location: Freckles', Argyle Boulevard
Time of Day: Late Afternoon

Natalie's day at work had been as busy and hectic as she'd feared. There was a massive lunchtime rush. The customers were impatient and rude. It was a warzone. Thankfully after 2pm, it calmed down to a regular, ordinary, manageable pace, and Natalie had time to think about things. She would very much like to see more of Archie, and not just hookups. Though was he too old for dates? She wanted to talk to him more, get drunk with him more, open up to him more. It wasn't love. At least not yet. But there was something. She felt comfortable around somebody with a secret like hers, and issues like hers. She was actually looking forward to unpacking two years of keeping everything secret with him. She could ask him about the whole lizard thing too. Was he born that way, or was he also a victim of H.A.T.?

She had to stop dwelling on Archie, however, when she was thinking back to last night, began to blush, and noticed that the handle of the knife she was using now had imprints of her fingers from where she was squeezing it, and was cracked. Dammit. she hadn't caused an accident as a result of accidental super strength for over a year! She suddenly felt ashamed of herself for losing control at work, and became terrified that anybody saw her, or would find the knife and ask questions. So when nobody was looking, she turned her back to the customer area, rolled the knife into a ball, and put it in the trash.

Mind free of everything except the task in hand, she carried on working until it was her shift at the cash registers and taking people's orders. Natalie used to hate this part of the job, but she's had over a year of practice getting that friendly and chill yet blatantly fake 'customer service' voice just right. It also didn't hurt that she was the exact right level of pretty that she'd never get asked out or harassed, but she'd often catch men staring at her, or a shy teenager, to whom she would be above his station, feeling intimidated by her. She didn't hate those moments.

It was in the late afternoon, less than an hour before she finished today's shift, that she saw a group of men come in. Before she could greet them, she recognised one of them and went cold. It was the man she had almost killed last night when she briefly lost control. She pulled her cap down to try to hide her face, which was quickly turning pale, in a effort of futility.

@Lord Wraith
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