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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DISCLAIMER: Be Somebody’ takes place after the conclusion of the following plotlines: 1.0 - Blood in the Water, 2.0 - Monster, 3.0 - No Good, and 5.0 - Hard Came the Rain.
We just need a taste of who we are, we all wanna be...
B E S O M E B O D Y



Time of Day: Night
Weather: Heavy Rain
Location(s): Downtown, Santa Celia
Interaction(s): None


”Oh god, oh god! There’s so much bl-”

“...An attack was made today against Santa Celia’s own Mayor M-”

“...I-I-I can’t breathe-”

“...Somebody help! Help h-”

”...A thick crimson cloud is hanging over city hall, authorities are warning every-”

“...The city’s emergency services are o-”

“...Please don’t sho-”

“Santa Celia has fallen into chaos, may God have mercy on our souls.”

Four Hours Ago...


The woman stifled a squeal of glee as she looked at the ring box again; for the first time in her life, she finally felt like she was going to be somebody to someone else, someone who loved her nearly unconditionally. Snapping a quick picture of the ring and clicking send while the sound of the shower continued in the background, the woman closed the box and stood up from the bed. Tip-toeing across the room, she slowly opened the top drawer of her boyfriend’s…

Fiancé

A smile crossed her face as she paused to correct herself. Returning to the task at hand, the woman slowly opened the top drawer of her fiancé-to-be’s dresser drawer. Slipping the velvet covered box under the numerous black socks, she returned it to its original hiding spot in the back corner of the drawer. From the ensuite, the sound of running water disappeared, causing the woman to jump as she nearly slammed her finger in the hastily closed drawer.

“Jess?” A man’s voice called as Jessica Song tried hard to swallow the excited lump in her throat before answer.

“Y-yes?” Her voice cracked as she called her response.

“Something wrong?” He called back as Jessica shook her head before quickly laughing at herself as she realized that there was no way he could see her.

“No, Dawson.” She replied, “What did you need?”

“Could you bring me a towel?” Dawson asked, Jessica could hear his trademark grin in his voice. “I seem to have forgotten one.”

Laughing, Jessica walked to the couple’s linen closet, pulling out a large, white towel before turning around and walking into their shared washroom. Standing there in all his glory was Dawson Rivers, shivering as he quickly extended an eager hand towards the towel. Wrapping himself, he bent over, planting a sloppy wet kiss on Jessica’s lips as the latter pulled away in mock disgust.

“Excited for dinner tonight?” Dawson asked as Jessica finished drying her face. “I got us reservations at Le Chateau Rouge, that fancy place you’re always pointing to when we’re downtown.”

“Really!” Jessica exclaimed excitedly, “The one across from city hall?”

“The very same one, best dining in the city they say.” He replied with a smile. “Oh and I got you something else,”

Jessica could feel her heart skip a beat, was he going to break expectation and propose now?

“Go look in the closet.” Dawson ordered with a cheeky grin prompting to Jessica to rush out of the bathroom, her feet nearly flying out from underneath her on the damp tile. Opening the closet, an opaque bag was hanging inside as she reached for the zipper only to reveal a stunning cocktail dress inside.

“It’s gorgeous!” Jessica exclaimed, giddiness accentuating every syllable.

“It’s the same shade of blue you were wearing the night I first saw you, I thought it looked amazing on you then, still do now.”

Jessica could feel her heart swell, as she clutched her hands to her chest. There was nothing that could ruin this night.

Three Hours Ago...


Harrison Fairchild paced the lobby of city hall as he waited for his meeting with the city’s current mayor, Samson Murray. With the current Deputy Mayor retiring before the upcoming election, Harrison was stepping up to be Samson’s new running mate. Potentially the youngest Deputy Mayor in Santa Celia’s history, at least until Samson’s own son, Josiah, was of age to run, Harrison was becoming quite popular with the media.

Unlike the mayor’s eldest son, Harrison didn’t attract the wrong type of attention. He wasn’t a playboy or a socialite, instead, he was a philanthropist, a man of the people. Though if Harrison was being honest with himself, he would have had to admit that he loved the attention. Harrison had always wanted to be somebody admirable, someone, the people of the city could look up to. By becoming Samson’s running mate, he was that much closer to that goal.

“Harrison Fairchild!” The authoritative voice of Samson echoed through the pristine lobby of the city’s hall. “How is the city’s favourite son this evening?” He asked, extending a strong hand that wrapped around Harrison’s with a firm grip.

“I’m doing well, Sir.” Harrison answered with a nervous smile. No matter how many times he talked to Samson, there was still something that made him feel small when next to the most powerful man in Santa Celia. “How are you keeping?”

“Hungry, do you like Le Chateau Rouge?” Samson asked.

“I’ve never had the pleasure, but won’t we need a reservation?” Harrison asked.

“One of the few benefits of being the Mayor,” Samson replied, “I think they’ll make room for us.”

Two Hours Ago...


Hernando Cruz was many things but he was not a kind man, nor was he a patient man. If Hernando Cruz had been asked about the path he had taken in life, who he had become, he had one simple answer.

He had chosen to be somebody to fear.

It had been several days since the attempt on his life and he was no closer to discovering the whereabouts of Frankie ‘Beans’ Gomez. Nor was he any closer to discovering the identity of whomever, or whatever made his men looking like nothing more than a bunch of toy soldiers. He had put out a bounty, five hundred thousand dollars for whoever brings him the name of the man who killed his men, a million for the body and five million for the bastard alive so he could teach him some manners himself.

Fastening the handkerchief around his neck, the man plunged his fork into the raw steak in front of him, before gliding the knife through the tender fillet.

“I want them both found like fuckin’ yesterday, Chavez.” He stated before shoving the large piece of meat into his mouth, smacking his lips in between words. “No one, and I mean no one makes a fool of the Azteca Cartel, you hearing me, Chavez, no one!”

“Yes, sir.” Chavez answered as he began to stand.

“Where the fuck are you going, did I say you were excused? I didn’t hear those words come out of my fuckin’ mouth, so unless you’re now putting words in my mouth, I suggest you sit your ass back down.” Hernando ordered as Chavez quickly obliged.

Pointing across the restaurant, Chavez followed Hernando’s arm as his eyes landed on a young couple, the woman adorned in a brilliant blue dress.

“Look at that, young love.” Hernando stated between bites. “You got a bitch at home, Chavez?”

“I’ve got two baby mamas taking my pay cheque every other week.” The other man replied bitterly. “I could care less about love.”

“Smart man, love is for suckers.” Hernando replied with a smirk as he pointed his knife in another direction. “Speaking of suckers…” His voice trailed off as he suddenly stood, wiping his hands before holding one out towards a pair of passing men.

“Mr. Mayor, always a pleasure.” Hernando smiled as Samson Murray took the other’s hand in his grip and gave it a hearty shake.

"Mr. Cruz, always a welcome sight to see your face.” Samson replied, “I trust I can count on your support in the upcoming election.”

“Of course, Mr. Mayor!” Hernando replied, “Always a pleasure to support the city’s finest leader.”

“I’m glad to hear it, but please, don’t let me disturb your dinner.” Samson said as Hernando shook his head.

“No, Mr. Mayor, join us, I insist.”

“Well if you insist,” Samson grinned, “Come, Mr. Fairchild, let's not turn down this fine man’s hospitality.”

“As you wish,” Harrison replied, suddenly finding himself very unnerved to be sitting across the table from the head of the Azteca Cartel.

One Hour Ago...


Walking out of the Sir William Stein’s Memorial Hospital, Andrew Cleric felt like he had a new lease on life. Finally, he was going to be somebody new. Over the past twelve months, Andrew had been part of an intensive rehabilitation programming for those suffering from addiction, but today he had been given a clean bill of health, cured of his addiction and free to pursue his new lease on life.

Climbing into the driver’s seat of the large rig, Andrew started the large engine as the truck roared to life. Being in rehab had allowed him the time to pursue his license and while it hadn’t been easy to find a job, a company by the name of Chimera had eventually offered him a chance to drive for them.

Pulling the large tanker out of the hospital parking lot, Andrew adjusted the GPS, plotting his course out of the city. To his surprise, the GPS was taking him through the downtown, apparently, construction had closed down the nearest interstate.

With a shrug, Andrew geared up as he continued down the road. Even if this route ended up taking longer, there was nothing that could ever ruin this day for him. He was in his moment of triumph and nothing could take that away.

Half An Hour Ago...


Sitting parked outside of the Le Chateau Rouge, the large American made car sat facing the sizeable dining room window. Inside the car was Detective Nicholas Locke, a pair of binoculars in one hand trained on the crime lord sitting inside the restaurant while a half-eaten burger hung loosely in his other hand. Nick had been following the Azteca Cartel, specifically Hernando Cruz for months now and was very close to finally finding something to pin on the Cartel leader.

The majority of the Santa Celia Police Department was on the take, whether from the Cartel or one of the numerous other underworld organizations kept in the Mayor’s back pocket. Detective Nick Locke, however, was not and would never be despite how ostracized it made him from his fellow officers. Nick considered himself to somebody willing to make a difference in the city, somebody who wouldn’t be swayed by the dollar where so many others before him had been. While there were a few good officers left, Nick was more or less alone on the street and he had learned to make the best of it.

The night had taken a surprising turn when the Mayor himself sat down across the table from Cruz, the potential new Deputy Mayor in tow. Putting the binoculars down, Nick pulled out a camera, fitted the correct lens to the front of the device before snapping a couple quick pictures.

And then his world exploded.

Now...


Moments ago Dawson had been on his knees in front of Jessica, the ring outstretched towards her. Now she was standing in what was left of Le Chateau Rouge, flames spreading around her, as the roof was opened to a clouded sky.

Violet colored droplets fell from the crimson sky above as the disorientated woman stumbled forward looking for her fiancé. A pair of feet were visible from beneath a fallen tile as Jessica moved towards them, suddenly seeing the grill of a large transport truck lodged in what remained of the wall.

Feeling around through the dust, Jessica made her way towards the body as she recognized her fiancé beneath the rubble.

“Dawson!” Jessica sobbed, Dawson! She repeated trying to peel the debris back as a weak hand stretched out towards her.

“I-I-I can’t breath, J-Jes-”

“Somebody help! Help him!” Jessica screamed, as she looked around the chaos for any other living person, “Please! Somebody help him!” Her volume increasing before a sudden a wave of sonic energy exploded from her mouth. The force of the blast sent her toppling backwards as another figure suddenly appeared in the smoke and dust.

“Don’t worry, kid, I got you.” The voice of Nicholas Locke broke through the roar of the blaze as he helped Jessica to her feet. Moving to get her out onto the street, Jessica resisted as she pulled Nick towards Dawson.

“Help him, please!” She pleaded as Nick nodded. Moving towards Dawson, Nick knelt down to move the body only to realize he was no longer breathing. Biting his bottom lip, Nick helped Jessica to move the body, the least he could do was ensure the poor woman’s fiancé wouldn’t burn to death.

Exiting what was left of the restaurant, Nick took a moment to survey his surroundings. The downtown was on fire as the chemically altered rain continued to fall from the ominous clouds overhead. His body ached, it felt different but dismissed it as adrenaline from the destroyed tanker nearly missing his unmarked cruiser. The wreckage of the transport littered the street, the logo of three headed beast emblazoned on the remains of the silver tank.

The mayor was still inside the burning restaurant, sirens echoed up and down the street as Nick watched Santa Celia devolve into pandemonium.

Continued Here:
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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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The distortion shuddered as it-she-he-something stumbled underneath the sewers of this blasted city, gouts of paint flowing from the gyring hole in its belly and his lacerated throat that was only hung onto his chin by a few dregs of flesh. The Artistonancer had mortally injured it with that trinket/parlor trick/spell/magic of his. It’d only worsened its already ailing physical and mental state. Oh well, its mind was already fragmented to begin with. The distortion turned around into a nearby bend as he ignored the putrefying smells of rotten offal and human waste that had accumulated.

“Freeze.”

His joints suddenly locked up at the imperious command. A moment later, his master came into view as one of the many beams of light that snuck through the murky darkness of Santa Celia’s sewers illuminated her figure. Her porcelain skin was decaying like a glass chrysalis, chipping apart at the extremities of her limbs, but she was without a doubt the most human-looking distortion. She looked into his eyes for a moment, and then, at the circular wound at the bottom of his torso with a sneer. Her silky voice brought a shiver to his dying soul.

“It appears that Artistonancy does still persist within Muller’s soul.”

She traced his mutilated cheek for a while with her index finger, bits of dried paint marking her skin like an ointment before stopping.

“ You have succeeded in your goals, my creation. There is no longer any purpose for you.”

A sense of thrill burnt within him. This was what he lived for. A release. The promise of succor from the terrible existence of his life. She spoke simply with no fanfare whatsoever, turning around and raising her hand in the air to dismiss him.

“ Now, my creation, fold.”

And, so he did. The distortion’s head began to crack back at an abnormal angle before its back bent upon its itself, then it’s arms, then it’s legs as it crumpled upon itself like a rolled up ball of paper. The last thing that it saw was his masters fading shadow that casted itself on the darkness of the sewers. Assimilating his paints and palettes to incorporate into her own. Relieved of his duty.

Pain.

And then, peace.



The first law that every Artistonancer learns but eventually forgets is the Law of Imagination. It is one of the most simple laws, yet your Uncle didn’t teach you the true intricacies of this Law. Simply put, Artistonancy is not only a form of magic but a magic that exists within every soul as it operates on imagination and creativity. The imagination and creativity of the user act as conduits that can be used for unlimited potential....

Moses began to remember why he hated university art lectures. Pretentious, shabby full-suited professors that treated art like a methodical surgical operation and looking at every shade of colour like a piece of evidence in a crime scene. He would have failed Art Theory 101 if it weren’t for Gerald’s encouragement and assistance. His mural - he was going to have to find a proper name for them sometime soon - yammered on and on in his brain like one of those digital assistant that his estranged father used to own. He’d turned on the local radio in an attempt to tune out his murals. An unsuccessful attempt at that, given that the voice of the mural had seamlessly blended with the sound of the radio jockey where Moses was able to interpret both noises at the same time in a perfect harmony.

Right now, he was more concerned with cleaning up the aftermath of his fight with the distortion rather than discussing the potential uses of his abilities. Sure, he was considerably more open to usage of his abilities in the first time in 3 years when he had first discovered his magic at Arido. He was busily drawing out a simple sketch of a duster and a broom on a long ream of white paper, continuing to ignore his mural as they continued to speak to no avail. The most frustrating aspect of murals? They didn’t come with a mute button.

Thus, Moses, you must think of Artistonancy as a series of movements similar to art. Classical, postmodernism, post-impressionism-

“ Could you please just shut up for one second?,” Moses asked in a deadpan voice while continuing to sketch out the fine bristles of the broom with his pencil. Once he completed it, he drew a breath, brushing the edge of his thumb-nail on the corner of the sketch before dipping his hand into the drawing like he was reaching for a toy he dropped into a swimming pool. The use of his Artistonancy had broken the reverie that his mural was in, providing him with a grateful period of silence within his mind. The mural was right. Picking up his magic again was akin to muscle memory, oiling the rusty joints in his technique and reducing the strain that he suffered in earlier attempts against the distortion. He focused on the same processes once more. He visualized the contours, the shape of the broom and the duster, concentrating on the image in his mind before bending the image to his will and making the immaterial material. Visualization. Materialization. The two steps of trinket creation that Gerald taught him all those years ago in Arido Valley. The familiar crackling sensation of energy pulsed up and down his right arm, invisible energy coalescing into mass as the finished product ended up being a monochrome broom and duster. Satisfied, he began to move towards the broken shards of glass to sweep it up, before the duster began to attract the glass slowly towards it like a magnet.

Huh, this might be not so bad anymore.

The radio suddenly began to bark with a flurry of activity, the newscaster rapidly rattling out a series of announcements. Moses stopped what he was doing, setting the broom and duster next to a cupboard and leaning over to hear the radio better. He initially thought it to be just something minor, perhaps a bout of gang activity, but the reality of the situation shook him to his core, the more and more he listened to the news.

“ Reports of an explosion at Le Chateau Rogue have been sighted-”

Not my responsibility.

“ Mayor Murray has been confirmed to be at the center of an attack. SCPD are still trying to decipher the nature -”

But, this is your city.

“ - red cloud sighted over Santa Celia city hall. Meteorologists are confused and are hypothesizing that this is a man-made-”

Moses hurriedly switched off the radio channel, his face white as he walked towards the window and stared out towards the sight of oblivion. A red cloud, hanging in the distance, framed by broken shards of glass. The colour of blood. The colour of death. It was like a ink blot, a blemish on the coastal skyline of Santa Celia as it cast a portent of the violent disaster to come. He turned around and shook his head, trying to convince himself that he shouldn’t interfere, that he was more of a liability than of assistance. The police could handle it. Someone else could handle it. He took up his broom and duster again, this time with doubt as he focused on cleaning the scattered piles of dust and debris that was left in his room, the scuffs in his floorboard, claw marks in his wall torn out by -

How could he even think about his room at this moment? He was just - What could he do? He dropped both of his trinkets as they clattered on the floor, slumping on the coach and staring upwards towards his mouldy ceiling, patches of mildew growing in the corners, begging for a answer. An answer that he could only provide himself with. He rested his head on his hands, a headache of turmoil growing with every second as he fought for control of his desires, to bridge between the gulf between two identities. A failure of a dead order or a lowly street-artist?

What would an Artistonancer do?


The one thing that’s same about every artist is their muse. Whether it be a person, an object , an ideal to strive towards; every artist needs a muse to inspire them, to drive them. Without your muse, you will always have a hole in your heart. So, what’s your muse, Mo?


What would Moses Muller do?

He opened his dried eyes, blank with indecision. He closed and opened his hands slowly, relaxing them as he took a deep breathe. Moses then stood up, back straight like a railroad spike and his stare narrowed with a certain look of resolute determination. He looked towards the cans of spray paint left near his door with a growing plan in his mind.

What are you doing? You're not properly trained. You don't know what's out there. You can't take this risk."

The muse spoke worriedly as Moses took out large sheets of newspaper and Krylon Spray Paint.

“ I’m not doing this anymore,” Moses growled, uncapping a spray can “, Standing by the goddamn sidelines.”

He shook the can, hyper-pressurised fluid swirling inside, courage ramming down on the plunger as he resorted back to a primordial want that burned within him since he was young.

To paint.




His red scarf fluttered in the currents of breeze on the top roof of Glenvale Residences. The entire premise was vacated and at this late a time, the guards would only patrol the roof-tops in a 1 hour cycle. Enough time for him to gather his thoughts as he stared down towards the bustling streets of Santa Celia, honking cars and roving pedestrians huddling about. It appeared to be rush hour. Moses breathed in and processed the scents, the smells, the sharp taste of aerosol spray paint and the fetid damp smell of apartment ventilation. He held the umbrella tightly in his right hand whilst tapping his shoes against one another, normal and unassuming if one didn’t happen to notice the springs attached to the soles.

This is a bad idea, Moses Muller.

He chuckled. For once, the mural actually seemed concerned about his safety.

“ I’ve been a big fan of bad ideas all my life. Don’t see the point of risking one - ” He struggled to finish his boast, teeth chattering for a moment in fear. “ - more.”

15 stories was comparably tiny compared to some of the towering skyscrapers within Santa Celia, but to him, it was the equivalent to leaping off the Tower of Babel. He paced back and forth, twirling the umbrella in his hand as he decided. Moses then pulled the scarf over his mouth, tying it in a loose knot that covered the region under his nose in a imitation of a bandana. He was ready. The blowing wind and the smoky scent of sun-burnt concrete galvanized him into taking a single step forward towards the edge. Then, the next. Then, another. He moved at a slow pace with growing confidence.

“ If you’re not careful, that art of yours could get you killed.”

Now, walking. Lightning waking in his veins.
“ Come on, Moses. Show me. Show me like you showed Gerald.”
Now, jogging. Muscles tightening, his mind fighting.

“ Every artist was an amateur when they first began.”

Now, running. Nearing the edge, inhaling, a step -

“ What’s your muse, Mo?”

He was falling. No, rising towards the streets, limbs tangling together in a uncoordinated mess as he struggled to pull out his umbrella in the free-fall. He fumbled for the handle, geyser of wind blowing directly into his face. He swore he could have heard several screams of “SUICIDE!” and “SAVE HIM!” as he continued to tumble head-first towards an eventual meeting with the ground. He found the button, pressing it as he was only moments from splattering himself across the road, wincing for the inevitable sensation of pain -

Only to feel something pull him off his feet, buffeting him upwards like a hot-air balloon. The parasol blossomed out like a desert flower, propelling him upwards like a parachute, succeeding his expectations. The ascent continued for a while before it began to slow down, just as he was a meter away from the ledge of the nearest roof-top. Moses shoved his body forward, closing the parasol and grabbing onto the ledge. Pulling himself up, Moses brushed the dust off him, hyperventilating as he looked over the concrete canyon of apartment buildings. The red cloud was still a block away.

Moses breathed in again before running again and this time, jumping forward, pressing forward on his heels as the springs in his shoes enhanced his jump from a mere hop to a multi-meter Olympic-breaking lunge. He waited for the eventual state of falling once more before unfurling the parasol to disobey the laws of gravity.

“YEEAAAHHHHH!-” He whooped, landing into a roll onto the roof-top of another apartment before leaping once more, springs bouncing him forward to greater heights than humanly possible. He sprinted across the ridge of a long roof, shingles nearly falling off with each fall of his step as he leapt off again, aiming his umbrella towards the right as he ran vertically across the side of an apartment before closing his umbrella again to gain enough velocity again. He was getting used the actions of closing and opening his umbrella to direct the motion of his fall,, the repeating actions of digging his heels onto block heaters and sun-weathered concrete, skipping steps down railway stairs, vaulting over ledges, leaping vast distances with his spring shoes.

His heart pumped, sang, his blood forming the rich palette as he wrought out . He whooped a yell of exhilaration, surging forward with the cathartic fervor of purpose in his lungs.

I’ve found my muse, Uncle Gerald.

He stared ahead, cloud of burning red in the horizon, sky bleeding like a gaping wound that dripped on top of a raging inferno. He dived into another free-fall, finger hovering near the button again to wait for the inevitable rush of being zip-lined upwards to heaven.

Being the last Artistonancer.



SHOCKING CHRONICLES OF SANTA CELIA


INTRODUCING THE LAST ARTISTONANCER OF SANTA CELIA


SPECIAL CROSSOVER ISSUE: BE SOMEBODY



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Hidden 10 mos ago Post by DocRock
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DocRock Techno-Gilgamesh

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A Challenger Approaches

Act 1.2: Grim Tidings


Her radio picked up on what was happening before she did, as Serene's head was down, checking her phone for any texts. The sudden static as the explosion in the city disrupted radio waves made her head snap up, seeing the aftermath on the distant horizon. A foot slammed on the brakes, as her hands twisted the wheel, the truck skidding as it came to an abrupt stop, nearly throwing her forward, but not as much as if she'd hit something. Now off the highway a tad, to let other cars pass, she stared in abject horror at the rising cloud. She quickly searched through the radio channels for the local news, only to freeze at the news.

"An explosion in the city? Mayor might be gone...weird chemical rain. What the hell..." Knuckles turned white as she gripped the steering wheel with one hand, both feet now off the pedals, as she tried to process this. Had her father somehow foreseen this? Was this why he'd spoken of the winds calling? Had he known a clairvoyant who warned him? She had to assume there was a reason he'd never come to the city to himself. Had her grandmother known something she hadn't? Her hand left the wheel, unlocking the door, pushing it open, leaving the truck idling, as she engaged the parking break with her other hand, using one of the two then to undo her seatbelt, and she climbed out. Booted feet landed on the asphalt, her hand going up to shade her eyes, as she looked towards the source. She was dimly aware of others stopping to look at the chaos, babies crying in cars nearby, but for her, it was shocking. Serene only kept staring as the cloud began to fall, and then climbed back in, hearing nothing new on the news. Just a warning for people to be careful.

She made a choice. She'd come this far, there was no going back. She hadn't come this far, only to turn back, only to retreat from the dangers ahead, to make her father proud. Taking in a breath, she let it out. "Alright, let's rock and roll." She pulled her phone up, and sent a text to her Grandmother, knowing the other was currently probably out and not using her phone, but just telling her that there had been a possible terror attack in the city, and that she was fine, but heading into the city. She knew she'd get an earful over the phone later, given how unhappy the elder Light had been at the thought of her going in the first place. But the time for action was now. The city would likely need heroes more than ever, and she was going to be one of them. She buckled up again, but kept the radio to the news, incase she heard more, and with a heavy heart, and a chip on her shoulder, she pressed the gas in, the white truck beginning to move again, accelerating as she pulled back onto the highway that led to the city, having already taken the exit off from the prior highway. She'd be there soon, and then, she'd figure out what niche she could fill as a magitech user...

...If only she knew she wasn't magical. Oh well, that'd be a trip for another time.
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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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F E E D E R S



Events transpire several hours before the start of Be Somebody.

...

“...severe damage to the vehicle, with no sign of Ms. Sorenson in sight. Authorities ask that residents of Árido Valley keep watch for any signs of Jennifer Sorenson’s status or whereabouts and report anything they find which may help in the ongoing investigation. In other news, gunfire was reported near…”

Newscast. Uncle and his son were sitting and watching while they ate, rest of the family just outside on the backyard patio. Cookout, having the family over. Everyone had already done plenty of talking, so now they were beginning to separate a bit. TV sounded good to the uncle in the meantime.

There were seven in all. A man and his wife, the man’s brother and his wife, two girls belonging to the first couple, and a boy belonging to the second.

A relatively happy family. Nothing out of the ordinary.

“I don’t wanna go back into town anytime soon after all that craziness. I’m not.” The father said, “Murders left and right, gang wars, it’s insane.”

“You shouldn’t be working there then!” The uncle’s wife said, “You can find something out here in the Valley!”

“I mean, maybe after I square everything away with my boss but-”

“Daddy!”

One of the daughters ran to the table where the three adults were seated. “What? What is it?” The father asked his little girl, who looked pale and panicked. “There’s a lady!” She called out, “She’s hurt!” She turned to look out into the yard, as did the adults. Over in the distance, the father’s other daughter was standing a few feet away from an unfamiliar figure - a woman. Ragged, filthy, and her steps uneven.

“Oh my God!” One of the mothers called out. The father sprang from his seat on the patio and sprinted over to his daughter and the stranger. A look of worry grew on his face as he became more aware of the woman’s physical condition. He placed his arms on his daughter’s shoulders and pulled her back, looking at the stranger and saying, “Miss, a-are you okay? Miss?”

No response. The woman just kept stumbling forward. Her clothes were torn to shreds and splattered in foul-smelling stains. Dried, crusted blood surrounded her eyes and mouth. Blonde hair turned wild and caked in dirt. And her abdomen... writhed beneath her shirt.

The other members of the family gathered outside to watch the event take place. “Miss?” The father said once again, “Can you hear me?”

The woman slowly raised her head and opened her mouth. Rather than any reply of words, the family was beholden to a horrifying sight. The inside of woman’s mouth - teeth and tongue - had all been replaced by a cluster of small, red, slime-covered pods. They opened wide, and began to vibrate rapidly, emitting a fast and constant clicking sound. Like a swarm of insects compressed into one small source.

The family - all standing before this strange, altered woman - did not react. They stood there, eyes wide, pupils dilating, mouths agape. The sound pierced their skulls and wormed its way into their brains, holding back their attempts to move or break away in any manner. The woman, maintaining her strange song, collapsed to her knees and then onto her side. None of this halted the sound. The family then gathered around her in a misshapen circle, dropping to their knees. They began to claw at her shirt, something still writhing beneath it. They tore it open, revealing a bloody mess of squirming pale creatures, similar to the ones inhabiting her mouth, but larger and covered in thin red veins. They moved on their own, as if detaching themselves from the woman’s exposed innards and presenting themselves to the family before them.

The seven of them began to dig their hands into the mess, grabbing the worm-like creatures and slovenly devouring them. Juices and fluids coated their hands as they dug at the woman’s body, as she maintained her hypnotizing song. They each stuffed worm after worm into their mouths, not making any attempt to clean themselves.

The horrid feast went on for only a couple minutes before the worms were all gone. The woman then ceased her song, the pods retreating as she closed her mouth, and lied still on the grass. Not quite dead, but very nearly there.

The family all slowly stood upright, mouths covered in the foul, sticky fluids from the woman’s innards. They all turned their heads away from the house and the woman, and then slowly began to stumble away from the scene altogether. They maintained a close group, as if driven by some unseen force, commanding them.

The house was left empty, the TV on, and the woman torn open and dead in yard.
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Hidden 10 mos ago Post by Fetzen
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Fetzen

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L A Z A R U S

Location(s): Argyle street, Rókur's apartment. Departing towards downtown at the end.
Interaction(s) with: None


And we now have live footage from our BREAKING NEWS chopper. As you can see there is still a massive column of black smoke obstrucing the aerial view onto the downtown of Santa Celia, fed by large builings ablaze beneath it. It is raining, but the water from above -- if you would like to call the strangely violet substance such -- does not seem to impress it at all at this point. It might come in as a shock for many of our viewers, but it is very likely that our city has been struck by a double catastrophe: Firefighters and emergency services have just started to scour through the carnage, but we are receiving reports that a large tanker truck has been found either to have crashed into or to have at least exploded in front of the Chateau Rouge, a high-prized restaurant in the area. The precise nature of its cargo has not yet been identified, but according to witness accounts it is safe to assume that it is chemical and likely responsible for the strange rain phenomenon the city is currently faced with. What's even more important at this point though is that the mayor, Samson Murray, is said to have been present at the Chateau Rouge this night. It is currently unclear if he has left the building in time and how many another people survived the blast. We will keep you up to date all through the night, the regular program has been canceled.


Old Milton's didn't provide the luxury of a flat-screen TV for every of its inhabitants already included in the rental, but it did offer a public lounge where people could play at the football table, billiards or just stare at a large screen embedded in the wall and protected by a thick glass pane mounted in front of it. Rókur was standing at the rear end of the room and silently participated in the general tumult that had befallen the city. A general advisory not to expose oneself or any pets to the current rain had been called out, but it wouldn't have needed that to wipe everyone off the streets. It seemed as if pretty much everyone was watching in horror what was going on a few miles away in downtown.

Well... not everyone. From Rókur's private perspective he had seen far worse losses of life until barely a year ago -- and those 'media' of today even appeared to spare their customers the majority of the bloody, gory details. Overall it was safe to say that he felt emotionally quite detached, even to the point where someone started to look at him in astonishment with his oversized, goliath-like physique not being the reason for it. He should probably leave and re-evaluate the situation from his own chambers...

With Jasper having been gone for at least a few hours there was no indication that anything strange ever had happened in said rooms, at least for the average observer. Any more experienced detective however wouldn't have taken long to find out intriguing details casting severe doubts onto this initial conclusion: The fridge, while present, had apparently not been in use in a long time. Neither had been the shower or the toilet. The bed and couch on the other hand had become saggy like hell and the heating was on to a very mild degree. Someone apparently lived here, but he or she didn't seem to be interested in many things of daily life and even including some of the most essential ones.

Rókur pushed up the sliding window and stuck his head out, looking down at the streets below. He could see the circular waves spreading on the thin layer of water before one of the droplets hit the back of his head. By stretching out his hand the viking obtained a sample, rubbing it between his thumb and index finger before approaching it with his nose. The ultimate test was to put the liquid into his mouth -- regret following in an instant. That stuff tasted bad! If something had been in his stomach it probably would have protested violently, but this way it was a mere, but no less substantial cramp. At least for him. There simply wasn't anything left in his body to mutate for a chemical substance, be it reddish and tasting like foul shit or not. So even if the vast majority of Santa Celia had not been sharing its utter unawareness of the rain's special properties with him, the incredibly old and yet still young Rókur would not have had much of a reason to hold back. Accidental death was a tragedy, yes. Unsatisfied curiosity however was a thing, too.

Rókur slammed the window shut, turned around and started to collect what he'd need for a little... excursion. Yet as he was about to pick up his mobile phone again he noticed the two photographs right next to it. Yeah.. there was another thing he'd have to deal with. But wouldn't those Fosters be interested in the events currently going on as well, given that they tried to keep up order in the city ?

The tiny phone twisted helplessly in his pale, colossal hand. It didn't have a front camera, so all that Rókur could do was to make a helplessly misaligned selfie while not being able to watch the screen. Half of the picture put the shabby ceiling onto display while the other half -- luckily -- actually showed the major portion of his face and how his hairs were already scratching along the upper limit of his room. That had to suffice. Rókur turned the phone around again, typed in some text and sent it along with the image:

Kyle ? Kayla ? Rokur here... I'm in contact with Jasper and he requested me to stay in touch with you since he'll be busy for a while. Does this and me telling you that he's a friend of Crane's qualify me enough for you not to shoot me down right away ? I'm going to Downtown. Want to take a look at things out of curiosity. If you're there as well maybe we could meet up ? Otherwise some other day... Don't worry!

Having spent an awful amount of time on typing for the sake of correctness, Rókur felt the need to hurry up. He had already lost one shirt in the monorail, so hopefully people wouldn't mind too much if he'd go in what he was currently wearing...
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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 and Kayla

Written with @JunkMail



They found it.

It took nearly a whole day’s worth of time scouring the abandoned metro tunnels of the city, empty tunnel after empty tunnel, plus finding an entrance that hadn’t been completely paved over, but Kyle and Kayla finally found the nest.

The two stood before the clutches of aswang eggs, both wielding fire in their hands in different ways. For Kyle, a Tourist-made small-tank flamethrower. And for Kayla, actual fire danced between her fingertips

The two unceremoniously raised their respective instruments of incineration, and set upon the nest two streams of fire. The sanguine eggs and the putrid growth surrounding them were all engulfed in flames, the unborn aswangs inside writhing for only moments before the eggs burst, succumbing to the heat. It was nasty, it was unsightly, and it smelled absolutely horrible - but it had to be done.

The two walked away from their handiwork as the flames began to wither, the light dying as they moved further and further away, resorting to illumination via a ball of light Kayla had conjured.

“That’s always the opposite of fun.” she said, trying to break the silence between the two. She had always been the most talkative of the bunch, and lulls in conversation always bothered her more than they ever did her brother. Patience was a virtue as the saying went, and impatience had always been one of her character flaws.

“Least it’s done.” Kyle replied, “Although knowing that was down here makes me wonder if other parts of the tunnel network are worth checking out.”

“I’m inclined to agree. I’m sure a library around here has some of the city’s documentation. There’s likely a map of these tunnels.” Kayla hummed. “Have you heard anything more about any of the supernatural communities in this city?”

“I haven’t taken a look yet. Although I don’t think there’s much the Tourists know about if they didn’t direct us to anything as soon as we got here.”

The station they’d used to enter the tunnel was coming up ahead.

“That might be our next move, then. There’s obviously a…” Kayla trailed off and looked back in the direction where they had come from. Where the eggs were. “...A presence here. Of the supernatural.”

Kayla crossed her arms as she walked with her brother towards the exit. “What do you think we should do about Ellara, now that we know her?”

“For now?” Kyle replied, “Let’s just leave her. She’s got plenty to figure out without either of us roping her into anything. Or vice versa.”

“Always the more pragmatic of us.” Kayla snorted. “Thanks for coming with me to the city by the way. I don’t think I’ve said that yet. It’s been nice to get away from places Milo has been.”

“...Yeah.”

He seemed a little averse towards the mention of the name. But he shrugged it off just as well. They were close to the station now. As they approached, both of their phones buzzed simultaneously. They both retrieved them from their pockets, somewhat perplexed at the timing, and then read the group message they’d both received from…

“Who the hell is Rókur?” Kyle asked, looking confused.

“That name sounds very scandinavian.” Kayla said. “Is your text any different than mine? All it mentions is a name for me.”

“It says it was sent to both of us.” Kyle replied as he continued to read over it. “He’s… friends with Jasper, apparently.”

“I- I know the name but I can't remember why I know the name.” Kayla explained, rubbing the back of her neck. “I guess that’s at the head of our to-do list, then. Maybe I’ll remember on the way.”

“Yeah.” Kyle said, as the two made their way through the abandoned station, “But, what’s happening downtown that he wants to check out?”

“Let me get right on that…” Kayla said, quickly navigating to her phone’s web browser.

“Uh oh.”

“‘Uh oh’? What do you mean ‘uh oh’?”

“Something’s happened. A bomb or- something. They don't know yet.” Kayla answered. “We should probably move. If Rókur knows Jasper, then he’s obviously something other than human. If he’s going out in the middle of town to investigate, this might be big for all of us.” she reasoned. She quickened her pace. “We should probably get there. Quickly.”

No verbal response from Kyle. The two of them simply ran up the station steps to the entrance covered in blue tarps they’d cut through in order to make there way underground in the first place. Once they were outside and by the truck, they both immediately noticed the sight of the event in the distance - the red clouds forming overhead of the evening sky, the pouring rain, and the sounds of sirens drawing closer near it.

“It does not fucking end with this city!” Kyle called out, appearing to lose some of his temper.

Kayla was not faring any better. The rain had quickly soaked through her clothes and she was more prone to being uncomfortably cold than her brother. “Rókur first! Complain later!” She said over the sound of the heavy rain. She pulled her phone out, doing her best to shield it from the water with her other hand and sent their new contact a quick text, while the both of them made for the truck.

Kayla: Where are you? Wherever you are, dont move. We’re coming to you.

@Fetzen
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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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The Last Aritistonancer





Moses missed the sensation of parkour. It was an exhilarating way to travel the concrete jungle of Satan Celia, the most preferred way of navigation for a street artist such as him. Hours of conditioning and practise came back to him as his thighs ached more with every leap and landing that he did. He tucked into a precision landing, skipping along the rooftop railings like a monkey. His breath quickened as he made for a somersaulting leap off a roof-top, umbrella hoisting him back up to the sky and preserving his momentum as his toes touched upon another apartment block.

As Moses continued to maneuver and sail through the apartments of Downtown Santa Celia, the anomalous nature of the rain only became more apparent as he neared it. The red began to pool onto the tarmac and the concrete, soaking it with rustic, coppery hues. Moses slid downwards on a set of cheap corrugated railing, halting himself by the heels of his shoes as he eyed the hellish weather on the horizon.

“ Well, I’m lucky that I packed an umbrella for today” Moses murmured, tightening his scarf which had become loose throughout his running, “ Looks like you shouldn’t always trust the weather forecast.”

This is no mere rain, Muller. A localised weather event this isolated and anomalous? It could be magic at work here.

Radio report said that it was a chemical spill. Man-made.

Have you ever seen anything man-made like this? It would be foolish of you to dismiss the possibility of supernatural phenomena.

I’ll keep that in mind.

Moses slowly floated down into the comfort of a nearby alleyway, a few blocks away from the radius of the rain, feet lightly touching the damp, fetid floor. The wailing dirge of the sirens were pounding his head. That stupid sound was going to be stuck in his mind for days, maybe even weeks. He took a moment to take a breather, muscles burning with fading fatigue as he leaned against the mossy brick wall. He peeked left to right out of the alley-way, making sure the coast was clear before he was brushed in the shoulder by a frightened woman.

Then, came the stampede. His senses struggled to keep up with the chaos around him as it was a simple panorama of distress and discord. Ambulances and police cars were piling and bordering up around the rain cloud. Moses kept walking towards the edge of the rain-fall, avoiding the bulk of the trampling crowd. He was close now. He could just barely see the smoking fumes, though, the fires of Le Chateau Rouge were not noticable. He’d never been to the City Hall this close before. Most of his jobs took place near Uptown of Santa Celia. The alabaster pillars looked almost bone white with the red rain coursing down in rivulets.

I am recommending you to avoid as much physical contact with the rain, until we know of its true effects. Use that umbrella.

Right. Moses unfurled the umbrella , leaning the shaft over his right shoulder. He was just a few more seconds from entering the storm before someone caught him by the shoulder. He turned around, only to swear internally, as a police officer looked at him suspiciously.

Crap.

“Hey,” The officer spoke towards him “ This area is bordered off. What do you think you’re doing?”

Moses was rapidly trying to think of an excuse if it wasn’t the fact that his dress-up would run counter to every one of those possible excuses. Scarf wrapped around the mouth? A spray-painted hoodie? Umbrella? He looked like an juvenile delinquent rather than a street artist making his way through the city. After a moment of indecision, Moses then pointed over the officer’s shoulder.

“ Hey, um, I think I see someone beating someone else over there!”

“ Wh-” The officer looked around before realising that he’d been played. “ Hey! Get back here! This is Officer Brian. We have a civilian entering the - “

Moses began running into the storm, the drizzling quickly transforming into a deluge of red once more. The red water ran off the umbrella canopy in a spider web of rivers, protecting him from the onslaught of rain. He briefly reached his hand out to touch the rain for a moment’s curiosity before deciding against it. He continued to walk in silence, the odd stranger there and here.

He was nearing the ruins of the La Cheteau de Rouge. Or, at least, signs of nearing it. Moses gulped as he took in the devastation. The entire street that he was on was a veritable blast zone, bits of metal, wood and glass strewn about in varying chunks and sizes. He could see the still burning restaurant in the distance, red smoke boiling upon contact with the dying flames. If Moses ever had to describe his vision of hell, what he was seeing right now in front of him could have been a rendition of it.

You think that this could be the work of a magician?

Yes and no. It is possible but impossible today. Magic within the 21st Century has become nearly endangered. The amount of training and spell-work it would require to create this….grotesque weather would be incalculable. Certainly beyond your strength.In the meantime, we should focus on finding the source of this rain.

A scream rang out in the torrential wind. Them, several more. Moses looked towards a nearby coffee shop where he noticed a man taking refuge inside, leaning against the walls. He ran inside, noticing the large trail of human blood that had been largely washed away by the flow of the rain.

Or saving what’s in front of us first.

A base-ball capped man, black-haired, wearing a bomber jacket, was lying on the ground, white-faced and croaking out in pain.

“...Help me…”

The man’s entire left arm was badly perforated, shards of glass embedded in wounds that oozed out blood. Whatever caused the Rouge to go up in smoke, the poor guy must have been near it when whatever happened happen. As the man continued to nurse his limp arm, Moses unzipped his duffle bag and pulled out one of his many pre-drawn sketches. He plunged his hand once again into one of his many sketches, stomach lurching with butterflies, rush of energy coursing into his hand like a waterfall as he pulled out a roll of thin gauze that was strewn with iconography from a bygone era. He unrolled the gauze and began to wrap it around the man’s arm,

“ What’re you doing? You’re - you’re - Wait.. The pain - it’s going away…...”

The colour in the man’s face began to return as Moses finished his hasty first aid, using up the entire roll in the process. The bandages began to part and fall off like shed snake skin, turning into motes of dust in the stormy wind. In its place, the man’s arm was returned back to normal, albeit with an series of markings labelled on his inner arm. The man stared at his arm, closing and opening his eyes to see if he was still in a dream, before whispering towards Moses.

“ Than-Thank you!”

“ You’re welcome. Now, get out of here! Police car’s just a minute from down here. Stay here and you’ll-uh-” Moses swayed in his spot for a little bit of it, unsure of how to respond “ - get pneumonia.”

The stranger stood still for a moment, perhaps thinking about rewarding him or giving him something back in return, or so Moses tried to amuse himself. He then nodded in assent, before running out of the empty coffee shop, holding his bomber jacket over himself to shield him from the rain. Moses stood still in the same position, his hands still red with blood. He then went to the open sink to wash his hands.

You know I specifically advised you on drawing those bandages for your own personal use?

Well, I can always draw another one.

Hands clean, Moses stared over the burning conflagration of Le Chateau Rogue, obscured by red rain that was hissing off the licks of orange flames emanating off the burnt ruins. No time to waste, Moses unfurled his umbrella once more and entered into the bloody downpour with nary a scared step behind him.
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Hidden 10 mos ago Post by ToBriOrNotToBri
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ToBriOrNotToBri Sad Theatre Kid

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Pepper


“Hold still!” Pepper shouted as the blue jay flew off. She knew she shouldn’t have shouted, but her frustration with the fidgety bird overcame her.

She was in Downtown Santa Celia trying to snap a contrasting picture that illustrates humanity. She concluded that an image with an animal who wondered the city in search of shelter and food would be contrasting enough. She wanted to show the animals loss of habitat and how it has to adapt to its new surroundings. Except she couldn’t get a picture of this stupid bird. Pepper needed a break; she was getting too heated. Why was she so mad about a bird? She gave up on taking a picture and decided to go for a walk.

She wanted a perfect picture. Though she knew, no matter what picture she took, she would think it wasn’t good enough.

While walking through downtown, she found a small park past a few tall buildings. Approaching the park, she noticed there was an abandoned playground that seemed like it needed some love. Memories flooded back to Pepper of her hometown when she was playing on the swings, and breaking her left arm on the monkey bars, but that’s beside the point. She walked to the swings and sat. She started to wind herself back, ready for a full WOOSH sound when she let go. The breeze in her hair, the light feeling of gravity, made her calm again. She misses being a child, more so the fact that she didn’t have a normal childhood and still craves that. It started to drizzle, which didn’t bother Pepper. She loves water, and her clothes aren’t boujee enough that they need to stay dry.

A wave of loneliness washed over her, which is rare. She got off the swing and sprawled out on the ground, her bag beside her. She closed her eyes and breathed, imagining she was in a lush forest with light green highlights and a clear blue sky. She added the sound of running water going over a bed of rocks to mimic the sound of the rain. She connected herself with the world, delving into the imaginary scene she just created in her mind. She wished she could become a part of the grass; feeling the breeze of the wind and the energy pulsating through the ground.

She almost believed that the pulsing from the ground was in her head.

She felt the ground shake. Like something underneath it ruptured from far away. She opened her eyes and saw smoke in the sky. That was when she began to notice the smell of smoke caused by a fire. She sat up, but couldn’t see any sign of fire near her. She wasn’t too worried about it, so she laid back down. It was probably a bad car crash.

Though it started to rain heavier, she entered into her world again, trying to ignore the smoke. She enjoyed the smell of rain; that was her favorite scent. The smoke seemed to vanish from her senses as she began to take everything in. She felt like she was sinking into the Earth, somehow more different than usual. She couldn’t describe it, no matter how hard she thought. She enjoyed this new feeling though, hoping it would never go away.

While relaxing, she felt something touch her stomach. With a panic, she was ready to beat the shit out of whatever it was. Her eyes opened, and before she could get up and fight, she realized how low she was on the ground. Or more, like, in the ground. The only way she could describe it was being as flat as a pancake. Her heart started racing, as she thought she was hallucinating. She couldn’t raise herself up right away because she was stricken with fear. She froze, unsure of what to do. Her eyes moved to look at her stomach to see what was touching her.

The blue jay from earlier was just sitting on her.

That wasn’t the only thing she noticed. As her eyes traveled lower, her body was composed of dirt and grass.
DIRT AND GRASS.

She thought, Am I dead? and Maybe that wasn’t smoke but actually a poisonous gas that makes you go on an LSD trip. She wanted to scream, but still frozen, she just watched the bird walk around in the grass.

With the thought that a picture can’t alter reality, she grabbed her camera, and took a picture of where her lower half should be. The shutter sound startled the bird, and it flew off. She hoped it would find shelter in the rain. Still disoriented, she sat up slowly. She notices her legs are still blended onto the ground, but she only cares about seeing the picture she just took.

The camera doesn’t lie.

Soaking wet, she goes to the gallery on her camera and clicks the picture.

The only thing she sees is the bird.
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Hidden 10 mos ago 10 mos ago Post by Fetzen
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Fetzen

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L A Z A R U S

Location(s): Casino Plaza
Interaction(s) with: None


An important notification to our passengers: We have just been informed by our control center that Downtown Station will no longer be available for service until further notice. This decision has been made for the safety of you and other passengers. We politely request for everyone to leave this train at Casino Plaza Station and to use other means of transport as it will return to the depot. Thank you for your attention.


How great! was the first thing to shoot through Rókur's mind. Couldn't he have thought of the possibility of this happening earlier ? As far as he was aware of Santa Celia's layout Casino Plaza was at least three miles away from true Downtown! Not that he'd have been afraid of running, but it would comsume such a horrible amount of time. Grudgingly the giant viking could do nothing but to wait for the monorail to reach the new endpoint of its current journey while the train became almost empty way before that. It appeared that most people had not chosen Downtown as their destination in the first place. Now that the connection to any station beyond that had been cut off on this route they had to search for other ways to get there.

Walking down the steps leading to street level, the strangely colored rain still kept falling to a more or less mild degree. People were moving fast and suspiciously close to the walls of buildings where protruding roofs of shops and businesses could be found in abundance. They took the public warning quite seriously it seemed, making Rókur's own appearance just a bit more awkward. Not that he'd bother...

His phone vibrated, revealing to his eyes the response he had been waiting for:

Kayla: Where are you? Wherever you are, dont move. We’re coming to you.

Rókur looked around. Was there any good place that would both spare him from becoming completely drenched in the crimson rain until their arrival while also exposing himself sufficiently to anyone driving on the road so they wouldn't just move past him accidentally ? There was a massive collection of public benches available, normally crowded since people loved to enjoy the trees having been planted here, but right now completely devoid of any human being since they had no roofs. Also there was a bus stop, but it had already run out of capacity since many had switched from the monorail not only here.

The only choice left was to move close to the buildings and under one of aforementioned, protruding shelters. An excellent move to make people unhappy who had to go around him and expose themselves, though only very briefly, to the rain while also slowing them down a little. Fortunately he didn't look exactly like somebody who could be pushed around easily. Rókur took his phone and typed in a hurried response:

Casino Plaza. Will be hard to miss me I guess.
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Hidden 10 mos ago Post by Tackytaff
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Tackytaff

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M A U R O



The sort of people that visited down-town area such as the Chateau Rouge rarely crossed over with those that visited Mauro's clinic. That didn't stop others from feeling the effects of the explosion, mere hours after it happened; emergency services were all but completely occupied, and emergency rooms in the real hospitals quickly reached capacity. Normal people who would never deign to come so far as the under-city were banging on the gated entrance to St. Benedetta's.

Mauro was blissfully unaware of the panic happening outside of his doors until being woken by a sharp poke below the ribs. He's fallen asleep leaning against a wall in the clinic, hardly a rare occurrence; no time was every really any calmer than another, and it kept more beds open. He blinked to try and wake himself more rapidly, but still had to ask Maria to repeat herself once away of her presence to his left.

"No time for naps. World needs saving." She handed him a battered clipboard which he glanced over, still barely able to register the few notes she'd written down.

"Weren't you supposed to be sleeping?"

"I'm not the one passing out in the open. Not that either of us can afford beauty sleep right now, it's a madhouse out there."

"Something happen?" Mauro checked his pockets to make sure a wandering patient hadn't picked them, before walking towards the so called 'lobby' of the clinic, suddenly anxious. The entire city was on the brink, they'd been waiting for the final tip in the scales for days, it would be just like him to fall asleep while it happened.

"Dunno. I didn't hear anything." After the fifth radio they'd placed in the clinic had been stolen, they'd always been a bit behind with the city events, getting news from patients; an unreliable system at best. They reached the lobby filled with some of the most desperate residence of Santa Celia. Too many. On a weekend night they often had over ten people waiting. There were over thirty.

"Why are so many covered in blood?"

"Not blood. Rain. Really the city that keeps on giving"

Mauro shook his head. A problem for later, but definitely one worth looking into. He handed the clipboard back to Maria "You can handle stitches, and I'll help your reset the woman's broken bone when you're done." Maria didn't argue and disappeared to the back as Mauro opened the gate holding back the crowd. Half a dozen were screaming and waving for attention, those Mauro ignored. If they were well enough to be doing that, they didn't need his help. He took only two steps out in order to reach for a man purple in the face, swaying on his feet with unfocused eyes. People made room enough for him to be dragged through the crowds and into the clinic proper; it was well known enough that forcing your way in meant losing any chance of being treated.

The gate locked behind them as Mauro felt around the man's head and neck. Hyoid fracture, a few days old, but it'd been knocked around a bit and was causing issues with breathing. The man tried to say something unintelligible before slumping against the wall. Mauro wrapped the stranger's arm around his own shoulders and half walked, half dragged him down the hall. Everything else seemed stable, but lying down would make it worse. He'd need a tracheotomy while he tried to get everything back in place. There wasn't a place in the entire under-city that was sterile enough for such a procedure, never-mind that he had no way of making the man unconscious for it.

When Maria found him again, Mauro had given up suturing the temporary hole he made, and was bandaging the now unconscious man's neck tightly enough he was having nearly the same amount of difficult breathing as before; all while clutching his lower abdomen.

"Got a fighter did ya?" Mauro only grunted in response, motioning her over with his head, while he stepped back and tried to take a deep breath while pressing against the old scar the bastard had kneed him in.

"Still got a clean cut though" Maria complimented, as she tried her own hand at stitching the wound.

"Not that he seemed to appreciate it."

"Oh you're just going to open-fracture bitch then."

"You didn't mention it was open."

"She wouldn't let me cut off her jeans before. Still didn't let me to be honest but she was screaming bloody murder either way."

"Don't have enough resources to deal with infection, or time to be picking pieces of bone out."

Mauro sighed closed his eyes while Maria finished her work in silence. Losing a leg was never an ideal situation, worse still for the people that came to him. Whoever it was in the other room wasn't likely to have the option of getting a prosthetic.

"Not falling sleep on me again are you?"

"No just- get something to put the fracture woman out." He reached for a poorly sewn inner pocket in his shirt to hand her a keycard that would grant access to the poorly dubbed 'pharmacy'. Antibiotics were always in low supply, but there were always confiscated opioids to spare. "She's going to lose the leg, should probably warn her of that. I'm going to find some coffee and make sure they're not about to burn the place down out there."

"Already got one made, check my room." She left him alone with the patient again, who appeared to be resting normally, despite the fresh bandages around his neck and the make-shift brace. Mauro touched the man's wrist one more time before leaving, making sure to lock the room behind him.
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Hidden 10 mos ago Post by DocRock
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A Challenger Approaches
Act 1.3: Into the Storm


The sign for the city limits passed, and the falling cloud grew ever nearer, as rubber bit against asphalt, propelling the non-descript white truck onward, a hand reaching from the wheel, to tug up the electronic button that would raise the left window of her cab. Last thing she needed was to get any of that stuff onto her by chance. Serene had to, however, quickly reach over and pull the right window tab up, slowing automatically as she did so, the truck swerving a tad as she did so, while she tried to drive and close the window. Thankfully neither were that low to begin with, so it was easy. She already had an umbrella up front, and a map of the city, and the closer she got, the more she had come to realize how localized the initial blast must have been. The lack of damage on the outskirts indicated that odds were, this wasn't a larger scale attack, nor a nuke, nor an alien invasion. Course, if it had been a nuke, odds were she would have been too close to survive anyway. But still, as she drove into the more industrial part of the city, she couldn't help but scan her surroundings, turning around corners, avoiding anyone losing their collective shit, looking for something.

And then, she found it.

Above the skyline, laid an abandoned factory, or a warehouse, she wasn't sure. It would do for the moment though. She drove around to where the back should be, past the long wide open gates that would normally keep people out. Act like you own the place, besides, its just to catch your bearings. She spied a loading dock, and drove up, turning and reversing into the dock, incase she had to make a quick run for it later. Thankfully, it was covered, and it was angled in such a way that unless the winds changed, and some of the stuff that could eventually fall past started falling in, she'd be safe and dry from the strange chemical. She turned off the truck, and unlocked the doors, popping the driver's door, and hopped out. Once on the other side, she locked it to be safe, and hurried around to the ramp that led up, quickly climbing up the stairs next to it, and round to her truck's back hatch, which she opened the coverings top part, pulling out a small toolkit, which contained a crowbar, lockpick, flashlight, and of course, a go-pro. Time for some urban exploration. Hell, if she was lucky, the company who had owned this place had gone bankrupt, and perhaps, she could find a way to buy the entire place from the city if that was possible.

She pulled out a miner's helmet, and slipped it on, attaching the go-pro to the top, and once confirming it was on via checking her phone's connected app, she walked to the curiously...unlocked smaller entrance door, and looked inside, her flashlight on, as she scanned her surroundings. Nothing. Just the normal area you'd expect just beyond a loading dock, some abandoned pylons, a...forklift left by itself...curious. She danced the flashlight around, wondering just what kind of...place it had been, as she stepped inside, letting the door slid shut behind her, but not before finding a convenient rock to prop it open with, just incase. This was looking a lot more like a factory or say, meat packing plant than anything else...she figured there was bound to be a place for a foreman or someone else to live. This place did look that kind of old fashioned.

And as she set off into the darkness, she couldn't help but shudder, hoping that there wouldn't be a clan of ninjas, drug dealers, or monsters in the place's depths...she just wanted a nice place to temporarily call home. And if she was lucky as she'd thought before, she could get it all cheap, and turn at least part into a home...Onwards she goes.
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Hidden 10 mos ago Post by Silver Carrot
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S N A K E E Y E S



Location: Abandoned Factory, Industrial District
Time of Day: Night
Mentions: Serene Light @DocRock

Several hours ago, Destiny had arrived in Santa Celia. This was the location her husband had told her that their daughter would be coming to, but it didn't seem that special a city. at least not at first glance. It was only an hour later as she was listening to the radio with a cigarette between her fingers that she heard of some sort of chemical explosion that had caused a cloud. Well, that was something unusual, she'd give it that. Her husband always kept things from her even when they were together. He definitely knew something about this city that most people didn't.

Her car was stashed in one of the loading bays, which was now shut and locked. All her tracks, barring one door with a busted lock, had been covered. Free to relax, she laid back and though about this location. She picked it because she tried to trace the route she'd take if she were her daughter. From the freeway, to the industrial district, and seeing this large eye-catching derelict factory. It's what she'd do. If her daughter didn't show up, it meant that she took after her father more, and had made plans to stay somewhere. Even if that was the case, it'd be possible to track her down.

She studied her cybernetic left arm, and in it's shiny black surface, studied her reflection. She hoped her daughter would even recognize her. Destiny's once long, red hair was now black and short, she had a robot arm and her eyes...well, they were reptilian. A keepsake from H.A.T., who saved her life in return for a few...favors. At least they let Destiny keep her biological enhancements, and the arm, free of charge in payment for allowing them to test on her, and that the tests were successful. These changes gave her several new abilities that were useful for an assassin. The biggest downside was the the conspicuous eyes, which were such a noticeable and alarming part of her appearance that they had earned her the moniker 'Snakeeyes'.

She heard noises downstairs, and turned the radio off, listening intently. There was somebody in the building. It might not be Serene, but all things considered, it probably was. Slipping a gun into her holster, just in case it wasn't, and putting her cigarette out, Destiny crept downstairs. Even though it was dark, Destiny's infrared receptors, now just a part of her biology, no gadgets needed, picked up the scent of the visitor. It was a female, about the right age, and she was wearing a miner's cap and regular street clothes. Yes, thos was Serene alright. Destiny could just tell. Her mother's instinct, that she thought was dead and buried in the hole where all her feelings of love resided, was starting to splutter to life, and it told her that this girl was her daughter.

Serene would hear the door she had propped open slam shut, and a the sound of a stone rolling on the ground, if she shone her flash light in that direction, she would see a woman in her late forties or early fifties, in a black vest and loose jeans, with a holster on her belt. Looking closer, one of her arms was black and clearly a prosthetic. Maybe even robotic. Looking yet closer, she'd notice the woman's eyes. They were unnaturally yellow-green and the pupils were shaped like a reptile's. The last thing she'd notice is despite all of this, despite the woman's messy short black hair, and having aged since, this woman's face resembled the pictures of her mother.

The woman stood there, looking a little uncertain and wary, letting Serene make the first move.
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A Challenger Approaches
Act 1.4: Close Encounters of the Family Kind


Location: Abandoned Factory, Industrial District
Time: Night
Mentions: Destiny Light @Silver Carrot

The lack of real lighting from overhead, minus whatever natural light filtered in, coupled with the dancing beam of her flashlight, as far as the beam penetrated into the darkness, already had begun to put Serene on edge as she'd begun to explore. She hadn't gotten far from her point of infiltration, but already her mind was racing a mile a minute, putting all sorts of ideas through her head. Ranging from the mundane like something breaking and falling, to the exotic, like a portal to hell active beneath the factory sending up a demon lord to aliens using the place as a cover for their space ship, like in Predator 2! Every sound had her gaze darting around, nervously trying to determine if that was just the sounds of the dead factory, her imagination, or something worse, like...well Freddy Kruger was in a dream world, and this wasn't a dream, and Michael Myers was...yeah. She was so caught up in thinking about it that even if Destiny had made a sound prior to the door slamming, she wouldn't have heard it. But the door slamming shut...

...She heard that alright.

"FUCK!" Serene nearly jumped out of her skin, clearly spooked, as her head whipped around at the sound of the rolling stone/rock, her arm following in short succession, the flashlight beam blazing a trail through the dark air in the wake of her movement. She was going to probably have whiplash later from the sudden head movement...but what came next was about to make such a thought pale in comparison. For as the light flew around, it caught the figure behind Serene. And as Serene turned to look, the first thing she saw was the black hair...which at once brought memories of Japanese horror films to mind. The second thing, was the pair of eyes staring back at her. This, coupled with the black hair, the silence of the person, and the overall setting...made Serene stumble backwards, slipping, and landing flat on her ass, sending up a small cloud of dust. As she had fallen back, she let out a soft screech of fear. The impact was bone jarring, sending a course of pain up her spine. Her arms flailed a tad, before she peeked through one eye, refocusing her flashlight on the person, realizing the person was...just staring at her. Not moving to attack, or anything. Hopefully the wildness hadn't blinded the other person with her flashlight being right in her face.

A million things raced through Serene's mind. Was this a trap? Were there others about to attack her, and drag her backwards into the deeper part of the factory? Or would the same happen to the woman in front of her? Who, the more Serene gazed, started to look strangely familiar. Something about the posture, coupled with the form overall. Her eyebrows scrunched together, as she tried to figure out what was going on, who was this woman? Meanwhile, she also wondered if a monster would appear behind the woman, or if her face would distort, and turn into a wailing ghost mouth thing. But suddenly, something made her drop her head, which, to anyone viewing the footage later, would make them mad, and say "if this was a horror movie, this was where looking up she'd be in your face about to bite!" Into the pocket of her tool kit her hand went, pulling out a small item, a photograph. Pulling into the camera frame showed a man, a woman, and a baby. The baby was her, at only a few months, the man, her father...and the woman, her mother. Who had supposedly died within the first year or two of Serene's life. And yet, the more she stared at the face, the more she felt that there was some sort of connection between this woman in the photo...and the one before her. She looked back up, the camera rising with her, as she took in a breath, the air hiking in her throat as she did so. Hair color was different, so were the eyes, but the rest...it was too uncannily similar to just be chance. Her pulse was racing, her other hand, the one with the flashlight, was trembling, the same as the rest of her, as she stared ahead, at the woman before her...as her lips parted, and a single word made its exit, hanging in the air, Serene frozen in place after speaking, as if the mere saying of the word had petrified her.

"M-Mom?"

A single word. Stuttered out, but holding a myriad of emotions to it. Confusion, fear, wonder, excitement. So many thoughts. Was this all a mirage, a trick of the light, a grand prank by someone? Or was this...really her mother? She'd always accepted the story as a child, never questioning the specifics of her mother's death, and even if she had wanted to, her chances dropped to nill after her father died. Only he had known the specifics. And it was doubtful her grandmother would have permitted it, given what she herself knew about her son's activities...in the Old World. Still, could one blame Serene for being shocked at such a sight? A ghost of her past, brought to life, at a moment when she felt alone the most. Providence, perhaps, a guiding angel in her time of need. Not like she could have expected eyes like those. Initial shock aside...part of Serene kinda liked them, they looked badass. But for now, she was motionless, waiting for some sort of response from the figure before her.
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Hidden 9 mos ago 9 mos ago Post by JunkMail
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Archie




"Excuse me, Miss? Have you seen Natalie anywhere? She asked me to pick her up from work." The voice came from behind Bianca prompting her to take a deep breath as she took a second to get into character before turning towards Archie with tears welling in the corners of her eyes. Archie, seeing how in distress the woman is, swiftly exited his vehicle.

“I’m so sorry, they made me do it, they took her!” She sobbed running towards Archie before he could step too far away from his car. She wrapped her arms around him, placing her face against his chest.

Archie grabbed her by the shoulders and gently pushed her arm's length away. He opened his mouth to speak, but instead his legs were swept out from below him. He felt his body careening back, and felt his head harshly contact the hood of his car. He faintly remembers the sound of his car's alarm, and then nothing at all.



An odd silence swallows the large home, it being void of the joy and laughter that had once colored the air. Boxes are carelessly strewn across the floor, each inhabiting bits and peaces of beautiful memories that when now recollected, only leave behind a bitter-sweet aching.
in front of the kitchen counter stood Archie as he stared dumbfounded at the disheveled mess that is his home.

How is it that only a mere six months ago he had been the happiest he had ever been.

Perhaps being surrounded by his boxed up memories made him nostalgic. The dark haired man recalls the first time she had admitted her true feelings for him.

The event had occurred years ago, when the two were about to split apart so each could return to their respective homes. Archie had been in the midst of turning away from the lovely blonde haired girl when she had blurted out her thoughts.

"Arch, I like you."

The young man had frozen in his spot, for not even he, whom is ordinarily completely ignorant and dense in most romantic situations, could not deny the truth of her words. From the fear in her small voice, and blazing blush to her cheeks, Archie knew that her words held a much heavier meaning than he hoped. He had been surprised when he felt a warmth rushing to his cheeks as well. It wasn't as if he had ever felt any way towards the girl before him in a more than friendly manner. Sure the girl is pretty, with her long locks of golden, and stormy skies full of a thirst for knowledge, though taking into account their three year age gap and their history, Archie had always thought of the girl as a younger sibling of sorts.

However, before he had the chance to act as if he hadn't an idea what she meant, something came over him.

With her sweet calming voice, soft disposition, and wide eyed stare, she reminded him of another time. He hadn't been sure of what or who it was, or even if the thing was concrete or just some abstract place he had strung together in his thoughts, but it was familiar, and comforting. So instead of telling her the truth, that he hadn't had any romantic feelings towards her, Archie had told her that he liked her as well.

From that point onward, the two had become inseparable.

It had only been four years ago, post much pushing from his mother and friends, that Archie had finally went down on one knee and proposed to her. Of course she had said yes, and with great enthusiasm. It felt as if, with that beautiful diamond ring, all of her childhood dreams would finally come true, and she would be whisked away to some fairy tale land, happy and in love with the man of her dreams.

Though when Ellie now looks back at that moment, she laughs at herself for being such a hopeless fool, for not seeing all the signs when she had the chance.

The first few months of their marriage had been blissful and easy, the way their relationship had always been. That is until a sourness had started to invade their words and actions. Small things that they did started to annoy the other, and small amounts of venom had started to drench their conversations. Then it happened. Though those tiny things had been building up, it wasn't until their world had been fractured that finally in one night of shouts and tears, the two had split apart.

When they thought it over rationally, neither was surprised in the split. Their relationship had always been one of fairy tales that belonged in-between the bindings of a child's novel, and not in the real world. When they had first met again, a week subsequent to the night of pain, the two on smiled at each other. A sardonic, pained smile, but a smile none the less.

They had spent the day discussing the night of pain, and what had led up to it.

By the end of the conversation, Ellie had found herself lying comfortably against Archie's chest, and they both knowing that they were never meant to be a forever kind of thing, just a familiar distraction. The dark haired man is brought out of his reminiscence when he hears the quiet footsteps of someone walking into the kitchen.

He glances up to find the face of his soon to be ex-wife.

She is still pretty, and delicate like a flower, though the long years have slowly started to age her beyond her years. Her long locks of honey-gold are now pulled up into a high ponytail, rather than hanging off her shoulders like so long ago, and her large watery grey skies have dimmed in the slightest. The thirst of knowledge becoming less and less prominent.

"I think I only need one more trip, and I'll have all my things." She informs him in a sort of business like tone. It sickens Archie to hear her speak like that to him, they... they were still friends, weren't they?

"It feels really strange," the man admits. "In a couple of days, this will no longer be our house."

"I know," Ellie agrees with an exhale. "But it's about time we move on, don't ya think?"

"Still feels weird," is all he mutters in response.

The two stand there in silence for a few moments, neither knowing what to say next. However, the silence is broken by the quiet sobs of Ellie. So much has transpired in these last few months, and the weight of it all has started to hurt, so much so that she could no longer hold it in.

It feels as if everything she has ever wanted as a child has been wrenched from her grasp, and now she must start a new.
Hearing the small cry, Archie's light blue orbs look up from their downwards cast and find Ellie trying to wipe away the tears.
She appears so tired, as if someone had chewed her up and spit her out.

Archie moves from his position and stands before her. He presses his forehead against hers and clamps his hand around the small diamond necklace that is bound around her neck. The necklace he had gotten her for their two year anniversary.

"I still love you Ellie," he admits in a whisper. "…Maybe we can find a way to work this thing out?"

Archie is surprised to not feel pain when he sees her shake her head.

"I know you love me Archie," she assures. "But you don't love me the way a man should love his wife."

"That's not true," he argues.

"Yes it is." She interjects with a croak. "Because you can't look me in the eyes and tell me that you love me in that way. In the unconditional, heart wrenching, aching sort of way. The way I loved you. the way I love you."

He does not reply, he doesn't know how to. She has left him completely speechless. His grasp lets loose of the diamond necklace as a wave of shame comes over him.

"I'm sorry," he speaks after long, infinite minutes of silence drag on.

"It's alright," she tells him. "I... I already knew."

He offers a grateful grin her way before pulling the blonde into an embrace, he still being hesitant in letting her go, letting his childhood go.

Archie had never been well in being alone. Although, here he is, letting go of his best friend, and embarking life on his own.

When the two finally split apart, Ellie balances on her tip toes and grants him a sweet kiss on his temple before wishing farewell and walking out of the house they had once shared as husband and wife, leaving behind an empty void in her wake.



When Archie came to, he felt a fire in his chest. He had been stripped, and was wearing little more than his jeans. He groaned and moved, but found himself to be bound tightly to whatever he was retrained to. His eyes were covered. He couldn't see a damn thing. Suddenly a thunderclap headache returned. Our of instinct he reached up to try and rub the offending wound, but was quickly reminded of his bindings. His attention shifted when there was a creak as the door to wherever he was being held opened, and someone walked in. He instantly froze in place, refusing to move or give away that he was slowly regaining consciousness. He felt them kneel down near him, and place a hand on the top of his limp head, moving it as if to face them. He allowed himself to lull with the movement.

"Beginning to think that you're not worth our time. Or a lizard" a feminine voice spoke. He recognized it- it was the woman he spoke to before-

Oh no.

"It's been a day or so now. Monty and Vinnie are getting impatient. Me, too. If you can hear me, your lady goes up for auction in a few hours. And you... well, I hope your drivers license says organ donor, cause that's what you're gonna be."

She pushed his head away harshly, worsening his headache. "You've got six hours to show yourself. Think on that, scales."

He heard footsteps, and then the door open and shut once more.

Most people would be formulating, or scheming, or making peace with what was to come. Archie was doing none of these things. He was simply focusing on not screaming in agony. When he felt his maxilla begin to break, he lost his resolve. The beginning of a scream almost made it's way out of his mouth but was silenced by the contents of his stomach exiting his body through his nose and broken face, reduced to a gurgle. He struggled against the bindings as they became uncomfortably tight, tearing an arm and the ropes from the pole it was tied to, he desperately clawed at his face, nails and claws filleting his blinding and slicing through skin as his eyes themselves changed impossibly- seeing through the darkness that he was surrounded by. He kicked wildly with his legs, thrashing his broken body and freeing himself quite easily from what was holding his body down. He closed his eyes and curled in on himself, suffering through the torture.

Then, as soon as it came, the pain vanished. He stood, his eyes glowing in the darkness that surrounded him. He could hear the entire building, he could smell every odor around the block, and he could feel their fear as a harrowing, primordial roar tore through the relative silence of the building, reverberating through the walls and cutting into the occupant's very souls.

There was the sound of thunder.

In the compound garage, the hairs on Bianca's neck stood up straight. Monty and Vinnie immediately reacted, almost visibly making themselves smaller as they heard it.

"It's here." Was all Vinnie could muster. Natalie who was clad in nothing but her underwear after her clothing had been stolen was bound to a pillar in the center of the room. The men guarding her were instantly on their feet, and a few others grabbed their firearms. Monty was already making for the door.

Bianca's skin began to change as a metal plating covered her body. She shot a look to Monty, "Where are you going?!"

"M-mistake..." was all she heard him say as he exited the building frantically.

The room was quiet once more, but they could hear thew rheumatic thumping of something big moving far faster than it had any right to move. For the first time, Bianca began to doubt the legitimacy of her plan.

There was the sound of thunder.

The corridor doors leading into the garage exploded. Some of her men fired a few shots, but the heavy steel doors were being carried like a giant shield, protecting an absolutely massive black and white object from the rounds. Bianca had no time to react as the... thing barreled into the garage support Natalie was tied to, still moving at full speed. Despite the pillar's size, it was no match for three thousand pounds of force moving at forty miles an hour and was smashed through. Rocks, debris, and the beings sheer size took out the two men who were guarding Natalie.

The creature finally came to a stop, standing over Natalie and still carrying the door. Bianca's breath hitched as the confidence she had fell away. It was real. It was real and it was-

She opened her mouth to order her men, but was cut off by an ominous groaning.

There was the sound of thunder.

The ceiling above them, now lacking support, fell from above, covering the room in an impermeable haze of dust. Archie, thinking quickly, jammed the door into the ground and positioned himself directly over Natalie as the ceiling fell above them, forming a giant cocoon of rubble around where he stood. Archie, while holding the makeshift cover up with one arm, cast his eyes downward to Natalie, and offered her his other gigantic scaled hand. The dust would give her the ability to escape if she wanted to. Or fight, if she decided.

Bianca, who had avoided being trapped under fallen pieces of structure and was largely unharmed due to her armor, coughed and tried to clear her vision. In the dark she could make out the giant mount in the room, and as some rubble fell away she locked eyes with the huge glowing orbs that were staring into her very soul- as if it was some righteous judgement of her being. She heard- no, felt the creature open it's maw at her in the darkness and unleash another soul shatteringly hellish scream.

There was the sound of thunder.


@silver Carrot @Lord Wraith
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Hidden 9 mos ago 9 mos ago Post by Silver Carrot
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Natalie Ellis



Location: Scrapyard Garage, Industrial District
Time of Day: Night




Natalie woke up, and immediately, before even opening eye eyes, knew several things were wrong. Everything came back to her. The fight, losing her phone, and letting herself get knocked out. Her body was chained to a support beam, upright, and everything was sore and stiff. Natalie's head was pounding, and her face, specifically around one of her eyes, was hot and throbbing. She correctly assumed she had one shiner of a black eye. But nothing was broken. Of course nothing was broken. Not even Bianca's metal punches were strong enough to break her dense bones.

She tried struggling, just to test how much give her chains had, and where she was secured. This got the attention of Monty and Vinnie, who were guarding her. Monty chuckled and sat up straight, looking at her mockingly. "You won't break them," he jeered at her. "Not even your strength could break steel chains that thick." Natalie didn't even dignify that with an answer. Of course she couldn't break them. She'd have been insulted if they'd tried to lock her up in ordinary chains. She noticed Vinnie staring at her semi-naked body and glared back in a challenging manner. She tried to convey in a glance she she knew the reason he hadn't tried anything while she was helpless, was because he was terrified of her. He averted his eyes, so there was probably some truth in that.

After a while of silence, Bianca came in, and this time it was Natalie's turn to look away. After so long of being afraid of herself, somebody had faced her while she'd lost control, and they had won. For the first time since Project Lion, Natalie was scared of another person. She no longer wanted to hide away and pretend to be normal. There could be more people like them. There were stories cropping up over the news, and until now she'd never really equated them to her own life. For the first time, the idea that she'd have to get stronger to stay safe occurred to her.

Luckily she only had to contemplate this for mere minutes before a familiar sound echoed through the garage. It was the sound that had changed her life one day ago. It was Archie! Natalie immediately broke into a grin and looked around for the source of the noise. It was getting closer. Natalie suddenly remembered how little she was wearing, and actually felt a little embarrassed for the first time since she woke up. Bianca had turned metal, Vinnie was heading to the far end of the room to grab a weapon, and Monty had gotten out of there.

The doors into the room flew off the hinges, and the sounds of gunfire were ringing in Natalie's ears as the door was flying straight twards her. No. Wait. It wasn't moving right. Archie must be holding it to use as a shield! Which means his first move was to make a beeline straight for Natalie! That, despite this absurd and dangerous situation, made her heart flutter. Archie, in his reptilian form, had smashed the support beam and was was now standing over her as she fell to the floor, free. Her first order of business was to get the cuffs off her aching wrists, which was easy now she could reach them with the other hand. Yanking them off and freeing herself of the chains, she heard the groan of the roof collapsing, and braced herself as she saw it coming down. She shut her eyes tight and held out her arms to try and catch it and lessen the impact. Between her strength and her bones, it might not kill her.

She opened her eyes, and saw that Archie was standing above her, and had sheltered her from the roof falling. It then offered her a scaly hand. Natalie gladly took it and got to her feet with his help, before smiling and planting a kiss on his nose. She then turned to Bianca and the smile disappeared in seconds. That's right. She was still here. Archie was squaring up with her, and roared at her, and Natalie...she didn't feel afraid for Bianca's life. In fact, right now, she, the un-snapped rational Natalie, wanted to see Bianca get hurt, if for no other reason that to prove to herself that it was possible.

In fact, Natalie looked into Bianca's eyes and saw that she was scared. This gave Natalie courage and she stepped forward. This time, she was in complete control, wasn't trying to protect anyone, wasn't in any danger of causing collateral, and had backup. Plus, Bianca was shaken. This time, Natalie would win. She stepped in front of Archie, and put her hand on his arm.

"Let me do this. I need this," she said to him quietly. That clearly wasn't a question.

This time, Natalie had a clear head, and confidence in her eyes. Bianca looked from her to Archie, and realised that unless she beat them both, she wasn't getting out of this the winner. She had to retreat And retreat she did, by turning around and busting through the wall. Natalie tried to give chase but in the dark scrapyard at night, she couldn't see her. She had vanished, and more than likely, she'd be back. Inside the building, there was no sign of Vinny either.
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Archie


"Let me do this. I need this,"

Archie bristled, seeming to disagree with the idea but didn't seem to do anything about it. With one mighty motion he shoved the door forward, causing the gravity built fort of fallen structure to collapse. Natalie, still being somewhat below Archie, was shielded from the falling rubble that fell forward when it lost support. As the woman stepped forwards, Bianca bolted, crashing through the damaged wall and heading out into the night. Natalie sprinted after her, leaving his side quickly and running through the new hole herself into the scrapyard.

He saw the girl sag slightly when she lost sight of Bianca in the dark, and a part of him thought to comfort her, but then he noticed the resistance of the wall as he barreled through it, then that he could still see Bianca. He was running after the metahuman on all fours, and fast.

In a flurry of claws and scales his limbs carried him forward, pumping like mighty pistons with no regard for how much noise he was making. He rapidly gained ground on his quarry, who could likely hear him running her down. His size and speed made him unable to stop as he rapidly overtook her, yet in a terrifying display of reflex for something so big he pivoted before his gallop went airborne and swiped at Bianca as he passed her. The power behind his claws gouged deep, ugly scrapes into Bianca's armor, and his mass and speed made even an indirect hit send Bianca off her feet. He hit the ground with no grace whatsoever. He landed on all fours, claws plowing into the ground in an attempt to stop himself. Bianca's own speed carried her forward as she landed clumsily, rolling against the dirt of the scrapyard. Bianca's world was spinning. She shook her head when she came to a stop, trying to collect herself. Archie pounded the ground in frustration in an act that was reminiscent of simian rage, and the giant was on her in a moment- giving her no time to get back up and fight back.

Bianca wasn't sure what was happening in the moments that followed, she couldn't even scream as the air was repetitively knocked out of her. She felt pressure, and then the feeling of weightlessness and her stomach lurch as she was thrown around. Archie had grabbed her by her ankle, and was slamming her into the stacks of cars, becoming increasingly angry that his prey wasn't breaking. It was eerily childlike, comparable to a tantrum almost. With a mighty bellow he slammed Bianca into the ground, releasing her from his grasp for moments before he grabbed her again and enveloped her entire head and shoulders in his maw. Bianca having had but a moment to breath, gave a muffled scream as that power of Archie's jaws forced his teeth through her metal armor in a vice grip. She felt each individual pop as his teeth penetrated her skin, and realized that the only thing keeping her alive was the rigidity of her armor. The pressure was immense, and the the pain was unbearable. Even his saliva burnt. Out of desperation she failed wildly, kicking and screaming as she struggled to get out of the bear trap that was Archie's jaws. He shook her wildly like a dog toy as she struck him, kicking vigorously with her legs, and striking the sides of his jaws with her arms. Bianca reeled and arm back and struck Archie hard with one of her hands, and there was an almighty crack when she made contact.

Archie instantly released, throwing Bianca away unceremoniously and into several stacked cars. She fell from the wall of scrap, and landed in the dirt once more for the upteenth time that day. Her armor was shredded, the metal crumpled. There was a distinct 'U' shaped dent around her head and shoulders that was lined with punctures, and blood was leaking from the holes. Bianca had been soundly pummeled within inches of her life, and made little movement aside from the ragged in and out motions of her breathing. Archie's jaw had been fractured, but was far from broken- likely already on the mend. He shook his head, shaking the hit off. He turned his attention to the still form of Bianca and slowly approached, prepared to continue his onslaught.



@Silver Carrot
Hidden 9 mos ago 9 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



REMEMBERANCE
Location Casey Cassidy's house.
Part 1.

5:45 P.M | Last Month - a few nights before the events of Be Somebody


"You mean to tell me that you didn't have a near death experience, Joseph?" Casey exclaimed in disbelief. "You mean to tell me that you actually died. And not even really in a vague 'my heart stopped and I saw Jesus before the defibrillator resurrected me, so now I'm doing Ted talks about it' way? Do you have a Christian Rock album in the works?" The man bombarded Joseph with questions, as he lifted the pot off and started pouring the two cups of black coffee. "And what's with the uh. Hand?"

"Burned off. I had 313 fractures six months ago."

"That's one and a half fractures per bone in your body."

"Exactly."

"That's impossible."

"The mob was very determined." Joseph concluded, taking a sip of his first cup of coffee for the better part of a year. "I have a few million nanites in my body, helping my cells reproduce and builds them stronger than they were before. The cybernetics makes me asymmetrical - but incredibly strong. The robotics that's holding my brain together's able to calculate things at such a advanced rate, it's like I'd have Stephen Hawking for a spotter. I haven't missed a shot since I woke up, and almost all of them were with baseball bats."

Casey's face was a mix between joy, confusion and suspicion. He wanted to believe Joseph, but it all sounded absolutely insane - and yet, Joseph hadn't told him about the evil voice in the back of his head, screaming and clawing all but every second of the day. "So, you're a Terminator?" Casey said with a chuckle. "Dead or alive, you're coming with me." He imitated.

"That's Robocop, you idiot."

"Did you tell the mob 'I'll be back' before they shot you?" Casey laughed.

Joseph's face turned sour. "I don't remember."
Clearly, getting shot in the head wasn't one of those things the detective was willing to joke about yet. "You heard anything from Karen? I told her some things before I went out on my last stakeout. She left me seven voice messages, but I can't get in touch with her."

"... Oh, Joe. Buddy, I thought you knew." Casey said, putting his cup down and patting Joseph on his shoulder.




Location Santa Celia General Hospital - Midtown

7:24 P.M | Last Month - a few nights before the events of Be Somebody


There she was, laying in a bed in the cold, sterile hospital room. Still as the nights she fell asleep in his arms. As beautiful as ever - the healing scars and faded bruises aside. Yet, there was something clearly wrong with her - she had no energy to her. She wasn't quite dead, but she wasn't alive, either. Comatose. She had been beaten, stabbed and finally poisoned - four days after Joseph died. And it was his fault. She was his failsafe. He had given her all the information he had about the mob, and told her to publish it if Joseph went missing after that night.

It was his fault that she was here. It was his fault that Karen's life was ruined, again.

This wasn't a matter of getting even anymore. It wasn't about him following his leads and cleaning up the city. It wasn't about him being a good man and doing what's right.

This was about getting revenge, and nothing would stop him. Casey patted him on the shoulder, as he approached Joseph through the doorway, handing him another cup of coffee. "I'm sorry, man."

Joseph, whom was hiding under a baseball cap and a hood pulled over the cap. Turned to him, and turned the coffee down.He was gritting his teeth and his voice was cold, yet burning with a rage Casey had never seen in his friend before.
"Let's get to work."

Hidden 9 mos ago 9 mos ago Post by Silver Carrot
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Silver Carrot Spectrumized

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Natalie Ellis



Location: Industrial District
Time of Day: Night
Mentions: Archie Anderson @JunkMail




Archie shot past her, running on all fours. He must still be able to see or otherwise track Bianca! Natalie followed to the best of her ability, but her running speed couldn't mach Archie's. After so long of being scared of her own power, tonight she felt so utterly powerless and redundant that all her fears now seemed foolish. She wasn't too strong. She was weak and needed, if anything, to get stronger. She couldn't fight. She couldn't run fast. She wasn't even very fit. Bianca and Archie were both so much more dangerous than her. She'd lost something in this revelation. Her complete lack of fear on meeting Archie last night might not have been the case if she had fought Bianca first. She never knew she had such confidence in her strength until she lost it.

She finally caught up to the two of them, and she couldn't believe what she saw! Bianca, the woman who had stopped Natalie in her tracks and defeated her effortlessly with three punches, was lying in a crumpled heap, bleeding from various puncture wounds in her metal armor. Archie had beaten her, and was now moving in for the kill. Natalie couldn't let somebody get killed in front of her. Besides, if she was having an episode, and Archie had the power to stop her killing somebody, but didn't, she'd never speak to him again. She had to stop Archie from killing Bianca. It's what he'd hopefully do for her.

She used the muscles in her legs to jump high in the sky, and landed between Archie and his prey just as the reptile was about to strike. Natalie reached out and stopped his powerful limbs with her own by grabbing his arms. He may be more ferocious, but he couldn't escape Natalie's grip. In rems of pure strength, she had the upper hand.

"Archie, stop! I know you don't want to kill! Trust me, I know better than anyone it'll hurt to live with. I'd want you to stop me too, if I was in your shoes. Please, don't kill her!" Natalie pleaded, perhaps foolishly paying Bianca no mind, allowing the metal woman to try to escape, or attack, if she so wished.
Hidden 9 mos ago Post by Mao Mao
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Mao Mao Sheriff of Pure Hearts

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𝐁𝐥𝐨𝐨𝐝 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐖𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐫
Finale collab betwen @Star Lord, @baraquiel, and @Skittlez



"No... no fucking way." Frankie Gomez responded while dropping the cell phone and knife in terror. Soon enough, he realized that the thing was the one who caused and most likely killed his pursuers. He had thought that officers had entered the building until he heard the dying screams and cries for help. But he never thought something as appalling as the dark figure staring at him. It wanted to ask a few questions and expected them to be answered. Of course, Gomez nodded while processing the whole thing. It started with a simple question: "Who are you?"

"Frankie Gomez." Gomez answered.

Inque went the bathroom and saw a man in it, hugging his knees in fear. Then, it closed the door and turned to Gomez, who was sweating and trying to explain the situation. Before he could finish, the creature grabbed and threw him out of the room and into the hallway. He quickly got up and slowly walked away from it. The figure walked out of the room as it shut the door slowly instead of slamming it close. Now, it was getting tired and asked another question in a demanding tone: "Why were you being chased?"

Gomez didn't know if he should lie or tell it the truth to... whatever it was. With nowhere to go, what options does he have left to play? Make a run for it in the hopes that it doesn't catch up to him? Or tell him and see if it had sympathy? He felt the window and realized that he had reached the end of the hallway. With time slowly running out, Gomez sighed, looked at the figure, and began speaking, "I am a part of the Juárez Locos until I fucked up tonight. All because of fucking Jorge. I told them that he was unstable because of the drugs but nobody cared. We almost had him and he fucked everything up. And now, I am paying for it."

"'We almost had' who?"

"Hernando de la Cruz, the head of the Aztecas. Even if I manage to survive tonight, the Azteca Cartel will never forgive nor forget my actions." Gomez paused and collapsed to the ground with tears in his eyes, realizing that he's a dead man walking. "Oh god, I am a goner."

Ember gasped as the monster swiftly ended the man's life. She watched as the life in his eyes slowly faded away, his last tears dropping down to the floor. Then she turned to the thing. "But you didn't have to kill them!" Ember insisted. "And thanking you? Yeah thanks to your bloody mess, the police will now be aware that you're here, that something is brutally killing all these people. Don't you think it will make it harder for you to move freely along the city after tonight?"

Her eyes continued to follow the monster, then her eyes grew wider when it approached her and said his speeches. It's like something directly out of a horror movie, only this time it's completely real. She decided to stay silent. After all, the lives of these people would be in great danger if it weren't for this... she'll just call it a man. But still, the killings...

Then she was surprised to see a woman standing between her and him. "How-", she tried to say something but her voice got caught when she noticed the lady's fingertips caught in flames. Seconds upon seeing them that Ember realized that she also has superpowers, just like her and him.

"No, I'm not-" She cleared her throat. "Well, since you're here, you're already caught in this mess. Let's just end this quickly so we can all go home." Ember said to Fire Lady and Monster Man.

She walked by them downstairs, helping him check out every room to find the one person who's the cause of all this. She jumped when Monster Man kicked open a door to find two men in there, one of them was the man they were looking for.

Ember watched Monster Man ask and scare the criminal, still trying to take everything that has happened so far in the night. All this trouble because of one single guy? Seriously? Her eyes followed the dark figure in the bathroom as she saw another guy crying in fear with his knees up to his chest. Then she managed to move out of the way just in time as Monster Man threw Gomez out of the hallway. She was about to say something but decided against it. She knew no amount of words was going to persuade Monster Man.

She looked at the man, now on the floor and completely bawling his eyes out. The sight was almost enough to make Ember laugh until she remembered she was with an individual who has no sympathy for human life. She stood between Monster Man and Gomez and looked sternly at him. "We need him alive. You've got your fair share of blood lust. Now let the lady handle the talking." She said to him before turning to Gomez.

Gomez looked up to Ember as tears continuously dripped down his face. He even swiped some of his snot off. "P-Please, help me. I'll be a better man now, I promise! I now realize what I did was completely wrong by going in this apartment and putting the lives of everyone who lived here in danger. Ple-"

Ember held up her hand to stop Gomez from speaking. She crossed her arms, trying to think of something for the situation. Let Monster Man kill Gomez? They will lose their only asset and source to stop these gangs and their violent ways once and for all, thus making Santa Elena a safer place for the people. On the other hand, Ember was not that dumb and she knew an infamous gang like the one Gomez was talking about was huge and specially has their own people in the police department. Which was why they couldn't even get their hands on this gang for the longest time.

She stretched out her arm, opened the bathroom door, and dragged the man crying out of there to join Gomez in the hallway. She looked at the two of them, contemplating on her next move, before finally saying, "We will surrender you to the authorities."

Both of them had their eyes wide open in fear. "Wha-"

"I know, your lives are in danger even when in the custody of the police. I will do my best to keep you safe under one condition: you will tell the police everything you know about the Azteca Cartel. Every person part of this group, their bases of operation, and more. If you uphold the end of our bargain, I will make sure no harm will come to you. You have my word on that. However..."

She walked nearer to them. "If we find out you lied to us or kept your mouth shut when we want you to talk, I'll arrange a meeting for you with this guy." She pointed behind her towards Monster Man and the men gulped and cowered in fear. "Now, do we have a deal?"

The men both looked at each other and nodded to Ember, now that they feared the creature more than anything else.

Inque turned to the woman from earlier while she was trying to defend Gomez. It was the same woman that called him out on the top floor from killing the criminals. Even with the earlier conversation, she still didn't get why they decided to come here and killed almost all of the criminal scum. Then, she suggested that Gomez surrender to the authorities and have him tell everything he knew. Of course, it was a dumb idea. It was easy enough for Gomez to escape if he wanted to. Hell, they won't be surprised if the cops were corrupt enough to let him walk. They were getting to stand their ground on the matter. Before Inque could respond to her request, they heard noise outside and stared at the window nearby. The SWAT team had arrived and planning on breaching the apartment to ensure the madness ends for good. And the power was slowly coming back on despite them destroying the nearby generator.

There wasn't a change of standing their ground unless they wanted to get shot; but, he wanted to leave behind a gift from Gomez. They turned towards Gomez and grabbed his neck. He was pleading for his life while crying out for the woman's aid because he thought that he was going to die. Sadly for Inque, he was going to live another day, but with a reminder. They scratched at Gomez's right cheek and gave him a good scar so that he was easier to spot. Inque was satisfied enough and dropped Gomez to the ground, who was crying with pain from his new scar. Before they leave the building, he had one last thing to say to the brave woman.

Inque walked closer towards the woman and said, "You are a brave young naive woman who thinks that this scum will turn himself in. But, the real world is filled with corruption and injustice that I hope you and everyone else realizes. Regardless, I hope that Gomez does tell the truth and remain in jail for a long time because if he escapes or walks out of jail a free man... We will kill him personally."

And with that last word, they started to run as an explosion could be heard below them. They got to the stairs and noticed that SWAT was getting ready to search the entire building. Inque decided to go to the rooftop in the hopes of escaping by running along the roofs and started climbing the stairs.

Nikita focused on keeping her flames strong and consistent as the woman made a deal with the pleading man. She realized that this man was not just some pawn or helpless apartment resident. Rather, he was a member of one of the most notorious gangs in Santa Celia. She'd tried so hard not to run into people like this in Winters and here she was actively inserting herself because she her guilt told her that no one was looking out for these citizens and she had an obligation to with her abilities. How naive. No wonder Poncho was always so frustrated with her.

The man seemed so afraid of the figure she hadn't paid much attention to previously. More threatened by him than her, with the flames licking towards her elbows. She cast her gaze to him now that the flames gave her some light. Still somewhat hard to make out, it was clear she had mistaken the figure for human when he in fact was not. Her heart skipped a beat. She recalled her mother calling her a demon and praying for her salvation. If only she could see what Nikita was now getting a glimpse of. She did her best to remain calm but kept her eyes trained on him rather than the gang member. She watched as he carved a massive scar into the whole of the gang members cheek. Her body tensed. The power was returning and she could hear commotion outside. She couldn't be caught up in this. No way. No one would be looking for her in this city; and as successful as Poncho was becoming, she doubted his ability to get her out of any hot water with how corrupt the police force here was.

The creature had the right idea and started climbing right away. She looked to the girl. "I can't be caught up int this. I know you want him to turn himself in but we can't stay, are you coming with me?" she demanded. She wasn't upset, just rushed. She paused for a moment. "And if you aren't, are you going to be okay?" Nikita added, more cautiously. She didn't know the young woman, but she wasn't comfortable leaving her there alone. She had already stepped back into the hall. Nikita was prepared to slip out and if caught, pretend they were terrified residents and slip away before they could be questioned for witness statements.

It was unusual from someone to be concerned about them especially Nathan. So, he didn't say anything until they got to the rooftop. And naturally, they didn't know what to say next. They didn't want her to know their location after all of this. And he was definitely not going to follow her. But, they barely know anything about Santa Celia besides its location and some history. Information regarding the town would be nice especially right now. After a moment of thinking about what to say next, Inque turned towards the woman and said, "We will be fine. But... we.. would like locations of shelter or safe haven... if you know any."

Ember could hear the faint buzzing of electricity from somewhere. It looked like the authorities were doing something about the destroyed generator first. She could also hear the growing sound of commotion from the outside, the public becoming more agitated and the police more uneasy on the long amount of silence since the shoutings and gunfires were gone.

Before the three of them could do anything, she saw as the monster approached Gomez and, to her horror, carved a prominent scar on his cheek. She glared at the monster and was about to say something before he caught her, saying that he does intend to kill Gomez when he fails to keep the end of his bargain. There was a sound of an explosion below them and it was enough to keep Ember's mouth shut as they all ran to the rooftop, leaving a goon and Gomez at the hallway, with tears and blood dripping from his face.

After they made it to the rooftop, Ember felt the cold gusts of wind slapping her on the face. Feeling the wind was like dousing herself in ice cold water, and it made her more alert and awake than ever. She could hear the SWAT team infiltrating the building from below and the loud commotion happening on the outside. She still couldn't believe what her night turned into. She was supposed to be buying gifts for his little brother's birthday, and now she's on a rooftop with a homicidal monster with a... unique viewpoint of justice, and a girl who's literally on fire. Ember thought on her next move, the cold winds blowing her ponytail as she listened to Fire Lady's concern about Ember's well-being and Monster Man's question about a safe haven.

"Thank you for your concern but I'm fine really", she said to Fire Girl. "I have a place I can crash into. I'll be safe. You should go back to your home or whatever so your folks won't be worried about you either." She breathed and turned to both of them. "Also, thank you both for your help about tonight. Our missions, which are to save innocent civilians and to learn the truth about whoever's behind all this mess, were both completed. I'd say we've done a kinda pretty good job if it weren't for the bloody mess we left", she glared at Monster Man.

Ember then turned to Monster Man. She was confused a bit from his statement: 'we'? Is he some sort of symbiote-situation like in that Marvel movie? She mentally added that to her inventory on what she wanted to ask him since the second she laid eyes on his monstrous face.

"Most people will be quite confused and more cautious about a grown man, teenager, whatever you are, suddenly showing up to their shelters in the middle of the night. Worst case scenario, they would not let you in and you'll sleep in the streets. You can't blame them, Santa Celia does have a growing problem regarding criminals lately. Fortunately, I know a friend who'll surely let you stay in for the night. Don't kill her, and you'll probably end up with a friend for life, whether you like it or not."

Nikita didn't bother to look to the intimidating and mysterious pair as she watched SWAT swarm into the building like wasps, coating all the entrances and exits. She heard the request from the duo and the offer from the seemingly unfazed young woman. She hesitated. "I got a two bedroom one bath apartment. My brother comes to visit sometimes. You can stay with the friend, you can stay with me but we all have to get the fuck out of here. Discreetly." Her body was rigid just thinking about being in police custody. Her older brother had gone this entire time evading police and she could see each scenario in custody, few of them favorable. She finally looked to the figure that she still wasn't quite certain of how to describe. "I'm not sure how great you'd be at slipping unnoticed into my complex," she added. She looked at the strangers, suddenly more serious, "But no, honestly, fire's all I got. So if someone can get us all out, now is the time."

Inque wished that they would have pointed him towards directions to a homeless shelter. Instead, they directed them to their friends’ places. Inque wasn’t unappreciated for their offers but they were a monster after all. Plus, they didn’t want Nathan’s identity to be revealed to strangers. Regardless, all of them needed to leave this rooftop before it was too late. They looked towards the edge of the building and saw a fire escape.

“Follow us.” Inque ordered while climbing down. When he saw that another fire escape that belonged to the nearby building was touching. Maybe it was a chance for the strangers to blend in with the people living in that building. So, they broke open the window, looked at them, and said, “Go in and blend in with the crowd.”

Inque watched them entering the building while they were thinking a way of showing appreciation for their suggestions of haven. Once they were in the clear, Inque heard the SWAT team on the rooftop and waited until they went back inside before they spoke. “We want to thank you both for your offers, but we need to hide. We will be fine. Be worried about your safety now. But, don’t forget about the deal. Good luck with the both of you.”

Afterwards, Inque jumped off the fire escape and landed on the ground. They looked around to see if anybody was able to see them before running off into the dark alleyway. For their first night in Santa Celia, it was actually good.

Ember listened to the two of them, eyebrows furrowed as she tried to make a reply about her friend being a trustworthy person, but it seemed to her that they already made up their minds. "I-I see. Right now our priority is to get out of here undetected." She said as she followed the two of them in escaping from the building. She marveled at the way they move as if they're already experts in it as they manage to go out right as the police entered the infrastructure. And here she thought Ember knew her stuff.

The kind of life they're living must be worse than what she originally imagined. She has always been seeing herself as a normal, average girl and not just some rich, privileged daughter of a city mayor. She thought about those movie lines like 'Choose your own destiny' or 'You write your own story' which she thought were super cheesy, but not anymore for her. She underestimated the power those simple words can give to an individual and she realized that she's not trapped to the legacy of her own bloodline. From that point on, Ember made a promise to herself that she will be the captain of her own boat.

She just has to escape here first.

She followed them throughout the process, mimicking their every move to avoid detection and suspicion from anyone that might see them. When they're finally in the clear, she let out a breath of relief. She nodded in response. "Good luck with your endeavors as well. And... thank you for believing in me, despite our differences. You be safe" She said to the man as he jumped from the fire escape and disappeared through the night.

Then she turned to the woman. "Thank you also in assisting us, miss. You're a breath of fresh air from all the hostility I've been getting from that guy" Ember jokingly said as she pointed a finger down where he jumped off. "Good luck with your endeavors as well. And if you're a newcomer, then welcome to Santa Celia, where stuff like these happen all the time. Not all of us are bad here, and I hope you enjoy your stay in our city. I'll see you around then." Ember said before elongating her legs and leaping out from one building to the next under the cover of night. As the wind blew against her and despite everything that has happened to her this past hour, she still couldn't get a single horrifying truth about tonight:

Her mom was going to be hella pissed.


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Hidden 9 mos ago Post by SepticGentleman
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SepticGentleman "We will all go together."

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Kyle, Kayla, and Lazarus

Written with @JunkMail and @fetzen



“There.” Kayla said, pointing out the truck window into the crowd of people gathered around Casino Plaza, huddled under shelter to get away from the oddly-colored rain.

“Good God, he’s a unit.” Kayla exclaimed once their new acquaintance came into view amidst the crowd. It was akin to finding a car in a haystack. This Rókur fellow, tall and pale, didn’t fit into the public scene at all. Kyle nodded in agreement, saying, “Alright, let’s get him in.”

“Rókur!” Kayla called out, after rolling down the window, trying to get the attention of the giant. She opened her mouth to say something more but it was lost as the wind and rain picked up around her. She cast her eyes up to the sky and cursed to herself. It was cold, and wet and she felt like hell. The sirens in the distance and the darkness of the skies put her on edge. Bad things happened at times like these.

“You wanna go in and take a closer look?” Kyle said, noticing her attention on the red skies and the sirens. Kayla rolled up the window of the truck to prevent any more water from getting on her already wet form.

It didn’t take a whole lot of time or thought for Kayla to answer her brother. She had a bad feeling. “Uh... no. Not this time.”

“That‘s a surprising response, coming from you.” Kyle replied.

Kayla turned to face her brother. Her makeup was running, and she generally looked like a very unhappy version of the person she usually was. “Kyle, this isn’t… our kind of deal. This is- the authorities should handle it.” she said, motioning awkwardly with her hands. She was trying to convey that this wasn’t supernatural, but didn’t know how to word it in a way that showed that she was done for the day. Sloshing through sewers, burning eggs, and being soaked to the bone had ruined her resolve, and she genuinely wanted nothing more than to curl up in bed. And maybe a happy meal.

Kyle remained silent for a moment before responding, “Yeah… yeah, I’m not really feeling this one either.” In an extraordinary turn of events, neither Kyle nor Kayla were eager to investigate an event of the potentially unnatural variety. After a moment more, Kayla reopened the passenger’s-side window and called out for the pale giant once more, evidently not catching his attention the first time.

By the time Kyle and Kayla arrived at the scene, the rain had already taken a rather severe toll on Rókur's clothes despite the fact that he had tried to protect himself under a protruding roof. Strong winds had caused the crimson liquid to move sideways, drenching the thick layer of fabric enveloping his enormous body through and through and causing it to cling tightly to his skin. Yet that was hardly what bothered the norseman -- he could dispose of that water within a moment's notice if necessary. While waiting he had watched the vehicles and those inside them passing by, something that had become increasingly easy as traffic was winding down. When Kyle and Kayla's truck showed up he immediately recognized them as the perfect match they were for the description that had been provided to him, yet hesitated to step forward for the lack of clear instructions.

From where he was it was impossible to understand what they were talking about inside, but he could see both their lips moving while they were facing each other much more than they did face him. It was obvious that a discussion was going on in the cab, indicating that they had not come with a clear, preset strategy. Or maybe they were just engaging in a debate about the (in-)adequateness of his ancient attire. This vague uncertainty was enough to cause a bit of a bad feeling as the callout from Kayla finally reached his ears.

Rókur stepped out of his hideout, approached the vehicle and moved his head so he could have a clear view through the open window. "Hello you two! Kyle and Kayla, right? I'm Rókur. Erm... Would you mind letting me in?"

“Hop in back.” Kyle said, unlocking the truck doors.

Rókur felt quite happy about this being a truck and not, let’s say, a much smaller car. At about seven feet and with anything but a slim build space was a precious thing to have. He heaved himself into the back as said and closed the door behind him, happy to be out of the bad ‘weather’ that was surrounding them.

“So… What are your plans?”

“McDonald’s.” Kayla replied simply. She turned her head around to see Rókur. “Ever been?”

Rókur arched an eyebrow slightly. “McDonald’s?” the norseman asked back. “The thing with the big, yellow and curved ‘M’ so many people talk about? Never been in there. That’s a fast food restaurant, right?” Needless to say he seemed rather clueless...

“You’re in for a treat.” Kayla replied. She turned to her brother and patted his shoulder as she said, “To the nearest Mickey Dee’s, Kyle.”

It wasn’t his idea of a great meal, but Kyle wasn’t in the mood to object. He put the truck in drive and set off in search of the golden arches. And away from whatever nature of event was taking place nearby.
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