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Hidden 4 days ago 4 days ago Post by Letter Bee
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Everyone, Two Weeks Ago

Whether through smartphones or ordinary letters, the members of the group would recieve Gavin's message, a message telling them that:

If you have had visions of winged beings, telling you that the world is about to be worse, and that you can stop it; if you've manifested powers that cannot be normally explained, find a way to come to me, to Brightwell Illinois, where answers await. My name is Gavin Prince, and I am gathering those who have seen what I've seen, people who have power and might need help and support in wielding that power. A pause, or rather, a space.

But be warned, people are already after you, with motives both good and ill. It is time for us, who have been given the powers of Magic, to stand in solidarity with one another, so that we would not become pawns in the great struggles that the return of this power would engulf the world in. So, come to Brightwell two weeks from now, using whatever means you have that won't be too obvious - and be careful.

Brightwell, Illinois, Feduary 2020

Gavin's stay in Brightwell had been uneventful, except for a trip or two to the old Native American Burial Grounds to see if there were any more secrets he can find out. No such luck; the local Indian Tribes had existed long after Magic had faded away into myth - 5000 BC/BCE, was it? Nevertheless, today, he was at the motel room's lobby, waiting for his 'invitees' to arrive.

He wasn't blind, of course. The real reason he chose Brightwell, Illinois, was because Sparrow Freemark, the motel owner, was a Mage as well, one whose spells were all Mind, even, filling a niche that was needed. This gave him a way to keep people out of his business for a while.

Nevertheless, as the people he had signaled began to arrive in the small town, they would feel a subtle signal, a 'twitch' in their brains that would direct them towards the Garfield Motel, where Gavin had spent a lot of money - the price of one ceremonial sword - reserving all the rooms for his 'meeting'. The Garfield Motel was a small, rectangular establishment whose architectural style dated from the 50s, able to fit at least a dozen people. Gavin expected half of that.

Things are going well...too well, the eighteen-year-old boy thought. He suspected that things were going to go wrong, given time. But he refused to think that whatever was coming would be too much for the group he was mustering.

The doors to the motel opened; were the first Mages he had called coming soon? Well, best to greet them, then.

Getting up, the young adult would say:

"Hello there, my name is Gavin Prince. You've received my message, I take it?"

He scanned the group; it seemed that they were all strong and already somewhat experienced with their powers...

@Haydrian Cindel@Guardsman@Gentlemanvaultboy@duskshine749@Bazmund@Dark Light@silvermist1116@Stitches
Hidden 4 days ago 4 days ago Post by Gentlemanvaultboy
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Archer stepped out of his old beater of a car at the edge of the city of Brightwell, surveying the edge of the city. It seemed almost to good to be true. For a good while now this whole "mission from god" had turned up a whole lot of nothing in terms of leads on what he was supposed to do, and now all of a sudden the first clue he got told him exactly where to go?

Still, considering there had been no less that three attempts on his life and livelihood since he'd gotten out of the ER maybe it was a good idea to skip town for a little while. So he'd taken the money he'd been saving up to pay off his hospital depots, thrown together a suitcase, and set off for the beautiful state of Illinois for an impromptu sabbatical.

After all, the guy trying to kill him couldn't possibly know about the mission from god. Right?




There was a certain hotel he pulled up too in the city, one that made his brain just feel real good for some reason. He parked and went up to the door, giving a wave to the other people already in the parking lot before making his way inside.

What waited for him was not what he expected. He'd expected someone that knew about the angels and that someone was after his life to be a little older than this guy seemed to be. He stepped forward. "Yo." He said. "I'd introduce myself, but you seem like you know me already. Kinda weird, but whatever. Angels and stuff." He looked back at the people that had come in behind him. "He know you too, right? Wild."
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Hidden 4 days ago Post by silvermist1116
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Come to Brightwell, because there's people after you, the text said. First, what the fuck was in Brightwell? Absolutely nothing, but Native American Burial Grounds. Kai checked before she left her apartment in Vegas. Second, whoever messaged her mentioned magic, which is bullshit because it's bullshit. At first she thought it was a scam. It had to be, because she's the king of scams. No one gets her. They'll get got. But the text came in on her real cell phone and not the multiple ones she opened under false names and stolen identities. The only ones that know her real number is her family and friends she left at the commune and they rarely contact her, so there had to be something to this. And third, people are after her and that's not good. She's scammed hundreds of people and if anyone of them knows her name she'll be locked up for fraud, scams, and stealing identities. She has to find out what this mysterious texter knows.

So, she bought a bus ticket, packed a dufflebag full of her clothes, costumes, stolen identities, and got on a bus (cash only) straight to Brightwell. The moment she entered the town an uncomfortable nudge in her mind led her to a specific destination. She wasn't thrilled. The closer she got the harder it became to ignore, until she was right on top of it.

"Hey! Stop the bus!" She called to the driver, bag on her shoulder, already walking down the center.

"I can't stop in the middle of the road. This isn't the CTA. I have to let you off at the station."

It's not magic, never magic, but she does acknowledge something weird is going on with her. She tried again, this time her tongue felt a little slick like a glossy film cover it. "I said, stop the bus."

"Fine. You drive a hard bargain." The driver stopped a block from the building the nudge is leading her to. Kai gets off, and rushes down the street. It's a motel. An ugly one that reminded her of that movie Bad Times at the El Royale...Fuck, what if it turns out like that? It's best not to go, but she can't have anyone knowing who she really is and not know if they're trouble.

Several people were walking inside at the same time and some kid greeted them at the door and he's the one that sent the message. Yep. El Royale for sure. Not good. A man in a trench coat that's seen better days addressed her, but she ignored him.

"Look I don't know what the hell is going on, but I want to know who told you my name and if you're going to cause me trouble."
Hidden 3 days ago 3 days ago Post by Haydrian Cindel
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Listen to youtube.com/watch?v=DgW5FaffB58&t=1636s for ambiance.

Haydrian paused to look up from his work, “Illinois?”, he squinted at the woman that had just walked into the embalmment room. Her name was Madeline, and Haydrian had known her for a few years now. He liked Madeline; he could rely on her. Her current condition tended to make some of his friends a bit squeamish, but Haydrian didn’t mind to much. Madeline was one of Haydrians close friends, and she had been terminally ill with cancer not to long ago. Haydrian had offered her a choice. She could die, or he was willing to give her a new body. Madeline didn’t have much faith in an afterlife, so she jumped at the chance to live on in a new body, even if it was a corpse. So Haydrian had transferred her spirit into the body she currently inhabited, a short Chinese woman who was missing an ear, and who’s head had clearly been sewn back on. Haydrian grimaced whenever he noticed that part, it was such shoddy work. He’d have to reprimand whoever had embalmed this particular corpse. And he needed to remember to redo it later, the head kept coming loose.

Madeline nodded very slowly. She'd had to grow accustomed to this due to the shoddy stitching.

“That’s right man, the message says Brightwell, Illinois.” She said, “Said to come if you’d seen flapping angels’ wings in a dream or somethin like that.” She laughed coarsely, “I almost wrote back for you, was gonna tell em exactly what you said you told them winged ladies, that you didn’t want nothin to do with that saving the world crap or destroying it.”

Haydrian didn’t answer for a moment but began to pace up and down the length of the operating table he had been using. Was it possible? Could others have received the same dream, or at least something similar? Madeline had recounted the memorized version of the letter just a moment ago, and it made no mention of a dark angel like the one that had been in his dream. There were a few other things that bothered him as well. He hadn’t been told anything about the world needing saved in his dream, thought the wings were certainly present. He supposed that the invitation to choose the path of 'good' could have symbolized the choice to save the world, but still. And then he wasn’t sure he liked how much this person seemed to know about him. He wasn't fond of stalkers, and people that knew about his dreams, found his home address, and wrote him without any prior introduction tended to give Haydrian a distinctly stalkerish feel.
He paused. Wait. No. This wasn't all that bad. In fact, this could be perfect.

Haydrian chuckled to himself, excited at the prospects he'd just realized. “Well I’m glad you didn’t Madeline, this sounds like a wonderful opportunity.” He smiled deeply and turned to look at Mad’s again. If these people had also had dreams like his, then they were likely magicians as well. Haydrian had yet to meet another mage, though he had begun to hear about them on the news. He could likely learn a good deal from these people, and there was a high probability that they could be useful to him in... other ways. Besides, if there was actually something to this whole “save the world” bit, then Haydrian had no intention of withholding his aid. Haydrian may have had a slightly different out look on moral compasses than most people, but even to him world ending powers could generally be described as 'evil'. He stifled a laugh. The world was full of such humor. If he helped save the world he'd likely be thought of as a hero, or 'the good guy'. The same people who would be inclined to praise him would likely curse him in years to come. What irony.

Madeline looked confused, “But Haydrian, I thought you wasn’t interested? I mean they sound like a bunch of crazies!”

Haydrian shrugged, “Strictly speaking, no I’m not interested. At least not in fulfilling any personal destiny these people seem to be talking about, nor do I believe that they are likely to be anything more than a few delusional saps.”

“Well then why.”

Haydrian cut her off, “It’s like I keep telling you Mad’s, different motivations don’t always mean different goals.” He bent back to his work, “If there’s an actual threat to this world then I’m more than happy to put a stop to it. I may not be doing it to fulfill destiny, or to be benevolent, but I’d still be getting the job done wouldn’t I? At that point what do my personal motivations matter if working with these people will accomplish the same goal? Besides better to be safe than sorry I always say.”

Haydrian waited for Madeline’s response patiently. She’d never been to quick, but Haydrian swore she was slower since becoming Un-Living. Not that he minded, Mad’s was a good soul and he had plenty of patience for good souls.

She finally responded just as Haydrian finished re-attaching the foot he’d been sewing to the it’s leg. “So, you mean it’s not gonna be a waste of your time to go help these people? Cuz I know how busy you are.” Haydrian could hear the emotional pain twisting her voice now, “Haydrian I’d kill anyone who got between you and your work.”

Haydrian paused. He thought he could hear tear drops splat on the floor. Fancy that, corpses could cry. Sweet, sweet Mad’s, she worried about his work more than he did sometimes.

“No Mad’s,” He said, looking up at her kindly, “It won’t be a waste of my time, in fact I think this could be a very beneficial trip.” He hunched back over his work, not bothering to hide his smile. “Right then, get the cars ready, and round up a few of people. We’re going on a road trip.”

Hidden 3 days ago 3 days ago Post by Haydrian Cindel
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Haydrian looked out the window of his rented Sedan. Wow. This was some ugly countryside. Well in his opinion anyway. Farmland had just never done it for him, and it was all he’d seen since they hit Illinois. He sighed. This trip had better be worth it. If these people were just wasting his time… It didn’t bear thinking about. He was honestly surprised he’d actually been able to locate this Brightwell place at all; it wasn’t on any maps he’d been able to find. He’d finally located it thanks to an old Native American friend of his. Apparently, it was quite famous for it’s Burial Grounds. Haydrian grinned from within the depths of his shadowy hood. He’d have to give them a visit.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

After his group entered town Haydrian decided to find a gas station before looking in earnest for these people he was supposed to meet. He had to say it wasn’t very professional of them to demand he go to this backwater town and not give him a specific building to meet at. Then again considering the difficulty he’d had finding the town; it was entirely possible that adding the hunt for a random building to the list would have made the task impossible. But he doubted it. This small town barely had enough buildings in it to keep it from blowing off the face of the earth. After all it had already blown off the face of the maps. Speaking of maps, Haydrian thought to himself, after we fuel up, I think I’ll go see if the cashier has one of this town. Just in case.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Haydrian couldn’t believe it. They’d had a map. He’d had to pay with cash (which in this day and age really said something about a place), but they had in fact had a map. He leaned against his Sedan, still parked in the gas station, and opened up the map. He let his eyes just drift across it a few times, soaking in just how small this place really was. Then in the corner of his mind, something like an itch started up. He was actually genuinely irritated by this. An itch in his brain? GREAT. The itch strangely began working its way from the back of his skull… through the middle of his brain? That’s the only way he could think to describe what was happening anyway. The itch continued its journey until it reached the back of his eye socket, at which point something truly disturbing happened.

Haydrian felt something that honestly felt like his eyes were being moved for him. One moment he was staring blankly at the map, and the next his eyes were dragged to stare intently at on area on the map. Creeped out, but not one to freak out, Haydrian inspected the area on the map, noticing that as long as he didn’t look away, the itch had disappeared, though if he did, it came back and his eyes were dragged right back. Was this magic? Haydrian contemplated. The neighborhood was nondescript, and a small motel was labeled. In fact, the motel. Yeah, that felt right for sure. This must be how his intended companions planned to lead him to the meeting place. Not bad he had to say, though he still would have put it in the note. Ah well, time to get a move on. He stood up straight and stretched his long arms, cracking his back as he did so. He looked over his shoulder with a careless air and spoke to his companions in the Sedan.
“Alright I think I’ve found it. Have Dennis go first and check it out please.”

There was some grunting from within the Sedan, Haydrian imagined they were struggling to use smartphones again. He cursed. He really needed to figure out how to increase their dexterity.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Dennis



Cold hands. Cold skin. So cold. Dennis felt the urge to shiver. He always felt the urge to shiver, but his body no longer seemed capable of shivering. It made him want to cry, and even though he’d seen others like him cry he hadn’t been able to do it himself. He heard it made everything more bearable. He whished he could cry. And not being able to cry made him wish he could die. The dark nature of the thought made him want to shiver, starting the cycle again. He began cursing under his breath, tapping his cold dead thumb on the steering wheel of the Sedan he was in. He’d never let anyone else know he was dis-satisfied of course. Being an Un-living was a great blessing and honor. He’d asked for it after all, before he knew how… unnatural it would feel. He was terrified of Haydrian finding out he was displeased with the gift. Maybe Haydrian was supposed to be a good man, but Dennis had never been in his inner circle and unlike the seemingly brainwashed puppets, he had suspicions about the man.

Just then his phone rang, and Dennis nearly jumped out of his skin. He was to tense; this stress was going to kill... Right. Already technically dead. he felt the thought like a sledgehammer to his already raw nerves. He did his best to stop thinking about it, and began gritting his teeth. He picked up his phone, trying to keep his voice calm.

“Hello?”

“Dennis,” A raspy voice said over the phone, “Haydrian found the place, he wants you to go in his stead at first, confirm these people aren’t dangerous.”

Dennis nodded, logical and very characteristic of Haydrian. Plus, it made sense to send Dennis, his corpse body was the most believably living of the bunch that had come with Haydrian. “Alright, where is it?” He almost left it at that but then he asked, "Wait am I supposed to impersonate Haydrian to these people? When am I to contact you next? I know what to watch for, Haydrian made his worries concerning these people clear, but at what point to I disengage if they turn out to be crackpots?" Dennis' voice was rising in pitch and intensity. He realized the thumb that had been tapping the wheel was now faster and faster, his grip so tight the rubber on the wheel had begun to rip. He panicked, he'd lost his cool they were going to get suspicious!

"Geez calm down Dennis, I'm sorry alright?" The raspy voice said apologetically, "I forgot to ask the boss, you don't gotta rip into me like that."

Dennis breathed a sigh of relief. Right. Why wouldn't they think he was upset about being given such a vague mission?

Dennis cleared his throat, "Right, sorry didn't mean to rip into you like that..." He paused, what should he say now? "Ah, It's just, you know, I get a bit hot blooded and.."

"Chill man, I'll go ask, you really gotta work on that temper. Ever think of going to thereapy for it before?"

Dennis chuckled. A corpse going to therapy for anger management issues. There had to be irony in that somewhere.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Dennis stepped out of the Sedan. Wow. Shoddy place. He looked around for a bit. No tall building nearby, and not too many vehicles yet. There was an old junker car that had pulled up just a moment ago, and Dennis couldn’t believe it hadn’t just fallen apart the moment it stopped. A tall man in a trench coat had stepped out. Dennis wasn’t sure why, but he thought he recognized him. Maybe he’d seen him on the news?

Dennis took a stroll around the Motel. There were only two real entrances to the place. The front and back door. It looked safe enough, though he got the strangest feeling. Every time he looked away from the place it was almost as if… as if the building tried to disappear. Dennis was no spook but one time he thought it actually did, at least when he looked back, he thought for a moment that he couldn’t see it. Either way he got the definite feeling the place was out of business. Not that it mattered, condemned buildings were common meeting grounds. Still the disappearing act bugged him. Maybe it had to do with all of this magic stuff. Dennis shook his head and walked back to the front door. Time to make an entrance.

Dennis quietly opened the front door of the Garfield Motel. An elderly woman looked at him, confused. Dennis waved and just acted like he was supposed to be here. He held up the note that had been sent to Haydrian for the old man to see. The woman squinted suspiciously and then shrugged, pointing towards a door before settling back into her newspaper. Dennis nodded a thanks, and walked to the door.

Opening it he found three individuals. One was a blonde youthful looking man, who seemed like he’d be more at home in Neverland. There was the familiar looking man from earlier as well. He looked a bit wrinkled, as if he’d slept in his clothes for the past few days. Then there was the girl. She very simply scared Dennis. She had a head of short reddish-brown hair, and brown eyes deep and dark enough to drown in. Dennis suddenly had an image in his mind of her attempting to drown a devil in a pond so she could keep his pitchfork. He knew someone with an agenda when he saw them, and this lady was dangerous. She looked as though she’d just finished yelling at the young blonde man when Dennis stepped in. Dennis locked eyes with the young man.

“Gavin’s your name?” Dennis said in a cheery voice, “So you sent the message? Well I’m glad to finally meet you. Honestly, I wasn’t sure if I should come, your message sounded a bit… well crazy.” Dennis stepped around and in front of the woman, ignoring her generally. He reached out a hand to shake Gavin’s. He continued, “Not to be rude, but who exactly are you and why did you ask me to come here?”

The rumpled man spoke up. Dennis looked over his shoulder and cocked an eyebrow at him. "Well yes he knows me, he sent me this note after all." Dennis turned back to Gavin and cocked his head, "From the way these two are acting I get the feeling they may be in the same boat as me. So it's really just you? I mean, your not acting as part of a group, or on orders or something?"
Hidden 3 days ago Post by Stitches
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"I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy...down in my heart."

God it was fucking freezing. This sort of cold wasn't something a sheltered man could know about. Sure people know it's cold at night but there's always a place, a place to warm up, a café or a night club or a convenience store. Abigail didn't have the luxury. This sort of freezing felt just like what it said on the tin - freezing. Her hands and feet were numb to the joints. It burned if you warmed them up. It hurt to curl her fingers and toes. She stuffed another newspaper in her boots and saw that the weeping blisters on the heel now had ink printed into the scabs. She sniffled. "Down in my heart, down in my heart…" her white fingers were stiff, white nails, black fingertips. She worked the base of her palms into the stinking wounds. Rubbed them clean off her heels like mud off a tyre. Her shaky breath turned into an incredulous chuckle. "Down in my heart it stays…"

To fight the irresistible urge to not get up again was the herculean task of the suffering. Abigail's backpack straps dug into her collarbones. She must have an indentation now on each strip, right down to the marrow. Her breath came out in little clouds of frost. "I've got the love of Jesus, love of Jesus, down in my heart…" her bag creaked as she stood up again. She had laced her boots when she was sat down because she couldn't bend over for love nor money, it'd send her teeth into the tarmac. She kept walking and singing away to herself, counting the number of orange streetlamps she could spy in the distance. The bigger the number, the more distinct their positions - and the closer the town. A sheet metal sign on the side of the road welcomed her to Illinois. She leant on it to hack up a fistful of phlegm, her lungs rattling with each wet cough. After a few recovery breaths, she continued her weary trail to Brightwell.

______________


In her fitful, feverish dreams Abigail watched a vast forest spread out before her. Cedars as tall as houses, redwoods that scraped the clouds and twisting oaks that blossomed in every direction. There was no footpath and the undergrowth was speckled with ferns and nettles, mushrooms clawing out of fallen branches and rocky outcroppings pushed up by the mass of tree roots. In this forest lay a small cabin with a smoking chimney, and in that cabin was her uncle. Her heart leapt; it felt like coming home, but she turned her back on the house and fled through the forest in as straight of a line as the terrain would allow. She was looking for a road, or a sign, or some sort of landmark that would give her any more information about the location of the cabin. All she found instead was the asphalt of the motel parking lot. She regarded the peeling pastel walls with contempt. She started to make her way back into the woods but a cough caught in her throat and woke her up.

Abigail lifted her head from her backpack, red lines and dimples set in her cheek where the weight had imprinted the wrinkles of her bag into her face. A park bench was no hostel bed, but she had to conserve money wherever possible. If she wasn't so sick, getting to sleep in broad daylight would have been difficult. As per usual, she checked her pockets and each compartment of her rucksack, made a quick inventory check and, just for the hell of it, fished out her baseball cap. She was a long way from Arizona now but the paranoia of being discovered helped cement some bad habits, such as covering her face when walking around town. It not only helped with anonymity but also made her look even more homeless, which was a surprisingly effective way to walk the streets unseen and unmolested. She squinted blearily at the position of the sun, estimated the time and decided to go to the gas station she found earlier to get something to eat.

The gas station was run by a balding Hispanic who had fixed his wary gaze on Abigail the moment she walked through the door. Abigail took her time ruminating over the pros and cons of a bagel versus a BLT, being careful to keep both items well in view of the cashier. Another gentleman strolled in to buy a map just around the same time as Abigail decided upon the bagel, so she filed in line behind him. He was tall, pale, smartly dressed and somewhat distracted. Abigail peered at his pockets and pondered over the likelihood of a sudden increase in her finances, but something dissuaded the girl from acting upon her impulses. It wasn't the cashier, more the person; he made her nervous. She got an odd vibe from him. He turned to leave and Abigail stared at her bagel instead. She paid for it with greasy dollar bills and half-jogged outside to get a better look at the man before he drove off.

Abigail was pleased she didn't try her hand at pickpocketing when she saw the parked sedan full of people. The stranger kept outside and looked at his map, talking to the equally as unnerving friends in his car. Abigail chewed on her bagel as she sat down on a mouldering pile of tyres, shamelessly staring at him. After all, she posed no threat; a stinking little girl in hand-me-downs, all torn up with a cold and struggling to swallow the cheapest breakfast food she could afford out of a backwater gas station in the middle of nowhere. Although she never saw the man in her life, and despite the weird vibes he gave off, she felt an intrinsic pull towards him. Impulse had carried Abigail across several state lines and into towns she never knew existed, within which she found many charitable souls and favours that carried her eastward. Denying her gut instinct felt like turning off her GPS, blindfolding herself and tearing down the freeway with reckless abandon. This man seemed helpful, and Abigail was just waiting for a good excuse to approach him whilst playing up her own pathetic demeanor to scope out if he was the pitying sort.
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Hidden 2 days ago Post by Haydrian Cindel
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Haydrian heard a tennis shoes scraping concrete nearby. He turned from talking to the people in the Sedan and saw a young girl sitting on the sidewalk. Haydrian was surprised. Not to see a young girl there, after all young girls can exist and grow up anywhere. Homeless young girls were a different story, and this young girls was clearly homeless, thus Haydrians confusion. Homeless in general tended to congregate inside and around big cities. It was basic math, the more people they had access to, the more money they were likely to make. Leaving big cities/densely populated areas for any period of time was literally dangerous for homeless, to the point that it could be considered akin to self harm, or suicide. Brightwell was so small that homeless should have been avoiding it like the plague, not sitting outside of it's only gas station staring people. So why was she?

Haydrian met her gaze, and examined her overall appearance again, occasionaly bringing his eyes back to meet her gaze. She was clearly in rough shape, if Haydrian had to guess he'd have assumed she was fairly new to this homeless gig. The way she sat all of her weight was clearly being kept off of her heels, where she probably had blisters, implying she wasn't accustomed to walking as much as she recently had been. Haydrian cocked his head with interest. The way she was peering at him from under her baseball cap was nagging at him, but he couldn't quite put his finger on why. he continued staring at her as he tried to figure it out, eventually deciding that the way the cap was pulled so tight on her head, and the way she was generally hunched in on herself was providing her with a sense of security, perhaps even anonymity. He smiled, it was a familiar concept for him, many of the homeless he had befriended claimed to find great comfort in their anonymity. He'd always found this to be strange when contrasted with the homeless that claimed the anonymity was lonely agonizing.

Haydrian smiled at her and waved, choosing to keep his distance for the time being. Personal bubbles tended to be much larger for people who found themselves in unfamiliar environments, and circumstances. He suspected this girls was rather large at the moment. Best to show he wasn't a threat before approaching her.

"My name is Haydrian miss, what's yours?"
Hidden 2 days ago 2 days ago Post by Stitches
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"Meemaw said it ain't good handing out your name to strangers," Abigail croaked, "'Specially not tall, dark men lurkin' outside their sedan full'a friends." Her voice was distinctly southern under a quarter inch of phlegm. She took another tiny bite from her bagel and had a job at chewing it, pulling a face as she swallowed. "I s'pose you may call me... bagel." She looked like she had been waiting to think of a cool name for her mysterious persona for months, then blanked and sputtered out something stupid. Her cheeks even went red with embarrassment and she coolly pulled her hat down, pretending to be elusive when in reality she was hiding her blush and scowling at her own idiocy.

"I hope you don't mind me saying, but you got one helluva vibe comin' off you," Bagel pointed out. "I can feel it. Here." She gave her stomach two resounding slaps. "N' I've met plenty of folks with vibes, mister. You get the good vibes, kinda from here," she pointed at her ribcage, "and the bad ones, they make my neck and fingers all tingly, and the weird ones which I feel in my left knee only... but I ain't met no-one who's given me a tummy vibe before." She took another long pause to eat a little bit of her bagel. "That makes you something of a curiosity. You're either real good news...or some kiddy fiddler-serial killer type deal."

Bagel eyed Hayrdrian with scrutiny and waggled her eponymous breakfast food in his general direction. "In which case," she said with her mouth full, "I shall warn you, I ain't washed in months and I can run like ol' Lucifer himself started nippin' at my heels. I ain't worth the effort of draggin' into that there sedan of yours."
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Hidden 22 hrs ago 20 hrs ago Post by Haydrian Cindel
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Haydrian Cindel The Cion

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Haydrian glanced back at the Sedan. Huh. She had a point. He tapped the hood and spun his pointer finger in a circle, signaling the group to take a drive. There was some general grumbling and scuffling as Harry, who was riding shotgun, clambered into the drivers seat. The engine turned over and away they went. He took a deep breath. He could already tell this was going to be a straining interaction. It wasn't that he dislike people, or didn't have patience for them, on the contrary he loved them, and considered patience one of his greatest attributes. But it was just that, well he was busy. He didn't like things distracting him from his plans, and this trip alone was already an annoying enough distraction. While he genuinly found the girl interesting, and was inclined to help her, she was currently a distraction from his main goal, finding the people who sent him the note. Oh well, nothing he hadn't dealt with before. In his mind a replica of him walked across an imaginary living room to an equally imaginary record player. he shuffled through the records until he found "Trance to Study by, By Delta Notch". Mental him breathed a sigh of relief, and queued up the record.

(youtube.com/watch?v=A4lz8EXvOzA
Background music slash video. Haydrian replays this in his head when he's feeling anything from bored to angry. He finds it both relaxing and amusing, helping him to keep his cool.)

Turning back around Haydrian was caught off guard by her next comment. Bagel? He wasn't sure whether that sad of a nickname deserved a laugh or scorn. Perhaps both. Poor girl, the way she pulled her cap down even harder confirmed she was way out of her element. Haydrian wasn't sure how, but her body language somehow blared loud and clear that she had been waiting to think of a cool name for her mysterious persona for months, then blanked and sputtered out something stupid. He actually had to pause and think about that for a moment, he wasn't certain it was humanly possible to telegraph so clearly that amount of information, and yet there was no doubt about it.

He was stumped. How on earth was he supposed to respond to that? She was clearly extremely embarrassed. These sort of situations always confused him, people tended to get so flustered about the strangest things. She quickly began talking again, attempting to outrun her own words. Haydrian decided to let her finish before replying.

One part of Haydrian catalogued the information concerning vibes for future reference, another part did it's best to keep his eyes from glazing over, and the rest of him joined mental Haydrian in his little arm chair, listening to Delta Notch. Ugh. Vibes. She was either crazy or she'd spent to much time with crazies. Haydrian checked himself. He could see ghosts and raise the dead. Who was he to judge someone who claimed to feel vibes?

He really wasn't all that interested in what sort of vibes she got from him, as long as they didn't negatively affect the likely hood that she would trust him. Though it did make him laugh that she thought it possible he was a serial killer. It was the first time someone had said he reminded them of one. Though he found it absurd. He'd literally never killed someone, nor had he ever wanted to! He'd even gone so far as to avoid killing when playing his political games, to the point that he could only count two assassination's that he had ordered.

The part of Haydrian that had been left on watch realized that the girl was slowing down. Seeing his queue, he turned from the window that was Haydrians physical eye and hollered down the trap door that lead to the living room where the rest of his mind still was. His separate mental states snapped back together like rubber bands, though the original mini Haydrian shook his head and rolled his eyes. Who had time for reality when you had Delta Notch? he settled deeper into his armchair and turned up the volume.

Haydrian's mental reaction was fast, but not fast enough. As he came back to reality he realized this and checked to see if his programed responses had kicked in. He breathed a sigh of mental relief. As soon as she'd stopped talking his body had reacted with it's prerecorded response. He'd laughed. It was only automatic for a split second, but still. He cringed a little. It was one thing to be practiced in dealing with other humans, but it pained him just as much as it pleased him that he'd mastered the skill to the point that he didn't even need to pay complete attention to someone to respond properly to them.

"Listen I'm not a serial killer," He said, letting his laughter peter out before it seemed anything but friendly and polite. "Though I suppose any real serial killer would say the same thing." He shook his head at the ground with a smile, and laughed lightly again. He took the opportunity to approach her, allowing his stride to appear reactive, as if it were natural that he would approach her at this point. And it was, but Haydrian knew that it was best to keep his assumptions within his own mind, and avoid leaving them written in his body language.

"You know I don't know if I can call you Bagel with a straight face," He said as he sat down, facing the same direction as her so that they were parallel to each other. "But I had another idea." He paused for dramatic effect, looking in her eyes. "Anonymous." He let his eyes leave hers as he faced forward again, and then allowed them to trail upwards into the sky. "I don't know why but it's just the name that comes to mind when I see you." He said, continuing to stare into the sky nonchalantly.

He turned his body so he was now at an angle to her, and placing his arms on the edge of the tire behind him, leaned back. "You know if you need some help I'd be more than willing. No weirdness, scouts honor." He said making the scouts sign with the wrong hand. "If all you need is money that's fine, but in return you'd have to tell me your story over lunch. My treat." He let his head hang back, looking straight up at the sky with an air of carelessness. "Your choice." He said shrugging his shoulders.

He raised his head just enough to look her in the eyes again and say, "Listen I've been in rough straights myself a few times, and some of my closest friends were homeless when I met them. You've got no reason to be ashamed of what your going through, it's not easy." With that he let his head drop back again. Wow. The clouds were beautiful today. A bit cold out though, he thought with a shiver. He glanced at the sun. Hm. He'd guess it was around three O'clock. Hopefully Dennis would find the people they were supposed to meet. He didn't want to spend any more time here than necessary. Nor did he like the idea of having to get a room in town. He had work to do back in New York, and if there was nothing for him here then he'd visit the Burial Grounds and be on his way.
Hidden 12 hrs ago 12 hrs ago Post by Bazmund
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Mike Stafford





I am the night.
I am Silence.
I am one of billions, lost in billions.
No man can hear me, for I do not speak.
No man can see me, for I live in the shadow.
No man can smell me, for my mind is clean.
No man can touch me, for I am not real.




That was the precise kind of thing that Mike was not repeating to himself, mentally or verbally. That was the precise kind of thing that made you obvious to anyone who wanted to see you, the kind of mantra that had echoes an experienced opposing agent could hear. It was not in his mind, being nobody. Because he wasn't nobody, and you could never be nobody.

He was Mike, instead. Mike was an electrician's apprentice a few years ago, who had taken a shining to his job but simply hated the man teaching him. The big fat oaf had enjoyed making Mike do the pointless, shitty jobs, for no good reason - and it's not like he wasn't aware that the apprentice is the guy who gets those jobs, it was just especially malicious in this case. Ever since then he'd decided to skip town and see if he could make any money from the skills he'd already learnt... without telling the IRS. Mike was a nice enough guy, reasonably bright, with a decent heart - but he hadn't gotten any work at all, and he'd ended up pawning his car for money to keep him fed.

Eventually his old boss had called the cops on him. Something about stealing valuable tradesman's tools.

Never happened. But hey.

It had been a couple months now, going from hostel to hostel, bussing it cross-country. He'd been through five states, Illinois being the latest, just doing the odd job here and there, hiking when he couldn't afford the bus any more. It was lonely, and cold, and poor - but he was free. Mike held freedom pretty high up as an ideal, honestly; he wasn't political, but the whole 'life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness' thing really struck a chord with him.

Oh, speaking of striking chords, Mike also played guitar. He wasn't superb, but he had the right kinds of hands for it. Shame he'd had to sell that too.

Mike wasn't really thinking about this either, of course - not repeating it at the very least. He didn't need to. You don't think about your life's history every day, now do you?

He'd been hiking it - like, properly hiking it, camping and shit at night, crossing the country and avoiding roads - for the last... well, couple weeks probably. He'd slept rough the first few nights before he eventually bit the bullet and bought a tent, something small and collapsible that fit discreetly into his backpack rather than being obvious outside of it, no big poles or anything - just a flexed wire frame and a couple short pegs; and before he'd been doing his woodsman thing, he'd been hitchhiking it once his bus fare ran out. He'd met some interesting characters doing that.

There was a little girl he'd been seeing around, recently. A scruffy, unwell little thing, pale and sick. She kept her cigarettes in a redbull can and had a thing for duct tape. Couldn't be more than 15.

Mike had been quite careful not to be seen by her more than once - though he'd considered giving her some of his cash. It looked like she'd been doing this for a lot longer than he had, and he had the skills for it more than she did. Poor kid.




Mike sighed. He was searching the chocolate in the gas station for something halfway decent - after all, it was time for his one treat of the week - with a bacon sandwich and a coke tucked into the crook of his arm. He hadn't intended to be in here when that kid he'd been unintentionally following arrived, but he'd managed to always be in the other aisle to her and he didn't reckon she'd noticed him - at least not as if he were a person. To be totally honest he also hadn't really intended to 'follow' her this far, or at all - but then he also didn't know why he was still walking.

If he'd been acting normally, he'd have gone to ground in a medium sized town a little while ago. He had enough to keep him right for a little while, by which time he'd probably know more about who - if anybody - was following him. But he wasn't. Instead he'd made the trip all the way from Langley, Virginia, to Brightwell, Illinois. He hadn't known he was going to Brightwell in particular until half a month ago either - he'd just known there was a direction he needed to go in, even if sometimes it meant not seeing people for a while. It was a curious kind of pull, like little hands grabbing at your heart.

Mike was very tired. Sleep never came easy to him. He'd tried to see his doctor about it but didn't have the insurance to cover the costs - and that was while he was still an apprentice.

As he paid up - in cash - and left the gas station, tucking his things back into his backpack, he turned and gave a glance to the kid. She was talking to some tall motherfucker in a coat, who'd been there when Mike went into the gas station in the first place, backed up by a sedan's worth of creepy addict-looking punks. He was surprisingly unworried about the kid, mostly because human traffickers are usually better at blending in, but he definitely still made a quick mental note of the man's features as he turned away, placing a hand on a pocket inside his parka where he was keeping some loose cash.

It was a curious thing, feeling something cease to exist. Ten dollars left his palm and arrived without incident in the kid's back pocket, crumpled up like she'd just forgotten it. It was probably enough for a cheap hot meal and maybe a shower - though Mike knew he'd skip the shower and see if he could get a beer instead, in her position. She'd find it eventually, probably in a couple hours or whenever she next sat down and felt the disturbance. Just a way to remind himself he was still human, and not something he'd done for her before.

Well.

Maybe a couple times. Only a couple. Just enough that she felt a little lucky sometimes. Not enough that she'd notice.

Mike still had enough left for himself, which was all that really mattered. His plan was to go find wherever this little niggling feeling was leading him, and find the person who'd been resourceful enough to get his cell number and kind enough to not turn him in.

Just another tuesday for Mike Stafford.
Hidden 11 hrs ago 11 hrs ago Post by Stitches
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Bagel watched the sedan leave impassively. She took another nibble of her bagel and stared at Haydrian, rubbing her nose on the back of her hand. She furrowed her brows slightly as he laughed and approached. She stank to high heaven. It was a rancid mixture of halitosis and body odour. Her hard gaze remained fixated on his expression as he spoke and with every word she became stiffer and less responsive. “Naw, that’s too long,” she shot down his suggestion with clear distaste and wrapped up her bagel. “Who’re you to name a stranger? I’m Bagel to you now.” She flashed him a nervous grin and stood up as he leant back. “You’re-...a good man, but I gotta get going,” she mumbled, hastily tugging on the straps of her backpack. “Thanks anyway.”

Abigail took long strides down the road and kept going until she was pretty certain that Haydrian wasn’t following or staring at her. Once she had strolled out of view she ducked behind a corner and took a few deep breaths. Her fingers trembled as she clicked open her flip phone, checking the time and her phone signal. “God. God.” A quiet rattle of shifting debris made her look back and forth; old tin cans, bits of chipped cement and various trash out of the bins had started to bob up to the surface and drift into the air. “‘Ey-...Ey! You-...get back down in there, you trash!” she snapped, waving her hands at the floating objects. Her growing anxiety was ruptured by another racking coughing fit as each bronchiole exploded, hefting clumps of phlegm up her trachea in shuddering spasms. With it each piece of detritus fell flat onto the dirt as she slowly sank against the wall, wiping her brow. “Gawd-damnit, Abi. Ya fucked it. Bad case’a bad judgement.”

She remained prone against the wall until her ribcage stopped trembling then wearily got up to her feet, following her footsteps towards the borders of Brightwell. She was so busy making sure she wasn’t being followed that she hardly noticed the pastel walls of the motel until she stood in the car park and realised precisely where she was. Her tummy vibe had subsided so she took another chance and stepped inside.

Almost immediately upon setting foot in the threshold, some kid not much older than she was greeted her. She nearly jumped out of her skin at the promptness of his hello and it triggered another coughing fit. “JAY-sus CHRISTman-...” she rattled. “What message? Wuh-...Did I walk in on sommin’?”
Hidden 8 hrs ago Post by Haydrian Cindel
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Haydrian Cindel The Cion

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Haydrian watched the strange young girl walk off. He shrugged, and went back to looking at the sky. Her loss. He swore he would never understand it in a hundred years, but this wasn't that strange of a situation to him. People often found his persona... off putting. When he was much younger it had made him sad occasionally, especially since he couldn't understand what it was about him that bothered others. Most children went through phases when they wondered if there was something wrong with them, and Haydrian was no different so he felt no shame in this past. But all of those memories were from back when he thought the actions of humans were dictated by unbiased logic. He'd since learned that logic and reason were alien to humans more often then not, forget unbiased. So today such things didn't even phase him, after all why should he let the judgement of a flawed creature affect his emotions? He was perfectly aware of his many flaws, and he was also aware that things others perceived to be flaws he saw as strength and kindness. He grinned and chuckled. What humor life was full of. She'd obviously been looking for a handout at first, likely following one of her strange vibes. Had she accepted his offer he would have left her with enough money to go anywhere in the world she wanted, showers and food included, no strings attached, and he never would have thought of her again. Now she would be left in the same situation she'd been in, and he still wasn't likely to think of her ever again. And she'd missed out all because of feelings and vibes. If that wasn't irony then Haydrian didn't know what was.

He looked at his phone to double check the time. Yep. Five past three. as he was looking at the time his phone began to vibrate. It was Dennis. Haydrian breathed a sigh of relief. Good news he hoped.
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Brightwell, Illinois, February 2020

Archer Guld was the first to arrive, the first to greet him. Gavin thought it was a good omen for the Time Mage to greet him without any hostility. So the young man said, "I have been informed of your existence, yes, and I have found out more about it using the… Abilities I have. Come in, Archer, this is a safe haven for now."

Then to Kai, Gavin said, "You won't believe me if I say I found out by myself... But I found out by myself. And no, I'm not out to cause you trouble, or at least the kind of trouble you are acquainted with." He moves to let his fellow Magi in, then says, "That said, I have found out a lot that might make you all uncomfortable."

On seeing Dennis arrive, Gavin’s face would turn stern as he activated Supernal Vision. As the group was now presumably inside the Hotel Lobby, this meant that Gavin now had a measure of privacy to reveal his powers to. And that was good because the young man’s next move was to conjure up a ball of silver light on his cupped right palm turn it to Dennis and say, “Enough games. Tell your leader to come here at once along with his other… Followers. We’re in enough danger here without his’ bringing attention to us with a larger group.”

Haydrian was going to be a problem, he felt it. But the Malakim chose to grant him both powers and the chance to reject their plan out of his own free will. Gavin just hoped that the man won't try and manipulate his way into leadership of the group...

Outside, Sparrow Freemark, the hotel owner, ought to be keeping anyone uninvited from intruding with her strong Mind Magic. Gavin felt uncertain of her true commitment to keeping other Mages safe, but he’d take what he can get. After all, she had the same explanation he was going to give to the others.

With a sigh of impatience, Gavin sat down on a sofa, ball of silver light still cupped in it, and said as Abigail entered, “We’re wasting time. I’ll start the needed explanation now and others can be caught up once they arrive.”

He looked at the group and said, “You want to know where your powers come from, right? Where the winged angelic beings fit into all this? Well, I’ll make this simple - There’s a spark of divinity inside each of us, a spark of divinity that can be used or misused, and it allows us to do Magic. The winged beings are there to tell us that we are exempt from any command in whatever religion or non-religious belief system you follow not to use Magic… Or rather, that said command has now been repealed.”

A pause to let the words sink in, “As to why, it’s because Magic is the force needed to save the world right now, to save the world from dark forces that even my abilities can only glean a little bit about. And so I, and perhaps a few other contacts,” A hint of people other than Sparrow as part of his group, “Are there to teach you how to use the powers you have more effectively.”

The ball of silver flame flared up, then extinguished itself, then Gavin drew his left hand and lit up another globe of silvery light. “So, which of you wants to have your lives changed forever?”

@Haydrian Cindel@Guardsman@Gentlemanvaultboy@duskshine749@Bazmund@silvermist1116@Stitches
Hidden 1 hr ago Post by duskshine749
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Zephyr glanced at the letter in the passenger seat of his Ford Focus as he finally found his way to Brightwell. He had done a lot of debating when he had received said letter. It was what he had been waiting for, but at the same time it just seemed too convenient. Zephyr was suspicious and thought he might be walking in to a trap. In the end he decided to take the risk and go to the small town that was so small he could barely find it. He was glad this mysterious person requested they meet in Illinois, being from northern Michigan it was only about a days drive to get there, factoring in stops and the time it took to find the place.

The entire time Zephyr was thinking about how he got here he had kept driving, eventually finding himself in the parking lot of an old looking motel. There was something strange about the motel, like if he looked away it started to slip from his mind. Maybe this was the power of someone on the inside. At any rate, Zephyr parked his car, grabbed the letter, and went inside. There was a woman at the front giving him a bit of a stare down. "Um, hi. I was told to come here, regarding my...talents?" He waved the letter a bit and the woman just pointed him towards the back of the room where Zephyr saw a group of people.

He walked up to them quietly and listen to what the kid who seemed to be the letter writer had to say. After he was done Zephyr was the first to speak. "Well, I made my way all the way to this middle of nowhere town, and I don't want the trip to be for nothing. I'm in, I'll stick around, at least for a bit."
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