Hidden 1 yr ago 1 yr ago Post by Stitches
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Goodnight


20th of January - 2020






The weeks since you had arrived at Goodnight under the protection of the Violet Underground had been chaotic, exhausting, and stressful. The atmosphere was initially lifted by the sudden availability of hot showers and reasonable food - especially after the days gone without either by the arriving refugees - but before long it had become obvious that keeping a good few hundred, maybe even a thousand, of the most stressed, outcast, magically supercharged people on the planet all together in one mall would be trying.

The incident with Abigail was the first, and to the veterans of the underground it was probably the most outstanding on account of the revelations that came with it, but it was by no means the only one.

The Violet Underground had promised everyone basic instruction on how to control their magic, and use it safely, and these classes were delivered by more or less whoever was on hand to give them; they were useful, surprisingly thorough, and if nothing else an engaging diversion - but even still, accidents happened. The medics were kept busy by a constant stream of self-injury and magical exhaustion, and the sentries had to get used to keeping as much of an eye on the refugees as they were on their surroundings - but even worse were the fights.

It could have been because tensions were high, or because of something one person had done, or simply because people liked violence, but life in Goodnight had become punctuated by arguments which had an alarming tendency to devolve into violence. They weren’t so commonplace that you couldn’t avoid them, but they were frequent enough that everyone knew it was happening - and it was leading to tribalism in the mall. Worse still were the times people tried to bring their magic into the matter - more often than not, they were shut down almost instantly by the more experienced mages of the Underground, and the few times things did get out of hand still weren’t all that serious… but the change in atmosphere was obvious.

At 7AM that monday morning, two weeks after your arrival, things changed for you again.





Headquarters was not a place most of you had been before - only Abi, so far, had been inside the bare, freezing room at the back of the mall - but it was the sort of environment you were all familiar with in one way or another. It was a cross between a staff room, an office, a war room, and - bizarrely enough - an AA meeting, what with the row of coffee urns that had been repaired and refilled since Abigail in particular was last here.

Simon had sent some people out to find you, wake you if necessary, and bring you to him first thing in the morning.

When you got there, he was standing at one of the tables, his eyes deeply shadowed from lack of sleep and a cup of what might genuinely have been military grade instant coffee in his hand.

“Morning, guys.” He said, with a voice that screamed all-nighter. Simon looked up from the map, and drew his gaze across the assembly that had gathered in front of him. He paused then, for a moment, as if he were deciding where to begin. In the background, Brooks was filling his own cup with coffee, and Billy was idly thumbing through a small book, looking up at you as you entered. Brooks inclined his head - almost begrudgingly - towards Abigail.

“I’ve had to listen to well over a hundred reports from the bootleggers - the smugglers responsible for getting you here - in just the past two weeks. My colleagues have had to receive many more still.” He placed the cup down on the table, next to the stack of papers he had been looking over. “But in the middle of all that, you guys and a few others managed to stand out.”

He nodded, pacing around the table, folding his arms, looking the party over again.

“I’m looking at a group of people right now who can do some pretty amazing stuff. Turning your skin to volcanic rock and lifting steel beams, fighting street art come alive and helping your own rescuer pick up where others had fallen, healing the dead flesh of the seriously injured, even taking up arms against an agent of the FOE. I’m very impressed.”

Simon laid his hands on the table, leaning on them, taking some of the weight off his feet and sighing loudly.

“Look, I don’t really want to beat around the bush with this, so I’m gonna just… come right out and say it. We are not doing great at the moment. We were never exactly a well coordinated group to begin with, but there have been entire cells and groups of our people that have just disappeared in the last couple of weeks, and we’re recording a lot of…” he stumbled, struggling for the right word to make it seem less than it really was, and failing to find it, “... losses. Casualties.”

A young woman with dark skin and a serious expression wordlessly took his cup and refilled it as he continued.

“To get to the point, I’m asking you if you might be interested in volunteering. Working with us. I need to be completely clear right now, you have no obligation to, and it will not be held against you if you refuse.” He held his hands up, cutting an X into the air for emphasis. “We do dangerous work, as you all know, and while we’re certainly not in a position to refuse anyone who might be willing to help, we are not holding it over anyone. The Underground will continue to protect you regardless.”

“But we need the help.” Brooks added, curtly.

Billy nodded, tucking the book away into the chest pocket of his body warmer.

Simon’s lips curled downwards, a bitter expression on his face - bitter and, possibly, disappointed.

“We do need the help. In fact, if you were interested, I’d even be able to set you up on a job with Brooks and Billy here, get you started right away.” Simon looked up at you, hopefully.





Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Pascal
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Weeks passed. They were mostly boring, which Ellen supposed she couldn’t really complain about. Being bored was better than being dead. Her arm was fully healed up, and so were the other smaller injuries she had sustained when fighting the FOE agent.

Ellen checked on Ciara a few times, but once the girl's head felt better, she didn't want anything to do with Ellen. Ellen got the impression the younger girl just wanted to forget everything about that night, and seeing Ellen reminded her of what they had done. Ellen took the hint and stayed away after that.

She learned more about her magic, finding out that she had a few other abilities she hadn't learned about the night she woke. After practicing with her second skin, Ellen found her need to shower grew exponentially, and she had to wash the bits of blubber out of her clothes a frustrating number of times. The first time her crab claw emerged, Ellen screamed and flailed her arms around. Her larger claw smashed into a table and broke it. With some practice, she found that the little crab pincers she gained on the other hand could crack a walnut with ease. She debated thinking of this new ability as The Nutcracker, but ultimately decided if she wanted to ever get laid again, she couldn't refer to her hands as nutcrackers.

Other than turning herself into an amalgam of slippery aquatic creatures (like an evil villain version of Aquaman), Ellen could turn glass into sand, but it gave her headaches to do so. She could also make a sort of… double of herself in a different place, but it was very hard to concentrate on both herself and this other form. It was an eerie reminder of her sister, and it made her uncomfortable to use for multiple reasons. The last one she was starting to get a handle on has something to do with oxygen and plants. She knew she could take oxygen from one area where there were plants and redirect it to herself. She hadn't tried it yet, but she was very curious about whether she could go full Ursula's mutant cousin and make an air-bubble for herself to breathe underwater. For now, the skill hardly seemed useful because breathing extra air made her feel a bit woozy.

She found herself a bit annoyed that she turned into a Scooby-Doo villain style blubbery slippery crab creature while some people turned into sexy muscled rock-men. But she was glad at least to have the time to learn these things about herself. The next time she faced an FOE agent, she wouldn't be nearly so defenseless.

Ellen didn't only work on her magic (and laundry) during the two weeks off. Once her body was healed enough, she went for runs around Goodnight. She joined a scrawny teenager who could easily out-last and out-pace her, but Ellen wasn't competitive enough feel dissuaded from running just because she was losing. It was nice to ignore the people fighting like they were on a reality show, and listen instead to the sounds of shoes hitting the tile and concrete floor, and the steady breathing that punctuated each handful of steps.

In truth, Ellen didn't know what she was waiting for. She knew she wanted to help with the underground, and she knew she had made that damn clear to Hans before he left for… getting back to his normal life, or whatever. But would she have to wait a year to do something useful? Ellen wanted to believe she had the dedication and patience to wait, but she also knew she would turn into one of the over-dramatic bickering 'Survivor' folks if they didn't give her something to do soon. Maybe she could find someone and ask about weapons training. Shooting a gun the first time hadn't been awful but it certainly could have gone better.

As excited as Ellen was to be summoned on the 20th, Ellen was NOT a morning person. On the boats, she was always up before the sun, which made it easier to pretend she was just getting up very late rather than very early. Like her first morning at Goodnight, she barely pulled herself together. She was still in the leggings and racer-back top she had slept in, and her hair was pulled up in a somewhat disheveled ponytail as she walked to the office. Ellen wiped some of the sleep out of her bleary eyes and then replaced her glasses as she entered the room.

Immediately she spied the coffee urns and went over to help herself. She poured two cups and carried both over to the map where people were gathered. One mug she left on the table and the other she used to warm her hands, taking large sips as she forced herself awake.

The man in charge looked to be Ellen's age. He was cute, but she didn't love the whole, 'I have so much responsibility I don't take care of myself and need someone else to take care of me' vibe he was putting off. There were other people assembled around the room, most of whom Ellen didn’t know personally, but had seen around, like the teenage runner--Abi, and rock-man.

Simon began to talk about their accomplishments, and Ellen looked around, wondering who fought street art (and how it came alive), and who healed flesh. The latter, at least, sounded really useful to have around, and Ellen secretly hoped that if they were paired off, she got to be partnered with the healer. She had always played tanks in video games, and felt like healers were the next most important ones to have around.

Simon then revealed that they were having a lot of losses, casualties. Ellen switched her empty cup with the full one around the same time Simon had his cup refilled, and started to bring it to her lips as he uttered the word ‘Volunteering.’

“Yes!” Ellen interrupted, pausing the mug in the air. “I am in. Absolutely in.” She noticed a few people looking at her, and her face flushed, looking into the coffee mug as she cleared her throat. “Ahem, Sorry. Continue.”

When Simon actually finished speaking, Ellen eagerly gave him a nod. “Like I said, I’m in.” She repeated. Then she looked at the others in the room, curious if any of them would decline. Abigail was young, but she could tell the girl was trying desperately to run away, and would probably throw herself into action to try to keep running. She didn’t blame the kid. Ellen looked down at the half of the yin yang tattoo on her right wrist, the constant reminder that she was always running, too.
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Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Jessikka
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Angeline had taken to some kind of routine, some semblance of normality. Every morning she woke up, freshened up in the bathrooms, tied her hair into a bun and did some early morning yoga and conditioning, and then dance practice. It wasn’t particularly useful anymore but a good time-wasting hobby. She’d easily waste hours practicing old ballets she was part of or the ones she’s always wanted to be part of and by then it would near lunchtime where she would clean up, take her hair down and eat her rationed meals. She hadn’t really made many friends aside from a few conversations here and there, she was happy to talk with whoever was about. In the afternoons she would sit by some greenery and see what she could do with it, experiment around with trying to control the ‘magic’ she had been gifted. For the most part, it was trial and error and a lot of staring at plants wondering what to do next. Was all her magic to do with plants? This early on it was hard to tell…

When she was approached she was just in the middle of her morning stretches when someone asked her to follow them. They seemed like they were important, staff or something, so she packed up her stuff and followed suit.

As she was taken into the, unfortunately chilly, headquarters she was met with some haggard-looking man, along with an assembly of staff in the background. She untied her zip-up hoodie from around her waist and pulled it on, promptly zipping it up as well. She wasn’t the first to arrive and not the last either. She recognised a handful from the beginning and a few yoga sessions where they had joined for a while though for the moment most of the names escaped her… It wasn’t so important, for the moment she would listen to his short speech, or proposition more like.

It was certainly an uncomfortable truth that the organisation designed to keep her, and many others, safe was falling apart and even more an uncomfortable idea that she would have to try and be one of the threads holding it together. The interruption had caught her by surprise and only just registered a woman she had seen around on occasion, though never spoken to. She stared in rather blatant surprise, perhaps after the trauma she’d initially experienced with getting to safety she wasn’t so… Eager to put herself in harm's way again, in fact, the idea had made her feel rather sick. On the other hand, if the organisation that was protecting her crumbled apart then she would be a goner for sure...

Frankly, it sounded like a lose-lose on all fronts, though her hopes were that her particular skills would be out of the ‘action’, she hadn’t yet found any sort of magic that was very offensive, she doubts she’ll be much use in the ‘field’. Perhaps her safest route was helping them out… At least then she’d be safer for a little longer than if she didn’t volunteer. “Um-...” Although, actually speaking and saying she’d do it seemed much harder, her throat seemed to dry up immediately although this was hardly the most pressure she had been under. She took a moment, rolled her shoulders back, and drew some composure before speaking, she had to be a calm, level influence if she was to be useful at all. She drew in a deep breath to steady herself before speaking, “I suppose I can help in any way you can find my services useful.”
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Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Stitches
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Abigail scratched her arm. She regarded Simon, then Ellen, then the cold and steady gazes of Brooks and that other lady - Syl, the dark and stern one she met a couple weeks ago. "Yeah...M'gonna need a hot minute to mull it over," she drawled. She was sure Simon would say something reassuring and sympathetic, probably along the lines of 'take all the time you need,' and maybe even stress that she doesn't really have all the time she needs if she's going to be of any use but...by the time he'd probably get around to saying that Abigail was already almost out of the headquarters. After all, what were they going to do; tell her to come back? He did say 'volunteer', after all.

No, Abigail just didn't want to be put on the spot. She thought she knew her answer from the get-go but also recognised that this was a significant decision she was taking on and should at least ruminate on it in the time it'd take her to do a lap of the mall. It just... didn't feel like one. Things like consequences, urgency, other people's feelings, her own feelings; they didn't have as big of an impact on her since she 'settled' into Goodnight. It felt like she was watching from a distance, or that she was far away. Maybe her good Christian soul was still in Arizona and the demon that's possessed her corporeal form is the one making the decisions, she just didn't know anymore. In fact, she tried not to think about it. She tried not to think about anything. Living in the here and now meant dealing with the big questions like 'Am I now condemned to an eternity of torment in Hell' and 'Has God abandoned me' and 'Why has everything I've been taught suddenly turned against me in every possible way'. It was far easier to just...check out of the whole situation and float through the days, which is why she wasn't sure what time it was or how long she had been in the mall.

There were, of course, times when Abigail did want to feel like she was still a person. Those were her jogging times. Abigail ran a lot since she showed up in Goodnight. She took cold showers because it felt like home and the shock to her system was an excellent means of lifting the haze in her head. Her trembling, aching legs and pangs of hunger were similarly nice little reminders that she wasn't just making everything up and had gone absolutely batshit. She didn't talk to anyone, but she enjoyed the company of her silent running partner. Some pretty lady who couldn't keep up. Abigail liked to slow down a bit for her. It was that kind of silent connection that meant more to her now than any kind word or knowing smile; after all, she wasn't a fan of pity.

Abigail looked up and realised she was outside the mall by one of her burning bins. For the hell of it, she jettisoned a thin line of purple flame into its warped and melting bottom. Her magic wasn't behaving like everyone else's; she quelled it, tried to squash it in. She rejected the lessons for as long as she could, and had to have them in rooms set aside for 'difficult cases' because her magic was so difficult to control and overpower. Either way, their teaching wasn't sinking in as much as she liked; to progress at all, she was told she'd have to accept that she was a mage. Since that was in line with those terrifying truths she was tactfully avoiding, Abigail decided she didn't want to progress. She kind of knew how to hold it in by now, and if she could catch herself doing something weird, it was easy enough to just...squish it in. Leave the refinement of her unholy power to the future Abigail who had her affairs in order. At the moment, she was content to just manage it.

Her feet took her back in the direction of the headquarters and past a new squabble over breakfast, which she drifted in between with a glassy eyed glance in their direction and a quirk of her scraggly brow. She knew she couldn't stay with these people. She didn't want to stagnate here and get sucked into the petty politics of a displaced and unstable mass. That was probably why she was back in the headquarters after a such short while. "Yeah alright, I'm in," she intoned with the same disinterest that she displayed in the first place, leaving a smidge of doubt as to whether or not she thought over it at all.
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Hidden 1 yr ago Post by duskshine749
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The weeks passed fairly uneventfully, Zephyr figured the few days immediately after the Violet Dawn was the VU's most eventful time. Zephyr mostly kept to himself. As happy as he was to have been gifted these abilities, now that the initial rush was done the reality of the situation was really setting in on him. This wasn't some fantasy, and he wasn't in some lovely academy where we'd learn to use his magic. He was in a run down mall in the middle of nowhere, and any instruction he was receiving was from people who were likely at their wits end. They were doing their best and Zephyr appreciated them, but he found it more fruitful to practice on his own. He could still feel there was an ability he couldn't access, maybe he just needed to train his other skills some more? He still went to the classes, his rock skin ability seemed to be an attention getter, it was too bad he could barely move while using it, even if he combined it with his physical enhancement ability. Plus using both of them together wasn't exactly sustainable, he could do a couple minutes at most.

In addition to his magical training, Zephyr also kept is taekwondo skills sharp by practising his forms every day. It was during this time when he thought of those he had left behind. He had never been incredibly close with his mom or sister, even after his dad died, but he still loved them. He wondered if they had gone looking for him, or had they just assumed the worst and figured he was grabbed by the CA3 after the Violet Dawn? It's not like he could call them to tell them different, and trying to find them in person was certainly out of the question. So he resigned himself to thinking they had held a funeral for him, thinking he was dead. Would his ex show up at the funeral? They had broken up over a year ago but they were together for nearly seven year before that. These were the questions that plagued Zephyr's mind as he kept his body in shape. Working out seemed to be a common thing for people to do, he saw plenty of runners, some more able than others. Angeline did her yoga every morning which Zephyr sometimes joined her for, she was probably the only non-staff whose name he knew. her and Matthew.

Things continued like this for a time, until one morning Zephyr was called to Headquarters. This brought back all kinds of school related anxiety for him. Had he done something wrong? No, it couldn’t be that, Zephyr had barely done anything since arriving at Goodnight, how could he possibly be in trouble? Upon arriving at HQ he felt relieved knowing he wasn’t the only one here, there were even a few familiar faces.

Zephyr wasn’t normally a coffee guy, but as Simon spoke he grabbed himself a cup. It just felt right, and it was nice having something to drink when Simon mentioned his feat of turning to rock and lifting a steel beam. It was like being called out as a good example by the teacher, sure it was flattering but Zephyr preferred to just blend in to the crowd.

One girl seemed a bit too eager to get out of here, although Zephyr supposed he couldn’t blame her. Even he was getting a little stir crazy, and he was very happy to spend all his time inside most of the time. This proposal from Simon was exactly what Zephyr had been looking for, he had been blessed with these powers and until now he’d had no way to practically use them. “I’m more than happy to join the cause, whatever you need just say the word.” It was his responsibility as someone blessed with power to help out who he could. Even in the face of a world that hated him now for who he was, Zephyr would be sure to take a stand. If he ended up dying, at least he could face his dad in the afterlife with pride.
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Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Lady Selune
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Siobhan had been going slowly but surely crazy. She had a particular itch that tended to crop up whenver she hadn't had a chance to wander for more than a week or two, and it had been significantly longer than that that she had been cooped up in Goodnight for. The itch had gone from an easy-to-dismiss little irritation to a full-blown rash at the back of her mind, her toes twitching when she lay down to sleep, her hair longing to be whipped by the wind as she drove away from this place. It would have been intolerable, had her recent migrane-related issues not been cleared up recently.

That being said though, the atmosphere of the mall was oppressive to say the least. Although she hadn't actually ended up in a fight, she had had to cut her losses more than once, and as it turned out, her powers were tricky to practise. Her teleportation? Easy enough, and she had gotten better at controlling the aftereffects of one too many blinks. Her glamours? Also not impossible... But the others were unethical at best and lethally dangerous at worst, and she had eventually had to concede that field experience was the safest way to go about learning her limts when it came to them.

She listened to the spiel impartially and impassively... But then came the question, and her answer soon after. "Yes." Nothing else was needed. It was simple, it was direct, and it captured all her feelings in three marvellous letters. Oui. Si. Olur. Chai. She knew a lot of ways to say it, and none changed the meaning too much. Seemed like most of her companions were of a similar mindset.
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Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Gentlemanvaultboy
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The preceding two weeks had been busy for Matthew. He'd made sure of That.

First of all there were the magic classes, which had been a bit of an eye opener. He knew magic would be varied and weird, but that didn't exactly prepare you for the first time you saw a girl grow a pincer. It made him grateful that most of his was apparently the blue kind, at least according to the instructors, and that blue magic worked pretty simply. He just grabbed something, concentrated on it, and it got filled with blue. Then it...uh...

It wasn't an explosion, he was sure of that now. That was no boom, no heat, just a scattering effect. Like if you hit a Lego house with a bat, except lethally fast. He came to that conclusion after a couple of hours of private practice, finding small piece of debris that he could toss Kilroy's way and watching them pop in the middle of the secluded shop. Once he started thinking of them as Lego's the other facet of the spell he was using came to him naturally. With an entirely redundant wave of his hand he watched as the broken pieces of a coat hanger danced across the floor tile, making little tinkling sounds as they rolled and tumbled to the middle of the room where the thing re-built itself like a 3d puzzle. Of course he had tried to repeat the process but once he picked up the coat hanger he found it wouldn't accept any more of his magic.

It had a pretty good memory for an abandoned hunk of plastic. How good, he wondered? Maybe he could find out.

He raced down to the sleeping area and grabbed his bag before returning to what he was thinking of as his training room. Reaching in he pulled out the alarm clock and ran his hand around wall of the room until he found a place behind the counter where he could plug it in. He did, and the red numbers on the front sprang to life. Pulling the thing from the wall he poured his magic into it before carrying it gently, like a bomb, into the center of the room before diving behind the counter and hearing the parts of the thing spray all corners of the shop.

Popping his head up, he waved a hand and watched the various parts reassembled themselves into his old familiar alarm clock. He hopped the counter, quickly scooping up the clock and running it back to the outlet. He missed three times in his eagerness, but on the forth try he managed to find the plug and beat the floor with his fists in excitement when the red numbers reappeared.




It wasn't just magic that was keeping him occupied. It was also Mira, and how he hadn't been able to say anything as she'd walked away. Maybe someone smarter or older, or someone that had known her longer than him would have been able to say the right words to pull her out of that mire, but Matt didn't have anything. Anything he could say just sounded like a lie in his head.

It had put his ass in gear, though. If things were as bad as she'd made it out to be than these people needed all the help they could get to lighten the load, and even if all he could offer up was his body he was going to do it. So, one day after magic class had ended, he approached the instructor and ask if there was anything he could do.

It was amazing how quickly he got back into the swing of deliveries. Goodnight was a small town and there was always someone in need of something. Coffee, aspirin, bedding, laundry, food, water, toiletries, all the things essential to keeping a mall full of strangers on one anothers good sides. It was on foot instead of behind a wheel, of course, but he was amazed at how the same principles applied. Keep the package in good condition, go as fast as you can, and when the customer was a jackass you just smiled and tried to leave as quickly as possible. The second principle in particular was a breeze, as he'd assembled an absurdly thorough mental map of the mall while scouring it of all graffiti and now knew all the shortcuts through the backrooms and maintenance corridors.




Considering his blue magic produced quite a lot of shrapnel Matthew had decided early on to do most of his training of it privately, trying to more precisely control the "fuse" the determined when something scattered and seeing if he could influence the direction of such things when they did, like he felt he had with the centipede. The whole process was surprisingly intuitive. It reminded him of driving, like his body already knew what he should be doing, and so he wasn't very surprised when it seemed like the magic itself helped guide him to doing something new.

He charged an old door handle just like he had a hundred times before, but this time it felt different. He wouldn't have been able to tell you what he had done differently if asked. As he held it in his hand it seemed to deform, ripples moving across its surface as he moved it as though it were water forced into the shape of a door handle. Squeamishly he dropped it to the floor, expecting it to splatter like paint across the tiles. Instead there was a sound like crushing stone as it landed. He stared at it for a few moments, then reached down and tried to pick it up. It wouldn't budge.




It wasn't long before Matthew developed a bit of a reputation as a gopher. It was a common sight to see him popping out of an unused door, hauling a heavy box up one of the powered down escalators, or navigating a trolley through a packed hallway. It was as though every moment he didn't spend sleeping, training, or eating was in transit from one person to another and sometimes he ate on the run. It kept him in shape at the very least. You could't pay for this sort of cardio, and between it and the magic he slept like a dreamless log every night.

Of course, it wasn't long before people started asking him for things. He'd just got done delivering a package of aspirin to a little old lady who couldn't have been a day younger than 60 when she'd asked whether he could do he a little favor while he was up and about. He'd barely said yes when she'd shoved a big clear plastic bag full of what looked like multicolored rags into his arms and asked him to stock some of the derelict claw machines around the mall with her "sock monsters."

It turned out that a "sock monster" was less terrifying than what he'd first though upon the lady's hasty clarifications. She had sewn up a bunch of socks she'd been donated into, well, various plush animals that she'd embroidered with fanciful little designs and decorated with googly eyes that she'd somehow gotten ahold of. She'd apparently done something similar for the local children after "the hurricane," though Matthew didn't know which one she was referring too, and thought that maybe giving people something to do would help calm some of the tempers that were flaring up around the place. Matthew didn't know if that would work, but he gone out of way to stock the machines anyway. Most of them didn't even have glass, but as he left the last one he saw a small curious group gather to try and get the things anyway.




Matthew stood, back to the wall, beads of sweat forming on his brow as he watched a group of people practicing black magic while being overseen by one of the impromptu instructors. One of them, a big buzzcut guy in his late 30s, seemed like he was in deep concentration while his partners held his hands. One of them, a tall blond woman that was still half his size, suddenly squealed in delight and said something like "Now, roasted marshmallows" to him. Buzzcut opened his eyes halfway, grinned, and then shut them again. Matthew tried to will himself forward, but found himself affixed to the wall as though by magic. He shook his head, managed to take a step forward, then found himself right back where he started only a moment later.

He didn't want to be here. He didn't want to be near them. There was a pitch black terror nestled in the pit of his stomach that kept him away from that group. He wondered if the fear came from a memory he had, or maybe it was something he'd started developing along with his recovery.

It didn't really matter though, did it? No matter what he was still afraid. No matter what he still had to go over there and talk to them. No matter what they had the same type of power he had. He could feel it there, in that pit. The same kind of power that could tear apart a human mind and leave someone with nothing. Powerful. Horrible. His.

"C'mon, c'mon, get it together." He muttered to himself. "Useful. Make yourself useful."

"Hey, you okay buddy?" Came a booming voice that jerked his eyes upward. Buzzcut waved at him like you wave at an old friend you met sudenly on the street.

"Uhhhh, yeah. Yeahyeahyeah." Matthew said, pushing himself off the wall. "Just, y'know, taking a rest. Gotta get on now, though. Lots to do. Lot of things that need doing..." Matthem called the last line over his shoulder as he shakily made his way down the hallway, leaving Buzz and his two friends confused.

Baby steps. That was what Matthew thought to himself. Just like getting your life back together, you needed to take baby steps. Maybe he'd try a little black magic tomorrow. Just a little bit. Just a little.



When Matthew was roused bright and earl on the 20th and was sent to a room that he had never actually been in before he assumed at first that he was being sent to pick up a delivery. So when he entered amid what seemed to him to be some kind of important business he sluck, kind of embarrassed, to the back to await his turn. It was only when Simon mentioned fighting living street art that his head perked up and he realized that he was a part of the important business.

He stepped forward and listened intently as the man laid out basically everything Mira had told him two whole weeks ago. The VU was on the ropes. They had taken heavy losses. They needed help.

Time to get up off his ass.

"Absolutely." Matthew said. "Anything to lighten the load."
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Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Bazmund
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Goodnight - the Briefing Room






Simon clapped his hands together, and a big stupid grin grew on his face as everyone answered in the affirmative.

“Fantastic! Oh man, you guys- you guys have no idea how happy I am to hear that.” He sighed in relief, standing up straighter and blinking the fatigue from his eyes a bit.

After a moment, he leaned back down and shuffled some of the papers on the table about, eventually producing what looked like a printout of a google earth image centered on a earthy red patch of desert, punctuated only by the shifting colours of the sand and rock, and by what looked like a small set of ramshackle structures off to one side of a seriously disused dirt road.

“In about six hours, we’re due to meet some of our bootleggers at this location in order to collect a shipment of supplies from them. Most of the goods are just stuff like canned and dried food and toilet paper, but there’s also a package of medical supplies being kept in a cool box that we need quite badly. There’s insulin in the cool box, which we’re running dangerously low on at the moment. That’s really the focus here.”

He poked his finger down on the map, against the outline of one of the larger structures.

“This is where you’re going to be coming out, using Billy’s van. “

Then, he gestured to what looked like an outhouse next to the dirt road.

“This is where the bootleggers will be waiting. They’ll probably have one or two men elsewhere in the area to keep an eye on things, but that’s where the meet should take place. I’d recommend some of you go make the handoff and load things into the van, and that the rest of you keep an eye on the surroundings and keep watch for anyone else approaching, but I’ll leave that to your discretion.”

He moved his hand back over to the entry point.

“Once everything is loaded up, return here and send an affirmative text to the only number stored on this phone.” Simon added, as Syl produced an ancient Nokia and plonked it down on the table next to him. “Once we receive it, we’ll have someone open the way home. If you need to get in touch with us for any other reason, that’ll be how you do it too - but ideally, don’t. It’s disposable, and we think they’re reasonably safe to use, but we’re keeping things as quiet as we can for the moment.”

Simon leaned back again, folding his arms and looking over the map.

“Oh, uh…” Billy started, turning the attention of the room to him, “... we prob’ly oughta mention, this is in Australia.” He nodded sagely, as if his contribution had been ancient wisdom and not completely bizarre.

“Right. It’s gonna be about 4AM local time when this all goes down.” Simon added.

“Any questions?”



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Hidden 1 yr ago 1 yr ago Post by Pascal
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The rest of the folks agreed to help out, though Ellen got the impression that not everyone was quite as eager as she was to get out and do something. The runner kid, Abi, actually ran off for a while and then came back to announce that she would join. The guy in charge, Simon, showed them the map of a desert, explaining that they would be in some guy named Billy’s van, going to meet other people with supplies including insulin. Simon recommended some of them watch and others load, then they would return when they were done.

Ellen wasn’t a leader, so she looked around the room, waiting for someone to step up and take control of this conversation. Her gaze drifted quickly over Abi, knowing the kid wasn’t going to be of much use for her brain. She could run like hell, though, and as far as Ellen could tell, that wasn’t even part of her magic use. One woman didn’t seem very talkative. The girl obsessed with makeup and stretching had seemed hesitant about being involved at all. Ellen didn’t like the idea of assuming the boys would be more capable of taking a leadership role because of their gender, but rock-man looked like he might have been one of the older ones in their group. The other guy seemed eager, but something about his gaze didn't scream confidence.

"Seriously, none of you have questions?" Ellen asked with a bit of exasperation. Perhaps she hadn't given them enough time. Waiting wasn't her forte. In any case, she turned to Simon and addressed him first.

"You've arranged for other supply pick ups. When they've encountered FOE, what has been their method of attack? Are we looking out for them to drop bombs over the desert? Are they likely to come barreling in with trucks and heavy weaponry? And if we get the supplies and run, can we open a way back that won't allow them to follow us through or do we need to eliminate any threat rather than just get away?" Ellen had lots of questions. She looked down at the map, wondering if they would be first to arrive at the spot, and have time to spread out and plant a few people around, or if the bootleggers were expected to already be at the rendezvous.

"You asked for us specifically as a group so you know what all of us can do." She paused, turning to the group for a moment Adam aside, "We should probably do a quick chat on the way of what we can do that will be useful in this. And then use that info to divy up who should load and who should watch." For her own usefulness she could probably use her seeing double to plant a set of eyes far away without having to actually leave the group with her body. Abi was fast enough to likely take watch from another vantage point and then just high tail it if she needed to. But if they had super hearing, or astral projection or something, they could probably be a lot more useful than Ellen as lookout. She didn't mind just being muscle, if that was what she was best for.

Turning back to Simon, Ellen finished her question, her thoughts having derailed a bit trying to once again figure out everyone's magic. "Who should take the lead with making decisions out there?" Ellen asked. They needed someone in charge. Last time no one told Ellen specifically to stay in the car, she went a big rogue and pulled some dangerous (but effective) stunts.
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"You seem to be the one taking charge, why don't you try'n take the reins on this one?" Abigail scratched her cheek. "You're definitely the most….en-thusi-astic…" her jaw worked over the word with uncertainty. Was there any way to be enthusiastic over your imminent induction course into becoming a terrorist? Her stomach turned. Her decision started to bring bile to the back of her throat. Terrorists. Witches. Insurgency fighters and, god forbid, liberals. She watched Syl with distaste, then peered beyond her. It was all becoming clearer now, more immediate and infinitely more worrying. A defiance of everything she'd ever been taught, and out of what? Spite? Oh god. Oh fuck. Oh Jesus Christ what had she done--

"Well, I'm pretty confident with all of this!" Abigail gave Ellen a hearty pat on the back. "S'just a quick pick-up, I doubt we'll be there more than ten minutes, n' I can vouch fer Billy-n-Brooks, ruthless sunsabitches…" she took a few sloping backsteps, "...so uh, I uh, I look forward to working with y'all!" She used her back to open the doors to the headquarters, shot a clammy pair of finger guns and, as soon as she was out of sight, sprinted to the closest trashcan and threw up into it.

"Damn sis," asked a nearby mage, "what happened in there?"

"Poor life choices. Mind your own business," Abigail hocked and spat a cloudy wad on top of her spew, wiping her mouth on the back of her hand. She half skipped, half staggered out of the crowds - beyond the bickering and the tension - further out into the department store, the overgrown corners of Goodnight. Once she found a mossy grove in the middle of the light fixtures corridor, where the dusty sunbeams reflected infinitely across the threshold, she fell to her knees and she started to pray.

It wasn't even prayer. It was pleading, mixed with some snot-faced tears and a bit of frustration tossed into the mix. Her heart went at a mile a minute as her ribcage seemed to shrink and her breath came out in short gasps. She folded her arms, clutching herself, doubled over into a little ball and sobbed. It felt bad. Abigail lacked the vocabulary to express it. Like the hand of God himself was squeezing her chest and putting all his divine weight on her shoulders. She stuffed the collar of her secondhand long-sleeved top into her mouth and gnawed on it, using it to muffle her fearful grunts and whimpers. But as time passed, her body and mind gave way somewhat. She rolled onto her side and then onto her back as she watched the light flicker endlessly across the gaudy pseudo-chandeliers. In increments, she squashed it all down and went back into that distant haze in the back of her head.

It was nice, cool, quiet and peaceful out here. One of her many hiding spots around Goodnight. Let the future Abigail deal with all that existential dread; she deserved a breather. She lay on the ground and tried to make shapes out of the patterns of mould on the ceiling tiles.
Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Jessikka
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Angeline stood quietly, exuding calmness externally, although just beneath that pristine layer on the surface was a chaotic mess of internal compartmentalising. A majority of the information got put into the ‘bottle it up and forget about it’ compartment for things that were, frankly, too difficult to comprehend at that moment so she put it away and would think about those hard things later… Most of which was the sudden realisation to just what she’d agreed to, she was expecting a little office job type, maybe a little bit of leg work but not much but she was very much tossed into the deep end. At first, she didn’t mind the sound of it much, a little delivery didn’t seem too hard, but it was the implication of some kind of attack that made her want to squish it away into a dusty little brain-cupboard never to look at again. Back in the real world, her eyes were glassed over and she was getting a bit of a stress headache dealing with everything so she thought she’d tune back in just in time to hear that lady chime in early yet again. The silence had only hung for a few moments and Angie cringed at the thought of being so excited to get back out there.

Angie lent the lady her attention as she let loose a string of questions, Angie herself stared sort of blankly. Her own brain was still trying to get over the fact they were supposed to go to Australia, she’d never been before, while this girl had already thought things through and had questions to boot. She rubbed her forehead, that stress headache taking over her thoughts for a moment. The discussion sorted wafted around, catching scraps of it, the important parts, talking about what we can do, who should load and who should watch, talks of leadership. She cleared the fog behind her eyes long enough to watch the girl shimmy her way out of the conversation before she levels her eyes with Simon long enough to stare disapprovingly. The first thought she had to bring to the table was “You really want to get a child involved in all this? None of you guys in administration could see the problems with that?” She rubbed her forehead between her eyebrows and sighed “I mean - doesn’t really matter how powerful she is or whatever - she already has a tendency to run off, you want us to babysit as well?”

Running a hand delicately over the top of her hair, smoothing down the fly-aways and taking a moment to take a breath. Angeline ran her eye over the papers on the tables, maps didn’t really speak to her, so she tried to recognise some key features on it. She ran her eyes over the gathered group of people and rolled her shoulders back. “Well, I don’t know anything about being a leader, it’s kinda hard to say who would be good in that kind of situation… Was anyone particularly good at making quick decisions on their pick up uh ‘adventure’?” She fiddled with her hair again, hiding the tremble that came from thinking about her own pick-up… “Oh - and as for what I can do, I think I was mentioned earlier, I ‘healed’ some withered hand. It was something plant-like… Can’t really explain it very well and well a distinct lack of injuries around here means I haven’t been able to practice much but yeah that about sums it up.” Angie was quick to change the subject, or at least to stop thinking about everything that happened. At this rate, she was bound to have plenty more memories to go in the ‘bottle it up’ compartment.

“Ah - I nearly forgot.”

As she scanned the room there were only a few faces she could give a name, and it was just as likely the same anonymity was associated with herself. “To all those I haven’t met yet, my name is Angeline and, well, it’ll hopefully be a pleasure working with you all.” Her smile was genuine but her eyes betrayed the nervousness of the nature of the kind of work, if it was even half as dangerous as the trip into Goodnight, could she trust these strangers with her life? Could they trust her with theirs? How many others could do what she could do, how much of the responsibility of patching them up was on her shoulders alone? She couldn’t shake the thoughts and it made her headache throb all the more.
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Brooks scratched his nose and pushed himself up from the desk that he was leaning on. The coffee cup was discarded as he gave Ellen a brief explanation,“The FOE are american based, we won’t be dealing with them out where we’re going. But...you asked good questions, so I’ll answer them anyway. The F.O.E. rely on precision and meticulous attacks. They can’t afford to have the public turn against ‘em and will go to great lengths to prevent using heavy firepower to take down our folks. Now that don’t mean they’re doing it out of respect for kindness,” Brooks’s face twisted into a scowl. “The F.O.E. are still zealous. They’ll be ruthless and brutal if they catch us.” He coughed before carrying on.

“As for what the plan of action is if they do ever catch you, it’s to rely on your instinct. Or the instinct of the next best person. It’s the measures we take before a mission that's supposed to stop them from catching us. They can mess and scramble with blue magic to prevent its use so you’d be solely relying on a clean getaway to lose them, something they wouldn’t allow unless they’re being sloppy.” He wet his lips before turning to Angeline.

“There ain’t mercy regarding children from the F.O.E. If the VU fall they’ll get strung up dead either way. Now whether they actually got the gumbo to carry out said tasks is why we don't turn away volunteers. It’s easier to train people that are willing over those who want to...” Brooks trailed off momentarily, glancing at the doors to the headquarters, "...To try and live a normal life." He shook his head slightly. "We need all the hands we can get."
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Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Lady Selune
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Australia. Right, that meant... Another blue magic portal. Siobhan gulped a little subconsciously; thoughts of herself and herself and herself and herself and all whirling around in her head, but she squashed them down. She had defeated the thing in the mirror once, surely she could do it again. Other people went ahead, took the lead, made a big hoo-hah. She was happy to be the one they could fallback on if things went badly. It was a role that suited her well. She would look out, look at the man talking about the FOE, and shake her head.

"Not the FOE you gotta look out for. It's regular joes. Bunch of peoples rocking up to exchange stuff in the middle of the outback? Going to look like a drug deal. That's what you should be worried about, not magic police coming down." She had spent enough time on the lam that she knew what suspicious activities looked like. "It is the Australian outback though, so as long as everyone keeps hydrated we should be fine. Don't know anybody who would willingly spend time out there in the blaze." She hadn't been to Australia much. It was a dead end, geographically speaking; the only place to go was back up to mainland Eurasia or cross the Pacific and head to America, something which she had done once... But stowing away for that long was rough.

"Anyway. You don't have to worry about me wanting a normal life."
Hidden 1 yr ago 1 yr ago Post by Pascal
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Ellen cackled at the suggestion of her taking charge. She was a bit surprised it came from the kid. Ellen looked over at the girl, tilting her head a bit at the teenager’s accent. It wasn’t something she had heard before in person, though she had definitely heard such a drawl from some American programs--and other programs making fun of American’s. She hadn’t thought the girl would have such a voice, and found it mildly amusing how she had built a very different voice in her head from running silently alongside the kid.

As if Abigail heard Ellen’s silent musings about her being quite a stereotype, the girl patted her back, rambled a bit about sunsabitches, shot mock guns at them, and literally ran away. Ellen blinked a few times, mouth agape in confusion, before she turned back to the group. “Ookkkkayyyy then.” She said.

The other individuals replied to the scenario much more calmly. The prim and proper one asked why they were bringing a kid along. Ellen wouldn’t have questioned the idea of bringing a kid, figuring she was powerful, and knowing her age played no factor in how big of a target was on her back. However, after hearing Abigail’s actual thoughts voiced….Ellen did wonder why they thought this particular kid was a good addition to the group.

The prim one, Angeline, fidgeted enough to make it clear she had no desire to make decisions, and most important, revealed she was the healer Simon had mentioned before. Ellen knew she wanted to put herself close to this woman, or at least make sure Angeline liked her enough to not leave her for dead if when this all went sideways.

An older guy, grizzled and clearly in-the-know, answered a few of Ellen’s questions. She immediately decided he would probably be in charge. He suggested they rely on instinct, which was something Ellen could absolutely do. It might not work out the best for everyone, but she was damn good at doing something when things went wrong.

The one who looked well-traveled but had only spoken a word before said a good bit more about the dangers of the Australian outback unrelated to the FOE (Or Australia’s equivalent). Ellen found it pretty interesting that she had no idea where the woman was from. She wasn’t a whiz with accents, but Ellen was usually pretty good at getting an idea of where someone had spent a lot of time. Hell, maybe the woman was actually a traveller.

The only one who had revealed her usefulness so far was Angeline, but Ellen imagined the rest of them had something to bring to the table. She already knew what the sexy rock guy could do, but she filed his name away when he offered it.

As the brunette finished up (Ellen hadn’t caught her name yet), Ellen chimed in again. “Me either. I’m all in for...whatever we need to do.” She waved her hand at the table. “I’m Ellen, and in terms of usefulness, I’d probably be better as a lookout than loading things. I’m not particularly strong, but I can be in the truck and have my eyes somewhere else, looking out for trouble. The kid who ran off, I don’t know her name or her magic, but she is damn fast. She could probably take another lookout position, and just high-tail it back to the truck.” She had heard some rumors about the kid, but she was sure they were the same ones everyone else had heard.
Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Gentlemanvaultboy
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The middle of the outback, early in the morning. As Matthew listened to the others talk and answer questions he had to agree with the well tanned lady, they were probably more likely to encounter drug dealers, one of those outback murderers he'd heard about, or be harassed by a pack of mangy dingos than be swarmed by the FOE. So really, it was more like one of his normal deliveries back home than not. That was pretty comforting in a weird way.

He had his own reservations about bringing along a teenager for this sort of thing, but what the older gentlemen said really put things into perspective even if the notion of the FOE rounding up and murdering children made every single muscle in his body tighten all at once. So getting them involved early at least made a certain amount of sense from a practical point of view.

Speaking of getting involved, he stepped forward to answer Ellen's question as best he could. "My name's Matthew. Hey all. I can turn normal stuff like that coffee maker into grenades, I can fuse stuff together, I can make fog, I think. Not really sure, I did that a while ago and haven't messed with it since because the other stuff seems more useful. And, uh..."

He stopped, struggling to think if whatever Black think he felt he could do was really relevant if he didn't intend to touch it with a 12 foot poll. "Well, it's not really important. What is important is that I can drive real well, so if we have to go all Mad Max out there you guys can count on me."

"As for questions..." He said, turning back to Mr. Simon. "I got tons, but they're not about this. After we've done this for you do we mind if we talk? I don't want to take up your time without at least doing something in return."
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The Office


Goodnight






At the mention of turning the coffee pots into grenades, a slightly older looking guy who'd just entered the room with an empty cup gave a start, and quietly moved in front of the coffeemaker.

"I'd uh, I'd uh, rather you didn't, do that." He sniffed, pouring himself a coffee.

Simon nodded at the older guy.

"Hey, Jake."

"Hello, Simon."

Then he turned back to Matthew.

"We can talk more or less whenever I'm not actively working. I'm planning on getting some sleep soon, but you do have some time before you head out so if you did want anything really burning answered, we can chat after this meeting. Just you volunteering is favour enough for me, if you know what I mean."



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Abigail sat up after dutifully inspecting ceiling panels for mould. It was darker here, with some shafts of sunlight speckling the pools of fluorescence from cheap strip bulbs installed to just keep everything in the esoteric structure visible. Here the moss had crept across the tiles and some small saplings were starting to crack through the surface. Even some of the broken bulbs in the fixtures were repurposed into homes for nesting birds, the fragments littering the ground like raindrops. It was just...empty space. Nobody really had a reason to be in here unless they were getting deeper into the mall or heading outside.

“Why’d you say yes?” Brooks asked, having crept up to the spot she was seated in.

Abigail jolted. “Jay-sus, man. Don’t do that. I could’ve burnt you to a crisp.”

“Last I remember you could only burn yourself to a crisp. Why’d you say yes?” he interjected, arms folded as he stared at her for an answer.

“Well, I mean, fire...is pretty indiscriminate,” Abigail drawled, opening her hands out. Even now, under her sleeves, the redness and yellowish blisters shone from the wrist down. “I’ve seen it burn plenty of other stuff. Trashcans, mostly. I’m sure it’ll do the trick against people.” She scratched her wrist, popping a few of the sores, which leaked down to her elbow. “Unless you mean, uh, more’uva moral and spiritual ‘why’...?”

Brooks unfolded his arms and sat down next to her whilst rolling his eyes with a tired sigh. He spoke: “No. I mean a practical why. I got you here to safety, why’d you not take the way out and hide?”

“‘Cause, uh…” Abigail fidgeted. “If I do that, I’m guaranteed to die. If I at least make whatever’s left mean something...and if it’ll keep me in the here and now, fer sure. So uh, lesser of two evils?”

“We’re going to need you to keep a level head when you’re out there. You think you’re capable of that? You’re more wily than the others.”

“Is ‘wily’ your way of saying ‘batshit-fuckin’-crazy’?” Abigail smirked at him, rubbing her chapped hands. She picked at a fraying patch on her jeans. “I’m doing worse without something to focus on. I think, if anything, it’ll be the times I’m not getting shot at that you gotta worry about, uh, about…” she waved a hand. “Temper tantrums? I’unno. Call it what you like. But I’ve been out of it ever since I settled in. But everything, from ho-...from the RV to actually getting here, it’s all crystal clear man. Crystal.”

“Whatever you want to call ‘em, it’s dangerous. A danger to you and the others. Are you sure that you can control it if you’re in the middle of a situation?”

“Wuh-...how should I know? How do you know the rest of ‘em aren’t gonna flip a switch and start freaking out’n’all? Or is it just ‘cause I’m a kid?” Abigail scowled. “Call it a god-damn occupational hazard.” She fell quiet for a moment, mulling it over. “You...you an’ I, we know what this is. At least, I assume you’ve noticed. Ain’t no other…” her jaw twisted as she spat out the word, perhaps for the first time since she landed in Goodnight. “Ain’t no other mage that has trouble keeping the magic in. That makes me a weapon. So the least I can do ya, is a promise.” Her features twisted into a cynical grin and her eyes lit up, if only briefly. “I’ll face the other guys when it happens.”

Brooks let out a sharp breath of air through his nose, going back to stare at whatever was before them. He was quiet for several more minutes: “Alright.” he slowly crawled up, groaning lightly on the way and dusted off his pants. “I’ll be about in case anyone else wants a word. Six hours. Be ready.”

Abigail watched him leave. Hungry. She was hungry. She missed breakfast and threw up whatever was left, so the first of those six hours was spent loitering around one of the cafeterias, grabbing a bowl of oatmeal and a couple of those pink diner sugar packets to make it somewhat palatable. She found some place to sit and started making a tiny yet tall pile of sugar in the middle of her gruel, finding comfort in the distracting little game whilst methodically blocking out any more intrusive, fearmongering thoughts.
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Goodnight Car Park


12:30PM






“Well, here she is. Ain’t she a beaut’.” Billy smiled proudly, cutting an awkward, sweaty figure against the midday sun, as he gestured to an ancient looking VW combivan that honestly seemed to fit in perfectly with the rest of the abandoned derelict cars and trash floating around the empty car park. “Fixed ‘er up myself, runs like a dream.”

There was a hollow, tinny clank, as something came loose underneath the van in response to a strong breeze.

Billy swallowed.

“I mean, not like the best dream you ever had or nothin’, but…”

He stopped there, mulling over the rest of the sentence in his head, before glancing over the crew and evidently deciding against finishing it.

“She drives. An’ runs on cookin’ oil. That’s all we need ‘er for.”

With a slight turn of the breeze, the scent of the exhaust pipe drifted back towards you - and if there was one good thing about the van, it was indeed that the exhaust seemed to smell like doughnuts.

Even if the rest of it smelled mostly like really really old weed, and maybe meth.

“Come on an’ saddle up, folks. We’re burnin’ daylight.”



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Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Stitches
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Abigail regarded the combivan with a mixture of scepticism and awe. Patchwork repair jobs like this always tended to go sideways at the worst of times but you just couldn't tell when it came to lower class rural engineering. Practitioners varied wildly in terms of skill. Abi had seen flaming wrecks of old pickup trucks alongside mysterious trailers with sawn off paneling, vents and all sorts jutting out at bizarre angles. She'd seen miracles performed with PVC pipes, a blowtorch and a bit of ingenuity. It's a strange vocation that came with a lot of trial and error, but when it worked...her gaze slipped to Billy with just as much scrutiny, as if she was trying to sniff out his origins. Weighing him up against the fruits of his labour.

All of these things were a moot point regardless. Abi hadn't seen anything else in the car park big enough to hold the entire squad and she wasn't about to dig her heels in over a clunky undercarriage. If it broke down, it was everyone's problem - not hers specifically. And it smelt like doughnuts. "Should'a painted on a bit of décor," she remarked critically, mangling the pronunciation of the word into something that could best be described as 'americanised to the extreme'. "But hey, looks good. Dibs on the back seat!" She'd taken off before she even finished the sentence, wrenching open the side door (it made a nasty THUMP when it hit the end of its hinges) and launching herself into one of the stiff grey seats near the back window. A cloud of dust, dirt and various ashes rose as she collided with the cushions. She didn't even flinch at the disgusting condition of its interior, even looking around with some fondness at how…well-loved it was. Instead she took to drawing on the window with her finger, smearing the brownish film on the interior as she drew a sun shining.
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Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Lady Selune
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Anyone who happened to know the tongue of Istanbul would hear exactly what Siobhan was thinking of the patched-together, slightly rusted "vehicle" that sat before them. "They expect us to do our work in this piece of shit? I've seen lepers more held-together." Shaking her head, she would mount herself into the car, crank a window down and pull out a cigarette from her pocket, waiting a moment to ignore any potential objections before lighting it up, tapping the ash out of the side. "A bit of paint wouldn't solve the problems it has." She looked at where the younger woman; a girl really, had begun to scrawl on the window, unjudgemental in her gaze.

"If it gets us where we need to go, it'll work. I've been on a twinprop plane that had its fueselage held together with spot welding and duct tape, at least if this falls apart I'm not plummeting 30,000 feet." She coughed slightly at the dust that was being kicked up, and almost nervously held her cigarette outside of the window- at this point, she was pretty sure she risked igniting the air what with all of the particulates in it. "Besides, the sooner we're in, the sooner we come out."
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