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Arken bit his lower lip as the pain slowly subsided. Maybe it was just the natural endorphins his body was producing, or maybe it was just him, getting used to the sting from the raw wound on his wrist. In any case, there he sat, just glancing around at his fellow recruits, most of which are going through what he just went through.

Just what was that? What was that rush of power... What was that sensation? He felt like...well, he felt like he has never felt before. And what was that emptiness? What was in it? Who was there? What was he meant to see? So many questions, and no answers to be found...

Back to the situation at hand. He was still bleeding, albeit less so, when Hana approached him. She obviously saw his wound and proceeded to heal him. The contact, however professional and brief, made Arken feel...warm and fuzzy. All of their interactions previously, however momentary, flashed in his mind like shadow puppetry. All of the previous coven meetings that they were both present for, the party, if you can call it that, before the ritual, the ceremony, now. All of it.

“I. I..uh. Thank you, Hana...” He said softly. He was blushing, if she cared to look at him. His voice was soft, if she could hear him. He was not his usual self, if she had the mind to look at him. Shaking his head ever so slightly, he clambered to his feet and shifted over towards Summer, kneeling down besides her. Smoothly, even casually, he placed a hand on the small of Summer’s back, and whispered to her “Didn’t think you’d fall this easily, Abernathy...” He said, with his trademark smirk plastered all over his face.

@Akayaofthemoon @Danvers


Having caught up to Brie, William rested his hands on his thighs to catch his breath. Has Brie always been this fast? Or was it fueled by adrenaline? In any case, he looked up and surveyed the area. A ‘classic’ bathhouse. Marble everywhere. Water in the center. Could it really be this easy?

What would they have to do to get through this ‘challenge’? Just as that thought exited his mind, the TV in the room came back on. William looked up, side eyed, and waited for Nero to speak. Nero, in typical fashion, made what essentially is a torture chamber with a hot tube sound grandiose.

He then said the word ‘attack’.

In that moment, William noticed the glowing eyes. Thats never a good sign. Brie, being the leftover lover like she is, recklessly approached. Squealing about how cute these overgrown, monstrous crocodiles are, William sighed and if they weren’t under a potentially lethal situation, he would have facepalmed. However, he did not have the time nor mind to do that. Seeing Brie nearly have one of her arms torn off, William just shook his hand and sprung forward to pull her close to him.

He looked her up and down, to make sure she was not hurt. “Ok. So, we need to incapacitate these things... And I’ll do it, knowing the fact that you don’t want to hurt these things. And no, we’re not keeping them as pets. Dog would not get along with these things nor do we have the space for them to live a good life, in relative terms that is... So. I figure we can drop something heavy on their heads to knock them out?” William said, looking around. “Though, there aren’t anything in particular that I can pick up...”

William sighed. “Ok, this is what we’ll do. You, please keep yourself safe and look for a way out. I’ll trap these things in some really strong streams of upwards flowing water, pinning them to the ceiling for the time being...” He said, snapping his fingers once.

Several discs of water appeared around the room, one under each of the seven Swampjaws. With a steady exhale, William waved his right arm upwards as streams of water, large enough to lift and contain the majority of the Swampjaw’s bodies, erupted from the floor, occasionally drawing more water from the tub in the center of the room.

“Any luck on finding a way out?”

@Danvers
Before heading to the wellspring, Arken overheard Summer making a comment about a piece of clothing and a time period. He smirked, and went up behind her again, muttering something like “Perhaps you’d look good in some 1700’s Protestant dress that showed off some ankle? Ever thought about that Abernathy?” He smiled, then chuckled, before walking away.

Being led to the wellspring, Arken’s mind was surprisingly blank. Occasional, thoughts of the scenery and Their overall surroundings would enter his mind. But they would be gone as soon as they had appeared. One theme remained. Hana. He didn’t see her, despite his best efforts of turning and trying to spot her from the crowd.

Why?

Arken thought to himself. What was so mesmerizing about that girl? He wasn’t even fully aware of her existence before this gathering. So why? Why was he so drawn to her? Why did he want to get to know her so much? So many questions...

Soon enough, they arrived at the wellspring. The blue of the lake definitely caught Arken’s attention. Then a thought of bring Hana here on a date followed. Then, immediately after, a thought of the date being illegal and not allowed appeared. Just what in the hell was he thinking, or doing? No matter. A few senior members of the coven spoke about the wellspring and the ritual they were partaking in. “Ok, so, slice wrist, make potion, drink said potion, become witch. Got it.” Arken mumbled to himself.

Following the examples of several other recruits, he took a knee on a red pillow, making sure there was one left open to his side, in the hopes of Hana joining him. Secretly, he chastised himself in his mind. Why was he acting like this? At this juncture? No matter, having observed and listened to the instructions, Arken picked up the dagger. Looking around, Arken felt uneasy about the whole thing. This was...is...blood magic. If this wasn’t a coven sponsored event, Arken wasn’t sure the ritual would be allowed.

In any case, Arken balled up his left hand into a fist and scrapped the blade on his wrist. The blade hadn’t cut him, but it was enough of a sensation to make him wince slightly. Drawing in a deep breath, and exhaling hard, he steeled his resolve and gripped the dagger firmly. One more deep breath and his right hand moved almost on its own, drawing the blade across his left wrist.

The pain didn’t hit him right away. He was actually able to look at his wrist for a brief moment before realizing what he needs to do. Grimacing from the pain, he moved his left wrist over the cup and let his blood flow for a moment into the cup. Immediately after, he took the cup and emptied the content into his mouth.

The taste was foul. He did not like it one bit. Never again, he thought. Within seconds, a sense of euphoria took over him. He felt great, like he was on top of the world. Like he can do anything. Hell, he might even walk up to Hana and just kiss her right this moment.

Then. The darkness came.

An indescribable weight. A sense of the end. It was as if he was staring into the void. And it stared back.

Gasping, Arken opened his eyes and shot looks all around him. Ok. He was still at the wellspring. He caught a glimpse of Calypso hacking up something vicious. He cringed, visibly. He felt a little bad for the girl but he wasn’t going to save her or anything. He then saw Summer make a small comment about it before standing up and basically pass out. “Heh. Abernathy. I wish I had my phone with me...” He muttered. He saw Charles as well, seeming doing ok. “Charles. You seemed to have fared pretty well...” He said, leaning forward to adjust how he was kneeling. As soon as he placed his left wrist on the ground, all the pains in the world took him at once. He stumbled, landing on his left side, rolled a bit, and sat back up, with as much dignity as he could muster at that moment.

And there he remained, seated, and wincing in pain while using his right hand to stem the bleeding...

@Akayaofthemoon@Danvers@KaijuBaragon@canaryrose


Wings Of Law.

Wings Of Law.

Wings Of Law.

Wings Of Law.

The thought slowly materialized in his mind. Seraph’s smirk. Mr. Impressive’s smug smile. Sea Serpant’s...fucking face. These lowlife, scum of the earth, no good, second rank motherfuckers. They were the ones behind this shit. There has to be a way to get a recording of whatever was said between Nero, Grace and Eliza. William was going to make sure the Wings of Law no longer existed after this ordeal.

Some dark, disturbing things popped into his head along the way. Things that sounded like the word lay.

Taking a deep breath, his previous feeling of inebriation is now completely gone. The group has split up. At this point, it no longer really mattered how they were split. After all, everyone present are capable, powerful heroes in their own right. And if Nero, or Seraph, was to kill any one of them, it would be hell to pay. Nero surely isn’t so dumb that he thinks that it would be ok to fatally harm an official hero.

William hoped anyways.

William exhaled heavily at the mention of the stench. His mind had been too boggled previously to have paid attention to it. Now that he has snapped back to reality, it was as if all of gravity hit him all at once. The smell came with it. William shuddered.

“If this fuck willingly employ such creatures, he shouldn’t be alive... They smell so foul...”

Brie then took off towards the bathhouse, saying something but the ogres not being there, and how there would possibly be a clue there. There wasn’t much choice. He wasn’t going to split himself up away from Brie. He gave an encouraging nod to the rest of the heroes present and took off to chase after Brie, as per usual at this point.

“Hey, slow down, let me go in there first!”

William called out to Brie before the part, and whoever else decided to join them, entered the bathhouse.

@Danvers

Arken was near the gathering spot for the ceremony when he sort of snapped back to reality, realizing he was just wandering around, waiting for the ceremony to actually begin. It also looks like some of his fellow witches were doing the same. However, the whole being alone and in silence just didn’t sit well with him.

Slowly, he wandered back to where the younger coven members were gathering before. Off to the side, he spotted Hana, still at the table, looking sort of flustered and unsure of herself. A thought flashed in his mind, and he decided to approach her again, perhaps to just strike up more idle conversation.

Or maybe it was something more...mischievous...

Sitting down next to Hana, Arken tapped her shoulder softly and spoke in a gentle tone.

“So, Hana. What sort of magic are you most familiar with?”

He said, as he idly shape a earthen ball into a disc, then into a small mug, then back into a ball.

“As you can see, I’m an Earth magician. My family all are, I suppose. It’s...kind of what we’re known for.”

The earthen ball seems to dance in his palms, now changing from a small star into something heart shaped.

“Ah. There. Thats what I wanted to make. Here. This is for you. It’s a heart.”

He said with a soft smile. The earthen heart slowly hardened until it was dry to the touch. He leaned closer to her, and whispered softly to her

“I don’t often give away my heart. Be sure you take care of it, yeah?”

He leaned back and gave her another wink. He was holding back a grin, knowing that Summer probably saw this and won’t let Hana live this down. Was this act a little devious? Perhaps. But, to Arken, it was just a harmless cantrip, designed specifically to fluster Hana and maybe to incite something in Summer.

@Akayaofthemoon@Danvers


Well. So much for a peaceful 4th of July celebration. It is like that one line in Harry Potter from decades ago. "Why is it when something bad happens, it's always you three?" Only this time it is the group aptly named The Gang from H.E.R.O. William vaguely remembers seeing an orange mist engulf the party venue. Whatever happened next was hazy at best...

When William slowly woke, his head was pounding and essentially threatening to explode. He grimaced, reaching up to massage his temples with his right hand. He blinks a few times, looking around him to take in the atmosphere and assess the situation. The TV, and Nero, couldn't have been louder than the music at the party. However, given his current state, the sound was deafening and not conducive to the pounding headache he was experiencing.

Listening quietly and looking up at the TV to see a battered Grace and bound Eliza, William sighed and shook his head. "Hey Tom, look, its your girlfriend..." William made the useless comment aimlessly, though he addressed Tom directly with it. He tilted his head to give Brie a small kiss on the forehead as she leaned against him. Rubbing her shoulders softly, William continued to make some more useless comments "Why is it always us that get caught up in some bullshit? This shit tier villain wannabe was probably hired by some cheap fucks to get at us anyways. Lets just blast our way directly to his actor and grab Grace and Eliza. I need some water...and a fucking nap... I can't be asked to do all this..."
Some among the group that are in the same predicament as William made comments and suggestions that were way more logical. Rumi, being who he is, made some logical explanations about their current situation. Tom was obviously very invested in the situation and behaved as such. Some new guy William has not interacted much tried to be the hero among them and go off to fight some...ogres? What the fuck are ogres? Like the movie monster? Maybe this actor wasn't as shit as he thought. If he managed to get actual ogres in here...

"Oi New guy," William spoke to Alpha nonchalantly. "I get it you want to fight, you're not the only one here about that hero life." He said. Yes, he sounds and is behaving more calloused than usual. Blame it on the drinking and the drugging. He stood up, though with more effort than usual. "Right. So. I heard something about a Bath. That means water, like Loverboy over there said. I'll go there, I would say I'll take someone else with me too but I don't know who to take. Brie maybe?" He said. Was there some logic behind his thinking? Perhaps. Water and electricity, when controlled and paired correctly, can be extremely powerful. But, truthfully, William wanted to keep Brie close, as to keep her away from harm. "That leaves the coliseum and basilica. If I had to venture a guess, I'd say we should split the teams as such. Brie, myself and perhaps new guy into the bathhouse. Sam, Tom and Blake into the coliseum and the rest of the Gang into the basilica. Here is my reasoning. Water-based locale for me, obviously. Alpha can be our like... personal guard if things get too close. Sam, Tom, and Blake are potentially ones among us that are the most suited to deal with a physical fight, as it happens in coliseums. Tom can use his aerial mobility to provide support. And Sam is... big. The basilica. People sing in church so Patricia would be great there. Besides Jamie can provide enough firepower by herself. With Rumi controlling the situation, that shouldn't go too poorly, granted that she listens to him. And for JoJo, just... use your powers and don't die, I suppose. There. Did I miss anyone?" William said, visibly tired from all this thinking and plotting.

William looked down the hallway to get a physical assessment of what they're looking to deal with. "Wait. There are a fuck ton of those ogres down there... We'll switch the groups around. Blake's group heads to the basilica and maybe JoJo can help there instead... And for God's sake use your fucking powers this time... But then...the groups are all mixed up. Ugh." William grumbled. "Ok. Here. The bathhouse group is now Brie, myself and Tom. The group charging into the ogres should be new guy, Blake, Jamie and Rumi, with Rumi providing battle plans on the fly. The coliseum group then becomes Jojo, Patricia, and Sam and Angie. With Jojo primarily tasked with keeping the group alive... There. God that made my head spin even more... Any objections or whatever?" William said, massaging his temple some more to try to alleviate the pain some.

@Hitman@DarkRecon@DClassified@canaryrose@KaijuBaragon@Scarifar@Danvers@Amethyst@Rabidporcupine


The music choice from the DJ was not something William is much used to. A mix of Top 40, Pop, and R&B it seems. William moved somewhat awkwardly, not really know how to act in such situations. Should he put his hands on her waist? Should he try to imitate those scenes from a club that he has seen through various media outlets? All the thoughts made his movements stiff and unnatural, as if he was trying to find a balance in between being an young adult in a club and a responsible adult dancing with their partner.

"I'll take handsome. You're the pretty one." He replied with a soft smile. Somehow, her words always relaxes him. His gently placed his hands on her waist as she wrapped her arms around his neck. When she stumbled slightly, William moved to wrap an arm behind her to steady her. "Yeah. I would offer to take your shoes off and carry them for you but I don't know how clean the floor is so..." William said, shrugging slightly.

At Brie's comment about dancing with him, he leaned down slightly to give her a small peck on the cheek. "And I like dancing with you." He whispered to her. In reality, his first thought was saying something along the lines of 'I like spending my life with you'. But he obviously thought better than to just blurt that out. It wasn't a guarantee that she would remember it anyways. In any case, William continued to sway, albeit awkwardly, to the beat of the music with Brie in his arms. Meanwhile, his thoughts would randomly drift from the party to actually spending the foreseeable future with Brie. What would that even look like? What would that even be like? If Brie was to look at him during this, it would seem like he was just absentmindedly swaying and he was peering into the distance.

The music change snapped him back to reality. Ugh. Why was Starbright's song being played here... Shouldn't Blake pop out of whatever canoodling he was currently engaged in and put an end to this? In any case, the song started, and a flock of drunken guests rushed to the dance floor to aggressively pose, like some idiots. One of them, some no one that more than likely snuck into the party actually had the audacity to barge in to the mass of people so aggressively that they essentially pushed Brie down in the process. For William, it was more the fact that one moment they were standing and dancing, and the next William felt his line of sight suddenly change. In an attempt to not fall, Brie grabbed William and dragged him down. Taking a moment to process everything, William immediately turned his attention to Brie. "Ah. I'm ok. Are you hurt?" He got on one knee and checked on her, gently moving her arms and dusting her off a little. In between caring for Brie, he would glare up at the buffoon that charged past them and knocked Brie down. It was his lucky day that Brie was here and he was a no name.

In one swoop, William swept Brie off of the ground, one arm under her legs behind her knee and the other behind her back holding her up. William stood up and walked off and out of the dance pit. Finding a small clearance, he set Brie down and looked her up and down, making sure she wasn't hurt. "I'll go get you some water, or would you rather I stay here?"

@Danvers


William reached out with both arms to steady her as she got up. It was quite easy to tell that she had been drinking, and a lot of it by the looks of things. Of course, this was a celebration after all.

“I’ve been away, after the mafia situation I thought I needed some time alone, just to...you know...be away from H.E.R.O. And the day to day things there. I was around, and I’m sorry to have been so absent. I’ve missed you...”

There were more words he wanted to say to her. But, his logics and judgement stopped him. Brie was under the influence, and probably would not understand or appreciate his sweet talk at this time anyways. For some reason, he feels like his words and actions often go unnoticed. The occasional smile, the light blush. All those things. It wasn’t so much as resentment. It was more so he wished Brie would be more open and display her emotions.

Such a minuscule things should not bother him. He felt secure about their relationship. Secure enough anyways. It is perhaps just that it would be nice to see and know what and how she is feeling.

“I think handsome is the word you’re looking for. You’re pretty though.”

William said, finally taking his first glance at her outfit. When Brie clambered over the couch and took his hand, he feel a small shock. One that would be essentially harmless and near painless to others. However, for him, it was somewhat amplified, because of the interaction of his powers and hers. He let out a silent grimace. He was being led to the makeshift dance floor that some of the guests have fashioned.

“Oh no no, I’m not nearly drunk enough to dance to this sort of music...”

He said, chuckling and drinking the content of the glass bottle he held rather quickly. William smiled as they made their way into the dance circle. He pulled Brie close to him, holding her by the waist and swayed, however awkwardly, to the beat of the music.

@Danvers


"Mm. Thanks Charles. I don't think I've ever spoken to her before..." He made a quizzical look before letting his attention drift again. Overhearing some idle conversation, Arken leaned back and propped himself up with his arms while sitting on the bench. Glancing over to Summer, she was practically the Queen Bee, or it would seems like she is styling herself out to be. As much fun as it would be to bring her down a notch, this is neither the time nor place for that. There would be plenty of other opportunities for that, Arken thought.

Eavesdropping on Summer's interaction with a newbie was interesting. It was so obvious that she was being sarcastic. She had no desires of getting to know the new kid. She is feigning kindness, almost too dramatically. Of course she has to throw in that her family has been a part of the coven for ages. It would not be a conversation with Summer Abernathy without her mentioning that. In reality, the Abernathys and Stones probably go back a long ways, being some of the more prominent families that have been a part of the coven. Sighing softly and rolling his eyes, he had half a mind to step in and interject as well.

Before that thought became reality, Sister Deborah stepped up and spoke to the initiates. Finally. The show was getting on the road. There were apparently quite a few initiates this year, with Arken being one of them. When Sister Deborah called out Hana's name, Arken felt the slightly flutter in his chest. How odd. Here is this girl who chose to hide on the fringe of the gathering, and for some reason she piqued Arken's interests. In any case, Arken got up and started making his way to the location Sister Deborah had mentioned.

On his way, he swept past Summer. As he did so, he leaned down and whispered to her "Leave the new kid alone, Abernathy." He said with a wink and playful smile. Continuing to make his way towards his destination, he brushed past Hana as well. "Hana, right? Well, I'm Arken. Good luck with the rest of the ceremony. I'll see you around." He gave her a wink as well, before turning and heading towards the gathering location Sister Deborah had announced to them moments ago.

@Danvers@Akayaofthemoon


The fact that it is the 4th of July and he was going to Blake's house was enough for him to opt for an Uber instead of driving himself. William thought. Knowing the people that will be there, it is an understatement to say that there will be drinking. In fact, it might as well be labeled as "Bacchanalia at the Von Brandt House". A veritable festival of epic proportions.

In any case. William, dressed ever so casually in a pair of cargo shorts, a short sleeved button up shirt that was a size too big as to induce a flow-y feel, and a clean pair of sneakers, arrived right outside of the Von Brandt compound. After paying and tipping the driver, William stepped out, smoothing out the wrinkles of his shirt. "I wonder if Rog would be around..." He thought to himself as he approached the slightly parted gate.

The closer he got to the actual house, the louder the music got. At first, it was the muffled booms of the bass. That then got clearer and clearer as he approached. Then came the mumbled words of whatever song happens to be playing. That gained clarity as well. Randomly, the thought of the lesser water heroes H.E.R.O. has on their payroll flashed though his mind. If he sees them here, he might have to avoid them, for fear of them clinging to him like flies to a flytrap...

The sound of the music became deafening as he opened the door. Whatever creaking noise the door might have made was completely drowned out by the rumbles of the speakers. William chuckled slightly as a few drunken guest stumble past him, slurring out whatever greeting they can muster. His thought was focused on one thing. Well, two, to be honest. The first was to locate one Ms. Brianna Hart. During the time between the mafia mission and now, William has been an absentee boyfriend at best. Sure they talk and videochat and all that. But, the fact remains William has not been around a whole lot. Hell, he didn't even get her a house warming present for moving in with Jamie. And the second task at hand was to acquire alcohol.

He had thought they would move in together somewhere, but in reality it might be far too soon for that anyways.

He did these tasks in reverse order, apparently. Having snagged a fresh beer from a nearby cooler, he set his mind to finding Brie. Noticing a girl whose hair attracted him like magnet for iron, he made his approach. As he got closer, the urge to just wrap her up in a hug naturally grew. Noticing that the girl was having a hard time opening her beer, he chuckled and confirmed to himself that she was the one he was looking for. When he got close enough, he deftly reached over her shoulder, took the unopened bottle of beer from her and replaced it with the one he had recently opened without saying a word.

@Danvers

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