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13 days ago
Current Time to start outlining for NaNoWriMo!
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The building was on fire, and it wasn't my fault.
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*yawn* Time for a little Autodesk Inventor before the day's writing, I think.
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I'm feeling strangely happy now, contented and serene.


Hi! I'm Naril. I write, build things, and I'm incredibly busy, all the time. I'm probably older than you.

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—— About half an hour later…

Something was wrong with Morgan’s truck. The engine control software, unable to keep up with the way the she’d had to throw the steel behemoth around, between, and sometimes through traffic had left the transmission in a place where the engine had red-lined for much longer than it had been meant to. The shocks, too, seemed like they hadn’t been up to the task. Something in the rear clanked and squeaked, protesting every bump and roll on the unpaved road. That was, of course, beside the broken window, blood-soaked passenger seat, and several holes in the truck’s roof, cables and upholstery fluttering in the breeze. She hadn’t even tried the radio - some unknowable ichor had pattered down from one of the holes, and the display now only showed something that could be an eldritch symbol, or nothing more than dying electronics.

Malone had regained consciousness, one of Leon’s masks still perched on her nose. Malone’s wound had finally stopped bleeding, but not before Morgan had sacrificed the tee she’d been wearing, wadding it into a makeshift pressure bandage. She still had a jacket - zipped, now - but the inside of the car was chilly enough to make her skin prickle. That she’d managed the entire process of pulling her shirt off, ordering Leon to hold the shirt against Malone’s shoulder, and putting her jacket back on at well over highway speed had led to at least one quirked eyebrow, but Morgan hadn’t offered any explanation.

After all, she had other things on her mind. The way Leon smelled, adrenaline and clean sweat; the coppery smell of Malone’s blood, the almost electric sensation of her bare hand touching the woman’s skin, the way her mind was utterly unprotected. They were both temptations on the order of a fine cigar to a terminal nicotine addict - no, worse. They were a syringe and tourniquet, the way to fill an emptiness she could barely describe, and she only needed to reach out and take them, and everything would be all right.

But she already knew that for the lie it was. So Morgan let out a low growl and piled the truck though a puddle that reached to the lug nuts and she shivered under her jacket, trying to ignore the way Leon’s eyes were boring into the back of her neck.

In the back, Holt - or Tragellan, via Holt - had remained quiet, but her eyes still burned with the ferocity of Eleanor’s jade-green eyes rather than Holt’s watery orbs. Morgan hadn’t said anything, either about or to Holt-Tragellan, but the sight made her stomach turn. She caught a look at the woman though the rear-view mirror, swallowed, and turned her attention back to the road.

“Turn left, Manny,” she said into her cell phone, the little device warm against her left breast, “There’s a short road, and then you’ll see…a house,” she sighed.

Morgan hauled her own wheel over, eliciting another chorus of squeaks and groans from the truck, and another jounce from something on the roadway. A moment later, the truck passed between what had once been tall, wrought-iron gate posts, reddish rust catching the last dying embers of sunset. The gates themselves, once imposing and ornate, lay ahead, fallen into the road, the designs and bars bent and twisted, and served only to pull more squeaks and rattlles from the truck.

Ahead, the road widened out into…a large and stately country house, the kind that you would otherwise see in baroque period romances. The walls were stone, the windows tall and narrow. Fallen branches and the first golden leaves of cooler weather skittered across what had once been a smooth stone roundabout in front of the building. No lights were on inside, but all the windows still had their glass. The large double doors were battered and weathered, the finish damaged around the doorknobs and with splinters around the hinges. A chain was wrapped around the handles, secured with a large combination lock, below a very faded sign that did its best to ward off trespassers.

Morgan pulled the truck up close to the doors, then reached over and turned the car off. The engine clattered to a halt, coughing and wheezing its way to silence. A moment later, the second truck pulled up behind, and Morgan turned to look behind her at the headlights. The movement bought her gaze across Holt’s again, still with those blazing green eyes.

She watched them for a moment, and fist of anger punched from her stomach though her heart, and she felt the hot sting of fury against the back of her throat. With a twist of her body, Morgan wrenched the door open, taking a moment to glance back at Leon and Malone.

“Malone, can you keep pressure on the wound yourself?” At the woman’s nod, Morgan turned to Leon, “All right, I’m going to have a…talk with Tragellan. I need you to watch Holt. I don’t know what’s going to happen when she gets her brain back.” Her voice was clockspring-tight, each word bitten off.

With that, Morgan stalked toward the other vehicle, the doors opening while the others members of the Group untangled themselves. She saw Eleanor step down from the car, her expression distracted, and Morgan’s long legs devoured the distance between them in a few long, swift strides.

With a viper-quick movement, Morgan slammed the door shut behind Tragellan, the hollow boom echoing off the stone wall of the house. Her hands balled around Eleanor’s lapels and shoved her against the steel, not quite rough enough to injure her…probably. Morgan leaned close, pinning Tragellan against the car. This close, she could still feel the strange, erotic thrum inside the woman’s mind, but for once, she found the sensation almost trivial to ignore.

“Let her go, Eleanor,” Morgan said, her voice an icy snarl of barely-contained fury. She leaned in close, and whispered in Tragellan’s ear in a voice she knew would not carry, “We both already know you’ve hurt her, but if you don’t stop this, by all the gods there ever were I will make you stop.”

Just FYI, I'm going to be doing a bit of a time-skip ahead; I think we've sucked the marrow out of this car chase and being caught up in a pile of reaction minutae might slow down the narrative a bit. Also, more mysteries!

I promise Morgan isn't just a Mysterious Plot Point Dispenser. Probably.
I'm starting to believe that "free time" is a myth thought up by mischievous leprechauns.

My post will be up by tomorrow evening come Hell or high water. It'll be worth it! Probably.
These posts are fabulous. :3

I'll be writing something tonight, but I wouldn't expect it to be posted until tomorrow evening. Maybe earlier if I have a really good nap.
I am not going to be able to keep up with this game, I’m afraid. Hope y’all have fun!
Thank goodness, I get to go home today.

And I get to stay home for a couple of weeks. Then off to London, but...well, that could be worse.
Mm. We'll see double, then. I'm a few hundred miles from home until Friday night.
I'm still considering a character, but I'm not 100% sure the idea I have is going to work well. I'll finish the sheet in the next day or two and we'll see.
I got our GM's go-ahead to kick off some Magical Hijinks, we go!

This time, both of Morgan's eyebrows rose in genuine surprise at Eleanor's sudden intimacy with their client. With a glance around, she turned her attention to Holt, feeling the shape and weight of their client's mind against her senses. No surprise, at least at first. The woman was alarmed, chagrined, panicked, and confused. Then, all at once, those parts of Holt that had been feeding back on one another, building toward toward panic slackened and folded back into Holt's mind, shepherded with a deft and gentle touch. Something else rose to fill the sudden emotional void, a flickering feeling somewhere between orgasmic afterglow and calm contentment.

Tragellan pulled away, and Morgan turned to watch her. Holt hadn't chosen what had just happened to her, she was all but certain. She was familiar with the sensations that came from the abrogation of free will, familiar with them in a way that sometimes kept her up at night. She had no doubt that Tragellan would be subtle and leave the smallest trace she could, but...well. That kind of thing wasn't healthy. There were some kinds of seduction that had no externalities at all.

Adding that to the growing list of things she would need to talk to Tragellan about, Morgan let her awareness drift away from her, feeling the gazes of the other passengers and the sharper, more directed attention of the people - virtually all of them men - in uniform. With a deep breath, she closed her eyes, tried to make sense of the riot of humanity around her. There was something peculiar about the attention that she couldn't quite identify, and that fact alone made Morgan's blood run cold. She took another breath, relaxed her awareness of the world around her. There was more than just a lone killer, that much had been clear for some time. Whoever these people were, they were organized, and that was by far the more alarming truth.

Morgan's fingers tightened around the hard plastic carry handle of her own pistol case, still locked at her side. At her gesture, she followed Tragellan toward the parking garage, steps long and sure, trying to watch the world around her without giving that fact away. To both sides she saw people dressed in TSA uniforms move closer, their gazes no longer casual, their body langauge growing more tense with every step the Group took. She looked up - no helicopters, thank goodness. Whoever these people were, they wouldn't have to worry about being followed from the air - at least by conventional means.

A measure of relief flooded through her chest, washing away a measure of her growing tension when Manny pulled open the doors of a pair of gleaming SUVs. She had to give the young man credit, there were times when he pulled through in a profound way. These were even models she'd not only driven, but trained on with the Bureau. She opened her mouth to voice her relief, but her train of thought shifted tracks at the sound of an engine roaring and getting closer. No time. Manny would probably forgive a certain amount of brusqueness, though it might cost a beer later.

"Over here, Manny," Morgan said, raising her hand to catch the keys he tossed over, "Eleanor's right, we have to assume that whoever this is knows everything we arranged for." She made a frustrated noise, rubbed her eyes for a moment, then looked back at the Group. There would be questions, and she didn't know how she'd answer them, but that was a problem for the future.

"All right, all right. I...know somewhere we can go." She blew out a quick breath and pointed, "Malone, Leon, you're with me. Get Holt into our car and belted in; we'll be in the lead. Manny, get Eleanor and Kennedy and be ready for...whatever these people are going to try. I don't think they're going t..." her voice trailed off, "Oh, bollocks."

Morgan pointed at the van that had roared up onto the pedestrian crosswalk, the door already rolling aside. A man in TSA uniform pointed toward the Group, and the mountain-sized men from the van started pounding the asphalt, hurtling toward the SUVs like the judgement of an angry god. Morgan pulled her cell phone out, pressed Manny's speed-dial, and jabbed the speakerphone button before putting the phone back in her jacket pocket.

"Manny, answer that and leave your speaker on, we'll need to talk. Malone, shotgun, if you don't mind." She smirked despite herself and the onrushing tide of unwelcome attention, turning back to Manny, "And do try to keep up."

She stepped up into the truck, tossing her pistol case to Malone with a flick of her wrist. With her other hand, she twisted the key even before she settled into the driver's seat. The SUV came to life with a reassuring thrum, and Morgan pulled the door shut behind her. She grabbed the gear lever, yanked on it, and pressed her foot to the accelerator hard enough to make all four wheels spin until the computer caught up.

In the same moment, she clicked her seat belt into place, and her face took on an expression of intense concentration.

Morgan cleared her throat, "You'll probably want to hold on to something."

The truck, wheels finding traction at last, launched away from the parking lot with all the power Morgan cared to muster out of the bellowing engine. In an instant, black-clad bruisers scattered from the steel behemoth like bowling pins, diving to each side. Morgan didn't slow down or change direction, one of the men avoiding the wheels only by leaping to one side. She put on even more speed and the truck bounced over the line of curbstones at the parking lot's edge with a teeth-rattling bounce.

In the rearviw mirror, Morgan saw the other SUV start to move, the bruisers just now starting to scramble to their feet and away from the path of Manny's truck. No time for triumph, though - Morgan saw someone shove open the van's driver's door and stand on the running board. They were tall, almost skeletally thin, a long and ragged coat fluttering around them. Morgan couldn't see the figure's eyes, but she felt his attention, almost like a lance of will scraping across her awareness. Then she saw the figure turn, point at the other vehicle, and flickering, blue-white nimbus surrounded their outstretched arm.

"Manny!" Morgan yelled, hoping the man had kept his cell phone on, "The driver, look out!"
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