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This looks interesting! I've deliberated over it for a couple days. I'd like to make a revenant minor that'll be reaninated for my first post - is anyone who plays a revenant major looking for a lackey?

I'll make the sheet ASAP that'll depict who she'll be but I'm thinking some sort of tactician with a sword, capable of light armoured/mounted combat as well as an advisor for her superior(s). Unflinchingly loyal but also getting to grips with undeath so she's a bit more lively than most.

Edit: finished the sheet.

Abigail was on a bit of an artistic streak. Whatever coated the windows - some strange mix of grease and cigarette stains - made it easy to draw on. After she drew her sun, she smeared a line for a road. Siobhan regaled her with stories of a rickety little plane which elicited a grunt of acknowledgement, but it was so beyond her meagre scope of existence that she just didn't know how to respond to a tall tale such as that. Better to focus on her masterpiece. She started drawing the Billy bus, but when they entered a dark garage she cut her losses and slumped back into the seat to wait for something to happen.

In those fifteen minutes, Abigail immediately clocked on to a familiar fullness that let her know she needed to cast her flame spell quite soon. Her face twisted up. How long did it take to drive to the outback if you're not driving? What sort of repercussions would she discover if she shot a stream of purple fire out of the window and into interdimensional space? Before Abigail could weigh up the specifics, a new wave of discomfort - like someone slowly pouring a glass of water on her without any of the wet or the chill - swept through her body and she squirmed, screwing her eyes shut and stretching one leg out until that horrible feeling was over. At least it felt intentional; Billy was blessed with the inability to experience all the weirdness of blue magic and she watched him in the gloom from the advantageous circular clean spot of her sunshine. He opened the basement door and Abigail had enough light to keep drawing. She finished the Billy bus but it looked more like an RV than an old Kombi.

They pulled out of the basement and passed a corpse, though Abigail didn't immediately recognise it was a corpse, and wondered something along the lines of 'why's that lady lying down' before the realisation struck and that lapse in concentration mingled with the shock and the fright to produce a very small spurt of fire, one that licked the interior of the back window for little more than a second as Abigail grabbed her (now red and shiny, freshly burnt) wrist and stuffed the offending hand under her armpit. "Are they dead?" She blurted out as she doubled over with discomfort, fear, and the kneejerk reaction to keep her head out of the window lest she becomes an easy target. It was at this point that her missing the majority of the briefing began to have its effect as she stammered "well, what do we do now?!" And pointed at Angeline. "Whatever happens, I'm buddying up with you, first aid lady."
Looks good! I hope you don't mind, been working on a sheet these past few days:

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.
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.
"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.
Not only are applications closed for now, we've also moved to Advanced. Sorry about that!
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.




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.





Here is my sheet! Let me know how it goes.

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