Nights like these, cold nights, dark nights, dead nights, nights like these are when it usually is best. Nights that buzz ever so softly with the distant noise of a million bags of flesh and blood, talking, arguing, loving, dreaming, boring predictable bags of flesh.

A lone figure's footsteps penetrate the air with resounding echoes that all but drown out the quiet cacophony of the city that always dreams but never sleeps. His eyes are like two shining coins, seeing all, reflecting most. His face is gaunt, his mouth a patchwork map of jagged scars and thick stitches, a thin worm-like pair of lips grimacing sternly under the aforementioned sutures.

The man walks towards his destination, unhindered by the boring regular citizens of the city, he has no want for them. Nor do the citizens have any particular want for him. The din of his footsteps stops, the street immediately longs for a new form of percussion to echo, but the man makes no move to break the still night air with any sound.

He checks his handbag, checks his suit making sure it is as orderly and neat as possible, he runs a gloved finger over a few stitches on his mouth and then pulls a lock of hair out of his face. After the assurance that his being is properly composed for the meeting ahead he picks up his handbag. He again shatters the dull buzz of the night with more footsteps, as he walks up the steps of a nearby porch stoop. Three prompt knocks upon the wooden front door burst through the night like shotgun blasts as the man raps his knuckles against the portal.

The man doesn't wait for an answer, and if he had he would not have gotten one, he simply turns the door handle. The lock trembles and gives way to him. He walks into the dusty home. He looks around, he can feel the trembling strings of magic in the air, and a buzzing sound like that of electricity that drowns out the pathetic whining drone of the city. He can feel it trembling in his fingertips, coursing through his spine, sending blue dots through his vision, and a slight tremor in his bowels. He whistles softly the air brushing past his teeth and obscenely through the stitches.

"Hello beautiful blue." He says quietly, moving his lips expertly in coordination with his mouth as to avoid further laceration of the skin from the twine.

The man examines his dingy dreamy surroundings; the place had fallen to a great deal of decay, but held the aura of not having been touched by age at all. He was in the living room of the small apartment, and he could see the blue aura of the mark of the mage shining brightly through the walls. He estimated from the size of the living quarters that the only other place spacious enough to be holding the big blue would be the bedroom.

The man leisurely made his way to the room his footsteps making a soft thudding sound barely audible over the humming buzz of the magic. Here the man walks, not a normal sack of skin and guts, absolutely ignoring and ignored by the regular meat puppets, but pacing towards the unknowing bag of meat who should be so much less then he has been made.

The man calls to his victim, his voice not deep, but not high either, it is much louder than it should be and it resounds through the building. "I am the Magician incarnation fourteen, XIV, you have disrupted the balance. You have rent the shroud and violated the void. I am here to restore the balance."

The Magician strives onward his shiny coin eyes gleaming through the dark hall, he arrives at his destination the blue energy courses through him now making the hairs on the back of his neck stand up. The door is closed and locked. Unhindered by the portal he opens it regardless, the hinges screaming protest against their unwilling use, but the lock silent and embarrassed accepts its rape and pulls its tumblers back from their niche.

The bedchambers prove fairly nondescript a beat to hell bed quaintly occupies most of the common viewers attention, jealously stealing away glances from the peeling wallpaper, and bedside chair.
Magician's eyes glanced about the room he knows that the energy is in here, it quivered through his being singing and chanting archaically, swirling throughout him.

"I know you're in here little man." The mage said allowing himself a smile that pulled painfully at the stitches around his mouth.

He then sets down his handbag; a leather case that looks like it might carry the tools of an eighteenth century surgeon. The Magician's fingers prod about the case like those of a lover; his white-gloved finger pads touch the trips to the magical device and the bag clicks open. He does so nonchalantly as if awaiting a bus. From the leather bag he pulls a book, a gun, and a piece of chalk. The gun and book dominate the chalks presence, the book bound in heavy red leather looks exquisite, and the gun a handgun of tremendous girth and being finely inlaid with silver writing reading Argos, the chalk contently accepts its inferiority and draws nothing of notice to itself.

The Magician wields the chalk and handgun drawing a chalk circle around himself, ignoring the small balding man emerging from his closet. The mage's reed like fingers continue his chalk work by drawing an alien symbol within the circle, after the chalk is gone and the symbol completed does the Magician get up and address the man.

The Magician turns his gaze to the man his hands playing the neat trick of loading the gun with out his face looking at it. The Magician can see the blue energy emitting from the man.

"You have come for me." The man says, his voice is nervous and shrinks upon entering the world. His eyes show fear like that of a small hunted animal before it's predator.

The Magician raises his gun Argos before him, the dull click of the hammer resounding through the air a prelude to the great blast that pursues it. A bullet screams from the barrel of Argos rushing into the small balding man with nervous eyes. The bullet hits the man in the diaphragm shearing and burning itself through regular, weak, fatty flesh, sending a rain of crimson in the air.

Shiny coin eyes survey the damage upon the offender of the balance, blood soaks him, and he is rolling about bleeding to death. "The answer is, yes." The Magician says his voice a hollow mockery of excitement.

Steam begins to rise from the trails of blood, tickling the air with its copper scent, the pathetic man with nervous eyes twitches in short spasms as the wound in his trunk slowly closes over like a red, circular eye whispering out trails of steam in its closing.

The Magician watches this, his eyes twinkle slightly in the dim light of the room, a small smile plays across his lips, small enough not to offend the sutures over his lips and cause further laceration, but a genuine smile nonetheless. "I knew you were one of the burning men." He said, his booming voice giving no implication to betray the smile on his lips.

The balding man slowly crawls to his feet, his body groans and complains, but his eyes have quit their nervous limbo and now burn with the agony of a trapped demon. A small flame flickers to life on his hand, cutting the air as it sputters into existence, the fire spreads up his hand, crackling and sizzling its way up his arm and over his body.

The once bald and unassuming man is now a human funeral pyre, flames lick, course, and caress over his body. The blue magic energy in the room explodes in action frantically circling about the Magician and the burning man. The burning man, all rage, hurt, and fire takes a step towards the mage, but he finds that his feet are heavy, firmly married to the floor, with Herculean effort he divorces his foot from the floor, the exertion causes his muscles and tendons to snap in sputtering arcs of flame.

"I drew a circle of protection around me, the proper components have been used, and my sorcery is successful. Your burning shell cannot reach me as long as I have the shield erected." The Magician smiles, if his face were that of a human it would have been a sympathetic smile, but no humanity betrayed his mask. "You are not going to be around much longer though. Do you have any final wishes I may ignore?"

The Magician raises his gun again casually taking aim, and pulling the trigger, no more shots would be needed this wonderful night.