The flames wreathed about her stature, though the Asphodel flowers did not burn. From afar, the Furie held the end of the folded whip and directed the descendant of oathbreakers to drop the woman in front of the Elysian Fields. Let his companions perish. Then he would face his own judgement.
Marcus dumped the woman in front of the picketed area. He went back for the man.3/3/2009 #61
Arc Closed.3/15/2009 #62
On the outskirts of an English town lies a deserted manor. Rumor has it the manor contains the supernatural. When a lord's son wanders in seeking adventure and 'slaying monsters,' he's never seen again, to the lord and lady's dismay; to the family's distress, ever since the boy went missing, a curse has hung over the house, so that none of its denizens live past the age of thirty. A couple generations later, the current lord seeks anyone who will journey into the house and vanquish the curse.
No Deus Ex Machina.
Otherwise, feel free to hop in and play.3/15/2009 . Edited 3/15/2009 #63
(Okay! Let's kick-start this mo-fo... :P)
Ruby dropped her bag onto the flat top of the wall, and pulled herself up next to it. At her full height, she could just about see one side of this supposedly dangerous house, and she squinted to get a good look at it's impressive, if a little shabby, form.
In the warm, early autumn sunlight, the building looked almost beautiful, even crawling with half dead creeper plants burrowing into the brickwork, and slateless patches in the roof, but there was something despondent, an undisturbed hollowness about it, that bordered upon the malevolent and caused an uneasy creeping in her bones. It didn't look anything like she had imagined it to, but it certainly felt right, and she hadn't even set foot on the estate.
According to the people of the town, those who were stepping forward and claiming to be able to fix the mansion, whether warriors, exorcists, scientists or skeptics, had all gathered at Lord Hartingale's town house, and there was a fuss going on over who would get to try first. Ruby wasn't the type to get herself caught up in those sorts of squabbles. Too much talking, and not enough doing. Anyway, she didn't want people to think she was interested in the house. That wasn't the reason she was sat, cross legged on it's wall at all.
Haunted houses like this were just the sort of phenomena that he would be drawn to. She was sure of it. As soon as she had heard about the supposed curse of Hartingale, and it's owners unusually active search to end it, she'd known it would be her next place to look for him. However, seeing as she was here already, and had a little time to kill, she figured she may as well do a few preliminary probings. She'd probably need all the bargaining material she could muster, she knew the mercenary types far too well.
"They won't be long now," she told the stonework she sat on, as she pulled out a sketchbook of cheap paper, and a battered box of coloured chalks, flipping the sketchbook open, and selecting a broken stick of earthy red.
All she had to do now, was wait.12/30/2009 . Edited 1/26/2010 #64
The leaves this autumn had withered early. Barren branches laid flayed against the sunset's purple flare.
The ends of Elise's dress skimmed the carpet of a season's end. She clutched the pocket watch in her palm tighter. Its faint ticking felt louder than the vagabond breezes. Tomorrow, at this time, the priests and their fantasies, the scientists with theirs, and all with their logic would unlock the rusty gates of the manor.
All things come to an end.
As Elise strolled past a familiar gravestone, the ticking - and her own fleeting walk - ceased.
One of the glass apples had shattered. Someone, something, must have breached the threshold.
Three steps later, she stood at the vine-choked gates. Someone, something, was sitting on her wall.
-- OT: Sorry for the late post. Better late than never? Though I'm sure the early birds have eradicated the worms by now. --1/26/2010 #65
I'm sure the early birds have eradicated the worms by now.
Sesshy, my dear - I have no idea what that means ^_^
As she made the finishing adjustments to the neat, investigative rune on the stone surface of the wall, a shiver ran up Ruby's spine.
She could feel a presence there, pressing against the sides of her neck like a closing vice. She'd read all the bullshit descriptions in her time, but she'd never expected it to feel this visceral.
She pressed the heals of her hands against her neck, and pushed until the tingling, creeping feeling numbed.
It took a lot of pushing.
"Hello?" she said, knowing that she sounded far more afraid that she should.1/26/2010 #66
Beneath the figure, Elise saw the greasy embers of supernatural presence. They licked at her ancestral walls, but the broken glass apple hung near the back entrance, not the front. The girl must've merely been overeager in the curse curing crusade.
"Hello," she said, slipping the pocket watch under her sleeve and withdrawing a simple blade. "What're you doing on my family's grounds?"
-- Off Topic --
Sesshy, my dear - I have no idea what that means ^_^
Haha, it's a saying. "The early birds catches the worms."
-- End Off Topic --1/26/2010 #67
Arc Closed.5/11/2010 #68
The first person to post will get to determine the setting. The plot will develop based on the Player's actions.
((since I'm nervous about doing this I'm going to stay lame and basic))
Setting is a forest with tall pines, night.
I dreamed. But my heart wasn't in it.
When I woke it was on the ground, on dirt and prickly needles, on twigs that cracked underneath my slightest movement.
My hands were tied tight behind my back and my left shoulder ached.
I was hungry. It shook through me, twisted and wove in my throat, it burned and I took a gasping breath. My magic got tangled in it, trying to pull it back, but I was too broken to weave the spell correctly. I felt fragmented and dumb, all I could do was mentally trip over myself, and all I could do was tolerate it.
I rolled over on my back and looked up at the stars, trying to remember how I'd gotten here. Just perfect, it had probably been Eddy. At least it was night. I relaxed momentarily, until I heard something--it was close.
Employing fast reflexes, I sat up to my knees with vampiric grace. I could smell it was living and my instincts spun into place. If I could get myself untied, catching dinner would prove easy.5/11/2010 #70
While Leon was pretty sure he hated trees, they did provide a good cover for escape.
He had shaken off the others ages ago, but he hadn't stopped running until his lungs were heaving and raw. He'd expected the trees and other...nature stuff...to run out, but it had only become denser and darker, which meant that he had probably run the wrong way.
He gave himself a breather, leaning against the leathery bark of a tree, and pulling away in disgust when his hand hit something sticky.
It stank like cheap air freshener. He grimaced, and tried to wipe it off onto his jeans.
A soft ripple of cracks and snaps sounded to his left, making him jump out of his skin. His first thought was that one of the others had caught up with him already, but the quick grip of panic loosened in his chest, as he realised that wasn't possible. They must be miles away by now, hopefully staggering around, lost in the dark.
The sound came again, longer. Whatever it was, it was new. It sounded big.
Leon weighed up his choices. He could move on, on an empty stomach, or he could investigate the noise, and see if it was potentially edible. After all, a shit load of animals were supposed to live in forests, weren't they?
Another sound came over the movement. It was low, hoarse - gasping. It didn't sound particularly healthy.
Leon decided that it couldn't hurt to look.
Crouching down low to the ground, Leon crept towards the sound, wincing as he heard the ground snap and crackle beneath his own feet.
The nearby sounds went quiet, and through the trees, Leon could see a large laying down flat on the ground. He leapt to the nearest tree, using it as a shield, peering around it to get a closer look.
It was human. A man.
Well, shit. That took dinner out of the picture.
All Leon did was sigh, a small, deliberate puff of air blown out through his nose - he himself barely heard it - yet the prone man was suddenly on his knees. It must have been a trick of the light, because the movement - him going from flat on his back to upright...well, it looked like it had sort of been greased or something. He just flowed up, and now knelt there, poised and tensed. Whoever it was, he was listening for him.
However, the dark outline was missing something - arms.
He wasn't missing it's legs though. Something told Leon that if he ran for it, this man would be right behind him, and he didn't have even half the energy he needed to make a confident get away.
Looked like the flight option wasn't available.
He stepped out from behind his tree, and waited. The other man saw him straight away, the shadowed space of his face pointing right at him. What little light there was caught his eyes, which shimmered strangely, and caused a small shiver to shoot up Leon's spine. When the man didn't jump to his feet and attack him, Leon approached him cautiously, taking in the tied up arms and the 'I just slept on a forest floor' scruffiness.
They regarded each other in silence, until Leon crossed his arms over his chest, involuntary smirk pulling at his mouth.
"Who the hell did you piss off?"5/12/2010 . Edited 5/12/2010 #71
He continued staring after asking his question. I was too busy attempting to categorizing him to give an answer right away. He smelled like a shapeshifter, but also dead like me. Crossed. Could that be? A shapeshifter and a vampire? My eyebrows rose. And he'd been running. Running from what, exactly, and why? He didn't have a cowardly Achitophel look to him, he appeared a fighter, not a runner--maybe an ex-Fury. But for a shapeshifter, he didn't appear at home in the forest.
I broke my stare and looked past him for a moment, as if I expected to see anything perusing.
My instincts told me he wouldn't make a good meal. I was so hungry. I was frustrated. It sank in that he wasn't a non-magic, and he would taste horrible. "Oh Gaia, what the fuck?" I tugged my arms to test the tie on my wrists--it was rope. Not done by a witch, I didn't feel any magic entwined with it. Too simple.
The strange man didn't speak, he just continued to stare at me, with an edge of antagonism.
My magic stirred at the thought of a fight and immediately went for friendliness.
Hello brother, my name is Jude.
I groaned. Calm. Look calm. If he was vampire like I guessed, maybe he knew where the nearest non-magics were camping. He could lead me there, I could have fun with a few, and create a Casting Circle to check up on Eddy...
I finally composed myself, pretended my magic hadn't spoken out of turn, and returned his smirk, "The wrong woman," I decided, "I don't remember. Maybe I tried to eat her. That's been a problem lately, brother." A bargain--I was good at bargains. "You want to help untie me here? I'll help you find whoever was chasing you, we'll give them what they deserve."5/12/2010 #72
The voice of this guy - it made all the flesh on the back of Leon's arms and neck crawl.
He didn't know what it was about it, but Leon had come across enough magic-users and mind-fuckers for his suspicions to be alerted.
His smirk vanished as he sucked in one cheek, and his nostrils flared as he checked out the man's strange smell. He'd noticed it from the beginning, but only when the man had made the feeble crack about trying to eat people had he noticed the tinge of vampiric rot.
He didn't exactly look, or smell, quite like any other vampire Leon knew.
He paced around him, keeping a wide berth.
"I'm not your brother," he said, once he was behind him. "And those chasing me aren't any concern of yours. I'll deal with them myself, when I'm ready."
He stepped back into the man's vision, and came to a halt.
"I'm thinking whoever tied you up reckons you're dangerous. If that's the case, maybe I should leave you here..."5/12/2010 #73
I stiffened when he came back into my vision, and paused another moment to gather another plan.
I had to get untied. I would get untied. "From what I can tell, you don't know this forest as well as I do--and what, you think you can't fight me, brother? Well bless Gaia for the compliment." I decided to continue, to press my luck, "If it's witches after you, you'd best stick with me."
As soon as I finished I heard a shout, far off. It shattered silence and my magic finally started to perk. How convenient, I started to smile. "So what, brother, you want me to run with you, or do you want to leave me here and let me handle these fuckers by myself?"5/12/2010 #74
The distant shout made Leon jump. The others couldn't have caught up with him so quickly, could they?
The man was staring at him expectantly. Even up close his eyes were taking on a weird shine in the light.
Leon knew reverse-psychology all too well - it might work on brats and morons, but he was immune.
However, he was now in a Catch-22. If the approaching noise was, somehow, all the others, he couldn't leave them this...thing...to find.
If it was these 'witches' the man spoke about, then running would leave him looking like a coward.
Not that he cared about what anyone thought of him.
The sound of multiple, fast-paced footsteps were coming closer.
A decision clicked in Leon's mind, and he strode back behind the tied man, grabbing the rope that bound his arms and using it to haul him back so that one ear hovered by Leon's mouth.
"Okay, listen up," he said. "I'll untie you, but only if you swear to stick with me."
He waited for the man's response.5/13/2010 #75
I'm itching to get out of here. Literally, the magic started static on my skin. I wanted to fight, I didn't want to run but--my magic wouldn't allow me to lie. Deep down maybe, I didn't want to be untrustworthy like I used to be. It was easier when I was under the King's orders, he was my true brother, I did anything for him. Now it was blurred and hard to know what I truly wanted.
It wouldn't allow me to break a bargain or a promise. "I'm good for it. I'd shake on it too."
I stood up and turned to let him untie me. Funny I didn't doubt him either--my magic wanted to trust. It always did. Things were easier under the King's orders because I trusted him. Everyone, even Nikky, telling me he'd save me, to just trust him.
But I could take care of myself too, my magic reminded me, I'm not weak anymore.5/13/2010 #76
"Shake on it?" he said, brow rising, and smirk reappearing, with a distinctly unpleasant edge. "That means nothing to me." At the man's hint, he had started to untie the ropes, but instead of letting them go slack, he tightened them. "You gotta swear on something."5/13/2010 #77
Annoying. My magic bristled at the tightening of the rope.
"What?" could you possibly want me to swear on? my magic finished.6/8/2010 #78
And with that big, climactic moment...
The first person to post will get to determine the setting. The plot will develop based on Player's actions.
None. Just come on in and play.
*curtain opens*10/6/2010 #80
The Empty City
Your character find themselves mysteriously trapped in an eerie, dishevelled cityscape. How they got there and why is up to you. They have to work out - together or alone - how to get back to where they belong.
Only one character per player, but each character in the scenerio can have an optional, NPC adversary. These will provide plot fodder, if you feel it needs it. It can be someone/thing pursuing your character, someone/thing your character is pursuing, but it should be the one person/thing that is going to cause a real gut reaction in your character - go wild, be creative. However, you can only use the perspective of your chosen character. No stepping in the villains shoes :P [if your character doesn't have an adversary that powerful, don't worry - this is entirely optional]
This is open ended - people can post and join as they like.10/6/2010 #81
As far as being clumsy went, Bianca was pretty sure she had filled her quota for the entire year - the entire decade, even - by running face first into a wall.
She didn't know how long she was out for, but as the black swam away from her eyes and order restored to her head [and pain flooded her nose, forehead, cheek and jaw], the first thought that came into it was *Jem is never going to let me forget this*.
He was always telling her to actually watch where she was going, not gawp over her shoulder like an idiot.
"Don't think about whatever's chasing you - think about getting away, that's the important thing."
Mildly annoyed that no one had bothered to come back for her, and very relieved that the dead end she'd run into had given her cover rather than a death sentence, Bianca scrambled to her feet and, tweaking her creased and crumpled skirt back into shape, edged out of the side lane, back onto the main road.
It was empty. No sign of anyone or anything. If she wanted to find her team, she was going to have to rustle up a locater board. It was only as she ruefully rubbed the bruised and battered side of her face she realised just how strange the street looked.
It wasn't just empty...it was dead.
The soft, orange light from the street lamps had lulled her into a false sense of security, but once she looked past that it was like she had wandered out onto a whole different street. For as far as she could see, the patched and pot-holed tarmac was empty - not a car in sight. None of the buildings were lit. They were nothing but hollow, decrepit shells, with smashed windows, caved in roofs and crumbling walls.
This was definitely not Knightsbridge.
Feeling her stomach tie into a very tight, very hard knot, Bianca edged to the nearest streetlight, wrapping one hand tightly around the cold metal. She did the only emergency procedure she knew:
"Kasper!" she shouted at the top of her voice, and when there was no answer, "Jem!"
Nothing. Just the slight echo of her own scream, and then silence.
Her breaths were coming up short, sharp, and edged with panicked whimpers. As she covered her face with her hands, the streetlights began to flicker. With a small pop, they died completely, and plunged her into darkness.
Now darkness, she could deal with. Her fingers going into autopilot, they scrabbled at her neck, until they gained purchase on a long, stringed necklace that lay hidden under her jumper, pulling it out high enough so she could seize one bead between her teeth and bite down hard on it. As it crunched into pieces, and with the necklace tucked back safely out of sight, she brought her hands to her face and whispered something to them. With a clap and a click, each hand was wreathed in a slim, but bright coating of powder blue flame, brighter than any torch. Holding them up before her, Bianca stared into the twisted, empty shadows.
*Where the hell am I?*10/6/2010 . Edited 10/7/2010 #82
This was a trick of magic, some sort of trick, maybe Jude's trick. There were possibilities, like what Eddy had done to me. Sent me sinking into a place and time that was merely fabricated or created from his own inner desire. So when I woke, I bolted awake, and there was no one. No Charlotte, no Jude.
I woke aching, thinking for a fleeting moment that I should shift, but then decided against it. Last time I'd come into a city shifted, the witches had found me immediately. I should count myself lucky that Eddy had given me witch clothing. I'd fit in better with whatever would find me first.
Not knowing Cypress very well, I assumed that's where I was. Deserted, desolate, without feeling--even Nyt'a felt vacant. A city was a city, and I only knew one as cold as this.
"Zauk," I said, a panic rising, like it usually did when I had a sense of abandonment, or sudden loneliness.
I ran my hand through my unruly hair for a moment, making sure I was real. I bent and touched the ground. Yes, that was real.
Was I in a witch trick? Eddy's trick had not been so real, and Margot had been with me. Perhaps she would find me, like she always did.
If I shifted into a bird--I started to take off my shirt--but no, it would take time for that, and I didn't have time. I had to discover more, and I didn't want a witch to find me shifted. I had to remind myself that, over and over.
I walked hesitantly down one of the streets, where there was nothing but the orange glow of street lights. I didn't yell for anyone, yelling could attract vampires. I shuddered at the thought of stumbling upon a pack--but then I heard someone.
"Kasper!" There was a pause, "Jem!"
My blood ran cold, discovering the screams had been close, too close. I rushed up against the wall, took one deep breath, and peered around the corner.
I saw a young woman--her hand drawing out blue flame.
"Nyt'a," I muttered, a sinking feeling coming over me. I had never seen a magic trick like that.10/6/2010 #83
Teleportation was not a foreign concept to Kane. Throughout his long life, he had experienced just about every variation on the instantaneous mode of transportation there was. That being said however, his current situation was a first for him.
Never before in his life had Kane been standing in one place, blinked, and opened his eyes to find the scenery around him had shifted completely. He had been waiting in front of the Lakeland Police station, along with Xander and Adrianna, for Jason to return. A single blink later and he was suddenly standing in the middle of a completely empty street, his companions nowhere to be found.
"What the fuck?" Eyes wide, Kane whirled around, searching for a clue as to what had happened. Unfortunately, there was nothing to be seen. The soft glow emanating from the lights that lined the street made it clear that there was nobody else around.
When it became clear to Kane he was completely alone, he stilled and began to extend his senses. Immediately, he noticed something was off; he couldn't hear anything. There were no doors slamming, no cars running, no dogs barking and most importantly, no hearts beating, aside from his own. Confused, he allowed his forked tongue to slip out of his mouth and tasted the air around him. It didn't take more than a second for his suspicions to be confirmed; there were no humans or demons around and there hadn't been for a very long time.
"All right," he said slowly, anger adding a gravelly quality to his tone, "what the fuck is going on here?" His deep voice echoed slightly once he fell silent, the only response he received. He waited for a moment, waiting to see if the noise would draw something out of hiding. When nothing stirred, Kane snarled angrily and started off down the street, his long legs carrying him forward rapidly.
As he walked along, Kane made no effort to muffle his steps or stay in the shadows. It was highly apparent to him that the city, or at least the section of it he was currently in, was entirely devoid of life. He came up short in a hurry however, when he paused at an intersection and suddenly heard a voice.
"Kaspar!" The voice, coming from somewhere to his left, was extremely faint. "Jem!"
Without hesitation, Kane turned and took off in the direction of the voice. His large feet impacted heavily on the pavement as he jogged along, his tongue out and testing the air.
It wasn't long before he was close enough to smell whoever it was that had spoken. It was undoubtedly a human female, but there was something else tainting the scent; magic. "Witch," Kane said quietly. He immediately slowed his pace and began to make his way forward in the stealthy manner of a natural predator. Her sound of rapidly beating heart was very apparent to his sharp hearing, serving as a beacon.
As he drew closer to the witch, Kane suddenly realized that she was not alone. A second heartbeat, slightly farther away, was beating just as rapidly. It was almost completely in sync with the witches', which was why he didn't pick right away.
Coming to a halt, Kane considered his options. While he had no doubt he could take the witch and the other in a fight if that became necessary, having allies could be a good thing in such an odd situation. He quickly decided it would be best to feel out the situation a bit before going ahead with any plans.
Creeping silently over to one of the tall buildings on his right, Kane looked up and estimated how high up the roof was. After a moment, he nodded in satisfaction and took a step back. Crouching slightly, he gave a tremendous push with his thick legs, propelling himself straight up. He shot through the air like a bullet, and landed lightly on the roof of the building a second later.
Moving quickly, he ran along the roof, heading towards the area where the two heartbeats were coming from. He leapt from rooftop to rooftop, rapidly eating up the distance, until he finally found himself looking down on the witch and the other.
As soon as Kane reached the edge of the roof, the streetlights suddenly flickered and went, bathing the entire area in darkness. That wasn't an issue for Kane; his eyes were easily able to pierce the blanket of darkness. He could see the tiny, dark-haired witch as she fumbled with something around her neck. He heard her whisper something and his eyes opened wide when her hands were suddenly covered by blue flames.
"Nyt'a." Kane heard the muttered word as clear as if he he'd been standing beside the one who had spoken, though he didn't recognize the language. Although the man was hidden from the witch, Kane's position on the roof offered a direct line of sight to the where he was hiding, pressed up against a wall. His head was poking around the corner, looking right at the female. Clearly it had been her display of magic that had prompted the word to fall from the man's lips.
It was obvious to Kane that despite her little light show, the witch had yet to catch sight of the one that was peeking at her from around the corner. Smiling in anticipation, he crouched down on the edge of the roof, eager to see what would happen once the witch realized she had company.10/7/2010 #84
One can easily find themselves lost if they don't take care to watch where they are going.
Geneviève Métisse had certainly been distracted, and was the most likely cause for her sudden confusion. She had brought a Wanderer to a transfer point for the Neor, and sometime after Reaper's Fall, she had realized her soul was calling her to a different direction. Her magic had spurred her on, however, knowing all too well how unwise it would have been if she turned back 'round to chase her heart. It was a silly thing, really; she was supposed to be stronger than her heart.
Geneviève wondered how far from familiar territory she was, and at what point her mind had wandered so far she no longer paid attention to where she was going. She had travelled most of the continent, but the desolate city she now found herself in didn't look anything like the aert she new. Deciding a change of pace might be welcome, Geneviève stopped and stretched herself from the shadow.
Sliding back into a shadow was like plunging into cold water. Geneviève sputtered as her lungs filled with the black void, and it took a moment for her eyes to adjust to the brilliant colours that were now assaulting her vision.
Nestling back into the shadow while she shook off a violent shiver, Geneviève looked around in search of the voices. Her green eyes cut through the darkness in her current form, so it only took a moment before she saw movement up ahead. She twitched and moved towards the second voice, her curiosity spurring her into action. The first voice had been female, she was sure, but the second voice... the second voice was what she was interested in; the second voice belonged to a man.
Being careful to stick to the corners of the street and cracks in the tarmac, Geneviève drifted her way through the shadows. The voices had come from in front of her, so she was sure to circle in slowly to ensure no one spotted her first. Although she was part of a shadow now, if she moved too suddenly, someone would easily spot the movement and become suspicious.
Another street was just ahead. Fear was seeping around the corner in thick clouds. Geneviève had to slow down before it took hold of her as well. But what was there to be frightened of in this place? The emptiness certainly was odd, but there was also something rather comforting about it.
Slowing to a crawl, Geneviève caught sight of a man dripping fear. She smiled within the shadow when she sensed his loneliness. It was beneath the surface, only just, but it was there. Just when she was about to make a dash towards him, she stopped and turned within the shadow.
There was someone else here. Not just the girl in the street; she was of no interest. No, there was someone... perhaps something about.
Geneviève revelled in the energy she sensed from the mysterious presence. Was it... amusement?
She caught sight of a blue flame coming from the girl but paid no attention to it. Sliding up next to the man on corner, Geneviève shook herself from the shadow.
"The smell of fear is rather pungent tonight, isn't it?"10/7/2010 . Edited 10/7/2010 #85
The dead space made her uncomfortable, and she could barely hear the echoes of her footfalls on the buildings that flanked her sides. Hailey ran a hand through her hair, going over the moment in her mind again.
She had been running down the street in her beloved little town, right past the fire department. She never had to exercise - she could change that whenever she wanted, as long as she had somewhere to stash the excess tissue - but she enjoyed the thrill of running at breakneck speed and not getting tired. She had gone into the thinned forest at the end of town, the cold humidity splashing on her face, and she had shut her eyes. Not seconds later, she had felt... something.
What is was, she wasn't entirely sure. It could've been the change in air pressure. It could've been the sudden lack of humidity. Or it could've even been the sudden escape of the surrounding life, all life disappearing from around her. When she opened her eyes again, she found herself here.
Wherever "here" was.
Hailey jumped. People? She stopped, standing still in the middle of the motionless street.
There it goes again!
She heightened her hearing, hoping that if they didn't say anything else she'd still be able to find them. She trotted off towards the voice, relieved that she was not alone.
Hailey kept going, but felt her heart leap. Oh great, she thought. A language barrier. She sifted through her mind, trying to call back the bits of Spanish she could remember.
She rounded the corner and was met by a brilliant display of blue fire.
The loud exclamation escaped her mouth before she could stop herself, and she dove back behind the corner.
She peeked around the corner, watching the blue-fire person. She hoped they'd be nice.10/7/2010 #86
After carefully wiping the flames from her left hand so that they merged with those on the right, [a trick Ruby taught her - double the power in half the space equals double the time] Bianca raised her right hand up to regard the broken buildings.
One to the far right, set on the street corner was very grand, or looked as though it once had been. It's shell was four towering storeys high, and almost as wide, with a pillared front on the ground floor, and black wrought ironwork gracing the windows on those above. It domineered the street, and was so high, it's peak simply melted away into the blackness, the light from her hands not strong enough to stretch that far. It was a futile move - just from what Bianca could see of the building, she knew she didn't have the magic on her to fuel a safe climb - but she moulded together a small ball of blue flame into the palm of her hand. Whispering Imp's ruin for guided flight (something in Imp's language, which seemed to solely consist of words made for getting tongues tangled and knotted) she aimed her palm missile like at the top of the building, and flicked the little ball up and away. It sailed up into the black, illuminating the full rise of the building as it did so, revealing a wide, turreted roof, before landing on it, lighting up it's little patch of black.
No way. Even with every ounce her resources, her soul, her blood, her very life force, there was no possible method of scaling that building that didn't risk her getting splatted onto the tarmac.
Three big options lay before her. Stay put on the eerie, empty street and hope someone from her team came searching for her - she didn't like that much; Test her own luck by using a locater board, and seeing if she can track anyone down in this alien city while stuck on the pavements, or investigate the state of the big buildings stairs.
As she weighed up these options, all of them far more unattractive than they were attractive, she heard a soft scrape of something moving against stone.
The lights came back on, spluttering back into life, but in a different colour - a washed out, pallid yellow. Pressed against the brickwork, eyes wide and startled, was another person - a girl.
With her heart stuck up in her throat, Bianca exchanged stares with the girl, before attempting a weak smile.
"Hello," she said, having to clear her throat when her voice came out soft and strangled. "I don't suppose you could tell me where this is, could you?"10/7/2010 #87
"The smell of fear is rather pungent tonight, isn't it?"
I jumped in surprise. But it was more than just surprise, there was something else there too, a trace of something darker, of witch magic unlike anything I'd ever felt. This thing, physical thing in the form of a woman, was like liquid magic, moving, the aura moving, nothing pinned down. I though perhaps--I was in a world of the goddesses, it reminded me of the witch stories of Gaia when she created magic, giving it to the witches as something free and changing.
So there was naturally only one reaction.
I backed off, into the street, in sight of the two young women, witches too maybe... Maybe I was surrounded. "Shre nocht hob'mil, mak'ru sh'ma trie jes q'ue! Nyt'a, Nyt'a" I tripped on the curb and fell hard, but I shouldn't have been surprised--I was always clumsy.
The solution, running away, seemed inevitable now. Of course they knew I was shifter, of course, I hadn't thought, they would have known without me saying a word. I started to pull off my shirt, getting ready to shift, trying to run through options quick. No time for anything complicated, but my second form wouldn't be fast enough--and the young woman with the flame magic could catch me quick, who knew how strong she was.
I started pulling off my shoes, surprised they hadn't started ganging up yet. Perhaps they had other plans. I wouldn't risk waiting to find out.10/7/2010 . Edited 10/7/2010 #88
Things were very quickly livening up. Kane couldn't have been standing on the roof longer than a minute or two before he felt two new arrivals.
The first was another human female, or she appeared to be human anyway. Kane heard her heartbeat rhythmically pumping as she made her way closer, probably drawn by the witches' earlier shouts. He grinned as he saw the woman come around a corner, only to dive back around it as soon as she saw the witch with the glowing hands.
As he watched the two women, Kane suddenly sensed someone, something else. His eyes scanned the street, cutting through the shadows and coming up empty. He could clearly feel magic, could sense the owner of that magic was slowly coming closer, but he couldn't see anyone.
Kane's search for the second newcomer was brought to an abrupt halt a second later when the witch suddenly launched a ball of the bright blue flame high up into the air. Kane saw the small missile heading his way and quickly stepped back from the edge of the roof and to the side. The little ball of fire landed right where he had been standing, lighting up a small area that reached almost to his new position.
Once he was sure nothing else was on its way up to him, Kane stepped forward and crouched back down on the roof's edge, being careful to avoid the light. His gaze immediately sought out the witch, curious as to what her next move would be, but he paused suddenly, having picked up some movement from the corner of his eye.
Turning his head, he narrowed his eyes and focused in on the spot where the movement had originated from. At first there was nothing, but after a brief moment, whatever it was moved again. A second later, there came more movement, a step ahead of where it was last. It was immediately obvious to Kane that whatever it was, it was heading towards the man who had spoken earlier.
Just as the unknown being reached the area where the man was standing, the streetlights suddenly flared back to life. The street was bathed in a pale yellow light and Kane had to blink a few times to adjust his eyes to the brightness.
The sudden reappearance of the light really helped set things in motion. The witch immediately spotted the new girl, pressed up against the wall. She said something, but Kane's attention had already been drawn over to where the man and the unknown being were situated.
With the light causing the shadows to shift, the second newcomer was now revealed to Kane's eyes. It was a woman. She was short, blonde, and appeared human, though the magic he could feel intertwined with her aura suggested otherwise. He could only see half of her face, as she was turned towards the other man.
Then she spoke. "The smell of fear is rather pungent tonight, isn't it?"
The man jumped, clearly startled by the voice. His head whipped around to look at the woman, his eyes wide open and full of fear. Kane was a little surprised when he immediately started backing away from the newcomer. The position he had been, combined with the direction he was heading resulted in him exiting his hiding place and ending up on the street, in full view of two other women.
Again the man said something in an unfamiliar language, right before he tripped over the curb and landed on his ass. Kane had to bite back a snicker at the sight. The witch and the other girl were silently staring at the man, their attention having been drawn to him by the words he had spoken.
To Kane's shock, instead of rising to his feet, the man quickly began to remove his shirt. Hmmm, he thought, that's a pretty fucking strange thing to do. Admittedly, Kane had seen and done some very weird shit during his time, but put him in a situation like the one currently going on below him and his first thought would not be 'better get naked'.
When the man began to reach for his shoes, Kane decided that enough was enough. He was not in any hurry to see the strange male completely strip down. Straightening up to his full height, Kane took a step forward and dropped like a stone to the street below. Despite his massive bulk, he landed very lightly; a very muffled thud was the only sound created by the impact.
"Hey!" he called out loudly. As his deep voice rang out and began echoing around the wide street, the other four beings turned as one to see who the shout had originated from.10/7/2010 #89
"I don't suppose you could tell me where this is, could you?"
Hailey looked behind her, stupidly checking to make sure she was the one being addressed. She looked back at the woman.
"You're asking me? I was hoping you could tell me where we are!"
The confused woman looked like she was about to continue speaking, but a voice from behind them caught both of their attention.
"Shre nocht hob'mil, mak'ru sh'ma trie jes q'ue! Nyt'a, Nyt'a!" A man tripped on the curb, falling onto the pavement.
"Uhh, English? Please...?" Hailey slapped her hand over her mouth, blushing. Wherever this place was, it certainly had a way of loosening her tongue.
The weirdness furthered when the man started taking off his shirt. Hailey dropped her hand from her mouth as it accompanied a confused shrug, her shoulders slumping and her neck craning forward.
Seconds later, with a giant thud, a huge man landed on the pavement between her and the man, shouting and grabbing the attention of the other man.
Hailey's skin changed shades from a pale white to a dark brown, then back.
Just how many of them are there?10/7/2010 #90
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