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IC [Mage the Awakening] After the 2003 Hoax

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  • #76
    Hoplite's only warning was a brief flicker of impishness before the door struck him hard in the face.

    His rabbit-jump backwards squawk of surprise were soon replaced by anger as he threw open the door to unload a stream of sputtering curses at Whomever The Fuck Thought That Was Hilarious. Red-faced he opened his mouth to shout and thrust his finger in the face of...

    ... someone he wasn't expecting.

    Palpable relief flooded him, driving him to a small bout of hysterical giggles which he fought to control. This was a young girl. With no fangs, claws, wings, or Aura of Power Unending. Admittedly, she clearly hits like a dump truck pushed off a cliff. However, the weeks of living under the constant strain of being... so alone and constantly under threat had taken their toll. He didn't care if this person was going to take him to a large white van labelled "Free Candy, definitely No Murder"... he was Done with running away. Whatever happens, will happen.

    He turned to grab his jacket.

    "Will there be food where we're going?"


    • #77
      Saturday April 12th, 2003
      Napier, New Zealand

      After parting company with Doolittle and Silencer, Tuesday contacted the local Mysterium. She sat in a pub waiting for a representative of her order to contact her. As she waited and drank, her mind drifted back to 1998 and Dominic Griffin, her lost love. The two of them were engaged, eager to build a happy life together after the two of them finished college. On a certain, fateful Tuesday, all that changed with her Awakening. Now able to understand and wield Fate, she had quickly discerned that Dominic was actually her half brother! The shocking, sickening discovery had ruined their relationship, especially after Dominic had discovered the truth for himself through mundane means. Obviously, things had been awkward for them ever since they had discovered the true nature of their relationship.

      Tuesday had tried her level best to forget about Dominic. Certainly her new life as one of the Awakened had provided her with distractions aplenty. Even so, as the years passed, she often found her thoughts and heart returning to Dominic. Try as she might, she could not stop thinking about him. Of course, to have him back she would have to do the impossible: change who his father was without changing him. After she some research, she discovered the existence of an item that might allow her to do the impossible thing that she wanted to do. Sadly, she discovered that the item she desired - the Chess Set of Fortune - was in the hands of Violet, a Seer.

      Foolishly, Tuesday had made an effort to steal the chess set from Violet. Her effort was a complete failure. It was only after she had been captured that she had learned about the six missing pieces. She should have done more research, At least she had managed to escape. Tuesday shook her head at her own past foolishness.

      Tuesday was quite drunk before she realized that her contact had failed to arrive. Through her drunken haze, she realized something was terribly wrong.


      • #78
        ‘What’s so funny?’ Hei thought to herself as Hoplite was clearly trying to cover a smile, barely stifling some noise of amusement.

        ‘He looked really pissed when he opened the door, but now he’s laughing at … me? Huh.’

        A voice commanded her. “Waffles. Should be crowded and lined up at this moment.”

        “I do know this really cool place to chow over … well you just got here so you probably don’t know. Let’s stop over there and get breakfast and we can chat about … stuff.”

        OoC: Hei is in her mid-20's. She was at least 18 when she was high freshman (2 stalled grades), so I don't think she'll look like a young girl. She probably even older than him.


        • #79
          As Hei and Hoplite made their plans, Mouse, from his hiding place, continued to watch. It seemed the two of them might be leaving. He wondered if he would be able to follow them without being observed. He supposed he could but try.
          Last edited by Cire; 02-02-2014, 08:12 AM. Reason: typoes


          • #80
            Willow quietly slipped out of bed, dressed and left the hotel room she shared with Scar. Slipping downstairs she started the BMW and pulled away from the Hotel, on to the quiet streets of Napier.
            She hated leaving Scar behind, but sometimes he was far too heavy handed, and a gentler touch was necessary.

            Driving through steadily degrading suburbs, she eventually stopped near a school. She listened briefly before nodding once to herself and hopped out. Nothing bothering to set the alarm she slipped through the gate and on to the school ground. It wasn't long before she found what she was looking for.
            On the ground, between two classrooms was a young man of roughly 15 years, wearing a school uniform. He was looking around the walls like he had never seen them before, which in a way was true.
            Making a quiet noise as she approached the man, Willow knelt down and introduced herself. "Hello there, I'm Willow."

            "WHAT'S GOING ON!" was the screamed reply from the man as he stumbled forward, clutching at her knee.
            Willow lightly gave his hand a squeeze before removing it from her leg. "Awakening isn't always a fun experience, it looks like you had a rough one too. You aren't the only one though."
            Gulping down air, his wild eyes seemed to focus slightly, finally registering on Willow's face.
            "Would you like to meet some other like you? Learn how to control everything that is going on? Perhaps make a career out of this?"

            His eyes seemed to waver slightly, before coming back in to a tighter focus. "I..I would like that."
            "I thought you might. Now, let's get out of this school. It isn't the nicest place to chat."

            Slipping back in to her car, Willow took him to a 24 hour gas station/cafe. Ordering two coffees and a meal for the young man.
            "Now what did you say your name was? I can't exactly be going hey you, all the time."
            Answering between mouthfuls of pie was a muffled "Tim"
            "Well Tim. Now that you have had something to eat, this here's my business card. If you call that number you'll be put through to my boss, a very influential individual whom I'm sure will be able to keep you well educated, and well fed." She smiled slightly at this last comment.

            After a few hours of discussion, Willow eventually dropped Tim off at his parents home. As she drove away she faintly heard the sound of his parents yelling.
            Arriving back at the hotel, she thought she could quietly slip back in to bed without Scar being the wiser.

            Unfortunately for her, Scar was awake, dressed, and looking very displeased.
            "We have work to do" was all he said as he moved past her and in to the hallway.
            "And good work on the child."


            • #81
              Driving to the destination Willow stifled a yawn, the late night was catching up to her. "So...what exactly are we doing here?"

              Scar glanced over at her with a slightly annoyed look. He had explained it once and that should have been enough. "I've made contact with a Order defector that claims to have knowledge of this Zodakins sword. Hes willing to share that knowledge in exchange." He stopped there, neither of them needed to state what it was in exchange for, they both had a fair idea.

              Approaching the destination Willow slowly pulled the car up over to the side of the road, it was facing lights to lights another car, also pulled up on the side of the road. Willow blinked her lights three times then turned the engine off. They waited several minutes in silence.

              "Somethings wrong isnt it?" Willow asked as she glanced in Scars direction. She was still getting use to this kind of thing, but to much time had past, they should have some sort of response by now.

              Scar nodded. Reaching into his jacket he drew his handgun, clicking off the safety as he opened the car door. Quietly and with swift footsteps he approach the other car. He reached out with his magic, sensing the minds of all those around him, aside from Willow, he sensed nothing. Glancing through the car window he saw his contact, slumped forward, head dangling, still supported by his seat belt. It was a simple enough manipulation of the death arcana to confirm the death.

              Sensing the use of magic Willow leaned her head out the window, "Scar is that you? Whats going on?"

              Scar held up his free hand to signal everything was ok without taking his eyes off the scene. "The contact is dead."


              • #82
                Several frustrating hours later, Willow sat in the middle of a room, scraps from the car scattered around her as she tried to discern the identity of the contacts assassin.
                As far as her scrying could tell, he was alive one second, and dead the next, without anything apparently causing the sudden transition from living to dead. The bullet Scar had gently retrieved from the mans skull pointed to something slightly more sinister though.
                "Is there any traces on that bullet? Any makers marks? I'm getting absolutely nothing from the contacts stuff, or from the car. Whoever did this was a professional, and magical."

                Stretching and clambering up from the floor, she paced the room muttering and lashing out at various inanimate objects. "Why can't we get anywhere with this stupid contact! Stupid asshole going and dying on us."
                "Maybe you need to calm down" was Scars muted reply as he pored over his laptop, not bothering to look at her.

                "I'll show you calm" was her reply as she continued poking at the collection of various objects with her shoe before taking a deep breath and summoning her Fate arcana...with absolutely NO effect. No flashes of brilliance, no missed details jumping to her attention. Nothing
                Letting out an angry yell she booted the wallet across the room. Its contents spilling across the open space as she glared at the pile of crap, looking for her next victim...then taking another slow breath and trying to look at things objectively again.
                Across the room, sitting among the splayed contents was a leather wallet, and upon that wallet was a single business card. Crossing the room Willow picked it up and glanced at the business title on it.
                "Hey Scar, have you ever heard of Intech?" Handing the card over to him.


                • #83
                  As Hei and Hoplite left the hostel and walked in route for a breakfast corner 30 minutes away, Miss Watson stood up and shadowed the couple behind. She listened idly on their conversation, taking no reign in Hei's choice of words. It would only be simple chatters at this stage. Easing in with subtlety will give them more sure answers than dropping too many hints of their intent will.

                  Miss Watson inspected the enveloping distortion weaved around Hoplite. It did not take long for her to figure out it protected him from physical blows by displacing and shortening their path of inertia. It did not escape Miss Watson's attention that Hoplite seemed less worried about being studied so much as being threatened with his life. It fits his rogue history, and a spy would be more concerned about a mind autopsy. Of course, this wasn't enough to let him off the hook yet. A premature conclusion is unacceptable, Miss Watson recited.

                  It also appeared that Hoplite had another spell to reek himself with charm-pheromone, to which Miss Watson cringe her brows momentarily. She wanted to have Hei shield herself from the influence, but such an action could raise suspicion. She did not like this one bit.

                  Suddenly, Miss Watson sensed control mentality from Hoplite. It befuddled her as to why she supernally felt a specific conclusion. Her surveillance was only supposed to detect emotions. Her mind divided and backtracked at the source of the reaction. She realized that Hoplite had another spell in store: one that responded with feeds according to the emotions of any intruding observers. Kinda clever, she thought. It’s unfeasible to hold two different shields, so instead of explicitly defending both fronts, he’s disguising one. A risky move, but almost escaped her Third Eye. Almost.

                  When Hei offered Hoplite a plate of pancakes and waffles, Miss Watson took a seat nearby and absently-mindedly ordered a cup of coffee. She opened her sketchpad and bore a hole on Hoplite back with her eyes, hidden under her sunglasses. She would have brought her runed laptop, but it was too risky to warrant raised bureaucratic eyebrows with usage of a Free-Council tempered artifact. Perhaps a paranoid assumption, but she wasn't taking any chance.

                  Miss Watson began to draw Atlantean calligraphy upon the paper while at the same time scouring for any and every pattern casted Hoplite. Her mind clockworked itself to write down what she sees. She did when Hei and Hoplite stopped at the park, a bookstore, and another restaurant for lunch.

                  Scan, trace, note. Scan, trace, note. Scan, trace, note.

                  She steamed off and took a look at her chaotic tipped drawing. It was a bare scratch of Hoplite's tapestry, but it gave her what spells affected him and advantage of understanding. So far he didn't seem to be under any influence of Mind, brainwashing or trigger-installing.

                  Throughout the whole encounter, Hoplite seemed to be clear under Miss Watson's emotion radar. He was friendly throughout, a bit excited with a mix of relief. Seemed like he was optimistically looking forward about the recruitment. Miss Watson chuckled bitterly at the irony.

                  When asked about his Awakening, she sensed a shiver down the spine. Probably a traumatic one, so the subject wasn’t dug in further. Hei wasn't comfortable asking some of the other question, especially about family. But the interrogation went without major hitch. It was time for the final phase.
                  Miss Watson whispered into the microphone. “The court calls for judgment.”

                  Hei and Hoplite stepped out of the car and into the view of a hill. While Hei was rummaging through her duffel bag, Hoplite gazed fondly at the lush green of New Zealand that was only pictures framed in National Geographic magazines before flying in.

                  “Hey, um. Hei? Uh, hey?” Hoplite fumbled with his tongue, trying to make out a verbal distinction. He was near the revelation that one would have to be invented. “God, why is your name like that?”

                  “It means black in Chinese. It sounded badass and definitely less phony than calling myself The Black or The Negro, which is totally wrong and racist now that I think about it.” Hei scratched her chin. “Kinda makes me wonder if my shadow name sounds phony to a Chinese guy.”

                  Hoplite crossed his arms. “I don’t see how that color fits you anyway. You don’t seem to the kind of person who would wear black, or a government spy sunglasses, or even a trench coat. You don’t look dark and moody or anything either. Actually, all this time I’ve spent with you has been pretty okay, so what the deal?”

                  Hei returned a dead-pan look. “And this is coming from a guy who doesn't have the muscles to try for the movie 300.”

                  “I have my reasons.”

                  “Don’t we all.” Hei said as she looked back at her things.

                  Hoplite fiddled his thumbs, swallowing nervously at his next choice of inquiry. “Sooooo. How did you get your paradox scar?”

                  Hei reached and tugged on her hoodie. “From a Seer attack.”

                  Before Hoplite could continue, Hei turned around and pointed to a hill. Hoplite turned to look at the general direction. He didn’t see anything special of note, except the exceptional beauty of nature that was still there.

                  “Keep looking, and I want to ask you something. Do you know about Jones ‘Codex’?”

                  “No” Hoplite replied, squinting his eyes.

                  “Well, let’s just say he was a Seer, and when we caught him; we found a lot of information. Some of them said something Zodkin or chess or whatever. Ring any bells?” Said Hei as she stuffed down a handgun in her pants.


                  “What about Interfectors. Heard about them?” Said Hei as she weaved Prime protection on herself.

                  “Nah.” Hoplite shook his head and turned about to see a shovel thud against his feet.
                  Hei spelled out her words with the slightest mock. “In the briefest of terms, Interfectors are agents of the Consilium who conduct the dirtiest of works. Of course, I can’t be one cause I’m not a Guardian,“ Hei drew out her gun, “But I do things my way to protect this magical society from threats like … Seer spies. Guess Who? You.”

                  Hei grinned with teeth shown, hardly able to suppress her chuckles. She couldn’t contain herself when Miss Watson told her the last phase of the plan. Sure, it. might seem inappropriate to find enjoyment in threatening someone’s life even if it was all pretenses, but who wouldn’t want to enact a snazzy Noir crime scene?

                  “Now dig.”

                  It might be a sin, but she loved this plan.

                  Ooc: trouble with update cause trouble with tests. wrote this in a snow day.
                  Last edited by egreham; 02-19-2014, 12:30 AM.


                  • #84
                    Mouse had been following Hei and Hoplite from the hostel as best he could. However, to his shame and surprise, he had somehow managed to lose them. He cursed himself. What would Psychosis say? His self-recrimination ended when he noticed that he was being followed himself by a dark sedan. Mouse tried to loss the trailing car, but then his engine died. He had no need for supernal perception to know that magic had been employed by his pursuers. He coasted over to the side of the road. Before the car even came to a stop, he leapt out and ran for his life.

                    The dark sedan pulled over and a man in a suit stepped out of the passanger side. He gave chase, but Mouse eluded him. Mouse could do some things very well.


                    • #85
                      Hoplite looked down at the shovel in confusion, followed quickly thereafter by mingled despair and horror. He felt his heart leap into his chest and a cold sweat break out as he clenched his fists, remembering that awful night a year and a half ago.

                      He remembered another shovel and another shallow grave.

                      He remembered the bitter taste of his own choking screams as the earth filled his mouth.

                      And he remembered his own moment of Awakening, the rending birth-song of Never Resting Nightmare, howling Pandemonium, and the Ferryman himself.

                      Hoplite chanced a glance back at Hei, and saw the gun. He couldn't control the shaking. He couldn't fight the wild panic. So in the space of a single heartbeat he withdrew into his own mind, passing through a cinderblock hallway dimly lit by flickering overhead lights. He nodded at his own Id as he passed it going the other direction. Hoplite's Id was a crude, vindictive little prick, but he would take charge of Hoplite's body and buy him some time while he did some thinking.

                      The great warehouse was dimly lit and quiet as Hoplite sat in his creaking chair. The debris of unfinished business covered the large desk. He swept everything aside, reached into the drawer for a yellow legal pad and a pencil, and got to work.

                      He began by writing several words.

                      Seers. Interfectors. Zodkin. Jones Codex. Hei.

                      After staring at it for a moment he crumpled up the paper and wrote Seers and Jones Codex on one side, and Hei and Interfectors on another. After a brief pause, he also wrote "Guardians" and circled it with the Interfectors. He reached over and toggled a 1960's era intercom and spoke to his Id. "Disclaim any knowledge or involvement with Seers." He listened briefly, as his body crumpled and broke into pitiful sobs and claimed vigorously that it had no fucking idea what the Seers even were.

                      He sad back in his chair and steepled his fingers, thinking.

                      As he absent-mindedly cast his gaze about he noticed a crate with its lid left off. He strolled over to it, and looked inside, finding a collection of books. "How to Make Friends and Influence Others". "Machiavellian Plots for Dummies".

                      Hoplite grew angry. Someone had been rummaging around and discovered one of his little honeypots. Who knows what else they had walked out with.

                      He ran back to his desk.

                      Had it been Hei? No, he hadn't noticed anything, but that just made it unlikely, not impossible. But he did get the feeling that she was involved somehow.

                      She had been feeling him out, like a job interview or something. Or an interrogation, if she thought him a spy. But these were Mages, they didn't ask questions then google you later. They used magic. From what little he knew, Hei hadn't *done* anything during the entire afternoon.

                      He drew an empty circle, and wrote a question mark in it. There was another person.

                      A Seer? No, the timing implied collusion. Hoplite sensed emotional states pretty easily, and her venom towards them rang true. Possibly a Guardian / interfector?

                      He looked at the circles and lines. He didn't have enough information. He might die.

                      He looked up at the doorway back to his conscious reality. His Id had picked up the shovel and moved from pleading to threats. His Id was going to quickly get him shot. Hoplite vaulted over the desk and wrested control back from the primal segment of his mind.

                      Hei looked determined as she backed a way a prudent step.

                      Hoplite knew this was it. Fight, or flight.

                      For seemingly the thousandth time in the last few months, he chose the latter. More ugliness. Demons with kind faces. Weapons, manipulation, and death.

                      Through gritted teeth he muttered. "I'm not a Seer. I don't know what the fuck a Zodkin is. I'm nobody's spy, nobody's thrall, and you and your little friend can eat a bag of dicks."

                      Then he turned and ran, carrying the shovel with him. Hastily punching in a few numbers on his cheap Casio calculator watch, he puts every iota of magical effort into randomizing his local space, hopefully disrupting any well-aimed shots. He also flings some mis-perception back at Hei, but watches in dismay as it seemingly shreds itself on some sort of shield.

                      Despair and betrayal were soon replaced by hot rage.

                      Never would he risk trusting again.

                      Last edited by Esuna; 02-16-2014, 12:05 AM. Reason: In the first revision I did something more magical than is likely possible for Hoplite. :P


                      • #86
                        Among the lush green grass, tall enough to graze sheep, laid a figure covered head to toe with a net stitched with shredded lines of linen from olive to lime. Silently, its right eye peered through telescopic optics (not an ACOG mind you, because that would have been quite an unnecessary overkill) mounted on a biped rifle, carefully setting its crosshair between two figures conversing next to a vehicle at the bottom of the hill. Miss Watson had no need to wonder what they were talking about.

                        She devised the final phase of the interrogation to be a convincing play. She needed to see how Hoplite would react to a deadly accusation to being a rat. Would he fight back as his foils were uncovered, or fight back for his life, or beg for it? This is where Hoplite would truly be tested if he was a conscious agent of the Exarch. If it goes well, then they could all pet backs and go check out rooms or something. If all went sour … Miss Watson daintily rested her middle finger on one with live ammunition, doused in magic-armor piercing at the tip.

                        She closed in on Hoplite and focused intensely on his aura, almost feeling as if she could hear the fluctuation of his heart itself. He was looking in her direction, and she could read every pores of his facial expression.

                        A voice crackled in her silencing/radio headphones, “Do you know about Jones ‘Codex’?” He showed no spike of attention.

                        “Let’s just say he was a Seer, and when we caught him” He didn’t show any sign of panic or fear, and for some reason showed curiosity instead.

                        “Some of them said something Zodkin or chess or whatever. Ring any bells?” He rang no bells.

                        “What about Interfectors. Heard about them?” He remained confused, and turned around.

                        She could sense bewilderment, then realization, then shock.

                        “Now dig.”

                        Suddenly, Miss Watson was shaking from her core. She suffered the spine chilling horror that instantly reminded her when Hei asked about his Awakening. His nimbus flared in a way she never saw before for her to taste. She realized what was about to transpire was something she didn’t and couldn’t have planned for. Roulette has been spun, and the ball of flame landed onto that tiny space where all the fuck-alls stashed together covered in gunpowder and nitro.

                        “Hei …” Miss Watson uttered into the microphone, unable to remember the code sentence appropriate for this situation. In a split second, she remembered she made none. In another split second, she whipped up one.

                        “We got a hot bomb here, and we need to defuse this veeeery carefully.”

                        “What?” Hei replied. Miss Watson could see she was playing it off as straining to hear what Hoplite was saying.

                        “We somehow smashed on his trauma button. We accidently nailed hard on his emotional balls. I don’t what he’s going to do, so caref.”

                        Miss Watson casted a more scrutinizing spell, but watched as Hoplite’s mind seemed to turn inside out, swallowing his consciousness. It baffled her utterly as she sensed only pure fear and hatred.

                        God fucking almighty strike me down, whispered the atheist.

                        Hei could already detect something off when Hoplite twitched and his iris narrowed. It unsettled her when he spoke with such … she couldn’t pin it with any words.

                        “Come on. I’m not a Seer or whatever they are. I don’t even know what they are. It’s not fair that I get shot up because I wasn’t told about this stuff.”

                        Hei raised her Ruger pistol loaded with blanks. “I don’t buy that crap. How the hell don’t you know.”

                        “Didn’t you just hear what I said? You gotta listen to me. I don’t know. I said I DON’T KNOW GODDAMN IT.”

                        A voice frantically crackled in Hei’s ear, “What are you doing? I said we need to be careful. You need to stop this.”

                        “Please, you gotta let me go. You have to. You can’t kill me for this. Not like this.” Pleaded Hoplite as he clasped his hands as he shook those praying fist at the lady with the instrument of death loaded with farce.

                        “I can’t. Quit the act.” Hei spoke with ambiguous tense on the middle period.

                        “Hei … what on earth are you doing? The act can’t go on. The plan failed.”

                        “Hey, come on Hei.” Hoplite gave a chuckle and licking his lips hoping hopelessly for dear sake that the joke would lighten up. “I know we knew each other for like what, hours? But I seriously, really do think we had a connection going on. You think so too, right?”

                        “I’m just doing my job, just like everyone should.” Hei replied to two people.

                        Hoplite’s brows scrunched, lips curled, and his shadow-casted eyes glaring up at Hei’s with malice. “So that’s what all my life worth to you, huh? A fucking promotion ticket. You butter me up so you can backstab me and serve me up for your bosses.” He spat. “HA. That says a lot about you, bitch.

                        “You must be some fat lazy one too, making me dig my own grave. But you know what?” Hoplite picked up the shovel rested on his knees. “I want to dig yours instead.”

                        Hei pointed her gun as menacingly as she could. Sweat dripped down her temple, and she forced a villainous smile.

                        “You think you can close on me before I pull the trigger?”

                        Hoplite returned a true villainous smile, worthy of debt.

                        It occurred to her that Space could. Well then, she thought as she flared her nimbus. A courtesy of reminding him that she can send anything he weaves back into the Abyss. If he thinks he can take me on physically, he’s got a subjugation calling.

                        “I can take you alone.” Said Hei to nobody in particular.

                        Suddenly, Hoplite’s eyes lost its insane trace, and was replace only by anger of the betrayed.

                        "I'm not a Seer. I don't know what the fuck a Zodkin is. I'm nobody's spy, nobody's thrall, and you and your little friend can eat a bag of dicks."

                        And with that, Hoplite bolted away as fast as he could. Hei aimed her gun, and felt a spell bash against her shield. She whispered to nobody in particular.

                        “I am the villain, and you are the hero. Rescue and win the heart of the damsel in distress. That’s the story. Now stop me.”


                        In three seconds, Miss Watson slid in clip on her index finger and delivered a crack of gunfire and incredible pain swiftly on Hei’s right shoulder. Hei screamed “OW FUCK” and ran to behind the truck, firing the gun twice. While hissing and cradling her sore shoulder, Hei prepared counterspell against any of Hoplite's teleportation.

                        After recovering from Hei’s scream and turning off the radio, Miss Watson mentally linked to Hoplite, now running in low sprint directly at her, unaware of her camouflaged presence.

                        “Hoplite! This is Obadiah! Let's get you out of here!”
                        Last edited by egreham; 02-18-2014, 12:08 AM. Reason: Deleted the plot thing about rubber bullets because .... reasons


                        • #87
                          Hoplite's mad dash faltered slightly when he heard the crack of gunfire, and he fully expected pain to bloom from the middle of his back. The hand not holding the shovel reached behind him and felt... nothing. He cackled out loud. What was he expecting? Blood? A bullet? A "kick me" sign? Hei's blurted curse finally clued him in as he glanced back over his shoulder and saw her retreat behind the truck holder her shoulder.

                          What the fuck was going on here!??! What had Obadiah sent him into?!

                          Just then, almost as if summoned by thought alone he heard a voice in his mind shouting at him.

                          "Hoplite! This is Obadiah! Let's get you out of here!"

                          He grasped at the tendril of mind, opened his Third Eye, and in a burst of inspiration, wove Fate and Space together while scrambling over a low fence towards a hill. Perhaps he could get some sort of Caller ID. He wasn't going to take weird head voices at their word.

                          The mental connection was razer-sharp, terribly precise. That wasn't Obadiah. But at the same time he could scent traces of cigar smoke and laconic wit. So someone who knew him, at least. Good enough.

                          Hoplite desperately tried to forge a sympathetic bond through the telepathic connection and pull himself through space towards the source, but felt someone unravelling his crude portal as quickly as he tried to put it together. He looked back to see Hei smirking and casually undoing what he was trying to do, her useless arm hanging by her side.

                          Gods alive, he hated her, suddenly.

                          Something dark welled up in him, entagled in hot anger. It sometimes gave him ideas, when he was cornered or alone. We could find her later, it said. We could turn everyone against her. We could turn her against herself. Mire her in self-loathing and misery, until she chokes to death on it. Hoplite nearly missed a step as me marshalled control once again, continuing to run. He knew that his Id could be useful sometimes, but he knew it was also a threat to him.

                          That wasn't right, he thought to himself. Besides, she was way too powerful and wielded magic so casually, with such heartbreaking ease. He had hoped to come into his power that way someday, but it appeared those hopes were now dashed.

                          He responded to the voice in kind, though his efforts were crude, loud, and clumsy in comparison.

                          His knuckles whitened as he gripped the shovel.

                          "Get me away from her!

                          He ran around the hill rather than over, hoping that it would make Hei's shot more challenging. He saw a service road nearby and broke into a full sprint vaulting over obstacles with parkour-like agility and uncanny sense.


                          • #88
                            Saturday April 12th, 2003
                            Napier, New Zealand

                            It was not the Guardians of the Veils that Silencer had been expecting who had come to meet him in a dark alley behind a little used warehouse. It was a trio of men in dark suits. It took but a brief instant for it become crystal clear that they meant him harm. Fearing that his end might be near, Silencer reflected that at least he had pursued pleasure before business. If worse came to worse, he would at least go out with some happy memories.

                            Despite this comfort, Silencer had no intention of dying. He strove to defend himself. However, even with his magical dagger, he had no chance against his three attackers. Before all was lost, Silencer sensed magic at work behind him. Then, at almost the same moment, the head of one of his attackers exploded in a gory shower. The exact magic used to do this was not immediately clear to Silencer. The two surviving attackers fled, leaving behind a bewildered Silencer.

                            An instant later, Silencer was joined in the alley by a small, smug-looking man. Silencer could sense that this short man was a will worker like himself. Silencer gestured to the headless corpse. "Your work, I presume?"

                            The man gave a grim grin. "Maybe. We guardians have to stick together. You can call me Mouse, by the way."

                            Silencer started to introduce himself, but Mouse interrupted him. "There is no time for small talk. Already your friend Tuesday has been taken, and perhaps Miss Doolittle as well. We have to get to Auckland as soon as possible."

                            "What's going on?" demanded Silencer.

                            "The short version is that the same people who have been after me are now after you and your friends," replied Mouse. "Now, come on!"

                            "That explains nothing!"

                            Mouse sighed. "Maybe not, but it will have to do for now."
                            Last edited by Cire; 02-18-2014, 12:32 AM. Reason: typoes


                            • #89
                              Miss Watson detached the scope and watched as Hoplite ran toward the gritty car trodden path. She no longer detected the anomaly within Hoplite, but the link that briefly connected them stunk with its taint. Was this his true nature? No, this was only a purified fragment of him. But it troubled her deeply knowing the anomaly wasn’t isolated.

                              In few precious seconds, Miss Watson selected a follow-up sentence after formulating three that would have its own consequent course. She barely unlatched her mind from overdrive when Hoplite replied desperately. She fumbled a hold of the link.

                              “Take the road and you’ll see a parked car on the right side a hundred feet away from the road. Lily is there. Wait for me there while I … neutralize your assailant.”

                              Miss Watson ended her reply with a pull of a trigger which caused a thunderous clap. She cut the line and connected with Lily.

                              “Lily, Hoplite’s going to see you. If he asks about Hei, just tell him she’s a psychotic paranoid.”

                              She turned on her radio to find Hei blathering on the frequency.

                              “… There? You there? You there? You”

                              “Yes I’m here, Hei.”

                              “I didn’t tell you to crapping shoot me. I only said ‘stop me’. You could have – I dunno – shoot the dirt and I would have been like ‘oh no, I’m under fire’” Hei’s miserable groan was not lost in the static. “Now you, Miss Triggerhappy, just gave me a bruise for the month, and it hurts like hell. Obadiah better get prepared for a dislocated shoulder on his next birthday.”

                              “Oh don’t be a baby. It’s just a paintball.”

                              “Let’s see how you talk once I get my turn with that ‘it’s-just-a-paintball’ of yours.”

                              “Air resistance whittles down impact, and I do not trust you with this distance. Someone like you would shoot my eyes out instead. By the way, we’re still having a gunfight.” Miss Watson pulled the trigger.

                              Hei popped some rounds, not caring where the non-existent bullets went. “Hey, umm. Why did we want to make him think he was going to get iced in the first place? Not that it wasn’t awesome.”

                              There was an unnaturally long pause, ended with snaps of fingers. “Oh yeah right. We wanted to see if he had any tricks up his sleeves. If he downplayed and lied about the magnitude of his power, then he would have used it now.”

                              “So basically we were waiting to see if he could screw me… I meant that in a metaphorical sense. Which I mean the other metaphorical sense and totally not the one – oh just forget it” It would have been an understatement to say that there was an awkward silence. “What’s the plan now?”

                              Miss Watson sighed. “This is as far as we planned, so it’s over. There’s nothing more we can do. We should cut the drama and call it a day.”

                              “So … is he clear? Is he a spy?”

                              “… I say he’s not a Seer.”

                              Miss Watson could hear a sigh of relief. “So it wasn’t all wasted effort, huh. Guess that adds another guy to the list who owes me a shoulder.”

                              “He’s not clear until the brass top approves, Hei.”

                              “Oh I’m sure your fancy words can do the job.”

                              Miss Watson couldn’t help but feel Hei gave her a bit excessive amount of credit.

                              “I need to go. Hoplite’s looking a bit fidgety.” She pulled a trigger to pretend superiority over the pretend battlefield. “You should stay behind for a while.”

                              “Why can’t I come right now?”

                              “… trust me on this.”

                              Miss Watson reached out to turn off the radio, but stopped.

                              “You know what, there is one more thing.”

                              Miss Watson sprinted toward the truck, where Hei waited for her. Miss Watson pointed her gun at Hei, who raised eyebrows quizzically, but with interest.

                              “Hei, member of the Adamantine Arrow, you are under arrest for exercising an action beyond your boundaries, which in this case is trying to kill another mage. You are however, allowed and urged self-defense against your victim, who is most likely very, very pissed. Now let’s go.”

                              Hei gave an amused scoff and tossed the Ruger into the truck. She raised her left hand, hanging her right arm while letting the red paint dripped down. And with that, Hei walked toward the road with Miss Watson holding a gun square at her spine.

                              "So what seems to be the problem, officer, and how may assist?" quipped Hei.

                              "I need you to ... act like you don't care. Like you're totally getting away with this, and rub it in his face. There's something I need to see again before we call it a day. Something I don't like very, very much."

                              Hei glanced back. "... ok."

                              As the car and Hoplite came into view, Miss Watson swallowed and silently watched Hoplite with grave intensity.
                              Last edited by egreham; 02-19-2014, 12:27 AM. Reason: The end part was rushed, so added Hei's input.


                              • #90
                                The music was loud and the atmosphere was claustrophobic with people everywhere. A thick haze hung in the air with that notable tang of home-grown narcotics. Scar did not like it here, and he had not failed to note that Willow seemed very much at home. Still the environment had allowed him to slip easily enough into the background. No one was paying attention to a well dressed thug of a man. Most of the attention was on the under clad ladies on stage. Large breasts and removal of bra's apparently made for a pretty good diversion.

                                Scar had been sitting at his table now for almost half an hour. His one beer was half empty, but he had long purified the substance to little more than mineral water. He had watched with his Primal Mage sight, the on goings of the club, and noted the place was visited by more than just one mage.

                                Glancing at his watch Scar noted it’d been 10 minutes since Willow had headed back to the car to fetch some things. Willow was always prompt on time, it was not like her to take this long. Taking one last sip of his drink, he placed the bottle firmly back on the table and made his way for the door.

                                He’d only take half a dozen steps outside when he saw the problem. Two men, dressed in cheap suits, and glowing in arcane wards, leaned against the rental car, and Willow wasn’t in site. A more than suspect looking van however, was parked near by. He casually slipped his hand into his pocket, reaching for his gun.

                                “I wouldn’t do that if I were you.” One of the men, a short red headed guy, tapped his own handgun loudly against the car as he acknowledged Scar.

                                On queue the side of the van slid open, and there was Willow, arms cuffed behind her back, chin forced upwards, with a rather sinister looking knife resting against her throat. A clean shaven blonde man stood behind her, clutching the knife.

                                “You know the drill big man, arms in the air, and get on your knees.” He shouted, while just lightly flicking the knife over Willows neck, nicking the skin to make his point.

                                Slowly Scar withdrew his hand and then raised them both up and into the air before dropping down onto his knees as requested. His expression hadn’t changed though, it was still the same cold, almost disinterested face he’d worn in the bar. “Your making a very big mistake.”

                                “The way I see it,” said the red headed ginger as he strutted on over, “You’re the ones who done fucked up.” And with that he slammed his foot into the side of Scars head.