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#551 Posted by BladeBrave (338 posts) - - Show Bio


"I'm fine, Rana," Nathan said, with a smile in his voice. He leaned back and closed his eyes for a moment, opening them again to take a surreptitious peek at the odometer. Fortunately, it was under the limit and well within his tolerance range, so he settled back again. "It feels... weird," he admitted, to be honest. "Like... not really like a part of me is missing, but more like... when you wear the same ring every day, all the time, and then you take it off for some reason and forget to put it back on. There's sort of an emptiness. Also it's probably gonna hurt like hell tomorrow," he admitted. The pain hadn't kicked in yet, though, and he'd deal with it when it came. For now, there was all the glory of localized anesthetics.

"Thank you, by the way," he added, "For looking after your sister, of course. But... also just for being understanding that sometimes even old guys need to get their stuff sorted out. You're a good kid, even when it's not easy. I hope you realize that."

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#552 Edited by Iridum (370 posts) - - Show Bio


"I mean I wouldn't want to be a burden and have to set a good example for that one." Rana remarked downplaying perhaps the complement with words though her smile betrayed that response. Might have been a. Little thing just a small collection of words but it was all the same uplifting to the heterochromia hero to hear. Knowing she wasn't the dolt who was just hell waiting to manifest, was easier to ride out the ridicule of hell when she had someone like her dad around. A car speeds by, voice in her head says to race it, tricks of her pupils show it as a moment of vehicular manslaughter. A blink though and small adjusting of glasses and she's able to see it a bit more clear however. Yelling at the phone over someone, give the driver a moment they'll relax. Tempting as it is to honk the horn the older Graie daughter won't apply the horn.

She checks the rear view mirror her two primary responsibilities seeming content and asleep. A fluffy fox tail seeming to make for a good pillow. "Just don't completely retire you're not that old" a tease though backed by some sincerity. Rana adored the team that became a family but that just made them no what they fought for apart of her feared they might think it reason to stop trying to help others find happiness like they had. "I can get you a knife or something as a gift to make it feel less weird if wanted. Will also try and enchant your mug or can go buy meds tonight or tomorrow morning really don't mind. Don't want to see you in pain" Rana being unable to ignore her impulse to look after the rest in the vehicle.

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#553 Edited by BladeBrave (338 posts) - - Show Bio


"I'm fine, Rana," he assured her with a smile, "And I know it's probably hard for you to believe, but I'm okay with being retired from the heroism game. I'd rather just focus on being a dad for right now. That's what's important to me. If it makes you feel better, you can consider it an extended paternity leave, though. And I'll still be working analytics for Unity, I don't intend to change that. I just think that taking the field is best left to others at this point. People like you. You got this, kiddo." His hand closed at his side, habit forming to offer her the fistbump she always seemed to like, but the dad instinct took over before he could make the offer - Not while she's driving, for crying out loud. Later, then, he figured, and let his hand rest back in his lap.

No Caption Provided

He could feel the difference already in the way his muscles moved. Usually, they moved around the metallic matrix. It seemed strange without it there. Missing, like he'd told Rana. He didn't really miss the blades themselves, but... he missed Saikea. He'd given up a part of her, and it hurt. Not a physical pain, but his soul felt heavy. He looked out the window for a little while, watching the shadows flicker along the side of the road as they drove by. Maybe he should have kept them, for her. But... it wouldn't have helped. She was still gone. Just another empty place inside him, to go with all the others.

Nathan sighed, watching out the window a moment longer, then shook his head and made himself attend to the present. Rana was still here, and baby Ashley. They weren't Saikea, but they still were important to him. Ashley he could see in the reflection of the side mirror, sweetly sleeping with a cuddle of fox tail. Rana, as always, was solicitous of the needs of others, trying to figure out how to help. He didn't always like asking for help, but sometimes it was more important to the person giving help that it be accepted, even if he didn't necessarily need it. Rana still needed to help - he could give her that much, and let her.

"As for tomorrow I'll let you know if I need meds," he answered her statement. Likely he would at some point, but he'd worry about that then. "But don't you dare mess with my coffee," he added, in as threatening a tone as he could muster on what was, of course, a very serious subject. Messing with his coffee was grade-A villainy right there, and he was not going to tolerate that, for sure.

If nothing else, it was a subject that was comfortable and familiar. Not one that was new and raw and full of holes where there shouldn't be any.

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#554 Posted by Iridum (370 posts) - - Show Bio


It was a difficult thing to hear and a rewarding one. Stung a little knowing she probably would never fight side by side with her dad again on a field. It was soothing knowing she wouldn't have to watch him get hurt. It was comforting to know Ashley would probably always have him. It hurt knowing that she would likely only hear stories of his exploits. Rana was both ecstatic by the lack of fear it kind of provided how surrounded she was when home, and terrified by how alone it made her when not. It didn't seem like Diane Solaris Drake or her dad would be there in a fight, she accepted that but there was a weight there she didn't expect. A blinker turns on eventually she stops and waits to turn at the light. Was nobody around she imagined she could of gotten away with not stopping. Wouldn't dream of it in the car though.

"Just don't forget to tell me that while playing at your desk please, I'd like to keep a loving voice over the comms to counter the unfriendly ones in my head." Eyes look to him and show her holes, spots in the body torn open as if dropped on spikes and then lifted. Might of gotten a slight flow of tears from her but it ended in a "thank you." Hushed tone didn't know if heard from anyone else but it had to be said. Cause in all the gore and hell also came the fact she saw what was otherwise hidden meaning maybe in time a pair of daughters could fill those points. A fist is made not in rage but rather something she'd kind of trade marked.

"Dad no fist bumps when I'm driving you know better than that." She mused a brief roll of the eyes made to look his way for a moment. "Right no tampering with coffee, do tell me however. None of that tough guy dad stuff. Don't need booze and ductape when you've a medic practitioner at home. Drake's lessons or just driving I need practice almost as much as I need you." An exaggeration, close as she could get to a lie. She needed him around way more, and didn't really need to study more she did that plenty. "Have you tried the Blue Mountain yet?" Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee to be exact, it was something she'd gotten him for Christmas. Wasn't as cool as the flower she'd planted in Mitsuri Rana felt but she still thought it a good gift for him.

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#555 Edited by Yggdmillennia (1243 posts) - - Show Bio


Rayne sighed when she noticed the look Stephen was giving her but failed to defend her position before he went ahead on his own. "Splendid absolutely splendid work Rayne Yggdmillennia, another person you have chased off with your Journalistic appropach to situations such as this. What is this the twenty third person you have upset tonight...twenty fourth perhaps?" Rayne sarcastically berated herself once Stephen was out of sight, afterwards she got out of her car and opened the back truck where a armored vest with a body camera was waiting for her.

Rayne equipped the vest over her current attire then reached further in to retrieve a small ear piece like device that served purpose as an extra camera and flashlight before reaching in once more to retrieve a bowie knife along with its sheath to attach onto her hip

Stephen's Location

The area was very dark the only source of lumination being projected from the moonlight above him which further served to add an eerie feeling into the atmosphere of the seemingly abandoned circus, about a minute after he distanced himself from Rayne a series of squeakly like sounds generated near by a tent with the display 'Hall of Mirrors' above it the sounds now clearly sounding as if rubber was being rubbed sharply against the ground.

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#556 Posted by StephenGreen (739 posts) - - Show Bio

Stephen looked around, the circus and park were in ruins the fact it was dark was a pain in the ass because he didn't have a flashlight or goggles "Great" He replied under his breath more annoyed by the place than possibly running into a werewolf he frowned and scrunched the crease of his nose with his fingers before sighing as he heard a sound coming from what he thought was the hall of mirrors "Mirrors? Wonderful" he frowned deeper if i get attacked in there i won't be able to properly swing my sword around.

He contemplated waiting for Rayne but then remembered what she said which just made him confused so instead he walked to the hall of mirrors and went inside by himself.

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#557 Posted by BladeBrave (338 posts) - - Show Bio


"I promise you, Rana, I will tell you what I need. Right now, you can drive home. After that, I'll put you in charge of cooking dinner for a while. I enjoy it, but I probably won't be feeling like it for a bit and you're a decent cook yourself. Gotta practice those life skills and all. And you can change all the diapers, if it makes you feel better," he laughed, "Really, though, I'm sure Ashley and I will both appreciate if you continue to be the world's best big sister and babysitter for the next couple days."

He had to smile a little bit about her comment on the Unity command centre. Truthfully he'd been a lot more laid back on the com devices lately - although part of that was that Unity hadn't been all that active. Everyone had sort of been doing their own things. Some of them had been good things... but when it came down to it, Unity hadn't really been all that... unified lately. He wasn't all that sure what Xae was planning there. He'd have to make her go out for coffee and discuss the situation, figure out what the next steps were going to be. That was a plan for another time, though. For now he'd just try to be a little more active on the com when Rana was in the field, even if it was just something as simple as "You've got this." Sometimes, that was what she needed most.

"I haven't tried the coffee yet," he admitted, "Been saving it for a special occasion. Tell you what... how about we make some up when we get home? I'll even let you have some if you promise you'll at least try it before adding a pound of sugar and half a dairy." One of these days, maybe, he could have enough influence over her that she'd actually drink coffee like it was meant to be, rather than ruining it entirely.

One of these days.

But probably not any time soon.

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#558 Posted by Yggdmillennia (1243 posts) - - Show Bio

@stephengreen: Stephen walked in and would see filthy hallways that twisted and turned in various ways but currently what laid infront of him were three paths left,right and down below presumably another level was waiting there. In either case the squeaky sounds ended with no hint to which path is was coming from however an odd smell was coming down below while the smell of sugar cookies was coming from the left path.

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#559 Posted by Iridum (370 posts) - - Show Bio


Mixed color eyes rolled at the diaper remark, she almost considered daring her sister to even think of making Rana have to deal with such a thing. One look at that little thing curled up with a demon fox however and Rana was won over. She couldn't get mad at her "guess that's fair can't just do the enjoyable things." Idea of cooking had her a little nervous however, voices liked to tell her she'd burn the house down and everyone in it. That she'd make the food wrong and lead to some kind of poison or sickly result. Maybe that was what she needed though, to prove to herself that wasn't true. "Real talk though, do you want to eat like a knight or a samurai in theater case? And if the later like the Genji or the Kamakura?"

Naturally the book worm went right to thinking of the dishes of warior culture however given the chance to make a meal for once. Rana figured she didn't need to say she'd lighten up a little on vigilante runs and would pay more attention to her phone for a few days. They wanted or needed her around more she obviously and enthusiastically would do so. Her focus returned more completely to the road, a brief blink and shake of the head to get needlessly long bangs out of her eyes.

"I promise I won't taint the cup for once. At least not the first cup anyway" odds of getting to have two wasn't likely but like any high schooler she had to at times press her luck a little. "Especially if it means you finally have some, what the hell." Granted her frustration was lighthearted to be honest. To her she thought getting some overpriced coffee and planting a flower things like that weren't great gifts. Sentimental value aside she thought she didn't do to well with gifts just had to try. Exception of that thought being hooking up Ashley with a comfortable blanket with foxes on it. Had some hound on it to in places from some movie, that wasn't the important part to Rana however. Just that it had a cute fox, a final turn and they were in the home stretch. Rana's foot not on the pedal tapped at the light as the bit of speed demon showed herself, she wasn't going to see how fast the car could run a quarter mile. Was clear she wanted to however.

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#560 Posted by BladeBrave (338 posts) - - Show Bio


"Whatever you feel like is fine, Rana," Nathan assured her on the issue of cooking. It wasn't too hard to see where the course of her thoughts was running, though, she had that worried little crease that meant she was concerned about something totally not worth worrying about again. He could take a guess at the cause. "Don't worry about it. You'll do fine. If you set the apartment on fire I'll pull Landon through the Unity teleporter and he can put it out. See? No problem."

Sometimes he wondered what Rana was going to be like, after she was out on her own. It was likely that that would only be a few far-too-short years, although plenty of the younger generation was living with their parents for longer times now, so maybe he'd have a few more years after that. Still, all too soon she would want to be on her own, and he worried about what she would be like in a place of her own with only her voices to keep her company.

It was admittedly one of the reasons that he tried to be so reassuring all the time. Maybe, just maybe, he could get enough of The Voice of Dad in her head that it would counter some of those hellspawn, when the time came. He hoped so. And if not, well, he'd just have to call her and check in.

Still, he worried about her. Ashley was easier in a lot of ways. Sure, babies were a lot of work and needed constant attention, but at the same time, a bottle and a snuggle was usually enough to satisfy her most of the time. He didn't need to worry about overarching issues like life skills and boyfriends and moving out on her own.

Kids. They might get easier to take care of, but they got harder to let go.

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#561 Posted by StephenGreen (739 posts) - - Show Bio

Stephen smelled cookies coming from the path to the left he remembered Rayne mentioned the Lycan might have a thing for sweets so he decided he would take the left path which took him to a catery room of sorts with cookies on the table they were still warm meaning that someone had made them not to long ago "Hmm, Sugar cookies" he mumbled under his breath and looked around "But no Lycan yet" he pushed his thumb on the guard of his sword causing it to come out of it's sheath slightly as he became aware this might have been a trap.

-Just then!- a claw strike attempted to rend him to pieces but he quickly rolled out of the way just in time but it tore the hell out of his jacket leaving claw marks on the back of it causing Stephen to be slightly annoyed "Oh fine asshole maybe i'll eat your damn cookies in front of you while my foot is on your neck is that alright?! " he clearly was annoyed by the attempt of a sneak attack.

"I'll need to kill you before she shows up trying to record you and telling me to get out of the vid or something" He drew his sword fully out of his sheath causing the Lycan to growl and backup slightly because of the Nth metal Stephen then pointed the katana at the Lycan "You'll regret missing bastard"

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#562 Posted by Yggdmillennia (1243 posts) - - Show Bio


As Stephen commenced his battle with the Lycan the creature let out a loud howl which resonated with such strength that it could be heard far past the border of the circus, after doing this the beast noticed Stephen's sword and cautiously created some distance while pacing left and right impatiently. Suddenly it stood up from its hunched form and onto its legs in order to stretch to its full height towering above Stephen but before it could do anything Rayne arrived at the scene "No don't hurt him!"she shouted loudly only to be silenced when the Lycan flipped the table inside the room over which launched a bowl of flour that happened to be on top of said table into the ceiling which as a result obscured the room in a white fog.

The Lycan attempted two attacks directed at Stephen one aimed for his head and the other for the arm holding the Nth sword, upon completion of its attempts it sped towards Rayne and lifted her off her feet to then carry Rayne out of the tent on its back at full sprint.

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#563 Posted by StephenGreen (739 posts) - - Show Bio

Stephen turned at the sound of Rayne's voice and was about to ask her what she meant by don't hurt him but before he could the Lycan knocked flour into the light obscuring the room temporarily blinding Stephen who recovered at the last second just in time to dodge the blow to his face but it nicked his cheek causing blood to leak steadily down his face, the next attack at his arm was met with his sheath but the sheer power of the blow sent him reeling backward into the wall causing him to hit it and make his vision go temporarily just in time to see the Lycan grab Rayne and take off with her at full sprint.

"Dammit!" Stephen yelled as he sprang up and quickly sliced the table that was blocking his path in half before sprinting like a madman giving chase to the Lycan and it's captive ignoring the wound on his face he managed to catch up with the Lycan though he was a little behind it "Let her go" He said with a cold tone before quickly cutting the Lycan off and forcing another confrontation as rage was now apparent in his eyes.

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#564 Posted by Yggdmillennia (1243 posts) - - Show Bio

@stephengreen: The Lycan clutched Rayne's writhing form against its shoulder as if she was nothing but a prized toy, when threatened by Stephen who now blocked the path infront of it the creature responded with a simple light growl however with its focus on Stephen it provided a distraction for Rayne to reach for her bowie knife that was by her hip and then give a deep stab into the monsters back. The Lycan did not take the action contently and responded with blurring speed by liftong Rayne towards its mouth and clamping its jaws towards the side of her belly "GAGH!" Rayne yelped as a cracking sound was heard followed by a gush of blood pouring from the Lycans mouth just moments before it would angrily tossed Rayne into a near by scum filled pond.

The Lycan changed attention to Stephen with complete fury and a mouth over flowing in crimson, it began charging towards Stephen in what appeared to be an attempt to tackle him but at the last second it jumped high into the sky towards the top of a circus ride and began an attempt to flank Stephen by first disorienting him via zig zagging around his position at speeds that even the most trained eyes would have difficulty tracking.

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#565 Posted by demonboundSitri (779 posts) - - Show Bio


Los Angeles. After all this time, it was still... home. Or the closest thing Sitri had to one. Whatever it was, it was hers in a way that no other city had ever been. She understood a bit of why that was, now, too. She'd Called it hers, at some point, and her nephilim side had made it so unconsciously. Thankfully, she'd gotten all of that under control now, so she didn't accidentally call someone a punk-ass idiot and have that be empowered. Although, with some of the people in LA, she probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference. Still, even if naming LA had been an accident, she still wasn't upset that it had happened. It was her city, after all. There was just an extra layer of complexity to things.

She'd missed her city. She'd worried about it as well, all the little things that she tended to take care of... well, there hadn't been a Watcher in the city for a while, and LA tended to have issues. There were simply too many metas in the area for it not to have issues, and most of them she didn't trust. She'd figured that Solar Hawk would likely keep it decently covered, though. She was the right sort of crazy to handle it.

Sitri had been a little surprised to hear through the grapevine that there was another vigilante keeping an eye on her city. One who... she really would have thought had other things to do with his time. On the other hand, if poking around in LA meant he wasn't running around drunk making stupid decisions... well, that would be an improvement since she'd left for both him and her city.

Sitri paused for a moment, and listened to her city. It wasn't really an audio-thing, with the city, it was more just... an extra sense. Vague, indistinct, something she was still learning to develop. It was enough to pick out what she wanted, though, to find someone familiar. It didn't take much work to find where he was, then slip down from the top of the building onto the sidewalk behind him. "Landon," she murmured, half a pace too close. Sitri had always been very good at stealth. Time on Cocytus had made her even better. She smiled, amusement in her voice, "I didn't see you there."

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#566 Posted by demonboundSitri (779 posts) - - Show Bio

Some other time...


Something about that isn't right. Sitri couldn't really figure out what was wrong, though. It was an indefinable sense of something that just wasn't the way it ought to have been, but with no information on what it actually was. Stupid city. Sitri still wasn't sure what she was supposed to make of it, the connection she'd accidentally established with the City of LA. Mostly it was just a sense of where there was trouble, which was convenient when a couple of punks needed their heads knocked together. Less convenient when it was all vague and mysterious and didn't make any sense.

The little truck hadn't been there too long. LA had entire fleets of food trucks of all different varieties, and there was no reason why this one ought to be special. No reason why it should have attracted her attention. And yet... and yet. There was something off about the driver, a vague undercurrent of hunger that reminded her a little bit of Time Siphons, only not quite so extreme. Some sort of meta, or part-meta, most likely. But if he was just trying to make his way in the world, she wasn't going to fault him for that. She was doing much the same, she supposed.

The smart option would probably be to hang back and observe, but Sitri had never been known for her good decision-making skills. She waited for a while, and when her stupid city wasn't forthcoming with any more details, she did what any decent, law-abiding, and hungry citizen of LA would have done, and walked up to the window. "Hi. I don't read menus but I'm not picky. Surprise me. No cilantro." Bloody stupid soap-flavored weed. She tried to keep herself open, though, reading more than she let on about whoever this guy was, and what he was up to in her city.

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#567 Posted by j_the_toymaker (537 posts) - - Show Bio


There wasn't a line, which, up until her approach, left Jay Toyman alone with his thoughts and the inhuman reflection on his refrigerator's steel door.

Jay was by no means ashamed of what he was; he just felt the need, for his own safety and convenience, to hide the fact of his secondary existence from the public. He had an attraction to big cities like San Francisco and LA for two reasons. One, good business. Every day dozens of people, tourists and natives alike, came to his window and ordered lunch to go. And out of all those people, at least one of them was bound to be a meta.

Now, Jay was very good at controlling himself. He could go for weeks - months even - without so much as touching a live human with intent to harm them. He was a loner; he lived in his truck, and pretty much for his truck. He didn't make ties to people, but the thing about seeing the same people, over and over again, every day, was that they started making ties to him. They'd talk to him after work when the line wasn't too bad, or at lunch while he was cooking for other customers. Often, that one in a dozen would be one of the ones who stayed and chatted. It let him get used to their scent and the sound of their voice, and sometimes hints at what they could do. Not everyone made an outrageous fire pun every other sentence - he'd gotten extremely lucky with that one - but there were alway subtle hints in the way they spoke and what they said that could lead to him listening to the radio one night, hearing about about a "new hero or villain with power-related name", and letting the beast inside of him grin to itself because it knew that a hunt was coming. Another thing about big cities, though, was that if enough evidence points back to you, people start sniffing. You don't mess with the bigger heroes who sniff, but the lesser ones, those who come when you're alone in the middle of the night demanding answers - well. The thing about them was that they made great leftovers.

Today had, thus far, been slow in terms of business. He'd spent a bit of time listening to the radio, a bit more cleaning his grill and other surfaces. He'd heard about the most recent developments in the Luna Hawk situation - it sounded like exactly the kind of thing a hunter would be trying to do to her really, sever all ties before making her vanish - but that was none of his business. None at all.

What was his business was the fact that one of those one-out-of-dozens people had come to his window.

He didn't know a thing about her. No sign of power, nothing gravitating towards her like it would ever-so-slightly do towards a telekinetic, no feeling of mental intrusion. But he just knew. She carried herself like she knew her place in the universe, despite her obvious disability of unusable eyes. She stared blankly up through the window, in his general direction, and he smiled as he took down her order. He didn't know if she'd be a regular, but something about her... about the way she carried herself, the way she looked with out looking... it made him want her to be.

"So that'll be one burger, trashed, with a side of drunken pickles and a fountain drink." He gave her the total with his usual "service smile" before throwing a patty on the grill and dropping the pickles in oil, then setting out the bun and waiting for them to finish. All the while letting both sides of himself inspect her, getting used to her, while letting her decide whether she wanted to talk or just wait for her meal to finish.

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#568 Posted by demonboundSitri (779 posts) - - Show Bio


"Fine, but just water. It took me months to break my Coke habit." True. Sitri had been on the several-cans-a-day plan prior to her temporal exile. As far as habits went, it hadn't been particularly offensive, but she figured if she'd managed to get herself off caffeine, she might as well stay there for as long as she could, and save the self-caffeination for when she really needed it. Maybe the next time the world was threatened by some great looming monstrosity or whatnot. Probably happen by Friday.

She grinned to herself, she could hear the I am a customer service specialist undertone in her voice, something she'd perfected long ago working as a waitress. She knew just the smile that went with it, too, helpful and sweet and pretending you weren't just waiting for your shift to end. "So, I haven't seen you around here before," she commented, setting out a little feeler. She usually got more out of the wait, what? emotional spike as the person tried to reconcile the fact that they were fairly sure she couldn't see at all with the fact that it wasn't polite to ask about it than out of the answer to the statement itself. "You new to LA?"

Implied, of course, was whether or not he intended to stay, and she was hoping to get a read on what he intended to do while he was there. There had been... something when she'd walked up to the window. Nothing definitive, but a definite sense of interest in her, and not in the sense that went with having perfect hair (she still didn't know which of her meta-aspects was responsible for that little detail) and an rather excellent figure, as the parlance went. No, he was interested in something else.

At least that told her she was in the right place. There wasn't anything weird about the food, though, at least, not anything weird in the poison or meta-sense. She'd have known about it immediately. No, the food itself seemed relatively normal. Okay. So... he gets a pass on the first test, not carving up kittens in the back there. Still, there's something going on. I'll have to figure out more.

Maybe bring Tristan by next time he's in town. He's good with people.

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#569 Posted by j_the_toymaker (537 posts) - - Show Bio


"No offense, ma'am, but you don't seem like you've seen much of anyone around here before."

The reply was quick, almost instinctual, humor being used to cover up the depth imposed by the situation. He knew full well that she could demand her money back and storm off in a huff of insult, or she could smile and laugh along. His guess, judging from her own attitude, was that she'd respond with the latter. He casually flipped her burger while half-anticipating the other side of her question and the accompanied implications. He could feel that thing about her again. The thing that rubbed the beast's hunger. The power. He knew better than to touch that subject, though. No need to tell her exactly what he was feeling.

"I do plan on staying awhile, though. Just got into town last week, maybe stop here for a month or so before the road calls again."

No need to mention that I plan on hunting while I'm in town.

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#570 Posted by demonboundSitri (779 posts) - - Show Bio


Sitri snickered at the insult, taking it in the spirit it was given. All right. He might be a psychopath and my city is worried about him, but damn if I don't kind of like him. Probably best not to think too much about what that said about her, really. Probably nothing that hadn't been said before.

It sounded like the guy hadn't been around too long, and didn't plan on staying very long either. There had been a little spike of... something... at the end there. Not quite hunger, not quite anticipation. Something between the two. Oooh, boy. Maybe it wouldn't be an issue. Sitri had enough of those feelings herself, from time to time. She had hers under control now. This guy... could be the same. Or could be helped to get his under control. And if not, then she'd make sure he didn't cause trouble in her city. And if he did... well, then there was going to be Hell to pay. And Sitri knew a few things about that.

"Do you do a lot of traveling?" she inquired, still neutral, "Where were you before here?" It was a perfectly normal and logical question to ask a person new to the city. Sitri was also totally going to try to find out via the internet if there had been any mass explosions, lab experiments got loose, or otherwise general mayhem in wherever it had been. Of course Sitri knew that correlation wasn't the same as causation, because she listened to her psychiatrist maybe-boyfriend, but at the same time, correlation could be a reason to look for causation.

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#571 Posted by j_the_toymaker (537 posts) - - Show Bio


"I've been going up and down the coast. I'm from Washington originally. Last place I stopped for a while was San Fran. Good customers there." Good food there. Nobody needed to hear that part, though. Perhaps if she looked into it she'd notice the streak of missing amateur metas, but that wasn't uncommon anywhere. People who tried being a hero or villain died all the time, or else just quit while they were ahead. There'd be no reason for suspicion because of that, and he hadn't been gone long enough for the numbers of "disappearing" people to have diminished since he left.

He took the burger from the grill with the expertise that came only from experience, and laid it on the bun before dropping a slice of American cheese on it and topping it off with mustard and pickles and putting the top bun in its rightful place, then dishing the pickles onto the plate and getting the cup of water with equal efficiency. He set the whole meal before her on the counter before adding a napkin and a fork - weird thing about a lot of people around here, they usually asked for a fork, so he just automatically added one to the tray - and leaned on the counter with the same smile as before.

"How about you, do you like the open road or do you prefer a set of roots?"

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#572 Posted by demonboundSitri (779 posts) - - Show Bio


"I belong here," Sitri answered, settling herself at the counter. "Took me a while to figure that out. And I won't say I don't travel from time to time... but LA's my city. Some days I'm not sure what I'm going to end up doing, but whatever it is, I'll do it here." She took a bit of time just to work on lunch, which wasn't bad at all. Didn't taste at all like kittens. Not that Sitri knew how kittens tasted... although it occurred to her that they were one of the few- No. She wasn't going to finish that thought there.

"So, Washington State? Not DC?" Sitri inquired, curiously. She didn't know anyone from either, but in terms of establishing where the stranger had come from, it was best to make sure. "Can't say I've ever been up that way. Nevada sometimes. Montana." Oh, yes, Montana. "But I never made it out to Washington. I heard they got hit by an earthquake or something a little while back - were you there for any of that?"

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#573 Posted by j_the_toymaker (537 posts) - - Show Bio


"Yep, the state. Go Seahawks and all that." He went back to wiping down the grill and the counter, just keeping his hands busy. "I'd been out of state for a while before the earthquake and stuff. Heard it was pretty bad, though. Lots of damage."

He didn't like thinking about Washington. "Home", he'd call it to people, but he'd never think about going back. What LA was to the stranger, his truck was to him. It was the place where he did most of his living. His accident was there. His family... had been there. The foster homes, the bullying, even some of the "good" memories, were all things worth being left behind.

"It sounds pretty nice, staying in one place. Guess it just isn't the life for everyone though. I know I couldn't really make anywhere a permanent home. Not in my nature."

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#574 Posted by demonboundSitri (779 posts) - - Show Bio


"Fair enough," Sitri agreed with his last statement. She knew plenty of people who didn't want to settle down anywhere, either. For a while, she'd thought she might be one of them. LA had changed that, though. Luna Hawk had changed that, really. Maybe some day this guy would figure out where he belonged or who he belonged with as well.

She'd used the time while they were talking to listen to the echoes and figure out the layout of his truck, and so when she'd finished eating, she reached inside through the window and stole the pen and pad of paper that any food truck vendor had near him at all times. "Just so you know," she stated, conversationally, setting her left hand across the paper and using her finger as a guideline to write beneath, "If you try anything unpleasant in My City, I will be really pissed off. And then I'll have to try to hunt you down. And tear you to little pieces. And maybe eat them, because I am really bad at decision making." She pushed the pen and paper back through the window, a cell phone number written neatly on the top sheet, and gave him an impudent wink. "Call me some time."

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#575 Posted by j_the_toymaker (537 posts) - - Show Bio


He raised his eyebrows as she reached over the counter for a pen and paper, of all things. Her handwriting was very nice, very neat. He was quickly distracted from the movements of the pen to her words. Inside, he seethed. The beast in his reflection, invisible even to humans with working eyesight, bared the pointed teeth in its deerlike snout menacingly. But his body didn't show any sign of stress, except maybe the slightly accelerated heartbeat of a man who had just been threatened, and the slight clenching of his fist around the rag he was holding.

Calm down, Jay.

The fist relaxed, and while the beast still snarled, the man just smiled and gave a nod as he took the paper from her. "I don't tend to go looking for or making trouble, Miss. If anything I try to avoid it." It wasn't untrue. It wasn't trouble if he didn't get caught in the act. "Though to be fair, I'm a bit much to be ripping apart and eating. Might make more than one meal." A joke, probably in worse taste than the blindness one, and again to cover the gravity of what he wanted to say. What he wanted to do was threaten her back, strut around, remind her who was bigger. He knew better, however. Bigger wasn't always better; a tall, muscular hunter didn't always have the advantage over smaller, faster prey. So, he just nodded and smiled. Like any man in customer service. He couldn't help adding one last remark. Let her take it as she would, manners, a challenge, another jest. Let her take it and go.

"It's been good talking to you. I'll call if you take time to stop back in. Like I said, I'll be here. Have a good one."

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#576 Posted by Tarot_1 (26 posts) - - Show Bio
No Caption Provided

Feeling tired after a long day of sitting in a bus doing nothing Arcana dragged herself to the nearest ritzy five-star hotel. She mentally rehearsed her plan as she walked into the front desk of the lobby and gulped in surprise. The receptionist looked quite pretty, which threw her off momentarily. She collected her wits quickly enough and proceeded on with what she had to do. Luckily enough her current illusion did not seem to falter at all. Her current form exuded the power and beauty she had always felt she deserved. It had only taken her hours standing in front of a mirror to get it to her liking. Arcana could tell by the looks from everyone she got that her new look had succeeded.

"Hi I'm Sally Jones. I'm here to reserve a room. Pent-house suite," She said without hesitation. Confidence came naturally to her now among other things. She gave the receptionist a smoky smile and handed him a credit card.

He swiped it once. Then twice. Then a third time. Not now. Arcana sighed.

"Sorry ma'am this looks to be canc-" the man whose nametag identified him as Bill began questioning before Arcana placed one ringed finger in front of his mouth to silence him.

"I'll have you know this credit card works perfectly. It can just be a bit wonky sometimes from overuse. Try again," Arcana dared him with a glare. Damnitall! what will I do? I'm tried my best, but the card got cancelled and this guy looks like he's about to sound the alarms. I have to think. Think. Think. . . Arcana panicked. She knew she could blow the whole hotel up, but she also acknowledged she could not afford to draw attention. Do not draw attention. Wait until the time comes.a voice rung out in her head. Arcana ignored it as she focused again on the man named Bill. I have not tried this before but if I do it like this. She mentally felt around his head with no idea what she meant to do. She did not care either as she just wanted something to happen. Any sort of distraction would serve its purpose to save her. Feeling around his head she began to grasp at something. Instinctively she began to twist it until she felt a bending of sorts. She tentatively released her hold, and the man's eyes went blank before returning back to focus. He took a card out of his own wallet and swiped it himself.

"Yes ma'am it seems your card checks out. You can go on up now to your room," he said dutifully if not a little dully. Relief coursed through Arcana as she took the key and went up to her room. She slammed the door behind her, dispelled the illusion, and slumped into the nearest chair. The anxiety and constant travel had taken its toll on her. She began to massage her temples. Despite their miraculous nature her "tricks" did not take much if any energy from her. All of her tricks came to her as if second-nature. They always felt as if they had been bits of knowledge she had known before and had just remembered them like some leftovers at the back of the fridge. The trick she just pulled felt much the same. As usual I have no clue what I just did or how, but it certainly worked. Arcana smiled manically. If I can figure out how to refine this trick I could be in business.

After a shower, power nap, and a quick meal, Arcana slowly and steadily worked through several of the staff members working in the hotel. Eventually she started getting into the minds of the upper management. and then she found herself having dinner the next day with the general manager. By this point she had practiced the trick enough to put him under her control in a very neat tidy fashion.

"You are to tell me whomever of strange origins enters into my hotel, Everyone on the top floor must be evicted by tomorrow, and everyone under my employ are now only to refer to me as the Lady. Be sure that no one enters my suites without my permission at any time unless it's an emergency. Guards are to be placed around them to make sure of this. Every single worker here is to be informed of this. Did I make myself clear, Mr. Gladwell?"

Arcana did not bother listening to the fool's answer as she bit into her steak. She knew what he would say before a thought could appear in that minuscule head of his. The voice in her head warning her received the same treatment. Arcana had not been able to find out much from the visions of what seemed to be her/its past, yet she had gleaned enough. The entity had failed several times in the past. Arcana knew that following its instructions precisely would likely lead to the same result. Sit back and watch. I'll retrieve what has been lost and then some.

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#577 Posted by demonboundSitri (779 posts) - - Show Bio


There was definitely something going on there. Sitri could feel the aggression, the mixture of anger and offense and disgust. The vendor managed to master it, though, whatever it was, bringing himself back under control, but she would remember the way he'd felt at that moment... and she'd make sure her city let her know if it surged like that again. She felt a little bad about provoking him so deliberately, but she'd needed the information more than she'd needed to be kind. There were plenty of nice people in LA. Sitri didn't see a need to be one of them.

Right now, she was content to be a Watcher. If it got bad, though... well, then she'd be something else for a while. Part of her pointed out that she could call Tristan up and invite Ace along for the ride, which was quickly followed by her more rational side pointing out that any idea that involved specifically inviting the homicidal maniac that lived in her not-boyfriend's head was a bad idea. In fact, it was likely a very bad idea.

Still, it might be worth having Tristan's opinion on the guy. Or maybe that was more related to the fact that she kept thinking about him lately. Just another something to sort out. For now, this situation seemed relatively resolved - she'd delivered her warning, gotten a bit of intuition about the guy. She'd just have to wait and see.

Or not.

But she'd check in on him, from time to time. Someone had to make sure people behaved in her city, after all.

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#578 Posted by Orange_Water (6583 posts) - - Show Bio


How do I start this journey after these last few months? After the drinking and the womanizing, I still don't know if I made the right choice in taking Sahi in. We are both in need of healing but doesn't she need someone a bit more I don't know stable watching her not to mention our past "history" before her regeneration. Maybe I can still back out and give Sahi back to Raeyn? No, it's too late for that... Your right and now it's time for me to start healing... So I went out for a walk to clear my head and just wrap my head around the events that have been going on for the last several days. I would only take one of my daggers and the clothes on my back before I left my apartment to start walking down the sidewalk.

Sitri paused for a moment, and listened to her city. It wasn't really an audio-thing, with the city, it was more just... an extra sense. Vague, indistinct, something she was still learning to develop. It was enough to pick out what she wanted, though, to find someone familiar. It didn't take much work to find where he was, then slip down from the top of the building onto the sidewalk behind him. "Landon," she murmured, half a pace too close. Sitri had always been very good at stealth. Time on Cocytus had made her even better. She smiled, amusement in her voice, "I didn't see you there."

I had only gone a short distance inevitably my thoughts had turned to me getting a drink at my club maybe chatting up some young woman while I'm there... No I can't give in again I need to stop that and start healing but what if the temptation becomes too much again? I gave out a deep breath and put my face in my hands. I just keep stressing myself out and feel like I'm going to spiral out of control again but then I heard a voice that I hadn't heard in a long while and one that I didn't expect to hear anytime soon. Lifting my face out of my hands I looked at her for a moment before saying," Sitri?"

I walked over to her and gave her a small hug before speaking again," Why? How?" Before pausing to develop a sentence and speak again," You shouldn't be here. He will know. When did you get back?" This conversation couldn't be had while we were standing luckily there was a cafe nearby where we could sit and talk,"How about we go somewhere and talk? There's a cafe nearby." I held out my arm to take if she wished and would lead her to the cafe to sit and talk.

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#579 Edited by demonboundSitri (779 posts) - - Show Bio


Sitri returned the hug, and laughed at his incoherence. That much about him hadn't changed. "Chill, Landon. It's fine. Really." She took his arm even though she didn't really need to, and walked with him to the proposed cafe. "I got back just a little while ago. I've been... around, I guess. In and out. Spending some time trying to figure out the rest of the world before I settle back in to LA. Become a balanced and well rounded in-duh-vidual and all that." She shrugged. There was more to it than that, but like most things, the story would have taken more time than it was worth to tell.

"I'm not worried about That Guy anymore, though," she assured him. "Not from a going crazy standpoint anyway. I've got that under control." If Vandal King came after her, it was more likely to be straight-up assassination now... and Sitri just didn't think she was important enough to be worth targeting. "You seem... better." Not necessarily good, she didn't think. He was still troubled. But troubled in a different way, and less self-destructive, she thought. It was an improvement.

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#580 Posted by Orange_Water (6583 posts) - - Show Bio


Sitri returned the hug, and laughed at his incoherence. That much about him hadn't changed. "Chill, Landon. It's fine. Really." She took his arm even though she didn't really need to, and walked with him to the proposed cafe. "I got back just a little while ago. I've been... around, I guess. In and out. Spending some time trying to figure out the rest of the world before I settle back in to LA. Become a balanced and well rounded in-duh-vidual and all that." She shrugged. There was more to it than that, but like most things, the story would have taken more time than it was worth to tell.

"I'm not worried about That Guy anymore, though," she assured him. "Not from a going crazy standpoint anyway. I've got that under control." If Vandal King came after her, it was more likely to be straight-up assassination now... and Sitri just didn't think she was important enough to be worth targeting. "You seem... better." Not necessarily good, she didn't think. He was still troubled. But troubled in a different way, and less self-destructive, she thought. It was an improvement.

I didn't want to believe her when she said she wasn't about Vandal but I felt that it was an issue best left alone for right now. Maybe something we could talk about some other time I guess."I see so you've already been visiting a couple of people already well if you've visited Luna Hawk I'm sorry what's happening to her. I don't believe the stories but I can't interfere with the investigation if I did then it would seem I'm trying to protect another hero when the public believes Luna committed the crime." I probably shouldn't apologize for that but I knew that Sitri was close to Luna hell maybe even best friends. So it felt like the right thing to do," But anyway I'm finally trying to get my life back together and I'm gonna try and help someone else who's in the same position." In another moment we would arrive at the cafe and I would pull out her chair for her to sit in while I walked around the table to sit in an opposing chair.

" Have you heard about what happened in Mecca a several days ago?" Besides Nathan; Sitri would likely have the most experience with time siphons," Raeyn's daughter went crazy and we had to put her down. But she has regenerated and Raeyn tried to pass her off on Nathan who refused. So I decided to take her in because the both of us were in need of healing maybe we could help each other." It started to make me stressed again just by talking about it but I didn't even believe this was the hard part at least not yet," Sahi is now biologically fifteen which will probably make it even more difficult but this isn't what I'm dreading the most. It's step two that I think I will have the most problem with. I'm going to try and call Ryth and I don't expect it to go very well." I was worried about what would happen every time I thought about what had to be done I became stressed out and felt almost overwhelmed with the changes I had to make. Suffice to say I didn't believe any of this would work out very well.

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#581 Posted by demonboundSitri (779 posts) - - Show Bio


At the mention of Luna Hawk, Sitri sighed elegantly. "I... haven't visited her," she said, quietly, with an undertone somewhere between wistfulness and guilt. "I want to. God, I want to. I hate all the stuff they're doing to her. But... I'd just make it worse, you know? The media is all over her right now, and she doesn't need a murderhappy demon-bound employee showing up at her door asking if she wants to go out for Chinese. It'd just raise too many questions, and the answers to them won't help her. I left her a message. Just... letting her know I was around. But I won't go visit. Not when that could hurt her. She deserves better."

She didn't really want to talk about it any more. Hell, she hadn't even wanted to talk about it that much, but Landon was... well, close enough to a friend for all practical purposes, and she'd felt he deserved the explanation. She figured he'd probably understand. Not that she wanted his understanding, of course, but maybe she felt like he'd earned the right to understand. And maybe she was being a sanctimonious jerk with that particular train of thought. She breathed for a moment, rebalancing herself before it got out of hand, and settled back to listen to his story about recent events in Mecca.

"Raeyn is freaking terrifying," she stated, probably unnecessarily, "Is... what's her name, Sahi? The kid? Is she like that? Or is she just like... your run-of-the-mill garden-level walking disaster?" Strange that Sitri had gotten to a point in her life where junior Time Siphons were no longer a mind-numbing prospect. Every time passes, everything dies. She wasn't sure why that phrase had popped in to her head. Maybe Raeyn had said it, or maybe the Hound. Probably both things not worth talking too much about. Purely out of respect, of course. Not because Raeyn was freaking terrifying.

"I'd probably worry more about her than Ryth, to be honest. Girlfriends... eh, always another fish in the ocean. Kids you can't get rid of. Especially Time Siphon kids." And they were all kids. Even Raeyn. Just one more little piece of knowledge she'd picked up. She didn't think that would help Landon, though. He needed to look at the kid as a clean slate, not as... well. Not as a number of things one didn't think lightly about Time Siphons if one wanted to live out the week.

"Better you than me, though. I hate kids." Scarily, that wasn't just a blithe comment. It would have been well within Raeyn's power to show up and demand Sitri babysit her errant offspring on the basis of Sitri owing her a favor, and Sitri would have had to accept because Raeyn was freaking terrifying. She wouldn't have liked it, though. Raeyn probably knew that, too. "If you..." Wait, am I actually going to say this?"Need a bit of time off, though, I can handle a Time Siphon well enough to give you a break." Apparently I am, why the hell did I offer that? Time Siphons are crazy. I hate kids.

Landon was kind of a friend, though. Friends did stupid stuff for each other. "Just don't make it too often or I'll hit you with a stick."

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#582 Posted by Tarot_1 (26 posts) - - Show Bio

@thisisgonnahurt Feeling a bit wild Arcane put her feet up onto the van's dashboard and turned up the tunes. One of her goons had put his mix tape in, which was surprisingly great. He sat next to her in the driver's seat without his chicken mask. His face showed no emotions, but then emotions seemed hard to come by from any of the goons. Arcane focused on the song. Is this a Beetles song? The slow buildup of the intro gave into some cords of a guitar and drums. Lyrics started dropping. No he doesn't sound right. I think it's Roundabout. I've only heard that once before I think. Arcane continued to nod her in time with the rhythm. The guitar solo sent her into a madness of air-guitar playing ecstasy. Forgetting her current activity she lost herself in the music, freely enjoying it without a care. All of the work she had put into building a bit of a ground base in L.A. tired her out. Constantly bending people's minds tended to feel that way for Arcane. She did not know why turning a room to stone felt like nothing while making minute changes in someone's mental makeup felt so hard. The same thing with money. Changing my makeup never felt so hard. Her currently short black hair and slightly luminescent yellow eyes attested to that. At the end of the song she finally ended her performance with a flourish. The young couple who had briefly stared, met her eyes and quickly turned away. With a puff of indignation she leaned back down with her hands folded across her chest. Her mind returned briefly to the task at hand.

Across the road from the van stood a bank. Inside 5 of her goons should have been knocking the place over. Two of them worked as security guards there. The robbery took place during there shift. While she knew her powers could render money worthless, she still felt this was necessary. What are goons good for if not for robbing banks? They'll totally be able to get this done. I did my research. Watched a few movies like the Italian Job and Reservoir Dogs. Although who needs all of that silly planning? Arcane thought to herself. She yawned and sat back in her seat. As the minutes counted down she began to feel a bit impatient. Despite her powers and confidence she neither possessed any experience robbing banks nor the ability to actually watch what happened inside. She sighed lazily and allowed herself be engulfed in the music again. There seemed no point in worrying about something she went over multiple times before when it was in her goons hands now. She ignored the tiny voice in her head telling her this was risky. The boredom of being stuck in the hotel for two weeks had wore her down.


No Caption Provided

Two swan goon stood vigilantly in the front of the bank keeping the hostages from making any ruckus. A swift kick every now and then stopped any crying or annoying noises coming that erupted. Another the bear and tiger goons circled through the vault stuffing money bags full. The two had been picked due to their strong bodies. Further enhancements from their Mistress made it easy enough for them to carry all of the bags. Zebra goon who worked(or now used to work) at the bank had taken out the rest of the guards, and stood on standby watching the security cameras while making sure no alarms went off. They had chosen to strike right when the bank was about to close, so they did not need to worry much about newcomers. Within ten minutes of starting the robbery the goons already began pulling out with money bags in tow.

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#583 Edited by ThisIsGonnaHurt (41590 posts) - - Show Bio


Hm... combination hostage crisis and bank robbery? Not good, not good at all...

Pinnacle hung back, not wanting to instantly regret leaping into the situation when they still had the means to harm the civilians. He crept carefully along his self-appointed perch and watching spot, on a building across the street. He had connections in the local police stations, so he had the means to utilize their radio system - if only for receiving transmissions. Turns out, even with the silent alarm, all the robbers had to do was be quicker than a crisis team could be assembled; and according to how the situation quickly degraded, they were.

He continued to watch them as they shoveled the bags full of cash into a getaway car - this was his chance!

Taking a flying leap, he triumphantly landed between the armed thugs and the civilians still hiding inside the bank. He had counted them all beforehand, making sure not a one lingered behind to have the leverage they needed against him. He pointed a finger at the crowd of hoodlums, showing off an Olympian smile.

"Now now, I thought people were raised better than that here! Just give it back now and there won't be any trouble."

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#584 Posted by Tarot_1 (26 posts) - - Show Bio

@thisisgonnahurt: All four of the goons stared at him with the same neutral postures and did not say a word. At the same time a goon with a zebra mask ran out of the back rooms and stopped upon seeing the situation. Soon enough the few seconds of surprise ended as they took out their various weapons after dropping the money bags except for the tiger masked goon. Both swans had twin pistols, the bear brandished an smg, and the zebra a shotgun. The tiger ran out of the building into the street with the money bags he carried while one of the swans motioned for you to kneel down. At first it was not noticeable, but through their extended actions it became clear that their way of movement from how they walked to their running and even how they pointed their guns seemed stiff bordering on unnatural. The swan broke the silence.

"Down now. Or else." He left the implied threat hanging dully in the air. Like their movement his speech seemed devoid of emotion and therefore unnatural.

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#585 Posted by ThisIsGonnaHurt (41590 posts) - - Show Bio


A bead of sweat rolled down the back of Pinnacle's neck.


He did exactly what he didn't want to do and turned to face each of the criminals that were surrounding him. Their weapons didn't mean much to his enhanced physical powers, but they would do significant harm to civilians or even to each other if it accidentally came to that. Come to think of it, how they were moving and acting was kind of weird. He had read plenty of comic books in his day, and he had an idea...

"You!" he pointed his finger at the swan that spoke... he thought. There were two of them, after all, so it was kinda hard to tell them apart. Have to think fast.

"These guys are your marionettes right?!" he accused, albeit in an over-the-top way.

Hopefully they were distracted by the bizarre question long enough for him to speedblitz in each of their directions and bend their firearms into unusable states.

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#586 Posted by Tarot_1 (26 posts) - - Show Bio

@thisisgonnahurt: The masked goons helplessly fire their weapons, but miss their shots by a wide margin. Their opponent's speed proved too great for them.

As soon as the tiger mask reached the van by himself without the others Arcane knew something was wrong. Cursing about her good mood being broken, she turned off her music. The quick warning of some hero being in the bank made it worse. She bit her thumb in concentration as she thought of how to handle the situation. The old voice in her head wailed on and on about not drawing any attention to one's self. As usual Arcane ignored it. How was one supposed to think with someone else's keening in your head? Gunshots ringing out into the encroaching night answered her questions quite well. Time to ditch this gig. I still got some money albeit not as much as I wished. These superhumans on the news seem waaaaay toooo scary. Right after tiger mask jumped into the back of the van, she had her driver goon zoom out into the distance. The driver donned his chicken mask although she had not ordered him to. Arcane narrowed her eyes, yet said nothing on the matter. I guess I did give them a fair level of autonomy. She took a quick look at the speed meter and shouted at her companion without thinking. They only were doing sixty miles per hour.

"Drive faster, you jolt! We're going to have to lose him....hopefully," She started in a yell that fell into uncertainty although he still sped up to ninety miles per hour. Arcane had never really fought anyone before. She had assuredly done plenty of damage including harming several people. She had no trouble doing that. On the other hand she still felt queasy about the idea of directly hurting someone. Fighting someone who could perhaps harm her especially. She shivered and hoped she would never have to fight. At least not till she had a chance to steel her resolve.

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#587 Posted by ThisIsGonnaHurt (41590 posts) - - Show Bio


Pinnacle was ready to do what he needed to do now, seeing the efforts of the villains around him leave harmless dents in the pavement underneath them. He was about to strike even more fear into their hearts - except they started to run, get into their car, and leave. He stood there, deflated for a bit, hands on his hips as the police cars gave chase.

"Ah well," he got down into a sprinter's position and crouched low to the ground.

The police cars darted after their intended target, but it managed to evade all sorts of tire traps and blockades. The criminals were almost to the freeway when a red, white, and blue blur vanished beyond all of the emergency vehicles en route to the getaway truck. After giving them an entire city of a head-start, Pinnacle finally managed to catch up to them just by running.

He kept pace with the driver's seat, giving them a little salute before attempting to wrench the vehicle itself off its tires and lift it into the air.

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#588 Posted by Tarot_1 (26 posts) - - Show Bio

@thisisgonnahurt: Arcane violently kicked the dashboard in frustration as she heard the various police sirens wailing around the city. Luckily enough she seemed to have picked a good driver as he evaded all of the police blockades, cars, and traps. I may reward him for this. A kiss would do. Or would he even feel it? That question was left unanswered when she saw the supposed hero blur right up next to the van. Arcane returned the man's smug salute by flipping the bird at him. Right then she performed a special technique she had developed for an occasion such as this.

"Run! For it!" Arcane shouted out just before the goons jumped out the van in an effort to get away.. In quick almost instantaneous succession she pulled off multiple effects of her powers. Firstly a pillar of earth slammed into the hero from below. Then all around her a heavy mist that would impair someone from seeing their own hands enveloped the road. She simultaneously created a perfect illusion of herself jumping out of the vehicle jumping off while casting another to make the vehicle with herself in it invisible. Despite her problems in other areas Arcane excelled at filling her illusions with the minutiae needed to make them convincing. The illusion of another van stayed behind to cover for her. Several explosions rang out around him caused by her causing super-heated air to explode outward. Finally she laid the illusion of an exploded van and used the last bit of concentration she had to keep the vehicle moving straight at full speed. Performing multiple effects like that wore her down even if they happened to not use her full strength.

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#589 Posted by ThisIsGonnaHurt (41590 posts) - - Show Bio


As Pinnacle managed to just barely graze the edge of the door, he was launched into the air by a massive pillar of concrete! He roared in surprise and defiance of the action, but was further dissuaded by a series of explosions that rocked him back and forth for a moment. He could not tell down from up in that period of reckless pain, but he did manage one thing:

He fell. Really hard.

Aiming himself in front of both vans, he didn't care which one was real or fake. The woman who flipped him off could obviously make illusions, as were her henchmen subtly hinted as being.

He shot down like a high-grade artillery shell, intent on if not breaking the illusion then making it impossible for them to get onto the evacuated freeway away from the masses of police cars behind them.

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#590 Posted by Tarot_1 (26 posts) - - Show Bio

@thisisgonnahurt: The ground rumbled and cracked under the impact of the hero's fall which caused her to bang her head on the roof. While letting off a string of curses in her head, she let go of some of her illusions she kept going and the explosions as well. She veered the van through an exit as rigged the the van to keep going forward. She hoped to sneak away under invisibility. Well that was a fine mess I had gotten myself into. Got into a car chase with some roided out superhero and ended up losing all of the manpower. To emphasize her troubles she sighed dramatically. Things can't get any worse though. I think I've lost him. Before he knows it I'll be back in the hotel getting a nice message. . . .oooh and maybe lobster. From behind a stopped car, Arcane watched the hero carefully making sure he had actually lost her before making her way back the way she had driven. She hoped to find a car she could hijack again a safe distance away.

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#591 Posted by ThisIsGonnaHurt (41590 posts) - - Show Bio


Having just found his way back out from a ton of broken concrete and twisted steel, Pinnacle shook his head and his hair returned to the iconic twin-spiked silhouette he had been known for. He put a hand over his eyes, trying to peer around, but he had no supervision or senses - just the physical stats. He spotted the van hurtling towards an exit, but the police were going to catch it eventually. He had done enough damage, but he did seem to help in some way. The second van that appeared out of nowhere seemingly vanished without a trace.

He dusted his hands off, putting his hands on his hips. Something just didn't... seem right. But then again, the crooks were more than likely on their last legs anyway. So, with a skip in his step, he made his way down the open ramp - but then, he heard something.

It wasn't wind, and it wasn't someone talking. It seemed to come from behind him, and he stared at a suspicious piece of rubble as if expecting it to move.

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#592 Posted by Tarot_1 (26 posts) - - Show Bio

@thisisgonnahurt: Seeing the big man turn toward her Arcane nearly squeaked. Obviously she had enough control of herself not to embarrass herself like that, but all the same she wished that she could be away from there. Go now, child.The voice boomed her head. She hated when it did that. Normally she had no problem telling what it said even if she tended to ignore it half the time. Before she could respond, strange visions flashed across her vision, and she saw a strange being of energy forcibly shunting all of its individual particles to another location. She did not know how it did that or how she knew what it was doing, yet she did. Unbeknownst to her the layers of illusions shed themselves from her body like as if in the process of being peeled off. Arcane's eyes started to glow with a fiery light at the same time her clothes caught on fire.

No Caption Provided

A column of fire burst out around her and she found herself back in her room in the ritzy five star hotel she had taken over. Breathing hard she first noticed the ring of ash surrounding her. Her eyes and clothes had returned back to their (un)usual whiteness and dark leotard respectively. Arcane breathed deeply to calm herself down. Ever since she had ditched the persona of Sheila and taken Arcane, she had gained a confidence that came with the power she had gained. She actively fueled it as she unconsciously feared she would otherwise lose herself to the strange visions, the voice, or corruption if she did not. Feeling exhausted she lay down on the bed to relax after an exhausting night. I'll probably have to rethink my strategy tomorrow. This running around like a wild girl isn't cutting it. She thought regrettably.

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#593 Posted by Nobody (1326 posts) - - Show Bio


It had been what?

Months now?

Drake had delved deeply onto his studies, to an extent venturing to the depths of the abyss were some of his most thrilling experiences. Indeed, he didn't manage to ever even come as close as grasping the inherent mysteries of such odd hole, let alone cease to be astonished by the enthralling properties of the magical location. It was a great source of inspiration, yet it came at an equally great, if not far superior cost, the utter lack of contact with the outer world. It was a taxing venture, one that could have given him permanent scars if done incorrectly, especially if he wasn't accompanied by Tarville's mayor himself.

He attempted to know more about himself, to comprehend the sense of his being, yet all he found down there was the ultimate realization. He was but a nameless spec of dust in such a vast, mystic reality, truly a Nobody as they called him back there. And wasn't it fine? If he had been anyone else, if he had a path paved for him, then he wouldn't be able to pick one of his choosing. It was exactly due to the fact he was an empty canvas that he could paint any picture he would desire.

And preferably one where he could swimmingly spot her smile.

Three knocks at the door, he wondered if she'd pick up. A dark trenchcoat covering his magician-like clothing and a huge tophat to top it all off, as soon as Rana answered the door he'd use the hat to mask his true identity. "Would you bother for a magic trick?" A prompt inquiry, triggered merely by the act of opening the door. "I'll make a smile reappear on this cute face of yours." He clowned, removing the hat that had been masking his visage. "And for my next trick, I shall remove from within my hat something I should have long ago." It only took a few brief seconds until azure letters formed milimeters above his hand forming a message he should've told her from the beginning. "I am sorry", the one thing that went through his mind whenever thinking about not being present at all during her latest ventures. "Now, for my last trick, I'll need an assistant from the crowd! It may be yourself, pretty lady." He leaned forward, eyes fixed on hers, a big goofy grin crossing his visage.

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#594 Posted by j_the_toymaker (537 posts) - - Show Bio


Same little truck, same little corner. It was maybe a week or two later, and he still hadn't eaten. He'd found a ton of prospective prey, but none of them came by regularly. He'd have to either start actively hunting, or settle for an everyman, just to quell what was underneath. It had been worst the last two days, the hunger, the monster. Jay was starting to smell better, see better. Sleep worse. He'd have to do something soon if he didn't want to give in completely to the Thing inside him. But he'd have to settle, for now. Maybe look for a criminal, something to hold him over. Crime-fighting had certainly attracted good meals in the past. And maybe crime fighting wouldn't exactly count as "trying anything." At least not anything "unpleasant."

"If you try anything unpleasant in My City, I will be really pissed off. And then I'll have to try to hunt you down. And tear you to little pieces. And maybe eat them, because I am really bad at decision making."

These thoughts echoed through his head unnoticed by his customers over the course of the last few days. They didn't see the new sharpness in his eye, how his smile had gotten just so slightly wider. Sharper. And now, as the prepared to close up shop for the evening, they wouldn't think anything strange of the young cook sharpening his knife. Not realizing that the backup long-pig in his freezer was just about gone, and that any one of them could become the replacement leftovers.

He hadn't seen her, hadn't called. He hadn't needed to. The blind girl hadn't come back, after all, and there was something about her that made the monster think twice about trying her out as a meal. It wasn't so much a bigger predator, as a rival hunter on the same territory. It was her territory first; he was just passing through. He hadn't seen her, though. Maybe tonight, he'd go hunting.

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#595 Posted by demonboundSitri (779 posts) - - Show Bio


I kind of want a hamburger.

The thought was so incongruous with the rest of what Sitri had been thinking about lately that it made her pause. Well, there were probably a dozen places to get a hamburger within walking distance, and she supposed...

...none of them sounded particularly appetizing. She wanted a particular hamburger. Okay... that's weird. Weird enough for her to take note of, and weird enough for her to feel like maybe there was more to it. No, on second thought, there was definitely more to it. This is my city, telling me where I should be.

Sitri still wasn't all that sure what the relationship between herself and the city of LA actually was, given that they didn't do too much communicating. Sometimes, though, she felt like she needed to be a certain place, and she'd found that she could find people if she wanted to. She had a feeling that if the city was urging her towards a particular hamburger, it was because there was some reason she ought to be there. "Okay, crazy city. I get the point." Not that she thought the city actually heard her - and if it did, that would just be one more level of weird on top of all the other levels of weird. The city didn't talk back, though, for which Sitri was eminently grateful.

She pushed the papers she'd been working on to the side of her desk, pages and pages of little tiny dots. Notes, about angels. About demons. She'd been keeping track of things. Someone had killed another angel in New Orleans, and Sitri... hadn't been down that way. Maybe she should have been, but she'd been... well, distracted, lately. Not really in the mood to play hero, anyway. Maybe she was just missing the villain she could have been.

No. I'm not going to be that person. Not for a stupid-

She made herself take a deep breath. Bloody stupid yoga. Okay. Fine. Not for anyone. In any case, she'd been puttering with paperwork in her room instead, pretending that it was going to be useful, because it was better than being out in the world where she might accidentally run into him again. Really, she was going to have to get that sorted out sometime. Even the city was apparently getting tired of her issues.

Fine. I'll go get a hamburger. You gotta work on your communication skills, though, crazy city. The city said nothing, so Sitri grabbed a 9mm in addition to her usual gear, and headed off. The truck was easy to find. It hadn't moved since last time, but she knew she could have found it even if it had. The perpetrator - or was it proprietor? Innocent mistake, she was a public school kid. Anyway, whoever he was, he seemed... more agitated, she thought. Last time he'd been quite relaxed - very aware, but not really concerned with anything. This time, there was something bothering him.

"I thought you weren't going to stay long," she greeted him, walking up to the window. He'd said he was planning to move up the coast, last time they'd spoken. Had it only been weeks? It felt like years. "How do you like my city?"

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#596 Posted by j_the_toymaker (537 posts) - - Show Bio


He looked up sharply, with what many with working eyes would mistake for "surprise" on his face. The hunger rolled through him, almost painful in its demands. He nearly dropped his knife. It slipped between his hands and seemed like it would fall to the floor in a noisy clatter. He moved to take the handle. In one graceful movement, he saved both his ears and those of his unexpected customer from the sound of metal-against-floor, brought the knife back up to the counter, opened the drawer it belonged in, and slipped the blade safely inside. The moment gave him a chance to regroup his thoughts.

Damn, she smells good right now.

Even the beast recoiled at that thought. It was her, the blind girl. He'd been too distracted to catch her scent before she arrived at his window, and taken off guard when it finally reached him, along with her voice. It was almost like she'd heard him thinking about killing on her territory. Speak of the devil, and the devil will appear. By the time he turned back toward her, mere seconds after she'd first greeted him, he'd collected himself enough to meet her with nothing more suspicious than that too-wide grin he'd been meeting his customers with for days now.

"Sorry about that." His voice certainly held an apology to it, though his aura was more guarded than anything else. Guarded... and still hungry. Guess there was no way of getting rid of that completely. "I was wondering when you'd be coming by again. Nobody really ever stops in once. I haven't been here that long, though. Three weeks is barely anything. The city's great, good business, good food."

Did you really have to add the last part? he scolded himself the moment he realized it came out of his mouth. There was nothing suspicious about saying Los Angeles had a good culinary selection, though. Right? Right. Nothing at all.

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#597 Posted by demonboundSitri (779 posts) - - Show Bio



She'd felt it, the sharp spike. Not the normal "I want a hamburger" sort of hunger. Something deeper. It intrigued her, really. She'd spent an immeasurable amount of time on Cocytus. Sitri was no stranger to hunger. No stranger to the desperation it brought with it, the need to sate it that overrode all strains of rational thought.

I could have been like that. She still could be like that, she knew. It was within her to become something like that. Let the demon run wild, feed on the despair wrought by the havoc she caused. It was tempting. Part of her would like it. Ace would like it. Sitri smiled a little to herself, bittersweet.

No. She'd made her decision, and she was nothing if not stubborn. Perhaps even to her own detriment.

"It's fine," Sitri assured him, "From what I hear you haven't been causing trouble. Not planning to start any time soon, are you?" she probed, with a whimsical little smile that implied she was just kidding and not at all completely serious about that inquiry. Feel free to chime in here any time, crazy city.

The city said nothing.

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#598 Posted by Iridum (370 posts) - - Show Bio


Her bed of late was a disaster sheets tossed around Yusha usually found sleeping on a pillow that'd been kicked off as the girl turned. Waking up usually came with a red and blue eye staring at the end pointing toward the door as opposed to by the window where her head had fallen. The nightmares were worse and unrelenting. She did her damndest to greet her dad and sister same as she always did. It came however with memories of seeing them far worse. Getting dressed she checked the small letter she tied to Drasil a smile at some memories a hand tightening around the scabbard at other memories. An absence that'd been way to long and filled with dreadful replacements of moments that should have been.

A knock at the door and she suspects someone else to get it, her dad in the retired life maybe. Solaris or Diane in whatever business they did. She didn't fault them for their life choices of course just assumed if someone dropped by it'd be for them. Not for the psychotic teenager with demons in her head. Second knock and nobody came however so she ventured that way opening it upon the third strike.

Theatrical attire and a lowered prim off a top hat didn't conceal the identity, she could tell from posture the presence he gave off and so on. The ruse was pretty good but not enough, she wanted to do or say a lot of things. For the moment though settled for a sure as she pushed up her glasses and clasped her hands behind her back. "Uh sure."

From the deep abyss of the hat words were pulled flashing and vibrant. It wasn't enough, such words didn't make up for all the ventures alone. Didn't make up for a year of anguish and detestable actions against her. Voices itched in the back of her mind to put a sword to use. To ram the instrument in so far the note attached to it was dropped in stomach acid. Told her to scream and find ways to subject him to the nights she had. Pale fists lightened up on tension though instead as she worked to clear her head. Everything they tried to make her remember was falsified at it's core even if so much of it was real.

"Dolt there's nothing to be sorry for" she remarked looking to tighten a fist around exuberant collar and pull him toward her for a brief moment. Would of been easy to get lost in the feelings of him actually being around. To hold there until her heart stopped racing and mind became a bit more clear. Eventually she let up though. "Right sorry believe you had a performance to do. Just don't put me in a box and cut me in two with a saw, unpleasant experience last time." Her efforts to always be honest remained, a year in hell having subjected Rana to that amongst so much more. There was so much more to ask about but she'd try and just smile and let him work on magic. A skill one might find Rana distinctly lacking her connection to such energy seemingly cut off despite a book on the coffee table saying she should be leagues ahead of where she'd been last they'd interacted.

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#599 Posted by Nobody (1326 posts) - - Show Bio


He couldn't quite put his finger on what bothered her, which gruesome surprises her devilish mind put inside her brain while he couldn't quite rejoin her, yet even if he acknowledged those glasses of hers from what possibly was their last meaningful meeting, he just knew there was something off. Something she would never mention when near him, sustaining the appearance of one of the most benevolent people out there, maintaining her calm whilst ignoring the turmoil raging inside her skull, the yells reverberating on her soul, bounding her to a suffering unbeknownst to men.

He should at least endeavor to save her from it.

"My tricks involve no boxes, miss." He smiled, stretching the arm holding his hat behind her, placing the tophat above her head. It was slightly too big for her, he counted on it, and at the moment it covered her eyes, he would proceed with his own trick. A hand wrapped around her waist, pulling her closer to his chest, noses well-nigh coalescing as he, for the first time during their relationship, took the lead, lips vehemently touching hers, attempting to convey all that mixture of emotions words would never explain. How he missed her, how he loved her, how he desired to be by her side but only once he felt he finally reached her, everything he could put into it, everything he didn't comprehend himself but felt that could ease her pain, indicate his presence wasn't a lingering memory of the past, but a bright prospect for the future.

Their future.

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#600 Posted by j_the_toymaker (537 posts) - - Show Bio


Her little smile didn't fool him. After her threat last time, he took her very seriously. But, he smiled back, moving across the truck to put his sharpener away before returning to the window. The monster didn't trust her, didn't want him putting his back to her at any time. The closest he came to feeling at ease with the girl at the window was when he could keep his eyes on her.

"Not unless burger flipping is suddenly a crime. Speaking of which, did you just come by to make sure I'm laying low, or did you want something? I was just getting ready to close up but the grill's still warm."