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  1. The Seers came for him just before dawn. Wakiki was going to get his ass tumbled out of bed in just twenty minutes by Whisker anyway, so his body was preparing to cycle into wakefulness. When the covers where wiped back, Wakiki jerked fully awake, his fingers reflexively curling around the handle of the gun he kept under the pillow. Before he could react further, something grabbed his ankle and pulled him off the end of the bed. He hit the floor with a thud, only the sheets already strewn on the carpet saving him from friction burn. To his surprise as much as his attackers, when Wakiki rolled off his stomach, his Glock 9mm was still in his hand. He saw several shapes in the room and reactively fired at one of them. In the cramped quarters of his apartment, with no ear protection, the sound of the gun was an ear-killing roar. He saw the form spin away into the darkness but he was trying to focus on the next attacker. A hand closed over his hand, shoving the gun down and clawing it away from him. Wakiki twisted toward his new threat, trying an off-hand punch that barely connected – he could tell it was useless. With a roar of outrage, he tried to get his gun back, only to have a fist connect to his face. The blow jarred him to the bone, leaving his jaw aching from the attack. It also left his senses swirling like water down the drain. His vertigo wasn’t helped when the bag was thrust over his head. “No!” he shouted, but he might as well been speaking in Japanese for all it helped. In short order, he was tussled up into something; it felt like his living room rug. Whatever it was, it wrapped around him completely, pinning his arms, restraining his legs and making it hard to breathe. He felt someone pick him up and carry him; when he tried to shout for help, he felt like he couldn’t get enough air in his lungs anymore. How long he was in there, sucking in and out stale air that stank of his floor, the young mage wasn’t sure. All he knew was that after he was put on the floor, something shoved him the side. He went rolling, and when he stopped, he ripped the hood off. He was lying on the floor and gasping for air in a room he’d never seen before. It was well lit with white walls and a white tile floor; his black and red rug was a garish mark on the floor. He wasn’t alone; he was surrounded by six other people. His first question, who the fuck these people were, was answered when the blonde women just in front of him said, “Hello, Atlantian.” “Fuck you.” Only one group used that term with such scorn. “Your mother says hello,” the blonde said, smiling at him. “Fuck her, too.” “For someone with your Shadow name, you really need to choose better words,” she told him. “You aren’t worth better than ‘fuck you’,” Wakiki growled. He spat on the floor and suggested that she do something anatomically impossible in Japanese. “Eloquent enough for you?” “You’re such a charming, young man,” the woman said, smiling. “I see why your mother is leveraging favors to have you returned to her.”
  2. Personal Information: Public Identity: Wakiki Izumi Shadow Name: Imriel Nicknames: Wakki Real Name: same a public Identity Occupation: Adamantine Arrow, Programmer and rap artist Legal Status: Japanese Citizen, currently on a work VISA, living in Los Angeles Marital Status: Umarried Known Relatives: Izumi Nashi (mother), Izumi Seiko (sister), Livy Jenings (half-sister) Deceased Relatives: Izumi Saito (paternal aunt), Izumi Harou (father) Physical Traits: Weight: 155 lbs Height: 5’ 10”” Apparent age: mid-twenties Gender: Male Ethnic Background: Japanese Eye Color: brown Hair Color: black Handedness: Left Age: 25 History: In Japan, the nail that sticks up gets hammered down. But for a household of mages, even life in Tokyo was a little more freeform. Wakiki grew up a Sleepwalker in a family of mages. He and later his sister, Seiko, were groomed for service to mages, particularly by their mother, Nashi. She was a Mastigos of the Silver Ladder while his father was an Obrimos Arrow and both were members of a Aoi Sagi Cabal and Tokyo’s consilium, the Shin-en Yakei Consilium. Wakiki and his sister’s childhood were full of secrets and wonder – and some pain, as well. They were the children of a woman who could read minds with ease, and hiding things from her became a fine art. Their mother was actually pleased when they could trick her – those times she found out about it at all. Both children were taught different things by their parents. Harou tried to instill a belief in higher powers with the children, taught them to work hard and be spiritually upright, but Nashi instructed them in less honorable things. She taught them, from an early age, how to dissemble and lie, how to talk people into doing things for them and how to socialize with others. Seiko was skilled, but Wakiki surpassed her at those talents. It was easy for the young man to charm people into giving him what he wanted. Wakiki was a focused child; he had no need to daydream about his life and future. He knew what it would be; he’d get a useful degree and go to work for the consilium. He had no other thoughts; the mission of his parents overshadowed everything in his life – in their lives, as well. Deep inside, he wanted more, though. He couldn’t have named that desire, until the day he heard Public Enemy’s Fight the Power. Something about the song called to him, and the young man listened to more and more anti-establishment music. That gradually morphed into minor rebellions against authority – talking back at school and silently questioning his life. It wasn’t full-on rebellion yet. As a teen, he was vaguely aware that something was wrong with his parents’ relationship. They fought a lot, particularly for two people who could wield the power of the cosmos. He caught hints of an affair, which he tried to ignore. It was their business, and they would work it out. It was a very Japanese response to a problem: ignore it until it went away. He was more preoccupied with his life; doing well in school so that he could go to the college of his choice. He was also starting to dabble in making music – writing lyrics and starting to practice with mixing songs. Despite having parents who were Awakened, Wakiki wasn’t sure if he would ever Awaken himself. It did happen, but not always. His parents always emphasized that there was a hope that it could happen but not to plan on it. Because of that uncertainty, he went to college, getting a degree in computer programming. A streak of his individuality surfaced in his minor in music and his continued work on his music. His life seemed bound for normalcy – as normal as it got for a man bound to be a Sleepwalker retainer for friends of his parents – until the night he won a rap contest. It was a minor affair; far from the down-and-dirty rap battles common in the US where audiences were the judges, this was an open mic in a club with a Japanese celebrity as a judge. Still, it gave him the thought that he might actually be good at this. At that point, his focus shifted from making a safe life for himself and whatever family he might build to making a career with this music. He continued to work as a programmer, to make a living and please his parents, but it was no longer his goal. He hadn’t told anyone about it yet, but he knew that there would come a time when it would be obvious and he’d have to openly rebel. He was figuring out how to do that when his parents’ drama spilled over into his life. Harou and Nashi had met while battling a monster from the Abyss, fallen in love and married. The rumors of an affair were correct, but what Wakiki had never known was that there had been a child born of the affair. He’d also not known that his mother had found out by picking it out of his father’s head. The dual shattering of marital trust had quickly poisoned the relationship. The obvious option was divorce, but his parents refused that due to the public shame it would cause the family. They remained together in bitter silence, never letting their cabal or the local Consilium see their issues. Only Wakiki and his sister Seiko were aware of the silent cold war. By the time Wakiki was twenty-two, they were still in that status quo. The status quo was disrupted violently. Wakiki and Seiko had, at their mother’s insistence, gone to a music festival in Okinawa. It was a good weekend; Wakiki made some friends while there, including an Amercian couple, David and Rebecca. They worked for a record label, a folk song label, but they had friends in the industry. Wakiki felt that this was the closest he’d come to getting signed, so he was happy to make friends. Seiko liked them too. It was the last happy time the two would share. The siblings returned to Tokyo to find their father and most of the Consilium dead, and the Seers in control. As they prepared to flee, their mother found them. Nashi revealed her years of lies to the two, explaining that she was and always had been a Seer of the Throne. As her children, there was a place for them in the new magical landscape of Tokyo. Wakiki immediately rejected his mother’s proposal, but Seiko was laden with guilt and fear. She took their mother’s offer. For being her son, Wakiki was given seven hours to flee the city. Wakiki went, got on the train to Nigata. He had friends from college living there. Lying on their couch, racked by grief and rage, he started down the path of being a Seeker. Torn by the fevered dreams of Awakening, Wakiki walked the Path of Nightmares, and returned in the morning a Mastigos. Wakiki knew no one who could help him in Nigata; the local consilium, if one existed, had no ties to the Tokyo one. He gathered his few belongings and moved on again, to Oita, where a Consilium dwelt, eager to find friends and allies. His welcome there wasn’t warm. By now, the story of his mother’s betrayal was known to mages around the world. The only surviving member of the Shin-en Yakei Consilium had given damning witness, including the news that Seiko had been seen at her mother’s side, serving the Seers. It was immediately suspected that Wakiki was in collusion with Seers and playing a long game of betrayal. Though they weren’t going to condemn him out of hand, their doubts meant that he’d have no aid here. Wakiki contacted Dave and Rebecca, reaching out to his last friends. Arrangements were made for him to come visit them in the US. They lived in Seattle and Wakiki was able to visit for two weeks. He found a job; his fresh computer degree made him attractive to a small start-up company that was creating anti-virus software. Wakiki settled in and worked for a time, living comfortably enough that he began to DJ on the side. He was serious enough about it to buy his own equipment, starting a small side-business and working on his music. At the same time, he was making overtures to the local consilium. The well had already been poisoned here, too – Kenpachi Okami, a Thyrsus Arrow, was a resident and he made sure that everyone knew about the betrayer’s son. There were a few people willing to give him a chance, including Whisker, a Thyrsus Arrow. Whisker was petite with big blue eyes, a shapeshifter who liked to transform into cats. There was a definite sexual chemistry between the two, but they resisted doing anything because Whisker was grooming him for the Arrows. Although unsure at first, Wakiki quickly warmed to the idea of stepping into his father’s shoes. The shadow of his mother loomed over him and few in the Arrow trusted him. It took all of Whiskers’s influence to get Wakiki the right to call himself an Arrow. To gain the order’s trust further (ooc: to gain status in the order), he needed to prove himself. Meanwhile, Wakiki had been searching for a shadow name. He’d been using about Mentok for now; it hadn’t earned him much respect, but he’d had the importance of shadow names drilled into him from the beginning of his life. He’d been very circumspect about calling his parents by their shadow names around other mages. So he wanted to choose his final name with care. The name he finally settled on was Imriel, taken from a book series about a young man. Wakiki had felt a connection to the protagonist; he also had a mother who had betrayed her people. And like Imriel, Wakiki struggled with the urgings to manipulate and control people. Wakiki undertook another project during his last year in Seattle. Twisting the strands of Fate, in which he had limited skill, he dug up the information on his father’s lover. It took him quite a bit of time, but he persisted and in the Fall of 2010, he took a trip to San Francisco, intent on meeting his half-sister. He was a few weeks too late. Livy had disappeared at the start of the semester from UCLA; her mother was frantic. Wakiki left with a new mission: to find Olivia. He started hunting for a job in LA. Given the economy, it was spring before he got one, but he managed to land one as a programmer for a web-based property management software provider. His move was completed by the end of April. His search hasn’t gone well but he has remained hopeful. Someone or something knows what happened to his half-sister. He’ll find them and make them talk; he’ll find his sister or her ending, and make sure she’s safe or at peace.
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