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Everything posted by Dave ST

  1. The bounty hunter reflexively shook off the attack, it wasn't until he saw had attempted to subdue him that fear washed over his features. This was wrong, this was all wrong. Had they been tipped off? Did the boss have a mole in his crew? How did could they have such a precise counterattack planned like this? Outlaw style the hunter panicked and fired off a shot from the hip. The blast caught Shiv square in the chest but the capacitors in his electromesh armor did their thing and dissipated the stun blast before it could overload his synapse and cause him to faint. The pale, long-eared warrior still took a couple steps back from the impact, leaving him looking grimmer, and now certainly more aggravated than he had been before being shot in the chest. The bounty hunter braced himself for a fight. The hall was blocked by the intimidating human further down, expectantly waiting for his opportunity to step in. The nagi must work for him, he thought, as Ian just stood near his doorway, non-chalauntly, and whomever had circled around behind them and blocked off the door… yeah, these guys were professionals. The boss wasn’t going to be happy one bit.
  2. The three hunters were in the foyer and on their way to the second floor when the ringed stun blasts came at them. Walking single file helped their situation some, but not much, well, it helped everyone except the last guy in line. The tail end, the weequay, noticed Tisa a split-second before she squeezed the trigger and sent a stun ring in his direction. The ring hit dead center and his body convulsed for a second before he fell to the floor, unconscious. The ragged cloaked figure didn’t fare any better, although he managed to turn just in time to see his attacker and almost dodged the stun bolt, but it caught him in the shoulder and he, too, fell to the ground. The hunter running point fared the best, as the second hunter was falling, he grabbed him and used him as a shield, letting his ally take a second bolt. He returned fire as he let his ally’s body fall to the ground, but Tisa was safely behind the cover of the doorway and the bolts dissipated against the duracrete wall. Blasters set to stun rang out in the hallways of Yim’s Hostel and Dar saw the hunter take cover at the top of the stairs and hunker down for protection against whomever on the first floor was attacking him. Ianmar withdrew his blaster from its holster at the first sign of trouble, entering the hallway as the stranger Nagai tensed in the hallways in preparation to defend himself, if necessary.
  3. From the album: Dave ST

  4. Dave ST

    Dave ST

  5. Dave ST

    Melissa Rory.jpg

    From the album: Dave ST

  6. Earlier that evening… Two thugs dragged an abused aqualish through the dimly lit common area that was, up until a few moments ago, alive with music and loud chatter. The mirth and merriment seemed on hold as the aqualish’s body was cast down onto the hard duracrete floor where upon the alien coughed up a thick globule of blood and mucus from his collapsed lung. “Ah,” a deep baritone echoed through the smoky chamber and through the light an enormous figure slithered like the main attraction of a show parting holo curtains. Pibsomo the Hutt stopped just short of the glob of blood and looked down at the broken ship captain. Like most hutts, Pibsomo was massive and wide. Unlike most hutts, it was all muscle and he cut an odd but imposing figure of powerful features combined with his slug-like biology. His body was riddled with scars, some slight cuts while others were appeared to have been gaping wounds more than a meter in length. Ancient huttese tribal art was tattooed into dense, dung brown flesh. “Captain Nibis. So glad you could join us this evening.” “S-Somo,” Nibis coughed, wheezing in pain as he tried to stand. A look from the hutt, accompanied by a nod, encouraged the two thugs who dragged him in to lift him back up off the floor so he could face the hutt eye-to-eye. “I-I was gonna tell you! I swear! I h-had to be sure, you know?” One of the thugs stepped forward and dropped three bounty pucks into the massive hutt’s palm. Easily the giant hand swallowed all three and with a twitch of his thumb one of the pucks lit to life, then a second, finally the third. The third one seemed to cause Pibsomo to raise a brow and glare intently at the aqualish. ‘Dar’Krin: 15,000 credits. Tisa Jedun: 10,000 credits. Ianmar Thul: 35,000’ “Nibis, Nibis,” Pibsomo clicked his tongue while shaking his head in disappointment. He mockingly sounded concerned. “You are no bounty hunter. My boys told me you know where these bounties are. Were you trying to cut me out of sixty thousand? My boys handle bounties. We have a system, you know this.” “No! Of course not!” Nibis tried to protest but only conjured a disdainful look from the giant slug. “I-I didn’t have all the intel, Somo, I swear! The woman, Tisa, she approached me for transport off planet and that was when I recognized her from the bounty kiosk so… I followed her. She went to Yim’s boarding house and lo and behold that human guy came walking in, so I kept to the alley and staked the place out and sure enough that nagai fella showed up a day or so after. Yim got all kinds of people there with bounties, Somo, mostly a few thousand a head, but those big ones I took the pucks for so I could bring them to you and the professionals. I swear it!” A long, tense silence took hold of the normally festively loud chamber. Somo glared at the aqualish captain, he stroked his chin and then finally raised his arm and waved his hand forward, summoning one of his retainers to bring something forward. A loud groan of anguish soon rose over the sound of a shock stick arcing its charge into the spine of the boy the hutt had summoned. “Boy,” the hutt demanded as the young man staggered forward, still trying to rub the small of his back from where the servant had prodded him forward. The crime boss gestured to Nibis. “Tell me: does he speak the truth?” “He is motivated by greed,” the young man stammered, shying away from the giant slug out of fear that his answer might earn him another shock. “But he’s being honest. He… he is just fearful… fearful you’ll take his ship… at the eastern spaceport… bay seventeen.” “Heheheh,” Pibsomo’s laughter filled the room, his gaze finally falling on the captain. “Nibis, Nibis… you have the fastest ship of all my smugglers. Thank the boy here that you will be keeping it.” The hutt turned to the boy and a couple of his men. “Go and collect the human, take the boy with you to tack him down if he runs.” “What about the other two?” A weequay henchman asked. “Worry about them later,” Pibsomo boomed as he slithered away towards his ‘throne’ at the far back of the room. “The woman can’t go anywhere.” “And the nagai?” “If you’re tired of living,” the hutt chuckled. “Sure. Just make sure that human gets to me first. Go.” Somo slithered off giving one last wave towards Nibis. “And someone clean him up.” Now… The Tidal locked moon left the Vertical City in perpetual night. As Tisa entered the club the rain began to fall, leaving the streets slick with the sheen of rainbow water saturated by oils and street filth. Dar’Krin silently listened to the rain as it tapped against the closed shutters of his room. He calmly meditated, reaching out with his senses to listen to the singular voice of the Force as it pertained to whole of life that was Nar Shaddaa. Ianmar rested comfortably on his bed. Yim’s wasn’t the poshest of places, but thankfully the sweet old rodian woman kept it as clean as she was able and welcoming. Curiously he played with the kyber crystals he’d been given on Corellia. He rolled all three of them through his fingers like a gambler might do with a pazaak card, in a display of honed desterity. “I don’t get it Deez,” he sighed. “Just old rocks, and they cause so much troub-“ Deezle ‘wooed’ softly as Ianmar stopped midsentence as one of the crystals began to shimmer until it glowed softly, bathing the rebel in a soft white light with a thin border of soft blue. “Woah.” A second crystal did the same, save that its glow was chaotic and pulsing, mingling between flickering blueish white and thick, inky red. “Now what do you suppose that is?” “No,” one of Somo’s thugs spoke into his commlink from the darkened shadows of the alleyway. “The woman left, but we’ve seen both the human and the nagai. We’re in position to collect him on your word, Somo.” “Go.” Came the words of Somo through the commlink. Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Dar’Krin heard the words of his master echo in his mind. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit idle, we learn by doing. The memory forced a slight smile to the somber nagai’s expression. He then winced as his thoughts became cloudy and murky, like white noise in his mind. Fear. Anxiety. Pain. Malice. The feelings pressed against the walls of his mind, making his eyes hurt and temples throb. His opened abruptly as a bead of sweat trickled down his forehead. A Force-user was close. “Are you sure you won’t reconsider?” Eion asked again as they stood on a corner not far from Yim’s. She didn’t ask for an escort, but he insisted. His smile was charming and his features handsome, but Tisa knew he probably worked for some shady underworld trader or vigo. His umbrella covered them both, the thin particle shields spread across the eight-wedge pattern above them sizzled the rain as it fell. “My pad is not far, but certainly in a better neighborhood. Over Eion’s shoulder, Tisa saw three men entering Yim’s, two humans and what she suspected was a third, but the dirty, patched cloak kept their features hidden. She wouldn’t have thought much of it until one of them paused briefly before entering and slid back the charging bolt on his blaster rifle.
  7. Legacies: Episode 1 EVERYTHING BURNS “Rebellions are built on hope.” Darkness plagues the galaxy. After their defeat on Exegol the REBELLION lies scattered throughout the galaxy, demoralized and without leadership. IANMAR, the last rebel courier has discovered that the EMPIRE has plans for a new super weapon that will bring the entire galaxy in line. After learning that he needs to get in contact with a spy to learn more, his ship was damaged during his escape from Corellia sending his hyperspace jump off course. DAR’KRIN last of the JENSAARAI barely escaped the EMPIRE after they launched an attack upon the enclave spire, he called home. Now, lost and alone in the galaxy he seeks the SAARAI-KAAR for wisdom, guidance and to complete his training. Betrayed and hiding as much from her past as she is her own sins, TISA JEDUN hides in the shadows of Nar Shaddaa from the EMPIRE she once served. Forsaken and surrounded by enemies at every turn she knows she has to keep moving, to flee the Smuggler’s Moon before she is recognized… The brightest light casts the deepest shadows, as the old saying goes, and Nar Shaddaa with its brilliantly lit neon lights and holo-adverts kept every block lit up for miles in every direction. The Vertical City, as most called it, was nothing more than a planet-wide city, like Coruscant, save that all the scum and villainy was free to wander instead of being forced to remain in the undercity levels below the ‘civilized’ districts. Every vice from spice to dice was available on the Smuggler’s Moon and the Hutts did nothing but profit from it. If someone needed something illegal in every other system of the galaxy… Narsh was the place to find it and then disappear afterwards. [Ianmar] “It’s been a week!” Ianmar eyed the tall, and surprisingly fit, woman up and down as he demanded some explanation. Her coveralls were unzipped and tied around her waist. The tank top she wore was blotched with grease, as was her skin which seemed to cover in a camouflage pattern that would help her blend with the piles of junk and debris all around her. “When will it be ready?” “When it’s ready,” she replied with a shrug. “ARCs are not easy to get parts for, not all the way out here. I’m doing what I can and that’s all I can do.” The rebel facilitator sighed and composed himself. “Okay, yeah, fine. Sorry. So, what’re my options?” “Well, if you’re a hurry, I’d recommend chartering passage off world. If not, sit back, enjoy the sights and take in all Narsh has to offer. Gambling, entertainment, women,” she looked him up and down, then smirked sarcastically. “Men. Not judging.” She wiped her hands on a rag tucked in her belt. “Look, I like you. You seem decent, which is more than I can for most of my clientele, so I’ll tell you what… go a few blocks down to the hotel there and talk to Yim, rodian, can’t miss her. She’ll hook you up on a discount for a room while you wait. Least I can do, tell her Tala sent you.” [Dar’Krin] “Whelp… dis is as far as I go,” Hondo exclaimed as he smacked Dar’Krin on the back. They weren’t even out of the star port and the old weequay didn’t seem too eager to go any further, despite how jovial he might have seemed. “You… you, go and do whatever it is your types do, yeah? I will see what I learn about Merkis and his adopted daughter with an arg'garok to grind. Shame you can not stay! I could use a hard worker like you for my crew.” “I appreciate your offer,” Dar’Krin lowered his head humbly. “But I thank you for getting me this far.” “Yes, yes, I know.” Hondo waved off the pleasantries. “I may be a disreputable pirate, but Hando Ohnaka always honors his favors.” His tone got low as he took Dar’Krin hand and the familiar sound of credits ‘tinking’ together was heard. Once again Dar’Krin didn’t need the Force to see the compassion in the old weequay’s soul. “And uh, you take this, okay boy? It’s uh… it’s only a loan, yeah? I expect it all back, with interest.” He cleared his throat as his men watched the credits hit the nagai’s palm. “Now,” he continued on. “Go find Yim. Rodian. Can’t miss her. She runs a hostel not far from here, lay low there, try to find passage off-world. You’re smart, a hard worker, shouldn’t be a problem for you. Smart is the key though, boy. You do not survive Nar Shaddaa by being stupid, trust me. When I see you again, I will tell you stories of mine and Merkis’s adventures.” He shrugged and chuckled. “Some might even be true.” [Tisa] Another freighter captain had stood her up. As the drink burned her innards, the ex-Imperial officer surveyed the landscape of the cantina through the smoky air and tangy scent of spice and death sticks. She was eager to leave the Y’Toub system, she’d already been here too long. From her corner booth she saw a few more bounty hunters approaching the kiosk on the wall, they swiped their guild credentials and began sifting past various holos of those who had prices on their heads. ‘Tisa Jedun, 10,000cr’ displayed prominently in a flickering blue-glow and with a relieved sigh, the hunter swiped past her, uninterested and seemingly looking for larger bounties to hunt. This meet was a bust and she decided it was time to finish her drink as swiftly as possible and be on her way before she drew any unwanted attention. With a tug at her hood, she finished her drink and made her way for the door. The neon lights reflecting off the streets outside the cantina were enough to blind her as she squinted and stepped out into polluted evening air. As the door to her room slid shut later she leaned her blaster rifle against the wall near her bed and dropped her every day carry items on the small table in the middle of the cramped room she’d been tucked away in. She looked at the holo she had of Captain Nibis, the aqualish captain who was supposed to meet with her tonight to get her off world. Her face was aglow with the dim blueish light it cast upon her attractive features until she clicked it off and tossed it in the corner with equal parts disgust and frustration. She was never going to leave Nar Shaddaa. If there was one thing she learned during her time with the Empire it was that everything burns, especially hope. Below, in the shadows across the street, three men watched as the soft blue light in one of the rooms suddenly flickered out…
  8. Dave ST

    YToub_system.png

    From the album: Dave ST

  9. Imperial Breakdown The Sith Empire: The most common term is the Galactic Empire. From the Emperor’s seat of power on Coruscant the daily politics of the galaxy are played out on a stage set in what was once the old Galactic Senate Chambers. From there, the various sector and regional governors plot against each other for funding, resources, and budget increases. You probably recognize this better as COMPNOR. Voting no longer occurs within the glossy black chambers. A sector or a region may petition for anything it requires and even be backed by other Imperial governors, but the final say always falls upon the Emperor’s appointed representatives. Around the Emperor is an appointed Committee that monitors and assesses the needs of the various regions of the galaxy, noting successes and failures to consider when allocating resources or managing personnel. Mostly there is only arguing and petty squabbles taking place within the chamber walls. COMPNOR operates from the Old Republic Senate Building. [This is not exactly how COMPNOR operated, but it was created before a lot of the newer material was written and thus far it hasn’t received an update through the years. This keeps the feel of the Imperial COMPNOR while also making use of the old Senate structure from Episodes I, II, III and what was seen in the Clone Wars episodes. Instead of being filled with senators and representatives from the various worlds throughout the galaxy, it is now utilized by power hungry, greedy imperial governors and Moffs as a tool to curry favor from the Emperor and more prestige and power and is the only way they can hope to compete with anyone who has graduated from the Sith Academy.] The Sith Order: Operating out of the former Jedi Temple on Coruscant, the Sith Order operates as dark reflection of everything the Jedi stood for through the millennia. Instead of peacekeepers, they are symbols of oppression whose presence invokes fear. After having stood for nearly five thousand years as a symbol of peace and hope within the galaxy, it is now known as The Sith Academy. Any Force Sensitive discovered within the empire is given the option to either join the Order or be put to death. Within the Sith Order is where one will find the largest concentration of alien species. Considering the rarity of the Force and how it makes a single individual equal to a small army with proper training, the xenophobia of imperial doctrine is somewhat lifted to accommodate. Even then, only near-human, civilized species are offered the opportunity to serve the Order. To be accepted into and complete one’s training at the Sith Academy is a guarantee of power and prestige within the Empire, possibly launching one’s station Force sensitive junker on a backwater world to nobility and power. Sequestered away in their temple, no one is quite sure how many Force-users the Empire has at its disposal, but intelligence suggests that not all of them wield iconic red lightsabers. Force sensitive spies, assassins and deep covert operatives are all sent to the Sith Temple for training and due its high attrition rate, only best emerge to ply their skills in service of the empire. The Sith Order answers to no one within the Imperial hierarchy but the Emperor himself. While on official Imperial business, a Lord or Lady (as the title of Sith carries with it instant nobility) is equal in command to the highest-ranking officer within the command, be it army or navy. However, they are to leave the day-to-day operations to the military officers while they tend to whatever affairs or orders that have been assigned to them. [The Sith Order is nothing more than a posh and decadent upper class of Force-Users whose petty squabbles keep them occupied enough that only the most talented and gifted of them rise to the top, which is how the Emperor wants it. While all are Force sensitive, only a small percentage of them have earned the right to wear a lightsaber and be considered ‘true Sith’ which is an accolade within their social strata that elevates to even greater station amongst their own numbers.] The Rule of Two and All Those Force Users: The Rule of Two is still in effect within Darth Sidious’ ongoing (some would argue: recently re-awakened) Empire. He maintains only a single apprentice, and whom that may be is currently unknown. The Sith from the academy are simply Force-wielding tools to carry out his orders if other Force traditions within the galaxy might try to oppose him again. In keeping with Sith tradition, it is a known belief that Darth Sidious is nigh immortal and has no intention of ever relinquishing his power to anyone. The Brotherhood of Darkness believes that, while keeping with the tenants of the Sith philosophy, Sidious’ existence also violates the Rule. Knowledge is supposed to be passed on, from Master to Apprentice until one day the Apprentice becomes the Master. Even if rightfully defeated by an apprentice Sidious’ cloning technology and knowledge of Dark Transfer he is making a mockery of the Sith teachings. Even among the blackest hearts of the Sith there are some who agree that precepts must be obeyed and while you can cheat the system, or the galaxy, cheating the will of the Force is blasphemy. The Inquisitorious: The Imperial Inquisitors, or Inquisitors, are a task force of dark side Force users whose sole purpose is to hunt and kill any rogue Force using tradition or individuals who refuse to join the Empire and learn the ways of the Dark Side of the Force. There are only a handful of Inquisitors when compared to the posh nobility that graduates the Sith Academy almost daily, leaving the Inquisitors to believe that they are superior in the ‘quality over quantity’ sense. Despite this, Sith and Inquisitors are equal in rank and power while serving orders and this often leads to a conflict of egos. Sidious intended it this way and allows the two factions to consistently fight amongst themselves. The only way to become an Inquisitor is to defeat an Inquisitor in single combat, relinquish their name and take their number as a fellow Brother or Sister. Only the Inquisistors have access to Purge Troopers and resources, a fact that infuriates the Sith to no end. Their headquarters was once on Coruscant but after disputes with the Sith Academy they relocated. Being a covert branch of the Imperial Military, their current head quarters is a closely guarded secret. Republic Breakdown The Galactic Republic: The Galactic Republic fell approximately 55 years ago when Darth Sidious, disguised as Senator Palpatine assumed executive control of all the Republics resources to battle the separatists for the Clone Wars and refused to relinquish that power after the republics victory. [We should all know the story.] The Rebellion: Scattered across the galaxy is the Rebellion, women and men who are dedicated to fighting the Empire’s tyranny and restoring order and peace to the galaxy. They maintain bases in several of the Outer Rim systems and cells of freedom fighter can be found almost everywhere, working on secret lest they be outed by those indoctrinated by Imperial propaganda. After their loss at Exegol, the rebellion stands on the brink of extinction with no formal leadership, just a handful of resistance cells doing their best to strike from the shadows, but it’s not enough. The Jedi Order: For nearly 34 years the Jedi Order was a thorn in the side of the Empire after the death of her brother, Luke Skywalker, caused Princess Leia Organa-Solo to take up the mantle of Jedi Master and train a new generation of Jedi in secret. Leia chose twelve students to start and at the time of the battle of Exegol, each of those students were full fledged Jedi Knights with Padawans of their own. Although they fought bravely at Exegol it is known that at least three of the Padawans fell to the Dark Side and turned on their masters, beyond that, it is believed that none of the Jedi survived. For the first time in twenty-five thousand years, there are no Jedi, or successors to the Jedi Order. Leia trained the Jedi in secret and no one but the Jedi knew where their training temple was located. Other Force Traditions: Through the galaxy there have been hundreds of Force Traditions, aside from the Jedi and Sith that have thrived for as long as recorded history. With the apparent fatal stroke against the Jedi at Exegol, the Empire has begun moving on the lesser-known traditions, exterminating or absorbing them into its great war machine. The Jenssarai, Zeison Sha and Matuaki, whose orders had already felt the wrath of the Empire, are now being hunted to extinction as the final fall of the Jedi has rejuvenated the motivation in the Inquisitors. As a result, nearly all Force traditions have gone into hiding.
  10. This is a resource topic for the game. Important information will be found here regarding the galaxy and the various factions within it. Since this an 'alternate timeline' game, a lot of the things we do and NPCs we'll be using will not be canon, so keep an open mind and have some fun by making the galaxy your own.
  11. Villains database. Keep in mind, any statistics here are strictly for show. Most major villains win or lose depending on the needs of the story. Basically, even if it seems like you're winning because you know all their all their stats, they only lose when it's their time to leave the story. Feel free to use these for your home games. Enjoy.
  12. "Okay, yeah," Kestrel sucked her teeth and pointed to Maya with her smartphone. "That one's on me. I'm sorry, I've grown accustomed to supernatural weirdness and we tend to just congregate sometimes. Werewolves especially, like one big happy family. It slipped my mind that all this is new to you." She pushed off the countertop with a thrust of her hips and walked over to Maya. "I didn't mean to make this awkward for you, honest. It's just, I had to reach out for a bit of help. We're all in over head on this one, and Mel here managed to find a guy who might be able shed some light on all of this and help us out, so I invited everyone here to wait until you got home." "No harm no foul?" She offered Maya apologetic pouty lips as she grinned mischievously. "I'm not against bribing myself back into your good graces with burgers later."
  13. [Grim] Runa watched the tension between Grim and Fisher, critically evaluating them as both. When Fisher walked off the giantess approached the thin Scion of Odin. “You bicker like children.” She said uncaringly. “It’s a wonder you manage to get anything accomplished.” Her eyes narrowed as Fisher slithered back into the crowd and finally disappeared around a corner. Her attention slipped to Grim and she leaned down to speak in his ear over the hundreds of conversations of the party goers and loud music. “I saw you speaking with the one they call Marius.” She stepped past him. “There is dissention in their ranks. There is tension between the witches and the demigod Usurper. I will accept that drink, now. You will tell me of your quarrel with that man and best means by which I might kill Dane Baldurson.” [Fisher] Rest assured he was having enough of Grim’s attitude, still though, his mind was on the task at hand not how he was going handle the All-Son, that was a task for later. Still, it didn’t do much for his own attitude and now that he was seething ever-so-slightly, every party that got in his way made him annoyed just a little more. He offered a silent thank you to whatever god handled those small vacant spaces at parties where people didn’t congregate and allowed one a break from the noise and suffocating proximity of the assembled. He had found such a place at the narrow walkway that led down into the cellar. Mercedes home was new, but it was built upon the bones of an older structure, an older Salem mansion that had met with a fire a century prior. When the Rhodes family adopted the land some fifty years ago, they build their home atop the solid brick cellar and expanded upon it over the years. He wondered if it connected to the maze of tunnels that stretched beneath the whole of Salem, tunnels the city claimed didn’t exist. Fisher knew they did though because he and Darcy had been caught playing in them when they were a lot younger. He clicked on the light and half-expected a row of candles arranged in some satanic symbolism to spark up and in a show as he passed under the two-hundred-year-old red brick arch that separated old construction from new. Instead, the light just flickered into brightness, no cobwebs, or witchy-woo chalk circles of power or a variety local house pets exsanguinated for dark rituals. He sighed, in equal parts relief and disappointment, when all that greeted him were a washer and dryer, several shelves of cleaning detergents for the staff to use, and a variety of laundry accessories. He wandered the massive cellar, which broke off to the left and the right from the laundry area. To his right it led into a large, underground lounge complete with mini bar, couches and comfortable chairs and a eighty-six inch screen television he assumed was for watching football or some other events. Satisfied no demon worship or diabolical occult shenanigans were taking place at the minibar, he ventured into the Rhodes wine cellar, opposite from the lounge. The wine cellar was all old construction, nothing had been modernized or painted, plastered over or concealed in anyway, save perhaps the floor upon which he was crept as silently as he could. This had creepy witchy-woo written all over it. Rows and rows of diamond-cut shelves racked and stacked in a veritable maze of dust, cobwebs, and history. He’d never really been in a wine cellar before so of course he couldn’t help but pick up a bottle or two and read the dates or… whatever one was supposed to do in a wine cellar. It was read the dates and say something like ‘good year’, right? Not knowing if it was truly a good year or not, he set a bottle back in its place and his inner kid was hoping for a bottle to be pulled and it open a secret passage or something, now that would be awesome. “Find what you’re looking for?” Fisher turned swiftly, startled, and looking guilty as hell, to the question asked by Lancea who’d obviously followed him down. She had forgone the curly red wig and now was wearing her wavy copper hair down to cover each shoulder and Fisher honestly did recall little orphan Annie having such a prominent bust, if she could have maybe just done up one more button, it wouldn’t have made him feel so uncomfortable at the notion of being down here alone with her. He was going to hazard a guess that she hadn’t seen the Broadway play of Annie, or the movies. This wasn’t a big deal though, right? After all, he liked Darcy, right? Right? She was attractive, but he wasn’t attracted to her… … … Right? “Did you actually think we’d hide all our ceremony materials right here in the basement?” She giggled as she shook her head. She took a step towards Fisher, who in turn cautiously and visibly tensed, ready for any sudden moves. Lancea paused her advance. “Relax, I’m not going to try and hex you. I know who you are, I recognize you from the high school that night we came back.” She slowly stepped forward, reassuring Fisher that she wasn’t going to try anything (but really, could one trust a witch?). “You’re here to stop us and send us back. I’ll help you, but I have conditions.” [Austin and Valerie] “Um, yeah, Billie can see through all the weird. Sorry, we weren’t trying to keep it from anyone it just, sorta… didn’t come up?” Darcy pursed her lips into a sheepish half-smile that asked for forgiveness over any misunderstanding. “Guys,” she chuckled and looked at the two of them on a swivel when they both brought up her being careful. “I’ll be fine, trust me. I’m trying to help keep my home safe, not get dead. You guys have the superpowers, so trust me, I know when to keep my head down. I appreciate the concern, and that’s not sarcasm, it’s awesome to know your… band?” she wasn’t sure of the proper word to use and looked over to Austin, whom she was more familiar with, to receive the approving nod that her choice was the correct one. “Is totally looking out for me, but I get enough over-protection from Fisher. I need friends more than bodyguards, though so please, please don’t smother me. I’m a big girl, I can lick my own scrapes and bruises, I’m not made of glass.” “He just cares,” Austin said, protecting his friend Fisher. “I know, and I love him for it,” she laughed again. “He’s great, he really is, but I’m not Mercedes, you know? I’m not all expensive dresses, perfect hair, YouTube makeup tutorials. I’m homegrown tomboy through and through, getting dirty doesn’t bother me.” “So, Val, are you in their band now?” She turned to face Valerie, resting her elbows on her knees. “How does that work exactly? Do they just assign you guys or is there like, a means and a metho-,“ she paused as her eyes trailed off and gazed passed the party goers relaxing, talking, and making out in the open-air of the back yard. She didn’t take her eyes off what she was looking, nodding her head to alert the others where her gaze had settled. “Austin? It’s Mercedes… and isn’t that that Marius guy?” They both looked, easily noticing what Darcy was looking at. Out past the boundaries of the party, near a large, ostentatiously elaborate gazebo, Mercedes and Marius were off to the side, partially occluded by the shadows provided by the moon. They were engaged in a rather animated conversation, or rather, Mercedes was rather animated. Marius seemed to remain is usual suave, calm self if his body language was any indication of how things were going down. In a pique of frustration Mercedes appeared to try and turn to walk away, but Marius grabbed her by her arm as she turned from him and pulled her back into the conversation and freshly greeting her by grabbing her chin where he appeared to be issuing some manner of threat. [Nadya] Salem’s sultriest (and certainly the most funnest, Nadya’s words) witch made her way upstairs where the scene was precisely what she expected. When it came unsupervised high school parties, especially of the supernatural variety, the numerous bedrooms of Mercedes’ mansion were getting more mileage than Nadya cared to venture a guess at. The music didn’t quite reach up to the second floor and was muted somewhat but the floor of the upstairs still shook and vibrated from the bass and percussion of the show going on below. The halls were lined with couples (or more) making out or chasing each other in flirtatious antics, which she found herself dodging on more than one occasion with a giggle of her own to offer. While she was nowhere near as promiscuous as her rival, Mercedes (the real one, not that 1800’s heffer currently riding her skin) had made her out to be, these people at the party were, in a nutshell, her people. Dedicated to the enjoyment and fulfillment of just having a good time and not caring what the world thought about it. Free souls enjoying what time they had together, whether it was dancing, drinking, sex… life was too short to live I the shadows of others’ judgements and no others seemed to pull it off better than drunk high schoolers trying to get laid by people they had no idea were supernatural mythical creatures. Fate was hilarious sometimes. As she navigated the crowded, labyrinthine halls of the second floor she noticed the young Asian woman Austin had been dancing with earlier, ‘Yuki’? She was fervently locking lips with a guy whom she’d pressed against a wall. As she pulled away Nadya noticed a shimmer, a glow… a single mote of wispy breath be pulled up his throat and float its way into her, offering a soft luminance that made her neck glow softy for just a moment before the light faded. She grinned slightly, tapping her temporary lover on the cheek a few times as he slid down the wall, collapsing to the carpet. With a shrug and a bounce in her step she moved on. Out of concern, Nadya checked the collapsed teen (whom she had in one of her classes) and he appeared alive, just unconscious. As she stood, Yuki was still prowling, but now engaged in small talk with a few, obviously supernatural, females in the hallway. What else caught her eye was the glimmer of metal that seemed to flash just outside the range of her peripherial vision. Her head craned in the direction of the steel and saw… Niles? With two large pot lids, strapped over her shoulders he’d created a breast plate covering his chest and back, a trashcan lid was acting as a shield and… a large pot was making up his helmet, complete with long handle extending from the back of his head. As if Jonny Appleseed and King Arthur had a retarded love-child. Still, the long sword at his side didn’t seem like it was at all a joke. While others were enjoying themselves however, he appeared to be sneaking around, and the flash she saw was the light catching his… ‘helmet’, as he slipped into one of the rooms off to the side and cautiously looked around before he closed the door. He certainly seemed up to something.
  14. Rooftop Rendezvous II “Let me tell you this: if you meet a loner, no matter what they tell you, it's not because they enjoy solitude. It's because they have tried to blend into the world before, and people continue to disappoint them.” ― My Sister's Keeper Late Thursday, 5th September... September nights in Montana, even on surprisingly warm, summer-like days were chilly and nothing like the warm temperatures of Malibu where the twins were raised. Neither had adapted to the cold particularly well and their complaints in the cold winter were almost endless. This evening, where it was sixty degrees in Malibu it was a brisk forty-five outside on the other side of the sheer white curtains billowing softly in the open window of Marissa’s bedroom. She sat in her usual spot on the roof outside her room on a small blanket. She didn’t want to sleep tonight so in a hoodie and sweats that were neither flattering nor fashionable, she braved the chill of the Montana night in her ritual of getting her nicotine fix. She didn’t smoke in front of others, she found the scent it left detracted from her appearance, getting in her hair and on her clothes. She used it generally as a means of relaxation, having a cigarette or a joint a couple nights a week as a means of de stressing before bed. Nicotine wasn’t in play tonight as the polished metal tube vacuumed up the crushed white powder of the several XR tablets. She snorted, shaking her head and groaning as the powder coated her nasal cavity to be absorbed by the blood vessels there where the drugs would be absorbed into her bloodstream and go straight to her brain faster and more potently than if she had ingested them and waited. Her metabolism processed food, drugs and alcohol at a phenomenal speed since her strange new abilities awakened and this, she found, helped her not only get high faster, but prolonged the experience by delivering it directly to her bloodstream. She shuttered, craning her head to one side and shaking reflexively from discomfort as the powder hit her senses. She cursed silently as she rubbed her nose, trying to scratch the phantom itch that irritated her sinuses. The means and the method of deliver may not have been the most glamourous for Shelly’s hottest fashionista, but the effects were exactly what she needed to escape the perceived misery and stress of a life she hated. An hour later she was still there on the roof, gazing off into the sky and wondering all manner of random things as her brain was lightning focused and alert. It wasn’t ideal, but this would keep her awake and if she was awake, she couldn’t dream. Ever since the Not-Cody battle, like her brother after he was taken by the dark, she’s not had a night of decent sleep. Eventually she’d see him; Cody, or what he’d become rather, and he would be battling her and the Fellowship all over again. During the course of the battle the monster’s flesh would bubble and sear, melt and drip until his face would fall away and Marissa’s was in its place. She’d rip and tear, shred and mutilate the Fellowship down to the last and it was always when her claws tore into her brother that she’d wake up in a cold sweat, her heart racing, and tears in her eyes. The flint scrapped against the steel and the lighter sparked to life. She took a drag and the cherry swelled to life as she inhaled and tried to relax while casting the thoughts of her dreams aside. She exhaled and tried to relax as the freshly lit ultra slim one hundred filled the air with that first few moments of its unique scent before the full burn began. “So,” her brother faded into view slowly in a violent shimmer before he solidified completely at his selected location: right next to his sister. Marissa jumped slightly, thankful she’d exhaled, or she’d have been choking. “Asshole!” she fumed, backhanding his arm, hard once he was fully present. “I told you to quit doing the shit, what the fuck?” He tried to lean away, but her hand was faster and surprisingly powerful for her size. Her rubbed his arm, grumbling an ‘ow’ before feeling brave enough to speak again. “So,” he picked up where he left off. I went ahead and Windex’d your nipple and ass crack prints off the dining room table before mom and dad saw them. Cade, I’m assuming? And at mom’s setting too… nice touch.” She tried not to grin like an adolescent boy who’d just heard someone fart, but she couldn’t help it. Not even taking another drag from her cigarette helped mask the childish smirk on her face. “Yeah,” she answered. “He stopped by after the reception, and now, every time mom lowers her head to take a bite off her plate it’s going to be right where Cade’s face was between my thighs.” He looked at his sister, one brow raised up in appraisal that was a, knowing Devin, both judgement and appreciation for deviance. “That’s… that’s pretty fucked up. Even for you EmJay. Also, too much info, I don’t need to hear where Cade’s face has been planted.” Marissa just shrugged. “Fuck her and dad. They’ve spent their life ruining ours, I may as well have some fun now that we’re probably going to be shipped off to a boarding school. If I had more time, I would have fucked him on their bed.” “And how, exactly, does that hurt mom and dad?” He shivered and zipped up his hoodie. “Christ it’s cold out here.” “It’s therapeutic, Devin.” She craned her head to look in his direction. “I don’t expect you to understand.” She flicked her thumb on the butt, letting ash fallaway onto the shingles that the rain and snow would wash away as it always did. “So, does he know you’re just using him to get back at mom and dad by lashing out sexually?” He shoved his hands in his pockets to stave off the cold. “What’s your endgame? Get pregnant and laugh in mom’s face as you watch her break down into tears as you throw away all of the opportunities you have in life to raise Cade’s kid?” “Nope,” It was about as uncaring of a tone as she was capable of. “I’m getting Nexplanon Monday, and we’re using protection, but thanks for being all in my business. Besides, what makes you think Cade even gives a shit? He’s in love with me, the idiot. Come on, Devin! We’re the bad kids! We’re the liars, the bullies, the villains! Might as well add sexual deviants to it too, right? At least that’s one fucking thing we can enjoy in this steaming shit pile we call a life!” She tried to calm down a bit by inhaling her cigarette once more, but her fingers were shaking as she rose it to her lips, an overdose side effect of the drugs she’d taken earlier, and her bodies hyper metabolism was doing all it could to keep her functioning. “Chill,” her brother said sternly. “I wasn’t judging, I’m just concerned, that’s all. You tend to do stupid shit when you’re mad at the world. I was worried, okay?” “Oh, I do stupid shit?” She turned her head to glare at him. “You teleported Taggart’s car to Wisconsin because you’re pissed the Project didn’t protect Jason and I do stupid shit?” “Wyoming, actually.” He grinned while meeting his sister’s stare and after a moment she grinned too. “He’s driving it back now. Next time it’ll be Wisconsin, then Winnipeg.” They both laughed at the thought of Taggart getting more and more pissed off every time Devin punished the Project for not following through on their promises. Marissa’s expression finally went dead pan, and she lost all semblance of a being in a decent mood and cut right to the chase. “So, what? We’re talking now?” She knew how her brother operated. He’d slip in break the ice, engage in some casual conversation, and then escape any semblance of past responsibility by pretending nothing ever happened. “In a manner of speaking, I guess,” he shrugged. “Not funny,” she replied while fishing for another cigarette, considering it looked she was going to be here awhile. “You know what I mean, stop being a prick.” “Okay,” he conceded as he let himself slowly fall back onto the blanket and look up at the stars. “I thought, perhaps, it’s been a day or so and we’ve had time to cool down. Maybe could try hashing this out?” She thought about it for a moment, casting away her crushed out cigarette and lighting another one. It wasn’t often she smoked two in one evening, but situations being what they were… “Alright, how about we start with ‘you are supposed to be on my side’.” “I’m always on your side, Em. That doesn’t mean you’re automatically right in all things though. So I agree with the Fellowship that you should have at least told us, that doesn’t mean I’m saying that you were wrong. I get why you did what you did and how you handled it the way you did. You got professionals involved and there is nothing wrong with that. We’re just not supposed to have secrets, remember?” “I know, I know,” Closing her eyes, she inhaled and then sighed heavily. “When we made the promise though it didn’t really cover extradimensional spirits making threats against our family! I didn’t know what to do!” “But they don’t seem to understand that!” she cast out her arm towards the dark countryside, gesturing to the Fellowship, wherever they might be. “Because they don’t care,” he shrugged. “Who’re we to them? Just the bullies, the mean, evil twins in their story. The villains, like you said. I don’t agree with how Jason handled it, but that doesn’t mean he, nor you are wrong. I agree that in the future, if something like this happens again, we should tell each other about it, but I also agree that if the people we have to tell are incompetent to an extreme, that we should not be obligated to place people in danger just because Jason said so. I get it, I do. Remember, we’re talking about a guy who said that what he did Liam was a ‘mistake’. Writing in blue ink instead of black is a mistake. Ordering your burger with bacon when you didn’t want bacon is a mistake. Putting a man in the hospital after you’ve tortured him to the brink of death is not a mistake.” “At least he has Autumn to heal all of his victims now, so, there’s that.” She tried to chuckle at her own sarcasm but just couldn’t. “We’re all figuring shit out still, Marissa.” He went on, sighing with thought as he continued to seek answers in the stars above. “The whole Fellowship is messed up, we’re lost, we haven’t a clue what’s going on or what’s going happen. At the end of the day though, you’re always my sister, and I love you. I may not always agree with you, but I love you. But Cassie’s dad is running out of time, and he needs us.” Marissa chuckled and raised her cigarette to her lips, the cherry blossomed crimson in the dark of the rooftop. “I swear to god, you will literally do anything for a blowjob. She’s going to get her dad back and forget all about you, you know.” “I know.” He admitted with far more self-awareness than she expected. “It’s not for Cassie. It’s because that is what these powers are for. They’re not for getting the girl or airplanes in the yard or arguing with Jason every other day or trying to find out if Autumn maintains a carrot patch or has completely tilled the field.” “Wow.” Was all she could muster. “They’re for taking down people like those hiding in Site B and bringing people like Cassie’s dad back to their families. Tawny and Courtney don’t have the raw power to do it, the Fellowship is an implosion just waiting to happen and I don’t have the time nor the patience to keep putting up with the drama every other day.” “We start a lot of that drama,” she laughed. His reply was simple and to the point. “Not anymore. It’s a job. They don’t like us, we don’t have to like them, but we still have lives to save, Dark to spank and a Homecoming dance to look fly as fuck for.” Marissa groaned as she fell back like her brother did, now looking up at the stars as she finished the last of her cigarette. “We are going to look so damn good this year.” “So,” he turned his head to look at her. “We cool?” She exhaled the last bit of smoke out in a grey line that was quickly swept away by the evening breeze. “Yeah,” she turned her head to look at him. “We’re cool, and we’ll need to get in touch with Annette and Taggart about resources. They need to either start helping or get the hell out of our town.” “Couldn’t agree more.” He said, grinning to himself and placing his hands behind his head. They sat there for a few more minutes, plotting and scheming like they always did before finally agreeing that it was too damn cold to be talking outside. Marissa prepped for a shower to wash the scent of smoke out of her hair and try to find something to keep her occupied, so she didn’t end up falling asleep. Devin retired to his art for another hour or so. For all his tough talk about Tawny the sketch of her and her smile he’d been working on since the night before was turning out to be a modern masterpiece. For teenagers they were carrying an incredible weight and none of the Fellowship seemed to have proper mentors to help guide them through the trying times they’d found themselves in. They would endure, like they always did, sticking by each other in a world that didn’t care and against monsters that were not always from other realms.
  15. Deacon ‘Deek’ Knight Lost, Trapped, and Looking For Answers Quote: “I want so badly for there to be more. I ache for there to be more than my crappy little life. I don’t know, maybe there is more, and I just can’t see it.” Background: Originally from Bar Harbor Maine, Deacon doesn’t talk about his home life or growing up all that often. He has no issues sharing that he and his family don’t get along and they haven’t spoken since he moved to New York to make his own way, a move they didn’t approve of. When pressed he simply states that they wanted him to learn the ‘family business’ and that wasn’t what he wanted to do with his life. He came to Manhattan a couple of years ago, not long after his high school graduation and hasn’t been home since. Today, he serves as a bike messenger all over Manhattan, which makes him an expert on every side road, alley, and short cut in the city. He plays a lot of role playing games and has taken to studying all manner of occult and mythological lore to help spice up the adventures to run. Despite all the people knows due to gaming, he hasn’t a single person he’d consider a friend. Description: Deacon sets his grooming standard at a very low bar. Aside from regular showers and clean clothes, not much effort goes into his appearance. On a good day he looks like he just rolled ouf of bed, his dark hair a mess and plus one more day of stubble. His clothes are baggy and usually a size larger than necessary since he gets them from the Goodwill. He generally appears tired and run down, like he hasn’t had a good night’s sleep in weeks and sometimes, and sometimes in public people hand him dollar bills, thinking he’s homeless. Storytelling Hints: No matter how bad things are in your life; they are better than home and dealing with your overbearing parents. Sure, nothing has turned out like you planned and so far, you’re a complete failure, but at least you’ve failed on your own terms! Thankfully the reality of shitty your life has been easily overshadowed by role playing games, video games, and internet pornography! Who needs success when every day can be an adventure? Still, despite it all, every day you feel like you are not ‘you’. Like you’re lost in a world that was never your home to begin with and just causes you to withdraw further from society.
  16. Dave ST

    Deek 001.jpg

    From the album: Dave ST

  17. "In one form or fashion, I believe so, yeah." She nodded at him. "There are beings and things out there that you wouldn't believe. Not everything is so easily classified, but it generally breaks down in to spirit, fae, monster or... other." "Humans can't see them," she'd already peeled the label completely off her bottle. "Hell, they most barely notice a werewolf standing in front of them-" "-wait." Amelia poked her head up from the fridge where she was fishing for a soda after Kestrel had offered her free reign of an apartment that wasn't hers. "How is that even-" "Long story." Kestrel chuckled trying to keep focus on the topics at hand. "I'm not expert on anything outside garou society, aside from all of our basic survival manuals. Don't dare a drunk Mage. Don't juggle silver. Don't accept a blowjob from a vampire. It's pretty basic stuff. I've never hunted anything like this before, that's when I went to Bones-of-the-Past to ask her help and she helped us find an expert, Mel's friend Damon." "Deacon." Mel corrected. "Yeah, him." She nodded, setting down her empty, hollow bottle and almost immediately twisting the cap off a new one. "Ol' Momma Bones is never wrong. Once Maya get's home, we'll meet up with this guy and everything will be gravy. Trust me."
  18. "Uh," Kestrel shrugged. "Maybe? Genetics and forensics is bit outside my wheel house. I know vampires can appear alive and human for short time, and if tested during that time will register multiple blood types. I knw that right now, were I tested, I'd just pop as human, since this is my breed form." She took a moment to explain what a breed form was and pressed on. "But there's no way to test or quantify a soul, and from what I've been told, that's how magic works." "Sounds like all of this is magic, to me." Mel offered. "Well, in a manner of speaking, it is. All super naturals possess powers," tipped back her bottle and gestured with her free hand, drawing in the air with her fingernail to represent the various supers. "Kindred call them disciplines, garou call them gifts, fae call them cantrips... the list goes on. They are specialized, effects that we can create using our innate connection to the supernatural. As an example, animals are put off by the presence of garou or other shifters. They recognize some is off and sense the human and animal mingling in our spirits. Dogs bark, cats hiss, etcetera." "Suleman over there seems fin with you," Ravi smiled at the kitty loaf who couldn't have cared less. "I was getting that," she smirked. "We have a basic gift we can learn. Essentially it disguises our nature and doesn't freak animals out. It's a simple, basic trick. The more powerful we get, the fancier our tricks, or so I've been told. Personally I've never seen powerful gifts used. Magick, however, with a 'cee kay', is completely different... it's not localized into a disciplined, 'always does this', effect. Mages are wild because they literally warp reality and make it do whatever they want, no limits, at least, that's what I hear. They can make all your bones jelly, or turn the Eifel Tower into gold. Generally, it's best to avoid them. They're weird." "If you healed fast," she gestured Ravi. "You could be a shifter. The body's survival instinct can sometimes kick in even before your First Change. You're obviously not a vampire, despite smelling like one. Mages need to willfully chose to heal, it's not reflexive, and fae? Well... fae are just weird because it depends on which of their bodies was injured, it's a mess." She waved away the thought like she didn't want to deal with a fae, at all. "Problem is, gorgeous, there's no way to force The Change. It'll happen only when it happens, and it's possible it never will." "What then?" "We call you kin." She put it simply but so tersely that it immediately sounded like something he didn't want to happen. "You have the blood in you. You can see and interact with the supernatural without any major mental trauma... you just never changed. In garou society, you'd be respected, but never afforded any measure of station beyond what humans are already permitted."
  19. [Nadya] “Numerous ways, my dear,” he said in his thick Egyptian accent, ancient Egyptian. “They are called Terra Incognita, hidden places in the World. Some can be used for traveling quickly from one place to another, and others can take you to greater places still.” He smiled and held up a finger to accentuate a coming lesson. “But they require more power than you possess young Nadya. Only demigods have the strength to make use of such portals, but in time, perhaps you and yours will have suck freedoms, hm?” He was silent for a more a moment as she processed what the old gold had told her until the flick of his wrist drew her attention back to the moment. Between his fingers was a small business card with nothing more than a phone number, written in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. “Your mother’s responsibilities are many and varied as of late. I would love to say that there is a training guide to all of this but alas, there isn’t. When there is more time, call me, perhaps over coffee I may be able to help you sort a few things out on this new path you find yourself on, hm?” “Now,” he smiled warmly. “You’ve better things to do, I’m sure, than hang around some old, forgotten god at a party. Go, young one, enjoy yourself and do what you’ve come to do. We shall meet again later, of that I’m certain.” [Grim & Fisher] The throngs of teenagers were tightly packed and Grim was constantly reminded why he kept mostly to himself as they showed no concern with their dancing and drinking games who they bumped into or pushed against a wall because they weren’t paying attention. Naturally, he was the boy who pushed back, but in this case, there was no harm meant, yet still, it did nothing to irritate him any less. He noticed Dane, flirting with a dark elven woman who easily centuries his senior, if not millennia. He didn’t see Valerie or Austin, but noticed Nadya talking with the older god and Laurel… flirting(?) with Eric? Yeah, that was a conversation for later. His paying attention to everyone in such cramped spaces made him a victim of his own irritations when he stumbled directly into a beautiful, tall teenage girl no older than him. Like Laurel she had long, braided platinum blonde hair with streams of silver highlights sparkling within the tight knots. Her gossamer gown was the same shade of blue as her eye shadow and immediately he recognized her: Elsa, from Frozen. She huffed and grunted at him, giving him a push away from her that revealed hidden strength. Grim was five-foot eleven, but this girl was easily six-two. “Usurper.” She sneered at him like that was his name and a greeting all in one. His eyes narrowed while processed that title. Runa? “Grim,” Fisher approached, the Scion of Odin to convey his news and Runa/Elsa just silently looked at him and then to Fisher, not in any particular hurry to leave, but in no way seeming to care if they both pissed off immediately. [Valerie & Austin] “None taken,” Darcy smiled at Valerie and Austin, craning her head to address them both. “It’s honestly a new thing? I was worried about Fisher so I asked Billie to help me follow him. So, when you guys had that fight protecting the giant wolf… we were there for that.” She lowered her eyes as if holding a bit of guilt for not telling Austin sooner that she’d spied on them. “At first nothing made sense, but Fisher got hurt and all those hunters started fighting you and Rachel tore the tailgate off the truck… the more we witnessed it was like… I dunno… all the hunters started to like… steam up? When the steam cleared, we saw what they really were. The wolf too, it just… grew.” She shrugged. “Don’t get me wrong guys, I’m scared as hell, but I just… I guess I’m sacred more that people are trying to hurt my home and the people who live here. If I’m supposed to be more than a afraid, I’m not. Billie either. Freaked the hell out? Oh yeah. But, not in any danger of going nuts from it, it seems.” “I know I can’t do much, but I can see the world as you do. I figure you guys could use all the help you can get, and besides,” she laughed. “This shit is way cooler than binging Hulu.” [Laurel] “Nope,” Eric smirked as his ego was obviously swelling a bit, at least she hoped his ego was all that was swelling. “We’re pretty kick ass. Take notes.” He smiles. “So,” Laurel couldn’t help but ask her next question. “What’s your grievance with the other band then? Shouldn’t all of you be working together?” “Not a chance,” he huffed, his face contorting into a grimace that border lined on being insulted. “Before we were visited, we were the best at Salem High. Academically, athletically, extra-cur… extra-caric… the after school stuff. We won the games, brough home the trophies, made the school and the whole district look good. We kicked the best parties, had the best times, were just over all number one.” “Then,” he inhaled and reached into the hide covered ‘fanny pack’ he’d included in his costume so he could carry his wallet and car keys and a drink. He popped the top of the energy drink brand he ran through like water and continued but only after wincing slightly at the kick of the after taste. “We get visited and promoted to this Hero status and we d it all over again. Trophies, battles and saving the city for a whole year. Recogni… regog… pruhs… prestidge?” She shrugged, giving up. “We got noticed a lot, because we were bad ass. Then, then, these little ass wipes come along. These third stringers jump up and think they’re gonna steal our victories out from under us? Have you seen them? They can barely wipe themselves without Archie there to walk them through it. Yeah, no. I’m not having it. They don’t deserve the power they’ve been given, they need to sit down and let the crowd who actually cares about saving this world step up and do our jobs. They just get in our way.” He knocked back another long swig, shaking his head with an aggressive ‘ahh’ as that after tasted kicked the back of his throat. “I mean, yeah, we don’t see eye to eye on a lot of shit, but we know who we are and what we are here to do and when it’s game time we synch our shit up like a team. We might all be fighting and hating each other but, in the moment, we are one and go back to the petty shit afterward.” Laurel was left to wonder how much of that was true, but his point was well enough made. “It’s just not fair that they get to step in and try be something they obviously have no interest in doing well. It’s all a joke to them, and we don’t play that game is all.”
  20. "Well," Kestrel shrugged. "To be honest I don't know. To my knowledge you guys can get picked from any walk of life, supes or muggle." The Harry Potter reference wasn't lost on anyone in the room. "But that's honestly a question for Mr. Mourne, who will most assuredly want to talk to all of you at some point. I know it's a lot to take in, trust me, I've been there. Problem is, no Chosen has ever passed whatever tests are put before them... so we have no idea what comes after the 'Chosen' part. At least, I don't. I know that's not much, and I know it's hard to believe anything right now." There was a slight awkward silence as Kestrel's eyes wandered as if searching for something only she could see, that haze of thought and memory that everyone was familiar with but never really spoke about. "A ye-," she stammered. "A year ago I woke up in a field, covered in blood. No memory of how I got there or what happened and come to find out nearly four days of my life were blacked out. Sable was there for you guys, you're lucky for that. Shock, panic, anxiety... I can't even go through the rolodex of emotions I was tumbling through. Several campers in the area were mutilated, Friday the 13th-style, all over the trees, sleeping bag smoothies, and there I was... butt naked and covered in blood head to toe with no memory." "Fast forward a long walk and some stolen clothes later, some strangers found me, introduced themselves and told me what had happened." Her hands kneaded the neck of the bottle she held, the memories coming to her in a rush that made her anxious and excited all at once. "They told me I didn't hurt those campers, that hunted and killed what had attacked them. I didn't believe them at first, obviously, but they showed me, taught me how to open my eyes." She chuckled as she spoke. "And oh, are my eyes open. The power is incredible. So, I know what you guys are dealing with, I think that's why Mourne chose me to help Maya." "I went through my First Change," she added with almost a sense of pride. "It's a cathartic experience for werewolves, and the spirits called me to that spot to battle that beast. I answered, and my standing here is proof that I earned my blessings. We usually don't have any recollection, or control of our First Change, which explained the black out. Mourne thinks that all of you are 'Lost'. A term that refers to supernatural people who were never awakened, you sort of 'slipped through the system', so to speak. The difficulty is determining if that's true or not. I guess what I'm saying is... is that I know how weird this all is, so... if you need to talk, I'm here, okay? Because I've been through it."
  21. "Hell if I know," Kestrel shrugged. Seeing how that didn't really build any confidence in those assembled, she sighed and walked to the fridge. Opening it, she produced a six of bottles and just set the cold beers on the fridge. Ten in the morning was the perfect time for day drinking, in and apartment that wasn't theirs. She invited herself to one and twisted the cap. "Okay, look, it's just the working stiffs here now, so let's water cooler this shit real fast. Mourne is a watcher, D'Sombra is a Watcher, and no one knows how the fuck that happened. The Mages currently have no Watcher and the fae's Watcher is a complete cunt. What's a Watcher? I'll get to that." She took a swig and leaned back into the fridge. "Supernatural world is broken down like so... you have the werewolves, or The People or Garou, like any culture, you have what they call themselves and what others call them, in the end, it's all the same. Then you have the Changelings, or Fae, or Fairies, again, all the same. Then the Mages, or the Awakened or Wizards... see previous statements." "Now, those three things have been around since before time. Like seriously, we know it was after dinosaurs, but before humans were throwing mud and poop at each other. Enter Vampires and Wraiths," she sipped her beer again. "These guys are not natural. They're dead. No one knows when, but at some point the first vampire was made, birthed? I don't know. Skipping past all the years and wars and plans of world domination, eventually supernatural society had to band together because humanity was wiping us out... so, we disappeared." "How?" Amelia asked. "Magic portals? Paths to other worlds?" "Christianity." Kestrel smiled. "But we'll get to paths to other worlds later. The vamps had this awesome idea, God. Fun fact, there has been a vampire stationed at the Vatican since it was founded in like... the twelve hundreds or some shit." "Sixteen twenty six," Ravi added. "Right, so," Kestrel sipped her beer, pushing off the fridge and walked about, making she was speaking to everyone. "Since then we've kept a low profile, kept all our wars shadow wars-" "Don't tell me everyone just lived in peace," Mel harumph'd through his coffee. "Ain't no way." "And you'd be right," Kestrel said with a smirk. "So, we all had our own societies. Mages traditions came together to meet, vamp clans did the same, werewolves tribes did the same, you get the idea. So, all our forefathers had the idea to have our leaders come together and have one unified council. Werewolves and vamps solving problems, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria... but it worked. We all have our problems, our own societies, but we come together and rule our realms jointly and for the most part it has worked. Enter about five hundred years ago, an Incarnae," she looked to them all, knowing they had no idea what that was but offered them a look of assurance that she was about to explain. "Which are powerful spirits, like... gods, so to speak. Came to the leaders of all the supes and basically gave us Watchers. One member within the societies who would act as sort of an impartial observer and guides for the societies while searching for the Incarnae's chosen. They're as much spiritual leaders as they are advisors and are sworn to remain impartial." "The vamps, not being 'natural' were not awarded Watcher status, so obviously thought themselves exempt of impartiality. Butt hurt over the Watcher thing, they've been subverting the Watchers for generations, finding the Chosen and trying to figure out what the hell they've been Chosen for... don't ask me, by the way, I've no frickin' clue. Enter not long ago... when D'Sombra was chosen as a Watcher. This flipped the vamps on their ear, because now they are bound, by an Incarnae, to adhere to impartiality and observe the Watcher's Code. Not even the leeches will go against an Incarnae," "For five hundred years they've been searching for Chosen. Those Chosen are tested and so far... none have passed, but never have there been this many Chosen at once. People are looking at you guys like you're the supernatural apocalypse or its salvation... and their sphincters are clinched like the ball is dropping on Y2K, you feel me?" She let that sink in for a moment and pressed on. "Which is why we need to help Maya. Someone out there is trying to eliminate you guys. The MiBs are no joke, so someone powerful wants you gone. As a Watcher D'Sombra can keep you all safe, for the most part, and Mourne is very much the same. I'm here to help on his behalf, but fae shit? Yeah, I'm way out of my depth, which is why Mel here knows a guy who might be able to shed some light." "Spiritualist?" Amelia asked. "Occultist?" Ravi inquired. "D&D nerd." Mel offered. "Okay," all confidence slipped from Amelia's voice. "Better than influencer, I suppose." "Guys, trust me," Kestrel said with a reassuring smile. "I've been in tighter spots than this. The supernatural world is unlike anything you've ever known and sometimes logic takes a back seat to luck. This kid showed up exactly where a Theurge said he would. I'm still young to this game, but even know when to read a sign. After Maya gets off work, we're all going over there and seeing how he can help us. So... anything that I missed?"
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