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  1. The flight out of Ibiza was as clandestine as you could get in the early afternoon. Packing was done with haste, mostly Puck just dumping essentials and small, expensive and saleable items into the expensive luggage set he dug out of the depths of walk-in closet in his room. He left a note, written in surprisingly elegant handwriting, on the table, thanking the Quinn family for their hospitality and apologizing for the hasty departure - polite and done in under a minute. Then they literally snuck over the fence at the back of the estate, where a cab was waiting on a small service road running between the estates of the neighborhood. ,, They drove to the docks, not the airport, and boarded a small but luxurious sea plane. Once they were all in and the luggage stowed, Puck ducked into the cockpit to give their destination, "Quebec City. How close can we get?" ,, "Iles de la Madelane is ours," the female nephilim replied, flipping switches and doing other inscrutable actions that would takes them from the water to the air. "There's a boat service into the city, but it'll take a few hours. I can try to fly in low, closer, but there's a good chance we'll get tagged and taken in as smugglers." ,, "Madelane, then. Any customs or visa issues?" ,, "There's a dozen blanks in the closet in the cabin, depending on what you need. Some money, too. I'm cleaned out on clothes, though, and wouldn't have anything for the therian anyways." She glanced back at him, her smile distant and professional. "Either buckle in as co-pilot or go sit with your Sumaya and the therian. We're taking off now." ,, Puck made his way back into the cabin, pausing to grab the forged documents out of the closet along with one of the rolls of human money from a box with another half-dozen rolls. He slipped into a seat and belted in next to Cinnamon just as the plane revved up and pulled through the water and up into the sky. "We're going to land on a nephilim island in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and take a boat into Quebec City. We've got some starter cash and ID's. We need to decide on who we're going to be while we're there. Tourists from the Iles de la Madelane is the easiest story, but it'll mean we're on a restricted visa and any hotel we stay at will require us to register so the city police and Sentinels can keep an eye on us." He grinned at Devon, "Well, you and me, mostly. Since we're both such monsters." ,, He flipped through the passports in his hands, glancing through the filled-in parts that set up sketchy but usable alternatives to the generic 'tourists'. "Let's see...." he chuckled, "oh, here's my favorite. The personal servants of the Bishop of Eastwick. Ah, that takes me back.....unfortunately the good Bishop had the indecency to die a year ago and there's been a snag in the confirmation of the new one we set up. Apparently some human actually managed to make a legitimate bid for the position. So that's out. Pity. So much freedom for so little scrutiny." He sighed and continued sifting through false identities, "There's also novitiates on a pilgrimage to the Grand Cathedrals around the world. Quebec City has a Grand Cathedral, but passing as clergy...." He glanced up at Devon and shook his head. "I barely know enough to really do it, and I don't think you could pull it off at all even if I glamoured you to look human. You're just a bit...wild...for a nice young priest and his pretty new wife." ,, He tapped the passports against his lip, thinking, "Although, I could probably pass well enough, with Cinnamon to help me, and you could be our bodyguard while we travel. The dynamics are close enough to the truth that so long as someone doesn't ask me to perform a mass or bless a baby, we might just pull it off." He cycled through the last ones, shaking his head. "Ehh, I think those are our best options. Cinnamon? You're our human expert, what do you suggest?"
  2. Please leave comments, conjecture, questions, and reviews here. Rules are: be courteous and helpful; critiques are welcome, belittling is not. ,, Thank you for reading and taking the time to discuss!
  3. Abbey - Communal living accommodation for nuns. No abbeys exist for men in Children of Heaven. ,, Family - When used with a capital in reference to a nephilim bloodline, it refers to nephilim families of high "purity", or angelic ancestry, influence, resources, and connections. A family is usually composed of multiple Households of the adult members of the family, with children often living most of their lives at home. ,, First - The terms used by therianthropes for their leaders, usually coupled with a geographical or social tag, such as the First of South America or the First of the Ailuranthropes (cat shifters). There is also the First, who is the leader of all therianthropes. The term of First is gained through a democratic vote, with acts of bravery, martial prowess, and personal magnetism determining most votes. Flood, The - The flooding of the World by human Sanctified that ended the ancient Nephilim empire roughly five thousand years ago. The Flood broke up the original single landmass of the World and reconfigured the world and oceans to their modern locations. ,, Humanity - The children of Seth, third son of Adam and the Eve, and his three wives. Humans carry the divine gift to perform miracles and claim that they are the chosen people of God, having souls and free of the sin of Caine. Humanity controls most lands considered "First World" countries in our world. ,, Kizora - A nephilim that is not considered a child but is not considered adult yet because they have not established their own Household. ,, Metatron - The Voice of God, the only angel that God communicates directly with. ,, Miracles - Magical abilities possessed by humans. They include healing, repairing broken objects, cleansing items and people, creating everything from fire to simple items, flight, etc. More specifics to be added as we come up with them. ,, Monastery - Facilities for both men and women (always separate facilities) for those that commit sins against the Church but not actual crimes. Like asylums of the Victorian era, many methods are used to "rehabilitate" those sent to monasteries. Very few people sent to monasteries are released again, almost always women and universally broken in spirit. They are usually kept out of sight by their families and take up menial tasks in their family's homes. ,, Nephilim - The bastard children of the Second Woman and God's angels. They wield glamour, the ability to cast illusions, and are inhumanly beautiful. They also emit a glow, the stronger the glow the greater the angelic heritage of the nephilim. Nephilim are confined to small islands around the world, neither humans nor therianthropes will let nephilim get a foothold on any mainland. Nephilim lifespans are directly tied to the strength of their angelic heritage, ranging from human average to centuries; it is rumored that there truly ancient nephilim still living in the World. ,, Nephilim Empire - The first empire of the World, created and ruled by the nephilim, with humans and therians as slave races. ,, Nun - A human woman that has taken vows as a Daughter of Seth, forsaking marriage and children to pursue magical and professional ambitions otherwise denied to women in human society. Nuns that run an abbey are referred to as Revered Sister, and nuns that are particularly respected in their field of choice are called Sister Superiors, usually with their area of expertise added (the Sister Superior of Engineering at Brightenburg Abbey). All inventions, discoveries, and advancements made by nuns are considered the property of and created by the Church. Any nun or her family that takes personal pride in the accomplishments of the nun is considered prideful and crass. ,, Praisya - Nephilim word for slave. ,, Pirajana - Nephilim word for servant. ,, Prophet, The - The head of the Church, and technically elected by the Cardinals after the death of the previous Prophet. In practice, Prophets usually designate an heir before they die that is then voted in by the Cardinals. It has happened before that a designated heir was not voted in, but only once. The first Prophet was a human that (at least claimed) the Metatron spoke to him, instructing him in how to organize humanity to cause the Flood and end the nephilim empire. ,, Sanctified - Humans with significant talent in miracles. ,, Ser - Unisex nephilim term of respect. ,, Sentinels - A clerical order of soldiers that oversees the security of nuns and pursues profane crimes - crimes that specifically violate the tenets of the Church. ,, Sumaya - The head of a nephilim's Household. ,, Therianthropes - The children of Lilith and Caine, therianthropes have the ability to shift between humanoid and animal forms. Therians control most of the "Second World" and "Third World" territories in the world. They lost control of North America to humans only a generation ago; some therians even still remember living on the continent. Therians usually live a few decades longer than humans. ,, Wives of Seth - When each son of Adam was born, it was with a twin sister. God commanded that Caine's twin sister be Abel's wife and Abel's twin be Caine's. Caine's twin decided she preferred Caine over Abel and seduced the younger brother. When Caine confronted Abel to officially claim her as his second wife, the brothers quarreled and Caine murdered Abel. Caine was expelled from the family and both women were given to the third son Eve bore afterwards, who also had a twin sister. Thus Seth came to have three wives, which is now the legal limit for a man in the human empire. ,, Woman, First - Lilith, created at the same time as Adam. She refused to be submissive to Adam and left him. ,, Woman, Second - Created from dust just as Adam and Lilith had been, but Adam refuted her as he had watched God create her and was disgusted to see the innards of a human. She left without having been given the Breath of Life, a soul, by God or a name by Adam. She is also known as the Nameless One. ,, Woman, Third - Eve, Adam's second wife and the mother of Abel, Caine, and Seth and their twin sisters.
  4. Jasmine gazed out the window at the island below. It was awash in light, the commercial glare strong enough to spot from several thousand feet above. It was a far cry from the dark ocean water she'd been staring at for the forty-five minutes, or the brief glimpses of French countryside from the beginning of the flight. It didn't take long to cross fly across Europe, not like the trips she used to take from New Orleans to Los Angeles or Miami or New York with her father. Those had taken hours. It had been her mother's idea for her father to take her on his trips for the Church, convinced that her wildness was merely wanderlust, and that the exploration of other cities and people would satiate it. It hadn't worked. No matter where they went, she was expected to act the same, this pretty young daughter of the Cardinal of the South-Central United States. She was expected to act kind, and gentle, and pious. Jasmine didn't have a problem with kind, or even sometimes gentle. But there were times when her temper flared, when angry words fell from her lips as easily as Moses had parted the Red Sea, or when she believed a firm word was so much more appropriate than a gentle touch. "Firm words don't belong on women's lips, daughter. You must tame them, so they won't be soured for your husband." She rolled her eyes and turned her attention back to the approaching island below. Her sheltered mind recoiled slightly as she considered what waited for her there. Ibiza was the party island of the Soulless, a debauched den of sin and wickedness, awash in a sea of sinners clad in too-tight designer jeans and loose morals. At least, according to the Church. And who else was there to ask? She'd tried some of the other Human cities first.. things had been no different in Hamburg or Amsterdam, and in Paris someone had actually recognized her. That was when she had gotten desperate. It was harder than she thought it would be to travel without a male escort, but she'd be damned if she was going to cut off her hair and don the shapeless wardrobe necessary to hide as a nun. She thought Paris would be better, it was whispered there was an underground resistance of a sort there, but she hadn't had much luck locating it. The small group she did fall in with wasn't much comfort - a handful of drifters, social outcasts who'd committed atrocities harsh enough to get them expelled from the Church, but not severe enough for ex-communication. Maybe she hadn't been there long enough to earn their trust, or maybe it was because she hadn't been willing to divulge her crimes. But after she'd been spotted, one of them had offered Ibiza as a suggestion. "There's more'n Nephilim there, I've heard, though maybe you can pass as one of them wearin' their glamours an' it might go better for ya'. I heard they got places there where they do unpleasant things with the Humans they get ahold of. There'll be more English speakers there too, an' maybe you can pick some pockets or somethin' if you can't make it as one of them, till you figure out somethin' better. Probably easier marks there, with 'em all doped up and such, you know?" So she'd taken a gamble with most of the rest of the money she'd acquired and found a plane that made discreet flights to the Nephilim party hub. She was terrified of an island of the Soulless - she'd never even met one before, and like all Humans, she'd been raised on horror stories of the other two races. But an island of soulless debuachers scared her less than the idea of being discovered by the territorial Therianthropes in their lands, or - worse than anything - being dragged back to her father by her own people and thrown back into one of the monasteries. _____________________________ She glanced at her watch and sighed slightly. Thirty-three hours since she'd last slept, since that horrifying moment of recognition in Paris and the flight that had ensued. She'd advised the cab driver at the airport to take her "downtown"... he'd given her a funny look at the lack of specifics, but he'd obliged, and she got out where he pulled over. She didn't have the slightest clue where she was going, but downtowns were always a good place to get lost, weren't they? This one certainly seemed that way - no one had glanced twice at her once she'd stripped down to a simple white tank top and slipped into a store to purchase a short black miniskirt, inexpensive high heels, and some cheap jewelry with the last of her money. The excessively modest layers that had helped her blend in with the conservative Human population while in Paris had stood out like a sore thumb here, and even though Jasmine felt practically naked, she was relieved to not have suspicious eyes following her everywhere. Of course, the outfit drew another sort of attention, but it was still modest compared to some of the other women walking the downtown strip, so she did her best to keep moving, and avoid the occasional low whistle. Of course, now she had another conundrum. She leaned wearily against the wall, and looked up at the large building across the street. It was loud and garish, like everything in this area - lit up with excessive neon, with laughter and music and the ringing sounds of gambling machines that Jasmine had never heard before, but had become familiar with in her first hour of landing in Ibiza. It was, technically, a hotel.. even though she found it hard to believe anyone did any sleeping there, considering all the noise. The rooms, she supposed, were located on the higher levels of the building. It even looked like one of the less expensive ones, compared to some of the others she had passed on her way here. She saw more of what ahe assumed were glamoured Nephilim going in and out of the building too, though she wasn't sure why. Maybe they were trying to draw more of the Human and Therianthrope visitors for some reason, or maybe these were Nephilim that wanted to hide, even from their own people. Or maybe it was the human spot, who knew? It didn't seem like there should be so many Humans in one place on Ibiza. But she hadn't had much luck pickpocketing, and she was too nervous to try too much tonight, considering how exhausted she was. She needed to sleep soooo badly. Maybe, if she tried her hand at some of the gambling machines, she could win enough money to pay for a hotel room for a couple nights, until she got her bearings and figured out where to go or what to do from here. She sighed, and squared her shoulders, trying to drum up her courage. Then she crossed the street and entered the casino.
  5. Sebastian was born to Knight's Berry & Dairy farm owners Michael & Erin Knight on November 1st, heralding in some of the worst flooding ever seen in Washington State history. He is the youngest of 7, and is 8 years younger than the next oldest. They all (but Peter & Rebecca) live in SW Washington on the 200 acre farm, all married with families. Peter lives in Seattle and works for the FBI as a special agent. Rebecca died in a mudslide on the farm 6 years ago, trying to help Sebastian free his horses from a Barn that had been struck by lightning. Heavy rains deluged as the two tried to free the trapped horses, and as Rebecca went in to get the last horse, the bluff behind the building collapsed and crushed the back half of the building, burying Rebecca and the last horse. [siblings in order from oldest to youngest; Peter 38, Isaiah 36, Rebecca (RIP-32), Zachary 30, Amber 29, Mary 26, Sebastian 18.] Every significant (and many of the less significant) event, in his life can be coincided with remarkable weather, from the flooding following his birth, the tornados and golf ball sized hail his first day of school, the winter drought of 2000 when he had Chickenpox and then the flu coupled with pneumonia that left him in the hospital for a month, to the severe windstorm that left Laura and him stranded up in the woods during a 'hunting trip' when he lost his virginity a couple years ago. This 'attachment to nature' has led to a superstitious belief by their neighboring farm(er) Old Gus and his work crew, who he has convinced of his belief. It is not unknown for Old Gus to try and use Sebastian as his personal Almanac, gauging the weather by Sebastian's mood, or even going so far as to getting him drunk in an attempt to get some summer rain. Sebastian's mother, being fairly religious, views the erratic weather as something of a punishment, and takes that short-sighted blame out on Sebastian, which has led to a tenuous relationship between them. His father, however has come to understand his son on a better level, especially after they survived a squall on a deep-sea fishing trip his Freshman year. The storm led to a long talk and much bonding and resolution on the trip that had started with a hot-blooded fight as they sailed out. Sebastian himself resents his seeming attachment, and somehow dependence on the weather. The eddies it has caused in his life has led to a severe lack of confidence in himself and actions, which is what spurred his father to make him join football in Middle School, Sebastian took to it well, his farm life lending well to football conditioning, though it did not do much for his confidence, despite 'Coach's' best efforts at taking him under his wing. Football is also where he met Alex and became best friends. He is also who gave him his nickname, though by accident. When he tossed Sebastian's jersey in the bin with the towels in the locker room, somehow it escaped notice and when it emerged from the dryer, only the letters, S KN were left, the nickname 'Skins' soon followed. Alex, the quarterback and Skins, the tight-end would remain close until the Spring Formal of their senior year at Fort Vancouver High School. Two weeks ago, the pair had taken their respective girlfriends, (Laura for Sebastian and Selena for Alex) to the dance together as a foursome, all riding together in Sebastian's new F-150 (an early graduation present from his parents when they heard of the scholarship to Oregon, combined with a bumper crop and a weak auto industry). They night went well enough as far as Sebastian was concerned until he went looking for Laura, who had said she was going to the bathroom. Not finding her anywhere, he went to his truck to get his cellphone, only to find her screwing Alex in the back seat. It was the first time Sebastian had ever truly gotten angry as betrayal ripped his heart in half, to one that held loyalty so high in esteem, no single act could have hurt more. Doing nothing short of pulling them out of the truck by their feet and dumping them on the ground, without a word or a raised fist, he drove home to the sounds of thunder overhead.
  6. Moira always debated whether or not it was worth being open on April Fool's Day. On one hand, many of her customers were superstitious and would by bevies of charms and consecrated candles and what-not to ward off, of all things, the stupidity of others on that day. On the other hand, she had to deal with the stupidity of others all day long. In the end she'd decided to stay open if only to be an oasis of reason for the poor refugees forced to go into to public on the first of April. So when the twine and butcher paper package was hand delivered to her store by a smartly dressed young man, she wondered if she was dealing with reason or stupidity. The man smiled and asked her to place her thumb on the screen of his PDA to sign for the package and shook his head when she asked if there was a charge for it. "No, ma'am. This is a bequeathal item that has been with the firm for quite some time. The thumbprint is just to confirm that it has been delivered to the correct person per the instructions we were left with." He pocketed the PDA and handed her the package, "The date is just a coincidence. Have a wonderful day, Ms. Fitzgerald." With that, he was gone. Moira set the package down, unsure if she wanted to open it or not. She'd woken up feeling energetic and ready for the day, and if it was some elaborate or vulgar prank she didn't want to ruin her good mood so soon. She managed to hold out for nearly a full hour before her curiosity finally trumped her concerns. She unknotted the twine and pulled the crisp brown paper away to reveal an ancient leather-bound book. There was no fancy embossing or gold calligraphy like was usually found on the 'vintage' books she was brought by con artists and hopeful antiquers. This was actually old, the brown leather faded and cracked from time. The pages inside were thick, thicker than paper and when she pealed back the cover to look at them she could smell the musty, acrid stench of decay. They were yellowed and frayed at the edges and some even had moth holes eaten through the center of of the pages. The faded yellow ink scribed out line after line of some language Moira had never encountered before, interspersed with hand-drawn star charts, pictures, and other drawings that she couldn't decipher. It was beautiful and it was utterly mystifying. She traced her finger over the design drawn on the first page, a sort of stylized dragon that didn't seem Eastern or Western and then she was somewhere else. It was dark and small and smelled of fur and candlewax; she could hear the sounds of a quill scratching over parchment. There was a single candle burning in the room, illuminating a book, a quill, and hand that didn't look quite human. A voice spoke out of the huddled figure in the near darkness even as the pen continued it's passage across the page. "A day of light to you, Moira of Portland, though I regret that I must place this burden on you. My name, as you will no doubt come to curse, is Douval. I am the Apostate of Tiamat and unless my Gift from Her is failing as badly as my eyesight, the Gods have begun their return to our home. If you do not stop them, my future and your present will become nothing but-" The hallucination or vision or whatever it was shattered around her and she clutched her head in pain, dropping the fragile book to the floor.
  7. Zoey was late. The stupid storm last night had knocked out power to her house, and though it was already back on again, her clock was still blinking 12:00 at her. Needless to say, her alarm hadn't gone off. Her mom had knocked on the door once, shouting in, "Zoey! You're gonna miss the bus if you're not out in few minutes." She and Zoey's father had then left for work without bothering to see if they'd actually woken their daughter up. It was her education, after all. So Zoey was late. She threw her clothes on in a whirlwind and grabbed a box of pop tarts from the cabinet on her mad dash out of the house, her backpack in one hand and a box proclaiming 'Real Fruit Filling!' in the other. She finally took the time to pull out her cell and see what time it was once she was at the bus stop. No one else was there and it she was twenty minutes too late. She stormed back inside, dumping the backpack near the front door and pulling a pair of pop tarts out the box as she thought rather nasty things about the bus driver and most of his relatives. Grumbling, she went back upstairs to grab the homework she'd forgotten to pack and put on the rest of her makeup. Her parents may not pay much attention to her, but a truancy call from the school was a guaranteed grounding. She finished her daily preparations and debated what to do. There was Becky. Becky lived across the street; she'd graduated last year and her parents were letting her have a year off before they booted her out of the house, either to college or a job, her pick. She'd charge Zoey to take her, mostly just for waking her up so goddamn early, but it wouldn't be near as much as a cab, and walking the 15 miles to the school was not an option. Not even if meant a legitimate excuse for skipping homeroom. She sighed. So much for her allowance this week. She grabbed the rest of the pop tarts on her way back downstairs and slipped the now completely packed backpack on. Squaring her shoulders she prepared herself to beg the former senior for a favor and walked out the front door. She was nearly halfway across the lawn before she realized it wasn't her lawn. There was no street in front of her, no Becky-the-bitch house on the other side. Instead this lawn was large and littered with concrete debris and the ruins of large building. She caught yellow police tape around the area out of the corner of her eye, and a sign that looked suspiciously like the remains of the marquee board in front of her high school. A loud, rough voice broke into her thoughts, "Hey kid! You can't be over there! Dan, go get her away from there. Can't you see the tape?" A fireman, probably 'Dan', was making his way over to her. He smiled down at her and firmly guided her back to the tape-line where several other students and neighbors with nothing else to do had gathered to stare at the wreckage. "Hey, it really is dangerous out here. We're not sure all the power lines have been turned off yet; besides, shouldn't you be at home enjoying the day off?"
  8. Xavier woke in lap of luxury. He had money to burn right now, and his favorite thing about money was spending it. He stretched and after a moment's search found the edge of the massive four-poster bed. He wondered briefly where he'd put the two bubbly co-eds from the night before, but a quick glance at the clock informed him of just how long he'd slept in. From the look of things they actually did more than just get laid in college, there was a note left on his bedside stand. We've got classes until 5 pm. We'll be back at the Black Swan tonight. The note was signed with two sets of lipstick lips. Apparently they hadn't quite gotten to the classes on one-night stands yet. He crumpled the note and tossed it in the wastebin. Women. He grabbed a long, hot shower in the marbled bathroom that was larger than most houses in third world countries. Not that Xavier had any experiences for comparison of such things. He picked up the razor on the sink, debating which club and which kind of woman would be his tonight when he glanced in the mirror. His mind flashed to that scene in Spiderman just after Peter Parker has gotten his powers from some freakish arachnid. This was sort of like that, only much much more. The man staring back at him in shock was definitely Xavier Lancaster, but he was also the most beautiful person Xavier had ever seen. He was cocky, but he'd never been that narcissistic before. He wiped the last bits of steam from the mirror and inspected himself. He was buffer than before, and perfectly toned. All the little blemishes on his skin that he'd long since learned to just deal with had disappeared. He looked more perfect than the airbrushed actors and models in magazines. And he felt great. If this what a night with Cathy and Carol...or Krista and Lisa, well, whatever their names were, then maybe he would be back at the Black Swan tonight.
  9. Private Message from: Eddie Overlord (Admin) Posts: 10265 Hi, Skins, I saw your post before Frank deleted it. It was very aggressive and hard. You seem very angry, more so than is normal for what is going on. It was not like you. It was like someone stole your account, but we have ways of reporting that and you have not reported that. Part of this is asking you as an Admins, because a couple of the other Admins suggested a temporary ban on you for what you said to xx_Lorili_xx. I have convinced them this is excessive for your first infraction. I do not wish to see you banned, so I am reaching over to you. What is wrong? That I ask as another poster. You have worried me. Eddie
  10. He was having that nightmare again, the one he'd had since prom. It wasn't like a horror movie nightmare, he just kept going over opening the door and finding Laura and Alex in backseat of his car, dammit. Every time it cycled through he got angrier. Other nights he'd wake up with every muscle in his body aching from how tense he'd become over the course of two or three hours of this torture. Tonight was different, though. It was like the nightmare was being played on one of those new HD TV's. Everything was super sharp and the colors were all dark bolds, it was surreal but in a different way than dreams were usually surreal. It was also storming this time. The winds ripped through the dream strong enough to feel like he was being pulled off the ground, and he could smell the rain that was right behind it. He walked over to the car. They were there, inside, oblivious to him and the magnitude of their betrayal. He went to open the door, to grab them both and dump their asses on the ground like he had before, but the wind whispered to him. He didn't know exactly what that meant, but it was a dream, so he guessed he should probably do what it said. He took a few steps back and screamed his pain and frustration at the skies. And they responded. A cyclone, impossible in it's precision, touched down directly over the truck, easily plucking the two ton automobile off the asphalt parking lot and sucking it up into the body of the whirlwind. People were wandering outside to stare at the storm, he could hear the screams as they watched the cyclone gain speed and strength, fed by teenage anger and betrayal. It picked up half a dozen more cars before making an abrupt change in direction - directly for the school itself. Juniors and seniors fled the building, brightly colored petals scattering in the wind. Sebastian could feel the power of storm racing through him, one part of his mind horrified at what was happening and the other completely lost in the rush. The cyclone took aim, like a quarterback taking aim, and launched its ammunition of metal and plastic at the offending building. The gym was shattered in the first few volleys, the main hall and classrooms following quickly after. It took only minutes and the cyclone was spent, dissipating in strange almost-bow to the boy that had created it. The boy felt drained, almost suffocated, and for a moment he forgot that this was a dream. ,,"Wake up! Sebastian, wake up!" His father's urgent voice was a far away noise, like a fly buzzing all the way across the room.
  11. Date: August 12th, 2007 Time: 1:47 p.m. The bookstore was in an older part of Portland, in a historical district that had experienced a resurgence as a bit of an local arts center for the area. There were lots of little individual shops owned by local small business owners, a miscellaneous smattering of ethnic restaurants and local dives, and a few art galleries. It wasn't terribly far from the main hub of the city, but it was far enough away to not be overridden with the loud noises of traffic or sirens, and you could usually hear the sounds of a street musician, or perhaps a local band playing at one of the random bars in the area. Sebastian had found the place in the phone book. It was a smallish-looking building on the outside, with a brick facade and a big glass display window that looked into the store. It had the name of the shop written in an elaborate but archaic font on the window that read - or maybe promised - "Ancient Knowledge". Underneath that, in smaller letters, was written the words "Pagan Supplies and Books". There was an elegant but simple display in the window of different types of statuary, with varying gods and religious images from across the world, and there were a handful of books on display that all seemed to have something to do with myths or legends of some sort. The door itself was dark and heavy, and matched the time frame the building was probably built in. There was a single advertisement posted on the glass that announced a time and date for tarot card readings, a drastic difference from some of the other local shops that had pieces of paper covering their doors, with every possible event in the next four months advertised. As Sebastian opened the door, some little chimes jingled softly from string over the door. The inside was a lot bigger than it looked, because it was deep, and it wasn't nearly as dark as he had expected from the outside, for the display window let in a fair amount of natural light, and the owner of the shop seemed to have done a good job with the place. There was no harsh, fluorescent lighting in here, everything was lit with warm tones, and the walls were painted a soft, pale sand color. The walls were lined with elegant, built-in bookshelves made of dark mahogany wood and mostly filled with books, though there were occasional spots where pagan-inspired bookends were displayed for sale. There was a small sitting area near the books, with four soft, dark leather chairs and a low coffee table between them. In the middle of the shop, there were simple wooden shelves, made to blend into the background, that were artfully stocked with dozens more statues, and other ornamentation and ritual tools. There were bells, and wands, and incense burners. On another rack, lining the walls closer to the counter and the windows, were simpler shelves, colored light to blend in with the walls. The housed bins and bins of different colored candles of all different shapes and sizes.. hanging on the wall above them were all sorts of different types of incense, and little bags of herbs. There were old fashioned medieval-looking tapestries hanging on the walls, and in the glass cabinet near the front, where the cash register was, were lined up dozens of daggers, from the very simple to the incredibly ornate. On the wall behind the counter, there were two open doorways, both with heavy pieces of damask fabric hanging over them, although the fabric for both of them was currently pulled back and hooked on a heavy iron tieback that held it off to the side, so someone could step through. One of these two doorways was almost directly behind the counter, and it was from one of these doorways that Sebastian heard sounds of life. The voice that called out to him was female, and young sounding, with a distinct Irish lilt to it. It also sounded a bit distracted, with a touch of rushed thrown in for good measure. "Welcome ta' Ancient Knowledge! Feel free ta' look aroun', I'll be out in a sec!"
  12. [April 1st, in the afternoon] The gym was pretty empty today, but then again a lot of the regulars were superstitious about April Fools Day. There was always some idiot jock boy that thought messing around with the weights or the scales was just the height of hilarity. Wakiki didn't mind; it was quieter than usual but he was still just another face in the very small crowd today. He put his stuff up in the locker he usually used, stripped down to his swim trunks, and headed to the pool. Leanne, the swim instructor, was out for the week on vacation, so the classes that he usually swam around were canceled, leaving the Olympic-sized pool entirely to him for the next half-hour before Rickie showed up with the Senior Swim group. He dove easily into the water, his muscles stretching out in heated water as he began his laps. He kept count as he made his way back and forth along the lanes, his mind more on the flame war Skins had started on the Feather Fists board and what he was going to do for the next volume of Nurbuto. He hoped he didn't have to ban the kid and he really needed to decide if he was going to do an entire Summer Break volume or just the one chapter like he'd originally planned. He was brought of his reverie by splashing sounds turbulence in the waters. He surfaced to find his half-hour already spent and the pool quickly filling with gossiping geriatrics. Rickie nodded at Wakiki in a distant but friendly way; they'd never spoken more than a few words to each other even though they saw each other every week. Wakiki liked that the other man was comfortable with that. He pulled himself out of the water and toweled off, pleased that he'd been able to go the entire time without taking a break. Usually after about fifteen minutes or so he needed a breather, even if just a short one. He showered down and switched out into a t-shirt and shorts in the locker room and grabbed his racquet and rubber ball set, heading to the courts that were overlooked by the treadmill room. He hated that part of the courts, but he'd managed to convince himself that the soccer moms and pretty boys up there were watching the tv's - not him. He set into the rhythm of the game as easily as he head the swimming warm-up, the ball thunking against the wall and his racquet with a hypnotic regularity. His mind wandered back to the problem of Skins and Nurbuto, one inspiration for the ADV manga sending him off on ideas for Feather Fists as well. He worked through all of these trains of thought as the ball continued its perfect arc of racquet-wall-floor-racquet. He lost track of the time as his mind wandered over his life, picking at this or that and offering its advice as to what to do. When he'd finally worked himself through enough of his life's quandaries and his arm was starting to feel the strain of the workout, he caught the ball as it finished the last iteration of racquet-wall-floor. He nearly dropped both ball a racquet at the sound of clapping that broke out behind him. His eyes went automatically up the windows behind him, and it was crowded with people staring down into the court. That wasn't where the clapping was coming from, though. Huddled at the back of the court near the door were maybe two dozen people also staring at him. And clapping. One of the interlopers, a regular Wakiki knew by sight if not by name, was holding a stopwatch/counter; he exclaimed, "Dude, that's got to be a world record or something! Over a thousand returned balls without single miss, and that's only since Kelly came and got me when she heard what was going on. You're like a racquet ball machine, man. She said you'd been here since three without a break!"
  13. They had put the children to bed earlier than usual yesterday, promising them a meteor shower party during the night if they got some sleep now. Most of them didn't sleep, but they were quiet in their excitement, and that was enough this time. It was a little after two when the lights when back on and everyone was shooed out to the backyard in pajamas. There were s'mores makings out on the tables and a small campfire set burning in the sunken concrete fire pit Big John had built several summers ago for just such occasions. A couple of Wal-mart quality telescopes that had been gifts to the orphanage from various charities over the years were set up and pointed towards the falling debris of the Gilgamesh comet, but they were hardly necessary. Blue and red and white streaked across the sky every few minutes or so and the radio that was tuned to the local station was telling Portland that it was only likely to get more spectacular the closer the comet got to Earth. Mrs. Nguyen, the quiet and middle-aged matron of this small oasis for the unwanted, was watching with a rapt expression. She wasn't an astronomer by any means, but she held that God had created a beautiful and wondrous world for His children, and we should all do our best to enjoy it. The kids themselves were caught between the need for s'mores and the being the first one to spot a new meteor. "Mrs. Cathy?" lisped one of the younger girls who couldn't quiet get the Cantonese last name down yet, "If one of them falls here can I have it?" Several of the older kids snickered at her ignorance, but pointed throat-clearing from Mr. Nguyen quickly quieted them. He'd never lay a hand on any of his children, but handing out chores was his domain and he wielded it well when necessary. Cathy smiled down at the girl and scooped her up in her arms. "I'll tell you what, if we find one you can be the first one to look at it. There'll be a whole bunch of people that will want to see it, though, and sharing is good, remember?" The girl looked dubious, but nodded and then squirmed her way back down to the ground and over to s'mores. The older kids were handing out toasted marshmallows since anyone under twelve wasn't allowed to get that close to the fire pit when it was burning.
  14. His mom had woken him up fifteen minutes before his alarm would have gone off to tell him that something had happened to the school and he had the day off. He'd grunted in appreciation and promptly fell back asleep for the next few hours. When he'd finally got up, the house had the odd surreal feeling he supposed houses always had in the middle of the day when no one else was supposed to be there. He felt like he was intruding on its meditation or something. He'd grabbed a breakfast of Hot Pockets and a Totino's pizza, smirking to himself when he idly noted that everything in the fridge or freezer was a grab-and-heat meal. They didn't even have eggs. Then again, it wasn't like anyone in his family would have known what to do with them if they were there. He pluncked himself down in front of the tv while he inhaled his brunch, but the middle of the afternoon on a weekday was a tv wasteland even with cable. Hands washed and the paper plate disposed of, he grabbed his guitar from his room. One of the jingles from an energy drink commercial was rattling incessantly around in his head and he figured he could get it out by messing around with the melody on the guitar. He luxuriated in being able to practice down in the living room instead of being cramped up in his bedroom. He plucked at the strings, surprised that he remembered the entire jingle from only having heard it once. He played through it a few more times, getting the feel for how it caught in the mind, and then actually sang the silly lyrics along with it. He played with it then, turning the notes back in on themselves and stretching the themes of the little ditty near to the breaking point. He wrote new lyrics in his mind as well, taking the mountain bikers and beach runners from the commercial and applying their passion for movement to the landscapes behind them. He lost himself in his play, eyes on closed in concentration or downcast to the instrument in his hands. It wasn't until he felt he'd hit it just right that he looked up to see the mountainside he was sitting on, and the picturesque ocean lapping at the beaches that sloped down from the mountain's sides. The sun was bright but not too bright, and everything was moving in gentle waves from the summer breeze that was blowing. The song was there, too, echoing back at him as if he were still in the living room at home.
  15. [Monday, March 30 2009] 7:25am Sebastian Knight, or Skins, as his frie- former friends knew him, flew into the student parking lot of Fort Vancouver High, the back tires on his brand spanking new F-150 squeeling as they skipped on the pavement. The sounds of the Paperboys could be heard blaring through the windows, the pace of the music fitting the style of driving. The music cut off as the driver's door opened and Sebastian exited, his satchel thrown across one shoulder, a stack of three Poptarts wedged in his mouth and a thermos in his hand. He pressed the button on the keyfob, the echoing honk signaling the locking of the doors. The normally quite stylish young man was dressed in a wife-beater, a dingy red & white flannel and a pair of muddy jeans, his hair still had a shape reminiscent of pillow styling. This was all testament to one thing, Sebastian was uncharacteristically behind schedule. Crap, gonna be late. Not that he necessarily wanted to go to homeroom, that meant sitting next to Laura, the bitch. Thoughts of Laura overcame his desire to be on time, and the awkward jog he had started slowed to a walk as he closed the distance between the back of the parking lot and the school. Then, after homeroom, came US History...with Alex, the asshole. Sebastian's pace slowed to a crawl. This promised to be yet another crappy day in a line of crappy days that would go on for another two months before he escaped to Summer Vacation, though what of the trip to Puerto Vallarta he and Laura were going to take? The tickets had been already paid for, the hotel reserved... Sebastian stopped and sat down on a bench, taking a long drink of his coffee. Screw homeroom.
  16. Posted by: Skins Otaku Lord Posts: 3628 C'mon! What is with this latest crap! Saito has a GF?! WTF! I mean he has too much to worry about as it is. The amulet almost getting stolen by Maho Zukai and getting his ass kicked should have more than occupied his time. And since when is Aeka even interested in him! Doesn't she have her own crap to worry about? This strip is blazing to earth in a fountain of shit.
  17. Zoey grew up in a quiet affluent suburb, to rich but distant parents. As long as Zoey got good grades and didn't cause problems her parents ignored her. In her early days of high school she started a rebellious phase and began hanging out with the goth kids. Not that she really cared about being rebellious or had that much in common with the gothlings, she just wanted some attention both from other kids at school and at her parents at home. It worked for her at school, she had people to be with who could understand her. It was an absolute flop at home. Her parents didn't bat an eye. There was no such thing as a social occasion that included Elspeth so there weren't arguments about how she dressed or the music she listened to. She was too docile to really push them to the point of responding, she just allowed her loneliness at home to fuel her poetry. Unlike many of her goth friends, she wasn't really all that unhappy with life other than the parental thing. Her on and off boyfriend over the last couple years had taught her two things. His skills for getting into places and things that he shouldn't and a love for manga. Ted was a petty crook in the making and Zoey had no doubt that with in a year or so of his graduation he'd end up behind bars. She had no desire to follow him and be the Bonnie to his Clyde, but she did enjoy the challenge of picking locks and disabling the neighbors security systems. She'd never stolen anything of course, but she could see the appeal it held for Ted. If she weren't so afraid of the consequences she might do it, but the one time she'd stolen a small porcelain dragon the Darby's kept on a dusty shelf in their den, she'd had nightmares about getting strip searched and thrown in jail. The next night she'd broken back in and put the little figure back in it's little dusty place. That had been when she was 15. She was a mature 17 now and laughed at her earlier angst over the whole thing, but she still didn't steal, and she was very very careful never to be caught when she made one of her nighttime explorations. Meanwhile Ted had graduated and broken up with her when she refused to help him break into her neighbors houses. They had had a big fight a couple months ago and she hadn't spoken to him since.
  18. Eddie Izumi was born to Japanese parents in Hiroshima. His birth name was Wakiki, but he dropped it after moving to America in his twenties, adopting the name ‘Eddie’ for his American name. It was supposed to signal a change for him, giving him the confidence to be a new person in a new land. If failed. In Japan, Eddie was terrible at being Japanese; he is allergic to fish, doesn’t like to cut his hair or have a lot of driving ambition. He didn’t really fit in, but he managed to turn his prodigious talent for art into a successful career in the most Japanese of modern art forms: manga. He drew mostly high school martial arts dramas for boys, with stories full of butt-kicking heroes. When he finally had established himself, he moved to America. There, he was terrible at being American. He is too willing to let others take advantage of him, he doesn’t like American food and he hates loud noises. San Diego is very nice, and he finds it easier to be an outsider in a foreign land than an outsider in his homeland. He remains in his apartment, drawing and attempting to remain out of the spotlight. He is still in demand in his genre in Japan, though his name won’t turn heads in the United States. Eddie really wants to be more than he is – more forceful, more heroic, just more. But he’s not sure how to do that, and so he plods along in his quiet, uneventful life, laying out his dreams on paper for the viewing pleasure of young Japanese boys.
  19. She abruptly sat upright in bed. She looked around trying to orient herself. She didn’t recognize the bedroom … wait, she did. Last night. The turned and looked down at the man sleeping on his stomach beside her. Now it was all coming back to her. The bar, her friends, this too handsome boy who wanted to spend time with her and how she had loved the attention. He had been such a welcome release to her alcohol-seduced senses. He had shown sexual interest in her like no man had in some time, especially not her husband. Her husband … her kids! What was she doing? The young man stirs and she clutches the sheets to her chest. Were where her clothes. See saw the bra on the floor and dove for it. Her panties were close by and her skirt was by the door. The One-Night-Stand makes waking noises. She leans against the door, rolling back on her stockings. “Sorry,” she told the waking figure, “I had a nice time, but this has been all some kind of mistake. I don’t do this. Take care.” She stumbles into the living room, retrieves her blouse, jacket and shoes. She hop out the door, put her heels back on her feet. The door slams behind her and she is left with some heartfelt compassion for him. Xavier got up out of bed once the woman had gone. He was till naked, and proudly so. Despite the huge windows, he sauntered over to his dresser and opened up the sock drawer. He withdrew a cashier’s check for the agreed amount - $25,000. It was a small price to pay to stage an affair. The photos were probably already on the husband’s laptop, or maybe the divorce lawyers, or maybe both. That didn’t bother Xavier. All he knew is that he had been forced to work the old cow all night long to get her in a compromising, or several compromising positions. He held up the check, kissed the money – the One True God – and went to the shower. The hot water would wash all the sins away. It was time to get some new toys. Money wouldn’t last forever, but sin, wealth, and greed were timeless.
  20. Name: Moira Fitzgerald Age: 32 Description: Moira is a beautiful woman who, at a glance, looks to be in her mid to late 20's. In truth she is in her early 30's but a healthy lifesyle keeps her looking young. She's fairly average in height, about 5'7", with beautiful pale green eyes and fair skin. Background: Moira was a regular Irish-American girl from Brooklyn. She was raised Catholic, was a dutiful daughter and an excellent student, and graduated Valedictorian of her senior class. When she decided not to go directly into college her parents were understandably distraught, but she was convinced that she needed to experience a bit of real life before she pursued an education. After all, she didn't really have a clue what she wanted to do anyway. So her family relented, under one condition. They would still pay for her college (she was only one of the two siblings out of five that had a desire to go, after all, so they were pretty sure they could handle it) if they approved of where she was planning to go, and what she was going to do. So she decided to go home.. to Ireland, that was. Born and raised an American girl (though she still retained a bit of a lilt to her voice from her Irish-born parents), Moira had always been curious about her native country, so with her parent's full blessing, she went to stay with a great-aunt Kathleen, who still lived in a little village outside of Cork. The three years she spent there with her aunt changed her life completely. Moira had always been a curious girl, interested in everything from history to literature to the latest gossip. But now her curiosity developed a focus. The land and the legends seemed to inspire her, her aunt's stories of the old ways engrossed her, and eventually, she found herself wrapped up in the odd mixture of Christian faith and Pagan belief that so permeated Irish culture. She eventually fell in with a group that practiced the old ways - they were scattered all over Ireland, in heavier quantities than most would imagine, and she immersed herself in the rituals and magic of days gone by. By the time she finally kissed her aunt - the very woman whom had started on her new spiritual journey - and headed back to America, she was no longer a curious girl without direction. She was a focused young woman with a destination. She spent the next several years acquiring her degree. She double majored in Archeology and Cultural Anthropology, with a minor in Ancient Religion. She spent some time after that in the field, but realized eventually that she took no real joy in spending hours digging through the dust looking for objects. She was much happier getting to handle the actual items themselves, for it was the items that held the mystery to her.. she could always read about the layers of dirt it was found in, or what the soil composition might mean. But when she held an artifact, it was like she could feel the weight of history, and all the secrets of the past in her fingertips. For two years she worked in a museum, cataloging and documenting artifacts, their names and dates and details, and at the same time absorbing everything about them that she could. She lived with her parents in New York, and visited her Aunt Kathleen whenever the opportunity presented itself. But then one day, she received a call from a cousin in Ireland, and her world shattered around her. Kathleen had died, and the family wanted Moira to come speak at her wake. She agreed, of course, though her heart was breaking, and she packed up and headed back to Ireland with the family that could make the journey with her in tow, to pay homage to the woman who had so influenced and inspired their sweet Moira. It was a traditional Irish wake, full of laughter and tears and celebration for a richly lived life. Women keened mournfully at the funeral, their voices swelling and fading in the long cry of death that had been heard through Ireland for hundreds of years, from one generation to the next. When it was all said and done, and the family had gone back to their homes, and the grave had been filled with rich, black Irish dirt, Moira met with Kathleen's lawyer. She couldn't imagine what her aunt had left her, for Kathleen had lived in a simple old stone cottage that had been in the family for generations. Moira had assumed that would be going to a local family member, but to her surprise the old woman had left her not only the cottage, but a small fortune as well. She had stockpiled her husband's money when he was alive, and they had both been simple people, Moira knew. But she'd had no idea when she came to live in her aunt's simple stone cottage, and lingered on her raspy old words and stories, that she had been setting herself up to inherit a good sum of money. She made arrangements for a family member to live in the cottage, and pay her a small amount of money for rent in exchange for taking proper care of the place and notifying Moira immediately if there were any repairs or maintenance that needed to be done. She had no intentions of letting the family cottage rot unoccupied, for she fully intended to move there one day. But she wanted to experience life first, and that was hard to do for a woman in her prime with a degree in all things ancient and a love of adventure to do in Ireland. That was for later.. when living there would bring back happy memories of her aunt and the times they'd shared, instead of breaking her heart all over again. She packed up, and moved back to the United States. She paid her parent's mortgage, and sent her youngest brother to college - the rest had become cops and construction workers and mothers and fathers and all other sorts of wonderful things that didn't involve a bunch of crazy college kids and four years of getting drunk on cheap American beer. She decided she'd experienced enough of New York, though, and with money came a certain freedom that she'd be able to see her parents and her family whenever she desired. So she took the rest of her funds, and opened a small shop on the other side of the continent. It was little, and dark, but it smelled of herbs and flowers and magic things, and there was a small room in the back that only certain clients got to visit, full of all sorts of things wonderful and ancient that Moira acquired on her occasional visits around the world. And for now, that was enough.
  21. ,,Name: John Steyos Legal Name: Johann Steyos Aliases: Big John Date of Birth: 25/12/1985 Date of Eruption: Sex: Male Height: 7'3" Weight: 340lbs Skin color: Light Olive (tans easily) Eye color: Light Brown Hair color: Dark Blond History: Johann Steyos' whole world was the orphanage. His first memories are of the couple that ran it exclaiming over his size and how much he ate for a child his age. By the time he was eight years old, they had already started calling him 'Big John', as he was easily the size of an athletic fourteen year old. He didn't stop growing until he was about 20 years of age. His size has always been a major factor in Big John's life. Another is his intelligence, or lack of it. He appears to be a finely made, handsome demigod of a man with a pleasant smile - until he needs to think. Then he frowns with concentration, his alert eyes fill with worry and near-panic, and the giant can be driven near to tears by anything more complex than basic addition and subtraction. He speaks slowly, deliberately, and attempts to hurry him lead to him stammering as his brain moves at a speed it just isn't suited for. To sit and talk with Big John is a pleasantly stress-free experience - just make sure you have an hour or two. John is easy company for the undemanding, though. He likes to sing (and has a good, powerful bass voice), likes to paint, likes to cook (and eat), and most of all loves to do these things for others, just to make them smile or hear them say "Well done, John." And despite his size, or perhaps because of it, John doesn't have a violent bone in his body. He doesn't need it, really. His size and habit of gently but firmly interposing himself between two people at odds has led to him taking a few lumps in his time, but the gentle giant takes it all and keeps calm, viewing stopping the fight as all important. Later, of course, he sits down and cries a little. Just because he's big doesn't mean he doesn't have feelings outside and in, too.
  22. Name: Xavier Lancaster (David Bennington, Frank Connors, and a few others) Nature: Survivor Alligence: Age: 22 Eyes: Brown Height: 5'11" Weight: 165 lbs. The man who today goes by the name of Xavier Lancaster, was born twenty-two years ago to a nameless parents in a nameless small city somewhere in America. He never talks about it with anyone. It has been postulated that he has abandonment issues because his mother left him at an early age. He probably began discovering his ablitity to manipulate people in his early teen years, first with girls his age then with older girls, and finally with women in authority over him. He could never form a lasting relationship, because he felt that women he seduced were weak. When he came to the big city, his confidence scams were small scale - finding wealthier women to live off of for a while before moving on, but his talent was recongnized by a rather talented criminal planner named Anthony Spinelli. The man found more creative uses for the young man known as Xavier and got him into high society function in order to gain information. He also made his own name so that when the job was over, he had a new face and a higher level of scam. Now his games are for higher stakes and the pay-offs are richer. Rich women pay top dollar for his time, and occassionally back one of his modest business interests that somehow rarely manage to pan out. Xavier is doing well.
  23. This is for mechanics or setting questions, so we don't clutter up the OOC thread with that stuff and then can't find it later.
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