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  1. The Seers came for him just before dawn. Wakiki was going to get his ass tumbled out of bed in just twenty minutes by Whisker anyway, so his body was preparing to cycle into wakefulness. When the covers where wiped back, Wakiki jerked fully awake, his fingers reflexively curling around the handle of the gun he kept under the pillow. Before he could react further, something grabbed his ankle and pulled him off the end of the bed. He hit the floor with a thud, only the sheets already strewn on the carpet saving him from friction burn. To his surprise as much as his attackers, when Wakiki rolled off his stomach, his Glock 9mm was still in his hand. He saw several shapes in the room and reactively fired at one of them. In the cramped quarters of his apartment, with no ear protection, the sound of the gun was an ear-killing roar. He saw the form spin away into the darkness but he was trying to focus on the next attacker. A hand closed over his hand, shoving the gun down and clawing it away from him. Wakiki twisted toward his new threat, trying an off-hand punch that barely connected – he could tell it was useless. With a roar of outrage, he tried to get his gun back, only to have a fist connect to his face. The blow jarred him to the bone, leaving his jaw aching from the attack. It also left his senses swirling like water down the drain. His vertigo wasn’t helped when the bag was thrust over his head. “No!” he shouted, but he might as well been speaking in Japanese for all it helped. In short order, he was tussled up into something; it felt like his living room rug. Whatever it was, it wrapped around him completely, pinning his arms, restraining his legs and making it hard to breathe. He felt someone pick him up and carry him; when he tried to shout for help, he felt like he couldn’t get enough air in his lungs anymore. How long he was in there, sucking in and out stale air that stank of his floor, the young mage wasn’t sure. All he knew was that after he was put on the floor, something shoved him the side. He went rolling, and when he stopped, he ripped the hood off. He was lying on the floor and gasping for air in a room he’d never seen before. It was well lit with white walls and a white tile floor; his black and red rug was a garish mark on the floor. He wasn’t alone; he was surrounded by six other people. His first question, who the fuck these people were, was answered when the blonde women just in front of him said, “Hello, Atlantian.” “Fuck you.” Only one group used that term with such scorn. “Your mother says hello,” the blonde said, smiling at him. “Fuck her, too.” “For someone with your Shadow name, you really need to choose better words,” she told him. “You aren’t worth better than ‘fuck you’,” Wakiki growled. He spat on the floor and suggested that she do something anatomically impossible in Japanese. “Eloquent enough for you?” “You’re such a charming, young man,” the woman said, smiling. “I see why your mother is leveraging favors to have you returned to her.”
  2. {December 9th, 2011} They gathered in the old dorm common area and they waited. Every thirty seconds (or so it seemed), Monica called someone at site administration to see if the grades were posted. Abigail had returned to the Study Group a few sessions ago. Seems she caught her line backer boyfriend getting too friendly ... with another guy. It wasn't the homosexuality that bothered her. It was the fact that she had been used as window dressing for his lie. Relationships are founded on truths, but it's the lies that hold them together. Boyfriend lied at the foundation part. Mikio was a nervous wreck. She had the highest GPA of the lot of us, but she was driven to not just succeed, but to come out on top. Randy was ambivalent about her discomfort, but she had carried the rest of them through to Finals. Shadow looked at her. "You'll do fine. You always do." Mikio stared at Shadow, half way between rage and tears. "Mikio, Chandler and Kong have nothing on you. You skunked them on the practice exam, and that's with Kong cheating," Randy interjected. Kong was half-Chinese and half the people in his house spoke it. He had barely failed being automatically credited with this class on the entrance exam. Chandler was a different monkey. He was just freaking brilliant. This assholes goal had nothing to do with Mikio. He planned to have the best GPA in UCLA's history. Mikio's competition didn't even register with him. Randy's comment seemed to mollify her somewhat. Shadow gave him a look and a shrug of the shoulders. "Man, I think I screwed up," said Laura, who was dealing with the stress by being face down in her laptop. "I totally lost in doing verb tense and my essay was a mess." "Well," said Randy, "let's go over your answers. We can see what went wrong." Laura looked up and glared at him. "I already did." "Let's do it again." Randy pulled out his tablet and began going over the words he had on the test. Laura didn't come on board until the third word, but after that, she was on a roll. When finished, he had Abigail, Laura, and Shadow distracted enough that Mikio's pressure level was allowed to fall as well. Monica was still hopeless. Finally her call came through. Monica immediately downloaded the image of the message board to the group. Everyone began scrolling down the page, looking for their grades. Monica and Mikio found theirs the fastest. Mikio began jumping up and down in the air. "I did it!" she screamed, "I did it! I did it!" Monica's response was a bit different. She fell back into one of the overstuffed chairs and let out a burst of breath. Randy looked over to her. "How well did you do, M?" he asked. Hyper-Bunny looked over at him, first confused as if she didn't know him and then with a wicked grin. "I passed it!" she squealed. She jumped up and did her best Mikio-Just-Aced-the-Exam impersonation. A little late, Randy saw her leaping at him. She landed in his lap and began kissing him - with tongue. With an internal sigh, the Magus went along with it. He could feel Shadow seething at them both. Then Monica began dancing in his lap, butt wiggling all around and breasts in his face.
  3. Randy waited at the airport nervously. It was a sensation he thought had faded from his life. It was fear. He wasn't afraid of his visitor, but of the memories she would bring back. He would see her, his Sister, in her face. He would remember his last words to her. He would remember the emptiness he had felt at her graveside. They were phantoms he had buried for ten years. In a way he hoped they would stay buried forever, despite the cost. Then he saw her coming through security. She looked like her. She was his half-sister, but she bore a very close resemblance to his dead Sister. Maybe that was because his father had married a woman that was the closest replacement to the wife he'd lost. She saw him and waved. 'Too late to run now,' he thought. He didn't know what to do. How did he break the ice? She pre-empted him. She ran up and swung her arms around his neck and pulled him close. She kissed him on the cheek and hugged him tight. "I know you would look like this," she whispered to him. Randy stroked her hair, "You're a lot different than I remember you, Autumn. You're not a kid anymore." Autumn stepped back and gave him a play-slug in the upper arm. "Well, yeah. Ten years will do that to a girl." She stared up at him and a tear began forming in her eye. "Come on," Randy said calmly. "Let's get your bags. I have a car. Are you sure your stuff will arrive in the mail?" "Don't you trust the government agencies to do the right thing?" Randy stared at his sister with mock shock. "Having been in the government's pay, I can attest to the fact that there is nothing the government can't screw up," he said. Autumn grinned, her eyes still watery. "I'll take your word for it." "So, how many bags are we getting?" "Three," she grinned. "Big ones." "Great. Did you pack for deployment." "Kind of, yes. I'm not going back under my own power, that's for sure." "We probably will end up broke and on the street you realize." "Gar, it so beats the alternative. It really does." Autumn wrapped her arm in his and they walked toward carousal.
  4. From the Journal of Icarus.. Knowledge is Power, so I have chosen to record a measure of understanding of the mysteries, their practices and the power found within them here, for my own edification and that of others, perhaps in time, this primer might be useful to other awakened, there is much I wish to know, and to understand, but if nothing else, it is useful to me to record my thoughts. I am by nature, a teacher and student, I see almost everything though that particular lens of focus, all beings are students of reality, but the awakened know reality is more then what it seems. So, I begin my studies in the mysteries, I will cover each of the various arcana first, though I have yet to fully begin to understand all of them, within each is the hints of enlightenment, I have begun asking the various masters available from my order to better understand the secrets hidden within. We begin with a basic study of magic itself, manipulating the essence of the universe, we call this spell casting and it can be found within the 13 practices within the 10 arcana. There may be more beyond that, but that is the realm of archmastery, and the Archmasters are good at keeping their secrets, until the day I stand among that dizzying height, I suppose that level of understanding shall have to wait. The first step of magic, is understanding mana, the measure of your mana depends on the strength of your mystical will sometimes called gnosis, it's in essence, the strength of your connection to the supernal and your path's watchtower, this is your ability to work with magic, but mana is the essence of magic itself, in the raw, the things that one of the awakened can do with enough mana is in essence, miraculous, but that is in essence part of what magic is, the ability to do things that would otherwise be impossible..mana is the fuel which fires our magic, it can be found in many places, not the least, within the mage himself, but generally we draw mana from hollows, or with use of the sphere of Prime.. something I'm actually very good at. Mana has many uses, one can even use it to quickly heal wounds, even without knowledge of the life arcana, but the most important and common uses of mana for the awakened is in the essence of spellcasting, sense it must be used to cast improved spells outside of the ruling arcana of one's path, to work magic at great distances, to increase the force of damaging spells, and certain aspects of spellcasting take more energy, or mana then others.
  5. 10/03/2011 FellAutumn @HvrdU.net - Hey, I'm looking for someone. GREdi@UCLA.net - Good for you. I'm not. FellAutumn @HvrdU.net - I'm looking for someone who was in the service. GREdi@UCLA.net - There's a bit of that going around. Try a bar. FellAutumn @HvrdU.net - Haha. He's an ex-marine. GREdi@UCLA.net - Two things. It is Marine with a capital M. Second, there is no such thing as an ex-Marine. Semper-Fi. Now get lost. I've got work to do. FellAutumn @HvrdU.net - You a marine? GREdi@UCLA.net - :mean: FellAutumn @HvrdU.net - Sorry, Marine. GREdi@UCLA.net - Yes. I was in the Corp. So are a lot of guys. Whatever you are selling, I'm not interested. FellAutumn @HvrdU.net - My brother was in the Corp. He served for a long time. His name was Garfield. GREdi@UCLA.net - WTF? GREdi@UCLA.net - Scratch that. Go away. FellAutumn @HvrdU.net - Did you serve with him? I want to know if he's okay. GREdi@UCLA.net - What makes you think he's here? FellAutumn @HvrdU.net - on campus? I hacked my Father's computer. GREdi@UCLA.net - OFM! Autumn? FellAutumn @HvrdU.net - Gar? It is you, isn't it? What happened? I mean, when you left service and all, I sorta kinda thought you would ... show up. GREdi@UCLA.net - I never forgot about you kiddo. It's complicated. I'm working myself into a position that I can get you. I haven't forgotten my promise. Never will. FellAutumn @HvrdU.net - I believe you. GREdi@UCLA.net - Thanks. That means a lot. So, how have you been? I guess you are in Harvard now. The Old Man must be proud. FellAutumn @HvrdU.net- beyond me having the whole boob thing and nothing dangling between my legs -yes, he's happy. GREdi@UCLA.net - How bad has it been? FellAutumn @HvrdU.net - Mostly he ignores me. He's kept up with you though. He's had people spying on you. He's keeping track of 'His Boy'. FellAutumn @HvrdU.net - you still there? GREdi@UCLA.net - Angry at the Bastard is all. I don't want anything from him. FellAutumn @HvrdU.net - He's dying. I'm pretty sure of it. GREdi@UCLA.net - Not soon enough by ten years, Sis. FellAutumn @HvrdU.net - I won't defend him, but he is our Father. Don't you feel anything? GREdi@UCLA.net - Not really. He damn near broke me. He was half responsible for April's death. I hate the SOB. FellAutumn @HvrdU.net - Half? GREdi@UCLA.net - It should have been me in that car. If I had been, April would still be alive. FellAutumn @HvrdU.net - Bro, let it go. Please. GREdi@UCLA.net - Listen, I have to go. I'll drop you a line later. FellAutumn @HvrdU.net - Okay. Contact me later? Remember the time differential. GREdi@UCLA.net - I'll contact you. It's a promise. FellAutumn @HvrdU.net - Night Gar. GREdi@UCLA.net - Night Sis. No one calls me Gar. I'm Randy. FellAutumn @HvrdU.net - I know Gar. Night.
  6. Tuesday, April 19th, 2011 Location: Somewhere east of the Pacific Highway. Zane says he knows where we are. I think he's lost. Today was some real shit. Rained until four then we got a cold westerly wind until we found this ruined shack. I ate noodles and dried apples. I would have preferred my rations, but Zane says there bad for the 'Opening of the Mind'. Zane ate my rations. Apparently he's 'Open' enough. Tonight, after eating, he decided to finally start sharing some wisdom. To start off with, he wants to tell me about the real structure of the world. In no particular order, he began with a the Mastigos. To the best of my recollections, these are his words. There is nothing to like about the Mastigos. They are all lying, under-handed, hedonistic spastic gay-boy sluts. Not that they don't have their good qualities, but I've never seen them. Here's what you need to know: Mastigos' Arcana are Mind and Space. Nice right? What that means is that they can fuck with your brain from a distance. This is what they do. If it wasn't for masturbating and preening in the mirror, this would be all they do. Get up and take a dump? Nah, they 'port their crap into the toilet without moving ... unless they have your address ... then they use your crapper ... if you're lucky. Fight? Nah, their favorite saying is "let you and him fight, I'll pick the pockets of the dead." If you find a Mastigos' hand in your pockets, he's not looking for your change. If you find yourself liking a Mastigos, it's because she's made you like her. If you find yourself afraid of a Mastigos, it's because he's made you afraid. If your friend turns on you, it's a Mastigos' fault. If someone you know turns on you, it's a Mastigos' fault. If your enemy shows up and attacks you, ... okay it might not be a Mastigos, but check it out anyway. Now, are there any uses for as Mastigos? Sure. If you run across some Unspeakable Evil(?), have a Mastigos take a look first. If he comes back a drooling wreck, you know to be careful. If she says "nothings there", she's lying, but now you know that it isn't an Unspeakable Evil (what are these?). You've screwed a friend over for no good reason, then blame a Mastigos. Nine out of ten times they'll buy it. (after this, his words became so slurred from the whiskey that I couldn't always make out what he said) If you are going to commit a theft, make sure a Mastigos is in the area to blame. Mastigos Space Arcana makes everyone uncomfortable. They are probably thieves anyway. If the Mastigos is rich, take something. He's got so much, he won't miss it. If a Mastigos is poor, it's because she's hiding it well. Remember, they lie. If someone with both Mind and Space Arcana claims to not be a Mastigos, they are probably lying. If you like them, they're Mastigos. If you hate them, they are Mastigos being particularly clever. More tomorrow, I hope.
  7. Personal Information: Public Identity: Aradia McConnell Shadow Name: Calypso Nicknames: Ari, 'Radi Real Name: Same as public identity. Occupation: UCLA Student (Working on a Sports and Health Science Degree), circus acrobat (on temporary hiatus for school). Legal Status: American citizen living in Los Angeles. Marital Status: Single Known Relatives: Vikki (Victoria) McConnell (Mom), Donald Williams (Dad), Tricia Bahaar (Aunt), Rahim Bajaar (Uncle), Oneca Bajaar (Cousin), Saja Bajaar (Cousin) Deceased Relatives: No immediate deceased relatives. Physical Traits: Weight: 109 lbs. Height: 5’ 1" Apparent age: Late teens Gender: Female Ethnic Background: Caucasian Eye Color: Brown Hair Color: Brown (often with colored streaks) Handedness: Right Age: 19 History: Aradia was born the daughter of a selfish circus performer and a naive young military man. By the time she was born, her mother was bored of her "real life" stint, and was ready leave Aradia's father to go back to the circus. She wanted to leave the baby with her (now) ex-husband too, but constant deployments and the lack of anyone else in his life who could watch her while he was away made it an impossibility. In fact, he demanded a paternity test to make sure the baby was even his. But it was, and though he couldn't be there for her, he still loved her dearly. So he made no argument against the child-support that Aradia's mother demanded of him (after all, if she had to raise the little brat, she wasn't going to be the one to pay for it!) Not that Aradia saw much of it growing up.. her mother spent too much of it on drugs and booze to have much left over. She was raised mostly by the carnies (who felt for the unwanted little girl), home-schooled by them, and as a result is much more down-to-earth than her mother. They have a.. complicated relationship. But only if the word complicated is code for "I hate your guts and think you're a selfish, stuck-up bitch. Why don't you think of someone other than yourself for once in your miserable life?". Growing up around the carnies, Aradia had every opportunity to learn their trades, and learn them she did. She showed an early affinity for gymnastics, but she loved the circus animals as well. So she started training to be an acrobat, and she learned how to ride. At about the age of nine, she began to combine the two in her training. By the time she was fourteen, she was performing as both an acrobat and a bareback rider in the circus, and helping with the animal acts behind the scenes. Her mother was furious, of course. She was a huge hit, and her mother the "fortune teller" was quickly becoming yesterday's news in regards to being one of the most beautiful women at the circus. When Aradia was fairly young, she was noticed by a Thyrsus visiting the circus, who immediately took note of the girl's potential. She signed up as an animal trainer, and spent several years developing a friendship with the girl, who was enraptured by the animals and sought escape from her mother's various abuses by spending all her time with them, or on the trapeze. When her father eventually found out about her mother's treatment he offered her a place to stay with him, told her he'd figure something else, transfer to a different position if he needed to.. but by that point Aradia was too involved in the life of a performer to want to leave it, despite having to deal with her mother in order to stay. So stay she did, and eventually the potential the Thyrsus had seen in her Awakened, and she began to train her in the ways of magic and the watchtowers. Eventually, the circus began to fall apart.. traveling circuses are only as good as their talent, after all, and a lot of that talent was getting OLD. And despite Aradia's protests, her mentor informed her that it was time for her to move on.. she needed other experiences, she needed to be somewhere else, and meet others. She had a destiny - all mages did. So she called her father, who was able to arrange a meeting with his sister and brother-in-law, who have two daughters attending UCLA. He volunteered to pay the tuition, and Aradia was sent west to meet them. She moved in with her cousins, Oneca (whom she gets along swimmingly with) and Saja (whom she took an immediate dislike to, the goody-two-shoes little brat), and their roommate August. Oneca and Saja's parents were hoping that she'd be a good friend for their youngest daughter, and a positive role-model for their older, troubled daughter.. though now that they've met the girl (and on her best behavior too!), they have their doubts.
  8. (October, 10th 2011) Randy was moving across campus, another boring day of Comparative Religions gone by. At the moment, he was contemplating testing out of the next semester because he already knew most of the shit and how to bull his way through the rest. Too many instructors wanted to be told "you're right" instead of really handling opposing views. Campus sucked. Randy was trying to figure out just how his day could get any worse when ... "Hey! Randy!" 'Oh hell,' Randy thought, 'It's Hyper-Bunny!' There was no place to hide and the idea that he out-run her across campus was ... unappealing. Besides, she knew where he lived. Randy turned her way, glowered, and gave the barest of nods. Monica ran up to him breathless. He adequate bosom heaving, she stood before him with her peach colored wife-beater (where do girls get these things), red hoody zipped open, sky-blue biking shorts, knee socks with the UCLA logo, and worn tennis shoes. In contrast, Randy was in slightly worn jeans, Marine Corp issue red T, Jean jacket (more worn than the jeans), and hiking boots. He wasn't sheathed in black, but he was hardly putting for the friendly vibe. "Glad I found you," she gasped. "Monica, you know my schedule. I caught you looking over it weeks ago." Monica blushed. "Well ... I ... (pant) (pant) ... want a big favor." 'Please say, "I want you to shoot someone". Please, please. Even assisted suicide would be okay.' "Yes?" he said with as much of the passion sucked out of those words as possible. Hyper-Bunny ignored, or totally de-clued on, it. Randy bet Vegas House Odds on the cluelessness. "Great!" she said as if he had already agreed to something, "I want us, " (big beaming grin with pearly white teeth) "to go to the protest downtown. It will be Great! We'll have fun!" Randy was vaguely aware of the protest movement going on across the country. As long as his student loans kept coming through, he didn't care. That anyone would expect him to want to go to a protest was beyond him. Monica apparently thought he did. Monica probably believed in Santa Claus too. "Let me think about it," Randy said. "Aahh ... No. I think I have to dunk some puppies in Liquid Nitrogen." Monica looked like I planned to dunk her puppy personally ... for about three seconds. "Kidder," she grinned as she started dragging the bigger man toward south campus, "You wouldn't dunk puppies. You're too wonderful for that." If Randy had held a pistol on his hand, he would have shot her in the back of her head, rationalizing that he was doing her a favor, sparing her form life's multiple disappointments. With no pistol, he simply gave in. "Were are we going?" he said with a deep sigh. "The bus!" (yes, she exclaimed almost everything). "Listen you," he wanted to say dumb bitch, but that would have been pointless, "I have a car." Randy saw every word but car flow in one ear and out the other. "A car is even better! Can we pick up some friends?" "No," he growled, "they can fucking walk." This time he won the argument.
  9. She came knocking on his door late in the evening, long after he'd came back from dinner. He was angry when he went to the door. There was still so much homework to go through, and that last thing he needed was ... Her. Shadow had been crying, and recently. She stood at the door, hand clasped in front of her so hard, her knuckles were white. Randy gave a deep sigh, stepped back and opened the door. Shadow skirted him as she came in, avoiding contact. He slammed the door shut. The last thing he felt he needed was some Emo-girl crying all over the place. She was upset and he didn't give a fuck. "What do you want," Randy said as he went back to his desk. Shadow sat down on the bed and sniffed softly. The Magus made to sit down when he saw some movement at the edge of his vision. Shadow's hand reached out snake-like, grabbed the knife he kept under his pillow, and lunged at his back. Randy spun and shifted his weight. He caught Shadow's untrained strike, grabbing her wrist. His other hand pulled back in a strike posture. With a quick twist, the knife went flying out of Shadow's hand and she stifled a scream of pain. His free hand struck her in the sternum, sending her flying back on the bed. There was a moment of silence. Shadow's gaze went from Randy's angry eyes to the knife on the floor. She began crying, which only made Randy angrier. He moved to backhand her. Shadow stuck her chin out, tears streaming down her face. "Do it!" she screamed. "Just kill me." Randy held his hand. He backed away and picked up the knife while keeping his eyes on her. "What the fuck are you doing here? Did you come to kill me? Done now?" he growled. Shadow fell back on the bed and brought her hands to her eyes. She was weeping louder now. He reached out and grabbed her by one of her wrists. Randy yanked her up as she yelped in surprise and pain. "I've had it with you. Get out." Shadow struggled against him, but he was bigger and stronger. Randy made it to the door. "You've ruined me," she sobbed. "You should have killed me." 'Here comes the drama,' Randy thought. He relented primarily because he didn't need her weeping and wailing at his door. "What do you mean?" he ground out. His disinterest clear in his voice. "I ... I tried to get past you ... past what you did to me ..." Randy said nothing. Shadow was searching his face for something. "I tried to get past you. I did. You raped me, and I tried to get on with my life." "Shadow, we've been jogging every morning for the past month." Randy didn't address the rape issue. "You are hardly avoiding me." Her eyes still puffy, tear tracks on her face, Shadow looked rather pathetic in his sight. "I tried ... I ... had a date tonight. I tried, he tried ... I was screaming and hitting him ... I can't go on like this."
  10. The first exam was out of the way. They had done pretty good. Shadow and Randy had squeaked by. Monica and Laura had done well enough not to worry. Mikio had made an A, but it was Trent who topped them all, acing it. By their rough estimate, a third of the class hadn't passed, which meant most of the wouldn't be back come Monday. It also meant that things would only get harder. Randy kept up his air of indifference toward most of the students. They knew he tried. They also knew he was struggling, being so old, and so long away from their kind of studying. They also knew he was hitting the books five days a week. Things had also settled out a bit. Mikio had a boyfriend who seemed decent enough. Laura had a girlfriend which seemed to surprise almost everybody. Trent had a roaming eye and the manners of a Howler Monkey. Shadow wasn't the same. Everyone knew it, but no one could figure out why. She would hang close to Randy, but Randy would ignore her outside of school work. Monica had a boyfriend, lost him, had a boyfriend, lost him, had a girlfriend, and lost her ... and it hadn't been six weeks. From Randy's perspective that much hyper energy would drive anyone crazy. That was the group dynamics. Midterm was in three weeks and the cramming instincts were kicking in. Trent and Mikio pretty much led the group, answering questions and correcting the weekly tests. The others would do most of the 'leg-work' in return, figuring out translations and pumping out the answer to the book questions. It sucked pretty much for the slower members, but surviving the grade kept them going. As this study session progressed, Randy kept noticing Monica staring out him when she thought he was otherwise occupied. It was getting annoying. When they broke up for a break, Randy got up and went for a water. Monica's eyes followed him and she began to stand up. Shadow kept to her seat next to where him, but she kept her eye on him too. 'Way too much drama,' thought the rather plain looking Death Mage. 'Why does this crap follow me around?' "Hey buddy," Trent said on a low voice, surprising Randy. Randy cursed his distractions. "I need you to cover me with something," said the kid, all creepy like, licking his lips and staring too intently into Randy's eyes. "I'm noticing you and Shadow. She's getting no were with you, so I figure I can make my move." Randy did his best to look totally disinterested. Trent plowed on. "I'm going to nail that ass, if you know what I mean," Trent continued with a conspiratorial wink. "You double with Monica and Shadow is sure to go out with me. We get some beers into them, then POW, we nail them. What do you say?" A man of lesser will would have blinked. Randy didn't have time to blink. He was too busy getting angry; that cold, killing anger only a man comfortable with death and killing could have.
  11. The practice was simple. They pick seven students out of the hat (they probably had a computer do it) and assign them a study group. This, in theory, stops the 'smart' students from congregating together, leaving the less capable to fend for themselves. That was the theory. The reality was somewhat different. See, in Edison's experience, there was a reason smart people hung out together. They had something in common. They shared a wheel - a means of having their ideas understood by those around them. Sure, you could talk Plato to a dumb kid. It didn't make him stop being dumb. What it did do was make the smart kid waste his time. Dumb = dumb; smart = smart. Someone in the University of California System didn't get this - thus the study group. So, Edison stood outside the Elemental Modern Chinese with six other students, trying to put their schedules together. No one wanted to say anything. "Fine," Randy grumbled. "I'm Randy. Since our exams are going to be on Thursdays, how about we try something on Wednesday afternoon, or early evening." They looked up their schedules on their PDA/iPhones/ect. "I have a lab Wednesday evening - 6 til 9 ... ah ... Randy," said the all American red-head. "Drop it," the 'Jock-type' joked. "Do you have a conflict with Wednesday after noon ...," Randy started to question. The guy looked only a little worried. Randy didn't look all that intimidating. He just looked off; off enough that the guy didn't want to make an example of him. "James." "Do you have a problem with Wednesday, James?" the Marine continued. "Nah ... , whatever," James said then walked away. Not being the obvious alpha male, he didn't care to hang around. "Wait!" called out the Asian girl in the group. "We haven't decided on the time yet." James walked away, back stiff. "Let him go," said the groups token geek. "I bet he only took the course to be with some girl. He'll probably try to glom on to her group." "Either way, not our problem," stated Randy. "How does four o'clock work for everyone?" They all looked at their schedules. "I have a class at three," said the Asian chick, "but I can make it if it's close." "Everyone else good?" Randy asked. He got nodding heads. "Fine. Next thing is place. Anyone have an idea?" The second girl raised her hand, "Oh! We can use my dorm's common room. Would that work for everyone?" She sounded so excited, hyper-like. They all stood around expectantly. No one said 'Nay' so the motion carried. "Fine," Randy couldn't help but sigh. He wasn't herding cats, he was herding gerbils. "We should introduce ourselves, otherwise ... we ended up pointing and waving. Trust me, that sucks." Goth girl finally did something. She chuckles, but she also managed to say thing. "I'm Am ... Shadow." The other three girls, and Geek Boy all rolled their eyes. She kept her eyes on Edison. He stared back. He didn't care if she wanted to call herself Princess Dandelion, it was her call. Randy had heard names that made less sense. No one seemed to want to go next, so Randy intervened. "I'm Randy Edison." He pointed to the Asian chick. "You're next." "Ah ... I'm Mikio Ka-Sun. Freshman. Asian Languages." She looked totally embarrassed. "Korean," Randy said with the intension of relaxing her. "I served with a Korean-American from around here. That's how I know the name." "You served?" asked the redhead. Randy cut that conversation by pointing to the next person in the circle. "You," he said, pointing to the geek. Geek Boy became Trent Kassum, All-American Redhead became Abigail, Hyper Girl became Monica, and the Quiet One became Laura. By the look of the situation, four girls to two guys, Trent most have thought he was going to get laid. 'Yeah, if only life worked like that. Dupe thinks MTV is life. Reality isn't like that.' "We are done here. Everyone get the date and time for the rende ... study group." With that said, Randy turned and walked away. He knew eyes were following him. That was not his problem, they were children for God's Sake.
  12. Randy entered the scene, an alien in the midst of all this sorrow. Today, at this time, he wasn't something from beyond the pale of human perceptions, he was just a man. He was a man with a past and part of that had caught up with him now. As it had happened all too often in his life, this reunion involved death. Marine SSgt Jose Ramirez was dying - he wasn't an active duty marine, but there were only two ways one stopped being a marine - death, or committing such a heinous act as dictated by the Commandant of the Marine Corp, so help me God. Jose was dying and his old friend from his active duty days - over there, had come to stand by him in these last hours. His family was around too. His wife Anita holding Jose's infant daughter Emily. His older brother and his wife, Carlos and Amelia, stood back to one side. They were avoiding coming close to Jose for some reason. At his side, holding his hand, was Ernesto, himself in Marine BDUs. Ernesto had followed his father and middle brother into the service. The Corp must have given him Family Emergency Leave to be here now. Standing on the other side of the bed, wedged in between the life support machines were Herman and Rositta, the parents. "What happened?" Edison asked Ernesto. "A hit and run, right outside his house. I don't know why." "How is he doing?" Randy said after a deep sigh. He could tell. "Too much bleeding inside his spinal column. The pressure ... it will stop his heart. Any surgery to repair it will likely kill him anyway, leaving him totally paralyzed. He's refused surgery." The Death Mage nodded. If one could chose one's own time, if not means, why wouldn't you take it? Life as a quadriplegic could be full in its own way, but it wasn't' for Jose. Jose's image of life was based on the physical disciplines and challenges he set before himself. He still ran five miles a day, worked out in the gym three days a week, and if his beer drinking stories were to be believed, engaged in a very vigorous sex life. The doctor's couldn't return that to him. Randy stood by Jose, taking Ernesto's place by his friend. He took hold of Jose's cold lifeless arm. There was a pulse, but the will was failing. His friend was already lost to him. Sure, the machines could keep him alive for a day, maybe two if Fate was cruel, but his essence had departed. 'Everything comes to our vaults eventually.' That was the Credo of Death. Dead always won in the end. If you cheated it enough times all you did was invite the attentions of Death's Disciples - people like him. Edison pulled away. He made a head motion to Ernesto to follow him out. The younger Marine followed him. Once they got outside and away from nosy IC nurses, he faced off with the young soldier he barely knew. Still, they were Marines ... and in so many ways brothers of Jose. "What happened?" "Still not sure, Randy. No one is telling me and everyone is keeps looking away when I press. I do know he was hit - hit hard - by a car." "You think it was deliberate?" "I sure do. No one wants to talk about it, but I know something's up. I think I know why no one is saying anything to me. Amelia's brother is a constant fuck-up. He's been staying with Jose for the past few months - since he got out of juvie. Long story. Anyway, I want to wring some information out of the kid. I know he's the key." "I can help with that." Ernesto chuckled dryly. "Jose always said that about you. He said Death hung around you - said that's why you never hung around too long." Randy looked down. The truth did hurt. "He also told me," Ernesto said, putting a hand on Randy's shoulder, "that you were the best man to have in a fight. He said Death would come calling, but you would always sick it on the other guy. He said you had this gift." 'If only he knew ... it would bend his mind and not in a way I could fix.' "Jose was my oldest friend. We came in together, toured together, and got out together. You know that he asked me to be his Best Man first, don't you?" "Yeah," Ernesto said, his voice tinged with the now-sad memory, "he said Dad wanted Carlos, but you told him that I should be the one. He never said why." "That's between him and me, E. My reason's were good, I assure you." 'I somehow knew that Death would come for Jose. I don't know how. That part of the Art doesn't come to me anymore. I have to rediscover it. I saw Carlos, and I didn't see Ernesto. When I see you, it isn't good.' Randy continued, "Let's wait a few days. We'll bury Jose," saying that hurt, "and you go back to base. I'll find out something and get back in touch when it's time to do ... something." Ernesto nodded. Nothing else didn't need to be said. In this, Ernesto and Randy were more like brothers than the bond Ernesto shared with Carlos. Ernesto knew he could rely on Randy, though he barely knew him. Carlos, on the other hand, just didn't get it. He thought the Corp was stupid and that Jose and Ernesto were stupid for following in their Father's footsteps. In Carlos' mind, the Corp was his Father's way of getting out of the barrio, nothing more. He just didn't get it.
  13. Garfield Randall Edison Richard Mortimer Edison could not have been prouder when he learned he was going to have a son. Sure, his wife had done her part as incubator, but that's why he had married her, right? That it turned out to be twins was even better news. What man of power doesn't need a back-up heir just in case something doesn't work out. Okay, one of the children turned out to be just a girl, but he still was going to have a son, a namesake, someone he could pour the depth and breadth of his knowledge into. It had worked like this for him and his father, and his grandfather before him. The Edison's were men after all. The birth was harsh. The boy was somehow damaged in the procedure. The daughter, April, was born first and without difficulty, but somehow life seemed to evade the infant Garfield's grasp. Only as his mother collapsed into cardiac arrest were they able to tear the boy from his mother's failing flesh. She never made it out of the OR. Somehow, Garfield, or Randy as most of the help called him, was off. He was slow and introspective, and seemed surrounded by the worst luck. His first puppy, Gustav, (Edison men always got them dogs as their true companions) drowned in the pool. The Hector slipped off the second story stairwell and strangled on its leash. The third ... well, the less said about poor Sampson the better. Snakes followed. Lawnmower, rat poison, a rare and majestic eagle stopped by for dinner. Scuppers the Turtle - vaccumed up by accident. The Phirana lived to a ripe old age (but Randy never liked it much anyway). Only April persevered through these harsh times. She became her brother's shield, confidant, and closest friend. Everything else that he loved died, yet she remained. With school came Dick Edison's deepest dissappointment. Randy was, how to put this politely, subpar. That didn't matter, Dick put him in an exclusive school. The only things Randy excelled in were fights and getting expelled. Somehow, Dick couldn't wrap his mind around the fact that Randy wasn't going to follow the long Edison family tradition of a Law Degree from Harvard. Mind you, April excelled at everything she put her mind to. Her sole failure was in attracting her father's notice. "That's nice dear, but you think about getting a good degree from Brown and then we'll see what kind of man you should marry." In time, Dick Edison remarried. She bore him a daughter, after two miscarriages, and after another two she was rendered incapable of having anymore, so she found herself comfortably exiled to somewhere else (we don't need to talk about such things). The daughter, Autumn, barely saw her older siblings and they obtained near mythical standing in her minds. She worshiped April, and secretly pitied Randy because the boy always seemed so sad when he was around her, yet when she tried to comfort him, he would gently shunt her aside. "It's better this way," he would say. By accident, when the twins were fourteen, Dick Edison put both his kids in the same school. Maybe he hoped some of Randy's sister's success would wear off on him ... and it did. Suddenly, Randy buckled down and began doing passably, if not stellar. The fighting stopped. He even managed to make some friends among the 'right' kind of people. Sadly, his best friend Daniel Whitmore died when his family struck a mountain while flying in Alaska, but those things happen, right? Randy was sad, but April was his rock. Randy graduated and not by the skin of his teeth. April was valedictorian, of course, but she gave all the credit to her father. Dick Edison pulled all the strings that money and the influence two centuries of power in Mass. could bring to bear to get Randy accepted to Harvard. Oh yeah, April was to be admitted to. She was Dick's ace in the hole for Randy's future after all. The only problem was that Randy didn't want to go. For the first time in his life, Randy stood up to his father and said "No." And his father browbeat Randy into the ground. Randy cried. School was pure torture for him. He was a freak and he knew it. The world wasn't right and only April understood that, and she knew that umpteen more years in school wasn't what he wanted to do with his life. Randy wanted the dying to stop. He wanted the pain to stop. He wanted a world where it would only be him and April and the rest would be shut aside. Dick didn't care. Randy had to grow a set and Man-Up. Randy had to accept that there was only one path for an Edison man to take, and that was the path he laid out for him. They warred. Dick drank himself stupid and finally slugged his stunned son to the ground. April rushed to her brother's defense, shielding him from their father's wrath. She screamed at her drunken father. She heaped back years of scorn and derision back on Dick with interest. She went so far as to threaten the old man with fists of her own. "Randy may not be as smart as you," she screamed, "but he will be something you will never be. A decent man, a true man." Then he hit her. Her head snapped back and the spell on Randy was lifted. He rose from the floor like an angry wave rising up from the depths and clocked his father hard in the face. Dick's nose shattered and blood was everywhere. No one said a word for a moment. Dick moaned and fell back into a chair, then Randy ran out of the room. April ran after her brother and caught him at the door. He pulled away, screaming "I'm going away and I'm never coming back! I don't want to see you anymore, not ever again!" It was angry and foolish, and something about the tie that bound April and Randy came unbound. April died in a car crash when she went out in search of her brother. Part of Randy died with her. Any tie to the rest of the world passed into dust with April. There was nothing for him anywhere on earth now. No one to live for, and nothing keeping him here. Still ... Randy stood by his father and young sister as they put April into the ground. A clergyman intoned words which were ashes in his mouth, and moths to his ears. Autumn took his hand. "She's not gone, you know," she told her older brother. Randy looked down into those young eyes. While she must have meant something different, it touched something in his soul. Some kernel of understanding that had remained long banked in his heart. 'Death happens. Death is a force, and like other forces, it can be learned and harnessed. Know it, and you can master it.' What could he do? Learn about Death? What did that mean? Medical School was right out. Randy know how abysmal his grades were. So, were could he go to learn about death? and Randy proved he wasn't the dumbest guy in the world after all. "Autumn," Randy said gently, "thank you. You've helped me a lot. Maybe more than you can know right now. I promise you this; no matter what happens, or what you hear, I'll come back for you. No matter what he does, I won't forget you and when I can, I'll send for you and we can be a real family. Can you hang on that long?" Autumn nodded, more than a bit confused. She took comfort in the fact that she knew that Death walked with her brother now, and with Death on your side, what did you have to fear? When Dick Edison said, "You are still going to school," Randy nodded. He made not one word of protest. He looked his father straight in the eyes and said he knew what he had to do. The family chauffeur drove him to Harvard, helped him unload and set himself up in the dorm room (only second year Edison men needed off-campus housing, or better yet, a fraternity). He smiled and waved goodbye, looked in the phone book, and headed to the bus stop. The Marine Corp recruiter looked up at Edison and shrugged. He had certainly seen, and passed, worse. Maybe the kid was a bit soft, but the Corp was in the Man-Making business and was damn good at it. "Welcome Son, what can I do for you?" "I want to be in the Marine Corp, Sergeant. I want Combat Infantryman, and I want to see some action." "Do you have a death wish, boy?" "No Sergeant. I want to kill them long before they can kill me. I don't rightly know if I hate somebody enough to kill somebody, but I aim to find out. I need to know about Death, and I figure it's better if I learn it from the best." The Sergeant smiled. Maybe this kid was crazy and they would figure it out soon enough, but maybe this kid would also make one fine Marine. Something about this kid spoke of a fearless demeanor and a hunger to learn. "Okay then, let's start filling out some paperwork. If everything works out I can have up off to our next induction class by ..." "... the end of the week," Randy finished for him. "That's how I want it. The sooner I put his place behind me, the better off I'll feel." No amount of Dick Edison's influence, or money could sway the Marines to give up their man. Randy wouldn't quit of his own free will, and though he felt the Corp was trying to kill him on more than one occasion (I have to get up at 4a.m. and do a twenty mile run? Seriously?). Classes came and passed. Randy squeaked by, but kept going (he really was soft). Before long, Randy also began to get a reputation. He was a lucky guy, sort of. Bad things tended to happen to other people, not his own. It was minor stuff, but in the combat sims Randy's team won more often than not. Randy became a Rabbit's Foot. Randy also got shipped off to Afghanistan. Men die in combat. That's a fact. They get hurt too, which is why you get to play with guns and other things designed to stop people from functioning properly. In Randy's platoon (he was only a lowly private at first) people got hurt, but no one died. The SSgt soon realized that Randy had a gift for spotting trouble. IED up ahead? Better send Edison's Hummer up the road first. Taliban on that mountainside? Send Randy and whatever rooky that is clinging to him today out on point. RPG hit the squad and you got a man down? "Edison!" "On it Sarge," and off into the chaos of combat would go Edison. He wasn't brave, really. He never volunteered for any of the dangerous crap. He was pretty cool under fire, but what veteran wasn't? No, Edison was a Rabbit's Foot. With him around, no one died (though in the great tradition of the green recruit, many tried) and the wounded recovered more or less whole. The Taliban died. Maybe some civilians died along the way too. Even other units around Randy's took a bit more heat ... but Edison kept his own, somehow, alive. "Death don't like us much," one cocky grunt once said over a beer. "It's afraid of Edison here." "Its not afraid of me," he warned his foolish comrade, "No, its more like an old girlfriend playing hard to get ... punishing me for ignoring her for so long." That made little sense to the men, but then Edison was kind of odd. Eight years of service. It would have been ten, but near the end of his final tour, something happened. It was a clusterfuck. People were dying everywhere and none of it seemed real, or maybe it was too real. I mean, how did someone wrap their car around a light post in the middle of the desert, or run past you in combat only to stagger back and die of cancer. This guy's head come off ... but he aged years in seconds and they were ... and there were other people as well, not just his team. Pedro's little sister, dead these past eight years. Doug's dad, who had passed away just last spring. He had seen these pictures, heard their stories, and in some cases actually met them before they died ... thousands of miles away from this killing zone. Edison took a head wound and his team crowded around him as night fell and help seemed a million miles away. In the darkness, one man snuck into the American perimeter and stole the young marine away. When Edison awoke, the Taliban leader was sitting alone with him in a cave. First the man offered Randy bread, salt, and water as a sign of hospitality, then he spoke. "Welcome," he said. "You have started on a long journey that few of us ever complete. I will help you with the first steps, but it falls to you to reach the Tower of Lead on your own. You are now marked as one of the Awakened. Like me, you are Moros. I have much to teach you before the Day returns. Once you return to base, you will be able to seek me out before you leave this combat zone ... for a time. Now, we begin." Randy found his people looking for him shortly after sunrise. He could hardly explain what had happened to him. It seemed so impossible, yet he knew it wasn't. His old world was the impossible now ... a shackle, but no ... a place where everything possible wasn't understood. There was so much to learn. (Long story cut short) Randy came back to the states and mustered out at Camp Pendleton. From there he migrated north and east, but always coming back to Los Angeles. He walked down the road to the Tower of his Choosing, and came back much changed as his mentor had told him he would. He found other Moros to help him out as he grappled with newfound strengths and limitations, but finally he knew the time had come to strike out on his own. He returned to LA, seeking others of the Mysterium to give him an anchor from which to build something from. He sought allies because the Awakened world was fraught with perils, for himself as well as others. Besides that, there were other aspects of his old life he had to face. His Father knew he was alive, but so what? Would he deal with the man, or could he put that aspect of his life behind him? Then there was Autumn? He had kept up with her over the years, her from her boarding school and him from were ever he happened to be at the time. Did he want her to be a surrogate April for him, or was there something else? Was she a Moros like him, or was that too much to hope for? What of his old war buddies? From time to time, over the past months, he had looked them up. He could no longer see the deaths that awaited them (he was more controlled now) but was that a good thing, or a bad thing? Death happens after all, and knowing that, how can a Moros ever have a true friend? Randy Edison Concept: Guardian of Others Path: Moros Maeror (Latin:Sorrow) Virtue: Fortitude Order: The Mysterium WoD:Attrition Vice: Pride Cabal: (None) Attributes Power Intelligence 2 Strength 3 Presence 2 Finesse Wits 3 Dexterity 4 Manipulation 2 Resistance Resolve 3 Stamina 2 Composure 4 Skills Mental: Academics 3(Archeology), Computer 2, Crafts 0, Investigate* (Body Language) 3, Medicine 1 Occult* 3(Artifacts), Politics 0, Science 0 Physical: Athletics 1, Brawl 3, Drive 1, Firearms 3, Larceny 1, Stealth 1, Survival* 1, Weaponry 1 Social: Animal Ken 0, Empathy 1, Expression 0, Intimidation 1, Persuasion 1, Socialize 1, Streetwise 1, Subterfuge 0 Merits: Language: Latin, Resources 2, High Speech (Free), Status (Mysterium) 1 Size 5, Defense 3, Initiative 8, Speed 12, Health 7 Willpower: 7 Gnosis: 3 (12/3) Paradox (2dice) Time per Roll: 1 hour Wisdom: 5 Mana: 5 Wisdom: 7 Arcana: Death(*) 3, Fate 0, Forces 0, Life 2, Matter(*) 1, Mind 0, Prime 0, Space 0, Spirit (-) 0, Time 0 Rotes Corpse Mask (Death 2) (Intelligence + Subterfuge + Death) Entropic Guard (Death 2) (Wits + Occult + Death) (+1) Self-Healing (Life 2) (Dexterity + Medicine + Life) Grim Sight (Death 1) (Wits + Occult + Death) (+1) Bonus Points (7): Gnosis 2 (3) Gnosis 3 (3) Resources 1 (1) The 'Why is Randy in the Mysterium' Section Mage Book; page 47 under Members 1st Paragraph - 2nd Sentence - "The Society does not reject talented, uneducated sorcerers, but such novices quickly learn the academic skills they need to identify and analyze arcane treasures." 1st Paragraph - last sentence - "These situations require considerable street savvy, and some of the newest members are recruited to fill this growing niche."
  14. Mage Profile: Astra Quote: "Huh. What're the odds?" Background: Morgan's life seems to have been ill-starred from the very beginning. She was conceived in a corner booth of "The Luck-E-Star," following the dive's weekly Tuesday night poker game. Whoever the winner was, he didn't stick around to spend his money in Santa Monica, and by the time the pretty bartender realized she was pregnant, it was too late to do anything about it legally, and too expensive to handle it any other way. Once the baby was born, though, Morgan's biological mother got rid of her as quickly as she could. It was easy to rationalize things so that she didn't feel like a horrible person: she couldn't possibly support a bastard child on a single income, and giving the baby up was really just giving both of them a chance at a better life. It wasn't selfish at all, and she wasn't terrified of the responsibility parenthood would entail, and the sacrifices she'd have to make. It was, really, the best thing to do, in her mind. Luckily, infants are almost always adopted quickly, and Morgan was a beautiful baby with dark hair and huge, curious eyes. The couple who took her in, the Westbrooks, were absolutely ideal parents, and doted on the little girl until she was nearly four years old. They would probably have remained an adorable little family if Robert and Ellen had left the house a little earlier, or a little later, for a romantic anniversary dinner. In the aftermath of the accident, Morgan once again found herself "in the system," where she would remain for the next twelve years. Something always seemed to happen to the girl's foster families, and while many of them deserved it, the ones who didn't left their mark on her developing psyche as she was shuffled from one home to another. Bankruptcy. Illness. Debilitating injury. Infidelity. Fire. Psychotic breaks. Overdose. Blackmail. Divorce. Coma. A string of calamities followed wherever she went, indiscriminately laying both the wicked and the virtuous low until even the girl herself was convinced she was cursed. When her last foster mother was diagnosed with clinical depression after attempting suicide, Morgan decided she'd had enough. Instead of going back to the youth home, she bolted, disappearing in LA where she could be just another runaway in a city full of outcasts. For nearly two years, she lived on the streets, surviving in whatever fashion she could. Sometimes that meant picking pockets, shoplifting, or doing favors, and sometimes it meant finding a creative way to get inside a vacant motel room for a few hours before housekeeping came through. Every day was a new challenge, and it was difficult to do much more than scrape by. It wasn't easy, and she was alone, but to her, it was better than knowing people were suffering simply because she was there. There were times she almost joined up with one of the juvenile gangs roaming LA's streets, if only for the companionship, the sense of belonging, but her fear of the consequences of that bond prevented it. Just after her seventeenth birthday, Morgan began to fear she was going crazy. Strange people moved through the crowds wearing odd clothes and weird masks, and when they spoke to her, it was like a dream. She knew without a doubt that what they discussed was important, but afterward, she could never quite remember what it was- only that she should. Reflections in car windows didn't quite match the environment, she couldn't rid herself of a weirdly musical ringing in her ears, and the flow of time seemed maddeningly off somehow. Most disconcerting, however, was a growing tendency to find herself in places she couldn't remember going, with no idea how she'd arrived or how long she'd been there. She dropped everything, getting completely clean and sober almost overnight, but nothing helped. If anything, it was even more frightening, because she knew her perceptions should have been accurate. Even the awful reality of LA's underbelly no longer reassured her with its cruel, banal predictability. As it happened, a Thyrsus was waiting on a contact in the bar of the high rise Argo Navis hotel when Morgan reached the culmination of her Awakening. No one in the lobby noticed when, around 11pm, a dark-haired girl walked calmly into the elevator and took it all the way up. Ten minutes later, when a glowing star that was part of the illuminated constellation on the roof came crashing down into the middle of the street- that got their attention. That Thyrsus, a coffee-skinned beauty called Mayati, extricated the young woman from the scene and taught her what she needed to know in an immediate sense; despite the difference in their paths, Mayati eventually became her mentor. It was an unusual, and sometimes contentious relationship, but Morgan (now calling herself Astra, as it seemed appropriate), was fiercely devoted to her teacher. When Mayati was pronounced dead after a mission to deal with a group of Banishers that had begun seeping into LA, Astra ignored all the previous arguments they'd had about whether or not she could do what her mentor had and approached the order directly. Acanthus are rarely inspired to join the Arrow, but the order recognized that while skills can be learned, enthusiasm and drive cannot. Astra possessed both of the latter in abundance, if little of the former, and so she began her training in earnest. Recently, she has been placed in the University of California at Los Angeles, both to further her education and to monitor the campus from a perspective most in the Awakened orders cannot see. Shadow Name: Astra Aliases: Astra di Bonaventura Real Name: Morgan Ophelia Westbrook Path: Acanthus (Enchanters) Order: Adamantine Arrow Virtue: Fortitude Vice: Lust Attributes Mental: Intelligence - OO, Wits - OOO, Resolve – OO Physical: Strength - OO, Dexterity - OOO, Stamina – OO Social: Presence - OOO, Manipulation - OOO, Composure – OOO Skills Mental Skills (-3): Academics O, Crafts (Painting) OO, Medicine O, Occult (Symbols) OOO Physical Skills (-1): Athletics OOO (Fleeting the Scene. Or, if you prefer, just Running.), Brawl OO, Firearms O, Larceny OOO , Stealth OOO, Weaponry O Social Skills (-1): Empathy OO, Expression OO, Socialize OO, Streetwise OO, Subterfuge O Other Traits Merits: High Speech O, Resources OO, Status (Adamantine Arrow) O, Sanctum O (Size), Sanctum O (Security), Fighting Style: Kung Fu O Willpower: OOOOO Wisdom: OOOOO O Initiative: 6 Defense: 3 Speed: 10 Health: 7 Gnosis: OOO Arcana: Fate OOO, Life OO, Time O Rotes: Body Mind (Life OO), Fortune's Protection (Fate OO), Purge The Unbidden (Life O), Strike True (Time O), Sybil's Sight (Fate O) Mana/per Turn: 3 Armor: Magic Shield: Fortune's Protection Equipment: Cell phone, messenger bag (theoretically for school work), clove cigarettes, butane lighter, Glock 34 9mm. pistol, butterfly knife, small assortment of lockpicks. Dedicated Magical Tools: Deck of Tarot cards, small silver hand mirror Creation Log: Merit Points: Gnosis OO (3pts), Gnosis OOO (3pts), Resources O (1pt) (7pts total) Experience: Date Trait/Exp. Type Rank Gain/Cost Balance 29 Jul 2011 Creation Points - +50 50 29 Jul 2011 Wisdom Reduction - +5 55 29 Jul 2011 Wits Attribute 3 -15 40 29 Jul 2011 Academics Skill 1 -3 37 29 Jul 2011 Crafts Skill 2 -6 31 29 Jul 2011 Firearms Skill 1 -3 28 29 Jul 2011 Weaponry Skill 1 -3 25 29 Jul 2011 Streetwise Skill 1 -3 22 29 Jul 2011 Subterfuge Skill 1 -3 19 29 Jul 2011 Resources Merit 2 -4 15 29 Jul 2011 High Speech Merit - -0 15 29 Jul 2011 Status (Order) Merit 1 -2 13 29 Jul 2011 Sanctum (Size) Merit 1 -2 11 29 Jul 2011 Sanctum (Security) Merit 1 -2 9 29 Jul 2011 FS: Kung Fu Merit 1 -2 7 29 Jul 2011 Medicine Skill 1 -3 4 29 Jul 2011 Sybil's Sight (Fate 1) 1 -2 2 01 Mar 2012 Fiction XP - +3 5
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