Yajuu_Kikuishi

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Everything posted by Yajuu_Kikuishi

  1. ...and it made me frown

    It is very sad indeed.
  2. Poke.

    There are a few of us still alive; we even post now and again as well.
  3. - Ryuzaki - Sophia was apparently paying him no mind as she absentmindedly skipped a couple feet ahead of Ryuzaki. He had considered letting her simply disappear off on her own but even with the recent top up, he felt weaker than normal. Staying with her was probably the best course of action for the moment. Just as the girl started whistling a jaunty tune, Ryuzaki’s senses picked up someone nearby and he dashed forward in a blink of an eye. As it was, the pair was passing some kind of offshoot in the corridor and Ryuzaki pulled Sophia into it, pushing her against the wall before sliding in next to her. She started to open her mouth to protest or applaud, Ryuzaki didn’t actually know with her, but he raised a finger to his lips to indicate silence and she obeyed. Somewhat surprised, Ryuzaki tuned his senses down the hall to what he now realised was a pair of people running in their direction. He thought he somewhat recognised one of them, and a small inkling told him he knew the second; although he couldn’t bring anyone to mind. He focused back around him and turned to Sophia “Keep up.” He whispered and held up his hand with all fingers extended. A second later he lowered one. Then another. Then another. Another one followed and then he exploded out of cover and directly into the path of the front man. Ryuzaki didn’t take time to register the tattered state of the individual before he wrapped his fingers around the man’s throat and with a savage twisting of his shoulders, pulled him off his feet and slammed him into the floor. As if they’d planned the movement, Sophia took advantage of Ryuzaki’s crouched form and used his shoulder as a step as she flipped through the air and landed on the next person. Her mask had contorted and gave the impression of sadness as she rammed one of her unsheathed swords into the man’s throat. The next thing that happened was the pair’s retaliation. The man below Ryuzaki reached up and wrapped his own fingers around Ryuzaki’s throat, a growl escaping his lips as his canine-like eyes stared daggers into Ryuzaki’s vampiric ones. The blade of Sophia’s sword landed on the floor with a clatter and sparks flew as the black blade that was the second man’s left arm grated against Sophia’s chest; although apparently her skin was just as hard now. “Well, fuck you too, Ryuzaki.” The man said as Ryuzaki recognised who he was. “Logan, what are you doing here?” Ryuzaki said as he looked up and realised who the second person was. “Ryuk? What the fuck happened to you?” Ryuzaki pulled free of Logan’s grip and took a step back as Sophia flipped backwards off Ryuk and landed next to him expertly. Now he wasn’t assaulting him, Ryuzaki realised that Logan was ragged, bruised, and injured. He quickly scanned the werewolf from head to toe and figured some sort of torture had taken place and unlike a vampire, he had no way to quickly top up his energy and heal his wounds. But Logan was nothing compared to Ryuk. Ryuzaki looked across to his Order comrade and took in the strange black substance that covered him and the face that his left arm was now some sort of sword-like object. The blood that covered him, that was clearly not his, took very little of Ryuzaki’s interest. “Ryuzaki! I thought you’d be long gone by now.” Ryuk said, stepping forward as his sword-arm became a regular one, albeit still black as night. “This is…just an upgrade courtesy of the bastards here, I suppose.” “I would have been long gone if it wasn’t for this one.” Ryuzaki jerked his finger at Sophia and she curtsied. “And don’t think I’m down here to rescue you are anything, I wouldn’t waste my time.” “It’s true; he was already scooting away when I bumped into him.” Sophia added and spun around on one foot. Ryuzaki noticed that her mask had returned to its natural, blank look. “Anyone, this reunion is boring. I still have to show Ryuzaki what I found; you guys can tag along as well I suppose.” Once again not waiting for a reply, Sophia skipped off, beginning her whistling again. “This place is locked down; does she know a way out?” Logan asked with a frown. Ryuzaki looked at him and didn’t reply as he started off after the girl. Without any better ideas, Logan and Ryuk followed suit. =================================================================== - Sophia Nurnhurst - She hadn’t expected her sword to break quite so easily against the black man but she had smiled when clearly he had expected to cut her with his own blade. After Ryuzaki had realised who they were she pouted inwardly; she had been looking for a good rumble and Ryuk had looked like the kind of man she could go a couple of rounds with. Of course, now she had two more tag-alongs but she looked on the bright side and just thought that it would be even more successful assuming both Ryuk and Logan were of any use. Skipping ahead of the trio has she had been doing, she stopped for a moment to locate an ‘x’ scrapped into the wall; a mark she had left on the way out to remind her which way to go. “Thi~s way!” she called back and moved around the corner and through a broken automatic door into a moderate sized room. When the others came in after her, Ryuzaki in front, Logan and Ryuk taking up the rear, they saw what appeared to be four large stones. “You wanted to show me a bunch of stones?” Ryuzaki said as Ryuk stepped forward to touch one of them. “Strange, I’ve never felt anything like this.” Ryuk said and frowned to himself. Sophia hopped across from where she had been stood and pulled Ryuk’s hand away from the stone. “No touchy.” “What a waste of time.” Logan sneered as he turned to exit the room, only to find his way was blocked by a giant of a figure. The figure in question was big enough that he had to duck and turn his upper body slightly to actually fit through the door. Once he was completely through, he stopped and glared down at the group. The buzz cut on his head was a clean blonde and his eyes were a steely grey. He was wearing a correctly cut suit of light charcoal, clearly personally tailored given his size, with a white shirt and black tie. A vicious looking battle axe hung from a loop on his right side. “Who the fuck is this guy?” Ryuzaki said as Logan snarled and leapt forward to engage this new man. “Oh, Vincent, you’ve arrived!” Sophia exclaimed as Vincent caught Logan by the throat and slammed him against the wall with barely a second glance. “You know him?” Ryuk said as Logan pulled himself to his feet. “Logan, wait a second!” Logan snarled but stayed where he was, crouched at Vincent’s feet. “He’s a grand old buddy, aren’t you Vincent?” Sophia said as she skipped forward and jumped up to wrap her arms around the man’s neck before swing around and ending up on his back. “I wasn’t expecting you so early though.” Ryuzaki frowned and then realised this Vincent was the guy who had been at the meeting with the Fae; the Crescent Moon member. “And how exactly did he get on the island?” “Come on, it’s time to go; have you marked the stones?” Vincent’s voice fitted his body as it was low and grated its way through the air. “Yep! Won’t he be so proud of me!?” Sophia replied as she dropped back to the floor. “I’m sure he’ll be glad you succeeded. Now let’s not waste any more time.” Vincent turned around and folded himself back through the door and Sophia followed suite, pulling a small device from the pocket of her jacket and pressing a button on it before returning it. Ryuzaki glanced at Ryuk, who shrugged his shoulders, before following the Crescent Moon members out of the door. Ryuk and Logan weren’t far behind; the latter was still seething that Vincent had to hardly try to stop his attack. His injuries were obviously slowing him down. =================================================================== - Raphael Ginta - With Sisi back in her room, having fulfilled her role, Raphael was sitting on his throne of stone when a quiet beeping sounded from within his pocket. He pulled the small device out of his pocket and smiled beneath his mask. The information was right, the stones really were held on that island; and Sophia completed her mission. Good. With the Stones in my possession, I will soon be able to begin my plan. Raphael thought as he pulled his feet up and crossed them beneath him. At the same time, the large doors that led to his chamber swung shut and a large bar slid across them, locking Raphael within. He closed his eyes and focused his energy. To use his powers over such a great distance was not impossible for him, but it would be hard work; he would have to sacrifice a part of himself to do it but the tones were too important to waste any time getting them. Raphael had been investigating them for years and so knew the exact size, shape, and weight of them; the three things he needed to successfully take hold of them without looking at them. Of course, without seeing them, he would not know if he had gotten them until they arrived at his door. That being said, he was confident in his own abilities. Raphael created the force bubbles in his mind, closing them around the imagined stones and then began the journey of bringing them to him.
  4. AT LEAST LOOK, WOULD YA?! kthx~

    I've got nothing, nothing I tell thee! I'm guessing it's something to do with spelling a word but I'm pulling up nothing.
  5. - Ryuzaki - His ability to keep track of the time that had passed since his last proper intake of blood was starting to piss Ryuzaki off. It was a constant reminder that he was being made a mockery of; him! One of the greatest assassin’s currently alive in the world. His rage bubbled below the surface, ready to explode if those that hunted him appeared any time soon. They had started all of this back then, trying to capture him alive instead of kill him. Their technology had been impressive, something Ryuzaki had not seen the humans use before, and had they planned to kill him, they might have succeeded. As it was, Ryuzaki could use their lack of killing intent against them. Although he couldn’t hear it, he was sure they had a way to communicate with each other and he was also sure they were starting to wonder whether they should just kill him. Of course, now that he was alert, they wouldn’t get that chance. It was as this thought passed through his mind that he heard the beat of a human heart. It was about 600 ft away from him and had he not recognised its rhythm, he would have chased it immediately. The hunters had done something to their blood which meant it did nothing for Ryuzaki’s vampire genes. They had started as seven but were now only four and Ryuzaki had tried taking blood from each one to no avail. It was only thanks to the idiot soldier who had apparently missed the evacuation order that Ryuzaki was still running now. He had never drunk someone quite so dry before then. It was only the single heartbeat he could hear but Ryuzaki knew the others wouldn’t be far behind; they never were. It was whatever form of communication they used that he couldn’t detect; they called for help the moment they even thought he was about. Of course, Ryuzaki wasn’t going to let this one even think he was in the area before ripping their heart out. He was using psychology against them with his pick of hiding place this time. In every other encounter with them, he had picked a place of higher altitude. For an assassin, knowing the surroundings was paramount and he tended to use high places to survey them. This time, however, he had dug himself a trench and then covered himself completely. He had been holding his breath for over an hour now; not impressive for a vampire but it was annoying. Having picked such a hiding place, he was using his other senses to estimate his next victim’s location as they got closer and closer to his position. It took another 10 minutes before Ryuzaki felt the pressure from above as the hunter literally stood on top of his hiding spot. He was tempted to attack then; burst from the ground in a frenzy. But that was not his way, and a face on attack would not fare well when the hunter called his friends to attack. So Ryuzaki continued to wait. When the pressure had moved, Ryuzaki slowly lifted himself up and out of the dirt until he stood up completely. His movement had sent a fine wave of dirt particles through the area and Ryuzaki strained his eyes to focus on what he couldn’t see. The cloaking technology the hunters used was top notch but they were still physical things and Ryuzaki’s sharpened acute senses picked out the vague outline of the hunter as the dust particles floated past them. As he had expected, the outline showed the hunter looking up into the trees, his vision tunnelled on Ryuzaki’s previous points of hiding. It meant the hunter was none the wiser and Ryuzaki speared his hand through his back, severing his spine and sending an explosion of blood to cover the terrain around him. At the same time, he used his other hand on top of the hunters head and twisted violently until it came off like the cap of a bottled drink. The blood bubbled and Ryuzaki let the body drop to the floor as he threw the head away. Even after they were dead, their tech remained active which meant only the blood spatters was the only thing that revealed there was anyone was there at all. Ryuzaki growled at the fact all of this blood was useless to him. As he stood there listening for further heartbeats, another noise rose. The sound confused Ryuzaki for a second but as he concentrated he managed to pick out what it was; an alarm…from below. He quickly lay down on the floor and lay his ear to the dirt ground. Sure enough, the pulsing alarm was coming from below him. He had been right the first time he had found that facility, there was an underground section. But he had come across nothing that would have given him access to it. Which meant this island had never been designed to access the underground area; at least not from topside. This theory was proven immediately when a near-silent screeching sounded and a tree that apparently wasn’t a tree opened up to reveal a figure stood in the darkness. “Well, looky who we have here; the scary vampire dude.” A girl’s voice said and Ryuzaki scowled as he recognised her. “Sophia Nurnhust; the Crescent Moon member…you are human.” - Sophia Nurnhurst - Slightly before that meeting… Sophia had barely changed her Mask from Sadness for the entirety of her time in the underground facility. The powers granted by the expression allowed her to squeeze through smaller places and hide in places no human should be able to hide in. Despite the fact that the pain writhed inside her head, she knew it was the only way to keep herself out of the hands of the crazy doctors that hung around underneath the islands. So when she had passed an abandoned security post and spotted the vampire from the first meeting, she had laughed in glee. Of course, this meant a bunch of security goons tried to take her in but she killed them with a little bit of anger. Then all she had to do was figure out how to get to him. It had taken her just over an hour but eventually she found out that she could get up to his island through a network of tunnels and a small elevator. Back to the meeting… “Yes…” she managed before the vampire dashed forward and pinned her back against the metal inside of the elevator, the doors closing now they were both clear of them. “Uh…” she said, about to Anger up and teach the man a lesson on manners, when he pierced her neck with his teeth. Sophia inhaled sharply, feeling the vampire’s power as he drunk deeply; feeling the ecstasy fill her body in a way she had not felt before. Then the feeling disappeared and Ryuzaki pulled away, a look of relief on his face. The small cuts and bruises scattered across what Sophia could see of his body suddenly faded away and the vampire looked freshly invigorated. “Oh wow, that was great! Do all your victims feel that?” She said, fanning her face with her hand and smiling widely. Ryuzaki looked at her with narrowed eyes. “Your blood is strange, despite your human nature. Your reaction was a first for me.” “Scary vampire dude, I expect you just had a taste of my curse, right?” Sophia replied as she hit the button on the elevator and it started descending again “Curse? Great, I better not have caught anything off you.” He replied, and stepped away completely, spitting a globule of blood out of his mouth. “Don’t worry, my curse isn’t transmittable that way.” Sophia replied coyly. “Anyway, what have you been up to since shit hit the fan?” “The alarm, what is it?” Ryuzaki asked, apparently ignoring Sophia’s question. Sophia frowned but the doors opened at that point as she took the opportunity to skip away from the vampire. “Prisoners on the loose, Vampire. The rest of our team from what I’ve put together. Oh, if you need some more filling up, there’s a bunch of dudes over there that won’t mind.” She gestured to a small group of security personnel that had been guarding the elevator. “Of course, I wouldn’t mind either.” Ryuzaki strode straight by her and immediately picked up the nearest body to him. He drunk deeply and looked even more chipper than before. “I’m not taking your blood again if you’re cursed, I can promise you that. “Aww, but it was great.” “We need to get out of here, I can safely say I’ve had enough of this island to last me a lifetime.” Ryuzaki cocked his head as if listening. “Out? What about the team?” Sophia cocked her head as well, although hers was in questioning. “Foolish enough to get captured, stupid enough to get seen escaping; they can sort themselves out for all I care. I must return to Erevis.” “Well, aren’t you the friendly type. I like it; come on, I’ll show you something really cool I came across while I was down here.” Without waiting to listen to Ryuzaki probably decline, Sophia skipped away down the corridor. With the vampire with her, she felt doubly confident about her plan.
  6. AT LEAST LOOK, WOULD YA?! kthx~

    Ah, darn it. I'm sure I've seen this one before but for the life of me I can't remember what the answer is... I say as an answer comes to me. So I'm thinking you lay the tablets in a row, cut them all in half, and take one half of each pill.
  7. AT LEAST LOOK, WOULD YA?! kthx~

    Sweet. The word that immediately came to mind was 'Dozens'.
  8. AT LEAST LOOK, WOULD YA?! kthx~

    Darn I didn't think of the atomic numbers! How clever. As for this one, I'm pretty sure the answer is a Pillow.
  9. AT LEAST LOOK, WOULD YA?! kthx~

    That's a very good point...good thing I didn't think of it or I'd never have gotten the answer! I like this new one; although I can't come up with anything solid for an answer. At least, not yet.
  10. AT LEAST LOOK, WOULD YA?! kthx~

    A Keyboard of a computer variety.
  11. Writing partner!

    Normally, I would offer my services but I'm in a bit of a writing slump at the moment so would probably not be very useful to you. The basic idea sounds great though and anything based in fuedal Japan gets a double thumbs up from me. That being said, if my stride returns to be anytime soon, I'll probably come see if you're still interested in a partner.
  12. Long Time No See!!!

    Another one lives!!
  13. These Bloody Streets: Requiem for Allies! [IC]

    - Zane & Jinkama - Jinkama parried the flat blows Octavius through at him, impressed that the assassin was as adept at face-to-face combat as he was being. Although he had trained and studied nearly all martial arts of the work, Jinkama had only briefly heard about the style Octavius was using; flat hands like knives, spinning and rotating. It was in this respect that Octavius’ attire helped him as his rising poncho hid and confused his attacks. Jinkama retaliated by switching styles every now and again, aiming to take advantage of any opening that presented itself. So far, none had. Despite facing strong odds, his skin remained normal coloured as he chose not to activate his magic. Zane wasn’t entirely convinced that doing so was a good plan but then again, he suspected it was something to do with the last time the two had clashed in combat. So instead of worrying about that, Zane took the opportunity to fire pot shots in a hope of either striking or at least distracting the assassin. Octavius’ words from earlier were all that was really on his mind, however. For as long as Zane had been augmented by his father, he had been told that he was an enhanced soldier designed and built to fight the rising supernatural threat. The greatest minds of science had come together and created technology to allow him to stand on the same level as them. For that he had been glad; he had suffered through the pain of his ‘upgrade’ but it meant he had been able to stand on the same field as Ellie, as Michael, as freaking Ryuzaki. He had never approached magic normally, he had shown no aptitude and of course, if he had, his father would have most likely killed him. To think that his abilities may come from more than science gave him pause to wonder what could have been. Then Jinkama took a lateral chop to the neck and cried out, distracting Zane from his thought process. Apparently Octavius had got the upper hand and slipped the attack in but even as Zane levelled his pistols, he realised that Jinkama hadn’t cried out in pain, but in joy. The side of his neck, where the blow had struck, had turned golden in colour; he had activated his abilities. This had surprised Octavius who had created distance and was nursing his left hand, hiding any potential injures below his poncho. “You son of a…” Octavius started but was interrupted as an arrow passed Jinkama’s right ear and landed with a dull thud in front of the assassin. Both Jinkama and Octavius, as well as Zane, looked at the arrow before it suddenly imploded and a great force started pulling everything towards it. As Zane was attacking long range, he was out of range but the arrow immediately started dragging the two close combatants towards it. Zane looked to where the arrow had been fired and spotted Cern. At the same time Cern locked eyes with him and the message he passed was clear. Jinkama jerked forward a foot before he curled inwards and invulnerable his hand to punch through the roof of the Estate to stop himself from sliding towards the arrow. At the same time, Octavius was jerked a lot close but he managed to stop himself from actually entering the imploding force by using a bear-claw weapon on his right hand which he dug into the roof. As he did this, the night arrow him lit up in red and he looked up to see what appeared to be hundreds of short red bolts of energy, clearly fired from Zane’s pistols. The implosion caught them and dragged them inwards, directly at where Octavius was clinging on with his metal claws. - Raphael Ginta - Raphael corrected himself in the air and then his body slowed suddenly as if he had plunged into water or something similar before coming to a complete stop. He floated in the air for a second before touching down gently and standing up to glare at Sookie. Luckily he had reacted quickly to her attack and had stopped her fist from actually coming into contact with his body and spread the force out to minimalize the impact. He looked at Sookie’s wild form and frowned beneath his mask. Of course, he knew that she was going to increase in strength, it was a magically induced moon after all; he had no doubt increased the powers of every werewolf on the planet. He had not been expecting silver to have no effect, however, the chains had been made to hold her down even in her powered up state. Not that it mattered a great deal, he could handle a super powered werewolf or two on himself without even passing his threshold. It was at this point that he felt the magic fluctuation from the circle he had created for the ceremony; it passed through him in waves and he looked behind Sookie to where he had crushed the central altar. With its focus gone it would probably explode with gusto very soon and Raphael didn’t want that to happen. A backlash of magic from a tool he had used to bring the Eternal Night may well unravel or destabilise it. It wasn’t actually needed to maintain the Night but Raphael had been intending to keep the circle as a kind of trophy. Now he would need to destroy it. A roar from in front of him drew Raphael’s attention back to Sookie as she lunged at him with incredible speed. Luckily Raphael’s abilities were powered by thought and it to, was quick as he created an invisible buffer between him and his assailant which slowed her down a bit. At the same time he pulled to steel beams from the ceiling and pulled them down into a cross which slammed into the back of Sookie’s neck, forcing her to the ground and trapping her there like she was in a stockade. It didn’t hold her for long as she wrenched her head up and roared again. Only, the short time she had been trapped, Raphael had grabbed what he had needed and now dropped the Ritual Stone on top of her. She started to push it upwards but Raphael dropped the second directly on top of the first, forcing both Sookie and the first stone down under the ground. Raphael didn’t stop there, however, as he slammed the remaining two directly on top until the uppermost stone was only fractionally visible from where it had dug into the ground. With that done, Raphael looked at where he had drawn the circles into the floor and it suddenly collapsed inwards like a sinkhole, obscuring and then completely removing the indentations. Raphael then lifted himself up and placed himself back into the centre of the room, waiting for when Sookie would attack again; he was certain his attack hadn’t killed her. - Leona & William - As Nyx’s laugh died down, Leona cleared her throat and the gathered parties all looked at her. Leona’s back was straight and she had crossed her legs with her hands resting on the uppermost knee. “May I remind you all that Autumn was not the only ones to side with Ezralda when she went mad.” The other’s facial expressions did not change, they were all well aware that Jayden had indeed worked for Winter. “May I also remind you that it wasn’t Ezralda who killed the Spring King, it was the leader of the so-called Heroes of Winter, Ryuzaki.” Alyssa stepped slightly forward, no doubt to whisper in Leona’s ear, but Leona raised a hand in her direction and she stopped. While she spoke, Leona completely ignored Reason and instead focused on the other three Faery Queens, specifically Winter. “You suggest tactics and make plans under the assumption that I will be willing to lend my aid.” “Now, Leona…” Adelina started but Leona interrupted. “Right now, I want to just return to my people and Ryuzaki and his gang can deal with this; he was strong enough to kill Ezralda after all, I doubt he’ll have a problem this time.” Leona stood up and William did the same thing on her right. “Don’t worry your pretty little heads though, I shall attend the western side of the Estate. But only because Jayden would have done so.” She looked around at the Queens. “Anything else that isn’t a waste of my time?” - Ryuzaki – A scowl passed across his face and Ryuzaki was about to call Samantha something incredibly rude when a sound reached his ears and his scowl changed to a smile. The sound was of chains breaking and a roar that was unmistakably Sookie in Part-Wolf form. Samantha narrowed her eyes at his smile and Ryuzaki cracked his neck with menace. “Oh don’t worry, it’s just that it appears Sookie is no longer your prisoner.” Surprise crossed Samantha’s face. “That masked guy may be strong but Sookie’s about to tear him in half I suspect, no doubt this eternal moon bullshit has made her quite the opponent.” Ryuzaki’s smile showed off his fangs. “And of course, if she is no longer a prisoner then I no longer need to rescue her; and if I no longer need to rescue her, then I can focus on the stupid bitch before me.” Ryuzaki cracked the knuckles of his fingers and waved in Samantha’s direction. “Your little puppets are strong, I’ll admit that. But there is on big, obvious, glaring weakness to them.” Samantha couldn’t hold back. “What would that be, oh Master Vampire.” The sarcasm was dripping around his title but Ryuzaki ignored it. “You.” In less than a blink of an eye, Ryuzaki appeared behind Samantha with the heel of his boot swinging ferociously down towards her right shoulder with a kick that would probably split her in half.
  14. Long Time No See!!!

    I've called many a person a turnip; makes me laugh. :) Maybe one day...
  15. Long Time No See!!!

    It sure as hell does! Apologies for the, like, 2 week delay in this reply; for some reason my brain was telling me I had been the last person to comment. I'd also like to apologise that I wrote 'right' instead of 'write' in my previous post like a complete turnip. I liked it when this here forum was bustling with activity and RPs; it gave me loads of stuff to read as well as the RPs I was actually in. Ah, good times.
  16. These Bloody Streets: Requiem for Allies! [IC]

    - Eleanor Pengallion - Liz’s new Bow enchantment was far more powerful then Ellie had previously known; however, her thoughts on the matter were cut short when the old woman decided to retaliate. She did even give Liz enough time to finish her sentence. As the bubble appeared Ellie recognised it immediately, it was the attack that had captures some of the team in their previous encounter. Unfortunately, this time, Ellie herself had been captured. It wasn’t necessarily as bad as it seemed because although now frozen in place, Ellie was still balanced on her staff. As long as she was touching it, she might be able to pass some magic into it and disrupt the old woman’s magic. It would be difficult and would take longer than they had as the old woman summoned her tentacles again but this time she called forth a large gaping jaw that started to pull them downwards. Ellie focused desperately, trying to push her magic from her and into the enchanted staff. Movement made magic transference easier but it was possible. Once again, before either Ellie or Liz could do something, another stepped in to help them. The ground beneath them seemed to explode in slow motion and then change form into metal spheres. These spheres paused momentarily before slamming forward and the old woman’s concentration broke immediately. Liz grabbed Ellie and moved with her speed, dragging her over to where Ariel was now stood. Ellie was glad to see the faux child. When Liz implied the same plan as before, Ellie shook her head slightly. “Perhaps it would be similar, but this old woman is starting to annoy me.” Ellie lifted her staff, which she had grabbed when Liz had grabbed her and held frontwards, vertical. Magic gathered at both ends and Ellie started to spin it. The old woman looked up but Ellie paid her no mind as she released her staff and it continued to spin. Ellie’s golden net then lit up, she held out her hand and a large flow of air buffeted forward directly at the old woman. - Fiona Vaunik - A moment after her daughter spoke, Fiona felt the magic flow from her and she suppressed the smile that had tried to appear on her face. Instead, she opened her left eye. Immediately, the purple energy that surrounded Willow’s hands flew away from them and into the iris of the eye. The palm strikes were still fast and stung lightly even as Fiona parried them with her forearms. With the energy now gone, Fiona closed her eye, a new tattoo line appearing around her right eye, and it didn’t seem that Willow had noticed before she delivered a heavy kick to Fiona’s stomach. It had all happened near-simultaneously. The next set of attacks came fast and Fiona had to concentrate hard to parry them all. She didn’t wait for the young girl to finish though as she opened her right eye again and this time Willow’s own purple energy shot out in a torrent. Willow moved, still faster than Fiona thought her capable, but the energy caught her in the left shoulder. Fiona felt the link grow between them and taking advantage of Willow’s surprise she kicked the girl in the stomach and clenched her right fist, hoping that it would do what she thought it did. It was one of the drawbacks of her own ability, not knowing how the others worked. - Michael Sanderford - As the Assassin Master pulled himself away from the oncoming flame-spears, Michael couldn’t help but be impressed. He had really thought that by getting him into the air, he wouldn’t be able to dodge; he hadn’t seemed the type. He pushed this thought from his mind however, seeing as Caine clearly could, and focused instead on his opponent as he summoned another attack, this time in the form of some kind of tentacles that sprouted from his back. Michael narrowed his eyes at Caine’s lamentations, Michael found that fighters who uttered those words tended to be stronger than most, and braced for the oncoming impact. Which never came. Caine disappeared, sinking into the floor, and suddenly his magic appeared from behind Michael’s back. The Fire Mage spun and quickly called up small funnels of flames that slipped over the deadly looking points at the end of the tentacles. Inside the vortexes the tumultuous heat caused by the flames generated a sort of gravity well that trapped the sharp points at their centre. With a quick back step to avoid actually being skewered, Michael took control of the flame funnels and moved them outwards quickly, causing them to go around him instead of through. Just as he did that, the funnels exploded into nothing and the tentacles began to close in tightly. Cursing himself, Michael summoned a sphere of fire and held it in front of his stomach. He lifted it up above his head and it touched the uppermost tentacle, pushing it away slightly. With little will, Michael started the ball spinning and it quickly became a disc of fire spinning above his head. While this had been happening, some of the lower tentacles had managed to get their points aimed once again at Michael’s flesh. As they closed in quickly, the flame disc violently fired up and down, creating a pillar of fire that shot miles into the sky. Apparently the tentacle appendages were immune to an extent because instead of becoming ash, they were simply forced away. Michael made note but was already in the air where his pillar had delivered him. He was only a couple of feet above Caine, whereas his pillar looked to be travelling to space in height, and he crossed his arms in front of his face, palms outwards and fingers curled slightly to point at Caine. “We’re over a minute now, Mr Assassin!” he laughed as balls of swirling flames appeared at his fingertips and then fired forward with streams of flickering light behind them. - Ryuzaki - Ryuzaki felt the pull of oxygen in his lungs as his had increased in tempo; the last time he had been on the verge of such was facing off against Ezralda. Now, he was more than surprised that another person, albeit with a myriad of puppets, could bring him to the same level. He had severely underestimated this Samantha if she was on the level of a Faery Queen. It also didn’t help that Sookie’s predicament was affecting his judgement, he could feel the anger flowing through him, telling him to break through at all costs to free her. He had always acted in such a way that she wasn’t personally important to him, but he had to admit that she was important. As Samantha’s monologue started up, Ryuzaki took the opportunity to control his breathing, managing the air flow until it had returned to normal. Then he targeted his anger, focusing it into a fine point and then cutting it off and putting it to the back of his mind. That way it won’t affect him adversely in the battle against Samantha, but if he needed it, it was there. Now under control of himself, Ryuzaki levelled his gaze on the Behemoth before him. “It’s quite simple…” he said, talking to Samantha but still looking at the Behemoth. “…you will lose.” As he spoke these last words his eyes suddenly darkened from gold to pitch black and the colour seeped into the rest of it until it was entirely lacking of colour. Then black smoke started to rise from his back and his normally light skin started to darken. As the area around where they were clashing darkened, a sudden ripple of magic passed across them and the darkness that had begun to surround Ryuzaki, Samantha, and her puppets suddenly withdrew. At the same time, Ryuzaki’s body reverted back to his normal state of pale skin and golden eyes. “What the…?” Ryuzaki started when the Behemoth suddenly sprang forward and slammed the side of his axe into Ryuzaki’s chest, sending him cascading backwards through the air. While in mid-flight, the Valkyrie swooped down and her spear pierced through Ryuzaki’s armour completely. Apparently they had compensated for the special metal it was made out of and their glowing red attacks now completely passed through it. The spear continued on until it stuck into the ground and Ryuzaki came to a sudden stop, which the Valkyrie took advantage of and swung her sword down at his neck, aiming for a quick decapitation. At the last second Ryuzaki came back to his senses and caught the blade with his right hand; the red energy covered weapon cut nearly all the way through before he twisted his hand and clamped it between the bones of two of his fingers. “I don’t know what trick you just used, but I’m not impressed. I don’t need it to kill you.” Then to prove his point, he ripped the sword from her hand and back slapped her with his other hand. The blow was fast and strong and her neck broke practically on impact. Immediately her body slumped as her head dangled limply at the neck and Ryuzaki pushed her away as he started pulling himself off the spear. By the time he had done so, his hand had healed and his chest immediately begun doing so; by luck, the spear had missed his heart by a few millimetres. As he straightened up and started to look toward Samantha and her Behemoth, Ryuzaki realised that more figures were now stood with her. It didn’t take him long to realise it was the people he had killed in the fight previously; clearly, the energy that was leaking off her and into them gave them some serious regenerative powers. Ryuzaki frowned and started walking forwards slowly. He had been hoping to finish it quickly by Regressing but apparently that wasn’t an option; however, he could still move faster than most and if he attacked before they could band together and make a plan, he should be able to separate and kill the again. Then all he had to do was kill Samantha; then he remembered it. Why Samantha seemed so familiar. She had been Ryuk’s beloved when he was alive. As the thought occurred, the anger he had sectioned away suddenly bubbled to the surface. “You son of bitch; what they fuck happened to you that you’d be so far gone from Ryuk’s ideals?” - The Master Vampires - “So, how long will it last?” Ki asked as he appeared next to Andrei where they had arrived in Chicago to watch Ryuzaki. Andrei’s narrowed. “He’s a strong one, I don’t expect it to last longer than 15 minutes. Hopefully the deal will be fulfilled by then.” Ki nodded with a frown. “I don’t like this very much.” “Neither do I, that’s why we made the deal in the first place; we can’t get involved.” Andrei crossed his arms and gazed out again to where Ryuzaki and Samantha clashed.
  17. Long Time No See!!!

    It's a deliberaly slow burning RP, since we're all on various time zones and we like to right rather large posts. It's a modern day, sci-fi, supernatural, fantasy epic and is the 6th (I say with great confidence, certainly it's a high number) sequel in a number of RPs that have run over various Forums and other formats. It involves Vampires, Werwolves, Fairies, Demons, Evil organisations, Villainous plans and a bunch of other stuff. It's rather fantastic really.
  18. These Bloody Streets: Requiem for Allies! [IC]

    - Eleanor Pengallion - Ellie was still being impressed by Liz’s new attack when the old woman knocked Liz away and focused her attacks on Ellie herself. Cursing her rookie mistake, Ellie gathered her magic and did three things; she first fired herself upwards with a bubble of air, secondly she used one hand to send a small orb of her energy towards Liz with the hope it would help her to recover quicker, and thirdly she summoned her brand new staff with her other hand. It formed from a spiral of flame which constricted until it appeared as an inch-wide, four foot long, length of wood. Not only was it carved with flames, but interweaved within the flames were different magical characters; it was an impressive piece of work. The staff was not something Ellie could have created in the time between when her old one had been broken and the assassin attack had begun. She had been content to live without it for now but when Michael had heard of her old staff’s fate, he couldn’t help but get involved. It had taken him a hair over ten minutes to construct the magical item with his own magic. The core of it was fire-based, as was Michael’s, but to assist with Ellie’s wider range he had added a number of extra enchantments and reinforcements. In the world of magic it was a formidable item. Even as Ellie did all these things, the tentacles the old woman had created had been piling together below her to climb up themselves to reach her. Ellie was about to reach the peak of her magic-enhanced jump but just before she did, she dropped her staff. With it pointed straight down, Ellie whispered a word and a burst of flame from its upper end fired it downwards like an arrow. It slipped through the tentacles like it was deliberately dodging them and pierced into the courtyard floor below them. The tentacles ignored it and still reached up to Ellie has she began her descent. She formed a symbol with her right hand and held it out towards her staff. “Immolate!” she cried and a bright light shone out from between the gaps of the writhing tentacles. A second later a pillar of fire erupted from her staff and encapsulated nearly all the tentacles and Ellie herself. Not that it harmed her as the pillar disappeared as she landed gently on the tip of her staff that was pointing into the air. The few tentacles that had survived writhed in flames so Ellie put them out of their misery by grabbing the far and closing it around them, reducing them to ash. The old woman snarled in anger and reached forward to touch her crystal ball again. Ellie snarled herself and hopped lightly on her staff. The tip in the ground dug deeper and rings of solid fire spread out from around the point of contact; they stopped appearing when the old woman was within the circles. Ellie held out her palm and levelled it on the old woman. “I won’t allow you to hurt my friends.” She said as the golden net in her hair lit up again and the rings exploded upwards with an intense light that shone hundreds of feet into the air. - Fiona Vaunik - Fiona couldn’t see her daughter, but she easily sensed her when she made her move. Willow moved much faster than Fiona had ever known, clearly she had been training this one particular aspect. However, she had clearly been lacking in her assassin department as she spoke before delivering the killing blow. Fiona used this to her advantage and opened her right eye; she had been hoping to be able to use her left eye first but Willow hadn’t given her the opportunity. As her right eye opened, a field of energy surrounded her body and exploded outwards, knocking Willow back and into a shelf, knocking the contents to the floor. Before she had settled, Fiona closed her right eye again. One of the intertwined lines of the tattoo around her left eye faded away, invisible in the dark, as Fiona turned to face her opponent. Her assassin instincts told her to attack immediately, while Willow was still somewhat stunned, but she didn’t immediately; after all, this was her daughter. “My dear, you hold such anger towards your mother? I do congratulate you on your impressive speed though, you clearly eclipse your siblings.” - Michael Sanderford - Once upon a time, Michael had been incredibly weak to close range, hand-to-hand combat. This always made sense to him because he was a wizard, they had no need to get in close to anybody; certainly with his power he could melt a person from a hundred miles away. Of course, then he met wizards like Jinkama who thrived on the closeness of battle. It had also come up in a number of battles of his years, where Michael’s opponent closed the distance and he had lost any advantage he had over a distance. It had been many years since such a time however, so even as his deep instincts told him to pull away and gain distance, Michael chose to do the opposite; he drove his head down towards the tip of the sword coming towards him. As Caine’s eyes widened a fraction in surprise, Michael’s second instinct was to convert into his elemental state and pass through the man and his weapon and attack from behind. But again he chose to go against his instinct and reached out to grab the blade in his hands. As he always did, practically unconsciously, Michael had an invisible flame barrier a centimetre from his skin that would reduce most physical objects to ash. It did so for the needles flying at him at incredible speed but Michael didn’t want to do that to the sword; not yet at any rate. So he deactivated the barrier around his hands and replaced it with a skill he had appropriated from Jinkama during a training session. Instead of burning, it allowed Michael to catch the blade without being cut. This allowed him to move the blade to the side and allow it to pass by his head to avoid injury. At the same time it caused his arms to press against his chest and his forehead to rest on Caine’s shoulder; the flame barrier was designed for non-living things so only Caine’s clothes disappeared on point of contact. Michael kept his right hand clasped around the sword’s blade and reached forward with his left to pull Cain closer as if hugging a friend. This moved his mouth up next to Cain’s ear. “I’d keep your mouth closed.” He whispered with a grin as flames exploded at his feet and he sent the both of them flying into the sky. A second later, Michael pushed away from Caine and split them apart; Michael one way, Caine the other. Under the assumption that Caine couldn’t dodge in mid-air, Michael formed two long spears of flame and fired them towards the master assassin. - Ryuzaki - It was far from the first time that Ryuzaki had fought multiple opponents at once, even before he had become a Master Vampire, but he had to admit their co-ordination was off the charts. Even the teams who claimed to be as one looked sloppy next to the guys currently attacking Ryuzaki. Not only that, but each on their own was immensely strong as the Knight could push him back with a shield bash and the flying one also nudged him. That, combined with the constant rain of arrows that tested his regenerative abilities, started to annoy him. He felt the air part as the flying one aimed something at the base of his skull but with the knight’s sword in his hands, he couldn’t catch it. So instead, he spun around in a blur and jerked backwards into the knight’s chest. It was a strong blow, if casual, and the knight staggered a step but more importantly, the winged-woman’s spear clashed with the front of his armoured chest-piece and stopped dead on the specially forged metal. In the moment of peace that followed the strike, clearly the bird-woman had thought the strike would work, Ryuzaki let go of the knight’s sword and switched his grip to the knight’s sword-arm. Then he kicked one leg backwards and knocked the knight’s feet out from under him. This allowed him to rotate forward and flip the knight over his shoulder with a sort-of judo throw. The bird-woman attempted to get out of range but the knight was a large man and his feet caught her and slammed her to the ground under him. Ryuzaki stepped forward and punted the knight in the right shoulder, sending him tumbling forward and through the building’s wall, and then reached down and grabbed one of the bird-woman’s wings. He pulled her to her feet and then spun quickly again and sent her tumbling through the opposite wall. “Stay down and I won’t kill you!” he roared. The arrows had stopped just before he had flipped the knight, but Ryuzaki didn’t care about whoever was responsible for that; he had to go and rescue Sookie. - The Master Vampires - Two figures stood next to each atop a skyscraper about 2 miles from where Ryuzaki was currently engaged in battle. Both Ki and Andrei wore their standard attire but both had added a number of weapons to their persons that now hung from belts and bandoleers. Ki stood with his hands cross in front of his chest while Andrei stood with them hung limply to his sides. Both were watching Ryuzaki carefully; the distance was no trouble for the eyes of a Master Vampire. “Do we go in now?” Ki asked, keeping his golden eyes locked on Ryuzaki. Andrei scowled. “Not yet; you felt that vast wave of magic, right?” Ki nodded and shrugged which Andrei took to mean sort of. “I’ve never felt anything like that, which is saying something. I’d like to know what’s going on around here. I don’t recognise the girl or her soldiers, you?” “The soldiers, no, but the girl sort of looks familiar. Like I’ve come across her briefly but not for anything significant.” Ki replied, earning a snort from Andrei. “Hey, perfect recall is not one of our abilities, alright? I can’t remember everything I’ve ever done or everyone I’ve ever met; can you?” Andrei didn’t say anything for a second before shaking his head. “No, I suppose not.” He scowled and looked back towards Ryuzaki. “Why is it him again? What draws change to him?” The last words were muttered to himself as he watched the battle unfold. - Zane & Jinkama - Zane let loose a couple more shots in random directions, but he had no idea where Octavius was hiding. In the end, he was a Master Assassin so Zane guessed he wouldn’t see him unless he wanted to be seen. Jinkama was still stood next to him, his bare chest gleaming gold in the moonlight and the expression of annoyance on his face clear. “Coward, this isn’t a fight!” he said into the darkness. The laughter just came again and once more the two fighters were sent tumbling through the air by thin metal wires. As the two of them pulled themselves to their feet, an idea struck Zane and he leant in to whisper it in Jinkama’s ear. Jinkama muttered back angrily and Zane shrugged, bringing a pistol up to fire randomly again. In a blur, Octavius suddenly appeared in front of them with a grin on his face and immediately Jinkama jumped forward at the same time as red light shot out of Zane’s pistol three times in quick succession. Octavius easily evaded them and Jinkama before disappearing completely. “Coward!” Jinkama roared again. This time Zane’s augmented eyes were focused on Jinkama and he saw the wires attach into his left shoulder. “Now, left shoulder!” he called and Jinkama reached up and managed to grab the wires in his hand. Jinkama was strong, but not supernaturally so, however, neither was Octavius as Jinkama planted his feet and braced himself before dragging back on the wire. There was a cry and suddenly Octavius appeared in the air, being dragged back towards Jinkama by his own wires. His eyes turned to look at Zane as he levelled both pistols and fired six shots quickly. Anger flooded Octavius’ face and he reached out a hand as if to grab the deadly energy bolts out of the air. When they made contact they seemed to fuzz like an old television set and they passed through Octavius without harm. He landed on his back with a heavy thump and quickly disconnected his wires from his hand and stood up to brush the dust from his poncho. “How clever of you.” He said, looking at Zane with venom in his eyes. “It’s a shame your energy isn’t all science.” “What does that mean?” Zane asked as he levelled his pistols again. “You won’t live long enough to care.” Was Octavius’ reply before he flapped his arms up and a number of steel needles flew towards Zane at great speed. Before they could strike, or Zane could respond, Jinkama stepped in the way and the needles bounced off his hardened skin. “I’ve got a bone to pick with you, bastard.” He said with a scowl. “Zane, stick to long range back-up only, please.” Jinkama had thought about telling him to stay out of it completely, but Octavius was very strong and he wasn’t about to die because of his stubbornness.
  19. Long Time No See!!!

    I'm a constant lurking really. Me, Animefreak, and a few others have an active (but slowburning) RP going at the moment. I don't normally venture out of the Realm but it's very dead at the moment so I decided to poke my head out.
  20. Long Time No See!!!

    Hi Ice! I am one such creeper/lurker. Sounds like your life is very exciting at the moment; congratulations! Especially on your engagement.
  21. These Bloody Streets: Requiem for Allies! [IC]

    - Ryuzaki - Ryuzaki trusted Michael completed, when he said they would hold things down here, he meant it. With the Estate covered, Ryuzaki looked across to the globe just as the location spell cemented and noted the location; Chicago. In less than a blink of a person’s eye, he disappeared; racing away from France and back towards the United States of America. It didn’t matter to him that he had been there before his race to the Priduex Estate; when you could move as fast as he could, it bore little weight how far a destination was. He passed across the water at full speed, this time no strange teenager stopped for a chat, and soon enough his feet touched down on American soil. The straightest route from the shores of France had landed him in Philadelphia, he barely had to alter his course to change to a bee-line to Chicago. Small moments were lost as he jumped, weaved, and dodged obstructions but the Chicago skyline appeared before him. The location spell Ellie had cooked up had not been strong enough to pinpoint an exact location but now Ryuzaki was in the same city as Sookie, he wouldn’t need one. He raced up the nearest building and came to a stop on the roof, looking out across Chicago. He crouched down and closed his eyes, focusing his smell and hearing and spreading it out across the city. As a Master Vampire, this was only a fraction of his sense-related power. Within the minute he had picked up Sookie’s sent and followed it through the city and to the outskirts where it settled on a large warehouse. He tuned his ears and picked up the screams, rage and pain, and stood up with a look of thunder on his face. He had also picked up the breathing of the man stood there watching Sookie. “No mercy.” He muttered and with an explosion of brick at his feet he fired himself at the direction of the warehouse. He moved with deliberate speed and ignored everything else around him, he passed a large man dressed as a knight in red armour but even ignored him as he aimed for the doors to the warehouse; if he turned out to be in on it, he would soon die anyway. Now within the warehouse, Ryuzaki quickly assessed the situation. Sookie, screaming while chained to a stone altar. A woman, sat on the outside of 9 concentric circles that surrounded the altar. The masked man; someone Ryuzaki hadn’t seen in a long time. Even as his rage built, Ryuzaki’s first port of call was to free Sookie from her chains. As he dashed forward, he felt an invisible force build up around him pushing him backwards as he approached the outer circle. He realised he had slowed down as the woman turned to look at him in part-surprise; although a look of expectation was also on her face. He pushed forward against the force but it suddenly increased a thousand fold and Ryuzaki felt himself come to a complete stop. His feet dug into the hard ground a couple of inches and cracks emanated out behind him as the invisible force stopped his movement. The masked man turned from where he had been watched Sookie squirm and looked eyes with Ryuzaki; luminous orange with shining gold. “Ryuzaki, running to the rescue; pretty much on time.” The masked man said. Ryuzaki picked up the slight strain in his voice but couldn’t explore it further as the force increased still move and he felt himself sliding backwards despite his efforts to push forward. “You are strong, Master Vampire, as expected. But not more than I expected.” The next blow wasn’t anything Ryuzaki had felt before; not fighting OSSUM, not Erevis, not even Ezralda. It struck him at all points on the front of his body and he was lifted into the air and sent flying backwards at speeds nearly as fast as he could move voluntarily. His back touched the doors he had passed through to enter and the entire wall that housed them exploded outwards as he passed through it. It didn’t stop there, however, as he continued on through the next building, and the next, and the next. He actually lost count before he the force dissipated and he found himself lying in a massive pile of rubble consisting of multiple buildings. As he pulled himself free his sensitive hearing picked up the Masked Man’s voice again. “As planned, he is yours Samantha; kill him swiftly for the longer he is alive, the more dangerous he becomes.” Ryuzaki frowned, he was sure he had heard the name Samantha somewhere before, somewhere significant. He shook his head and brushed the rubble off himself as he stood up and cracked his neck dramatically. Ramon. The last time he had come in contact with him, it had been on the Assault on Nirvana all those years ago. Clearly he was more than he appeared if he appeared to be the same age and had enough power to force Ryuzaki back when he didn’t want to be. Ryuzaki couldn’t stop a growl from escaping his throat as he prepared to return to the warehouse.
  22. These Bloody Streets: Requiem for Allies! [IC]

    - Raphael Ginta - 30 Minutes Earlier… Raphael stood with his back to the stone alter and metal cross; in the time since it had arrived, alterations had been made to it so that it would behave the most effective when the ritual was in motion. The iron metal had been plated with silver and smoothed out to give it a look of a single piece of the metal, and chains had been embedded into the base of the alter; they were just long enough to fasten a small-ish figure to the cross with little room to move. Now laying on top of the alter, but below the metal cross, was a male body consumed in a black metallic-like substance. The 9 concentric circles and the five stones still sat as they had been when Raphael had set them up, except now the stones had started to glow with the moonlight that shone down from above. The phone in his pocket beeped once and Raphael didn’t look at it as he looked up from the ground and glanced at the double doors at the far end of the building and they swung open on their own. Samantha walked in with one of her bodies, The Berserker, pushing in a trolley with the She-Wolf called Sookie strapped to it with thick leather bindings. Raphael said nothing until they stopped outside the largest circle, careful not to interfere with it. “She is uninjured?” He asked, not moving from his own spot from within the centre circle. “Pretty much.” Samantha replied. “She was roughed up a bit before her capture but she’s practically healed to full health now.” Raphael nodded and the straps holding Sookie to the trolley split apart and she started falling forward before an invisible force gripped her, stopping her in mid-air. She was lifted just over a foot into the air and slowly floated across the circles until she stood in the centre circle with Raphael, still held up by her power. “Leave now and prepare for the Master Vampire.” He said and Samantha turned on her heel with The Berserker, now carrying the empty trolley in his arms, in tow. Raphael turned back to Sookie and she dropped into a heap on the floor, whatever had been holding her up was now gone. He stepped over to her and crouched down so he was near her face. With a quick movement of his hand he slapped her hard across the face and she was jerked back into consciousness with a cry. Raphael quickly took a couple of steps back as the werewolf recovered from her disorientation. Her eyes landed on Raphael and without transforming she lunged at him with a snarl on her lips. Raphael simply looked at and the invisible force returned, slamming her to the ground, on her knees before him. “Correct. People should bow before those with greater power.” He said slowly. Sookie tried to speak but something gripped her tightly around the throat preventing her from doing so. “No doubt you have a list of exotic words you wish to call me but there is no time. Look upon the alter.” Normally Sookie would have simply refused but the invisible force moved her head for her until her eyes settled on the figure laid upon the stone alter. “You recognise him, yes?” Again, Sookie tried to speak but couldn’t, her expression gave everything away, however. “Yes, that is Ryuk Zomba’s cursed body.” He stepped forward and rested a hand on Sookie’s head. “You are the final piece.” The invisible force flipped her through the air and her back slammed against the silver cross and immediately blisters started forming on the skin that touched it. The silver chains lifted from the floor and fastened tightly around her wrists and ankles, once again the skin enflaming. Sookie screamed, this time her voice rung loud in the empty warehouse, and Raphael stepped to the end of the alter, looking up to the moon in the sky above them. At this point Samantha walked in with a long, flat box in her arms. She walked up to the edge of the outer circle and held it up just as it was lifted into the air. Samantha remained where she was, simply taking a seat on the floor, and watched the box float over and land on the floor next to Raphael. The lid folded back and revealed five deadly looking stiletto knives made of silver and decorated with gold; at the base of the hilts were small irregular shaped rocks, all of them various sizes. The daggers floated into the air and moved across to Sookie until two hovered above each forearm, two above her shins, and one above her heart. “These daggers have meteorite fragments forged into the hilts and were enchanted for sacrificial purposes. Normally the next step would kill you but due to the nature of the ritual it will most probably make you stronger. Take that as the, ah, silver lining if you will.” Raphael almost smiled beneath his mask but held himself back; he wanted to wait until the ceremony was complete. With a sudden drop the five blades plunged down and pierced Sookie completely through, so their tips appeared on the opposite sides. She screamed in pain, more with the silver than the wounds, as her blood started to seep down the blades until a thick droplet dropped down and landed on Ryuk’s body. Immediately light akin to moonlight shone out from where the blood made contact and Raphael looked back to the moon in the sky. “Luna. Maledictum. Lupus. Vitae. Potestatem. Divisus. Tempus. Immortalis.” He spoke each word as a drop of Sookie’s blood made contact with Ryuk’s black skin. As soon as he uttered the final word, Sookie’s blood started to pour from her wounds, down the daggers, and onto Ryuk’s body, staining it red. It was at this point that Sookie’s body began to change to that of a werewolf; but nothing like she had ever turned into before. Raphael started up a continuous chant in a strange language. Now… Raphael finished his chanting, despite Sookie’s cries drowning them out in volume, and stood up. The circles around him were afire with energy, particularly the stones and central alter. He looked up and spread his hands wide. “Deus Noctus Descendite!” Beams of energy fired out of the five stones and alter and coalesced about ten feet above the centre of the circle. It held a sphere for a couple of seconds before firing a larger beam directly at where the moon was positioned in the sky above them. A minute passed of nothing before a sudden wave of energy high in the sky spread out at an alarming rate. The magical energy being expended would distort and no doubt destroy all permanent magical constructions across the globe; nowhere was safe. That and unless the enchantment was destroyed, everyone, everywhere would forever see the moon above them in the sky; regardless of their location on the planet. - Michael Sanderford - The magical wave came out of nowhere, passing over Michael’s body and causing him to shiver. It was massive and the fact that it had come from apparently nothing, from beyond Michael’s magical senses spoke of the power it wielded. A moment later, Michael realised that the wards around the Prideux Estate had begun to evaporate. Not activated, not destroyed, just simply removed. He opened his mouth but Liz beat him to it. Once Ryuzaki left them to find Sookie, no doubt her capture was something to do with the immense magical surge he had felt, things started instantly. The sound of the daggers colliding in mid-air was filled with a magical energy that Michael detected and, with a series of quick hand signals on his right hand, negated it around himself. Everyone else had been caught by the strange magic but before Michael could whip up a counter for them, Liz sent out numerous small bolts of lightning that jerked everyone back to the real world. Michael deflected the one sent at him and nodded in approval. His attention was drawn though as a blade appeared to pass through him, from shoulder to ribs. However his defense had done its work and the blade had been melted and evaporated before it had ever harmed him. Michael turned around as the man who had just attempted to assassinate him laughed. “Underestimating me is usually for idiots, rookies, and the dead.” Michael said as flames formed a circle at his feet. “Of course, idiots and rookies who underestimate me usually die too so I guess I don’t need to separate them into a different class.” As he finished speaking, he waved his hand forward and a wall of flame sprung up between him and his attacked, rushing forward like a miniature tidal wave. However before Michael felt any feedback from the attack, magic once again filled the air and he felt the warping as it launched him to a different location. When he landed, flames already alight in his hair, he looked around and found himself standing in front of the Priduex Estate, face-to-face with his attacker from previously. Liz’s work. Must have been the last ward left. He thought as he focused his eyes on his opponent. The man in question suddenly submerged his hand in the ground in front of him and Michael felt the magic form at his back. Before he could get out of range, a bony hand sprung from his shadow and clasped tightly around him. It was a death-grip, literally, as it squeezed until any normal man would have been popped like a water balloon. As it happened, Michael was no ordinary man; he wasn’t even all man. As the hand closed completely, Michael burst into flame and escaped through the gabs in the bones. He reformed to the right of the large hand and placed his own upon it. Instantly, flame raced it’s surface and it was reduced to blackened ash and was blown away in the wind. Turning to his opponent, Michael reached up and removed his sunglasses, revealing the swirling fire pits that were his eyes. “You know my name, but I don’t know yours; by your apparent age you must be Willow’s father.” He said before two condensed tornados of flame burst from his eyes and scorched their way to the man. - Eleanor Pengallion - Her location spell suddenly focused and a point appeared on the globe they could follow in order to find Sookie. A second later Liz started exclaiming in surprise and Michael stepped forward to tell Ryuzaki to go and save Sookie himself as they would be busy here. In that blink Ryuzaki was gone and the rest of them were left to face off against a family of master assassins. It appeared they would have no time to prepare, however, as the attack began nearly as instantly as Ryuzaki had left. Ellie couldn’t react as Willow moved to intercept the dagger and save Liz’s life; she couldn’t even counter the magical spell that echoed out from the clash of metal on metal. It sunk into her, deeper than most magic could without another power source apart from the caster’s personal amount. Ellie’s eyes flickered and she found herself back at her mansion in England, Zane by her side. They were both sat in the library, reading as the afternoon sun shone through the large windows that lined one side of the large room. The next second something struck her in the back and it felt like someone had jabbed her with a cattle prod. This wasn’t entirely inaccurate as she looked over her shoulder to see Liz lit up with her energy. Now she was free of it, Ellie could recognise and identify the illusion-dream magic and shook her head in annoyance that she had been caught by it. Then that annoyance dispersed when she realised that only Michael appeared to be unfazed by it. After the brief skirmish between Willow and her younger brother and sister, Ellie saw Liz reach to one of the wards and she braced herself for what came next. She was only half surprised when she felt a pulling sensation and ended up stood next to Liz in the courtyard. She took a second to re-orientate herself and Liz voiced her concern that someone was there. In that moment dark tendrils of magic burst forth from the ground and raced towards them. “I’ve had enough of being surprised!” Ellie called and stepped forward with a hand extended. Immediately a translucent wall of blue energy appeared and the shadowy tentacles crashed into them like it was a steel door. It bent inwards slightly but held as the tentacles, that seemed to be multiplying, started to reach around the wall to get to Ellie and Liz. Ellie stepped forward again and made two separate gestures with her hands. The first, with her right hand, was aimed towards the barrier in front of them and it started to change shape; stretch backwards until it began to cover them in a dome. Her left hand formed a small ball of fire that she lobbed over the top of the wall like a grenade. As it passed above her barrier it gained 3 small blue balls of energy that swivelled around it like a miniature solar system. The dome finished forming around them, protecting them from the tendrils as they could no longer get past, and small spikes jutted out, causing the tendrils to pull back slightly. At this point her flame grenade exploded in a flash of white light and heat both of which were reduced by her shield so as not to harm them. The tentacles let out what sounded like a scream as parts of them were blown clean off. “Liz, I’ll open a path and then you can give them a bit of lightning love, sound like a plan?” As she spoke, the metal net she wore in her hair began to light up with energy. - Zane Pengallion - Since he had kept himself out of the discussion between Ariel, Ryuzaki, and the rest, Zane had found himself out of range to help when the attack came. Cursing himself and summoning his pistols, he found himself too slow to help but was relieved when Willow reacted in time. He was not prepared for the magic, however, as it washed over him and he felt his mind bend and the world changed around him. He was strapped to a chair with metal bindings, his hair was long again and he was wearing nothing except a pair a white briefs. Numerous devices for monitoring his vitals were strapped to his chest and head and the only light source was above him and was bright enough that everything else around his circle of light wasn’t visible. “My son, why do you struggle?” A voice said as Zane tested the bindings strapped around him. Damn it! What the hell is going on? He thought just as something ran through him and jolted his mind back to where he had ended up kneeling in the Prideux Estate. He shook his head to clear his mind and found others doing the same. Apparently they had been subject to some kind of psionic attack from Willow’s family. Now with the spell broken, Zane stood up and summoned his pistols, aiming them at the small boy and girl who and instigated the attack. He saw out of the corner of his eye Liz focusing and energy filling her. Then he felt himself move and found himself atop the roof with Jinkama by his side; which was impressive since Jinkama hadn’t even been in the room. “What the hell’s going on, Zane?” he asked, his skin already golden in colour and ready to fight. “The assassins are attacking already and Ryuzaki has gone to save Sookie; I’m guessing Liz activated something to split the family up to weaken them since Willow was adamant that they were stronger together.” He said, moving his gaze to pick up anything that might move to attack them. “Great, I’m guessing that magical wave had something to do with it.” Jinkama said, also keeping his eyes open. “If you say so just keep you…” before he could finish his sentence, something grabbed him by the shoulder and sent him flipping through the air and crashing back onto the roof. At the same time, the same thing happened to Jinkama and they both cursed. “Not this guy again.” They said in unison, both standing up as a laugh filled the air around them. - Fiona Vaunik - As with her husband, Caine, Fiona had already been inside the building and had simply waited for the rest of the family to enter before making her move. Her target was Willow, since her two youngest had failed already against her, and as Willow attacked her younger sister, Fiona came up from behind with one of her daggers drawn and aiming towards the base of her neck. Before she could finish up the attack, however, magic filled the room and she felt herself being dragged away and sent somewhere else. When she settled she sensed she was in some kind of basement; it was cold, damp, and dark. She immediately sensed someone else in the room and retreated behind some kind of shelving unit. When she realised it was her daughter, Willow, in the room with her she couldn’t help but girn slightly. It looked like she would be able to punish her after all. Fiona sheathed her dagger and reached up to clasp the metal helmet that encapsulated her head. With a quiet hiss, the locking mechanism released and she pulled it off completely. Her eyes were closed and tattooed around her left eye was a series of intricate patterns in dark red ink; similar patterns ran around her right eye but was grey in colour. With that done she threw her helmet high and listened as it clanged loudly against the roof and fell away from her.
  23. These Bloody Streets: Requiem for Allies! [IC]

    - Ryuzaki - The water sprayed up behind him while his feet touched the surface every now and again to keep him moving. Ryuzaki was hurtling towards France directly over the Atlantic Ocean, meaning he was surprised when he came across a figure standing directly in front of him. He started to curve around it, there were more important things going on, but it moved with him to stay in his path. Now closer, he saw that the figure appeared to be a teenager, dressed in blue jeans and a blue hooded top. Suddenly he wasn’t in front of him and was crouched on Ryuzaki’s shoulders. Before he could react the world blurred strangely, more so than normal when Ryuzaki was running, and he slid to a stop on the deck of an oil tanker. Ryuzaki was instantly on his guard, scanning the ship for any life signs but finding nothing; strangely, not even the teenager stood in front of him registered apart from the fact he could see him. “I emptied the ship beforehand, so we don’t get interrupted.” He said, his voice sounding as young as he looked. “And what exactly might be interrupted?” Ryuzaki questioned, standing straight but still ready to react to anything. “My…” he paused as if searching for the right word “…brother, is hanging around with a group of individuals you are soon to come into contact with. He’s small, like a toddler, and wears denim dungarees. You needn’t concern yourself with him, he won’t get involved.” Ryuzaki raised an eyebrow. “What the hell are you talking about?” “We have our own personalities but we share a mind so he’ll know I’ve spoken to you. We don’t get involved in matters of your world. So I repeat, you needn’t have to worry yourself with him when you see him.” “I still don’t know what you’re talking about.” Ryuzaki said. The boy looked at him quizzically. “No, I suppose you don’t. Small boy, denim dungarees, don’t worry yourself.” Then, before Ryuzaki could reply, the boy disappeared and a number of confused looking workmen were stood on the deck with him. Ryuzaki ignored their stares, and walked across to the side of the ship. He hadn’t seen the boy move, let alone the workmen return; just what was he? Shaking his head and putting it to the back of his mind, he jumped the railing and kicked off the side of the ship before hitting the water and accelerating again. Soon the French coast passed beneath him and Ryuzaki turned slightly so he was on a direct course to the Prideux Estate; it wouldn’t take him very long to arrive now. - Eleanor Pengallion - Ellie had only been in Liz’s workshop a couple of times previously; generally speaking so had no need to since she had her own places to work. However, to successfully track Sookie, she needed the pentagram-tethered globe Liz kept. With Liz with Elijah in the Healing Chambers, Ellie had had to look through the storage shelves herself to find what she need. While she had been doing that, Michael had left the room without a word and Jinkama had followed shortly after. Zane was leant against the wall beside the door; seemingly at ease but tense with inaction. Arafel was elsewhere and Ariel was stood just outside the pentagram, ensuring she didn’t interrupt the magic flows. She’d now placed the five objects at each point of the star, objects taken from Sookie’s room that held her Aura but not much else, and the hair sat at the pentagram’s centre. With the preparations complete, Ellie took her spot stood just behind the hair and raised her hand to summon her staff. Then she remembered that it had been broken in the Estate Assault from earlier and she hadn’t crafted herself a new one yet. No matter, but I must get on that. She thought as she clasped her hands together in front of her instead. Tracking magic wasn’t her forte, but as with most things she knew enough for a basic reading; the lack of Sookie’s DNA wasn’t helpful either. Ellie focused her energies on the pentagram and the carved lines lit up with a dull red light. Then, blue spheres appeared around each of the objects at the star’s points and like dust in a wind blew inwards until the hair was surrounded by the energy. The non-existent wind picked the hair up until it floated steadily in front of Ellie and she reached forward slowly, encompassing the hair in loosely cupped hands. Magic travelled from her hands into the smoky blue energy and Ellie shook her hands like she was about to roll some dice. She pulled her hands away and the blue energy left the hair, its job done, and floated towards the globe where it surrounded it; the spell would take a minute or so to kick in and pick a point for them to follow. Before it had finished the door swung inwards, causing Zane to straighten to a standing position, and Ryuzaki walked in. His presence demanded silence as his eyes locked on to the blue energy surrounding the globe. “A tracking spell? Who…?” he stopped his question as he focused in on the hair that had settled on the floor, back to the centre of the pentagram. “Sookie’s? Explain what’s happening.” He directed his last question at Ariel. - Michael Sanderford - After leaving Ellie to her magic, Michael had made his way to the top of the estate and then used one of the many balconies to gain access to the roof. He was now stood at the edge of the building, looking out at the vast grounds. The sky above him rolled with dark clouds but that was due to the protective charms around the Estate; they knew that something was coming, something bad. At the noise behind him, Michael turned to see Jinkama walking across to him. Michael turned back to continue looking out and Jinkama came to a stop beside him. For a minute or two, neither of them said anything and then Jinkama coughed. “Mm?” Michael said, the vague noise permission for Jinkama to speak. “Has, uh, has Ellie told you about the last attack here?” Michael sensed Jinkama was unusually down, but he didn’t say anything. “About…about me?” Michael turned slowly to face the mage. “She did; apparently you lost.” he said it matter-of-factly with a tinge of sympathy; he knew the barrier mage was proud of his combat ability. Jinkama bowed his head. “Completely and totally; it was the first live run of my new magic and apparently it was a piece of garbage; Willow’s brother tore through it like it was paper.” Michael didn’t say anything and Jinkama continued. “For the first time in a long time, I felt…felt powerless.” He crossed his arms as his shoulders slouched. “I still do; if…when he comes again, I don’t feel like I can stop him.” “You know, Ellie also told me her theory on that.” Michael said with a chirp. “What do you think of it?” “Her theory? Willow said that her family are powerful and the ‘test’ Ellie did on was hardly on the same level.” “So you think she didn’t try hard enough?” “No, that’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying I don’t think she can try hard enough, not to match Octavius.” Jinkama sunk to a sitting position. “So you’re saying she’s too weak?” Jinkama didn’t answer so Michael bent down to look him in the eye. “As her theory suggests, I don’t think strength has anything to do with it. Stand up.” When he didn’t comply, Michael lit a small fire beneath him and he leapt up with a cry. “What the hell?” he asked but Michael ignored him as he took a couple of steps away from him. “Suit up then.” He said and Jinkama just looked confused. Michael swung around and a lance of fire shot towards Jinkama like a bullet. Instantly his skin turned golden and the fire lance split around him, causing no damage whatsoever. “Dude, what the hell?” Jinkama said, patting down the singes on his trousers. “Are you trying to kill me?” “So you think I can?” Michael said with a coy smile. “Of course you could, you’re the most powerful person I know sans Ryuzaki.” “Yet you were confident that your Aura could block my attack; you made no attempt to dodge.” Jinkama frowned. “Instinct I guess, until Octavius, nothing could break it.” “So you think I’m weaker than Octavius?” Jinkama frowned again. “Of course not.” “So, by proxy, strength can’t be related to how your magic was beaten so easily. There must be something you missed. From what Ellie tells me, it was a surprise attack anyway.” “Sort of.” “Well, close enough. Come on, stop moping and let’s get back to the others, the locator spell should have been completed by now.” Jinkama seemed to be thinking about what Octavius did, but he did manage to follow Michael back inside and back towards Ellie and the others. When they entered the room, they found a new arrival speaking with Ariel, who appeared to be catching him up on current events. “Ryuzaki, you’ve arrived.” Michael said and the Master Vampire glanced his greeting but continued to listen to Ariel. It was at this point that the locator spell finished up and a portion of the map was highlighted with blue energy. - Raphael Ginta - Raphael had barely moved since the arrival of his last package. He stood with his hands clasped behind his back, looking down at the white container, waiting for confirmation that the final piece was on its way. As if reading his mind, his phone began to ring and he pulled it out to answer it; a female voice was on the other end. “Collection confirmed. I’m on my way.” She said, he voice somewhat obscured by what sounded like rushing wind. “Good; make haste.” He didn’t wait for a reply and hung up. He hit another button and placed the phone back to his ear. It took the recipient three rings before they answered. “Inform the family that the night falls, this is the final chance.” The man acknowledged Raphael and then hung up, leaving Raphael to slip the phone back into his pocket. “The time approaches.” He muttered to himself. - Leona And William - While Leona and Elyssa were occupied with the recovering Reason, William was the only one to turn as a young looking faery passed through the ceiling and landed like a feather on the ground beneath. With her battle-worn armour and blonde hair, plus the magic that emanated off her, it didn’t take a genius to know that she was the Summer Queen. When Adelina saw Reason upon the table, apparently injured, her jovial expression changed to that of anger. She immediately gave out a some-what speech in regards to injuring a Hero of Winter. Despite the fact that Adelina had started to reach for her sword, William was not worried, a simple word would calm the Queen when she understood they had not harmed Reason. However, before he could make that word, the set of doors into the room exploded inwards and revealed Maximilian, the Winter Knight. Righteous fury marred his features and the spear in his hand spoke of his intent. Leona and Elyssa had looked up in surprise and William immediately put himself between them and Maximilian as he charged. William’s hands went to the hilts of his swords, but he didn’t draw them; to do so meant he would have to draw blood, in keeping with his accords. The Knight’s charge was stopped, however, as the Winter Queen entered with reprimanding words on her lips. William returned to his straight-backed posture, ready to bow, but was interrupted again as Reason stirred from her unconsciousness; drawing the attention of the room to her. William watched Leona’s face as Reason scraped and bowed before Elyssa, the one who had awoken her and she apparently took to be royalty. He couldn’t help but smile at her scowl and when she turned her gaze to him, he shook his head slightly to indicate that throwing a tantrum would do no good. When Reason turned her attention from Elyssa to Adelina and the Winter Queen, William made his way over to Leona. “Not quite what we were expecting, right?” he muttered, indicated the stories Jayden had told them of Reason. Her scowl remained. “Not exactly. I know I don’t necessarily look like one but to think she think that Elyssa is the queen! Bordering on treason, I’d say.” “Now, now, let’s not get into a fight with a Winter Hero.” William said and turned back to the main body of the room as the doors opened and two more Faeries walked in; these one’s clearly of the Autumn. “Please, take a seat, and allow the negotiations to begin.” The Winter Queen said and took a seat at the head of the table. The simple ice chair that had been there warped and grew until she sat in a throne befitting her station. When Leona took her seat, she touched her crown and with barely a whisper of magic, it changed from its natural look to one of what appeared to be amber glass. It was a sign that whatever she did now was in her station as Queen of the Spring Fae. “I think ‘negotiations’ is a bit of a strong word, don’t you?” Leona said as Elyssa took up station standing next to her and William took the seat to her left. The other Faeries had all taken their seats no as well. “After Ezralda attempted to destroy all the Fae but those of her court, and was subsequently defeated by the Heroes of Winter…” she nodded in Reason’s direction “…it was thought prudent by many that things needed to be discussed; things needed to be sorted so that sort of thing can never happen again; the world ending is not something any of us want.” She sat up straighter in her chair, her hands resting delicately on her lap. “But before that, I must inquire as to how you made this possible; from what I have been taught, Faery Queen’s tend not to occupy the same space lest their power cause irreparable damage.” “That would be me, If I may speak, your majesty.” A figure stepped out of the shadows and bowed his head to the Winter Queen. She nodded so he continued. He was a tall man, skinny as a rake with thin features and high cheekbones. He was completely bald and an intricate tattoo of black ink covered the centre of it, running from the tops of his eyebrows to the back of his head. His eyes were sparkling blue and sat behind a pair of circular rimmed glasses. When he spoke, he stood straight and enunciated each word carefully. “I am Her Majesty’s Court Wizard, trained by the Council of Winter many years ago and until recently, was in hiding. It is my magic that makes it possible for the Queens to stand in the same space; with Her Majesty’s held of course.” He bowed his head again and Leona turned back to the table. “Now we can begin fully.” She said.
  24. These Bloody Streets: Requiem for Allies! [IC]

    - Michael Sanderford - Michael didn’t like being kept in the dark, there were very few things going on that he didn’t at least have an inkling of. As Ariel turned to Elijah and Sookie to tell them to head to South Africa, Michael turned away from them and walked across to a window to look out across the Estate’s grounds. Even when he felt Ariel’s eyes turn back to him he didn’t immediately return the favour. When he did, he let out a sigh. “Okay, I will summon Ryu…” He stopped dead as a flux of magical power flooded the room. It took him less than a millisecond to recognise it as Ellie’s and flames burst around him as he shot out of the room like a meteor. If the furnishings had not been magically protected, no doubt they would have been reduced to a crisp; the people in the room made do with flinching away from him as he passed. The med-bay that Arafel and Ellie were in was not far away and as he passed the threshold into the room, Michael extinguished his flame. He cursed when he saw the situation. Arafel’s black time magic had seeped from his body and Ellie was now engulfed in black smog. Michael darted over to her and reached into the smog to place his hands on her head; the magic apparently did nothing to him. Ariel and the others entered the room as he started the process to pull Ellie free. - Ellie Pengallion - She knew that it wasn’t real and she was desperately trying to instigate the lessons she had been painfully taught as a child. In someone else’s mind, they were god. But that only counted when they were aware of a foreign mind invading; Ellie knew Arafel knew she was here, but she didn’t think what was happening was intentional. The power of Arafel’s memories linking with the rest of his mind again was intense and Ellie couldn’t fight it with the meagre mind magic she possessed. The worst of it was the truth she was learning, the secrets that Arafel had kept from nearly everyone. She didn’t want to know, and her mind couldn’t cope with such an influx. The bridges had now rebuilt as strong as ever, the Time Vault releasing had caused the proper connections to flow over and correct Ellie’s makeshift job, and Ellie was being dragged into a corner of Arafel’s mind that she knew she wouldn’t escape from. A sudden aching in her head told her the threshold approached fast, if she passed it she was gone, but suddenly something attached to her back and she jerked to a stop. The magic felt familiar but Ellie couldn’t place it until a booming voice filled the imagined sanctum. “Eleanor. Return to me.” Michael’s voice said as the invisible line that had snagged her lit up like a fiery rope. “Immediately.” Michael’s tone was demanding and Ellie was slightly offended and then became unoffended when she decided that it was probably related to the magic he was using. Now with the hope of being pulled free within her, she started moving in the direction of where the fire rope had appeared from. It felt like she was passing through honey but suddenly she burst free and a feat of mental agility, her mind sprung back to her body. Ellie’s eyes snapped open and she drew in a gasp of air as the black smoke around her dissipated into nothing. Blood had started to dribble from her nose and ears and a slight headache throbbed but otherwise she didn’t feel any worse for wear. Michael was crouched in front of her with his hands resting either side of her head and Zane was stood behind him, a look of concern on his face. Ellie opened her mouth to chide him but the truth of what she had just learnt suddenly surfaced and she dropped her gaze to Michael. “Master…!” she started when suddenly the room was engulfed in a tornado of black smoke. It disappeared quickly but apart from Ellie and Arafel, everyone and everything was covered in a thin black film. “What the…?” “Apologies, Ellie, I’ve placed a Time Bubble around the two of us.” Arafel said as he pulled himself up into a straighter sitting position. “Why?” Ellie said, remaining seated; partially from exhaustion but partly because Michael’s hands were keeping her there. “What you learnt, by accident, in my head, you can’t tell anyone; not even Michael.” Arafel said, his normally relaxed demeanour replaced by a deadly serious look. “You saw me say it in my memory; if people knew, things could go askew. Just the fact that you are now aware could change things uncertainly.” “But, they need to know! Surely?” She retorted. “They cannot!” Arafel said intently. “We can’t risk it, Ellie. I can explain at a later time exacts but for now I just need your promise not to tell anyone about anything you saw. Can I count on you?” Ellie frowned but eventually nodded; at least she tried to but was stopped by Michael’s frozen hands so she verbalised. “Fine. But I expect a full explanation.” “When the time is right, of course.” Arafel replied and the black film covering everything faded away. “Are you ok, Ellie?” Michael asked. He pulled his hands away and stood up. “What happened in there?” Ellie nodded. “I’m fine. I just wasn’t thinking strongly enough about escaping.” She looked past Michael and saw that Zane was still looking concerned. “But it worked, his memories have returned.” She nodded her head towards Arafel and Michael turned to look. Arafel nodded. “It’s true, I remember everything.” He said and as Michael stepped towards him, Zane stepped past to stand close to Ellie. - Arafel - Confirming her understanding by locking eyes with her for a second over Zane’s hug, Arafel turned away from Ellie and towards Michael who now stood beside his bed. Ariel had entered the room but no-one else followed, Arafel guessed that Ariel had told them not to come for the time being; something he was glad of. Michael still hadn’t said anything so Arafel guessed he wanted him to speak first. “Yes my memories have returned but unfortunately I cannot tell you what they contain.” Michael frowned and Arafel glanced at Ariel, who nodded, before continuing. “As Ariel has no doubt asked you, we need Ryuzaki back as soon as possible and by that and mean as damn near instant as he can do.” Michael sighed. “You as well?” he looked between Ariel and Arafel. “You clearly have something going on here that only you know about, and Ryuzaki I would guess because none of us would hide anything from him. Now, I wasn’t there when you were playing time shenanigans the last time, Arafel, but I get the shrewd feeling that something is happening of a similar manner.” Arafel opened his mouth to reply but Michael held up his hand to keep him silent. “Clearly you can’t tell me, or I’m sure it would have happened already, but I’m not sure summoning Ryuzaki would be a good idea. Before he left again to find his fellow Master Vampires, he explicitly stated that he was not to be disturbed except in the most extreme of cases. I’m not sure this constitutes such a case.” “All I need is for you to get a hold of him; if you can tell him a single sentence as a message he’ll know what it means.” Arafel said as he pulled free of his covers and spun, grimacing as his bruised body resisted. “I can confirm your suspicions that Ryuzaki is aware of what I cannot tell you and all I need you to do is communicate with him that ‘Time’s time has come’. Just that and he’ll know.” Michael considered as Arafel stood up from his bed with another grimace. As he stood there, black smoke started pouring from his pores and a few seconds later, Arafel stood without the pain on his face. “Your Time magic has become powerful, it seems.” Michael said. Arafel smiled. “It’s been a long time since the Winter War; I haven’t been sitting around doing nothing.” He pulled the bandages fee from where they had been wrapped and retrieved his clothes from the bedside table. “The Time Vaults around my memories were also limiting my abilities and apparently I also locked the memories about such things away at the same time; it’s a ploy to confuse enemies if they ask me to use my powers and I say I can’t with the apparent truth that I don’t know why.” He shrugged and pulled his beanie cap onto his head. “It’s a useful ability. Now, Michael, can you call Ryuzaki for us?” “Since you are convinced and Ariel has also requested his summons, I suppose I can no longer refuse.” Michael said and held out his hand. In a burst of flame an object identical to a smart phone appeared in it. “Wait, all we needed to do was literally give him a call? On the phone!?” Arafel said with a look of disbelief on his face. Michael smiled. “It’s a little bit more complicated than that.” He moved his thumb and pressed the only button visible on the device. The screen lit up with a little spinning emoticon of Michael’s sigil, raising an eyebrow on Ariel as Michael let slip a small grin. The screen flashed a couple of times and then a pair of glowing eyes appeared on it. “Foruktashieedbaleen.” The word was foreign to Arafel’s ears but Ariel seemed to understand it, which made sense to him since she was all about words. The eyes started blinking, as if they were real, before closing completely. “Time’s time has come.” Michael said. A second passed and the eyes opened again but instead of being pure gold as they had been moments ago, the left held Michael’s magical symbol while the right held an extended cross that Arafel recognised as the symbol of the Master Vampires. “What does that mean?” Arafel said, looking down at the two symbols. “It means that Ryuzaki has received the message and will return to us as swiftly as is possible for him.” Michael replied and squeezed the phone back into flames where it disappeared. “What do we do while we wait; Willow’s family could attack at any time.” “Willow says we have time, they will be preparing carefully for their next attack.” Ariel said. “Reason has gone to the Winter Realm to check the Princess and Sookie and Elijah have gated to South Africa to follow their lead from the interrogation.” She was looking at Michael but her words were also directed at Arafel. “Excuse me.” Arafel said and everyone looked at him before he froze time again, except this time he left only Ariel free. “Ryuk’s body had been taken.” Ariel said immediately and Arafel cursed. “That isn’t good.” He replied. “No, it isn’t. Misa also told me that a woman named Samantha is alive despite being thought dead. She was Ryuk’s beloved. I fear that she may be the beginning.” “Hopefully Ryuzaki arrives quickly.” Arafel said and clasped his hands behind his back. “Things could go south quickly.” - Ryuzaki - The room had been carved in the centre of a very large tree and currently served as the home to Andrei; he always kept moving for reasons he kept to himself. Ryuzaki was laid back in one of the chairs with Ki across from him with a book in his hands. Andrei was sat across the room at the dining table devouring what appeared to be an entire deer. Ryuzaki was wearing his metal armour while Ki was wearing his leather counterpart. Andrei seemed to be dressed much more casually. He, like the other two, had pale skin and golden eyes; he stood the same height and his black hair was cut to a near-buzz. Andrei was wearing a furred vest, open to show his muscled chest, combat trousers in snow camouflage and black combat boots. Fastened tightly around his wrists were fur-lined bracers of solid iron. A pair of spectacles sat on his nose without support, and he looked through them with every bite of the deer. The silence filled the room and eventually Ryuzaki had to break it. “Ok, there is a question in the air which appears to be slapping me across the face.” He said, sitting up in his chair and looking across at Andrei as he stopped with one of the deer’s legs halfway to his mouth. “Are you going to ask me whatever it is you are going to ask me, or are you going to wait another couple of months?” Andrei placed the leg down and stood up, wiping his hands on a towel that was next to him on the table, before walking across to stand near Ryuzaki. “As it is, I do have a question.” “Shoot.” Ryuzaki said, leaning back again. “When you arrived the first time, your blood is what led you to us. The Calling drives all of us on our first turn.” Andrei said, scooting around Ryuzaki’s chair to take a seat on the one opposite him. When he didn’t speak Andrei continued. “When you arrived, we taught you everything we know about our race and explained the rules.” “What do you mean ‘we’?” Ki chipped in, not even looking up from his book. The light reflecting of his piercings flickered slightly as he moved. “Funny.” Andrei replied and turned back to Ryuzaki. “Even after that you insisted on leaving to interfere despite the fact both of us told you not to.” Ryuzaki nodded. “Because it was people who knew you personally, we let it slide, but we never expected to see you again.” “I assume a question will rear its head any second now?” Ryuzaki asked. “So my question is what are you really doing back here?” “What, a Master Vampire can’t hang out with the only other two of his kind on the planet?” Ryuzaki said with a chuckle. “Do you think I have some kind of nefarious pla…” he never finished his sentence, whoever, as his eyes suddenly exploded in a fiery light. The other two Master Vampires had backed off in a flash, not sure what to expect, but returned closer when nothing apparently happened. “Ryuzaki, are you alright?” Ki said, leaning forward and jabbing Ryuzaki hard in the chest. “You still with us?” Ryuzaki did not reply. “You ever seen something like this?” Ki asked and Andrei shook his head; he was the oldest of the three and yet had never seen anything like it. Suddenly Ryuzaki’s eyes closed and when they opened again they had returned to their normal gold colour. “Back with us?” Ryuzaki stood up and stretched out. “Apologies but I need to leave.” He said. “Leave?” Ki said, watching as Andrei stepped up to Ryuzaki. “What this time?” he said, his somewhat child-like demeanour evaporated. “No, the end of it.” Ryuzaki replied and started towards the door, he stopped when Andrei gripped his arm in a steel grip. “Excuse me?” “You’re going to interfere again.” It wasn’t a question. “We explained to you why we do not interfere with the running of the world. I literally just said we made an exception last time, we can’t always make an exception.” While keeping eye-contact, Ryuzaki reached down in a quick motion he broke all of Andrei’s fingers on the hand that had grabbed him. They healed in the same amount of time it took Ryuzaki to get to the door. “I’m not interfering with anything. I’m saving it.” “That’s the same thing.” Ki said. “Not this time.” Ryuzaki said before disappearing in a blur. Ki moved to follow him but Andrei stopped him. “We’d never catch up; our speeds are the same after all. And we already know here he’s headed.” Ki nodded and moved across to a cupboard that held a variety of weapons. - Raphael Ginta - After leaving the makeshift safe-house, Raphael got to the end of street where his car pulled up nearly at the exact time he stopped on the curb. He got in and closed the door gently, ensuring his cloak did not get caught. He didn’t give any instructions; the driver had already been told what the next destination was. Not that the driver knew the significance of the location, he was lower than a foot soldier in Raphael’s organisation; he wasn’t even one of the Marked. Raphael had commanded this because a Marked was not expendable whereas everyone else was; the driver would most likely not make it to tomorrow. Just over an hour had passed before the car pulled up against a curb and slowed to a stop. Raphael looked out of his window at the derelict warehouse that stood near the sea. He climbed slowly out of the car and closed the door behind him as the driver got out and stood by his own door. “Leave.” Raphael said and the man looked taken aback. Raphael turned and locked eyes with the man. “I won’t repeat myself.” Without further hesitation the man got back into the car and it drove away. Raphael walked forwards without haste or obstruction, no-one was around; partially because it was a practically derelict part of Chicago, partially because Raphael had had a magical barrier erected; nothing could interrupt the ritual. As he approached the set of metal double doors that constituted the only entrance and exit to the building, they opened on their own and closed again once Raphael was completely through. Inside would have surprised anyone who had not been in before. The entire inside had been completely cleared out, leaving only the outer shell of the building and ground comprising of hard-packed dirt, rocks, and a few pathetic attempts at grass. Raphael paid no mind to any of these and continued walking until he was stood in the centre of the vast area; it was about the size of a football stadium and had cost him a lump sum of zero dollars to acquire. He could be very persuasive at times. Remaining in the centre where he had come to a stop, Raphael rotated slowly, his eyes darting across the floor as if following an imaginary outline to something that was resting there. Then suddenly, the line wasn’t imaginary anymore. As if something heavy had been pressed into it, the ground became covered in elaborate patterns until a number of large concentric circles surrounded Raphael; there were 9 overall and were connected by various other lines. Directly surrounding Raphael where he had not moved was a firm outline of a rectangle about as big as a king sized bed. With the floor complete, Raphael looked up to the corrugated iron roof that was above him; supported by a number of heavy steel beams. As he looked, a loud metal screeching filled the building and the roof started to fold back on itself and outwards. It created a large rectangular hole in the roof that allowed Raphael to look up at the sky. As if summoned by an otherworldly force, a plane passed overhead and six objects dropped out of the back of it. Clearly dropped by an expert hand they fell directly towards where the hole in the roof was. They picked up speed quickly and were soon hurtling towards Raphael at a great pace. He looked unconcerned as they approached and even when they shot through the roof gap he simply looked at them. When they were within feet of the ground all six boxes slowed to a sudden stop, held in the air by an invisible force. Then, like being lowered in an elevator, the boxes touched down onto the dirt ground gently. A second later the thin wood that formed the boxes exploded to reveal their contents. Five of the boxes contained large smooth stones all of an irregular spherical shape; none of them matched another. Raphael remained stood in the centre of the rings as the stones lifted a few centimetres clear of the ground and moved around until they settled at various points on each circle, none were on the same. The six boxes contained two things; the first was a large stone Alter with intricate designs carved into the sides and rusted iron rings embedded on its surface. This too lifted off the ground and floated across to where Raphael was standing. He stepped aside and the Alter settled into its position at the centre of the circles. The second item that was paired with the Alter was what appeared to be a human shaped cross constructed of iron. Most of it was rusted but at various joints, repair jobs had been made. Raphael walked across to the metal contraption and rested a hand on it, closing his eyes to fully appreciate what he had. The power thrumming through it was clear, even to him. His thoughts were interrupted as his phone vibrated in his pocket. He pulled it out to see a text reading ‘Delivered’. He put the phone away and started walking back to the door. As he did so, the metal contraption lifted itself up and placed itself on top of the stone Alter; the rings on the Alter matched up with the legs of the contraption and a solid metal thump could be heard as they locked into place. This left the metal contraption about five feet from the surface of the Alter. Raphael exited the door and came across a seventh crate of thin wood; this one was longer and thinner and a note was stuck to its top. Raphael stepped forward and pulled the note free to read it. THE SECOND HAS BEEN CONSTRUCTED. He crumpled the note and dropped it to the floor as the crate rose off the ground a few inches and followed him in. As before, the doors opened and closed on themselves and Raphael took the new crate all the way to the centre of the setup he had created. As before the thin wood exploded to reveal the content inside. This time, it wasn’t something old; the long white box was clearly of a modern construction. It was six and a half feet long, rounded at the corners, made of what appeared to be white plastic and a small window had been installed near one end of the box on the upper surface. Raphael stepped up to the window and bent over to look inside. Visually confirmed, Raphael stepped away from the box and stood by the Alter with his hands clasped in front of him. “Just the She-Wolf to arrive.” He muttered. - Leona and William - “Now, you may be new to all this Leona, but remember that you are equals; never forget that.” Leona, William, and Elyssa had been shown to the small dining room they now sat in. It had taken a while to organise it but Elyssa had finally convinced the Winter Queen to meet her new counterpart of the growing Spring Fae. As with everything else in the Winter Realm, the room was constructed out of ice and looked rather spectacular as light shined through and around it. Even the tables and seats were made of ice, or at least they looked like it but gave off no cold or wetness as they sat on the chairs. Not that Elyssa was sat down; she was stood at Leona’s right shoulder. The new Spring Queen, Leona, sat in as much a dignified way as she could manage. Despite her protestations, Elyssa had convinced her to wear something more fitting then her normal getup that made her look like a runaway child. So instead of her more practical style, Leona wore a knee-length dress of woven gold with patterns of leaves and branches sewn in. Her flat shoes matched in colour and Leona was already getting annoyed at the way they flapped if she moved her foot wrong. Her chocolate hair was still pulled into the loose ponytail she favoured, but instead of her usual string, it was tied with a length of golden wire. Sat atop her head was a crown of leaves and thin branches that indicated her station. Sat on her left was a boy of similar age, his skin was darker and his thick hair was styled into a ponytail of dreadlocks. His normal dress sense made him look like a surfer, so when Leona had agreed to dress up for this meeting, she forced William to do so as well. Not that he was complaining, he quite liked what he was wearing. The clothes were tight fitting, woven of a darker gold than Leona but sporting matching patters, and consisted of a high necked jacket, matching trousers, and black boots shined to form a perfect reflection of the room. A leather belt at his waist held a pair of short swords on his left hip. “Do Queens normally make other Queens wait so long before coming to meet them!?” Leona question as she finally grew tired of sitting and got up to pace around the round table. “I mean, this is getting close to insulting!” “I may have mentioned you are equals but she is still much more powerful and thus traditionally higher in station than you.” Elyssa said, following the young Queen with her eyes. “Jayden’s recent sacrifice boosted your powers enough that you stand on the same platform as the other Fairy Queens, but you are still likely the weakest.” Leona frowned but Elyssa continued. “As you mature, your power will bloom and then you may demand what you wish. Until that time, however, we must wait.” Leona continued to pace and William stood up, stretching off with a noise that made both Leona and Elyssa looking at him. “What, I was getting stiff.” As Leona was about to say something, all three fairies turned and looked at the same spot on the wall. “Did you feel that?” “Of course, Spring magic.” Leona said. William looked back at Leona with a question in his eyes and then turned them away, clearly dismissing it. “There shouldn’t be any of our kind here, right?” he asked instead. “No, it is impossible.” Elyssa said. “William, go and find out what that surge was.” Leona said, taking a seat once more. “And leave your side, my Queen? I would never.” William replied, earning a stare from the Queen. “Do not fear for her safety, William, I will look after her.” Elyssa said and stepped close to Leona to back up her words. “Be quick though.” William nodded and cracked the knuckles of his fingers. His own spring magic, also boosted by Jayden’s death, formed around him and a pair of what appeared to be glass wings appeared at his back; free from his body but clearly linked. He lifted from the ground, hovering a few inches clear of it for a second, before shooting upwards at an angle. His magic parted the ice walls as he passed through them and soon enough he was out into the stormy weather of the Winter Realm of Fairies. The snow and winds barely bothered him as he shot through them like a bullet, homing in on the source of the magic they had felt. He dropped suddenly, remaining in the air though, and saw a prone figure surrounded by three Winter Fae; guards of the castle by the looks of their armour. Without hesitation he dropped out of the sky and landed next to the prone figure with a sizzle of electricity and a small explosion of warm air that blew the snow away from him for a second before it returned. “Who the hell are you?!” one of the guards said and William levelled his gaze on him. “Calm down, idiot.” Another guard said and rested a hand on the first guard’s shoulder. “Apologies, Guardian.” The first guard’s eyes widened at the title and he bowed, also apologising. William turned from them and reached down to the prone figure, turning it over to look at the face. It was no-one he recognised; a girl. Now he was touching her he could feel the Spring energy coming from her, and the stone around her neck, but something was off about it. He lifted her into his arms, his skinny boy-like body hiding his strength and his wings spread wide. “This is no longer your concern.” He said to the guards and took off into the sky again. The guards followed his path for a second before he disappeared from view and they returned to their patrols. William made a straight path back the way he had come and spotted the hole he had left in the castle upon his exit. It was smaller than it had been and William remembered Elyssa telling him that the Winter Castle was practically impossible to destroy thanks to its magical construction. He re-made the holes as he entered again and landed gently next to the dining table. The Winter Queen apparently still hadn’t arrived as Leona and Elyssa both came across to him as he walked to the table and placed the girl on it; she was still unconscious but the breath escaping her lips told them she was alive. Both Leona and Elyssa stepped forward and confirmed with a touch that the girl was of Spring. “But not quite…” Leona said as she circled the table until she was at the girl’s head and rested her hands gently either side of it. “There is definitely Fairy blood in her, but a million other things disturb it; like she was born of many races.” “That’s not possible, Leona.” Elyssa said. Leona looked up at William and he nodded; they knew who she was. “Jayden told us of a girl who had Spring blood in her but also had many others. Her name is Reason.” “Reason.” Elyssa mused; apparently Jayden had never told her of the girl. “Well, even if she is only partially of the Spring, a bit of our energy should awaken her.” “I’ll do it.” Leona said immediately and placed a hand on Reason’s chest. William, however, stepped forward and pulled it off. “No, the Queen can’t give her energy to a mixed-blood. Certainly not when she’s about to meet her Winter counterpart.” He took Leona’s place and put his own hand on Reason. “I’ll do it.” “Similar reasons apply to you, William.” Elyssa said as she walked over and shooed William away. “My energy, however, is perfectly suited.” She placed a hand on Reason’s shoulder and Spring magic filed the room as she gave the poor girl an energy boost.
  25. These Bloody Streets: Requiem for Allies! [IC]

    - Eleanor Pengallion - “Master!” Ellie exclaimed as Michael walked into her living quarters. She ran forward and wrapped her arms around him in a bear hug. “I’m not your master anymore, Ellie, you graduated remember?” Michael managed before Ellie released her grip. “You’ll always been my master, at least until I’m stronger than you.” She smiled and then looked Michael up and down. “You look…different, younger. It’s a little bit weird.” Michael smiled in return. “Well, I haven’t held a physical form for a number of years so I thought I’d mix it up a bit now I’m back. Not bad, eh?” He did a little spin and Ellie laughed. “What are you doing back anyway? I thought you were training your Elemental side?” Ellie asked, taking Michael by the hand and pushing him onto one of the Sofas where she joined him. “Indeed. My father has guided me well in that side of my life. However, I returned because I received a distress call from one of my friends.” Ellie looked at him quizzically but said nothing. “Arafel was the one who contacted me.” “Arafel!?” Ellie said, her eyes widening in surprise. “I haven’t heard anything about him since we left you after the war. What has he been doing? And why did he need help?” “A story for another time.” Michael said and stood up, gesturing Ellie to do the same. “But it was important and we may have encountered a problem if my suspicions are correct; Ariel should have confirmed it by now. Join me.” Ellie jumped to her feet and followed Michael as he headed out the door. As they exited, Zane came to a stop in front of them; clearly he had been about to enter the room. “Michael? I didn’t know you were here.” He said. Michael nodded. “I didn’t arrive that long ago. Since you’re here, Zane, would you please gather everyone else in the house, with the exception of Ariel, Arafel, and Misa, and take them to the main study.” Zane looked surprised at Arafel’s and Misa’s names but nodded and turned on his heel to head back to the main part of the building. Michael walked off with Ellie in tow and a couple of minutes they walked into the room with Ariel and Arafel. “…f that’s the case, I’ll need someone who knows their way around; this isn’t something you can just speak to.” Arafel was saying, pausing to look at Michael and Ellie as they entered. “Ellie, good to see you.” He said, tentatively ignoring her look at his condition. “Michael, thank you again for coming to my rescue, I owe you a big one.” Michael nodded. “That you do, Arafel. But we can talk about that another time. Ariel, what’s the deal?” Ariel turned to face him with her stoic expression replaced after her lapse with Arafel. “He remembers nothing from the last six months.” Arafel nodded with a frown. “But we think it may be self-inflicted.” “Arafel, what the hell happened?” Ellie butted in, recovering from her shock. “It’s a long story.” Arafel replied solemnly. “Too long for now; if you did this yourself, Arafel, how did you do it?” Michael interrupted. “If I did this to myself, I would trust only one way to ensure that my memories couldn’t be accessed by just anyone; I would have locked them away in a Time Vault.” Arafel said. “That sounds secure.” Michael said, rubbing his chin in thought. “If you did it so pretty much no-one can get it, how do we?” “Memories are funny things, in that they’re not actually things.” Michael nodded as Arafel explained. “It’s a weakness that I don’t tell people, obviously, but since they aren’t ‘things’ I can’t actually lock them away in the traditional sense. What I actually do is seal of the connections with my Time magic; the way to retrieve them would be to rebuild the bridges to the part of my memory that stored the last six months. I was telling Ariel as you walked in that I’ll need someone who knows their way around an abstract vision of my mind and be able to link the memories.” “Ok, a little more complicated than I first suspected but the gist of it is still the same. Ellie will build your bridges.” Ellie’s eyes widened in surprise. “Me!? What do I know about going into someone’s mind to manipulate memories?” “I’m with Ellie on this, Michael, is this something she can do?” Arafel added. “Are you sure, Michael?” Ariel put in from where she had been standing at the head of Arafel’s bed. Michael nodded. “Ellie’s original surname, as you know, is Wake. What you may not know is that her family was one where magical power was passed down through the female line; generations upon generations of witches learnt the power of the mind, literally.” At the mention of her family, Ellie’s face became stern as she prevented herself of thinking back to when it all ended, that feeling didn’t last long as Michael continued. “The reason you likely do not know of them was that when Ellie was young, I killed every single witch in her family.” Even Ariel couldn’t hold down her surprise at Michael’s statement; Arafel’s jaw would have hit the floor if it could have moved more than an inch due to the bandaging. Before either of them could say anything, however, Ellie piped up. “He did it with my blessing.” More surprised looks. “I don’t want to go into it, but living with my family as a young girl was hell. The only way I could cope was when I snuck out and met with Michael, who began teaching me the way of the flame. Of course, I found out that he was only there because he had a mission. When I found out what it was, I let him do it; I even gave him a way into the family house without causing a ruckus.” Michael nodded again. “The Wake Witches had become warped in their power to delve into people’s memories; the Mistress at the time, ‘Mistress’ being the title bestowed on the leader, was an old woman called Eveline Wake. Eveline was Ellie’s great grandmother and a woman who craved power in a world that favoured men.” “Eveline was a monster. Her way of teaching was to beat it into you until you were perfect.” Ellie added, now resting on the edge of another bed. “I was only young but the lessons had already started; my hell had already started.” “Admittedly I only befriended Ellie because of her family name, but she became quite proficient with the small flame magic I taught her and I grew attached. That, mixed with an innate need to preserve magic in all forms, meant I didn’t not include her in my cull.” Michael crossed his arms and looked at Ellie, whose eyes were still on the floor. “She knows the way of a mind.” “I only had a few lessons before you…involved yourself, Master, I could do major damage to Arafel’s mind.” Ellie said, finally looking up at Michael and then turning her gaze to Arafel. “I couldn’t anyone in that kind of danger.” “There will be no danger, Ellie.” Michael said and she turned to him. “Mind magic is only dangerous on entry and exit, while within a mind it is practically impossible to do any real damage. I will get you in, and I will pull you out, but only you can rebuild the bridges to Arafel’s memories; assuming they are broken at all.” “How will I know?” Ellie asked, masking her fear. She didn’t want to do this but she knew Michael had made up his mind. And he was technically right. “It will be clear once you are linked. As far as I know, there is no set image to a mind, but it will be an obvious distortion to everything around you. Come, take a seat.” Michael gestured to a chair that was next to Arafel’s bed. Ellie only hesitated for a second before standing and moving over to it to sit down. “Now both of you close your eyes, any visual prompts may interrupt the process.” Ellie did so but Arafel didn’t, instead looking to Ariel once before back to Michael. “The family that captured me, they are planning to attack here. For a second time according to Ariel, but this time all of them are coming.” “I will get Ariel to fill me in once you’re under, but you are forgetting an important factor.” Michael said, smiling at Arafel’s look of confusion. “I am here.” Arafel paused and then nodded, his return smile only half-hearted. “Now, eyes closed please.” He obeyed. “Ariel, once the both of them are under, I’ll leave you to watch over them until I return. Unfortunately you won’t know if something is wrong as it will all be happening in Arafel’s mind, but keep a keen eye out for anything.” “Of course.” Ariel said with a sniff. Ellie heard all this but kept her eyes closed as Michael had instructed, she instead focused on the minor teaching she had received as a child. Thinking back to that traumatic time was horrible, but she knew it was important that Arafel get his memories back; she just hoped she wasn’t doing this for nothing. As she concentrated she felt Michael’s magic roll over her and sensed the same was happening to Arafel. Nothing happened for a second and then it felt like someone and grabbed her by the collar and yanked her towards Arafel. Except, her body didn’t actually move but she felt like she was falling through water, tumbling into an abyss of unknown. The last thing she heard was Michael’s fading voice. “She’s in. Be careful, Ellie.” - The Boss - He was clad in all-black as was his preference; a black turtleneck, black cargo trousers, black combat boots. All this was accessorised with thin black leather gloves, a long black cloak that rested on his shoulders and a mask that covered his whole face. The mask was silver, reflected the light of the street lamps as they passed, with small crescent moons etched into the surface. His hair, a few inches in length, was black and was left wild. His eyes, piercing through the holes in the mask, were orange and seemed luminescent in the shade of his mask. The black Mercedes he was in, driven by one of his staff, rounded the final corner of the journey and pulled into the sidewalk. He scanned the sidewalk carefully before spotting what he had been looking for; a man on a bench who saw everything with hawk-like eyes. Touching the driver on the shoulder as thanks, he opened the door and exited onto the sidewalk; the moment the door clicked shut behind him, the car pulled away from the curb and disappeared into the traffic. He got a couple of strange looks from people walking past but not too many, this was America after all and stranger people and walked where he had. Ignoring the man on the bench, who had only glanced at him for a millisecond before focusing back on the rest of the people, he made his way down the street and a gentle stroll until he came face-to-face with a figure more than half-a-foot taller than him. The armoured individual looked down and then took a single step to the side to let him pass. With the air that he was in command, which he was, he walked into the building and proceeded upwards until he came to the door filled with his loyal soldiers. He didn’t knock, he didn’t need to, and walked into the room slowly. Everyone’s gaze slid from The Knight to him as the door swung shut behind him. “Raphael.” Malduiwel said and dropped to one knee, saluting him by pressing his closed fists against each other, knuckle-to-knuckle. No-one else knelt, but all saluted. After the salute, Seraph looked from Malduiwel to Raphael. “Ok, considering he isn’t a stain on the floor right now, what happened to codenames?” “There is no need.” Raphael said, his voice raspy but strong. “Our time in the shadows draws to a close now all the pieces are nearly in my grasp. The site is secure, Seraph?” Seraph nodded. “Yes, boss. Everything is set up to the instructions you gave, excluding the stones, of course.” From beside her, Samantha scowled but said nothing. “They are on route, on a cargo plane; I will meet them on-site soon. With the site secured and the Undead in my possession, the only key left is the She-Wolf. Samantha, you have that in hand, correct?” “Of course, boss. She should be captured very soon.” Samantha replied, any animosity towards Seraph completely gone now she talked to her leader. “Uh, just a small thing, boss.” Zennith said from his seat. Raphael looked at him and when he didn’t speak, the old man took it as a cue to continue. “Not that I’m questioning your method, of course, but does it need to be this particular werewolf? Would not any do?” “Sookie…” Raphael’s voice curled around the name. “…is of a rare species of Lycan that will provide the most potency for the ritual. Yes, there are others we could locate, but do you not think it poetic that it is she?” Zennith nodded with understanding in his eyes. “The She-Wolf’s link to the Undead may well speed up the process.” Zennith nodded again. Raphael’s eyes slid off the old man and onto the small boy next to him. “Have you convinced him to fight on my side?” Zennith frowned. “I’ve asked, of course, but Speedlings are not known to take sides in conflicts of the world; they say it holds no meaning to them. Axion persists he is simply curious about the whole thing.” “A pity. He would be useful.” Raphael said. “As soon as the Night falls, the Vaunik family will assault the Prideux Estate and kill those Winter Heroes present. And anyone else, for that matter.” “Even after their previous failure?” Samantha asked. Raphael turned his head towards her. “There will not be a third attempt. It has been assured that the whole family attends to ensure my will is carried out.” “And what of the Master Vampire?” Malduiwel asked. “Will he be…removed?” “If he is at the Estate, they will try. But I have something specific planned for that particular adversary. Now, report to your positions, I will attend the site to receive the stones.” Raphael turned on his heel and as he was about to exit he stopped and turned to look at Seraph. “Remember what I told you about the mask.” She nodded and then joined the salute the rest made as he exited completely. - Michael Sanderford – After linking Arafel and Ellie, Michael had allowed Ariel to fill him in on what he had missed in regards to recent events. Now caught up as much as he could be in a short amount of time, he was making his way to the main study where he had asked Zane to gather everyone who was not doing anything around the Estate. However, he heard a voice he recognised and when he stuck his head down a corridor he was passing, he spotted Sookie’s back through an open door. He changed routes and headed towards her, meeting Zane as he exited the room. “We’ve gathered here, Michael, Sookie didn’t want to leave her kids.” Zane said “Kids?” Michael questioned but waved away Zane’s answer. “Don’t worry, I’m about to find out.” With Zane on his heels, he entered the playroom and took stock of everyone there. Sookie, Willow, and Reason had already been in the room when Zane had come to collect them and they had now been joined by Liz, Elijah, and Jinkama. With Michael and Zane, this made a total of eight of them. Michael then lowered his gaze to the gaggle of young children that had been running around Sookie moments before but now stared up at him. “Well, fuck me, look who it is.” Sookie said “Zane was telling the truth then.” Zane raised an eyebrow at her and then moved to the back of the room where Michael could speak to all of them at once. “Yes, I have returned. Liz, how is Misa?” “Recovering. She’s feeding in the dungeon right now.” Liz replied. “Elijah will retrieve her in an hour or so, once she’s back in her right mind.” “Misa is here as well?” Sookie added. “This is like some fucking reunion or some shit.” “Arafel is also in attendance; he is with Ellie and Ariel attempted to fix something right now. But what I have come here for is to prepare you. The family that attacked you before, Willow’s family, they are going to return; apparently this time all of them will come.” Willow’s face darkened. “They are dangerous, especially if all of them are coming.” “Yes they are, but fortunately, you have me this time. Since the old Prideux family protections are not reliable, we’ll need to post watchers to see them coming. We’ll create an extended circle around the building and as soon as you see one of them, you smash this.” He raised his hand and 8 balls of fire formed before changing into eggs. “When one of these is smashed, the others will break and form and arrow in the location of the smashed. Sound like a plan?” “It’s a stupid plan, we’ll never see them coming. I can move in and out of buildings crammed with supernatural creatures and not one of them will notice me; my older siblings and parents are better.” “So, do you have a better plan, Ms Willow?”