Call of Pandora

Call of Pandora

New York City erupts full of creatures once thought legend, which quickly engulf the world. In the center of the chaos, stands a girl, three choices, and a box.

1,352 readers have visited this universe since Klockwork0reo created it.

Introduction


There are ancient legends which speak of artifacts that hold great powers. Sometimes monstrous beasts, deathly evils, or beautiful magics. Some were believed to be false, others real. But even as humans began to search for these artifacts, they slipped the bounds of time, disappearing into the sands and the seas. The truth is, that these myths were not referring to different artifacts, but only telling of one culture’s experiences of that singular artifact.

In Europe, the Christians knew it as: β€œThe Holy Ark of The Covenant.”

Today, most legends appropriate the name: β€œPandora’s Box.”

Now, after a deep sea exploration of the depths of the Aegean Sea, scientists and treasure-hunters alike discovered an odd, ornate golden box. Warped and ruined by the waters, the box has been returned to a lab in New York, where it will be examined.

Along with the box, a secondary exploration of the sands of Israel have unearthed another strange artifact, dubbed Janus' Key. Similarities have been marked between the two artifacts, sending the key back to the lab in New York. If only the scientists knew what kind of horror lurked inside.



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Now, deep within the caverns, basements, and underworlds of cities and governments alike, groups slither their way towards New York City. Each righteous on their own, separate level.

The Council Of Centuries:
Or simply β€œThe Council”, β€œ98’” or β€œThe Pantheon”.

The Council Of Centuries, is a clandestine organization that considers itself the "guardian of humanity". The original Council was formed when a small group of ancient humans created the artifact that would come to be known as Pandora's Box. Armed with the knowledge that, even with the best intentions, humanity might take actions that could lead to its ultimate destruction, the Council keeps the box hidden away, and close tabs on developments in all areas of science. Today's breakthrough could easily become tomorrow's nightmare, and the Council stands ready to defend the human race against any threat. Even if it requires them to make decisions from the shadows, manipulating human destiny to achieve the greater good.

They are major rivals of The Order of Hephaestus.



The Order of Hephaestus
Or simply, β€œThe Order”, β€œThe Disciples”, or β€œThe Heretics”

The Order is a secret paramilitary organization that has cells spread across the globe. They've clearly been around for a long time, waiting for the right opportunity to further their long-term goals.

The Order split from the Council in the ancient past over how best to use the power of Pandora's Box. Members of the fledgling Order believed that mere possession of the artifact gave them the divine right to use it as they saw fit, taking hold of its extraordinary power to create the perfect world. As the millennia passed and the schism between the two organizations grew into a full-scale war, the Order expanded its philosophy to include the exploitation of all advanced knowledge, often taking the doctrine of "might makes right" to dangerous extremes.

They are major rivals of The Council of Centuries


The Obsidian Enclave
Or simply, β€œThe Enclave”, β€œThe Hunters”, or β€œGray Guns”

The Enclave is a small, yet formidable group of bounty-hunters, mercenaries, and assassins, each of whom knows about Pandora’s box. They claim no allegiance to either larger group, and take the higher offer.

The Enclave formed Shortly after the rift between the Order and Council did. They believed that either group would have right to hold the box, so long as they earn their place. To help further this mindset, they will offer assistance to either side, without discrimination. At first each member fought for a group whenever they believed their struggle to be great, but over time this has descended into more of a β€œhighest bidder” deal. Whichever group pays the most, is where they can be found. However, the Enclave is also the holder of a majority of β€œThe Amulets”, giving their agents an extra edge in the field. They are well supplied, but are a much smaller group than either the Order or Council.



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The Artifacts

Pandora’s Box

In Mythology, Pandora's Box was a gift from Zeus. He warned humanity to never open it, but the curiosity of Pandora overcame her, and she opened it, releasing all of the woes of mankind into the world.

In reality, it is an artifact created to contain all of the creatures that maintained the 'natural balance' in the world by the Council. Countless wars were fought over it, but during a final battle, late in the Middle Ages, the box was lost to the sea.

Pandora's Box was a device of incredible power, and a weapon of terrifying strength. The original Box was carved out of an Animus-charged stone, giving it the potent magical properties required to contain the magic and creatures. Several myths and stories were crafted around the artifact to further muddy its true abilities. However, even to the best efforts of man, they wished to abuse the magic and power contained within the Box. In response, The Council was formed. They hid the Box away from humanity, and vowed to keep humanity from unwittingly creating the tools for its own destruction.

Much later, in the early 21st century, archaeologists found the artifact in a ruin at the bottom of the Aegean Sea. Unable to pinpoint its origins, they place the artifact in a New York City museum for safe-keeping. The researchers were unable to discern the box’s true power -containing life forces, once thought to be dead, or legends.

The exact number of creatures contained in Pandora’s box is unknown, as there has been no complete documentation on the subject, and the last the box was opened was during the early middle-ages.

The box is also the last source of Animus magic, supplying the other artifacts, and the abilities of those branded with signets, with energy.


The Signet / Animus Vitae

The Signet channels the life-energy of the creatures, called Animus Vitae. Pandora's Box stamped those who opened it with the Signet as a fail-safe device, and it contains encoded information on how to reverse the process and put the monsters back inside Pandora's Box.

Because of this, those that open the box are granted magical abilities. Beyond this, those that carry deep-rooted ancient magical bloodlines are granted Signets as well, but are unable to close the box. It has been documented that should the original host of the Signet dies, it will transferred to a second signet bearer. There has been little documentation on this event itself, and it is unknown how the Box chooses its new host.

It is believed that the Animus Vitae energy that gives the Pandora's Box Aniform creatures their life-force (and the term Aniform) is present throughout the universe, but is nearly undetectable by modern science. Pandora's Box, created in forgotten antiquity from Animus-charged stone, was compared to an ancient radio that was able to tune into the frequency of Animus and use that to draw in the creatures.

The form Animus takes varies on the host. On the origin host, it takes it’s own form, acting like Animus energy. For other hosts however, the form seems to favor elements, like fire, frost, air, earth, gravity. (Not every character should be branded, and I will not allow any two characters to have the same Signet, -unless you REALLY talk me into it.)

Janus’ Key

This, a simple key designed to keep the box sealed as much as possible, is the only way of opening the box. The key is placed into the front of the box, and so long as it lies within, it cannot be closed. The key itself is just a means of opening and safeguarding the tremendous power within the box.


The Amulets

These small, few amulets were a way of giving normal humans increased abilities and β€œmagical” powers, without giving the individual actual power. While this gives humans an outstanding ability, it incites great fatigue and mental stress on the user. The powers are granted only to those that wield the amulets directly.

The β€œamulets” first resembled actual amulets, but years of human greed and corruption has warped them into several different forms. Many amulets exist, and it is believed there are more than the select few that the Enclave has.

(Will be discussed further in OOC)





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Characters

I care not about what kind of characters you create, so long as they are well-made and β€œrealistic” to the setting and situation. I would like to see a basic understanding of your character’s appearance, history, personality, and a basic biography. YOU ARE FREE TO USE OTHER SET-UPS SO LONG AS THE BELOW INFORMATION IS WITHIN.

Below is a basic character sheet, (just copy/paste), and a frequently updated list of current characters and factions.

Branded-- 5
Unbranded-- 6

Unaffiliated-- 4
The Council-- 2
The Order-- 3
The Enclave-- 2

Male-- 7
Female-- 4

Character Sheet: (Required Info)

Name:
Nicknames:
Age:
Gender:
Sexuality:
Ethnicity:
Appearance:
Personality:
Strengths:
Weaknesses:
History:


For more:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQcQ-As2BU0


If you would like to reserve a character, find the appropriate OOC, and submit a request with at the very least, a BASIC idea, (i.e. A Female Unaffiliated Survivor).



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Rules:

1. Be nice.
2. Be "real".
3. Be Involved.



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This idea was partially based off the game "Legendary", produced by Spark studios. Many of the game's factions, and story lines have been changed slightly or drastically to fit the 'multiplayer' RP setting.

Toggle Rules

The GM of this roleplay hasn't created any rules! You can do whatever you like!

The Story So Far... Write a Post » as written by 6 authors

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Catherine Deckard

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"Doesn't it look beautiful?"
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Catherine Deckard
Hex Code: #191970
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Catherine Deckard sat atop her little perch on the fire escape. She always crawled outside whenever she could, to take a look at the city around her. She had lived in New York for a little more than a couple years now, but every time she caught a glimpse of the city with it's golden sky, she couldn't help but watch in amazement. The view always took her breath away.

The dark tendrils of the night crept in on the horizon, reaching towards the quickly falling sun. And as the sun sunk ever further in the sky, the city breathed around her; cars constantly navigating through the crowded streets below, as businessmen, bike couriers, and romantics passed on the streets around them. She could see it all from her perch atop the fire escape, just outside her living room window.

Her apartment wasn't on the top floor, but it was close, being just two floors from the roof. Her building wasn't the biggest around, but was still tall enough to giver her a decent sight of the city's horizon as the sun set. The apartment itself wasn't the best, despite the good view. It was a small two-bedroom location she shared with her best friend, Tyler.

Tyler was quite a bit different than Catherine in many ways, first in demeanor. Catherine was usually quiet, keeping to herself and her art. Tyler was much more extroverted, loud, and talkative. Tyler was also typically more athletic than her, but as she was an artist, the only reason she really moved around was so that she could see something new, or get an idea for a sketch or drawing. That's not to say Catherine wasn't adventurous, she enjoyed doing new and exciting things almost as much as Tyler, she just did it less often.

The sound of a cheap wooden door clicking open and then closing shut permeated the open window behind her. A light shuffling sound and the jingling of keys alerted her to the presence of her housemate returning home from track practice. It wasn't much longer until Tyler's thin, yet built frame clambered through the window taking up residence beside Catherine. Tyler's lemon-blonde hair and light green eyes shone in the dying light, as she turned to look at Catherine's gray, watchful gaze.

"Back at it again?"

Catherine didn't bother responding. They both knew the answer.

"You know, I hear they've got some new exhibit at that one museum you liked last time, about the mythological study." She paused, "Some kind of new civilization burial crypt."

Catherine just nodded, her long black hair sweeping aside from the wind. "We'll have to visit soon then..."

The sun vanished from the sky, falling beneath the silent fist of the night.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hannah Sylvia Character Portrait: Heather Alexandre

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Heather tossed and turned while murmuring in her sleep. It was the nightmares again eating away at her. A loud clap of thunder jolted her awake. She lie awake in her bed, drenched in cold sweats with her eyes darting around the dark room as if the creatures that plagued her nightmares somehow made it out. The only thing that could be heard was the blanketing sound of rainfall and the occasional faint roar of thunder.

Heather took a few moments convincing herself that every shadow wasn’t a bloodthirsty monster before she finally turned on the light on her nightstand. Her clock read 3 o’clock in the morning. It didn’t surprise her. Heather felt that her nightmares were more than just bad dreams. She felt that maybe they were either a sign or maybe even a vision. Her nightmares happened so often and on top of that they were so vivid. So much to the fact that sometimes Heather had a problem figuring out if she was truly awake.

The girl reached into her nightstand drawer and pulled out a small journal. She flipped through it quickly to find a blank page. As she skipped through the book each page reminded her of every terrible dream she recorded. Sketches of monsters that stood out to her in her nightmares filled the pages. The book was almost filled.

After filling out the latest entry in the journal Heather placed it back and settled herself back down into her bed. Drowsiness was surfacing again since it was the middle of the night. She reached out to turn off the lamp but froze halfway. Instead she grabbed her necklace of a crucifix and put her lips to it before turning in her bed and closing her eyes.



It seemed like Heather had only shut her eyes for a second when she was awakened again. This time by knock on her door. The girl noticed there was some faint form of light outside. It was morning but the clouds still dominated the sky. The clock now read that it was seven in the morning.

The knock came again at the same rhythm as the last. Heather stood up from her bed and slowly made her way to the door. She released the deadbolt but left the safety chain on as she opened the door. Standing in the hallway was her friend, Hannah. She was fully dressed and wore her usual thin smile.

β€œGood morning.” She greeted. Heather found it to be too early for the morning to be good and couldn’t form any strength to form a smile to match her friend’s. Instead, Heather shut the door to undo the chain and reopened it to let Hannah in.

β€œCoffee?” Heather managed to form the question as she closed the door behind her friend and was already making her way towards coffee maker that was in the kitchen area inside the hotel suite she stayed in. Hannah always had coffee. Heather asking was more of a formality than an actual question.
β€œYes, thank you.” Hannah answered anyway as she sat down on the couch. β€œI suppose you want to know why I’m here so early.”

β€œMaybe.” Heather answered. She did wonder who could possibly be knocking on the door so early in the morning. But upon seeing it was her friend she dismissed the thought.
β€œI have somewhere I want to take yo-”

β€œUh-oh.”

β€œTrust me. It’s completely for your benefit.” Heather looked at Hannah with a curious expression. β€œI found someone may be able to explain to you what these nightmares, you have, are.” Heather let out a disappointed sigh and Hannah immediately continued. β€œIt seems like they have higher source of energy than others. I think they might be the real deal. It couldn’t hurt to check it out. Especially, if that person has answers to your these nightmares you have.” Heather narrowed her eyes at her friend.

β€œThis is the last time.” Heather said through gritted teeth. Hannah seemed pleased with the answer. Hannah was going out of her way to help Heather. The least she could do is put up with it until it became frustratingly annoying which would be after this if it proved to be another fraud.



The streets of Cambridge, England were still very wet and a light drizzle continued from the storm of the previous night. There were a few people out and about but it wasn’t busy like it was during mid day.

As they approached their destination they noticed a small crowd. As the two girls got closer they noticed people were gathered around a man that seemed to be giving a speech.

β€œThere are some that say the Earth will end in fire! Others say in Ice. Even now you have books and movies that speculate and entertain the idea of how our humanity will reach its end. Will it be a zombie apocalypse or will we meet an end at the cause of our own hands; Nuclear destruction.” The man paused for a moment so that the crowd’s murmurs would die down.

β€œI say humanity is not ready to go extinct. The End that will happen will only shape us and bring us forth into a new age. We will adapt and evolve and the ones that are the strongest will move on as the rest of humanity will die off.” The man’s eyes shot towards Heather and he quickly pointed a finger in her direction. Heather hadn’t even noticed she stopped walking. It was like she was pulled in and entranced. There’s no way she’d even consider the ramblings of a man who looked dirty and homeless.

By the time Heather came back to her senses the man was standing right in front of her. The crowd was now formed around Heather and he.

β€œYou-your aura is different.” Heather thought for a mere second that this man had to be talking to someone else. β€œYou are conflicted. You are at struggle with something but you don’t know what it is, do you?” With that the man turned and walked back to the wooden pedestal he stood behind earlier and continued his speech.

Hannah must have found out that she wasn’t being followed anymore and quickly looked around for Heather. It didn’t take very long to retrace her footsteps and find the girl mixed in with the crowd.

β€œThere you are. Why are-” Heather held up a finger and Hannah stopped speaking. Then she, too, seemed to be drawn into the man’s speech and listened silently. After a few more minutes he finished and the crowd dispersed, going back to whatever they were going to do prior to listening to the homeless man’s message.

β€œYou there!” He was looking directly at Heather. β€œCome.” The two girls exchanged glances before moving towards the pedestal.

β€œAs I said, you have a conflicted aura. It looks like it is being suppressed by a lingering shadow.” Heather tensed when she heard this.

β€œIs there a way to get rid of the shadow?” Hannah asked and the man scoffed.

β€œI don’t fix the shadows. All I can do is tell you they are there. Every man has his own demons to face. But I will say that under the shadow is a light trying to get out. It’s funny isn’t it? A shadow suppressing light? It’s normally the other way around. It’s why you stand out to me. You’re a girl different amongst the rest. I would easily spot you in a crowd of hundreds.”

β€œIs there anything I can do?” Heather asked this time. She hadn’t felt this antsy in a very long time. It’s the first time she came to anything close resembling answers.

β€œSometimes people walk around their whole lives not knowing what to do. They may write it off as hauntings or possessions. That’s what happens when you don’t deal with this issue. Those are the people that don’t face their monsters. They try to rationalize it away. The only thing you can possibly do is accept it is apart of you. That way you can control it and then send it back to the darkness from whence it came.” A rumble of thunder was heard and the man picked up his small pedestal.

β€œI believe that’s all I can help you with, but trust me. I don’t think you’ll get a better answer. I have seen the shadows. At the moment all I can do is call on the lord’s help to keep them at bay until i can find a way to confront them. But they are closing in on me just as your shadows are closing in on you.” And with that the man walked away leaving both Heather and Hannah stunned.

The setting changes from Crisis to New York City, United States

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gabriel "Gabe" Balis

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Gabriel Balis--Modern Mystery Restaurant, NYC
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The hum of the restaurant was intense as the second wave of rush hour came in and the final entrees from the first wave were going out.

"We're in the weeds now, Ash, fire 1 wings, 1 texmex." Gabe shouted out over the clamor of pots. There were two more tickets on the pass, but those wings needed to be out 5 minutes ago. The expediter was a no show so now Gabe was not only cooking half the entrees he was calling out the orders. The pan sizzled as he lay down the limp pork wrapped veggies and prepped for the next side of bacon wrapped asparagus.

Ashley, the slightly older sous chef with a mousy look, began tossing a large metal bowl of pheasant wings with a maple rub. "7-out" she chirped in reply as she emptied the contents of her bowl into a fryer and took it for a dip.

Being a few blocks down from the Natural History Museum meant adventurous patrons willing to pay the New York City price would flock to the β€œModern Mystery”. A modern, American eatery with a daily special you didn’t get to know before you ordered. Gabe fell in love with this places food ages ago and after culinary school he’s finally one of the guys who gets to choose the mystery.

Though tonight, the mystery was not Gabe’s responsibility. Eddy was handling the specials, Gabe was calling out more orders.
β€œFour specials, two Taquilas, three oven-baked on order. That’s a 9-top, keep up! Two more orders on deck!” He called out louder this time so the bird-brain covering the Oven-Baked Sherry Salmon could hear him from the back of the kitchen. He sighed as a response was called out and the wings moved to the pass.

Adjusting his sleeves, he called out the next order. It was going to be a long night.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ormand LeFey

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Ormand LeFey was many things. But he had never been a morning person. But this morning had changed his mind. For, if anything, LeFey was a clever man, and clever men kept their minds open, and allowed them to change. It had most definitely been a convincing morning. He turned in his immaculate chair, looking out his office room’s window. The morning view was the same as always, drab, and gloomy, but it simply felt, better. Ormand finally felt himself smile. It wasn't a smile of glee, but a smile of a plan falling together. He folded his hands together, falling back into thought.

The day had begun normally enough. It all changed however when one of his secretaries brought him the local district paper. It was hardly the New York Times, but it still fought to stay relevant by bringing to light smaller, different stories. He quickly opened the paper, folding it to a specific story, and dropped it on LeFey’s desk.

LeFey had been shocked into silence. All of his years, and suddenly everything began to fall in his favor.

The paper sat on his desk even now. It displayed a simple story, about a museum in the city hosting a new exhibit. They had discovered and put up for show several artifacts and relics of some lost Greek civilization. They equated most of the article to the novelty of the findings, called it the β€œRuins of Atlantis”. It was a rather boring article in all. The only reason it was any interest to him, or his organization at all, was the main picture. The photograph at the top of the article was of a spread of all their findings, while most of it looked like you'd expect, one thing stood out in particular.

An ornate golden box sat in the shot, surrounded by other little findings. To most it was just that, a curious finding of an underappreciated exploration team. But to anyone who knew the legends, the sleeping power, and the truth, it was so much more.

Pandora's Box.

It was almost too good to be true. LeFey had led the Order well, growing their influence, and planning for the future. And now, he could be the one that realizes their final goal. The Box was already in the city. It would be easy to grab it, all he needed was an intermediary that wasn't under the Council’s surveillance. Names and faces cycled through his mind. None of them were close enough. They had to act fast.

Finally, he settled on a name.

β€œVivian, get in contact with Alias Kane. Invite him over for dinner. We have a… job for him.”

Vivian, his secretary, nodded and walked away, her short blonde hair sashaying as she walked.

β€œOh, and Vivian.”

She stopped momentarily.

β€œGet me Tabitha. Send her up. She's likely to be found in the labs.”

Vivian nodded again, her back still turned, before walking away through the door.

Now, LeFey sat before the window. A plan was forming in his mind, and it promised to be a beautiful one.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tabitha Montclair

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Looking displeased Tabitha paced the open floor in front of her desk. The small office in the back of the lab was cramped but there was enough room for quick repetitive paces back and forth. The window hole in the door of her office was blocked out with clever comics to prevent any of her colleagues from seeing her pace like this. It was unbecoming of her to be this frustrated.

One of her vital devices was malfunctioning. The Pandora External Locator (PEL) was on the fritz, all day it had been beeping like crazy. Now, she didn’t know if the thing even worked right in the first place but today it was reacting as if the box itself was right next to it. The machine was supposed to be able to sense Animus Vitae (AVI) but only in extreme concentrations. For it to be acting this way was just wrong, there is no physically possible way there is a high enough concentration of AVI in the air to activate it.

She tried turning it off and turning it back on, kicking it, nothing was working. So she shut the thing down before slamming the door to her office and pacing.

Tabitha paused took a deep breath and let it out slowly. β€œWe’ll just have to recalibrate it.” She muttered under her breath before grabbing the computer dongle for the PEL USB connection. Turning the door knob she began to cross the office to hand off the job to her inferiors when she noticed someone had arrived.

β€œOh, Vivian.” Tabitha stopped what she was doing and sighed. β€œI’ll be right up, no need for small talk let me get my notebook. She turned on her heal and directly back into her office. There's no way this is good news. She thought as she took her notebook from her top desk drawer and made her way out of the labs and up to the offices.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alias Kane Character Portrait: Ormand LeFey

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"This can't be good. . ."
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Alias Kane
Hex Code: #8B0000
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Alias hung up the phone. He hadn't wanted to answer, still wish he didn't. To say it was comparable to any of his other usual calls would have earned a laugh. This one was different, and he didn't like nearly anything about it.

It was a simple job, offered to him by a secretary in the Order. Alias had never liked simple jobs, it always meant they were hiding something. But she never explained what was so simple about the job, nor any details of the job itself, and only said that her employer would like to have him over for dinner. She was all to happy to reveal his name. When she told him, Alias nearly dropped the phone.

Ormand LeFey.

He was talking to someone working for LeFey, the rather secretive, yet illustrious leader of the Order. Even for someone of his skill, Alias had never spoken directly to many people in power, it was often a secretary, or better yet, a member within the Enclave would find someone for the job. When it came to the Order and the Council, they would often leave it to the Enclave to decide whom was best suited for the job, as it kept things simple, and nobody was ever really sure who was delivering the blow.

Which is why it came as such a surprise to hear that the leader of the Order, not only wished to speak with him, but "would be more than delighted to have you over for dinner." were her exact words. It was all just a little unnerving. They must be planning something big, and nearby, for them to be this insistent of who carried out the job, and wanted to make it official enough, to even call him over and speak to him, face to face.

It all still felt horribly wrong, somehow. Alias wasn't even supposed to be here much longer, he was mainly here to aid one of his better and only friends, Vix on a little mission he'd been assigned in the city. They were scheduled to leave tomorrow, and each of them already had a plane ticket. How would LeFey even have known he was in the city? And why him specifically? But the secretary had listed off a payment number so large, he was forced to at least consider it.

While common sense, and nearly every other little alarm bell in his mind went off and screamed at him to ignore, or even refuse the offer, one stayed silent. The money was just too good. With an amount like that, he could likely retreat back into his vacation home, pay off his debts to the Enclave, and be free of it all.

So, he checked his clothes, making sure he looked his best, and grabbed the phone. Sending off a quick, secured text to Vix about the details so far, Alias left the small hotel room he had been staying at, and made sure he had some form of protection.

The light's had dimmed. The 'meeting' had taken place just before sunset, with the guise as dinner. However, Alias found it best not to eat, especially after he learned the details of his mission. The secretary hadn't lied to him, it was a simple job, hardly even a heist, and nothing that required a member of the Enclave.

LeFey had contracted him to bypass the security in the old Museum, several blocks down from the rather famous and overshadowing Natural History Museum, and find a certain artifact. He was supposed to either steal the contents of the artifact itself, or simply mark it so that another operative could do so soon, and the artifact would remain easily found. However, they never mentioned exactly what the artifact was, only that it was isolated in room 705b.

Even after expressing only a fraction of his concern, LeFey gave him permission to choose a secondary operative to shadow him, along with his personal secretary Vivian. He then promised his associate, whomever he should choose, a fair amount of money as well, so long as they completed the mission, and delivered the goods to them. Then after some slight consideration, Alias Kane accepted the job, owing half of his concern to the strange aloof behavior that surrounded the man, and explaining the rest away on just pure luck. He knew exactly who he was going to call as his associate, one that may have actually worked with Vivian in the past.

Vix Bonaparte, an old friend of his, would be perfect for the job. He was not only one of the only other Enclave members in the city, but was also one of the very few members of the human race, who used to work for the Order, but is now making a living elsewhere. His reasons for leaving changed depending on the day you asked, so Alias stopped asking altogether. Vix was also one of those few people in the world that seemed to maintain his cool, no matter what he was doing. Not only would he do the job, but he'd do it smoking a cigarette, and leave just enough time to have a breather on the balcony.

Besides all that, there was another reason Alias wanted him there. He used to work for the Order, so he'd hopefully be able to keep just a few paces ahead of them. He just needed to find his friend, and fill him in on the details.

LeFey had only given him a single day to find himself an associate, and then ordered them both to meet Vivian just a few blocks away at a local cafe, where they could then instruct him from outside the building. It sounded like Vivian was mainly there only to be sure they delivered, and would likely be more than happy to leave them behind once they finished the job.

Finally returning back to his small hotel room, Alias pulled out his phone. He stared at it a moment longer, then dialed Vix's number.

"Hey, Vix?"

"I've got a job for us."

The setting changes from New York City, United States to Crisis

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Seth Ackerman Character Portrait: Xander Rotwood Character Portrait: Jacob Smith

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The monster roared as steel clashed against its tough blue scales, raising its tail to slam it into the sea. A wall of water rose up from the force of the splash, around ten feet high, but the boat refused to capsize and our heroes remained undeterred! Steel gleamed in the sea-salted light as the warrior unsheathed his ancestral broadsword. Face creasing into a gruesome snarl, the warrior took a couple of steps forwards from where he was standing on the boat they were on, gaining a run-up as he leaped up to face the impending tsunami wall of doom. He slashed downwards with his word with a fearsome yell.

The broadsword cleaved through the wall of water like a knife through hot butter, separating the wave into two. The two smaller waves passed around the ship as it bobbed in the hole the warrior had made. As the warrior had leapt the magician began to chant, voice gaining an eerie lilt as he continued the spell. The merlion roared and struggled as it got lifted out of the-

"Wait, a merlion?" Xander interrupted Seth. He ignored the glare Seth sent him for disrupting the flow of the story, leaning forward as he rested his elbows on the table they were sitting around. "You mean a fish and a lion? Hahaha! How does that even work?"

"You stick the head of a lion onto a fish's lower body and give it gills so that it can breath underwater, along with waterproof fur. You know, the symbol that represents Singapore? There's a reason that country's also known as Lion City. But anyway." Seth hummed thoughtfully, drumming his fingers against the table. "I think the fur can trap air bubbles, and they're seadwelling creatures. They're either eastern sea monsters or mAnything else?"

"Yeah, got one." Dan raised his hand, even though they weren't in a classroom. They were in the living room at the table doing their own things. Dan had homework, Xander was scribbling something down on the laptop he had in front of him, and although Seth was relaxing with a book he was reading it out as a well-needed distraction, telling the story in suitable epic-narrator fashion (if a bit sarcastic). Occasionally, hands went out to the large nacho-filled bowl in the front for a snack to fuel their brains.

That had nothing to do with Dan's question, however. "Does a Merlion eat meat, fish or vegetables or a mixture of those?" he asked curiously. "Or plankton. Would they eat plankton?"

Seth shrugged, shoulders moving up and down as he leant back against his chair, resting the book against the edge of the table. "Probably fish and other types of seafood. I dunno, there's no meat in the ocean unless you count sharks or dolphins or whatnot. You prepared for the trip to the museum tomorrow?"

"Done and done! Too bad you're going to be late thought, but no worries! I'll show Dan around." Xander gave Seth a relatively relaxed smile, raising both his hands in a thumbs up pose. "Just do whatever you need to do. What happens next?"

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In a small dark alleyway somewhere in the USA....

Jacob walked calmly out of the alley, dusting his hands off on the jacket he was wearing. The twenty-five year old was dressed impeccably, in a stylish black jacket and grey shirt, with jeans and old boots. His hair was more mussed than usual, giving him a rakish, handsome look. For all purposes, Jacob looked like a young man out on a day to the mall, where he was presumably going to meet up with a girl, someone who was preferably pretty. He looked more suited in a mall instead of a dark, dingly lit alley.

Unfortunately for life - and Jacob - the person he had met with was not a girl. He was male. He was also very much out for Jacob's life.

He was also dead. Jacob had made sure of that himself. The body was currently in a dumpster, stuffed under a coat and positioned to look like a homeless old man taking a nap underneath some bins.

That person should have picked someone better to rob.

Humming a warm ditty underneath his breath, Jacob slipped his hands into his pockets, fingers clenching around the items inside the pocket. He'd covered his tracks almost supernaturally well, so there was no way the police could come for him for murder. Slipping into the crowd and looking for all purposes like a young man out for partying, Jacob hummed, strolling his way through.

I wonder what I should get for dinner?

The setting changes from Crisis to New York City, United States

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tabitha Montclair Character Portrait: Ormand LeFey

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LeFey was waiting for her. He'd already leafed through the file on her, she was quite the accomplished inventor. When she opened the door, he shooed away one of the guards, and smiled.

"Hello, Miss Montclair. Take a seat will you? The conversation we are about to have is not to be shared with another soul, and your task is to be completed quietly and quickly." He gestured to the file on his desk, pausing in his speech. "Though I expect that should be no problem for a brilliant mind such as yours."

Tabitha sat slowly crossing her legs and being sure to keep her back straight. She wasn't typing data into a computer slouched over, she was meeting with the boss. She tried to keep straight faced, not wanting to show too much excitement as he mentioned the prospect of a new project.

"Quietly I can do, quickly depends on what it is." She replied simply. "A new challenge is always welcome in my lab. What exactly do you need?" Tabitha asked, appearing interested.

"Something of the utmost importance to our organization. You see, I've recently stumbled across a lead, that may endmost favorably for us. But, we still lack the tech to realize our end goals."

"Tabitha, my dear." LeFey leaned forwards, clasping his hands together. "We need to build some kind of Animus Control device. We need to be able to manipulate this energy in it's purest form and force it into the tool that we will use to shape our new world."

"Animus control device" she mumbled. "We need a converter then, something to take in the pure AVI and then convert it to a usable energy form. What do you want the final product to be able to do? Energy weapons? Animus Blockers?" Tabitha rattled off a few options. The blocker was in the testing phase already and the energy weapons had been gathering dust in a lab closet. Their current converters were inefficient but they're functioning, hopefully he wanted something already in development.

"I'll leave the specifics up to you, however I hear that plasma, or electricity could have a multitude of uses for our other, less qualified, scientists."

LeFey made a genture for her to leave, but paused briefly. "Actually, Miss Montclair, if you find your current laboratory insufficient, feel free to meet with your superiors. I've already sent them a notice, along with a free pick of assistants."

"Oh, and a final thing... Don't fail me. Your work within the next few weeks may decide the fate of our organization." LeFey leaned back again. "Now go."

"Yes Sir." Tabitha responded with an enthusiastic, but sloppy salute. "Plasma or electricity converter for universal uses. I'm sure with a few assistants I'll be done in no time at all. Thank you for you generosity and support." She said with a nod before turning to leave. She jotted a few notes in her notebook and then scuttled out the door. She could not, and would not fail. Time to check out the new recruits and make her pick.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Catherine Deckard Character Portrait: Alias Kane

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"I still don't like this at all."
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Alias Kane
Hex Code: #8B0000
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"I hear things -whispers of death..."
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Catherine Deckard
Hex Code: #191970
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The meeting had been a quick one.

Alias and Vix arrived at a local cafe, ordered a small meal, taking a seat at one of the outside tables. In a city like New York, privacy is always found in the public. It was exactly at the appointed time when Vivian pulled up a chair. She quickly informed the two of the plan, slid a small chip across the table, and took Vix to some unseen corner she had previously prepared for the operation.

Alias began walking towards the Museum, passing through the crowds unnoticed in his professional attire. By the time he stood on the grand front steps, Vix's voice cut into the small earpiece he wore. "Hey, Kane, I know this is a grand museum and all, but you don't need to linger on the front steps. Just get us in, and out."

Tracking my movements now, Vix? I thought you trusted me more than that."

"Don't be so sensitive, we're reading the location of the tracking chip Vivian here gave you. Once you locate whatever the hell is in that room, you slap that baby on."

"I thought I was going to steal it?"

"Uh, yeah. I've been told that the artifact may be too big to steal. So, you're dropping the chip on it."

"Just get me to this damn room already."


Alias walked through the museum, taking his time, looking at the exhibits. Blending in, but also hoping for some kind of clue as to what he was getting, and why the Order seemed to want it. Unfortunately, the route Vix was giving him led him out of the way of their newest exhibit, and towards the back staff-only entrance. One of the final rooms he was lead into was sparsely populated with a few civilians. He briskly walked to the end of the room, tapping the only security guard on the shoulder. "Sir, someone's trying to mess with one of the exhibits in that room over there."

The guard looked alarmed, then walked off. As soon as he had disappeared from view, Alias tripped the lock, and walked into the hall beyond the staff only door. Following Vix's instructions, he was led down into a basement, and before too long, he stood directly in front of the door that supposedly held the artifact.

He wasted no time, punching in the code to keypad. Yet the door remained firmly shut. Checking over his shoulder, he made sure the hall was still clear, and he rammed his shoulder into the box, exposing the wiring beneath the keys. Quickly bypassing the system, the light went green, and the door clicked open.

But just as soon as the door unlocked, the sound of tentative footsteps approached from behind. Cursing under his breath, he activated his amulet, and leaped to the side, vanishing in the shadows.


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Catherine walked throughout the halls of the museum, lazily strolling through the dimmed lights and illuminated displays. Her friend, Tyler had left her, running off to help out her uncle at his storefront. She likely wouldn't be gone long, and Catherine was more than content enough to simply wait it out, and stare at the ancient art and sculptures.

Not too long after she had entered one of the far-flung wings of the museum, immersing herself in the beauty of past civilizations, a well-dressed man, roughly in his 30's walked into the room, passing her, and the few other people in the room. He made a beeline directly for the security guard, whispering into his ear, and pointing off towards where he had come. The guard looked concerned, thanked the man, and jogged off. Catherine's eyes followed the man, watching him pace past and vanish around the corner.

When her eyes traveled back towards the man, he was gone, and the 'staff-only' door clicked shut. The words "thief" echoed throughout her mind. She could chase after the guard, but this man was clearly a professional, and wouldn't take long. She walked past the other couple in the room, telling them to inform the security guard when he returned. With those final parting words, she followed him through the unlocked staff door.

The door led into a hallway, dim, and cool. To her left was another row of doors, likely offices, and to her right, a staircase, with a sign labeled "storage". She began to take a step forwards, then hesitated. She was chasing after a man who could very well be dangerous. Immediately, her friend Tyler popped into her mind. While Catherine wasn't a fighter, Tyler certainly was, and would've continued without a break in pace. Mustering her confidence, she continued down the stairs, trying her absolute best to be quiet. Unfortunately, her black converse weren't exactly the stealthiest of shoe atop the polished tile stairs.

When she reached the end of the stairwell, another hallway greeted her. Knowing it could be any of them, she kept walking slowly, looking at each door for signs of recent entry. It wasn't until she had already passed several doors, that she heard the muffled sounds of crumpling metal, and an electrical buzz. Picking up her pace, Catherine walked past the next turn in the hall. She looked towards the source of the noise, but saw nothing.

The door was still closed, and nobody was nearby. However, the metal covering of the keypad lay on the ground, bent in the center. The internal workings of the security box were visible, and the small LED atop the box was lit green. The door was unlocked. Adopting Tyler's persona again, Catherine walked forwards, stepping through the unlocked door ready to confront the the thief.

Only whispers greeted her. She was in another darkened room, only bright white lights pointed in from the ceiling, illuminating some strange artifact that sat on the table before her. A large, golden box, engraved with figures of beasts and sigils, all decoratively pouring out from golden eye in the center of one of the sides. It was truly magnificent. The box was roughly the size of a large dog, and seemed to glow, not of the light directed at it, but in it's own, darkened way. Whispers seemed to dance throughout the room, sending ice through Catherine's veins, and clouding her mind with desires.

The thief forgotten, she stepped towards the Box, bumping into a small metal table. The table rattled a large disk shape, engraved into a hand, with eerie, almost key-like teeth jutting from the palm sat on the table. Next to it sat a small slip of paper. "Janus' Key". The whispers, resonating from the box grew louder, urging her to pick up the key. Catherine, without thinking grabbed the key with her left-hand. Growing louder still, the whispers permeated Catherine's head, and her very being. It felt so natural to listen, so right to obey their commands. Taking another step forwards, she outstretched her arm, bringing the Key closer to the Box. The box reacted, deep purple sparks of energy clashing with red, as it seemed to breathe with a life of it's own.

Catherine took the final step, plunging the Key into the Box.

And the whispers stopped. The voices left her mind, and the energy ceased to drip from the Box. But, the hand print atop the key glowed with a sinister light, dancing between purples, blues, and reds. She didn't hesitate, placing her hand against the front of the Box. It felt wonderful, like touching a warm, smooth stone, that seemed to shiver with energy.

Then the Box began to move. The front of the Box produced two golden plates, each with a semi-circle cut out of the edges near her hand. Before Catherine could pull away, the two sides closed around her wrist, leaving only a small portion of the backside of her hand visible. For a second, she was left to wildly pull at her arm, trying to free herself from her suddenly unwelcoming prison.

Just as Catherine stopped struggling, she felt something sharp push towards her palm, then slowly pierce her skin. Pain burned outwards from her hand, as the blade burrowed deeper, forcing itself completely through her palm. Blood and light seemed to fall from the blade, as something like electricity coursed through her veins. She cried out in pain, thrashing as the odd purple energy heated her hand until it glowed, and her sweatshirt on her arm began to burn away.

The pain became unbearable, as visions and whispers of fire and lightning dancing beneath her skin tormented her. The blade stopped glowing, and slowly began to retreat from her hand. Leaving Catherine free to fall to the ground, the blood from her wound seemed to seep into the golden skin of the Box, as it began to glow, sparks of energy dancing between it's tip and corners. Catherine cradled her hand on the floor, feeling the blood lift from her arm, and flow through the air towards the violently glowing Box. Her hand glowed with the unique energy of the Box, an intricate design seemed to be burned into her hand. She looked up towards the box, now an imposing figure on it's pedestal, glowing, pulsating with energy.

The sparks grew bigger, all converging on the top of the Box. Then, a spear of purple and red energy lanced out from the top, slamming into the ceiling. The ceiling cracked, the fissures in the ceiling glowing hot with the energy. The beam of energy and light flared, and a jolt of energy lashed out at Catherine.

The last thing she saw was fire.


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Alias Kane slowly retreated from the shadows, looking down the hallway. Whomever it was that had come this way, must've left him behind, somehow not noticing the damaged keypad near the door. Looking back at the door, it was now slightly open, strange lights radiating from the room beyond. Before he had time to reach the door, the entire building shook, and a fierce light exploded from the room. Throwing open the door, Alias saw a girl, lying on the floor, her hand burning in a dark purple color. His gaze trailed upwards, and he saw an ornate, golden box, pouring whispers and beams of light from it's top. A second bolt of energy was loosed from the first, landing at the girl's feet, staining the floor back. Not waiting a second longer, Alias jumped into the room, scooping up the girl on the floor. The box glowed again, firing another bolt of purple-red energy at them. Unable to move fast enough, Alias held up his hand to protect the girl in his arms.

The light made contact, burning his flesh and leaving him in excruciating pain. Alias didn't stand much longer, he ran from the room, heading back down the hall. A frantic voice in his ear broke him from his frenzy.

"Kane! What is happening in there! There was a huge earthquake centered on the museum, and now the whole building is on fire!"

Vix, where's Vivian?"

"She's gone! She made a run for it as soon as the earthquake hit! What happened?"

"The Artifact was Pandora's Box, someone followed me inside, and now-"

[b]"Kane! I can't hear you anymore, you've cut out. You've got to get out of there. Find your way outside, I'm across the street!"


As Alias reached the top of the stairs, another tremor shook the building, a bright orange light passing over the walls, cracking them as it went. He pressed on, kicking through the staff door, another glowing quake splintering the floor beneath him, fire beginning to lick through the cracks. He kept running, finding most of the main paths blocked by rubble or fire. Other people were running as well, caught in the panic.

Alias stopped, pausing before the main chamber of the museum, running into security guards directing people towards the exits, trying to stay calm themselves. Just as he began to step into the room, the room shook violently, a large crack beginning to form in the center of the room. It leaked fire and energy, opening up to allow a large red and blue pillar of light to flow through, slamming against the ceiling, and smashing through it. Beneath them, Alias knew Pandora's Box lie just beneath the crater, and he quickly backed up. Those already in the main chamber were swept up into the air, and pulled towards the beam, spiraling around it before being burned alive when brought too close. Screams of panic and horror filled the air as the column of energy flared again, sending jolts out that pierced walls and impaled civilians.

Running down an adjacent hallway, Alias found the wall towards his left beginning to crumble, just beyond it lie gravity well caused by the Box. Sprinting down towards the end of the hall, he just barely made it to the door when the wall caved inwards, giving way to the power of Pandora's Box.

"My God, Alias! What is that beam? Get out of there, NOW!"

Not waiting to be told a second time, Alias turned down several more halls, narrowly avoiding the destruction being caused by the Box. Fires and lightning kept lancing outwards from the beam, closing passages and destroying hallways. The tremors continued, knocking parts of the building down, and igniting others. Finding a way towards a side exit, Alias ran through, leaping over a hall of fire and lightning that licked his clothes as he passed. The girl in his arms was lightly burned, but otherwise okay.

He finally let up as he passed through an arch, allowing him sight of the sky. The beam of energy from the Box curled upwards into the sky, twisting through a layer of black clouds. As he watched, the energy sparked, and a shockwave of red light exploded outwards, tearing down on the city. It passed through every street, lashing out bolts of energy at cars, causing small explosions, and people, burning them. The wave turned into a storm, as more shockwaves rippled out from the sky.

"Kane, get away from the Museum! Hurry!"

Alias stopped standing still, running down the flight of stairs, as the second shockwave tore what was left of the building apart. Just as he reached the streets, the red light passed over him. Nothing happened. He was fine. He looked up at the street, crowded with cars, fires sparsely dotting the streets. Small patches of energy seemed to hang in the air, left behind from the initial wave. Then time seemed to slow as the patches of energy shaped, forming bone, muscle, flesh, fur, and feathers. Suddenly, a Griffon stood atop the car, it wasting no time spearing it's beak into the window, dragging out the driver.

Alias didn't have much time to stay shocked, as another bolt of energy leaped out, caving the ground beneath his feet. The street fell in, and he was left sitting, cradling the girl. Quickly clambering back up towards the street, he ran as parts of other buildings and cars fell around him, destroyed by the energy storm ripping across the city.

"Kane, I'm cut off from the Museum, I'm taking the car over to the next block. Meet me there!"

Not bothering to respond, Alias ran towards the nearest building, a decimated coffee shop. As he neared the front entrance, a griffon flew overhead, dropping a taxi cab it had been carrying, landing just several feet behind Alias, and skidding into the rubble. Inside the shop, the situation wasn't better, fire covered the walls, and smoke choked his lungs. But it was safe from the monsters that had sprung up from the Box, so the temporary solace would have to do.

The setting changes from New York City, United States to Crisis

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Jan Ziemniak Bartosz

0.00 INK

#, as written by TheHaze
Jan walked out into the street, taking in the sounds and smells of New York. He couldn’t help but feel a pang of nervousness as he realized how...foreign he felt. He had figured it would be difficult, obviously, his English wasn’t very good at all and didn’t understand the currency, for starters. He could navigate the airport, somewhat, and the lady at the currency exchange booth had been very patient with him in her attempts to teach him what coins were worth what, but now the enormity of what he had done was beginning to sink in. He had left for a good reason, Jan knew that, but he had, well, left. He had left his family, his home, his people behind, and for what? That thought crossed his mind and the dream came screaming back into his head: That hideous, apocalyptic dream of burning buildings and unimaginable beasts ravaging the city because of that golden box and that gi-. He buckled slightly, steadying himself against a pillar as panic weakened his legs.

Jan couldn’t help but note the group around him sidle away as he leaned to his side. He expected it, being nearly seven feet tall. His massive frame already drew stares back home, but here he felt people saw him as even stranger. He assumed it was due to his clothing, specifically his jacket. He loved that jacket, even though his family felt it was a bit eccentric. Nobody wore that symbol anymore and some even got upset by it, seeing as a reminder of dark times, but that was why Jan liked it. For Jan, it was a symbol of resistance against an evil of unthinkable magnitude, a symbol that he feared would be needed in the days ahead. This type of fear he was feeling now, then, was unacceptable. If he was to fight this evil and cleanse the city, he needed to remain strong.

Jan tilted his head back, let his bag drop, and inhaled deeply, willing himself to be calm. He felt his mind focus and balance on the knife's edge between fear and anger, settling on the ocean-deep sense of duty that began to focus his mind. Jan exhaled, his breath coming out low, hard, almost like a growl. He had a job to do. The giant nodded to himself, picked up his bag, and began to walk across the street to...where?

Ah. He didn’t know. He had thought there would have already been some devastation, given the severity of his dream, but everything seemed relatively normal. He assumed it was normal, anyway. He was secretly dreading that New York would be like the movies, with people in suits shooting out of cars and shouting in horrific accents. So far, he had only heard the accent, and the thought that he wasn’t in immediate danger helped him relax and gather his thoughts

So, he had a problem with no apparent solution. He had no idea where he was going and no idea where to start finding out where to go. He supposed, then, the first thing he would do was ask somebody. Easy. He could do that. Yes.

As it turned out, he most definitely could not do that. He began to suspect this after one hour of searching and finally admitted it around hour three. He asked about the golden box, monster sightings, and any unusual activities. If people didn’t flee at the sight of him, the language barrier made getting his point across an exercise in pointing, gesturing, and for one man, twenty dollars. For his efforts, he had been directed to a Chinese restaurant, a zoo, three different hospitals, a massage parlor, and finally one very impatient police officer, who told him to stop. He did, but that only made him realize how hungry he was. He hadn’t eaten on the plane and it was getting late, after all.

And so Jan found himself back in the Chinese restaurant, which he assumed was called the Golden Box. He had never had Chinese food before, but he liked whatever it was he was eating and it was a lot cheaper than he had expected. He got a noodle dish with what he guessed was pork and some kind of beer with a label he couldn’t read, but it had cost him eight dollars and the waitress was pretty, so he wasn’t going to complain.

As he ate, he formulated another plan. He wouldn’t ask about any supernatural occurrences, rather go to locations where supernatural things would be likely to occur. He figured landmarks and places with significant history, preferably a grim and storied one, would be ideal. Failing that, somewhere with a lot of people, because monsters needed to eat. He knew about the statue of liberty, the empire state building, and central park. Where they were, he didn’t know, but he could find out.

It turned out the closest was Central Park, which was where Jan found himself sitting, watching a pair of old men play chess. Other than the occasional jogger and a cough from one of the elders, nothing really seemed to be happening. The giant grunted and pulled a large hand-rolled cigarette from his jacket pocket, lighting it with a match and inhaling deeply, letting the smoke out with a sigh. As he watched the smoke float away, he leaned back and closed his eyes to rest, weary from a day of failure.

<"Just what have I gotten myself into?">

He figured it out when the world exploded. Light and fire and screaming woke him from his peace as he was flung from the bench and sent skidding across the grass. Jan's heart thumped like a hammer in his chest as he began to see them. The things. It was starting. Good god in heaven it was starting. He forced himself to his feet, ears ringing and blood leaking from the corner of his mouth. He had to get off the street. Lurching forward as fast as he could, the giant drew his pistol in one hand and his knife in the other, stepping over corpses in his drive towards whatever building looked safe. He noticed one man, running, who seemed strong. Jan followed behind him at a distance, seeing him enter what looked like a cafe. The griffon encouraged him to enter it as soon as possible. He looked at his surroundings, and then the man. He began to shout in Polish, falling back to his native tongue unconsciously, his voice guttural and deep.

<"It is beginning, friend! The end of the world is upon us!"> He chambered his gun, keeping it trained on the what was left of the door. "<I am Jan! Are you alone?>"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gabriel "Gabe" Balis

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Gabe was sprawled in the back seat of a cab, not a bad day to be riding to Grand Central Station. An old friend from culinary school, Charlie, was having a barbecue out in the burbs. Any excuse to get out of the city for some fresh air is a good excuse. Any excuse to get some of Charlie's barbecue was an even better excuse

Knowing Charlie had a kid, and half the reason for the barbecue was the kid's birthday, Gabe was even nice enough to bring a present. There was a sheathed blue light-saber with a black shiny ribbon tied around the handle sitting on his lap. He left it unwrapped of course so he could randomly flick his wrist and extend the blade for fun, much to the displeasure of the taxi driver. After about the third disgruntled look back Gabe collapsed the sword and left it resting on his lap but he impatiently tapped his leg wanting to mess around some more.

He moved to staring out the window, they were passing the museum and it was always cool to check what the new exhibits were. As they passed though Gabe noticed people were running, no, flooding out of the museum. Was that fire? There were sparks as lightning landed just inches from the car. The taxi driver began to show concern. It appeared a really bad storm had suddenly descended on the area but there wasn't any rain.

It all seemed natural until the death-beam shot up from the museum. As Gabe turned to look at the driver's reaction he found himself staring face to face with a terrifyingly sharp beak. He swore and tightened his grip on the light-saber on his lap, it wasn't a real sword but he could still hit whatever the hell that thing was with it. The bird thing seemed more interested in the driver though and proceeded to drag him from the car.

Gabe took that opportunity to get the fuck out of the car. He did not take his time as he saw a few bodies around and he made a move to the nearest storefront. He was making good progress when one of the magical lightning bolts came down before he could respond. The shock went straight through him and into the ground. There was no time to panic, no time to realize what had happened. Just pure electric power, and pain, lots of pain. He fell to the ground, a symbol burned into his neck behind his right ear. He stayed huddled on the sidewalk clutching the light-saber. He was alive, but his hair was glowing at about 100 watts and he had no desire to move for the rest of the day.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Seth Ackerman Character Portrait: Xander Rotwood Character Portrait: Catherine Deckard
  1. possible wrong location

    by Alle9009
  2. possible wrong location

    by Alle9009

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"And here we have a Greek statue of Hercules..."

Xander stifled a yawn, resisting the urge to close his eyes and nod off. Dressed in a loose black and white university jacket and jeans, the redhead looked like a university student out to study the museum's artefacts for a paper. Fortunately (or unfortunately) for Xander, he wasn't the one who had homework to complete. That would be his cousin Dan.

They were in the museum for Dan's homework, which was to record a historical artefact. Xander didn't really see why he had to come along when all they were doing was just staring at old pieces of history - he'd much rather play a game instead - but Seth had volunteered them to come, and Dan had looked so happy, as if he hadn't expected the offer but was glad that it'd appear, that Xander didn't really have the heart to refuse. It'd be fun, right?

Yes, waking up early to follow Dan searching the whole museum top to toe with great fevor (all he said was that he was looking for a golden box to do his work on) before taking a break to listen to a middleaged man drone on and on and on about old pieces of history that he had no interest in was fun, alright. Very fun! So fun that he was wondering whether they had an ancient greek bed or something so that he could enjoy it even more, preferably in his subconscious. It wouldn't have been so bad if Seth were here to talk to, but his best friend wouldn't be able to make it to the museum until late afternoon. When Xander and Dan had asked why (Dan in a curious tone and Xander in a slightly more dismayed tone) Seth had just shrugged and replied "Wes asked me to pick something up." and that was that.

A couple more hours till Seth would arrive. It didn't made listening to the tourguide any easier, though. What's so important about that box anyway?

"Are you done yet?" Xander whispered to Dan, slipping his hand in his pockets.

"Not yet." Dan scribbled something down in his notebook, red eyes darting around the exhibit just in case. Nope, nothing. Pausing in his writing, Dan turned to look up at Xander with a faint frown. "You know, you could just-huh?"

"what huh?"

"That girl..." Dan's eyebrows creased in puzzlement as he gestured minutely with his pencil. Bringing his arms up in a stretch, Xander turned around in a way that most would just dismiss as an attempt to stretch his limbs and looked in the direction of Dan's pencil, just in time to see a girl with dark hair looking at a door. Hmm, kind of pretty.

Looks like my little cuz has a crush. With a grin that looked more like a leer, Xander bumped his elbow against Dan's shoulder. "Ooo, is she your type?"

"What?" The flabbergasted 'why the hell would you even think that' look Dan sent Xander's way just made Xander grin all the more. "Wait, what?! Whu- why would you even think that -"

"-My little cuz is all grown up, Aunt Sophie would be so proud -"

"No! No, I don't like her like that! Just - I thought she looked like..." Dan trailed off, looking frustrated and mildly disturbed. "She just looked like - wait, what're you going?! Let go!"

"We're going to meet her, of course!" Xander kept his voice low as he shot a grin at Dan, tightening his grip on Dan's arm. Finally something interesting! Who cared if entering through the guard door was illegal? It'd be more fun than listening to some old guy drone on about ancient greek history at any rate. Dan didn't look too sure about conducting what was probably breaking and entering, and Xander made to reassure him. "You said you knew her, right? Let's introduce ourselves! C'mon, it'll be fun!"

"B-But its illegal!" Dan kept his voice low too, although Xander couldn't help but notice that he was looking with curiosity at the door. He wasn't even struggling that hard against Xander's pull to the door. It was obvious that he was half-torn between keeping the law or finding out what was going on, although a look in Dan's eye suggested that there was another reason he wasn't telling Xander that he was so curious about the girl. "And I've still got to look for that box-"

"Which might be inside the basement!" Xander rolled his eyes, not releasing Dan's arm. He kept his voice low, dragging Dan away from the others to keep the conversation more private. Now that his curiosity was aroused, Xander was determined to get into the basement. "The guard isn't back yet, we can enter the place and see if its there and talk to the girl all at the same time! What's wrong?"

Dan still looked conflicted. Xander was pretty sure that it was because of the whole 'breaking the law' thing (why were people so hung up on that, seriously?), but there was a sense that it was about something else, something Dan wasn't quite willing to share. "But..."

"But what?!" Dan whispered, grinning excitedly down at his cousin. "Look, we've got an unguarded door, a mysterious girl, and a chance to examine the bowels of the building and find something interesting than a statue to write about for your project! C'mon, where's your sense of adventure?"

That was apparently all that was needed to convince Dan. And thank goodness, because the girl had already entered through the door a good few minutes ago, and that was before they had the conversation. Grinning, Xander turned and took a step forward, gripping the door...

Only for the building to give a large rumble, a tremor shaking dust down from the ceiling onto people's heads.

Xander blinked. "Earthquake?" Around him, people were having similar reactions.

Dan, however, looked unnerved, as if he'd just seen a ghost. He looked around agitatedly, and although Xander wasn't sure he thought he heard Dan mutter "It's exactly the same..." Under his breath. Shaking his head, he grasped at Xander's arm, yanking him away from the door.

"Dan? What's wrong?"

"We've got to get out of here," Dan said urgently. A few people were already leaving, worried about potential earthquakes. Another tremor shook the building, and Xander stumbled as the floor shook. Dan took the opportunity to try dragging him towards the exit, although he only moved a few inches thanks to Xander's weight. He looked up at Xander with haunted eyes, eyes that were wide with horror, begging him to just believe him and move, body doing its best to push Xander towards the exit of the exhibit. "C'mon Xander we have to get out of here before-"

Xander only found out later that Dan meant 'before the beam of light and monsters!". The building started to creak, walls cracking with increasingly loud cracks like fragile ice in water and effectively cutting off the rest of Dan's sentence.

Light flared up, blinding and burning. People screamed as the building began to fall apart, running to get out as fast as they possibly could, screaming as lightning began to flash.

Chaos reigned.

-----------------------------------

The next few minutes was all a blur of light and sound and fast movement. Xander remembered running like the wind for the door that lead out of the exhibition, dodging falling debris and lightning (Oh my God Oh my God Oh my God what was going on?!) until one suddenly struck Dan's leg, causing him to cry out and fall.

Without pausing Xander scooped his cousin up and onto his shoulder like a bag of rice. Not bothering to look back, Xander charged forwards even faster to dodge the rapidly expanding beam of light and the lightning bolts. Another lightning bolt tried to strike Dan's face, but Xander raised his arm to block it at the very last minute. The bolt sank through Xander's left forearm, stinging like a thousand wasps had just stung the same place at the same time.

It hurt. The pain was excruciating. If Xander hadn't been hopped up with a mixture of adrenaline and fear that the moment he stopped moving he'd die, he'd have just curled up and clutched his forearm, hoping that someone could shoot him full of painkillers or just plain shoot him so that the pain would just go away. Or lop off his arm with an axe; that was an option too! As Xander was hopped up on terrified adrenaline and in a rapidly collapsing building with a very strong urge to live, however, the redhead just screamed at the pain and kept going, doing his best to ignore the agonised throbbing in his arm.

After what seemed like forever (but was only a few minutes), Xander finally spotted the exit. Oh thank God! Throwing Dan through it by the scruff of his neck, Xander flung himself through the door without a minute to spar and rolled to a stop on the grass, a few feet behind Dan's sprawled figure.

Not a moment too soon. Xander's squeezed his eyes shut at the blinding burst of light from the beam, bracing himself against the shockwave. Feeling around, he grabbed Dan and quickly dragged him away until they found a statue to huddle under. Leaning Dan against the statue, Xander finally took a step back and examined his cousin.

It was not a pretty sight. The boy was breathing shallowly, eyes squeezed shut as he clutched at his leg, moans of pain that he couldn't quite hold back vibrating in his throat. His skin was covered in sweat, and he was shaking; fullbodied shudders that resembled someone shivering in extreme cold. When Xander tried to touch the leg an agonised whimper broke out before Dan audibly cut it off, gritting his teeth so hard that Xander wouldn't be surprised if they were grounded to nubs.

Dan was not alright. But he was alive, and that was all that mattered right now. Leaning forwards and ignoring his own pain, Xander gave Dan a tight comforting hug, running his fingers briefly through Dan's hair before peeking outside the statue.

Chaos, pure and simple. And where does monsters?! Xander wasn't quite sure whether or not he was hallucinating. Seth was going to have such a field day about this if it was real!

That is, if he was still alive. He's got to be alive. He's got to be.

But first, shelter. Then call to find out. Reaching out, Xander grabbed Dan and gently rearranged him on his back, carefully prying Dan's fingers off his leg. Looping Dan's arms loosely around his shoulders, Xander leant low and ran towards the nearest shelter he could find - a ruined shop that was already filled with people, chattering and panicking and crying and whatever people tend to do when disasters strike.

The setting changes from Crisis to New York City, United States

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ormand LeFey

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LeFey sat in his offices, drinking a nice glass of wine, as the world ended.

He could feel it. The rumble through the street, the storm that sent shivers down everyone's spine, jostling paperwork, and exploding small lights. It was a truly magical feel. He sat there, reveling in his own quick-thinking and genius. He watched the powerful beam of light pierce the heavens, then explode in a magnificent display of power. Then not a moment later, a Griffin smashed through the window.

He leapt back from the horrid creature, watching it carry off one of his armed guardsmen. He quickly had ordered a second platoon to the building, in an attempt to ward off the monsters. Honestly, LeFey was surprised. He had heard legends of untold power, and chaotic magic, but he never expected creatures of lore to rain down upon the city.

Luckily enough, the building was easily defensible, as they had spent year working on defending themselves from the Council, should they ever be discovered here. Then he quickly realized a small team of agents would likely be inadequate to secure the box in these conditions, so he pulled a few more strings, sending and another set of squads out to recover the Box. He had them each set up a small post, all around the city, so that he could monitor and record the changes that took place. He didn't want to be surprised again.

Sitting in a secondary secure office near the laboratories reminded him. He quickly sent off another of his secretaries to update a few other scientists. He'd have them working on designing some type of device to capture the creatures. Perhaps with a slight modification to Tabitha's own project, they could even be manipulated, or controlled. But, before anything could be controlled, he'd need to collect and study. Hopefully everything would smooth out, and the teams would be able to claim the Box before the Council even entered the city. Judging by the ruckus outside, he estimated a few hours before they showed up.

A few hours he was sure to use in gaining the upper hand.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gabriel "Gabe" Balis Character Portrait: Seth Ackerman

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The moment the world ended, Seth was taking a bathroom break.

He'd spent most of the morning handling boxes containing books, materials and weapons and transporting them to other council members like a delivery boy from a local company, as usual. Most had just accepted it with a curt nod or just ignored him, but others had thanked him with a smile and an offer of a drink or a biscuit. Of course, that tend to be followed by a request to transport more things, but since they'd given him food and drink Seth couldn't really do much but accept it and head off riding to the next destination.

Of course, he still had to accept for the ones who'd asked for another transport somewhere without an offer of food or drink, but since Seth's working description was after all a delivery boy, he couldn't exactly refused, could he?

It was a good thing he knew his way around the city.

But that's not the point here. After finishing his last delivery, Seth decided to take a bathroom break before heading off to the museum. He was a couple of hours early, Xander would probably be glad to have someone to talk to and he could check up on Dan at the same time. The kid had looked a bit jumpy this morning, although he'd just claim excitement for the museum when Seth had asked. Maybe he was nervous about that homework?

Of course, that was before the building rumbled.

The fuck?! Seth staggered, quickly gripping the basin before he fell over. Momentarily thankful that the rumble hadn't happened while he was, well, doing his business, Seth let go and sprinted outside as quickly as he could, not quite willing to die via collapsed bathroom in case it really was an earthquake. He did not want to be found dead in a bathroom, thank you very much.

It wasn't an earthquake.

It was something far worse.

"Holy shit." Seth muttered the words without thinking, a horrified, almost awed tone to his hush voice as he saw the scene. A beam of light was shooting out into the sky like a special move from a videogame. As he watched, eyes widening, the beam of light rapidly expanded, red and blue hues mixing together until it flared upwards through the clouds in a neverending column of light almost too blinding to see. Squeezing his eyes so that only a smidgen of it was left, Seth waited for the light to die off before looking around, blinking rapidly to get the white spots out of his eyes. Leaning his back against a wall, Seth reached up and activated the comm link in his ear.

He winced as a jumble of noise came through the speaker. Reaching his hands up to his ear, Seth rapidly adjusted the volume until it wasn't earshatteringly loud, tension rising through him as he began to make sense of what the other members inside the council were saying on the main channel.

"-did you see that light-"

"-oh my God do you think it was the Order-"

"-Pandora's box might have been found -"

"-the beam of light came from the museum-"

Seth's blood ran cold. His heart stopped.

The museum. The museum, where he was heading to. The museum, where Xander and Dan were. Where his best friend and his best friend's cousin (who was young, so young oh God) was in -

Seth's heart started to pound hard in his chest, beating to the tune of a wardrum.

Stay cool. Stay calm. Think. The words ran ran through his head like a mantra, and Seth clung to it like a drowning man to a lifevest.

He had to think rationally. Max Ackermann, Seth's caretaker and the one who had introduced him to the world of the council, wasn't anywhere near the museum. He was with the other council members planning a stakeout - it had been part of the reason why Seth had been playing carrier boy. His mentor was safe and could defend himself. Xander was tough even if he smiled like a little kid, and Dan had been taking martial arts lessons for years even if he was a scrawny little brat who looked like he couldn't benchpress a bench. They could take care of themselves, even if they were at the heart of the veritable magical crapstorm.

But that wouldn't mean squat if they were caught in the beam of light,
Seth's thoughts whispered, a second voice that cut through the first thought. They can take care of themselves, but against the order with their amulets? Against what they don't know?

Rational. He had to be rational.

Deliberately, he strode over to his bike. The black mountain bicycle had remained miraculously upright despite the quake, and Seth began to unchain it, gritting his teeth with focused determination as he forced his fingers not to tremble and waste precious time. Chain unlocked, bicycle free, Seth took a moment to look and make sure noone was looking at him (they were gaping at the now-gone beam in the sky instead) before he swung his leg over the seat and directed the bicycle towards the direction of the museum, eyes narrowed with determination.

Under his shirt, a small silver winged sneaker charm glowed, and Seth took off like a rocket. Moving so fast he was a blur, Seth cycled past people leaving nothing but wind in his wake. Long brown hair trailing behind him in the slipstream he was making, Seth made it to the museum in seconds (passing through a red wave of energy) and came to a halt with a squeal of rubber, swinging his bicycle in a ninety degrees turn to the right as he braked in front of the museum.

Panting for breath, Seth stared around him for a second, eyes widening as he took in the scene. His jaw dropped. "The hell?!"

The place was pure chaos. Corpses and injured people lied everywhere, the museum was on fire, and alarms mixed in with the screams of the people from the cars that were destroyed like a monster truck rally at opening night. And there were weird monsters - where'd they come from?! - flying around everywhere. Seth ducked as a a half-lion half-eagle hybrid (a griffon, he registered from the back of his mind) flew over his head with a screech only to land on a car a few feet away.

Seth's first thought at seeing the monster probably shouldn't have been a sense pf elation and Hah, knew they existed!

That was quickly demolished when Seth watched the Griffon beginning to squeeze the car roof into crumpled pieces with its clawed feet. A girl who looked no older than 18 scrambled out of the car with a scream, barely dodging the Griffon's jab towards her head. The griffon tried again, but all it did was scratch the girl's arm before she was out of reach, huddling behind an upturned car as she sobbed and clutched her bleeding arm.

Holy fuck, what the hell happened here?

Well, monsters. That was pretty obvious. Also the beam of light. Where they came from, though, could wait. For now, he had to help the survivors - and find Xander and Dan. Shaking off the shock, Seth shot a look back at the girl and his surroundings, noting the area analytically.

The girl was safe. She was running towards a shop filled with people. The guy with the shining hair on the ground a few yards away, however, was not. The glowing hair would probably make a good beacon for the griffons - a bit like saying 'hey, one meal here! Come and get fresh human!' - but so far, dude seemed unharmed. Cycling towards Lightbulb (since his hair was like a glowing light), Seth got off the bike and quickly checked his pulse. No point rescuing a dead person, after all.

Lightbulb was alive, good. "Mr- uh - Dude, can you stand?" Seth asked, reaching out an arm to hoist him up. "Let's get out of here before the birds notice your head."

The setting changes from New York City, United States to Crisis

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Catherine Deckard Character Portrait: Alias Kane Character Portrait: Jan Ziemniak Bartosz

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"Out of the frying pan..."
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Alias Kane
Hex Code: #8B0000
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Alias stayed crouched in the small, burning cafe. He still cradled the girl in his arms, and she showed no sign of waking. Her arm still had a few light spots of blood, and would occasionally glow in an odd purple light. Besides that, she seemed fine. Just a sleeping child.

His thoughts were interrupted when the cafe shook again, raining dust down on his head. Just as the dust settled, a large man dressed in a old, thick jacket walked through the doorway. The massive man carried a blade and a gun, and seemed more than comfortable holding both. When their eyes connected, he began speaking. Unfortunately it was in Polish. Alias' Polish had been rusty before, but in this situation, it was almost nonexistent. The only words Alias managed to catch were "< I am Jan! Are you alone? >"

"Jan, we need to move. My arms are full, I hope you can keep them off me." Then, standing up he added, "We need to get to the next-"

A griffon dropped through the window, sending glass everywhere. It held a squirming body of a businessman in its beak, and whether it he was from within the shop or not didn't really matter anymore, as the only separation they had, the wall-length glass window, was now broken to pieces with an angry flock of griffons just outside.

"Jan move!" Alias ran for the other end of the shop, dodging past several upturned tables and large pieces of rubble. The other end of the shop was in the same state of ruin as the first, but it was notably further from the griffon that had just invited itself for a free meal. Not stopping at the door, Alias reared back, and kicked at the bent metal frame as hard as he could. The door fell off it's hinges and Alias didn't bother looking back before running through.

Outside of the shop, things were worse. Much worse. Griffons still dominated the skies, flying between buildings, snatching up people, and tossing about cars and anything else not nailed down. Cars still littered the street, clustered together and pushed about to form long, winding narrow paths in between the abandoned wreaks. Only hoping Jan was behind him, and able to employ the same tactic, Alias ducked down, keeping his head below the roofs of the cars. Another griffon flew overhead, narrowly missing Alias' head.

Turning past an abandoned yellow taxi, he stopped. Another red wave was bearing down upon the city. It was much faster than the first, reaching the ground in mere moments, tossing cars around once more, nearly crushing him and the girl between the taxi and a red sedan.

He took off again, running past a young man, only for him to get grabbed and hauled into the sky. Spotting a rather pristine flatbed truck ahead of them, he began running towards it, hoping to find cover within, when the truck moved. It jumped, skittered, and twitched. It sparked, and lashed out small bolts of more energy to the nearby cars. The other cars began sparking, and quickly skittered towards the truck, clumping together. Soon more cars and vehicles started picking up, flying over the truck and landing against a faint amalgamation of rubble and cars. The truck soon fell, and like leaves caught in a storm, picked up from the ground, and flew back to a huge roughly human creature. The creature was the size of a building, and stood hunched over, it's massive arms barely dragging on the ground. It had cars and sections of buildings jutting out from it randomly, and as it moved, metal bent, concrete shattered, and plating tore.

The golem walked slowly down the street, each step caving in sections of the road. It turned, diverging into an alley, forcing it's way through the buildings as more rubble and cars followed the creature's path of destruction. With the street suddenly clear, Alias was forced to follow the golem, heading into one of the broken buildings. Water mains were broken, electrical wiring exposed, and vents gaped out of the side of the building, but it was the only safe haven from the griffons.

But before he could clear the distance, a griffon fell to the ground, tearing a path through the pavement as it skidded to the ground. It was clearly wounded, but even after having fallen, it's powerful body twitched, and stood back up. The griffon looked dazed for a moment, before turning towards Alias. Still holding the girl from the museum, he could only hope Jan was behind him, or perhaps something even scarier than that.

He was disarmed, standing before a creature that wouldn't hesitate to kill him.

The griffon roared, and lunged.

The setting changes from Crisis to London, England

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hannah Sylvia Character Portrait: Heather Alexandre

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Heather quickly walked down the road making her way back to the apartment with Hannah on her heels trying to rationalize what they just heard.

β€œHeather, you can’t say you believe the guy. He’s obviously crazy. I’m sure he points out to random people all the time and gives that vague story.” Heather stopped suddenly, making Hannah bump into her. She pulled out her phone and answered it. Hannah waited anxiously until Heather ended the call with a worried expression on her face.

β€œWhat is it? Was that the Council? What’d they want?” Heather faced her friend.

β€œI guess it’s true when they say the people that spout nonsense in the streets are really prophets.”



As the two girls approached London,by car, they listened to the radio while Hannah was watching the News through her phone. What they heard and saw were something out of a movie.

β€œAre the End of Days really upon us?” Hannah asked and Heather remained silent, still listening intently to the updates of what was happening in New York City. There were reports of monsters and earthquakes as well as a large scale storm that seemed to spawn from nowhere.

Heather, absently mindedly, clutched her necklace. She felt like it was the only thing keeping her from losing it at this point. It was a present she had received from her mother and father shortly after the nightmares started. They said it would protect her from the figures that lurked in the darkness. Heather didn’t know if it really did or it was because she believed it did. Either way, the crucifix helped her. At a glance Heather didn’t seem like the faithful type at all. It didn’t reflect in her personality or her speech. Not like some of her other colleagues who were open about their faith. Heather didn’t like bringing in her beliefs outside her room. Faith and the real world didn’t seem to work together too well from what Heather could tell.



When they arrived at Headquarters the place was the busiest the girls had ever seen. The place was in chaos as people rushed about and everyone seemed to be yelling and shouting one thing or another. The two rushed to the briefing room that the other Centuries were to meet in.

It took a little while to rush through the massive building HQ was. Luckily, they made it just in time as they burst through the doors leading to the room. The other Centuries were also taking their seats as well. There were only about seventy-eight which meant the Council was holding the rest for defending. The Grand Century started their briefing, right on time, his booming voice filling the auditorium.

β€œGood morning. I’m Grand Century Allen. As you should all know we have a bit of a conundrum on our hands. Less than an hour ago something wrong happened on American soil. Someone tampered with something that shouldn’t have been tampered with. It seems someone has opened Pandora’s box based on the type of pandemonium that is being reported on the News and by our intel. Of course it falls to us to retrieve that box by any means necessary as well as locating the individual who opened it.

β€œI know not all of you are not trained in the field of combat but nevertheless we will be making our way to America. And, yes, that means six of us Grand Centuries will be going with you as aid. This is not just your fight but ours.” The Grand Century turned on a projector showing photos and various videos of the carnage happening in New York City.

β€œWould our combat Centuries please stand?” About a third of the room stood including Heather and Hannah. β€œI plan on dividing you lot in half. I can’t have all of you going in while leaving the rest. The others should be able to do their jobs without looking over their shoulders. If they can do their jobs then they in turn can, in turn, make you have an easier time with yours. I’ll start by having volunteers to go in first. Those of you that are willing to go in first, step down to the stage.” Heather immediately stood with Hannah standing up right after. Soon there were only nine Centuries that came to the front. After it was apparent that no one else would move the Grand Century continued.

β€œYou have the most important job right now, albeit the toughest. You lot are going in first. You are our front line as well as our raw data collectors. It is risky but you volunteering will not go unnoticed. You all will be taking the first plane traveling to Ground Zero. I’m glad to see Century Heather and Century Hannah once again teaming up. You will be briefed more on your plane ride there as The Council receives more information. We want you going in with as much knowledge as possible. You lot are dismissed to prepare for your departure!” Grand Century Allen saluted as did everyone else inside the auditorium as the nine Centuries exited the room and headed for the locker room to change and stock up on equipment.



β€œSo,” One of the other Centuries spoke up after they were all dressed and heading to the armory. β€œDo we even need flack jackets? I’ve seen some of the monsters there and I don’t think bullet proof vest will do a whole lot against beaks and talons along with god-knows-what that is sprouting that box.”
β€œWe do have The Order to deal with as well.” Hannah said. β€œWho knows if they’re the reason why this happened in the first place or if it was by someone else.” They reached the armory and started grabbing their specialized and standard weapons while Hannah continued. β€œBut I doubt they will sit back and let us look for the box and the person who opened without a fuss. They would be after the same thing, I presume. What do you think, Heather?” Everyone looked towards Heather who was checking over her signature stockless shotgun that had a crucifix dangling from the fore-end.

β€œI ask that we ask the Lord to protect us and see to it that we complete our objectives. I have seen those creatures in a dream and now I know why. I spent years putting up with nightmares and I thought it was just cruel torture.”

β€œHeather? Are you okay?” One of the Centuries asked and Heather seemed to snap out of whatever trance she was in and her usual facial features returned.

β€œSorry. I’m just nervous. I’m sure I can’t be the only one.” There was a slight murmur of agreements among the Centuries. β€œBut we, along with our personally trained platoons, are ready for this.”

The setting changes from London, England to Crisis

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dian Sketski Character Portrait: Seth Ackerman Character Portrait: Xander Rotwood

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"Alright dude, don't worry." Seth looped lightbulb's arms around his shoulders, dragging him to hide behind a car. Looking around rapidly to find a safe area. If there wasn't any, he'd have to ride his bike to a different, hopefully more safer place. "You're gonna be ok..." he muttered anxiously. It was meant to sound comforting, but the words sounded more like Seth trying to convince himself that everything was going to be fine.

I hope Xander and Dan and everyone else are ok...

"Over here!"

Huh? Seth's head swivelled towards the direction of the whispered shout, heart rising with hope at the familiar voice. When he spotted a familiar redhead beckoning to him with a grin, repeating the words 'over here!' again, Seth grinned in relief and ran towards his friend, keeping to sheltered spots and ducking low to avoid the griffin's attention.

It was a bit like playing hide and seek - run towards an upturned truck or car or debris as fast as he could, hide behind it until the coast was clear, then run towards the next obstacle to hide. Rinse and repeat, only this time if Seth lost he'd get eaten up alive by a bunch of monsters. Along the way he collected a crying small boy carrying a teddybear, a pair of young children who looked as if they were siblings and a young woman clutching her ankle and quietly cursing up a storm through gritted teeth as she hid between a truck and a car that were partially collapsed on each other like an upside down V-shaped ramp. Partially storing a couple of new curses to memory, Seth leant down and helped her get seated on the bike, gesturing to the kids behind him.

"Not far now," he whispered encouragingly, gratefully grabbing the scarf the woman offered to him to wrap around Lightbulb's head. It didn't hide the glow completely, but the thick material dulled it enough for it to be less noticeable than before.

They made it there without a hitch, although there were a few close calls. Seth was the last one to enter, hands pulling him in and taking the glowing-haired man to rest with the other afflicted people. He barely had enough time to blink before Xander and Dan were in front of him, squeezing him tight with a hug and entering into a rapidly deteriorating conversation. Closing his eyes, Seth sagged into their arms and hugged them back, allowing himself a moment to unwind as sheer relief soared through him.

His friends were alive.

"Seth! Oh my god I'm so glad you're ok have you seen those eagle monsters-"

"- there was this lightning thing and everything, I thought we were gonna die did you see the beam of ligh-"

"- and they ate her up like a live fish! Swallowed her down and everything -"

Ok, that was enough relaxing. "Alright, chill." Seth said over the two talking to each other. The two ignored him, and Seth winced as their grip on him began to tighten like a vice on a slow to set off beartrap. "Ok guys seriously chill - oof - alright Xander stop squeezing me Dan let go of my stomach-" Seth grimaced as he felt his bones starting to crack and with the last of his breath, smacked Xander's back and wheezed out "Leggo can't breath."

"Ah, right!" Seth staggered as Dan and Xander abruptly let go of him. "Haha, sorry," Xander said, not looking sorry at all. Seth glared at him, but there was no heat in it, and Xander continued to talk as Seth caught his breath, keeping his voice low. "We've been talking with the other survivors, and they're going to be headed towards the subway." He said, gesturing behind him towards the small group of survivors. From what Seth could see, there were around twenty of them in various states of dishevelment. A man with spectacles was tying a strip of cloth around the young woman's ankle while a girl was looking around for more strips of cloth. It wasn't hard to find - they were in a clothes shop.

A partially ruined clothes shop, but still a clothes shop. And Seth couldn't help but realise that Xander was wearing a new black jacket, his old one tied at his waist with the sleeves.

"The subway's probably the safest place right now, since its underground." Xander continued to speak as Seth looked around the shop with a keen eye. "The griffins seem to like to stay above ground - if they enter a shop its only if they want to eat us, and they come out immediately once they've found prey. Otherwise they stay out there," He said, a little too cheerfully for a talk about mythological creatures he hadn't realised existed until a while ago that he'd seen eat people. "Little chance of them entering the subway tunnels. Wanna head there?"

Seth looked up at the ceiling and thought about it.

Nothing else could be accomplished by staying here. It was dangerous, and so the best thing to do would be to head for safe ground. He shrugged, picking up a thick navy jacket that was around his size. Denim was a tough material, it'd serve him well. His other jacket could be used as a pillow or blanket once they reached their destination.

"Sure," he said, shrugging. Beside him, Dan gave a sigh of relief. "Why not?"

The setting changes from Crisis to New York City, United States

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Catherine Deckard Character Portrait: Alias Kane

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"What's hapening to me?"
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Catherine Deckard
Hex Code: #191970
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Catherine opened her eyes.

She couldn't believe them. She was lying down in the middle of a street, desecrated with rubble and bodies. Fires scattered between broken buildings, an old ruined reminder of a city she seemingly only faintly recognized. She didn't have time to focus on the land as a much more frightening sight stared her down.

A massive creature, with the powerful body of a lion and head of an eagle stared at her, roaring. The griffon, reared back only to cry out in pain. A gunshot rang out, blood shooting from it's eye, beginning to stain it's stone gray plumage. It squawked again, turning towards the source of the shot.

A man in a lightly tattered suit stood, hunched over a fallen cop. It was the man from the museum, -The museum. It all came back to her at once. The man, the museum, the light. . . the box.

"Don't just lay there! Run!" His words were followed with him leaping over a small concrete barricade, taking another shot at the griffon, and tearing off into a ruined alleyway.

The griffon gave chase, flapping its powerful wings, pressing up against the buildings. Catherine picked herself up, turning to look away from the monster. Behind her, a small opening led down a set of stairs, to a heavy metal doorway. Whatever the hell was happening here, she felt that it would be safer to both be below ground, and on the other side of that door.

She ran towards the door, not bothering to look back. She tripped and stumbled over a pile of rubble, and she could hear the griffon behind her divert it's attention back to her. She threw on as much speed as she could. The sound of it's powerful body leaping closer and closer, it's beak snapping closer and closer behind her. She reached the open doorway throwing herself inside, feeling the beak snap just behind her neck.

Flipping around, she saw the griffon trying to force it's head through the door. She pulled herself backwards, raising an arm in defense. Her forearm began to glow. The griffon's head pressed closer. The glow intensified, flashing as a bolt of pure energy, lancing out to the griffon. It recoiled immediately roaring back in pain. Catherine took the moment to leap up, slamming the heavy door closed, latching it shut just in time to hear low heavy thuds of an angry griffon desperately trying to get in.

Taking the moment of silence and calm, she fell back against the wall, looking down at her arm. In the center of her hand, burned through her palm and her skin were large black markings, almost matching the ones she saw on the golden box. She could feel something pulsing beneath her skin, it felt like fire and ice, twisting just under the surface.

She flexed her arm, pointing her palm towards a small pile of boxes.

Nothing happened.

Sighing, she lay there in the darkness. Trying to keep calm as the heavy realization of the destroyed world, her world, her home, and the thousands of lives lost.

"What the hell happened?"

Something was happening, not only to her, but to the world around her. And from the way things looked, it was gonna get a thousand times worse before it got any better.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ormand LeFey

0.00 INK

Ormand LeFey looked pleased.

It was a look that hardly ever crossed his face nowadays. Everything was falling almost perfectly in his favor. Sure, the dreaded Council was on it's way, but they would have to cross the Atlantic, and who knows what could happen before they arrived. Hopefully, he would know, and be able to keep things under control. He could only hope that the others in his command felt the same.

After all, this was the goal they had been striving for, since long before even he could remember.

His brow furrowed as the building shook lightly, the deep rumble passing through and jostling the instruments around him. While he was more than excited to see the council realize it's true goal, he would have been lying had he not claimed the creatures were a surprise. He definitely hadn't imagined victory to involve so many... horrors wondering the streets. It was troubling, but it only required a slight change of plans.

Their primary objective stayed the same: claim the box, and use it as a conduit for it's raw power, and as a catalyst for that change. Studies on the fragments of rocks excavated from ruins where the legendary "Pandora's Box" was said to be kept had shown some kind of new energy, not following traditional rules of science. Of course, they expected this, and so did the Council perhaps, as both of them seemed to have found the same random scribbles of ages past, calling the "magic" Animus, and even dubbing those capable of using it naturally as warlocks, mages, or even gods.

Of course, all of the magic seemed to vanish, presumably when the box was closed last, and the magicians, witches, and gods seemed to fade away. Now they had the tangible proof it was all true, unfortunately, none of the stories, myths, and legends could have prepared him for the horde of creatures on rampage outside of his office. But, as Ormand always knew, control was key. So, he changed a few plans to include capture devices, forming several task forces, all of which with the ever important objective of securing a handful of specimens for study. At the moment, all the teams carried traditional containment units, until the better devices and tech taken from the Council in one of the many raids and skirmishes could be found, and applied here.

A small beep sounded from a screen nearby. It flickered to life, revealing the gritty image of one of his more decorated and higher-ranking officials. He was still geared with rifles, kevlar plating, and whatever other ammunition and armements they had been able to spare.

"Sir."

His voice was cut through with the sounds of gunfire, shouting, and everything was laced with static.

"Status report, officer."

"Checkpoints set up in each of the locations listed. Troop movements have been slowed due to creature movement, but after a brief re-organization period, we plan to head towards the museum and begin searching for the Box."

"Good." LeFey leaned back in his chair. "And the survivors?"

"Alias Kane was last seen running down a street, travelling with a girl."

"What's the connection?"

"Unknown Sir. In the surveillance images gathered before a large quantity of cameras in the surrounding area were destroyed, she was seen... pulsating with an odd light. We believe her to be somehow connected to the energy storm, and the Box. Vix, Kane's associate, is hidden out somewhere nearby, but we are unable to locate him."

Pursing his lips, LeFey asked the one question he hoped to hear good news on. "And the troops, how are they faring?"

"The men are stable, with a good amount of munitions stocked up and ready. Morale is low, due to the sudden arrival of creatures. But, now with the checkpoints set up, we were able to rest and resupply, and we are ready to move out, only awaiting orders Sir."

"Send as many teams as you deem necessary to secure the Box. Anyone left over will be sent after the survivors aware of us. Kill Kane and Vix, the girl if you must. But, if you are capable, bring her in for study."

"Yes Sir."

"And officer-"

"Yes Sir?"

"Begin the Second Phase. Should the Council arrive, destroy as much evidence as you can, they will not be allowed to discover our ambitions."

"Yes Sir."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Catherine Deckard Character Portrait: Alias Kane

0.00 INK

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"So many lives lost."
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Catherine Deckard
Hex Code: #191970
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Image
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"What do you mean, 'don't worry'? It's been hours!"

Tyler's voice came through the phone. "Yeah, I know. I had forgotten my phone back at our apartment." She sounded exhausted.

"You're back at the apartment!?"

"No, not anymore. The place was crawling with... things."

"Yeah, I know what you mean. The skies over here were full of them."

"Where are you now?"

"Shut-away, in some old subway line or something. I didn't bother to get up, my body's been aching too much. Unlike you I don't have any family here to worry about."

"Had."

"What?"

"Had family. I was at my Uncle's shop when this all hit. He's gone Cath."

"Oh my god. . . I'm so sorry. Where are you now?"

"Holed-up in an old warehouse, just past that deli you got food-poisoning from."

"That's not a lot to go on, but I'll make my way there. Hopefully without running into anymore creatures."

"Hey Cath?"

"Yeah?"

"Stay safe."

The call ended.

Catherine stood up, stretching. The world outside was being reduced to rubble, yet she still felt oddly complacent. Maybe it was the shock, the adrenaline, the energy in her body, or all four, but up until the call from Tyler, she had been fairly content with lying in the grit and grime of the subway.

Reinvigorated with a sense of purpose, she set down the set of stairs before her, descending further into the darkness. Confused, she squinted in the darkness. She was certain she had at least seen some light down here before. But now, it was almost pitch. Reaching an old gate, she walked past the iron door, before tripping and falling to the ground.

Pushing herself up, she looked at what tripped her. In the low-light, all she could see was a rough, weirdly shaped black thing. Then, her eyes were drawn to a faint dim glow in the darkness. A flashlight pointing towards the floor. Snatching it, Catherine looked back only to stifle a scream.

The thing that had tripped her was a body. The burned and broken corpse of a fallen security guard. His body was completely charred in some places, burnt to a black husk. His face was twisted in a state of perpetual agony as he reached towards the door.

He had died escaping something.

Chilled, Catherine turned away from the man. Wherever she was, it had suffered from serious fire damage. The ground was burned away, and embers dimly burned around her. The landing was completely empty, save for the guard lying near the gate. Crossing the short distance to the wall, Catherine came to a map, planning her route towards the warehouse. Peering over the edge of the landing, she stared into the darkness, searching for the two pinpoints of light of a train.

Only darkness.

It wasn't a far drop down to the rails, but it was far enough to give Catherine pause. She hopped down onto the track, making sure to keep the flashlight in hand. Checking the sign back at the top of the platform, she set off into the darkness. The ground crunched beneath her footsteps, the evidence of fires grew more frequent, and despite the burning embers around her, she felt cold.

Another light tremor rattled through the tunnel. The sounds of falling dust gave way to a different sound; moving rock. It sounded like stones scraping together, and persisted until it began to sound like something clawing through concrete. Then, just at the edge of her vision, Catherine saw something. In the middle of the tunnel, directly before her lie a small crater, embers and coals glowing and burning around. The sound of cracking rock shook through the tunnel as deep jagged lines broke through the crater, and flames began to slither from the embers, glowing with a sinister flare in the darkness.

In the very center of the crater, the concrete shifted. Then it shuddered. And finally it exploded open, revealing a sleek black body with burning slits of fire for eyes erupting through the rock. In a matter of seconds, the head and body of the creature had emerged from the ground, looking almost canine.

The hound burst through the rest of the rock, sparking more flame from the embers. It had long, needle-like teeth, and seemed to smolder hatred. Catherine found herself unable to look away from the creature. Then it looked over at her. It gave a deep, guttural bark, and soon enough, more points of the crater began to start falling away.

The bark stirred Catherine from her stupor. With no other choice, she turned and ran back down the tunnel. Looking back, she saw several of the burning, black dogs, each running after her with impressive speed.

A second rumbling began in front of her. Looking back down the tunnel, she saw two pinpoints of light, rapidly speeding towards her. The ruble grew into a muted roar before shifting into an echoed screech of rails and roar of wind. The light from the oncoming train bathed Catherine as she ran directly for the side of the tunnel. A narrow walkway between the tracks and the wall raised up before her.

Leaping as high as she could, she quickly clambered up to the top of the walkway before the train rocketed past, obliterating the hellhounds.

When the train finally past, she looked back down on the tracks, to see several small burning spots of ash and ember. Only, a faint shimmer hung in the air around the burning piles. Soon, the disturbance began to spiral upwards, almost like a smoke, before crossing the distance of the tunnel, and drilling straight into her arm.

The marking burned into her hand glowed, as she felt the now almost familiar burn of electricity underneath her skin. She flinched, holding her arm out, waiting for something to happen. But nothing happened. No sparks, no light, nothing.

Sighing, she calmed herself, and began walking down the tunnel again. When she came to the crater, she found the train. It was demolished. Derailed from the crater, it lay in a burning crumpled mess. Nobody seemed to be left inside. Gingerly walking around, she traveled until she came to the next platform, where she crawled up and onto.

Then the sound of footsteps descending the down to the subway pierced through the eerie silence.

The steps were quick, and in no time at all, a figure emerged from the light of the staircase.

It was the man from the museum.

"Hey kid. You alright?"

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New York City, United States

New York City, United States by Klockwork0reo

New York, New York, a name so nice, you can say it twice. The birthplace of the Aniform Creatures

London, England

London, England by Klockwork0reo

Home of the Houses of Parliament, and more importantly, the Council's HQ.

Crisis

Crisis by Klockwork0reo

The world is burning. Can you hear it?

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New York City, United States

New York City, United States by Klockwork0reo

New York, New York, a name so nice, you can say it twice. The birthplace of the Aniform Creatures

London, England

London, England by Klockwork0reo

Home of the Houses of Parliament, and more importantly, the Council's HQ.

Crisis

Crisis by Klockwork0reo

The world is burning. Can you hear it?

New York City, United States

New York, New York, a name so nice, you can say it twice. The birthplace of the Aniform Creatures

Crisis

The world is burning. Can you hear it?

London, England

Home of the Houses of Parliament, and more importantly, the Council's HQ.

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