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Jayce Ericson

"Wait, I'm the chosen one? Really?! Did you read that prophecy right?"

0 · 394 views · located in Earth

a character in “Blood & Fire”, as played by SugarNspikeS

Description

Jayce Ericson
age 26
5'8", 150 lbs, black hair, green eyes, dresses in black and emo fashion.
Human

Image


While in Antarctica, a cataclysmic event threw the world into chaos and in the process was transported into the future where the effects of this event have been disastrous. The world is now overrun by vampires and little does Jayce know that he holds the key to waking the Dragon Mages, the only ones that can stop the vampires.

So begins...

Jayce Ericson's Story

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Drip, drip, drip. Right in the center of Jayce’s forehead. Something was leaking, dripping and hitting Jayce right above his nose in the center of his forehead. Startled, he bolted upright and instantly regretted it. His head was spinning like he had the worst hangover of all time, his arms and legs were tingling as if they had fallen asleep and his eyes were struggling to focus in the dim light. He was finally able to concentrate and focus on the world around him, but he couldn’t remember what had happened to him no matter how hard he tried. The last thing he remembered was his editor asking if he wanted to go to the South Pole with a group of scientists and he accepted the offer, then everything was blank.

Jayce scanned the room for any clue as to where he was or what happened to him. He was sitting on a pile of broken wood that looked like it was once a desk judging by the computer and phone that were by his side. The room looked like an office as he looked left to right and all the lights were off, but a pale grey light seemed to be emanating from behind him and barely illuminating the room. More confusing was the fact that he was dressed in a big, black fluffy parka, snow pants and heavy duty boots like those that mountain climbers use. He looked up to see a broken pipe sticking out of the ceiling right above the desk he was sitting on and it was then that he realized that a large chunk of the building was missing from the side behind him. He stood up and carefully walked to the edge of the floor. He looked out into the distance and saw the skeletal structure of the Space Needle. He was in Seattle or what was left of it. Decaying buildings peered out above the tops of small trees and all the roads of the city had disappeared beneath underbrush. He could see the occasional car where the streets should be, but for the most part the city was being reclaimed by nature.
“What the fuck happened?” He muttered as he looked out of the missing wall of the building onto the wasteland that lied before him. “How the hell did I end up in Seattle? What the fuck happened to Seattle?” He questioned without expecting a response. He instantly reached into his pocket to grab his phone. He pulled it out only to find the screen looked like it had burned up from the inside and the thing wouldn’t turn on. He chucked it out into wilderness in anger. He desperately checked the computers and the phones on every desk in the office only to find all the phones dead and all the computers wouldn’t turn on. Frustrated he went to the missing wall in a rage. “What the hell is going on?!” He yelled at the top of his lungs. The noise startled a few birds in the nearby trees who all few away squawking. He saw rustling in the underbrush below and a bolt of fear went through his whole body. What had he just done? Did his cry of frustration just lure a predator right to him? Could it get to him up there on the third floor?

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Character Portrait: Jayce Ericson Character Portrait: Brandon Lamont
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Jayce backed away from the missing wall and felt a rush of wind blow past him. He turned around and saw a young man standing just a few feet away. He was cute, his skin was pale yet flawless, his hair was a golden sandy blonde color, he was a few inches taller and hanging his head down, the black hoodie and his long hair covering his face.
“Well, well, what do we have here? It seems one of the sheep has strayed from the rest of the flock. That’s not very wise, given that the Big Bad Wolf has already eliminated Bo Peep.” The man smiled a creepy smile, revealing a set of razor sharp teeth. “Curious, though, little sheep, why would you be wearing such an outfit? The nearest mountain is miles away.” He said as he swaggered up next to Jayce running a finger along his parka. “And these lovely clothes, in such pristine condition, not a rip or tear, not a thread out of place, where did you get them?”
“Um, I’m pretty sure I bought them?” He replied nervously.
“Bought them? Now that’s a term I haven’t heard in a long time. So what did these fine threads cost you? A cow? A goat? A few chickens? A tiny little lamb?”
“I bought these with money, well a credit card, but I didn't trade anything for them, except about 175 dollars of hard earned cash.”
“Credit card? Dollars? Oh my, I’m so sorry.” His tone suddenly changing to a serious one. “And they call us monsters. Another one of the mentally challenged sent into the wilderness to die because you’re too much of a burden on your family. Well, I’m not going give them the satisfaction, consider yourself saved.”
“Look, blondie, I think you got a few signals crossed. First, I’m not mentally challenged. Second, I have no family, my parents died in a car crash when I was twelve and I was only child. I bounced from foster home to foster home until I hit 18 and moved out on my own.”
“Car crash? Oh my poor little sheep. Look, you should be just as outraged by this as I am. This is a terrible way to treat people and there aren't many out there who would show the restraint I am. So why don’t you go back to your village or colony or whatever, and tell them to show a little dignity by sending me some decent prey.” The blonde guy walked into the shadows of the hall, there was another rush of wind and the guy was gone.
Jayce looked back out to the city and saw more rustling in the underbrush. “Seriously, what the fuck is going on?” He asked himself a little more quietly.

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Character Portrait: Jayce Ericson Character Portrait: Brandon Lamont Character Portrait: Margrethe Vidardottir Character Portrait: Violet Searcy
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It was at this moment that Brandon was glad he had been honest about the family of bears he had seen earlier that morning.
“Surely you’re aware that predator blood is among the sweetest and most prized for our kind. The dilemma lies in the fact that most predators are not so easy to take down and so the blood must be shared among those who help. Luckily, there were three of these bears by the water front and, if we take them down one at a time, there will be plenty of blood for the three of us.” He smiled convincingly and his increasing hunger added to the believability of his plea. “Of course I wouldn’t normally be so generous with my food, but I recently had a falling out with the group that turned me an arrogantly called themselves my family. We had a disagreement about the morals of feeding on the mentally ill. They are no longer an issue thanks to an axe and a bonfire, but now I’m without anyone to help me in my hunting. That is unless you fine ladies join me in my hunt. If not, I guess that’s just more bear for me.”
Brandon turned in the direction of the water front. He closed his eyes and let his sense of smell take over. He barely was able to catch the scent of the bear family and another predator slightly closer. He took in another deep breath and identified the scent as belonging to bobcat. “Ooo! By the smell of it there’s a kitty nearby as well.” He taunted. “So you ladies coming with, or am I dining alone?”

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Jayce made his way down the dilapidated stairs of the office building, nearly falling through in some places due to wood rot and termites. He made it to the front door and was barely able to pushed it open with all his weight due to the rusted hinges. Now that he was out of the building, he had no idea where to go from there. He looked around but was barely able to recognize the street he was on due to the overgrowth of plant life. Luckily, he’d grown up in Seattle and knew the city well, or at least what the city used to be. He felt a slight breeze coming from the direction of the ocean he could swear he heard a whispered voice in it. He closed his eyes to concentrate. “Go to the playground.” The whisper spoke in his ear. He was sure he was going crazy, but nothing about this day seemed real so he just went with it. “The playground?” he thought for a second trying to figure out what that meant. Then it made sense, which scared him even more. “The one near the house I grew up in.” He walked along the remains of the sidewalk until he saw an old street sign he could read. “So I’m on fifth avenue, so I need to go North to get to Kerry Park.” He headed off in the direction of the Space Needle and he knew that the park wasn’t much farther, unfortunately, it was going to be mostly uphill in an area he could barely recognize.

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Character Portrait: Jayce Ericson Character Portrait: Brandon Lamont Character Portrait: Margrethe Vidardottir Character Portrait: Violet Searcy Character Portrait: Setsuna Starwind
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Brandon’s ears perked as he shifted his senses from focusing on food to self-preservation. He heard the other vamp that coming from the direction of the human that he was trying to discretely save, and he hoped that the other vampire hadn’t already gotten to him. An uneasy feeling washed over him as he heard the footsteps of the mystery vampire moving in closer and for some reason moving slowly, as though they were injured.
“We should definitely go.” Brandon replied with a razor edge of fear in his words. “Something doesn’t feel right and another mouth to share with doesn’t sound too appealing to me. I think we should head down to the water front, there’s an aquarium nearby where we can lay low. We can wait until it the other vamp leaves and then I should still be able to track the bears back to their den.”

____________________________________________________________________________________

Jayce went past an old mansion and tried to remember who had once owned it. He remembered hearing a story about how man who lived there was some sort of eccentric collector who had a huge collection coffins that he had imported from all over the world, supposedly his family were all vampire hunters or some crazy thing like that and all the coffins were supposed to have sleeping vampires in them that they were guarding. Jayce laughed at the thought, even if vampires were real, the likelihood that they would actually sleep in coffins was very low.
He suddenly heard a rustling behind him and he felt as though he was being watched. The wind blew past his ears and he heard the same whispering voice he had earlier. “Get off the streets. Get to the park.” The whisper spoke. He continued with following the voice in the wind by getting off the main street and continuing up the hill, darting into the woods and fields when he could find them. And following the instructions of the wind.

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Character Portrait: Jayce Ericson Character Portrait: Philip Harris
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Despite the increased wildlife since the fall of civilisation, it was often hard to find food within city limits. The place crawled with vampires. They came out of the woodwork as soon as they smelled food. Philip had learned to hide his scent with dirt and paint– not the most hygienic of disguises, perhaps, but one had to make do. Desperate times, and that.

Philip rested his legs on the edge of a derelict building, balancing his weight on a beam. He looked out on the town below. A few days ago he had spotted a fox family near here, but they had been cleared out or had moved on. He had been out here all morning: soon it would be time to head back. He knew of a few snake nests on the way. It wasn't optimal but it was better than nothing.

Deciding on this course of action, he slid down from the beam and made his way to the remains of the street. From there it wasn't far to the hill, where the scattered patches of woods and fields were perfect for snakes to hide. He unhooked the strange weapon from his back, sort of a sledgehammer-meets-bayonet, and stalked across the terrain to the place where he knew there were multiple rocks the snakes could hide under. As he was about to reach the woods, however, a noise caught his attention.

Something was moving in the area– not nearly quick enough to be a vampire. Philip pushed his lips together, approaching the sound as silently as he could. Perhaps he wouldn't be having snakes for dinner after all?

Finally he came close enough to the source to pounce of the woods, sledgehammer raised, ready to bear down on his prey– and then he noticed the human face, and swung his weapon out of the way.

"Fuck!" He put the sledgehammer behind him, taking a step back. "Oh man, I'm sorry– I'm so sorry, I thought–"

He paused, looking at the man in front of him. He was arguably a few years older than Philip, with a surprisingly clean face. Then there was his clothes. "Say," he said. "Where did you come from? That's one hell of a jacket you've got."

Having said this, he had a quick look around them, as though the answers would be given by the trees.

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Character Portrait: Jayce Ericson Character Portrait: Philip Harris
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Jayce was making his way through the woods and he saw a clearing up ahead. He could see it was a small meadow with a lot of tall grass. He heard a rustling so faint he assumed it was just a small animal, that was until the young man came flying at him from behind with a sledge hammer-looking thing drawn and ready to swing. He turned at just the right moment to startle the guy and he choked up on his swing.
"Fuck!" He put the sledgehammer behind him, taking a step back. "Oh man, I'm sorry– I'm so sorry, I thought–"
The young man paused and seemed to scrutinize Jayce, looking him over and mirroring the confused look he was sure was on his own face.
"Say," he said. "Where did you come from? That's one hell of a jacket you've got."
“My name’s Jayce. I’m from here …well I’m from Seattle that is. I grew up here, if you can call the foster system in this state growing up. But I turned my life around and got a job as a photographer for Scientific Explorer magazine. I remember getting my last assignment, but I don’t remember what happened when I got to the South Pole. I’m pretty sure that’s why I’m still wearing my parka here.” He motioned to the thick coat he was wearing, suddenly realizing it was starting to get really warm in that coat. He unzipped it and noticed he still had his two cameras hanging around his neck. “See?” he said as he held one of them up for him to look at. “Photographer. But it looks like this thing has become as useless as my cell phone.” He said before throwing the cameras into the bushes. There was a hint of worry in Jayce’s voice because the guy didn’t seem to understand what he was talking about and his expression seemed to become more and more confused the more Jayce talked. He’d already had one run-in today with a weirdo who seemed to think Jayce was crazy and he wasn’t sure he was making an impression that was any better on this guy.

“So, what exactly happed here anyway? The last time I was here, the city was bustling, the streets were still streets and there was even terrible traffic. I barely recognize the place now.” He spoke as the young man continued to look at him as though he were crazy.
Jayce took a second to look the guy over. He had a unique hair style, it was as black as his own. He was just a little taller, but skinnier and, judging by the skull painted on his face, he had a flare for the gothic and darker side of fashion. His clothes, however, didn’t exactly make the same statement. They just seemed to be a bunch of old tattered rags, maybe a few furs it looked like, and they were all very earthy colors like dark browns, black and dark greens. He even had some old sports pads on, not that Jayce could tell what sport they were from. What little skin was showing was either covered in paint of some kind or thick layers of dirt. But there was something about him that reassured Jayce. He felt the breeze blow across his ears again, rustling the dying fall leaves in the trees. “Trust the boy, he knows the way.”
“Ok, seriously did you hear that too, or am I actually going insane here?” He asked, not helping his attempts at appearing sane.

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Character Portrait: Jayce Ericson Character Portrait: Philip Harris
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“My name’s Jayce. I’m from here …well I’m from Seattle that is. I grew up here, if you can call the foster system in this state growing up. But I turned my life around and got a job as a photographer for Scientific Explorer magazine. I remember getting my last assignment, but I don’t remember what happened when I got to the South Pole. I’m pretty sure that’s why I’m still wearing my parka here.”

Philip narrowed his eyes, trying to understand what the guy was telling him, but there were a lot of words he had no recollection of hearing before. He was talking about assignments, though, so he was probably some sort of harvester. Perhaps he belonged to another colony in Seattle, but had strayed over to their territory in his search. Jayce opened up his jacket, showing him two black, kind of rectangular devices.

“See? Photographer. But it looks like this thing has become as useless as my cell phone.”

"Oh, well, I don't know what those are," Philip admitted, "but we've got some technology buffs back at the colony if you–" but the guy had already chucked them into the bush. "Or we could not do that, that's fine."

“So, what exactly happened here anyway? The last time I was here, the city was bustling, the streets were still streets and there was even terrible traffic. I barely recognize the place now.”

Philip raised an eyebrow. "You mean this part of town? I mean, depends on when you were last here, I guess. I mean you seem to be a little older than me, but as far as I know it's always looked like this." He shrugged, fastening his sledgehammer behind his back. Even if Jayce decided to attack him, he was fairly certain he could take him in a fistfight.

“Ok, seriously did you hear that too, or am I actually going insane here?”

Philip paused, listening for anything in the wind. "Uh, nothing in particular I have to say," he said. "But there's a lot of weird stuff around here to be fair. If you hear anything that sounds like food though, let me know."

He gave a half-smile, trying not to look embarrassed. "I haven't exactly been at the top of my game lately, and you know how it is. Food doesn't grow on trees. Are you tired though? I'm beat. I've been scavenging downtown all day, my paint's starting to itch. I don't know where your colony is, but mine isn't far from here and I'm sure Lance won't mind if you wanna catch some z's before going home. Humans gotta stick together, you know– it's no good if we start fighting each other over territory."

He started moving towards the park, snakes completely forgotten. "Oh, hey, you could ask Lance about how the area's changed too, you know. He's mega old, not like vampire old, but still, for a human it's pretty damn impressive." Philip turned, looking at Jayce. "What do you think?"

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Character Portrait: Jayce Ericson Character Portrait: Philip Harris
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Jayce watched as the young man paused and listened, he wasn’t sure if the guy was just humoring him or genuinely thought there was something making noise nearby.
"Uh, nothing in particular I have to say," he said. "But there's a lot of weird stuff around here to be fair. If you hear anything that sounds like food though, let me know."

He gave a half-smile, trying not to look embarrassed. Jayce couldn’t help but smile back, even in the dirt and face paint Jayce could tell this guy was cute. "I haven't exactly been at the top of my game lately, and you know how it is. Food doesn't grow on trees. Are you tired though? I'm beat. I've been scavenging downtown all day, my paint's starting to itch. I don't know where your colony is, but mine isn't far from here and I'm sure Lance won't mind if you wanna catch some z's before going home. Humans gotta stick together, you know– it's no good if we start fighting each other over territory."
The two of them started walking toward Kerry park, the very place the wind had been directing him to go. "Oh, hey, you could ask Lance about how the area's changed too, you know. He's mega old, not like vampire old, but still, for a human it's pretty damn impressive." Philip turned, looking at Jayce. "What do you think?"
This was a lot to take in and he didn’t understand a lot of it. “Well, I’m not really tired, but I am a little confused. What do you mean by colony? And what do you mean by vampire? Like blood drinking immortal killers?” Jayce asked. “But if you think this Lance guy can help to explain things a little better, by all means let’s go see him.” As the two walked toward the park Jayce looked out over the city from the hill. The whole city looked like there had been a mass evacuation and the place had crumbled and was reclaimed by nature. It was finally starting to click for him, the way the place looked, the strange things people were saying to him, the way they didn’t understand what he was saying. He looked at the young man ahead of him taking a minute to stare admire his unique beauty before asking him “Hey… um I’m sorry I didn’t catch your name. This is gonna sound a little strange, but what year is it?”

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Character Portrait: Jayce Ericson Character Portrait: Philip Harris
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“Well, I’m not really tired, but I am a little confused. What do you mean by colony? And what do you mean by vampire? Like blood drinking immortal killers? But if you think this Lance guy can help to explain things a little better, by all means let’s go see him.”

Philip paused as Jayce looked out across the city, processing what had just been said. He'd thought the guy was odd from before, but not knowing what a colony was? He supposed it was possible that Jayce was a loner, possibly raised on the outside of human colonies– or the even simpler explanation, which was that his colony just didn't use that word to describe themselves. Philip didn't know how they did things at the South Pole, wherever that was, but it seemed doubly odd that they would have a different word for vampires. It was, however, the only reasonable explanation he could come up with.

He stared out at the city alongside Jayce. With the exception of a few natural disasters, there had been few things to cause massive change to the city over the years that Philip had lived there. He thought back to what Jayce had said earlier, about the city bustling with life– recognisable streets and terrible traffic. In the twenty years he'd lived here, at least from what he could remember of those years, Seattle had looked nothing like what Jayce described. Was the boy simply confused, or was there something else?

"Lance can probably describe it better," he said at length. "I mostly focus on the hunting– I leave all the wordy stuff to other people."

Regardless of what was going on, Philip decided, it was clear that Jayce needed his help. The help of the colony, if he could convince them. The easily confused rarely lasted long by themselves in this town. He looked back, realising that Jayce was looking at him.

“Hey… um I’m sorry I didn’t catch your name. This is gonna sound a little strange, but what year is it?”

"It's Philip," he said. He made a thoughtful face, "As for the year, it's been a while since I've kept tabs, but... I'm guessing we're at about year 80 now? Probably a little over."

He looked out ahead, seeing the place where the colony entrance was hidden not far away. "Oh, we're nearly there! Come on, I'll get you some food." He sped up towards the entrance.

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Character Portrait: Jayce Ericson Character Portrait: Lance "Elder" Mason Character Portrait: Philip Harris
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“Year 80?! It was 2018 the before I… well whatever happened to me. So the years got reset about 80 years ago, I’m guessing that was when the cause of all this” Jayce gestured to the city. “Happened. So I was right, I somehow traveled into the future, but how and why?”
The two of them continued walking to the what looked like an overgrown mass of blackberry bushes and shrubs. That was until the gates opened and an old looking man came to greet them at the entrance.

______________________________________________________________________________

Lance was watching from one of the lookout points near the entrance to the colony. He had an old pair of binoculars that he used to see Phillip approaching the entrance and he had someone else in tow. The other person was wearing some strange clothes. He tried to focus a little better and he got a glimpse of the other guy’s face. He dropped the binoculars. “It can’t be…” he gasped. He went to his shack and grabbed an old looking clay cylinder from under his bed. He took the lid off and pulled out an ancient piece of papyrus and unrolled it. He looked at it and studied the picture sketched on it before he put it into his pocket. He ran down to the entrance of the colony and waited for Philip and the other person to come through the camouflaged gate.

“Well, now I see what was taking you so long. Since when do we take in strays?” Lance said trying to maintain his composure until he was certain. “So who’s the stranger in the weird clothes?”

“My name’s Jayce.” He replied before Phillip had a chance to respond. “Sorry if I’m intruding, I seem to be a little displaced and Phillip here generously offered to get me some food.”

“Yeah, about the food, where exactly is the food that you were supposed to be getting for the colony? Wildlife can’t be that hard to find these days.” Lance asked.

“That was partially my fault as well. He thought I was wildlife at first and almost killed me had it not been for his quick reflexes, and from that point I kind of distracted him with questions and that’s when he brought me here.”

“You said you were displaced, by any chance were you kicked out of your colony for being such a trouble maker?” Lance asked sarcastically.

“With all due respect, I doubt you’d believe me if I told you. Hell, I’m not even sure I believe what happened to me and the details are still a little fuzzy.” Jayce snapped back.

“Let me guess, you were thrown forward in time and have no idea what happened to the world you once knew and now you’re seriously worried about how you’re going to survive in this world?” Lance rattled off.

“What… How… How did you know?” Jayce gasped in shock.

“So it’s true you are the chosen one. The clothes, your face, it all matches perfectly.”

“What matches? What are you talking about?”

“This.” Lance replied as he pulled out the papyrus showing it to Jayce and Phillip. There on the ancient piece of paper was a sketch of Jayce, the detail was intricate and looked exactly like him right down to the parka and hair style.

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Character Portrait: Jayce Ericson Character Portrait: Lance "Elder" Mason Character Portrait: Philip Harris
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“Year 80?! It was 2018 the before I… well whatever happened to me. So the years got reset about 80 years ago, I’m guessing that was when the cause of all this” Jayce gestured to the city. “Happened. So I was right, I somehow traveled into the future, but how and why?”

Philip raised an eyebrow. They were practically at the gates now, and he was still formulating an answer in his head when they were met by Lance at the door. The old man had an expression on his face indicating the two of them were in trouble, so Philip braced himself for the impact.

“Well, now I see what was taking you so long. Since when do we take in strays?”

He was ready for him, ready to bite back with a remark, but Jayce was quicker. Philip's anger dissipated when Jayce spoke, and he couldn't help to look at him with fondness. A lot of people would have left him to fend for himself, but despite his confusion, Jayce seemed adamant to make sure Lance knew the full story– even defending him when Lance questioned the lack of food. Even so, Philip couldn't help but to wonder if there was something else going on, though. Lance's questions had a certain edge to them. It wasn't unusual for him to scold Philip if he failed, but it seemed as though he'd expected Jayce to reply instead. As though he was trying to get information out of the man.

"By any chance were you kicked out of your colony for being such a trouble maker?"

"Lance, come on, man–" Philip started, but Jayce was having none of it.

“With all due respect, I doubt you’d believe me if I told you. Hell, I’m not even sure I believe what happened to me and the details are still a little fuzzy.”

"He's still confused, and he's had a rough day, can we just not–" but Philip's remarks fell on deaf ears once again.

“Let me guess, you were thrown forward in time and have no idea what happened to the world you once knew and now you’re seriously worried about how you’re going to survive in this world?”

"You what?" How the hell had Lance known about Jayce's time travel theory?

“So it’s true you are the chosen one. The clothes, your face, it all matches perfectly.”

Chosen one? Philip facepalmed with a groan.

"Oh God, not this again. Lance, seriously."

He'd heard Lance speak of the prophecy before. Though Philip was never personally interested in the scrolls that the old man surrounded himself with, he still had to admit that the idea was sound enough. It kept hope among some of the people in the colony, that the world wouldn't remain the way it was for all eternity. Philip knew better than that, though. The only way to defeat the vampires was through hard work and a unification of colonies– something they couldn't expect to get done for at least another eighty years. Letting someone think they were the chosen one was just a step too far. Looking up at the scroll, though, he had to admit there was an uncanny resemblance between Jayce and the old drawing. But it was all too impossible.

Even vampires had a reasonable explanation. This? It was like believing in magic.

"Can you chill for like, fifty seconds? What, did you draw that as you saw us coming up the hill or something?"

He looked between the two. Jayce looked about ready to believe the old man, but then Jayce probably would have believed that it rained frogs on Wednesdays at this point.

"I can't believe you," he said. "Did you spot the first tired, confused stranger you've been able to get your hands on for a while and decide to confuse him even further? Unbelievable."

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Character Portrait: Jayce Ericson Character Portrait: Lance "Elder" Mason Character Portrait: Philip Harris
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"Can you chill for like, fifty seconds? What, did you draw that as you saw us coming up the hill or something?" Phillip accused.
“And how could I have done a sketch this detailed so quickly, and with these hands?” He asked holding his right hand out and sticking it in Phillip’s face. It was old and gnarled, posed into permanent claws by decades of arthritis.
"I can't believe you," he said. "Did you spot the first tired, confused stranger you've been able to get your hands on for a while and decide to confuse him even further? Unbelievable."
“No I assure you this is not the case.” Lance said, his tone calming as he realized that his shouting and arguing were not helping his cause. “This sketch is older than I am, it was handed down through generations of the monks from the great mage Draco Avalon. All monks were required to study it until the face was memorized. It is the face of the chosen one, your face.” He said as he turned to Jayce.
“Okay, look, I’m willing to believe that I was thrown forward in time by some sort of cataclysmic event that I don’t remember. But I highly doubt that it was foretold by someone who, judging by the paper you got there, was long dead before I was ever born.”
“Wait, you don’t remember what happened? How you got here? Any of that?”
“Nope. The last thing I remember from my time is packing my clothes to go on assignment to Antarctica, after that it all goes kind of blurry.” Jayce scoffed.
“Well perhaps I can help you to recover your memories, and maybe then you’ll see that I’m right.”
“Okay, if you think you can help, we’ll do it, but I believe I was promised a meal. Surely, this can wait until after we all eat.”
“Yes.” He replied calmly. He then turned to Phillip “I’m sorry for losing my composure, I was excited by the prospect of having the chosen one in our midst and forgot that it was going to fall to me to educate him on who he was and what kind of power he possesses. I know you don’t hold any stock in the legends of the dragon mages, and you think it’s all just a bunch of nonsense, but there was a time when humanity thought the same of vampires, now look at us. We cower in fear of them, is really so wrong to believe there is a way to destroy them? To fight back? Is it so wrong to have faith?”

Later that evening, while they were eating around the fire, Lance explained the legend of the vampires, how they almost destroyed humanity, how the first group of mages gathered from around the world to find a solution to the problem and how they became the first dragons. While Phillip seemed unimpressed by the story Jayce payed attention to every detail.
“But what happened in 2018? What caused the vampires to rise to power again? What reduced humanity to hiding in the woods like nomadic cave people?”
“Oh, you mean the flare.” Lance spoke with a hushed reverence. “A long time ago man thrived, the power of lightning was our slave and we were dependent on it, all of us, even the vampires. They had learned that it was easier to live in secrecy alongside humanity provided they were able to get their blood elsewhere. They had places set up that used the power of lightning to keep the blood fresh, and the humans were safe. But then the flare hit. A massive burst from the sun itself that engulfed the planet and destroyed all things that used this power. The vampires began to hunt again with no supply of fresh blood, and soon their blood lust kicked in and they went feral. Man reverted back to the dark ages before the power and we’ve learned to survive or be killed.”
“Sounds interesting.” Jayce replied. “Although we called it electricity, not the power of lightning.” He snickered. He caught a glance of Phillip’s expression in the light of the fire and it seemed like in that moment he might have finally believed Jayce about being from the past, but he couldn’t tell for sure.
“It’s getting late, and we must all rest.” Lance spoke followed by a yawn that looked like a lion’s roar.
“But what about helping me with my memory?” Jayce asked.
“We’ll work on that tomorrow, I must rest and prepare mentally to help you.”
Jayce looked over at Phillip by the fire as Lance walked off in the direction of his shack. He couldn’t read his expression, but he also couldn’t help but notice the guy’s face now that he had washed the paint off of it. There was a subtle innocence behind the rough expression and a glow of gentleness in his dark eyes. He walked over and sat next to him. Jayce stared into the fire, his green eyes seemed to go blank and expressionless. It was a lot to take in.
“What do you think about all this?” Jayce asked without looking up. “Is any of this real, is any of it possible? Maybe I’m just some nutcase imagining this whole thing. Maybe I’ll wake up tomorrow and none of this will be real, just a dream, a sick, twisted, gut wrenching dream. Part of me hopes it is.” He turned looked up into Phillip’s eyes “Well, maybe not all of it. So, where am I sleeping tonight?” He asked fighting back a devilish grin. He was still unable to get a “read” on Phillip and didn’t want to scare the poor kid off.

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Character Portrait: Jayce Ericson Character Portrait: Lance "Elder" Mason Character Portrait: Philip Harris
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Philip frowned, slapping the old man's hand out of his face. He had to admit it seemed impossible for Lance to have drawn up the picture of Jayce on their way up, but for now it seemed the only possible explanation. He looked at Jayce, who was at the very least a little sceptical. When he heard about his memory loss though, he mostly felt like pulling the guy close and giving him a comforting hug. However, Lance was speaking again:

“I’m sorry for losing my composure, I was excited by the prospect of having the chosen one in our midst and forgot that it was going to fall to me to educate him on who he was and what kind of power he possesses. I know you don’t hold any stock in the legends of the dragon mages, and you think it’s all just a bunch of nonsense, but there was a time when humanity thought the same of vampires, now look at us. We cower in fear of them, is really so wrong to believe there is a way to destroy them? To fight back? Is it so wrong to have faith?”

He wanted to say yes, yes it was. Faith was debilitating, it let people believe they could sit back and wait for problems to fix themselves. It took the action out of those who had the ability to fight back. But the glimmer of hope in Jayce's eyes, that he might not be thrown into this world by chance, might have a purpose although his life had been turned upside down, that kept him quiet. "You know very well what I think about faith," he mumbled. "I'm having a bath."

With that, he left Jayce in Lance's hands for a while as he washed the paint off his face, and changed into a simpler costume.

Later, as evening fell, he joined the other two by the fire where Jayce was finally provided with the meal he'd been promised. Lance was explaining the history of something, but Philip hardly paid attention as he ate. Once he finished the meal, he sat working on a spear he'd started before leaving on the hunt earlier that day. He picked up on Lance talking about the flare, and the way people had subdued the power of lightning to their will some eighty years before.

“Sounds interesting. Although we called it electricity, not the power of lightning,” Jayce said. Philip looked up, meeting his eyes over the flames of the fire. Though he still couldn't see how, he supposed some of it might be true. The way Jayce acted, it had to be some sort of complicated mental illness or he was really from the past. He couldn't think of anyone who'd make up a word like 'electricity', especially not someone not in possession of all their faculties.

“We’ll work on that tomorrow, I must rest and prepare mentally to help you.”

"The old man needs his beauty sleep," Philip mumbled, then looked up and said aloud, "Goodnight, Lance."

And then Jayce was next to him, and suddenly the fire seemed a little warmer than before– particularly on his face. He cleared his throat, putting the spear aside so the two could talk.

“What do you think about all this? Is any of this real, is any of it possible? Maybe I’m just some nutcase imagining this whole thing. Maybe I’ll wake up tomorrow and none of this will be real, just a dream, a sick, twisted, gut wrenching dream. Part of me hopes it is.”

Philip didn't. He wished very much for Jayce to be real, but he knew he couldn't even imagine how this entire ordeal must be to him. Sick, twisted and gut wrenching was a good summary, probably.

He shrugged. "Like Lance says, before the flare they didn't believe in vampires, and that didn't exactly work out for them. I don't think you're a nutcase though, if that helps," he smiled at him. "I don't know how to explain it. Lance has always been talking about that order, telling us stories about how the Chosen one is going to free us. It's great when you're a kid but at some point I think you have to grow up, you know? But then you're here, and I can't explain how."

He sighed, shaking his head. As he looked up, he found Jayce looking straight at him. He swallowed.

“Well, maybe not all of it. So, where am I sleeping tonight?”

"Uh, well, you could sleep at my place? I mean if you want. We could probably find somewhere else if you'd prefer, but I mean it's not much but my place is pretty comfortable. It's got," he tried to think of what comforts Jayce would have been used to in his time, but his mind went blank. "Furniture," he finished weakly.

He picked up the spear, fighting the blush creeping across his face again. "Maybe I should just show you."

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Character Portrait: Jayce Ericson Character Portrait: Brandon Lamont Character Portrait: Margrethe Vidardottir Character Portrait: Violet Searcy Character Portrait: Philip Harris
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"Uh, well, you could sleep at my place? I mean if you want. We could probably find somewhere else if you'd prefer, but I mean it's not much but my place is pretty comfortable. It's got," Phillip paused, his blushing visible in the dim light of the fire. "Furniture," he finished weakly.
It was now clear that Phillip at the very least liked him. It was cute the way he tried to flirt with Jayce, though it was obvious that he hadn’t had much experience with it, but in this world why would he?
“Furniture, huh? Well, how could I resist that?” Jayce flirted back.
"Maybe I should just show you." He replied, a hint of seduction in his voice.
“Lead the way.” He grinned.

__________________________________________________________________________________


The sun had already set, and while many vampires would use this opportunity to go on the hunt, Brandon and the other two ladies were exploring one of the many hospitals on an island in lake Washington. It was dark, but to a vampire that wasn’t a concern.
“If I remember right, these older hospitals used to have back-up generators. The flare would have disabled it unless in was somehow shielded from the flare. I think the best idea would be to check out the basement, if there’s one there we might have a chance of getting some power to this place for the first time in decades. I’ll go check out the basement if you two want to see if the equipment you need is up here. If not, there’s still a few more hospitals nearby.”
Brandon headed to the nearest elevator, he pried open the doors with little effort. The basement was not far down. He wrapped his hands in towels that he grabbed from a cart near the elevator, then he took hold of the cables and slid down the shaft to land on the elevator itself. He opened the hatch on the roof of the compartment and jumped down inside before prying the doors open on the bottom floor. The hospital seemed eerie with no one in it. It began to stir up memories of his brother and the vile doctors that abused him. He wandered down the halls until he found a sign that directed him to the maintenance electric room. He opened the door and went searching through the room. He found a line of identical machines lined up against the wall. These were the generators he was looking for. He began to check them out, they all seemed to be in working order with the exception of being out of fuel. He guessed that the hospital ran on back-up power as long as they could, but by the time the fuel ran out, the riots and the chaos had begun and getting more wasn’t an option.
“Well this is just great. We gotta find a gas station before we can get anything working.”
He got to the stairs and found his way back to the first floor. He could hear the ladies looking around on the other floors for the equipment they were going to need. He sat in the waiting room area waiting for them to return. The two of them came back down the stairs and to the waiting room.
“Well, I got good news and bad news. We have generators that should work and power the place up, but we have no fuel to run them.”

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Character Portrait: Jayce Ericson Character Portrait: Brandon Lamont Character Portrait: Margrethe Vidardottir Character Portrait: Violet Searcy Character Portrait: Philip Harris
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Philip
“Furniture, huh? Well, how could I resist that?”
Jayce was right in thinking Philip didn't have much experience with flirting. Growing up in a post-apocalyptic world, he was used to taking care of others, and had rarely had thought for anything else– mostly because his nature meant that people rarely saw him as a romantic interest. He appreciated Jayce's forwardness, even though it was new to him. As the guy grinned, Philip found himself grinning back, leading the way away from the fire to the small hut he called home.

It was a modest living space, but Philip hadn't been lying about the furniture. The entrance was a mixture of a living room and kitchen, though for obvious reasons it lacked any modern comforts Jayce might have recognised, and was overall a rudimentary imitation of life before the flare. Still, it had a sofa, a table, and a counter, and some chairs. Through the slightly open door to their left-hand side, Philip's bedroom was visible.

"Well," he said. "Here it is."




Margrethe
Margrethe walked behind Violet as she practically ran up the stairs despite her wet clothes. She still carried her wife's back, lazily opening doors while Violet seemed to follow the signs towards the room where she'd find the equipment. Many of the rooms were overrun by rot and plants, and would probably not do well for comfortable resting. There were at least two rooms that weren't too destroyed. They would require some fixing up, and Margethe refused to sleep somewhere without investigating possible protection towards attack, but she wasn't too tired to take upon herself a few hour's work. Hopefully they would find some food before that, though.

An excited squeal from down the hall signalled that Violet had found the machine she was looking for.

"How is it, love?" Margrethe called.

"Surprisingly intact," came the answer. "It will require some fixing. We can scavenge the city tomorrow for parts."

"Of course, dear."

"I'll need some tools, too."

"Whatever you say, dear."

Violet poked her head out, narrowing eyes at her. Margrethe smiled, and winked. Neither of the two were particularly submissive, so it was only natural for her to be suspicious. For all the centuries the two had been together, Violet had yet to learn that Margrethe was more than willing to put her goals over her own. Margrethe had drifted through nearly a thousand years of organised war, unable to settle or stay still. Violet gave her a focus.

Having explored the rest of the floor, they then returned to the waiting room downstairs to hear about Brandon's findings.

“Well, I got good news and bad news," he said as they entered. "We have generators that should work and power the place up, but we have no fuel to run them.”

"A problem for another day, I think," Margrethe said. "There are some rooms upstairs that we can use for rest. They need a bit of fixing up, but not so much as to exhaust us. First though, perhaps we should search the island for a food source?"

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Character Portrait: Jayce Ericson Character Portrait: Brandon Lamont Character Portrait: Margrethe Vidardottir Character Portrait: Violet Searcy Character Portrait: Philip Harris
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Jayce

Jayce couldn’t help grinning as Phillip lead him to his small hut-like house. He looked around at the inside of the house. It looked like the inside of the rustic cabin he had visited in the mountains as a child when his foster parents were trying to bond with him. The furniture all had solid wood frames and the fabric was all made from animal furs and skins. He glanced into the bedroom through the open door and caught a glimpse of the bed. It too was a solid wood frame, but instead of a mattress it had bales of hay covered in animal skins and furs as well. There was a dresser and nightstand as well.
"Well," Phillip said. "Here it is."
“It’s nice, very rustic.” Jayce said as he looked around. “But I suppose rustic is about all you can get anymore.”
He sat down on the sofa and took off his parka setting it on the back of the sofa. He was wearing a simple black t-shirt with the words “Game Over” written in pixelated purple letters. He patted the spot next to him in an invitation for Phillip to sit next to him.
“I bet it gets lonely living here all by yourself. I’m not sure what you did about the loneliness before, but …I’m in this time now and well …I guess I’m saying you don’t have to be alone …if you don’t want to be.” He said looking into Phillips dark eyes. “But anyway, I guess I’ll be sleeping here tonight, unless you had something else in mind.” He grinned motioning his head to the bedroom with a grin.

Brandon


"A problem for another day, I think," Margrethe said. "There are some rooms upstairs that we can use for rest. They need a bit of fixing up, but not so much as to exhaust us. First though, perhaps we should search the island for a food source?"
“Agreed.” Brandon replied realizing the hunger building at the back of his throat. His mouth started watering at the thought of the bears they were robbed of earlier. He started to sniff the air. He couldn’t pick up any scent of human or other creature. “I’m not sure there’s anything nearby to eat unless you can smell something I can’t.” He said with a little bit of disappointment. “I know the humans used to keep blood in cold storage in these old hospitals, but even if they had any here it wouldn’t be edible anymore.”

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Philip
“It’s nice, very rustic. But I suppose rustic is about all you can get anymore.”

Philip shrugged. His home was as much of a comfort as he had ever experienced, so he couldn't really comment on the matter. On Jayce's invitation, he left the spear he'd been working on by the door and joined him on the sofa. He sat somewhat awkwardly with his hands folded in his lap, throwing a glance at Jayce's t-shirt. Game over still existed as a phrase, though the original meaning of the words were long lost– as such, it was hard for him to guess why Jayce would have it written on his clothes.

“I bet it gets lonely living here all by yourself. I’m not sure what you did about the loneliness before, but …I’m in this time now and well …I guess I’m saying you don’t have to be alone …if you don’t want to be.”

"Same," Philip said, immediately regretting the lack of clarification. "I mean, I'm guessing you're pretty upset about being so far away from home, in a sense. And you know, until you find someone you like better, I'm around." He almost said and Lance is too, but if they were talking about what he thought they were talking about, it was perhaps better not to bring up the old man.

Not for the first time that day, he shut his mouth and looked up to find Jayce looking right at him. Not for the first time that day, the look elicited something in his chest he couldn't quite define.

“But anyway, I guess I’ll be sleeping here tonight, unless you had something else in mind.”

He followed his gaze to the bedroom door, and was momentarily glad the hut was dark enough to hide the returning blush on his face. "Well," he said. "You know, the sofa's not very comfortable to sleep on. I wouldn't want to put you off this timeline on your very first night."

He smiled, getting up, and pushing the bedroom door open. In truth, the bed was probably nowhere near as comfortable as though Jayce were accustomed to, but at least it had the layer of hay that the sofa lacked. He walked over and tested the softness with his hand, for a moment worried that Jayce would be unhappy despite the 'extra comfort'. To be fair it was hard to know, given that he had no idea what the past had been like in comparison. "Maybe I can use feathers in the future," he mumbled, mostly to himself. They were harder to come by in large quantities, but would probably be softer. To Philip, it hardly mattered. He could have slept on the dirt floor and been happy with it.