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Atticus Zhao

Fear is the curse of the soul.

0 · 689 views · located in New York City

a character in “Gifted”, as played by themis

Description

.โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”
    โœ ATTICUS ZHAO
    filertextTHERES ONLY A SHADOW OF ME;
    IN A MANNER OF SPEAKING, I'M DEAD.

    LOLโ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ” โ˜… โ˜… โ˜…
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    โ˜†หŸ โ–ˆโ–ˆโ–ˆโ–ˆ NAMEโ‹ฎ XX ATTICUS YANLIN ZHAO
    โ˜†หŸ โ–ˆโ–ˆโ–ˆโ–ˆ ALIASโ‹ฎ XX ATTY, KIT, YANLIN
    โ˜†หŸ โ–ˆโ–ˆโ–ˆโ–ˆ AGEโ‹ฎ XX TWENTY
    โ˜†หŸ โ–ˆโ–ˆโ–ˆโ–ˆ RACEโ‹ฎ XX CHINESE-AMERICAN
    โ˜†หŸ โ–ˆโ–ˆโ–ˆโ–ˆ GENDERโ‹ฎ XX MALE
    โ˜†หŸ โ–ˆโ–ˆโ–ˆโ–ˆ SEXUALITYโ‹ฎ XX PANSEXUAL ; PANROMANTIC


    ๏น™ โ™” ๏นš


    โ˜†หŸ โ–ˆโ–ˆโ–ˆโ–ˆ EYE COLORโ‹ฎ XX BROWN
    โ˜†หŸ โ–ˆโ–ˆโ–ˆโ–ˆ HAIR COLORโ‹ฎ XX BLACK
    โ˜†หŸ โ–ˆโ–ˆโ–ˆโ–ˆ HEIGHTโ‹ฎ XX 5'8
    โ˜†หŸ โ–ˆโ–ˆโ–ˆโ–ˆ WEIGHTโ‹ฎ XX 140LBS


โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”
WORDWORSImage Image I SHOULD'VE KNOWN BETTER โœฟ
WORDSWORDSWORDORWORDSโ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”
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    xxx๏ผฐ๏ผฏ๏ผท๏ผฅ๏ผฒโœ—

    ๏ผฆ๏ผฅ๏ผก๏ผฒ ๏ผญ๏ผก๏ผฎ๏ผฉ๏ผฐ๏ผต๏ผฌ๏ผก๏ผด๏ผฉ๏ผฏ๏ผฎ

    He is the unknown, the missing beat the heart skips as the predator realizes he is all but prey. The drowning panic, anxious indignation and the crawling sensation of feeling a presence right behind you. He removes and increases fear with a wave of a ghostly hand, feeling the rising urgency in the air around him. While he can cause panic in those in a few meters radius, the destructive ability of causing it on a massive scale is far out of his capability, and not a thing he is ardent about finding out about himself. The symptoms of his induced panic normally wear off a few minutes after incited, however rare outliers have lasted from a few seconds to fifteen minutes, depending on the level of innate anxiety.

    He can sense the phobias and fears of those who graze his skin, which whilst making handshakes difficult can be of benefit if needed. Fears often control people, knowing those fears and being able to play on them is a blessing. Yet also in some respects a curse in which he is never likely to break.


โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”
WORDWORSImage Image NOTHING CAN BE CHANGED โœฟ
WORDSWORDSWORDORWORDSโ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”
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    xxx๏ผก๏ผฐ๏ผฐ๏ผฅ๏ผก๏ผฒ๏ผก๏ผฎ๏ผฃ๏ผฅโœ—

    While there exists an Atticus Zhao, hidden within the deepest corners of reality, bound by a mortal body- his appearance is nothing but a mask to him. Something illusory. He can see what the mirror holds for him, for he is not blinded by his own delusions- he can see his sloping jaw, cut with fine ivory, the thin nose that descends from thick, dark eyebrows- the slightest bump softening the bridge, and he can feel his skin give way beneath his fingers as he reaches to touch his face, but it is almost wrong to him- as if he is a demon possessing the lifeless husk of another.

    He walks in a poised way, almost practiced, with a stalwart straight posture and graceful limbs extending from a torso wrapped with thin layers of muscle fiber. Despite this, he is as soundless as a spirit, which has always gave him the most unnerving ability of eavesdropping on conversations while staying unseen. One could almost call it a curse, seeing as his ears have fallen upon things which no child should hear. He is not vain, but he can appear so. Constant eyes trail his body and every move it makes, and he scrutinizes himself accordingly- taking in every slight imperfection. This is not due to any major confidence issues, but perhaps because even his appearance is a competition. Maybe if he is the perfect son, the handsome son, he would gain more favor with his father. That is at least his thought process.

    His sense of fashion is refined, muted. He possesses the same expensive carelessness of a Parisian, with sweaters of fine cashmere, block colored button-down shirts, long coats from nameless designer brands. When it comes to fashion it is certain he obtained at least a quarter of his daily outfit either strolling along the Champs-ร‰lysรฉes, through the ancient cobbled streets of Milan and Rome or along the glittering banks of the French riviera. He exudes an air of affluence, yet is careful not to be overly garish in his name-brand pieces as to not fulfill the stereotype of the noveau riche.

โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”
WORDSWORDSWORDSโ™” ใ€‚THE PAST IS STILL THE PAST Image
WORWODSWORDSโ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”
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    ๏ผฐ๏ผฅ๏ผฒ๏ผณ๏ผฏ๏ผฎ๏ผก๏ผฌ๏ผฉ๏ผด๏ผน โœ

    INSINCERE;
    xxHowever moral and just Atticus believes himself to be, there is an always undeniable fact- the life he has created for himself is a lie. A legend, woven from what he believes others wish him to be, a false projection of the ideal. The perfect boyfriend, the caring friend, the honor student. All of it is a role he has took it upon himself to portray. The concept of a "real self" to him is skewed, hidden behind falsities and fake compassion. It is a mask covering his own insecurities, shortcomings and his quiet failures that he cannibalizes to make way for absolute perfection. The most honest version of himself, whatever that may be in its wretched beauty, its coldness, confusion and loneliness, is something he believes no one needs to see.

    UNSYMPATHETIC;
    xxThose who have been exposed to his true nature have called him heartless, and perhaps there is some truth to this. While believing he understands people perfectly, Atticus simultaneously misses key factors of why people do what they do- as in, he doesn't really explore the more human side of things, often seeing events only from his highly logical point of view. Emotions like desperation, a need for acceptance or attention and ironically, fear do not factor in to his understanding. It is rather dichotomous, towards those that he views have disturbed his peace, he is callous to the point of being sadistic in his "revenge".

    MANIPULATIVE;
    xxThere is a reason that Atticus, while manipulative, is not ambitious on a larger scale. Using his gift for manipulation for petty transgressions, carrying out his silent vengeance in a convoluted manner in what most would see as a gross overreaction. It is his ultimate quest for normalcy, some sort of peace and continuity in a world that seems to constantly agitate him, that makes him feel as if it is justified to weed out those who disturb his delusions.

    NAIVE;
    xxThe boy retains an almost innocent innate curiosity with life, and some semblance of a true "Atticus" seems to show through at these times, however understated they may seem to the untrained eye. A sheltered child, he is naive and somewhat blind to the cruelty of the world, however odd that sounds due to his apparent nature. He is blind to the fact that not everything can be perfect and normal and go exactly as he wants, unable to grasp the reality of his apparent difference to the ungifted part of the population. The insatiability and greediness of those around him has manifested it's way into his personality, and he holds a deep hatred for those who wish to use him for his money or steal from him. The childhood mentality of selfishness and ownership has never seemed to cease within the hollows of his mind, perhaps he was never taught not to guard his wealth with the ferocity of a dragon, to despise those who covet what is his.

โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”
WORDSWORDSImage Image THE BRIDGE TO NOWHERE โ™š
WORWODSWORDSWORDSWORDSWORDSโ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”
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    xx โ˜†๏น—๏ผฌ๏ผฉ๏ผซ๏ผฅ๏ผณ
    old movies โ—‡ justice โ—‡ designer clothing โ—‡ golf โ—‡ playing violin โ—‡ normalcy โ—‡ black coffee โ—‡ books โ—‡ history โ—‡ birds โ—‡ the ocean โ—‡ cruises โ—‡ tranquility โ—‡ clean bed sheets โ—‡ cleanliness in general โ—‡ the night sky โ—‡ physics โ—‡ antiques โ—‡ the smell of jasmine โ—‡ record players โ—‡ seaside properties โ—‡ rain โ—‡ water lilies โ—‡ astronomy โ—‡ nabokov โ—‡ piano music โ—‡ old french songs โ—‡ balance โ—‡ muted colors โ—‡ happy memories โ—‡ evergreen forests โ—‡ lakes


    xx โ˜…๏น—๏ผค๏ผฉ๏ผณ๏ผฌ๏ผฉ๏ผซ๏ผฅ๏ผณ
    greedy people โ—‡ humid weather โ—‡ neon colors โ—‡ bad decor โ—‡ loud noises โ—‡ thieves โ—‡ grime โ—‡ modern art โ—‡ shrill voices โ—‡ smog โ—‡ police sirens โ—‡ cacophony โ—‡ drunkenness โ—‡ cigarette smoke โ—‡ being treated as strange โ—‡ sugar in coffee โ—‡ bruises โ—‡ crying โ—‡ broken promises โ—‡ corruption โ—‡ jealous people โ—‡ migraines โ—‡ taking pills โ—‡ betrayal โ—‡ lack of hygiene โ—‡ clutter โ—‡ cramped elevators โ—‡ team sports (he's laughably bad)

โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”
WORDWORSโ€ I SHOULD'VE WROTE A LETTER Image Image Image
wordsโ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”

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    โœ ๏ผฑ๏ผต๏ผฉ๏ผฒ๏ผซ๏ผณ | ๏ผจ๏ผก๏ผข๏ผฉ๏ผด๏ผณ

    โ˜† has no concept of "too much money" โ˜† obsessively cleans hands โ˜† he carries around cucumber hand sanitizer โ˜† terrible singer โ˜† surprisingly good baker โ˜† book name that he loves โ˜† reads too much โ˜† basically a nerd โ˜† quite a talented violinist โ˜† addicted to caffeine โ˜† a manipulative smol โ˜† cinemaphile โ˜† bird watches โ˜† he's one of those people that picks up spiders โ˜† "a petty bitch" โ˜† loves puzzles โ˜† knows a lot of useless facts

    โœ๏ผด๏ผก๏ผฌ๏ผฅ๏ผฎ๏ผด๏ผณ | ๏ผณ๏ผด๏ผฒ๏ผฅ๏ผฎ๏ผง๏ผด๏ผจ๏ผณ

    `โ—‡ CHARISMA ;Many have wandered and gotten lost across his lips, as lies tumble freely and ensnare them. A smile that lights his eyes, he draws them in as if moth to a flame. Sometimes he wonders if they only stay due to the brand of his watch or the cost of his home, and not an innate charismatic quality.
    `โ—‡ EMOTIONAL CONTROL ;He is destruction beneath fingertips, a hurricane behind a facade of a gentle breeze- the violent quiet of the eye of the storm, lips perpetually closed, pale hands shut into fists. While a smile may grace his lips, it is unknown if he is really cursing or crying inside.
    `โ—‡ PERCEPTION ;Whilst normal people tend not to notice details, measurements, slight imperfections and other pedantic subtleties of the everyday- all of these occupy space in Atticus' mind. He is constantly calculating everything, weighing consequences of decisions. While it could be considered a gift in some respects, it can often burden his mind with data to a point where he becomes nauseous with over-thinking.


    โœ๏ผฆ๏ผฌ๏ผก๏ผท๏ผณ | ๏ผท๏ผฅ๏ผก๏ผซ๏ผฎ๏ผฅ๏ผณ๏ผณ๏ผฅ๏ผณ

    `โ—‡ FIGHTING ; He hasn't swung a fist since early childhood, in which he was scolded by his father for not upholding the reputation of the family and company. He prefers to use his tongue or when all else fails, his gift to escape from situations that would otherwise involve physical aggression. If he ever attempted to fight, it's almost certain his skin would be awash with fresh bruises
    `โ—‡ STREET SMARTS ;Living a life of sheltered opulence, of wealth and blessed luxury; he has never knowing the aching feeling of an empty fridge and payday being what seems like years away. Likewise, he can be clueless on subjects that involve knowledge of the street, seeing as though he has never even set foot in their chaotic depths, never had to worry about being held at gunpoint for a few dollars.
    `โ—‡ EMOTIONS ;When he feels, he seems to feel so deeply that it marks his soul and cracks his porcelain bones. Whether it be love, trust, loss. Usually outwardly emotionless and almost visibly untrustworthy of everyone, his facade shatters as he actually feels. It has ruined him, though, as there seems to be a red string fate connecting him to betrayal, and once betrayed he returns to encased nebulas, galaxies and dead stars residing within his heart.


    โœ ๏ผฆ๏ผฅ๏ผก๏ผฒ๏ผณ

    `โ—‡ REJECTION ;As he looks in the shattered mirror of reality, he sees himself as normal and deserving of normal life. They call him a freak, strange, an anomaly that should never have been wished into existence, the child of lucifer himself in all his disgusting elegance. A fallen angel with the devil's gift. All he wishes to be is normal.
    `โ—‡ GERMS ;They crawl beneath his skin, clawing, marking trails of corroded flesh. He has an irrational fear of germs, parasites and otherwise all species of brain-eating amoeba. He smears sanitizer on his skin for the twentieth time today in a desperate attempt for cleanliness in a city in which grime and exhaust fumes seem to encase the sky in a noxious haze.

โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”
WORDWORSImage Image EXPLAINING WHAT I FEEL โœฟ
WORDSWORDSWORDORWORDSโ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”
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    xxx๏ผจ๏ผฉ๏ผณ๏ผด๏ผฏ๏ผฒ๏ผนโœ—

    "๏ผฌ๏ผ‡๏ผฅ๏ผฎ๏ผฆ๏ผก๏ผฎ๏ผด ๏ผค๏ผฅ ๏ผฌ๏ผก ๏ผญ๏ผฏ๏ผฒ๏ผด"

    "Your child, Miss Zhao-" The fortune teller inhales sharply, sighing fumes of exasperation, seeming hesitant to continue on in fear of repercussion. As she waves a hand over the crystal ball Faustine is sure she can see something more than just glass behind its depths, something breathing that swells and falls. The tiny tent seems impossibly dark, lit only by a single wax candle with a flame that flickers in and out of existence. The lights go out. There is a slight shuffling sound, like a current of air rustling autumn leaves, and she swears if she listened closer she could hear millions of tiny voices speaking at once. "He will embody the thing you despise the most. "

    Faustine Zhao thinks of that forgotten night, remembering once dismissing the fortune teller as merely trying to scare her, storming from the tent in a flurry of rage and annoyance- yet how horribly right she had been. How devastatingly right. She thinks of that night as her child, once innocent, begins to display the mark of the devil; freakish powers- akin to those that ended the life of her father that terrible night- that make those around him fall into states of panic. All at once, her life falls from her hands. He is not my son, she reassures herself, a monster could never be my son. So he isn't her son, merely a creature living within the walls of their home.

    "๏ผฌ๏ผก ๏ผถ๏ผฉ๏ผฏ๏ผฌ๏ผฅ๏ผฎ๏ผฃ๏ผฅ ๏ผด๏ผฒ๏ผก๏ผฎ๏ผฑ๏ผต๏ผฉ๏ผฌ๏ผฌ๏ผฅ"

    Atticus Zhao is born with every material possession in his grasp, yet he craves only one thing. Love. He has accepted by now that his mother will never love him after the discovery of his gift; he will never feel the warmth of her hand against his cheek once more, he will never hear her sing him to sleep. While this confuses and upsets him, he can accept it somewhat.

    Yet what he fails to understand is his father's love for him. While he is absent from their home for the most part, running the company and bringing them even more presents from glamorous countries, when he is there he can sense that his father loves him in some way, yet it is out of his grasp. His father has placed so many expectations on him, the heir, to act a certain way, to think a certain way and to hide any imperfection (whether it be his gift or otherwise) that he is suffocating under the pressure. He never tells him this, in fear of being scolded for incompetence. So he bottles it up, doesn't display his anger or annoyance and simply smiles through the pain- He has grown into an incredibly manipulative, underhanded child, his only way to enact his anger without it outwardly showing. He enacts revenge on those who wrong him in a strange, non-violent yet brutal way.

    "Atticus is very lonely, being home tutored and with no siblings to converse with, to share his feelings" the psychiatrist's voice is low and soft, "You need to get him friends, or he will have trouble forming connections."

    That is exactly what his father did. Two foster children were brought into the Zhao home, essentially to be glorified dolls for Atticus. Whilst getting along at first, living there for close to four years together as he grew into a teenager, Atticus later found out that his supposed "friends" secretly despised him and were only staying there for the luxury, the vacations and the weekly allowance, which was a fairly large sum of money. Being Atticus, he planned convoluted revenge that ended in one of the two being involved in a cartel after stealing cocaine from a local dealer. While Atticus claims it was that he "brought it upon himself", he was certainly puppeted by him in some way. The other one was simply caught stealing jewelry from the family to sell off and disowned, however the anonymous tip leading to the arrest was certainly convenient.

    Presently Atticus is studying business management at Columbia University, a degree which will allow him to inherit the business from his father.


โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”
WORDWORSTHAT EMPTY FEELING Image Image Image
wordsโ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”
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๏ผ†O1 ๏ผฏ๏ผด๏ผจ๏ผฅ๏ผฒ

FACE CLAIM ; yang yang | ๆจๆด‹
HEX CODE ; #778899
PLAYED BY ; themis
CS CREATED BY ; verix





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So begins...

Atticus Zhao's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kina Qadir Character Portrait: Frances de Vries Character Portrait: Jack Lacey Character Portrait: Grace Fogle Character Portrait: Lucien Thorne Verlac Character Portrait: Maria Ikeda
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#, as written by Layla
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โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”
โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”“

song; bang bang XXX hex; #C58917 XXX outfit; nude gown

โ”—โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”›
โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”

    XXXThere were no concrete walls or titanium doors that could keep Rika Yamada out, and certainly not in, not even ones decorated with gargantuan men.
    XXXHer brother's two bodyguards stood stoic by the entrance of her walk-in wardrobe, their eyes averted to provide her with some minuscule illusion of privacy. They knew better than to wait outside her bedroom, the last men having been fired when she portalled through her shoes closet to Atticus' estate. She'd left a signed copy of C. S. Lewis' The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe on her dresser drawer for a touch of humour. Her brother clearly did not possess the same supreme sense of humour.
    XXX"If you leave me alone, I'll give you a peak of the girls," she teased as she wiggled into her dress. It fell in soft golden hues around her legs, the silk heavenly against her freshly exfoliated skin.
    XXXNeither of them responded with words, although the broader and balder one exhibited what some might mistake to be a lip twitch, but was actually the equivalent of a full-blown laugh coming from the steely ex-navy officer. Rika was certain he weighed two tonnes naked.
    XXX"Fine," she sighed. "Your loss."
    XXXRika lifted her purse from the love seat centred in her dressing room and pushed past her bodyguards. She swayed her hips vigorously as she walked, hoping they might become so entranced by her derriere they forgot that Kenji had ever paid them to keep her safe and bored.
    XXXEver since the mysterious attacks on the Gifted began, her brother had become even more obsessively protective of his little sister than anyone had ever thought possible. Her life had been reduced. Maimed, even, by his paranoia. Murder might have been a common occurrence in the sleepless city but it was not common to the Yamada family. They were warriors. Lucky warriors. They had wealth, health, stealth, mealth meth... Ah, whatever. The point was, there was no chance in a city as big as this that they would be so unlucky. Also she was cute and smelled like vanilla with a hint of magnolia.
    XXXA chorus of greetings met them as the elevators slid open on the lower levels. She had her own suites in the main headquarters of NEXTech, which was a sprawling steel and glass monstrosity automated at the very height of modern engineering's vast capabilities. It was not the worst of places to live, but their vending machines didn't dispense fried chicken. It was very disappointing.
    XXXShe felt a sudden ache in her chest - or stomach, it was hard to differentiate organs situated so closely to each other - for Gracie's restaurant. They had the best food and Eugene. Oh, Eugene. Sweet, beautiful Eugene. She wished he'd let her eat macarons off his pecs.
    XXX"You look absolutely stunning in that dress, my lady," a voice came nervously from her left. She turned to find one of their newest mechatronics interns, only one of the money she conned into calling her all manner of monarchial names. It seemed nobody wanted to question the daughter of their boss' boss - just as she liked it.
    XXX"Thank you, my tiny civilian," she addressed the 5'5" girl. "Bless."
    XXXAnd that was when the idea took form.
    XXX"Ah, actually," she began. "I need someone to help me touch up my mascara. Are you free?"
    XXX"Of course! A-anything!"
    XXX"Great! Let's go." Rika took the girl's hand and power walked quite admirably towards the closest ladies room in her stiletto heels. Her bodyguards took a step to follow her inside.
    XXX"Umm," Rika started. "That's weird? Like, there are other women in there?"
    XXX"Ma'am, we are under strict orders to keep you in our sights," the fuller-haired one replied.
    XXX"Stephanie-"
    XXX"It's actually Nancy-"
    XXX"Stanley here will keep me in her sights. Won't you, Stanley?"
    XXX"Umm, well actually, uh, yeah, I mean, sure."
    XXX"There, easy, bye!" Rika slammed the door shut.
    XXX"That was a little weird-"
    XXX"Stanley." Rika grabbed the smaller girl's shoulders. "I need you to do something very important for me."
    XXX"Oh, god."
    XXX"I need you to close your eyes and count to 10, then hurtle your whole pint-sized body at the two intimidating men out there in a super subtle, 'oh I tripped, clumsy me' kind of way. Break a few bones maybe. Just to be safe."
    XXX"What?" Stanley squealed.
    XXX"Also, take this." Rika pressed her phone into Stanley's sweaty palms. "And run 20 miles North. Tell no one who you are. Who I am. We never met."
    XXX"I don't-"
    XXX"The fate of the universe depends on you," she said seriously. "An ordinary peasant girl who's made some very poor fashion choices." Rika wrinkled her nose at the floral turquoise scarf wrapped around the small girl's neck, clearly it had been made with Stanley's grandmother's distant great aunt's secondhand curtains. "Do this and we'll stuff you with enough chicken nuggets to kill a man. Also a promotion, I guess."
    XXX"I'll do it!" cried Stanley.
    XXX"Atta girl." Rika grinned. "And please forget you saw this."
    [color=transparent]XXX
    "Saw what?"
    XXX"You're learning."
    XXX"No, seriously! Saw what? I don't understand."
    XXX"All will become clear in the fullness of time," Rika whispered.
    XXXThen she swung her arm outwards and made a portal.
    XXXA cascade of emerald, sapphire and ruby hues split through the empty air, gaining momentum until a vortex large enough to fit a 5'7" girl appeared. Wind, mostly from the hand dryer, lifted the edges of her skirt, warming her skin as she stepped majestically beneath the spotlight of the toilet. Distantly, she heard a whimper that might have been awe or Stanley choking to death.
    XXX"Fasten your seat belts." Rika put one foot through the portal, angling her body so her Stanley could see her sculpted calf - golden and moisturised. "It's going to be a bumpy night."
    XXXShe stepped into the vortex.
    XXXRika likely ruined the surprise of her presence by allowing her foot to appear before the rest of her. But she thought she might allow Atticus time to admire her limited edition Louis Vuitton heels. Still she gave him no time to protest as she marched towards him. She threw out an arm, letting tendrils of light to spill from her fingers.
    XXXRika had not told Atticus where they'd be going, or that they'd be going anywhere at all. Or rather he had likely assumed they would be doing what they were supposed to be doing, which was having dinner with Edwin Clarke, one of the wealthiest men in the world. Atticus wouldn't be too furious that his plans for world domination had been derailed. Right? Right.
    XXX"We're late," she said simply, and they certainly were. The meeting at the warehouse began hours ago, as far as the details in the chatroom suggested. She had a vague approximation of where it was, with great emphasis on vague.
    XXXStill, what was worse that could happen?
    XXXHopefully if anyone was getting stuck halfway through a wall, it was Atticus. She needed wiggling room to snapchat his struggle to her thousands of adoring fans. Also he'd kill her. In fact, she hadn't done anything yet and he already seemed irritated enough to kill her.
    XXX"What the hell are you doing he-"
    XXXRika shoved him through the portal.
    XXXBefore she could allow herself to contemplate the intricacies of her plan, she jumped in behind him.
    XXXBad idea.
    XXXIt was often disorientating for those unaccustomed to inter-dimensional travel to experience the vertigo that came with it. It was like being thrown in a meat grinder and spat out the other end. One was never quite the same afterwards. Still, Rika was relatively unfazed by it more often that not, most of the not's having been caused by her trying to portal all the way to California for a tan.
    XXXBut portalling with only a very vague sense of direction procured from Google Maps was something else. Needless to say, being suspended midair was about as comfortable as one might expect.
    XXXThankfully, her Gift did not defy gravity and soon she was in free fall.
    XXXLike a petal floating gently from a branch, she told herself. Like a petal floating gently-
    XXXNever had a girl screamed so loud.
    XXX"My bones! My butt! Death is coming!"
    XXXThe floor was surprisingly comfortable. Perhaps they had a clairvoyant in their midst and they had predicted their arrival by horribly situated portal.
    XXXRika wiggled her toes. Shrugged her shoulders. She was honestly quite okay with all this. There had been no harm done.
    XXXOr at least, that was what she believed until the cushioned floor moved.
    XXXAh, Atticus. Ah. Ahah. Yep. Right. She threw him through some unknown portal against his volition then understandably landed on his spinal cord. That made sense. Yes, this tale felt familiar.
    XXX"Oh, I'd laugh but you could press charges and orange jumpsuits really clash with my skin tone."
    XXXRika rolled off his body and stood, tossing her hair over her shoulder. She smoothed her dress and checked her teeth in the camera of a phone she took from someone because hers was being tracked all the way to Connecticut, hopefully.
    XXXRika looked around the room.
    XXX"Well," she breathed. "Butter my butt and call me a biscuit." Mostly because she hoped they took her demands seriously, Rika thought she would genuinely be okay with any one of these Gifted's touching her butt. Or any part of her, for that matter.
    XXXGlorious, glorious ecstasy. Such beauty had never been seen in one room since the Parisian Fashion Week of 2014. She was in awe. There were twins - twins! Everyone knew despite being identical, there would always be a hotter one and she thought she'd discovered which. Certainly not the one with- was that a dorito in his hair? But the other. The other. She hadn't felt this much love for a living being since that freshly caught salmon died in her arms and became sashimi.
    XXXA red-haired girl caught her gaze, a cascade of ginger hues framing a gentle face. The sweetest freckles dotted her cheeks, each brown mark a punctuation into Rika's pattering heart. Gay marriage was legal now and Rika needed a green card.
    XXXShe was beside another redhead and a very, very pretty boy. A mess of springy curls illuminated a young face, his eyes wide and decorated with a thick wreath of lashes. Boys always had the prettier lashes.
    XXXAnother redhead stood in the dilapidated room, his hair just a fraction darker to the girl's. He had a distinctly tumblr aesthetic about him - the brooding gaze, the windswept hair, the strong arms that said: I could hold you gently as you fall asleep, but also whip out some handcuffs in a way that might be erotic, might not. Rika was intrigued.
    XXXShe saw a familiar face next. Gracie was also redheaded despite the scarcity of gingers in the world, telling Rika this didn't seem statistically possible. Yet it was. It was a pleasant surprise, as competitive eating was when one assumed a girl of Rika's size could not consume 48 hotdogs in 10 minutes, yet she could. Gracie was cuter than a pomeranian being gently trimmed into a ball-like figure. Cuter, even, than a cake shaped like a cupcake.
    XXXBeside her was Eugene and my god, he wore pants so tight she could see his religion. It was too much. She shifted her gaze before he could think she liked him too much.
    XXXAn Egyptian God sculpted of molten chocolate solidified by the light of the silver moon gazed upon the world like a majestic beast observing its lesser prey. He breathed. Rika felt a second puberty stir within her.
    XXXThe boy beside him was equally beautiful though in a manner that was vastly different. His was a beauty found in teen magazines middle-aged women would read just to catch a glimpse of his flawless bone structure. Rika thought he looked like her next best friend.
    XXXThe next was a pixie-like girl with dark hair that spilled down her back. She seemed familiar in the way staring into a mirror might be. Rika liked her instantly.
    XXXA darker skinned girl stood by the window, sunlight illuminating the brown hues in her eyes. She was lovely and still.
    XXXUnlike the small piece of abyss that stood in the corner. Though he had model features, his vibe was that of someone who drank blood as a sport. Rika decided to stay away from that one.
    XXXPerhaps the face - or hair - that stood out most was the one belonging to a silver-haired boy. He was lean and stunning, his eyes crystal blue and piercing even across the distance they stood from each other. They had a glimmer in them that made her think she'd met her match. She gave him lazy smile.
    XXXThen there was a teakettle - weird.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kina Qadir Character Portrait: Frances de Vries Character Portrait: Jack Lacey Character Portrait: Grace Fogle Character Portrait: Lucien Thorne Verlac Character Portrait: Maria Ikeda
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

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#, as written by themis
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โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”

As even the city that is said to never sleep slumbers beneath the waning moon, he is awake. For it is the only time that New York is free from disturbance, almost beautiful and in complete darkness lapsed only by the twilight glow of the streetlamps. Tonight, however, there is a hum that encompasses the entirety of the lively metropolis, and there are still remnants of the celebrations that occurred only a few hours earlier. The air even holds on to the faint sound of distant music being played, and assorted drunkards roam the city as if animated corpses rising from the grave.

The walls of his home soar far above the dissonant chaos of the city, so much so that if the clouds are particularly low he can lean from the railings and almost touch them. They cascade from the skyscrapers, against the stillness of the winter winds and bathe the buildings beneath him in a wash of soft white. If he listens well as he floats above the water in the infinity pool that covers the right side of the balcony, he can hear but a hushed buzz of miscellaneous cacophony- the occasional siren, the whisper of music played from a large subwoofer, he is the the beekeeper looking upon a hive. Atticus feels removed from what occurs on the streets below him, the backalleys, the criminals and the violence. He exists in a different realm, one of excess and luxury. Perhaps a rather pretentious opinion, yet he pretends not to notice.

His loneliness seems almost tangible at this time, as the night fades to morning. While soon staff may stroll around, fixing him coffee and crepes, ironing his suits, cleaning, family may visit- laugh at inside jokes, look at family pictures, friends may stay over, drink some wine, watch a movie- he knows all of it is fake, and they all want something that he can provide. Money, attention, promotions, favours. We're born alone, we live alone, we die alone, they say. Rather melancholic, yet he knows it to be true.

I suppose the times in which he feels the most free, yet the most lonely are times like these in which he feels the biting cold of the wind across his skin, hair clinging to his face, staring at the view from a balcony so high it makes his head spin. He leans against the railing of the balcony. Whilst not suicidal, he supposes he wouldn't care too much if in this moment, someone pushed him.

"Now you're just being idiotic... why even for a moment would you..." He scolds himself, yet he knows it is an exercise in futility. The words, barely a whisper, are swept away by the wind and disappear into the dawn.


โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”



Atticus sleeps lightly for around an hour, awakening to the aroma of breakfast, the thick smell of pure coffee and harsh words in French. His cook, a rather curt Quebecois man, is currently insulting him. What Jean Laliberte doesn't know is that every affluent family worth their salt forces their child to attend foreign language lessons.

"Le enfant gรขtรฉ..." The spoiled brat. "...ne fait rien pour lui-mรชme" Doesn't do anything for himself.

Daybreak is when he always seems to feel the most fatigued. It is also always daybreak in which coffee touches his lips, burning his throat and tasting bittersweet against his tongue. He mumbles a slight thank you to his cook as he hands him the expresso, though Atticus' hand becomes purposefully unstable until the cup plunges to the ground. An explosion of scalding hot-coffee and fine porcelain detonates against the floor, waves of the dark liquid splashing against the cook's uncovered skin. He recedes in pain, swearing under his breath.

"Ah! je suis trรจs stupide." Remembering French lessons from his childhood, though stumbling slightly with a morning haze he adds "Je m'excuse." a slight smirk escapes him when he turns his back, gaining momentary satisfaction from his petty vengeance. He's lucky I didn't just fire him. My father doesn't pay him a salary to insult me.

"That's another Cuban expresso, si vous plait.
"


โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”


The sun breaks through thick clouds of grey, the upcoming sunrise colouring the sky orange fading to dull amaranth. He leans back against the chaise, closing his eyes in some attempt for rest. Almost as soon as he attempts this, the phone resting beside him buzzes to life, awakening him harshly- a text flashing against the screen. Something from one of his father's assistants, Chris Grodszinsky. While not entirely unpleasant, perhaps even one of the better assistants his father had hired in a good few years, he had an air of rushed neuroticism about him that caused people to fret.

[ โœ‰ Chris G. โ†’ Atticus ] : Are you awake? Urgent message
[ โœ‰ Atticusโ†’ Chris G.] : I'm awake. What is it?
[ โœ‰ Chris G. โ†’ Atticus ] : Edwin Clarke wants to have dinner. You, your father and the Yamadas. Are you able? I'm about to book the reservation. Everyone has already agreed. You need to make the decision A.S.A.P
[ โœ‰ Atticusโ†’ Chris G.] : Edwin Clarke? Why?
[ โœ‰ Chris G. โ†’ Atticus ] : I wasn't told, I'm sorry. I advise you to dress smartly, arrive early. Good luck.

His eyes wander to the text, reading it over. The Yamadas. Rika. Rika Yamada. He prayed silently that this time she would not mention to his father how hot the waiter, Mario, was- and suggestively remark on how she would like a slice of that "Italian-American pie", or tell the CEO of NetBank of their childhood escapades and how Atticus had to wear plastic cleaning gloves and a surgical mask to go play in the woods of his upstate manor.

"She's going to do something stupid again, I know she is. It's Edwin Clarke. This can't happen." Rubbing hands against his eyes in frustration, he tries to think objectively, weigh out the situation . Edwin Clarke, the elusive business magnate, the hedge fund collector, the generous philanthropist. He has seen him on a few occasions in person, before his skin grew a permanent deathly pallor and he had to breath into tubes, before he retreated from the public eye, he was only a child at the time. Only recollecting fractals of memories, he cannot decipher if they are mere creations of his mind or are grounded in reality.

Yet, the proposition somehow off to him, an omen of absurd proportions. Why now? Why them? But of course he hadn't properly seen his father in a while- or the Yamadas except for Rika for that matter- and meetings with the Edwin Clarke are extremely finite and hard to come by, even for those as powerful as his father. Being one of the richest people in the world would cause time to become a valuable commodity, Atticus imagined. Perhaps he may have developed an off-kilter sense of humor in his senility, and would find humor in Rika's... quirkiness. In a perfect world he would've grown so hard of hearing that he could barely hear the words that fall from her mouth.

"Ah," He sighs, the lead in his bones pulling him towards the earth, eyelids closing and opening as he buries his face into his knees, "I should probably leave the house" He knew as he left the door bodyguards would have to accompany him in fear of any sort of danger, yet he just wants to be alone, clear his head, stretch his muscles. Or I'll start to descend into insanity.. It seems like he is constantly around people- yet he feels the loneliest when he's around them.


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The mirror holds nothing of substance.

While refraining from touching the surface in some vacant fear of disturbing the immaculacy, his fingertips hover just above the glass, tracing outlines of himself, the arch of his cupid's bow, the decension of his nose to the angle of his jaw. Half-lidded eyes stare back at him from behind the surface- while they are his own, while they resemble his father's in some superficial way (Joseph Zhao's eyes were said to contain the souls of a thousand men, Atticus' barely contained the soul of one), they are not entirely there. They seem as if they are staring into some great abyss, expansive and ink-black.

"It's probably because you haven't slept more than a few hours for the past week" His voice rests quiet and hushed within the confines of his walk-in closet, more of an extension of his room. He lifts languid fingers to smooth out a dark tie with the tiniest stripes of white. No. No. It clashes with the shirt. It's much too garish. Lifting a second, more conservative black tie from his tie closet he exhales, turning his head slowly to examine each area of his appearance. To Atticus, even a singular strand of hair out of place could mean the difference between sloppiness and sophistication. Dressed in a monochrome suit which costs more than the average car, a watch that would have supplied a family with adequate nutrition for a year, with shoes of fine Italian leather and a newly ironed shirt of crisp white- he feels a slight feeling of contentment quell within the hollows of his body.

As soon as it comes, it leaves.

For of course, from the far side of the room a burst of ephemeral light appears, and from it none other than the legendary Rika Yamada. Or atleast, the legendary foot of Rika Yamada, decked out in the latest limited edition of Louis Vuitton's Winter Collection. It seemed, as soon as he felt the slightest echo of normality she would apparate in front of him and pull him into the depths of adventure. They were mostly likely going to the dinner though- yes? No, he sighed inwardly, of course not, as there is no logical reason as to why she would appear and cause this much trouble if they were just going to arrive at the dinner as planned.

"We're late," She breaks out into a incredibly fast pace, and Atticus realises that running or calling for Jean to rescue him is definitely not an option. They were not yet late for the dinner- he knows that she means something different by this- and he knows that it's probably not pleasant.

"What the hell are you doing h-" A sentence is barely formed before the tail end of it becomes lost against his tongue, as he enters- nay, he is pushed- into the tangled fibers and the blinding light. His skull is cracking open, his brain being destroyed and regrown as each second passes and every tiny cell of his body screaming with whatever kind of unearthly pain he is experiencing. While prone to light seasickness, he feels like he is being thrown as if made with cloth and sewn with thread, lurching against the waves of reality within the infinite expanse of time and space- perhaps he is, he doesn't know the exact specifics of Rika's power. Again, almost as soon as it had begun, it ends. His head hits a hard surface with an audible thump, and he tries to curl into fetal position in some feeble attempt of relief, yet finds himself pinned to the ground by a body- Rika's body. The heels of her shoes dig into him and if he was more than semi-concious at the moment he would have protested. Yet, all that escaped him was a strangled groan of pain as she moved from his spinal cord.

He blinks in an out of darkness, his sight blurred and struggling. The scene around him begins to become clearer, and as it does a feeling of utter confusion brews within him. Here lie Rika and Atticus, dressed in possibly the finest clothes a human can drape across their body- surrounded by a kumbaya circle of- teenagers? they couldn't have been much older than twenty, by the looks of it- with expressions of shock lighting their faces. He focuses his gaze more and the first thing that appears is a person- at least he believed it was a person, covered in what seemed to be bright orange crumbs that laced into his hair. He immediately felt... extremely overdressed for whatever kind of place this was.

Moving his hand slightly he picks up a layer of dust, recoiling in horror almost immediately and shaking his wrist- before reaching into his pocket and smearing hand sanitizer across his skin. He rises to his feet- shakily, staggering almost immediately before his knees buckle against the weight of his own body once again. A feeling of deep embarrassment found it's way to him. Wherever he was... this was his first impression. He imagined in that moment he resembled a fawn walking for the first time. If that fawn was intoxicated and also born with a searing migraine. Nobody seems to want to help him from his feet- a little rude, he muses. Do these people even have basic manners? But he supposes everyone would be fairly shocked by the two people that toppled into existence in front of them, dressed in the latest designer clothing as if their life depended on it.

A slight sigh, and he musters up the will to fake a small smile.

"If you don't mind me asking," He directly addresses the group in front of him, "Where exactly am I?"

Before turning his head to face Rika directly, creating a half-false look of endearing confusion, cocking his head slightly to the right "... and why are we here?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kina Qadir Character Portrait: Frances de Vries Character Portrait: Jack Lacey Character Portrait: Grace Fogle Character Portrait: Lucien Thorne Verlac Character Portrait: Maria Ikeda
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#, as written by Cloud

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wฮฑrั”hฯƒusั”
hex: #9c8786

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JACK LACEY
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At the age of seventeen some teenagers have already experienced the harsh truths of the world; the lies, deceit, and scandals. Others, however, remain cocooned within the comforting confines of childish naivetรฉ, where trust is given to strangers with ease and happiness is bought with the simplest of devices. Stupidity has no implication here, for even the smartest individuals can be ignorant to the darker aspects of the world. Jack Lacey, seventeen years and two months old exactly, would easily be put in the latter category, that of blissful naivetรฉ. In the case of the curly-haired boy, it is his upbringing and a kind nature which offers up such an image of childish innocence. Coddled and protected by a close-knit family, attending the same school for the entirety of his education, and barely being exposed to the harsher realities of the world have all combined to make Jack who he is today.

Of course, that innocence is perhaps the reason why heโ€™s standing in a rusting warehouse at a meeting aiming to stop a mysterious killer. Simply put, Jack wants to help in any way he can. It may seem backwards and decidedly out of his comfort zone, but people were being killed and cruelty, to animals or humans, didnโ€™t sit well with the young boy. Nor, for that matter, did Garth Holdenโ€™s tone.

Jackโ€™s brows furrowed slightly at the perceived slight to himself and Frankie, yet he didnโ€™t raise his voice in protest. Instead, Jackโ€™s arm came up, his bright pink glove coming to press lightly against his lips as warm brown eyes followed Garth Holdenโ€™s path into the corner.

Truth be told he was worried. Had he done anything to upset the other boy? Surely not, theyโ€™d just met! And yet, the way Garth had called him a โ€˜Disney princessโ€™, as if it were an insult, left Jack fairly certain that something Jack had done, had irritated the other. Jackโ€™s eyes darted across at Frankie, and something in the young manโ€™s gaze must have caught her attention, for she leaned in and told him softly,

โ€œDonโ€™t worry about him, Jack. Heโ€™s an ass.โ€

Jack nodded, though his eyes still fell back on the bulky young man. He watched, slightly stunned, as Garthโ€™s anger once again overflowed, this time directed at another young man who, at first sight, seemed just as young as Jack. As Jack watched the exchange he grew certain that such confidence had to belong to someone older. Jack had never been a loud person. Shy wasnโ€™t exactly the word, for he was never reluctant to talk. Rather, he merely preferred to listen and pipe up when a subject of particular interest caught his attention. Like felines, or canines, or really anything in the animal kingdom.

There were so many people in the warehouse, it wasnโ€™t long before Jackโ€™s attention was shifted away from the pair in the corner. Jackโ€™s eyes, wide and excited, jumped from individual to individual as figures stepped forward, introduced themselves and became names and a power. They were an eclectic collection of young Gifted from almost every walk of life, some faces he recognised โ€“ Grace for one received an excited wave and a dimpled grin as she entered. Another young man, a red head who walked through a pillar without even blinking, also caught Jackโ€™s eye. If Jack wasnโ€™t mistaken, he had seen him at the veterinarian clinic a few times in the process of bringing in a wounded animal. Other faces were new to the boy, their powers sounding amazing even if they gave no demonstration.

Everyone seemed impressive, and it amazed Jack that most people had come in the pursuit of justice. Slowly, Jackโ€™s mitten shifted from its position worrying against his mouth, and his frown turned into a dimpled smile as introductions continued. Another teenager, who would introduce himself as Sunny, came to stand beside Jack and together they shared a gleeful laugh as a newcomer turned into a teakettle. Then, Jackโ€™s new acquaintance stepped forward, introducing himself with a nervous stutter. It was then that Garth decided to step back into the mix, showing clear derision not only for Sunny and his power โ€“ and how cool did Jack think Cloud manipulation was! โ€“ but for the vast majority of those gathered around. Sunny stepped back, cheeks a deep red, eyes downcast as a result of Garthโ€™s derision.

โ€œI think your power sounds great.โ€ Jack mumbles to the other boy.

Sunny smiles slightly, his eyes taking on a curious spark as he whispers back, โ€œYours does too. Can you really talk to animals?โ€

Jack nods, about to continue their talk before Garthโ€™s loud voice drowned him out. Sunny stepped forward, showing far more bravery than many might give him credit for as he suggested that they could put their heads together to come up with a plan. Garth didnโ€™t appear to appreciate Sunnyโ€™s advice, for the next minute he was stalking out of the warehouse with at least half of those gathered around. Jack watched with worried eyes, though his own feet made no move to follow. He was here to help, and he had every confidence in those gathered around that together they could come up with some plan to find and stop this killer.

The awkward tension that had been left in Garthโ€™s place didnโ€™t dissipate quickly, and Jackโ€™s mitten was once again pressing against his mouth in a clear sign of worry. Then several things happened in quick succession. A loud creaking and the sudden shower of small roof particles preceded the arrival โ€“ fall โ€“ of a girl into the middle of the room. Her scream echoed around the cavernous space moments before an abnormal blast of wind cushioned her downward acceleration. Eyes wide in shock, Jackโ€™s gaze flicked up to the roof and the hole that she had apparently fallen through, before landing back on the girl in question.

Kina was her name, and that was all the information provided before two more arrivals once again diverted attention. Jackโ€™s first thought was that they too had fallen from the roof, at least until he looked up and saw the odd shape hovering in the middle of the warehouse space. It vanished after the second figure fell through, leaving Jack wondering if it had anything to do with one of their powers. The girl was first up, her gaze taking its time to inspect each member of the party. Jackโ€™s own gaze in turn looked on curiously at the new three members. Unlike Kina, both of the new arrivals were dressed for something much fancier than this meeting. A floor length dress certainly seemed like an odd garment to wear to a dirty warehouse, not to mention the suit the boy was in.

Jack hadnโ€™t even gotten his thoughts straight when Scott, the boy who Jack recognised from the vets, responded to the latest arrival with clear sarcasm. Even Jack, who sometimes missed sarcasm, couldnโ€™t mistake the comment for anything else. His eyes darted back to the new pair to see how theyโ€™d respond, but all that was uttered from the pair was a clear display of confusion from the male.

Casper, whose smirk indicated that he found all of this very amusing, spoke out next, โ€œI think you two might have dropped into the wrong party. Like Red said, weโ€™re all about to go home for milk and cookies.โ€ Casper's eyes fell slowly down each of the pair, noting and admiring clothing and bodies, while a grin spread across his face. โ€œThough, seems youโ€™re a far way from your own homes, so youโ€™re welcome to come to mine.โ€ Casper didnโ€™t wink, but the implication behind his invitation was clear enough without it. Whether he was joking or serious was another matter not so easily discerned.

Jack, for his part, was more concerned that no one had yet answered the male's questions. In an attempt to be helpful, and lowering his mitten so that his words wouldnโ€™t be muffled, he offered, โ€œYouโ€™re at the warehouse.โ€ The exact address escaped him, which shouldnโ€™t surprise anyone who knew that he had been partially led here by a dog named Diggles. โ€œWeโ€™re trying to stop the serial killer.โ€ Jack continued, perhaps missing the fact that the last question was directed towards the girl. Eyes turned to look at him, and Jack had to hold his hands behind his back to stop himself from covering his mouth again. โ€œThe-โ€ฆ the police arenโ€™t doing anything, so we- weโ€™re trying to help.โ€

Beside Jack, Frankie stepped forward to support him, her voice filling the space, โ€œThe killer that has been targeting Gifted youth and Gifted homeless. Weโ€™re here to figure out some way to stop the death, because so far the police have refused to take it seriously.โ€ Her gaze flicked around the standing group, the numbers severely diminished since Garthโ€™s exit, โ€œWe may not have a plan yet, but like Sunny said, we have enough heads here that I donโ€™t doubt weโ€™ll be able to come up with something. Even if weโ€™re just able to prove to the police that this is a real case, weโ€™ll have done something.โ€ Her eyes turned back to the three new entrants, โ€œSo, if you guys are planning on hanging around, how about you introduce yourselves?โ€

โ€œOr we could skip introductions and get right to the good stuff.โ€ Casper suggested with his usual grin. When Frankie huffed a sigh of exasperation and rolled her eyes in his direction, Casper held up his hands and added with an innocent bat of his eyelashes, โ€œI only meant, show us your powers.โ€

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kina Qadir Character Portrait: Frances de Vries Character Portrait: Jack Lacey Character Portrait: Grace Fogle Character Portrait: Lucien Thorne Verlac Character Portrait: Maria Ikeda
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#, as written by themis
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โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”


Words move past him. He can hear voices speaking, yet they are distant and indirect. A migraine rests firmly against the dells of his forehead, throbbing dully. Finally managing to lift himself to a chair, he rests. The voices become clearer.

โ€œYouโ€™re at the warehouse.โ€ Yes, I can see that. He quips within his mind, back resting against the chair, which is completely uncomfortable ergonomically. Surprisingly the speaker, instead of Rika, is a boy with a head of curls. Atticus turns to face him.

โ€œWeโ€™re trying to stop the serial killer. The-โ€ฆ the police arenโ€™t doing anything, so we- weโ€™re trying to help.โ€ Interesting. So Rika hadn't brought him here for some sort of group therapy- which is what he had feared. She kept calling him "emo" lately, and he thought this was the last straw.

"The killer that has been targeting Gifted youth and Gifted homeless. Weโ€™re here to figure out some way to stop the death, because so far the police have refused to take it seriously.โ€ A girl this time, a flash of red hair greeting him as he turns to face her. โ€œWe may not have a plan yet, but like Sunny said, we have enough heads here that I donโ€™t doubt weโ€™ll be able to come up with something. Even if weโ€™re just able to prove to the police that this is a real case, weโ€™ll have done something.โ€

Atticus cocks his head, trying to organize his thoughts. So what have they been doing here if not planning? Of course, you can't expect a group of teenagers to posess any real organizational skills, he looks at the group before him. Mismatched, odd. While not adamant of the cause, something stirs inside him- perhaps it's his love of murder mystery. Perhaps he hit his head just a little too hard, and was on the cusp of a concussion.

โ€œSo, if you guys are planning on hanging around, how about you introduce yourselves?โ€ Atticus almost begins his name yet is cut off again, a boy with peroxide blond hair, bordering white.

โ€œOr we could skip introductions and get right to the good stuff.โ€ He grins, the redhead sighs and rolls her eyes. Atticus stops himself from following her. โ€œI only meant, show us your powers.โ€

"It's Atticus, like Finch" Pausing for a moment to remember his last name, lost in the space between his home and the warehouse he currently occupies, "Last name Zhao, middle name Yanlin, but I suppose that's not important unless you're taking roll-call. Which of course-" You're rambling, stop it.

"Sorry, I'm rambling now." Fingertips grazing the back of his neck, he forces a practiced smile of embarrassment. "My powers?"

Time slows as he recalls first learning of his- "gift"- a momentary lapse in facade, a fragment of sadness, he returns to normalcy in a matter of a seconds. "Are you sure you want me to demonstrate?" He takes the silence as a yes, and lets his eyes fall upon a random member of the group. A boy, his cheeks full with the remnants of childhood and eyes bright with hope.

"Sorry about this, but it's not going to hurt you" His voice quietens so that only those who listen, and the boy himself can hear. "Your name is?"

"Sunny Ahn" The boy smiles, yet Atticus feel the fear hum across his body, the force of it pulling his fingertips upwards. Atticus' wrist circles slowly, his fingers following, each joint tensed and concentration completely focused on the kid. For a while, nothing happens, and the room seems to still in anticipation. A few quiet mutters, wondering if he's some sort of impostor, or someone that insanity has blinded into believing they were gifted. Atticus, however, is scarily calm. His power takes a while to come into full effect, he accepts this. It's often not very flashy until about thirty seconds in.

โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”

In 10 seconds

Atticus watches as brown eyes widen before him, staring blankly into some unknown pit of fear. His thin body freezes, and Atticus notices the boy wrapping his arms around himself as the chill sets in. Sweating, darting eyes.

In 20 seconds

Legs are brought to chests, and he buries his face in between the valleys of his knees. Rocking faster now, more frantically now, he lifts his face. The heart quickens.

In 30 seconds

The screaming begins, it reverberates against the walls, threatening to burst eardrums and causing Atticus to almost cover his ears. One of the loudest, he remarks to himself. This is usually where flight, fight or freeze comes into play. He stumbles from his chair, gasping, falling, sprinting impossibly fast to nowhere, pounding on the walls as if some ghastly monster were to devour him. Flight. Atticus stops here to ensure a speedy recovery.

A minute later

Silence. Sunny returns to normal. "Did I black out? W-what happened?"

"No, no- you didn't. Well not to us. You freaked out." A disembodied voice calls from the group, the rest soundless.

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Atticus averts his gaze, almost embarrassed. He had never shown his power like this for a while, nonetheless a room of entire strangers.

"That's my," He makes quotations with his fingers, "Gift. I don't exactly have a name for it. Truthfully, I've barely used it in years. Something like panic inducement? Fear manipulation, perhaps." He avoids adding the part about being able to sense the worst fears of others by touch. He's never really spoken of that one, and intends to hide it as long as possible. "So that's it"

"Anyway I have somewhere to be at the moment, If you can't tell, but I can come b-" He gazes in Rikas direction, lifts his head and sighs, "I... suppose It's too late now" He tries hard to contain his irritation. The dinner will have started around ten minutes ago, he checks his wristwatch for confirmation Fifteen, actually. For one, he has no idea where he is, secondly, there will be investigations as to why and how they left the house without the guards noticing, he doesn't want to deal with that presently, and thirdly he has no mode of transportation, and traffic is gridlocked around this time, especially in Manhattan. Unless Rika opens up a portal, which he knows she has no intention of doing, they are going to miss the dinner. Cold hands sooth his temple, sighing for what is to be the hundredth time as he speaks once more.

"I don't fully grasp the situation" The words fade and elongate as the sentence trails on, and his forefinger and thumb trace the edge of his jaw.

"However, you've piqued my interest, and as Edgar Allen Poe once said- As the strong man exults in his physical ability, delighting in such exercises as call his muscles into action, so glories the analyst in that moral activity which disentangles. It seems we have a case of disentanglement on hand." His manner of speech is more suited for the eccentric rich who he usually speaks with, who delight in pretentious conversation, classic literature and shameless quotations. He forgets this.

"Logically, the first step to take is to find our first lead. Witnesses, sites of any of the murders, no one has anything at all? In such a large city, someone must have seen something, even if it is not one of us. From there, we find clues. However perfect a serial killer appears, within them is a subconscious need for recognition which causes them to slip up." He pulls his suit jacket inwards, straightening his posture "But that's just my opinion, of course" Another perfectly subdued smile.

โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kina Qadir Character Portrait: Frances de Vries Character Portrait: Jack Lacey Character Portrait: Grace Fogle Character Portrait: Lucien Thorne Verlac Character Portrait: Maria Ikeda
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xxSCOTTxCARTER
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xxxspeech: #79abb3 xthought: #b38179

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xxx"there's a war we can't ignore
xxxwaging silence on our lives
xxxwe will overcome
xxxlet the cowards run and hide."

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So, apparently Scott had a new nickname. Red, as dubbed by Casper. Being familiar with the whole situation already, that was the only thing he really paid any attention to when other people were debriefing the new arrivals. The boy didn't seem quite as irritating as the girl, but even his mannerisms radiated money. He doubted they'd ever even walked past a homeless shelter.

The boy's ability, though, did catch his attention. Fear manipulation. He was somebody they needed on their side- because the thought of working against him was... Well, terrifying. The boy didn't seem particularly proud of it, either. For a moment, Scott sees past the fancy suit and the eloquent words. For a second, there was something more to Atticus- and then it disappeared as he mentioned a previous engagement. Scott's expression shifted from whatever it had been, back to his scowl. Good to know where Atticus's priorities lay.

And now he was quoting famous authors Scott hadn't even heard of. Hopefully, he had more important engagements because Scott wasn't entirely sure he could stand the pretentious behaviour for too long. He then went on to overly simplify the situation, something that Scott could no longer hold his tongue about.

"And enlighten me, sir, on how exactly we are to obtain that information. Should we go around knocking on doors and asking those who answer? Or, how about this, should we ask the police to kindly share their information with us?" He asked, stepping forward and walking towards Atticus, momentarily distracted enough to forget that he was in a room of strangers. Or, well, mostly strangers. He was just hoping that Grace would have his back if anything was to happen.

"And, besides, I'd be willing to bet that witnesses are few and far between. People don't notice u- People don't notice homeless people. Gifted or not. Potential murder victims or not." Had anyone picked up on his slip? Hopefully not. "They're always just there. Even when they talk to people, ask them for help or even just saying hello, they're invisible. Homeless people are attacked all the time, and you don't hear about it. The police don't care about them. The general population doesn't care all that much. If people really cared about the homeless people, the homeless Gifted, don't you think that there would be more general outrage? That things would have been done already?" He asked. "There was a physical assault on a group of homeless Gifted teenagers a few years ago. At least one person was killed." He swallowed, forcing himself to keep calm and to maintain his mask. He sure as hell wasn't exposing his life story to these people. Exposing his back was bad enough. "The police didn't care. They said they'd look into it. They didn't. Did you even hear about that?" He asked, but he didn't wait for any answers.

"If we want information, we're going to have to steal it. We don't even know if the cops took that much information. But they won't give it to us, and the general public won't remember. Any physical evidence will have been logged by the cops and destroyed by this point. Any blood, fingerprints, or anything like that will long have been washed away. The only information available is in some office somewhere. If anyone else has any ideas, I'd love to hear them," he said, somehow making it sound like a genuine question. He knew that they were just trying to help, but... The only reason he wasn't still on the streets or even dead was because he'd gotten lucky. In a different set of circumstances, he could have been one of the victims, or living in fear of being one of the victims. And in that situation, he would sure as hell be hoping that the people trying to help would be going about it in the right way.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kina Qadir Character Portrait: Frances de Vries Character Portrait: Jack Lacey Character Portrait: Grace Fogle Character Portrait: Lucien Thorne Verlac Character Portrait: Maria Ikeda
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#, as written by Cloud


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the wฮฑrั”hฯƒusั”
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If Toby thought his entrance, and the subsequent exit of Garth Holden and well over half of those gathered in the warehouse, was dramatic, it was only because he had yet to witness not one, but three individuals fall from the sky. Well, technically one of the newest arrivals fell from the sky, or roof, while the other two came through some kind of portal. If Toby had any doubt that this was a meeting for Gifted youth, it was well and truly squashed at that. Toby's earlier confusion regarding the figure on the roof was also solved, his gaze holding for a moment with the girl - Kina - who had fallen first.

As others in the group sought to find out who these newcomers were, while one of the new arrivals apparently attempted to find out where he was, Toby took the time to inspect those that still remained. He recognised several of them of course, Frankie and Sam, Grace, and their familiar faces eased the nerves that tended to gather when Toby was pushed into a new situation with strangers. Bast, standing beside Toby, was a welcome presence too.

The twins missed the majority of the introductions, but Toby learns one new name as Atticus Zhao speaks his name. Atticus' display of his powers is more than a little... unsettling. Toby watches quietly, anticipation and confusion growing as first nothing happens, and then suddenly Sunny reacts. Toby feels his heart go out to the younger boy, yet he can only watch as Sunny stumbles from his place standing in the circle and hastily begins thumping on the warehouse's rusting walls. Sunny's screams echo around the otherwise silent room, the thuds of his fists making dull thumps too. And then he stopped, confusion apparently setting in as Sunny's fear vanishes.

Toby watches both Sunny and Atticus as the latter reveals that his power is linked to panic and fear. That much was obvious from his display, even though Sunny doesn't appear to know that he just made a mad dash for an exit a few minutes ago. Toby wraps his arms around himself, repressing a shudder as he thinks what he would see if his worst fears were realised. He fights the urge to take a step closer to his twin, instead distracting himself as Atticus continues to talk.

Toby thinks the young man's suggestions show some merit, even if how they were ever going to find any clues was beyond Toby. It was one thing to hear rumours of the killer, to know the police were brushing it off, and then it was another thing entirely to find any potentially witnesses, discover clues, and connect the dots. At least, that was Toby's opinion. Personally, he would feel as if he were drowning if forced to do any of this alone. He guessed that was the advantage of numbers, they could pool their talents and resources to do things they might not be able to achieve alone... Toby just hoped that he had something to offer as help.

Toby's gaze finds another boy, longer red hair, passion shining in his eyes as he questions Atticus' suggestion. He offers his own alternative, to steal the information. Toby gulps, a growing feeling of uselessness overwhelming him. He couldn't steal anything, not because of a particularly strict moral code - though stealing did make him uncomfortable for that reason too - but because Toby knew he'd be more likely to get everyone arrested than sneak in and out of a police station escaping detection.

"We need to do both." Comes Frankie's reply, her voice confident despite her own uncertainty with what she was about to suggest. Toby had always admired that confidence, as he had both admired (and cursed) his brother's. "We need whatever the police have, and we need whatever they've missed. We need to figure out... I don't know, the killer's patterns, if there's somewhere they usually hunt. For fuck's sake, what he even does with the bodies. Anything."

"Stealing police information shouldn't be that hard." Frankie's twin, Sam, adds. The male de Vries rests his arm on his sister's shoulder and flaps his hand from Casper to Scott. "Not when we have guys who can turn invisible and walk through walls." Sam's gaze flicks to the well-dressed female who had fallen through the odd portal, "Or when we have whatever that was." he adds, waving his hand next at where the portal had been.

"Yeah, 'cept I can't turn anyone else invisible. And police stations usually have cameras and passwords and shit." Casper pipes up, grinning as he adds "I'm too pretty to go to jail."

Toby's gaze met Frankie's across the circle and he knew without words that they were both thinking the same thing, that Frankie, technically, could replicate both of the powers and slip in and out of the police station without being noticed... if she knew how to control her power. Frankie gave a small shrug, as if telling Toby she wished she could do more. More than once the friends had commiserated together over their lack of control of their powers. Frankie always told Toby that he'd get it, eventually, but the magician could tell that right now Frankie was feeling frustrated that she couldn't do more too.

Gulping back more nerves and shoving shaking hands into his pockets, Toby takes a tentative step forward. "Maybe..." Toby began, hesitating slightly as eyes fell on him. He can feel Casper's gaze too, and that more than anything has Toby nervous. "Maybe some of us... we aren't all... I mean, maybe for those of us who can't control their powers that well, like me... maybe we could set up some kind of practice. I... I want to help, but I need more practice." Toby's words trailed off, his eyes trained on a spot on the floor rather than meet anyone's eye.

"Good idea, man." Comes Sam's words of encouragement, before a teasing tone sneaks into his words, "I know Frankie definitely needs all the help she can get."

"Hey!" Frankie protests. Toby looks up in time to see Sam give his sister a shrug and a wide grin. Frankie rolls her eyes, shakes off Sam's arm and adds a moment later, still grudgingly, "He's not wrong. I do need some training."

Perhaps boosted by this partial acceptance of his idea, Toby finds himself offering up another, "And maybe... Maybe Bast you could look into the police records? Or... or Grace you could freeze time and if someone is fast they could run in...?" Toby shrugs his shoulders and glances around at the group. He didn't hear what half of them could do, but he was sure that together they would be able to figure it out. Somehow. They had to, or risk letting this killer continue picking people off.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kina Qadir Character Portrait: Frances de Vries Character Portrait: Jack Lacey Character Portrait: Grace Fogle Character Portrait: Lucien Thorne Verlac Character Portrait: Maria Ikeda
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Maria watched with exasperation as the crowd withered away. Her teeth gritted in annoyance, before forfeiting with a sigh. Damn. Well, if they were that easily convinced to scram, I doubt they'd be much help, anyway. Not an inspiring thought, nor much of a consolation, really, but it was all she could think of to boost her own dwindling morale.

She looked over who was left with growing uncertainty, her loyalty to the 'cause' slipping as she noted who was still present. Oh, thank God. We still have Bambi and the teakettle-

Then a girl fell through the ceiling. And then two more teenagers fell out of a swirling, glowing... thing. Maria wasn't entirely sure what one's typical reaction would be for such occurrences, but everyone else seemed to take it all rather well. Perhaps she should have expected that; this was literally a meeting for super-powered New Yorkians... they'd all likely seen a hell of a lot weirder.

The arrivals added a sense of courage to the air, at least until the young man, Atticus, revealed his ability. Then suddenly, everyone was uncomfortable again. He made up for it, though, by quoting the world's most depressing author. "As the strong man exults in his physical ability, delighting in such exercises as call his muscles into action, so glories the analyst in that moral activity which disentangles." The Murders in the Rue Morgue... at least the guy's got a sense of humor.

She liked a bit of bleak irony here and there, to take the edge of the dully morbid. Which this situation definitely was.

A small smirk touched her lips as the phasing redhead snapped back at Atticus' suggestions. Her eyebrow quirked at his little stumble, unnoticed by the majority of the others. Some skeletons in the closet there, I see.

"Maybe some of us... we aren't all... I mean, maybe for those of us who can't control their powers that well, like me... maybe we could set up some kind of practice. I... I want to help, but I need more practice."

Maria looked to the boy that had spoken. He was quieter, softer, than most of the others that made up their little group. His shyness was endearing, but his idea was actually a rather good one. She could do with a little practice. Practice that didn't involve screwing over well-off assholes.

"And maybe... Maybe Bast you could look into the police records? Or... or Grace you could freeze time and if someone is fast they could run in...?"

Maria frowned slightly, and with a sudden thought, turned to look at the tea kettle still settled near the edge of the group. She nudged it with the toe of her boot. "Or, Mrs Potts does people as well as he does kitchen appliances..." He could just walk in, pick out whatever he wants from the police records, ask a few questions while he's there, and walk out.

Ah, this was better. The more illegal side of the issue -the lying and cheating and rule-breaking. To put it simply, Maria had more... experience, in this particular area.