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Rika Yamada

"You aren't very hard to corrupt and you're an awful lot of fun to corrupt."

0 · 756 views · located in New York City

a character in “Gifted”, as played by Layla

Description

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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–€
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๏ผฎ๏ผก๏ผญ๏ผฅ
Rika Yamada

๏ผฎ๏ผฉ๏ผฃ๏ผซ๏ผฎ๏ผก๏ผญ๏ผฅ/๏ผณ
Ri, Yama, Rika-hime

๏ผก๏ผง๏ผฅ
19

๏ผค๏ผก๏ผด๏ผฅ ๏ผฏ๏ผฆ ๏ผข๏ผฉ๏ผฒ๏ผด๏ผจ
December 25th 1996

๏ผฎ๏ผก๏ผด๏ผฉ๏ผฏ๏ผฎ๏ผก๏ผฌ๏ผฉ๏ผด๏ผน
Japanese

๏ผฅ๏ผด๏ผจ๏ผฎ๏ผฉ๏ผฃ๏ผด๏ผน
Japanese-Korean

๏ผณ๏ผฅ๏ผธ๏ผต๏ผก๏ผฌ๏ผฉ๏ผด๏ผน
Pansexual

O C C U P A T I O N
Intern at NEXTech, Student - temporary hiatus

S T U D Y
Mathematics Major, MIT

๏ผค๏ผฉ๏ผก๏ผฌ๏ผฏ๏ผง๏ผต๏ผฅ ๏ผฃ๏ผฏ๏ผฌ๏ผฏ๏ผต๏ผฒ
Dialogue: #C58917
Thoughts: #DEB887



โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€
โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”I want a girl with shoes that cut and eyes that burn like cigarettes

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๏ผก๏ผข๏ผฉ๏ผฌ๏ผฉ๏ผด๏ผฉ๏ผฅ๏ผณ
Portal Manipulation; a variant of space-time manipulation, Rika has the ability to dissolve the structural continuum between two locations. Her portals manifest in a whirl of kaleidoscopic hues not unlike a wormhole, and may be as tiny as a softball or as great as a small room. Her gift operates within four constraints - time, volume, knowledge and distance. The first dictates that any fissure she cleaves through the world is fleeting, as the universe detects and corrects any spatial anomalies relatively quickly without her reprisal. The longer a portal remains open, the weaker she becomes. This period of time is further restricted by the number of objects that travel through the portal, with the size of the object multiplying the strain imposed upon it.

Lastly in respects to knowledge, the most efficient portals are those Rika creates to connect two visible spaces, whereby the destination is one she can literally see. In that instance, the speed in which she summons a portal is almost negligible. Where the destination is invisible to the eye, Rika is able to connect portals to places in her memory. The clearer her mind's vision, the higher her rate of success. Where this is impossible, she can lead the portal to a place she can neither see nor recall, but at great risk. It would be like navigating in total darkness, where her portal may open into a wall - in which case one would be stuck, if not suffocated - or empty space.

The limits of distance are malleable, with portals connecting proximate locations being easier to create and control than those connecting further distances. Rika has been able to gradually extend the distance of her portals with practice, but has so far been unable to travel beyond adjacent cities. Finally, although her portals are predominantly static and relatively inactive, as an offensive measure, they may act as vortexes, sucking in objects and enemies. However, this requires a heightened level of concentration and energy.



โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€
โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”Don't belong to no city, don't belong to no man

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๏ผก๏ผฐ๏ผฐ๏ผฅ๏ผก๏ผฒ๏ผก๏ผฎ๏ผฃ๏ผฅ
    H E I G H T
    5'7"; 171cm

    E Y E S
    Brown
    W E I G H T
    108lbs; 49kg

    H A I R
    Varies





Hair the shade of ebony lanced with mahogany cascaded down her back, wisps curling at her hips. They mirrored the colour of her eyes, gently slanted, piercing and framed in a dark wreath of lashes. A slim nose - ever slightly upturned at the tip - led the path to soft lips, the lower full and curved in an evanescent pout. It was her jawline that separated her from the average beauty, its edges cut and angled in a slant. Together her features exuded none of the warmth beneath, their resting state a mask of cool and knowing.

Tan legs stretched infinitely towards the swell of her hips, providing the illusion of greater height. Each toe and finger was perfectly manicured, and her hands were that of a pianist's, though in truth they'd never prattled across anything but the body of a keyboard and calculator.

๏ผณ๏ผด๏ผน๏ผฌ๏ผฅ
Comfort is paramount, and Rika is never more comfortable than when she's adorned to the height of fashion. The thought of Rika looking anything short of having just stepped off a Parisian runway or the catalogue Dolce & Gabbana is inconceivable. Edge and elegance are etched into the very constitution of her being. Sleepwear and inner wear are not exempt from her love of fashion, and she looks as graceful in the evening as she does in the mornings, comatose or otherwise.

If her appearance could be surmised in one phrase, it would be "prime for robbing." From her $250 Nicole Miller plain-T to the glistening diamond resting between her cleavage - constructed by a lacy $510 Carine Gilson push-up bra - Rika believes in strutting dangerously. It is her conclusion that any heel shorter than 4 inches is reserved for sports, fire emergencies, and acting the homeless woman in a play.

It offends Rika's feminine delicacies to wear, see, or be in the general vicinity of any article of clothing harbouring text or pictures. Those were cool in the 1950s, though even that can be contested. She is vehemently against brunettes - a category within which she currently resides - wearing green for any purpose other than attending a costume party dressed as a tree. And anyone who wears mustard yellow should be served with a side of steak and broccoli.

A minimalist at heart, Rika harbours no tattoos, considering them antithetical to her "Hepburn aesthetic," though she has a total of 12 piercings. Not including those beneath the waistline.



โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€
โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”I don't wanna come back down, I don't wanna touch the ground

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๏ผฐ๏ผฅ๏ผฒ๏ผณ๏ผฏ๏ผฎ๏ผก๏ผฌ๏ผฉ๏ผด๏ผน
Paradox; Rika is a riddle - a conflict of parallel puzzles. Immensely intelligent and oftentimes unerringly acute, her powers of perception are rivalled only by her disillusionment and absolute ignorance. "Qu'ils mangent de la brioche," as the French quote. "Let them eat cake," said the princess when she learned her peasants had no bread. The superficiality of her beliefs come not from a position of malevolence and condescension, but a genuine faith in life's fairness and a lack of having suffered in any notable degree. In her conception of the world, humanity is inherently good and any wrong can be righted. People and mathematical equations share great similarities where both conflicts can be resolved with the right tactic. Yet although she comprehends the nuances of both, oftentimes Rika fails to recognise that even if her analysis of individuals might be sound, their actions themselves are not always an articulation of what is logical and expected.

Stellar; Rika is simultaneously very difficult and very easy to hate. Wealthy, beautiful and revered, she drew Rumplestiltkin's golden straw from a barrel of hay and evaded the hardship most have had to endure. Yet her loyalty and genuine desire to assist others in their own self-fulfilment reveal a goodness that is in great scarcity. She is humble in accepting responsibility for whatever ill she has caused, though the policy does not seem to extend to her slight kleptomania where nobody's life is under threat and she considers her hunger a dire emergency. While her concern for others is true, Rika is more frequently than not the instigator of their hardship. Words slip unfettered from her mouth to offend any within her vicinity. Ironically, she possesses a strong maternal streak, considering herself the carer of the misguided, the matchmaker extraordinaire, the inventor of the gaydar, when truly the only thing she has a 6th sense for is fanny packs, whose very existence is a violation of Earth's sanctity.

Meteor; more than once, Rika has been told to pursue acting. Alas, she cannot, as it would lead to a world-wide epidemic wherein all of humanity would fight to the death for her affections. She is aware of how hard - how impossible - it is to not fall in love with her. She would not impose that burden upon the world. Rika is able to turn every moment of her existence into a scene from Breakfast at Tiffany's. Or Mad Max. Her propensity for drama is exacerbated by her peculiar ability to attract the bizarre, which she welcomes with open arms. Yet of all her skills, the one she cherishes most is her capacity to will tears with minimal effort, which has extrapolated her from countless tricky situations. Though even without it, everything always works out for Rika Yamada.



โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€
โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”Strictly biz, she don't play around; cover much ground, got game by the pound

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๏ผฌ๏ผฉ๏ผซ๏ผฅ๏ผณ
Bubble tea โœค Conspiracy theories โœค Food off other people's plates โœค Matchmaking โœค Flowers โœค Video games โœค MMORPGs โœค Scifi/fantasy โœค Star Wars โœค Fashion โœค Buzzfeed โœค Anything shiny made by Apple โœค Sushi and sashimi โœค Fro-yo โœค Lavender โœค Square jaws โœค Figuring out people's Gifts โœค Bubble baths โœค Indentured servitude โœค Mochi โœค Identical siblings โœค Archery โœค Pomeranians โœค Harry Potter โœค Kpop โœค K-dramas

๏ผค๏ผฉ๏ผณ๏ผฌ๏ผฉ๏ผซ๏ผฅ๏ผณ
Cooking โœค Hollandaise sauce โœค Coffee breath โœค Opaque walls โœค Locked doors, or rather lacks any respect for them โœค Physical restriction โœค Slow traffic โœค Press freedom โœค People who never learned how to dress themselves โœค Mustard yellow anything โœค 47 chicken nuggets when she asked for 48 โœค Fanny packs with a capital F



โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€
โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”You took a good girl and you turned me oh so bad

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๏ผฑ๏ผต๏ผฉ๏ผฒ๏ผซ๏ผณ | ๏ผจ๏ผก๏ผข๏ผฉ๏ผด๏ผณ
XXXKleptomaniac tendencies; It's more a lack of awareness for boundaries than a desire to possess the items of other people that compels Rika to acquire whatever is in her vicinity, and considering her Gift, quite a lot is in her reach. Her kleptomania seems to apply most prominently to food. If one is to be momentarily distracted and find half of their doughnut gone, they likely have Rika to blame.

XXXDebauchery; Rika has what one might consider a healthy appreciation for the human form. She very much enjoys the company and sight of beautiful people, whether or not they wish to be the object of her perfections. The shadow of a dark and long-haired girl reflected in the shower door should be no cause for alarm - at least for the supernatural sort, human dignity is something else - as it is likely to be Rika being the sexual deviant she is.

XXXPeculiar sneeze; The expulsion of air from her nose has been likened to the sound made by squirrels upon discovering a whole acorn.

๏ผด๏ผก๏ผฌ๏ผฅ๏ผฎ๏ผด๏ผณ | ๏ผณ๏ผด๏ผฒ๏ผฅ๏ผฎ๏ผง๏ผด๏ผจ๏ผณ
XXXEating; Some say she is the distant cousin of Takeru Kobayashi, a Japanese competitive eater unparalleled in his capacity to swallow hot dogs. Do not assume your name on the bag or carton will protect it, for she will find your lunch, and she will eat it.

XXXMarksmanship; Everyone in the Yamada family is taught the martial art kyลซdล or archery from a young age. Although not as disciplined or skilled as her brother, she has been awarded the 8th Dan, out of 10. Her real skill lies in hand-throwing.

XXXLeague of Legends Champion; One would never imagine the wealthy Insta-famous fashionista to have any interests beyond the halo of her hair, but underneath the glamour of a Pinterest-worthy manicure lies fingers with the dexterity of a person who's topped most MMORPG leaderboards. Her online alias of DeathStar69 has achieved notoriety over the years, though none have ever known the identity of its player.

XXXPhotogenic; Regardless of what she might be doing or whether she is conscious, somehow, any photograph harbouring her being wil reveal her in the best light, from her better angle. It is a skill so uncanny some believe it a second Gift.

๏ผฆ๏ผฌ๏ผก๏ผท๏ผณ | ๏ผท๏ผฅ๏ผก๏ผซ๏ผฎ๏ผฅ๏ผณ๏ผณ๏ผฅ๏ผณ
XXXOblivious; Rika excels at being inattentive and insensitive. She does not forget or neglect out of malice, it is only a biproduct of her existence. Her brain seems wholly incapable of processing both clothing and the person within the clothing simultaneously, and so she is partial to fail at identifying any emotional indicators they might be exuding.

XXXHypoglycemia; She uses the excuse of having low blood sugar to eat everything in her reach, regardless of whether they belong to her.

๏ผฆ๏ผฅ๏ผก๏ผฒ๏ผณ
XXXClowns; Not only are their clothes a ghastly colour, they are lined with more frills than would be seen on Queen Elizabeth I and all her subjects combined. This is not to mention their tacky makeup that gives them an uncanny resemblance to Grandmother Gyeong-Ja when she was painted for the wake.

XXXPhysical restriction; Seeing as Rika's powers require the momentum of her arm to "fling" the portal outwards, any physical restraint - such as being trapped in a wall because she accidentally Portalled between rooms - causes great distress.



โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€
โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”Uptown girl, she's been living in her uptown world

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๏ผฆ๏ผก๏ผญ๏ผฉ๏ผฌ๏ผน
Daisuke Yamada || 52 || Father || Mundane || Alive
Ha-neul Ran || 43 || Mother || Mundane || Alive
Kenji Yamada || 22 || Brother || Gifted || Alive

๏ผจ๏ผฉ๏ผณ๏ผด๏ผฏ๏ผฒ๏ผน
1996; From the moment she parted her small mouth and blinked blearily at her mother, Rika knew she was the luckiest girl in the world. Warmth and love filled every crevice of Ha-neul's heart as she smiled down at her daughter - the most beautiful little girl who had ever been, she thought. Sweat dripped into her eyes and air wheezed from her heavy lungs, her thighs ached and quivered, but she felt only the comforting weight of her baby in her arms. Though she had a son, a daughter was what she'd always wanted. And what a perfect daughter she was, even though a peculiar one.

In the beginning, they had been terrified. They would put her in her cradle and wake the next day to find her gone. Her governess would turn to scoop more porridge into her bowl only to discover she'd disappeared from the room in that brief moment. Yet always, always they found her - or rather she found them - and so they learned not to worry. Too much.

1999; The truth began to reveal itself as she got older. She spoke of the "between place," some momentary dimension suspended between this place and the next. She spoke of stepping between rooms, of closing her eyes, dreaming of where she wished to be and throwing her intention outward. A gate would open, she said, to the spirit world their Shinto faith spoke of, and she would cross the path to wherever she desired. They suspected then that she might've been Gifted like her brother and others in their family, but had never seen the gates she spoke of, and for a little while it had seemed they'd only been a child's fantasy.

Rika's days were spent in the gardens - picking cherry blossoms when the small town of Matsumoto was in bloom, arranging garlands from twigs for every member of her household, family and servant, and racing along the Azusa River to see the kanuushi working at the Shinto shrines. Being the second in the family had it's up's and down's, but more up's than anything. She had none of the responsibility Kenji had and all of the luxury. Whilst he followed their father to Tokyo and elsewhere for business, she was home doing nearly whatever she wished.

2008; As much as she adored her tutors and the candy they would bring whenever they visited her to teach her the languages of the world or her favourite, mathematics, still she pined for the companionship she saw amongst the other children in her town. They rarely spoke to her and RIka was certain it was only because they didn't know her. She begged her parents to allow her to study in the local school, but they deemed it unfit for her education. After some persuasion, they enrolled her in an international school in her mother's hometown and South Korea's capital, Seoul, one of the best in the country.

2009; There she lived with her mother's family, who owned a brand of of luxury supermarkets in Korea. She was enrolled in a prestigious private school whose principal was a close childhood friend of her mother's. That year her family took a trip to Korea, but her father fell ill with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. She was taken out of class and notified of her father's condition immediately. In her entire life, she had never felt more fear than she did in that moment. The driver was waiting outside but after a few dreadful minutes in unmoving traffic, she opened the car door and ran.

Past the stagnant vehicles, past the Cheonggyecheon creek and the parks where the flowers hung heavy from their branches in the Fall - until the roof of her mother's estate peaked through. It was impossible. And yet there she was, their housekeeper, Eun-Ii, staring wide-eyed and white-knuckled by the windows of the house. Rika had run all the way home and arrived before even the paramedics.

It was then that they realised the suspicions they'd had when Rika had been a child were truths. They said the Gift was only her second, because her first was inspiring her father to recover with relatively minimal complications after being rushed to the hospital. They teased that the sight of Rika with leaves in her hair and dirt smudged across her knees was more shocking than the portal that sealed shut behind her and had been enough to jolt her father's heart back to life. They revealed Kenji had shown his own unique dispositions years before and was only one of many Gifted's scattered throughout the Yamada family line over the course of their long history. They had her registered into the database, and that was that.

2016; She began her degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in America the year before. However, whilst she certainly enjoyed university and the plethora of social opportunities it offered - because the Americans certainly enjoyed her stubborn independence more than the comparatively conservative Japanese and Koreans - she enjoyed applying her mathematical skill practically more. She decided to take a year off to intern at the American branch of NEXTech.



โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€โ–€
โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”Green light, one life, go faster

So begins...

Rika Yamada's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kina Qadir Character Portrait: Frances de Vries Character Portrait: Jack Lacey Character Portrait: Toby Kipling Character Portrait: Lucien Thorne Verlac Character Portrait: Grace Fogle Character Portrait: Maria Ikeda Character Portrait: Eugene Park Character Portrait: Casper Temple Character Portrait: Percy Wren-Lewis Character Portrait: Rika Yamada Character Portrait: Dylan Ashe Character Portrait: Scott Carter Character Portrait: Felix Ueda Character Portrait: Bast Kipling
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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”€

๏ผฎ๏ผฅ๏ผท ๏ผน๏ผฅ๏ผก๏ผฒ๏ผณ ๏ผค๏ผก๏ผน, ๏ผฎ๏ผฅ๏ผท ๏ผน๏ผฏ๏ผฒ๏ผซ ๏ผฃ๏ผฉ๏ผด๏ผน

โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€

It's no secret that the New Years is no mere passing holiday in the eyes of those living in the metropolis of New York City, the name itself enough to set its rambunctious populace abuzz in anticipation for what is to come. The citizens of New York? They know how to party. The dawning of a new year comes a new excuse to pull out all the stops, along with an alarming amount of second-rate booze which may taste like cat piss in the beginning but become more bearable once one hits the third or forth drink, as many acknowledge that it is the one night of the year that is truly meant to paint the town red. Whether it be a small house party among friends who had preparing weeks in advance by buying party decorations, a gathering of lonely souls at a local bar who just want to get away from the worries of life, or families of all types who condensed within Time Square to watch the famous dropping of the ball, people were out for blood and looking for a good time. The feeling of elation rippled along society and enabled an atmosphere that was shared among all.

On this night in New York City, minutes inching ever nearer to a fresh stretch of time, alcohol was overflowing from the cups of the masses and there wasn't a soul whose eyes weren't occasionally straying to their clocks, watches, and cell phones, checking to see how much longer they would have to wait until midnight. With baited breaths, there wasn't much else to do other than enjoy the chicken wings that were on for cheap because of the New Year special or keep an eye out for that possible other who might want to share a kiss at the peak of the evening- neither of which was really a tragedy. For those willing to brave the slight chill in the air that came with the winter season, they were able to experience the wonder of bright, exploding color, light illuminating a sky that would have otherwise been dark, dreary, and full of smog. The fireworks displays alone were enough to leave those who had witnessed its splendor, breathless.

There was one specific individual who was breathless for an entirely different reason, however, not a single firework bright or colorful enough to catch his attention. No, his heart was racing in such a way that could only be the result of not happiness or jubilation, but rather, the feeling of becoming helpless prey in a scenario that was not in his favor. The blood that coursed through Lionel Lee's, a man who was unfortunate enough to call the dirty city streets his home, veins ran an icy cold as he stopped to catch his breath. He was in desperate need to stop running, to allow his screaming muscles a moments rest and his pounding heart a chance to steady itself. Lionel Lee could only press himself into a crevice of a red brick wall and attempt to suppress the scream that wanted to rise out of the back of his throat.

The Shadow was still after him; it was lurking somewhere in the alleyway with him, an alleyway that had been transformed into a labyrinth when Lionel became a mouse in a maze riddled with cats. The dark figure was out to get him- it was out to kill him, Lionel was sure of it. It was a dark, tenebrous shape that loomed over even the tallest of walls and buildings, overwhelming the area with an aura of power and dominant so staggeringly potent. The Shadow was nothing less than a natural-born predator with a lust for blood.

Lionel had been living on the streets for years now, and with that in mind he knew the very culture that coupled with that lifestyle. He knew that some of the best places to sleep were in playgrounds and beneath bridges, places deemed safe enough to spend the night and warm enough to evade the bitter cold. The schedule of the local soup kitchen, when was the best times to ensure that Lionel would get a hot bowl of soup to eat, was permanently engraved in his mind. Lastly, but most importantly, he knew how to steer clear of the potential dangers. There were some people that could not be trusted, places that he would never intend to visit, and conditions that he would avoid out of his best interest. But those were dangers of the earthly sort, mainly defined by the dealings of the black market and gang movements. They were unlike the kind of The Shadow: an unearthly danger.

Suddenly, rapidly, something darted out of the corner of his eye, a black shape that moved with speed and agility that could be dubbed inhuman. It was a movement enough to draw a loud whimper from between Lionel's lips and cause his shaking hands to push him away from the wall, springing the homeless man into the middle of the alley. As his feet thudded against the ground and his body seemed to turn from corner to corner to corner of the maze, it was pure instinct that overtook his mind and flooded his thoughts of run, escape, and survive. He could pay no heed to the patch that slipped out of his pocket and drifted to the ground, a singular beam of moonlight shining onto the words "SGT. Lionel Lee."

He didn't want to run any more, he was tired and consumed by fatigue, but he had to. The Shadow was everywhere all at once. It dashed and flew, scampering out of the corner of his eyes and disappearing before he could truly construe it. Finally, it would be the way The Shadow swiped along the length of his spine that would send Lionel tumbling to the ground beneath him, a scream ripped out of him as he scurried to pull himself up and face the demon. As he did, Lionel squeezed his eyes shut and felt the tingle of vapor at his fingertips, water from a nearby leaking pipe collecting on his palm. It was a sensation no longer familiar to the man, as he had long since abandoned the use of his abilities. On an occasion like this, however, it was his second nature as a Gifted individual to try and preserve his life.

Flinging the water in the direction of The Shadow did nothing. It was a pathetic attempt that portrayed the weakness of the prey, a mist of water that only seemed to send The Shadow into a hoot of joyous laughter. It was if the thing was equal parts pleased and mocking at Lionel's little display of Adam's ale. The Shadow knew that he had won.

In the darkness of the barren alleyway his screams had not been heard or attended to as The Shadow overtook him, and instead the cheers of nearby party-goers could be discerned in the far distance. While people laughed merrily, kissed enthusiastically, and roared with delight at the strike of midnight, they would not know of Lionel's demise on account of a battle lost. Nor would they care.

On January 1st, 2016 Lionel Lee would die a homeless veteran, his legacy having fought in wars smothered, and lines and scratches marring his arms would show that he had been driven to drug use and addiction. He would be a man forgotten. A man murdered.



โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€

๏ผฏ๏ผฎ๏ผฅ ๏ผท๏ผฅ๏ผฅ๏ผซ ๏ผฌ๏ผก๏ผด๏ผฅ๏ผฒ, ๏ผฎ๏ผฅ๏ผท ๏ผน๏ผฏ๏ผฒ๏ผซ ๏ผฃ๏ผฉ๏ผด๏ผน

โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€

Anyone born in the last few decades can attest to how revolutionary the creation of the internet was. Its development since has created a whole new method for obtaining information. Suddenly anyone with a home computer could cruise the web, information was only a mouse click away. Chatting with friends halfway across the world, or meeting like-minded people on anonymous chatrooms was easy.

One such chatroom, entered only through a password, has had a steady stream of patrons for the last month or so. It was originally created as a safe space for Gifted kids to communicate, those individuals who felt they couldnโ€™t speak with anyone face to face about the many problems they might face day to day. Recently, the chatroom has been dedicated to the disappearances that have been plaguing the homeless youth of New York, and the ineffectiveness of the local police.

โ€™This is bullshit.โ€™ KidBig66 writes, breaking the momentary silence that had hit the board after the most recent disappearance had been announced. โ€™How come no oneโ€™s looking into it??โ€™

โ€™Same excuse as last time, I reckon.โ€™ Lucky_Lady types back, โ€™Police say itโ€™s not suspicious. Claim heโ€™s probably just on some drug binge or moved cities.โ€™

โ€™Basically, they donโ€™t fuckn care about any1 hu doesnโ€™t โ€˜fitโ€™ into their picture of society.โ€™ The_Alpha8921 types.

He wasnโ€™t far off the truth too. For several months now there have been losses, street kids disappearing, homeless men and women vanishing without a trace. Bodies have been rare, only a handful have been found and even then, itโ€™s hard to identify the remains. Yet, the police have remained largely inactive. Their excuses? Not enough evidence, or not enough resources to investigate the disappearance of individuals who are prone to moving without word. After all, who would spare an officer when the victim in question is one of those who have fallen through societyโ€™s cracks, whose โ€˜homeโ€™ moves depending on the weather and the good grace of others?

โ€™Fucking hell! Theyโ€™re gonna sit and do nothing while some psychopath picks us all off.โ€™ KidBig66 writes, the anger evident even across the internet.

โ€™We do it then.โ€™ The response comes from renegade777, one of the quieter presences in the chatroom.

โ€™Do what?โ€™

โ€™We find and stop this killer.โ€™

The words are read across the city, fingers stilled against their keyboards as pros and cons are weighed. Could they? Could they do this themselves? Do what the police wonโ€™t? It was a mad idea, and yetโ€ฆ who was to say they couldnโ€™t? A stream of replies come at once, some for the idea, some vehemently against it.

โ€™Youโ€™re crazy.โ€™,
โ€™FUCK YES!โ€™
โ€™How could we do anything? Weโ€™re just a bunch of nobodies.โ€™
โ€™Iโ€™d rather do something and die trying than watch as more are killed.โ€™
โ€™Screw u, im nt dying for shit.โ€™

โ€™We can do this, guys.โ€™ Renegade777 explains, gaining the chatroomโ€™s attention as they continue, โ€™Think about it. Weโ€™re all gifted, weโ€™re strong and powerful, and we know the city better than any police officer. Together, we can do this.โ€™

โ€™Not all of us can control our powers.โ€™ Someone points out.

โ€™Then weโ€™ll train. Weโ€™ll share information and tips, help each other out. We can do this!โ€™

While some refused to be part of this supposed madness, there was enough of a consensus that a date, time, and place was picked. Word spread, radiating out from the chatroom by word of mouth and rumour. As the time drew closer, an exact week after Lionel Leeโ€™s disappearance, the meeting had grown from the handful that frequented the chatroom to more than a dozen individuals. Some came with the intention of doing good, others out of pure curiosity. So it was that, on the 8th of January, as the sun was about to set across the City that never sleeps, a small gathering of Gifted young adults was assembling.

Outside the weather turns from chilly to cold, a blanket of white snow turned to discoloured sludge as pedestrians and vehicles crush it beneath feet and tires. Thereโ€™s no sign of snow at the moment, though thick, heavy clouds hang low in the sky, sunlight catching the underside and offering a crisp winter vision above the cityโ€™s skyscrapers. For those with the option, it would be a perfect evening to watch the sunset from an insulated and heated penthouse apartment, but for those forced out into the biting air, it would be best to wrap up tight.

They trail in alone or in pairs, pushing aside rusted metal fences and entering through a door thatโ€™s on its last breath. Graffiti decorates the walls, while empty beer bottles and the evidence of furry inhabitants litter the floors and corners. In the middle of the warehouseโ€™s hall a patch of blackened floor remains as evidence to when some miscreant attempted to start a fire within its four walls. The walls are rusting, the ceiling looks set to cave in, and yet miraculously it still lives, as if the abandoned building has been imbued with an unnatural ability to survive whatever dangers is thrown at it, natural or not. Decrepit and lonely, a shell of a building that once held the industrial hopes of the neighbourhood, it now offers the ideal set for a meeting of concerned youth.

They take up places around the edge, or huddled in small groups in the middle, waiting for someone to start the affairs โ€“renegade777 perhaps? Yet, the chatroom member doesnโ€™t step forward, assuming theyโ€™re there yet. Instead, it is another member of the chatroom that kicks things off. The back door squeaks on its hinges as one individual pushes through. To those from the chatroom, heโ€™s known as The_Alpha8921, while in real life heโ€™s Garth Holden, a troubled twenty-one year old with the power of super strength โ€“ fitting given his internet pseudonym. He comes to stand in the middle of the room, glancing around at those already there, a cursory gaze that is at once judging and cocky.

โ€œWell? Are we going to do this thing or not?โ€ He asks, cracking his knuckles out of habit as he eyes up his peers. โ€œWhatโ€™s the plan? We go round anโ€™ tell what we can do?โ€

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kina Qadir Character Portrait: Frances de Vries Character Portrait: Jack Lacey Character Portrait: Toby Kipling Character Portrait: Lucien Thorne Verlac Character Portrait: Grace Fogle Character Portrait: Maria Ikeda Character Portrait: Eugene Park Character Portrait: Casper Temple Character Portrait: Percy Wren-Lewis Character Portrait: Rika Yamada Character Portrait: Dylan Ashe Character Portrait: Scott Carter Character Portrait: Felix Ueda Character Portrait: Bast Kipling Character Portrait: Atticus Zhao
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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

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    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: Toby Kipling Character Portrait: Lucien Thorne Verlac Character Portrait: Grace Fogle Character Portrait: Maria Ikeda Character Portrait: Eugene Park Character Portrait: Casper Temple Character Portrait: Percy Wren-Lewis Character Portrait: Rika Yamada Character Portrait: Dylan Ashe Character Portrait: Scott Carter Character Portrait: Felix Ueda Character Portrait: Bast Kipling Character Portrait: Atticus Zhao
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#, as written by themis
Image


โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”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.


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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.
"


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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: Toby Kipling Character Portrait: Lucien Thorne Verlac Character Portrait: Grace Fogle Character Portrait: Maria Ikeda Character Portrait: Eugene Park Character Portrait: Casper Temple Character Portrait: Percy Wren-Lewis Character Portrait: Rika Yamada Character Portrait: Dylan Ashe Character Portrait: Scott Carter Character Portrait: Felix Ueda Character Portrait: Bast Kipling Character Portrait: Atticus Zhao
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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: Toby Kipling Character Portrait: Lucien Thorne Verlac Character Portrait: Grace Fogle Character Portrait: Maria Ikeda Character Portrait: Eugene Park Character Portrait: Casper Temple Character Portrait: Percy Wren-Lewis Character Portrait: Rika Yamada Character Portrait: Dylan Ashe Character Portrait: Scott Carter Character Portrait: Felix Ueda Character Portrait: Bast Kipling Character Portrait: Atticus Zhao
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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: Toby Kipling Character Portrait: Lucien Thorne Verlac Character Portrait: Grace Fogle Character Portrait: Maria Ikeda Character Portrait: Eugene Park Character Portrait: Casper Temple Character Portrait: Percy Wren-Lewis Character Portrait: Rika Yamada Character Portrait: Dylan Ashe Character Portrait: Scott Carter Character Portrait: Felix Ueda Character Portrait: Bast Kipling Character Portrait: Atticus Zhao
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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: Toby Kipling Character Portrait: Lucien Thorne Verlac Character Portrait: Grace Fogle Character Portrait: Maria Ikeda Character Portrait: Eugene Park Character Portrait: Casper Temple Character Portrait: Percy Wren-Lewis Character Portrait: Rika Yamada Character Portrait: Dylan Ashe Character Portrait: Scott Carter Character Portrait: Felix Ueda Character Portrait: Bast Kipling Character Portrait: Atticus Zhao
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#, as written by Cloud


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the wฮฑrั”hฯƒusั”
hex: #9BA9B4

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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: Toby Kipling Character Portrait: Lucien Thorne Verlac Character Portrait: Grace Fogle Character Portrait: Maria Ikeda Character Portrait: Eugene Park Character Portrait: Casper Temple Character Portrait: Percy Wren-Lewis Character Portrait: Rika Yamada Character Portrait: Dylan Ashe Character Portrait: Scott Carter Character Portrait: Felix Ueda Character Portrait: Bast Kipling Character Portrait: Atticus Zhao
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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.