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Kiser Nathaniel Burntwood

WIP

0 · 448 views · located in Earth

a character in “How to spot a Faerie”, originally authored by Layla, as played by RolePlayGateway

Description

(WIP) Kiser Nathaniel Burntwood ~ Kai, Agent 001 ~ Layla and coricidinForte
Not Your Concern by the Hush Sound


Image

Height: 6'3" or 192cm
Appearance: "Rugged" describes Kiser quite well. He's hardly ever clean shaven - if ever - and his chestnut hair looks as if he'd just rolled out of bed. Which, of course, he had. He's practical when it comes to fashion, choosing clothes that can easily be taken off should he need to do so. In fact, sometimes he doesn't even wear clothes. The most complicated piece of non-battle equipment on him is a belt (Which he only wears because his IPAF superiors grew tired of his stark nakedness. Well, they were heterosexual males), which he despises with a passion. His left bicep has a tattoo of a lion's head upon it and he has the name of his deceased wife - 'Rayna' - tattooed over his heart. He has pale green eyes, with a straight nose and a strong jaw. His abundance in muscle makes him look to be a bouncer or a wrestler, which he was, once.
Gender: Male
Sexuality: "This pole is me and I am the pole." Heterosexual
Age: 31
Species: Werelion
Personality: Impatient, easily bored, hot tempered, easily annoyed, volatile, uncaring. There are very few perks to his personality. Kiser thinks more than 90% of all people are stupid, 8% are intelligent but annoying and the other 2% are Weres. Little needs to be done to annoy him and often the smallest of wrong doings will set him aflame. He's difficult to please and one can never know how he will be on a minute to minute basis. One day he could be happy with those who gave him coffee and the next he could hate them for doing the very same thing. He waits for no one and listens to no one, not even Anastasia for that matter. In fact, especially not Anastasia. Some might say she brings out the better man in him but most would say she does the exact opposite.

He's not a planner and will do before he thinks. He believes in "Guilty until proven innocent" and will not hesitate to injure Fey suspects without question. "When in doubt: kill," is pretty much his motto in life. Despite all his negatives, he is a good man at heart and wishes to do what he believes is right. He is extremely loyal when you are able to earn his trust and care although so far his loyalties have only ever laid with his pack.
Biography: Born into a military family, his life was pretty much set out for him. To add upon that, he also belonged to a clan of Werelions, having been born one. He was destined to fight and he did not mind, he loved and continues to love, to fight. He joined the military at a young age and quickly went up the ranks until he was commander. All was well until the Fey invaded Earth. Then, he volunteered to transfer from the US Military to IPAF. Since then, he's captured more Fey than almost anyone else. Currently, he's stuck with Chris, a newbie at the organisation.

He has a love-hate relationship with Anastasia.
Other: He hates vegetables and would sooner be tortured than eat one.

So begins...

Kiser Nathaniel Burntwood's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Raena Character Portrait: Kiser Nathaniel Burntwood
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#, as written by Layla
“It’s snowing.”

“No, really,” Kiser said drily. “Riveting observation.” Of course it was snowing; it was always snowing. Ever since the foreign invasion over six months ago, winter had seeped into every inch of the world, encompassing first New York, then everywhere else. Leaving not even the equator untouched. Oh dreadful, dreadful winter. No one had seen a green leaf anywhere outside of a greenhouse or a museum in ages.

The worst part was that they’d been invaded by Faeries.

“Hey, son, guess what daddy was when he was young and brave. Daddy was a Faerie Hunter!” Kiser thought with a groan, dropping his head onto the dashboard of his car. Why couldn’t they have named them ‘Unidentified Flying Asses,’ instead? UFA. Yes, UFA would’ve worked.

“Dude, I mean, it’s snowing,” Kiser’s annoying assignment of the month – Chris – repeated once again.

“Damn it, Chris. I know it’s-“ Kiser’s words evaporated into the frigid air as he wound down the window of his car. It was snowing. Fat tennis balls of white rained from the skies, coating the world in an even thicker than usual layer of ice. This was why Kiser had transferred from the U.S. Military to aid IPAF in their fight against the Fey. The world’s resources were on a steady decline and at this rate, animals – including humans - would meet inevitable extinction, and when they did, as would Vampires and Weres. If he had to survive on leeks and brussels sprouts for another month…

Kiser swore, shoving the door open and gripping his IPAF-approved gun from his coat pocket. He lifted the weapon and gazed through the special scope at a man who appeared, suspiciously, to be manipulating snow across the busy street. Come on, come on. Look up, he thought.

There.

Glowing eyes lifted before the Faerie turned quickly - too slow - a movement too precise and otherworldly for a Vamp or Were and too quick for a human. It ducked into a small street behind it, disappearing into the dimness of winter noon.

“Type 4 at 3 o’clock,” Kiser said hastily, already running in the direction of the Faerie. His two legs ate the distance, but not fast enough. The IPAF senior shrugged off his coat as his legs continued to pump.

“Kai! What the hell are you doing, man?” the rookie behind him asked between heavy breaths.

“Exactly what I look like I’m doing!” he shouted, shouldering people aside as the narrow street opened into a crowded city square.

“Stripping?” Chris asked.

A roar tore through the air as Kiser’s muscles rippled and warped beneath his skin – or fur. People squealed whilst some - obviously Weres - hooted at the passing lion. Kiser dimly noted Chris’ creative use of vulgarity behind him as his consciousness shifted into that of his animal form. The world grew sharper and words became meaningless noise, like the language of buzzing flies. Nobody cared about the language of buzzing flies.

The world blurred into a continuous flow of colour and Kiser’s mind and eyes narrowed into a single, blue-haired figure. The Fey had abandoned its glamour in its attempt to escape and could now be seen in all its horrific beauty. The Werelion’s jaws widened as it clamped around the small blue figure, eliciting a sharp scream from the Fey.

“You are hereby arrested for violating Sections I, IV, II-“ Chris began before silencing himself as the lion growled in warning between his clamped teeth and the - now bleeding purple - figure. “You have a right to remain silent. Anything you say will be misquoted and used against you,” Chris said. He’d always wanted to say that. The new addition to IPAF attached an iron band around the Fey’s ankle. Any move to escape or harm and the iron cuff would inject a concentration of iron into the Fey’s system, resulting in immediate termination.

Satisfied, the lion’s bones rippled beneath its thick gold fur as it morphed into a muscular, peeved, and very much naked Kiser. “What was that last sentence for?” he asked without wanting or expecting an answer, dropping the limp Fey. Chris smiled sheepishly, before stroking his hairless chin.

“Nice,” he said, referring to Kiser’s exposed body.

“Thanks,” Kiser said with a grin; Werelions were very proud of their bodies. “Although, pants might be nice”

Not far from the IPAF hunters, ice cracked. It began gently, a small crinkle of sound accompanied by a paper-thin line across the surface of frozen water. Then, the lines rippled, the cracks widened and the ominous sound that followed elicited gasps and squeals of fright.

“Do you hear something?” an ice-skater whispered, sliding to a stop. The Upper New York Bay had been frozen thick for months and being as cold as it was now, no one expected that it would, well, not stay whole.

“What?” her friend asked.

Ice cracked.

Screams ripped through the air as blades ripped through ice; bodies bumped into one another and slid across the frozen surface as the thick lines that marred the smooth ice chased them relentlessly.

Beneath the surface, the quiet waters stirred, as if preparing for the awakening of their creator. Lines of consciousness glowed silver, the thin strings reaching for one another, searching, as they weaved into a web of millenniums. No, more than that. A white purer that the purest of colours – or the lack thereof – floated in the chilling liquid, their long strands of hair dancing like ink in water. The figure stirred, its translucent robes of ebony curling around its smooth ivory skin. There was a stretch of absolute stillness, where the Earthlings above – now standing on solid Earth as they watched the unmoving fractures along the ice – stood still. The sounds around them quieted, the birds silencing in their songs as they, too, watched the ice, or rather, what lay beneath it.

“Nothing’s happening,” a woman whispered to her husband.

The world shattered.

An ominous crack rumbled through the still air; ice tore apart, pulling from one another like tectonic plates on fast forward. The Statue of Liberty watched from a distance, her unseeing eyes watching the panic below, waiting for what was to come. Fingers worth the envy of any pianist grasped at empty air as they burst through the now visible waters. The crowd stared, entranced, as an arm emerged, then - with a gasp more beautiful than the loveliest of birdsongs - a young woman. Her ghostly hair of unmarred white floated in a choreographed dance, every strand serving a purpose in emphasising the woman's otherworldliness. Wide, blue eyes like broken glass - no, startling emerald? - stared, frightened, from a face that seemed as fragile and as carefully crafted as a collector's porcelain doll. Her full lips - with a deep cupid's bow - parted in desperate attempts to breathe, its colour pale with cold.

Perfection.

Kiser stared, as did everyone else, his hands frozen at his hips where he'd been buckling his belt whilst running towards the commotion. The angel - yes, that was what she was - was flawless even in her struggle, as if God Himself controlled her every elegantly flailing movement.

"Think she's a Fey?"

Kiser ripped his eyes away from the struggling figure to glare at Chris, annoyed that he'd interrupted his moment with the angel and annoyed with himself for not waking sooner. The Werelion parted his lips to deny such accusations towards the beauty but pressed his lips into a firm line before the word could leave his mind. No, she was too beautiful. More so than the Fey, even. Her perfection was immeasurable and most Earthlings didn't emerge from frozen water. But he didn't want to believe it. Didn't want this Goddess-like creature to be such an abominable creation. But the river had been frozen for months and no one human, Were or Vampire, could've survived so long beneath its surface.

"Let it drown," he rasped, turning away from the Sun, the Moon, the world that seemed to be the girl. Beauty was evil.

"S... Stop," a voice croaked. "Not. Not Fey."

Kiser furrowed his thick brows, looking down at the still bleeding, sprawled blue Fey at his feet. He'd forgotten he was there. The Winter Fey struggled to look at him, his lips parting and closing in a speech that could not be heard. "What?" Kiser asked in a gruff tone, scratching his rough jaw.

"Not Fey. You... You can test her," the Fey managed to say. The Winter Faerie looked at his Queen, a horrible suffocation beginning in his lungs as he realised how utterly true his statement was. She was not Fey; at least, not in the way the Fey should be. There was none of Her true glory beneath Her skin, none of Her breath-stealing blaze that made one wish to grovel at Her feet. He was sure that if they photographed Her eyes - as they so often did with the Fey - they would see only what was normal of Earthlings. Nothing. A tear trickled sideways from his fallen head as the Winter Fey mourned what was surely the death of his once beloved monarch.

The Light Queen was mortal.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Azriel De'mourn Character Portrait: Praxis Lethe Character Portrait: Raena Character Portrait: Capricorn Character Portrait: Leau Character Portrait: Anastasia Varias Character Portrait: Harold Chester Character Portrait: Rorgen Avulstein Character Portrait: Kiser Nathaniel Burntwood
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#, as written by Layla
Image

The skies were cruel. The young woman wondered for long moments as she watched the snowflakes tumble from the skies, unsure of their destination. The clouds had unclasped their seat belts, allowing their children to spill from their wombs and fill with an icy emptiness along the way. They would fall, fall and fall, not knowing of their fates until the very end when they shattered upon pavements or into the heated palms of mortals. She wondered as to why a parent would lead their children to their deaths and an unexplainable guilt slithered up her spine, into and beneath her skin.

"I don't know who you are.. All I know is you are going to die of cold if we don't warm you up, that body you have isn't made for extreme cold. Come with me inside, we can worry about figuring out who you are in there," said the man before her. The grey ice dug into her flesh, pushing past the thin material of her soaked dress of white. She pressed her back against the rough bricks behind her, observing the man's gold eyes with a curious contemplation. She felt no doubt, being as trustworthy as a newborn child who'd not yet learned to walk or hate.

"If you do not know who I am, why do you care for me?" She tilted her head to the side, standing gingerly and wobbling on her knees made of bones that felt more like shortbread. The cold surface behind held her upright as she leaned against it, her pale existence a mark of light in the darkness of the alley. Apricot lights painted strawberry blonde streaks in her long hair, crimson soaking into her soft lips and amber bleeding into their gold eyes. The sunset cast a mesmerising glow over the snow capped mounds of buildings, the beauty only interrupted by the heavy black coats of people bustling about. They were too busy with places to go and people to meet in preparation for tomorrow to live today.

Soft fingertips touched Azriel's cheek, dancing lightly along his immortal face and tracing the hard line of his jaw. The strange girl's eyes faded from one shade of gold to another, puzzlement drawing her brows lightly together as she struggled to recreate the beauty of his orbs. "You have strange eyes," she whispered, her accent familiar as if she were imitating his. Her voice was near dazzling, as if it'd be able to choke mortals and render them motionless with it's sound of thick honey and eerie winds of night.

The woman turned, each elegant movement as if choreographed. She drifted through the snow like a ghost, walking towards the building the Vampire had gestured towards. Pausing before the strange slab of wall built within a wall, the girl stared at what was the door with utter confusion. Why would one build a wall within a wall? She pressed her palm against the door, pushing at it but receiving no response in return. "What is this odd mechanism? How does one remove the wall?" she asked absentmindedly, poking and prodding the edges of the wall to no avail. She looked at the sign on the door that read 'Pull.' "Pull?" she echoed. She looked at the curved metal on the door, wondering if it was safe or if it was some trigger for a curse. Taking a breath of bravery, she nodded towards the Vampire as one soldier would another. Her long fingers curled around the handle of the door. She pulled.

There was a gust of warmth and a surprised gasp as the wall came undone. "What a peculiar gate!" she exclaimed. A tentative step was taken, then another and another. The warmth emitting from the inbuilt heaters was heavenly, and she quickly raced deeper into the building, clutching both the red cape and jacket to her body. A man on his journey downstairs watched the frail woman with hunger and malice. The clockworks of his mind were spinning rapidly as he fantasised about the things he could do to her and how he would achieve his goals.

When they'd entered the Vampire's humble abode, she gazed around like a small child who'd just discovered the existence of places outside of home. "You live in a box," she said, taking an unbalanced step forward. The walls were very flat and the ceilings were as well, with no sign of murals. Everything was very... Square. She spun on the balls of her feet, spinning around and around like a toddler learning to dance ballet. Yet, there was an almost inhuman grace to her clumsiness. She paused, looking at Azriel with a trust children reserved only for their mothers. "I am weary," she stated. She walked through the doors and into Azriel's bedroom, nodding at the bed within it in approval as if she'd just concluded it was the only normal thing in the entire place. She climbed onto the bed and crawled beneath the covers, tucking the thick blankets beneath her chin. After wiggling about for the most comfortable position, she shut her eyes and fell asleep.

ImageLight sang. Her voice carried none of the power it once did, having been dimmed to a flicker of candlelight. Rather than being powerfully haunting and deep, it was merely... Cute. That was, if one thought ghosts could sound cute. It was as if an ocean had transformed into a shallow - but lovely - stream after years of drought. Her long dress drifted along the grass made of cotton, that had been made from gold, emerald and sapphire. The rocks were translucent as if each were rare mountains of moonstone. Trees bowed before the High Queen, their branches lowered in respect. Despite the kaleidoscope of light dancing along the ivory walls of the enchanting Faerie Realms, a darkness seemed to loom overhead. The atmosphere was subdued, the world void of creatures and sound except for that of the singing Queen.

The stillness was the equivalent of a post-apocalyptal world within the Faerie Realms. No human-sized butterflies batted their crystal faceted wings against gossiping flowers, no obsidian streams cascaded into the skies and no stars gleamed in daylight. Order wandered, her presently amber eyes unseeing as she wandered amongst the lifeless. Her bare feet made no sound, their movements as seemingly stationary as the moonstone rocks they passed.

Freckles of snow tumbled from the skies.



Image

"Which part of 'adapt to human technology' and 'keep your bloody tracker on' do you not understand, Leau?" Kiser growled, cracking his knuckles and his neck. "Did you hear a thing I said? Do you know what I think when IPAF agents don't respond to their calls, Unidentified Flying Ass?" he hissed. "I think they're dead. Dead, Leau. And you know what I think when I think you're dead? I think 'Well, damn. That's an extra fifty bucks to clean up her dead body parts.'" The Werelion slapped Leau across the back, a gesture that was meant to show all was forgiven but he still distrusted her, but instead - most likely - aggravated the Fey's wounds.

Kiser turned away from the Fey, brisk walking away from the IPAF agents behind him to tuck himself in a secluded corner. He pulled his personal phone from his jean's back pocket - as for his upper body, he was shirtless, that being nothing unusual - and dialled a familiar number. "Harold, my old man," Kiser said. Harold's wife had been Kiser's aunt, of sorts. She'd been a good friend of his mother's and a family friend. Family friends to Weres were as good as family and they protected those people with their very lives. That was both a strength and weakness when it came to Weres, they were incredibly loyal, especially to family. When Harold's wife and Kiser's aunt had died of a brain tumour, the Burntwood clan - yeah, don't laugh - had mourned for months. Harold was a bit of a kink in the head. It was as if he'd been a stuffed pillowcase and when his wife and son had passed away, the seams that held his stuffing together had come undone. Still, Harold was a good man and more importantly, did not like the Fey.

"I need a favour," he said without pause. "I need you to find out all you can about the Fey. Yeah, yeah, I know I'm in the IPAF but they're hiding things from us," he whispered before correcting himself. "From us. They keep the Fey they capture, Harold, and they put them in these suspicious laboratories. I mean, I've always known about them and they tell us it's for 'the study of how to defeat the Fey' but that sounds like a load of bull. Iron and/or decapitate. How simple is that? But, no, see, there was this creepy scythe-wielding Faerie and he smelled like power, Harold. He reeked of power. Not the normal immortal Vampire stink but I mean, he smelled weird. Different from the other Fey I've fought." Kiser was speaking fast and more than he normally did but the adrenaline pumping through his veins urged him to continue.

"That's where you come in. You're not with the IPAF, you have nothing better to do and you hate the Fey. We're next to the Grill House. That's 1991 Bronxdale Avenue. Tell me what you know. Call me, in a completely non-homosexual way. I'm just not into that, grandpa," Kiser joked before ending the call without waiting for Harold's reply. The Werelion walked towards the car, the icy winds throwing his hair about his face. The blizzard seemed to be getting worse and...

"Why, Rorgen. Why would you drive such a nice car in the middle of a blizzard." Kiser frowned at the limp figure in the backseat and at the colourful blood that spilled from the boy. Its perfection was irritating, as always. "That's going to be a sucker to clean." The Werelion slipped into the passenger seat beside his fellow Were, taking Rorgen's hand in his in the way Weres often greeted one another: by crushing each other's fingers. Kiser clenched his close friend's hand, a competition to see who could crack who's hand first. Kiser grinned, his teeth so white, it was nearly blinding. "At least it's not my car."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Praxis Lethe Character Portrait: Leau Character Portrait: Anastasia Varias Character Portrait: Rorgen Avulstein Character Portrait: Kiser Nathaniel Burntwood
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Rorgen's attention flinched towards the car doors as he heard it click, half expecting it to be Anastasia but when he saw who it was and who had grabbed his hand ...

"Same reason you drop your pants in the middle of a crowd." He retorted snydely, gripping back with vice-like strength as a sly grin seeped into his wolfish features. Challenge accepted. He could feel their bones crack loudly, then pop back into place again. The inside of the car sounded like the outside of a movie theatre. Both trying to maintain their most arrogant smile ever as they taunted each other with stares, as if the pain was somehow making it better.

The two had built a camraderie ever since they met and it was not just that they were both Weres, because in some ways they could not be more different from each other and yet there they were, trying to crush each other's hand as competition. But Kiser could whine about his car all the werelion wanted, Rorgen wasn't the one half-naked in his seat.

"You smell like death." He said, voice purposely overtoned with an enthusiastic growl, adding insult to injury as he pressed even harder. "What happened?"

Then he noticed Leau outside the window, her face showing emotion? But he didn't let go, not even for a second, Rorgen Avulstein hated to loose.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Praxis Lethe Character Portrait: Raena Character Portrait: Leau Character Portrait: Anastasia Varias Character Portrait: Rorgen Avulstein Character Portrait: Kiser Nathaniel Burntwood
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His body lied at the back of a car; bloodied, bruised and broken. Stray magic continued to work at his wounds on instinct, back up generators to insure that he would not die so easily. The process was slow - melting skin, pulling muscles, even as several minutes past there was hardly any progress in improving his physical well being. If anything nothing but the bleeding had nearly been made to slow to a stop. Still, drops of red blood continued to drop from his body, his mouth, and into small pools of green and yellow.

Words passed around him, eyes viewing him as nothing more than a captured, enemy solider. None of this reached him, who's body was cold, with skin turning dark blue, his glamour fading barely enough to have his skin appear as if was being covered in hemorrhages. Shallow breathes hardly moved his chest, and if he were human, he would be on his death bad. However, his body still held a pulse, and life within. Praxis would live on, long enough to face the consequences of foolish actions, and to look into the faces of wolves.

There was no color, no rainbow water droplets, no whites and no blacks. There was only the pickling feeling of being numb, nothing to feel, nothing to see, and nothing to think. Unconsciousness wrapped around him, simultaneously lasting forever and not taking place at all. This would be one of the few moments where Praxis was not aware of his surroundings, letting time escape him without notice, rest falling upon his body without his mind continuing to turn away. However, this too shall pass, as he was never destined to repose for long. Soon the thick steel bars would erode away, being chipped by the voice of youth and innocence, reverberating against his soul until his eyes opened into the subconscious world.

He was home. A shuttering breath shook his frame when it dawned on him that it wasn't really his home, but a memory of it. Traces of familiar places in a make believe world, filled in by lingering thoughts and broken crayons. Even so, with this knowledge, he couldn't prevent his lips from stretching into a mournful smile. If only he had died and this was his resting place, instead it would be erased as well, and replaced with bitter reality. Lethe moved forward, stepping onto gemstone shaded plants, letting the voice of nectar lead him down the realm of another's wishes. There was no other life here, no traces of inhabitation, except for the footprints he left behind him. Fingers traced over the leaves, coming in sizes smaller than a pin head to larger than his own head, and eerie serenity was reflected in the orbs of his eyes.

In slow motion, white began to taint the world that was a recreation of his home. He stood, shoulders back, in his natural form. Dark shades of blue and teal soaked into his skin, the sight of chaos and parent souls. Hands with long, arching fingers cupped in front of him, capture the speckles that dare infiltrate the land around him. The snow was like dried paint; the dust from the ceiling of a dream, blowing in from the real world into a false one. His eyes closed, lashes long and glowing dim light. Oh, how the light inside of him was ever so dim. Nightmare's eyes had never been so dark before, even his hair had lost it's sheen, making him appear as if he was washed in dirty water. He figured that his lungs had been filled with this type of putrid water as well, so horribly polluted that any attempts to clean his slate would be in vain, and he wouldn't raise a finger with the idea of attempting to do so in mind.

A figure stepped away from the trees and appeared before him and his breathing ceased, he was not alone.
"My Queen.." His words were like shattering glass, loud against the rocks of moon spirits, yet broken and strained, hiding quiet turmoil within. Praxis could only blink, frozen in place, not unlike the world around him. She looked the same, she looked differed, she was the same face that graced the corners of his eyes, and yet she had the face of a stranger. This was the Queen, but it was not the Queen; a paradox that put a bitter taste in his mouth, the flavor of fear, worry and regret. Had she slipped from between his fingers, like grains of sand that could be picked up? Or was she water, that splattered against marble and evaporated into the air, to be forever lost to him? A shutter ran throughout his body, and his legs moved forward without his consent.

Yet he couldn't get close enough, couldn't reach towards her, couldn't let his fingers brush against her skin. Instead he was held back by chains, invisible but real, wreaking of hesitation and cowardice. Hands at his sides, eyes bearing into hers, seeking for shards of the Queen he knew. Nothing, there was nothing, and it dawned on him that even if she was gone, he wouldn't abandon her. The look of foreboding remained on his face, though now he wore a smile, lips twisted upwards thanks to diamond carved loyalty.


"Oh, my Queen." If they had to, they would start anew, because even if the Queen was born again he wouldn't leave her side. If she decided to abandon order and destroy the world, he would stand beside her, and rip apart space and time with her. Or, he paused, would he destroy her, to protect the image his eyes had seen the first time they opened, to protect the order that was embroidered into her name? No, he pushed the thought away, that was preposterous. "So we are just now meeting again? It's been too long." The woman standing three feet away from him may be a new face, but she was still the Queen, his Queen, right?

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Azriel De'mourn Character Portrait: Praxis Lethe Character Portrait: Raena Character Portrait: Leau Character Portrait: Rorgen Avulstein Character Portrait: Kiser Nathaniel Burntwood
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#, as written by Layla
Image


"Oh, my Queen."

Raindrops spilling from crimson skies to shatter into diamonds, water morphing into beautifully horrific goblins, emerald stars leaping from waterfalls of milk, dust gathering into a whirlwind of unicorns dancing widdershins, a creature with skin of starlight and sapphire -him. The images stumbled over one another, each racing towards the forefront of her mind, demanding attention. The High Queen gasped, her draw of air interrupting the melted sugar of her voice as the places came unbidden to her mind. Her clarity was not to last, however, as her lips melted into a guileless smile and her eyes softened into one of bewilderment.

"So we are just now meeting again? It's been too long," the blue-skinned boy said. He was not one she knew, was he? He danced along the edges of her memory like a familiar song one did not know the name of. Order circled the peculiar creature before her, stepping upon her toes in a soundless, spinning waltz. The boy's voice sounded as if it were supposed to be ordinary, but was not, instead being perfect in ways she could not explain and did not care to think of. It was as if she was a child who would only be willing to play with a toy for as long as it entertained her, which was not for long.

"We have met?" she asked, her gaze following her slim fingers as they trailed their way down the curves of his back. "Trapezius, infraspinatus, teres, latissimus dorsi," she stated the names of each muscle group she touched. The words seemed to have been spoken without thought, as if she were a machine that knew of facts but not of human emotions and was merely doing as a press of a button told her to do. The boy's skin did not feel like skin, rather like water or silk or stone or all and nothing. The minuscule bones of his wings tangled in a complex web of frailty, but somehow, the girl knew they were anything but frail, being capable of carrying more than this creature's weight.

"So perfectly flawed, so gruesome in your beauty. Do your lips curve into a kind smile or is it mischievous?" she echoed the words she'd once spoken before - when time had first begun - when she was whole, when she was the fearsome High Queen. Now the words were a sicking reminiscence of her once-greatness. Praxis' lips were unnaturally soft against her touch as she ran her fingers along his lower lip. His eyes were eerie, two ghosts in the midst of an empty night. Light seeped from his orbs, but she felt that they were dimmed, somewhat, as if he was only half of what he was meant to be.

And she spoke the words that would shatter the world. "Who are you?"

ImageThe landscape shifted, warping and evaporating around them as they stood still, until it held none of the serene calm it had moments prior. The trees glowed a threatening neon, scattering the darkness in a mocking semblance of light. Monstrous beasts stalked the woods around them, slithering along the thin branches of the trees. The Queen and her second were mere spots in the world she'd created in her mind.

"Who am I?" she whimpered, her irises a grey like fog and storm as the anxiety threw her rationale disarray. She clutched her breast, as if in doing so she would be able to reach into her chest and clench her beating heart and somehow end the suffocating agony of it all. "Where am I? Why am I here?" she asked and the beasts growled and howled, their limbs creeping forward, closer to the fear and torment they sniffed from the thick air.

"The Quueeeenn," they hissed. "Ssshe'sss awake. Play with usss, Order." Their mutated words were followed by tyrannical cackles. The Queen's eyes darted around in panic as she took a frightened step back, then another and another until she was between the trees. She gave the blue-skinned boy one last glance before she spun around and ran away, deep into the depths of the tangles of her lost mind.


"Where am I?" she whimpered in her sleep, twisting and turning and tangling herself in the sheets before throwing the soft blanket off of the bed. Beads of sweat slipped into her closed eyes, her lashes fluttering as she struggled with whatever it was she was dreaming of. Her face was warped in fear as she clutched the pillows, moaning and ripping at invisible creatures. She was panting, her fear almost palpable in the air.

"Help me, help me," she begged.

The branches slapped against her flesh, tearing at her body and shredding her dress. Her bare feet pounded against the dead leaves of the woods as she looked over her shoulder, her eyes wide with fear. Her exhalations could be seen in the air as she panted, shoving aside branches as she fought for escape. The dark creatures behind her chased relentlessly, their vengeful laughs stalking her as they did. It was a game of cat and mouse and she was the latter.

Image

"You should learn to give up, Rorgen," Kiser joked, crushing his Were friend's hand, his grin refusing to falter as his bones did. Thankfully, as did Rorgen's. The Werewolf's fingers snapped and healed at a rapid pace, only to be broken once again.

"You smell like death," Rorgen said. "What happened?"

"Saw a lot of death," the Werelion said, refusing to end the 'handshake.' "Lab 86B was infiltrated by some UFA's." UFA was the way Kiser liked to refer to the Fey and what they should've been called all along: Unidentified Flying Asses. "A dozen of our people died," he said in a voice that was quieter than normal.

“Kiser," Leau said. Her superior raised a thick brow, finally letting go of his friend's hand. "Can you describe what this Fey with a scythe looked like…?”

"If you'd not destroyed your communicator, you would know," he said tersely but answered her question, anyway. "Deceivingly good looking," he said with a roll of his eyes. "Tall. 6'5" or thereabouts. Buff. Creepy." Kiser watched the Fey closely, observing her every fraction of movement and noting the scent of her. He could smell fear from a mile away and she certainly tasted afraid, which was odd, seeing as this was Leau he was sniffing. She'd spit death in the eye if she ever met him. "Why? You know him?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Praxis Lethe Character Portrait: Leau Character Portrait: Anastasia Varias Character Portrait: Rorgen Avulstein Character Portrait: Kiser Nathaniel Burntwood
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#, as written by Lenyx
"Lab 86B was infiltrated by some UFA's. A dozen of our people died,"

Anastasia stopped just behind Leau, feeling startled. She could not believe it, members of IPAF casually talking aloud about organization matters in the middle of the street where anyone could hear! She was about to reprimand Kiser when Leau's soft voice, causing Anastasia to stop beside the small Fey.

Anastasia watched Leau's face pale, she didn't think the Fey's skin could become paler than it already was. Something about Leau's entire being seemed to change to one Anastasia has never seen her like this. Ever.

“If you'd not destroyed your communicator, you would know, deceivingly good looking, tall. 6'5 or thereabouts. Buff. Creepy. Why? You know him?”

Anastasia slipped off her glasses and pinched the bridge of her nose while letting out a sigh. “This is not an appropriate place to even hint at IPAF related matters,” Anastasia took this moment to look directly in to Kiser's eyes. “And you. Of all people, should know that, so shut it till we are back at headquarters.”

Putting her glasses back on, Anastasia turned to Leau. “However, Kiser has a point, everyone is given a communicator for a reason. If you ever think of destroying another one again while I am talking to you, and I am subjected to the feedback…”

Opening the car door, Anastasia narrowed her eyes at Leau, “Your punishment will be severe. Get in. Now.” She hissed.

Anastasia looked back over her shoulder. “Kiser if you are coming with us, put on a god damn shirt already. While you are at it, move, you are sitting in the back. Do not forget I wish to talk with you when we get back to headquarters, Leau you will be there too.”

Then something occurred to Anastasia, Fey with a scythe...?

“Wait a minute.” She turned to face Leau, and raised an eyebrow. “Fey with a scythe? What are you talk--”

Anastasia replayed the past few minutes, analyzing everything she saw and heard in her mind. Kiser slapping Leau across the back, Kiser walking away from her and Leau, tucking himself in to a corner. Then Kiser walking towards the car, sliding a phone in to his pocket-- Anastasia realized that with this blizzard partially impairing her vision and the winds almost completely blocking out the average human's hearing ability, Anastasia was at a disadvantage. It seems she would always be disadvantaged when it came to Fae, Were-creatures and Vampires. They were physically stronger, with heightened five senses...

“Leau was eavesdropping...” Anastasia said the thought out loud. Whipping around and Anastasia put her hands on either side of the car door. She leaned down and in to the car, until she was nose-to-nose with Kiser. Something in Anastasia's gut told her Kiser was hiding something, from her, and she wanted to know why. She could not contain her anger, all her frustration. Anastasia's face lost any sign of composure, her lips twisting up in to a snarl.

“Of all the people to hide shit from, you choose me? Who was that on the phone Kiser? I thought we were on the same side. While I could care less about you, you do your job well. You show results.” Anastasia reached a hand in to the car, going for Kiser's throat. She wanted to strangle him. “What did you see in that lab? We both know there is something our superiors are not telling anyone. Not even me... And I... I am supposed to be the god damned leader!”

Anastasia felt herself fall and give in to a pent up anger, that had been accumulating since her father's death. “In the past six months I know as much as you do about the IPAF! My superiors talk down to me as if I am some... Some child! Leau is the only one who gave me answers to my questions! And though she looks down on me, I don't give a shit because at least she tells me what I want and need to know! Why the bloody hell do you think I keep her close to me at all cost? Why do you think I care more about her than I do you?” Her hand was so close to Kiser's neck, she could feel the heat from his body against her cold hand. “I'll tell you why! Because she is the only thing that has kept me alive while I am trying to find out what the IPAF superiors are keeping from me! Because I am the only one who can deal with Leau, I am the only one who has control of her!”

Anastasia took a deep breath, she was beginning to feel light headed from yelling so long without stopping. Her throat felt raw, but she wasn't done yet. “I spared her life when I had the upper hand, I made her my guard! She is my property, and if I die so does she! Everyone knows that without me Leau is a loose canon and they would put her down! Leau and I keep each other alive, but what do you do for me Kiser?”

Finally finished Anastasia was left breathing hard and heavy, her hand dropping away from Kiser's throat. “All you do is go shirtless every chance you get and talk about your bedroom.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Praxis Lethe Character Portrait: Leau Character Portrait: Anastasia Varias Character Portrait: Rorgen Avulstein Character Portrait: Kiser Nathaniel Burntwood
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Aha! Rorgen smiled as if to say, when Kiser let go of his hand, but victory felt empty and it was hard to feel real joy when there was news of comrades that lay dead. Still, he did not want to disappoint and kept the upward curve on his face -no matter how false it may have looked. His stare slowly lowered to his out-of-shape hand that came to rest on the steering wheel.

The atmosphere inside the vehicle was quiet, almost unusually so even with Leau divulging what she knew, or perhaps Anastasia did not notice this when she reached out and grabbed Kiser's neck.

And maybe it was the loud noise, the uncomfortable amount of people growing around him or the simple fact that the woman had her hands wrapped around Kiser's neck that prompted him to say. "Cut him some slack. He's just seen our friends die and Kiser would never betray you." Especially you, Anastasia.


The man seemed to be holding alot more words back. If it were anyone else wrapping their scrawny fingers around Kiser's neck, he would have done alot more to them too.


Then shortly after, he stopped short for a moment to reaffirm himself, that's right Duty came first. He closed his eyes for a short moment and gripped the vehicle tight, hoping they would realize on their own that they were in Right in the middle of what must have looked like a crime scene to the outside world. More than that, he focused his mind about taking revenge on this scythe-wielding bastard he heard so much about.

"C'mon," He mentioned back in his usual light-hearted tone, trying to ease the mood, "-I can't wait to start a 'killin already." turning the keys to restart the engine. "We can talk more on the way, alrite?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Leau Character Portrait: Anastasia Varias Character Portrait: Rorgen Avulstein Character Portrait: Kiser Nathaniel Burntwood
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#, as written by Kuroe
Leau grimaced as another bone snapped itself into place.

"Ma'am, if I may..." She leaned back against the car again. The pain was fading faster now, and just in time. She loathed the human's vehicles as it was, and she didn't need to get in one with any fractures. She was actually quite surprised that she hadn't punctured her lungs. Coughing up blood was never pleasant. "Kiser... Is not at fault." She gritted her teeth. It shouldn't have been so hard to say those words. She knew that she disliked the man, but she thought she could care less about his situation. Apparently not.

"He told you what he knows, though he obviously omitted a few details. What weapon a Faery uses does not matter to you. Or am I incorrect?" She looked at Anastasia with her usual dead eyes. "In any case, I do know of the Fey. He goes by the name of Capricorn... He's the King's second in command."

Anastasia looked down at Leau, her eyes still held a piercing look about them.

"It is not the weapon that matters to me Leau." She scowled. "It is the fact Kiser was talking to someone about IPAF matters before talking to me. I am the one he is supposed to report to."

Leau met her gaze with flat, glasslike eyes. "To be honest, I'm sure that the entire city knows when the IPAF fails. It's not exactly pretty. And don't kill Kiser, if you may... We... you will probably need him." She shook her head and cracked her neck. Her shoulders and back muscles still ached, but the worst of the pain in her ribs was gone. "I actually have a request. If Capricorn is fighting... it is not my place to make these demands, but we must have more troops, the... Faery artifacts, you humans call them? We need more. And..." She stepped around Anastasia and into the car, looking at the Faery sleeping inside of it, his eyes fluttering beneath their lids as if he was in a dream. "This is the one thing not up for debate, ma'am. We're going to have to keep him. I will take the blame should your superiors find out."

Anastasia stared at Leau in disbelief. "Kill Kiser?"

Anastasia turned away and cleared her throat. "I would not kill a member of my team, Leau. If I did not think I needed him, he would not be here. As for the Artifacts, all I can do is ask, but as to the Fey..." Anastasia glanced towards the back seat. "That I can surely say our superiors will say no to."

Leau's gaze sharpened. "Which is why I cannot tell them. I know of the risks. And I am willing to take them. This is a matter of life and death. The Fey lying here? I feel no kinship with him. I loathe his very being. But I am willing to side with him if it means I will become closer to our goal." she sat in her seat, her young features painting a picture not of a fearless warrior siding with an enemy, but of the stubbornnes of a small human child.

Anastasia grabbed Leau's arm, the one she had shot when the two had first met. "I know you feel no kinship to that Fey, nor anyone for that matter. The risk you are making by keeping him from the IPAF is your life, and will end up being mine as well. What is so important about this Fey Leau? What is it about this Fey that makes you risk everything?"

Anastasia paused, choosing her words carefully. "Lastly, which goal will you become closer to Leau? Ours? Or the Fey's?"

Leau's anger flashed across her face, but she fought it back and merely glared silently at Anastasia for a moment. "Whose goal...? I live for no other goal but my own. And yours happens to be on the same path. This Fey has magic. Magic that your superiors have yet to be able to use. I doubt we would live through any sort of contact with Capricorn or my former master without Fey magic." she grimaced. "Magic which I, of course, have very little of."

Anastasia released Leau's arm, taking a few steps back and looked over the small Fey. "Former master? This is the first I am hearing of this..." She glanced over at Kiser, then a glance at Rorgen, before continuing. "Leau, I think you, Kiser and myself will be having a long discussion in my office... But first, if what you say is true..."

Anastasia withdrew in to her thoughts. There was no chance of them hiding a Fey from their superiors, and she could not see Kiser or Rorgen agreeing to such a order, even from her. Torn between her duty and loyalty to the IPAF and to finding out what the IPAF was not telling her... No, this was one request from Leau that Anastasia couldn't agree to, one slip and all the members associated with her would be at risk.

"Leau... I'm sorry. But you are asking me to risk not only your life and mine, but Kiser's and everyone else associated with us. We can not hide this Fey from the IPAF, the risk is far to great."

Leau said nothing, crossing her arms and sitting back in the seat, looking sharply at Rorgen and Kiser before shaking her head and turning her gaze away. "Understood, Ma'am." She mumbled softly.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Iokul Frosti Character Portrait: Dunkelzahn Character Portrait: Anastasia Varias Character Portrait: Kiser Nathaniel Burntwood
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"Ana," Chimed Kiser inside Zahn's earpiece. "Ana," he repeated. "We'll have to explain things to the families of Team 102. Send a team of cleaners to Lab 86B. Experiments 9, 12, 33, 216, 59, 18, 17 and 99 have been compromised."

Zahn clucked her tongue thoughtfully and wondered if Kiser knew she was tuned in to the director's frequency... mainly because she wasn't a part of any one squad. With her mobility and range, she could cover several teams at once so her orders usually came straight from the command center. Being the only long-distance sharpshooter in the city was sometimes a grueling job. She and Archer were on call 24/7 and had to be anywhere at a moments notice. Usually she rode her motorcycle anywhere she needed to get, but with the harsh, unnatural winter set in the conditions were completely un-rideable.

"How far is 86B from here?" She asked, taking a bite of a sandwich from the deli she'd spotted that one vampire on top of. Archer was still winded from the trip... the roast beef sandwich really was heavenly though.

"Uh," he mumbled, cradling his cup of coffee while he thought about it.

Zahn rolled her head over to the side to raise an eyebrow at him. She'd been laying on her back on top of the conference table, one foot propped up on a knee, which she tapped on the air impatiently as she waited for an answer. Her thick mop of black hair pooled around her aimlessly. She pulled a lukewarm french fry from a cup at her side and nibbled on it. With all the chaos happening in the park and surrounding areas and no orders to suppress, support, aid, spot, or otherwise maim anything within her range she'd taken to staring at the ceiling and playing Angry Birds on her phone for the remainder of her shift. Talking shit with Archer was also a given, since he was one of the few men she could stand to spend any amount of time with... his being gay helped a lot.

"We'd have to move to nest six to hit it, if that's what you're asking, hun," he said, sipping his coffee. He nearly spit it out, but managed to swallow the molten liquid, with that "I-just-burned-the-shit-out-of-my-mouth" expression on his face. "Why, we got orders finally?"

"Nope... but I'm bored," she answered. "How long will it take to get there?"

"Seven minutes, give or take. Assuming we pack everything and hustle."

"Too long," She bit her bottom lip in thought.

"You could probably make it in two if you did your Shinobi thing across the rooftops with whatever you could carry. Take this," he instructed and tossed her a small notebook. "The range increments for all our nests should be in there."

Zahn nodded, sitting up. She flipped through the notepad in a few seconds until she found the desired page, then stared at it for a handful of seconds and handed it back, then stuffed as many magazines of ammunition in her pouch as she could. She reached for her Arctic for one moment, then changed her mind and grabbed the sling that was next to it. She hooked either end onto the Windrunner and hefted it over one shoulder, securing it tightly to her back so that she could still move freely.

"Really?" Archer asked with a note of incredulity.

"Yup," Zahn answered with a grin. "Follow when you can, odds are I'll need the ammo before too long if things are as batshit as Kai seems to think," she ordered while quickly tying her hair up so that it wouldn't get in her way.

"Should I..."

"Yup!" She interrupted, and was out the door of the office. Archer just chuckled and started breaking down their nest.

The office doors whizzed past her in a blur as Zahn charged down the hallway. She planted a foot in the open window at the end and with a running step-up to the rail of the fire escape outside, she leapt across the alley. Unable to roll with the huge rifle strapped to her back, she planted a foot on the opposite railing and levered herself down with her hands. Zahn punched the open transmit on her earpiece as she stomped up the stairs of the fire escape towards the roof, taking the steps three at a time.

"Iceheart is in transit," she chimed in response to Ana's call for a cleanup crew. She didn't bother muting her microphone as she lazy-vaulted over the railing to the roof and sprinted to the other side. Her breathing was heavy and she knew the rapid crunch of snow beneath her footfalls probably crackled loudly in Ana's ear. "Permission to fire," Zahn said after about a minute. It was more of a statement than a question: she was going to fire when she got there whether Ana gave it or not.

She grunted as she hurdled an air conditioning vent and slid around a corner, using one hand to balance herself. Another short sprint sent her flying across another alley, and she grunted a second time as she landed, wincing against the pain in her ankles and toes and allowing her body to slide in the snow until she trusted her balance. She and archer had sort of cheated. While the nests were fairly close together so they could move from one to another as vantages changed, getting to and from one upper story office building to another could be fairly tedious what with going up and down elevators or stairs and crossing streets with a hundred or so pounds of gear in briefcases and bags. Instead they had laid out a network of makeshift bridges using some telescoping device the guys in Tech had come up with so they could traverse the rooftops between nests quickly and in relative stealth. In this case, Zahn had bypassed several of the crossing points by jumping across some of the alleys she was fairly confident she could cross.

Confidence was everything in freerunning...

In just over two minutes she reached her destination, her breath ragged as she gazed out over the city. There was no time to get down to the actual nest, she would have to shoot from the rooftop, which grated against her better judgement. Work with what you have, when you have it, however, and the one thing she did not have was time to get in position. Zahn slung her rifle down and plopped down near the edge of the roof, taking a few quick moments to cover herself in snow and disguise the silhouette of her rifle to make her harder to spot.

"In position," she puffed, and then returned her headset to a push-to-talk setting. She took deep, controlled breaths to slow her heart rate and spotted the ruined lab in her scope. Some kind of huge ice creature was bursting through the walls to engage the group of IPAF soldiers outside. It only took her a few moments to pop the magazine out of her rifle and line up the ones she had stashed in her pouch in front of her. She chose the bullets with the yellow tip and the white stripe... the explosive Raufus rounds had a binary compound in the tip, which mixed as the bullet spun in flight. It was designed to penetrate armor, explode, and spray shrapnel into whatever was on the other side. They'd probably blow the limbs off of a giant ice thing pretty handily too. She pushed the magazine in and slammed the first round home as she closed the bolt.

Deep breaths... She gazed through the scope, reaching up to flick the built in range finder on and flip through the vision modes until she found the one that offered the best visibility in the failing light. She cradled the stock tightly against her shoulder and zeroed in on her target.

Zahn exhaled, feeling a wave of calm wash over her.

Inhale.

Hold breath.

Count heartbeats... 1... 2... 3... 4...

Zahn waited for that one instant between heartbeats to squeeze the trigger. She exhaled sharply as the gun rocked against her, feeling the impact shoot down her spine and into her toes. The thunderous crack of the .50 blew the snow off her rooftop ledge into a large misty cloud and made her ears ring, even through the noise-canceling headset she wore. She estimated a three second flight time and didn't wait to see the impact of the first bullet. Instead she yanked the bolt back and slammed another round home. She squeezed the trigger again and her Windrunner blasted thunder over the rooftop as it fired a second shot.

The first bullet made a sharp crack! as it slammed home a little northeast of center mass in the creature's shoulder as it was reaching back to deliver a lethal swipe. The second crushed into its knee joint. Zahn fired a third and a fourth time, landing two solid hits center mass. Now solidly ranged in, she delivered the fifth and final bullet in the magazine straight into the creature's gaping mouth.

"The mail has been delivered," she transmitted over comm coolly as she dropped the smoking magazine next to her and reached for the magnesium tipped tungsten rounds... They weren't tipped in iron, but even the quickly regenerating weres had trouble recovering from being turned into a fine paste.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Azriel De'mourn Character Portrait: Praxis Lethe Character Portrait: Raena Character Portrait: Leau Character Portrait: Anastasia Varias Character Portrait: Rorgen Avulstein Character Portrait: Kiser Nathaniel Burntwood Character Portrait: Jenson Xion Character Portrait: Alistair D. James
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#, as written by Layla
Image

"What do you do for me Kiser?”

Well, well. Kiser would admit, Anastasia's fit was rather... Unexpected. Yet, strangely arousing. Leaning back against the car seat, Kiser propped his legs on the dashboard, rubbing his lower lip with his thumb and then pressing them against Anastasia's mouth. "Sorry about my disobedience and all that jazz. It's not like I'm a wild lion or anything," he said, pressing his lips together and failing in his attempt to not grin. "In my defence, I do a lot for you. Satisfying all your sexy needs 24/7," he said with a bark of laughter. God, Ana was fun to mess with.

"Cut him some slack. He's just seen our friends die and Kiser would never betray you," the Werewolf beside him said. Huh, Kiser thought. Coming to my defence? He didn't realise their brotherly bond extended so far; it was cute. "C'mon, I can't wait to start a 'killin already. We can talk more on the way, alrite?"

"God, more killing?" Kiser cracked his knuckles, rubbing the back of his neck. "You'd think I'd seen enough death to last an hour." The Werelion lifted his arm, looking at the black and iron laid watch encircling his wrist. "Hour's up. Let's start killin'," he said, beaming at Rorgen. He loved the guy when he wasn't being a moral killjoy.

He stared at the roof of the car as Leau and Anastasia continued to talk and bicker, his long limbs combined with Rorgen's filling much of the vehicle. A certain line stood in contrast. "He goes by the name of Capricorn... He's the King's second in command."

"Wait, king? What king?" Kiser asked, sitting upright and staring intently at Leau. "Great, the Faeries have a monarchy now?"

"Leau... I'm sorry. But you are asking me to risk not only your life and mine, but Kiser's and everyone else associated with us. We can not hide this Fey from the IPAF, the risk is far to great." Hide things from the IPAF? Kiser frowned, wondering what Ana hid for surely, she hid things from them. Say something, Leau.

"Understood, Ma'am." That was it? 'Understood, ma'am?'

"We bett-" he began.

"The mail has been delivered," a familiar voice vibrated from his earpiece.

"Dunkelzahn," he called Zahn by her full name. "You're not dead," he mused. He had to admit, he was impressed. Zahn was difficult and her life could easily be named 'Taming of the Shrew,' okay, minus the taming, but she did her job well. "Great. We won't have lesbian body parts to clean up," he joked. He sucked at jokes. Kiser tapped his earpiece, adding Alistair and Jenson to the call. "Meet us in the IPAF headquarters. Ana's big bad office." Kiser slapped Rorgen's steering wheel, throwing Leau and Anastasia a look. "We're not exactly in the best place to talk."

A hooded figure stood in the shadows, his presence invisible to all.

Minutes later, the group of IPAF operatives stood behind Hotel Pennsylvania. The building loomed overhead, its old structure abnormal in the midst of contemporary, newer buildings; it was one of the few structures that remained untouched after the Technological Revolution of 1914. Kiser felt the bricks of the wall, running his coarse fingers along the bumpy surface. "There," he whispered to himself. He tapped on a brick thrice, the slightly paler, newer colour of it imperceptible unless one knew what to look for.

There was a stillness, followed by a soft ticking as if within the brick was an atomic bomb. The brick shifted backwards with a groan, leaving a scanner in its place. Kiser grinned, pressing his palm to the sleek glass just as two lasers beamed into his forest green eyes. "Authentication successful. Welcome, Kiser Nathaniel Burntwood," a computerised voice said. The scanner turned green before disappearing, the brick that was there taking its place. Kiser grinned at his comrades - he'd never get over IPAF's technology - as a section of the wall in the shape of a door moved backwards into the darkness, revealing an elevator with iron gates in its place. Kiser stepped in.

"Come on, we don't have all day," he said to the IPAF agents.

28.43 seconds was how long it took for the elevator to arrive at the IPAF headquarters deep underground. Agents bustled about, a few robots scattered about, running errands and processing information human, Were and Vampire minds could not. The iron furnishings and structures drenched the headquarters in a metallic scent. Men and women slapped both sides of their chests and then their foreheads in greeting as Anastasia passed them by. It was the worst salute in all of Earth's history, but it appeared IPAF's creator had run out of imagination. Kiser chuckled at the greeting, returning it with a mock salute.

Image

ImageSoft hands grasped her shoulders, a hand caressed her hair, easing the pressure of the ceiling as it pressed down on her mind, tampering her light. She was no longer running and now, instead, the crumpled to the ground, her fingers tangling themselves with the leaves - the pillow. "My name is Praxis Lethe, and you are Raena," the mesmerising creature said. The dream shifted, the beasts evaporating into the depths of her mind, leaving a throne room in its place. A domed roof that seemed to be as high as the clouds was only overshadowed by a throne of glass, crystal and light. Silver sunlight streamed in from the opaque walls, scattering the light and creating a kaleidoscope of colours as it was fractured by the multi-faceted crystals that made the Throne of the High Queen.

"I am here to help you see again."

The strands that made Order's tattered dress began to unwind, replaced by a dress with cloth made of sapphire and amethyst liquid. Her eyes sieved through an endless stream of colours - some of Earth and others of the Faerie Realms - at the speed of light. Her white hair bled into silver as it grew, lengthening till it touched the floors made of crystal and clouds.

"I am your puppet, and you are a hypnotist, the master of all that is just. You only have to breathe in what you had forgotten." A blue shadow began to form before the throne, struggling to seep through her subconscious. Remember.


Raena awoke with a start, nearly smacking her head against Azriel's. She breathed heavily, her eyes darting around the room in search of... Something. She looked at Azriel, her eyes wide as she edged closer to him, pressing one palm to her chest and the other to his. "I dreamed," she whispered. "It was important." But she could not, for the life of her, remember it with any semblance of clarity. All she knew was- "I am Raena. You may refer to me as such, although 'My Queen' is preferred."

The world's creator crawled over Azriel to lean against his back between his legs, oblivious to her change of clothing and the lack of distance between her and the stranger. The Fey were not built to be uncomfortable with closeness and touch. "You will comb my hair," she demanded. Her eyes searched his room; she jumped off his bed without warning, racing towards the end of a blue shirt that was wedged between his closet doors. Raena threw the door open, snatching the shirt off its hanger and pressing it to her chest. Her long, ivory legs was clearly visible through Azriel's shirt as she jumped and ran on the spot. Praxis.

"We must find him," she said frantically, running towards the window and throwing open the curtains. The light stretched towards her, seeping into her skin as if it begging for her loving touch. Raena threw open the window, swing a slim leg over the frame as if to climb out. "We must go."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Elena J. D'Angelo Character Portrait: Justin Maysharp Character Portrait: Leau Character Portrait: Anastasia Varias Character Portrait: Rorgen Avulstein Character Portrait: Kiser Nathaniel Burntwood Character Portrait: Jenson Xion Character Portrait: Alistair D. James
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Elena J. D'Angelo


Elena wasn't paying attention to the couple she'd knocked into - she was focusing instead on her scattered belongings, which was why she jumped violently when the boy bent down to help her. "Sorry, I should have been watching where I was going." Instantly, Elena was remorseful for not apologising to him. "No, it was my fault, I'm sorry," she tried to tell him, but by then he was already picking up her things, his long fingers curling around her notebook in which she scribbled her ideas and placing it inside her bag.

"Oh my god! You're soaked! Here, you've gotta keep warm!" Elena looked up, alarmed. She was about to reject his help, but before she could do so, something warm was draped around her shoulders. Her eyes raked over the boy, taking in his appearance. Tall and handsome, his cheeky smile definitely helped rope in the girls, Elena thought. In an instant, Elena also saw what he'd put over her - his shirt.

In this weather, Elena was sure he shouldn't be bare-chested, even if she was soaking. But it felt so good - warmth from the cold was definitely welcome, and the shirt was nice and warm. "Alright, we have to get you into some dry clothes or you'll freeze! My house is just a few blocks away. You can use my clothes until you're feeling better."

"Wait, what? Hold on a minute - " Before she knew it, Elena's bag was swung on the boy's shoulder, and he had scooped her up into his arms. Gasping, she tried to push him away, but he was holding on tight to her - there was no escape. Elena was, to say the least, shocked - this boy was nicer than she'd given him credit for.

Swaying dangerously above the ground, Elena reached out and grasped his shoulders tightly. The gesture was involuntary, of course - moving at such a speed, suspended above the ground, held up by only the boy's sinewy arms - Elena was terrified. Add to that the shock at the boy's gesture and she probably could have been knocked over by a feather.

Despite the shirt draped around her shoulders, Elena was still freezing. She shivered violently, her teeth chattering. Reaching back, she pulled the shirt closer around her, cherishing its warmth, even if it was only around her shoulders. Her breaths ragged, mist erupted from her lips every time she exhaled. She tried to control her breathing, stop herself from fading out. Hypothermia was dangerous, she knew. What would Alistair say if he found out what had happened?

Finally, the boy reached what Elena could only presume was his house. He pushed open the door and set Elena down. Still shivering, Elena rubbed her frozen hands up and down her arms, trying to warm herself. Finally, her teeth stopped chattering enough for her to speak.

"Thank you."



Alistair D. James


Alistair had been lounging in the study reading a book, when Kiser's voice came through the earpiece. "Meet us in the IPAF headquarters. Ana's big bad office." "Roger that," Alistair replied easily. He sprang out of his chair, surprisingly lithe. As he was already dressed in his trademark blue suit, there was no time wasted on preparation.

After leaving a note for Elena on the dining table, Alistair raced downstairs and hopped into his black Ford Focus and drove straight to the entrance of the headquarters, pausing only to allow the scanner to scan his palm and eyes.

Moments later, he strode into Anastasia's office where the rest of the crew were. "What's happened?" he offered by way of greeting.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Elena J. D'Angelo Character Portrait: Dunkelzahn Character Portrait: Leau Character Portrait: Anastasia Varias Character Portrait: Rorgen Avulstein Character Portrait: Kiser Nathaniel Burntwood Character Portrait: Jenson Xion Character Portrait: Alistair D. James
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#, as written by Lenyx
Anastasia pushed open the door to her office, not bothering to check if everyone else was still with her. She assumed they would know better, and most of them wanted answers, not just with what she knows, but what she knew.

Anastasia's office was large, yet there was barely anything in the room. A cherry desk that seemed almost superfluous, since there is little to no paperwork to be seen, sat centered near the back of the room, with a black leather desk chair behind it. In front of the desk were two angled black leather love seats, facing towards the desk. In the room there were two small table lamps – one near the door atop a circular end table, and another on the cherry wood desk with a long brass pull-cord. The faint illumination of an overhead light cast shadows into the corners of the room, spilling under the desk and over top the few framed black-and-white photos on the wall. A lone filing cabinet occupied one of the the corners of the room, Anastasia always kept it locked, as she was the only one with a key. The deep blue curtains were drawn to one side, allowing light to filter in from outside the window. The room truly reflected Anastasia's personality and life style. Cold. Hard. Sophisticated. It is here she was always felt to be in complete control.

Taking her usual seat in her chair behind the table, Anastasia folded her hands together, resting them on the desk, and leaned back in her chair, just as Alistair came in.

"What's happened?"

“That, is why I am gathering you all here. To tell you all what I know, and every one of you is going to tell me what you know.” Anastasia looked around those in her room, noting Jenson and Dunkelzahn were the only ones missing. Anastasia was never one to wait on or for other people, so she continued. “Most of you may not know this, but I am not highly trusted here in the IPAF. Our superiors are quite a bit older than me, and most of them have known each other for years. I am expected to work and do as I am told, and while I am one to follow orders, I am not however one to be played as a fool. There is more to the IPAF then what they let on, but I am not sure what it is exactly our superiors are hiding. For the past month I have been doing some digging and have come up with little, that is where Leau comes in. For anything I do find, I turn to her for information.”

Anastasia coldly stared at Leau. “But it seems I need to ask some more specific and very intrusive questions in to her life as a Fey.” Turning to look over the others in the room and leaning forward, she added, “However, I'd like to leave questioning Leau for a later time. Right now, what I want is for you all to tell me what you know of in regards to both Fae and the IPAF and anything that you have not told me or are hiding from me. But if what you know is only what you have been told, then sit down and shut up. Then we will discuss what is going on, and what we are going to do about it.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Azriel De'mourn Character Portrait: Tiggy The Summer Fae Character Portrait: Praxis Lethe Character Portrait: Raena Character Portrait: Yuki Character Portrait: Leau Character Portrait: Anastasia Varias Character Portrait: Rorgen Avulstein Character Portrait: Kiser Nathaniel Burntwood Character Portrait: Alistair D. James Character Portrait: Orpheus
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#, as written by Layla
Image

"Calm yourself, Raena," the man reasoned, his firm grip around her. Raena stuck out her lower lip and puffed out her cheeks, frowning unhappily as he continued to lecture her on her lack of orderly conduct. Somewhere along the second line, she'd pressed her palms to her ears and proceeded to shut her eyes and hum and lalalala. Gosh, he was no fun! Why did they have to take all these silly steps to do one simple task? She didn't understand and didn't want to. All she knew was - "I want my blue bunny!" she whined, crossing her arms over her chest and gruffly allowing Azriel to lift her down onto the ground, remaining perfectly still and begrudgingly unwilling as he did.

A few long moments passed before she stretched out her arms, reaching towards the Vampire as she tilted her head upwards as a spoiled and angry princess would. "You will carry me!" Raena wrapped her willowy arms around the man's neck, letting him tuck one arm under her knees and the other around her shoulders. "You are not amusing," she huffed as the kitchen came into view and she was set on her feet. "This is a ghastly room," she complained, roving the walls and its attached equipment with her eyes. She'd never been in a kitchen in all of her eternal life.

Raena circled the counter in the centre, arms crossed as she observed the rare mechanisms that decorated the shelves and tables that were... Attached to the wall? Raena looked at the gold-eyed creature over her shoulder, clasping her hands behind her back. His shirt hung loose over her slim frame, slipping over one shoulder to reveal soft ivory skin. "You are a Witch, of sorts? Is this your.... Cauldron?" she mused, running a finger along the rim of a cooking pot. "What is your name, CPR?" she asked, calling him by one of the first words she'd heard him speak.

She walked on the tips of her toes, looking as if she barely touched the ground. Raena stood before the refrigerator, examining the miniature 'door' closely. "Open," she commanded it. It remained closed. "Open," she repeated with a hint of frustration and puzzlement. Annoyed, she gripped the handle and pulled it hard towards her. A gust of cold wind tore at her skin as she yelped, jumping backwards onto the counter and crawling further back. "What sorcery is this?!" she exclaimed, gawking at the blobs within. After a few moments, she narrowed her eyes, inching closer to the refrigerator, lying in a frog-like position on the counter. The blobs were... "Food." Raena parted her lips in shock. "Your foods do not fly or glow! Are they unwell?"

Image

Anastasia was amusing. As in, genuinely and absolutely amusing in an almost hilarious sort of way. "God, you're cute," he said under his breath, giving her a dashing smile. "Well, I know nothing that you don't tell me so see you tonight," he teased. "Ciao, guys." Kiser pressed two fingers to his forehead and jerked them outwards in a salute. Without a minute's pause in case someone tried to stop him, Kiser walked out, slapping Alistair on the back as he left.

When he was far enough from the group, he dropped the smirk, his face a mask of boredom and the lack of expression. God, keeping up the act was getting tiring. He had better things to do than hang around with NYC's IPAF operatives. He could've spent the time eating steaks and god, he didn't know, painting his nails. He walked down a maze of corridors to the containment facilities. He pressed his card to a scanner on a wall, there looked to be no doors but oh, there was. "Voice confirmation, please," an electronic voice spoke.

"I'm a sexy beast," Kiser said, chuckling at his own joke.

"Authentication verified. Welcome, Kiser Nathaniel Burntwood. Rank-"

"Yeah, yeah, that's enough. Let me in," he said, just as the wall slid open to reveal a hidden door. Kiser looked down both ends of the hallway before stepping in, the door behind him sliding shut. The hallway before him was brightly lit, both sides made entirely of glass. Kiser walked down the hall, paying the Fey that were within the rooms no head. Each Faerie was strapped in iron to what looked like an operating table, a dome of special glass covering their bodies. With their eerie beauty and frozen shut eyelids, it looked like some creepy adaption of Snow White. Their containers were filled with a transparent, thick liquid that would keep them unconscious and immobile but alive. It also healed all Fey wounds, something he supposed was a good thing.

This was the place he'd brought the Fey Rorgen and Leau had captured. "Room 600," he whispered to himself, standing before a glass door and observing the unconscious, blue skinned Fey within. A sensor picked up on Kiser's presence and a square of light appeared in the centre of the glass door. There was no sound as Kiser pressed his palm into the square of light and as the glass panel slid open without so much as disrupting the air around it. Kiser stepped into the room, the glass door closing behind him as all IPAF doors did to prevent unwanted infiltration of their facilities. Kiser strolled towards the glass case encompassing the blue Fey, tapping the password on a panel attached to its 'coffin'.

Psssssssh.

The glass dome slid open, sinking into the operating table as the liquid did, leaving the Fey exposed to the frigid air of the room. Needles were attached to its body, pumping Fey-tested sedatives into its veins, flooding its dichromatic blood. "Wakey, wakey, artichoke," Kiser whispered in the Fey's ear, blowing a gust of warm air into blue-boy's ear. "Howdy, mate. The name's Kiser and yours is...?" he began, pulling away from the Fey and pacing around the table it was strapped to. "Tell me all about this lovely monarchy of yours and that scythe wielding Capricorn, won't you? If you don't," Kiser paused. "I don't think you Fey are immune to electroshock, are you?" Kiser grinned. "Don't think all your other Fey friends were. And if that isn't enough, I've always wanted to try iron darts and Fey dartboards."

Image

"Ah, push it! Push it good. Ah, push it! P-push it real good. Hey! Ow! Push it good!" Salt n' Pepper sang from the speakers of his iPhone 10. Bloody hell. Orpheus moaned, burying himself deeper into the mattress and the soft bodies of the two women whose names he could not remember and whose names he never would. Identities didn't matter, as far as he was concerned. All he cared about was the presence of appropriate body parts. Or not. He was always up for an unusual adventure.

Orpheus reached over the naked skin of a redheaded woman - an air hostess, if he'd remembered correctly - to fumble for his glowing iPhone. The room was incredibly dark which meant only one thing - either it was 3 freaking AM or the curtains had been drawn closed. Okay, that was two.

"Orpheus speaking, not speaking. Go away," he mumbled, pressing the phone to his ear. Every fraction of movement felt like another tear in his head, like someone was bowling with his brain. He didn't think he'd drunk that much last night, but then again, when did he not? He'd spent the past six months on Earth drunk and participating in questionable activities.

"We've found- " the raspy voice of a man who'd smoked one hundred too many cigarettes attempted to announce.

"Found what? Your manhood? Please, tell me more, tell me more. Does it have a car?" he sang mockingly as he crawled over the sprawled bodies.

"We've found Raena."

Orpheus stilled. "You are certain of this?" he asked, searching for his clothes amongst the scattered pieces of lingerie. There.

"Well, not really... But it looked like the woman you'd asked us to search for: white hair, freaky eyes, beyond beautiful. I saw her with my own eyes." Well, that wasn't very comforting. The man was ancient, like, practically 25.

"Where?" he asked, anyway. Orpheus pulled on his pants, hopping about as he held his phone between his head and his muscular shoulder.

"Upper New York Bay," came the reply. Orpheus tripped and fell onto the ground with a loud thump. "Uh, you okay, sir?" the voice asked on the other end. Orpheus groaned in reply, picking up his phone - which was surprisingly still in one piece - and rubbing his sore neck. Never, ever multitask with a hangover and a male body part. Bad, bad idea. Orpheus disconnected his phone, tucking it in the back pocket of his jeans as he stood, wobbling slightly. He found his black shirt discarded on a lamp and pulled it on, doing up the buttons. He doubted this was who he wished it to be; if she were alive, it would not be Winter. He knew, most certainly, that she would never let the world fall into such disarray if she were still... No, he didn't wish to think of it. He merely hoped to enjoy the last few months of his life before the world came to an end.

Minutes later, he found himself by the Upper New York Bay, scanning the crowds with little hope until he spotted a blur of... "Well, well, isn't this a surprise?" he mused, walking towards Yuki with a practiced smile. Orpheus bowed, taking the Winter Fey's hand in his and kissing the back of her palm. He raised his head, giving her a brief wink as he straightened himself. "Yuki, Yuki, quite contrary. How does your garden grow?" he teased, placing a hand on her lower back and edging her forward. "Walk with me," he said.

Orpheus was once a part of the Unseelie court, when the Queen had asked that he look after the 'disappointing Aerunia.' He'd spent many a millennium with the Unseelies and had grown rather fond of the beautiful Yuki, although, he was fond of everyone. As in, he liked to feel their skin against his and nothing more. He'd not spoken to another Fey in six months and now he acted as if he'd never disappeared. It appeared luck was with him today as not too far away was another familiar companion. "Tiggy." Orpheus beamed. Taking his hand from the curve of Yuki's spine, he took Tiggy's hand in his, kissing hers as he had Yuki's. "Ma fille la plus belle d'été," he said in his honeyed voice. My loveliest summer girl. He straightened himself, loosening his top button and running a hand through his flawless, strawberry blonde hair. He had two beautiful women of both Winter and Summer, oh, this would be fun.

"Now, where is our Queen?" he asked casually, throwing a nearby man who'd been staring at him a wink. Well, everyone was staring at him, or maybe them, seeing as they all looked to be heart-breakingly beautiful. But mostly him. Orpheus had been a 'favourite' of the Queen's when they'd been in the Faerie Realms. There were rumours of him sharing the Queen's bed, rumours he'd never bothered to deny. He had also been known as the 'Oracle of Darkness' or 'Orpheus the Calziel' as he'd been rumoured to be capable to conversing with the dead. Rumours, he also, had not denied.

Orpheus narrowed his eyes at the persimmon streaked sky; it must've been at least 5 in the evening now. "Guess the curtains were closed," he whispered to himself.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dunkelzahn Character Portrait: Leau Character Portrait: Anastasia Varias Character Portrait: Rorgen Avulstein Character Portrait: Kiser Nathaniel Burntwood Character Portrait: Jenson Xion Character Portrait: Alistair D. James
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Azriel



Azriel watched as the would be princess is thwarted by a fridge and chuckles lightly, taking it as a minor pay back for ordering him around. He was walking back toward the bedroom when she asked him his name so his voice was emitted from the room only to be followed shortly by him carrying a professionally made beautiful dress from across the street tailored to the girl's size. "My name is Azriel." His tone was short and to the point as if his name didn't matter in the least "Here, put this on while I make you some food, it is sure to be warmer than what you have on. I am no witch but I believe I may be able to create a little culinary magic if you'd wish." He chuckles lightly at his poorly made joke before setting the dress out for her and moving to the kitchen to begin cooking. As he had planned before he would make French toast and eggs with sausage and bacon. "Well assuming we do not find where you belong soon, you may stay here and decorate that room as you wish until you find yourself." He motioned idly toward the living room, not really caring about its appearance so much as its functionality.

It wouldn't take him long to make the simple yet delicious meal but while he was cooking he decided conversing would be best. "So tell me about this person you wish to find, he seems very important to you." His words where specifically placed to draw out the information he would need to find the man and get the girl talking at the same time. She had been thrust into a world of chaos and it would be healthy for her to reflect on something familiar. Though vague, it was still an anchor for her to hold onto. He seemed to flow about the kitchen with such grace it looked as if he was dancing half the time. He worked around her in such a way that she would never have to move to accommodate him no matter where she was standing in the kitchen. He seemed oddly more relaxed than his usual intense self while cooking. He would spin and slide around the kitchen as if it was his dance floor. On the edge of the table was a closed laptop which he would later use to begin searching for the man they quested for, for now however his focus was on making sure the girl was healthy enough to search. After a while music began to play from a surround sound system in the kitchen, the genre was unclear as it seemed every song fit into a different one. Between spins he motions to a small controller with three buttons on it that sat next to the laptop Back, Pause and Forward. "Press the button on the right if you don't like the song." (I'll let you decide what music she chooses to play) He smiled gently at the girl judging from what he had seen so far that she wouldn't know how to operate it without some minor instruction.



Jenson


(OOC: Jenson's post comes after Flickery's. We ninja'ed each other.)

Jenson had gotten the call to meet at the office like everyone else, unlike everyone else however he was no where near the base. Jenson had just recently finished his final 'Field Test' that would allow him to leave the lab and start actually doing work. With all the modifications and program glitches they had to work through just to get everything working right, Jenson was now a walking wonder. They now had him in the back of a Van moving toward the main base to start his service under one Anastasia Varias. The voice on the com must have been her second? That was a guess though, still he couldn't help but feel like he knew the voice. While he waited images flew up in front of him much like a computer in his brain. The images where invisible to anyone else because they where literally in his head, to him they appeared transparent so he could still see everything going on around him. He was going through the personnel files for the team he was supposed to be working for in the near future. Suddenly after fifteen minutes of bored flipping through random grunts in their unit he gets toward the higher ups. Without warning he jumped up in his seat and yelled "YETI!" The word startled his driver who swerved a little but managed to regain his control over the vehicle easily enough "What the hell is going on back there!" The driver called back frustrated "Its the Yeti! When the fuck did he leave the military!?" He reached up and tapped the device on his temple quickly before he yelled out over the open com link "YETI old boy you dressed?!" He chuckled heavily as he called out to his old military buddy Kiser.

Years ago they had been in deep jungle and Kiser had gone out to take a piss in the middle of the night without telling their watchmen. Kiser of course had decided there was no problem in going out stark naked with his gun since there was no one for miles. In the middle of the night their very green watchmen had caught a glimpse of him and remembering some fake horror story they told newbies about Yeti's being in the woods they where in, freaked out and started yelling about how there was a Yeti in the woods trying to get at them. That is until the spotlight was slammed on and turned on the rather startled Commander, since then he has never lived down the nickname from that unit. Kiser being the relaxed Commander he was never punished people for harmless fun so the name stuck. When no higher ups where around they started calling him Commander Big Foot.

Finally the van pulled up to the building and dropped him and another plain looking man off. They walk up to the wall casually and go through the sequence to get the door open, however when it came to the retina scan the thing errors out and Jenson starts cussing profusely about some dumb ass not writing in a back up access system. "My eyes are as good as paper to this damned thing." The other man stepped up and opened the door before they got into the elevator and took the 28.43 second ride down to the base. By the time they reached the bottom Jenson's head was bobbing to music no one else could hear. The other man departed from Jenson's company likely to go report to whatever department he belonged to. Jenson walked quickly through the hallways, his overlay highlighted people as he walked and popped up their names above their heads with a link to access their personnel records, at least whatever his pay grade would let him see. He slide through the door to Anastasia's office casually. The first thing he saw was the sparse walls and no nonsense attitude, his previous military experience telling him to look at those thing first to know how to act. He decided to go into military mode since she seemed the type. He steps out and then goes ridged with a military stance "Jenson Xion reporting for.... Fae!" in a flash a pistol appeared in his hand and beaded perfectly at Leau between the eyes, she would have been able to see into his barrel if she weren't standing across the room and behind Anastasia. He paused a moment however as his targeting system highlighted her green "Da fuck?.... Leau huh?..." the gun dropped back to his side as he started reading off his monitor, decidedly slaughtering the pronunciation of her name on accident " "Considered friendly"? haha they are real specific about you aren't they! No offence, just didn't know we had any friendly butterflies." He chuckled merrily as he slide the gun back into a leg holster that seems to blend in with his cloths almost perfectly, keeping the gun right at his hand height when his arm is relaxed. He then seems to remember where he was and popped back into a sloppily ridged position before saying "Oh uh right.. Reporting for duty.... I dunno, do we call you ma'am or sir? They liked sir in the military, but I dunno you might like Ma'am." He seemed to have lost his serious position, returning to a completely none formal stance as he went on a tangent, completely forgetting there where other people in the room. Under his left arm was a helmet that look odd to say the least. It had some sort of strip going all around it horizontally and looked like it would cover a person's entire head a lot like a bikers helmet would but without the clear visor. The thing would encase a person's head in protection but effectively make them blind. What strategic use it would be was completely unclear, but then in this room no one had noticed his eyes yet.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dunkelzahn Character Portrait: Leau Character Portrait: Anastasia Varias Character Portrait: Rorgen Avulstein Character Portrait: Kiser Nathaniel Burntwood Character Portrait: Jenson Xion
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"Dunkelzahn," Kiser called Zahn by her full name, causing her to raise an eyebrow. "You're not dead,"

"I was never in any danger..." she mumbled to herself, although she felt a little touched that the concern sounded genuine. Perhaps he wasn't all bad.

"Great. We won't have lesbian body parts to clean up," he joked. Zahn narrowed an amber eye into her scope, fuzzy feeling vanishing, and instead looking for him among the remaining soldiers.

"Meet us in the IPAF headquarters. Ana's big bad office."

"Roger," is what she transmitted before clicking him out of the conversation. "Yeah, we'll be meeting for certain."

"It's dead," Zahn chimed through the comm, punching the remains of team 102 into her comm. "Or maybe stunned... hopefully dead," she informed. It was hard to tell. It was hopefully dead, considering she shot it five times with .50 caliber rounds designed to kill people inside of tanks. "You guys should beat feet."

*Oh thank God, who is this?*

"Iceheart. You guys need to retreat," she informed, pulling the magazine of tungsten rounds towards her, thinking better of it, and pushing the magazine of normal .50 BMG into the rifle. She felt more than heard an additional presence next to her shortly afterwards, and flicked her amber eyes to the left to find Archer laying there with his spotting scope already set up. It was one of the reasons she liked him: he was actually good at his job... unlike certain werelions.

*We're holding position until the clean up crew arrives.*

"I am the clean up crew," she stated coldly, flipping the bolt up and slamming the first bullet into the chamber.

*What?? Uh, how far then?*

"How fast can you run?" Zahn asked glibly and heard Archer chuckle from her side. "What do you think, would you consider that facility compromised?"

"I think the gaping hole in the side with the giant ice thingy squirming in it is the giveaway, hun. Don't we have some kind of SOP for this?"

"Yup. Eliminate hostiles, retrieve any lost data... in the event hostiles can't be eliminated prevent further contamination of the site by entering the computer core, opening the shiny red envelope in my back pocket with the codes and initiate facility sterilization."

"Huh... so what is facility sterilization anyway? I didn't see a flamethrower in our bag," Archer asked.

"Buncha' thermite... and a big-ass bomb."

"Really? God damnit, my apartment is in an IPAF building," he sighed.

"Why do you think I'm never home?" She grinned. "How far is it?" She asked, and Archer traced her line of site to the gaping hole in the side of the lab.

"To the yummy soldier with the passenger?" Archer asked, and she could hear the grin in his voice.

"Ew. No. You read those smutty romance novels don't you?"

"I adore smutty romance novels. 1430 to the control panel," he informed, lasing the facility with his spotting scope. "That will get you through the secure door, your clearance should get you the rest of the way into the computer core. From there... well I imagine there's some kind of hokey count-down or something that should give you time to make your escape."

"That sounded like a guess," Zahn said, narrowing an amber eye at Archer.

"It was, but it was an educated guess," he said with a smirk. Zahn just blew a sigh and lined up her next shot. What was left of the IPAF team on the ground had hastily retreated. She took a moment to count the bodies and say a silent prayer... they'd taken more than 50% casualties and their remains would never be recovered. The ice titan was slowly getting up, in spite of having lost an arm and having a large hole blown out of its head. "Try aiming for its heart?"

"Yeah... I think its healing," she noted, watching the holes in its chest very slowly closing through her scope. Zahn rested her finger on the trigger, and then changed her mind after what felt like a long minute while the creature started to push itself to its feet. She pushed herself up and slid the rifle to Archer. "Ready to earn your pay?"

"... Wh-what?" He asked in that "oh-there-is-no-way" tone of voice.

"Cover me," she ordered, and started off... stopping only a few steps away and turning back. "And go easy on those tungsten rounds, they're like forty bucks apiece. The guys in the gunsmith lab always throw a fit when I use too many... Channel EC6... this just became classified," she said, and reached up to her headset and clicked a red button on the earpiece. Everyone still on her channel was immediately dumped with an earful of harsh static as her comms with Archer switched to a secure, encrypted channel. She was sure it was still monitored by... somebody... these "secure" comms always were. Whoever it was, it was above her pay grade. Zahn had a very steep rate for her services, so she imagined whoever else could listen in was at the top of the food chain..

1460 meters doesn't sound like very far until you have to run it. At just 149-ish meters shy of a mile, it was easily a six minute run for a highly athletic human. Zahn half fell, half slid down the fire escape to street level, landing harshly. She ignored the pain in her toes and ankles as she took off sprinting. It was a solid minute before she realized Archer didn't have a headset, and she'd just dumped everyone else and encrypted her comm... now she was in a channel by herself with whatever boogeymen the IPAF higher-ups had listening in.

"Don't suppose someone could air-drop my spotter a headset?" She grunted into the comm, feeling silly. She was starting to regret restricting Archer from the comms until he perfected his call-outs and could shoot straight. Zahn had insisted on training him when they'd been assigned together. Archer was just supposed to be her spotter, but since she was the only long distance marksman in the city she'd taken it upon herself. A sniper and a spotter were deadly on their own. A pair of snipers working in tandem was just cruel and unusual.

*Oh hey!* a voice rang in her ear after a while, causing her to jump a little as she ran.

"Archer?" She puffed, not bothering to run in cover, and instead making a mad-dash for the opening.

*Yeah I was gonna say something, you know like: 'wait, can I call your cell or something I don't have a headset' but you ran off so quick. No worries though, some hunk in a black suit showed up and brought me one.*

"Huh..." Zahn's gait faltered a little as she slowed to glance back at the rooftop with a spooked expression.

*You're gonna want to move leftish here in a sec.*

"What?" She slowed further, pressing the headset to her ear almost positive she'd misheard him, but movement in her peripheral vision caused her to snap her head up in time to dive out of way as a boulder-sized chunk of debris smashed into the concrete where she would have been standing had she kept moving. She landed roughly on her chest, driving snow down the neck of her thermal shirt and into her pants and boots. She spat snow from her mouth, scrambling to her feet and shambling to cover between a couple of buildings. Zahn pressed herself against the wall, breathing heavily, her ears ringing with adrenalin. She didn't even pause to catch her breath, instead she whipped out her sidearm and popped out of cover to snap off a couple of shots at the ice titan before returning.

*Oh now what the hell is that going to do?*

"I don't know! Wasting ammo! Makes me feel better! Should have sent you on this run!" she answered, nearly shouting. The adrenalin was still surging through every inch of her body, from having very nearly been crushed. Zahn had always been relatively safe in her nest during combat... not to say that she hadn't had some close calls, but none nearly as close as that!

*Alright I'm gonna take a shot and maybe buy you some time...*

"W-... WAIT!"

*Too late, it's on its way.*

Zahn immediately threw herself to the ground, this time feeling the wet chill of snow pressing against her skin between her breasts through the feverish adrenalin. She covered her head with her hands reflexively even though she knew the .50 caliber slug would punch straight through the building she was hiding behind. A second ticked by, though it felt like an age before she heard the chill snap of the slug screeching past and she opened her eyes in time to see it crush into the titan's good knee almost a second later, sending it crashing to the pavement as the joint was shattered like a cheap mirror. Another second ticked past and the deep throated POW of the Windrunner followed. For a moment she could only just blink... so that's what that felt like.

*I hit it!* Archer exclaimed, sounding genuinely surprised.

"On purpose?" Zahn asked with a note of incredulity.

*Sure... can I keep this headset after we're done?*

"I'm not leaving you in charge of a herd of cats," she grunted at him as she pushed herself to her feet again and sprinted out of cover for the opening.

Back on the rooftop, Archer took his eye away from the scope for a few moments, looking out over the distance with his regular sight. He pushed his glasses up on his nose and grinned as he scooted over to his spotting scope to watch Zahn cover the rest of the distance to the facility. A few long moments ticked by as he waited, making sure the titan wasn't going to get up again just yet. He reached up and muted his microphone.

"Was that really necessary?" A bald man in a black suit asked him.

"She made me do push-ups... payback is a bitch," he smirked, watching her vault over a fallen pillar and vanish inside. He whistled in appreciation of the view.

"Aren't you gay?" the man asked, raising an eyebrow.

"Just means I can appreciate a great ass when I see one. She really rocks those cargoes. The truth is, I wouldn't kick her out of my bed for eating crackers... even if 'crackers' was my dog," he informed with a wide grin. The man didn't reply, and instead just shook his head a little without changing his expression.

*I'm inside and through the security door,* Zahn chimed in his ear after what felt like too long. Archer reached up and unmuted his headset.

"Alright, once you're into the main facility you're on your own: the place is probably shielded all out of Star-Trek and shit. The other labs have informative signs and colored tape on the ground for you to follow, I imagine this one is no different. Once you're in the core the console you're after will be on your..." Archer hesitated, glancing up at the man in the black suit. He waved his right hand after undoubtedly rolling his eyes behind those dark sunglasses. "Right side, it probably has red and white striped tape all over it."

*That sounded like another guess...*

"An educated one," Archer smiled, and the headset popped in his ear, signifying that he'd lost Zahn's signal.

Archer sat up indian style and propped himself up with his hands, gazing out over the rooftop in the direction of the facility in silence while the man in the black suit did the same. It felt like an hour passed, but after a handful of minutes the facility went up in a bright orange flash. Archer leaned forward and peered through the spotting scope. The ice titan had finally been reduced into enough molecules to cease being a threat. All that was left of the surface facility was a burned out husk and a pile of rubble.

"Did she make it out?" Asked the man in a neutral tone. After a moment of silence, Archer's pocket began to vibrate. He pulled out his phone and checked it, then flipped the screen towards the man. Don't get your hopes up, I made it out. Pack to the dead drop, read the text on his screen. Seemingly satisfied, the man turned and exited through the roof access door. Archer leaned back, looking up at the sky, which had finally begun to clear up and let sunlight through. He sat for a long time before starting to pack up... and before he was finished, a chime sounded from one of his cargo pockets: an email notification from his other phone. He just smiled.

It was a long jog through the underground which Zahn took all the way to the IPAF headquarters. Zahn had escaped through the sub-levels of the facility, which were still intact. She allowed the biometric device to scan her retina, and scowled at it when it addressed her as "Julia Smith," but pushed her way inside anyway. She'd been after the guys in IT to fix that for weeks now. It was a brisk walk to Ana's office, which she poked her head in momentarily, looking for one person in particular, most of the other regulars were there. Her eyes narrowed and she shut the door, knowing where Kiser would be if they'd taken a new prisoner. She slid her hand into her pocket as she made her way to containment. Zahn was a ghost as soon as the door opened for her. She flitted down the hallway in and out of camera blind spots until she found what she was looking for: Kiser standing over the waking body of a Fae. She sidled up behind him, gripping an object in her pocket.

"Hey," she whispered, almost in his ear. She was already pulling her hand out of her pocket, fingers curled around a set of polished brass knuckles as she cocked her arm back and swiveled on her hips. When he turned to face her, she drove her fist straight into his face with every ounce of her strength.

"Don't you EVER leave a soldier behind again!" she spat, shaking with rage. Her right hand was shaking and covered in blood where the brass knuckles had dug into her flesh. Zahn had literally hit him so hard that she'd broken four of her fingers. "If you had radioed ahead like you're FUCKING SUPPOSED TO I could have been in position to cover you BEFORE things went sideways! Maybe then those soldiers wouldn't have had to die so that your worthless ass could escape!" she very nearly screamed, and managed to resist striking him again. Zahn took a deep breath and seemed to settle back into her persona as "Iceheart."

"I have a silver bullet with your name on it, Kiser, and if you ever try a stunt like that again it will find you," she threatened coldly and then spun on her heels, walking straight out. Now and then blood spattered the floor along her trail both from her shattered hand and from where she'd been clutching her opposite fist hard enough for her nails to dig into her flesh. Zahn slid the brass knuckles back into her pocket as she sidled silently into Anastasia's office to catch the rest of the meeting. She didn't bother hiding her broken and bloodied hand... her healing factor wasn't as strong as a full blown were, but the damage would heal over the next day or so. Zahn was in time to hear Rorgen mention visiting the 86B facility before the clean-up crew arrived. She kept a neutral face, sitting down without saying anything: it was classified, and if they didn't already know about the lower levels, then they didn't have the proper clearances. A wave of exhaustion washed over her as the last of her adrenalin ebbed away and she covered her mouth with her hand to hide a yawn, then continued to listen in silence. She didn't envy the minion that would get stuck with the paperwork over the entire fiasco and was just glad that she'd already submitted her report via email. Smart-phones were amazing nowadays...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Azriel De'mourn Character Portrait: Tiggy The Summer Fae Character Portrait: Raena Character Portrait: Iokul Frosti Character Portrait: Dunkelzahn Character Portrait: Kiser Nathaniel Burntwood Character Portrait: Orpheus
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#, as written by Layla
Image

It was neither gradual nor gentle, being as if her foot had been placed over a land mine and then abruptly torn from it. The walls of her skull shook and trembled as an essence of the Queen rushed into her empty shell, tearing apart the seams that had held it apart. Raena found herself lying on the floor, staring at a bleak ceiling with its glaring lights. She must've fallen in her abrupt session of remembering. The High Queen did not squint against the light, why would she when it was so... Beneath her. She did, however, narrow her gaze at the dark haired man nearby. She grunted, bloody hell.

"Well, get on with it. State your name and... Whatever you are," she said with a frown, her head still pressed against the floor, her hair a ripple of white like a halo surrounding her head. "A wingless, two legged creature with a strange head," she mumbled. "It is neither a unicorn nor a Fey. A tortoise?" The turtles of the Faerie Realms walked on two legs and had a head - that was close enough. Right?

"My name is Azriel," he said.

"Azriel," she said his name slowly, as if forming human words was still a mystery to her. "Azriel," she repeated in her soft, sugared voice. "Hmph. Pretty," she said curtly.

Raena stood gingerly, although rising with an unnatural grace as she pressed her fingers to her temples. In the name of herself, this place was disorientating. Raena leaned against the kitchen counter, pursing her lips in distaste as she began at the man's crown, her eyes slowly drifting to his toes and rising once again to meet his eyes. "Immortal, wingless, but not a unicorn. A rock?" she mused, pushing away from the counter and gliding towards his cabinets. She pulled open a door, pulling out a mug and hanging it on the tip of her little finger. "Your goblets lack intricacy." Her finger traced the rim of the mug and a soft, observant, "Mmmm," hummed through her throat as she placed the mug by the sink.

"So tell me about this person you wish to find, he seems very important to you," Azriel said.

Raena was captivated by what he was doing with the equipment in the kitchen. He seemed to be cooking some strange things that smelled... Weird. He was gliding and spinning around her as if they were in a ballroom, but they were not, were they? Perhaps this was merely a freakishly small ballroom. Raena blinked up at him, captivated by the way his muscles rippled beneath his shirt as he moved with a quiet elegance. "I don't know," she said in reply. "He has skin like... Shadows," she began, holding her hand in front of her and stretching out her fingers as if fascinated by her own hand. "Eyes like stars. Perfect, but hideous in a way that made hideousness beautiful," she said quietly. "Mine."

"Press the button on the right if you don't like the song." Raena blinked the scattered thoughts away, looking at the small rectangular cube he was pointing to. She looked at it in puzzlement, shrinking at the sound that had filled the kitchen.

"We are never, ever, ever, getting back together!" Raena frowned - how could they know? Were they Seers, able to see the future? She gingerly pressed the right button, jumping slightly as the music changed.

"Before you came into my life, I missed you so bad," the speakers sang. What?

"I want you to shake my booty, I want you to shake my booty!" Next.

"There's a piece of lead where my heart should beat
Doctor said "Too dangerous to reap
You'd better just leave it be"
Body grew back around it, a miracle, praise be
Now, if only I could get through airport security"

Raena stood still, her finger lingering over the next button as she stared at Azriel's laptop. The voice, it was... Familiar. Liquid crystals spilled from the skies, mingling with obsidian rivers and shattering into a voice - his voice. "Who is this?" she asked.

"You cared for me," she said curtly after a pause, as way of thanks. Raena paused, lifting her shirt to her lips and biting into the cloth. It wasn't edible. "Hmph," she huffed, dropping the shirt and curling her hand around the handle of the door. "I am removing the wall," she announced as she twisted the knob and pulled the door open. Raena sashayed down a hallway but stilled as she spotted a ravishing gown on a not so ravishing creature. "Female," she called, ushering the woman toward her. The stranger looked at Raena with utter confusion, looking over her shoulder before reluctantly walking towards the half-clad Queen of Order. "Who is your tailor?" Raena asked, eyeing the dress as if she were considering ripping it off the girl's body.

"Umm... What?" the woman mumbled, her eyes darting left and right.

"Who fashions your garments?" Raena rephrased.

"Uh... Forever 21...?"

"Brilliant. You are dismissed," Raena said with a wave of her hand and a toss of her silky white hair. The High Queen lifted her chin and sashayed down the hallway, pressing the elevator button as if she were performing a holy ritual. "This is an elevator," she told Azriel. "It goes up and down."

"I summon this Earthling, Forever 21," she announced as she stepped out of the elevator after staring at the crack that separated the elevator from the floor on the other for several long moments. "He will fashion me a gown. This garment of yours is not very warm," she told the Vampire as if he alone was responsible for the warmth of clothing. The Queen's first step outside of the building was much worse than a shock. She stilled, narrowing her gaze at the blanket of white that coated the world. The first thing she noticed, however, was not that she was bloody freezing, but that their horses were flat or fat, or both, and metallic? The second thing she noticed was how... Colourless everything was. Their ground were made with a strange, grey brick and their skies had no rivers, their trees, no eyes.

A whistle was blown, causing the Queen to jump back in surprise. "Hey, hey, babe! You are one fine motherfucker!" called a man as his other male comrades slapped him on the back as they barked unusual sounds. Why had they slapped him? Were they not friends? And what was -

"A motherfooka?" she repeated in puzzlement, looking at Azriel incredulously. "Your people are quite eccentric. What is a 'motherfooka?' Strange, very strange," she mumbled, continuing on her merry way, despite having no clue where she was going. She was the Queen, the world and its inhabitants would shift for her. Although the structures here seemed quite rude, she had to take a step away from straight just to avoid an uneducated pole with three circles and changing colours. She'd gotten a few more uncalled for, "Hey babeh washyouh naym"'s which she did not get at all. But what was the weirdest of all was the one man who'd said, "Yo baby, you be my Dairy Queen, I'll be your Burger King. You treat me right and I'll do it your way right away."

"Is he the king of this foreign world?" she'd asked Azriel. "King Burger? But what is dairy and why did he call me his child? Is he my father?"

Raena stopped in her tracks, glaring at a building for not moving out of her way before tilting her head to the side and blinking her large powder blue eyes. "Forever 21 has yet to arrive."

Image

Kiser sniffed Zahn out long before she'd come close to him but he decided not to react. What was the point? "Hey," she whispered in his ear. He sighed as she swung her brass knuckle covered fist back and winced as it connected with his chin and smacked his head aside. Ouch. That surprisingly hurt. "Don't you EVER leave a soldier behind again!"

"Not bad for a girl punch," he joked, rubbing his bloody chin and split lip. Kiser grinned, holding up both hands in a gesture of peace. "Okay, okay. I deserved that." Zahn went on to threaten him, a threat he didn't pay much attention to as he'd already turned his body to the Fey before him. The brutal wounds on his face inflicted by the sulking, serious, brooding Dunkelzahn was already healing, becoming a mere bruise on his face. He didn't care about the soldiers of IPAF. They did what they had to and knew full well the consequences and dangers they were enlisting for, years of work on the field when he'd been with the military had hardened him, desensitised him to the prospect of death. Jenson only reminded him of it. He'd been a Commander and so, so many of his soldiers had died, there was no longer any point in caring or even learning to know their names. He'd been rather fond of Jenson, though, and he'd never admit it but he found that their nickname for him - Yeti - had grown on him.

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"In the name of the Queen, where have you been?" Tiggy gushed. Orpheus pressed a pianist worthy finger over her lips, closing his eyes and cocking his head as if listening to the wind, although, that was all just for dramatic effect.

"Shh," he whispered. "Do not use the Queen's name in vain." Orpheus opened his eyes, a grin lighting his flawless features. "Nice to see you, too, Tiggy Stardust."

"Where have you been?" the Summer Fey continued. Orpheus arched a brow - a gesture almost no other Fey used due to how beneath them it was, but Orpheus quite liked these human expressions. They were rather... Expressive. The Oracle of Darkness gestured toward a billboard with his perfect face upon it, his intense pools of azure staring through the camera at all who laid eyes on his photograph. God, he was sexy. 'Sacrilegious' was written by his name, it was the name of the band he'd somehow joined without remembering doing so. They were famous now, apparently, and he was their lead singer and guitarist. Well, as long as it paid for his drinks and ravishing mansion.

"Looks like you haven't been keeping up with the tabloids and Earthling music, little one," he mused. As if to prove his point, a crowd of teenage girls raced towards him; Orpheus beamed, gracing them with his heart-shattering smile. The girls seemed to melt in the steps as they surrounded him, shoving Tiggy aside as they did. "Girls, girls. I am quite busy," he teased, reaching through them and grabbing Tiggy's wrist, pulling her to his side and lazily hanging an arm around her shoulders. "Although, I'm absolutely free tonight," he said with a wink. The girls giggled - predictable - as he quickly signed whatever objects they handed him. After much convincing - or not, since he was fantastic at making people do as he wished - they finally went away. Orpheus chuckled, before his face fell abruptly into a frown.

"As we were saying, where did you see this maybe-Rae? Did you see where she went? And why are you referring to yourself in third person? Where is the blue-skinned killer? What's his name? Praxis."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dunkelzahn Character Portrait: Leau Character Portrait: Anastasia Varias Character Portrait: Rorgen Avulstein Character Portrait: Kiser Nathaniel Burntwood Character Portrait: Alistair D. James
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#, as written by Lenyx
"God, you're cute," Anastasia heard Kiser say under his breath, while giving her a dashing smile. "Well, I know nothing that you don't tell me so see you tonight, Ciao, guys." Kiser pressed two fingers to his forehead and jerked them outwards.

Anastasia could only glare coldly at his back, she hoped he could feel the imaginary ice daggers she was driving into him. When Rorgen spoke up, pulling her gaze to him.

"Remind me to buy you some catnip for the coming holidays, Ana." Rorgen said seemingly amused.

Anastasia's icy glare returned, this time focused on Rorgen.

"Well, You already know what I could tell you about the IPAF. But. I bet you ten bucks we'd find something in that Lab 86b that just got shut down. I've only been up to the seventy series, even authorized research personnel weren't allowed in the ones that were eighty and above. They had to have special permission granted. And now security is at an all time low. It's the best time to get in there. But we can't access their data remotely, have to be there to do it. Try and look into their local files manually with this and pull something out, before the cleanup crew arrives." Rorgen gestured towards Alistair, "And if Alistair could come along."

Anastasia let her glare fade as she nodded in agreement. “Leau and I will come along. Dunkelzahn, glad you could join us. First aid kit, washroom.” Anastasia pointed to a door on the eastern wall near the filing cabinet. “Bandage up that hand before you get blood all over my carpet.”

As she stood up from her chair the phone on her desk beeped, and Anastasia pushed a button, putting the call on s everyone could hear. “Speak.”

“Well, uhm Ma'am. You see the clean-up crew for Lab86B, was Dunkelzahn and well uhm, Ma--” The feminine voice on the other end squeaked.

“Get to the point.” Anastasia growled.

“She blew it up Ma'am. There isn't much le-”

“God damn it.Dunkelzahn what the hell were you thinking?” Anastasia snapped. “Clean-up! Not blow up!”

Turning her attention back to the woman on the other end of the phone, Anastasia snapped at her too. “Get my car ready. Leau and I will be heading there for damage control, along with Rorgen and Alistair.”

Clicking the call off, Anastasia muttered to herself. “Can't anyone here not cause me any grief and just listen and obey orders?” Taking off her glasses and pinching the bridge of her nose she addressed Rorgen. “Rorgen, you and Alistair take your car. Leau and I will meet you there. Leau let's go. Now.”

With that Anastasia strode to the door, but stopped and turned around to face the team of people in her office. “Dunkelzahn, do not blow anything up while I am gone. And as to what I know, I know that the Fae that are captured, are kept. Locked in cages, and I want to know why we are keeping them. Until I find that out, all I can do is theorize with the bits of information I have acquired and that I have received from Leau regarding Fae life and magic. I think there is experimentation going on, and personally, I don't like that idea.”

With that Anastasia swept out of her office without another word along with Leau following silently behind her. Together the two headed out in to the winter wonderland of New York, where a man standing outside a black, sleek, Lamborghini Reventon waited. With a quick nod he opened the door for Anastasia, and once she was seated inside, he closed the door. As Anastasia started the car, Leau got in the passenger seat. “Leau. Seat-belt.”

Wordlessly Leau pulled her seat belt over her chest and clicked the buckle in place, securing her safely in the car. Together they drove in silence, until Leau spoke up rather abruptly right around the area where Anastasia and Rorgen had hit the Fey earlier. “Stop the car.”

“I beg your pardon Leau? No. I will not stop the car. We need to get to-”

“Stop the car now!” Leau shouted as she removed her seat belt and threw herself towards the steering wheel, grabbing it with both hands and turning it sharply. Anastasia pushed down on the break as the car started to spin, and stopped only after almost making a complete circle.

Leau glanced at Anastasia sharply, but sharply turned her head away again. "No time. None left," she said. With the sound of a soft breeze and a tree rustling in the wind, she seemed to dissolve from position beside Anastasia.

“Leau what in the bloody hell are you-” Anastasia started to scream at Leau, but Leau was gone.

Anastasia was left stunned and confused. Trying to start the car to go in search of Leau, she found it wouldn't start. “What in God's name...” She didn't know what to do, she knew nothing about cars except how to drive them. So she called the only person she could. Picking up her phone she stabbed at the numbers as she dialed, she knew the number by heart.

She slipped the phone to her ear as she pulled off her glasses and tossed them on the dashboard. “Kiser, you better check your damn messages. My car won't start. Leau grabbed the wheel and I lost control of the car. Now she's gone and I'm stranded. I'm where we hit that damned Fey.” Anastasia hated to say it, but she knew Kiser most likely would shrug her off if she didn't, so through gritted teeth she did the last thing she ever wanted to do in her life. “I need you. I need your help. Please.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dunkelzahn Character Portrait: Anastasia Varias Character Portrait: Rorgen Avulstein Character Portrait: Kiser Nathaniel Burntwood Character Portrait: Alistair D. James
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Alistair D. James


Alistair listened seriously to Anastasia's words. He didn't like the fact that IPAF might be keeping something big, and especially from Anastasia, the leader of the NYC district. He had never questioned the authority he worked under before, but this was serious.

He shrugged. "Isn't there some digging you could do on your own? Should we even be trusting Leau at this point?" Similar thoughts ran through his mind, but he said nothing, being the quiet person he always was. Speaking his mind at this time would do nothing. Besides, Anastasia had specifically ordered it, and he was never one to defy orders, especially not from Anastasia.

Just then, Kiser passed him, slapping him on the back. Involuntarily, Alistair shook him off - he hated being touched. And Kiser - there was just something about him that Alistair didn't trust. He was no supernatural, being only human - but Kiser gave him the creeps. And when something gave Alistair the creeps, you'd better watch out - Alistair was a stolid person and didn't get the creeps easily.

Listening to Rorgen, Alistair unconsciously smoothed his suit, a common habit of his. It was like Tourette's Syndrome; every movement couldn't be controlled. He thought of Elena, who would probably come home late, having yet another date with that Steven. Alistair missed the old Elena, ever since Steven came along, it was Steven this and Steven that, whatever Steven thought about everything and anything would be inserted into any conversation they were having. Alistair didn't like it.

"And if Alistair could come along." Alistair jerked out of his reverie, processing Rorgen's words. He nodded wordlessly, noting Zahn striding in. Zahn - well, Zahn being Zahn, she had that look of 'you can't make me do what I don't want to do', and was very surly, as always.

Anastasia's phone beeped, and the nervous person on the other end spoke. "Well, uhm, Ma'am. You see, the cleanup crew for Lab 86B was Dunkelzahn, and, well, uhm..." Alistair rolled his eyes. "Get it out, woman," he muttered under his breath. Apparently Anastasia thought the same way, for she snapped at the timid lady. "Get to the point."

"She blew it up, Ma'am. There isn't much left - " Alistair leapt to his feet, angered. "You - blew up - " he sputtered, but fortunately his words were masked by Anastasia yelling at Dunkelzahn. For once, Alistair felt like yelling too - how would they explain this to the public? "I'm sorry, but you see, we had to cause a massive explosion in public to destroy a monster that would probably have killed all of you, you should be thanking us instead of blaming us." Obviously not.

"Leau and I will be heading there for damage control, along with Rorgen and Alistair." "Yes, ma'am," Alistair saluted her smartly and turned to Rorgen. "Shall we go, then?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tiggy The Summer Fae Character Portrait: Anastasia Varias Character Portrait: Kiser Nathaniel Burntwood Character Portrait: Orpheus
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#, as written by Layla
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"Listen, I would start talking if I were you before I-" His communicator beeped. "Wait." As if the Fey strapped to the iron slab could do anything else. The voicemail played in Kiser's ear, initiating a series of frowns. “Kiser, you better check your damn messages. My car won't start. Leau grabbed the wheel and I lost control of the car. Now she's gone and I'm stranded. I'm where we hit that damned Fey. I need you. I need your help. Please.”

The Werelion smirked, rubbing the stubble on his jaw as he headed for the glass doors. He turned around, his eyes landing briefly on the captured Fey. Its skin seemed to be morphed of shadows, each curve and bend so perfectly moulded, it was as if he were created by a band of great artists. The creature's lashes with thick, long, its narrow bones creating a body that looked so frail yet impenetrable at the very same time.

It was beautiful in a way that made beauty hideous.

"You lucky bastard," he whispered to the unconscious form. Kiser strolled out of the containment room, heading straight for his car without pause. He would do anything for Anastasia, anything. Or, well, almost anything.

Several minutes later a red Chevy Corvette c7 glided to a stop beside Anastasia's car. The sun painted streaks of brightness across the smooth surface of the car - it was a rarity these days - making it seem as if it were made of a large slab of ruby. The door opened and a black boot stepped onto the rough gravel. The latest hit by Sacrilegious, "Iron Wings," was loud enough it seemed to rock the car, the road it sat upon and the people around it. A man with a body that could quite possibly make heterosexual men bend the other way stepped out, his upper body clothed in nothing but an open leather jacket. Kiser took his sunglasses off, twirling it in his finger as he leaned against his car.

"Finally, you admit it," he said. "You need me. Want me." The Werelion chuckled, crossing his arms and swinging one ankle over the other. "Get in," he said, walking to the passenger's side and opening the door, bowing dramatically as he held the door open for Anastasia. "Mademoiselle," he said. "I believe the answers you are seeking lie in your containment facilities, in the mind of the Fey Rorgen very conveniently ran over."

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“Tiggy cannot lie either."

Oh, really. Interesting, he thought with a smirk. Orpheus lowered his head, whispering as if he were revealing some important secret. "Then, tell me, my loveliest Summer girl. Have you been tamed by me?" he asked by her ear, chuckling lightly before straightening himself. God, she adorable. Orpheus trailed his knuckles over her cheek as she spoke, she had beautiful skin, a dark echo of their Dark King.

"Did he give you orders too?” Tiggy asked.

Orpheus scoffed, dropping his hand to his side as he turned slightly away from her. He shook his head in denial, the very fact that she'd thought such a thing was distasteful. Praxis? Order him? That was absolutely prosperous. He would sooner loose eternity than do as the little fisherman's pole commanded. "I am Lethe's counterpart, not his servant," he said curtly, by way of explanation. "You forget that I belong to no court or side but that of my own." Orpheus looked to the skies, realising a slither of his reign on his powers. The snow in the area began to melt as a circle of bright green grass - the first blades most of these Earthlings had seen in six months - replaced the snow by his feet. Orpheus turned to Tiggy, flashing her his famous grin. "I draw strength form neither the King nor the Queen." Unlike you, with your very essence withering away in the absence of Order, the words hung in the air, unspoken.

There was a nagging in the periphery of his mind; Orpheus narrowed his eyes ever so slightly, cocking his head as he looked into the distance as if he were listening to a voice in the distance. "Your King, he is calling you." Orpheus scoffed. "Not very loudly. The man needs to learn the magic of texting or at least get a website." Orpheus lowered his head, brushing his soft lips against Tiggy's and whispering, "Central Park; you better go."

"Did you hear? They say it was a leak."
"Yeah, scary, right? A dozen dead, they say."
"Oh my god! We're so lucky we weren't there."
"Yeah, it was some jail for Flies."

Interesting. Orpheus had quickly learned of the humans' love for making nicknames, Flies was one for the Fey. A practiced smile tilted the corners of his lips as he summoned the smile to his eyes; he walked to the ground of whispering teenagers, all of which who stopped and gawked in awe and shock as they took in the strawberry-blonde haired man and the posted of him not too far back. "Mind if I join the conversation?" Orpheus said easily, skewering them with cupid's bow as his pools of azure blue drew them in.

"U-uh, no," a girl said hastily after a minute of silence.

"Oh my god, are you ORPHEUS?!" another squealed.

"Dude, your music is am-"
"Will you sign my shirt?"
"Can we get a picture?"

"Shh," Orpheus whispered and they fell into silence. "Now, what were you saying about a leak?"

"Oh, yeah. Uh, one of the IPAF buildings blew up or something."

"Yeah, I heard it from my dad. He works for IPAF," a boy said with all the pride in the world. Orpheus beamed, well, well, wasn't this just his lucky day. "That's him!" the boy continued, pointing towards a middle-aged man standing by a hotdog booth, smothering his face in ketchup.

"Really?" Orpheus mused, observing the older man before returning his gaze to the mundane teenagers before him. "It was nice meeting you guys." The teenagers stared at him, looks of utter disbelief and euphoria on their faces. He winked at a girl as he said his goodbyes, causing her to scream none too gently. Keep your panties on, little one. Orpheus smiled, waving and walking towards the IPAF "suga-daddy." He reached into his chest pocket, pulling out a gold pocket watch. "Turn around," he whispered by the man's ear. The man turned to see who'd spoken to find himself face to face with...

The watch.

"What's your name?" Orpheus asked, the pocket watch hanging from the chain that hung from his finger. The heavy weight of the watch swung left and right, rocking hypnotically. Literally.

"Nicholas Graworth," the man replied, as if it a trance. He stared at the way the gold watch seemed brighter than the sun itself, swinging, swinging...

"Who do you work for, Nick?" Orpheus asked.

"Anastasia Varias."

"What company does she work for?"

"The International Protection Agency Against Faeries," came the reply. Orpheus continued on 'speaking' with the man for several more minutes, until finally he decided he knew enough. They were as stupid as they seemed, apparently, and almost equally as destructive. Children.

"You will take me to IPAF," Orpheus said.

"I will take you to IPAF," Nicholas echoed.

"You will protect me with your life and the life of everyone you know." Orpheus popped his pocket watch back into its place; the man blinked, staring at Orpheus incredulously. He had something he had to do, something he had to help this stranger with. "Now, show me," Orpheus said.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Anastasia Varias Character Portrait: Kiser Nathaniel Burntwood
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#, as written by Lenyx
Anastasia watched as Kiser pulled up next to her car, music blaring so loud she could clearly make out the words of the song playing. If she bothered to listen to anything aside from classical music. She watched Kiser step out of the car, his open leather jacket showing off his muscular torso, and showing it off even more as he leaned against his car. Kiser, the man who believes he is God's gift to women. Anastasia thought to herself, giving a small shake of her head.

Finally, you admit it. You need me. Want me.

Anastasia's head snapped up, and stared at Kiser. “I never said I wa-”

Get in.” He said while walking to the passenger's side and opened the door. She watched as he bowed dramatically while holding open the car door. “Mademoiselle.

Anastasia felt her face heat up, even with the chill of this perpetual winter. Flustered, she quickly walked over to the passenger's side and got in. What was it that had Kiser done to make her face flush so? He wasn't being any different than usual... Right? So what did he do--

"I believe the answers you are seeking lie in your containment facilities, in the mind of the Fey Rorgen very conveniently ran over."

“What-” Anastasia squeaked. What the hell was that?! She cleared her throat before she continued. “What do you mean? Aside from Leau, I have never been allowed to question a Fey!” Anastasia felt bothered and angered by this. “Why do they allow you?” She added under her breath.

Shaking her head and sliding off her glasses, pinching her nose she explained what she had to do first. “First I have to go to Lab 86B. I want to know what the IPAF is really about, and not just what they let everyone else believe. I have no idea where Leau went, and after that little stunt of hers... I don't care. She'll come back...” Her voice trailed off. She didn't know if Leau would come back. Something was different about Leau, but she didn't know what it was.

Anastasia's phone beeped at her, an email. Viewing it on her phone it informed her Rorgen was being transferred out of her division. Great, first Leau. Now Rorgen. What else is going to happen?

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Azriel De'mourn Character Portrait: Tiggy The Summer Fae Character Portrait: Raena Character Portrait: Anastasia Varias Character Portrait: Rorgen Avulstein Character Portrait: Kiser Nathaniel Burntwood Character Portrait: Orpheus
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#, as written by Layla
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“What- What do you mean? Aside from Leau, I have never been allowed to question a Fey! Why do they allow you?” Anastasia gushed.

Oops. Did I let that slip? Kiser thought with amusement. He conducted a sharp turn, the muscles on his arms bulging as he spun the steering wheel. Kiser slipped his sunglasses back on, giving Anastasia a lopsided grin of an overgrown child who'd been caught with his hand in the cookie jar. "Who said they allowed it? You might want to clutch your seatbelt." he said just as he crushed the accelerator and sent them zooming past three red traffic lights. "IPAF's car, not mine," he said, by way of explanation. He lifted his phone at the sound of its beep, staring at the message for several minutes whilst he was still driving. The words were to the point, yet he felt as if Rorgen was mocking him. Kiser stared at the message and stared at it a little more.

"Take care of her."

"Dammit, Rorgen. You take care of her yourself," he growled. What was he supposed to do without his Were friend? His right hand man? Who was going to watch his back? "Fine, Rorgen. Fine," mumbled, slamming his phone down on the dashboard. "Lab 86B..." The Chevy executed a sharp turn, its movement emphasised by about a dozen cusses from the drivers around him. Kiser shoved his accelerator downwards, growling as his car flew forward and threw them back into their seats. The music blared from the speakers; Kiser thought it was one of Sacrilegious' best songs but apparently the hit charts didn't think so. Idiots.

"I remember the
trees evading liquid swords,
sinking into flesh,

of jolly hordes, and
soil-songs: roots, and endless nerves,
not quite gleaming eyes,

like rubies buried
under years, and lengthy beards,
back when pupils saw."


"We're here," he said, just as the car stopped abruptly. It held suspended in the air for a long moment before crashing down onto the gravel. The trip to the site took barely any time, which was worrying. "No, you can't take my license away from me," he told Anastasia. Then, swivelling his body around to face her as he leaned his elbow on the steering wheel, he said with a grin, "I don't have one."

Kiser slipped out of the car, walking to Anastasia's side and opening her door for her. "We haz arrived," he said in a horrible imitation of a Russian accent. He sniffed the air and grimaced, the horrible burning smell scalding his sense as if he were pouring liquid nitrogen through his nostrils. That was the curse of being a Were - good things smelled amazing, but bad things smelled like brimstone and Hell.

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"That was careless," Orpheus told Tiggy, taking her by the arm to steady her. He stared at the frightened men behind her with cold eyes, a shadow coming over his gaze and turning them into the dark depths of the ocean. They were making a lot of noise, stumbling backwards and begging to be set free without harm. Orpheus stepped towards them and they fell to the ground in a mad rush to escape the Fey. Orpheus pulled his pocket watch from his chest, drawing it forward and swinging it before their eyes. "You will remember nothing. Now go," he told them.

"We will remember nothing," they echoed before standing and running with a speed that was almost inhuman. It was interesting, the way the human body seemed to grow stronger when under the threat of death. Immortals such as himself had no such fears. Well, hadn't, anyway. Now the death of the Fey was very much possible, but that didn't matter to him. What mattered was-

"Tiggy," he said, turning to her and holding her upright by her arms. He looked into her large eyes and raked his eyes down her body, he foresaw no death. "You're alive," he said quietly, quiet awe apparent in his voice. "You're alive," he repeated, louder. "Do you know what this means, Tiggy? Your Queen, my Raena, she's alive." Orpheus took a step back, his face a blank mask as he tried not to smile. No, he couldn't. He couldn't give himself that hope, just to know Raena had perished all over again. "You draw from her, Tiggy," he explained. "All of the Seelie Fey do. If you can cast a spell like that without dying, it means you're pulling it from someone else. You're using the Queen's essence, Tiggy. She needs to be alive for you to do that and you're alive!" Orpheus couldn't help it, he grinned, rushing towards Tiggy and embracing her in a tight hug. He took her by her slim waist, lifting her into the air and spinning her around before settling her on her feet with a laugh that gradually died down as a realisation settled in.

"Tiggy, my Summer girl, listen," he said quietly, holding her face in his hands and looking deeply into her eyes. "You can't do that again, okay? We don't know how much power our Raena has. We don't know if using her essence could kill her." He paused. "You need an Unseelie Fey," he told Tiggy, swallowing as he said, "Aerunia. Get Aerunia and tell her Orphie needs his Aer-bear. I need to go but we will meet again. Take him," he said, jerking his head towards Nicholas who stood stunned behind him. "You will listen to her," he told the man, who nodded slowly. He returned his gaze to Tiggy. "You two need to get to IPAF and get Praxis, this man will help you. There's a lot of iron, Tiggy, so if you can't, just let Aerunia go and tell her her father is being held in there." He paused. "Probably."

"Now go," he urged, ushering Tiggy towards the middle-aged, hypnotised man. "I will be with you shortly." Orpheus turned away, but stopped, turning back to Tiggy as he walked away, backwards. "No harm will come to you, my loveliest Summer girl."

And with that, he was gone.

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Raena doubled over, clutching her chest as she gasped. It felt as if a part of her soul had been ripped away, torn from her skin and sent across miles. Her eyes widened as she crumbled to her knees. Her white hair fell over her face, shielding her agony in its pale curtains. Her skin felt as if it was flaking off, tearing itself apart in an attempt to burst open and end her existence. Slowly, much too slowly, the pain eased and she attempted to stand, gingerly.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Azriel De'mourn Character Portrait: Raena Character Portrait: Leau Character Portrait: Anastasia Varias Character Portrait: Kiser Nathaniel Burntwood
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#, as written by Layla
Image

Kiser pulled his phone from his back pocket, calling Leau in hopes that the phone he'd sneaked into her clothes when she wasn't looking hadn't met the same tragic fate as the rest of her communicators. Unlikely, but one could hope. "Leau, go back to the headquarters and check to make sure Jenson's actually working instead of going on his questionable websites, won't you? There are documents to file, folders to categorise and newbies to train. Compulsory classes and volunteering, remember? Something you happen to be due for." Kiser disconnected the call, sighing as he tucked it back into his jeans.

Kids.

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"Are you okay my..." Love. A hand seemed to wrap around her heart, tugging at it as it reminded her of someone long lost, reminded her of a pain that once lived, a pain that still did. "I can take it all away from you." But where was her creature made of shadows and light now? Soft fingertips trailed a line down Azriel's cheek from the corner of his right eye, as if painting a tear. Raena batted the memories away and the man who held her, his eyes were no longer blue but a mesmerising gold that was impossible to imitate.

He tucked her in the passenger seat, with a gentleness that seemed as foreign as it was familiar. He released her as if she were a fragile Christmas ornament, or an ill girl, she could not decide which she was. Christmas... Countless years of Christmas, some where he was alone, others, where he had the company of beautiful lovers. Christmas. The time in which he would glimpse families dining in laughter through the windows, always, as he stood outside in the cold. He felt none of the ice of winter, of course, being very much cold and undead himself. "You are weak, and need food. Afterword I will take you to Forever 21, it is a place that sells cloths. Please be patient. It will take time for you to remember everything. This will keep you from sliding around while we drive, you may take it off with this button." She did not wish for him to be alone this Christmas. He was kind, with a selflessness that reminded her of her creature of shadows and light. He was a killer, too, but never would he have killed as much as her... What was his name? She did not know, yet a bitter, acidic guilt formed in her stomach, a guilt the very same creature of hers could take away. Could he do so for himself? She doubted it.

Lonely was the life of Order.

"Celery, carrots, kale, mushrooms, avocado, sweet potatoes, tomatoes," she said, in answer to his previous question of what she'd like to eat. Those were not foods native to the Faerie Realms but she knew them through Azriel, she also knew - "They devour their own kind," she said with a deep frown. Animals, they ate animals. "But you are different," she said, her face relaxing from its previous frown as she regarded Azriel with a new curiosity. She did not know what he ate, but she knew he only ate for fun. It was not a necessity, as so many things were.

"Once upon a time," she began, her head turned to the side window as the cars around them blurred into a flowing abstract of colour. "There was a girl. She was kind and selfless - not quite different from you in that aspect - and most of all, she loved. She loved with all her trillions of hearts but above all others, she loved this... One man." Her gaze softened as she wondered if she was meant to cry or smile, she chose the latter, as that would be what the girl would've done. "They called her the Light Queen and they loved her in return. Her and this man - the King - ruled over a kingdom, a kingdom they'd built from the void, from the absence of life and existence. One day - as so many stories begin, with a day or maybe several but - the King decided he was not content with his one kingdom. 'What is one kingdom - its art and life so limited - when we could have more?" He heard word of a civilisation, so different from his, where winter brought dread and misery. He loved the cold above all else, you see, and so he sought to conquer this kingdom and teach its people the joys of winter. They would love the cold as he did, whether by choice or by force, they would.

"The Queen wanted no war, no conquering of lives, no change and tips in balances of power." Raena felt her voice choke in her throat. "She could not have him wrecking chaos and taking the will of innocents. She could not risk the chance of death that was not meant to be, could not allow him to neglect the kingdom they'd created from their very souls and most of all, she wished for her king. She wished-" Raena shut her eyes, her nails digging into the car door where the window sunk into the metal. "When all hope was lost - and hope was half of all she was - they divided the kingdom." She pulled away from the car door, tucking her legs to her chest and resting her chin on her knees, her eyes staring straight ahead. "She would be the temples that priests and priestesses prayed for peace, her people the shields and swords that fought war with war for at least, then, it would be a matter of their kingdoms and no others would come to harm. But how does one remain as light when her love is the enemy and battlefields lay between them? Light might've been called the Queen of Tears and Misery for all the malady she'd endured," Raena whispered. "Her kingdom of light fell to darkness, as she did.

"But she had no right. No right to neglect her people, her duty. Alas, all bad things must come to an end in fairy tales such as these. One day - as so many stories end - she retired to her bed chambers, and when the sun rose above the ocean," Raena said, turning her gaze to Azriel. "They found she would never wake."

Raena leaned into her car seat, closing her eyes and clutching Azriel's shirt as she had been throughout the entire story. "The end," she said with an absentmindedness. At least, that was the way it should have ended.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Anastasia Varias Character Portrait: Kiser Nathaniel Burntwood Character Portrait: Alistair D. James
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#, as written by Lenyx
Anastasia glared over at Kiser while she tried to conceal her hand gripping the strap of her seat-belt. While she would never admit it out loud that she, herself drove fast and recklessly, however she despised it when she was not the one behind the wheel, the one in control. But recently Anastasia has not been the one in control, or at least she has had lack of control over things that she usually always had a handle on.

Anastasia tuned everything out until it was all hushed white noise, and focused on herself. She needed to regain her composure, her control, herself. Anastasia thought of her Aunt, the lazy, greedy, self absorbed bitch that was her father's sister. Forming all her anger towards the woman who wanted to take the large inheritance Anastasia's father had left her, into a ball in her abdomen, she felt it swelling and slowly fill her very being.

Anger, this was and still is, Anastasia's core, it was the one emotion she knew she expressed consistantly. The reason why, is quite simple, it is the only emotion Anastasia has been able to rein in and control, and should she lose control on it, it just made others around her either fear her, have them listen and do as they are told, or get peoples attention at least. So in Anastasia's mind there were no reason why she should change her ways now.
As Anastasia replayed the night she had killed her Aunt in her mind, she felt the muscles in her face relax into the usual hard-lined expression. She slid her hand up her arm, stopping where a scar remained, forever reminding her that love is nothing but pure fiction, lies humans spend their whole lives trying to convince to themselves are real. And trust? Family? They are fleeting, like dreams one may have and remember when they close their eyes at night.

Anger is real.

"We're here," Kiser said, "No, you can't take my license away from me," he added as he swiveled his body around to face Anastasia, leaning his elbow on the steering wheel, and with a grin he stated, "I don't have one."

Anastasia watched as Kiser slipped out of the car and around to her side with watchful eyes. "We haz arrived." he said in a horrible imitation of an accent that Anastasia noted he failed at after he opened her door. Smoothing her hair down and tying it back in a low ponytail, she stepped out of the car. Standing outside the car, she pulled her parka she had brought with her and pulled it on, zipping it up before she removed the gloves from the pockets and slipped them on. Kiser had pulled his phone out and was making a call, but Anastasia had work to do, whatever or whoever he was calling was not important to her in the least.

"Hey, did you hear about Rorgen?" Alistair's voice called out.

Anastasia had been walking around the remains of Lab 86B, but stopped to answer the IPAF member. “Yes, he was transferred suddenly and while I don't like it, it is not my call to make. If you have a complaint take it up with our superiors.” She shouted back to Alistair.

The remains were little more than rubble, but Anastasia could feel it... There was more to this malformed and shallow crater in the ground. 'What secrets lay hiding here?' Anastasia wondered, 'What could this building that is now nothing more than a garbage heap, offer her?'

Just after she finished, Anastasia heard a thumping noise... It was coming from... Below her?!

“Kiser! Alistair! Come here, now!” Anastasia demanded, and when they were by her side she added, “Shut up and listen.” Thump... Thump... “If you heard that, find a way to get it up here, or me a way down there.” She ordered.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Praxis Lethe Character Portrait: Leau Character Portrait: Anastasia Varias Character Portrait: Kiser Nathaniel Burntwood Character Portrait: Jenson Xion Character Portrait: Alistair D. James
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#, as written by Layla
Ravenna ~ IPAF New York Headquarters


Life sucked.

No, Ravenna wasn't pessimistic in the least - God, people are annoying - she was merely realistic and all evidence supported the absolute dismal bleakness that was life. Her hair was so dark, it was as an oil slick might be if it were made of strands of silk, it swung across her shoulder blades as her fist knocked the punching bag backwards with a fury. The people - a majority of them men - looked at her curiously. Ravenna de Luca was well known, both as Italy's district leader, Gabriele de Luca's twin sister, but also as one of the most brutal trainers in all of IPAF and an even more brutal Fey huntress. She was beautiful, almost Fey-beautiful - almost - but so much so that one might mistaken her for a Faerie herself from afar. Well, a fool would be making a fatal mistake if he told her so or commented on her likeliness to the Fey.

Her fist mutilated the punching bag.

Well over two hours later, Ravenna rubbed at her damp hair - the only thing good about this place were the showers - the towel hanging around her shoulders. She was dressed in a tight-fitting, plain T and loose blue pants, her feet bare as they walked down the maze of hallways that made up the intricate network that was IPAF. People pressed themselves against walls as she passed, even the ones who were easily double her size and triple her weight. She'd requested a transfer from the IPAF headquarters beneath Italy not a week ago, her reasons, presumably, to avoid her brother.

Ravenna stopped.

She felt an odd man pass her by and she whirled around, her aqua eyes burning into his back as she tried to sense what was so wrong about him. He seemed to almost float above the floor, but he wasn't, his feet were where they should be, obeying the laws of gravity. She narrowed her eyes slight, pursing her lips. The man could not have been an intruder - IPAF's warning systems would've alarmed the entire world - and besides, he looked to be one of the Fey analysers. But he wasn't, she knew that, although she had no proof except the nagging in her gut and what proof was that, really? He couldn't have been Fey, either. More than 80% of IPAF was made of iron, a Fey would've crumbled to the ground by now. Whatever it was, she didn't like seeing his fishiness roaming about alive. Ravenna folded her face and body into a careful, loose mask of nonchalance.

"Doctor, doctor!" she called out, running towards the man in a false pre tense of girlish dimness. Surely, if he were truly a member of IPAF, he would ask her why she seemed so cheerful. Ravenna's coldness was notorious. "Doctor," she breathed a sigh of false relief, grabbing the man's wrist and resisting the urge to flinch. He felt... Weird. She kept the smile plastered to her face. "Thank god! Anastasia asked me to fetch you right this moment, she needs you to brief her on the condition of the Fey," she lied smoothly. Tugging at the man, she turned and dragged him willingly or not down a hallway filled with curious onlookers.

"Jenson, we might need that Fey girl's expertise. Lola, Looloo? Yeah, that one," she said quietly, clutching the doctor's wrist tighter unintentionally. She would take him to where Jenson was and nail him very securely to a wall. She meant, lock.

Yeah, right.

Dr. Freya Hirane ~ Laboratory 86B


It was dark.

Simple as that: dark. Dark and infinitely frightening. Who knew what lurked in the bleak, looming nothingness? Death? Freya whimpered, struggling with all her might not to cry. That in itself seemed to be an impossible feet. She'd been in the underground escape passage when the Fey came and ransacked the entire place, at least, that's what she'd gathered from the beastly sounds that had come to fill her senses. Not long after the cries for help and growls as beasts fought beasts - bless the Weres - were the sounds replaced by endless rounds of bullets and the crumbling of a structure. She'd rushing to the very end of the escape route, shivering as she covered her ears and prayed and hoped and waited expectantly for others to join her in the escape tunnels.

No one came.

She hadn't been able to open the heavy latch of the underground passageway and so she'd stayed there, too afraid to turn back and search for her fellow co-workers and guilty because of it. It was a blessing, that this route was sealed tight with fire-proof, debris-proof, monster-proof, Faerie-proof and god-knew-what-else-proof doors that might've shielded them from nuclear attacks. Why had she been there, one might ask. Well, that was a fair question. She might or might not have been chasing a robot.

Freya clutched it now, to her chest, her little robot friend by the name of Plue. Plue was an invention of hers, and a friend she held dear. He sometimes liked to wander and she wondered if he were psychic, to have led her here seconds before death came upon the others. Guilt bit at her consciousness.

Suddenly, there was a fall of rubble and a creek.

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Kiser rolled up the sleeves of his leather jacket, cracking his knuckles and neck. Not that he needed to, of course. But it was always nice to receive extra points for drama. Kiser scraped the debris from the area Anastasia had gestured towards, he sniffed and smelled nothing in the air, but anything that might've survived this destruction would surely be sound-proof. Let's just hope living beings - that we're Fey - loomed beneath. Kiser dug his fingers into the edges of the relatively large, human-sized square he saw beneath the rubble and inhaled. With a grunt, he slowly pulled the heavy - indefinitely thick - square up and after a bead of sweat rolled down his forehead and his muscles bulged with the effort of it, the door finally came undone and he hurled it over his shoulder, casually aiming for Alistair. The piece he'd ripped from the stuck hinges of the ground was easily over thirty inches thick and damn, was that thing heavy. He was a Werelion and the alpha of his pack, at that. And-

"OH MY FREAKING GOD!" a young voice squealed, jumping from the literal hole she'd crawled out of and running at them with a speed almost inhuman for her little legs. Her long blonde hair danced behind her in a flurry, marred by dust. Kiser narrowed his eyes as the girl whizzed right past her and tackled Alistair to the ground. Well, well, he thought dimly.

Freya knew Alistair from college, as they'd both attended the same college, but she was younger, and had graduated earlier. She'd been the star of the class and she'd graduated with a medical degree before her 18th birthday. She was remarkable, to say the least. She was also very, very bubbly. She clutched Alistair furiously, clinging onto him and weeping into his shirt as if she hadn't seen another human being in a long while. Which, she probably hadn't. Freya wailed, repeating "Alistair, Alistair" through her tears. She was a small, loud thing, being barely over 5 feet and having the volume of a football coach.

"There, there," Kiser said gruffly, grabbing the young woman - who could not have been older than twenty - by the collar of her lab coat and dangling her in front of him. He squinted, swinging the wee thing around and turning his wrist so he could see her face. "You're not impressive at all," he said.

Freya puffed out her cheeks like an angry kitten, crossing her arms defiantly before her chest. "I am very impressive, thank you very much. In fact, I'm adorable, or so I'm told."

"You've been told wrong, kitten," he said, his point further proven when she hissed as a peeved cat would, baring her vicious little fangs at him. Kiser forced the smile away from his face, resisting the urge to tell her how cute she was. She reached out her arms, attempting to scratch Kiser's face off; he merely stretched out his arm and kept her far from his flawless head. "What's your name?"

She stuck up her nose, pursing her lips shut.

"Ah well, looks like she's no help to us, Ana. We'll just have to put her back in whatever hole she came from," he said with a shrug, making a show of dangling her and slowly lowering the girl into the hole she'd been in moments before.

"WAIT, WAIT, WAIT! Freya! It's Freya! But that's Dr. Hirane to you," she said with a scowl.

Kiser burst into laughter, swinging the girl recklessly from his hand and igniting frightened squeals from the blonde bobble-head. "You? A doctor?" The girl nodded defiantly, struggling not to look like she was about to puke. "Really? Prove it," Kiser said.

"I will if you let me down," she replied.

"Orrrr," he purred. "You prove it to us and then I might consider letting you down. Freya grunted, reaching into her coat pocket and pulling out an ID card, waving it in front of the Werelion's face. The card read:

'International Fey Extraction Branch [IFEB]

Dr. Freya Hirane
B63271223
Junior Assistant
D.O.B.: 05/09/2001
D.I.: 25/01/2018
C.O.O.: Australia'

Kiser's eyes narrowed, slightly, almost imperceptibly and he shook his head in a movement that was so small, most would not have seen it. But Freya did. Her eyes filled with confusion at first, and then realisation. She opened her mouth to speak but closed it at a stern stare from Kiser. She tucked her identification card back into her coat pocket and Kiser let her go, abruptly, so that she fell to the ground. She moaned, rubbing her sore backside and frowning at the ground. She wondered if she'd imagined it all and when she looked up to see the man's nonchalant face, she sighed, she'd imagined it, after all.

"I don't know about you guys but I'm ravenous," she complained. "OH MY GOD, CAR!" she gushed, gawking at Kiser's car and running towards it.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Leau Character Portrait: Anastasia Varias Character Portrait: Kiser Nathaniel Burntwood Character Portrait: Alistair D. James
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#, as written by Lenyx
Anastasia crossed her arms over her chest as Kiser lifted what appeared to be some sort of vault door. Hopefully whatever was under it would be usef--

OH MY FREAKING GOD!” A femine voice squealed, and with the voice came a small woman that ran to Alistair and tackled him to the ground.

Anastasia frowned at first but it quickly turned in to a smirk when Kiser picked the woman up by her lab coat collar and turned her so he could see her face. She had to really try to contain herself and keep from laughing at the woman, named Freya, and Kiser's conversation. But soon enough a scowl replaced it as she watched Freya raced off towards Kiser's car. Anastasia followed and while Freya gushed over the car, she snagged the ID card from the woman's lab coat pocket.

'International Fey Extraction Branch [IFEB]

Dr. Freya Hirane
B63271223
Junior Assistant
D.O.B.: 05/09/2001
D.I.: 25/01/2018
C.O.O.: Australia'


Anastasia looked at the ID card and then back at Kiser. “She does remind me of a cat I once had.” She chuckled, before grabbing Freya's lab coat and pinned her against the car.

Putting the ID card into her pants pocket, Anastasia pulled the gun from the holster on her hip and pointed it at Freya's forehead. “Well today may be your lucky day, and the worse day of your life. You want food, answer my questions. You want to live, answer me honestly and fully. If you don't wish to comply I will have Kiser here,” Anastasia nodded towards him. “Put you back in that hole and we will leave you there.”

"O-okay, relax, relax," Freya said hastily, holding up her palms in surrender. "I'll answer any of your questions," she said, her gaze darting from side to side and burning into Alistair. Help me, she sent to him quietly as if the thoughts might fly from her mind to his. "What do you want to know?" she asked Anastasia, looking at her nose to avoid her eyes. Freya recognized the woman as the New York district leader, well known for her... Flattering personality.

Anastasia smiled and released the woman's lab coat, but never moved the gun away from Freya's forehead. “First question, what does the IPAF do with the Fey its members capture?”

Freya stared at Anastasia with puzzlement, squinting closer to make sure the woman was whom she thought she was. "You don't know? But Mr. Burntwo-" Kiser shook his head a fraction of an inch. "I mean, well, uh..." Freya turned her attention back to Anastasia. "Well, umm... They take them," she said slowly. "And put them in confinement. Some - most - will be sent to the various laboratories where we," Freya grinned and as if she were proud, and said with a grin, "Dissect them."

"We should take her to the interrogation rooms, rather than do this here," Kiser said, moving forward to take Freya.

Anastasia pulled her rapier out with her free hand and in the blink of an eye pointed it at Kiser's throat, forcing him to back away from Freya. “No.” She said coldly. “Here is perfect. No one to interfere with me. Unless...” She looked at Kiser from the corner of her eye. “You wish to intervene dear, which I would advise against. I have a gun and a sword and I fear nothing.”

Anastasia looked back at Freya, both weapons held strong and steady at both Kiser and the woman. “Why do you dissect them? Are you looking for something within the Fey? Tell me what you know. Now.”

"My dearest Ana," Kiser began, loosening his shoulders and looking nonchalant and as Kiser always was. Not suspicious at all. "There's no need to get all violent," he said, pushing the rapier gently away.

"What a scary woman," Freya muttered under her breath before quickly explaining with a little too much enthusiasm, "We're trying to figure out how they do what they do and how we can be like them. We also learn their strengths and weaknesses. We studied the Fey long before they came to Earth, but then we called them UFOs and we'd never seen one before, until six months ago. But before that we were called the International Extraneous Observation - IEOs. NASA teamed up with some other, similar international groups and governments. We were really excited when the Fey came and IPAF sends us all their Fey to study." Freya beamed. "It's all so interesting. Their internal organs are a lot like a human's, you know. But their brains are really different, instead of being jelly-like, it's sort of like trillions and gazillions of micro-strands woven together." Freya sighed wistfully. "They're beautiful. Works of art, really.”

"Did you know!" she gushed. "When you put Type A and Type D Fey together, they can cause each other vicious harm? One of them seems to disintegrate and the other melts! Type B and Type C Fey are similar, but their destruction isn't as brutal. Oh and their blood. Type B blood can heal, you know! We drain those that become unstable and we've been trying to turn their blood into medicine. It might even be able to cure Cancer!" The doctor seemed to be talking to no one in particular now, rather lost in the fascinating creatures that were the Fey. "We've been seeing if its possible for them to reproduce but we haven't had any successful results," she sighed, shaking her head in dismay. "They have reproductive systems, like humans, but they, just, can't reproduce. We have a theory that they're a bit like bees. There's the Queen Bee," she said, gesturing. "And she's the only one who can reproduce but... We don't know. Well, maybe I don't. I'm a Junior Assistant so really, I don't know that much." Freya sighed wistfully. "Yet."

Anastasia glared at Kiser and pushed the rapier back towards his neck. “Did you know all this Kiser? So help me God if you did, you better have a good reason for not telling me all this, so until I speak to you directly, Shut up and stay where you are. I have Leau to think of and thankfully for her, she had me take her in to save her from being dissected! She was not protecting me, I was protecting her from sick bastards like this woman!”

She turned to face Freya, anger was written all over her face and her piercing glare was in line with Freya's eyes. “I could care less if the Fae could somehow cure cancer,” Anastasia spat at the woman. “Why in the bloody hell would anyone want to be like the Fae? We have our hands full enough with the Vampires and Were-Beasts, now we want to have Fae people to?” Pushing the gun right between Freya's eyes Anastasia leaned in close to the woman's face. “What is it exactly the IPAF is looking for in regards to becoming like the Fae?” She hissed. “And if you think I'm scary now, try being like the asshole here and see how scary I can really be.”

Kiser frowned, but said nothing. Instead, he turned around after shooting Freya a grim glare. He ran, tearing his leather jacket from his body and tossing it aside as he ran, faster, faster, until he was running at an inhuman speed. Midair in a leap, his body rippled into a lion - bigger than any ordinary lion could've been - and he disappeared into the trees.

Anastasia smirked as she watched Kiser transformed into his lion form. She slid her rapier back in to its sheath as she listened to Freya answering her question.

"I don't know," Freya said sincerely. She really didn't. "Like I said, I'm a junior assistant. I don't even know if they're trying to be like the Fey, I know know we're trying to figure out how they tick and that I would love to be a Fey," she said with a grin. "What I do know is what we're doing here is attempting to recreate the Fey, as in, make more," she said with a shrug. "We haven't been successful." And as if an afterthought, she narrowed her eyes at the pistol between her blue orbs. "Umm, could you not point that thing at me? I don't think well with a gun to my head and in case you haven't noticed, I just spent hell in a literal hole.”

"Whatever your problem with IFEB, take it up with them. I'm a teenager with a smarter brain than most who's repaying her scholarship, not a child smuggler"

Free now, Anastasia was able to ask what she had been wanting to for some time, but wouldn't with Kiser's eyes and ears so close by. “You mentioned a name a Mr. Burn...” Anastasia pulled the gun away from the woman's face by a few inches. “Who is he, what does he do, and where can I find him?”

Freya stared at Anastasia, her face warped in confusion. "Mr. Burntwood is a high-ranked IPAF operative..." she said slowly, as if to a mentally unstable child. "He's on the IPAF Council and your superior," she said, searching for some inkling of recognition in Anastasia's eyes. "Mr. Kiser Nathaniel Burntwood, Miss Varias, is your Werelion friend."

Anastasia's suspicions were confirmed. “That son of a bitch... Is a god damned IPAF Council member.”

Pulling Freya's ID card out from her pocket and after taking a few steps back, away from Freya, Anastasia throws the card off in to the air beside her. Anastasia lifted her Walther PPK and took aim, waiting for—Now! Her finger pulled back the trigger and the bullet flew from the barrel, time for Anastasia seemed to slow down to a crawl, the bullet pierced the wind in the air as it went on its way towards the ID card. Just as the ID card flipped in the wind, the bullet traveled through its center. The force of the wind and bullet made the card bounce, twist and flip in the air, but Anastasia was not satisfied. She quickly loosed another bullet shortly after the first, making sure to take in to account how the card would be affected by the environment, the second bullet flew through the air and pierced the card a mere fraction from where the first bullet went through. A third shot rang out, the wind was changing and the card was thrown in to a wild series of twists and flips, but that did not matter. The third bullet took its mark, passing through on the opposite side the second bullet had. A sudden gust of wind took whatever was left of the card, to fly twisting, flipping and become lost among the ruins that once served as Lab 86B.

Sliding her gun back in to the holster on her side, Anastasia, and her gun were content. She now took the time to acknowledge the IPAF agent that was here.

“Alistair, take this woman back to headquarters and lock in an interrogation room. Do not let her out, give her some food and water. But nothing else. She is to see and speak to no one. She will stay in that room with you outside the door until I get back. Disregard these orders and you will end up like that ID card.” Anastasia pulled out a cigarette and her lighter, putting the cigarette in her mouth and lighting it as she walked away, in the direction Kiser had gone off in. “I think Kiser left the keys in the car, take it.”

She had a Werelion to find.

But not before she put a call in. Anastasia tapped the button on her ear piece. “Yes Ma'am?”

“Maria, patch me through to Leau, private and secure line.” Anastasia took a drag from her cigarette as she waited for the call to connect. A small click and Leau would hear her. “Leau, listen well and do as I damn well say this time. Get back to headquarters and find that Fey we brought in. Get it out of there and the two of you go bunker down somewhere until I get in contact with you. Do not question why, just fucking do it, and should you see Kiser, shoot him and keep running. You hear me? We will talk about your little stunt later, I have a Werelion to hunt and put a bullet in.” Anastasia was about to end the call but stopped herself and added, “Take care of yourself Leau, and for the love of God be careful.”

She ended the call but connected back to the command center. “Maria, private and secure line to Kiser. Now.”

“Yes Ma'am.”

The soft click sounded in Anastasia's ear and after taking another drag from her cigarette she flicked it away and took a deep breath.

KISER!” She screamed. “You get your furry lion ass to me right now, you God damn bastard! IPAF Council member? You lying sack of shit. I have a bullet here with you name written all over it, so unless you tell me what the fuck is going on... YOU ARE A DEAD!”