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Jacqueline Marie Fortier

"The night is still young, and I'm just getting started."

0 · 263 views · located in The M-Verse

a character in “Music Masters: Hi-Fi Prime”, as played by Quill

Description

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NAME: Jacqueline “Jack” M. Fortier
AGE: 20
GENDER: Female
ETHNICITY: French/German


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EYE COLOR: Steel gray, with a gold ring encircling the pupil (central heterochromia).
HAIR COLOR: Light golden blonde.
HEIGHT: 5’ 8’’
WEIGHT: 138-140 Lb
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: As one of the members of the Arctic Hell ensemble once joked: “There’s tomboyish, and then there’s just plain Jack.”, and one glance at this young unfeminine french woman is all it takes to see how true those words ring. Setting aside the long blond hair brushing her mid back, there is something very youthful in her features that give her an almost boyish charm and something dark and violent in those gray-gold eyes and toothy grin that swallows up any trace of softness and innocence in her.

There are close to no curves on her athletic body, her rosy skin devoid of any makeup, tribal tattoos covering her back, looming over her wide shoulders and spreading across strong arms. A few scars can be found here and there, the most noticeable being a small one stretched across the side of her lips which she often passes over with her tongue, a compulsive behavior exacerbated by stress. Her clothing has pretty much come straight out of a men’s closet (casual, informal, not focused on anything form-flattering), with the odd punk or military inspired piece (boots, jackets, biker gloves...) and an obvious fascination with anything made out of metal (belts, chains...), including an owl charm that can always be seen hanging from her belt, bracelets or ears.


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PERSONALITY: The fact that Jack fits in so well with the music masters of Arctic Hell, her favorite ensemble though she’s not a member, should say a lot about her character. When hanging out with them, she displays every juvenile behavior which civilized people sneer or frown upon, foul language being only one of many, but it’s clear the gang enjoy her company immensely and accept her as part of their group despite the fact that she’s not really a member.

For the rest of the world, Jack is an acquired taste at best. Unwilling to compromise, she lives by her own set of rules and would sooner die than do anything simply because people expect her to. Since every relationship involves some sort of compromise in the end, this can easily aggravate anyone trying to befriend her. Her unpredictable and fiery nature can also be hard to keep up with, and there’s only so much bluntness a person can take.

This, coupled with the constant pushing of boundaries and people’s limits have earned her a lot of enemies over time, which explains her violent streak and the scars and bruises that often mar her features. It’s not that Jack lacks concern over her own safety, she just doesn’t know when to stop and some doubt whether she’s even able to. Boredom is like a decease to her, and the only cure is a constant search for stimuli of some sort, even if it involves doing something dangerous.

While abrasive by nature, Jack is not inherently cruel; there is a cold and manipulative side to her, but she tries hard to keep that at bay. In fact, she can be a very fun person to have around, infectious in her passion for life and uncomplicated desires. Most blame the darker aspects of her personality and apparent insanity on sleeping disorders. Unbelievable as though it may be, Jack cannot sleep; she may take the occasional cat nap during the day, but try as she might she can’t fall asleep after sunset and is basically doomed to roam alone until sunrise. This can be stressful and some figure that’s why she gets so temperamental at the end of the day.


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SKILLS: She’s an experienced drum player, having played in a lot of bands back when she was still in school, and is also a decent guitarist. Extreme sports have always captivated her, especially skateboarding and aggressive inline skating; she used to participate in competitions and was actually well known in her home country for it, but now she just uses it to get around and as an enjoyable hobby. Fighting has become like second nature to her because of all the brawls she got into; since she's generally not as strong as her male opponents, she learned how to be quicker than them instead, and is surprisingly light and on her feet because of it.

ENSEMBLE MEMBERSHIP: None. Arctic Hell has its eyes set on her though.
PREFERRED MUSIC GENRE: Anything in the rock genre excites her ears, but heavy/ alternative metal is what really gets her blood pumping.

LISTENING GEAR: A pair of wireless sport headphones for mobility and discreetness, foldable headphones for more power and sound quality, and a pair of skull metal earbuds just for fun. Unless working, she usually only carries around two of these three pairs.


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BACKSTORY: Jack’s mother was starting as a promising medicine student in France when she met a german exchange student from the Department of Psychology. Up until then, she’d always put her studies above relationships, but she fell in love with this intelligent and sophisticated, though somewhat odd man. Against her family’s and friends’ wishes they dated and, a couple of years after finishing their studies, married and had their only daughter, Jacqueline.

They were very happy, until one day Jack’s father was accused of being responsible for the death of a staggering number of people, most of which were manipulated into committing suicide and who were believed to have been, in some way or another, the cause of his patients’ suffering. The evidence against him was strong and Jack’s father, who had always been an eerily calm man, readily confessed his crime, a tranquil smile on his face as he was taken away from his wife and child forever (though he would soon escape from prison and seemingly disappear from the face of the earth).

It was a hard blow for Jack’s mother, who had always believed herself to be a good judge of character only to find herself loving a monster, and was never quite the same after that. It didn’t help that it was becoming more and more apparent that Jack was not a normal child and may have inherited more than just her father’s looks. Their mother-daughter relationship was extremely complicated and even disturbing at times, despite the love they still had for each other.

Jack passed through more psychiatrists than every student in her school combined. Because of her sleep problems she did poorly at her studies and her violent streak had her expelled more times than her mother (then an acclaimed cardiac surgeon) cared for. She did everything she could to help her daughter, even going as far as moving from Rennes (where she was born) to the coastal city of Nice for a change of scenery. That didn’t seem to help much.

Jacqueline finally had to drop out of school and start working, using her lack of desire to sleep after sundown to get jobs with long night shifts that normal people tended to avoid. By then, Jack had already found out about her gift (in one of her many fights in high school), but it was only after one of her night shifts, when she got herself in a fight with some members of an assemble, that she found out there were others like her and what it really meant to be a music master.

She quickly gained attention (good and bad) from other music masters, receiving letters from several ensembles who either wanted her to join or needed her for a “night job” of sorts. Always a free spirit, she ignored the invitations but accepted the jobs, wishing to become stronger to protect her mother and make a name for herself in this new and exciting world. And just maybe find her father in the process...


SONG EFFECTS:


SONG NAME & ARTIST: “Symphony of Destruction” by Megadeth
SONG CLASS: Overture 

SONG EFFECT DESCRIPTION: Creates instability and promotes disorder in any or all objects in the surrounding area, this imbalance of energy growing until the target (or targets) either explodes, bursts into flames or shatters violently. It’s not easy to control and the longer it stays in effect the bigger the amount of outbursts it triggers and damage they cause until the user itself risks loosing their life in the chaos.
Volume rating: 9
Tempo rating: 3
Medley rating: 5


SONG NAME & ARTIST: “My Way” by Limp Bizkit
SONG CLASS: Sentonal
SONG EFFECT DESCRIPTION: A being is formed out of the metal in the surrounding area. It’s a shapeshifter, taking any form (inanimate or animated) and behavior that is familiar to the user, it’s size and density depending on the amount and type of metal it gathered (in a city environment it can get quite big). Jack has named it Ice and its most iconic shape has given her the nickname, “Iron Owl” (or just “The Owl”, for short).
Volume rating: 4
Tempo rating: 5
Medley rating: 9


SONG NAME & ARTIST: “Last Resort” by Papa Roach
SONG CLASS: Modulation 

SONG EFFECT DESCRIPTION: A thin but dense layer of blood covers the user, forming an armor of sorts that can be shaped into whatever form the user wishes. A lot of blood, however, and from no one but the user, is needed to produce something usable (ex: spikes, whips, knifes, etc), so this effect is generally used in a situation where the user has suffered from severe blood loss. It cannot be put on loop.
Volume rating: 3
Tempo rating: 9
Medley rating: 4


SONG NAME & ARTIST: “Perfect Insanity” by Disturbed.
SONG CLASS: Overture
SONG EFFECT DESCRIPTION: Brings out a random sound effect from the soundscape that not even the user can predict. It may copy another user’s sound effect, turn the world upside down, suck out all the color in the area, turn knifes into flowers, walls into balloons. It can be dangerous, it can be wacky, it may not do anything at all; it is simply unpredictable.

As Jack’s rare groove, it has another important effect. After the song ends, it will affect whatever song is played next (but only the one played immediately after), adding a “random factor” to the song effect:

Symphony of Destruction: Raises Tempo.
Random factor - increases entropy (instability, disorder) and changes how it affects the target (paper explodes, metals burst into flames, etc). Basically, every law of physic goes out the window and all hell breaks loose.

My Way: Raises (or decreases) Volume.
Random factor - every metal gathered will turn into carbon, whether this means a hard carbon allotrope like diamond, or something as brittle as graphite.

Last Resort: Raises Medley.
Random factor - the user will be able to use other people’s blood, though the harmonization with this song can still only be achieved if the user itself is also bleeding. Some would add that it actually makes the bleeding worse.

This rare groove has the peculiarity of remaining active in the duration of the song if affects afterwards, meaning that the random effects the rare groove first generated will not disappear until the end of the second song (the one it affects). It cannot be played twice in a row and it clearly affects the user’s sanity and perception of reality, so repeated use is not recommended.

Volume rating: ?
Tempo rating: ?
Medley rating: ?

So begins...

Jacqueline Marie Fortier's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mick May Character Portrait: Brandon Rosenfeld Character Portrait: Jacqueline Marie Fortier Character Portrait: Astrid Markum

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#, as written by Quill
Jack’s boots thudded against the manor floor, scraping noises filling the hallways as she dragged the tip of a baseball bat along the wall. They were all muffled by the guitars and basses humming in her head, but even through her earphones the sound of Ice’s paws clunking against marble was a hard one to ignore, a constant peal that reverberated through her bones.

Turning around yet another corner, she spotted two guards standing on each side of a double door. Lowering the volume of her earphones and taking one of them off, she sauntered over to them.

Salut!” she greeted, holding up her free hand and grinning under her mask, loving how it made her voice sound so deep and creepy. The two men didn’t seem all that happy to see her. The bigger one looked tense and had his hand at his belt, where Jack glimpsed a faint glint of metal, but the other one simply adjusted his earphones, both staring at her with stone cold faces.

“Relax, fellas.” The bat was thrown in the air and Jack delighted in their nervous expressions as it spun above her before she caught it, letting it come up to rest on her shoulder. “It’s me, Jack. Or am I really that easy to forget?” She held a hand to her heart, feigning sorrow.

“Take off the mask.”

Jack raised an eyebrow at the order, grip tightening around the metal handle. Sighing, she scratched a scar beneath the edge of her blue demon mask and then slipped it off just enough for the guards to see her eyes. “Happy now?” she asked, covering her face once more.

The smaller guard, who was really almost as big as the doors behind him, seemed pleased enough, but the trigger happy guy made a gesture to the bat.

“No weapons,” the tiniest but not-so-tiny guard clarified. Not for the first time that day, Jack wondered if the other one was mute, since this one seemed to be doing all the talking.

“Fine.” She threw it over to them, the smaller, darker skinned one catching it easily. “But you’re giving it back to me after this. I won it fair and square, you know.” A grin stretched across her features when she said that, not that the two men could see it. But she could see the guard’s gaze fixed on the name engraved on the handle and knew he’d understand; it wasn’t her name that was on it.

The dark skinned man gave his colleague a nod and both stepped aside. Ice, who’d taken the form of a 3ft tall jaguar and had been resting beside her while staring intently at the aluminum bat with its dark reflective eyes, got up and approached the doors with its master.

The not-so-tiny guard knocked on the door three times. “My Lord, a guest has arrived,” he announced in a booming voice, ignoring Jack’s snort at the “My Lord” bit. There was no answer, but there was a clicking sound and the double doors were swung open from the inside.

Not wasting any time, Jack took the invitation and stepped right into the dining room. The lights inside were brighter, the warm glow reflecting off of the solid gold that made up Ice’s sleek body, blinding anyone who gazed at it for too long. That was one of the perks of doing this particular job for the Golden Tones; an abundant amount of gold and other fancy metals to work with, and Ice seemed to love the stuff, though not as much as good old fashioned iron.

A dozen or more faces greeted her, some more familiar than others, but she recognized almost all of them. The one closest to her was old Dean White himself, the only one not seated and looking like he was about to throw up at any second now with how pale and frazzled he looked. He was also the only one not surprise to see her; every other guest was staring at her as if she were an assassin or death itself. The traditional demon mask she was wearing, with the white feathers covering her hair, probably didn’t help.

Everyone seemed so... jumpy, yes, that’s the word. How amusing. Maybe old White’s condition was infectious.

“Hi there, boss, sorry I’m late. I’m afraid I had to take care of some punk before I got here.” She took her right hand to her face as she said that, attempting to scratch the long scar on her chin that had been bothering her for quite a while. That’s when she noticed it, the blood clotting her fingers and palm.

Merde...” she muttered, looking around for something to clean it with. She took the handkerchief the ever composed Charles offered her and gave it back stained red. Her hand was more or less clean; it hadn’t been her blood.

Of course she hadn’t killed the little punk; she didn’t make a habit of killing people, though there was no harm in letting other people think that she did. No, the guy had guts and she liked that. But she did remember punching his mouth, that was probably where all the blood had come from. Jack wondered how she hadn’t noticed something like that. After all, she had been invited to a fancy dinner. Wasn’t she supposed to look her best?

Ah, not! Like she’d ever dress up for anything. Plus, she couldn’t think of a better way to annoy the old, too proper for his own good, Dean White. Jack turned to her current boss, waiting for him to present her and to make it clear as whether she could take off the mask or not.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mick May Character Portrait: Brandon Rosenfeld Character Portrait: Jacqueline Marie Fortier Character Portrait: Astrid Markum

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Astrid had no idea why she was sitting in a room with mostly strangers. The only one she knew was Brandon. He was the reason why she was here too, insisting that she come here and how important it was. Even though Astrid only knew Brandon for a short time, she came to like the guy and even trust him for some reason. It was probably because he was currently one of few people who know she had unique abilities and learned he had the same. She was coming to understand that there were more like them too. Curiosity caught ahold of Astrid and she wanted to know more. However the more she learned, the less she wanted to be involved. Still, here she was. Sending Brandon a frown for talking her into coming here, she continued to listen carefully to all who spoke. Astrid prided herself on her listening skills and stored away all the information mentally.

When another blonde hair woman came in, Astrid did say or do anything as she surveyed the new arrival. Even before the young woman started talking, the American music master knew she'd been in a scuffle. Hell, she still looked like she was ready for action. Something told Astrid that this woman was not to be messed with. The same could be said for the other people she didn't know. A part of her felt sorry for Mr. White for the situation he was in. It definitely wasn't right and that struck a cord inside of Astrid. She knew what it was like to have to be judged without knowing all the facts. Only this time someone was setting up the Golden Tones where the results would be terrible. Time was definitely on GT's side and the person responsible for this mess would have to be found quickly. The question was where to start.

Unease was settling into the back of Astrid's mind too. Astrid was a practical person, but she also had instincts and she trusted those more than concrete facts. She had her iPod and headphones with her for precautional reasons. She waited to see what would happen next.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mick May Character Portrait: Brandon Rosenfeld Character Portrait: Jacqueline Marie Fortier Character Portrait: Astrid Markum

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Dean White's stress seemed as if was at its limit as it was, and for Jack to barge in in such a violent state wasn't helping it one bit. He could only do so much to glare in her direction, wondering in his head why the rambunctious girl would even begin to think just barging in on his important meeting was even remotely okay.

"Jacqueline, will you please? I am at my limit with this. If you would take a seat and keep silent, that would be very much appreciated, thank you!" he practically shouted, hoping that it would be enough to make the girl understand.

Dean's thoughts went back, and now he found himself wondering why he had even hired the girl in the first place. Truth be told, he had no hired muscle in his Ensemble in the first place. They were all just old men who sat around listening to records and playing with powers beyond their control. Violence was not really a part of their lifestyle. If anything, the burly guards who kept watch in Blue Moon Manor were a recent addition, and even they were non-Music Masters who would prove to be useless against any real attack.

"Aye, so are we gonna just sit around and listen to your whinin', or are you gonna try to actually persuade us?" Mick asked, his patience clearly wearing thin. Dean wiped the sweat off his furrowed brow.

"Ah, yes, I was getting to that. I am very much willing to pay six digit sums to each of you if you take part in this. Consider it an adequate reward once you clear the good name of the Tones." the older man said, but Mick chuckled under his breath in response.

"That sounds mighty fine and all, but who's to say we'll make it back alive to pick up our bank deposits? It'd be mighty easy for you to promise us somethin' only to send us off to die." the British boy pointed out, while Dean regained his composure and waved off the possibility than any of them might not come back alive from this quest.

"I wouldn't worry about that, if I were you." the older Music Master said, as a shadow moved from the door behind him. "I've obtained some extra help. Jacqueline was just the start, really."

A plume of smoke accompanied the sultry figure of a tall and electrifying woman, who emerged behind Dean White with flair and poise. Her long black gloves and ruby dress shimmered in the light of the room, and her delicate cigarette holder seemed only to intensify her look. If one didn't know better, one might think she walked right out of 1925 and into the Dean White's dining room.

Even Mick lost his composure for a moment, as this brunette beauty made her presence known. It was a combination of her figure, her face, and her wardrobe that made it almost impossible to not stare.

"May I introduce you all to the exquisite Ms. Suzy Rogers." Dean told the group before he motioned to Suzy, who simply gave the group an almost devious smile before taking a seat.

"Oh, don't bother with all the the pleasantries, dear." she commented, clearly enjoying herself as she scanned everyone around her with striking eyes. "I'm sure we'll all get to know each other soon enough. Yes, I think we'll all get along splendidly."

Mick's mind cycled through the situation ahead. Clearly, there was more to this than he realized. He thought about the possibility of death that came with helping the Golden Tones, but then he thought about the money involved. With enough money, Mick realized that he could pay someone off in Gracious Door. And paying someone off meant that he could escape the dreaded Ensemble and be back to the one place he knew he belonged...with his family.

Mick furrowed his thick eyebrows as he examined this woman for a distance. She was absolutely beautiful, that was for sure. A looker in every sense of the word. He couldn't tell how old she was, but it didn't matter to him. She was certainly worth being around, if anything else.

"Well, I think I'm convinced." Mick stated, with a small smile. He looked back towards Brandon and the friend he had brought along, Astrid. Then of course there was Dean's other hired gun, Jacqueline, but Mick assumed she would be involved either way.

"But I can't say I speak for everyone. I just know that certain...elements, have made me realize, I'm in." Mick pointed out.

He couldn't help but wonder...was this all really going to be worth having to possibly face a myriad of Music Masters who'd probably wipe the floor with him and his company? Mick could only guess on what Brandon and Astrid were thinking and if they were ready to agree to this madness in the first place, even with this Jacqueline girl and the mystifying Suzy in their group.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mick May Character Portrait: Brandon Rosenfeld Character Portrait: Jacqueline Marie Fortier Character Portrait: Astrid Markum

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#, as written by Rixo
Brandon's composure remained mostly solid during Jack's rather brisk entrance, though he did wince a bit when she entered. He had heard the scraping noises from across the building, of coarse, and suspected that the visitor would be friendly, since Dean didn't seem bothered by the scraping or the bursting open of doors. The mask which the girl wore was slightly chilling, and the blood she wiped off of her hand was all the more disquieting. So this was one of the other Music Masters Dean had hired, it seems.

A move which Dean seems to regret now, Brandon thought to himself after Dean's little outburst. What good would it do you to yell at one of your employees, and directly into her face, for that matter?

Brandon almost felt sorry for dragging Astrid into this, and peering in her direction, he saw that she'd been glaring knives at him. Brandon widened his eyes and turned his head a bit, motioning to the fact that he hadn't been expecting anything like this either. They'd come to meet some amazing guy who was an elite member of the so-called "amazing" Golden Tones, only to meet a frail old man who was begging for help and hiring the assistance of some of the sketchiest people around. And apparently, Jack wasn't the last, as Dean soon pointed out, signaling the appearance of some lady who could have been Dean's wife, for all Brandon cared.

"Oh, don't bother with all the the pleasantries, dear. I'm sure we'll all get to know each other soon enough. Yes, I think we'll all get along splendidly.", the lady said, giving the group a once-over with a rather suspicious glare as she sat down. Brandon, feeling offset by the developing situation, tilted his head down a bit and brought his right headphone over his ear while leaving the left behind his other ear. He glanced at Mick after doing this, who was silently pondering to himself and probably mulling over the facts. Lots of money and super brownie points from GT, with the bonus of working alongside the striking (yet extremely suspicious) Suzy Rogers. Brandon could also see Mick watching Suzy from a distance, and he wondered if Mick was really going to let that factor in to his decision.

Hopefully it hadn't, because Mick agreed after half a minute of silence. "But I can't say I speak for everyone. I just know that certain... elements, have made me realize, I'm in." Mick said, peering to Brandon and Astrid for their responses. Was it worth it? This was a hundred-thousand dollar deal they were getting into, just to kill one guy. Yet they had no leads, how would they track the assassin before his next move? And Brandon would be putting his family and friends at risk too, if he chose to accept the task... Though, seeing as Jack was wearing a mask, he assumed that he could quickly make one of his own so his identity would be kept hidden. All facts considered, as long as this wasn't some sort of trap, Brandon had nothing to lose.

Brandon peered around and could have sworn that the lady Dean had summoned was peering at him through the corners of her eyes. She must have looked away pretty quickly, though, because Brandon wasn't sure whether or not she really had been looking in his direction. He frowned a bit at this, but let it slide. Music Masters alone were easy to underestimate, and Brandon had run into people who underestimated his physical abilities quite often back in California. New York wouldn't be any different.

With a sigh, Brandon voiced his opinion. "Well, I see nothing to lose. I guess I'm in.", he simply said, right before his cell phone vibrated in his pocket, and he fished it out to see who had texted him. It was a black LG slide phone with a sideways keyboard, which he favored over the newer and "smarter" designs which were beginning to be introduced to the market. He'd always favored some of the older things.

The message had come from Kyrian, both Brandon's fatherly figure and occasional boss for when Brandon decided to work at the restaurant. A man who carried respect almost naturally and drew shivers from those who dared to think of bringing him bad news, he had been a large part of Brandon's life since his middle school days. Drawing away from the past, Brandon opened the text to see what it read.

"Busy tonight, HS and college sports teams, need you down here", so the message read. Though he had a choice whether to help out or not, Brandon rather enjoyed working at Kyrian's, and at the moment was not enjoying Dean's mansion atmosphere. Plus, a little tip money goes a long way, as Brandon has found out. Though he was offered six digits of hard cash for helping the Golden Tones, it wouldn't be coming for a long while.

"Something's come up, and I'm afraid I'll have to excuse myself. Family in need, you see." Brandon said, attracting Suzy's gaze and almost stopping him in his tracks. Damn, what was with her? It's as if she wants me to sit back down. Brandon resisted the temptation, and made his way to the door. "Mick, text me if anything comes up.", he added, before closing the doors behind him.

As he exited the mansion, he pulled his other earphone on and changed the song on his iPod, turning up the volume so he could hear the music. The two guards were talking among themselves, distracted as Brandon slowly began to hover, then suddenly take flight as the song rushed through him. The effect was almost immediate, a burning rush that flowed through his legs at first for running speed, then spread to his arms as he willed himself to shoot skywards. As he slowed himself, he felt a cold chill pass through him, diminishing as he ceased deceleration. He had a moment to think about how he left Astrid there, and felt a little sorry for leaving her there alone. But Astrid knew Mick, though if only a little bit, so at least she wouldn't be left alone with a masked nut and a shaky old man.

Okay, which way to the restaurant..., Brandon wondered to himself, and soon saw a landmark in the middle distance he had remembered to take note of. He flew off and away from the mansion, musical fire trailing behind him, toward the establishment he called his day job.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mick May Character Portrait: Brandon Rosenfeld Character Portrait: Jacqueline Marie Fortier Character Portrait: Astrid Markum

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#, as written by Quill
Dean White's outburst drew a chuckle from Jacque, who had a finger in her free ear to muffle the old man's shouting. People like him were so easy to rile up, how could anyone resist a bit of teasing. There was no point in giving the poor music master a heart attack though, so she did what she was told, giving the man a mock bow before heading to the table, Ice following close behind.

Slumping down into a chair, she swept her gaze across each familiar face seated around the table. Most of them were senior members of Golden Tones, all of whom she'd learned to recognize during her short stay on the mansion, but a good number of guests were from other ensembles, and there were even a few she didn't know from any group. When it came to young blood like her, there was Mick May, the chained dog of Gracious Door, but also two others sitting close to him, a young blonde and a brunet that Jack had a though time placing. Knowing people was both a deep rooted craving in her and an essential part of her job, so she made a mental note to find out more about those two. For now, she was content just observing them, following every little gesture and expression she could read.

Her employer had resumed the night's discussion, but she'd already heard all the details of the job he was offering, one she'd already accepted, so she quickly grew bored. The food didn't interest her, not that there was much left of it, so she took the cutlery set in front of her and gave it to Ice instead. The gold jaguar took one sniff of the knives before turning its head away, refusing them. "Don't be a snob," Jack whispered to the big cat in french, ignoring the odd look Mrs Du Pont, one of the wealthiest women on the table, gave her.

She was distracted, wondering why anyone would need so many different knives to eat and why Ice had no problem munching on the dessert spoons, when the conversation suddenly took a more interesting turn at the smoky entrance of a new guest.

Ms. Suzy Rogers. She hadn't been staying in the mansion these past days, or Jack would've definitely noticed a young woman like that sitting around. Where did the old man find this one? Was she a recent member of the Golden Tones? What was her agenda? Who was she, anyway? All these questions flew around in Jack's mind as she watched the sultry brunette take a seat a few chairs away from her.

Ms. Rogers had everyone's attention, a lot of them even visibly enchanted by her. It was amusing to Jack, how human beings were so affected by appearances, not excluding her person, though she did give herself credit for being more objective than most. Maybe a little bit too objective, some would say.

"Beauty is a powerful and discreet weapon. Would anyone think me a devil?" A handsome smile was painted on thin lips as the man said this, perfect teeth glowing in the darkness.

Jacque's hand went up to clutch her throat, the scar on her lip itching and head throbbing with the fading echo's of that familiar voice. The pain was gone as quickly it came, leaving a numb feeling in its place. In an effort to ignore it, Jack turned to the member of Gracious Door, Mick May, just in time to see him giving her and the others a quick glance.

"But I can't say I speak for everyone. I just know that certain...elements, have made me realize, I'm in."

She snorted at that, knowing pretty well what elements he was talking about. As far as Jack was concerned, money and attraction were never motivations. Of course she needed money just like everyone else, but more often than not she'd find herself thinking how she wouldn't mind it one bit if all her cash burned right in front of her. In fact, she'd probably enjoy the blazing flames. No, It was the thrill of the job, how dangerous and fun it could be, that motivated her. As for attraction... well, that was a complicated subject she'd rather not delve into.

The young brunet was the second one to accept, though without much enthusiasm, only to then abandon them after receiving a message of sorts. She could tell by his face that it wasn't anything urgent, but he left regardless, though not after having an odd staring match with Ms Suzy. Old man Mr. White clearly did not appreciate his leaving and the other members were taken back by it as well. Jack didn't mind, at least now she could confirm that Mick and him were friends, and by the look on the blonde's face as she stared at the brunet's retreating back, she thought it was safe to assume that those two also knew each other.

After the doors closed there was a short moment of silence. She gladly interrupted it, "Well, Mick's in, that boy's in. I'm in, of course. How about you, blondie?" Jack asked, leaning on her chair with her arms behind her head and looking at the brunet's friend across the table through her mask.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mick May Character Portrait: Brandon Rosenfeld Character Portrait: Jacqueline Marie Fortier Character Portrait: Astrid Markum

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As Mr. White continued with the discussion, Astrid kept an eye on all the other people in the room. They all to seem on edge, especially Mr. White. The old man sounded like her favorite violin instructor. He was generally a good natured man, but he did have his limits. Mr. Stanlisky had been her first instructor and while she was his prized student for years, some of the others tested his patience because they liked to cause mischief. The thought distracted her momentarily, but when Mick started talking, Astrid was all ears again.

"Ah, yes, I was getting to that. I am very much willing to pay six digit sums to each of you if you take part in this. Consider it an adequate reward once you clear the good name of the Tones."

Six figures?! Astrid was normally excellent at hiding her true emotions, but even she couldn't stop her eye brows from raising. At least she didn't gapped. Her first thought was that there had to be a catch. There normally was. Than her brain started working again. The place she was at was very luxurious. Even for someone like Astrid, who came from a poor background, knew quality material when she saw this. This place had to cost an arm and a leg. Six figures for each person here was bound to be chump change for Mr. White.

Thinking about the offer now, Astrid pondered if it was worth the risk. The last thing she wanted to do was get involved in something that was none of her business. At the same time though, she knew immediately what she could do with that money. In her free time, she often helped out at a nearby orphanage, but it was in desperate need of updates. The building itself was in Brooklyn in a rough area and was a fire hazard waiting to happen. Astrid worked part-time and half of her earnings went towards the orphanage. There was another problem with getting involved though, if she got involved, she could possibly be getting them involved. However, would these ensembles really go so low as to target kids? It was a pickle.

Astrid was still thinking of her decision when Ms. Suzy showed up. Immediately Astrid looked at Brandon and Mick to see their reactions to the beautiful woman. Both reacted, but in different ways. Brandon seemed a bit more tense and Mick looked a little flummoxed, even though it was for a second or two. Resisting the urge to grin, Astrid instead looked back at the brunette. There was something about her that made Astrid uneasy. It was no wonder Brandon tensed up a bit. Maybe he was feeling the same thing. She would ask him later. However, soon both him and Mick gave their answers. Mick left as soon as he got his answer and soon Brandon's phone went off. Looking at him as he checked it. Suddenly he stood up and said he had to leave. Astrid instantly knew what was up. It probably had something to do with his day job.

They must be really busy to need his help, Astrid thought.

In fact, that was how Astrid met Brandon. It wasn't far from the university she went too and heard about it from other students. She decided to check it out and Brandon had been her waiter. She felt something about him and it wasn't long before they became friends. It was only 3 weeks ago that they found out about each other being a music master. That eventually led to this situation.

Astrid's thoughts where interrupted when the other blonde talked to her. Being called blondie was something Astrid hated hearing. Ironic that it should come from another blonde. Astrid looked at Jack and the talked for the first time that evening.

"My name is Astrid." she replied in a bit of a harsh tone before looking at Mr. White.

Going with her gut, Astrid finally made up her mind.

"I'm in. Is that all?" she asked simply.

She honestly wanted to get out of this place.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Mick May Character Portrait: Brandon Rosenfeld Character Portrait: Jacqueline Marie Fortier Character Portrait: Astrid Markum

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Mick crossed his arms as he listened to the golden sound of agreement around him. With Jack, Astrid and Brandon on his side, where could he have gone wrong? Sure, Brandon might have run off to take care of his business down at his restaurant job, but at least Mick knew for a fact he could count on him when he needed him.

"Looks like you got yourself some takers, Dean. Get 'im while they're hot." the young Brit quipped before flashing a smile. That smile of course, was directed at one Suzy Rogers across the table. But she had such a powerful, sultry expression on her face that Mick wasn't sure if she even knew he was eyeing her. Or maybe she did, and she was just so used to it, she just didn't care.

Nevertheless, there were more important things at hand. Mick fished into a jacket pocket for his music player; a beaten-up old I-Pod more than two years old. He considered listening to music at a time like this, when Suzy leaned over to whisper something into Dean's ear as the rest of the room descended into discussion. After all, even with some tunes playing, he'd still be able to hear everyone talking as clear as day. That was just one of the pros of being a Music Master, after all.

But something caught his attention right before he popped an earbud into his left ear. Something up above.

He squinted to see what could be up their in the darkness of the impossibly high ceiling. Even with the golden ambiance and multiple lights, the fact that it was night did obscure a large part of the ceiling above. But when Mick glanced up into the darkness, he could have sworn he saw something.

It was only when he could hear the sound of music, a sound of black men singing in high voices, that suddenly he realized his fears were all too true.

The music burst into room like thunder, and the ambush was equally surprising and forceful. A towering Sentonal, a fusion of a stereotypical Native American and a monstrous eagle, crashed into the dining table with considerable force. Mick and the others were sent flying back as its tomahawks dug deep into the masterwork wood, splintering it apart and causing even more of a ruckus.

The world spun as Mick struggled to regain his composure, kicking aside his falling chair as he surveyed the situation. Behind the Sentonal, a tall African-American stood, his hair clad in a small afro and a gleaming white smile on his face.

"Do it quick, Mighty Gee. Don't have all day here." he said in a upbeat tone. His Sentonal didn't hesitate, wrenching the two tomahawks from the table's remains and turning its attentions to Dean White himself. Mick could see the look in its user's eyes, and he could see Suzy rushing to get a song effect out. The truth was though, she wouldn't make it in time.

Mick was quick to pull up a song, and it was perhaps through sheer luck that the gushing red of Strawberry Fields Forever came out of his hand just in time. The burst splashed onto the man's face as a tomahawk went flying through the air at Dean White. In the resulting confusion of being swept up in his psychedelic fantasy, the man's control on his Sentonal wavered, and the tomahawk, a part of the Sentonal itself, literally swerved in the air. It missed Dean White by inches, landing hard into the wood table right in front of him. As Dean's heart pounded in his chest and he counted his blessings, his bodyguards were quick to scoop him up like a child in an attempt to get him out of danger.

"You chaps alright back there?" Mick said to his comrades, as his music and the man's music clashed in the air. He could only hope they were okay, but he had little time to think on it as the man's attention was now turned to him.

"Hey boy. Don't be a pain in the ass. Dexter don't like no pain in the ass." the man said, as his Sentonal clambered before him. The tomahawk returned in an instant, pulled by some unseen force.

"Sorry to ruin your sport. Maybe you should get going before it gets really rough." Mick shot back, but Dexter chuckled.

"Oh, you don't know rough, boy. But I'd be glad to show you rough." he said with confidence.

Without hesitation, the Sentonal shot its arm out, and suddenly a very real and very deadly tomahawk almost half the size of Mick's body was hurtling straight in his direction. One hit, and he would be bisected in an instant.

Clearly, Mick thought, taunting this guy didn't turn out to be one of Mick's brightest ideas...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mick May Character Portrait: Jacqueline Marie Fortier Character Portrait: Astrid Markum

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#, as written by Quill
Lines and colors blurred together as the room spun in front of her. Trying to bring it all into focus only made the churning in her stomach worse, so she screwed up her eyes and turned to other more helpful senses. The constant buzz in her head had begun to fade and she could make out the series of loud noises and screams all around her, floor shaking beneath her palms with every bang and thump resonating in her ears.

Groaning, she opened one squinting eye. Her mask lay within arm’s reach, a demon’s face grinning back at her with hollow eyes. She pulled it close and then groped around, nails scratching across marble till she found her earbuds. The bass line of “My Way” filled her ears once more and it didn’t take long before a pair of gold paws brushed past her cheek and a shadow fell upon her as the big cat loomed over her.

The jaguar’s deep, bone-rattling growl was enough to jump start both her mind and body. Leaning on Ice and the remains of the dinner table, she got up and took in the confusion around her. Her eyes flew from the shaking figure of Dean White being whisked away by the two bodyguards from earlier, to none other than the chained dog himself, Mick, who was facing a man with an afro that Jack could only assume was the huge, beast-like Sentonal’s master.

Mick’s worried inquiry barely registered in her mind. As music seeped through her skin, it pumped adrenaline into her blood, sending a pleasant shiver up her spine and raising the hairs on her neck. A feeling of giddiness came over her so suddenly that she couldn’t help the grin that split her face, a chuckle building up in her throat, mask slipping from twitching fingers.

She was more than ready when the Sentonal threw that tomahawk at Mick. While Jack vaulted over the splintered table, Ice leaped over her head and fell in front of the british master, smashing into the tomahawk in mid-air and sending it hurling straight into the wall, which all but crumbled upon impact.

Erupting into laugher, Jack sauntered over to a spot a little ways from Mick. Wiping away the tears forming in the corners of her eyes, she turned to face the man with the afro. “Well now,” she began, locking eyes with the other. “You and your eagle-man really made a mess out of this dinning room. I have to say though, it looks much better this way.”

“It’s Mighty Gee to you, girl.”
“Like it matters,” she snorted, licking the scar on her lip as she watched Mighty Gee screech and turn its tomahawks to her in threat. Too bad for the black man, Jack liked to keep names to herself.

Ice walked up to its master, moving to stand between her and the other Sentonal and growling in response as soon as its beady eyes locked onto their opponent. “It’s been a while since I’ve had a Sentonal battle.” Jacque glanced sideways at the rubble that was once part of the main wall. The tomahawk had picked itself off the debris, flying past her and over to the man-eagle’s extending hand. “How about it pall? You and me. Let’s see who has the strongest beast.”

The man grinned and she knew he would accept her challenge. In truth, Jack wasn’t really sure if she could beat the ridiculously big Sentonal, not with the small amount of metal she currently had at her disposal, not to mention in the confined space they were in. She was just glad Ice had picked up a strong metal like gold, thought it did make it heavier and, consequently, a bit slower than she was used to.

If the afro man and his Sentonal concentrated on her though, Mick and the other music masters, that Astrid girl and sultry Miss Suzy, would have time to pull out their song effects. Who said she couldn’t be a team player. And have a little fun regardless.

Allons-y!” she shouted, moving along with the other master as Ice and Mighty Gee collided in a flurry of gold claws and swinging tomahawks in a clash of rock and funk.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mick May Character Portrait: Jacqueline Marie Fortier Character Portrait: Astrid Markum

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Astrid was thankful that one of her attributes was speed. At the time of the initial attack, if the blonde had been sitting where she originally was, than she would have been squashed like a bug. Luckily, the music master could sense something moments before the ambush and jumped out of the way in time for the Afro guy and his sentonal to come crashing through the roof. Still the surge of energy Astrid felt caused her to crash into a nearby wall. It knocked the wind out of her and she had to take a couple seconds to catch her breath before staggering up.

The first thing she saw was all the destruction around her. What a mess! It was then she saw Jack facing off against this guy with an afro. Astrid was behind them so their foe had yet to see her. She would use this to her advantage while she had one. It wouldn't surprise Astrid if this fight destroyed the whole building.

After assessing the situation, Astrid quickly equipped her own iPod and headsets, and turned on Winter which produced her overture. She figured that while Jack would keep the setonal busy, she would focus on the music master herself. Taking a deep breath, Astrid grounded herself as violet energy swirled around her feet and looking at the intruder, she waved her hands at the same time and pointed at Dexter, sending sharp projectiles towards him.