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Red Apotheosis

New Cairo

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a part of Red Apotheosis, by Gestalt.

None

Gestalt holds sovereignty over New Cairo, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

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Default Location for Red Apotheosis
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New Cairo

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Minimap

New Cairo is a part of Red Apotheosis.

21 Characters Here

Katia Pasternak [10] "Freedom is paid in blood, but is the price worth it?"
James Tiraninot [6] "If they become uncoorpertive, put them down."
Dyte Emmerich [5] "If you fear my brother then you would do good to take it upon yourself to consider him but a puppy in my presence"
Marcus Hill [5] "They really never learn."
Citizens of Note [5] "New Cairo is the City of Spells, and its inhabitants are far more than they seem."
Daniel Emmerich [4] "They call me the Red King but I don't care for the title."
Ai Kurozaka [4] "Those who harbour hatred in their hearts will soon rot away"
Octavian Oxford [3] "I'm a spider. Om nom nom."
Harper Kincaid [3] "Look, I don't. Give. A. Damn about the crap spewing from your mouth."
Khalid Zaman [3] "Ignorance is the root of all fear. Once we understand, there is nothing left of which to be afraid."

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Character Portrait: Octavian Oxford Character Portrait: Katia Pasternak
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#, as written by Zalgo
Octavian

Eight PM


Pulse District

This city sucks.

The spider was crawling his way up a wall, concealed by a fire escape on his side which easily hid him at his current size. He had wasted a good chunk of his day looking for good web spots to web up, of which there were none. His problem was that people were always doing things. Wherever he went the shuffling pedestrians were constantly doing things. If there was one thing a spider liked more than catching delicious prey it was stillness. Activity, especially on the macro scale usually meant some webs were going to get wrecked and some spiders were going to get stepped on. Not this spider.

Earlier he saw a news helicopter up in the sky. Looking down at the area he had seen a large number of cops gathered around a building of sorts. Ugh, cops He didn't appreciate cops one bit. After they drove him from his last home his attitude towards them has been a bit sour. It looked like some kind of raid or something. If it was I hope the gangsters in there fill one of the pigs full of holes. The whole lot deserves it. His mind dwelled on the contempt he had for them while he searched for an ideal place to put a web.

Eventually he settled on putting a web up in the bend of a street light. People rarely did much up there and since it was on during the night it would attract bugs he could catch. He'd of liked to have caught something bigger so his pals could have a meal but he had to eat first.

An undefined period of time later.

He was just minding his own business, putting up a web. He was humming the tune to Itsy Bitsy Spider while he strung up another line. “Please stay in your homes. If you are in an establishment, we ask you not to leave until permitted by a Raptora Officer. This is for your own safety. I repeat, please stay in your homes...” A real loud truck announced their message as they passed by, using their annoyingly loud speaker vans to broadcast this message across the district. Bloody noise! What is this even? Is the district under curfew now? Maybe once all these people are hiding back in their holes I could try snagging a couple. That one couple with the small child looked like a real treat. All I need to do is make my way over and- His thoughts were cut off as a massive dog creature came around the corner and messily chewed a guy apart. This thing seemed to be on a rampage from what he could tell.

It was easy enough to assume that this was some morphologist who had flipped. Very few actual animals of dubious nature were not morphology magi. He however was one hundred percent real deal when it came to a sometimes giant magical spiders. Seriously!? this guy's gonna get the police all riled up and that is the LAST thing I need. It seems just to prove his point the huge dog magi smashed right into a bar not a block away from where he was. From the looks of things it seemed to Octavian that this dog had gotten himself into a brawl from the sounds of it. When some morpher chick and the giant dog took the fight to his street one thing was certain.

I'm not going to get the chance to finish my web, am I? He resigned himself to picking up what work he had started and stashing up on his back. Sparring little time on the ground he scurried down the lamp post and up the wall to the side until he was up on the roof tops. If that thing keeps up with that there are gonna be cops crawling all over this place. Since I can't finish my web in peace I might as well do something about this before bad goes worse. With a plan in mind he got to work. Stepping out of sight of the streets he made himself a bit larger. With his increased size he could produce a phenomenal amount of webbing. Taking his half finished product he started to add on much more to this web of his. It would be some time before he was done but hopefully it would be worth it when he was done with his devious designs.

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Character Portrait: James Tiraninot
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#, as written by Wake
Ivaldi
8 pm


It had been six hours since the raid on the garage. In that time a lot of work had been done. The girl, Ai, had been released from custody some time ago, and the other convicts interrogated, and the tea shop owner apprehended. What they had received wasn't as much as he had hopped, just a series of names and dates, but it was enough to hint at something bigger. Much bigger and more dangerous than a few extremist with a resentment towards the authority. Somebody had a too many resources and connections from what little he gathered, but tracking down the little bits of this network was going to take a lot of time.

The rubbed the bridge of his nose and went back to signing out documents. Regardless of the task ahead it was inevitably something he and his subordinates were going to have to deal with. Hopefully he could make it easier on them by convincing the officer Faeen to finally allow them some access to higher ordinance equipment in the near future. If she wasn't too busy looking for an excuse to breath down his back again.

Though technically they were of the same rank, Miss Faeen was the one who had authorization on what supplies he and his team were allowed to receive, which gave her indirect control over him. A fact that he had found increasingly irksome in the past few weeks.

He was broken from his inner thought on that matter when there was a knock at the door. "Come in." He said. A moment later alpha-1 entered. "There has been a situation sir. A morpher mage has gone feral in the pulse district." The pulse district again? There seemed to be a lot happening down there.

"And I suppose no one thought to inform us before they left." The man at the desk continued to write for a few more seconds. "Well? Why are you still here? Get suited up and deploy. I will be leaving behind you momentarily."

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Character Portrait: Ai Kurozaka
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The Old Market
+Ai's Apartment+
8:20pm



Laying face down on her pillow, she doesn't want anything to do with the world at the moment. She had made her way back home to her small one bedroom apartment from the Police Station. Thankfully one of the cops had offered her a lift, so she didn't ruin her shoes. This apartment has been her home for the full time that she has lived in New Cairo, of course the modern look of it is a big perk for her. She had a shower and then got into her cotton pyjamas, they were white with a black trim. With her brown hair sprawled out on her bed she flips over before suffocating. Looking up at the ceiling Ai begins to recollect today's events.

She had gotten kidnapped, lied to, used, hurt, bullied, bound and she fainted. All in one day. It was like she was destined to have a bad day. Her own kind lied to her and used her, which confused her so much. She thought that mages were supposed to be peaceful yet she is oblivious to the danger that lies in front of her. Today has changed her whether it is for the best or the worst she does not know. But now she is more aware of the things going around her. Still she cannot seem to stop blaming herself for what had happened. It turned out that her boss was a criminal using the cafe as a front for his business. Most likely the Timeless Cafe is going to be shut down for being a front for deadly weapons, that means that Ai is going to need another job. But the only things that she knows is being a waitress. Sighing she moves her hand over to her lamp and clicks it off. Darkness now envelops her instantly, yet light still shines from the city through the curtains. Rolling over on her side she closes her eyes, "Tomorrow is going to be a good day."

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Character Portrait: Daniel Emmerich Character Portrait: Dyte Emmerich
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Dyte Emmerich



She noticed Rokuro’s look of embarrassment and it was easy to put two and two together from what she caught of his words earlier. In return for her grin he merely scowled making her grin widen, glad that he hadn’t gotten soft. "Unfortunately you look like shit." Her mouth formed something of an o at his words. "Maybe you've been fighting too much. I see your violent tendencies haven't stopped." Dyte herself chuckled a bit and made a jab for his stomach. “And I see you still enjoy buying things for your pet. I’d say you were a pedophile but that would mean I’d have to show you girls more your age.” she smirked before returning his wink. Strawberry banana okay?" Taking the seat he indicated for her to sit in Dyte got herself comfortable before replying, “Sure sounds yummy. As for mother she is doing quite well.” Taking the smoothie Dyte took a big gulp before releasing a sigh of content.

Almost immediately she composed herself, returning to the woman they had all come to fear and respect over the years. Her pale blue eyes flicked over to Jay at his words of concern, “Oh I hope you’re not indicating I’ve gotten old. I’d hate to see you not having any children.” Despite her playful words the look in her eyes made it known she was very much serious. The subtle reaction she got from the rest of them was amusing. Returning her attention back to the smoothie Dyte listened in on the news Daniel told as well as answering the questions he had for her. Time passed quickly and they had supper with its usual antics of sorts. Eventually Daniel asked about her sleeping arrangements and she merely shrugged.

"I can let a lady stay wit me. She be right an good in my cozy nest." Watching Daniel take care of the matter she laughed at Eric’s words"Sure, like she would stay with you Rook! Your place is a dump!" Despite Rokuro already having been dealt enough embarrassment Dyte couldn’t help herself in her words. “Rokuro what makes you think I’d want to stay with a dirty kid mm? Do I have to mother up and get you to clean your place?” Dyte had done so already a few times before and it annoyed her to no end that his place returned to its original state of chaos. Nodding in acceptance to the apologetic look Eric gave them a pair of men burst into the place.

For a moment their names escaped her until Jay questioned them. Hearing their names she checked off one thing on her list and listened in on what they were saying. Leaning back against the bars counter it was odd how calm the woman was despite what she was being told. As they finished up the look of calm nearly resembled that of boredom. Yawning Dyte covered her mouth in an apologetic manner. "I don't think I want to sit around here all day waiting for the police to figure things out. What do you think? Should we follow the rules sis? Should we be goody-two-shoes?"

Her eyes showed a pique of interest at Daniels provocative words and a smile slowly curled the corners of her lips. Stepping down from her seat Dyte stretched a few bones and joints popping. “Well that would certainly be much more fun than sitting here. So why don’t we pay a visit to this monster thing?” Grinning Dyte head towards the door making sure that the coast was clear before going towards the crazy morpher. For a moment she thought of their father but then she shook her head not wanting to remember him.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dyte Emmerich Character Portrait: Katia Pasternak Character Portrait: Jin Long Character Portrait: Citizens of Note Character Portrait: Imani El-Amin Character Portrait: Marcus Hill
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#, as written by Gestalt
New Cairo | Pulse
9 PM


"Of course I'm fine dad, I'm your daughter, remember?" Katia said in Ukranian. She was turned around in her stool, her back leaning against the bar behind her. Katia's shift ended an hour ago, but all it meant was that she now sat on the other side of the bar while the guy who tended the bar that night served her. Abasi, his name was. A level four conjurer and Egyptian native. Broad shoulders, trimmed beard, bald head, and a stern countenance, Abasi painted an intimidating figure but anyone who knew the man knew his looks lied. He was the temperate sort, bordering on the sweet side if someone managed to earn his friendship. He was all the way down the bar serving the other patrons while Katia continued to talk to her father on her cellphone.

"I don't see how you're worried about me, I called to check on you! You sure you're fine? ... Mhm... Yes sir... Of course dad. Just... Be careful, okay? Stay safe... Love you too dad." With that, she killed the phone call with an electronic beep, and slipped the cellphone in her pocket. She turned in her stool to meet the eyes of Abasi pouring a deep amber liquid in her empty lowball glass. "Don't see how you drink rum without ice," He said with a teasing smile. Without breaking eye contact, Katia picked the glass up and pressed it to her lips, taking a drink. "Like that," She said dryly, revealing a close lipped smile of her own. The little joke sent him into a chuckling fit, and Katia took the moment to take a cigarette from the pack on the bar, and light up. Beside her glass was an ashtray holding a graveyard of broken butts.

When the chuckling ceased, Abasi waited for her to exhale smoke before speaking again. "That was your father, yes? How is your old man doing?" He asked, genuine curiosity playing across his toughened face. "Old," Katia replied before elaborating. "About as well as an old bear can. His age hasn't caught up to him yet and if he has his way about it, it never will. Tough bastard, was more worried about me," She said, though there was a fondness to her tone despite her words. "Of course he was, that's because you're his cub," Abasi said, chuckling his way back to another patron. Katia, however, didn't find it as funny, and stared at him as brought the glass back to her lips.

She never got to take another drink before the whole wall that held the door in place exploded inward. The force of debris threw her into the floorboards, but she didn't linger there long finding her way to all fours. The eyes in her head were no longer hers, instead belonging to that of a species of bird of prey. She needn't such eyesight, however, as the culprit was easily enough seen. A monstrous dog loped through the hole where the door was, easily taking up most of the space in the front room. "Abasi, the office, now!" She demanded. While she yelled out the order, her body began to shift. Muscle groups morphed and her skeletal structure changed into something, as irony would have it, feline. She still retained her human appearance barring the eyes of a bird.

As the dog lunged, so did she though in the opposite direction. Propelling herself backward with the heels of her palm, she was no longer there when the dog landed. Thinking quickly Katia knew she had to lead the dog out of the bar, there was still people left alive within, and there wasn't enough room for her to maneuver about. Running on all fours like an animal, Katia vaulted from the floor, to the bar top, and then to back behind the bar, where she ran the length under cover until she made it to the end and slipped out of the hole in the wall. She nimbly pivoted at the opposite end of the street and faced the monster. Now instead of fingers, Katia wore talons and a pair of sharp fangs erupted from her mouth.

If this thing wanted a fight, then it'd get one.

A table burst apart in a shower of splinters as Dietrich's maw slammed shut. The canine beast swung its head around the bar and four of the lightless eyes atop its head oriented on the shifting Katia. The remaining three stayed on the pile of timber that was once a table. Dietrich tilted his head curiously. Globules of spittled spat and hissed as they ate into the floorboards. This new form granted a sort of caustic saliva, apparently. Now that could be fun.

The cat-thing that was Katia postured threateningly at the end of the street. Had Dietrich been in a more sound state of mind, he would have recognized the bait for what it was. Even in his current iteration though, Dietrich felt more like a megalithic predator with more resources, power, and energy to devote to survival. All he had to do was play evenly with his prey and he would win by sheer natural advantage alone. With a casual disregard for the severity of the situation, the canine-thing whipped up a limp body from the ground and caught it between his fangs. The resulting gore-strewn ooze and crunching noises emanating from Dietrich's mouth sent the rest of the conscious patrons into a full-blown panic. Finished with his grisly repast, Dietrich made a lazy turn to face Katia.

Floorboards and stone were sent flying upward with the force of Dietrich's explosive leap. The beast came with tremendous force, intending to crush Katia under the weight of its leading paws and grind her into the ground.

Once more the creature would find his prey elsewhere. When Katia saw the monster crouch for another leap, her talons had already dug into the ground in preparation for her next move. As soon as he lifted up into the air, she turned and propelled herself out of immediate danger, though she wouldn't stay there for long. She still had what the beast did not: A mind. Despite his size, she had an agility advantage and she intended to use it. Digging a handful of talons into the ground, she pivoted one-eighty degrees and faced the beast again. But this time she didn't wait for him act first. This time she reacted and rushed forward herself. Aiming to slip underneath the dog's body, she raised her talons and tried to claw at his underbelly as she ran under him.

An ear-piercing howl split the air as Katia's talons parted the soft flesh of Dietrich's stomach. The beast staggered several steps to the side as it fought maintain its balance. Ropy strands of intestines and other viscera spilled out onto the street. No. This was not the end, the Dietrich-thing thought dully. With a defiant growl, several things happened at once. The creature sucked its organs back up through the hole in its underside. From the gash a small forest of worm-like tendrils sprouted, each writhing and seeking. The last thing to occur was Dietrich opening his mouth as if to howl once more; seven arm-thick tentacles shot out towards Katia with the intent of piercing, ripping, and grabbing the Morph.

Katia found herself backing away on all fours from the creature as it... Regenerated of sorts. It's guts were replaced by squirming tendrils and when it opened its maw to howl, tentacles erupted from its throat instead. "What... The hell?" she asked as she turned to run. Though proud, she was not so above retreat. Maybe she could find a Raptora patrol to aid her. She never made it far, however, as she felt one of the tentacles wrap around her ankles. She was on her belly in one moment, and slashing at the tentacle with her talons the next. However, more joined with the first, grabbing both her hands, and one even puncturing her shoulder. It was her turn to howl. Her mouth parted and she let loose a wailing yowl. Despite the pain, she against fought the tentacles the muscles under her skin rippling and talons shifting into something, anything that could help.

"So I'm assuming the bar is still in good shape? No huge, destructive bar fights hopefully?" Said an audible voice from Jin's phone. "Yeah, surprisingly everything is still in shape. I'm glad that we won't have to replace almost every piece of furniture in the bar again. That was a huge pain the ass". Jin was half way through her shift at Vertigo, well not exactly her shift. She was filling in for the very person that she was talking to on the phone. "Would you mind explaining to me again why I'm filling in for you again? Ryuuko has personally called Jin and asked for her to fill in, because she had supposed 'business' to take care of and couldn't work her shift today. "Because you're not a complete asshole?". Jin let out a sigh "Yeah, I'm sure that's the reason...". She hung up. By then it was time for her break. "Brent, do you mind covering for me, I'm going on my break" She stated as she headed out the bar. "Sure, no problem".

It wasn't too late in the evening. At first, she had no specific place to go in mind until she heard an ear piercing howl. Upon hearing this she activated her weapons. She fired at the ground, using the recoil to launch herself into the air and up to higher ground. Instantly, she noticed someone struggling in the grasp of tentacles and the sources of those tentacles......a giant dog. It surely wasn't a believable sight to say the least, though that was almost completely ignored. She reloaded her weapons and leaped, fist aimed at the beast's face.

With his prey finally within reach, Dietrich almost snapped completely when a golden-haired woman came streaking out of the night sky like a comet. Unable to react due to a mixture of shock and anger, the creature merely jerked as the exotic weapon locked barrels and released its explosive payload directly into his skull. The resulting explosion bisected the ten-foot long head in a messy burst of power. All of the tentacles assaulting Katia fell limp as their base was destroyed in a small, bloody blast. Inwardly Dietrich flinched. He was dead. His head was rent in twain and some mage was elbow-deep in his esophagus. Twin panels of flesh warped and studded with fangs appeared at each side of Jin in the blink of an eye, and snapped shut even more quickly than they had formed. The new mutation appeared to be a butcher's macabre parody of a venus fly trap, and Jin was the fly. Dietrich was confused, but happy enough to be alive. With new prey in his mouth, he leapt toward Katia and began raking at her once more with protrusions on his underside.

The ground slammed hard into her back as the tentacles that held her wrists and ankles fell dead. A grunt punctuated the impact as she spent the next moments frantically ripping the dead tendrils off of her limps, finally coming to the one that had pierced her shoulder. Through grit teeth and a grunt of pain, she ripped it free splashing drops of scarlet along the front of her shirt. Looking back to where the monster had been, Katia saw another had entered the fray-- and she couldn't help but feel thankful for the golden haired stranger. However, the monster began to shift again, just like when she had injured it. It's head turned into a twisted version of a clamp. The eyes of a bird in Katia's head widened as she watched the transformation and she could only wonder at what they were dealing with before it pressed it's attack.

It leapt forward again, but this time Katia was in no position to mount an escape. It fell upon her, it's spines and tendrils ripping at her. Katia wailed in pain as it scratched and clawed at her, drawing even more blood from her body. The pain soon morphed into something else, something more... Feral. Anger and rage bled into the wail morphing it into a howl of that of an enraged creature. Muscle groups altered and coiled, bones popped as they reorganized and reconstructed themselves. The talons on her hand morphed into massive paws and her legs bunched up with the advent of new muscle. She used the paws to swat at the monster above her and used her legs to propel her backward along the ground. She caught enough ground to flip herself back to her feet and revealed the damage.

Blood ran freely from numerous cuts and gashes along her body, her shirt and pants were stained in crimson. However she didn't simply stand, still her body continued to morph. Her shoes tore themselves apart to make room for the claws she now had for toes, spines sprouted and ran the length of both arms, the nails in her paws elongated until they too resembled talons, and a pair of horns arose from above both eye sockets. "It dies now!" She furiously demanded before leaping forward with the new muscles in her legs. As she came down she vigorously tore at where it's neck had been previously, trying to aid her new ally.

Marcus folded his arms over his chest, watching the scene intently as a newcomer joined the fight, turning it into a brawl of three. The dog was strange, to say the least, and it certainly wasn’t a pushover – the massive creature seemed to be pulling trick after trick from under its sleeve, fighting two mages at once – and he could tell that all three of them were highly capable. As he observed, he considered a variety of simple scenarios for why this was happening in the first place. Was it a morpher that stayed in animal form for too long or a summoned creature? A direct attack, perhaps on orders? Controlled by someone else? Whatever the thing was, it was at least level two and it was out for blood. Attempting to get a read on it, the thing’s mind was certainly not clear, but he was able to determine that it was in fact a morpher rather than a summon.

An…interesting sample, to say the least, Marcus thought, keeping a close eye on the movements of all three combatants. What does it want? He searched through its current mental state, searching for some kind of drive behind its attack, but all he could find was madness, an animalistic rage that had, for the most part, lost its sense of reason. As fascinating as this is, I have no use for a mindless beast , he concluded shortly. Using his ability from a relatively safe distance from the skirmish, he used his power to attempt to conjure multiple images of the other two mages inside the beast’s mind, disorienting it by making it seem as though they were in many locations at once. While his technical skill with his ability would allow him to move the projected images as he pleased to pull off something akin to a well orchestrated attack from all angles, that would only matter if it got through, and he half-expected that it wouldn’t. After all, higher level mages tended to be resistant to telepathic hallucinations. But it seemed worth a shot, as there was only minimal risk to himself by doing it as far as he was concerned.

The group traveled quickly and quietly. Making sure to keep to the shadows so as not to draw attention to themselves. It had been a while since Dyte had done something of this sort, well aside from underground fighting. With Ron leading them it wouldn’t be too difficult to find this morpher. Looking out behind her Dyte checked to see if Daniel was keeping up. Thinking about it further she realized that there wasn’t much reason for her to worry about him, at least not at the moment. He’s used to moving around at night but so am I, just not here. Suddenly a howl pierced the air making Dyte cringe. Pausing she looked around in hopes of another howl to help pinpoint the location of said howl. Sadly they did not receive one but that only made Dyte all the happier. “I like a challenge.” she mumbled quietly to herself. Resuming her pace from before Dyte focused her attention for the sounds of a scuffle but it was incredibly quiet in the Pulse District. It did help isolate sounds and as they continued to walk other noises began to rise in volume until she thought she heard someone yell. With a smirk Dyte knew she found the fight.

Picking up her pace she didn’t wait for the others to catch up or to even acknowledge what she was about to do. Disregarding the original plan of staying hidden Dyte ran into the middle of the street turning a corner to come across the most atrocious sight. “What in god’s name is that!” The beast before them was a grotesque looking thing. Dyte faltered in her step at the taste of barf at the back of her throat. Oh come now I’ve seen worse and “And what is that! Another morpher?” Dyte stopped in her tracks seeing some creature that looked vaguely feminine tear at the throat of the creature.

Glancing over her shoulder she looked for Ron. “So which is the crazy morpher Ron?” The moment he pointed it out to her a savage grin founds its way on her lips and with something of a laugh Dyte rushed into the fray. Making sure to be aware of the things happening around her Dyte managed to get close but knew better than to get too close when two animals were fighting. “Let’s see what this guy can handle.” Bringing her hand up in the shape of what a person would assume to be a gun Dyte closed one eye to focus and a ray of energy shot out. The green haired woman continued to shoots blasts of energy at the creature making sure not to hit the one tearing at its throat. Each shot was of varying strength their main purpose was to see how tough the creature was.

Dietrich staggered under the sheer ferocity of Katia's assault. Writhing appendages on his underside were torn away leaving weltering stumps of bloody tissue. Before he could put some distance between them to charge again, Dietrich was surrounded by dozens of prey-creatures. Then ten, then six, and then the number jumped up to twenty-four. Unknown to Dietrich, Marcus's psychic assault was wreaking havoc on his enhanced senses. A pair of erratic heartbeats became a reverberating roar of twenty to the beast's sensetive ears. That was not even counting the actual visions suddenly surrounding him. A pair of sinuous arm-like limbs exploded from Dietrich's shoulders accompanied by rushing viscous material. Each arm was at least twenty feet long and wasted not time in beginning their quest to destroy each and every illusory assailant within reach. The result was little more than a whirlwind of bladed limbs flailing about.

So focused was Dietrich on the group that he failed to notice the bestial Katia's leap. A horrendous retching sound accompanied the impact as Jin was vomitted forth along with several sets of chewed limbs and bile. Dietrich bucked and snapped as Katia began tearing into his throat with reckless abandon. Both newly sprouted arms immediately whipped around to savage Katia's back. Or they would have had Dietrich not stumbled under a barrage of beams flying from the Bolter, Dyte. This was not the end. If he could survive decapitation, he would definitely survive some angry cat women and a bunch of bolt-spitting freaks.

This time the transformation was even more violent, as if that were possible. Seven more arms and legs each terminating in a chitinous claw tore through Dietrich's skin as the epidermis itself hardened around these new appendages to form an osseous exoskeleton. Both sides of the split maw divided yet again for a total of four toothy jaws snapping about. Barbed feelers made their way out ef each and every wound on Dietrich's body. In mere seconds, Dietrich was an unrecognizable mass of flailing limbs and teeth and...he was getting bigger.

The stench of decomposing flesh was apparent were Jin now was. If she wasn't in her current situation she would probably throw up, but first she would have to figure her way out of the current predicament. What exactly happened was a blur. One moment she was burying her fist into the skull of the monster, the next she was trapped in what seemed to be its mouth after a terrifying transformation. Saying that her current position was unpleasant would truly be an understatement, as she was now covered in a thick layer of saliva. She could feel the movement of the monster, probably now trying to attack the one who Jin was trying to assist as it already had trapped Jin. It made it painfully hard to stay in one place, and that was only doubled as her ally began to tear at the monster. She would aid her, if Jin she herself wasn't still dumbfounded about what had just occurred. Even more force began to shake the monster, and Jin was suddenly vomited forth into the open. She could see clearly now that more people had joined the fight.

The horrid smell of decomposing flesh was even stronger now that Jin was almost completely covered from head to toe in bile, little bits of flesh, and stuff of the like. The smell was almost unavoidable, so she didn't try to prevent herself from smelling it. Jin reloaded her gauntlets with the remaining shells. When she finished, she noticed that the monster had begun to transform once again, this time it became more disfigured and distorted than the last time. "Just what the hell is this thing!?". It was beginning to seem like the monster was undefeatable. Each time that it seemed like they finally had it cornored, it suddenly transforms again. As of right now, there was almost no visible way of killing this thing off.

"Now." the first explosions rang out across the broadview. Dietrick stumbled this way and that as fiery blasts blossomed across his heavily mutated hide. Limbs of varying density and appearance were sent flying across the street, blown free of the beast's flesh. For each limb lost, three more grew to replace it. Still the barrage continued on. Raptora vehicles cut off each side of the street a hundred feet from the rogue Morph with suppression teams ready to open fire as soon as it approached. Heavy-munitions squads leaned out over rooftops to hammer the creature with explosive shells. Commissioner Faeen tapped the comm in her helmet to issue the next set of orders.

Lances of superheated light joined the rockets bombarding Dietrich. The pain was maddening. The strain of his many mutations made the external sources pleasant in comparison. On some level, Dietrich realized if he stopped adding parts to his mass one of the rounds would hit something vital and kill him. So he stacked more and more mutations. Heads, teeth, claws, legs, joints that served no obvious purpose other than to make himself larger. The end result was a nightmarish amalgam of bleeding flesh and parts over three stories tall.

Dietrich went ridgid. Completely still, the Morph began dissolving. Flecks of skin began glowing and flaking off. Muscle and bone soon followed. Dietrich was completely gone in less than ten seconds. The only legacy of his existance was a few severely wounded mages in the middle of the street.


The next few hours were a blur. The Raptora solicited police reports from Katia, Jin, Dyte, and several other eyewitnesses. Silence Agreements soon followed. Witnesses were not to repeat what they supposedly saw or heard that night under penalty of legal action.

Katia and Jin in particular were placed under Raptora surveillance. For their "protection" of course.

In her office, Netonefa Teedifilyn grinned as she looked over the compiled footage of the incident. "I think we may have our window..."


3 Days Later
New Cairo | Red Sand
10 AM


For a moment, he felt guilty. Baliq's opponent staggered under the first lash of water, lost his feet after the second, and was basically pressed into the dirt as Baliq maintained a high-pressure stream of water directly on top of the poor sod. A low beep signalled his victory at the same time a checkered referee raised a blue flag towards Baliq.

"Point, Nirmas. Set and match!"

The professor of Arcane Studies took his time showering and getting cleaned up. It was his day off, after all. Six matches of magic dueling was enough to get his blood pumping for the morning. Now, he thought, would be a good time to get some actual errands done. The likelihood of that happening was slim. Baliq smirked to himself as he exited the Red Sand arena and jumped the tram to the Old Markets. Saturdays were notoriously bad for trying to get anything productive done. For him, at least.

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Character Portrait: Dyte Emmerich
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Dyte






The green haired women paled as the morpher transformed again. Now I really wanna throw up. Shaking her head she continued what she had done before doing her best to stay out of reach. Suddenly something hit her and it hit her hard. Dyte was flung backwards crashing into something. Her head snapped back slamming into whatever it was that had caught her feeling something break. Soon she was coughing up a little blood and her head swam as the edged of her vision turned black. "Shit." Realizing the predicament she was in oddly enough Dyte began to laugh. It wasn't the maniacal sort but she found it funny that she may possibly die today by some mutated morpher. "This is not how I want to go." Taking a more stable stance Dyte raised her hand in the shape of a gun aiming for the center of the creature when suddenly explosions came down on the morpher.

Letting her hand drop back to her side Dyte let herself fall to the ground in a seated position. She watched as the morpher moved about trying to avoid the attacks it even went so far as to mutate even more. This time Dyte threw up but it was mostly bile. The very thing was disgusting to watch and the smell emanating from it was putrid to say the least. "I am so out of shape." About to shake her head a sudden wave of nausea washed over her. Reaching for the back of her head she winced in pain before looking at her hand to see that blood covered it. Finally the thing went completely still and it began to dissolve into nothing. Soon enough there was no sign of it ever being there aside from those who had fought it and bits of its being sitting around stinking up the place.

Dyte tried to stand up but then a new pain racked across her body. She was unable to move her right arm something she hadn't noticed til just then. Tilting her head to look at it she realized her shoulder was dislocated which was why she wasn't able to move it. "Ah that's gonna be a bitch to put back into place."
Feeling around her chest Dyte could feel bumps and winced where her ribs were fractured and may very well be broken. Sighing in pain Dyte clutched her right arm closer to her body and began to walk away. She took note of the two other people who had been fighting to morpher before she had come and she was somewhat disgusted when one of them (Jin) was thrown up back into the world of the living.

Shivering at the idea of even being inside the thing Dyte was stopped by some officers. Grumbling under her breathe the next few hours were a blue to her. They made her consent to a Silence Agreement, not that it bothered her really since she had no intention of letting everyone know how she got her injuries. When she was finally released she couldn't find Daniel or his friends but she didn't really care. For now she just wanted to rest even though she didn't get much action she was tired.



Pulse District
Around Ten in the morning


Even three days after all that had happened that night Dyte still felt like hell when she woke up. Due to her ribs, not only was she stuck having to sleep on her left side her but thanks to the concussion she got Dyte wasn't able to do the normal activities she would. Getting out of bed she stretched, or at least tried to, wincing in pain before walking over to the shower. She chose to stay at her old place at an apartment building instead of with her brother. The apartment was closer to the fight than his own housing was. Taking a shower and eating a simple breakfast Dyte left the place in search of something to do. Maybe I'll meet someone interesting.

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Character Portrait: Katia Pasternak Character Portrait: Khalid Zaman
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Standing Sycamore Apartments | Nile Delta
10 AM





The scene still replayed behind Katia's eyelids every time they closed. It wasn't a memory easily forgotten, despite her attempts to white wash it with a liberal application of alcohol. Even now, in her half-awake dreams the monster was there. An amorphous form created from flesh, muscle, bone, and teeth; shifting and morphing into even more grotesque structures with every moment that passed. Katia jolted wide awake as the memory of the things roar hit her like a shotgun blast to the chest. She found herself leaning forward in her dining room chair having broken out in a cold sweat and panting heavily. The chair's arm creaked in response to the taloned hand digging deep into the fake wood. Predatory eyes searched her kitchen as her survival instincts began to die down. There was nothing with her in the three-room apartment she called home, nothing but the empty bottles of various liquors littering her dining table and the sound of an excited Arabic disc jockey rambling on the radio. Once she realized that, she blinked and her eyes returned their normal shade of brown, and talons melted away back into ordinary fingers.

A sigh escaped her lips as she settled back into the chair, wincing as her right arm brushed up against it's edge. She'd fractured her right elbow when the monster batted her away with one of it's arm and tossed her down the street like a rag doll. The arm was now bound tightly against her body in a sling, and a stubborn ache plagued her with every breath. However, all of the other flesh wounds she had sustained were all but gone, thanking to her Morpher's magic. Skin could be restitched and knitted back together, fractured or broken bones were not so easily dismissed, unfortunately. Neither was a hang-over at that. She could sober up in an instant, but once it reached her head it was all she could do but suffer through it. She reached out with her sole good arm and plucked a wrinkled pack of cigarettes from the table. She then Juggled between placing one into her mouth and fishing a lighter out of her pocket to try and light it. Eventually she accomplished her goals and took a drag on a much needed cigarette.

Once more, she found her thoughts broaching a topic that'd become all too familiar of late. It always began the same, asking herself why had the monster attacked her first. She had not fought the monster alone of course, but it was her it had found first. The way it shattered the entrance to the Nightjar, ate the patrons and then turned it's eyes on her. What happened next was a blur of action and reaction. She'd fought the beast, along with a few others, before the Raptora intervene. She was not so proud or arrogant as to admit without their timely intervention that she most certainly would've died.

Katia was down an arm, and the way it took the Raptora's attack... She stood no chance. And the way it dissolved in front of her eyes, it's skin and muscle flaking off until nothing remained. She sharply remembered vomiting before the Raptora began to question her and sworn into a silence agreement. It wasn't a hard thing to do, Katia didn't think she'd ever want to talk about what she saw. She reached over and grabbed the nearest bottle she could, and juggled her cigarette and the bottle before turning it up in her lips. All for naught, as it turned out the bottle was dry.

Slamming the bottle down, she leaned back into her chair and took a long drag on her cigarette. Her head still throbbed, her arm still hurt, and she smelled of smoke and whiskey. She was a pathetic sight, and she knew this. Her father didn't need to be there for her to hear him yelling at her, telling her to get her shit together. It took only a moment of that before she dragged herself out of the chair. The room began to spin and her legs wobbled beneath, but she still fought her way through the small apartment and into the bathroom, where she took a cold shower. It helped...

A little. She made it a point not to look at the bloody tatters that she'd come home in that night, her ripped shoes thrown in the waste basket nearby. Next she found a clean pair of clothes and set about collecting her things to head into the city. She lit another one up before she stuck a pack of cigarettes and a lighter into her back pocket. On her way out the door, she snatched a pair of cheap sunglasses, immediately finding use in the face of the unforgiving Egyptian sun. Katia left the apartment complex heading toward the tram, her destination: The Old Markets. Maybe there, among folk recipes and herbal healing she could find something to kill the pain that didn't require a prescription.





The Old Market
10:30 AM


Silence agreements, perhaps, were all well and good, but there were simply some things that could not be contained, and it would seem that the rumors and supposed eyewitness accounts of the events three days ago were some of those very things. Khalid had bothered to believe very little of it, sticking to what he saw as the fact that all the accounts had in common—some kind of twisted Morpher abomination had attacked, and it had done things that even high-level Morphers were not documented to be able to do. He had accepted this information—and the destroyed parts of Pulse—with his usual equanimity. To be sure, this was partially due to the fact that the worst effect it had on himself or anyone he knew was an interruption in the supply lines of certain dubiously-legal substances, but an argument could be made that even if the thing had bitten his arm off personally, he would have chosen to take it on the nose and continue as always.

It was certainly, he had to think, a preferable alternative to the general atmosphere of fear that subtly pervaded the air now. He could sense it—blood pressure seemed to be just a notch higher in basically anyone he encountered, and heartbeats would spike at the smallest of unexpected noises now. All the hushed whispering about it was not helping—things would have been better managed with a full, straightforward account of what had happened, but perhaps one was yet forthcoming. Or perhaps there already was one, and it was being ignored, fueled by the general consensus that any government, however just otherwise, would say those things that were most to its own benefit.

Fortunately, Khalid did not need to know what happened exactly, and if he was still curious, well, that could be acknowledged and then laid aside, as the whimsy of a mind that liked to learn and understand. For the moment, however, it was not what mattered. The Market District was still bustling, but not as lively and musical as he generally found it, and this, he thought was a problem in need of remedy. So he was doing his part, standing by a well and drawing the water from within it using his magic, separating out the impurities until a large, perfect sphere of transparent fluid was all that remained.

It was easiest to use kinetic gestures to aid in the manipulation of water, though they were not strictly necessary. Khalid used them because they were more entertaining, and his aim was in fact to do so. It didn’t take long for anything new and interesting to draw attention in the Market area—few here were ever in much of a hurry to be elsewhere, after all, and so when an expansive gesture flattened the sphere into a thick ribbon and another split it several times, he drew a few eyes here and there. It was perhaps not until he started dancing with them, however, that the aim of the enterprise became immediately evident. The coils of water wound sinuously through the air, at times coming perilously close to striking passerby, but always directed away at the last second by the mage, who seemed to push and pull them with his hands and feet, whirling in the practiced, controlled motions of a dervish dancer and something else, something looser and freer. The ribbons molded and split, weaving around one another and himself in intricate patterns.

It wasn’t too long until someone added a drumbeat for him, and Khalid’s mouth turned up into a half-smile, the bands of metal around his wrists and ankles jangling in time with his movements. Several more people joined the dancing—a little girl with a wreath of flowers haphazardly sitting in her hair, an old man with skin as brown and crinkled as aged, cracking leather—some things were universal.

The sun was doing little else than wreck havoc on her head in concert with her two-day hangover. Still, Katia did not allow it to show, choosing instead to keep her sunglasses over her eyes to hide the bags, and her shoulders squared and back straightened. She'd been through much worse, a little sun wasn't about to kill her now. If only she could just find an ancient remedy to ease her ailments, maybe her week could start looking up. However, it wasn't medicine that caught her attention, but a street show of some sort. It was a length of water that she first noticed, drawing dangerously close to striking her before being diverted safely away. It's owner, an athletic young Eygptian man, danced with a number of other water coils, as well as few other individuals. Curiosity took over, and Katia watched the show, her one good hand hooked behind her and pressed up against the small of her back.

The display ended when Khalid drew all the coils of water together back into a sphere, then flicked the fingers of both hands simultaneously, bursting the ball into a very fine mist, which shimmered under the light of the morning sun as it fell, throwing tiny prismatic rainbows this way and that whilst simultaneously cooling off the onlookers. It wasn’t so dense as to get anyone especially drenched, however, and most took it with laughter—really, one did not stand in the proximity of such a display without being willing to bear the obvious potential consequences.

Soon after, the crowd dispersed, and Khalid dusted off his hands, pulling the residual moisture back out of the air and funneling it back down into the well. Waste not, want not. Raking his fingers through his head of snowy hair, he glanced up at the sky, calculating the approximate time from the position of the sun. Almost time to open the shop. Not that he had an especially regular point in the day at which he did that. It tended to operate (or not) with his whim, and predictability was not the same as dependability, however often they were conflated.

From the sky, his eyes fell, landing perhaps by coincidence on a woman he had never seen before. She did not have the look of a local about her, but neither was she obviously a tourist, gaping at the colorful sights and basking in the panoply of scent and sound that was the Old Market. Most likely an import, then—such people were not precisely rare in a city as cosmopolitan as New Cairo. She had the look of someone who had experienced a great deal of life, and perhaps more of death, lending an otherwise fair face a maturity that matched her visual age quite well. He was somewhat surprised to note that one of her arms was in a sling—he would have guessed from her appearance that she was not at all clumsy. Perhaps it was not an accidental sort of injury.

Well, no harm in asking. “If you’ll pardon me for saying so, madam, it would appear that you’re experiencing some degree of discomfort.” Or pain, it was hard to say for sure, but her posture was not that of someone in complete harmony with their body at the moment, that was for certain. He tried first to use English, unsure if she spoke Arabic. There were several other options at his disposal, but he’d found that the majority of Caucasian people in New Cairo spoke at least some of this language. “Might you be in need of something medicinal?” He did not desire to assume—he had met some people that were completely against the introduction of non-food substances into their bodies. He flirted with that line of thinking himself, on occasion. Khalid realized that, apropos of nothing, the statement might be seen as excessively intrusive, and sought to blunt any such impression with the matching one of kindness, and so he smiled slightly, inclining his head in a faintly-deferential manner.

Discomfort. "Something like that," Katia admitted, rolling the shoulder of her good arm. Her arm ached with every beat of her heart, and her head throbbed along with the sour melody. The man who spoke was of the city, or of a city like it from his accent. Now that he stood without moving or dancing, Katia noted that the man was tall, at least comparably, but more than that she noticed his odd hair coloration. He wasn't albino, his skin was still a dusty color and his eyes birght, so it was either bleached or some sort of after affect from the usage of magic. Though he was no Morph like she was, "Hemomancer," She not so much asked as stated, she could tell from his display. No other mage could make water dance like that.

Shrugging with her one shoulder, she stood straight as she nodded in the affirmative. Taking the cigarette from her lips, she killed the flame by pressing it against her finger which for the moment took on a chitinous skin. Placing the butt behind her ear, she spoke. "If you have it. For the arm, as well as the head," she added with a tap to her temple. She then pushed her sunglasses back to the bridge of her nose as she looked at the man before turning back down the the arm in the sling. "That obvious?"

Khalid’s smile remained in place even as she proclaimed his nature. It was, after all, quite true, and something that he was not ashamed of. If others feared it, well… he supposed that was because they either did not understand it, or understood it well enough, but knew nothing of him. What she was became evident enough when she put her cigarette out on her finger. Khalid had never seen the appeal, but there was a saying… ah, yes. Everyone had to die of something. It might as well be something they wanted to do, as long as they understood the risks.

“Perhaps a little,” he replied, his smile morphing to flash white teeth for just a moment before it receded. “Please, follow me. But first:” he offered the hand she could actually shake with. “My name is Khalid. It would be a bit rude of me to lead you about by the nose without introducing myself first, no?” Nevertheless, he kept the whole thing rather short. She was in pain, after all—it seemed needless to prolong that for courtesy’s sake alone.

"Katia," she returned, shaking the hand.

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The Old Market
10:45 a.m.



Khalid’s room at the back of Alelwets Alabeyd, the tea shop, was much as he’d left it the day before, and he nodded at the owner again before leading his unwitting customer--Katia, she had said-- to what amounted to a small apothecary stand, only with less standing and more comfortable seating available. “Feel free to make yourself comfortable.” There were a variety of cushions and the like on the floor, or a singular chair if she was for whatever reason disinclined to use those. Khalid, meanwhile, perused his own collection.

Moving a few tiny bottles to the middle of the table, he also collected a bundle of herbs that were currently hanging from the ceiling to dry, and several mixing vessels, including a very old-fashioned mortar and pestle, and then paused to scrutinize her for a moment. The eyes… the headache was probably a hangover. He added one more bottle to the collection, and set about uncorking all of them. Since he made his medicine from scratch, he knew what each of them did, and which components were best mixed together for a certain result, though the downside was that it did take some time to prepare them. Not so much a downside for him, however. He usually occupied the working time by speaking with whomever was in—as he attempted now.

“You dress rather warmly, for the season,” he observed neutrally. “Perhaps you are originally from someplace colder?”

Katia pushed her sunglasses up to the top of her head and found herself a cushion, sitting atop of it with her legs crossed and the one hand that wasn't in a sling patiently perched on her knee. The way Khalid went and gathered his tools and reagents, she figured he was the type of old world vendor who plied his trade live. Fair enough, as long as the roots and leaves did what she needed them to, she could watch and wait. Fortunately, he did not seem to be the kind of man who liked to work in silence, so at least there'd be no awkward silences. "I do," She answered plainly first, and then began to elaborate. "The Ukraine," she explained, "It has warm summers, but nothing like here. There are only a few weeks out of the year where you can get away with wearing shorts."

Even then, she'd been conditioned to thick clothing. However, jeans and a short sleeved shirt were not combat fatigues, and for that she could be thankful. She'd spent many a day trudging through the middle eastern heat in full combat gear, and what she wore now was a like a cotton dress in comparison. She wasn't going to voice these opinions, however, for he had not asked. "And you, you're from here, yes? You have that look about you," She replied. From the skin tone, to the odd hair, even to the control of his magic and his herbs, Khalid had the City of Spells written all over his face.

In the natural flow of his motion, Khalid touched his index finger to the side of his nose, indicating the veracity of her guess. “In more than one sense,” he admitted easily. “I was born within the confines of the city, on ground believed to have been used by ancient alchemists for the transmutation of a philosopher’s stone.” A slight gust of air huffed out of his nose, a gently-disparaging snort, if anything. “I suppose you could say my family is quite traditional, but they are as much a part of the city as its buildings, after so long living in it.”

At this point, several types of powder, a sprinkle of ground herb, and a dash of liquid from one of the bottles went into his pestle and mortar, and the faint grinding sound occupied the air for a time. “I’ve not met many people from the Ukraine,” he ventured. Perhaps none, but he was fairly sure the eastern European man with the recurring arthritis in his knuckles was one, but he had never asked for specifics. “What about New Cairo brought you here?” He did not ask why she needed to leave her homeland—that was information often provided in the answer to the question he’d asked, but not always. It was a way of allowing the conversation to take on whatever depth and specificity she liked, without demanding anything in particular.

"Hard to find a single mage in a city full of them," She offered. "I was a soldier before, I saw a lot of fighting and of war, and I got tired of it all. When I was given my leave, I took flight." There was a lot more to the story than that, but that was one of those stories she told a rare few, if even anyone at all. Still, even if she was ashamed of the path that led her there, it didn't show in her body language. Even sitting on the floor as she was, her back was straightened and her head raised above her shoulders with no slouch. She watched as the man in front of her mixed and ground his herbs, added powders and liquids. She found his craftsmanship intriguing, even despite her persistent headache.

She then chuckled dryly, as something came to mind. "Tired of fighting, but it's not tired of me," She said, tilting her head toward her arm. "Funny how things like that follow you." She said, though couldn't find the humor in it herself.

Khalid dipped his head in acknowledgement. “’The happiness of the drop is to die in the river,’” he replied, and then his mouth ticked upwards. “If you believe in the proverbs, anyway.” He was not inclined to press for more information—this was but a simple conversation, undertaken not for the information to be gained from it, but for the pleasure of having it. With a few more liquids added to the mixture, it became viscous, but entirely drinkable, and he poured it into an empty glass vessel, labeled in spidery, but elegant handwriting: For pain: broken bones, bad hangovers.

Let it never be said that he had no sense of humor. Pressing a stopper into the bottle, he poured what remained into a small cup. “And for another: ‘You already possess the powerful mixture that will make you well—use it.’ Though I should warn you that this one tastes quite foul.” The look in his eye was something mirthful, though not mocking. “But perhaps you are not so unaccustomed, no?” If the headache was indeed a hangover, the principle shouldn’t be too different from taking a small amount of some pungent alcohol, though this was acrid in a different way. Khalid placed another of the small ceramic cups over the top of the bottle containing the majority of the mix, to give an idea of how much to take at once.

"Unfortunately," she said with a dry mirthless laugh. Katia then slipped out a wallet from one of her pockets and opened it before looking back up at Khalid. "How much do I owe you?" She asked, waiting to produce the desired amount of bills.

Khalid waved a hand dismissively. “First visit is free,” he replied mildly. “If you run into anyone in similar need of medicine, however… you might decide to direct them here.” He shrugged; there was no way to hold her to that, of course, but he didn’t much mind. Despite his living conditions—namely, that he lived on a bad end of town in a very small space—he never really found himself in need of much money. He always had enough to eat and keep the roof over his head, and he did not aspire to any more than that in the way of material possession.