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Morgana Ishida

0 · 468 views · located in Atlas

a character in “The Aegis Program”, as played by GrimBones66

Description

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xxxxx|| Legal Name || Royoko Morgana Ishida
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xxxxx|| Alias || Wiccan
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xxxxx|| Pronouns || She/Her
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xxxxx|| Age || Twenty-Three
xxxxx|| Sexuality || Bi-sexualxx
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xxxxx|| Mentor || Kouzloxx
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xxxxx|| Birth-place || Upper-City Atlasxx
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xxxxx|| Hex || #b84425xx
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xxxxx|| Height || 5'2"
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xxxxx|| Build || small, slender, with muscles of a ballerina.
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xxxxx|| Description || looking into the mirror, Morgana has a warm olive complexion, skin easily carrying a soft glow no matter how dead she tries to portray herself at times. Eyes are almond-shaped, colored mocha like the coffee she likes with naturally long lashes and her face painted in a variety of dark-colored makeup that she plays around with daily. The black tresses that reach her mid-back when let loose are kept healthy with a nightly routine, accentuating her face and all her features. Not to mention the various hairstyles that keep up with her makeup, preferring to have it up then all over. What people usually see when they first notice Morgan, other than her frowning face is that she's extremely small to have so much snark, reaching a whopping 5'2 and a half with people joking that she's like a little pit bull. Regularly this height is made up with her boots, reaching heights of 5'3" or 5'4", depending on the shoe.

As for her style, it's a mixture of goth, grunge, boho, traditional Japanese, and her own thing, nothing is simple with her other than her bed attire, consisting only of her panties, occasionally socks too. Morgan gravitates towards the darker colors if you haven't noticed. The black, greys, and browns with red, blue, teal, and purple shades all being exceptions. The hands are adorned with a ring on almost every finger, skipping some here and there, while the wrists always have something hanging around them and so does her neck. Her septum is priced with a simple ring through it while her ears are stretch to 12mm with gauges. On her left hand, she wears a leather fingerless glove to cover up the opal with a purplish hue embedded in the back of it, and with a little of her magic, Morgan can hide her tattoos easily as well as being able to create a half mask covering her mouth and nose from shadows.
Wardrobe || BellyButton/Stomach || Left-Hand (doesn't remember getting it) || Right-Hand || Right-Forearmxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
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xxxxx|| Likes || suargy black coffee and tea, vintage aesthetics, old arcade games, hot baths and showers, lemon pastries, watching documentaries of all types, films especially horror and fantasy and student films, ballroom, ballet, and hiphop dancing, binging manga/anime when she has the time, muscle cars and car racing, making her own natural products with a touch of magic, juice boxes and strawberry milk from a bottle, physical touch and warmth, cooking, cooking cultural foods and for others, reading and learning about the occult and other magical writings, H.P Lovecraft and gothic literature, small parties and gatherings, animals with all her heart, keeping her house stocked with snacks, skinny dipping, taking chances, delving into her own magic, mixed martial arts, good vodka or tequila, autumn and spring, late-night drives and swims, doing her makeup, fishnets, hot sauce in almost all her food, deep conversations, secretly; infectious smiles, bright eyes and goofy laughs, singing when shes alone and karaoke with someone close, meditating and her time to herself, the quiet and calm of being underwater, the obscured and weird
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xxxxx|| Dislikes || A-holes and idiots at said parties or in general; they sometimes ruin it for her, white chocolate; or any overly sweet desserts really unless it's either really tart or a nice balance of both sweet and tart, being put in the spot-light, front and center, dogmatist and bigots, the color orange; but she loves Halloween of course, getting involved in politics and such even when she has a lot to say about it, being trapped; makes her think of escape only even if she has to hurt people, being disrespected/ignore/talked over; usually at that point, the first or second time it happens is the last, she'll become quiet after and not give that person a second thought., her emotions at moments, hearing the whispers, having weird or off dreams, hardcore drugs,
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xxxxx|| Quirks || shakes her leg softly to fall asleep, aggressively when she's nervous or mad, and quick when she's thinking, gives people the unamused death stare when you annoy her or say something ignorant, lays submerged in her tub because the silence is calming, curses or talks to someone in japanese or persian if shes freaking out, lost in thought, or caught by surprise, collects any flowers/leaves when she goes out to press later on, begins to stutter when nervous or flustered enough, spaces off when lost in thought.
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xxxxx|| Fears || Giving everything for nothing in the end, emotional outburts, sleeping in complete darkness.
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xxxxxBeing described by most people as a private, quick-witted, and cultured individual, those few who have known her intimately and outside of work tend to agree, but not without adding that she can also be intimidating, kind of an asshole at times, but tender at heart and a bit obscured as well. All together they aren’t far off, Morgana will often get lost in her own world when she’s alone, tinkering with her magic, pondering, reading, dancing or doing just about anything else that would occupy her mind and time alone. Her tongue is mostly slick with sarcasm but it serves as a form of comedic relief along with being a defense mechanism against those who she’d feel would stir up her emotions whether it’d be good or bad. While being someone whose strong emotions can greatly influence her magic, Morgan has had to grow a thick skin or at least appeared to since specific things don't seem to bounce off her rather than feeling and keeping it all in private before exploding on herself. A bad habit of hers that she's been trying to work on.
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xxxxx|| Magic || the magic that Morgan produces is still something she's working to understand, being able to reshape the existing power around and in herself by using specific hand signs, conduits such as her staff, or when she becomes more adept in the power she'd be able to use her words/spells to cast her magic. As for now, Morgan is limited to her combative magic with hand signs and simple illusions like the ones she uses to alter her appearance. Curiosity has made her tinker with her words but every time she has, it'd backfire on her and she'd get a pile of flowers or make it snow in the dead of summer. Something ridiculous of that nature as it requires great concentration and focus for her words to produce the right effects. The bigger the effects you try to achieve the more energy, life force, and concentration it'll take from you at once. And you can't forget the consequences that come along with magic.
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xxxxx|| Blood-Magic || everyone who is born with the ability of magic has an affinity to a certain element or area of magic out of the common ground and specifically for Morgana she's more in tune with blood and shadow magic. Her blood magic in particular is one of the harder magics to control just because of how finicky and precise you have to be just to make sure you don't decease yourself or whoever/whatever you took that blood from. What Morgan does is that combined with her hand-signs she'd spill some of her own blood to use in a combative way. She can harden her own blood to create a shield of sorts, use a quarter size of her blood as a bullet, or even manifest a weapon from it, though, the more powerful her moves are the more she has to use her hand-signs and concentrate leaving seconds of opening which is enough for some.
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xxxxx|| Shadow-Walk || with this ability Morgana can manipulate the shadows around mostly using them to travel from one place to another in a matter of seconds. It's almost as if she's looking through a cloudy two-way mirror after she steps into one, picking and choosing where she wants to reappear. The only problem with this is that you wouldn't want to stay in that strange dark place she goes to in between when she jumps from shadow to shadow. Not even her mentor fully knows the extent of shadow magic let alone having much knowledge of the place in between here and the shadows. Morgana wouldn't stand in it for too long because on a few occasions she has heard talking from within the shadows, a whisper almost talking in tongues or too fast for her, she's never stayed long enough to try and make it out.
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xxxxx|| Strengths || trained gymnast; taken for many years alongside her love for martial arts, it's trained her agility, core strength, flexibility, balance and endurance. multilingual, medicinal healing (potion maker); combine a tiny fraction of her magic with traditional medicinal practices and you almost got yourself a miracle worker. can fight both hand to hand and ranged combat with her staff.
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xxxxx|| Weaknesses || an ankle that fractured and has never been the same since healed, shadow walking too long; shadow walking in-between spaces often take her to a foreign place in between this world and terrifying one you wouldn't want to be stuck in. the staff; is an extension of herself in a way. it hides within her and calling it out to assist as a strong conduit for her magic costs her to spill her own blood first. it is also strenuous on her body, making her tired afterward. emotions; they can hinder her when it comes to her magic in combat, she has to be careful about putting herself in certain situations where she'd explode with rage or any emotions of hurt or despair because then that is an opening for the darkness to take over.
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As far as her memories carry her, Morgana remembers growing up in the upper east side as an only child with many fortunes like attending private schools her whole life and being escorted wherever she went by people her father hired. The parents were social elites, her father owns the company of a very successful car brand while her mother inherited her wealth and taught as a professional gymnast. With parents who are always so busy and having issues in their own rocky marriage, Morgan was often left to her devices and to the care of her bodyguards or nannies. Her father would take her out on little dinner or lunch dates in the lower city where he grew up, spending any quality time he could free up from his work with his daughter. He taught her kindness, never to be selfish, and what being humble and treating people with respect really meant. Her mother on the other hand passed down her temper, gymnastic prowess, and weird way of showing her affection through being a caustic woman.

Everything finally boiled over in her early teens, her father had left one night and she was left with her mother where they clashed almost on a daily basis. For a growing teen, this situation was the last thing she needed. Morgana spiraled at one point and it lasted until the end of high school, which is when her abilities finally pushed through. Doing her best to hide it, her mother finally found out when the witch turned twenty then shortly after went missing. In her mind, no one wanted anything to do with her, not even her parents. Somehow the house her parents owned was still being paid for and so were her classes but she didn’t know where the money was coming from. If her father left her and so did her mother, who was maintaining the family house? In her gut, she knew it was her father but then why did he leave her if he cared so much? Putting questions like these to the back of her mind for some time Morgana grew lonely and bored in a big house all by herself and ended up renting an apartment in the lower city when she started to student teach. She met a vigilante called Sabbath and he introduced her to the hero's life but after a messy breakup with said vigilante a year after, Aegis found her at her most vulnerable and recruited her. The rest has been history, besides the fact she still shares an apartment with her ex.

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cs: phosphene - fc: Lyrica Okano - hex code: b84425

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So begins...

Morgana Ishida's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Morgana Ishida Character Portrait: Lucille Simon Character Portrait: Ada Forrest Character Portrait: Mikey Santo Character Portrait: Clarence Lawless Character Portrait: Leo Lambert
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• Lucille Simon • Raphael •
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~Two Hours Before The Party~

Luci was positively beside herself. For the first few hours, all she could do was pace. But now, with her legs tired, she sat on the edge of her bed, wishing she could bite her perfectly manicured nails. She couldn’t, no, she musn’t. They were for the party. Occasionally, her eyes would dart to her bathroom door; behind it hung the dress she was to wear tonight. Xavier insisted on taking care of it since Luci was essentially working for him this evening. And after one long fitting session, she was given a dress, the likes of which she had never seen before. She couldn’t handle it! The man had designed a dress without consulting her at all, but, being who she is, Luci couldn’t say no when he insisted on handling all of it. That was just the kind of man Xavier was.

A knock at her door sent Luci flying. Well, metaphorically. She scrambled across her apartment until she reached the entrance. After a deep breath and flattening out the ruffles in the robe she had on, she opened the door. What she was greeted with was her resident titan of a friend, one arm propped on the door frame rather dramatically. “Hey pretty lady,” Leo greeted the blonde, a usual phrase that always caused Luci’s cheeks to heat up. Before Luci could scold them for teasing her at a time like this, they continued, “Heard there was some kind of an emergency. Figured you could use a hero,” The playful and obviously exaggerated deepness of their voice pulled a scoff from Luci.

“Shut up!” Luci snapped back. The usually composed and coordinated woman was clearly ruffled, and she even reached forward, grabbing Leo’s wrist to pull them into her apartment. After shutting the door behind her and ignoring the pleased laugh from Leo, Luci turned to look their friend up and down again. They were dressed to the absolute nines, with a gorgeous auburn and maroon suit. “Wow, you look… Amazing,” She tossed out that compliment, clearly dazzled by the quality of the outfit.

“Thanks babes,” Leo replied as they walked further into Luci’s apartment. It was clear they were familiar with the layout. “I better look nice. The fitting took almost six fuckin’ hours.”

Luci gawked at Leo as she followed behind them. “Six hours? What in the world…”

“I know right?!” Leo replied quickly, the excitement evident in their tone. “But hey, it totally paid off. Look!” They turned to the side before twisting their upper torso, a move that flexed the majority of the lower half of their body. “These slacks make my ass look great! Look!” They commanded again.

Whatever blush Luci had from her garish friend’s earlier comments was reinforced as she turned a deep shade of crimson. Of course, with Leo gesturing and all, she couldn’t help but glance down before swiftly looking away. “I didn’t invite you here for you to show me your butt!” Her hands clenched at her sides, a habitual action that she performed when embarrassed.

Leo just laughed and stopped their flexing to face Luci completely. “Alright alright, you can look now. So what’s this emergency all about?”

Finally, with the correct topic at hand, Luci could do her best to vent her frustrations and anxiety. But, despite the fact that it took several minutes for Leo to get there, she hadn’t figured out exactly how to explain why she was freaking out so much. She hatched a plan as fast as she could. Just as she had done moments before, Luci grabbed Leo’s wrist and pulled them to her bedroom. “Sit on the bed. Keep your eyes shut until I tell you to open them,” Luci’s orders were soft, with her nerves causing her voice to shake.

With a smirk, Leo did as they were told. “Yes ma’am, I’ll do whatever you command-”

“Leo!” She barked, and the giggle from their now blinded friend only made her more furious. Luci disappeared into her bathroom, nudging the door mostly shut behind her. From the deep-rooted anxiety, Luci had practiced putting on the complex dress several times by this point, only to grow too flustered at the thought of wearing it out and taking it off again. With it now on securely, she inched her way out of the bathroom until she was standing directly in front of Leo.

All that they heard was the soft sound of rustling fabric and… clinking noises? The urge to open their eyes was strong, but Leo wouldn’t betray Luci’s trust like that. The blonde took one deep breath, counting the seconds as she felt her chest fill, and then let out a staid exhale. “Alright, you can open your eyes…”

Once their eyes were open, it took less than two seconds for Leo’s jaw to grow slack. If they thought their suit was nice, Luci’s dress was positively opulent. Even in the dim light of the room, the thousands of crystals that covered the dress sparkled and shined, but not in any way that was remotely blinding. It appeared as if the entire dress was made from said crystals, but with so many of them so close together, it instead looked as if she was draped in liquid sparkles. It fell all the way to the floor, where it collected only a touch at Luci’s feet, implying it was meant to be worn with heels. The dress was form fitting and solid all the way up to her chest, where it was promptly cut off entirely, leaving her sternum and the curve of her bust exposed, along with her shoulders and arms. Their piercing gaze traced every curve and inch of Luci, something that caused Luci’s blush to spread to her neck. “Oh my god…” They could finally mumble. They hadn’t even blinked yet, they were so entranced.

Luci was rooted to her spot, practically shaking due to how tense she was. She couldn’t wear something like this. “I… I don’t know what to do! I can’t wear this, I simply can’t-

“Whoa whoa whoa, what are you on about? Its well beyond fucking gorgeous!” Leo complimented with such intensity, Luci couldn’t help but purse her lips.

“I feel… I feel like a damn disco ball!” Luci groaned, both of her hands flying to her face.

“Lulu, if you’re a disco ball, you are the hottest damn disco ball I have ever seen,” Leo replied and a chuckle followed. They still hadn’t blinked. “Come on, give me a little spin!”

Luci remained still as a statue. “I…” Her voice wavered. Her heart was hammering in her chest. “I-I can’t…”

Leo’s face expressed their confusion as their eyebrows pinched together. “Why not?”

“That’s… That’s the worst part about this dress. Look..” With the conclusion of her sentence, Luci took a sheepish step forward.

The dress pooled between her legs like liquid, away from one that had just shifted, to reveal a dangerously long slit in the side of the garment that stopped only a few inches below her waist. It was clear that, with every step, almost the entirety of Luci’s legs would be exposed up to the top of her thigh. Leo’s hand flew to their mouth. “Oh. My. God.” Leo repeated themselves. “Luci… People will see your legs… I need to call the police-” The sarcasm in their tone only added to the blonde’s vexation.

“Stop teasing! I don’t know what to do!” There was a desperation in her tone; she truly had no idea how to deal with this. “I can’t wear this! I simply can’t!” Luci also repeated herself, but this time, that soft Yorkshire accent bled through which caused an uproarious laughter to explode out of Leo.

“I’m going to need you to take some deep breaths because I can’t handle you when you sound like you just stepped off the Mayflower-” Leo huffed and puffed between breaths, their intense laugh causing themselves to wheeze.

Luci’s irritation turned to rage, and she grabbed one of the pillows that sat next to the hero. “Stop laughing! You..!” She went to thwack Leo over the head with it, but they were too fast for her, and caught it in their hands. This only created another wave of laughter from them.

“Easy, I just got my hair done! Ok, ok, ok, give me a second, Christ I can’t breathe-” Leo did their best to stop, but it was quite difficult. With Luci so flustered, she was as red as a tomato, and it made for a comical sight. But after some more deep breaths, Leo composed themselves. “Ok, alright. I’m sorry Luci but I don’t understand what the problem is. The dress is gorgeous.”

How could she possibly explain this to Leo? Someone whose job it was to wear exuberant and sumptuous clothing, someone who’s worn garments that were far more revealing than hers. “I.. I can’t wear something as fancy as this. And so revealing… Everyone will be looking at me,” She fretted. As she spoke, she pressed her palms to her warm cheeks in an attempt to cool them, but not really succeeding because all of her body felt so hot.

“Luci, you’re going to be on stage. Everyone will be watching you anyway, why not look killer while doing it?” Leo offered. They leaned back on their palms, mostly so they could get a better look at the blonde. It was hard for their gaze to settle on one place; the dress’ design prompted them to keep exploring rather than sitting still.

Luci frowned. She was already nervous enough about needing to perform on stage. Live music really wasn’t her thing, but considering the fact that Xavier all but begged her to do it, she had to agree. His points were valid; with her voice, she could ensure the party goers would be calm and happy all night, and perhaps a bit more open to business dealings as well. “I.. I don’t know. I don’t think I look good and-... a-and what if my mother sees me wearing this…” Her eyes drifted away from Leo as her mind wandered. She purposefully avoided telling her mother about Xavier’s offer to give her a dress, specifically because Ruth would want to either pry or influence his design. But, at this point, she wondered if she had perhaps chosen incorrectly. If her mother had any hand in the design, the garment would be much more modest…

“Who cares what the wicked witch thinks?” Leo’s rhetorical question would remain unanswered, mostly because Leo already knew how Luci would reply. “Didn’t you say she probably wasn’t going to go anyways?”

Luci released another tense sigh before continuing, “She said she wasn’t feeling very well so she might not go, but she’s used that excuse to make a fancy late entrance before…” Her voice dropped to a grumble as the sentence progressed.

Leo blinked a few times before narrowing their eyes. “She what now? I swear to the gods, rich people-” They shook their head and rolled their eyes. Before Luci could even say anything more, Leo stood. Now on their feet, they towered over Luci, and firm but gentle hands landed on her shoulders. “Lulu, you look radiant. In fact, the word doesn’t even cover how stunning you are in that dress,” Leo laid the praise on thick, and although it did embarrass Luci, it also filled her chest with warmth. “Everyone will think you are gorgeous. And you’re going to wow them with that equally gorgeous voice of yours. Everything is going to go great! I promise.” Everything about Leo was just so kind and warm, Luci couldn’t help but relax, even if it was just a little bit.

“I… I did already commit to this, I can’t back out now,” She relented with a sigh, but her mind was still wracked with anxiety. All she could think about are all the eyes, everyone staring at her. And she had no clue who was even going to attend the party! She knew Mikey and Leo would be there, but so would Bella… And Morgana’s family had influence, surely she would be there too… The thought of her current crush seeing her in this dress made her stomach fill with butterflies. “Ughhh…” She groaned and covered her eyes. Without even thinking about it, her wings extended and curled around her, as if trying to hide herself away. Then, she remembered something. The main reason why she needed Leo here, other than the emotional support of course. “Oh, there’s one more thing. Xavier also gave me some… accessories to go with the dress.” Luci walked carefully in the gown, making sure not to trip, and grabbed a medium sized box. Upon opening it, she began to place all of the objects on her bed. First, a masquerade style mask designed with the same crystals that lined her dress, a pair of matching stilettos, and then a satin pouch about the size of Leo’s fist.

“You’ll even be wearing a mask! That’ll help with the nervousness, I’m sure.” Leo continued to do their best to comfort their friend, but most of it fell on deaf ears. “Honestly, I’m surprised Xavier even offered the mask. He’s hiding your beauty!”

“Oh, stop with the compliments. I’ve had enough of you already,” Luci scolded her friend, although it was gentle. “I think it's because Xavier asked me to perform as Raphael, not as Lucille Simon. So… The mask fits, I suppose.” She was thankful that at least some of her cheeks would be covered. But the mask wouldn’t be able to do much for the lower half of her face and neck, which she was sure would turn just as crimson as her cheeks. “The mask isn’t what matters. I need your help with these.” Luci picked up the pouch, her movements as delicate as her fingers, and pulled open the draw strings. Then, she poured only a small fraction of the contents into her palm, and Leo’s eyes widened for perhaps the tenth time in the past few minutes. In her hand sat even more crystals, all a teardrop shape, with little clips on the end. “I’m assuming he wants me to put these on my wings, and I can’t do that myself...” It was clear what Luci was requesting, but her tone was just as sheepish as it always was.

Leo nodded, perhaps a bit too excitedly knowing they would be able to help, as they got to their feet. “I get what you mean! I just need to clip them to your wings, right?” They plucked one of the crystals from Luci’s hand and walked behind her. From there, they could see how the back of the dress worked, and they were utterly perplexed by the witchcraft at play keeping the garment secure. The entirety of Luci’s back was exposed, obviously due to her wings, with the covering only starting at the bottom of the small of her back.

The hesitation on Leo’s part only reinforced Luci’s embarrassment. She could feel the waves of heat in her face. “Eyes up here, Leo!”

“Sorry, sorry! You just look… Really really nice,” Leo shook their head, as if to break themselves from a haze, before returning to the task at hand. They took their free hand and pressed it to Luci’s wing, an action that made the short woman tense, but they were just searching for a nice long feather. After finding a suitable one, they clipped the crystal to the top of it, hoping that the “christmas tree” method of hanging them would work. And so far, it was going well, it looked secure. Leo even batted at it once to see if it would slip off, and it held fast. “Perfect! Alright, I know what I gotta do.”

Meanwhile, Luci had to fight to sit still. She wasn’t used to people poking around in her wings, so it was an odd feeling. It almost tickled, but mostly it just made her shiver. “Ok. I’ve got my hair mostly done, but I still need to do my make-up. Can we relocate in front of a mirror?” Luci glanced back at Leo as she asked, and an exuberant thumbs up from the taller hero was all the answer she needed. She shambled over to a vanity she had in her room, and she took care to tuck her dress under her as she sat on the stool. “Alright, attach away. We don’t have much time left.”

Luci really thought she could do it. At first, it wasn’t too bad. Leo started closer to the tips of her wings, where she was much less sensitive. But her nerves coupled with the tingling on her skin from Leo’s touch was making her hand shake. She was growing more and more frustrated by the second. They didn’t have time for this! She had to keep trying. She managed to get a layer of foundation, but now it came time to add the highlights, and she was struggling. And these were supposed to be the easy parts! How in the world would she do her eyeliner like this? “Fuck, I can’t do this!” She exclaimed suddenly, and it made Leo jump. Mostly because Luci so rarely cursed, they knew something was horribly wrong. But before they could even ask, Luci was explaining, “I-I can’t do my makeup, my hands keep shaking… Can you do it for me Leo? I know I’m asking so much of you..”

Leo walked around Luci so they could talk to her face to face. “Lulu, you’re not asking me for that much, and I would love to. Problem is… I am dreadful with makeup. You do not want me doing it. It would come out better if you did it during an earthquake.” As much as Leo possessed skill in many areas, makeup was not one of them. They had people who would do it for them for that reason.

The stress was starting to get to Luci; she was beginning to feel sick to her stomach. The tightness in her chest shifted up her throat, and a quiet sniff caught Leo’s attention. “I don't know what to do…” Her voice dropped to a whisper as she fought the urge to cry. It was all just so overwhelming.

“Oh, please don’t cry! We’ll figure this out, I swear. Let me just… Hmm… Oh! Let me make a call.” Leo dug into their pocket to pull out their phone. In seconds, they had a number dialed. They didn’t put it on speaker, but considering there were no other sounds in the room, Luci could hear the ringer going off. She wasn’t sure who her friend was calling, but she couldn’t help but grow tense as she waited. But eventually the recipient picked up. Leo’s chipper voice rang out first, “Hey cutie!”

A semi-familiar voice replied. “Hey Leo! I was just grabbing my suit from the cleaners, what’s up?”

“I need a favor. But first, I have a question.”

“Hit me!”

“Do you know how to do makeup?” Leo asked, and Luci’s brows furrowed. She realized who it was. That was Harold, Leo’s personal assistant. Why would they call him? Surely he doesn’t know how to-

“Of course I do! What kind of question is that?” Harold’s reply clearly stunned Luci, and she blinked a few times in surprise. “Do you need me to do your makeup for the party?”

“Not me. I need you to do Luci’s. She’s having trouble because she’s so nervous about performing.”

“Oh, sure! Luci… She’s Raphael right? The pretty blonde one?” Harold’s compliment made Luci blush.

“Yeah, I’ll send you the address! She’s not too far from my place,” Leo pulled the device away from their face to type in her address.

There was a pause, one that Luci assumed was Harold reading the address and punching it into a GPS. “That’s not far at all. I’ll be there in 10!”

“Thanks, you’re the best. I owe you one.”

Harold laughed. “I’ll add it to the list.”

With that, the call ended, and Leo returned their attention to Luci. “You get all that?” Leo asked, a pleased smile on their face. Luci could only nod. It was all so much, she was practically too stunned to speak. “Alright, I’m going to keep attaching these things, just sit tight and focus on keeping calm.”

The minutes that ticked by felt like hours. In that time, Luci had to come to grips with the fact that the second person to see her wear this dress would be Harold, and she worried over what his reaction would be. What if he thought it was too much and made fun of her? She chewed on her bottom lip as she watched the clock, twitching occasionally as Leo touched her wings. When her doorbell finally buzzed, Luci thought she was going to jump out of her skin. She went to stand, but Leo beat her to the door and let Harold in. He was dressed rather casually, but he held a hanger with a long cover on it. She assumed it was his suit and couldn’t help but feel bad. She was inconveniencing him, surely.

But if Harold felt inconvenienced in any way, he sure wasn’t showing it. There was a broad smile on his face, one that was so similar to the one on Leo, it was almost comical. However, the moment Harold’s eyes landed on Luci, his smile faded away and was replaced with something else: awe. “Oh my god, you look… Incredible,” He spoke in an almost hushed tone, accurately expressing his amazement.

Luci flushed and averted her gaze; she was already feeling the heat in her body that came with being the center of someone’s attention. “Th… Thanks..”

Leo thwacked Harold on the back of the head. “Now is not the time for ogling! We’re running out of time, let’s go,” They had already returned to their task by the time they finished speaking. They weren’t even halfway done yet, and they only really had an hour or so left.

“Alright, alright. So Luci, what kinda look are you going for?” He stepped closer, his eyes inspecting both her face and the wide variety of makeup sitting next to her.

“Ah… Nothing too crazy. I have some… some silver eyeshadow to go with the dress. Mostly just.. A subtle look, I suppose?” Luci has never needed to explain her makeup to someone else; she’s always done it for herself. So it was hard to not be vague.

“Ok, you got it!” But her vagueness did not dissuade Harold. He already knew what he needed to do. There was no hesitance as his fingers cupped Luci’s chin to tilt her head up further. “Just hold as still as you can.”

Luci did as she was told; it's not as if that was the first time she had been given a command like that before. It was a difficult task, but she did as best as she could. Any soft orders from Harold were compiled with immediately, things like, “close your eyes”, “tilt your head up more”, etc. Before anything else, Luci’s mother raised an obedient woman. And it's not as if she had the wherewithal right now to resist. Her mind was a whirlwind. Her heart had been racing for so long, she was already exhausted and the night hadn't even begun. At least now, she didn’t have to think too much about what was happening. Harold worked quickly, but perfection can’t be rushed. The minutes ticked by, and they were getting so close to their time limit. Finally, Harold took a step back to survey his work. “Almost done! All that’s left is your lipstick. What color were you going to go with? Red?” He asked, already reaching for the crimson red colored tube.

“Well, red seems like a lot, doesn’t it? I was thinking something a bit more subtle, a nude color-”

“I don’t know. The red would complete the look so well! Trust me on this,” His smile was just so genuine, it was hard for Luci to resist. After a short pause, she relented, giving him a nod in response. Skilled hands applied the gloss to her lips. It was a bright red, with a shine to it, and it popped in comparison to all of the silver she was wearing. “All done! And we’ve got just enough time to spare. I can drive you guys there if you want. Let me just get changed really quick.” Harold took his suit and disappeared into the nearby bathroom, leaving Luci and Leo alone.

“You really do look gorgeous, Lulu. Here, let me get your mask on.” Leo picked up the delicate, fancy accessory and fastened it to Luci’s face. Once that was done, it was clear Luci was on autopilot. She stepped into her heels and stood straight and tall instinctively. Even with the stilettos, she was several inches shorter than Leo. Leo paused. Luci could tell there was something on their mind, but she didn’t have the energy to ask them to spill. It's not like Leo would keep it to themselves anyways: being quiet wasn’t in their nature. “You should look at yourself in the mirror so you can see just how beautiful you are.”

“... No, I.. I don’t…” Luci was losing strength, and unbeknownst to the people in her apartment, she was spiraling. She was glad that Leo and Harold couldn’t hear the sound of her heart. She thought it was going to explode. While he had been doing her makeup, she didn’t even bother taking in her own appearance.

Leo pursed their lips. Without saying anything to her, they turned and marched to the other side of the room and into Luci’s walk-in closet. When they reappeared, they had a full length mirror in their hands. Before she could be embarrassed over Leo knowing about said mirror, they plopped it in front of her. “Look, Luci! If looks could kill… I would be dead on the floor right now,” Their words may have been a bit silly, but Leo said them with so much seriousness it only added to the ridiculousness.

Luci’s eyes drifted to the mirror, not lazily, more numb. But upon seeing herself, she was taken aback. With everything on her, she looked… Wow. She couldn’t help but turn, her gaze holding on the mirror. She shined and sparkled with every move, and Luci couldn’t help but feel like a little bit of a princess. However, something was bugging her. She knew what it was, but it was as if she couldn’t accept it. Luci paused, only to glance at her friend, who had such a big, soft smile on their face, she couldn’t help but feel braver, if only a little bit. There was no hesitation as she reached around the back of her head and untied the mask from her face. “I think… I think I look better without it,” She said, and for once, she didn’t look to someone else for their opinion. Now, with her blonde locks down and teased into wavy curls, her outfit was complete. She was as ready as she would ever be.

Harold emerged from the bathroom, smoothing down his rather sharp but classic black suit. When he lifted his head, he spotted Luci, and for the second time, he was stunned in place. For a few seconds, they were both frozen in place, blushes painting their cheeks. “Wow…”

“Alright you two, we’ve got 20 minutes, and the party is 15 minutes away. Get your asses in gear!” Leo, yet again, whacked Harold over the head. He nodded, silently making his way to the exit. Now, mostly alone, Luci went to grab her clutch, but Leo lingered. “Hey, I wasn’t joking earlier. Everything is going to go great, I promise. You’re going to kill it,” Their words were so sincere, Luci couldn’t help but believe them, even though it was so difficult.

“I hope so.”

The drive to the party wasn’t silent. Being silent around Leo was next to impossible. So, for the most part, Leo and Harold were talking back and forth, but Luci was too distracted to participate. As soon as they stepped into the venue, Luci was whisked away by the stagehands. She barely got to say goodbye to Leo before she disappeared, but they gave her two thumbs up and another smile, and that would have to be enough. While the mic was being attached to her ear, Luci had to remind herself to keep breathing. She recited the songlist over and over again. Even though she memorized it weeks ago, she found comfort in repeating it. Without even realizing how much time had passed, she was being pushed onto the stage as someone announced her name. This was it. All these preparations, all of that anxiety, all of it would amount to right now.

And Luci killed it. She walked, no, she strutted onto that stage, one foot after the other. She ignored the heat that exploded in her face as each step caused her dress to reveal the skin of her thighs. She ignored how much of her body was screaming to run away. She ignored the fact that her nervousness had now turned to nausea. Instead, Luci walked to the center, and she smiled, perfectly warm and radiant, no matter how fake it was. Her eyes scanned the crowd, and in it she spotted some familiar faces. Leo, Harold, and Aisling stood together, with Leo waving and using their free hand to force Aisling to wave with them. Bella was there, taking pictures for the social media pages. Clarence was off to the side, dressed as some waitstaff, but her powerful eyes found him nonetheless. Mikey was somewhere high up, keeping a close eye on everything. A familiar head of red hair belonged to Ada. Other than them, there must have been almost two hundred faces, many of them Luci recognized. And yet, there was one in particular that Luci was searching for. Even after surveying everybody, she couldn’t find the short, raven-haired woman who had been occupying much of her thoughts lately. A disappointment washed over her, but she couldn’t show it. No, she was in the spotlight now, shimmering and shining as much as her dress. Now, she couldn’t be anything less than perfect.

As time passed, people went about their party-going tasks: conversing with elites, tasting the fanciest of alcohol and hors d'oeuvres, putting up fronts and closing deals. Some still lingered by the stage, just to watch Luci sing. Xavier picked the majority of the songs, some older, jazzy classics, and Luci didn’t mind. Now that it had been some time, she could feel all of the links. Her hold had long since wrapped around the majority of the guests; even those resistant to her Siren Song would feel its effects due to the extended amount of exposure. She urged everyone to be calm, open, and relaxed, and it was working.

Luci’s mind was on autopilot. “When she walks she's like a samba that swings so cool and sways so gentle, that when she passes, each one she passes goes ooh…” She sang the Frank Sintra song, a few metered steps across the stage on beat accompanying her. Luci had always loved this one. It was so sad and tender, and she adored the lyrics. “But I watch her so sadly…” And now, reciting the lyrics, she couldn’t help but relate to them in a new way. “How can I tell her I love her?” That line came out a bit too strong. Luci saw more than half of the men in the room suddenly turn to look at her. Whoops… With a wave of her wrist, they all blinked, as if they had been snapped from a sort of trance. “Yes, I would give my heart gladly. But each day when she walks to the sea, she looks straight ahead not at me..”

It was all going well enough, but Luci noticed that, one by one, all of her friends were disappearing before her very eyes. Her eyebrows knit with concern before she shook that away. She couldn’t; she was on stage. Her expression returned to the listful, pleasant one she had earlier. If there was an emergency, her comms would go off. She had to assume that everything was alright. But at that moment, Luci couldn’t help but feel utterly alone. Her friends were all gone, her mother hadn’t even shown up… And she was trapped. There were more than a hundred people in this room, and she was lonely. She was lonely and stuck, forced there by responsibility and social expectations. And still, she smiled, and sang, “Tall and tan and young and lovely. The girl from Ipanema goes walking…”

The setting changes from Atlas to

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Morgana Ishida Character Portrait: Emeris Mikaelson Character Portrait: Cameron Jensen Character Portrait: Kieran Gallagher Character Portrait: Bastien Delacourt Character Portrait:
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Bastien Delacourt
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Anti-Hero | Drake | #360B0B
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Emeris Mikaelson
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Anti-Hero | Isimir | #8e9091
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This is such a fucking drag… Bash hated these kinds of missions. They always drag out for so long. Stuck on a rooftop instead of just getting this shit over and done with. He’s supposed to be Mr. Clean-Up missions. Aegis is only supposed to send him out when they feel like killing a lot of people or they wanna borrow his nose for some douchebag that’s difficult to find. But of course they had to drag him this instead of letting him beat the party. God forbid he’d want to go be at the fancy part and finally get to show off how amazing he looks in a suit to Ada. Not like he wanted to spend time with his girlfriend or anything. He’s just a dog obeying commands.

"You know how ansty I get whenever you leave me alone, especially when you leave me alone with him!" For most of the conversation, Bash had been tuning them out, until Isimir’s comment. You little shit..

Bash threw up his hands in defiance. ”I haven’t even done anything yet!” Sure he was doing a bit of moping but what else is there to do as a vampire? It’s not like they were letting him get any blood right now. Even if he was starving. Isimir and Reaper were bickering again. He wasn’t entirely listening. He may have super hearing but he also had a tendency to super drown out any time those two started fighting like an old married couple.

"Drakey...I think you're gonna wanna take a look at this..."

Oh god, what now…

"Mommy...Sorry...Mommy...Sorry, I mean Mommy, sorry-" Isimir was mumbling again. Instead of trying to understand the ramblings, he simply walked over to whatever the hell they were so fixated about until he over heard the words femme fatales and his vampiric sight found the targets.

”Great…” They weren’t anything to look at. Not for Bash at least. Nothing compared to Ada. Or Ris of course. Specifically when they were Ris. Isimir was more like his murdering soul mate. Far different from a bromance.

Variant pitched in on the comms next. “Think Drakey’s spoken for Isimir, you trying to get him in trouble?” Bash did his best to hold back a chuckle. He’s supposed to be Drake, the brooding melodramatic vampire with a penchant for overdramatic killings. But Bash also could never pass up an opportunity to be cheeky with Cameron. ”Is that a hint of jealousy I detect, darlin?”

Everyone was moved into positions except Drake and Isimir and Drake was getting particularly ansty now. He didn’t like being trapped on the roof. He didn’t like waiting. He certainly didn’t like how hungry he was and the fact that he was still being denied the full course meal below. Would something just happen already so he can feast and get back to his girlfriend?

Isimir had handed the sniper to Drake as he made his way over to peer through the scope, crouching low as they peered down from their advantage point. When they heard Variant's voice crackle through the ear-piece they couldn't help but chuckle, "What? Me?" they gestured with their trademark flamboyancy, "Never." Isimir finished before taking the rifle back from Drake.

They let out a soft sigh, resting the rifle on their knee with one hand, the other kept them balanced on the roof. Looking back at Drake, "Trust me, bud. I'm getting too antsy just sitting up here and doing nothing-" that was when the first gunshot echoed from down below. Before multiple shots went off in a macabre cocaphany. Isimir looked back down through the scope of the rifle, multiple masked figures dressed in complete black seemingly appeared out of nowhere, all wielding various guns at their disposal.

"Well, looks like it's showtime, Drakey. Let's do this, brother." their tone was a bit too excitable as they withdrew two of their own pistols from their holsters by their sides. "Age before Beauty."

The echo of the gunshots disoriented Drake for a moment. Vamp hearing wasn’t without its painful drawbacks. As soon as he recuperated, Drake was by Isimir’s side in an instant. He scoffed at their comment and gave a little bow as he gestured for Isimir to go first, ”By all means, grandpa.” He masked his french accent with a southern drawl. It just made him end up sounding Creole really but it worked for what he needed. Can’t make it too obvious to the public that Bash is a vampire… Sort of.

A familiar voice pitched in over the comms, ”Alright, hooligans… Let’s get this party started.” Bruce, Drake’s mentor. She’d been hidden amongst the guests. As much as Drake wanted to immediately jump into ripping people’s throats out, he still needed to wait for Bruce’s approval.

Even with the mask, it was clear that Isimir gave Drake a quizzical look initially. Before a chuckle sounded, "About time you respected your elders!"they exclaimed, before turning to look through the stained glass skylight. Pity it had to break. Without another moment's hesitation, Isimir slammed their elbow into the glass, shattering it within seconds. All too easily vaulting themself over the small side of what remained of the window from above, Isimir plummeted down below. Only being stopped as their legs collided with one of the masked goon's with an auto-rifle.

"Thanks for breaking my fall!" they exclaimed all too excitedly, "Could have been a better crash landing, I suppose." they mused for another moment. Quickly eyeing two other figures across the room, with ample ease and precision, Isimir proceeded to take out both of them with single headshots. Before scampering off behind one of the many pillars that aligned the main room they found themself in. It would only hold for a few minutes, but at least they had something to shield themself from the gunfire. "Charon, Wiccan, and Variant, on your marks, laddies. My sensors are picking up multiple unaccounted for folks, let's get 'em so we can bounce, huh?" they chuckled, "I've always hated museums..."

Drake gave Isimir a headstart on jumping the gunmen. Vamp speed and all. Gotta give the little guy a fair chance. Once he felt like it had been long enough, Drake followed in pursuit. He leapt down from the building and flitted into the museum sinking his fangs into the first gunman he found. He was feeling much better already.

He moved onto the next man while Bruce glided through the room covering his back with her dual pistols. Bullets just happen to miss their target whenever aimed at her. He’d just finish tearing through another man’s throat with his teeth when two gunmen decided to try and flank him. Drake smirked as he grabbed them both by the throat. He grinned to reveal his fangs and was about to feed when Bruce stopped him.

Don’t overindulge tonight.”Drake responded by using his strength to crush their throats instead. It wasn’t as fun this way but he couldn’t risk going feral vampire tonight. Maybe another night. He decided to move onto a more ‘supportive’ role for the team. Covering his teams backsides since he could get to them fastest and picking off the stragglers.




Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Morgana Ishida Character Portrait: Emeris Mikaelson Character Portrait: Lucille Simon Character Portrait: Ada Forrest Character Portrait: Mikey Santo Character Portrait: Clarence Lawless
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bella clayton.
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outfit. sentinel. #772222.
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xxx the sun's starting to light up
xxx when we're walking home
xxx tired little laugh, gold lie promises
xxx we'll always win at this

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Mikey didn’t exactly tell them to go back to their stations, but Bella presumed that’s what they were supposed to do. So she made her way back down to the party, marvelling as she found herself still able to tap into the other’s thoughts over the increased distance. Mikey’s were still a little slow and groggy after the fight. Leo was… well, Bella had learned the hard way before not to try and listen to Leo’s thoughts for too long. And then there was Kit, being as brilliant as ever. His invention really was great. When Mikey spoke over her comms to ask the heroes to get back in position, Bella decided to try out the device a little more. Instead of speaking aloud, she telepathically replied, “You got it, boss!”

She meant to ask if it had worked, even though she had complete faith that it would have done. And then she got to the main party, and the noise there wiped out all of her own thoughts. She could hear everybody. Not just the heroes wearing the matching earpieces. Everybody. And the noise was… overwhelming. Immediately, Bella felt like she was going to throw up. She couldn’t abandon the mission though. She had to persevere. It would get easier once she got used to it, she told herself. She tried and failed to force a smile onto her face, and instead settled for just not looking like she was about to throw up and then pass out. Pain was beginning to seep into her temples, but she just snagged a glass of water from a passing waiter and downed it in the hope that might help.

It didn’t help. She found herself drifting aimlessly around the room, trying to find a spot that was less loud than others. She found herself too close to the stage at one point; the worst mistake she’d made so far that night. Luci’s thoughts were as clear as Kit’s had been. One name kept cropping up, along with a face that Luci was looking for, and neither belonged to Bella. The pain in her head threatened to seep into her chest, and so she made a beeline for the far side of the room. She wanted to leave, but wouldn’t. She wouldn’t let her team down. If more bad guys showed up and she wasn’t there to help, she’d never forgive herself. She hadn’t been able to help Page, she wouldn’t let herself be unable to help everyone else.

She tucked herself into a quiet corner, somewhere where things weren’t quite as loud, and glanced at her phone. It was going to be a long night, she knew it already.




kieran gallagher.
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outfit. mask charon. #757576.
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xxx the sun's starting to light up
xxx when we're walking home
xxx tired little laugh, gold lie promises
xxx we'll always win at this

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Hearing Cameron’s voice over the comms was a welcome sound. His comment about Kieran’s hair looking good just made him smile. “I would like to add for the record that I would bet my apartment on the fact that Variant is also looking damn fine today,” he replied. But before anyone else could berate them for using their comms to flirt, black-clad figures filled the room below them. Kieran swore, ducking behind the statue he was hiding behind as gunshots broke out. Chills ran down his spine as the stench of death filled the air. Why couldn’t he have just been assigned to the other party?

“Hey! Sir Percival!” He hissed.
“Young knight!”
“You wanna go slay some witches?” He asked. The ghost’s face positively lit up with delight. “Go slay some witches!” The ghost solidified into something resembling a human, a sword like the one in the case beside Kieran appearing in his hands. Sir Percival raised the sword and leaped from the balcony, running one of the black-clad figures through. He apparently did not consider Kieran himself a witch then, something that Kieran had taken a gamble on. None of his ghosts had tried to kill him yet, but he felt like it was a matter of time. He shot one more glance at the sword in the case beside him, decided it wasn’t worth a complaint from museum security, and instead just drew his knife. He glanced over the balcony and at the scene below, briefly considered his options, and decided to take the stairs. He, regretfully, wasn’t as indestructible as Ris or Bash.

He made a sprint for the side stairs, digging down deep as he did so. Ghosts were the better option here, he figured. But before he could actually summon any of them, he needed to get to safety. Somewhere nearby, but with good cover. But as he got to the bottom of the stairs, he was met with a barrel of a gun, aimed squarely at his chest. But something solid, fast, and familiar collided with Kieran and dragged him out of harm’s way as the bullet shattered the air where Kieran had been moments ago. Maelstrom dropped Kieran behind a pillar, looked him up and down, nodded to make sure he was okay, then dashed off again. Kieran exhaled, his back pressed against the pillar he was hiding behind. He wasn’t of use in a situation like this; why the hell did Aegis keep sending him into them? They kept sending him into gunfights with nothing more than a knife and his abilities. He wasn’t even sure there was bulletproof protection built into his suit. Not to mention, being in an active fight made him feel like he was about to die himself, with the amount of death reeking around the place, no thanks to Ris and Bash. He had to do something. He dug deep and felt all of the ghosts in the building. They were restless. They wanted to help. Good. It would make this easier.

“I’m about to summon a shit ton of ghosts to come help you guys out, but I’m going to need some cover,” He said into his comms. Summoning this many ghosts would leave him vulnerable for far too long, and he didn’t trust this pillar to shelter him that long. “See you all on the other side.” He closed his eyes, and pulled every ghost he could reach into the material world. There was a second where he thought it hadn’t worked; and then the visions came crashing in, lives and deaths and everything in between. The crash was so significant that he could vaguely feel his legs buckle and his back collide with the pillar, but he wasn’t able to stop it. He just had to ride it out and hope that the ghosts were at least helpful.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Morgana Ishida Character Portrait: Lucille Simon Character Portrait: Leo Lambert Character Portrait: Bella Clayton Character Portrait: Kit Cassidy Character Portrait:
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luci simon.
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outfit. raphael. #8C2FF7.
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bella clayton.
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outfit. sentinel. #772222.
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Singing for so long is exhausting in its own right, but it's a specific type of exhaustion. Sure, Luci was tired from standing and pacing and waving and spinning, but even with the occasional time to down some water, her throat and chest were getting tired. And having to use her abilities at the same time for such an extended period? She was glad that she was given a couple of 30 minute breaks for the night. One was approaching, thankfully, she just had one more song. Xavier’s song choice was decent, but a part of the deal was letting Luci pick a handful herself. Admittedly, she may have had a grouchy little witch on her mind when choosing several of them, including this one. And, at the moment, that same grouchy little witch remained in her thoughts as she sang it, “Love is all that I can give to youuu. Love is more than just a game for twooo.” It likely wasn’t a healthy habit, but distracting herself and getting lost in her thoughts was a common practice when Luci is on stage. It helped keep her calm, although distracting herself by recalling the feeling of soft, sweet lips against her own and even softer, sweeter words from one of the softest, sweetest women she’d ever met… It may be a little too distracting.

All of the audience blurred into a blob, only sudden movements returned her eyes to focus, but for the most part, Luci was in her own world, singing, standing, pacing, waving, and spinning for dozens of party guests. It was as if she was on autopilot, but nobody would be able to tell. Her grace and poise was flowing, natural. “Two in love can make it, take my heart and please don't break it! Love was made for me and youuu,” As if on cue, once Luci had hit that note, a bit of movement caught her attention. A face, one that she had spent years trying to avoid, for nothing short of a dozen painful reasons, appeared, clear as day, right next to the stage. Luci’s eyes darted between Bella and the crowd, and the blonde paled just a touch. Her smile became more forced, but her voice continued to flow like it always did; she had an image to uphold, a show to continue. “L is for the way you look at meee! O is for the only one I seeee!” She had to. The show must go on, she couldn’t ruin her public image, even as the pleasant thoughts of Morgana morphed and mutated into something else, something agonizing and guilt-ridden, something that reminded her of greedy, unyielding hands leaving marks across her body.

Bella disappeared back into the crowd and headed away from the stage, but her absence didn’t remove the thoughts from Luci’s head, nor did it sate the worry that bubbled to the surface when she saw the look on Bella’s face. She appeared ill and distressed in a physical way, not likely something that could have been caused just by seeing Luci, no matter how difficult that was. Once the last few lines of the song had been sung, Luci gave the crowd a polite wave and stepped off stage. Now out of the watchful eye of the public, Luci released a deep breath from her chest, and a frown turned the corners of her lips downward. She didn’t want to think about it, about how horribly she had treated Bella and how she didn’t deserve Bella’s forgiveness. Luci didn’t want to remember the brutality of the violation she endured, the smell of his breath, the roughness of his fingers around her throat, the feeling of vileness and disgust she had with herself that she still hasn’t been able to completely shake. But the moment one tries not to think about something on purpose, they can’t help but continue to think about it. Especially when all Luci could picture was Bella’s facial expression, troubled and strained, just before she disappeared back into the crowd. No matter how awful Luci felt, she couldn’t ignore somebody in need. So she grabbed a water bottle, glanced at the clock, and stepped out from backstage and into the crowd herself.

It took a couple minutes for Luci to figure out where Bella went, mostly because damn near every step she took, she was interrupted by a partygoer wanting to compliment her singing. Thankfully, she could accept their praise quickly and shuffle away from the conversations without being rude; something she’d practiced over many years of avoidance. But eventually, Luci turned a corner, not too far from the main hall, and found Bella, appearing just as troubled as she had been earlier. Luci thought Bella looked gorgeous in that dress, but the thought was fast, fading away again to be overpowered by those other thoughts, the self-hatred and the pain that she saw every time she took in Bella’s appearance. For Luci, Bella was tied to that night, that horrible night, and it was another reason why Luci avoided her. But she couldn’t avoid her now; Bella needed help. “Bella…?”Luci spoke softly as she approached, but the clicking of her stiletto heels gave her away first. She felt so silly, talking in this borderline gaudy dress, covered in sparkles, but she didn’t have much of a choice. “Are you alright? You don’t l-look so good.” She drew nearer until she was only a foot or two away. Bella seemed like she might keel over; Luci wanted to be close enough to catch her if she needed to. However, it was clear that Luci was struggling to maintain eye contact with Bella, more so than usual, given how her eyes darted up and down between the floor and Bella’s face. It was difficult not to flinch or tense up every time she looked at Bella. Every time, Bella’s face was overshadowed by another, one with a toothy grin and scratchy stubble and alcohol on his breath. “I.. I brought you some water,” She held the bottle out for Bella, and Luci’s hand was shaking visibly. There was so much she wanted to say, so much she was too scared to say, but now didn’t feel right. And it was difficult, so, so difficult.

Even now, as far away as she could physically get from the crowd, the noise was overwhelming. By now, the thought that taking the headband off might help was long gone. Bella could hardly think at all. Her head felt like it was about to burst as it was, leaving no room for her own thoughts. Her skull surely had to be about to crack open and let the thoughts fly back to their original owners instead of rattling around her head. Or maybe she would vomit them out instead. Her vision was fine one second and blurry the next, and then fine again, adding to the awfulness of the whole situation. She wasn’t sure that she would be able to focus on her phone for long enough to text somebody for help. She thought that it might be worth a try, and then remembered her phone was in her bag, abandoned somewhere on a table in the crowd. Nope, that wasn’t happening.

The thoughts of the person approaching her hit her before the actual reality of their presence did. Images of violence, a man’s face, the stench of cheap alcohol trying to be expensive… they were images that were hard for her to hear, even before she heard the voice that accompanied them.

Luci. Bella had to fight back a groan. Of all people, it had to be Luci. Bella had spent a not insignificant portion of the past two years attempting to move on from, or at least ignore, all of the hurt and pain from that fateful evening. She wasn’t so sure she’d be capable of that right then. She accepted the bottle of water but didn’t open it, just instead stared down at it and her hands. She’d barely even heard Luci’s question, and it took her a few seconds to even begin to process an answer. She opened her mouth to say, ‘I’m fine’, but it seemed like the noise and the thoughts and everything else spiked, overwhelming her system entirely. And so instead of a lie, something like a sob escaped through her mouth. She clamped her hand over her mouth, but it was too late. The violence flashing through her mind now was the final straw. Why had it only started when Luci had come over to her? She was in a room with plenty of heroes; they’d all seen awful things, why was this sticking out so much now? And why did it affect her more than anything else? Everything was too much. Her fist pressed to her mouth, she wasn’t even sure if she was making any noise any more. She took a deep, shuddering gasp as she tried and failed to compose herself. “I’m sorry,” she forced out.

Luci’s heart was already throbbing in her chest the moment she spotted Bella, but seeing her like this? Once that choked sob squeezed out of Bella’s throat, Luci thought she was going to cry herself. She wanted to dart forward, hug Bella, hold her close, cry with her, and maybe try to explain why she had done what she did that day. But Luci was not bold, she wasn’t confident like many of her friends, and in that moment, she thought she was pathetic, useless. Did Luci make things worse by approaching Bella? She just wanted to help, but she felt like she was doing the opposite. Bella didn’t even try to drink the water, she seemed too pained to even try. And all the while, Luci was fighting her mind tooth and nail, trying to continue to suppress the memories she’d been suppressing for nearly two years, but it was a losing battle.

Once Luci heard Bella’s apology, her chest tightened. Bella wasn’t the one who should be apologizing, but Luci still didn’t think it was the right time. Not now, when Bella was already falling apart. What can I do? She wanted to ask, but she had a feeling Bella wouldn’t have been able to form a coherent answer in this state. Luci had to find a way to try and calm her down, ease some of that tension, and she only knew one way how. It’s the only thing you’re good for. Luci swallowed, and her eyes lifted to stare forward. She reached deep into her mind and her heart, and one specific song traveled to the tip of her tongue. Perhaps an odd choice to many, but Luci’s mother used to sing it to her. And after everything that happened, the lyrics took on a new meaning for Luci. “Well I've heard there was a sacred chord, David played and it pleased the Lord.” Singing was one of the only times when Luci feels moderately self-assured, so she managed to maintain eye contact as she did it. “But you don't really care for music, do you?” It was as if Luci was speaking to Bella directly, and as the sweet, soft notes danced towards the brunette, Luci even smiled just as sweetly and softly. “Well it goes like this: The fourth, the fifth, the minor fall and the major lift. The baffled king composing Hallelujah.”

If Luci could just establish a strong enough link, she could help urge Bella’s mind and body to relax. Bella was always someone that Luci had a hard time establishing a link with, so she knew she would need to pull out every trick in the book. The first verse wasn’t enough, neither were the soft Hallelujahs that followed. She needed more, but she was dreading singing the next part, and she cursed her mind for only being able to think of this song out of the millions of others. “Well your faith was strong but you needed proof. You saw her bathing on the roof. Her beauty in the moonlight overthrew you.” It was impossible not to think of Bella as she sang, how beautiful she had looked on that sunny weekend where they spent hours laughing and having fun. The link was still too weak; Luci needed more. Tentatively at first, Luci reached for Bella’s clenched fist; she forced her own trembling fingers to still. She didn’t have time to be nervous. Bella was suffering. Making a physical connection was the easiest way to help establish a link faster. Luci unfurled Bella’s fist, cradling her hand between her own.

However, her throat tightened as she sang the next lyrics. “And he tied you to your kitchen chair. He broke your throne, he cut your hair, and from your lips he drew the Hallelujah…” It happened again, those tender, joyful memories rotted, and they were replaced with flashes of rough, demanding hands and a vicious, hungry mouth that covered her body in marks that took weeks to heal. But it was working, the link had formed well enough, and Luci mentally urged Bella’s mind and body: Relax. Breathe. You will be alright. Relax. Breathe. But the toll on Luci was obvious, her shoulders quaked slightly, and she swallowed again to try and keep herself from crying. She hadn’t thought about these things in so long. Of course she’d sometimes still have nightmares, and she would talk to her therapist about it on occasion, but it had been months since she’d seen these memories so vividly.

At some point, Luci and Bella had discovered that Luci’s abilities didn’t work as easily or as well on Bella as it did on most other people. Apparently the lack of sexual attraction was something of a barrier; a fact that Bella had always found ironic considering the feelings she’d hidden for Luci for so long. But the fact that the magic didn’t work on Bella didn’t stop Luci’s voice from being automatically soothing to her. Her voice was so soft and clear and sad, but it was what Bella needed. Instinctively, she closed her eyes. The feeling of Luci’s hands around hers made her tense a little at first, before she relaxed again.

When the abilities finally began to kick in, the noise became a little less noisy and a little less overwhelming. Bella’s own emotions calmed somewhat. It was then that she became aware of a few things. There were the words that Luci was singing; soft and clear and with a touch of power that hadn’t been there seconds before. And the thoughts that came with them- of Bella herself, two years younger, two years more innocent, in a light that Bella had seldom seen herself. Those thoughts, those images of Bella… they didn’t fit with the way that Bella had presumed Luci felt about her.

And then came those images of violence. But now, with the link between them a little clearer, Bella’s head a touch quieter and most importantly calmer, Bella was able to make a bit more sense of them. Even still, it took her a few moments to piece the whole thing together. When she realised what she was seeing, her whole body went cold; but not from being overwhelmed or unwell, but from the awful horror of what Luci had experienced. She didn’t even fully think about what she did next. She threw her arms around Luci, pulling her into the tightest hug she could manage. “You didn’t deserve that,” was all she could manage to say. She couldn’t verbalise her thoughts any further than that, so she just repeated it. “You didn’t deserve that awful thing.”

Luci watched as some of the tension melted off of Bella’s shoulders, and relief flooded her system. Being able to see even a little bit of the pain fade away was exactly what Luci wanted. Once Bella had relaxed, Luci almost excused herself. She wanted to offer leaving, getting someone who would actually be able to help Bella. However, before she could, Bella lurched forward and wrapped her arms around Luci in a tight, firm hug. Luci froze, her whole body taut for a few seconds as she listened to what Bella said. Could this really be happening? Luci thought Bella hated her, and Bella had every right to after what Luci had done. She had been so foolish, selfish; she only thought about herself, her own feelings that day as she ran away from them and from Bella. And then she left Bella in the dark for nearly two years. Luci didn’t think she deserved this. She didn’t deserve a hug, she didn’t deserve those kind words, and yet she was given them anyway.

It was sudden; the tension leaving Luci’s body too. She nearly collapsed into Bella, and in an instant, tears were flowing from her eyes. After nearly two years, this is exactly what she’d dream of: a chance to reconnect with Bella, to explain herself. And even if all of that wasn’t happening at this exact moment, Luci knew in her heart that this was the first step in the right direction. She relented and wrapped her arms around Bella too, buried her face in her shoulder, and she cried. Covered from head to toe in sparkles, with far too much make-up on her face, she cried, not caring that it would start running or how a woman should never make a mess of herself at an event like this. She cried and she cried, all of those pent up emotions finally escaping through her tears, and she trembled against Bella as she did. “I’m sorry…” Luci managed to squeeze out between sobs. “I’m so, so sorry… Bella…” She hadn’t said Bella’s name in so long, it sounded almost strange in her voice. “I’m sorry you.. you h-had to see that, those things.” Luci knew Bella likely saw what she had been thinking about, all those horrific images. “I… I have so much I-I want to.. To explain, to apologize for, but now…” Luci pulled back from the hug, and she hurriedly wiped at her running mascara as she sniffled. “Now isn’t.. Isn’t the best time, really,” She almost laughed at the end.

Perhaps it was a bold move, but Luci was running out of time. She had to be back on stage soon, and she now needed to factor in time to fix her make-up and try to find someone that could really help Bella. “I… I w-want… Could we maybe… get together and talk, sometime?” Luci asked, though her eyes remained rooted to the floor. She expected rejection, so she moved past it quickly.

Bella had just about managed to stop crying. And then Luci pressed her face to her neck and began to do so, and Bella began to cry all over again. She cried over the things that had happened and the things that hadn’t, over the pounding headache she still had, the grief that had made a permanent home in her chest, over the swirling noise that still deafened most of her own thoughts. And in some strange way, it was what she needed right then. She just clung to Luci and let Luci cling to her, and they both sobbed.

Luci’s words felt like the first steps towards bridging the chasm that had grown between them in the past few years. Bella just listened, shaking her head as Luci apologised for the images she had seen. It hadn’t been pleasant for Bella to see them, but it must have been so much worse for Luci to live them, and so she didn’t think an apology was needed. When Luci pulled back, Bella let her, wiping her own cheeks with the back of her hand.

When Luci asked if they could find time to actually talk, Bella nodded without even really having to think about it. “Yeah, that sounds good,” she said, her voice still trembling somewhat. “Sometime when we’re both not…” she gestured between the two of them and laughed a little. “I still feel like I might throw up so definitely not right now, but… sometime soon?” She offered. Instinctively, she went to check her phone to see when she was free, then remembered it was buried in the throng of people, somewhere she still couldn’t bring herself to go back to. “My phone is… in there somewhere…” she said, still unable to even really remember where as she stared blankly at the crowd. “I also need to find Kit. He made me this,” she said, gesturing at the headband. “It’s really cool and is a really cool idea, but… it works too well and I have a killer migraine and… feel a little like I might pass out. I bet he can fix it though, he made it himself. It’s really cool, right?” She rambled.

It was as if a weight had been lifted off of Luci. The horrific images faded from her mind, and a pleasant warmth took their place. It was still overwhelming with all of these repressed emotions coming to a head, and a part of her couldn’t believe what was happening. She certainly didn’t think she deserved it, but she was glad nonetheless. She laughed at Bella’s response, a genuine, pleased laugh. “Yes, some other time, when we are both more able. Soon sounds good to me.” She was proud of how well she managed to get through that sentence without stuttering. Truly, once she is more comfortable, speaking comes easier.

Once Bella started to talk about Kit, the warmth in Luci’s chest spread even further. The soft smile on her face was almost relieved; she was glad that Bella was able to find happiness with someone else, just as Luci had. “It is rather cool, I agree. He’s always been… been good at that, making cool stuff,” Luci agreed with a nod. “Would you like me to find your phone, or… or someone to find Kit? I would go searching for him myself but I’ve got…” She glanced around, leaning to peer into the hall and take in a clock. “Blast… 10 minutes, and I’ve got to fix m-my… I’m sorry. Would that be ok? Leo always sticks out like a mountain, I’m sure I could find them quickly.” Luci’s eyes were apologetic again. She had to be back on stage soon, and she was worried she would run out of time. Those nerves were returning, and her heart was starting to pound.

At the mention of Leo, Bella’s first instinct was to ask Luci to go get them. They were such a ray of positivity that it felt like they could have been exactly the person she needed right then. And then she remembered the few times she’d had to tap into their thoughts during training or a mission and just how loud and overwhelming they could be on a good day. “Um… if you can find my phone for me, I think I should be able to manage to text Kit to come find me,” she said. “If you can’t find it though, don’t worry, I’ll be okay. You’ve got to get back on stage and stay wowing the audience with your gorgeous voice, you hear me?” As the words left Bella’s mouth, she realised exactly what she had said, colour rushing to her cheeks. She’d said it without thinking, and had meant it as nothing more than a friend, but she didn’t know if Luci knew she meant it that way. “It’s a shame Morgana isn’t here to hear it,” she added softly. It was an impulse response, really, the only way she could think of letting Luci know that she didn’t mind, not really. Mentioning anything that she’d heard in someone’s thoughts was always uncomfortable for her, especially something as personal as this. But given what she’d already seen, perhaps this wasn’t such a violation of privacy. She just managed a soft, somewhat awkward smile and hoped that Luci knew she had meant it in nothing but kindness.

As Luci was given her little task from Bella, she nodded, perhaps a bit too excitedly. She was glad she could just be helpful. However, Bella continued, and she complimented Luci’s singing. There was an explosion of warmth in Luci’s face, and a flood of color accompanied it. Her eyes immediately dropped to the ground, a sheepish action, one she could not resist due to the fuzziness in her chest. After nearly two years, Luci expected Bella to hate her and her voice. Hearing her compliment her and it instead brought a sense of relief that Luci didn’t even know she needed. The inclusion of Morgana shifted her feelings away from relief into something more akin to embarrassment; this meant Bella had seen Morgana in Luci’s head when she was singing those love songs. The blush on her cheeks shifted up to the tips of Luci’s ears, and the mere mention of the witch reminded Luci of the softness of her lips, the playful verbal teasing that always left her stumbling and stuttering, and the softness of smooth, silky black hair between her fingers. “Y-yes, it r-really is a shame.” Although Luci was embarrassed, there was a new tenderness in both her voice and her eyes as they drifted away in thought, denoting just how much she felt for Morgana. “P-perhaps she and some others will show up later. I wonder what she would… think of this… this gaudy dress,” She added the last bit with a laugh and a shake of her head, and that helped remind her of her task at hand: helping Bella. “I’ll find your phone, don’t worry. Be back in a jiff.”

After one more nod, Luci walked back into the main hall. As soon as she entered, she spotted a familiar face, one that was nearly a foot taller than her. “Hey Luce!” Leo approached Luci quickly, but they paused once she saw the state of her runny make-up. “Oh no, did something happen? Are you ok?” Leo asked her, a deep layer of concern furrowing their brows.

“I’m fine, Leo, I promise. It was… It was a good cry, one that I needed.” She smiled up at Leo, a full, genuine smile, and it made Leo relax a touch. “But I will also need help fixing my make-up. Can you find Harold for me and meet me backstage in five minutes? I’m running out of time, my break is almost over.”

“Yes, you got it!” Leo jumped to action in an instant, disappearing into the crowd to go search for their friend.

With a shaky breath, Luci searched for Bella’s phone. The hall wasn’t too large luckily, and her sharp eyes scanned between the many moving bodies. Any conversationalists this time were promptly and politely declined, and with a couple minutes to spare, Luci spotted a clutch that looked similar to Bella’s dress. She saw a phone on top of it, one in a case covered in familiar stickers. The last time Luci had seen them was years ago, and they were much more faded and worn than before. There was a tug in Luci’s chest, but she squashed it quickly. Things would be better now. She picked up the clutch and the phone and darted back over to Bella. She wished she could be moving faster, but any longer strides meant more of her legs would be revealed due to those dangerously high slits in the fabric.

“Here,” Luci said as soon as she turned the corner. She held out the phone and the small purse, and her eyes darted up to take in Bella’s face again. This time, what she felt wasn’t guilt or sadness. Although small shreds of those emotions remained, Luci was close to content. “Are you sure you’re going to be alright?” She asked one more time, and her tone was just as sincere as she continued, “I could stay with you for a little while longer or try and find Kit for you. The singing can wait if it must. It’s not more important than your health.”

Bella’s first instinct was to compliment Luci’s dress and to say it wasn’t gaudy at all. But before she could, Luci had dashed off in search of Bella’s phone. Her calming presence gone, the noise began to creep back in, Bella beginning to realise that her headache hadn’t disappeared at all; rather she just hadn’t been paying attention to it for a bit. Hopefully Kit would be able to fix the headband to make it less loud.

When she spotted Luci weaving her way back over to her, she exhaled a little with relief. She managed a grateful smile as Luci handed the bag and the phone to her. There were messages on her phone, but they weren’t important now. She shook her head as Luci offered to stay with her. “No, I’ll be fine. Really. Go do your thing and blow the crowd away, okay?” She said, smiling at Luci. She managed to unlock her phone and open up her texts, scrolling until she found Kit. The message she sent was brief, but she hoped he’d get the point.

To: kit
SOS, gadget not working right

“I’ve texted him, he’s on his way now,” Bella said, looking back up at Luci. “So seriously, go do your thing. I’ll be listening.”

A part of Luci wished Bella had asked her today. This had been going so well, and she was remembering that, otherwise, she was going to be cemented on stage again. On stage, away from her friends, and under the watchful eye of every single person in the hall. But somebody had to be up there, entertaining everybody. Luci was locked into that role, whether she liked it or not. Bella’s soft encouragement was helpful, and Luci couldn’t stop the sheepish smile that creased her lips. Her hands fiddled with some of the crystals on her dress as she tried to figure out what to say. There was so much she had to say, so much she wanted to say, but they didn’t have the time. Luci wasn’t like Leo or any of her other friends; she couldn’t say “Damn your rules” like so many of them did. She was a good girl who did as she was told, even if it left a sour taste in her mouth. “Thank you, Bella… Thank you, f-for… everything. I’ll sing the next one for you.” She gave Bella one last bow of her head and took a few steps towards the exit. Although, she paused just to say, “I.. I hope you feel better soon. And… that dress looks lovely on you.” Admittedly, the last bit may have come out rather quick, and Luci practically ran away after it, but she had gathered the courage to say it nonetheless.

Now it was a race against time. She darted backstage only to see Leo and a rather fretful looking Harold standing beside them. “Hey Luce! I found him for you.”

“Thank you, Leo. Good job,” Luci praised, but it was clear her nerves were starting to return in full force. Leo didn’t mind though; even praise as minor as that warmed their skin.

Luci turned to Harold, who was holding a pretty basic kit for make-up. “One of the assistants had some make-up in her purse. It’s not much, and it’s not nearly as good as the stuff you had at home-”

It was clear Harold was prepared to ramble on, but Luci didn’t have time for this. “It’s fine, Harold! Thank you for all the help, but… Less talk, more applying.” She grimaced as soon as she had said it, immediately feeling bad. “Ah, s-sorry, that was kinda-”

Harold blinked a few times, a redness dusting his cheeks. “Yes ma’am,” was all he said, with a hint of teasing in his tone. A teasing that caused Luci’s own face to flush, but she tilted it up towards Harold regardless.

With less than 60 seconds to spare, Luci made her way back on stage. Her reappearance was greeted with a polite applause, but she hadn’t noticed. Her eyes were set to scanning the crowd again, searching for faces she would never be able to find. Her mother still hadn’t shown up, and a certain short, goth, raven-haired witch hadn’t either. So she smiled, waved to the crowd, and started singing her next song: a Dean Martin classic. “You're nobody 'til somebody loves youuu…” She finished the line with a sweep of her arm, and her wing copied the movement. Every crystal attached to her sparked and shined. “You're nobody 'til somebody cares…”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Morgana Ishida Character Portrait: Emeris Mikaelson Character Portrait: Lucille Simon Character Portrait: Ada Forrest Character Portrait: Mikey Santo Character Portrait: Clarence Lawless
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xxxxxADAxxFORREST
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Outfit The Druid Hex:#b54ea2


“Anyone?” Hearing nothing but static on the other end, Ada dropped her earpiece into her bag. She would have to speak to Kit about it.

To: Kit
Ear not working. Where are you?


A brief snippet of music filled the room as the door opened and closed. Ada paused and heard heels clicking against the tiles. A cubicle door locked and Ada released a sigh of relief. Ada waved her hand over the sensor to flush the empty bowl. She would probably find it weird if she had heard someone leave a bathroom without flushing. She unlocked the door and peaked out to make sure the coast was clear.

No one else. Good, that was good. At least she wasn’t about to be ambushed in the bathroom. She placed her hands under the tap and waited for the soap and water. Ada methodically washed her hands; palms, nails, between the fingers, back of the hands, 30 seconds. She moved along to the hand dryer, the warm air blasting the moisture from her hands. She heard a flush behind her and her eyes flickered up as a dark-haired woman stepped out of the cubicle. There was an awkward smile exchanged between them before Ada shook her hands and grabbed her bag to leave. The woman was probably harmless but Ada wasn’t about to hang around to find out.

She left and half-walked, half-jogged back to the party. Soft, old-school swing music filtered through the room. Ada looked up to the stage and felt a pang in her chest when she saw Lucille up there singing. The lights danced off the stones on Lucille’s dress, only adding to the dazzling show. Lucille was beautiful, everyone always said so. Her mother always said so. Up there, under the lights, she looked ethereal. Ada didn’t even have to look over at her father to know the comparison was there. Everyone loved Lucille.

Well, now you’re just upsetting yourself.. Ada couldn’t argue with herself. She looked around for a waiter and took a champagne flute from one as they passed by. The flowers beside her drooped slightly as she drank. “Well, there’s no need for you to be upset as well,” she said as she stroked the petals. Her eyes swirled a bright emerald green as she conjured life back into the flower arrangement before settling to her usual olive colour.








xxxCAMERONxxJENSEN
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Outfit Variant Hex:#1a7572


The Variants smiled when Kieran’s voice came over the comms. “You would be completely right about that.”

The Cameron that was waiting by the stairs heard the gunshots echo through the building. Ah, shit. This was going to hurt. He began sprinting along the upper walkway, following the sounds of screaming and gunshots.

In the security room, Cameron watched the carnage unfold. Muzzle flash disrupted the cameras’ view of the room, and, more importantly, his teammates. A stray bullet took out a camera in the room. Wait… The cameras were way to high to be hit by a stray shot. No one was that bad a shot, right? Cameron looked across the control panel as screen after screen turned to static. “Now, I don’t wanna alarm anyone, but they’ve taken out the cameras on the opposite side of the museum, heading down to the basement level.”

Back in the exhibition hall, Cameron was fleeing down into the carnage. Kie’s call for cover came through. “I think I can manage that,” he answered as Variants split off in every direction, an army of dark uniforms making a nuisance of themselves while Kieran summoned his ghosts. There was a brief moment of searing pain as a bullet pierced his abdomen before he was absorbed back into himself, the bullet falling uselessly to the ground, the clatter lost in the cacophony of sound around them. All around him black coats were separating and disappearing into themselves, almost dying but not. Isimir was a good enough shot to miss him so long as he was careful. Friendly fire wasn’t something he needed to worry about. The delightful gentleman in front of him was another matter entirely.

Cameron closed his hand around the barrel of the gun, redirecting the rattle of bullets up and over his shoulder. The barrel was hot, even through his gloves. Cam dreaded to think how painful it might have been with bare hands. The man tried to wrestle back control of the gun and received a swift kick to his kidneys for his effort. The natural reaction to protect the wounded area meant his grip was loosened, giving Cameron enough leverage to prize the weapon away and crack the butt against his opponent’s head, sending the man sprawling. Cameron stood over him, pointing the gun at his knee. “Now I have your gun, and a lot more people than you do, so why don’t you tell me what’s going on here and you can keep your knee caps. Seem fair?”

“Fuck you.”

Beneath his mask, Cameron scowled. Around him, he was fighting between and alongside ghosts and whatever else Kieran had summoned. The man began to scramble away and then yelled in agony as his kneecap was shattered into thousands of fragments. “Would you like to lose the second one?”

A Variant had made it across the room to Kieran. Not that Kie looked terrible, but Cam had definitely seen his friend look better. He reached over and held Kieran’s arm. “You doing ok, Prince Charming?”

His voice crackled through the intercom. It was still weird hearing his own voice on the comms. “I’m heading over to the basement. If someone could come along and cover my back, that would be amazing.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Morgana Ishida Character Portrait: Emeris Mikaelson Character Portrait: Lucille Simon Character Portrait: Ada Forrest Character Portrait: Mikey Santo Character Portrait: Clarence Lawless
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bastien delacourt.
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outfit. #360B0B.
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This entire ordeal was annoying. Bash really didn’t want to be here. He just wanted to be at a party with his girlfriend instead of dealing with annoying bad guys at a gala. Somehow Bruce seemed to be enjoying herself. Same with Isimir as per usual. But Bash wanted this to be over already and sadly his method for ending things quickly was currently frowned upon.

Bash had been busy taking care of three men who decided to try and attack him at once in hopes of subduing him when Charon asked for back up. Thankfully, Variant was there to answer the call. Bash then swiftly disposed of his assailants though refraining from feeding was growing more difficult as these fights dragged on. Bash was feeling hungry again.

“I’m heading over to the basement. If someone could come along and cover my back, that would be amazing.” Bash happened to be closest so he responded first. ”I’m right behind you.” Another was also heading with them to the basement that Bash used his speed to get to first. He slammed him against the wall and took a bite out of his neck. He’d used up his strength anyways. He deserved a quick snack.




kit cassidy.
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outfit. #698B69.
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Everyone had broken off to the party while Kit opted to stay behind for a bit. He wanted to gather his tech first and find a secure enough place to comb through security footage. Something just wasn’t sitting right with him about this. He couldn’t really find much of anything that would be useful which only furthered the anxiety he was having about this.

He put his things away and began making his way into the party as much as he dreaded it. He had to make an appearance but he hoped he wasn’t going to have to socialize with any of the benefactors. He found a table at the back corner of the room. He kept checking his phone to monitor footage but then his phone began to buzz.

Ear not working. Where are you?


Kit looked up and scanned the room. Seven was pulled into conversation with some people instead of finding Ada like she was supposed to. Kit rolled his eyes and texted back.

To: Ada
At the back of the party. I have new comms for us.


He finally caught sight of her as she was giving life to one of the plants in the party. His heart raced a bit as he remembered the crush he once had on her but there was no time to think about or dwell on what ifs. At least not right now for Kit as he made his way across the room over to Ada. ”Hey,” He said from behind her. ”Take this new earpiece. It links us all through Bella’s telepathy while the comms are down.” He briefly explained how it worked but became distracted when his phone buzzed with another message.

SOS, gadget not working right

”Shit. I gotta find Bella.” Kit abruptly left. Not paying attention to if Ada decided to follow or not as he walked and looked for Bella.

To: Bella
Where are you?
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Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Morgana Ishida Character Portrait: Emeris Mikaelson Character Portrait: Lucille Simon Character Portrait: Cameron Jensen Character Portrait: Kieran Gallagher Character Portrait: Bastien Delacourt
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Morgana Ishida
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Outfit || Wiccan || #b84425
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While being late wasn’t one of her usual things Morgana would never just not show up completely to a mission. She emerged at the back of the museum, walking out of the shadows that accompanied a dark corner where the loading dock was. As silent as her portals, her feet fell soft on the concrete as she shook out the initial cold and icky feeling she felt whenever passing through one of her portals. Sometimes, for her at least, it was somewhat disorienting if she didn’t focus enough. Things in the dark began to whisper… or so she thought. Once the nerves were gathered, brown eyes surveyed her surroundings. There were a few smaller trucks parked around but only two in the loading area . . . and no security? Her brow arched slightly, that was definitely a little weird right? Reeling her mind back in, the witch reached into her pocket and pulled out the comm she was given a few days prior then shoved it in her ear and gave it a little double tap. “I’m here,” Morgana chimed in, all while conjuring herself a half mask with a pass of her hand over her mouth, her magic, smokey black covering everything from her nose down.

There were sudden gunshots, BANG! BANG! BANG! They rang in her ear so clearly but Morgana stood firm, whipping her head toward the sound instead. It sounded like it came from the other side of the museum. She looked around once more, still no one . . . “Shots?” she questioned through the comms, but another set of them confirmed shit was going down. Morgana hastily began rolling up her sleeves, unbuttoning the first couple of buttons on her dress shirt so she wasn’t so constricted, and pulled down her suspenders. Shame, she didn’t have much time to change after a long day of nonstop work but she managed to pack a small backpack that clung to her back with her after-party clothes and a few other things. So there was that and the thought of a little someone . . . It still annoyed the shit out of her though, being late. “I’m going in dickheads, anything I should know about?” she spoke again through the mic, beginning to make her way around the building towards the sound of fighting.

Before rounding the corner of the museum, the chaos that she heard unfolding was about to be right at her feet. There was a short whiz and then a loud crack that instantly made her freeze right where she stood. A bullet, that was a fucking bullet! It landed in the concrete right behind her head, chipping some in the process. With her brows furrowed and heat rising to her face, brown eyes darted around her vicinity and before she knew it she was staring down a masked man a yard or so away with wild blue eyes and brown hair peaking from beneath his mask. The gun shook slightly in his hands but it wasn’t fear, he didn’t look scared. He stood and watched her, gauged her reaction before letting off a few more shots in her direction. There wasn’t much time for Morgana to react other than to pull a few quick hand movements lighting up the night with purple sparks and yell “Halt!”. The bullets stopped right in front of her, in mid-air before falling harmlessly to the ground. That's when she felt the sting. She raised her hand to her left ear, touching lightly enough to smear blood across her fingers. Just the feeling of warm and wet was enough to confirm her thoughts and with her anger rising, the witch took her bloodied fingertips and pulled her staff out from her chest with a purple glow and a wince. Like a bandaid, if you pulled it off fast, the pain would end fast and then you were okay. But other times the pain . . . lingered in her chest.

Without missing a beat she took a few strides to gain momentum toward the man thinking about how she now has to show up to an event after this with a bleeding ear. “Are you fucking serious!?” she yelled before launching her staff like a harpoon and having it strike him dead in the chest. The masked man crumpled into a heap while holding his chest and trying to desperately breathe but Morgana only held her hand out calling her staff back into her hands like some magic boomerang. “I’m heading over to the basement. If someone could come along and cover my back, that would be amazing.” ”I’m right behind you.” Hearing both voices, Morgana’s attention was snapped back to the mission as she looked for a faster way in. “Aha, my precious.” she sung out doing a grabbing motion with her hands towards a service door on the side of the building. “I’m heading in, see you guys soon!”

After making sure she knocked out the guy with a good kick to his face, Morgana examined the keypad next to the door and then lifted her finger up to it, a small purple shock of magic making it all go wonky before giving her the green. Alright, that was easy enough. Slipping through the door, Morgana could now hear the screams clearly, her feet already moving in its direction and her breath picking up. It wasn’t long before she began shoving past people, gripping her staff tightly. The first hand that was laid on her shoulder was met with a swift jujutsu submission where the person's arm was twisted and now they sat on their knees in front of her. Another dickhead in all black. With a further twist of his arm, there was a pop and a loud yelp cut short by Morgana hitting him across the face with her staff. She looked down and found a bit of blood across her white shirt and a slight look of utter blasphemy took over her features. “What the fuck, can anything white of mine just stay clean for more than a few hours?” she complained to herself. There was no point in trying to wipe it now, she’d only smear it more. Thud! Ow. The fuck? People were now pushing past her, bumping into her, and stepping on her toes. Wait, was that a person? She could have sworn he was carrying a sword? Okay, hell no.

The witch took off again down a crowded hall of people where she decided to piggyback off a few shadows making her trip into the exhibition hall twice as fast. Once she got there there was no hesitation in sweeping her first opponent's feet from beneath them with her staff. A swift blow to his face with the bottom of her staff and he was down for the count. “I’m in the exhibition hall, where do you want me?” The witch jumped back into the fray to help a couple cornered. She used her shadows to appear behind the assailant in an instant tapping his shoulder ever so gently from behind to grab his attention. “Hi, hello! Have you ever heard of the phrase to fuck offeth?” Before the guy could raise his gun at her Morgana kicked it from his hands thwacking him in the face with the end of her staff before uppercutting him with the bulky part.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Morgana Ishida Character Portrait: Emeris Mikaelson Character Portrait: Lucille Simon Character Portrait: Ada Forrest Character Portrait: Mikey Santo Character Portrait: Clarence Lawless
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bella clayton.
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outfit. sentinel. #772222
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xxx the sun's starting to light up
xxx when we're walking home
xxx tired little laugh, gold lie promises
xxx we'll always win at this
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The calm that had come from her conversation with Luci and Luci’s powers had long gone. Without the calming, grounding presence of another human being, the noise was loud again. She was sitting on the floor, curled into as much of a ball as she could manage, her head on her arms, her eyes squeezed shut to stop any light from coming through. Light hurt, sound hurt, everything hurt. The voices were so loud, and there were so many thoughts that she didn’t want to hear. Thoughts of violence, thoughts of anger, she couldn’t separate them from her own thoughts any more. Did she want to do those things? Had she already done them? Or was she just surrounded by awful, violent people?

She’d sent texts, or at least she was pretty sure she had. Maybe that had been somebody else’s thought as well. But after texting Kit, the time she’d been waiting felt like an eternity. She’d texted Mikey too, something along the lines of “powers bad, plz help.” When she felt the buzz of her phone in her hand, moving her head and her hand to look at it was almost painful. She had to squint at the screen to be able to make out the text. It was from Kit, that much she could see. Texting would take too much energy. Maybe it would be easier if she went and found him?

Then she moved too fast and felt, once again, like she was gonna throw up. Moving was a bad idea. She folded herself back up and took a photo of her view, sending it back to him. She felt like she should send an actual text too but the room was swimming far too much for that. She sank her head back onto her arms and prayed that somebody else would find her soon.




kieran gallagher.
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outfit. mask. charon. #757576
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xxx these are the eyes
xxx and the lies of the taken
xxx these are their hearts
xxx but their hearts don't beat like ours
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When Kieran came back to the room, he was sitting on the floor, his head leaning back against the pillar. His whole body hurt, but it was the usual post-power ache; looked like he’d managed to avoid getting shot at least. His vision was still blurry but he could just about make out somebody beside him. They put a hand on his arm and spoke to him; a familiar voice, perhaps the one he wanted to hear the most. He smiled instinctively, a soft smile that betrayed his relief at seeing Cameron of all people. “Yeah, I’m fine,” he said. He glanced down at his hands, seeing the too familiar sight of blood on his hands. “Nose bleed but no nausea, I’ll take that much,” he said, glancing back at Cameron and grinning again.

Now his vision was cleared, he could see something looming up behind them. Not something, someone, in an unfamiliar suit and with their eyes set on Cameron. Without even thinking about it, Kieran grabbed his knife and lunged towards the figure, his knife plunging into the figure’s thigh. They stumbled back, giving Kieran the chance to get his hand on their leg and dig deep again. He didn’t have time to think, didn’t have time to use the control he usually tried to use. And so their would-be attacker turned to dust before their eyes. Kieran sank back to a sitting position, not looking at Cameron. He hated people seeing him using his powers like this, seeing how horrified they could be. And he couldn’t even blame them for feeling like that.

“Sorry,” he said quietly. “I’m fine again if you wanna go… rejoin the fight or whatever,” he said. He wasn’t fine; he’d still need another while before he felt okay to stand unassisted, and his hands were shaking. But he knew people didn’t want to stick around after seeing that.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Morgana Ishida Character Portrait: Emeris Mikaelson Character Portrait: Lucille Simon Character Portrait: Ada Forrest Character Portrait: Mikey Santo Character Portrait: Cameron Jensen
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Emeris Mikaelson
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Attire | #8e9091
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Now you pack your bags
The party's such a drag
And everyone can tell
That you're poisoning the well
But there are no mistakes
Except what you create
You need to know your place
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The sound of scattering and ricocheting bullets managed to pull Isimir out from their thoughts. Giving over a quick scan of the room once more, they were able to see Drake in the middle of taking down two more masked individuals. Nice one, bud. Peering around the other side of their hiding spot, Isimir could spot another two figures, this time they were familiar, even from this distance and with masks. Varient and Charon. From the looks of things, Charon appeared to have seen better days, but with Varient, Isimir knew he'd be fine. More than fine. Giving a small nod, Isimir finally popped out from their vantage point, but just in time to stumble into an unknown figure.

"Now you", Isimir started, "Are really killing my vibe." they chided softly, quickly taking the masked assailant by the arm and flipping them over onto their back and onto the floor. Feeling the person's shoulder dislocate upon impact, "Nighty, night, sweet prince-" Isimir stated, before bringing their booted foot onto the individual's face. A soft crunch was all that was heard, and the figure went limp. That would at least keep that one down long enough, that's all that was needed.

Looking down at their watch, Isimir let out a silent curse, "Being fashionably late is still a thing, right?" they said to no one in particular, taking one more look around the large room they were in before turning on their heel and making a mad dash into the darkness. From their calculations and scanners, there was less than a handfull of unnaccounted for people, the others could handle it, right? Right.

Sure, Isimir knew they'd be getting more than an earful later on, they always did, but tonight was different. They had one night to do this, and they had no more time to spare. They could deal with Reaper, Charon, Bash, and whoever else lecturing them when they realized one person was missing from the group.




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Mikey Santo
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Attire | #197b5b
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I’m not yours to touch
Hear the warning
Not your sweetheart
I’m not your sweetheart
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Mikey had made her way from one room to another, managing to stay out of eye-sight for the most part. She knew there was more than a plethora of security cameras keeping the place on lockdown, but she didn’t care about that right now. She would deal with Xavier being upset with her at a later time. Something just wasn't sitting right with her. Those two people that had attempted to breaking into the party…That just didn’t seem correct. Or well, not entirely. If they had been attempting to make their way into the party, they could have very easily strolled in through the front door, Mikey knew that they guest list was abysmally long and as well as basic security would try, some stragglers would still manage to make it passed the front doors.

So, them simply trying to get into the party from the outside, dressed like that? That wasn’t it. Something else was going on, they had something else in mind, but what was it? An attack? If so, there would have been more. Terrorist threat? Again, there would have been more than just two, and the way they had been acting? Being knocked out by Quantum like that…But still being able to make a quick getaway in such a short time? That was the part that was beginning to bother Mikey. If they were able to take such hits, and still be able to escape moments later, without being detected? They weren’t normal attackers. She felt sick.

Mikey had found herself lost in thought, that she hadn’t even heard her phone chime. At least not until the last few notes of the familiar ringtone faded. Bella…, Mikey’s thoughts immediately went to her friend, going for her phone. Her stomach dropped for a moment.

To Bells: On my way, hold tight

For now Mikey would have to give up on trying to find some more clues for what those attackers were up to, she’d follow her hunch later on. She had more important things to attend to. Just as swiftly as she had left, Mikey had made her way back down to the main room where the party was being held. Dozens if not hundreds of faces flooded the room, the sound of chattering voices and the soft music being played the filled the room with a thunderous harmony. It was almost overwhelming.

Thankfully, Mikey had a feeling she knew where Bella was, she just had to find her. It couldn’t be that hard, right? Making her way through what felt like an endless sea of faces, Mikey had somehow managed to find her target. Bella appeared so small and scared. Holled up in the farthest place she could get herself. MIkey could feel her heart skip a few beats, she hated seeing the people she cared about like this. She knew how Bella’s powers had been affecting her of late, or at least the smallest idea of it, anyway. But this? This, only reminded Mikey of when the first two met. How scared and nervous Bella was. It nearly felt like a life-time ago.

Mikey brought herself back to reality and away from those thoughts, she needed to be present and here for her friend, not dwelling on the past. Just as Mikey began to make her way over to Bella, Mikey stopped in her tracks. From the corner of her eye she had managed to see a figure on the opposite side of the room, she watched as the figure slowly entered the room. Her breath caught in her throat and her stomach felt like it dropped. She watched as the all too familiar, blond figure fixed the cuff of the black blazer they wore. The all too familiar silvery, white blond hair was pushed back, appearing as more of a mane than anything else. Even from this distance, Mikey could have sworn the two made eye contact.

Why were they here-, Mikey shook her head, she didn’t care. It didn’t concern her anymore. Whatever reason that had brought them here, was none of her concern. They hadn’t even properly talked in over a year, everything seemed so cold and distant between the both of them. On one hand it didn’t feel right, Mikey wanted to fix things, tell them the truth, but if there was one thing about them that Mikey knew, that once a bridge was burned, there wasn’t any way of fixing it. She had done more than enough damage by now, if she tried, it would only get worse.

Without much more than a second look, Mikey turned on her heels and pushed her way through the crowd. Taking a few deep breaths as she quickly strode the rest of the way towards her friend. Slowly crouching down beside her, ”You look like you’ve seen a ghost.” Mikey attempted at a playful quip, ”How about we get a drink or something, huh? I think we could both use one right now.”