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The Death & The Apple

The Death & The Apple

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"I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning, and yet, the end. I am a Reaper, and your time has come."

1,447 readers have visited The Death & The Apple since Pyramids created it.

Introduction

An old homeless man cowers in the corner of a deserted alleyway. The ground beneath him soaked by his own waste, he screams, pleading under the tall shadow that slowly consumes him. The gaunt man that hovers over the pitiful soul is dressed entirely in black, the sole light of his being consists of his dull blue eyes, and the silver crucifix chain that he holds in his left hand.

“Who are you, why are you doing this?!” The old man cries. The enigmatic man sighs, and grudgingly opens his mouth to reveal a voice devoid of any sort of emotion.


“I am the alpha and the omega. The beginning and yet, the end. The creator and the extinguisher. I am a Reaper, and your time has come.”

The chain the man holds suddenly starts to illuminate with a warm, white light. The old homeless man screams and trembles at first, but then, as the light grows to cover him, he settles. He feels his body completely at ease, a euphoric feeling. It is at that moment that a massive porcelain door appears. The old man hesitates at first, intimidated by the sheer size of this incredible phenomenon. A force beckons him though, and he knows that he must go. Still shaking, the dirt covered old man faces the Reaper. They share a nod, and he begins to walk towards the doorway.

“Farewell.”

As the doors open the Reaper turns his back. The last thing he hears before he exits the alley is the sound of the door slamming shut.

“Another job well done.”

It is the first bit of emotion one would hear from the man as he stuffs the silver chain back into the pocket of his suit jacket and steps onto the city streets, disappearing among a dense crowd.

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We’re the Reapers. An Order of special folk, blessed with the innate ability to see beyond our means. And by ‘seeing beyond our means’ I mean seeing spirits and other beings from beyond our human world plane. What’s wrong? You look confused....Oh, you need me to explain? Ok. Check it out.

I want you to think of a cake three layer cake--now imagine the world as that cake. A nice, tasty, chocolate cake. You like that right? Each layer of the cake is a ‘plane’ of the world. Until now, the world as you’ve seen it has been limited to the middle layer of the cake, we call that the ‘Living’ plane, or the human plane. It’s the plane that you and I live in, it’s also the safest, most stable layer of the cake.

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Now, you know how there are little bits of icing surrounding the middle layer of any good self respecting cake? That is what we like to call ‘limbo’[b]. A plane that isn’t quite a full fledged plane. It’s a middle ground, a place where spirits who for some reason or another can’t quite step foot into a plane of afterlife. Naturally, since the living plane and limbo are so close they tend to blend into one another, this is why humans with certain ability are able to see ghosts.



The two remaining planes are [b]Heaven
and Hell, the Angel plane and the Demon plane. I’m sure you could guess their positions on the cake; the top layer is ever pristine Heaven, while the bottom layer is the lawless wasteland called Hell.

Getting easier? By now, you’re probably wondering “Gee stranger, how do I get to these other planes?” Well, here’s where things get complicated.

There are two ways we as humans possess of entering the other planes. The first is well, to die [more on that later]. The second, more practical, and less permanent way is to change your soul’s frequency.



If the planes act like a cake, frequency works like a radio. Each plane possess a certain frequency. The higher up you go on the cake, the higher the frequency. By default, dwellers of a plane’s souls are already tuned to that plane’s frequency. That means that if the the Living Plane’s station is 107.9, the radio [our souls] are tuned to 107.9. Souls that are not tuned into a plane’s frequency cannot enter that particular plane. So how does one enter another plane you ask? Simple. They just change the frequency of their soul. It’s a simple, but invaluable skill that you best learn quick if you want to get your feet wet.

One last thing about frequencies before we move on. Limbo and it’s denizens, being on the precipice of planes do not abide by the normal rules of frequency. They are doomed to linger on between planes of life and death.

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So you know how the world works now. Feel good? Feel older? Wiser? Good. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. I haven’t even properly told ya’ just who the hell we are yet.

We’re the Reapers, and if the angels are the force that maintains Heaven, and the demons are the ones behind Hell, we’re what keeps the Living Plane running. We’re an ancient order that goes way, way back. Our order was created in an effort to keep mankind free from the entanglements of the conflicts between angels and demons. Think of us a mediators between the groups; we’re the only thing on this planet that could hope to stand up against their forces. When things were at their worst during the Great War, a seven year battle between angels and demons that nearly destroyed the planet, we were the ones that drafted the treaty and created the peace among the groups. No matter how shaky it is today.

Our order has a second duty too. We’re the guides for all of the world’s spirits. Using our pendants that each one of us is issued during admittance we send those whose time has come on their way to the next life--whether it be Heaven or Hell. Most people, once we explain to them just who we are, accept death and willingly take off into the next plane. Others run, and that’s when we have to give chase--because if a human being dies without being properly sent by a Reaper, they become Lost and get trapped in Limbo.

A Lost soul is normally harmless especially when they hear that we’re the ones that can get them to the afterlife. But of course, there’s the ones that aren’t harmless. It’s never simple is it? Certain Lost harbor immense negative emotions. These negative emotions consume and corrupt the soul, warping it into a demon-like state that is unrecognizable that any that may have known the soul before its transformation. These ugly as all fuck things are armed and dangerous, and are drawn to life--and want to snuff it out. They are wild, mindless bastards that won’t stop until a Reaper sends them.

Don’t worry, it’s not like we’re going in weak against the Lost. Through training, every Reaper awakens to a special ability called a ‘Psyche’. A Psyche a supernatural technique that grows and evolves with the user. No two Psyches are the same and they can range from the magical, such as control over fire, to the physical, like super strength. Rookie Reapers are paired with a senior member that is to help them unlock their Psyche.

Now, there’s one final duty we have to uphold. It’s the continued progress and prosperity of the order. That means actively searching for new recruits, and keeping our order a secret. When a human awakens to their sight [they become aware of Limbo and its spirits], it could happen at any moment in life, we call it ‘The Bells Toll’. When this happens it’s crunch time. The freshly awaken whelp is vulnerable in two ways; their fear of the spirit world they now see probably has them shakin’ in their boots, and two, rabid Lost love the smell of freshly awakened humans. If a Reaper doesn’t get to them in time, it could be curtains for that person.

On any day, a Reaper may be tasked with one of two missions. The first, normally taken solo or in pairs, is to send a particular target. The second, normally taken in trios [there have been exceptions], is eradication of a rabid Lost.

We Reapers don’t have much of a hierarchy to speak of. We respect seniority and ability above all. That said, there’s one man we all follow. The Pale Rider, The Fourth Horseman, The Grim Reaper himself, a man named Alan Darkmare. The Grim Reaper is a man on par with the strongest angel or demon. Selected by the leader of the angels, it’s said that he’s got multiple Psyches and is the strongest Reaper we’ve had since the first. But for all his power and majesty, our leader’s just a man, like all of us. He’s been bedridden as of late. A lot of us are afraid that it’s time to select a new Grim Reaper.

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Welcome To Babylon!


Ah Babylon city. The largest, most bustling city in the United States, and it's the Reaper's home. Babylon is broken up into a number of districts from the Residential to the Recreational, each district is massive in size. To a new comer, Babylon could be quite intimidating, but don't worry freshmeat, i'm hear to show you a thing or two.

The Industrial District

Babylon's many factories and shipping yards can be found here. At night, this area is typically deserted making it a breeding ground for certain...sketchy behavior. So watch yourself.

Residential Districts

The Residential Districts are a diverse area of Babylon. Many of the streets here adopt a neo-modern feel giving the whole area a hip, futuristic feel. There are apartments abound. The Residential District is also where the Babylon school system resides.

Business District

Suits and ties man, suits and ties. The largest district of Babylon is where the big boys play. It's the Business District. City Hall is located here.

+ The Den, Reaper HQ is located in the Business District. If you take a stroll to the dry cleaners located at 1033 Nightingale Ave, and say you're hear to pick up order number 33, you'll be lead to a door in the back. That door is an elevator to the sprawling underground network that is The Den. The Den was built upon old catacombs that have been with Babylon for centuries.

Recreational District

This is the tourist attraction of Babylon. Here you can find amusement parks, hotels, movie theateres, arcades, and The Arena, where all of Babylon's sporting events are held.

Shopping District

My personal favorite. I like to stay fresh. An oceanfront island with a fun, relaxing atmosphere. The streets are filled with shops and entertainment spots that you can indulge in to your hearts delight. Here, you'll also fine the Seaside Mall, the countries largest shopping center. Hilliard Observatory, the tallest building in Babylon and the monorail station are also located here.

+ Check this out. If you ever see a shop with a black X marked outside of it do yourself a favor and go on in. Those are shops that sell things specific to Reapers. It might be equipment, or information, regardless, you'd do yourself well to visit one of these places in the future.

[More will be added as the story progresses]

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The Heroes [character skeletons]


And so it begins.

The supernatural world is in an uproar over the state of the Grim Reaper, and to top things off, more and more Lost have been popping up all over the living plane. All things considered, we’re in a lot of shit.

That’s where you come in. You might not join our order, but you’re as much a part of this as I am. I wonder, what will you do during all of this?

Let’s find out, shall we?

A word on character creation:

Even though there D&A world is full of all kinds of supernatural things, only humans are allowed to be played. The reason behind this is to keep the supernatural just that--supernatural. A human cast will keep the angels and demons that do enter the fray through story from becoming to much of the stale norm. So without further delay, let’s go!

Code: Select all

[if you’re a Reaper put “I am the Alpha, and the Omega...” at the top of your skeleton. If you’re independent put “I <3 Babylon” instead]

[b]Name:[/b]
[b]Alias:[/b] Got a nickname? A title? A name you prefer to be called?
[b]Age:[/b] You can be as young or as old as you want.
[b]Gender:[/b]
[b]Hometown:[/b]
[b]Occupation:[/b]
[b]Appearance:[/b] Feel free to use a picture. Be sure to give at least a paragraph explanation on your character’s looks.
[b]Personality:[/b] I wanna know what makes you tick.
[b]Affiliation:[/b] You rollin’ with the Reapers? Or do you ride solo?
[b]Weapon:[/b]
[b]Psyche:[/b] Even if you haven’t unlocked it yet, let us know what it is. You can only have one of these. Be inventive. Don’t just let us know what it is, let us know how you use it too.
[b]Skills:[/b] Do you have any other abilities outside of your Psyche? Lockpicking? Superior intellect? What’s up?
[b]History:[/b] Let me know your early life and what you’ve been up to recently. No need to write a book. Feel free to include any notable relationships here too.
[b]Theme(s):[/b] We all love tunes. What tunes relate to your character?
[b]Other:[/b] Likes? Dislikes? Hobbies? Put anything that doesn’t fit anywhere else here.

Toggle Rules

Rules, Gotta Love Em’

I’ll keep this short and sweet. I trust you guys after all. [/doucheysmileyface]

x. All of the typical RP rules apply here. No GMing, PPing, keep a good attitude blah blah. You know this.

I. As a roleplayer and GM, I expect a certain level of quality from the people I roleplay with, especially in one’s I’m running. This one isn’t any different. That said, I don’t expect any novels or essays from you guys at all. I’m a quality over quantity man. As long as your posts are well thought out, contribute to the story, a legible I don’t mind how much you write in a particular post.

II. Participation is key. I won’t breathe down your neck about posting daily, but if it looks like you won’t be able to post for a while, duck into the OOC and let us know. Why join if you don’t want to post?

III. If you’ve got an idea about a plot line, let me know. I’m very open to things like that. Shoot me a line, I love that shit.

IV. This is probably going to be one of those mature roleplays. [ooh la la!] What I mean by that is, we’re dealing with death and the afterlife here. Themes such sex and religion are also bound to pop up here so take this as a disclaimer. Excessive profanity is something i’m a-ok with too. We don’t want no smut tho. But you know this.

V. Let’s have fun with this? Ok? GO!

Taking place in...

Babylon City our primary setting

Where the magic happens. A city named after the biblical city of old.

Babylon City

Babylon City by Pyramids

Where the magic happens. A city named after the biblical city of old.

The Story So Far... Write a Post » as written by 9 authors

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Alex smiled almost proudly. Maybe it was just her. Or maybe Julie sounded a bit impressed the way she looked down at the little box in Alex's hand, eyebrows raised, the way she said "Wow... nice." Really, Alex didn't feel a goddamn whit of pride, not for this. Building a laser? There was no intelligence involved-- not like solving the Dirac's equation, or deriving Feynman rules, or, you know, doing anything that involved any thinking whatsoever. And as for skill, if you could look up instructions on the internet and not be a fucking dumbass, you pretty much had your goddamn laser already... Even though Alex was used to thinking something like ninety per cent of humanity had trouble with that second step in the equation. Was trying to dig herself out of that line of thinking, but it was kinda like a tiger trying to go vegan. Long, difficult, perhaps impossible, against its own very nature, and liable to end in blood and tears for all involved.

But it wasn't too misanthropic of her to at least prefer the company of intellectual equals, was it? Or to note that 'intellectual equals' was perhaps too strong a word? Not arrogance, of course. Just reality. Alex was too self-aware to make concessions and allowances for the inferiority of others-- er, which was to say, to throw about terms like 'equals' too loosely. She didn't consider herself intellectually superior to all other people as a rule, not anymore-- she preferred to think she was simply aware of her own aptitude and the relative aptitude of others. Which was why she could appreciate the company of folks who, if not quite at the level of 'intellectual equal', at least valued knowledge and learning, who were rare enough in this world that Alex considered it a genuine blessing to find herself in their company. Like she was now.

Alas, as usual, it was not destined to remain so for long. A brief second of silence passed between the two university students as they trudged along before Julie spoke again with a chuckle. "I should get going now. I'm freaking freezing. Catch you later." Alex flashed a farewell grin and a small wave of the hand as Julie turned around to head back the way she'd come. "Awrighty then. See ya 'round." And with that, she turned back to the path ahead of her, and began to walk as Julie's footsteps faded away behind her. Somewhere along the way, Alex thought she heard Julie call something out, but when she turned her head to glance over her shoulder, Julie had already vanished into the winter haze.




It was some twenty minutes or so from the bus stop to the Shopping District, and then to the cafe where Alex had agreed to meet her friends... oh, an hour ago now or so. The Shopping District was normally quite a crowded place-- too crowded, by most regards, though it seemed the snowfall had discouraged a few of the would-be shoppers. Not many, though: countless other courageous souls dared to brave the fearsome two or so inches of snow, and to be honest, to Alex the place didn't look any less swamped with aimless throngs of bodies wandering the white-bound streets listlessly.

Rubbing her hands together vigorously in a momentarily effective effort to get some warmth into them, naked as they were to the elements, Alex headed up the street towards the cafe. It was neither exceptionally popular nor one of those 'hole in the wall' obscure places that hadn't seen a new visitor since the discovery of fire-- nor, objectively speaking, was the quality of their products of any particular note compared to other similar establishments. Just your completely average coffee shop, one for which the others had evidently developed a sort of fondness despite its overall mediocrity. She'd have liked to say she couldn't understand why, but at this point, she had all four of them more or less figured out.

Joey Ginn, for example. Big guy. Strong. But insecure as all hell, and socially inept to boot. Covers it up by acting like some sort of big tough guy and brawns his way out of awkward situations. Then people just think he's a total douchebag. Surprisingly selfless, actually, when he gets a chance to show it. Constantly anxious of being perceived as inadequate or weak, though. Strict parents, very religious upbringing, but confides to his friends (however reluctantly) that he isn't actually religious at all, majoring in business because that's what his daddy wants him to do, secretly hates every second of it. All in all, a pretty miserable guy.

Next to him, undoubtedly, is Greg Rollins. The obligatory skinny guy. Helpless flirt. Fancies himself a joker of sorts. Quite witty in the art of verbal repartee but intellectually pretty much never graduated high school, which is probably why he's in for a 'liberal arts' degree. Refreshingly self-aware, though-- completely aware of his own inferiority, so he just coasts through life with his only goal being 'have a good time'. Shuffles through constant sexual flings and short-lived, purely sensual relationships to cover up the fact that he's heads over heels in love with...

Ana Roessler, a woman of absolutely no physical or intellectual noteworthiness. Well, I guess mediocrity attracts mediocrity. Only reason he won't tell her is the ages old cliche 'don't wanna ruin our friendship' bullshit. Pretty much your stereotypical pretty white girl from a middle-upper class family, though-- never done anything by herself for herself, doesn't know what she's doing with her life so she just goes with what anybody else tells her, completely oblivious, completely superficial. Pretty reprehensible-- at least Greg owns up to his faults and takes his life into his own hands. Only one of the four I actually dislike.

And lastly Jaquelina Villanueva. Prefers 'Jack', probably because her real name is too girly or some dumb shit like that. Kinda your stereotypical tough type. Hits harder than Joey and with twice the malice. Smartest one of the four, actually-- majoring in computer science of all things. Only one of 'em that kept me outta their computer networks-- couldn't catch me though. Abrasive as hell and the emotional equivalent of a Swiss bank. So unfriendly it's actually easy to tell she's just terrified of abandonment and loss, probably because she's had plenty of it before. Tattoos, leather, spikes-- but genuinely pretty vulnerable under it all. Bit cliche, but she's good people.

Funky bunch.
Alex put on her smiley happy Alex face in preparation as she approached the door into the cafe. Funky bunch, but they're not intolerable. And only few of many. She was too busy preparing for the masquerade to remind herself that if she wanted it to become anything but a masquerade, one of these days, she was gonna have to make a point of not analysing people for their faults and insecurities.

"Ah, the lady of the hour!" Greg Rollins' lively voice seemed to breath some renewed life into what looked to Alex, upon entrance, to be a less than lively atmosphere. At a little table up towards the back of the place, Greg leapt to his feet to meet Alex. "Or should I say," he tacked on with immense delight in the inevitably incoming terrible pun. "The lady of the hour late?"

"Sometimes I wonder why you've yet to get your big stand-up comedy break, Greg," Alex drawled in responce, ploppin' on down into a seat beside a scowling (as ever) Jack. "But then I remember it's 'cause you got the sense'a humour of a rubber ducky."

Greg pressed his hand to his heart as though gravely injured, and collapsed into his chair like he'd just been shot in the face or somethin'. "Why I never. Hmph. I suppose my humour is simply too advanced for present company. Wasted on you mindless plebeians."

He continued to grumble and mumble under his breath, eliciting a laugh from Ana beside him (whereupon Greg looked simply too thrilled to pay any attention to whatever else was happening). Joey, across from Alex, piped up a bit uncertainly. "I was... uh, we were starting to think you weren't even comin'. What kept you?"

"Guy's gotta have time to be awesome, y'know, Joe-Joe," Alex retorted with a cocky smirk. "Ain't my fault if bein' awesome occupies more'a my time than it does y'all's. It's a full time job."

"Well, if yer finished with that, can we get the fuck outta here?" Jack grunted, crossing her tattoo-clad arms across her chest. "This place is staler'n Greg's sense'a humour."

"Why's everyone always raggin' on me? Truly, visionaries are oft misunderstood by the blind sheep who surround them."

"Sucks for them visionaries," Alex couldn't help but rib. "What's that gotta do with your humour, or lack thereof?"

"You people suck. I'm gonna go off in this corner and brood and write poems about rejection and loneliness and grow my bangs out so I can put them over my eyes."

"Y'know, uh, yeah, maybe we should get moving," Joey spoke up, glancing uneasily from person to person. "Er-- I mean-- unless you wanted to get something here," he added hastily as he glanced to Alex.

"Naw, naw. Let's blow this popsicle stand. Guys wanna head to the mall?"

"Oh yeah!" Ana chimed in enthusiastically. "I saw some real cute things at Hannah's there the other day." The absolutely delighted grin on her face suggested this was a great thing, though it gradually abated as she got nothing but raised eyebrows. She sighed hopelessly. "This group needs more girls. So I can talk about girl things. I mean, Alex says she's not even a girl 'beyond the physical', whatever that means, and Jack, uh..."

"Doesn't give a flyin' fuck about the cute things at Hannah's."

"Yeah."

"You can talk about girl things with me anytime Ana," Greg announced hopefully. Alas-- t'was for naught. Ana gave an amused giggle, slapped his arm playfully, and then went back to being an oblivious little airhead like usual. Typical. This was a pretty heterogeneous bunch'a folks, but ya hang around anybody long enough, they get t'bein' predictable. Familiar. Same old, y'know. Sometimes Alex could just about guess the shit they were gonna say long before they said it. Even had a bit'a fun from time to time plotting out entire conversations based off'a one sentence and then seein' how close she was. Her high score was 100%. That game was boring now.

"Kinda wanna stop by the big bookstore on the way," Alex noted, figurin' it didn't do nobody no good to dwell on such things. "Been tellin' myself I'd pick up a copy'a Smith's The Wealth'a Nations f'r ages now. We don't have it at the shop for whatever reason."

"Didn'tja hear?" Jack replied. "Big bookstore's closed. Taken out by all them new-fangled electronic book thingies you fuckers keep buyin'."

"Huh. Well shit. Guess I'm gonna have to go to the smaller one at the mall. Sucks."

"God forbid Alex has to go to a bookstore that isn't the size of Rhode Island. Truly, an insurmountable change in her world has come about."

Alex merely snorted. "An insurmountable change in my world." She pondered the words, and then, with a shrug, decided, "Only if I'm really, really lucky."

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Character Portrait: Silas Fairchild Character Portrait: Christopher Allen
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#, as written by Kuroe
Silas Fairchild’s left eye opened lazily for the fourth time that day. His phone, sitting on the bedside table, buzzed out its tone for a message for, obviously, the fourth time that day. This time, though, instead of covering his head with a sheet and ignoring it, he stretched his arm out, probing the top of the table in search of the little box-shaped item. A loud clatter as an object fell from the table confirmed that he had indeed found it. He groaned and pulled himself up to sit on the edge of the bed. After rubbing his eyes and waiting for a moment, he slowly bent his body at the hips to pick up the phone. It rang again, making him cringe for a moment. Once it was in his hands, he fumbled with it for a moment to turn it on, almost dropped, and finally managed to keep the thing still long enough to scan the text about five times so that he could make any sense of it.

He fell back onto the bed. A meeting? Now? Why did it have to be in the winter, anyways…? It was too cold to walk and he never learned to drive… Maybe he could get a ride… He looked down at himself. He was wearing sweat pants and a t shirt. He might have to change that, so if he called now he’d have enough time to take a shower and get changed… Maybe, if the meeting hadn’t already started. But it’s not like it could be anything important. Well, nothing that really mattered to him, anyways. Bringing his phone in front of his face, he automatically opened the address book and clicked the first name that popped up- Chris Allen.

Putting the tone to his ear, he waited for the dial tone to stop.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tekil Thorkildson Character Portrait: Julie Adams Character Portrait: Quest McBride Character Portrait: Silas Fairchild Character Portrait: Christopher Allen
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[url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZXT3v1Ngyo]The Den
[/url]


The Grim Reaper leaned forward in his wheelchair.

"The dates aren't the only match here. The locations of the gathering Lost also match." Although his eyes themselves couldn't be seen by his subordinates, he could vividly see theirs. From underneath the black sheet that shrouded him, he stared deep into Chris, Tekil, and Julie's eyes. They would no doubt feel the shrewd gaze of the Pale Rider. Mya clicked a button on her remote, in accordance, the image on the screen behind her changed. The new image was of Babylon, and several marked points on the map.


"These two patterns allow us to trace the spikes, and retaliate. We may not know what is causing the attacks, but we do know now where they'll occur." Mya began, “The location for this one is--”

“Warehouse Thirteen, in the Industrial District.” Alan Darkmare’s voice cut like a dagger through Mya’s speech. “This is the only place that makes sense.” Face full of dolor, he nodded for Ms. Deng to approach the floor again.

“The strike team for this operation is larger than normal with four members total,” Mya looked at the vacant fourth spot, of course he wasn’t here, “Tekil, you will be tasked as the leader for this mission. You and I will be in direct contact here. Julie, Christopher, and Mr. Fairchild, whenever he decides to arrive, will be your support. Make the neccessary preparations and leave at once. We’re not exactly sure what is behind the sudden growth in Lost, take the necessary caution as you proceed.” Mya was as cold as she was calculated when she spoke; her telling to to ‘take the necessary caution’ was her purest form of empathy. With her eyes averting to the Grim Reaper, she bowed. “Father?”

“That is all. If what I feel is any indication, I believe you will have many questions when you return, and I will answer every single one of them.”

Mya grasped the handles at the top of her master’s chair, and with one final glance at the team, took her leave.

Warehouse 13

The spirits around him had multiplied. There were dozens of them now, some looked like workers, others were more...familiar. Dressed in patterns similar to the cloth that hung from his belt, with eyes of gleaming gold, they were without a doubt Maori. Pushed against the rusty end of a stalled conveyor belt Quest was a fucking mess. His entire body was shaking, he couldn’t even move. This wasn’t the first time he’d seen ghosts, he grew up with them even. But something like this, these tortured, screaming spirits. And what’s more they looked like him. Men, women, children. Some of them looked identical to cousins he’d met with just a few months ago.

“What the fuck is going on!” He hollered, “Vince, what is this!” He was hollering at the director. As if he really believed this was some kind of special effect meant to boost ratings. He wanted to believe that it was, but Quest knew this was real. There was no faking the cries. The cast and crew tried to calm him, but Viola too, who heard everything over the tape recorder was paralyzed.

There was a bigger chill in the air. Quest felt his very soul tremble under something. The entire warehouse shook.

It killed Viola first. Using one long blade-like arm, it stabbed her clean through her chest. Her innards sprayed wildly across the area behind her. The entire crew ran, without even trying to help the ‘ghost hunter’.

He tried to scream, but nothing would come out.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tekil Thorkildson Character Portrait: Julie Adams Character Portrait: Quest McBride Character Portrait: Silas Fairchild Character Portrait: Christopher Allen
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#, as written by Varyar
When he was sitting in his chair, alternating his gaze from Darkmare to Mya, Tekil felt cold. The room itself seemed to be freezing, what came as a surprise to the Dane, as he had become accustomed to low temperatures a long time ago, but he suspected it was the Grim Reaper’s gaze that made him feel so cold. There was something in his eyes that made them capable of freezing one’s very soul, redefining the word itself far beyond the petty measures of men.

The instructions were clear, and being assigned as the leader of the task force came as no surprise for Tekil. He was, if nothing else, the oldest and most experienced of the Reapers in the room. He had seen Julie, Chris and Silas as they evolved within the order, had accompanied their psyche’s development and therefore possessed great admiration for them. He had seen Julie’s psyche in action more than once, and her skill with it impressed the old Reaper every time. Chris’s psyche was a very useful one, and Tekil had come to rely on his ability more than he would like to admit. Finally, Silas, whose ability of being late was very consistent with his personality and not at all consistent with his violent psyche, which was, just because of that, a very powerful weapon. His team was flawless. A squad of powerful Reapers that Tekil could only hope to lead well in the mysterious mission they were headed.

For even with the Grim Reaper’s briefing, Tekil was still uneasy about the task. It’s true, Mya’s graphics were very efficient in showing that Lost activity had increased alarmingly, but that still did not explain why four of the most capable of the Reapers were necessary in this mission. Maybe precaution was the reason, but the order couldn’t spare this many agents every time there was an emergency. This thought sent a chill down Tekil’s spine. What if the spirits got so restless the Reapers couldn’t contain them? How would ordinary humans react to more and more mysterious accidents caused by the negligence of powerless Reapers that fail to be everywhere at once?

Tekil bowed in respect to the Grim Reaper, knowing he would appreciate the gesture, then left the room nodding for Chris and Julie to follow him. He was expecting Silas to arrive soon enough and join them in Warehouse 13, but he could not wait any longer. They had to departure as soon as possible.

The snow hadn’t ceased, and in the distance, the Dane heard a crow caw once. Definitely a bad omen, he thought.

Warehouse 13

Tekil did not know if it was the nightfall or the presence of spirits, but he certainly felt a bit colder when they arrived at the Industrial District.

At first glance, there was little of different to be seen. The streets seemed quiet, and the giant warehouses lied still, looking like colossal shadows in the sunset blurred by the clouds. But the signs of Lost soon started to appear. A group of people passed by them in utter terror, some screaming, some unable to speak, just running frightened. None of them could tell what they just saw, but a few of them were carrying sound and filming equipment. At first Tekil didn’t care, but then one of the frightened cameramen rushed by, and the Reaper caught a glance of the back of his shirt. It had the words “It Came From Beyond” in ridiculously large letters, and Tekil felt a grip in his heart. Was it possible that Quest was there, in Warehouse 13, filming an episode? It would be no coincidence. The Dane started walking faster unconsciously until he was running, his forty-year old lungs burning with the effort.

When he reached the front door of the Warehouse, his heart nearly stopped, and Tekil’s immediate thoughts were what a burden he would be if he died of a heart attack right there. Quest was there, of course, surrounded by angered spirits, some of them with the heaviest aura the old Reaper had ever seen. They weren’t just angry, they were furious. They were desperate, enraged, and violent. Tekil snapped out of his trance and started giving orders, trying to assume some authority in this desperate situation.

-Julie! Summon some orbs and draw the spirits away from Quest! – Tekil turned to Chris and Silas – Boys, when she does, dispatch them quickly and come back here to help us! Now go!

Tekil unsheathed Slagænde and activated his psyche like so many times before, feeling the strong steel of the blade freeze slowly, eager to strike into something and devour it with its endless cold.

He hoped Julie’s energy orbs would attract the minor spirits from Quest, but he could never expect the huge Lost that now leaned towards the Maori to be fooled by this trick. Tekil Thorkildson inhaled deeply, knowing his ancestors would be watching this fight from the Valhalla, and charged towards the monstrous beast, swinging Slagænde with precision.

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Character Portrait: Tekil Thorkildson Character Portrait: Julie Adams Character Portrait: Quest McBride Character Portrait: Silas Fairchild Character Portrait: Christopher Allen
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Julie's breath drew clouds in the air as the team walked through the Industrial district. It was just about as chilling as the gaze she could feel the Reaper draw during the meeting. What did all those dates mean? Were they really what was behind the spikes of Lost recently? Clutching the cold metal of the automatic crossbow she hoped that their journey to Warehouse 13 would yield some results. Julie usually didn't like bringing weapons on missions, she found them to get in the way often and they were usually too bulky to handle. Her weapon in specific had been specially fitted as a light weight utility though, meant for quick firing and easy reloading. She had also been assured that today, for this mission it would almost surely be needed.

Watching the people running in the opposite direction that they were headed as Julie slung her crossbow behind her, almost assured the thought that they were heading to the right place. People ran when they saw things that they couldn't understand, in this case they sure were right to. Picking up the pace behind Tekil as he began to run Julie wondered what had made the man change his speed so quickly. Looking into the doors though she was starting to understand why. There was a whole swarm of Lost, more in one area than she usually ever saw. There were people too.

"Dang…" She muttered under her breath.

"Julie! Summon some orbs and draw the spirits away from Quest! Boys, when she does, dispatch them quickly and come back here to help us! Now go!"

"On it!" Breaking into a sprint Julie ran to the opposite end of the Warehouse, charging a glowing sphere around her as she went. She could feel it moving in rhythm with her heartbeat as she fed energy into it, the glow starting to grow brighter, soon the place would be lit up like a Nightclub. Normally the Lost weren't really ones for bright places but for some reason they ate the glow that her psyche produced right up,

"there we go…" The smaller Lost were starting to get distracted the light it seemed as they started to inch themselves away from the trapped man and towards her. Tekil had called him Quest, she wondered how he knew him. Whoever he was she just hoped that there were no more casualties in this mission. Seeing the amount of Lost here though she had to wonder if this was just the beginning of things.

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Character Portrait: Tekil Thorkildson Character Portrait: Julie Adams Character Portrait: Quest McBride Character Portrait: Silas Fairchild Character Portrait: Christopher Allen
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Chris did not see Silias walk into the room like he thought he was going to. He didn't make a big deal out of it so he let it go, but soon he would start to get worried. Grim dismissed the team and Tekil was the first one out. The dark one nodded at Father and followed Julie and Tekil out of the room to Warehouse 13. This was always the usual team. Tekil would be the leader and then the others would be there to back him up. He was not complaining about the team he respected Tekil and all the other reapers that were in his team, they were practically unstoppable. Therefore dark one has no complaints about it.

It was still snowing outside and it was freezing. Chris pulled his jacket tighter around himself and watched as he breathed out clouds of air. He felt in his holsters for his two typical handguns and checked for all clips. He was good to go. People were running away from the direction the team was heading towards which meant that they were in the right place. He could read their minds as they ran and most them were comments about them trying to figure out what was going on and worried thoughts about loved ones. The lost souls thoughts were louder than the civilians which made it easier to tell the difference. Right through the doors there was almost a gathering of Lost. "This is going to be fun." He mumbled.

Boys, when she does, dispatch them quickly and come back here to help us! Now go!

Tekil shouted at them and Chris didn't hesitate. Julie ran and did exactly as she was told and Chris followed right in with a handgun aimed and ready. He never had a problem with aiming the bullet where he wanted it to go. As soon as he heard the cock of his gun he shot the bullets and killed the ones closest to Julie. Her distraction was a big help and made things easier. Julie was thinking about the amount of lost and how this could be just the beginning. Chris couldn't have agreed more.

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Character Portrait: Tekil Thorkildson Character Portrait: Julie Adams Character Portrait: Quest McBride Character Portrait: Silas Fairchild Character Portrait: Christopher Allen
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He watched in awe as the entire warehouse lit up like the 4th of July. Technicolor orbs appeared far away from Quest, drawing these twisted spirits far from Quest. The ones that were human still remained still, though writhing, bound by their chains. He couldn't comprehend what was happening until he saw him. Charging into battle with his massive blade in hand. What did he call it? Oh yeah. Slagænde.

Tekil and his Reaper companions had charged into battle, and there he was, cryin' like a baby on the ground of a dusty warehouse. Any human would act just like him right now. As it towered over them, claws on it's feet, arms in the fashion of blades. Biceps and face covered by chains. It was terrifying. There was no shame in it, this thing was scary. As fuck. But they, the Reapers, they were humans too. Even with their Psyches and training, they were human. So why couldn't he fight? Why was he stuck sitting on this dirty, nasty, grimy floor, watching them risk their lives?

He made a fist in both hands, and clinched them tight. Fuck, Fuck, FUCK!

The rabid Lost roared out as Tekil's blade clashed with it's own blade-like limbs. The sound of clashing metal resounded through Warehouse 13. The Dane's companions had slowly been at work dispatching smaller creatures like the big one, but each time the beast roared, more came in their place. Like the age old moth to the flame, they continued to flock to the multicolored orbs. Tekil's opponent had a gaping wound in it's chest. An exposed rib cage in the center of the pale white beast showed a glowing green heart.

Somewhere In Babylon - Earlier That Day

A shadowy room in the back of some sketchy spot. A motley crew of angels, demons, and humans have gathered here. The soul light in the room was a hanging lightbulb, and the tv in the back of the room. The latter of the two, was showing an awful quality image of the news.


"So boys, how was the flight in? Welcome back to Babylon."

A new face walked in. This one human. Well dressed in a peacoat and pants, his face was covered by a white mask. The soul indication of who this man was lied in his two crimson eyes. They pierced through whomever they focused on and demanded you're every bit of attention. Nobody really gave much of an answer.

"Well that's awesome! Really, i'm glad to hear it!" His voice was filled with a bizarre amount of glee that bordered on creepy. "As you know, today's the day! It's time to begin the next phase of our, well, who am I kidding my plan." Even with the blank mask, anyone in the room could tell that this man was smiling wide.

"As the curtain opens on the first of December, a task well be bestowed upon several Reaper members. The Pale Rider will send them to the warehouse none the wiser. For while the order hunts Lost, the truth of tonight will break borders!" The masked man waved his arms in the air with grand flair, "They'll pass tonights trial with flying colors, but their loyalty will be left in a stupor." The beginnings of laughter could be traced in his voice. "Father Death will certainly have some explaining to do...."

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Character Portrait: Tekil Thorkildson Character Portrait: Julie Adams Character Portrait: Quest McBride Character Portrait: Silas Fairchild Character Portrait: Christopher Allen
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#, as written by Varyar
In the heat of battle, many things cross a man’s mind. It is in fact the details that he remembers the most. The weather of the moment, the chill of the wind… The scenario gets stuck in his mind, and these memories last much longer than those of the battle itself. It was the will of the Norns, the spinnerets who rule the fate of men, that made Tekil notice a glow inside of the beast while Slagænde’s steel clashed with the unnatural energies of the Lost. Tekil gasped when he saw the thing that pumped like a human heart, and hesitated for a split second, but a split second was all the monster needed. It suddenly gathered strength and pushed the Dane, making Tekil trip and fall on the ground. He blinked, glanced at Quest and tried to tell him to run away, but something moved fast in his peripheral vision, and he had to look back at the monster that now prepared to impale Tekil with his long arm, sharper than any common blade.

But instead of flesh and bone, the arm found Slagænde’s steel, and the ancient sword was no common blade. The arm trapped Tekil firmly to the ground, and the monster tried now to shatter the blade in order to rip the Dane apart. Feeling all of the supernatural strength of the monster, Tekil now shouted to Quest:

-Quest, run! – Another assault made Tekil grunt – Save yourself!

Tekil knew he would not last for long under the incommensurable pressure the Lost now applied. Even though Slagænde would never break, the Dane’s bones eventually would, and then he would be useless and an easy target. He prayed to every god his ancestors worshipped that the others managed to get there in time, and then made sure he was holding the sword’s grip strongly, for only those who died with a sword in hand get to experience the pleasures of Valhalla.

With each strike, Tekil saw the gleaming heart of the creature there, pumping, exposed. However, he could never strike it in the position he was now, trapped against the dirty floor of the warehouse. He shouted again, wondering if anyone could hear him at all over the sound of metal clashing on metal:

-The heart! Strike the heart!

Another assault made Tekil’s entire body shake, and he held Slagænde’s grip firmly once again.

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#, as written by Kuroe
Silas, unlike the others at the time, remained exactly he was. He blinked slowly, looking around at the Lost, and sighed.

“’Little ones with no more days, lost among their frozen graves…’” He said aloud to himself. It was an excerpt from a rhyme he’d read somewhere. It was annoyingly fitting, he thought as he shivered slightly in the cold. But still, Tekil had directly told him to do something, so he guessed it was time to actually do it… He stared at the creature for a moment and looked around the warehouse for something loose…

He saw it. A rusted metal beam in the corner. He looked from the creature, fighting with the others, and back to the beam. He would have more than enough distance. And even better, it seemed he was being ignored by the Lost at the moment. That was a particular stroke of luck in itself.

He ran over to the beam and crouched down next to it, reaching down to brush his fingers against its surface. Facing outward towards the large, wild Lost and the other Reapers, he stretched out his hand.

“Right… Get out of the way!” He called. In retrospect, which meant he thought about it briefly after he made an action, he probably should have yelled louder. But by the time that occurred to him, it was too late to try and yell again anyways.

His Psyche had activated. From what he could tell, with an object this large, the Psyche itself took a moment to probe the beam. He waited patiently for the seconds to tick by. Finally a sudden rush of electricity seemed to run up his arm, crossing over through his body. It was like a river coursing through his body, and he shivered slightly. He didn’t want to think about being in rivers in the middle of the winter… Far too cold. Actually, rivers were too cold all year round. The ocean as well, in his opinion, although he didn’t swim much anyways. But that was beside the point.

The point in question was the fact that the energy rising through Silas’s left hand and into his right was gathering quickly. Silas took a deep breath, half closed his eyes, and released the energy as the beam gave up its last drop energy and faded away, now nothing more than dust.

A sound that could be compared to a jet engine tore through the building as the air in front of Silas’s hand shimmered and a rippling burst of pure, almost visible energy ripped apart the space between Silas and the Lost, as well as, probably, the other three Reapers, though he could no longer see them through dust and shimmering air the release of his Psyche had caused.

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Character Portrait: Tekil Thorkildson Character Portrait: Julie Adams Character Portrait: Quest McBride Character Portrait: Silas Fairchild Character Portrait: Christopher Allen
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The smaller Lost were starting to get picked off it seemed. Julie's sphere had done a sufficient job of attracting them around her, the monsters beat on the solid yet semi-translucent forcefield before being ripped to shreds by her coworkers missiles. It had taken a while for her as a Reaper to understand that she wasn't going to get hit by anyone by mistake, one of her biggest fears when she was younger was that she'd accidentally take a projectile from a weapon instead of the Lost. That was long past though, they'd all been through the same rigorous training after all.

"Let's start on the big guy now!" She called out now that the last of the smaller monsters had been picked off.

Jogging across the far expanse of the Warehouse to see how Tekil was faring with the larger lost she was shocked to see him pinned down by the huge Lost. The thing had huge blades for arms and looked solid as a brick. What was she going to do now?

"The heart! Strike the heart!"

Glancing up the behemoth she noticed an iridescent glow coming out of it's ribcage which as she looked turned out to be a palpating, green coloured heart. There we go! Dispersing her forcefield into miniature spheres she launched them at the Lost aiming at the gap in it's thoratic cage. Not everything hit but by the anguished sounds it was working. Setting up a spherical barrier between Tekil and the Lost as it thrashed around she called out to the rest of the team. "Guys! It's got a weak spot! Hit that opening in it's ribcage!"

Wait… What was Silas doing in the corner?

"Shit."

Having moments to expand her sphere to her, Tekil and Quest who were in the nearest vicinity of the blast Julie heard a muffled 'boom' through the forcefield, dulled by the barrier around them. Blasted back, the forcefield absorbed most of the damage shattering into a million shimmering pieces around them. Finding herself sprawled out on the cold ground she felt her head spin from a mix of post-impact pain and over use of her Psyche as the dust settled around her. Her psyche wasn't meant to be used so suddenly like that. Slowly getting up she tried to block out the aches and pains and get back to the task at hand.

"Geez! Give us a warning next time Silas!" She called out to her coworker.

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The warehouse shook from the mighty force of a blast. The dust subsided and Quest felt a distinct warmth around him, it was a colorful bubble one of Tekil's allies had made. It protected them from the strike.

The monster was on it's knees, writhing in pain. The chains on it's face had broken apart, and now a mouth that was eerily human could be seen. Golden eyes were without a doubt Maori, and Quest could only speculate on what horrors occurred here to cause all of this.

"We are the Guardians of this place! Why do you continue to do this!" The beast roared in the tongue of his ancestors. Not even Quest understood all of it. The Lost was disoriented, and mad to begin with. Even though it was likely that it was only recalling past memories, perhaps there was something more to it? He couldn't know for sure. "The secrets held within are not yours!" Was Warehouse 13 some kind of Maori burial ground? If so, why did all of the Lost looked like they were prisoners?

"You're....Reapers, right?" Quest spoke up, his voice was still shaking. His entire body was, hell.

The beast was oozing green blood. It was faltering.

"Tekil, I think this thing is protecting somethin'. A lot of the spirits here are Maori. I don't know what the hell it means."

The Lost went charging at the one called Silas, in ancient tongue, it hollered something about an 'apple'.

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Character Portrait: Tekil Thorkildson Character Portrait: Julie Adams Character Portrait: Quest McBride Character Portrait: Silas Fairchild Character Portrait: Christopher Allen
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After Chris had helped out Julie they both went and attacked the bigger beast. It was bigger than usual and it was putting up a fight giving the reapers a hard time. Tekil told the Quest guy to get out of there and save himself, but the guy seemed frozen. Chris thought it was a bit funny, but he kept it together.

"The heart! Strike the heart!"

Chris positioned his gun to that it was aimed in the middle of the heart. He was a very great aim so shooting the beast in the heart was going to be a snap. Silas on the other hand had different plans. Chris looked back at him and placed his gun back into his holster. Julie cursed and Chris jumped out of the way. A loud boom echoed out and Chris was sprawled out on the floor trying to regain his senses. He rolled over in pain and sat up. Julie shouted at Silas, but her intentions were good.

The dark one pushed himself off the ground brushing away the dust that has now began to settle. "Nice job Silas." Chris said to him as he walked around the partly dazed beast. It was oozing green blood. It was not a pleasant sight, but Chris had seen worse. The Quest guy was still here and talking to Tekil about the beast's intentions. Chris could hear its thoughts, but it was extremely angry at Silas. He pulled out the hand gun in his left holster and shot at it multiple times. He loved the sound of his own gun so he will continue to shoot at it until it backed down.

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Character Portrait: Tekil Thorkildson Character Portrait: Julie Adams Character Portrait: Quest McBride Character Portrait: Silas Fairchild Character Portrait: Christopher Allen
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#, as written by Varyar
There was barely any time at all to brace for the impact, and Tekil watched with a mix of relief and anger as Julie’s shield protected him and Quest from Silas’ destructive psyche. The monster backed away, and Chris started to shoot it while it staggered, stunned and furious. Tekil got back on his feet, turned to Silas and shouted at him with true anger in his voice, reprehending the young Reaper, ignoring the fact that he was no longer an apprentice under Tekil’s responsibility.

-Are you out of your mind? You could have killed us all!

But there would be plenty of time for reprimands later. Right now, they had to focus on the Lost, which now prepared to charge frenzied towards Silas. Scanning his surrounds quickly, Tekil saw Quest, who seemed unharmed and hesitated when he told him that the spirits were all Maori. That made no sense. If they were protecting something, why did they only manifest themselves right now? There’s much to this mission that doesn’t add up, the Dane thought.

Suddenly, just like the proverbial candle lighting in a dark room, an idea came to Tekil’s mind. He waved Slagænde at Chris in an attempt to get his attention, and he knew the dark one would have read his thoughts immediately and know all about the plan. His part would be to protect Silas while he distracted the maddened beast, and then create an opening for what the old Reaper had in mind.

-Julie! – The Dane called. – This Lost is protected by magic, in some way, and his aura is too thick for common weapons to break. Even if you strike an arrow straight into its heart, it will have no effect... Unless, of course, the arrow itself is also magical. – He reached an arrow in Julie’s quiver, and froze it in the same way he did Slagænde’s blade every time he used it in battle. Then, he handed it to her. – Use this. Chris and Silas will create an opportunity. Aim it right through its ribcage, and this will all be over.

Tekil fervently hoped that last part was true.

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Character Portrait: Tekil Thorkildson Character Portrait: Julie Adams Character Portrait: Quest McBride Character Portrait: Viola Eldridge Character Portrait: Silas Fairchild Character Portrait: Christopher Allen
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#, as written by Vinn
A sudden noise at the shop window made Viola jump. The needle she was holding slipped and stabbed her finger. A drop of blood splashed onto the mouse she was working on and she sighed in frustration. Placing the wounded finger in her mouth, she did her best to clean the fur and then headed for the door to check things out.

Ghostly shapes of people running past were projected on the dusty shop window of August's Antiques and Oddities where Viola had spent the day cleaning and maintaining the items they had to sell. At the edge of the Industrial District, her shop and apartment above it rarely saw many people. Especially not as much as the stampede Viola opened the door to.

They were all running in the same direction, panicked and extremely vocal about their fear. They weren't inhabitants of this district; their clothes said something about that even if their current manner did not. One of them careered towards her, hitting the shop window before running on and leaving a streak of thick crimson Viola would have to clean later.

A wriggling sensation in her mouth drew her attention to her finger again. Due to her unhealthy condition, Viola never seemed to stop bleeding if cut. But pulling it out, instead of red blood a black shape was squirming out from the wound. It solidified into a locust. It stared up at her and rubbed its legs together nervously.

Taking the hint that something was up, Viola locked the shop door and followed her locust in the direction the running people came from. With every step she took, more and more locusts emerged from the edges of manhole covers, shooting out of gutter pipes, and from the cracks between walls. More and more torn bodies lined the street and she could smell a familiar acrid stench. Rounding a corner, Lost could be seen scattered amongst the wreckage of human meat. Viola beckoned her locusts close. From inside a small pouch she drew a vial of dark liquid. She popped the cork and moved to the closest Lost. Its hulking back was faced away from her, too focused on rendering a masterpiece from shattered rib bones. It did not notice her splashing the liquid on one of its many feet, soaked as it were in a pool of blood.

With a motion, the locusts gathered at her feet and she fell through them. They engulfed her as she fell, further down than solid ground would have allowed, but she just as soon emerged from the floor of a nearby roof with the locusts. It was a weird sensation, falling up. But she righted herself and looked down just in time to see the infected begin to writhe in agony. It flailed about, hitting another Lost and thereby infecting it. The disease would eventually work its way through them. It was slow acting, but it would have to do. These were small fry, but there had to be a reason for the sudden appearance. She looked out towards where the concentration of death felt the greatest.

It was a bit far, so it took a few times walking through swarms of locusts to get to her destination. A couple of times in, she emerged in an alley covered in mashed human. The slop got all over her shoulder, and she spent a few seconds trying to wipe it off as her locusts fed on a bit of the meat nearby. Energized from their snack, they hurriedly gathered in front of her and she leapt through them.

Finally arriving through a dilapidated wall, Viola encountered Warehouse 13 looming over her. Bright flashes of light drew her around the building, her locusts trailing after her. A towering beast stood before a group of five attackers. Logic told her they must be other Reapers, as they would have to see the Lost to be able to even land a hit. She hesitated. Since she had left Anchorage and her grandfather, she had never shown herself before another Reaper.

Green liquid was dotted on the ground, the same stuff oozing out of a large cavity in the raging beast. An opportunity.

"Get ready." She whispered to her swarm, and they drew closer to her. Then a large crack resonated in the air. A few more shots followed. One of the Reapers was firing at the Lost. Things were getting significantly more complicated and she had no way to communicate with the other party without letting the beast recover a bit. Even the beast was defended by a thick veil, some sort of magic that would block about any weapon. But Viola was not a weapon. She was just a human and hopefully that and her training was enough.

Viola steeled herself and decided to take the chance. She drew out one of the larger bottles in her pouch, one from the collection of a hysterical woman that killed her husband. With a pencil. What made these solutions work on the Lost was all the negative emotions and hate that people would put in them. It hissed like a writhing rattlesnake in her hands.

She commanded her swarm in front of her and waited for a lull in fire. Just a single pause from the one firing the gun. The beast hesitated a moment under the barrage of bullets. There was the briefest of pauses where it seemed the other Reaper took a second to enjoy the sound of their weapon. Viola took it.

It would have to be the fastest run she had done to date, but the beast somehow surviving the five Reapers and let loose on Babylon was not an option. Viola ran into the swarm of locusts, one arm in front of her, the other clutching the bottle of disease close. Her hand reached for something hot and slick in the darkness and she dug her fingers into it. Viola pulled herself out of the swarm, right up against the beast's chest. A massive glowing green organ was right in front of her. Clinging to the flesh, Viola dumped the contents of the bottle over it. Thick and black, it dripped over the organ and smothered some of its green light.

Her second was up. She pushed off against the monster and flew backwards into the air. All she could do was trust her swarm be there for her. Just as she was falling through her familiar insects, a single bullet ripped through the winter air, just to her left. Her heart was jolted into double time. The bullet had scattered a few of her insects, causing her to fall closer towards the ground before they could regroup and surround her.

Fortunately, she fell right through the ground instead of colliding with it and emerged a second later from a wall behind the attacking Reapers. Her momentum rolled her on the ground bringing her close to the one furthest back. Viola shakily tried picking herself up off the ground, but her body felt it deserved a moment's rest. At the least, she had done what she needed to; the corrosive liquid she had placed inside the thing would make its way all around the body. No one ever expected the things to have more than one heart, but her grandfather had taught her never to underestimate them. Lost always had a way to hold onto the living plane. If it was their job to make sure a Lost was dead, Viola's job was to make sure they were deader than dead.

However, sitting on the ground in the midst of a battle was making her quite vulnerable. And between a few bugs and a the monster's fist, there would be no doubt the fist would reach her. She would have to get out of its way soon.

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Jennifer awoke with a gasp on a cold, concrete floor. She was dizzy, and soaked to the bone, something warm and sticky clotting her hair together on the back of her head. Making a move to stand, pain jolted through her and she cried out, the sound echoing down long hallways. Gritting her teeth, she shoved herself to standing and leaned on the wall for a while before slowly beginning to walk down the winding corridors.

The last thing she remembered, she was serving coffee to a middle-aged man sitting at the counter. He had been dressed in a business suit, short, graying hair gelled back, eyes focused on a piece of pie in the display case. Jenn had sauntered over casually, trying not to sound too overtly British (it sometimes threw the customers off) as she refilled his coffee.

"Care for a slice?" she had grinned, sweet and just a little cheeky, she knew his type. He had focused on her with a shy grin, shaking his head.

"No, no, I don't think so, I'm trying to watch my weight." Jenn had feigned a shocked expression and cocked her hip out.

"You don't need to! You look marvelous, hand to Heaven." Smiling, she topped off his cup and leaned over to give his hand a casual squeeze. He'd taken hold of her wrist and stared at her, eyes clouding to a tarnished black colour.

"Odd choice of words," she'd heard, before her knees wobbled and she lost consciousness.


She was beginning to get really annoyed now, and shouted out a quick, "Hello?" to see if anyone responded. No one did. "Brilliant," she muttered, and continued to inch her way down the hall. Everything had gone to hell when Chris had left, and now here she was, kidnapped by some lunatic old man. So wonderfully brilliant.

Speaking of Chris, she swore she could almost hear him, that annoying tune he always hummed that she swore she had heard in a video game somewhere, his voice shouting to her to pay attention, someone was waving her down. Yeah, she was almost positive she could hear him yelling, and then the sound of...gunshots? Ridiculous, she must've hit her head...but still.

"Chris?" she called carefully, staring at the dark, concrete ceiling above her, "Are you out there? If you are, it would be brilliant if you could get me out!" Only silence greeted her back, and she sighed. Long shot, very, very long shot. Then, almost imperceivable, there was a buzzing behind her. Jenn turned around, curious, and her jaw dropped open.

Locusts. Hundreds upon thousands of locusts. Swarming. Towards her. It was definitely not her day.

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The sun lay meandering lazily on the horizon, its orange-yellow rays painting wide swathes across the canvas of the darkening sky. Though the later hours of the evening had fallen upon the city and nightfall was quick in the coming, the shopping district was packed as ever-- perhaps even more so. The little island had become a hub of bright, flashing lights, animated billboards fixed to towering department stores, packed crowds surging through the streets. The place always took on a new sort of life in the evenings and in the night-- it was never quite empty. Soon as the daily shoppers headed on back home as evening approached, the night owls came right outta the woodwork-- folks who really weren't there to shop so much as to just hang out, sit at coffee shops, enjoy the night, so on. In other words, people who didn't have much better to do than pull an all-nighter at the Shopping District.

Often enough, Alex MacKaye was among them-- sleep had never been particularly high on her agenda, and it was one of few things she was not very good at. She liked to say that the only reason she didn't like going to sleep was because she dreaded having to wake up (because really, is there anything worse than having to haul yourself outta bed in the morning?). The reality was more along the lines of 'having a hyper-active mind that can't stop thinking about anything and everything isn't too good for falling asleep'. Well, she was used enough to it that she didn't suffer much for it-- no more than she would have otherwise. And it provided for much more efficient use of that time. Sleep, Alex figured, was just one of those things that would probably go obsolete eventually. Someone would find a way to allow humans to function normally without having to shut down to rejuvenate the internal systems, and then people would just go on through the night the way they did through the day. As for Alex, well, it would hardly require much of a deviation from the way she'd gone about it in the years before anyway.

The five university students forged their way onwards through the night crowd of the Shopping District, chatting animatedly about the exploits of the day and whatever else captured the attentions of the conversation. For example, at this point, the conversation had turned to a show Joey and Greg seemed to be particularly fond of-- some sort of Ghostbusters deal called 'It Came From Beyond' or some such thing. Nothing that truly interested Alex in particular. Jack seemed to aptly echo Alex's own sentiments on the whole thing when she interrupted Greg, gushing about the latest episode, to cantankerously let them all know that "Ghosts are a bunch'a bullshit and so are reality TV shows about them". Well, bless her soul, you could always count on Jack to call everything on its bullshit. Didn't even have to be bullshit, but that never seemed to stop Jack.

"Hey, y'know that warehouse in the Industrial District?" Greg forged on, undeterred by Jack's interjection as the group continued on towards nowhere in particular.

"'That warehouse in the Industrial District'?" Alex parroted back in jest. "Gee, Greg, might as well be talkin' 'bout 'that ugly grey building in the business district', or can ya be any less specific about it?"

"You know. The one they say is haunted. Warehouse 13? I hear they're filming there tonight. Like, right now."

"So I hear. What about it? You tellin' me you wanna go check it out or somethin'?"

"Hell yeah!" Greg replied enthusiastically, and nearly slapped some woman in the face in his excitement. A couple stammered apologies and furious cussing later, he continued. "I mean, how often does it happen that we can catch front seat tickets to a world famous TV show?"

"Often enough for me to have better things to do," Alex retorted. "And anyway, Industrial District at night? I don't mind, but I bet Joey here's just pissin' his pants at the thought. For such a big guy, ya really are a big 'ol scaredy cat, y'know." Cruel, perhaps, and certainly meant only as a teasing little rib, but not without some truth. Joey Ginn-- never the most adventurous of folks. Though in reality Alex didn't give a damn and a half about it-- he was practical, after all, and that made sense-- it was only consistent with her outward behaviour that she poke fun at people for not being daring enough, for not taking risks and for being dull. Sure, it made sense not to go to the Industrial District at night-- but what was the fun in not going? In fact, it was only fun specifically 'cause there was so much risk in going. In the waning hours of the day the Industrial District became a wretched hive of scum and villainy (and that was only an exaggeration because Alex had really wanted to fit a Star Wars reference in there)-- people making less than legal deals, going about less than legal business, in general doing less than legal shit. The people of Babylon City whispered in fear of the dangers of venturing into the Industrial District in the night hours: to Alex, the place was like Glasgow Lite. Hell, not even that. She'd used to face roughly the same amount of danger walking to and from school. So no, she wasn't too scared of venturing into the Industrial District, especially not in a group of people (that tended to discourage the predators that tended to lurk about the place in the night); but she did figure that if anybody was gonna put their foot down on the whole idea, it'd be Joey.

Which was why when the words "Hey, why not?" came in reply, in a voice that suspiciously resembled Joey's, Alex had to glance back at the dude to make sure she was hearin' right. And then she had to make sure she was seein' right, 'cause the usual look of trepidation (that all-too-common I-dunno-about-this-guys look some people just seem to have on default) was replaced by a confident smile and a weird sorta conviction in his eyes. Alex raised an eyebrow-- she could tell he was still all shakin' in his boots and whatnot, though he did a good job of actin' like he was all for it. The only question was, why was he actin' like he was all for it?

"I may be a big 'ol scaredy cat," he pressed on. "But that doesn't mean I can't be reckless every now and then. I say, why the hell not? I figure you of all people would be all for the idea of sneaking into the set of a TV show. Front seat tickets and all, for free. Could be fun."

"Well, ain't this a switcheroo. Could it be? Joey Ginn, actively takin' a risk? And not at gunpoint, even."

"Yeah, well," he shrugged. "People... uh, people change. Maybe I'm just letting the thrill-seeker in me free for the first time."

Oh, now that was precious. Absolutely adorable. The thrill-seeker in me. It was kinda like talking about 'the sociopathic baby-killer in Gandhi' or 'the kind-hearted, gentle, family man in Josef Stalin'. 'The thrill-seeker in Joey'. Alex could tell it was bullshit. Didn't know why he was fakin' it, but she figured-- fuck it. Let the guy have his fun. So she merely grinned in responce. "Well, I'm impressed. Didn't know ya had it in ya. If the big guy's down for it, then count me in for the party crashin'. I was just gonna go back home and study for physics anyway, so it's not like I had anything better to do besides probe the laws of the universe or whatever."

She turned away just in time to miss the jubilant smile that briefly overcame Joey's face.





"This is fuckin' stupid. Let's get outta here."

Ana concurred. "You know, for once I think I agree with Jack--"

"Aw hell, nevermind, I take it back."

"--do we really have to keep going? It's late, and it's kinda creepy here, and... I'm kinda scared..."

"Might I humbly recommend that you grow a fuckin' pair, honeybunch? Christ, it ain't like we in the slums of Medellin or some shit. This is just a goddamn waste'a time. Who even gives a shit about some dumb reality TV show about ghosts?"

Greg cast a reproachful glare at Jack. "We're nearly there," he announced to the rest of them. "Warehouse 13's just up the way. All we need to do is find a way in, and we got us a free show."

Alex quickly lined up some little quip to toss back at Greg, in typical fashion, but it never came. What did come, however, was a flash of sudden agony, like a lightning strike aimed directly for her forehead. And with it came a flash of images-- a smattering of things she'd never seen before, things that did not stay long enough for her to get a decent grasp of what they were. A yelp of pain escaped her lips, and she staggered just a little, before the pain was gone as quickly as it had come.

A ringing in her ears blotted out most of the world around her, so it was a few seconds before she heard voices around her. "...ex? Hey, Alex! You okay? What just happened?"

Alex glanced up at Joey, concern etched deeply into the anxious creases of his face. "I... I'm fine," she decided. No need for anybody to know anything more about this-- she'd have to get herself checked out, of course, figure out what had just happened, but until then, nobody needed to know anything was wrong with he--

And just like that, the agony returned full force. Alex fell backwards from the impact of it, as the images from before emerged once again-- and this time, she could catch glimpses of what was happening. Images of monstrous ethereal figures, of blood and gore, of swarms of insects, all clouding her mind, consuming her mind, swallowing her up...

An explosion rocked the very earth, and the group of university students wheeled around to find the source-- only to find the street lights along the avenue had gone dark, and a patch of concrete not far behind seemed to have been completely decimated. Thick clouds of smoke rose from the demolished spot of concrete, saturating the night sky, lingering wistfully in the air before gradually dissipating once more.

"What the balls was tha--"

"Doesn't matter, we should get the hell outta here-- Alex! You okay?"

Alex gave a weak grunt as she pulled herself up to a sitting position. The remnants of the sudden torment lingered in her head, like the smoke that yet hung in the air, and the images that had accompanied it were still fresh in her mind. The only question was... What the hell was that? Her brow furrowed in confusion and lack of understanding-- she hated lack of understanding. Especially when she didn't understand something that was happening to her. Loss of control, loss of self-knowledge, loss of her confidence in herself and her mastery over herself. It was not a happy sensation. She would have to fix this.

"I'm good, guys." She crawled back up to her feet, wiping some loose concrete and dirt off her body, glancing around at their sceptical expressions. "Really. Just a little headache-- been havin' 'em lately, y'know. Stress and whatnot, I s'pose. Now, what say we get the hell outta Dodge?"

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Character Portrait: Tekil Thorkildson Character Portrait: Julie Adams Character Portrait: Quest McBride Character Portrait: Viola Eldridge Character Portrait: Silas Fairchild Character Portrait: Christopher Allen
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Maori? What the heck were they doing here? Julie frowned, she wasn't the most senior Reaper but she'd heard enough about the politics behind the two groups to know it was a tenuous relationship between the Reapers and them. She was neither here no there on the subject but it still concerned her that they were here. Was everything somehow connected? Ugh, this was all making her head hurt more.

Running over to the Dane she listened to Tekil's instructions. She was supposed to shoot the thing? Taking the chilled arrow in her hands she had to wonder how all of this was going to go down. Of course like any other Reaper she had to spend her fare time at the weapons range but it still wasn't her best forte. No, there was no reason for doubt, she was fine, there was no room to question herself now. She was going to fire that arrow and do it right.

"Got it!" She said unslinging her crossbow and notching the arrow in.

carefully holding it in her arms she held it up at eyes length trying to get a good aim on the Lost. It was charging though at Silas. Crap! Running to catch up to the beast she felt her lungs burn, adrenaline flowing through her as her head swam. Screeching to a halt though she stopped in her tracks as a swarm of locusts appeared out of nowhere. Sighing a breath of relief she was happy that Viola had the situation handled. The creature was thoroughly distracted now. Lining herself up as the bugs retreated she felt the room stand still for a moment as ripples went through the room. A shiver ran down her spine. The Bell had tolled.

It figured something like this would happen during one of the biggest battles the Reapers had, had in a long time. Snapping out of the heebie jeebies the whole thing had given her she remembered that the Lost would be aware of it too. Taking her aim again as the gigantic lost started towards the direction the spiritual energy had come from she lined herself up and fired. It hit right on contact. A shrill scream pierced the air like nails on a chalk board as green goo-like blood flowed out of the monster as it fell dead.

"Hah! Take that!" Jumping up and down in joy Julie was briefly lost in the moment forgetting about the rest of the matters at hand.

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#, as written by Kuroe
Silas shook his head as he took his hand away from the pile of dust. It pricked and tingled wherever the dust touched it. It was almost like biting aluminum. Except, on his hand. Or, at least, so he had heard. He had never bitten down on aluminum, personally.

His vision blurred for a moment, covered by bright shapes and shifting colors. He felt himself totter for a moment before his vision cleared and he stood quickly. The lost was right in front of him, along with… He blinked his vision clear, his features shifting into his normal, unexpressive appearance. There were enough Reapers to take care of this. He turned on his heel and dashed out of the building. He had done his part, and there was nothing else he could do.

And so he simply walked out of the building, covered in sparkling, silvery dust, and picked up a larger, stray piece of concrete to sit down with. He might as well stay here and watch the entrance… He knew that either way he would get yelled at later. He yawned, about to sit down, when he felt it. Bells Tolling. He sighed. Must this happen now? Really? Why, oh why, right when he’d gotten out of the fight… He put the piece of concrete in his coat pocket. It wouldn’t be worth much power-wise, but it was enough for one more good shot.

He started trotting down the road. There. There were some teenagers down the road… He assumed them to be teenagers, at least. They had to be around his age, at least. Not that it really mattered either way. He still had to deal with it… Why him? Couldn’t it be someone else? He sighed, yet again. As always, he knew what would happen in the future if he didn’t. He wasn’t some kind of fortune teller, but the answer would be obvious. Someone would yell at him and it would be a waste of time as usual.

He approached them without giving a greeting, not so much as waving. “Hello. I’m looking for someone. Anybody seen anything weird around here…?” He said quietly. It was an odd question, he knew. But he didn’t care. They would answer it, either way, and he knew the person had to be somewhere around here. If worse came to worse, he could always use the Lost that came to identify the exact person.

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With a roar that could have pierced into each one of the planes themselves, the terrifying beast had been defeated. Quest watched in awe as the 'Reapers' dispatched the mighty foe. Sure enough, one by one, as the massive one before it, the smaller Lost Souls fell as well. This left only the more human-like spirits, bound in their chains. Squirming on the ground.

"Who's that?" Quest pointed to a man draped in a long black coat. Most of his face was hidden underneath a black hood, strands of white, and bright blue eyes were the only distinguishable features of this spectre other than his impressive height. The Maori noted the lighter in his left hand, and the blood soaked scythe dragging from his right. A ring of fire had appeared around them, contained to the warehouse. At first he was alarmed, but then he realized that this--the man, and the flames, were not real. They were ethereal in appearance, harmless to them--he noticed when a stray ember landed on his hip.

Although the man in the flame looked like spiritual bodies, their nature didn't seem to lie in that. More Maori and warehouse workers appeared. They were completely human now, bound in chains just like the Lost that had attacked him. This massive man, and six other hooded figures before him loomed over their apparent figures.

In the native tongue, one of them said: "We are the guardians of this place! You have no right to what lies within! These are not for mortal hands!"

The hooded men simply replied with a blade through the man's chest. Several more who stood up were murdered before his eyes, the others were left with a much more gruesome fate, burned alive by the flame.

Quest looked away. He'd seen enough of his tortured people for today.

"I need to get out of here." He looked at Tekil, as if for approval. "You're friend went running off."

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#, as written by Varyar
“I need to get out of here”

Tekil looked confused at Quest, as if he had never seen him before. In the blink of an eye, the monster was gone. In the midst of swarming insects and gunfire, the Lost had vanished from this plane. The Dane tried to picture in his mind what exactly happened, but it was difficult to grasp the entire thing. He knew the threat had been averted, and that was what mattered. He remember sensing a bell toll, which was probably the most important thing to worry about right now. The old Reaper looked at Quest, and finding him unscathed, decided it was best to deal with him later.

— Very well. But we still have much to talk about. After this event, it has become clear that you are no longer safe in Babylon. As soon as you find yourself in a more… relaxed mood, call me. But please do not delay, we cannot risk yet another attack.

With that, Tekil dismissed the Maori and looked around him to check if any of the Reapers were hurt. The group seemed fine, and their leader let out a sigh, relieved, and then began worrying all over again, because they were one member short. Silas was nowhere to be found. Hopefully, Tekil thought, he had sensed the bell toll around them as well, and decided to investigate it. Praying for that to be the case, Tekil called the team to follow him in order to ascertain where this individual who had just awakened to the spirit world was.

Leaving the building and proceeding just a little further down the way the had come, the Dane saw a group of young people that caught his attention. Silas was near them, and that tranquilized the old Reaper, who came closer and spoke quietly enough for only Silas to hear.

— We still have to talk about what happened. What you did was reckless, dangerous, irresponsible… — The Dane sighed. — And it saved my life. Thank you.

Tekil turned to the group of young people in front of him. They all seemed scared, and simply by their looks Tekil couldn’t figure out who was the one whose Bell had tolled, so he had to ask. Of course, that would be the easy part, since the kids probably had already realized that they had stumbled upon something much bigger then themselves.

— Good evening. Did you happen to notice anything unusual regarding one of you…? Perhaps a tingling sensation, or a strong headache? We are looking for someone showing these symptoms, and that person needs special treatment immediately. Don’t worry, we’re professionals.

That last bit always seemed to comfort uneasy people, and the thought that Reapers were experts in their field of expertise, even though it was a very peculiar one, always comforted Tekil as well.

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Character Portrait: Tekil Thorkildson Character Portrait: Julie Adams Character Portrait: Quest McBride Character Portrait: Viola Eldridge Character Portrait: Silas Fairchild Character Portrait: Christopher Allen
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Julie's head still had a rush of adrenaline in it as the group finished up the battle, it also slightly ached too but she was just happy that the whole thing was over. Slinging her crossbow back in place she stretched from side to side trying to get any aches and pains out of her muscles. She figured that there might be a little bruising from her fall earlier but it was nothing she wasn't used to. Feeling a little better she considered the previous events with a quiet contemplation.

It was a frightening idea that Lost could appear that large, of course there'd been reported cases over the years of them appearing, in special cases, but she never imagined she have to face one herself. It seemed that a slurry of Lost related incidences were starting to crop up though so it was no wonder all of this had happened. And it all related back to the Grim Reaper himself. He'd said there'd been more things to come, too? Shaking her head she decided she didn't want to think about it at the moment. For now she was just looking forward to to getting to relax again.

Going to follow the rest of the group out the door to deal with the Bell tolling she stopped herself for a moment, looking at the man who'd been there for the whole scene. Tekil had said his name was Quest, wasn't it? He looked familiar… Wait, he was from that supernatural investigation show on tv wasn't he?"It Came From Beyond" or something. Maybe he knew something on what was happening?

"Hey!" She said as she walked up next to him, "you're Quest right? Are you feeling okay?" She knew for a fact that most people who ended up in these sorts of situations for the first time were a little shaken up. It was something of a desensitization process that took place with the Reapers over lost. Looking Quest up and down she wondered what his affiliation with the whole supernatural world. She knew he wasn't a Reaper, but he still was able to see the Lost.

"I'm Julie Adams," She said with a smile, "you were saying earlier that this place was being protected, do you know what's going on?"

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Character Portrait: Tekil Thorkildson Character Portrait: Viola Eldridge Character Portrait: Silas Fairchild Character Portrait: Alex MacKaye
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#, as written by Vinn
The giant fell. Viola felt its life draining into the soil and the viscous liquids carried with it a rattling hatred that reached the patch of concrete she lay on. She shifted forwards and glanced through the legs of the other Reapers. Black steam erupted around the corpse and congealed into thick puddles. Her disease was going to work, eradicating all that was the monstrous foe before it suddenly disappeared from the world. Neither blood nor sweat shed that permeate the ground shall remain to grasp at the life force on this plane. Despite the black virulence, her solutions effectively cleansed the area.

Someone emerged from the warehouse, claiming territory. Another stood in defiance. It was a quarrel between those of other planes, and looked to have no care for any human's part in it. Not that any would intervene. No, the warehouse was too dangerous; a battleground for higher beings. As of yet, none of the Reapers in the vicinity could hope to breach. Maybe together... but awkward pondering of her ability to be able to work with another Reaper for the first time had to be suspended. Retreat was in order, the fact being Viola was lying vulnerable. Though the commotion would most definitely draw those authorities of non-supernatural affinity, it could not be helped if they had to fend for themselves. It was their own curiosity that should be put to blame.

Echoes of something reached the front of her mind. It got stronger, this calling. Like the discarded blade of a razor scraping across all of her nerves at once. The term for it, the "tolling of the bell", was hardly adequate to describe her own reactions. It was chilling, but a mere nuisance compared to its meaning.

A sudden wrenching in her gut made Viola black out. It was but a moment, and she came to almost immediately. However, the grip in her abdomen twisted and turned her insides in the most horrible way. It was a hunger that pulled at her, like imploding. Humans were never meant to be able to feel such a thing. And this hunger was not even hers.

Viola scrambled further away from anyone, pulling herself behind a wall and into a tight corner. Her breaths came in gasps and a coldness was misting her skin. It was minutes before she could bring herself to speak. "Ugh... come." She called out blindly into the night air. A million insect legs scuttled closer. She willed her eyes to focus on the squirming blurry figures on the ground. "...eat."

Then she lay drained on the freezing cold pavement as her insects ravaged the night's crawlers. Soon, strength came back to her, all the energy she had used to jump the distances with her swarm that night. Viola sat up and watched tiredly as the locusts descended on another of humanoid Lost. As usual, the group divided into two and dove straight into the belly and face. Her swarm loved the taste of face meat and intestines.

Still trembling slightly, Viola picked herself off the hard ground and brushed off the dirt from her skirt. She rummaged around in her bag for a little black notebook which she consulted briefly. Her own handwritten notes dictated she pull out several of her most potent vials and a rather violent catalyst. Viola emptied the vials into an empty canister. And her catalyst element was brought over by a hovering pack of her insects; a small chunk of human flesh, about the size of a thumb, no doubt gathered from one of the surrounding bodies. Her swarm knew her well. Viola plucked it up gratefully.

As she added it to her concoction, the insidiousness of the fumes caused her to choke. The person that the flesh had previously belonged to had to be some sort of compulsive liar and a massive creep, treacherous, deceiving, and venomous when slighted even unintentionally. It was just that sort of flavour of flesh.

Viola capped the container. There was no more time for any further preparation. The presence of Lost attracted by the bell's toll rose like a wave of acid in her throat. She hissed, "Let's Go! Find it!"

She took a step forward, another, and then sped up. At full sprint, she slipped into the storm cloud of locusts that had gathered on her command. This time they were searching for the one giving off the insatiable call to feast. The distance was much longer this time, as the locusts had not yet determined a destination. Space worked much differently at the heart of the swarm, and the impossible physics was beginning to wear on her body. Why is it taking this long? Viola wondered anxiously.

And just as she was about to surface, the reason hit her. The sheer amount of Lost making their way to whoever the unfortunate sod was, the smell of them burnt at her nose and eyes. Viola worked with the smell of rot all her life, but nothing ever compares to her perception of the Lost. It was pulling at her swarm, trying to divert in all ways at once, trying to feed. The instinct of her sentient psyche was hard to ignore, but with grim determination she directed them towards the centre of it all.

Viola and her insects burst from a building facade. She tumbled onto the street pavement behind a small group of people. They were preoccupied by two others, Reapers from the recent tangle. Viola had little understanding of what Reapers were taught at whatever Reaper headquarters or offices or academies for strange people who see weird things. She caught the ends of their statements amidst the angry buzzing of her swarm. They seemed to be trying to keep the civilians calm. Don't they feel it? God, the smell... Viola frantically thought. There was no use in staying calm. She spoke, quietly, but with the greatest intensity behind her words. "They are coming now. Do you understand, Reaper? Your little group and I will not likely suffice in the face of what is to come. We need to take this one and find somewhere safe. Well, safer."

Viola advanced on the group. It was the girl in the middle, the one that as she got closer to, Viola felt more intensely that invisible razor blade dragging itself all over her and scraping her frayed nerves raw. It took effort to not look down and see if she was pouring blood out of every pore. She pulled her gently away from her friends. The target in herself was as much a handicap as the signals she gave off attracting all the Lost; Viola was dealt a crushing headache upon contact and she dropped her hand almost immediately. It was always so much more intense the closer she got to the target, or Viola was more susceptible to it from her own experience of the night that the Lost came for her.

The target seemed shaken. It may have been the words Viola said. But fear is always what kept her alert, kept her running. It would not do to have the ward lulled into a sense of security. Not with what felt like half the population of Lost bearing down on the tiny section of street.

"I'm sorry, but you are going to have to leave your friends. They will be fine, if they run right now; it's you they're after. If you want to live, please, come with me. Or..." Viola looked questioningly at the two other Reapers. "us?"

A ripple went through her swarm. Hunger and excitement transferred to each individual locust in turn. The impending storm riled up the insects in anticipation. Ever closer they came. Viola waved them into a portal-like mass again and turned to the group.

"I need a destination, anywhere in this city should be within my limit." Said Viola to the Reapers. It was a lie. But she would get them as close as she could. "If you follow me, don't stop running. I'm sorry, it's going to be really rough on your body. I don't know whether we'll be going forwards, up, down, or even inside out. But we must run now."

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Character Portrait: Julie Adams Character Portrait: Quest McBride
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"Hey!" She said as she walked up next to him, "you're Quest right? Are you feeling okay?" She knew for a fact that most people who ended up in these sorts of situations for the first time were a little shaken up. It was something of a desensitization process that took place with the Reapers over lost. Looking Quest up and down she wondered what his affiliation with the whole supernatural world. She knew he wasn't a Reaper, but he still was able to see the Lost.



This woman tore Quest away from his thoughts. She was a beautiful sight to see after all of the shit that he'd been through tonight. There was a warmth in her eyes that he didn't expect to see from someone in her line of work. Even Tekil, a man who was more of a father to him then his own maintained some kind of distance in his eyes. There was none of that in her eyes though.

"Yeah, that's me." With a sigh, the Maori rubbed his neck, and leaned against a rusty crate near the woman. "I've been better. I've seen those things before, but nothing like...this." Quest's eyes were shifting around, watching for signs of another attack.

"I'm Julie Adams," She said with a smile, "you were saying earlier that this place was being protected, do you know what's going on?"

"Yeah, you saw the spirits here right? The ones that didn't turn into those things." He motioned for Julie to follow him. Quest led her to several different spots in the warehouse where captive Maori ghosts were bound. "Some of them were workers here, but most of them were my people, the Maori. You probably heard em' yellin, it wasn't just gibberish, that was our tongue." He pointed to the area where the giant Lost used to stand. "That one was a guardian too. I think it used to be the leader. It said 'We're the guardians of this place, you won't enter again.' Roughly at least." He then pointed to the center of the room, where the seven hooded figures, and the Maori guardians stood.

"After that, those flames started to appear, they weren't real though. I think it's some kind of magic tied to this place. One of the guardians might have done it, some kind of time centered spell, I dunno," With his finger, he identified each spot where the seven men stood, "Seven hooded men. Their leader was holding a scythe. They were the ones that attacked this place before, by the looks of it, they're the cause of this whole thing. I don't know what they were after, but it left enough negative energy to cause a haunting of this scale. It might be worth your people looking into...they don't normally gather like this." His coworker's body was spread across the ground a few steps away from them all.

"What the fuck..."

View All »Arcs

Arcs are bundles of posts that you can organize on your own. They're useful for telling a story that might span long periods of time or space.

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Welcome home, Promethean. Here, you can manage your universe.

Arcs

Arcs are bundles of posts from any location, allowing you to easily capture sub-plots which might be spread out across multiple locations.

Add Quest » Quests

You can create Quests with various rewards, encouraging your players to engage with specific plot lines.

Add Setting » 1 Settings for your players to play in

Settings are the backdrop for the characters in your universe, giving meaning and context to their existence. By creating a number of well-written locations, you can organize your universe into areas and regions.

Navigation

While not required, locations can be organized onto a map. More information soon!

Babylon City

Babylon City by Pyramids

Where the magic happens. A city named after the biblical city of old.

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Once an Item has been created, it can be spawned in the IC using /spawn Item Name (case-sensitive, as usual) — this can be followed with /take Item Name to retrieve the item into the current character's inventory.

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Give your Universe life by adding a Mob, which are auto-replenishing NPCs your players can interact with. Useful for some quick hack-and-slash fun!

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By marking a character as abandoned, you can offer them to your players as pre-made character sheets.

Character Portrait: Jennifer Heathers
10 sightings Jennifer Heathers played by AngelBell
"Shh. I like the quiet."

The Forge

Use your INK to craft new artifacts in The Death & The Apple. Once created, Items cannot be changed, but they can be bought and sold in the marketplace.

Notable Items

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The Market

Buy, sell, and even craft your own items in this universe.

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View All » Add Character » 9 Characters to follow in this universe

Character Portrait: Tekil Thorkildson
Character Portrait: Quest McBride
Character Portrait: Julie Adams
Character Portrait: Silas Fairchild
Character Portrait: Viola Eldridge

Newest

Character Portrait: Viola Eldridge
Viola Eldridge

"When they see me, they look past my eyes. When they hear me, they turn their attention in another direction. I'm not here like they are. But they're not here like I am."

Character Portrait: Silas Fairchild
Silas Fairchild

"Too much trouble..."

Character Portrait: Quest McBride
Quest McBride

"Get me a persian rug where the center looks like Galaga."

Character Portrait: Tekil Thorkildson
Tekil Thorkildson

"I carry the legacy of my ancestors in this sword, and they smile at me every time it is put to good use."

Trending

Character Portrait: Quest McBride
Quest McBride

"Get me a persian rug where the center looks like Galaga."

Character Portrait: Silas Fairchild
Silas Fairchild

"Too much trouble..."

Character Portrait: Viola Eldridge
Viola Eldridge

"When they see me, they look past my eyes. When they hear me, they turn their attention in another direction. I'm not here like they are. But they're not here like I am."

Character Portrait: Tekil Thorkildson
Tekil Thorkildson

"I carry the legacy of my ancestors in this sword, and they smile at me every time it is put to good use."

Most Followed

Character Portrait: Viola Eldridge
Viola Eldridge

"When they see me, they look past my eyes. When they hear me, they turn their attention in another direction. I'm not here like they are. But they're not here like I am."

Character Portrait: Silas Fairchild
Silas Fairchild

"Too much trouble..."

Character Portrait: Tekil Thorkildson
Tekil Thorkildson

"I carry the legacy of my ancestors in this sword, and they smile at me every time it is put to good use."

Character Portrait: Quest McBride
Quest McBride

"Get me a persian rug where the center looks like Galaga."


View All » Places

Babylon City

Babylon City by Pyramids

Where the magic happens. A city named after the biblical city of old.

Babylon City

Where the magic happens. A city named after the biblical city of old.

Fullscreen Chat » Create Topic » The Death & The Apple: Out of Character

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