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The Multiverse » Arcs » Xavier Current, the Killer Dweeb.

Xavier introduces a newcomer to the Cursed Woods, set on making his first impression an impactful one.

As written by: Absenthia, CaptainGrue, Joseph_Bennett

9 pieces and 34 characters involved, written by 3 different authors.

1 places involved

So begins...

Xavier Current, the Killer Dweeb.

Cursed WoodSetting: Cursed Wood

If the circumstances had been any different, then she wouldn't have been traipsing throughout the woods like this. This was someone else's territory, and Catherine damn well knew it. But needs must and all that had dictated her movements and decisions for the last year, and it didn't look like it would be getting any better. However, what she did know was that he couldn't or rather wouldn't go looking for her there.

As far as she was concerned, he was the problem. It had been him that had instructed her to cut off that damnable mage's fingers, not like they wouldn't grow back, but it was still the fact that they had both forced her hand that had lead her to this.

Wandering about a cursed, and heavily magicked wood in the middle of the night. This was when sane people, like herself, should be sleeping.
The low fog breathes through the forest, a low blanket of mist that hides the undergrowth and any paths walked through it. It was just one of the seemingly unnatural aspects of the Cursed Woods that lent itself to the Crawling Chaos.

A low rumble began to emanate from the earth beneath the wanderer. The fog behind Catherine started to snake around her path, reaching up like tendrils of mist to cage her. Behind the cage of mist there would be another, swirling around her like a ghostly kraken. The low rumble began to morph into a booming voice that resonated with the earth she stepped on.

"Who goes there?" It said, "This is my domain, the Voice of the Night's Heart! Return from whence you came, lest ye be laaaaaah-grbrlgrbrlrll-"

The voice seemed to become digitised, more high pitched before becoming a garbled mess and abruptly stopping. A light blue light beneath Catherine sparked, which might have seemed arcane if it weren't for the smoke and scent of hot battery acid that came from it.

Along with the spark came the dropping of the veil that had swarmed the woman. Behind it, standing in the open was the figure of a meek young man hunched over some kind of small black device with electronics poking out. He was swearing under his breath, seemingly unphased by Catherine's reaction to the ordeal. He shoved the device in his hoody's centre pocket and ran over to her gesturing for her to wait still, saying "Just, just..." and trading eye contact between her and where the blue spark had set off beneath her. "Just a sec." He said with a sheepish smile, then popped down to pick up a similar device to the one he held before that had laid beneath the fog. On closer inspection it appeared to be some kind of self contained speaker. Xavier blew on it to dissipate some of the burnt smoke, then twisted the top off to reveal a small assortment of wires and burnt electronics. He delicately went to touch one-


He pulled back his finger in pain. Still hot, then. "Cheap Aschen half assed excuse of a motherboard..." Xavier started pulling it apart further, hardly glancing toward Catherine. There was some amount of acknowledgment in his eyes, however. Xavier certainly didn't perceive this person as a threat. He spoke quickly, intonation falling at the end of each sentence as if he were finished talking. "Six months for a faulty delivery. Should have expected as much." He pulled off a piece from the device. "Yep! Motherboard." He dangled the component in front of Catherine, satisfied a little too much with this menial deduction. "Completely fried. I'm going to send a complaint. I will get my refund."

Finally pausing for a decent moment, Xavier would take the time to read Catherine's behaviour and giving her the space to speak. Afterwards he would make an effort to explain himself. "I haven't seen you around before." He said. "I was hoping you were human. Set'em up for a scare and then go for the kill. A lot of the oldies like that sort of thing. I mean I totally agree, it's classic. No arguments there. You ever seen that movie where the vampire locks that idiot in the car and feasts on him as a horde of rats? I tried that with some geezer's antique four wheeler, but turns out exhaust pipes are hella hard to breathe in. Screw me for trying to do something cool, I guess. I was going to film it. That'd do fuck all, though, wouldn't it? Hah! You need directions or something? No one told me you were coming. No one tells me anything."

And he wonders why.
Jackson Dawes shouts, trying to find life, or just someone to talk to, "Hallo! Anyone there?"
Fog? In the forest? It wasn't unheard of, but still caught her off guard. The blue spark that followed gave her even more cause for concern, especially given there were arcane magics that often gave off such a glow before catching an unlucky mage or unfortunate victim in up in their wicked embrace. Steeling herself against what might potentially come next, Catherine drew on a small tendril of her own power and wrapped it tightly about herself waiting.

"I am..." She started to reply to the voice, expecting nothing less than some obnoxious mage or other that didn't know what they risked in challenging her. At least that's what the last however long in the Dragon's court had been spent; defending territory and putting down dissidents. What she hadn't expected was some scrawny youth, panicking because his fancy electronics hadn't worked the way he had intended them to.

"Aschen?" Catherine asked regarding the youth standing before her. She had a distant and dim memory of a race that had called themselves the Aschen, but it wasn't anything more than that. The impressions they had left were hazy at best, and at worst something she didn't waste her time on. Then he continued to babble on about filming and four wheelers, the purpose of which eluded her.

"Are you done?" She drawled slowly, clearly unimpressed with whatever it was he had been trying to do.
Even Xavier had to admit this was all an immense embarrassment. If she had at least been human he could have killed her and then there would only be him to remember this blunder. Thankfully she seemed fairly ambivalent toward him, unable to truly understand what he had prepared.

On some level Xavier could relate to her indifferent animosity. He'd been staying at the castle for sometime over a year now and life was hardly the Gothic wonderland he imagined it to be. Left in the library with what books remained unread, most of his fellow residents steer clear while those who would strike up a conversation with Xavier are far too ancient for him to cope being around with. The intense hunger a vampire is cursed with served as somewhat of a blessing in this way, pushing the killer dweeb into more populated areas so that he could hunt. Initially finding the whole 'gruesome murder' thing not his style, Xavier quickly found a way to combine his passion for technology by designing increasingly elaborate traps to score his meals. It was a shame that this one had fallen through.

His head started to pound, and Xavier brought his hands up in a poor attempt to push the pain back into his skull. The headache was a mix of vampiric hunger and regret for everything he had said a moment ago. "Sorry," Surprisingly genuine for Xavier. "I was hungry, twitchy. You know what that's like."

The voice of one Jackson Dawes called out from the thick of the forest, easily echoed along by the labyrinth of trees. Also unrecognisable. While it was disappointing that he just as well could have sprung his latest trap on this other stranger, Xavier was well aware the high tech paraphernalia was just a gimmick at this point. He was deadly enough without it. The forest would be rewarded with his bones for scouting him out. The sound perked Xavier right back up, and he returned to his usual demeanour. This time not so concerned with the electronics he was taking apart, now shoved into his pockets. He'd come back later to retrieve the other speakers.

"Say, newbie. You look lost. I know how to get around. But if you wanna get some take out," he laughed, "And take out some unassuming wanderer well then I'm totally down for a bite." His eyes darted to the direction of the noise, then flicked back to the new vampire, "Oh. Xavier, by the way. You headed to the castle, I take it?" Something didn't seem right about this whole situation, and Xavier couldn't shake the feeling that he was making the wrong call. Someone should have been there to meet her at the gate. The higher-ups surely wouldn't allow someone as low ranked as Xavier Current to do an induction tour. They would have at least told him, right? A layer of suspicion began to build, and he had to stop himself from asking if she really was with the Detente. Either way, Xavier would get some sweet brownie points for bringing her there. Bonus points for killing that other stranger. It's not that he cared if they took him seriously or not, to be unassuming was actually quite a good trait to have, but even still...

Maybe they'd at least upgrade the bloody wi-fi.
Catherine's indifference was only due to the fact that she had other concerns on her mind.
With her own sire likely hot on her heels, the wood and it's surrounding areas were likely to be one of the few places he would even begin to look. It also meant that if push came to shove, she could easily cast the gate incantation that would take her out and away from that particular plane. Grigore hadn't yet figured out how to exploit the veil and its magics to his advantage, and that was one of the few things Catherine could count on these days.

"Can't say that I do... but I guess everyone gets hungry?" She lied, empathy and truth wasn't something she was used to affording others these days. But she knew what it was like to be on edge like that. Bound and restricted from accessing even the smallest of scraps of power, it had truly been a nightmare that she was more than glad to be awake from. For so long it had felt like she was drowning again and again, with no one to save her. But that damnable mage had stepped in and offered her a bargain that she would have been foolish to consider refusing, but in the end it had been their downfall.

Abused and exploited by her sire, Grigore Constantin, Catherine had scratched out the barest of plans and neglected to share them with anyone. Even she wasn't sure what they were, except it had lead her here to this cursed and magicked wood. A place where surely she could find safety, if only in the danger of it all. Ingratiating herself with whatever this new faction of vampires was, as repulsive as it sounded, would prove useful. Surely with her power and skill she could easily climb to a position of significant leverage.

Turning her head towards the crack of a twig and shout of another, she considered Xavier's offer. Anyone would have heard the voice and other stumbling through the undergrowth even without preternatural hearing.

"Oh yes! I would appreciate that! I was heading towards the castle, but I got lost. These paths are so confusing, awfully dark, and they didn't tell me which one to take." Catherine answered cheerfully, meanwhile leaning on the words with care to disarm and deflect away from her true nature. It was another lie, but if reduced the suspicion aimed at her. Besides which, if he thought she was just an unlucky human a bit too experienced with the supernatural it would be all the better.
"Take out? What do you mean? Is there a restaurant somewhere?" She asked innocently.
Xavier found it strange how she addressed the hunger. He could feel it, like a magnetic force between the two. The distasteful scent in her blood. The cold in her veins. He shrugged it off. Maybe she was converted recently, and wasn’t fully aware of what he had meant. Or perhaps she had found a way to subside her hunger, and it seemed like a nonissue. Now that would be glorious. The thought of a permanent cure had crossed Xavier’s mind many times before. But if he could keep all the powers, and forgo the drawbacks… Someone in the castle would surely know more about this. They’d have tried such things. He dropped entertaining the idea altogether.

She had said how “they didn’t tell me which one to take.”
So she had met someone. Okay. Why wouldn’t they tell her-

"Oh, of course. This is a test they do sometimes, see if you can find your own way. Unlucky you." Xavier considered whether he should help her. He wasn’t sure if the higher-ups would reprimand him for screwing up their little rite of passage. Not my fault. They should have told me. "Well follow me, then. Don't have to tell them, do we?"

Then from her mouth came the most confounding thing yet. “Is there a restaurant somewhere?” she said, as if it wasn’t a joke. She had to have heard the voice call out in the woods. She had to understand what a ripe opportunity that would be. Was she really not hungry?

"Restaurant? Didn't you just-" He stopped himself from talking further. She was trying to fool him. The new vampire hadn’t even been initiated into the Detente and she was already making a mockery of Xavier. How her tone had so suddenly changed from disinterest to beaming compliance. What had he done to deserve this treatment? Every vampire he’d met had been difficult. Not nearly clever enough to appreciate his input. "Don't worry about it.” He said, walking forward again, “I'll explain it at the castle."

Jackson would have to wait, then. Xavier’s stomach grumbled accordingly with his returning headache. Time to distract himself again.

"So which of the higher-ups invited you along? Funny, when I joined up they forgot to give me express permission to come in. Door was wide open. Had to sleep out here for the night. Real funny, right? Not all of us have the same shit, but come on..." He paused, catching himself before falling into another senseless rant. "You plan on staying long? I used to have a place in Wing City. Lost that joint as soon as I joined up here. I suppose I don't have to pay rent anymore. Word of warning though: Job prospects are low." He laughed.
Catherine smiled politely at Xavier's remark about her luck,"Yes, you could say that I've had quite the run with bad luck these days." Her smile however was a strange thing, as it appeared that there were no fangs or any other hallmarks of her supposed kind.

Who had known that asking to be made whole, such as she had, would mean that the magic would interpret it so differently. Instead of giving her back what she wanted, it gave her what it decided she needed. Catherine blamed Rahal for it, not paying attention and forgetting a few crucial details she had explicitly warned him about. But apparently centuries of personal experience were to be trumped by only a few decades. In the end the damnable mage had gotten his comeuppance and was currently struggling with the gifts granted by a line such as hers.

The Constantin line was old, that much Catherine even herself could even confirm, but what lay behind her own sire was uncertain as always. The man or rather vampire, tended to lie and take advantage of the uncanny ability to see his fledgling's thoughts. There was little hiding from him, others certainly, but never him.

"Didn't I just what?" She asked Xavier as she followed along beside him.

She hadn't intended to go to the castle, but that would do just fine for now. Might as well present herself to the ruling parties instead of wandering about their territory without the proper homages being paid. Regardless of where she considered her loyalties to currently lie, Catherine knew when best to be polite. The phrase that you caught more flies with honey that vinegar was never more true.

"Eh.. you know.. I forget his name." Catherine fibbed again. It wasn't worth it yet to reach out and brush the edges of Xavier's mind to get what she wanted. Playing along for now was telling her volumes about this other group of vampires.

"I plan to stay as long as necessary to get what I need."
Catherine's smile seemed human. According to the library there were all sorts of vampires, some who could hide their fangs though an illusory mask or even retract them into their teeth. He didn't think much of it individually, but was building up the idea that this woman might not be your average vampire. Average vampire... he thought, and a wave of sadness washed over him. A feeling of powerlessness that Xavier had felt before. He was never sure why, and now wasn't the time to give his emotions too much credence.

Xavier pretended not to hear her question him about the restaurant remark. Surely she was trying to bait him into some embarrassing show of ignorance. He couldn't figure out exactly what it was, so would resign himself to glumly leading her along. Xavier hated this. His chance to influence her first impressions of him, before the others got to her. Oh, he was sure the others said things behind his back. All in some telepathic trance, knowing Xavier didn't have to capacity for that sort of thing. Did they think he was a moron? He'd like to see THEM write a self-enhancing subroutine that can build onto itself and convert the OS of any software. Hahah! Hah! Hah... I worked really hard on that.

Distracted by his thoughts and focus on keeping his seething irritation in, Xavier paid little to no attention. Unlike what she had heard before, Xavier spoke quietly. His words were telling of his mental state. They were coloured by a certain sour snark, delivered toward no one in particular.

"Cool. Cryptic. You'll fit right in..." Creature of the night. Why don't you act like it? Moron.

"Follow closely, here." He said, moving more precisely between the trees. Past one particularly dense cluster the great iron gate of Castle Vankoryth, seemingly coming from out of nowhere. Tapered to either end was a large stone wall, the size and length of which suggested the two should have been able to see the castle from much further way. Even more perplexing was the towering gothic fortress itself, a truly foreboding presence among the dark woods. No movement could be seen past the gate, no sound or sign of life.

"If you were invited, the gate will open. Otherwise someone should be out shortly." Xavier was not in the mood to speak with the higher-ups at the moment. He also didn't feel too comfortable near the castle at the moment. "I'll scedaddle, then. Got stuff to do. Have fun... Uhm..." Xavier realised he hadn't asked for her name. Whether she would tell him or not, Xavier's green hoody would turn a transparent grey. His figure following suit, taking the form of mist as his body dissipated where he stood. The mist snaked down into the fog, rendering itself completely invisible to the eye. Xavier needed to let some steam off.

((OOC: all good to close this encounter off.))