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Duncan McAlister

Did you hear that?

0 · 206 views · located in Ekland Farm

a character in “The Spirit Detectives”, as played by Soul_Alchemist

Description

Image
Name: Duncan McAlister, AKA Duke, Al, Alister
Age: 25

Physical Description: Duke stands at just under six feet tall, with long dark hair, usually pulled back in a ponytail, and dark brown eyes. Whenever he is on the job he tends to wear a simple suit; black shoes and pants, white button-down shirt, black vest and jacket, black tie. Along with the suit he always wears a pair of simple white gloves. Outside of the job he prefers jeans and t-shirts. Anyone who has seen him shirtless knows he bares four long red scars across his back.

Personality: Duke is the kind of guy to stand back and wait for the right time to make himself known. Normally he is quiet, but he has a good head on his shoulders and those who know him well know that it is generally a good idea to listen to him when he speaks. If you ask people who have worked with the Spirit Detectives what they thought of Duke, they would say he was quiet but nice. When it comes to getting answers he can be very serious though.

Ghost Hunting Background: Duke has been interested in the paranormal ever since he was walking down the street alone one night and witnessed a group of people disappear around a corner with no explanation. He has only been professionally hunting ghosts for about three years, but has seen a lot during this time, and before.

General Background: Duke lived a normal, quiet life for the most part. Growing up in the woods in the middle of nowhere he got used to being alone, but he likes being around people. When he was young he began to have nightmares and to see things he could not explain. After high school he studied criminal justice for a couple of years in a community collage before a guy from the school asked him to come check out a supposedly haunted house. After what he saw that night, he dedicated himself to finding answers about the paranormal.

Reason for Being Here: Duke is one of the founders of the Spirit Detectives group, so he has to be there, but he also enjoys an interesting case.

Useful Skills: Duke is good at drawing out ghosts, good and bad, and can often get a reaction from them when others cannot. They like to draw energy from him to answer questions or, occasionally, fling plates across the room.

Anything More?: Duke has two minor psychic abilities. Sometimes spirits come to him in his dreams and give him clues, and he has a bit of psychometry. This is the ability to touch an object and sometimes read the past through it. He can hold the knife used to murder someone and get a glimpse of how the crime happened.

So begins...

Duncan McAlister's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Duncan McAlister Character Portrait: Briella Adair Character Portrait: Leon D'Artagnan Character Portrait: Tom Passano Character Portrait: Cassandra Artemis Character Portrait: Monk Dawa

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Richard Green, the real reason behind the existence of the Spirit Detectives group, was unable to meet with everyone has he had been hoping to do. However, through his various connections, he had arranged transport for everyone who would be embarking on this little adventure. Official members of the group had all met in Millstone, the small town closest to the Ekland farm, and from there they traveled in the back of one of three black SUVs to the farm itself. A short time later and Duncan finds himself standing around in a field with fellow detectives Briella, Leon, and Tom. According to Richard, there would be two new faces joining them. A younger woman and...a monk.

Duncan had worked with religious types before. He had nothing against them, really, but for whatever reason the two never seemed to mix well. But maybe this time things would be different. Duncan looks at a sheet of paper, crumbled and lined with fold marks, upon which are written the names of the two honorary members of the Spirit Detectives. Cassandra Artemis and Monk Dawa. The name Artemis sounded familiar to him, and not just because of the goddess.

"Do you want me to take the equipment inside, Duke?" Steven, one of the tech guys who worked behind the scenes for the group asks.

"No, I think between the six of us we can handle carrying in the equipment, but thank you just the same." Duncan says, giving the man a half smile. "If this place is as dangerous as they say, and it feels like it might be, then I think it best you and the others stay outside. Once the two new investigators arrive you and the others can head back to the hotel. I'm sure with Briella's help I can figure out what wires go to what devices."

Steven nods, and seems to relax a little. He goes back to work, unloading the various camera equipment and other devices that the ghost hunters will be using. Aside from stationary cameras with various visions, there are infrared cameras, handheld cameras and smaller ones that can be strapped onto a person. Duncan carries a small satchel over his shoulder, and inside he has his personal equipment. A digital voice recorder, a spirit box, a lucky charm in the form of a small wooden bear, and of course an extra pair of gloves. Although his psychometry comes and goes, one can never be too careful. Especially in a place like this. Standing as far away as they are now, half a football field away from the front door in an empty field, Duncan can feel the evil of whatever is inside that house.

Normally Duncan doesn't feel much of anything until night falls, and the investigation, the lock down some call it, really gets underway. And even then he rarely feels true evil. But right now, he knows what he is feeling is evil. Something dark dwells within this old wooden house, and just looking at it causes the scars across his back to feel as if they are burning.

Duncan's thoughts are interrupted by the sound of approaching vehicles. Looking up he raises a hand to shield his eyes from the sun, and finds two black cars pull close to the SUVs and park. Shortly after the engines are cut off the monk, Dawa was it? Yes, Duncan thought so. And the younger woman, Cassandra, step out of the cards. The drivers help them with their things, wave to Duncan and the others, then get back in their cars and turn them around.

"Good afternoon." Duncan says, walking over to the new arrivals. "It's nice to meet you. My name is Duncan McAlister, but most people call me Duke. Come on over and we'll get the introductions out of the way. Once that's done, the real fun begins."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Duncan McAlister Character Portrait: Briella Adair Character Portrait: Leon D'Artagnan Character Portrait: Tom Passano Character Portrait: Cassandra Artemis Character Portrait: Monk Dawa

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#, as written by WilPen
"Yes, Nanna. I brought my camera! And before you ask, yes. I found the smudge stick you put in my camera bag." An exacerbated cry echoed in the empty train station. A young girl, about 17, paced between the benches while chatting on a cellphone. The benches seemed to be the only seating for miles. In fact, though Cassie had spun til she was dizzy, she couldn't see any sort of building in the area.

'Who would build a train station in the middle of nowhere?' She thought to herself. 'Probably people that knew better than to stay,' came the unwelcome reply.

After a short argument that resolved with Cassie promising to use the smudge stick before going too far into the house, Cassie hung up on her gushing grandmother. Though it felt good to make her Nanna proud, it also felt like cheating to do something as simple as spend the night at some rundown house.


Before she had to wait too long, a black car approached the stoop where Cassie sat. She stood as it pulled to a stop in front of her. To her amazement, a well dressed man exited the car only to open the door for her. The man took the only bag she would part with, her backpack and put it in the trunk.

All she had wanted to bring with her was her camera and a change of clothes, but her Nanna spent half the day chewing her ear off with: 'You need to bring these crystals in case it gets too dangerous' and 'Make sure you don't forget your tarot cards, some spirits will only communicate through cards!' Eventually, Cassie just allowed her grandmother to repack her bag with all the 'essentials' and called it a day. Her camera bag, however, was off limits. Or so Cassie thought.

Hopefully the detectives she would be joining has a more pragmatic view of spirits than her grandmother did. Otherwise, it could make for a long night.


As soon as the car pulled up to the SUVs in the driveway, Cassie felt a chill down her spine.

'Well of course you have a bad feeling, it's the creepiest place you've ever seen.' She scolded herself, squashing the creeping sensation. Cassie had avoided reading about the history of this house until the night before. While Cassie believed going into the house with no expectations would make any experience [no matter how fake] more believable, her Nanna wanted her to be prepared for what she would be walking into. After the short history lesson, the poor girl could hardly sleep. Ghosts and spirits were one thing, but cannibals? That's something that could definitely be real.

With another shiver that went ignored, she opened the door to the car and took in her surroundings. For the first time, she noticed another black car that had been following hers for a good while. Without waiting to see who was arriving, she turned her attention to the group that were unloading the SUVs.

"Good afternoon." An incredibly tall man approached her. Cassie stood as tall as she could and still had to crane her neck to meet his eyes. He continued, "It's nice to meet you. My name is Duncan McAlister, but most people call me Duke. Come on over and we'll get the introductions out of the way. Once that's done, the real fun begins." With a nod, Cassie followed him, though every step closer to the house left a larger stone in the pit of her stomach.

Once they met up with the rest of the group, Cassie smiled and met each of their eyes. To her surprise, someone who was probably the tallest man in existence was also part of their group. "Hello, everyone," she called in her normal, soft tone. "I'm Cassie. I hope you don't mind me tagging along tonight."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Duncan McAlister Character Portrait: Briella Adair Character Portrait: Leon D'Artagnan Character Portrait: Tom Passano Character Portrait: Cassandra Artemis Character Portrait: Monk Dawa

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Dawa had walked everywhere he had ever gone before this point. Barring the boat ride to Canada, of course. The point is the monk had never ridden in a car before. The car had picked him up a few towns away from Millstone and he had been in heaven ever since. Comforts like the leather seats in the back of this car had to be a sin. Good thing the monks back at the monastery wouldn't find out from him!

Due to his preoccupation with the seats, he had hardly noticed a minute go by. Before he knew it, the car was pulling into the driveway and the ride was over. His disappointment didn't last long however, he soon took notice of the girl that got out of the car before him. "Eh, a bit young," he said aloud. "But harmless to flirt with!" He noticed a man that looked to be in charge closing in on them and decided it would be better to retrieve his knapsack before making any moves.

The knapsack contained everything he owned. 3 Canadian dollars, donated to him out of the kindness of an elderly woman's bosom, and an apple in case he got peckish.

Dawa turned around as the man introduced as Duke, finished his introduction. As the girl and the gentleman walked towards the working group, he caught up to Duke. "Hey, man. Dawa, Monk Dawa!" He stuck out his hand for a shake with a stupid grin on his face. "Sorry, I know that's old, but I just saw that movie for the first time."

As they got closer to the house, a grim scowl replaced his grin. The house had some serious bad juju. He couldn't quite tell what yet, which was odd. Maybe that spoke to the magnitude of just, bad. Or, maybe he was just getting rusty. Unfortunately, he hoped for and doubted the same choice.

"I'm Cassie. I hope you don't mind me tagging along tonight." He finally took notice of how small this girl was. He could probably use her head as an armrest if he needed to. She spoke in the quietest tone he had heard since leaving the monastery. All he could think was, "Man, this girl doesn't know what she's getting herself into."

What he said was, "I sure don't!" Eh, it's a reflex.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Duncan McAlister Character Portrait: Briella Adair Character Portrait: Leon D'Artagnan Character Portrait: Tom Passano Character Portrait: Cassandra Artemis Character Portrait: Monk Dawa

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#, as written by Dae Mec
Briella strolled over to Steven. Though she preferred working on the scene, she still collaborated extensively with the techies behind the curtains.

"Look at this!" she exclaimed, picking up one of the newer cameras. "Bhavani managed to integrate the magnetic induction program with the infrared sensing. I was wondering if she'd finish on time. Give her my thanks, will you?"

"Sure will." Steven set down a few more supplies. After slinging the camera's strap around her neck, Briella helped him unload. Some of the technology was high-tech and cutting edge, but some of the older equipment was basically cobbled together from other piece of tech. One particularly old device was jokingly referred to as the Frankencamera. Once the last supplies were unloaded, Briella stepped back and stretched.

"I'll see you later." She shrugged good-naturedly. "Assuming everything goes well."

"Yeah, I hope so. Good luck," replied Steven, preparing to leave the detectives to their work.

Briella turned her attention to the new camera. This baby was the result of months of work. A tap of the screen and a twist of a dial, Briella adjusted the settings. She frowned at the display screen. That was weird. For some reason, there was a much higher density of magnetic flux than expected.

"That's way too many Teslas," Briella mumbled to herself. She shivered and rubbed her arms. Was it just her, or was it rather chilly here? This whole place was just weird.

But the weirdness did make it more interesting. Still, Briella had to admit that she wouldn't have entered the farmhouse alone. Boy, was she glad that she had a competent team. Briella had worked with Duke plenty of times before. He was a nice guy, if a bit quiet, but he definitely knew his stuff. Tom was occasionally crabby, but despite his intimidating appearance, Briella trusted him to have her back. Besides, when dealing with ghosts, being intimidating was a good thing. And while Leon could be a bit... er, bouncy, he was a smart kid.

Briella had heard from Duke that two new members were joining them. One was a monk, interestingly enough. An image of an old, Asian man popped into her head. Or maybe he was a warrior monk, which would be pretty neat. Briella didn't know the details. The other member was a teenage photographer, which was even more awesome. It'd be great to have someone to chat with.

Speaking of the devil... it seemed like their two new teammates had arrived. To her surprise, the monk was not a Dalai Lama rip-off. Yes, he was wearing robe-like clothing, but he seemed to be in his twenties. And the cocky grin on his face wasn't very monk-like, either. Nor was his brash, pop-culture referencing introduction. The girl, however, was tiny and definitely adorable. She did seem a bit unnerved by the creepy farmhouse, but who could blame her? Briella adjusted the last setting on the voice recorder and hurried over to the group.

"Hi there!" she said. "My name's Briella Adair. I'm the resident techie and camerawoman. Nice to meet you!" Briella smiled at Cassandra. "It's great to have another girl on board, especially one who appreciates photography. We've got some epic cameras to use." She held up the one dangling around her neck. "The resolution on this baby is enough to make the Hubble Space Telescope weep. If you want, I can help you pick out a camera from our collection."

Briella gave the monk a curious look. "So... Monk Dawa, you said? What's it like being a monk? Actually, what kind of monk are you?""

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Duncan McAlister Character Portrait: Briella Adair Character Portrait: Leon D'Artagnan Character Portrait: Tom Passano Character Portrait: Cassandra Artemis Character Portrait: Monk Dawa

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Tom, lighting a cigarette, stood away from the SUV and surveyed the front foundation of the house which sprawled before them. He let his ashes fall into his hand harmlessly before making sure they weren't lit and powdering the grass with the soft substance, making sure he didn't get anything on his shoes. His back turned to whoever was behind him, he tapped into the introductory conversation Duke had with the newcomers. There's a sharp glare in his sunglasses from the sunset.

The girl and the monk. Her voice sounded small. He recalled shortly when his sisters were around that age, and when he was around 10. A confusing age, that. Everyone deals with it differently. He lowers his pale eyelashes as a deeper voice interjects. His eyes slant, and he breathes in, tasting the silence with a sigh and an exhale of wafting smoke. Didn't mind, hm, Tom's thought drags lazily as he turns his head to the side, a cough escaping his lips as his breathing hitches inward with the nicotine.

Tom doesn't quite enjoy the Monk's type, especially with the way he speaks to that girl.
It's probably something having to do with being raised by two older sisters.

But, Tom digresses in his head. He's not good with first impressions, so he accepts both newcomers with as much as a welcome that he can come off with doing. He finishes taking a drag before tapping his cigarette clean in the dirt and putting the dud in his pocket; not that he wanted to smell, but he's not going to litter, even if it is in front of some abandoned old estate. How do you think the ghosts would like it if he threw some old trash out in front of their house? Even if they do want to kill him and the rest of the gang once they excavate the place from the inside to see what they can find, there's nothing that would make a dead man more angry than blatant disrespect.

As his eyes search the farm, noting the southern gothic air of a decrepit old place such as it, Tom goes through the list of things he'll need in the belly of the beast.

Tranquilizer...check. A small pistol-- only for emergencies, being armed does make him feel kind of squeamish -- check. A notebook to track their progress, a pocket flashlight, a couple cans of ravioli...That sounds fine. Everything's ready. Oh, right, he forgot a pillow or anything to sleep on. That's fine. Tom isn't really the heavy REM type. He prefers naps to help him stay alert. He crosses his arms. Politely, Tom gets out of the way of some of the technical crew, letting them do their business and running a hand through his hair swiftly, eyes dropping to the ground with an unassuming air. One would think he's just another part of the crew, or a bodyguard, even-- which isn't far from the truth. That is his job back with the normal crowd during the day.

As if he was getting a little wake-up call, his body feels a little cold. Straightening his tie softly, he walks to the rest of the crowd and nods at Briella, the first person he's acknowledged today. Besides...the other kid. The one who's so excited about this whole thing. Tom grasps the back of his neck and scratches his head, sighing and quirking an eyebrow as he's reminded of Leon's presence. He'll be around soon enough, he guesses. Dunno where he's gone off to...

"Tom Passano." Tom says politely to both the newcomers after a moment of pause, taking off his shades, his voice low and soft. "Just Tom's fine. If you need anything, just ask."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Duncan McAlister Character Portrait: Briella Adair Character Portrait: Leon D'Artagnan Character Portrait: Tom Passano Character Portrait: Cassandra Artemis Character Portrait: Monk Dawa

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Excited would be an understatement. The mystery novel enthusiast had bothered Tom the whole way up here, babbling about everything they might run into, everything they might see, everything that might happen. The way he talks, it's clear that he's way too hyped up about something like this. Occasionally, he'd lean over towards Tom and inquire as to what he was doing, what it is he had in his hand, what it was he wishes he was doing, stuff like that.

In short, Leon is absolutely, positively way too excited about this.

Now, though, Leon wanders up to the front of the building—though not right in front of it; he still stands a good distance away—and starts rocking back onto the balls of his heels, then forward onto his toes, and repeating. He clasps his hands behind him and hums a little tune as he looks up at the farmhouse, idly wondering if he got close enough, would he be able to hear any ghosts whispering to him?

The introductions... had he missed them? Leon peeks over his shoulder behind him at his fellow detectives, eyes never opening in the slightest. In truth, his eyes are always open, but appear closed. He's gotten used to narrowing them, mostly for effect, but he feels like he could see ghosts better if he does this. Of course, this belief is only speculation, and he cannot actually see ghosts any better through slitted eyelids.

Bored already, Leon turns on his heel and waltzes back over to the others, seeing that they've been joined by some new people. Bouncing up onto his toes to make himself taller, he sticks his arm out and presses the fingers on his other hand to his forehead, as if he were shielding himself from the sun or trying to see better. "Uwoh, two new people! And on of 'em is a girl younger than I am! Hey, hey, I didn't get all your names. Could you repeat 'em for me? Please, please, pleaaaase?" He bounces up and down and, finding that he seems to be near Tom, he latches onto Tom's sleeve with his fingers and continues hopping. "I'm Leon! Leon D'Artagnan."

After he gets tired of bouncing, he starts swaying back and forth, attempting to drag Tom with him, but only ending up moving the other's arm back and forth. "How old are you? No, wait! Lemme guess. Youuuuu're.... you're 15!"

Way off.


{ ooc: sorry if this is very short ;_; }

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Duncan McAlister Character Portrait: Briella Adair Character Portrait: Leon D'Artagnan Character Portrait: Tom Passano Character Portrait: Cassandra Artemis Character Portrait: Monk Dawa

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After Duncan has introduced himself to the newcomers, and the rest of the group have made their way over and begun to introduce themselves as well, he takes a step back, watching them all for a moment before glancing over his shoulder at the house. Not for the first time, he was wondering if maybe Richard should have come along for this one. After all, this was going to be the largest investigation the group would do all year. It might even be enough for that network deal Richard had told him about. If the Spirit Detectives were able to make a big enough name for themselves, to gather enough evidence and to put on a good enough show, there was a chance they might get a shot at a prime time television series.

Duncan hoped that wouldn't be the case. He had never liked the idea of being on television. Sure, they would make a lot more money that way, but he wasn't doing it for the money. Duncan had questions that needed to be answered.

The sound of engines starting and a call from Steven draws Duncan back to reality, and he waves at the tech guy as he and the others drive off, back towards their luxurious two-star hotel in Millstone. When he looks back at the group, then to the pile of equipment, he sighs and shakes his head. It would have been nice if the guys who usually help with the setting up could have stuck around a bit longer, carried some of the stuff inside, but Duncan still believed he'd made the right choice in sending them off early. Walking over to the pile, he adjusts his own bag on his shoulder, then grabs a couple of the stationary camera cases and stuffs them under one arm, while grabbing something else with his free hand. In truth, he wasn't entirely sure what all of this stuff did. He could use some of it, but most of the time he left the technology to the others.

"I'm going to unlock the door and take this stuff inside." Duncan says to Tom, walking up to the man from the side. "Mind grabbing a few things? I could use a hand. I always forget just how much stuff we have when the band gets together."

Again Duncan finds himself looking over his shoulder, but this time it isn't at the farmhouse, but at a small plot of land off to the side. It looks like maybe a hundred years ago it had been a small garden, but now it was just an outline of a box in field stones, overflowing with dead grass and weeds. The wind picks up the, and Duncan frowns when he glimpses something in the grass. Without waiting for Tom to reply, he wanders over to the once-garden, setting the equipment on the ground beside him before he steps over the stones. At once a chill runs through him, but he ignores it as he kneels and pulls some of the grass away.

"Shit..." Duncan curses quietly when what he thought he had seen was confirmed. A skull, part of one at least, is half buried in the dirt before him. It looks as if the soil here has eroded over time, revealing the now sun bleached bones. "Well this isn't how I was hoping to start off this investigation." He grumbles, looking off in the direction the others drove off in. "Guess we can call in the authorities later."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Duncan McAlister Character Portrait: Briella Adair Character Portrait: Leon D'Artagnan Character Portrait: Tom Passano Character Portrait: Cassandra Artemis Character Portrait: Monk Dawa

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#, as written by WilPen
The monk that arrived behind her wasn't like any monk she'd ever seen before. Not that she had seen many. He was far too young to be like the travelling monk that came to her elementary school to encourage kids to put an end to bullying. Maybe for all his differences, he'd actually accomplish his goals. Dawa's comment made her blush, and she was quick to slouch to avoid anyone seeing. Maybe his intentions were innocent, but a compliment is a compliment. Unsure of how to respond, she squeaked out a "Thanks!" and avoided looking at him.

Cassie practically glowed at Briella's invitation to use their cameras. Even at this distance, she could tell they were top of the line. She swore one of the cameras had a lens that wasn't supposed to hit the market for a while. Practically drooling, she fantasized about the high quality photos she'd be able to get, even with the lights off. At that moment, she decided maybe being a ghost hunter wouldn't be so bad. Sure, she didn't believe in the stuff; but if she got to use babies like these, it would be worth it. Cassie's own camera was last years model, but it wasn't made for this kind of work. Panoramas: check. Quick Capture: Check. Pictures in nearly no light: Nope. Cassie made a mental note to ask which camera had the best night vision. She'd definitely need it.

Tom seemed nice enough. He was quiet like Cassie, which was encouraging, but he still made her nervous. She knew she didn't want to get on his bad side. Though maybe if she stuck close by, he'd scare away any cannibals that may lie in wait in the house. Sure, it was a silly fear, but better to be safe than sorry.

Her thoughts were interrupted by a young man waltzing into the conversation. Leon's introduction was punctuated with bouncing, but quickly transitioned into swaying. He looked like he was having so much fun, Cassie might have joined him, but the severe attitude of Tom made her scared to try.

Instead, she waved. "Pleased to meet you Leon, I'm Cassie Artemis. And close, I'm 17." Normally, she might be offended that someone would think she was so young. However, Leon's bubbly personality made it hard to feel anything, but amusement. As if she was part of an inside joke.

Cassie couldn't seem to figure out where Duke was going. She shrugged her shoulders, maybe this is just what Ghost Hunting is: walking around. Hoping to be helpful, Cassie picked up a box of EVP Recorders. Or, as she called them, 'weird walkie-talkies'. She managed to get them to the porch, but was definitely not going into the creepy house first. Who knows what kind of disrepair it's in. Cassie was not in the mood to be flattened by a collapsing building.

She sat on the top of the box and tried to figure out what Duke was doing hunched over in the field. Maybe he found one of those buried bodies the place is famous for. She snickered and thought to herself, 'yeah, right.'

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Duncan McAlister Character Portrait: Briella Adair Character Portrait: Leon D'Artagnan Character Portrait: Tom Passano Character Portrait: Cassandra Artemis Character Portrait: Monk Dawa

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Okay, it's been decided. Cassie had officially won the trophy for adorableness. Her reaction to his teasing had only made it that much more irresistible to continue at any chance he got. Before he could make her blush deepen, Briella caught his attention.

Now there's a woman. He slapped on his most seductive face, which looked more like he was constipated than anything else, and subtly lowered his voice. (It wasn't subtle at all.) "Please, call me Dawa. I'm glad you asked, My dear. I'm just like a regular monk, but I didn't have to take a vow of celibacy."

This was of course, a lie. He wasn't like a regular monk. He'd seen more demons than regular monks believe in. But more importantly, he did have to take the vow of celibacy, that didn't mean he had to stick to it.

Again, he was distracted from his flirting game, but this time it was by a man. Tom, in fact. He didn't like the way Tom eyed him, but he did like Tom. Sure, he was taller than any human had a right to be, but he seemed to take his job seriously. That was just the kind of man Dawa liked to annoy. Though he seemed to have already been beaten to the punch.

Yet another man joined the party, this one much more welcoming. He seemed hyper, perhaps he had eaten a lot of candy recently. Dawa would be lying if he said he didn't act the same way after binging on chocolate once leaving the monastery.


Once the introductions were out of the way, the monk focused back on the house. He followed Cassie towards the house and was beginning to get a clearer picture of what was in store for them. It wasn't good. Dawa wasn't sure he wanted to let the girl go into the house alone with all those beasties, but she stopped short on the porch. Thankfully.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Duncan McAlister Character Portrait: Briella Adair Character Portrait: Leon D'Artagnan Character Portrait: Tom Passano Character Portrait: Cassandra Artemis Character Portrait: Monk Dawa

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Tom raises an eyebrow as Leon blasts into the scene. He raises his arm as it is grabbed, expectedly, by the not-cheap sleeve of his suit jacket. Uttering a cough, he frowns, pushing down on Leon's head very mildly and ruffling his hair in the process. He stands fixed to the soil beneath his shoes as the smaller, younger man swings around his arm harmlessly, keeping himself immobile. Rather like a large, serious boulder.

If he's a boulder, Leon's the squirrel.

Tom sighs, glancing down at the excitable kid. "Alright, alright. Had enough? They gave you what you wanted. Now you know who they are. Can you please stop, you're going to stretch my sleeve..." His quiet irritability was broken by Duncan's voice, whom he complies to softly, patting Leon on the back before sliding away from him (or attempting to. Either that, or he drags him with him.)

"Yeah," He says agreeably, straightening and walking next to him in the direction of the materials he's needed to transport. "Just show me what you'd like me to carry and I'll do it."

On a similar train of thought, Tom has considered the fact that their adventures may or may not air on national TV. He's never really liked that sort of attention; but, then again, he's routinely in the shadows on that kind of thing at red carpet events or parties that the media has a big part in broadcasting. But not...like this. Something about knowing what it's like to be followed around by paparazzi through guarding the stars themselves is even more of a reminder about what his future may hold in the next couple months.

Tom follows Duncan's gaze, and he scans the sectioned-off clearing curiously. It reminds him of the space outside of the old apartment complex that him and his siblings resided in whilst he was only a child. His mother used to grow herbs in it for the days she could come home and cook. They used it to play all sorts of games...Kind of the only grassy patch of land around, so it was nice to get at least a little nature in a big suburban heap of concrete.

Tom, concentrating on lifting up some heavy tripods and throwing them over his shoulder, puts the memory on hold as he hears the man gasp and glance down at something. He's no psychic, but he notices Duncan go a little pale. He raises an eyebrow and steps over to where he stands, peering down at...An exposed human skull. The bridge of his nose wrinkles and he presses his wrist to his mouth briefly.

"Guess the rumors were true," He remarks quietly. "Either that, or this place is some kind of old cemetery with a farmhouse build smack dab in the middle...Highly doubt it. Think we should mark this or something to keep tabs on evidence?" He runs a hand through his hair. "And yeah, they can wait...Hey, the land's gotta give us a clue somehow."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Duncan McAlister Character Portrait: Briella Adair Character Portrait: Leon D'Artagnan Character Portrait: Tom Passano Character Portrait: Cassandra Artemis Character Portrait: Monk Dawa

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#, as written by Dae Mec
After seeing Cassie's face light up, Briella knew that they'd get along just fine. Any girl that liked cameras was a someone that she wanted to be friends with.

Then, the monk replied.

"Please, call me Dawa. I'm glad you asked, my dear. I'm just like a regular monk, but I didn't have to take a vow of celibacy." His voice had dropped an octave, and his smirk had become a pained leer. Was he... was he coming on to her?

Briella blinked and then stared at him. Really stared at him. Slowly, she looked him up and down. Then, Briella deliberately shifted her weight to one leg. She put her hand on one hip and lowered her sunglasses.

"Well, Dawa," she said in a falsely cheery voice, "I'm sure you'd have no trouble staying celibate."

Of course, that's when Leon burst onto the scene with all the force and enthusiasm of a sugared-up puppy. Perhaps a bunny would be a better comparison, with all the jumping around he did. Briella almost laughed at the expression on Tom's face as the younger kid grabbed his sleeve. She wasn't surprised when Tom leaped at the chance to help Duncan (and escape). Honestly, Leon and Tom were hilarious. She'd never say it out loud, but she'd thought it more than once.

While everyone was becoming familiar with one another, Duke had already wandered closer to the farmhouse. As expected. But Briella did not expect his serious, shocked expression as he knelt by the garden. Tom, who'd joined Duke shortly after, seemed just as concerned by whatever was in the grass.

"What's wrong?" Briella jogged over to the two men. "Did you—"

The appearance of the skull caused her to stop.

"Oh, hell," she muttered to herself. Briella pulled out her camera and began taking pictures. The device responded immediatly, and the pictures were crystal-clear. But that didn't matter as much anymore. "In case it moves," she explained out loud, unnecessarily. There was an edge of black humor in her words. "I'm sure the authorities will want to see this."

Well, Duke had mentioned Richard's plan for a show. (Briella wasn't sure how she felt about that. All this tech was practically hers, dammit, and she didn't hordes of producers touching it. Not to mention the impact it'd have on her freelancing.) Dryly, Briella noted that the discovery of a skeleton was definitely exciting enough for prime-time television.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Duncan McAlister Character Portrait: Briella Adair Character Portrait: Tom Passano Character Portrait: Cassandra Artemis Character Portrait: Monk Dawa

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Leon's hopping was cut short by Tom pushing down on his head lightly. He makes a noise of protest as he ducks, and he opens an eye when he sees Briella respond to Dawa. He grins slightly, thinking to himself that this monk must be the sleazy type, and he doesn't quite like those, but he doesn't say anything out loud. He simply trots after Tom when the taller man leaves towards Duncan, humming as he passes the perverted monk.

Once they stop, Leon's eyes shoot open, wide. Instead of reacting with shock and fear, he regards the skull with mild interest, immediately fishing out his phone and snapping a picture, his eyes closing again "How old do you think it is? What if it's new? What if someone was killed really recently here?" The boy rambles on and on, swaying from one foot to the other, before bouncing, and repeating. He also starts to spin around a few times as he walks around the perimeter of the group before he stops, abruptly, cupping his hand to his ear. The spirits were speaking to him already, it seems.

"The presence of you newcomers make the spirits grow angry."

Leon giggles, voice playful. "You guys aren't really welcoming, are you? You aren't, you aren't! C'mon, we just wanna play with you guys!" He claps his hands together and turns toward Cassie, waving her over. "Hey, hey, Cassie! Do you wanna hear a secret? Do you wanna hear the secret the spirits told me? Huh, huh?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Duncan McAlister Character Portrait: Briella Adair Character Portrait: Leon D'Artagnan Character Portrait: Tom Passano Character Portrait: Cassandra Artemis Character Portrait: Monk Dawa

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#, as written by WilPen
Sitting on the porch, Cassie had been watching the various reactions of the people she'd vowed to help. Each person that joined the party made her more worried about what they had found. Until Leon bounced in that is. He seemed more interested than scared. Cassie was sure that was a good sign.

When he waved her over, she stood and heard a deafening crack. With wide eyes, she glanced to see if the monk had heard the startling noise. He didn't seem to have noticed anything. It was then that Cassie noticed the hair on the back of her neck was standing straight up. She felt a tingle down her spine as if a statically charged balloon had been drug down her back. It had all happened in a split second, and she took off down the stairs towards the other group.

As she got closer, she tried to disguise her terror, but only managed to look mildly freaked. Leon's question caught her a bit off guard. Normally, she would laugh at anyone that would suggest such a thing as ghosts speaking. But, after the experience she'd just had, she was more preoccupied with glancing over her shoulder towards the house."What?....Oh, what did they say?" If only her grandmother could see her now, she'd be so proud.

Cassie stood very close to the group, probably closer than she needed to. She still felt electrified, as if she could shock the next person that she touched, not that she'd try. After nearly stepping on it, she finally noticed the skull. "Oh, Uh... That's a real skull huh?" Honestly, Cassie wasn't sure what the appropriate reaction was to this. It was her first time seeing a skeleton not in science class. For the first time since she was a small child, she desperately wanted to hold someone's hand for comfort. Instead, she settled on humor. "I don't know about you guys, but I signed up for ghosts. Not skeletons."

If she didn't know how to react upon seeing the skull, she was completely dumbfounded when Duke touched it. She noticed him bristle, but wasn't sure what caused it. Perhaps what happened to her earlier, she wasn't sure. "Uh, what about DNA. Won't you get in troub-" She was interrupted by his claims of the man's identity. Before she could question him, he took off and she was right on his heel. Despite his strange behavior, he seemed at least accustomed to the things that were happening.

His tidbit about ghosts and silver made her feel strangely...better? Of course ghosts weren't real, but if they were... Well, it was comforting to know they had a weakness. Nodding at his instructions, she hesitated on the porch for only a second once Duke took his first steps in the house. She wasn't sure what had happened on the porch, but she definitely didn't want it happening again.

Cassie coughed as the dust she kicked up entered her lungs. It tasted like her grandmother's cookies. Not cookies that her Nanna made, the ones she kept for years at a time for special occasions in a big tin. A creeping feeling in her stomach was growing. "Hey Duke," she whispered. "Not that I believe any of this stuff, but... D-do you think I could hang on the key while we're here? You know, just in case?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Duncan McAlister Character Portrait: Briella Adair Character Portrait: Leon D'Artagnan Character Portrait: Tom Passano Character Portrait: Cassandra Artemis Character Portrait: Monk Dawa

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"I doubt the graveyard idea as well, but from what I've been told, the Eklands used bodies as fertilizer." Duncan says, looking up at Tom, then to Briella as she starts taking pictures. "Looks like Briella had the same idea about documenting the evidence. Good idea by the way. A place like this? The bones might just move..."

Duncan hesitates for a moment before removing the glove on his left hand. Holding the glove in his right hand, he reaches down and places just the tips of his fingers on the skull. Normally he wouldn't do this out in the open, and so far only Tom and Briella have seen him do this at all, aside from a few of the veteran Spirit Detectives in the group. The first time anyone ever sees this, they think Duncan crazy, until the proof is shown.

It feels like a jolt of electricity runs up his fingers and through his arm, spreading out across Duncan's body, freezing him for a moment as the dark memories locked away in the skull reveal themselves. Duncan begins to get flashes, images, emotions, mainly fear, and a lot of blood. He sees a lot more than he would like, and pulls his hand away quickly, gasping a bit as he rocks on his heels before standing. As he stands there, trying to catch his breath, he wipes his hand on his pants to get rid of any dirt, then takes a step away from the skull and looks at the others. To them just a few seconds passed of Duncan kneeling and touching the skull, but for Duncan himself several minutes passed by as he relived the memories of the dead man.

"He was a worker, a gardener I think. Jakob Ekland slaughtered him with a cleaver, chopped him up and mixed his remains into the soil." With a dark grin Duncan adds, "The roses were beautiful."

Duncan slips his glove back on and then, without a word, picks up the equipment he had been carrying. Leon and Cassandra had joined them now, and the girl seemed to be freaking out the most of everyone. From what she said, Duncan thought maybe this was her first time at a real haunted house, but decided not to ask about it. If Richard had okayed her for this little venture, she must have some experience.

"You know I hate it when you keep secrets, Leon." Duncan says as he heads for the door. "Maybe you'd like to share it with the whole group?"

Whatever the secret was, Duncan was sure he would find out before the night was over. And so he makes his way to the front door, sets a camera case down, and fishes a silver key from his pocket. "Stories throughout time suggest that evil hates silver, that it burns them. I'm not entirely sold on the idea, but I know that so far I had never lost a key made of silver, and so whenever I go to an older place, like the Ekland house, I always recast the key in silver." He says to whoever cares to listen. In this case it was a large, old fashioned model, the original had been bronze or brass, he couldn't remember. He stops trying to remember what the original was made of as he slips the silver one into the lock. It was one of those kind where, if you were to kneel down or were short enough, you could look right through the keyhole.

The key turns, slowly, as if the lock were trying to resist him, and maybe it was. But eventually there is a clink and the knob turns slowly in his hand. When Duncan pushes against the door, there is a bit of resistance, almost as if someone were standing on the other side, holding it in place. With a little shove the door swings open and Duncan nearly falls on his face.

From somewhere deep inside the house, he can hear laughter for just a moment.

Having caught himself on the doorknob, Duncan notices the floor as he straightens up. A thick layer of dust coats the floor, undisturbed for years, until he opened the door. With a sigh he turns back to look at the others, taking a step forward so he isn't standing inside the doorway just yet. "Richard says this has to be the most professional job we've ever done." Duncan says. He hates being in the spotlight, and normally he isn't. Normally Richard himself, or another veteran of the crew, would be making this little speech, but they weren't here now, were they? "I just want us to be safe, and prepared. We have less than two hours of daylight left, then we'll have until dawn tomorrow or a little after. Steven and the others should be back by then. Let's see what we can get done between now and then."

Taking a breath, Duncan turns, slips the silver key back into his pocket, then picks up the case and steps into the house. Once inside he releases his breath, and isn't surprised when he can see it.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Duncan McAlister Character Portrait: Briella Adair Character Portrait: Leon D'Artagnan Character Portrait: Tom Passano Character Portrait: Cassandra Artemis Character Portrait: Monk Dawa

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Dawa had been minding his own business, feeling about the house to see if he could clear up what he was sensing from inside. He had just found a particularly nasty spirit located somewhere on the upper floor when Cassie suddenly took off like a bat out of hell. His focus broke and he lost the ghosty. He noticed she kept glancing back as she ran as if something was chasing her. Maybe it was. It couldn't have been something he said, he hadn't said anything since he stepped foot on the porch.

He didn't want to seem like a lovesick puppy chasing a girl all around, so even though they all seemed like they were looking at something important, he chose to stay behind and peer through the dust caked windows. It was nearly impossible to see thorough them, but he could make out some furniture inside.

Out of nowhere, a face appears, staring back at him with blazing eyes. His heart froze. He was terrified, but he couldn't look away, trapped in this demon's gaze. If it was a true demon or a particularly nasty spirit, he didn't know. He could tell it was different from the one he sensed earlier.

Duke's voice broke the hold of the fiend as he unlocked the door. Monk turned to look at the rest of the group. Unsure of what they saw, he just shrugged.

Though she was very discreet, he heard Cassie's request. Though it would be so easy for him to make a joke out of that, he could see how visibly distressed she was. Perhaps she wouldn't make it through the night, but he'd help her try. So, he stayed silent, for the first time in his life.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Duncan McAlister Character Portrait: Briella Adair Character Portrait: Leon D'Artagnan Character Portrait: Tom Passano Character Portrait: Cassandra Artemis Character Portrait: Monk Dawa

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#, as written by Dae Mec
When Duke bent down to do his thing with the skull, Briella politely looked away. She wasn't freaked-out or disgusted by it. No, of course not! But Briella knew that the visions he saw weren't always nice. They were usually the opposite. (Plus, any vision that came from a half-buried skull likely wasn't about puppies and sunshine.) Giving Duke a few seconds to compose himself—without people ogling at him—was the polite thing to do. At the minimum.

Her suspicions about the vision, unfortunately, were confirmed.

"He was a worker, a gardener I think. Jakob Ekland slaughtered him with a cleaver, chopped him up, and mixed his remains into the soil." Duncan paused, and Briella recognized the macabre, wry grin. "The roses were beautiful."

"I'm sure they were," she replied, equally wry. In this line of work, it was either laugh or cry. She took one last photo. "All that nitrogen had to be good for the soil. Or was it carbon? I'm not sure. I never really paid attention in biology. Looks like Jakob Ekland did, though. Good for him."

Of course, then Leon just had to freak out Cassie with his ghost-whisperer abilities. Briella was more than used to the quirks of the other Spirit Detectives, and she wasn't really that annoyed (amused, maybe), but... it'd be a shame if Cassie got scared off. Then again, if she couldn't handle ghosts, this wasn't the right group for her. Thankfully, Cassie seemed a bit shaken but determined to pull on through.

"I don't know about you guys, but I signed up for ghosts," said Cassie. "Not skeletons."

In response, Briella gave a half-laugh, deliberately ignoring how pale the younger girl looked. "Right? Unfortunately, ghosts tend to hang around skeletons. I'm not sure why." She winked at Cassie. The teen was already learning how to cope. Humor was Briella's favorite way, too. It was a lot better than freezing up.

Briella saw Dawa stop out of the corner of her eye, but before she could turn to look, Duncan's words caught her attention. She partially listened to Duke's explanation about the key and silver. It was nothing she hadn't heard before. Then, the de-facto head of the Spirit Detectives paused for a moment before continuing.

"Richard says this has to be the most professional job we've ever done. I just want us to be safe, and prepared. We have less than two hours of daylight left. Then we'll have until dawn tomorrow or a little after. Steven and the others should be back by then. Let's see what we can get done between now and then."

Duke looked a bit uncomfortable, giving that speech. Really, why did Richard go and shove everything on poor Duncan? Sending the Spirit Detectives into the weirdest (and most haunted) farm, telling them to make a TV show, and sending two new members, while he was at it? She didn't understand Richard sometimes.

"Sound great to me!" she said loudly, drawing the attention back to her and away from Duke. "We should probably set up all the equipment before night. Who wants to help me place the fancy tech throughout the house?" Honestly, it wouldn't take that long. Maybe an hour at most. Every device ran on lithium-ion batteries, which lasted for years. Being sufficient and self contained, nothing needed pesky wires.

The camera began to buzz as she approached the house. She paused by the doorway. Then, Briella stepped inside. The second her foot crossed the threshold, she froze.

Y͏̨͍͈̮͎e͏̴̢̨̖͉̞̼̬̫̮̥̳͙͖̬̟̬̮ͅş̗̞̘̜͍͎̹͟,̸̵̛̗̣̟̳̹̼̞̘̼̞̬ ̡͕̪̥͈͉͖̣͇͔͇͇̣͟y̶̧̛͘͏̳̰̖̪͍̩͍̟͔̗̮̮̟͖̺͇̗̳̮ò̪͙̹͕̺̹̜̱̹͎̞̬͉͝͞ͅͅų̷̰̙̮͙̤̝̱̤̦͎̯͟ͅ ̵̩̬͔w҉͏̖͇͉͜ͅi͢͏̕҉̪̮̲̬͍͖͚̼̥͉̝̯̼͚̭̭̟̤̖l̸̸̩̞̬͎̕ͅͅl̢̗͔̱̪͖͇̤̟̣͉̭̙̘̀͢ ̶̶̮̻͓͈̳̣̥͟d̸̨̮̗̯͎̘̦͇͇̗̥̥̥̻͖o̷̡͏̞̫̗̭̜̰̣.̶͈̻͚͈̲̳̪̀͠Y̶̬͖͉̠͠o̩͎̟͉͕̝͝͡u͈̟̝͞͠ ̛̙͍͇̬͇w̵͙̘̩͚̺̠̕i̫̩̗̲̼̯̞͍l̩̖͎͚̤͚̻͜l̹͖̮̜͖̝͇͡ ͍̣̫͎̬̺̜́d̛͎ò̺̮̭̀ ̲̱̟̼͚̪̯͡n̴̻͚̮͓͖͈͍̕͝i̸̦̘̝̬c͍̱̳̠e҉͖̗ͅḷ̩͎͈͍̺̝y̨̨̱͉̙.̵̟͉Y͕̘͘es͖̘͎͚̤̖.̻ͅ ҉̮ ̗͓̗̰̰͓̭͟ ͏ͅ ̙̣͕̗̖̖͞ ̹͖̖͖ ҉̪ ̮̤̥͕ ͕ ̲̯̺̦͓̖͘ ̯͕͕ ̴



The voice sounded like a corruption of all that was human. It was a recording of a recording that had been distorted beyond comprehension, fading into wretched sounds that had no resemblance to words. Each syllable dripped with amused malice. Neither male nor female, young nor old, loud nor soft—it simply was.

"The hell?" she muttered to herself. Briella shuddered violently. It felt like something had stolen all the warmth away. Then, the moment passed. She glanced at her camera. The land outside the farmhouse had a strong magnetic field, but it was nothing compared to the amount of Teslas inside the house. "The creepy stuff isn't supposed to happen to me," Briella joked. "I'm just here for tech support."



͖͎̞̝̪̬͖̓̀ͪ͋ ̢̠̣̀ͥ ͉ͬͭ͜ ̷ ̢ ̨ ̢ ́ ͠ ̛ ̡ ͟ ̶ ̛̹̬͔͉̲̺̥ ͖̝ͮͫ̅͋ͪͨ͘ͅ ͟ ͠ ҉ ̼͍̻̖̂̂̒̉̾̅̕ ͧ̚ ́ ͠ ̛ ̡ ̡̼̉͗̆̓ͤ ́̿̽͊̂ ̅́̀͑͋ ̼́̈́ͥ ̰̝̟̖ͪͤͧ̅̀͛ ́ ͠ ̛ ̡ ̝̍̄̚ ̛̹̬͔͉̲̺̥ ̪̻̟͉͉͓ͭ̿͋̒͆ ̷ ̢ ̨ ̢ ́ ͠ ̛ ̡ ͟ ̶ ͟ ͠ ҉


(And yet, she could still hear the fading whisper laughing softly in her head.)

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Duncan McAlister Character Portrait: Briella Adair Character Portrait: Leon D'Artagnan Character Portrait: Tom Passano Character Portrait: Cassandra Artemis Character Portrait: Monk Dawa

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"Fertilizer?" Tom mutters, huffing out a displeased (albeit disturbed) sigh and stepping from one foot to another briefly, as if he was minding the dirt below him in a different light. He watches Duncan for a moment, following his line of movement before glancing away expectantly. He's most likely seen this in action before...it doesn't make him uncomfortable at all, it just feels like a private interaction between a spirit and the man, and nobody else really has a right to get involved. So Tom, aware of this with a knack, tends to stay out of his way. He moves to the side when Cassie jumps in to take a photograph.

He simply listens to the explanation Duncan has to give about the dead man. Rather than laughing, he nods, brow furrowing with a mixed look-- Tom gets quiet on these sorts of jobs. Something about hearing the evidence that whoever passed on had a working life, nothing to do with the ghosts, and it was cut short by something like this...He's a tough guy, but it's sobering, and he usually lets it pass over him for a moment. You know, out of some solitary respect.

He does give a little smirk at the rest of the responses, though. Nothing anyone can do anymore-- hell, he doubts anyone but the boogie monsters hiding behind the walls of the broken-down house will care much about how they treat the thought of the victims.

Leon's voice does cut through the silence, save the softened voices of the rest of the cast as they surveyed the very real evidence in front of them-- the remains of a human body, long since decomposed into the ground, as perhaps the spirits meant it to be. But rather than being soft, with some element of fear or awe, it's brash, like a child. Following this exclamation, Leon's powers come into play; he's heard something already? Tom pauses.

Used to this type of behavior, he shrugs and crosses his arms absently. "He's not gonna crack, Duncan." He says lowly. "It's a habit of his. Keeping secrets. We'll probably find out what he's asking soon enough, anyway...considering a good half of us are psychics, right?" Tom admits mentally that whilst it isn't his forte, he's already felt sort of an odd, heavy feeling across the open plain to the old plantation home, and he moves a rock with his shoe. "I've got a gander that anyone who stepped around here would sense something, too." He remarks, his piercing eyes narrowing like a hawk as he attempts to tilt his head to look around at a dirty window on the other side, or a board hanging off. Not that he needs visual evidence to know the suspicions. "There's something in the air...and the ground."

Finishing his own soliloquy, he flanks Duncan as they walk inside without a word. "Right, let's take the job." He puts his hand in his pocket and feels the smooth hilt of his pistol, the only lethal weapon he carries, cold like an ice cube in the half-frozen joint. He leaves his fingers on the ridged edge and glances up calmly at the dark that is presented in front of them on the interior after checking that every single one of the cast was awaiting entry.

This should be interesting.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Duncan McAlister Character Portrait: Briella Adair Character Portrait: Leon D'Artagnan Character Portrait: Tom Passano Character Portrait: Cassandra Artemis Character Portrait: Monk Dawa

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"It's a secret, Duncan! Se-cret!" Leon throws a sour look over to Duncan before turning back to Cassie, pressing his finger to his lips before leaning towards her, his voice lowering. "They don't want us here! They think it's bad that we're coming in, but I think the ghosts like me, since they told me something like that, so I'll tell them to be nice to you. Okay?"

Perhaps that would only work for the harmless prankster ghosts that Leon seems so apt at making friends with. Leon pats Cassie on the head before spinning on his heel and running after Tom, hopping up onto his back without even waiting for the okay to do so. "Yeah, yeah! We should take the job, let's take it!" He beams, resting his chin on Tom's head. "By the way, sorry for not telling you guys, buuuut..."

Leon's eyes open then, and his smile grows wider and thinner, a little unsettlingly. "They don't want me to say it. They don't want me to say something so mean. But Cassie's an exception, because she's a lot like me!"

He giggles then, his face returning back to normal as he adjusts his position on Tom's back. As the taller man steps inside with him, he fishes a lollipop out of his pocket and turns his head to Cassie. "Cassie, Cassie! Do you want a lollipop? Heeeey, Cassie, I have lots of flavors—orange, cherry, bubblegum, watermelon, green apple!"

It seems the eeriness of the house does not faze the fox-faced youth one bit. In fact, he seems to almost not care about it at all. He seems more interested in waving a pink lollipop in the air, smiling over at his new friend—rather, who he wants to be his new friend—than scoping out the potential horrors of the farmhouse. He turns his head up to the ceiling then, propping himself up more with his palm on Tom's shoulder. "Hey, ghosties, what flavor lollipops do you like?" After a bit of silence, he turns his head to Duncan and drapes himself across Tom's shoulders, smiling.

"They like watermelon."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Duncan McAlister Character Portrait: Briella Adair Character Portrait: Leon D'Artagnan Character Portrait: Tom Passano Character Portrait: Cassandra Artemis Character Portrait: Monk Dawa

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Briella had been right, as usual. Without even seeing the interior of the house she she had guessed that it would take an hour at most and, taking out his pocketwatch, it was silver of course, he checked the time to see that exactly an hour had passed. The last camera had just been set up a few seconds before the one hour mark, in fact.

"You always did have good timing Briella." Duncan says with what he hopes is a lighthearted laugh.

The truth was, in this place, despite the years of experience he had with the supernatural and creepy old houses, Duncan found it hard to keep a smile on his face, let alone sound happy in the least. After entering the house, once everyone and all of the equipment was inside, he had turned and locked the door, then handed the key off to Cassandra, as she has requested of him earlier. After that he had helped the other unpack all of the equipment before wandering through the house by himself for a few moments as those members of the crew who were a bit more tech savvy checked everything over and got all the cameras and other pieces of equipment ready to be put in place.

There was an overall feeling of being watched, but Duncan suspected that, for reasons he doubted he would ever understand in life, whatever was now dwelling in this house would wait until it was fully dark outside before showing themselves. That was usually the case anyway. Ghosts, for whatever reason, liked the dark.

With everything ready to go, Duncan returned to the group and together they decided where each piece of equipment would be set up, where each stationary camera needed to be placed, and who would carry what equipment with them. And, as per Richard's request, each of them were fitted with a small camera that they strapped to them somehow. Duncan wore his around his chest, but there were various ways to do so. They were simple things, from what Richard had told him. They recorded, and could switch between night vision and normal light visions by themselves as needed. Everything they recorded was stored on a memory card and sent wirelessly to a back up drive in the command center. In this case the command center was the living room. A folding table was set up off to one side with a couple of laptops resting atop it. Wires and boxes and blinking lights sat all around them, and Duncan didn't understand any of it.

"Good job everyone." Duncan says as everyone regroups in the command center. "Now, who wants to go where? It's already dark outside, almost pitch black I'd say,so now's the time to get started. And remember, no one, for any reason, is allowed to go into the basement, dining hall, or the master bedroom on the top floor alone, got it?"

The temperature suddenly dropped then. Duncan could feel it, and he was sure everyone else could as well. The hair all over his body was standing on end and a chill ran through him. Just behind him, maybe inches away maybe closer, he could feel something. Whatever it was, he couldn't see it. Anyone looking on, however, would see a dark figure a head taller than Duncan with glowing red eyes in an otherwise featureless form. The spirit box Duncan had been holding in his left hand drops to the floor and turns itself on. White noise fills the air and then, one by one, three words are spoken in a deep, rumbling voice.

...welcome...
...to...
...Hell...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Duncan McAlister Character Portrait: Briella Adair Character Portrait: Leon D'Artagnan Character Portrait: Tom Passano Character Portrait: Cassandra Artemis Character Portrait: Monk Dawa

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#, as written by WilPen
Cassie absentmindedly sucked on the green apple gift from Leon. The sugar did wonders to comfort her as she helped set up the equipment in the house. 'Helped' is a word used loosely as she had very little clue on most of this stuff. At least she was an extra pair of hands and had tiny fingers, good for untangling knots. She was pretty proud that she had made some good suggestions on camera placement. Even though she'd never tried to take pictures of ghosts before, she knew her way around a lens. Through the set up the key was a comforting weight in the pocket of her shorts, if only in her head.

Once her candy was getting down to the nub, she promised herself to ask Leon for another as long as she made it through the night in one piece. No getting murder eaten by cannibals. No getting struck by lightning (which is what Cassie decided caused the weirdness on the porch). With all this non paranormal stuff, Cassie was beginning to feel stupid for practically begging for the key like that. She returned to livingroom where the base camp had been set.

Unsure of where to wear the little camera given to her, she just strapped it to her forehead. It was incredibly uncomfortable, but she thought it was funny to finally have a third eye capable of seeing the unseen. Looks like all her Nanna's wishes were coming true. Cassie looked to the others for help on where to place the thing.

Duke's question about splitting up hung in the air only a second before she called out, "I've got the parlor room, I guess. I forgot my backpack in there anyway."

She looked down the dark hallway to her destination for only a second, but it was long enough for the temperature to drop significantly. Cassie's eyes flew back to Duke, but caught on the red, burning eyes of whatever creature was behind him. Panic gripped her heart, but the only word that left her lips was, "Cannibal."

Not entirely sure what made her say that, she kept her eyes locked on the being. She wasn't sure which was worse, seeing it or not seeing it. It was there either way.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Duncan McAlister Character Portrait: Briella Adair Character Portrait: Leon D'Artagnan Character Portrait: Tom Passano Character Portrait: Cassandra Artemis Character Portrait: Monk Dawa

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#, as written by Dae Mec
Briella stretched, bringing her arms above her head before letting them drop back down. She knew that it did interesting things to her shirt, but... well, that was half the fun, right? It hadn't taken that long to set up, but it was the principle of the matter. After working, stretching was needed. It was a rule from her days in track and field that Briella still followed.

"You always did have good timing, Briella." Duncan's comment made her smirk, and she tossed a playful wink in his direction. In creepy houses, finding humor was an easy way to stay sane and not freak out.

"You bet I do." She fiddled with the brightness setting on her camera, trying to find a level that would neither blind her nor make her squint. Aside from the body-cam that Richard had insisted on, Briella also had her special ghost-hunting baby. "It comes from wisdom and many years of practice."

As Duncan reiterated the off-limit areas, she leaned forward and fiddled with the command-center laptops. They were running a new program that consolidated all the sensing info, and Briella wanted to make sure that everything was working as planned. So far, it look good, but there was no such thing as too careful. What was that quote about plans and contact with the enemy? Whatever. It wasn't important.

She glanced over at Carrie, who was eating one of Leon's lollipops. (Here, Briella mentally paused and chided herself for the unfortunate phrasing.) Leon's antics seemed to calm the new girl down somewhat. Briella decided that rather she liked Carrie. Both of them were nice kids, and it'd do Leon some good to hang out with someone his age. Briella paused again. When had she gotten so old? She was only in her twenties, for Pete's sake, and here she was, taking like an old woman! Briella scowled at the screen, clicking twice before letting it reconfigure.

The sudden beep alerted her to a high concentration of electromagnetism and a sharp drop in temperature. Briella felt it shortly after—a hair-raising chill that made her shudder. Her gaze snapped to the dark, hazy form behind Duncan. Jesus! If she could see it, then it must be freaking strong. The odd noises it made began with a crackle that sounded like a broken, old television. Briella couldn't understand it, of course, but it reminded her an awful lot of what she'd heard upon entering the house.

̜̪̩̝̪̖͢ ̶̴̘͜ ̡̮̣̯͚̜̖̣͜͠ ̧̙̟̭̪̳̮͇̘̥͢ ̠̲̭̥̦ ̤͙̮̖̘̞͟͝ͅ ̴̴̭̳ ̸̠͓̕͞ ̺̬̖̜̱̬̬͝ ̱̣̺̥̥͖̠͕͢ ̧̡͎̱̞̮̯͉͉̘̥͡ ̟̤͈̬ ̝̤͔̪̘ ̛͇̥̙͓̙ ҉ ̼͍̻̖̂̂̒̉̾̅̕ ͧ̚W̸̷̢͟͝ ̷̢́͞͝l̡̀̕ ͏͘͘͢͠m̷̴͢͠è̡̕.͜͢.̴̧̛͝͝.̵͏̨͞ ͏t̷̴͟͝ó͜.͏͟͏̵̶.̷̛͘͟͟.҉͟͢ ̵̴h̨̛̕ȩ́͜͜͢l͏͏̸ļ̸̛͡.̸͢͢


Breaking out of her momentary daze, Briella grabbed her personal camera and ramped the flash up to its highest intensity. A bright jolt of light, she had found, was enough to scare off most spirits.

Most spirits.

To her surprise, the thing stayed behind Duncan, hovering for a moment, still under the glare of the light. What?
͇̱̯̮ ̣̟̪̠̣ ̯͈̹̥ ̜̬̦̙͙̬ ͎̣͈ ̫̫̯͈͕̟͉ ̖̫̫͚ ̻̹͓ ͖̫̤̦̖̫̭ ̩͍̟͚ ͉̣͇͎̰̦̭ ͖͓̳͎̝ͅͅ ̝̙̼ͅ ̗̹͚̤̥̫ ̯ ̬̗̙̪̹ ͎͇ ̞͈͎̘̦̱ͅ ̹͇̼ ̰̠ ͚ ̫̹̪͖̤̙ ̟̣̲̥̳̖͇


Its laugh whispered in her ear. After what appeared to be a backward glance, it finally faded away.

Shakily, Briella set the camera down. "What was that?" she exclaimed. "It just... stayed in the light!" For the first time, Briella regretted not bringing lights to illuminate the command post. They'd never needed it before. "Um... I don't know about you, but I'm not sure splitting up individually would be the best choice. Maybe groups of two?" she offered hesitantly. "But it's your decision, Duncan. Whatever you say."

Briella stared at the spot where the spirit had been. Hopefully, that had been an anomaly. If all the spirits in the house were as strong as that one, then... she needed a bigger light.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Duncan McAlister Character Portrait: Briella Adair Character Portrait: Leon D'Artagnan Character Portrait: Tom Passano Character Portrait: Cassandra Artemis Character Portrait: Monk Dawa

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Let's be honest, Dawa was no help with the set up. He constantly set things up the wrong way and to his dismay, the resident techie, Briella, didn't try to teach him the way they do in the movies. One arm on either side, cozying up and whispering instructions in his ear. Yeah, none of that happened. What did happen was Dawa about losing his mind witnessing Bri stretch afterward. Between her and Cassie's sucker, he thought he'd died and gone to heaven. If heaven was in the subbasement of a dust factory.

He hadn't been surprised when the figure showed itself behind Duke. He could feel its evil aura from a mile away. He was taught it was better to seek out the beasts than acknowledge them though. He pretended it wasn't even there, not wanting to encourage it. He was a little surprised however, that the light hadn't seemed to effect it. That was never a good sign when it came to something like this.

He was quick to agree with Briella's suggestion of pairing up, offering to go to the Parlor Room with Cassie. "You never know, she might get possessed! Who wouldn't want to be in that little body!" he cried. As if in response, a sudden stinging in his cheek caused him to cry out, "What just happened?"

Dawa took the flashlight off a near by table and shined the light at his cheek. Using the mirror on the wall, he could clearly see an imprint of a hand. "Ugh, you guys?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Duncan McAlister Character Portrait: Tom Passano Character Portrait: Cassandra Artemis Character Portrait: Monk Dawa

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Tom, mistakenly jolted forward by Leon jumping onto his back, went forth into the mansion and stayed low to the floor slightly, pressing down a little more on the hilt of his gun all of a sudden-- the room instantly made him wary. Again, he's not as strong in his psychic abilities as any other man or woman around him, but it's easy for him to say that something is definitely wrong...almost immediately after entry. Distracted by Leon's voice reverberating in the back of his head, he bends down a little so the man can hand the Cassie girl a sucker. He blinks slowly, glancing from the two of them and sighing. "Leon, don't spoil her too much."

He hesitates."Jeez," Tom mutters to the one perched on his back once again, glancing down for a moment and adjusting a small flashlight he held in his belt, twisting it softly with a gloved hand to get it to light up. He begins to make his mental rounds of the crowd, starting rather politely with the two girls, and then around the room at Duncan and Dawa patiently, noting each and every one of their positions in the living room. Though he trusted that Cassie could defend herself quite well, the fact that she was walking into the next room by herself was...A bit jarring as she announced it, and he made sure to match her footsteps from a distance, raising his voice a little defensively. "Try not to go too far from the group, remember? It isn't safe to just tread around yet--"

Speaking of which, her gaze was frozen solid to something completely different than what she was retrieving from another room. Tom quiets and follows her line of sight to...Duncan? No.
There's something behind him. It's like he can see the outline, marbled and dark in the empty space, but...It's not quite there. Not to the naked eye. On instinct, he slowly raises his hand out of his pocket...but leaves the lethal weapon behind. Instead, he faces his palm upright, his chest almost completely ceasing to rise for a couple seconds. By slowing his movements and the breath in his lungs, there's no fear in his mind. Just a sensation of peace, even if it is forced upon him-- something he wishes for any of these spirits around him to gain. If he concentrates on that feeling, it gives him the clarity of mind to at least make a good guess on this former being's perspective...

...And it doesn't look good. He exhales, resuming a cautious step back and taking position just in case he needs to pull out any defensive equipment to aid anyone in need, knowing exactly the right actions in perfect muscle memory in case of an emergency. But before he can react properly, he has to look away from the light, his hazel eyes sharply fluttering shut from sensitivity. The unexpected brightness illuminating the specks of dust in the air comes from Briella, who seems to reflexively shine her camera on the ghoul. Nicely done, Tom murmurs mentally, his brow furrowing as the creature takes way longer than usual to fade--when it finally does, the almost painful stillness of everyone in the room falls out. Tom swears gently under his breath and rubs the back of his neck. "I guess that was our 'welcome home' or something."

He listens to Dawa's offer to go with Cassie, and following it, there's a sharp snapping noise, like a hand hitting his skin. Tom, not even turning around right away, swivels his head to cast...an unfortunately withering gaze at him, clearing his throat. His deep voice doesn't hold any malice, per say...He's just a little ticked off, is all. Here comes the usual Tom Passano. You know, the one with a bit of an attitude problem... "If it wasn't whoever that was first, it would've been someone corporeal." He states bluntly. "Try to keep those types of compliments to yourself. It's not what we're here for." He glances to Cassie and arches a white-blond eyebrow. "And certainly not her, if I may make a suggestion. You know. Just so we're both on the same page." He stresses the last syllable, and you can almost imagine a growl rumbling in his chest. Now, now...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Duncan McAlister Character Portrait: Briella Adair Character Portrait: Leon D'Artagnan Character Portrait: Tom Passano Character Portrait: Cassandra Artemis Character Portrait: Monk Dawa

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The words the machine made doesn't startle Leon at all. In truth, he doesn't seem to be taking this very seriously in the first place. He giggles and pops his sucker out of his mouth. "Sounds like the spirits wanna play! Don't you think the spirits sound playful, Duncan?" He turns his head to look toward the man he's addressing, and his eyes fall... past him, at a figure with red eyes. For a moment, he feels a chill, and the hair on the back of his neck stands up. His eyes open a little farther. This spirit definitely looks more hostile than the ones he's experienced before...

Regardless, Leon's apathy towards Dawa's outburst of 'what happened', and the red handprint on his cheek, is absolutely astounding. He rests his chin on Tom's head and looks at him, blank-faced, before he speaks up, as if Dawa had never spoken at all. "Tom's angry! He's angry." He snickers, petting the side of his larger friend's hair, then nuzzling his cheek against the top of his head. He's a rather touchy-feely, affectionate boy—were he not seated atop the back of Tom, he probably would be linking arms with Cassie right about now and telling her all about what the spirits were whispering about.

Then comes the mention of off-limits rooms, and a grin spreads across Leon's lips. His eyes narrow to near closed slits. He leans over his friend and lowers his voice to a whisper, a mischievous toning to his voice.

"Hey, Tom... you know what we should do?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Duncan McAlister Character Portrait: Briella Adair Character Portrait: Leon D'Artagnan Character Portrait: Tom Passano Character Portrait: Cassandra Artemis Character Portrait: Monk Dawa

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Duncan's mind goes blank, the spirit behind him is drawing so much energy from his body that he can't even think enough to hear the words of the others. He remembers a bright flash, and then a moment later he finds himself on his knees, the spirit box a few feet ahead of him on the floor, nothing but white noise again. Duncan gasps a few times, drawing in the cold air of the house which, to his aching lungs feels warm. After a couple of minutes of this he is able to get himself under control.

"No going off alone..." Duncan says slowly, reaching for the spirit box and shutting it off before he takes his time to stand. Once he has his feet under him again he takes another steadying breath. Spirits had no energy of there own, not much of it anyway, so they absorbed the energy of the living, or from electronics, batteries, and so on. Duncan has had his energy stolen like this before, but never has he felt so drained. "Like I said...don't go into the basement, master bedroom..." He felt like there was somewhere else they must not go, but the words escaped him. "I think I need to take a few minutes and rest a little."

Walking over to the fold out table turned command center, Duncan flops down, none too gracefully, into a cold metal folding chair. Setting the spirit box on the table he pulls his messenger bag into his lap and takes out the small wooden bear statue he always carries with him. It might not look like much, but it was given to him on his first international trip with the Spirit Detectives. Richard had taken him to Ireland to investigate an ancient castle, and one of the people there had given it to him. It was carved from ash, which was supposed to be a sacred tree to the Celtic people. It was supposed to help ward of faeries, and help with divination. Whether all that was true or not, Duncan had no idea, but it certainly helped calm him, and it was one of the few things he could touch in a place like this with his bare skin and not have to worry about any evil memories surfacing.

"I'll stay here for the time being, keep an eye on the monitors. Everyone has their earpiece, right? I'll let you know if I see anything weird and mark it." Duncan says, referring to how they would mark any noises they made, or anything they saw or heard, so the crew would have a reference point to go back to. "Just don't go into those rooms, try and stick together. And if anyone finds a heater I wouldn't mind turning it on for a bit."

He laughs a little, trying to make himself feel better more than anything else. Spirits don't just drain energy, they drain emotion, and right now Duncan was not in a very happy place.