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Cain Van Slaeghthaus

"Ahh, welcome, newcomer, to the Noble house of Wicked."

0 · 497 views · located in The Wicked

a character in “Wicked Ones”, as played by XShishioX

Description




|| The Luna Diviner ||




|| Cain Van Slæghthäus ||




Rest easy friend, you're one of us Wickeds now. Please, do relax, and allow me to show you inside.




Image

|| Theme Songs ||
Normal||Pompeii, Bastille||
Fighting||Dragon Force, Yasuhara Takanashi||




Image|| Street Name ||
The Black Butler (So skilled... X3)

|| Age ||
20 Years old.

|| Gender ||
Male.

|| Sexuality ||
Bisexual.

|| Role ||
Right Hand Man

|| Face Claim ||
Tyki Mikk, D. Grey-Man




|| No Longer Human... ||




Image|| Hair Color || A rich, shiny black. It's so dark it almost appears purple. His hair is thick, wavy, and soft. Perfect for running your hands through.

|| Eye Color ||
Dulled Amber, his eyes appear to be milky and dim, a side effect of blindness.

|| Skin Tone ||
Swarthy and smooth, a constant summery Tan.

|| Height ||
A bit tall, he stands at 5' 11"

|| Weight ||
Of good size, he's a bit thin, but the effect is handsome, not sickly. He weighs 164 lbs.

|| Appearance ||
The Oracle of the Wickeds, as well as the Doorman, the Keeper of Keys, the Black Butler, the Archivist, and the Right Hand of the Director, is somewhat of a surprise, after all, you'd expect those titles to be for different people. You wouldn't expect someone as important as Cain to look the way he does, although his suit is spot on. Though Cain dresses sharply, and somewhat befitting of his station, his appearance is odd to be certain. From the studs in his ears, to the odd color of his eyes, to the scars on his forehead, and the strange, slot-like holster on his hip, he almost looks like some kind of circus freak. This, however, is usually pretty common for the Wickeds, as most of them are pretty eccentric. He stands proudly, with perfect posture. Though he carries a cane to assist him in his blindness and with his limp, you would never expect anything less but perfection from him, and you would never ask if he needed help. He appears cultured, polite, well-mannered, and exceedingly efficient in all he does, all of which are true. As a result, Cain appears to be something like a robot, though I can assure you he's a living, breathing Wicked. This is exceptionally apparent in his voice. Cain speaks with a smooth, gentle cadence, employing perfect grammar and syntax. This only reinforces his appearance of the Wicked's butler.

Cain's actions and activities keep the Wickeds in the red. It is because of his powers and influence within the LAPD that the Wickeds are able to continue their mostly carefree lifestyles. This is because Cain runs all the numbers, pulls in all the funds via donations and otherwise, and runs interference with the local officials and police officers. Cain also does all the housekeeping, and even cooks for the motley gang of misfits, despite his blindness. Not only does he perform these jobs because he likes it, he preforms them all exceedingly well. Funnily enough, he was the one who started the nickname of Black Butler, though most just call him the Butler, and often jokes about his position within the Wickeds. Though some new recruits might mistake this cheerful servitude as inferiority within the ranks, Cain's word is second only to Morgan, the director. Despite all Cain's difficulties, he smiles often, and speaks softly, but you would never assume any weakness in him at all. Though his tone is gentle, it carries a surprising weight, as if compelling you to listen. Though they appear to gaze right through you, Cain's amber eyes see nothing at all, having given up what little sight he possessed for more power. His facial features are sharp, though not overly angular. He is very handsome, but one couldn't help thinking, if not for the scars on his forehead and neck that Cain would be dazzlingly attractive. Though his scars do take away from his natural grace, Cain wears them with pride. They symbolize his devotion to Morgan and the Wicked cause. He wouldn't trade them for anything. Otherwise, Cain's swarthy, smooth skin is unmarred. He always appears to be a delightful summery bronze, despite the recent weather or even how little time he spends in the sun.




|| Digging Deeper... ||




Image|| Personality ||
Cain is pretty much the definition of a gentle giant. He smiles often, and means it every time. Though confident and polite, he is never arrogant or condescending. He always aims to please, and because of his gentle and nurturing personality, he often gets taken advantage of by the more aggressive and sarcastic members of the Wickeds. However, he need appears to get mad at anyone, and often takes jibes directed at him in stride, sometimes even turning them on his assailant and walking away with a smile on his face, only for everyone else to realize that he's actually said something mean for once. Regardless of his sense of humor and natural caretaker tendencies, Cain is a perfect gentleman, referring to everyone around him with the utmost respect at all times.

Though he hates to do so, Cain will do battle, albeit unwillingly, when the situation calls for it. Though most of the new recruits amongst the Wickeds believe this to be due to weakness or insecurity, the veterans and the Director know better. In battle, Cain's personality shifts entirely, and he becomes utterly ruthless. Despite his gentle appearance, Cain is a master tactician, and knows the limits of each of his familiars perfectly. He can come up with a winning strategy within a few short moments of analyzing the situation. Though many would find this side of Cain appealing and powerful, Cain hates it. He hates how he allows himself to become so engaged within the contest of battle, how the fury of combat enthralls him so completely. Though Cain will always try to solve problems diplomatically, when the situation calls for it, he drops all politeness and becomes a true demon.

ImageApart from his two-facedness in battle and at home, Cain is a steadfast friend, and stalwart companion. He has a cool and collected head on his shoulders, and is a repository of sage advice. He's intelligent, and wise beyond his years, often giving the impression of someone far older than he truly is. Although his tastes are simple, and he's just the littlest bit snarky, all Cain really wants is to continue doing what Morgan wants. Cain has thrown away every bit of ambition and dignity he might have had to follow Morgan, he would do anything for him. Lastly, though you wouldn't expect it from his humility and gentleness, Cain has a sharp wit and a sharper eye, and doesn't let much get by him unnoticed. Usually, however, he just lets anything not related to his work just slip by. All in all, Cain is a calming, and soothing individual, who is a pleasure to be around.

|| Likes ||
The Director | Eating, anything really | Cooking, for the same reason| His job, protecting people was the reason Cain joined the police force | Protecting the Director and the rest of the Wickeds | Relaxing | Being with his friends and peers | Chatting | Naps| Reading, though Braille does make it somewhat slower.

|| Dislikes ||
People who look down on others | People who devalue life for any reason | Arrogance | When the Director snores. It keeps him up at night, from three rooms over | Senseless violence | Enclosed spaces | Feeling Helpless.

|| Personal Weakness ||
~Blindness. Whoa... You mean he can't see?
~Physical Frailty. Though his body is more than strong enough to put up with the routine demands of daily living, he isn't a physical fighter by any sense of the words. Further, he needs his cane to walk, but he can stand unassisted.
~Naïveté. Because Cain expects the best from everyone, seeing as it's what he'd do himself, Cain is very gullible, and is always the first to believe someone has turned over a new leaf.




|| Truy Wicked... ||




Image|| Abilities ||
His first ability is Precognition. This power takes the shape of visions that Cain receives while dreaming. These visions aren't very clear, as they're somewhat fractured, only showing him disjointed scenes as opposed to the whole event. The scenes he does catch, however, will occur over the course of the entire day they're set to happen on. Further, the events in his dreams aren't very distant, most occur roughly a few weeks ahead of the current timeline. Cain has no control over this ability. The visions present themselves when they're good and ready.

Psychometry, the ability to see where something has been by sensing its, "memories." Cain uses this power by placing his hands upon the object or person in question and concentrating on their name. With a good effort, Cain can divine a limited history of the object or person he is touching. This power, like his precognition, isn't very powerful, and can only be used to see two to three weeks into the past at most. Further, in order to see a person's past, he must gain consent from that person before he attempts to use Psychometry. Attempts made on a sentient being without that being's permission end in darkness, Cain can't see any details.

Cain's last ability is his most powerful, and the one he uses most. Cain is capable of summoning familiars to help him do battle. By drawing one of the thirteen tarot cards that Cain keeps in a holster on his hip, Cain can select which familiar he wants to use. When not in use, the holster locks, so as to prevent the cards from being stolen or lost. When not in use, the cards are always stored within the holster. The holster is set on a belt-like band that is semi-permanently bound to Cain. Though usually he puts it on his right thigh, the belt and holster are capable of being fixed to any part of Cain's body. He never takes it off for longer than a few seconds at a time. This holster is completely waterproof, fireproof, and mostly bullet proof, so as to protect the cards inside. Though the cards themselves are made out of a thin, durable ceramic, they are somewhat fragile and can't take much of a beating before being damaged. Cain will always know which card he will pick, as each card has a pattern of raised braille markings on the back, in the upper right corner. These bumps indicate the number of the card. Further, the cards are organized so the lowest number is in the front and the highest number is closest to Cain's body. The cards are actually rather beautiful. The back is a checkered pattern of teal and ivory with silver stripes separating the sections of color. Each card is also formulaic in nature. In the upper left corner, on the front side, is the card's number, written in black and portrayed in Roman Numerals. In the upper right hand corner of the card, also on the front side, is the card's symbol, also painted in black. The edges of the card have a scrawling border that looks like it was done by hand with a calligraphy pen. Finally, within the middle of the card, the familiar itself is portrayed, and it also appears to be hand painted. Finally, the cards have edges that are razor sharp, and could be used as a weapon if one were unaware of their true purpose.

Once Cain has selected which familiar to use, he activates the summoning by dripping some of his blood onto the card and calling out the card's title. For example, Cain would say, "Number three, the sign of Despair," and the card would activate, provided he gives a blood sacrifice. This sacrifice is necessary to the summoning, as the blood mystically bonds with the ink on the card, merging together to form a corporeal physical form for the spirit of the card. Cain usually does this by running one of the card's sharpened edges against his skin. Once the blood touches the card, the binding process will begin, merging the blood with the ink on the card. When the binding process is complete, taking only a second or so, the spirit of the card simply, "steps," out of the card and into the real world. Once summoned in this way, the familiar receives orders from Cain via a form of hive mind telepathy that exists solely between the familiar and its master, Cain. This connection allows him to perceive everything that his familiars perceive. All sensations except the physical are related back to him, so as to keep him aware of the battlefield, but not distract him with pain. These familiars will do their best to complete the orders given by Cain and will always obey him. When active, all familiars must maintain a maximum distance of 200 meters from Cain. If they leave that 200 meter radius, they will burst into purple flames and return to Cain's side.

The familiars themselves draw their power from Cain. The longer they are out of the card, the more energy they draw from him. If Cain runs out of energy to feed them, the familiar's body will burst into purple flames and the flames made this way fly back to Cain's side, taking the shortest possible route, and return to their holster. Cain developed this ability out of necessity, to keep them from being lost or stolen. Since utter exhaustion needs to be reached before this happens, the event of a card disappearing due to a lack of energy will also be followed by Cain passing out from exhaustion. The energy the familiars draw from Cain powers their physical forms and allows them to access supernatural abilities. If the card's familiar is defeated in battle, the card itself will regain it's physical form, only to burst into dark purple flames, and burn into nothingness, forever again unusable by Cain. If this happens, the only way that Cain can make a replacement is by performing a ritual which will seal another piece of his soul within a new card. This comes with a certain amount of risk. If the deck of cards is ever lost, or if the familiars are all defeated, Cain could die.

ImageWhen the familiars are not inside their card, the card itself bursts into purple flames, forming a constantly burning image of the Roman numeral associated with the card's number as well as the card's symbol. The familiar's number is always parallel to Cain's hand. This phantom number hovers an inch above the familiar's symbol, which is also parallel to Cain's hand, and both are centered on the direct center of the back of Cain's palm. The familiar's symbol floats at a similar distance away from Cain's hand, hovering just an inch away from his skin. This flame is really just an illusion, a simple trick of the light, that hovers over the back of Cain's right hand for the duration of the summoning. It's not hot, nor is it even real fire. As such, getting it wet does nothing to either Cain or the summoned familiar. This ghostly purple flame serves to remind Cain's allies, (and himself before he lost his vision) the number of the Card, as well as how much time it has. The flame glows brightly upon the initial summoning, and grows dimmer over the duration of the summoning. When the flame finally goes out, the familiar will burst into purple flames, and the card will return to Cain's holster. This is a fail safe device that Cain programmed into the holster. It is also responsible for the familiars', "leash."

Below the list of cards Cain currently possess. The number of the card is not an indicator of strength, excepting the last card. While number 13 is the strongest card, the numbers of the cards mark the order in which Cain made them. The cards are symbolic in nature, and represent Cain himself. The first five cards are the things that Cain hated about himself, so he sealed those parts of his soul into the cards, so they would never bother him again. The next five cards are what Cain thinks are his best qualities. Because he loved those parts of himself the most, he recognized their power, and sealed them into the cards as well. The last three cards symbolize the things that Cain gave up during some point of his life, and sealed them away, forever stuck within the cards so he would never regret them. Though he recognizes the good those parts of him were capable of doing, he was too afraid to let them develop, and sealed them away from himself so he would never have to deal with them again. Cain is terrified of the last three cards, and will only use them if there is no other way around it.




|| What this game needs is a few... Thrills... ||




ImageI. Pride~ A Little Boy symbolizes pride. This familiar appears to be a younger version of Cain himself, appearing five years old and appropriately dressed for his age. Pride does, however, have all of Cain's natural grace, and is a very beautiful little boy. Though it looks physically weak, it has the ability of Psychokinesis, the ability to move things with his mind. Pride is only capable of moving things, he is incapable of other feats of psychokinesis, such as energy or matter manipulation. Though Pride is capable of exerting strong forces on physical objects, he cannot lift anything that is more than fifty feet away from himself and from Cain. While he could throw something outside of his range with his powers, he is unable of picking something up if it is more than fifty feet away from himself or from the real Cain. Further, Pride has a weight limit of one thousand pounds. It is incapable of lifting anything heavier than that. Since this is Pride's maximum weight, he will struggle to lift one thousand pounds of mass, but he can do it. He is much better suited to lifting small things, like throwing knives or baseballs, and then hurling them at his targets. As expected of Pride, the card's namesake, the familiar spirit is very vain and condescending, acting like a spoiled child. No amount of blood will make Pride more powerful. His abilities are set.

ImageII. Fear~ The Bogeyman. Even Cain doesn't know what it looks like, as this card's ability is to sense that which makes you the most afraid, and become the very thing you fear the most. Cain expects that, when stored within the card, or when completely alone, that Fear looks like nothing at all. Though somewhat eldritch, and strange, fear isn't very physically powerful. Instead of relying upon its own physical strength, or even the physical strength of what it transforms into, what fear relies upon is the very essence of fear itself. Fear is a master at using its opponent's worst nightmares to torment and cripple them psychologically, so that, preferably, when the killing blow is struck, fear barely has to work for it at all, it simply gobbles the weeping victim up. It doesn't speak or have any personality at all, for which, Cain is somewhat glad. He's sure that fear would have the worst potty-mouth. Fear appears to have no other emotions, or even physical feeling, only hunger and pain. What fear hungers for, is your fears, your delicious screams, and for your very soul. As mentioned previously, if allowed, Fear will eat it's victims, much to Cain's distaste, usually, Cain prevents Fear from feasting. No amount of blood will make Fear more powerful, his abilities are set.

ImageIII. Despair~ A small, Chesire Cat like creature, the familiar of despair has the ability to phase through any matter whatsoever. Be warned, if the cat has its mouth open when it goes through something, the matter it passes through will vanish, as if eaten by the cat. Matter that vanishes this way isn't actually eaten, instead, it is disrupted, its molecules scattered to the winds. The cat claims he can taste the matter he disrupts, and often complains about the flavors. Matter that is disrupted in this way is dissolved into nothing and scattered. Though the cat cannot destroy matter, it disperse it by weakening the molecular bonds between the atoms of that which it passes through. The cat itself is very depressed, often talking about how futile everything is. If it senses that its opponent has realized how useless fighting it truly is, then the cat becomes fierce, and attacks rather viciously. The cat is only slightly larger than your average household pet, and loves to be petted. Unlike the other cards, there is no way to make the cat any stronger. Regardless of the amount of blood the cat is fed, it's size and power remain constant.

ImageIV. Greed~ The familiar of greed is a snake that is capable of speech. At maximum size, it's as thick around as the standard fire hydrant and over twenty feet long. It appears to be a mix between a viper and an anaconda, as it's head is diamond shaped, an indicator of venom sacs behind it's jaw muscles, however, the snake's body is powerfully muscled, and well suited to climbing and constriction. However, the larger the snake becomes, the more diluted, and less powerful the snake's venom becomes. The inverse is also true. If the snake is smaller, it's venom will become stronger. The snake, like other beast type cards, will become proportionately larger when fed more blood during it's summoning, but will usually leave the card somewhere between three and five feet long. Unlike other beast type cards, it can be given more blood after summoning, causing the snake to grow proportionately to the amount of blood given. The familiar of greed is always hungry for more blood, and constantly taunts and jibes Cain into feeding it more.

ImageV. Wrath~ The Kraken, the symbol of wrath and fury, is truly a monster of the deep and a force to be reckoned with. Though it doesn't show itself often to the surface, it is an apex predator with a rumbling hunger and terrifying prowess. The kraken is capable of feats all cephalopods are capable. It can squeeze itself into spaces that are merely a fraction of its size (For variations six hundred lbs or bigger, it can still fit through a space the size of a quarter.), it can release a cloud of pitch black inky with which to escape predators, can change its natural coloring to blend in with its surroundings, it has three hearts, and can regrow lost limbs very quickly. However, the most impressive thing about the Kraken, is its suckers, which are capable of producing negative pressures. This results from the creation of a powerful vacuum at the point of adhesion, rivaling the vacuum of space. While this in incapable of tearing limbs from bodies simply due to adhesion, the strength of the tentacles themselves are required for any real damage to be done. Used only for naval battles, the kraken, like other monstrous familiars, has no known personality, and is incapable of speech. While no amount of blood will make Wrath bigger, the amount of blood fed to it at summoning will determine the amount of tentacles that the kraken possesses. Wrath leaves the card similar similar in size to a standard pick-up truck, but must immediately make contact with a volume of water in which it is capable of total submersion. If this doesn't happen, Wrath will die within a few minutes of summoning via suffocation.

ImageVI. Resilience~ A giant lion turtle, is the symbol of resilience. While large, and rather physically imposing, the familiar of resilience carries no offensive abilities other than its wicked snapping jaws. Instead, like all turtles, the beast relies on it's durable shell, weathering all assaults until its opponent has become weary, and then snapping into action. Like the other monstrous familiars, its size is proportional to the amount of blood it is given during summoning, and it enters battle at roughly the size of a standard Hum-vee with the usual amount of blood. The larger the turtle is, the more durable it's hide becomes. The largest Cain has ever gotten the turtle was thirty feet wide at it's widest point, ten feet tall, and had legs that were bigger than Cain himself. The turtle is capable of both land and water combat, but is much better suited to the water, where it can move much more swiftly, unburdened by its large shell.

ImageVII. Devotion~ A pack of Timber wolves symbolize loyalty and devotion. This devotion is to any cause that Cain feels is worthy. In most cases, this devotion is to Morgan, the director, as well as the rest of the Wickeds. The wolves themselves are of the same size as normal wolves, being three to four feet tall at the shoulder, and weighing roughly one hundred pounds. While the wolves themselves are only as strong as the average wolf, the true strength of the familiar of devotion lies not in the individual, but in the pack as a whole. The familiar of devotion isn't just a single wolf, it's a pack of them. While there will always be at least two wolves at the instant of summoning, regardless of how much or how little blood is given during summoning, by giving extra blood, Cain can summon more wolves to fight. Unlike some familiars, more wolves can be made by feeding the card more blood as long as the card remains active, but the card has a hard lock of thirteen. No more wolves can be made after the thirteenth, any more would require fatal amounts of blood. Each wolf connected to each other and to Cain, as they all share a hive mind. The pack is a strong force, and is only as powerful as the weakest of the team. They focus on fighting single opponents with flawless teamwork; tripping, cornering, and finishing the opponent as one being.

ImageVIII. Courage~ The mighty Griffin symbolizes courage. Fierce, territorial, proud, and courageous, the griffin sports the forequarters and head of a giant eagle, and the hindquarters of a lion. Tawny, golden feathers and fur cover its entire body, only the front legs are different from the main body, clad with golden scales. The front legs have three claws facing forward and one facing back, while the hind legs are four fingered paws, with a fifth toe located higher up on the shin. The griffin's ferocity is evident in its steely gaze and and harsh temper. Though its body is as large as the average horse, its wingspan is massive, and each wings stretches at least twelve feet long. Capable of being mounted by two people at once, the griffin is a noble steed, capable of sustained, fast flight, and will carry its rider into any battle regardless of the danger. However, in order to first ride a griffin, one must prove his worth. Though Cain may come forward, and ride the griffin at any time, others will be required to bow, facing the griffin, and must maintain eye contact at all times. Blinking or shaking is seen as a sign of weakness, and the griffin will not allow weak-hearted cowards to ride it. The griffin, however, does not need to be ridden to perform admirably, and will hunt the desired prey as any bird of prey would, by diving at a great height, striking the prey with wicked talons and a sharp beak. The griffin may look like a bird, but it has all the ferocity, savagery, and honor of a lion. Though the griffin's size is not capable of being augmented by adding more blood during summoning, its speed is, and will become a faster, more agile flyer if given more blood during summoning.

ImageIX. Guardian~ The Eurymanthian Boar is a large, powerful beast of old. Despite the boar's unusually large size, it appears to be a normal boar. Its hide is thick, littered with the shattered swords and spears of warriors past. The vestigial weapons do no harm to the creature, adding only to the beast's fearsome appearance. Its tusks are barbed, sharp, and three long, each as deadly as an iron tipped spear. The tusks themselves are curved slightly upward, and protrude from the back of the beast's mouth, like that of an elephant instead of a boar. Its sports cloven, hooved, feet, a thick shaggy pelt colored a ruddy orange and brown. Its eyes are dark, sporting no pupils, only rage. The beast itself is as big as your standard rhino, if not bigger. The symbol of protection, it will guard anything with its life, often fighting larger and more powerful opponents beyond injury and into death. Like the other beasts, its size is dependent on the amount of blood offered during summoning; more blood, bigger, stronger boar. Further, if given more blood during summoning, the boar becomes shaggier, its tusks get longer, and more shattered weapons stick out of its back. Though it hates it, the boar is also capable of being ridden, but by no more than three, small riders at once, and it mustt be large enough to support that many riders.

ImageX. Power~ A dragon. This familiar symbolizes how Cain views his power. He loves how strong he feels when he uses his power for the right reasons. As such, the card of power is an European style dragon. The dragon is a strong flier, though it is no where near as fast and agile as the griffin. The dragon is incapable of performing feats of magic or even fiery breath like the stories of old say, but the dragon is very physically strong, and sports wicked claws, powerful jaws, and a strong tail. The dragon is somewhat haughty, and loves to make fun of Cain's infirm condition. Though he can be mean to Cain, he always has his best interests at heart. The dragon's size and power are set in stone, he cannot become bigger, stronger, or faster by being fed more blood during summoning. The dragon is the same size as the griffin, both being as large in body as the standard horse. This makes it eight feet tall, six feet at the shoulder, with a wingspan of twenty feet.

ImageXI. Love~ The Lantern Bearer symbolizes the love that Cain can never have, as he's devoted himself to Morgan, the Director, and the service of the Wickeds. By taking his position beside Morgan, Cain gave up on all romantic love. He, instead, devotes himself to the Wicked cause. The familiar of love itself takes the shape of a young, sweet, smiling blonde girl, who carries a large, ancient lantern in both hands. The girl appears to be no older than Pride, roughly five or six years old, and is very cute. Her eyes are green, her skin is smooth, and she wears a simple white dress and white dress shoes and socks. She speaks rarely, if ever, and has a tendency towards shyness, hiding behind Cain's back when summoned. The Lantern is old, slightly rusted, and made out of a deep, emerald green metal. The lantern is inscribed with Gaelic designs and twisted knots, and is carried by the top via a single, large, ring. Though the lantern appears very heavy, the little girl, whom Cain calls Esme, is capable of carrying it over her head, all by herself, with one hand. When Esme lifts the lantern over her head, the lantern gives off a strong, golden light that is warm and bright. This light forms a dome fifteen feet in radius around the little girl, and acts as a force field, shielding all inside from anything that might wish to harm the light's occupants. However, the shield can be broken if pressed hard enough. If Esme drops the lantern, or puts it down, the shield will similarly drop. The true power of the familiar of love lies not within the shielding properties of the light, but in its healing properties. The light, which is constantly cast by the lantern, removes all bodily impurities within seconds and bolsters the body's ability to heal itself, actively helping to heal injuries, making recovery times much shorter while bathed within the golden light of the lantern. The rate at which the light heals wounds is doubled when Esme holds the light over her head.

ImageXII. Sight~ His own Shadow symbolizes his lost sight, bubbling up from the card and merging with his physical shadow. Once the card's shadow has merged with his physical shadow, it stands, taking an eerie stance that makes the shadow look as if all it's limbs are broken. Though it has no facial features, and is incapable of speech, it always seems to know where everyone and everything is within a radius of eighty feet of itself. The shadow has the same body type as Cain, so it's easy to see that it's his shadow, it even sports a facsimile of hair, wispy shadowy tendrils that blow in an unseen wind. It doesn't carry a cane, as its master does, but the Shadow moves strangely, and somewhat sickeningly. After merging with Cain's shadow, it gains a physical form, capable of physically interacting with the world around it. It can use the shadows in the area to add mass and shape to its body, absorbing them into itself to make itself bigger as well as give itself melee weapons and extra appendages to hold them. Though the familiar of Sight is a strong user of shadow manipulation, stronger wielders can steal the shadows from Cain's familiar, or even bend him against Cain's will. Lastly, the shadow is capable of flooding the area 8 feet around him in darkness. Though the eyes will naturally adjust to the dark, if one goes from seeing perfect daylight to inky blackness, it will take some time for this to happen. In this darkness, the familiar of Sight becomes almost completely imperceptible, and slaughters any who would enter the dome of shadow. The shadows created in this way cannot be used to modify the original familiar's body. The dome of shadows created in this way has a time limit of five minutes, and cannot be used again after another five minutes are up. The shadow itself has a dark, wicked sense of humor, and a very creepy, dark personality, though it never says anything you can tell from the way it nods, or seems to become happy when things are about to die.

ImageXIII. Ambition~ The last, most powerful card, symbolizes the ambitions Cain gave up when he became the right hand man, general, and confidante of the Director of the Wickeds. Though the card portrays a simple mirror, what steps out of the card appears to be a reflection of Cain, though somewhat more sinister. The reflection is much stronger than Cain. It doesn't suffer from Blindness like Cain does, it has no limp in it's leg, and is slightly more physically powerful than Cain. Ambition benefits from Battlefield Adaptation, the ability to adapt to the battlefield and become a better fighter the longer it remains active. Though it is incapable of replication or the ability to perfectly counter anything it sees, it does learn from it at an accelerated rate, making it much harder to effectively use the same trick against it twice. Though the reflection steps out of the mirror as a blank slate, it will immediately begin to adapt to its surrounding world. The Mirror's reflection is a powerful, dangerous familiar and that power comes at a price. Eventually, it will realize that it is far more powerful than its creator, and will attempt to force Cain back into the card and take his place as the real Cain. If this happens, Cain will be stuck in the card forever, and the reverse Cain, who is his opposite in every way, will run amok, becoming more and more powerful the longer it exists.

|| Weakness || These are laid out within the description of each of Cain's powers. However, I will explain them all again.

The ability of precognition is horribly inconsistent, is unable to be consciously controlled, and only activates once every three months with no regular interval. The vision is only seen during sleep/dreams, and will only show fractured scenes of future events that will occur no more that three weeks into the future.

The ability of Psychometry is able to be consciously controlled, but can only see up to three weeks into the past of anything that Cain touches. Further, it the object in question is capable of sentient thought, then it must give Cain permission to view its past. Any unauthorized attempts to view the past with this ability that are made on a sentient being will reveal only darkness. Nothing an be seen.

Lastly, the ability of familiar summoning has several drawbacks, the first being a blood sacrifice. In order to draw the familiars out of the card, Cain must slide the razor shard edge of the card against his own body and allow his blood to drip onto the card. The more blood that is given this way will create a proportionate increase of power within the summoned familia, as specified by the card itself within the lower's description. Cain is only capable of summoning 5 familiars to battle in any one given day if he wants them to be worth anything in a fight, due to amount of blood he usually gives them. If more are attempted to be summoned, either unwillingly or otherwise, the familiar will not be summoned, and any existing familiars will burst into purple flames,returning back to their card. While a familiar is active, it drains Cain of his internal energy, or reishi. The amount of reishi Cain has, though substantial, is not indefinite. If any one familiar draws too much energy from Cain, or if Cain attempts to maintain multiple familiars at once, he will fatigue at an accelerated rate, and will tire much more quickly. If Cain reaches a point that he is too tired to keep his eyes open, then all active familiars will vanish, the cards will automatically return the holster, and Cain will pass out. If a card's familiar is defeated in battle, or if the card is away from Cain's side from too long, it will burst into purple flames and be unusable forevermore. If a card is lost in this way, or any other way, Cain will never be able to summon that familiar again. He will have to perform a new ritual to bind a new piece of his soul to a new card. If the deck is lost or if the familiars are all defeated Cain risks death, as the cards are each parts of his soul. Excessive damage to Cain's soul will result in death. Excessive blood loss via blood sacrifices will also cause health troubles for Cain, and could lead to death as well.

Image|| Biography ||
Cain was born into a loving, and caring household. His parents loved him, and doted on their only child. As Cain grew older, he began to recognize that some of his dreams were coming true. He'd heard of déjà vu before, but his dreams were different. Though the scenes were just as scattered, and vivid, the events of a whole day would play out just as he'd seen it happen. Thinking it was normal after talking to some friends at school, Cain decided he would keep it to himself. After all, he could be a superhero in his own mind. Elementary school and high school were a wonderful time for Cain. He made lots of friends, got good grades, and passed with honors, he was just moving out to college when his life turned around completely. His parents weren't poked but they weren't rich either. They struggled to pay for Cain's private schooling, as well as put food on the table for the growing boy. Despite their troubles, Cain never complained, and always did as they asked of him, even going out of his way to make life easier for them by doing chores, and taking a part time job in high school. However, after years of hard work, diligent study, and bussing tables to get by, Cain achieved perfect scores in high school. He had a perfect 4.0 GPA, a 36 on the ACT, and a 2340 on the SAT. Cain received a large grant from the government, letting him to to school for free. After testing out of several classes, Cain was nearly a senior in college after only a year and a half of courses. He graduated early, thanks to summer classes and sterling recommendations from all his teachers. Cain was only nineteen when he moved into his apartment and got a job working for the Police Chief of the LAPD, he was even being groomed to take over the position. Cain loved his work, he loved the thrill of getting something done right, and the joy of helping innocent people.

For the next six months, Cain's work only got harder, but it seemed his gifts weren't done developing. Cain developed Psychometry in college, but as a police officer, the ability truly shone. Cain turned in more cases than any other officer in his section, more than most rookies did in their first year on the job. As much praise and recognition that was showered down upon him, Cain never let it go to his head. He always made sure to credit the other officers in the bureau when they helped him, as well as the CSI's who proved his, "hunches," right. Finally, when his six months were all but up, Cain discovered his last ability, the summoning of familiars. It happened on accident at first. A drop of his blood from a paper cut spilled onto a picture of a knife. It fell out of the picture when Cain went to wipe up the mess. Intrigued, and slightly terrified, Cain experimented. He wanted to know just how far he could take the magic his blood could work. That was when Cain made the first two cards. He hated those things about himself, and performed a ritual that he researched at the library. After invoking that which he wanted to excise from his very soul, Cain bled onto a tile, engraved with the words he so detested. The pictures of the familiars formed once the ritual was complete, and Cain could summon powerful monsters to his side. Not wanting to jeopardize his position at the bureau, Cain kept his gift a secret. He could also keep it as an ace in his sleeve should something go sour. However, Cain didn't realize just how sour it would go.

One night, on his way home from work, Cain was mugged. His assailants had learned how important he was to the bureau's work, and figured if they put him down, the bureau would fall into chaos. What his assailants didn't expect was for Cain to fully take command of his familiars for the first time, flawlessly. He was shocked at how well it worked, and so were his attackers. Cain felt invincible. However, he knew such feelings were foolish. He hadn't yet bound pride to the a card in his pocket, but he knew it wasn't something he should let get to his head. However, word got around that some cop thrashed two members of the biggest gang on the west side of town. The price on Cain's head tripled. The next week Cain got jumped again, this time, by professional hitmen. Hitmen who were also monsters. The real kind he'd learned to fear, not the fake ones his father used to scare him with. They were Others, Mutants like him, consumed by hatred and violence. The beasts blinded him in one eye, and smashed his cards. His weapons gone, and his gun on the desk in his office, Cain was helpless. They beat him half to death, leaving him bloody and motionless in the street. They were going to finish him off, when who should happen upon Cain but the young Director of the Wickeds. Having tracked the things that attacked Cain, and intrigued by Cain's familiars and the purple flames brought on by their death, the young director fought off Cain's assailants, and brought him to a hospital, saving his life.

Due to the extensive beatings, Cain was blind in one eye and he would walk with a limp for the rest of his life. Even worse, Cain's face and neck would be forever marked with star shaped scars, the symbol of the gang he'd angered. Just as he was finishing his convalescence, the Director popped back in, offering Cain a job. Once Cain learned who the man was, and what he was aiming to do, Cain joined without a second thought. That very night he performed the ritual that would bind 13 pieces of his soul to the cards he kept in a modified holster at his hip. Cain has been working with the Director ever since. Though he isn't a professional cop anymore, Cain's word still holds strong within the bureau, keeping them off of the Wickeds who are just trying to help. Currently, Cain works as the Wicked's Jack of all Trades, running the books, cooking, cleaning, pulling in funds, covering their tracks, and doing any number of jobs that his Director might need done. All the while Cain smiles brightly, having at last found his true purpose.

||Why they joined/want to join the Wicked Ones||
As odd as it sounds, and though by looking at them you would never know it, Cain and the director are best friends. The director saved Cain's life, and Cain has been with him ever since. Though he often thinks about what he could have been if he hadn't joined the Wickeds, Cain doesn't regret his decision at all. Despite the director's crazed antics, Cain knows he's got everyone's best interests at heart at all times. Cain's devotion to the Director is so strong and so deep, that he will follow him wherever he goes, do whatever he is asked, and give up his life for the Director at a moment's notice.




|| That's all for now... ||




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I suppose you're done then? Is there anything else I might get for you? A snack, a quiet place to nap, a new toy? Well, come right this way, I've got just the thing..."



So begins...

Cain Van Slaeghthaus's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mei Kulakov Character Portrait: Daniel Wing Character Portrait: Mercy Character Portrait: Raiden Wing Character Portrait: Morgan Aberlard Character Portrait: Qynna Ravenhowe Character Portrait: Cain Van Slaeghthaus Character Portrait: Shadow E. Loveheart Character Portrait: Asteria Leigh Character Portrait: Aleksandr Zalewski Character Portrait: Kelsier Achylis
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Morgan


It wasn’t all that great a day, even for Morgan. The young man looked out the window of his office and released a sigh. ”Looks like a storm is coming, great just what I need today.” A playful pout settled on his face before it disappeared with him getting up from his comfy chair. “Alright time to gather everyone”, Morgan said to himself. Slipping into his favorite jacket and walked through the halls, knocking on few doors, while opening others, he gathered those he needed for the days objective.

There was only one door he chose not to knock or open the door to and that door belonged to none other than his dead girlfriends’ little sister, Mei. She was a rowdy kid despite being so small, thinking about the old times Morgan couldn’t help but smile. Suddenly his reminiscing was interrupted by a low grumble. Chuckling to himself, Morgan patted his stomach and ventured off to the kitchen for something to snack on. If Cain was already in the kitchen, Morgan would say his hello’s before grabbing a banana and heading for the garage.




Once again Morgan was sitting in a chair, a plastic one to be exact. He leaned back, with his hands laced behind his head, almost like he was sleeping. But you could tell from the way the lollipop kept moving around in his mouth as well as the occasional yawn. Looking around he glanced at his watch to check the time, 1:34, huh? It was the afternoon and relatively early so there weren’t too many people in the food court.

Most people were already done with their lunch breaks but never Morgan’s, his lunch break was whenever he felt it was best to have it. Those were the perks of being the leader of the most notorious gang in the underworld, the Wicked Ones. Even now Morgan couldn’t help but grin at the idea of how some ten years ago he lived with his parents, in a different base of Wicked Ones.

Groaning, Morgan sat forwards in his chair and looked over at the people who came with him. Mercy, Daniel and his sister, and Cain, of course seeing as it wouldn’t be wise for all of them to sit there in one spot. He had sent Raiden and Cain to standby a little ways away from the food court, over by some store of some sort that had a clear view of the food court. While he had Mercy and David stay within the food court, although he would have liked it if they sat with him.

“Man, Mercy why must you dress like that? No-don’t answer it, I know the answer. Actually I think I might actually have a solution for it but we can talk about it later. I’m getting bored waiting for them to show up, right Daniel?” He smiled at the both of them in hopes of creating a livelier mood. Glancing at his watch again, it read 1:40 so in about ten minutes the new recruits should hopefully be showing up. If there were any that is.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Daniel Wing Character Portrait: Raiden Wing Character Portrait: Morgan Aberlard Character Portrait: Cain Van Slaeghthaus
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"Yeah, could be worse though," Danny says rather bored as he leaned back on a chair that was ripped up from years of use at the older mall that they were at. Danny felt somewhat tired, not getting much sleep as Raiden had been so happy at waking him up whenever he got close to slumber.

"So you think I should try to mess with the new kids a bit? Just for fun you know," Daniel offers with a smile that was more often than not seen on Raiden rather than him. His sister was walking around with Cain and she didn't look overly happy about it though Daniel didn't know why. She was normally perfectly fine going with anybody so long as they weren't annoying or stupid. She didn't classify Cain in either category, so Danny really had no clue why his sister was being so glum for no reason.

Daniel looked around at the few people that walked by, his eyes open and alert for anyone who could be a threat to his sister or his friends. He wasn't surprised to see Raiden giving some guys encouraging looks as she walked around the mall with Cain as she always liked to tease them.

Daniel couldn't help but also wonder what the new recruits would be like. They were hopefully trained in some way or another and not total idiots when it came to fighting as rarely did people know what they were doing when they joined. Thankfully Raiden and Danny both had grown up in the notorious gang and therefore knew how to take care of themselves better than most mafia kids ever would. Having powers helped of course, but still.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Mei Kulakov Character Portrait: Daniel Wing Character Portrait: Mercy Character Portrait: Raiden Wing Character Portrait: Asteria Character Portrait: Morgan Aberlard Character Portrait: Qynna Ravenhowe Character Portrait: Cain Van Slaeghthaus Character Portrait: Shadow E. Loveheart Character Portrait: Asteria Leigh Character Portrait: Aleksandr Zalewski
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Cain had, as usual, woken early. Today was quite the big day, after all. Today there would be a recruitment drive, and Cain knew what that really meant. While the others would be able to frolic about with their peers, for Cain, it just meant more work. More favors to be called in from the Police Department, more secret phone calls to the chief about the Wicked's movements just so they wouldn't get accidentally arrested, and more general housework. Though Cain had himself come up with the moniker of, "The Black Butler," he did resent how everyone treated him like a nuisance or a servant. Perhaps a display of authority was needed, but things like that could wait, after all, there was quite a bit of work to be done. Rubbing his milky eyes, and yawning loudly, Cain stretched, feelings his muscles loosen and the knots in his spine pop. Sighing contentedly, Cain stood, and began the process of getting the Wickeds ready for the day.

Cain picked up his combination crutch/cane, and made his way over to the dresser which sat across from his bed. Cain got himself dressed in his standard attire. A pressed, white, linen shirt, a herringbone patterned vest, black slacks, shiny black shoes with matching socks, a black suit jacket, and a purple tie. Cain made sure to wrap his card holster around his waist, allowing the deadly weapons to be hidden from sight during Cain's daily activities. Subtlety was key after all.

His clothes and cards at the ready, Cain washed his face, and sat at the desk in his room. While Cain's deck of thirteen cards was the most powerful tool he possessed, there are other uses for cards as well. Reaching into his drawer, Cain pulled out a Tarot deck, and began to handle the cards. He shuffled, riffled, washed, and cut the deck, allowing his energies to permeate the cards. While there was no real magic going on here, Cain did believe that the cards allowed him to focus his mind and divine certain tidbits about the day. Laying out a simple Cross of Kells, Cain focused on Morgan's face, and thought to himself, "What results might today's recruitment bring?" As his hands felt the cards, Cain read their Braille markings, and smiled.

After Cain had finished his morning rituals, he made his way to the Wicked's kitchen, where he would prepare all the day's meals in advance. While it was time consuming, it freed up the rest of the day to do other work that Morgan might find more pressing. Cain chuckled to himself as he thought about Morgan in a hurry. "A most amusing thought indeed. When has that man ever rushed?" Cain laughed again. It was rather funny. Though the director was quite a powerful, and busy man, he never seemed to do anything he didn't want to do. He wrote his own story everyday, and marched it to the beat of his own drum. Cain admired that about him. He was always perfectly at ease, never worried that things might not work out. Of course, he hadn't always been like that, but it had been so long ago, that Cain had almost forgotten. Pausing in the middle of his chopping, Cain sighed. It had been a simpler time then.

The rest of Cain's culinary preparations passed peacefully. He chopped, stirred, sautéed, spiced, flambéed, roasted, and fried effortlessly, and with dazzling efficiency. Cain had only taken up the cooking lessons on a dare, as a joke. He had never known just how useful they would be to him. Cain chuckled as he remembered the first disaster of a plate that he had put before Morgan. They had both looked at each other for a short moment before laughing hysterically and ordering pizza instead. Though Cain was blind, he was far from helpless, and his current skill in the kitchen was more than enough testimony to that statement of fact. As he was just putting the finishing touches on tonight's dinner, who else should walk in, but the director himself. Cain recognized him from the rumbling of his stomach and the pattern with which he walked. The director had a very distinct stride, and his growling stomach was ever-complaining about its need to be filled. Wiping off his hands, and turning to the sound of the rumbling, Cain smiled and greeted his friend. "Hello Morgan, hungry? I can't say I'm surprised." Cain chuckled at his own joke. "However, if you're getting hungry, that must mean it's nearly lunchtime, which means we should be going soon. I'm right behind you." Before he left, Cain made sure to knock twice on Mei's door. He said simply, "We're heading out Mei. I'm sure you don't want to come with, but do remember to eat something while we're out. I've prepared any number of dishes you might like, they're in the fridge, all wrapped up to stay fresh. All you have to do is heat them up if you get hungry." She didn't say anything, but then again, she rarely did anymore these days.



Having arrived at the Mall, Cain was immediately paired with Raiden, and made to keep watch and to mind the perimeter. Luckily, in a mall such as this, roughly an hour after most lunch breaks ended, the mall was quite empty. It was a weekday, after all, and people other than the Wickeds did have to work. There was the occasional shopper, or group of kids playing hooky, but nothing Cain found necessary to worry about. Cain smiled as Raiden teased the groups of boys they passed. She was so vivacious and sassy. "Don't get their hopes up so high, Miss Raiden. It's awful rude to make boys like that so excited for nothing." Once more Cain laughed at his own joke, but it was all good fun, a harmless jibe meant to make Raiden feel good about herself. "While I don't seem to find anything too dangerous here with us today, it might behoove us to remain on watch until our little recruitment is over. I'll send Chess to relay that message to Morgan. Though it is rather boring, do remain vigilant Miss Raiden."

At that, Cain reached inside his jacket, as one might to reach for their wallet, or their cigars, and flicked open the lid of his Card Holster. Finding the third card, Cain pulled the ceramic tile out from the stack, and flipped the card in his hands once, twice, before pulling his sleeve up ever so slightly, and sliding the sharp edge of the card along his wrist. The blood price extracted, Cain allowed the necessary blood to drop into the card. After Cain had allotted the appropriate amount of blood, a small lick of purple flames bathed the wound, sealing it up, and leaving a thin, pale scar. As the ink and blood began to bubble and congeal, Cain whispered the activation phrase, "Number three, the Sign of Despair, come forward." The card bust into purple flames, and a small symbol appeared over Cain's right hand, a circular mark, the sign of despair, and a Roman numeral, number three. As the flames from the card faded from existence, it revealed Cain's familiar. Once the blood had finished binding to the ink within the card's picture, it became reality, a small blob of swirling and fluctuating color. The shape became more and more defined, until the fully formed cat was as real as any other, floating in midair before Cain. Cain placed his hand in his pocket so as to hide the glowing symbol, the mark of his familiar. The ritual complete, Ches, the Cheshire cat, dropped to the ground, and glared sullenly at Cain before making his way across the Food court and jumping up onto Morgan's lap.

Though the cat wore an apathetic, hopeless expression, it was rather handsome. Further, such an odd looking cat simply walking up to a human would have been quite queer any other time at all, especially one who looked so depressed. Further, and rather strangely, the cat spoke. "The master wishes me to tell you that he finds nothing to report, but that he'll keep watch until your meeting is done. While I personally think it's a waste of your time, if you tell me anything you might want him to know, my thoughts will be transmitted back to the master, provided I stay within 200 meters of him. Also, though I didn't think you'd want to, would you mind petting me? The master never does it right... That's my luck though, isn't it, I'm forced to work for that man, bound to his side for the rest of his life, and yet, he's go no idea how to treat his pets. Typical..."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Daniel Wing Character Portrait: Mercy Character Portrait: Morgan Aberlard Character Portrait: Cain Van Slaeghthaus Character Portrait: Shadow E. Loveheart Character Portrait: Aleksandr Zalewski Character Portrait: Kelsier Achylis
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Kelsier laid on the floor tossing and turning. It was another one of 'Those' nights. No matter what he did Kelsier couldn't calm enough to get to sleep there was simply to much going on in his head right now. Tomorrow was the day of the Wicked Ones recruitment meeting. He'd already decided he was going to show up, but that didn't mean that the Wicked Ones would accept him into the group. After all he had almost no control over his abilities why would a group want him. The rest of the night slowly ticked away as Kelsier continued rolling around on the floor of his abandoned building.

The next morning Kelsier packed up everything he had with him. Weather he was accepted into the Wicked Ones or not this was the last night he spent in the broken down building. As he walked out the door of his 'room' he pulled a loose hoodie over his head throwing the hood up. Slowly he wandered onto the street to look for some food checking his pockets he sighed. "No money I'm the only person stupid enough to run away without bringing any money for food." He sighed deeply ignoring the growing rumbling coming from his stomach.

It was a long and slow journey to the Mall where the meeting was taking place mainly due to Kelsier's taking back alleys and roads trying to avoid as as many people as possible. The closer Kelsier got to the mall the more nervous he got. He checked his watch, probably the only thing he brought from home that would have any real value. 12:30. It was almost time and Kelsier was still a ways away from the mall. Silently cursing himself he began to run through the alley that would dump him out in the mall's parking lot. As he ran a strand of hair fell into his face. Not normally a problem but the hair was red.

Kelsier froze in his tracks staring at the strand of hair. "No, this can't happen now I have to go meet them. I'm done running away. Someone there will be able to teach me I'm sure of it." The strand of hair slowly gave way back to its normal white color and Kelsier took a deep breath and resumed his approach to the mall. It had taken almost an entire hour but he'd finally arrived at the mall.

As he walked up to the doors he pulled the hood of his sweater securly down over his head and walked quickly through the doors heading for a table at the back of the food court where hopefully he wouldn't draw any extra attention to himself. He sat looking around trying to see if he could identify any of these 'Wicked Ones.' There were some odd looking people scattered through the mall. As the time clicked closer Kelsier began to get nervous again luckily his hair was hidden under his hood so hopefully no one would notice that it had again turned a dull red. The closer the time came the more nervous Kelsier became, he began locating the exits making sure if things went south he'd be able to get out quickly.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Daniel Wing Character Portrait: Mercy Character Portrait: Morgan Aberlard Character Portrait: Qynna Ravenhowe Character Portrait: Cain Van Slaeghthaus Character Portrait: Shadow E. Loveheart Character Portrait: Asteria Leigh Character Portrait: Aleksandr Zalewski
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Morgan


He grinned at Mercy’s response and chuckled at Daniels, already the day seemed to be a good one. Everyone was in relatively good moods but Morgan could tell that the both of them were skeptical, well Mercy was anyway, that there might not even be recruits. “Nah, don’t say that Mercy you’ll jinx us.” Shortly after saying that, one of Cain’s cards popped up out of nowhere it seemed plopping himself down in his lap.

Surprised by the sudden appearance of Ches, Morgan glanced over towards the store he knew Cain and Raiden were waiting at. Looking back down at the cat, “Is there something wrong?” shortly after asking that, the cat gave him a full report along with an explanation of how pointless it was to hold the meeting. “Well now, don’t be like Mercy. Like I told her you’ll jinx us with your depressing thoughts. But I’ll pet you but don’t complain if I do it wrong.” Morgan chuckled quietly at the cat before resting his hand on his back and started to stroke his fur.

Not long after Morgan started to pet Ches a girl (Qynna) with pink hair appeared in front of them. She wore a simple outfit and at first Morgan simply thought she was over to question Mercy’s appearance but the next words that left her lips brought a sly smile to his face. “I don't suppose you guys are the 'Wicked Ones' are you?" Morgan looked up at her, stopping his hand above Ches’s soft fur. But before he could answer a commotion went up a few yards away from where he and the others were sitting.

The poor kid tripped over his own feet heading towards their direction and was sent skidding across the floor a couple feet on his face. Morgan laughed aloud seeing the kid (Shadow) pop right back up with a question and a greeting, “Hello! Am I late too late to join the Wicked ones?” Morgan chuckled, “Depends who’s asking.” Morgan grinned and looked over at Mercy then Daniel to see how they were reacting to the guy.

Not long after his question two other people showed up, one (Asteria) besides the first girl, while the other showed up next to the guy who just tripped. The two of them agreed with what he (Shadow) had just said but only the guy (Alek) looked to be enthusiastic about saying it. Morgan smiled and leaned back in his chair, taking the lollipop out of his mouth, he looked the four of them over. Hmm they look like a fun bunch. He bent down a bit over Ches and whispered in the cats ear, “You know what to do.” He made sure to keep his voice low so only Daniel and Mecry could hear him. Morgan didn’t want the newcomers to worry about his cryptic words. Watching Ches jump off his lap and head towards his master’s direction, Morgan looked back over at the four standing before him.

“So I’m guessing you guys are here for the meeting eh? Well I can tell you that you’ve come to the right place. And here we thought no one would come, right Mercy? he motioned over towards the green-hair woman. “So tell me what brings you on down here, I’m curious as to how you guys managed to hear about us. Not that I’m worried you’re the Feds or anything but hey you gotta take precautions am I right?” He motioned once more but towards the four of them, Morgan focused his attention on the last girl (Asteria) to arrive. “So what brings you here little lady?” he asked.

Hearing her answer, Morgan looked over at the clumsy one (Shadow), “I saw your fall earlier, hope you’re okay. What brought you here?” getting his answer he looked over at the girl (Qynna)with pink hair. “Sorry for not answer your question earlier but as you can see this guy over here kinda made a commotion and I have a rather short attention span. What in the world convinced you to listen to the rumors?” And finally he turned to the guy with red hair (Alek), “And you? Who were you talking to earlier, if it’s just a little something personal then you don’t have to answer my question.”

Morgan popped back the lollipop back in his mouth, leaning forwards in his chair, he rested his elbows on his knees and folded his hands in front of his face. “The reason I’m asking you is so I can tell the boss of what sort of people are joining in and whether or not he’ll want you to join us. Not that your reasons weren’t good enough but you see it isn’t up to me.” Every word he said was a total lie, something he did routinely with every recruit meeting they had. Just to make sure none of them were spies or something of that sort, Morgan looked at Daniel and Mercy, “So tell me what you two think, should we tell the boss?”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Morgan Aberlard Character Portrait: Cain Van Slaeghthaus Character Portrait: Kelsier Achylis
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Ches was rather enjoying himself. Though Morgan didn't quite pet him exactly the way he liked, he was still a far cry better than Cain. Chess began to purr softly, thoroughly enjoying being pet. However, just as he was about to get bored of it, Morgan stopped. Ches looked up, surprised. Usually, people erred on the side of petting him too much. It was a welcome change. Ches actually felt like giving Morgan a compliment, however, that sentiment faded shortly. "You know what to do." Ches sighed, and grumbled inaudibly. "Yes, yes, right away." He said incredibly sarcastically in response to Morgan, and began trotting off to find Cain once more. As the grumpy cat walked, he noticed a boy sitting at one of the tables. This boy wore a hood, and Ches couldn't quite make out his face, but one thing was certain. He was watching the now assembled group of Wickeds. Not exactly the best way to make it to Ches's nice list, but hey, the kid must not have known any better. Relaying the information back to Cain, Ches sighed when his master gave him the obvious command. Scout the boy. Make sure he isn't a threat. Ches sighed once more. What a pain. Silently, Ches padded over to the boy's spot. After a moment of watching him from beneath an adjacent table, Ches took a few steps towards the boy, then jumped up on his table, sitting directly between the boy's face and the group of Wickeds.

Kelsier had been quite absorbed in his observing the group he assumed to be the 'Wicked Ones' that when a cat suddenly appeared in front of him he couldn't help but jump slightly in surprise. The cat had startled him, but it was only a cat after nothing to be afraid of. Kelsier began absentmindedly petting the cat alternating between scratching his ears and long strokes to the base of his tail. Apparently the cat was enjoying the attention as he began to purr rather loudly. "Well at least I can make someone happy huh?" He posed his quiet comment to the cat before returning to trying to observe the meeting going on.

Ches was, to say the least, rather impressed. Though Cain was mentally pushing him to investigate the boy, Ches could wait just a little bit longer. After all, it wasn't often that someone pet you as skillfully as this boy did. Ches purred loudly, and walked too and fro as the boy pet him. Ches was having so much fun, that he completely lost track of himself, and his body became intangible for a brief moment. The boy's hand had fallen through Ches's body, and landed with a small thump on the table below. It was only once the petting stopped that Ches had realized his boo-boo. However, Ches didn't want the boy to stop. He mewled once, twice, and finally could take it no longer. He spoke. "Come now, you mustn't be finished yet. I was having so much fun. It isn't everyday you meet someone who pets you just right."

At the sound of the cat's voice Kelsier jumped and was so surprised that his fox's ears decided to pop up and knock his hood off his head. "My-my hand just fell through you... and you can talk?! What's going on?" Kelsier began panicking not realizing that his fox's ears were now quite easily visible.

Ches had, apparently, startled the poor lad. What a pity. He was even so frightened that his little ears had knocked his hood right off. Ears? Upon closer inspection, the lad's hair was ruddy orange, and he sported the canine ears of a fox. "Ho, ho!" Ches said, quoting Cain, who had become rather excited. "Well isn't this an odd turn of events. Were you one of the potential recruits? Perhaps you're here to join the Wickeds? Here I thought you were some sort of spy or something... You aren't a spy, are you? It would be a shame to have to fight with you if you were. Especially since you're the only person I've ever met who manages to pet me just right."

Subduing his panic momentarily realizing that the cat was in fact not there to hurt him Kelsier began to calm down and his ears returned to their normal location and appearance. "I'm not a spy... I'd heard there was a recruitment meeting here today and was hoping to join... I don't want to fight any of you."

With that simple matter having been settled, Ches, who was quite pleased with himself, jumped down from the table and sat on the floor. He looked up at the boy, then spoke once again. "Then whatever are you doing all the way over here? Please do come join us." At that, Ches turned and began to walk towards the group.

As the cat walked away Kelsier stayed put in his seat unsure of weather to follow the cat or stay in the shadows and hope for the best.

After walking a short distance, he realized that there were no footsteps behind him. Apparently the petting artisan was shy, or something of the sort. Ches frowned, turning to face the boy. His tail twitched impatiently, and a slight edge colored his voice. this little reconnaissance mission had gone on quite long enough. "Well? Come come now, we haven't got all day, dear boy."

Kelsier nodded and stood quickly pulling his hood back up. "Umm... yeah sorry still a bit nervous." He followed close to the cat almost wishing that he could have stayed at his table and avoided all of this. 'But I need to learn how to control this and this is the only way I'll ever have a chance at it.' With his new found determination he followed the cat to the group his panic having fallen so much that his hair had returned to its normal white color.

Upon reaching the lovely little assortment of Wickeds, old and new, with his little grooming protege in tow, Ches jumped up onto the table and turned to face Morgan. Much to everyone's surprise, the cat spoke. "Do excuse me, while you were having your lovely little discussion I found someone snooping around. Well, not snooping per say, but he hadn't joined the rest of the group yet, and you know how my master gets. He informed me, and here I do quote, 'Ches you lazy, good-for-nothing lump, examine that boy this instant. We have to be sure he isn't a spy. If not...'" Quite theatrically, Ches held up his left forepaw and drew a line across his neck. He made a rather gruesome noise while he did it as well. Having finished, and looking rather pleased with himself, the Cat began to speak once again, clearing his throat before speaking. "End quote. Do excuse my language, it isn't mine you see. Dreadfully poor taste isn't it? Regardless, it turns out, the boy I found was here for the recruitment all along. Isn't that exciting. Now we come to the meat of the matter, Ladies and Gentlemen... I'm dreadfully sorry, you there with the short pink hair, are you male or female? I was curious you see, otherwise it would appear the population to be predominantly female, and then I needn't qualify you as... Wait, male, you say? How very droll! Look, that one's got pink hair, and yet it claims to be male! Delightful. Excuse, me, manners and all that. Oh my... if you could hear the words the master is using with me... I digress. Ladies, and you too gentle Sir, I have the pleasure of introducing...." Ches paused, unsure. He looks to Morgan, then to the boy he'd escorted. "I'm sorry dear boy, I don't appear to recall your name. Further, I don't think we've been properly introduced. Ahh, how incredibly awkward. Please, young Sir, do introduce your self."

Kelsier took a deep breath being careful not to make eye contact with any of the surrounding people. "I'm Kelsier. I don't really know what my ability is... but I've heard you're all special and figured this would be the best place to find help figuring out what it is and how to use it..." Kelsier fell into silence hoping that this would suffice for his introduction.

Once Kelsier, for that was in fact the boy's name, had finished introducing himself, Ches took the stand once again. "Lovely. Now that that's settled, I'm betting you're all curious as to how it is that I can talk. What a clever bunch you are. Ladies, and Gentlemen- I'm so terribly sorry, you there, Pinky, are you quite sure? Yes? Alright then, there's no need to be huffy. Ladies and Gentlemen, my name is Cain, and I'm the boss's right hand... Cat." Having finished his little speech, much to his own amusement, Ches turned to Morgan and spoke once again. "Well, have they passed?" As soon as he finished his question, the cat burst into purple flames, which dissipated rather quickly. As soon as the flames were gone, it was plain to see that the talking cat had entirely disappeared. Instead, in it's place was a ceramic tile, with a wonderfully hand-painted, or recreation of the handsome cat which had, not long previously, been alive.

The real Cain, who had been slowly approaching the group in the food court, strode forward confidently in his top hat, suit, and walking stick. No sooner had the flames completely died out, revealing the painted tile, than a gloved hand reached down, in between Mercy and Morgan to retrieve the card, and returned it to its proper place, the shoulder holster under Cain's suit jacket. As he stuffed the card back in it's place, Cain turned to Morgan and spoke. "Was that little devil show-boating again? I'm terribly sorry. I can control them all properly, but sometimes their personalities manage to slip through for longer than entirely necessary." Turning to address the group, Cain spoke once more. "I'm dreadfully sorry to confuse you, but that Cat is named Ches, and he is not me. My name is Cain, and though he was lying through his teeth, Ches was correct. I am the Director's right hand man. I would also like to take this opportunity to apologize to anyone he's insulted. The little troublemaker usually always picks one. Deepest apologies, Sir. It was never my intention to let him insult anyone, but he always manages to get away with it somehow or another." Having finished, Cain took his place at Morgan's right side.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mercy Character Portrait: Morgan Aberlard Character Portrait: Qynna Ravenhowe Character Portrait: Cain Van Slaeghthaus Character Portrait: Shadow E. Loveheart Character Portrait: Asteria Leigh Character Portrait: Aleksandr Zalewski Character Portrait: Kelsier Achylis Character Portrait: Aini Lestari
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Morgan


He pouted at Mercy's deman, "Aw why do you have to be that way? You know I like having fin" His pout turing into a cheesy grin, at the pink haired (Qynna) girls joke. Morgan leaned forwards, elbows resting on his knees as while he listened to each of their replies. He wasn't too particular on their answers not long after Ches came back and jumped on the table. And right behind him was a younger looking kid, from Morgan's view he looked closer towards Mei's age than his own.

The gloomy felone soon went into a manoluge explaining the late arrival of the soon named Kelsier. Funny enough, Ches actually managed to get humurous with the pink haired fellow. Which earned the cat a large smile and a chuckle. It seemed Cain took over for a moment before Ches came back to his right state of mind. Hearing that one question he knew his good friend was going to ask, Morgan rubbed his chin in thought.

Then Ches went up in smoke, in his place was a ceramic tile that held the cats image. Soon after the man himself appeared, telling the newcomers of his role with the Wicked Ones. "Well it was quite the amusing insult, mind you (he motioned to Alek). Any how I don't think I've introduced my green-haired gasmask of a companion. As for me I'm Morgan the-" Right at that moment a loud crash could be heard from one of the hallways leading to a string of stores. Which was soon followed by a small explosion, immediately Morgan tensed but he sat where he was.

Soon enough the source of the newfound chaos popped up, it was pretty hard to miss them too. She was pretty hard to forgot but Morgan's face turned grim. Glancing over at Mercy, Morgan stood up one hand outwards signalling to the newcomers to stay where they were. "Looks like we've got company and its not the good kind."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mercy Character Portrait: Morgan Aberlard Character Portrait: Qynna Ravenhowe Character Portrait: Cain Van Slaeghthaus Character Portrait: Shadow E. Loveheart Character Portrait: Asteria Leigh Character Portrait: Aleksandr Zalewski Character Portrait: Kelsier Achylis Character Portrait: Aini Lestari
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"Oh my..."

Though Cain had spoken quite calmly, he was, rest assured, worried. How long had it been since they'd seen... well, since he'd heard, something like that? Although Cain hadn't always been the fondest of Aini, he had to admit, albeit somewhat begrudgingly, that she did make a rather impressive entrance. Wheezing as if she hadn't smoked in weeks, and walking with a stumbling gait, she seemed ragged, and run down. Even worse, it didn't sound like it was just because of her particular penchant for distressed clothing. No, something was quite off about Aini Lestari, that much was definitely certain. Though Cain couldn't quite tell what, as he was, regrettably, without eyes at the moment, he could tell she was in some bad shape. "It would seem we have a visitor Morgan, and an unwanted one at that. What's your call? I suppose a good place for me to start would be with giving you an extra soldier." Though Cain's tone appeared playful, even calm, he was far from such things. Cain still remembered the last time he'd seen Aini. She was, to say the least, not currently vying for the honor of being at the top of Cain's prestigious, "Most Favorite Person in the Whole Wide World," list. As he finished speaking, Cain's entire body was wreathed in purple flames, a show of power. Though the flames weren't hot, they produced a powerful wind, which caused his clothes to ripple and flow. One hand firmly gripping the handle of his cane, the other gloved appendage snaked its way into Cain's jacket pocket and produced a card, the same one that he'd put away just now. As much as he hated to admit it, Ches was the best option in this situation. He'd have to be a complete idiot to try and match Aini's physical might with one of the incarnations of his own. She would tear that card apart, and Cain would have to make a new one. No, it would be better to oppose Aini with the untouchable Cheshire Cat. Less casualties that way.

As he always did, Cain slid the razor edge of the card against the skin of his wrist, allowing the blood to drip onto the card. Once the allotted amount of blood had been spilled, more purple flames licked Cain's wound, and the laceration healed over as if it had never existed in the first place. As handy as it was that the wounds closed themselves, Cain hated that he couldn't make the process hurt any less. Either way, such worries would have to wait. After all, there were other things to take care of at the moment. "Number three, the Sign of Despair, come forth!" At Cain's command, the card and blood burst into purple flames. Next, a small symbol appeared over Cain's right hand, a circular mark, the sign of despair, and a Roman numeral, number three. As the flames from the card faded from existence, it revealed Cain's incomplete familiar. Once the blood had finished binding to the ink within the card's picture, it became reality, a small blob of swirling and fluctuating color. The shape became more and more defined, until the fully formed cat was as real as any other, floating in midair before Cain. Once more, with a sullen glance, the Cat glared at Cain. "Aww..." The cat moaned with complaint. "First you put me away just as I was having fun, now you've brought me back just as I was settling down to take a nap. You really are the worst person I know..." Ches said grumpily. "That's enough Ches. You can nap later. Further, You're not to command me. I am your master and you would do well to remember it." Stymied, the cat remained silent. Cain was never this angry with him. Something very bad must be about to happen. Rather obediently, the Cat stepped out in front of Morgan, and scanned the room until its eyes found Aini. Seeing the threat, Ches growled angrily. It, like all the other familiars, shared Cain's memories, and Ches was just as unhappy with Aini and Cain was. "Ches, you are to obey Morgan's orders for the time being. I have some other business to take care of. Do I make myself clear?" Though the cat said nothing, it twitched its tail as a sign of agreement and understanding. "He's all yours Morgan. While you're taking care of that, I'll be securing the little ones. We can't have them off proving their worth against an adversary like this" In a softer tone, a whisper just for his Leader, Cain added. "Do be careful. Don't forget, that woman is capable of anything." Once that was taken care of, Cain turned and spoke to the new recruits.

"Alright now kiddies, stand back behind me please. What you see before you is one of our ex-members, and not exactly the friendliest one at that. It would behoove you to remain as far away from her as possible. I realize that some of you might be rather confident in your powers. Believe me, I applaud your bravery and confidence, but let us not be foolish." Cain said calmly, attempting to corral the new recruits behind him with his words. "That woman doesn't have a shred of mercy in her heart and is blessed with insane physical condition. She didn't set off any explosives when she entered the building. No, Aini most probably simply walked through the wall. If you engage her, she will tear your head off as soon as look at you. It's not an exaggeration. It's a fact." Cain hoped, beyond all hope, that none of the new recruits had any foolish notions about fighting with Aini. She wasn't someone even Cain, a seasoned Wicked, wanted to tangle with.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mercy Character Portrait: Morgan Aberlard Character Portrait: Qynna Ravenhowe Character Portrait: Cain Van Slaeghthaus Character Portrait: Shadow E. Loveheart Character Portrait: Asteria Leigh Character Portrait: Aleksandr Zalewski Character Portrait: Kelsier Achylis Character Portrait: Aini Lestari
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#, as written by Renmiri
Asteria

"Wait, hold up-- what the fuck? It's been literally twenty minutes and the Hulk's already here to kill you? Should I be impressed?" She felt like she should've seen it coming, or heard it coming, anyway-- like, where was all the screaming, the panicked masses running in the opposite direction, the tragic yet dutiful news reporters? But oh, right. Aster didn't need to see the trail behind Psychopath, much less peek inside an illusion, to come to the conclusion 'run the fuck away, fast'. It was only natural, after all. To a spiked powerhouse like that, anyone was basically a half-dead rabbit served up on a plate.

Perhaps with the adrenaline buzzing in her veins, some luck, and maybe if she was really careful with her illusions-- Aster knew she had a chance of getting out of there. It wouldn't be anything that she'd never done before, you know? Saving her own skin, saying 'to hell with the world', playing survivor for a game that taught people what not to be. Psychopath? Not her problem. People like that-- people like that were like the meth heads, the street rats who shot themselves higher until they burned up in the sun; fucking up everyone else every step of the way (dying without even the decency of paying back her couple hundred, assholes). Psychopath would kick the bucket eventually, under a Wicked One or a U.S. nuke. Aster didn't really need to do anything at all.

She certainly didn't owe anyone anything. 'Less even some heroic group of misfits looking for a place in the world.'

But, as she watched the weird classy dude summon the weird cat with an attitude (Despair, was it? Didn't he seem too cute for that?), she realized that damn it, she was hesitating. And not just because of the whole 'bravery and confidence' thing ('Pfft, right.'), but rather at the absurdity of it all-- Aster almost wanted to laugh, because of course the arch-villain had an 'insane physical condition' and had it personal with the Wicked Ones. That amusement though, that was the point. When was the last time that she'd wanted to laugh in the face of a bloodthirsty, partially insane psychopath? Longer than it should've been acceptable. 'Life's fucking boring, what's a girl to do?'

So Aster broke no argument when she stood behind Cain's shadow, decidedly not leaving and yet not enthusiastically volunteering herself either. She'd stay, sure, but it didn't seem like she was needed anyway; and this was as good of a time as any to see what she'd really signed up for (or what the Wicked Ones were made of). And by the sound of the ringing in her head (something painful altogether, like nails on a chalkboard), she knew that this time-- if she let up, this time her illusions would definitely go out of control. Psychopath's bloodlust was on a whole other level, and even with the somewhat far proximity she was still manhandling Aster's ability along.

It didn't take a genius to figure that Psychopath probably wanted (and therefore, would have seen, felt) a delicious massacre of the Wicked Ones, but it sure as hell wouldn't stop there. Aster was almost curious, whether it would end with the collapse of L.A., the state, or the country altogether. 'Or would it even end?' It was probably better not to know.

Aster winced, a hand to her head, as she made an effort to not look at Psychopath (it's worse when she does); cringing at the increasing volume of internal screeching. Her control had always been precarious at best, but this time it'd just have to be worse, given how she wasn't running away. She muttered, "'As far away from her as possible', right. Would the other side of the city count?" Astor was poised, alert, probably at the furthest back in the group; conspicuously inconspicuous, so to speak. Evidently uninterested in getting involved with Psychopath, anyway.

If one cared to look, it'd be fairly obvious that she was fighting something supernatural-- and so she vaguely offered to anyone concerned (or within earshot):

"If I lose it, knock me out. Doesn't matter how, you'll know. And I'm fine."


Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mercy Character Portrait: Morgan Aberlard Character Portrait: Qynna Ravenhowe Character Portrait: Cain Van Slaeghthaus Character Portrait: Shadow E. Loveheart Character Portrait: Asteria Leigh Character Portrait: Aleksandr Zalewski Character Portrait: Kelsier Achylis Character Portrait: Aini Lestari
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"Knock you out? Okay...if that's what you want," Qynna said. She was a bit unsure how to go about this situation. Her ego and pride told her to ignore the guy's orders, and the fact that they were orders made her grind her teeth a little, but then again this woman was typically someone that Qynna would more than happily run away from instead of fight. But she needed these "Wicked Ones" to save her ass from those gangsters in New York and they couldn't do that if they were dead. All signs were pointing to helping them out, but her feet wouldn't move, and the girl with the pink hair was uncertain if it was out of fear or if she for once was actually going to obey someone else's orders. Either way her feet not moving was pretty embarrassing for her.

Qynna looked around at the others, at the moment none of them seemed to be moving either, and Hell they didn't know that she wanted to move but couldn't, they weren't fucking mind-readers...or at least she hoped none of them were. So she just sat down, trying to look as though she had decided to not do anything, but instead just watch the scene as it was going to play out.

"Well since the mall has gone to shit, I guess there's no stopping me from smoking," Qynna said, she wasn't entirely certain if it was loud enough for other's to hear or not, but honestly she didn't care. She was just relieved that she could actually calm her shaking nerves right now. She pulled out a box of cigarettes from her pocket along with a sleek, black lighter. She reclined in the chair she sat down in, bringing one of her legs up as was the usual "chilling" position that she had. The nicotine felt good running inside her and she could immediately tell a difference as her nerves stopped their shaking. She breathed out, letting the cloud of smoke dissipate in front of her face.

She was calm, she was relaxed, and now completely less worried about not being able to move earlier. Qynna just chalked that off as needing her smokes rather than fear. It made more sense to her, I mean who was this person anyway? A stranger with some extreme form of strength, nothing to bat an eye at. Sure it would be more difficult to take down someone like this, but Qynna figured that she could find a way eventually. A sudden thought came into her head about that girl's comment from earlier. She reached under the table, her arm slipping through the shadows to a kitchen she had once saw, and one specific draw. Her hand groped around blindly in the draw for a little bit till she felt a handle touch her hand, her fingers wrapped around it and she pulled her arm back. When her arm came back to where she sat in the demolished food court of the mall, it was gripping a smallish frying pan.

"Hey blondie think this will work in knocking you out? That is if the time came," Qynna asked the girl holding up the pan and looking rather proud of herself. It was almost as if she were making some sort of joke, a wide smirk on her face and her eyes slightly crinkled. There were more loud crashes and dust that came, but Qynna was almost completely oblivious to it. They didn't want her help, fine, they wouldn't get it. They wouldn't even get her attention if that's how they felt. She took another raw inhale of her cigarette, letting it hang in her lungs for a bit before blowing it out again. With her addiction satisfied Qynna was now more like her usual self instead of some jittery squirrel of a thing.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mercy Character Portrait: Morgan Aberlard Character Portrait: Qynna Ravenhowe Character Portrait: Cain Van Slaeghthaus Character Portrait: Shadow E. Loveheart Character Portrait: Asteria Leigh Character Portrait: Aleksandr Zalewski Character Portrait: Kelsier Achylis Character Portrait: Aini Lestari
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A loud crash echoed through out the mall as rubble and debris flew everywhere Shadow looked to the source seeing a shadowy figure between the smoke and dead bodies, was this some kind of initiation? A test to show their worth? Shadow was trembling with excitement this hasn't happen to him in a long time the air around him began to fluctuate noticing this Shadow began to take deep breaths to calm himself down and after a few seconds he did gaining his composure once again. That person was trouble Shadow knew this, heck that person killed a few people just by bursting through the wall! His conscience was screaming to run but he couldn't so many people were killed he couldn't stand idly by and let this go on any further, whether it meant his death or not he had to try and stop that person. All his survival instincts kicked in, he was in full alert and danger sensitive his eyes fixed on the one who burst through the wall, quickly analyzing her from head to toe, he readied a slight stance and was about to jump right in to fight. Only to see the Right hand man of the Wicked Ones leader Cain summon the cat that Shadow had seen disappear only moments ago,'Sign of Despair? Number Three? Is that his ability or something, to summon that weird talking cat? He did say three so are there more? ' Shadow thought, then Cain turned his attention to us the new recruits and told us to stand back; that that woman would easily and without a second though kill us on the spot.

Shadow quickly snapped back to normal and looked Cain after he finished talking "I could see she's dangerous, but that's no excuse to cower in fear before her, I may be a new recruit and not know anything but I can't stand idly by and watch her slaughter innocent people it goes against my moral code. There's something I could help with! As you said I am quite confident in my fighting prowess and abilities! " Shadow said. It may be true that this Aini person could easily outmatch Shadow with her 'insane physical condition' meaning shes probably many times stronger than Shadow in a physical perspective of course, but Shadow shared a similar condition albeit he may not be able to easily smash an entire wall and keep on going with no damage. 'Heh.... maybe jumping in head first isn't the smartest strategy, and know that I think of it Aini is a woman how should I go over this...' Shadow thought. He should analyze Aini and build a profile on her and see if he could find anything to help him at least survive if need comes.

"If I lose it, knock me out. Doesn't matter how, you'll know. And I'm fine." hearing this Shadow looked at the woman she had a hand over her head and was cringing it looked as if she was about to burst. "I'm not fond of hitting women but I'll try my best to not see you cause a scene heh. " Shadow said to Asteria with a reassuring smile on his face, he was calm and collected, a bit oblivious to the overwhelming danger around him but that's just how he is so he couldn't help it.
Slightly glancing at the other woman as the smell of cigarette smoke made its way through his nostril Shadow waved his hand clearing a bit of the smoke, "You know those things kill you right? A beautiful woman like yourself shouldn't be smoking." Shadow said to Qynna.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mercy Character Portrait: Morgan Aberlard Character Portrait: Qynna Ravenhowe Character Portrait: Cain Van Slaeghthaus Character Portrait: Shadow E. Loveheart Character Portrait: Asteria Leigh Character Portrait: Aleksandr Zalewski Character Portrait: Kelsier Achylis Character Portrait: Aini Lestari
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#, as written by Byte
Image

“Compa...”

And so, a series of loud crashes and tables, chairs and anything else not nailed to the friggin' floor flying through the air disrupted the peaceful meeting.

“-ny.”

Timing, Mercy thought as she let out a muffled groan. How she regretted leaving her safe zone today now.

Within minutes- No, seconds, she had arrived. The strongwoman, the ex-Wicked Aini. Shit! She didn't recall her being that ugly! Then again, it had been about... forever. “Oh? It still remembers my name.” Mercy retorted disinterestedly at the sound of her not birth name being uttered.

As per usual, Cain did his thing. The man always did prioritize the safety of others, especially newbies. Which was perhaps a logical course of action. Nobody in the right mind would willingly tumble with Aini, lest they end up with broken bones if not worse. Even Mercy had to acknowledge that fact, despite thinking Aini was even less than dog shit littering a nice meadow.

She sat, calmly, arms folded as she did not even bother to lift her head and acknowledge that 'it' was here. Her ruby eyes just kept fixed on Morgan. Mercy hoped to God that he had some incredible plan to run the fuck away, and, if not, he'd only need to say the word.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mei Kulakov Character Portrait: Mercy Character Portrait: Morgan Aberlard Character Portrait: Qynna Ravenhowe Character Portrait: Cain Van Slaeghthaus Character Portrait: Shadow E. Loveheart Character Portrait: Asteria Leigh Character Portrait: Aleksandr Zalewski Character Portrait: Kelsier Achylis Character Portrait: Aini Lestari Character Portrait: Joe/Seph Broliny
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Mei



Rolling around in bed Mei's eyes snapped open and she stared up at her ceiling. Rubbing her eyes she glanced at her clock 2:35 rolling her eyes she curled up in her bed and went back to sleep. Soon enough she felt someone shaking her. Groaning she tried to roll around in hopes of swatting away the arms that were shaking her awake but she found she was unable to.

In that moment Mei began to panic. Green eyes snapping open, they made eye contact with equally green ones. Her eyes widened in surprise as her body twisted at an awkward angle to get out of his grip. In doing so he let go of her and she fell to the floor. Letting out a yelp she sat up rubbing her shoulder. Looking up at Joseph she glared at him, "Thanks a lot idiot. Why in god’s name did you do that for? Where are we anyway?"

Slowly getting up Mei brushed herself off. Looking around she took a step back a scowl on her face. " Joseph why are we at the mall? Wait did you really bring me to the recruit meeting! In my pajama's! You couldn't wait until I got up." Rubbing her arms, Mei pulled at her nightgown and went to the guardrail to see what was going on. Looking down Mei hadn’t realized the large commotion that was going down below. A lot of people were running away from the food court and she could see some of the Wicked members. But it wasn't just Wicked members there were faces she didn't recognize.

Mei could see Cain doing something and all the new faces stood behind him. Frowning Mei leaned over the guardrail and saw something or rather someone approaching the Wicked and the new recruits. "No way. It's Aini!" a small smile crept onto her lips at the sight of her old friend. In her excitement Mei began to run towards the group but then stopped once she reached the top of the stairs. Looking over at Joseph she beckoned him over, “Hey are you coming or what?’ Not waiting for an answer Mei continued her decent.

She knew full well who and what Aini was capable of. Morgan warned her many times, when the monstrous woman was a Wicked, to stay away from her, that she was dangerous. Not that Mei listened to him. Mei was somewhat heartbroken when her friend left the group and she knew why. Aini had given into her urges as an Other but Mei still didn’t care she knew somewhere inside there was a good person.

Morgan


Morgan watched with a solemn face as the woman he once knew headed their way. She was quite large, Aini that is, and even now despite the distance between him and her she still seemed so massive compared to him. Gulping Morgan remembered all the times he would stand beside her or simply being in the same room as her. Every time he found just how small he was compared to his comrade but now Aini was no longer a comrade but an Other, an enemy for him and his Wickeds to deal with in the coming future.

He had hoped it wouldn’t be anytime soon, or never at all if he could help it. But it seems fortune wasn’t on his side not any more anyways, It never was on your side. Pushing his glasses back up to their rightful place, Morgan watched as Cain did his own thing. Somehow despite the oncoming chaos Morgan felt a calm befall him. All he could do was watch as Cain began to offer up his blood to one of his cards. As the inky substance before him began to take shape Morgan realized it was the cat familiar Ches. “Hmmp you’d think i would have received a bit better soldier. But I guess you’ll have to do eh Ches? Don’t worry I won’t have you do anything to extraneous.” he said jokingly to the gloomy cat.

He looked up at his old friend, nodding his understanding to his concern, “Now when have I not been careful eh? I got death right in the eyes remember” he replied in an equally quiet whisper. Morgan’s attention then drifted over to the new recruits, he was somewhat curious as to how they were handling the situation and from the looks of it they were doing alright. He did raise a brow upon hearing Asteria’s request. A request even Morgan found relatively odd, “Now what in the world would make me want to knock you out? Hmm we have a lot to discuss when we get back to base.” His last few words were mainly directed towards the smoker and now he was truly curious as to where she got the frying pan from.

Looking back to Mercy, all Morgan could do was stare at her for a moment. A slight frown pulled the corners of his lips downwards before opening to show some teeth. Morgan took a deep breathe then released it. He ran his fingers through his hair, ruffling it up a bit then took off his glasses to rub the bridge of his nose. Morgan made a big show of it too, of how tired he was with dealing with these sort of problems. Blinking a couple times he made sure not to look at Mercy until the clear lenses of his glasses fell across his eyes. “Alright I guess now would be a good time to great our old friend.” Sniffing Morgan rubbed his nose, rolled shoulders while taking off his jacket. He threw the jacket in the direction of one of the recruits, the blonde one, “Here hold this. I wouldn’t advise trying to be all heroic or anything sweetheart. It’s bad enough I gotta deal with Aini, I’d rather not have to knock out such a pretty little lady.”

“Mercy take them away from here. I don’t want them getting in the way of this and Cain you too. Keep some distance from me but well you know how it goes. I’ll deal with Aini which shouldn’t be too hard so long as I don’t get to close right? And Ches just keep a look out, if something funny happens do your thing so long as it doesn’t involve someone losing an arm.” he gave them a sheepish look. Turning his attention back towards Aini Morgan began to walk towards he but took small steps in doing so. “What is it that you want Aini? You know you can’t just go about demolishing malls. You know very well what’ll happen if you do. But then again I guess that’s just in your nature am I right.”

Putting his hands up as a sign of peace, Morgan approached her when something caught his eye. A small figure was running down a nearby staircase and his eyes widened upon realizing who it was. “Mei?” faltering in his step, Morgan paused long enough to leave an opening.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mei Kulakov Character Portrait: Mercy Character Portrait: Morgan Aberlard Character Portrait: Cain Van Slaeghthaus Character Portrait: Shadow E. Loveheart Character Portrait: Kelsier Achylis Character Portrait: Joe/Seph Broliny
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Mei


Running down the stairs like an excited child, Mei held onto the rail to swing herself onto the next flight of stairs. Thankfully there were only two flights of stairs for her to go down, although the building itself was pretty big. Walking through the halls the small girl came across only a few Wickeds, which was surprising since it was still a couple hours before the sun would go down. Passing by a clock, Mei back pedaled to get a better look at the time keeper. “3:48! It’s still early.” scratching the back of her head, Mei continued to wonder the halls in search of the new recruits.

Eventually she found them but it was really only thanks to Josephs blabbering mouth that she realized that the group she heard talking were the people she had been looking for. She rounded the corner just in time to catch the last words of “So what know guys?” Standing behind them she coughed into her hand folding her arms across her chest in hopes they’d notice her. Scowling a little bit Mei tapped Joseph on the shoulder before calling out to the small group. “Well I finally found you guys. So are you going to have them stay standing in the hallway Joseph, or are you going to take them to their rooms?” poking him in the ribs.

Turning to the other two, it made her a bit gloomy knowing only two people had joined in on the recruitment. Looking away for a moment she stuck out her hand a smile on her face, “I don’t think I’ve introduced myself. I’m Mei, Mei Kulakov, and if you haven’t noticed it yet I’m Russian. Any how I guess I’ll be taking one of you guys to your room and Joseph can take the other.” Looking back and forth between the two of them, she chose to go with the kid with the white hair. Turning her attention back to Joseph Mei frowned a bit, “Well I guess I’ll be going then. I have stuff to do.”

Mei led the kid to his room, not bothering to say a word to him. Leaving him shortly afterwards, Mei went back to her room.

A Few Days Later
Morgan&Mei


By now most of the new recruits should have gotten used to the idea of living amongst others like them. Mei had gotten tired of answering questions and having to find people. Morgan on the other hand was looking forwards to the events of the day a certain person was coming by to help with Morgans problem. For the past couple of days he had been forced to wear an eye patch so that he could look through the one lenses that worked in his old glasses. Rubbing his face Morgan leaned back in his chair before taking a bite out of an apple. Ever since Cain had gone off on that mission of his, the whole building had been forced to make their own food. The realization of having relied on his close friend for so long made him chuckle. Tossing the apple core into a nearby trash can, Morgan shuffled the papers in front of him into a neat pile. “Looks like we have some stuff to do.” recently he had gotten word of an Other who had taken hold of a nearby area, rendering just about everything in a sickened state.

With that in mind, Morgan thought about Mercy who was similar to this Other however hers was a bit more controlled it seemed. Rubbing his hands together a grin spread itself across his face at the surprise he had for his friend. Morgan grabbed the papers and quickly left to find the other Veterans from recruitment day. Hmm maybe I should bring in some of the new recruits, might as well get them ready for the times ahead. Yeah that Shadow kid would be useful. The first room he stopped off at was Mei’s room, knocking on the door he poked his head in her room only to close it quickly before he got a shoe in the face. Chuckling he explained to her the mission that they would be going out on later that day. The next person was Joseph and seeing as that Shadow kid was nearby he knocked on his door as well but only to inform him to go the kitchen area with Joseph.

The last person he went to was Mercy. Knocking on her door, he waited for a moment before opening the door cautiously this time in case he got shoe thrown at him again. “Hey Mercy we got a job that needs to be done. So when you’re up and ready come to the kitchen area and I’ll explain then.” closing the door he went to his office of sorts making sure he had everything ready for later that day. Once that was done, Morgan rushed back to the kitchen area glad to see everyone was there already. Taking a seat in front of the group Morgan smiled. “Well I’m sure you guys know what this little gathering will be about. We have a job that needs to be done. An Other has taken hold a certain area nearby, rendering just about everything in a sickened state. From what I understand the closer you get to the source the worse off you get and there have even been some fatalities but mostly from small animals and birds. “ Morgan looked over them but focused his attention on Shadow who was the only new recruit of the group. “Any ways this is how it will work. Mei you’ll have to hang back from the warehouse as far as you can but close enough for you to get a shot at them if need be. Joseph I want you to keep her company, make sure she doesn’t get distracted. As for you two’ he motioned to Mercy and Shadow, ‘Mercy seeing as you’re really the only one who would be immune to this stuff you’ll have to lead the way into the warehouse. And that is where Shadow will come in, you will need to keep Mercy safe since you’re next in line in resistance. I won’t be going as there is a certain person who will be coming by today that requires my whole attention. So Mercy I’ll be leaving you in charge of the mission. And I think that’s all, you guys should be back by tonight. Oh and Mercy I have something to show you but that will have to be done later.”

Leaving them to think about what has just been told to them. Morgan walked out into the nearby hallway and to the main entrance to welcome an old friend.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mei Kulakov Character Portrait: Mercy Character Portrait: Morgan Aberlard Character Portrait: Cain Van Slaeghthaus Character Portrait: Shadow E. Loveheart Character Portrait: Joe/Seph Broliny
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Shadow Loveheart



Almost instantly after he spoke a girl appeared before the group and struck a small conversation with us, well mainly with Joseph telling him to get us to our room and and give us a tour of the area. She introduced herself as Mei Kulakov she was Russian as she said, Shadow knew she was already part of the Wicked Ones so she might as well be a veteran as she gave "orders" to Joseph. I only smiled while this happened. Without a moments notice the girl turned around with the other new recruits and showed them to their room, Shadow was with Joseph.

Joseph gave a grand tour of the building showing us the Kitchen, Living room and even the living quarters of the other ones in the building Shadow tried his best memorizing the area so he wouldn't get lost. Shadow was good at remembering but he also had to talk with Joseph and ask little questions and what not nothing to special to mention just the know hows. Finally Shadow was introduced to his own room, Shadow gave his thanks to the man and went inside his room as he left. It was nothing special a average room with a small bed nothing too shabby, Shadow had his very own backpack which held a bit of cloths and essentials, like money, a notebook and pencil, his phone and a few other things; he survived with little things since he was always on the move since he didn't fit in that much anywhere he went. Shadow quickly unpacked his few things, started planning on what to do to "Personalize" his room. "Some posters here and there, a paint job, a few more cloths, a rug would be nice to hide a few of the scratches, a desk maybe for when I draw or write my amateur novels. This could work out, though I will need a job for this to be achieved in the future, but lets take it easy first and socialize with everyone I just can't wait!" Shadow said to himself completely ecstatic he has finally found somewhere where he can be himself without being judged and the sort.

The days passed and Shadow only wandered around and talked with the other Wickeds trying to get to know them better. He would usually get complemented on his looks by other male Wickeds due to Shadow feminine physique and looks he would play along sometimes and the such but nothing to serious. He would have gotten lost a few time walking around the building but know he can find his way in the building easily. He would secretly use his Wind manipulation from time to time still not trusting himself to let the other know of his actual ability....

One day he got a knock on his door from Morgan telling Shadow to go to the kitchen with Joseph, Shadow wondered what would make the leader call out Shadow for but he disregarded this and after putting on his usual cloths, he came out. Shadow headed himself to the Kitchen, Shadow was wide awake seeing as he was awake prior to him getting called he is a early bird that wake us early to train or write on his notebook. upon entering the Kitchen Shadow saw a whole other bunch of Wicked ones heck it was safe to say that out of everyone here Shadow was the only recruit amongst them, "I wonder what this is about?" Shadow thought and quietly looked as the discussion began. We were briefed on a mission an other got a hold of an area and we needed to go and check it out. Shadow was paired up with Mercy who was to take charge on the mission and confront the other with his help, Shadow knew little of Mercy every time he would try to strike a conversation he would get ignored or told to go away or something of the sort. He was interested a bit in the Wicked but out of all the Wicked she and Cain were the only ones he knew almost nothing about "I wonder how this would work out, no matter I have to make a good impression as this is my first assignment!" Shadow thought. The other seamed to have an ability where things get sickened the closer you get it, well Shadow did have an enhanced body so he could get closer than normal but he really doesn't know what the limitations would be he would have to experience it to asses the situation and obviously not try and get in over his head on things.

Mercy and the others left to find the area this "Other" had taken over, finding themselves in a trail of dead animals and insects, "Well isn't this swell?" Shadow said to himself. Soon Mei and Joseph divided themselves form the group to carry out their part of the plan, which left only Mercy and Shadow respectfully. He would follow Mercy and keep and eye out for the surrounding seeing if he could find anything suspicious but to no avail. The trail of dead and decaying animal got thicker as they got closer to the area, "The stink is getting worse as well." Shadow thought but kept strong. He would wonder what type of ability this other had but over thinking it would be a lost cause.
Mercy gave an order for Shadow “Check for other entrances and exits, and keep an eye on them. If there aren't, you meet up with me inside.” she said, Shadow nodded and followed the alleyway without a second thought. It was no use to worry about Mercy as it was said that she would be immune to this sort of ability and on top of that she was a Veteran so she could easily defend herself if need be, but even with all that Shadow couldn't help to feel a bit uneasy.

He cautiously walked through the alley seeing corpses of animals here and there it was repugnant but Shadow could sustain that much. Shadow reached the back of the old warehouse there was a back door there just like mercy said, then Shdow was to stay put and watch it but Shadow decided to inspect said door. He tried to open it but to no avail it was rusted shut, "Wow its rusted shut, I could break it open with enough force but I don't see anyone but me breaking or opening this door..." Shadow said and looked around a bit the warehouse was rusted and old having a few holes on it. He decided to look through one of them but it was dark inside so he couldn't see much nothing out of the ordinary though, just the awful smell of decay coming from the inside. Shadow then took a few steps back leaning on the alleys wall by the shadows and crouched looking at the surroundings. "Maybe I should go meet up with Mercy? Seeing the door is rusted shut." Shadow thought but decided to wait a bit and see if anything happened......

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Morgan Aberlard Character Portrait: Cain Van Slaeghthaus
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Image




Frankly speaking, things were going quite poorly for the Wicked's Butler.

Though he had been expecting some trouble, upon accepting this assignment a few days ago, he had not expected it would go anywhere near this badly.

Wind whistled by as massive, feathered wing-beats cut the crisp air. Against the bitter cold, Cain's arms wound themselves even tighter against the shoulders and neck of his mighty companion. Urged ever faster, the mighty Griffon shrieked against the wind, furiously gaining speed and altitude at its masters worsening condition. Cain was running out of time. "Please... my friend. Hurry." Cain uttered softly, his voice barely a whisper. "Cain!" The mighty familiar's voice boomed, barely sounding through the howling wind. "Hold on! We're almost there! Stay with me for just a bit longer!"




With a slowly dawning horror in his sightless eyes, Cain watched through the Cheshire cat as Morgan was swept up by Aini in an instant. Cain continued to shepherd the new recruits away from Aini as if nothing had happened, but Ches visibly bristled. The hair on his back stood up, his tail poofed into a massive bottlebrush and writhed vigorously in hatred. The Cat then hissed, baring it's fangs at Aini, and though Ches's immediate thought was to phase through Aini's limbs, removing them from existence, he hesitated. If Aini moved, and Ches phased through Morgan, he might even kill him. Instead, the cowardly Cheshire cat slunk low to the ground, advancing on Aini. It no longer hissed, its hair matted back down onto its back, and its tail swept back down upon the ground, having become sleek and thin once more. Ches was waiting, and though it had abandoned its defensive posture for an offensive one, it continued to bare its fangs at Aini, waiting until either Morgan was dead, or Aini gave him a chance to strike.

Surprisingly, and with Mei's intervention, Aini left. Unfortunately, she managed to do so without leaving Ches an opportunity to remove her head from her shoulders, and so the cat stood, and strode towards Morgan, laying down next to him so as to shield him from any attackers until Cain could reach him. "Quite the pickle you're in, eh? Without those glasses of yours, it'll be rather difficult to get out of here. Worry not, Morgan. Cain is almost here. As much as I pretend to dislike my master, he is perfectly suited for these sorts of things." Sure enough, just as Ches had finished speaking, Cain had sent the New Recruits off towards their new home base and made his way over to Morgan. "Morgan, I'm here!" Cain said to his friend, soothing but concerned. "Tell me, my friend, what can I do for you? Should I bring out Esme?" As Cain reached back into his holster to draw forth one of the most powerful cards in his possession, Morgan simply shook his head. Motioning for Cain to come closer, Morgan all but whispered, "I need you to look into something for me, can you do that?" Cain nodded vigorously, nearly shouting in response. "Of course, my friend, I'll do whatever you need of me." At that, Morgan began to speak, and though Cain's sightless amber eyes widened as his friend spoke, they soon drew taught with a fierce determination. When Morgan had finally finished his instructions for Cain, the manservant nodded obediently, snapping his fingers, calling Ches to immediate attention. "Ches, we're moving out. There's a job that needs doing, and we're the only ones who can. Lead on, Ches." The cat scowled, mock pouting. "Something tells me this job of ours won't be including my favorite spot on the sunlit ledge of the only window back home, will it? So much for that nap. Well then, let's go." The cat finished with a smirk, and began softly padding towards the back of the mall, were the roof access was, with Cain following swiftly behind.




Weaving deftly between the gloomy clouds, laden heavy with rain, the mighty Griffon raced through the sky with a reckless speed. He could feel the flow of energy from Cain into himself growing ever weaker, and it was growing harder and harder to maintain his physical form. Their path seemed to stretch on forever before them, and the Griffon only grew more and more agitated as the miles between them and safety disappeared at an agonizingly slow pace. With every wing-beat, every second, and every pocket of turbulent air, Cain's reishi and heartbeat grew weaker and weaker. What little flame still burned above his master's hand was dangerously dull, a sign that Cain wasn't just barely holding on to the summoning, his very life hung delicately in the balance. Just as the Griffon began to fear that his master's energy would run out, hope blossomed in his chest. There it was, the old warehouse building through which they could access the Wicked's base! Shrieking with a triumphant joy, the Griffon surged forward, falling out of the sky like a feathered meteor. Just as it seemed the pair would be flattened, utterly crushed by their impending impact, the Griffon's wings flared, catching the air like a parachute, and slowing their descent to a manageable speed. Not intending to slow down for even a second, the Griffon landed hard, and hit the ground running. Galloping at a reckless pace, the Griffon barreled through the warehouse doors, and poured itself through the warehouse, smashing through the false wall that led them down the secret passageway that would bring Cain home without a second to spare.

Cantering down the hallway, the Griffon realized, albeit somewhat too late, that he would be running out of room to slow down. The beast reared, kicking it's front legs up into the air, and nearly dislodging its rider, that was still clutching to the beast for dear life. Agitated beyond all reason, the beast cast its gaze all across the main entrance way until its fiery amber eyes came to rest upon the bespectacled leader of the Wickeds. "Morgan!" The creature boomed, relieved at the sight of an ally, but still in the direst of haste. "Cain is wounded beyond all hope of mundane medical recovery. Ten of his cards were shattered and he's lost far too much blood, I barely have the strength left to carry him. We need to bring Cain to the Infirmary and you must assist him in summoning the Lantern Bearer, this is no time for questions!" The mighty Griffon pleaded, begging Morgan to help save the life of its master.

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Character Portrait: Morgan Aberlard Character Portrait: Cain Van Slaeghthaus
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Morgan


Clearing his throat, Morgan walked around their home in hopes of clearing his mind for what was to come. He knew the Wicked Ones mad scientist better than most as he’s interacted with her quite a few times. The woman was almost impossible to be around if you didn’t want to be subjected to some random experiment she thought up on the fly. After rubbing the back of his head Morgan sighed and finally went back to the main hallway.


It looked like today wasn’t going to be as serene as he’d hope it would be. An incredibly loud bang erupted from the main hallway, then something crashing through the false wall they had set up. Tensing Morgan immediately assumed it was some Other with a vengeance or worse the government suits whose sole purpose was to hunt his kind down. It turned out to be much worse than he thought but at the same time not. A huge feathered beast galloped into the actually hallway, rearing up to keep itself from going any further. It was then that Morgan noticed the passenger that was hanging on to dear life, and what it was he was staring at in utter shock.

Hands falling away from his glasses, Morgan could only stare back at those amber orbs with its fiery intensity. “Cain!?” taking a hesitant step forwards, Morgan wasn’t entirely sure what was going on. Had Cain passed out, was he just messing with him or was there something genuinely wrong with one of his best friends. Morgan!" Flinching at the sudden booming voice, the griffin had his full attention. Cain is wounded beyond all hope of mundane medical recovery. Ten of his cards were shattered and he's lost far too much blood, I barely have the strength left to carry him. We need to bring Cain to the Infirmary and you must assist him in summoning the Lantern Bearer, this is no time for questions!"

It took the usually cheery Morgan to take a drastic turn in demenor. “What?” Rushing over to his friend’s side, Morgan took Cain’s limp body into his arms straining a bit under the weight. ‘Geez you’ve been eating too much haven’t you old friend.” It was a poor attempt to lessen the tension but it was more so for Morgan’s need than it was for Cain. Pulling Cain’s arm over his shoulder while he held the rest of him, Morgan dragged and carried the blind Wicked to the infirmary.

Upon arriving in the infirmary, Morgan looked to the griffin for further instruction. Even at a time like this the brunette wondered how the creature was even able to squeeze through the small opening that was the door. Listening intently to the griffin’s instructions, Morgan followed them as quickly as possible. Cutting Cain’s wrist with the griffin’s card made Morgan flinch. He couldn’t see why Cain would choose such a method to summon and send back his familiars. Watching the majestic beast vanish into the thin air, Morgan then proceeded to summon Esme the Lantern-Bearer.

With the shy girl by Cain’s side, she shed her lanterns light upon her master and his friend. Kneeling by his friends bedside Morgan was still in a rather dark mood. Focusing his attention on Esme Morgan sighed, pulling his hand through his hair. “Tell me what happened Esme. Who did this and so help me god they’ll be dead before they even know it.” His voice dripped with lethal venom. One of the best ways to test his temper was by hurting his friends and family.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Morgan Aberlard Character Portrait: Cain Van Slaeghthaus Character Portrait: Huey St. Portus Character Portrait: Gemma Morrow
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No one looked twice when the woman in black entered a cozy little cafe on the corner. She swaggered through the simple glass double doors like a whisper, her opaque aviators revealing nothing more than a distorted reflection of the world around her. The woman gave the place a once-over, frowning slightly as she scanned the various patrons sitting about. The place had more windows than walls, like most of the establishments in the area. When her gaze neared an assortment of booths at the right corner of the room, the woman did a slight double-take. At the booth closest to the kitchen exit sat a particularly tall lanky figure. Due to the positioning of the booth, the woman could only stare at the back of the figure's head. Oddly pale white hair was the only thing about the figure that was readily visible above the booth's cushioned seat tops.

A grin touched the woman's lips. Immediately, she resumed her confident gait, making her way towards the end of the room. When she reached the booth, she stepped into the seat opposite the figure. She didn't wait for an invitation, electing to speak first.

"How's it going, Gemma?"
Gemma pursed her lips. "Stein. You're late."

"Couldn't be helped," She replied nonchalantly, removing her aviators as she did. She folded them neatly into one of her many coat pockets. Her eyes were a deep shade of blue, like the sky. Her gaze itself was piercing, maybe even intimidating. "Operational hazards and all that."

Gemma sighed but didn't go on. She seemed to be waiting on some cue from the other woman before continuing. After staring at Gemma for several seconds, Stein's gaze drifted to the only other person at the table. He was some kid no older than fifteen, his hair wild and untamed. Something about him struck Stein as odd. He was slumped over the table, resting his chin on top of his hands. He could barely hold his eyes open, and deep black bags underlined them. His face was pasty and wan, with beads of sweat dotting his forehead.

Stein's frown returned. "Should I even ask why you have a kid with you?"
Gemma shot a glance at Huey, who sat idly in the booth's inner seat. "No, no you shouldn't."
Stein pressed on anyway, her earlier question rhetorical. "Don't tell me it's... yours."

Gemma threw Stein a condescending look.

She responded by bringing her face to her palm and pinching the bridge of her nose. "Well, for fuck's sake, Gemma, I've seen his face." She looked Gemma in the eyes. "Don't tell me you're gonna—"

"No," Gemma interrupted, holding out her finger in admonition. "The experimentation phase has come to an end. Huey and I have simply come to terms. Isn't that right, Huey?" Gemma put an arm around Huey and pulled him in closer.

"Cut it out, Neer," he muttered. Initially he seemed to resist, but he was too weak to actually stop her.
"See?" Gemma continued. "He's my proof of concept."
Stein seemed to perk up at those words. "You mean he has it?"
"He's wearing it." She responded, tapping the grey ring around Huey's neck. "The collar."

Up until this point, Stein had only eyed Huey as an afterthought, like some tacky wall ornament. Now, however, he had her full and undivided attention, which was even worse. He wilted under the totality of her fierce gaze, shrinking back a bit. Suddenly, an odd expression ran across her face. "Wait, is he one of those freaks?" It took her another second to add "no offense".

Gemma sighed. She definitely meant to offend.

"Well... is the collar doing the thing?"
Gemma's lips curved slightly, the beginnings of a smirk. "Yes. It is doing the thing."
"What's its power?" Stein was referring to Huey.

Gemma shot yet another glance in Huey's direction. "Let's just say my Huey here could toss you across town if he felt like it." Her words came out like a thinly-veiled threat, but Stein was not perturbed.

"A muscle-head freak, eh? And you've got it under your control? Nice. My employer is always looking for more talent. Are you selling?"

Instead of answering, Gemma reached down to her side, revealing a small silverish suitcase. Placing it on the table, she popped the lid. Resting inside was another collar nearly identical to the one Huey currently wore, though it was colored jet black instead of gunmetal gray. Gemma presented the suitcase for Stein to inspect, spinning it to face in the other woman's direction and pushing it forward all in one smooth motion.

Stein was practically salivating at the sight of the black collar. "This is it?"
"Yes."

Without warning, a waiter approached their booth, a default grin plastered on his face. "How ya'll doin'? Can I get you guys anything?"

Before he'd even finished speaking, Stein made a shooing motion her open hand, refusing to look away from the black collar. "Go away."

"Actually," Gemma started, "could you get my friend here some water please? He's not feeling too well."
The waiter nodded curtly before moving away.

Stein tore herself away from staring at the black collar to give Huey a proper once-over. He did look pretty sickly. Even had a faint black ring around his neck, like a bad tattoo. "He does look a little green around the eyes," she commented, her tone inflecting as if it were a question.

Gemma understood her point. "A glitch. It's fixed in this latest build."
Stein grunted, nodding more to herself than to Gemma. "And who's the second collar for?" She pointed to the second identical suitcase that sat untouched next to Gemma's feet. "Friends of yours?"

Gemma's tone grew a shade or two darker. "You got what you wanted, Stein. The only thing you and your CIA killers should be concerned with now is paying me my money."

"About that." Stein stood, reaching her full height. "You've done some great work for my employer over the years, Gem. And you have to understand: we're mighty appreciative." She reached into her coat pocket, placing her aviators back on her face, hiding her eyes. "If it were up to me, I would've let you walk." Gemma's expression morphed into a full-on grimace. The change in atmosphere between the two women was not lost on Huey, whose gaze oscillated back and forth between them.

Gemma's next words came out as barely more than a whisper. "Is this the part where you betray me? Again? Just like Chicago?"

Stein responded by pulling a pistol from her side pocket and aiming it at Gemma's face. "We're aware of the freak shows you have dealings with, Gemma, and we can usually overlook them. But. There's this one in particular." Stein raised her chin slightly, the light catching on her glasses. "The Wicked Ones. That's who the other collar is for, right?" Gemma remained silent. "Yeah, that's what we thought." With her her free hand, Stein pressed the lid of the suitcase closed. Careful to keep her gun levelled at Neer's face, she leaned over and picked up the second suitcase, too, stacking it atop the first. "Can't let it happen. You don't want your greatest achievement falling into the wrong hands, do you?"

"I'm pretty sure it already has."
"Oh, Gem." Stein placed her index finger on the trigger. "Don't be like that."

Suddenly, a shrill cry tore through the cafe. Stein looked over towards the source of the racket. Seemed another patron noticed Stein and her gun, and wasn't all that happy about it. With much ado, people began jumping from their seats and heading for the exits.

"Nobody move!" Stein commanded, her voice washing over the entire cafe. "I'm with the government! The good guys!" To corroborate her statement, she used her free hand to pull a badge. "Official freak business—ooff!" The table in front of Stein collided with her hips, pushing her backwards slightly. Returning her attention to Gemma, Stein's eyes widened in surprise. Huey was standing between Gemma and the barrel of her gun, which was currently pointed at his forehead.

"Don't hurt her." His voice was low, his tone icy. The resolve in his eyes was absolute. It left no room for debate.

"Huey?" Gemma began, unable to conceal the bafflement in her voice. Such an illogical maneuver on his part took her completely by surprise.

Stein leaned back and barked a laugh. "And the battered pet protects its abusive master!"
"I'm not a pet, and I'm not protecting her." He replied immediately.
"Pfft. She's just using you, dumbass. I've known her since she was a kid. She runs through people like used napkins. You're gonna die for that?"

Huey refused to back down, instead screwing his eyes shut. He knew he was powerless to stop a bullet in his current state. Still, over and over, a single thought kept rebounding throughout his mind: I must join the Wicked Ones. I must join the Wicked Ones! And Neer—Gemma was still his only hope. If she died here, he'd be lost forever.

Stein regarded Huey with obvious disdain, shrugging. "Whatever".

And then she pulled the trigger.

Which is exactly what Gemma had been waiting for. With machine-like precision, Gemma kicked the edge of the table, causing it to smash into Stein's hand, causing her to shoot at the ceiling instead of Huey's head. With lightning speed, Gemma made a grab for one of the suitcases, snatching it out of the air with her left hand while grabbing Huey by the collar with the right. By the time Stein readjusted her aim, Gemma and Huey were already bounding towards the exit.

Stein stepped out from behind the booth, the other suitcase secure underfoot. She took aim at the duo and fired off several shots in quick succession. Her first few shots missed, with the other rounds hitting an unlucky bystander.

"Oh for fuck's sake," Stein muttered, exasperated. She pressed her index and middle fingers to her ear. "Take her now!"

Huey saw it before he heard it. One moment he was running aside Neer and in the next, her body just exploded. Pieces of meat and metal flew every which direction. Huey came to a screeching halt as Gemma lost her balance and fell forward, the faint report of a sniper's rifle reaching his ears. He had but an instant to survey the damage. Neer's entire right arm had been separated from her body. Her shoulder was a jagged mess of skin and steel. Liquid the color of oil leaked from her horrid wound.

Was that blood?

Huey panicked. No way anyone could survive an injury like that! All he could think to do was kneel down and place his hands over the wound in an attempt to stem the tide.

That's when a mind-numbingly sharp pain tore its way through his right shoulder like a fire iron. He barely registered the sound of the pistol firing behind him. Reflexively, he began to turn his body towards his attacker, but Stein gave no quarter. Firing off two more shots, one grazed Huey's cheek and the other lodged itself into his abdomen. The shock from the rapid assault caused Huey to stumble backwards and fall out flat, back to the ground. Almost immediately, inky black tendrils licked at the edges of his vision, threatening his consciousness. Blood began to pool on the ground around his shoulder and waist.

While Huey was being shot at, Gemma took the opportunity to get her feet under her body and blast forward, all in the same motion. The sniper that'd set its sights on her fired again, though only hit wood as she slid across the counter separating the kitchen from the rest of the establishment and landed on the other side. Without hesitation, she placed her back flush against the protective obstacle.

"Don't run, Gemma!" Stein said, her voice conversational amidst all the patrons cowering under their tables. "You won't escape. Not us. Not here. Not this time."

Gemma remained silent.

Stein sneered. This was the part she liked the most. Casually, she made her way over to where Huey lay, wheezing, on the ground. If you didn't know any better, you'd think she was taking a stroll through the park. When she reached Huey, she looked down at him, his body, slowly bleeding out.

And then she stepped on him. His belly, specifically, where her bullet had pierced him. It had the effect she'd intended, for Huey cried out in pure agony.

"Gemma! I know you're there!" She said, speaking over Huey's screams. "You're smart, girl. You could have escaped through the kitchen and out the back exit by now, but you haven't. Why?" She stopped applying pressure to Huey's wound, allowing him to merely whimper, hands clutching at his belly. "Is it because you think you can save your pet's life?" Stein shook her head in mock disappointment, dropping her gun's magazine and reloading all within the space of a few breaths. "That's real out of character for you, Gem. Caring, I mean."

Silence.

Stein's sneer deepened. "How about this. Come out, hands up, case with the collar in it on the floor," she began, her tone still irritatingly conversational and matter-of-fact, "or I shoot him in the head."

More silence.

"Now, Gemma." Stein raised her foot, preparing to step on Huey once again, but the unmistakable echo of a door slamming shut gave her pause.

"Gemma? That you?!"

Silence.

An expression of shock registered on Stein's face, but it was quickly replaced with one of admiration. She put her foot back down on the ground, looking over the counter and into the kitchen where Gemma had just made her escape, abandoning Huey. "... Well, shit." Stein looked down at the kid, who was staring right back up at her, his countenance one of defiance. "Guess we weren't expecting that one, huh?"

And then she shot him in the head.

The cafe's back exit lead straight into an alley, which is where Gemma currently stood, clutching the suitcase that housed her work for dear life. If the loss of her right arm phased her at all, it didn't show one bit. Unfortunately for her, the alley was a dead end, and the only exit was being blocked by a heavily armed group of people, guns drawn. Gemma recognized their uniforms. They were a special operations team. A hit squad.

And they were here for her.

Internally, she kicked herself for falling right into Stein's simple little trap. She shouldn't have waited so long before making her escape. All of her genius and logic came together in an unequivocal cacophony to tell her one simple thing: she was out of options here. She could rush them, but they were ready for her. They'd take her out. She could try to flee, but they'd finish her before she made it up the side of a building. They had her dead to rights.

Gemma turned back towards the door, thinking that she'd have a better chance against Stein than her entire squad, but before she reached the door it opened, and out walked Stein, gun in hand. Gemma froze mid-step.

"Wow, Gemma. The way you used that kid as a distraction for your own failed escape. That was pretty dope, as you youngins say." She could only stare as Stein pulled the slide back on her handgun, perhaps checking to see if a bullet was chambered or to discharge a jammed shell. When she was satisfied, she released it. Her weapon reengaged with a deafening click. "You really are a heartless bitch." She aimed her weapon at Gemma's head, her finger on the trigger. Stein was a big fan of headshots. "But that's why I like you."

BANG!

All at once, the wall behind Stein exploded as if it'd been hit by a truck. Bricks and chunks of mortar rained down on the alley and its occupants. For her part, Stein swivelled on her heels to meet this new threat. Standing amidst what remained of the cafe's back wall was none other than Huey, face bruised, holding his belly like a bowl of candy liable to spill.

Without further hesitation, Stein began firing at Huey with reckless abandon. After a moment, her team followed suit. Like a beachgoer avoiding the sunlight, Huey shielded his eyes with his forearm, his other hand still cupping his belly, as he was besieged with bullets. It was immediately obvious that the slugs weren't phasing him. In fact, they seemed to be gathering around him like snowflakes, piling along the ground at his feet.

Seconds later, Stein's gun clicked. Her magazine had run out of bullets. Her compatriots had also run dry. Huey's unexpected entrance made them careless. They all began to reload at the same time.

That's when he made his move.

Running like an athlete with a broken leg, Huey bumped into the hitman closest to him. Normally such a collision would have resulted in someone of Huey's inferior size and weight falling on their butt, but the exact opposite occurred. The hitman flew backwards, smashing into his compatriots and sending them all to pile up painfully against the alley wall. Keeping with his own haggard momentum, Huey turned on Stein, who hadn't yet finished reloading her weapon.

"You monster," Stein hissed, slamming a new magazine into her pistol. "You fucking monsters make me sick." But before she could fire off another shot, Huey rammed her too, bowling her over entirely. With Stein floored, Huey turned and staggered over to where Gemma stood. She looked down at him, an unfamiliar expression adorning her face. He returned her look with one of his own, wrapping his free arm around her waist.

"Hold on Neer," he muttered, bending his knees slightly. At the same time, Stein came to her feet, gun in hand.

"Hey!" She shouted, aiming her weapon, but before she could fire off a single shot, Huey and Gemma rocketed into the air, easily clearing several stories, to land atop the roof of a nearby building. Their landing was anything but graceful, with Gemma leveraging the mechanics of her legs in order to prevent her and Huey from smashing into a nearby ventilation shaft.

"You're really heavy, Neer," Huey commented idly, wheezing, both hands applying pressure to his belly.
Gemma squinted, levelling Huey with an odd look. "That was illogical. Why did you come back for me?"

Huey grinned despite himself. "I felt it. When you grabbed me back in the caf. The collar. I heard the click. You turned it off," Huey moved his bloody hands away from his belly for a moment before returning them. "But the bullets were kinda hard to stop..."

"That wasn't my question," she said, her tone gently reproachful. "You could have run the other way."
"... Is that what you wanted me to do?"

Instead of responding, Gemma took a knee, examining Huey's shoulder. "There is an exit wound."
"I can feel it, yeah." Despite the wheezing, he seemed oddly calm.
"You're handling a hole in your shoulder pretty well. Have you been shot before?"
His grin turned into a bloody full-tooth smile. "Maybe."

With her remaining hand, she forced his hands away from his grievous abdominal wound, examining the carnage. "The bullet is still in there?"

Huey nodded. At this point, he was bleeding quite profusely. "I can feel it." Without warning, he lost his balance and slumped over, relying fully on Gemma just to remain standing. His voice became fainter as he spoke. "I can't..."

Neer analyzed him further, noting that he was experiencing some form of rapid blood loss. Using her shoulder, she shifted Huey's weight so that he was leaning against the ventilation shaft. And then, without any forewarning, she plunged her finger into his wound.

Perhaps due to his body being in shock or the sheer surprise of it all, Huey did not cry out, instead remaining motionless, his face turning pale. Not a good sign.

Having a mechanical body affords Gemma certain perks. For instance, she can hear things that others might not. She can run at highway speeds for a virtually indefinite amount of time. She can lose an arm and go on about her day. She can also use her body to perform advanced surgical procedures without the assistance of tools—her body usually is the only tool she needs.

A few moments after inserting her finger into Huey's wound, she removed it, along with the bronze remains of a bullet.

"I have the bullet," she said, more to herself than to Huey. "I've also applied a concentrated burst of heat through my fingertip to temporarily cauterize your left gastric artery. That should stop the rapid blood loss, but we must go somewhere calmer if I am to put us back together." Huey didn't respond. Without so much as a grunt of effort, Gemma, suitcase with collar still firmly in grasp, hoisted Huey off the ground, positioning her forearm under his upper hamstrings in order to support the brunt of his weight. After several seconds, Huey loosely wrapped his arms around Gemma's neck. She chalked it up to a subconscious response.

"I already destructed the lab, so we've got no choice," she muttered, bending her knees and leaning into a runner's stance. The increased pressure caused the concrete that composed the building's roof to splinter. Arrays of cracks radiated out from Gemma's feet like spider webs. "We'll drop in on dear Morgan and his merry lot a couple hours early."

**


Gemma slowed in her one-woman-olympic-marathon, decelerating from a superhuman sprint to a more realistic human jog as she approached the warehouse she knew to be the entrance to The Wicked One's base. By the time she reached the familiar warehouse entrance, she was moving at a brisk walk, like a baroness toting around a sack of jewels.

Immediately, she noticed something wasn't right. For one, the warehouse doors looked like they'd been smashed in with a plow. Poking her head inside, Gemma immediately spotted the "secret" entrance to the "secret" passway. Someone or something had barrelled through the false wall like Superman, leaving little of it standing.

So much for secret.

As she navigated the passageway to the Wicked One's home, Gemma picked up on the faint scent of blood. Blood that wasn't Huey's. Though it struck her as intriguing, she wasn't particularly worried. Things were too peaceful for a siege to have gone down. Plus, she definitely recognized the blood's scent, though attaching a name to it was proving difficult. As she walked, her mind inevitably began floating off towards the prospect of experimentation. Perhaps she could redo their entire warehouse—no, their entire entrance system—NO! The entire base! She'd give everyone mechanical eyes that could unlock the doors. Hmm. Would Morgan enjoy an upgraded set of eyes? Maybe. Eh. She'd run it by him later.

For now, she needed to ensure Huey's survival. His breathing had become shallow during their trip, and he'd long since lost consciousness. Her shirt was probably drenched in his blood by now. Still, she would put him back together again. It's what she was good at.

And he was her proof of concept, after all.

With a few more paces, Gemma and Huey stepped into the main base of the Wicked Ones.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Morgan Aberlard Character Portrait: Cain Van Slaeghthaus
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Image




In a plume of purple flames, Esme, the familiar of Love, came into the world. As she always was, Esme was clothed in a simple, white, lace dress, with white shoes and socks. She wore no other clothes, and did not appear affected by any sort of chill or heat. Though her body was that of a child, her face was timeless. She could have been six or six hundred years old. Blonde hair cascaded down her back like a waterfall of fire, stopping only once it had reached her waist, only to curl upwards for a good three inches. Unlike her master's dull, amber eyes, Esme's eyes were a vibrant blue, that shone with a knowledge and wisdom that quickly betrayed her apparent age. This was not the first time she'd been released from her card, nor would it be the last. She had certainly seen Morgan enough times to not attempt to run away from him on sight, and she'd even come to trust this particular friend of her master. Everyone else was still being tested. Especially that hooligan named Joseph and the gas-masked, walking bio-hazard named Mercy.

Fresh from her summoning, Esme knew exactly what needed to be done, even before Morgan helped her come out from her card. They shared a sort of collective consciousness, the familiars did. It was made that way so that Cain could switch between familiars on a whim and not have to tell everyone what was going on each time he changed his active familiar. Esme had learned all she needed to learn from the sarcastic cat and the noisy griffin. Immediately after she burst into reality, Esme did what she was made to do: protect and preserve. She walked swiftly over to Cain's bedside table and placed the lantern there. Having done what was needed, she sat on the floor next to him, her own small hand having found its way into her master's. Though Morgan had posed her a question, and she knew it was never good to make him wait, she was silent for a long time. Her small hands squeezed tighter, both around her master's fingers, and within the fist that was balled up tight and placed in her lap.

Despite Esme's air of confidence, she was worried, and deathly so. Her anxiety was not only for her master, but for her own sake as well, and for all of Cain's remaining familiars as well. In all his life, up till now, even when Cain had first met Morgan, never before had Cain been so wounded. Though his body was mostly intact, besides the obvious laceration on his stomach, Cain's real trauma was elsewhere. Esme sighed quietly to herself. He'd lost so many of them... The healing light of the lantern would do its work, but she didn't have enough energy to speed up the process. Cain was too damaged for her to even think of risking the attempt. If she tried to lift it over her head, Esme instinctively knew that she would disappear in a plume of purple flames, most probably forever. That being said, Cain's body was mostly on the mend. His laceration had scabbed over and was swiftly shrinking. Thanks to the light of her lantern, most wounds vanished within a few short minutes, putting Cain's life out of immediate danger. With that settled, and Morgan demanding answers, Esme did the only thing she could do. Even though it was her least favorite thing in the world to do, Esme began to speak.

"Well," Esme began. She spoke calmly, her tone of voice and measured pace belying her supernatural origins. Her voice was soft and clear, ringing out like a bell within the intimate space of the infirmary. "It happened exactly as my master predicted it would. Upon reaching our destination, and some brief scouting, master's position was betrayed. We aren't yet sure how. It could have been a shift in the wind. It could have been an errant drop of sweat. It could even have been that our enemy simply knew we were there all along. It didn't matter. Once they found us, any and all possibilities for reconnaissance vanished. It's as you feared Morgan. They're gathering at that location. They're gathering under some kind of banner there. From what Cain saw... it's like they're forming an army. We're not sure who, but someone is leading them. Aini... Aini was just the beginning, and from what we've seen, she isn't even the worst of them. We tried to flee, but they surrounded us. Cain tried his hardest but... They trapped us... Cornered us... Cain couldn't make enough room for the griffin to take off until the end, but it's worse than that..."

Though she'd been steadily gaining steam, here Esme's voice broke. A single tear rolled down her porcelain cheek. As soon as the first drop of Esme's sadness hit the ground, more soon followed and Esme began to cry like the little girl she was. As she sobbed, she could contain the news no longer, and she screamed in her frustration. "They're all gone Morgan! All of them! Only me, the cat, and the griffin are left. They destroyed all of Cain's best fighters! Even Pride... Even Ambition! One by one, in defense of their master. One by one, they all fell! Do you understand Morgan? Cain could die! We were originally pieces of him, bound in service to our master. He cut us off from himself and shaped us by hand. When... when a familiar dies... when one of us dies... it's gone forever! Ten pieces, Morgan, ten of them! Carved out from his very soul! And now? Now they're gone forever!" With that, Esme could speak no more, too saddened by what was transpiring before them. She sniffed, wiped her eyes and nose, and returned her attention to Cain. Cain who lay there so still that the only sign he was alive, was that in the grasp of Esme's tiny hands, his own were still warm.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Morgan Aberlard Character Portrait: Cain Van Slaeghthaus Character Portrait: Huey St. Portus Character Portrait: Gemma Morrow
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Morgan


The Wicked leader waited for what felt like agonizing years for Esme to answer his question. However he knew to hold his tongue upon noticing the small frail girls fingers balling up into a tight fist while the other gripped Cain's hand tight. Morgan watched Esme with thoughtful eyes. He glanced over at his old friend, an expression of worry swiftly crossing his face. He did brighten up slightly now that he saw Cain's smaller injuries heal and scab over.

Esme's clear and soft voice made Morgan jumped just the slightest and he hoped the subtle action didn't discourage the girls trust in him. She had his attention once the words poured out from her. As each word was spoken, Morgan's hold on his temper began to crack. Just like his temper, Esme's voice cracked and a tear rolled down her pale cheek.

Instinctively, Morgan reached out for her hand but he hesitated in placing it over her much smaller hands. It pained him seeing her like this, it reminded him of Mei. Finally he brought his hand over her own. Her cries of frustration made him frown and grind his teeth. "Ambition and Pride!?" As Esme continued, Morgan's frustration escalated so did the contents of her words. Once she was done speaking, the small girl sniffed and wiped her nose and eyes, becoming calm once more.

Morgan stood over Esme for a little while longer before he suddenly stood up and began to pace the room. And just as suddenly as he stood up, Morgan punched the wall, "Dammit!" Rubbing his face, he pushed his glasses up to rub his eyes making sure to keep his back to Esme and Cain as he did so. He turned around to face them again, glasses back where they should be. Walking over to Cain's bedside, Morgan sat down on the edge with a heavy but frustrated sigh.

"It's my fault isn't Esme? I'm the who sent him out there and for what for him to come back like this? Damn them all to hell." From the looks of it his anger had a lid on it but one could see it in his eyes and posture that he wasn't over it. It wasn't long after that there was something of a commotion going on within the building. With a look of guilt for having to leave Cain's side during such an ordeal, Morgan backed out of the room as if turning away would mean Cain no longer existed.

He turned to face forwards again and strode down the halls at a brisk pace. People were arguing amongst themselves and it didn't take long for Morgan to see why. They all quieted down once they noticed his presence and he quickly cleared his throat to keep it from cracking. Surrounded by four Wicked members was none other than Gemma Marrow, someone he hadn't been expecting to see considering the circumstances. "Dammit! Now isn't a good time Gemma-" It was then that he noticed the blood soaked shirt and the young man in her arms, or well arm seeing as she only had one arm at the moment. He stood there in some shock for a brief second before he finally snapped out of it.

"Shit. Let her through everyone, can't you see she's injured while carrying another injured person? Follow me." He beckoned the woman forwards and he quickly walked in the direction of the infirmary. Morgan was well aware that Gemma would be fine without medical aid for a while but the kid, probably not. Even though she probably could've gotten to the infirmary herself, Morgan needed something to do even though that something brought him back to the root of his worry.

Entering the room, he motioned towards one of the empty beds and then went to one of the medicine cabinets. He pulled out whatever looked suitable for the wounds he saw and handed some to Gemma. "I know you could probably do this yourself but as you can see I need to be useful for the moment. Besides you've only got one arm and that won't help this kid, at least I don't think." He looked over his shoulder at the oddity of a woman. Despite what was going on Morgan's voice was terrifyingly calm.

He ripped open the pack of sterilized wipes and cracked the lid off a water bottle. Making sure the kids shirt was off, Morgan quickly poured water over the wounds. It washed away some of the blood so he used the wipes to clean it up. "So what's your relationship with this kid Neer?" Referring to her street name. He noticed the collar on the kids neck and the state of his person. Even without the blood loss, Morgan was pretty sure the kid would still look like crap. "He isn't another one of your experiments is he?" As he questioned her, an older man came up behind him and placed his hand on his shoulder.

It was quite obvious that he was in charge here, at least in this room any way. "I know you want to help Morgan but I can handle it from here. And you too young lady. I'm not sure how your still standing there without that arm of yours but something tells me I shouldn't worry." Not waiting for an answer the old man, Roy, quickly took off where Morgan left off. With hesitation in his step, Morgan stepped back, running his hand through his hair and sighing.

He shuffled over to Cain's bedside and pulled out a nearby chair and plopped right on down. Looking away from everyone, Morgan rubbed his eyes again. Turning his attention to Gemma, he leaned forwards on his elbows, clasping his hands together as he did so. "Well should we be worried about that arm of yours Gemma?" He forced on a playful smile but it faltered halfway through and turned into a frown.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Morgan Aberlard Character Portrait: Cain Van Slaeghthaus Character Portrait: Huey St. Portus Character Portrait: Gemma Morrow
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Gemma strolled through the beast-shaped hole in the wall and into the home of the Wickeds, still managing to maintain her baroness swagger, even though she was missing an arm and carrying a kid. She paid no mind to the dozen or so heads that spun in her direction as she entered, their gazes icing over into steely leers.

Eyeing a nearby counter, she gently lay down the small silverish suitcase that contained the fruits of her precious research, juggling Huey's weight whilst she did so. Though she exuded an air of machine-like emotional consistency and confidence, now that she had finally arrived at her destination, she was becoming increasingly aware of the dire urgency of Huey's condition with every passing second. There seemed to be moments where he would stop breathing altogether, though if she listened intently, she could hear the faint wheeze of his diaphragm struggling to draw in the necessary oxygen.

That's when someone approached her from behind.

"What do you think you're doing here?"

Leaving the suitcase on the counter, Gemma turned, adjusting her stance so as to more comfortably support Huey's weight. Before her stood what she could only assume were one of the Wickeds. Judging by his tone and the arrogant way he carried himself, he was probably new. She certainly didn't recognize him at least. Then again, she hadn't been by in a while.

Inevitably, Gemma's gaze fell to the guy's right arm. She needed an arm right about now, and this guy seemed to have more arms than necessary.

"You're trespassing," the guy continued, puffing out his chest. "Leave, before we make you leave."

His words were like a call to action to several others in the room, most of whom stood, menacing looks on their faces. Gemma recognized none of them. Maybe she'd been gone for longer than she thought. She returned her attention to the guy standing in front of her. A Wicked. He was as tall as she was, which was... interesting. It also meant she couldn't look down at him.

"Right," her tone was so exceedingly dismissive that the guy flinched back a bit, as if from a slap. She then turned her head away from him, refusing to acknowledge his existence any longer. "You there. Girl." Gemma motioned with her chin to the Wicked closest to the hall she knew led to the inner reaches of the headquarters. The place certainly had a new look to it since the last time she'd hung around, but thankfully the inner hall was still the same homey little cut-out in the wall. "Be a dear and fetch Morgan for me, hmm?"

It was not a question. Yet, the girl didn't move. She held her ground, looking around at the others as if for confirmation. Gemma sighed bitterly, side-stepping the Wicked that stood before her and making her way towards the inner hall. "I do not have time for this impudence," she muttered to herself, her pace brisk but measured. However, before she could make it more than a few steps towards the hall, she was stopped by a hard hand on her shoulder.

"You're not getting past us." Came the guy's coarse voice from behind her. Gemma froze mid-step. "Leave, lady." She paused not because of the fingers digging into what remained of her right shoulder, but because Huey had let out a small yelp. In using his hand to arrest her momentum so suddenly, the male Wicked had caused Huey a modicum of discomfort, enough to be painful. It was something she'd been artfully avoiding by carefully pacing her steps and choosing her footfalls during her hour-long journey here, and it had all been ruined by this punk and his bravado.

Not that she didn't understand where he was coming from. He didn't know her. She was missing an arm, looked generally disheveled with dried blood running down her front side, and just appeared through a hole in the wall. Still, that was no reason to be rude.

Pivoting on her heel with all the grace of a robotic arm on an assembly line, Gemma delivered a swift kick to the Wicked's abdomen, sending him flying backwards and out through the hole from which she'd first emerged. She didn't exactly mean to kick him so hard, but she was growing tired of wasting what remained of Huey's time.

"Bring me Morgan," she commanded again, her voice cold and hard, this time directing her wish to the room at large. "Now." Gemma pursed her lips in annoyance when, instead of unilaterally obeying her, four other Wickeds decided to advance, surrounding her. She narrowed her eyes.

If she had to set Huey down for this, she'd definitely be taking a few arms today.

That's when someone cleared their throat. Gemma heard it first and so reacted first, her eyes snapping to the figure who stood hall's entrance. It was Morgan.

At the same time she recognized him, she could tell that he'd recognized her. "Dammit! Now isn't a good time Gemma—" He paused when he noticed the veteran Wicked's sad state of affairs.

"Hello to you too, my dear Morgan." She said, filling in the silence. "Now, if you wouldn't mind..." She shifted Huey's weight slightly, putting her bloody shirt and general armlessness on full display for all to see.

"Shit. Let her through everyone, can't you see she's injured while carrying another injured person? Follow me." He beckoned her forward and she followed, matching his quick pace whilst taking care not to jostle Huey's injured body. As they approached what she knew to be the infirmary in general silence, she could tell that some matter was weighing heavily on Morgan's psyche. It was rare to see him in such an... oddly unpredictable state. Something was riling him up and he seemed liable to pop off at any moment.

Interesting.

They entered the infirmary and, at Morgan's direction, Gemma lay Huey's body down as gently as possible, bending her knees and leaning over so as to become level with the bed. Huey's arms, which were interlocked around her neck, came apart easily as he'd long since lost consciousness.

Gemma nodded at Morgan's next assertion, looking down at her remaining arm. Her fingers were twitching slightly, which meant she was dangerously low on energy—so much so that she was starting to lose control over her extremities. Perhaps that sniper had done more damage than she'd initially thought. She was thankful that Morgan was here to help. It would have been annoying trying to operate on the kid by her lonesome, which is why she came here ahead of schedule in the first place.

As Morgan began sterilizing the area around Huey's belly, thick red blood oozed up out of his wound. Gemma frowned in worry, placing the back of her hand on his forehead. He was burning up.

"So what's your relationship with this kid Neer?" Morgan asked, his voice calm. "He isn't one of your experiments, is he?"

She opened her mouth to answer in the affirmative that Huey was indeed one of her experiments, but a rapid series of thoughts gave her pause. She removed her hand from Huey's forehead and stared at it. It was slightly damp with his sweat.

Why was she so worried, anyway? Why had she expended the extra energy in carrying him here? Why hadn't she just discarded him, like any other experiment that'd run its course? He's just another subject. She'd run hundreds of thousands of experiments in the past, many of them on human subject, so what made this one any different? The only other subject she ever truly cared for from more than a goal-oriented perspective was...

Gemma took a step back, looking at Morgan. The struggle evident in his bespectacled face as he cleaned Huey's wound.

"I'm not sure," she said in answer to his question. "I'm not sure what he is to me at all." The beginnings of a grin pulled at her lips. "It's quite fascinating, really."

That's when a familiar old man took the reigns, shooing Morgan and Gemma away as he went to work on repairing Huey's damaged body. Morgan hesitated before relenting, eventually taking a seat next to another occupied bed in the infirmary. Gemma walked up to stand beside him. In the bed was a Wicked she recognized all too well.

She sniffed at the air. "Ah, so that's who I smelled in the warehouse. You went and got your bloody magician injured, though his condition seems stable. Nice. I won't inquire as to what manner of trouble you two have gotten yourselves into just yet." She winked overtly before spotting Esme. "Oh. And his faith healer is here, too. A shame she can't make me a new arm, huh?"

"Well should we be worried about that arm of yours Gemma?"

Gemma smiled lightly, her legs growing tired. "The wound is slowly hemorrhaging liquids, but I'll be fine once I find a spot to set up my lab." Her mechanical stomach was incapable of "rumbling," but if it could, the roar of it would be audible for miles. "I am a tad parched, though. I would make my way towards the kitchen, but I fear you haven't potty-trained these new Wickeds of yours." She raised the back of her hand as if preparing to slap the air in front of her. "Though I'm not above doling out a few object lessons."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Morgan Aberlard Character Portrait: Cain Van Slaeghthaus Character Portrait: Huey St. Portus Character Portrait: Gemma Morrow
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Image




Pain echoed through Cain's mind, surging against his will like unending waves against a pathetically constructed levee. It came as a stampede of agony, rampaging through his body and threatening to stamp out his very existence. Cain wanted to give up. He wanted to quit holding on to life. He wanted to just let it end. It was too much for him to bear, and yet, he was alive. The pain would have broken him, if not for Esme. As soon as she had been summoned, Cain's biological life was out of immediate danger. His wounds sealed up, his flesh knitted back together, and his broken bones slowly slid back into their proper places and became whole once more. Someone was putting bandages on his body. Someone had cleaned off the blood and dirt. It was nice. With his body mostly in one piece, and with his life in the hands of his trusted friends, Cain's mind drifted from the real world, and the muffled voices he thought he heard. Surprisingly enough, Cain drifted off to sleep.

~~~

"So this is the end of the line for us, eh?"

"I ain't surprised, I mean, there were thirteen of us. Idiot musta had a death wish."

"Watch it you, that's our master you're talking about!"

"Enough, he's here."

Cain opened his eyes. He could see them. Cain's eyes were working. He looked down at himself, his eyes devouring his surroundings. The room he was in was simple enough. There were no walls, of if there were, Cain could not see them, the horizon stretching out all around him into an inky black nothingness. The floor was checkered tile, a simple black and white, but it too stretched on forever. Cain's eyes turned skyward, but it was blacker than a starless night. All around him there were pillars, holding up the nonexistent sky. The bottoms were intricately carved in white stone, but the tops were hidden in the blackness above. There were no torches, or lights, or anything, but Cain had no problem seeing anything at all. It was bright, but it was dark. Cain chuckled to himself, and turned his attention to his own body. Cain was dressed simply, some loose pants and a t-shirt, but they were almost like pajamas. Cain felt tired, but he didn't dare close his eyes. Even before he saw them he knew, Cain was surrounded.

Looking up, Cain's eyes found old friends. Most of his cards were here with him, ten of them to be precise. This must have been a dream, there was no purple fire on his hand, and he had never been strong enough to summon this many familiars at once. The Kraken and the Turtle, his Wolf Pack, the Mighty Dragon, the Twisted Shadow, Mirrored Ambition, Youthful Pride, everyone except Ches the Cat, Esme the Lantern Bearer, and the Griffin was here. "Hello old friends." Cain whispered, his voice hoarse. There was a general muttering in response. "Though I'm already quite sure, where are we?" Cain asked innocently.

The mood instantly shifted. Their eyes all avoided him, and their standing posture became furtive, even secretive. "Well?" Cain prompted, and finally, Ambition, his own reflection, answered him. "You're dead. You lost us in battle, all but three. The strain on your soul was too heavy, and you died." Instantly the pack of familiars devolved into a rioting frenzy. "Oi! Watch your tone! Why'd you go and tell him? Idiots. You little!" They bickered like children until Cain cleared his throat. "Silence, please." Instantly the roiling hoard was quiet. "I am sorry, my friends." Cain said simply. "I have failed you. I do thank you for all that you've done for me. For years of faithful service, and for putting up with my selfishness. Thank you." Sheepishly, words of acceptance were muttered. Even Ambition could do nothing but blush and look away as Cain so unabashedly did away with his own pride.

"I guess, then, that this is goodbye." Cain said simply, but Pride, who was just a little boy, stepped forward, and Cain knelt to speak with him. "That's where you're wrong, Cain." Pride corrected. "You have much to do Cain. Morgan and the rest of the Wickeds need you. We can't just let you die with our debt to you still intact." More general mutterings of agreement. "You breathed life into us, made us, and shaped us. Would would never have lived without you, so now, It's our turn to do the same for you. We have our pride as well." As the little boy spoke, one by one, Cain's familiars were swallowed up by purple plumes of flame. Finally, as Pride himself was set ablaze, he said just one last thing. "This is our gift to you, Master. You need do nothing but shut up and accept it. So... thank you. Thank you for making us, for believing in us. Now go. You are the Oracle of the Wickeds, the Wielder of the Purple Flame, the Bringer of Life, and the Black Butler. You are needed Cain. So live!"

~~~

Back in the real world, a sleeping Cain was suddenly engulfed in a brilliant blaze of purple flame. All his bandages were burned off and the scars across his eyes seemed to melt away. Esme startled. She had hidden behind Morgan once Gemma and the others all showed up, but now she curiously stepped forward. What was this? Her master's life, which had been slowly leaking away from him, had come flooding back into his body. What was this power she felt from him? Either way, it was more than enough, and she bolted, scrambling to her lantern as quickly as she could, and she lifted it well over her head, extending the lantern's golden glow to all in the infirmary. Its healing light filled the room with its warmth and all wounds within the infirmary were healed near instantaneously.

Lost tissues and limbs, of an organic nature, were instantly regrown and all lost blood replaced. "Morgan!" Esme shouted, tears of joy in her eyes. "He's coming back to us!" She rushed to Cain's side, lantern still held high, and waited with bated breath. Surely enough, within a few moments, Cain's eyes fluttered open, and he sat upright. Smiling, he placed his hand atop Esme's head, ruffling her hair. "Thank you, my dear." Esme smiled happily, wiping tears from her eyes as she set the lantern on his bedside table. She clambered into his bed, and rested her head against his chest, her arms wrapped around her beloved master. Cain simply smiled at her, and left his hand atop her head. Looking around, Cain's once dull, white eyes, which were now a faint amber, took in his surroundings with a renewed vigor until he found Morgan. Upon seeing his old friend, Cain's gentle smile took on a more pronounced warmth. "Well, it seems I was away for some time, my friend, but I have returned. I hope I haven't worried you too much."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Morgan Aberlard Character Portrait: Cain Van Slaeghthaus Character Portrait: Huey St. Portus Character Portrait: Gemma Morrow
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Morgan


"The wound is slowly hemorrhaging liquids, but I'll be fine once I find a spot to set up my lab." A wave of releief rolled over him. He was glad to an extent that he wouldn’t have to worry about Gemma as well as Cain and those who he had sent out.

"I am a tad parched, though. I would make my way towards the kitchen, but I fear you haven't potty-trained these new Wickeds of yours." Morgan laughed a bit at this although he wasn’t sure why. It could have been that her words took him away from the boy who was bleeding out on the bed behind them and Cain who was still unconscious. He pressed his chin in between his thumb and forefinger, regarding Gemma’s fear. “Should I be offended at all?”

"Though I'm not above doling out a few object lessons At this he chuckled, shaking his head a bit. “Be my guest.” waving his hand absentmindedly at the door. Then a look of realization crossed his features. “Actually no, don’t do that. I don’t want any more problems than I already have at the moment. I’ll see if I can get someone to bring in some food in here.” Morgan looked over at where Roy was still at work, the look he sent him asked whether it was alright and Roy merely shrugged his shoulders. “Looks like our medic is fine with the food part and there’s some water over in that cabinet over there.” He pointed to the very cabinet he took the medical supplies from.

Standing up, Morgan watched Roy for a moment before those golden orbs fell on his friend. “I’ll go into the kitchen, see what food I can find and bring it over. I’m sure once the kid wakes up he’ll want something to nibble on.” He walked out the door quickly so as not to miss anything important if he took too long. Arriving in the kitchen, Morgan found some fruit and a bag of chips. With snacks in hand he headed back to the infirmary. "Morgan” Esme’s voice made him jump and he broke into a run; nearly running into one of the walls from turning the corner sharply.

He burst into the infirmary quickly putting the snacks he had gotten down somewhere they wouldn’t be in the way. “What is it!?” A look of worry set deep in his brow. “He's coming back to us!" A grin spread from ear to ear. It was then that he noticed Cain’s wounds were nowhere to be seen thanks to Esme’s latern. He glanced over at where the kid lay and saw that Roy had a look of shock at seeing the boys wounds were healed completely. It seemed like he still wasn’t used to Esme’s abilities.

Morgan focused his attention back on Cain, a flutter of joy upon seeing his friends eyes flutter until they finally opened. Soon enough he was sitting upright his hand resting at the top of Esme’s head before she was in his bed hugging him. Laughing, Morgan took slow steps forwards and took a shaky descent into his chair. It was easy to tell that he was quite flabbergasted by it all, especially when those amber eyes of his settled on him. Wait amber? Eyes widened upon noticing this new development. Once again Morgan was astounded by Cain’s sudden recovery that he didn’t quite hear him speak. “Cain your eyes are the color of amber?” his voice soft, almost a whisper that only those close enough would hear.

Instinctively he reached out to Cains face but quickly set it on a new path so that it rested on his shoulder. Suddenly the hand came back up, lightly smacking the side of Cain’s head. “You amber eyed bastard you nearly had me planning your funeral with you leaving.” He chuckled lightly although maybe his joking manner wasn’t quite necessary yet. Morgan leaned back in his chair a wide grin on his face. His mouth moved silently, mouthing the words I can’t believe it to himself. Suddenly remembering Gemma and the kid Morgan almost jumped out of his chair with a new found energy however his silent rage still sparked in his eyes “Oh! You remember Gemma right? She brought over that kid over there that Roy’s with. He was practically dead, very much like yourself a little while ago until well you know, all this happened,” referring to him coming back and Esme healed everyone.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mei Kulakov Character Portrait: Mercy Character Portrait: Morgan Aberlard Character Portrait: Cain Van Slaeghthaus Character Portrait: Shadow E. Loveheart Character Portrait: Monica Crawford Character Portrait: Joe/Seph Broliny Character Portrait: Timothy Jeromeo Character Portrait: Huey St. Portus Character Portrait: Gemma Morrow Character Portrait: Mal Larson
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A Summary of Events


It had only been yesterday since the Wickeds had accepted more into their ranks. However whether they really planned to stay was up to them, the Wickeds leader, Morgan, was the kind to force others into his group. He let them stay for however long they wanted to and if they were satisfied by how life was as a Wicked then they were more than welcome to become an official member. What was supposed to be a simple investigation turned into a nasty fight with a different Other than the one they were told to look into.

The arrival of new members wasn’t the only thing that had occurred the other day, one of their veterans, Morgan’s right hand man, had returned but in the worst way possible. He had lost nearly all of his familiars but with when he was suddenly engulfed in purple fire he was alright. Esme healed him until there was nothing left to be healed. Not only was Cain healed but Gemma’s charge as well. The kid had yet to wake up but that was to be expected with his wounds. Cain was still resting after his ordeal on Morgan’s orders.

~ ~ ~ ~


A Few Weeks Later
Elsewhere


The light was so, so very bright; too bright to open your eyes all the way and most certainly too white to be considered natural. He wanted to see where he was but he felt in unsurmountable pain behind his eyes. Grinding his teeth, he decided to try squinting while looking down instead of upwards. Even this was painful but by continuously blinking he was able to get his eyes to somewhat adjust to the light. He quickly found out the reason as to why it was so bright. The walls were painted white from what little he saw of them for the majority of the room was covered by large mirrors. Just from seeing so little, his head began to throb. With all the mirrors facing each other, they created an endless illusion to the point where he couldn’t tell how big the room was.

Suddenly a figure appeared in his peripheral vision. Dark eyes darted to the figures location but in doing so he opened his eyes too wide. The most rhythmic of throbbing came about and he soon regretted ever trying to see who had entered the room. At first he had thought there was only one other person in the room but he soon realized that there was one other person. It was strange, the sound the second person made. It was as if they were sliding across the floor and he couldn’t feel their movements like he did with the other fellow. Then he realized from the occasional squeak and the final click that this person wasn’t walking, they were being pulled in what he assumed was a wheelchair.

“This is the young man I was telling you about. He was so brave as to volunteer to help us out.” The young man on the table felt a chill caress his body and he shivered at the word choice the man used. He didn’t come close to volunteering for whatever the hell this was. They just came out of nowhere as soon as he locked the door to his apartment. Hands grabbed him, pulling something heavy over his head and then tying something over his mouth to muffle his screaming. Those karate lessons proved worthless by the end of the struggle and he blacked out from being shocked heavily. The young man truly wished he could speak his mind and tell this person that he didn’t want to be there, to protest against his claim but oddly enough his mouth felt heavy and he couldn’t move it. They must have drugged him with something otherwise he would’ve ditched this whole damn place from the moment he woke up.

In response to the man’s proclamation, there was a grunt of some sort and then what sounded like whispers. Despite being so close to the pair, the young man couldn’t hear a single thing. From what he could glean from it the whispers sounded feminine but he wasn’t too sure. Suddenly cold fingers prodded his side and he jumped. Someone giggled and this time for sure they sounded like a girl. The very same hand pulled at his shirt and began to cut away at it. Clenching his teeth, the young man could feel his body tensing in utter fear. He couldn’t see a single thing of what they were doing to him other than taking his clothes off. He could hear the snip of the scissors and feel it brush against his skin. Eventually they finished and the throbbing died down to a dull ache but a bearable one. In realizing this, the young man thought of opening his eyes. Whatever drug they had given him had finally begun to wear off. He could tell since he fluttered his eyes and the light wasn’t as hurtful as it had been at the beginning.

Come on Anthony you can do this. Just look at him and burn him to hell, but he knew he’d have to wait until he was sure the guy was directly over him and the drug had worn off a little more. So Anthony waited, he waited until right after he felt the needles go into his arms and finally opened them when those hands pressed against his head to turn it a certain way. Those dark eyes snapped open, staring up at pale pink eyes with such an intensity they could burn and burn they almost did. The drug was still in his system so instead of burning his kidnapper’s eyes out Anthony began to burn the table. The pink eyed man jumped back, rubbing at his own eyes but was quick to get back up. Fishing around in his lab coats pocket, he produced a syringe and thrust it into Anthony’s arm.

Anthony yelled out and struggled until he could struggle no more against the drug. After his body had finally ceased moving and was perfectly still, save for the gentle rise and fall of his chest, the pink eyed man pulled a hand through his unruly hair. He let out a sigh and chuckled, turning his attention to the small woman who sat in the wheelchair. “I sincerely apologize for that Odette. We were sure that the drug would keep him under for another hour.” He gently laid his hand on the woman’s shoulder and began to push her chair to a location on the wall. Opening the door, he pushed her chair out into the hallway where another pair of hands took her.

The man walked back to where Anthony slept and loomed over his body. He leaned down close to his ear, his grip on the boy’s shoulders tight. “I know you probably can’t hear me but next time you embarrass me in front of my beloved Odette and I’ll skin you alive.” His words dripped with pure venom. As if Anthony heard and felt this strange man’s words, his body jerked and the man chuckled darkly before finally leaving the room himself.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mei Kulakov Character Portrait: Mercy Character Portrait: Morgan Aberlard Character Portrait: Cain Van Slaeghthaus Character Portrait: Shadow E. Loveheart Character Portrait: Monica Crawford Character Portrait: Joe/Seph Broliny Character Portrait: Timothy Jeromeo Character Portrait: Huey St. Portus Character Portrait: Gemma Morrow Character Portrait: Aleksej Kovac Character Portrait: Mal Larson
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Morgan


It would seem Aleksej only wished to say hello to the Wickeds. Morgan watched her leave the vicinity of their home. He had offered, as he did often times, for her to stay with them but her answer was the same as usual, just a simple yet sarcastic no. Briefly he thought of the new recruits they managed to scrounge up. In thinking this he laughed at himself for making it seem like they were trying to reach a quota. Which in a sense they were but not for the reasons a normal business had. The more kids, and adults, they brought in the less they were exposed to the harsh reality of being someone with such inhuman abilities. The Wickeds didn’t have to worry about two or three kids turning into an Other because they allowed for their power to consume them or they simply went to the dark side.

Now that Aleksej was nowhere in sight Morgan went back inside. He took note of the busted down door and the makeshift wall they had made when Cain’s familiar unceremoniously entered the Wickeds compound. With a heavy sigh Morgan began to wonder at the damage the griffin had caused. It wasn’t like they had a secure flow of money coming in. If they did the warehouse would definitely look a lot better than it did now. “Ah well what can you do?” he mused to himself.

~ ~ ~


It hadn’t really been very long since Aleksej’s visit but for the most part everyone was a lot more enthusiastic than normal. Maybe it was because Cain, from his bed, suggested, well more like ordered them to head back out to bring in some more recruits. While the idea appealed to Morgan, he just couldn’t find a decent location that would be good enough for them. The more isolated it was from prying eyes the better however that also meant potential recruits were less inclined to come so far.

The sound of running feet made Morgan pause. Just in time to watch a small group of kids speed down the halls. The kids reminded him of the few families that had truly made their home here amongst the Wicked. Some of the people within this building were parents but without a doubt they were all someone’s kid at one point in their lives, no matter how brief. Now that he thought about the place was getting a little bit rundown and not to mention a tad crowded. Hmm maybe we should move? For all they knew a better, more suitable home awaited them outside the city of Angels, as he liked to call it. Maybe it was time for a new start.



To be continued . . . maybe . . .