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RPG Gifts and Curses II


Vicky
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[center][img] http://img240.imageshack.us/img240/9155/giftsandcursescopydt5.png[/img]

Aries [Inward Scream]
Taurus [Sakura]
Gemini [Andrew]
Cancer [4815162342]
Leo [Ozymandius Jones]
Virgo [Malkav]
Libra [Ikillion]
Scorpius [Allamorph]
Sagittarius [Felix]
Capricornus [Vicky]
Aquarius [Doukeshi]
Pisces [Raiha]
Ophiuchus [Revelation]
Oculus Dexter
Oculus Sinister







[font=Tahoma]CONTENTS
Chapter One – Missing Pages
Chapter Two - The Hunter[/font]









CHAPTER ONE
Missing Pages[/center]










[size=1]Often when it rained so bleakly and so much, men could almost be fooled into believing it was night, when really it was midday. When it rain so much in the trenches of mud, blood and bullets, men didn’t care whether it was night or day, because they never really knew. The land was deserted now, leaving only ammunition and the dead that couldn’t be saved, savaged by barbed wire and bullet holes. The rain, bleak and misty, shrouded the field in mystery and fog. It washed blood out of the dead and mixed it with the ground, making an almost rosy colour – a dead man’s rose.

There probably wasn’t much that could stand out in that sort of scene for the moment, except, maybe, for the odd looking character who seemed like the colour in a black and white (and red) film. He was a tall, quiet man, stood out because of the colours on his clothing under the greenish trench coat and the goggles on his head that would normally conceal a set of deep blue eyes. He stood there, looking around, barely taking notice of the blood and carnage at all. His chest heaved as he sighed and he began to walk, weaving through the dead.

He had actually been here before, though not at this particular place… or as the person he was. He had actually been in World War II, on the side of Germany, which was quite fortunate for him as he couldn’t stand other countries who hide their blood-thirst behind ‘morals’ and maybe even the idea of God. No, he couldn’t stand that at all.

Having walked for some time he stopped and knelt down at the body of one cold dead soldier, drenched in mud, rain and his own blood, which so far had concealed his face. The out of place man didn’t need to know his face.

He reached down for the dog tags, smearing away a bit of mud to reveal the name. There was a sparkle in the out-of-place mans eyes; he ragged the dog tags off and let the dead man flop to the ground again.

[B]“Bring me back,”[/B] he spoke into his wrist, against a blue device that’s colour and design definitely did [i]not[/i] fit in with any world war setting. With a smile, he lifted the dog tags up to the rain and focused on them, pleased with himself as per usual.

In a matter of seconds his image began to fade away into the dusk, like nothing at all – no sci-fi effects, no transporter sounds, just fading into the scene until he wasn’t there anymore.








[CENTER][B]PRESENT DAY[/b][/center]

It felt so good to be outside and back to a semi-normal way of living. Dani, being Dani, didn’t take too long to adjust at all. He was still the same person, if not older and probably more twisted in his own little ways. He wasn’t going to believe anything the doctors said about him; they were probably wrong anyway. It had only been a month since he had been released now and he Dave seemingly took off and left after one of Dani’s harsh insults. Dani didn’t care, he didn’t need a caretaker.

Normally, when going out, Dani would put on eyeliner and other kinds of make-up to make himself seem more like a goth than he already was (which was quite sad for a grown adult). Nowadays, though, he didn’t need to at all. Instead of showing off his eyes he kept sunglasses on for the time being, until he met someone he truly liked.

Grand Central was a place he hadn’t been in a long time. It was almost in the middle of the town centre but only seemed to attract the weirdest, oddest and addicted crowds. You wouldn’t think things could be [i]illegal[/i] if you spent a night in here. Dani remembered when he turned eighteen and he would be in Grand Central every single night, which then led to many things in his life… mostly around drugs and a week-long run on speed he did often.

He sat at the back of the place with a glass of something-or-other in his hand, watching intently at the people who walked past and waiting for someone to make eye contact. There was a pretty number at the bar that had glanced back at Dani a few times, purple dreads and tattoos, a nice lip piercing and clearly tough enough to handle platform boots all night long. Every time she looked back Dani would pretend to ignore her, though when she smiled at him, he smiled back (or rather, smirked, not actually being a happy person himself).

She was too far away for Dani to use his powers, which he was definitely going to do tonight, but he was going to wait until the drinks she had caused her to visit the lady’s room… which, conveniently, Dani was sat a few tables away from.

The first time she walked past she was bathed in a blanket of red light, clashing with the purple clothing and the dazzling, back fake, purple eyes. He smiled at her, and she only flashed a smile back. Dani sat back in his chair at this point and waited.

Woman [i]did[/i] take forever in the bathroom, though Dani wasn’t obliged to wonder why. When she did walk back again, Dani reached out, not grabbing her arm, but brushing his against hers.

[B]“You should sit down,”[/b] he suggested. This, being Dani, was far more than a suggestion. Beneath the sunglasses his eyes turned a dark shade of black and grey, and the girl simply collapsed in the chair beside Dani, waving her friend off with some kind of odd statement.

[B]“Sure.”[/b] She said, half laughing.

[B]“D’you ‘ave a name?”[/B] Dani asked, still smirking.

[B]“Hmm, I don’t know,”[/B] she said with another smile, twirling a dread in her fingers, [B]“do [i]you[/i]?”[/B]

[B]“Don’t be expectin’ any odd religious name or code name, like Horus or somet’,”[/b] he scoffed, [B]“I ‘ave a surprisingly normal name.”[/B]

[B]“Horus?”[/B]

[B]“Yes, the Sun God of Egypt. And among other things.”[/B] He swirled the water in his glass around.

[B]“That’s amazing.”[/B] She said. [B]“But I’ve never heard of him… it’s interesting, though.”[/B]

No, it wasn’t, it wasn’t amazing at all, though she seemed to think so. Dani was going to play on that, he supposed. It was great fun when you had the advantage of telekinesis on your side, a dark mind to go with it. Dani leaned forward.

[B]“I know everythin’ ‘bout God and Gods. An’ it’s all the fuckin’ same, anyway. But I got this whole book an’ some stuff I know myself written about that Horus fella. Some amazin’ stuff. Some amazin’ women in his stories, too. You wanna see?”[/B] he breathed. Beneath the sunglasses the same void expression in his eyes returned, though no one else could see it or know.

[B]“Sure, I’d love to.”[/B]

Dani smirked at the glee and misplaced security in her voice. He stood up, offering his arm out.

[B]“C’mon,”[/b] he said. When she stood up she was still smaller than Dani even with the platforms on, and Dani was a short arse himself. Well, it didn’t matter at all.

Dani’s new apartment was only a quick walk away from some of the clubs in the city, which was just more to his advantage. When he opened the door to his apartment it was small, though no untidy and not unlike his old house with boxes filled with everything he owned everywhere and, as usual, his clothes piled up neatly on some chair or table. Already, after a month, Dani had splashed ink and ‘red paint’ over the walls, giving the white-washed place a slightly gruesome effect. The purple girl seemed to like it.

[B]“Stay there,”[/b] he mumbled, shifting a box off the leather couch. She did so, with a smile. [B]“I’ll show ya. You can’t not know who Horus is.”[/B]

Dani did feel quite bad… for about a second. People normally used charm and good looks to drag people home, but Dani? He didn’t need any of that. Fifty years sure did help him define his skills enough and manipulation might as well been his first name. The only people he had trouble with were those who thought beyond the reaches of human beings, or at least he powers like him… but those fucking Zodiac… no, he hadn’t seen them in years. If he recalled, Juliet was the last he would have seen. And no, he didn’t really want to think about that part of his life anymore.

He shuffled through a pile of books and notes, digging out one from the bottom that provided details of the oldest Egyptian mythology and a set of his own notes. He felt like a geek for doing this, but really, anything he did wouldn’t hinder him tonight. He could convince her a pack of noodles was a masterpiece of art.

[B]“Got it,”[/b] he said, taking a place beside her. He was about to open the book, but she stopped him with her hand, causing Dani to divert his eyes to her. She was holding a bag in his face, filled with a white-pasty substance. He titled his head, smiling.

[B]“Care to share?”[/B]

[B]“Fuckin’ whizz heads…”[/B] he laughing, shaking his head, though not denying anything.

It was a good job it wasn’t a powder, because Dani had probably burnt everything in his nose by now. He must have had at least half of what she had, and there being only a little left she gave it to Dani ([i]without[/i] Dani using any mind tricks to convince her). He thanked her with a lop-sided smirk, and asked her if she still wanted to know about the basis of most religions. She said she was still interested.

[B]“Horus was the Sun God, and he had the exact same life as Jesus. The ‘risin’’ after three days is based on the movements of the Sun in Egyptian, which rises an’ falls like a ‘crucifix’. Not so fuckin’ God-like there, is it?”[/B] he chuckled, opening the book. [B]“Look ‘ere, Horus the -”[/B]

He paused. Not briefly, for a long time. Had the girl known his name, she would have prompted him. Dani simply stared at the pages of the book, his eyes not believing what they saw. Horus the Sun God… his name had turned to Marduk, a Sumerian God. His picture had turned to Marduk, an image that clearly wasn’t Egyptian at all. Dani turned over the page, reading the same name and no mention of Horus. He looked into the contents of the book, and still, he saw no mention of Horus.

[B]“Fuck me,”[/B] He said. The girl had said something to that, probably some cheesy, quirky remark, though Dani couldn’t hear it in his own little world at the moment. He looked through his notes and saw that Horus’ name was definitely there… just not in a published book.

[B]“Well, I don’t think it matters,”[/B]

Dani was still staring at the book. Something had suddenly become very out of place in his life right now and he wanted to know what that was. The purple girl, meanwhile, had moved incredibly close to him, and she probably should have just sat on top of him.

[B]“Wait a minute…”[/B] Dani murmured.

[B]“For what?”[/B] she asked, close to is ear.

[B]“Fuck off!”[/B] he barked. She jumped back.

[B]“I was just -”[/B]

[B]“Fuck off!”[/B] he barked again, burying his head in his hands. [B]“The fuckin’ door is there! Fuck off! Get out!”[/B]

Whether she was startled or not didn’t matter. She picked herself up and ran out as fast as she could, like anyone would actually stay when Dani raised his voice at them. Whoever she was, she probably wasn’t going to see Dani again, ever, and Dani didn’t care. It wasn’t like he couldn’t find other people.

He knocked the book off his lap and sat there. He felt quite a rush he expected from the speed the girl had brought around, but he wasn’t in the mood for moving at all. In the pit of his stomach the simple removal of one word had made him mortified and feeling like something incredibly big was missing from the world. He knew he shouldn’t care – that he didn’t want to – but he really couldn’t pull himself away from it.

Shit. He really needed a cigarette.[/SIZE]















[i]OOC: For your first posts I want you to simply introduce your characters and in this chapter we're going to try and meet, but if not, concentrate on this: missing things. Only the Zodiac will notice, like something has changed that has historical value, or there's something odd that they know is wrong but can't quite put their fingers on, like missing pages to history (you can also use metaphors - be creative!)[/I]
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[COLOR="DarkOrchid"][FONT="Times New Roman"][i]The businessman clutched at his heart and dropped to his knees, right there in the alley. Eiyaga watched him out of the corner of her eye, from her vantage point at the fire escape. She was dangling one leg over the railing, the other drawn up to her chest. Tonight she hadn't healed anyone, so this probably wouldn't prove so awful. With a twist, she jumped down the two stories and landed with a mildly sickening crack as her left ankle broke.

She shrugged it off and kicked out semi randomly with it, straightening the swiftly healing bones. The man had already died, there on the floor, empty and growing cold. Blood trickled from his lips, and his eyes stared upwards at nothing. Eiyaga peered down at him with some interest, then fished in his pockets for a business card. District attorney. Definitely worth saving, theoretically anyway. She peered closer, but the name of the city wasn't printed. She shrugged casually, and replaced it in his pocket once more. Then she knelt over him, straddling him at the hips, placing her left and right hands on his shoulders. At this point Dani turned a corner and saw her.[/i]

"What's this now?"

[i]As if she hadn't noticed her watcher, she leaned forward until her lips were touching his, and her hair fell over the both of them, covering their faces. Ice began to form across every metal surface, water vapor rising from the sewers freezing into snow. Dani shivered, his breath visible in the night air. She had frosted over his rings and jewelry until it was almost uncomfortable to wear them. Eiyaga sucked in the man's pain and death into her own body, and brought him back, screaming, before he flopped to one side in blissful unconsciousness. Still kneeling over him, Eiyaga heard Dani reacting to the cold, and jerked her head up, hair flying out around her face, her lips a dark blue.

The first thing he noticed was her eye. Or rather her distinct lack of one. The other thing he noticed was that she was amazingly underdressed for the weather. Shorts, a not well fitting shirt, and combat boots for some reason. But her eye was just a ripple of scars and clotted flesh. She stood up, crossing her legs over the man's body, and made a direct line towards him, even as the pain of a heart attack wracked her body. When she spoke her voice was low, and crossed over with suppressed pain.[/i]

"Seen enough?"

"You got a cigarette?"

"Sure I do. But only if you tell me why you were watching."

[i]She flicked out a pair of cloves from the pack in her back pocket, and almost in the same movement, procured a lit zippo in her left hand. The pain had already left her, her body had already healed itself over. When he saw the black wrapped cancer sticks, Dani wrinkled his nose.[/i]

"Cloves? Don't you have anything less gay?"

"Beggars can't be choosers. Take it or leave it you fucking ungrateful bastard."

[i]She spit out the last word as if it were a curse, and he raised an eyebrow. Usually chicks were nice to him, or at least polite enough to not curse him directly to his face. But she had no fear of him. He snatched it from her hand, and she lit her own cigarette, exhaling a cloud of smoke in his direction, and slipping her zippo back into her pocket, leaving his unlit.[/i][/FONT][/COLOR]
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[FONT=Palatino Linotype][COLOR=DarkSlateBlue]Harvey found himself staring blankly at a manuscript on his laptop's screen. To the right of the laptop was a notebook, opened to a page which provided an outline for his document. He was sitting in a coffee shop near his school. Harvey's first instinct was to open up his calender and to-do lists on the computer to see exactly why he was there. As it turns out he had a study date. It was dark outside, and from the number of people walking with their hands in their pockets, he could tell they were cold. Across from him was a pink messenger bag hanging from a seat, that he recognized immediately as his friend, Alice's. Harvey looked to see her in line, ordering. [I]Smooth move Harv, [/I]he jested to himself, [I]wish I was there to see you convince her to come here with you.[/I] He looked down again at the manuscript and began skimming, they had got a lot done in his absence. He read the opening lines.

Deities played a large role in ancient Greek literature...

Harvey noticed he had a coffee cup. He picked it up and moved it to his mouth before realizing it was empty.

[B]"Damn Harvey, couldn't wait for me to get back could it?"[/B] she said coming up. Alice put a fresh cup of coffee down beside his old one and took her seat.

[B]"I forgot it was empty."[/B] Harvey said, noticing Alice's look. [B]"Like that ain't never happened to you"[/B]

[B]"Na'll, it hadn't."[/B] she replied, smiling through frost colored braces.

[B]"Moving on."[/B] Harvey said, [B]"What next?"[/B]

Harvey noticed Alice looking disappointed that he decided to get right down to business, but he didn't know what to do. After all, he hadn't really been there. Through his peripheral vision Harvey took in Alice. She was dressed real nice, almost too nice for a study session. Her hair was freshly flat-ironed, Harvey wondered if she did that for him. Caramel skin was Harvey's favorite. God knows he can make some pretty light-skinned girls. Her lip gloss glistened in the soft light of the coffee shop. Harvey wondered what they were talking about before he came back.
[B]
"Harvey you promised to tell me if I bought your cup! Why you backin' out?" [/B]Alice asked him.

[B] "What I said I was gonna tell you?"[/B] Harvey asked.

Alice rolled her eyes and came in close. [B]"What you think I should do about my problem?"[/B]

Harvey could have hit her, "Man, real talk, I think you should ask God what you need do. He knows all the answers, and he knows what's best for you. I think you're very smart and you'll make the the right decision." Harvey would have to make a mental note to kick himself later for that bullshit he fed that girl.

[B] "I guess. You're no help."[/B] she said, before digging into her bag to pull out a rather large textbook. [I]Greek Mythology, The Complete Volume[/I][U].[/U]

[I]I could say the same thing about you, bitch.[/I] [B]"So what we about to do?"[/B] Harvey asked, once again looking at the manuscript.

[B] "It might be good if we put a section in our paper about one of the stories. Like talk about how they used to use gods and stuff to explain everyday things. There's so much in this book though. We should just pick one."[/B]

[B] "Yeah, see what they got in there about Chronos. It should be under Ch-." [/B]said Harvey, loving the chance to delve into his favorite subject.

Alice began searching the index of the book, running a decorated nail down the page to find the name Harvey was talking about. [B]"It's not in here. Did you spell it right?"[/B]

[B] "It should be in there."[/B] said Harvey, grabbing the book and searched through its contents to find nothing. He then began searching madly for other evidence. Even though he knew the Titan Kronos was unrelated, he searched for him as well. He couldn't find the name. He even went to the titan section to check for the name, nothing. [B]"Hold up."[/B] he muttered as he returned to his laptop, doing an immediate web search for the name Chronos. Outside of a few screen names and static data, he found nothing.

[B] "Can we just do something else?"[/B] asked Alice, frustrated.

[B] "Sure...I guess." [/B]Harvey opened back up the manuscript and began typing...[/COLOR][/FONT]
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[SIZE=1]Felix sat in the back of the classroom, with his mp3 player playing at full volume, he watched mindlessly as Ms. Robertson, the teacher he was the student aide for, lectured about the third crusade. "[B]So kids, all you need to know is that during the third crusade, the Muslims won against the---[/B]", she was cut off from the excess noise coming from Felix's mp3 player, this agitated her. He continued to watch as if he was in a trance, then his attention averted to the teacher, she was saying something, but he couldn?t understand.

"[B]MARCUS, TURN THAT CRAP DOWN OR I WILL SEND YOU TO THE DEAN'S OFFICE.[/B]", she yelled, while The Fall Of Troy was playing in his ears, he snapped out of his trance, while all the kids laughed at him. "[B]Y'all are just laughing cos you're just jealous that you can't listen to your stuff during notes.[/B]? the students had quieted down.

Felix was wearing his normal stuff, a Quiksilver t-shirt, Adidas track pants, and DC shoes, he was well built for his age, and weight, and his hair still wasn?t black it was that abnormal golden blonde, basically, he looks like Ichigo from Bleach, but without the giant sword and kimono, but with a psp and athletic clothing.

"[B]Now where was I? Ah, yes, all you need to know is that Saladin won against the Christians during the Third Crusade.[/B]? the professor said during the lecture, upon hearing this, Felix had interjected. "[B]Wait a second, isn?t it supposed to be the other way around?[/B]", he commented, from there he walked over to one of the computer workstations and logged in. "[B]Something's not right here...[/B]" he muttered under his breath as he furiously typed away at the keypad, trying his best to prove the teacher wrong, but the more and more he looked, he came up with the same result over and over again.

The Muslims did manage to shut out the Christians from Jerusalem.

Frustrated, Felix shut down the computer, and packed his things while the bell had rung, he left the classroom to go out to his car where he would naturally see his little brother, Victor waiting, there was something also amiss here, his brother was not waiting at his car, he was being beaten up again, by some of the players of the school's football team.

Felix ran to go get his brother out of the fight, he found out that his DCs weren?t made for running, but he pushed on anyway. He finally caught up to the crowd, he tapped one of the players on the shoulder, and he was ignored, so Felix punched him in the back of the head.

Instead of getting a cry of agitation, and a pissed off linebacker's attention, the skull of his victim smashed into pieces on impact with his fist, and the linebacker fell to the ground, dead. This did manage to get the other players' attention, some tried to get some hits on Felix, but he did not flinch, when he hit back, the other players heard bones breaking and screams of pain, this cycle continued until there was only one of them left.

"[B]Would you like to join your friends?[/B]? Felix asked, the quarterback shook his head and ran off, from there Felix passed out. About five minutes passed, and he roused to see his younger brother, with a couple of bruises and cuts on his arms.

Felix got up slowly and took stock of his physical being, he felt that everything was fine, he signed to his brother if he was alright, but he was stopped in midsentence.

"[B][I]How did this happen?[/B][/I]? he thought while surveying the broken bodies of the football players, "[B]Shit. It happened, again...[/B]? he said loudly, and then he surveyed his surroundings once more, and gasped. He had begun to panic, he ran to his car, dragging his brother along, and drove away from the school as fast as he could.[/SIZE]
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[size=1][color=#8B008B][i][B]?Tis time, my dear. ?Tis time to come to realization.[/i][/B]

Juliet groaned as the voice whispered lightly into her ears. She had no intention of waking up to a hanging voice.

[B][I]Juliet my dear, ?tis time to open thine eyes.[/B][/i]

Apparently it heard her. Slowly, she opened her eyes only to see a smoothened ceiling. She sat up slowly and looked around, taking in the environment. It felt familiar to her yet distant, as if she?d been there before many years ago. She shrugged off the feeling and swung her legs to the edges of the couch, letting them touch the cold, hardwood floor. Before she could take in even more, her eyes darted to a glinting clear bottle that laid sideways on a coffee table.

Juliet leaned over and grabbed it by the neck, bringing it closer to her for better inspection. She looked over the bottle carefully, again feeling that familiarity. Even before she read the name, she knew what she was holding from the faint smell of alcohol.

[B]?Wyborowa. Polish vodka.?[/B] Juliet sighed and closed her eyes as she set the bottle back onto the table. She now knew where she was and a cold chill ran over her body. [B]?Clearly the greatest thing on Earth.?[/B]

[B][i]You remember, then? Your memory serves you well, my dear.[/B][/i]

Of course she remembered. It was the first time she had dropped her guard in many years. Juliet pulled her legs up onto the couch and hugged them, laying her head on her knees. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath in, taking in the Polish vodka...and smoke and a hint of muskiness. She couldn?t help but smile just a bit.

[B][i]Remembrance of old days, is it not?[/B][/i] Juliet was about to respond but she was cut off. [B][i]But sadly, my dear, something terrible runs in your world. Stories are fading, my dear. Change is a beast that devours everything in its path, causing endless things to fade, to disappear.[/B][/i]

Where the bottle of Wyborowa was, an open old rusty book took its place. Juliet put her feet down and leaned over to read the contents but the book shut itself. On the front cover were the twelve Zodiac signs arranged in circle with the mysterious thirteenth in the middle. Juliet knew her dreams were prophetic but to her, this clearly meant something else. The book wasn?t subliminal; it was a clear and defined message that only she and twelve others would understand.

[B][i]Alas not, Juliet dear. Three of the thirteen only have understanding. The others all have not been weaned of their powers; they know not what dreams mean. But there is not time to explain. ?Tis time to wake up now, Juliet. Wake up...[/B][/i]

Juliet?s eyes were sinking deeper and deeper into sleep, she tried to fight it but something was pulling her to slumber. She was powerless against it and the hanging voice was fading but the words were being echoed...

[center]+ + + + +[/center]

[B]?Umma, wake up. Umma. Wake up!?[/B]

Juliet opened her eyes abruptly to find her son hanging above her with a concerned look. Her son stood straight outside of the open door and allowed his mother to get out. She cleared her throat and swung her purse over her shoulders. She smiled to her son and patted him on his chest as he covered the both of them under an umbrella. She breathed in deeply as the two walked towards a grey building in the rain, passing by a large metallic sign with the words ?Harlem Academy? engraved on it.[/color]


[B]OOC:[/B] Heh, those from G&C 1 should know what Harlem Academy?s all about. I thought I?d put it in here just for old time?s sake. =P[/size]
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[size=1][B]Where the fuck did this rain come from?[/B] Andras cursed to himself as the horrid humidity in the air mixed with the pouring rain as if unleashed by an angry God. Andras was not in the slightest a religious man but that?s irrelevant right now, all he wanted was to get out of the rain and dig into some tasty food.

As if by divine intervention, Andras? ever watchful eyes happened across a neon sign indicating that the door below it led to ?Bruce?s Bar & Grill?.

[B]?Well, I?ll be a son-of-a-fuck! I?m fuckin? starving!?[/B]

As he entered the entrance hallway (where there appeared to be no-one around) Andras flared some of his energy out in all directions to at least partially dry his clothes. A most useful and novel way to use his powers if ever he did think so. Rubbing a mildly wet hand through his quickly drying mane Andras stepped over the threshold in ?Bruce?s? domain.

The place was a little more up market than the shitty bar from the previous night, it actually served food! And steak no less! Andras was most pleased as he sauntered up to the bar and demanded the largest mixed grill on the menu and a nicely chilled pint. It had, after all, been several days since his last meal. Even Andras? stomach at this point required a fair meal.

The fairly large gathering of people that had descended on this place tonight seemed a decent bunch, certainly no crazy biker-thugs in this bar. Still, Andras had a weird tingle down his spine, as if something in the building definitely wasn?t right.

Andras stalked over to a brightly lit corner where there sat a fairly new jukebox and some kind of pub-game machine. Andras studied the jukebox closely and discovered it was connected to the internet and allowed for the downloading of almost any music.

With an excited smirk, Andras pumped the machine full of coins and selected enough Metallica songs to last the night. Although at this point they were a fairly aged band, even by old men?s standards, Andras still enjoyed their music like the air he breathed.

Retiring to a nearby table to await his food Andras nursed his drink slowly, savouring the sweet flavour and soft numbing of his senses it brought on.

Andras felt a weird distortion in the air, his spurs seemed to spin a little of their own accord and the weight from his guns seemed to feel somewhat different.

As he continued to ponder the weird static in the air a small group of men led by a woman came marching out of a private room in the back and seemed to question a family sitting near the jukebox. Completely oblivious to their actions, Andras continued to tease the liquid from his glass as the group turned their marching assault in his direction.[/size]
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[SIZE="1"][COLOR="DarkRed"]It seemed like yesterday that they had been in Hawaii in the humidity and the rain, Charles reflected, sitting on a stool in a pub somewhere on the coast of Wales. It had to have been two or three weeks now, but time seemed to change lately, everything seeming to merge together, and time was passing far too quickly.

They’d left because the rain was getting to Ana, making his head hurt, sending him into strange fits of insanity at inconvenient times, like – for instance – the most recent; back in Hawaii, where he’d had to come to the younger man’s job and talk him out of the back freezers for his boss…

Anakoni hadn’t been [i]fired[/i], per say, but his boss had implied that perhaps he should find a job somewhere [i]else[/i], somewhere [i]not here[/i]. Ana had, apparently, agreed.

Charles felt his lip curl. How had everything in his life turned to revolve around the crazy bastard? He’d never been a protector – wasn’t planning on becoming one, ever – but the young man brought out the alien, warmer instincts from his soul. He wasn't used to it. He took a gulp of his mug of beer, staring out the window.

[i]Wales. Why Wales? [/i]

The sultry, old-fashioned jazz voice of Debbie Harry purred through the pub, teasing his ears behind the typical noisy babble of the other patrons. Something seemed off, today. There seemed to be a tension in the air, one he hadn’t felt in a very long time, but no one seemed to notice it other than him.

He sighed, setting his mug down and looked at the steak on his plate. He wasn’t that hungry, and everything was [i]wrong[/i]; why didn’t anyone else see it? He just couldn’t put his finger on it. He looked at the knife and fork, and strapped his gloves back on. No use melting through the silverware, yea?

He had just picked up his knife when something seemed to flash in the corner of his vision, events that he hadn’t thought of in years coming back to mind; the sinister man who had him wrapped around his finger, Dani and his soulless eyes; Juliet and her snakes…

And the little girl he’d…they’d…

Charles growled, ignoring the strange look from the fellow down the bar from him, picked up his fork from where he dropped it, and began sawing into the steak, viscously.

The knife had made him think; he still had the knife Quan had given him, but he hadn’t thought of those events in [i]years[/i]. he didn’t want to think about back then. [i]Ever[/i]. Being [i]used[/i] like that, having to work with – [i]live[/i] with – Dani; the jail trips, the killing…

He was halfway through the steak when something clicked in his head. One of those in the jail, fifty years ago…there had been a young man – more a boy - that Dani had tried to manipulate into getting the keys; he’d shown up more than once in the events that followed…he’d been a quiet kid, but he had the same confused, dark eyes…the same strange, lost-puppy look as Ana when the younger woke up from his nightmares…

Charles didn’t finish. He paid and left, making it back to the old, dilapidated house they shared before his mind finally processed when had seemed so wrong in the bar.

[i]Since when has Debbie Harry been jazz?[/i][/COLOR][/SIZE]
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[SIZE="1"][COLOR="Teal"]Anakoni didn?t like the pub in Aberystwyth that Charles seemed to favor for his evening meal. It was too dank; too dim; smoke filled, and hazy from it. He swore that when he exited the place his lungs had gained an inch of ash just from breathing in the air and he couldn?t breath right for the next couple of hours. [i]And[/i] his eyes felt all itchy and swollen.

When Charles veered off towards the pub right on schedule as the two walked into town in the afternoon Anakoni veered off as well, but he didn?t head towards the pub. He was going somewhere else. Somewhere that wasn?t filled with filthy smoke ? Charles could find him later. Quietly for once he wandered the streets, his light humming the only sound he made as he followed the familiar streets.

Charles had asked ?why Wales?? when they had left Hawaii, but Anakoni had only shrugged as if he didn?t know. Though, in a moment of lucidity, he?d figured that Charles knew why Wales when they?d arrived and not had to go in search of a place to live, an old house on the outskirts of town ready for occupants already. And Anakoni had the key, imagine that!

His hands were chilly when he finally looked up to see where he had wound up ? where his feet had taken him. Another shiver ran up his spine and he backed up from the ticket gate for the cliff railway, memories flooding him. He could feel remembrances like waves, lapping at the edge of his mind then receding, only to return stronger. They battered at him, trying to force him to remember what he couldn?t have again.

[i]Of course; lovely; delightful... I wind up here. I haven?t been here in years.[/i]

They were good, but sad, memories ? painful and sweet at the same time; melancholic.

[i]?not thinking on it anymore, right. Too much for now.[/i]

Anakoni turned his back, ignoring the warm golden light that spilled from the window of the ticket booth and took off through the streets until he came to the pub. He stood in the doorway as Debbie Harry?s voice slid out like silk from the pub and considered going in as he scanned the room for Charles. As he found him he discarded that idea, intimidated by the contemplative face that at the same time seemed angered. Quickly he backed back out into the damp that was crawling up from the beach, feeling the first few drops of rain dropping down onto his upturned face.

Flashes and spikes of others? lives passed in front of his eyes as he changed his direction, heading back to the house, pulling his light jacket tight around himself even though the gesture was futile. Before he reached the house, Anakoni was soaked and his hair was plastered in dark strands against his chilled forehead and cheeks. Water dripped from his nose; his lips; his chin.

As he fumbled with pushing his key into the lock he saw flashes of Charles; a large house; another man with a dark air about him. A woman who for reasons unknown reminded him terribly of snakes; fangs, poison and the terrible cloyingly sweet, decaying stink of death. That was terrible enough for him, but Murphy seemed to be hating on him and the next thing he saw was this house and his father.

The keys fell to the concrete of the porch as Anakoni stomped down savagely on the puddle that covered the porch with blatant disregard to the keys. Light flashed briefly as the keys slid into the bushes, but Anakoni paid little attention, focused solely on his goal.

Eliminate the puddle; shatter it. Stop the images.

As the young man continued to spread the water from the puddle in every direction, the rain stopped as quickly as it had started. Freak showers.[/COLOR][/SIZE]
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[size=1]Dani knew something interesting when he saw it, and enough years had passed to dictate that if it was ‘interesting’ it was probably fucked up and had something to do with stars and silly pseudo-god human beings. He took the cigarette, after being told he was a beggar and he couldn’t be a chooser, but he couldn’t shake the curiosity and sense of familiarity of this one person. And he didn’t have a light yet, so he might as well stick around.

He peered cautiously at the man lay limp to the side of them, not actually sure what to think of that. He hoped, to the love of fucking god, those damn pseudo-gods didn’t appear again; he didn’t want another Charles on his hands.

[B]“Would it be ‘right if a beggar asks fer a light? That to much for you, love?”[/B] he asked with more than a hint of sarcasm.

He was either expecting her to comment him back with something sinister or give him a light, but she did neither. She took a long drag on the cigarette and blew the smoke into Dani’s face. Dani blew the smoke away with a sigh.

[B]“Suit yerself.”[/B] He shrugged and leaned forward in the smoke, taking a hold of her wrist so she didn’t move the cigarette away and he could light it himself.

He still wasn’t sure what that feeling of familiarity was, only that it seemed to be stronger now he was close to her face. He stopped, for a moment, and searched his mind for any quick answer. The cigarette lit itself off hers and he pulled back, a little, though still only inches from her face. She blew another cloud of smoke at Dani, who blinked until it dispersed and he could see her eye.

[B]“Fuck!”[/B] He had pulled himself back quickly and quite too fast, dropping his cigarette on the floor as he did. [B]“Aah… fuck.”[/B]

Dani shook his head and rubbed his temple while Eiyaga, still in a much calmer state than Dani, reached down for his cigarette and picked it up. She took a drag on his, despite having her own, and offered it back to him.

[B]“You should be more careful.”[/B] She said, smirking slightly.

[B]“I should.”[/B] He agreed, narrowing his eyes slightly. [B]“So long as ya don’t pull any of that shit on me.”[/B] He jerked his head to the man lay to the side of them, but she only smirked and laughed slightly.

[B]“Oh, I wouldn’t worry…”[/B]

He titled his head suspiciously and reached out for the cigarette, her hand brushing against his rings slightly as he did so. He snatched the cigarette back as the touch, fully aware of why it was familiar now and definitely [i]not[/i] staying around.

[B]“Fuckit.”[/B] He let go of the cigarette and stepped on it before he was out of the alleyway without another word or thought from Eiyaga or himself.

Dani was a fast walker when the situation called for a fast escape. He weaved through streets and roads he didn’t normally go near on the way home to stop anyone following him and, when reaching his own apartment, he closed the door and leaned against it, his eyes eating up the ceiling in thought.

The sense of familiarity was all due to her eye. Dani had no problem convincing himself now that, whoever they were (he really should get their names), they definitely had the silly little Zodiac story to their name.

He banged his head against the door in a grunt.[/SIZE]
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[COLOR="DarkOrchid"][FONT="Times New Roman"][i]Eiyaga Meya wasn't unused to people recoiling to her presence, much less first hand watching of her ...gift. But who cares? She was still interested of course. He smelled different from the average human, and he didn't act the same. He didn't have the same smell of death hovering over him. Most humans either clung to her, or were repulsed by her. This dark gothy creature was an unknown quantity to her. And as such, she was curious. So she tailed him carefully, loosing track of him once he entered an apartment complex. Eiyaga entered slowly, stepping quietly to the point where she could hardly be heard.

But the first thing she smelled was death. A vicious murderer had already escaped the complex, the blood tracks led away towards a back exit of some kind. So she followed her nose. It was cloying, sickly sweet, like a perfume gone bad. And Eiyaga could follow it like a bloodhound. The door was ajar, so she quietly slipped inside and found the living room a gruesome scene. A dead woman, obviously pregnant, with her stomach slashed open and blood seeping down the walls. It was like a scene from Amityville Horror.[/i]

"You poor girl."

[i]She entered the room very slowly, kneeling in the pools of blood, letting the dead girl's head rest in her lap. Eiyaga leaned down and kissed the girl's lips, letting the cold enter her own body, feeling out with her thoughts. First the unborn child, then the woman herself. Multiple slashes and head wounds appeared all over Eiyaga's body, and blood began to run down her cheeks. Gasping and reeling with the agony, Eiyaga jerked herself away as quickly as she could, letting the newly returned girl shudder and shiver in the new cold. Frost had iced over the windows, and Eiyaga knew from experience that every building in the immediate vicinity was now ten degrees colder.[/i]

"Why did it have to be a pregnant girl..."

[i]Stumbling down the hall, leaving tracks of blood from her boots, she opened the door nearest to her and pulled it open with some difficulty. The murdered girl's wrists had been slashed. Leaving it open, she found the bathroom, staggering slightly, and turned on the hot water. Eiyaga began pulling off her clothes as quickly as was possible, but the cuts in her skin were burning like crazy and making it hard for her to move. Soon enough they were off, and she was standing under a waterfall of steam and agony.

In the bedroom, Dani's eyes snapped open. He heard the shower, and tried to raise his hand from his cheek, but one of his rings had frozen against it.[/i]

"What ...the...fuck?"

[i]He opened the bathroom door from his room and blinked several times. The curtains were smeared with blood, and bloody clothes littered the floor, with boots tossed up against the sink. Cautiously, he pulled aside the shower curtain and found himself staring into Eiyaga's face. Barely healed slashes and lacerations covered her naked body, and the first impression he got was the illusion of a girl crying blood. Only it wasn't an illusion. Eiyaga's face was streaked with red, some from her forehead and some trickling down from the corners of her eyes. When she spoke her voice sounded a shade deeper and thicker than he remembered.[/i]

"I thought I smelled you here... Sorry I got blood everywhere."

"Where...the hell did it all come from?"

"Next door's murder victim. I healed her, but it was a little messy. And you forgot to lock your front door."

"Well shit. What was it, a chainsaw massacre?"

"Just a simple hacky slashy maim-a-thon. With an infanticide as a bonus. So I might look like a spectre of death for awhile."

[i]With that matter of fact statement, she turned her face back towards the stream of water and lathered up her face with his soap, totally unconcerned about the stream of dull pink water washing down the drain.[/i][/FONT][/COLOR]
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[SIZE="1"][COLOR="DarkRed"]First thing Charles noticed was Anakoni stomping on the porch. [I]Ah, no, not again,[/i] passed through his mind; but he was too busy tearing past to really pay attention, digging keys from his pocket, grabbing Anakoni's arm and dragging him into the house, kicking the door shut when it tried to stick open behind them.

"Ana, listen; you, you, your dad, y'never mentioned him to me."

Ana didn't really resist when Charles shoved him towards the couch in his charge for the closet where he'd kept his CDs, hands shaking from twin realizations, mind running through both at an insane speed. He grabbed the box that held them, dragged it out and dumped them on the floor.

"He, ah, dark hair, dark eyes, did crazy things 'round water?"

Ana flinched at the word "water" alone, and Charles ground his teeth on his next question, digging through the pile of CDs, sorting out those that struck his eye at random; Billy Idol, Blondie, Ramones, Talking Heads, Sex Pistols, The Clash...

Everything was digital these days - he didn't really even have anything to play these in other than the ancient six-in-one player collecting dust in the corner - but he'd kept the discs for old times sake; an answer to the generation before him and their rabid protection of their LPs.

"Moses." The name came to him when he grabbed the Clash disc, shoving it into the player roughly. "Moses....some name I can't even begin t'pronounce...."

Ana had never mentioned his father. He'd just shown up, silent, neurotic, erratic and lost, on Charles' doorstep, without so much as a how-do-you-do; no explanation, no ID, just...[I]there[/I], and there to stay.

Ana still hadn't answered when Charles turned up the volume, scanned to [i]Rudie Can't Fail[/i]...

And sat back on his heels, feeling that tiny little crack in his reality that had set in at the pub widen enough to swallow his world. Joe Strummer was singing [I]swing[/I]. The words? Yeah, sure, the words were the same - [i]"We reply, wow we get a-rude and a-reckless, we been seen lookin' cool an' a-speckless, we been drinking brew for breakfast - so Rudie can't fail..."[/i] But the style was changed - he could've seen Frank Sinatra singing it.

[I]Sinatra...[/I]

On impulse, he dug out one of the CDs one of his friends - one of the group long, long gone - had burned, ejecting the not-right Clash and sticking the new one it, cycling through until he found the Sinatra stuck on as a prank.

The speakers, subsequently, blared out a wall of noise with barely distinguishable vocals through the aggressive snarl of the guitar.[I] "Fly me to the moon, let me play among the stars, let me see what spring is like on a-Jupiter and Mars..."[/I]

he had to turn it off. It was just too [I]not right[/I].

He went through all the CDs in rapid succession. Sex Pistols? Reggae. Talking Heads? County. Blondie was Jazz, just as the Debbie Harry at the bar had implied. The Idol CD played nothing but static, spitting and fizzling before the player flashed "error" and ejected the disc.

Charles just sat there and stared at the discs, finishing his questioning without looking at Ana, mind still trying to figure out the music.

"He was your da', yea? What...what happened to him?"

[I]And is this related to that?[/I][/COLOR][/SIZE]
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[COLOR="Teal"][SIZE="1"]Dark eyes blinked as a grip like iron grasped his arm, but he didn?t pull back. He in fact nearly breathed a sigh of relief as the door was kicked shut, the rain covered ground becoming hidden from view as wood hit wood with a thud. Anakoni briefly considered smiling, but didn?t, letting Charles continue to pull him through the house as he talked. He was asking him to listen ? so he tried to.

[COLOR="Black"][b]"Ana, listen; you, you, your dad, y'never mentioned him to me."[/b][/COLOR]

Oh. He had to ask about his dad; Brilliant. Of course he hadn?t mentioned him to him. He hadn?t really had a reason to. If Charles had recognized him as some sort of relation to Moses earlier, of course he would have mentioned his dad to him. But he hadn?t, so Anakoni didn?t; simple really ? in his mind.

Besides that, he thought as Charles pushed him at the couch and he sat down obediently, he didn?t really think about his father that often. Or hadn?t. In this house, though, it was hard. He turned his eyes to where Charles was sitting on the floor now, jewel-cases scattered on the floor around him. The first time Ana had found them and slung one across the room to see if it glided Charles had sulked ? yes sulked ? for days. Muttering how Anakoni should respect his property ? The Ramones were [i]not[/i] Frisbee material.

Now, though, he didn?t seem to be paying much attention to their safety as he rooted around through them, searching for a specific one apparently as he continue talking to Ana, not looking up at him.

[COLOR="Black"][b]"He, ah, dark hair, dark eyes, did crazy things 'round water?"[/b][/COLOR]

Anakoni flinched at that last word, if possible his dark eyes ? an inheritance from his mother [i]and[/i] father ? grew darker. Water was a curse. You could barely do anything without seeing water somewhere; lakes, seas, oceans, puddles in the road, puddles on the porch?

And yet?he was strangely drawn to it. He was always living by it even though he never dared go near the larger bodies of water now. He turned to look out the window at the remains of the sunset, in the direction he knew the Irish Sea was in.

[COLOR="Black"][b]"Moses."[/b][/COLOR]

Yes. That had been his dad?s name. Though Anakoni had only ever called him Papa, even into his twenties. It was something his mother had taught him to call his dad, and it had always?stuck. And now here Charles was, sorting through CDs and asking him questions. He wondered if the sudden questions had to do with the weird feeling in the air. The visions in the water that were growing more freakish. The man and woman he?d seen not twenty minutes ago.

[COLOR="Black"][b]"Moses....some name I can't even begin t'pronounce...."[/b][/COLOR]

He could pronounce their last name fine. He did so, under his breath, quietly. Ole?me?hua. He?d gone to visit people of that name the first time he went to Hawaii ? he?d been curious to see if they?d been related to his father. New his fathers parents?? They hadn?t. Said they hadn?t, anyhow. Didn?t mean they were telling the truth.

Anakoni pushed the thoughts from his head, quietly watched as Charles turned the volume up on some song or another. He?d listened to a few ? he?d liked the style. Charles had said it was punk; Anakoni didn?t listen to much punk. He leaned forward, towards Charles and the music, expecting the loud, life-filled music.

What came out of speakers wasn?t what he?d heard the couple of times Charles had played the music loud enough that Anakoni could hear it from his room. It sounded more like something his dad would listen to every now and then when his mom and dad were having dinner. Horns ands base and drums ? like something out of ?Singing In the Rain,? his mom?s favorite movie. Swing!

It seemed to distress Charles. Now something else was going into the CD player, the first disc discarded like something hot. Which didn?t make sense ? Charles didn?t need to worry about hot things. But?whatever. He turned his attention to what was now playing and covered his ears quickly, frowning. Okay, that was unpleasant. No more of that, thank you very much. He [i]would[/i] go to the moon if the noise didn?t stop.

He kept his ears covered until the noise had stopped. It stopped quicker than the first CD had. Now another CD was being pushed into the player. Anakoni watched the CD player with dark eyes, waiting for another un-Charles? like genre of music to blare out. He wasn?t disappointed. He heard reggae, country and jazz before the last disc produced nothing but sullen, spitting static. Poor Charles? CDs.

Poor [i]Charles[/i]. He was sitting staring at his discs with calculating gaze. Ana got to his feet and headed for the hall, but stopped as Charles asked him one last question without looking up.

[COLOR="Black"][b]"He was your da', yea? What...what happened to him?"[/b][/COLOR]

[i]Verdomme et. Not that question. No. No no no. Not fair.[/i]

[B]?Offed himself, didn?t he??[/B] Anakoni rested his hand on the doorframe, narrow shoulders tensed and knuckles white as he gripped the wood. [B]?Right in this house. Down the hall, even. Imagine!?[/B] ?he needed to stop before he wound up with missing chunks of memory again thanks to a fit. He could feel one growing in his stomach. The back of his head. Somehow he couldn?t though. He continued, not looking back at the blonde sitting on the floor amongst the jewel cases.

[B]?S?why I don?t let you use that bathroom. I don?t either. Too much.?[/B] He looked over his shoulder at last, features tight and drawn. [B]?Think he has a ghost, like? Wouldn?t look too bad,?[/B] The irrational part of his mind locked the rational part away and hid the key with a malicious chuckle. [B]?Just?lifelike, almost. He let himself drown, right? Found him. Went in there the mornin? after my screw up a ? ?[/B] he shook his head, he wasn?t going to talk about the almost engagement. [B]?Went in there ?cause I needed t? shave an??there he was!?[/B]

There he had been?

Anakoni hadn?t wanted to reach into the tub but he had anyhow, fingers finding the spot on his father?s throat where his pulse should have been in the frigid water even as he avoided focusing on the water itself. There was no tha-thump of a heart beneath his fingers, so he had looked down again long enough to find his wrist and tried there. Again to no avail. No tha-thump.

[B]?Dead. And me gettin? to see things since the night before when he must have done it. Has me wondering, now. It does, it does? Like??[/B] He frowned at Charles, head tipping to the side as he moved back across the floor, resting his own frigid hand against the fever-hot skin of Charles? forearm. He was always this hot, and he didn?t figure the other man had a fever in all honestly.

[B]?Does me seein? things and m? Papa?s death have anything to do with why you?re so hot no matter the temperature, and this?woman I?ve been seeing with snakes, and a man who feels like ink??[/B][/SIZE][/COLOR]
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[COLOR=#001824][SIZE="1"][FONT="Trebuchet MS"]The light pitter patter of the rain helped ease the tension that Nam had welling up inside his gut. Let alone the rain which gave him chills down his spine (or perhaps that was just the cold now that he thought about it once again), but the seemingly trance like state he had just woke his mother from did make him think for a bit. It would be a lie to say he wasn’t thinking of it. Best to let bygones be bygones though, who would know what kind of unpleasant memories reminding her of the past could bring up, although that still didn’t fully explain just why they were here.
[B]
“Oh yes that reminds me, just why did you want to go to the Museum today anyways?”[/B] He paused as the rain seemed to only intensify with his every word. [B]“It is not like these are the most ideal conditions to be out in.”[/B]

Juliet’s face hardly moved, no, she didn’t even bother to turn her face away from the ground in front of her. At first Nam though she may have lost herself as she had before, yet she turned with that same smile that felt as if thousands upon thousands of sharpened blades were being skewered thought his body. Normally most would have been frightened at such a scene, but, call it experience, but Nam had come to expect this [I]“warm” [/I]embrace.[B] “Call it hunch if you want to or not, I just need to check on a few things, that’s all.”[/B]

Slightly puzzled, he turned his head away from his mother it would take an idiot to not feel something was different, something felt different. Either she was hiding the truth, or there really was more going on than he could realize at the moment. [B]“If you only had a paranoid fear, why did you have me come along with you?”[/B]

She laughed; the sound of her laughing only seemed to come once in a blue moon now a days, so it would be a lie to say he didn’t enjoy her small fit of laughter. [B]“I guess you could say that, but then, weren’t you the one who asked to come with me?”[/B]

He huffed in response and was quiet for the rest of the walk to the academy, be it because of his own misjudgment or his mother’s quirky response. They finally reached the door of the building with only the sound of the drizzling rain to accompany them. For what its worth the Museum itself wasn’t at all that different to what it was before the Hans had rebuilt it. An expansive and detailed starry sky covered the roof in a nearly exact intimidation of the real night sky. Articulate and detailed sculptures lined the seemingly endless halls of the building as portraits and mobiles hung from the walls and ceiling.

[B]“Everything seems fine at least to me.” [/B]The building was as deserted as, well a desert. So needless to say, the building was initially dark and as cold as the cold rain filled air that surrounded it. While Nam took in how different the place seemed to look with little lighting and the pitter patter of rain, Juliet simple wondered off into the twisting halls of the darkened building. [B]“This place would be a horrible nightmare to get lost in while like this…”[/B]

It was then that he had noticed, or rather saw, the silhouette of his mother round the corner, not one to be left behind (or in the dark for that matter), he quickly caught up and rounded the corner, only to be met with a darkened hallway with not even a single person there. There was no way she could have moved that fast, or so he thought.
[B]
“What the shit…?”[/B][/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR]
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[size=1][color=#8B008B]Everything in the Harlem Academy seemed to stand still, as if time had touched the gentle ripples hidden in the museum. It felt terribly quiet compared to the usual amazement the museum held, yet it comforted her. Juliet found a silent likeness to the quietness and heavy drizzling that dropped. It was calm and it gave her a sense of dark tranquility.

[B]“This place would be a horrible nightmare to get lost in while like this...”[/B] Her son said, disrupting her thoughts. Juliet smirked and made her way into the museum.

It wasn’t how Juliet thought of it, but it reminded her of someone from her past. He was a gruff man who was gentle in his own strange way. She remembered he was dark with a pale light about him, similar to the atmosphere inside the museum.

[i]‘Surely this isn’t your way of saying hello.’[/i]

Juliet shook her head gently with a chuckle and continued through the maze of glass cases and hanging mobiles. Something within the museum was calling to her, screaming its pain into her ears. She didn’t understand it herself but for the past forty years, things spoke to her. She could hear the voices of objects and listen to them speak of stories not written in books, adventures not told. At first she quickly assumed she was nearing insanity and that the long hours she spent in the museum was getting to her, but the voices convinced her otherwise. They soon spoke with emotion and soon they became alive.

Despite the lack of emotions, worry crept into Juliet’s mind. She stepped into the shadows and let them carry her down the hallway and around the corner. She called to them and screamed for them to hold on as she hurried up the staircase, shadow-stepping from floor to floor until she arrived at the fourth floor. This floor was closed off to visitors and most employees. Juliet took a step forward and held her hand out to open the door, but found herself staring at the double doors intensely. The screams hadn’t stopped but she couldn’t bring herself to open the doors. She couldn’t bring herself to turn the handle that her hand held nor look towards the elevator that spit out her son.

The woman stood there, paralyzed from head-to-toe. She wanted to move her hands but they wouldn’t. She wanted to move her feet but they were planted firm. Sweat dropped from her temples as she strained to move.

[i]‘For god’s sake, move you good-for-nothing hand!’[/i]

As if on cue, Juliet’s hand turned the handle and she ran in, or rather stumbled quickly. Nam ran in behind her and watched her move with amazing speed to the back. Unbeknownst to him, Juliet used the shadows to get to where she needed to be. In front of her was a large metallic door that was commonly used for safes. With the use of her powers, she unlocked the heavy door and slipped in.

The screams felt agonizing. They cried in horrible pain, as if they were dying in blazing fire. She closed her eyes and held her head in her hands, her thumbs resting on her cheeks. She fell to her knees and felt something ache inside of her. Juliet forced herself to open her eyes and could see myths disappearing from the artworks that hung in the safe.

With anger, Juliet muttered, [B]“Is this your revenge...Quan?”[/B][/size][/color]
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[FONT=Palatino Linotype][COLOR=DarkSlateBlue]After another two hours or so, they were done for the night and Harvey escorted Alice home. The city was cold as Harvey expected. The two of them made light chat as they walked, Harvey trying to walk close enough so that people would get the impression that she was his girl, while at the same time keeping far enough off so that he wouldn't make her uncomfortable.

His mind was still elsewhere though. After his search for Chronos turned up nothing, Harvey was having a hard time keeping his mind on Alice. He always wanted her on a night like this. He always wanted her cold, alone, wanting someone to squeeze the warmth back into her with their arms. Harvey was a true romantic, but tonight was just not his night, as most of them seemed nowadays. The rested at a bus stop, awaiting a bus to come and take her. [B]"Don't forget, Harv, tomorrow." [/B]Alice said as she saw the bus rounding the corner.

[B]"I most likely will."[/B] Harvey said, smiling.

[B]"You play too much, boy."[/B] Alice hugged him, giving him slightly more than they would allow in a church before letting go and climbing on the bus. She gave one last wave before the doors closed.

Harvey watched as the bus drove off and smirked, she wanted him. He reached into his pocket, producing a headset and his music phone. Dawning the headset, Harvey threw the hood on his hoodie up and began to walk. He let the beat carry him, walking in step with it, watching the people go by. It was like the world became a music video for him as he walked. If he didn't need to see where he was going, he'd close his eyes and just let the beat take him, but he had a small amount more sense than that. Harvey continued his trek.

His thoughts pierced the serenity brought on by the music, the thoughts of Chronos and titans, about history blinking out of the books. His mind, as powerful as it had become, began to subconsciously vibe with him. The world suddenly had a beat to it, with everything around Harvey moving to the sound of his music. Footsteps moved with the base, what little speech he heard around him spoke in tune with the rhymes his favorite rapper was spitting into his ears, even the way streetlights sparkled in time with the snare in his ears, everything was synced, everything was on his time. His head began hurting a small bit as he manipulated the ebb and flow of time. No one around him would notice his display, but they would notice an oddity in his walk, and a slight rhythm in his step. If they were to look at the hands of a clock, they would notice that his movement was always in step and on time, fluidly mechanic.

[I]Don't waste your time, fighting the law
State your voice, and you'll understand

[/I]He couldn't hold his control for much longer, and everything fell back into its place within time. Breathing in a deep slow breath, his slight headache left him, and he looked up to see it, the Harlem Academy. He had heard about its library and its large number of volumes. He couldn't help butthink, maybe even hope, he could find his answer in there. He looked around, seeing no one but himself and the few strangers in the night. Harvey, not knowing exactly why he wanted to, maybe it was the track changing in his music that gave him his change of heart, but he wanted to go in there and search for his answer. A deep fear came over him, one of the unknown, that which he couldn't understand.

The sad irony of the master of time disappearing into it was enough to push him to go into the alley on the side of the building. The sickening feeling that something or someone so powerful they could alter history and time and erase it forced him up the fire escape. Lastly, the fear that the same fate may befall him should his abilities be discovered by this eraser of time compelled him to slide open the emergency window and enter nimbly into the building.

[I]Light as a feather when I'm floating thro-[/I]

Harvey turned off the music, leaving nothing but he and the darkness. He walked slowly toward the nearest door, making no noise as has sneakers carried him through the building. It was remarkably emtpy. Sure he heard a few voices here and there, but Harvey knew how to make himself unknown. He soon found himself at a set of large double doors, the word "Library" was to the side of them. Licking his lips, he opened one and slipped in.
[/COLOR][/FONT]
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[size=1]Well, at least he didn?t have to rack his mind with it now.

He had thought about yelling at her for it, walking into his house he meant, though Dani suddenly remembered the entrances he made ? most notably sleeping outside a former Zodiacs door and collapsing into their hallway with a big British ??ello!?. He sighed heavily and rubbed his temples, diverting his eyes away (not that Dani was shy, he just wasn?t too keen on staring at the naked form of a woman who [i]clearly[/i] had powers as well as him).

[B]?Just wait ?ere, alrigh???[/B] Dani said, waving a hand. He did wait for a response, and didn?t get one, so he stalked off down into the front room with another grumble and complaint.

He rummaged through a pile of ? luckily washed ? clothing and pulled out a towel. He inspected it first in fear of his own blood being present on the cloth and when seeing it wasn?t he took himself back into the bathroom, holding over the woman.

[B]?Ah, wait,?[/b] he pulled it away as she was about to take it, almost mockingly. [B]?Yer name. Ya need either ya name or a big British ?ello before burstin? into someone?s house like that. Don?t?cha know the rules??[/b] he explained with a smirk.

[B]?Eiyaga.?[/B] She said, strained. [B]?And [i]you[/i]??[/b]

[B]?Dani Andy. Well, no, actually. Daniel Anderson. Friends call me Dani.?[/B]

Eiyaga, while wiping water and blood off her face, somehow gave a sarcastic smile. [B]?Friends??[/B]

Dani chuckled. [B]?I suppose my long dead friends.?[/B]

It may have been sarcastically put and jokingly said though the truth behind his statement was even a little scary for Dani. He figured he couldn?t exactly leave Eiyaga here in his house, nor could he be mean to her ? not that he cared practically, he was really more concerned for his own safety and information purposes. It was clear who she was now. Dani had a hunch she was one of the silly pseudo-god humans he dubbed the Zodiacs? and that, he supposed, was more of a bad thing than a good thing.

[B]?So what you do, then??[/b] he wasn?t referring to her job, not at all, and she probably knew it. Eiyaga sat herself down with her back against the bath, with the towel loosely draped over her and her body still bruised and cut with patches of wet now. Dani sat beside her, lighting a cigarette.

[B]?You first.?[/B]

Dani rolled his eyes. [B]?I?ma sure you get my meanin?.?[/B] He pointed to the tap, Eiyaga?s gaze following his finger. Beneath the sunglasses his eyes darkened, and the handle of the tap swallowed itself in a brief shadow, before switching itself on. [B]?Dark telekinesis. Can move a few objects ?ere and there, break things, though am mostly all in the head. You know, illusions and stuff. Mental collapse. Horrible thoughts and feelings.?[/B]

Eiyaga smirked. [B]?Delightful.?[/B]

Dani turned away from her and to the other side of the bathroom, nicely stained with bloodied handprints. He frowned and wondered if she had any idea what she would get herself in for. Of course, he hadn?t seen her the first time around, so she couldn?t know. She couldn?t know at all. He played on the thought of asking her what she knew about the stars and the Zodiac, thought he left it alone when she spoke up.

[B]?I?m sure you can use your imagination, [i]Dani[/i].?[/B] She narrowed her eye at him, whipping the cigarette out of his hands. Dani swore, taking out another one.

[B]?Got my own lighter this time.?[/B] He told her. She didn?t reply, concentrating too much on much on smoking. Dani sighed ? fuck small talk, he guessed.

This was all too familiar for Dani, that and he could feel a tiny comedown from the speed in the back of his head and throat. The last time he met a Zodiac his life turned upside down and ultimately, he became this ? the only good thing about him now was that he could master his powers better than before. He turned to Eiyaga slightly, mentally beating himself for who she reminded him of. He wasn?t going there.

[B]?I?ve got some clothes in there, wanna borrow some? Goin? out in a bit, an? you ain?t stayin? ?ere.?[/B] He grinned taking a sinster drag on his cigarette.[/SIZe]
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[SIZE=1]The loud clap rang out throughout the studio. The florescent bulbs hummed and one by one came on bathing the room in a soft glow. Peter walked down the stairs leading from the street to his basement art studio, his hand resting on the plumbing pipe that made his rail as he traveled down. He reached the last step and paused. He spun around grabbing the rail again and let out a deep breath letting out the charge he had accumulated over the past few hours. A couple sparks popped but other than that nothing else.

Pulling out a new canvas out off the rack he was interrupted by the annoying ring of the bell. Peter shoved the canvas back with a sign and trudged to thee door dragging his feet like a child with a temper. He slid the peep hole and saw the over exuberant face of who he could only guess to be one of his buyers. He slid the peephole shut and opened the door. Before he could invite her in she was in the door and wandering around like a chicken with its head cut off.

[B]?Excuse me, Miss??[/B] The woman stopped and spun around rigid.

[B]"Tully, Lizzie Tully." [/B]She held out her hand for Peter to take but he didn't budge from his position.

[B]"Right, well Elizabeth how may I help you?" [/B]Her face twisted with discontent as she pulled her hand back. She pulled a business card from her pocket and handed it to him without saying anything. [I]Mrs. Maribeth Riker[/I]. [B]"Oh your here to pick up her painting."[/B]
[B]
"Yes,"[/B] The goofy smile returning to her face. [B]"She is a big fan of your work."

"Is that so?" [/B]Peter replied in a blatantly sarcastic tone. He pulled a large wrapped canvas. [B]"Where to with this?" [/B]Lizzie led him outside to a silver SUV. They struggled to find a place to set the painting in the back of the vehicle. When they were finished without another word Lizzie handed him an envelope and took off.

Peter sat there for a moment watching the car turn the corner then snapped back into reality and went back into his studio. He sat down in at his drafting station putting his feet up on the table and crudely tearing open the letter. He pulled out his check and a folded piece of paper. He first looked at his check. Four figures, more than he was expecting but he was far from complaining. He set down the check a smile now firmly plastered to his face. He picked up the piece of paper and unfolded it gingerly. It was a letter from Marybeth Riker.
[I]
Peter,

I would be most honored if you would exhibit your artistic talents at a gallery I am hosting. I have seen your artistic prowess and I believe your style would be a welcome addition to the rest. If that alone doesn't interest you I will also give you a handsome sum of money for any and all of the art you bring. If you are interested I have my contact information attached to this letter.

Yours,
Marybeth Riker.[/I]

Peter sat staring at the letter as he stared at the departing car earlier. He couldn't shake the feeling that he was being manipulated, again bringing himself out of his spaced state and turned over the paper to see her number printed on the back. He contemplated the idea for a couple minutes before finally giving in to curiosity and picking up his phone.

[B]"Damn it."[/B]

[/SIZE]
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[COLOR="DarkOrchid"][FONT="Times New Roman"][i]Eiyaga examined the burning cigarette, and slewed around to give him a look, the towel wrapped loosely around her waist. Her hair hung in twisted strands across her eyes and down her back, dripping water occasionally on the cigarette with a hiss and a puff of steam. She took a final drag, and then extinguished it on her kneecap, watching the flesh knit itself back together almost instantly.[/i]

"You know that's fuckin' sick right?"

"Not half as sick as you."

[i]She gave him a glare through her one good eye, the honey gold sparking and snapping like fire. He stood and turned back towards his bedroom, when something hit him from behind and knocked him forward onto the bed. Eiyaga. She had abandoned the towel and blood for virtually attacking him in his own house. Before he could voice a hoarse 'Fuck off you crazy bitch!' she already had his lower lip between her teeth. And her legs were already wrapped around his hips so he could hardly move, her hands ripping away his shirt, exposing bare skin.[/i]

"You should stop me before something irreversible happens."

"Now why would I do somethin' stupid like that?"

[i]Her eye blazed, and she sank her fingers into his chest, ripping as if peeling him open, sharp claw marks forming across his chest. They shredded across his nipples, and even as he gasped in pain, she placed her palms flat over them and absorbed the wounds onto her own body. He felt a ripple of cold, that contrasted oddly to her body, which was pouring off heat like a furnace. Her hair had already dried and was pouring down her back.

Angry nail marks formed over her chest, that welled blood, then sealed shut again. Eiyaga writhed against him, as if she'd gone mad, one hand ripping off his trousers like they'd offended her somehow. She rubbed her breasts against his chest, her tongue snaking down his throat, to the side of his neck, completely out of control. Eiyaga had gotten off his pants, and was grinding against him like she was at a strip club, only the strippers weren't always this naked. Or believable.[/i]

"The fuck's wrong with you?"

"Want to....have to..."

[i]She was panting now, her voice tapering off to a moan of very real need. He put one hand on her shoulder, she was shaking and quivering as if with a fever. The other he used to feel her, confirming the little she'd managed to say before she'd gone completely incoherent. In heat would've been a good word to describe her, but by then she'd already forced him into her and the discussion was over. Sure it was practically assault, but Eiyaga couldn't stop herself any more than Dani could talk her out of it. Besides that, she fucked like an animal, all pure passion and desire. No hesitation, it was as if she hadn't heard him protesting.[/i][/FONT][/COLOR]
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[SIZE="1"][align=justify]She sat motionless in front of the easel, reclining comfortably against the back of the wicker chair, her left arm resting on the coffee table beside her, her right hand poised in front of her face grasping a worn wooden paintbrush. Dozens of teeth marks scarred the brush?s oak handle, and its bristles were frayed and badly spread, evidence of years of loving abuse. Her dark hair was tied back in a disheveled ponytail and a large white cloth was spread under her bare feet. Light instrumental jazz drifted out of the stereo across the room. Thinking music, she called it; it let her drift while she worked, and kept the dead spaces from becoming irritating.

She stared at the unfinished landscape, looking both at it and beyond it, at what it would soon become. The tip of the brush?s handle, which was aimed at the canvas, moved fractionally from time to time, as if she was directing her thoughts through it. Occasionally she nibbled on the bristles.

She leaned forward. The brush twirled dexterously through her fingers, coming to a familiar rest between her teeth. Her left hand reached down and plucked a second, smaller brush from those nearest her on the coffee table and presented it to her eyes for inspection. Rejected, it was tossed back; another was selected, this time satisfactory, and her hand moved quickly to the small open container of dark green oils further up the tabletop.

The instrument dipped and carefully wiped, she returned her gaze to the canvas, settling into almost an exact mirror of her previous posture, reexamining her intentions one more time. She liked what she saw, and moved to add the strokes to the picture; a small detail on the left side, only a little tree....

[I]?A happy little tree....[/I]

[B]?Arrgh!?[/B]

Adrienne slapped the paintbrush down on the table, groaning in frustration and throwing herself angrily into the chair?s back. The dog-eared paintbrush fell from her lips into her lap, and her arms dangled limply at her sides in defeat. It was absolutely unfair.

[I]?Curse Bob Ross and his stupid trees! And his stupid hair....[/I]

Getting up, and paintbrush in hand, she crossed the room to the couch and crashed face-first into its plush cushions, groaning again because it made her feel a little better. It had been two weeks since she?d had any decent sleep. What little she did manage to get seemed to be permanently rife with nightmares, though she could never remember any of them once she?d woken. She?d tried to let her subconscious recreate some of the images she might have seen in them through her ability, but that hadn?t worked either; the best Adrienne had been able to manage so far had been misshapen blobs, with barely any color to them at all.

To top it off, not only was she starting to fall behind in her graphic designing projects at work?mostly due to lack of sleep?but now Bob Freaking Ross was invading her personal time. If she couldn?t even relax anymore, how was she supposed to get anything else done?

She raised her arm and pointed her brush at the ceiling. Three spheres of light obediently manifested in the air around her slender wrist and hung there, slowly circling her arm. The familiar sight of the spheres calmed her and provided a small measure of comfort; using her ability always reminded her of her father, who?d lovingly coached her ever since she?s first showed her talent to him and been a quiet, firm support even after she?d blinded her mother. In all honesty, Adrienne wasn?t certain that she?d have had the strength to keep living normally if her father had been any other man. She could only hope her children would have such an example to follow. But that was still a while off, and not a subject Adrienne was inclined to spend time fantasizing about.

Still, despite her various efforts to calm herself down, Adrienne felt extraordinarily fidgety. She couldn?t keep focused on one particular task or thought for very long without her mind leaping off on barely related tangents, and now it seemed her entire body ached for movement. Maybe she needed to take a walk....

Her limbs agreed before she could even make the decision, and she found herself flitting about the apartment gathering up her shoes, keys, purse, and a light jacket for the arbitrary excursion. She didn?t know quite where she planned on going, but guessed that it didn?t matter, so long as she went [I]somewhere[/I].[/align][/SIZE]
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[SIZE="1"][B]?Offed himself, didn?t he?? [/B]

[COLOR="DarkRed"]Charles sat on his heels and watched as Anakoni leaned on the door jam, clinging to the wood with a death grip. He looked as if the wall was the only thing keeping him up, knuckles pale ? face paler. [/COLOR]
[B]
?Right in this house. Down the hall, even. Imagine!? [/B]
[COLOR="DarkRed"]
Charles winced at the crack in his voice, thinking. There was one room in the house that Ana had locked the door to, and kept locked, a small bathroom next to the stairs up. He?d never told why - and Charles, again, had never asked. There were too many things he?d never asked.[/COLOR]
[B]
?S?why I don?t let you use that bathroom. I don?t either. Too much.? [/B][COLOR="DarkRed"]Ana finally looked at him; his face was set, still. Wane.[/COLOR] [B]?Think he has a ghost, like? Wouldn?t look too bad?Just?lifelike, almost. He let himself drown, right? Found him. Went in there the mornin? after my screw up a ? ? [/B]

[COLOR="DarkRed"]What screwup? He resolved not to leave that one unasked for long, but didn?t interrupt, absently re-casing his CDs. [/COLOR]

[B]?Went in there ?cause I needed t? shave an??there he was!? [/B]

[COLOR="DarkRed"]Charles winced. He?d seen death more times than he could count, but he?d never seen the father he?d never had dead. Never seen Carlos, though he?d died of lung cancer fifteen years ago now. He?d gone to his funeral, but never ventured close to the casket. He?d only been eighty. [I]Only.[/I]

Anakoni continued. He was talking, oddly clinical and detached. [/COLOR]

[B]?Dead. And me gettin? to see things since the night before when he must have done it. Has me wondering, now. It does, it does? Like?? [/B]

[COLOR="DarkRed"]Charles met Anakoni?s eyes as he frowned, tilting his head. The motion sent his hair into his eyes again ? had he been closer, Charles would?ve brushed it back on reflex. He wasn?t close enough, though he came closer, placing his hand on Charles? arm[/COLOR]

[B]?Does me seein? things and m? Papa?s death have anything to do with why you?re so hot no matter the temperature, and this?woman I?ve been seeing with snakes, and a man who feels like ink?? [/B]

[COLOR="DarkRed"]Charles recoiled from the touch; half reflex, half from how cool Ana?s fingers were on his wrist. [B]?Get out of my head, Ana.?[/B] It wasn?t said mean; it was just said. [B]?The stuff in there ain?t fit to show up on your ice.?[/B]

[I]Hot night, stale smoke, concrete grinding into his ribs?[/I]

He shook off the thought, shoving the last CD back in its case with more force than was necessary. [B]?But yes.?[/B] He handed a stack of the CDs to Anakoni, who started dropping them into the box where they belonged. [B]?Juliet??[/B] He slammed the lid on the box, sneering. [B]?And Dani.?[/B]

He hadn?t thought about the others in years. Why should he? They?d not been anyone of importance to him - other obstacles, other problems where he?d been forced into things against his will. First the girl, then Quan?

If there was one thing he hated more than anything, it was being a puppet, having to jump when the strings were pulled.

[B]?Juliet was on the creepy side.? [/B]He shook his head, bending to pick up the box. [B]?I never figured out what she did, but?the dark?it was something with the dark. And ?er snakes. And?? [/B]He shook his head again, as if to rid him of the though. [B]?Yeah. But she?s nothin? compared to Dani. I mean, powers-wise, she was as strong??[/B] He frowned, pausing. [B]??we all seemed to be equal in that regard. Maybe that?s why none of us could get along, actually?? [/B]He trailed off.

Ana knelt in the silence for a moment before making an impatient noise in the back of his throat, snapping Charles out of his thoughts.

[B]?Dani?s trouble.? [/B]And he was back on track.[B] ?He?s?not safe. Someone made us work together for a while,?[/B] [I]holding my worst enemy over my head like an executioner?s axe,[/I] [B]?Ended up killin? someone, burnin? down a buildin??all sorts of stuff that I really didn? wanna do.?[/B]

He shrugged. [B]?Water under the bridge, now.?[/B] He shoved the box into the closet with a sigh. [B]?Long past, nothin? t?worry about now.?[/B] Why did he feel so very much like he was lying? [B]?Think ?bout other things, yeah? An old man?s past ain?t fit for nightmares.? [/B]

He faked a yawn, ignoring the dark-eyed, accusing gaze.

[B]?I gotta work on tryin? to figure out what?s goin? on with my music., an? got a meetin? in the mornin?,? [/B]The first was true, the second was a lie. [B]?Gonna work on that, then try an? get some sleep.? [/B]He patted Ana?s shoulder. [B]?Make sure y?eat somethin?, don?t feel like haulin? your sorry behind to the doctor. A?ight??[/B]

Ana muttered something in his wake, but he kept up the pretense of being tired until he was safe behind the closed door of his room. Then, he grabbed a phone book from a stack piled a good yard high on his desk, booted up his ancient, cranky computer, and began to work.

[B]?Al?ight, mister Daniel Anderson??[/B] His fingers flew over the keys. [B]?Let?s see what y?been up to these last fifty years.?[/B][/COLOR][/SIZE]
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[size=1][color=#8B008B]The cries softened as Juliet began to stand up. She could hear the voices turn into gurgling hatred. They spat venomous words that could make even the devils of Hell shake with fear. Juliet felt their pain and anger, almost soaking it up. She wiped away the sullen look on her face and turned. She took a look at her son and back at the remaining artwork before she turned to leave. She had no intentions of listening to the voices threaten and whine, nor did she have any intentions of explaining anything to her son at the moment, who called out to her.

[B]?Mother! Is everything alright??[/B]

Juliet didn?t look back to her son. She only hurried down the hallway and into the main corridors. Her mind was flooded with vile thoughts of maiming, tearing, shredding, anything that had to do with pouring blood. She knew her old ways were creeping back into her fingertips but she gripped them tight. She shook her head and exhaled sharply, suddenly realizing someone else was in the building. Her eyes narrowed as she concentrated on the presence and felt a chill run over her body.

Instead of racing through the hallways and down the stairs, the Asian woman put a hand to the wall and let the shadows began to pull her in. She appeared underneath the glittering light that fell from the windows on the first floor. Without a glance behind her, she felt Nam?s presence as he panted behind her.

[B]?It seems we have an intruder in our building, my son.?[/B]

Nam cleared his throat and replied, [B]?That?s impossible. The doors are locked and the security in this building is state-of-the-art. How could anyone get in here without us knowing??

?That?s what I?d like to know.?[/B] Juliet muttered as she began to walk.

She cracked her neck as she walked through the cased arts and bulletins until she came to two wooden double doors with the word ?Library? written at the top. She pulled open one of the doors and walked in with her son following behind. She looked around with caution, noticing nothing out of the ordinary. She took a step forward but her son pulled her back. He began to walk in front of his mother until they heard the sounds of shoes tapping against the carpet.

Feeling tired and annoyed Juliet stood with her son near the front desk and shouted, [B]?Show yourself and I may be kind enough to leave you unharmed!?[/B][/size][/color]
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[SIZE=1]As the two drove home, many thoughts entered Felix's head, most of them concerning what would happen if his parents, and his friends found out about his "power", as Victor put it. What worried him more was how he'd be treated at school; he'd most likely be placed into an alternative education program... Even the sound of it made him cringe, especially since it's his senior year, plus he couldn't leave his deaf brother, out there susceptible to harassment and attack.

He pulled into the driveway of their house, nothing too out of the ordinary, six rooms, office space, balcony, spacious, the typical upscale suburban home. No one would care to give it a second glance; it was painted in the same tannish vein as everyone else's home. A step into the house would flip most people out though, the walls have no paintings or obscurities hanging from them. The television, was small, but had no sort of cabinets to hold it up, the rest of the living area was two couches and a bar, lot of empty space, the motif of stark and empty, followed the rest of the home.

To the average outsider, it would have been called minimalism, or "[I]they just moved in...[/I]", but for Felix he had found peace, from the sheer ocean of noise from the rest of the world. The only words spoken here were either signed or written down, and the television was always muted, the only kind of noise made from the home was from his music database on his hard drive, and that within itself was rare.

As Felix and Victor settled down, their sister, Tigan, came up to them with two notes, she can speak liker her older brother, but likes the sheer silence kept in their home. The first one read: someone left this for me to show to you when you came home, he flipped the page over, and he read to himself what was left presumably on the door this morning:

[CENTER][FONT=ArialNarrow][I]Hello, Felix Freeman.
We know of your problem... We know you are troubled.
We can help you.[/CENTER][/I][/FONT]


After the small introduction there was an address typed in abnormally small print, from there he walked upstairs into the office, and his two siblings followed him. He fished for the magnifying glass their father kept, but he couldn’t find it till Victor held it up for him. He pried a sticky note off the pad, pulled out the pen from his pocket and wrote down the address. A good five minutes passed after he wrote down the address, the chirping of his watch notified him that he was late for some sort of school function, and for the first time in a very long time, he rushed out of the house and spoke.

"[B]Tigan, I'll be late for dinner, if poppa asks where I'm at... Um, tell him I'm with Steph... ok?[/B]” he spoke rapidly as he charged out of the house into his car. She nodded and closed the door behind her, the noise faded as quickly as it came. The car started up, and he threw the car into gear and drove to the location scribbled onto the note which stuck to the dash.

While cruising on the freeway, his '67 Ford Mustang was T-boned by drunk driver behind the wheel of an SUV, which caused the Mustang to flip five times, he blacked out on impact. When he roused he found himself, with no signs of abuse, inside of a darkened library. He got up and took stock of his physical state, to make sure he wasn’t tripping out on the morphine the medics gave him. After walking around the lobby a couple of times and wondering why he had ended up here instead of the local hospital, he asked aloud...

"[B]Hello? Is anyone home?[/B]"[/SIZE]
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[SIZE="1"][COLOR="Teal"]Anakoni pulled the front door closed behind himself as he quietly patted down his pockets for his keys. A memory glared in the back of his mind – keys flying into the bushes – and he jumped off the porch. The dirt was soft and wet and smelled of the earlier rain. Ana’s shoes left heel prints in it as he searched for his keys under he nearest bush.

It would seem that he was having better luck than he had during the rain shower – it only took him five minutes to find the keys, half hidden under windblown leaves. Triumphant he locked the front door and dropped the keys into his pocket. He glanced only briefly over his shoulder at the house before he headed down the dirt path that branched off the road.

Gravel crunching underneath his feet he debated the safety of what he was going to do. Typically he ignored the beach; the sea; the water. Now…now he was headed right towards it.

He was on a mission.

Soon the gravel of the path gave way to soft sand. Anakoni stopped and dropped down to sit in the sand, tugging off his boots, then his socks. Standing once more he left them behind in the sand where the beach met trees and sand and headed for the waves barefoot. The nearer Anakoni moved to the se, the more instinct told him to turn back; to go back to the house and find a way to find Dani for Charles; a different way. A way that wasn’t like…

…wasn’t like this…

Ana stepped into the water, shivering as the first waved lapped at and broke on his shins. Closing his eyes he turned back, stepping up onto the beach again. Even as all instinct told him to run, he just shrugged out of his jacket, leaving it in the damp sand as he stepped into an oncoming wave once more. Eyes closed Anakoni found his way further into the water, bare feet inching across the seafloor, careful of rocks. The water rose to his knees; his hips; his ribs.

When the salty water was lapping at his collarbones and waves were hitting his face at regular intervals, Anakoni opened his eyes. At first there was nothing; then… A familiar feeling grew in his belly, almost akin to the dull throbbing pain that sets in after being punched in the gut. Anakoni fought himself, forcing his feet to stay firmly in the watery, shifting sand.

Soon images were playing out like video on the big screen at a cinema. Ana concentrated, thinking only of the man who felt like ink: Dani. Daniel Anderson… The water seemed – to him anyhow – to roil; the waves to hiss; the temperature dropping. Twenty minutes later, teeth chattering and lips blue, Anakoni staggered for shore, eyes closed again. The sea returned to its normal state – to the way it always felt to him if his eyes were closed.

Anakoni stumbled a couple times, feet numb, and he went down and under a few times; more times than he liked; finally, though, he hit sand that bordered on dry and he flopped their, forehead resting against the sand. When the chill in his bones became too much he staggered to his feet, fingers snagging his jacket and pulling it close, draping it over his arm. His shoes and socks were retrieved as well on the edge of the beach, and sand turned back to gravel as he retraced his earlier steps.

Cold, tired, sand covered and distressed Anakoni leaned against the door and dropped the clothing he had removed at the beach and fumbled for his keys. Charles…he needed to tell Charles what he had seen. Well, at least some of what he had seen. He fitted the key into the lock and let himself in. He left the keys hanging in the door as he padded down the hallway leaving sandy footprints behind him. The footprints went all the way to Charles’s door.

At Charles’s door, Anakoni was stopped. He reached out a cold fingered hand and tried the door only to find that it was locked. Sighing he raised his hand and knocked loudly; firmly.

“Charles. I found Dani.” His teeth began to knock together again and he cursed softly under his breath, almost whining. “An’ I’m cold. Lemme in.” Quieter and to himself he repeated what he had said as he waited for the door to be pulled open for him.

“I found Dani…”[/COLOR][/SIZE]
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[size=1][I]A glass bottle shattered against the wall, jagged shards scattering across the apartment floor. They glittered like gems, but were the colour of poison. Dani spun on his heel, pacing, back and forth, back and forth. The buckles on his high leather boots glint in the overhead lights. His arms gesture wildly, and he shouted at her, [B]?I hate you! I 'ate you! You should just disappear! Crawl in a 'ole an' die! Plunge a knife into your gut! Fall off a cliff! Go swimmin' in a pool of ravenous sharks! Just die!?[/B]

He clawed at his hair; his long nails snag in his tight, dark locks. His fangs bared, sensuous lips pulled back in a snarl. [B]?I hate you! Die!?[/B][/I]



Dani had realised he was motionless. Dani hadn't realised anything at all. He replayed the scene in his head, though not the one he was presently in mind you, and remembered why he really didn't like to have any 'complications' with another Zodiac. He felt his mind go blank for a moment, and when everything came back to him - though vague and scattered - he did nothing else but reach for the vase he had by the side of his bed.

Before he knew it Dani had slammed the vase across Eiyaga's head, all too familiar when the shards scattered across the room and one implanted itself into her temple. Dani removed his bloodied hand and pushed her off him as hard as he could. He was fully aware she could recover easily lay amidst the glass on the floor, and Dani was fully aware he was not in the mood for this [i]any[/i] more. He pulled on his trousers and quickly as he could, standing on the other side of the bed.

Eiyaga squirmed on the floor with her hand held against her head, and Dani narrowed his eyes at her. Fuck people for bringing silly things up. His eyes darkened considerably, the pupils expending and the iris turning black. Any light in the room seemed dimmer now, shadowed, concealing.

Dani had sprung forward when Eiyaga stood up and recovered quickly, running into her shoulders and pushing her against the window. She was startled, for a moment, and possibly mistook Dani's attack.

He raised his hand to the side of her face and implanted a fingertip on her injured temple, forcing her eyes to look into his. She stopped struggling at that moment, going limp and only held up by Dani's shadowed figure, his mind now in hers, searching, destroying if he must.

Dani's own head was in a mess of confusion and images and shattered glass. He projected that into her - the feeling of nothing, really - and much more. While in the first days of his powers this would leave an enemy on the floor struggling to make sense of the new images, feelings and disturbed brainwaves, Dani's experience made her choke on her own breath, perhaps because she couldn't breathe properly at this moment.

When Dani removed his hand, unsure of what he had actually done, the room around him was blackened with shadows. He released her near the window, where she fell limply against it, unclothed. Without another thought, Dani knocked her out down five stories with his ice cold fingers, and an ice cold gaze.

He hadn't looked at her falling to the ground in an almost coma-state. He hadn't bothered to check on her at all. He hadn't bothered to tidy up his apartment. He hadn't bother to collect anything he took with him on a normal occasion. He hadn't bother to relax himself, with still black eyes and pale skin in a darkened room. He simply dressed himself, trench coat and all, and walked along the corridor outside.

Wherever he walked, in his state of confusion and anger at the moment, the shadows seemed to follow closely behind his slumped figure. He disappeared throughout the city, not planning on going home in awhile.[/SIZE]
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[COLOR="DarkOrchid"][FONT="Times New Roman"][i]Eiyaga lay sprawled in the abandoned street, the water pelting down around her body, bones cracked and protruding through flesh. Her ribcage had suffered serious damage, her right shoulder was completely wrenched around, and her left knee was shattered. Her breath rattled in her mangled throat and she struggled to remember what was happening to her. And aloud, in the physical, her breath caught and began to force itself through her throat. Panting, gasping for air, her moans barely heard against the sound of rain on pavement.

In her mind, she muttered and whispered to herself, utterly confused. She couldn't even begin to sort through the layers of thought and subconscious feeling he'd pulled down over her. Instead, she couldn't even blink, couldn't reason, the blood fluttering from her skin, down across her body. And there she stayed, curled up halfway, barely breathing, naked and cold. The parts of her flesh that weren't ripped or torn were marked over with gooseflesh. And she whimpered in the back of her throat, lost in her mind. Her lips moved silently.[/i]

"That didn't go well..... .....but did it?"

"There's no time. There's no thought to it. I'm empty and mindless in the void. But I think...

...I can't be mindless. But where am I? It's cold. And I'm so alone. There's no warmth anywhere. And I can't stop this flow."

[i]What flow? What was this? She should be healing. She shouldn't be lying half dead on the road like an animal. He wouldn't make her die. Her cheek pressed up against the cold asphalt, with the blood and tears and rain streaking down her face. Why was she sad? What was so wrong after all? This was how all her relationships always turned out. Only the others hadn't been able to hurt her this well.[/i]

"He should get a medal for this one."

[i]Only her lips moved. Her eyes were still wide open and staring. And the cold seeped into her body, slowing the bleeding, numbing the pain, even as it seared across her as if she'd been laid on a grill. And she breathed easier, and easier. And slowly, almost agonizingly, her flesh began to sew itself together. Moving as slowly as anything, her shoulder pushed itself back, even without Eiyaga's conscious orders.[/i]

"I am Eiyaga. Not Dani. I'm not made of darkness and empty void in thought. I'm made of pain and new pain on top of old wounds."

[i]Her one eye began to blink. The other empty space remained empty and inert. In the back of her mind, Eiyaga Meya remembered who she was, and began to drift upwards through the thoughts Dani had left inside her. Turns out, her mind could heal like her body. It just took forever. Still unmoving on the ground, still lying in her own blood, the Zodiac waited for her mind to completely return.[/i][/FONT][/COLOR]
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