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The Isthmus of Souls

ArQane

With blood comes life, with life comes death.
The Isthmus of Souls
"So the war has begun. With masks to hide the intent to kill, and weapons that are intelligent unlike ever before... Oh, such cruelty displayed in the human soul..."

GM'ed by @ArQane
 

ArQane

With blood comes life, with life comes death.
Anthony Gilman
"Anton! Anton!" A voice droned from the hallway.

Anthony glanced up from his phone. The voice was one he knew well. His brother would always be the one scrambling up in the morning to rush down and help their mother with breakfast. How can someone be so energetic the minute they wake up? He sighed. Perhaps, he was just getting old.

Slipping on his slippers, he sluggishly dragged himself out of bed. He had been awake for a while now, but was not in the mood to get out of bed-- certainly not in the mood to go to school. His homework for his last period was only half finished, but he figured he would write down some random garbage at lunch to compensate. English was not too important of a subject anyways.

He slipped on some casual clothing and trudged down the stairs. Chester was standing at the base of the stairs, still hopping about in excitement. One would think he was going to Disneyland for the first time, not just another having day at school. Anton patted his little brother on the head twice before placing his arm around Chester's shoulders, redirecting him to the dining room. There, the two of them plopped down in their seats. Anthony's mother had already laid out the dishes on the table. His father was quickly shoveling eggs down, still holding coffee in one hand.

Another busy day at work, it seems.
Anton picked up his fork and speared an egg. He wasn't all that hungry, but he ate the most of it anyways. He left the glass of milk on the table; a habit of his. Anton appreciated the thought, but he had already instructed his mother many times to not pour any for him. It was repulsive.

"Are you all ready for school?" His mother poked her head out from the kitchen. Presumably, she had just finished washing the plates.

"Yes."

"Do you have your keys?"

Anton patted down his pockets. "Yes."

His mother smiled. "Well, you have a great day at school. Take your brother along."

Chester immediately jumped out of his seat and wrapped his small arms around Anton's waist. Anthony stared at his younger brother for a while before letting out a deep sigh. "Alright."

The drive to Rocky Peak Elementary was a short one, and was on the way to West Breeze anyways. Because of this, taking his little brother to school every day was never too much of a nuisance for Anton. The real challenge lied in answering the endless peppering of questions and comments from Chester. Every single day. It was no wonder that Anton would shoo his brother away in relief when they finally arrived. The trip from there to his high school was a quiet peaceful one. Anton would take this time to turn up the music and relax a little.

Perhaps, that moment of tranquility was too short. School always made its presence when he was finally enjoying himself. He pulled his keys out and walked up the steps into his first period classroom. He had arrived early, as usual, so he took a seat behind the grinning Edward, a friend of his.

"Got the English homework?" Anton asked.

"Yeah, you need it?"

"That'd be great." Anton sighed in relief. It's nice to have friends to bail you out.

Sometimes he wished he had more. Edward and the others were great company, but their group was small and Anton never strayed far outside of it. He really could only blame himself, but he never really minded being alone. He was used to it. Edward passed him the papers, and Anton took out his own. He had a good ten minutes to finish before class started.
 
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Imperatus Rex

Semper Imperatus
Blake Vanracht

Blake leans back in his chair, tapping a scrap metal plate. "Well, scratch the idea of armor plating. You have some thick skin already, I suppose." Blake states as he tosses the metal disk behind him. Jynkk's eye glances at it for a second, but returns focus to the desk.

The gentle tapping of rain outside emerged, and Blake peered out the small garage's window at the street by the building, for he was on a ground apartment. Blake managed to switch leases to another apartment, since Jynkk obviously couldn't be put upstairs due to his bulky and dense composition. Cornelia didn't know about Jynkk, and Blake managed to keep him fairly concealed in the garage with a tarp. Cornelia seemed to never go near the garage, and was often away, so Blake didn't stress it much.

"You do realize this is only a temporary fix, we can't stay here... like this." Blake says, talking to himself more than trying to start a conversation.

"Hm.... Do you have any recommendations, by chance?" Jynkk says in a raspy and faint voice.

"Do you know of an abandoned building in the alleys? Me neither, actually." Blake says with a small and forced laugh following his rhetorical statement. Keeping his gaze on the street, and noting the run-down appearance of the apartments. Even if they could find refuge, Jynkk's isn't very nimble in terms of walking down the sidewalks. I could wait till nighttime, and sabotage the streetlights perhaps. Even then, the noise factor is a magnet of suspicion, if not turmoil. Blake rejected these ideas for now, there had to be a better way, but for now they just had to wait until Blake can find them a sherter from the law and fellow keepers.

Sipping his now cold coffee, he reclines furthermore and props his feet onto the small particle-board desk.

"Jynkk, what are the odds of someone recognizing me with a hoodie and sunglasses?"

"Couldn't be much lower than someone recognizing you at all, sir." Jynkk says with a crude smile.
 
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ArQane

With blood comes life, with life comes death.
Anthony Gilman
Anton finished the last of the lines for his English assignment and returned the papers to Edward. It had only took him a couple minutes to copy, so he had some time to relax before class started. Besides, the teacher hasn't even entered the classroom yet. He pulled out his phone and began to sift over his email when Edward elbowed him rather suddenly.

"What?" Anton hissed irritably.

"Look," Edward whispered. "A new student."

Anton glanced up and raised one eyebrow. The student was a female, with long black hair and tall, thin stature. She was beautiful, but her expression was neutral and uninviting. As if she came to make enemies. What really raised skepticism was her clothing.

She wore a black uniform, like the ones in private school. Everything about her screamed rich, and it did its job in attracting attention to her. Everybody now broke into low chatter about the newcomer. She scanned across the class before her gaze fixed directly at... him?

Anton sank in his seat as she begun to walk towards him. The unwanted attention followed her movements as well. She stopped straight in front of his desk.

"You. Come with me." She said, grabbing his shoulder and dragging him up.

"Woah, what are you doing? Class is about to start."

She blinked, confused. "So?"

Anton stared at her. Surely she was kidding, or perhaps, she was the delinquent type. But what did she want with him? He yanked his sleeve from his grasp and sat back down. Just then, the instructor entered the room.

Thank god, Anton thought. It's about time class started. And here I was never thinking I'd ever be so happy to see the teacher.

"Class," Mr. Polwyn said, "take your seats. We are going to resume lecture on the effects of the Cold War." He looked up for the first time and saw the girl, still fixed next to Anton's desk.

"Oh, you must be the transfer student. How about you tell us about yourself?" He gestured for her to the front of the class.

She reluctantly stepped up. "My name is Claire Constantine," she announced bluntly. Claire then took the only seat availible in the class, which, to Anthony's relief, was on the other side of the classroom.

"What was that all about?" Edward inquired.

Anton stole a glance at Claire, who was busy unpacking notebooks and utensils from her backpack.

"I have no idea."
 

Traceless123

(Abandoned)
Levi Barma
Levi was doing a run around the gardens, Sharon was currently with Dorothee so all he needed to do was to check up on the flora that might need trimming. Continuing his walk he sighed reminiscing his life, sometimes he wondered how long he could handle such an a existence. Sure he had gotten use to killing and felt no guilt if they were the people trying to hurt his sister but when does bodies weren't sufficient enough.

He wondered how many people suffered because he took their fathers, brothers and sons even if he told himself they were just low lives not all of them could be that bad everyone had some goodness in their heart even if only a little. Shaking his head he saw that aside from a little trimming needed on some of the hedges all was fine.

*Beep Beep* Hearing the noise of his phone in his pocket he pulled it out and answered. "Hello" he said

"Where are you brother dear?" a soft voice on the other end answered.

"Merely checking things up here in the garden, Mistress" He jokingly replied.

"I TOLD YOU TO STOP CALLING ME THAT!" Sharon screamed. through her end.

'Ouch that actually hurt' Levi thought rubbing his ears. "Anyway I'll be with you in a moment Sharon" he replied again.

"Fine, bring me some tea would you" Sharon said before the line went dead.

"Well i guess it's gonna be another day" He said to himself looking at the sun before walking of to the manor. 'Still no matter what happens, no matter how many people i have to kill and hurt i won't let anything harm you Sharon.' with this thought Levi steeled his resolve and went on to continue his duties.
 

Imperatus Rex

Semper Imperatus
Blake Vanracht

By the time he was finished considering the necessary actions, the rain began to subside. It occurred to Blake that it is the wee hours already. It was still fairly dim, but the light was certainly coming up from the horizon. Walking to his room, he opened his money stache, which was in a book-shaped box on the shelf above his desk. He had a good savings, considering his age, but not enough to live on for long. He takes out $500 of it for Cornelia, and starts to write a note for her. He explained he was running away, but didn't give much more detail than that. It was more of an apology than an explanation.

"Well... if we are quick... perhaps we can manage to sneak out right now." Blake says, gathering his things.

"We are not the center of suspicion or danger, why are you so eager to leave this shelter? We can wait another day, and be safer than running out in the morning sun." Jynkk says, it's voice raspy and quiet. Blake took a deep breath, and nodded silently in agreement against his rash decisions. Setting the note and money back in the box, he returns to the garage with Jynkk.


"Which direction do we flee to?" Blake asks Jynkk, considering the possibilities.

"I do not know. Perhaps deeper within the run-down district, where more businesses might be shut down. The suburbs have an abandoned paper mill, but there isn't much to hunt there." Jynkk says, looking out the small tinted window.

"Well... I heard there is an old shop a couple blocks over, but I would need to see if it is big enough to accommodate us well. We have prey around here if needed, and keepers might be wandering about in hunt." Blake suggests in a quieter voice. "Few people here know me, and two blocks away nobody should."

Jynkk smiles vaguely in agreement, they would be safe there. The shop isn't recently closed either, and nobody seems interested in renting commercial property. The short distance would reduce the risk of being caught, that is certain.
 

Imperatus Rex

Semper Imperatus
Blake Vanracht

"There... hours of work, and finally some result." Blake says as he holds his creation in the light of his lamp. It wasn't much, but the jagged metal dagger would hopefully find many uses soon. It had a thick blade, and a very sharp edge that took a long time to get right. It was not very malleable, so Blake hoped it would hold the edge as well. The handle was made from being dipped in melted rubber.

"What is that for, if I may ask?" Jynkk asks, looking at the makeshift blade without particular fascination.

"The knives I found in shops were cheaply made, and my ramen budget can't afford much better than a pocket knife. This is practical, isn't it?" Blake asked as he tested out the sharpness more on a small wooden block. Jynkk looked back to the window, night was approaching quickly after Blake finally made his dagger.

"You said the building was nice?" Jynkk asks in curiosity.

"It is fine. It could use minor fixing up, but we are hiding in the cellar anyways. Apparently it was a liquor store a while back, but little was left behind I would imagine." Blake says, noting the vanishing light. He walks to his room to prepare the note, and gather his belongings he would take.

Leaving the money and note on his roommates night-stand, he was struck with a faint sadness it seemed. He was not one to get emotional, but leaving everything he knew started to get to him. Taking a deep breath, he walked to his room. Putting on a couple jackets and taking a small blanket, he prepared in advance for cold weather. Also taking his revolver from under his bed, he noted he only had two bullets loaded, and a .32-20 wasn't much to take out a familiar. Finally, he gathered a bottle of rubbing alcohol and five pouches of beef flavored ramen. Not nearly enough to survive on, but enough for the first two days if he were careful.

Sitting back in his chair, after almost forgetting his approximate $900 savings, they counted down until it was nearly pitch black. Well after the streetlights kicked in, and the ground away from their dim light was impossible to distinguish, Blake covered Jynkk with a tarp and opened the garage door to let them both out. Closing the garage behind him, he made sure the house was locked, and proceeded to walk in the direction of the old liquor store. Jynkk followed Blake from the faint sound of footsteps, although opted to walk carefully on lawns to soften the sound of the metal legs against the ground. Nobody seemed to be staring out their windows, and they walked the first block quickly and easily.

The second block posed an issue. A couple of elderly ladies sat on a bus-stop bench. Walking toward them, Blake prepared an excuse. There wasn't much of a way around them, and there was no space behind them, so in front of them was the only way to go without looking even more unusual.

"Hello young mister." one of the women casually greeted him. Jynkk walked right behind Blake, with the tarp impossible to distinguish from a robe or blanket in the darkness, or the elderly ladies eye-sight Blake hoped.

"Good evening. We are a bit hasty, I apologize." Blake says, as they continue walking past. He hoped strongly that they just assumed Jynkk to be a large, or quite obese, man that followed quietly behind him. To his infinite relief, no further replies were to be faced as the ladies turned to gossip amongst each other instead.

Jynkk followed quietly as possible, as Blake looked for the liquor store. Many shops and restaurants were there, few had much business. Finally seeing the discreet store, Blake looked around himself to see if anyone was watching. After assuring they were not watched, he began picking the lock to the store. After going through five bobby pins, he managed to get the antiquated mechanism to let him through. Jynkk barely got through the wide single door, and the inside of the shop was pitch black. Locking the door back, They walked deeper into the store before Blake used his phone for light. There was little besides dust, but the backroom had a chair and table for break-time. Looking carefully, he spotted the long trapdoor for a basement. Opening it carefully, he was wary against making additional noise if any employees were still in the stores.

Upon stepping down the narrow steps into the basement, it smelled musty and dust covered the floor. Jynkk was careful not to make noise, and slowly stepped down the cement steps into the generously sized room. It was about 20 by 20 feet total, and in good condition considering the store was closed.

"This is our new home...." Blake says with a slight smirk, and sets his possessions aside on the dusty floor.

"I am considering how bad death is in comparison to this situation." Jynkk says half in jest, not sharing the same contentedness as Blake.
 
Aimee Wilder

"Aimee," a shrill voice had yelled, "I need you to work on this other car. We're really busy today."

Aimee had gotten out from the underbelly of the car she was currently working on and looked up to see that the voice had belonged to her boss, who was on the other side of the mechanic's shop she worked at. She had smiled at her boss and had risen up from the ground to face him.

"Sorry Mr. Freidle," she said, flashing an apologetic smile, "but this car is in critical condition and I really need to get it done as fast as possible."

"'Sorry Mr. Freidle, but this car is in critical condition,'" a voice from her tool belt pocket had mocked. "Oh it's in critical condition all right. Critical condition for a serious makeover. This old thing belongs in the dump."

"Hey Zakaraiah can you blame me," she replied to the voice, which had belonged to a miniature black cat-looking creature. "Also quiet down, my boss could hear you."

Zakaraiah rolled his eyes and retreated into Aimee's tool belt pocket. Aimee had then retreated into the car's underbelly and continued working. Her headband was at an unusually low position, almost at the tips of her hair, and her eyes gave an expression of weariness but she could not help it. The mechanic's shop she worked at was unusually busy today and right now there were more cars than people inside it, it was only natural for her to get frustrated, especially when the car that she was working on had too many tiny pieces of miscellaneous items in all of the wrong places.

After a little while Aimee had sighed in relief as she had finally finished the car, only to be sent to do three more. Zakaraiah had "flew" to Aimee's phone and started to randomly surf the internet, violently tapping the screen, causing Aimee to ignore him and smile at the cars around her.

"Well I guess it's time to begin again," Aimee said.

She went to the first car she was assigned to and went to inspect the problem. Knowing that it was going to be a long and brutal day she grinned and placed her headband back at the top of her head, ready for the challenges ahead of her.
 

ArQane

With blood comes life, with life comes death.
Eli Wilheim
"How's progress?" A cheery voice sounded from above Eli.

Eli glanced up tiredly. She had nested her hands in between her palms in hopes that she could pull off a couple minutes of rest from the grueling research she was doing before the voice had jolted her awake. This was Jane, who was looking down at Eli's slouching figure with a curious expression. Eli raised her hands towards her companion in childish plea.

"Jane, help me." Eli whined.

Jane snorted. "On your experiments? I'm going to leave the beakers and samples to you, thank you very much." She pawed through Eli's notes with disinterest. "It's unprofessional to talk to me like that, isn't it? You're my elder."

Eli sat up. "Well, technically, we were both manifested on the same day, so we are the same age..."

"But we are drastically different in age, Eli. We were created with different ages, but then grow normally from there. Strange, isn't it?" Jane paused. "Maybe you should do your research on that instead of all this useless stuff that you normally do."

Eli rolled her eyes. "That useless stuff is what your creator wasn't able to finish in his lifetime. We are obligated to continue in his stead, don't you think. Besides--"

Eli was cut off by the buzzing of Jane's cell phone. Jane pulled it out and frowned at the screen for a second before swiping the answer button. She waved her apologizes to Eli before quickly exiting the room.

Probably some keeper looking for some information. Eli thought. Jane's business had been growing recently, and it has also helped Eli in some of her research. Eli watched as the teenager left with a look of sadness in her eyes. Jane worked far too hard, and in a far too dangerous environment. Eli knew that she was suited to the task, but she sometimes wish it was someone else in the position.

With a sigh, Eli continued on with her research. At this point, the trials were nearly ready. She just needed to confirm a few more things so that she wouldn't blow up half of the lab when she started them. Perhaps she could afford a small nap.

Eli closed her eyes again but was startled awake by a crash from the front, as if the door has been busted down. Cautiously, she picked herself up and peeked into the hallway. A man's face was just a feet away from her's, wearing a mask that she knew well. With a shriek, she stumbled back and crashed into her worktable. Eli groaned inwardly as she heard vials and beakers shatter on the floor.

"What do you want, Rogue?" She asked in a shaky voice.

Rogue walked closer, and she once again stumbled on the table. The glass shards dug into her hands as she tried to catch herself from falling down, sending fiery jolts up her arm.

"Where is it?" He growled.

She opened her mouth to reply, but paused as a door behind her creaked open. A young man with long brown hair tied into a ponytail stepped out, weighing a slender sword in each of his hands. He trudged between Eli and the intruder, poking through the mess made from the broken glassware.

"I suppose I don't have to tell you that you are not welcomed here." The man spoke. "I can't have you frightening my beloved Eli."

"Lotus," Rogue growled, "get out of the way."

Lotus glanced at Eli, and she calmly picked herself up and walked back to her seat. "Rogue, what do you want?" Eli spat.

"You were finishing the old man's idea of anima pearls, weren't you?" He asked. Eli didn't reply, and Rogue grinned wretchedly. "So it seems. Give me whatever you have."

Lotus raised a sword. "Careful, Rogue. You are in no position to make demands; unless you are prepared to fight the two of us at once. Not to mention our sweet Jane can be returning at any moment."

Rogue looked at the two of them and scoffed. "So be it. I will take my leave... for now." He made his way for the door before turning around. "Johannes Ferrigan Wilheim was no father to you. He would have destroyed all of us if he had the chance."

"No," Eli said. "You're wrong."

Rogue chuckled. "I have not been manifested for seconds before he tried to pull the plug."

"Because you're insane."

"And I killed him with my own bare hands."

"Shut up!" Eli screamed. "Get out. Now."

Rogue left the room, and Eli slumped back down in her seat, her blood still boiling. Lotus pulled up a chair next to her, and then retrieved two cold beers from the refrigerator. He opened one and set the other on the table. The two sat there silently, listening to the faint sounds of traffic coming from outside.
 

Imperatus Rex

Semper Imperatus
Blake Vanracht

Opening his eyes partially, Blake was in a haze of grogginess. Faint sounds came from outside, too vague to interpret.

After taking a deep breath, he opened his eyes and sat up. He was met with the moldy basement, and an equally musty scent. Nothing changed. All was real. Blake didn't linger on this feeling, as he had a growling hunger brewing within his gut. The room was fairly dark, save for a dim lantern hanging off the ceiling. Jynkk was sitting in a corner, the one eye staring at the entrance readily.

"Good morning, Jynkks....." Blake mumbled as he looked around for his ramen packets. Lifting one of the coats, he found the promising rations he knew he would be glad for. Tearing open the package, he opened the flavor pouch and poured the bouillon powder over the ramen brick.

"You do realize you need more food than that, how are you going to get outside and get a paycheck?" Jynkk asked, watching the young man devour the brittle noodles with a ravenous intensity.

Blake looks up from his meal and shrugs a bit. "Perhaps I can just.... I have no clue. I need to ask if I can wipe tables or something I suppose. It will be risky sneaking into this place every night."

Jynkk looks back to the entrance, "Well... you will also need to kill, won't you? You need to listen to the news... we must hunt soon. We are dying internally, we won't last much longer."

Blake nods in agreement, understanding their destiny. Looking back down at his meal, he satisfies his hunger and begins to ponder any next moves. Perhaps they kill a keeper with a generous chunk of cash... or even a firearm if they are lucky. Jynkk is bulky, and not easy to transport to a kill position. Blake can perhaps make this much easier with a firearm, at least with less armored foes.
 

Imperatus Rex

Semper Imperatus
Blake Vanracht

After waiting in silence for a while, the activity seemed to cease in the middle of the evening. I didn't hear of an event, what is happening? Blake shakes the suspicion, he needed to leave and look for food eventually, and this seemed like a safe time to sneak back into the streets. Slowly and carefully, he walks up the steps and opens the door to the store.

He walked quietly to the wall, listening for a moment in case someone was talking. He peeked around the corner, his heart beating loudly as he feared someone was looking into the shop and would spot him. He saw the windows were covered in blackout curtains that he found and set up last night, and nobody would be staring into an abandoned liquor store anyways. After assuring himself of this, he walked to the curtained glass door and tried the handle. Locked. How the hell is it locked? I picked it last night. He looked around the door, but noticed no devices. Surely there was no anti-theft device in here, nothing to steal, he thought to himself trying to ease himself.

Finally, after deciding there was a primitive auto-lock feature in place, Blake turns to the store interior again. He had no bobby pin, and no keys would be left inside. He returns to the door and bends onto the ground, pressing his ear against the floor, trying to feel the vibrations of feet walking nearby, but didn't hear a single footstep. Digging in his pockets, he had a couple paper clips in his back pocket and began trying to pick the lock again.

Taking moments to listen for footsteps now and then, he finally managed to unlock the door. Listening one last time, he hears walking down the sidewalk and waits for it to pass, and opened the door after the sound faded beyond recognition. A bell rang that was attached to the door somewhere, and his heart skipped several beats, and quickly closed the door and walked casually down the sidewalk.

That was too damn close...
 

Imperatus Rex

Semper Imperatus
Blake Vanracht

As Blake walks casually down the sidewalk, he looks attentively for hiring posters, anything would be helpful.

Perhaps leaving behind your entire fucking house was a reckless choice...
He dwells on that thought for a moment, then shakes it from his head. Criticism upon himself right now would lead to little benefit.

When he had walked a block down the sidewalk, he saw a hiring sign on a coffee shop across the road, and it was still open. This was lucky indeed.

Standing beside the street, he waited for cars to pass, and a couple slowed down to let him walk across. Glancing at the drivers, one was a Caucasian youth and the other was the embodiment of the modern "Macho" mexican trope, both casually sitting with their radio playing. Civilians continue with their life as if Hunters weren't wandering alongside them.

Making it to the coffee shop, he checked his appearance in the slight reflection of the glass door. He straightened his messy hair, and tried to make himself presentable before asking about employment.

The coffee shop smelled nice, but not luxurious. This district was only half jokingly called the "Slums" of the city. Regardless, he has to admit that this cafe was kept clean and tidy.

"Hello sir, what can I get you today?" A youthful lady behind the counter asked him, smiling passionately as if held at gunpoint.

"Uhm...." Blake mumbles, unsure how to phrase himself, and also peeking at the menu as well, "I saw your poster. For employment."

The lady raises an eyebrow, and looks at him head to toe in a barely subtle manner. "Mhm, we have a spot available for you. Corneliae!" She shouts into the back, likely trying to get a manager, and Blakes heart nearly stops at the familiar name. She's here?

A man opens the door, and Blake is relieved it isn't his ex-roommate, but he takes a turn to the kitchen and proceeds. Someone else walks through the door, a redheaded female, and Blake's relief was taken back.

Corneliae stands in the doorway as the lady asks her to discuss hiring, but both of them look at each other in a sort of shock for a moment. Corneliae nods towards the lady, and gestures for Blake to follow her into the back room.

The office in the back was small, but well maintained. Corneliae sits down in her chair, slouching back a bit, and pours them both a cup of coffee. Her face is fairly plain, the surprise factor seemed to diminish quickly. Although he felt otherwise, he had only been gone a day.

Blake takes another deep breath and accepts a cup of coffee. She plays with her long orange hair with one finger, and they sit in silence for a minute avoiding eye-contact, but finally she looks at him directly. "You.... um... don't need much in terms of interview. You have proven yourself worthy for a recommendation."

Blake nods in silent gratitude as she hands him a schedule she prepared ahead of time.

"You begin tomorrow." She says as she leans forward, and hands him a thin roll of $5 bills, and with a slight sarcasm adds, "Take care of yourself. And please give a weeks notice for quitting next time."

Blake nod, stands up and thanks her, and leaves the office to order a beverage and return to his makeshift shelter for rest.

Big day ahead of you...
 
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ArQane

With blood comes life, with life comes death.
Anthony Gilman
Anthony groaned as the lunch bell pierced through the silence in the classroom. Mathematics was never his strong suit, and sitting down with problems in front of him for too long was damaging to his brain. Thankfully, he had finished his English homework earlier in the morning, so he had time to rest for a while. He picked himself up to meet up with Edward and the others in the usual rendezvous, and didn't walk more than a couple of paces before he was intercepted with the girl from earlier. Claire, was it?

"What do you want?" He asked brusquely.

"Come with me. We need to talk."

Anthony pondered for a moment. He never seen her until that morning, and if he had met her before, he certainly did not recognize her. Her name was quite unfamiliar to him, too, and her entire person felt suspicious. With the out of place uniform, undaunted nature, and confidence; she appeared to be more of a social reject that he was.

"Have we met? I think you might be mistaking me with someone else." He said. He turned around and prepared to leave, but she grabbed him abruptly, causing him to spin back towards her in alarm. Anton noticed her eyes had a cold hardened glint, and his blood went cold. If they weren't in school, he would've thought she had some murderous intent. Despite his conscience screaming at him to run away, he shrugged.

"Fine. Whatever." He said.

She leaded him to an empty classroom and pushed open the door. Anthony stopped in his tracks.

"We can''t be in here," he said hesitantly, but she ignored him. With a sigh, he entered after her. If things went sour, he'll just tell the teachers what happened, if they'd believe him. "So, what is so important?"

"You are in danger." She said. He fought the urge to laugh. The way she said it, along with the events in the morning, he felt like he was in some sort of cheesy action movie.

"What do you mean?"

She rolled her eyes, annoyed. "I am your familiar. You have unconsciously summoned me three days ago. I have been observing you ever since."

A stalker
, Anthony thought. Great.

"Tell this shit to someone who would believe you," he replied heatedly. "Do I look stupid?"

"Are you?"

"No."

She observed him for a moment. "Then you better do what I say. Listen, our souls are connected--"

"What?" Anthony asked, frowning. The more she talked, the more absurd and garbled it became. If it was some elaborate prank she set up, she certainly picked the wrong person to do it on.

"Someone's outside." She said. Anthony turned towards the door and, unsurprisingly, saw nobody in sight. He turned to her questioningly, but she merely got up and walked to the door. Opening it, she swiftly dragged a person in, and the figure shouted a yelp of alarm. Jonathan raised an eyebrow as he got a better sight of the person.

"You know him?" She asked, still holding the intruder tight by his shirt collar.

"Yea. It's Joe Bidus." He replied. He knew that the name meant nothing to her, but he personally knew the idiot. Joe Bidus was the asshole that the entire grade almost hated, and he went around insulting people who were weaker than him, and Anthony was a frequent target.

"What the hell you two doing?" The teen sneered. "Making out in a classroom?"

"What the hell were you doing?" Anthony shot back, "why were you snooping around the door, huh?"

"Who knows?" Joe said, adding suggestively, "maybe I was going to take some pictures. I never saw you as that daring of a guy, Anthony. Who knew you would pick up the new chick?" Anthony was irked by this. Not just at Joe, but at Claire for lumping him together in the mess.

"You're sick." Anthony replied. "Get out of here."

Claire released Joe, who quickly scrambled out of the room. The room was quiet for a moment, but Anthony could already hear the rumors circulating the school about their encounter. Claire stood there with a neutral expression, and Anton struggled to figure out how she could remain so impassive after listening to he and the bully's conversation. Frustrated, he stormed out of the classroom to his friends' usual hangout.
 

Lucifer

Lord of Twats
Janice Khella

The sun had set a while ago.

The roads were dimly lit by flickering street lights, massive infrastructures making large shadows that loomed over the whole area. Amongst the sea of man made buildings, stood a figure. A woman. Standing upon a rooftop, clad in a sweater and jeans. In her hand, she held a lit cigarette in between her fingers whilst she held a lighter in the other. Her arms were crossed over each other, an expression of apathy and disinterest plastered on her face. Sighing, the woman took a drag of her cigarette, her movements slow and fluid. The palm of her hand was rather rough, it held a strong grip over the cool exterior of the lighter.

Inhaling the sweet essence of nicotine into her body, she looked down below at the empty roads. The fear instilled in these people were well within reason, nobody in this part of town dared to be out and about at this time of night. Crowds of people were only present when they sun was out, when people could see clearly. Putting out her cigarette using the railing of the roof, she placed her lighter into the pocket of her jeans and trudged towards the exit; her hardened leather boots clacking quietly onto the surface of the concrete beneath it.

It was a rather pleasant view. The desolate city, although not well developed or excitingly bright, was a tranquil place.

The squeaking sound of metal startled the woman. She twisted around and her eyes widened. Her hands shook slightly as her brain tried to process the image in front of her. The silence was made obvious as the soft sound of a cigarette falling to the ground. The image captured in her brain ruptured her though process as she stared at who stood in front of her. To her, it was physically impossible and the possibility that she might've been going insane stuck in her mind.

Before her, stood one she held dearly in her life but had passed on. Her sister.

"Smoking isn't very good for your health.. or others..."
 
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Imperatus Rex

Semper Imperatus
Blake Vanracht

Early morning, around 6 o'clock he guessed, Blake was already on his way to the cafe dressed in a wrinkled white button up he found in one of his jackets. Streets were dead silent, few lights were on in the buildings he passed. There was the faint smell of cigarettes, likely from the ash trays on the benches of the bus stops.

Seeing the sign of the cafe about a hundred feet off, he takes a deep breath and notes that he is at least an hour early, though he hadn't seen a clock yet.

An eerie sensation came over Blake as he stepped past one of the Bus stops, but saw nothing when he looked at the bench.

Narrowing his eyes, he realizes the superstition feeling seemed very familiar to that of Jynkk's stare. It must be a familiar nearby, but it didn't feel very potent.

"Is anybody there?" Blake asks, knowing he wouldn't get an answer. He turns back to the cafe and continues his path until he hears a faint tremor from the opposite direction. Spinning around quickly, he darts toward the liquor store. What is happening to Jynkk?

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Returning to the liquor store, he is sees the door knocked to the ground with the glass scattered.

"Jynkk?" Blake says in a quiet voice, unsure where to look.

"Blake." A raspy voice answers, echoing from an alley.

Blake walks toward the split between the buildings and sees his familiar in a passive stance a few feet away. The Eye of the creature has a faint golden hue, something that he never saw before in Jynkk.

"There is a hunter not far from here. The familiar is some sort of elven being... I did not notice anything else." Jynkk states, standing on it's bronze legs and approaching the street.

"Don't step out here, people will see you." Blake says, but standing to the side regardless.

"We cannot hide forever. We are hunters ourselves, there is no option to deny our hunger." Jynkk replies, and moves onto the sidewalk as the pointed legs clink against the stone. Rotating it's head, it begins to move toward a shady figure farther along the sidewalk.

Blake follows Jynkk into the potential bloodbath.

The figure turns around, the eyes with a faint white glow, and what appears to be a dagger in one hand. They continue advancing, and the creature charges toward them.

Jynkk rotates the black magic face toward it, preparing to torch it. Blake sees it get closer and closer, until it is a mere forty feet away and he can see it is a form of Elven being. It looked like it was taken directly from Tolkien, he noted, and suddenly Jynkk unleashes a flamethrower of corrosive black fire from it's mouth.

The Elf's skin melts off and the bones are eaten away, Blake stares in horror at the gore of it. Little more than a muffled yell escaped the burning acid that consumed it.

With the cocky warrior now a smoldering pile of refuse, Jynkk nudges Blake with one of it's legs. "Harvest the strength of the keeper's soul." It says, and Blake looks around for where the Keeper would be.

"Perhaps I can just harvest it from the Familiar..." Blake says, kneeling down and hovering a hand over it's body. He felt a sensation of absorbing power, but it felt like it was from a nearby alley.

Searching the alley, they discovered the Keeper was hiding under a cardboard box in fear of the fight, but was clearly lifeless. Blake places a hand on the body and absorbs what he assumed to be the Anima that resided in the Keeper.

Blake takes a deep breath, unsure whether to feel sad or judgmental of the cowardly person. He mutters an apology to the deceased hunter and turns around. There was still his shift at the cafe he had to attend to, and they needed to make sure they aren't anywhere near the body.

"I cannot return to the hideout, perhaps I can hide in an alley near the cafe." Jynkk says and moves along the sidewalk.

"That would be handy..." Blake says, not entirely registering that their shelter was likely ruined. He stand up and walks out of the alley toward the cafe.
 
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