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  #31  
Old 09-24-2018, 05:42 AM
BadgerGob BadgerGob is offline
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Piedmont Animal Shelter

"Are you sure you are okay for the night shift, Catherine?" Gabrielle Gris pressed her yawning co-worker, eyeing her pallid skin and the shadows under her eyes with something like concern - or perhaps it was simply an assessment of weakness. The young-looking Oaxacan woman hung gracefully from the main door's frame, long hair blending into the deepening twilight beyond and brow furrowed over piercing, predatory eyes. She liked Catherine, she helped her convince the owner to pay her only in cash, but she was far too reckless (and not nearly deadly enough for it to be a virtue). "Yeah... Yeah, it's fine Gab. I think I'm just a little hungover." Gris, or rather 'Rada' as they knew her, sighed and slowly pushed off from the frame, "Alright." She shrugged and disappeared into the gloom of Piedmont, forgetting to give a proper farewell as usual.

Rada took a deep breath and immediately regretted it as the pungent stink of civilisation overwhelmed her senses. The weight of the city air felt like a cage and for moment she felt caged, like one of the animals in the shelter. Beneath the thin veil of humanity feathers and fur bristled, a sudden urge to find something natural amongst the concrete. The faint scent of pine and heather drew her attention and soon the beastial fae was stalking through downtown streets to the park.

The moment Gabrielle stepped onto the grass her tension relaxed, quickly removing her shoes and stretching out with a relieved sigh.
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  #32  
Old 09-24-2018, 06:20 PM
Ghoulish Ghoulish is offline
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223 Graham Street

Tzayidiel followed the detective in to the car, trying to ignore the uncomfortable feeling that came with the knowledge that without their cover the space would be incredibly cramped. It was an almost nausiating feeling, and something they'd never even considered before they had fallen. They sat down in the empty passenger seat, about to make a comment when something else grabbed their attention. Music was drifting out of the radio, and the detective appeared to be humming along with it. It was different to the music they'd heard earlier (had it really only been such a short time?), but caught their attention no less. It was... more structured, less mistakes, but that only made them more caught up in it. Why create something so polished for no obvious reasons? It confused them, and irritated them. But what confused them further was that it didn't irritate them as much as they'd expected. There was no overwhelming desire to smash the radio to pieces, or even turn the device off. Instead, they were content for it to continue, to sit and listen and wonder, despite the still new emotions sparking within them.

Robert's eyes unfocused as he sat in silence, staring vaugely towards the radio with an odd look on his face. He looked almost as if he was about to smile, or perhaps frown, but instead only the corners of his mouth twitched.
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  #33  
Old 09-24-2018, 10:02 PM
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Mistfader Mistfader is offline
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Piedmont Streets
If anybody in the crowd was about to do anything, Eileen's charisma put a stop to that. They all quickly returned to their usual nighttime bustle as the Scandinavian sighed, then disappeared into the crowd ahead of her, his only goodbye a brief “keep walking, I have to check something”.
As he parted, Eileen’s movements slowly began to feel more sluggish, like she was running from something in a dream. The crowd started closing in, a chattering river crashing into a canyon she was trapped in the middle of. The buildings looked, and felt, bigger, enormous stone monoliths staring her into the ground. Just beyond that person- no, that one- no, another- there was a presence, an invisible eye, an incomprehensible mind that she could feel was responsible for this.
Otherwise, Eileen made it to the greenery of Piedmont Park unscathed. The park itself was almost desolate, and although the fountain was waiting up ahead, there was yet another spooky young man on the path. This one seemed more aware of his surroundings, pleading with… the air? God? to help him. He hasn’t noticed Eileen yet, but he probably will if she walks closer.
[Eileen: Roll Wits+Composure (reflexive).]

Also Piedmont Park - Rada’s Part
A quiet rustle of movement from the bushes nearby. A woman, in an impeccable suit from an unfamiliar brand. She was watching the fountain from a well-hidden niche, leaning against the marble facade of the statuary. If she cared for, or even noticed Rada, she didn’t show it. After a few moments, footsteps from a yet-inaudible source approached, and the boundary between the ‘real’ world and the Hedge rapidly felt weaker, like paper.

You’ll Be BAC Bar
The bar turned out to be a worn, but not rundown, place on the edge of Piedmont’s (less than legal) red light district. Scowling patrons lined the counter, and smoke could be seen drifting from the back room. The place smelt like cheap beer and spent tobacco, and it was colder than most buildings, even at night. The bartender - a slightly rotund man with a chiseled jaw - glanced at the back room, then back to the pair, specifically focusing on Clipper’s attire. “Whatta you want, then? Not often your sort bothers comin’ down here.”

Last edited by Mistfader; 09-25-2018 at 10:58 PM. Reason: I got snarked at :c
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  #34  
Old 09-24-2018, 10:27 PM
DarkEye DarkEye is offline
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Piedmont Police Station.

Frantic. Yasmine was frantic. She had ten minutes at most to go through the file. Assumption: the vampire that had turned her would be covered in blood, she clearly remembered that red that had painted the walls of the barn she'd woken up in. When she blinked, she could see the bloody footprints leading out the side door. Yasmine had woken up, with only one way to figure her way out of the paper bag she had found her life wrapped in, one way that she knew how to solve her problems.
She was left with the thought: what would my main character do?
Her characters would think things through slowly. So she had, first she had gone to the nearest bus station and cleaned herself up, then had started combing through police stations and police officers. It'd taken her a long time to figure out that the incident reports had ended up on the other side of the city, apparently they'd been moved because it was suspected that they were linked to some unsolved murders.
Assumption: her vampire was linked to that somehow too.
She looked up in the faint slats that the outside neon signs allowed, her eyes peering at the large clock.
Eight minutes and counting.
Yasmine quickly flicked the page, and felt the first little sliver of hope. There was the incident reports for April 10th, 1949.

Last edited by DarkEye; 09-24-2018 at 10:27 PM.
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  #35  
Old 09-25-2018, 10:45 PM
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wikkit wikkit is offline
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Piedmont Streets
Eileen turned around to see the Scandinavian and to ask him why, but she could immediately notice the difference. The way her body moved was like she had been immersed in the thick, molasses-like haze of a dream, only her mind was still as clear as it could be. It wasn't even like those rare moments of odd disconnect with what she was seeing, she could absolutely tell her body was slower than it should be.

She called out "Something's wrong, I need you," to him, but it was lost or ignored in the sudden cacophony of chatter that surrounded her. Piedmont shouldn't...couldn't be this busy at this time of day.

There wasn't much she could do for a moment but stand there in a disoriented muck, trying to protect this jar and resist being pushed away from where she was supposed to be. That odd feeling of something out there that she couldn't possibly identify was the only thing keeping her from blaming this urn yet again. She briefly stared at where it felt like it should be, and silently cursed it.

After an uphill battle, her lowered reflexes making her feel far more clumsy than usual as she bumped into person after person after person, she found the park. And the fountain.

And the strange man in front of the fountain.

...She quickly decided to walk around the edge of the little plaza, giving as much space as this poor fellow needed to keep to himself, while keeping a wary eye on him at all times.

 

Last edited by wikkit; 09-26-2018 at 02:36 AM.
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  #36  
Old 09-26-2018, 02:18 AM
BadgerGob BadgerGob is offline
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Piedmont Park

For a few blissful moments Rada only heard the faint trickling of the distant fountain and the sporadic movement of leaves from nocturnal beasts. She smiled and felt the grass between her toes and fingers, about to contemplate her goal for the remainder of her night when her ears pricked up, a new rustling signalling the entrance of something human-shaped. Careful not to make noise, the changeling slowly rolled onto her chest at rose to a crouch - the temptation was always to be quick, but that was the mark of foolish prey. Amber eyes regarded the suited figure, head cocked to the side as she puzzled at what quarry could warrant staring so intently at a fountain.

A pang of apprehension hit Gabrielle, she could feel the realm of dreams and thorns seeping and weaving into the waking world. The woman could be a huntsman, or some other servant of keepers - perhaps their mask was too oblique to glimpse through. Even if it were so, Rada wanted to see what was weakening the barrier from the Hedge. She took a few moments to tie the laces of her thin-soled, battered shoes together and drape them around her neck before taking to the thicker foliage. Treading slowly, practically walking on all fours Rada circled closer to the suited woman and the approaching figure. As she drew nearer the changeling noticed something peculiar to the scent of the former. Human, but somehow too calm. Even sleeping mortals were not this serene.

 

Last edited by BadgerGob; 09-26-2018 at 02:20 AM. Reason: 10 again
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  #37  
Old 09-26-2018, 05:09 AM
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Mistfader Mistfader is offline
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Piedmont Park
 


Eileen could see a figure, of entirely unremarkable and average build, watching her from the path deeper in the park. It wasn't as tall as the Scandinavian, who had yet to return. They looked like they had straight hair down to the shoulders and a charcoal suit, but aside from that, no facial features particularly stood out, and they were too obscured by their hiding place, a statue of a resting soldier, for much further identification.

Although she didn't seem startled, she was too preoccupied to notice Rada sneaking around (if she wasn't just ignoring her). In fact, she was too preoccupied to blink, by the looks of things. She just kept staring at the fountain, and at Eileen. For the briefest moment, her eyes flicked to glance at the translucent, and definitively not visible to mortal eyes, man Eileen had walked around, a cascade of dismissive appraisal sloughing off of her like snow from a roof. Then they snapped back, and the calmness returned.

Unbeknownst to Eileen, Rada had managed to get close enough to get a good look at both sides. What was approaching the fountain was definitively not human. Veiny, purple leaves drooped from a green scalp, which gave way to a face with a reasonably normal mouth, and nothing else.

The mildly transparent man, meanwhile, hadn't noticed Eileen, and was still moaning away in the background, pleading for help. Although it made it more difficult to hear what was going on, it wasn't unbearable. It would mask any lesser sounds, such as twigs snapping, of course. And it had the odd quality of stirring nuggets of helplessness within those who heard it, although not enough to overly distract someone. Soon, though, his moaning was cut off by the arrival of another; similarly translucent, but radiating clarity and purpose, a shape that was once human entered the park. Its body looked like it had been drawn, quartered and butchered, limbs and face split into multiple floating segments, each of which had at least one eye on its pale, blue-tinged skin. Its mouth was split into a grin filled with several layers of canines, and its focus was entirely on the woman Eileen had just noticed. As it walked past Eileen, she could feel the same pressure as she had in the streets earlier, just as strong as it once was, except without the environment looming over her quite as much this time.

The fountain stood, more or less the most cliche one imaginable, with a circular base and a statue of a knight in the middle, out of which water flowed from various holes along its armour (and out of the sword it had raised above its head), alternating which of the 'secondary' holes it was flying from. The resulting noise wasn't enough to drown out the man, of course, but it still reverberated nicely through the otherwise-empty plaza, past the benches at its periphery and into the trees and street beyond.

Last edited by Mistfader; 09-27-2018 at 12:20 AM.
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  #38  
Old 09-27-2018, 12:36 AM
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wikkit wikkit is offline
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Piedmont Park
With a sense of carefulness, Eileen avoided the ring of pebbles around the fountain as prescribed. Stopping at the edge, her hands and the urn waiting above the water, she caught sight of the next strange person. There was the same possibility that, like this wailing man was plainly made out to be, that this figure was yet another ghost.

Discomforting, yes, but of no real concern. For the moment.

This watcher was a little less important than the newest apparition, though. She could feel that bizarre sensation that set it apart from the others, and it told her something very clearly: time to go!

Without further ado, Eileen tried to find the perfect balance in between hurried and carefulness as she opened the urn, and poured it into the waters of the fountain.
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  #39  
Old 09-28-2018, 05:29 AM
BadgerGob BadgerGob is offline
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Piedmont Park

Rada remained crouching behind a thick wall of foliage, keen eyes peering through a small gap in the leaves as she observed with a perplexed frown. Most humans would find such a position uncomfortable, but the changeling beast held it with a practiced stillness and serenity. The bearing of a predator waiting to strike. The prey before her were unusual, even for Rada, but at least seemed not to have noticed her approach.

The bizarre calm of the suited one persisted, human as it appeared, and Gabrielle felt it was waiting for something - a predator ready of an ambush. The approaching figure was more overtly supernatural - a sort of plant given humanoid form. Rada's frowned deepened, head cocking slightly to the side as she regarded her. A Changeling, perhaps. She seemed to be in a hurry to empty the urn she carried, perhaps even afraid of something. Though she was without eyes the plant-like being was looking about the otherwise empty park. Perhaps she was the prey the suited-one was waiting for.
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  #40  
Old 10-09-2018, 05:42 PM
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Mistfader Mistfader is offline
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Piedmont Police Station

Most of the reports weren't too useful; a burglary at a jewelery store in downtown Piedmont; four masked individuals of the same height and build walked into a store and acted out a scene straight out of the movies. A domestic dispute that a neighbour had called in from the nearby village of Lavington, although it turned out to just be a loud argument. A murder in the financial district; the body was arranged in an alley perfectly to face the rising sun. Wait, hold on. That last one had something; a single witness claimed to see a man in a blood-stained suit, watching them. He was dismissed due to lack of corroboration, but his contact details were taken regardless: 28 Brookfield Lane, Apartment 3.

[Yasmine: Roll Dexterity+Stealth.]

Piedmont Partk

The urn opened with a sigh and the smell of old books. The substance inside, something that looked like liquid playdough made of ash and dripped with the thick consistency of gravy or blood, reluctantly mingled with the waters of the fountain. A few seconds passed as it dissipated, then a faint, cyan vapour began drifting from the surface of the water, which began to cave in, becoming a waterfall that silently roared into a black abyss. The boundaries of reality twisted and strained against themselves, the gap between the world and the Hedge cracking as the Gauntlet creaked in protest and Twilight began to disintegrate (along with another, more primal boundary beyond it).

Slowly, the young man pleading with the world around him gained more substance. He looked almost normal, except for the blue hue that wrapped around him. And the tattered 'outline' that enveloped him as he became more visible, even (especially) for those who had yet to notice him. A single hand gripped the edge of the fountain from the inside, and a similarly incorporeal body that Eileen would recognise as the arrogant lady from the catacombs pulled itself out onto the ground of the park, somehow not even raising a cloud of dust as she did so. Not paying any heed to any observers, she immediately walked briskly off into the park's foliage.

The stalker, watching the fountain intently throughout the entire procedure, blinked three times. A ripple went across the gap the water was falling into, as if the entire abyssal waterfall was an illusion. Then a stale wind whistled up from the black depths, and a second hand, more soft and spongy, grabbed the edge of the fountain. Then another, then another.

Across the city, Tzayidiel could feel an enormous surge of Aether at this point, even without emitting a 'pulse' for resonance.
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  #41  
Old 10-10-2018, 11:27 PM
kingspandex kingspandex is offline
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Uncle Chen's Oriental Grocery.

Chen looked up at the clock. It was getting late, and it was probably getting to the timeframe where he should start dusting off the torpor'd vampires in the basement. While keeping them in that door at the back of the storeroom saved on space, the clutter downstairs made it hard to get to them. More importantly, this girl looked like she could use some sleep. He reached under the counter and tossed her an apron reading "Uncle Chen's Oriental Grocery/Traditional Pharmacy."

"I'm no monster, Amanda, you start tomorrow. Ten AM sharp."
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  #42  
Old 10-11-2018, 01:00 AM
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Piedmont Park
With the careful part out of the way, that meant that there was only hurriedness left.

Eileen, staring at the ghostly procession that was slowly making its way from the depths (whether it was the catacombs or somewhere else entirely) had decided that she had performed her duty very well. She wasn't even too alarmed by this; though what this could do to the ghosts was yet unknown, they had yet to even notice her. Even the one on the edge of the light here wasn't giving her attention anymore.

The fact that she could see the way the Hedge had made itself apparent here after all of that...that was a little more distressing.

Feeling that it was her time to leave, Eileen decided to leave the trail and cut through the grass, clicking on her flashlight as she did so. This was quicker than snaking her way through the paths, bringing her closer to the nearest building...but, unknowingly, close to where Rada was hidden as well.
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