masterofgunfu: (Default)
 Once Kate left, things settled down to wait. Aunt B (my smooth-skinned self screamed for us to get out of there but I knew it was too late for running) insisted we have some tea and so we retired from the bathroom to the kitchen. As I sat waiting for the kettle, I scented the air looking for the common smells I associated with boudas--fear, pain, insanity, depravation--but could find none here. Well, I could smell pain mixed with sex but no adrenal soaked, get me the hell out of here pain. It was too weird for me and so I asked to use the bathroom. I also had the strong urge to see my smooth-skinned self one more time before the Beastlord came to kill me.

I stood looking at myself in the mirror and couldn't find the fear I expected to find. Sure I didn't want to die but I'll be damned if there wasn't a part of me that wasn't looking forward to fight for my life. I knew it was all over but to face that impossible fight dead on, no flinching...it was intoxicating. And so of course when I opened the door to go back to the kitchen, I found a bar instead. Damnit. I shut the door and looked around for some clothes, spotting a pair of cheap gray sweats. I slipped them on and opened the door again.

Yep, still Milliways. Well, screw it, I'll face my death with a full belly at least.
masterofgunfu: (beast-not now)
[OOC: All dialog, except for the encounter with Red, are from Magic Bleeds, I have simply changed the POV to Andrea's.]

I was settling in with Julie to wait in the Vault when Kate came by to say good bye. She had changed to fresher clothing and was all decked out for a night on the town, if taking on a pack of vamps was your idea of a night on the town. A leather vest protected her torse, some loose brown pants that none the less looked to be at least denim weight, jungle combat boots, a utility belt, knives, vambraces with silver needles and her sword on her back, the whole ensamble said more than badass, it said competent badass. I had to admit, even I would think twice before throwing down with her.

"Getting settled?" Kate asked us but I was pretty sure she was really asking Julie.

"Andrea has jerky and there is pizza," the kid replied in a wilted voice.

"I'm sorry you're mad at me. I brought you a book to read." Kate put the book on the table and Julie continued to ignore her. I carefully loaded my guns so as to give them what privacy I could. After a moment or two more, Kate crossed the room and hugged Julie, which surprised me. She didn't seem the touching type, but then kids bring out the weird in us all. "I'll be back soon, okay? Stay here. Andrea is very cool. You'll be safe with her. Who knows, I might come back with your mom."

"You think so?" Julie said, her frozen anger finally cracking.

"I hope so. I've got my sabre and I've got my belt."

"Batman belt!"

"That's right, Barbara. Protect the cave while I'm gone." Kate said, not missing a beat. I couldn't help but crack a smile.

"Here. I'm not giving it to you," Julie said suddenly sober as she handed over a necklace with what looked like a bunch of coins strung on it. "I'm just letting you borrow it for a little while. You'll bring it back, right?"

"Right," Kate said, putting the necklace into a pocket under her leather. She looked at me and we nodded before she turned and left.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A few hours later and Julie was again beating my ass in Street Fighter when we heard a soft bang. We froze and looked at each other for a second before I turned and picked up a gun. I gestured for Julie to get over by the panic button and headed to the Vault's single door. A knock sounded, weak and barely audible but definitely something hitting the door. I reached for the sliding panel that covered the small window set in the door but looked over at Julie before opening it.

"Remember, if I act the slightest bit weird or something pushes through, you hit the panic button. Got it?" She nodded and held her hand over the button. I slide the window guard back and looked through to see a kid, a boy maybe Julie's age, covered in blood and laying on the floor with his back to me.

Julie couldn't see much but she must have seen enough cause she yelled, "Red! That's Red! We gotta help him, let him in!"

"Now hold on, calm down. Who's Red?" I said. As I spoke I got that feeling I get sometimes, right before a magic wave. If I was going to do anything with a gun, it had to be soon.

"He's my boyfriend! You gotta help him, you're a knight!" The kid was really losing it so I made my choice and opened the door. I held my P226 at the ready and looked first one way down the corridor, then the other before approaching the kid.

"Hey, Red. You awake?" I asked just as he rolled over and blew some sort of power into my face. I fired by instinct though my aim was off by whatever the hell the kid had just thrown in my face. Then the magic hit and I felt my bones wake up and stretch. I had just enough time to scream before the pain dragged me under.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I lay there I don't know how long, barely able to breath as my body fought with itself, when I realized someone was there. I turned my head but could only see out of my left eye as the other was blocked by a flap of skin. Still I recognized Kate. Thank whom ever will listen it was Kate and not one of the other knights returned. A spasm hit and I lost myself again for a few seconds before I was able to say, "Heeeeelp." With the word came other sensations; the wetness I was laying in, a breeze across my small intestines, the snap, crackle pop of my vertebrae as they grew and shrank.

"I'm going to take you to the hyena pack," Kate said and I panicked.

"No. Can't." I wanted to scream but forming those simple words was the best I could manage. As fucked up as my life was, I still wanted to live.

"Don't argue. We have no choice." Kate said as she set herself to lift me. She carried me through the Chapter's offices and out to a horse buggy. I could smell wolfsbane and not much else; wolfsbane was really good at masking scents which was why it was so popular. Setting me down carefully, Kate asked, "Julie?"

"Boy," I said fighting through another spasm as my neck tried to decide how long it needed to be. "Shaman boy. Took Julie."

I could see Kate's scowl of murder but all she said was, "Hang on for me. Stay alive," and turned to run back into the office. While she was gone, I reached up to the buggy's wall and managed to pull myself up maybe an inch before the spasms decided they were being too nice and called in the convulsions.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Over and over I tried to escape the wagon, only to have my own body betray me. Hours it seemed as Kate drove us from the heart of the city to the wooded lands belonging to the Pack.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I was floating, buoyed by the pain, when Kate's snarl, "She's dying!" broke through and I saw the face of an angle thrust inches from my own..

The angel looked frozen for a second before disappearing from my field of view. "Open the way!" A male voice called out.

"You forget yourself..." a female, not Kate, replied.

"She needs Mother now!" The male voice yelled back. "Drive!"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Strong arms picked me up and brought me back to the world. I cracked open an eye and saw my angel was back. He carried me to a house and I caught a brief glimpse of a nice, friendly old lady who took one look at me and jerked her head. "Inside," she said, her voice baked cookies and surgical steel. "You, too!"

I had no idea who she was talking to but I hoped it was Kate. It would be good to have one friendly face with me when I was torn to pieces.

My angel carried me to a huge marble tub, spilling sex toys and fruit, to lay me down in the warm water. He even stepped into the water with me and kept me afloat so I wouldn't drown. Which was good, as another seizure hit and I lost track of things.

"Who else knows?" I heard the cookies and steel voice say.

"She had a wolf with her," the female from outside said.

"Who?"

"Derek," a new voice said and it took me a moment to recognize Kate.

"Good. The boy will go straight to Curran. I can reason with Curran. It's our luck that the Bear is away. As long as none of the older guard find out, we'll be fine," Cookies and steel mused. The nice old lady, Aunt B my mind reminded me, came into my field of vision. "Stupid, stupid child," she said not unkindly. "You know what you are?"

I nodded and my body tried again to become what it knew, what I had prevented it from becoming for months now.

"It will go easier then. Strip her." Another female, the one who we met on the road if her scent was anything to go by, jumped into the tub and removed what bits of clothing still remained on me.

"You're going to gag, go outside," Aunt B told Kate before turning the weight of her full attention on me. "I will guide you into the beast form. Your face is turning gray. You know what that means, so concentrate if you want to live. Chest first. Picture two wings growing from your back. Large wings. Spread them, child. Spread them wide."

I heard the door slam as Kate ran.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
My delirium was fading and I found myself resigned to my fate. I was a shapeshifter, a beastkin, and Kate had brought me to my doom though she thought she was saving me. I lay in the male bouda's arms as he carefully searched my skull while Aunt B and the other female talked me through to my beast form.

The bathroom door opened and I heard Kate's voice. "I have to go..." she said and Aunt B turned to look at her, revealing my beast self to Kate for the first time. Her voice trailed off as she looked me over.

"Found it," the male said and Aunt B held my head and said, "Do it." He pulled the shaman's charm from my skull; the charm that had inhibited my beast for for all these months and allowed me to serve the Order without fear of discovery. My senses immediately sharped to their true potential and I was surprised to smell little fear coming from Kate. The male leaned forward and lightly licked my neck, sending a shiver through me.

"I do believe Raphael's in love." The younger female bouda said. Figures, my angel had the name of a Renaissance artist.

"Kate? Where are you going?" I asked, my voice a little deeper and rougher in my beastform.

"Curran wants to talk to me. He sent Jim, and it's best I go."

I took a deep breath. I had to explain to her, she had to know what she was walking into. "I'm beastkin." Kate looked unimpressed and confused.

Aunt B spoke up. "Do you remember Corwin?"

"The catwere. He died protecting Derek," Kate replied.

"Corwin was a good person. He came here a lot."

"He liked to play," the female bouda added.

"Yes, he did. He was shooting blanks. No harm done," Aunt B said continuing to look at Kate.

"That's to be expected, the beastweres are sterile."

Aunt B's face stretched a bit. "Not always."

"Oh."

"Occasionally, very, very occasionally, they make babies."

"Oh."

I sighed as Kate was now getting it. "Sometimes babies survive."

"You're the child of a hyenawere?" Kate blurted and everybody winced.

"Yes," I said oddly relieved that someone knew. "I'm beastkin. My father was born a hyena."

"Does Ted know?"

"He might suspect, but he has no proof."

Kate shrugged. "I won't tell him if you don't. What happened to Julie?"

"Just like that?" the female bouda interrupted. "It doesn't bother you that she is a child of an animal?"

"No," Kate said simply. "Why should it? Anyway, what happened to Julie?"

Aunt B must have decided Kate still didn't understand so she added, "The Code says we're human first. We're born human; we die human. That is the natural form, the dominant form. We must assert it and set it above the beast, because that is the natural way."

"The beastkin are born beast," I said softly. "It follows that beast is our natural form, but as we grow, we lose the ability to become beast, because we're hybrid. Therefore I am an animal that's crippled at birth. Unnatural."

Kate rolled her eyes at all of us. "Andrea, you're my friend. I don't have many of those. How you were born, what you look like, what anybody else thinks, makes no difference to me. When I needed help, you helped me and that's all that matters. Now, can you please, please tell me what happened to my kid?"

In shock I twitched my nose and a nervous cackle slipped out before I choked it off. "A homeless boy came to the vault."

"Red."

"Yes. Julie told me he was her boyfriend. He was covered in blood and he collapsed by the door. Julie went hysterical. I opened the door and he threw something at me, a powder. I carried a shaman charm in my skull to keep from turning. Usually I have no trouble, but the magic ran too high. Whatever he did..." I said and threw up my hands. "It interfered with the charm. I started turning but I couldn't finish. He grabbed Julie and dragged her out." I could tell Kate was seriously pissed, likely more pissed than I had ever seen her.

"Your sword's smoking," the female bouda said helpfully.

"It does that occasionally," Kate said, her voice flat.

Aunt B wasn't done yet though. She leaned forward. "By tradition, all beastkin are killed at birth. If any of the shapeshifters find out she's here, I'll have a mob at my doorstep."

Raphael licked his lips and said, "It might be fun."

Aunt B reached out and casually smacked him on the back of the head.

"Ow.

"Is that Curran's cat outside my door?"

"Yes," Kate replied.

"He's caught Andrea's scent by now and he'll report. You'll have to tell Curran something. It's better not to lie."

"I'll take that under advisement," Kate said and walked out.
masterofgunfu: (Default)
 I was busy adjusting the tension on a tactical crossbow when Mauro poked his head into my Armory. Standing at least six-four and nearly as wide, Mauro was a Samoan who could direct fire, kind of like this cartoon I saw once. I think it had something to do with the dense wall of tribal tattoos on his back and chest. Someday I'll ask if it was a shamanic thing or not. He was also one of the few knights who ignored the Knight-Protector's lead in his attitude towards me. He honestly seemed to like me which I greatly appreciated. The fact that he was so huge and intimidating also kept a lot of the harassment I could be getting off my back. Not that I couldn't handle it but it was nice not to have to deal with.

"Guess who's house sitting tonight," he said with a pained expression on his face.

"Oh, son of a bi…I've been here all day!"

"Sorry, Ted's orders. Plus, with the Flare coming, every knight…"

"I know every knight but one will be on patrol, no exceptions. Fine."

"I'll bring you chocolate."

"Like hell you will. You couldn't afford it and your wife would kill you if she found out."

Another fun night polishing bowstrings and guns,
I thought to myself. Maybe now would be a good time to M-scan those things from Milliways.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Half an hour later and I was staring at two printout sheets from the M-scans I did of a book of matches from the bar and a bullet I had taken from here to there and back again. Both pages were blank. Huh. Weird. Convenient but weird.

Andrea dear?
Maxine, the Order's telepathic receptionist's "voice" said in my head and I quickly pushed thoughts of Milliways into a box. Kate Daniels is on line four for you.

Got it,
I projected back as I picked up the phone. "Hey, Kate."

"I really hate to ask you this," Kate said, "but I have no choice. I'm trying to escort a little girl to the Order so I can hide her in the vault. I need three horses."

YES! I thought and nearly danced in place. "No problem. Where are you?"

"I'm at the Pack's Southeast Office. I'll meet you on the corner of Griffin and Atlanta Avenue. And I have a shapeshifter with me."

Pack territory...that could be tricky The Pack was a confederation of different clans of shapeshifters, all ruled by one man, Curran or as he is most often called, the Beast Lord. The Pack didn't let just anyone into or out of their territory but then I was just a knight helping another knight do her duty. "Sit tight. I'll be right there," I said and hung up.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

The ride to pick up Kate and her posse (a young waif of a girl who was maybe ten and who reeked like she lived on the streets and an Oh-My-God-Lock-Up-Your-Women hansom young man of maybe 18, the aforementioned shapeshifter, a wolf if I wasn't mistaken) was straight forward and boring. Well, as boring as heavy traffic in Atlanta can be. Everyone could tell a flare was coming and so was taking care of business, leaving town, or batting down the hatches. Flares could be bad news. Normally, a magic wave comes and goes, maybe leaving behind a harpy or some other challenging but not impossible to kill monster. Flares could leave dragons or even gods behind.

We made it back to the Order's HQ in decent enough time with me riding point, though I could tell Kate was anxious with our pace. Once we got there, she sent the little girl, Julie if I caught the name right, upstairs to her office and brought the two horses she and Derek's had been riding over to the stables while I grabed mine and Julie's. Derek took up a position at the front of the building to give us girls the illusion of privacy. I knew wolf ears would pick up anything we said and was pretty sure Kate knew too. 

She filled me in on her case; a missing person with a twist as only Atlanta could provide. Kate was looking for Julie's mom, who went missing after some big ritual. The twist came in the form of something Kate call reeves, which sounded like twisted vampire mermaids who could use their hair like tentacles, and an entity she called Hood but apparently was more commonly know as Bolgor the Shepard and somehow I just knew he didn't care for little sheep. 

And I was right. Bolgor is one of the fomorians, ancient Irish sea demons or something. I didn't really know a fomorian from a leprechaun but sea demon seemed to be enough information to know they were bad news. Kate finished talking so I said, "Fomorians," as if I really knew what that meant. "What's the world coming too?"

Kate scowled a nod and said, "Three things: what are they doing here, why do they want Julie, and what happened to her mom?"

I shook my head. "I have no clue. But that's not my area. I shoot. I make gadgets work. I'm good with post-Shift resonance theory. Ask me something about folklore, and I draw a blank every time. But I'll keep you girl safe."

"I'm sorry to dump this on you."

I looked over at Derek and sighed. "I wish everyone would stop walking on eggshells around me. It needs doing, so I'll do it. I have to stay in the Chapter anyway: it's standard procedure during a flare for one knight to always be present. I'll guard your girl."

Kate didn't look assured.

"What's up?"

"Should I write up a petition for safe asylum?" She asked chewing her lip in thought. Obviously rules and regulations were not her thing but I caught her drift.

"Worried about the Danger to Humanity clause?"

"Yeah."

I smiled as I'd nailed it on the head. "The good news is, you don't have to file one. She is an orphan with no known relatives. Under provision seventeen, you can assume temporary guardianship of her due to the fact she's can't legally enter into contract. Fill out form 240-m, and she becomes your ward in the eyes of the Order. During a flare, all families of Order personnel can legally seek shelter at the nearest Chapter without being subject to the imminent danger clause. Unless she attacks, they have no authority to neutralize her."

"I don't know if she would sign something like that," Kate said, still doubtful. "She still thinks her mother is alive. And so do I. It might hammer some unpleasant possibilities home."

"You don't need her to sign. That's the beauty of it–all you need is the testimony of one knight besides yourself who agrees that you're acting in her best interests," I replied with a Cheshire grin. "And lucky you, you know one."

"Thanks," Kate said and I could tell she meant it.

"No problem. This is kind of fun for me–I'm so freaking bored. If magic hits, we'll skedaddle down into the vault, and if the reeves show up while the tech is up, I'll use their heads for target practice."

The Order's main door burst open. Julie ran headfirst into Derek and flailed in his hands. He grabbed her and lifter her off the ground. "What? Speak!"

She stained and spat a single word. "Vampire!"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

It waited for us upstairs in Kate's office; a hairless, emaciated nightmare, wrapped in steel-wire muscle and hidden in human skin. It was nude, ugly, and had been dead for three or four decades. Someone had smeared copious amounts of purple sunblock over its hide. For some reason the sunblock didn't disappear but dried into paste, as if the creature had popped a giant bubble of grape gum onto itself.

"You've got to be kidding me," Kate said upon seeing the creature.

The vampire unhinged its mouth and a deep, cultured voice issued forth. "A pleasure to see you, as always."

I entered the office on Kate's heals, stepped to her left to leave her sword arm free, and drew both my SIG-Sauers. I saw Kate's eyes widen minutely and internally I cringed. At this point I was going to have to get horn-rimmed glasses to keep my secret identity.

"Lovely firearms," the vampire said.

"SIG-Sauer P226. Move and you'll go blind."

"Do you really think you could beat vampire reflexes?" The vampire asked, the voice light. Or the pilot I should say, for vampires had no consciousness and since it hadn't already attacked us, it was being driven by a necromancer. The pilot wasn't challenging me; he was merely curious. But then again, he wasn't the one facing physical harm.

"Do you want to find out?" I replied, just for the record.

Kate interrupted us by saying, "She can blow his head off before you finish a twitch. Trust me, I measure speed for a living." I was liking Kate more and more. "Fortunately for all of us, we don't have to fight."

She smiled at me, telling me it was okay and so I put my guns away. "I'll be down the hall," I said and left the office, closing the door behind me. I wondered if we had any of that powdered stuff people claimed tasted like hot chocolate to feed the kid, hoping kids still liked hot chocolate.
masterofgunfu: (Default)

[OOC: Disclaimer, the situations and dialogue are all from Magic Burns. I have merely switched the POV from Kate to Andrea.]

I unlocked the door to the armory and stood to gaze at my domain. Another glorious day in the Order of Merciful Aid. Seven years of a stellar record serving and protecting those who couldn't protect themselves from the magical HazMat left over by the magical waves that have been hitting the world for decades and now, now I'm a glorified clerk. I have one mission go bad and I land here, in Atlanta, with a boss, one Ted Moynohan, who doesn't trust me. A boss who keeps me locked up in the Armory and off of active duty. Keep your friends close but your enemies closer right? Well, at least I can serve by making sure the equipment is in good shape. You need to be able to depend on your equipment right?

A few hours into my morning and I'm cleaning a Glock 21C (a decent enough weapon though nothing to a Sig Sauer if you want my humble opinion) when I get a visitor in the form of one Kate Daniels; tall, dark, and svelte to my short, blond, and stocky. If there was anyone my boss trusted less than me, it'd be Kate. A loose cannon, she was brought in to investigate the death of the Chapter's Knight-Diviner a few months ago and ended up on the payroll as a liaison between the Mercenary Guild and the Order. It was about this time that I realized she was just standing there looking at me.

"You need something?" I asked politely.

Kate blinked before replying, "I need to ID a crossbow bolt."

Be still my heart, this was almost like a case. I made a come-here gesture with my free hand while I put the Glock on the cleaning cloth. "Give."

Kate held out a brown paper bag and I did my best not to roll my eyes. A paper bag. Really, what sort of evidence keeping were they teaching these days? Once I pulled out the bolt (being careful to hold it by the paper) I couldn't help the whistle that escaped my lips. This was a nice piece of work. Blood-red and fletched with three black feathers, it was about two feet long. Several, inch-long black lines marked the shaft just before the fletch as well; nine marks in all. Beautiful and deadly. 

"Nice," I said. "This is a carbon shaft. It can't be bent. Very durable and expensive. Looks like a 2216, designed to bring down medium-sized game, deer, some bear…"

"Human," Kate interrupted as she leaned against the wall and sipped her coffee.

"Yeah." I nodded. "Good power, good trajectory without any significant sacrifice in speed. It's a man-killer. Look at the head–small, three-blade, weights about a hundred grains. Reminds me a lot of a Wasp Boss series. Some people go for mechanical broad heads, but with a good crossbow the acceleration is so sudden, it opens the blades in flight and there goes your accuracy down the drain. If I were to pick a broad head, I'd pick something like this." I twisted the bolt, letting the light from the window play on the blades of the head. "Hand sharpened. Where did you get this?"

She told me; a bag-and-tag case that went sour, resulting in the death of the tag, killed with the bolt by parties unknown. I frowned in thought, "The fact that you didn't hear the bow go off probably means it's a recurve. A compound crossbow 'twangs' at release. Can I fire it?" I nodded toward my man-shaped target boards to make sure she knew I didn't mean at her. People can be jumpy.

"Sure."

I put the bolt down, still wrapped in the paper, to put on gloves so as to keep the magic residue to a minimum. Grabbing a small crossbow off the bench, I loaded, swung it up, and fired. The bolt whistled through the air and bit into the center of the man's forehead. Bull's-eye, as always. I saw Kate flinch out of the corner of my eye and wondered if I should have taken some time to aim first. Oh well.

The fey lanterns flickered and faded. On the wall, the dusty electric fixture flared with soft yellow light. The magic wave had drained and the world had shifted from magic back to tech. Kate and I looked at each other. Nobody could predict the duration of the shifts: the magic came and went as it pleased. But the waves rarely lasted less than an hour. This one had been what, fifteen minutes?

"Is it me, or is it shifting more than usual?" Kate asked though we both knew the answer.

"It's not you." I said as I walked over to free the bolt. "Want me to scan it for magic?" 

"If it's not too much trouble." Magic had the annoying tendency of dissipating over time. The sooner you could scan your evidence, the better you chances of getting a power print.

"Trouble?" I asked and leaned into her personal space. "I've been off-line for two months. It's killing me. I have cobwebs growing on my brain." I pressed my finger below my right eye, pulling the lower eyelid down. "Look for yourself."

Kate laughed at my joke, half convincing me she was all right. I walked the bolt over to the magic scanner, raised the glass hood, slid the bolt onto the ceramic tray, lowered the cube, and cranked the lever. The cube descended and the m-scanner whirled.

"Andrea?"

"Mmm?"

"The tech's up," Kate said.

I grimaced, feelings stupid for making such a rookie mistake. "Oh, Christ. Probably won't get anything. Well, you never know. Sometimes you can pull some residual magic imprints even during tech."

We looked at the cube. We both knew it was futile. You would have to scan something really saturated with magic to get a good m-scan during tech. Like a body part. The m-scanner analyzed the traces of residual magic left on an object by its owner and printed them in a variety of colors: blue for human, green for shapeshifter, purple for vampire. The tone and vividness of the colors denoted the different types of magic, and reading an m-scan correctly was practically an art form. The traces of magic on a bolt, probably held very briefly, were bound to be minuscule.

The printer chattered. I pulled the print out and turned to Kate. My shock must have been clear for Kate looked confused for a second before she looked at the print out as well. A wide line of silvery blue cut across the paper. Human divine. That in itself was not remarkable. Anybody who drew their power from deity or religion registered as human divine: the Pope, Shaolin monks, even a knight-diviner, would register silver-blue. The problem was, we shouldn't have been able to get an m-scan at all with the tech up.

"What does this mean? Is the residual magic just incredibly strong on this thing?" Kate asked.

I shook my head. "The magic waves have been really erratic lately."

We looked at each other. We both knew what rapid-fire waves meant: a flare. And this city needed a flare like I needed a hole in the head. Bad things happened in flares, and giant monsters were the least of it.

Kate got the faraway look in her eyes that suggested Maxine, our telepathic receptionist, was "talking" to Kate, likely letting her know she had a call or a petitioner. Gods, I'd kill for a petition right about now. Kate looked back to me long enough to thank me before heading to her office.

Well, back to cleaning guns.

masterofgunfu: (A-monday bloody monday)
It's as Andrea stands up to the boy twice her height that she finally understands her mother and how much courage it took for her to run from her sisters. All she wants to do is run, but she is her mother's daughter and if her mother could stand up, then by all that might be left that's holy, so would she. His fist knocks her down, and she wants to laugh. If he thinks that's all it's going to take; her Aunt Clarise hit harder than that. The kick sends her crashing again and then all the other boys join in.

Minutes or hours later, a red haired girl her own age comes into her field of vision as she lays on the ground. "You shouldn't fight their way," the girl says. "They're bigger than you. Hell, looks like just about everyone's bigger than you. You should fight your own way. Unless you like being hurt?"

"I...what do you mean?" Andrea asks.

"You good at throwing? Throw rocks at them or grab a stick. Using your fists or just standing there and taking it like they do is stupid. I'm Sharon," the girl says offering a hand to help Andrea up.

"That's...that's a good idea. I'm Andrea." She says shocked at the idea that she can fight back.

"Nice to meet you Andrea."

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Andrea Maria Nash

August 2014

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