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May, 2010... Fantasy became reality. Worlds overlay for the briefest moment. Outworlders became stranded on earth as more than half the human populace vanished. Our World, our universe, was transformed.

Fiction is now reality. Humans and those now bound to this world will either learn to coexist, or battle for supremecy.




Maya Rowen

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83 Setting the Bar High

About Maya Rowen

  • Rank
    Nicely Seasoned


    Ruby Rose
  • AGE
  • RACE
    Empowered Human
  • JOB
  • 'SHIP:
    New York

Profile Fields

  • Primary
    Maya Rowen
  • All My Characters
    Maya Rowen
  • Typist's Interests
    Writing, Reading, Poetry, Music, Philosophy, Games of all kinds ( Video games, board games, trading card games, etc.)
  • Typist's Role Play History
    I've been on too many boards for me to remember honestly.
  • Role Play Sample
    Saeta looked from side to side as she walked down the streets of Kalm. Right now it was dark out, the storefronts as well as the light of day both absent until morning and the moon bright over head. However this wasn't what Saeta saw with her bandaged eyes. All around her. The white sky above her, the green ground beneath her her and the grey of the shops on either side of the street. This late there were no people, no shades of green other than that of Gaia itself....Yes no one... The boy that had come with here.....the thing she'd summoned. She'd entered Junon with the intent on teaching him of Gaia, but when she returned with clothes for him he was gone. Just like everybody else.

    So now she walked down this street in Kalm. She wore a long leather jacket with a hood that obscured the upper half of her face, including her bandaged eyes, its zipper undone to reveal a black tank top that cut off mid riff and a pair of clinging black leather slacks. Her hands both occupied, the right with a light black wooden staff and the other a black vortex design tattoo on the back of the palm, ruby crystal fragments buried in the skin around it.
    This was not the first time she'd been here recently. She'd come here more than once looking for Angeles......But apparently Angeles didn't want to be found.

    Neither the man she's said to look for, nor he deceased master had known where to find her......No.....the old man had known.....but he wouldn't tell her. Now he was done telling anyone anything. After only making it about half way down the street Saeta noticed something. It was on this street. That man, Tony's cafe. Cafe Heven. She approached the cafe slowly, looking at the door expressionlessly for a moment before a fierce snarl ran across her features and she sent a blast of magical energy through her hand as she drew it back and punched the door. It was easily ripped from its hinges before burying itself in the wall, but her magic was not stopped so easily.

    The blast that destroyed the door continued through the wall, stopping only when it hit the stove and knocked it loose, providing plenty of gas for the sparks it caused to ignite. Only a few moments after she released the energy there was an explosion with enough force that it caused her to slide back several feet, even with her shield in place. As she watched flames began to spread across the building, white flames that ate away at the grey of the cafe as it ate away the materials it was constructed of and used them as fuel. After staring at the flames for a few moments Saeta remember that Tony himself lived there. However she simply watched the building burn, not caring whether or not the man lived or died.
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  1. Maya Rowen

    Shall We Play a Game?

    Maya was quiet for a few moments. Her fear was beginning to abate. Part of it was the liquor, part of it the familiarity of her apartment as she settled into the couch. Most of it though was the vampires demeanor. She was nothing like the thing her and the ARMA agent had found in the warehouse. She didn’t doubt the woman could kill her, but she was starting to believe that maybe she didn’t want to. The words were a mild comfort even if they turned out to be a lie. After all what was the sense in worrying about something she had no control over? Still she couldn’t help the nagging feeling that the questions wouldn’t be the end of it. That would be to easy. “The vampire... the Sheut Ka-” she corrected herself using the term the woman had. “-it wasn’t like you. It was...unfinished? Younger maybe? “ She bit her lip as she tried to find the right words to explain. It wasn’t an easy thing. Not when she didn’t even really know how her gifts worked. Her sight was the most difficult to explain to others. It had taken her months to learn just how to get around again after her regular sight had faded. Longer than that to learn to really make sense of most of what she was seeing. “It’d probably be better if I started by telling you what I can do.” She grabbed the bottle again, taking a smaller sip from it before setting it back on the floor and turning her gaze back to the diminutive woman. “You probably figured out my eyes aren’t exactly normal. I can’t see anymore. Not like you. Not like anyone. Most of the time things are...dull. Faded. Most of it’s just shades of grey. Makes it hard to make sense of things sometimes. A lot of the time.” She picked the words with care, her tone contemplative. It almost sounded like she was explaining it to herself as much as to the vampire. “I’m not sure what to call what I see. Mana? Life?Aura? ARMA or the Order could probably tell you. Sometimes it’s just there, pouring out of the hole in the sky. Usually I see it in people. Everyone actually. It’s stronger with some people. Usually Magi, or gifted like me, other things that aren’t from here.” She paused, obviously uncomfortable. She had only shared this with two people so far. Chloe had helped her figure it all out in the beginning. She’d disliked this conversation with Graft just as much. Maybe worse. Talking about her gifts felt like she was baring a part of her soul. It made her feel exposed. Naked. It wasn’t something she particularly enjoyed sharing with strangers. Not that she’d had a lot of choice, then or now. She stared at the woman. “Your aura looks bloody. It pulses, like a heartbeat. I can smell it from here. The guy we encountered didn’t look alive to me. He was grey. Except his veins. They gave off the same color as you’re aura. They pulsed just like your aura, but he smelled different. Like death, and fear.” She trembled slightly. Barely noticeable beneath her baggy clothes. She’d had plenty of nightmares over the past few years. None like the ones she’d had in the past week. Not even the one about the accident....or the man she’d killed. The image was seared into her mind. She wanted nothing more than to forget it. Par for the course it seemed. She felt more and more of her memories from before the change slipping away every day they were replaced with some fresh horrors. Part of her envied them. The monsters. Monsters weren’t afraid. “ My best guess is he hadn’t been Sheut-Ka long. A guess is all it is though. I’d never seen him before so that’s all I’ve got for you. I know even less about the other guy.” Her pulse spiked again as she thought about him. God he terrified her. It was different than the vampire. Less visceral. It was a constant state of dread. That he was there. Watching. Waiting for the right moment. It was irrational. She knew it was. Didn’t mean she could shake it off. Could stop him from haunting her dreams. “Pretty much all I can tell you about him is he’s gifted and he’s with ARMA. That’s all I can tell you because I can’t see him. At all. “ Honestly that was the real reason she thought she was so afraid of him. He was faceless. Invisible.Her own personal boogeyman. She shook her head and took another long sip from the bottle as she tried to get him out of her mind. The empty sleeve at her side seemed to inflate, rising up as a golden hand slipped out of it once more to grab the bottle as she screwed the cap on and set it aside. She held the limb up for the other woman to see and wiggled her fingers, a faint trace of amusement flitting across her features. “You’ve already seen my best trick. Or part of it anyway.” As she spoke her hand seemed to shimmer and wicked looking claws extended from her fingertips. She admired them for a moment before she shook her hand out and they seemed to crumble away into golden dust and fade into nothing leaving her fingers normal once more. She grabbed the bottle and was about to take another sip before she thought better of it. She looked to the vampire. Did they drink? There was the clink of glass on glass as she set the bottle on the coffee table between them before pressing her hands together. She moved them back and forth and a lump of gold seemed to form between them. She ran her fingers over it and it seemed to flow like water into a small cup. She slid it and the bottle across the table to her uninvited guest before sinking back into the cushions of her couch.
  2. Maya Rowen

    Shall We Play a Game?

    The world had been far from kind to Maya since the change. It had left her battered.Broken. Losing her arm, then her eyes had been devastating to her. Stil she’d managed to accept it. Embrace it even. Use it to survive. After all what better camouflage was there? Nobody looked twice at a cripple. Didn’t look once if they could help it. At least till they realized she was “blind”. Then they couldn’t stare enough. All pity and dismissal. What good could she possibly be? If not for her gifts they’d be right too, but with them? She hadn’t felt like a cripple. Once she’d gotten over the shock of it she hadn’t dwelled on what she’d lost. Not much anyway. Her mind was a different story. Ever since that day in the alley. Before that if she was being honest. Since the day all this shit started. It was like a pane of glass. Every day, every fresh dose of hell adding another crack. Leaving her to wonder how long she could last before it shattered and came tumbling down on top of her. She hated it. More than anything else. More than the change. More than her physical disabilities. More than the things that went bump in the night. It made her feel more crippled than her other losses ever had. The nightmares. The jitters. Now the panic attacks? She felt like control was slipping away. More and more everyday and nothing she could do would stop it. She felt powerless. Pathetic. It wasn’t the first time she’d had them, but they’d become far more frequent since the warehouse. By some small miracle this one was mild. Manageable. Deep breaths quelled the panic enough she didn’t pass out on the floor. Honestly the vampires initial words weren’t a lot of help in that regard, but as she continued her gentle tone began to have the intended effect. Her breathing and heart rate slowed to something approaching reasonable. Then she had to go and mention him. Her heart hammered in her chest. “He’s not my friend!” The words bit out of her before she could stop them colored by an emotion she couldn’t quite identify. Fear? Disdain? She didn’t know. She didn’t want to think about it. Think about him. It took her a couple of seconds to remember who she was talking to. She took a couple more deep breaths , her eyes fell to the floor and refused to meet the vampire's gaze. Without a word she rose to her feet and went the kitchenette. She rose up on her tiptoes as she pulled a bottle of amber liquid from the cabinet above the sink. She grabbed a glass from another cupboard and filled it about halfway before putting it to her lips and throwing it back. It burned at her throat, but she choked it down. It was probably a terrible decision with her present company, but a necessary one if they were going to be talking about that night. If her “guest” decided she was going to end her Maya very much doubted being sober would help enough to keep her alive. She lifted the bottle to fill it again but hesitated for a moment before fixing the cap back in place and bringing whole thing as she strode back to the living area and settled down onto the overstuffed sofa to the left of the woman’s chair. She set in on the floor in front of her, sliding her hand back into the sleeve of hoodie to hide the bloody gash across her wrist and her swollen splinted thumb. Those hadn’t been courtesy of her boogeyman, or the vampire. Not directly anyway. No she’d done that herself to get out of the agent’s cuffs. Like a rat in a trap. She’d been fortunate. She hadn’t permanently damaged her hand, though she’d nearly torn a ligament in her thumb. It would heal provided she didn’t do anything else stupid with it, but it still hurt like hell...and it was a constant reminder. Finally she looked up at the vampire her expression empty. Hollow. “What do you want to know?”
  3. Maya Rowen

    Cold night in hell...

    She couldn’t stop the tears once they’d started. She’d never really felt in control. Even before the world went to hell? After? Ha. Sometimes she barely felt sane, let alone in control. The closest she’d come since had been in prison of all places. It had been a routine. Relative safety. She’d almost started feeling like a person again in there. Till the god damn ceiling fell on her and she lost her arm. Her powers had been a blessing. Without them she doubted she’d have managed to pull herself together long enough to stay alive. Even those hadn’t come without a cost. Another thing taken from her. Her eyes, her arm. Those had hit her hard, but with her gifts she’d never felt crippled, even broken and battered as she was. Not physically anyway. Mentally? That was a different story entirely. The flashbacks, the nightmares, they ate at her like a festering wound. They dug at her every day, never really letting her know peace. Worse their was no fix, no pill that would make it go away. She knew. She’d tried. Despite that, despite everything she’d been through she’d never wanted to die. Not really. She’d never despaired so badly she tried to end it all. Until now. So of course it didn’t work. It was ironic really. A sick cosmic joke. She’d fought so hard to make a place for herself. To get over her past and start something new. She’d risked everything for it. Nearly gotten herself killed or worse more than once. Now it was all going to end because she got grabbed by an ARMA spook who hadn’t even been looking for her. God, it was so wrong, but so totally unsurprising. Pain flared in her wrist as he grabbed and twisted and the empty gun went clattering to the floor taking her last shred of hope with it. She didn’t answer when he spoke, her unfocused gaze remaining firmly on the floor.She barely reacted when he slapped the cuffs on her. She didn’t feel any different. She was so drained she couldn’t even tell the difference as her powers were sealed. It didn’t matter. She couldn’t get away from him. Not now. Or it seemed that way anyway. Surprise ran through her as he told her to stay put. He was leaving her alone? Part of her was terrified. The vampire was dead, but there were plenty of other things that could have been lurking around the warehouse, and he’d left her cuffed to a god damn shelf? Anger flared through her white hot. She would have told him how stupid that was, demanded he take her with him, or beg if that was what it took. She wasn’t prideful. She didn’t though, because of the other reason it was a terrible decision. Leaving her alone meant she might be able to get free. Sure he’d said that there was no way out of the cuffs, and even without them she was blind, but it was a chance. A chance was all she needed. Hope was all she needed. She couldn’t reach her picks. If she could she’d probably have tried them despite the warning. He was hardly likely to tell the person he was cuffing they could be picked even if it was possible. Mostly she would have tried it because their was only one other alternative. It was going to hurt. A lot. That was okay. She could deal with pain. At least this one would be temporary. She wiped the tears from her eyes and took a deep steadying breath. She pressed her thumb against beam the cuffs were closed around and took another second to ready herself and bit into the sleeve of her coat before shoving her entire weight against her hand. There was a slight popping noise and a muffled scream she couldn’t hold in. Tears streamed down her face once again and her breathing was shallow, her heart hammering in her chest. She gingerly tried to pull her hand through the cuff around her wrist, her newly dislocated thumb pressed against her palm only to bite back another scream as the steel bit into the digit. It hadn’t been enough. Frustration and despair wracked her before melting away beneath the fury. She refused to accept it. She wouldn’t. This wasn’t how things were going to go. She wouldn’t let it. She bit into the sleeve of her jacket again and this time she didn’t try to slip her hand through. She yanked on it. God it fucking hurt. She nearly passed out from the pain that radiated away from her thumb, but she didn’t stop. Not as the steel dug into her skin. Not when it began to peel away, or when blood began to well from freshly torn skin. If anything she tried harder. Blood ran from her wrist down the length of her leather glove coated it. Still she didn’t stop. She heard a yell echo from the depths of the warehouse and her heart began to pound even louder in her ears. She braced herself and pulled against the steel around her wrist with everything she had. Her hand slipped from the cuff, her glove falling to the floor as it was peeled off along the way and she fell straight back on her ass. For a moment she just lay there stunned. She had to be dreaming. The ache from her wrist told her different. She sat up and without any other options she ran her lips gently along the gash she’d torn in her skin and tried to gauge how bad it was. It sure as hell wasn’t good. She could feel a lot of blood pouring out of it. She wasn’t sure if she’d hit deep enough for it to be serious. She licked her lips, grimacing as the taste of blood filled her mouth. That was getting to be a far too familiar taste tonight. She spit it out on the floor. She spent a few precious seconds thinking before grabbing her glove from the ground and turning it inside out so the wool lining was exposed before pressing it against the flow from her wrist and pulling her sleeve down over it. It wasn’t a great solution but it was the best she was going to manage with one semi functioning hand. She pushed herself to her feet and nearly fell back on her ass as a wave of dizziness washed over her. Shit. She had to get out of here. She really wanted to stop and find her gun. Replacing it would be easy, but she didn’t really want to give the agent any more help finding her than she had to. She didn’t have the time. He wasn’t going to get any prints off of it. Hopefully he wouldn’t be able to trace it back to her any other way. Honestly her bleeding all over the place was far more concerning, but there wasn’t much she could do. She’d just have to get out of here as fast as possible. Turned out that was pretty damn slow. She found the closest wall and started following it, but without her cane she had to move at a snails pace or run into something hard enough to get even more banged up. She wished she could do something, anything to steady the rapid beat of her heart as it pounded in her ears.She kept expecting something to find her as she stumbled about. Another vampire. Her agent. Hell at this point she wouldn’t be surprised if a god damn zombie just popped out of nowhere to take a bite out of her. Miraculously none of that happened. It took a few minutes but she finally managed to find a door. She was just about to head out into the storm when it opened and heavy footsteps lumbered through. She heard labored breathing. Her boogeyman. God damn it! She’ been so close!. Her bloodied hand tightened into a fist at her side, her nerves screaming at the motion. She was exhausted. It showed. So did the blood loss. She was ghostly pale. Her eyes seemed to look right through him as she froze. “Please move. Look, I had no idea what was happening here, okay? I was supposed to come pick something up.That was it. I don’t even know what. This...thing. The bodies, the monsters, I don’t know anything about that.” She told him flatly. It was the truth, or the next best thing. She hadn’t told him who she was supposed to be grabbing the thing for. She wouldn’t either. Graft was going to be pissed about this. He’d have been more pissed if she got caught. Snitching on him? That wouldn’t sour their relationship. That would earn her a bullet. Not just her either. Fuck. She could feel the cold setting in. She had to force herself not to start shivering. If she didn’t walk out of here soon she wasn’t sure she’d be able to at all. “Look, you can put a bullet in me if you want, but if you don’t i’m getting out of here.” To him it might have sounded like a threat if not for the sheer resignation in her voice. She didn’t care anymore. She didn’t have the energy left. Either she was getting out of here, or he was going to end it for her. Either way she wanted nothing more than for this god forsaken night to end.
  4. Maya Rowen

    Shall We Play a Game?

    Maya felt like she was losing her mind. Turned out that was pretty easy when you didn’t sleep. Oh she’d gotten a couple hours here and there when the exhaustion became too much for her to brush off, but not enough. She only managed a couple hours at best before the dreams started. The nightmares. Before she woke up screaming.It’d had been days since the warehouse. Days since the vampire. Since the boogeyman. Since the monsters. Her dreams had plagued her enough when her own demons were the only ones in them. Now? Ha. Hahaha. Now she’d have gladly begged for them to be the only horrors in her head. She was used to insomnia. To long nights, but for her it was getting to be too much. She knew she must look like hell not that she much cared. She’d been jumping at every little sound, every tiny bit of motion out of the corner of her eye ever since that night. Her nerves were beyond frayed. She knew not sleeping was making it worse, but she couldn’t help it. She’d almost gone to Chloe after the first couple nights for something to knock her out, but the fear had stopped her. That she would take one and finally spend a few hours blissfully unaware...and that he would find her and she would never wake up again. She’d finally cracked this morning. She’d been close to dozing on her couch. Would have if she stayed sitting there and she knew it, so she’d decided to stretch her legs. The second she’d managed to stand up she blacked out. One second she’d been upright and the next she was trying to figure out why everything was suddenly on it’s side. A sick cold feeling settled in her gut when she realized if she hadn’t fallen sideways she’d have gone right through her glass coffee table. She’d been halfway through dialing Chloe when she stopped. She’d been the one Maya had called that night. Then she’d been truly out of her mind. Rambling. She’d been halfway to hypothermia when Chloe found her and picked her up. She didn’t pry. She never did, but Maya knew she was worried. She’d caused enough of that. She wasn’t worth worrying about. She sure as hell wasn’t going to give Chloe more reason to if she could avoid it. In this case she could. So she’d dialed a different number. One she was far less enthused about. She was dreading the conversation but she knew it needed to happen. Honestly she shouldn’t have waited this long to make the call but it wasn’t going to be a pleasant one and she’d had no desire to jangle her nerves more than they already were. Not that she had much of a choice now. She set up a meeting with Graft. His tone hadn’t given anything away. It never did...but she had a feeling he knew things hadn’t gone according to plan...and that he wasn’t pleased about it. She’d set a time and a place and told him what she’d needed. They met at a coffee house downtown around sunset. She’d needed the caffeine. She’d nearly nodded off on the cab ride there.Graft had been waiting by the time she got there, a styrofoam cup already sitting in front of him. She’d been right, he hadn’t been happy. She could taste the anger coming off him stronger than the triple espresso she’d gotten. As good as he was at keeping his face emotion free even he couldn’t manage to keep his emotions out of his aura. There was concern there as well. Probably not for her. Not quite. Graft was all business. No he was probably more worried about what could throw her off her game so bad. His line of questioning confirmed what his aura had hinted at. She’d burrowed down in the recesses of her oversized hoodie as much for the comfort as the warmth as she’d told him what had happened. Every detail. The rage coming off him got even more intense as she told it. He was coming to the same conclusion she already had. Whoever had arranged the job had skimped on the details. Probably because they’d known Graft wouldn’t touch anything as risky as what that warehouse had been. She still didn’t know what she’d been told to grab. Not really. At this point she wanted to know even less than normal. She had enough nightmares to deal with at the moment. This job had turned into a clusterfuck. The only positive spin she could even put on it was she hadn’t been taken in by the ARMA agent. Her boogeyman. Not that it was much of a comfort. He’d seen her face. He knew about her now. Her hands shook as she took another sip from the cup in front of her. Graft noticed. He stood and told her he’d deal with the client. She wondered if the idiot would still be breathing after Graft was done with them. Killing a client was bad for business. Letting this go unanswered might be worse. Whoever they were Maya wouldn’t be surprised if they soon found themselves wishing for death. Graft didn’t tolerate bad business. He slid the cup across the table to her and walked out. She stared down at it for a moment before picking it up. It wasn’t full of coffee. She grabbed the cup and made her way back out into the cold, shivering despite her sweats and the jacket she wore over them. She hailed a taxi and fifteen minutes later she was back at her building. It was long past dark as she stepped out into the street. The cold was really setting in and she hurried inside. She’d struggled to get warm since that night. Chloe had told her she didn’t think any lasting damage had occurred. That the chills would pass. Maya hoped she was right. After what seemed like an eternity in the elevator she finally slipped back into her apartment. She bolted all three locks and stamped the snow off her boots before kicking them off one at a time. Her cane and glasses were hung on the pegs by the door as she slipped her coat off and put it beside her. She popped the top off the coffee cup and grabbed the bottle of pills that had been stashed in it. She’d just started unscrewing the cap when the color caught her eye. She wasn’t alone. It looked like a woman. Maybe it still was. Maybe it had never been at all. Her features were elegant. Beautiful. Her aura was terrifying, She’d never seen one like it. It was a bright scarlet that seemed to pulse like the beating of a heart. The same color as the lines that had spiderwebbed along the skin of the vampire she’d seen days before. If she’d been in her right mind she might have connected the two. Maybe considered that the vampire she and the agent had ended up putting down was fresh. Unfinished. That would require the ability to think. Her mind was too busy screaming to do anything so rational as that. She’d found another monster, and this one was in her home. Her golden eyes went wide as she stared at it, the rest of her body going rigid as shock held her in place like vice. The bottle of pills slipped out of her fingers and hit the floor with a clatter that was deafening in the silence. The panic was sudden and nearly absolute. Her heart hammered in her chest, painfully loud. The right sleeve on her hoodie went slack at her side as her focus slipped and her the phantom limb within it crumbled into golden dust before fading away entirely. She sank to her knees, her good arm bracing against the floor to steady her as she struggled for air. Her breaths came ragged. Gasping. Her vision began to falter she began to black out. A million thoughts raced across her mind. How had they gotten in? How had they found her? Why were they even here? Who were they? So many more flashed into her mind only to be buried by the sheer weight of the one terrifying thought that crashing down around her. There was a monster here, and no one was coming to save her.
  5. Maya Rowen

    Cold night in hell...

    Too much. It was too much. The bodies. The vampire. Whatever that bullet had done to her. And now an ARMA agent. Of course he was. She had no problem believing that. None at all. Of course he was with ARMA. That wasn’t it though. Not enough. While her mind was reeling the man, the “agent” snapped. She didn’t know what set him off. Didn’t have any time to think. One second he was muttering to himself and a moment later he was inches away, demanding to know why she was there. He didn’t wait for an answer, not that she had one. Not one he would like to hear. A hand she couldn’t see lashed out and shoved her back into the shelving. She stumbled and would have ended up on the ground if the same hand hadn’t pinned her in place. Panic. Pain. Rage. They all seemed to blend together as the agent’s voice echoed in her ears again. Then it happened. Her magic slipped away. Again. It shouldn’t have surprised her. When the bullet had hit her arm it had drained the mana she’d had, left her utterly empty. Spent. She’d only managed to draw up enough to see because of the fear. Then she’d reached for more like a drowning victim reaching for a lifeline. Too much more. There was nothing left to take. She had nothing more to keep her afloat. She went limp against the shelving, the last of the fight going out of her with the dregs of her magic. The golden glow in her eyes dimmed, then died leaving them dark once more. Her eyes grew wet as the darkness returned. Since she’d gotten them her gifts had made her feel safe. In control. Even with the loss of her arm she felt whole. Then she’d lost her eyes. It’d taken time to get over that, and she had for the most part, but the change had made her more dependent on her gifts...and made her feel so very alone without them. Like now. Alone with the boogie man. Helpless. Useless. As the last of her magic slipped away it broke her. The tears escaped, wet and hot as they ran down her face. There was no way she could get away from him now. Even if she could shake him then what? Wander out into a blizzard?They wouldn’t find her body for months. She was out of magic. Out of fight. Out of time. If the mage hunter took her in they’d find her DNA in the system. The identity Graft had set up for her was good, but it wouldn’t hold up under that kind of scrutiny. They were going to find out she hadn’t really died. They were going to send her back. Not there, no. She knew about Alcatraz. About how it had been reopened to keep people like her. She couldn’t do it. When she went to prison she’d lost a lot. Her dignity, her freedom...and a part of herself. The part that woke up thinking things would be okay. That this new world still had pockets of good hidden in among the nightmares. But she’d survived. This time she wouldn’t.There were a lot of things she’d found she could live without since the first event. Her gifts weren’t one of them. She would sooner lose the rest of her limbs. Without her magic just be a cripple. Broken. Incomplete. Consigned to live the rest of her life in a cage. In the dark. All alone.No. She didn’t have much, but she had a choice. Just one. She wouldn’t let them take anything else from her. “You’re all the same. None of you care about the damage you do so long as you get what you want. ” The words seemed small in the wake of his shouting. Fragile. Then she kicked him. She wasn’t sure where she hit him. Didn’t much care. That wasn’t the point. She was just trying to throw him off balance. Give herself time. Just a little. Just enough. Her hand shot to the small of her back, her fingers brushed the grip of her sidearm and she yanked it free. She didn’t waste any time. Didn’t hesitate. It didn't matter that she couldn't see. She didn't need too. Not for this. She put the barrel to her temple and pulled the trigger. “Click” It was quiet, but somehow in that silence it seemed so deafening, that sound. “Click” It was the sound of her last choice dying. “Click” The gun tumbled from her fingers, landing with a clatter on the concrete. Tears streamed down her face as she slowly sank to her knees...
  6. Maya Rowen

    Cold night in hell...

    The quiet darkness seemed to stretch on for eternity. Quiet, not silence. Silence would have been good. It would’ve likely meant that her two monsters had ended each other, although if she’d been in a clearer frame of mind she would’ve been surprised to find she would’ve felt a bit bad were her mage hunter to die. Instead the silence was buried beneath long deep breaths. The kind you took when you were afraid to breath because you thought it would hurt. She knew that sound from unfortunate experience. The fear threatened to press in on her again. Her breathing quickened, eyes darting frantically in an attempt to spot something, anything. It only got worse as the noise continued. A scrape of metal on concrete. Footsteps coming towards her. Too close. They were too close! The mage hunters voice split the quiet painfully loud, and she flinched away, his words lost to her as she struggled to keep from losing it completely. As his tone softened though the words began to make sense. She answered reflexively, without thought when he asked her name. “Ashley.” That was her. That used to be her. Before the madness and the monsters. Before everything went to hell. She wasn’t sure about now. What he asked next took a moment for her frantic mind to process. She was here for an artifact. She’d almost forgotten. It didn’t matter much now. The job had already gone so far south her client would be lucky if Graft settled for putting them in a body bag. She’d been told to expect risks. Risks were unavoidable. This? This was a fucking death sentence. Oh. Graft. He was going to be upset. Not just with the client either. The thought of meeting him empty handed would have filled her with dread if she’d had any extra to spare. “Why….?.....what?” The words were mumbled, spoken not for his benefit but for her own as she tried to make sense of everything again. Tried to reel in a mind that was dangerously close to unraveling She tried to stand but the world seemed to rock beneath her feet and she slipped, falling against the shelving and clinging to it to keep herself upright. Out. She needed to get out of here. Away from the mage hunter. Away from the darkness. Away from the tang of blood and rot that she knew now was the vampires corpse. She needed to see. She let go of the shelving, her eyes glazing slightly as she stared ahead. Stared almost directly at the mage hunter. For a moment she didn’t move. The only sound her ragged breathing as it began to slow. Began to even out. Then her eyes glowed gold once more. Softly at first, then brighter until they stood out sharply against the darkness. The darkness changed, not vanishing but twisting into the familiar featureless landscape she’d come to know. Relief flooded her and she took a deep breath as her eyes settled on the mage hunter. Or his gear anyway. Even now she couldn’t see him.She didn’t really need to. As the panic began to recede she found herself able to think once more. Her mage hunter wasn’t doing so well. His breathing was labored. She could hear the pain in his voice. The crack she’d heard during the fight echoed in her ears again as she studied him. If she had to guess the vampire gave as good as he got. She took a slow cautious step back from him, her expression guarded. This could go a lot of ways. Many of them didn’t end well for her. She didn’t know him, but she knew what he was capable of. He was a killer. One with experience.Not only that but he was practically invisible to her. The cold logical part of her brain said she should end him now. Kill him before he got the chance to end her...but she couldn’t. Even if he was beat to hell she knew if it came to a fight he’d win every time because he could pull the trigger, and as much as she wished she could, she couldn’t. Despite everything she still wasn’t a killer. She still wasn’t a monster. It would have been so much easier if she was. “You’re…..You’re not with them?” She asked her tone skeptic. There wasn’t a good answer to that. Not to her. It didn’t matter if he was an enforcer or a badge. Both got their hands dirty. The only difference was the badges acted like the blood washed off.When she’d seen him at the Satyr on New Years eve she’d assumed he was with them. Now...now she wasn’t so sure. Either way she didn’t plan on ending up another body to bag tonight. She slowly began edging away from him while taking hold of her power to prepare for whatever happened next...
  7. Maya Rowen

    Muddling Morning Meeting

    Surprise flickered across her features, mostly genuine as the woman confessed that it was work that brought her out, but more importantly what that work was. She probably shouldn’t have been so shocked with how open the woman was about it. After all she was wearing her badge on display for anyone and everyone to see. “Dangerous job.” She said softly as she rested her head in her hand, her elbow propped on the table. That was true...in more way than one. ARMA had a big job. Keeping the peace from all the kinds of crazy that had spilled out into the world after the last dozen years wasn’t an easy thing. What it was was mostly thankless. While a lot of people, herself included, agreed that ARMA or someone like them was necessary it wasn’t exactly a warm acknowledgement. Part of that was their predecessor the Order of Lights fault. The Order had been the first ones to take a crack at keeping the peace, and they’d mostly managed it. The way they’d done that hadn’t been what you’d really call morally sound though. Gifted like her, or anyone showing aptitude to be a magus were often conscripted or jailed. They were basically the supernatural gestapo. Their real motives had been about as pure too. When ARMA exposed them and the Order went down hard they ended up shouldering a lot of the resentment that’d built up. Maya wasn’t sure they deserved that, but honestly it was too soon to tell. The Order had left some pretty big shoes to fill, and ARMA hadn’t been wearing them long enough for anyone to really guess at how comfortable they were when it came to stepping on toes.Most people were more wary than downright afraid like they’d been of the Order when they came calling. It wouldn’t take a whole lot to change that. For the fear to come back. Honestly she’d expected the agent had wanted to sit with her to avoid any of the ire she might draw from the other patrons, but that didn’t seem to be something she was worried about. “Dangerous times.” She said nodding to her empty right sleeve before shrugging. “Me? I’m just here for the coffee. I don’t sleep much so I like to beat the crowds when I can. If you haven’t noticed I tend to make people slightly uncomfortable, and people tend to make me not so slightly irritated. Especially before i’ve had coffee. If I get it early I can at least pretend I don’t want to throttle everyone who stumbles all over a simple conversation with me.” She told the woman, amusement coloring her tone once more as she spoke. That was all true enough. It still boggled her mind how few people could make it through a simple conversation with her. It was like they thought missing an arm or her eyes meant she was brain damaged. Or glass. Like ’d break at the slightest misspoken word. She’d seen people who talk to honest to god fairy tail creatures like it was nothing struggle to make intelligible conversation with her. It drove her nuts sometimes. She was actually finding the ARMA agents company quite pleasant by comparison, even despite the knot of tension in her gut she couldn’t manage to rid herself of. “I’m Maya by the way.” She said as she offered the woman her hand.
  8. Maya Rowen

    Cold night in hell...

    It seemed her mage hunter had survived, and from the sound of things he hardly needed her help to find the thing. She was still looking for Harker and had just rounded the end of the shelving and nearly stumbled into the pair as the creature cursed the mage hunter. "Fucking hunter" The two were so totally consumed with dealing with eachother she doubted the two of them even remembered she existed, much less noticed her at that moment. She shifted into a practiced marksmens stance and lifted her sidearm at the creature, her grip shaky. She froze for a moment before slipping the weapon back into the holster in the small of her back. No way she was risking that. Even if she could see the man she'd probably be just as likely to hit him as the monster. She watched the struggle unfold, rooted to the spot as she was torn between the desire to run, to get as far away from this mess as possible...and the urge to help mage hunter. It surprised her honestly. Even if she had been a fighter the man wasn't a friend. Wasn't someone she had any particular reason to care about. If anything it was probably better for her if he didn't make it out of the situation...and yet the urge to help was winning. She clenched the golden fist at her side and the limb began to ripple, shimmering as it thickened, serrated claws springing from it's fingertips as she crept quietly towards the two monsters as they struggled to kill each other. She was only a few feet away when the world exploded in a flash of pain and sound. If she'd been more aware she might have screamed, but her mind was crushed beneath the weight of it. Pain was an old friend. She was used to it. Could deal with it usually. Most of the time actually considered it a good thing. Pain let you know you were alive. This? This wasn't that kind of pain. She fell to the ground mid stride, her muscles going slack as the two continued to grapple. Her arm faded away, a golden burst of stardust that seemed to scatter away from the spot where the bullet from the mage hunters weapon tore through the elbow like wet paper. When the second resonance had hit one of her fellow inmates had come into their powers and the first thing they'd done was bring cell block down on top of them. She never found out who'd done it, or if they'd meant to. Not that it mattered much. She didn't remember the ceiling coming down on her. There was a faint memory of heat. Of pressure on her back that seemed to drive the air from her lungs...Falling. Mostly she remembered the weight. It didn't hurt. Not at first. It was too strong to hurt. The weight was everything. Everywhere. On her chest. Her legs...but mostly her arm. Like it was pinned under a mountain. It might as well have been. Eventually the weight started to fade. Then came the pain. It was everything. Moving was pain. Breathing was pain. She thought the pain itself would kill her if nothing else. It was so consuming, so total she couldn't imagine surviving...but she did. Even now the memory of that pain was never far from her thoughts. This was worse. It bit deeper. Harsher. It didn't strike at her flesh. Flesh was temporary. Insignificant in comparison. This pain seemed to dig deeper. Past her flesh and bones and down into her soul. The golden glow in her eyes flickered and died as she fell unmovingly to the warehouse's concrete floor. For a few moments she was so absolutely still it didn't seem possible she was still alive. Her eyes stared sightlessly ahead. She didn't see. Didn't hear. Didn't even breath. She was utterly lost to the battle of life and death that was unfolding just a few feet away from her. Then the Sig fired again. Her senses came back to life, each one hitting her like a truck. She gasped, breathing deeply as she tried to make sense of what she was feeling. Hearing. Smelling. The crack of breaking bone seemed to echo in her ears, threatening to pull her back to that moment. The moment she hated. The moment she regretted. That terrified her. The thick cloying scent of fresh blood pressed in on her, overwhelming. She teetered, barely managing to keep it together. To keep herself here. Now. Something clattered to the floor and fear jolted through her. Fear. That was it. She was afraid. Of the mage hunter. The vampire. Their fight, and mostly the darkness that filled her vision. Her sight was gone again. The smells and sounds threatened to overwhelm her and she moved away from them, crawling frantically along the ground until her shoulder collided with the framework of the shelving on the opposite row. She put her back to it, her face turning toward the struggle, her eyes darting rapidly, One of them let loose a battle cry that seemed to echo in her ears, and it grew louder as footsteps, uneven and stumbling brought it closer. She scampered to the side and dropped low to the ground as the sound of the two monsters colliding with the shelving near where she'd just been echoed through the warehouse. Beneath the din she hear a wet and meaty sound of tearing flesh and solid thud followed by a much heavier one a moment later. Each one made her flinch as she stared emptily in the direction the noises came from. One way or the other it sounded like that fight was over. She tried to pull on her mana. Reached for the familiar sensation of her fingertips slipping through the sleeve of her jacket and found...nothing. Nothing happened. Emptiness flooded her and her eyes were hot as silent tears ran down her face. The mage hunters bullets might have killed the vampire. They'd certainly killed her magic, though she didn't know for how long. It didn't matter much. Without her gifts she was nothing but a blind little cripple. Whichever of them had won their bout would have little trouble dealing with her. She trembled slightly as she lay on the cold concrete, her hazel eyes dark as they sought her savior or her doom...and found nothing but darkness.
  9. Maya Rowen

    Cold night in hell...

    “I’m fine.” Maya flinched as the mage hunter climbed to his feet. The tide of rage and adrenaline that had carried her through the vampires assault had all but burnt out. Without it the fear had begun to press in again. She wasn’t used to this. Ever since the world had gone to hell she’d done her best to keep her head down. Avoided danger. Some days that worked out better than others, but this? The bodies, and violence, and the goddamn monsters around her? She wasn’t used to dealing with that. She’d been shot at before when things went wrong on a job, and she didn’t much care for it. A couple of times she’d even had to slip away from Gifted employed by whomever her target happened to be. As shitty as those things were she could handle them. They were still in the realm of normalcy. Not this outright madness. “Who are you, and what are you doing here?” Ice filled her veins as the question hung in the air as the mage hunter went for his gun. Part of her didn’t want to let him. Wanted to make sure he never got to use the thing on anyone ever again. She didn’t though. Partly because she knew it’d likely get her killed. Mostly though it was because she was more scared of being alone in the warehouse with whatever that thing was. Besides, as dangerous as he was her boogeyman was still human. Probably. That didn’t mean he scared the shit out of her any less. He might’ve been invisible to her sight, but his gear was a different story. The man was a walking magical armory. Everything on him seemed bathed in the soft glowing patterns of enchantments. She flinched as mag he ejected clattered to the floor, her gaze fixing on the weapon as he loaded a new one. Both of the magazines glowed softly to her eyes. She could see the spellcraft laid into the bullets. She had a feeling those would punch right through her projections. She hoped they’d fare as well against the creature. “Could...ask you the same.” She ground out, her throat burning from the effort. A wasted effort apparently. If he heard her he didn’t make any indication of it. Irritation prickled underneath the fear. “Stay close and stay behind me,” He didn’t offer her much choice in the matter. As soon as the words left his lips he was off and running deeper into the warehouse. Maya mentally cursed and reluctantly sprinted after him. Her mage hunter was quick. She was more fit than many, but she found herself running to keep pace with him. Of course from what she could tell he was about a foot taller than her too. The storm outside drowned out most of the warehouse’s typical sounds and anxiety pressed in as she ran after the man, stoking her fear. This was probably the worst situation she could be in. The fear that strummed at her nerves was all too familiar. She wasn’t a fighter. She’d learned to take a beating in prison, but fighting back? Most of the time it just shut her down. Any number of things would do it. The crack of bone. The wet, meaty sound flesh made when it was being beaten on. Mostly she froze up. Her mind went blank. She couldn’t move. Couldn’t breath. Some of the others had had fun with it. Thought it was entertaining to kick the shit out of her and watch her freeze up while they did it. The first few times anyway .Eventually she got even more afraid of them, afraid of the beatings and all other shit they did to her. They pushed her till she finally pushed back. She didn’t remember much of that. It was fragmented. Half remembered. Like a dream. When she came to she was sitting on top of one of the girls who’d been tormenting her and bawling her eyes out. They were both covered in blood. Not much of it was hers. She was in solitary for a little while after that. It was good. She was afraid to be around other people. After that she’d ended sharing a cell with Alex. Things got better. She got better...but she wasn’t ever fixed. Not really. The freezing up was bad. It rattled her. Made her remember things she didn’t want too...snapping? That was so much worse.When she came down she felt...unclean. Like an animal. Like a monster. Maybe that was what they needed right now. “It has our scent,If we run, it will hunt us down, and kill us both…” Maya wondered briefly how he knew that. Maybe mages and gifted weren’t the only things he hunted. If he was right she was glad she’d decided to stick around. The thing would have made short work of her out in the snow at full strength. “I shattered its pelvis, but if we let it feed, it will heal, and it will kill us both. The only way we live through this is if we find it, and kill it, before it has a chance to feed… It won’t run, it needs us dead.” He seemed to know a lot about the thing. The way he described it sounded a lot like a vampire. She wasn’t sure why that seemed so odd to her. There were already zombies and werewolves. Vampires? Why not. It still seemed to tame a description of the creature. As they ran her nerves continued to fray. He though seemed remarkably composed if his tone of voice was anything to go by. The creature seemed to have caught him off guard...but if he wasn’t here to kill it what was he here for? She didn’t dare to ask. It didn’t take them long to find the thing, but they weren’t quick enough. She could see the veins of light across it’s skin flicker more brightly as it drank hungrily from the corpse. As they closed on it she felt for her fingertips, focusing on the sensation as golden light pooled into the empty sleeve of her coat, slender golden fingers escaping it a moment later. Her magehunter pulled on the vampire and her hand shot for her own gun holstered on her belt at the small of her back. Before she could draw though the creature was off running and the sounds of the storm were momentarily drowned out by the incredible cacophony as the man opened up on it. She didn’t see if he’d hit the thing and he didn’t give her time to ask, chasing after the thing without a word.She darted after him but couldn’t keep up. He stopped just as suddenly as he had started, apparently having lost track of the thing and she frowned as he cursed under his breath. “If you don’t want to die, you need to fucken keep up.” Had she been paying attention to him his attitude would have probably gotten him a snide reply even if the comment didn’t. Terrified of him or not she didn’t let people walk all over her. Not anymore. Fortunately he attention was on the direction the creature had gone.The thing was fast but she didn’t think it could just vanish like that. Especially if it was wounded as he made it out to be. These spaces were large and it would have had to have gone a ways to get out of the section they were in...so what if it hadn’t? Her eyes darted up, scanning the darkened rafters and the industrial shelving. She spotted it there, crouching among the crate laden pallets. IT glared down at them, and as she spotted it it bared its teeth and snarled. She raised her sidearm and fired at it. The shot’s were barely aimed and she was too panicked the creature and the unfamiliar kick of the gun in her hands to compose herself. She fired three more rounds rapidly. Panic fire. She didn’t actually hit the thing but she got surprisingly close, hitting a crate a few inches away from its head. The thing snarled as splinters dug into the side of its face. It braced itself and pushed against the crate, sending it tumbling over the edge and right toward them. Maya dove out of the way landing hard on her side, her arms wrapping around her face to shield her from splinters of wood and glass as the crate and whatever was in it shattered into a scrap. She gingerly got to her feet and looked around. The Vampire was gone, she didn’t see her magehunter either. His gear wasn’t mixed in with the shattered remains of the crate so he hadn’t been crushed at least. “Still alive? “ She rasped . As she looked for him she noticed a faint glow from the floor nearby. She bent down for a better look and realized it was the same color as the foul magic that seemed to run though the vampires veins. It was bleeding. She could track it. “ I think I...can find it.” She called softly, hoping that he could heart her.
  10. Maya Rowen

    Cold night in hell...

    Maya struggled to breath as the figure approached her, but it was a losing battle. Panic swallowed her as the enchanted items seemed to float towards her and it peaked, crashing in around her as she felt a finger press against her lips. A finger she couldn’t see. She started hyperventilating. Her vision flickered even darker than normal as she fought to stay conscious. She managed somehow. It wasn’t easy. Far from it. It took everything she had to clamp down on the fear. The terror that had a hold of her. That primal fear that drove away thought and pressed in until all you could think about was escaping. Surviving. Her breathing still came shallow, ragged, but it was coming now. Before she could truly pull herself together though her boogeyman seemed to have turned his attention elsewhere. A stray unformed thought told her it was now. She should get out of here while he was distracted. While she still could. Then she heard the footsteps. Heavy. Unhurried. Her head snapped around as her eyes darted frantically looking for whoever was making them. No...not whoever. Whatever, because whatever she was looking at wasn’t a person. It looked like a person. A corpse to her really. Ashen gray skin shone where it’s clothing didn’t cover. Dead. People didn’t look like that. They were vibrant. Alive. People weren’t empty. Neither was this thing. Not entirely. A spiderweb of sickly red light seemed to bleed across its skin. From its eyes.She shrunk back against the wall as it approached and began gasping for air once more. Her boogeyman had been terrifying. When she’d first seen his kind a few months ago on new years eve it had scared her senseless. She’d had nightmares about him. Him finding her. Busting down her door and hauling off to a prison for people like her. A prison for gifted...and other dreams. Dreams where she went to sleep..and he made sure she never woke up. It had been hard to sleep after that. Still was some nights. It was completely irrational. He likely hadn’t even realized what she was, or not what she did, who she was.That didn’t stop him from getting in her head. Didn’t stop the fear of the man she couldn’t see from creeping into the back of her skull like poison. Her boogeyman. That was what she called him. Nameless. Formless. Omnipresent. Like a bad story come to life. He was the worst thing she could imagine. This thing was worse. Her boogeyman was dangerous. This was...EVIL. Her throat burned as her dinner threatened to show itself. Whatever semblance of control she’d regained vanished when she laid eyes on that thing. Her boogeyman told her to run, but he needn’t of bothered. She was already in motion. She just wasn’t fast enough. The creature darted forward so fast she barely saw it as she began to push herself to her feet. Then the world went black. Not the dark, shadowy landscape she’d learned to navigate. Just. Black. She screamed. A keening anguished sound that seemed to burst from her without end as her hands shot to her eyes. Their golden glow flickered slightly as the mana jammer washed over her. The screaming continued as she buried her face in her hands, unable to think, unable to move. She’d been blind before. Back when her sight first began to manifest. Several times since when she’d run out of mana. Never like this. Never so abruptly. So unprepared. Without her cane she couldn’t run even if she wanted too. A gunshot echoed and her scream cut off abruptly in it’s wake leaving the warehouse suddenly disturbingly quiet. Her hands came away and her eyes darted frantically as she tried to see something. Anything. Instead she heard, what exactly she had no idea but whatever the noise was it was getting closer. She shot to her feet and started to run, but she only made it a few steps before her shoulder collided painfully with something and she went sprawling back to the floor. She blinked and wasn’t sure if it was the pain or the sudden shades of grey that brought tears to her eyes. Her relief was short lived. As her sight returned she saw that the thing was only feet away from her. Her blood ran cold. Her boogeyman was nowhere in sight. Before she had anymore time to think, any more time to react he was on her. She stumbled to her feet only to come crashing back down as he grabbed her ankle so hard she thought he might have broken bone. As she went down it pulled itself over her, and its fang filled mouth lunged towards her throat...and sank into golden flesh. The ethereal layer of golden skin that surrounded her was all that had saved her life, and the hole from the creatures assault bled golden light as mana flowed from the wound in her projection, quickly becoming whole once more. The monster snarled and continued to savage her, its fangs coming a hairsbreath from the skin that lay beneath the golden aura. It was agony. She felt every bit of it as the thing tore the conjured flesh from her neck again and again. Every nerve as those fangs dug into them and then stripped them raw. She couldn’t hear anything over her own screaming and the creatures guttural snarls.It seemed like it would never stop. The things need to feed seemed to have stripped away it’s ability for rational thought it seemed incapable of concerning itself with anything aside from tearing out her throat. Tears streamed down her face as she lay pinned beneath the thing. Unable to move. Unable to escape. Was this it? Was this how she was going to die? Trapped in a dingy warehouse? Eaten alive? Eventually her projection would fail. It couldn’t hold up to the assault of the creature on top of her, and when it did the thing would eat her alive. It’s fangs sunk into the aura around her neck again and she screamed. As much as she could anyway. Her throat was raw. She thought she taste blood. She was going to die.Here. Alone.No one would ever know. As the thought flitted across her racing mind a trickle of anger began to flow with the pain. With the fear. No. SHe hadn’t survived, hadn’t suffered to die here. Forgotten. Alone. No. She wouldn’t allow it. No.No.NO! A snarl escaped her every bit as feral as the thing atop her as the rage flared within her. It recoiled, likely surprised. It wasn’t much but it was enough. Her right arm bulged within the sleeve of her jacket, tearing through the material as new muscle seemed to ripple across the limb. The creature was utterly unprepared for strength or speed of that arm as it lashed out at its face. It darted back and almost managed to evade the blow, would have if not for the golden claws snapped out from her fingertips and sank deep into the creatures flesh. It howled in agony as a torrent of red poured down the left side of it’s face as it was reduced to bloodied meat, mixing with the golden ichor that stained it’s jaws. She pushed herself up and swung at the thing again but it had more time to react and it skittered away, once again moving on all fours. In a heartbeat it was gone. Out of sight. She took a shaky breath as the anger and adrenaline kept burning through her. Her fingers trembled pushed herself shakily to her feet, letting her arm fade into a cloud of golden dust. She needed the mana more. She needed to get out of here. She’d gotten lucky. Insanely lucky. She wasn’t stupid enough to believe she’d done any real damage to whatever that thing had been. It was probably going to be back, and it was definitely pissed off. She started towards the door when she noticed the enchanted arsenal that was all she could see of her boogeyman up against a wall. Unmoving. She bit her lip. She should run. Now. She didn’t want anything to do with a mage hunter...but she might not have a choice. They were a lot more likely to survive together than alone. If nothing else she could run away while the monster was snacking on him. A slight smirk crossed her features as the wry thought flashed through her mind and faded just as quickly. “You alive?” She rasped, her throat burning from the effort.
  11. Maya Rowen

    Cold night in hell...

    The sudden void of quiet was far from filled by the distant sounds of the storm, and it raked at Maya’s already frayed nerves. She was used to being on edge. It was part of the job. It kept her alert. It kept her alive. She was used to that. This was different. She didn’t know why, but it was. She felt it in her gut. It was possible, even plausible the storm had knocked out the power. In fact if she’d been anywhere else she likely wouldn’t have even batted an eye. Now though? The timing of it all seemed far too convenient to just be a coincidence. The storm. The power outage. The urgency of the request. The wards. They all added up in a way she wasn’t comfortable with in the least. She was quickly beginning to regret taking this job. Unfortunately that wasn’t a good enough reason to end it. Graft had built her a reputation and a big part of it was her reliability. When people hired her to get things, they got them. End of story. Now though she was beginning to wonder exactly what it was she was supposed to be getting. She worked with as little information as practical. The kinds of people she stole things for rarely did so with good intentions. It was better if she didn’t know what the things she took were going to be used for. Better for Graft’s clients, and better for her conscience. What was left of it anyway. She took a steadying breath and forced herself to focus on the task at hand...and not to listen to that whispering doubt, that dread that sat in the back of her mind. Finding what she was after was likely going to be simple enough. If whoever was running the show had the cash, or the juice to ward the entire warehouse so heavily then she should expect her prize to be behind the same kind of protection. She’d just have to wander around until she found more neon. From the sound of things there hadn’t been a generator. She probably didn’t have to worry about the lighting anymore. She also didn’t have the sounds of the warehouse to mask her. That was fine. On a nice solid concrete floor like this she’d be practically silent, even without the layer of material she’d put on the soles of her boots to absorb any excess sound. With it she was a ghost in the dark. She moved easily throughout the place, room after empty room. It should have relieved her, but each one only strummed her nerves that much more. If what she was after was really here then there should have been muscle here to keep it safe. Even with the storm. A light crew would have been understandable, but so far she wasn’t seeing any crew. Nobody was dumb enough to leave something this valuable totally unguarded...so where was everyone? She found an answer in the next room. Or part of one. She almost tripped over it as she came to some kind of loading dock. She hadn’t really been looking at her feet, after all why would anyone leave something on the floor out in the open like this? She stopped and pulsed it to get a better look at what it was and her blood ran colder than the storm outside. It was a body. The cold seemed to sink into her as she noticed something the edge of her pulse had illuminated and she sent out another small burst of mana. Another body. She’d been keeping herself in the dark. If she started throwing mana around the place she was likely to trigger some kind of ward, and it would be impossible to miss the aura of anyone she ran into...or so she’d thought. She put her hands to the ground and sent a gentle wave of mana a few feet in every direction. Golden dust spread out before slowly settling and painting her surroundings with a soft glow. The pleasant glow clashed horribly with the horror show it revealed. At least a couple dozen bodies had been dumped along the length of the dock. Unreality had taken hold after she’d found the first one and as she stared at mound of corpses she wondered briefly if she was dreaming. If she was it was a nightmare. She bent down by the nearest body, examining it with a sense of morbid curiosity. She smell any blood. Not even a little. They didn’t seem to be rotting yet either which was probably how she’d gotten so close without noticing them. That meant whatever had killed them managed to do it without breaking skin, and had done it recently. All of them. Well she‘d likely found the crew her client had been expecting. As she was mulling it all over she noticed something odd. A buzzing. Or maybe it was a scream. It dug at her, incessantly pressing against her consciousness. She noticed her hand was trembling and reached out to steady it with her other before she noticed it was trembling as well. In fact it wasn’t just her hands.. Her whole body was violently shaking. Shivering. As she realized that she understood. It wasn’t a scream. Not out loud anyway. It was in her head. Something broke as she realized that and terror she’d never felt washed over her. It drowned her. There was no thought. No rationality. Only the primal instinct to get away. She sprinted through the warehouse so fast it felt like her muscles might tear. Sneaking was done. This was a frantic mad dash to the nearest door. To escape. Away from whatever the hell was in this warehouse. Luckily the soles of her boots muted the pounding of her feet on concrete as she darted from room to room as fast as her legs would carry her. It didn’t take long to find a door. Maybe a minute or two. It might as well have been an eternity. She was so focused on it that it took her a second to notice the thing beside it. She’d seen it before. Nothingness. A void her sight couldn’t reveal. A void wearing a cloak that seemed to burn with magic.A mage hunter. If she’d been in her right mind she would have remembered new years eve. Remembered when she’d seen them that night at the Satyr. She wasn’t though. Beneath the all consuming panic that seemed to close in on her there was very little right in her mind. She only saw another monster. It was too much. She’d frozen when she’d seen him. Stopped so suddenly she’d fallen backwards. As she stared at him the panic pressed in on her. It settled in her chest like a weight. It was hard to breath. She pushed herself away from him desperately, not even standing, only stopping when her back hit the wall behind her. Her eyes were wide and full of fear as she struggled desperately to take a breath...
  12. Maya Rowen

    Cold night in hell...

    Febuary 13th, 2022 01:30 Waterfront Warehouse A lot had changed since the first resonance. Sometimes Maya barely recognized the world she lived in anymore. So it was comforting when something familiar survived a brush with their near apocalypse. Or it normally was anyway. It seemed even the near end of the world didn’t really change how those on the other side of the law operated. That was why Maya was freezing her ass off instead of relaxing at home. Snow fell so thick that the dockyard was even darker than normal, the few lampposts illuminating the area lost under the sheer weight of it, the moon and the stars blocked by the clouds above. Most would have trouble finding much of anything in this, but it wasn’t much of a problem for Maya. The warehouse in front of her was a beacon of neon colors that painted the place like the site of a rave to her sight. That was far from comforting. When Graft had dragged her out of bed a few hours prior with a phone call and a job he’d been brief. According to him the people who had what she was after were everyday street trash being handled by a couple of thugs who’d managed to get a little bit of power after one of the changes. It seemed like that information was out of date. Dammit this was supposed to be any easy score she thought with a frown. It made sense now why the money was so good. Apparently whoever her client was had had an inkling this wasn’t going to be a walk in the park. She’d have to tell Graft to burn him after this job. In the meantime though… She studied the buildings wards in silence, pulling her coat tighter around her as she began to shiver. She was dressed for both the weather and the job in dark military surplus, but even her thick coat wasn’t a match for an hour in a New York blizzard. Her hood and and balaclava protected her face from the worst of it, but snow and wind stung at her golden eyes. Despite her best efforts snow kept working its way between her cargo pants and her boots. The storm would help hide her approach to the building better than anything she could have managed herself but damn if it wasn’t a miserable experience. As bad as the storm was the wards on the building seemed worse. Nobody really used old school security systems anymore. Well not on an individual basis anyway. It was too expensive, too unreliable since the resonance. Most of the plants that made them had been lost overseas, and with magic even the best of them weren’t exactly what one would call reliable. Technology and the arcane just didn’t mix. Wards had popped up as a decently reliable alternative. If you had the skill and the patience you could theoretically ward a building against pretty much anything. In Maya’s experience though that tended to be more of an academic point. The average gifted didn’t have the skill to lay down ward after ward on top of each other without eventually running into...issues. Occasionally the fatal kind. Good warding was expensive, but it was usually worth it. It could keep out your average thug, or any gifted careless enough to set them off. This wasn’t good warding. It was great warding. Either her client had completely lied to Graft about the kind of people she was dealing with, or they’d gotten taken over by someone new. Both options were bad news for her. Part of her was tempted to split. To just go back home and crawl into bed under a pile of blankets. Or a warm shower. As tempted as she was though it would have been bad for business. Graft would handle her client after he’d finished payment, but until then they had an agreement. If she didn’t keep up her end it made her look unreliable. Even if she’d been OK with that Graft certainly wouldn’t have been. Their partnership was a fragile thing. She wouldn’t have been able to manage what she did without his security, his connections...but if things went south between them she had no doubt she’d rather deal with every petty thug and crime boss she’d angered than Graft himself. Plus the money for this job really was good. It almost made her curious what she was stealing. Almost. She didn’t bother trying to hide as she trudged towards the warehouse. If something could find her in this than anything she could do wasn’t going to change that. She stopped a few feet away from the building near a side door and took a resigned breath. She’d been all around the place but there weren’t any breaks in the wards she could exploit and they were well done enough she didn’t dare try to tamper with any of them. That meant making her own entrance was out. She’d have to use one of the actual doors. That was going to be risky. If they were good enough to have guards at all the entrances this was going to be a short job. She pulled off her gloves and pulled her lock kit from a pocket on her coat. Cold bit at her fingers and she clenched her teeth as she bent down in front of the door. She’d have to do this fast before her fingers got too numb to manage it. Or frostbite set in. She pulled out a rake pick and slid it into the keyhole, gently strumming it against the pins inside. It seemed whoever was in charge had put more confidence in the wards than decent locks and a few seconds later the latch gave way. Too bad they hadn’t worried about someone getting through the lock the old fashioned way. She peeked inside as she slowly swung the door open, her heart pounding. Thankfully it seemed deserted. It wasn’t really surprising. Even criminal types weren’t likely to be going out with the weather as bad as it was. Hopefully it stayed that way. There were far fewer wards inside as well. With all the traffic that probably came through here they probably wouldn’t have been much use...that was good. Mostly. The wards were a pain in the ass to get around but they also made it a hell of a lot easier for her to see. She kept low as she worked her way further into the building. Aside from the sheer number of wards on the place it almost looked like a normal warehouse. These guys weren’t sloppy. Her eyes darted constantly as she carefully moved through what looked like a loading dock. The biggest problem she had breaking into places like this was open spaces. They were a dangerous thing when you couldn’t tell if you were standing in pitch black or lit up like a Christmas tree. Usually she could hear the soft hum of the bulbs but it wasn’t something she really liked to chance. Her best option was to keep her head on a swivel and spot anyone who might spot her first. It did mean she noticed though when that humming stopped. When every man made sound in the place stopped in fact. The roar of the storm outside was deafening in that sudden silence. Power outage? That much wind and snow definitely could have managed it… that was a mixed blessing though. She might not have had to worry about the lights, but whoever was left in the place was going to be paying close attention now that was for damn sure. Paranoia had a way of doing that. Of course, paranoia might not have been a fair description. It wasn’t paranoia if it was justified. Her golden eyes were all that could be seen of her as she crept into the darkness.
  13. Maya Rowen


    “Funny, I was just thinking the same thing about you.” She told him with a smirk.Her eyes were bright as they roamed over his body. His features were nothing special, but he had a rugged charm to him Oh, yes he was charming. The kind of effortless charm that came from practice. Lots of practice. Not that she was an expert. In fact she was pretty much the furthest thing from it, but the buzz was helping with that. It was a nice change, actually enjoying herself at a bar. She’d already had more to drink than she usually let herself in public. “ You’re not so bad either.” she quipped with another grin as he mentioned the bar. Her eyes started roaming again as she wondered if the flirting was going to lead to anything else. She wouldn’t have minded something more. She wasn’t sure about him though. As charged as the air was she was having trouble picking up anything from his aura. To him the flirting could have meant something, or nothing at all. If she wanted a hint at how he was really feeling she’d need skin to skin contact. At that point she wouldn’t really need her powers to tell her if he was interested. One way or another. She rolled her eyes, grin fading but the amusement remaining as he told her he was apparently he for everything the colosseum had to offer. From most guys it would have sounded cheesy. Or cocky. It was such a stereotypical answer. It didn’t have that feel from him. It almost sounded like he was telling an inside joke. The kind only you understand when you tell it. Of course that could have been the liquor talking. He nodded at the big man behind the bar, and she barely reacted to the werecreature, focusing instead on the man beside her. “Careful. Now I know you’re up to no good.” She told him teasingly, her lips parting in another smirk and the gold in her eyes dancing at her amusement. She’d likely had too much to drink already, but at this point she didn't much care. She certainly wasn’t going to argue with the man who was buying them. No, she was having fun and she wasn’t going to worry. That conviction lasted all of three seconds. As she reached for the glass she felt the fingers in her gloved hand go numb. No, that wasn’t quite right. She stopped feeling them because they were no longer there. Her heart jumped and she closed her eyes for a moment, struggling to focus as she channeled mana back into the limb. She drummed her fingers on the table as they were whole once more tightened them into a fist, flexing them several times. To anyone else it likely just looked she was trying to get some feeling back in a hand that had fallen asleep. She must have been more affected than she’d thought. A lot more affected. Keeping her arm together was almost effortless to her normally. If she was having trouble keeping it from breaking down she was probably pretty smashed. Her good mood was unfortunately broken, and it only got worse as she noticed that while she and her new acquaintance had been talking the bar beside him had suddenly become quite crowded. That didn’t bother her. The place was packed, and honestly it had been a little surprising the bar had been as free as it was. No what bothered her were their aura’s. A taller woman burned with the kind of brightness that said she was gifted. Beside her sat another werecreature, his aura was much the same as that of the big man behind the bar. What really scared that shit out of her though was whatever else was sitting on the woman’s other side. Their outfit seemed to blaze with the enchantments on them, in fact it was brighter than the aura of an ungifted. She couldn’t see whatever was wearing it. Since her sight had first shown up she’d never found anyone who could hide from it. Not like this. The world seemed to press in on her, and it was all she could do to keep her breathing even as terror gripped her. There was only one kind of person who’d have that kind of gear. Those kinds of skills. Whatever was at the bar with them scared her a hell of a lot more than either of the werecreatures. It was a mage hunter. She nearly panicked. Ran away without a word. Somehow she didn’t. Somehow she even managed to keep the panic that was knotting around her insides off her face except the brief widening of her eyes. Somehow she even managed to push her panic down and bring some amusement back to her expression as it turned back to the man beside her. To ignore the part of her brain that was screaming at all these gifted beings coming together couldn’t end well. That last part was more difficult than the others so she grabbed her drink, taking a healthy sip as she tried to drown the screaming in her skull. Tried to find that pleasant buzz her adrenaline had dulled once more. “You this nice to all the girls you meet?” She asked him, her smile turning wicked as fire ran through her veins and heat bloomed through her chest and her eyes meeting his....
  14. Maya Rowen


    She grinned at the mans answer and sipped her drink Oh, he definitely seemed to be flirting she thought to herself. That was novel. She quirked an eyebrow as he questioningly listed off what might have drawn her out tonight. “And If I said none of the above?” She asked with amusement as she studied his face. The smell of blood and sap filled her nose again and she was careful not to react to it as the beast approached them both. Instead she took a deep sip from her drink, her golden eyes wandering as she gave the man who’d bought it for her a once over. He was significantly taller than her, but that wasn’t exactly uncommon, and he seemed solidly built. He had a nice grin too. Her eyes wandered appreciatively for a few moments longer before she set her drink on the bar next to his. She grabbed the bar, lifting herself up into the open seat beside him with casual ease. “Honestly I was invited by a friend, but he wandered off. So since I was already here I decided me and the bar should get better acquainted. “ She told him as her eyes met his again. It was mostly true. As close as she was likely to be telling anyway. “So far it’s turning out to be a pretty good decision.” She said flashing him another smile. She was definitely buzzed, not that it was particularly obvious. “How about you? ” She asked him as she idly traced a finger around the lip of her glass. She studied him once again and her head tilted slightly to the side as her curiosity grew. His aura was bright, but it was also stable. It lacked the orange and red that seemed to dominate most of the crowd as their emotions ran high. It didn’t seem like he was very vested in the fight. He didn’t seem to be drinking heavily enough for that too have called him out either. Besides, If you were out to drink there were far cheaper places to do it, and if he’d been here for the crowd she doubted he’d be here at the bar. “I’m guessing you’re not here for any of those either.” She added speculatively as she took another sip of her drink, blinking in surprise as she realized she’d emptied it. She set the glass on the bar and stared at it for a moment before lightly shaking her head. She’d had more than she’d thought. More than she should have probably. As the thought rolled through her mind she found she didn’t much care. You only live once right? She buried the stray thoughts as she turned her attention back to the man beside her.
  15. Maya Rowen

    Muddling Morning Meeting

    She didn’t react for a moment, staring blankly ahead before tilting her head curiously in the womans direction. “If you mean me, then go ahead. Seems like you’re the only one willing to.” Maya said with a touch of amusement. She studied the woman, eyes darting behind her sunglasses until they fell on the badge that rested on a chain around her neck. She wasn’t sure what was more surprising. The fact someone had finally gotten up the nerve to approach her, or the fact that it was an ARMA agent who did. She managed to keep the shock off her face thankfully. She’d had a lot of practice.Internally she fought the urge to panic. The paranoid part of her brain told her this was a sting. That the life she’d managed to carve out for herself since she’d gotten out of jail was about to end. She clamped down on that and forced the logical part of her brain to stay in control. If they were coming after her this wasn’t the way they’d do it. It was too crowded. Too many people to get caught in the crossfire for them to try something here. No, if they were on to her they would have tailed her until they found her apartment and then hit it after she’d gone to bed. At least that was how she’d have done it. Less fallout that way. Fewer witnesses too. She told herself that again and again as the woman sat down across from her and by fifth or sixth time she started to believe it enough to relax. Her fingers traced the lip of the cup in front of her as she looked turned her attention towards the woman's general direction. Her lips quirked in genuine amusement as the absurdity of the situation ran through her mind. It sounded like a bad joke. ‘An ARMA agent and a one armed thief walk into a coffee shop.’ The humor vanished as she lifted the cup to her lips, taking a deep sip as she considered the woman in front of her. She was still relatively sure this was chance, or some perverse joke of fate if you believed in it. That didn’t mean she couldn’t be a little more sure. She set the cup down with an appreciative sigh, breathing in deeply in the hopes of catching a taste of the womans aura. The taste of black coffee flashed across her taste buds as she did, lingering for a few seconds. Huh. That was different. She personally drank her coffee with copious amounts of cream and sugar, and whipped cream if she was having a bad day. She only drank it black when she didn’t have anything else and she needed something to keep her going. Or something to keep her from killing other people in the morning. Irritated? Fatigued? She wasn’t sure. Still the woman didn’t seem particularly alarmed in any case. She relaxed, but only slightly. “So what brings you out into the cold this morning?” She asked casually, as she lifted her cup to take another sip.


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