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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.

JUNE 13, 2019 - Family emergency  took a bad turn so had to stay away but now things are finally calming down. Hope to get going again shortly. Thanks for understanding. ~ZEPH

Maya Rowen

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78 Setting the Bar High

About Maya Rowen

  • Rank
    Nicely Seasoned


    Ruby Rose
  • AGE
  • RACE
    Empowered Human
  • JOB
  • 'SHIP:
    New York
    Despite all efforts to the contrary, people tend to remember Maya. It’s easy to mistake her as fragile or frail at first glance. At 5,1 her diminutive stature and thin frame certainly doesn’t dissuade the notion. The empty sleeves that draw attention to her missing left arm and the cane she carries don’t much either. This suits her fine. As with much of the world these days Maya isn’t necessarily what she seems. Thin she may be, but beneath her clothing her frame is framed with the toned practical muscle of a gymnast.

    Since the loss of her eyesight Maya’s lost much of the pride in her appearance she once had and doesn’t put nearly as much effort into it as she used to. Much of her style now is sheer utilitarian. Her hair is cut short, framing her face nicely and fortunately requiring very little maintenance to do so. People tend to find her eyes unsettling, likely due to the frequency with which they seem to go from empty, and hollow, to almost burning with intensity. Her pupils glow with a soft gold light that spiderwebs into the natural green of her iris’s. She tends to wear mirrored sunglasses to go with her cane and let people believe her blind.

    Her clothing tends to be form fitting and functional, typically jeans, or leggings, and t-shirts. Very rarely does she ever leave her coat, a long black number with just a slight tail, a hood and buttons running along the left side. With it she wears a red infinity scarf she’ll sometimes pull up to hide the lower half of her face. On the rare occasion she feels she needs to dress up she typically wears wears a nicely fitting blouse and slacks, with or without a blazer. Often hidden from view her left side is covered in dozens of interlocking tattoo’s, running from her left ankle to the base of her throat and hiding dozens of scars, mainly along her ribs. They’re accentuated by the utter lack of marking on her right side, nothing but pale smooth skin aside from her arm which has a full sleeve of tattoos from her shoulder to her fingertips.

    Most days Maya is to put it politely, a functional trainwreck. Once sunny and upbeat, fate has all but ended the naive optimistic young woman Maya was before the event. The losses she’s suffered since the world went mad haunt her, her family, her freedom, her arm,her lover. Each one a little more soul crushing than the last. As a result Maya is slow to trust, and avoids growing attached to things because of the only slightly paranoid expectation that she’ll lose them again. The warm caring individual she used to be is now hidden behind a cold and heartless facade. Despite attempts to convince herself (and others) however, it’s exactly that. A facade.

    Her time in prison taught her to bury her feelings and gave her one hell of a poker face to go with it, but her cold, threatening attitude is usually a bluff to keep herself isolated and keep trouble away from her. While repressing her feelings certainly manages that it’s also extremely unhealthy. She bottles them up until eventually the bottle can hold no more and it shatters, leaving everything inside to come pouring out at once. Rage usually rises to the surface, burning white hot until it eventually fizzles and leaves her hollow. despair crash in around her and smother her until she’s drowning in it and it’s all she can do to come up with a reason to try to stay afloat.

    She dislikes confrontation in the extreme as it tends to trigger anxiety inducing flashbacks of the man she murdered,and she’ll generally do whatever she can to avoid it. If pushed and unable to escape however her anxiety will build until she snaps at which point she can become extremely violent.These episodes are typically followed by regret and frustration that she can’t control the one thing in this world she should be able to. Herself. Though she hasn’t been officially diagnosed with it she has many of the symptoms of PTSD, notably night terrors, and panic attacks.

    The loss of both her arm and her eyesight , as well as the many scars she bears have ravaged her self esteem, not that she’ll admit it. Before she lost her eyesight she had many of her scars covered with tattoos in an attempt to make them something beautiful instead of a constant reminder of the things she’s endured. She has an extreme aversion to authority figures due to the fear she’ll eventually end up back in prison. The only place she ever truly relaxes and lets her walls down is in her apartment, her sanctuary. She’s extremely secretive about where she lives and rarely if ever allows guests. She’s also very distrustful of others, especially strangers. The single person she actively trusts is her friend Chloe who she’s extremely protective of.

    Headphones: Maya’s constant companion,

    Sig Saur P229- Chambered for standard 9MM and completely factory. Most often worn on a hip holster in her right side.

    Knife-More often than not Maya tends to keep a knife strapped next to her gun for easy reach. A leftover habit from her time in prison, she likes to keep something pointy nearby for emergencies.

    MP3 Player-

    Playing cards- Maya developed a fondness for cards in prison and usually carries a deck with braille markings.

    Apartment- She rents at a building on 48th street. It’s a studio apartment but it suits her fine.
    All of Maya’s powers come from three main abilities tied to her senses. True sight, for vision, Auramomatic for taste and smell, and Will Forger for touch.

    True Sight: In the wake of the second resonance, Maya’s third eye opened, and thanks to the trauma that followed it refused to shut. While mage sight is a rather common ability, Maya’s skill with it has been honed due to her constant use. All living things bloom brightly in her sight, those with lesser aura’s outlining them in varying shades of neon, but mages and other beings of power burn before her like stars.The Nevus burns brightest of all, a terrestrial sun that almost pains her to look at. Spells appear to her bright and vivid as splashes neon paint in the dark. Enchantments as flickering threads of power that weave through an items very being. Illusions and veils nothing more than a hazy fuzz around what truly lies beneath. This comes with a heavy price. When her third eye refused to close her mind struggled struggled reconciling the constant input from both her third eye and her regular sight. As her true sight began to dominate her vision her eyes suffered from optical atrophy. Her eyesight worsened until it faded all together and only her true sight remained. While her ability to perceive things in the magical spectrum is powerful it’s not absolute. Mages and other beings capable of masking their aura’s can dim the glow she identifies them with, or with sufficient skill conceal it entirely. This makes them effectively invisible to her unless they’re within a few feet of her, and even then they appear dark and cold as a corpse would.

    Without her actual eye’s she’s incapable of seeing light, which also makes her unable to discern things by color. The world is a dark shell of its former self. Layers upon layers of darkness forming a shadowy replica of her surroundings, indistinct and incomplete. Lacking as it may be this generally serves her well enough to navigate her immediate surrounding but for little else. She has great trouble discerning objects edges, seeing most things as part of a continuous whole. A solid obsidian sculpture with no breaks. Only within a couple of feet of her does the landscape appear to have any depth or definition. Her surroundings beyond quickly begin blending into a featureless darkness. The sky an endless murky sea. She is capable of briefly improving her ability to perceive her surroundings by concentrating her aura before sending it out in a directional pulse similar to sonar. Anything hit by the pulse becomes coated in a thin layer of aura for a few minutes that causes it to snap back into focus, crisp and clear to her eyes.. Others individuals may be capable of copying this technique or capable of temporarily blinding her in the way bright light would create an afterimage would normal sight by sending out stronger pulses. Should her mana be depleted from any cause her true sight fails and she becomes truly blind.

    Auramomatic: Aura’s are much like the people who project them. No two are ever the same. For Maya this is most evident in her ability to scent them. Or rather the ability that allows her brain to process trace amounts of aura using her senses of smell and taste as a medium. The type of smell an aura gives off typically depends on the primary form of magic they use, but also their emotional state. For example someone who wields dark magic, or harbors extreme build ups of malevolent emotions may smell or rot or decay. She’s also capable of scenting when magic has been used recently. While her sense of smell excels in reading the surface of someone’s aura, taste is more delicate and can be used to delve more into someone’s emotional state. Using this ability to determine the emotional states of others is largely guesswork and practice and by no means a science, and though she’s capable of scenting any living being’s aura those with stronger magical affinities have a stronger scent and are generally easier to read. Those with more control over their magic are capable of muting their aura and shrinking the range at which she can scent it, but close quarters (skin to skin proximity) allows her to scent someone regardless.The more alien the being she’s attempting to read, the more difficult the difference in emotional range makes it. For this reason she tends to avoid delving into more non human aura’s.

    -Aura Eater- Scenting aura’s is a powerful tell on someone’s mood, but it’s also open to Maya’s interpretation and can be fooled by those with skill. Consuming their aura is a different matter. Consuming another beings aura causes her own to resonate with theirs. This has a number of effects but the most significant one is the ability for Maya to feel the emotions of those whose aura she consumes. When this happens her “victim’s” emotions overlap her own either resonating and intensifying anything she may already be feeling or causing a dissonance that may deaden her own emotions if they conflict with the others. This overlap is affected by the other individuals emotional depth, intensity, the amount of aura consumed and physical distance from Maya. The deeper, and stronger the emotion is, as well as the closer an affected individual is and the larger the amount of aura consumed it’s more likely to produce stronger emotional overlap. While the affected individual is unable to sense Maya’s emotions, her own emotional range can cancel out the deadening of her own emotions to some degree. This ability can leave Maya very open to suggestion of those she’s linked to, and experiencing another's emotions creates a level of intimacy that Maya is usually profoundly uncomfortable with, especially with people she doesn’t trust or actively dislikes. For these reasons she rarely uses this ability. In addition to the emotional overlap the resonance effect creates a pull between the aura she’s consumed and it’s owner. This allows her to sense their location when close by and sense their general direction over considerably longer distances, though the accuracy deteriorates the longer the distance. The effects last from a couple of hours up to a day depending on how much of an individual's aura she consumes.

    Will Forger: The ability to solidify and manipulate her own aura through her sense of touch, as well as to perceive the aura’s of other through skin to skin contact . Typically she uses this ability to sculpt her own aura, either into inanimate tools, or as modifications and extensions of her own body. While she’s incapable of shaping another’s aura she is capable of feeling it when she comes into contact. An ordinary person's aura feels like a gentle tingle like low level electric current. More powerful beings like mages and many non humans feel more like a light shock on initial contact. While the sensation can be intense it’s not necessarily painful or unpleasant.

    -Duplicant- The ability to shape her aura into tools, weapons or other objects. The quality and durability of these projections depends on the amount of mana Maya invests and the amount of time and concentration she has to create them. As these items don’t remain connected to her aura they take considerably more time and focus for her to create as she can’t simply create them by feel. This also limits the complexity of what she’s capable of making. Complicated or delicate structures like circuits are far beyond her ability to craft. She’s further limited in that her creations are purely physical. For example she can’t produce gunpowder or electricity to create the reactions necessary for firearms or railweaponry, but she can make bows or crossbows that rely purely on reactionary forces. Knowledge is also a limiting factor, she simply can’t make something if she doesn’t know how it functions. Since she lacks physical sensation with these creations she has to use her hands as a medium to shape her aura, and can’t create anything if they’re bound or damaged. At the center of these creations is a core that contains all of the energy she’s invested in it and allows the outer shell to regenerate after taking physical and magical damage. After this core is depleted or if destroyed with another magical force the creation shatters and quickly disintegrates. Any contact with sufficient amounts of energy damages the creation and forces it to draw on the energy at its core, whether it’s kinetic energy from striking or being struck, or being exposed to excessive heat or magical energies. Typically these creations stand up to terrestrial forces better than magical ones. Despite the time and effort required to create these constructs, so long as the core remains intact they’re easily repaired by coming into contact with Maya’s aura again.

    -Phantom Limb-Maya is able to manipulate the Aura she forges as an extension of her body. The most basic form of this is the arm she creates to replace the one she’s lost. Alternatively she can use it to alter her limbs (generate claws, muscle mass, fins, etc.) or to generate entirely new appendages such such as a tail, or a set of wings. The more complex the projection, the longer it takes to materialize, claws and simple creations being almost instantaneous and more complicated structures like wings taking between thirty seconds to a minute.These projections are linked to her sense of touch, and by extension her sense of pain as well. If destroyed or severed they will continue to regenerate so long as her mana isn’t depleted, but the rate at which they do varies on the complexity of what was lost. Though she’s capable of creating several of these projections at once doing so is difficult to control and maintain and steadily drains her mana..

    -Wildcall- An extremely dangerous ability that rapidly consumes Maya’s energy. She cocoon’s her body into a single projection that encases her in a bestial shell. In this state Maya loses much of her upper cognitive ability as her upper brain function is sacrificed to maintain the whatever form she takes. The size and nature of her beast forms vary, but they all offer her increased strength, speed, and resistance to physical and magical attacks. These projections, as with her phantom limbs are linked to her sense of touch, and by extension her sense of pain as well. She’s capable of changing the specifics whatever form she takes using this ability (Limb size, shape, extra appendages, muscle mass, etc) it becomes fixed to an extent. She still has the ability to alter these forms it’s much more time consuming to alter them than it is to initially generate them. This is partially due to her decreased mental capabilities and partially because she has to graft the changes into an already cohesive construct. They also mostly follow the rules of physics. Limbs, or sections of her projections can be damaged, removed or destroyed in their entirety, and while they can be regenerated as long as she has aura remaining the process isn’t instantaneous. This ability is also an all or nothing. Once she enters this state she’s unable to release it until her mana is completely depleted, afterwhich she’s physically and mentally drained. It’s not unusual for her to collapse after releasing it and regardless of whether or not she does she remains in an altered state of mind and doesn’t fully recover her mental faculties for a few hours at best, though in more severe instances it can take a little over a full day. She also loses her ability to see for several hours as her mana reserves are utterly depleted.Her ability to trigger this intentionally is spotty at best and usually the result of stressful situations such as physical confrontation.

    Thievery: Since she was sent to jail for it, her skill in taking things that don’t belong to her has grown exponentially. Between the knowledge she gained while incarcerated and her magical abilities she’s become quite a capable thief.

    Freerunning/Acrobatics: The single semester she tried out for cheerleading in highschool trying to be popular will always make her shudder, she did get something out of it. A love of gymnastics. She had a knack for it too, and competed on her highschool team her junior and senior years.

    Pain Tolerance: The years weren’t kind after the first resonance, and because of the injuries she’s experienced since the first event as well as her addiction to painkillers she can take a hell of a beating.

    Brawling:Despite not being trained in any style of martial arts, Maya has quite a bit of experience fighting. Or getting beat on anyway. She learned early that there’s no such thing as a clean fight, only a smart one.

    Firearms: Limited is probably the best way to describe Maya’s experience with firearms. She’s has all the knowledge of how to properly shoot, but a lack of actual experience and desire to cause harm to others. She mainly carries her gun as a deterrent.

    Card Shark- Maya didn’t learn to play cards until her time in prison, but it turns out playing cards with criminals can make you pretty good at it. She excels at both poker and blackjack, more so if she’s cheating. Incidentally she’s pretty good at telling when when the games been fixed.
    Once upon a time fairy’s, elves and dragons were the stuff of fairy tales. Unbelievable. That all changed when the sky split open and fiction turned to fact. Now it’s that world that we used to live in that seems like the fairy tale. We all took it for granted, and in the blink of an eye we had it ripped away from us. Back then I was just a dumb kid who couldn’t wait to get out of the house and go see the world. God I was so young. Average life. Average dysfunctional family, my parents and an older brother. Average childhood in a town in Arizona. Boring at times, but not bad. Not that I thought about it that way back then. I was on my way home from college when the nevus opened. On my way home to visit my family for break.

    I never got to see them again. Maybe they died that day, maybe not. I don’t know. Some days I think I did. Everything went mad so fast. It was incredible how the panic swept through the city. Everything was fair game in that chaos. That was when I started chipping at pieces of my soul to stay alive. It started with the stealing. Everyone was. The city was falling apart, food was hard enough to get, clothes were a luxury. At least till winter hit. Starving was better than freezing. So I got good at taking things that didn’t belong to me. It’s amazing really. It’s so easy to think “I’d never” Or “Not me” until it happens and you realize “Yes. Yes I would.” Because when it came down to it. it was me or them and I chose me. I’d never realized how many things i’d taken for granted till then. A full stomach. A warm bed... I got desperate.

    I hadn’t expected the guy who’d caught me breaking into his place to catch me, but damn he was fast. He caught me about halfway up the ladder and grabbed my leg. I freaked out and kicked him in the face as hard as I could. That was it. He went down, hit the street hard. I heard his skull crack from the fire escape.It was so loud, and everything after that was just...so quiet. I kept hearing it, the wet smack and sharp crack of his bone. Then he just...stopped moving. They found me about twenty minutes later bawling my eyes out in the alley by his body. Someone had called the cops and that’s probably the only thing that saved my life, but it was a small mercy.

    The legal system was still a mess, and the fact people could defy them with impunity kept showing up wasn’t helping. The cops cracked down hard to show they meant business. I was in a cell for months before I got a trial. If you can call it that. Ten years. That was my sentence. B&E. Theft, Manslaughter. They all stuck. I was still kind of numb. Out of everything that happened, the sky splitting open, the riots, [i] goddamn monsters[/i], that, that was what seemed the most surreal. Me in prison. That was the last time I thought that way. That this couldn’t be happening, not to me. That was when i realized yes, it could happen, and it was. To me.

    The first few months were hell, the cops weren’t under a lot of pressure to show results and they kept order with an iron fist. Slowly though some kind of normalcy returned, or as much as there can be any more. I didn’t care. I belonged there, and honestly for awhile it was safer than being out on the streets. We didn’t have much, but we weren’t starving. Or freezing. Or being beaten to death. Not usually anyway. It was still prison. Some folk in their were just like me. Wong place, very wrong time. A lot weren’t. The hard cases. The cold blooded killers. I stayed away from them. Kept my head down. Stayed away from everybody at first, but honestly prison is hard enough without being alone.That was where I met Alex. My Cellmate. We hit it off quick. She was like me. Wrong place. Wrong time. She had a wicked sense of humor. Didn’t take long for us to be friends. Didn’t take long for us to be more. Didn’t see that coming. Guess you don’t realize how much you need someone in your life until you’ve got no one. I hadn’t been happy since before the resonance, but I was content.

    Then the second resonance hit. The madness came back. I don’t remember much. I didn’t make it out without a scratch this time. It was an explosion. A gift someone got from the Nevus. I remember the noise, the heat. The pressure that washed over me so intensely I thought my head was going to burst. The panic of being trapped as I struggled to free me arm from the rubble. My entire cell block collapsed. I got caught under the ceiling. The prison couldn’t handle it. So many bodies, so many people caught in the blast...like me. I woke up in the city three days later.

    Oh god that was a rough day. If I hadn’t been so full of meds i probably would have lost my shit as soon as I woke up . Instead I drifted in and out for awhile before I was really coherent enough to register anything. The first thing that hit me was the pain. I don’t think I could ever really explain that kind of pain to someone who hasn’t felt it. It was raw, like my nerves had been dug out of my skin and set on fire with alcohol. I won’t lie. I curled up into a ball and bawled my eyes out for a good ten minutes before I managed to get a grip and clamp down on my nerves enough to notice anything else. That’s when i realized I wasn’t alone. I freaked out. That was when I noticed. I’d thought my arm had been numb, unresponsive. The truth was much worse than that. It was gone. I lost it. I mean well and truly. It was all too much. I was so confused. Scared. The walls seemed to press in on me and the woman who was there was watching me like a skittish deer. I had to get out of there.

    I was so hopped up on adrenaline that I wasn’t even feeling the pain anymore. It was still there, but on the back burner in my mind. Secondary. There was only room for one thought in my head. Get out. I threw myself out of bed, scaring the crap out of my observer. I made it about three steps before I tripped and fell. Then everything was gone but pain. I think I blacked out. I’m not sure. I don’t remember anything else until I felt fingers wrapping around my wrist. There was no thought, no consideration. I pulled my right arm free and pushed with everything I had. The woman went sprawling back her expression stunned as she smacked into the wall. Still unsteady I grabbed a chair to balance myself, my hands clenching around it so hard I thought the metal would warp.Hands. I stared dumbly for a few seconds as my brain tried to process that fact with the maelstrom of other impulses it was sorting through. Slowly my panic started to die down and I managed to sit down, my breathing shallow as I stared at my arm in awe. It was a perfect replica aside from the fact it was metallic gold. After only a few seconds it began to flicker before crumbling away into nothing. I just kept staring, numb. I was so fried I barely registered the prick my arm. A few seconds later I was out again.

    The second time I woke up wasn’t too different from the first. There was pain, but it was less crushing. My mind was clear enough I managed to take a few breaths and keep myself from totally freaking out again. After a couple minutes I decided I should probably figure out what was going on and sat up. The woman was still there, seated in the chair i’d used to keep myself up right. She was impassive as she watched me, her expression unreadable. I just stared at her for a few seconds and she apparently decided I wasn’t going to attack her. Her name was Chloe, and she was the one who’d managed to clean me up and keep me from bleeding to death. According to her Alex had dug me out of the rubble and brought me to the city, to her. She was a surgeon… and Alex’s half sister. After she’d dropped me there Alex had just disappeared. Hadn’t said where she was going, or if she had Chloe wasn’t. Those first few days she kept me pretty drugged up. She’d managed to fix up my shoulder so there wasn’t any bone sticking out.and I wasn’t bleeding to death but the pain was still crushing. My ribs were pretty messed up too. Two fractured and one broken.

    I think she was also concerned about what had happened the first time I woke up. The panic attack and the power i’d shown during it. We hadn’t talked about it, which was fine with me. I was grateful for the meds. Grateful they all but knocked me out most of the time. Grateful I didn’t have to think. If i’d had my way I probably would’ve stayed like that forever. As usual I didn’t get my way. Coming off them was hard. My body was still pretty battered, My ribs ached with every move, no matter how small, and even sitting still they were a constant dull throb. Phantom pain of my arm haunted me. It would crash in without warning, so intense I couldn’t do anything try not to fall or bite my tongue when I grit my teeth, Then It would be gone. It was bad, but each day the aches were a little better. A little more bearable. The same couldn’t be said for my thoughts. I didn’t want to die. I was just...empty. Hollow. I couldn’t deal with it. Not this time.

    I’d lost plenty of things in the years since the world had gone to shit. My family. My morals. My freedom. I’d coped. I’d survived. I’d lived. This time was different. I’d survived sure, but I don’t think you could really call my existence at that point living. I had trouble finding the drive to get out of bed. So I didn’t. I barely ate anything. I was wasting away. Probably would’ve kept going till it killed me. My grief was crushing my thoughts smothering even the most basic ambition. I don’t know which was the more devastating loss. Alex or my arm. We’d never labeled it, Both of us had avoided that. The world we lived in was too uncertain to make promises. I knew that...but I thought i’d mattered to her. On some level I guess I did or she wouldn’t have bothered saving me. I understood that, but leaving me? That I didn’t get it all. I felt worthless. Useless. My arm didn’t help that. I’d never been particularly vain, but i’d been confident with my looks. Now I found it hard to look in the mirror. Part of me said that was why Alex had left. That we’d been desperate in prison. That once we’d gotten out I was worthless to her. Damaged goods.

    It was more physically debilitating than i’d expected too. I could walk but just that made me feel off balance. Running was even worse. Every little thing it seemed was a reminder of just how pathetic I was. It probably would have killed me. That hopelessness. That emptiness. Chloe finally got sick of my moping. Dragged me out of bed one day by my feet. No warning, she just dropped my ass on the floor. Then she just stood there and stared at me with her arms folded over her chest. I didn’t know what to do, what to say. So I didn’t say anything. I just sat there on the floor looking at her shoes.At least I did until she pushed me over with her foot. “Get up.” She told me. You could practically feel the heat of her anger when she spoke. I just looked up at her blankly. “Why?” I asked her. I really couldn’t see a point. What little of a life i’d managed to eke out since the event was just as dead as the life i’d lived before it, and the future? I was a powered escaped convict, and a cripple at that. My future was even more terrifying than my past if that was possible.

    Disgust muddled the anger as she looked down at me. “God this is pathetic. No wonder Alex dropped you here.” It was a small jab. Nothing I hadn’t already been telling myself, but for some reason it bit worse hearing it from her. Worse than I could handle. “Take it back.” I told her quietly. My demand, if you could call it that seemed to amuse her. “Why? “ She echoed, the mocking bite in her tone digging right under my skin.”Tell me why I should.” She continued, as she she crouched down in front of me, her face only inches away from mine.”Come on, tell me.” She demanded before pushing me over again. I grit my teeth, the pain from my ribs mingling with the anger that was sparking in my chest. “Take it back.” I told her again as i pushed myself back up. She pushed me back over before I had even managed to sit. “Or what? What are you gonna do about it? Sit in bed and ignore me for another week?” She asked in that same condescending tone. “Go on a hunger strike? No wonder it was so easy for Alex to just bai-” I don’t remember standing up, just the blood pounding in my ears as she spoke. As she judged me. As my rage began to boil in my blood. The next thing I knew I was standing over her my hands clenched into fists and my breathing ragged.

    She held a hand to her cheek and I realized i’d slapped her.At first I was horrified but for some reason she smiled. “Much better.” Staring at her blankly I probably looked about as stupid as I felt. After a few seconds I realized she’d gotten me angry on purpose. To get me to feel something. Part of me was grateful for that. It was a small part. Embarrassed and more than a little ashamed I tried to go back to ignoring her, but it wasn’t that simple.Her little mind game had cracked the shell I was hiding in. The apathy. The emptiness. It wasn’t just gone, I was still far from what anyone would call a healthy mindset.The emptiness had been an ocean. Oppressive. All consuming. Now it was a cage, stifling, claustrophobic, but not inescapable. Anger helped. It was easy to be angry, or easier anyway. My apathy had smothered it, but it was there, waiting just beneath the surface. Boiling in my blood. It made me feel alive again.It never lasted though. My temper had a short fuse, but it was explosive and fizzled quickly. When it faded it left me burnt out.Hollow again. I hated it. So i’d get angry about something else.

    Chloe seemed happy anything could get me out of bed at first, and she was practically ecstatic when I started eating again. It didn’t take long for that to fade though. I could tell she was worried I was tipping towards the other end of the spectrum. That instead of withering quietly the fire in me would feed until there was nothing left of me to take. She was probably right. I don’t think I could have gone back to that shell. The thought I might terrified me. So burning? That didn’t seem so bad. I didn’t realize she was trying to help at first, when she started asking about me. About my life before the chaos. Thinking about it just made me so mad I wanted to fight this whole crazy ass world. I put it to use, threw myself into the rehab Chloe gave me and lost myself exploring my new powers. Chloe seemed to realize she wasn’t getting through so she started telling me things instead. Stories about when she was younger. What she’d wanted to be. How her and Alex had fallen out years ago. After a while I started asking things instead. I wanted to know.

    She had been a trauma specialist in the army in when the resonance hit. She’d seen the worst of it. Genuine soldiers, people who went to war for a living as they were ripped apart and slaughtered like incompetent children. Bullets and kevlar don’t fare so well against magic and genuine monsters. Still they fought, it was her job to take the ones who didn’t die and put all the pieces back together so it stayed that way. Eventually it started to get to her. First came nightmares. Soon she couldn’t even get a full nights sleep without being medicated. Still she held it together mostly. Saved a lot of people, including some who probably wished she hadn't. When things started getting back to some semblance of normal she tried to be too. Unfortunately the nightmares wouldn’t go away. They started affecting her performance at work.She started drinking. Ruined a lot of relationships. Hurt people she cared about. Hurt herself.I could see the parallels. I suddenly understood she’d been disgusted with the memory of herself rather than me...and why she put up with so much of my bullshit.

    It wasn’t long before I realized I was getting attached. Honestly it scared the shit out of me. For a lot of reasons. Me and Alex had been something. We’d both been afraid to admit it. To push. Whatever we had been we’d still been careful around each other. Kept secrets. We’d both been afraid to really trust each other. I trusted Chloe. More than I probably had trusted anyone in my whole life. I’d known her less than a month. That terrified me, because for the first time in a long time I wanted something. Something I wasn’t sure I could ever have. I was careful not to let it show. Being around her was enough. It made me happier than I thought I was capable of being. Happier than I remembered being, So of course life threw me another curveball. Just when I was starting to think the nevus had run out of things to take it decided to prove me wrong. This time it took my eyes.

    At first I didn’t even realize what was happening. It was slow. I’d had flickers in my vision since the first time i’d woke up but i’d assumed it was just leftover from my injuries. Then I started to see things. They were brief in the beginning. Short flashes. I thought I was going crazy at first, but then the flashes got longer and I realized it was another ability. Not that understanding it helped much. I still had no control, and knowing some of the things I saw were real was just as terrifying as the possibility I’d gone off the deep end. Sometimes maybe more. Then it was more than flashes.It didn’t take long until It would last a few minutes, and not long after that it would sometimes last for an hour or more. I could barely function when it did. It was like learning to see all over again. I had no context, no explanation for what I was seeing, or what any of it meant. Gradually I began to make sense of it, and as my episodes began to last longer and longer I noticed my eyesight was deteriorating. I think it scared Chloe when I figured that out. Scared her I would slip back into that hollow shell of a person I’d been. She didn’t tell me so, but I could tell. Could read it in her body language. In the way she kept trying to cheer me up.

    She was almost right. When my eyes finally went I almost went with them.I would have if it hadn’t been for her. In some ways it was easier than losing my arm. I’d known it was coming. Prepared myself for it the best I could, which admittedly wasn’t well. Still it wasn’t like I was stumbling around in the dark. I could still get around, most of the time. It hurt anyway. You never really think about how much you appreciate the little things till they’re gone. Watching the sun set. Reading.It took me some time to get over that. That was when I realized how dependent I’d ended up becoming on Chloe. She was always there when I needed her. Always careful not to press to hard when she knew I was in a fragile mood, or to kick my ass out of a funk when I needed it. That dependence terrified me. More than anything else since the whole world went to hell. More than losing my arm, or even my eyes, because if she was gone, if I lost her? I knew it would kill me. Not immediately maybe. Might take awhile for me to actually die, but if I lost her i’d become that fragile, empty, shell of a person again. It scared me so much I decided the only thing I could do was to push her away.

    Part of me wanted to just run. Vanish. Like I’d never been there, but I couldn’t do it. Not after Alex had done it to me. I knew how hard it hurt. How wrong it’d be. I couldn’t do that to Chloe. Not after all she’d done for me. I took it slow. Casually. Started hunting for apartments. Jobs. It didn’t go well. Hard to find honest work when you’re a magical cripple with no documents. I knew it was a balancing act. All it would take was one mistake and I could be back in jail. It was so frustrating. Didn’t take long for me to look for less honest work. In fact it took less time than i’d like to admit. Fortunately while my powers hindered me in finding honest work, they excelled at finding me the disreputable kind. I was careful. Didn’t advertise I was anything especially out of the ordinary. People needed things, I got got them. I was picky about the job’s i’d take. I think Chloe knew I was up to something, but she didn’t ask. Part of me wished she would, if only so I didn’t have to lie anymore. Eventually I started drawing attention careful as I was.
    Attention I couldn’t afford. Things could have gone bad after that, but for once I was lucky.

    The first person who’s eye I caught happened to be a broker. A criminal talent agent more or less. Called himself Mr. Graft. I knew the moment I met him he was different from the thugs and gangbangers i’d been taking jobs from. He was professional. Precise. I think he was counterintelligence before things went to shit. CIA, FBI, DHS, it didn’t really matter. What did matter was Graft knew his business, and he knew it well. Our arrangement was straightforward. He found me the jobs, discreetly, dealt with the clients, arranged transportation of merchandise, and supplied me with any gear I needed or wanted at cost. In exchange he got a commission of sixty percent of the profit on every job I did for him. It was steep but it was worth it. The anonymity, and the gear he offered were priceless. Besides that his fee convinced me he was serious. If he was looking to kill me, or sell me, or use me for any other number of terrifying purposes he’d have made the deal more appealing, more lucrative for me. It also gave him an incentive to keep our arrangement. The jobs he found me paid more than anything i’d ever managed alone, and so long as I kept succeeding he had a vested interest in keeping me around.

    For all the new benefits our arrangement offered me it brought one terrifying new risk. Graft himself. It wasn’t just the benefits of working together that made me accept his offer. It was also fear. Graft was polite, charming even, but underneath the poise and the presentation he could be just as much a monster as any of the things the nevus had spat out. He was cold, calculating, and detached. When we first formed our partnership he made it pointedly clear what would happen if did anything stupid. Then just for emphasis he threw some photos on the table between us. Photos of me. At home. On the Street….with Chloe. I nearly lost it then. My adrenaline spiked so strongly it was hard to think. Hard to breathe. Luckily a small still rational part of my brain stopped me from trying to kill him. I’m pretty sure even if i’d managed it my life would be over one way or another.

    Our first meeting left me rattled. I was on edge for almost a week straight afterward. Chloe noticed. She wanted to know what was wrong but I couldn’t tell her. As much as I might hate to hide it from her I couldn’t tell her about Graft. Not even just because I knew she’d disapprove, but because I knew the consequences of what would happen if I told her and Graft found out about it. I couldn’t let that happen. So I brushed it off. Or tried. Chloe could tell it was bothering me. She wouldn’t let it go. I didn’t handle it well. I blew up. Said things I didn’t mean. It was stupid, but I think I was so scared of her getting hurt by my business with Graft I didn’t think about how else I might hurt her. After that fight I wanted nothing more than to run away, but I couldn’t. If I did i’d be just like Alex. I didn’t want to hurt Chloe anymore than I already had. So I apologized...then I told her. Not everything, but enough. She was understandably less than thrilled. She tried to convince me to quit. That I had other options. I knew she was worried about me. I also knew she wasn’t buying her own argument. She knew the unpleasant reality was I was right. I didn’t have many options.

    I could almost taste distress running through her head as she tried to think of something i’d missed. In fact I could literally taste it. An acrid bite that made my stomach churn with nausea. I also knew what she was likely going to offer. To just stay with her. Like things had been, but I couldn’t do that. I didn’t want things to stay the way they’d been. So I didn’t give her the chance. I told her that I needed this. Needed some form of control in my life. Needed something that made me feel alive. She still wasn’t happy about it, but she knew I was right...or at least didn’t try to tell me I was wrong. I moved out a couple weeks later. Only a couple blocks away. It wasn’t much at first. Just a place for me to crash at night. I was hardly ever there between the jobs I was doing and the time I was spending with Chloe. But it was mine. Little by little I started filling it up. After awhile it started to feel like home, and I realized that was because for the first time since my life went nuts I had one. A home. And i’ll be damned before I let anyone take it away from me.

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    Maya Rowen
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    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 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.
  2. 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...
  3. 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...
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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...
  9. 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.
  10. 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....
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Maya Rowen


    Entranced as she was Maya almost didn’t notice the drink that slid down the bar her way. With buzz she was getting from the first one it took another moment to realize it was for her. She looked back out into the crowd and saw a man lift his glass in salute before taking a sip. Her head tilted in an expression of curiosity as her hand slipped around the base of the glass and pulled it closer. She’d never really been hit on at a bar and for a moment the novelty of the notion entertained her. She usually prefered to drink alone, so on the rare occasion she went to a bar her props and her empty sleeve went with her to keep the casual crowd at bay. An amused smirk flickered across her face as she looked at the man debating his intentions. His aura was too bright for him to be vanilla mortal. He had some kind of gift at a minimum. Not that it inherently gave him some ulterior motive. Unfortunately habits died hard and since her prison break she tended to carefully avoid becoming attached to gifted. Even more than she did people in general. That wasn’t even considering all the implications the venue offered.She traced her finger around the lip of the glass as she continued watching the man for a few seconds, debating. Still watching she lifted the glass slightly in his direction and gave a rare grin as she lifted it to her lips and took a sip. A small sip. She was no stranger to drinking, but despite that it didn’t take much for her to end up fall down drunk. Unless she magically grew a foot or so that wasn’t likely to change. She’d never really minded. She didn’t drink for the sake of drinking like some people, she drank to take the edge off. She turned back to the bar to set her glass down and noticed the man who’d stepped behind it for the first time. His aura was brighter than average but still far too dull to be mage. Her expression became curious once more, but that curiosity faded as the muted smell of pine sap and fresh blood rolled over her. She knew that smell. That was the smell of a werecreature. She managed to keep her expression pleasant, but there was little she could about the hammering of her heart. It shouldn’t have caught her off guard. After all the stadium was exactly the sort of place they’d be likely to turn up. Between the fighters and Bakkhos muscle she wouldn’t have been surprised if there’d been more than a few in that crowd. Or she wouldn’t have if she’d been thinking clearly anyway. With as much as she’d had already she was lucky she hadn’t done something foolish. Foolish would likely be fatal. She was likely overreacting. It was far from a full moon, and while that didn’t mean the man in front of her wasn’t dangerous he wasn’t likely to eat her. Nor were the Bakkhos likely to let their customers be mauled. Still likely wasn’t the same as definite. She gave the man behind the bar a polite nod and stood, throwing her jacket casually over her shoulder and grabbing her drink before casually making her way over to the other gifted.Her heart rate slowed slightly as she put some distance between her and the man behind the bar. " To what do I owe the honor?” She asked with a trace of genuine amusement as she lifted her drink towards the man who’d bought it, her head tilting back slightly as her gaze rose to meet his.
  14. Maya Rowen

    Muddling Morning Meeting

    The mornings were evil. That was a known fact. Mornings before coffee however were their own private little section of hell. Unfortunately for Maya she sucked at making coffee, or coffee worth drinking at any rate, so when the morning clamor of the city rudely pulled her from her sleep earlier that morning it was a thoroughly more miserable experience than usual. Of course the bruises on her ribs probably didn’t help either now that she thought about it. She’d been jumping down onto a balcony the night before and had slipped on a freaking puddle. She’d been lucky she managed to grab the railing. Not so lucky she managed to avoid smashing into it as her feet had slipped out from under her unfortunately. Her sour expression as she remembered the incident faded as she grabbed the Styrofoam cup in front of her and took a long appreciative sip. She set the cup back on the table next to her folded cane and a second identical cup. Her eyes darted behind the blackened lenses of her sunglasses as she looked around at the crowd. The shop hadn’t been particularly busy when she’d first showed up but the early and pre-rushhour traffic was out now and the cafe was all but full up. The the opposite seat of her booth remained conspicuously empty. She knew she’d gotten more than a few stares, god knew people seemed to stare a lot more when they weren’t worried about getting caught, but so far no one had gathered up the courage to try to take the seat opposite her. The stares didn’t bother her now. Not like they used too. Still it was hard not to react to them. She probably would have done the same in their place. Her coat sat bundled beneath her where she’d put it to escape the unreasonable warmth that’d accompanied the sea of bodies into the coffee shop, and she was regretting choosing the winter leggings and long sleeve shirt she’d wore beneath it. Not just because of the heat either. People were often put off by her glasses, or her cane, but she’d found very few people could look her empty left sleeve and manage more than a couple of sentences before suddenly realizing they had somewhere else to be. It had made her uncomfortable at first. Honestly it still did more often than she would admit. This morning however she welcomed the solitude enough that she didn’t really mind. After all she’d paid an arm for it, she might as well enjoy it she thought to herself with a grim smile. She reached for her cup once more and struggled not to stiffen as someone walked from the counter straight towards her booth as if pulled their by her thoughts. She kept her face blank and slowly sipped her coffee as she watched the woman approach her. That was more difficult than usual though. The woman burned with a brilliant golden aura similar to her own. Compared to the dull aura’s of the other sleep hazed patrons made her blaze like a sun. Somehow Maya didn’t think it was just because she was a morning person. The woman was a mage. Or something else. Maya continued to sip her coffee and pretended to be oblivious to the woman that was walking straight at her, ignoring a tightness in her chest that had nothing to do with her bruised ribs….
  15. Maya Rowen


    The club was packed. It seemed like the entire city had turned out to watch the brutal spectacle on display tonight. To get that pulse pounding adrenaline rush as the rest of the crowd cheered over the two men trying to beat each other to a pulp. Maya wasn’t one of them. That was probably obvious to anyone who cared to notice. She sat alone at the bar, patrons on either side of her alternating between loud conversations and wild cheering whenever one of the fighters seemed to gain an edge. Her cane and sunglasses were absent tonight. The dim golden glow of of her pupils was far less noticeable in the present setting then her props would have been. She was dressed rather more richly than normal in fitted black slacks, and a red silk button up that clung to her frame and exposed the dark swirls of ink that ran along the left side of her neck .A dark blazer hung from the back of her stool and black gloves hid the tattoos on her right hand and the metallic sheen of her left. Her hair that normally obscured her features had been pulled back and tied in a loose knot at the base of her skull. “If there is a God I'm pretty sure he hates me. “ Maya thought to herself sourly as she idly stirred the drink in front of her with a straw. Not that she needed any more confirmation of that. She really shouldn’t be drinking but she needed something to take the edge off. Normally she didn’t mind crowds. Hell, normally she didn’t even mind the fights like this, though they weren’t something she really followed. The people in this crowd were so emotionally charged though between, the fight, the booze, and everything else that she could taste it. Literally. It was sharp, like the bite of good tequila. It was almost as intoxicating as the drink in front of her. It made her heart race, and whole body seemed to resonate with the frenetic energy.. It was exhilarating...and terrifying. She knew how quickly that buzz could be washed away by flood of emotion that came with her flashbacks. It was only one of the reasons she didn’t really want to be there. Security for the event had bordered on the ridiculous and there was a likely enough police presence to further fray her nerves. She would much rather have stayed home honestly, or gone to Chloe’s. Unfortunately she was here for work not play. Graft was meeting with a client so he’d called her here. She had no doubt that he was enjoying the fight in one of the VIP boxes while he talked business with whoever it was. She knew the club was owned by the Bakkhos which might have said some interesting things. On the other hand it might not have. Events like these were a perfect excuse for him to meet pretty much anybody without attracting unwanted attention. She wondered if Graft knew how his choice of venue would set her on edge. Probably not, not that she doubted he’d really care he did. Her thoughts were rudely interrupted as the everyone around her suddenly erupted in a volcanic combination of cheers and curses. Judging from the barely audible sounds from TV’s mounted over the bar something had just exploded. She shook her head and took another healthy sip of her drink as the mingled tastes of disappointment, elation, and excitement ran across her tongue. The bartender clearly knew what he was doing. The bitter bite of alcohol barely registered as it burned pleasantly down her throat. Her posture relaxed slightly as the warmth slowly found its way through the rest of her and she set her glass on the bar as she looked out at the crowd. The auras of the clubs other patrons seemed to blend together in such close proximity, painting them all in a mosaic of red and orange hues that seemed to dance like firelight , dominating the other colors that dotted it. She watched, momentarily transfixed by the sight before her...


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