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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.

Phoebe Webster

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120 One of Our All Stars

About Phoebe Webster

  • Rank
    Nicely Seasoned


    Alexa Davalos
  • RACE
    Empowered Human
    Books and their covers…

    Phoebe is an unimpressive 5’7 and 145 lb frame.

    Olive toned skin that, even in the peak of summer, never quite tans enough to blend into the neighborhood. Dark brown hair that hovers just on the brunette side of auburn frames her face in masses of thick curls that refuse to be tamed even when drawn back into a ‘no nonsense’ ponytail. Like her hair, Phoebe’s eyes occupy the neutral territory between shades of blue and green.

    Though pretty enough, her features are more defined by a wide, square jaw and heavy eyebrows that somehow change the topography of her face from ‘delicate beauty’ to a woman driven.

    For the greater part she can be seen wearing something practical and inexpensive, mostly because her abilities all typically involve getting very dirty. Jeans or other casual and durable pants paired with a t-shirt or tank is what she can most often be seen wearing. Shoes are inconsistent being that her preference is for bare feet with the earth contact keeping her grounded and comfortable in the ability to fire off an attack or shield utilizing her particular skills at need. On occasion, when required and with much arm twisting, she can be seen cleaned up to an unexpected level of civility, but that is a rare instance indeed.
    Phoebe was once called ‘quiet and studious’ a perfect student and a model citizen. It is unlikely that she would be so dubbed any longer, but from that previous life she has retained a deliberation to her actions. Like the earth she can manipulate, it takes a great deal of time and effort to spur her into action, but once moved only an act of god can stop the avalanche. In a fight, she will often take a great many blows, absorbing the damage patiently while she waits for the right moment, the right opening to act upon. Her opponents wrongfully assume that she is slow or sluggish, much to their own devastation.

    This trait reflects not only in combat but also in her mannerisms, though Phoebe is far from shy or timid. In fact, this caution will frequently take the form of deliberate planning and preparation translating into a deep-seated confidence that quietly cloaks her movements and speech. She is a woman well aware of her own abilities and not easily intimidated by others.

    Conversely, this strength can turn against her, when over-preparation leads her to miss an opportunity presented. That she recoils from rash decisions means that she will often ignore her intuition in a given situation. Not everything can be planned for, and Phoebe greatly dislikes being required to make a snap judgment.

    Though not often given swift passions and fleeting emotions, the fires run hot beneath her surface. Once certain of a course, she can exhibit a wealth of zeal and determination difficult to dissuade, in fact as an ally or an enemy she is a force to be reckoned with.

    A side effect of this stubbornness is that Phoebe rarely takes anything on someone else’s word. Her point of view is one shaped and developed by her own set of experiences. Not even the fact that something is a law is basis for her to accept without being certain of personal agreement. This will occasionally (most of the time more than occasionally) lead her into a lifestyle which conflicts with government sanction and crosses the boundary into criminal activity. Phoebe will do what she feels is best, and she doesn’t shy away from violence or inflicting pain on those who try to hinder her.
    A permanent fixture around her neck is a silver locket. A bit battered and bearing the patina of age and frequent handling, the filigree piece is unusual in design. Strung upon a leather cord it forms a small box with a hinge cleverly set into the face, allowing for part of it to swing away. Inside is coiled a bit of fine, glossy black hair.

    Innocuous appearing, a leather bag is situated just at her hip, knotted to the leather belt circling her waist it rests just where one might expect a weapon to be in easy reach. Within the bag are five circular stones, each two inches in diameter. They appear to be cut from clear crystal, perhaps even diamond.


    Phoebe is an earth elementalist, and thus her abilities are more developed, but confined entirely to the single realm of gifting.

    Mineral manipulation: The simplest and most commonly used ability that Phoebe is capable of involves the movement of mineral-composed material by telekinesis. With numerous applications, it can be a matter of convenience to eliminate an obstacle or a direct attack by propelling chunks of varying sizes at her foes. The more precise the movement must be, the more concentration it requires and thus the more energy absorbed. Similarly the amount of rock or stone that she is moving and the speed with which she is moving it also directly correlates to the expenditure. A piece of rock the size of a house or its equivalent in material would require her full abilities and leave her depleted after.

    **Metal can fall under materials she is capable of controlling only if it is in a cruder and less purified state. For instance Iron is much easier to manipulate than steel. Any metal requires extreme concentration, and those with few impurities such as silver or platinum are beyond her reach entirely. She risks exhausting and leaving herself defenseless if she attempts such feats for long.

    Structural alteration: The swift alteration of particles within a mineral matter can produce drastic results. Solid earth can melt away into quicksand and then solidify, entrapping a victim beneath its surface or imprisoning them for interrogation; it can also create a more forgiving surface to land upon from a long fall. This ability is relatively easy to wield, though the more extreme applications require a greater amount of time or she risks simply crushing the material or malforming the substance into a brittle structure that proves useless.

    Armor plating: With this, Phoebe can bring rocks, dust, pebbles, sand, clay, crystal, or any other number of substances to her aid and form a resilient coating (strength dictated by the substance used and the energy/concentration/time put into sculpting its integrity) similar to body armor. This can also serve as a form of camouflage as well, working best with the lighter mediums such as dust or sand, and proves extremely successful in helping her to blend into an environment.

    Though wonderful for defensive maneuvers it is not nearly as effective for offensive as it reduces her range of motion. It is also much more difficult to sneak up on someone when you are covered in stone.

    Gauntlet: A much less advanced version of armor plating, but often more useful in application is this method of covering one arm (or both) in the sheeting of stone. It proves to be an effective weapon when fist fighting, and has another additional bonus in that she can attach the ‘stone gloves’ to any other earthen surface and thereby cling onto it for long periods of time.

    Tunneling: Phoebe can easily break apart rocks and boulders with punches and kicks, despite her small amount of muscle mass. It can be quite useful when attempting to move someplace through the earth to out-maneuver her opponents either by opening tunnels or by pulling the earth past her, literally swimming through the ground. This is only successful over short distances, as she could easily suffocate if she outdistances her airflow.

    Levitation: Exerting a downward push on the earth’s surface does little towards moving the mass of the planet, instead it forces the smaller object to shift (namely her own body). By doing so, she can levitate off the ground. This is only possible if she is standing (or floating) above a mineral surface that is mostly unprocessed (for instance ceramic tile does not work though granite does). This ability requires nearly perfect concentration because the slightest imbalance of force will upset her neutral motion and can send her hurtling off in one direction or another. For this reason it is impractical during combat, though it can be used to give extra momentum to a jump.

    Stone surfing: This began as an idle form of recreation inspired by watching skateboarders under a highway overpass. Now it has become her main method of transportation when she has the luxury of doing so unobserved. Taking a chunk of stone, and balancing on it with both feet like a skateboarder or surfer, she can rapidly propel it along with small pushes of force against the ground. It’s not a particularly smooth ride, but requires very little energy expenditure in trade for swift movement that can easily rival the highway speed of a car. Like driving a car, it requires practice to comfortably steer without needing to concentrate on every maneuver.

    Seismic sense: This technique is one that Phoebe has only recently and vaguely become aware of. It grows as her connection with the earth is developed and sensitized. It is a side effect of being perfectly in tune and balanced with her surroundings. ‘Feeling the earth with her feet’ as she would say, and sensing the tremors and vibrations that transmit through it, interpreting them into a diagram of what may be just out of sight. To operate, she needs direct contact with the ground, preferably without something like shoes in between. The technique is not applicable on all surfaces, it is best on those that resonate with clarity such as hard rock rather than shifting sand. It can carry sound as well, though the intelligibility of words is lost after more than a few yards.


    Wood and purified metals are resistant to her powers. Lock her in a wooden crate and she is no more capable of escape than any other animal.

    Her abilities are heavily reliant on her lower extremities. Direct contact with the earth is necessary for any one of her skills, and for the most part that means her feet must be touching it. Injure those, and she could try to work around it, but attacking someone while sitting or laying requires a great deal more effort and can be extremely disorienting.
    Though preferring to employ her Nevus-given abilities, Phoebe is also familiar with the hand-to-hand fighting style of Krav Maga having been trained in it by a former cellmate during her stay in the CIW.

    Based on necessity she has some rudimentary skills in patching herself up. The basics of stitching a wound, applying bandages, and even setting some minor fractures are within her scope. A visit to the ER is to be avoided at all costs when your activities don’t always line up with the law.
    Born 1987 in a one-bedroom apartment in Southern LA.

    Her mother waited tables, and scratched lottery tickets; her younger brother, Jake, was expelled from school at sixteen and joined one of the local gangs.

    Living in a neighborhood where white skin stood out like a sore thumb, you either blend in or you get out. Phoebe had every intention of getting out.

    At school she read every book she could get her hands on, attended the extra study sessions offered by the more attentive teachers, and was generally considered to be ‘a student with great potential’. At home, she stepped into the parental role that her mother had never filled, ensuring that her younger brother ate meals and came home at night. Jake’s pendulum swung the opposite direction from his sister’s. Without rules or boundaries, he quickly assimilated into the lifestyle around him and slid from one disaster to another. It became the unhealthy habit for Jake to go running for Phoebe whenever he’d created a situation beyond his control, and she in turn cleaned up his messes. Small things such as fights at school and breaking the neighbor’s window turned into shoplifting and vandalism. Each time Phoebe made it go away, sheltering him from the consequences of his actions.

    After graduating, she was offered a small, academic scholarship to the community college. Managing to keep her grades immaculate meant that she had a greater chance of being accepted into medical school. When her senior year arrived, her advisor assured her that she had an excellent chance at any number of programs within the state. But a letter of acceptance to Stanford was beyond anticipation. It was a dream realized, and her bags were packed ready to leave without looking back.

    Only a phone call from her brother could have changed the trajectory of her life. A gang territorial dispute had turned ugly, and Jake needed his sister to help him out once more. Instead it landed them both in a cell overnight and with criminal charges filed. They were dropped on Phoebe’s account when it became clear that she hadn’t been involved, but by that time Stanford had rescinded its offer.

    For the next few months Phoebe waited tables and revised plans for the future while Jake continued along the course he’d already chosen by tagging cars to be stolen and run through a chop shop. Despite common sense, she never seemed able to turn Jake away when he called, needing money or a bail out. Which is how she met Aran. It doesn’t matter recounting that he was a criminal, part of the gangs she’d avoided, rash and impetuous and very unsuitable. Phoebe moved in with him three weeks later. It was the stupidest thing she’d ever done, and also the most vivid moments in her life, the ones she spent with him…like some rollercoaster ride of insanity and addiction to his touch, his presence. Even getting pregnant and giving birth to their daughter Leia only intensified what she felt, the most impassioned and consuming emotion of her life.

    Until it was over so suddenly that it left her reeling.

    A police raid on the shop, their apartment. Being thrown onto the floor and handcuffs biting down on her wrists. A sleeping Leia woken by shouting and running into the room looking for her mother. A gun discharging. That was all it took to bring the world to an end five years before the Nevus ever appeared.

    Minimal involvement bought her a lenient sentence, and six months later she was out. Aran missing, presumed dead, there was only one thing Phoebe had to focus on. The people responsible for Leia’s death were not going to be forgotten. Getting close to a member of the force was easier than expected. It just took patience and an attention to detail and planning that made Phoebe the ironically perfect candidate for hit man. Nothing mattered except the moment when she held the officer’s own gun to his head, and pulled the trigger, the same gun that ended the life of her daughter.

    She never had a scrap of remorse.

    Even without any past offenses cop killer leaves a taste on the tongue, the kind that buys a life sentence. Phoebe couldn’t have cared less.

Profile Fields

  • Primary
    Charlie Steele
  • Role Play Sample
    Phoebe watched in silence as Gianna’s body slowly phased into the subtle flickering like a bad TV image caught in a small pocket of static. It quavered and paled, and she knew if she tried to reach for her friend that her hand would pass right through and to the other side. It’s what made the woman a ‘ghost’, intangible but a threat nonetheless. Her earlier words about putting their perp through a wall were no joke, ghosting had nasty side effects, one of them was materializing halfway through a solid object. Gianna was beyond pissed, and woe to the man if he didn’t run and run fast…because if the Madame didn’t get to him first, Phoebe would, and it was a toss up whether being buried alive was a better option over Gia’s revenge.

    ‘Quake’ was her moniker among the S.O.S., but in other circles she was also known as the gravedigger.

    They approached the parsonage with no efforts at being quiet, this wasn’t a stealth raid, and they were going in with guns blazing. It seemed that Phoebe would be starting things off.

    Pausing just behind Gianna’s figure, facing the closed and darkened doorway, Phoebe knelt. One hand easily found the edge of the path and burrowed through the short, dense lawn. Beneath the herbage was the coarse texture of earth, and earth was her home turf. The shuddering terrain of rock and soil sprang to life with a myriad of possibilities as her awareness spread through its topography as if she possessed a chart of each dip and rise. That heady sensation of power built up in her core, loosing a small smile onto the solemn woman’s lips just before she closed her eyes and reached out with those Shift-given senses.

    At first nothing seemed to happen as seconds ticked by with only a hush of breathing to signal to her partner that the Enforcer was doing anything at all. Then it came, whisper soft in the low groaning of earth rending loose from its age-old moorings. Slowly the sound built in intensity and brought with it the first tremors beneath the foot. All around them the streets and neighboring houses stood silent and unprovoked, but every surface within ten yards of the parsonage had begun quiver and tremble with the movement of their very foundations. Wood creaked and snapped in some unseen location, and bricks from the chimney toppled to the ground while the entire porch roof screamed as screws were yanked loose before it caved in entirely. Glass shattered in the window frames with a final destructive crescendo followed by an eerie silence as the ground at last calmed and ceased its movement.

    Phoebe rose, swaying for a moment as the effort of forming and isolating the earthquake had sapped much of her strength. She had done her work well, though, and now it was her turn to follow as the furious form of Gianna plunged through the door without bothering with such things as handles or hinges. She slammed through the solid surface and melted from site like the spirit she appeared to be. Phoebe fumbled with the locked knob for only a minute before picking up a stone from the garden and whipping it straight through the metal latch with the flick of her fingers as devastating to the lock as a bullet from the barrel of a gun. It sagged open, and the impatient woman shoved it aside to take the hallway in swift, strides, unwilling to fall too far behind her boss.

    It was dark inside, and Phoebe felt her shins collide with a low piece of furniture, “Fucking shit!” her curses were snapped short however by the shrill cry that could only be Gianna coming from deeper within the building.

    “Gi? Gianna?!” Now furious and immediately fearful that something had ambushed the Scoundrel boss, she lashed out, kicking what turned out to be an end table out of the way and barreling towards the direction of the sound.
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  1. Phoebe Webster

    Business Proposition

    The towel dropped into her hands, blessedly dry despite its cheap, nappy texture. Phoebe immediately stripped off her coat, setting it out of the way so that she could scrub the cloth over her face and arms before doing her best to ruffle some of the excessive moisture from her hair. There was really not much success she would have on that last front as her curls tended to just go frizzy after this level of water exposure. She satisfied herself with at least stopping the uncomfortable dripping and then tucking her hair up into an elastic to try and keep it at bay. Some shorter halo of mussed curls did frizz out a bit around her face, but that wasn’t to be helped. The worst of the rain’s damage dealt with, she rolled the towel into a ball in her hands and tossed it atop her wet coat before turning back to Johann’s attention. He had drawn a smallish pair of bracers from within a cabinet, and she reached out, lifting one from his grasp to examine it. In truth it was fairly narrow, not too far off a larger cuff. She could probably get away with wearing this and not raising too many eyebrows beyond a thought to her eccentric style. Her thumb rubbed across metal surface of its plating, a slight grimace of distaste sparked along her skin. Why did she really have to deal in metal? The boiled leather it affixed to wasn’t entirely uncomfortable however, as the woman slid her hand through the lacing and experimentally cinched it closed around her wrist. “I would have preferred something smaller, a bit more discrete, but this isn’t entirely unworkable. I’m a bit averse to metal in all honesty, it doesn’t…’rub’ me the right way, but these are surprisingly comfortable.” Her brows tugged down as she studied the fit and twisted her arm this way and that. Hopefully her assessment hadn’t come across as rude or insulting of the man’s craft. It was rarely advisable to pick a fight with someone you wanted something from. The bracer still encasing her forearm, the woman dug into a pocket and withdrew her hand, reaching out to lay a small crystal on the countertop. The clear gem was only two to three carats in size and roughly formed with little care seeming to have been taken in cutting it. The crude cabochon clicked against the glass as she spun it with a finger. “This looks a lot like diamond, but it’s actually Lonsdaleite, a graphite cousin. This particular substance is far harder than diamond and also very difficult to obtain. I’ve been looking for more of it, but it is only created when a meteor strikes the earth with exactly enough heat and force. Not only that, but the mineral collections are miniscule and almost impossible to locate with the naked eye. Fortunately…I have some talent that becomes useful in collecting and consolidating the smaller crystals.” She needed him to understand so that he could craft exactly what was required, still it felt disturbing to be so lightly revealing her abilities to a stranger. Even some within ARMA didn’t know what she was capable of, and most knew only from her file without having ever witnessed their use. Phoebe spread her palm open above the countertop, hovering over the inert mineral. The little gem quivered and then rose, hovering just an inch beneath her outstretched hand. She flipped her palm over, levitating the stone above it and letting it spin swiftly in place before it seemingly shattered apart into glittering dust that floated in a sparkling mote of fragments. She admired the pretty, shimmering cloud, making it swirl and writhe before it melted back together into a single stone once more. “I am sure you have seen some unusual abilities and individuals. My talent is in geokinetics. However, when the material I am focused on is impure—as an impact created substance is likely to be—and so finely distributed over a wide area, it can be extremely difficult to differentiate from the surrounding substrate. I need something to focus and channel my power towards this specific substance. Do you think you can accomplish that?”
  2. Phoebe Webster

    Business Proposition

    Her palm was moist and uncomfortable, not the sort of first impression that Phoebe liked to give, but wiping it against any part of her was not like to make much difference as her saturated clothing stuck to wetter skin. She extended it nonetheless, unwilling to appear rude by ignoring the gesture. She grasped his in a quick, firm shake. Johann’s own grip seemed equally firm, good, she hated a limp hold. His skin was surprisingly warm. Not that she had met any dragons before, but somehow she anticipated something cooler and more reptilian. He was also a lot shorter than her preconceived notions of the race. His gaze was level with her own. Not an unusually short stature for a human, but she’d really expected a dragon to tower over her a bit, especially one that was also a blacksmith. “Phoebe.” The introduction automatic in response to his own, though she continued to subtly assess him, cataloguing his movements and intonations with a pre-programmed methodology. “And both, to answer your first question. I was interested to see your work, and I am also looking for something specific.” Her gaze broke from the shop owner to briefly skim the pieces pointed out and then return back again to him, dismissing them after the initial appraisal. Metal weapons and armory were of no interest to her; they would only serve as a hindrance to her abilities. No, she had come here for something more specific. Rolling up her sleeves helped ease some of the rainwater run off so that it didn’t continue to stream along her wrists, she wished there was something more to be done for the predicament as her wet clothes were beginning to grow cold. Instead she eyed a particularly keenly edged dirk, allowing admiration to show on her face. Every artist enjoys appreciation; it never hurt to thicken it a bit. “The quality of your work is exceptional, if I ever needed a weapon I’m sure that I could do no better. A past customer of yours recommended me here, actually more than one. You’ve done some work for ARMA before. However, I’m not here in any official capacity, looking to place a personal order.” Rain continued to beat softly against the windows and roof of the building, somnolent and rhythmic. “I’m looking for something more compact, a charm of sorts. Do you ever take on smaller jobs like this?”
  3. Phoebe Webster

    An Unlikely Assignment

    Her knees were beginning to cramp. Phoebe tucked one foot beneath the opposite thigh as she shifted her weight, free hand sliding under the table to massage the offending joint. The seatbelt sign dinged off and with a sigh she unclipped the buckle. Air turbulence over the Atlantic had ensured that the last five hours were ones spent locked into the tiny window seat she occupied as they flew over seeming limitless miles of open water. Another bead of sweat dripped down the back of her neck, and her stomach fluttered nauseatingly. She’d never been a particularly comfortable flier, her earth-attuned alterations only made a bad thing worse. She felt upside down and inside out, floating along without any kind of grounding…no earth, only a metal coffin. Knuckles blanched as her hand ached in its perpetual clutch of the armrest separating her from one very relaxed looking mage. Phoebe ground her teeth, resenting Alistair’s nonchalance. Her eyes turned back down to the packet of papers scattered across the lowered tray table in front of her. “Let me see if I’m following this report correctly. Bodies are turning up in hospitals all over Moscow, vitals all normal, no injuries, no metabolic imbalances, and no brain activity. The local physicians are coming up empty-handed with reasons for this seeming illness or injury, and it’s rapidly spreading. There are now twelve different cases with the same symptoms. Not of interest to ARMA, except that now we have rumors that this could be the work of an individual with an artifact that allows him to…what? Eat their souls? Suck the life out of them?” Her forehead wrinkled as she mentally went back through the sparse information from the report. “Why are we even sure this is an artifact? Couldn’t it just be an empowered human? Or even a mutation of one of the viral infections? Russia has been a literal nuclear meltdown of that shit.” She fingered the second, stapled pamphlet that had accompanied the intel report. “This is all just legend and mysticism.” It hadn’t escaped her that the irony was their world was now one steeped in both. The seatbelt sign chimed as another burst of turbulence rocked the plane. Anxiety wiped skepticism from her mind as she fumbled for her belt again, trying to make stiff fingers refasten the safety restraint. How could people fly on a regular basis? This was worse than rollercoasters. Her stomach heaved threateningly, and Phoebe dug the airsickness bag from the seat pocket. Radiation, zombies, werewolves, soul-sucking artifacts…those she could handle, this was the real nightmare. [npc] “Can I get you a drink, ma’am?” [/npc] “Two vodka-tonics, heavy on the vodka.” She received a disapproving look from the flight attendant, which was staunchly ignored. “Here we go back a hundred years,” she tapped a finger on the papers in front of her, turning back to Alistair once the drinks were poured, “with a legend about the Romanovs. That Alexandra and Grigori Rasputin were having an affair—the source of his royal patronage—and birthed a widespread fear that he was the true power behind an inept Tsar. She gives him a gift for his role in supposedly curing her son who had a bleeding disorder. The Romanov dynasty being rumored to have possession of many relics, the gift is a gold cross and chain, and it becomes believed that this cross was the origin for many of his later ‘powers’. Only there was never any evidence that he had any powers, and you can’t cure bleeding disorders, modern medicine can only treat them.” Phoebe frowned again. Of course modern medicine also couldn’t shed light on many of the Nevus events. The Resonance had turned the world on its head. Who knew what was possible. Maybe it was just enough that people believed it could have happened… She held up the two enclosed photographs side by side. The left was a black and white photograph of a dark-haired and heavily bearded man with unsettling eyes. Around his neck hung a chain with a heavy Faberge cross. The right appeared to be a crime scene photo, but it was off center and slightly blurry as if the photographer had been rushed. The corner of the image captured an onlooker from the crowd—young and blond—who wore a chain and cross about his neck. “I have to admit, that is kind of eerie.”
  4. Phoebe Webster

    Business Proposition

    New Year's Day 2016 – 9 AM Calloused fingers swept tussled curls back from a forehead baring the faint creases of an ingrained frown. It was a perpetual expression and one that the woman probably didn't realize she wore. Not quite a full blown bitch face, but an air of heavy solemnity, as if constantly brooding on some weighty problem. Sharp, blue-green eyes rose periodically from preoccupation with navigating her path between puddles that spotted the crumbling sidewalk, and made quick passes ahead and in her periphery. It didn't hold the twitch of paranoia, but rather a routine comfort of old habit. The streets in this area seemed fairly abandoned as she made her way slowly towards the harbor district. On a Holiday such as today most of the locals were busy either enjoying a nice sleep in on their day off, or further depleting their bank accounts in post-Christmas spending. Not many felt like braving the rain for a wet trudge down to the docks with nothing but a wetter breeze to greet their efforts. Gray sky hung low with waterlogged clouds, and the water rippled in murky currents around the pilings. A few boats tugged at their moorings, but for the most part no one crossed paths with the ex-con turned ARMA whose fixated gaze now rested on the small shop ahead. She was only about two blocks away when the sky decided it had played nice for long enough. Clouds opened and began dumping their forewarned contents down on the streets below. Phoebe groaned and tugged her collar up higher, her pace lengthening into a swift lope as she beelined for the cover of her destination. Despite the faster pace, Mother Nature seemed to be winning as the thick curtains of drenching rain quickly soaked through her outer layers and plastered curls into ribbons against her cheeks. “Fuck!” The first utterance she’d made since leaving her apartment as the door of the shop stuck on the first try, leaving her standing precious seconds longer in the downpour. Her first wrenched at the handle once more, assisted by the swift kick of a booted foot that sent the door shivering inward on its hinges with a raucous clatter of bells and squeal of swollen wood scraping. She shut it firmly behind her, the muted noise of rain a background rhythm as she stood dripping in the entryway. A forest of metal tools and weaponry sprouted from the walls around her, gleaming and reflecting back her bedraggled image. “That’s attractive,” was a muttered intonation beneath her breath as she peered into a burnished shield long enough to sweep the worst of her saturated hair from her face. Only her own image was readily apparent, however, even as she stepped further into the shop and glanced about for its owner. She might have spent more effort on locating him if there wasn’t such a plethora of distraction. Iron and steel and numerous other more refined metals stared back at her; for a moment she shuddered at the sense of being hemmed in by substances that eluded her control. It was always unsettling to enter a building and feel her natural power ebb, more so when that building was a veritable cage of unresponsive materials. The clang of metallic implements colliding jolted Phoebe from her uneasiness. She was here for a purpose, and she might as well complete that business with alacrity, the sooner to get out of here. “Hello? Anyone here?” Her steps closed on the direction the sounds emanated from, but not too quickly, there was no need to go startling anyone…particularly if this was the person she had been given intel on.
  5. Phoebe Webster

    An Unlikely Assignment

    Phoebe padded through her small apartment, bare feet almost inaudible as a feline tread on the floor. The wood was cold underfoot; January brought some chill winds that crept under the doors and through the poorly insulated windows of the old building. Despite the advertised ‘upgrades’ that had been done to the place, it apparently didn’t mitigate the frigid truth that structure hadn’t received the same attention. The travertine tiles in the kitchen were all well and good until winter turned them into a skating rink. Still, even the freezing stone wasn’t enough to shake her dislike for socks and shoes. If frostbite wasn’t a real possibility she might have gone barefoot in the snow. Heavy sweatpants bundled around her legs and an oversized hoodie kept her upper body warm as she paced through the Spartan landscape of minimal decorating, gathering up odds and ends from various drawers to dump into the duffle bag gracing the middle of her bed. She’d received a short phone call ten minutes prior from Alistair, not very informative, but the gist had been that she was to be meeting with him shortly. It seemed he had an assignment for her, and it would involve leaving the country. She hadn’t bothered him asking for more details than that, he would likely relay what she needed to know in person. A methodical woman, she had taken no time to pull a worn bag from the closet and begin assembling the minimal needs. It helped that she didn’t have much in the way of requirements. A childhood in LA’s tougher neighborhoods and then five years in lock up knocked any penchant for life’s finer things right out. Even among those who populated ARMA she was withdrawn, kept to herself, and never quite fit in with the other women. That was saying something too, because there were some tough-as-nails female mages. Phoebe just mostly kept herself to herself. Her entrance into the group was still fairly fresh, and as a new and untried member she hadn’t wanted to force the friendships. At least, she told herself that. Truth was, she had always been a bit of a loner, though fiercely protective of those she did form bonds with. Heavy woolen socks folded up to cushion the bottom of the bag. The ARMA leader had told her to pack warm, so over those she layered heavier jeans, a few thermal shirts, and then tucked the custom-packed medical kit she never traveled without. Getting banged up was inevitable in their line of work, and you never knew when it might be dangerous to find yourself leaving a trail of blood somewhere. She stuffed the crevices with protein bars, chocolate peanut-butter flavor…because, why not? The zip slid up easily over the sparse packing. Sweats hit the floor as she shivered out of the warm cotton and slid into another pair of jeans, these worn and soft with age. Into the back of the waist she shoved the cold metal barrel of her only weapon, the scuffed steel a parting gift from her old life. Long-sleeved shirt hugged the bulge at her back, but the omni-heat vest and then heavy leather jacket she tossed on made that disappear. Outside the window a dusting of snow began to fall, sprinkling over the New York scenery like a dampening mist. It made the disgruntled woman rethink her decision and swap out sneakers for a pair of solid boots. She really hated boots.There was no quick way to remove them. With a grimace she yanked the laces tighter before standing up to snatch the duffel and swing it over her shoulder. Keys, phone, she stepped out the door and locked up. Ready in ten minutes flat. No family to call, no cat to have someone watch or plants to water, her life was streamlined for the rapid departure. Which was a nice way of saying it was one big, empty crater. She shunned social gatherings, and even after joining ARMA had made no personal connections with anyone. In fact she had only met Alistair once, on the day she joined. He’d made sure that things went smoothly, but all of it had happened from a distance as she set them up with ways to contact her that didn’t necessitate a sit down face-to-face. It made this summons all the stranger, though she was willing enough to come when called. They must be low on available manpower to pull her into this, an untried newbie. She eschewed the use of a taxi, and made the slow trek on foot. It was on days like this she missed her old car, but New York City just wasn’t a practical place to own a vehicle. Walking was also a better way to learn the lay of the land. Since her first day joining the faction she had spent a great deal of time walking the streets, alleys, and thoroughfares that made up the landscape. There would be nothing left to chance if she had her way. Knowing the city was essential, and though it was an enormous task, she’d taken to exploring a new route every day. The Federal Reserve building rose in sight ahead of her, and she stalked briskly up the steps, checking her watch as she stepped through the main entrance. Quarter to eight. She was easily an hour ahead of when Alistair had asked her to meet him. Fingers rubbed the bridge of her nose as she ghosted a sigh. Her need to be on time often swung to extremes, leading her to be far ahead of schedule. Oh well, at least that left her time for coffee. She turned at the desk and headed towards the cafeteria. They didn’t have the greatest coffee, but it beat anything she might scrounge up in the offices. Cubicle coffee was notoriously bad. She realized as she stepped into the warm, bustling atmosphere that she hadn’t eaten anything yet either. Probably a bad start to a mission if she made it on an empty stomach. Meals were difficult to pin down when one lived alone; it was too easy to forget when you ate last. A few bills unfolded from her pocket. Cash, she hated plastic. Paid for she took her banana and paper cup of java to a table at the far end of the room. The steaming brew helped thaw out her nose as she sipped and watched employees and visitors come and go. Half an hour later and she had stretched the occupation as long as possible. She was still early, but made her way through security and up the elevator to one of the top floors. It was quiet up this high. Alistair’s office door was closed. Her knock was a firm wrap of the knuckles on wood. Here went nothing…


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