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Rhome Del Santo

Order of Light
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About Rhome Del Santo

CHARACTER PROFILE

  • GENDER
    Male
  • PLAY-BY
    Chris Hemsworth
  • SEXUAL ORIENTATION
    Heterosexual
  • RACE
    Human, Magus; Fire Elementalist
  • JOB
    Vatican Assassin; he does not exist
  • 'SHIP:
    None
  • LOCATION
    Italy, wherever the Order sends him. Currently, the Vatican doesn't know his location.
  • FACTION
    Order of Light
  • APPEARANCE
    Physically, Rhome has a darkly striking appearance. Light brown hair is sprinkled with premature grey licks throughout, giving the illusion of being sun-kissed. Short scruff is manicured and neat, defining a set jaw. His eyes are dove gray and oddly pale blue when caught by light, the iridescence and flickering of shadows beneath his hooded gaze unsettling when they finally make eye contact.

    His stature is six feet and formidable. Musculature is pronounced and carried well in suits and private casual wear. Clothes are always impeccably clean and pressed, with a favor for black wing tips and a well-fitting suit. He sometimes wears a watch. Privately in his own quarters, he prefers his casual former priest’s wear: simple white or black tee shirts with a black button up over them, black dress pants and casual dress shoes. He no longer wears his paper collar; he is no longer a priest, still holding a preference for the black dress shirts that accommodate the band.

    Up close, his skin is spattered with faint freckling; giving the illusion of melancholy, boyish innocence that couldn’t be further from the truth. Perhaps there once, it exists no more. He has a raven tattoo on his left shoulder, no knowledge of where it came from.
  • PERSONALITY
    Rhome is an exceptionally polite gentleman, surrounded by a smoldering kinetic energy that seems to seethe; he runs warmer than the average human. Skin feels feverish to the touch, caused by the continuous processing of oxygen that ignites the chemical reaction to create fire. It also means he is quite often cold, finding great solace in front of a fireplace with a warm blanket during the winter months.

    Highly intelligent, he is an avid reader with the inherited Italian penchant for great coffee. Even on assignment he will relax in a quiet café reading a paper or book, noting their affinity for the perfect cup of coffee to revisit later if he finds them worthy. Mannerisms revolve around neatness, simplicity and abhorrence for extraneous needs. He lives simply, and asks for nothing else.

    Formerly holding a religious position in the clergy, he is still deeply faithful despite relinquishing his vows. However, he is starting to question even that. The further he pulls away from the Order, the more murky the world gets for him. Rhome truly believed at one time he was given the power to eliminate those that refused to follow the path of order, peace and secrecy for the greater good. When given an assignment, he was explosively sophisticated in his death bringing; only concerned with rogues that had been identified for him, otherwise he ignored other magus completely. If marked for death, he was prepared to fight to his last breath to eradicate their existence; a fierce, unflinching and unforgiving killer. Rhome forfeited his life to the Order to this purge for what he believed was a higher power; trusting he was meant to follow this path in penance for killing his love. Now, he is not so sure. Spinning, searching for truth and who he can trust, he is a loose canon with the power to level a city.

    He is however, not without devout compassion. Feeding the hungry, seeking assistance for the poor and sick; it seems the core of his passion still exists even though he moves to evil through hatred. He will also still respond to talk of Lisette with great silence and crushing pain; literally the only way to invoke feelings of guilt so severe it shuts him down completely. Though now, memories drift with other faces and names. He's left at the moment trying to figure out what is, was and might be real in his past; questioning his very identity.
  • PERSONAL BELONGINGS
    Very little; his vow of poverty as a priest only cemented an already pale need for material things. Two suits, two sets of casual clothes and basic needs are all he possesses besides his foci. He is capable of driving a vehicle or motorcycle and is well adept at daily housekeeping business items, just has no need because he owns nothing. Anything he acquires is either loaned or given to him. He has no qualms about giving extraneous items to someone else in need. The Order pays for his travel and living expenses, he asks for nothing else in return. He sometimes wears a watch or carries a cell phone when on assignment, but relinquishes them upon returning.

    Magic Fetish Items: Athame; a double edged knife with black handle in a custom sheath on the inside of his left wrist, silver coin talisman necklace on a chain with intricate carved knotwork of a wolf, and an iron ring with cut runes worn on his left forefinger. All items were found in the Matera tunnel caves when he was exploring as a child. He always wears them on his person.

    Enchanted Item- On a tight leather cord always bound to his right wrist is a silver medallion of the Archangel Uriel. Given to him by the Vatican, it is forged from silver and Black Volcanic Ash- protecting his clothing while using his abilities. It doesn't require any action on his part, as long as it's pressed against his skin it is effective. It he takes it off, his abilities at high temperatures will burn through any clothing he wears.

STAFF APPROVED ABILITIES/SKILLS/HISTORY

  • APPROVED ABILITIES
    Rhome was a broken man when he was pulled from the rubble of humanity, a cup waiting to be refilled. Torn, guilty, full of pain, there was virtually nothing that needed to be done in order to break his will. He was a perfect vessel: disciplined, alone and gifted, with nothing left to live for. Taken and transformed, he accepted every form of “punishment” on his way to what he believed was salvation; distorted into a suave and polite, elegant killing machine.

    Exceedingly intelligent with a gifted learning style, he has honed his skills to sharp control; focused with faith and bent on providing redemption through death for the simple crime of living altered without acceptance to the Order. Coupled with faith-induced lack of fear, he is an incredibly formidable opponent. He does not fear death or pain, fully accepting that he will die in the execution of his life’s duty.

    He has given each of his ability levels a Latin epithet; his simple fetishes focus Mana and his Latin designations serve as the incantation ignition for the spell level. Foci are then used to shape the spell into the sub-type; he is capable of using Will for his low and medium level spells, just prefers not to in order to increase their accuracy and control. If he loses control, he is not immune to searing his flesh at high temperatures.

    Fire: "A rapid oxidation process, which is a chemical reaction resulting in the evolution of light and heat in varying intensities, an exothermic chemical reaction that emits heat and light"

    Rhome’s ability centers on the manipulation of this oxidation process to produce the chemical reaction; after ignition, his oxygen output becomes the fuel and carefully manipulates the balance of backdrafting and flashovers. With lower level spells he can protect his physical clothing, higher level spells make it impossible because he is protecting his flesh. His skill is unique because of its elemental nature, unable to affect magic or other elemental skills unless they specifically can be manipulated by the chemical reaction or are vulnerable to fire. He is highly resistant to burn, but cannot escape injury if he pushes his limit to the brink of losing control. The fire he creates can literally start to use his flesh as fuel when he can no longer control the oxygen output.

    ============

    MISERICORDIA IGNES (Fires of Mercy): Low Level Spells, Iron Ring Foci and Will
    *Limited by duration and availability of Mana

    *Sanctuary- (cantrip)- low level burn of his skin to create heat without flame; used simply to warm himself up or travel through the elements without heavier clothing. He can also gently warm others or heat up something as simple as his coffee in a mug through heat conduction. Depending on the heat necessary, he can keep warm in cool weather for hours, or himself from freezing for a lesser amount of time. Increasing the temperature and Mana drain, it becomes his medium level “Solar Flare” and high level “Hellfire”.

    *Flashover (cantrip)- ignition of his palms and manipulation of the flames across his body. A party trick mostly, the flame is low temperature and does little damage but the theatrical effect is stunning. A snap of fingers produces an incredibly pretty controlled flame that can spread over his hands and move across his skin. It is however, still fire and thusly flammable incendiaries will still react accordingly. He can manipulate for no more than an hour, but practically it's not necessary for more than a few moments.

    *Pulse- small, focused and pressurized burst of flame from his palms or fingertips, similar to a “firebreather’s” short billowed puff of flame. He can also breathe it; something he finds particularly tacky so the use is rare. They are controlled and have a limited range of less than ten feet, duration of less than a few seconds before they disintegrate; limited by continuous bursts of no more than fifteen minutes.

    =============

    VIRUM IGNES (Fires of Honor): Medium Level Spells, Silver Talisman Foci and Will
    *Limited by number of castings, time between castings, duration, and availability of Mana. 6 Castings

    *Solar Flare- a personal shield of high heat burn projected beyond the skin, sparing his clothing, appearing as an aura that can stop a projectile by melting/burning it as it passes through. Stop effectiveness is relative to the size, speed and material of the projectile; unable to affect magic or other elemental skills unless they specifically can be manipulated by the chemical reaction or are vulnerable to fire. This is a fiercely quick spell cast and can either be done in short bursts or held continuously to protect from explosions/shrapnel or rapid fire. 6 castings; maximum 3 minute duration for quick cast, 3 minutes between castings or one 15 minute continuous burn before depletion.

    *Sword of Justice- high temperature, highly focused burn of his left hand in flame. Mimics a oxygen/acetylene cutting torch and can be used as a blade, manipulated to various shapes and weapon comparable lengths. Most used in close hand-to-hand combat when weapons have been lost or failed. 6 castings; maximum 3 minute burn, 3 minutes between castings before depletion. Continuous burn in training.

    *Vesuvius- creates a dome of fire in a ten foot radius, pressurizes oxygen and flammable particles within it and ignites the air with an explosive 40 foot circular outburst; essentially turning himself into a human “fire-piston”. Effective in clearing melee attacks or triggering confusion. 6 castings; each exponentially weaker than the first before depletion.

    ============

    PURGATONIS IGNES (Fires of Purification): High Level Spells, Athame Blade Foci/Blood or Compressed Oxygen
    *Limited by number of castings, time between castings, duration and availability of Mana. Requires His Blood or Compressed Oxygen to Ignite. 3 Castings.

    *Hellfire- physically engulfs himself and anything he touches in high temperature flame; limited to objects similar in size. Flammable items will catch fire, including his clothing. 3 castings; maximum 2 minute burn, 3 minutes between castings before depletion. Continuous burn not available.

    *Thunder of Ares- focused “Pulse” capable of burning hot enough to melt metal within a 100 foot distance. Electrical lines, eaves, and shingling are especially vulnerable and can fall as molten rain. It is also not a quick spell to cast due to melting points of metal, but is a successful diversionary tactic. 3 castings; maximum 2 minute burn, 3 minutes between castings, each a reduced distance before depletion. Continuous burn not available.

    *Archangel- internalization of combustion, giving the illusion he physically becomes fierce, blue flame. The resulting convection can lift him off the ground, rendering him airborne with limited height and maneuvering capabilities dependent on weather, etc. that would effect the build-up of backdraft. If a backdraft cannot be prevented, he will release the spell. The hotter the burn achieved, the higher he can lift himself through a controlled flashover, the shorter the duration. 3 castings; maximum 2 minute burn, 3 minutes between castings or five minutes continuous burn before depletion.

    ============

    IRA DEIi (Wrath of God); Spell of Legend
    *1 Casting, Full Drain, Risk of Death, Requires His Blood or Compressed Oxygen to Ignite

    Wrath of God- focused combination of “Vesuvius” and “Archangel”; pressurized buildup of flammable dust, debris and oxygen that ignite into a catastrophic backdraft that reaches several hundred yards. 100% drain, one time cast that causes extensive physical damage to the magus. Only used twice before, both times almost killed him; the force so powerful it seared his skin and caused aneurism. He is incredibly hesitant to use this, based on the potential collateral damage of innocents; he must be absolutely convinced his targets are clear of any unintended damage.
  • APPROVED SKILLS
    Highly Educated.

    Speaks Italian, Latin, and English; rusty French and rudimentary Spanish.

    Fighting Skills; trained in the art of clean, quiet and effective assassination at close range.
  • APPROVED HISTORY
    After the Resonance, he’d sought refuge, a place to pray out the horrid atrocities that had befallen so many. Finding himself on his knees in the courtyard of the Vatican with countless other cleaved souls, he seemed to pray the loudest with vicious conviction despite the fact he could barely stand, subsequently plucked from their ranks with quiet decision. He trusted wholeheartedly, followed without question and became something unthinkable.

    +++++

    Rhome was the only child born to French parents Sophia and Georges Del Santo in the small village of Matera, Italy. At the time an almost empty ancient village, his youth saw the resurgence of his home into a brilliant tourist entity. Even though they owned a small cafe, they still barely made enough to make ends meet. Rhome grew up a poor but well cared for imaginative child. After his daily work in the cafe, exploring the ancient caves and tunnels of the picturesque hamlet were a beloved pastime; finding his carved coin, iron ring, and athame in their ancient halls. It was also where he met his childhood love, Lisette. Fleeting summers were spent with the girl, Rhome growing into a warm, compassionate and romantic young man; inevitably falling deeply in love with the woman Lisette had become.

    Parents tolerated their seemingly childhood infatuation until it was apparent they would have to face the unfortunate stereotype that their worlds divided them; Lisette to an affluent family with expectations, and Rhome to the simple life he’d inherited. When his mother became deathly ill and passed, his father was not long for the world; committing suicide shortly after. Unable to care for the cafe on his own and pushed away from Lisette by a family certain of his social climbing, Rhome searched for faith. Only after she married another man did he completely drown his bitter sorrow, taking a voluntary Vow of Chastity to become a priest.

    To his dismay, Lisette came to his abbey every Sunday to hear him speak in the tiny congregation. His duties quickly became an uncomfortable but necessary evil as he counseled her withered marriage that was expecting a child. Her husband knew nothing of their former relationship, though became increasingly suspicious of the “good Father’s” intentions the further the pregnancy progressed. Accusations were thrown as the fires of Hell began to engulf the world. Throughout the fallout after the Resonance, Rhome valiantly tried to save as many lives as he could, gathering them at the church and going out daily to round up more, all the while suffering mercilessly from his own change. Despite his better judgment, he finally went for Lisette. Upon entering their home, she was found bound and beaten with a frothing husband in the throes of a L-infection transformation; enraged and without control. Infuriated beyond reason by the priest’s presence, the man covered her with lamp oil and lit a match; fleeing with their child as his wife was branded in flame.

    She burned in his arms, oil coating Rhome as he tried to save her. His skin lit but didn’t char, the blue flames engulfing them both as he held her; his final transformation feeding the fire to burn so hot it eviscerated the house. Wood was vaporized, stone melted, leaving nothing left but his naked and sobbing form in blanket of ash and rubble.

    The warm and compassionate man had been purified in flame, adopted by those he still serves, and converted into a numb and merciless soul. Rhome now cares nothing for his targets, his belief that if he was cleansed through fire and pain then those that are worthy can withstand the same. Deep seated hatred for anyone but recognized Order Magi is unshakable, Lycanthropes at the very hotbed of his hatred. He is the one they send when the talks, invitations, and attempts to speak have failed. Though he kills without question, his humanity will not allow him to forget the monster that killed his love, a special kind of Hell reserved for the man if he is ever found. He is unafraid at his own prospect of death; already through Hell and reborn from the ashes of his own making.

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    Since the beginning of time
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  1. Rhome Del Santo

    Let the Master Answer

    "They tried to kill me, I did what was necessary." Eyes settled on her as she studied him. There was no more hiding. Before, he could pretend to be studying at university for something or other and even pass as a scholar- now he didn’t bother. He didn’t need or want to anymore. Had she asked questions, he would have answered truthfully- he just didn’t want to bring trouble to her doorstep. "Then that is even more of a reason to not be blaming yourself. Survival is important. If someone goes after you it's only fair that you protect yourself" “The trouble I deal with is fair penance for my crimes. This though, was unprovoked.” It was cryptic, but it was true. "My.... myself.... I mean. I usually always walk home by myself, I don't typically have a problem when I do, but.... I suppose you never know what could happen." He nodded, made sense. He was old fashioned he guessed, or he just knew there were people like him out there. Brow creased slightly at her worried look… maybe he’d said too much. "What exactly do you mean...." He opened his mouth to say something, then stopped himself. Time to leave. …and wait for her to leave. It was a stupid idea, but it felt like the right one. He could move just out of everyone’s sight line. It wasn’t a talent, it was pure training. Specialty, like walking a tightrope. There were just some things that took unusual skill sets. Three blocks into the walk and he was about to peel off and head home. Back to almost full health and wits, it allowed him at first to smell it… then instinctively know he was being followed by someone who was bleeding. The scent was stark against the snow and slush. Shit. Either the guy had sought out medical attention, or he wasn’t as injured as he’d left him and had tracked him to the hospital. Either way, another confrontation was moving in his direction. Damn it. Peeling off into an alley, he went up with unusual grace for someone his size, finding a point where he couldn’t be seen- but could see the majority of the backstreet. *npc* “Rhome, I know you’re in here. We can talk about this.” There was no talking, was there? The man had followed him before. Was he really following him without ill intent? The fire magus had thrown the first punch at the subway after all. Could they talk about this? After several moments, he slid down the ladder and dropped from the fire escape. Benefit of the doubt, maybe things had changed. ..aaaaand a gun. It was the one thing he couldn’t defend himself against effectively. Bullets were weird things, and the risk of collateral damage to create a shield around himself hot enough to melt something moving that quickly was extremely high. Predicting where it would hit him was another variable. He let the guy move closer to him, life expectancy was shorter every step he took to get closer to the former assassin. The bullet would hit him quicker, sure, but he could torch the guy more accurately… and faster, before he ever got a shot off. The fire magus didn’t need words to call on his power, he could do it without warning. The man stopped. He could feel mana. He was smarter than to get any closer. “We just want you to come in.” Nope. He knew with the disappearances he was enemy number one. He would go in, and he wouldn’t come out. “And if I don’t, you’ll kill me here. You’re going to kill me anyway, you just didn’t want to do it on the street where others could see you. Wouldn’t want to look like the Order. Kinda defeats the purpose of being the good guys." Flame flickered down the skin of his hands. “Leave me alone. You attack me, I will defend myself.” His brain was screaming… just kill him already.
  2. Rhome Del Santo

    Just Another Day at the Office....

    He caught the eye roll at Seiko. Abrasive with almost everyone it seemed. His expression was neutral enough to be unconcerned, but when the guy stepped out into the open with him it changed to hints of sarcasm and curiosity. He’d never been sarcastic in his life; he was indeed losing his mind. Did they just think he was going to reach out and knock it out of the air to protect them? "We call it a kinetic vacuum, a device to deprive a kinetic artifact of motion and impact. In short, something to trick it into thinking it’s still flying across the room, when in reality it’s stuck up against the device. Still with me?" Sigh was soft, betraying nothing else but cool. He got it. Why the hell was he here cleaning up other people’s messes…. he shouldn’t have stuck his nose in. The magus was not a team player, made even less so when he watched the grin on the guy’s face. If he got his ass kicked because someone needed to prove themselves in a pissing contest he was going to… This is indeed why he wasn’t a team player. “I like you, I think, but when this is all said and done, I’m gonna have a lot of questions for ya about all this...” Full gaze went to the man. It was the only time in his life he could recall anyone ever saying that about him. Questions though, questions were bad- he killed people for a living. So much for the quiet exit. “You heard him, people! I want that box in my hands pronto. Go!” “Didn’t come in a box….. chased an officer into this building after they tried to save a shop owner around the corner from it. Killed both.” Great. “Of course Pharos is SUPPOSED to have those kinds of things handy…. containments of all kinds…..” Brow cocked slightly. "…only reason to call Pharos in the first place." Okay, he had things to do other than get in the middle of a tiff, noting she was readying to take aim. He moved off on his own until the suicide plan came together and the elusive Pharos item came into play. There wasn’t more he could do other than tend to the fallen, noticing quickly that others weren’t as comfortable with it. New Pharos, or old Pharos with a new job... the guy seemed to be heebie-jeebied out. It bolstered his suspicion he was out to prove himself. Well. If he could wrap this up in a nice bow for him, he would. “Dammit Kayne… Don’t look at the bodies.” He was about to answer, but the thing was moving, hand snapping up to Seiko not to fire yet. Yes, that type of kneejerk shit would get him killed… the magus absolutely still as the thing almost knocked an agent on his ass. They didn’t have much more time for this thing to flop around before it took down the building. Eyes scanned the room, looking for a bit of predictability as to where the thing would go if Seiko or he missed. If all else failed, there were things he could do to stop it… things he would rather not have to- collateral in the immediate vicinity would be huge. “Ten degrees… ten degrees… “ he was talking to himself in his own little world, glancing back and forth between it, Seiko and his position. He’d been watching it; it did have a method to its madness. It seemed attracted to movement, vibration… like a bat almost. If it moved again, he would have to reset himself. He was probably going to die anyway. “I need the impact -not the explosion- to be less than five feet from me. I hope you’re a good shot,” words were directed at Seiko. “It will restart and slow its momentum, and I can stop it for about ten seconds.” He slid out the athame he always carried from the sheath on the inside of his wrist under his sleeve. Slicing a quick two inch nick in his palm, he made a fist, wiping the blade on his thigh and returning it. Blood was no joke. He could not afford to lose. Gaze went to Darius, eyes reflecting oddly in the light with their mercurial silver. Mana was starting to be pulled in. “Stay twenty feet out from me to my right. Wait three seconds after that rocket goes off before you head toward me or the explosion will burn your face off. I can keep from burning you.” Not the entire truth. If Pharos was slow, or hesitated, the longer it took the hotter it would have to get to keep the thing stationary for him to slam the box or whatever it was around it. Pharos was probably going to come out with a good suntan. He didn’t need to know that yet, no need to plant seeds of doubt that could cripple bravado at go-time. The Magus? The magus was too trusting that when he "ceased fire" in order to not barbecue his partner in crime when he got close, that Pharos would be fast enough to snatch it before it crushed the Italian's rib cage. Fuck this hero shit. “How’s it coming Pharos? Find the thing we need?” It was wiggling like an impatient child. Could it feel the mana moving? Left hand slowly swathed itself with a white quiver before it slithered to life as cooler orange flame. Stop it with the left, be ready to push Pharos out of the way with his right if things went wrong, pray he didn’t need both hands to stop it or get out of the way before it squished him. He had a back-up plan... but it wasn't one he wanted to execute. His Uriel charm wouldn't protect him against that and he really didn't want to end up naked in a small crowd of people. Or dead. Dead was more concerning, but naked would suck too. This was the dumbest thing he’d ever done, trusting others not to fuck up. He was not a team player. "Last chance for a better plan?"
  3. Rhome Del Santo

    Blasphemy and Sacrilege

    He was used to stillness, to ease when discomfort was the more normal response. The magus was conditioned to be calm in the face of conflict or anger; it was that conditioning he was starting to buck. Question. Once compressed and focused like the point of a knife, the magus didn’t know where he stood now. Cutting ties with the Order left him with a freedom to wield his power as he wished. He wasn’t sure yet if that would be his downfall, or theirs. With small shreds of odd unpredictable personality starting to break through cracks of calm, it could very well be both. The magus blinked away his quiet thoughts, glancing toward the spigot and reaching to turn it up as it began to allow more water to flow. ”I got better things to do than harass the elderly and go ghost hunting. I also have better ideas than admitting to my employer that I got stuck on an alcohol run and broke into a church. If it’s all the same to you, I was at home like a sane and reasonable person for all of today.” There was a soft smile dusting across his features for a brief moment. He was rarely amused, and this situation would seem so. What wasn’t funny, was that the 'intruder' truly was freezing. Contemplating for a second on the irony of it he knelt quietly, not missing the focused gaze after he tossed out the need to share information. Nobody would listen to him. They never gave him a chance, the 'shoot first and ask questions later' always applied to him. Fingertips touched the floor. At first glance, he thought it’d been packed dirt. It was a mixture of cement, packed dirt, and years of debris smashed firm into a hard floor. He would have preferred dirt. ”If I wanted violence, I would have never dropped the visual cloak and attacked. It would make no sense for me to give up my biggest advantage in surprise only to attack you first from a point of disadvantage later on.” Eyes were fixed on the floor as the man spoke. “If you want to deliver a message, that’s fine. Just be aware that I wasn’t lying when I said my job is dragon hunting, and I have no idea who you are at this point. If you have info on any sort of disappearances, though, I’m all ears. If you have any sort of proof, all the better and I’ll go out of my way to make sure it gets to people who can do something about it.” Silence followed except the trickle of water into the bucket. He was listening intently, even if it didn't seem like it. The frightening sudden onslaught of frozen weather had penetrated even the foundation, but he was patient. The cold of the floor was deep; it didn’t want to give up the ghost. “I’m very rarely surprised,” there was no malice or chest-puffery behind it, just a quiet fact. After a few moments, the floor began to radiate heat and the room warmed considerably to a balmy, tolerable temperature. It would do no good to send a message through a man that was going to freeze to death first, and he didn't feel like focusing on keeping everybody warm when he was fixing things. Floor radiant heat would do the job. He stood and turned the spigot back to a drip, picking up the bucket to move to the boiler. Clinks were quiet as he worked, the dust on tools left on a ledge betraying the reason the thing was fubar-d in the first place- nobody was taking care of it. He could fix things. Stoves. Fridges. Radiators. Boilers… a hint to the life he had before he became this. “Your boss is missing,” there was no love lost between the two men, and though he understood the stormcaller’s rabid insistence on his obliteration there was still a respect there. “Related to the recent disappearances most likely.” Brow came down as he tried to break the corrosion on a bolt, finally popping it loose. “Order and Arma have been quiet about it. The Vanguard is also involved, though each faction will definitely deny it.” He was about to paint another target on his back. The Order didn’t like their secrets being spilled. He didn’t give a fuck anymore. The more pain he could inflict, the more he would throw off their business as usual. “Humans, are practicing magic using the blood of mages… and other humans. Sorcery, arcane magic. The factions are trying to snap up relics as quickly as possible to keep them out of their hands. So the humans turned to magus, and that’s why they’re disappearing. They can’t have the toys they need, so they’re taking our blood. Everyone, every last magic-slinger is in danger.” Water went in and he began to fill the valves. Water was flowing now, things were moving forward quickly. “I’m not killing Arma. I didn’t kill your boss. I know it’s too much to ask, but they need to trust me. I’m not on Arma’s side, but I will find who’s responsible. What I know, I will share… but not if Arma keeps me backed in a corner.” That was it. Knobs were turned and he opened the pilots again to light, middle finger flicking against his thumb like a match to produce a focused flame. He should have stopped talking, but the new need to piss off his former employer was deep. Spilling secrets. He would spill them to anyone that would listen. It was time. “The Order can go fuck itself,” he wasn’t a very good priest. “I’m Rhome Del Santo. The Order will deny I exist, New York Arma has orders to kill me on sight after I went off grid from their dog collar. I was trained at the Vatican to kill any identified Arma target. I've killed hundreds. Everything Arma believes, alleges against the Order… is true.” The boiler hissed to life and he tapped the pressure gauges. Success. “Tell Arma this recent surge is not me. I’m not killing them anymore, and I'm not in contact with the Order other than to break their fucking teeth in. As for proof?” The bucket was returned to the slop sink. A building this big, there were certainly more boilers and they seemed to be working at the moment. He would check them later. Reaching up, he tugged at the paper collar and unbuttoned his neck enough to pull the shirt to the side. Healed, yet a cherry red line still stretched from the center of his throat around under his ear. An inch higher and it would have been his jugular. Fingers flicked at the paper collar before he buttoned back up and replaced it. “Definitely a human wielding some kind of shadow manipulation with a garrote. They’d built a ritual floor altar and tried to drag me onto it to bleed out. I will find them myself and melt the skin off their bones.” The "so far" calm priest’s demeanor was unsettling against the sudden proclamation of brutal violence. “But I’m not the one killing Arma.” He left the spigot at a drip, moving toward the door to head back upstairs, leaving the weight of the confession where it lay. “Food?”
  4. Rhome Del Santo

    Let the Master Answer

    "Don't be blaming yourself because someone else beat the crap out of you. That isn't any way to live. Things happen and you just have to go with the flow" He wanted to say something, to spill his entire life out to a complete stranger because she would likely never see him again. There was nobody he knew that he could do that with. Everyone around him had a stake in the game. The assassin spoke truths to those he knew, and trouble always followed. It occurred to him at that moment that he really should find somebody he could confide in- but who in the world would listen to what he had to say and not call the cops… or ARMA? Nobody. He knew he was being studied as he cleaned up, the magus noticed everything. She had good instincts, but she was too trusting. Too willing to trust first and ask questions later. It would bring her trouble someday. "They didn't," was all he confided. Tone of his voice made it clear he definitely wasn't on the worse end of the fight. "They tried to kill me, I did what was necessary." His glance moved back and forth from the tray to her as he straightened things, looking for some kind of reaction, condemnation likely. Judgment. He'd said too much. Not a very good priest. "I guess we all can't be perfect at what we do or who we are" Who we are. The words resonated a moment. He wished he had the opportunity to figure that out. "You really don't have to do that" He blinked at her, what other choice was there than to clean up a mess he’d caused? But, it was good advice. It was very possible ‘the other guy’ was going to land somewhere, even here. Soon. "Should I walk you to wherever you need to go" Gaze watched her a moment, truly contemplating. She was leaving, so that meant she was going home alone and not feeling well. She’d mentioned walking, which also tossed up a red flag. He couldn’t help but feel responsible. “Then who would walk you home?” the response was quiet. "The coast is clear" “I’m fine, you go home,” he answered, knowing damn well he was going to follow her to make sure she got where she was going safely. “Just…” fingers squeezed the hoodie again. “Don’t believe what you hear about me.” She may put a face with a name and figure it out eventually, maybe not. For a time, his face was plastered across every ARMA most-wanted wall in the city. She could be ARMA, might not be. She was definitely a magus working in the public eye, and rogues didn’t tend to do that. He just didn’t want to walk out and get shot in the back, or have to lose a tail before he could get home. He definitely didn't want her dealing with fallout from being associated with him. The guy was still out there. He should have killed him; brow coming down at the dark thought before he smiled slightly at her and took his leave. “Thank you.” Door was pushed open silently and he moved toward the exit. He could be completely invisible when he wanted to be, able to read where people’s attention was before he slipped past the corner of their eyes. Cold air snapped at his skin and he pulled the hoodie on and the hood up, shoving his hands into his pockets and turning the corner to wait until she left. He was going to make sure she got home.
  5. Rhome Del Santo

    Let the Master Answer

    "Well, my name is Altheia," “Altheia.” he nodded, acknowledging the less than opportune meeting. Bloody, beaten up and defensive, but he was still a refined gentleman. "Times are so bad that people are willing to attack a priest. These really are shit times we're living in" I’m not just a priest… and it was always shit times. It looped through his head, but he was silent. The magus felt her wince as his rib popped, it was a testament to her character that she could see the worst of things and still feel empathy. Either she was new and wasn’t as of yet desensitized or she just was a genuinely good person. Though he wasn’t watching her directly, his senses were still splayed out in every direction. In essence, he was still a predator; every little sound, gesture, even the feel of the air was registered with intense accuracy. It was why when she apologized, his guilt bubbled up. It was his fault she was now feeling the effects of her powers. He’d been the one to do something stupid because he was so aggressive, and it landed him here. "Ya know.... you're pretty warm. You sure you don't have a fever" Blink brought him back to the moment. “I’m a fire magus, it’s just the way my body works.” He wasn’t sure why he divulged that either. His name. Fire mage. Priest. He might have well put a giant damn bullseye on his forehead. It didn’t seem to matter anymore though, he was taunting the ethos. It was his turn to wince, more of a distinct flinch away from her when she reach up to touch his face; he'd almost grabbed her hand to stop her. He wasn't used to being touched when something or someone wasn’t beating on him. He didn’t particularly like being touched, it almost always was a precursor to someone trying to kill him. People didn't touch him because they wanted to, they hit him because they wanted something from him. "Don't be silly. The cuts and bruises are the easy things to heal" Fingers reached up and tapped at the spot on his eyebrow that had flooded his lashes with blood not more than a few minutes ago. His skin was still covered in it, but the contusions and gashes that were once beneath them had disappeared completely. He didn’t move after he let his hands fall to the floor on either side of him, enjoying the moment of time next to her in complete silence without pain. Gaze slid to the side when she wiped her nose. "Huh, that's never happened before. My fault.... used my abilities a little too much today it seems" “My fault, I should never have landed here in the first place,” he reached up and fished some gauze off a rolling tray, handing it to her and going for some more to start to clean the major problems from his face and knuckles. His clothes were really hopeless. He’d never get all the blood off and would have some explaining to do if the Vicar caught him before he could slip into the cathedral and change. "Looks like I'm not that great of a healer. Not going to be doing much healing the rest of the night. So please. For me. Don't go and get yourself hurt again." He was still, brushing slightly at the blood on his knuckles that he knew was not all his. “I’m not just a priest… so I can’t promise that,” he wasn’t sure why he said that either, a deep sigh before he got up and extended his hand to help her up at least to a chair. “I’m not a very good priest.” The furl of his brow was rather sheepish as he turned to wash his hands in the sink, then his face, slicking water through his hair to try and clean that up as well. He actually retrieved all the things he'd knocked over when he'd woken up, setting the tray onto the cart with a soft clink, it just was how he worked. Polite, but deadly. “Is there anything I can get you before I go?” he asked as he pulled off his hoodie and rolled it into a ball. He was going to try to at least clean it when he got back to the cathedral. The gray tee-shirt beneath wasn’t nearly as bad as the soaked hoodie. Presentable at least. Jeans were just dirty from the ground, a few spatters of either blood or grease. Tims, the same fate. They were black though, so it helped. He would put the bloody hoodie back on when he left the building, until then he didn't want to alarm anyone. “Can I get you something to drink… food from somewhere in the hospital?” Fingers clutched the rolled up hoodie tightly. “I feel terrible just leaving you here to recuperate because of me.”
  6. Rhome Del Santo

    Let the Master Answer

    "Well then I guess that's a good thing for me. I mean, not that you don't want attention, but that you aren't going to set anything on fire" “I only do that for parties,” the humor was soft despite being beat to hell, it really spoke of how used to functioning under pain he was. Fingers touched slightly and there was a soft flash of blue flame that arched between them before extinguishing. It was the odd little trick he actually didn’t do often. It really was a party trick. Lighting candles, manipulation through his fingers like a coin flipping, it was the most harmless thing he did. He blinked at her eye roll, noting the cautiousness of her movement toward him. “If I wanted to kill you, you’d already be dead,” words again were quiet, not trying to frighten her… but the same free hand turned upward, a nimble middle finger sliding a scalpel from underneath his sleeve to offer to her and then set next to him on the floor. Fingers slid it out of his reach, surrendering his need for it. Nothing though… was ever really out of his reach. "I don't think you understand, but you are badly injured and there is no way you are getting out of here until you are healed" “Only… the serious issues if that is your intent. There are more deserving people that can use your assistance more than my bruises.” "Thank God you came to your senses" There was a genuine subtle amusement in his features. She’d never believe him if he did tell her anyway. A beat up priest in jeans and a worn-out hoodie. There had been stranger things in the world. Her hesitation was noted. “I don’t hurt people that have done nothing to warrant it.” "I just need to place my hands on your sides" He reluctantly pulled his hand from his side, not because he wanted it there, but because people tended to clutch things that were injured. For security, peace of mind… some reason or another. Arms lifted slightly, palms visible, reminiscent of hands up and getting arrested. It was for her own comfort. His hands were in her sight, no weapons, nothing to worry about. From what he knew of many, healing was a vulnerable sport. She was probably weakening herself so he would gain strength; an incredible sign of trust from someone that still seemed leery of him. The sensation… was very odd. He was used to an internal hum, a pressure that would dissipate out through his skin to give off unusual heat for a human. He’d never had it pushed back in before. He was watching her hand on his right side for a moment, blinking a few times to squelch the mercurial silver in his irises that was shifting to the surface. "This is only going to take 10 minutes, then you are good to go. I'm guessing I don't want to know why this happened to you. And I'm also guessing that if I ask your name you probably won't tell me, right" “Rhome,” he said quietly. There was nothing else for several minutes, he was trying to focus on whether or not whatever she was pushing into him, was going to have to be controlled or released somehow. “I’m a priest from St. Patrick's. Someone picked a fight when I was out buying food. I took care of it.” It was all true, yet not. He was no ordinary priest, and normally secrecy was the utmost concern. Lately, it seemed to not matter. The invitation to come at him, was there. He almost needed the world to confront him now. Hand finally reached to clutch her bicep when he felt his rib pop back into place, brows downward over eyes that were clearly not normal. It wasn't a transfer of mana that was causing it, it was almost like instead of burning on the outside, he was being lit on the inside. He wasn't truly certain what would happen if she continued, but he didn't want to alarm her. Already too many things dangling unspoken in the air. “Only what’s necessary. There are others that need your strength more, including you. I understand what it's like to be seriously injured. It's just luck this time there's a healer around to help.”
  7. Rhome Del Santo

    Let the Master Answer

    Her presence registered in his reality, finally. She was peripheral at first to kneejerk training; the scalpel that had been instinctively swiped as he’d fled the gurney was tucked up further under the Uriel charm’s cord on the inside of his wrist with deft fingers akin to a magician’s card trick. It would stay hidden under his hoodie sleeve until this was sorted out. He could set the world on fire, sure, but fire tended to catch people’s attention. The magus used his abilities as a last resort, he was first and foremost a trained assassin, and that’s what made him dangerous. Pale eyes focused on her face, proximity, the time it would take for him to get to the door versus her alerting security. He registered injuries. Cheek no longer throbbed, but his side did, his small cough producing a wince. Broken ribs. He felt like hell, but torture and punishment in the form of pain was something the Order had doled out freely. They were too careful about head injuries though, they couldn’t demand compliance if you were unconscious. It was the unconsciousness he was worried about. He was now conscious again, he had to get out of there. "You're at the New York Main Hospital. I'm a doctor here. They brought you in not too long ago. Some server at a restaurant saw you outside and called 911." Nod was slight, listening to her confirmation of being a healer. He'd just intended to ask the man for a moment inside out of the cold... seemed to have become a clusterfuck. Mind ticked, brief moments of fog twisted with the calculation of the dangers of staying to get patched up as much as possible versus leaving now still banged up. He wasn’t any closer to St. Patrick’s than he’d been before. He was now conscious… he needed to try to make the trek. The longer he stayed, the more in danger he was; especially now since he was certain the Arma bastard had been found. “So if you'll just let me finish healing you.... you can be up and out of here" Her step closer was met with the slide of eyes back to her direction. The initial flee had evolved into behavior much more fluid and calm in the face of danger and pain. It was unusual enough to be a curiosity. He’d also placed a pretty good guess on the amount of people outside based on noise and footsteps he could hear, how fast it would take him to get to the outside door. He was most likely in an ER which meant main doors were close and usually led to a parking lot, which was exposed and not in his favor. The magus was in no condition to run. Eyes scanned the room again. "I just need you to not start any fires. Especially on me" Gaze moved back to her; moving closer was the worst thing she could do. Too trusting. But, she was moving away from the door, which was better for him. It was apparent the brief disorientation was over. "And if you're going to be a problem I don't just heal" Brow cocked slightly. “Fires tend to catch a lot of attention" he said quietly. One would definitely not expect the refined voice from his appearance; educated, definitive accent and exceptional calm despite his appearance and injuries struck a sharp contradiction. “…and attention for me is a problem, so that’s the last thing I want to be.” The ‘wink-wink nudge-nudge’ deal was tossed into the mix. “I’m conscious,” he began to push himself up, elbow tucked hard in his side to compact the pain of his ribs. “That’s all I need to be to get home.” That wasn’t a good idea. World was spinning. Concussion. He slid back down. “I just need a minute.” He needed more than a minute, and it was getting more tangled for him by the second. Fingers went up to kneed between his eyes. “I think perhaps it’s best I let you continue, for a short time at least.”
  8. Rhome Del Santo

    Let the Master Answer

    He didn’t hear the phone call, or feel the cold sidewalk as he lay there with the panicked server hovered over him. He’d never been in an ambulance, and wouldn’t remember it anyway. Dead to the world. Vulnerable. Eyelids flickered every so often, the fight or flight response ingrained in him viciously trying to right the sinking ship and bring him back into the land of consciousness. It was dangerous for him to be this way on so many levels; it was more dangerous to others because he woke in fight mode. Always. He was so close to the surface, almost touching the light… warmth in the ambulance starting to thaw his chill. Fingers twitched slightly when the gurney hit the ground and wheeled into the ER. Breath quickened, the pound of a body in pain dragging him back into the depths of unconsciousness. Shadowed fingers whispered dangers in his subconscious, uncertainty. There were faces there. Familiar ones, others he’d never seen before. "Hey, can you hear me?" Don’t touch me. The thought existed noiselessly, and then fell away into a lifeless chasm. "Listen if you can hear me and possibly wake up within the next 10 minutes, please do not freak out on me" Cheek began to flinch, twinkle of his Uriel charm on a black cord wound around his wrist catching the metal on the side of the gurney as his fingers twitched… the sound between barely touching fingertips eerily like the flick of a lighter. His skin was becoming warm like the sun, flashes and pops of light illuminating the depths of his unconsciousness. Numbness was replacing pain, a cheekbone knitting back together, soaking into his skin and flickering the dormant mind to life. Thoughts were in Latin, moving to Italian, faster, repetitive. It was at that moment he thrashed, and there was a flash of fire in his palm that quickly snuffed. Through some kind of blessing, the higher thought process had “won” and there wasn’t a wild, crazy mess of thrown tables and knocked over metal instruments... or scorched surroundings. The grace of a lethal killer had taken him up and off the gurney to the opposite side from her. Pale gray glared back at her trying to orient himself; freezing cold, to this. He couldn’t focus. Dizziness won out, hitting the floor hard as his legs crumpled and he almost took the gurney with him as he tried to catch himself. Squeal of skin and shoe sole was still dangerously quick as he slid away from her until he was backed completely into a corner, finally able to assess… outstretched palm warned her not to come closer. “Hospital,” breathing was ragged, absorbing his situation, stating the obvious. Then the pain hit again, hand that had briefly lit with flame moved to hold his side. “Where am I? What hospital?” He tried to push himself up, unsuccessful, flinch and seethe deep. “You're a healer....” again, the obvious. He was reassuring deadly reflexes that they didn't have to be deadly. Head thunked quietly on the wall behind him, finally resolved that he wasn't getting out of this on his own.
  9. Rhome Del Santo

    Let the Master Answer

    He wasn't getting up. Knocked out cold, not dead... quivering fingers reached down to check his neck for a pulse. Bruises fresh, blossoming a painful pink and already flushing purple. Voices in his head telling him to finish it off, every shred of his being screaming at him to beat the man to death. To get it over with, unleash the anger that was raging at his very core against some shadow in his soul that couldn't claw to the surface. Several steps were taken backward, his thumb clearing the blood from his eyelashes but the sting of salt still lingered. He was trying to get on the straight and narrow, or at least pick a side. Thoughts so fractured, body becoming so cold. The first gust in the alley caused a severe shiver, so hard he almost crumpled into the wall. Cold, was a vice, and he'd never been this hurt and trying to call on abilities to get him home. He would leave the man where he lay, he would survive and be found to follow him another day, understanding the fire magus could have seared the man's flesh from his bones, yet didn't. The bogeyman of the Order that was to be killed at all costs... had left the man trying to kill him, alive. A new leaf perhaps. The cold wall felt like needles on his palm, needing the damn brick building to hold him up as he staggered toward another alley to a short cut home back to the church. He could hole up somewhere, but most likely the witch hunt that was going to follow would leave him in prison, or dead. The magus had to get back to St. Patrick's. There was no more shoot to capture in this venture. It was shoot to kill. How many blocks he traveled, he lost count. The wind whipping, rattling his bones, gray hoodie pulled up around his features and cuffs over his hands as he walked on and shivered violently, sniffling at the frozen blood on his lip. The dark Carhart coat and jeans did a little to keep the cold out, but not enough to keep him conscious. He was lost. Miles from where he needed to be, miles from where he wanted to be, and miles from where he'd left the man unconscious in the street. Darkness, sparse traffic, but a warm light in the window of a small restaurant closing for the night caught his attention. He was giving up. He'd never given up in his life. Quivering fingers tapped lightly on the window to get the lone server's attention, the tapping the last thing the magus remembered.
  10. Rhome Del Santo

    Let the Master Answer

    His brain was chaotic, so focused yet so frantic. His deathbringing was normally a surprise, a slice and it was over. This man fought back, his hands at first trying to pull the magus’ hands from his neck, then thumbs going for the Italian’s eyes. Rhome was tall enough, with long enough arms to pull his face out of the way on every reach until a sharp “THWAK” to his throat from vicious fingertips caused him to gasp for air. His split second break in pressure was all that was needed for the man to get a sharp uppercut in edgewise and squirm out from under him. They both gasped for breath, ragged and raw, reassessing this altercation… the fire magus wiping his lower lip with the back of his knuckles. Bleeding. He was bleeding? He’d bled before, the church, repeatedly during his training. Not like this. This was disorienting, an odd familiarity that he couldn’t place, brow frowning at the bright red on the back of his hand, and then the man who had done it. All hell broke loose, launching at each other like two fighting dogs. It was a brawl, his opponent clearly with some kind of boxing training, and the elegant assassin… something else entirely. There was training, but in a ‘no holds barred’ way. Brutal, effective, and craving the need to beat the other man to a pulp without ever engaging his magic. Higher reasoning screamed at him to just knock the bastard out and leave it at that. Something else, more human, needed this… and needed him to suffer. Drums in his head. Trumpets in his head. Sand and fields and cheering... endless cacophony of a crowd... his headbutt sending the man snapping back and again clattering to the ground. This time he didn't move. He wasn't dead. Unconscious. The magus fell back, hands at his sides, chest heaving. Blood from his brow, blood from his lip. Cheek. Knuckles, the growl through his teeth an unrequited anger that was spilling to get out. Breath was slowing, but not by much. Waiting for the man to get up. Stay. Or go. Stay.... or go...
  11. Rhome Del Santo

    Just Another Day at the Office....

    The words “kinetic vacuum” hadn’t escaped his ears as he’d dropped through the collapsed bit of ceiling. It had already begun to turn wheels in his head, simultaneous with the need to leave and not engage Seiko- and the realization people had indeed died in the room they were now standing in. He could feel it, like some kind of force pushing against his personal bubble. When he’d let it go a few seconds prior, it was viciously fast. He had a few ideas, raveled with what Darius’ colleague seemed to be fetching from a vehicle. It was the snapped fingers that drew the eyes in a quick flick to Darius, keenly aware that the thing was trying to move again. Hey! You! Yeah, you! Who the fuck are you, and what are you doing here? The name’s Kayne, and it’s awfully suspicious of you, just popping up out of nowhere on a crime scene. You’d better have some answers for me right now. He's your replacement…. …glance moved then to the rocket launcher on Seiko’s shoulder. He hated guns… err… rocket launchers… whatever the hell it was classified as. The plan in his head was stupid, and it would probably get him killed. But, it might definitely work. You're talking to me. A single, mocking snap of his own fingers answered Kayne, who he’d surmised was either Pharos or Arma. The brief flame that flashed and extinguished on command answered pretty much any questions they needed to know. Maybe it was irritation, or his recently burgeoning temper, but he suddenly had the urge to sucker punch the man to shut him up. “I’m the fucking Order,” he said quietly anyway, once nodding to both of them indifferently as he kept his eyes on the rogue artifact. Cursing, was also new for him. It felt good. A sucker punch would make him feel better, dark expression back to Darius. Well… skulls don’t do much to stop it, concrete just traps it momentarily and only when its embedded from its own momentum. Small projectile explosive…. … only cause a deviation in direction but have no perceivable impact on the artifact itself…. not so much as a scratch…. He was afraid of that, attention back on their problem. It was going to move and he didn’t really have a lot of time to think about it, hands immediately pulling apart to produce a veil of blue flame within them as it whizzed by Seiko and sent Pharos ducking. He released it as it sped through, whizzing through and dissipating the flame like a bull through a red cape. It angrily sped faster on its path and slammed into the wall with a threatening shudder. “Kayne’s right. It’s kinetic.” Hood pulled down quickly and he started to shrug off the worn gray hoodie and toss it to the side, it was going to get in the way. He was oddly young for a stuffy Order member. “Projectile changes the direction, explosive is probably not hot enough to impact its speed like I just did.” He was thinking out loud. It potentially was catastrophic, it couldn’t get out- but that was a given. It was going to go until it knocked the damn building down. They couldn’t keep standing around, they had to try something. “If Kayne has the “kinetic vacuum” he mentioned, we could most likely stop it. It would take all three of us to get it where we can "catch" it… unless one of you screws up and gets me killed, then it’ll probably kill both of you… or the building collapses first. I think I can stop it, but only for a few seconds if Kayne has what he thinks he has. We can shut it down long enough to contain it.... It also had to be in something before it started flopping around out here. A box maybe that kept it bound... maybe? That'd be a start?” That was one part of being in the most inner circle of the Order was good for. He'd seen some of the craziest artifacts that existed. Everything could be bound somehow, and it was usually what it was stored in before some jackass opened it. "Badge knocks it into me with that...thing. I stop it, Kayne binds it, Badge stuffs it back in the box. Kayne takes it home. If you can find the box." This was... the worst idea ever. He was going to have to let it hit him before he could stop it. But, it was the only idea. Broken ribs. He'd have a few when this was done... "It's your crime scene, find the damn box." It was unclear who the comment was directed to. He wasn't going to stand around twiddling his thumbs until Kayne's companion made it back, quietly and carefully picking his way through the rubble. He knelt every so often in the growing dusty haze to whisper last rites in Latin to those he found that were now beyond life. He was here for them, after all… right? That’s why he’d stayed.
  12. Rhome Del Santo

    Just Another Day at the Office....

    Starts at St. Patrick's Cathedral. Same Time. His eyes drooped slightly, a soft wool blanket on his lap. The fire mage was often cold, and during the winter in his underground "lair”, the goliath labyrinths’ temperature hovered at a consistent sixty five degrees- it didn’t help matters much. He was too humble to ask for another place to stay. The rustic wool blankets in his simple lodging helped, at least a little. Thoughts were fuzzy, almost into the state where the vividness of his usual nightmares kept him from ever truly being rested. Even that sometimes was fleeting as his book began to slip unintentionally from his fingers. When something startled most people, they jumped, flailed, cried out, followed with sheepish laughter or a snarky response to the perpetrator. The sudden slap of the cover on the floor startled him back to the world. Unmoving. He didn’t jump, or flail... he simply became acutely aware. Years of ingrained servitude and deathbringing made him lethal, mercurial eyes sliding to glance at the book, the nearly silent phone ringing on the small side table next to the bed. He was a “ringer almost off” kind of guy. Relished his silence, his simplicity. It was all that seemed to keep him from exploding anger into a million different directions lately. Nothing was said as he answered; the least amount of words his Order mole could say gave him the exact situation. Something he could use and add to his hoard of growing artifact treasure. An arsenal with a purpose only he knew. Definitely useful, and the place was really close. The emergent Smaug answered with a simple “noted”, and returned the phone to its spot. He’d found out the hard way his amulet didn’t protect items that weren’t clothing, and several cell phones later he just decided to leave it in his room when he went out. Dark jeans, black Tims and a gray hoodie, the magus ghosted from the building to climb. Whether it vertical, or a flat out run, his training was formidable. He preferred cover and covert, but he could hold his own in a brawl; rough if he had to. There was an elegance to violence he preferred, not because he liked it, but because in his eyes death should be delivered quickly. Law of minimal motion. Painless. Efficient. His body moved that way. He felt the tremble even as he made his way across the rooftops, hopping to the fire escape and sliding effortlessly into a glass-less window. Cop and other cars were around it on the ground level. Pharos maybe. Nobody was looking up, or in the top area of the building. Serious, or contained. From the groan of the building, definitely serious and not contained. As he alternated between swinging from landing to landing and sliding down the railings of the emergency stairs, the dust was rising upward. Through shouts, sounds of concrete being broken, a hole in the second floor to the first, the occupants of the hammer’s hell suddenly found a silent new form in the middle of the dusty haze as he dropped though the hole. Silent landing most likely left him unnoticed for a moment as he surveyed the scene, eyes peering from under his hood found Seiko first. Not expected. Abandon ship. Time to leave. They could have this artifact. This cop was too good at being nosy and he didn't want to visually be on their radar a second time. People had died though. He could smell it, the wet iron against the dust a unique scent. Eyes narrowed slightly, he couldn’t leave people to die. He was going to regret this, deep breath increasing the heat around him until he could feel the pull of cold air rushing to his position, and he pushed it upward in a billow of flame. Heat rising through the break in the ceiling, it pulled the lingering dust in the air with it to clear the view slightly of how many people were actually in there, and giving him his first look at the thing that was wrecking the building. Hand snapped outward just in time, the standoff not something he was expecting so quickly, the hammer’s head almost to his palm and being held off by a small domed shield of flame reminiscent of the inside of a blast furnace. His feet were sliding backwards as he held it in place, simply because he himself wasn’t heavy enough to push against the thing’s momentum. He wasn't trying to. It gave him a second to get a good look at it before he let it go and snapped sideways to let it pass and sink into the wall. Why target him? Exposed? Attracted to heat sources maybe, that’s why it was attracted to people and not the walls? He didn’t move from his position in the open. Maybe it was attracted to movement. Sound? “Who am I talking to?” he said quietly, watching it angrily try to free itself but speaking to whoever was in charge in the room. "What have you tried?"
  13. Rhome Del Santo

    Blasphemy and Sacrilege

    ”Thanks, I enjoy breathing.” Brow cocked slightly at the response. Smartass; not a surprise given the responses thus far. There were far more thoughts tickling the back of the Italian’s brain however, plans that were unfolding even as they bantered back and forth- the multi-tasking giving him a moment to think. A thick tension wasn’t just lingering in the air, it was palpable and real even after he’d told the man he wasn’t going to be aggressive. Lack of trust, which was predictable and expected. It seemed though that his identity was still ticking in the man’s conscious or subconscious thought. If he put two and two together, this encounter could still go sideways very quickly. He debated just getting it out of the way, but was more interested at the moment in seeing how far from everyone's thoughts he had fallen. On the other front, cold was creeping inward. He wasn’t concerned about his friend upstairs, the fireplace and inner room would protect him until he solved this situation. In here? There was nothing except a boiler that refused to fire. Pilots were lit, still nothing. Gaze moved around the room, bucket next to a slop sink. Did it not get turned on at all before this? Or, turned on without prepping... which made a lot of sense given the lack of help all the religious institutions now seemed to have. The Vicar at St. Patrick's was one of a mere few left to take care of the place. This also obviously seemed to be the case here. ”All the good ones are either dead or chained to desk work now.” “Shame,” his tone echoed his companion’s. Was this guy now a desk jockey, or not good at his job…? Gut said neither. ”The blizzard caught me when I was visiting family and I thought it would be an adventure to go wander around for a bit.” He placed the panel back on the now lit beast, the clinking from the pipes confirming his suspicions. The pilots had gone out because the thing wasn't running properly. No water to boil, threw everything out of whack. He turned several valves and made his way to the slop sink. Knobs were frozen, so was the spigot. He could fix that... if the pipes hadn’t burst yet. ”And the booze, since my stockpile wasn’t exactly prepared for this.” Fantastic. One more problem. St. Patrick's wouldn't have been an issue... wine everywhere. Here, he wasn't sure. “Nobody was prepared for this,” he agreed quietly. Matches weren’t going to solve this issue unfortunately, the opening of his fingers eliciting a low burn of pale orange flame that he hovered underneath the knobs on the sink. His companion would just have to deal, there was no more time to tiptoe around their suspicions of each other. One knob started to drip water, it had been leaking. That was a positive thing, it might not be frozen long enough and far in enough to have burst any plumbing. He set to work on the spigot. “While I have your ear, Arma...” he started, glancing over at him before going back to the task at hand, noting there was no exchange of names to this point. “...coming back later to harass Avi about my whereabouts isn’t a good idea. This is a favor for a friend and I don’t live here. I get this place warmed up and I ghost.” Success. He turned the knob slowly and the water started to drip first, then stream slightly from the spigot. Bucket retrieved, he began to fill it. This was going to take a while. Arms crossed and he leaned on the wall. “I have a message I’m hoping you can deliver to the ivory towers though...” he started, watching the water a moment before turning his attention back to Arma. “Nobody seems to want to listen; they’re too busy trying to kill me. They won’t believe you at first, but they will when more magus start disappearing.” It was ominous, and unquestionably delivered with the impression he wasn’t responsible for the “disappearances”. “That’s only if you want to hear it. I'd rather talk business than stand here and bullshit while you decide whether or not to try and shoot me in the face.”
  14. Rhome Del Santo

    Let the Master Answer

    Heat surged over his skin. Not his terms… his brain didn’t want to do this, but his gut did. He needed it. The restraint he’d shown for over a decade was screaming from his subconscious to break the chains, tightening from his psyche like snapping cables. He had to remove himself from the situation before he couldn’t turn back. …but he didn’t know the guy, but the guy knew him. He didn’t know if this was the same people that had tried to kill him before. Or someone else entirely… It was unlike him to have been on someone this long; torturing them while strangling to death. Christ. “All you need to know about me is that I left you alive... follow me again and I'll kill you.” One last jerk made his point, whipping the cord from its mark in such a way it would draw blood, sting and disorient the person that their throat had been cut- long enough a diversion for him to disappear. He was a ghost. For his size, he could move, gracefully, blending in to a group just exiting the train. Stairs were taken multiple at a time, hands stuffed in his pockets, hood pulled closer around his features and he was up and out. He had to breathe. He had to breathe. The air too cold, breath to fast. Alley and he would disappear. The guy was fast after him, faster than he should have been, running up the steps and picking up speed. Following him. This was a hit of some kind, or a forced confrontation. Somehow the bastard could follow him, like he could smell him? Muscles were twitching, the cold, the frustration, the need to power up like a blast furnace and get the hell out of there. But he didn’t. He did the worst thing imaginable. He turned a corner and stopped, back on the wall. Waiting, the cold wind funneling through the alley, where the fuck his mind was churning he had no idea. It was violent. It was chilling, and the second the man turned the corner he was thrown back against a dumpster by the force of the magus’ fist. Blood, was everywhere. The punch, so uncharacteristic- he didn’t know he could even be so gauche. He had always been an elegant killing machine. This, was just rage. The man’s nose was broken, still… the magus pulled him up by the shoulders of his coat and slammed his forehead into the metal of the dumpster, taking the frustration out on someone he hadn’t even determined was a threat. Logic seemed incontestable. He was following him. He knew his name. He was a threat. Kicked onto his back, the Italian wrapped both hands around his throat and pushed. Skin was slippery. Blood everywhere. There was so much. On him. On the ground. On the dumpster. It’d never been like this… the blood almost, egging him on. He was going to choke the life from him and snap his neck… he wanted to. He HAD to.
  15. Rhome Del Santo

    Blasphemy and Sacrilege

    Why. Why was the world always provoking him. He didn’t know which way his psyche went anymore. Calm, was when he was truly most deadly. Calm, he was deflective and heartless. Agitated, he was catastrophic; a new feeling for him. Anger. Hate. He’d finally been able to focus it on something, and oddly enough it was the hand that used to feed him. It was a precarious balance, one that he kept balanced with quiet… and focus. Fixing something was focus, caring for someone was focus. This situation was not. To this point, he’d gleaned all the information he needed to know. Conversation, was just that. Keep someone talking, keep them guessing, flip tactics every few moments to keep another off balance. Keep them thinking the priest was still trying to figure the world out, trying to find something to use to gain the upper hand. He had everything the second the man had dropped whatever it was he was using to keep out of the assassin’s sight. The magus was a hunter, spending his entire end of the world hell being a ghost. He understood killers, and he understood bullshitters. This man was a lost fish trying to get out of the cold, and he’d walked right into the Italian’s barrel. "Well, looks like we're both wrong for first guesses.” Focus on the task at hand kept him quiet. He was never wrong, not about killing anyway. There were no more wheels turning at this point, this was second nature, a script. “I've been lucky enough to avoid the Order for the most part, being part of a bigger organization like the Silver Winged certainly helped. Dragon extermination wasn't ever exactly their top priority, so they left us alone for the most part." Dragon extermination. ARMA. Eyes blinked slowly, moving to look at the man quietly a moment in calculated contemplation, the mercurial silver deep in his black pupils catching the light of the pilot briefly before attention went back to the task at hand. If the man wanted to confirm the priest was definitely a threat now, it was fairly obvious. Dragon extermination. He'd figured the guy was something and not a rogue, it didn’t really matter to him who he was attached to, but the extra bit was enough to make him wonder if this wasn’t by chance. ARMA had been quiet with him for a long time. The fact he was being harbored in a relative “safe house” didn’t hurt, but it was highly unlikely this was a purposeful encounter given the frigid shitstorm outside. But… dragons. If they wanted to take him out, that expertise was definitely the most useful skill set. Again… doubtful it was on purpose. Maybe though, they were asking questions in all the religious places in the city. He couldn't figure out why he was on their radar again though if that was the case, loose end perhaps, there was no other explanation. There was no other explanation he would let himself believe. Nobody wanted to see him alive. The thought rocked his psyche slightly, he'd convinced himself a long time ago of the "nobody" part, it was too painful otherwise. Much easier to hate everyone. “I’m not going to kill you, if that’s what you’re trying to figure out,” he peered inside the pilot port again, eyes squinting slightly. There were two pilots. Of course there were two, because that was his shit luck of the evening. There had to be another access panel. Fingers were getting cold. “The 'fuck' you're talking to didn’t work in threes. I worked alone.” Voice was quiet, -didn't- being the key word. Past tense. The invisible heat that fed off his skin slowly billowed down his form like molten metal, coating the magus in the warmth that was always there unless he consciously turned it off. He was tired of being cold, and there was no need to fly under the radar anymore. The easy, delicate control of the mana pool around him without so much as a muscle twitch squashed any lingering doubts he wasn't just a threat, but a formidable magus. Hiding in plain sight. Fixing a damn boiler by hand. The man either recognized him by now, or had no idea who he was. Either way the guy would make the connection eventually… here, or back at ARMA headquarters. It was inconsequential at the moment, he would deal with the fallout later. Fingers pried at the second access panel, the metal groaning at being prodded to move. “Never met a Silver before,” panel popped off and he set it aside, peering into the port and striking another match. Lie. He’d killed one before. The guy didn’t need to know that… this encounter starting to feel like the Christmas Truce of world wars' past. "Long way from dragon territory."

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    MODERN FANTASY COLLABORATIVE WRITING RP CATERING TO OLDER PLAYERS (25+) WITH A SLOWER, MORE RELAXED PACE. IN 2010, THE WORLD DRASTICALLY & PERMANENTLY CHANGED BY WHAT BECAME KNOWN AS THE MULTIVERSE RESONANCE EVENT. IN A SINGLE BREATH, OUR WORLD CROSSED WITH AN UNKNOWN NUMBER OF ALTERNATE UNIVERSES, BLEEDING INTO EACH OTHER. EARTH WAS SUDDENLY A REALM OF MAGIC AND MONSTERS. THE STORY IS CENTERED IN NEW YORK CITY BUT EXTENDS ACROSS THE WORLD. IT BLENDS A VARIETY OF GENRES; A MOSAIC OF OVERLAPPING REALMS INCLUDING ELVES, LYCANTHROPES, ALTERED HUMANS AND,OF COURSE, MAGIC.  

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