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Rhome Del Santo

Order of Light
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Everything posted by Rhome Del Santo

  1. Rhome Del Santo

    Let the Master Answer

    Just after Dark February 11, 2021 Alley near the old Western Union building Blood was hot. So was his breath. As it quivered in and out of his chest, in came the frigid air… out came the anger of a devil. A thousand devils. Cerberus. Hell, Satan himself; in every tradition, in every faith, every level of purgatory and hell tangled tightly into a frayed knot that was breaking free. He was a ghost whose presence would reverberate across the globe, the building pressure finally bubbling to a volcanic tirade, one small droplet of blood from his finger splashing on the broken asphalt. Thera. Santarini. Vesuvius, the tales from his childhood, his home and corner of the world. A man that had played as a boy in what was left of dormant volcanic caves a harbinger of what would inevitably come when the world broke apart and skinned the callus from a man that had been made into something unthinkable. A man that needed to cleanse the world of the evil that created him. He finally blinked, lifting a palm to look at the red peppering his fingers that everyone always assumed was so bright. It wasn’t. Hot, sticky… leaving yellowish smears as it ran from skin and dried. The assassin was always so clean, meticulous, humane. This was just, just brutal. Hand was shaking. He’d never stayed, never longer than to whisper a gentle last rite over those that had been marked and he’d taken without question. That was a lifetime ago, a life that required of him total conformity and discretion. Now, one last cough from his target curdled stringy blood from the man’s lips, then crackled wheezing as he watched him die. It had been ragged, vicious, unrefined and effectively violent. Water magus unprepared for a magus that didn't need his power to kill. The same bloody fingers curled tightly into a fist, a signet ring so fragile against his burgeoning heat on cue threatening to cave entirely molten as he pressed it against the side of the man’s throat… leaving the brand of the Order in a scalded bubble of flesh. A conundrum for the law that would find the murdered Order magus; the third in as many weeks. Credentials were always left scattered over the magus' chest. The Order signet branded into skin above a throat so deeply cut it was almost severed to the spine. Starting with the "army", the foot soldiers, to flush the generals out of their offices and onto the streets. Out of the Long Lines and into his fire. For a moment, his soul felt at peace until the vitriolic rush of native tongue hissed forth... È la fonte della mia energia e il mio legame con tutti coloro che così toccato Noise woke his senses from the rush of justice, the ghost in the gray hoodie moving suddenly with the agility of a gymnast to kick off a dumpster and catch the bottom of a fire escape- the vertical leap almost impossible, but made with the ease of a trained killer. Up the fire escape, to disappear onto the rooftops and into the urban tangle that was New York. This was only the beginning... ((Translation/Italian- the third line of the Oath of the Order of Light; "It is the source of my power, and my bond to all those so touched."))
  2. 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.
  3. 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?"
  4. 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?”
  5. 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.
  6. 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.”
  7. 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.”
  8. 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.”
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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...
  12. 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.
  13. 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?"
  14. 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.”
  15. 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.
  16. 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."
  17. Rhome Del Santo

    Blasphemy and Sacrilege

    The man’s brain was ticking, and whatever he’d thought he’d figured out, or actually figured out was probably not in the priest’s best interest. It never was. "All else being equal, I'd prefer us both not stand here like morons until us and the old guy upstairs freezes to death. I also think it would be fucking pointless to fight and die like an animal underground when we could just agree as mages to hold off at least until we're off of holy ground." An eyebrow had lifted faintly at the calm tirade, hands at his sides. He’d killed a lot of people on holy ground, there were no safe spaces in his mind… but the guy didn’t need to know that. There was really no urge to draw anything from the air around him to charge up for an impending conflict. People who were paranoid usually popped off at the first sign of mana movement, so he didn't bother. That’s why he was so effective; he didn’t need his magic to kill. There was also no reason to even consider it unless the guy proved himself to be a threat. "What I don't understand, though, Is I thought you fucks worked in threes." Or maybe reconsider. “I wouldn’t know.” was all he said for a moment, voice calm. Neither confirming, nor denying, he’d at least acknowledged he understood the reference. He knew he could raise hackles, his ability to stand still and look indifferent for ridiculous amounts of time was particularly off-putting. Mix that with his an unshakably pleasant demeanor, he’d set off this guy’s radar. Of course he had, because this was the perfect night of all nights, of all times in the world to be fucked with by someone… Long breath was drawn in to stop the aggressive spiral of thoughts. The cold was getting to him, he could mana up and keep himself warm, but it didn’t seem prudent. Expressive brows pursed down a moment, then relaxed. “I’m going to light the pilots,” he was quiet, expression warm. “You’re still conscious, so I should be good. Then I’m going to make myself coffee.” Tone though, seemed to not be pleased he was mistaken for Order thugs. He did remember somewhat the outer workings of the scuttle, but he was so tucked into fold after fold of secrecy he never interacted with any of them. Nobody got to pet the prize pet, and he never got to talk to them in return. Never was in a place long enough to even attempt it. Regardless, he was undaunted, turning quietly and pushing open the old door he’d been through several hours back. The magus didn't need prep, if something blew... he'd react. The room where the boiler was located was and honest to goodness packed dirt floor. The first time he’d come down, there’d been an inkling of old memories. It reminded him of the small dirt packed caves he’d scuttled through as a kid in a never ending game of hide and seek. This time though, the guy's presence dashed any fond connection now that could have been made, fingers reaching up to flick a vent above the burner. Chilly air drifted down. This part sucked. Pilot out, he couldn’t restart it if there was a buildup of gas. He’d blow them both up. He might survive, the other guy… probably not. After a few moments, he closed it, picking up a dusty box that was sitting on one of the concrete supports. He actually had to strike a match. To make fire. It seemed, ironic. “Had one too many encounters with the Order I gather,” half because he was interested, half because the guy talking would give him his position as he pulled off the access panel and turned off the gas, peering in to find the pilot. He really didn’t want to blow shit up on accident, or maybe he would just do it on purpose to get rid of this whole conversation. Then he would have to deal with a dead body. He actually pondered which was more work… Light the boiler. Strike a match and hold down the pilot light button. At the same time? This was… irritating. He snapped the match to life and placed it in ever so gently. It started, then sputtered out. Seethe was audible, adjusting the knob again for gas flow. Jaw twitched slightly as it clenched, he was cold. When he was cold, he was irritated. He didn’t have to be cold… but this fucker seemed ready to snap at the first quiver of mana in the air. “You’re still alive… either they’re not effective or you’re better at terminating the threat.” Again, sputtered out. Eyes narrowed. Tried again, catching. He kept holding the button to make sure it opened up everything, releasing and stepping back. If it didn’t spring to life and start warming up the place, he was going to have to do it himself the "nose-twitch" way. “Or you’re running…” he left the comment open ended. Or Vanguard. Or ARMA. Or those bastard fucks he was just waiting for so he could melt the skin from their bones after what they tried to do to him. Small talk as he watched the beast fight to fire up. He really didn’t want to have to kill anybody, but dealing with this guy was like having a hornet sitting on the back of your hand. Not a threat, if you didn’t move.
  18. Rhome Del Santo

    Let the Master Answer

    The next morning ++++++ “These ones,” his smile was easy, calm. Choosing fresh bread and produce was always something he enjoyed. Weirdly simple. The older woman behind the counter returned the smile and nodded. He truly was a peaceful soul. If he’d had a choice, the small café in the south of Italy would have been his home for life. Nothing but familiar faces and happy tourists, a small place, a few employees. Cooking. Coffee. He shivered slightly as he stepped out onto the sidewalk to go grab a coffee across the street and wait for the small grocery store to pack up his things. And no winter. Matera got cold, but not like this. This was hell. Some feared fire and brimstone; then there was salt, the scent of brackish car exhaust against dirty slush and frigid air to hammer it against his skin. His hell. Torture to another level. Hood was pulled closer to his features as he trotted across the street to make the already blinking crossing light, ducking into the bustling coffee corner to sigh softly at the line. Seems everyone else had the same idea at the exact same time. Hands slid into his hoodie pockets and patience took him through the wait, not ignoring the prickle on the back of his neck that had begun the second he stepped out of the grocery and onto the street. He was being watched. It was always a concern. The odd stalemate between the two giants quiet for some time, his recent bloody extracurricular activities had made him certain they wouldn’t leave anything a stalemate for long. He was systematically killing Order members. Their rekindled aggression toward each other wasn't his intention, but they would probably start blaming each other soon… or looking for the bastardized scuttle that had been haunting them from some other corner of the world; the ones that had almost drained him within a drop of his life. They had been quiet as well. Order checking in on him perhaps, or maybe they already knew what he was doing and were trying to confirm. Order and Vanguard knew where he was, at least the top of the food chain did. They would come knocking on his door sooner or later, he wanted them to. This, wasn’t that. It was an observer, someone that was actively following. Quietly. At a distance. He smiled and thanked the guy at the counter, but eyes had already scanned the crowd- a familiar face catching his attention, not sure of from where. Nothing recent. Had he drawn them out of their high tower already? It was a memory from a different place, from mind bound in another time… enough familiarity to be uncomfortable. Being uncomfortable put him on alert. Cup clicked softly on the counter, the magus picking up few napkins and a coffee stirrer, popping the top off to stir in something that had never been put into his black coffee in the first place; a moment to pay attention to everything around him while doing a useless task. Heat rifled up his skin the second he placed the face, top clicked back on the cup as he tossed the stirrer, making eye contact over the cup as he took a first drink of the scalding liquid. Back hit the door to push it open on the way out, cup held up over a shorter woman as she entered and he ghosted out into the street. It could have been a foot chase, then a showdown, but he wasn’t a brawler. Everyone made that assumption because his job was to kill. Coffee tossed into a trashcan as he turned the corner, the zip of his hoodie tie snapped from the hood and was wound around his hand in oiled precision. Hood was pulled up. He didn’t like being pursued, and it never ended well. Street was crossed, making a quiet beeline for the subway drop. Someone was closing the distance. Trotting down the steps, he vaulted over the railing at the bottom and stepped aside almost underneath, watching the passengers board a train and it whoosh away. His pursuer slowed toward the bottom of the steps, the magus still to the side of the stairs. The guy might just leave, thinking he was on the departing train… “Rhome Del Santo.” Before the entire phrase had been uttered, the cord was around the man’s neck. The large magus was ruthlessly agile, torquing his pursuer over the railing and effectively slamming him face down onto the ground to the side of the stairs. He had moments before the next train, the garrote pulled so tight it had cut off air and was drawing blood. This wasn’t his terms. Choke the man to unconsciousness… or kill him…. ...he pulled harder, hearing the next train less than a minute out, the weight of his entire body focused pushing his knee into the middle of the man's spine. He was a fighter, the guy still trying to reach behind him to grab hold of something to make him let go. This wasn't on his terms...
  19. Rhome Del Santo

    Blasphemy and Sacrilege

    The cloak dropped. Bingo. Gray eyes finding the intruder’s without hesitation. All his senses were still serving him, maybe even better since he’d been looking over his shoulder lately. Paranoia wasn’t paranoia if people were really out to kill you in horrible ways. He supposed he should have feigned fear, or at least looked surprised, but it wasn’t in him to play along in that way. The magus was calm, always calm in the face of anything, except when he wasn’t. This man had done nothing to trip that switch. The switch was quick lately, cracks in his self-control; allowing a viciousness that ran so deep it would send ripples around the world. He was still fighting to keep it down. Blink was soft, his mind had been wandering while the man spoke, attention still keen on everything that was around him though. Training was training, engrained until you died… or were killed. In his mind there was a difference. Dead man’s switch? Wasn’t there the last time he’d come down, but that had been hours ago. Realistically the man could have been telling the truth, didn’t take long for someone who knew exactly what they were doing to create something like that. But why? Could he have been down there before? Doubtful, the guy would have seen a definitely "not mortal" priest lighting pilots with his abilities. He was giving no indication he’d seen him light up the boiler with magic. Or, he was down here before and got confirmation he was dangerous- this could be just one huge bluff to get him in the basement to kill his ass. Hm. Instincts. Mage. Waiting out the cold. Had sensed something about the fire magus that led him to believe he was dangerous. Pulled a bluff, or maybe not, but didn’t recognize the Order assassin from a hole in the wall. Couldn’t be ARMA, his face was plastered everywhere until a year ago when he broke his shackles. New ARMA? Rogue? Order? Definitely not Order, he’d have engaged him already. "I can't get out right now, but neither can you or you would have done it already. Can you fix the boiler, or would you like assistance so all three of us don't become popsicles by the end of the night?" Blink again was soft, hands coming up quietly to show that he too… had nothing in them. Fingers touched the paper collar and returned calmly to his sides. “Came out from a church down the street to check on the Rabbi and make sure his heat was on. I can fix the boiler.” Half of it was true. Down the street… he wouldn’t give up that he’d come from across town. He knew better. “Food also in the pantry upstairs, help yourself to it. You can huddle here until you need to leave, or you can get some food and join us by the fireplace upstairs. We don’t talk much.” Aka… he wanted the guy where he could see him- not wandering around the building. With a cloak like that however, it would be a hard sell. Voice was low, quiet with a dark hum and an accent that couldn’t be placed. French, Italian… Spanish. Something laced his words in such a subtle fashion it was hard to pick out. The collar, the suit, accent, the calm. He screamed Catholic to those that didn’t know otherwise. “Or we can stand here and freeze to death.” He waited quietly for the man’s next move. He could simply just fry the room. Dead man's switch was doubtful. He also knew ways to keep someone conscious and completely incapacitate them within seconds in case he'd made the wrong call. He was armed... but he didn't do firearms. He didn't need them; the knife on the underside of his forearm all he needed to do catastrophic damage without invoking any of his abilities. This man though might belong to somebody, and might be missed. So he played the priest, for now.
  20. Rhome Del Santo

    Blasphemy and Sacrilege

    Nostrils inhaled slowly. The temperature suddenly leaking through a slivered open door was shocking, brittle, needling at the sensitivity of a man consumed by fire. To some, cold, to him it felt like electricity being breathed in; the discipline of the Order’s favorite weapon keeping his internal core from firing up to stop the shivering that was going to come after. Calm and sleeping, but hairtriggered on all cylinders. He wasn’t supposed to be making waves. He was supposed to be playing nice in his own sandbox while the “adults” decided how much they were going to hate each other… and decide his fate by proxy. The fire magus was getting tired of waiting, thoughts had been drifting lately… Snap. He was ready to just snap. Eyes flicked open the moment the door was closed and the wicked cold stopped bleeding into his sanctuary. Likely someone waiting out the cold? How did they get in? He knew how he’d gotten in, the Vicar’s key. He’d locked up everything. Broken in or already here? Not likely already here, which opened a whole other mess of options. Form rolled up silently, pausing when the older man’s snores sputtered a bit then returned to normal. Door opened quietly and he stepped out, softly closing it behind him and locking it. No need to hide, but no need to call out either. The cold was like a punch to his gut, pulling his dark coat closer around him as gray eyes cast long glances in both directions, intent on checking doors and windows. They would avoid him, or confront him. Either way he would find out what was going on. Front door first. Locked. Eyes wandered over the door, arm extending a palm toward a floor vent at the sputter of heat that was barely oozing from it. The boiler was still kicking, but it was sparse. Barely above freezing. Windows. Perimeter slowly “paced” under the guise of “checking” all the heater vents for some kid of drifting heat. He’d become keenly aware of the sounds from the old pipes in the building. Clicks, pops, echoing rhythmic clangs like a distant bell were voices in a symphony of an almost century old building that was wheezing to keep breathing its heat. It was fighting, but the fading sounds signaled it was losing again. The pilot lights were either going out or the pumps were dying. This favor was going to kill him. Silent footsteps moved their way downward, the service hall claustrophobic with an almost dirt-like floor,. Old, shallow and abandoned coal pits to either side. Pumps whirred, it was the flame. Pilot lights were going out again, best to light them manually until he knew who or what he was dealing with. Lovely. A dying boiler, an intruder… and trying to figure out how to light a pilot light by hand again. This was the set up for a bad joke.
  21. Rhome Del Santo

    Blasphemy and Sacrilege

    Tired. The word didn't begin to describe the weariness in his bones. Hunkered down and vigilant, those within their walls had circled closer and closer to the interior rooms of the building. A goliath host of sanctity slowly freezing to the core- and he along with it. For such a vicious and deadly being, it was inconceivable something so simple could bring him down. Cold, time, and someone with the patience to wait him out, was his only weakness. He struggled daily to light the candles, keep as much normalcy as possible, but nobody was coming anymore and he was beginning to think that when the frigid blanket lifted, the aftermath of the great freeze may just be as devastating as ten years prior. The church was dark, except the very inner rooms, and quiet as a tomb while everyone conserved energy waiting for this to pass- if ever. *npc* "Rhome," voice was soft, fragile in his old age. The Vicar desperately needed something. Rhome knew he'd been standing in the doorway for some time, watching the tired magus seek the warm confines of the few rooms that were left heated by the fireplaces and the steam radiators. The boiler was struggling, and he'd just beat it into submission. It left him exhausted. Heating himself, and jumpstarting the boiler.... It was taking its toll. The Vicar was weighing the fatigue of the "sleeping" magus, his premature silver plinked hair resting on the back of the chair, form as close to the fireplace as the others were comfortable with. Some still had not settled with the fact he was indeed, human combustion. Chair was warm, blankets were warm, he was finally warm after delving into the bowels of the building to force the boiler to keep firing- but very much awake despite his appearance. Eyes opened quietly at the elderly man, who cleared his throat. Something was wrong. *npc* "I have no right to ask this of you." A brow quirked over dark grey eyes, closing the book that was dormant in his lap. *npc* "Avi, I lost contact with him yesterday. Again, today... nothing. Shabbat, and I am deathly worried. He's... deeply traditional. I'm afraid, something has happened. I cannot make it there." It was the Vicar's oldest companion, an odd couple. Synagogue, upper west side. If the man had gotten sick yesterday, or was unable to light a fireplace, the Vicar was concerned even in the emergency he wouldn't do so today. The magus stood, nodding, not a second thought to what he had to do. He could tell the Vicar felt guilty, but... It was the right thing to do, if he didn't freeze first. +++ Breath was finally returning to normal, between the over a mile hike and getting into the locked building using an old particular set of skills, searching the place to find the old friend, and quietly controlling his own shivering before he'd gotten the nod to save the man's life.... he'd almost frozen to death himself. A call to the Vicar to communicate all was well, after several attempts, was finally able to get through. Now he sat, much like less than 24 hours before, Avi in the chair across from him, wrapped in blankets by the fire, he almost back to feeling somewhat normal, room flooded in firelight. He would stay with Avi in the Synagogue until he was certain the man was okay, and he himself could make it back. Not many words had passed between them, there was no need- simply content to rest and read in silence. A priest in black with his collar, a Rabbi next to him. The Vicar's friendship with Avi had peaked his curiosity, but it wasn't the time to discuss. Soft snores indicated the older man was comfortable in his sleep. The magus' eyes almost closed to his own nap when they opened again. He could see the door to the comfortable, older style office just beyond Avi's chair. It was closed to keep in the heat. He never ignored his gut, lashes lowering as the warmth from the fire continued to press against his skin. The world was alive, even beyond what mortal eyes could see. Killers, hunters, predators... knew it could speak without magic. A gut feeling, a world moving beyond what normal people paid attention to, because they were trained to notice it. Too many years of being a predator. Eyes closed again, conserving energy. They were not alone.
  22. Rhome Del Santo

    Fugitives and Firefights

    Soft blink met her stare. He could only imagine what was going on behind it. Attacked, injured, assisted by someone that openly admitted was of the Order. Awareness of what he’d done was shifted back to the carnage when she looked at it. Did he feel anything for killing them? Not a damn thing, except… satisfaction? A taste of revenge? He had to be careful. Purposeful. He’d made a plan not long ago to take this rage out in a very focused path. The Order would hurt for what they did to him, to what capacity had yet to be seen. He wanted to tear the whole thing down with his bare hands. "The statue itself shouldn't be too hard to replicate with the right materials. A slab of Marble would be the hardest to acquire I believe." He nodded, “not necessary really. You did what you had to do to survive. There’s a few pieces in the courtyard but nothing that size. Now the flashing?” Eyes looked upward a moment to the edge of the roof he’d used, “that’s probably something I should fix soon since it’s the structure of the building.” "Afraid I can't really trust anyone these days... Just seems like a good way to get stabbed in the back and thrown to the wolves." Gray eyes moved back to her, then noted the state of the ash, looking thoughtful. "As I said Father. I don't quite trust you, so that information is not something I'm going to divulge easily. What I shall say, is I am no longer an ally to the Order of the Light, and will do anything to keep myself alive. I recall you offering sanctuary... does it still stand?" “When our eyes open, most no longer find themselves allies of their keeper,” long breath pulled in, air around him visibly quivered and the temperature of the alley flushed slightly; the resulting updraft lifting the ashes up and away from both of them into the dark. Expression was somewhat foreboding as it traveled over what looked like scorched metal buckshot littering the cracked cement, a quick glance back up to the roof several stories up. He would have to clean that up later. The blood, the remaining ash, Mother Nature would take care of, rumbles of some kind of rain brewing not far off. Anything hmm? Abilities like hers could be useful to hurting a lot of people that really needed to be hurt. He nodded in response to her question. “It still stands, and requires a certain level of trust on both our parts.” Reaching into his pocket he pulled out a small set of keys. “I won’t tell anyone outside this building you are here, you can stay as long as you need. Place to sleep, food, medical care- the Vicar is actually a very skilled doctor if you need him. A bit long winded when he gets you to sit still to listen, but he’s harmless.” smile was soft, a stark contrast to the brutality of what had just transpired. He truly was a terrible creation. “In exchange for that, you don’t tell anyone what happened here.” Not his name. Just what happened. A priest that spits fire. Those were the two details anyone needed to put people on his doorstep. His relationship with either group right now was tentative. Frying several members of the Order would make them think he'd chosen a side. The only side he was on, was his own. A wrought iron gate was unlocked, the decorative door led to the side courtyard he’d been taking care of since he’d come. Still a little worse for wear. “Even without my name, they would know who I am,” the wrought iron door would swing shut and lock itself once she went through. Purposeful footsteps were deathly silent toward the door on the facade side of the building within his courtyard. Several slabs of marble sat near a rear wall, possibly at some point a garden or fountain. Now, they just lay bare. Hers if she wanted. “Left is the kitchen, help yourself… right is the rectory, far rooms on the right are empty but stocked with blankets and pillows, bathrooms are down there as well. Stay if you like, leave if you like, sleep if you like. What we have is yours.” He was going to leave her to it, sanctuary didn’t mean babysitting and well… it wasn’t as if they were concerned with getting ripped off either. “I’ll be upstairs if you need anything,” keys were slid into his pocket again. “Lighting candles the old fashioned way. I’ll make my brothers aware you've sought refuge and they will give you your space.” He paused a moment before heading upstairs. “The Order will not hurt you here,” grey eyes watched her for a long moment, a single nod welcoming her within their walls before he moved upward to finish changing out the candles. “The worst they could send, was me. I would not have given you the insult of pain before death. You know my face, therefore I'm no danger to you." It was ominous, but true. "My name is Rhome, like the city. With an 'h'," smile quirked slightly, then disappeared. He nodded and went to make his way up the stairs.
  23. Rhome Del Santo

    Fugitives and Firefights

    "Don't beg? You do realize this big motherfucker could eat me alive right?" He blinked at her, slightly quirked brow. "Not so tough now are you fuck face?" If he hadn’t been under the strain of concentration, he would have blinked at her again. He was one of the few that didn’t need incantations or a foci to cast, but it still took a hell of a lot of focus. Somewhere along the way he lost himself in the anger, in the satisfaction that he was hurting everything that had hurt him. In the aftermath, he felt he needed more, telling himself there were no more in front of him, except her. Was she Order? He didn’t know. ARMA perhaps, but they afforded ARMA at least a mercy death. This was an example. Rogue. Rogue from the Order? "I can stand well enough. I believe thanks are in order." He shook his head, surveying the damage in the alleyway as she seemed content to help herself up. The former assassin understood that at least, he was self-sufficient as well. “No thanks are necessary.” "I can easily replace that statue, I am an artist as much as I am a manipulator of statues... and if you are The Order, then you must forgive me when I say I can't fully trust you Father. I was never a holy woman myself, so your robes mean as much to me as the lives of those men." Hand remained at his side for a moment, a lot of ammunition in her many words that prodded answers. He didn’t owe her any, the magus could simply turn and go back into the cathedral without another word- this situation though kept him from doing just that. The oddities that had sent ARMA and the Order into a tizzy these last months had been incredibly quiet, except this. Full out sloppy aggression doing “Order of Light” business against someone. It was his business to know. He would throw every wrench he possibly could to make life living hell for them and theirs. If they were also hunting others with motley assassins, he needed to know why. Gray eyes looked down at his clothes, a simple pair of black dress pants and his black shirt, reaching up then to touch his collar. He’d forgotten he had put it on today, the same fingers stretching outward a moment before falling back to his side. The bodies started a dim burn of near white smokeless flame. They had to be reduced to ash. Eyes moved back to her, he was not a social person when he hadn’t prepared to be, especially facing someone that was under ire from the Order like he was. “I would like that, if you could make another. I can get the things you need,” he said quietly in reference to recreating the statue. Right hand fingers flicked as if flinging water off, his outer burn actually, reaching to shake her hand. Skin was unusually warm, it always was. “Distrust is understandable, and faith is a choice that I’m not offended people do not make.” Hand was pulled back within his own space and for a moment he watched the incredibly hot, low light fires cave bones to ash. He was truly a terrible creation. “They were sloppy, ill trained, but strong. Arrogant. Those who they mark for death outside the Order are afforded quiet mercy. ARMA. They sent me. To send thugs, they were making an example of you.” Gray eyes returned to her. He’d spilled secrets nobody knew except for the inner circle that made him, and the use of “they” in past tense made it clear “they” no longer sent him to do anything. Either defected, or “lost”, he didn’t specify. “So why were they after you?”
  24. Rhome Del Santo

    Fugitives and Firefights

    "Stay out of this priest. This is Order of Light business." Lashes blinked softly, hands still folded calmly in front of him as he watched. He himself was wrong, as he was so many times of late. Lighting candles, reading in silence in a threadbare room… the priest wanted to think they calmed him. It was violence. Violence made the anger go away. Violence at one simple word, Order. Order of Light business. He felt pity for a moment, then it was gone. He was art personified when he worked. Now they sent this garbage of arrogance and steel, circus of floundering aggression. They deserved to die just for that. She would finish them, or he would, and he felt no more need for quick and painless. He really was losing himself… or finding himself? He drew a long breath, mana flowing in with it. Along the way so far as the tit-for-tat continued he’d been casting the entire time. Heat quivering in the air too far above to be noticed, an invisible firestorm building along his flesh making the Uriel amulet against his skin tremble to hold together his outward appearance. Serene expression watched her surprise attack. She was trained. Passion with raw skill and fearless of a beating, seemed to be some sort of animator… small sigh when the statue tumbled to the ground. Shame, that was one of his favorite angels. "You're dead little girl. You better run back to your sanctuary, priest, or you'll be next for distracting my men." Blink again was soft. "Listen, buddy.... Can't we just- work this out?" “Don’t beg,” his voice was a quiet hum, speaking to her as if they were the only two in the alley and there was no blood and death, broken marble or injured agony. The others, didn’t exist. Brow came down for the first time and he shook his head. He listened to the banter for another few seconds, but was finished waiting patiently. The first flicker of something caught the wind, like ash that’d floated too high from a bonfire and was returning to earth as it refused to burn out. Heat from above felt like the sun though dark, hands releasing their relaxed clasp to let his palm face the hurt woman, a shear of blue light separating her from him, her would-be killer and the sky above. White-hot. It began to rain, the molten droplets hitting the shield protecting her with sizzles before they liquefied further and dribbled to the ground. The spell he’d released several moments ago had melted the metal flashing on the cathedral roof edge, it was now raining molten metal. Stone shell or not, it was beyond scorching, yet the priest moved forward through it unscathed toward the last thug. Closer proximity, and a final push with his free hand ignited the axes to red hot metal, changing the burn direction to pull heat away from her. Everything his side of the shield to the wall of the cathedral was melting, scorched or on fire. The thug staggered backward, covered in metal, without weapons, unable to gasp in sizzling air to scream, death was inevitable. “I am the Order,” breathed out quietly, unsheathing of a blade from the underside of his left wrist quick as he kicked off the stone wall to gain height and plunge it directly into the man’s eye. Land was quiet, followed by a thundering crash of a falling body. It was still raining, the shimmering shield in place as he retrieved his blade and wiped it on his sleeve to return to its place, looking upward into the sky as the last of the metal fell. Heat shifted, cooler air pulling into the alley. Steps were quiet, oddly moving to each fallen pile of ash, small whispers and cross gestures, a fogged haze hanging in the air as the world ceased to be an inferno. Sigh was soft, looking to her as the shield protecting her from his hell dimmed and left them both in the silence and dark of the alley. “Can you stand?” He stood at a distance, it would take a moment before his skin was a tolerable temperature. “You are welcome to stay as long as you need, the Order will not harm you here. If you wish to go I can arrange transport to a hospital,” lip quirked slightly, unfazed by any of it. “But, I will miss that statue.”
  25. Rhome Del Santo

    Fugitives and Firefights

    There was nothing that calmed him quite like lighting candles. Mundane for some, easily and happily passed off to the low man on the totem pole. For him, he requested it. Could he light the entirety of the room in one sweep? Yes. One at a time? Also, yes. It was the creation of fire not by his own hand, but the old fashion way that kept him grounded. Calm. Calm was not a word that he could describe of himself often. He needed this. Flame paused right before it touched the wick, feeling the waves of mana shifting like a stone had been thrown in a pool. It flushed against him once, normal. He was not the only magical being that existed in this world. Again. More agitated. Flame was blown out and he listened carefully to the silence of the cathedral, focusing on the melee beyond it. Footsteps were silent, down the steps and out the side door to the courtyard. Beyond the high stone wall topped with wrought iron, chaos, eyes on an angel that was missing. Sounds of violence, for once not directed at him. Gate was unlocked quietly, mana beginning to peel back like water creeping off the beach in preparation of an incoming tsunami. In truth, it was more of a warning... those that could feel it would do one of two things. Quit, or fight. He really hoped it was the former. Stopping at the opening to the alley, scene surveyed, the quiet priest's hands folded quietly in front of him. "I hope you'll return the statue when you're finished." He could have been seen as a fool. Nothing was further from the truth. "I think you're finished. Please leave. The lady will come with me if she chooses." The eerie calm, wasn't. It was the height of his skill. The drawn mana was tremendous, and he had prepped to rain down hellfire if they didn't stop ruining his evening. Literally.

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    Moorland Manor     Lost Worlds    Roleplay Evolution
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    ABOUT US

    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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