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

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




Rorye Shannon-Kearney

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386 Bringing Sexy Back

About Rorye Shannon-Kearney

  • Rank
    Nicely Seasoned


    Gemma Arterton (Olga Kurylenko as Red with permission)
  • AGE
    Early thirties
  • RACE
    Altered Human, Physical
  • JOB
    Owner of The Book of Kells; ARMA Informant
    New York
    Rorye stays close to her neighborhood, seen as a pillar of the community and owning the place "to be seen". She has casual acquaintances with members of ARMA; Cassandra Greene and Alec Walker most notable after a brief relationship with Alistair Greene until his disappearance. She is connected to the underground relic and artifact trade and keeps her contacts confidential, one of her favorites being the resident dragon.

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  • Typist's Role Play History
    Tabletop, rapid fire chat and collab
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  1. Posties today! Masqueraaaaaade!!

    1. Zeph


      Thank Goodness! was getting worried Matteo was going to have to start playing with himself :P

  2. Rorye Shannon-Kearney

    Walk It Off

    (Note to new players; all autos have been pre-approved by the writers in this thread. Please do not use this thread as a typical RP example for action/interaction) “I know. That’s why we’re here" Look toward him over her shoulder was sullen and quiet before her gaze focused on the mat again in contemplation. He didn't know what she'd done under the influence of this thing. Hell, SHE didn't know all of what she'd done. The aftermaths should have been enough to seek out someone that could rip the damn thing out. Her pride had gotten the upper hand; need to not be seen as weak by a world that kowtowed to magus let the power dig in, now unsure if it could be yanked out even if she wanted. "Not only do I expect to challenge your self-control, but I am prepared for you to lose it.” Expression was still doubtful. “Besides, I probably have a better chance than most of bringing you back if you do lose control.” Magus arrogance, it irritated something in her gut. Fingers flexed open and closed again, the gloves creaking. “Now, I have seen your technique change and I know we’re playing a more dangerous game. I’m not going to pull anymore punches. And don’t worry. If push comes to shove… I’ll knock you on your little ass.” “One of these days something is going to knock you on your cocky mage ass,” she muttered under her breath, unaware how sadly prophetic it could be. Lips pursed. Her style. That was the easy part, it was roughly trained. Her other side only had one, and it was 'anything goes' with a lot of 'watch your back'. The history books she’d investigated did not lie. She could be way off base, but everything she'd researched pointed the finger at someone terrible. Even though he thought he was prepared... damn it. His “if” was a definite if they kept going with this lesson. She wanted to hone her defensive skills; he seemed to really want to goad the full package. Fair enough, he really did have to know what he was dealing with. She had nothing to give him to go on though. She hadn’t handed over the wheel in years, and she had no clue even what to tell him to watch out for. Before? It had rolled over her like an ominous cloud, the feeling close to sliding beneath black water into silent depths where the world’s echo was audible and distorted. Nothing was tangible, and she always came to disoriented and exhausted. Now? She didn’t know. Would she stay conscious? Remember anything? Be able to spin out of it? This was not a good idea. As she unleashed again, the thought process brought irritating frustration ticking in the back of her skull, movement becoming almost without thought until a bright flash rocked her out of it. FUCK! Discontented growl snapped in her throat, shaking her head once to clear the reverberation of his well-trained cheap shot. Fucking hell. Lip rolled through her teeth, tongue lingering over it and followed up with a thumb to make sure her lip wasn’t bleeding. Thumbing it once more, a glare was shot under furled brows and she went after him again. Her muscles hurt, they were heavy. She was pushing against something, or something was pulling against her. Fatigue, second guessing… Her brain saw it coming, but did nothing as his fist connected again. No no no… Eyes caught his frown as she once more steadied her steps, wiping the blood from her nose with the back of her arm. NO! "Ryan." she said quietly, most likely unheard as he began to speak. “Is that all you’ve got? How disappointing.” Nothing else was done to stave the blood, the Grinch-like smirk responding to his taunt as she adjusted a glove for a few moments. Lost in her thoughts. He was absolutely unaware the viper was studying him. Playing him. The way he moved, his strategies, the fact he thought he was testing her. He was being strung along on purpose. Fuck! The switch used to flip heavy and sudden. Every experience thus far over the years had been brutal, violent, the hold absolutely all-encompassing as it raged out to damage anything in its path. This, was so much worse. She could feel it, and she couldn't stop it. A predator was playing with its food. Inviting the damage. Watching his expressions as he started to physically dig into his opponent, soaking up every bit of information about his movements and intentions for something Rorye could no longer head off at the pass. The thing was torturing them both. On purpose. How long had it been able to circumvent the binding? How long over these last moments had she actually not been in control? She couldn’t warn him, signal. Nothing. Words were in her head but unable to be spoken. Unimaginable fear. Panic. The thought had no sooner ripped through her consciousness when a wave fell and crushed it against a metaphysical wall, a handhold on a cliff ripping free to disorienting freefall as she was yanked under. Thoughts halted and inner voice was silenced with a silent, terrifying choke. Fist reached out to bump his again as she regained her stance. Same as before, biding time in a relentless flurry, waiting for the fraction of a second he went on the offensive thinking he could get a crack at her again. Either it was impatient at the game, or the unabashed fighter had seen everything it needed to see; the game had now changed. It's first strike was unexpected, abrupt and brutal. Fist was opened after it went in for a cruel punch to the throat and was blocked by the soldier as predicted, slipping full force along his arm to grasp a fistful of his shirt at his shoulder. Yanking forward into an awaiting knee, it immediately dropped support from her planted foot. She was taking them both down without breaking momentum. The sound of bodies hitting the mat was torturous, never pausing in the roll that felt like two snarling wolves tumbling over each other. Her foot slammed flat on the mat to instantly halt her motion in a crouch, bringing the insane level of agility taught for another strike. No further attack was sought, muscles remained hair-triggered. The killer was content to watch him for a moment, unmoving, until a blink broke the statuesque facade. She pulled away from him to a relaxed kneel. Sitting on her heels, hands fell calmly to her thighs as she waited for his next move. She was clearly done being goaded like a puppet, expression darkly amused. There would be no more effort put into fighting stances or rules. She would go for blood. “A soldier.” The single word held disapproval. "I fucking hate soldiers." Hands went up to pull the twisted bun from the back of her neck, swift fingers changing it to a tight plait and tossing it over her shoulder. It was Rorye’s voice, but wasn’t; a chilling slight distortion to the timbre. Eyes that rose to him were calm. “I suspect if I don’t heel and bark on command, she or you will get rid of me. Is that the game here? Because if that's all you got, that's very disappointing.” Sarcasm was wicked in response to his earlier words. Gaze went across his chest; she could obviously feel whatever was beneath his shirt. Irritating. It was a complicated relationship, like everything magic. Full of loopholes to exploit and bindings to slip. It was now evident the binding ring had limitations, and it very much liked being able to live and breathe on rare occasion; even taunt the soldier with information about magus blood for self preservation when it was time. It wasn't time, yet. Thumb was touching each finger discretely, having located the ring under the gloves in a matter of minutes. “Or I could just leave you flayed in the middle of the floor unless you back off, soldier.”
  3. Rorye Shannon-Kearney

    Broken Bones and Shattered Pride

    She knew he was in pain... unable to do anything about it but stay focused on her task. It was nearly impossible not to flinch at his agony and get the job done as quickly as possible without pause. Breath was slow to steady her hands when his muscles drew taught and he held his breath. No apology was offered, she was doing her best; so intent on her work she was unaware she'd spoken out loud to herself. “You know Altheia then?” She blinked and looked up at him as she knelt. "In passing. I used to spend time at ARMA headquarters on occasion," she said as she finished, concentrating on a rather difficult boot lace. Elaboration wasn't necessary. “Yeah, she’s patched me up more than once. She’s the best if you’re pinched for time. I’ll definitely have to go and see her again tomorrow...” "Good plan," she said decisively, standing. He seemed okay for the time being as she finished up. Even if he wanted to go anywhere, he wouldn't make it far before she intercepted her escaping patient. Hands drew affectionately across his face before sliding open the shower wider for him and closing it behind. She watched him a moment before the shower began to fog, his forehead on the cool tile. Anger still lingered. Vampires. Fuck. "Something comfortable,” she said to herself, moving out of the bathroom on a mission. Soft footsteps whispered across the floor on their way to his bedroom, pulling a tee shirt and boxers from a drawer by touch... attracted to the ones that felt the softest. Sitting on the bed, she pulled the drawer open. Holy hell. Not exactly surprising given his occupation... but still... Crinkled frown was cast toward the bathroom, lips quirking as she took bottles out one at a time to read them. She wasn't exactly a novice with pharmaceuticals: the legal kind, the not so legal kind or the magical kind. She could supplement his stash with much stronger medicine and less rot-gut chemicals. They were sorted, setting several aside that she knew worked better in tandem and placing the rest back. Fingers bumped something else as she reached in, at first glance only registering it wasn’t a bottle as she continued her sorting and line-up on the nightstand. Combination and dosage were important; most pharmacists didn't know Jack from shit, only if they reacted with each other. Instructions on the bottles weren't always the most effective either. She knew how to make a cocktail. Finding what she needed, she put everything back, cluster of orange in her hand as she closed the drawer. A soft crease flinched across her brow, releasing a flood of tingling over her skin from head to toe. Fingertip pulled gently at the drawer to open it again, reaching in to push the bottles silently to the side. She didn't move for some time, listening to the water in the shower as she sat there in silence, finally closing the drawer. Sigh was soft, eyes closing a moment to reopen with a sting that wasn't there before, back of her hand across her lashes as she got up to finish her task with his clothes tucked in her elbow. Attention fell on his choice of drink still on the table. That could come later. Water first. Glasses were retrieved from the kitchen and she returned to the bathroom. "I don't just sell books you know. You do realize you have access to one of the world's best compound pharmacists, right? If I do say so myself…" comment was soft, followed by the clink of glass on the counter. One small one for the cluster of pills, the other enough water to take them all. "I can make you more effective painkillers than that. Ones that won't screw with your brain, some that activate proactively when your pain reflexes kick in." Throat cleared tenderly, trying to find her voice and take care of what she promised she'd do. Clothes were folded neatly on the sink. Chest was tight, every nerve stripped raw and mood effectively hidden by the woman who could turn on the charm like a switch. She was having a hard time even doing that at the moment. Some things kicked an immediate reaction from her, vampires were one of those things. Others smoldered. This was one of those times. Jealousy singed so fiercely, and hate... sorrow, regret, pain, embarrassment… inadequacy. Everything crushed together at once in a tense snarl that clenched in her gut like fire. She couldn't untangle it, so it rode at the moment under the surface. Eyes blinked, she’d been staring at the pills, lulled by the sound of the water. He had to have realized by now. Maybe he didn’t. To say something or not? To burn up inside or cause unnecessary stress if he hadn’t yet realized? Or if he had realized and she said nothing and it remained a weird thing… She didn’t want to explain her raging emotions, but if she didn’t he would take it the wrong way. Misunderstand. But she simply couldn’t talk about her own nightmares... she just couldn't. She left it where it was, and it was going to burn her alive from the inside. It wasn’t his burden to bear, and she was in his home. Not hers. “Hey bathing beauty,” glass with pills in it was clinked softly against the shower door in a “knock”. Her smile was easy. She pushed the door open slightly and gave him the water too. “Ignore what you think these are and just trust me. All at once, down the hatch.” Re-situating the sling, she put towels close on the sink. “I check on you in a few minutes, just let me know when you’re out and I can resize the sling… and then you’re going to bed.” She reached in and brushed a short lock of mussed hair from his temple and closed the door again, retreating to the kitchen and finishing the glass he’d left on the table only to pour another for herself.
  4. Rorye Shannon-Kearney

    Broken Bones and Shattered Pride

    “It was the best I could come up with in the moment… Cora.” Eyes flicked to him, mirth laced in sarcasm at the name as she battled kitty fluffs, “only my mum called me that. I was usually in trouble.” Adopting an alias seemed necessary. Her inquiry about the walls wasn’t realllllly meant to be answered, merely needing reassurance that she was overreacting. “You know, now that you mention it… she might have, I thought she was acting weird after the first night you stayed over…” Eyes came up to meet his again, her busy hands slowing to a pause as her neutral expression enhanced the slight widening of her eyes. Mortified. She was mortified. She blinked once. “The wink and the fist bump were so out of character…” Brows snapped down and eyes narrowed, shaking her head with a smirked grin as she went back to brushing off her coat. Smartass. Back to business. He’d called. He needed something, his simple yet sensitive answer bringing a silent pause. His words were so quiet. Even quiet his voice always had authority, this was different. It sounded so… bare. She stopped fussing over her coat as the back of her hand came up to rub the tip of her cold nose. She kept her distance in the kitchen, hip leaning against the counter as her hands went gently into her coat pockets, letting him say his peace. “Eh, I am probably the one who should apologize, I was being an ass. I’m not mad at you… I’m just pissed off about everything else. I’m not sure you understand what this all means. The threat is still out there, and I am all out of leads.” She was quiet as she focused intently on the toes of her favorite leather boots, listening. “Sure, the group hunting you is dead, but their higher organization still exists. Their search for magus blood brought them to you once, and there is nothing to stop them from seeking you out again. You’re safe for now, but I can’t guarantee how long it will last. I will come up with a plan, but right now I’ve got nothing.” “You got me,” she looked up and smiled softly. It wasn’t meant to be funny or cute, it just simply was. “That’s one more ally than you had before.” “and for the record, I feel the same way about you too…” It took a moment to register what he'd said. The moment it hit, her brows furled, gaze falling on her toes again. This time it was definitely the heat of blood on her cheeks. Not blushing, or cold, it was the burn of skin when blood runs hot with emotion. After being scorched so badly during the Event, and hurt again recently... lingering fear of what was happening zinged her like a frayed wire. She swallowed the nervous lump in her throat, doing a wonderful job of looking calm on the outside while squashing the screaming warning bells that she knew in her gut were false alarms. The world was chaotic and unpredictable, as were their chosen positions in it. Looming storms would test their words. She was ready for it, if he was. Live hard, for it all ends. It was painted in neat letters above the lockers in her dad’s gym, covered partially in posters, pictures and fliers over the years. Her mum had insisted the dot on the “i” be a circle, an inside message for their small family as to how they were to view each other and the world. Swallowing again, she finally looked up, eyes acknowledging what he’d confessed. “I never wanted you to see me like this… But, now that you’re here I suppose you should know it’s not exactly uncommon for me to end up in the infirmary from time to time.” “Nobody ever wants this,” she said gently. “But it’s part of our reality. Our world is not safe. You willingly chose to fight so that it will be, and this comes with the territory. Your victory here is they've hit a wall they can't breach. You.” The silence hung heavy until she found her voice again. “I didn’t come to feel sorry for you, I came so you wouldn’t be alone,” smile was soft, eyebrow ticking up in a mischievous cock “…and to find out who did this so I could pay them a visit.” She was only half joking. There was no doubt she would help him find out what did this, and he might just get a piece before she killed them herself. “Please stay” She nodded, sliding off her coat and beginning to make herself at home. “I could use some help out of these clothes." “I knew that was coming…” smile was genuine as she pulled the tie from her hair and finger combed the locks, twisting and securing it into a tight bun at the back of the neck. She pulled her Irish sweater off and folded it over a chair, Henley sleeves were pushed up to her elbows, toes on her heels to remove her boots one at a time and put them neatly with the rest of her things. “and I would rest easier knowing you were here with me… safe.” She fiercely wanted to go "hunting" today for information. It could wait, he'd impressed on her not to go off after someone half-cocked. Rest wasn't something he did often either. She nodded, “I’ll stay as long as you want me here.” Footsteps were quiet to his bathroom, cranking the water on in the shower and setting out towels on the floor for his clothes and gear. She’d wrap them up to get out of the way into the bathroom corner for now until he was settled and then she’d try to salvage as much as she could. Adjusting the streams, she knew how hot he liked it, and it being on would nudge an unconscious mental note for him to move faster than he was going to feel like moving. Out of the clothes, clean, warmed-up and feeling more human would do a world of good. Returning to the kitchen, hands settled on her hips. “C’mon Soldier,” smirk was light “…time to get naked.” She was resolved to the fact she was probably going to get soaking wet. Rorye was already barefoot, ready to take one for the team and get in with him if she had to. She helped as much as he signaled he needed to get to the shower, narrowing her eyes to figure out how to untangle him from his gear and clothing without completely unhooking the entirety of the sling. She wasn't sure she could avoid it. Fingers moved swiftly over his gear, taking the care to lay it out neatly. “Roll your shoulder back,” she said of his good arm. As she slipped his coat off his shoulder, her eyes narrowed to study the physics of their situation. If it was broken, it would have been casted. That meant it was tissue, and tissue damage hurt worse when it was moved. Fuck. Pain meds. “I have to take your arm out of the sling to get your coat off,” if she could get the coat off, the rest was easy. Easier. It was as delicate as possible, his coat wasn’t exactly light and she had to hold the weight of it off his arm, pull, keep his arm secure and unmoving in her other hand. It was fucking like Twister… without the mutually naked naughtiness. “This is Altheia’s work,” she said quietly as clothes came off and the healed extent was slowly revealed by discoloration. He was still this hurt after a healing session. Bones had been broken. She pushed the thought to the back of her mind. “She’s the best.” She knew her in passing, but her reputation was substantial within the ARMA ranks. She really was the best, and very kind. Rorye nodded toward the shower and took the rest of his clothes to the designated spot. The plan was to keep everything central in the bathroom so there was less clean up later. Weapons were first. Okay. She knew how to do this. Training engaged. Open the action on each, make sure they were secured, also make sure there was no lingering goo that would damage something. They were transferred to the kitchen table. His training had definitely been practiced, and she wanted him to know it. She also found something undeniably sexy about the sound of well-maintained equipment… plus, she just liked playing with his stuff. Basic clothing was left in a bundle, everything else wiped down and hung up, the towels tossed in the clothing bundle. They were going to be a bitch to clean, something for later. “Clothing preferences? Pain meds? In the bedroom nightstand correct?” she asked as she washed her hands and checked her shirt. It was wet, but not that bad. It did however, have blood on it. His or whoever else’s she wasn’t sure. She pulled it off, the deep purple cami underneath unscathed. “I’ll go grab them.”
  5. Rorye Shannon-Kearney

    The Devil You Know

    Rorye's Loft above The Book of Kells 2am March 8th, 2022 Braedyn snorted a breath at her, the older of her two brothers outside the ring in the corner, arms draped over the ropes. Frayed bleach white towel over his shoulder had blood on it, hers. *npc* “C’mon Barra, you should’ve finished this git by now!” Term of endearment for her didn't hide he was impatient, and disappointed. Rorye pulled herself up for the umpteenth time from the mat and tried to find her footing. The strong, lithe form wobbled a bit but came to a resilient stance as her arms came back up. Gloves returned to their guard. Puffy eye hurt, the glance up toward the mirrored glass on the second floor overhang bringing another shake of Braedyn’s head. He ran his fingers through longer dark curls to pull them from his forehead while scanning the other rings and bustle in the gym. Though busy, the gym inhabitants were trying their damnest not to watch the "sparring" match. It was all the buzz, he could feel it. She felt the disappointment, knowing her father was watching from behind the office glass. Finding someone that trained at the gym ballsy enough to go toe-to-toe with the boss’ daughter was rare enough. Actually squaring one that would be willing to kick her ass in front of her father and Rottweiler brothers was a lucky shot. She’d begged him to find someone because she was ready and now when he finally agreed to it, she was getting her ass handed to her. Braedyn called time and waved her over to the corner. Chest heaving, footsteps were stable, expression a bit like a wounded puppy as she moved toward him. He took her mouthguard and gave her water, wiping her eye. She’d have a helluva shiner. *npc* “What the fuck is wrong with you? My sis is having an existential crisis about not kicking a man’s ass because wuh?” Her expression was sullen. *npc* “Is it him?” Braedyn’s dark eyes glanced incredulously at a young man her age near the lockers that was talking to a rather gorgeous blonde. Her brother Brae was born on the Isle, and New York had done nothing to stave the brogue her brothers had; especially the more annoyed they got. Right now it was thick as molasses, the sibling ten years her senior having none of the young man she was obviously crushing on and the girl she was obvious jealous of. School mates for sure, though the man he’d seen here often watching his sister. Brothers bristled at someone chaffing their baby sister’s pride. Braedyn grabbed her chin and turned her face to him. *npc* “Look’a me… iffin’ a man is intimidated by you, he don’t deserve to have you at his side.” She nodded, spitting out the water. He brushed the towel over her brow one more time and nodded back. *npc* “When we go back home to get things in order with mum, we need to know you’re good ‘till we come back. You gonna swoon on a Yankee he better be worthy.” Her eyes had wandered back to the young man, Michael. He’d taken notice, so had the blonde… Genna. Genna not so much of Rorye in the ring, but the fact Michael was no longer paying attention to her flirting. Rorye nodded to her brother and he gave her back her mouthguard. She hated that catty bitch. Useless trophy wife material interested in only his money. She'd made that abundantly clear in high school bathroom "girl meeting" bragging sessions. Returning to the center, squared off and stance together, the fight resumed. Several hard hits were taken, ribs hurt. Whether it was a lucky shot or skill was up for debate; the opening she took advantage of allowing for a brutal assault on her opponent. It wasn’t the ultimate perfect high school movie ending. It was bloody and hard won. Her opponent hit the ropes, lingering there for a moment before he fell and didn’t get up. Chest heaved, gloves felt too heavy to raise so the ref did it for her. Braedyn had come into the ring afterward, wet towel wiping her features. Her father had come down sometime during the end and taken perch in Braedyn’s former spot, as did her brother Callum. Both brothers had the same dark curls in varying lengths. Callum’s was pulled back into a short ponytail, Braedyn’s shorter. She had the look of her father, the expressive eyes and thick mahogany hair that hinted of red in the light. His now twinkled with silver at the temples and was almost always shorn in a high and tight. Intimidating just in stature, his muscled appearance demanded pure respect before he ever spoke a word. The man was a mountain with the heart of a lion. He rarely smiled, self-conscious perhaps about the scar his dimples would accentuate. Half of a Glasgow smile marred his face, able to have broken the men’s necks before they had finished the job. An old scar, it still bothered him. It was a testament to how strong he actually was. He didn’t see it that way. He rarely saw anything the way she did, but she still adored him anyway as daughters did. +++ Lashes fluttered a moment, remaining closed as her body woke up to join her consciousness. Warm, incredibly comfortable. Middle of the night. Living room was dim, fire still flickering in the hearth. Lamp behind her gave off a soft glow, enough to read by. She’d fallen asleep on the couch in her favorite t-shirt and boxers, drifting off with the picture being used as a bookmark in her hand; spurning the dream. Having gone back to the gym to view again what had been disturbed a week prior, the picture was the one thing she’d brought back. Leaning down slightly from her soft couch and blanket she picked up the picture and book that had fallen from her fingers in sleep. Book placed softly on the coffee table, she kept the picture. Expression thoughtful, though a bit melancholy, thumb slid over the faces captured in time. The four of them. She still had the shiner when it was taken. It was the last picture they took before the three of them left to settle her mother’s affairs. It was the last time they were all together. Fingertips wiped at the moisture on her lashes, stinging silent tears. Rorye didn’t cry, but a daughter did. She missed them. More now than ever. Vivid dreams could do that. Voices and faces that felt so real they could be touched, crushed sharply against the reality she could no longer just pick up the phone in the middle of the night when she was missing them. It would be early morning for them. They would be up. They always were. Looking at the back, she had written all their names and the date. Sighing, she dropped it on the coffee table and pulled the fluffy white comforter around her and settled back in to try and sleep. Contemplating seeing if anyone was home she could climb into bed next to, she finally decided against it. Tears brought concern. Concern brought explanations. Explanations sometimes just churned up more hurt. Eyes closed, long exhale to try and let it all go... hoping sleep that could wipe away the crushing loss felt in her chest wouldn't be fleeting.
  6. I'm here! Just getting caught up on sleep from the crazy job last weekend... posts and some random writing-to-writes are almost done :)

  7. Rorye Shannon-Kearney

    Walk It Off

    A shock wave scorched up her leg from the collision as he brought up his knee, only feeding the volatility behind it. Her moves felt choreographed in her mind, predictive. Déjà vu. A fight that had happened a thousand times before, life or certain death. Muscles knew what to do and were aching to do it, to release, to completely tear into the ability to cut loose; stretching from a long forgotten slumber. Contact with her jaw produced a bright flash of light in her psyche; inaudible snarl rushing through her core. It flipped a switch. The steps backward weren’t a retreat, they were a warning. A pause. Her regained stance to continue had no trained form, it simply was ready to fight. Hands at her sides, the obstinate posture of a warrior was obviously afraid of nothing and willing to do anything to win. The hits that followed were aggressive and meant to hurt. Sharp growl of frustration followed as her arm was locked, tension of her muscles contemplating pushing the limit of the restraint and risking injury to break free. Push against his hold was hostile, heated, livid for being ensnared. Dark glare was dangerous, the hatred of being trapped forcing what was left of Rorye’s composure to hang by a thread. It was evident someone else was also staring back at him; normally dark eyes had become a haunting hazel hue. Next move to untangle herself from his arm lock was a blitz of pure skill, agility, a muscle memory followed up quickly with violence that found its mark and then came to a halt when he regained his stance and called for time. “Hold up, You caught me pretty solid on that one.” Chest was pulling in measured breaths, almost too long in between. She’d turned from him slightly, pulling back to avoid moving forward. Even in profile, one could see her eyes were closed, hands in fists at her sides. She was listening, to everything. His position, his breathing, the weight of his step when he moved. The fighter before had turned into a predator in the now. It was a battle of wits. She wanted nothing more than to go after the blades that were on the bench. He was a foe. An aggressor. He was hurting, and instinct was to strike until he didn’t get back up. Breath oozed out slowly and she was motionless for a long moment. Control. She had it under control. “Alright, I’m good. It’s a good thing you kick like a girl.” Eyes opened slightly, brows quirking in acknowledgment of his smartass comment. She was starting to realize she had lifelines to pull her out. Her own effort could pull her out of a spin, focus. Pain was another way, but it also made it worse sometimes. Voices, recognition. Emotion. Humor. His damn blue devils. Light smile lit up her features. It still slithered in her thoughts, more so than the scrape with Chris. She reached to pull off the gray tee shirt. Beneath was just a black cropped compression shirt, leaving her stomach exposed and most of her shoulders. Inky blue had blossomed just under the surface of her skin, defined in distinct patterns. Across her stomach, ribs, back, arms, everywhere except her chest, hands and face. What first had looked like darkness seeping through her veins when he’d first observed it the day before was now very much a faint tattooed pattern. Intricate. Definitely the shadow of her trapped "beast". She wanted to say it wasn’t a good idea to keep going. Swallow was hard, fingers balling up the shirt to toss it toward her bench. Instead… “I have it under control,” fist was bumped and she regained her normal stance. Truth was, she wasn’t really sure what would happen if they kept going. She was certain he was holding out on her, but couldn’t promise if she lost control and he decided to put her down hard she wouldn’t struggle against it. It could injure both of them. This was exactly why she hadn’t gotten help before. Training. She’d hurt people trying. Nobody could move fast enough to stop her. She wanted to explain what it felt like, what was running through her head, the feeling of knowing what to do without thinking... Brows frowned and she put her hands down, hand up to let him give her a moment. She paced quietly at the ropes with her hands on her hips. Neck was stretched to one side then the other. She had to trust him. She had to trust him... “I might not for long. I don’t know where the edge is,” words were quiet, but she’d said her peace. Okay. Fingers rubbed her eyes and she resumed her stance, nodding once. What happened next could only be described as a blitz. Brutal, going for the one fraction of a second when there was an opening she could exploit. Intense, though showing signs of fray. She was fighting with herself. Trying to keep control, while trying to let go at the same time. The two sides were circling each other, fighting for dominance, and with it came anger and frustration. Mistakes, and fury. This, was not going to end well.
  8. Rorye Shannon-Kearney

    Walk It Off

    “Sun Tzu once said, ‘The greatest victories are those which require no battle.” Corner of her lips quirked up. She had that book, a few really nice old editions in her shop. For some reason after the world ended people were really interested in learning how to outsmart opponents. The older ones were more popular… revisions to later editions and all that book snobbery as reasons they gave her. “Let’s see if you can even hit me. Then we’ll worry about whether or not you can hurt me.” Great. …another reminder that she’d gotten the short end of the magus stick. It was one of her pet peeves, kindling a bit more volatility behind the narrowing of her eyes before she threw her first punch. She'd suspected he was fast, but damn. The moment she made contact, she knew she was fucked, moving to try and stave the inevitable… not fast enough. The second her foot was swept, a catlike reflex had begun to save her footing to recover, broken by the resulting shove. She always hated what came after, back smacking the mat. It was over that fast. Son of a... “You good?” “I hate you…” she said with deadpan annoyance from her horizontal position, staring up at the ceiling. Every time she increased her speed, the backlash was always her greatest fear. The faster she moved, the harder she hit or rebounded, including when it wasn’t in her favor. It was a flinch response she’d developed from learning the hard way that her newfound abilities came with consequences; namely broken fingers. In the back of her mind she had a trained muscle memory to pull back to avoid injury, something she no longer had to worry about but still lingered. The more she punched, the more the fear subsided, the harder and faster her hits became. She could tap it at any time, the psych-out a serious hindrance in the start of a fight. Sigh was pulled in and let out in a good-natured huff. Kip up sharp, it was obvious she had more skill than she was letting on. Back on her feet and pissed off, she shrugged her shoulders to shake off the sting. Spine tingled, a flicker of anger touching the edges of her eyes at his smirk. The thoughtful, determined quirk to her lips was not going to last long at this pace. Fist bumped, round two. As he resumed his stance, she changed hers. She wasn’t just a boxer; she could kick hard enough to knock a man’s teeth out. What basics she'd learned a long time ago, had definitely been mastered. Gloves metaphorically off, she'd leveled up, completely avoiding the same mistake as before that had knocked her on her ass. It was becoming obvious she was a ridiculously fast learner made even more so by the altered skill; what she saw, she could imitate with a keen spacial awareness sans miscalculation. It was quickly evident why old friends avoided sparring with her. They didn't want to get their ass kicked by a girl. Now, there was also wrath hiding in the wings. Unpredictable, brutal and deadly, it was already tapping on her consciousness to get her attention. The vicious conscience on her shoulder was watching with great interest, beginning to feed off her anger and it was starting to bleed into her movements. They were not fair shots. If she had a weapon in her hand they were intended to be torturous, cutting tendon and connective tissue until her opponent was incapacitated and suffering. Their results were meant to be cruel. Unpredictable, changing on a dime, and powerful as hell, the self control was starting to shed; peeling away to reveal a peek into what was to come.
  9. Rorye Shannon-Kearney

    When Has Become Now

    Rooftops. Standing under the fire escape, what she could see she recognized. From where she was, she could get there with only one street to cross. They hadn’t managed to drive with her very far before the situation had turned nuclear; the gym was now roughly halfway back to the shop. One trek she had wanted to take Ryan on when the weather got better was over the rooftops. They were like a network with the historical buildings, seeing the world from above instead of having to bustle through the streets was unique to an old city. Plus, it was fun as hell. In the winter, in a storm? She would have to make no mistakes, and trust she knew the jump points. Staying off the street was worth the risk. A few running steps and she kicked off the wall, fingers catching the bottom rung. One hand slipped off from the ice, her swing backward giving her enough momentum to get her hand back up and pull herself upward. The stairs were steep, breathing in the cold air was taking its toll and dizziness was setting in. Not much farther and she would at least be out of the elements. The way she was going was as the crow flies, pulling herself onto the roof and starting her trek. Ears were nearly frozen, her leather coat doing a lot to cut the wind, but the layers beneath had lost their warmth before she left the accident. Gloves had been pulled back on, but there was only so much you could do when all there was between you and the frigid air was a few layers. Hop up onto the old pharmacy, jump down to the apartments in between, climb up and over the air vents on the next complex over… the locations were being checked off in her mind to keep them straight. Shivering had set in, but she was pushing herself to the limit. Getting her face out of the open was the primary goal. The trek down the fire escape seemed longer than it should have been, realizing she’d stopped moving. The world around her was moving. Too damn cold, everything felt disoriented. Forcing one foot in front of the other to the last landing, she slid off to hang and drop the final distance to the ground. Left hand again gave way, left leg crumpling on impact. Something was definitely wrong. It couldn’t be bone, could it? That was something that had corrected itself when the world rocked a second time… broken bones were still possible under extreme circumstances for her, but it was unlikely. Concussion was more likely. Her aching left side heralded something more at work, no time to stop and think about it. The world was spinning again, worse as she pulled herself up and tried to steady her left side. Her left shoulder had joined the tangle of pain. Only one more street to cross, and the gym would be in sight. Before, the hitch in her step was annoying. It was becoming more profound the further she went. Shoulder leaned heavily on each of the gates to steady herself as she unlocked them and pulled them closed to secure again. Bypassing the breaker box, she made a beeline for the second floor from the foyer, aware of the tingle on her right hand now that the wind was no longer battering her body. She yanked off her glove, it was bleeding. Glass possibly, or the guy's face. Fingers stretched out as she pulled herself up the stairs. A little of both. She shouldered into her small loft room, unconsciously glancing around to make sure nobody was there. Why would they be? Still a habit. In her tiny bathroom, the hot water was sought, adjusting it so it didn't scald her skin. Pulling off her other glove, she let the warm water sluice over her hands, swirling with pink. Shivering had started some time ago, worse now that she was in relative warmth. Squinting into the mirror, a deep cut on her left temple was blossoming into a bruise that had already turned her cheek and under eye purple. The bleeding had ceased for now. Hair was pulled out, seethe sharp as her arm stretched upward to pull it back and secure it into a looped ponytail. Before freezing skin would feel better, it would sting like hell. Warm water was cupped in her hands and run over her face to get the blood off. Hers. Theirs. Who the hell knew? White towel wiped the rest off and she tossed it into the sink. The snowstorm had managed to get some of the blood off her leather coat but it in turn ran off onto her jeans; they were not salvageable. She limped into her room, carefully removing her leather coat and laying it over a chair near the door, discovering she was still dripping blood from her hand. It would definitely need stitches, returning to the bathroom to retrieve a hand towel to wrap it. She wanted nothing more at that moment than to climb into the shower with water on full hot. She wasn’t safe yet, it would have to wait. Several old lockers doubled as her closet. Searching through a few folded stacks of tee shirts, she found what she was looking for. One of her old gray zip-up hoodies would add an extra layer under the leather jacket. She had an old belt knife on top of the lockers, checking for it. Jackpot. It was slid into the hoodie pocket. Gun in her waistband was checked. The other had only one shot left. She should never have taken off her blades, or stepped out of her front door without being armed. But, Stanford was a friend. He was a cop. She still shouldn't have trusted him or gotten into the car with someone she was unfamiliar with. This was a brutal lesson she was already damning herself for, and was not looking forward to explaining to Ryan. It had been a test of her metal, and in her eyes she'd come up short on every level. She pulled the hood up and put her coat back on to keep warm, sudden pain on her left side catching the breath in her lungs. She sought the bathroom mirror and pulled up everything to run her ‘bandaged’ hand over her left ribcage. It was a rainbow of dark colors. Broken? Fingers pushed at her stomach just below her ribs, the pain bringing a nauseous choke. She had internal injuries. Deep bruising at the bare minimum. Slamming into a car door could do that. “Shit,” was said out loud, the same time her eyes snapped to something in her room. There were mementos from her old life in the room, a few old pictures. Same bed, a couple of throw pillows, wool blankets, a few things on the walls; items that deserved to stay in the place where the memories had been made. A shoe box that had been under her bed was now on it, open with items out. She frowned, silently turning in a circle to take stock of everything she'd glossed over when she came in. Things were out of place. Someone had been searching her room. Inaudible footsteps made their way to the bed, picking up the items that were pulled out and rifled through. Mementos and fliers for advertised fights her brothers had been in. Pictures of her and her brothers. Her mother and father. Ryan had keys, but… he wouldn’t do this. She didn’t hesitate. Not spending another moment thinking about who could have or would have, she was moving again. Up the stairs to the balcony access, yanking the red pulls for the roof vent and making her way up the ladder. She was not moving fast enough. Muscles were burning, injuries were taking their toll. Getting to his apartment was a longer trek by far, and the distance was daunting. She would not lose this round, they would have to shoot her first. Pulling herself out of the escape access and onto the roof, the chill hit her like a whip. After a block she would have to go back to the street, on the street she would have to be more vigilant. She could stop in a storefront or two to regain some warmth, but it was closing time for almost everything, and bloody was never a good sign to anyone. She couldn’t trust the cops if they were called. Riding the bus was a more direct route, but it would draw the same attention. Subway. She knew the system backward and forward and could evade as long as she felt it was safe. Train hopping would keep her off the street, and would get her close enough to make a last break for his apartment. Of course, she probably wouldn’t be in one station long enough for Ryan to catch up, assuming he’d gotten the original call. Something was also very wrong; skin pale, nauseous. Thoughts of a concussion were giving way to greater fears. The momentary respite had given her enough recharge to get a few blocks from the gym on foot, disappearing down a subway drop and out of sight. Head down, face under the hood, hands in her pockets as she waited, the sparse traffic this time of night didn’t pay her a lick of attention. Train slid to a stop, sigh pained as she stepped on and made her way to the far corner of the car to sit. Back opposite the platform side, she could see who got on and off. Hood was also up, hiding her features from view even though she could still see and keep track of her surroundings. It was out of the elements, warm, and she leaned her right temple on the back wall, pulling her coat tighter around herself. As the car began to move, there was a small sense of relief. She needed to close her eyes. Just for a second.
  10. Rorye Shannon-Kearney

    When Has Become Now

    Breath was ragged, everything quiet, back of her hands wiping the snow from her eyelashes that had turned pink from someone else’s blood. She could hear sirens… that moment between death and salvation when help was so close, yet so impossibly far away. It seemed to have made them pause in their trek around the car. *npc* “She called the damn cops.” Sirens suddenly went silent as if someone had flipped a switch. Maybe they had. Her detective was real. Fields? Unsure. If they’d compromised him, who knew who was calling the shots here. Wind shuffled snow around her in a sudden gust, heavy realization stopping her breath. Help wasn’t coming. They had backtracked slightly, now returning to finish their snatch and grab. Crowbar hit the hood again, muscles tensing at the sound. *npc* "C'mon, just make it easy." “Right or left!” The ferocity of her question from her position demanded an answer, she was shifting her weight to get her feet under her, listening to their movement. They stopped. The guy on her left was still closer. *npc* “The fuck?” “Right. Or. Left.” tone was fierce. “You choose which knee gets blown out first when you turn that corner.” *npc* “Shit.” Fear and intimidation were valuable tools, especially when you were bluffing about being armed. *npc* “You go get her, we gotta go!” “Where are we going gentleman?” They were quiet. *npc* “Somewhere to talk.” “About what? Maybe you’ll walk out of here without a fucking hole in your kneecaps if you tell me what’s going on. You could have asked nicely, you’re not inspiring a lot of trust here killing my chauffeurs.” *npc* “Well… can we call a truce? ...we'll fill you in.” They were communicating non-verbally, their pause in answering her was telling. Muscles coiled, running through her entire scenario in her head like a dance. She saw the tip of the crowbar first over her left shoulder; the idiot didn’t realize it was visible to her before he was. As she grabbed it right over left and pulled it toward her, he came with it, stumbling forward as she yanked it out of his hand. His downward momentum and her push upward from her right foot brought his face straight into the metal. The swing worthy of a home run cracked audibly against his nose, right hand letting go of it as the left followed through in a graceful arc, right fist slamming straight into his sternum. His head hit the bumper as he went down, metal flipped to the other hand and she launched it at the other as he was aiming. Several gunshots rang out, aim skewed as he raised his hand in front of his face to save his teeth. She was already behind it, the combination she’d practiced until she was too sore to move effectively disarming the asshole, crumpling his wrist and smashing the side of his knee. She secured his weapon and stuck it in the back of her waistband, punches until he was unconscious afterward pure fury. Unnecessary. Heated. Angry. Fury. Chest heaved for a moment as the silence fell around them all. Car sputtered and died, lingering hissing and popping for a few moments until even that was quiet. It had taken less than five seconds. She had to go. Now. Cell phones collected from everyone, she stuffed them in her jacket pockets. They were both alive but down, the first’s survival was questionable. Two dead in the car. Hastily reaching through the window and finally retrieving Field’s gun, the grunt was sharp at the pressure of the windowsill into her side. Standing up, leg buckled, hand on the sill to stay upright. She wasn’t hit… but something was wrong, steadying again to get the fuck out of there. They were the ones in the truck that had broadsided them. The truck was useless, they had to have called for a ride out of there. She had been that close to the “second location”, unsure if Stanford had helped or hurt her cause. Hurt. He'd tried to help, and his clusterfuck of a decision to accelerate was just now revealing its consequences. Back of her hand wiped her nose, it was bleeding? Hand was bleeding? Maybe. She wasn’t sure which was hers and which was the detectives’ or the other two. She had to go. Into the dark, into a storm. She scaled the chain-link fence, dropping to the other side with an audible cry of pain. She wasn’t hit, but her legs buckled again, catching herself with fingers through the links. After a few steps it was fine, hand under her coat on her side to begin to pick up speed. It was tender, but tolerable. Bruises definitely. She was almost certain she was fighting a concussion, maybe a cracked rib from the door when all came to a stop. Maybe. Evade and get to the gym. She had to put distance between her and this. Someone was coming, and it wasn’t friendlies. Pushing herself to move forward faster, hand pawed through her pocket to find her phone among the others, pulling it out. Screen was cracked, she’d landed on that side when she pushed out of the car. Damn! Keep moving. Keep out of sight. Slowing to evaluate how far to the next block and pause under a fire escape between two buildings, she was breathing harder than she should have been. Reaching up to stifle a cough brought on by trying to choke in frigid air, fingers drew back blood from her lip. Shit.
  11. Rorye Shannon-Kearney

    Broken Bones and Shattered Pride

    The back of her neck prickled as she waited for the elevator. Someone was watching her. Not Ryan, his door hadn’t opened again. It wasn’t threatening, caution needed nonetheless. Eyes burned, not from crying… fuck, she didn’t cry. She hadn’t cried since she fell and broke her arm as a kid. It was exasperation, fatigue that bled into feeling powerless. Her stoicism sometimes broke when nobody was around, allowing the overthinking to set in about what she’d said. Frustration had spilled from her in retort to his self-critical remarks, and then she’d simply lost control. He was the sea she was beginning to drown in... and damn it, she should never have admitted it. It fell out without thinking and she couldn’t take it back. It’s not that she didn’t mean it, it was just… she was just… exposed. The world always found a way to rip her heart out when she let her guard down. Eyes moved away from the call button, she’d been staring at it so long her eyes burned. Someone else was in the hall now. Looking up, smile was warm at an older woman that was returning to her own apartment from the other direction, her body language seeming to want to overshoot it and head to the elevator. Rorye knew when a conversation was about to happen, the businesswoman did it all the time to build relationships and make sales. The older woman wanted something, and more than likely it was information. She had one on her block just like her. Nice old guy and everything was his business. Rorye was the new face on the floor. Shiiit. It dawned on her abruptly. Was the older woman curious because she and Ryan were THOSE neighbors? The ones that could be heard through the walls when angry and otherwise? The otherwise. Bloody hell. Ears burned again as she suddenly looked at her phone, she wasn’t THAT loud… ish. Was she? She didn’t think she was, not exactly focused on that in the moment, but... Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ… He had an apartment. These were apartments! Her place was its own floor. No neighbors. Would he have said something if it was a problem? Eyes widened slightly and immediately shut down the thought process, rubbing the back of her neck as she squashed the impending horror from her immediate attention. She would have to ask him, not really sure how to breach THAT subject. Thumb hit a contact, holding the phone up to her ear to stave off any conversation. The woman slipped into her apartment, but the door remained cracked. Stealthy, she was not. They never were. “Cecily, hi. Yah, good morning. The box you’re holding for me, I’m going to swing by and pick that up today.” The doors opened and she stepped on, hanging up and hitting the button to the lobby. Once in, an enormous sigh relaxed her shoulders and she stared at the floor. Exhausted. Emotionally singed. It was a terrible idea to come, which was why it was absolutely necessary to do it anyway. Including him in her family circle meant that she was not the only alpha anymore. Burdens could be shared and they needed to learn to navigate the conflict. She ran in a small pack, he was a lone wolf; the sharing thing was new. No regret was in her tired stance. She wouldn’t have done anything differently. He obviously needed to get his head straight after a devastating blow, physically, emotionally, professionally. Being singularly focused for so long only to hit a wall was crushing for him. It was obvious. He had to learn to trust she wasn’t there to judge, only make certain her alpha was safe. It was the rejection that bothered her the most. He didn’t think she was strong enough to deal with his injuries. He didn’t say it, but she knew. Like misfortune to a family member or withholding information of a loved one’s passing until and important event was done, it felt like he’d tried to spare her. Taken her choice away to make that decision herself. Doubted her strength. That hurt. She was not green to conflict or danger. Her methods were unconventional, sure, but she was unshakable. Unbreakable. She’d held her hand to Jesse’s throat as he was bleeding to death, staring down the vampire only feet away and still managed to survive and kill it. Triaged dozens of critically injured people after the explosion that rocked ARMA and the city to the core, pulled them from rubble and rallied her contacts and resources together to house them until EMT could take care of them. Protected her home and patrons against a Were during the Bloodmoon and the resulting fire that nearly destroyed the shop. Just because she couldn’t sling magic didn’t mean she was weak, the bitterness a lump in her throat yet again. Of course, nobody knew that. She never talked about any of it. Therein was the problem. As the elevator came to a stop and the doors opened she prepared herself for the cold, phone springing to life in her hand as she pushed through the exterior doors. It was Ryan. She refused the call and stood on the sidewalk with the phone at her side. Icy wind licked a lock of hair into her face as she stood there, knowing she needed to go back. She wanted to go back. She’d said she would come if he called, jaw setting to turn around and head back up. Round two was in the making it seemed, the guy in the lobby nonchalantly watching her come back through. “Forgot something,” she gave him a tight smile. The. Fucking. Elevator. She poked the button multiple times and it opened. Finally. Someone had gotten in with her, getting off on the next floor up from the lobby. Really. Really? You had to be on at least the fourth to take the elevator, wasn’t that the unwritten rule? Asshole. Phone jumped to life again with his call as she reached his floor, the less than subtle notes of ‘Back in Black’ silenced with her thumb as the doors opened and she shoved her phone in her pocket. She blinked at them both, the pair an unusual sight. Something had happened, and it looked as if Ryan was strangling the woman in his thoughts. “Hi,” she said a bit suspiciously, a blur of motion catching her eye and immediately leaning down to scoop something up that was zipping into the elevator. “Oh no no no… that is a disaster in the making.” It was a cat making a break for it. She wasn’t overly fond of cats, more of a dog person. Not yippy skippy dogs. Big dogs. Big. Always wanted a dog, never had the time. Pale gray ears were scritched as she stepped into the hall, the insanely fluffy thing making itself comfortable and sprawling across her shoulder, batting at a lock of hair on her cheek. Curious little old ladies that left their doors cracked ran the risk of losing pets. Cats could be awful like that. They would and could get anywhere if you weren’t paying attention. Fast. “Yours?” Rorye asked the older woman she'd seen in the hall just a few minutes prior, the businesswoman switch flicking on to become the most charming person on the planet. Soft glance and smile was cast to the woman’s rough and tumble escort, letting him know she had this. The older woman smiled and nodded “She’s beautiful,” she smiled at the fluffy jail breaker that had rolled into her arm like a baby for tummy scratches, playfully trying to capture her gloved fingers. The little killing machine still had its claws. Death on four paws, adorable. “No, I’m not falling for that murder button trick. No tummy rubs,” she laughed quietly, looking toward the woman. “Not a meser, but definitely some there? Lilac point maybe?” The woman seemed delighted that she knew as they meandered back to her apartment. People loved to talk about themselves and the professional knew exactly what to ask. The two expert conversationalists were playing each other; Rorye getting her back into the apartment, the matriarch of the floor attempting to glean information. Probably gossip. Rorye gained the upper hand effortlessly, the cat with a toddler-like sprawl stretching backward over her shoulder to try and bat at the bruised warrior, meser blue cat eyes demanding his attention. Dropping the woman off at her door, she positioned herself nonchalantly so the feline's owner would go in as she passed off the murder cat. It barely weighed anything, all fluff. Deceiving evil little imp. “Your name is?” the older woman asked “Cora,” Rorye said without skipping a beat, obviously thought about for some time before this if she was ever asked. It would be stupid to have her real name floating around if Ryan wasn’t using his. It was sort of her real name. Shortened middle name. She hated it, that name only good for when you were in trouble. Moms did that, especially when they spoke with a brogue and could hammer the hard consonants to strike fear in your ass. Rorye Shannon didn’t have nearly the same sting to it as Rorye Machora Shannon did. It got her attention and when she heard it she knew she was screwed. “Mrs. Hanson,” she introduced herself in return, dropping the fluff bomb behind her that had managed to single handedly cover the front of Rorye’s black coat in gray wisps. “What do you do?” Damn. She was sneaky. “Barista,” she replied easily, it was easier to build a lie when you didn’t lie. The truth in a different way. “I’m due in soon though, so I need to go. Better close your door… don’t let..?” “Nemo,” she responded. Oh dear God. “Be careful not to let Nemo slip out again. She’s watching you right now from the couch to attempt another escape.” Mrs. Hanson nodded as if returning to her apartment was her own idea, closing the door to a crack as she eyed the battered man near Rorye, “keep him away from motorcycles.” “I will,” she smiled, helping to gently close the door to the woman’s apartment the rest of the way. “Bye now.” After the latch clicked, she turned and came to a slow stop by his door. "Motorcycles huh?" One hand came up to rub the back of her neck, awkward silence as she was let back into the apartment. “Please tell me the walls are not thin enough for her to have heard us,” she whispered, not just referring to their argument. Pale freckles that spattered her nose were unusually dark; she was honest to goodness blushing. Glance upward at him was quick and a bit self-conscious. “Never mind, I don’t want to know.” She went for the coffee again, if only just to hold the warm cup, she was chilled to the bone. Brows came down, brushing the front of her coat. She had to clean off Nemo’s wisps. Great. “You called, do you need anything?” words were incredibly quiet as she continued in vain to brush the fluffs off. “Would you settle for an ‘I’m sorry’ gift? I... was a bit harsh, I'm sorry. It’s not flowers and a teddy bear… it’s more shiny and pointy and pisses off vampires.”
  12. Rorye Shannon-Kearney

    When Has Become Now

    Silence. Silence so loud the pain was all she could feel first, a pressure that felt like thundering whitecaps against saturated surf and she was churning within it. Disoriented. Drowning. Then ringing. Ringing so loud it was nauseating. Her heartbeat finally was there. Her breathing. Fingers were already unconsciously working the door handle, it wouldn’t open. It was the horn from the other vehicle that broke through the din as it sputtered and went silent. Broadsided, her car had spun through and buckled into a light pole on the passenger side. The other, was in the middle of the silent intersection. Airbags had deployed, everyone seemed to be breathing from what she could see. Stanford was unconscious, as was Fields. Fields had taken the brunt. Broken bones on his right side likely. Gasp of pain brought a sharp hiss as she unbuckled, hand on her left ribs as she kicked the door. Son of a… Get out of the car. Get out of the car! They were probably being tailed, or meeting a pass-off and she had minutes if not seconds; no idea how long she'd actually been out. Reaching for her cell, she scrolled through it with a quivering thumb as she fought with the door. Fucking gloves! Teeth gripped the leather on her middle finger and tore the glove off. She couldn't get it to work, her hands were too cold. Forgoing the door, she leaned back with an audible clench of pain through her teeth and kicked the window, thumb pressed the emergency call button as hard as it could. 911, but it was something. The call went through. Location was spilled out to someone on the other end as she kicked the window again. Fucking bulletproof? Seriously? Now? It had to be now? Location would send people. People would be witnesses. Sirens would bring attention. Call dropped, kicking the window again and breathing on her fingers to warm them up, thumb hit Ryan's contact and it dropped. "C'mon!" she growled. A crack erupted in a bright flash of light, raining sparks down on the car, the streetlight had just given up the ghost. The headlights to the other car were out, hers had the only light other than the pale glow from the city. It was an industrial area. Warehouses. Shipping. Everywhere she didn’t want to be. She hit it again, it connected. A gunshot froze her blood, the spatter across her cheek making her instinctively slide off the seat and onto the floor out of sight, holding her breath. Eyes dared to peer up at Fields. He was dead, shot taken through the broken passenger window, the warmth of his blood across her cheek. Calm. Think. She could hear the phone ringing, forced to shove it in her pocket as a second gunshot ripped through the passenger window, and Stanford. Controlled breathing. The muffled ring was still in her pocket. It hadn’t disconnected. She couldn’t place where the shots had come from, the steam of the engine, snow of the storm, fog on the shatter-cracked windshield and her rear compartment windows making it almost impossible to see. Her car was miraculously still running, sputtering as fluid bled into the street. The sudden crack against the back window was terrifying as someone hit it with a crow bar, followed by the passenger side that she’d already almost shattered. They didn't break. That meant the front window might come out in one piece since it was buckled. The window she'd cracked was hit again from the outside, finally breaking through. She pulled herself over the front seat as someone reached in the back passenger window. Fields’ gun was on the floor, too far away. She searched for Stanford’s gun, turning quickly, back against the dash she fired two shots through the driver’s rear window before it jammed. A string of profanity from outside the car was vicious, coupled with her own choice words. No idea if her phone was still on in her pocket, she kept repeating the intersection in a quick mantra. Hoping someone heard it, trying to focus her thoughts. She had a fucking concussion. Head was fuzzy, streaking with pain as she pushed at the shattered windshield with her shoulder. One of the corners pushed out in one crumpled piece and she slid down the hood and onto the street with a pained grunt, immediately taking cover behind the front right fender to try and figure out where to go. A chain link fence was behind her and traveled as far as she could see in either direction. A building across the street. *npc* “Just stay put. We aren't going to hurt you.” One. *npc* “I'll fucking hurt her, she fucking hit the side of my coat, I think I’m bleeding.” Two. *npc* “She probably grazed your ass, stop it with the sissy shit. Button this up and let’s go. It’s one person. This has already been a fuck-up.” Two, there were two. She could hear the crunch of feet on snowy glass, the slam of the crowbar against one of the fenders as they attempted to roust her out of hiding. Leaning down, she could see feet through the hissing steam of a dying car. They were coming around from opposite sides. The guy on her left was going to round the corner first. *npc* “C’mon rabbit, don’t fucking do this to yourself.” She'd been called that before. Remy's. The magus. This was a lead. She could give herself up and see where it led. She knew too much to kill. Then again they could be getting rid of loose ends. She could vault the fence. If they chased her, they weren't going to kill her. If they shot her... well, question answered. She could confront and take out one before the other took cover and it was a standoff again. Compromised. If compromised go to the gym. She could lead these jackasses right into a kill zone without giving up the gym, IF any of her information had gotten through. Could Ryan track her from here? Would he go there first? For all she knew the phone could still be connected and one word could give enough information to bring these guys and whoever came to their aid right down the middle of Ryan's sights. A decision had to be made. Now.
  13. Rorye Shannon-Kearney

    Walk It Off

    “Are you sure no one knows of this place?” Eyes wandered over the large space fondly, her daredevil self once upon a time had scrawled her name on some of the beams that could be reached from the balcony railings. “I have it listed as a derelict property and owned by the bank. Even if anyone knew it was here, they don’t know I own it. It would only become a problem if someone wanted to buy the block and develop it, which I don’t see happening in the near future.” “Alright then, if the shop is compromised, we’ll meet here. If this place is compromised, then we’ll meet at my apartment. If my apartment is compromised… then ARMA H-Q is probably the safest bet.” She nodded and made her way toward her corner to change, eyes peering up at the vent on the ceiling. After a few moments the red ribbons started moving. Old fans were still kicking. She worried about the day they wouldn't work, unsure if she would be able to fix them. Time brought age and the place would either have to be let go if it began to wear out or be brought back to life by someone that could afford it. “Well first, we won’t need those today” Sigh was light as she looked at the sheaths. She was hoping for at least a chance she could explain how… everything… worked. It was always a worry, especially with Chris the day before. Frustration brought anger, anger brought problems. Ryan wasn’t an enemy though. She’d never had an issue with anyone other than someone that was threatening her. A warning might be needed, it wasn't a good idea to provoke something without at least a warning. “On the off chance you get lucky and actually land a shot, I don’t need any more stitches.” Eyes narrowed at him. Smartass. “We won’t be needing those ratty old boxing gloves either” Balled up hand towel from her bag was launched in his direction. She had a pretty good aim. “I’ve had those for years,” she quipped, brows down as she caught the pair he tossed at her. “Those should fit you. Oh, and make sure you have a mouthguard. Don’t want you losing any of those pretty teeth when I knock you on your ass.” Smile at him was sarcastic. She had a brand new one somewhere she never opened. It wasn’t like she was doing anything here except by herself. Thinking a moment if it was upstairs or down there, she got up and opened a locker that had obviously been hers for a long time… it may or may not have had boy band pics in it when she was younger. She’d never admit to that. Several candid actual photos were still stuck to the inside, before the onset of digital had made everything poof. The larger of the two was of her and her older brothers in the center ring that was no longer there. They had stopped their sparring to take a selfie with her, her bright purple braces under a wide smile next to their stupid sweaty mugs. She’d been eleven, twelve maybe? The other was a little more damning, the summer after high school graduation. She sat on the tailgate of a truck, four others with her in the photo in various stages of laughter. Some had beer bottles in hand; she was one of them, wearing the leather jacket she still owned. Hair had been exceptionally long, pulled over one shoulder in a cascade of waves. A man’s arm was around her shoulders, temple pressed to hers, the dark gaze now haunting as it smiled out from the picture. Eyes gave it a longer glance than it should have as she pulled on the gloves Ryan had given her, the fuel for so many things in this life captured in that one photo. Peering up on the top shelf, she pulled the mouthguard case down. Check. Locker was closed. “Ready? Let’s warm up, then we’ll see whatchu got. Can we get some music going in this place?” Brow cocked at him, she actually did have something hooked up but it definitely wasn’t that high tech. Was he serious? “I prefer to work out to music. Ya know, some ‘Eye of the Tiger’ or something.” “Smartass.” She was a runner, so the laps were a great warm-up. Push-ups were a strength as well, moving business stock wasn’t an easy job, and here she’d been pushed by her pops in upper body strength. She’d boxed some boys her age when she was a teenager, proud to say she’d done fairly well until they said they didn't want to hurt a girl. Almost through however crazy many push-ups he wanted to do, she pulled back to sit on her heels, stretching the back of her arms. Damn. Finishing the rest after a stretch, she was pissed at herself. Furl of her brow evident. Sit-ups… the pause for a moment before she started was filled with a bit of apprehension. She would push herself through it, not really wanting to explain why. Slower than the push-ups, her form was impeccable and pace steady. She got up, still pissed about the push-ups. Hands on her hips, she squinted at the bag. Hitting things. She needed to hit things for a minute to burn off the annoyance. “As hard and as fast as you can until I tell you to stop” Nod was quick. Instead of getting weaker as she tired, hits became more powerful; almost as if the recoil was feeding off its own kinetic energy. Her ring stung under the glove, buzzing with the bite of something that should definitely not be on her finger while she was hitting something. She had no choice. When he said to stop, she shook the offended hand once. Fuck. “Alright, that’s enough, Let’s get started.” Breath heaved once, hands at her sides. “Make sure you take off your socks and shoes before you come up here.” She quirked a doubting expression at him. “Trust me, you’ll see why.” She obliged. Toe pulled the heel off one foot, then repeated for the other. Socks were pulled off and stuffed inside. “I feel silly,” she grumbled quietly, wiggling her toes and picking up her mouth guard from the bench in time to watch him flex. That broke a laugh. “You are such a smartass,” she accused lightheartedly. Hand ran across the mat affectionately, it seemed like some kind of ritual to pace the side before getting in. Hands gripped the bottom rope for a moment, looking up at him as his attention was elsewhere. She did it more often than she would admit, catching his small inflections of personality when he was with his own thoughts. Small facial expressions, the brilliance of his eyes. He was incredible to look at. “Showing off, is that part of the lessons?” voice was quiet, the laugh had soothed the grouchy mood. “Distract the opponent, got it.” She pulled herself up to the mat and went through the ropes. She was aware she was graceful, and the agility doubled down on it. Knowing it was there and what it looked like in motion were entirely different. The way she carried herself seemed effortless when it was moving, a natural momentum that lead into the power to change direction on a dime; missed by most when she was swathed in a loose sweater or normal clothes if one didn’t know what they were looking for. It had been so long since she'd been in the ring. Hands found her hips again, eyes on the mat before looking up at him. Mouthguard in, exhale was long, the glove touch bringing a glitter of excitement into her chest. It always did. Now, over a decade later, something darker lived with it; anticipating the violence that followed. “Alright girl, show me what you got.” Focus was intent for a few seconds. She straightened suddenly and put her hand up, “I’m sorry… I just…” Both hands leaned on her thighs as she breathed. Pulling out her mouthguard and padding over to him, arm slid around his neck to pull him toward her and press her lips against his cheek briefly. “Thank you for this,” she said quietly and returned to her spot, putting her mouthguard back in. Eyes narrowed as she shook herself out and set a fighting stance. “So… I just hit you? Like, you’re the kid from sixth grade that tried to kick the crap out of me? I hurt him. I don’t want to hurt you.” After his response, she pulled in a large breath and released it. "Okay, school bully. Got it." Focusing on the blue, she was unaware her pupils changed, flushing out wide to engulf the dark amber almost completely. She had an incredible ability to center her balance and stay on her feet, and an almost preternatural sense of motion. Eyes never looked where hits were sent, they were focused on his, her ability to judge the distance and deliver an accurate strike still exact. As with the bag, it was like an avalanche, the more motion she generated the faster it became and the force increased. Perhaps inhibition was being lost, or something else was taking over as her aggression escalated. As it intensified, strikes began to shift purpose from tentative defense and take-down, to something much more powerful. It was becoming very clear she was not the 'broken', altered human that she thought she was.
  14. Rorye Shannon-Kearney

    When Has Become Now

    March 1st 7pm New York, Unknown Earbuds were something she rarely wore. Her focus had to be so precise when she was working on her glass, somehow this evening the sounds of cellos playing heavy metal made her more intent. Hair was pulled up and piled high on her head, a small lock was tickling her cheek. Narrowed eyes were trying to ignore it, a whiff of breath from her lower lip trying in vain to get it from her skin. Spacers were set aside and she sat back, pulling her hair down to re-twist and pull it back again. The project was coming along, spending time at her work table was not something she had done a lot of in the last month. She’d been meaning to finish the stained glass repair from the café door window for a while now, tonight had given her the opportunity. The shop was slow, after Valentine’s day. Quiet, evening rush over. Perfect. Heels of her black ballet flats hitched up on the rung of her stool. Elbows on the workbench, her chin came to rest on her hands as she stared at it, deciding what to do next. Eyes flicked up at the light that signaled the front door had opened, going back to studying all the colored pieces laid out. Fingernail played with one of the aquamarine studs in her ear, sliding down to twirl the long pendant with her finger. Jesse’s head peeked in, *npc* “Detective Stanford stopped in.” She looked up, pulling out the earbuds. He wasn’t a stranger. Sometimes he checked in just to make sure things were okay and get free coffee, which she was fine with for any law enforcement types, sometimes he was following up on shoplifters and such. Nothing like that had been an issue of late. Just saying hi probably. “I’ll be out in a sec.” She slid off the stool, black worn button up cardigan sleeves pulled back down and wrapped around her a bit closer. It was chilly for some reason, and the deep aqua blue cami wasn’t doing much to help even though she’d layered it over a black one. Earbuds were popped out of her phone and she wound them up and dropped them on the work bench. Phone in her back pocket. He was rifling through one of the leather bound blank journals she sold as she stepped out. The older gentleman had been around for about five years or so, he knew her and the area fairly well. Was a cop somewhere else in the city before this position, but she didn’t know where. *npc* “Sorry to bug you so late, was gonna call but then remembered you don’t drive so thought I’d save you the trouble.” “Coffee?” she asked. He set the journal down, shaking his head. *npc* “Not this time, thanks.” “You pick that up every time you come here. I think it has your name on it.” He smiled, then nodded. *npc* “Sorry to bug you in the evening. We arrested a guy a few days ago, had some interesting things on him. Found one of these tags in the bunch.” He held up the journal and tapped the price tag with the store name on it before putting it down. *npc* “Think he might have been stealing from here, thought you might want to come down and take a look at the stuff.” Brow furled. Great. She hadn't been in the shop as religiously since the holidays. Not as many eyes to watch the place. Jesse was closing, and it was unlikely to pick up. She could do that. “Sure, as long as I get a ride home.” Cars had been elusive. What she wanted and what she could afford seemed to be two entirely different things. Ballet flats were slipped off and replaced with an older pair of black biker boots. They were more feminine and the older they got, the softer the leather became and they had begun to slouch. They were easier to wear over tighter jeans, and they were comfy. Leather jacket. Scarf… she was so fucking ready for winter to be over. Phone was pulled, a quick text to Ryan, just because. “Hey, I had a Detective Stanford come by to take me down to the local precinct. Happens once and a while when they find stolen items, he's our usual guy. Shouldn’t be long, he’ll bring me home so I don’t have to catch the subway… see you soon.” Phone back in her pocket, she checked in with Jesse and went out the front door. There was someone else in the passenger seat, a face she didn’t know. *npc* “Rorye, this is Detective Fields, apparently I’m getting old and I have to train my replacement,” he said as he opened the passenger rear door for her and then slid into the driver’s seat. She rubbed snow from her eyelashes as she got in and he closed the door. It was getting bad out. “Nice to meet you Fields,” she held her hand over the seat and he reached behind and shook it. “You’re not old Stanford, maybe they just have more money to hire more help.” He laughed. Settling back in, she fussed with the seat belt. She hated the fucking things, but she hated cars too. Stifling. She felt like she was in a cage, and she was getting one. Joy. From the limited driving she’d done, it was a little different when you were actually in control of the thing. *npc-Fields* “I’ll get the heat up.” Stanford was playing with a Cantigo as he drove, taking a long drink. They didn’t even make those anymore. Lucky bastard. Traffic was light, the snow was managing to keep everyone home. She recognized the shortcut, looking down for several moments as she discretely pulled out her phone. It just didn’t… turning the screen brightness down all the way, she hit the text with her thumb. *Another detective in the car. Fields. Doesn’t feel right. Will send location.* She looked up, trying to find the streets, not able to read the signs that were coated in ice. Shortcut had become somewhere she didn't recognize. No immediate traffic. She turned in the seat to look out the back window, forearm wiping the condensation that lingered in between the defroster lines. Stanford looked at her in the rear view. *npc-Stanford* “Rorye, just relax.” She sat, muscles tense. “Stop the car,” her voice left no room for argument. *npc-Fields* “Relax. You’ll be fine.” Seat belt unlocked and she slid to the center of the seat. “Stop the car,” it was the only chance she would give them. Everything spun through her head at once. All the training, all the work, all the advice... and the mantra every girl had drilled into their brain from birth screaming through her thoughts. Never let them take you to a second location. *npc-Stanford* “Rorye, it’s okay. They said they just want to talk.” She spun in the seat, kicking the window until it cracked. Fields turned in his seat, the muzzle of the gun very real. *npc-Fields* “I will not hesitate to shoot you in the fucking face. Sit. Down.” Standford looked panicked. *npc-Stanford* “This was not the deal.” She slid next to the rear driver’s side door, putting the seat belt on. His gun stayed trained on her. She knew exactly how to disarm him, but there were too many variables. The weather. The streets. The traffic. She would have to plan this. “Where are we going,” she asked quietly. Her eyes were on him, but her attention on the traffic. She'd absorbed the way he held it, where it was aimed. Slightly over her left ear. He had trigger discipline. She was faster than this man's ability to fire an aimed shot, but she couldn't bank on Stanford's reaction and she'd be the only one not in a seat belt if they crashed. They were going too fast, and she wouldn't risk getting hit with an airbag unrestrained. If she was unconscious it would be for nothing. Headlights on the passenger side and a lone intersection were coming up, readying to kick the back of Standford’s seat as hard as she could. She finally knew this intersection, she knew where to go once she was out. Stanford looked up at her for a moment as if he almost knew, and that was all it took for the world to spin out of control. He blew the stop sign on purpose, Fields and his gun turned away from her at the sound of the horn blare. The nauseating sensation of weightlessness that she knew would end in pain spun through the car as the other vehicle slammed into Fields' passenger front door. The sound of glass and metal erupted, reverberating through her bones. Then silence.


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