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Derrick Mason Gray

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906 Godly Level of Awesome

About Derrick Mason Gray

  • Rank
    Around Since Moses


    Bridget Moynahan
  • RACE
    Altered Human
  • JOB
    Bakkhos Club Headliner / Bakkhos Boss Bodyguard
    New York
    At six foot two with a lean, muscled build she can be intimidating or elegant depending on her mood. Her dark brown hair is naturally straight and hangs in easy to care for long layers to the middle of her back. Eyes are rarely seen as she hides them behind round Lennon-styled sunglasses that are so dark they seem opaque, this is to keep secret the eerie sightless light gray pupils and nearly white irises she was born with. There is a nasty foot long, six inch wide scar up the outside of her right thigh, a concrete burn from a motorcycle accident in her teens. Her left shoulder is marred by four ragged scars that wrap nearly from the back down towards her chest, a "gift" from an encounter with a werewolf that had betrayed Bakkhos.

    There are six piercings in her left ear all along the outer edge from her lobe to her helix, two more in the right ear lobe; these days they are often void of adornment but when she wears anything it will typically be silver studs or hoops. Centered on her back is a tattoo that a mere three alive have gotten to see. It started as something she did as a teenager to piss off her mother, but it was added to and evolved into a unique piece that seems contrary to the often aloof tomboy. The guitar's sound chamber peeking through "carved" flesh decidedly…feminine. When not "on duty" she is typically in loose fitting jeans or black cargos that have a tendency to ride low on her hips with a dark tank or cropped vest on top, always enough skin covered to hide the ink. Derrick isn’t much into jewelry so other than occasionally wearing her piercings it is usually restricted to leather bracelet cords on her wrists and a chunky ring or two on her fingers. All this is laid aside however when Angelo needs her dressed and on point. Then the leanly muscled form is slid into a dark pinstriped pant suit whose blazer plunges deep enough to distract, hair sleekly pulled from her features with a hint of elegant jewelry that makes her look like anything but a bodyguard and personal listening device.
    Derrick has always had a rebellious nature, apt to do the opposite of what is expected of her just to spite the “rules”. She tends to be cool and aloof to people she doesn’t know and only mildly lukewarm to those she does but what most don't know is this is more a symptom of her lack of social skills than any real slight on her part. It has been a long time since she has really let anyone “in”.

    She is fiercely driven when it comes to music, both in practice and on stage. There is a reason she is known as a genius both before and after the Nevus. She is always pushing herself for perfection. But there is a bit of an impish side too if people look hard enough to find it. She takes a great deal of pleasure in manipulating idiots (especially ones that think they are cool) so they expose themselves in public as being the imbeciles she already knows them to be.

    Paranoid fear also shapes her tendencies. Often preferring the quiet of her tiny apartment, a good shot of liquor and Caesar curled in her lap to going to dinner or for a drink with some stranger that thought she was interesting. After all, there is no telling what they really want from her.

    High end whiskey or rum / Good music / Martial arts / Freaking people out when she responds to things they whispered thinking she wouldn’t hear / Thunderstorms / Her solitude / Push her sparring partner / A cop that doesn’t seem to notice / Being part of a "family" though she will never admit it

    Nosy/clingy people / Surrendering control / Kids / Doctors – because they always tell her what she shouldn’t be able to do / Cheap liquor / People who abuse instruments by playing them badly / The Vanguard because it has gone after her "family"

    Strengths::Beyond her unmatched musical abilities…

    ■Derrick is fiercely loyal to the few that get past the aloof exterior. Since the Nevus this is also a potential liability as she has developed loyalties to two very different sides. Her Bakkhos "family", at least the few she respects, have her absolute loyalty, but she also has a cop that has garnered her respect and possibly… affection. This might be her undoing eventually.
    ■She has an uncanny ability to sense peoples intentions (not a power just a sixth sense); often able to determine if someone is watching her or setting her up. Because of this, she is pretty good at judging friend from foe or telling when someone is nervous or angry. Her hyper sensitive senses adds to this.
    ■She can do some pretty wicked things with a frying pan, some spices and a handful of vegetables. She has been cooking for herself since she left home.
    ■High alcohol tolerance (after all, she spends most every night playing in a club)…. though this might be seen as a weakness as well since she tends to get free drinks and forgets the food.

    ■Being blind, though she sees it as an advantage and not a weakness. However it still does make her vulnerable in ways she refuses to admit.
    ■Headaches: The onset of her strange combat echo location has left her with violent headaches that are triggered with its overuse. The severity depends on how long the ability was utilized and how much she had to rely on it. The first time the ability surfaced, she lost consciousness for three hours and woke to vomiting and a headache that lasted for two more days. Seven years later, she has learned to control it so that it doesn’t engage unless she calls it.
    ■A bottled temper: She has a tendency to be very cool… aloof… even distant with people. She stays calm even when pushed, but then she gets pushed just one time too many and she snaps. Words rarely are used to express her anger, typically it’s her martial arts skills that do the “talking” for her. This has gotten her thrown out of more than one club in the past, even banned from certain concert venues in the years leading up to 2010.
    ■Her instruments: touch them and die… enough said
    The only things she would be devastated in losing would be her well-used (slightly scuffed) Marshall amps and her guitars, particularly two custom made for her and a vintage Fender Strat; her pet ferret Ceasar and a weathered leather jacket that a cop likely had no idea she had kept after their encounter when he used it to cover her.

    Beyond these, Derrick has a small loft near Bakkhos having refused to live in the hotel itself.


    Echo Location (not an altered ability): As a child she learned that she has abnormally strong hearing and that sound could bounce around objects and give her a map in her head of where things were. In an unfamiliar environment she will often click her tongue on the top of her mouth or step more loudly so she can “see” where and how big things are around her. While not always precision accurate it helped her develop skills that allowed her to function without the use of a cane. Utilized at this level since she was a child, it only developed even more sensitive hearing as well as a hypersensitive sense of touch as even the direction of the wind on her skin tells her things about the world around her.

    Combat Echo Location: Ability that emerged after the 2010 Nevus event. The keenly trained mind that already could echolocate and the body trained for fighting seemed to create the perfect receptacle for this new ability. When fight instincts start pumping her adrenalin, all sounds around her will flush a 3d echo location map in her mind… black shapes outlined with white “echos” of ants that highlight surface edges almost like night vision goggles. In the beginning, “seeing” shapes was still very confusing, often disorienting as much as aiding her in a fight since she didn’t recognize shapes as the objects they were. Seven years of adapting however has led to her being able to call the ability at will and distinguish clearly between living and inanimate objects, recognize metal versus soft surfaces, vehicles versus buildings. She can push this map out in all directions like sonar, able to recognize shapes as far as several miles away, unhindered by barriers that she can push through. This also gives her a slight advantage in that she seems to be able to anticipate moves when in truth the sound of an initiated move shows in her map faster than it registers for the normal eye. The ability also comes at a price, while not debilitating while active, the longer and more focused its use, the longer and more violent her headaches are once it shuts down. Another side effect of this ability is the adrenalin masks pain. While this may be useful during a battle, it also means she will fight even when injuries dictate she should retreat. More than once she has put her own life in danger by fighting on when injuries were potentially life threatening.

    After second Nevus exposure in 2016 which further enhanced her already advanced sensory compensation, manifesting a higher level of telekinetic abilities.

    Telekinetic Projection: Ability to move and "throw" objects without touching them with a force twice the strength of a powerful human. Once fully developed, this ability will be able to manifest even in hand to hand combat situations, if only used for a one time hurl, it is uncertain what the limit might be, but used with precision and repeatedly she will only be able to manipulate 80-90lb objects for 100ft. When consciously used the effect will be similar to use of her combat location, mild headaches with light use, efforts to move at her max and for max distances are likely to cause nosebleeds and migraines. Used continuously in combat and she will likely lose consciousness.
    Current State of this Ability: this ability has been barely tapped. She only seems to access it when she is completely exhausted and angry. Anything small within a forty foot radius (less than 15 lbs) tend to bounce around on surfaces, fall off dressers or fling violently across a room. It has once shivered so furious a small car flipped down a street leaving her unconscious after. She has no real directional control yet as this ability only manifested in the last year and she is still trying to understand how to tap into it, let alone control it, however it has manifested twice with catastrophic outcomes; once in an autoshop, metal tools hurled with enough force to impale two men and blow through thin metal walls and the second time in warehouse where weapons were laying open, blood drawn again.

    Telekinetic Shield: Ability to throw up a "shield" to block moving objects. Once fully developed the shield will be no larger than 9ft diameter, so at best can protect herself and maybe two others. This is not a solid shield but rather true telekinetic barrier that slows objects but is not fully impenetrable. She can use it a max of 8 times in a row if kept up for less than 5 seconds (such as a block in combat) and only once if kept up for the maximum 2 minutes. Using this to its max will leave her unable to call on her other abilities as all are draining from the same mental resource. Attempts to push beyond the limit will likely render her unconscious.

    Current state of this Ability: This has become a more accessible ability. She first used it to while under great duress needing to save herself or another from certain death, but now she can pull it up with more control but still fights to protect more than herself and a single person.
    Musician/Vocals: Having picked up her first guitar at seven, she has been playing ever since with a range that stretches from Jimi Hendrix to Kirk Hammett. She also has a deep rich voice that can match nearly every note in every range thanks to her highly tuned hearing, ideal for covering any female or male artists of the last century, enriching the sound with her rum-rich tones.

    Electronics (restricted to upkeep of amps and guitars): As most of her life has been devoted to her instruments, she has become an expert in maintaining and repairing them.

    Martial Arts: Pushed into classes by age three to “build her confidence”, she was actually nationally ranked in Aikido and Jujitsu by thirteen but later refused to participate anymore, mainly to piss off her mother but secretly because she felt she was given “easy” competitors to “cater” to her blindness and pity was something she couldn’t stand even back then. Now as an adult, the focused listening and feeling of vibrations has grown to a lethal art as she pushes her training to extreme levels to be sure she can protect her "family".
    She was supposed to be a boy… her name carefully chosen to represent some obscure male in her father's lineage that had meant something to someone. Missing a dick was the first insult to her parents. Born blind… was the second. They were the perfect little Stepford neighborhood couple. She was PTA material and he was an architect and they were supposed to have their 2.3 kids.. golden retriever… and white picket fence. At least, that was what they were on the surface.

    Carlita Graziano was sister to Anthony Graziano, a New York mob crime boss underling making a name for himself. In the early 80's she was being courted by several high ranking Capos. Carlita could have been powerful in New York but she found herself gravitating to the white picket fences of the suburbs and the very "white" ladies that had perfect families and ran the school bake offs and with her Italian heritage not as obvious as her brothers, she knew she could have what she wanted.

    In a rare event, Carlita fled New York and managed to fall off the radar of not only her brother but the mob itself who was going through some upheaval as bosses fought for territories and the feds were ever hotter breathing down their necks.

    Edmond, Oklahoma became her "stepford" suburb. The beautiful streets and charming homes and the façade of life in perfection drew her like a moth to a flame. Renaming herself Joanna Wellington. She met Jacob Gray there and settled into a life of her plastic "perfection".

    But then, Derrick’s birth had pretty much ruined all that, by being female, by being blind, and by taking on a decidedly dark complexion and appearance in comparison to her light mother and strawberry blond father.

    To her mother’s credit the woman was so deep in denial of having created something imperfect that she refused to treat the girl as anything but sighted. It was probably the best thing she ever did for her daughter. From the time she could walk, Derrick was pushed into every after school activity that all her mother’s friends children were in, only she didn’t seem to discern girl and boy activities so Derrick was tossed into ballet and aikido… choir and soccer. When other parents gasped at the little blind girl getting knocked down, her mother would yell at her about how COULD she miss that coming?!... to which many of those fellow Stepford wives would cringe in horror of how heartless the woman was. She was crumbling her own façade long before Derrick rebelled and completed the task for her.

    Her mother taught her two very important lessons… she had no handicap…. and to never accept pity.

    Derrick was just two years old when she developed echo location abilities… lips popping as she wandered around the house, the sound bouncing and fading as ears began to learn to listen harder and detect walls and furniture. As she got older the skill refined, highly sensitive ears didn’t need the loud continuous pops anymore, her footsteps more often than not conducting enough sound to determine her surroundings. She also had the uncanny ability to look people directly in the eye with her hazed over orbs based on instant judgments about their height and position from the sounds they made, a fact that unnerved everyone except her mother who had insisted it was proper etiquette. Her mother had also taught her the proper way to blink and keep her eyelids open so she didn’t develop that “lazy” expression that other blind kids had. It was all about perfection for her mother.

    But twelve years of perfection with a healthy dose of religion shoved down her throat had Derrick primed to start rebelling. She quit her martial arts tournaments abruptly at fourteen. Partially because she was rarely allowed to have matches anymore without heavy supervision, she had injured several boys older than she with her "kill or be killed" approach, and partially to piss her mother off. Her mother and her locked in a screaming match for pretty much the next six months over it. After all her mother had something to brag about when Derrick had been nationally ranked. It declined from there. Derrick had been secretly learning guitar since she was seven at their neighbor’s house from a boy three years older than her. She had originally taken it up because she hated the piano lessons her mother made her take and because she had a crush on the ten year old who talked to her like she wasn’t blind.. but it grew into a passion that by fourteen had the boy not so fond of her anymore mainly because she could play circles around him. When he quit letting her come over to play his instrument, she wanted one of her own. Her mother refused but her normally distant shrugging father for once gave in.

    Soon she was garage banding with kids in all black clothes with pierced noses and black makeup leaving her mother appalled and Derrick feeling free for the first time, though soon the kids couldn’t keep up with her talent either. That was about the same time she squashed the last vestige of her mother’s hope, she quit going to church… of course her batty mother trying to have her exorcized…. TWICE! might have played a role in that.

    It was also about this time that Derrick started snooping through her mother's things when left alone in the house. She was looking for things that might be of value that she could pawn for the escape she was planning. Going through the very organized, perfectly stepford jewelry box she had plucked several rings and gold chains but it was one in particular that had caught her attention. A heavy bracelet with a thick plaque between that had been tucked under the false bottom of the box. Sensitive fingers had traced the engraving on the plate a thousand times pondering what it meant…. Carlita Graziano.

    It was amazing what one could find out at the library when the librarian pitied the "poor little blind girl" that couldn’t read. Nevermind the fact that she could speed read Braille faster than a sighted person could read a picture book. It had not taken much investigating to find out that Carlita was the missing sister of one Anthony Graziano, a mob consigliere in New York.

    Derrick put two and two together. Her original plan had been to head for California, live on the street while she tried to be "discovered" for her talent. Instead, she planned for New York.

    She was fourteen when she got on the back of a boys motorcycle and headed for the east coast with her guitar on her back and about $200 bucks in her pocket. She intended to track down her Uncle, perhaps he would understand her desire to play and help her achieve what she wanted The fact that he was mob affiliated didn’t really phase her, after all, he couldn’t be worse than her nutty mother.

    But an accident on the open roads of Ohio near Columbus that nearly put an end to any future she might have. The boy had been killed instantly, her guitar shattered and her right thigh was missing most of the upper layers of skin where she had slid along the concrete at over forty miles an hour. She spent nearly a month in the hospital as social workers tried to find out who the “poor little blind girl” was… needless to say she wasn’t talking.

    Hearing the soft clucking behind her back was what really chilled the girl’s disposition. She became cool and aloof, never reacting to good or bad news anymore. When they finally released her it was to a youth home since they had no idea where she belonged. She ran away within the first week and finished the journey she had started, hitching to New York without a cent in her pocket nor a guitar to play on.

    She asked enough questions in New York to attract the attention of the mob quickly, a fact she nearly paid for as she had a gun pushed in her mouth before she had managed to free the bracelet from her pocket to dangle as evidence she wasn’t crazy. While Anthony took her in, the manhunt for her mother had begun. She had betrayed the "family" and that just wasn’t done. Anthony was in the middle of several indictments that had him sure his niece should be distanced from him and New York.

    With a bank account of her own, she was put on a plane with some very expensive guitar equipment, a new bracelet of her own that had her name emblazoned on its inner shield and flown to Los Angelos to "make something" of herself just months before Anthony was sent to prison for eleven years. The account was enough for her to find an apartment and start playing the club scenes which led to a contract when she was fifteen, one that quickly taught her how evil the world could be. She went into hiding waiting for the record label contract to expire.

    When it finally expired, it took her only a short while to get herself on her own feet. Becoming the most sought after guitarist on the west coast club scene.

    She quickly made it to the big time, asked to guest-play with real bands… famous groups that went on tour with her and often asked her to join but she liked the freedom to play with any and all of them. But then came the breakdown at Lollapalooza. She had been pushed for weeks by the “big boys”… taunted about her big guitar being too much for her to handle.. even by guitarists that damn well knew she could play and play circles around them. But when one decided to take it farther and stick his hand down her cargoes in front of some guitarist she respected… she lost it. Two broken fingers, a broken nose and three smashed guitars later (none of which were her injuries or instruments) she was “asked” in no uncertain terms to leave. She had been twenty-one at the time.

    It took two years before she wanted to play with “real” bands again. An encouraging letter from her Uncle coming just as she was deciding she enjoyed the refuge of small clubs with local bands who were happy to have her. She had never had encouragement that didn’t seem to want anything from her. There was a symphonic concert coming in New York with several big metal bands. She could go and play the big leagues, and then visit her Uncle in prison. She didn’t care what he had done, he understood her…… it was 2010, and she never made the concert.

    Stuck in a city she didn’t know well in a world that was up heaving she took to the shadows of forgotten districts in the hope of surviving the chaos. Comforted by three guitars that had survived the missed concert even though their original owners had not. When the noise died down she hunted for her Uncle, the prison destroyed in the Nevus was littered with bodies but also with avenues of escape, she couldn’t tell if he was among the dead or had escaped.

    Slowly she learned her way around and kept out of everyone else’s way. She was mugged three months later which brought on her first combat echo location episode. She managed to break the guys windpipe and was fortunate she had killed him, because the moment it was over and the disorienting shapes went away, she was unconscious. The next two days spent hurling and in pain, hoping it would never happen again.

    With the creation of the EAA things seemed to stabilize and she started to work her way into the club scene again, but that was when a Vanguard nutjob wannabe started following her. Her ability to navigate her world despite her blindness was “clearly” a sign of “magical abilities”. Accused first of being Altered and then of being infected the guy had tried to kill her… she instead returned the favor.

    It was after this that Derrick gave up the limelight of the trendiest hotspots for the dank dark stages of back-alley hole in the wall dives which was what probably insulated her from the zombie invasion, and gang wars. There was just not a large enough or healthy enough crowd in the places she frequented to draw attention. But she still relentlessly searched for the family that had supported her when no one else had, given her the chance to play when no one else thought she should. And all that searching caught the attention of Angelo Gaspari. A Capo crew member had been sent to the hovel of a hotel room she was holed up in but unfortunately had acted the tough guy and not really explained who he was nor why he was there. While the Capo had been furious, Angelo had been amused that Graziano's niece had dropped the crew like a cheap suit. He had come himself to fetch her out of the slums.

    It was Angelo that had told her of her Uncle's death, it was also Angelo that gave her a safe place to play again while grooming her for a position in the new world he was creating. It didn’t take long for her to become the man's bodyguard, lie detector, "bug", even arms buyer. Derrick had an uncanny knack for telling if a batch of bullets was second rate or not. The sound of the casing was distinct when it was cheap and likely to blow up on them, a hazard of the new world. While he has trained her, he hasn’t tried to change her and it is this "respect" that has garnered her loyalty. She is his personal bodyguard and often that of the other Boss' as well.

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  1. Derrick Mason Gray

    Don't Eat the Dead Ones

    "Don't gimme that look." Bridge of her nose wrinkled at him, the effect surprisingly cute on the normally stoic features as she huffed at him again. "I mean it" There was an incredible temptation to stick her tongue out at him but she resisted the urge as he got up and rummaged in his trap doors. The soft clink of liquid filled glass betraying he was victorious in his hunt. As the door dropped, the dust billowed upward, sensitive nostrils instantly fighting the urge to sneeze. She almost succeeded until he sat across from her once more. The explosion of air off to her left violent as she didn’t bother being "feminine" with the expulsion. Person could blow their eardrum doing that stupid "hold it in" shit. Back of her fingers rubbed vigorously under her nose before acquiescing. ....be a pain to walk home now anyway..... "...yah, your hair would freeze and that sucks." The "pft" escaped her lips as she leaned back in the chair, the seat precariously balancing on its back legs. What?...worried I catch my death? "Not being a mother hen." Yes you are….. "Just don't want to get my ass blown up because y'all don't know what you're doing." Frown dipped over her brows, arms folded across her chest as lips pursed slightly. Know what am doin' enough to tell you which way yer balls are currently tucked. It’s the damn sky that doesn’t know what the fuck it wants to do. Last part grumbled half under her breath. Until she had become a host to a fucking sky entity she had complete control over all her abilities. "...... I ain't your people." No…..you aint…… It was said very matter-of-fact, without any accusation or annoyance, in fact, it almost sounded relieved of the fact. Too much "family" perhaps........ "You got nothin' to prove to me. " Never was tryin' to ya mook…. She didn’t seem to take offense to his blunt frankness. As always there was a comfortable ease between them that made absolutely no sense because she was at ease with no one. "Sucks not knowing what's inside you until someone you hate forces it out without your permission." Ya……been there… done that…. The words were quiet. Like many she found out she was altered after the Nevus the hard way. Ears itched at the empty bottle hitting the table, silently wondering how long before he opened the fresh one. She was still "thirsty"… despite what her stomach kept growling about. "Doesn't last long though... body burns through it faster than I can drink it. Most zipped I've been in a long time, must be losing my touch." Told ya… light weight…. Hand ran up over the wet locks as the smile itched her lips. Head shook a bit as she rocked back on the chair legs. Got'a musician's tolerance….. cant recall being ……"zipped"….. A partial grin came to her lips at the word. It was so…. proper…. of him. Got enough in that little dropbox of yours to last us all night? Brow quirked at him over the haunting eyes. Promise when you get shot at at my place…. we can drink mine….
  2. Derrick Mason Gray

    Don't Eat the Dead Ones

    "Other gunrunners aren't all I have to worry about. Coulda been anybody." Head shook as she rubbed her finger tip over the table, feeling the surface before the quiet words protested. ….nah…. this was family personal…. they knew what they were hittin'…. The faint scowl betrayed her thoughts had darkened back to the traitor. They needed to end him and his upstart gang. Nostrils huffed softly as she let it go and their conversation moved to his tshirt and she pulled it to her features, getting a strong whiff of his scent. She still couldn’t place that floral accent. ...figured you would prefer swiping your tee rather than neglecting to address the matter at all… "...yep, not that kind'a storefront." Brow quirked, clearly pondering the thought. It wasn’t that she didn’t get the insinuation of a brothel, she just really didn’t equate the two the same way others did. Drink……. she needed more drink. There was a distinct impression that the cajun was way ahead of her in that area. Don’t suppose you got any other decent stuff lying around…. "Of course I do... but I'm a lightweight, so gonna eat some more food, Oh? You mean for you? You get me shot, steal my shirts, compare me to a little green man and called me a lightweight. Why do I need to fetch that for you again?" Smirk tickled her lips. She could hear the humor in his voice. Lips pursed with an exaggeratedly serious expression as finger tapped her lips in deep "contemplation". Well… I could go home and drink my own good stuff…. leave Joey to babysit ya….I mean… he aint as cheerfully entertaining as I am but ya know…. I hear he is cute in a wet tee. Smirk lit up the corners of hauntingly "dead" eyes before scowling at a faint rumble in her gut. The heavy scent of his foods was starting to permeate into her senses. It could be ignored before but as his breath heated with liquor and spice it was growing more invasive. Silence lingered and again it seemed…comfortable. Bare foot perched on the front of the seat, long limb folded in half, knee pressing to the side and under her arm as she leaned on the table. "I'll get it if you agree to let me help you with the Force." Expression instantly darkened. The "glare" uncannily accurate as lips pressed tight together. What was he?...family? They liked that "I do it for you if you do… or allow…. or don’t…..do something." Huff escaped her nostrils as more sigh than huff. Folded in half, her elbow rested on the table, chin rested in her hand as she "watched" him eat. The grump in her voice acquiesced. …..be a pain to walk home now anyway………… It was her way of agreeing, free hand reaching out adjusting slightly left the minute the heat of what she was smelling tickled her sensitive skin. Fingers accurately dipped inside the box and came out with a spiced shrimp that popped between her lips, oddly enough, the first thing she had ever eaten in front of him. They drank together often…. but she never went out of her way to eat in the first place, let alone when they met up randomly.
  3. Derrick Mason Gray

    Don't Eat the Dead Ones

    "….But… I don’t want more baggage. If I’m gonna be flashing mana on a regular basis to deal with yall, I gotta decide if it’s worth it. Order don’t like being told no. They think I’m dead. Wanna stay that way.” Faint nod came as she scratched the back of her wet neck. Well….not supposed to have'ta flash mana around…. If I am doin' my job should be quiet. Musta been sloppy somewhere along the way for them to target here. Frown etched across her brow as she started rewinding all her visits looking for the one that might have been careless. Subject changed to lighter things, like her sensitive skin. “Ya ain’t getting any more of my tshirts,” It was her turn to smirk as her face dipped, fingers lifting the collar to rub it up over her chin and lips, snuggling it. ….. well am keeping this one….. rare to find them this soft…. Fingers trailed the collar a moment before letting it fall back into place once more with a shrug. …besides…. people seem to have hangups about lack of clothin' so…ya…. figured you would prefer swiping your tee rather than neglecting to address the matter at all… Fingers stole his bottle once more the moment it hit the table and betrayed its location, swig a bit thick before letting it back down in front of him, breath sighing from her lips before the stray escaping moisture was captured from her lips. “Then we a pair then… I’m nuclear winter in a bottle… they wanted to experiment on me too, kept pushing me beyond where I wanted to go,….Blew up a lotta shit…” Smirk came with a nod of understanding. She had done her share of damage as well. The faint ghost of his chuckle drawing her lips further upward. It was a tainted sound that came with a breath of liquor that even tired her delicate senses picked up on. His gris-gris was brought to her nostrils for a deep languid smell, emblazoning the different notes to memory before handing it back to him and declaring his smell was still different from his charm. …….but ya sniff yourself again and am gonna bust a rib laughing. Smirk had a softness it usually lacked as the thick lashes that had been closed fluttered open, the haunting gray pupils refusing to dilate in the white irises even as they targeted him with an unnerving accuracy. Habit. They somehow came full circle back to "powers". Can make a shield with it too….. “Ya think that might have been handy? ...woulda have been nice to know that before we got all magicked-the-fuck up. ” Ya…..well…. also coulda suffocated you with it too…so… you know…careful what you ask for….. The chuckle was warm and rum rich as a bare foot propped up on the edge of the chair, knee folding up in front of her chest with an easy flexibility considering the ridiculous length of her limbs. "That hoodoo needs training. I might know somebody that has some kind of knowledge about that kinda stuff…” There was a brief frown before a faint huff escaped her nostrils and the expression relaxed. She trained non-stop. Something he wouldn’t know about but was the vexation of many a family member that was on the receiving end. Everything she knew how to do she had taught herself. Of course… this was also why progress of certain aspects, like her hand to hand combat, were extremely advanced and near unbeatable, and other aspects…….. like her abilities… had a decidedly …slower….progress. “Wouldn’t recommend it now though… I’m drunk as hell.” Lips parted only to clamp shut again as the head tilted at him, a bubble up chuckle starting soft in her chest before billowing into a melodic laughter. Uh huh….. ok Yoda………. Smirk lingered as the head shook. Lightweight……. The tease tripped easily off her tongue as she reached for his bottle once more, shaking it to hear the slosh of nearly no liquid in the base of the glass. They needed more…. Don’t suppose you got any other decent stuff lying around…. As much as she could drink she could feel the warmth billowing in her gut. Empty stomach was not exactly increasing her alcohol tolerance.
  4. Derrick Mason Gray

    Don't Eat the Dead Ones

    Melancholy and angst itched at her as it seemed to roll off him. The trip had not been what he had expected….. not in the least. “Sorry to disappoint you, but it’s not the first time my place has been targeted. Dealing guns is dangerous, always has been. There’s a reason the back room has steel reinforcement and the place is covered in cameras.” Wont be the last either am sure…… all am sayin' is we bringing a focused kind of nasty to your door. Words were quiet. It really was dangerous to associate with the family when they got targeted. Most of the time it was actually a boon… it helped keep people safe. But with a traitor specifically stupid enough to try and target a takedown of the largest syndicate in the world…. It put a new perspective on what it meant to be associated with them. Highly sensitive skin. It was an incredibly random statement yet it came because things still itched at her thoughts… things he had said. Nerves always on fire, sense temperature… able to read more subtle texture than braille. Don’t tolerate rough fabrics well…. There was a pause as she drew the breath… released softly. I knew that rail was scalding when I came down….you didn’t hurt me…. I hurt me…. knew what I was getting into…rare that I don’t know what am getting into…. And that was all she was going to say about her sensitive flesh. Instead she moved to the ink that wasn’t and could feel a faint shift in his oppressive mood. “I’ve heard of that. When I was training with the order there were some whispers of people fundamentally changed by the thing, caught in it somehow, pieces of them trapped, pieces of it trapped. Just thought they were stories…” Shrug came as she dismissed any importance of it even as the words said something different. Apparently only living example of an "actual" integration… apparently host croaks within days… least that’s what some big scientist thought. Thumb ran over her bottom lip thoughtfully before adding… 'course he wanted to experiment on me so…….. who knows what the truth is….. Conversation came more easily as she spoke of her echo location but as she shifted into his smell, she could hear the shift and flare of nostrils as he apparently sniffed himself to see what it was she smelled. She almost burst out laughing at the gesture, listening to the charms on his wrist spill over as he sniffed again. Air shifted and instantly so did his breath, it was closer. He was leaning over the table, likely to give her something so the hand simply turned over and opened to let him. At this point she didn’t think he was trying to stick a knife in her throat, though the brush of his warm fingers on her still cold hand shivered a bolt up her spine. Palm rocked the small weight before fingers elongated along the cord. It was the one from his neck, the scent stronger now that it was out of his shirt. “Might be it….It’s my gris-gris. I had, we all had, a caretaker… nanny I guess. Mine was more like an accomplice. Taught me to cook, covered for me to keep me out of trouble. She gave me that, said I always come out after a scrape as long as I had it.” Fingers rolled it, instantly mapping its surface as a skull… the material too light for wood… more likely bone. It also had things loose inside. It was a unique piece as far as she was concerned. She hadn't felt anything like it before. The scent while potentially missed by others was very potent for her. “Magnolias maybe…Others are just… charms. Gris-gris are charmed to you. Powerful stuff.” The unexpected chuckle licked of warm rum and familiarity as she listened to him sniff himself again before stealing the bottle back. Her head shook as long fingers turned the odd charm over once more. You wouldn’t smell it yourself. I know this scent too… you always have it on. But I am referring to you… no one else can smell it… least that is what it seems to be to me…. I guess its like why can a dog track something you cant?..... I smell the scent that bleeds from people's skin. It… I don’t know how to explain it….. seems to be a mix of where they were born…. the food they eat….. the water that makes up their body…if you drink… smoke…. everything that makes up you internally…. it gives a unique smell that I can read. Used to tell people what they smelled like…. got yelled at to stop making things up…. but its real…. I can recognize a person I haven't seen in years by that scent…. no matter how much perfume they use to cover it up or where they live and eat now….. Shrug was a bit indifferent. It was like breathing to her…something she had done from when she was little. His charm was brought up to breathe deep of it, head tilting slightly. Some of the things in here are entangled in your scent but it still is not your scent.... you are rain...spice... and a flower. Smile was a bit lopsided as hand extended to give it back to him.. the gesture clearly understanding its importance. “So this… thing you do. Any more to it? My particular brand of mojo… I can scan, sweep, thermal, infrared. Kind of like radar. Something kept jamming up my signal… was that you?” Shrug came again…. unsure if she affected anything. Never had before. Since the world went fuck-shit crazy… I have an…. Nose crinkled up looking for words. She had never explained it to anyone before and wasn’t entirely sure herself what it was or how it worked. ….an amplified mode?.... The questioning tone further betraying this wasn’t a normal topic of conversation for her as fingers scratched the back of her neck where moisture still was dripping down into the collar of his tee. I can echo locate a surrounding area in all directions at once…. guess my brain is used to um…." seeing"… in all directions….. simultaneously….. so when I push it engages and I can do it for miles all ways including up and down and through things…makes things more precise too, rather than just mass and distance I can truly understand size and things like if a person is armed or not… more noise around… more I can hear sound move around things…. the clearer I can map things. She was quiet a moment as a frown settled over the sightless eyes the murmur half to herself…. Doubt it was that interfering though….. Fingers picked once more at the edges of textured ink. It was quiet now, the threat of patterns moving and really freaking him out was subsided…. for now. Ever since been guinea pigged by sky debris….. seems has tapped into something….. else….things sometimes…. move….. fly…. Shrug came as she drew patters with her finger on the surface of the table. Happens when am pissed……… or protecting…….. The unnatural telekinesis had been on display in their battle, the flung bike its culmination before she finally calmed enough for the unconscious ability to shut down. Can make a shield with it too….. Now she was delving into secret territory. No one knew she could do that except Gaspari as he had been the recipient once of her shielded protection and even he wasn’t exactly sure what had happened so it had not been discussed.
  5. Derrick Mason Gray

    Don't Eat the Dead Ones

    “I gotta rebuild myself. We always rebuild.” I gotta protect myself… I always protect myself…. The mirror between them was always there as her soft words answered his own. Silence once more lingered. It felt different than it had before. Silence was always comfortable between them… now it felt…. foreboding. “The cold water makes ‘em hurt,” Brow quirked at him, unaware she was itching at her arm. Covered the instinct to hide them was natural, but exposed she fell into her habits that were normally reserved for the privacy of her own home. “Do for mine anyway, become these… itchy, raised lines.” Fingers instantly stopped scratching as it sunk in what he was referring to. Hands crammed into her pockets as the head shook. Cold usually calms it….. it only gets angry when I'm….. It was an odd way to reference her tattoos. Words trailed off. Not able to confess the angst of the "ink" was due to her own unstable emotions, feeding off her and exaggerating the effect. She laid bare her fears and he got defensive….. took it personally. This was going downhill so fast it had her head spinning. This is why she never confessed anything about herself… why she didn’t share…. why she let no one in. Her words never came out right and they never understood the sentiment behind them. "…..didn’t insist on protecting you because I thought you were incompetent, I just didn’t want to fry your ass. Going off all half-cocked, you stepped right into my line of fire. It’s my responsibility to protect what’s mine, and you while you’re in it. You don’t gotta prove you got balls by steppin’ into someone’s line of fire.” She was silent… letting the aggressive roll continue. “Now is you gonna be different from everyone that’s come before that I’ve told what I can do? You not going to ask me to crack safes and scramble security protocols? Eavesdrop on phone conversations? Block and fry communications? Unlock car doors? How about level street blocks? I don’t tell people because I’m useful, and I’m dangerous, and what I do you can’t avoid. I HURT you Mason, and I almost killed you and your damn back-up because yall had to get in the way!” And it was her fault he was attacked in the first place. Too much to say…. no idea how to say it. Instead the bracelet was slid from the table and the silence that lingered was finally broken again. Sits on the river…. "no, it don't." Then your map is defective…..shows your french quarter is lined by the……. Soft words ended with brows etching ever slightly downward as sensitive fingertips traced the piece again. The carved letters were so minute and some filled with hardened clay…. but some of the river name could be made out… even if the naked eye couldn’t see them yet…. an "m"…. an "s"….two "p"s….. it was enough for her to fill in the blanks from her memory. …. by the Mississippi……... It's silver….. “I think so, probably. Nola ain’t on the river, it is the river. It was born from the river, it lived from it, and it died from the river. Thought the cuffs were something more... probably just pieces of junk for drunk tourists.” They are what they are to you. Nothing more……. and nothing less. Quiet words were almost reverent as she set it back in front of him. Why did she still have an extra light plastic guitar pick in her dresser at home. It was an absolute piece of crap pick that made dick for sound on any guitar… junk to anyone else. Yet she wouldn’t part with it. She had played her very first notes on a guitar with it, one of the few memories of her youth she clung to. She listened as he got a new bottle of liquor and came back to the table to finish emptying the basket. The last item set on the table with far more weight than the others. It was also set down with a deliberate caution. It too meant something to him. “Don’t give two shits about your sight Mason. I give a shit about you." Lips pursed slightly as the brows knitted over sightless eyes. Hands shoved in wet pockets as the head shook ever so slightly. The words rolling in her head for every time they had been said to her… by managers… promoters…. bar owners…. musicians…. fans….. boyfriends…. Words I have heard many times before…… for once………. I really hope they are meant. Why did he pull at her so much. The cop she had been smitten with yes…. but this pull… this deep seeded need to believe…. to trust…..that had not been there. Hand slid from her pocket and finally reached for the structure across the table that kept reverberating in her awareness each time something was set down on the surface. She had assumed it was a chair and was not disappointed as a leg was caught. Pulling it and flipping it over she set the back against the table as long limbs straddled the seat, arms folding over the back to "watch" him, soft rumble in her gut getting annoying as she reached for the bottle and took another deep swallow of courage before setting it down once more. Tongue snaked over her lips as the thick unpainted lashes half closed listening to him breath before finally breaking the silence. Don’t give a shit what you can do…..never did…..there is a small army of people out there right now watching this area that can do shit. Chin rested on the folded arms, rubbing a moment over the itch of her left as the breath in her chest slowed to match his, it was an odd habit that had started about the third time they met up in the cemetery by "accident" to share a bottle of booze. Just happened naturally now. My job to protect you…. and your place. Its my fault your place was targeted. I brought you into this deal. That group tonight…. built by a traitor looking to undo what we built. Means dealing with us is….dangerous…. now. She was opening a real big door for him to say he wanted out. She would figure out a way to explain it to Gaspari…. she just wanted him safe. The thought that he would take the offer ached her chest…. but she didn’t want him to be looking over his shoulder just because he was selling to them either. Dry lips were licked once more, teetering on the edge of a giant leap of faith. One last time. Then never again….. one last time. Finger picked absently at the edge of a bold ebony swipe on the back of her left hand before she opened secret doors she shared with no one…. not even the family. Its not ink…… I am playing parasitic host to a piece of the sky. It likes to amplify emotions when its ticked off….. I try not to have any. The quiet confession explained a lot…. but she wasn’t stopping there. Right middle and forefinger struck the table before "marching" several steps in front of herself, head tilting ever so slightly before pointing to nearly every object he had in front of him to indicate she knew exactly where they were. My brain works different apparently….can echo-locate… not an enhancement… something I could do by the time I was three… gives me distance and size, even if it is hard or soft material. How can tell your best product from average… I can hear it. It was a skill that rarely existed prior to the Resonance, even among the blind. She knew that because a teacher had flipped out when she figured out what the seven year old was doing to get around without the aid of a guidedog or cane and had wanted to make her some project for a thesis or something. Her mom had promptly pulled her out of that school. Can tell that one is metal… that is stone… and that in front of you is food. Sense of smell been amplified since I was a kid as well… why don’t like perfumes and scented soaps and shit… gives me headaches. All her little secrets spilling as doors were quietly unlocked and opened. Can recognize anyone I have met at great distance by the gait of their walk and their scent… even under perfumed crap people have their own smell. Head tilted slightly at him before adding. Rain…. spice and a floral I don’t recognize on anyone else…. that’s you…. It was oddly intimate knowledge. How she "worked" was being laid bare in a way no one else knew. Her breathing still matched his… but her heart rate was skittishly jumping around, trying to warn her to stop… yet she kept pushing forward.
  6. Derrick Mason Gray

    Don't Eat the Dead Ones

    “Damn it Mason…Give that back. Yours is broken.” Ya well…. got shot for ya and lost my favorite shades….. so think entitled… There was almost humor in the tone. It was a brief moment where they were back in the cemetery splitting a bottle and exchanging quips and grins…… a brief moment. “I’ll be fine. I can do it. Just somethin’ I have to do on my own.” Too alike…. The murmur barely more than a breath. He wouldn’t take help from her…. she wouldn’t take help from him… fuck.. weren't they a pair. Fingers kneaded the side of her neck before the right hand rubbed roughly over the left arm. The textured "ink" was uncomfortable…. she was upset and it was pulling at her skin in response, edges having the most minute of undulations. “It ain’t,……………..It ain’t there anymore anyway. Nothing to go to even if you knew where to go.” It hurt him that it was gone. It was betrayed in his voice, in the way he breathed….in the way the nostalgic remorse crept into his words. She knew what that felt like once. She had gone back after the end of the world to the first club she had played in… three years of her life had been spent there, Jimmy had always looked out for her there. The very smells of backstage could melt her soul. It had been the first real home she had ever felt a part of. It wasn’t even standing anymore. She listened as he reminisced about wet silk heat….and cool marble nights…. descriptions so much more than visual. It had been one of the reasons she had tolerated him in the beginning… grown fond of him in the end… the way he spoke elicited understanding for her in a way the sighted rarely did. “It looks different now, not much left of it still above water, but it doesn’t mean I don’t love it any less. Doesn’t mean it still don’t have the power to get me to think fondly of it. Been looking into gray eyes and seeing magic all my life. Never once have they not looked back at me until now.” Silence lingered between them as she listened to him twirl the bottle of bourbon, charms softly tinkling against her eardrums. “The only person being treated different right now is me. You shutting me out.” Frown ghosted her brow. He seemed to believe that. “Got nothing to prove to me Mason. Trying ta prove you ain’t broke is gonna kill you. We all broke, anyone that says otherwise is a liar. It's the ones that make the broken into beautiful that are gonna survive.” Lips pursed tight as arms folded over her wet chest once more, unconsciously protecting herself. So you are going to be different? The words were incredibly soft…… a vulnerability in them she showed no one. Different than every other person that ever came before in my life? The side glance was eerily accurate. The colorless eyes meeting his within millimeters of a true gaze as his breathing gave away their location to her. I used to believe everyone would not ask for proof after…. not treat me different….every damn time…I thought "they" were "different"…. I was sure every time…… and I naively trusted….. and every damn time I was suddenly not complete……. not trusted. Not expected to perform as successfully…… not trusted to cross the damn street on my own…. not trusted to protect with any accuracy. Never mind that I had done it all flawlessly before and that nothing had changed……. that one insight into my life suddenly changed their perception of me….every…..damn……time. The words never came up more than a mere whisper and yet there was anguished power behind them, a vulnerability that didn’t match the guard dog… at least not for most that knew her. She had finally given up believing….. trusting. When no one ever was different… not even the Bakkhos family…. she had finally just given up. And so she protected her secrets so as never to be destroyed by their discovery again. Throat cleared faintly as she swallowed the vulnerability she had been showing. I gave up that naivety long ago……….. Eyes slid to the table when the soft clink came, he had moved it closer again. Hesitation was there before the left arm flicked out… fingertips lightly dragging on the table to smoothly pluck it from the surface. Fingers ran over the grimed surface and "saw" more than someone sighted would have seen. The hidden grooves couldn’t hide from her sensitive skin. “French Quarter. Got into a lot of trouble there.” Another pass gave her intimate details. It was a standard grid pattern city. Sits on the river….. Murmur was more to herself than him as the thick lashes half closed letting her fingers do the "seeing". Bubba had never mentioned that… not that she could recall. The old black man had pined for the city but she didn’t remember him mentioning it was practically surrounded by water. Fingers rolled over the band again, weight gauged as the delicate touch was able to tell far more than most before adding quietly. It's silver…..
  7. Derrick Mason Gray

    Don't Eat the Dead Ones

    "Mhm…" There it was. The change. The silence. The awkward "now what" that came whenever someone found out what they perceived to be her handicap. After thirty years it really shouldn’t bother her anymore and yet….. She merely listened in the silence. The food somehow unappealing as her stomach folded on itself. Soft clink caught her attention as he plucked things from a wooden box based on the faint echo they made as he lifted them out. Thick lashes quit the faint open crack to close against the tops of high cheekbones. "You gonna eat or not? Didn't know what you liked so I ordered everything." Head shook, not caring if he was looking or not. She was usually more careful and always vocalized with her affirmations and denials to ensure that others knew her response in the event they were not looking at her and she didn’t know it. Now it just didn’t…. seem to matter. "Got ya a souvenir. Thought they were just scratched up fancy jewelry. Cleaned one up a bit and realized they're carved maps of the city. Touristy things... ya know. Not seen anything like em before. I'll buff 'em up after I get things cleaned up in the shop." Brows knitted downward over the closed orbs. Why was he picking her up souvenirs in the first place?….. and after everything why was he still looking for her to take them from him? Stomach turned at the rich scents as he began to open boxes and make himself a bowl of something. It wasn’t the food's fault, it was the knot in her stomach. The open bottle of bourbon was far more appealing to her nostrils than the food at the moment. Pushing from the wall she headed towards his camp out. Form always had an elegant almost poetic motion as she had an unusual perception of the movement of her form in space but without her gifts engaged it changed slightly to something almost haunting. Bare feet didn’t really lift from the floor, they floated, a hair off the surface so sensitive skin could feel the debris and slide it away rather than step on it. The affect was she didn’t "walk" so much as float like one of his ghost apparitions to get from point a to point b and it wasn’t done slowly like the sighted, but with a smooth and rapid pace of one who had lived this way always. With shoes, she just walked…without them… well.. a nail through her foot at age five had taught her that lesson. Timing was perfect as she reached the side of the table, the soft clink of his charms on the bottle instantly gave her its position. Hand took it from him, the movement ever so slightly different than when she engaged her gifts and "saw" the shape. Hand had started slightly further back and targeted the middle of the bottle rather than the top of the neck so she could sweep through and "guarantee" success. It was a difference no one really ever noticed. The graze on his fingers as she lifted it from him had almost caused her to release the capture but…. this close the scent beckoned of a decent bourbon and dammit…. she needed a drink. Weight was surprisingly light. Cajun was way ahead of her. Without a concern for where his lips had been, the top came to her own for a healthy deep draught of the liquor followed by a second full swallow. She was a drinker…. had been since she was sixteen and the bars started forking her endless free drinks to keep her on their stage playing. As the second full swallow hit her gut the bottle finally left her lips and the soft air oozed over them. Shoulders dropped ever so slightly in relaxation as the colorless orbs broke open out of habit to "look" at the broken window he had covered in a steel shutter. For the first time truly exposing the near white irises and faint gray pupils that didn’t contract and expand giving her an unnervingly accurate but ghostly stare when she locked her "gaze" on someone. Got a glass guy…. send him over tomorrow for y' window… probably have it fixed in a day…. She didn’t bother to mention the offer was a bit selfish. Kip did all the Bakkhos buildings, he specialized in bulletproof glass, a rarity these days. She didn’t care that things had changed between them….. she wanted him safe. Thought tickled brows downward as the bottle lifted again to her lips, heavy draught threatening to catch her up quickly to him before the bottle angled slightly and she moved to glide it on the table, ensuring the entire base was on the structure and not partially, dangerously balanced on the edge. …. early lessons of another life…. He was close.... it was a strange thought as she stood to the side of the table. Thumb lifted to wipe moisture from her cheek as thick soaked mahogany continued to drip from her temple and down her neck, hand unconsciously rubbing over the textured ebony markings that peeked out of his wet tee and crawled up the left side of her neck there. Should be careful giving me maps………. I never forget them. It was an odd quiet statement as she continued to "stare" at the destroyed window.
  8. Derrick Mason Gray

    Don't Eat the Dead Ones

    Damn it Mason! Form had pivoted back to the stairwell, eyes not bothering to open as the growl came back at him. Wha?!.... Joey pop 'im between the eyes if can't confirm is your guy! She hadn't registered the real reason for the exclamation as she continued with Joey and then vanished back into the bathroom. Hand slid to turn the water on once more, hands pushing under to toss some more frigid waters over her features as the realization the Cajun had wormed his way under her skin flushed her skin. The second time the hands went down they scraped the glasses. She had forgotten about Toni's shades. Fingers plucked them from the sink, shaking them off she noticed one arm was bent, probably from when she had her jeans crammed under the sink to wash out the blood. Fuck…. What a peachy day this had turned out to be. Head tilted to the side as she listened to him head down into the basement. She should get herself outside. She could guard just as easily from outside. Frown snapped as a sound echoed in the bathroom with grotesque demand. Hand pressed to her tight abs to quell the growl. Damnitt… when HAD she last eaten?? Fingers played with the warped glasses as the cranking of metal shutters itched at her sensitive ears. Frown marred the features as she finally gave up straightening the oversized shades, tossing them onto her leather blazer the growl this time came from her chest. What did it matter anymore if he knew. He basically knew….. he did or he wouldn’t have even pulled the "take them off" card. It would all be different now…completely and utterly different….. whether she hid them or not. It was a little death…. It always was. Fuck….. she didn’t need food….. she needed a bottle and her gym. Body shivered and it had nothing to do with the fact that she was still sporting a frigid chill on her skin and was soaked. Fingers roughly pulled the strap of the harness a notch tighter around her ribcage, letting the bite of its edges remind her she was here to guard and protect… not pine for something that wasn’t hers to have in the first place. Head tilted as the exchange happened below. It was just the delivery guy. Good thing Joey had kept his bullets to himself. Fingers combed through the mahogany slicking it over the top of her head, length continuing to drip down her back and hips. Pussy… go down and face it. Still wet bare feet slapped the floor as she paused at the top step, long unpainted lashes broke open over the haunting colorless eyes. Hesitation lingered before the huff came from her nostrils and she trotted down the steps, fingers lightly skimming the wall. Her gifts were shut down and yet she still maneuvered the world like she "saw" it. Each slap of damp skin on the ground echoed sounds in all directions and the mind that learned to echo-locate at a very early age began to sense the floors, walls, even the larger debris as she turned the corner at the bottom of the steps. Get your food…..? She damn well knew he had but it was all she could think to say as she leaned against the wall near the stairwell, tattoo littered arm folding over the other across her chest as the barely open lashes cast thick shadows beneath, not yet betraying her in the dim light.
  9. Derrick Mason Gray

    Don't Eat the Dead Ones

    “I am my own responsibility,…" ….and I am mine! The percussive words defeated his argument right back at him. He had started this by making her "his responsibility." "…. you gonna show up and save my ass from gators on my next trip home too?” …yes. The snapped word came abruptly but with a completely naked honesty before the phone buzzed and she pushed past him and eventually into the bathroom. The hot water slowly began to cool and soon she was leaning back in the tub, long limbs tangled up at the drain to stay inside the porcelain. Head back, the migraine finally began to back down. Nosebleed was finished and the colder the water got the more relaxed she became. People didn’t understand just how sensitive her skin was. As the water began to turn frigid, her lips faintly blue, she relaxed completely into the tub, nerve endings dulling as they numbed in the cold. Ears listened as he moved about, the call was a bit muffled as she was listening more to the water than the call but when he went downstairs and a door opened she half sat up to listen harder. Outside to his vehicle… then back in. Slouching back into the chilly porcelain she sighed quietly to herself. She wasn’t coming out. Breathing slowed and soon there was the faintest drift in and out of consciousness until something itched her mind, closed eyes frowning as she tried to shake it off. Groan was soft and annoyed as her recognized the buzz of her phone. Likely one of the perimeter crew. She could ignore it….she could….. Sigh was soft as she sat up in the frigid rain and pushed a hand on the side of the tub to climb out without falling through numb and relaxed limbs. Crouching she rummaged in the pile of clothes she had discarded on the floor looking for the phone. The buzz had stopped only to start again. They really wanted her….. shit…now what….. Phone was flicked open as she stood, hand resting on the edge of the sink as eyes didn’t bother to open. Ya…………huh? Frown etched her brow as she reached for the door and pulled it open. Dripping naked form stepped into the hallway without hesitation. Visual modesty was just something she didn’t comprehend. People were forms to her. She knew it bothered others but she had never really internalized the need to "cover". She dressed in long sleeves and pants to hide secrets… not her body. The two were different in her mind. Mahogany silk was draping over half over her chest on the left, down to her bare ass in the back as a hand perched on a hip, phone barely pulled from her lips. 'ey! Boudreaux!..... ya call for a delivery? The affirmation from below was passed on to the caller, nostrils wrinkling in annoyance as she listened to the response. Whatcha order? Her call down the stairs was met with "food". Not exactly what she meant but she frankly was more annoyed at the caller than the Cajun at the moment so she didn’t get Josef to clarify as she turned to face the wall, long lean muscled leg and hip bared towards the open stairwell as she ran a hand up into wet hair to pull it away from her back exposing for the briefest moment the intricate guitar tattoo that only a couple people even knew she had before it fell down once more dripping over his floors. Food…..…… d'fuck I care Jojo? Just let 'im through…………... ya… and if he is then I will castrate him before I dump 'im outside for you to play with 'k?............... you do….. and I will castrate you first……….. Phone snapped shut. She didn’t need Joey coming over to chaperone. One dumbass coming in, even with a weapon, would be easy enough for her to handle if it was a trap. Grumbling about men and their need to show off their balls she turned to head back into the bathroom, not bothering to close the door as she stood there listening to the water. Sigh was soft…defeated. She probably shouldn’t climb back in for the rest of the night. If someone was coming she needed to be prepared in case it really was a trap. Resigned she stepped to the tub, hand sliding along the rim looking for the faucet to turn off the head above. Flipping it off she sat on the edge of the tub and rested elbows on her knees, fingers rubbing over eyes hard, pushing into the sockets to help chase away the last of the headache that lingered behind them, also helped them to water as they were dry from remaining open too long. She had a habit of not blinking enough when she was playing "sighted". Hand folded behind her shoulder to pull the long mahogany to the side, wrapping it several times around her hand before balling a fist that erupted a thick stream of cold water back into the tub before she unwound her hand and let the damp cascade fall where it wanted behind her shoulders. Dressed. Pushing from the tub she snatched the jeans off the floor and went to run the sink, catching the fabric draped there. His things….tossing them over the back of the toilet she ran the sink having forgotten about the shades lying in the bottom of the bowl. Hands slid to the right pant leg where she had been shot and the scent of her blood still lingered. Wound had been healed but that hadn't done much for the damage to her jeans. Feeling for the hole she felt along the damp blood to judge the perimeter of the stain before shoving it under the running water and scrubbing it in the freezing stream. Wouldn’t get it really out but at least it wouldn’t be seeping on her clean skin and offending her nostrils as badly. The large wet patch of jean was rung out tightly before they snapped and were pulled up over wet legs, hole at the thigh gaping open to show a peekaboo of skin as the rest clung to her. Buttons were pulled together over the cut abdomen. Hand scratched the back of her head pondering the sweatshirt. It was covered in his blood from when he had been shot. Lips puckered as a hand slid over the fabric now on the back of the toilet, pants… didn’t need those… a tee. Pulling the shirt off the commode, she shook it out and ran fingers along the neck for the tag. It was surprisingly soft. Her tees were rare worn out cotton or combed cotton, buttery soft so as not to scratch on her skin, but she found most people never even seemed to be aware tees had different textures and men absolutely had the roughest ones. His though…. fairly gentle on her skin. Back found she stretched it over her head and slid arms through before pulling it down her naked torso. It wasn’t tight but clung to the wet skin like it was, her cascades dripping and saturating her shoulders and back rapidly. Leather jacket was bloody and cold water was not really a solution for that so instead she just pulled her custom harness from the floor and slid it over her arm and under her chest to buckle closed again, succeeding in making the tee look like a second skin as not much was left to the imagination anymore. Phone was slid into a slightly damp jean pocket as she refused to put the melted and stained boots back on either. Left arm flexed unconsciously as she leaned on the sink bowl again, the textured ebony tattoos that covered the entire limb numbed for the time being. Now what? She was too relaxed to fight with him anymore…. was she fighting with him? The thought tickled up a reminder of how she had felt at the thought that he might have been killed…. SHIT… He was under her skin……. Now what?
  10. Derrick Mason Gray

    Don't Eat the Dead Ones

    "I ain't looking at you different. I ain't looking at you at all. I feel like I don't even know you cuz all this time you hindin'" You would… everyone does! The percussive snap in the middle of the tirade was raw and pained yet confirmed she wasn’t oblivious of him nor his statements but she still plowed on until her unplanned confession drew her up to an abrupt and mortified halt. Out… she needed to be out… to breathe… she couldn’t breathe… suffocated by the tension she had let build to a frenetic strain. She didn’t express emotions… not like this. She bared them on a stage where most people didn’t know how to "read" them. No… with people she was calm… cool…collected….lethal. Humor had cracked into that arrangement with him, humor and an ease she had with so few. But nothing like this. Hand was grabbed and the affect was instant. The freeze was rigid, deer in headlights. People didn’t touch her, she didn’t touch people, except to take their head off. Grabbed she had no idea what to do. Hitting him wasn’t the correct response but that was the first instinct… it always was as evidenced by the unconscious clench of fist and tightening of every muscle. "You leave still lit ya gonna burn your world down." She honestly didn’t know what to respond. Breath wasn’t moving in her chest as she remained frozen in place. "I didn't ask you to protect what's mine. That's on you. The moment you stepped out that window you became my responsibility." It happened so fast, no thought first as he let go and she instantly spun around on him. The snarl could be mistaken for extreme hostility if one didn’t actually listen to what was said. It wasn’t about his "stuff". They came after YOU….. that made it MY responsibility! It was an outright confession blurted out on frayed instincts and again she found herself recoiling from her own actions. What was she DOING? Rapid step back only took her several inches as she pinned her shoulders against the wall. She needed her gym… her guitar… something. She needed an outlet so that her mouth would quit being that outlet. Lips pressed into a tight thin line as she tried to silence anything else that might bleed from them. Order…. based on what he could do that made sense that they had worked to recruit him. Of course she stayed… idiot… who cared what he could do… it mattered what he used it for. Body stiffened again as the key was pressed into her palm "We all gonna die Mason. My people celebrate life, and we celebrate death. If you gonna choose to give up the ghost, make sure it's for the right reasons. Keepin you safe is the right reasons, and I'm at peace with that. Where do I get off? I thought you were my friend... but I ain't looking at you different. I ain't looking at you at all. I feel like I don't even know you cuz all this time you hindin' Good and evil, light and dark, strength and weakness... they no such thing. They a whole. People that live half their lives because they think they gotta hide, never really live." Brow half scowled at him over the oversized shades. Heart sunk into her stomach as he repeated the words. He didn’t understand. Everyone….her whole life…. looked at her different. She lived with it. Even when they said it made no difference, there were always their actions that said differently. But she lived with it. The problem was, there was something agonizing about HIM looking at her different. She wasn’t sure she could live with that. "Git. Go clean up, shower's running. I'll find you some towels, and we're gonna talk about that guitar key." She stood rooted to her spot despite the continued drip of crimson beneath her nostrils. Even if she would consider it, he was in the way… not really… but somehow in her mind he was in the way so she stood still. Then the buzz came. Frown tightened as she pushed herself to focus the highly sensitive ears. She pushed past him finally, highly sensitive skin and ears had targeted his position nearly perfectly before she crouched at the leather blazer and pulled the phone out, not bothering to say hi as she put it to her ear sitting back perched on her raised heels. Of course I am fine. The calm tone had returned even if her stomach didn’t feel it as she listened. A traitor to Bakkhos…. fuck… that was a little too close to home. Also meant the group was a lot more dangerous than some gang working this side of town. They were going to maintain a perimeter for the night and what about her?.... Gonna hang here for now. Make sure he's ok and y'all don’t miss anyone comin' back around for another hit. Faint smile licked her lips at Toni's feigned indignation on the phone. 'course… I don’t trust yer screwups to keep a rabid dog at bay let alone a crew. She was quiet a moment more before she gave a "ya" and clicked the phone closed. She stayed crouched on the floor over her things. What now? She wasn’t really sure. Glock and harness were plucked from the floor as was the blazer. Standing she kept her back to him as she drug her lower lip through teeth. She should say something… shouldn’t she. Lips parted but closed again. A last hesitation before she vanished through the door and shut it. The fuck just went down?? Oversized glasses were tossed into the sink before she pulled the sweater from her torso to fall on the floor with her glock and leather. Lean muscles were pronounced as she had a bad habit of drinking more than she ate lately. Scars littered her form, evidence of all she had said… she fought…. and she survived. Scars she kept buried from the world. The lycan clawmarks were the least of what the form exposed. The grotesque scar that penetrated her lower back and erupted through her abdomen had a strange poetry as the ebony "tattoos" seemed to follow the starburst scars where she had been skewered and yet lived. Gunshots… knife wounds… her flesh was hardly that of some feminine ingénue. Bloody jeans slid off her hips and hung up at her calves on the scalded boots, toes pressing to heel to pop them off before the long leg slid out to feel for the shower only to find a large tub under the rain. Careful not to fall, she climbed into the tub and let her ass slap into the porcelain. Long limbs didn't fit stretched so she pulled her knees up close to her chest, face up into the stream to let the heated water wash the crimson from her features before head fell to her knees, fingers rubbing on the key still in her palm. Movement stopped as she simply sat under the shower onslaught. It had been a long time since she had a real hot shower. Her loft too often was spewing only cold… she was used to it, but hot was.... nice. Soft sigh oozed her lips. What was she doing……….. Closed lashes fluttered thick and wet as heat finally began to seep beyond the skin's surface. Joke was on him…. she was never coming out from under the hot water.
  11. Derrick Mason Gray

    Don't Eat the Dead Ones

    Head rested on her arms in the silence, partially healed burnt palms dangling off her drawn up knees. She focused on his breathing, not to be sure he was doing it, but to help center on something other than the migraine that was eating her brain out of her skull. Not letting Frankie fully heal her wounds and then fighting off the overuse effects on abilities had her exhausted, in pain and snarling under her breath at the world in general. Time slipped by and she managed to drift in and out of fitful sleep. The moisture above her lip usually waking her up to be wiped on the leather sleeve, crimson stain now streaking across her right cheek. She should be on the floor of her shower with near scalding water racing over every inch while she tried to sleep off the migraine. Should be…. but she wasn’t leaving. Eyes didn’t bother to open any more even when she was awake, exhaustion was just too prevalent, but the long unpainted lashes fluttered when his breathing shifted to something less shallow. Waking up. "So there's that thing I do." Ya……and? The quiet response held absolutely no judgment. Whatever disgust he might have been expecting wasn’t there. A kill was a kill to her. Whether it was done with a gun, a knife, or boiling their innards… it was still just a kill and as long as it was to protect she held no judgment. He talked from time to time of his home. Each time she found herself listening more to the lilt of his words than the words themselves. They calmed what others couldn’t. "Take them off." Faint frown ghosted over her brow as she tried to figure out what he was talking about. "Take 'em off." Now the scowl hardened, figuring out what he was referring to as he sat up from the bed finally. She didn’t do that for anyone, not without her contacts in and she didn’t have those on at the moment which had been why Toni had given his shades in the first place. In the dark her fingers flexed as if pondering the demand. She had known him nearly a year…. though she had been gone for five weeks to Egypt and he had been gone about two months… so maybe it was more like half a year. Was it ok that he "knew"….? As she battled the inner demon to comply or not comply, his dismissive "Nevermind" came. The scowl darkened as the fingers clenched over the healing palm as he got up to rifle for clothes. “Why did you even bother hanging out with me? I’m not gonna bury you because you got something to prove. I can’t bury you… just…Mais la Mason! Where does it all go, if you’re no longer here? I go home to a gator filled swamp! It’s all gone! Except you! Don’t give me that, then be so shit-pissed blasé about taking it away.” Had she been healthy…..been calm…. been rested…. had she not been screwed over by a cop, the first male she had truly trusted with exposing her heart in more than fifteen years…. had any of these been truths… she might have been flattered… might have been charmed by the increasing Cajun lilt that titillated her ears…. might have caught the hidden affection the words covered. Instead, he poked a sleeping bear. Pushing up from the floor even as he padded to the bathroom, her hip bumped the side of the bedroom doorframe hard eliciting a growled "fuck" before making it across the hall and slapping a hand on the door he was closing, flinging it open a bit violently. Where d' you get off Boudreaux?! Take 'em off?! What makes you so special that what no one else gets you do?! I don’t need you lookin' at me different… treating me different… I don’t need your or anyone elses fuckin' pity or protection! It was the death knell to her…. everyone always changed… treated her different once they knew. Thirty years of feeling that oppressive pity the moment she wasn’t seen as "normal". It was the most loathsome feeling and she never had the same relationship with the person again as they always felt the need to treat her like some china doll after. It killed her a little each time… the slowest painful death. Something had completely snapped. Everything had been bottled for all her life. The only release she ever had was when she played and that only vented frustration into the air, it didn’t really allow the emotions to get free. Now, the dam had broken and the floodwaters were raging unchecked. This is what I do Boudreaux… I been fightin' since I was three….THREE! Secrets......why tell him what she never told others…. why spill it now…..it was a thought she didn’t stop to ponder. Burnt and bloody leather blazer was ripped off her shoulders and thrown violently to the ground, the buckle on the custom leather harness that nestled her glock almost invisibly under her arm was yanked by still healing hands to free the pin and shimmy it off, entire weight dropped with a thud to the ground before she yanked the bloodstained sweater off her left shoulder. Things no one got to see…. Ever. The four nasty claw mark scars that tore from the back of the shoulder to the front and disappeared again in an angle down towards her chest were clearly from a transformed lycan. But she showed more than that now, the haunting ebony, rough textured tattoos that enveloped the entire shoulder and vanished down her arm also on display. Evidence of the parasite that still lingered in her system, evidence that she fiercely hid from everyone but seemed to forget to do now as arm snapped violently above her lip to swipe away the moisture that refused to subside. I fight and I survive! YOU!..... You the one stupidly burnin' your own wounds to go out and play white knight when ya clearly not in any shape to do so! If anyone was gonna be left mournin' over a grave tonight… it was me! Not you!...ME! There was an absolute painful rawness in her words as a faint tremor invaded the last few notes. It was only now she really grasped that he could have been dead right now and the realization dropped her stomach right out from under her. Oh god…. what was she doing. Frown smoothed into almost surprise at the outburst, breath heaving a bit too loudly in her own ears. Burnt boot scraped backwards as she retreated from her own onslaught. What was she doing…. Hand reached out to lay on the wall, sliding down to the height of the hand rail as she pivoted away from him to head down the stairs, hoping to catch the rail so she would know when to take the first step before she fell down them. …….what……… was she doing………
  12. Derrick Mason Gray

    Don't Eat the Dead Ones

    Well shit had gone sideways quickly for a mere "go check on the dealer" excursion. She was glad Gaspari had insisted on tonight. The outcome for the Cajun could have been a lot worse if she had not been there… well… if Bakkhos hadn't been there. Heat magnified as she felt brick graze the side of her hand as she held the glock near her shoulder waiting for the opening. She was fighting to clear the distortion it was wreaking over her map. But the harder she pushed, the hotter the waves became. Moisture again spilling from under her nostril as she snarled and stood the moment the map clearly showed her the second rooftop target. Her aim was almost computerized as the glock popped off a moment before the sniper's head snapped back. Knee half buckled as the map was now desperately clung to. She should warn Toni about the rippling heat. At least he knew who Boudreaux was. It was unlikely the Cajun would be mistaken for the punks unless he fired first. The Cajun's growl broke through her concentration. He was struggling. She needed to get down there! Hand planted on the half-wall, jumping over to drop onto the fire escape landing only to freeze when concentrated waves of heat began to explode. She was suddenly acutely aware that she was only a hair from being in the line of fire of something very deadly. Jump was panicked as she gripped the wall above and hiked up her legs just in time to avoid her flesh and blood boiling though she didn’t avoid a fairly decent sunburn. The fuck!! Clinging to the building she could spot the complete chaos below and above. People were scrambling away even as Bakkhos came closer to the dealer. What the hell had he just done?! Breathing…. she couldn’t hear him breathing….. Hands released their grip to drop onto the landing once more, sliding over to catch the next rail, hands scalding on the hot metal before she dropped herself again, soles of her boots softening on the heated steel before she finally hit the pavement below. Just as she did, a ragged breath was drawn into his chest and she herself let out the one she was unconsciously holding. Several of their men moved guns when the Cajun moved but Toni raised his hand and shook his head. The Calvary instantly backing off. He looked up, he didn’t realize she was standing just a few meters from him already. “I’ma go get a drink, I get ya’ll one too.” She couldn’t help the faint chuckle as Toni walked over to her and the Cajun went down. He was still breathing and Frankie's light chuckle filled the air as he walked over. He was in good hands. Grunt was a bit heavy as she flexed scalded palms. NPC: 'ey Gray…. Shut 'er down…. Frown snapped at Toni, sightless eyes glaring with unnerving accuracy but the werebull didn’t back down as he looked at the less than healthy Bakkhos guard dog. NPC: Shut 'er down or I'ma gonna knock yer ass out to turn it off…. The hiss was half under his breath. Not all the family knew what she could do but Toni was also security and had fought beside her too often. He knew what the nose bleed signified. She was at the end of her reserves and pushing further. Sighing she let the scowl go and with it her map evaporated, leaving her in the dark of her own thoughts, disoriented with a nasty migraine and all the pain that the adrenalin had been staving off coming flooding in. An hour later the cajun was in bed having been worked well over by Frankie and the young healer was being driven home to recover. There were Bakkhos positioned in a four block radius keeping an eye on things while Toni headed to talk to Gaspari about this Saditore. She had growled at the kid when he moved to put his hands on her but there was no real point in bleeding all over the cajun's place either. She let Frankie close up her thigh and heal most of her burned palms before pushing him off and chiding him for overusing his powers to which he busted out a belly laugh. NPC:.. pot meet kettle….. Frown at him was annoyed but only mildly so. Frankie was a good kid. Before he left, Toni had slid his own shades into her palm, they were a bit big on her but would do for now. Hips slid down the side of the bed until she sat on the floor, back against the frame at his right side. Boots scraped as knees pulled up for her arms to rest on. While Frankie could heal her wound, he couldn’t help her recover from the abuse of her gifts. Back of her hand rubbed the crimson once more from her upper lip as breathing was slow and measured, trying to survive the migraine long enough for the pain killer she had popped to take effect. This turned into an interesting night.
  13. Derrick Mason Gray

    Don't Eat the Dead Ones

    “I'm supposed to be enjoying a glass of that bourbon right now. Been saving it for months. I told you, ya never have to worry about me.” Scowl persisted at him. Burnin' it aint healing it… it just buyin' you time. She was one to talk. How often did she plow forward injured. It drove Gaspari nuts. There was a flinch when his fingers laid over her own but she didn’t pull away, the scowl softening to a frown before she pivoted away. “What’s the plan here Mason. If it’s kill them all there’s a lotta flaws in that plan.” Cockroach remember…. I always end up….. Words never finished as she popped two and avoided the hurled ball of flame. He swore at her again but this time it drew a faint grin on her lips. This was what she did. Though the second hurled flame was a closer call and wiped the grin away as hostility began to flare through her limbs, telekinetic force unconsciously rippling outward as they were being bared down upon now from several directions. “Focus on the key, focus on what you want the key to do. Take that music in your gut and crush that key. See that key in everything you want to move… and don’t let them shoot my ass.” The fuck was he talking about! How the hell did he expect her to pick out a key in all this……. The thought drew up short, distraction quieting the telekinetic churn. Unlike the family, he didn’t know, the dark shades on her face still holding her secrets for her. She couldn’t explain that she couldn’t pick out something that small in all this chaos without explaining… and there was no time for explaining. The cajun seemed to have the firestarter in hand. That left her with the rest. The building heat undulated strange distortions in her "vision", forcing her to push harder on the gift that was already stretched. Moisture blossomed from her left nostril but was ignored. Fire escape. Glock slid back into its holster as she sprinted for the wall near the flame thrower, trusting that the Cajun wouldn’t let her get fried. Her unnatural height allowed her to grab the lowest rung of the broken off metal and pull herself upward. Lean muscles were clearly powerful as she lifted her weight without the benefit of her legs for the first six rungs. Click of magazines warned that the reloads were finishing. The minute she hit the first landing she hopped up on the rail and grabbed the outside rail of the landing above to launch herself upward without bothering to slow down and take the stairs. The leapfrog was repeated twice more before the metal started flying again. Flipping over onto the fourth floor landing her glock was once again brandished, the man firing at Boudreaux picked off easily as he was ignorant of her position. Problem was the minute she picked him off the rest of the pack knew where she was and unloaded. Fuck… Her turn to bleed as the snarled swear escaped her lips, piece of her thigh shaved off as she glued to the side of the building. Aim was taken on the sniper sitting on the roof across the street but before she could take the shot she snapped tighter to the wall, bullet whizzing down from above. She would have to step out to get that one which would expose her to the rest. About to be stupid, she had only a split second to dodge left and press into the broken window casing as heat blasted up the side of the building sending the shooter above stumbling back. No time to thank the cajun as she holstered and snatched the upper landing and swung out and up to launch to the top floor and add insult to injury by placing a boot upside Mr Singed Brows head. Though the scrapper was quick to recover as she was clocked in the jaw with enough force to unseat her shades. The instant they came off she could feel his hesitation. The eyes that haunted others glared sightlessly at him. He lost his gun as she spun and dropped like a stone, foot taking him out at the ankles. "Got another bottle of bourbon in my truck cher, gettin' thirsty right about now." Ya ya ya…. Working on it…. Voice came down from the rooftop with a grunt as the battle resumed only for stupid to find himself hitched up on her shoulder when she dodged his next punch, her height exploding upward to effectively fling him off the side of the roof. Glock was now dangerous as she spun and began to fire at the last three on rooftops. Her equal vantage point made them easy targets…. it also made her one. There were ten…. no twelve… pounding the pavement coming in their direction. Who the FUCK was this Saditore. The two of them would be overrun in moments. At least two were charging up altered abilities. That was when the massive Terradyne Gurkha spun around a corner several blocks away. The weighty armored vehicle was one of Toni's toys, painted a shiny black to add a flare of sophistication. It held eight behind its armoured walls and had some nice little added accessories as demonstrated when a side machine gun began to rattle off rounds and the twelve was cut down to seven. Pace of the attack slowed as some clearly were starting to second guess if this was a good idea. Her shot rang out, nailing the closest sniper before ducking behind the chimney wall, flinching against shards of brick that exploded around her as the other two took their shots. Calvary here…. The call down was very matter of fact. Their ammo dealer firing on Toni wouldn’t do well for his family relations so she wanted him to at least get a heads up.
  14. Derrick Mason Gray

    Don't Eat the Dead Ones

    She had heard him call her name but ignored it. She had work to do and he had to wait for Frankie to come voodoo him back together. Gun was exploding in her hand when the roar itched her ears. Scan quickly confirmed he was still alone. Fuck…. Now what? Go back? If she did the entire punk army would be on them. No… she had to keep going. Map amplified, extending further, like an expanding sphere in all directions to tell her all that was coming. So far, none of the shapes were recognized as family. Heat prickled the back of her neck as hostility bristled with the second shot. They were fucking with a time bomb. Debris was swirling on the street despite the lack of wind when her next shot was followed by a quick snap around to point the gun at him even as he popped off the next two. It took only a split second to recognize him. Brow furrowed in a scowl of disapproval. “Not so good at letting people have fun without me. You didn’t let me finish.. Unlock the doors of my personal stash. I save these firecrackers for special occasions. Iffin' you like, I might make you some. Might let your friends play in my toybox." There was a chiding growl in her chest when he popped the next two. “Car stopped half block to your two o’clock behind the old post office. Three out of the car here in thirty seconds. Another four a block over from the loading dock. We're boxed in. I hope they're yours, if not we got ourselves a party. Wouldn't be gentleman-like to let ladies dance by themselves." Nostrils huffed, the burnt flesh offending her senses almost to the point of distraction. Powerful odors when she was this hopped up on her gifts could be dangerous, distracting. "Don't run off half cocked on me again Mason, I ain't drinkin' alone after this." Lips parted only to snap shut. The scowl still dark on her expression. I could say the same. He didn’t know what he had done. By being here…. she had to protect… to keep an eye on him, especially as he was injured. It would make her even more reckless, more disregard for her own self preservation. Fuck Boudreaux…. yer supposed to be in the shop waiting for the damn doc to fix you up… not out here making me worry about ya. The snarl was more frustrated concern than aggression. She was worried for him…. about him. She half growled at him as a hand snatched his shoulder and pulled towards herself, sidestepping so he ended up behind and her glock pushed up into the air to ring off two shots, never having looked up . A gun came falling from the rooftop across the street as two forms slumped on the wall above. Her brain did not read linear but pushed out in all directions, it was something she had learned as a child when she discovered she could echo locate in all directions. Her gift only magnified it, letting her "look" in all directions at once, including up and down. If you gonna count 'em off you need to look up as well as out…. The chide was in her tone as she squeezed the shoulder as if to make her point, though there was a gentleness in the hold as well. Realizing she still held him the fingers released and she pivoted away and cleared her throat, striding towards the street where the three were coming from the car, closing the distance. She had questions… like how did he know those things… but now wasn’t the time. Four more are hopping rooftops…. The add was not exactly comforting. Her pace quickened and just as she reached the corner of the building her form dropped, sliding on a knee as the glock aimed and popped twice before she went tumbling to the other side of the street, avoiding the fireball that had been unleashed by the third. Altered…. It was half under her breath as she planted a hand on the pavement to spring herself up onto her feet just as the second eruption of flames came hurling towards her. Leap to the building let her plant a foot on the brick wall to launch herself higher before dropping once more into a feral crouch, flaming ball having slid under her airborne form to singe the edge of her jacket and fry some of the mahogany ends as they whipped around her. Like dust devils, debris began to cyclone and jump several feet into the air, an old bicycle vibrating and lifting from the ground before hurling across the street. Pissing her off…. was dangerous.. there were still things she couldn’t control.
  15. Derrick Mason Gray

    Don't Eat the Dead Ones

    This is why you find out what dogs are pissing on your lawn…. “Nobody like a gloater Mason.” Smirk was tapered by a frown as the iron flooded her nostrils. You're bleeding. “Seems so, yes.” Shit was hitting the fan quickly. This was far too much firepower and far too aggressive to just be some punk kids that had hit the store. She took the shot that she shouldn’t have been able to "see". "Damn it Mason. You're not letting me be the gentleman." Never really been the damsel in distress either…. "You want them dead or alive? Breathing, talking?" Only need one to talk. Foot got under her again to push up. They were reloading and she would be able to get them all popped off if she walked out there. Problem was, the cajun was already moving and instructing her not to move. Huh? She didn’t take orders well, boot planting as she stood behind the counter only to freeze. The small hairs on the back of her neck were standing up. Heat was flushing over her body, racing gooseflesh over every inch of exposed skin. The first flash stopped breath. What the fuck was he doing. Expression flinched as fireworks erupted outside, bursting white across her map in disorienting fury. It took a minute for her to regain the clarity of shapes only to find bodies lying in the street and the cajun leaning on the counter about to keel over on her. What… the fuck….. “Better call the cavalry. Dunno if there’s more on their heels. Bodies lying in the street in your territory not good either. They’re alive, just gonna puke their guts out when they come to before they die. Probably tell you everything, maybe not.” There was still hesitation as she cocked a head at him. What the hell had he just done. She thought his gig was electronic things. “You fine? Lemme know when your people get here and I’ll open the locks. I might pass out. In that case there's a box for you in my truck out back. Was going to give you the rest of your souvenirs before we were so rudely interrupted.” Brow quirked upward at him like he had lost his mind. Locks?…… Boudreaux… you aint got a window in place anymore….. He was delusional. Too much blood loss. Grumbling under her breath she walked up to him, cold palm lifting to his forehead before she shoved him back fairly forcibly. The intention was to wobble him back against the wall so he could slide to the floor without killing himself. Sit down before ya fall down. Glock dangled at her side as she focused, gift spreading out in all directions. White ants highlighted buildings, parked cars and…… more guns coming. Definitely not basic punks. Phone was slid from her pocket even as she went for the busted out window. This time the 2 was speed dialed as she lifted a leg though the broken frame and stepped out onto the pavement outside. The minute it was answered she started talking. Ambush in progress in Glendale…. got bodies in the street needing cleaning out…. also need Frankie down here……huh…no… not for me…. our dealer is down…. am goin' after the incoming dumbasses before they get there. Phone was snapped shut and slid away as she walked up to the first idiot on the street, bullet erupting from her weapon to "put him out of his misery" before the act was repeated twice more. The last one was afforded a moment of her time instead of her reload. Crouching down she kicked his hip once, the groan advising her he was alive and somewhat conscious. So….. ya gonna tell me what the hell you guys think you are doing out here? NPC:… fuck you…. Gun pushed into his shoulder as she pulled the trigger, the scream erupting like a little girl. So much for the tough guy routine. NPC:…bitch you don’t know who you are messing with… Bakkhos going to fuck you up…. Head tilted slowly at him. The way he said it… he believed it, her sensitive ears could detect lies better than most damn mechanical detectors. Oh ya…. And whose ya boss that going to fuck me up? The spit at her reeked of acid and iron. Her trigger finger snapped again, eliciting another ripe scream for her. NPC: BITCH! Ya ya…. been called worse…… bosses name? NPC:… dun matter….Saditore gonna eat you alive bitch….. Fist hit him hard enough to snap his head back on the concrete and knock him out cold even as she stood. The name sounded familiar but she couldn’t place it and didn’t have time to dwell as the approaching figures were barely a minute from their location. The first shot was anticipated, long strides moving her closer rather than away from the assailants as her own weapon lifted. The drop to a knee was so fast the bullets aimed at her whizzed by too high as her own gun leveled up and targeted the head of the white shape currently firing at her. She only needed one shot. More were coming. Who the fuck was this Saditore…and where the hell was the family? Push up from her knee found feet immediately pounding the pavement, cutting the distance between herself and the ambush, pausing only long enough to ensure none were circumventing her direction to get to the shop. Satisfied the bleeding cajun was safe for the moment she picked up speed. Foot hit the seat of a rusted bench to launch her into the air, her shot angling to hit the man as he turned the corner. This was what she did. She protected. One problem. She was already tired from playing human sonar at the docks. Her map would fail her soon....real soon. When she had only her ears to rely on her accuracy significantly diminished. The two that had been following her most recent kill had pulled up short when their companion hit the ground with a bullet in his head. They were going to be more cautious and harder to pick off. Phone buzzed in her pocket, she hoped that was the family saying they were almost there.


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