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MATURE RPG


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

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

Derrick Mason Gray

Bakkhos
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Everything posted by Derrick Mason Gray

  1. Derrick Mason Gray

    Night at Fat Cat

    Greenwich Village - Jan 1, 2022; 11pm Fat Cat Club: A hole in the wall bar before the end of the world, the Fat Cat hadn't exactly come "up" in the world after either. Once a hot spot of exploration where kids from Julliard came to practice their chops at 2am jams, the Fat Cat was still a hole in the wall bar but live music was more elusive these days. People came for the liquor, the jazzy jukebox and the tables. Pool, pong and shuffleboard still lived in the dark place on 7th street. Along the walls one could catch the roll of dice as backgammon and scrabble were still pastimes people found time to indulge in, and in the back left corner near the old stage was a chess game that had been going on for nearly a year now. She had no desire to be at the "extravaganza" at Satyr tonight. It was bad enough she would have to be there the fourth night to play for the big match so she chose to excuse herself from the other three nights. Instead she was here, perched on a rickety stool with a motley crew of musicians that happened to be in the club tonight, accompanying her on some articulate Wes Montgomery. They were decent enough to keep up and knew how to let jazz melt together. Electric chords beneath her calloused fingertips sang as thumb plucked from the side of the strings making the same distinctive soulful sound he was known for. Left long leg was hitched up on the rod across the front of her stool, the sleek instrument nestled on her thigh as she languished in the notes. Jeans were well worn, the dark brown leather jacket showing signs of having lived a long and healthy life as the dim moody spots highlighted in pockmarks across the old stage and its players. Behind her neck a hair tie had been used to sweep back the long mahogany into a tail that was then half pulled through a second time to leave a mussed halo behind her shoulders. Stool to her left had an untouched glass of water on it and a nearly empty glass of Absolut Black Russian. She had been a recluse the last few months. After the absolutely atomic show she had put on for opening night at Satyr, it seemed her former identity was not as dead and buried as she might have liked. "Fans" suddenly realized who she was and had come out of the woodwork to try and get into Bakkhos on the nights she played. Eager clawing hands always on her shoulder and elbow, flinching her very flesh over her bones. Gaspari seemed to sense his guard dog was about to go rabid and she had been released from her Bakkhos gigs for the time being. Here they seemed oblivious or else respected her privacy. Lawrence, the old jazz aficionado that had taken over Fat Cat, knew. But he had no intention of exposing her or trying to profit off the information. She often came in and didn’t play, just sat at the bar and shot the shit with him. Discussing and often arguing over the old greats. This was her place to just…. be.
  2. 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….
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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…..
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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?
  11. 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.
  12. 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………
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Derrick Mason Gray

    Don't Eat the Dead Ones

    “People do what they want. The only thing you can control is your own response.” That was true… to an extent. Sometimes however, you just had to control how long the leash was you put on idiots like that. She kept the thought to herself as the conversation turned to less annoying topics, like his lack of breakfast. "Distinct lack of Waffle Houses down south nowadays." Brow lifted as nose crinkled faintly, clearly contemplating the statement before finally asking. That a thing? She had never heard of a "waffle house". But the contemplation was short lived as the soft clicking caught her attention. “My locks are electric, magnetic or frequency driven. Human garage door opener.” They hadn't talked much about his powers. She had seen it at work at the casino when he worked some mojo on the security system to help with escaping the disaster, but they had never really talked about it. To be fair, she didn’t talk about hers either so they were equally "in the dark". There was that laugh…. that cajun tainted singsong that had caught her attention nearly a year ago. “That’s a loaded question. Making fun of me Mason. Too skinny for you now is what you're sayin' " Nose wrinkled in an exaggerated mock disdain. Who wants a scrawny guy that chases angels and drinks bad booze? She poked fun at their first cemetery meeting where he was drinking what she considered pig swill. It really had been a grotesque smelling brew. She listened as he inspected his stash, a bit surprised he was so free with showing it to her. She tended to be more secretive of the things she locked away. “I wander every now and then. Always come back. Before shit went to hell, I got tired of the prince of Nola responsibility. Ya never have friends even though you’re surrounded constantly with people. Do they like you? Or your car? Your mansion?” ……your money maker…… The soft add was to herself not to him. They had talked briefly on this topic. She knew this feeling all too well. She had been used for what her talent could bring people. Nostrils wrinkled up at the musty scent of water as he opened the next compartment. Pipe froze maybe? “So I left. Mama was pissed. Pere was pissed. But I was happy. I'm happy when I wander.” Faint grin ghosted on her lips. Like she had been happy when she quit music to deny those who had screwed her with contracts the money they were pilfering off her. She had royally pissed a number of people off in her defiance as well. “Hiked across the world. Top of Everest, almost lost my toes on that one, Holi Festival in India was my favorite. Just lived, went where the wind blew. World ended. Order found me, never saw my family again, became a beauty school dropout when I found out that those tchews were making human weapons out of us.” Finger rubbed the glass bottle thoughtfully. She had never left the states before the trip last year to Egypt. It had been…. eye opening. “Made it back to find everything was gone. My city underwater. Every once in a while I go back, to see if anyone tryin’ to find me. See what’s left. It’s a wanderlust that I can’t seem to shake. Was self-sufficient before, after the Order… well ain’t gotta worry ‘bout me. Ever. Drop me in a z-infected forest I’ll get out in one piece. No man should have my kind of destruction in their blood. Not right.” Depends how you choose to use it. He was being chatty. It wasn’t the first time they had casually swapped stories. There had been an ease to it from the very beginning. As percussive pops tickled her ears she also was suddenly aware of another movement. Her ability was only ghosting but the movement instantly caught her attention and had her focusing it more tightly. It might have been nothing, ignored, had it not been for the telltale sound of weaponry cocking. Now she was very still as she realized he too seemed to know something was up. Head was cocked even as he seemed to flick on every security piece in the building. "I am the locks cher. You expecting anyone?" Head tilted the other way even as he made the inquiry. Her words were quiet. No….I am not….. She was already setting down the bottle and reaching inside her leather blazer when the shot exploded the bottle in her hand, glass shaving across her thumb. Growl was dark and instant as he yanked her to the ground, her map exploding in white projectiles. The sound "blinded" her at first as the deafening eruptions rung in her ears. White flashed then extinguished before she could breathe deeper and control the chaos created by the noise. Fortunately as a guard dog of Bakkhos this wasn’t her first gun fight, she had trained herself to focus through the chaos her ability could erupt in her mind. Composure was reached quickly as she pulled the glock from under her arm. This is why you find out what dogs are pissing on your lawn…. The soft snarl was half under her breath as she lifted an arm against falling debris a moment before it hit her without ever having looked up to "see" it. Maps once more crystal clear. "They mad." Ya think…. "I think they think this place is theirs." You're bleeding. The metallic scent was corrupting her nostrils and while she knew she had been cut on the hand it was minor and definitely not oozing enough for the volume of scent she was detecting. Weight shifted to sit back on heels that were already perched off the ground, ready to move. "Ya'll can keep coming, I'ma keep killing. I don't miss. Shooting at a gun dealer is pretty high up on the list of dumb shit to do couillon." The ammo rolled in the box as he pulled it from under the counter. He might be keen to fight them all but that much blood was going to make him worthless soon if it wasn’t tended to. Fortunately for him, he had a naturalborn protective guard dog with him tonight. Map flushed out now in violent crispness, quickly focusing on the targets, their position. The walls of his shop were not barriers for her. One injured…. four others trying to figure out what the hell to do next….. Rock back on her heels brought her up in one swift and smooth motion as she moved around the counter, glock up and aimed. This was why she was Gaspari's personal guard dog. She had no fear and no real instinct for self preservation when she was protecting. It was why the family liked her at Gaspari's side…. it was why Gaspari didn’t. He knew that one day…. this behavior would end his guard dog. She went at a complete angle to the window, the nearest one was not visible but was within shot when the shot was taken at an extreme angle requiring her to approach the side of the window. She did so without hesitation, a second later her shot rang out which was reciprocated with a hail of gunfire back on them. Long legs had leapt the counter to join him again, shoulder of her leather jacket pierced by one of the bullets as the heel of her boot slipped on his blood landing her a bit harder on her hip than intended. One dead, one injured, three others trying to get their heads out of their asses…..
  18. Derrick Mason Gray

    Don't Eat the Dead Ones

    "They always do." It drew a smirk. Nonchalant as always. It was that ease that had crept under her skin. It pissed her off and calmed her all at the same time. “Don’t have to fix the doors and locks now, do I… glass is cheap.” Be even cheaper if nothing was broke in the first place…. Bakkhos properties didn’t get broken into. Armored doors and bullet proof glass along with high tech scanner locks kept the general riffraff out. They should offer him some of their reserves. It would depend how much they trusted the arms dealer that had poofed on them. She would talk to Gaspari. “Wasn’t kids, not the first wave anyway. Deal was no baggage. Shit comes sniffin’, I’m out. Pay for protection. That’s what they tried to sell me.” The fuck…. The growl was half under her breath. They had not betrayed the place, she was sure of it as she had been the only one to come and she was always cautious of when and how she arrived, pushing out her senses to ensure there were no looky-loos within blocks during her visits. Phone slid from her pocket even as he finished getting dressed. The 3 flicked on the speed dial. Impatiently she waited for the answer. When the cold "ya" came over the ear she spoke. 'ey… got a spook in Glendale doing shakedowns…I want intel by the time I get back tonight. With that the phone snapped shut and was slid back into her pocket. As he walked by she shook her head a bit. We don’t operate like that… but I will find out who is. This was Bakkhos territory. Not under its thumb as they had few businesses in the area but definitely under its protection. To piss here was to call down the big dog. "You've been at the docks…" ..huh….oh… ya… first tankers came in since the damn ice age finally subsided. Not been home for a shower yet… Nostrils flared as she lifted a sleeve, smirk cutting faintly at the corners of her lips as the arm fell again. She smelled like fresh fish. “Hope you have your usual driver, he’s going to need to help you load.” Walked actually…. Her reply came with a shrug as she trotted down the steps after him. His gait was lighter…significantly. He had lost more than just a couple pounds. You forget to eat a few breakfasts while you were gallivanting? Fortunately she didn’t need site to "see". "Brought you a souvenir." Brow quirked as her steps paused, the expression held suspicion but was also laced with curiosity, though not at the "souvenir". She was hearing soft reverberations of what sounded like locks moving. That was an interesting trick. She was about to "investigate" the building much more closely when the clink of a bottle on the counter turned her ear slightly pausing the push on her gifts. “You thought I’d forget about you ya?” Moving to the counter she let the ants slide over the structures just long enough to grab the bottle naturally, even through the seal she could detect the bourbon. Decent one too. Not a bad souvenir. Hip rested against the counter as he pulled the door in the floor. The shrug was nonchalant as the smirk played at her lips. Well…I was starting to wonder… Bottleneck rolled gently in her fingers as he grew still…quiet. Something was thick in the air. Regret? Nostalgia?.....she couldn’t quite put her finger on it. “Sometimes the waters recede enough to get into the old quarter. Get past the gators and you find things nobody is crazy enough to go after. Sometimes just ghosts and shadows.….. A lot of ghosts and shadows this time." He had gone "home"... and from the distant sound in his voice, he didn’t find what he hoped there. She didn’t understand the pull. She had no such deep roots and ties to anywhere. Thumb rubbed the side of the bottle. It is not always the place…..ghosts and shadows have a way of following us…. Finger lightly tapped the side of the bottle as she herself felt the shiver of her own. He had a bad habit of bringing the ghosts to bear in her own life. Odd cajun… The shift of ammo in a box caught her attention. So that was where he stashed his stuff. “You don’t want these cher they go on my shelves.” Brow quirked over the dark shades, faint smile tickling her expression. I rejected any of your good wares yet Boudreaux? It had been a while since the name had rolled off her tongue.
  19. Derrick Mason Gray

    Don't Eat the Dead Ones

    When the window shifted in its frame the ebony shades glanced upward, the smell of heat and soap was instantly filling her sensitive senses. He was taking a shower, or had taken one, or about to take one. Well that was peachy… she was to suffer for Gaspari's impatience. "Stairwell is open. Welcome back." Brow quirked up over the dark rims. Pretty sure that is my line. Hips pushed from the rail as she grabbed the door and pushed into the back of the shop. She hadn't been inside since they had poked around after it was ransacked. It had happened shortly after he poofed on them and when they found out, the family investigated to see if someone was out there targeting their contacts. What they turned up was that it was truly just vandals that likely had hoped to get some of the goods that had once filled the space and were then pissed off when they came up empty handed. Stepping inside she pulled the door shut against the bitter January winds but not before pushing her senses outward to confirm it was just the Cajun at home. She had no patience for an ambush. White ants erupted in her thoughts and quickly began to outline the forms around her, tracing the walls as they ran upward after confirming the old shop was desolate. Just the one form. Head cocked slightly as she studied it a moment. He was smaller than the last time she had "seen" him. Just what the hell had he been up to? Not that she cared……….. Brow frowned slightly as feet stomped gently to dissipate whatever snow might still be clinging to the soles before heading up the stairs. She should have let Gaspari send Matty instead. Grumble was silent in her chest before her foot hit the top step and paused. Like hell she was walking into his bathroom. Shoulders pivoted to lean against the wall facing away from the door to his washroom as hands remained in her jean pockets. Shaving cream…. the scent tickled her senses nearly drawing a sneeze before fingers slid from her pocket to rub the tip of her nose several times. So what….. he had gone Grizzly Adams for a while? Didn’t seem to fit the jazz loving Cajun. Some kids had a party in ya place while you were vacationing it…. Referencing the damage downstairs as she leaned her head back against the wall and simply waited for him to finish. Really should learn t' lock yer doors when you head out....
  20. Derrick Mason Gray

    Don't Eat the Dead Ones

    Ear itched as the phone buzzed in his pocket, her attention still on the conversation, or rather argument, that Matty was having with Lucky. Seemed there had been some snooping on some lady pilot's place that then landed the family in some hot water. Matty had found out that Lucky's boys were behind the initial excursion and after being put in an awkward position with the woman to explain the second rounds which were NOT them, he was still looking for someone to yell at. He had been on a tiraid since they returned from the docks to look over one of the first shipments to come in since New York came out of its deep freeze. Npc:…hmmm Gaspari didn’t "hmm" for no reason and immediately her attention was off the patio shenanigans and on the head of the family as he drummed a finger on the large arm of the leather chair. Npc:…seems our bullet boy is back in town…. Joey noticed the 4x4 out back when he was scouting the district. Josef?.....well what the hell do you know. She didn’t respond other than a faintly raised brow that gave the opening of "what do you want me to do about it?" question. She hoped the answer was "nothing". When she came back from her unexpected trip to Egypt, Josef and her had started meeting "by accident" regularly in the cemetery that reminded him of his "angels"… typically with a strong bottle of something in tow. After the fucking cop made his weak-ass "I don’t remember you" claim and walked out of New York.. and her life.. she had stopped venturing out of her loft for anything but family business. Then this dumb cajun, with an accent that tickled her senses, drew her out again. He didn’t know it, but she had started looking forward to their "accidental" meetings when he pulled the vanishing act. Fucking shop had been cleared out. This was no little "gone for the weekend" trip. She had been pissed beyond words, and steamed even more at herself that she was pissed in the first place. Hadn't she learned her lesson already? Business….. keep to business. The breath Gaspari took made her heart sink. He was going to go somewhere with this. Npc:… why don’t you head over and say hello. The inward grown rumbled almost loud enough to be heard. Tonight?..... She knew the answer before he said anything…. of course he meant tonight. He wanted to know why his supplier of prime ammo had vanished today…not next week. Npc:…why not…..take Matty with…… She cut him off with a frown. Don’t need a crowd… might spook 'im. I got it. …………………. And that was what had led to her standing here….at the back door of the damn ammo shop. Sigh was soft as she shook her head and finally rapped on the door with the side of her closed fist. She hadn't bothered to change, faintly smelling of fresh fish, wind whipping back the loose long mahogany locks behind her shoulders. She stuffed her hands into the black bootcut jeans as she leaned her hips back on the railing and waited, gray sweatshirt mostly hidden under the black leather blazer jacket and gray wool scarf as the breath wisped out in white curls. The death freeze had ended but it was January in New York and still fucking cold.
  21. Derrick Mason Gray

    Grand Opening

    Got a helluva Lucky Charm at that…. Grin grew again. He was easy, laid back. A lesser would have bristled… he just shot it back. For the first time in a long time, the shoulders relaxed as she let herself actually enjoy the third Yorsh. Awww fuck off Joe, stop bustin' my balls! Back leaned into the wall, the boot propped on the stool between them rocked a bit as she "listened in" on the crowd. Conversations away from them focused on briefly to determine the topic of discussion before moving to the next group. He had a girl working the room tramp hard but seemed most the guys were ignoring her. Other than the ho, the crowd really seemed just a casual, feet up on the coffee table sort of crowd. So that's your game then.... run me out of town... wait, was that doubt it'd be successful I hear in your voice? Absolutely… The immediate response was laced with a chuckle as the glass came to her lips. Somehow I didn't think the stuffy butt brigade would give two shots, but hey... leprechauns got gold, pretty rainbows and bad movies. We be psychotic little bastards... They dont.... and for the record, you represent well the little bastards…. She also didn’t bristle. She was a hothead about a lot of things but not this sort of ribbing on the family. It wasn’t a threat, just banter. She hadn't been this relaxed since a certain ammo dealer spent time drinking with her in a cemetery. Frown ghosted over the dark shades a moment, the Cajun had been awol since she returned from Egypt and she had managed not to think about him for weeks. I bet on you Joe! Now I gotta win back my money, I'm too drunk for that shit! Whoever has the balls to win me back my money gets free drinks and a shag! Lips curled down in feigned disgust as the interruption diverted the spiral into a dark mood back into neutral. Eh….. shag a leprechaun? How is that a prize? Though even as she said it the glance went to the table. It was tempting. She had never played in her old life. The blind couldn’t "shoot pool". But on the richly engraved tables at Bakkhos in the after hours of the club, Toni had taught her in private. Depth perception and which balls were hers was the hardest things to overcome as the white outlines of her gift showed her the edges of the table in the same plane, but it hadn't taken long for the sharp mind to begin compensating, reading the brightness of the lines to determine their depth. She learned the placement of the balls in the triangle and therefore learned never to take her eyes off the table, watching the break so she could tell where every ball ended up. It didn’t always work, but it worked more than it failed. As long as she kept the balls straight, she could run the damn table. Her unusual "vision" of the world helped to remove all distractions and learn the precision of angles. She enjoyed the game but only played with family that knew her….. shortcoming… and only in private. She feared the humiliation of making a mistake. Still…. the challenge of it played on her risk seeking side. Head shook faintly to remove the thought from her head as the glass came back to her lips. She needed to be more careful than that.
  22. Derrick Mason Gray

    Grand Opening

    "Them's fightin' words…" The chuckle that bubble up in her chest was dark and easy, a rarity with the Bakkhos guard dog. This was more the headliner's speed than the high end club at the top of the ritzy hotel. She didn’t knock it of course, it was her family and that was her ride or die. But she had spent her formative years in casual bars, playing for free drinks and food, challenged to shots and drinking the jocks under the table. “Seems people that drink alone get called, mmmm…. functional drunks?” ….are they? Brow quirked over the dark round shades. They didn’t know eachother well enough for him to know that liquor was one of her major food groups. One of those brain guys? Could read thoughts? They still didn’t know much about Mr Boone. Chin turned slightly to "watch" the mug head to the bartender. Seemed the leprechaun was able to throw back decently. Night was early and he was rolling hard. Her second Yorsh was almost done as well. “Then of course there’s me, not sure there's a word for that yet.” Faint smirk hit her expression as she drew the glass to her lips, beer and vodka vanishing before she licked the thin froth from her upper lips, glass slid to the bartender for another as the word breathed ever so quietly and yet loud enough. Leprechaun….. Third Yorsh was slid her way, long agile fingers snatching it mid-slide as she glanced to some cheers that rang up at a table where again a solid crack told her there was someone that actually knew how to play pool at the stick. “Suit at the cleaners, eh? What’s the occasion then?” Glance at him came with a shrug, the relaxed corners of her lips almost smiling. Need one?.....I mean I figured if I wanted to see the place.. needed to come first night in case didn’t make it to the second… This time the grin was broad, crinkles peeking out from the side of the dark shades as she sipped the Yorsh still grinning. He was easy to banter with. Wasn’t trying to kill her or get in her pants.
  23. Derrick Mason Gray

    Grand Opening

    Steps being descended were heard a moment before the cheers came around her. Looked like Boone was making an early entrance tonight. His shape was easily recognized as he accepted a drink and climbed onto the bar. Enough business had been done between him and Gaspari with her in attendance that his form was "familiar" to her. Brow quirked as he played "host" to his crowd on the altar of booze. Ya… this was not a threat for Bakkhos. This was a leprechaun's paradise. Smirk lit her lips as she waited for the outlined bartender's form to "glance" her way, a nod as she slid the glass to him to indicate another. Sensitive ears listened to the owner's banter with his guests. He was in his element it seemed. She offered a nod to Hagan as another Yorsh was slid her way just as Boone took up a seat just beyond her boots. "Nice suit." Glass paused before her lips as she raised a brow at him. Other one's at the cleaners…. else I would have dressed up for your grand opening… His sarcasm was easily matched by her own as she glanced around the bar. She had to admit, it was a different kind of fun but the patrons seemed no less happy than at a Bakkhos venue. Quite the little bar….. for a leprechaun…. Smirk played on her lips before the glass came up to them, tainted dark beer going down easily.
  24. Derrick Mason Gray

    Grand Opening

    Why me? The growl whined half under her breath. His chuckle only irritating her more. NPC: Because you will learn all there is to know about the place in one night while it would take months for the less.. observant. ……… Huff exhaled her lips, rogue strand of mahogany flipping away from her features only to fall back right where it had begun, escaped from the leather band at the nape of her neck that held the remaining delinquent locks back. Gaspari was right. She hated when he was right. But he was right. Hands crammed into her jean pockets as booted soles struck pavement louder than normal, letting her "see" the path without engaging abilities, sensitive ears registering every vibration against surfaces creating a map as it echo located. The vintage Doors tee hung threadbare over her lean frame. Once black background now fluttered over her black jeans as a dark gray, the three quarter sleeves hiding most of the parasitic tattoo, leaving just the lower part of her arm and back of her hand covered in the tribal looking ebony markings, a few swaths peeking above the frayed collar on the side of her neck on the same side. She hated when he was right. She stopped in front of the door that smelled of liquor, the sound of music and pool balls striking beyond its hinges. This was it. Get in and get out. That would be the plan. Only problem was to know "everything" about the place as Gaspari wanted, she would need to hang and drink for a few hours. Brilliant. Knee nudged the door open, the dark circle shades catching light of the interior but continuing to shield her secret from the world. Boone was family only in so far as, thus far he had proven he could clean up the Bakkhos books and not appear to steal from them. Very few in the family knew what the shades hid and he was not one of those few. The opening of this place had been "watched" to see if it was a challenge to the Bakkhos empire, but all signs pointed to the fact that it was not in the least. It was a casual hang out. The type of place Bakkhos didn’t tend to own. She hadn't had many interactions with Boone but he didn’t strike her as the sort to get any kick out of challenging something like Bakkhos. She suspected this was exactly what it looked like… an everyday man's hang out. Crack of a clean break turned her head slightly, the warm tingle starting at the back of her neck as she engaged her map, white ants beginning to crawl over the darkness in her mind to outline shapes. People spotted first, the furniture and walls soon followed. She watched a good game for a few shots before heading for the bar. Straddling the stool that sat against the wall she placed a foot on the stool beside, a clear "fuck off" body language that was likely to be respected in a place like this. People came here to relax, not show off their latest conquest or how shiny their watch was. NPC: Getcha? Gruff voice of the bartender drew her attention, it was warm without being pushy. Yorsh.. He either was going to go "what" or go make it. The glass clinking on the glass meant he knew exactly what it was and wasn’t questioning it being ordered by a woman. Vodka didn’t have a scent unless you had a nose that could detect what others couldn’t. It was a decent vodka that he added to the bold beer. The second clink betraying he was doubling the shot. So… they didn’t skimp on the liquor either. Nice. The tall glass slid to her, agile fingers easily catching it with a nod. Thanks…. To be honest. The place was more her type than the club. A fact she wasn’t going to disclose to Gaspari in her report.
  25. Derrick Mason Gray

    And the Adventure Continues...?

    [atticus]Thank you.[/atticus] The relief in his sigh bristled her senses. She was annoyed at the world more than him but he was an easy and accessible target at the moment. [derrick]….ya well… get one thing clear Mighty Mouse….ain't doin' it for you.[/derrick] She could almost hear the giddy in his voice and the fidget of his legs. God damn… a kid that just got a new toy and somehow she was the plaything. [atticus] How ‘bout you give me a call in five days. I’ll pick you up. Anything you need for the trip, I’ll reimburse you, or text me a list. It’s the least I can do.[/atticus] Shrug was indifferent as she stuffed her hands into the pockets of the leather blazer. [derrick]…tend to travel light. Just be sure we got a stocked bar.[/derrick] It didn’t take the edge off as much as it used to which meant an already bad habit was exasperated. Based on their few encounters she figured he had already picked up she only drank high end bar fare. The good shit was expensive these days since no one made half of them anymore, why would she pay for it while on "his" trip. The rest… well she wasn’t lying, she travelled light. Her duffle would cover her. Head shook thinking about him picking her up. Something she had still avoided was him knowing where she lived. So few did. [derrick]…will meet you back here in five days around six…..better be here or you risk me changing my mind Mouse.[/derrick]

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

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