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

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

JUNE 13, 2019 - Family emergency  took a bad turn so had to stay away but now things are finally calming down. Hope to get going again shortly. Thanks for understanding. ~ZEPH

Calista Burke

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Everything posted by Calista Burke

  1. Calista Burke

    Something Wicked This Way Comes....

    Eyes had already completely scanned the situation, avian reflexes inherent in the change. It pissed her off to some extent, she rarely slept, the tiniest noises catching a flick from the black irises. Phone. The German again, eyes narrowed at the Capo on the phone, then back to the guy that seemed to be focused on something else. It was itching in her ears, that strange directional issue that had been bugging her for some time- now amplified, this entire night of hell bringing her agitation to a boil... …and a charging Were became the pinpoint of her ire. She knew what she heard, nodding to the Capo as he"poofed", knew what her walking orders were, but the seemingly oblivious guy was about to become puppy chow and the predator in her met it full on. The world spun into motion, click of reavers and snap of asps sharp. Blood. Everywhere. Flurry of predator feathers and fur; final strike splattering a surge of blood against brick in arching arterial spray, the thing clattering to the street. The rest was up to him. Asps clicking back to thigh holsters, fingers lightly traveled over a slashed bicep. Teeth, claws, she didn’t know which. Fuck. Eyes narrowed at the mage before she disappeared into the sky in a blur after the Capo.
  2. Calista Burke

    Something Wicked This Way Comes....

    Crack of an Asp across bone was tremendous, spin of the giant thing away from her as blood spurt from its maw was followed with vicious slashing from someone that seemed to defy gravity. Throat was opened up with razor sharp synchronized blades, another crack of the Asp twisting the head to expose the slippery white of cervical bone, a final slash snapping its head clean off. Mountain of fur and blood heavily collapsed. Somewhere in the middle, she’d become only slightly aware someone was running away. Probably for the best. The last thing she needed was to be in a full on confrontation with a damn Were and having to protect a runner at the same time. Tight sigh heaved once and she was in the air…. climbing. Little Italy was more on her mind, things to do first. One more thrust upward crested her ascent and ended her barrage of phone calls. Casting a glance above, her pets were doing their job. Circling on hot spots. It was a pattern, weird… but there. Just southwest of Little Italy there was something…. all four directions, there was something. Power flickered in certain blocks, smoke rising from others. Shadows streaming like water into a cut in the metaphorical turf. The swan dive was graceful, falling backwards and tucking as the descent brought severe speed… keen eyes flicking to the path that she had been taking before the Were incursion. The Capo was distracted, dammit, distracted! Kids, women, another guy. Strike boneshattering, the Asp almost buckled under the weight of the death strike from above, black cloak snapping open to halt the dive, heels on its back to ride the furry fucker to the ground. Crushed skull, but not done. Wolverine-like claws sheered neck bone and spinal cord. [Calista]Magic. Like a magnet. It’s bypassing us, toward Tribeca… more north, east, west.[/Calista] She stood still for a moment, foot on the back of the pile of bloodied fur, catching her breath. Glance was quick at a sheered cut in her shoulder. Well fuck. [Calista]…my sense of direction is scrambled… reinforcements in the air, called the heads, they’re in similar quagmires…[/Calista] Gold eyes fell on Dika a moment, collapsing the Asps and clicking them back into her thigh holsters, thumb pressing the release on her reavers to click them harmlessly back and pull her gun to check the mag before returning it into the kidney holster. The damn straps were the only thing keeping this party from becoming a peep show, shirt held down with leather like a Spartan woman’s damn toga… or whatever the fucking thing was called. [Calista]They aren’t stopping. Orders boss?[/Calista] She deferred to him, tossing him his phone. She wasn’t leaving his side, because somebody obviously did. Dumbasses.
  3. Calista Burke

    Something Wicked This Way Comes....

    "What?!?" His voice crackled over the connection. Bows came down. Wavy tendrils had slipped from the once sleek ponytail, lifting upward as the updraft shifted and the black umbrella also shifted accordingly to maintain her position. The signal was crap, he was underneath the casino. Getting his car. To go out on the street. Fucking. Hell. That boy was never going to make it to the top if he kept sticking his neck out. That’s what soldiers like her were for. "…ok…ok… we're gonna head t' Grand and Mulberry… speed dial on m' phone has Lucky… heads up the bosses an' I will start warning the others." Warm glow lit the gold in her eyes as she flipped it to speaker and scrolled through the numbers. Watch the sky. I have back-up. You shouldn’t be on the street, that’s what we’re for. Voice was eerily calm. "…shit……Cal… we will need to know how far and how many are comin'….fast as you can feed us the info………….we're so fucked…." Don’t do something stupid. Matteo! She was already moving, an arch of incredible gymnastic skill as she kicked off buildings and surfed the updrafts to gain speed and simultaneously made calls. At least she hoped they could hear her over the sound of rushing air. Phone clicked closed, feet hitting the top of her penthouse already running, slamming the door open and flicking all the switches. She’d never used them for this, but hey… it was worth a shot. A thirty second stop into her flat had her Asps strapped onto her thighs, reavers snapped on. Her own phone retrieved… her mistake the first time she went to the Casino. She’d serve penance for that later. Diving off the side of the building, they followed. It’s wasn’t often she flew with them; they were actually faster in their dives, and more agile. Diving was not something she needed them for. Smoke signals. First. He wasn’t hard to find, the sound of the thing was a dead giveaway- but it was the vibration of the engine that drew her ears to it. Then it was silent. Something had happened. Sluicing through the alleys, the scent of cinnamon on her nostrils was like breadcrumbs. He was heading for little Italy. Where the hell were his people?! Securing the Capo and giving him back his communication seemed a helluva lot more important than eyes in the sky at this very second. She was a soldier, and there was a distinct lack of them by his side at the moment. Her “pets” would automatically circle over interesting targets. They could be left to their own recognizance for a moment. Quietly touching down on top of a dumpster, eyes narrowed at the screams. The scent was strong, he’d either passed this way or she was gaining on him. But first, balancing on the edge, she leaned back slightly- an eyebrow arching at the breath she had heard behind it. A crack caught her attention elsewhere. Gold flicked past the fence as they caught a shadow, senses feeling the rustling of a beast moving so fast toward the first thing that caught their rage. It was following Matteo’s scent as well. She was fast, but barely upward before a roar leapt at the fence, a blinding weight of muscle and ferocity yanking her out of the air. Slight and as graceful as a ballerina, she was still a heavy girl… and her weight hit the brick wall hard enough to shake mortar and send shards bursting outward. Grunt was sharp, echoing in the alley as she ricocheted off the wall and smacked onto the ground. Back of her hand wiped blood from a split lip, eyes wicked as black pupils expanded wide and engulfed the gold sheen. Oh honey… you’re going to have to beat me up worse than that to get past me… She had a gun. Gunfire would only attract their attention. She was on her feet with speed to rival the beast that towered above her, Asps snapped out, kicking off a building to take the fucker down. She didn’t have the limitations they did. Fist fights took place on a horizontal plane, on the ground… she didn’t have that limitation, and a helluva lot more rage.
  4. Calista Burke

    Something Wicked This Way Comes....

    Standing on the edge of an abyss was freedom. She sometimes thought she, more than anyone else she’d ever encountered, was truly free. At the drop of a hat she could simply take off into the darkness and never return. But here she was, no barriers between her and the sky above, and the vast stories below. No fear, her pause feeling like an eternity. Updraft ruffled her shirt a bit, probably not the best to be wearing during this, but a flash of tits if the wind shifted was not the most of her worries. The enforcer was always interesting to listen to. Her ears never missed anything. Neither did her instincts. She was not used to anyone giving her concern. Lucky knew she hated being doted on, so he didn’t. It was an unusual relationship. Right hand in public, business partners behind closed doors. Where he was living large and enjoying it, she was always quite cool. Business. The Capo’s concern had been met with suspicion, muscles tight under his squeeze. She didn’t like being touched where she was not in control of the situation, and she didn’t like being seen as if she needed help. Gold sheen had flicked up to him. She also didn’t meet people’s eyes, she could watch them without looking at them. Looking at their eyes was distracting. Eyes said too much. Into the abyss it was, escaping her thoughts. Blood red shadows and quick moving flicks inbetween buildings. Phone, listening. She told them to stay inside! She ended the call with a scowl. Wings snapped out several stories below to sluice the bird of prey through the brick Labyrinth, a rocket of fur and teeth out of nowhere avoided in a split second. Shoulder clipped a downspout and she tumbled with unusual grace onto a roof, literally hitting the ground running to scoop up the phone that had clattered from her hand. She was not fast enough! She was not fast enough to outrun this… leap off the edge held the grace of a diver in full twist to fall backward and face her attacker, firearm snapped out and discharged with accurate aim in the neck. It was enough to discourage the swipe of claws that had attempted to bat her out of the air like King Kong. Mother fucker. The split second flinch of the beast opened an inch, and it was all she needed to fold in and dive like a falcon in full prey mode. Were. Weres! She couldn’t shake it, the monster leaping back and forth downward in full bounds to keep on her tail. Updraft. Updraft. Dangerous, but necessary. Wings snapped out, halting the descent like a parachute, kicking off a building in time to avoid another swipe and gain altitude. She didn’t stop until she was so far above the city it looked statuesque. They were everywhere. Pistol snapped back in, she frowned at a cluster of loose feathers the thing had tried to grab, plucking them out as she hovered in the immense updraft and dialed the phone. “Weres,” a breathless, shouldn’t have been calm but was, voice murmured. She was out of breath. “They’re everywhere… overrunning the ESB. I’m going to figure which direction they’re coming from.” Bakkhos had the upper hand at least, she was in fact the eyes in the sky.
  5. Calista Burke

    Something Wicked This Way Comes....

    Where there normally was the soft mysterious smile at the head, today only held a lowering of the dark lashes. The world was vibrating against her skin, enough so that Lucky shifted his hand from his knee to the arm of the chair near her. He could feel it, and without alarming everyone else, he acknowledged to her that he was concerned too. She had already spoken her peace to him, he would use the information when he saw fit. "….time I think is really limited… but we need to get the entire family warned and under lock down." She had said the same to Lucky…. "…. Tino and Bazzini both skipped town." The Weres. Were they skipping town because of a threat? If so, they were leaving for a reason, it was a bad omen. "… Tino just left a note but I spoke with Bazzini. Seems instincts had gone into overdrive that something very bad would happen if they stayed here…. Bazzini was worried he would hurt us no matter what precautions we took." Just a Were thing? Attention was keenly on the figure that entered and lingered in the shadows near the bar. An itch in her bubble. He always was. "…Joey said same thing.. headed outta town 'bout an hour ago." Eyes slid to Lucky, then the younger Capo. The flipping of the knife was driving her instincts batty. Everyone poking at the edge of her tolerance, the world pressing in from all directions. She wanted nothing more than to go over there, grab it from his hand and smack him with the fucking thing. Only boys played with toys. "…wanted me to come with 'im…. was that spooked." "We need to warn the family that something is coming. Bring in more to watch over the key venues in New York. " "….should keep the club closed. Just put up a sign there's a private event." A tight inhale and exhale brought a quiet shiver of feathers in the silence, again Lucky’s fingers tapped gently on the arm of the chair. "…not sure we want to set alarms off with….." •npc• "Matty is right Angelo. We don’t have the luxury to be "visible" everywhere. The casino will be packed right now, to vacate it would be chaos and I have three ships coming in tonight so I need my guys at the warf. The club here and Lucky's are not currently open… we keep 'em shut and move those guys to the other venues to ensure we got the protection if something goes down. Matty puts his security detail off the stadium to cover the rest." Why wasn’t Lucky saying anything? Eyes closed quietly, reopening to watch the lights. To this point, hands had been calmly at her sides. She could turn into an elegant statue when she wanted to, silent, forgotten if not for the curiosity she was. It seemed when she stood still people were more apt to stare. It didn’t bother her most of the time, tonight? Eyes flicked darkly to one of the other's right hands, his eyes averting. She was in attack mode. Pure and vicious. "….we leave Nuzio upstate and hope whatever this is doesn’t have that far a reach?" Again that fucking blade, gold sheen lit up as she moved the dark orbs back to the fidgety capo. "…ok. Lucky, get your club security to the casino. Since they swap there they don’t need any instructions on how to get around and take care of the place. I will call and get the Club's security to the warf to back up your men Carmine." No. It was stupid to show their faces. "….need your guys on the streets. We need to get the small businesses warned and get them out of harms way.. to the casino might be good place since there will be heavier protection there." No! They needed to shelter in place. Again the soft quiver, the sound like a rustle of leaves in the silence of autumn. "… and you…. where will you be boss?" As she listened to the plans, jaw set. Christ, Lucky. Fucking say something! Hand moved to grasp the back of his chair. He held up a finger to her to wait. Fuck waiting! It was that moment a red sheen flushed over her features, inky feathers blushing in the iridescence to flicker a blood hue. The Meta was blushing into camouflage mode. “Don’t leave,” dark vocal chords broke the silence over the sliding of doors to the balcony. She would deal with the repercussions of speaking out of place later. The sky had indeed cleared, long strides pushed the doors shut in front of the younger capo. “Don’t go outside." It felt wrong. It felt wrong for any to leave the building, to catch attention. Of what, she couldn't explain or pinpoint yet. "Anyone.” Chest drew in and let out a controlled breath, not sure if she was expecting a backhand or a verbal lashing, hand still on the handle to prevent the capo from opening it again as the proximity flickered a red in her eyes before moving back to the black gold. She’d never spoken in a public meeting before. Most other than Lucky had ever heard her speak at all, eyes flipping back to the glass. If not for the window, she wouldn’t have seen it. Movement brought attention to the outside. Shadows, flickers, so fast through the buildings even her eyesight was only catching glimpses. Firearm was reached for, then paused, still as a cat watching prey. Instinct, she was moving on instinct. “I need your phone…” she said quietly. She could get an eye on this. …at some point they should probably get her something hands free… maybe, the thought only partially erupting as he handed it to her. Doors were slid open again silent, agility gliding her nauseatingly on the railing with a tightrope walker’s balance and she was still again. She was a predator, but she felt like prey. Everything told her to remain still. The smooth black cape always so elegantly tucked away curled like an archangel before she leapt, disappearing into the blood red shadows.
  6. Calista Burke

    Something Wicked This Way Comes....

    Phone buzzed, about fucking time. It clicked open as he took a long drink, watching the overly ambitious younger Capo take his impatience to the other side of the room. The call ended before he could utter a word, eyes on the screen before it slid back into his pocket. The woman was known for being intense, but this was not a good sign. Cal, he looked at Gaspari quickly. Coming in top side. Said not to leave and stay inside. Whether ominous or otherwise, the woman knew something the others did not. It was rare she came in topside, having the ability to see things none of them could without drawing attention. She was her own brand of different, and he knew better than to dismiss her instincts. She sounded, off, though. It was disconcerting. He nodded at them, pushing up out of the chair the second he felt her hit the roof. Something was definitely wrong, the gambler moving out of the room and signaling for his right hand to stay put. Purposeful footsteps made their way down the corridor to the roof access. It was at that moment the door opened and the drenched headliner stepped in. Jesus. “I need a moment,” her breath was heaving, pushing past him to make a beeline to her own rooms. True to form, she polished up in record time. A grey silk halter that barely skimmed, or covered, anything was slid on in favor of the soaked cami. It rippled as she moved to grab dry clothes and wipe the rain from her limbs with soft towels. Dark charcoal pants, creased sharply over vintage Versace heeled boots. Silver tangle of decorative, glinting chains down a bare sternum. Water was pressed out of her hair, smoothed and twisted quickly into a unique spiral plait that snaked down her spine. She didn’t need anything else, effortless grace compressing hairtriggered agitation. Lucky had made himself comfortable in her room as she pulled herself together, fingers on his temple. “I know you can feel this,” she said quietly, leaning down to snap the cuffs of her designer slacks over the heels. It was rare she carried, pants unzipped as she pulled on her inner pants holster, settling everything up. A shiver ran through her back, shuddering the feathers to a ruffled arch before they smoothed and she seemed to be within sorts. “What the fuck is going on?” He shook his head, their way back to the club in short order, the man retaking his seat and the headliner taking up her normal residence behind his left shoulder. She almost looked normal as the unique appendages sank to rest on the floor like an inky black cape. Gold sheen glinted eerily in her eyes as she looked over the gathered assembly, she hated half the people here. She wasn’t spilling anything yet. Not yet.
  7. Calista Burke

    Something Wicked This Way Comes....

    She’d been standing on the edge of her loft for hours, cold rain at the top of the world hammering the crown of her head so hard it peppered mist, sluicing in rivulets down the black waves that flowed freely on her back. Feathers heavy, toes curled over the edge as she stared into oblivion below, rain turning into mist halfway down the hundred floors to produce just a dreary day on the ground. Breath pulled into her chest. It itched. Burned. Head spinning, muscles twitching. Something was happening. Something that rivalled the viciousness of the rip in the sky. Normally graceful limbs hung in exertion, breath labored. The world, was throbbing. Taking a step back, the huge appendages merely flowed behind her as she walked, unwilling to pick them up. Her phone had rung several times, the green face lighting up her glass penthouse in the gloom. Light hurt her eyes… water across her tile floors as she entered the warmth to pick it up. Three missed calls, three messages. Lucky. She was… a mess. She felt, like death. It was the crack all over again, the delve into a darkness of golden eyes and a changed being. The avian Meta could feel the full moons, a product of the change of worlds like the Weres, this felt… like a full moon on steroids, but it was messing with her head in ways she couldn’t explain. …picking up the phone, black flicked to the ruckus in her aviary at the edge of the roof, and she felt it too. Phone shook and clattered from her fingers, bouncing off the tile. The air, shuddered. Hand caught a chair. This was not good. Dizzy. Disoriented. It took a moment to pass. Yoga pants clinging to vetted muscle, she scooped up the phone, thumb on speed dial. Soaked black cami fluttered suddenly as she began to move, glint of a gold ankle bracelet sharp as the graceful dancers feet turned to pure power. She was already running, through the double doors back into the frigid rain, picking up speed. “I’m coming in… get off the streets, stay inside,” were the only words spoken when the other end was picked up. Wings snapped out in a spray of droplets as she pushed off the ledge, fist closing around the phone. It was worse in the air, vibration in her brain like a freight train. It bounced back and forth between her ears like a ping pong ball, stretch to her muscles anxious. Thankfully, the flight wasn’t long… skidding to a halt on the roof of the hotel with an aggressive landing. Teeth edged, muscles shivering fiercely, eyes black. Half dressed, agitated, soaked to the bone. Strike mode. It was rare she was this hostile, she could control it. Now, she felt completely out of control, glass crackling beneath her fingernails crushed the phone's screen that was still in her hand.. She couldn’t be in a room with the family. She shouldn’t have come.
  8. Calista Burke

    Above the Hawa

    Gold flashed, a quick glow in the darkness as her eyes moved to follow her peregrine. She was above him, watching him fly in the same circle she’d seen the last few days. Orion looked confused. Skin itched, the world seemed to pulse with agitation. With its anxiety, hers was escalating. The world was going to hell. It was as if it was spinning, her sense of direction spinning with it. What would do that? A change of the rip in the sky? Birds could navigate in such ways, and she was more like them than she wanted to admit. There was also something else. Orion liked this spot, something in the buildings beneath his circle had caught her attention too… though not it seemed as much as her falcon. Pulse of deep black paused, catching the updraft to hang like an archangel above the glow of the city below, watching Orion spiral downward to a place she’d seen him go after before. He hovered over Stuyvesant, then landed on a building near it. This time, she descended with him, soft landing in the darkness on the edge of the same building. Inky with shadow, the gold sheened eyes surveyed closer to try and figure out what was attracting her bird. She felt it too, most likely not as strong as the bird next to her. Cringe was deep, turning her stomach. She didn’t eat a lot, and fried food was definitely not on her menu. The scent of it below billowing out of a kitchen vent brought a creased brow, soft ‘thwpt’ of her lip calling the peregrine before her own massive shadows pulsed once in the darkness and picked her off the ledge to head home.
  9. Calista Burke


    Under the awning was as good as a place as any to lean. She wasn’t above getting soaked to the bone, but it tended to be a bit easier to dry off in the long run if she didn’t lavish in the downpour. A black bulb had been placed in the light next to the door. She’d noticed it before on a few others. It meant something, not quite sure yet what, but enough that it seemed to be a common thread between the strip club shitholes that had been spitting out girls to the morgue. The odd color made her eyes an even stranger hue when they caught the light, embers of her cig glowing every so often before the white, now pale lavender tendrils blew out only to be squashed by the massive droplets beyond the lonely awning. The water was literally running through the alley, center worn by foot traffic over the years in the older section of the city. It was no longer crowned in the center, a small impression that ran at the moment like a stream. It gurgled over cracked bricks, catching the keen attention of her eyes. The Resonance had changed her body, her demeanor with it, sharing the once human space with that of something not quite. Vision a bit keener, attention more focused, eyesight uncanny, enough to distinguish the ripples of water in the dark. They flicked toward a door that was bobbing open ever so slightly about fifteen feet from her. Every time it would move, a thin strip of pulsating light would pierce the rain and bounce of off the raindrops in glittering shards. She knew that behavior, the place was too hot, and someone was standing in the doorway to open it every so often and let out the pressure. Someone would eventually sneak out for a smoke. Apparently sooner rather than later, she stepped backward out of the awning into the dark. A thin figure slid out, they wouldn’t see her for at least a minute. Pulsating and piercing lights took a bit to clear out of one’s eyes. They would be seeing spots for a bit until their eyes adjusted. Glaring up at the sky, she was lost in shadow as the door closed and he took her place under the awning, a slow sniff catching the cigarette smoke that was lingering in her dry spot. It seemed to completely slide by him that there had been someone there just seconds ago. Not someone she had seen before. “So how does someone get a job around here.” His eyes lifted toward her, black hair matted “fashionably” over his forehead. Cigarette hung between his fingertips as he lifted his hand to cover his eyes from the black light in efforts to see her. He was obviously not going to introduce himself. Beady eyes peered up at her as he took a long drag and blew it out. He was pretending he could see her. *npc* Not hiring. “Shitholes are always hiring,” she said quietly, taking a step back in to finish her cig, wings lowering to lie along the shadows. “I heard you had a vacancy.” His blinking was telltale. He was either scared shitless or he was desperately trying to see if she was worth pulling a weapon on. Maybe a little of both. She leaned a shoulder on the wall, taking another drag from hers before smashing it against the wall and field stripping it to leave to the gurgling alley stream. “Jessica’s spot still open?” Hand touched his waistband under a jersey. “Why’d you go and have to touch your gun?” her sigh was palpable. “I just asked a question.” Kick off the wall was brutal, the snap of death stopping the momentum upward to hammer down her fist into his jaw with all the weight of her body and more. Eyes flicked at a few white sprinkles of something that plinked into the rushing water. Teeth maybe. Asp snapped from its holster and he was battered again with an equally cruel hit on the back of his knees as he tried to get up. Fist grabbed his wrist and dragged him from the sight of the awning further down the alley into the driving rain. He most likely hadn’t gotten a good look at her yet. His eyes hadn’t had enough time to adjust. Now, even if they did they were in relative darkness, he was in pain and only wanted to curl up on the cracked pavement. “Why is Jessica’s spot open?” she knelt next to him. *npc* F.. f.. fuck you Jaw set, standing in a twirl to bring the asp snapping against his collar bone this time. It broke. He screeched, then babbled. Something about overdose. Bad product. “Who.” *npc* Don’t know…. we just get it shipped, give as partial payment. “How is it you can afford to go through girls like that?” *npc* There are always girls.. Homeless… Eyes narrowed. That didn’t help. It was impossible to monitor every shelter in the city. “Tell your ‘we just get it shipped’ to stop experimenting.” It was two-fold. He probably didn’t know, in which case he mentioned what had happened here to the wrong person and they would kill him for knowing. He would end up in the morgue, and she could narrow her search. If he didn’t get offed, she might be able to milk him for information in exchange for his life. “Or, I will kill you.” It wasn’t a threat, it was a certainty. She was suddenly gone in the darkness, only a story up, but far enough away that he was stumbling to get up and figure out where his attacker had gone. Fear. Fear was a great motivator it seemed as he bee-lined for his safety, and hopefully to lead to some information.
  10. Calista Burke


    September 4, 2019 11pm Bakkhos Club, to some shithole stripper dive Lights. They trailed against the blackness beyond even after spotted, the iridescent feathers caught in an intricate dance of irrevocable grace. Lithe muscles simply moved beyond a normal physique, beauty of a master ballerina twirled with the weightlessness of elegance in aerial flight. Bi-colored locks extended their curls with speed, relaxing at the gentle rallentando of motion to a cascade of spirals. The pause, hang time of complete silent nothingness before a crowded audience began a slow clap to build a heavy thunderous applause was the measure of a performance. Some silent moments were almost ten seconds, collective breath of a thousand souls caught in complete harmony in anticipation she would do something else… synchronized exhale as the lights changed and slippery silks were wound around a toned and tan thigh to release her to the stage floor. Gasp was palpable as she let go twenty feet up and the iridescent purples and green caught the light of the night raven’s wings as they snapped out. Delicate touch down was silent, as was her exit from the stage as the lights completely disappeared to the darkness of a black glow. No encore. None. Not even as the formidable sound of applause outside from the audience bled into the stage wings with pressing echo. It was always give them more, now it was let them buy another ticket. Lucky, Matteo... whoever the hell she reported to these days with chess pieces moving after the club disaster wouldn’t be pleased she left her tuxedo and evening gown fans wanting, but tonight.. truly.. she didn’t give a fuck. She didn't know Matteo well, and wasn't in the mood at the moment to care. Costume mistress was pulling pieces of her scant attire to place back on the racks as she walked, bottle of water in her hand per usual, towel wiping the sheen from her limbs, hair wound into her fist and wrapped into a pile on the top of her head with one of the sashes that was part of the costume covering her breasts. Behind the stage, nobody cared two shits. Everyone had seen almost every inch of her, besides, her hind-side was usually the point of most people’s attention. They weren't just a prop, muscles in her back moving in sync as the shimmering things lowered to dust across the floor like a black cape to keep from hitting shit. Elevator was waiting to take her up to the dressing halls near the top grid of the building. Tiger eyes were quiet, door to her dressing room closed just as silent. Black open back tee shirt was peeled on over an already naked torso, tied at the back of her waist per usual. The bottom of her scant costume was pulled off with a lift of her foot and a snap, laid over the back of her vanity chair as a knock preceded her dresser’s entrance. *npc* Car? “No,” the gorgeously timbred voice whispered. Just before. She’d learned just before stepping on stage. Black lace thong slipped up over hips, followed by low slung jeans. Window was pushed open, the barefoot superstar climbing onto the ledge from four stories up, it was raining- hard. In the dark the droves made the lights of the city fade in and out in waves. Stepping onto the grate of the fire escape, she was soaked within seconds, climbing onto the slick railing with impeccable balance to stand and survey the city in the midst of a thunderstorm… leaning forward to fall into the black. Speed increasing, cloak of shadow snapped open in a razor slice to arc water in every direction and create lift to cut between several buildings. Barefoot, the Meta sluiced through air within the storm, sliding after nearly a half hour on top of an impenetrable high rise. Pushing through glass double doors of a dark studio never locked, the intent artist pulled on boots with a slam of each heel and snap of wet denim over them. Breakaway holsters were snapped on her thighs as she dripped on the marble floor in heavy rivulets. Sheen of tiger’s eye flicked to the light leather jacket on a bar stool. She pulled it on, reaching behind her to buckle it at the base of her spine. Everything worked that way. Hammerfists checked in her pockets. Cell phone went off on the counter. The club. Fuck the club. Again into the rain, the hospital wasn’t far. It was a small one, in shit-storm central of the city. Too much lately, too much. The alley was almost flooded, the run-off rushing down the ramp to the bowels of the building circling a stinking drain. One knock on the door with no window under a flickering light got someone's attention, it opened a crack. He was a waif of a young man, but one she’d rather wished she didn’t know. He welcomed her in from the rain, a nonchalant shiver of feathers shaking the water off in a spray of droplets. She hated the walk. One door, two door, three… the stainless steel had a smell. Not cold or antiseptic, but barren. Devoid. A place where only things that didn’t exist lived before becoming nothing. The small door was opened, long tray pulled out with a smooth tug, moving to demurely fold back the white cloth that had been seeped slightly with red. She didn’t even need to see. She knew. The kid… no longer a kid, nineteen these days had seen so much darkness they were seasoned vets of a shit world. Lips pressed to a thin line, bubbling anger held in with a soft sigh. Bruises had turned to cuts had turned to this. A headliner in a hole-in-the-wall strip club, now on a slab. Someone was dealing these girls like money. Shifting them around to keep under the radar. Using them up until curb appeal was gone, then shipping them off someplace else to count money, then test product, then… this. A production line from stripper pole to death. Not Bakkhos business officially. It was her business. “You know what to do.” The young man nodded at her. He was her “in” to most deaths before they were sent to proper morgues, most likely be fired if anyone ever knew he was her contact. But, he also did the right thing. Handled the “lost” off to morgues with instructions from their “families” for burial. Otherwise, a pauper’s grave in a pine box with a number for a memorial, for nobody. She'd lost this round with the dark underbelly. They all hurt, but this one... hurt more. The Meta knew their names, and their stories, and she knew this one’s last address. She nodded at him once, a wet lock that had escaped the large wrapped bun tucked behind her ear as she left for the same door she’d come through. This was going to be a long, bloody night.
  11. Calista Burke

    Salt and Burn It

    Skin was on edge, feathers flickering once and dying low on her back to almost hover over the ground like inky shadows. She hated the smell of whatever he was using, the feel that the world she created around her was being weighed, measured, stacked and filed for later use- irritating and setting the aura around her ablaze with a tightly coiled anger. "You don't want my company. No intention of tagging along any further. Just here to evaluate. Done now." “Don’t tell me what I want,” the golden eyes shimmered once as the lashes narrowed and released, iridescent black still hanging low in the darkness. Innocent advice or not, it would not be let to slide, studying him with a wider awareness than most. She knew the look, knew the thought process, knew the cryptic bullshit that signaled a holier than thou persona… or a need to metaphorically slide a dollar in her g-string and tell her what to do with it. She didn’t wear them, and she most certainly didn’t accept petty change. “…don’t presume you know anything about me, either.” "What you do affects more than just you. Remember that. Don't get caught." Wings snapped upward suddenly, like the defensive stance of a spider. If anything, she was unpredictable. “You know nothing,” the haze in her voice signaled what she spoke was true. He knew nothing about her. Watched her kick the crap out of a guy, assumed she couldn’t take care of the aftermath. Made a mess that she’d had to clean up, even though he offered to. So then what? She'd 'owe him one'? Fuck that. She didn't give favors, she collected debts. “If you really wanted to know what I'm up to, you’d stick around. I didn’t ask for your help. I don’t ask for anyone’s help because I’m always disappointed. Always.” Powerful surge of air put her into the sky. This was no exception. She needed to clear her palate. Twisting a guy’s neck? Or, spend the evening with her kids? The choice was an easy one to make. If he’d bothered to “evaluate” further he might have… nah… She stopped the thought in its tracks. If she saw him again, he might end up on her short list of people to off. It wasn’t fair to apply that kind of hate to someone she barely knew… his presumption to judge though, was enough to snap her tolerance to a dangerous place. She would not be judged. By anyone. Ever again. If she could slit a Bishop's throat for the same crime, there was nothing out of her realm. The only reason she wasn't going after him to crush his skull from a drop out of the sky was because he most certainly was Bakkhos. That was his only saving grace. Stuff that up his evaluation. Pushing hard off the edge of a building, the bullet launched higher into the air. Her charges it was, the only thing that seemed to calm the beast. Asshole pimps needing the shit slapped out of them would have to wait for another night.
  12. Calista Burke

    Salt and Burn It

    Feb 22, 2018 12:20am ...just an obscure skin bar Cig was perched behind her ear, the sleek ponytail still meticulously in place from a performance that had left her more than a little sore. It was taunting her like a lit libido and a willing partner that was just two sultry blinks away from a romp. Damn cigarettes. It made it from her ear to lips that were wiped clean of lipstick some time ago, unlike the coaled eyes that retained their wickedness even in the dark, taste of cherry enough to appease her for now. Hawk eyes had found the jerk she was waiting for a few days ago, the Meta visiting her favorite bouncer once a month like clockwork to buy him a drink and catch up. The man nudged her in his direction, knowing exactly what the woman did with dickheads that brought junkie talent into the place. An interesting little in-the-dark side job to such an elegant daytime persona. Updraft. Chest lifted, fingers plucking away the cigarette to breathe in the fresh cold air as it swirled upward, the black with a mind of its own flaring to life in anticipation of the adrenaline rush of every drop. Crests rooster tailed for a moment, calming when the air ceased moving. Things had a mind of their own, an extension of her psyche to the world, as expressive as eyebrows in happiness or frown. Maybe he wasn’t coming, iridescence flickering when sight changed direction or followed someone from her rooftop perch. Effectively hidden next to another sculpture on the roofline, she’d dressed for the occasion. Next to nothing mesh had been shed, replaced with polished cotton black bootcuts over a particular pair of favorite feminine Harley’s. Dark purple waistcoat corset was barely overbust, a moire scarf of the same color wound around her neck. Elegantly flared leather coat stopped at the knee, the sleeves slim fitting and almost to her fingertips, covering a polished set of brass knuckles that were already in place. This was not going to be a conversation. Cig returned to her lips, the dark twist of ponytail rolling between her shoulder blades on another updraft. She reached behind her and undid the buckles at the nape of her back that gave the coat its shape- they also kept it a bit too constricted for what she was about to do. She’d learned her lesson, her tailor was pissed the last time… no excuse for tearing his work. She liked him, he was one of the few that called her out on her sass. Cigarette case snapped from her inner pocket and she returned the cigarette and the case, snapping it shut. She learned long ago to make sure she had pockets that closed, she’d lost too much shit, becoming more impatient the longer the idiot stayed at the skin bar. A hot bath was sounding fucking amazing right at that moment. This guy was taking too long. He just had to leave the back door, like Nicco had told her he did every night. He would meet up with his girl, beat the shit out of her and then go home. Hence, her visit. Finally… finally… the sliver of light warmed the alley and the man stepped out, lighting up a cigarette and waiting at the bottom of the steps for his girl to join him. Nicco was going to hold her. Lips pursed in a tight Grinch-like curl, and she spun on her heel and gracefully swan dived into a twisted freefall from eight stories up. It was amazing how fast the human form picked up speed as it fell, the dark figure completely silent in its bulleted free fall save for the snap of paneled leather at her thighs. She wanted to break his neck, go home and have a margarita. But… this one was a message, not a death sentence this time. Feathers flared open with tremendous force a moment before the pavement became reality, one tucking to give way to the back of her knee that wrapped around his neck and swung him into the air like an ice-skater tossing their partner into a spin- she also had momentum and they spun in the air for a split second before she let go… the sack of crap rolling uncontrollably across the cracked pavement and slathering up with road rash along the way. Wings flared open to bring the viciousness to a graceful hover before tucking to drop her to the ground. She was already stalking toward him, fist reeled back before he could get up to spray a graffiti of his teeth and split lip over the concrete. “Like to hit your girls?” A heel slammed into the back of his neck as he gasped for breath, producing a knife from a sheath somewhere under his coat to reach behind his head and swipe at her leg. She was no longer there, the ass rolling over to his back to weather another punch that cracked his nose. She snatched the knife, landing on the balls of her feet on his gut just below his sternum, crouched, perched… like a bird, as he regained his bearings. It was hard for him to breathe with her weight on him. Good. Immense wings were flared above her, catching the alley draft to leave her precarious position on his chest possible. Tip of the knife was placed on a button to his coat, spinning under her finger lazily as she turned it a few times before tucking it in the back of her waistband. “Hit your girls again I will drop you in front of a bus.” He spit on her. Honest to god spit his blood on her face. Both hands grabbed his coat and the massive feathers snapped once. One story. Then two… by the third, he stopped flailing, realizing how high he was and fingers cinched around her wrists to keep her from dropping him- becoming deathly still, nodding viciously. *npc* no more… no more… I promise… Her features were stern, bringing them back down on top of a nearby parking garage. She let go, brushing off his coat and pushing him away from her. He stumbled a bit, wiping the clotting and freezing blood from under his nose. “Good talk, real come-to-Jesus moment,” she blew him a kiss and stepped off the edge into the darkness. Returning to the back door, she finally pulled a cig from the case in her pocket and patted herself down for a tissue, knocking gently and sliding it behind her ear. “Anything else?” words were quiet, a clipped wad of money passed off to Nicco. “Tell her to get a place to stay, let me know if he’s any more trouble.” Nicco nodded, handing her a tissue from his back pocket, *npc* “it’s clean.” “Good,” she smirked, brows upward in a mock. “I know what tissues have to put up with in this place.” He chuckled, she winked, and was alone in the darkness as the door closed and she hopped down the steps and removed her brass wedding rings. It was rare she got to walk the streets without being a curiosity. She enjoyed they emptiness of the dark alley for a moment, wiping the blood from her features and tossing the kleenex into the dumpster to pause and finally light her cigarette.
  13. Calista Burke

    Salt and Burn It

    Keen eyes never missed a thing, the press of his lip slightly upward at her lapdance comment pulling a visually invisible roll of eyes. Either he was one of those assholes, or he agreed with her. Mostly likely the asshole. "Not your mess. Few spots on the roof maybe. Gray matter is on me." Good grief. She didn’t accept the passing the buck bullshit. Whether he’d killed the dick or not, she would have finished the game herself. Was there anyone in this world that believed someone could be absolutely passive about brutality? Happy for the help, but this was becoming a pain in the ass. Nobody did something for nothing, even if it was their job, which meant she wasn’t really sure how much further into this briar patch she wanted to go. "Confident he doesn't care. Still. Remains could wash up. Could have dealt with that." “Don’t care what the remains do,” she really didn’t, and it didn’t matter to her if it traced back to her. The shit didn’t work for Bakkhos, couldn’t be traced to Bakkhos, and she had no problem facing the consequences alone. "Don't suppose you have any other plans tonight?" It was her turn to barely smirk. “Pay a few bills and torture a guy to death. Why, you want to catch a bite to eat first? You can watch me pay my electric bill?” It wasn’t exactly the electric bill. A few drops to her wards of choice before she pulled a shitstorm out of a confessional and peeled his skin off. Granted, normally it was an ass kicking, or a simple shot in the chest. This one? This one deserved so much more of her time. A regular old dumpster fire. Feathers low in the shadows shivered slightly, spiking to a flare at the thought of what he'd done to draw her ire. A barometer of her mood most of the time. This one wasn't going to get off with a rifle in the sky. This one was going to hurt. Bleed. Hurt some more... and fucking die when she was satisfied.
  14. Calista Burke

    Salt and Burn It

    “Nobody stops me from doing what I want,” she said quietly through the corner of her mouth as the cigarette was lit and thin stream blown out away from both of them. She was steadfast with Bakkhos, and would be hesitant to say that there were conditions. There weren’t. But, she had her own missions, and they knew how important it was to her to follow through with them. Waging a personal war against the factions? Of course not. Helping who she could get out of shit situations and find a better way of life? Absolutely. "Don't really care." “Good, because work stays at work… and I don’t peg you for a guy that likes off the clock lap dances as payment for silence.” Slightly cocked brow hung in the silence, “I don’t do those.” Shoulders ruffled audibly in the shadows behind her to unconsciously emphasize her distaste in the cheap entertainment. Neck stretched to one side, the irony a private one, “…things would get in the way anyway.” ..and then she was gone. Thankful for his intercede sure, completely capable of cleaning up her own messes. Not impatience, in fact entirely the opposite; taking care of her business no matter the consequence. Being wholly responsible for the chaos one made, even if it went awry, depths of which very few in existence could truly understand. Sense of justice, now tightly twisted with an unflinching predator’s DNA was more trouble than most realized. The landing light, she still had to resist the temptation to rip him limb from limb even though the bastard was dead. Pointed anger. She struggled with it, always. A kind gentle hand leading the astray to a place of safety, the devil on the other side casting judgment. Scent of cigarette smoke preceded his presence. She hated it... reminded her how much of a shitty habit it was- and that she needed to quit. "Cleanup is part of the service." “I don’t make messes I can’t clean up,” eerie gold flicked to him before fingers snagged the back of the prone idiot’s collar, rolling the mess over to pluck anything from his pockets that could hint of an identity and tucking them into hers. This wasn’t her first rodeo by far. Nobody would care one way or the other who he was, but the resurgence of some sort of law might make it an issue. Leather groaned under her grip, the perceived expediency mistaken for ‘impatience’ gone again into the night sky with a tremendous flux of air. It wasn’t an agile grace this time, the severe power of the appendages snapped outward and pulsed until she and the bleeding corpse were into the oblivion. This was not a rarity either. She had promised to drop the fucker in front of a bus. If it had been just her, maybe she would have… not intent on leaving someone she didn’t know taking care of the blood and bone in the alley. Easiest and quickest it would have to be. Headwinds a bit unstable, the twisting of muscles in her shoulders were more than this shit was worth, dropping him into the lower bay. From this height, the dangling parts would blow apart further… the man in several pieces on several shores if whatever lived in the water didn’t get to him first. She fucking hated the water. Feathers blew outward like a parachute as soon as the weight was gone, hovering in the misted darkness until she heard him hit the water. The way back was a test of speed, a hundred pound bullet sluicing through the darkness before flaring open and dropping back into her alleyway to see what was left to finish. “Fish food,” comment was quiet, another cigarette pulled and slid behind her ear. She hated the smell of blood. “Promised I’d drop him in front of a bus. He doesn’t know the difference.” Eyes surveyed what was left, trying to ascertain the lengths of his own skills at making things disappear, and whether he'd been really sent to keep an eye on her. He set off the weird little predator radar embedded in her soul since the Event. Protecting assets hm? Men lied all the time. All the time.
  15. Calista Burke

    Salt and Burn It

    Sleek boots finally stepped forward, stepping down lightly to the roof proper, the masses of iridescent black lowering to become almost a shadow behind her. Fingers slid into her pockets to keep out the chill. "Insurance policy. Sooner or later, one begins to wonder if your extracirriculars are going to pose a problem." His words were interesting. A ghost, the timbre of his speech a gentility that was most often lost in the world as it had become. It was a refreshing reminder that not everything was a crass, boisterous nothingness. It was only then his words were digested. Extracurricular activities. Smile was light, reaching to her eyes. The glint of tiger’s eye shifted as she scanned the shadows of the skyline. "The wise businessman always keeps track of his assets." Focus shifted back to him with a flick of lashes. It was the one thing that could ruffle her feathers, per se, the only thing to get under her skin. As if on cue the appendages rose slightly from the shadows at her back, feathers rooster-tailing before smoothing as if they had a mind of their own. She may have given her loyalty to those that had saved her life, but she was owned by no one. "Or so I have been told." “Slaves are made in such ways,” her own voice was just as quiet, retrieving the Kretek from behind her ear and lighting in finally as he packed his wares, a fine stream of smoke escaping her lips at the snap of a silver top on her lighter… sparing him the interesting scent by knowing which way the breeze was carrying it. She pondered her own words. Ash flicked gently, rolling on the rooftop before becoming dark. The Bishop had said the same thing to her once, before she found out he was shipping altered off to who the fuck knows where…. “Which I’m not. You have your job I suppose. I have mine… which doesn’t always involve shaking my ass.” Kretek was finished, tongue flashing to lick her thumb as she pinched the embers out with a sizzle and returned the filter to her cigarette case. “Sometimes it involves paying back debts.” She didn’t elaborate which debts, or for whom… eyes shifting to the sky a moment and the odd swirling clouds that stood out against the black velvet. “Never know who’s watching,” an observation, as well as food for his thought. There were higher eyes watching sometimes than rifle scopes on tops of buildings. “Have a nice evening, friend.” She stepped back onto the ledge, the updraft curling wisps of tendrils against her cheeks. “Thanks for the conversation, and the bullet… but I have some unanticipated cleaning up to do.” With that, she stepped off the edge, a bit more of a leisurely descent than before. She hated cleaning up. Not that she had an issue with splattered brain and bone. It was the blood. Long come to terms with the brutality that had left her almost dead, the scent of blood was a trigger she couldn’t shed. Hence, the cigarette. Coated in the sultry smell of clove, it made the job a bit less traumatic. Shoes touched down softly. “Asshole,” she muttered, kicking the shredded back of the leather jacket slightly. Long fucking night ahead.
  16. Calista Burke

    Salt and Burn It

    Movement was always heard- the Meta enjoying a world of silence in her stone prison before the world ended- the whisper of prayer, shuffle of layers of clothing and gentle shoes. The old world was hushed and solitary, not the consistent barrage of senses that battered her psyche now. She noticed, everything. Used to formerly believing heaven above was always watching and now thousands of people gawking -or appreciating- her talent was how she knew she was being watched, by more than just an asshole that had the shit beat out of him by a “stripper”. The needled prickle at the back of her neck had begun before she’d dropped from the first height. Oddly, the attention was neither seen as threatening, nor concerning. She’d learned to keep serenity in the most impossible of situations, and this wasn’t near what she had been through in her brief life so far. The footsteps she also heard, the curdling, wheezing blood as it hissed in a battered nose, smelled between the puffs of cherry flavored clove; heard the door at the bottom of the parking garage. Funny thing about big damn wings, they hid a lot. What some would see as an extremely well dressed hooker taking a smoke break near a dumpster, was actually now an armed bitch that had made the decision to kill him if she heard so much as another peep from the bastard. She highly doubted he was returning to apologize again. It meant two things; he would try to sneak up on her, and he was most likely armed with a gun this time. Cig flicked and was extinguished with an elegant twist of toe, left hand already tightly gripped on the ASP that had been quietly snapped from its holster beneath the cover of coat and wing. Not yet extended, the martyr in her turned to face the intent with stoic calmness as he began to exit the door. If he was going to shoot her, she would not run, or flinch. She would look him in the eye, and he would miss. Why? Because she would not die today. She was no religious nut thinking the world could save her; it was something in her gaze- her refusal to look away in the face of brutality. The countenance had brought about her second chance at life, and would someday be her death. She would not run. Plus, she knew how to kick a man’s ass that was holding a gun. Pulse of vibration was felt along every feather at the sound of a crack on the concrete, impact fluttering heavily painted lashes, the scene unfolding bringing no motion from her. Death dealing an odd gift from an unseen savior. Eyes suspiciously looked toward the sky under crinkled brows. She was already moving. Agile and insanely acrobatic, the launch to the dumpster and rebound off the wall sent her into the air and night alley gloom without the heavy and often slow pump to get her airborne. Shadow and movement had caught her attention after her companion’s head had been made into canoe. ASP was snapped back into its holster as darkness was sluiced through silently, very aware her head could suffer the same fate if she confronted the shadow in the sky. She didn’t bother ascending past, there was no reason to. She had no need for momentum, didn’t plan on snapping anyone’s neck, cupped appendages collecting the updraft to hang for a moment, long promary feathers twisting and dancing with the rush before tucking and dropping her softly from the air. Toes barely on the edge of the ledge, heels bounced lazily on nothing but stories of air below. She supposed her thoughts should have been racing… who, why… what. They weren’t. She’d seen hurt. It didn’t scare her anymore. She stepped forward off the "perch" and hopped down. Head cocked slightly as she studied everything about and around him with the unnerving iridescent eyes. Reaching into her coat pocket without hesitation, she snapped out another cig, running the filter along her lower lip to taste the cherry before sliding it behind her ear and replacing the case. Had she seen him before? Couldn’t say. Maybe somewhere between Lucky’s good times and business whispers she was supposed to ignore when she was “busy” being nothing more than an exotic decoration on his arm? Or when she was pretending to be “incapable” of any other rational thought than what color to paint her nails she might have caught a glimpse. Probably not, but he smelled figuratively of Bakkhos. “Guardian angel? Or a useful stalker?” it wasn’t a sarcastic joke at her own expense, it was gentle- a serious question. She had no reason to hate him. She had no reason to hate anyone, unless they hurt those that didn’t deserve it. Cheek turned to the wind, enjoying the scent of cold air, watching him again after a long sigh... waiting for a shoe to drop.


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