Gavin de Luc

Old spectres and new phantoms

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March 25, 2020

After that close call at the Harbor a few days ago, Gavin finally decided to use some of his vacation hours to clear his head and attempt to recenter himself. It was the first time on the field in a long time where he had been put in a position where he could not perform up to his standards. He made it out alive, sure, but that was entirely too much risk for his liking. He needed to be better than that, but such a close call with death meant that he had deserved a few days off to just relax and do whatever he wanted.

Today, doing whatever he wanted meant he was headed for a short trip out of town and he had loaded up his armored Toyota Land Cruiser with enough alcohol to kill him and a few firearms so he could just shoot, practice his powers, and then get shitfaced away from any police or innocent bystanders. The last thing he wanted to do was get into a confrontation with the police at this point over something as stupid as intoxication, especially after that near-death encounter with the CDC putting him even more on edge with the government types.

He was dressed in what was for him pretty standard attire when he was pretending badly to be a civilian. Dirty, unshined steel toed boots, carpenter style jeans, and a black leather jacket over a flannel shirt. The brim of a black and beaten up Atlanta Falcons baseball cap saved his eyes from the worst of the remaining sunlight from the sun that had just started setting in the distance. He hadn't fully gotten the orange decontaminate out of his hair, yet, so small traces of the orange gunk still stubbornly remained glued to his skull. He had only drank enough today to stave off the craving for the stuff, so he was also more sober than normal at least for the moment.

Portable ward package and an M4 carbine with 2 filled magazines adorned the passenger seat of the vehicle as he drove, because his growing paranoia made him wildly uncomfortable without some sort of firepower within arm's reach. Especially when night fell, it would not be the first time that he was attacked outside the city and he would definitely rather be overprepared for nothing than dead in a ditch somewhere for the maggots and crows.

He had a once professionally created and maintained shooting and training range built on a field a few miles out of town, out of the way of anything else and purposefully so. These days, it was still professionally built... but the maintained part had gone by the wayside years ago. Old whiskey bottles littered the place from the times he had drunkenly driven over to shoot at ungodly hours of the night and shell casings lined the ground. Looters had found the place and made off with a lot of the casings and a lot of the lighter targets and ammo boxes along with the occasional misplaced weapon, but there was still spare ammo and litter around to account for quite some time of neglect.

He wasn't exactly trying to be subtle when he drove in towards the bottom of the small hill the field was on, mostly because he was not expecting anyone else to be there. As he was pulling up, though, a gunshot rang out and the soldier immediately lowered his head and reached for the carbine. Still keeping his body low, he loaded the damned thing before putting it back in the passenger seat. He was still out of sight of the hill, but that cut both ways. His windows weren't broken, so the shot didn't hit the vehicle. He could take the safe route and scare the intruder off by being loud in the armored truck, or he could get out and physically confront them.

Fuck it. He turned the key to turn off the vehicle and locked the damn thing before putting his keys in his jean pocket. He was going to go for it, because damned if he wasn't going to do something else needlessly risky this pay period when the opportunity presented itself.

Gavin grabbed his carbine and pulled a Springfield Armory XD .45 out of his glovebox for a sidearm since the rest of his were in the back of the vehicle and not worth getting at the present. He also still had his karambits, but those wouldn't see any use unless he got desperate. He put the small sidearm into the right jacket pocket of his leather jacket and put the one point sling of the carbine over his shoulder before opening his vehicle door and immediately activating his cloaking and noise dampening abilities to mask the door closing and his approach up the hill.

Carbine in hand, the soldier marched forwards in the direction of the shooting range fully expecting the worst. It could be anyone or anything up there, and with his luck it would be a pack of lycanthropes or something equally unfortunate. Since he was dampening the noise he was making to almost imperceptible levels, Gavin was not concerned about anything but speed and making sure he would not be blindsided.

 

If it was a human, he would be effectively invisible and silent with all of the growing shadow around with the sun halfway through setting in the distance. If it was a monster, he would know immediately just by virtue of the fact that they had noticed him and could react accordingly. It was a gunshot, so chances are that it was a human or magic user. 

 

Gavin liked his chances at remaining unseen against a human or magic user until it was far too late for them to do anything about it. And who knows, maybe it was just a random person who had happened to find the place and was not out to kill him and take all of his stuff.

 

But he doubted it, because with his luck lately it probably was the pack of lycanthropes. Or more CDC agents, which was a somehow even worse option.

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The day had been quite long and she had been trying to work more shifts at work. Mainly to keep herself busy so that she wouldn't be bombarded by the numerous amounts of dead that had to search her out at all hours. Most seemed to actually bother her more as she was walking from destination to destination, but there had been quite a few that would interrupt her time at her own home. For the most part they seemed to stay away from her work place. She really had no idea why they seemed to steer away from the place, but she was thankful for spending so much time at the restaurant. However, there were days when she had horrible customers that almost made her second guess even working at the restaurant in the first place. Today was one of those days and she felt like she needed to blow of some well built up steam.

 

This decision of wanting to get out of the city and find somewhere that she could be alone, or at least as alone as she could get, to fire off some rounds of her Glock 26 into bottles or even anything that she could find. Of course with her track record it really wasn't a good idea for her to go off at night out of the city, but she'd had a shitty day and instead of drowning herself in alcohol she figured shooting would be a much better way to manage her time. After her decision was defiantly made she had went out of the city, keeping her Glock in her holster that she had purchased 3 years ago. It always made her feel better if she kept it on her, especially when she went out of the city.

 

It didn't take her long to find her spot of choice and it wasn't too far outside the city so if she decided to hurry back into town it hopefully wouldn't take her too long. The only thing that made her a little hesitant about even choosing the spot she was at now was that it most certainly looked like people came here to do whatever it is that random people do. She took a deep breath in as she left the safety of her car, keeping her keys in her front pocket. She also left the lights of her car on which would slightly help put her at ease. Granted it's basically like a big sign telling people she was there, but she did have a gun and she does know how to shoot. So whatever.

 

She had been shooting for a few minutes, but stopped as she got that feeling that she usually always got when a spirit was around her. Her eyes closed and she shook her head slightly. Not now, she thought, please not freaking now.... all I want is a god damn break. A soft sigh escaped her lips as she opened her eyes slowly, knowing that she would see something that she would rather not see. She knew it was going to happen, but that didn't make her that anymore prepared. The man appeared in front of her and if it wasn't for the fact that it looked like his throat was ripped out she would wager that he was quite good looking when he was alive. He looked to be anywhere from 26-28 years old when he died and from the looks of his hideous injuries it looked like he had been killed by lycanthropes. "Hello. Is there any possible way that you could leave me be and let me get off some steam on my own," she asked the spirit that stood before her.

 

NPC : "Hey there. Well right now wouldn't be that great of a time for me to do that. See there is a guy that is going to be coming here. He's an old buddy of mine, but he isn't really too much of a people person. If he sees you here he will probably consider you as a threat. So all I will need you to say is that Little G says to chill out and that she's good people," he replied to her.

 

A slight pause from Aingeal as she listened to the spirits words. Her first instinct was to just head on back to her vehicle, get in, and drive off. Then this guy that will be coming won't even have to have any interaction with her at all, but then her stubborn side kicks in and makes her not want to leave because she was here first tonight and she would be damned if someone was going to run her off from releasing some tension that had built up over the day. Another sigh escaped her lips before she asked, "Well. Why don't I just leave before he even gets here?"

 

NPC : Little G moved a little bit closer to her and spoke once more. "Maybe that's because he's literally almost here already. And you won't see him either. He has this special talent that keeps him from being seen from people who aren't looking for him."

 

She lowered her weapon and kept it at her side for a second and then slid it into her holster, thinking that if some guy was going to be coming up on her that wasn't too keen on social interaction that he probably wouldn't want to see a person pointing a gun at him or even having one in her hand. "Alright. I guess I'll have to take your word for it and I'm also going to hope that you'll help me out when talking to him, yeah? Also. What's his name?"

 

NPC : He turned his head slightly back toward the hill over his shoulder then back to Aingeal. "His name is Gavin, but first tell him that I said hi. He will hopefully relax slightly after that. Also. Just stay where you are. No sudden movements. He's almost here."

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The evening breeze was still chilly, and the soldier suppressed a shiver as one gust hit him right in the face as he made his approach. Carbine forward, stance tight and sweeping left to right with the barrel and his eyes both to ensure that he didn’t get blindsided. On one of the scans on his way up the hill, he saw a the top of a car parked on the opposite end of the hill as Gavin was with the damned lights on. It was hidden from view from the spot where he had parked, and the lights were pointed up the hill presumably to make it easy to spot if someone tried to steal it.

 

He moved closer to the car to make absolutely sure that nobody was lying down in the damned thing, extremely careful to avoid the lights and being ready to move in case the car started moving unexpectedly to maintain his cover. His finger was off the trigger the entire time, mostly because if it was an actual threat he would use his powers first and the bullets second and also because by the look of the car it didn’t seem to be a bandit – or maybe a very poor or new one. Just as he initially suspected, there was nobody in the car. It was well maintained and much cleaner than the inside of his, but unremarkable otherwise.

 

Lycanthropes tended to not be on the richer end of society, though, and lots of mages were not wealthy either. Just because the car was basic did not mean that the person occupying it was not a major threat to Gavin’s physical well being. From there, again avoiding the front lights of the vehicle but no longer concerned about them moving the soldier moved up towards the top of the hill and onto the field on the top.

 

He thought he was ready for anything at this point, and for physical threats he was probably right. What he was not expecting, however, was to find an unarmed young woman raising her voice to call out to him while also staring directly in his direction. That on its own was odd but not entirely unexpected, but the content of that hollering was.

 

She called out his name, for one, and also relayed that Little G was wondering why the soldier was still wearing his Atlanta Felons cap. At that, an uncommon thing happened. Gavin completely froze, because he had absolutely no idea what to do. The woman had a smaller concealed carry in a holster on her side, looked like a Glock, but no other visible weapons. What was clear, however, was that she had magic. How much, he had no idea, but judging by the fact that she saw him pointing a rifle in her direction and still chose to keep her firearm holstered he had to assume it was formidable.

 

What the soldier could not understand, however, were the words that came out of her mouth. Gibson was not here, of that Gavin was almost certain due to the layout of the area making it pretty impossible to hide once you were on top of the hill, but she knew exactly what to say to cause him to doubt everything and freeze. Which meant at the very least that she was likely part of the Vanguard, and was likely one of the altered that joined up that cause.

 

Which meant that he needed to lower his rifle before he got blasted with whatever that woman preferred to use instead of her sidearm. If he was completely sober, he might have stood his ground here, but seeing as the woman wasn’t even flinching… he decided to at least outwardly yield for now.

 

He lowered his rifle barrel to the ground and walked forward enough to where he would not have to raise his voice to talk before deactivating his cloak and noise dampening. Immediately upon deactivating both, the soldier crouched down to place his M4 on the ground and let the woman see both of his hands as he got back to a standing position. It was a mostly placating gesture instead of a full disarming, because he still had full access to his powers… which the woman would probably know if she knew his name and had contact with Gibson, but he wasn’t getting blasted with whatever it was that she had yet so that was a good sign.

 

Gavin had not had contact with Gibson, his best friend during his entire stint in the United States Army since he had left to go to Ireland. Honestly, he had thought the man was likely dead due to his tendency towards stupid bravery. They had fled Colorado together, right after the Resonance hit and everything went to shit. Gibson had joined up with the Vanguard after the two of them proved themselves by dispatching a lycanthrope in a nearby village… and Gavin decided to board a shipping freighter on its way to Ireland to fight. They embraced at the docks, both fighting back tears, and never saw each other again. The soldier had absolutely no problem showing a bit of deference in order to have the opportunity to see his old friend again, though he couldn’t help but wonder why the hell Gibson wouldn’t come himself if he was in the area.

 

”Sorry ‘bout that, ahm not used t’ seein’ te Vanguard in plainclothes.” the man started, his accent an odd blend of native southern drawl and acquired Irish brogue. His tone was neutral, even slightly deferential as he moved to clasp his hands together slowly in front of him before he continued speaking again. ”If Gibson sent yah, shit must be real bad. Fucker isn’t te best at keepin’ in touch, so what’s the situation?”

 

The woman obviously wasn’t here to kill him, because if she was here to do that she would have at least attempted to do so already. With that out of the way it meant that she was here for another reason, and since his old friend’s name was invoked it probably had something to do with that idiot. Gavin had never gone back to Georgia since he left for Ireland, and had been avoiding any notion of going back since he came back. There was nothing for him there but hate and persecution, but it also meant that he was cut off from everyone that he used to know that survived the event. He could have tried to get back in touch, he supposed, but after his return from Ireland it just seemed like too much time had passed.

 

Gibson apparently didn’t think so, which was odd. Why now, of all times? Why Gavin in particular? Why here, and in this inefficient manner? Waiting in a random shooting range outside city limits wasn’t exactly their style, but he wasn’t about ready to say anything verbally when he still had no idea what or who he was dealing with.

 

Steel gray eyes scanned the area around him as discreetly as he could manage to find concentrations of shadow that he could use in case shit hit the fan. If she was Vanguard, she sure as hell was not a lycanthrope or a magus so that left her as an altered with strong enough abilities to see through his cloaking and to be confident enough to keep her sidearm holstered this entire time. With those conditions being true, Gavin needed to be ready to unleash absolutely everything that he had on a moment’s notice. He had always considered himself one of the strongest Altered when it came to combat ability, but if someone knew him and his skill set and was this unafraid and casual about it he had very good reason to be cautious.

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There wasn't much to say. Things like this didn't seem to happen too often for her. Well. The seeing spirits did, but the whole basically being stalked while technically ordered by a spirit usually never happened. So she stood there, trying to be as still as a fucking statue until she couldn't take it anymore. Being silent right now she figured was the best way to get herself into an even worse situation. So she opened her mouth and spoke, "Hey Big G. I'm just letting you know that Little G is wondering why you still wear his Atlanta Falcons cap." She knew she had said the words loud enough for him to hear, but not so loud to draw more attention to either of their locations.

 

Being inconspicuous out here was one of the major rules of being outside the city. If something or someone caught wind that you were out here alone, you were toast. Hell, even if you weren't alone sometimes things could just get a little too scary too quickly. Especially for someone like her who didn't really have a gift that could help her persay, even though she did know how to shoot. She was basically a sitting duck at all times, unless there was a spirit to help her. Like now, for example. A moment or so later she saw the man, Big G she was guessing, kind of almost just appear out of nowhere. Oh boy, she thought, someone who has gifts and gifts that actually help him when he needs them. After realizing that he was much more of a threat to her than she was a threat to him she kept her eyes on him. Practically glued to him.

 

She took a sharp breath in after hearing his words and realizing that he didn't even know that his friend was deceased. Oh, she thought, this is going to get awkward real quick. She bit her bottom lip for a second before replying back to him. "I'm not sure what you mean. I'm not apart of any Vanguard." She spoke in an even and calm tone, partially knowing that when she said her next words he was more than likely going to think she was a looney and probably blow her brains out, but she had to say something. Even if Gibson didn't want her to tell him. She always felt it was her duty to say something. "I hate to tell you this guy, but I don't think your friend is still..... alive." She spoke her words and then glanced over at Gibson, then straight back to Gavin.

 

This was one thing that she hated doing. Telling someone that a friend or loved one has passed away. Being the bearer of bad new was literally the worst way to introduce yourself to someone, but she felt he needed to know. It's always nice to be able to fully know what happens or has happened to someone instead of wondering day after day. It sometimes could make someone go crazy. Or at least she has seen someone go crazy from it. "I'm serious though. I hate to be the one to tell you. I mean. It seems like you didn't know......" A slight pause before she finished her words. "It looks like he might have been taken out by some lycanthropes or something. At least that's what it looks like to me."

 

It was funny though. Little G had seemed to go silent after Gavin had come on the scene. Maybe he had missed his friend and getting the chance to speak to him was kind of nerve wrecking. She could understand that. She figured she wouldn't know what to say if she was able to speak to some people again. Actions were much more easily understood than words.

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Gavin looked a hell of a lot different than before he had left for Ireland, and not in a good way. He was older, for one, and visibly more haggard from his years of combat tours since then and at this point years without a routine and healthy sleep schedule. His demeanor was also completely different, because that wide-eyed idealist that sailed across the Atlantic to go out and save the world was long dead by now. What was left was some sort of monster wearing human skin and trying to masquerade as a great man who had long since left this Earth in spirit if not in body.

 

When the woman said that she wasn’t part of the Vanguard, Gavin’s entire demeanor changed in an instant. Shadows visibly pulsated in the area around both of them as the soldier slowly but deliberately pulled out his sidearm from his jacket pocket in complete silence as his eyes carefully studied the woman for any sudden movement. The woman kept glancing at something that the soldier couldn’t see, and while her next words were not exactly surprising the American had gotten his hopes up given the circumstances that he would be able to see his friend again.

 

The shadows continued pulsating as the soldier slowly and deliberately pulled the barrel of his sidearm to point directly at the woman’s heart as she continued talking. If she wasn’t part of the Vanguard and knew Gibson and the fact that he was dead – it was a logical conclusion that she had killed him. If she had killed him, it meant that she was part of a hostile faction or a bandit, which meant that a gun pointed at her was a perfectly reasonable measure. It didn’t click until the woman continued talking and said those last words, and suddenly the glancing made sense.

 

Or the woman was a goddamned liar and loved fucking with people. But she didn’t seem the killer type if the soldier was being honest. Her posture was all wrong, and her demeanor was too resigned. ”So you see dead people.” Gavin said, more of a statement than a question.

 

The pulsation of the shadows lowered to almost imperceptible and the soldier lowered his sidearm so it was pointed diagonally towards the ground rather than directly at the woman, but he did it slowly. ”Which means that either you summon them, or they’re wandering around.” he continued, again a statement rather than a question. ”Which means that either heaven is a lie or my best friend before this conflict is stuck in purgatory back here in Earth, and is standing right there where you keep glancing.”

 

Another pause occurred, and the American cracked his neck slightly while keeping his eyes locked on the woman in front of him. His tone was casual, a complete contrast to the actual words coming out of his mouth. ”I’m not much of a holy man, but I’m real good at making things die. Is it possible for me to kill him and send him on to the afterlife he deserves? I can make it quick and painless if you point me to the brain. Sorry to hear the dogs got you, friend. That’s a terrible way to go, and our people have suffered greatly at the hands of those fucking monsters as well up north. I’m not going to lie and say I’m going to visit your shitty grave back home, but I am willing to try and kill you better than that lycanthrope did.”

 

He paused for a moment, and letting his eyes refocus and meet the woman’s gaze rather than watching her hand. ”Happy as shit I didn’t get your power. Seeing corpses all the time is a real shitty way to live your life.”

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It wasn't that hard to tell that this guy had been through some stuff. She had an inkling that maybe he had been apart of an army before all the shit hit the fan and that in and of itself was probably hard on him. Not to mention now everyone seems to go through something that they don't want to. Weather it be obtaining powers that they wish they didn't or even losing a loved one or loved ones. People die everyday and that was one of the main reasons she hated her gift. They just seemed to seek her out right after they pass. Like maybe she'd be able to do something to avenge their deaths. Um, hello, she thought, I kinda don't have anything like super strength, healing, or the ability to cloak myself. She sighed softly at herself and still kept her eyes on the man in front of her. It wasn't that she felt unsafe, but more that she was beyond paranoid nowadays.

 

It wasn't like it was hard to miss, but seeing the shadows around them visibly pulsate was almost enough for her to take off running for the hills. However, she had learned a long time ago that with people you need to stand your ground. Let them see that you are strong and not afraid. Typically that helped in tense situations and right now was definitely one of those. She wondered slightly if he would flip out if he could see his friend again. She'd only done it once before and it hadn't really gone that great. All she would have to do is touch Gavin for a few minutes and concentrate, but right now she more than knew better than to move at all toward. Hell. She knew that she shouldn't move at all. I probably look like a god damn deer caught in headlights, she thought. Then wondered if she was easy to read in the fact that she was pretty scared right about now.

 

As she saw him raise his weapon up at her she instantly knew that probably just coming right out and speaking so open was probably not a great idea. She took a small step back, fighting the need and the urge to turn heel and run the fuck as far away from him as she could. She was willing to be though that he was an excellent shot and that running would probably not do her any good. So she closed her eyes for a second and seemed to hold her breath for a few seconds. So this is how it's going to end, she thought, randomly in the middle of nowhere. She opened her eyes slowly when she didn't hear the sound of a gun shot and looked at him, still standing still. His words were almost like a sigh of relief, making her realize that he wasn't going to kill her. Good, she thought, I do not want to be like one of the dead walking around because I sure as shit would haunt the fuck out of him. "Yes, I do. All the fucking time," she said softly.

 

Seeing him lower the sidearm made her relax even more, but not too much. She was still a little tense and even though she had the spirit of his buddy there she really still didn't trust the man. It was hard to trust anyone these days even if they were vouched for. People can change in an instant. She's seen it happen before and she was sure she'd probably eventually see it again. She tilted her head at his words and shrugged slightly. "To be honest I'm not really sure. I think once the dead get done doing whatever it is that they need or want to do that they cross over to wherever they are meant to go. I haven't ever talked to a spirit who has crossed over and then came back. I'm not even really too sure they can do that," she spoke back to him as her eyes moved to Gavin's buddy once more.

 

NPC : He shrugged as well while looking back at her. "Hey. Don't look at me. I don't fucking know the answer to that."

 

She raised an eyebrow at Gibson and shook her head at him slightly. Then moved her eyes back to Gavin and a small smile came across her face for a second at his words. He really has no idea how the other side works, she thought. "I'm sorry to say that it doesn't work like that. Or at least not that I've ever encountered. I don't think you can re-kill a spirit. I can't even touch them. I can only see and hear them," she answered him the best that she could. She found it heartrendingly sweet that he wanted to help his friend get to a better place rather than lingering around here. She kinda hoped that someone would care about her that much one day. His next words really hit home with her. It was one of the things that she thought on a daily basis. To just be able to go back to being a regular normal person would be such a dream come true. Sure she helped people sometimes, but seeing dead people was not a luxury and for the most part the bad out weighed the good. "Thanks.... Normally I wish that I didn't have this ability, but had I didn't.... would you have acted the way you did?" She asked the question, but almost certainly knew his answer.

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Huh.

 

This was an odd experience, to say the least. He wasn’t drunk enough for this shit right now, but luckily for him he knew a spot that should have some alcohol left. The soldier stuffed his sidearm back in his jacket pocket and let the shadows go back to their normal state as the woman talked. He took his intense gray gaze off of the woman for the first time and walked off in a seemingly random direction and kicked at the ground a bit to unearth a small shovel buried approximately an inch into the ground.

 

Gavin let her continue to talk and only kept her at the edge of his vision as he pulled up the small shovel and started digging in a seemingly random spot in the ground. After about a minute of digging in silence, the man unearthed a small sack that clinked as he lifted it up from the ground. He quickly undid the string on the small sack and pulled out a half-full bottle of Fireball whiskey that he had left there maybe a month or two ago and set the rest of the sack down with another audible clink.

 

The American unscrewed the cap of the bottle and tossed it to the side before taking a long swig of the stuff as he turned back to face the stranger in his shooting yard. ”Sorry,” the man said halfheartedly in between gulps of the drink, ”I’m not nearly drunk enough to deal with this shit right now so I am trying to rectify the situation.”

 

The bottle emptied completely, and he tossed it carelessly to the side as he pulled out a three quarters full Jameson bottle out from the same sack and unscrewed the cap to that as well and started drinking. Once he had gotten about a fourth of that bottle down, he stopped drinking so quickly and cocked his head to the side slightly and exhaled heavily.

 

”So, does the spirit know what stupid task they need to complete or is the spirit ignorant to the reason why it is trapped and creepily following around young women in New York when you clearly died in Georgia you fucking shit how did you even get here?” His voice was extremely calm until the end, where the insanity of the entire situation finally caused him to raise his voice up an octave in frustration and confusion.

 

There was another long exhale and the soldier allowed himself to close his eyes for a few moments and forced his shoulders to relax if only for a moment before the next words came out:

 

”To answer your earlier question, I wouldn’t have killed you regardless. Worst I would have done is fired a few warning shots to get you off of my property and then get shitfaced like I was planning to do in the first place – without the haunting.”

 

With that, Gavin did a small test. He had seen where the woman kept glancing, and decided to try something out. He pushed – hard with the shadows on one side where the spirit would have been. It would not have touched the woman, but she would have likely felt some amount of wind from the speed at which the shadow had moved. If that moved the spirit, he knew he could affect it – and if it did not… Well, Gibson was fucked because there was no way in fuck the soldier was going to ditch everything he had in New York to go plant flowers on some idiot’s grave or something.

 

Another swig of the Jameson and the man met the stranger’s gaze once more. ”Alright Casper, I guess I’ll overlook the trespassing just this once.” the soldier started, his tone deathly serious. ”But if I see you corralling any other dead people to my land again I’ll shoot you dead because I do not want to be haunted like you for the rest of my life. God knows if I had your power, I would’a done the deed myself and been done with it. Hell, purgatory, or whatever has to be better than waking up every morning to a fuckin’ corpse every day when you roll over in the morning or when you curl up at night.”

 

A shadow of a smile crossed across the man’s face as he said that last part, just a part of the gallows humor that he had grown so accustomed to over the years since the Resonance. With that last barb, he tilted the bottle of Jameson back and downed the rest of it before tossing that bottle aside as well. Fucking hell, all he wanted to do was get drunk alone in peace and he had ghost whisperers come over and disturb his tranquility. At this point he might have just preferred the pack of lycanthropes, because he could have just killed them all and gone on with his day with a clear conscious. Gavin couldn’t just kill someone with a worse life than he did and feel good about himself afterwards, that would just cause that awful emotion of guilt and quite frankly he had enough of that in his life as it was.

 

So here he was, getting drunk while this woman was staring at him like he was a fucking idiot. Because he was an idiot, and he needed a drink or twenty to deal with this shit.

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The whole time she talked she had kept her eyes on him. After seeing him start to walk about normally and it seemed not even caring that she was even there was something of a blessing. It meant she wasn't going to die tonight. Well, at least not at this very moment. The night was still young and she wasn't too sure that he could stand his ground against whatever might or could come there way being out so far from the city. A soft sigh escaped her lips as she watched him still. Then her eyebrows raised as she saw him just utterly down half a bottle of Fireball. Huh, weird that that was his first drink, she thought, considering it's literally my favorite hard liquor. She instinctively licked her lips, but then bit her bottom lip, hoping to hell he just didn't witness that slight moment of weakness.

 

”I’m not nearly drunk enough to deal with this shit right now so I am trying to rectify the situation.”

 

Aingeal wasn't too much of a drinker, or at least she didn't want to be, but it seemed to be the best and only way that she had found to keep the spirits at bay. She didn't necessarily go walking around like a drunk twenty-four seven, but for the most part she wasn't completely sober most of the time. She held up both of her hands and shook her head. "Hey, no problem here. I tend to usually drink a fair amount myself. If I don't then I tend to see spirits all of the time and that isn't something that I really enjoy in the middle of the night," she replied to him and then realized that it might have been a little bit too much information, but it was the truth.

 

There had been one night that she had been woken up at about three or four in the morning to the sound of someone trying to open her dresser drawer. Come to find out that the spirit had once been a peeping tom and had been wanting to go through her underwear drawer. It had been enough to make her skin crawl. Plus add on the fact that he didn't look all that appealing with a slit throat. Though I guess that's what she gets for accidentally making eye contact with the guy in the middle of the day and then ignoring him. She had probably downed 2 bottles of Fireball that night and she was completely ashamed to admit it.

 

”So, does the spirit know what stupid task they need to complete..."

 

A small laugh came from her lips at his words and she smiled as she spoke. "I'm not too sure they do. I think it's a more of a they have to figure it out type of thing and for the most part they don't typically interact with me unless I accidentally make eye contact with them. Then they know I can see and talk to them. At which point they tend not to leave me alone. I didn't see your friend until just now. He hasn't been following me all day. Thankfully...." she said her words somewhat slowly. She knew it was a lot to take in and that sometimes it was hard to completely understand.

 

"...then get shitfaced like I was planning to do in the first place – without the haunting.”

 

She had gone quiet and nodded her head after he spoke. She understood where he was coming from. Normally she didn't do this kind of thing. There was no helping of spirits talk to their friends or family. It was more of a 'if I drink then I don't have to see them and help them' kind of thing. In a way that made her realize just how majorly selfish she was, but seeing dead people tended to make her stomach upset. "Trust me. I get it. All I wanted to do was find a place to practice my shooting. I wasn't planning on talking to any dead folk either," she replied to him softly.

 

After her words were spoken she noticed the shadows doing something weird. Something that naturally they weren't supposed to do and she figured it had something to do with Gavin. She looked over at Gibson and watched as the shadows went right through him. Ah, she thought, he's trying to see if he can do anything to Gibson. Her eyes moved back over to Gavin and she tilted her head slightly to the right. "I'm sorry to say that if that was your attempt at trying to do something physical to him..... it didn't work," she spoke her words with a hint of sadness to them. She almost wished it had worked.

 

”Alright Casper, I guess I’ll overlook the trespassing just this once.”

 

Another laugh came from her lips at the word 'casper'. She had never really had a nickname before and even though that name reminded her of a boy name she kind of thought it would suit her in a way. Huh, she thought, go figure some random person in the middle of nowhere picks out a badass nickname for me. "Hey. It isn't like you keep this place posted with signs saying that it's your area. I just assumed it was okay for me to practice at. Next time I'll make sure to do some recon," she said the last few words teasingly. "On another note. I don't suppose that you would happen to have any other alcohol on your would ya," she asked hopefully. "Though if I get enough alcohol in me I won't be able to see your friend anymore."

 

 

 

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”There has to be a better way of fixing your dead people issue than drinking yourself blind… You could always see if you could get your powers curbed or whatever. You might even be the first person who actually wants that shit, seeing as how they seem to have no use that I can ascertain.”

 

The soldier had made the mental judgment that the woman was harmless, so his tone was almost overly friendly and comfortable. Words were slurred, but only a small amount due to the practice that he had in covering up his drunkenness to the authorities when needed. Her power set, frankly, sounded absolutely fucking atrocious and he couldn’t understand how she managed to live day to day with life that bleak. With his attempt to influence the spirits an utter failure, there wasn’t exactly a lot else to do other than drink and just ignore the man at this point. He couldn’t help in any way, shape, or form so as shitty a situation as it was it wasn’t like there would be any point in communing with spirits or whatever the fuck.

 

When she mentioned practicing her shooting, the soldier’s head cocked to the side as he thought out loud for a bit. His intense gray gaze bore through the woman as he inspected her like a piece of meat instead of a human being. ”Cop? No, too timid.” he paused for a moment before continuing, ”Security guard? No, too pretty.”

 

Another pause, ”You also don’t have enough mods and excessive gear to be a competition shooter. Too soft to be a vet…”

 

The man ended up just shrugging his shoulders and just stopped guessing. When she mentioned if he had any more booze, he had binged enough alcohol to not care about a convenient use of his power and ended up just gesturing to a patch of land about ten feet away from the woman and just used the shadows around the dirt to violently eject dirt into the air and quickly create a hole around the sack of rum and whiskey in that larger stash. Most of those bottles were at least half empty, but it was a sight better than nothing.

 

”There’s a good chunk of booze in that hole over there, Casper. Guns and fresh booze back in the truck, if you want something a little bit more powerful than the sidearm you have on now. Melee stuff, too, more effective in alleys and spots like that.” his tone remained friendly and casual throughout, but at this point his eyes were completely off the woman as he sauntered towards the last spot the spirit was located.

 

”I told you that we could have stormed Ireland together.” he murmured, underneath his breath. The words were coming out with a clear disappointment and a particular type of venom. ”But your dumb ass decided to take your chances with the fucking Vanguard instead. You knew damn well we would never be able to recreate the armed forces, not with that fucking rabble. The cutthroats rise to power in the fuckery, like they always do, and they shove it down the throats of the projects like they always do. You knew that, you fucking idiot.”

 

There was a small pause as the soldier collected his rage and his balance before continuing, but he did continue in a voice too low to be overheard by anyone. ”You were my brother, but you also never made an attempt to make contact. I did, God knows that I did but you know how fucking unwelcome someone like me is in the South. You’re dead, and I can’t help you figure out whatever dumbass quest you need to accomplish in order to leave. That’s between you and God, and God knows I’m too broke to help myself … let alone you. Good luck, but I think it’s time you went back home and stop haunting random women. I realize you’re a horndog, but holy shit dude… you’re fucking dead and couldn’t do anything anyway. You have to understand that running around with your throat slashed chasing after women who aren’t dead is creepy as shit.”

 

With that, the man stalked off in the direction of the young woman once more. He adjusted his leather jacket to cover up the fact that he was adjusting his balance on the fly with mixed success as he hollered out to her: ”At least this spirit should be leaving you alone now, if he has any human decency left.”

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