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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

Eris London

Shall We Play a Game?

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February 22nd, 2022

Before midnight

The Harbor, Maya Rowen's Apartment




Blood was everything.


Life. Death. What else was there? Warehouses were such a cornucopia of scents. Disposable for anything and everything that needed to go from point A to point B. Owned and sold, lost and found. They were the perfect place to become something and nothing at all. Decaying blood was even more potent. Scrubbed clean by ARMA, nevertheless it clicked on the top of her palate with a distinct metallic taste. Solvents. Dirt. Oil. Even mana had a smell, for lack of a better term. Death was here. The hunter was here. Others. The dead rogue had the hunter’s scent all over him. Another. Another had been with him.


It was the “another” she was following. Someone else had walked out of here. She wanted to know who it was, and why she was allowed to live when everyone else had been killed. It hadn't escaped her that maybe the hunter had saved someone, she was still having a hard time believing the hunter had saved himself, let alone killed one of her kind. She chalked it up to Hesek inexperience and dumb luck.


The hunter, she knew. He knew she knew. Being a member of ARMA made him manageable for now. The other, was a wildcard. She didn’t like wildcards, which made this hunt all the more needed.


Dropping down into the darkness with the grace of a feline, she walked through the emptiness that had once held bodies and blood. Gloved hands demurely in her coat pockets, she watched the floor where her black Gianvito trench coat buckle boots were walking. Even clean, the scents were everywhere. Bodies, had been everywhere. Following the trail again like a bloodhound, she was retracing steps she’d walked before to make sure the one she’d isolated and tracked was the one she needed.


It was.


Disappearing into the darkness, the warehouse was left behind.


The city was not as bright as it used to be, the end of the world could do that. Some nights seemed to glow like daylight when the clouds were low and the snow was flittering to refract residual city lights. Tonight, it was dark, and that was why she chose it. Freshly fed, she could move almost without being seen, a shadow in the corner of someone’s eye as she made her way to the bullseye of where she’d been tracking for days.


The corner of the street sealed the deal, scent potent and recent, deciding whether or not to go in the front door or from above. Considering she hadn’t put on a different face for the evening, above seemed the more prudent choice. Several leaps took her to the window she needed, strength and pre-Resonance skill taking care of entry, displeased to find nobody home.


Steps silent, she took in the studio apartment with silent eyes, taking off her coat and folding it over her arm without removing her gloves as she found a chair. Coat over the side of the chair, she sat, one leg crossed over the other, hands folded in her lap, watching the door in absolute stillness.


She didn’t have all night.

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Maya felt like she was losing her mind. Turned out that was pretty easy when you didn’t sleep. Oh she’d gotten a couple hours here and there when the exhaustion became too much for her to brush off, but not enough. She only managed a couple hours at best before the dreams started. The nightmares. Before she woke up screaming.It’d had been days since the warehouse. Days since the vampire. Since the boogeyman. Since the monsters. Her dreams had plagued her enough when her own demons were the only ones in them. Now? Ha. Hahaha.

Now she’d have gladly begged for them to be the only horrors in her head.


She was used to insomnia. To long nights, but for her it was getting to be too much. She knew she must look like hell not that she much cared. She’d been jumping at every little sound, every tiny bit of motion out of the corner of her eye ever since that night. Her nerves were beyond frayed. She knew not sleeping was making it worse, but she couldn’t help it. She’d almost gone to Chloe after the first couple nights for something to knock her out, but the fear had stopped her. That she would take one and finally spend a few hours blissfully unaware...and that he would find her and she would never wake up again. 


She’d finally cracked this morning. She’d been close to dozing on her couch. Would have if she stayed sitting there and she knew it, so she’d decided to stretch her legs. The second she’d managed to stand up she blacked out. One second she’d been upright and the next she was trying to figure out why everything was suddenly on it’s side. A sick cold feeling settled in her gut when she realized if she hadn’t fallen sideways she’d have gone right through her glass coffee table. She’d been halfway through dialing Chloe when she stopped. She’d been the one Maya had called that night.


Then she’d been truly out of her mind. Rambling. She’d been halfway to hypothermia when Chloe found her and picked her up. She didn’t pry. She never did, but Maya knew she was worried. She’d caused enough of that. She wasn’t worth worrying about. She sure as hell wasn’t going to give Chloe more reason to if she could avoid it. In this case she could. So she’d dialed a different number. One she was far less enthused about. She was dreading the conversation but she knew it needed to happen. Honestly she shouldn’t have waited this long to make the call but it wasn’t going to be a pleasant one and she’d had no desire to jangle her nerves more than they already were. Not that she had much of a choice now.


She set up a meeting with Graft. His tone hadn’t given anything away. It never did...but she had a feeling he knew things hadn’t gone according to plan...and that he wasn’t pleased about it. She’d set a time and a place and told him what she’d needed. They met at a coffee house downtown around sunset. She’d needed the caffeine. She’d nearly nodded off on the cab ride there.Graft had been waiting by the time she got there, a styrofoam cup already sitting in front of him.  She’d been right, he hadn’t been happy. She could taste the anger coming off him stronger than the triple espresso she’d gotten. As good as he was at keeping his face emotion free even he couldn’t manage to keep his emotions out of his aura. There was concern there as well. Probably not for her. Not quite. Graft was all business. No he was probably more worried about what could throw her off her game so bad.


His line of questioning confirmed what his aura had hinted at. She’d burrowed down in the recesses of her oversized hoodie as much for the comfort as the warmth as she’d told him what had happened. Every detail. The rage coming off him got even more intense as she told it. He was coming to the same conclusion she already had. Whoever had arranged the job had skimped on the details. Probably because they’d known Graft wouldn’t touch anything as risky as what that warehouse had been. She still didn’t know what she’d been told to grab. Not really. At this point she wanted to know even less than normal. She had enough nightmares to deal with at the moment. This job had turned into a clusterfuck. The only positive spin she could even put on it was she hadn’t been taken in by the ARMA agent. Her boogeyman. Not that it was much of a comfort. He’d seen her face. He knew about her now. Her hands shook as she took another sip from the cup in front of her. 


Graft noticed. He stood and told her he’d deal with the client. She wondered if the idiot would still be breathing after Graft was done with them. Killing a client was bad for business. Letting this go unanswered might be worse. Whoever they were Maya wouldn’t be surprised if they soon found themselves wishing for death. Graft didn’t tolerate bad business. He slid the cup across the table to her and walked out. She stared down at it for a moment before picking it up. It wasn’t full of coffee. She grabbed the cup and made her way back out into the cold, shivering despite her sweats and the jacket she wore over them. She hailed a taxi and fifteen minutes later she was back at  her building. It was long past dark as she stepped out into the street. The cold was really setting in and she hurried inside. She’d struggled to get warm since that night. Chloe had told her she didn’t think any lasting damage had occurred. That the chills would pass. Maya hoped she was right. After what seemed like an eternity in the elevator she finally slipped back into her apartment. She bolted all three locks and stamped the snow off her boots before kicking them off one at a time. Her cane and glasses were hung on the pegs by the door as she slipped her coat off and put it beside her. She popped the top off the coffee cup and grabbed the bottle of pills that had been stashed in it. She’d just started unscrewing the cap when the color caught her eye. She wasn’t alone.


It looked like a woman. Maybe it still was. Maybe it had never been at all. Her features were elegant. Beautiful. Her aura was terrifying, She’d never seen one like it. It was a bright scarlet that seemed to pulse like the beating of a heart. The same color as the lines that had spiderwebbed along the skin of the vampire she’d seen days before. If she’d been in her right mind she might have connected the two. Maybe considered that the vampire she and the agent had ended up putting down was fresh. Unfinished. That would require the ability to think. Her mind was too busy screaming to do anything so rational as that. She’d found  another monster, and this one was in her home. Her golden eyes went wide as she stared at it, the rest of her body going rigid as shock held her in place like vice. The bottle of pills slipped out of her fingers and hit the floor with a clatter that was deafening in the silence.


The panic was sudden and nearly absolute. Her heart hammered in her chest, painfully loud. The right sleeve on her hoodie went slack at her side as her focus slipped and her the phantom limb within it crumbled into golden dust before fading away entirely. She sank to her knees, her good arm bracing against the floor to steady her as she struggled for air. Her breaths came ragged. Gasping. Her vision began to falter she began to black out. A million thoughts raced across her mind. How had they gotten in? How had they found her? Why were they even here? Who were they? So many more flashed into her mind only to be buried by the sheer weight of the one terrifying thought that crashing down around her. There was a monster here, and no one was coming to save her. 

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Eyes closed as she waited.


She didn’t need sleep, but she did fall into unconsciousness from time to time. Out and about in the city she didn’t fucking ever dare. Being away from her compound and in the midst of mundane society had a lull of its own though. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d bothered to grace an apartment building. College maybe? After that, living on a base, or a camp, even sometimes in a helicopter or plane on a runway when nothing was available. Stark contrast to the effortless and impeccable way she now lived. She hated people.


Loathed them.


People were selfish, filthy little creatures. Ego driven. Worthless where she was concerned. Very few were even remarkable enough to pay attention to, let alone remember. They transferred their inadequacy and pain onto others every chance they got. No concept of loyalty, or honor.


Even then she could hear it in the apartments around her. Somewhere a floor away people were fighting about… who used up all the hot water? Kids crying. Doors slamming. The stink of a trashcan that needed to be taken out that only a vampire’s senses couldn’t tolerate. Scrape of chairs. Television. The cacophony in her head was deafening.


Though the sensory noise, a scent cut, coming closer. Dark eyes opened. Finally. The door clicked, opening and closing. Locked. Settling in. A routine well-rehearsed over time. The woman found her almost immediately, the eyes bringing a slight Grinch-like curl upward on the edge of her lip. Magus. Empowered at the very least, exceptionally interested what the gold eyes could see as she looked at the Viceroy.


As the pills dropped to the floor, a small sigh escaped the vampire’s nostrils. Fair reaction she supposed, especially after the bloodbath she’d probably seen or been a witness to in the warehouse. The roles from that night between the rogue, the ARMA attack dog, and this one were starting to click together. Why she’d been there in the first place was the question lingering in her mind.


Viper eyes watched the scene unfold, the gold shimmer, the limb lost. Panic.


Lip twitched slightly over a calm canine. When they were afraid their heart beat so fast, blood hot against skin. Either she was a good actress and was about to mage rage against the Sheut, or she was really having a nervous breakdown. Silence hovered for a few moments.


“For God’s sake I’m not going to kill you,” she said quietly. The small frame hadn’t so much as even moved save for speaking. “Quite the opposite actually.”


She left it to rest for a moment, giving her time to compose herself if she could.


“My name is Eris,” her voice could be amiable and gentle when she wanted it to be. “I understand you’ve met one of my kind and I want to apologize for his transgressions. We are all not so ignorant and agressive. I want you to tell me as much as you can about him. I can take care of the situation so it doesn’t happen again.”


Then business. To know vampires existed was to be in her cross-hairs. To have survived, and be a magus, was potential employment. Calloway was on her ass to make her network. Fuck him. She would do it but she didn’t have to like it.


“Then we’re going to talk about you and your friend from that night."

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