Chasing Away the Darkness

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Chasing Away the Darkness

Post by Machine Man on Thu Oct 05, 2017 1:01 am

"YOU THERE! STOP RIGHT THERE!"

I was on foot, dashing down the dark city street and away from the grizzly scene i'd just witnessed. I couldn't afford a moment to think about the bodies, or what had happened to them. All I knew was that I had to escape capture at all costs. The wind was at my back as I picked up speed, darting down an alley and putting some distance between myself and a troupe of Scotland Yard's finest. A gust of wind under my feet propelled me upward over a brick wall that might have been impossible for a normal person to clear on foot, and before I knew it, I was a good kilometer away from the incident, allowing me to slow down and appear more normal.

With the reduction in urgency, however, came the recollection of the visuals from the gruesome crime scene behind me. I'd seen many murder scenes before, but this was on a whole new level. The Darkness had literally torn that family to pieces, a disturbing act by itself. But what was truly strange in my eyes was the fact that it hadn't eaten any of them. Unless there was a whole body missing without a trace, it had brutally killed them, then arranged their detached body parts into a horrifying message:

"Stay Awake."

I wished that I had had enough time to examine the scene more closely, to figure out what kind of motive this creature would have, but the Yard showed up much faster than I had anticipated. I could only hope that they didn't get a good enough look at me to draw up an accurate representation, but I supposed that it wouldn't matter much if they did. I wasn't going back to that house ever again. My job was done there, even if it was incomplete.

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Re: Chasing Away the Darkness

Post by Danry on Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:54 pm

The city of London was bustling with people as it always was duting this time of day. People going to markets, the port unloading and reloading for new voyages across the seas. Some areas were blocked off, Scotland Yard not giving details or letting anyone pass by. Just the usual bustle of people. Despite my wanderlust I could not venture too far from my current location, unfortunately, because I was being accompanied by a potential suitor. Now that I was of marrying age I had all sorts of young men come knocking upon my families door practically begging for my hand in marriage.

It was trivial and quite boring.

They didnt want me, per se, just my famikies name and wealth to project themselves further in the world. Really, it was annoying. The current young man I was with, Carter, was boasting about himself, barely giving me any sort of time to respond, or interject my opinions or feelings, so I merely ignored him. I nodded every now and then, murmuring softly as if I were paying attention to his narcassistc ramblings.

It was one thing to try to boost yourself in the eyes of a young maiden, but it was another completely to ignore the one you sought to marry.

"I am feeling quite tired," I interjected loudly with a sigh. "Our meeting was... Informing. I will have my father let you know. Thank you for your time." Carter nodded and bid me farewell, apparently thinking I'd choose his arrogant behind to be my husband. Pfft. As if. As I strolled back towarss my home I stopped several times, changing my path and doubling back toward port. My parents were not expecting me home from my 'meeting' with Carter for a bit longer, and I chose to make actual use of my time.

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Re: Chasing Away the Darkness

Post by Machine Man on Thu Oct 05, 2017 3:45 pm

I pulled my long dark hair back and tied a string around it, pulling most of the strands into a tail on the rear of my crown, but there was some that draped down the sides of my face, though not enough to conceal it. I would have been possible to identify in the dark, and concealing my face may have seemed suspicious to someone who was paying attention.

It was a rather mild day, actually, a welcome to change to the brisk mornings generally experienced in London. London... a city as diverse as it was forward thinking. One could see distinguished politicians and debaters on one side of the street, then pass a troupe of chimney sweeps and destitute individuals on the other. I wondered what their lives would be like if they knew that magic really existed, how some might use their abilities for good while others use it to exploit anyone they can.

Of course I didn't blame them one way or the other. I had a very large moral compass, one that encompassed the breadth of what I considered acceptable. Within that list of acceptable actions included my next move, heading into the nearest reputable pub I could find and ordering a stiff drink.

Slinking through the crowd, I weaved my way through the foot traffic and down a few streets, dodging a couple of carriages and automobiles as I made my way for the Queen's Respite. Not quite a dive, but by no means a respected establishment, the QR would be the perfect place to lay low for a little while.

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Re: Chasing Away the Darkness

Post by Danry on Thu Oct 05, 2017 6:29 pm

As I made my way downtown I saw something that quickly caught my interest. A man with long dark hair was walking not so far in front of me. There was something strange about him that compelled me to follow him down into a pub. The air around him shifted, and I wondered for half a second if he was like me. Now, being what I was, and who I was, I wasn't allowed to talk about the things I learned or could do. It was forbidden.

Of course, being who I was, I practiced as much as I could, as often as I could, but I was completely shut out from that world. Had been for some time now, but I was able to do what I could.

Anyway, back to the man I was following...

He ducked into the pub, and I didn't hesitate in following him. The color around him fluctuated and moved, like a gentle swaying breeze, lazily drifting about. How was it that no one else seemed to notice him? Seating myself in a booth in the back, I waved over the bartender and ordered a water, and some fries just so I could sit and watch him. I wanted to know who he was, where he came from, and why his aura shifted so... Delicately.

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Re: Chasing Away the Darkness

Post by Machine Man on Thu Oct 05, 2017 7:30 pm

Inside the confines of the pub, I was finally able to relax a little. With a drink in my hand I closed my eyes and listened to the ambient noise surrounding me. As sound is just a vibration in the air, I could completely shut out the world if I wanted to by not allowing that air to reach my eardrums. Similarly, I could focus in on a particular sound, isolating it from the others.

At first I didn't notice her sitting at the other end of the bar area, with a plate of chips in front of her. The way she ate them, and the way she looked at me told me that she wasn't just glancing about. She had an actual interest in me, and I was pretty sure I knew why. She was like me, and like the others i'd met. She was rough around the edges, but the swell in her energy was enough to convince me that she was aware of what she was.

I didn't say anything, but I motioned to a table back toward the back of the room and made my way there. If she followed, great. If not, I wouldn't let it ruin my day.

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Re: Chasing Away the Darkness

Post by Danry on Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:22 pm

Was he inviting me? I looked around curiously before grabbing my chips and glass of water abd heading back to the table my mystery man had indicated. As I sat I gave a pointed look at the bartender and soundlessly indicated another round, and more chips. I then turned to the man whom I had followed and offered a small smile, my eyes taking him in, noting not only his physical appearance, but his otherworldly one.

"Hello." I greeted politely. "If I offended you I apologize. I do not mean to offend." Pleasantly I continued to eat my chips, and sip my water. I did realize that it was rude to stare, as I had practically stalked the poor man, and made sure no one was watching the pair of us too closely. There were some whose curious gazes found us, but I was used to it and unsurprised. I couldn't help but laugh: perhaps they thought he was one of potential suitors?

As open-minded as my father liked to assume he was thers was no way in the Heavens he would allow me to marry this man. I didn't think anything was wrong with him, particularly (only time would tell), but my father wanted a wealthy businessman to take his place in our family. No offense to this man but he didn't look like the businessman type. I really couldn't wait to find out more about him.

"How about introductions? My name is Lita Debonaire."

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Re: Chasing Away the Darkness

Post by Machine Man on Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:25 pm

"Tenzen. Nice to meet you Ms. Debonaire." I dipped my head slightly as I greeted the woman, my eyes locked on hers, learning everything I could. Her element was easy for me to read. She was a fire mage. I hoped that she was not in the mood for a fight, as their magic was quite destructive when practiced inside a building with flammable materials.

She was a beautiful woman in appearance, with eyes that could tame seas and skin smooth as silk. She bore a youthful exuberance which, if properly bottled, would keep a human happy and healthy for many years. Her bravery rivaled that of the most battle-hardened soldiers; i'd met front-liners in Germany that were not nearly as brave.

"You didn't offend me. It's not easy to do. But I am curious... what made you decide to follow me?"

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Re: Chasing Away the Darkness

Post by Danry on Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:48 pm

I smiled genuinely pleased and continued to enjoy my snack. "Simple. I noticed the way the air moved around you, the way the people didn't seem to notice you.. I found you interesting and before I knew it here I was." My eyes drifted from him to the other patrons around the pub, when I spoke I made sure that none would be able to hear without straining.

"You're like me, aren't you? I don't know anyone else.. Its quite taboo to speak about around here." My gaze came back to meet his, this time my smile fading. As soon as my family found out about what I was, what I could do, I was nearly locked away for being abnormal. It was only after I pleaded and begged and cried, promising to never speak of it, or act upon it, that they had finally let me out. They had told family friends that I had fallen ill and were afraid I wouldn't make it, but a miracle happened and I had come back to them.

It was all rubbish. They wanted to force me into marriage as soon as possible because when I was locked down to a human man I would never again have the chance to be who I truly was. I wasn't like Tenzen who seemed free to do and practice as he pleased. I was a prisoner in my own home, in my own mind and body. All I wanted was to be free. To explore, to know more about what I was and what I was truly capable of. But I would never have it.

"Why did you invite me over? Surely you were just as curious as I?"

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Re: Chasing Away the Darkness

Post by Machine Man on Sat Oct 07, 2017 2:27 am

I finished off the remainder of his beverage, then signaled for another round. I wasn't really a heavy drinker, normally, but i'd seen enough death and carnage to bring about a bit of change. The memories of the scene i'd accidentally stumbled upon would haunt my nights for years to come. There wasn't anything I could do about that, so I did the only thing I could think of: drink and try to distract myself.

Lita's explanation of what drew her to me answered a lot of questions. Her aura was wild and dangerous, like a raw fruit. There was a lot to work with, but it was unrefined. She'd clearly had no formal education like i'd had, but not everyone was as fortunate as I. But still, I was nothing more than a curious young thief, a lifestyle that very few could really justify living.

"Maybe I just like pretty girls?" I snickered as I took another drink. Mages could have fun too. We weren't all stuffy and rule-driven. "Or maybe I saw something in you that reminded me of myself. It doesn't really matter though. We're here now. How long have you been practicing?"

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Re: Chasing Away the Darkness

Post by Danry on Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:07 pm

I couldn't help but scoff and roll my eyes at the man before me. Flattery already? Did he, too, know my families legacy, or was he just playing with me? I crossed my legs under the table, continuing my snack lazily. "Not for very long. A few years, perhaps. I never, ever do it in front of anyone." I couldn't for fear of being locked up again. Then again I could always burn my way out and escape, but where would that leave me? I would be estranged, disinhereited, disowned.

"That does not matter. How long have you? I followed you here to talk about you, not myself, Sir." I had enough knowledge to know that a man was to be addressed with respect and authority whether he be a stranger or not. I was raised properly, and would act as such, instead of the brat I seemed to be turning in to. "It keeps fluctuating, won't hold still." I indicated the air around him; it still astounded me how no one else could see it, and despite curious glances no one dared to come closer. "What is it about you that pushes them away?"

There was so much more I wanted to know, so many questions I wanted to ask, but I feared if I pushed too hard, or too far, he would have enough of me, and I would be left in the dust. I absolutely did not want that. I wanted to know all that he knew. And more.

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Re: Chasing Away the Darkness

Post by Machine Man on Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:44 pm

"It's hard to explain," I replied with a sigh. It was something that had haunted me my whole life, though it'd been worse since i'd arrived. "It's a curse... makes people avoid me if they can." Of course there was so much more to it, but how could I explain it in a way that made sense to her? She had no formal education; those institutions just didn't exist in their world. Curses were impossible to see, themselves. One could only observe a witch's behavior and try to determine the true nature of their curse.

I turned my attention to the table, looking for a way to demonstrate what I would tell her. After a quick glance to make sure no one was watching, I unscrewed the lid to the salt shaker and dumped a small pile onto the table's surface. With just a look and a bit of concentration, the salt began to circle, steadily gaining speed until it turned into a salt twister. "The air does what I want it to do... more or less. Judging by your aura, i'd say you like to play with fire. Am I right?"

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Re: Chasing Away the Darkness

Post by Danry on Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:30 pm

"That's incredible." I whispered breathlessly. He seemed to have a mastery of his gift, while I was barely able to control what little I could do. A pang of jealousy struck me, but I shoved it down to the back of my mind. I couldnt let myself feel that way, some people just had it better than others. I would know. My families social stature was significant, yet there were others my age who lived on the streets. I couldnt let my own petty feelings get the better of me.

"Where on Earth did you learn how to do that? That is amazing." I smiled up at him, only tearing my gaze from his magic for a momwnt or two. "I do play with fire, but it likes to play back, and not always nicely. I can't do anything like that." Tenzen was growing more interesting by the moment, and I was so glad that I followed him into the pub. Had I known what I would find, I would have ditched Carter sooner, and started my adventure earlier.

"Who taught you? Do you have to hide it from your family too? Are there many oyhers like you?" The questions poured from my mouth, but at least I had the good sense to quit while I was ahead. There was so much I needed to know.

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Re: Chasing Away the Darkness

Post by Machine Man on Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:36 pm

Taking my eyes off the swirling salt caused it to immediately dissipate, leaving nothing but a scattered mess of white crystals. Another wave of my hand swept it to the floor, eliminating all trace that anything unnatural had occurred there. "It took some time to develop the basic skills necessary to... skin a deer. The tricky part isn't the cleaning, it's making it back home before the wolves find you." I chuckled softly, winking with one eye while the other darted briefly to a passerby. I couldn't risk any normals finding out what we could do.

"... to develop the necessary framework to cast the more advanced spells. But once I found my element, I excelled quickly." Lita's curiosity was quite refreshing, in truth. I had spent so long telling not a single soul what I was or what I could do. To be able to speak to an actual person about it was very uplifting, each word pulling a weight off my shoulders. It was so troublesome to wipe someone's memory, so telling a normal person was more trouble than it was worth. but Lita? I could tell her almost everything.

Including the answers to her questions. "At school, actually. You don't have them here, but were all over the place when I was younger. In fact I attended one of the top schools in the world, myself. I didn't have to hide it from anyone, especially my parents. In fact they were the ones to push me to become a better sorcerer." I tried not to act sad, speaking about my family, but even I could tell that it was an awkward subject.

I knew she couldn't have possibly meant to make me relive such a painful time in my life, but that didn't mean the sting had faded from my heart completely. "Everyone was like me, and I was like everyone else. Almost everyone possesses the potential to do magic, but here... most of you don't ever realize it. Where I am from, our magic was just as common as your machines."

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Re: Chasing Away the Darkness

Post by Danry on Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:27 pm

"Schools?" My eyes widened. There were schools for things like this? For people like us? I felt an immense betrayal through my entire body. How many were there out there that didn't have to suffer as I had, who got to go to school, or practice magic. Whose parents didn't think they were some sick abomination who needed to be hidden and locked away.

"That must have been absolutely wonderous." I whispered in awe. Of course I didn't let any of my inner turmoil reach the surface. It wasn't his fault that, in this particular area of life, he had it better than I. "Were there a lot of you? That could... Skin a deer, I mean?" I watched as more people passed by our table, then turned my gaze back to him. "Obviously different specialities, of course, but they were all like you?" It sounded too good. Was there ever such a place?

Absently I looked towards the fire in the hearth. "I do play with fire." I watched the flames dance, before I turned away. "Its not nearly as good as you... And I've been burned before, but its what I have connected with."

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Re: Chasing Away the Darkness

Post by Machine Man on Tue Oct 17, 2017 12:25 pm

I followed Lita's eyes, watching the fireplace as it waltzed about the logs and embers. I had always admired the seductive destruction that was embodied by flame, it's sultry dance luring many a plank to an ill fate, and more than a few people along the way. Firemancers could be incredibly dangerous if provoked, but there was also an attractive element to them, which made them even more dangerous. I chuckled internally at the thought, then brought myself back to the conversation.

"Without the education or experience, I'd imagine you would. Fire is difficult to work with sometimes, but it could be extremely efficient if properly harnessed." In truth, every mage out there had likely hurt themselves while practicing with their element. In some cases, years of training would go by before one gained immunity to their own magic. Sometimes they never did. "With proper education, you'd learn to focus your energy so it wouldn't hurt you."

Her questions about my world were not uncalled for; she was likely very curious, given the fact that I had been vague before. But how much could I tell her without divulging too much. "Yes, almost everyone could. But ability is tempered only by desire. There were many who didn't possess the motivation to try, so they didn't. Others, like me, were addicted to it. We craved knowledge passionately."

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Re: Chasing Away the Darkness

Post by Danry on Wed Oct 18, 2017 10:50 pm

Proper education? I would never get proper education. It was just something I was not privy to, and had accepted. "I can not imagine anyone not wanting to know more and learn about what they can do. It is so wondrous, and fantastic." I wondered where Tenzen was from, what country he could have hailed from that had these magical schools and many people freely practicing without being scrutinized.

I wpuld not ask him, however. Whenever he mentioned his home, or the people he once knew, there was a sad shift in his aura, and a faraway look in his eyes. Perhaps tragedy had struck and it was still a painful memeory to recall. I would stay away from those types of questions for now.

"So, doing what you can do, what is your occupation, if I may be so bold. I can scarcely imagine anyone knowing what you can do and allowing you to work for them." I simply cpuld not see him working in a factory, or as a paper boy, or anything of the like. None of the known occupations seemed to suit him for some reason. Perhaps he had a job that was not widely known?

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