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there is always sleep between part and meet, with our usual words on the usual street. so let us part like we always do, and in a world without you, I'll dream of you. when I come to, let us meet, with our usual words on the usual street.

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*hits Albino, heals Pillow*

 

Albino: 9

Magi: 12

Pillow: 17

Pygmy: 12

 

(No, I didn't mean to post this on the hit/heal board, that was what was on my Ctrl+V)

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ON:

 

With everything that had come to light Mak was starting to get more than a little paranoid again as he slowly drove back through the city to his flats, his bike leathers keeping the chill air off him and his helmet stopping his eyes from stinging. It was one thing when they were a massive organisation with near-unlimited resources trying to scour out a rogue element or faction; there was a touch of fear now and again, but the self-assurance that came with their god-like powers and the reassurance of knowing so many others were there to protect them meant that Mak had rarely, genuinely felt afraid. Fighting in a war against powerful mechanised armour and duelling with the N’Gelis was one thing, a threat before their faces and comparatively easy to solve. But this was something else altogether.

 

‘What do you think Raph?’ Mak asked his sliver. Much as he preferred to talk out loud to his friend, the helmet made it a disconcerting experience that he’d rather not do while driving. Changing gear to weave through a dense patch of traffic, careful to give other vehicles distance as he slipped through gaps slowly, he wound his way through the middle of town.

 

*I think we need to be very careful indeed,* Raph said unnesaccarily. *I know you don’t use your powers in this realm as it is, but you need to find a way to practise them covertly while simultaneously trying not to draw attention to yourself. We’re not sure just how much you appear on their radar already – if what Charlie, Sam and the rest have said is true, it may be people have already reported you just for being you.*

 

Mak nodded slowly; the disturbances created by their arrival was felt at membrane-level, and he wasn’t very surprised to know that it was affecting the subconscious of those around them. Mak had experienced it to a lesser extent thanks to his powers, having synced into this reality already, but there was still enough residue to cause people to give him room when he walked down the street, or shoot him an odd look as he queued for groceries. While he wasn’t going to become a hermit just yet Mak was trying to lessen his exposure to society for the time being, until they could come up with something to mask their signature from the psyche of the general populace. Mak was certain that if he could fully sync into this reality he would be able to rid himself of that aura of unease and if it were true, he would then simply have to sync others in one at a time.

 

‘We need to get in touch with more people. I need to find Liz as well,’ he sighed, wondering just where his friend had got to. So far he’d yet to find a trace of her through the Internet, although now Raph was back he was hoping the quantum life-form could help with the search. Having lived in virtua his entire existence Raph was far more skilled with computers than Mak could ever be. ‘See if there’s any other rep…’

 

The rest of Mak’s thought cut short as a car shot out in front of him, running a red light and firing right across Mak’s bows. Without time to even swear Mak pulled hard-right on the bike and managed to get it nearly parallel with the car, but it was far too close for comfort – Mak’s leg was heading straight for the metal chassis. Running on instinct alone Mak’s gut clenched, battle-honed responses taking control in a blink of an eye. Time slowed down around Mak, giving him a chance to raise his leg higher out of the way of the now-sluggish car, and as his trailing foot came to connect with the metal body-work it passed through the panel easily, as if the car just didn’t exist, before emerging scant milliseconds later out of the back of the rear lights.

 

Before Mak could grasp what had just happened time returned and Mak finished the rest of his skid, the bike slipping sideways out from under him as he leaped away from his beloved two-wheel vehicle. The bike, engine cutting out as it landed sideways, skidded across the thankfully-empty street and came to a rest just on the path on the opposite side of the road. Mak hit the concrete hard, jarring his back as he rolled away and ended up crumpled against a stationary car.

 

Head ringing Mak led still for a few moments as Raph quickly scanned through Mak’s body. *I got your armour going under the leathers just in time,* the sliver explained. *You’ll have a few cuts and bruises, but otherwise you’re fine. No head trauma, no spinal injury, no internal injuries. You’ll live,* Raph assured his human counterpart.

 

“Thanks,” Mak groaned, sitting up carefully as he pulled off his helmet, dreads dropping out as he looked over to where his bike was resting. A couple of people had hurried over to check Mak was okay, including another driver who had witnessed the whole incident, but the car who had actually caused the accident was fast retreating down a side-street. Despite being advised to lie still and wait for an ambulance Mak shook off the helping hands with a disarming smile and quiet, sincere thanks, tenderly crossing the road to check on his bike. Although it had been scratched and a bit dented it seemed mostly intact, although Mak wasn’t willing to use it until he had it checked over.

 

“Some drivers are censorkip.gif***s,” someone commented from beside Mak as he put the bike upright and on its stand. “You should report them for that.”

 

“I would, if anyone got the number-plate?” he asked the small crowd of good Samaritans. Now that the adrenaline of the moment was wearing out on some of them he saw a couple had already drifted away, and those who stayed were no longer standing as close as they once did. He even caught one of them muttering quietly to another about it probably being Mak’s fault – after all, motor-cyclists were not known for their respect to other road-users. Sadly, someone else was agreeing with him.

 

“No?” A shake of heads. “Okay. Thank you though, for checking on me. I’ll swing by the police station on the way home.” He smiled again but this time only a few returned it uneasily. With a nod he took his bike and kicked the stand up, starting to wheel it away down the street. After he was a few metres away he concentrated for a moment on his second senses, probing at local reality.

 

*Problem,* Raph stated simply.

 

‘Indeed,’ Mak replied, returning to human senses once again. His flash-use of power had spiked on the membrane, having the effect of disturbing it even further. In other words, he had suddenly become a lot less desirable to the natives of this reality.

 

With nearly two miles to walk home, Mak started figuring which route would be the quietest.

 

TBC

 

- Post by Kestra Makenzai

 

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NaNo!

"Didn't anyone ever tell you there’s one thing you never put in a trap, if you’re smart, if you value your continued existence, if you have any plans about seeing tomorrow, there’s one thing you never, ever put in trap…Me."

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