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"I told you to stay with Zaren,"


Once out of the cafe, Duren had completely dropped all pretence of calmness and was now glaring at the demon beside him, who merely looked down at his fidgeting hands, the exact image of a scolded child. It would've been an amusing sight - a soaked young man berating an equally soaked but exceptionally more intimidating individual - had it not been for the smoke that curled out of the young man's mouth and the slithering shadows that rested around the other (though even they seemed fearfully subdued).


"C'mon, boss, the chief is more than capable of looking after himself - "


"Which is exactly the problem. We don't want a repeat of the last incident,"


Duren sighed in exasperation and rubbed at his eyes, wisps of smoke twirling in and out of his fingers. This was turning into a scenario he was all too familiar with, and he didn't like it one little bit. Beside him, Malice was grateful for the hood, otherwise his smile would've simply caused more problems for him. As much as he loved the boss, it was too much fun to irritate him. But before he could push anymore buttons -




A terrible sound ripped through the air, causing both individuals to stand to attention, searching for the source. Duren was the first to see it, a plume of smoke tainting the already-dark sky and a dull glow emanating from the shattered remains of the building below. Just a short distance away, he could make out two figures, and a low growl echoed through his mouth as he started to move towards them.


"Malice. Find Zaren,"


But the demon was already gone.




On the roof, the figure had not so much as twitched. Even with the distance between him and the situation below, combined with the din of the pouring rain, he could still hear what was said, registering the metal creature's demands with only a blink. It would seem this "Hancock" was of some importance to the town and it's inhabitants, but it was a name the figure did not know, and thus, currently held no interest for him. All that interested him was this metallic entity's intentions, and even those were only a vague curiosity. So long as they didn't involve his wards.


As he watched, the creature flicked something - was it his hand? - at the store behind him, the faint crackle of breaking glass marking its passing. Seconds later, the store exploded. Shards and shrapnel flew this way and that, several of them puncturing the arm of the figure, which he had flung up to shield his face. When the air cleared, he lowered it and stared at the blood that now seeped through the coat, eyes widening. But it was not pain or fear or surprise, no, the glimmer in his eyes was that of wonder. Slowly, he pulled one of the thicker shards from his flesh, then brought it to his mouth, tongue flicking out to wipe away the blood before the shard was tossed away, only for the process to be repeated several times, until the larger shards had all been removed.


If he felt any pain, he did not show it. Instead, he merely turned his attention back to the metal man, face still a blank mask, but eyes glittering...

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Donna was just bringing another tray of hot chocolate when an explosion shook the cafe. The tray clattered to the ground, forgotten, and she rushed back out of the kitchen. Smoke billowed from one of the neighboring shops and fire began to consume the inside. "Oh no..." Scambling for the phone, she punched Hancock's number in. From what she could gather was the source of the explosion bellowed out, demanding Hancock.


"I sure hope so." He watched the flare slowly descend and nodded his head. "Excellent thinking." An explosion shook the window panes as he was turning to go back inside and he whipped around. "That can't be good." From somewhere inside the house a phone rang. Hancock rushed to it. "Hello? What? I'll be right there." The man tried to keep his cool as he hung up the phone and turned back to Skinner. "I think we might've been too late." John ran a hand through his hair and ditched his satchel. Going into his bedroom, he then returned with a sword etched with runes. He muttered a few words and the runes hummed to life. "Gabriel helped me with this." The man looked up at Skinner. "Our threat just blew up one of the shops. I'm going to bet it's not going to be too friendly. It's asking for me, so I'm heading into town." With that, he turned to Mina. "You should be safe here." I hope. Inhaling deeply he tried to control the nerves that now shook him and walked into the rain, making a beeline for town.



The noise that came from the wolf was something primal. Just what the censorkip.gif do you think you're doing? She wasn't stupid enough (yet) to try and attack, knowing full well from the looks of it this thing could definitely kill her. Yet she wasn't too smart either as she indirectly challenged it. It looks like you're 'peace' already ended. The bigger they are, the harder they fall. If you're going to kill Hancock, you're going to have to go through me first. It wouldn't tals much, she knew. But maybe it could buy him some time to think of something.

The archangel was buffeted by the force of the explosion hard enough to crack the glass window of the cafe. She sneered, her sword rematriealizing along with her armor. This guy was going to get it. Her eyes moved past to the store, however. There was a mortal in it. Barely alive, but there. Gabriel sheathed her sword and snapped open her wings. She then rose into the air and divebombed the store front. Once inside, her wings half unfurled to stop her fall, and she clumsily rolled to a stop. The airflow had unintentionally fanned flames and embers around. She was running out of time. Wait, there! Crossing the burning room she found an unconscious man littered with glass and books. The angel grabbed him by the arms and easily pulled him free and into a fireman's carry. Flames nipped her wingtips, and the heat was nearly unbearable. Hustling out of the store and into the rain, she coughed violently and heaved the man onto the nearby grass in a glass-free spot. Smoke and soot streaked her face but the rain was making quick work of it and washing it away. The same went for the man, who'd now stopped breathing. "No!" Her hands floated over him trying to find signs of life, or anything she could heal. However, his soul had already departed and was too far gone to try and call back. Her hands curled into a fist and slammed into the concrete sidewalk in front of her, sending spidering cracks through it. Slowly she rose to her feet, sword drawn, and very pissed off.

Edited by RavenWolf1010

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Yellow eyes, once comfortable and relaxed, widened. The round pupils that floated in a sea of gold contracted to slits. His lips curled. His ears folded back. As soon as that rocket fired, it was all over for him.


The young sphinx staggered backwards, spurred by both the shot and Skinner's spell. It had been too close, that explosion. Too close for his fragile, sensitive ears. Blood trickled down his fur from his round ears, scarlet against his amber fur. His ears were ringing. He couldn't hear the golem screaming. "H-h..." For the first time, Phix's ruse faded. He was no longer a calm, poised being.


He was a soaking wet, scared child.


"His...H-his house. Near the outskirts of th-the...town..." His voice was barely a whisper, but his ears were far too damaged to hear. Ringing. Everything was ringing and it was deafening.






Green eyes shot open as a door slammed shut. The gray beast who rested in the corner of the house stumbled to her feet, only to fall back down. She was too tired. Too weak. There was no where to run. All she could do is rest. All she could do is wait for the oncoming hell to reach her.

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The man had threatened her back. She got quite nervous now... this wouldn't be the first time her attitude got her in serious trouble. And now her glam was weakened due to constant use of magic in the last days, she knew she wouldn't be able to do a thing. Even the rune she was trying to keep up in her hands could dissipate into thin air any moment now. For some reason she was slightly less hot-tempered now.


"Ah well, you're lucky I'm in a good mood, otherwise you'd already have some serious injuries now."




Fotein saw Duren avert his face after seeing hers. Had she looked shocked? She hadn't wanted to... but before she could tell him, he was already leaving. By the time his last words got through to her, he was already outside of the café. He had wanted her to remain safe, so she would stay in the café.


She heard a girl shout close to her, angry for no reason. The man she was shouting at didn't seem like he was looking for trouble, so Fotein decided to brighten her soul. Fotein couldn't tell if it had had any effect.





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"John! JOHN!" Skinner yelled behind the man as he went darting towards town. He cursed colorfully and turned to Mina and their new ghost friend, "Or you can come you're an adult and can make your own choices." With that, he was back out in the rain, chasing down the mage down.


"Hancock! Godamnit John.....slow down", Skinner fnally reached out and grabbed the man by the arm to stop him, "Wil.... Will you". Skinner doubled over into a hacking coughing fit. He was really out of shape and his infinite pack of cigarettes defiantly didn't make it better. A few seconds passed and Skiner tried again, "You...have no idea...what this threat even is....Think for....for a second, will yah?". Skinner finall seemed to be breathing easy when another rack of coughts shook his shoulders. He shook his head and held out a small, blue crystal that seemed to produce it's own light, "I have an idea"




Thirteen knew that idea would work. He had detected a citizen hiding in the shop. Organic lifeforms were so predictable half shrink away in fear and half stand and fight. Thirteen turned when the smartass lion-bird whispered exactly what it needed to hear. The location of Skinner's house. From the somewhere in the rain, a black wolf slunk in front of him and bared it's teeth. If Thirteen had control over it's face it would have smiled. The threat was like rabbits fighting wolves, or men fighting dragons, or rabbits riding dragons fighting men by throwing wolves. Point was it was pointless. As Thirteen turned to walk in the direction of a bright yellow ball of light, it noticed something in front of the burning storefront. A winged creature was tending to the injured human. Life signs told it that it was too late, the man was dead. Thirteen started walking bak towards the outskirts of town to find Hancock's house.




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"Sorry dude," Zoey muttered, her smile fading from her face. He knew she was interested in his necklace. The temptation was still there to grab it and a thought passed through her and she quickly acted upon it. She started to shift and in the middle of her shifting, she tried to grab the necklace from the man before running off, chirping.

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"Stupid creature,"


Perhaps the shifting would've thrown another person into a state of panic or confusion, preventing them from reacting in time to prevent the creature from carrying out her thieving antics. But to Zaren, it was a familiar - and more importantly, not surprising - sight. At the same time the girl started to change, the skin on his left arm seemed to ripple as the disguise partially dropped, revealing dark scales that seemed to glow and crackle with light.


The moment she lunged, he lashed out, scaled fist knocking away prying claws away from the necklace at his throat. But not quick enough, for her claws lightly brushed against the glowing stone, and the result was instantaneous; a sharp pulse went through the stone, sending out a wave of energy that pushed the pair away from each other, the stone still on its owner's throat. There was a snarl, followed by a second pulse of light, sparking out as a bolt of electricity aimed directly for the thief.




Duren was running. The necklace at his throat glowed a burning red, struggling to invoke the energy it needed to continue the process it had begun back at the cafe, but he held it back. He had a distinct feeling he would need all of the power he could get, and that power lay within his real self. So holding back, not letting that side of himself out just yet, was the best course of action, regardless of what his instincts told him. In the back if his mind, he registered a spike of familiar energy nearby, but it would have to wait.


He had just reached the burning store. A body - he could see straight away that there was no hope for this human - lay on the ground in front of the shell that had been a store until mere moments ago, a woman with wings inches away. Duren frowned slightly, he had seen the woman before...


"You....you were with my brother at the cafe...?"




For the first time, the figure showed a degree of emotion in the frustrated growl that came from between clenched teeth. Just as he was about to jump to the next rooftop, following the metal man in order to continue his surveillance of the odd beast, one of his wards - worse, the eldest, - had appeared on the scene, making his way towards the burning store. No doubt wishing to try and help.


The figure clicked his tongue in annoyance. That boy really needed some lessons in self-preservation. More so, lessons in restraint, as the figure could see that he was partially shifted, dark scales covering his arms. How he had survived so long away from the flock, the figure would never know. But now it presented him with a dilemma; pursue the war machine, or stay and watch over the boy? Decisions, decisions...


On the darkest part of the roof, shadows shifted and parted just to the side of the girl who had once been a bird, red eyes fixed on the back of the oblivious figure.


"What the censorkip.gif is HE doing here...?"

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Honey smirked and snorted, "Po-tay-to, po-tah-to, Theo." She looked him up and down. "Well, I'm Honey. Honey Hsu. Yeah, my parents actually named me that." She glanced from Theo to Cyan. "His name's Cyan, though his actual name is much longer and harder for people to pronounce, apparently, so we just call him Cyan."


Cyan smiled slightly and gave a little nod.

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((I'll try bringing this back...))


Gabriel's eyes snapped to the male who had spoken. Had she seen him before? He certainly didn't look familiar. The angle shook her head. There were much more pressing matters at hand. Spreading her wings, she thrusted them downwards and rose into the air. Singed feathers floated down softly.



"My ears are burning." Hancock said in a singsong tone. "Let's all calm down, shall we?" The voice shocked Raven. Turning, she saw Hancock. Don't go near him! Are you censorkip.gif ing insane?

"I got this, kid." He gave the canine a reassuring wink before facing Thirteen. "The name's Hancock. I believe I'm the devilish fellow you've been demanding to see. Now, what can I help you with, sir?"

How could he be so nonchalant about this? The thing just blew up one of the stores and killed a man. Now it was likely going to kill Hancock. Raven took a step forward. If it attacked, Hancock wouldn't have a chance. If she distracted it, then maybe he would. The wolf crouched, about to spring. Hancock raised his arm to stay her. "Trust me," he said over his shoulder. "I got this."

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