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  • In A Dirty Glass

    Kelan Bishop

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    Friday, October 3rd



    He dropped to his knees and then fell forward, bracing himself on his hands. His stomach constricted and Bishop could feel his breakfast bubbling up inside of him. He absolutely hated travelling like this, but with the threat of the dragon Azazel and his minions' propensity for bringing down planes, it was decidedly safer to travel like this, teleporting across the country. Stomach heaved again and its contents sprung up, depositing themselves on the floor in front of him. He could feel the eyes of the magus upon him, the smirk on the man's face as Bishop's stomach heaved, again emptying itself.

    Shaking his head, he reached up with an arm, wiping the back of it across his mouth. Unsteadily, he pushed himself up to his feet. "You're sure there's no way we can make the transition from LA to here any smoother?" he asked, as he spat on the floor. Hands adjusted the well-worn green hoodie he was wearing as he turned towards the man.
    "I could, but you probably wouldn't survive the trip. This kind of thing isn't exactly meant for travelling across an entire continent," the magus replied. "From one room to another, maybe a few blocks away. What you're having me do about kills me, let alone you."
    Bishop grunted, and handed the man a small stack of cash. "Yeah, I'd rather just keep breathing. Be nice at least if I didn't loose my fucking breakfast every time I did this, though." The other snickered, shoved the money into a pocket and started to walk away.
    "Give me a ring when you're ready to go back. Try not to be a 'drunk at 3am' kind of thing again."
    Bishop reached up and ran a hand through his shoulder-length hair and started walking in the opposite direction. He was going to need a drink to clear the taste of puke from his mouth. As fortune, or foresight, would have it, there was a bar a few blocks over. It was a complete dive, but he didn't care. They served whiskey, and whiskey could get the taste of almost anything out of your mouth. The brief trek was made in under ten minutes, and as he stepped through the door, he inhaled deeply.
    The inside of the bar smelled like stale beer and there was a fine haze of cigarette smoke hanging down from the ceiling. He didn't really care much about either of those things, as long as the whiskey was decent. So he walked right up to the bar, which was already fairly pressed with flesh, and nudged a drunk off a stool. The man glared up from the ground as he regained what remained of his alcohol-dulled senses and seemed about to try something, until Bishop showed the briefest flash of a badge at from beneach the bottom of his hoodie. It didn't really matter that the badge wasn't actually his, since despite the Nevus happening, it was a pretty good deterrent against most people, human or otherwise. Nobody particularly wanted the might of the NYPD or any other police department cracking down on their lives.
    Bishop threw the man a quick wink, before settling down on the recently vacated stool, and leaned across the bar and  flagged down one of the people on the other side.
    "Two fingers of Bushmills, splash of water."
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    Date: October 3, 2017

    Time: 10:00PM


    The bartender nodded and went about pouring the drink, putting under half an ouce of water in a small tumbler before adding the requested two ounces of Bushmills Whiskey. It was fortunate that they even had the stuff there. One of their other patrons was an ex-pat who was rather fond of Irish beverages though. He also was an alcoholic who came in far too often. Business was business though.


    npc.. “You get bored of this, we also have Tullamore Dew, Smithwick’s and Guinness.”


    Sitting to the right beside the newcomer, or rather had been besides the now fallen drunk was a woman with long, dark hair. She was clad in a black romper, the expanse of lean leg revealed likely the reason the other man had been seated next to her. Though she didn’t seem at all disturbed by the sudden change of company. Instead, a faint smile curled the left corner of her mouth. Her right hand was lightly grasping what looked like a wine glass. Peculiar indeed to see in a place like that. The scent of pineapples and coconut wafted over a little. Right beside the glass was a traveler’s coffee mug. Her left hand was busy for a different reason.


    Perched between the fingers of her left hand was a lit cigarette. An ashtray sat right in front of her, and it seemed the brunette had been smoking for a while. There were two other butts in the tray. Lightly tapping her cigarette against the tray, she offered the newcomer a bright smile before turning away a bit to take a deep drag off the cigarette.


    To Julie’s credit, she didn’t blow smoke in his face, pointedly directing the cloud in a different direction. "Thanks for that." She muttered after a moment, taking a swallow from her glass. "Brad was being such a bastard tonight." She frowned a little. The man had shamelessly been trying to hit on her for the last hour. It was annoying and she was very close to using Deablo’s special talents to put him to sleep’.  "I suppose I should call you my hero then." Finishing the contents of her glass in one gulp, she gestured to the bartender for another and extended her right hand to the newcomer to shake.


    "Julie." She introduced herself. Setting the cigarette in the tray for a moment, she redirected her attention for the time being.


    Following her instructions, the bartender set about putting together another piña colada. So close, the new addition to the bar would likely see the tender mixing the cream of coconut and pineapple juice. However, he never reached for any rum, or any ingredients that would have alcohol in them. If anything, he poured more coconut cream in the shaker. Once the drink was mixed, he poured it into her glass and included two wedges of pineapple fruit on opposite corners for her.


    Setting her drink in front of her, he went to service other customers.

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    He nodded his thanks to the bartender and picked up the glass of whiskey, letting the amber liquid swish around in his mouth, running back and forth over his tongue. As always, the taste was impeccable and it easily washed away the lingering taste of vomit. Bishop closed his eyes, savoring the drink as he swallowed it down. He had noticed the woman beside him after he had unceremoniously dumped the drunk from his seat, but took no mind of her just yet. He was more concerned with getting his drink and ridding himself of the foul taste in his mouth, first. Having accomplished that, he happened to turn towards her as she smiled and muttered her thanks.


    "Brad was being such a bastard tonight."


    Kelan glanced down at the drunk, who was finally coming to his senses and realizing what had happened, and just shook his head. "People need to know their limits, even after the Nevus. You never know what's lurking beneath the surface of the person you share the room with." His face showed a little bit of compassion, and there was pity in his eyes when he turned back to his drink and took another short pull.


    He snorted at her comment, and took her hand, shaking it. "Nothing of the sort. Besides, I'd probably be easier to spot than a sore thumb in this place if I was a real hero. Nah, I'm just a guy enjoying his drink. Whatever else happens tonight is icing on the cake, so to speak." In spite of the gloves he wore when working on a customer at the shop, the flesh of his fingers was visibly stained with ink, and would mark him of an artist of one sort or another. His grip was almost perfect; not a crushing thing to try and display his masculinity, nor so soft that he appeared effeminate. "Kelan Bishop," he said. "Everyone calls me Bishop, though. What brings you to this den of iniquity tonight, Julie?"


    The man pivoted on his stool, leaning his arm on the bartop and watching her mannerisms and body language. Eyes caught the bartender making her a new drink, noting that it was put together without alcohol. "Bodyguard and designated driver for this evening's entertainment, perhaps? Or maybe you are the evening entertainment," he asked with a playful grin over top of the rim of his glass. The young man registered the drunk finally making it unsteadily to his feet, and aside from shifting his gaze slightly to include the man in his peripheral vision, Kelan seemed to pay him no mind.

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    If her words hadn’t been clear as a bell with thanks, her piercing blue eyes held gratitude in their depths. In her peripheral vision, she noticed something and shifted her gaze a moment. Her new companion had stains on his fingers, which she noticed as she shook hands with him…from something. One of her dark brows crinkling a little, trying to figure out that particular puzzle. Maybe he was a painter? Nothing under his nails, so can’t be working with clay… Her hands, in contrast, were very clean, with no signs of excessive dirt anywhere. She also had a few callouses here and there from climbing. Looking him in the eye, she could spot a steady gaze.


    Julie Savage was different compared to a lot of women, unafraid to lock eyes with anyone be they male or female. Then again, her lack of being easily frightened these days likely had to do with the lethal entity she carried inside her. "Nice to meet you…Bishop." She replied, using his preferred name…or at least what she assumed it was. Julie wondered if he liked his first name more, but wasn’t going to agonize too much over it. If he has a problem, he’ll say so. Or at least, she hoped he would. "Came to relax a little. I have a later shift tomorrow." She lightly lifted one shoulder, shrugging lightly. The material of her top had dipped a little, showing the skin of her shoulder and a bit of her right collarbone, though she made no move to fix the issue. "Less likely to have a problem getting back to my apartment too." She offered blithely.


    She struggled a bit to school her features when he asked if she was a bodyguard and driver for the evening. Her first reaction would have been to laugh right in his handsome face. No one ever thought of her in terms of protecting anyone and legally, she wasn’t supposed to drive.  She was tall and slight of frame, hardly able to protect anyone…or at least that’s how she seemed. Maybe he sees something that no one else does. And then he asked if she was the entertainment for tonight. Her cheeks flushed a little, but not in pleasure…she tried to tell herself. She couldn’t possibly be blushing because of a compliment, right? Right.


    Sure, he sees something alright. He sees a slight garment on a tight ass. Now, Julie’s eyebrows wiggled just a little, as if she was debating something with herself. In truth, she was struggling not to sputter out something in anger to her other half, knowing that there was no way for Bishop to understand that one. Her darker half had been curiously quiet and for once… Julie was relieved.


    "No…" She cleared her throat a little and broke eye contact for a moment to pull her drink over. "I just don’t drink alcohol." She didn’t need to explain the danger she could end up being to herself or someone else. Alcoholic beverages messed with her medications for psychosis, and Deablo couldn’t even drive their shared body properly when hallucinations began taking over. "Also, no, I’m not tonight’s entertainment." Her cheeks still held tinges of red. It was…odd.


    Here she was sitting in a bar and having decent conversation for a change. With a man. She almost…almost pinched herself to make sure she was awake. Thinking a little over the conversation, she smiled a bit, then looked a bit pensive. Earlier, when he’d commented on never knowing what was below the surface after the Nevus, Julie had been very careful to keep a relaxed expression. She knew as well as anyone else with proper sense…that the Nevus cracking open the sky had changed everything. The brunette knew for sure that she wasn’t imagining the soaring laughter in the back of her mind at all. Deablo was doubly amused at the situation. Deablo being there made everything harder than it should have been.


    Speaking with him came easily enough, and Julie wasn’t going to look a gift horse in the mouth. "So Bishop…do you um… P-Paint?" She reddened a bit more at the slight stammer. Bishop didn’t seem like the type to laugh…though they had just met.


    Taking a swallow of her drink, she heard a sound to her left and looked over. Brad was upright…or what could pass for it. npc.. “Who…who the fuck do you think you are?” He staggered a bit closer to the pair and Julie’s irises took on a faint and very unusual greenish glow. Without looking, she grabbed her cigarette and perched it between her lips again, turning in her seat so she was facing the drunk. npc.. “Now I was sitting here… You…you can’t just…” He turned a wobbly gaze to the bar. npc.. “You saw what the fuck he just did!” The tender who had served their drinks, held up a hand, trying to calm the situation down.


    npc.. “Bradley, you’ve had too much to drink.” The man stated plainly. He wasn’t agreeing or denying what he’d seen. His purpose was to keep the peace at this point. npc.. “Head on home. Cheryl’s going to be wondering where you are.” Again. The word went unsaid, but enough of the regulars there knew. Bradley was a fall-down drunk. Julie was lucky most of the time and avoided him entirely.


    "I agree, Brad." The tall brunette stated, drawing his attention. She’d crossed one leg over the other, revealing even more thigh than she’d shown before. Brad seemed almost hypnotized by the orange glow of her cigarette. When she exhaled, the smoke rolled from her nostrils. From that angle, with the light over the bar to her back and a slight amount of shadow over her face, the eerie green glow made her look menacing. Julie bestowed a wide grin on Bradley then.


    And just like that, Deablo stepped to the forefront.


    "Go home." The voice was so far from Julie’s own, it was obviously someone else…so raspy and filled with anger. Julie’s own voice was a bit smoky, but not to such an extent. That wasn’t at all possible though, was it?

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    • 3 months later...
    An eyebrow quirked upwards as Julie made mention of her having less issues getting to her apartment at a later point. Eyes caught the movement of the woman's top dipping down to expose her shoulder and glanced briefly in that direction, before turning his attention back with a smile as blood pumped through her cheeks, turning them a warm shade of red, visible even in the dull lighting of the seedy bar.


    Bishop's head bobbed in a brief nod as she stated that she simply didn't drink, before lifting the whiskey to his own lips. A look of amusement played across the man's face as she seemed to stumble over getting out her next words, declaring she was not the night's entertainment. It was always a fun thing to see people's reactions to random and unfiltered questions like that, at least in Bishop's opinion. It helped to keep them off-guard, and wondering what it was that he was going to be doing or saying next.


    "So Bishop…do you um… P-Paint?"


    Another small pull on the whiskey as he considered the question, letting the amber liquid linger in his mouth as he rolled it around his tongue, savoring in the delight. It was so rare to find real Irish Whiskey in what was left of America, these days. Even just the one glass was going to cost him a pretty penny, and anyone in the bar within earshot would know. Bishop didn't really care, though. It was a small slice of his ancestory, and he was going to enjoy it. Everyone and their opinions about his choice of drink be damned.


    "I do paint, actually. I've got a small studio back in Los Angeles. What's left of the that once glorious city, anyways. It pays the bills, and affords me the means to," he paused briefly, considering his next words carefully, "Travel." Another smile.


    And then they were interrupted by the drunk, who had finally made it to his feet, albeit unsteadily, and took a few shambling steps towards the pair. Bishop turned slowly towards the man, considering his options as the drunk stumbled through his way through a short rant. The young man shook his head slowly as the bartender encouraged Bradley to vacate the premises. Without a clear line of sight to Julie's face, Bishop missed the shadow and eerie glow that was highlighting the edges of her face, and nodded in agreement as even she agreed with the bartender.


    His eyes flicked towards Julie before the strange voice coming from her soft lips had finished speaking, curiosity flickering across his visage. What had the Nevus done to this one, split her soul? Merged her with something? Right now however, the drunken Bradley needed to be the focus of Bishop's attention. He could always revisit the change that came over the young woman at a later time.


    Bishop smiled at the drunk and spoke up, his voice holding a curious Irish brogue that hadn't been there when he first appeared. Soft and gentle, the words slipped easily past his lips.


    "Laddie. Ya fell from yer stool a'fore Ah even was 'ere. So deep in t'cups, y'tink it was me ooh'd given ya d'boot from it. Git y'self home t'yer lass, Ah say. T'ain't nuttin else 'ere tonight, essept eartbreak."


    The young man slowly rotated his stool towards the bar, placing his hand on the glass. He didn't lift it to his lips, though, as he waited to see how Bradley was going to react.

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    She digested what Bishop was telling her carefully. California. She missed the place immensely, though she had never made the trip to Los Angeles. It had been enough in the very small town she was from. She didn’t want to imagine a place that was just…bustling with people. Of course… She thought ruefully. You’re in New York, the state of ten million-thousand lights or more. The state was such a melting pot, with not just different people walking around but different species entirely. "That is impressive." She shook her head lightly. "I’ve never been to Los Angeles. What’s it like there?" The way he spoke pricked at her consciousness just a tad. 


    "What sort of travel have you ended up doing?" Julie’s most adventurous mode of travel was by bus. It had taken her a very long time to get to New York. Days on end. She was too paranoid to imagine risking flight, as that alone was unreliable. Even now, after the Nevus, communicating was difficult to obtain depending on the location. 


    Excitement cut short by having to deal with a fool, Julie had been more than willing to let Deablo saunter up front and center. As if the chilling words spoken to Bradley hadn’t been bad enough, Deablo stepping up the seat and staring down at him was even worse. Even in the four inch high ankle-strapped heels she wore, her slightness of frame was hard to miss. In the heels she was over six feet tall, which made her taller still than Bradley. The glare she was bestowing on the shorter drunken man was still mostly obscured from her new companion by the angle.


    Brad swallowed hard, bristling just a little under the sudden hint of a threat. npc.. “I don’t know who you think you are, girl…” He bared his teeth at her, a pathetic show of dominance. npc.. “I don’t take orders from any woman, especially not a cock-tease like you!” Deablo was so stunned, she couldn’t form words. Instead, a guttural growl began rumbling in the back of her throat. It was deep, thundering and very obviously not-human. Julie hadn’t gone out with the intentions of flirting with anyone. That hadn’t even been on Deablo’s list of ideas for the evening. So for this fool to even suggest such a thing… The green glow to her eyes increased, and as if suddenly noticing how much danger he was in, Brad abruptly shut up and took a step back. Deablo’s hands curled into fists at her sides, the sound of cracking knuckles audible. 


    npc.. “Leave now, Bradley!” The bartender ordered, sensing the rapidly rising tension in the room. He didn’t at all like the sounds coming from one of the nicer women he’d had as a patron and didn’t want to think about what would happen if she lost her temper. After the Nevus, he expected anything and everything that came through the door. As long as no one laid a finger on anyone else, he was fine. Though from the looks of things if Brad wasn’t careful, he’d have more than a bruised ego to contend with. 


    Brad darted a glance at the man seated next to Julie as he spoke. Instead of replying though, he was backing up. Nearly tripping over someone, he spun on his heel and ran off as well as he could. Anger dissipating slowly, Deablo dropped the deadly aura around her eyes and slowly uncurled her fingers. As Julie returned to full control of her body, she sighed audibly, her shoulders sagging. "Sometimes I wonder…" She spoke suddenly, turning back to her seat. "I wonder if I should just put on a burlap sack before I step outside." She felt uncomfortable in her own skin again, and now very humiliated in front of Bishop. Averting her eyes after she sat down, she lowered her head into her hands, elbows resting on the bar top. 


    At times like this, Deablo became curiously silent.

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    Kelan watched the young woman seated beside him from out of the corner of his eye, taking in the change that had come over her. It had been instantaneous, yet subtle. If he hadn't spent as much time as he did running around and working with altered humans, he probably never would have noticed anything except for the sudden aggresiveness and change of her tone. His hand gripped the glass just a little bit tighter as the drunk lashed out verbally again at Julie. The faintest upward tick of an eyebrow at the knuckles cracking beside him. Things were just about to get fun, it seemed. And then the bartender was right there, ruining what would have, for Kelan at least, been an interesting addition to the evening as she barked at the drunk to get out of the bar.


    As the man slowly backed away, Kelan's grip on the drinking vessel relaxed and he brought it up to his lips and downed it, before motioning for the bartender to refill it. A soft chuckle escaped from his mouth as Julie mentioned wearing a burlap sack, and he couldn't help himself. "Never did the Catholics any good, so I wouldn't bother," he said with a wink. A fresh glass, slid across the bar by a practiced hand, came to a gentle rest just in front of Kelan, who calmly took it in his hand and turned back to face Julie, casually leaning sideways against the bar as if the entire scene with Bradley had never happened.


    "What is LA like....it's a shit-hole. Corrupt, lawless, overrun by gangs and constant turf wars. Pretty much the same as it was before all that....stuff...went down, really. Only real difference is that the different levels of government seem to be in the game, competing against the gangs. All of them vying for their own private fifedoms." His head shook, and he sipped on his drink a moment. "I hate the city, really. It's slowly circling the drain, and going to implode at some point in the very near future I expect." A shrug. "It's good money for someone like me though," he said with a wink.


    He glanced towards the door as a small group of people walked into the seedy bar, and not seeming to notice anything out of the ordinary, he turned back to the woman in front of him. "I wouldn't particularly advise heading that way unless you really had to, though. Or you're really pining for a good blood-letting. Seems to be about the only thing happening there these days."


    "Travel though...." His eyes seemed to twinkle a little bit, "Now that's an adventure. I try to avoid planes. Because, well, let's face it. All those fears society used to have about how dangerous air travel was are true, these days. I walk, or take my bike, most places. Kind of limiting though, with fuel being sparse outside of major cities. So I just contract with a magus to get me to and from wherever I'm going a lot of the time. Gut-wrenching way to travel, though. In the "your stomach is going to murder you from the inside" kind of manner." Magus travel was notoriously expensive, and depending on the person, extremely unreliable. It seemed to be a growing trend within the community for a Magus to take the money and then send the traveler to a completely inhospitable location, effectively signing their death warrant and making a hefty profit.


    "What about you, Julie? What do you do, besides enjoy your non-alcoholic drinks?"

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    Disaster averted for now at least, the bartender happily fulfilled the request for another drink. That was the entire point as well. Keep the alcohol flowing and the atmosphere pleasant and that upped the chances that some of the people here would come back again for more service. Once done, the glass was pushed over to him.


    Listening quietly as Bishop spoke, Julie lightly pursed her lips. The brunette was trying her damnedest to listen to every word he said, but she couldn’t help but still feel the burn of humiliation. She had lost control again and in a crowded bar of all places! Her hands were trembling just a little as she processed some of what he was telling her about the former City of Angels. "I suppose it’s safer that I’m here…" She muttered with a sigh. It didn’t mean that life was any safer for her family. Considering how they’d treated her though… Grimacing a bit and pinching the bridge of her nose, she glanced to the woman behind the bar dispensing drinks.


    "Lillian…can I get my bag back, please?" The request seemed out of place completely, until the tender grinned cheekily and ducked behind the bar. Returning a moment later, she extracted a medium-sized black purse with an elongated strap and handed it over. "Thanks." Julie quickly set the purse in her lap and fished around a bit in it for a pack of ever-present cigarettes. It was polite to say that she had a mild nicotine addiction. A pack of Nicorette gum was visible in the bag from the vantage point offered to Bishop. Though quite a few pieces of the gum were gone, Julie still smoked. There was also a faint rattling noise, as if there were pills of some sort in the bag.


    Tilting her head a bit towards Bishop, she frowned just a bit. "I…There’s no reason to go back to California if it’s gotten that bad." Furrows between her brows deepening as she digested what she’d just accidentally revealed, her face brightened suddenly as she pulled out a pack of Richmond SuperSlim Cherry cigarettes. The stress started draining from her lanky frame almost immediately. The entire bar could collapse around her right now, and she wouldn’t care. Extracting a cigarette, she produced a silver zippo as well and lit up. As smoke filled her lungs and nicotine trickled its way into her racing and anxious mind, she felt a bit of the restless energy leaving her. Something he’d said piqued her interest. "Bloodletting?" Julie asked, a bit of foreboding filling her. Worry began to trickle in again. Even though they hadn’t parted on the best of terms, she hoped her family was safe.


    We should look into the territory around your hometown. Julie managed to suppress a grunt of agreement. Etna was so far from LA though…


    "Is…all of California affected now?" She hated feeling fear for no reason…and Julie really hoped she was jumping to conclusions. As Bishop spoke on his views of transportation, Julie relaxed more. She was making sure to avert the smoke away from him by blowing out the corner of her mouth even as she made sure to get her nicotine fix. "I know…" She ducked her head down in thought then and turned her face up to him, grinning a bit. "I prefer biking or walking to other modes of travel." She offered him a skeptical look when he mentioned how sick he’d get traveling with a Magus. "I’m not sure about that… I have a very strong stomach." Which was pretty true. Julie couldn’t remember the last time she’d actually vomited from sickness or a disgusting sight or smell. She was unsure how expensive it was to travel in such a way but was sure that it was too pricy for her tastes.


    Humming faintly and taking a deep drag from the cigarette, Julie considered his questions over what she did. She knew her life would seemed pretty boring in comparison to his. He travels the country as part of his work… She reflected. "Not much…" She began, blithely. Pausing a moment, she lightly chewed her bottom lip. "I deliver packages for one…" Which was what paid her bills really. "The compensation for speedy deliveries is very good." And the discretion… That was even more valuable. "I also write advice column articles." The dark haired woman knew how pathetic it sounded before she’d even finished talking. 

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    • 2 months later...
    Nodding his thanks to the bartender, keen eyes caught sight of the tremor in the hands of the young woman beside him. She clearly was no stranger to violence, so he considered it was either the sudden rush of unneeded adrenline flushing out of her system or the release of whatever powers she may have drawn into herself in the brief altercation with the drunken buffoon. Kelan reached out and patted her gently on the shoulder, before shrugging and commenting, "Is anywhere truly safe, these days?"


    He ignored the gum and the cigarettes visible in the purse. Everyone had their own vices to help cope with personal demons; it was part of the curse of being born into the world. How they chose to handle their affairs weren't his problem, unless they affected him. He considered things for a moment, before reaching over and plucking a cigarette from the pack in Julie's hand. The thin stick of tobacco slipped between his lips, and he leaned forwards for her to light it for him. "Hope you don't mind," he said, with a devilish grin. "Everyone thinks they have a strong stomach, until they do something like port across the entire country."


    Cigarette lit, he took a puff of it before raising his glass from the bar. "Here's to having a job, and paying the bills," he said. "There's nothing wrong with writing advice columns, because let's face it. People need all the help they can get. You never know what kind of situation you'll fall into, these days." He paused a moment, taking a sip of his drink, savoring the taste of the liquid as it washed over his tastebuds. "Dear Abby," he said in a voice falsely fraught with dismay, "my girlfriend got bit by a zombie, and turned into one. I'm not sure how I feel about this. She was always kind of shallow, but now that she's a zombie, all she does is complain about 'braaaaaains', and moan. It's not even a sexy "come hither and take me now" kind of moan. What should I do? Yours truly, Brain Dead in Boston." Kelan chuckled, having clearly amused himself.

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    • 2 weeks later...

    "Safe? No…not really. Though the location can result in you being killed a bit later in life." She was a little surprised when he slipped one of her cigarettes. For Julie though, that emotion slowly slipped into amusement and she grinned faintly. Nodding lightly, she expertly lit his cigarette up as well. Now she didn’t feel as uncomfortable smoking around him, though she was still polite enough not to blow smoke in his direction. Unsure if it was an attempt to help her relax on his part, she was nevertheless charmed by it. She heard Deablo snickering a bit, but chose to ignore that.


    "Not a bit." She set the pack back in her purse and settled the bag in her lap, content to hold it for now. "These are the tastiest I’ve found so far." She considered his comment on Magus travel thoughtfully. Instead of replying immediately she focused a bit and carefully exhaled a series of smoke rings that leapt directly into each other, before she drew some of them back into her mouth. I am not trying to impress him. Most of the time when she met people for the first time, Julie did what she could to minimize her nicotine usage… Unfortunately, this evening she’d had more stress than bargained for. "I’m not exactly like most people. I don’t think I have a strong stomach. I do."


    Her grin widened at his toast.  "That’s true. The apartment I have is…" She thought on her small and cramped place. It was neat though, for the most part, and it was warm. "Not quite what I would have preferred. It’s what I’m comfortable paying." Just when exactly had apartments in New York been cheap to begin with? She took a swallow from her glass and nearly spat it out when he began speaking as if to an advice column. Her pale blue eyes widened comically and setting her cigarette in the ashtray carefully, she dug through her purse.


    "Where was that?" After an oddly uncomfortable moment of silence, she pulled out an envelope dated ‘March 5, 2017’ and waved it a bit. "Was that you that wrote that? Or know who did?" She frowned, all in seriousness now. "Though the wording is different…" She pulled out a folded paper clipping. Though the envelope said one thing, the article was dated for August 2017 and read as follows:


    npc.. “Dear Savage Sage,” It began. npc.. “I’m not sure how to say this other than to just say it. And the longer I write this, the less I feel it makes any sense for any reason at all. My girlfriend and I were out to a very nice dinner at a pizza parlor when we were accosted on the way back. I feel like it was my fault because I’m trying to be responsible for my contribution to depletion of the ozone layer and we opted to ride our bikes to the parlor instead of using the bus. Well, she was bitten by what looked like a zombie, but I managed to kill it with my bike. We burned the body up after fully removing the head. Over the next few days, she got sicker and started making these weird moans. They weren’t the “come and take me daddy” moans I’m used to. I’ve taken to locking her in the basement to keep her away from me. I know if I report this, people will come and kill her!


    I still love her and want her cured, but I don’t know what to do. The basement is starting to really smell and I’m worried that she’s running out of time. I’ve had to use two by four boards to reinforce the door so she doesn’t bust herself out.


    All she’s seems interested in from me now are my brains and guts, which I’m sure are delicious but that’s not the point! What do I do?


    Signed, Brain Fed in Seattle.” Julie’s reply was right beneath that.


    npc.. “Dear Brain Fed,” It began. npc.. “Zombies work in this way… Either you let her feed and she’ll kill you or you let the government know so that they can protect you. Zombies are no joke.


    Signed, Sage.” His final reply was below that.


    npc.. “Dear Sage…you’re right. In the last three months since we spoke, so much has happened. I got the authorities involved. I grew concerned because instead of beating against the door, she became oddly quiet and I feared venturing down there alone. However, upon entering the basement, she seemed to ‘come back to life’ and attacked the men. They cut off her head…just like I’d crushed the neck of the one that attacked her. It was horrible.


    They’ve injected me with the counter-agent even though I’m pretty sure by now that I’m not infected and they’re already arranging for people in the area to leave.


    Thank you, Brain Fed in Seattle.” Julie looked pensive. She wondered now if Bishop had ever met or knew the man. "Weirdest request for advice I’ve ever gotten." The leggy brunette spoke after a long silence. "So sad too… Part of me hopes that was a joke, but I treated it as if it were a serious complaint."

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    He chuckled softly, shoulders raising upwards in a shrug as the sound finally subsided. "I thought that I did too. Time in the military and prison would make you thing that. The feeling you experience when you teleport is nothing compared to anything I've seen in either of those two glorious institutions." His voice was clearly dripping with sarcasm at those last two words.


    Kelan slowly took another pull on the cigarette, before exhaling it the smoke in little rings. "I can understand the living accommodations. My place here in New York is about the size of a small walk-in closet, and the landlord is gouging me in the price. It's easily four times what I pay for my studio out in LA, and that's including the extortion racket being run by the gang who's block I'm on." He shook his head, raising his glass to his lips again and took a drink as she read something she pulled out of her purse.


    A slight twinkle of amusement shon in his eyes, though he shook his head. "I didn't write that," he said. "I can see why you'd think that given what I'd said, but that was just something I pulled out of my ass. Zeke being pretty much the bulk of the population in the country these days, it only seemed fitting to tease you with something along those lines." He looked down and frowned, staring at his glass as if for the first time noticing that it was empty again. A heavy sigh, and the vessel was set down on top of the bar and slid back over to the bartender once more.


    It was always such a pain in the ass not being able to make use of your own gifts on yourself. He knew that he was going to have to slow down, or it was going to end up being another "drunk at 3am" kind of phone call to arrange transport. And as much as Max loved doing him favors, Kelan was pushing it

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    • RESONANCE - 18+ 3/3/3

      • A modern/fantasy, intermediate+ collaborative writer's rp. Caters to an experienced player base (25+) with a slower, more relaxed pace.

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