The Guardians of London: Third Echelon CHAPTER THREE [6 Slots Open]

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MrJKapowey:
Yeah, I don't even know if I'm 'in', and he hasn't answered my questions from earlier in the thread, on the 5th.

I messaged him about it and he said uni stuff came up and that he'd post on Saturday. I don't even know If I'm in or not either. I'm really hoping this isn't a waste of time.

Ill still be in as long as y'all are. But my computers hard drive fried so don't expect too frequent of posts...

I'm still in, but I'd like to point out [/Saturday].

I'm in but for the love of my sanity, can we please start this thing.

*tumbleweed* Hello... I'd love to start but a character confirmation would be just as nice.

I'll PM him, though I find it a bit hard to believe that he's so busy he can't even post an 'I'm busy, expect a reply at the weekend' message here.

Greetings all,

Unfortunately University work has kept me from checking the RP and I've only just got time today.

Everyone characters are finalized and prepared for the Prologue's drop this Saturday. Look foreward to it and keep in mind my ability to post depends greatly on my ability to complete homework and since I have a girlfriend to keep up with and school work to complete I won't get around to it every day.

Check for updates Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

Prologue

The rain ran down in rills from the long brimmed black hat that sat on the head of the black robed man sitting on the gargoyle hanging over the London street below. The dark clouds were fading to night, and the mind inside the black robe was deep inside thought. The time had come and his final meditation was complete. He felt the river in his mind, flowing...

One one-thousand

The raindrops began to slow in their motion.

Two one-thousand

The raindrops seemed to crawl through the air.

Three one-thousand

The man stood and stepped off the gargoyle, falling slowly towards the street below.

Four one-thousand

The man landed lightly, walking quickly around the people who seemed to grinding in slow motion around him.

Five one-thousand

The river seemed to flow around him, as though he were a stone. He turned down the alleyway, feeling the cool flow of the river.

Six one-thousand

He began to climb the side of the building, deliberately and knowing each foothold and handhold.

Seven one-thousand

He slid the window open and stepped inside the study, there was a man sitting at the desk. He lifted himself from the river. It was as though he had broken the surface of an ocean, the way the energy slid off of him. The man stood to face him, bewildered and horrified.
"Who are you?" asked the man in the study.
The man in black extended the two hidden blades carved with intricate runes pressed with green enamel.
"The Grey Maiden's Right Hand," was all the man in black said before he brought both knives down.

~~~

He placed the corpse neatly on its back and pulled from a pouch on his waist a glittering golden coin emblazoned with a nine pointed star and a skull, slipping it under the dead man's tongue. Then he placed his right forefinger and middle finger on the dead man's left shoulder and drew a pattern; a short line down level with the heart, across the chest to the heart then a curve to the bellybutton mumbling under his breath "In the name of the Light, I send your soul to judgement. That you may be born again in Arcania and through toil find your way to the Path once more. Ashlardi'im."

~~~

THE MIDNIGHT COUNCIL CHAMBERS
LONDON, ENGLAND: 14TH OF NOVEMBER 1992

The gavel banged, bringing order to the whispering and mumbling between delegates. A man in a long, red robe with red eyes called out to the assembly "I apologize for such a rushed meeting, but things must be answered. These killings here, in London, but be answered."
"Why? What is our place in this? We've antagonized no one!" called a voice from the assembly.
"The chair does not recognize the House Argus," then after a pause the Chair of the Council continued "This 'Golden Skull' must be answered for. His actions do not reflect our wishes and we must prepare a statement to make to not just the Parliament but the world. Too soon, copycats might appear and we will be to blame. I would like to ask all of you to decide together how we shall respond."
At once, many delegates raised their batons high, signalling their desire to speak.
"The chair recognizes the Ordus Sanctorum."
"Thank you, sir." said an older gentleman dressed in a hasty suit and tie, his graying hair combed over. "I believe we must condemn these actions which this vigilante has taken, and we must do it soon. What is there to argue, what this murderer is doing is begetting more blood from both sides. Do any concur with me?"
There was silence, the delegate from the House Argus shuffled angrily in his seat.
The Chair pointed to a pretty blonde woman in a sky blue dress. "The Chair recognizes the House Crellyx."
The lady bowed and said "As my companion from the House Argus has stated, there is no need for involvement in any way in this affair. This is a criminal, and it is beneath us to condone or abhor the actions of anyone outside of our control."
At once a voice shouted up "We police our own!"
"And, because of this, we are reviled and looked down upon. We follow the same rules as any mortal must, this council has no basis condemning the actions of a man who does not act at our discretion. I move to dismiss the matter at hand and adjourn for the evening."
"All in favor of adjourning for the evening?" asked the Chair of the Council.
A man stood up, wearing a pinstripe suit and a fedora, shouting "We can't just sweep this under the rug, our contracts with the Government are coming up soon. If we can't prove our usefulness our Order could be disbanded."
"What the Guardians do on their own private time is their business. We do not control your reputation or employment. Again, we are voting now. All in favor of adjournment."
Many hands were raised.
"The motion carries, this meeting is adjourned and will continue tomorrow morning."

Just as the delegates began to leave a harsh bird-call came from the windows high above the rotunda. A raven flew in and landed in front of the Chair, who pulled a scroll tied to the bird's leg off. The bird promptly flew away.
The Chair unfurled the note and began to read it aloud.
Time grows thin here where my candle burns, and all you do is sit in stuffy rooms pondering this and arguing that. You gain nothing for our people, and around you is the blood of those you have failed to save. I am the shadow of the blade you have failed to be, the arm of social justice we desire. Soon, darkness will fall and none who have ever stood against the world of magic will walk the earth again. The Destroyer's influence stirs in many hearts, even mortal hearts, and drives enemies into the same bed. Soon, you will no longer be able to deny the world you have built. You will reap only the ashes you have sown. In three nights, something will occur which will change everything. You have three days to declare a position. Either you are with us or against us. Signed, The Golden Skull.
The Chair rolled the scroll neatly up and the delegates continued filing out, but now they were deathly quiet.

~~~

In the common area of the Guardian's Enclave, many Guardians and apprentices sat about...talking amongst each other about the note found and read by the Council. Rumors had flown quickly...

Harper stood in the corner of the area, chatting with some non-descript Guardians, he had never seen them before and, likely, would never see them again. It looked like something interesting might just be about to happen and he wasn't going to let anything stand in the way of becoming involved.

In the darkest corner of the common room echoed a quiet but persistent creaking, It would have been a source of aggravation were it not for the pressing situation at hand drawing the seniors attention. The source of the audible disturbance, A man leaning back and forth aloft one of the ornamental chairs that littered the Guardian's abode.

He was garbed in a loose, stark-white shirt complimented with black suspenders that rose from a set of trouser that same midnight colour. Around his waist, aiding in his endeavours of keeping his pants raised, was a leather belt with a buckle in the shape of the Guardian's sigil and a holster keeping his Mauser pistol firmly at his side.

"Golden ...skull?"

Breaker, as she dubbed herself was away from the main crowd in a corner of the room. she was however next to one annoying man who insisted one rocking back and forth in one of the chairs that happened to be the creakiest of them all.
She was wearing her tank top and a slightly longer-than-short skirt because it was a meeting. she had her gauntlets on and staff on her back, but left the bow at home.

"Yes old man, a Golden Skull on a coin and from what i've heard my species is somehow getting blamed or involved. I'm happy i got thrown out of my house, rarely have to deal with this stuff anymore."

Faustus was broken from his swaying trance by the harmonic voice of the young woman adjacent to him. He cocked his head in her direction and glanced the 'young' lady over, his gaunt face betraying little emotion.

"Old man? I'm 21." He exclaimed as his chair descended with a loud thud. He was expecting it to draw more attention but everyone was still occupied with the pressing matters at hand. Mildly disappointed that his little stunt gathered so little attention he rose from his chair to formally greet the vampire.

As he rose the physical juxtaposition between the two individuals became ever more apparent. Faustus, at full stretch, stood roughly two metres tall, his body, emaciated and spindly. His hair was dark as sin and a mess that flowed down onto his shoulders framing a face that bore the signs of mall nourishment.

"Pleasure to meet you, I am apprentice, Faustus Black." He greeted while extending his hand.

Breaker turned to face the man, her black hair swinging down her back as she turned.
"Hmm, typical of old people to sit in a chair and make the annoying creaking sound. I call myself Breaker, I am a Guardian of light and a Crellyx vampire. Nice to meet you Faustus." she said, shaking the mans hand, minding to not kill him from the touch.

Bastian was in front of the fireplace, staring into the flames...

He turned around to speak, catching the eyes of the Crellyx woman in the back. "We don't know much, and this is so widespread the entire city is our scene of investigation. We need to track this killer down...so what do we know?"

Some Guardians shook their heads, others waited for him to finish.
"A coin placed under the tongue, old gold coinage...what looks to be specially crafted, as no money that can be found anywhere in our archives has the symbols that appear. There's the knife wounds, that glow green when magic comes near them. Then there's the fact none of the victims put up any kind of fight at all. No magic was cast, no weapons drawn. Just a little blood from the victim...and another corpse. I've called all of you here because you are the best...I need to hear your ideas of where to start..."
Bastian picked a raisin out of a small box in his breast pocket and ate one.
A few Guardians raised their hands to speak.
"This isn't primary school, just speak."
A timid boy with grey hair and pointy ears said "Mister Wyre, maybe the coins have a ritual purpose?"
"Good thinking," said Bastian "Ritual purpose...maybe the killer is being ritualistic. I'd like someone to research assassin rituals. Anyone else?"
There were a few mutters before someone in the chair in front of him said "Maybe it's his calling card. Like some hitmen for the mob leave a rose on the corpse."
Bastian nodded "Also a good thought..."
"Keep the ideas flowing, we'll think of something to go on. Some sort of lead to follow."

Hearing Bastian speak she turned her head, catching the eyes of the man, Breaker let go of Faustus's hand "Pardon me." she somewhat mumbled and walked away from him.

After a tiny bit of pushing and shoving, Breaker made her way near the man. "The killing sounds like something I would do, save for the coin. Get the victim to take me back to their room, take their life force with a hug. Afterwards I drink their blood, I know I don't need it but I like the taste of it." she said blushing a bit of her admittance.
"But there wouldn't be a body unless its a wanted criminal, then the police get the body. I usually dump them in a puddle."

A thin wiry man approached Bastian. He let out a small cough to get his attention, then spoke in a quick but concise voice.
"Excuse me sir, but I think you have been expecting me. My name is Lazlo Mercer." He produced a small box and opened it.

Inside was a mask made of solid steel, its surface was coated in a strange sort of gold paint. The mask had no eye holes, nor any space for a mouth. It seemed to have a haunting gaze about it. A long, diagonal sort of "scar" in the paint was present across the face.

"I know that he has been expecting you for a very long time. He is.. waiting for you....."

Lazlo then looked around, many guardians were giving strange looks to he and Bastian.
"Perhaps this should be done in private?"

Faustus watched in silence as the vampire he had just made acquaintance with jolted off towards a fairly large gathering situated in the centre of the common room. His curiosity was peaked but he was not the kind of man to openly reveal it. If living on the streets had taught him anything it was 'always to remain inconspicuous'.

Faustus reached into his pocket and retrieved a small vial of clear liquid, He clutched it tight in his grasp and whispered a silent incantation. A faint glow, only visible to the eye's of fellow Phasmamancer's, radiated from the epicentre of his palm. Faustus would have been worried of other the practitioners of spirit magic had he not already seen them cast the very same spell as soon as they entered the room.

He pulled the wooden cork of the vial freeing the small reconnaissance spirit from it's tiny glass prison and letting the smoky white spectre fly towards the growing crowd. With that detail dealt with he decided to gather his belongings from the front door and be ready to take leave, he figured a senior member would come and retrieve him when a mission was ready to be issued.

Bastian nodded and said "We'll meet tomorrow morning. I want us all to go visit the latest crime scene and start to liason with the Metropolitan Police. Any ideas anyone has, write them down and speak up tomorrow morning. Dismissed."

Bastian was worried, he'd never been named primary investigator before. The wiry man followed him out of the room, towards Bastian's own which was ten doors away from the Guardian's common area. It was a rather spartan room, a poster depicting Io rearing up at german warplanes with the words "BRITANIA'S DEFENSE IS YOUR DUTY! ALL MAGIC-USERS JOIN THE GUARDIANS OF LIGHT! NEAREST RECRUITMENT CENTRE!"
The box was humming a kind of tune, Bastian could feel it. An old trick of a friend, long dead, who was an Imperiomancer of how to tell something held a mental presence. Any sort of vibration felt through the air was the presence, and he could feel it humming. Bastian was unconsciously unwinding a small wire of orange energy and when he saw he had, he dismissed it and it puffed away in tiny orange motes. He was nervous.

Harper said his good-byes and left the conversation before heading out of the doorway. Stopping only to check the hammer on his automatic.

"I will leave you two alone for this." Lazlo said. He silently exited the room.

Bastian starred for a moment. Then took a deep breath and put on the mask.

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Suddenly he hit the floor. Coughing and gasping, he tried to recompose himself and make sense of his surroundings. He was in what appeared to be, at first a blank white vastness, but various objects, old picturs, painting, a record player, a cabinet displaying old weapons, then piles of rubble, like torn down buildings slowly came into perspective.

"My apologies Bastian, nobody has done that in quite a while. The connection was..... unstable..." An old voice said, it had age behind it, but also a strangely cold determinism found most often in the young.
Bastian rose and looked behind him. The first thing to catch his eye was the vast white space ending, like a ledge looking over a valley, it opened up in to a brilliant starry space. A galaxy spun in its eternal dance beyond them, bright blue in its outer reaches, and its center blazing white, almost like an eye missing the pupil.

It seemed all of existence passed by in endless space beyond.

A lone figure sat in a metal armchair, lounging, one leg crossed casually over the other. He was young, but something in his body language was ancient. His black dress shirt unbuttoned and untucked, revealed a torso of well trained muscle slowly fading from entropy. The man had blonde hair about an inch long, messy and unkempt. Unusual considering that most he knew him before remember a cleanly shaven head. His facial hair was the same color, and it appeared as though he had gone a few days too many without a shave. His eyes appeared slightly bloodshot, and dark circles were underneath. Never the less, he sat straight up, holding his head up. It was strange, one could simultaneously think he was alive and well, and ready to fall apart, both at the same time.

"Hello Bastian...."

"Kin?"

"I am indeed... Im sure you have questions...Let me entertain the first. You are infact, inside the mask. You mind, and subsequently, your consciousness, are that is. Dont worry, you body isnt going anywhere."

Bastian was about to interject concerning that same subject. "How did you..."
"Ive been here a while, I know when a thought is foreign even when it isnt meant for me to know."
"How long exactly?"
"Since shortly after Silas sealed the portal."
"So it was you that was with him."
"Indeed. Now, Ive read your dossier, in fact, Ive read a lot more...."
"Wait, how have you been able to contact the physical?"
"The man you met outside." Kin readjusted himself in his chair. "Lazlo Mercer is a very skilled imperiomancer. One of the better of our day and age. He has been feeding me information. As I was saying, I have read up on you, and several people in your team. Its a good squad to be sure. But the issues at hand may be more grave than even I can discern."

Bastian looked around. "Let me guess, you want to get out of here, get back into the game?"
"Yes indeed." Kin picked up a small glass of scotch on a small table next to him and sipped it. The continued "But I cant do it from here, and prolonged exposure to the mask could prove harmful to anyone of sound mind."

"I can only assume you have a plan..."

Kin chuckled, " When u have had this much time to think, you'd be a damn fool not to. There is a veteran, special forces, combat heavy unit leader by the name of Rueben Chantal, who is suffering severe battle psychosis. I believe a fractured mind would allow me easy access. His mind is frayed, but his body is perfect for the job. Of course, when I reach him, he will have to agree to all this."
"How do you reach a mentally scarred individual?"
"We have found that in almost every mental condition, part of the subconscious still functions normally, your just have to find it. Im going to offer to help him repair the damage, and in return he helps us. Tests have already concluded that he in fact, can use imperiomancy, but was never trained to become aware of it, and certainly cant now. I want you to bring him to me, or me to him, doesnt matter."

"Sounds fair enough. Just one question."
"The one question looming on your mind since you realized whats happening here..."
Bastian nodded. "Yeah. How did all this happen?"

Kin sighed and finished off his scotch, setting it down he folded his hands.
"After the great conflict in the rift, I settled down, resigned from active service and had a couple of kids. One day Silas Gray shows up at my door, he was ecstatic, eccentric. All he said for the first five minutes was "I think I figured it out! I figured it out!". He was working on old alchemy principles. So I joined him. We were searching for the deeper nature of mental capacity in none living objects."

"Sure enough, he found a way. And with his geomancy, and my imperiomancy..." Kin shook his head, a smile across his face. "It was alchemy jazz, free form creation. It even made us stronger."
Kins memory went back..... he and Silas, young men, stood near and old abandoned building. Kin raised his hand, and suddenly a massive telekenetic bolt of energy ripped through the air, like what one would imagine sound waves looking like As energy shook the very fabric space it radiated through, suddenly the building burst apart. No explosion or fire or smoke, just a massive, instantaneous, brick by brick dis-assembly. They flew out in every direction, randomly, then suddenly stopped in mid air all at once, suspended by invisible hands. Then each brick individually exploded, millions of fragments from dust particles to chunks the size of a fist went everywhere. With a flick of his wrist, Silas deflected any piece coming towards the two. "Ive never been one for comparing man to God, I find it far to blasphemous for casual talk, but if there was ever a moment we felt like gods, it was then."

"It was incredible, but it wasnt even our most brilliant work. You see we began to blur the boundaries between physical and mental. Any skilled imperiomancer can imbue messages into objects, or create scrying orbs. The better could infiltrate peoples minds, like what you have just done, though not of your own accord. The best could even leave fragments of personality inside things, or pieces of themselves, but never before had anyone done what we did. Most ancient Golems had to be made up, at least partially of energy imbued or sacred stones. We took piles of rocks and turned them into life."

"Our first creation, Riley... he was little more than a foot tall, made of plain granite. But between me and silas, we could infiltrate the very fabric of its existence, and built something new."

The young men stood over a pile of rocks, it began to float , its pieces came to order as if a partially invisible creature. The floating rocks arranged in the shape of a person. It turned to look up at them without eyes. Then Silas gave it a swift kick, scattering the stones, which promptly began to roll back into a pile and reassemble. Nicholas and Silas grinned, delighted with their creation.

"IT took three years to make Riley alone. Turns out sentience is a bit more of a bitch to figure out than we thought, it doesnt just take a conscience. It needs order and purpose, and so much more. Before Riley, most of out attempts resulted in stones moving about randomly for a moment then flinging themselves against walls with such force they became dust piles. Almost broke a rib once because of it. Riley was a combination of our psyches. And with two sets of thoughts, ideas, morals, values etc, he matured fast and learned quickly, although he could never speak, he was very intelligent."

"But we werent done yet, we moved on to bigger and better. Turning my whole suit of armor into a living construct using my conscience,... it was our masterpiece. Its purpose was a last resort in combat, should I die, the suit waits for a bit, then resumes fighting for me as a surprise attack. Even though the first time we activated it, it attacked us due to lack of combat protocol, it was generally a success. It fought like me, thought like me, even moved like me, and eventually was better than me. But it wouldnt last...."

Kin sighed.... "Im not perfect, and neither was Basher, that was the construct suits name. About the same time Riley was maturing, we started noticing anomalies in Basher. IT sometimes hesitated when given orders. I searched it up and down but found no sign of any other user but me and Silas. It began to haunt us, in smalls ways at first. Like moving a bit at a time, then all the way across the room by the next morning, and eventually getting up in the middle of the night and watching things. The final straw was when it followed me home and I found it watching my children sleep one night. The next day me and Silas decided it needed to be terminated, along with Riley."

Kin thought for a moment. "Its funny... Riley knew what we were coming to do.... but it didnt fight back. Like maybe it had reached the level of consciousness to think philosophically. Maybe it understood itself to be a threat. It accepted its fate, and in doing so, may have showed a greater peace of mind than most living things ever reach."

"Basher on the other hand, was the seed planted by my self preserving nature. It fought back, and had developed defenses against both my imperiomancy and Silas' geomancy. Not an easy level of power to reach. It almost killed both of us when we had to dismantle it... well who am I kidding? We KILLED it..."

"We stopped all the research in that field after that. We knew we werent ready for that sort of thing, we told ourselves we woundnt continue, but I was obsessed. If I could spark brand new life into the inanimate, why not transfer life? My single minded determinism became both my salvation and my curse. One day I was inside Silas' mind. We told ourselves it was for his health, to help determine the cause of an unusual sickness, but we both knew we werent fooling ourselves, we wanted to seek out new areas in the connection."

"The one day we found something we never thought could be found, something many doubt the existence of even....

We found the spirit....

The human spirit....

"Silas had, however, come into contact with the divine an unusually high number of times, and in the deepest part of his mind, we found... well.... Im not sure to this day. But something tells me we found God."

Kin stood at a door in Silas' mind. A fire began to erupt out of it. Kin turned tail and fled, running through Silas' memories and ideas. Everything was collapsing, buildings in Silas' mind fell, the ground shook. Kin ducked to dodge an old car that was flung down the alley he was in as the alley itself began to close on him. He made it out just in time, and ran towards a large cathedral. If he recalled correctly, it was the sight of Silas' first mission with the guardians. Gravity shifted, the sun began to blot out. Memories muddled together. Places and people that never existed where flung into the abyss. Kin made it to the cathedral. He looked in horror as he realized his mistake. It wasnt the exit, it was where Silas lost the love of his life. Kin only saw one door and began to bolt towards it at full speed, right past a girl collapsing at the feet of an assassin and a young Silas running past Kin in the opposite direction, attempting to stop the inevitable. But the whole scene was consumed by fire as Kin ripped open the door and ran inside. Inside he clung to the handrail of a ledge, praying it would hold against the maelstrom. It was all he had. No exit. His salvation and curse. A fail safe he had created in his mask in his obsession with preservation. On one side, Silas mind collapsed only to begin to reassemble itself as it should be, a subconscious function of any sane mind when such trauma occurs. Silas' probably wouldnt even be aware it happened, most never did.

On the other side, Kin watched at the places of his memory faded away. He clung to the ledge in the cold vast emptiness, knowing full well, but not accepting what happened. He was gone. The last thing he could see was a beautiful woman hold onto two young boys. Tears welled up in Kins mind. He had abandoned them. He prayed, begged God or whatever cosmic force was listening. He would give anything to get it back. But it never would. "Please...." he choked... "Please let them be safe." He wept openly. "Please.... dont punish them for my sin... please....."

Kin sat in front of Bastian. A tear, painful memory in liquid form, was welling up in his eye.... "Find Rueben Chantal..." He said.

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Bastian slid the mask off. And folded his hands, pressing his mouth to them in deep thought.

Breaker was somewhat distraught the man had left and walked over to a nearby fountain and wadded into it. Her body burst into water and merged with the fountain. a minute later her body grew out of of a fountain behind Faustus. "I apologies for my hasty leaving. there was something... different about that man. Faustus was it?"

Faustus was perched outside against one of the stone walls that made up the Guardians' compound, staring lazily into the bright crescent moon hanging aloft in the black void of space. A typical London chill was rich in the air, stinging his pale uncovered face.

Faustus was now donned in the coat he had hung in the common room upon entry, it's retrieval necessary to brave the winter winds. It was a thick, black, greatcoat, double breasted, crafted with a militaristic feel in mind. Around it's collar and cuffs were lined in a deep charcoal coloured fur, lupine in origin. Beside him resided his weapon of choice, a large scythe covered in bandages who's length mirrored his own height.

Faustus waited, feigning inattentiveness as the vampiric Guardian emerged from the crystal-blue fountain waters he had, moments before, been washing his face in. He turned to greet the short woman once her second introduction was completed.

"Yes, Faustus Black." He responded coldly. Although it was common knowledge that Faust preferred the company of vampires and lycans over that of humans, this did not mean he trusted them on sight. He knew very little of this woman and was persistent to reveal as little of himself as possible.

"I might as well tell you what i am. As you guess i am a aquamancer. i don't expect you to trust me, it takes a while to ear my trust. i was thrown out of my house in Ireland after ripping another apart, i felt like you should know if we're going to talk." she removed her gaunlets and placed them in a small bag on her back.

"It's been a while i was this close to a human male without using them. so if you have anything to ask, feel free. i won't push into your life." Breaker said. she didn't mind the cold, the arctic waters to the north are much chillier than this and even then she wasn't bothered by them much.

Faustus stood blankly listening to the small woman's attempts to engage him in trivial conversation, part of him was wondering: What exactly had he done to invoke such a cruel and unusual punishment? This 'Breaker', something about her irked him. By rank, she was his senior so simply requesting her to cease talking was out of the question. However, he had no desire to further this verbal endeavour.

Why me?

Faustus took a deep sigh and locked eyes with the vampire before him, her body language hinted at an eagerness for recognition. Perhaps she wished him to explain himself in a similar manner, provide more fodder for communication?

"Thank you. I overheard your fondness for draining people, you must excuse me for not being very forthcoming, Mistress" He said, his voice plucking at the strings of sincerity. His face even managed to contort into a perfectly executed 'friendly smile'.

Breaker frowned at the title. "I hate the rank thing, one person is as perfectly capable of another. If we speak again, you can use my name or anything you like. oh! one more thing before i forget." Breaker took out a small jar of water from her backpack.

"if you ever need me, just smash this on the ground. you can refuse it, your choice to take it or not." she said holding out the jar.

Bastian ran a finger over the mask, thinking.
He didn't notice the soft static hiss from his mirror, telling him someone wanted to talk to him but was too lazy to walk down the hall to see him. Typical of the High Masters, who liked to enforce a kind of separation between them and other Guardians.
Bastian turned, looked at the mirror as it clouded over, and waited.
The glass of the mirror began to crack and spiderweb all over, whoever was trying to contact him was trying a little too hard. Then a person appeared, in total shadow so that all Bastian could see was glowing green eyes, a wide brimmed hat and a shimmer of gold at the waist of the creature. There was something there, a gold disc with a grinning skull emblazoned on it.
Then he heard it speak, it echoed as every mirror in the Enclave must have been speaking as one.
"Ladies and Gentleman of the United Kingdom. We are beset by a crisis most dire, the ones who swore to guard magic and monsters, and with the policing of those among you who may be gifted with the power of magic or cursed by a monstrous curse, are no longer protecting you. I speak directly to those among you who have been persecuted, harassed and, perhaps, even slain...only to be returned to undeath and suffer more under the hands of humanity. I come to tell you that tonight marks the beginning of three nights of terror, culminating on one act which shall make us even with the mortal humans and throw any hatred away and replace ti with fear. I call to those who are unsure of their allegiance to consider that there is not room in the new world to come for all. Only those who choose to follow me will be saved from the pain and the terror, and those who goad the masses into death mobs will be dealt with. At first light of the third day, come to the hills that overlook our fair London. There the black feather will be given and you will all be cleansed and made anew. To fight for good and to banish evil. You have three days. Ashlardi'im."
The mirror then shattered explosively, sending shards of glass flying everywhere. Bastian picked up the mask and ran into the courtyard, Guardians were milling about, confused. Glass had fallen from the skylights and everywhere glass crunched underfoot. He heard people shouting that glass everywhere had been hijacked by the strange image. High Master Arcturus was calming the mass of Guardians below in the courtyard, and as Bastian approached he heard Arcturus shout, go back to your rooms and remain calm. I promise this will be looked in to, in the mean time aeromancers if you could please help clean up this glass."

Bastian said "Can I help with anything?"
But Arcturus shook his head, his crimson cloak covered in shiny glass shards.
"No, Sebastian, go back to your room and sleep."
The mask made a symbol appear, a frowning face, followed by a question mark.
"I don't know, either Kin." replied Bastian.

Harper wandered down to the courtyard just in tme to hear the tail end of Arcturus' announcement. Having had his mirror explode on him he was annoyed, and bleeding, but mostly annoyed. He looked around for any Guardians he could begin to talk to about the event.

The sound of shattering glass was unsettling to Kase who just walked onto the courtyard, late yet again. As he continued through the glass covered courtyard, thoughts of curiosity plunder through his mind, "What happened here?" he asked himself. With glass crunching underneath his feet Seth's brisk walk suddenly became a light jog once he saw another Guardian that he vaguely recognized, Joseph Harper. He'd only read Harper's dossier but he was at least happy to see a familiar face. Seth approached the scarred man with haste to get an explanation, "Joseph Harper, right? What happened here and..." He looked down to notice small streams of red running down his arm, "Geez your bleeding, are you alright!?"

Faustus remained quietly steadfast for what must have appeared to be longer than custom allowed. Coming to a decision, he reached out with his free hand and coiled his fingers around the gift. The container came freely from the woman's grasp and as he drew it closer to his eye for examination he noticed the flicker of a smile light up on this 'Breakers' face.

"Thank you, I'm not entirely sure what this is. Bu-" His empty thanks cut short by the resounding sound of shattering glass and a crowd of people storming from the building into his once empty courtyard.

"Interesting... Care to find out what's going on?" He queried the aquamancer, trying to maintain his guise of civility.

"Seems like a well enough idea." Breaker said as she stepped out of the fountain. As she did this, the vampire seemed to lose a bit of the spark she had.

"Lead the way young one." she said with a bit of sarcasm and gesturing with her hands to the entrance of the compound.

Harper stood in the courtyard taking in the mix of Guardians milling around and looking for answers they were sure to fail to get. Just as he turned to return to his room he heard a voice calling his name.

"Hmm? Yes, hi... Seth."

Harper allowed Seth to begin talking so he could continue to watch the others in the area. Aside from the standard crush of people he didn't know, only two things stood out to him: The Guardian who was 'Primary Investigator' seemed to be talking to something in his hands a few meters away, whilst on the other side of the courtyard two people seemed to be holding a conversation, apart from the masses. The only odd thing about that was that one of the speakers had just stepped from a fountain. He was brought back to the conversation by Seth's expression of shock.

"Oh, yeah. It's nothing, imagine a series of small shaving accidents on your arms and face... I've got no idea what's happened here. I was just checking my tie when it happened. I tell you, if I'd been shaving when that happened then the wounds would be leaving me horizontal... Anyway, what's this supposed to mean, d'you think? I know the 'Guardians are unable to do their jobs' bit, but three nights of terror? With me or against me? I know it sounds seriously wrong, but you gotta give the perp some points for style..."

More reassured by Harper's calm expression, Kase now looked around at all the others standing around them. "So the mirrors shattered?" he thought to himself, "With me or against me?" It all seemed a little too odd but living in the place he called home, odd was normal. Something did in fact catch his eyes out of the crowd though, it was a frail, younger looking man receiving a jar-ish container with some sort of liquid inside from a crellyx. Seth also noticed a man peering into a golden mask of some sort, though he to looked familiar he couldn't put a name to the face. Looking back to Harper, with a slightly humorous expression he said "Damn, I always miss out on all the fun."

Bastian returned to his room, late evening had taken its toll and Guardians were drifting off to bed. Who ever this evil figure was, whether working for the Golden Skull or the Golden Skull himself, did not matter. What mattered was what would occur the next morning. He made a mental note to begin thoroughly investigating the site of the most recent killings.

And, of course, my obligations to Kin. Thought Bastian, feeling a little overwhelmed. He went into his room and shut the door, pushing the crushed glass to the side as he placed the mask down and said to it "Tomorrow morning."
An image of a thumbs up appeared and Bastian chuckled, before getting in bed and snuffing the light out. The mask glowed a low gold in the dark before fading away. Bastian faded quickly, too.

"Well, I suppose if you arrive later you've always got a better grasp of the situation." Harper sighed before glancing at the clock up on the wall. "Ah, I'm gonna turn in for the night. I guess I'll see you tomorrow when we get our assignments."

"Yeah, day one of terror, who wouldn't want to miss that?" Kase thought to himself as he signaled good-bye to Harper and headed back towards his room. Once he entered he immediately saw the glass from his mirror scattered around the floor and grabbed a broom to sweep it up. He gathered as much as he could placed it into the blast powder in the sticks of TNT. He thought of how he was going to endure tomorrow, but the only thought in Seth's head was "What's shaving?"
As he drifted off.

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