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A Night to Forget
#31
Food.

The loud noise drew its attention. Food. Eat. Now!

****

[[ From Experiments ]]

Alistair walked after the running girl. His ego was bruised a little, his wall was splintered with ease. He'd never seen a female do this. She would be such a prize to win over and tame. He called after her running form. "I wouldn't go that way if I were you."

She'd chosen poorly. At least in the direction to run. Alistair's creations lived in that direction. And a foolish wall was placed by some annoyance. He'd have to have him killed. But there was no one worthy of the task - not yet anyway. Maybe soon, Alistair thought to himself.

Ms. Grey rounded the corner in front of him as as there was a scream in the distant tunnel. Alistair sighed, There goes another worker." They had to learn to be more careful was his only thought as he picked up his pace after the fleeing girl.

(( monsters are between Natalie and your party. ))
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#32
He'd almost forgotten they were there. In fact he hadn't entirely expected them to follow; he'd told them the wall had existed longer than Natalie had been missing, and he thought he'd made it clear it was a power-made thing -- but, perhaps not. He had been talking mostly to himself and expected them to follow his train of thought. He didn't bother correcting them now. So far as he was concerned, either Natalie was already dead or she was able to take care of herself. What else was the point of being born different.

Interrupted from his inspection of this new area, he turned to Jay. The confusion was evident; he had assumed from the beginning that they both understood what he was, and he had made no efforts to hide himself. The question was unexpected. "You should. That is strange,"
he agreed. Mildly curious. It seemed a deficiency, but not one that was his problem. Or perhaps Jay was not what he thought he was.

It explained why he'd had to gesture them back, though, and slowly a possible explanation began to unfurl.

The amulet.

It had hidden him from the lake guardian's unique senses, and he had continued to wear it without much thought to the consequences. Hardly a conclusion he was going to share with strangers, though. He shrugged instead, and chose to take the question literally. "That maelstrom you can feel has component parts. I suppose there are no official terms yet. Easier to see and feel than explain, anyway."
He spoke almost on rote; it wasn't the first time he had relayed these things to another. But if Jay couldn't see it made any explanation a little useless, and he didn't know how much the other man even knew about the gift.

"There was a scream,"
he added. "Faint. Somewhere beyond. This power, it makes the senses stronger when you hold it."
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#33
Component parts. Nox and Jared said as much before. Suppose three times confirmed it. Had he noticed anything of the sort before? Memories of channeling were all a blur of raw power. Like holding electricity in the palm of his hands without getting burned. But nothing of parts. There were no pieces to the power that he remembered. Just energy begging to be used.

Neither did he hear a scream, but they picked up the pace. Soren's orbs lit their path, and Jay wished for his Land Warriors. Of course, he'd never even considered needing them today. Other than the firearm - which he carried everywhere since he was 18 - he had nothing of his life as a Legionnaire upon him. He wore civilian clothes. Walked in civilian boots. He even had a personal Wallet that was a hell of a lot nicer than anything the Legion issued. All that money from his paychecks had to go to something.

Heartbeat steady and centered, he kept all his senses open, but heard nothing except the fall of their steps. He needed to use what Soren described. He needed the power. Last time it took two minutes of meditation to seize it and the ring of a call broke his hold.

Focus. It's there. It's always been there. Just has to be taken. Light. Electricity. Power. It was a matter of reaching hard enough. Sense and seize it.

But nothing happened.

Fuck it. The map led true. He picked up the pace.
Only darkness shows you the light.


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#34
Well it was confirmed that their nameless companion could channel. He describe seeing the spells as component parts. That made sense and fit with what Jared knew. It also seemed like the stranger didn't know that his presence wasn't appearing, but he knew the effect - interesting indeed.

Like Jay, Jared did not hear the scream, but he seized the power at that moment. The room immediately lit up and the shadows on the wall dimmed. Every drip of water in the tunnel seemed louder in his ears.

His wallet buzzed, and he ignored it for the time being, putting it to silent so it would no longer ring. The group picked up the pace and Jared prepared himself. If someone was screaming, then something bad was happening.
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#35
It wasn't long before they stumbled on the corpse. Or what was left of it. Something had clearly had a feast; there was little more than a bloody cavern where the person's insides had once been. There were signs it had been dragged some way, and that the meat had been fought over. Disgusted, Soren toed at the remains. It was clothed in scraps of white; something that looked like it might once have been a lab coat. But what in the name of the gods had killed him?

By now at least one of his companions had thought to arm himself. Soren glanced at the two men, frowning, then suddenly became aware of scratching sounds in the darkness around them

The creatures attacked.

[[rat/dog creatures]]
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#36
Food... Kill. Eat.

Then there was a loud sound disrupting their gorging.

It was a simple command. Scatter. Not too far. More Food. Kill Eat.

The shadows were dark down here. It had never been up there had it? In the Light?

Strange floating light made them shy back further into the darkness. But there was never enough food. Its minons were getting restless - still hungry echoed through its friends.

One restless friend jumped.... and soon all twenty were moving towards the fresh food. Food... kill. Eat.
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#37
With the power there, Jared, could see the movement in the distance. Jared reacted with the precision only a seasoned combat veteran could.

The creature was hideous. It looked like a sort of hybrid of a rat and dog. The time for questions would be later. The thing was clearly a threat, and Jared would deal with the threat before trying to figure out what exactly it was.

The power pulsed within him, wanting to be given form, and Jared indulged it as the first creature jumped out. Threads of fire formed quickly, incinerating the beast as Jared drew his own pistol to fire at another that came into the light offered by stranger's spell.

Another game in and Jared wrapped it in a thread of air and tossed it back into the tunnel. Hopefully that would stall more of the creatures while the three could prepare for action. Jared prepared to attack more of them.
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#38
They passed the first body.

"Well that was disgusting,"
Jay said, avoiding stepping in the mess. It would be a bad idea to get his boots all slicked on the bottoms. The terrain wasn't exactly a plush green lawn. As Soren toed the edge, Jay was less interested in the body and more concerned about what killed the guy. Mostly because he didn't want to die of the same thing. Preferably not at all.

He waited at the edge of the light's glow when the first scratching pricked his hearing. At first he wondered if the guy wasn't dead after all, clawing at the floor for them. But the sound poorly localized, and he turned in a slow circle, sidearm at the ready, wishing again for his landwarriors. Their infrared light system would be pretty handy right about then. If he could pull on the power again--

But there wasn't time to try. Scratches turned into growls and something jumped at his legs. "The hell!"
he yelled, hopping back only for another shadow of darkness to fly in the other direction. More leaped from the edges of darkness, nipping at his legs. A flash of teeth latched onto the toe of his boot. Luckily, it'd take a hell of a lot bigger teeth to puncture the steel inside.

As he kicked the thing away and took aim at the next, launching it like a football going for the field goal, something bigger showed up. A flash of light from a barbequed rat sent it squealing off into the tunnel and he got a good look at the biggest of the beasts.

It was definitely nothing like what he'd ever seen before. But it was nothing a good bullet couldn't handle. He raised the firearm on instinct, but stopped himself from firing. In close quarters like this, they'd all be deaf for two days. One of the rat bastards clamped down on his heel, and he rammed it on the top of its head with the pistol and yanked it off by the tail, chucking it at another that thought he was going to be lunch.

"Wizard! Light 'em up!"
He yelled, stepping back to cover their resident wizard while he did his magic.
Only darkness shows you the light.


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#39
She should have paused to slam the door and force the locks. Too late now.

Natalie ignored his words, though she realised the fact he did not seem alarmed did not go in her favour. Her glimpse behind the glass wall gave her some idea of what might lie ahead. But what else could she do? She didn't know if she could kill a man on purpose, nor if she could control the power enough to disable him. He clearly had some ability of his own.

Caught between the threats ahead and behind, she slowed. Darkness swathed the way ahead. A scream echoed in the distance. She iced away the hesitation, let the light flood its way through her system - teetering on the edge of letting it rush away with her consciousness entirely. His unhurried pursuit left him a good way behind when she turned, one bloody hand braced on the wall.

"I regret I must decline the invitation."


Stalling for time as the threads knitted a pattern in front of her, hoping she had chosen the most pliant for the task. She envisioned a wall, a blockade; something that might detain him long enough that he would lose her. And she could concentrate on the problems ahead.

She turned back, and limped on into the darkness.
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#40
Fire. Food... there was a warring echo in every one of his minons. Food was scarce. But fire - it hurt. it burned. And they didn't know what it was or came from. They didn't understand. There was a memory tickling its mind but it didn't know - couldn't reach it. Man with rock and fire. Man who made him...

But Food won over fear... hunger drove them. They rushed towards their prey.... And the man, he'd been a man once, he had reached the light. Teeth dripping like the others, face and hands covered in blood of their last food. He wore what used to be jeans and a flannel shirt. But neither looked much like they had before - covered in dirt and blood and other visceral parts.

He lifted his hand and saw his yellowing flesh. Flesh that slouched from his muscles, almost oozing from his body to the ground. A single finger pointed at the three who were food, and the remaining minions came at them...

****

Alistair followed and he lost sight of her around a bend. A dangerous bend - closer to the ones who got away. The ones who breed in the wild. Bit and chewed their way closer to the top. They were failures of course - but they breed freely - worked their magic with their bites spreading their inferiority to the next. It was a disease for Vaia Plus to solve if it ever came to the light. And it was poor revenge on the man who had fired him publicly for doing what he was asked.

Alistair sighed as he found his way barred by a wall that should not stand. A pretty little trick... A pretty little trick.

Alistair called upon his dark gift and smashed through the wall with ease. But the cavern's shook, raining dirt and earth down on them. Another hit like that and the whole place might come down on them. Alistair wondered.... But he kept in pursuit of his prize... she was like him.. and he wanted to see if one like him could become more of a god - the ultimate super soldier.
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