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Old 08-24-2010, 10:20 PM   #1
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The Language of Angels (Closed for Vail_Indigo)

In a place where heroes don’t dare to tread, we are all that stands against injustice, cruelty and crime. Perched among the Gothic gargoyles that guard the tallest buildings, we watch. Vigilant, patient and ready for that decisive moment. A moment where the fate of the city balances on the edge of a knife as sharp as my partner’s keen sarcasm.
I am Seraphim, winged protector of Fear’s Bay and no one is allowed to harm my city without paying the price. Perched beside me, my partner waits quietly, an anticipatory smile curving her lush lips. My own smile is more predatory, the huntress after her prey.
My ebony wings ruffle in the cold night air blowing in off the Pacific and my memories soar back in time. Back to when we first met, before we were partners. Before the Canterelli Crime syndicate “situation.”

Two years ago:
I was new to the city of Fear’s Bay and it showed those first few days. While I’d grown up in the suburbs of Houston, Texas and attended college at UC Irvine, the bustling city of Fear’s Bay was a whole different world. A mixture of European, Spanish and Asian influences shaped the city by the bay named after the white explorer who had “found” it back in the colonial days.
I moved through the streets, eyes shifting from the map in my hands to the street signs and building numbers all around me. I was looking for my new job, one set up for me by a family friend. I held a Master’s Degree in Linguistics with a specialization in European languages. That earned me a two week trial at the city’s largest import/export company, Angel Distributions. My “uncle” Thomas had thought the idea of me working for a company named after an Angel was hysterically funny. I couldn’t deny the humor, given what I was.

Rolling my shoulders to work out a kink, I couldn’t help but smile at the glide of silk over my skin. The midnight blue shell I wore beneath a white silk jacket brought out dark blue tones in my eyes. The white pleated skirt was long enough to be office-friendly, short enough to make my legs look long. At 5’8” it didn’t take that much to do so. My favorite pair of pristine white Ferragamos graced my feet and my hair was swept up into a clip at the base of my neck. Waist length, my hair was a mass of gold, white and silver curls if I left it down. My skin was naturally a golden tan, darkened slightly by a recent trip to Florida to visit my grandmother. I knew I looked good in the white suit, a slim brief case in my hand holding my wallet, cell phone and laptop along with the keys to my apartment.

I finely found the building and went inside. My heels clicked out a staccato beat as I made my way across the tiled entryway. It was a mosaic of the Arch Angel Gabriel wielding a flaming sword. I wasn’t quite sure if that necessarily a good sign, having an avenging angel in the entry way.

Up the elevator to the twenty-second floor, and I found the offices I was looking for. “European Transactions and Trades” or ETT for short was not what I expected. The office was nearly empty except for an exquisite women sitting on top of a desk. She held a phone to her ear and seemed absorbed in her conversation. Her voice was melodic as she spoke in lilting Italian, arguing about the timing of an event.

I waited for her to finish her conversation before walking closer and catching her attention. “Good morning. I’m Sophia Inverse, the new translator.”
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Old 08-26-2010, 04:57 PM   #2
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She amazes me.

She stands there, a thing of legend, close enough to touch.

I know she thinks my smile is in anticipation of the things we are about to do, the things I was absolutely, literally born for, and she's right. I love what I do.

But my smile is for her, and the holy wrath (also literally) she will soon rain down upon, well, whoever is unlucky enough tonight to cross our paths.

She is a predator goddess, and I am lucky enough to dance with her.

****
There's a Talmudic story of the Tzadikim Nistarim, the 36 Righteous People who hold the fate of reality in their souls.

I am not one of the Lamed-Vav, but I work for people who think they are.

They made me, as an experiment. The last after a long line of failures. Genetic engineering at this level is hit or miss, I'm told.

Then again, I'm told a lot of things, not all of which I believe.

Some I do.

I know that there are things, places, people, who are important to keeping reality together. I know that the people I work for have taken charge of these touchstones of the world.

I know they don't always succeed.

I've read about Nagasaki.

I've followed the paths of destruction some of these people or items can draw, and the holy bliss others can bestow. Good or bad, these are important things, important people and places that have to be handled with care.

This is not magic. Not like you think.

Its just one of those "science that looks like magic cause its so WOW" kind of things.

I was activated when I turned 16. I would have been out in the field earlier, but they spent a year giving me special eyes. Eyes that see what can best be called 'information'. No, it doesn't make any sense. Trust me, it works.

By the time I was 19, I'd killed 6 people, acquired 17 artifacts, and kept Stonehenge from being turned into lava. That last one was fun.

I then spent a few years just travelling. I absorb languages when I'm immersed in them. A month and I'm fluent. Two months, and my accent is perfect. Sucks that I spend most of those two months with a migraine.

I was called up again when the Canterelli syndicate started to move. I was 25.

Three years ago.

European Transactions And Trades was a front, of course. Nice thing about 'fronts' is that, while they hide activities, they are also vulnerable to infiltration. And every international business can use an attractive woman who speaks 14 languages like a native.

I'd been there about a year, tracking the movement of packages, items, body counts. I'd reported in to my people, worked behind the scenes to sabotage the most important activities, all while helping them make more money than god from others.

A girl has to have her priorities.

To be honest, I hated it.

I am special. I was made for things, and this wasn't it.

I look like 'people'.

My body looks normal, even my new eyes.

But it isn't.

Not even close.

Its perfect.

So I thought.

Then I met her.

I was seriously dressed. My job called for it. A black Alexander Wang side-draped skirt that showed too much leg, legs wrapped in black Wolfords with a knitted cross design, intersections dotted with roses. and a sinple, grey tunic that showed off my collarbone and neck, and red mesh pumps by Louboutin. At 5'6", black hair with streaks of red, I was not someone who got ignored.

But she was something totally other. There was a simplicity to her refinement. I tended to approach things with a sword or hammer. She was significantly more subtle in how she presented herself, and it made her all the more imposing.

Of course, I didn't notice that until later. What I did notice was that she was confusing to look at. I told you, my eyes see information and they had a VERY hard time focusing on her. I squinted a couple times to filter out what I could.

“Good morning. I’m Sophia Inverse, the new translator.”

I smiled at her, 50 watts, and replied, "Great! I'm Laura Norastelle. I can't tell you how happy I am you are finally here!"

And I really was. Getting rid of some of my grunt work to this youngster would make life much easier for me. Plus, young as she was, she was also obviously powerful in her own right. Imposing. I liked that. Shame she was getting messed up with such bastards. I wondered why I had such a hard time looking at her.
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A couple solo threads:
Rebecca Garrote, P.I.: For hire. Mysteries, the lost, the missing, facilitation and all manners of unique services.
Everything Is Personal: Tales From Intersect City
The Unders: Darkness beneath Intersect City

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Old 08-26-2010, 06:48 PM   #3
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Sophia

Laura squinted at me as if she needed glasses or I was difficult to focus on. With her full attention on me, she was a beautiful woman with a personality that showed like fire in her eyes. There was something strange about her eyes, I realized before mentally shrugging away the thoughts for later.
I returned her professional smile with one of my own. She was dressed in darker colors except for a pair of screaming red mesh heels that drew the eye down the line of her body. There was something alluring about those legs and their screaming red heels.
“I’m glad for the chance to help,” I admitted. “With the less-then-lovely economy right now, I feel lucky to have landed job here.”
The fact Thomas wanted me to look into rumors of fraud and trafficking of illegal items by the department was best left unsaid. He was a “friend” of one of the board members and wanted to make sure things were on the legal side of the line. I was more concerned with them being on the good side, but legal would work for now.
My hair gave a tingle as I looked around the office and I fought away the urge to let it down. If I didn’t need the strands to form my wings, I would have lopped it all off after I hit puberty. “Nothing comes from nothing,” was a true line when it came to the wings of a Terran Angel. Without the hair, my wings would be little more than bones and impossible to fly on. Because of this, my hair gave all new meaning to the concept of “thick hair” and hated to be bound. I automatically ran a hand over the clip, tightening it before asking, “Where would you like me to start?”
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Old 08-26-2010, 07:10 PM   #4
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I went over to Sophia and took her hand, professionally at first, but I found myself not letting go as I guided her around to my desk. Her desk, really, and placed her in the Chadwicks office chair, and watched as it molded perfectly to her body.
Contact with her was easy, and looking at her indirectly too.
But my eyes were starting to adjust and the...noise...became just background. Sooner or later I was going to have to figure her out. She wasn't the first...special...I'd encountered, but not all of them were things you wanted around.

I found I was still holding her hand. I'd taken in quite a bit about her already. Her walk told me she was stronger than she appeared, her fingers were soft, but I knew they'd be dexterous. She felt uncomfortable with her height. I don't know how else to explain that. More information was still coming in, more subtle stuff.

I found I was still holding her hand. I tried to casually let it go.
How does one do that?
And when exactly did I start caring?

Especially now that it was clear she was a potential problem.

Focus, girl.

"Your job is basically two-fold. There's the sucky bit. Answering phones, dealing with customers from around the world, and so forth. The stuff I think you'll find more interesting will be translating tomes, texts, inscriptions on artifacts. Priority items will be brought to your attention, but when those are done, you are free to go into the storage area and pick whatever you'd like"

I was going to have to pay attention to her choices. I don't believe in magic or fate or anything like that. But some people are drawn to these kinds of objects and whatever.
A girl has to know what she's dealing with.
A girl HAS to know, one way or the other.
I hated 'the other'.

"I'll certainly be around to help you whenever I can, but languages are my strong point, not linguistics."
Languages, Xenoarcheology, playing with toys until the burn someone's eyes out to let a demon possess them, you know, the usual stuff.

I was going to have to find a new hiding place for the leathers. Can't have someone finding the suit. It wouldn't tell them anything, but I still don't want to lose it.

"You'll have to forgive me, I remember you had some sort of tie to us? Someone who works here or something?"

I double checked to make sure I hadn't taken her hand again.
My body is perfect and sometimes has a mind of its own.
__________________

Kissing isn't prelude.


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Language Of Angels 2


Earth 3

A couple solo threads:
Rebecca Garrote, P.I.: For hire. Mysteries, the lost, the missing, facilitation and all manners of unique services.
Everything Is Personal: Tales From Intersect City
The Unders: Darkness beneath Intersect City

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Old 08-27-2010, 05:38 PM   #5
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I wasn’t surprised when she shook my hand. There were a few rough spots on her fingertips, signs of work done with tools or weapons. From the way she moved, I wanted to say weapons training but it could have been that she wove baskets in her free time. Sure, and I grew daisies in mine (the only plant-life I could grow was the silk variety, sadly enough).
It did strike me as odd when she lead me around the desk and gestured for me to be seated, all while keeping that firm, yet gentle grip on my hand. It wasn’t like some of the Elders did, where they guided anyone female out of chivalry. There was a note of bewildered tenderness to her touch, as if I was something strangely precious or delicate. Her hand heated as a faint blush stained her cheeks in a flash of color as she removed her hand from mine. I slid my fingers along her palm as she moved away, enjoying the feel, like silk covered steel.
“Phones, I don’t mind,” I said with a soft smile. “I worked my way through college at a call center, so I’m used to it. Give me a head set and I’m good to go. The translating older works sounds interesting though. I love a challenge.”
Her eyes were on me, those strange eyes with fire and a glimmer of something else hidden beneath it. I leaned back in the chair and crossed my legs, pleasantly surprised. The chair cleaved to my backside in a way only the best of chairs can. It felt like she was studying me, trying to figure out what I was. This, in turn, made me wonder the same of her. Most human males looked at me, sure, but not many women and none that moved with such a dangerous grace. She was still squinting, lines forming ever so small channels as she shifted her eyes to look at me. Like she was seeing something she shouldn’t be able to see when I was locked into my human form by willpower and divine grace.
“Friend of the family has a friend on the board and put in a word for me,” I said in response to her question about my ties to the company. I licked my lips unconsciously and shrugged. “These days, without a connection somewhere, finding a job is a bitch.” A bit of my Texas drawl came out as I mused aloud. “I do miss home, though living this close to the ocean makes up for moving away from the Gulf.”
Laura’s hand twitched, as if it wanted to reach for me but was stopped by her conscious mind. I leaned back, felt the clip touch the chair and give way. I sighed in frustration as my hair poured around me like a waterfall, cascading in ripples of gold, silver and almost white. I gave it a shake to settle it around my shoulders.
“Someday, they’ll make a clip that can actually hold my hair,” I said, pulling the one that couldn’t out from behind me. “So much for ‘mega holding’ power.”
We went over the standard corporate policies, work ethics, where the facilities were including a company restaurant on the top floor and all the usual nonsense that no one really remembers after their first day. Okay, I did, but then I have a great memory for tiny tidbits of information. Laura showed me around the office and when she bent over to pick something up I was treated to the line of her ass beautifully draped with the skirt she wore. I had to bite my lip to stop myself from making a comment that I’m sure would have voided the company’s sexual harassment policies.
Like many Angels, both Heavenly and Terran, I was very flexible about my sexual preferences. Since Heavenly Angels can be either, both or neither gender depending on their moods, most of them don’t have a clear cut preference for either gender when it comes to sex. I was a lot like my grandmother, who was a Heavenly Angel, in that I didn’t really care one way or another about the gender of my partner. I couldn’t change my gender though, which was good since I had no idea how males walked with all that business between their legs. But in a partner, gender didn’t matter much so long as he or she was interesting. Laura was very interesting indeed. I hadn’t found someone interesting since Gareth and that was years ago.
Okay, I admit to turning a few lipstick lesbians into full out lesbians at UCI, but they would have ended up that way eventually anyway. At least I’m pretty sure they would have. I did know that God didn’t discriminate against someone because of their sexual preference. He wasn’t the sex police. It was being a good person that He wanted, so much harder to do for most people.
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Old 08-28-2010, 07:10 AM   #6
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If there is one thing I am proud of from that day, its that I didn't gasp or whimper when her hair came free. It was, to say the least, an event. White gold spilled everywhere and it just whispered to you to bury your face in it, breath it in and you would be golden inside, and you can tangle your fingers in it and pull and it will never break no matter how strong you are and your fingers will go weak in its softness.

Or something like that.

I was less proud of how I made sure I showed off my ass to her.

"You know, you'd make an incredibly powerful impression on anyone walking through our door if you left it down like that. I mean, obviously that causes its own issues but you see what I mean. And not that you don't have a strong presence with it up."

What was I doing?? I was not, absolutely not, flirting with this woman. Its not that I have a problem with lesbians or whatever. Fuck who you want to fuck, love who you want to love. Neither of these things were any of my business and neither had been part of my life. Well, no, I wasn't a virgin, but the few times I'd had sex its always been work-related, and my mind wasn't even there, it was busy figuring out how I could open that damn safe without waking him after. Or something like that.

Who knows. Maybe I am a lesbian. Current sampling has not reached a statistically significant size.

Anyhow, I don't fuck.

I kill.

I sneak.

I fight.

I take.

I break.

Maybe when I retire.

I showed her my ass.

On purpose.

The day was coming to a close and, as it wound down, my mind turned to her. No, not like that. To the mystery she posed. Mostly, I needed to know if she was involved in any of this.

"C'mon, let me give you a treat," I smiled and let my hand take hers. My hand had shown that was what was going to happen anyhow.

I lead her up two floors, and in through a door that required a passcode and a retinal scan.

I loved hearing her gasp when we walked in, the door shutting behind us automatically.

The room wasn't very big, 20 by 20, but the shelves along each wall were filled with, well, stuff. Objects and artifacts and books and findings from all over the globe. A couple of these were actually capable of doing things. Nothing that particularly concerned me or my 'Order'. To be honest, if some guy came across a Wand Of Fireballs, we wouldn't care. Boom Boom Burn, yeah, so what.
But there was definitely one item in the room that might be much more significant. I hadn't had time to really check it out yet, but I'd get to it eventually.

"So, this is where we keep all the 'good stuff'. Things we know are probably much more than what they seem and the things we already know are priceless but need to understand more about before we can find buyers. Look around, pick an item if you'd like. They all need study. Nothing leaves this room, of course, but I can let you in whenever."

Would she find it? That would certainly be the tell.
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Language Of Angels 2


Earth 3

A couple solo threads:
Rebecca Garrote, P.I.: For hire. Mysteries, the lost, the missing, facilitation and all manners of unique services.
Everything Is Personal: Tales From Intersect City
The Unders: Darkness beneath Intersect City

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Old 08-28-2010, 11:44 PM   #7
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As she took my hand again, I wondered silently if she was just a grabby person. There didn't seem to be anyone else in our office, so I hadn't gotten a chance to watch her interact with others. I let her lead me to a storage room with scanners and other security needs.

We walked inside and I could feel the weight of age and power coming from the shelves. I couldn't help the whispered, "Wow," that escaped my lips.

At her prompting, I looked through the room, fingertips trailing over an item or two before coming to the third row of shelves. There on the third shelf was a small box, carved in Hebrew. At a glance, I made out the words for angel, JHVH (God) and a few other words. I ran my fingers across the engraving and pulled the box out.

Curiosity made me open the box and a sweet melody poured from the inside. It was a piece written during the Renaissance by a little known Italian composer to serenade a woman who the composer believed was Heaven sent. That woman had been my grandmother and I knew the song well. I smiled at the flash of memory.

Inside were a pair of small books, each with gold-embossed writing on the covers. I couldn't see the titles without removing the books and I didn't want to do that barehanded. The oils on my hands could damage the delicate texts.

"Do you have an air-tight room I can look at these in? I don't want to damage the pages."
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Old 08-29-2010, 06:49 AM   #8
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I wasn't even surprised when she almost immediately picked the box marked with the tetragrammaton.

Don't think that just because I'm a soldier I'm not educated.

The music was quite lovely, it always made me think of summer days, cool grass, a soft shadowed hand on my tummy, and a bird hovering in the eddies of winds high above.

Thing is, the music quite simply comes from no where. There's no mechanism within the box's construction, no cylinder, nothing. You open the box, you get music. That, in and of itself is fairly interesting, but not concerning.
The books, however...

"Of course, come."

I lead her to the recessed door between two shelves.

The sound of our heels clicking, echoing in unique ways, made an interesting staccato.

A press of a single button caused the door to hiss and open. No, there's no security on it, if you made it into the storeroom you'd proven yourself.
Inside was a long table, complete with soft lights, magnifying glasses, brushes, gloves, and so forth. Everything you need to examine an item with as little contact as possible.

I closed the door behind us, hearing the seal come into place.

"Feel free, gloves of course."



(authors note: its actually NOT the tetragrammaton...which would by YHWH...but hey, I love saying tetragramaton)
__________________

Kissing isn't prelude.


You are my liar, so I will be your thief

Language Of Angels 2


Earth 3

A couple solo threads:
Rebecca Garrote, P.I.: For hire. Mysteries, the lost, the missing, facilitation and all manners of unique services.
Everything Is Personal: Tales From Intersect City
The Unders: Darkness beneath Intersect City

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Old 08-31-2010, 08:47 PM   #9
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I gloved up with the ease of practice. The white cotton gloves slid over my fingers silently and wiggled them to make sure I had the dexterity I wanted. I was one of those people that truly dislike wearing gloves but they were necessary for dealing with the antique documents. My nose wrinkled at the lack of scent in the sealed room before picking up Laura’s scent. There was something unique about it, an undertone I couldn’t place in addition to a rich, vanilla like scent.

I shot a glance at her under my eyelashes before sitting down at the industrial table. Unlike the smooth poshness of our office, the sealed room was white on white, sharp lines and had color only from the machines. She stood out against that snow-colored background, at least to me.

I forced my attention back to the two books in the music box. I pulled the topmost book out and whispered the title. For some reason, I tend to whisper as I translate and the words fell from my lips. “השירים של המלאך האהוב… Songs for the Beloved Angel.”

I flipped the first page and found a brief introduction from the author, written in a mixture of Italian and Hebrew. I translated automatically as whispered the words aloud in English.

“She came to me on a sunlight day. An angel of purity sent by God to inspire me. How could I not love that which God sent to me? The divine blessing of her presence moves me in ways I never thought possible.”

The next page contained musical scoring in a tight, need hand. I tilted my head to the side and showed it to Laura. “I’m not musically talented, so this is beyond me. Any ideas?”

She leaned in close over my shoulder and I had to bite my lip ever so slightly to stop myself from reaching up to run my gloved fingers along her skin.
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Old 09-01-2010, 05:39 PM   #10
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It was a joy to watch her work. To hear the words easily and effortlessly flow from her lips. To watch her stroke each item intimately.

I knew the books were special. I hadn't figured anything else out about them, and that really wasn't my job, except when retrieval required it. But she'd been in the room for only a few minutes, had found the easter egg, and looked like she owned it.

As beautiful as she was, she was beginning to concern me more than intrigue me.

Then she called me over to her, to help.

At this point, I want to say that I'm not stupid.

But, sometimes I'm stupid.

I've been told again and again, to the point of berratement, that I should avoid playing with the toys (As much as possible. The Drakelian Steel wasn't going to be taken until it drew blood. It sure wasn't going to be mine.).

But there she was, gold and silver and mysterious and a little dangerous, asking for my help. This is a pretty common reason for doing stupid things.

Leaning over her shoulder was like the feeling of a cool breeze while standing in a warm sunbeam.

I wax poetic.

Badly.

That happens a lot around her.

Still.

I don't know if I'd ever looked at sheet music before, but, you know, the eyes. Its just patterns.
Information.

I started hearing the notes in my head. A few false starts while I built a frame of reference, but I got it.

I can't tell you when or why I started singing. No words, just the music.
Maybe just because it was so beyond beautiful that I couldn't keep it in my head.

It had to come out.

After a while, I didn't even need to look at the music anymore. It was obvious what came next. Only one possibility. Any other note would have been a horror.

I was in this place beyond perfection.
The music.
Her presence.

I can't say for sure...
But I think I remember...
screaming.
Maybe.

Then nothing.
__________________

Kissing isn't prelude.


You are my liar, so I will be your thief

Language Of Angels 2


Earth 3

A couple solo threads:
Rebecca Garrote, P.I.: For hire. Mysteries, the lost, the missing, facilitation and all manners of unique services.
Everything Is Personal: Tales From Intersect City
The Unders: Darkness beneath Intersect City

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Old 09-02-2010, 02:58 PM   #11
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When one’s reference for beautiful singing is a Heavenly choir, it takes a lot to be impressed. She impressed me.

After a few bars, I could feel it building up in the room. I realized too late that this was no mere melody but a series of compressed spell commands meant to be sung by someone (something) that was more than human. My mouth dropped as power built in the sealed room. It was a trap, I realized, to catch the curious. I should have translated the entire book before letting her see it. But how was I supposed to know she could sing, could read Old Italian music? Was more than human?

I pushed back in the chair and stood, shoving Laura back but the song continued to poor from her lips. My hands shook as I grabbed her shoulders and tried to wake her from the songs pull. It was useless. The song held her and only its completion would release her. Completion or intervention by a stronger power.

With a sigh (so much for keeping cover) I pulled off my jacket and threw it onto the camera that monitored the room. I’d have to hack the files later if see if I missed a camera, no time for it now. The air of the room felt cold on my bare back.

I tried one last time, my voice rising in volume and pitch to try to cut through the song. “Laura! Wake up!”

There was no time for a gentle change, a gradual one. One moment I was human, the next I was in my angel form with pain screaming through my body. I pushed away the reaction; I’d deal with it later. The room had seemed decently sized until I had to fit my seventeen foot wingspan in it. I tucked my wings against my back and looked at Laura. Even my shifting didn’t stir her from the song.

Taking a deep breath, I launched into a counter-melody. I couldn’t sing for the life of me in human form but the alteration of my lungs in angel form gave me the voice that matched my form. Though it sounded like music, even pretty music, it was more than any song. It was a fight, a battle to dissolve the power the song had summoned, to break its hold on Laura’s mind. There were no words, just notes; each one was an attack against the trap song.

Pallor spread through Laura’s skin as I sang, hands weaving an anchor to tie her to her body. When the trap spell snapped beneath the attack of my counter-spell, the recoil shot through Laura like a psychic bullet. Her eyes fluttered open for a moment before rolling back as she fainted. The anchor I’d woven kept her from the majority of the damage but it was not without cost.
I managed to catch her before she hit the floor but the movement cost me even more. I hissed in pain as the pain of my rapid change and the rebound of the spell’s damage hit me together. A whimper escaped my throat as I held her in my arms, my ebony wings wrapped around us. My primary remiges feathers were quivering as I fought not to scream and shout.

Sometime later, ten minutes according to my wrist watch but what felt like hours to me, the pain passed and my body finished absorbing the trap spell. I ran a hand over Laura’s forehead. She was warming back up, the color returning to her skin quicker than I thought it would. What was she?

I pulled in my wings and sighed as my lungs reshaped themselves, my hair seemed to explode from a short bob to curl around my waist, gliding along her skin as it fell over my shoulders. I ran a hand along her jaw, skin again skin, the gloves lost somewhere in my changing. “Laura,” I said softly. “Wake up now, it’s safe.”

Apprehension rippled through me as I wondered if she had seen what I was, if she remembered what had happened. If she would wake up whole… if she would wake at all.
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Old 09-04-2010, 08:13 AM   #12
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The world crept back into my sensorium, but it was so very flat. I wasn't working right, I was broken,
I wasn't perfect.
I hurt profoundly.
Not body hurt. Something more. Something very very bad had happened to me.
Something terrifying.
I was shaking.
But I felt safe. I felt wrapped in soft and warm and protection.
Sophia was holding me. Holding me completely, my body unable to even stand.
It took all my strength to open my eyes, to look up at her.
"Sophia...It was...crushing me, it was beautiful and crushing me and I was splintering and going everywhere and losing every thing and I was so scared and then there was black and gold and silver and and and...."
I don't know how long I was sobbing in her arms before I realized it. Wailing. Weak hands and arms wrapping around her.
I was broken, but I was safe.
I don't know why I felt that way, some part of me just knew.
Eventually, I felt my strength returning, bit by bit. My mind coalescing, repairing itself using the techniques I'd grown up learning for just these kinds of situations. Psychic assault was a occupational hazard. I felt the experience get pushed aside, stored in a box for later review when I was prepared to process it. My legs regained their strength and I was able to stand on my own. My hands tingled on the bare skin of her back, and her entire body smells of some incense I couldn't name.
I'd never needed so badly to feel safe in my life.
But fuck, I couldn't turn off the job for that long. This entire event had involved her in some way. She wasn't even remotely close to what she appeared to be. She was obviously well beyond some meta-human. I didn't think she was necessarily a threat, so long as our goals didn't clash.
This thought process hurt in and of itself. I don't know how I knew, but I knew she'd helped me, was helping me, and still I couldn't trust her.
I felt myself crying again, just a few tears.
And, as I started to let go of her, slowly, a few more.
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Old 09-05-2010, 03:29 AM   #13
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“…and black and gold and silver…” I wondered if she realized it was my wings that were black, the strands of my magic gold and silver. I kept silent about that and held her close to me as she began sobbing. The pain had to find a way out. I knew I hadn’t spared her from all of the damage of the trap-spell. She seemed to shut off the sobbing and began crying slowly again.

“I know it hurts, but I got you,” I whispered, holding her tight. I felt her hands slide up my back, knew she could feel me stiffen. The muscles were still a little sore from two rapid changes but healing rapidly. “I’m so sorry. I had no idea that singing would hurt you.”

I knew how she felt, how torn and mentally bruised a whiplash from a spell could leave a girl. All I could do was hold her and ask, “Have you ever had that happen before?”
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Old 09-05-2010, 06:38 AM   #14
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I let her keep holding me, kept holding on to her. She was a rock in a world that had just collapsed around me. She was cinnamon cookies when I was six, the first, perfect, one arms hand-stand when I was 12, she was the leathers on my skin for my first mission.
Her question kicked in a defensive reflex, I should lie.
"Yes."
So much for that.
"Not...not quite like that, not that powerful, just a fraction of that." I hadn't realized it until I said it. My second mission. Some freak who claimed his gem could suck out your soul. Whatever that means. He tried, I was faster.
I could feel something under her skin on her back. Something wrong, specifically in two places. My hands covered the spots, I looked up at her.
Black and silver and gold?
"Are you...What..."
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Old 09-13-2010, 03:29 PM   #15
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I could tell that she hadn’t lied to me about experiencing a psyche attack before. Her hands glided over my back, over the spasm-ridden muscles and I knew she’d found something strange before she even asked what I was.

I looked away from her for a moment, took a deep breath and looked back into her eyes. “I’m something other than a pure blooded human. My grandmother was… special.”

“Define special,” she said, standing a bit more steadily.

“How do I know I can trust you,” I asked instead of answering her request. “I’ve only just met you and you show me to a room with dangerous items of questionable origins. Then you have some kind of episode when you sing from one of the dangerous items. Something I’ve never seen before but if you had been alone…”

A shudder ran through me and I couldn’t help holding her closer. Couldn’t stop myself from burying my face in her hair. “You may not believe me, but you probably would have died if you had finished that song. If I wasn’t such a strong…”

I cut myself off. Why was I so close to telling her what I was? So close to possibly ruining myself and the identity I had built over a life time? The Celestial Council would move me to a new location, with a new name if I blew my cover, but I didn’t want to leave. I realized with a start that I didn’t want to leave her.

“Such a strong what?” Tenacity rang in her tone.

If I didn’t want to leave, and she was going to play with more dangerous toys, she’d find out what I was through sheer proximity anyway. Or at least that was my reasoning for what I said next.

“I’m an Earth-born Angel. The black was my wings, the silver and gold my magic.”

I was braced for disbelief, horror, fury or awe, those being the “normal responses.” I should have known that hers would be anything but.
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Old 09-13-2010, 04:57 PM   #16
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Perspective is everything.
The world is exceptionally relative.
No, not in that whole uber-liberal-PC kind of way.
I mean in a much more literal way.

The kind of magic I run into is a perfect example of this. Same spells, different methods. Summoning a Devouring Rift might be a matter of slicing through the fabric of space-time, or calling forth a demon. I've been on the wrong end of both of those, and I can tell you both are real and virtually identical.

I've met men and women of power. Some see the world as a series of threads to be plucked and manipulated. Others as psychic constructs dreamed of by beings we can never know. Still others see incantations or numeric representations of apples.

I suspect, and I think my opinion warrants serious consideration, that there is a primal, Ur reality, and that all these are gimmicks or, more respectfully, languages with differing dialects that are used to trick and communicate with that foundational world.

Demon, alien, ghost, psychic projection.

What I am trying to say is that when someone tells me they are an Angel, I'm not one to shrug it off.

I wasn't sure what she meant, exactly, but it wasn't as if I didn't have plenty of evidence to support a supernatual claim. And it was clear from how she was holding on to me, holding her breath waiting for my response, how her skin and muscles rippled under my fingertips, that she believed it.

And there was absolutely no doubt in my mind that she had reached for me when I was being drawn away, dissolving, shattering, and she had saved me.

I let the silence hang for a bit, simply because I didn't know what to say. I felt myself begin to accept the idea more and more, and, as I did, I began to see her more and more. My eyes began to adjust to the idea, and opened themselves up for different layers of data.

“You saved me,” I whispered.

My fingertips moved over the strange spots of activity on her back, and I knew what they must be.

“These, they grow from here, don't they,” I continued, as I slowly turned her. I needed to see them, and as soon as I saw the points on her back, I was able to see the outlines of her wings, data interpretation and visualization. Glowing lines where her wings would be if they grew and extended.

“From here,” and my lips touched skin, “And here,” and they touched the other.

I didn't know what was happening to me, but I was with an Angel, and this is how she made me feel.
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Old 09-14-2010, 08:08 PM   #17
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I nodded at her whispers. “Yes, I saved you. I was able to counter-spell the trap-spell and wove an anchor around your soul to keep it intact while I pulled the trap-spell out.”

I let her turn me around, shivered under her touch. It soothed the spasms, that gentle touch. I couldn’t help but sigh as the muscles eased. “Yeah, from there. I’d show you but eventually someone will wonder why the security camera is covered and come to investigate.”

And it would hurt like hell to have to unfurl my wings again, I added silently.

“We should get something to eat,” I said, still under her touch. As if I was afraid to move, to startle her. I smiled at the caress of her hands down the bare skin of my back. It was difficult to find backless office ware that wasn’t tramptastic but having her touch me made the hunt well worth it.
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Old 09-15-2010, 05:44 PM   #18
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A lifetime of training started to wake up, finally.

What you are feeling isn't real.
Even if it is real, its not really real, it can't be trusted.
Even if it can be trusted, you absolutely have to get your shit together because your entire system is completely out of whack and if you don't get some food and rest, you will regret it really soon.
And if that isn't enough of a threat, well, it would be really embarrassing if you just fainted in front of Sophia, wouldn't it?


Yes, I have a tendency to personify a lot.
You spend a life with no friends and we'll see what you fucking anthropamorphize.

I pulled myself away from her skin.

Yes, we'll come back to that once you are better, assuming you still feel this way so when are you getting out of here to take care of yourself?

And I felt ever so slightly empty. Like you'd expect to feel when you step away from an Angel.

"Yeah, I mean, yes. There's a fantastic mexican place just down the street," and I think I might have blushed the moment I realized that I'd assumed she was going to have dinner with me.
And then again when I head the voice in my head phrase it that way. 'Have dinner with me', like a date.

I am fine with falling into a mystical trap.
I am fine with being rescued by an entity which may or may not virtually personify the very things I've been sent to control, capture, or destroy.
I am fine with being as weak as a kitten after such a situation.
I am not so fine with turning into a blabbering idiot who can't keep her shit together.

I am...new...at this.
Whatever this is.
I'm not good at it.
Whatever it is.

I'm not used to not being good at something.

On the plus side, my complete and utter loss of social skills wasn't going to blow my cover.

"I mean, if you were hungry too, and wanted to join me."
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Old 09-17-2010, 03:35 PM   #19
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I smiled, pleased to my pinfeathers (hidden though they may be) that she asked me to join her. “I’d like that. Mexican sounds good.”

I retrieved my jacket from the security camera and slipped it back on, feeling a little more steady in my heels. If I’d known I’d be shifting, I would have worn flats, I mused silently. But who expects a metaphysical attack on their first day at a new job? Kind of like the Spanish Inquisition, there was no planning for it.

The pain was rapidly dissipating and I was starting to feel hungry. Shifting burnt almost a thousand calories one way; doing two without resting between had me starving and thirsty. Feathers I may have on occasion, but I never “ate like a bird.”

I stepped up to the door and could feel her eyes on me, as if she were seeing beyond the surface of my public persona. I looked back at her with a wry smile. “Come on, let’s get some food, Laura. You must be bursting with questions, so I’ll make you a deal. I’ll answer one of yours for you answering one of mine. Fair enough?”
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Old 09-18-2010, 10:19 AM   #20
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It should come as a testament to how screwed up I was that my first reaction in my head was “Laura? Who the fuck is Laura?”. But only for a second. I've spent most of my life operating under assumed names.

I was also more than a little distracted because, now that I knew a bit more about what she was, I was better able to process the information she was radiating. I still didn't know what to make of it all, but I knew that there were areas of my brain now devoted to figuring out what I was looking at.

Tactically speaking, that is.

“I can work with that. C'mon, I'm starving here, and no one likes being around me when my blood sugar gets too low,” I smiled and lead her out, hand on her back briefly.

I made something resembling small talk about a couple of the buildings we passed on the way.

I wanted to hold her hand.

I wanted to ask her what it felt like when her wings grew.

I wanted to ask her if she liked honey and fruit.

But, as enthralled as I was with Sophia, as much as I wanted to ask her questions for my own selfish reasons, training is a bitch.

Also, I don't like getting jumped by magical traps, and if she knew anything more about that last one, like if there may be more, I had to know.

As we walked, I let ideas process through my head. It wasn't likely that there were more of these things, and I'd certainly recognize them, and I'd certainly keep from singing any strange music I found. Shit, I might never sing again, to be honest.

So the trap itself wasn't particularly relevant or important in any immediate sense.

That left the woman...Angel...Sophia...herself.

As I've said, I have no doubt SHE considers herself to be an Angel. Paradigms are more important than many people realize. But for all I know, she's a mutant offspring of some religious cult, or a the result of experiments done on delusional women. Or an alien. All of which seem significantly more probably than a divine being representing the One True God (whom I have never met, and so don't consider part of any sandbox I play in). I could probably get more information out of her over time, or in a serious interrogation session, information that could be confirmed or proven to be false. Objective information. Yes, I do cling to that concept. I've tried it the other way. You get tired of the thorazine after a while.

So, there was only one question that would have any real meaning. And, as luck would have it, would have meaning both for me and my mission.

I ordered us the Family Platter, full of chile rellenos, chicken in a variety of sauces, more rice than you can shake a stick at, flautas, and, well, everything.

I burn a lot of fuel.

I'd wanted to ask my question before I started eating, but self-preservation routines kicked in, and I was quickly stuffing my face in a manner very inappropriate to the style and class I'd affected for my cover.

But I was really hungry.

After a few minutes, my body was comfortable with the idea that food was here, and there was plenty of it, and no need to worry or rush.

“My question. Why are you here? And I don't mean that in any kind of existential way.”
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Old 09-18-2010, 11:18 PM   #21
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I filled my plate and began to eat, heavy on the chicken and rice. The small touches as she guided me to the restaurant were a thrill, even through the suit jacket, but I needed to eat.

Her first question was the expected "why are you here" and I smiled at the existential addition.

"I'm here to investigate a potential smuggling operation," I said honestly. "More than mere drugs, something important."

I let her absorb that for a moment before looking at her from under my lashes, studying her face as she ate. "My turn. I have woven spells through others before and none were quite like you. What are you?"
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Old 09-19-2010, 07:17 AM   #22
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Of course she couldn't ask me something simpler.
Although, had she asked me what I was doing here, I'm not sure I'd have a simpler time of it.
I stalled, putting more and more food into my mouth as I debated what to tell her. Weighing pros and cons and including the thought that I might have wasted my one question and how annoyed I was.

Oh, fuck it.

"I am, as best I understand it, the last in a long line of genetic experiments and breeding plans. I am, in simplest terms, perfect. I don't know about you, but I'm faster, stronger, smarter, more agile, and tougher than anyone in this room. There may be people who match or exceed me in one way or another, but never all of them.
On top of that, I've had my eyes replaced and the visual cortex of my brain modified so I can see, what amounts to, information."

I took another couple bites.

"So, you know how you can be handed two pieces of paper both painted red, and they may be two different reds, but the change is so small that it falls beneath your threshold of perception and so you see them as the same?"
I actually wasn't sure if she did.
"That doesn't happen to me. Its like I see a number for each one. If you've ever worked with graphics, you'll know each color has its own code, and I see something like that, in a way. The two reds to me are completely distinguishable. One is .0239 and the other is .0238.
Its one of the reasons I've had such a hard time looking directly at you. I was seeing you, but the information you were giving off didn't make any sense. It was just too much conflict. But now that I know, I'm able to see that the air moves differently around you, that your spine is just the tiniest bit too wide for your size and build, that your body heat almost pulses a bit, that you have muscles and nerves along your collar bone that normal people don't have. For the wings, I assume. Oh, and your wings leave a slight distortion after you've pulled them in. I could see it in the room for a bit."

I stopped suddenly, and sat feeling more than a little awkward. I don't know if I got to everything, but the big stuff I guess.
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Old 09-20-2010, 02:07 AM   #23
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As she spoke of her physical abilities I thought, Good thing I don't have a machismo issue. She went on to her eye sight, which explained why her eyes were so unique and almost multilayered in appearance to me.

"Most other supes avoid going near my back when I'm in human form," I mused aloud. "I wonder if their senses, like yours, tell them there's something there, even if it isn't physically manifested."

I pushed the thought away and explained about my wings. "I think you see the wings because, despite whatever else I may be, I am descended from one of the Heavenly Host and that's 'information.' The wings themselves manifest by taking elements from my hair and bones to form. My lamentations about unruly hair earlier were part of that. Because it forms my wings, my hair is ridiculously thick, neigh undyable, and has a mind of its own."

I held up one of the silver and gold locks with a wry smile. "Most humans see this as platinum blonde, can't pick out the two colors. Supernaturals, especially ones with sharper sight, can see the two colors. Bit of a tip-off as to what I may be. But it happens as a throw back in other bloodlines."

I'd been rambling, I realized. It was so... not refreshing, not unique... so easy to talk to her. Like she may not have believed every word I said, but believed it was possibly true. She was a part of a world that touched mine but was not the same. Laura had been altered from her base, probably human, form into a weapon, that much was clear. But I couldn't ask another question just yet.

I took a sip of my soda (a real Coke because Diet Coke is for fools, give me the better taste and damn the calories {a good round of kissing burns enough calories to make up for it...}).

"You're turn, what's your next question."

She looked at me, a look akin to surprise on her features. I smiled. "I have more then one question, surely you do, too?"
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Old 09-21-2010, 05:22 PM   #24
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"A mysterious, beautiful woman comes into my life, saves me from certain doom, and sprouts wings? Nah, I'm good."
I chuckled, or something like it. I was starting to feel much better. As I've said, I recovery quickly. I should have been taking a more defensive posture in the conversation, but that didn't feel right. Most of the time, if I get to say anything about who I really am, I'm about to kill someone, betray them, steal from them, or I'm taking orders.
In all honesty, these aren't the most relaxing or pleasant conversations.
More, I didn't want to be on the defensive.
Maybe thats the nature of being an Angel, people trust you and want to open up to you.
Or maybe its just who she is.
I realized I hadn't said anything in a little longer than is generally comfortable. I almost didn't want to. I could have listened to her talk all day.
And, of course, I'm an idiot because she was going to talk the moment I asked her a question.
I said I was starting to feel much better, I didn't say I was at my best.

"So you told me you're an Earth-born Angel, descended from the Heavenly Host. What does that mean, exactly?"

I'd wanted to say 'to you', but most people don't take that sort of thing very well. Yeah, my more subversive/aggressive pathways were coming back online.
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Language Of Angels 2


Earth 3

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Rebecca Garrote, P.I.: For hire. Mysteries, the lost, the missing, facilitation and all manners of unique services.
Everything Is Personal: Tales From Intersect City
The Unders: Darkness beneath Intersect City

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Old 09-21-2010, 08:35 PM   #25
Vixandra
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: So Cal is where my mind plays...
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I was beautiful to her? I couldn’t help the smile that went all the way to my eyes at her words.

She’s waited a few moments before asking her question, which didn’t surprise me. I’d polished off a plateful of chicken in some sauce (I wasn’t paying enough attention to the food to remember what) and a good deal of rice as well.

"So you told me you're an Earth-born Angel, descended from the Heavenly Host. What does that mean, exactly?"

“My grandmother is an Angel from the Christian Heaven,” I explained. “There are multiple different belief pantheons. The more people who believe in the pantheon, the more power it has. Anyway, Grand’Mere came from Heaven on an assignment, liked Earth, so she stayed here. She’s up near San Francisco these days, I think. She took a male lover back in the early 1900’s. My mother was the result. We age slowly.”

I took a drink and went on. “My mother hooked up with an Angel that was down on Earth on a mission from the Big Man. He was a Heavenly Angel. My mother, being Earth-born, is an Earth Angel. Different power levels mostly. Because of my double Heavenly Angel background, I’m more powerful than most Heavenly angels.

“If my mother had bred with a human male, I would still be an Earth Angel but my children would not be. For some reason, the full angel form lasts only for two generations when the other parent is straight human. Because my father is a Heavenly Angel, my grandchildren will most likely be Earth Angels.”

“Part of the whole angel gig is the wings, magic, and our soul-bound weapons,” I said with a wry smile. “You’ve seen the wings and experienced some of the magic already. I can’t show you the weapon in public… people tend to freak out a bit over guns that large.”

I pondered for a moment before lacing my fingers together. “My turn. What do you want from life? Is it one mission to the next or is there something more you’re seeking?”

I was prying, wanting to know if she was interested in more than work. Okay, interested in me specifically, but these things require patience. I can be subtle at times.
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