Old 06-25-2012, 06:09 PM   #101
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Jessup King

Jessup reached the bottom of the stairs and as he walked over to his bike, he heard a familiar voice calling down to him.

Hey, what’s your name?

The mercenary stopped to look up at the girl who was staring down at him from her window. The girl he had just tried to kill. Was she serious?

“Ha…ha…ha ha…” the amusement he found in the situation slowly built up inside him until he couldn’t resist the fit of laughter. He chose not to kill her, and then she wanted to make friends? Why the hell would he tell her his name? The girl was indeed special. Who knows, it might have been her power to seem intelligent.

Jessup’s laughter resonated in the alley as he picked up his helmet and mounted his Harley. He put on his helmet, which muffled his mirth but it could still be assumed that he was laughing. He revved up his bike, a sound that may have been familiar to her since she had heard it in the same alley before. Raising his feet, the mercenary rode off with the tie of his dress suit flailing in the wind.
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Old 06-26-2012, 01:01 AM   #102
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Hayden Condan

He stepped out of the deep shadows where the man hed stood and silently moved to stand behind Lydia as the motorcycle drove away. He studied the man and knew that his first impression had been right, the man is powerful, too powerful to be a demi-god like them.

"I think you just had a scrape with death."

He saw the jerk at his words, he knew she hadn't heard him approach, but then again, nobody did, despite his bulk.

"I feel that he was sent by the same powers who sent the hound after us. Did you sense his power?"

He stared out at the street again,

"He is much stronger than us, he radiates power, but something inside him tempered that power and saved your life."

He shook his head,

"It makes no sense does it?"
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Old 06-26-2012, 12:52 PM   #103
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Lydia Pruitt

She nearly jumped out of her skin at the sound of Hayden’s voice. Looking at him over her shoulder, she listened to the sound of the motorcycle fade into the distance. She didn’t mention to him that it was the same sound that she’d heard earlier that evening.

“He didn’t shoot because he didn’t see me as a threat.” She said as she pushed past Hayden and sank down in the chair that had been vacated by the mysterious man. She was tired, her eyes burning as she closed them and leaned her head backwards to gather her thoughts. “If he had gone after monkey boy, he probably would have shot him in the face.”

“None of this should make sense, Hayden.” She sighed and opened her eyes, pulling off her glasses and tossing them on the bed as she rubbed the grit from them with her fingers. “Do you know how absolutely crazy it sounds to try and convince someone that you’re the child of a God? I mean, we know what we are, but to everyone else out there it sounds insane. How many others like us are locked up in mental institutions or prisons because they’re considered weird and unstable? I guarantee you that there are a lot more people out there like that man then there are like us.”

She went silent for a moment after she said that. Her limbs felt heavy as everything from the evening suddenly hit her at once. She felt so stupid in the way she’d confronted the hellhound and stupid in the way she’d confronted the mysterious man. She could have been seriously hurt, if not killed. She had a problem with not thinking through a situation. It was like the rational part of her brain fled when the logical part took over. Maybe it was too dangerous for her.

She looked at Hayden and stood from the chair, pulling off his jacket and handing it back to him. “Could you help me patch up my window? It’s not the best part of town.”
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Old 06-26-2012, 01:52 PM   #104
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Hayden Condan

"Pity that many of those locked away are just insane."

He grinned,

"Spent lots of time watching from the shadows, dad's power is quite interesting. This hellhound stated that it is the one from Norwegian tales and the one they speak of in Greek tales."

He opened the book she had handed him and placed it in a light spot, it depicted a picture of Orcus judging souls and at his feet lay a massive hound. He took his jacket and shrugged it on. Turning some pages he stopped at another picture which showed souls fed to a pack of hounds by Orcus. The caption read: Eternal damnation of the wicked by Orcus.

"Seems like dad has some of these dogs as well."

He turned to the window, picked up a shard, made a cut in his palm with it and rested his palm against the shards remaining in the frame, slowly a red substance much like his blood started to form where the glass was and after some time closed the gap, then solidified and turned opaque. Hayden took a step away, sweat beading his brow,

"You will have to replace the window when the day comes."

He tried to say more, but fell against the wall and on the ground, he curled up into a fetal position. A yawn escaped his lips and then he fell into a comatose sleep, subconsciously trying to get into the deeper shadows
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Old 06-26-2012, 02:26 PM   #105
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Lydia Pruitt

She was shocked when he replaced the glass with the blood from his hand and then promptly proceeded to collapse on the ground. His large form dominated the small space of her apartment and she was literally stepping over him to get to where she wanted to go. She checked her door and made sure it was double locked. Then she changed into a pair of her comfy pajamas and covered Hayden with an extra blanket before she slid into her own bed. She was nervous having a man in her apartment, but he didn’t seem like he’d be stirring any time soon. Shutting off her light, she curled up beneath the covers and fell into a troubled sleep.
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Old 06-27-2012, 12:17 AM   #106
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Steve Denver

Steve caught the keys and looked over at Brian,

"Well time to get going I think."

He left through the open door closing it behind them, making their way outside to the van, Steve got in and started it, it was interesting how the engine ran so smoothly and started so easily on a model this old. He pulled away and drove away, not sure where to go. He decided to go to the hospital, perhaps he could check in on the others who got taken down by the hound. He thought about the nearest hospital and then turned the van down the one road that led there and drove all the way in silence. He stopped outside the hospital and switched off the engine. Taking the keys he got out and walked over to reception
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Old 06-27-2012, 01:58 AM   #107
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Jessup King

As soon as Jessup returned to his flat, he had stripped out of his formal wear and stored his lucky shirt back into its black, trash bag lair. He had retired to bed for the night had been long and the morning was creeping closer. Perhaps his poor performance was a result of being tired. He went from one objective to the next, and perhaps he should have slept before attempting to hunt down the librarian. She had been within his grasp, at the mouth of his pistol, what the hell was wrong with him? Nothing…there was nothing wrong with him. The correct question was why did his employer fear a librarian so much to want her killed? Another side of him had asked, what did it matter?

The screen of the cell phone Lyra had given him glinted in his eyes and lit his face in a blue hue. With a strong arm comfortably curled behind his head, Jessup thoughtfully stared at Lydia’s picture. Her voice spoke in his mind as he reflected on the question she had asked him before he left. Jessup’s eyes narrowed a little.

“Jessup King,” he answered.

He would spare the know-it-all until she proved to be a terrorist or some sort of lethal mastermind. The other targets, unfortunately, would not be shown a similar mercy.

Jessup lowered the phone as he regarded the flat-screen television across from his bed. He had been watching the news as they replayed the story of the human trafficking bust the police had made at the docks. Seeing Nathan Clark’s pale expression as the police loaded him into the car put a smirk on Jessup’s face. The Red Cock must have been shitting his pants, and it was all over national television. The end of his career had been swift, but not painless. Its death would be slow and agonizing for many years.

Chuckling behind a sadistic grin, Jessup muttered, “Scumbag.”

He reached to his right to a lamp desk and rested his hand on the TV remote. He had been just about to cut it off when the news changed stories.

Her beauty and charm may have helped her in her rise to stardom, but this diva became the unofficial queen of pop through raw talent.

Jessup’s apartment then became filled with pulsing music and a melodic voice that didn’t just fill his ears but gave him chills down his very soul. The purity of the note being held had locked his attention. The screen then flashed to reveal a young woman with thick, cherry-blonde ringlets of hair and sapphire blue eyes. She was popping her chest, her breasts quivering, snug and under control within the sparkling bra she was wearing. She shook her hips, tossed her mane, and spread her legs to pelvis thrust to the beat of her own tune. The pop star had Jessup mesmerized.

Victoria Towers, or better known as Fantasia, has captured the hearts of fans around the world!

The mercenary was sitting up in his bed. The bed sheet had slumped in his lap, revealing his solid, bare chest and the cut Apollo’s belt at his waist. It had modestly hid the one weapon he always had equipped between his legs, but his backside was as without garments as the rest of him was.

The fantasy pop star was the hottest woman he had ever seen and by far the sexiest. Her beauty, how she seemed to own the stage and loved to entertain—all of it was attractive. He might have been love-struck or the sudden obsession may have clouded his judgment, but there was something inside him that desired her. Unknown to Jessup and the world, Victoria Towers was the reincarnation of the goddess Aphrodite.

Victoria…, Jessup mused. He had a new target to add to his list.

As the news ended for the night, Jessup once again reached over to the lamp desk to grab the remote and cut off the TV. Returning the remote to its post, he sprawled out across his bed, drawing the sheet a little up his waist but low enough to keep his back exposed to the cool air circulating through his apartment. He buried his face into his pillow, his arms embracing it as he closed his eyes, and gazed at the face of Victoria imprinted on his eyelids. He was going to be researching her all day tomorrow. His assignments could wait a moment.
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Old 06-27-2012, 10:51 PM   #108
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Lydia Pruitt

It felt like minutes that she’d been asleep but it was close to dawn when Lydia woke from a nightmare screaming into the darkness of her apartment. She sat up in bed, sweat pouring from her skin as she gasped for air. She glanced towards Hayden’s form, wondering if she’d woke him before she looked towards the window and noticed the sky lightening to pink. Swinging her legs over the side of the bed, she tiptoed into the bathroom and quietly closed the door behind her.

She struggled to shake the images from her head of a man with red tinted eyes and a mighty stench. The images of a hound from the depths of hell with razor sharp teeth and hot breath that blew across her face as she’d gotten too close. “You are such an idiot, Lydia.” She murmured to her pale complexion in the mirror as she splashed cool water on her skin before she backed away from the sink and against the door.

Sliding down the closed door, she sat on the cool tiles and pulled her knees close to her chest as she tried to calm her heart. It was just a nightmare, like all the rest, like she’d had every night of her life. There was one thing that Lydia kept secret from the world and that was she fought a constant battle for her sanity. Her stream of consciousness was quick and vicious, never ending and stretched her nerves to the very limit. It was through self control that she stopped herself from snapping and doing something unthinkable.

She wanted to find her birth father to ask him all the questions she wanted answers to. She wanted to know why he’d left her at that orphanage. She wanted to know how he met her mother and how it was possible she even existed. Her mother was technically a Titaness. They’d been overthrown centuries before, so it left the question of where Lydia fit in the big picture of things. Was she a mistake? Was she an abomination? That was what haunted her nightmares and cast a grey cloud over her life.

Technically she was a muse, just as her sisters were. She was so completely unlike them though. She had met one before. Melpomene, Tragedy, she was an actress on Broadway now. She was a prima Dona, loved the spotlight and loved to influence the lives of those around her. People prayed to muses, waited their whole lives to be touched by one, and it had definitely gone to their heads.

Shaking herself out of her thoughts, she decided she would take the day to gather her thoughts. She showered and dressed, shrugging into a light sweater and jeans, worn tennis shoes and a haphazard tail holding her mass of hair away from her face. She stepped from the bathroom fully dressed and grabbed her glasses off the nightstand, pushing them into place before she knelt beside Hayden and shook his shoulder.

“How about we go find Steve and monkey boy and then go look at some art?” She asked the slumbering giant.
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Old 06-30-2012, 01:28 AM   #109
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Hayden Condan

He had seen glimpses of Lydia's nightmares, but they did not unsettle him, he felt her conciousness remove itself from the darkness of sleep. Then she started shaking him, he grumbled his disastisfaction at being roused, but sat up none the less. He got to his feet and stretched, joints popping and creaking as his palms pressed flush against the ceiling, this room was really small. He looked down at Lydia, his eyes dark pools and then with a blink they cleared up, he hid another yawn behind his hand and scratched his beard, which had grown during the evening.

"They're at the hospital where the daughter of Thor went."

He arched his back and more joints popped, he looked at the opague window and studied it,

"Should hold, maybe I added a bit too much power when I made it."

He shrugged, turned, placed his hand on Lydia's shoulder and the next thing they were sitting in the back of the van parked outside the hospital. He grinned at Lydia, got out and grimaced at the sunlight. He really hated too much light, grumbling into his beard he waited for Lydia to get over the aftershock of the shadow travel and join him. He knew where to find Steve, somehow Daniel have evaded his senses, but he was sure that he could find him in need arose. For now they needed Steve, he had to come to his own and Hayden believed that he would find himself when the godly influences would stop pushing him.
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Old 06-30-2012, 01:50 AM   #110
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Steve Denver

Steve was sitting in the waiting area in Reception, book open on his lap. A slight touched startled him awake, he blinked up at the nurse who had touched him,

"Sorry sir, you can't sleep here."

He blinked and looked down at the book,

"I'm sorry, I must have dozed in while studying, I'm waiting to visit two friends of mine, they came in last night due to an animal attack."

The nurse smiled and nodded,

"You should get some coffee, it might become a long day."

Steve nodded his thanks and watched her walk away, he looked back down at the book, it was open on pictures which was depictions of various goddesses, he was about to page back to Hindu gods when a picture caught his eye. He blinked, pulled out his wallet and rummaged through it to withdraw a photo, it was a photo of his parents and it fell from nerveless fingers into the book, the photo and the picture of the goddess Theia bore striking resemblances. For a few minutes he sat there, then looked at the picture again, underneath it stood that it was taken from a painting, Steve knew he had to see that painting. Jumping to his feet, he hurriedly closed the book and rushed outside to where he had parked the van.
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Old 06-30-2012, 11:38 PM   #111
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Lydia Pruitt

She didn’t think that she’d ever get use to traveling through shadows. It was cold and unpleasant on the other side. Hayden didn’t seem to mind it though he did look miserable standing in the sunlight. She sat on the back of the van, warming her body in the sunlight as she spotted Steve coming out of the hospital.

“Good morning, sunshine.” She said with a grin as he got closer. “Where did you lose monkey boy? And did you find anything out about the others?”
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Old 07-01-2012, 02:23 AM   #112
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Steve Denver

At first he thought something was parked next to the van, but when it moved he realized that it was Hayden. He stopped next to him and grinned at Lydia's greeting,

"Good morning."

He lifted the book to say something then paused, frowning,

"I really don't know where Brian disappeared to, he drove with me all the way here, I haven't heard anything yet about the others, because it's not really visiting hours when we got here and there is still two hours left."

He took a breath,

"I found a picture in the book,"

He moved between Hayden and Lydia, opening the book at the illustrations and placed the photo next to the picture of Theia.

"The resemblance is unnervingly striking, I decided to visit the Galleria de Mythia where this picture was taken from, perhaps I can get more images there to compare."

He looked at Lydia,

"Could it be that my mother was...a...Titan?"

He shook his head,

"If you are going to say yes, wouldn't that be impossible since they are bound in Tartarus or whatever you call that place?"
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Old 07-01-2012, 11:45 PM   #113
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Lydia Pruitt

Lydia looked at the book that Steve held open for her and listened to what he had to say. She gave a start when he asked if his mother could be a Titan. How could she answer that since she didn’t really know the answer for herself.

“It’s possible. Tartarus is reserved for the evil of evils and the abominations. The Greeks believed in it, the Romans believed in it and so did the Jews and the Christians. Plato even believed that a mix of Asians, Europeans, and Greek cohabited the place. Cronus is there. The Cyclopes is guarded there as well as Kings Sisyphus and Tantalus. Most of the Titans are not there but instead forced into servitude. Atlas holds the world on his shoulders. Prometheus is punished by having his liver picked out and eaten by a crow every day. Sometimes it’s simply not known what happened to them.”

She took the book from Steve and studied the painting of Theia. She considered what he said and the resemblance that she saw in the woman that was printed on the page.

“I think you should keep looking, but in the mean time why don‘t you come with us? I was going to drag Hayden to The Met today.” She said as she handed the book back to him and looked at Hayden. “Greek and Roman antiquities on display and maybe even something from your neck of the woods.”
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Old 07-02-2012, 07:33 AM   #114
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Hayden Condan

Hayden grumbled about musty old places then with a light tap on Steve's shoulder which sent him staggering, he got into the back of the van.

"Tag you're Designated Driver."

He frowned a bit and when Lydia got into the van, he rounded on her.

"Should the god of the underworld not know if Titans were free, out and about?"

He was thinking about something and it bothered him, could the realm of death really be so easy to escape from if you were sent there in punishment? Did that mean that Orcus was losing his power? Was he in league with the Titans? He scratched his beard and looked at Lydia.


Steve Denver

The slight tap almost made him crash into the side of the van, it made him gain a very sudden and very big respect for the physical power that Hayden had at his disposal. What intrigued him was that Hayden's beard had grown almost to a month's worth in one evening. He got into the driver's seat and when Lydia got in, he started the engine and drove off, he still wondered about the picture of Theia and if it was possible that a Titan could be his mother.
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Old 07-02-2012, 10:10 AM   #115
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Lydia Pruitt

She got into the van and buckled her seatbelt, listening to Hayden’s worried question. She knew what it meant to him being that his father controlled the underworld.

“It’s hard to punish something that was never there in the first place. Some of the titans were never there.“ She bit her bottom lip, staring out the front window as Steve drove through the busy morning streets. “My mother works in the underworld. I shudder to think of her ever in Tartarus.” It was the first time she’d ever made that confession or hinted to others that she knew exactly what her mother was.

She thought of how to soothe Hayden’s fears about his father losing control. “Tartarus is it’s own place and it’s deep beneath the realm of the underworld.. There are entrances all over this earth. The most famous is Aornum in Thesprotia, Greece. Orpheus visited Charonium there to reclaim his wife from the underworld and killed himself when she was lost. Aeacus, Minos, and Rhadamanthus decide which souls should be placed there so they act as sort of guardians. I don’t know how much I would trust Rhadamanthus though because it’s always been rumored that he and Cronus were very close.”

She turned and looked at Hayden with a shrug. “You do understand that this is all myth and nothing’s for certain, right? Thousands of years of hearsay and conjecture.”
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Old 07-02-2012, 04:25 PM   #116
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Hayden Condan

"Yes I know that it is myth, but is it not a fact that we are living with powers that is just as mythical as the creatures of which is told? As the heroes of old? As the gods themselves?"

Hayden ran his fingers through his beard,

"Never heard that travelling through shadows and talking to nocturnal creatures was common day, I think that between the three of us, I am the really odd one out. You have a highly evolved capacity to remember, Steve here has deft accuracy, all of that can be normal traits, you can live kind of normal lives..."

He paused and looked at Lydia,

"Even when facing your own inner demons. Look at me, I am litteraly a giant, I grow hair faster than most people change underwear, I weigh accordingly to my size, yet I move without disturbing the air. It's scary to think what applications some mad scientist or some military general might conjour up for me."

He sat back, making the van rock slightly, he sighed and then chuckled suddenly,

"I complain about what made me proud to be the son of Orcus in the first place,"

He waved a hand dismisively,

"I'm just being silly, what is at this Met apart from artifacts? From the look of Steve he would very much want to get more pictures and see if he can find his father."
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:04 PM   #117
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Lydia Pruitt

She shook her head at Hayden’s words, directing Steve down a street as the traffic grew thicker. “If Steve and I are normal, then I’d hate to see what unusual is. We are what we are and we can’t change that. Hell, I’ve spent most of my life trying to hide behind these stupid things.” She said motioning to her glasses as she pointed to the building that housed the Metropolitan Museum of Art. “I’d kill to be able to fit in with a crowd. I guess with you guys I finally do, albeit a small crowd.”

She was stunned to learn that neither Steve nor Hayden had ever been to the Met. She fished some coins out of her pocket to have Steve feed the parking meter as she turned to look at Hayden.

“It’s one of the largest collections of art from all over the world. It has paintings and sculptures, antiquities, you name it. If something doesn’t speak to you here, I’m not sure anything will.”

She opened the door of the van and stepped onto the sidewalk, waiting for Steve and Hayden. “Be on the lookout for that guy we encountered last night. I think we’d smell him before we saw him.”
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Old 07-03-2012, 10:22 PM   #118
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Hayden Condan

Hayden got out and looked around, blinking in the sunlight as it assaulted his senses, grumbling he closed the door behind him and walked to get into the shadow out of the glare. He waited for Lydia and followed her inside, once inside he started to look around in fascination, the lobby itself was filled with paintings and statues, he grinned.

"Now this is interesting."

He felt a strange compulsion to wander, but a voice told him to be patient and stay with Lydia, which is what he did. He looked down at her frail form, why would she wear glasses if they did not really do anything to improve her eyesight? He shrugged the question away and nodded at a guard who fidgeted nervously as he looked at Hayden.

Steve Denver

Steve had gotten out of the van, pulling the keys out, he followed Hayden and Lydia as they entered the building, he also looked around in wonder. He still had the book tucked under his arm. Looking around he started to walk, he still though that he could see Hayden's broad back, but after a while realized that he could not see either Hayden nor Lydia, which was strange as Hayden easily towered above anybody else. He decided that he'd get a better vantage point from the gallery, he found the steps and climbed them, looking all the time for his two companions. At first it didn't reach his mind, then the smell registered, and he looked around, hiz gaze findiing the form of a big man standing there, Steve blinked, was this the man that Lydia talked about? He looked dangerous, the man looked directly at him and Steve got the distinct expression that he now knew what a hunted deer felt like. Only...he wasn't a deer, again that strange feeling of some force outside his body, he threw the book, making it flare open as it headed for the man's head, he turned and did what a frightened deer did. He ran.
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Old 07-04-2012, 12:54 AM   #119
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Jessup King

Jessup’s apartment

The mercenary was standing before his bathroom mirror with bottles of latex, cotton swabs, makeup and paint kits scattered over his counter. He had just finished designing his new face and he might as well have been wearing a second head with how fine he had brushed in the details. Jessup appeared as a man in his late forties with defined wrinkles under his eyes and crow’s feet at his temples. He applied false black eyebrows that had been thicker than his own and a walrus moustache on his upper lip. The wig he wore was a short mess of curly hair with salt and pepper shades to emphasize his age about his hairline and nape. Eyes that were brown from contacts appraised his work with an impressed smirk. He could have been a professor, engineer, scientist or businessman, but deep down, all Jessup thought about was the amount of work he was putting in to kill some super-powered targets. So far, he hadn’t seen anything amazing, but he heeded his employer’s warning. The one girl he had refused to kill had been the weakest of the group. The others would supposedly be a challenge and his paranoia wasn’t going to let him take any chances.

Alley overlooking Lydia’s apartment

Ping, ping, ping…From behind his black visor, Jessup gazed at the cell phone Lyra had given him as the screen showed two, flashing red dots on it. Two…there were two? There hadn’t been two last night. Suddenly, the pinging stopped as the two dots vanished off the map.

The mercenary scowled in disbelief. What the…

Seconds later, the cell phone uttered a blip noise as the two dots reappeared miles away and thankfully still in the city. The idea of the dots jumping so far away made the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end. Teleportation…and the bitch said that no one else could do it besides her [so he thought he remembered correctly].

“Ugh…” Jessup grumbled in disgust.

Why was he doing this again? Money? His brows sank even further. It had been because he wanted a challenge and his wish had come true. Just as Jessup was about to tuck the phone away into his suit, it sounded again with another beep and he raised it back before his eyes.

What now? he thought.

Three. Three!? They were building an army!

Fuck! he mentally cursed and stomped his foot angrily upon the asphalt. Right after, he leaned his head over, checking his dress shoe and making sure he didn’t scuff them up. He still had a role to play. Closing his eyes, the mercenary simmered in his frustration. Three versus one; he would have to go about this hit carefully. One of them was bound to screw up, and when they did, he was going to be there.

Metropolitan Museum

There indeed had been three, and he had watched the first two enter the museum before the third slacked behind. Like a lion picking out the calf, Jessup had started after the brunet, Steve Denver to be exact based on what the phone read. Lydia had some friends, and out of the two she had around her, it had been the big one that made Jessup worried. The man was a giant, and his inhumanity was obvious, either that or he had a hereditary disorder. Steve looked like some kid fresh out of high school and probably on his way to college. Simply, he looked normal like Lydia, and hopefully whatever power he had wasn’t as annoying.

In his disguise, Jessup followed at a distance, monitoring the teen for the first few minutes for he assumed that he was following Lydia and Hayden until he strayed. From behind his moustache, Jessup couldn’t resist the sinister smile that curled at his lips. He followed Steve to the second floor gallery, watching him aimlessly wander. His right hand was tucked comfortably in the right pants pocket of his chocolate-colored dress pants, his fingers resting on the stock of a polymer pistol of ceramic and plastic that had slipped through museum security undetected. His left hand rested over the inner breast pocket of his matching jacket where an attachable nozzle was tucked away.

The plan was to grab the kid and place him into a hostage situation until he could get him out of the museum but that plan was soon foiled when the boy abruptly stopped. Jessup stopped as he frowned at the back of the teen’s head with caution. Steve turned and looked him right in the eyes. The mercenary then watched his eyes dilate in fright and knew that the punk had somehow recognized him.

How the fuck? Jessup pondered before the kid threw a book his way.

Promptly, the mercenary snatched the book out of the air, crumpling the pages in his grip as he caught it open. Several bystanders gasped and gazed at him in startle and Jessup kept his cool as he closed the book and passed it to his other hand. He glanced at the title and wrinkled his nose. It wasn’t his taste.

“You’re grounded, Mister,” Jessup said as he watched Steve disappear behind a wall of tourists.

The simple phrase had the bystanders returning to their sightseeing.

Jessup calmly followed the teenager as he wildly raced through the museum in his panic. He was going to let him burn his energy and his stress-level rise until he could no longer think logically. If the boy had been a match, he would have handled the situation like a professional, but Steve was no professional. The mercenary was learning so much just by chasing his prey.

He watched the teenager barge through one of the fire exits, catching the eye of two security guards as one of them shouted, “Hey!” But the fire exit door had snapped closed by then. The two stout faux-officers barged through the fire exit after the boy and Jessup had followed behind them. As the guards were stampeding up the winding flights of stairs, one of them happened to notice the older man that was skipping the steps after them.

Huffing and puffing with cheeks flushed in effort, the guard breathed, “Hey! You’re not supposed to be up here. Go back.”

Continuing up the stairs, Jessup arched a dark brow as he replied, “But he’s my son…”

The guard drew his night stick and pointed it him. “Sir, go back to the gallery. We’ll handle this.”

Jessup snatched the end of the night stick and twisted it in the guard’s grip, causing his wrist to snap in the opposite direction until it became painful. When the painful pinch passed through his wrist, the guard clenched his teeth and released the baton as Jessup then slapped it against the side of his face. The blow to his cheekbone stunned him as he staggered toward the steps, his legs struggling to catch his shifting weight. Jessup struck him once and then twice until the guard collapsed upon the steps and rolled to the floor unconscious.

The attack had been swift and the second guard had scrambled to multitask. One hand was trying to yank his gun free from its holster, while the other was fumbling with his radio.

“Hello! We have a-”

The night stick was thrown at him, and the guard flinched to dodge it. Jessup was then on him, jerking the radio out until the cord snapped and catching the guard’s wrist as he tried to turn the pistol on him.

“That’s not nice,” Jessup said as the two grappled. He then brought his crown hard against the guard’s skull, unintentionally causing a flap of prosthetic to tear free and hang from his forehead like dead skin. The guard’s eyes grew large in shock at the sight.

Jessup then released the guard’s hand that wasn’t holding the gun and slammed his knuckles against his throat. The guard choked and gagged, and Jessup released him to watch him sink to the floor. With eyes watering and tongue darting in and out of his mouth as he gasped for breath, that guard had slumped against the wall only to receive a swift kick to the side of his head that folded him over in an unconscious heap against the steps.

After downing the two guards, Jessup peered up the square pattern of staircases, trying to see if he could see the boy. He must have escaped to the roof for only a fool would have stuck around to watch him wreck some mediocre cops. With an irritable frown, Jessup glanced to a security camera that had been gazing right at him and noticed in the lens the flap of prosthetic skin hanging from his forehead.

Damn it. He really needed to get used to wearing makeup……nah, he was good. It was only because of security that Jessup decided to speed up his little chase. He charged up the stairs two at a time and drew his gun from his pocket. He began screwing on the silencer as he came closer and closer to the roof. Once the pistol was prepped, he cocked it and threw his shoulder against the door of the roof. He walked out, sweeping the place for the boy. He wasn’t going to linger around for too long for the guards would not only be trying to apprehend them, but they will have also sent out a dispatch to the NYPD. The ACA wouldn’t be there to bail him out if he got caught—not for thirty days at least.
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Old 07-04-2012, 11:21 AM   #120
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Lydia Pruitt

Lydia was in a world of her own the moment she stepped into the museum. Museums were like a home away from home for her and a place where she could immerse herself in history from long ago places and people. She knew Hayden was following her through the galleries and she had noticed the way that she was staring at her. He was trying to figure her out and some part of her should have been uncomfortable with that, but she found that she wasn’t. He saw her as frail and neurotic. That was fine. Most people did and it allowed her to go through life perfectly well.

She made a beeline to the Greek antiquities, smiling as she looked at now familiar statues. She had studied every single one of them from so many different angles that they were burned into her memory. She turned a corner from a display of ancient jewelry and stopped dead in her tracks at a new item that was gleaming under the gallery lights. Lydia felt the breath rush from her lungs as she stared at the artifact for endless minutes before she finally willed herself forward.

It was a cup, small in size but etched in fantastic detail. The designs were scenes from the underworld, portraying a woman standing in a river with her arms outstretched towards a lost soul. She bent closer to look at the bronze design, her heart racing as something primal called to her from the item. If Hayden hadn’t thought her crazy by now, he most definitely would by the way she was staring at an old metal cup without moving. She knew deep in her soul that this cup was her mother’s.

She glanced at the gallery tag that identified the treasure as being on loan from a private collection in Greece. On loan, which meant that there was a possibility that it would be traveling back to the owner soon. She couldn’t let that happen. Before she could say anything to Hayden, an alarm started to sound throughout the building. She straightened up, glancing at the gallery guard that was coming their way.

“I’m sorry, but we have to clear the building. Please make your way to the exit.”

Frowning, she found herself herded into Hayden, her hand grabbing his arm as the guard cleared the gallery. She couldn’t help but glance back where the cup was, her heart racing at the thought of leaving it behind. Following the rest of the crowd being cleared from the building, she soon found herself standing in the shadows cast by the massive structure. Hayden seemed more relaxed in shadow.

“Where’s Steve?” She asked, shaking herself from her thoughts about the cup as she looked around at the people that were still exiting the building. “He’s still got the keys to the van.” She said as she looked around the crowd for his familiar face. It was strange that she couldn’t find him, even stranger that Hayden being so tall couldn’t find him. When the sounds of sirens down the street grew closer, Lydia glanced towards the NYPD squad cars that were pulling up.

“Oh fuck.” She said under her breath, uncharacteristically vulgar but knowing that the strange man from the night before must be around somewhere. She grabbed Hayden’s arm again and looked up into his eyes. “Find Steve now.”

Pushing past Hayden, she hurried down the street, her eyes searching from something that her brain couldn’t comprehend. What was she doing, she asked herself as she continued her search. Think, Lydia, think, think, think, think.

A vehicle. That’s what she was searching for. The man had left her apartment twice on a motorcycle. Which meant that he couldn’t travel like Hayden or he just enjoyed riding. She figured the former was true as she gazed around the street. She was going to make sure to slow him down.

Something loud. Large pipes. Like a Harley, she thought as she laid eyes upon the bike. Making her way towards it, she glanced over her shoulder and saw the clear view of the van and the entrance to the museum. A large crowd had gathered at the commotion and no one paid attention to her.

Lord, forgive me if I have the wrong bike, she thought as she pulled a bottle out of a nearby trashcan and broke it on the side. Using the jagged edge, she slashed the bike’s tires, the first criminal act she’d ever done in her life. It made her feel sick inside, but she knew if she didn’t, this guy would just keep coming. At least this way, it would give them time to get away.
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Old 07-05-2012, 12:27 AM   #121
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Hayden Condan

He looked with interest at all the pieces, paintings and statues, he paused at the statue of Orcus, looking up at the restored marble face. Strange how cruel they made him look.

"Hi dad,"

He smiled and moved on, keeping an eye on Lydia, when she rushed over to a display he was taken aback, but luckily caught up when she stopped and studied a spesific cup. He glanced around to see if he could see Steve, just then the alarm sounded and they got herded outside, he kept looking for Steve, but for some strange reason he could not find him. Then he remembered the man from last night, he was sure that if Steve could land his hands on something throwable he'll end up dead, he glanced down at Lydia and nodded at her words. He moved away from the people suurounding them and into the shadows of a pillar, he closed his eyes and found Steve on the roof, he was about to travel when he sensed the other prensense, Hayden opened his eyes and through a small shadow, casted by a sattelite dish, he watched Steve's plight, he was cornered, nothing to fight back with and facing a pistol.

Steve Denver

He took deep breaths to steady himself, he glanced around and saw that he had nowhere to hide and nothing to defend himself with. He looked over his shoulder and saw the man come up over the edge of the roof, he had a pistol in his hand and Steve knew this was the end for him. He knew tht he should panic, beg, do something, but the powers which took over his actions was there again, he was scared, but composed. He looked at the ugly mouth of the silencer attached to the pistol, he also heard sirens. If the man killed him here, he would at least get caught.

The silencer lowered and Steve wondered what the man was going to do, then a slight cough and a bullet slammed next to his foot, he jerked away, too much, he could feel the edge of the roof at the back of his leg.

"Why are you doing this? I did nothing to you or anybody."

Another cough and involuntarily he jerked away again, his momentum too much as he started to cartwheel his arms for balance and the next thing he knew wind was rushing past his ears. He looked in mute horror at the ground rushing closer, he could see a figure step out of the shadows, but knew that the impact would kill him anyway. Strange enough he did not scream, it would not have helped, he felt a strange warmth creep over him and when it reached his head a loud click sound followed, he closed his eyes as he saw the ground reaching up to meet him...then nothing. Steve peeked and found himself hovering two feet above the towering figure of Hayden. He knew that the shock on Hayden's face reflected on his own.
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Old 07-05-2012, 03:28 AM   #122
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Jessup King

The teenager had run as far as he could and now stood on the edge of life and death. Jessup sauntered toward him with the polymer pistol directed at him. His bushy brows were knitted malevolently and a triumphant lopsided grin was on his face.

“Not so good at runnin’ now are ya?” Jessup taunted.

There was a moment of hesitation as he stopped five meters from the boy to regard how scared he was, but his expression was knowing—even he knew that this was the last stop. Again, his target was unarmed, and it made simply shooting him too easy. Like Lydia who had revealed herself to be a librarian, this boy was…well, a boy. Jessup’s jubilant smile faltered the more he thought about it.

Ah hafta kill one of these guys, he thought to himself. He could perhaps coax the kid to bite the dust on his own.

Jessup aimed the gun at Steve’s feet and shot the floor between them. As predicted, the startled teenager jumped close to the edge.

Why are you doing this? I did nothing to you or anybody.

He couldn’t ignore the pang of guilt. The kid didn’t even know why he was being pursued, which aggravated the mercenary more. He wanted to ask himself the same question.

The tension became thick again. One more shot and the boy would fall. Do it…He had to do it this time. The gun trembled in his grip again and his eyes widened. The dryness had returned to his throat and he could hear his heart throbbing in his ears. He was going to do it. He was going to kill an innocent kid. For what…fulfillment. If he killed this kid, he wouldn’t have these problems anymore. Killing the others would be easier, but then he wouldn’t be a mercenary, he would be a cold-blooded…killer.

Behind his brown contacts, the rings of his irises lit up in a faint, red hue. There it was again. He felt it filling his muscles like a second skin. What was it? He had to make it stop; killing Steve would make it stop. Reluctantly, Jessup gave in to the killer instinct that filled him. He once again moved his pistol closer to Steve’s feet and fired off another round. Jessup felt his whole body go still and he hadn’t noticed that he had held his breath when the teenager began flailing. His heart then plummeted when the boy did. He disappeared over the edge of the museum roof, and a slow quivering breath released from Jessup’s throat. Was he dead? He had to be.

Jessup raced over to the edge of the building and peered over to see a sight that made him rearback in startle. The boy was floating in mid-air: flying! He felt relieved, and at the same time, he felt furious. An enraged snarl left him as he gripped his gun and was about ready to rain some rounds on the godlings until the stairwell door burst open with NYPD charging through. They took sight of him immediately and ordered with their guns drawn at his back, “Halt!”

The mercenary’s eyes were still gently aglow when he dashed across the roof.

“Stop or we’ll shoot!” came the second warning, and Jessup did not stop.

9mms were fired and rubber bullets pelted his back. The five officers had each shot once for the bullets after were lethal. They had expected to see the gunman go down, but he instead reached the escape ladder and swung over the edge.

Jessup slid down the ladder and sprinted in the direction of Central Park. Adrenaline was flooding his veins and rage had made him numb. With a dark, infuriated frown on his face, Jessup raced under the cover of trees, and he knew not to stop even if it seemed like the coast was clear. The cops that had been on the roof were reporting his movements, and shortly, there would be a search copter. He was going through so much trouble just to kill some fucking kids!

Evading the police wasn’t going to be a problem, especially since the man they were chasing was the face he was currently wearing. It was a matter of ditching his disguise and returning to his motorcycle that he knew would be safe. It would be until he found the time to reclaim it. His hits had been so poorly executed that he felt like an amateur and he knew he was far from one. He had dealt with scum worse than some boy and a librarian. They didn’t have any fancy powers, but they were bonafide criminals.

That settled it. Jessup was finished. He didn’t care if the kids had super powers. He wanted to go back on contract with the ACA. The world was normal then. He didn’t have any unusual episodes and when he was given a target, he took care of it without too much frustration. The money was good, and the ACA kept the law from touching him. Seriously, fuck this!
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Old 07-05-2012, 11:40 AM   #123
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Lydia Pruitt

Lydia watched the scene of chaos from next to the Harley, her heart leaping into her throat when she heard the sounds of gunshots coming from the roof. She hoped that Steve was alright and she knew that Hayden would help him in any way possible. The thing that they had to do now was get the mercenary off their backs.

She pulled out a piece of paper and a pen she always carried and used the bike seat to write a simple note. She knew it was probably crazy but it was all she could think to do.

‘We can give you any answers that you want, but you have to stop trying to kill us. P.S. Sorry about your tires but you didn’t leave me any choice.”

Folding the note in half, she tucked it in a safe place where the wind wouldn’t pick it up. She then left the bike, a sense of guilt rising in the pit of her stomach at the fact that she’d destroyed someone else’s property. She thought about that as she sat on the bumper of the van, waiting patiently for Hayden and Steve.
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Old 07-05-2012, 06:47 PM   #124
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Lyra

The Hound was normal sized now, the same as a large Alsatian or wolfhound. It's wounds had healed, mostly, and it lay with it's head resting on Lyra's lap like any normal dog would. One hand carelessly stroked it's head and scratched behind it's ears, there was a deep rumble of pleasure at the attention. The penthouse was large, and well furnished, leather chairs and sofas spread out tastefully throughout the living area. The TV in front of her was flickering through various different news channels automatically while she watched in bored disinterest. Then she jolted upright, her eyes wide open now as one channel flicked past, the hound recoiled from the sudden movement with a reproachful glare but she ignored it, grabbing the remote and flicking back to the channel that had grabbed her interest, she dialled up the volume.

"...the police opened fire on the shooter, but failed to apprehend him, the body of the youth who fell has as yet not been found but reports from the crowd of him flying have been dismissed as hearsay and rumourmonging."

She swore in Ancient Greek, the word harsh and out of place as she threw the remote across the room. He'd had a chance to kill one of them and he'd fucked it up. What was he playing at, the god of war shouldn't be struggling to take on a group of kids. She stood, her hands in furious fists, her knuckles white from the pressure. She felt helpless for a moment, and she could feel the anger building inside her. She shook it away and grabbed the phone from the table, keying in a number, punching it in as if the phone itself had done her a disservice.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Victoria

"Victoria, we got 5 minutes then we're going for another take ok?"

Sweet, honeyed, irresistible tones answered, almost visibly curling through the air in response.

"Yeah sure Mal, just touching up."

The young woman who answered hardly needed it, but the little makeup she was applying only highlighted her natural beauty, if it didn't improve it, anyway, it was for the video so she had to put it on anyway. Once the makeup artists were done she shooed them away, standing and pulling the dressing gown off her shoulders in one, almost regal movement. It revealed a form of true womanly perfection.

She was tall and slim, but possessed the womanly curves to fulfill any man's desire. That beauty was barely covered by the string bikini she was wearing for the song, showing off her curvaceous form and flawless skin in a way that no supermodel could ever achieve. She laughed at one of the crews passing comments as she swayed over to the set, ready for the song, the rich fruity sound somehow brightening everyone around her. Men who she'd worked with for months or even years couldn't resist admiring her body as she moved sinuously past.

She moved easily past the cameras and bustling crew members into her place among the poised dancers, each of them a picture of physical perfection, but plain next to her sheer perfection and glamour. She heard the music start in the background and let her body move to the beat, the dancers around her still frozen. Then, as the music sped up she spun and the dancers around her sprang into motion as she began to sing.

"One look at you..."

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Lyra

Jessup King's apartment was in a fairly well established part of town, it had clearly been expensive, which was unsurprising. The mercenary was supposed to be good, not only that but as a God he'd gravitate towards comfortable living as well. Olympus had been a place of luxury and decadence, and the most powerful humans now lived in obscene comfort, they would fall easily.

She'd found it fairly easy to get in, picking the lock in a few minutes, she wasn't particularly practiced at it, but it had been simple enough with the right equipment. She'd glanced around before slipping inside and picking the lock closed from the inside, he might notice anyway but it didn't matter, if he didn't at least she'd have surprise on her side. She rummaged through the drawers, finding an impressive selection of handguns and other weaponry, carefully disarming each one. He would probably be armed when he came back anyway, but it didn't hurt to make sure he couldn't pull anything else on her.

She pulled a chair round to face the door, she was furious, he'd fucked up and her masters were not the kind to tolerate failure, she'd have to have another talk with him to make sure he did the job she'd paid him for. There was no way out of it. She settled down in the chair to wait for the failed mercenary to return.
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Old 07-05-2012, 09:15 PM   #125
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Jessup King

Jessup had managed to avoid the search helicopter. He had found a homeless man within the tunnel and traded clothes with him. The beggar had himself a nice suit from the Men’s Warehouse, while Jessup sported tattered sweat pants and holey Jordan’s. He had ditched his face and wig in a trash can and walked the park back towards 5th avenue. There were cops still all over the place, and the search would continue until the chief summoned them back to the precinct.

Jessup’s eyes were no longer glowing but the glower was still on his face. He crossed the street and found his way back to the alley where he had parked his bike just to see that both tires were flat. At that moment, he could only stare. This wasn’t happening to him. He had never had a day like this and it had to be the worst day of his life. He then noticed a white corner of what looked to be paper poking from beneath the seat.

Curiously, the mercenary pinched the tip and carefully slid it free. It was a note. Opening it, his eyes darted over the text and when he got to the P.S. his hands began shaking. The note crumpled in his clutches and he tore it in half to let the two pieces sway to the floor. His hands went to his head as he felt a great stress. The rage had returned, and his brain wasn’t handling the momentous emotion too well.

Don’t fuck with me! Jessup thought. It had been those kids. No, Lydia. Hayden and Steve had been together the last time he saw them. It had to have been that girl. Did they have any idea who they were fucking with? Shaking his head, he felt confusion flooding it. Confusion due to him not being able to understand what was wrong with him and anger that was practically suffocating. He wanted to…kill them; kill them; kill them; kill them; kill them; kill them; kill them-STOP! It was driving him mad.

With eyes burning blood-red, Jessup released an enraged scream, “RRRAAAAAAAAHHH~!”

His bellow escaped him in a sound that caused nearby civilians to freeze and pallor. The windows of the buildings and cars in his vicinity vibrated until they exploded, showering the sidewalks, alleys, and streets. Car alarms went off for an entire block.

The anger had left him on that cry, a cry that unknowingly to him was a war cry of the god Ares. Jessup lowered his shaking hands from his head as the red faded from his gaping eyes. Unintentionally, his cry had busted the headlight on his bike, adding more problems to the repair bill. The mercenary dropped to his hands and knees as a wave of weakness overcame him. He felt nothing but muscle failure and dizziness as he slowly sank to his side.

What the fuck? He was saying that a lot today. What the hell just happened? He laid there helplessly on his side as glass continued to clatter around him and the car alarms continued to blare. No; he had to get up. He couldn’t afford to pass out where he was. There were still cops around and his sudden condition would draw unwanted attention.

With a struggling rasp, Jessup pressed his palms to the asphalt and hefted his shoulders slowly off the ground. Grasping the seat of his bike, he pulled himself to a sit. Sliding his hand into the pocket of his sweats, he removed his cell phone and looked up a number for a tow. By the time the tow truck arrived, Jessup felt slightly rested up but not completely. He had been so cautious of police and good Samaritans.

The driver stepped out of the truck and walked over to the weakened mercenary. “You all right buddy?” He then stepped back as the rank smell of his shirt, made worse with the musky stench of the clothes he borrowed from a homeless man assaulted his nose.

“Jus’ load up my bike an’ take me home,” Jessup said. He rose to his feet and went to climb into the passenger seat of the truck.

The driver bit his tongue to refrain from protesting. That guy smelt like shit and he didn’t want that smell in his vehicle. Then again, the man was a customer and despite how exhausted he looked, he didn’t want to make him mad. With a painful sigh, the driver walked over to the Harley and mourned the damage that had been done to it. It was a nice bike. Strangely, the entire block was trashed similarly. As he rolled the bike to the back, he couldn’t help but ask, “Hey! Were you involved in that crazy incident with the glass? Did you see what happened?”

Jessup ignored him as he adjusted his chair and leaned it back to rest.

The driver wrinkled his nose in irritation. He was going to be a fun one.

The ride to Jessup’s apartment was quiet mostly because he slept majority of the way. The driver had lowered all the windows, but it didn’t seem to do anything for that smell. It was like someone had taken the ass of a skunk and rubbed it all over his interior. Thank god, they reached the place.

“Hey pal! We’re here,” the driver yelled. He then quickly dumped out of the truck. He wanted to get that motorcycle down as soon as possible.

Jessup groggily sat up and opened the door to step out. As the driver wheeled the bike around to him, Jessup took it from him and guided it over to where he usually parked it.

The driver hopped back into his truck and before he left he yelled, “Why doncha’ take a bath now that you’re home? My dog’s shit smells better than you!”

Pulling away from the building, the truck driver drove off like a typical New Yorker. Say it and run. It didn’t bother Jessup for he was glad to be home. After setting the stand for his bike, Jessup unlocked the compartment and removed the usual gear he had tucked away inside it: hooded sweat shirt, M16, and a belt of grenades. He carried the equipment to the door and leaned the rifle against his leg. Fishing around in his pockets once more, he removed a set of keys that he unlocked the door with. Popping it open with his hip, he picked up the rifle and started inside only to pause when his golden eyes settled on Lyra, sitting before the door as though she had been expecting him.

“What are you doin’ here?” Jessup questioned on a growl. He didn’t like when people broke into his home. He kicked the door closed behind him and recklessly dropped the grenade belt on the floor by his bed. He tossed the sweater upon the mattress and carried the M16 with him as he walked over to his small kitchen to fetch himself a cold bottle of lager from the fridge. If she thought he had smelt bad the last time she saw him, it had only gotten worse.
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