((Random starting message am go. I have reached the endless Iron Maiden section of my MP3 player and as a result I feel faaaaabulous!))
The taxi pulled over and the driver apologised, saying he needed to refuel. They were at some cheap nasty gas station. "It's okay." Mist insisted, getting out to stretch her legs. Erskine was counting what remained of his money. There was someone out there and Mist got the strange feeling she was being watched. She endured this for a few minutes before slipping back inside the car.
"Yes...just a little unnerved..."
"I understand. You just broke me out of a technical prison. I keep finding myself terrified that someone is going to come for me..."
She nodded and cuddled up to him, careful not to agitate his injuries. He wrapped his arm around her. For a while they waited there as the taxi driver went in to pay for the fuel, then Erskine stiffened up. "Something wrong?"
"Someone is watching us...I can see him...he's standing under that street light...he's one of Mevolent's lot, I know he is..."
Mist raised herself up to look, hoping to be able to assure him that it was just paranoia, but she recognised him. He was one of Esra Sunshine's group. A group which seemed to be being decimated as time went on.
Darren watched them, scuffing his shoe against the ground, whistling the same tune that now played on his phone as a call came in. 'These Dreams' by Heart. He stopped whistling and raised the amber phone to his ear. "Is this the order to strike, then?" He listened for a moment to the frantic voice on the other side of the line. "No, I told you. I told you you wouldn't find Ravel in his cell. I told you I saw someone sneak him out. Well, I didn't stop them because someone else stopped me. No, you can blame Abla for that one, sir. Don't be too hard on her though-...no...no, of course not, sir." He paled slightly, having never thought he would have to go for something as severe as his superior was telling him now. "I...okay..." he hung up and slipped the phone back into his pocket. "No chance of redemption after this." With a sigh, he stepped forward, raising his hands to conduct the shadows from a brooch hidden beneath the blazer of his suit.
"Necromancer." Erskine mumbled, undoing his seatbelt and pushing Mist to the other side of the taxi. They got out her door and made their way to hide behind a petrol pump as stealthily as they could, which wasn't very. Shadows began to curl around the back of the taxi.
But as Darren realised they had already gotten out, he crushed the back of the vehicle. He moved around to the back of the wrecked car and saw Ravel and Mist making a break for it towards the woodland beyond. They stopped for a moment and Ravel clicked his fingers. Darren's eyes widened but he just kept strolling towards them as though it was simply an automatic thing...as if he had no say...
The car and one or two fuel tanks blew up. Darren was protected by a wall of shadows, just small enough to protect himself and he even threw up a wall to protect an innocent. Well, he was feeling nice. Mist was up ahead, half-dragging the Grand Mage away.
"I can't run!" Erskine snapped, digging the heel of his good leg in against the mud. She tried to pull him on, but he managed to twist himself round and slam a wall of air against Darren. It seemed he was not expecting an attack as he was thrown back, but pulled shadows in to meet him before he could fall and break something. Then he continued to walk towards them, grinning, shadows flowing towards them from beneath his jacket. They began to dissipate around them, sharpening. Ravel sent another burst of air, only it was off-target as his dominant hand was connected to a dislocated shoulder. Darren was expecting it and easily stepped around it so that instead a light breeze from the edge of the blast toyed with his hair. No damage done. Mist stepped forward and spiders began to carpet the floor. A circle of shadows began to turn around Darren's feet, growing to shield him up to his knees and every so often pulsed out to keep the spiders at bay. Most people were fazed by spiders. Horribly so. Every other member of his group of killers and mercenaries were terrified of them, but personally Darren didn't see what the fuss was about. The sharpened shadows were leaving Ravel alone, coiling around Mist until the moment the Necromancer clenched his fist they would all slice clean through her.
"Hello, Grand Mage. Hello, Elder Mist." Darren cooed in an oddly upbeat manner. "Mevolent wanted to ask you a few questions."
Ravel's jaw clenched. He didn't take his eyes off of Mist's predicament.
"I followed you here...saw you two getting close.." His smile faded away. His face now appeared devoid of emotion. He looked more than willing to kill if it came to that. "We want to know any and all plans the Sanctuary has made."
"None!" Ravel insisted.
"Fair enough." He turned to Mist. "What do you think?"
"There has only so far been plans for a rescue mission, but I have since called the Sanctuary to insist the Grand Mage is all right. Such plans have therefore been called off. The Sanctuaries are conferring before coming up with any plans."
Darren smiled and nodded. "Thank you. I don't believe you, though. How did you call them?" he didn't wait for an answer. "I followed you here! I saw everything you did, and all you did was cuddle and talk."
"You can't have seen everything." Ravel mumbled.
"I saw you touching your girlfriend in a...personal area...when she fell asleep..."
Ravel blushed slightly and spluttered. Mist glared at him. "That was an accident!"
Darren chuckled. "Gotta love ruining relationships." His magic was no longer focused on the shield against the venomous spiders, a fatal mistake. "Of course, I'm supposed to ruin them further, you know? We can't lose possession of a Grand Mage that eas-ow!" He looked down and shook his leg to get the spiders out of his trousers. He took the shadows away from Mist and put up his shield again, but it was too late and his vision was already beginning to blur. He shook his head, trying to clear it as the venom took effect. "They're going to come after you. Abla's going to come after you. She'll have your head for this..."
Mist turned to Ravel and began to lead him away. "I have money for a hotel. I think there's one nearby."
"Then we call Ghastly."
There was a moment's hesitation. "Agreed."
Daemon walked alongside Austin. Her wrists were bound tightly by someone's goddamn jacket to stop her launching a physical attack. Meanwhile, she seemed quite happy to talk to Baritone. "We're all trying to get home, basically. The French elders have been so kind as to promise not to leave until they know we're back home safely, but now they're part of the 'save Reckless' thing you've given us."
"I'm doing a good deed!"
"I don't deny that. I just know that that child was in Perseus' care. I just know that he feels so strongly that the child isn't safe with her mother he'll do anything to get her back. Please give me my sister's phone number!"
"No! She does not want to talk to you. She wants nothing to do with her family."
"But she was my favourite sister! She gave me sweets to keep me quiet about naughty things she did!"
Daemon stifled a laugh. "Like bribing you with sweets?"
"When I got older she had to bribe me with different things. I caught her doing a lot of naughty things. Like using that hockey stick of hers to break things in rooms she wasn't meant to be in."
She was discreetly reaching into his pocket, trying to get her nose ring.
"Okay, that's enough pretending." Austin mumbled as he snatched her wrist. "I've lived on the streets since age 40. That's 54 years. I'm good at pickpocketing and I can recognise it when it happens, no matter how discreet." He threw her hand down. "You aren't discreet at all. Your hand is painstakingly and awkwardly obvious and your bindings rubbed against my waist. It was very annoying."
"Give me my nose ring back!"
"You're such a whiny teenager!"
"You're whining now..."
He grinned. "Half the fun of being a man. Men never grow up. Once we reach teenage years, our maturity is locked."
He stuck his tongue out at her to demonstrate. She elbowed him in the gut and he doubled over.
"You have really pointy elbows..."
Memphis Heatwave arrived at the Sanctuary very early in the morning. The sun was still down. He doubted anyone would be there, but he wanted to busy himself. He couldn't sleep again and he had driven in to occupy himself with paperwork. Currently he wished he had thought to bring some toast or something with him. Today would be Isaac's funeral.
Someone else seemed to be in the halls. There was light-hearted laughter. He stayed in the shadows and watched a trio laugh and enjoy themselves. "Amadeus, stop singing, you'll attract Cleavers!" Bernard gasped between drunken giggles.
Amadeus continued to warble out his poor rendition of Iron Maiden's 'Wicker Man'. Memphis smiled. When he wasn't drunk, he could sing quite well. The chorus wiped the smile off his face. 'Your time will come' wasn't the most comforting of things to hear under the circumstances. Melantha looked right at where he stood and frowned. He backed off.
He stayed in the shadows. The other two men stopped singing and laughing and pushing each other.
"You're all drunk." Memphis finally mumbled.
Bernard offered him a bottle. "We're all miserable."
"I don't drink. At the very least not before work on an empty stomach."
Bernard sighed and thought for a minute. "When the elders get in, we're screwed."
Memphis also sighed, joined Amadeus on the table he was standing on and started singing 'Edge Of Seventeen' by Stevie Nicks.