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+ S P E N C E R +

 

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Traveler.   Magician.     Dragon Rider.     Swordsman.   Librarian.


H u m a n  //  E l f

A g e l e s s - U n k n o w n

H e / H i m  T h e y / T h e m

S p i r i t ?  D e c e a s e d .

N o  K i n  L e f t  - A m o n g  f r i e n d s .

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You might be wondering how this could have happened… 

Spencer knows little of his origin. Date of birth. Where he was born. What grounds he walked upon in his youth. He knows not of his father, not the color of his mother's eyes. Even the man's own name comes as a mystery he woke up without. The one he bares presently was something ... given, after he found himself awake midst a plane of grass he did not recognize, all the same. What Spencer did remember, however, was a sensation. The coldness, as it had grasped hold of him. It felt as if falling into an utterly heavy, yet peaceful sleep... He knew little of what he was, let alone who. He started walking. There was nothing else that could be done. He had risen in a prairie-esque plane that seemed to spread onward no matter what direction his head would turn. Spencer walked until he reached a point of familiarity in the form of a small village some thirty kilometers from the place he had woken up within. The village came with hospitality, yet held very few hints. No answers.

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“ To decipher it was one thing... Controlling it was another.  

For the early years, the world was an undoubtedly strange place. He recognized nothing of his surroundings or sense of self. He slowly came to the realization that he was capable of things beyond the average man whether he liked it or not. The capabilities, in the earlier times... lacked any direction or control. The occasional passing through objects was a problem that shook him not long since he had woken up. His form was corporeal, yet at times, only loosely. It was truly as if his body and soul wrestled to commit between a physical or spectral form without any indication of what kept them tethered. It would happen in a bout of panic, or the wrong twitch of a muscle. Often he couldn't recollect what seemed to cause the shift and changed his form to something far less physical and very much... ephemeral in nature. It would come over him like a cold mist, and left a tingling sensation throughout his nervous system. 

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At first, it was just his fingertips. Then his wrists. Soon it was whole portions of his being that seemed to pass through its environment on a whim and leave him stricken with panic on how to make it stop, only to make matters worse. Spencer was stumbling straight through walls and phasing through objects on a whim during the early years of his newfound life, where the anomaly was creating more immediate questions than he had to start with. Among the strange symptoms, Spencer noticed how seldom he had felt exhaustion since he started waking. He walked for a few days from where he had started before he felt any urge to sleep, and hunger likewise. His body still felt the aches and pains of being alive, although it was as if it felt numb to what it truly meant. With every time he lost control of his form, the ends of his hair had quickly started to lose its color, spare a short length closest to the roots. These changes among others brought forth a rough transitional period where he struggled to have a grasp on anything around him. Eventually, these skills were to be trained with the right amount of mastery over the years.

 

 

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She called it a gift, like it was something given to the world.  

Spencer had come to a point where he had lost all sense of what to do with his situation. Time dragged onward for longer than a lifetime, and he was faced with the realization of immortality that grew more evident as the number counted upward. He had traveled, he had remembered and forgotten countless names, and yet found no answers as to what had occurred. His nomadic life eventually took him South, across the seas and over mountains in pursuit of anyone that might offer information. His first encounter that could offer such things came from his passing through the bustling streets of Amsterdam in the early 1600s. He met a curious soul. The woman seemed to stare him down from a distance like she could sense just what he felt to be off about himself. She spoke questions and statements that felt like they were pulled straight from his head, and for the first time in his immortal life, he had answers.

“  You are a spirit, my dear boy. You are as real as this world around you, and yet this world does not own you. You will watch its trees rise and fall with each passing life. You shall experience beyond that of your fellow man. How will you use this gift? This curse? Will you choose to see it like so?  


Natalia was a practitioner of magic, and most adept in her craft. She was the person to shed light on Spencer's spectral dilemma, possible heritage, and one of the few that looked at him like his claims were not outright insanity. She introduced him to her studies and assisted him in utilizing the magic that had been gifted at birth and recessive in his veins all those years.
Spencer spent the next decade or so under her wing in Amsterdam, researching just what the nature of his origins might have been, and learning to utilize that magic for healing purposes when the world greatly needed it. When it came time to leave Amsterdam and continue on with his searching, he was promised a place in the city should he ever return, if he were to look for it. 

To this day, he isn't sure what she is, or where her knowledge she possesses has come from. Any questioning throughout the years was met with riddles or parables to send him in circles. In the seldom times he finds himself in the region, he is sure to make his visit to the woman who has changed as little as he has over the centuries. She remains a mentor, good friend, and the first one to confirm he wasn't crazy all along. Following his departure from the Netherlands, he resumed his traveling for the next century or so, using what he had been taught at each stopping point as he went.
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I paused only for a moment to ponder what was asked of me.

Fate brought him into the Nightwing Empire where his nomadic life changed for the next several centuries. It was an accidental stumbling into where two-legged kind stepped foot merely on occasion and the territory seemed to span onward without an end. He soon came to learn that within it dwells dangerous creatures and beasts alike. Dragons commanded the air, with their dens settled within the mountains and deep within the chasms of its valleys. Warbeasts lingered within the darkest of the forested regions and the swamps of the neighboring lowlands. The region came not without conflict, whether it was between the beasts, or from the external influence of hunters, slayers, or militant forces alike. Although prone to friction, wartime, and hardly a peace-filled place, soon enough he called the mountains and trees of the regions as home. He fit in among the vast array of species with ease and called them as friends.nfdjSTz.png?profile=RESIZE_400x

When fate would throw him into shock once more, Spencer eventually found himself worthy of being chosen as a Rider to one of the larger dragons within the Nightwing Empire. Chanook was someone who quickly had become familiar. While he had grown to no longer fear the dragon, Spencer ultimately came to regard him with the utmost respect. Due to his physicality, the man was not readily affected by the high altitudes, nor the storms that Chanook brought forth in flight. His first flights were among the more interesting moments during this era, but soon enough he had learned to stay steady in the sky with ease. Spencer set himself forth to become an excellent Rider and swordsman. With the skills learned, and the harsh environment the territory offered, Nightwing shaped Spencer as a formidable fighter when he would need it, and a peacekeeper at his core when he did not.

All truly great things come at a risk of being lost.  

As the conflict would eventually come to pass, the territory now shows signs of its age and scars. The enemies have long departed. The hostile beasts settled their disputes, and all in all... with the conclusion of such hostile events, the territory was left with an odd amount of silence. The Empress came to rest at the bottom of one of Nightwing's lakes. Her second in command, Skya, rests in a shrine-like state deep in her mountain den. Spencer still watches over the late dragoness' horde of a library and doctors their pages in his passing time. Among the absences and tragedies, Spencer had been parted from his dragon for reasons that still remain unknown. He knows little of Chanook's whereabouts, nor his condition. While Riders generally feel sensations of their partner's wellbeing or status, he feels little other than emptiness when he attempts to reach out. His only hint is that the connection can still be felt, leading him to believe his dragon is out there. The thoughts weigh heavily on his mind to the point where Spencer has achingly resorted to trying not to think about it at all. He keeps his hopes up to see the dragon's return, just as long as the connection is still felt.

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And so we march on.

Following the fall of Nightwing, the man found himself in a period of travel that spanned several decades. Along with clearing his headspace, he was in pursuit of any hints or clues that may lead to Chanook's whereabouts no matter how small the chances might have been. The drawn-out journey nearly brought him across the Earth in doing so. The ex-Rider would pick up many other useful skills and mementos on his way. He heightened his mastery in a small variety of languages, as well as his study of healing magic that had been partially set aside during the last conflicts of the Empire. His traveling had become as much of a pilgrimage as it was a search for Chanook. He returned to hid home in Nightwing years later as a successful Swordsman, historian, and a more proficient Mage. Just as soon as he would settle, he also resumed his role as Librarian to the Nightwing collection as well as his own.

Thirty years have passed since Spencer returned to his home within Nightwing's Western edge of the territory, to which he comes and goes on occasion. Weapons of old battles have been set aside ever since. His shelves are littered with artifacts from his time spent traveling. A collection of books and magical supplies are stacked and housed just about everywhere to make the interior rather claustrophobic to newcomers. His home stands as something more likely to be found on accident than sought out, nestled in the trees. He resumes his studies rather diligently, hardly seen without a bag over his shoulder and a book within reach. His primary endeavor included fresh attempts at deciphering an old tome that had been entrusted to him by Skya prior to her passing.

 

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I opened that book and Hell came from its pages... 

-Wip-

The book was a gift. He didn't know the importance at the time the dragoness gifted it into his hands. Skya spoke of the discovery in her collection, like it could offer the wandering spirit of a man all the answers he had been hunting for so long. Her eyes had seen something he has yet to find in its conflicting, cryptic pages. The book's author is unknown. As to the writing contained inside, one page to the next is a labyrinth of coded twists and turns that would leave any linguist or philologist perplexed. Over the years the man had all but given up on the object that sat dusty on the shelf over his workbench. It served as an old memory for a friend that had eventually passed on without granting him any more secrets on why she had given it to him in the first place.

“  It's always the furthest corner, the overlooked space... if history hasn't erased it.
Dark Arts and magical studies alike have not been a favorite of history.
 

 


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 I'll finish the war I never knew I started.  

 

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On his person, there are a handful of items kept handy as a constant throughout the years. Spencer keeps a messenger bag slung over his shoulder that has considerable wear-and-tear to its edges. Despite it, the bag is laced with its own magical properties. Within it, a journal or two are usually kept to catalog what he comes across during his travel away from Nightwing, along with writing materials. Precariously, the longsword he carried as a Rider is hidden within the bag and can be pulled out at a moment's notice, defying the physics of the small bag when it appears in full. A small array of weapons and other survivalist material accompany it. A spare change of clothes or two is kept on standby. He keeps a spellbook handy with a series of useful spells, diagrams, incantations, and objects to assist, should he need them. He usually has a free-reading book, alongside the mysterious grimoire that has caused him misfortune over time. In more recent years, he also carries an outdated brick of a cell phone that he claims no expertise in using.

+ Now Carrying :
 [The Water Nation Handbook]  [Lore of The Invictus]
[The ??? Grimoire] [Traveler's Spellbook]  [Field Notes]

 

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  And so, I learned to walk tall... 

but I walked taller among them than I ever was alone. 


Travelers.   Friends.   Mentors.    Comrades. 
 

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 TEMPEST

 Spencer had his hands full from the moment he first encountered the Water Drake. He was traveling the coast of Nightwing when Tempest came barreling in, and proved to be the first sign of anything draconic that Spencer had seen in countless years. Tempest is considerably younger than the dragons the Ex-Rider had been accustomed to. While testing his patience at times, the Drake has sparked some life back in the melancholic rider after the years spent alone in the territory. The two have since teamed up in their traveling when Temp was not the only thing that washed up from the shore: with great fortune came great dangers when the threat of a tsunami means that something else is looming under the sea floor, threatening Nightwing's main land. The task of getting to the bottom of the disturbance has paired the two together, and effectively dragged Spencer out of his element. 

  

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CASSELLA

 The woman had Spencer's utmost curiosity from the moment they spoke to one another. She was all the things he didn't expect to run into on accident, but in truth, Cass was someone wrongfully drawn into his troubles at a time when he might have needed her most. Following a run-in late at night at a library, the night was filled with mischief for survival-sake. It was also filled with chatter when he realized she was a linguist, scholar, mage, and plenty of other things he has yet to decipher. The two are now travel partners as she graciously offered her skills to help him in deciphering the book in his possession that has proven to be most dangerous. Spencer worries about the reprocaution of bringing another person into his personal troubles with the book. On the same token, so rarely does he travel with someone so formidible. 

  

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CAELESTRA

 Cael was met by pure circumstances of walking by a park bench at the right time to hear a phone ring. After taking up the task of returning it to the rightful owner, he now finds himself in Birdie's Emporium where the quaint storefront holds its promises to anyone that walks in. Spencer can sense something is strange about the woman, but hasn't quite placed what it is yet. Only time will tell what [More to come]. 

  

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 NEMO

 The two met by chance during one of Spencer's rare visits to the city, where the library doors closed early and had locked the two in for the night. After becoming acquainted while sneaking back out using Spencer's abilities to do so, it took the walk back to the boy's apartment to decipher that the two had something in common. While Spencer had studied magic for a large portion of his life, Nemo's skillset held more promise than he could imagine at such a young age. Despite how long the two could have visited and chatted, their meeting was relatively short that night. Lone behold, the short meeting opened the door for a visit that would come a few years later when Spencer would need his assistance most [More to come].  

  

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IRRLITH
[NPC]

 Irrlith was a visitor to Nightwing not from another continent, but from the outer edges of space. Not much is known about the beast aside from his origins being somewhere distant and the looming fact that Earth's gravity is what trapped him here after a crash landing many, many years ago. The space beast has taken up refuge in the territory after conflict with humans and remained for quite some time under the Earth Nation's ground when Nightwing grew dormant. That was, until recently, when Spencer and Tempest woke the behemoth from its slumber in order to help them with the task of keeping the beast's second home safe. Not much is known about Irrlith's origins or biology, but he seems to have a sense of trust toward Spencer who is always looking for what he can learn about the brute. 

  

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 RAIYA 

Raiya will forever be Spencer's best friend when it comes to two-legged kind. She resided in Nightwing well before he ended up there, and the two grew attached at the hip once Spencer had taken the oath as a Rider. Having once been one herself, she was responsible for much of his advice while training, as well as the swordsmanship he honed during that era. The two have fought, struggled, and laughed, and are always up to something when they cross each other's paths. Rai has since moved on from the territory and runs her supernatural shop known as Omnia. Spencer pays a visit on sparse occasions, allowing the two to pick up their friendship right where it leaves off. Time has changed how often they might see one another, but some things never change. 

 

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CLOUDFEATHER

No practitioner of magic is complete without a loyal familiar. Cloudfeather is a leucistic red tailed hawk that can often be seen in off in the distance whenever Spencer finds himself far enough from the cities for her to follow. The raptor is capable of flying miles on end when needed to deliver messages in times of need, or exchanges between Raiya and Spencer when they find themselves apart. Cloudfeather has a seemingly mystical connection with the man, when no matter where his travels take him she is bound to find where he is once called. The bird is clever beyond its appearance and reliable beyond measure. She leaves his side only when delivering, occasionally switching roles with Raiya's own hawk, Cyr

  

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ZORIKO 

Having first gotten to know Zoriko as a hatchling, she is the daughter of Skya and a dragon of the sky underneath her human facade. The dragoness was someone Spencer had the privlege of re-acquainting with after his absence from the territory when she actively sought him out following the advice of another former Rider. After re-acquainting from when she was young, Spencer took upon himself the task of teaching her magic from the ground up, helping the young dragoness tap into the magic that flows through her veins just as his own mentor did for him. After some time of training together, the two eventually parted ways. To this day he hasn't seen Zoriko again, but thinks back to their magic lessons together fondly when it was a time that his house didn't seem quite as empty. 

 

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 Until we meet again.  

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CHANOOK

 To this day, Spencer still looks back in wonder to the moment where he had been asked to become a Rider. His partner was none other than Chanook, a dragon of rolling thunder and electricity that stood as a general among war beasts in Nightwing. While others knew him as a goliath, to his Rider, he was a lumbering beast at times and above all, his guardian and most trusted friend. The two spent their days in close proximity and fought wars by one anothers' side. Following the last conflicts of the territory, the two became separated and the man has carried a hole in his chest ever since. Spencer still believes that Chanook is out there due to the feint, yet present connection between the two that has not yet been severed. As a result, he has an occasional knack for dropping what he is doing at the slightest hint of a lead toward his whereabouts. 

 

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 SKYA

 Spencer saw much of the dragoness during the height of Nightwing, down unto the end. Sibling to Chanook, Skya was second in command to the Empress and was a formidable force come times of conflict. However, Spencer knew her first and foremost by the library hidden deep within her den near the center of the territory. He was a trusted visitor over time and has been responsible for the upkeep and mending of the books within it for countless years. He knows every main twist and turn to reach the hidden collection, down to the dragoness' den. Since her passing, the room has erupted with plant life, where she remains in a shrine-like state to present day. He vows to keep up his work of guarding the collection under her keep for as long as he is able. 

 

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NOVAK

 The two first met in the earlier years of Spencer's settling in Nightwing as a crossing of paths, and they would come to meet again by the time the territory grew dormant. To the deities and spirits that had their eye on Novak, Spencer's spiritual nature being present was a trigger for alarm. Little did they know that their meeting would turn into a chase that would lead them to a chase that sent them cross-continent. The end of their trek lead them straight into the Underworld in order to settle the issue once and for all. As fate was never kind to either men before meeting, things hadn't gone as planned. What the spirit gained was his life and peace from being pursued. What he lost was the friend that had his back through it all. Spencer isn't sure what happened to Novak in the end, or whether he still exists somewhere in the realm below. The thought weighs heavily on his mind.   

 

 

 

 
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[OOC: Things are coming together.] 

 

+ Active Threads :

Tempest  Water Nation Temple  |  "Who is this Queen..?"

Cassella  | Melbourne, State Library Victoria  |  "Do you believe in Spirits..?"

Raiya |  Letters via Hawks   |  " He's alive... I'm not insane. "

 Brona (AU)Forest, ???   |  "Come on, we need to go."

Unity (AU)On The Highway   | "Who and what are you?"

 

This character originates from around 2011-2012, and much of the lore and stories told originate from events written within that timeline until now. As a writer, especially with Spence here, I'm fairly lenient with response times. He is a 'support' character primarily, but I have a few goals I would like to finish in his plotline yet. Great starting locations include libraries, cafes, the woods, natural landmarks... although I can put Spencer anywhere, he has versatility in settings. | FC: Nariman Malanov 

 

Ghost Stories

Coming Soon..?

 

I am open to new roleplay threads

Threads are Closed


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  • “Magic… I’ve seen that a lot in books and movies, didn’t think it was real. Guess we’re both hiding secrets.” This mysterious bot had some knowledge about what this was, or the base concept, but not much beyond what was depicted in media. As far he knew, its genuine existence wasn’t exactly public knowledge. The fact this man wasn’t an ordinary human made him have second thoughts about dumping Spencer on a sidewalk.

    “We need to have a talk.” It was decided that an exchange of knowledge would be had, which prompted him to switch lanes when activating his blinker. From there, they’d be gliding down the exit ramp and take a left past a stop sign, which would lead them down a lesser road towards a few woodlands ahead.

    “Going to say this right now, I. Do. Not. Exist. Not even to your best friends, got it?” Rightfully so, he was concerned about retaining secrecy from other humans and was attempting to make Spencer come to an agreement first before anything would be disclosed. If given a yes, he’d receive the following answer. “Good.”

    Soon, they’d turn into a few winding back roads, which were unsurprisingly devoid of any other motorists to minimize the likelihood of being noticed. It wouldn’t be long until the white Lamborghini pulled into an empty parking lot made from crumbling tiles, where weeds grew in between the cracks, and trees surrounding the abandoned property. More than likely, this place was once the foundation of a large building before being demolished.

    Opening the driver-side door and undoing his seat belt, said rider would be let out until entire body segments shifted, coming apart to reform itself into the bot he was, easily towering over him. Both arms were crossed once the transformation was complete, gazing down at his much smaller figure.

    “I’m a Cybertronian, the names Unity. I used to serve as a demolitions specialist for the Autobots, the faction I fought for until I got separated from my unit. If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m not from this rock. I chose an Earth-based vehicle for a disguise, the ability to transform is a fundamental feature of Cybertronian biology.”

    . . .

    Meanwhile, back at the shipyard.

    Multiple Decepticon flyers had zipped over and transformed to join their superior painted in silver, two of which helped him out of his hole from earlier. There was an audible grunt from Starscream after being robbed of his dignity by one bot and a human of all things, he wasn’t having it.

    “When I find that pesky Autobot, I’ll personally squish his little pet if it’s the last thing I do!” The seeker spouted, partly swinging an arm out of frustration once freed. Glancing back to his underlings, he’d speak to them once more, unaware of the possibility that another stranger might approach them soon.

    “Seriously, what was that?! I hear a chant and the next thing I know, the earth splits! I’d like to know what kind of voodoo they’re dabbling into! I suppose we should get that reactor out of here soon.” The bot would add when remembering his original task, which was to retrieve that potential weapon of mass destruction.

    If only they had somebody to give them insight on who exactly Spencer was...

  • ;; -- a continuation of X

    - - -

    Movement in the air was met with an uncertain glance and motions to shield herself from areal view. Raiya's mind calmed as Cloudfeather's figure was distinguished, and two quick whistles were offered to beckon the bird down. "Good work, Cloud." Raiya's softly-uttered praise came as she relieved the bird of the letter attached to her leg. 

    Sharp eyes read through the words, taking in the information both good and concerning. A genuine chuckle willowed forth on its own accord once Raiya reached the end of his letter- That marked the first time either of them failed to produce an answer to a riddle upon the next letter. However, Raiya could not, and did not hold Spencer to blame; she could only imagine how worn his mind was from the recent events. Nevertheless, that did not stop her from taking the opportunity to banter.

    Her correspondence was bound to Cyr's leg upon completion, and the bird was released. 

    The following letter was kept simple;

    _____

    Spence- 

    I look forward to hearing about what happened in that library, as well as who this "Marious" is. 

    Below are the coordinates to a safehouse that I will meet you at. Please be cautious as you approach the regions; there has been underlying unrest since the capture of King, and we currently do not know how far it has spread. There are spies everywhere, and they have not been kind to newcomers. Do not let anyone see you, and be sure to avoid drones. 

    If you get lost, follow Cyr. 

    Be safe and travel well, my friend. I will see you very soon ~

    Raiya

     

    Ps- I shall flaunt my title as victor for the time being. You may refer to me as "Master of riddles" from here on out. 

    _____

    Once Cyr was released, Raiya's pace picked up a significant degree to ensure she got to the location before Spencer did. 

     

    The coordinates would bring the other to the U.A.E, a mere few hours from the boarder to Oman. A lengthy, winding dirt road escorted travelers past numerous pastures harboring goats, deer and other various species of livestock.

    There was another, smaller dirt road that eventually deviated from the main one, and along that lengthy stretch lay the ultimate destination. It was a house that was quite small and humbly constructed. The overall exterior of the abode suggested signs of wear from the gritty touch of dust storms and direct heat alike. 

    Mountainous regions loomed over the flat terrain like giants in the distant horizon. An array of shadows were etched into the uneven mountainsides, casting the illusion of stained glass as the sun began to set into the nocturnal chapter.

    9858883677?profile=RESIZE_584x

    Feather-borne Epistles
    Feather-borne Epistles ;;-- a Collaborative Effort R A small duffel bag and a carry-along knapsack were plopped at the foot of the bed. The last fe…
  • A glance was spared back. They didn't leave anything behind. Every single thing was taken, from the thickest decaying tome to the smallest scrap of paper lingering in those shelves. It still didn’t look clean in the slightest, given that it has been sitting there for a very long time. Accomplishing that, however, felt like a huge relief, regardless of all peculiarities that happened for the night. She was just looking forward to clearing her head and getting started. 

    Cassella seemed grateful that some of the weight in her bundle was taken off, quickly placing her hand in his as soon as it was offered. Perhaps that can be a good indicator of how excited she was to head out. She didn't tense up anymore the moment it happened, simply allowing herself to be guided out without the slightest suspicion. Now properly anticipating the way it felt, she found it easier to relax, knowing that in just three steps, they will be back again in the relative safety of that library. That pressing feeling will leave soon enough, and before she knew it, the evening air of the ventilated area met her once more in a sudden hit. It was something that she always took for granted.

     

    The moment she was released, she audibly breathed in a lungful of fresh air. With her things clasped against her chest, she leaned against the wall behind her, scooting down to sit. It felt hard against her back, the entire concrete all cold and completely stable. A pale hand was held out at his query, however, as she nodded to reassure him. "I'm okay-- I'm just catching my breath." The gleam that she had seemed to finally restore itself. It was faint at first, flickering and finally gaining stability. “It felt like we've been packing stuff up for hours, I would have expected more sun...” She didn't seem stuck anywhere and she can actually move. Cassella wasn't panicking now, unlike what she did earlier. In any casual situation, she will most likely feel proud about that.

    But why does it feel like she was still trapped inside that wall? 

    It felt like the chill of a dead weight sitting on her chest. A familiar, stifling claw to the throat that she just couldn’t place… something she knew she felt before. Everything looked alarmingly darker than the last time she had been there, and despite the clearing lightheadedness, she could hear her heartbeat pounding inside her head. Something was wrong. Silver eyes watched intently as Spencer tried to flick on the switch, anticipating the flood of light to come in. Her grip on her stash tightened. 

    Nothing came. Not even the smallest spark.

    Fuck.

    With everything they just collected, fleeing seemed to be the most sensible choice. The woman stood up, not wasting a moment to follow. As soon as the doors snapped shut, Cassella felt her heart drop.

    The slow applause that followed was even worse. 

    Out of all times they needed to have this confrontation, it has to be now. Rooted on the spot, it didn’t take her long to locate the source of the sound, glimmering eyes finding that sinister silhouette on the third floor. Bearing eyes so sharp, almost murderous, might as well consider them dead. A pale man clad in black, with a stare so intense she could feel it boring upon them even at that distance. From the brief exchange, she can feel Spencer’s agitation, straining at the seams -- this must be Marius Krein, based on how badly he reacted. Putting a face and a memory to the name didn't feel as wonderful as it usually does.

    Her gaze wasn’t pinned there for too long, the light that she had now illuminated the shadows forming around them. The darkened miasma pouring forth from the darker corners coalesced into beastly figures, vile entities ready to shed blood at a moment's notice. Theirs. There was no vocal command or incantation said, it was as if these creatures operate on the strength of will alone. She was already chiding herself that she should have anticipated this the moment she stepped out. 

    The rest of the shadows were now closing in, guttural growls becoming louder. Cassella instinctively stepped in front of Spencer as the first three larger beasts advanced, willing to take her chances. With one arm already preoccupied, she held another hand out, smaller flares of pale light quickly collecting in her palm.

    What looked like a glowing scepter in her grasp rapidly gained length and expanded the moment it was fully swung, a fluid tendril of concentrated light cracking and lashing out like a whip. The first diagonal slash delivered sent out a flurry of white embers that flew past. Whether the blow connected to anything moving or not, tongues of fire will leap out the moment it lashes into something flammable. 

    If the light switches won't deliver, maybe the flames will, no matter how momentary. While she will agree that libraries and fires are not supposed to mix, if that will keep it at bay even just for a short while until they can strike back again, she will stop at nothing to use it.

  • "Of course, I trust you!" That whisper almost sounded defensive, but the conviction in her voice remained. Did he really think she will just throw that out in a single night? His story started as something that she knew, something that he already told her before... only to evolve into something else, something far more intriguing than what was originally said.

    In-between. That was a whole lot more different than just being dead. Probably brings in a whole lot more complications than just being cursed. Even with inspections going underway, it was obvious that Cassella was listening intently to all of that. Hoping to gain some proper insight, hoping to give some insight. There were many to be gained, but none to be properly given.

    You're probably a man of extraordinary questions if it's the assistance of the ancients that you seek...

    His very existence was now a glaring question asked to the world, with no proper answers as of yet. He was always running. Walking. Looking. Half a ghost that's so restless and unbound. Once more she found herself asking why, but right now, there are no reasons to be found.

    But maybe this little forsaken corner can be a good place to start.

     

    "Overwhelmed… and still stubborn," she chided at some point. But Cassella was no longer abrasive, in a way she sounded gentle from there. She did mention that she will stick around regardless, it felt better to say that out loud.

    "I mean if there would be more than one mage out there who would be just as crazy as the one tagging around with you, hiding something like this feels like a good idea. Without a keeper and any wards to protect it, though…" She looked like she was about to complain again, only to be distracted by something else. One book about folk magic in the region, a nomenclature of local cryptids, some pictures mostly eaten away. "I'm just glad they didn't throw it all away." They wouldn't have enough time to sort through all of them right now, but at least Spencer didn't seem to think that her idea was completely outrageous.

    With his statements finally clicking into place, she shrugged. "From the sounds of it, she probably does. To some degree, at least." Spirits are intriguing presences… many specters were merely residues of the lives they once lived, and then certain criteria can be met and some of them remain as sharp and sentient just like when they were still alive. Mages and necromancers up to the present day still discover many things about them. "...but I'm glad. We almost missed it. There has to be something in here that can help." 

    She laid out her bag flat on the dusty floor. With a low hum, she carefully took a few books, settling them near it, as if trying to measure something. The first ones were already taken in-- books no bigger than an A4 and A5, papers stable enough to be rolled or folded. "I'll see what I can do. I'd probably ask you to take the much bigger books if you can. The really huge ones and the rest that you can't fit can go in a plastic bag... I guess?"

    How classy. Cassella wished she could have a fancier suggestion for that. This. This is why she preferred to do this when she was so much more prepared. But he has his reasons, and she was now ready to accept that. "You sure the lady you spoke of won't mind? Did she mention anything else?"

    But off she went anyway, now sorting out the contents of the first nearby shelf by size. It was as if she was going through one rule of what can fit in the aperture of the bag. They were almost there, they just can't waste time here. Restoring and recreating these will be difficult, but maybe someday... it can be done.

    . . .

    Her light was starting to flicker and dim. It was getting a bit harder to breathe. Cassella should have expected it in a place so sealed away by both wood and thick concrete, the musty air in the place wasn't the best, to begin with.

    While she already made huge progress with temporarily binding things together, pushing things in, shelves clearing out, her bag eagerly devouring whatever she sticks, it was almost as if she was trying to keep something open the entire time and it was now becoming a struggle. She did explain at some point that she was opening a room somewhere, a nifty result coming out from collaborating with an old friend, with the only condition that what can fit in entirely depends on the current vessel she had. With papers this fragile, she wouldn't want to force it either. From how it looked, the space that she had isn't limited as of yet, but her energy is. Each breather taken felt worse, the fatigue setting in, each pause was enough to make her break into a cold sweat that she found it easier to steadily work instead of doing it in periodic bursts. They can't have it all, but at least she can endure that.

    What's left to take were the stacks of bigger articles, former hardcovers that have long declined and collapsed amongst themselves. Bigger compilations of hand-drawn signs, circles, and pictures of demonstrated rituals long forgotten or altered by many. Loose-leaf pages that would tear apart and crumble if folded in any way. A lot of them could be museum articles at this point. 

    "Should you ever encounter this lady again, I'd need you to thank her on my behalf." It was a throaty whisper. How much time has passed, she wasn't able to check. But it was a time well spent. 

    All they have to do at this point is go back. It shouldn't be difficult now, right

  • To his apologies, Cassella was silent, mostly because she was visibly unsure of what to say. She knew Spencer was sincere, every fiber of him proved that, and regrets so honestly said actually caught her off guard. When was the last time she was this honest of anything to admit her faults? The memory only caused a chill to creep up her spine, and she left it at that. A skeptical eyebrow was gradually raised when he declared that they wouldn't have to exorcise something that night, and now, he just led her towards a wall.

    Cassella had to look at him twice when he asked for her hand, wondering if she heard it right. She did. 

    "Alright…?" Not sure what to make out of that request, she took off one wool glove and offered her hand. Compared to this, hers felt warm-- not the heated blaze of a fever, but the mild warmth of a distant fire. "Dude-- you're freezing, are you okay?" She was about to offer the gloves that she had but based on how small and fragile her scarred hand looked compared to his, those probably won't even fit. She only stared at him at first, as if trying to make sense of what he was telling her, but eventually, she closed her eyes and took a deep breath, now completely at his mercy.

    One. The light that she had felt like it was completely blocked off.

    Two. If pitch black had a very distinct feeling, it was probably this. Cold, pressing, almost suffocating. If not for the fact that she was focusing on her breath, she would have panicked one way or another. The woman patiently pressed on.

    The third step felt like everything cleared all of a sudden. Her eyes fluttered the moment that her hand was free… except at that moment, three more bewildered orbs blinked upon her cheeks, disappearing in a moment's notice. The sight of the shelves bathed in her light was the first thing that registered to her. A space so small, containing a bunch of articles and papers crammed together. The smell that hit her was something that she will never mistake for anything else. Her mouth hung open, a squeak coming out. "W-what just happened? What--" She spun around, now met by the solid wooden door behind her. Her heart skipped a beat, and she can feel her mouth going dry. Turning to Spencer, that was the only time she noticed the haze, the way the rest of him seemed to finally properly materialize. Like a ghost. "How!?"

    She could only gape at him long enough for answers. A hand was very cautiously extended, tapping him by the arm. Solid. The illumination on her face didn’t hide any shred of emotion in there, as if that discovery just brought the initial shock to a new level. 

    “...”

    "At this point, I don't even know if I'm still dreaming or not, so I'm gonna just... go around and take a look..."

    And that’s what she did, regardless of her asking herself what the hell is going on and if they really just went straight through some wall. What if she got stuck? She started with the nearest corner that she can slide into. Some parts of the wall were damp beneath her fingers. Nothing else seemed to be hidden on those corners. As she approached the first shelf, a hand extended out, she hesitated.

    Gloves first. She fished around her things for a nitrile pair, triumphantly pulling them out. Another pair was handed over to the man just in case.

     

    Cassella carefully picked the first book that she could take from the nearest shelf, gently parting the others away. It was an old volume, pieces of the rotting leather cover already peeling off in her hands. Setting this on a surface, she gingerly flipped through the saturated pages, each movement causing her to hold her breath as if a mere exhale would rip them apart. A script that looked long lost, handwritten ink faded in so many patches, and yet based on how her face cleared up, Spencer might be on to something after all...

    This is what he has been looking for in this place, this whole time. Enough to risk his life here, in the middle of the night, even when darkness itself was out to grab him at any chance it can get. A low sigh was breathed out, finally breaking that silence.

    “Look, the night I said I’ll stick around to decrypt that book, I meant it.” It felt like something that needed to be said. Something that needed to be heard. "You said you don't want to push me further than what I'm willing to do. I'm willing to do whatever it takes to crack that thing." ...if you'd let me. She should have made that clear, that's probably on her. A grin found its way to her face as she stood on her tiptoes, reaching out for something on the higher corner. Two more journals were gradually pulled out and compared together. "If you thought otherwise, I’d take offense to that, but I don't want to chew you out further than I already did. I'm sorry I snapped at you. But you’ve got people around who actually care, who are willing to help, who will get worried for your sake, and I’m not the only one who’ll tell you that-- and just in case you forget, I'll remind you. I'm here.

    Glowing eyes swept back to him. Everything was forgiven. She certainly hoped he wasn't so shaken by her earlier-- he was already going through a lot. "Spencer, you don’t have to take on all of this all alone anymore. I won't promise that everything will be okay along the way, but we can only try." 

    With that, she got back to work. One row was taken apart to be examined. Each of them, no matter how bedraggled or crusted with hardened dust or mold, was brimming with potential. There's so much of them, but with how Spencer frantically said a while ago that this cannot wait until morning, there was just so little time. “They don’t deserve to be crammed in here, just forgotten and deteriorating off." Hands upon her hips, Cassella puffed out a breath. She tipped her head towards the shelves.

    "What do you think of whisking them all away with us?" 

    Right, just her casually suggesting to cart these out like it's no big deal. She wondered how he would react to that. "How did you find this anyway, and what's with the time frame?"

  • "You could have gotten into some deep shit and I wouldn’t even know!" Each word, while whispered, weighted that emphasis. With pale hands running through her hair, she followed him, padded boots not making a sound. The last ten minutes spent traveling felt like she had her heart in her throat the entire time, and now that she can actually see him there, it finally felt loose. “Spencer, you know all you have to do is say something. Ahead of time."

    So that's what it was, aside from the fact that she was just pulled out of bed, she was genuinely worried. She didn’t need to know someone for forever to see them as a friend worth fussing about, the days that passed have been enough. Cassella didn't really point or call him out for the past few days, but she wasn't blind to his plight, the way his enthusiasm gradually chipped away, or how she had observed him to seemingly zone out more often. She just figured that he’ll say something when he’s ready. 

    Who knew that it will reach this point? There was a time when the people she knew of pulled something like that out of desperation and that feeling and they returned half-dead. She shook her head with a sigh, glimmering locks bouncing off her shoulders. 

    Come to think of it, she would have heard or at least felt that somehow if he used the door. Did he use the windows? No, from the days that passed she warded those, not wanting to risk any breaches. How many times has he done this recently? At this point, does she even want to ask? 

    The shadows of the library were something worth noting about, and just because she was already partly relieved doesn’t mean that she was not trying to peer back. The light that she was shedding off was significant to illuminate a good fraction of their steps ahead, and yet none of that could be compared to the darkness that dominated the area. No matter, they will be out of here soon enough.

    At the question that soon followed, Cassella pursed her lips with a deep frown. “Of the dead? Yeah, the last one I met threw me off the fifth floor when I have to exorcise someone’s apartment...” While she knew that not all of them were that aggressive, that statement came out quieter than usual. She squinted at him. “What’s this about now and what’s that thing you found?”

    He didn’t find a poltergeist loitering around the place, did he?

  • To Cassella who had her fair share of madness, in a way she came to see it as something that came in varying degrees. A bizarre, colorful scope it was, and she didn’t usually fit the basic criteria of sane, always teetering and waltzing around the edges. Maybe trying her hand at this would be one of those times. Did he seriously think that she was ready to book it, just because she was having a moment? She would chuckle at that, getting up once more to start another unavailing session. “Not a chance, Spencer.”

    . . .

    Never the still-sleeper, it was either Cassella was trekking around the room or rolling around in the bed in slumber. She never heard Spencer complain about it once, given that he had his separate spot after all, but when did she ever hear the man complain about anything?  The distance from the table and the foot of the bed where she was originally curled up was considerable, and it took a small amount of crawling as the phone was finally reached, heading straight to the ear without much of a peek. She knew that ring tone. It was her personal number. 

    “The fuck do you want?” 

    To hear Spencer’s voice on the other end of the line was actually peculiar, which made Cassella look twice, even with how the glare of the screen temporarily blinded her. She honestly thought she was dreaming. The man, usually quite soft-spoken and quiet seemed… frantic? Excited? It was enough to pique the drowsy recipient’s attention for the most part. “Did you get locked out or something...” her voice trailed off as she finally listened.

    A groggy glance was cast to his bed. The covers have long fallen flat. 

    It was completely empty.

    Her eyes finally fluttered open with sudden clarity. Now wide awake, she shot up from the covers, the entire thing finally registering to her as she took the brief glimpse at the time. Spencer. In the Library. For a moment, all he will hear from the other end was the sound of consistent rustling. “Holy shit, are you kidding me? What in the world has gotten to you? What the fuck just happened to staying indoors until sunrise?” The woman’s voice was hushed. It did sound sharp, but it was already predominated with obvious worry. The woman was already a flurry of movement the moment she was up on her feet, one could only guess that she will be scolding a grown man if she wasn’t preoccupied. Scrambling to the window, she threw the curtains open for a brief moment. It was still very dark out, save for the faint glimmers of the lamp posts in the streets that she can see. 

    Madness? Is that what he meant? Did that really get to his head at this point? 

    “I’ll be there. Don’t drop the line. I need to know exactly where you are.”

     

    A thicker coat and a pair of gloves were enough, thrown over a slip of a long-sleeved nightdress. With her bag dragged along and slipping into a softer set of sheepskin boots, Cassella was already hurrying out, locks snapping open for her exit, all of it clicking back into place as soon as the door was closed. Taking the first tram that she can hail, with the driver having to briefly make sure that he was not onboarding an apparition in the wee hours of dawn, perhaps it felt like the longest tram ride she ever had. 

    She was no ghost. Ghosts aren’t meant to be taking phone calls, faintly chewing someone out on the other line, all the while hopelessly smoothening out the wisps of hair that relentlessly stuck out. The very few people who boarded the same place only spared her the briefest awkward stare, not wanting to trifle or earn the ire of that small cranky gremlin of a woman positioned near the doors. Based on her stance, it almost seemed like she was ready to flee at the first chance she can get, hopping off as soon as the tram opened to her destination. 

    Hypervigilant and alert, Cassella was now briskly walking towards the library. The only things that illuminated her path were the dim lights positioned for security’s sake. None of them were enough to keep anything at bay, but at least they were enough to be bent for her to cast a decent blur. With all worries of surveillance cast aside, gloved hands were now pressed against the second window to the left. 

    Bolts rattled and popped. For a breathless second, the woman paused to listen if the alarms will start to ring out, but fortunately, they didn't. She already yanked the thing upwards to slide it open, soundlessly slipping inside the darkness. She shut it right behind her.

    “I’m in.” 

    Her entry led her into one of the many rooms therein, and yet she picked her way around quickly. While she was no stranger in breaking inside populated spaces on the times that they were at their most quiet, this place was eerie nonetheless. It was certainly her first time breaking into this very specific venue. After making sure that she won’t run into anyone else, she finally treaded her way forward.

    In the darkness, Cassella won’t be difficult to spot. She was faintly glowing. Hair, skin, and all, it was like a splash of pale moonlight making her way to the center space. The only time she dropped the call was when she spotted the man, given by the light that he had.

    No, she doesn’t look very happy. Spencer had some explaining to do. He wasn’t completely able to tell her everything after all. 

    “Give me a very good reason why you have to haul your ass in here and what’s gotten you so worked up to drag me out at this time with you.”

  • "Yet." Cassella nodded at the trailing choice of words. She looked at him and then gazed down at what he was holding. For a brief moment, she herself seemed lost in thought, until she grinned. "We can still get those borrowed nonetheless. We got almost four weeks standard for a loan." 

    A place where dark arts and magic aren’t hidden away or erased. Two places come to mind. And yet a part of her still doubted that it’ll contain what they were seeking at the moment. It wouldn’t hurt to look, but they just need to make sure they wouldn’t leave any stone unturned with the resources they currently got. The State Library isn't the only one there is in this city. “I have to finish my initial notes with that anyway. Take down what's there, or what's missing. See if there are any locks that we’ve missed.”  

    “What do you feel like having for dinner?” 

     

    . . . 

     

    A small corner of the suite was transformed into a little cranny of notes in a matter of days. A part of the wall was not exactly spared with a full spread of papers adorning it, some taped several times over. It consisted of a series of charts and tags layered all together, a map that didn’t seem to lead anywhere, not making much sense to anyone else other than the one who was painstakingly constructing it. Yet for some reason, there was the undeniable fact that all of these can be taken out so easily and stuffed somewhere in an emergency, which seemed like it hasn’t occurred yet. 

    It was safe to say that there weren’t any locks of magical nature that she knew of that needed to be unraveled, after running a few tests. Other than the growing piles of notes, a trusty trash can near the woman’s bed already cradled a set of crumpled papers to the brim. To Cassella, this seemed like the only indication of her progress so far. The codices and ciphers that didn’t work, references that initially felt like a breakthrough in memory only to be shattered upon comparison. To the kindly hosts who came to see them as a very regular face, the two were probably just students in the middle of their thesis, slaving their way into linguistics and history. It became a typical occurrence for the young woman to turn up lugging a few books and journals, always returning before the first hint of sundown.

    Despite the effort and the seemingly growing obsession from her end, all the time spent through each page seemed fruitless. And in all honesty, Cassella was growing alarmed, waist-deep in existential crisis. It’s not an uncommon feeling, but now it has a decent reason to hit.

    It's okay, it's just a few days so far, certain books took you years to transcribe halfway. 

    Years. Do they even have that much time? At this rate, with someone in their heels, they don’t. That doesn't sound as comforting as it should now, and more often than not she will be noticed to be shaking her head at that thought. The grip that this book had on her and the minor panic seemed to bleed in her sleep as well, for all those instances of her waking up in the middle of the night, with no memory of treading her path from the bed to that little nook that they made. It didn’t seem to be a massive disturbance compared to the history of serious accidents that she had during sleepwalking, but a part of her hoped that Spencer won’t mind.

    There was so much resource that she has been pulling out recently, from soft to hard copies of previous works, and yet none seemed to crack through anything at all. She must have been pretty desperate to subtly ask a few other people for help, family members who seemed quite “pleasantly surprised” to hear from her once more after months of radio silence. 

    Though in each call, she can sense their growing interest, bleeding from the gentle questions asked. What has gotten into her to check in more often? Why would she ask for a copy of a particularly restricted file? What’s with her asking for anything draconic? What sort of academic project is she working on when everyone knew she was searching for people? All of those, she was primly dodging so far, but one can only come up with so many fool-proof excuses. She cannot exactly declare that she was trying to decode an old grimoire or a fresh layer of hell and questions will break loose.

     

    “I think I get it. I think I get what you feel, Spencer. I get what that Marius guy feels.” 

    Perhaps it was frustration. Finally, it was starting to sink in.

    It was one early morning when Cassella will be found, lying on the relative safety and softness of the fluffy carpet floor, papers on hand. Surprisingly, she didn't seem vexed in the slightest, her expression immaculate. Was she admitting defeat? Far from it. The woman has always been persistent like the very life form she had always embodied. If it’ll take her lifetimes to go through something, she would, without hesitation. And yet every once in a while, there were events that will make her question many things that she had ever worked for. Was her method too aggressive so far? Was she missing something? Maybe she was struggling too hard when she should be gently coaxing the book to work with her, instead of treating it as some enemy to be conquered. Just like how she was being drawn in.

    Or maybe they're currently working on the wrong end. 

  • "No no, I'm from a faraway place, though my old Uncle once said that our pod used to live in a place like this. Dunno if it's real or not, all he said about why we all left was something about an exodus, and some big scary fire dragon that wanted to enslave them."

    If Amatheia was familiar with her own nation's history, it'd be more than easy for her to catch on. Most of what he said could be cross-referenced, and might require further questioning should she or someone else decide to engage him more. For now, they continued further towards their destination on what was arguably a scenic route, one that had him admiring all the little homes beneath, and beside them.

    Time to see where this would lead them.

    . . .

    It was difficult to ignore all the little details and scenery they came across, especially with the abundance of marine life that could only be found near the surface. How in the world did porpoises survive here? Did air pockets exist at these kinds of depths? This place only brought more questions than answers. 

    Since his stomach had been grumbling, Tempest made a brief turn towards an oncoming Hammerhead with the intent of sinking his fangs into it. Noticing that they might be getting farther without him, he shifted back on course and resumed, hopefully she wouldn't notice.

    Eventually reaching it, the azure and golden scaled beast lowered himself to fit under, practically having to drag his underbelly against the floor. Oddly enough, he glanced down at his talons upon realizing that he wasn't floating anymore but standing now. "Now this is cool…" The large reptile commented with some enthusiasm. 

    "We found some weird stones that guided us in. As for big beefy boy, y-yeah, but he's good, just grouchy when somebody wakes him up." Shifting his gaze towards Spencer for a moment, he'd remember when they first met the brute and that hit he received earlier. For now, the sea drake shrugged with a lightly amused smirk at the thought of it.

    "Let's go meet this Queen." Mentally reminding himself of why they came, Tempest began his walk inside, going straight for wherever the Nereid would lead them. If something or someone was waiting inside, he was going to approach them once they were in the interior.

    During their walk inside, his head leaned over to whisper in Spencer’s ear. "Do you think Kaida is here?..."

  • “Ughhh, how many of us does it take to subdue ONE autobot?!” Becoming increasingly irritated by the fact that just one rogue bot was giving them Hell, the unknown Flyer took it upon himself to raise a blaster and take aim. His weapon would be facing the white menace who relentlessly beat the sparks out of another underling of his, who had a difficult time retaliating from how frequently he was being struck by a metal fist.

    “AH GAHHHH!!!” All of a sudden, the terrain beneath their feet split, causing both him, and his partly brutalized grunt to fall in place, ultimately trapping them as the Flyer shrieked out of panic. Thankfully his shot easily missed its target and put a burning hole through a container instead. Squirming there, the crimson-eyed bot glanced around hysterically as Unity leaped back to avoid it, only to raise a wrist so he could call upon reinforcements.

    “I need the fifty-third seeker armada here NOW!”

    Not good.

    Knowing they wouldn’t have long until their arrival, the white mech turned and sprinted over towards Spencer, one hand lowered and all digits spread out to receive him. Taking both him, the book, and whatever else he might have, the man was held against his pointed chest during the run, glancing back to hear the thundering rumbles of what sounded like jets in the sky. Time was short, and they needed to flee.

    “Whatever you do, don’t puke on my floor mats!”

    Soon, the former Rider was hurled in the air, in addition to Unity leaping up. If anyone could see what was going on in slow motion, all his exterior plates and limbs shifted, augmenting its shape so he could form into something else. What came out of this was a white Lamborghini Aventador, a two-seater supercar of Italian design, hence the visible wheels that were once behind his shoulders. Once complete, Spencer would end up in his driver seat, followed by a jolt from him landing his tires on the concrete.

    All four wheels squealed as he sped out of there, revving up his false motor while leaving their adversary. Several turns were taken until they’d enter a main road trailing towards a highway ahead, using his brakes to quickly drift around corners and hit the accelerator wherever possible without overshooting it. A few motorists blasted their horns from how frequently he was changing lanes and zipping right past them.

    “Something tells me we haven’t lost them yet.” The mechanized stranger commented, only to pose a question soon after. “What was that trick you pulled back there? Assuming you made those holes.”


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"A sigh of relief left the man when the spell had taken its root on the men. He made himself known…"
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