[ the squad is back together, boys :D I'm still in the middle of nowhere but I'll be back in the real world tomorrow. I'm sitting in a café right now and hopefully will have time to get some character ideas down ;) ]
Queen's Valley, Arcya It was quiet. Eerily silent, in fact. The streets were dark and dead, which, for anyone who lived in Queen's Valley before the plague, would know that the streets were never quiet. But tonight, only the wind's rattling breath skittered through the streets, rustling the skinny branches on the slender trees planted to break up the harsh metallic gloom of a city born and built to be industrial and gleaming. A city raised by vampyres to match the steel underneath the silk skin. The same vampyres who lay dying all over the city. Up in the gleaming tower of Fairchild Industries, a corporation founded with good intentions, but meant to be the destruction of many peoples, the last heir was breathing her last few breaths.
The hope for the future, a now skeletal figure who still burned with ignited revenge and rage, was dwindling. She had outlasted her entire family, each of them dropping like flies in the noonday heat. Her last companion, a beautiful blond human sat by her side, desperately trying to will Evelyn Fairchild to eat something. But even though her vein was ready to be opened, Evelyn Fairchild refused. She would not spend her last moments vomiting up the very nourishment that kept her alive. She'd already done that enough and she wouldn't allow what little was left of her pride to be smashed to pieces again. Evelyn looked at the monitor she was hooked up to, taking her vitals, as if she was a meek human. She'd had it set up in her office, her home still full of her siblings and cousins things. Things she couldn't bear to look at anymore. The human's lip trembled as she reached out and took the fragile, shaking fingers of Evelyn.
And at two in the morning, a great empire fell without an heir as Evelyn closed her bloodshot blue eyes for the last time and her fluttering heart beat no more against her thinning ribs. In the papers the next morning the human girl would say how she could almost see Evelyn's heart stop beneath paper thin, ice-cold skin.
- - -
The aftermath of the plague was not quick. Despite how the vampyres fled Queen's Valley, the sickness hit any and all at random. Not even angel blood could cure the illness, only alleviate some of the pain associated with it. Eventually, the plague seemed to stop spreading. The ones who were sick lingered longer as if it was toying with them. And in Queen's Valley, the noise returned. And it exploded with a boom. Suddenly, now weakened by the loss of so many of their kind, the vampyres were being found dead in their homes. Found dead in bars. Found dead with iron daggers thrust into their spines and into their chests. All with the same mark branded into their doors, their walls, on their cheeks.
A burning flame with a coiled snake.
The Burningcloaks had been waiting to strike.
Their headquarters in Queen's Valley was in a sleek warehouse, owned by a Dhampyr with greedy hands and little love for his ancestors. It kept them anonymous, just nameless, faceless regular people looking to seek revenge on vampyres for any kind of reason. As Aurora Quinn knew, it was better to not ask questions around the compound. Keep your head down, do your work, and watch your bank account grow. Maybe one day she'd use that money. But for now, she glanced down at her blood-soaked black gloves and cringed. Another pair ruined. She had also lost one of her favorite iron daggers tonight in a brawl with a vampyre. She'd eventually plunged it deep into the back of his skull, but she was left with bruises and scrapes and bloodier than she'd like to admit.
The back of the compound was locked with armored guards, the only tipoff that it wasn't just a loading port for a hauling company. Aurora flashed her tattoo at the guard, swiping her translucent card through the door and slipped inside. She stripped off her bloody gloves and fatigues, scrubbing herself down in one of the many sterile showers in the facility and throwing on another identical pair of black pants, socks, sweatshirt, and sneakers. Once inside the main compound, it looked like the kind of place you'd see on high tech crime tv with screens everywhere, the soft glow of blue emanating from polished white floors. Dozens of people sat at computers, headsets firmly resting on their heads and typing away at clicky keyboards. Rory wandered over to her favorite tech nerd to check in, recording what happened and putting in an order for two fresh daggers and another iron bullet gun. She didn't like using them, but damn, they made her job easier.
Once she finished, she slipped into an elevator just as it was closing with a bunch of her peers. People she hadn't bothered to learn their names. Only three people mattered to her. If she could even call it that. She tightened her ponytail and stepped out on the third floor, heading down the long hallway to the quarters she spent most of her time in. The Burningcloaks were run by an independent, unknown entity. Not even higher level assassins like Rory knew who she took orders from. They just were hammered down by their agents and supervisors. To Rory, the tech geeks.
But after a few hard knocks on a specific door, which swung open wide to reveal one of the people who were probably her "friends". Maya Finch was long-legged and beautiful, not wearing the typical black fatigues but rather a Huntington Wolves hockey hoodie and sweatpants. "Rory, you're back!" She exclaimed moving back to let Rory enter her room that she usually hosted to the Railey jinn and herself.
"Yes," Rory said, sliding into the room. It was small, like all of their rooms, but cozy. Tapestries hung from the walls, a desk covered in books, and a bed with more blankets than any one human should need. Rory knew that Maya didn't spend all of her nights here, preferring a small apartment on the east side, but it was a place Maya had made her own after losing her home. Rory didn't know how and didn't care to ask. Rory sat down on the desk chair, backward, legs straddling it and placed her arms on the back, head on her arms.
"Roe, I was just telling Adri that it is a big deal that Evelyn Fairchild is dead," Maya said, flopping back on the bed with her girlfriend.
Rory rolled her eyes. "Who? A dead vamp is a dead vamp, sooner the better," Rory said without hesitating, letting her eyes fall closed and sighing. "Anyway, I'm hungry, let's go down to get some food in the mess hall," Rory said, maneuvering the conversation away from politics.
- - -
About halfway across the city, in a shady alleyway close to the bay where the boats came into Queen's Valley, the police swarmed over a crime scene. Two dead humans, a dead vampyre, and a scarred angel. The last of whom had been yet to be taken away since none of the hospitals were necessarily angel friendly at this time. Any of the vampyre hospitals that might've brought in an injured angel in exchange for some blood, once they were healthy of course, blamed the angels for being unable to cure the plague victims. And human hospitals were poorer and understaffed, especially since as terror swept over the city and vampyres left, pulling their funding from the human hospitals as they did; abandoning Queen's Valley to the wolves. And even if there was a quality hospital, the police hesitated to send the angel there, not knowing what kind of shadiness was going on in them to angels, considering they were rare and had such a high value placed on their bodies.
All of these factors played into Daniel Bird's reasoning for calling a vampyre. One who was doing good for the community in small amounts. A strange guardian angel of sorts. And when he pulled up in his iron armored pick-up truck that was rather beat up and a rust red color, Daniel could breathe a sigh of relief. He had bigger things to worry about than an angel poacher's mission gone wrong and ending up in the deaths of three civilians. Once Daniel saw Atlas Blackburn hop out of the truck looking strange in the middle of a crime scene in his black sweatshirt and painted stained jeans.
"Detective Bird," he said as he approached, holding out a large hand for Daniel to shake. He did, noticing the callouses and the strength in his hand. Daniel was still a good five or six inches taller than Atlas, but he felt like he would definitely be snapped in half if Atlas wanted to.
"Thank you for coming, the wounded angel is by that cop car. Won't tell us his name, but he's pretty shaken up. They got his wings from what I hear." Daniel suppressed a shudder, secretly glad he was only half angel and didn't have the coveted wings. It was a guilty thought, but one he thought nonetheless. Atlas said nothing more, just motioned to a few of his people and approached. Daniel quickly made his way back to the car, having already appointed another officer for the main investigation. He had to get across the city to Disturbia, a well-known vampyre owned bar that perhaps held a clue to the child disappearances.
Atlas, on the other hand, quietly approached the police car. A human female officer was crouching by him, murmuring in a soft voice. She straightened sharply when she saw him coming. Her dark eyes flashed with distrust in the blue-red gleam of the cop cars. He had brought another angel with him and a human. The human, Jonathan hung back a bit, trying not to look at the black body bags a few yards away. Lexa, Atlas hoped, would handle herself better. Jonathan was good at being a 'yes man' and brought his patients everything they needed. But he hoped Lexa would help him calm this frightened and traumatized angel so they could help him. Care for him, make sure he felt safe and secure, at least as much as he could feel.
- - -
Downtown, through thick and thin, the club Disturbia thrived. It was owned by a wealthy and rich family that was older than most of Queen's Valley. But after the head of the family decided to settle down with his family and his siblings wanted to raise families of their own, Queen's Valley became owned by another powerful family. Or it was. Daniel kept having to remind himself that Queen's Valley didn't have any structure now that the vampyres were gone. The aristocracy had either died or gone back to their mountain castles. Maybe it was going to be a new era in Queen's Valley. Daniel shook away his thoughts as he headed towards the shady nightclub.
His heart was in his throat as he approached the doors, managing to slid inside quite painlessly, despite his work clothes and not being on the list. The bouncer was hot and all it took was a couple whispers and winks and flashes of his throat and he was inside. He'd lost his tie in the car, but he still stood out like a sore thumb. With his long trench coat, tucked in white button down and slacks ending with shiny loafers, he was nothing like the other perfumed, scantily clad dancers. The music thumped, pulsing like a heartbeat as the lights swirled among honey sweet mist. Glistening arms and legs and throats flashed, jewels coating the skin, and wrapping around wrists and necks.
To be honest, Daniel didn't quite know what he was doing here. He knew that there was someone who knew something. The anonymous tip dragging him here was clear enough. He struggled to the bar, at least feeling more comfortable near the dimmer light. But the bar wasn't much better. The drinks were neon in the blacklights and the light was poisoned green, casting an eerie glow over the barmen. He didn't order anything, but he still felt painfully out of place. He just had to relax a bit. But it was hard in a claustrophobic and crazy place like Disturbia.
When you are a mere child living a sheltered lifestyle, rained upon by love and protection, you never stop to think about the dangers of the future. You are entrapped by your security of home and family, not looking past it at the smoke rising in the distance, coming for you. That was how Lexa Hale’s upbringing was when she was a child, prancing about the gardens of Ellery. Naturally, this was not necessarily a bad thing and instead the opposite, since she was from a compassionate family as well as a well-guarded area of the island. She was lucky; it was true. Not everyone could say they had a childhood like hers, and Lexa never acted like a spoiled brat even though she could have. No, she never saw herself as above anyone else because she was not. She is not. She’s just Lexa and that was always fine with her.
However, just as the tides change, so does everyone’s life at some point. Every person faces an obstacle, maybe a traumatic one, that tests their limits and their mental health, you could say. Life is life, even for an angel. Even for a sheltered one who seemingly has it all. Lexa never expected it. Perhaps no one really could. It had been a beautiful day, which was quite a normal day for Ellery, mind you. A few clouds dotted the light blue skies above with the sun’s rays illuminating the already magnificent island. Then there was Lexa, who had been strolling down a path near the outskirts of the island, not aware of the danger that was lurking in the bushes.
She was ambushed and drugged within seconds. Innocent. Taken from her life. Her home, her family, everything was gone like that. Lexa didn’t stir until after they had hauled her off to Arcya, where she was one of the unfortunate souls that became a blood slave to vampyres. Drained and drained and drained, all because of her precious angel blood. Eventually she became numb to the pain and the abuse. Everything became worse, a buyer one day wishing to take Lexa’s lovely gray feathered wings. That was worse than death, and it was for many angels who lost their wings. Their wings were apart of who they were. She became lost and numb after they were ripped off her back without a second thought, without any mercy. Only cruelty. Lexa’s earthshattering cries of pain and despair could be heard from the heavens above, and yet the vampyres on the ground never once flinched.
Her abductors kept her despite knowing she was weak and practically on her death bed. They planned to keep taking her blood, seeming so smug and victorious over their fortunes. And Lexa thought it was the end. It should’ve been the end. She should have died, but a miracle came her way. Lexa was able to escape one quiet night, when most of the vampyres were out of the house and only a few drunk ones were left. That poor, wingless angel ran and ran, tears streaming down her cheeks while dry blood stained her back, where her wings used to be. Lexa didn’t know how long she was on the run, but eventually she was found by another soul.
It was another vampyre, and of course that made Lexa petrified. Yet, there was nothing to be scared of. There was no reason to be scared of Atlas Ethan Blackburn, which Lexa would eventually come to find.
A nervousness swept over her whenever Atlas stopped the truck at the crime scene, her dark green eyes seeming to automatically shift to the body bags. Lexa tightened her jaw, looking at Atlas in concern but he was already getting out of the vehicle. The angel glanced at Jonathan briefly before following behind the vampyre who had saved her a while back. He saved her in many ways. See, with Atlas’s work, he did a whole lot of good for angels who had lost their wings. He made Lexa new wings from the Angel Iron he discovered, and Lexa had never been so thankful in her entire life. She owed him a debt, despite the fact that Atlas constantly told her she did not.
Regardless, Lexa decided to stay with him and she currently lived with him now, helping him in cases like these. During the time of them knowing each other, the two had become very close and Lexa would never look at any other vampyre the way she looked at Atlas. Looks of trust, comfort, and affection. However, at the moment, Lexa’s eyes were on the terrified male angel who had been stripped of his wings that tragic night. Lexa’s jaw tightened and her heart instantly twisted, for she knew this feeling all too well. Letting out a shaky breath, Lexa’s attention strayed back to Atlas for a few seconds. She studied the man before nodding, tucking strands of hair behind her ear as she approached the car.
She didn’t say anything to the officer but gave her a respectful nod, carefully bending down to the other angel. “Hey…” She began softly, trying to be as gentle as possible since she understood how this angel was feeling. “My name is Lexa. I’m not going to hurt you, I promise. I’m… I’m an angel like you.” Lexa explained slowly, trying not to glance near his back where his wings were no longer there. She furrowed her eyebrows, trying to remain composed. She paused in thought before tilting her head, giving him a slight smile that of course was a bit forced due to the tragic situation. “What’s your name?” Lexa asked that carefully, hoping he would open up to her.
If not to a human officer, then perhaps he would to a fellow angel.
Declan & Adrianna Railey ;; Jinn
Queen’s Valley was buzzing that time of year. Well, this decade, this century, whatever suits your fancy. The point was, dangers lurked around every corner and Arcya wasn’t a safe place for many nowadays. Left and right, people were getting killed or taken. Numerous vampyres were being decimating thanks to that annihilating plague, and now they were being hunted by the infamous Burningcloaks. Human children were being kidnapped and people didn’t know why and there didn’t seem to be any trails left behind to follow. And angel poachers were a parasite, especially, taking angels and making them into blood slaves while some had the unfortunate luck of getting their wings taken. Countless violence happening. Broken hearts scattering the streets. Hope slowly fading away from the city.
Not just the city. Most of the world was beginning to lose hope.
It was not a lost cause, though. Well, not for those who weren’t vampyres. For those who were, they better watch their backs, because an organization set on wiping them out was gradually spreading its influence. A grand majority of the Burningcloak members had similar histories and similar ambitions. Naturally, they all practiced the hunting of vampyres, yes, but most of their own personal motives had similarities. Many of them lost someone to those fiendish bloodsuckers and that loss has been a weight on their shoulders. Longer than others for some. Friends were lost or family members or maybe even an acquaintance, but that person’s death still took a toll on the Burningcloak’s conscience. Regardless of the varying and diverse histories, all of the members had at least one thing in common…
They held a huge grudge against vampyres.
Adrianna and Declan Railey were Jinn siblings who fled from a war torn Izaro with their parents many years ago. Peace never lasted forever, though, which was an unfortunate revelation to everyone for different reasons. While hiding out at an old farm, the family was attacked one cloudy night by nasty vampyres, probably made ones based on their rabid behaviors. Not that they gave a damn about that, though. Their parents were trying to protect their children at all costs, and the mutual decision they made was based on love for Adrianna and Declan. After sneaking the children out the back door and telling them to run, their parents confronted the vampyres once more, and held hands as they burst into flames like Phoenixes.
It crushed them. Bluntest way to put it. But years after that tragedy, they stumbled upon the Burningcloaks, vampyre hunters. What a life that led to them having. Day after day, they found themselves taking down bloodsuckers and giving Queen’s Valley a bit more purity, although it would be a while before it’s completely cleansed. The Fairchild situation, though, sparked a lot of talk. Adrianna glanced up whenever there was a knock on the door, watching as Rory was let into their room by an exclaiming Maya. Against the wall was Declan, who was sitting on the floor, reading some sort of book. While Adri inhaled a deep breath and gave Rory an acknowledging nod, Declan didn’t react and remained quiet.
It wasn’t surprising to Adri that Rory didn’t give a shit about the Fairchild news. Not that the human assassin wasn’t right, though. Frankly, it was true that a dead vampyre was a dead vampyre. This was fortunate news for the organization, although it also was much more important than Aurora seemed to think. With the Fairchild heir gone for good, things were going to become much more interesting. In a good way or bad way? They would find out. Adrianna paused before nodding. “Fine.” She sighed under her breath, patting Maya’s arm before slipping off the bed. Declan cocked an eyebrow, his gaze shifting toward Rory before he frowned and tossed the book on the desk. He let out a soft grunt as he rose off his feet, following his sister.
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Arrow↠Deirdre: I'll take some writing. I'm also available to roleplay for a few hours tonight ^-^
Feb 16, 2019 23:13:34 GMT -5
Arrow↠Deirdre: Just shoot me PM if you're still up for it
Feb 16, 2019 23:14:58 GMT -5