Mystic Shadows

Mystic Shadows is a modern dark fantasy role play. Were magic and monsters are common and nightmares lurk.
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 I see dead people, and the devil was with them.

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Posts : 19
Join date : 2015-01-13

PostSubject: I see dead people, and the devil was with them.   Fri Jan 23, 2015 6:46 am

"Alright, that will be all". Said the lady in blue office wear, bunned blonde hair and oval thin rimmed glasses. "It's really great to be working with people who always submit their articles on time. You have no idea how big of a problem it is to have late entries. I mean oh my god it's the news for god's sake!" After that little rant, all three around the coffee table rose from their respective seats on the couch and exchanged handshakes. "No problem, miss Van Winkle". Nial confirmed, confident tone hiding his weariness even though the circles under his eyes already betrayed him.

When the meeting ended, Story and Nial walked side by side towards the building exit, the exhausted man slipped both hands into his pants pocket and sighed. "Let's call it a day here. I think I'm too old to be staying up for sixty hours straight, even with a barrel of coffee". His gaze turned to his partner, who still appeared lively and glowing radiant despite staying up with him throughout the ordeal to finish their work. Of course, it wasn't that Story wasn't as worn out as Nial, it's just that she, like any other city girl, has the female exclusive magic called make up.

After her partner dropped her off at her apartment, Story went ahead to take a shower, changed into her baby blue pajamas and read the evening news held in one hand whilst her other scrubbed towel against her wet hair. The articles were interesting, like 'Swiper swipes again', 'Where is Carmen Sandiego' and 'Rift: Portal to another world?' Those were topics that usually catches her attention, but at current her mind was all on the incident by the docks. Were the bodies destroyed or did the MIRA cover it up? Perhaps she would look into it more at a later time. Placing the newspaper down, the violette hung her towel on a hanger and sat by her dressing table after plugging her electrical hairdryer in. The reflection of that young lass as portrayed in the mirror was not as flattering as when she had her makeup on, but that was basically the norm for most if not all women. Well, human women, at least to her knowledge.

It was only past noon, but as the girl combed her hair in front of her dresser, the drowsiness from staying up for so long finally kicked in, eyelids felt like they weighed a ton each as her head that was bobbing up and down finally conceded and lowered on her makeshift pillow arms while her reflection gazed upon the sleeping beauty, smiling.  

Katy Perry's 'Firework' started playing from the chorus. The sleeping purplette jolted awake in her bed, then stretched and yawned before picking up her phone. "Hey Story! Where are you? We have a scoop on our hands!" Even in her drowsy state, the girl could still easily recognize the voice of her partner. "Um, I'll be right in the office..." The girl did little to hide her sleepiness, though she wasn't the type to get grouchy from being awakened so suddenly. Rolling on her back, the femina gave a glance towards the clock on her bedside table. 7.30 a.m. "No time for that! I'll be heading towards Sigmund Hospital. Meet you there". The phone hung up. Sigmund Hospital, a psychiatric hospital, was named after the famous psychiatrist Sigmund Freud, but since then renamed to Suriel Hospital under the influence of religion... or rather, the physical proof that Angels exist. Story's partner, Nial, never really believed that the protection of Angels come simply by renaming a building in theirs, which was why he had stuck to calling it by its old name for nostalgia purposes. No, Nial wasn't a patient there, but he had interviewed many inside since his time as a rookie reporter. Being with Nial for that long, Story had no problem understanding his references or the urgency in his tone. It sounded like a big scoop, and Nial was rarely wrong with his honed instincts. After quickly changing into a red buttoned blouse and long black pants, she applied foundation, mascara and lip gloss, slipped her makeup kit into her slingbag which she would carry and headed out.    

At the scene, police line was drawn out and reporters were already taking their respective positions. By experience, Story realizes the interest level in this particular scene was low from the media group that had gathered and the equipment they brought. She found her partner Nial waving to her when she arrived, and beckoned for her to start taking pictures as he explained. "Isabella Dyson, 25 years old, jumped from the roof last night and landed right there". His pointer finger directed towards the tape marking on the floor with blood marks around, the body obviously been removed by the police. While snapping photos with her handheld camera, Story commented "So someone from a psychiatric hospital jumped to their death. If it were a patient, then it would explain the lack of interest of our competitors since there wasn't much mystery that couldn't be guessed. You said it was a big scoop, so I presume you didn't mean flaming the hospital and social system for this incident, hmm?" A knowing yet inquisitive look was passed on to Nial, who took a long drag of his cigarette and exhaled before answering the question only those who knows him like his partner does would ask. "This isn't just any suicide case. We're a little late for the body, but according to my agent, it was covered in certain markings". Agent, a term Nial would use to describe those who tipped him off, like a police's agent. "Certain markings?" It could mean anything really, and damn if her partner would play these suspense games with the curious cat. Nial, instead of elaborating, pointed to the ground where the spilt blood were. "...Sigils". It wasn't obvious to Story at first, but after that guidance, she managed to recognize a few symbols of power inscribed... no, more like remnants of magic left behind in the form of blood written seals. The purplette herself could not really decipher the words since they were camouflaged by more blood and that she did not really go out of her way to learn all these symbols from piles after piles of ancient, demonic, angelic and other languages. While she mulled over the information, her thoughts were disrupted by her partner. "Look". Her gaze inadvertently followed Nial's to a blonde haired man with a short neat cut, barely a stubble and moustache on his face. He was of average height and build in a long brown trench-coat worn over a white shirt, unfastened black tie and black pants standing on the other side of them, also behind the police line. "He's a headhunter". Story had been with her mentor long enough to not question how he knows certain things. It could have been his sixth sense, gut instincts gathered from experience or something else entirely that even Nial himself couldn't explain. "So you think this might be a work of the occult?" The girl stared at her partner with big purple eyes, camera lowered as her task with it was completed. "Well, we'll just have to go over there and find out, won't we?" Nial winked.
"So, what do you suppose did this?" Almost like they were already acquainted, Nail casually stood beside the man and struck the conversation up like it was the most natural thing to do. The way the veteran journalist did it was professional, but it seemed like that wasn't enough to lower the stranger's guard. Only a glance was spared and an obligatory response "Well I suppose she did this to herself". before the stranger started walking away with a knowing smirk. On that note, there really wasn't anything Nial could do other than just let the stranger go. He was the persistant type yes, but there was a time and place for everything. Of course, it wasn't all loss as both journalists had remembered the stranger's face for in the event that he shows up again.

While Nial went off to do some more snooping, Story was in the local library, going through a pile of occult books to look for symbols matching those in the photo she had taken. It was tough doing that with unclear markings, especially when there were thousands if not millions of symbols, a tenth of which looking like the very one she was looking for. But she was persistant, as a journalist should be. The femina was usually hard to distract when she studies, typically lost in the world brought to life via alphanumerics. But in the midst of her research, the ceiling light above her began to flitter before it went out, a cold breeze brushed against her nape in a place where windows were shut and the uncanny howling sound all put in together managed to draw her attention and made her turn her head. Even though it was a library, the deafening silence was unnatural and eerie, the air so still even the sound of air conditioner was inaudible. Her walking shoes seemed to create ehoes as she moved from her seat and walked across the rows of shelves to find absolutely no one in any aisle, as if the entire library if not the entire world was devoid of any living creature but her. Her already racing heart almost jumped out of her throat when an indescribable screech came from the direction of her previous seat, one of her books so conveniently falling from its stack and opened up. Curiosity getting the better of her, Story swallowed hard, but slowly and cautiously returned to the table, peering into the book that was opened. The sigils that matched those in her photos were in view, as if someone was deliberately hastening her investigation. As she reached down and her hand touched the book, the familiar noise of human whispers, shoes grinding against floor and pages flipping returned to the library along with the ceiling light that had previously went out.  

Katy Perry started singing again. The startled girl picked up her phone. Nial was on the other line. "Hey Story? It turns out that Isabella had a twin sister named Angelina. I'll pick you up in five and we'll head over to her house". Efficient as ever, her ex-mentor was. "Okay".

The journalist duo arrived in the apartment in a quarter of an hour. The very average looking kind with a long corridor and multiple doors on each side very neatly positioned for every level above ground, not unlike the one Story lives in. The purplette wasn't at all surprised at her partner's ability to gather information so fast, just like how he wouldn't be when he learns that Story had already figured out the origin and meaning of the symbols she was supposed to decipher. Nial and Story were on the fourth storey corridor where Angelina's unit was supposedly located when sparks of bright light seeping through one of the doors in flashes caught their attention, followed by the noise of glass shattering. "Let's go". It wasn't much of a cue rather than it being an encouragement from Nial in case his partner chickened out... which would have been the wise thing to do. Nonetheless, when the duo barged in the door that was so conveniently left ajar, all they saw was a woman in casual wear presseing her back against the wall and a man - the same person they saw just hours ago at the hospital, standing near the broken window. Both of them turned their head at the intruders when they arrived.  

The quartet was locked in a staring contest of sorts, each other person caught up in their own thoughts and assumptions, some possibly containing a certain level of hostility. Doors began opening on the level, worried tenants not working their dayjob emerging from their homes, some even bearing weapons as they laid their eyes upon the general direction where the sound came from. The situation was getting more stressful with each passing moment until her voice broke the tension "Miss Angelina, we're reporters from the Mystic news! We have some questions for you regarding your sister's death, if you don't mind..." Her volume gradually lowered as the statement progressed, but the last part were still within audible range. The woman who was up against the wall sighed, palm pressing against her forehead. "Look, my sister died today, I really don't want to be doing this right now. So could you please, please just leave me alone?" "Yeah, leave the lass alone would ya?" the man in trench coat chimed in. Nial hankered to speak up, but the look in the other man's eyes told him the next response would be 'sod off'. "Let's go, Story". Nial siad in defeat, turning towards the door. The purplette, instead of following that instruction, decided to cast another pebble. "I know what the sigil on the blood meant!" Both men turned their heads with full attention towards her right that moment, while the other woman against the wall was baffled at that statement. "Sorry love, what did you just say?" The trench-coat man rose a in Story's direction, implying he understood what she meant but couldn't quite believe it. The purplette, upon prompt, dug into her slingbag and removed from it the book where she had found the symbols in. "This book has all the information on that sigil, including what it was for and all the other things required to complete the... ritual it was meant for". Slightly narrowing his eyes, the stranger beckoned to Story with his raised hand "Let me see that". The femina obediently handed the book over and the man examined it before flipping through a few pages. "Love, where did you get this from?" Story paid no mind to the intimate address, assuming that was just how he is. "The library". Her voice was a little shaky from remembering the creepy scene back then, but otherwise confident in her statement. Hearing that, the man lifted his gaze from the book and peered at the woman. "This is no library book, love. There isn't even a barcode anywhere on it". Raising the book for all to see, the man showed the front, back and cover pages of the strange black book and indeed, found no evidence of it belonging to the library. "What? But I borrowed it-" Story reached out to take the book, but the man brought it out of her reach. "There's a dark power at play here, love. And you don't want any part in this". The man said, then shifted his gaze to Nial. "Neither do you". Acting like he owned it, the man put the book inside his trench coat and guided Angelina out with an arm, expecting the journalist duo to act properly and leave of their own accord. Surprisingly, the owner complied and the duo just watched them go without putting up a fight.

Angelina's apartment door was locked, the neighbours had retreated back to their homes and Story was with Nial in his car. "Well Story, he has the book. I assume you've memorized its contents, otherwise we're gonna have to head home and bite our nails". The man said with a pinch of sarcasm. Upon that statement, the purplette took out a diary sized notebook from her bag along with a uniquely designed pen. Turning the notebook to a blank page and placing it on the curvy but smooth surface before her in the passenger's seat, she closed her eyes and began to recap the pages off the occult book she had brought with her, her hand moving by itself to sketch out the image in her mind down to the last detail on her notebook.

In a couple of minutes, the femina was done with ten pages of inscriptions and promptly handed her work to the dumbfounded Nial, who received it with a blank expression on his face. Staring at the extremely detailed drawings and descriptions, he arched a brow. "I never knew you were so outstanding in art". The femina chuckled. "I'm not. I just made this pen recently that will draw for me the picture in my mind, provided it came from memory". Perhaps she had not realized the full potential of that gadget just yet, but there was little doubt she eventually would. "So..." Nial spoke, scanning through the pages. He did not continue his sentence after a short silence, his brain working through the information to achieve a sound conclusion just as Story did when she first came across them. "To use the bodies of a pair of twins as a gateway from the Otherworld to Gaia... I'm not sure how this whole thing works since I'm no expert in the dark arts, but I can at least tell that whoever killed the sister is going to be after her now. And since the Otherworld is involved..." Nial was weighing the scales, unsure if continuing to follow this story would be wise. But the look on his partner's face... the glint in her eyes, that hopeful look everytime they get a chance to make contact with the supernatural... it bothers Nial. A lot. "Look Story. I'm not usually one to listen to some stranger just because he speaks with authority, but you have to understand that if a professional says it's too dangerous, it probably is..." The transition of Story's gleefulness to complete disappointment and melancholy made Nial feel guilty, the kind of guilt the veteran journalist don't even get from exposing celebrity closets. With a sigh of defeat, he surrendered. "The spell mentions something about the twins having to be close to each other physically for it to work, and has to be done within twenty four hours of the first's death. That guy has taken Angelina away, probably to somewhere safe. But if some accident occurs and whatever it is we are dealing with manages to abduct her, they would likely bring her to Isabella's body". Nial said that much, and had little doubt his partner of three years could put the pieces together. "To the morgue, then!" The purplette cheered with much enthusiasm and exhilaration.  

About an hour in with their car parked where they could see the entrance to the hospital where Isabella's body was kept, the duo's stakeout yielded an unexpected result. The trench-coat man actually showed up, though without Angelina. They watched from the car as he entered the building, came out empty handed about a quarter to an hour later and headed off, at which point the two of them decided to follow him.

The tailing ended abruptly when the two in the car lost sight of the walking man after a turn around the corner. Docking the vehicle by the sidewalk, Nial sighed and turned to his partner. "Well, there goes our lead". Story turned her head to the man, eyes rolled top corner with pouty lips while she thought of their possible next course of action when a sudden knock on her side of the window made her jump. Turning around, the femina saw none other than the trench-coat man while Nial had already begun winding the passenger window down via master control for the stranger to speak. "You two are persistent aren't ya? Well tell you what. I'll give you your big scoop, but you two need to help me with something". The smell of nicotine on this man was strong enough to make Story subconsciously cover her mouth, but said nothing and continued to listen. "I'll discuss the details with you later". The man handed Story a note before he continued. "Meet me at this address by seven". He then turned to go, but not before Story called out to him. "Hey! What's your name?" The man halted in his tracks, then looked over his shoulder and answered. "John Constantine. It's in your best interest to never tell anyone you know me, love".

The meeting place was in an abandoned factory near the outskirts of town. Apparantly after their arrival, John had casted a spell to make any normal person stay out of the area. After learning that Story was a bearer of ink magic, he got her to help him mark up runes and magic circles. Of course, that did not mean that Story could utilize these spells herself, just that them being drawn via magic ink made it easier for John to perform his. "Say..." Nial started, somewhat bored from a lack of things to do. "You sure we shouldn't call the MIRA or some headhunters for help or you know, backup?" Without missing a beat, Constantine replied "The MIRA, as far as I know, play with magic and vampires. They claim to know everything about the supernatural but trust me, they know nothing about this thing we're dealing with". "Then what about headhunters? Don't you have any comrades?" Angelina asked, hugging her waist. There was a long pause from John, who seemed reluctant to answer that question. "...I work alone. Don't have many I can call friends because of what I do". "And those he do call friends either died or... died" It came as a shock that nobody had noticed the speaker - a naked, tall, muscular red-skinned, bald humanoid with yellow eyes and sharp claws entering the factory and only knew he was there when he spoke up, bearing sharp fangs as he grinned. "Nergal". Contrary to others, Constantine did not look surprised nor appalled when the crimson creature appeared, as if he had been expecting him all along. "I see you've 'accidentally' gotten yourself caught up in my business again". Nergal chuckled. "I'll make you a deal. Give me that girl and the rest of you can go. That includes you, Constantine". If Nial and Story weren't scared before this happened, they would be at that moment. The creature before them was hideous, unlike anything they've ever seen in real life. The aura of fear emitting from this being was so prominent that everyone else in the room save Constantine were completely silenced. Even Story, who had all the questions in the world and Nergal to answer them was hushed by his mere presence.  

"Tell me something, Nergal". Constantine started after lighting a cigarette, idly strolling around with both hands in his coat pocket. "You are cooking up a ritual using this pair of twins to bridge a link between the Otherworld and here. But you are already free to go back and forth. Why go through all that trouble?" With an obvious snicker, the red being decided to humor the demon hunter and answered. "I can come and go as I please, but the same does not necessarily apply to my army on the other side". Catching that revelation, John shook two fingers at the horror creature repeatedly. "Now that's the problem here, mate. You've always been contented having what you already have over here. Why the sudden interest in expanding? Are you waging a war against someone?" John smirked, Knowing he had hit bulls eye with the obvious disgruntled look upon Nergal's human-like expressions. "That is none of your business, John Constantine". The diabolic scowled, taking a step forward. "Now give me the girl or I will take her from you". "Ah, ah, ah". The bloke objected with the shaking of an index finger, moving to stand between Nergal and Angelina. He took out a pistol from his coat pocket, pulled the hammer back and pointed it at the woman without looking back once, the unfathomable act shocking every single person present. "The ritual of Ebucxis specifically states that the medium has to be twins, and one has to be alive while the other dead. This means that she has to be alive for your plan to work, am I right?" Everyone at that point understood the implication, but the red creature was still skeptical, though he did not take another step. "You... wouldn't". Nergal narrowed his eyes, but even he wasn't convinced of what he just said himself. "Try me. One person for 7 billion humans at stake, I think it's a no brainer, mate. Now SOD OFF". A glaring contest ensued between John and Nergal, but the latter eventually gave up and left as quietly as he came.        

"Well then, chop chop people. We gotta finish this spell before the ugly comes back now". After dropping the cigarette butt from his lips and stepping it out, John returned to what he had been doing before with no problem while the others were still trying to swallow down the event that had just unfolded and the monstrocity they had just faced. When Story finally started moving, Angelina stormed towards John and yelled "You were going to kill me!" "WELL YOU'RE STILL ALIVE AREN'T YA?!" The immediate retort from the clearly displeased and frustrated man immediately shut her up, as well as subtly inform the other two the gravity of the situation. After a short pause, John spoke again. "Sorry love, didn't mean to yell at ya". His tone was evidently softer, though he immediately turned to continue what he was doing prior.

Everyone's nerves were wrecking at that point. In less than hour, twenty four would have passed since Isabella's death, which means Nergal or his underlings would show up anytime then. Lips were sealed, one hundred and twenty percent focus was given to the surroundings, to point where even their own breathing could be heard. "Ange?" Everyone immediately turned to the foreign feminine voice. What reflected in their eyes was a woman, pale skinned and frail looking, seemingly hovering on foot rather than standing but could not be confirmed with a long sheet-white nightgown touching the floor. "Isa?" The revelation that exit Angelina's lips enlightened the group of who the stranger was. Immediately, John jumped between the two sisters with a hand out towards the specter and began negotiation. "Listen to me, Isabella. Nergal is using you and your sister to complete a spell and open a portal from the Otherworld to Gaia. In the process of which, both your soul and your sister's will be destroyed to sustain the portal. Do you want your sister to die? Do you want both your souls to be blown into bits so that a demon can send his army to Gaia? I don't think you do Isabella. So leave, leave before Nergal comes to complete the spell". The ghost wavered, but did not seem to bear any intentiontion of leaving just yet. "I cannot..." The voice sounded like she was there, yet at the same time felt like it came from very far away. "My soul is bounded to my body by the demon, and he has arrived with my body. You have to go, Ange". "Well there's nowhere to run, love". John interrupted "No human transport can outrun a demon if he has his eyes set on you". The trench-coat man seemed to be at a stalemate in the discussion when Story suddenly chimed in with her two cents. "But the body, wasn't it in the morgue?" Without turning his eyes away from the apparition, Constantine replied. "It's gone, love. Gone by the time I went to the hospital. Why did you think I have to set this up when it could have been done easier by burning the dead body?" "You what?!" Angelina raised her voice, but was hushed by Constantine again. "Not now love". Redirecting his speech to the intended audience, John continued. "Well there is something I could do - temporarily seal your soul in a container so that Nergal can't have his way. And only for an hour, I promise". "And how do you propose on doing that, now that I'm here?" The familiar demonic voice sounded off again with the red diabolic reappearing in the factory like he had before. What the group hadn't expect, though, was how Nergal had Angelina caught by the arm and beside him. John snapped a quick glance at where Angelina was standing before, as if to affirm she had indeed been removed from that spot before turning back to face the demon. "Oh you sneaky bastard". The crimson one chuckled. "It takes one to know one. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a portal to op-" Nergal finally sensed something was off about the place and veered his gaze around the place and analyzed the runic symbols Story and John had been preparing this whole time, then glared daggers at the demon hunter. "You little runt".  

"Take her and run. NOW!" Upon the command, Constantine began reciting an incantation while Nergal released hold upon the woman and lumbered over to the demon hunter.

"Powers of the witches rise,
Course unseen across the skies,
Hear me beckon, hear my plea,
Demon Nergal,
I summon thee!

Before the red demon could grab the exorcist, black chains had burst out of the ground and coiled themselves around the arms of the crimson one. Taking that chance, Nial ran over to Angelina and ushered her out of the factory while Story followed suit, leaving only John, Nergal and the ghost of Isabella in the vicinity.

"By the power of the elements,
I bind thee here and now!
Never again to be set free,
By any means or any how!

Guardians of the ancient towers,
Grant me now thy sacred powers!
Let this demon never be set free,
For such is my will, and so mote it be!

As the trio left the building and ran towards their car, the loud bellowing of the demon Nergal could be heard echoing through and through, possibly for miles on end.

The watch struck twelve on Nial's wrist as the trio waited in a local bar they had said to meet up for debriefing. After a sip of whiskey, Nial started. "Well, we waited two extra hours just to be sure, and I'd say you're safe now, even though that John Constantine never did show up". Angelina nodded, her hands still shaking slighty from the experience as two fingers pinched the stem of her martini glass. Finishing his drink, Nial put it down and got up from his seat. "We'll send you home, Angelina". The man started walking towards the bartender for the bill when a masculine, gentlemanly voice ricocheted from behind. "It's okay laddie, I've settled the check for you". All three of them turned their heads in surprise and saw before them a fairly short but not too short gentleman in a black suit and tie who was a little meaty, had a receding hairline and looked about his fifties with shaven beard. "My name's Crowley, and I'm here to thank you all for your efforts tonight". The gentleman turned to story and gave her a wink before waving and left. The purplette, along with her friends, just stayed in their spot, speechless. None of them had ever met the man before, but Story couldn't help but find him familiar. "What was that all about?" Nial asked, but Story only shook her head in ignorance. That was another question for another adventure, for another time.

Sc: 301
Wsc: 301

“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.”
― Philip Pullman
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