forum •Apotheosis of Abnormality• [one/one]
Started by @Dayzed public
tune

people_alt 62 followers

@Dayzed public

Apotheosis, a group of kids, who are on a contract from the government, are given orders to hunt down Abnormalities which consists of people wielding magic, or straight-up nonhuman beings like fae and dragons.
Apotheosis doesn't go around hunting just anyone, some of these beings have the green light to coexist with humans who are completely oblivious to their existence as long as they have an ID stating so. They must also stay hidden and not cause any problems.
Abnormalities get punished when they expose themselves to the public, so they are forced to keep their identities a secret as they can be considered more dangerous than a human with a gun, capable of causing a lot more damage.
A.C.E (Abnormality Control and Education), a branch of the government that deals especially with these types of cases are in charge of keeping order, and using Apotheosis as a weapon to control the crime rates done by Abnormalities. They are a human group equipped with special gear to deal with those who cannot be contained by simple means.

Everything had gone well since the branch was founded, that was until a gang of these supernatural beings become a thorn at the government's side. This was why Apotheosis was formed, for the fear that the Abnormalities would start acting out and being so bold as to cause trouble with others around.
And so now Apotheosis is ordered to bring them in or take them out if they resist.
==========================================================================

I doubt anyone will be interested enough to read our made-up little worlds and characters, but uhh just in case, this is two stories combined to make one. Apotheosis is a book I'm working on that contains a group of kids that are part of the government, used as weapons to hunt down people who have bounties on their heads. They are strictly all humans in a modern-day setting, this book does not contain any magic, but for the sake of this rp it does. Consider it an au of sorts.
A.C.E and the Abnormalities belong to a very good friend of mine, Colorless, who is doing this rp with me. Her book contains magic which is why this rp also contains magic even though my book does not talk about it.
All of our characters live in the same universe and this is our first time rping out such a large-scale story with so many of our characters involved.
If you liked what you read uhhh, we're flattered haha, stick around if you like, this might be a trainwreck depending on where the rp goes so uhh prepare yourselves.

Oh! And before I forget, this will contain adult themes, violence, gore, and possible triggering subjects such as self-harm, suicide, and SA, among other disturbing topics. It's not set in stone whether we will be visiting all of these, so just a general Trigger Warning, please read with caution as we will not be labeling the parts that contain these.

@Toxic_Persephone

@Dayzed public

(Here's the long-ass starter, better keep up. (kidding) )

Jake Grey Satori, age: nine, status: possible candidate, number: 1084.

Jake rubbed his neck as he was led down a hallway, his father right behind him, watching his every move. It made Jake uneasy, he hated being watched so closely. What had he done this time? Had he struggled too much? Had he cried too much? Was it because it wasn't enjoyable for the new client? Was he not….pretty enough? A shiver ran down his spine at the thought of whatever new punishment awaited him at the end of the hallway.
Soon a doorway became visible after passing so many on the way to a room that was labeled "Apotheosis". Jake stopped walking once he saw the door. It was made of thick steel as if whatever went in was meant to be kept in. It looked like it lead to a torture chamber of sorts.
"Walk Jake." His father warned. Jake found himself in the middle of a breakdown. The thought of what was behind that door sent Jake’s head spiraling.
"I won’t sleep," He said, his voice wavering. "I'll work harder." He swallowed, trying to persuade his father to let him go, to spare him from whatever horrors were behind the door. Jake's father only rolled his eyes.
"It's nothing bad Jake, this isn't like back at home. This has nothing to do with you not being able to do what you're supposed to do." He said sternly. "Now, I'm losing my patience. WALK."
Jake found that hard to believe, there was always something in store for him. He slowly started to walk but was still very afraid of what was to come.
The other two officers that were with Jake and his father stopped at the door.
"You ready Jake?" One of them asked. Jake could only nod numbly, expecting the worse.

Once the door opened, it revealed other kids around the same age as Jake, some were quietly sitting on the floor or in corners, not wanting to be messed with by the bigger kids, there was soft murmur sounds as some talked to each other. They spoke excitedly about their passions, others laughed, and a few play-fought some of the other kids. Jake's eyes immediately went to the loudest three in the room. They were laughing at a brown-haired kid.
“What is this?” He asked, looking back at his father who for once, had a smile on his face. Jake’s eyes grew. Wait. This was a good thing? Had he done well? A small smile made its way into Jake’s lips, he felt….like he was getting a reward. Just his father smiling alone like that filled Jake with happiness.
“Go on in, talk with the others, I’ll come back to pick you up later. This isn’t a punishment Jake. It’s an opportunity.” He said and turned to leave. The other two who were with them gestured for Jake to go in and once he was, the door closed behind him. He stood awkwardly, watching everyone. Talk? Talk about what though?
And again, the loud commotion from the three drew Jake’s attention once again. It was three ganging up against one.

-

Jenestder Marne Glynn, age: nine, status: approved, number: 1680.

Jen watched the three boys yell at him, something about having played unfairly.
“You lost because you weren’t strong enough, and neither do you have the skills,” Jen spoke, a serious expression on his face. The three looked at each and laughed before one of them moved to shove Jen to the floor.
“You only got in here because your daddy has special privileges” they taunted, and Jen stood back up, brushing out all the creases from his clothes. He calmly looked at the three before swinging on the one that shoved him. The two gasped and went to grab Jen, but Jen elbowed one in the face and kicked the other between the legs. The three found themselves on the ground. Had Jen been back in his home country, their heads would be rolling on the ground right now. They were lucky Jen was starting to learn a lot about being nice and staying calm in situations like these.
Jake watched with interest before approaching.

“Where'd you learn that?” he asked and Jen looked over at Jake.
“Are you looking for a fight too?” Jen asked instead, ignoring his question, eyes menacing. Jake smiled at the look on Jen’s face. He liked it. It was strong and threatening, something he aspired to be.
“Jake” he shoved his hand out to greet Jen, he seemed more relaxed now that there was no imminent danger.
Jen just stared at Jake’s extended hand before looking him over up and down. Something seemed to catch his eye.
“What’s that on your neck? Did you get hurt?” He asked.
Jake immediately went to cover the marks on his neck with his hand, there were bite marks and small bruises all over. Jake blushed lightly, looking away, a pained expression on his face.
“It’s nothing….” He said, looking back at Jen who didn’t say anything.
“Glynn,” Jen said, at last, looking away from Jake to the other on the ground, the other two had backed away, knowing they couldn’t take on Jen, but the one that had been struck first was persistent.
Though, instead of aiming for Jen, he went for Jake, thinking he was Jen’s friend.
Jake stumbled back, not being able to react in time. He looked over at the kid, cat-like eyes wide with murderous intent. Thick red liquid dripping down his nose.


Present day:

"It was your fault for provoking them" Jake protested as he covered his nose with an ice pack, it would not stop bleeding.
Jen rolled his eyes.
"I was nine- we were both nine. I was not in the mood to deal with a bunch of idiots, and you know what's the worst part? I've had to deal with three of them every single day since then" He said calmly, looking at Jake who only smiled, knowing he was one of the three he was talking about.
"I still stand by what I said. He wouldn't have had to die if you hadn't been so….reactive" He said, taking the ice pack off and seeing a few blood drops fall on his shirt as he looked down.
"That's literally the stupidest thing I've ever heard. You just have no self-control, had you kept your hands to yourself and not done anything, he would still be alive." Jen crossed his arms.
"So what you're saying is that you wanted me to sit there and take it?" Jake asked.
Jen looked like he was at his wit's end.
"No, but you didn't have to kill him!" He hissed.
Jake chuckled, he loved getting on others' nerves.

Jake was now sixteen and so was Jen, they had both been approved along with seven others to take on the job of cleaning up the city. It had been seven long years of training and torture to get to where they were now.
"Anyways, how's Aster, has anything happened yet?" Jen asked, eyes softening at the question.
Jake let out an ugh sound.
"Way to kill the mood," He said hopping down from the kitchen table and making his way to the small living room they all shared.
That was a no, and Jen hated asking the question but he genuinely wanted to know if there were any updates with her, it had been almost two years since the incident with Jake's father.

@Toxic_Persephone group

(XD Ya'll can't shake me that easily. I can keep up >:])

A.C.E. ID #250689W - Marcus Teague/ Abnormality Classification: Human Witch/ MEDIUM RISK / REGISTERED CURRENTLY: Y

A.C.E ID #225782CH - Marx De Veaux/ Abnormality Classification: Chimera / EXTREME RISK / REGISTERED CURRENTLY: Y

The two cards in Marcus's hands felt far too light to be something so important to their lives within the city. He frowned deeply at them, running his finger over his own photo and silently wondering where the hell this lady had found such a nice photo of him, devoid of bruises and bandages. It almost looked like his school ID… a suspicious amount like his school ID…
"Of course, these will only get you so far. Your name can still be known, arrest warrants apply, and all that other fun bullshit A.C.E. applies to our kind in particular: restrictions on magic, how likely you're going to be an issue " The lady in the room addressed Marx but her eyes lingered on Marcus for a blood-freezing moment.
She had called herself Hebe when she first showed up at the doorstep of the gang house. An elegant woman with dark hair always tied back in neat hairstyles, Hebe had waltzed right into the place as if she owned it, tutting at the state of it and picking out Marcus right away only to ask him where she could find Marx.
The first thing Hebe did upon seeing Marx was hand him a stack of IDs with an alarming amount of information on each one. Nobody knew how she had gotten such information. Marx didn't seem surprised, thanking her with a large grin. He handed Marcus two out of the stack, giving him a wicked grin before gesturing for him to look. Marcus didn't need to look to know what these were.
Marx had hired someone to make them fake A.C.E. registration.
"So I'm to take you assigning me 'extreme risk' a compliment?" Marx questioned, his tone making Marcus immediately freeze up. Hebe only cackled, her too-straight teeth showing in a wide grin.
"Oh no, it's no compliment. A.C.E. will treat you much differently with a status like that. You'll have to watch every step you take to ensure they won't pick out some minute thing to arrest you over." She leaned back in her seat, crossing her legs neatly as she watched Marx's anger bubble up with an amused glint behind her eye. "However it is not out of spite I do so. Do you really think I'm incompetent? I know how they work, Mr. De Veaux. I myself am registered under 'extreme risk'. But I did not forge mine. I am legally registered. They treat our kind with more risk and care because, to state it plainly, neither you nor I are human in any sense of the word. We hide behind human faces, but we are not human. One slip of our magic and we are beast." Hebe's grin turned sinister as smoke began to rise from Marx's mouth. "It would be best to control that anger of yours, De Veaux. Such threatening actions lead to consequences."
"Shut the fuck up and get out of my house." Marx snarled, standing so quickly Marcus flinched away from the action, his hand moving immediately to grab the silver lighter from his pocket. Hebe eyed him curiously, almost egging him on to use his abilities. Marx eyed her from across the room, grabbing an envelope from the locked drawer of his desk and forcefully handing it to Hebe. She lazily took it, looking a little disappointed before she stood smoothly from her seat.
"I had hoped to see a demonstration of your lapdog's magic. I've heard some interesting things about it. What makes a human so competent you'd place them at your side rather than any of the more powerful Abnormalities you've collected?" Marx scoffed at her words, walking over to run his fingers delicately through Marcus's mess of ginger curls.
"He's proven himself. You don't need any demonstrations. You've got enough information to figure that out." Marx sneered. Hebe gave him a scowl but said no other words, waving her hands as if to dismiss the whole group as she left.
Marcus watched her go for a moment, frowning.
He hoped to any gods out there that he never met another sphinx. Her magic frequency nearly made his own melt his insides out…
But he didn't fault her for being curious
It was no small feat getting to where Marcus was now as quickly as he did. He had Marx's infatuation with him to partially blame for the jump in his ranking but even that wouldn't have been enough to get him right at the man's side. The chimera was a strict being, not just anybody could be trusted to be his confidant and partner. Only someone strong and capable, and ultimately naive, could stand next to him.
Marcus was a perfect choice. As a human, he was weak enough to push around, but as a witch, he had enough power and magic to decimate entire buildings if he so wished. And as young as sixteen, his naivety was his biggest downfall.
The gang had used him to his full potential after learning of his magic. It was strange to find such a young witch so capable of control without the use of a conduit or familiar, and even stranger to find he resonated with multiple frequencies of magic - that was to say, multiple types of magic. Of course, fire was the easiest for him. It slipped between his fingers like silk and the burning he felt while using fire magic was comfortable rather than unbearable. Wards and protective magic were the hardest for him, but runes made those much easier. Especially if he drew the symbols and circles beforehand.
Marx had found him particularly interesting after that…
Burning evidence was easy, keeping the police off your tail and from shooting you was also easy when you had a protective ward to help you.
Humans didn't stand a chance against magic either.
Marx used this to his advantage and built himself quite the reputation within the human police force, who couldn't quite figure out what was happening or why things seemed to line up so perfectly for the gang. At least, they didn't until they transferred the case over to their higher-ups, who decided it was a case for A.C.E.
Marx had been pissed when his informant told him the Abnormality Control units were now on the case, monitoring for abnormal rises in magic frequencies. He took it out on Marcus later that night before locking himself in his room and planning their next move. Now that their enemy knew of magic and had plenty of ways to fight against it, Marx had to actually be careful and take into consideration that his best resources might not cut it now…
Which led him straight to Hebe, someone who excelled at keeping people hidden. For a price that was.


A.C.E ID #251345SI - Wynn Lyons / Abnormality Classification: Siren / LOW RISK / REGISTERED CURRENTLY: Y

"I was technically already registered… though I guess it's nice they're using my actual name now, it sucked getting dead named so much…" Wynn muttered, staring at his new ID with slight disdain. Marcus sat beside him on the porch, pulling old bandages off his arm and scowling slightly at the charred flesh underneath it.
"At least you're low risk. I don't know why they'd classify you as low risk, I'm pretty sure sirens eat people…" He muttered, studying his arm for a moment before he reached for his first aid kit. He could feel Wynn's eyes on him now. "I know what you're going to say and before you say it, I already know."
"Well fuck you then." Wynn mused, leaning back. "I'm still going to say it, I think you're a fucking idiot who needs to learn how to stand up for his own stupid ass. I don't know why you let Marx do what he does to you. You can obviously stop him, I've seen what you can do. Hell, even Marx himself can't break your wards without putting in a lot of effort." Wynn watched him carefully for a moment, his eyebrows knitting together when Marcus kept his silence. "Why do yo-"
"I don't want to. I like Marx…" Wynn stared at Marcus in disbelief. He knew the guy had problems but fuck did this one take the cake… Marcus sat strangely still for someone who was cleaning up a wound. His words had been too rehearsed as well.
Wynn didn't believe Marcus one bit, even if he did see hints of some kind of twisted love for Marx in Marcus's actions and words. Marcus would die for Marx, willingly it now seemed. "Don't do anything dumb. We're probably going to have to be very careful and I really don't want to see you die." He huffed, standing and stretching. "Anyways, I got stuff to do, it's my turn to scout soon and I gotta find my damn jacket. It's fucking freezing."
Marcus didn't say anything, though he himself thought it was rather hot outside.

@Dayzed public

(XD was worth a try.)

Rae Dasolis Ayton, age eight, status: pending, number 1942.

The curly black-haired kid held the other against their will, a switchblade pressed against their throat. The kid was crying at this point, pleading to be let go, apologizing.
Rae had previously been talking with another girl about the biker gang her dad had introduced her to, she gushed about how well they treated her even though they seemed rough and mean on the outside, how cool they looked with their piercings, tattoos, and motorcycles, but then there had been yelling on the other side of the room, everyone went quiet and kids backed away from three others who were in the middle of it all.

There was one kid wrapped in a brown shemagh that covered his mouth slightly, he had on a black sleeveless tank top with brown cargo shorts. Brown chunky boots on his feet to go along with his outfit.
His hair was a dull brown, eyes a rich amber color in the light as he stared at the kid holding the other, threatening to kill him.

The kid holding the knife had on a black t-shirt with crude images on it, black skinny jeans, and converse with spikes on them that looked like they had been altered by the user.

Rae watched, freezing as the knife drew blood from the kid struggling. The more he moved the harder the other pressed the knife to his throat. Rae wanted to look away but she found that she could not, and then the worst happened. The cat-eyed boy slashed the other’s throat. The boy fell coughing up blood and struggling to breathe. He held his throat. There was more screaming, some rushing to help the poor boy who was losing way too much blood way too quickly, and others going to the door to be let out.

“If someone ever touches you, you kill them, you understand?”
“What about the ones that come here? I don't want them hurting me.”
“That's different. Here, at home, you do as I say.”

It's what Jake had been taught. Anyone that wasn't approved by his father wasn't allowed to touch him, let alone hurt him.

Jen didn't seem to react to Jake doing what he did or even acknowledge the boy dying on the floor. He simply looked at everyone else around them, his eyes landing on Rae with a chillingly cold stare.

Rae’s eyes widened as she stared back. There was something about eyes like that, they looked like they had been through hell and back.

-

Andre Apollo Jaxxon, age nine, status: possible candidate, number 1836.

Soon there was a pool of blood on the floor, the kid lifeless.

Jake cleaned the remaining blood from his blade onto his t-shirt, blood dripping from his nose from being punched.
After putting the blade away he wiped his nose, leaving a bloody mess on his face. He seemed unbothered by the events and looked confused as everyone had backed away, everyone except a girl with curly red-orange hair, it was short, in a boy cut unlike the other girls there. She almost looked like a boy too and would have easily been mistaken as one.

She looked horrified, frozen into place as she looked from the corpse to Jake.

Rae smiled nervously as she now caught both of the boy's eyes. Rae was outgoing and kind and loved interacting with others, but right now she had never wanted to run away from something more in her life.

“What are you?” She asked and Andre watched from the corner where everyone seemed to have packed themselves. The room was small and about a hundred kids were in here or so he guessed.

Andre had grown up with violence but had never seen someone kill someone else before, especially over something so minor. Or well, what he considered minor. Maybe it was a huge deal, he didn't know. All he knew was that he wanted a cigarette and a drink, bad. He had been there for too long and the newcomer made him want to forget whatever he had just seen.

Andre’s eyes were tired and he looked so very exhausted. The days spent in the training room fighting others and practicing mixing different types of chemicals to get lethal concoctions were tiring. Why did he even need to know this?

Because Andre showed the most promise in dealing with drugs, he was sometimes kept up at night to practice his social skills which were absolute trash. So far he had learned what they called ‘sweet talk’ and convinced an adult to drink whatever the hell he had made. Little did Andre know that the man was dead now. Having been killed by whatever he drank. This program was no game.


“Mood killer,” Jake grumbled as he flopped on the dusty old couch beside Rae.

Rae was eating a giant hamburger she had ordered on the way to their ‘apartment’, it was just an old place behind an arcade that had been abandoned, but they had rented it out to hold their meetings. Aside from school clubs, they had to have a place where they could discuss freely what their next orders were. It was like this every day, sometimes they would stay up till three in the morning planning on how they were going to track down a certain individual, locating others in the process. There was a lot of work to do but one of their main targets right now was a gang with the leader going by the name 'Marx'. They had been a problem for a while now, a thorn at the government's side.

“Want a bite?” She asked Jake, offering it to him, who reluctantly took the hamburger. He took a bite out of it and nodded.
“I can't believe you keep finding new places to order from, you can't keep enticing me with delicious foods, where'd you get this one from??” he asked.

Rae smiled proudly. “Mel’s bar,” She said snatching the burger back and continuing to eat. Jake blinked at her, watching Rae enjoying herself. Jake hadn't eaten all day, as he usually did, so when his stomach grumbled, Rae looked over at him, her chews getting slower as she heard Jake's stomach. She looked at her half-eaten hamburger before she offered it again to Jake.
“You owe me a burger,” She said as Jake hesitated, but took it in the end, slightly embarrassed. Rae was way too kind for her own good, sometimes Jake wondered how she had made the cut to be with people like them. Then he was reminded of how good she was at group fights, even Jake would get overwhelmed if it was more than four people at a time but Rae could easily take down six or more coming at her- humans, that was. He didn't know how she did it but they hadn't been trained for nothing.

“Where’s Andre?” Jake asked, looking around for the person who was always down to do anything with Jake, even if it was something stupid.
“Out again, he'll be here shortly,” Rae said, taking out her phone to play a game. She leaned against Jake's shoulder, using him as a cushion, bringing her legs up as the game loaded.
Jake continued to eat, wondering if Andre was out somewhere he wasn't supposed to be. He had a bad habit of getting involved with the wrong people.

@Toxic_Persephone group

A.C.E ID #262319GL - Emil Kayden Phillips/ Abnormality Classification: Ghoul / EXTREME RISK / REGISTERED CURRENTLY: N / Tagged For Possible Danger - KILL ON SIGHT

Em's body heaved as his stomach purged itself, his nails pulling sheets of sloughing skin from his bones as he struggled to find himself once again. The nauseating pang of hunger in his gut was all he could find to ground himself, but even that drove the voices in his mind mad with want and need.
"Eat! Eat!" They screamed as if the blood and viscera dripping from his ruined jaws meant nothing. "Eat! Eat! They taunted as if the body lying just beyond the way didn't exist.
His throat burned, his stomach gnawed, and his mind was breaking. Em shuddered at the splitting pain that suddenly filled his gut, doubling over and gasping for air he didn't need.
The sweet scent of blood and flesh was enticing, hypnotically so. Before he could stop himself, Em dove for the viscera he had just purged from his stomach. He shoved it down his throat, hardly caring for the bile and dirt.
"Yes! Yes! More!"
Em hadn't ever really meant to kill…
"Tear! Consume!"
His hands ripped into the corpse, the warmth against his cold skin nearly addicting.
"Hungry… so hungry…"
He could no longer tell if he was throwing up or swallowing nor if what he ate was the flesh of the corpse or his own rotting flesh sloughing into his hands and mouth.
This was his third feeding.
Em didn't know when it started, when he began to decompose and lose his memories, when the cravings had begun. He knew he was dead but he didn't remember how or when he had died. He just remembered a room that reeked as this corpse did and a group of men he had hated.

"Aren't you in quite the predicament…" A cool, harsh voice broke the silence. Em ignored the sound, swallowing down shattered bone and reveling in the pain that followed. "You're pretty far gone…"

"Not gone…" Em snapped back, his words so slurred by the food in his mouth that the other could hardly make out what he had said. "Hungry."

-

Everyone knew of the ghoul Marx kept in the basement alongside his prisoners and those he held for ransoms. Everyone heard his wails. Em had become a sort of ghost tale to scare the new kids into obeying, warning them that if they stepped out of line Marx would 'feed them to his ghoul.' It was an easy way to make bodies disappear, it was convenient and surprisingly clean especially if Em was hungry enough to eat the bones as well.
When Marx had first brought him into the gang, Em had been coherent, strangely 'there'. It was rare to find ghouls of Em's nature so close to their original human mental states, most lost their minds at the first smell of rot and blood. Em had held on for as long as he could.
There were two types of ghouls: the first being those who were intelligent and spoke easily with humans as if they were still one of them. These lured most humans to their doom in order to eat. The second type were those who had lost control and gave into their base need for human blood and flesh. These never found humanity again and preferred to scavenge rather than directly attack.
Em was stuck in between. He looked at the world as if he couldn't actually see it, constantly distant. He spoke with alarming amounts of clarity and yet his words often made little sense together. He spoke often of dark rooms and bad emotions, muttering his name to himself over and over again while he picked at his rotting flesh as if it pained him. He lost himself to his hunger often, taking what he could get from Marx and devouring it in an instant.
Even now, after having been broken by Marx and chained down in the dark, cold basement, Em could still shout phrases and words that sounded so… normal to anyone who didn't know the words came from something with so little mind left.
Marcus had often caught the tail end of full conversations Em held with Marx. They were often strange moments of clarity where Em asked Marx about the people who came and went. Marx chatted with him willingly, seemingly pleased to have someone to spill his plans to who would not be able to repeat them back to anyone.

Marcus knew the moment he walked back inside after bandaging himself that was where Marx was. Their shared bedroom was strangely silent as he tucked the first aid kit back into its place under the bed. Marcus eyed the open laptop on the desk but he knew better than to snoop. The consequences of that were more than he wanted to deal with at the moment.
He didn't think he could take more bruises and another night. His wrists still hurt from the paracord.
With a loud huff, Marcus threw himself onto the bed, listening intently for Em's strangely smooth voice. He couldn't hear anything over the ruckus of whatever gambling game Van had invented for the evening. Marcus still thought it was stupid for anyone to try and play against Van in games of chance… foo dogs were notoriously lucky and Van was no exception to that…

Marcus groaned, staring at the ceiling for a moment before he covered his face with his hands.

Fuck.

Marcus was bored already.

@Dayzed public

Aaron Lunde Calvert, age: nine, status: approved, number: 1076.

Aaron watched as the pale freckled kid was dragged out of the room, they grabbed him by the arm even though Jake was willing to walk, a proud smile on his face. He had yet to learn that he couldn't just do what he wanted, especially in government matters.
Aaron had been near the door, quietly minding his own business, but when Jake passed him, Aaron shot him a glare, disgusted with his savage-like behavior. Who in their right mind just…kills someone else?? Especially another kid? Aaron was pretty sure they would kick the kid from the program and he hoped they did. He never wanted to his face again.

Jen walked behind the officers who took Jake, hands in his pockets but was stopped when he tried to leave with Jake.
"Stay here, you're not in trouble." They said, to which Jen seemed to be disappointed. He wanted to know where they were taking the bold idiot. For some reason, he didn't seem to mind Jake even though he ignored everyone else who tried to become friends with him. He hated how the others talked about boring subjects like their favorite ice cream flavors and their siblings.

Jen stood in front of the door as they closed it.

"Serves him right," Aaron commented, and Jen turned to look at him, the same menacing look to him as he stared at Aaron. He looked….too polished. With neat swept back blonde hair, it looked shiny and he looked clean, unlike Jen who was covered in dirt and had a rough look to him. His tan skin hid the faint bruises from the fights he had been in previously. Aaron however looked like he hadn't had a tough day in his life. He looked entitled, or at least from what Jen saw on the surface.

Jen took a step toward Aaron, but Aaron didn't back up or flinch. He stared down Jen, challenging him to do something.

Jen's eyes softened when Aaron didn't budge. Even though Aaron looked like he came from a privileged family, he wasn't spoiled. He looked disciplined and strong, something Jen could respect. Still, he didn't want to start a conversation with him, so he decided to go back to the place he had been previously, sitting down near the body and looking at the switchblade that was now in the pool of blood. Jake had dropped it when the officers stormed in to take him. Not wanting to have any evidence on him even though it was clear that they would find it eventually.

-

Casimir Au-Xai, age: eight, status: approved, number: 1286.

Cas sat beside Aaron who was standing, leaning against the wall beside the door, arms crossed.

The people in charge of them sent a group to clean up the body, telling everyone to stay back. Soon they would be transferred into a different room to start the next session. Cas looked up at Aaron who always seemed to have a serious expression on his face like he didn't allow himself to have fun. But Cas knew this wasn't true, Aaron was very friendly and attentive to him, Cas being his only friend that also doubled as someone who had to keep an eye on him and protected him, something Aaron's mother had ordered him to do ever since Cas was brought in to the Calvert's mansion to live with them.

Cas was bored out of his mind as they waited for their next instructions, he wished they would have let him bring in his phone so he could listen to some music at least. They had, after all, let the other kid bring in a weapon, how was a phone not allowed?

"Want to place a bet?" Came Aaron's voice, addressing Casimir.

Cas looked up at him, then looked around, knowing exactly what he meant.

"I choose…." Aaron looked around, no one looked strong enough to him, they were kids, after all, they weren't meant to fight and be strong.
"The one who was with the killer," Aaron said. "Anddd…..that one" He gestured to a kid who was sleeping, his body propped against the wall. He had beautiful long white hair and a fair complexion, almost paperwhite.
Casimir looked at the kid, wondering why Aaron had picked the one who looked weakest to him. He didn't comment on it though as he went to look back around.
"I think the girl who stood there looking at the body has potential…she didn't run away. And him" Cas said pointing to a darker-skinned kid, Andre.

Aaron scoffed at Cas' choices. He shook his head slightly.
"Personally, I think no one here has what it takes to win, but I think that especially of the last one you pointed out. Did you know that his father was a drug addict? He looks like he hasn't gotten sleep in days" Aaron said, to which Cas shrugged.
"He's like me, we come from the same place" He paused frowning. "Or somewhere similar."
Aaron arched an eyebrow at that.
"You mean your home country?"
"Maybe, he's not exactly the same, I'm pale, but he looks Asian, or at least his face looks like it" Cas muttered, wondering if he was wrong about that.


Soon Andre appeared at the door, coming in looking like shit. His curly black hair was all over the place.
He immediately went over to Jake and Rae, sitting beside Jake on the opposite side of Rae. He laid his head on Jake’s lap, swinging his legs over the couch’s armrest so that they hung over the edge.
“Service me tonight,” he said, looking like he was about to cry, a bitter expression on his face.
Jake looked down at Andre as he took another bite from the burger, knowing this was Andre trying to manipulate him. He never showed his most vulnerable parts unless he wanted something.
“Can’t, I have my work cut out for me, tonight’s the night I have to track down that one gang. We don’t have much information on them other than the motherfucker who’s in charge is good at hiding and staying hidden. You wanna know what makes this more difficult? He has someone who makes sure no one gets too close. This isn’t going to be easy” he said, even though he had a smile on his face. Jake loved a good challenge and couldn’t help but get his nerves mixed with the excitement.
Andre looked up at Jake. He needed to relieve some stress and Jake was the only way he knew how other than drugs, but he knew that Jake would kill him if he started up with that again.
“Then before you go tonight,” he said, almost pleading with Jake.
Jake narrowed his eyes.
“Andre…” he spoke softly, almost scolding him, warning not to try and persuade him. Andre’s eyes locked with Jake’s as he reached up to wrap his arms around his neck to bring him down, their lips almost touching. Andre always got what he wanted from Jake because he knew what to do to make Jake give in. He also knew that Jake couldn’t say no to him, just like he couldn’t say no to Rae.

“You’re the only one who knows me so well,” Andre said, letting him go and grabbing the hamburger from Jake and sitting up.
“If you do me, I’ll owe you one for a week, how does that sound?” He said, biting into the burger.
“Andre don’t sell yourself out like that to me, you know I hate it.” Jake was now glaring at Andre. Andre looked at him from the corner of his eyes, he knew exactly what he was doing. His hand slowly moved to Jake’s leg, running it up close to his pants zipper.
“Who else am I supposed to ask?” He said, sugar coating his voice. “You know me from the inside out” he got close to Jake’s face who looked away.
“Please” he breathed, whispering in his ear as he touched Jake in the spot he knew would get him riled up.
Jake took in a shaky breath. This fucking whore. He shot Andre a deadly glare.
“I may seem like a toy you can use whenever you want, but at least respect me. Having said that, you prepare yourself tonight because I’m not going to. It’ll be fast, I don’t have time for this” he said, eyeing Andre.
Rae snickered, knowing how Andre was.
“Weak,” she said, directed at Jake. Jake looked equally pissed and defeated. Andre smirked, licking his lips as he got some sauce on him from the hamburger.
“I’m looking forward to it~” he said, getting up and walking to the kitchen, taking the burger with him. Jake huffed. He really couldn’t catch a break.

@Toxic_Persephone group

A.C.E ID #246781FD - Vance Gao/ Abnormality Classification: Foo Dog / MEDIUM RISK / REGISTERED CURRENTLY: Y

It was strange to find a foo dog outside of servitude. Most foo dog families served a singular household, acting as guardians over the grounds and the people. They were often duty-bound, and not afraid to confront those who even raised their voice toward their charges.
Van's family had been no different.
They served a wealthy man who had no sense of how reality actually worked. He gave the Gao family hell, demanding more than they could give and punishing those who did a subpar job. He had many Abnormalities under his 'care', putting them to work as his servants and house-keepers. He treated them all like shit.
"They're dogs to put to work, things to use. It's not like they can differentiate between such complex thoughts anyways, they're not human. They don't think the same way we do. Besides, this is holy ground. They were created to work it." Van hated hearing those words. He understood everything. He understood when his mother or father came back beaten and bruised after failing to do what that wicked man wanted… when they'd come home empty-handed from the storerooms because they hadn't met their quota for the week.
The master of the house was a wicked man indeed.
Van didn't tolerate wicked men.
But his family did…

Van remembered that night very clearly despite the red that had filled his vision and left his mind clouded.
His mother hadn't made it home the night before. Van's father had sent him out to find her, to make sure she hadn't been working all that time. It wasn't unlike her to work clear through the night and into the next day while Van's father tended the children.
Van had cautiously entered the main house, tugging on the sleeve of the first maid he found and quietly asking for his mother. The maid had given him a strange look, one that he hadn't realized was pity at the time. She led him to the back gate, quietly asking for his forgiveness for something Van didn't understand.
There Van found his mother chained like a dog, the large hulking body of her real form littered with cuts and blood. She sulked in front of the gate, lifting her large head when she heard the footsteps approaching. Her eyes had softened when she saw Van.
Van knew she had tried to tell him something but he hadn't been listening, storming towards the main home with a fire in his gut. He didn't remember when he had transformed, he could only remember the burst of energy that lingered in his bones.
He remembered the alarm on that man's face, remembered the way he had shouted for the others to 'stop the beast before it does anything!'
Van had torn that man apart.
The tinge of blood in the air and on his tongue was cathartic. Everyone had told him disobeying the master would bring bad consequences. But all he could feel was pure euphoria as he ripped apart the man who had used them.
When he finally came to, there was hardly anything left of the man.
His family had been horrified upon finding out what he had done and immediately banished him from the property, disowning him as he had 'done an unspeakable sin'.
At first, he had been devastated and confused but as the days passed he grew angry. He had done them all a service and they had repaid him with betrayal. He had given them freedom and they had refused it, set on being servants for the rest of their lives.
Van had grown bitter and resentful.
Marx had offered him purpose.
Van had willingly taken it.

And now he was stuck in this dingy little house, working for a chimera who had so little morals it was disorienting and gambling with other like-minded criminals.
He had traded one mediocre life for another.
Fate truly was cruel.

-

The entire time Wynn had been gone, Marx remained in the basement and Marcus remained bored, complaining loudly to the air and getting nothing in return.
God knows what Marx was doing down there, Marcus had never seen what he had done, there were very few times he had even been allowed down in the basement and none of those times had been rather pleasant.
Wynn had dragged him out of the room when they had returned, grumbling about some asshole who had catcalled him.
"I need an iced mocha now…" was all he said as he led Marcus down the street.

The cafe Marcus and Wynn frequented was a small one. A quaint place filled with other Abnormalities looking for a respite from the chaotic world they lived in. Marcus had mentioned feeling safe one time while they had visited and Wynn clung to that idea ever since.
If anything especially emotionally compromising happened Wynn would drag Marcus out to grab a coffee and a sweet.

"So this guy tried to get your number after basically harassing you?" Marcus asked, scowling at the idea while Wynn sucked down a very large iced mocha in the seat across from him.
"Yeah! The asshole must not have gotten the hint the first time I told him to screw off so I beat the shit out of him." Wynn huffed, falling silent as he watched Marcus pick at a slice of cheesecake. "I don't know why you like that stuff so much. It's disgustingly sweet." Marcus feigned hurt, shoving another forkful into his mouth.
"It's the perfect amount of sweet, thank you very much." He huffed, sticking his tongue out. Wynn chuckled, leaning back in his seat.
"But with a hot chocolate? What are you? Six?"
"Fuck off, it's good."

@Dayzed public

Andre clung to Jake, hugging him like he couldn't get enough, acting like they were lovers. Jake did not look amused as he smoked a cigarette. They were both in bed and Andre seemed satisfied.
Jake moved Andre's arm that rested on his stomach away, quickly getting up, looking at the time, and pulling his pants on. He bit the cigarette to hold it in place between his lips as he put his shoes on and then his shirt.
"When will you be back?" Andre said, looking at him, hoping that he would get to spend more time with Jake. Jake gave him a sympathetic look. Andre never really had anyone to love him before and Jake knew Andre's feelings for him. Jake even considered it at one point, but then did a full 180 and decided it was best not to. It's not that Andre wasn't his type, it had more to do with the job they did. It's not like love between them was forbidden, but it just complicated things and they would be working with each other no matter what happened and if things became bitter between them, it would throw the balance of the team off. Something he would get faulted for if they found out what he had done. It was best to stay away from relationships anyway. One night stands? Fine. Committed relationships?

He was good, he'd rather shoot himself than love someone to the point of complete irrationality. Not like he was rational in the first place, but in that area, it was a little more dangerous. When it came to love, Jake became unhinged, doing anything possible for those he loved, as seen with Aster. He did stupid things, fighting anyone who did as much as look at the other person wrong.
"I'll see you at school tomorrow Andre," Jake said, sounding cold to not give Andre any ideas.
Andre pouted as he watched Jake leave through the door.

Before Jake could leave, Jen popped his head out of the small kitchen they had. Jen was always in the kitchen making something. Talking about how he wanted his kids to have the best meals when he finally found the love of his life. Jake always rolled his eyes at that. Kids? Really? Who the fuck wanted kids? Especially if they came out like him. He didn't want to deal with that. Jake refused to be tied down to anything, god forbid he fell in love and had kids with anyone.
Jake walked right out the door, despite seeing the eager look on Jen's face to tag along.
"Wait!! I'm coming with you!" Jen said, scrambling to turn everything off.
Finally catching up with Jake, Jen had a small smile on his face, he looked like a golden retriever to Jake and sometimes didn't know how to deal with it. But then there was that one percent when they went out to do their jobs that he got to see the murderous glare that he never used on anyone except their targets. He loved that. The anger on Jen's face when anyone dared to touch anyone from their group. It made him feel safe.

"So where are we going?" Jen asked, testing Jake to see if he had done his homework.
"Cafe" Jake answered to which Jen seemed confused.
"You're supposed to be-" Jake hushed him, taking the cigarette out of his mouth.
"Listen, it's what? Almost one am? Does it look like I'll be getting any sleep?" He said tiredly, a lazy smile appearing on his face. "I'm a machine yes, but even machines need fuel to keep going. I'm going to burn out at this rate. It's been two days without sleep already" Jake said, taking a drag from his cigarette and continuing to move forward.
"I'll buy you something if you'll shut up and let me have this" Jake offered, looking at Jen, whose mood had completely changed. He looked more serious, it was a look of challenging Jake to a fight, eyes hard as he stared at him.
Jake's smile turned nervous as he saw that.
"I won't cause any problems, just a quick coffee, in and out. You'll be there anyways, what am I gonna do? Eat all the pastries?" There was a moment of silence.
"Don't fucking answer that." Jake warned, knowing it had happened before, to which Jen broke his serious state and laughed shaking his head.
"In and out then" He repeated.


Inside the cafe, the chilly air hit Jake and he almost melted from the pure bliss against his skin. It was hot out and even at night, the temperature didn't let up. It was impossible to patrol the streets in this type of weather, let alone fight anyone. Jen followed Jake as he went to sit in his usual seat beside two other guys, it was a long counter, almost like a bar typa beat.
"Soooo…." Jen started. "How long will we be?" He asked.
Jake gave him a cool look. "Until I feel like murdering someone" Jake answered simply because right now he was not in the mood at all. The buzz of excitement to hunt these people down was still there but it took a lot of energy for Jake to snap into that mental state.
Jen blinked at Jake. Well, it's not like they were in any rush. They had all night tonight and all of tomorrow, surely he could let Jake rest for a bit, they were the ones who usually carried the whole group anyways.
Jen looked around, there were very few people there since it was very late.
"Stop analyzing everything, we're not in danger yet" Jake spoke, sounding bored as he waited for the person taking orders to finish up and attend him.
Jen scowled at him. He was about to drop it when he saw two similar faces, beside them. Jen frowned. That was odd. Usually, he was good at remembering faces and where he had seen someone before but he couldn't quite place where he'd seen the curly redhead and the person he was talking to.
Jake caught Jen staring at two guys, his gaze looking over to see who was so interesting.
"What," He asked as Jen became more serious. Jen closed his eyes and shook his head slightly.
"Nothing, just thought they looked familiar." He said. Jake's eyes lingered on the redhead. He did look….familiar. He took a look at the cheesecake he was eating and arched an eyebrow. Interesting choice. Basic. But good.
"I prefer the strawberry fraisier cake…" Jake muttered, looking away, cigarette still in his mouth. He was bound to get kicked out as the cafe had a strict "No Smoking" sign outside.

@Toxic_Persephone group

Wynn glanced up at the two who had entered, looking them both over for a moment before he seemed uninterested, taking a large sip of his drink. He grinned to himself when he realized he was also drinking something sweet, the action catching Marcus's attention.
Marcus gazed at him curiously for a moment before he too stole a glance at the newcomers. The smell of cigarettes hit him hard as he did making him scrunch up his nose. Marcus was no stranger to cigarettes, he smoked himself, but he hated bitter cigarettes and he had never liked the smell of any tobacco product. At least he had the decency to smoke outside and away from others. It irked him when others smoked indoors. Especially in a place that so blatantly said "No Smoking." There were others around who might be affected by it.
He looked back to Wynn and gave him an incredulous look.
"Don't get any ideas, pretty boy, neither of them are my type." Wynn joked, lifting his coffee to bring awareness to it. Marcus eyed it for a moment, only slightly confused at this point. "I was grinning at the fact that I called you six for eating sweet things, but I in turn have something rather sweet. How hypocritical of me." He mused, kicking his feet happily and pushing blonde locks from his face.
"You're always a hypocrite." Marcus huffed, stealing another glance at the two who had entered. He felt uneasy for some reason, a large sense of foreboding settling deep into his bones. The gentle burning sensation in his gut was familiar and yet it felt a little more intense. Wynn must have used his own magic somewhat recently, that was the only explanation he could give for that.
"You, on the other hand, should be looking for a replacement boyfriend - if you can even call Marx a boyfriend at this point…" Wynn suddenly announced, bringing Marcus right back into the present moment. He stared at the other, grimacing a little.
"I already told you… I like him." He muttered, shoving another forkful of cake into his mouth and sulking. Wynn's expression softened.
"I know. You've said. But it might be good for you to distance yourself from him." He leaned over to steal a bite of Marcus's food, grinning a little at him when he received a glare in return. Marcus turned his back to the bar, leaning against it so he could watch out the front windows.
He seemed conflicted, playing with the edges of the bandages he had used to cover his wound. They still hurt like hell but his pain tolerance had shot through the roof since he started in the gang. It was something he could deal with. Bullet wounds hurt worse.
And yet there was something about the injuries Marx inflicted upon him that seemed to sting more. It confused him. He was told he was loved, that the pain meant Marx cared for him, and yet it didn't feel like anything close to it. At least, Marcus didn't think so but he really only had one example of 'love' otherwise and it was a familial type of love.
He assumed his relationship was just how lovers treated each other.
"How are they feeling? Your burns? I can have Cam take a look at them if you want me to, she'd be willing to probably heal it for you." Wynn's words broke him out of his stupor just in time for him to watch his friend finish off the last bite of his cheesecake.
"No thanks. Also, that was my cake, asshole." Marcus huffed immediately, puffing his cheeks up in a pout.
"Why not? It might beat feeling miserable. And don't worry, I'll buy you another one" Wynn huffed, setting his empty coffee cup down as he narrowed his eyes at Marcus.
"Marx doesn't like me going to her for help unless he sends me there."
Wynn fell immediately silent, a new sort of rage bubbling up in his stomach. He couldn't do anything about it, though. No one really could. What Marx said was law. Especially when it came to Marcus.
The two sat in silence for a moment before Wynn gently nudged his friend and gave him a soft smile.
"Listen, Marx is an asshole for half the things he does to you and all those stupid rules he gives to you, but I know it's not something that you can fix by just leaving. But I think you still deserve better and you could take better for yourself. I know you're strong." He gently ruffled Marcus's hair, much to the redhead's distaste before standing with a groan. "Alright, I'll go get you some more cake and me some more coffee. Be right back, don't be dumb."
Marcus watched him go, turning back in his seat and sighing loudly before collapsing against the counter. Wynn had a point, but Marcus didn't want him to. He was sick of being told he was strong. He didn't feel strong… letting Marx do what he wanted felt like ample punishment for the sin of his life. It was his fault his mother was gone after all, if he hadn't needed medical aid his mother would have been able to afford her own care. This was the cost of the sin of living.
And yet…
He stole another glance at the two who had entered, his heart fluttering a little when he realized they were his age.
He definitely wasn't considering Wynn's words.
Of course not… that would mean he agreed with the other…

@Dayzed public

Jake watched as a woman, who had previously been taking orders from someone else, looked at him and came over.
"You're not supposed to be smoking here," She said, softly at first so as to not irritate Jake, not knowing if he was the reactive type that they sometimes got.
"Mmmm" He nodded, looking at Jen, who shot him a glare. Jake would usually drag this on, asking why he wasn't allowed to smoke and that he wasn't hurting anyone. He really did love arguing and pissing people off. He was difficult in nature and almost always got what he wanted. Almost.
Jake rolled his eyes and took the cigarette out of his mouth, putting it out on the counter. The woman protested as he did so.
"Wait, no, not here-" But it was too late and Jake had already messed up the pretty brown counter.
"Outside…." She said afterward, sighing deeply, knowing she would get in trouble for it later, or at the very least, made to clean it up. It was difficult to get all the ashes out of something.
Jen's eyes went wide as Jake acted up. Hold on. So, while Jen had been out doing his own thing for a few months, not being able to keep an eye on Jake, this is what he had been doing? Making life for others difficult? He was so confident in being an asshole, that he did in front of him? IN FRONT OF HIM?
Jen smiled in disbelief and gave a small nervous laugh. Jen was so ready to rip Jake a new one, but seeing the look on the woman's face made him stop. He couldn't do it in here. He'd have to wait for Jake to get his stupid coffee before he was in the clear to tear him apart.
Jen cleared his throat, embarrassed to be out with someone like Jake.
"I'm so sorry, we can clean it up and we'll do our best to get everything out, right Jake?" Jen said, looking over at him, but Jake was too distracted to hear anything. He had gone back to staring at the redhead, a slight smirk on his face.
Jake was so lucky that Jen had cleaned up his act a few years ago, or else Jen would have most likely killed him by now.
"JAKE!" Jen slammed his hand on the table, making everyone turn their heads toward them. Jake nearly jumped out of his skin with the call of his name, it sent him back to the basement with his father for a split second.
Jake's breathing seemed to pick up like he was quietly hyperventilating. Jen didn't feel sorry though. You acted like a dick, you get treated like one, even if Jake had PTSD.
After a few moments of gathering himself, Jake looked over at Jen. He knew not to do that, as everything was involuntary when he snapped back to places- his memories- where he didn't want to be.
Jake had a dazed look on his face now, suddenly tired. It's like he was in fog and couldn't clear it no matter how much he tried.
"Right, I'll clean." He said almost too obediently. The woman had also jumped with Jen's outburst and nervously asked for their orders afterward. Jake struggled to keep his attention on the lady as she asked what he wanted.
"Large coffee, six sugars, four creamers, no flavoring." He said as if the line was rehearsed, and it was, from so many times of frequenting the place.
Jen asked for a Caramel Latte, with a little less sugar added to it, he wasn't a fan, though he stilled liked his stuff to be sweet, just not overboard sweet like Jake. Jake seemed a little bit quieter than when they had entered, messing with the necklace around his neck and not saying anything. Right now Jake was on the verge of tears, but he did well in holding them back. Jen's gaze softened, the previous heartless feeling gone.
"Hey, I didn't mean to do that…I know how it is- well, I don't. But I know how it is for you." He said, trying to comfort him. Jake still seemed stiff, tense, like with any wrong move he'd make he'd get another yelling.
"It's your job," Jake said in return to which a pang of guilt hit Jen. Yes, it was his job, but he never wanted to treat family this way, it's just that Jake was too much at times and if no one ever stopped him, he would cause destruction everywhere he went. It was Jen's least favorite thing to do, to scold Jake, but it had to be done.
Jen didn't know what to say after that so he looked around, and when he caught the redhead's eyes, he looked back at Jake. He had been looking at him earlier. It's what he had been distracted by….
Oh. OH!
A small smile came onto Jen's lips.
"Why don't we talk to them?" Jen gestured to the redhead. "We could ask them where we've seen them before? Maybe it's when we go out as a group and have a free day to ourselves?" He offered, to which Jake suddenly seemed shy, not himself.
"It's not like it matters…." He grumbled, getting back a little bit of what made Jake, Jake.
Jen grabbed Jake by the arm and dragged him away from his seat, nearly falling, but catching himself as Jen brought him a little closer to the other. He cleared his throat.
"My friend here thinks you're cute" Jen made something up, to which Jake's whole face turned tomato red, he snapped his head in Jen's direction, eyes wide.
"No, Jen, I-" He tried protesting but as soon as his gray eyes landed on Marcus, the words died on his tongue. I mean, yeah, he had been checking him out and everything, he did think he was cute, but there was no way in hell he had a chance with him, he was way out of Jake's league, and that said something because Jake could care less if it was someone out of his league, he would flirt to his heart's content. It was very rare for Jake to get flustered over someone.
Jen sat Jake beside Marcus, Jen sitting on the other side of Jake, a happy smile on his face as Jake tried so frantically to find words to say.
"I did not expect to find the human equivalence to a strawberry fraisier cake here" Jake started, laughing a little, his freckled face still very visibly red. Jen laughed a little at Jake's cheesy line.
"I'm Jake," He said more confidently, straightening himself out. "As you've probably heard," He said briefly looking over at Jen to shoot him a glare before focusing his attention back on Marcus. He smiled, not his typical playboy smile but more genuine.
"Could I have the name of the prettiest and probably most likely delicious thing here?" He asked, referring to Marcus.

@Toxic_Persephone group

Both Wynn and Marcus had flinched at the sudden raised voice of Jen, but they were some of the few who didn't seem too fazed by it. They were both used to loud, sudden sounds as Marx was prone to fits of anger and wasn't afraid to let everyone else know.
Wynn still gave Jen a curious look anyways, humming softly as he looked the two over disapprovingly. He had been sat at just the right angle to be able to watch Jake eye Marcus and he didn't know how to feel about that. It would be hypocritical of him to tell the guy to fuck off right after telling Marcus to do better than Marx… but Wynn felt a sort of need to protect the ginger and he definitely didn't tolerate creeps. He watched Marcus from afar as he waited for their order, his eyes narrowing at the two males who approached his friend, ready to stab a bitch if need be. It didn't seem like he needed to though, as Marcus himself went immediately on guard when Jen addressed him.

Marcus, in actuality, was a mess.
The words directly out of Jen's mouth wiped his brain of all logical thought. He didn't know what he was expecting the two would want him for but it definitely wasn't to casually flirt and play wingman.
"What…?" He blurted out, his eyes widening at the two as they sat next to him. He stared at Jake for a long time before he stole a glance over at Wynn. Unfortunately, his only escape was currently arguing with a barista about adding another shot of espresso to his already heart-stopping drink.
Fuck.
He really shouldn't be entertaining someone while he was technically in a weird, kind of relationship. Could it even be called a relationship at this point? Marx obviously messed around with others and yet enforced a pretty strict 'no other people' rule for Marcus. That didn't seem fair.
The whole thing only made his brain scramble more. Wynn would probably be no help. He'd probably encourage him to ditch Marx…
"Strawberry fraisier…?" He echoed, sudden realization hitting him like a truck. He covered his face with a hand, trying desperately to hide the red that crept up along his cheeks and into his ears. He had a reputation to uphold after all and blushing like some school girl at some cheesy compliment was detrimental to said reputation. The other guy's grin didn't help to ease his fluster.
"You always pick out random guys sitting in late-night cafes to flirt with?" He asked quietly, huffing before he sat up a little straighter and pretended to act like the blush spreading across his face wasn't there. "I'm Marcus."

@Dayzed public

Jake seemed too proud of himself as he got that reaction out of Marcus and laughed a little, he seemed to come around a little more from his previous fogged state, eyes amused.
When the question came Jake shrugged.
"Only if they catch my eye," He said lightly. "To be honest, I was looking at you because you looked….familiar. We both were" He said looking over at Jen who was acting like he wasn't paying attention, but he was.
"Though, after my friend pointed me out to you, I uh," He rubbed the back of his neck, letting out a nervous sound. "I just kept staring. As I said, strawberry fraisier cake- they're my favorite" He said, suddenly gushing over the nice pastry that he could totally be having right now if it wasn't for his stupid work.
"You probably weren't expecting for some dumbass to compare you to a cake, but I do that with everyone, Jen is a cake of….what was it?" He asked Jen who suddenly seemed to be paying attention.
"Un pastel de tres leches," He corrected Jake.
"Right….but without the frosting and decorations because you're no fun." Jake huffed, to which Jen's jaw dropped. Never in his life-
Knowing it would bother Jen, Jake quickly went back to face Marcus.
"Besides, you know, the red and everything," Jake said gesturing to Marcus' hair, trying to explain but failing.
Soon the two coffees came in the name of Jake and Jen, and were handed off. Jen gave his a small taste first, wondering if it was too sweet for his tastes, but deciding that it was okay before starting to drink it.
Jake was handed his, it was….large, to say the least. He usually drank some at the location and took it to go, drinking it while walking out in the streets. His addiction to caffeine was not a good one, he couldn't go one day without having a fix, he'd be much angrier, and tired, probably light-headed but he hadn't gotten that far without caffeine to test that theory.
Jen drank his coffee as he watched the others around them, keeping an eye on any sudden movements and planning out an escape route if need be. He was always an overthinker and planner, never trusting anyone too fully that wasn't his family, and even Jake was on thin ice. The only reason he was willing to waste a little bit of time for Jake was because Jake did not work well when he was in one of his moments, whenever he came back from his father's house, it always took him a day or two to completely snap out of his disassociated state and know that it was over and he was safe. It urked Jen that he could do nothing in that situation, Jake's father was, after all, the person giving them orders and monitoring their actions were they ever to turn on the program or even if they stepped out of line. This was why Jen made sure to coach everyone on what they could do and not do so they wouldn't get into trouble.
Jen seemed lost in thought as Jake chatted away.
"I wasn't going to say anything" Jake continued. "As in, I was going to leave you be, but Jen dragged me over. I usually do flirt, just not with people way out of my league, and you're way beyond that" Jake said casually. "I guess what I'm saying is that I find you particularly attractive," He said, going to take a sip from his drink and melting at the flavors. God, when was the last time he had one of these? Oh right, it had been yesterday.
"But enough of that, I'm curious, why are you out at this time drinking coffee? Have a paper due that'll take you all night? I'm not a fan of homework, but I'm forced to do it, it's very tragic" He said, eyes locking with Marcus', the familiar face clicking, but not being able to find the source of where. Jake was never good at remembering faces or even names unless it was convenient to him, and even then he wouldn't remember.


A few days prior:

Jake let out a low whistle as he saw the profiles of the people they were targetting.
"Smash," Jake flipped the page. "Pass, pass, pass, oh fuck, smash-" Jen hit Jake in the back of the head to get him to stop.
"Stop fucking around. You're not taking them out anywhere anyways, they're criminals need I remind you." Jen scolded.
Jake raised an eyebrow.
"I'm a criminal, I've been to jail, doesn't make them any special." Jake stuck his tongue out at Jen who always looked like he was ready to snap every time Jake opened his mouth.
Jen took a good look at the picture of the leader, narrowing his eyes.
"Really? Smash?" He said turning the page so Jake could take a good look at it for himself. If you couldn't beat 'em, join 'em.
A wicked grin appeared on his face.
"What? I'm a sucker for a strong man in charge" The room was quiet after that and then Jake burst into fits of laughter. Jen shook his head.
"We both know you wouldn't last a day with someone being in charge of you, you'd rip them to shreds, you hate being ordered around"
"And yet here we are~" Jake sang back.
"What about this one?" Jake held up a picture of Marcus, eyes bright and dancing around for Jen's approval.
Jen opened his mouth to say something but found he could not disagree with Jake.
"I mean, yeah? He's pretty, has nice green eyes, what? That your type?" Jen asked.
Jake flipped the page so he could see it now. There was another moment of silence.
"I think I would marry him and have kids with him," He said, strangely serious, to which Jen's eyes widened. He snatched the page from Jake's hand.
"Remind me to never let you close to this person. I don't need any more headaches." He said, already feeling one coming on.

@Toxic_Persephone group

"Familiar?" Marcus frowned. That wasn't a good sign in his book. There were very few people who would recognize him and all of them probably wanted him dead; rival gang members, anyone from the police force, past fellow high schoolers, anyone who knew his father or mother or maybe even brother… the list was fairly long…
Marcus grew a little cautious but tried his best to hide it behind a lifted chin and a confident grin. "I'll take it. Strawberry Fraisier cake is amazing. Guess I should feel flattered, then." Marcus sat up a little straighter, feeling a small bit of anxiety root itself in his chest. He stole another glance at Wynn, sighing in disdain when he realized the other was still busy either arguing over drinks or chatting lightly. Wynn was the king of talking someone's ear off when he was in the chatty mood. It drove Marcus crazy at times. Wynn was too bubbly for his own good.
"Really? He seems more like a Black Forest cake guy to me." Marcus mused for a moment, looking over Jen. He hoped the excuse of trying to figure out what cake the other was was enough of an excuse to size him up. Marcus was pretty confident he could get both of the males chatting with him in a small Captive Ward if it came down to it but that didn't ease the suspicion he was starting to feel.
It's fine… they're just teens out for a late-night drink. The thought itself felt like a lie. But he couldn't judge people right off the bat. Attacking with no reason would get him in trouble for sure.
Marcus seemed amused, however, when Jake connected his ginger hair with the red of strawberries atop a cake. "I'm going, to be honest, that's the first time I've heard that one. Usually people compare me to fire." They were right to, of course. His specialty was fire magic. The hot sensation of it coursed through his veins and often burned in his chest. Anytime he used magic he could feel the fire screaming to be manipulated, to be used. It was one of the reasons the gang had dubbed him 'Lighter' to his disdain. Well, there were other reasons involving his magic conduit… but it wasn't his fault an actual lighter directed magic so nicely! It was also a convenient source of fire made better by the fact that his magic made it so he didn't have to refill the damn thing as often. Lighter fluid was expensive.
Marcus fought hard against the blush that rose to his cheeks once more at Jake's words. He wasn't used to attention from others. Only Marx complimented him like that and it wasn't very often. "Thanks…? I think?" He ruffled his hair, wondering if he actually looked good or if his hair was its usual mess.
Marcus hesitated for a moment, checking the time and chewing on the inside of his cheek. His green eyes clouded with indecision for a moment before he leaned back and put back on a grin.
"No homework… I kind of dropped out." He admitted with a sheepish laugh that didn't quite sound authentic. "I mean, it's not official or anything, I could probably go back whenever I wanted to but I have so many absences and missing homeworks that it's probably not worth it."
"Oi, who are these two?" Wynn's voice cut through their conversation as he returned, placing Marcus's strawberry cheesecake on the counter in front of him. Wynn eyed Jake wearily for a moment before he plopped into the seat on the other side of Marcus. "They aren't bothering you are they?" He asked casually, pretending to be nonchalant about it but there was murder in his eyes.
"No, no, it's fine," Marcus assured, giving Wynn a weak smile. "Jake and… Jen, was it?" Marcus gave Jen a sheepish smile, feeling slightly bad about already forgetting the other's name. "They just thought they recognized us, was all." Wynn caught the memo right away, playing it off by sipping at his drink. It looked like it had way too much sugar in it.
"Probably from school or something. Not that we go much anymore." Wynn hoped the two would buy that excuse and not pry too much deeper into things.

@Dayzed public

Jen stared blankly into the distance as he drank his coffee and waited for Jake to end the conversation. They hadn't planned on staying long, so it was better to get a move on with how things were. They may have had all night tonight and all day tomorrow to track these people down, but time went by quickly and before they would know it, they'd be sitting in front of Jake's father explaining why they couldn't do their jobs properly. Jake would take the fall again. No matter how many times Jen offered to go in Jake's place, his father simply would not let him, so ever since the last time Jake left, Jen had done everything in his power to make sure things ran smoothly.
Jake seemed like a little kid, so eager to talk to this person that Jen almost didn't catch it. How Marcus looked at his friend, as if he wanted out, Jen narrowed his eyes. Maybe they were bothering them and felt uneasy around others, if that was the case then they should definitely be leaving.
Jen looked at Marcus, a small smile making its way onto his lips, he looked very tired and laid back, like he didn't have a care in the world.
"That's a new one, everyone usually disagrees with Jake on what kind of cake I am, Rae thinks I'm an angel food cake and Andre thinks I'm a fruit cake" He shrugged. "I honestly don't know why compare me to a cake, I don't really eat it religiously, unlike Jake here" He nudged Jake, a little harder than he meant to, it was their cue to go.
Jake's mood seemed to drop a little. He was having a lot of fun talking and flirting, he didn't want to leave. Jen was about to get up when he heard the word 'fire' and froze. Fire? Where had he heard that? Someone having to do with fire….Marcus….Red hair.
He snapped his attention to Marcus suddenly, eyes wide. He was one of the people they had to bring in, dead or alive. Jen looked over at Jake who was completely oblivious to this fact. He had a huge smile on his face, looking almost lovestruck. Shit. He had said he wouldn't let him get close to Marcus for any reason and here he had brought them together himself. He mentally kicked himself.
Jake laughed when Marcus ruffled his hair.
"It's very much a compliment, I like it" He said casually.
As Marcus kept talking, the information on that piece of paper flooded back, every single word. How old he was, what level of threat he posed, and his connection to…..
Jen sat down, feeling almost dizzy. The leader. He was his right-hand man, they had figured out that much. Jen glanced over at the two. But this kid? It was him? How? He didn't seem like it. He was too young. Then again, Jake and Jen were too young to be in this line of work. The world was cruel sometimes.
Jake tilted his head slightly.
"I think you should go back, it would great to have you around! I mean, I have friends already, but I could always add another person to that list. I think that even if you did have a lot of missing assignments and absences, you could make up the missing days by staying over on the weekends, it's what I always do since I miss school a lot some days- and hey, maybe I could help you with your assignments, I say I'm pretty good at English and the likes, so I'm your guy if you ever need it" Jake seemed very excited thinking about Marcus and him attending school together. Jake seemed to really like Marcus at this point, something Jen would have to rip out of him once they left. In Jake's mind, since he missed school a lot, he could stay with Marcus at school on the weekends, someone to fool around with since his other friends did a good job of attending and never had to spend time to make up days.
Jen looked up with the sound of the other coming to sit beside Marcus, Jen's eyes lingered a little too long on him, watching the eyes that screamed murder. So, he was right.
He huffed, crossing his arms and closing his eyes wondering what to do next. They could grab them here and now, take them in. They didn't have any equipment at the moment so that would be tricky. They were only supposed to find them, then report back, but this situation was ideal, there were only two of them there, or so he thought.
Jen opened his eyes at the mention of his name, his expression seemed to have changed from warm and relaxed to suddenly on edge and serious.
Jake didn't notice Jen's change in mood as he eyed Wynn's drink.
"How much sugar does that have?" Jake said, looking over at his. "I usually have a lot of sugar in mine, but yours looks really good"
If Jake hadn't been with Jen, one would say he belonged. Belonged with the criminals, with the way he behaved sometimes.
Jake was no idiot though, he knew exactly who these two were as soon as Jen had figured it out, he even had his suspicions prior, but they were confirmed when Marcus mentioned the fire. It was a tiny detail like that that never escaped him. He was trained after all. Though, unlike Jen, he maintained his cool. It was a shame because he really liked Marcus. Jake knew that Jen was thinking about what to do next, but they couldn't just have a fight break out in the cafe, not as much as he wanted to.

"So what do you guys do now that you aren't in school?" Jen asked, wanting to get more information out of them. "Do you guys work? I wonder what your parents think about that" Jen said at last, trying to get them riled up, seeing if they would take the bait. Talking about parents being disappointed in their kids was always a topic that seemed to trigger others. Who wanted to hear about their parents being ashamed of them?
Jake looked over at Jen. This wasn't like him. Why was he being so confrontational about this? Even if they couldn't capture them now, there would be plenty of chances to do so, this cafe was just one of the clues they now had to figure out where they were hidden.
"I think mine would beat the shit out of me," Jake said, taking another sip of his drink, though his playful behavior was gone.
"I think we should get going." He stood up, looking at Marcus.
"I'd make a mess out of you tonight if you'd let me, but…." Jake dragged it out. "I have some stuff to do, unfortunately. So I'll give you my number, just in case you want to forget about everything one day- or night, I don't mind. Or don't, though I probably will cry about it" Jake said smiling and taking out his phone, asking the person behind the counter for a pen, and promptly writing it down on a napkin.

@Toxic_Persephone group

"It's a good dessert and a love language in of itself." Marcus joked, giving Jen a wicked grin. "Be glad they chose such good cakes, you could have ended up being compared to a failed made-from-the-box yellow cake mix."
Marcus grew a little weary when both of them seemed to grow distant, silently wondering if he had said something wrong. He didn't like it when the mood dropped around him, it usually meant Marx was in a bad mood and everybody else knew what that meant for Marcus… fuck all that.
These were strangers.
They didn't know anything about him so it was unfair of him to mark them as judgemental. They knew nothing.
"It's nothing special." Marcus sounded grateful though, happy to receive any sort of compliment.
Marcus remained rather oblivious to Jen's thoughtful gaze over him, but Wynn caught onto it. He had had a bad feeling about the two from the moment they walked in. He definitely didn't trust either of them as far as he could throw them.
Wynn had hoped their little group would remain unknown, forever marked as 'that one gang on that one side of town' but he knew logically that wouldn't be the case. Marx was getting cockier with his heists, targeting larger groups and corporations and using their abilities on a whim. Now A.C.E. was on their tails and their names and faces known. Wynn wouldn't be surprised if warrants for their arrests were distributed to every person in the entire city.
Someone would eventually recognize them. Especially Marcus. His destructive fire and protective wards were the talks of many. He was the perfect arsonist, leaving nothing behind but scorch marks and ash. And his wards were near perfect, each rune circle created for each ward solid and equal, with a margin of error so small it was difficult to find the weak points. Even to a human who was oblivious to the Abnormalities in the world, Marcus and whoever was around him were untouchable.
People would be right to feel weary around him.
Unfortunately, however, weary people often called the cops.
"Hmm?" Wynn asked when he realized Jake was addressing him. He looked down at his drink and once back up to Jake before the question registered in his brain. "Oh! A lot of sugar. I always make them add more along with the syrups or whatever they're called they can put in. Love a ton of the caramel stuff. It's incredible." Wynn replied cheerfully, though the dangerous glint never left their eyes. It was almost as if he were challenging the others, daring them to do something he wouldn't like.

Wynn and Marcus both fell silent at the question, both of their eyes falling to their respective spots on the counter. Wynn sighed deeply.
"I'm technically still in school, but I'm one of those homeschool kids so I'm not sure how much weight that holds. Marcus is the idiot here. Otherwise, we take on odd jobs here and there, anything someone as young as us can do. Helping people move, mow laws, and that sort of thing." Wynn gave them a charming smile, one Marcus recognized immediately. Wynn could… persuade others into believing what he told them and it required only a minimal amount of magic, something so minuscule no one usually noticed. A perk of being a siren.
"As for our parents, mine disowned me after finding out certain things about me," Wynn gestured to their chest as if that would give the other two context. It didn't give much unless you knew Wynn as well as Marcus did. They had left Wynn after his top surgery, and Marcus had ended up being the only one to visit and help him during recovery. "And Marcus's parents… well, parent, is a piece of shit."
"My mom's dead and my dad couldn't give two fucks about me. Wynn's don't care for them either." Marcus replied bluntly, giving Jen a slight glare. He wasn't here to get judged by someone about what he chose to do with his time.
"My dad would beat the shit out of me regardless. There's no point in trying because it happens regardless. Doesn't matter if I'm a good kid or not," I killed my mother and he resents me for it. Marcus told Jake, shrugging.
Marcus drew in on himself, still unused to having someone blatantly flirt with him. He could practically feel the temperature around him heating up with how red his face was getting.
"S-sure! I'll take your number, maybe we can meet up later and you'll be able to help me get back on track for school?" It was mostly a joke… and maybe even just a little bit of excuse to see the other.
Jake was an attractive guy, Marcus had to admit he found his gray eyes captivating. And the thought of potentially getting more physical affection sounded amazing even if it were to be fleeting.
God, he was in trouble.

@Dayzed public

Jake stared down Wynn, he loved a good challenge, he was ready to take on the look in his eyes, a small smirk appearing on his face before he felt Jen's presence behind him again. Then he remembered that they'd both get absolutely fucked if they made a move there.
Jen narrowed his eyes, but otherwise seemed satisfied with Wynn's answer, so he dropped it.
Something similar to sympathy crossed Jake's face. Mother….he hadn't thought about that person in a long time. Not like it mattered, he didn't care about a lot of things anyways.
Jen however didn't say anything else as Marcus gave him a dirty look.
"I'm sorry to hear that, if you ever need someone to put him six feet underground, I'm available, I know a thing or two about making people disappear," He said not so subtly, something to which Jen gave him a look. Even if the other two didn't know about them, that was an odd thing to say, even if it was just Jake's humor, he could still do it, and if they found out…
He didn't want to think about it. Even though they were the ones specializing in targeting criminals, they were also targeted, seen as a threat to them, so there had been several times where they had been found and a fight for survival had ensued. It was always in the most unideal places too.

There was a giant grin on Jake's face as he looked for his number, with how much he gave it out to people you would think that he would remember but that just wasn't the case. He knew the kind of effect he had on others, he didn't need to look up at Marcus to know that he was red in the face.
After putting his phone away, the number written down, he looked over Marcus one last time, as if trying to take in every single detail about him. He was thinking of ways to make Marcus his but knew that just wouldn't be possible. Still, Jake knew that people didn't just join gangs, there was always a reason. Hell, he had been close to doing so himself, even though he was already technically owned by the government but what could they do if he turned on them? Probably use Aster once again, but not if he made up a plan to get her out of that stupid house. He was more than capable of doing so but still didn't want to risk it when it came to her. He subconsciously went to grab at the necklace around his neck, feeling it and the overwhelming hold they had on him. Yeah, it was better this way.
His gaze softened however when Marcus said he would call him for….school matters. He smiled at that.
Before Jake could say anything, his eyes trailed down from Marcus' eyes to his lips, then back up again, until he was grabbed by the arm by Jen and dragged out of the cafe. Jake didn't protest though, as he knew he'd probably do something he wasn't supposed to do if he stayed any longer.

Once out and a ways away from the cafe, Jen shoved Jake roughly, making him lose balance and fall. Jake didn't say anything, eyes looking up at Jen.
"What? Want a piece of the action?" He asked, knowing that Jen was completely livid, but deciding to push his luck.
"You knew who they were." He stated, waiting for Jake's reply.
Jake rolled his eyes and looked away. God, he already knew that he knew so why ask?
"Yeah, so what-" Before Jake could finish his eyes widened as Jen hit him.
There was a moment of silence as Jake moved to touch his mouth, a small amount of blood on his fingertips. Jake licked his lips, tasting the metallic flavor in his mouth now. Yeah, this always happened with the fucker.
"You are incredible you know that? Instead of taking this chance to do something about them, you decided to flirt with one of them?! Do you know what could happen to us if they find out where we are!? You gave him your phone number! What is wrong with you?? Why don't you ever think?? Think about everyone back at home for once in your pathetic life!" Jen hissed. Jen always looked out for everyone and he would not tolerate someone putting them all in danger.
"Yeah I gave him my number, it's not like we could do anything. If he calls and we meet up, we'll have more time to plan on what to do, what? You're gonna go hand to hand with someone who's known to be the right-hand man of the leader? Someone who could have you dead in seconds?" There was a smile on his face now as if making fun of Jen, this seemed to be the boiling point for Jen as he stormed off to cool his head.
After he was out of sight Jake let out a breath he didn't realize he had been holding. Jen would make a good parent someday, that was if he could control his anger because sometimes it was overwhelming. Jake stood up, dusting himself off. There was a sort of tired look on his face as he felt the stinging pain near his mouth.
Out of everyone in the world, why did he have to deal with so much violence? There had been so many snapping points for him. He rubbed his forearm, feeling the scars on them. Damn, it was tempting to just…
Whatever. He took out a pack of cigarettes from his back pocket, taking one out, then patting himself down to find the lighter which was in his other pocket.
Having lit the cigarette, he took a long drag, the smoke filling the air. He had been cute though, the way he had blushed and the slight glare in his eyes. Jake smiled as he began walking, putting everything back in his pockets and shoving his hands in them.

@Toxic_Persephone group

Wynn's expression darkened as Jake rose to his challenge. These people were definitely not good. He draped a casual arm over Marcus, looking Jake up and down before scoffing. Marcus gave the siren a strange look but allowed the action. Wynn never did anything without reason Marcus knew better than to question his actions.

He gave Jake a curious look that seemed more amused than concerned. If he wanted his father to disappear in a ditch someplace, he would have asked Marx by now. He didn't exactly want his father dead per se, just out of his life. He did, however, appreciate that some random stranger offered to off the man who raised him. It made him like Jake a little more despite the unnerving energy the other gave off.
"As tempting of an offer as that, I'll have to decline. The guy is an asshole but he's not worth the resources." He mused.

Marcus set his own phone on top of the bar while he waited. He felt awkward, flustered. Even with Wynn's arm around his shoulders he still felt too open and vulnerable.
He thanked Jake when the number was given to him, smiling a little in return. He waved goodbye to the two as they left, grinning from ear to ear as he held his phone close to his chest.
His joy was short-lived, however. Wynn smacked him hard across the back of the head, making him cry out in shock and pain.
"Hey! What the fuck!?" He huffed, rubbing at the pain and scowling at his friend. Wynn narrowed his eyes and snarled.
"What the fuck, indeed, you fucking idiot. I told you to find someone better not trade one asshole for another. He gave off the worst vibes I've ever gotten from anyone. How the hell did you not feel it?!"
Marcus paused. He had felt the subtle dread creep into his chest and belly, his fire rising to burn it away to the best of its ability. And the other had seemed to eye him a little too carefully after something like recognition flashed across his face. Ah shit. Recognition.
Wynn seemed to notice the realization hit the witch and facepalmed. "God, you're so stupid… listen, I'm sure they are nothing more than high school delinquents but you seriously got to pick your friends better. Your bad people choices are what got you into this whole ordeal in the first place. You know you could be doing so much better if you just stayed in school for once and actually tried to get good grades instead of dic-" Wynn flinched when Marcus stabbed his cheesecake with a little too much force, the sound of metal against porcelain plate echoing in the empty cafe. He stared at Marcus for a moment, his eyes flickering down to what little skin he could see of the other's wrists. The half-filled rune's glowed with a fiery intent, awaiting the last symbol that would activate them. Marcus tugged at his sleeve to hide them but Wynn could still feel their power resonating in his throat.
"I did try," Marcus growled, shoving a large bite of cake into his mouth. It took four more bites before the tightness in Wynn's throat died down, leaving him with a deep sense of discomfort.
The baristas seemed to have picked up on the frequencies as well, as they gave Marcus weary looks. Wynn didn't blame them for slinking away to the farthest corner of the bar. Marcus's magic felt… volatile at best. Almost as if it would lash out. Those who were oblivious to magic often described it as silent rage waiting to boil over. Wynn always wondered if that ever held any truth.
"I'm sorry, didn't mean anything by it, I just want you to actually do things for yourself for once," Wynn murmured. Marcus didn't reply, only dipping his head down in slight recognition.

@Dayzed public

The next day had come too fast and Jake found himself sleeping on the streets….again. He was huddled in a corner of an alleyway, the soreness in his body painful.
He slowly picked himself up with great discomfort, god he'd rather be dead than do whatever the hell this was. He stretched himself out like he was some cat after taking a casual nap, then huffed and dug around in his pocket for his phone, the tiredness apparent on his face. He looked over all the missed calls and voice messages, then the text messages. Most of the missed calls were from his dad, Jake never picked up unless he texted him something about Aster which was urgent, but other than that he could suck a dick for all Jake cared. There were about ten missed calls from Jen, typical, and two more from Rae. Jen probably told her to call him since he wasn't picking up his calls, but little had they known that Jake had passed out. He had only sat down to rest for a while, but he couldn't take it and his eyes closed. Not being able to fight it, he had slept through the night, which was not a good thing because they still hadn't found the place the gang was hiding and it didn't help that Jake blew the chance of getting to know where that was with Marcus. Maybe Jen had been right, maybe they should have done something right then and there, but they both knew better than to just solo two people who had abnormal abilities, or were abnormalities themselves. No matter how big the feelings were, their hands were tied there.
Jake scrolled down to his older messages with the others before he stopped, the image of Wynn's darkened expression crossing his mind. A small smirk formed on his lips. For some twisted reason, that really gave Jake a hint of energy. He wondered what would have happened if he had fought them in that cafe. Well, it could have gone a number of ways, every single one of them ending with him and Jen getting their asses handed to them.
Jake looked at the top right corner of his phone only to see that it was eight o'clock now. Would he ditch school again and keep looking or attend for once in his life?
Day drinking actually. That was what he had settled on, even though he was underage and he couldn't buy anything, Jake knew of a few ways. Like going into a store, picking up a bottle, and making a mad dash to the door. He had done that a few times, every time resulting in him getting caught and having to plead with the people in charge of him to bail him out. He was never remorseful as they hoped and he would definitely do it again, like today. He could also just ask his father but where was the fun in that?
Having made up his mind Jake skipped off to his local gas station. Maybe after that, he would show up to school, he didn't know. He would probably just crash at their apartment and pass out again.


Jen stared at Jake and Jake stared right back, not breaking eye contact. Neither of them said anything but the tension in the air was high.
Jake went to move his hand but the metal cuffs stopped him. He huffed, frustrated.
"So what? Are you gonna let me go or what?" Jake asked.
Jen crossed his arms like a disappointed mother but everyone knew he was trying to keep his hands to himself and not strangle Jake. Jen looked up slightly as if trying to think of what to do.
"Mmmmm you know what," Jen said, Jake immediately knowing where this was going.
"We'll just leave you here for a day? maybe a week? I don't know, we'll come and get you when you stop being stupid- oh wait, it looks like you'll be here for the rest of your miserable life" Jen spat and Jake smiled at that, he leaned back in his chair, the one he was cuffed to.
"Oooor you could uncuff me?" He asked, a charming smile on his face. Jake never learned and that's something Jen had learned very early on, no matter how much punishment was given to him, he never listened. No one had broken the kid yet despite everything he had gone through. Sure, there were times when he gave up fighting, those being in the form of trying to off himself, but he was still here and Jen was convinced that as long as Jake was alive he would make it everyone's problem. Yet, even if he was cracked slightly he always bounced back. Jen wasn't entirely sure if Jake could be classified as human, he sure as hell didn't belong with them. Somewhere deep in Jen's mind, red flags were being waved around. If anyone ever got ahold of Jake and managed to break him enough beyond repair, Jake would be a difficult person to go against for a number of different things. Same thing had Jake been born an abnormality. Jen shuddered at that. He did not want to know what that would look like.
Jake was a challenge in itself, but adding layers to that made him all the more dangerous, Jen wasn't even sure if Jake considered them family at all, even though they all did. That's what made Jake unpredictable, he never knew what was going on in that little head of his. The only thing that was set in stone was his deep love for Aster.
Before Jen could snap himself out of his thoughts, Rae had already uncuffed Jake, who rubbed his wrists.
"I'm used to being tied up, but damn does it hurt" He spoke.
Jen narrowed his eyes at him. "Maybe if you weren't struggling so much you wouldn't have those marks on your wrists now, try using your brain a little, not that you ever even think about yourself," Jen said walking out of the police station, the rest following behind him.
"Last day, so everyone scatter and try to gather as much information as you can" He instructed everyone, and with that everyone parted ways as if they already knew what to do. Ezekiel and Blake partnered up as they were siblings, and Aaron and Casimir also went off together, leaving Rae, Andre, and Niveous to go off on their own. Jen however was not letting Jake out of his sight. He was almost like Jake's babysitter, but if anyone told him that he would flip his shit.

@Toxic_Persephone group

Van was a relentless sparring partner. He never cared who he was going up against nor if they were injured. He fought with a ferocity that hinted at the internalized anger he was always carrying around. No one was exempt from his fury, not even Marcus who was so obviously pushing himself beyond his limits. Van couldn't stand him. Marcus was insufferably persistent regardless of what happened to him. The asshole had way too much will to live…
No.
That wasn't what Marcus had. Van had seen it for himself firsthand. Marcus wasn't strong-willed for himself.
The fucker was afraid. He was too much of a coward to stand up for himself and too much of a coward to die. He was content in misery and it made Van angry as all hell. You took control of your life if you wanted more and you didn't let some fucker like Marx influence you so heavily.
And yet wasn't that what Van was doing himself? He was here after all, and he was listening to Marx's every order, following them without fail and guarding their house without questions. But he wasn't in as deep as Marcus was so that had to count for something right? He was no fuckbuddy to drag around like a doll…
He still felt like he was letting someone use him.
It pissed him off.
And so he might have gone a little bit too hard when Marcus asked him for a good fight. Van didn't let up, even when Marcus no longer could raise his fists and even after Wynn and a few other gang members tried to pull him off of the ginger-haired asshole.
He was in deep shit now with Marx but Van didn't care. He was too busy trying to figure out why Marcus had let him get so far. The guy confused him greatly. Marcus could obviously stand up for himself, and most other times Marcus won the sparring matches he started. Not to mention he could have used his magic at any time and had chosen not to.
The only conclusion Van could come up with was that Marcus wanted to be hurt for whatever reason. It didn't make any sense even if the witch had some issues. Who in their right mind let themselves be hurt in such a way? He could ask one person, but that would require admitting he was curious.
He stared daggers into Wynn, regardless, making the small siren shift uncomfortably in his seat and lean a little closer to the ginger in question while he bandaged him.
Van wouldn't ask. He'd wait until one of them confronted him for being rude about things. Until then, he would sit and ruminate on the enigma that was Marcus Teague and silently wonder why the hell Marx had picked him.

*

Marcus had been in a bad headspace ever since taking Jake's number in that cafe. He had returned to the house shortly after only to be met by Marx in the doorway, drunk off his ass and angry as fuck. The giddiness Marcus had felt had crashed right then and there, a harsh reminder that he was technically taken already. No matter who flirted with him, Marcus was kind of stuck.
Marx had been so sweet that night, though. He usually was when he was drunk. Well, sometimes he was when he was drunk. It was always 50/50 with him.
It made Marcus feel guilty about even considering someone else. The loving kisses Marx pressed to his face and temples felt amazing, he couldn't just ignore the good moments he had with Marx, regardless of how rare they were in comparison to all the bad ways he treated Marcus.
And yet Marcus still couldn't seem to stop considering leaving Marx. He would for sure be harmed severely, maybe even killed, for doing so but that wasn't the part that got to him. It was betraying the man who had given him this new life. Marx had shown him the gang, had told him his powers had a purpose and a place and had seen beauty in him where others had not. He had to pay Marx back for all he had done. He owed the man that much, even if his payment was his entire being and life.
Marcus would be nothing without him after all.
Which was why he would follow Marx to the ends of the earth, even now as he discussed the plan for the night.
This would be Marx and the gang's biggest crime in a long while; Marx needed more funding to continue eluding the government and it just so happened that a rather wealthy family had moved into the old mansion across town. They were the family of a well-known politician, one that so adamantly spoke his mind regarding Marx and his 'silly little group'. He wanted them caught and tried as adults, punished for their crimes. It was pretty obvious from the way he skirted around the main issue that this politician knew of Abnormalities, and he often spoke in the community of the few humans who knew of Abnormalities against magic. It seemed he wanted anyone who had magic to be burned at the stake - both in a literal sense and in other terms.
Marx wanted to make a point alongside making money. Targeting this man in his own home and taking what he had would strike fear into the hearts of those working against Marx. He wouldn't tolerate slander on his name.
Marcus thought it was an insane idea, and yet he was still here, sitting next to Marx while he scribbled in a notebook and frowning at the plans. Marcus was still bandaged from his fight with Van, wincing every time he moved and only slightly regretting his choices.
He had to self-punish himself, however, for doubting Marx and his laws.

Tonight, Mr. Dickhead's residence, wards, Van's form, fire in main room after looting

Read the paper. Marcus was nervous about the wards. He knew he'd have to make them, none of the others were as good as he was at creating wards, and Marx didn't trust anyone else to protect him in such a way. The fire parts would be easy, Marx would probably use his own fire for it, which gave Marcus one less thing to worry about.

"There. Now. Go get the others prepared. We're going to have a hell of a night…" Marx crooned, pulling Marcus closer so he could kiss his head. "I'll grab Em. If things go south, he'll get a good meal out of it." Marx chuckled darkly, sending goosebumps across Marcus's skin.
He silently hoped Em wouldn't have to eat anybody.

@Dayzed public

Niveus had just gotten back from a solo job of hunting down a certain individual. A runaway from the military. The guy had been drafted because they had a shortage of troops and they were being deployed soon. He was 15, a year younger than him, it seems like they had gathered guys around that age to train them early on, kind of like they had trained Apotheosis since they were kids, but this one was for giving your life up for the country. Niveus understood why Alec had run away, but it wasn't his problem, this was his job and he never questioned when he got an order. Niveus dealt more with the human side of things, unlike Jake and Jen. Rae also dealt more with the human side of things but would from time to time join Jake in his jobs.
They were split up into two groups. Jen, Jake, Andre, Aaron, and Cas were more experienced in dealing with abnormalities, but Niveus, Rae, Ezekiel, and Blake stayed behind most of the time, taking on jobs that they were trained for.
Blake was one that delve into science and research part of everything, whether that be abnormalities or humans. Whenever they killed anyone they were brought to her so she could study their body and how they worked. For abnormalities, she would perform a vivisection if they were alive and were given the death penalty. It was her job to find out how they worked and ways to find out how to take them down for future reference. It was for scientific purposes. Even if it was unethical. For humans she would be in charge of finding new ways to heal and destroy the human body, this was more for war practices. Blake had been dealing with blood and guts since she was a kid so she was basically desensitized to this, though that didn't stop her from being cheerful and just an all-around kind human being. She found a way to separate work and her personal life so that it didn't completely consume her. She had taken a liking to cutting into people, and got even excited when they brought someone in, an abnormality she hadn't seen before. Humans didn't excite her as much as she already knew how they worked. They were all the same.
Sometimes Cas would sit and watch her do her work. For some reason, it didn't really bother him when Blake did her work, unlike the rest of the group who would be deeply disturbed. Even Jake steered clear from her lab. He had enough to deal with anyways, he didn't need to see people get dissected.

Niveus didn't know how to hunt down abnormalities, they were trickier, but he figured he would start at the place they had been seen last at, as he did with his other jobs. Niveus had straight white long hair and blue eyes that sometimes seemed red due to the way the light hit his eyes, the blood vessels being visible from the back of his eyes. He usually wore long sleeves and a hood even in the scorching hot summer, especially in the hot summer when the sun was out. If he didn't he would get severely sunburned. When he had first been volunteered, he had terrible eyesight, but once elected to be part of the group, he was given the best treatment and had a decent vision after that. It was one of the struggles of being an albino. One of too many.
Niveus was born in the states, but his father had heard about a witch doctor in a different country who could heal his wife after being in a terrible accident. Niveus' father took him and went to seek out said doctor. After finding the doctor, the price was named and Niveus was left in that country with the witch. He grew up there for a few years before the events started happening. Niveus was seen as a precious resource, who supposedly had "special powers" because he was albino and at year five, half of his arm all the way to the elbow had been severed. It was sold off to the black market which caught a politician's attention. Like Aaron and his family, there were others who would keep an eye on the new items brought in. Said politician wanted to buy Niveus and he did. He was shipped back to the states where he was raised, then later at age nine put into the mix of other kids who would be chosen to carry out the task to bring down criminals.
Currently, Niveus had a prosthetic arm that was almost cybernetic, he could do most things normally, but there were some tasks he needed help with and Rae helped him with those. The government had given it to him as soon as it had been approved. It worked almost like his other arm. It was one of the perks of being adopted by a politician. He had access to the latest technology, released or not. They had come far in seven years and they were very advanced almost to the point of perfecting it. But it cost a hefty amount.
Although Niveus wouldn't be taken seriously with his cybernetic arm, he's a good fighter and even better at locating people.


Andre walked around the place Jake and Jen had been previously at, going a few blocks down. He looked around, alert for anything that moved. Andre wasn't scared, but he was paranoid. What if he ran into a dealer here? Or one of the other fellow gang members?
The rest of the group didn't know it but Andre was also part of a gang. He knew all about Marx and his partner. He knew exactly where they were located but he kept his mouth shut. He couldn't say anything because if he did he would be targeted. They would know it was him. The reason being that his gang also knew about his connection to Apotheosis. And despite this they let him join with one condition. He would do everything in his power to keep the spotlight off of them and anyone they were connected with, and that included Marx's gang. He couldn't sell them out because he had made an oath. If he touched any of the other gangs or turned his back on them he would get killed. The worst part was that they had asked for information on everyone else in Apotheosis and Andre had given it to them in return for a simple high. That was about four years ago when he could have cared less about anyone in the group, he hadn't been close to them as he was now. One wrong move and he put everyone at risk, they knew all of their weaknesses, even Jake's and Andre was too in love with him to say anything, if anything happened to Aster, it would be his fault. How had he gotten himself into this mess?
Back when he used to party and do most hardcore drugs, he had found a way to get more of the things he wanted, but that meant he had to join one of these groups to obtain them. Even though he was clean now, he was still stuck in that group. He had tried leaving once, ignoring their calls and cutting contact but they had still found him and got him when he was alone. It had been one hell of a beating. He had been held for a few days and got some sense knocked into him. He could ask Jake or Jen for help, but if Jen knew he'd probably turn him into the authorities, he was sure of it. And if Jake knew of all the details he would kill him. So he kept quiet, mostly out of fear. In a way, it felt like he was betraying Apotheosis but he still helped out, he just….left some things out. He was stuck in the middle and it was hard, gave him panic attacks sometimes but he dealt with it.
After a while of aimlessly wandering around, not really investigating anything he took his phone out. The words written always filled him with dread. It was his gang and they needed help with something. But he couldn't leave. He had to return to their apartment and share the information they had found, then plan out their next move. If he disappeared he would be questioned. Jen was insanely good at knowing when people were lying so if Andre said something or acted out of the normal he would certainly be found out. Andre had dodged it all these years by cracking jokes to cover up the fact that he was being untruthful, funny enough it was never Jen who questioned him, it was Jake and he always let it slide since he knew Andre's job. But he had been warned last time. If he was going somewhere he would have to tell them where and why, if he didn't they would have a talk. All of them against Andre. There was no way he could dodge that.
Right now there was no lie he could make up for his disappearance, he had no work this night and where else would he be that would be so important for him to skip out on the planning? He also couldn't say no to the gang or else they would know that Apotheosis was up to something big and he wasn't doing his job of keeping them out of the spotlight.
It was at times like this when he really needed his drugs to just not feel the way he was feeling and forget everything.


"I'm about to slice my hand off just to get this thing off. It's stupid" Aaron growled, to which Cas just gave him a look.
"It's there for a reason. If anyone one of us goes missing they'll be able to find us, even if we're dead." Cas explained it to Aaron which just seemed ticked that he did so.
"Yeah, I fucking know that, but I feel like a dog with a shock collar on, like I need to be kept in check or something. Couldn't they just put trackers in our phones?" Aaron argued.
"Phones can be misplaced" Cas said cooly.
"Who's side are you on?" Aaron snapped and Cas just rolled his eyes.
W-0. It was a bracelet. A thin strip of black-looking glass material that wraps around the wrist, embedded into the skin. It used to be mostly for the military troops going out to war, that way if they died they could locate the dead bodies even if they weren't visible. It's made of titanium, with a microchip inside the metal. They were all installed into Apotheosis when they were nine and got approved. Every year they get it checked to make sure everything is okay with the skin around it and the chip itself, they would get it adjusted as they grew. Everyone in the group has one, even Andre, but the gang he is a part of found a way to disable it when Andre is with them. The government doesn't check it unless something major happens and one of them goes missing for a long time. Like when Andre went missing that one time, having been kidnapped by the gang. Though, that was only after he had been released. Andre of course had told a half-truth so they wouldn't find out.
Jake on the other hand had tried digging it out with a knife, heavily scarring the area around the metal, he even went as far as to smash it with a hammer, leaving his wrist bruised, with scratch marks on the titanium. That's when they found out there was something not quite right with him. As he grew older it still bothered him and he was tempted every day to carve it out. It wasn't meant to be stuck to his body, is what he thought, it drove him crazy.
Jen and the rest seemed to accept it pretty well, the healing process was a long one, and the installment would have been painful, had they been kept awake for it.
Because it is not something you can remove, the group covers it up, Jake wears arm warmers, Niveus wears long sleeves when he's out anyways, Rae wears a ton of bracelets on top of it, Aaron wears a watch, Jen wears a sports wrist band and so on.
"Maybe Jake had the right idea of trying to take it off, we should of never let them do this to us." Aaron kept going.
"Do you think we'll find them? They've been quiet for a while now." Cas said, changing the subject. Aaron looked over at him as they walked.
"I think it's bound to happen. Maybe not today, or tomorrow or even in the next five months but they'll get found out sooner or later. We just have to wait for them to make a move again. You would think that with all the information the government had they would be easier to find. Ugh," Aaron shook his head slightly.
"What do you think about them?" Cas asked, wondering what Aaron's opinion was on abnormalities, he hadn't really shown any disdain for them, but also didn't seem to like them very much.
"You wanna know what I think? I think they're a pain in my ass. They cause more problems than humans themselves. Humans are much easier to deal with, you find someone being an idiot, you shoot them, game over. But when you have someone like Marx going around, causing mayhem, it's one thing if you find them, another is fighting them. You're at a disadvantage if you're human. I think they should have trained abnormalities to do this work, but I get it. You wouldn't want them to get involved in their own kind. They can't be trusted." Aaron gave his two cents on the matter.
Cas just listened. He didn't think they were all bad, just some had dealt with a much harder life than others, same with humans, they all did things because something had led them to that choice.
"What if I had been born an abnormality? You think I couldn't be trusted?" Cas spoke. Aaron just scoffed.
"If you had been born that way, we wouldn't even be talking right now because we would have never met."
"Yes, but I'm asking if we had met."
Silence.
"What? You saying I'm wrong to distrust the one group that has an advantage over us? One that's shown over and over again to cause the most problems? They were born wrong. I don't understand why some people have sympathy towards them. I don't particularly care but I think it would be better if they fucked off. Things would be better off."
"For someone who doesn't care you sure have a lot to say. And you know Jake would kick your ass right about now if he heard you shit talking abnormalities."
Aaron laughed at that.
"He couldn't land a hit on me if he wanted to. Speaking of Jake, didn't he get the number from that one person? What was his name?"
"Marcus, apparently. And he hasn't called yet if that's what you're gonna ask next. I think it wasn't a good idea to just give your number out to people like that, but then again I never know what's going on in Jake's head." Cas said, thinking about it some.
"It doesn't matter now, it's done, and once Jake lures him somewhere where we can fight him and possibly capture him, that'll be one down," Aaron said confidently.
Cas smiled at that, not the whole capturing part, he wasn't sure if they'd be able to take him on, but it was the part where Aaron thought that Jake would just "lure him somewhere to be caught". If Cas knew anything about Jake, it was that he did whatever he wanted and he might want to have his fun before turning him over, which would prolongate the number of mistakes that could happen. And that was even if Marcus called.
"He's not a dog you know," Cas said softly. "We're bringing them in so that they can't hurt anyone anymore"
"Might as well be dogs, all I know is that they need to be held accountable for everything they've done."
Cas let out a sigh and shook his head slowly. He loved Aaron, truly, as a good friend, but his takes and the way he talked were something else.

@Toxic_Persephone group

By the time the gang had readied themselves, darkness had fallen across the city. They all stood in the streets in front of the small diner they frequented, laughing and joking with one another as if they weren't just about to go and terrorize some man in his own home. It felt unnerving to Marcus, who stood silently next to Van and Wynn. They were equally as quiet, watching the more rowdy members of the crew toss around a bottle filled with a dull, gray liquid. Van watched it with disdain, ready to dive for it should the group drop it.
"Fucking idiots…" Van growled, stomping over to wrestle the bottle from a rather feisty demon who bared their fangs at Van in an impressive show of dominance. Van returned the gesture eagerly, squaring his shoulders. Marcus scoffed, shoving his hands into the pockets of his oversized jacket. Wynn glanced for a moment down the other's arms, knowing what he hid under the garment.
"So, Marx went straight to the place, right? He's got Em with him?" Wynn shifted back and forth on each foot, looking anxiously to Van when his voice grew a little too loud. Marcus stared at him from the corner of his eye, nodding. "Then we need to be there pretty soon, right?" Wynn's voice grew louder, the honeyed words making the majority of the gang pause and look at him. Marcus shuddered at the slight burn that rose in his stomach, the only indication to him that Wynn had used his magic.
"I don't think I'll ever get used to you doing that."
"Do what? Charm you? I can hardly do that anymore, you're too good at ignoring me." Wynn whined, turning to walk down the road. Marcus felt himself subconsciously following after Wynn, the burn growing more intense. He shook his head out until he felt he had regained control over himself and took the lead.


Marcus shrugged his jacket off into the dirt, grimacing as the night air hit his exposed shoulders. He could feel the eyes of the gang on him as he stepped up to the main gate, looking over it with a frown. He traced a few of the runes tattooed into the skin of his arms, a dull, orange light following the path of his fingers as he crafted a Rune Circle. The fire in his stomach grew until it burned clear up in his chest, a roaring filling his ears as he reached into his cargo pants and pulled out his lighter. The second he flicked it open flames burst from it in a large fireball, growing in front of him. Marcus lifted his other hand to it, leading it into a constant stream he directed towards the gate. The group behind him took a few steps backward as the heat grew yet Marcus seemed unfazed by it.
He suddenly clicked his lighter shut, extinguishing the bright fire in an instant. It left behind a strangely sweet smell and a large hole in the gate, the metal still dripping as it cooled. Marcus gestured towards it dramatically, raising his brow at the gang.
As nonchalant as he looked, Marcus felt anxious. The high collar of the halter tank top he wore dug into his neck uncomfortably and the cargo pants he wore felt too heavy from all the items he threw into the pockets of it. The still-glowing runes on his arms burned uncomfortably and he was tempted to release the magic already. He couldn't, of course, it took a lot of time to trace each rune and if he broke contact with his skin between each rune he would break the Circle prematurely leading to a large backlash of magic. He couldn't risk that. Not when he was already so out of it.
Marcus limped after the group once they, one by one, squeezed themselves into the hole he had created. The moment they were on the main lawn, a loud alarm began to blare. Marx took a step forwards, taking in a deep breath and grinning As he exhaled, his body began to morph into an amalgamation of strange parts: the body of a lion; three heads of lynx, a wolf, and a snake; the tail of a scorpion; and large, bat-like wings protruding from his back. Marx wasn't your traditional-looking Chimera but he sure as hell was just as intimidating.
He roared as he started towards the house. Marcus could have sworn it sounded like laughter.
Van was the next to transform. He slid his shirt off, setting it in the dirt next to Marcus's jacket and mumbling about having to buy new pants before his own body began to morph and stretch. Skin and bone ripped into a larger form covered in fur, teeth growing until they no longer fit in his mouth. He snarled at Marx once his own transformation was complete, the foo dog bounding after their leader.
Each gang member was capable of different things. Some were human Witches such as Marcus, other's large beasts like Marx and Van. Here and there a fae creature cackled, excited for the mischief about to happen. Wynn had dropped his Glamour Charm at some point, sporting dark blue scales, slitted gray eyes, and large frills now. His fingertips ended in curved, sharp spines and his teeth stuck out at odd angles. Marcus always thought Wynn's teeth looked more like those angler fish had. Wynn hated hearing that.

Marcus flicked his lighter open once more, watching the flame roar into life again, this time remaining a decent size for an actual lighter to hold. He glanced around for a moment before he spotted Marx's van, grimacing. Em was somewhere inside, he was the only one not allowed to work alongside the rest as he tended to be more of a detriment to the goal. Marx kept him so underfed at times he often lost himself to the madness of starvation.
And yet Marcus couldn't help but to feel a little bit of pity for the guy, however. Em had no control over what he was now. Once Marx got a hold of something he wanted, there was no going back. Marcus knew that more than anyone else, and Em had joined in on that knowledge. Marcus and Em were both victims of Marx's selfishness. Neither of them would escape with their lives.

"Hurry the fuck up, Marx is going to be livid if he doesn't have you to protect him." Wynn hissed at Marcus, his voice smooth and silky. Marcus shook the fog from his mind, fighting against Wynn's magic and huffing angrily at him. "Sorry, can't turn it off without the dampening spells." Wynn explained apologetically, ushering Marcus through the hole he had created.

@Dayzed public

It had gotten dark quickly, with all the searching time had flown by.
Jake and Jen had visited the cafe again and asked if the two who ordered yesterday came in frequently and what times they seemed to come in at the most. They had been hesitant to give any information, but when they did, it wasn't exactly any use for them.
The entire time Jake and Jen had walked in silence, Jen refused to talk even when Jake tried to start a conversation.
"He called," Jake said. It was only then that Jen reacted.
"When?? Are you going to meet up with him? We have to get a plan going and-"
Jake smiled.
"I'm messing with you. He hasn't called. I don't think he ever will but hey, it got you to talk to me" He shrugged. Jen was so tired of Jake's bullshit, that he wanted to call it quits.
"You just don't know when to stop do you?" Jen said as they walked back to the apartment. "But now that you've brought up that topic, I want to make things very clear for you. Even if you end up getting a, a-"
"A date?" Jake questioned, arching an eyebrow.
"Yes, that. If you end up getting a date, you're not allowed to touch him. You can like watch a movie, maybe go somewhere isolated, but absolutely nothing of what you usually do." Jen laid everything out on the table.
"What if I want to kill him, is that acceptable?" Jake asked, the bloodlust in his eyes clear as daylight. Jen didn't say anything for a while.
"No. You can't kill him either. He has to be brought in alive." Jen decided right then and there. Jake was only fucking with Jen, he wasn't going to kill the other. That would be a waste. He did, however, want to stick his knife into someone. It had been too long since he last killed someone for a job. He missed the terrified looks on their faces. Maybe he would just join an underground fight again. They seemed to always help when he felt that way.

Back at the apartment everyone gathered around a table, one would think they were doing a ritual, but it was routine. It would just be a lot of Jen talking and asking for suggestions and considering them, ruling out anything that could jeopardize the operation.
Everyone was there. Everyone except Andre.
"You think he got caught up in something again?" Rae asked, a little concerned. "He hasn't texted or anything, and he usually does."
"Maybe he was kidnapped. Wouldn't be the first time" Ezekiel chimed in.
Jen frowned. He should have been there with them by now.
"Call him Rae, maybe he'll pick up, though, I doubt it" Jen ordered, to which Rae complied.
"Why don't we have Jake go out to look for him since they're basically a couple at this point" Aaron taunted. He knew how much Jake hated labels. The two never got along, always at each other's throats. Jake shot Aaron a glare.
"I'm in no way, shape, or form, his boyfriend. We simply fuck from time to time, something you can't seem to get" Jake mused.
Aaron nearly stormed over to Jake but was held back by Cas.
"Leave him, you're never going to win, this'll go on forever" Cas said. Aaron was not having it though. He had heard too much from Jake in the past couple of years and he was ready to kill the kid, even over the most minor thing, he was just looking for an excuse.
Jen pinched the bridge of his nose.
"Stop it. Save your fighting for after we've discussed things." With that, Jen over to a file cabinet and took out a bunch of notebooks, then dropped them on the table. Everyone looked at him.
"I've been doing a lot of research and everything I've found are in these books."
Jake rolled his eyes. Show off. Always going above and beyond.
Niveus walked over to the stack of books. He picked one up and briefly skimmed things over.
"These are all past incidents, the time, location, powers listed, who and what they targetted. There's….." Niveus trailed off as he saw the pictures.
"Jen, where the hell did you get this??" Niveus asked, this was all something the government should have had ready for them, but it just went to show how lazy they really were.
"I asked for security camera footage of everything around the time of the events happening, most of them weren't active. They thought of everything, but there were a few hidden that they couldn't get to. Those shots you see were taken from the footage. I took out specific parts so we could see them better" Jen said explaining his process. He picked up another book.
"If you guys ever need to look over their profiles again, they're in here along with a more detailed version of what they gave us in the first place." He picked up another book.
"These are plans of what we're going to do when we find them. Each one of you is assigned to someone. If you feel that you cannot take them on, we'll switch you with someone who can. Or we'll pair you with another person." Jen set both of the books down.
Aaron also got close to the table and picked up a book.
"If you have everything figured out, why do you need all of us here?" He asked, looking at Jen.
"I want everyone to know everything beforehand. This isn't like our previous jobs. It's not a hit and run, it's not that easy this time. Usually, you guys are used to hearing everything last minute, but this can't be taken lightly." Jen crossed his arms.
That seemed to make everyone uneasy. Jake frowned. Did Jen think they couldn't take them on? This would be the first time.
Sensing the atmosphere change in the room, Jen's expression softened.
"I just don't want anyone to die because we missed something. We're more than capable of taking them on, we just need a litte more planning this time around is all."
"I don't understand much of plans. I say we pick them off one by one. Find them when each one is alone, wouldn't we have a better fighting chance?" Jake asked.
Jen shook his head.
"Technically we could, but they're almost never alone. You saw that with the two other day. And even if we did get them when they're not with someone else, you really think there won't be someone nearby ready to attack? We could get surprised by the numbers if there are enough around. Then what are you going to do?" Jen gave him a look.
"I don't know, kill them?" Jake said, smiling, though he knew he would get killed first.
Jen rolled his eyes and ignored Jake.
"These two books have different types of plans in them. We haven't figured out which building is theirs but I have a rough idea. I looked up all the possible locations they could be at and made a plan for each one of them" He put his hand on a red-colored book and stopped. He didn't want to make anyone panic, but it was just a precaution. If things went wrong, this was something he wanted them to do.
"You all have completed the funeral plans right?" He asked. There was dead silence in the room like everyone collectively stopped breathing.
Jake blinked at Jen.
"What?" Was all he said.
"I wrote mine a long time ago," Aaron said. "I think I'll leave it up to my family to do whatever they want with my body. I'll be dead anyways, what's the point?" He asked, looking around at everyone.
"I don't have anyone, so I only want you guys there," Cas said quietly but was loud enough to hear over the deafening silence.
"Fuck funerals, throw me into a ditch somewhere and call it a day" Jake piped up.
"So I take you haven't written anything?" Jen spoke to Jake, hating that he took everything as a joke.
"I don't need to. I'm not dying. You're stupid if you think I'll go off and die somewhere and leave Aster behind with my piece of shit father and brothers." Jake said sternly. "I'm past the whole wanting to die phase. Never again."
Part of that gave Jen some comfort in knowing that Jake would do anything for survival, but it also scared him, how far was he willing to go to keep himself alive? Would it be to the point of handing their heads off to someone if they so asked it?
Jen huffed.
"Emergency plans. Death plans. If someone dies during this you leave them. You do not go back for them unless you want to get yourself caught or killed as well." Jen said. It pained him to talk about this, but it had to be done.
"Woah, wait. If we leave the bodies behind- assuming this would happen. Then how are we going to get them back?" Aaron looked concerned.
Jen stared at Aaron not saying a word and that's all he need to know.
"I'm guessing we're not going back for them," Blake said.
Even more silence.
Rae walked back into the room to the look of grim faces. They turned to look at her.
"I talked to Andre, he said he got caught up with something. I think we should go check it out. He sounded nervous." Rae said, putting the phone back in her pocket.
Jake and Jen looked at each other. For a while now they thought something was up with Andre, so they had questioned him, but had found nothing.
"Maybe we should look into it, go out and-"
"No," Jen said, now upset. "We'll wait till he comes back and then ask. If he doesn't come back before tomorrow, I'm going to the office first thing in the morning and ask to track him. We continue this today, right now. We'll fill Andre in later."
Rae took a seat beside Jake.
"What were we talking about?" Rae said, trying to get everything on track again.
"Jen thinks we're going to die doing this job," Jake said casually to which Rae snapped her attention to Jen, a worried look now on her face.
"Jake, you really couldn't have said that in a better way?"
"I'm not sugar coating anything"
"It's only a what if question. I'm not saying it's going to happen, it's just there to know in case anything does happen" Jen picked up eight books and went around giving them out to everyone.
"I don't care how much you care for each other, you are not going back for anyone's body. I want all of you alive, but if that's not possible, I want the majority of you guys alive. No putting your life at risk for someone that's already dead. There is nothing you can do for them at that point so walk away."
Rae's eyes widened.
"You can't just say that! How are we supposed to mourn them if we don't bring them back?"
"Chances are, they'll be there when everything's over so we'll wait. I doubt the gangs will want our bodies…" There was a "but" in there somewhere and everyone knew it.
"But?" Rae asked. "Spill!"
"But….they just might. They don't know how much we mean to each other so maybe they'll leave them alone, if not, then we forget about it." Jen swallowed hard.
Rae was in disbelief. This was coming from the person who would do anything for them and he was just asking them to not do anything?!
"I'm not doing that." Rae crossed her arms stubbornly and leaned back into the couch.
"Rae…" Jen tried reasoning with her.
"No! I'm not leaving you or Jake or Andre or Cas or anyone out there! You have another thing coming if you think I'm going to follow that absurd rule."
Jake smiled at Jen, knowing that this plan of his was falling apart right before his eyes.
Jen took in a deep breath.
"We'll figure something else out then." Jen gave in. "But before we do, I still have some things to explain. We'll get talking after this."
Rae nodded at that, pleased that Jen would reconsider.
"In the event that one of us gets captured and this a complete fail, we all retreat. The person who gets captured is on their own, you try and keep yourself alive for as long as possible until we can get to you. That means no taunting the enemy" He looked at Jake. "I'm talking to you."
Jake gave a small laugh.
"If more than one of us gets captured, you all work together to get out of there if you can. If all of us get caught, then that's game over." Jen said. "We'll probably be dead men walking if that happens. But we don't give up. If we see a chance we take it."
Everyone seemed to nod at that, knowing that they probably wouldn't be able to get out of a situation like that.
"Now back to the plans." Jen opened a book. "So, assuming this is the building we're looking at, Aaron and Cas will enter from here. I'll be on top of a different building and I'll back you guys up with my sniper rifle. Jake will…."


Andre sat in the room, leg bouncing. In the end, he couldn't put them all at risk. He had decided to work with the gang. The first thing they had done was offer Andre drugs he was trying to keep away from, but he buckled. He had taken them and he had never felt better in his entire life, except when he was with Jake.
Andre figured that if he sided with the gang, he could work from inside and keep them away from Apotheosis, he could sort of protect them from far away. Andre was hoping they would take his word for it since he knew Apotheosis like the back of his hand, surely his word had to count for something.
Even though Andre was a part of this gang, he would get stares and looks like he didn't belong. And he didn't, but for some reason, he had hoped to have been accepted here, but that just wasn't the case. So for now, he just drank and took whatever he got his hands on, drug-wise, and decided to forget about it all for now. He would figure things out when he woke up. If he did wake up.

@Toxic_Persephone group

Clink.
A fingernail clattered to the floor of the van, long and sharp. Em swept it away, staring at the windowless wall across from him.
Gunshots had never bothered Em.
Nor had the roars and screams of the gang.
Em had never really been bothered by much at all, really.
Just the gnawing, insatiable hunger in his gut that grew as the smell of blood drifted from the manor.
Em knew there wouldn't be much of a meal after this, not for something so… political. Marx wouldn't allow him to indulge for too long. They wanted to send a message and that message didn't include death right off the bat. Not for anyone deemed 'important' that was. Maybe Em would be given one of the security personnel to devour.
Clink.
Another fingernail joined the first.
Em's chest resonated with a low snarl.
He was fucking hungry.
Marx was taking too long…
Clink.
He couldn't leave. Not even if he tried.
Marx had his lapdog ward Em to the van.
He was trapped for the moment.
He would have to wait to eat.
Another low snarl rumbled throughout the vehicle.
Em was going to rip Marx's throat out and devour him if he didn't get fed soon.

*

Bullets were the hardest to deflect. No matter how good Marcus's protective wards were bullets always brought them down within minutes of him creating them. It was exhausting, difficult, and yet he always pulled through because the consequences of losing would probably be the lives of his friends.
Or at least, the lives of those around him.
Security was tight at this place for some reason, it was almost like they had been expecting Marx to strike. Or at least expected someone to enter the grounds without asking.
The gunmen in the maner's towers had already managed to harm a few of the gang members and Marx was pissed about it. He roared and tore at whoever got close enough, not caring for their lives.
Marcus found his anger terrifying and yet strangely awe-inspiring. Marx was so high up he could hardly be touched. Even the bullets bounced off his hide almost as if they never had touched him in the first place.

Marcus stumbled as another rain of bullets fell across his ward, sending shockwaves of panic and exhaustion through his body.
Wynn was suddenly there to catch him, giving him a look and nodding towards a safer area. Marcus was silently thankful as he was led over to it, groaning at the dull burn settling into the ever-glowing runes across his arms. They were starting to hurt already, not a good sign…
He did not want to overexert his own abilities but he also did not want to get caught out here without his magic. Without it, he was just a stupid teen with a huge target on his back.
"Lay low for a minute, let Marx take out those he can…" Wynn muttered, sounding out of breath himself. His teeth and finger spines glittered with crimson liquid, making Marcus silently concerned about the amount of people they were just leaving for dead…

@Dayzed public

After having discussed the plan, Aaron and Jen were the only ones left talking, arguing about the what ifs and if this was even a good idea in the first place. It's not that Aaron was cautious about everything, he just wanted to have a solid plan, and there were way too many maybes in Jen's plan….s.
"We're humans Jen, do you not understand that? Why should we be going on a suicide mission to stop a bunch of idiots? They have cops for this! And they outnumber us and the gang. I'm sure they could do it."
Jen stared at Aaron the whole time, an eyebrow arched.
"It seems that it's you who doesn't understand the situation. People are dying and we're the only ones equipped to help them. The cops? Did you forget the last incident? They left more than fifteen cops injured, some even died Aaron." Jen's voice became a lot firmer, something he always did with Aaron when he was being difficult.
Jake just rolled his eyes, bored out of his mind. He wasn't much for planning, especially when he had to hear Aaron's grating voice.
"We have guns," Jake said, reaching to his side and taking one out of its holster, and waving it around. "We even have special guns for this, makes things a lot easier if your aim isn't shit" Jake snickered at Aaron, who was more of a physical fighter. He was taller than Jake and looked intimidating as he frequently worked out and could slam Jake into a wall if he wanted to. Still, Aaron wasn't as strong as he could be and was a mix between a mesomorph and an endomorph.
"I don't understand why you're talking. You never kill who you're supposed to kill and end up getting civilians caught in the crossfire. Your aim may be good, but you don't use it. You always shoot the leg or an arm, but never any vital points." Aaron replied to Jake because he knew that Jake was purposely trying to get him riled up.
"I don't kill people who have been dealt a rather difficult card in life, I kill the ones that deal the difficult cards and most of them happen to be human" There was a slight smile on Jake's face now.
"But! My aim is great, I could hit you exactly where I want to even if you were across the street. Maybe not as good at Jen's sniper gun, but pretty close" Jake taunted.
"Maybe if the target wasn't moving" There was a challenging grin on Aaron's face to match Jake's irritated smile.

"Break it up. We're not doing this right now. You two really need to find a way to stop these arguments, it's always when one of you opens your mouth to say something uncalled for. Just shut up for once." Jen stared at Jake, arms crossed.
"Fine. But at least I'm not killing off those who haven't done anything. Sure the gang is notorious for their acts of crime, but have you ever thought they were in the same boat as us? We never really got a choice to be here or not. What if it was the next best option for them? Do you even know how humans work?" Jake seemed to be a little more serious as he spoke.
"Sounds like you sympathize with them" Aaron scoffed, to which Jake shrugged.
"Maybe you would too if you would stop and see how old they are. One of them was my age and had a thing for sweets, he didn't look anything like a gang member and yet he was the most dangerous one there. Sometimes home life isn't that great, got to find an escape somehow."
Aaron's eyes were ice cold as Jake spoke.
"What if they did something to Aster, would you still think the same thing then?" The question coming from Aaron was heavy and immediately shut Jake up.
"You're too attached to people like abnormalities, I'm surprised A.C.E hasn't done anything about you."
Silence.
It was almost as if the subject was taboo to talk about, yet Aaron was the only one who didn't care and overstepped that boundary all the time.
Between all the talking, Rae had fallen asleep as it was late and she never did well with Jen's explanations of how the plan would go.
Everyone looked tired, especially Jake, but somehow he still had the energy to get under Aaron's skin. No one knew why Aaron and Jake never got along. Jen thought it was because Aaron hated unpredictability and Jake hated those who were too uptight.

Jen sighed heavily.
"Are you guys done? Good. So, continuing where we left off Aaron, I'll be positioned here because I can quickly make my way to this other building if I have to" Jen pointed at a square that was on a map.
Not five minutes passed when a phone rang. Everyone looked at each other, wondering who it was until Jen took his out.
Jen's mood immediately changed when he saw who the phone number belonged to.
"If any of you speaks during this call I will lose it."

The room was filled with silence as Jen took the call.
"This is Jen speaking, What's the problem this time?" He said, anticipating that something was wrong, it's the only reason they ever called. That or when someone was in trouble.

@Toxic_Persephone group

Sixteen years working security for important people did little to prepare Gunnar for his time within A.C.E.'s ranks. It wasn't every day you were pulled from your basic security gig into an interrogation room and given a new type of job to perform. Especially if this new job involved secret government agencies. Not just your everyday run-of-the-mill secret government agencies either, A.C.E. was something entirely fantastical - quite literally in fact - in nature.
Abnormalities, they had called these beings. Gunnar had found it rather… fitting for them. It certainly was abnormal to come across magic in a society where magic wasn't supposed to exist. Except that it did exist and A.C.E. had convinced everyone that it didn't exist. God, it was confusing as all hell!
He had gone from running security at large events and malls to serving the Thorpe family after an incident at a rave with something he couldn't quite explain.
Gunnar had never seen such a creature before. Its long, bipedal body was heavily covered with spines and a weird, sulfur-smelling substance that dripped like black ink from its skin. It crawled on all fours and yet could obviously stand and walk around on its hind legs. It often did, using long and crooked claws to attack whatever got in its way. It stumbled about as if it was confused but attacked with a startling viciousness no one could avoid.
Gunnar had unloaded as many rounds as he could into the thing. It never fell for long but it did, however, scream and howl like something from the depths of hell itself. The thing tore through the small security team fairly quickly, killing most personnel and leaving the rest heavily injured. Gunnar had been no exception to this and woke up in a strange hospital days later. It was there he learned of A.C.E. and what they hid from humanity.
They had called the creature a "Soulforged", a being created by witches to aid them in their homes and workspaces. Apparently, this Soulforged, in particular, had been made from sulfur and the bones of a person who had suffered from Lycanthropy, which explained its strange appearance and behavior.
Gunnar got to see the creature up close but it was long dead by the time they introduced it to him. The bullets he and the other personnel had put into it had been melted into useless globs of metal. The creature's hide was still dripping and it smelled even worse dead than when it had been alive.
Gunnar was repulsed by it. He grew even more uncomfortable when they revealed this was only one of many creatures out there.
A.C.E. told him they could make him forget if he so wished but they had a proposition for him. They needed more manpower, more people who knew of the Abnormalities within the world and could safely deal with them. And so they offered him a job.
Gunnar took it willingly. Fighting monsters was a HELL of a lot better than dealing with drunkards.
And he liked working with the Thorpe family. They were always very kind to him and shared similar views as him in regards to the world of Abnormalities.
He was lucky to have found such fortunate events after such a troubling incident.


When Gunnar Tahirović came too, he noticed two things: One, the air was strangely still despite the chaos that had happened mere moments ago. And two, he had no idea where the hell he was.
Something very wrong had happened. The protective measures they had put into place had failed somehow, there had been no alarms, no magic traps triggered, just a very large - and very angry - monster hurling itself through the west end of the manor.
Fire flickered around him in unnatural shapes and forms, flowing like water through the air and led by the hands of beings he couldn't recognize. Their shapes were hazy, blurred by the blood and pain. He didn't care to sit around and figure them out.
Must reach the phone…
He wheezed through damaged lungs, pulling his body forwards on bloodied fingertips.
Gunnar should have been more prepared. He had sworn he would protect others from Abnormality cruelty and yet he had let himself slack off recently.
It's right there. Please, for the love of whatever the hell is out there… let it work.
His fingertips brushed against the cold plastic.
How were humans supposed to fight against these things?! It wasn't a fair fight.
Gunnar dialed the only number he had ever memorized and let the line ring.
"Status?" Croaked the damaged phone speakers.
Relief flooded through Gunnar's system.
"Oh fuck… thank god! Please! Help us! The Thorpe residence is under- FUCK" The line went dead as the phone was crushed along with his hand under the weight of a large paw. Gunnar screamed in agony, writhing in pain as he tried to yank himself away from the beast. It had three heads and yet they all seemed to be smirking down at him, reveling in the pain that they caused. From two of its heads spouted fire, curling around teeth that varied from sharp to blunt. It lowered a goat head to his level and let out a cackle before speaking something he couldn't understand.

Gunnar squeezed his eyes shut and called out to gods he had never believed in.


The phone line was silent for two or three moments after Jen picked it up until a gruff voice scoffed. "You'd think your tone would improve, Jen, we are a professional system after all." Officer Gallegos scolded. "Mr. Thorpe and his residence seem to be under an attack currently. You'll never guess who it is." The sarcasm seeping through the speakers was heavy in the air. It was apparent Gallegos was very upset. "Marx De Veaux is on the premise. You have even less time to solve this. I trust your little group won't disappoint for a second time?"
The sound of shuffling papers and raised voices leaked into the conversation, making Gallegos grunt in frustration before hanging up the receiver.