Are You Afraid of the Dark? [IM RP]

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Are You Afraid of the Dark? [IM RP]

Post  Brayden Abrams on Thu Apr 01, 2010 12:03 am

BRAYDEN ABRAMS: The night was young, though slowly aging. As time crept by, the shadows of the night steadily grew longer and darker, covering the city in a blanket of black, offering a sanctum where one would find a chilly breeze and loud noise as companions. Brayden had readily welcomed the set of the sun; a long shift at the hospital had his eyes crestfallen, accompanied by the smallest of bags hidden underneath. There was an unspoken acceptance of the dark nowadays. It offered the solace that had long been sought after by the Evoker. However, despite the tiring work shift he had endured, there was little time for rest and he was aware of this – the nighttime brought about creatures that some only had the luck of dreaming of. For others, for him, those monsters graced his everyday life whether he liked it or not. The hunt was an increasingly harder journey that was endless, a paranormal spiraling slope that sometimes Brayden felt he was plunging down rather than walking on his own accord. The times he had spent over the past two years were filled with surgery and hunting; nor had he need for other activities, nor could he spare the time to doddle on them. The Shadowkind were only getting stronger with each sunrise, and the Abrams was still without his powers. Would they ever be returned with him? The life of the man was bleak and grim; without his powers he felt as useless as he had when he hadn’t been able to save Eli all those years ago. The losses he had suffered leading up to now had taken a notch of his soul away with each downfallen; the only drive keeping the Evoker going was the need to rid the world of the evil that lurked in the night. Even so, he could not do it himself. Lorelei Ashford still hunted as well, though the friends had long since parted ways. Every now and then they shared a case, but that was once in a blue moon – and tonight, an accurately scheduled lunar eclipse would be taking place. The red moon that was to come offered no help from the Enchantress, though he hadn’t requested it. The creature he was hunting had been mauling victims left and right, sending multiple patients flooding into the hospital with deep gashes and dying gasps of air. None of them had made it so far. And now, Brayden walked among the unsuspecting people of Los Angeles with a fervor that burned intense with each step, hurriedly making his way to where he expected the Shadowkind to be taking up residence. He could only hope that he had accurately pinpointed the creature as the Wendigo – otherwise, the defense he had would prove useless to saving his own skin.

TAYLOR SULLIVAN: Newspaper clippings covered the corkboard on the wall of Taylor’s apartment. Even though her life involved chaos and surprises, she did like to at least keep some level of organization and not make a mess of the place she lived at. Tracking had been something she had been working on and been perfecting the past few years of being on her own. Realizing that at some point, the Shadowkind left their imprint on the “real world” and would seem normal to anyone else reading the same article or watching the same news program. However, Taylor knew better – the animal attacks, the unexplained disappearances, and the brutal homicides that were kept under wraps were signs that jumped at her (not that patrolling at night didn’t keep her busy enough). It was a talent that she appreciated and gave her the opportunity to be ahead of the creature before it struck again. That’s what nightfall gave her; the ability to keep the roads of Los Angeles safe and ignorant people continue to be ignorant while they drank and enjoyed their evenings. She hunted with the shadow of what she had lost always behind her. Everyone who she was sworn to protect was gone and her best wasn’t good enough. The memories stuck with her as well as the faces of the ones she had gotten close to and lost. Arcanists that she considered friends and even those close enough to be like family; gone. The scars on her body were a painful reminder of what she had to do once she stepped out of her apartment and on her next hunt. Her job was to protect and make everyone sleep a little easier; a pleasure that she had given up on long ago. Tonight’s agenda? There was a Wendigo wreaking havoc and trying to survive. Fortunately, not many were injured but it was enough to catch Taylor’s attention and check it out. A warehouse was her destination. Tonight wasn’t a bow night so she brought her machete along that was holstered to her back where the bow would normally be, but hidden underneath her jacket. Of course, she had her other assortment of weapons concealed throughout her attire, but the citizens of Los Angeles didn’t need to know that. Long strides took her closer as the time the Shadowkind lived grew shorter.

BRAYDEN ABRAMS: Had Brayden readily prepared himself for what the night was sure to bring? One could never be sure, especially with the unpredictable way that hunts usually took place. Besides, how was one really supposed to hunt the creatures that lurked in the night? They were only supposed to be fairytales, yet the nightmares were in full force and lashing out at the innocent bystanders of the cruel world. With such a vile history of murder and death, why was it that Brayden still hunted the Shadowkind as if his very life depended on it? Surely he realized that his life would be prolonged if he didn’t hunt. With the Abrams male however, this wasn’t the case. The Shadowkind had ripped his family apart, tore his friends from his hands and strung their bodies across the wreckage of each haven they thought would be safe. Where was the justice? Easy. It was found at the end of the night, with one more Shadowkind down and Brayden putting an end to the slaughters that plagued the large city. Los Angeles had its fair share of bumps in the night, and though there was no way that he could put an end to each and every one on his own, that wouldn’t stop him from trying his hardest. Sometimes the man thought it was all a cruel joke – why was he left standing on this Earth with so little to keep him going? Thoughts of his friends and family may have fueled his desire to keep fighting, but the passage was getting more difficult to get through. Lorelei had turned into a twisted vision of her former self. He didn’t even know if his own sister had survived these past two years – he hadn’t heard from Cathrine, nor had they any way of knowing the whereabouts of the other if they had survived. Hadn’t all of his remaining friends perished in that fatal fight in Sunset Glaves? Taylor, the last straw, had been taken from him on that bloody ground. No, he wouldn’t think of those times, only remember them as things to keep him going. They were gone, and he was still breathing – the world was sick and loved fucking Brayden over again and again. The warehouse wasn’t that far away – pushing the thoughts from his mind, he treaded onward.

TAYLOR SULLIVAN: Why was she doing this? This was something that she was chosen to be a part of and the Order apparently needed her when she was the mere age of sixteen. The blood that runs through her veins is on the verge of extinction and she can fully understand why. If it wasn’t the Shadowkind that killed you, it would be from the loss a Hunter experiences in their lifetime and eventually end in them taking their own life. The losses Taylor had faced were almost too difficult to bear and yet she put herself in the position to keep going. Part of her wanted to give a big “fuck you!” to the man who talked to her that day off of her high school grounds, and another part of her should thank him for all the people she had met throughout her journey. Better to have loved and lost than to never love at all. The Arcane families taught her how to enjoy what there is to enjoy and suffer what there was to suffer. It showed her there was a little glimpse of light in this hell world; especially Brayden. Having a friend after such a long period of time had been a breath of fresh air, and it was something she had cherished even to this day. As the time passed, that suffering reached its peak in Florida, landing her in a hospital and the remaining Arcanists dead. As she walked to her target, she could feel her chest getting heavy with the images that swirled throughout her head. That’s why she kept going, that’s why she couldn’t give up – so she wouldn’t lose herself and cut herself off from the world. As oxymoronic as it sounded, with her hunting at night, it gave her a feeling of gratification that one less person was going to die because she had prevented it. Now, she wasn’t crazy enough to think she could save the whole world, but one less Shadowkind dead meant one more mother, one more child being born, or one more friend to a person who needs one. Being alone was something she had grown used to and accepted. There was a reason for her to be born into this and she would seek for that answer with every breath that she took. She shook her arms and stretched out her neck from left to right to “get rid of” those memories that could distract her once she was in the building. This wasn’t a time to think about the past and reflect on what she could have done better – she was a different person now, a different Hunter. She was more confident with her abilities and in the best shape she had ever been in. It was time to get the night started. Approaching the worn down building, her body tensed up ever so slightly as she switched on her “stealth mode”. Walking around to the side, she was fortunate enough to see a slightly open side door. Trap? Maybe. Coincidence? Sure. Either way, she was going to take that rare opportunity. Knife was taken out of her thigh holster as she slipped through the crack of the door. Free hand slowly shut the door behind her, making sure nothing could slip out. The only light that was given to her was the full moon coming in through the window. Might not seem like a lot, but it was enough to cause a lot of damage.

BRAYDEN ABRAMS: Trudging through the crowd of people currently inhabiting the streets of the moonlit city, Brayden muttered no apologies as his shoulders slid up against the strangers that bumped against him. Normally he would offer a word or two of a sorry, but this part of town showed no signs of the generosity that he would be giving. If it wasn’t going to be reciprocated, he wasn’t going to waste his breath – besides, tonight he wasn’t dressed for playing games and passing out flyers to bake sales. He had no one to be nice to, and only one mission: hunt. Slipping into the dark alleyway that rested between two brick buildings, the Evoker stalked into the shadows offered by the companies and made his way out of the bustling civilization that was too preoccupied with its technology and own lives to give a damn about anyone else they were around. Truth be told, this night would serve as a stress releaser for the male – the Chief at the hospital was raging hell on all of his staff, no matter if they were doing right or wrong on their cases. To make matters worse, on his last hunt Brayden had barely come out on the winning end. Having been caught off guard by a pack, the sole ghoul he had been tracking had a family that had been in on the killings the entire time. Managing to escape with scrapes, deeper than he’d have liked cuts, and bruises, he hadn’t had the best of luck making it home. Thankfully he kept a kit at home for just-in-case situations, otherwise he’d have not shown up at work the next day and would have succumbed to the fate he had so far escaped. For someone who had lost so much and was barely going through the motions, he didn’t act like he lived such a dangerous life. Sure, the hospital had to have their own personal thoughts about the cuts along his body, but he had never allowed them to entertain the ideas that ran through their minds. Thankfully, scrubs and a long-sleeve undershirt hid most of the battle-scars etched into his once perfect skin. Jumping the fence at the end of the grungy alley, the warehouse loomed on the horizon. With one look upwards at the mostly hidden moon, Brayden sighed. The eclipse would be happening soon, and from the looks of the warehouse, it didn’t exactly have electricity – that meant the only light source would be the moonlight. The broken windows that adorned the building were few and far between as well, and as the Evoker closed in on his destination, he inwardly groaned at his luck. “Of course I’d have to do this in the dark. I really should have eaten all of my carrots when I was a kid.” Cursing his poor night-sight, he made his way to the door – finding it slightly ajar. That was, to say the least, strange. Maybe it meant the Wendigo – or whatever it was haunting this place – was out for the time being. Slipping in and being careful to not touch the door so as to not leave his scent on it, or show signs of him being inside, he hurriedly made his way into the dark depths of the abandoned warehouse and prayed he wouldn’t have his guts decorating the place in the morning. Things were sure to get worse as the night grew on and the moon slipped into the Earth’s shadow; the first precursor to the night was when the door shut merely five minutes after he had hid within the place, cutting off the closest source of light he had.

TAYLOR SULLIVAN: Not two steps into the abandoned warehouse she knew that she wasn't alone. Whether it be human, creature, or little squirrel - she could just feel when someone or something was in the same area as she was. Grip tightened on her knife as she made her way against the wall, feeling out architecture of the building. Shadows were moving and different shapes were being made as she continued silently away from the door. Creaks aided to the cloaking of footsteps made by the two inhabitants of the warehouse but fortunately, Taylor's night vision had gotten a lot better because of her prolonged exposure to it. A faint outline could be seen a mere 50 feet in front of her. Human? Possibly? Wendigo? Could be. She couldn't take the chance. Her target was locked and she hoped that it wasn't just a shadow cast by the moonlight and clouds coming together, threatening to take the moonlight away from her at any moment. Things seemed to take forever when you waited for movement or some sign that everything was all right and this wasn't the intended target. Tonight was not one of those nights and nothing could really be told. Why would a person come to an abandoned building on their own? Well, besides her at least. It didn't make sense in her head and that is why she did what she did next. Blade was thrown in the area of the outlines chest, whether it be the front or back of it for more of a distraction, and preceeded to close that 50 foot gap with coming through the minimal amount of light into the darkness again with a right fist already heading for the outlines head. She had some speed to her and closed that that small gap with a slight jump to get more velocity into that swing. Hey, swing now and ask questions later. This would answer a lot of questions.

BRAYDEN ABRAMS: The shadows that lurked within the establishment honestly gave Brayden chills. The creaks and ticks of the run-down, weathered warehouse reminded him of a ghost story – one that he hadn’t been too particularly fond of when he was a child. The tale of the crazed butcher collecting the body parts of young, little Arcanists to complete his collection had always frightened Brayden when he was a boy, and the thoughts of the memories had goose-bumps rising on his skin. As soon as the closing of the door snuffed out the light, his attention of his surroundings was hitched, his eyes darting to where he had entered. The silhouette that had entered was hidden by the darkness, though a faint outline could be seen – the form of the stranger’s body didn’t go unnoticed by Brayden. Whatever it was, Wendigo or not, it noticed him as well. It was the sound of the knife slicing through the tense air that had Brayden alerted to its presence, but unfortunately for the male it was too late to go knick free. He had managed to twist out of the way in time to avoid being completely stabbed, but it caught the side of his left shoulder, cutting through the fabric of his shirt and making a thin cut on his arm. Taking no time to worry about the scratch, he watched as the figure in front of him rushed towards him; something about the situation seemed so unnatural to him. The Wendigo – god, he prayed it was actually a Wendigo, or else he really would need the help he hadn’t asked out of Lorelei – was branching out of its normal attack patterns and racing towards him in its human form. Was it so sure that it could handle Brayden without even having to take its true form? Taking notice of the angry fist coming right towards his face, his own hand would fly upwards, catching that hand and enclosing it within his own. Using his left arm to aim a punch towards its abdomen, he mused on what to do next – with the speed that the figure was traveling, Brayden would be able to transfer it into energy needed to toss her aside; the fate of the attack from him was to be determined however, and he didn’t have time to think out each and every idea he had. If there was one thing that Taylor had taught him, it was to never let the other attacker catch you off guard.

TAYLOR SULLIVAN: The adrenaline was pumping through her veins, her heart beat ringing through her ears. It never got any better when the starting of a fight happened. Her heart never ceased to increase its beat by more than double. However, as the seconds passed her heart rate would slow down and she could be able to use that adrenaline in a more positive role and not do things without using her head. It didn't make sense to her, what she hit was human - what grabbed her hand was human. The outlines own fist made contact with her already injured abdomen from previous nights of hunting. With the hit taken, she hit the floor, palms down catching her fall, body parallel to the ground, and her body in such a position for her leg to swing around and hopefully make contact with its legs. What was she fighting? The wendigo? No.. Couldn't be. The wendigo would be able to throw her across the room with ease, even in human form, and what she was fighting had strength but not supernatural strength. In any event, she knew of many creatures who could take human form and since it was fighting back, it only made her more suspicious and wanting to see it's natural, ugly face. Getting back on her feet, whether successful or not, she wanted to get off the ground. As she stood up, the moonlight hit her face ever so slightly but she was looking into darkness. No matter what happened, always be on the offensive because once you go defense - you have a harder time. Not wasting any time, she brought her left elbow down towards its neck followed up by a roundhouse kick towards the abdomen, hoping to toss it into a place with more light.

BRAYDEN ABRAMS: Successfully managing to land a blow to his opponents abdomen, he took in the sight of her falling – so whatever it was, it had already taken a few blows in that spot, leaving it vulnerable to future attacks. Had its victims fought back so heavily that it was weak and tender? No, this fight felt wrong. If he had been up against a Wendigo, he would already have been sliding down the halls of the warehouse, dirt and dust painting itself onto his clothing – for now though, he was safe. Rather, he thought he was – having taken too long debating on what it was he was up against truly. Leg caught him off balance and he fell to the ground, managing to turn it into a quick roll at the last minute. Having bumped him elbow in the process, he uttered a small, “fuck,” as he rose back to his feet. He didn’t have time to worry about bruises. He had missed the opportunity of the moonlight hitting her face, and sadly the light source was growing dimmer with each blow that was thrown. The silhouette’s elbow connected with his neck, making a sick snapping sound as it popped his bone, though Brayden didn’t seem too phased by the sound. The roundhouse kick hadn’t been so easily avoided, and it wasn’t completely – the only thing that had saved him from taking the blow full force had in fact been the elbow slamming into his neck. Having already been bent down from the attack, he grabbed hold of the swiftly coming leg, attempting to use the momentum behind it to pull the assailant back with him. If he was going down, so was she. Before he hit the floor, he jabbed his right knee upwards towards its stomach, attempting the attack right before his back connected with the concrete beneath him. Grunting, he rolled backwards, face catching the moonlight for but a moment; if he allowed himself to be seen for too long, his eyes would adjust to the light and he’d be blind once more to the darkness. Not wanting to be caught off guard again, he ripped his face from the moonlight and charged forward, twisting his body and aiming a forceful kick towards the opponent.

TAYLOR SULLIVAN:The thing that didn't make sense to her was that when she was did connect her hits to whatever she was fighting, he reacted with pain and it slowed it down. That didn't seem right. What the hell was going on? Before she even had time to comprehend the hits she was connecting with, the creature caught her leg and with the force of it going back, so did she. Falling to the ground, the only thing that lessened her blow was a knee to her stomach and with that, she knew her, at least a couple, ribs were broken or at least bruised. The weight of her coming down on top of his knee and her abdomen already recovering from past nights, not good. Stupid gravity. She scrunched up her face in pain; as quickly as it etched on her face it disappeared. Despite it being fairly impossible to breathe, she went down next to him and ignored the pain. This was not the time to show weakness and if she did, she would be dead. Hazel eyes looked over at the precise moment the person moved it's head from the moonlight. Why was the creature hiding? She knew the fight would end soon, and she would be the winner - she had to be in every fight.. no ifs, ands, or buts. If she even lost once that would be the only loss she would get. Kick was coming towards her and used a little bit of his tactic, latching onto his foot and her goal was to throw him up against the wall. The pain burned through her abdomen as she used her strength to overtake the thing she was fighting. If managing to get him where she wanted, enough was enough - no more playing around. Switch blade was opened on her forearm and free hand would go around his neck, applying pressure to where her elbow connected before, blade pointed at his throat. Damn clouds! Damn night time and damn that 2 minutes before this spot had a little bit of light. Couldn't see a damn thing, but something was stopping her from just ramming her blade into his skin and letting the body rot there. All there was was a barely visible outline of a human face, male but she couldn't see who or what. "Taking on the form of a human is really getting old, can't your kind find something better to do?" God, it hurt so much to talk. Stalling? Maybe. She couldn't understand why she would even talk to to something inhuman let alone be a smartass to it, but she didn't like killing something without knowing the species. On the rare occassion she could be wrong, that'd be bad on her part but it happens, and she was taught to think of every scenario. Again, if she had him in this position, she would follow up with a strong knee to the abdomen to support her question. No Shadowkind could take her on human form. Not with the past she had.

BRAYDEN ABRAMS: The luck that the two friends weren’t having seemed to reign prevalent in the night. Both had their faces exposed by the slivers of moonlight that barely made their way into the abandoned warehouse, but both had pulled their faces away before their true identity could be seen. Was this fate’s cruel joke? Unfortunately for Brayden, the assailant used the same tactic that he had only moments before. His leg was swiped up as he thrust it forward, and he was pushed back into the dusty wall, his back connecting with the cold liquid that coated the walls. Wait, liquid? Had the dim moonlight been shining on the two fighters, they would have noticed a thick red liquid staining and dripping down the warehouse’s walls – proof of the Wendigo taken up refuge within. A switchblade was pulled out and pressed to his throat, and for the tiniest moment the Evoker had a sort-of “what the hell?” look on his face. The last time he checked, Wendigos didn’t go carrying around switchblades; nor did they carry any kind of weapons for that matter. They were supernatural beings with enhanced strength and a demonic form that could easily rip its victims to shreds. It didn’t need any kind of metal that could be used against it in the long run, if the opportunity presented itself. The sound of a woman’s voice sliced through the tension-filled air, and it flooded memories back into the Abrams’ mind. Was it Taylor? It couldn’t be. He hadn’t heard from the girl in two years, she was supposed to be dead after all of this time. Maybe his attacker wasn’t a Wendigo after all – it seemed like a sick joke that a doppelganger must be playing. With the cool blade stuck against his temple, he frowned. The first mistake the Shadowkind made was thrusting its knee upwards. Using the momentum presented and the unbalance that came from lifting one leg, Brayden simultaneously swept out one foot, aimed towards his victims knee, at the same time as punching towards the elbow that held the knife towards his throat. There was no way he was going down like this. If his earlier attack hadn’t been successful, he’d put his foot up against the wall behind him and thrust backwards, pushing against the hard surface to launch himself forward, arms stretched out towards the other in a tackling motion. “That’s the best one liner you can come up with? You seriously need to work on your latest material, cover girl.” Though he spoke, it came out as more of a gasping grunt – from the position they were in now, the moon had dimly illuminated their bodies, pouring in a small amount of light on the fighting figures. It wouldn’t be too long before the moon twisted into a maniacal blood red, and the Wendigo would return to its makeshift home. The face revealed in front of him, brunette hair matted against her head, looked an awful lot alike the friend he had come to know all of those years ago. “Tay?”

TAYLOR SULLIVAN: Things were not going quite as planned when she thought she had the upper hand. Granted, with one arm she never expected to keep her opponent against that wall forever. She just needed to buy herself some time to understand what the hell was going on. Though, she didn’t get that chance when whatever she was fighting took the opportunity to knock down her knee and simultaneously connect its elbow with her hand to knock the knife out. Yes, he avoided the knee to the abdomen, but she wasn’t going to let the blade be knocked from her hand that easily. With the balance being compromised due to his defensive move, her hand dropped enough for him to get the momentum to push himself off the wall. He used his momentum with his leg ingeniously and it was enough to knock her off balance. As he pushed her back, her hand came to rest on his blood-soaked back before creating the distance between the two combatants. That’s the best one liner you can come up with? You seriously need to work on your latest material, cover girl. That was odd, he responded in such a familiar voice that it hurt her heart. That was impossible..It couldn’t be. Before attacking immediately again, switch blade was readjusted in her free, clean hand to be more in the classical "stab" position. Before even comprehending what was going on, she was in her next attack. Blade-free hand came up as if she were going connect her fist with his jaw but something stopped her. Tay? Tay? Only one person called her Tay and the moonlight shining in comfirmed her suspicions. The curly brown hair, the brooding face, and his clothes all screamed out one personL Brayden. "What the hell.." Hand slowly lowered as she took a few steps back. "Really? Impersonating dead people now too? You really don't want to blend in.." Her voice was stern and direct. How dare they. This was a new low that she had witnessed. Using him to distract her. Seeing Brayden there reminded her of what she lost. But it wasn't Brayden, it couldn't be. She felt her chest begin to get heavy while the seconds passed. He was the one thing that could make her stop in her tracks. Now she didn't know what to believe. She was so caught up in everything that she didn't notice the blood that was on her hand from the back of his shirt. There were more important things to deal with at the moment.

BRAYDEN ABRAMS: For a moment, the reveal had stopped the fight. The dimming moonlight was fading in and out, allowing both combatants to get a glimpse of their attacker. The soft features in front of him had turned cold and hard with time, much like his outlook had in the two-year time span. The air about the girl hadn’t changed, though – she was still going to fight to her death if that’s what it meant to kill the Shadowkind, and she’d do anything to make sure she came out the victor. The two had sparred one too many times for Brayden to believe that had changed. She was just as stubborn as he was when it came to fighting. “Is that really you?” Perhaps it made him weak that he had stopped fighting and began to ask questions, but if it really was Taylor then they had an obvious hurdle to get through – was it really a doppelganger in disguise, or was it the friend that had been there for him all those years ago? However, even with all of the reminiscing that was crowding his head, the sound of her voice brought his attention back to the present. “Dead? I’m not the one that died back in Sunset Glaves.” The tension was steadily growing thicker between them. “Well, completely, anyway.” The last part was said softly, and mostly to himself, but with the small distance between them, his voice would have been easily picked up. That battlefield had robbed him of his family and friends, yes, but his powers – his being – had been taken from him that day too. Now, he was only a shadow of his former self, an incomplete puppet designed to fight and accept his fate. Ah, the world was cruel. Even if Taylor had survived that battle, she hadn’t had to endure the loss of her strength or wit; she hadn’t had to learn to live on her own without the power that would have been present from her birth. There was only one person out there – that Brayden knew of, anyway – who was going through what he was, too. And Lorelei Ashford was definitely not the one standing in front of him. The blood along his back began to sink in through his clothing, and the liquid stuck to him. Taking a moment to wonder just what it was, the stench of the place began to sink in. After all of this time, the adrenaline shared between the two had blocked it out for him, but now the smell of death and decay was painted on him, and the only thing Brayden could do was drop his upper half, clench his stomach, and heave.

TAYLOR SULLIVAN: His words cut through her chest like a knife. The memories that flooded back and hit her hard. It had been too long since she had heard Brayden’s voice or had seen his face. Of course she would stop in her tracks, even if it was for a second, to see his face and hear his voice. A sign of weakness? Yes. However, it was something she missed and she didn’t know if she could kill a look-alike Brayden. Even with the doubt in her mind, she knew what had to be done and she would have to get passed this whole thing and do what she needed to do – no strings attached. He seemed different to her; hollow. If this was the true Brayden, you could tell the war had taken a toll on him. She had no idea what had happened to him in Florida and she still didn’t have any idea. He lost most of his family in Seattle and Florida was the straw that broke the camel’s back. He was different even then, but she had always been by his side and they were therapeutic for one another. When he spoke again, she looked him in the eye and listened what he had to say. He thought she had died? I guess that made sense… in a weird, twisted sort of way. The two had very different demons to battle in the years passing Sunset Glaves and they had to do it alone. Both thought the other was dead, Taylor just assumed that he had died. What if he was the real Brayden? You could tell she was battling with the whole situation in her head. Unfortunately, everything was interrupted when the mood changed in the warehouse. The bruised Huntress didn't know if she could take on a Wendigo when breathing in hurt. Before any more questions could be asked, she felt claws dig into her shoulders, her face twisting with pain as she was thrown against the wall as her body slumped to the floor. What she originally came here for showed its ugly face and was now going toward Brayden. Of course it had to happen right then - why would things be easy?

BRAYDEN ABRAMS: Heaving was no fun at all. Brayden hadn’t ever been one to puke, but that didn’t mean he didn’t feel like it was necessary at times – and this situation definitely called for some vehement vomiting, with the blood soaking through his clothing and sticking on his back. It wasn’t even his blood, and that’s the part that got to him most. As he stood upright and faced his opponent, he managed to catch sight of a quickly moving shadow heading straight towards the person he thought to be Taylor. “Watch o—,” had been yelled in warning, though he had been too late. As the claws ripped into her shoulders, he winced, unable to stop the next thought going through his head. At least we aren’t up against a Werewolf; that scratch would mean a whole new cycle of bitchiness each month. Taylor was tossed into the shadows once more, though the loud slam that was incorporated with it meant that she had met the wall on not such a friendly basis. Brayden hoped she wasn’t covered in the same substance he now was, but he didn’t have time to think heavily on that. As the Wendigo screeched and bolted for him, the black haired man had to push down the feeling of panic that was starting to rise up in his stomach and boil there. Turning on his heel and running, he cursed the light that had briefly shone on him moments earlier. Not only had it alerted his presence to the Shadowkind (if the voices hadn’t, anyway), but also now his eyesight would have to readjust to the darkness of the warehouse. His eyes didn’t catch the outline of the large crate in front of him until it was almost too late, but when he did see it he jumped atop, attempting to at least cause a distraction while trying to get ready for the fight that was about to come. He hadn’t been expecting for the Wendigo to grab hold of his ankle, its long, jagged claws digging into his ankle and yanking him from the air. Groaning as he was slammed into the concrete floor, he tried his best to fight back. Leg would sweep under, attempting to catch the creature off balance, though it was a long shot. The kick only shot pain down Brayden’s leg and the Wendigo stomped his foot onto the same spot. Screwed much? This was the last time Brayden fought a hunter instead of the real thing he was tracking, first.

TAYLOR SULLIVAN: She now understood why Brayden reacted the way he did. The feeling of blood seeping through your clothes was something she hated but it wasn’t a new experience. She knew it was a mixture of her own and that which covering the walls of the warehouse.. It took her a little longer for her to stand up as her bones ached thanks to her meeting with the wall. With the light being scarce, she didn’t know where or what was going on. Was Brayden dead? Never would she think that hearing someone in pain would give her easiness in her heart. He was still alive and that was a good thing. Fighting a Wendigo already hurt was not the smartest idea that Taylor had in recent months. However, what was done was done and she had to continue with her job. No matter if Brayden wasn’t the real Brayden or not – he wasn’t going to die because of the Wendigo. If anything, she would have to get her answers first and then maybe have to kill him herself. Until then, she focused on the job that was at hand. Getting her sea legs back, she ignored her beat up body and ran over to the location where she heard the last attack. As she made her move, the eclipse had made itself known - turning the once white light into a blood red. Fitting and yet, oh so eerie. The good thing about it is that it gave her enough light to see where the Wendigo was, standing over Brayden. With her long blade still in the holster against her back, she managed to take it out and get ready to swing at the Wendigo's head. The Wendigo seemed to know she was coming and managed swipe at her stomach, creating deep gashes. This couldn't stop her though. With the pain she felt, she used the rest of her energy to swing around and finally remove the creature's head. However, the danger wasn't gone. She knew the Wendigo tried to transfer its essence to whoever was in the room. Winching as she bent down, she grabbed Brayden by the scruff of his neck. "Get up!" And even with his hurt self they had to get out of there. Running/limping to the door was the worst part of it all because she noticed how much pain she actually was. Making it to the door, she pushed him out before her and she shut the steel door behind them leaving the Shadowkind to wither and die alone. Safe. Sort of.

BRAYDEN ABRAMS: Looking up and seeing a Wendigo glaring down at you with sharp, bloodied teeth did nothing for reassurance of safety. From his spot on the floor, Brayden stared into the Shadowkind’s eyes and watched, as if sickly waiting for the end to come. Was he going to be allowed to join his family? That moment was broken as Taylor lurched towards the creature, and it turned, stepping off of his leg and attacking the girl. Quickly standing, he took in the sight of the blood red moonlight, which illuminated most of the warehouse at that precise moment. Dead bodies with their chests ripped out hung from the walls; blood smeared behind and beside them, marks of the Wendigo’s territory. Just how long had this creature been haunting Los Angeles? From the looks of it, it was far too long. Victims were racked up in mass numbers, and the patients that Brayden had treated at the hospital were extremely lucky that they weren’t on display for the monster’s sick enjoyment. Well, as lucky as a dead person could be, anyway. Brayden, anti-climatically, pushed the creature forward, unable to attack more because of his leg – he was limping as it was. Thankfully the push did serve some good, as it allowed Taylor the range she needed to take off the head with one swift swipe. As the head disconnected and thudded against the ground in a disgusting bounce, the Abrams was grabbed by the scruff of his neck and pulled along towards the outside. Using Taylor as support, he wrapped an arm around her neck for balance, cursing his gashed leg since he was unable to walk on his own. They had barely made it out alive, and Brayden sat on the ground, looking up to the eerie moon. “I guess the mood fits.” There was still one problem at hand, though. Even though the Wendigo would surely die inside without a host, the person in front of him still hadn’t proven her worth. “You’re not Taylor, so what are you?”

TAYLOR SULLIVAN: Taylor didn't have time to question what was above her head. Too many times had she seen what she wished she could erase from her mind. When light was given to them, she knew better than to question why she was soaked in blood and what had made it that way. The main idea was to get the job done and get the person she had been fighting originally out of harms way. Why? She could have just left him there to suffer an unknown fate and she would come back and hunt him down. Her conscience gnawed at her core knowing that if she left him there, she wouldn't get her answers and she would regret it. Both bodies which had their share of cuts, bruised bones, and had been covered in blood had made it out and now there had been a new problem to deal with. When he mentioned the moon, hazel eyes drifted up to the sky and thought of the irony that stood behind the color. He had a point, but eyes went back down to Brayden, watching him intently as she stood over him. The cuts on her stomach she could handle, the bruised or broken ribs could heal but she didn't know how this was going to turn out. Free hand covered her stomach as she tried to catch her breath. No matter how long she did this job - being hurt sucked ass, no two ways around it. "I just saved your life; again - or for the first time whatever.. And you're questioning me?" Her reference to the attack in Seattle was made as more of a Freudian slip, talking to someone who looked like Brayden - she would give away what had happened. "And if I wanted you dead, you would have been already." True story. Well, maybe. He had his share of hits in there and honestly she didn't know how the fight would've ended. Either way, she was the one standing, he wasn't. Plain and simple.

BRAYDEN ABRAMS: “Oh, big deal. You call that saving my life? You more so almost got me killed than helped me. First you smear me in its victim’s blood, and then you save me? Thanks, you’re getting a little soft.” He snorted. Today was not turning out anything like he had thought it was going to, but that part was made evident by the body that stood before him. Brown pools stared up at the night sky, intently watching the eclipse happening before them. The tainted illumination continued to shine on them, making an eerie glistening effect on the blood that trickled down both of their bodies. If his stomach weren’t still empty, he’d have probably puked again. The cocky tone that leaked from the huntress’ lips evoked an eye-roll from the older male, and he took one look at her and frowned. “No one said I wanted to be saved either time.” The years had definitely taken a toll on him, though he was sure they had affected the girl, too. Where did they go from here? Taylor still hadn’t proved who she was to him, though her very presence seemed to wash familiarity over him. If he could stand, he’d probably fight, though with the state both of them were in, it would do neither any good. He was going to have a fun time trying to cover all of his cuts and bruises in time for his next shift, and getting them hidden from the other doctors would certainly prove to be an adventure. “I’m getting too old for this. And besides, you owed me, so call us even. You never repaid me for saving your ass from that harpy. ‘I had it,’ my ass. All you had was the option of falling off the cliff, and I don’t suppose that is counted as being victorious, either. It’s nice to know you have the same pompous attitude towards others.” It was a joke, of course.

TAYLOR SULLIVAN: The way he spoke was reminiscent of Brayden, but she could tell he was getting a little defensive. “Yeah, because I wanted you covered in blood for a reason. You’re right – I did it on purpose so you could throw up all over the place. What are you twelve?” She shook her head letting his comments roll of her damaged shoulders. Of course she knew that he had every right to be sick of the smell that filled the warehouse. If you hadn’t been exposed to it before, it was a very intense reaction. She wasn’t proud that she could hold her own, but it was something she had to deal with herself. The same went with being covered in blood; not fun, but part of the job. Now he said he didn’t want to be saved? She could see why he would say that. After their long conversations of what he feared and what she feared – it was something that he fought with every day. He thought he failed. Both of them had changed by the past couple of years, it was evident by they way they had moved in the warehouse. Yet, the two were still both stubborn as hell and bantered like they were an old married couple. When he mentioned the harpy incident, he had a point. He did save her life and she played it off as if that whole scenario was meant to happen. However, she was talking about something much more serious. "In Seattle, I saved your life for a reason. I wasn't about to let you go like that. You are way stronger than you could ever imagine. You don't think you deserve to be here right now? Well suck it up because you are. Don't pull that 'I don't need to be saved' crap, you're sounding like me." If she didn't prove herself after that blunt statement, she didn't know what did. Real Brayden or not, what she said was true. "Now, I'm going to do you a favor and not kill you. You had me tricked for a moment - but I swear to you if you come across me again, you won't be so lucky." Damn him for making her remember what is like to care for someone. She was over the situation. Taylor said things that only she knew about, but Brayden was a different story. Plus, the whole trusting thing didn't go over well with her. Putting her blood stained machete back in her holster, she took a deep, painful breath. She couldn't stay here and look at someone who reminded her of Brayden, who was so much like him it ripped her heart out. Taking the chance, she turned her back on the injured man and slowly walked away from her memories.

BRAYDEN ABRAMS: “Well, the past two years haven’t done much for your eyesight or observatory abilities, slick. I didn’t throw up at all, I just heaved – there’s a difference.” True, he would have thrown up had he not skipped dinner in favor of hunting right after his shift ended, but at the moment he was glad that he hadn’t wasted time eating. If he had just thrown it all up, it wouldn’t have done him any good to eat anything in the first place. Taylor was acting like the stubborn woman that she had always been known to be. She refused to accept that it was actually Brayden in front of her, but he was even having a hard time believing that it was his friend who was still in front of him. As she walked away, he frowned, looking back up towards the moon. The eclipse would be over soon – would their friendship be too? He had thought it was finished back on that fateful day, but maybe it wasn’t. Did he want to fight for it? He had been going through some heavy battling throughout the past two years, dealing with whatever was thrown his way to the best of his ability, but he had never met a doppelganger that took the form of someone who was known to perish at the hand of another Shadowkind. They usually liked to use the meat suits of their own kills – and as far as Brayden knew, there hadn’t been any of their kind present at the Sunset Glaves battleground. He had already mused this thought over, and he guessed that Taylor had to. They were both denying what was in front of them – was that so unnatural? Life didn’t throw anything good their way very often, so if something did come it was always well hidden. “I am way stronger than I could ever imagine? As if.” The power that had once coursed through his body was long gone. Once upon a time he could have energy leap from his fingertips in his defense, calling forth the mana that raced through his body aching to be used. “Tell me. If I’m so powerful, would I have allowed you to help?” No, he would’ve defended himself from the Wendigo and not had to rely on hunter-only moves in the fight. Had he been able to call forth the magic that he had known since birth, Taylor would’ve been in worse shape than she was currently – even though she was having as hard of a time walking away as Brayden would be later. “I should’ve known it wasn’t you. You would’ve yelled at me for dropping my elbow when you had me cornered.” He wasn’t concerned with what she could be, only with what she was. Letting the fog that had previously blanketed his thoughts lift, he recognized the girl as none other than herself. And as she walked, he sighed, speaking mostly to himself. “Leave. Just like Serik did after taking the last of my power.” Some might say that he was being a little too hard on himself – but what did he really have going for him to keep him going on? Yes, he aspired to live up to his parents’ names and avenge their deaths, as well as make his siblings proud in their honor, but without the magic, without them, he was struggling to find his fight. Where once he was a powerful Arcanist capable of calling forth mass amounts of energy, he now sat as a broken individual, more human than he had ever been.

TAYLOR SULLIVAN: Throw up, heave.. whatever – all she heard was the noise of him wanting to throw up but she was too busy almost being killed to notice if he had followed through or not. Her bad. It was too hard for her to imagine that anyone survived what happened in Florida. Yes, she did but barely and that was because she was lucky enough for someone to find her. The steps she took away from him, made her body tense up. Would he attack her? For all she knew it was an act and he would have taken the chance with her back turned. Mere seconds passed and nothing happened except for him speaking. Brayden responded in such a way that she expected. Unfortunately, when it came to the two of them, she saw him more than an arcanist. He was a loyal friend and didn’t give himself enough credit when it came to everything he had been through. "Everyone needs help once in a while Brayden - which is why I didn't tie your ass down to a chair when I went hunting. I knew you'd follow me no matter what. Same sort of scenario." Which was weird to her. Why didn't he use the magic that he had? That started to irk a little bit but was soon overcome with the idea of her yelling at him. She did yell at him a lot. But then her questions were answered and she couldn't deny it any longer. This was the real Brayden and she had to accept it. Walking back toward the injured friend of hers, slowly she bent down to his level - taking a leap of faith. "My eyesight and observatory skills might have gone down, but I can still hear. Is that what happened? In Florida?" This position was not helping the gashes in her stomach - not at all. Sure, she had been dealing with her issues in a different way, but the look on Brayden's face was familiar and one that was unique to him. She thought over and over again what she would say to him. It was a new, weird experience seeing him.. alive after the past two years. "You might be defined as 'powerless'," she accented her point by using her pointer and middle finger on both hands as quotation marks, "but you are far from it." True story. Of course, Taylor didn't know what Brayden was going through in terms of losing power - but she had always had to overcome her obstacles the hard way. Obstacles meaning Shadowkind. But still, she hurt in a different way. That's why they were such good friends. "That's why I'm here. Stop with your helpless mumbo-jumbo or I'll really give you a reason to feel helpless." Joke, but the point was made.

BRAYDEN ABRAMS: As Taylor turned around and headed back towards him, Brayden had to hold himself back from smiling. For a split second, he felt like things were going to be right again, though he halted himself for expecting too much out of it. The girl he had just fought was, in actuality, the friend he thought he had lost so long ago. Life had actually thrown him a bone, so to speak. “You couldn’t have held me down long enough to tie me to a chair, and you know it.” Turning his head to look at her, he frowned, taking in the sight of the gashes that were present on her stomach. “I’m glad we weren’t up against a werewolf. You’d have to worry about shaving more hair than just what’s present on your upper lip.” He cracked the joke, but it was only that. The laughter that was voiced rumbled from his stomach, causing a tight pain in his abdomen. Yeah, sleeping that night was not going to be fun at all. As Taylor made her point about his loss of power, he took in her words and found it hard to bite back his thoughts. He was being selfish, he knew; she had gone through a lot too, it wasn’t fair for him to think himself the only victim just because his powers had been ripped from him unwillingly. When the threat was made towards him, he only laughed. “Stuff it. With the state you’re in, you’d go down fighting a spider.” And as if to make his point, he gave a playful shove towards her shoulder, which would break her balance if it made contact. The two, it seemed, were falling back into old habits really quickly – play fighting like they always had around one another. “Come on, we need to go back to my place and dress our wounds. If they’re exposed too long, they’ll get infected, and that’s not going to do us any good.. I can’t have you lagging me down on hunts.” Using his right hand to push himself up and off of the ground, he ignored the shooting pain that quivered down his hurt leg, and instead focused much of his weight on his right one. Brayden wanted a bath – a nice, long shower that would clean him of the muck, grime, blood that currently caked his body and was present in his hair. “If you ever trip me again, I’ll shave you bald in your sleep.” He offered her a hand to help bring her to a standing position. For the first time in two years, it seemed like things were finally going to be set right.

TAYLOR SULLIVAN: Fact. She probably couldn’t hold him down long enough to time him down. The only way she would be able to was if she knocked him out, but that would be a little overkill. It was nice to joke. She hadn’t in so long, but it seemed natural when it came to these two. Eyes followed his own line of sight, watching as he looked at the gashes that covered her stomach. Looking back up to him, she couldn’t help but smile. “Very funny. I guess one of us needs a little hair though – you still look pre-pubescent.” Oh the love between the two, it was weird but it was them. Even talking reminded her of how much damage her abdomen actually took. Between landing on Brayden’s knee and the Wendigo, it was going to take a couple of weeks for her to be at tip-top fighting condition. From serious to joking, the conversation was like a ping-pong match. He said she could go down fighting a spider and she shook her head. With his hand coming out, she lifted hers and stopped his hand. "I still pretty deadly - I've had to fight off worse." She smirked at him. Yes, part of her was joking but the other.. wasn't. Too many times had she been too hurt to fight but she knew she had to go on and get what she needed to done. She let his hand go to let it drop. "But yes, if I actually give in to it - a squirrel wouldn't be scared of me." And squirrels were afraid of everything! He offered to go back to his place and before she had a chance to respond he was getting up. Man! She had used all that energy to went through the pain to get down to his level, now he was getting up?! Oh and now she was lagging him down - that was a funny concept. Letting the comment go she took his hand. As she stood up she realized just how much blood she actually lost in the whole process. "Shave me bald in my sleep, I'll kill you. Don't think I'll think twice then." Smiling softly, she could feel herself getting dizzy. "Seriously though, I have supplies at my own apartment. I'll take you to yours gimpy then I have to get back to mine. Use my shoulder for leverage." It dIdn't matter to her that she had claw marks on them, just another flesh wound. On top of that, the whole being on her own was a habit and an instinct. She'd help him but she would always revert back to being on her own.
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Brayden Abrams
Arcane Archon
Arcane Archon

Domain : Evocation

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