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Ask to Join Splice

"It's good to see you're still here. Consistency is a luxury these days." At the counter of a small Chicago pizza parlor a boy with shaggy black hair sat over a pipping hot slice of their signature deep dish. Across from him stood the owner of the establishment who, despite having seen better days, wore a hearty smile on his aged face.

"Well, Titus. The way I see it there's no other option." He said to the boy while handing him a can of coke. "I opened this joint bout twenty years ago cause it's what I love doing. If these demons or whatever are gonna try to take that away from me I might as well go down with the ship. Ain't no sense in living if you aren't doing what ya love."

The man's response caused the corners of Titus's mouth to raise and a faint glow seemed to escape his deep black eyes that were burdened with a millennium's worth of suffering even though he was just the ripe age of nineteen. It was refreshing to hear that there were others who kept their conviction even in the most trying of times.

"Ya know." The boy giggled, not sounding nearly as brooding as before, "It's ironic. I almost wish you weren't so determined. My team could use a chef, but I guess I wouldn't like you as near as much if you were so willing to abandon your dreams."

That's right... my team. Jeez, it feels like it's been a lot longer than just a week.

His mind drifted back a week prior. On the bottom floor of an abandoned lighthouse located on an island in the southern part of Lake Michigan, Titus stood around a map with the rest of his team Chimera. "The most populated cities near us are Chicago, Milwaukee, Detroit, Columbus, and Indianapolis. Now that we know there are more like us with the ability to splice our mission is to seek them out and bring them back so they can join our fight."

The team nodded in understanding and Titus continued on. "Naomi will take Milwaukee, Lysia has Detroit, Zeke has Indianapolis, Missy has Columbus, I'll take Chicago, and Harry will stay back to protect the base. We'll be too far to call for backup so everyone is to lay low, don't engage in fights unless absolutely necessary. You each have two weeks to collect intel on the current situations of the city and recruit anyone who could fight with us. Good luck."
"Well here's to never getting what we want." Titus was brought back to the present by the words of the chef who was now raising a glass in a toast. The boy smiled and raised his own glass in response.

"Che-" It didn't take long for the chef's words to be proven true. Just before their glasses could collide, the windows in the store shattered as a violent onslaught of gunfire pierced through, causing the guests to panic and fling themselves to the floor when suddenly...


A bullet struck the gas line created a giant blaze that expelled everyone flying into the streets. Smoke and dust filled the air, but even in the midst of the haze the silhouettes of two monstrous figures could be made out. One looked truly horrific, a gigantic stick like figure that was at least ten feet long and seven feet tall. It has a giant gatling gun where its face should've been and a grotesque mouth beneath it.

The other was the boy from before, only it wasn't. Titus had grown at least a foot taller and his muscular bulk significantly increased, but those were the least of the changes. Black fur had grown on his forearms and legs, replacing the limbs with those of a menacing lion. Two demonic burgundy wings spread out from his back and a scorpion tail sprouted from just beneath it. His hair grew and formed a lion's mane around his neck and his eyes began to glow red and had black markings surrounding them.

"Perfect." The boy hissed as he licked his lips, revealing the new fangs that lined the inside of his mouth. "I was looking for an excuse to fight."
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Help me!

He hadn't helped. He couldn't.

Keep that kid in place! Make sure he watches.

His arms were pinned. One of them might have been broken. A webbed hand with sharp claws kept his head still. The only sound piercing through the ringing in his head was the guttural cackle of the demons around him.

No, leave that one. What's he gonna do?

~ ~ ~

Liam had been spared that day, when demons and spirits were let loose upon the earth and tore through everything in their path, as well as everyone.

But Allen.... Allen hadn't.

When that creature was finished, the only thing that remained of Liam's younger brother was the blood that had been spilled while he was devoured.

The demon was right—what could he have possibly done? All he could do was watch—watch as his only family was torn apart in front of him. With a shaky exhale, Liam stared at the ground in front of him from his seat on the public park bench, his green eyes lifeless and dim. Passersby and curious onlookers might have seen the man's expression as one of panic or despair, but surprisingly, there had only been one emotion surging throughout Liam's being: pure, seething rage.

~ ~ ~
As he knelt in the pool of Allen's blood around him, the red liquid permeating into his clothes, Liam blankly stared at his reflection in his brother's remains. Tears trickled down his face, stinging the scrapes on his cheek and chin, but he couldn't feel a thing. His emotions bubbled up from within him in an enraged and sorrowful scream as he slammed his fists into the bloody concrete, his own blood beginning to seep into Allen's.

But he couldn't feel a thing.

Liam finally directed an intense glare into the direction the demons had gone, their laughter as they left still echoing in his head, and as he gathered all of the rage and grief that had formed a lump in his throat, the teen screamed once more, his voice cracking but brimming with fury in every word he could form.

"I'll kill you! That's what I'm gonna do! I swear to God, I'll kill you all and make you suffer!"

~ ~ ~
With a sharp inhale through his teeth, Liam clenched his fist, and the sudden sound of a crushed aluminum can brought him back to reality. Looking down at his unfinished can of strawberry soda, the sight of red liquid on his now shaking hands caused the man to tense up, as he was reminded once again of his failure all those months ago. Finally, with a few deep breaths, Liam regained his composure and sat upright, eyes closed as he tilted his head back and continued to calm his mind. He then stood up from his seat, finishing his beverage before tossing the can and heading to the nearest public fountain to wash his hands.
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"And so, I just can't help but think, maybe the spirits are in pain too. That's why we should figure out a way to stop this from the root, you know?" As Tiara spoke, her gaze fell onto the small pizza in the middle of the table, only two slices were taken out of it. One was on the woman's plate, she wasn't very hungry, and the other had been quickly devoured by the young boy sitting across from her. "You can have more if you'd like." Tiara smiled contently as she watched the boy nod his head graciously before moving to take another slice. The Pizza parlor was always a comfortable level of busy, only the brave folk even came out of their homes- but if they did leave, it was to some social gathering like the pizza parlor. It was a symbol of normalcy and community- of course people were drawn to it. "You don't talk much, huh, Eli?" Tiara asked, giggling when the boy simply nodded in agreement with his cheeks filled with food. All she had learned about the boy since stumbling upon him was that his life hadn't changed that much, it wasn't very good to begin with so he wasn't nearly as phased as any kid his age should be by all the death and violence that suddenly fell upon the world.

The town didn't have many transits, Chicago was a big city that was relatively intact compared to other regions- for a lot of people it was safer than moving around. Tiara, however, didn't intend on staying long. She had bigger plans that staying safe, of course you have to win the battle before you can win the war. She found the city to be a rather nice change than the rural, ravaged lands she traveled through. And when she found a kid half-starved to death in the middle of the street, of course she took pity on the guy. It turned out Eli wasn't abandoned, but that he didn't have a family in the first place, and Tiara found herself sticking around. Chicago was, surprisingly, relatively safe. Not because of the stupid reasons some people thought of, but because the city had a protector. Most of the city knew of Titus, if not knowing him by name, some thought he was a blessing from God, others thought he was a monster. Regardless, Titus was capable of things that other people simply weren't capable of- and that's what kept the city safe. At least, that's what the rumors said.

How long had it been now? A week? More? Less? Tiara sighed and melted a little in her seat. "What are you gonna do when this is all over?" Tiara asked suddenly, he soft gaze not quite focused anywhere. Eli simply shrugged.

"I'm not gonna run away." Eli muttered causing Tiara to smirk and shake her head. The boy seemed to say that a lot, of course he did. He was just a kid, of course he'd act all brave, but when the moment came, any sane person would run.

"I know." Tiara smiled fondly. There was a comfortable silence between the pair before the sudden eruption of bullets hitting glass caused the whole building to panic. Tiara watched as everyone simultaneously dropped the ground or dove for cover. The woman jumped across the table to push Eli's shoulders down and hold him to the ground with her. Who would fire a gun at a bunch of people at a time like this? Where they crazy? The girl coughed as dust filled her lungs, she could hardly see but a loud noise seemed to prompt the sudden force that caused the bystanders to fly in every direction.

Tiara lost Eli as she was sent crashing through a glass window and hit the concrete pavement outside. The girl winced in pain before coughing again to clear her lungs and looking up, suddenly she was frozen with fear. Tiara watched two monstrous figures stand head to head as if they were about to brawl. Those who could stand scattered as fast as they could to clear the area. Tiara attempted to call out to find her young companion, but found her throat completely dry. Why now? It was too soon, the girl looked about in a panicked frenzy. Of course, she had encountered the demons before- but she always did her best to avoid them. these things were huge, and it was only a couple decameters away from her. The gun must've been responsible for the earlier attack, but Tiara couldn't figure out where the other creature had come from.

Elijah felt his body lift from the floor, his light weight made it so the eruption threw him more vertical than horizontal. The boy's fragile body hit the ceiling of the building before he slammed back in to the floor. His head filled with a ringing that slowly died so he could hear what was around him. Eli used one hand to push himself to his feet while his other hand cleared his face of the dust and debris that had gathered there. The boy let out a gentle cough which caused his whole body to ache. He glanced outside momentarily before looking towards the kitchen. There had to be some sort of weapon in there. But he didn't move, his feet were glued to the floor. One more he peeked at the hideous creature outside, feeling nausea rise in his body. There was no time to get a weapon. He had to run- that thing could kill him with a single bullet. The boy's mind filled with conflict, that brought him to his knees. Stupid, stupid, stupid- why couldn't he have just been killed with the others? Why'd he have to run? Now, the boy felt tears well up in his eyes as he sat in the door way of the pizza parlor, feeling completely helpless.
"Jesus, it's like they don't even bother to pick up their own trash anymore." Missy muttered to herself as she bent down to pick up yet another littered piece of garbage. The woman was sent on a fairly clear mission, but after getting distracted by a single piece of crumpled up paper... she had gotten a bit side tracked. The woman placed the trash in a bin before rubbing her hands together triumphantly. Missy stood for a moment, hands placed on her hips in some sort of power pose before she was suddenly stuck with the memory of her boss' orders. She only sometimes referred to him as boss, although it was a little weird. Titus was younger than her after all, he was still just a kid, really. But Missy had grown to respect the young man, and she truly believed in his ability to achieve his mission.

Recalling her task of scouting and recruiting, Missy looked around the mostly empty park before sighing. This was kinda a hard job. How was she supposed to know how was strong just by looking at them. It seems like so long ago that Titus rescued the woman, but it was just a week ago that she, herself, had been recruited in Chimera and began the operation of saving humanity. Missy momentarily pondered on how much she had grown in such a short amount of time. When Titus first encountered Missy, her eyes were closed and she was willing accepting the brutal death that was to come. That day, the girl clenched her weapon so tightly that she forgot she even had it, it didn't matter how prepared she was because she couldn't bring herself to slay the demon that looked so similar to her friend. The girl looked down at her belt a long knife was supported on either side of her waist by the belt, a weapon which she had gotten used to using. If she could go back in time, Missy doubted she would have any problem putting the beast to rest. It's just how things were for now, and the most important factor for her was her own survival.

The girl sighed, she supposed that she was really looking for strength after all, but she needed something to build on. Something... Missy spun around at the sound of heavy foot steps and her gaze focused on a sullen looking young man with serious eyes heading to the fountain. Missy's face lit up: emotion. The woman's thin lips peeled into a smile and her pale eyes eased on her target before she took a step towards him. Before her first step was even in full motion, a loud shriek caused Missy to retract her foot and spin to look over her shoulder.

The source of the scream was from all the way across the park, where a fragile looking woman lay on her back and looking up to a nightmarish beast. The demon looked like a pile of raw meat shaped into the form of a human, and every few inches a knife protruded from the lump of flesh. The creature raised a deformed hand and pulled a knife from it's shoulder, raising it as if about to slash into the girl.

Missy was already on the move. A pair of large bat wings sprouted from the chimera's shoulder blades and ears popped up from her head as her feet left the ground and her wings flapped rapidly enough to create a breeze. Missy's eyes grew wide as she ducked under the creature's knife and pushed the woman out from under the demon. Missy's breathing was heavy and she looked about wildly for an escape route. The terrified woman was quick to her feet, sprinting away while Missy kept the beast's attention. Assuming the park had cleared out, Missy took both knives from her belt and lowered her gaze solely onto the demon. "Alright, ugly, let's get this over with." Missy huffed, knowing that it wasn't an easy battle ahead of her.
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As he washed the soda off his hands in silence, Liam noticed that it was... quieter than usual in this part of town. There actually hadn't been many people around, though the park was typically packed at this time of day. He might've even gone as far to say the park felt.... eerily quiet.

Sure enough, Liam's apprehension at the park's silence and ominous vibe hadn't been a mere thought; his train of thought was abruptly interrupted by a shrill scream from a distance away. Turning to locate where the shriek had come from, he immediately tensed up and narrowed his eyes at the sight of what was unfolding. A creature consisting of human flesh and protruding blades had been looming over a woman, seemingly aiming to slash across her neck. In an instant, another strange figure intervened, putting herself in front of the beast and pushing the original target away. The newcomer had sported large, bat-like wings, as well as bat-like ears sprouting from her head.

Though his mind assured him that whoever this was likely had it covered and could hold her own against the demon, Liam found his body acting purely on instinct, and he began approaching the creature, starting with a slow walk and growing to a sprint. The source of his sudden adrenaline rush was unknown; whether it was naïve defiance of the other fleeing civilians, or the pre-existing fury bubbling within him after recalling what had happened to Allen, it was something Liam quickly disregarded as he continued running at the demon, relying on his rage to strengthen his legs and propel him forward.

As soon as he was close enough, Liam crouched down briefly before kicking off the ground and launching himself into the air with a loud yell, sailing straight on a course set for the demon before him. The monster immediately broke eye contact with Missy and turned its head toward Liam, yanking a blade from his leg to slash at the incoming human. Paying no heed to the knife the demon now brandished, Liam continued to hurtle toward it and drew his arm back, scanning the demon's head for an exposed spot without the danger of slicing himself with a protruding blade. Before the demon could swing at its new target, Liam let loose a nasty right hook on its jaw before hitting the ground behind the demon and rolling to his feet.

The demon had slid backward a few inches in recoil from the strike, but Liam noticed that the punch had done no visible damage. Rather, it now had more reason to target him than Missy, and the demon now began to lumber toward him, knife in hand. Upon a cursory glance at the newcomer who had so suddenly attacked her target, Missy would notice that in stark contrast to the original target who was now long gone, there was no trace of the similar fear in Liam's eyes. The only emotion, both wildly dancing in his eyes and emanating around him in an almost palpable aura, was burning rage and intent to kill.

| Korutesu |

Previously NotAPokemonRanger
Indianapolis. Matt had hidden in one of the buildings with other students when the Haunting came along. He could remember the screaming of people being killed infront of him. He could remember what happened very clearly...
Students had died. They all tried to escape.
People screamed in terror as they ran for their lives, Matt stood on the stage, it was Graduation day. Teachers, Parents and students were running. They were afraid. His arm was grabbed while the carnage was happening. It was a female, She saved as many people as she could and brought them to an abandoned building. She was their class president. "Okay... We all saw that... Right?" The class president said. Most people knew her as Catrina, while her friends called her Cat. That was a week ago. Matt knew that it'd happen soon, And it did. They were attacked. Three of them escaped. two males and a female, Matt didn't know who they were, but they parted ways an hour later.

Matt had gone back to the school, while the other two could be heard screaming in the distance. It wasn't loud, but you could hear it. Matt took his father's watch and he also took his mother's notebook to take note of the monsters that he encounters. He took shelter in a small shop that had enough food for Matt for a month. It also had water bottles and many other things he could use. He left with all he could carry in a backpack inside of the store and left for better safety.
Matt had drowsed off again. It was already midday. He checked his food supply, It was still the same how it was before. He took a bit of food that he had rationed the day before, It was still a lot of food. Matt had hoped nobody would rob his food, or worse, kill him.
It was those times that he needed to watch out of who he'd trust and believe. Who knows what could happen to him if he had trusted anyone that he saw on the streets. It was common-sense at that point. It's been what, five months? since it happened, and it was that fast until everyone who he had met wanted to kill him or rob him. He had only been able to escape from running off or fighting them with what he could grab or what he already had.

It was a bit quiet around town, so far Matt hadn't seen anyone yet. It was a good sight, For Matt anyway. then flying could be heard above head. It was about six feet tall, It had white dove-like wings. Taking out the notebook, He wrote down how big it was, what happened to it, and things that it could attack him with, the most notable features on it were it's talons on it's feet. He grabbed a camera from his bag, then taking a photo of the spirit. "I gotcha." Taking out the picture from the camera then sticking it to the page of the book. "Another one inside the book. I just hope it doesn't notice me taking pictures of it." The spirit had flown away, nobody getting hurt. It was great, He lived alone but he didn't mind. It was okay for him. Exiting his "safe spot" taking his notebook and grabbing a bat that he had grabbed from the store a week ago. Exiting the store, He looked around. Nothing. Nothing he could see anyway. He knew he needed to get more supplies. And the bat won't do much, so he'd also need new weapons. At least he could finally get outta that small place and get a breather.
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Missy spun the knife around in her hand, searching for a weak point on the beast ahead of her when the sound of approaching footsteps caused the girl to turn around quickly. Missy made out the figure of the guy from earlier, but it appeared he was rushing at the mutilated body rather than away from it, Missy's eyes grew wide in shock and she yelled out a curse that seemed to fall upon deaf ears before readying herself to rush in after the man. However, it seemed the guy wasn't acting irrationally out of fear as Missy had often seen before- he was attacking this creature because he wanted to. There was an absence of emotion as the man rushed forward and passed Missy, who didn't reach out to grab him.

In the blink of an eye, the stranger's feet left the ground and he propelled himself forward, landing a sickening hit to the side of the spirit's face which caused a crackling sound to echo across the otherwise silent park. Missy's mouth hung open slightly, her lips parted in awe as he gaze switched between the man and the demon-like creature several times before the corners of her mouth turned upward in a subtle smirk. The dust beneath Missy's feet puffed into a cloud when her wings lifted her off the ground so she could get a better angle of the fight. Whatever was about to happen, she sure as hell wasn't going to miss it. Whoever this guy was, and for whatever reason he had, his body emitted an aura of rage that was almost frightening, and yet it was narrowly directed at the beast ahead of him. "Hey fire-ball," Missy called out to the male in an attempt to catch his attention. The knives spirit ahead of Missy hardly paid her any attention, it seemed to have a one-track mind. A mind that was now focused on the guy who had earlier punched it.

"Don't like this guy, huh?" Missy inquired while jerking a thumb towards the pair's opponent. "Good," Missy gave a wide smile that was probably inappropriate considering the situation at hand "kill 'em." With that, Missy took one of her own knives, long and slime in comparison to the creature's blades, and flung it towards the man's feet. Missy leaned forward slightly, wings still flapping, before putting her chin in on palm and resting her elbow as if there were an invisible desk. She was aware that it wouldn't take much prodding, if any, to get the strange male to react and fling into action. Still, the young woman wanted to have at least a little fun- if this guy could successfully defeat the monster, she was sure he'd be a perfect fit for Chimera.
Though the movement caught the corner of his periphery, Liam paid no heed to the bat girl who had floated upward and addressed him as "fire-ball". As the knife she flicked at him clattered to his feet, he snatched it from the ground and brandished the blade in a reverse grip. He had crouched down in order to pick the weapon up, but as his body moved to receive it, Liam's eyes were never averted from the demon looming in front of him.

"Kill 'em."

As if she even needed to ask. Liam took a deep breath as the demon before him continued to lumber forward, taking another knife in its other hand. Before it had time to even ready a slash at the human, Liam had darted forward and aimed a slice at the humanoid demon's legs, cutting through its calves in an attempt to cripple its movement. The attack had produced no damage however, only having produced some pathetic looking slashes across the back of its legs and failing to hinder its mobility. Liam's momentum in lunging at the demon had continued to carry him forward, and the demon suddenly spun on its heel, aiming to seemingly clothesline his throat with the knife itself.

Muttering a curse under his breath, Liam shifted his body to avoid the incoming blade and fell into a roll, tumbling across the ground before pulling himself to his feet. He had barely escaped from the attack, only suffering a small graze on his arm that had begun to slowly bleed. Meanwhile, the knife he had been given was scarcely marked with blood, though it hadn't made any notable mark on the demon. Liam's eyes narrowed, and he gritted his teeth before tightening his grip on the blade and rushing at the demon once more. If body blows weren't doing the trick, maybe this would cut it. (heh)

It seemed that the demon was beginning to react and respond quicker, this time aiming a slash just as Liam crouched down to leap upward. With his approach interrupted, his jump had lost a substantial amount of air, and Liam found himself looking dead straight into the demon's face, which was featureless save for a large mouth. The demon had growled menacingly, reaching out with an arm to grab Liam by the neck, but the human immediately grabbed the limb tightly and swung to the side, placing his footing on the handles of the knives protruding from its torso and legs. With an enraged yell, Liam drew his blade hand back and plunged the knife into the demon's mouth, resulting in an eruption of blood and a guttural scream of pain.

The demon's pain quickly became rage, as it used its free arm to stab its own knife into Liam's side. However, Liam didn't falter, instead seeming to only intensify his attack. As his blade ventured deeper into the demon's mouth and down its throat, he then used his other hand to push the demon's head away from him, while simultaneously pulling his knife toward him. In yet another outpour of blood, the tip of the knife suddenly poked back into view from within the demon's neck, and as more of the knife began to emerge from the demon's flesh, it seemed that Liam was trying to pry the wound open wider and wider.

Liam then yanked the knife back out of the demon's mouth and tossed it away before plunging a hand into the demon’s gaping neck wound, his other hand still tightly gripping its head. Once he was in position, Liam gritted his teeth, let out a roar of resolute fury, and began to yank his now excessively bloodied hand backward, then up.

Amidst the gushing of blood from both spirit and human, and the cries of pain and rage, it wouldn’t be long before Missy realized what Liam was doing:

The man aimed to manually pry the demon’s head off of its shoulders.
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To the Gatling spirit, Titus’s existence was simply intolerable. All it had wanted in life was to be recognized, just a bit of the respect it deserved. But here stood a man, no, a mere boy who dared to stare down the barrel of his fearsome power without even a shred of fear.

Unacceptable! The monster let out a vicious shriek that sounded like metal rubbing against metal on a megaphone and fired a barrage of high powered bullets at the insolent boy who dared to defy him. Perish!!!

Titus’s crimson wings closed and formed a cocoon around himself, the bullet proof scales deflecting the shots in every direction. In this world, he didn’t have the luxury to worry about casualties. Anyone who had to be saved from spirit attack was just going to end up dying anyways.

After what must’ve been at least a minute of enduring constant gunfire, the spirit was forced to stop and reload. Titus wouldn’t miss his opportunity to strike. He unfurled his wings and took off flying at the unhinged spirit. Vicious claws extended out of the black fur lining his fingers and he held his arm back preparing to deliver a fatal strike when.


Titus couldn’t tell what it was, nobody could. It was as if an invisible spear tore through Titus’s chest. The chimera could feel an unseen presence flee shortly after making the attack, allowing the boy to look down and see an iron rod skewering him into fallen rubble as rivers of thick red blood flowed down his body.

Another one? This could be trouble.
If you want to survive, give me control. Your restraint makes you weak.
Just shut up! You’re so annoying.

Though his vision was beginning to blur, Titus could still make out the monstrous figure of the Gatling spirit. It appeared the beast had found something else to focus its attention on. Its demonic gaze was now fixated on an injured blonde girl who had been cast out onto the pavement.

Fear and panic. How beautiful! I shall free you from your earthly shell. With unprecedented speed, the spirit crawled until it had positioned its body above Tiara’s. Its saliva fell down on her like thick globs of rain. Be freed! It roared as the gun on its head began to rotate, reloading as it prepared to fire a round into the girl.


Ugh, of course he sent me to the beer capitol of the world. I’m probably the only one of those idiots he trusted not to drink.

The Japanese girl grumbled to herself as her nose curled from the smell of yeast that flowed throughout the streets of the city. She didn’t doubt that perhaps there was once a time when she would’ve found the Midwestern city a bit charming, but now it was simply a run down mess where drunkards roamed the streets.

“Hey, hic, yer a pretty lil thing.”

The slurred speech of a wandering drunk caught Naomi by surprise as the beer-bellied man snuck up on her from behind and grabbed her by the wrist. “Is not safe for a girl to be wandr’n around by herself. Lemme take you back to my place, I’ll watch out for you.”

“In your dreams.” She sneered. Her hand began to glow white and she thrust it into the plump man’s chest, sending him flying backwards into the alleyway.

“Ohhhhhh.” The man groaned from the impact.

“OOOoohhHHhh.” He groaned again, though this time sounding... distorted?

Naomi’s head jerked back and her eyes locked onto the man. Something was wrong. His skin seemed to ripple and wave, and points began to form as if spears were trapped inside of him.

Oh no!

She used her power in her legs and jumped as far away from the man as she could.

“AAARGHHHHHHH” He let out a blood curdling shriek as hundreds of spikes tore through his flesh and pierced through the buildings on either side of him, impaling inhabitants at random.

Not good. Titus told us not to fight.... but even if I could, how do I fight something like that?

Naomi pulled her ski goggles down to cover her eyes and cracked her self made taser-whip as she prepared to face the unhinged spirit.


Duunnn dunnn... duuuunnnn duun

In the murky waters of Lake Michigan surrounding the island base of Chimera, a most ominous and powerful presence swam in search of its next feast to satisfy its undying hunger.

One might ask “How did an ungodly hybrid with the head of a shark and the arms, legs, and tail of a monkey end up in a midwestern lake?” Well, nobody knows. Perhaps that’s what makes it so terrifying. The only guarantee of this beast: certain death.
Detroit. Can't have anything here.
At least, that's what the orphan known as Malic Ioso was reminded when he had returned there and turned to find his few luxury items he had scavenged on the way here gone. Well, it was no luxurious safe haven, but Malic had decided that if anywhere was still around, it'd be the place that already had trouble.

Alright, Malic. Focus, find more shelter, find people to help them survive...why'd I come back here?
He sighed at his own thoughts, before looking around. He remembered the Orphanage, and figured he could go there...no, it was probably deserted and crumbling. The place was pretty bad in the first place, it wouldn't surprise him had it fallen apart. Still, he had to at least check it...maybe he'd get closure.

During the walk, he realised the more logical flaws with even returning here, let alone going to the Orphanage. Detroit had been heavily populated, a lot of...whatever those demons were called would obviously be here. Plus, it was already poor, so there was practically no shelter he could see during the walk, even ignoring the buildings that had been destroyed during The Haunting.
He shuddered, remembering that time...his cowardice in running away. Maybe...no, hopefully, someone else had escaped the Orphanage and was still alive.


Screams. That had been all he heard that day. From outside the Orphanage and inside, though inside was people arguing in terror. Some said they had to go, others said that was too dangerous. Looking back, both sides were right, but in the moment, Malic was unable to think out of fear and a want to be alone. That night, he took a glance at the others in the dorms of the orphanage...
He shouldn't have left them behind, but he did, crawling out the window with his few personal belongings and supplies. And he ran. Not long later, he looked back, a mistake, as he heard haunting screams and could've sworn he saw a fire starting in there. The Haunting was no joke, he knew already...but this? This was....It was like the Universe was trying to make him jump off a cliff.
He felt sick to his stomach, but had to keep running. He shut his brain down aside from basic survival instincts, and ran. Maybe someone else made it out, but he had already decided to himself that would not be the case...
"Oh, god, why?" He asked up to the sky, in absolute terror as he thought about what had happened...who had died.

Why'd he leave anyone behind? He didn't know. He was just a damn fool who left the people he should've protected to die.


He growled at himself.
"I should've died with them." He decided, though knew he also wanted to live on as he kept walking, arriving at where he knew the Orphanage was, having been lucky enough to not be attacked on the way. It seemed better than he expected, even with a caved in roof and clear signs of fire, so he entered the building, seeking shelter....and, well, maybe some closure. As he saw the corpses of those who had raised him and others, he began to feel like he needed to end it.
Why...just...why did this happen?
G-Get your chin up, Malic. Look like a thief... don't think of what you had... If you do, there's nothing left to fight for.
He grunted as he began searching for supplies, before making what he assumed at the time was a mistake; Causing loud noises as he pushed aside the rubble to uncover the corpses unconsciously.
Maybe I could find survivors and reach the River lighthouse....no, there's monsters in the water and sky, we'd never make it.
I could try getting underground? Wait, no, it'll just collapse without the right materials...
What about one of missile silos built for the apocalypse? I go there with others, and we live until this all blows over! Rebuild humanity and all that.
But what if it doesn't blow over?

For someone lying to himself to make himself more optimistic, he was good at finding flaws in his own ideas, and distracting only himself from any mistakes he was making. God, what an amateur mistake for someone like him. Besides, corpses aren't closure.
Isla scowled. She cursed beneath her breath as she took stock of the Church's supply of non-perishables. Supplies had dwindled over the last week: they were down to a few cans of fish, beans, and other assorted vegatables, along with a few packs of candies. With a half-dozen hungry mouths to feed, they would be out of food in just as many days.

"Fuuc–", she held her tongue as she heard approaching footsteps. She knew better than to cuss up a storm in front of her underage charges. It wasn't that she was worried about their vocabulary, kids before the haunting already knew every swear-word in the book—and even some that weren't—but she knew that her agitation would only worry them.

The ginger calmed herself with a deep-breath, plastering a relax smile across her face before she turned to greet the kids. Her kids. The younger ones crowded around her legs, gripping the fabric of her worn-out jeans anxiously. The older, and more sensible, ones were more pensive; they noiselessly gazed at the depleted storeroom before turning their eyes to Isla. Their quiet dependency weighed heavily on her heart and she knew what she had to do.

She soothed her anxious wards with tender pats, coaxing them off her legs. "I'm heading out, okay? Lock the doors and don't let anyone inside until I get back."

Isla packed her knife and slung an old knapsack over her shoulder. She needed to find some food, she needed to scavage.
Missy watched Liam's body. She watched the subtle way he adjusted his feet, and the way he leaned forward, and the way his eyes fastened onto then spirit in front of him like a cat's onto its prey. Whatever this guy had gone through, he was far from ordinary, and it didn't take much for him to prove it. Not only was he battle-ready, but his body reacted effortlessly to the combative form as if he had practiced it for years. The thing across from the man was nasty, a real horrendous looking thing that makes most people freeze up with fear. The type of beast that wasn't allowed on normal TV. Even Missy felt chills run down her spine each time the monster's flesh parted slightly to release the blades that it then used as a weapon, but this guy... he didn't even flinch.

Instead, he charged forward without a second thought. His eyes were clouded with rage that seemed to also reasoning ability without diminishing his senses. Missy watched the two bodied engage over and over again: the blood thirsty demon against the seething stranger. It was a bit cinematic, the way they clashed and fell apart repeatedly- and if one thing was clear... the demon was winning. As spirits tend to be, the beast was simply stronger than any mere human, and although the pair's physical ability may have been on par, the enemy's thick skin and high pain tolerance seemed to give it the upper hand. The man seemed to lean back slightly, the most subtle hint a human can give that they were giving up. With a click of her tongue, Missy prepared to intervene just before the young male charge forward again. If the move hadn't surprised the spirit, it sure as hell had caught Missy off guard. The woman turned, wide-eyed, to follow the movement of the battle. Missy watched with anticipation, so engrossed in the battle that she had completely forgotten about her own mission.

The rapid movements were a bit hard to follow. The man lunged, the demon shot an arm out, the man caught hold and rared back- it ended in such a gruesome scene that Missy didn't have time to note Liam's advanced but savage fighting technique. Missy, who had grown quite used to gore by now, let a shaky hand cover her mouth at the violent resolution of the fight. She watched the man gouge his knife into the throat of the beast, twisting the blade until a decent size wound was made. Then, as if the mere quiet death weren't enough, the male plunged his own hand into the creature's mouth. The blood curdling sound that escaped from the stranger was, honestly, not that much different than the cries of the demonic creatures she daily dealt with. He roared with ferocity, but his voice crackled with a mix of anger and pain. Missy's eyes grew wide before she shook her head and held a breath of air. The woman then, flew in towards the man and his opponent. Using her left shoulder, Missy shoved Liam off of the demon, pushing the male to the ground and watching the lifeless body of the monster fall as backwards and collapse. Missy's mouth was parted slightly, unsure of how the blood-covered male would react. Regardless, she couldn't let him continue.

All of the members of Chimera had different morals and opinions, they each upheld different values. And, frankly, Missy didn't care what Titus or anyone else would have to say about it- she encountered this guy, and she wasn't going to let him succumb to the darkness. These 'demons' that people have painted to be some otherworldly monsters are really just the worst parts of humans, the parts that are easiest to let take over. In order to keep their humanity, people had to learn to keep their desires in check, no matter how good-hearted they seemed. Liam had pretty much succeeded in his goal, the monster's entire base of it's skull was pried off, it's head twisted sideways on the ground and only attached by a strip of flesh under it's chin. "It's over." Missy stated rather harshly, "I don't know what you're aiming to do. But you should try to do it while getting the least amount of blood on your hands." the woman added the last bit in a calmer tone. She then glanced behind her at the motionless lump of flesh, this guy seemed like a dangerous person to give such an ability to as splicing. "All that rage inside you, you want to use it, right? You don't want to end up like the thing you just fought, right?" Missy took a step backwards before nodding, "Then prove it." the girl stated simply. Surely the hostless spirit would latch onto Liam rather than her, who was already spliced, and while she refrained from giving any sort of instructions, Missy gripped her knife and prepared to fight the demon that was to come if Liam failed.
Tiara's mouth hung slightly open as she looked back. These two spirits seemed more focused on each other than anything else, meaning that if she had any intention to run she'd have to do it now. The female looked back over her shoulder for Eli before gritting her teeth and standing up, she's have to leave. Live to fight another battle, right? Just the thought of having to make such a decision was painful, but it appeared the woman had made up her mind as she took a step away from the building, only for a vicious shriek to echo through the street with such ferocity that the buildings shook and Tiara dropped to her knees once more. Tiara covered her ears, wincing at the mix of sound and flashing from the firing of buildings. Her senses became blurred and her thoughts muffled as the barrage of senses overwhelmed her and she felt her body cave in on itself.

Tiara couldn't be sure of what happened. In a collection of seconds she listened to the sound bullets deflect all around her, her only focus was on praying none of the stray projectiles hit her. Yet, what did hit her came from above: a seemingly loosened piece of a root, a large chunk of concrete that must've been shot out of place. The falling object seemed to flash before Tiara's eyes in slow motion, and yet she still wasn't fast enough to get away. The woman dove into the street, but was caught by her left ankle- an indescribable pain shot from her ankle and up her leg as she was sure the joint was twisted and squished beneath the heavy concrete slab. Tiara let out a squeak of pain, a hardly audible thing, as she retracted her body in an attempt to relieve some pressure off of her caught foot. The woman's face turned red and tears formed in her eyes, she couldn't help it. It seemed like, after he parents death, she had no more tears left to cry. She'd look in a mirror for hours trying to find something, just a single tear that saved some of her humanity. She couldn't cry. But now, with just the slightest bit of agony, hot tears streamed down her cheeks. Tiara looked about frantically for help before realizing that her injury was the least of the problems, she had completely forgotten about the battling pair in the street just a few yards away from her.

Tiara watched as the furry beast appeared to be taking it's chance, stepping forward with what seemed like an attack that would end it all. Suddenly, an attack that seemed to come from nowhere, pierced through the creature's chest. Tiara gasped, did that gun thing have a second ability? Or perhaps it had a friend. And invisible friend? Tiara's mind raced as her gaze floated from the lion-monster and back to the gun. Oh god, it was approaching her.

The spirit carried it's body on legs of steel that moved quickly enough to catch a running human, much less a human who couldn't run. Tiara winced as the shadow of the beast fell over her, it drooled like a dog over a bone. The girl's eyes shifted to the injured manticore knowing that he was her only hope of survival, and when the click of the gun's rotating head reached her ears, Tiara knew it was all over. The woman closed her eyes tightly and held her breath-


The sound ring of rocks on metal caused the girl to look up, and the Gatling's attention was no longer on her. Tiara followed the direction of the spirit's pointed head to Elijah. The boy stood just a few steps outside of the door frame of the pizza parlor, both of his fists were equipped with small stones and his eyes were red but determined. The boy's entire body trembled, but his gaze was steady and he gulped the air before sprinting. Perhaps running wasn't the best idea in general, and between running away and running towards the danger, Eli wasn't putting himself in the best situation. But, the boy didn't think about his own safety, the only thought that pounded his brain was the fact he was going to let someone else die. Someone else who showed him kindness and companionship, someone else was going to die instead of him. The boy shook his head as he ran past the Gatling spirit, which had to reload again after it's original process was stopped by Eli's distraction.

Eli raced to Tiara's side, the woman urging him to run, and began trying to lift the piece of concrete that pinned Tiara to the pavement. He made little progress in lifting the rubble as the clicking of the gun grew louder and louder in his ears... he was too weak.
The soft splash of waves that made their way onto the sandy shore of the island were almost tranquil. Perhaps they would be more tranquil if they were made by wind rather than some over-sized demon likely swam the large lake. Harold didn't mind either way, the tranquility of the water had nothing to do with him. Harry was a focused man, an older man who's bravery likely came in part from his senile-nature. The water didn't interest him because everything he needed was beyond the shore: his babies. Just a few rows of edible plants that were in near perfect position and grown just outside a shabby lighthouse. Harry hummed a raspy but up-beat tone as he fiddled with the leaves of one plant, brushing off the slightest hint of dust, while his other hand rested at the root of a bush of honey-berries. It was impossible to know with the naked eye, but Harry was currently transferring nutrients from one of the plants to the other. He did this daily: sat cross-legged and exchanged nutrients between all of his plants for hours on end until the garden was perfectly balanced.

The man withdrew his hand and let out a content sigh, looking up at the gray atmosphere before out towards the sea. He was the only one left at base... it was sort of peaceful, actually. And at the same time, he partially was wondering what all he was missing. Not in a 'I hope they're alright' type of way, but in a 'they better no have left me' type of way.
@Mystic Zander
The deed had been nearly complete. Liam could see the creature's neck open up as he continued to pull its head off of its shoulders with a near inhuman roar. Suddenly, just as the demon's posture began to crumble and its head needed one final tug to be freed, Liam felt a sudden force crash into his side, falling to the ground as Missy's shoulder knocked him off of the demon. Whether it was his exhaustion from muscling his way against the monstrous figure or the stab wound that had quickly stained his shirt and caked his side with dried blood, Liam wouldn't have been able to retaliate against the woman who had interrupted his almost feral attack against the demon.

Well, upon further examination, it seemed he didn't have to.

Oh, she was speaking. What was her name? Had she told him yet? What was she saying? Missy's words had been drowned out by the ear-splitting ringing in Liam's ears as he slowly pushed himself to his feet. His vision was blurred, and his head felt like it was being pummeled on all sides. Touching a hand gingerly against the back of his head, Liam stared warily at the red that he found, squinting at the blood mixed with dirt and sediment. Wait, the girl was still talking. Her voice gradually became clearer, and Liam's vision became less and less disoriented as he was finally able to get a somewhat clear view of her figure as she stood before him. His eyes then fell upon the crumpled body of the demon, a fleshy heap laying in a pool of blood and knives. So.... it was dead.

"....prove it."

Missy's final words immediately regained Liam's attention. 'Prove it'? What was he supposed to prove? The demon was dead, it was laying right ther--

Suddenly, a wave of what felt like both scorching heat and searing cold washed over Liam, permeating every part of his body and only intensifying his previous disorientation as he fell to the ground. The headache returned with tenfold force, causing him to shut his eyes tight and scream in pain. it felt like a chain of several razor blades had been dragged under every square inch of his skin, slicing through his throat and snaking through his arms. Even the subtlest movement of his body brought upon an intense wave of pain, and as he continued to scream, a low and scratchy voice, almost as if through rasping breaths, rang in his ears and shook him to the core, only echoing one word.

Tears streamed from Liam's eyes, stinging the cuts on his face as he writhed with pain. His screams only grew, and as he struggled to even stay on all fours, he punched the concrete below him, scraping up his knuckles enough to draw blood and stain the sidewalk.

Liam continued to strike the pavement, the pain of his breaking hands paling in comparison to the strain on his mind as the voice in his head grew louder and louder. He crumpled to the ground, and as his spirit began to crack, he felt several prodding sensations from under his skin, as if countless knives and blades sought to break free and protrude from his body.

Surrender, and be purified.

With yet another roar, Liam harnessed as much focus as he could and forced himself up, slowly but surely pulling himself to his feet. Shouldering his way through the immense pain surging throughout his entire body, he stared with strained vision at his right arm, which was now stained with both his and the demon's blood, marred with cuts all around and shaking wildly.

"All that rage in you..... you don't want to end up like that thing you just fought, right?"

Suddenly, in an unexpected rush of clarity, Liam found himself recalling Missy's words that he thought had been tuned out. Would he? Would he end up like that horrid mass of flesh, covered from head to toe with a multitude of blades protruding from his skin? Could he really become something so hideous? As he stared at the blood on his hands and remembered his savage fury when he pursued such gruesome means to defeat the demon, Liam couldn't help but think that... maybe he already had. Even in his severe pain-induced delirium, a brief glance at the woman before him was ample evidence that he was a threat.

Liam, help me!

Then, the same image of his mutilated and devoured brother that had been burned into his mind flashed before his eyes, recalling the gruesome sight and the promise Liam had so fiercely declared.

I'll kill you!

Right.. Liam was going to hunt down and kill the demon who had so brutally torn his brother apart, inflicting a pain that made what he had just done to the creature beside him seem like a gentle flick on the arm. And yet, would he be able to fully avenge his brother if he became something just as abhorrent and terrible in the process? No, Allen wouldn't want that. What good was it if he achieved his objective by casting aside his humanity?

The terror in Allen's eyes, the moose-demon's gaze that burned with menacing glee, the sight of Missy's battle-ready stance and brandished knife and her sheer determination to eliminate Liam if he couldn't regain control.... this was exactly why he couldn't simply accept what would happen to him. Letting out one final yell, the man gripped his right elbow and endured the pain, responding to the insistent voice in his head with a single, decisive thought.

I don't care if I'm impure, I won't be claimed by the likes of you, or any other disembodied-voice-piece-of-crap that tries to control me.

In that last rush of adrenaline and pain, Liam's mortal body succumbed to the physical strain, and he fell to the ground, unconscious. However, while Missy needed only one glance to see that his spirit hadn't been broken or taken, as his body remained the same, the sudden glint of sunlight against metal would alert her to a long, slim blade protruding from below Liam's right elbow, stretching down his forearm and extending about a foot past his hand.
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That idiot! His determination clouds his fear of death..... perfect. I have to save them!

No longer content with simply waiting until his energy returned, Titus knew he couldn’t allowed such a strong willed spirit to simply perish before it had the chance to develop.

“AHHHHH!” The man screamed as he pulled the rod from his chest, his blood splattering as the ridges tore through his flesh and freed him from his prison in the rubble.

The Gatling spirit had finally finished charging and was ready to lay waste to the pesky boy who dared to interfere with his just process of freeing the girl from her human cage. Just as the barrels began to turn, a crimson flash crashed into the monster, using the iron rod to skewer its neck into the ground as an eruption of blood followed.

Titus knew his work wasn’t done. As he kneeled atop the limp Gatling spirit, holding tightly to his monstrous kebab, his keen lion ears flicked and alerted him of an unseen assailant.

“You again...” He grumbled. His glowing red eyes seemed to focus on the invisible foe. “You should’ve ran while you had the chance.” Titus’s tail flicked and stabbed straight through the enemy, revealing a tall figure that resembled a mix between a human and a chameleon.

His gaze then settled on the two in front of him.

Pathetic! Look at them cower before you. What is their purpose? Finish them!
They might be useful. They seem scared... but I don’t think they’re scared of me? Maybe their fear of losing each other surpasses their fear of death.

Titus thought back to the horrific trials he underwent during the haunting. Crying and screaming while he uselessly attempted to fight off the demons until they had claimed nearly everyone he loved. The innocence had faded from his eyes and he was left only with the burden of being weak. This boy.... he had the same look.

“You two!” He roared, making up his mind that he would give them a final test before recruiting them. “What is your ambition?”


A red haired boy whistled as he strolled through the ruined streets of Indianapolis, drawing dirty glances from people barred up in their apartments as he displayed careless glee in the midsts of their hardships.

This boy was Zeke and despite his jovial disposition, he was the respected second in command of the Chimera organization. He was perhaps even more naturally gifted than Titus, previously being a tutor when his friend was in academic need and now the most trusted advisor and formidable soldier in their revolutionary organization. In fact, more than a simple disregard for danger, his careless nature was a message to any demon or spirit that he simply felt there was nothing that could threaten to dampen his spirits.

Yes, Zeke was a bit of an enigma: a boy who kept smiling even in the darkest days of earth’s history. And when a rock juts out from a stream, nature has a way of trying to wear it down. This was no different.

After turning a corner, the lobster armed boy found himself facing a sight just horrific enough to wipe the grin off his face. Dehydrated corpses hung from the rooftops of the surrounding buildings from vines. Their baggy skin slightly swaying like mummified wind chimes.

“What the hell?”

He assumed a defensive position. His left arm glowed orange, his red wings unfurled, and his lobster arm began to clack.

What kind of spirit could have done this?

His question was soon answered as a giant shield rammed into him from behind, flinging him down the street until he slammed into a car. He was knocked into a daze. His vision was blurry and he coughed blood as he stumbled to his feet to find an army of the mummies marching towards him while a giant shield with a human face in the middle floated behind them.

A shield and a mummifying ability... could this be some sort of S Rank Spirit?

He glanced around, noticing a ginger haired girl who looked almost as scary as the spirits themselves. “You might wanna get out of here.” He smirked, “Unlike you, this isn’t gonna be pretty.”

| Korutesu |

Previously NotAPokemonRanger
A loud slam could be heard in the distance. It was near the populated areas, which Matt had despised. The populated areas always meant more spirits, and more people to watch out for. It wasn't that far from his "house", but his original plan was to grab a new weapon, But from a few meters away, He could hear a loud moaning. It could've came from spirits, but one single spirit couldn't make that much noise.

Matt had walked a bit closer, to see dozens, maybe even hundreds of mummies, walking toward someone who also had Spirit-like powers, But he could be seen also as a human... And then, behind most of the mummies was a giant shield.. it had a human face, which floated behind the mummies. "What are those... That one in the middle seems to be controlling those mummies..." He couldn't do anything to help. His hand felt something on the ground. It was a knife. Luckily, He knew how to use knives. It was risky to try and stab it from the front, because of the mummies, Behind it, was nothing else. The only possible way to kill it, was stab it through the face.

If it would die, then there was no need to take a picture of the spirit, but what was more important were the mummies. He was sure that the mummies were controlled by the shield, and destroying the shield, SHOULD kill the mummies as well. It was worth the risk, but if it didn't work, Matt would die. "If i aim it correctly, It should hit it right in the eye... It's moving though, so i'll have to be quick before everything in this city dies..." It was going to be risky, but he knew he couldn't let Indianapolis fall, or else he'd be one of the people who'll die to the spirits.

Aiming the knife, He threw it. He didn't know if it would miss or not. It had missed. The knife, which was his only chance at killing it, Gone. It was only a matter of time before one mummy notices him. His only weapon was a bat. He had no other way to beat all of the mummies. "No... It missed... What can i do..." Taking hold of his bat, he gripped it, and prepared for a mummy to come near.


Previously Swirled
Taking an exhausted sigh of relief, Calvin sauntered on the beach with his bag in tow. Currently, he was wearing his swimming trunks and slides, with his regular clothes stored in his bag. He saw a few people on the beach as well, but the ocean was clear. Things had been complicated for him recently, so he wanted to savor his moment of relaxation for as long as possible. Obviously hell broke loose in the most literal sense possible, making things bad enough in a general sense, but that was negligible compared to how the Haunting affected the adolescent personally. School shut down due to the dangerous circumstances, but that just meant another session of virtual learning. Two of his three childhood friends were put under a pair of spirits' influence, causing them to kill the third while they were walking to Calvin's house. Naturally enraged by what the spirits had done, he tried punching one of them, but all he accomplished was getting himself kneed in the stomach. What's worse, the spirits decided to make themselves at home in his house, coming over daily just to gorge on his food. Calvin tried getting them to leave by force multiple times, but they went about as well as the first attempt. His parents were out at work before the Haunting started properly, but considering that they've yet to come home, Calvin resigned himself to the fact that he'd never see them again.

I really needed this walk. I'm so fucking tired of all this bullshit...

Turning to the ocean, he decided that he may as well go for a swim. After putting his bag down, Calvin approached the ocean and began swimming. After a while, he heard a faint sound of a monkey.

Monkey's don't belong in the ocean. Something's gotta be making that noise

Out of curiosity, Calvin began to swim towards the sound he heard. While he found the source of the noise, he was confused upon seeing the fin of a shark. He would've been content to leave it be, but once it started moving towards him, the adolescent decided to flee as soon as possible. Swimming as fast as he could, Calvin was able to reach an island where he thought he'd be safe from being eaten. Once he reached the island, he ran away from the ocean to catch his breath.

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Missy winced slightly at the painful cries of the man before her, his own agony resonated in her very bones, rocking her core and causing her heart to ache. Still, the woman stood strong as he shaky hands gripped her weapon tightly and her knuckles grew white. Missy's lips trembled and hardly audible breaths left her lips that prayed to a god she left a long time ago, she prayed with all of her being that this man would win the fight that raged within him. The stranger's eyes briefly met Missy's before growing wide as if his mind her transported to another time and place, Missy watched his expression fill with horrible emotion that no average human would know. Then, in a moment of complete serenity, the man's body fell limp to the floor. The soft breathing that came from the unconscious body was the first hint that Missy took... he was alright. There was no violence in the way he slept, although Missy briefly wondered if the spirits slept just as peacefully as humans did. Despite all the blood on their hands, they could curl up and snore softly as if they were angels from above. The woman sighed as the faint sound of birds caught her attention and she looked up to catch a pair of colorful creatures play through the blue atmosphere, she then looked back at the man who had just done something bigger than he could ever imagine.
"Right, sleeping beauty-" Missy spoke quietly, using a the toe of her boot to tap the man's shoulder, which was when she noticed the shiny weapon protruding from his arm. "Ain't that fancy..." Missy mused, squatting down so she could better see the blade. Frankly, she liked the spliced addition- sort of suited the pugnacious young man. If she knew anything about splicing, he wasn't waking up anytime soon, and Missy sure as hell wasn't going to leave the new guy to die- not after she did all that just to recruit him. Missy walked a circle around the body twice before letting out a grunt as she squatted and hooked her arms under the man's shoulders, a few huffs of strain released as she heaved his body up, but once her wings extended and he was off the ground- her job was easy. Missy's wings were surprisingly strong, so long as she could muster the strength to hang on to the knife-wiedling man, she figured she would be able to make it back to base. Technically, she was instructed to stay out for a week, but she felt lucky enough to just find one person to bring back- besides she had seen enough of the city... it was monster ridden.
Harold, sitting criss-cross, stiffened at the sound of moving pebbles. The soft, sedimentary ground of the island which held the Chimera's base was not particularly easy to move on, and impossible to sneak across. Knowing that something had to have just moistened itself onto land from the surrounding water, Harry's left arm morphed into a large pair of shears.
The man hushed the plants in front of him, promising their protection with a glare before jumping to his feet. In one, swift motion Harry flipped off of the ground, recoiled his arm and then shot it out while landed, taking off the head of the intruder. Despite being well prepared, Harry wasn't quite as agile as the young leaders of his group. Therefore, the scene that played out in his imagination didn't quite come true. Instead, after activating his ability- Harry's knees popped and he used his good hand to pushed himself onto his feet. With a croaky groan, Harry turned to face to intruder and threatened him with his shears extended. Harry's face contorted into an expression of disgust as he spotted the boy in front of him, it was just a kid. With a grunt Harry shooed the young man away, "Get out of here, this is private property." Harry yelled. Anyone else might have laughed: private property... at a time like this? When anyone could die at any moment, people tended to forget about petty crimes like trespassing, but not Harry. Not old Harold who, frankly, might not even be aware he was in the middle of the apocalypse.
Oh, don't let it go!
The voice inside Harold's head caused the older man to grumble bitterly to himself. He frequently heard this voice when his spliced arm was morphed, it was a high-pitched little voice that must've belonged to an eerie fellow, and all it really ever talked about was killing.
Don't let it go. Don't let anything go!
Harry looked back towards the boy, in swim trunks as if he were on a vacation, before scowling. "Didn't you hear me, runt-" Harry began before a splash from the water caused him to look out at the lake. Harry narrowed his eyes, his bad vision really failed him at times like these, but failed to find the source of the splash. Then, the ominous sounds of a monkey echoed, muffled slightly by the water, onto the land. Sure he wasn't hallucinating, Harry's eyes caught onto the twisted brown tail that stuck out from the water, curling like a cat's without revealing any sort of body, and if that wasn't weird enough, it appeared the tail was approaching the island. "What the hell did you bring with you?" Harry groaned, upset that his otherwise entirely peaceful few days were being interrupted by some stupid kid.
When the gatling-creature seemed to finished preparing it's rounds, Tiara wrapped one arm around Elijah's head and forced the boy to the ground. She turned her body over Eli as if protecting him, but the well-known reality was that in such a position both of them were going to end up dead. Tiara was unable to stop the soft flow of tears that stream down her cheeks. The woman was a pretty crier, completely silent and otherwise expressionless besides her dark eyes and small frown- it made her seem even more pitiful as she appeared to just accept what was coming. Eli, on the other hand, shed no tears- his eyes shone with clear fear, but he didn't latch onto Tiara or try to run away- instead he sat completely still and let the woman sob into him. It's not like they had known each other for long, Tiara treating Eli like a little brother and Eli simply following Tiara around like a lost puppy. They didn't know much about each other or share any memories, but they were the closest things to family that they could have, and neither of the pair was willing to lose the other. The two prepared to meet their demise, but instead of the deafening sound of bullets flooding their ears, a war cry caught their attention.
Eli hadn't quite noticed what the other beast looked like before, it was really something straight out of a story book. With a great lion mane and powerful claws, it somehow looked more majestic than terrifying. Not that it wasn't terrifying to see a massive two-legged lion demon. Tiara watched the gun's opponent free itself of the rod that was lodged between it's breasts, and the woman winced at the blood spilled in the act, closing her eyes so she couldn't even tell when the furry monster harpooned the rod into the gatling's side. Eli, on the other hand, and his eyes wide upon. This beast was undoubtedly a good guy, and he was too familiar to not be intrigued. As yet another demonic creature was revealed, Eli felt a lump in his throat that he struggled to swallow down. The boy's shaking body came to a momentary halt as he realized that the only way for him to save Tiara and himself was to accept this thing's help. He didn't want to. He wanted to be able to do it by himself, and he wanted to be able to dispose of anything that dared come near him or anyone he loved. But he wasn't able to.
The beast spoke in a booming voice, the type of voice that demanding authority. The type of voice that singled on the pair despite the fact that he was holding back two opponents. A voice that made Tiara grab Eli even tighter, warning that boy not to answer. Tiara glared at the beast as if him expecting a response was even more violent than the previous spirit's attack. Good guy or not, this creature was full of blood. Full of the blood of someone who used to be human. Her feelings didn't seem to translate to Eli, however, as the boy spoke in a sure voice. High pitched and shaky, it wasn't the best rehearsed sentence he could muster, but Eli was confident in his words as he responded to the seemingly friendly beast "I don't want to be scared!" Eli responded in an almost desperate cry. "I don't want to run. I wont! I never want to have to leave anywhere or anyone because I can't fight... I want the monsters to run." though he trailed off at the end, Eli stared at the beast with an unwavering gaze.
Tiara blinked at Elijah, glancing once at the boy before checking the strange creature's expression to see what reaction he would have. Frankly, she didn't expect such a response from Eli. She always found him to be a fairly brave boy, braver than most his age, and he's never really seemed all that passionate about fighting anything. What had this beast said that made Eli expose his heart in a way that she had never seen before? Tiara brought a hand up to pat Elijah's head but was unable to finish the movement, instead she sighed as he hand fell away "Don't you think dreaming should be left to the kids-" Tiara said in an oddly gentle voice, wanting to be disgusting by talking to the beast like a human but finding herself unable to feel that way. "There's so much we don't know, it's kinda unfair. I pray that, someday, we'll be able to understand these dreadful ghosts. There is so much pain, no matter who is to blame, I just wish I could figure out how to stop it." Tiara spoke with her gaze on the ground, feeling tears well up in her eyes once more.
“Very well.”

Titus walked towards the two, dragging a spirit in each hand as their blood dripped onto the ruined street. Once he was merely feet in front of them, he halted, allowing his giant body to tower over them.

“I feel I should tell you... I’m not in the business of saving lives. Whether you live or die doesn’t make a difference to me.” He stated as his glowing eyes quite literally looked down on the duo. “Dreams, ambitions... without them you’re nothing but a hollow shell waiting for someone else’s ambition fill you up like some worthless parasite. Your determination will decide whether you live or die, there’s no place in this world for those without a strong will.”

He took the head of each spirit in his hands. The beast side of himself triggered his tongue to flick and he excitedly licked his lips, revealing a set of monstrous teeth coated in saliva as his eager anticipation got the best of him. “Get ready to experience hell.”

Effortlessly, his black fingers broke through the skulls of the beasts and triggered bloody explosions as the creatures met their end, releasing the possessing spirits to settle in on the two vulnerable targets right in front of them.
"Oh sod off you crusty dip-shit," Isla snapped. "How the fuck am I so unlucky!?"

What were the odds of stumbling into a very real and very deadly reenactment of The Mummy on the streets of Indianapolis? In Isla's recent experience, the odds were not low enough. Her expression twisted as she laid eyes on the literal funeral procession of corpses—more a cavalcade of the undead—and Isla quickly proved her wits by making the only smart decision. "Fuck. this."

The macabre scene playing out before her was rare even amidst the sequella of the haunting. Spirits with the means to afflict such death and devastation, and on such a large scale, were avoided like the plague; their birth locations had long-since become zones of absolute death, where no sane man or woman dared to wander.

Isla knew for a fact that prior, no such spirit existed in Indianapolis. If one had existed, the city would've long-since become a ghost-town or been inhabited by the shambling mummies.

"Must be a new one...," she deduced and shuddered.

Her mind raced—almost as quickly as her legs—and she bolted away from the scene, heart pounding in her chest. She spared not a single glance for the oversized crustacean. Isla parkoured through the streets, demonstrating great proficiency in running away from things that wanted to make her insides her outsides: she tore up concrete and vaulted over car hoods. The apocalypse has a special way of drawing out the athlete hidden in everyone.

Adrenaline pushed her forward and when the fire in her legs and her gasping lungs told her that she was far enough, Isla slowed to a halt. She quickly found an unassuming crevice to hide in and stilled her breathing. She had escaped from almost certain death but the problem was...she'd have to go back. All the shops with salvageable food were trapped behind 5 metrics NOPES of the walking dead.

It went without saying that with the advent of the mummy lord this city was beyond fucked. The only real option was to high-tail it to the next county over. Unfortunately, if she wanted to make a trip like that with all kids still intact then she needed supplies to keep them sustained throughout: food, water, gas, and...gas...?

Isla stopped panicking and loosened her fists. Her nails were stained with blood from where they had dug into her palms, the pain had been drowned away by the flood of endorphins that had fueled her flight; but, now that she was safe her palms stung in protest. The muted sensation was just what her mind needed to weave together the beginnings of a plan—a stupid and risky plan, but the best she could come up with on the fly.



Previously Swirled
Just as Calvin seemed to get his heart rate back down to normal, he heard the yell telling him to get off the island, apparently being privately owned. Shifting his eyes, he saw an older man addressing him. What separated him from your stereotypical grumpy elder that wanted these damn kids off his lawn was the fact that his left arm wasn't carrying a weapon, it was the weapon, namely a pair of shears. Although he was already thoroughly creeped out by this sight, the fact that the monkey-shark was careening towards the island added yet another thing to be afraid of. Yet, instead of giving into fear, Calvin slowly became enraged. This motherfucker had the audacity to try and talk down on him when he's already had it rough, and over something as inconsequential as accidental trespassing of all things. Clearly, this guy needed to be put in his place.

"I heard you the first time, sir." He kept his voice at a low growl, trying not to explode all at once, "In fact, I was just about to leave. However, considering that we've got a bigger problem on our hands, I guess I'll be sticking around for a bit longer. Look, I didn't know that this place was private property, but this is the goddamn apocalypse here. I'm sure there are more important things to do than to yell at someone to get off your property! Moreover, I didn't mean to bring it here, nor do I even know what it is in full. I know it sounds like a monkey and has the fin of a shark, and since it's coming towards us, it's probably hungry! I've already gone through enough shit today and I'm not about to take any from some scrawny asshole! So do us both a favor and put those shears of yours to on that thing." After he finished his tirade, Calvin wanted to take some of what he said, but he knew that any apology he'd give would be half hearted at best, so he decided to remain silent as he backed away from the creature to let the armed man handle the situation.
The gentle breeze brushing against his face and tossing up his hair slowly stirred Liam to consciousness, and as his eyes fluttered awake, he was rather surprised to see the ground below him.

Huh, was it usually that far away?

As he gradually came to, the man blinked as he stared at the scenery around him, noting the sudden thinness of the air he breathed. His head was ringing and throbbing quite unpleasantly, though he couldn’t quite recall what for; it would likely be a while before he could gather a coherent recollection of the recent events. Suddenly, the rhythmic flutter of wings sounding above him grabbed Liam’s attention, and he looked up to see... a woman? Further examination revealed that she was currently carrying him, using the wings that sprouted from her back to travel. The face looked familiar, though. Liam was currently feeling a multitude of things: a strange weight on his right arm, the rise and fall with every flap of the girl’s wings, the odd, almost weightless sensation of being this high up, etc., and amidst his mild delirium, he failed to process the fact that he was literally being taken away somewhere.

“Ow, my head’s killing me,” Liam murmured with a raspy voice, holding still and staring at the earth below. He looked up at Missy, and as the memories slowly began to return, he realized why the woman seemed so familiar.

“You're the one from earlier, aren’t you? Still don’t know your name yet, but I’m grateful for... whatever it is you’re doing right now, after I passed out. Thought you wouldn’t have wanted anything to do with me after what I did.”

As he finally recalled everything that had happened, Liam was then brutally reminded of his near-inhuman actions when that demon had appeared. His primal thirst to kill the creature had birthed a rage that was foreign to him, a rage that had barely been contained at the last second.

“.....sorry about that.”
Harold blinked at Calvin's response. The older man turned to his left and then right as if mockingly searching for someone else, then dramatically gasping when he intimidated the reaction of realizing the youngster was speaking to him. "You're not being very nice considering you're asking for my help." Harry stated flatly as if he had very little interest in what the other had to say. The bitter man eyed the boy as he stepped back as if handing the situation over. "In fact, I don't think I want to help you at all." Harry added, turning his back to the young man in order to return to tending to his plants. By acknowledging Harold's ability to take on the shark, this kid was already admitting to Harry's strength- meaning he likely wasn't planning on launching any sort of attack. However, the youngster was very much overestimating Harry. The biggest thing Harry has fought with his sheers was a thick tree trunk- he wasn't one for battle. Frankly, the older male was fairly certain he would end up slipping a disk.

This kid's worrying was pointless anyways- it was a shark. A literal fish. All they had to do to avoid it was not go in the water. So, Harry moved along. He had just begun lowering himself back to a seated position when a tremendous splashing sound caused him to look out to the water, just in time to catch a glimpse of the air-borne beast as it launched itself from the aquatic environment.

While shaped like a shark, this monster was twice the size of any shark Harold had ever seen, and it sported wide eyes and an eerily playful grin. The beast momentarily blocked the sun before falling heavily onto the shore of the island. Harry simply watched, his breath taken away by whatever had seized and squeezed his heart to prevent it from beating. The man stared as the creature nearly slithered it's massive body onto the shore before retreating to the waves as if going back to try again. With a grumble, Harry regained composure and took a deep breath- why couldn't any of these animals just be normal? "Ever use a gun before?" Harold asked the boy suddenly and in a nonchalant manner as he slowly made his way across the sandy lot and to a beat-up rifle that was so pale in color that it blended in with the side of the building that it leaned against.
While Missy had, admittedly, never had to carry an entire living man before, she imagined it would be a much easier task. What would take herself just several minutes to travel was taking the pair nearly 20, they had just reached the outskirts of the city. He was heavy, but not enough to bother the woman.... the irksome part was the awkwardness of carrying him. She couldn't hold him anywhere that would end up injuring him, but she needed a place to hold onto with a good grip and an arm position that wouldn't be tiresome. Least to say, she ended up pausing and readjusting a lot. Missy hadn't realized that the man was awake until he spoke. With the man's armpits resting inside Missy's elbow pits and her forearms reaching across his chest, she had settled on a fairly comfortable position- but upon having the male wake up, she found herself a bit embarrassed about the situation. Anyways, carrying him was irksome so she planned on having him walk as soon as he could.

"Missy." the woman replied simply after allowing Liam to finish talking. "My name's Missy. And don't worry about any of that, it happens to the best of us." Missy added with a soft chuckle, "There is a way you can make it up to me, though." Missy added thoughtfully, the pace of her wings slowing as her feet grew closer and closer to the unpaved floor. Below the pair was no longer concrete, it was just raw dirt and the land between one big city and the next- these types of areas were generally uninhabited, which meant less possessed hosts as well. "Before any of that, I've got some things to tell you about." Missy spoke without looking down at the male, instead she focused on landing.

Even after his feet touched the ground, Missy only released the man once she was firmly on the floor- she didn't doubt her ability to apprehend him in his exhausted state, but she didn't want to risk him getting a head start on her if he did decide to flee.

Missy took an extra moment to gather her thoughts, she'd never actually had to explain this before: any of it. It was always Titus who did the talking, and as all the thoughts swirled in her head, she had trouble arranging them. "What's your name?" Missy asked as she took the male's wrist in one hand, rotating his arm to expose the blade that was sprouted there. "Want to join a revolution?" Missy asked, intending to explain further whether her accepted or rejected or just blinked it confusion, but she needed to buy herself some extra time to find her words.
As Titus approached the pair, Tiara's body shrunk slightly while Eli found himself completely engrossed by the words being spoken. Neither moved. Whatever or whoever this was... he certainly wasn't a nice guy. Good guy was a subjective term, but but the beast that stood, a struggling victim in each hand, didn't quite seem like hero material either. The world was never black and white, but when it came to making a life changing decision, it tended to be helpful to know who's side you were joining. As Titus swiftly killed each spirit's body, Tiara could feel her earlier pizza rise in her throat and Eli winced as he closed his eyes and turned the other way. It was unseen and unheard, so neither of the trembling pair could have expected the tremendous feeling that filled their body just seconds after Titus released the spirits.

Tiara felt her entire body rack back and forth as if something was crawling into her throat and shaking all of her organs, the female gasped for air as her vision became blurry and she shot a hand out, reaching for anyone that could help her. "Help-" the woman's last bit of consciousness was used to whisper the single word before she was spiraled into a world of violent darkness.
Tiara felt like she was falling, falling and falling for the longest time before landing softly before standing perfectly on some sort of unseen floor in the darkness. The woman stood stiffly as she looked to about in hopes of finding some sort of sign or direction, at least she wasn't trapped anymore. Tiara took a shaky step forward when she was forced to stop because of the sound of heavy breathing behind her. The young woman turned slowly to face, much to her surprise, another human. He was illuminated perfectly despite the fact that there was no light in the room, and he stood like some sort of crooked animal. His eyes were hungry, lips slightly parted and drooling as he stood with a sort of limp so his entire body leaned to one side- Tiara recognized the prisoner uniform that wrapped his body, but she didn't mention it.
"Hello?" Tiara's voice dropped to a soft hum. "Please, I don't know whe-" Tiara's words were broke by gasp when the man simply approached her and brought her into a tight embrace. He smelled horrible. The woman's eyes searched desperately for an escape before she brought a palm to each of the man's shoulders and pushed away from him, causing him to stumble back and growl. In an attempt to break the awkwardness of the situation, Tiara extended a hand in front of her, assuming his earlier hug was simply a greeting.
"Beautiful girl. I shall free you of your mortal body and take it off of your hands." the man purred, rocking back and forth.
"What?" Tiara let out a nervous laugh, the type of laugh that always fails to cover how scared someone really is. The girl glanced behind her breifly, should she run? Behind her was seemingly emptiness- but what if there was a wall? What if she was trapped? Tiara swallowed the lump in her throat and tried again, "I don't know what is happening. But we can get out if we work tog-"
"Yes. Together, let's work together." the man grinned and unfurled his arms as if inviting Tiara to join him, but when the woman didn't budge he snarled, as if typically people really did just give in and agree with him. "Fine then." the man grumbled, face contorting slightly so it was even uglier than before as he began approaching Tiara. The woman's brows furrowed and she felt a sort of anger rise in her body.
"What don't you understand!" Tiara cried out, "Don't you want to get out?" after raising her voice, Tiara shrunk back instinctively- she hated yelling. The young woman was, yet again, on the verge of tears.
"There's no out for me. Only in." the man shrugged, "Let me free you and you will see. Let me set you free of your insecurities and fragility." he bargained, a hand extended as he continued taking wobbly steps towards Tiara. The more he spoke the less his motives became clear, Tiara was confused- and in her confusion she made a decision that she would likely never make under normal conditions: she decided to fight.
"I don't know what you want..." Tiara sighed, walking towards the spirit, much to his pleasure. As both bodies closed the gap between them, Tiara nodded "I don't know what you want, but I don't think what you want is a good thing." With raised brows, the man's lips curled into a delirious grin and he once again tried to wrap his arms around Tiara, this time, however, Tiara ducked under his arm and spun around, gripping the man's shoulders and dragging them towards her from behind in order to bring a hard knee to his spine. As the man's entire body buckled and he fell forward, Tiara looked down at him with a pitiful expression. She wouldn't dare take on one of those beasts on the street, but she had enough experience to defeat a man who seemed drunken on air. She felt bad. "I hope you find, not what you want, but what you need. I hope you find it and treasure it." Tiara sighed, she then bent down to touch the man, but on contact the entire room lit up. The girl felt what seemed like millions of tiny needles travel from her finger tips and spread through her body, she gasped loudly and fell into yet another state of unconsciousness. This time, she felt nothing.

Eli took short breaths, he did his best to control it. The pain was intense, but not horrible. It was intense it the way that it pulsed and lulled him to sleep, but it wasn't nearly as bad as some of the pain he knew. He looked up towards the beast that had spoken to him, sure that this was his doing. Eli didn't want to give in, his head pounded as he looked down towards Tiara. He opened his mouth, told the woman to wake up, but no sounds left his lips- instead the world around him grew quieter and quieter. Before he knew it, the boy's eyes rolled to the back of his head and he felt as if he were transported to an endless void. Elijah rubbed his eyes, the feeling of falling didn't scare him nearly as much as the pitch black air that filled all around him- upon hitting the ground, Eli immediately dropped to all fours so both his hands and feet were touching the floor- it was the only thing he could be sure of.
"Never again will I be forgotten-" Elijah turned with a start when a voice spoke from the left side of him where an older male stood. "Look at me." the man gestured to himself, causing Eli to stare in confusion, "Why should anyone remember this- I'm not special. Neither are you. But we can be great!" the man spoke with a diplomatic but booming voice. He was well-groomed, his face looked a lot younger than the rest of him. Eli's face twitched a little as he attempted to piece together what was happening. Eli didn't say anything. Part of him wanted to ask a multitude of questions, the other part of him wanted to turn and flee. He did neither, instead he stood in perfect silence. "What? Don't want to talk, huh? Alright, let's get this over with. Allow me to show you a world where people will stare and remember." the man smiled as if he genuinely believed in his words, but with a few gentle steps the man's expression melted into soft concern. "You're a child?" the man's voice seemed to tremble a bit, and he too seized to move. There, the pair stayed for a few uncomfortable seconds.
Eli looked up in wonder, what did this man know and how did he know it? Opposite to Eli was the sparkling eyes of the spirit, who's memories flashed before his eyes- he could see all his students of the past in Elijah. "I-" the man seemed conflicted as he brought a shaky palm to his forehead, "I can't kill a child." the man whispered, which was damn ironic considering the body he earlier carried at nearly shot an entire round into the small boy.
"Do you want to be remembered?" Eli asked, his voice so hushed and high pitched it was almost calming. "I don't." the boy shrugged honestly when the man looked up with shock. "Are you dead?" Eli asked suddenly, which seemed to catch the man even more off guard. Then, the man settled into a calm smile- perhaps he could teach one last child. Then, the words just seemed to fall from the old spirit's mouth. He explained his life, and how he suddenly felt alive again but he was nothing more than a ghost. He explained that once he was done he would need to take over Eli anyways, it was the only way for him to truly exist. All the while, Eli stared blankly, listening without reacting. Eli didn't understand most of what was being spoken, the spirit didn't seem to mind as he appreciated having any sort of audience at all.
"What's your name?" Once the man had finished, Elijah spoke again in a few simple words.
"I- I don't know." the man's face dropped as he realized that he, himself, has forgotten such a major part of his identity.
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Liam kept silent as Missy responded, introducing herself and dismissing his apology with an understanding assurance followed by a chuckle. He avoided moving too much so as to hinder the woman's movement as little as possible, assuming it wouldn't be no easy feat carrying a man in the air for however long she had been. Suddenly, the two dipped, lowering to the ground in a grassy field; continuing to listen silently as Missy asked him some questions and took hold of his arm, Liam flinched slightly at her touch before relaxing. Gingerly touching and feeling around the stab wound in his side, which was now caked with dried blood around the entrance point, the man used his free hand to press against it and winced briefly before speaking.

"I'm, uh... Liam. Liam Choi. I haven't heard of any revolution before, but something tells me it has something to do with that thing from earlier and what happened to me."

Liam gestured toward the blade in his arm before continuing, and he met Missy's eyes with a somber glance.

"What did happen to me?"



Previously Swirled
Calvin gave an unamused glare towards Harold's theatrics, a rather weak response to the rage-fueled tirade that proceeded it. His blank tone of voice did no favors in dissuading the uninterested glare, even prompting an eye roll from the adolescent as the older man refused to put aside his emotions to deal with the bigger threat. Although Harold brought up a good point about his rudeness born from rage he had nowhere else to outlet, Calvin was entirely uninterested in the prospect of introspection at the moment. Just as he was about finally take Harold's advice and leave, the aquatic beast proved itself to not be restricted by the limitations of a normal shark. It looked like it was trying to crush either of them, but fortunately it missed them. The high schooler rarely had time to process what had happened recently before the shark sank back to the shore for an encore. He tilted his head to Harry, who had grabbed a gun and asked him if he knew how to use one.

"I've been to the shooting range with my dad every now and then to make sure I'd know how to use one." He omitted the fact that he's never shot a moving target before, primarily because that information was irrelevant at the moment, "You sure that crusty old thing isn't gonna fall apart?"
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Detroit was a city born forged in the fires of industry; the automotive industry, to be more precise, so perhaps it was more accurate to say the city was pieced together along the assembly line of progress. Although the city was far from its hay days, where tens of thousands rushed to labor on behalf of economic empires, the shadows of prosperity were still apparent in its then-new, now-decrepit buildings and metropolitan population who, before the haunting, had been nearly four-million strong—or four-million weak and vulnerable. It was all about perspective.

Lysia skipped across the rooftops, the fastest way to traverse the city whose streets were congested with rubble and barely functional vehicles. She was an odd sight, a bizarre pixie a chimera of a different breed. Where her brother held one powerful spirit beneath his control, she was an amalgamation. a patchwork of animal parts: despite the scales that speckled her face, her neck and torso gave way to sleek fur ending in a feline tail and hare's feet.

She was odd but effective. Her mammalian features granted her the mobility and stamina necessary to chase down whatever her reptilian senses could grasp while avoiding the roving spirits. Right now, she'd locked onto the trail of something—someone, moving through the dystopian streets below. The trail was thin and buried by the stench of corpses, but Lysia held it just long enough to happen upon its source. A boy digging through the rubble, but if he had been searching for anything other than corpses, he'd found no luck.

Lysia dropped from the roof, landing almost silently on her padded feet.

"Hey, you..." She began, unsure of where to go next or what use this boy could possibly provide. "Where are all the people? Holed up somewhere?"

Matt's knife clinked off the shield off the spirit without even drawing the monstrosity’s attention. A great spirit such as itself couldn’t waste its time on such inferior non threats; however, unfortunately for Matt the same could not be said for the numerous mummies.

A few of their dehydrated faces turned to the human, as if their empty sockets were starring at him. They moved synchronously, with the vines on their back maneuvering them about like puppets. Swipe after swipe, they clawed at Matt hoping to claim yet another corpse to join their army.

Crap! I could’ve sworn there weren’t any other civilians out here. Zeke grimaced as he looked at Matt who would surely end up dead in just a few moments. His eyes darted back to the girl beside him, he’d have to find a way to protect them both. Wait, where did she go? It seemed the girl had vanished. Well I guess that simplifies things.

With a shrug, Zeke raised his right arm and activated his fisherman spirit, shooting fishing lines that hooked onto the attacking mummies and with a flick of his wrist he slammed them to the ground. He then flew forward, using his lobster arm as a shield and ended up by Matt’s side, prepared to protect the boy.

“Hey, can you fight?”
"Stuff like that is supposed to be forgotten." Eli shrugged as the man in front of him sank to his knees in despair, Eli's words falling short of his focus. "Names and numbers. It doesn't matter. Stuff like that is supposed to be forgotten." Eli offered his hand out to the man. "I'm not ready to die." the words fell out of the boy's mouth with such calmness that no words could follow it. After the air settled to a chilling silence, Eli began again "Let's call you Mr. Gun- I mean... you are that gun thing, right?" the boy asked, finally catching the attention of the ghost, which looked up at him. "Don't kill me, Mr. Gun, and I promise I'll make as many people as I can remember your name." Eli suggested before swallowing hard, the composure that had seemingly come naturally was fading and a single bead of sweat formed on his forehead.

"Yeah, boy. Let's do that." the man smiled gently, and yet Eli couldn't see it. It was right in front of him, the kind and soft expression of real human being- and all Eli could see was the monster that had first attacked him. Even as the man stood up, brushed himself off, and wrapped both his large hands around Eli's left forearm, the boy was frozen stiff up until the black nothingness washed over him once again, swallowing his consciousness and throwing him back into reality.

The boy woke with a start, sputtering and coughing as if he couldn't breath. After a few moments that seemed, for him, to last forever, Eli's breathing slowed. His mouth remained gaped open and hot puffs of hair escaped every now and then as his eyes focused on the land ahead of him. Nothing had changed, he recalled the crumbled buildings and cratered streets from before and how they compared to where he now was. Turning his head, in a slow sort of way, he found Tiara to the left of him and realized they were sitting in a booth. They were in the destroyed pizza parlor. Closing his mouth, Eli threw his head back and let out an exasperated sigh- he was exhausted. After just a moment of resting in that position, Eli's heavy eyes turned towards Titus- who he previously refused to acknowledge. The boy didn't say anything, but many thoughts swirled around his head. Whoever... whatever this guy was- he wasn't friendly. That's not to say he was a bad guy, but he was far from friendly- and in that moment, a shadow of resentment settled in Eli's gaze. Before the boy could do anything, a cry was let out from beside him.

Eli turned to Tiara, now awake, and nodded at her wide grin. The young woman's eyes were red and puffy, tears streaming down her face, but she sported the largest smile she had in weeks. "Thank the heavens you're alright." Tiara's expression melted slightly as she brought Eli, who fell limp like a ragdoll, into a short embrace before spotting Titus across the room. He looked normal again. "What happened?" Tiara asked, her soft voice barely traveling across the room to reach Titus, but it was in that moment that a sudden cold object touched the woman, sending a shiver through her entire body. Honey eyes traveling downward ever so slowly, Tiara's gaze found the reflective, metal surface of what should've been Eli's hand. "What happened?" She repeated, in only a shaky whisper as the boy stared at the gun, still resting in his lap, in horror.
"Oh yeah, you know news doesn't spread quite as well when half the population is dead and the other half in hiding." Missy mocked with a shrug when Liam mentioned not knowing about any sort of revolution, yet she said it in such a casual manner one would wonder whether or not she was kidding. When he looked back up from his blade, Missy sighed at Liam's expression. It was so human. So incredibly human and vulnerable that she had trouble thinking of a way to explain to him that he was hardly human anymore. Missy's sharp gaze danced for a bit, looking over Liam, starting with his facial features and traveling all the way to his blood stained pants. "Let's walk and talk." the woman suggested, gesturing towards the barren land ahead of the pair before she began marching, "the sooner we get to our destination, the sooner we can get you patched up." she explained in a monotone manner.

Missy put her hands in her pockets, her bat ears flicking with interest whenever something brushed across the ground carried by a breeze. She used some time to think of what she was going to say before glancing over her shoulder and nodded at Liam, "We call it splicing." the woman spoke suddenly. "Not just anyone can splice, it takes a real pair of balls to be able to do it. I guess it's kinda like capturing the spirits," Missy paused before adding "spirits are what cause those beast like things. Spirits are what's left of a dead person's soul, it's the desires that got left behind. Those desires latch onto anything living, once it has a host it turns into the monsters that have been wreaking havoc for some time now. In order for a spirit to take over a living host, first it's gotta kick out the consciousness that already lives there. But some people, like you and me, we've got kick ass consciences that fight back. By overpowering the spirit, you were able to trap it in your body, giving you it's qualities while remaining in control of your entire body." Miss sighed, "We don't know everything about spirits. We don't know nearly enough. But that spirit inside you isn't going to stop fighting, just to let you know. The moment you let your guard down or it finds a moment of weakness, it will strike again."

Missy slowed her pace so she was beside Liam, "That thing is a curse and a blessing." she stated and tapped his blade with her knuckle "Don't let it fuck you over." Picking up the speed again, Missy's gaze turned towards the sky. "There's only a handful of us, but we're all fighters. You're a fighter, too, Liam. We may not have to same goals, but we all have the same enemy. And frankly, Id on't have time to drag you all the way to base just for you to use our supplies and then leave. So, I'll ask again: want to join a revolution?" Missy turned towards the man and her face contorted to a grin that was almost startling.
"She's yet to fail me. And you break it you buy it, kid, so be careful." Harry commented about the gun as he picked it up and tossed it to the stranger who was soon to be his only teammate. "Of course this happens when everyone is away." the old man muttered to himself before holding out his hand, with a grunt the shears attached to his wrist nearly doubled in size- still hardly the size of a chihuahua.

Harry walked past the boy and shaded his eyes from the sun with a raised hand as he attempted to scout the location of the shark, but failed to find it beneath the waves. "Alright, as soon as that beast show's it's ugly face, you're gonna shoot it. Shark skin is tough, and thick- you're not gonna be able to shoot that bastard through." Harry muttered, more thinking out loud than actually speaking to the boy. The only weak spot would be the creature's eyes. But two beady little eyes would be hard to hit on a creature that size. Harry brought a palm to his forehead and aggressively rubbed it the way a tired father does after getting home from work. Letting out a dramatic sigh, Harry turned, deadpan, to Calvin "I'll distract it with my sheers. After it gets on land I'll keep it still- I swear to god if you don't take out at least on of that thing's eyes..." Harry trailed off- he could hear the beast again.
Following at Missy's side as the two began to walk, Liam listened silently as she explained the transformation he had undergone in his fight with the creature. He occasionally shot the blade on his arm a cursory glance during Missy's words; it felt strange, no doubt, but as he dragged it across the dirt, listened to the dull ring as it resonated softly, rotated his arm this way and that.... it felt like him. Fused to his limb and serving as an extension--no more, no less.

Finally, Liam looked up to meet Missy's piercing gaze and sly grin as she closed her speech by restating her original question. The two were locked in eye contact for a oddly eerie few seconds before Liam looked down once more, thinking to himself as he studied the metal protruding from his forearm.

"A revolution, huh?"

Liam then turned his gaze to his palms, and immediately, as if the universe made every single possible effort to keep him from forgetting, he was brought back to the memory of seeing and feeling Allen's blood run down his hands, dripping from his fingers. The grating sound of demonic cackling echoed in his ears, and Liam clenched his hands into fists, shutting his eyes as the sound was immediately followed by his brother's screams. With a deep breath, he relaxed his hands and opened his eyes, which had remained a dull and lifeless green since that day. However, when he straightened back up to meet Missy's eyes once again, they burned a bright emerald with fiery resolve.

"Doesn't sound so bad."



Previously Swirled
Calvin was somewhat startled when Harold tossed the gun in his direction. He was grateful that he managed to catch it, dreading the thought of the old man making good on his threats of "you break it, you buy it." Not only did the high schooler live far away from any place that would sell firearms and ammo, he knew that he wasn't capable of purchasing his own. Shortly after the literal entirety of hell broke loose, Calvin looked into purchasing one for himself for protection. Unfortunately, the prices were in the hundreds, well beyond the affordability of an unemployed high school student. Calvin gave a small nod in response to Harold's explanation of the plan due to its simplicity. However, there was one other thing that the lonely island resident mentioned, something that piqued Calvin's curiosity.

Who is he talking about when he says "everyone?" Does he have roommates or something?

He was about to question it when he noticed that his older associate paused in his monologue. Out of concern, Calvin decided to ask about the pause instead. Once again, he was stopped from asking his question, this time by the sound of the shark emerging from the waters, desperate to correct its previous error. Though its eyes were small and beady, further examination reveals the shark holding a bloodlusted glare as it descended upon the island.

Oh crap...