Description: A string of deaths occurs in Metro City, and Walter and Miki track down the cause! Soon, discussion is to be had.
There's been a /creature/ in Metro City as of late. Given it's one of the largest cities in the world and well worthy of its title, that should come to little surprise to anyone familiar with the supernatural. There are many Darkstalkers and stranger things that take residence here, both somewhat openly, and more discretely through various means. A vast majority seek little to no harm. That ghoul on the streetcorner pretending to be a beggar. The nurse succubus who genuinely cares for her patients...even if she nibbles on their souls occasionally. The werewolf who works at a late-late shift at the local docks, just trying to make his way in the city.
But then there's Maria. Maria Whitechapel was long ago twisted into the horrid form of a Banshee, her death-cries signaling the end of people and the death of their souls. Unlike the more restrained creatures, Maria has moved through secret organizations and others that would hire even the worst of beings. Just /who/ she's beholden to is of little interest to one Walter Bardsley. After a string of deaths throughout England, he has tracked the ethereal woman to the Metro. The priest walks the streets of one of the many ghettos of the great city. Unlike normal, he has his weapons held openly. The human element is just as dangerous here as Maria the Banshee, even /if/ she's killed four in the city already in her endless thirst. Having met already one succubus who hates killing, Walter simply cannot let this one continue on.
But the trail is just as easily followed by others. Maria has already found her latest victim, a cowering old woman in a dark alleyway. She has little time left...
A scream, and then Miki jumps down out through a window, shattering the glass, and lands onto the ground on all fours fifteen feet away from the woman.
Miki stands back up. She's wearing sunglasses and a gray business suit of a shade to best blend in with the cement of the surrounding buildings. Wearing a kimono in Metro City is a bit too much standing out, and she doesn't particularly want to involve her alternate identitities in this investigation.
"I heard that scream again. That wasn't your scream, but a banshee's scream, right?" She raises her sunglasses up to rest on her forehead, and looks down at the cowering old woman without pity, but with interest. "So you're about to die, unless you're stronger than I think."
"If you are, I can pass a message onto those who you care about if you like." She sniffs the air. "You probably don't have much time." She smiles gently, apologetically.
"Ah, you're thinking things like 'please save me', but that's beyond my ability. Sorry. Carrying on news of your last wishes is the most I'll be able to do. But I'd be quite happy to do that for you. I don't want you to die alone without any hope." She sounds vaguely surprised at this last revelation. She tilts her head a bit to one side, staring at the woman, not removing her eyes from her for a moment even if that does undercut her mild attempts at comforting her. It's more important not to miss a moment of this.
"...You know, I've never watched a human die before." With all the gravity of an offhand comment on being unused to snow.
The poor old woman is shivering, clutching a handbag in time-weathered hands. There's tears in her eyes, pure terror. The sight of Miki barely phases her at first, looking all but /through/ the young woman. But she finally focuses, and manages to find words from some hidden wellspring in this defenseless old woman who has never known the world of the supernatural before.
"I...RUN! She'll kill you like she did my son! Oh God...Bobby! I'm so sorry Bobby!" Sobs the woman, looking into Miki's eyes.
"D...don't be stupid! Just leave before you're hurt! My little Bobby is dead, I'm just some old widower without a grandson now! You're young. I...I don't care if I'm saved anymore..."
The woman's words are of utter despair. Miki's own only have her breaking down in sobs and pure terror. But the old woman freezes, looking up, as an ethereal form suddenly materializes. The whispy form of Maria the Banshee floats in the air behind Miki. Staring hungrily at the old woman, the creature pauses, and turns to Miki.
"S...souls! Delicious souls! FEEEED ME!" It cries out, voice raspy and filled with the chill of death. There's no empathy, only hunger in those eyes as bone-thin claws reach out to rake at Miki!
A roof top or two away, one Father Walter Bardsley has heard the commotion. For the moment, it seems, it's all up to Miki...truly, the old woman may be doomed.
Miki blinks at the old woman's words. "That's very kind of you to be concerned with me." She sounds surprised, a little touched. She smiles at the woman, a genuine-looking smile. "If you don't care about your life anymore, I won't try to protect you."
At Maria's words, she whirls around, then leaps up backwards, barely avoiding Maria's claws, pushes off the wall to flip over her , her out of position sunglasses flying off and skittering across the pavement, and lands on all fours again, looking up at the banshee, who's now situated between her and Maria. She smiles up at the ghost-like creature with her mouth closed. "Ah, hello there, Maria Whitechapel. I've been looking for you."
"Why aren't you eating someone who doesn't mind if they die? Isn't that easier prey than someone who might be able to tear you apart? Why don't we talk a little before we get into fighting, perhaps I can help you harvest some souls if our goals happen to align." She slowly paces back and forth in front of Maria on all fours - something that looks very natural for her, somehow. She pulls her lips back from her smile, showing the tiger fangs inside her mouth.
"For that matter, I also think there might be other methods of immortality other than soul eating for you, if you'd be interested. It's something I'm personally looking into, because I also want to live forever."
Miki says, "However, if you're set on trying to devour my soul, I'll just tear yours apart and fortify mine with it." She shrugs her shoulders, and odd gesture on all fours. "I'm not really particular.""
There's a mixture of betrayal and love in the old woman's gaze. To see another person just abandon another on a word is horrible. But to see that the girl will most likely flee and live? The old woman feels gratified in her self sacrifice.
A sacrifice delayed, it seems, as the banshee looks /confused/. Her undead brain goes into overdrive to try to form thoughts beyond devour and feed.
"Why....?" Starts the banshee. A gaggle of words. Those claws scrape, and wreck solid brick wall as Miki evades her strike.
Fangs meet ethereal eyes. Maria pauses, seems to /waver/ in her existance. She fades out for a moment, then returns.
"Other...ways?" She starts. Then turns about as the old woman sobs. Ethereal drool drips from her mouth.
"Noooo...HUNGER! EAT! Devou..."
It's about at that point when a golden-chi infused spear strikes Maria the Banshee in the neck, slamming her into the nearby wall and leaving her pinned like some sort of fly. She writhes, chokes, and generally makes pained sounds. But she doesn't die. Father Walter Bardsley stands atop the nearby rooftop with a scowl at the creature.
"...I can understand hunger. Bloody right. But really? An old woman? Coward. Devour someone your own size, murderer."
The writhing Banshee protests in strange words of suffering, a flick of her hand lashing out with an ethereal bolt. It strikes Walter in the chest. Even so, thrust back several feet, he leaps into the air! One final thrown spear, and Maria Whitechapel the Banshee fades from existance. Walter lands, and turns to the old woman.
"Run. Forget all of this." Are his rather cold words. The old woman manages to limp away. After a minute, the pair are alone.
"...Forgive me if you had questions of that one. But I hate those who murder the weak." A sudden smile, almost feral grin. A hand is offered.
"A pleasure to see you again, Miki."
Miki watches callously as Maria makes her decision to go after the weak woman instead of her. She blinks as a golden-chi infused spear strike Maria the Banshee in the neck, then watches equally callously as she's dispatched. Seeing Walter, she smiles.
"Hello, my friend." With that, she stands up, walks over to the wall where the spirit was just dissipated in case there's still a bit of human energy in the air she can absorb, leans against the wall where a moment ago a spirit was just vanquished.
She tilts her head to one side, staring up at Walter. "Murdering the weak is called the cycle of life. Pushing around the weak is called society. Both of them are mostly inescapable, even if you wanted to." She rises to her feet. "To be able to be so easily dispatched by you, Maria Whitechapel was weak. She was killing to live, you were killing to fulfill her sense of justice."
She glances back at where the old woman departed to. "She just lost her grandson. This isn't something she's just going to be able to forget."
She looks down to Walter's hand after a moment, as if shifting mental gears to place the gesture, then reaches out and takes it, shakes it.
"What are you doing in this ciyt? Were you hunting her down too?"
There's a hint or two of human spirit left in Maria's wake. Though she dissappears as fast as she entered being, having devoured so many, Miki might well get a tummy full of it. Walter sighs, leaps down, and tries to remove his spear. Yank. Yaaaank yank.
It's going to take a bit. There's even some wing-flapping involved, inadvertantly.
"...You know, somehow, I am not surprised. Hello Miss Miki. God's blessings."
"The key word being 'mostly'. I want to change the world, my dear, after I gain enough allies and strength. So for now I focus on the small things. Hence, stopping Maria Whitechapel from devouring more poeple."
A hand is shaken. He looks over to the departing grandmother, and sighs. "...No. Not it is not. But better she focus on her loss than what she saw today. Better for us all."
A swift nod. "Indeed. I...take it you were less hunting for reasons of justice and more for your curiousity? Apologies if I 'butted in' as it were. Priestly duties and all."
Then, he's looking her over with a frown. "Are you alright? Lovely suit by the way."
Miki looks over at Walter's wings with interest - they hadn't been so visible last time they met. She looks back to him, smiles without opening her mouth at all. Now she's back to hiding her teeth again. "Good to see you're feeling better, Father Bardsley. What sort of place do you want to change this world into? And you're going to do it with allies? I suppose that's easier than just becoming overwhelmingly strong."
"If you wanted her to not think about it, you should've given her a story, true or false. Now she'll make her own, maybe obsess over it." She furrows her brow a little, seemingly more concerned with Walter's technique than the plight of the old woman. "You need to think more about how to manipulate people if you want to change the world through allies."
"Curiousity was indeed my reason for hunting." She smiles as she's asked if she's all right, but seems unphased by her suit being called lovely. "Thank you for the compliment. I'm fine, she didn't even touch me. And she left quite a lot of human energy behind." She raises a hand to cover up her mouth as she laughs. "Maybe I should accompany you on your slayings more often."
Walter's face goes a touch softer as he's asked that question. Really, Miki drives a chill up his spine sometimes. And yet, he promised to be a friend. The Holy man sighs.
"Quite so. Back into action, no longer getting stabbed to death by kitsune...for now at any rate."
A pause, and he trails on for a moment. Then, he continues.
"Simple. I want a world where humans and...people like myself..." Another flex of wings. He'll not hide who he is, not in front of this strange, frightening girl.
"Can live together without hating each other. Where I can walk with my wings uncovered and not get seen as some horrible monsters." The man laughs.
"Is it a stupid dream? I guess I could say I want strength to make peace. Heh. Manipulation? I am terrible at that. Besides, to lie is a sin."
A raised brow. "...Well. I guess I can't complain if you are eating scraps. Just no devouring people who are not trying to kill you alright?" A huff at the word 'slaying'.
"Believe it or not, I only kill those who leave a trail of bodies. Most are misunderstandings. But yes, I could use a partner on my more lonely journeys to fight killers of the Dark."
A pause. "Did you at least find anything interesting from your hunt?"
"A kitsune?" Miki tilts her head a bit to one side.
"I haven't killed anyone yet, but I have beaten strong people to eat scraps of their human chi. Which I wouldn't need to do if I wasn't afraid people would treat me more like a monster for my appearance than for my actions." She reaches into the air, staring off into space, smiles slightly. "Maria Whitechapel's soul should hold me for some time." She looks back to Walter. "Ah. Those sorts of words make you uncomfortable, don't they? But should I hide myself from you?" She smiles at him, showing her tiger fangs.
"I think not discrimanating based on such things would be nice, however unlikely it is. To be human is to be scared by some outside group, some threat. Fear is what holds societies together. Personally, I'm not terrible at manipulation, but I'm not overly interested in it. I'd rather just be strong enough to survive forever, and kill anyone and everyone I want to."
"I didn't have much time to find out much, since someone came in and killed her before we could talk much - perhaps once she had eaten that woman, she would have settled down, but I don't know for sure. I do find it interesting that she flickered out of existence for a moment when she contemplated other ways. Could she have been animated solely by a desire to cling to life? I'm unsure. Too late to find out now."
Walter waves a hand. "Let us just say there was a woman who disagreed with my particular views." He answers vaguely. Leaning against a wall, he smiles to the strange tiger-girl.
"That is a dangerous road. Still. If that is what you must do to feed..." A pause, his head tilts.
"No, I would rather you be honest. And I should be the same to you. If it is not apparent, I am a dragon." Pause. A shrug. His tail flicks more openly.
"Rawr." A deadpan roar for Miki's benefit.
"I suppose fear will always exist. But if we could just band together more firmly! All of the killing and murder...even what I have done today. While I think it necessary...I hate that sort of thing. Better for people to just live lives of peace."
A shake of the head. Wince. "Erm...apologies. I tend to slay first and ask questions later."
"Perhaps she could have...but unlikely. Better to not take a risk, I think. There are many banshees. Some even able to properly speak." A shrug.
"Your vagueness just makes me more curious. I don't think her views can be any more dangerous to me than say, The Butcher's views. Even coming from your standpoint." Miki shrugs after a moment, though. In the end, it's Walter's choice if he wants to share this with her. She stares at Walter's tail and looks into his mouth as he 'roars', intrigued.
"Oh, I didn't know there were people with dragon energy. How did you get it? Were you born with it or did you break a seal or something to absorb the dragon energy?" Her eyebrows furrow as he talks about living lives of peace.
"Killing and murder are going to keep taking place, moreso the more people there are. If you wanna reduce that, you should probably focus on reducing the population? If there were only a million people left alive, they probably wouldn't fight that much."
"Well...I will not reveal the reasons behind her anger. Priestly duties and all. She is...interesting. And a fine warrior. Long story short, she wanted to kill a village of humans, we fought, she nearly killed me. Spared me out of...mercy, maybe. Or something else. Irreconcileable differences leading to violence."
Walter can't help but laugh a bit. "No, no. I get 'energy' from food. Normal food. Meat mostly. I was born this way. My parents were dragons. They slaughtered people for their goods and well, meat. The Church caught up with them, killed them, and spared me." There's a hint of bitterness in his voice.
Scowl! "/No/. I am trying to reduce killing, not increase it. No, if we can get people to /understand/ each other, then there will be less fighting. If there is something I wish to slay, it is fear of each other." The priest huffs. Sirens start in the distance.
"...How about we get some chinese food? Far, far away from here? Trust me, nights in jail are not pleasant." He offers his hand, ready to yoink Miki up to his shoulders to fly away with her!
Miki blinks as she's told of how she wanted to kill a village of humans, and nearly killed Walter as well, then smiles as she's told of how he was spared. "She sounds like an interesting person. You'll have to introduce me sometime."
She's silent for a moment. "...You don't sound happy about that? Are you sad your parents are dead? Or sad that the church spared you? Or at how they treat you? Or... maybe some of all of the above?" She's not really the sort of person to pull punches with her questions.
"I want to understand everyone. Maybe we'll all want to kill each other once we all understand each other." She smiles. "But then again, maybe not!"
"Yes, food sounds good. I've missed a couple of meals tracking Maria Whitechapel down." She furrows her brow slightly, staring off into space. "It's wierd. I've never watched someone die before. I think I was hungrier before that. Or maybe that's just devouring her soul?" A slight shrug of her shoulders.
She looks down at that hand and... holds out her hand for a handshake? It's the only Western gesture involving a hand held out she knows. Only to be whisked away on a magical dragon ride!
Log created on 21:49:33 02/15/2015 by Walter, and last modified on 09:48:25 02/16/2015.