Author Topic: Reaper's Genetic Legacy Experiment [Complete]  (Read 110302 times)

Offline LivvieLove

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Re: Reaper's Genetic Legacy Experiment: The Rise of Death
« Reply #925 on: June 19, 2016, 10:19:25 PM »
Disclaimer: This next chapter is back in the present day with Majnun, Eveline, Jupiter and the gang - only it's from the perspective of everyone's favorite character, Majnun (shh, I know you all love him, don't try to deny it). As you're all aware, @mpart and I are in a full collaboration, so my characters have been (and will be) over there and hers have been (and will be) over here. This chapter is an extension of our collaboration that we are releasing within the same time-frame of each other.
Out of her Labelles, mpart's Perfect Genetic's challenge revolves around Fate, the Goddess of Fate, torturing her 10 generations and stealing their power to grow more powerful. She'll be coming into play A LOT in the future with Majnun and I really hope I can keep confusion to a minimum throughout this transition. Now, Fate (the Goddess of Fate) and Thanatos (the very first God of Death) ended up having Megan (Tragedy). Megan's lineage is the one being followed in her Perfect Genetics. From this Perfect Genetics came a girl by the name of Maleficent around generation 4. Maleficent was destined to replace Thanatos (in the same way that we just learned in the last past chapter that Anne was supposed to replace Destiny) as the true Goddess of Death. Thanatos stepped down willingly when Maleficent became of age and she rose into power. Now, she is going in to face her Initiation Ritual - the Trial by Gods.
We're about to meet all of the pantheon, minus one. There are 15 gods in total in the Pantheon, plus the three Sisters of Time for a grand total of 18. All of the gods will be there (as I said, minus one though) and after I get this chapter up I'll post pictures of all the gods just for those curious about them/confused by who is who.
This chapter was something mpart and I did a "back-and-forth" method of writing on. mpart wrote Maleficent, Fate and Calypso, and I maintained the rest of the gods and Time.
As this chapter is a bit deep - please let me know if any of this is confusing or unclear; there will be some references to Maleficent's past. Thank you so much! I hope you enjoy reading this as much as we did writing it!
Find Maleficent's version of it HERE!
-Livvielove & mpart

The Rise of Death: Part One
Majnun's Realm: Present Day
Mania tilted her head and sighed while looking at her nails in boredom. “Yes, I did just as you asked. Probably more. I usually do.” She tilted her eyes up slightly and grinned at her master.
Majnun chuckled darkly as his head rolled back and he stared at the ceiling. “You never cease to annoy me.” His voice was low and gravelly, but he looked at her then with insanity swimming in his eyes as his voice got higher. “Tell me, what did my darling granddaughter say to you?” He knew Fate was on a downhill spiral, but rumors of her going after Eveline were actually new to him. Of course, then that pesky spirit, Olivia, found out and has been nagging at him ever since. She was worse than Mania… and you don’t get much worse than that. He resisted smiling at the thought, all the while ignoring Mania’s incessant talking. He held up his hand. “Slow down, pumpernickel.” He put his finger in his ear and threw his feet up on the table.
Mania rolled her eyes and shifted her weight to put her hand on her hip with annoyance. “Talking too fast for you, old man?” She sassed.
He rolled his eyes back at her and grumbled under his breath. “Blah, blah. Sometimes I wish you and my son hadn’t split - then you could be talking his ear off instead of mine.”
Mania soured then and glared at him. “We’re working, master.” She said through gritted teeth. “I’m not going to talk about my love life while I’m working.”
He sighed and waved his hand in front of him. “So, you got in to speak to the Goddess Fate, herself; you told her that grandpa Majnun was aware of her silly plan to kill Eveline for power and that he wouldn’t be afraid of cutting off her pretty head after he declared war and destroyed everything she had... then what?”

“Well, I got halfway through delivering your warning when Tragedy, Fate’s daughter with Thanatos, interrupted.” Mania sighed. “Fate tortured her after I left because the girl kindly outed her mother for planning to kill Eveline, which was not news to me nor you - but I think she was trying to be helpful.” She shrugged loosely and snapped her fingers, paperwork floating in front of her then. “Either that or she was more afraid of you than Fate, which is wise of her.” She flipped through a few pages of her notes and pursed her lips. “I delivered Fate several solid warnings about Eveline. I kept them fairly vague so you can push them any way you’d like to - I believe my exact wording was ‘if Eveline is even remotely put in harm’s way’ blah, blah, blah - ‘you will pay for it in blood.’” She sighed. “I ended the conversation with a solid, ‘you’ve been warned.’” Her voice sunk down low and her eyes narrowed humorously as she wiggled her fingers.
Majnun laughed a solid, harsh laugh. “Did you at least change the colors of the drapes while you were there? Or maybe insult her lamp first?” He looked her over and shook his head. “Of course not. Why do I trust you with any of this anyways?!” He put his hands on the table harshly but his eyes were warm and appreciative.
“Well, if you don’t like it, do it yourself, old man.” She threw the paperwork at him in mock upset and crossed her arms.
The paperwork caught fire and turned to ash that was blown away with a slight breeze before it would have landed. Majnun rested his chin on his palm and tapped his fingers against his cheek. He pursed his lips slightly and eyed Mania. “How did Fate seem to you?”
Mania shifted her weight to her other foot and she chuckled softly. “Fate? Oh, she’s off her rocker.” She giggled. “And not in your way, old man. She’s lost it. If I didn’t know any better I’d say it was a power addiction.” Mania straightened her dress slightly with a sigh. “Perhaps it is, for all we know. She’s obsessed.”

“The Book of Fate seems to have eaten her alive.” Majnun’s eyes were staring at the wall as he spoke levelly. “Are you prepared for the worst?” His eyes slowly looked up to meet Mania’s again.
Mania gave him a cocky smile. “Am I prepared for the worst?” She rolled her eyes and started listing things off, raising a finger for each thing. “I’ve been scoping out her High Priestess, Adreanna, as our first target, a clean cut and we’ll leave a nice present for Fate right on top of that pretty book of hers. Once that’s out of the way, we’ll take a stab at her heirs. Currently Gwen Labelle is in Bridgeport with three of her children, and Solstice Labelle is in a Laboratory in Dragon Valley which Deliro is supposed to be watching but he hasn’t reported in yet, I’ll give him until tomorrow to do so before I do it myself.” Mania looked up at the ceiling. “Fate’s been using Tragedy’s lineage to help her gain more power by siphoning off the power from each of Tragedy’s heirs... so the sooner we get our hands on her current heir the sooner we’ll have her in a chokehold.”
Majnun raised his eyebrows, impressed. “Someone’s done her homework.”
Mania pursed her lips and gave him a look, “and your homework too - I’m not even finished yet! “I’ve been doing some digging into Gwen Labelle and Fate’s got her hands all over her. I’ll need to dig some more though. I think she wants to make Gwen a priestess but I’m not entirely sure she’ll make it that far.” She paused and continued counting on her fingers. “I’ll keep your dopey, idiot son here to watch his daughter - assuming he can even manage that. He can’t seem to tie his own shoes lately. You know he was here looking for you, right? He was tearing this place apart - I had just gotten it exactly as disorderly as I wanted it, the prick.” She bit her cheek with impatience. “Could you please just go and set that idiot straight? He’s annoying everyone!
Majnun pinched the bridge of his nose. “It’s on my to-do list.”
“Can it be moved up a bit?”
“Not until Eveline is safe.” Majnun was stern. “I will not let the other gods think they can step in and interfere with what is mine.” His voice was venomous. “What else?”

“I’ll send your pet spirit,” Mania mocked, “to go do her… protection… thingy… with Liam and Clarissa. She’ll likely go without much fuss.”
Majnun laughed again. “You clearly do not deal with her enough. There is no such thing as ‘without much fuss’ in her mind.”
Mania nodded slightly while she looked off in the distance. “I suppose that is true. Do you-” She was cut off suddenly by a bell appearing over Majnun’s shoulder. It rang obnoxiously and floated around his head.

He sighed with irritation and shooed the bell away.
Mania smirked, “that late for a meeting?”
“I never arrive on time. Except for when I do.” He grumbled. “Can’t let them think I’ve become predictable.” He stared down at his watchless-wrist. “I suppose I should gather the guest of honor before the bells drive her insane.” He paused. “-er. Insaner.” He added.
Mania’s face held a look of confusion. “What would you have me do about Fate, master?”
Majnun waved his hands and made a noise of annoyance. “Do you truly not know?”
“You take pride in me not knowing things about you.” She rolled her eyes and mocked: “‘I’d hate to become predictable.’”
Majnun stood and tapped his fingers on the desk, his mind looked focused. He turned his cold, calculating gaze onto Mania. “When the time is right, send Sheogorath to collect Gwen and her family. He is to tear apart her mind and rebuild it. Send Olivia to Clarissa - she’s not yet strong enough to hold off mortals, let alone a raging goddess. Split the boys accordingly. Destroy the Lab in Dragon Valley. Protect the Swallow - above ALL else, protect my Eveline.” He turned and opened a portal. “After you’ve ensured all of that is taken care of - leave a lovely gift for Fate.” His eyes narrowed. “If it’s a war she wants, then a war she’ll get.”
Mania nodded, fire in her eyes. “When will the time be right?”
Majnun took a step towards the portal. “When time isn’t right at all.”
Mania’s eyes went wide, “you can’t be serious about that…” She whispered with disbelief. “Master… wait!”
“I’ll see you after the party, Mania.”
She grew resigned and sighed. “Wish Maleficent luck for me.”
He nodded and vanished into the depths of his portal.

Maleficent Labelle. A name that wasn’t spoken much among the company he had been keeping, but the name was whispered often amongst the world. The great, great granddaughter of Fate Niccoli, the Goddess of Fate; a girl who was once enslaved by the very same Fate. Her father, Christian, died because of her power. Her mother abandoned her. She raised a man from the dead to help raise her and in doing so, lost a piece of her sanity. Majnun had been watching her carefully as she grew - he sensed the power she would hold as everyone else did.
Once upon a time, there wasn’t a God of Death; Majnun rolled his shoulders as he walked the in-between. There once wasn’t a God of Death and Majnun was stuck doing all the dirty work that a God of Death would need to do. He grimaced at the thought of the long, boring trials and the paperwork - by the Essence the paperwork was brutal. Thanatos Niccoli was the very first God of Death, but he was not a true God of Death.
Godhood was a finicky thing. It was passed from one person to the next, as there could never be no god of something for long periods of time. Instead there were placeholders. They were never as powerful as those who were meant to be gods, but they served a place and functioned as that god until the rightful god came along to replace them. Maleficent was the rightful Goddess of Death. Thanatos stepped down without a fight - the first time in over two-thousand years that’s happened - if it’s ever happened before. Now it was time for Maleficent to rise and greet her fellow gods. The initial godhood ritual was rather brutal, but it was required: she would face the other gods ridicule, and then she would face the Sisters of Time’s scrutiny. It wasn’t an easy task, and how she acted that day would determine her standing with the other gods - her enemies, her allies… her future.
Majnun stepped through another portal and entered the newly built Realm of Death. Maleficent’s study was stacked with paperwork and clutter. It was surprisingly homey for Majnun. He frowned however as the bell that sat above Maleficent’s head was ringing incessantly.
Maleficent peered up at him, looking worse for the wear, and suddenly she chucked something at him. “I don’t have time for you right now! Go away! I’m working!” Majnun let the pen bounce off of him and he grinned deviously at her. She thought he was a hallucination. How long has she been in here?
“Tick-tock, Death Flower. You’re late for your own party.” He leaned against the wall and looked at her with his arms folded.
She stared at him with narrowed eyes as she tried to figure out who he even was. Majnun almost felt insulted that his presence wasn’t obvious enough, but he did need to remind himself that the poor girl probably hadn’t seen the sunlight in a few days, and that the past several hours have likely been filled with the ringing bell - the reminder for all gods that there’s a meeting being held. It was obnoxious on the best of days. "Who's funeral are we attending, oh wise voice in my head?" Clarity came into her eyes then. "What is with the bell, Majnun?" Her voice held minor irritation.
Majnun grinned then and snapped his finger, causing the bell to vanish. “Welcome to godhood. Those bells are your personal nuisance to remind you that you’re a god. Congratulations.” He grumbled then. “I really hate those stupid things. They drive everyone insane. That’s my job.”
“Ah.” Maleficent’s eyes reflected a small hint of fear and recognition now. That was the look Majnun was used to seeing. “Sorry about that, Majnun. It appears being here for a few hours with the paperwork has-” She paused, digging in her head to find the words she wanted. “-made me question things in general.” She grinned at him then. “Is there cake at this funeral?”
Majnun laughed harshly. “I wish there were cake. This will be the most boring funeral you’ll ever go to, Death Flower. It’s your own.” He gave her a wily grin. “Are you ready to meet the rest of the nuisances - er I mean, gods?” He already had a headache and the night hadn’t even begun yet. 
She laughed harshly. “I thought they would dump my body somewhere first?” She gave a slight shrug as she sat. “Oh well. If I can get past my own funeral I’m getting cake.” She closed her eyes momentarily and sighed. “Let’s get this funeral with the Agon-other gods-over with.” Her eyes traveled down to the vial on her desk, one she likely received as a ‘welcome’ gift from Fate. Nothing says ‘welcome to godhood’ like ‘I just killed someone dear to you.’
Majnun’s face grew serious and he actually felt the need to say something to her. Normally he took great delight in other’s discomfort, but something about Maleficent touched him. Perhaps it’s because she is the same age he was when he rose? Perhaps it’s because she has purple hair? He wasn’t about to question his own mind.
No. He should do that, but that would make too much sense.
“Fate sent you a welcome present already?” His voice was dark and he chuckled without amusement. “I am going to do you a service, Death Flower. Do not ask me why, for I do not know why I care as much as I do - but there is a rumor that Fate’s about to learn a very difficult lesson in how to behave to those more powerful than she.” His eyes were menacing, though the anger was not aimed at Maleficent. “If I were you, I would stay out of that fray.” His voice held a warning.
She gazed at him with a brief moment of understanding before her eyes went back to the vial that once held the poison that killed her friend. “I’m done being stuck in her messes.”
Majnun nodded and summoned a portal. “Do not count your horseshoes before they sprout.”
She sighed again. “Of course.” She could sense the same thing Majnun did - this war was going to drag everyone down. It was a foreboding dread that sat amongst those who hoped to avoid the fray. This wasn’t just any war - this was going to be a real War of the Gods - and it would likely drag down many innocent victims.

They stepped through the portal and into the blindingly white room that Majnun was, unfortunately, too familiar with. He frowned harshly into the brightness, and Agonin gave him a steady look from the table. “You shouldn’t have volunteered to bring Maleficent to her first ritual if you were planning on arriving late, Majnun.” He scoffed.
Majnun rolled his eyes and mocked him with his hands. “She’s here, isn’t she? I did my part.”
The gods all turned and eyed Maleficent then - a quiet that fell upon the room as the spotlight hit the young goddess. Majnun walked up beside her and motioned for her to follow him. He sat down at an empty chair a space away from Agonin, and his eyes gestured for her to take the seat in between them. He would not protect her from the verbal wrath of the gods, but he could at the very least create a physical barrier.

Agonin and Majnun were very familiar with the way of the gods - and they were both considered some of the oldest members of the pantheon. The children that sat at the pantheon these days often caused Agonin and Majnun to actually agree on some things, which is how Majnun knew something was wrong with the world. Maleficent would’ve done well in the old pantheon - when petty squabbles were kept to a minimum. Now it seemed everyone were acting as bratty teenagers, making idiotic decisions and starting trouble with anyone who put up with them.
Malice, the God of the Night, leaned across the table first and stared at Maleficent with humor and coldness in his eyes - a strange combination. He grinned widely to show off his fangs more than a gesture of friendliness. “Well, well. Look what the clown drug in - you’re a little young, aren’t you lass?” His eyes narrowed. “And you’re one of my own blood! How marvelous.” His tongue ran over his fangs and Majnun rolled his eyes with annoyance. Yes. This would be a very long night.

Adessa, the Goddess of Betrayal, who sat next to Malice leaned forward and giggled with glee. “Fresh blood! Oh it’s been so, very long since we’ve had someone new here.” She pursed her lips sweetly. “I’m Adessa, darling.” Her hand reached under the table and after it came out a bright pink, poison apple appeared in it. She rolled it across the table at Maleficent. A direct insult, considering the poison apple was the symbol of Maleficent who was enslaved by Fate. The fun had already begun, it seemed.

Maleficent stared at the apple, unamused. Majnun watched, wondering if she might break so quickly. The girl picked up the apple and smiled wickedly. “This apple seems to be only roughly a century old, Adessa.” The apple decayed in her hands to dust, and Majnun chuckled. She wasn’t breaking, she was waiting. He leaned back at the table. This would be great fun, indeed.
“Welcome to the pantheon, Death Flower.” Majnun sighed and stretched before putting his feet on the table.
Agonin scowled at him. “Majnun. Feet… off!”
Majnun rubbed the bottoms of his shoes on the table. “Does it bother you, oh austere one?” He grinned and looked around the room. “You all are a bunch of party poopers. Where are your manners? Are you going to make me do all the work?” He shrugged and didn’t wait for anyone to respond. “Fine, fine. That lovely -” He coughed and slyly added, “petulant child,” he chuckled and straightened, “lady is our Adessa, the Goddess of Betrayal. The corpse next to her is bat-boy. Hello, bat-boy.” He waved at Malice patronizingly. “Oh, and the one with the stick up his bum next to you is Agonin.”
Agonin pinched the bridge of his nose and sighed loudly. “Majnun, I think that’s enough for now, thanks.” He stared at Majnun who shrugged. Agonin took in a breath and gestured to the table. “It is a pleasure to finally meet you in person, Maleficent.” His voice was cordial, as was normal for him. Majnun gagged dramatically as he spoke. “I am the God of Order.” 
Maleficent was growing more confident. “It is very interesting to finally meet you in person, Agonin.” She responded levelly. Her eyes drifted down the table to Calypso, the Goddess of the Sea and the familiar face to her - Fate, the Goddess of Fate.

Fate took in a breath, not meeting Majnun’s level glare in favor of Maleficent. “It is such a shame to see you here, Maleficent. I was hoping you would live a little longer to see your family die.”
Majnun sighed and gave Maleficent a stare that expressed his annoyance before rolling his eyes goofily. “Granddaughter. You did not introduce yourself to your family member. Rude.” He pointed at the empty chair next to her with an insane grin. “Maleficent, that is Fate, the Goddess of Fate. She seems to have left her manners in the same place with her common sense.” He paused and began pointing at people from across the way. “The doe-eyed serpent is Calypso, the Goddess of the Sea. Aren’t we all just a lively bunch today.” He scowled.

Fate’s eyes had grown somewhat determined at the insult. “It appears that the girl is too weak to fight her own battles.”
Majnun’s hand hit the table harshly. “It appears a little child is pretending she can play ball with the big boys.” He glared at Fate then. “What? You’ll sneak around pretending to be a big-shot but you can’t seem to keep it up when insanity is looking you in the eyes? If you think Maleficent is weak, then what does that make you?” He clenched his fists, his glare could set something on fire right now, and he focused it entirely on Fate. He would make her squirm. She may not heed Mania’s warning, but she will heed his now.
A man who had been resting his head on the table shook awake and glared at Majnun. “Keep it down, pops. No need to yell.” He grumbled, still hungover from the night before.

Agonin leaned over to Maleficent and whispered to her, “that’s Vinyx, the God of Debauchery - he… is very rarely conscious for these things.”
Majnun gritted his teeth, his glare still on Fate, waiting to see if she would still challenge him.
Fate leaned back in her chair and sighed, pretending to be bored. Majnun shook his head. She received his message loud and clear. He looked around to see if anyone else would challenge him and was met with silence. He rolled his neck and sat back in his chair.
He was getting older, but he could still put down just about everyone in this room in a heartbeat if he had to. Why did they have to test his patience? He was running especially thin as of late. Majnun idly twisted the ring around his finger - perhaps there was a light at the end of this tunnel? He couldn’t see it yet, but he knew it was there.

Agonin cleared his throat and motioned across the way to the the man and woman who were standing. “Here, Maleficent, those two are Carule and Eravaeral. The Gods of Love. Carule is the God of Marriage and Commitment, and Eravaeral is the Goddess of Lust and Beauty.” He spoke with a level voice, trying to pass the silence. Chatter slowly picked up among the gods with the tension between Fate and Majnun now diffused.
Carule nodded his head slightly, his eyes lingering on Maleficent. “You will be lucky in love in your future.” His voice was very warm and welcoming. He hummed with thought as he stared at her. “You’ll have a successful marriage to a loyal husband. Not too shabby.” He laughed with beautiful laughter.

Maleficent’s eyes went big momentarily before she burst out laughing loudly at the thought.
Majnun soured at the thought of marriage and he continued twisting his ring. He was heartless now. He did not care for such trivial things. His gaze coldly turned towards the woman who now crossed to the table, laying out on it and making eyes at Maleficent. Eravaeral flirted with anything that breathed. “My, my… what a beautiful girl. I love beautiful things.” She purred as she rolled around on the table. “It’s so nice to have such young… beautiful… people at the table now.”
Agonin frowned. “Eravaeral. Off. The. Table.”
Majnun chuckled and gave Agonin a bewildered look that was reflected in Agonin’s face as well.

Eravaeral harrumphed and rolled her eyes before slinking back over to hang off of Carule affectionately.
“It’s nice to meet you two?” Maleficent was trying not to laugh. She thought Carule’s prediction was a joke. It wasn’t.
He had predicted Anne. Majnun had laughed too. Carule had told him he would bend to the will of a mortal girl and Majnun had thought it hilarious.
He never stood a chance, and looking back on it he would bend again and again. He would’ve done anything to keep her. He clenched his fingers around his wedding ring. Anything.
Agonin cleared his throat and gave Majnun a confused look. Majnun sat up then, realizing his quiet nature would get him looks if he wasn’t careful. He needed to cause a scene to shake everyone off of him. He flicked his wrist and the woman who was reading casually from a book had her book yanked away from under her, causing the book to slam into Vinyx who had tried to go back to sleep. “Majnun!” Irena scolded him and he chuckled. The Goddess of Knowledge hated her books being touched.
Vinyx also shot awake and glared at Irena, “Was that really necessary?!” He grumbled.
“Maleficent, you’ve met Vinyx, and that’s Irena, the Goddess of Knowledge. Don’t mind her, she’s always catty when it comes to her books.” Majnun said after taking in a breath.

Irena scowled at him and then eyed Maleficent skeptically. “Hybrid - Vampire and Magical Source. Meh, I suppose it’s nothing special after Thanatos, but I wonder if this will be a common occurrence. I’ll need to do some research on it.” She hastily grabbed her book back from in front of Vinyx, giving Majnun one last glare before she disappeared back into her book.
Across the way, a quiet man in all white was waving at Irena, trying to get her attention. When her nose went back into her book he changed color to blue and looked at the table defeatedly. Majnun chuckled and leaned over to Maleficent. “That’s Taelagor - God of Elements. He’s been obsessed with Irena ever since Carule told him he’d love a bookworm.” He grinned at her deviously, doing his best to push away all the emotions he felt.
Maleficent looked around before smiling warmly at Taelagor. “The God of Elements?” She laughed lightly. “Have you ever met Mercy, Taelagor?” Mercy Labelle was her grandmother, and apparently she was very apt with fire.
Majnun felt the need to lean over and clear his throat awkwardly. “Death Flower… Taelagor does not have a voice. He cannot speak to you normally.”

Taelagor turned from blue to red as he passed fire between his fingers. He pointed two fingers at her and sparks flew out. He gave her a grin either way and shrugged loosely. With that he focused his gaze on her, likely speaking to Maleficent in her mind. After a moment he stretched and gave her a thumbs up before his color returned to white and he moved to stare longer at Irena.
“Of course she would. Thanks Taelagor.” Maleficent seemed to ease slightly then and the chatter continued in the room.
Majnun nudged her with his arm, and pointed to the man tending to a plant further down the table. “That’s Spinner, God of Nature.”
Spinner, hearing his name being called, glowered at him slightly before returning his gaze to what he had been working on.
Majnun moved and pointed to the distant looking woman next to Spinner. “That’s Sanja, the Goddess of Dreams.”

Sanja turned and looked at her then, there was always something upsetting about how distant her eyes seemed. “Hello.” Her voice sounded hollow as she spoke. Sanja snapped her fingers and a strange mirror appeared in front of Maleficent.
Majnun grumbled and glared at her, he knew this party trick. The mirror would show Maleficent her worst nightmare. Petty children, Majnun thought.
Maleficent seemed unamused as well, and she looked at the mirror in boredom. She shoved it away and it vanished before her eyes turned back to Majnun.
“And that’s the pantheon… the only ones left are-” He paused as he could feel the room start trembling.
The whole room grew eerily silent as everyone stopped what they were doing. Maleficent looked at him with big eyes. “Time?”
Majnun turned and looked at her sternly, all insanity was gone from his eyes. “Yvaine. Trenadira. Jyri.” He whispered their names as his eyes scanned the room then. “Past, present, and future. The Sisters of Time. They wish to see what you’re made of, Death Flower.” The room rumbled once again and Majnun took in a deep breath, he leaned closer to Maleficent’s ear. “If there is anyone here that you should fear - it is them.”
Maleficent took in a deep breath as well and let it out slowly. “Where do I go?”

As if the room responded to her question, the metal doors to the back room swung open. Majnun eyed it carefully and looked back to her, giving her a nod. Maleficent moved to stand and Majnun grabbed her wrist, looking at her firmly. “Good luck.” He said levelly. He used his hand on her wrist as a connection point to enter into her head. “The gods will be merciless when you step out of that room. Keep your chin up, you will not fall.” He let go of her wrist and laughed mercilessly, pretending he had done something to her mind. Maleficent played along and snatched her wrist back before starting her long walk towards the now open doors.
Agonin gave Maleficent a curt nod, seeming as level as he usually did.
Carule and Eravaeral gave her glances of pity.
Adessa was smiling deviously, her eyes looking her up and down. A throaty giggle came from her and she shook with glee. Malice was reclining back in his seat and his predatory eyes followed Maleficent as she walked.
Spinner grinned deviously before drawing his hand across his throat, pretending it was her throat being slit and playing dead as children would do to threaten someone.
Sanja didn’t even bother to look at her, her distant eyes focused forward.
Vinyx didn’t raise his head, but he gave her a thumbs down as his face rested against his arms. Irena looked at her and shook her head with annoyance before turning back to her book. Taelagor gave her a gentle smile, but there was concern and doubt hidden behind it.
Calypso laughed and Fate gave Maleficent a cruel stare. “I always love hearing them scream. Try not to make a mess.” She taunted.
Maleficent didn’t flinch, and instead she walked with her chin held high into her the room of her judgment. The doors slammed shut behind her and the room grew mostly quiet, save for minor chatter.

Majnun kept his head down. It had been 2100 years, give or take, since he’s stepped into that room and passed his own initiation. The Pantheon had been nothing compared to his test with Time. The Sisters of Time were formless. They would enter the room and take over her body - sucking her energy and magic like a parasite while they examined every nook and cranny in her. She would have no idea they were there. Most people didn’t. Majnun had been the first to figure it out. They asked him to demonstrate his power and he refused. He didn’t ask for this job. He didn’t want godhood. He wanted death, like the rest of his family.
He remembered his initiation clearly. He sat down in the center of the room and refused to do anything for them. He could still hear their eerie voice in his head. Finreth. Glebaal. Majnun. Keeper. Source. Magic. Insanity. Prove your worth and keep your life. They hadn’t been able to finish. Majnun had told them ‘no thanks.’ He had sat on the floor and crossed his arms and told them he wasn’t going to do anything and they could bugger off for all he cared. He had enough voices in his head, and he didn’t need them wrecking all the delicate barriers he set up.
Then he shoved them out of his head.
Apparently it isn’t easy to do that. He hadn’t thought much of it. It had been unheard of. He shoved them out of his head and in doing so, he demonstrated his power. He was always strongest with his magical barriers - his wards.

Majnun took in a breath and directed his gaze towards Fate. He glared her down but she mostly avoided his eyes. “Agonin.” His voice came out low and deep. He slowly yanked his gaze off of his granddaughter and turned to face his old friend.
“Majnun.” His voice was a level reply.
“I have a need to discuss something with you once this is over.” Majnun looked at his nails then and sighed.
“I believe we both have things to discuss.” Agonin nodded. “Afterwards.”
“Afterwards.” Majnun agreed.

Offline LivvieLove

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Re: Reaper's Genetic Legacy Experiment: The Rise of Death
« Reply #926 on: June 19, 2016, 10:20:30 PM »
The Rise of Death: Part Two
Realm of Time: Present Day
After nearly an hour the door swung open once again. Maleficent had made it out alive. She walked normally, seeming unfazed but he could tell she was a little worn. Fate began summoning poison apples and tossing them at her one after another. Maleficent sidestepped out of the way and watched the pink fruits smash into the ground. “Always a servant in the end.” Fate gave her a dark smile.
Maleficent seemed a bit perturbed, but she eventually looked away with boredom. “I’ve heard this insult before. Next.”
Majnun grinned. She would do just fine.
Irena was the next to speak, which Majnun found amusing. “You’re just a child. You’re powerful, but just a child. It’ll only be a matter of time until you break.” Her gaze was cold and unwavering. “Thanatos was exceptionally intelligent; you are not. You may be the true Goddess of Death, but you will crumble under the weight.”
Vinyx chuckled and shook his head, “don’t mind her, baby. Come over later and we can celebrate with a drink - what are you drinking, a virgin tonic?” He grinned widely.

Eravaeral laughed seductively. “She’s barely legal. Where’s your mommy and daddy, little one? You look exhausted!” She tapped her chest. “You can take a nap on me, baby girl!”
Malice shook his head. “Do not patronize one of my daughters.” He spoke with fake concern in his voice. “It’s clear she bends to the will of the important people in this room.” His eyes locked onto Fate and he gave her a wicked smile. “She’s nothing but a loyal servant.” He echoed.

Maleficent remained silent as she took everything in and Majnun felt a twinge of pride. It seems his Death Flower figured out the game already.
Majnun leaned forward on a hand and raised his eyebrow. “Bah, she doesn’t belong to you. She belongs to me.” He summoned an apple, red and ripe and twisted it in his hands. “As anyone does who’s lost their mind.” He chuckled darkly.

Spinner rolled his eyes, “oh great, that’s just what we need. Majnun nearly ran the Land of the Dead into the ground with his madness, and she’s just like him.
“Darn straight.” Majnun grinned as he bit into the apple and stared at Maleficent with teasing in his eyes. He winked before throwing his half-eaten apple at her, deliberately missing and nailing Eravaeral in the side. She glared at him and he shrugged. “What? Everyone else was throwing apples. I just wanted to get involved.”
Adessa pursed her lips and shook her head, “the old man is being soft on her. Looks like Maleficent’s a daddy’s girl.”

Malice chuckled darkly, “of course she was. She was the one who ended her dear daddy’s life, right daughter?”
Adessa laughed with glee and clapped. “How wonderful! There’s hope for her yet! Tell me, darling, was it fun knowing watching your father slowly die all while knowing it was all your fault?” She faked a frown. “Poor baby. Mummy abandoned you after that.” She laughed loudly. “Oh, but your darling Fate took care of you, didn’t she?” Her eyes met with Fates as she grinned wickedly. “That’s where your loyalties are, right, darling?” She pulled a poison apple out of the air again and she spun it as she tossed it in the air and caught it again. “Oh my! Fate looks parched - positively parched! You’re a servant, right? Fetch her something to drink, pup.” 
Maleficent again was quiet as she took in the insults that came at her. She looked Majnun’s way but did nothing unusual before looking elsewhere and tapping her fingers against the table impatiently.
Irena eyed her levelly, intrigued by her silence. Majnun knew when respect was earned and that was definitely a look of minor respect. Keep going, Death Flower. He whispered in her head.

Sanja turned her distant gaze on Maleficent then. “Someone is avoiding the things that make her uncomfortable. Perhaps we should make your dad’s nightmares a reality.” Her distant gaze moved to Malice then.
Malice chuckled darkly and looked at his nails with a sigh. “Oh Sanja, you’re so dark, my dear… I love it.” He gave Maleficent a twisted look. “It would only take a snap of my fingers to order your father to kill your mother. How does that sound darling? Get back at dear-old-mom for abandoning you?”
Adessa’s laughter echoed off the walls eerily. “Do it, Malice! Do it!”
Maleficent tuned them out and focused forward.

Calypso chimed in then, laughing as she did. “If I remember right, you were nearly killed by a siren - isn’t that right? Didn’t you have that wretched scar from when she tried to have you claw your own eyes out?” She smiled then at Maleficent. “The people you consider family are still trying to kill you and all you do is bend for them you stupid child.”
Vinyx lifted his head lazily, “heck, Taelagor talks more than this brood.”
Spinner didn’t look up from his plant, “don’t think too hard about it Vinyx. It’ll hurt what few brain cells you have left.” He shrugged. “She’s just doing what children do and throwing a tantrum because she’s not having her way.”
“She’ll run home and cry to her parents! ‘Boohoo! I can’t handle being a goddess. No one pities me anymore.’” Adessa mocked before she broke out into laughter.
Majnun started to tune out some of the insults at this point. He sighed and rested his head back in the chair, idly staring at the ceiling. “Yes, yes, she’s a child. Can’t you think of something better than that?” He rolled his head forward and stared at Maleficent with hard eyes. “Do you remember the day you lost your mind, Death Flower?” He tipped his head sideways. “I do.” He grinned at her darkly. “You raised someone from the dead and now that someone is going to hurt your family. Are you pleased with yourself, Death Flower? The crevice of dragons burn down flamingos. Your mind will twist inside itself. The water is a ruse. Stay out of the way, little Death Flower, for I fear you might snap. The insanity will swallow you whole.”

Adessa snickered. “What gibberish are you going on about, you old clown? You’re life is being sucked from you along with your cruelty. You’ve lost your edge.”
Majnun flicked his finger and three daggers were driven into the seat, grazing her skin on either side of her face and one by her neck, causing her to bleed slightly. “What was that? I cannot hear you - you seem to have nearly caught something in your throat.” He said darkly.
Things seemed to calm down after that and Maleficent eyed the room cautiously. A flash of exhaustion hit her eyes but she covered it with a grin nicely. “It has been a pleasure meeting all of you. I hope to learn from your achievements and your mistakes.” She tipped her head and opened a portal. She wanted out of that room as fast as possible and Majnun watched her go. Well done, Death Flower.

The gods did not wait to exit the room as quickly as possible following Maleficent’s lead, leaving all but two left in the room.
Majnun had not turned to face Agonin and instead he sighed, shifting forward in his chair slowly. “She handled herself well.”
Agonin nodded evenly. “You seem rather fond of her.”

Majnun shrugged loosely. “What can I say? She reminds me of… me.” He raised his eyebrows and grinned.
“It’s more than that though.” Agonin’s voice wasn’t accusing, just laying down a statement.
“No idea what you’re talking about, rigid one.” Majnun shook his head.
Agonin rolled his eyes slightly and stared down at some paperwork on the table. “You wished to speak to me?”
Majnun finally turned to look at him. “How do you feel things are going?”
Agonin’s lip twitched slightly into a soft smile. “Well, the world hasn’t caught fire, but it’s acting as though it has.” He sighed.
Majnun’s eyes went wide. “Did you just make a joke, austere one? The world must have caught fire! It’s the end times!” With a wave of his hand the chairs went flying back against the wall.
Agonin gritted his teeth with irritation and waved his hand to bring the chairs back neatly. “I do not joke. I’m mostly serious. The world is falling apart. Malice is keeping Nyx alive through a horcrux. Clarissa Kwa hasn’t been able to ascend properly - and she’s died and come back to life through strange means that have your magic all over it.”
Majnun grumbled and rolled his eyes as Agonin spoke about it.
“-Fate is working on some mass hysteria plan. Maleficent hasn’t been fully trained yet and the Death Keepers are knocking on her door. There’s the whole bit about Thanatos having some of her power.” He pinched the bridge of his nose and sighed. “Oh, and there’s a lunatic god on a suicide mission.” He looked at Majnun flatly before smiling just slightly. “Now that was a joke.” He chuckled very lightly.

Majnun shook his head, chuckling as well before he sighed heavily. “How did we get here, Agonin?” He looked around the room. “I remember a time when the gods weren’t such petty children.”
Agonin nodded slightly. “We’ve been in a dark age for a couple hundred years now, I would argue.”
Majnun silently agreed. Four hundred years of darkness; heartless. They sat in silence before Majnun spoke. “I have a need for a formal War Declaration.”
Agonin met his eyes, his face unreadable before he nodded. “Against?”
Agonin was focusing on the wall as he nodded. “Conditions?”
“None.” Majnun scowled. “She either bends, or she dies.”
Agonin nodded once more and silence overtook the room again before he sighed. “So the prophecy has begun.”
Majnun nodded. “Indeed it has.”

It was an unspoken understanding between them. They were two of the few gods who still heeded the Book of Prophecies. This was the age the world would be torn asunder by a great war. No one was prepared for the destruction that would be left in its wake.

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Offline LivvieLove

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Re: Reaper's Genetic Legacy Experiment: The Rise of Death
« Reply #927 on: June 19, 2016, 10:46:26 PM »
The Gods
So that was a doozy of a chapter, right? Let's take a closer look at the 14 gods/goddesses we met this last chapter. =)

They'll be written in order from most powerful to least powerful.

Majnun Keeper - God of Magic and Madness

Fate Niccoli - Goddess of Fate

Maleficent Labelle - Goddess of Death

Spinner Balatare - God of Nature

Taelagor Mist - God of Elements


Fire (sorry, thought I had a better picture of Fire Taelagor)



Irena Ontanio - Goddess of Knowledge

Agonin Madere - God of Order

Carule Dawnmore - God of Love and Commitment

Eravaeral Monneseur - Goddess of Lust and Beauty

Malice Nightmare - God of Night and Darkness

NOT PICTURED: Clarissa Koray - Goddess of the Moon
Liam's Clarissa, in case anyone was confused. ::)

Calypso Asherah - Goddess of the Sea

Adessa Tremere - Goddess of Betrayal

Sanja Walle - Goddess of Dreams

Vinyx Fabian - God of Debauchery

So for the last bit, this is VERY MUCH under construction right now, but I've been working (VERY SLOWLY, not anything fast) on the "Glossary" of terms and common names/lore things. There's still a lot of work to be done, and be careful because there are minor spoilers there and some... hidden gems that some of you may find. I've put A LOT of effort and time into it, and I know it's not the best it could be, but I'm having fun and I hope that maybe some of you will find it useful too. When it becomes more relevant/more complete, I'll hook it into the first page.
Until then, you can find what little work I've done on it HERE!

Thanks for all the love and comments! Any and all feedback is always loved and appreciated!
<3 Livvielove

Offline PeregrineTook

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Re: Reaper's Genetic Legacy Experiment: The Rise of Death
« Reply #928 on: June 19, 2016, 11:42:24 PM »
Yes, that was a bit overwhelming with so many new characters introduced at once.  I appreciated the, "Here's who you just met," post!
I think any four of the lovely goddesses would be wonderful in a four immortal sisters challenge.  No idea what made that pop into my mind, but it did, so I thought I'd share  :=)

Offline LivvieLove

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Re: Reaper's Genetic Legacy Experiment: The Rise of Death
« Reply #929 on: June 20, 2016, 12:11:56 AM »
Yes, that was a bit overwhelming with so many new characters introduced at once.  I appreciated the, "Here's who you just met," post!
I think any four of the lovely goddesses would be wonderful in a four immortal sisters challenge.  No idea what made that pop into my mind, but it did, so I thought I'd share  :=)

Yes! I imagine it might be! I'm sorry if it's put anyone off of the story, but it was just supposed to be a fun little chapter to introduce the pantheon. The information and who-is-who isn't that important, it's just slowly laying the foundation for the future war with Fate.
Also, I think it must be how specified some of the gods/goddesses are. Irena, my Goddess of Knowledge looks quite like the Air Sister. Eravaeral looks quite like the Fire Sister, Calypso easily fits the Water Sister and I'm not sure who might be best for earth. Either way, thank you greatly for bearing with me on this chapter. We really just wanted to do something fun with Majnun and Maleficent, and it's not that crucial that you remember each name and what they said or did.
We should be returning to regular chapters after this one with characters you're familiar with! =)

Offline mpart

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Re: Reaper's Genetic Legacy Experiment: The Rise of Death
« Reply #930 on: June 20, 2016, 01:27:30 AM »
Oh Maleficent. For such a sad character to write she smiles so much. I LOVE Majnun as always. Fate. Ugh. Just ugh. Awwww. Majnun is awesome. I'm happy he helped Maleficent, she won't forget his kindness I think.  :-X

Offline LivvieLove

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Re: Reaper's Genetic Legacy Experiment: The Rise of Death
« Reply #931 on: June 20, 2016, 01:53:56 AM »
Oh Maleficent. For such a sad character to write she smiles so much. I LOVE Majnun as always. Fate. Ugh. Just ugh. Awwww. Majnun is awesome. I'm happy he helped Maleficent, she won't forget his kindness I think.  :-X
This was too fun to write! Majnun and Maleficent are quite the pair. Thanks for letting me borrow little Death Flower, Fate "Ugh" Niccoli, and Calypso the Sea Sand-Witch. They were so much fun to pose around in game!
I'm excited for the things to come. =D

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Offline oshizu

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Re: Reaper's Genetic Legacy Experiment: The Rise of Death
« Reply #932 on: June 20, 2016, 10:24:37 AM »
Like Pippin, I really appreciated the Who's Who in the Pantheon post, which not only cleared my mind enough to reread "The Rise of Death" post with less confusion but to also appreciate just how beautiful the pantheon is. Seriously, every single deity is devastatingly alluring in their own way.
I giggled to meet Eravearal (again? It's my second time, I think), that lady that Quinn often goes on about, hehe.

As a geek, I loved the new website! And I was surprised and delighted to see that you are rewriting this entire challenge!?  What an absolutely epic endeavor!!!
(In the "Before You Read" section, I clicked on "Grisly Images," silly me. Why would I even think that would be a link?)

Majnun was quite dashing in this chapter, and even somewhat heroic!

Offline LivvieLove

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Re: Reaper's Genetic Legacy Experiment: The Rise of Death
« Reply #933 on: June 20, 2016, 07:12:26 PM »
Like Pippin, I really appreciated the Who's Who in the Pantheon post, which not only cleared my mind enough to reread "The Rise of Death" post with less confusion but to also appreciate just how beautiful the pantheon is. Seriously, every single deity is devastatingly alluring in their own way.
I giggled to meet Eravearal (again? It's my second time, I think), that lady that Quinn often goes on about, hehe.

As a geek, I loved the new website! And I was surprised and delighted to see that you are rewriting this entire challenge!?  What an absolutely epic endeavor!!!
(In the "Before You Read" section, I clicked on "Grisly Images," silly me. Why would I even think that would be a link?)

Majnun was quite dashing in this chapter, and even somewhat heroic!
I'm glad that I was able to help null some of the confusion with that post! It wasn't part of the plan originally, but I soon realized I wouldn't be able to clearly demonstrate who was who with the pictures, so... I went with a general post about it. ::)
I'm very glad you like the Pantheon! Mpart and I worked very hard on them. They're all very personable too, and you'll probably be seeing some of them crop up here and there. Ah! Yes... Quinn would be rather fond of Eravaeral, wouldn't he? Flirts with anything that breathes - sounds right up his alley.
I'm also very glad you like the site I've put together! It's very, very unfinished. I've been working on it very slowly in my freetime (which isn't much).
Alas! I've been discovered! Yes! I was going to wait to announce it until later on (when I had more chapters up for it), however it's true. I am in the process of rewriting the Reapers from the start with all the lore firmly built in! It's really on a backburner right now and it's not forum appropriate - so it will not be talked about much here.
For those of you who would like updates to follow my progress as I slowly (and I mean, slowly at the moment) make updates to it, feel free to PM me and I'll make a note to keep you informed as to when I post updates!
Also, you've probably seen some minor spoilers there.
Once I get a little further along with it, I'll make a "proper" announcement about it. Until then, I'm dumping my time into this version of the story and a little bit into my Nix story and my other chunk of time into my school --- so basically, it's very low on my priority list at this given time (and sadly my last update was like, two months ago - in which I have another update mostly ready, but I need pictures and to wrap up a few things in it; with no picture/word limit really I can make my chapters "perfect" in my head and that's my goal).

Also, my boyfriend, ironically, when I was making the blog originally, told me I should hyperlink a picture of a grisly bear to that specific part of my blog. I laughed, but now I see I probably should have. ;)

Offline oshizu

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Re: Reaper's Genetic Legacy Experiment: The Rise of Death
« Reply #934 on: June 20, 2016, 08:55:50 PM »
Oops, I'm sorry about jumping the gun on your website--I got too excited. :-(

What I really want to say, though, is that I like the way you've added locations and timeframes to your chapter modules. It's great to be able to see all that in one glance whenever we go to read your next update!

Offline LivvieLove

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Re: Reaper's Genetic Legacy Experiment: The Rise of Death
« Reply #935 on: June 20, 2016, 11:57:53 PM »
Oops, I'm sorry about jumping the gun on your website--I got too excited. :-(

What I really want to say, though, is that I like the way you've added locations and timeframes to your chapter modules. It's great to be able to see all that in one glance whenever we go to read your next update!
You didn't jump the gun at all! Don't even worry about it! I had a feeling someone would find it! ;D
I'm glad that it's looking useful! I promise I'll keep updating the page over time - right now it's just a little bare... =D

Offline Magpie2012

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Re: Reaper's Genetic Legacy Experiment: The Rise of Death
« Reply #936 on: June 21, 2016, 09:36:28 PM »
I don't even know where to start. So many chapters to catch up with. As always, I am a huge fan of your (and mpart's) work. I can't even begin to comprehend the time and energy that went into all this. But, I am so happy that you did, as this is one of my favourite stories, ever! I am also (not so secretly) shipping Manorath! I think she is perfect for him and vice versa. I think the fact that I asked you for spoilers to Anne and Majnun's story, just makes me long for their happy ever after that much more. Sheo has experienced so much for such a tortured soul.

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because... Math *Pippin The Most Tenacious Simmer*

Only 2 things are infinite... The universe and human stupidity. And I'm not sure about the universe. *Albert Einstein*

Don't believe all the quotes that have been attributed to me. *Albert Einstein*

I can't ignore ALL of the voices in my head - Some of them actually make sense! *Blayzen*

Offline LivvieLove

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Re: Reaper's Genetic Legacy Experiment: The Rise of Death
« Reply #937 on: June 21, 2016, 10:54:56 PM »
I don't even know where to start. So many chapters to catch up with. As always, I am a huge fan of your (and mpart's) work. I can't even begin to comprehend the time and energy that went into all this. But, I am so happy that you did, as this is one of my favourite stories, ever! I am also (not so secretly) shipping Manorath! I think she is perfect for him and vice versa. I think the fact that I asked you for spoilers to Anne and Majnun's story, just makes me long for their happy ever after that much more. Sheo has experienced so much for such a tortured soul.

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@mpart and I have such a big thing coming up... this next generation will be AMAZING. Just you wait. We've got SO MUCH planned. Our stories are really going to start coming together here soon (like, the next few chapters soon, we're super psyched).
I hope this isn't creepy but I saw you're with your best friend! I hope you're having a good time. =D
As for Manorath (such a strange name, made me think of Mammoth, I love it XD), I really really love them together. I hope they can work it out. Sheo will have such a nice storyline coming up (I hope). Hopefully everyone enjoys it as much as I do.

Offline Magpie2012

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Re: Reaper's Genetic Legacy Experiment: The Rise of Death
« Reply #938 on: June 22, 2016, 04:28:05 AM »
I can't wait to see what you've come up with!

Yeah, I'm 7 hours drive from home, in a town that's flipping freezing (we're in Winter here) and I'm loving it! I just wish I had longer than a week!

I am so glad that I've managed to find you another ship-name for our collection XD I'm starting to run out of ideas though lol

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because... Math *Pippin The Most Tenacious Simmer*

Only 2 things are infinite... The universe and human stupidity. And I'm not sure about the universe. *Albert Einstein*

Don't believe all the quotes that have been attributed to me. *Albert Einstein*

I can't ignore ALL of the voices in my head - Some of them actually make sense! *Blayzen*

Offline Magpie2012

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Re: Reaper's Genetic Legacy Experiment: The Rise of Death
« Reply #939 on: June 22, 2016, 04:30:07 AM »
I can't wait to see what you've come up with!

Yeah, I'm 7 hours drive from home, in a town that's flipping freezing (we're in Winter here) and I'm loving it! I just wish I had longer than a week!

I am so glad that I've managed to find you another ship-name for our collection XD I'm starting to run out of ideas though lol

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because... Math *Pippin The Most Tenacious Simmer*

Only 2 things are infinite... The universe and human stupidity. And I'm not sure about the universe. *Albert Einstein*

Don't believe all the quotes that have been attributed to me. *Albert Einstein*

I can't ignore ALL of the voices in my head - Some of them actually make sense! *Blayzen*

Offline LivvieLove

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Re: Reaper's Genetic Legacy Experiment: Too Little, Too Late
« Reply #940 on: June 22, 2016, 10:40:45 PM »
Too Little, Too Late: Part One
Midnight Hollow: Present Day
Alec was groggy and his head was pounding when he slowly opened his eyes. He groaned and rolled over onto his back in the bed. This was why overexpending your magic was a terrible idea. He slowly pulled himself off the bed and stretched his neck and shoulders. He would be feeling that for the next week. Where did the days go when he could shake off a brutal hangover in just under a few minutes?
Overexpending one’s magic has never been a hangover though. It was much worse than one. His eyes drifted over to the clock - it was nearing seven in the evening. Mary should be off of work by now, he thought idly and then he frowned. He wasn’t even sure of what her schedule was anymore. The thought made him upset. She had been right about one thing when she called. His priorities were a bit out of whack. He would need a big bouquet of flowers to help him apologize for that one. He remembered the way he spoke to her and he sighed. He had screwed up. He should never have spoken to her that way. He just didn’t get why she didn’t see how important this was to him.

After he pulled himself through the shower her wandered aimlessly to the dresser. He couldn’t remember which drawer had his clothes in it. He opened a few empty ones before finding his. Had Mary still not gotten fully unpacked? It was probably an Olivia thing. He didn’t think much of it and he continued throwing on some clean clothes.
He slowly found his way to the stairs and made his way down them. There was a chatter coming from the living area. How many people were in their house? It was just supposed to be him, Eveline and Mary. The chatter stopped suddenly as his feet touched the bottom floor. He walked around and found Eveline sitting at the table with… Jupiter? When did he get here? Jack stood in the corner on his phone, and there was a strange girl sitting at the table as well. What was going on?
A plate was barreling right for his head then and in a heartbeat he redirected it to smash against the wall with his magic. Eveline stood with her arm extended from the throw, her face angry. “Where. Have. You. Been?” Her voice was threatening and dark as she reached for another plate.
Alec’s eyes narrowed at her. “Eveline! That is NOT how you treat your father!”
Her face became a mixture of shock, amusement and anger. “F-F-Father?!” She laughed without amusement loudly, and Jupiter tried to grab her shoulder, hoping to calm her. “No, let me go.” She shook him off. “That’s not how I should treat my father, huh?” Her voice was angry and mocking. “Perhaps my father shouldn’t have up and VANISHED FROM OUR FREAKING FAMILY!” She ripped up another plate and threw it hard at him.

Alec’s brow knitted in confusion. “What are you talking about?!” His voice was defensive.
Eveline shook her head with irritation. “What am I talking about?! You’ve been gone for over a WEEK!” She was trembling with her anger. “No TEXT. No PHONE CALLS. No ANYTHING!” She grabbed the strange girl’s plate from in front of her and threw it at him. Alec deflected it with ease now.
Alec felt something inside of him sink. “What… what are you talking about? What is today?”
“You have a phone, and most of a brain… use it.” Eveline spat.
Alec’s eyes narrowed but he slowly pulled his phone from his pocket. It was dead. He shook it and threw it on the table. “Battery’s dead.”
“Oh, that makes it so much better.” Eveline reached into Jupiter’s pocket and grabbed his phone before throwing it with all the force she could muster. Alec jumped and stopped the speeding phone, it was a miracle it didn’t break.  Jupiter opened his mouth to protest but quietly closed it and shrugged at Alec. Eveline crossed her arms before she tilted her head slightly. “Jupiter?” She said sweetly. “I’m borrowing your phone.” Her face returned to being harsh as she glared in her father’s direction.
“I can… I can see that, Evie.” Jupiter chuckled slightly before sighing.

Alec woke the phone up and stared at the screen as he felt his whole world sink around him. “This… this can’t be right…” He whispered. “I wasn’t gone that long…” His brow furrowed. “Was I?” He threw the phone down on the table roughly, eliciting a sigh from Jupiter who was staring at it defeatedly. “Where’s Mary… Where’s your mother?” Alec said suddenly with desperation.
Eveline looked at him with contempt. “Oh, you suddenly care now? Why should I tell you?!” She had begun raising her voice.
“Eveline Reaper! It does not matter how upset you are, you will not treat me with disrespect!” Alec said firmly.
“Keeper!” Eveline shouted. “I go by Eveline KEEPER now, dad.”
Alec felt his throat restrict on the words. “You’ve… you’ve spoken to your grandfather…?”
Eveline rolled her eyes and shrugged. “He talks to me in my head all the time!”
Alec felt himself fill with rage, he slammed his hands on the table and Eveline jumped slightly, Jupiter stepping forward at an angle to move in between them if needed. “WHERE IS HE?!” Alec shouted. “WHERE IS HE HIDING?”
Eveline clenched her fists. “LIKE I WOULD EVER TELL YOU!”
“EVELINE!” He pinched the bridge of his nose and took in a breath. “You don’t understand what that man is capable of!”
Eveline waved him away with her hands. “Oh please, dad. Take your ignorance elsewhere. It’s not wanted here.”

“He’s a MURDERER, Eveline!”
“SO ARE YOU!” Eveline slammed her hands down on the table then. “So is Uncle Edward and Grandpa Noten! So is MOM - whom you’re SO quick to forget about, you… you-”
“That’s HARDLY the same!” Alec seethed. “You don’t KNOW HIM like I do!”
“Yeah?” Eveline gripped the table. “Well YOU don’t know him like I do!” She shook her head. “He’s always cared for me, probably more than you ever have! Especially more than you do now! Where were you when I nearly died?! Where were you when everything was falling apart?! Where were you, huh?! You weren’t there the night I was attacked in Bridgeport! You didn’t prepare for the worst case scenario to save my life! You weren’t there when I was kicked out of school as a kid! You didn’t defend me! You didn’t even look for me when I ran away! These are all things grandpa did! What have you done, huh? What have you done for me? For mom?” She shook her head, feeling her eyes burning. “I hate you.”
Alec stood stunned, unable to process the raw feelings that gripped at him. “Eveline, I-”

“I HATE YOU!” She screamed. She was getting far too emotional. She turned on her feet and ran for her room, slamming the door behind her.

Alec had run to his room and thrown his phone on the charger. He nearly shook the phone with anxiety as he waited for the phone to hold enough charge to turn on. He needed to call Mary. He needed to call her right now.
The phone took an eternity to turn on and it buzzed with unread messages and missed phone calls. His heart ached. He needed to call Mary. He ignored the messages and started to call her.
The phone rang once and then went to voicemail. Alec dialed it again and this time it rang twice before going to voicemail. She was deliberately ignoring his calls now. His heart was pounding with panic. He wanted to pace but he couldn’t with the phone attached to the wall.
He dialed her again.
And again.
Voicemail. Voicemail.

He waited for the signal to leave a message. “Mary, please, where are you? What’s going on? I’ve made a horrible mistake and I need to speak to you… please Mary. I had no idea… call me back. Let me know you’re safe. Something. Anything?”
He hung up and dialed her again. It rung once. Twice. Three times and he was getting hopeful. Voicemail. His heart sank. The beep came. “Mary? Please answer me. Please? Are you at least safe? Eveline won’t talk to me… she… she hates me, Mary. I get it! I screwed up, but please tell me you’re there. Please tell me you’re safe? Please call me back. Text me. Something? I’ve screwed up. I know I have. Please let me explain myself… I love you. I love you so much.” He sighed heavily. “Call me please.” He repeated.
He slowly sat on the floor and bit his lip. His phone vibrated in his hand and he saw the message that came through:
Why do you even care?
He felt sadness rip through him at the message. “Oh, Mary… what have I done?” He opened the text messaging app and a slew of text messages hit him in right where it hurt the most.

Alec? Where are you? Fri. 6:24pm.
Alec, please. Let me in. Sat. 9:41am.
I can help if you just let me. Sun. 1:21am.
You don’t have to do this alone, love. Please let me help? Sun. 10:03am.
Alec? Have you heard from Eveline today? It’s getting late… I’m worried. Mon. 7:14pm.
Eveline is home now, something happened to her. Where are you? Mon. 11:39pm.
Alec… please? Please don’t do this to me. Why won’t you answer me? Tues. 4:45am.
I don’t even care anymore Alec, please just come home. Eveline needs you. *I* need you. Tues. 4:31pm.
I’m begging you Alec. Please… just… please… come home? Even if it isn’t to see me. Tues. 6:22pm.
Is it someone else? We can figure this out… I… I want to help you… please… I want to make this work. Just one text. One word. Anything? Please? Wed. 3:02pm.
I can’t lose you like this Alec! Please! I’ve only ever wanted to make you happy. What did I do wrong? Can I at least try to fix it? Wed. 4:14pm.
I’m going crazy, Alec… are you safe? Are you alive? I don’t know who else to call… I just want my husband back. Thurs. 11:30am.
Please… if you’re ok, can you at least answer me?Thurs. 6:07pm.
Does our marriage mean so little to you now that you can’t even spare me a single text message? Thurs. 6:59pm.
I can’t do this anymore Alec. I’m falling apart without you. Is there really someone else? We’ve been married for twenty years... Fri. 5:24pm.
I’ve only ever loved you Alec. Why couldn’t you just let me in? Why can’t you just come home?! Fri. 6:00pm.
Alec… I just… I can’t do this anymore. I need to clear my head. I can’t do this anymore. I just… I can’t. I’m moving out. I need air.
Call me when you come home. Please? Fri. 7:34pm.
Then came the messages from after the phone call he finally answered. They cut deeper than he could ever imagine. He had ruined everything. He had spoken so carelessly and, in doing so, took a torch to his marriage.
...So that’s it? After all this time and you think I’M being selfish? Whatever Alec. I’m… I’m so done. I can’t believe you. You’re not the man I married. You’re hardly a man at all anymore. Sun. 12:20pm.
I’ll send you the papers in the mail. I’d hate to trouble you with what’s most important in YOUR little world, Alec. Sun. 12:23pm.
Why do you even care? Today. 7:23pm.
It was Wednesday night now. He had been gone nearly two weeks. Time at the Madhouse was always wonky, but he never thought it was this bad. He closed his eyes. He knew it wasn't just the Madhouse. He had overexpended his magic over and over. He thought he had just been sleeping for a few hours in the times he had stopped to rest. He hadn't bothered to check anything else. Eveline had been hurt? Mary had needed him? Where was he?
Alec clutched the phone to his chest. Reading each painful message over and over again. Tears burned as they fell from his eyes. I’d hate to trouble you with what’s most important in YOUR little world, Alec. He swallowed and sobbed as he lay on the ground. “Mary…” He whispered. “Mary…I’m so… I’m so sorry.”

Alec crumbled inside. Papers? She was sending him papers in the mail? She was leaving him? His Mary. His wife. He saw her standing in the rain, her golden dress on, the anger and confusion in her eyes as he chased her halfway around the island after that stupid ball. He was never good enough for her. She was so good. She was so determined. She was so level-headed and she challenged everything he ever knew. She was the only thing in the world he ever wanted and he never deserved her.
He knew it too. He never deserved her smiles. Her laughter. Her grace. Her understanding. Her love. She had told him everything about herself and he couldn’t bear to tell her more than stock answers about himself. He devoured every word she spoke to memory. Every emotion she shared. She was so good and he was so bad for her but he wanted her anyways.
He stared at his phone numbly. It was a picture of her. It had always been her. Her eyes were filled with laughter. Her hand was shoving the camera away. She was trying to scowl at him for sneaking the picture. She couldn’t do it though because he had caught her off guard after telling a joke. He couldn’t even remember the joke anymore. He just remembered her laughter.
“What are you doing?” She had narrowed her eyes at him while laughing.
“Absolutely nothing! I got an email from work. You know. Work. Money. Politics. All that jazz.”
She shook her head, still laughing when her eyes went wider. “You are NOT taking my picture like that. No!” She shoved the camera away.
“Picture? What could you possibly be…” He had forgotten to turn the camera sound off. “Talking about. That was not what you think it was. Don’t-”
“Delete that!” She tried to glare at him through her laughter. “You’re being ridiculous!”
He took another one. “What? Take more pictures of my beautiful wife? Of course I will!”
She rolled her eyes. “Stop! I just got done punching a training dummy half to death.”
“Roar indeed, the beautiful lioness Mary finished her hunt, bringing home the slaughter for her pathetic, lucky husband.” He held the camera up and took another picture.
Mary couldn’t stop laughing but she tried so hard to be serious. “You’re ridiculous.” She shook her head.
“I love you, Mary.” He held up the camera, raising his eyebrows as he hoped to take one more picture.
She made that face, preparing to shove his phone away again. “I love you too.” She said with an exaggerated sigh.

He had taken everything for granted.
He needed to talk to her. He needed to win her back.

Mary stood and stared at herself in the mirror. Her heart was aching. Everything hurt. Why did he care now? Why now? She gripped the edge of the sink as she struggled to breathe.
Her phone was going off. Again. Part of her wanted to snap - to answer it and tell him to never call her again.
The other part of her wanted to believe the never-ending stream of text messages that told her about how sorry he was and what a fool he was. He was most certainly a fool, to put it kindly. Yet Mary couldn’t let it go. She had done everything alone since she got here. They didn’t have a marriage anymore in her mind, just a husk of what there once was.
How much of it was built on a lie? She couldn’t fathom it. Did she really know her husband? Twenty years together and she had seen glimpses of the nasty side of him, but she just assumed it wasn’t really him.

She took in a breath and closed her eyes when there was a knock and one of Edward’s daughter’s, Rachelle, appeared in the doorway. Edward and her twin sister, Lakisha were at the hospital due to Lakisha’s asthma acting up. Rachelle stared at her with concern in her eyes. “Aunt Mary? Are you ok?”
Mary let out a breath through her closed lips and she nodded slowly. “Yeah, Elle. Just checking to see if I look as tired as I feel…” She laughed lightly. “I do.”
Rachelle frowned slightly and thought on it for a minute. “Aunt Mary?”
“Hm?” Mary hummed.
“Whenever I feel bad, I do something different with myself. I feel like if I look bad, I feel bad… but if I like how I look, I’m less likely to feel bad.” She paused. “I don’t know… maybe that might help you?”
Mary looked back at her tired eyes in the mirror and then at Rachelle again before smiling softly. “I think that’s a great idea.” She pulled herself away from the sink. “Do you think you can help me with that?
Rachelle smiled widely back at her. “Oh! Yes! I love shopping! Let’s go!”
Mary and Rachelle spent the afternoon running from salon to clothing stores to shoe stores and more. While shopping usually exhausted and annoyed Mary, today felt different - freeing. Mary cut off her hair - cut off the dead weight that came with it. She had forgotten how good it felt to not care about her hair, only this time she didn’t have to call herself James.

Maybel got fussier as the day went on and eventually Mary and Rachelle had to call it quits. They grabbed some food at the local fast food joint and headed back for home.
Home for Edward, that is. Mary had been eyeing some different houses and apartments she could rent soon, but the thought of being alone seemed so daunting at first.
It seemed a little less so now. Rachelle was talking about the new boy in school and Maybel had fallen asleep in the car when they pulled up the drive. Mary’s eyes caught onto the man sitting on the stoop of the house, looking worse for the wear.

Rachelle’s eyes drifted that way and back to Mary. “Aunt Mary…?”
“Go ahead and take Maybel inside, Elle.”
Rachelle nodded quickly and ducked up the drive with Maybel in her arms.
Mary took in a breath as she was rushed with every emotion she didn’t want to feel. She clutched the steering wheel a little while longer before she finally got out of the car, shutting the door behind her. She walked slowly, feeling numb and angry.
Alec’s eyes stared at her with a hint of surprise before shifting to longing and anguish again. “Mary…”
“You shouldn’t be here.” Mary’s voice was cold.
He swallowed. “Please… I just need to talk to you…”
“Oh? Is that what you need? That’s interesting… you know I needed to talk to you some time ago, but I wasn’t important enough for you then.”
She could see the sting from her words hit his face, he looked at her with pain in his eyes. “I know…” He whispered. “I’m… I’m sorry.”

His apology nearly buckled her, but she steeled her nerves. She was just too angry to take his apology at face value. “Are you really sorry? Or are you just sorry that it was inconvenient for you?”
Alec’s chest was heaving as he seemed out of breath from the comment. He shook his head slowly. “You’ve never been…”
Mary held up her hand. “Our whole relationship was based around your convenience. So long as things were going well for you, things would be fine for us. The minute things got hard for you, though? Eveline and I were the first to be forgotten.”
“No… Mary, please; I want to explain-” He took a step forward, yet he seemed to be shrinking inside himself.

“Explain what? Now you want to explain things?! You’re joking right?! We were together for twenty years!” She threw her hands out in front of her. “TWENTY! You NEVER told me anything about your past if you could help it.” She clenched her fists tightly. “Hell, Alec; would you have ever told me about your father if Olivia hadn’t forced you to?! Would I have had to have found out from the way he waltzed into our home and grabbed our daughter?!
“I just didn’t want to drag you into his mess, Mary…” Alec frowned.
Mary rolled her eyes and scowled. “Right, so falling in love with me, getting me pregnant and marrying me wouldn’t have done that?”
“It was before I knew-”
She closed her eyes and looked away from him, sighing harshly. “I don’t care, Alec. What do you want? What do you really want? I’m tired of you messing with my head. You love me; you don’t. You don’t want to talk to me; you do. I’m a good wife; I’m selfish and can’t possibly understand you. Just… pick one and get out of here. It’ll change nothing.”

Alec felt his world crumbling. He had to make this better. He fell to his knees in front of her. “I… I do love you, Mary. I love you so, so much. I want… I want to fix this… please?” His voice was just a whisper.
Mary shook her head quickly, trying to keep her eyes off of the man she once loved. “Alec… please… get off the ground… please…” She kept shaking her head. “Get up!”
“Please, Mary! I need you.” He begged.
Mary felt a tear fall from her eyes, but his words only made her angrier. He needs her now, now that he realizes that she’s gone and no longer convenient. Mary shook her head again. “No, Alec. It’s just too little, too late.” She couldn’t stand to see how gutted her words left him, so she strode past him quickly and into the house, shutting the door tightly behind her.

Offline LivvieLove

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Re: Reaper's Genetic Legacy Experiment: Too Little, Too Late
« Reply #941 on: June 22, 2016, 10:41:51 PM »
Too Little, Too Late: Part Two
Midnight Hollow: Present Day
It had been three weeks since Edward had to take his daughter to the hospital because Johanna had thrown out her inhalers. He had been so infuriated that his ex-wife would be so petty, but now she had stooped to an all-new low. He sat numb at the dining table; he could hardly breathe. This wasn’t happening to him. It couldn’t be happening. He put his head in his hands.
“What’s up, Ed?” Mary called from the doorway.

Edward looked at her with heavy eyes and panic on his face. “Johanna… She’s…”
“Daddy? I’m home! Study Club got canceled! Kind of a bummer, but that’s ok! Where are you anyways? I wanted to tell you about my day!” Laughter filled the hallway.
Edward scrambled to flip the papers he was staring at over on the table as a bright, violet-eyed girl poked her head into the dining room - Lakisha.
“What are you doing in here, silly?” She smiled brightly at him; her eyes caught onto Mary. “Oh! Hi Aunt Mary! I’m sorry! I didn’t realize you were in here too!”
Edward tried to smile at her normally. “Hey baby girl.”
Mary mimicked Edward’s smile gently. “Hey Lala.” She said warmly. “Is Elle with you?”

Lakisha shrugged her shoulders lightly, but laughed warmly all the same. She was forever cheerful. “Just me! Elle is… I’m not sure. She doesn’t often include me in things… but she’s very busy. She has a lot of friends, she’s very popular at school, and she’s captain of a lot of clubs.” Lakisha was counting three things on her fingers and her smile grew wider. She had a habit of counting three positive things for every negative thing she thought about - and it was no secret that Rachelle had taken to bullying her twin at school. Yet Lala only ever said kind things about her. Mary never quite understood how someone could remain so cheerful all the time.
“How was school, baby?” Edward leaned on the table, looking at her with his weary but warm eyes.
Lakisha stepped fully into the room, beaming with excitement. “Oh! I got my math test back! I got a B on it! I was so happy, daddy! I was really nervous about that test, but I know I did my best. I didn’t even need my inhaler today - oh, and we’ll be having a Choir concert in a week! I’m so excited! Will you go, Aunt Mary?” Again, she counted each positive thing on her fingers.
Mary smiled at her warmly. “I wouldn’t miss it for the world.” She paused. “It sounds like you’ve had a good day, Lala.”

Lala giggled. “Everyday is a good day if you're looking at it in the right light, Aunt Mary. There’s no such thing as bad days.” She shook her head but smiled still. “There will always be more positive things in the world than negative. You just have to look for them, right, daddy?”
Edward smiled at her genuinely. “That’s right, baby girl.” He paused and looked at Mary briefly before turning back to Lakisha. “Hey, Lala… sweetheart? Why don’t you go upstairs and check on Maybel. Aunt Mary and I are looking at some not-so-great paperwork.”
Lala nodded. “Of course! I’m sorry if I interrupted!”
Edward shook his head. “Never, sweetheart. I’ll come up and you can tell me more about your day when we’re finished up here, ok?”
Lala smiled brightly and nodded before tipping her head and curtseying slightly. She turned and skipped out of the room and up the stairs.
“She’s my little ball of sunshine, it seems.” Edward chuckled. “Never a dark day with her in the house. Meanwhile Rachelle has more attitude than the entire Drama Club combined.”
Mary laughed hollowly. “It’s hard to believe they’re twins sometimes.”
“You have no idea, Mary.” Edward frowned then before turning the paperwork back over.
“So what’s up, Ed? You’re making me worry with that face you’re making. You said it’s Johanna?” Mary sat down slowly, looking at him with concern.

“She’s taking me to court, Mary.” He breathed. “It’s not… it’s not good.”
“Court? What for?” Mary shook her head. She felt her phone start vibrating in her pocket and she looked down to check it idly, in case Eveline were calling. Instead she saw Alec’s name and her heart stopped. She swallowed and sent it to voicemail. Another voicemail she would ignore. Another pleading voicemail. Why was he doing this now? She had figured he would’ve given up by this point, but he was still determined.
“He’s calling again, isn’t he?” Edward shook his head with an annoyed sigh. “I don't want to rush you into doing something, Mary... but he's only going to get worse the longer you wait. Do you still want to put those papers in?”
“I know... and I do.” She whispered softly. “Sometimes I just wonder if maybe he really is back to his senses… but then I remember how coldly he treated me… and I… I mean… how can I just forget that? I’m his wife when it’s convenient for him, and when it's not I'm better off a statue in his world.”
Edward reached over and grasped her hand. “You deserve better than that, Sis.” Mary looked into the eyes of her older brother and resisted the urge to fall apart. Edward always kept her together. All those years they grew up it was them against the world, and that's how it would always be. Edward was a hot-head and she overanalyzed everything. She was there to cool him off and he was there to help her sort through the messy emotional side of life. She squeezed his hand back and nodded.

“Enough about this… why is Johanna taking you to court?”
Edward pushed the papers her direction and Mary skimmed over them briefly as her eyes became wide.
“She wants the girls?! No way! She can’t! She’s the one who left you! She forfeit all her rights to the kids when she did that! She doesn’t stand a chance!” Mary shoved the papers away then as she scoffed at them.
“It’s not just that, Mary.” Edward said darkly. “She’s saying I threw her out.” He stared at the table. “She’s saying that I’ve prevented proper authority from taking place due to my position as a cop, that I’m abusive, and she’s using our history from ol’ Isla to back up her claim.”
Mary shook her head firmly. “That’s utter crap. It’s complete and utter crap and everyone knows it, Ed.”
His face did not reflect Mary’s certainty. “I’ve been summoned back to Bridgeport. I have to take the girls with me to hand over to her or they’ll be taken from me.” His eyes grew slightly glassy as he looked at Mary. “I can’t lose my girls, Mary. They’re my life.”
Mary frowned. “You won’t lose your girls, Ed. I promise. This letter is probably just a bluff - she’s got nothing to stand on, Edward!”
The doorbell rang eerily and Mary and Edward shared a dismal look.
Edward slowly pulled himself to his feet and walked towards the door with Mary following a bit behind him. “Hey dad? I think it’s Officer Mai. Is she coming over for dinner tonight?” Lakisha called from around the corner, a baby girl in her arms. “I can help cook!”

Mary held her hand out to stop Lakisha as she looked at Edward nervously. Neither of them were expecting visitors. Edward pulled the door open and was greeted by a solemn face.
“Mai, what can I do for you?” Edward leaned against the doorway, blocking her entry. Perhaps it was the look on her face or the strange timing of it all, but Edward already knew where the conversation was heading.
“I’m… sorry, Edward. I’m… I’m here for the girls.” She looked at him with sympathy and sadness.
Edward shook his head. “No, you can’t do that. I know my rights, Officer Mai.” Edward was clenching his fists.
Mai handed him a paper from her pocket. “I’m… sorry.” It was all she could manage.
Edward skimmed the page and felt his heart break. He slowly brought a hand up to rub his face slowly. “Bridgeport? Really? She left us! She can’t just take my girls away from me!”
“Please, Edward…” Mai looked around nervously and her voice lowered. “They’re investigating you right now. We all like you, Ed, but they’re taking reports of your potential abuse of the system very seriously. Please don’t fight this and give them a reason to suspect truth in the lies.”
Edward looked like he was about to pop. He gripped the papers in his hands before he slowly nodded his head. “Lakisha?” He called without looking back.
Lakisha came around the corner holding Maybel, confusion and worry in her eyes. “Yeah, daddy?”
“Go and pack you and your sisters’ things. Officer Mai is going to accompany you to the airport where you will be transported to Bridgeport.” His voice was low and quiet.
Lakisha looked at her father and Officer Mai with a small bit of defiance in her eyes. “Bridgeport? Why? Why are we going back to Bridgeport?”
Officer Mai took a small step forward and nodded slightly. “Your mother has gained a temporary order of full custody of you and your sisters, Lala. I’m sorry. I don’t want to do this, but… I have to.”

Lakisha’s eyes went big as she looked at Edward. Sadness was filling her usually cheerful face. “But… you can’t! I… I want to say here… I want to stay with my dad!” Lakisha tightened her grip on the toddler in her arms. “Please… please don’t make me go, daddy.”
Officer Mai frowned. “I’m sorry, Lala. Please… I need you to go upstairs and gather all of your necessities and your sisters too. She’s being collected by Officer Yates from the High School.”
Lakisha stood firmly, her eyes looking at Edward.
Edward looked at her with sadness in his eyes. “Do as she says, baby.”
Maybel started to cry from the tension, and a soft tear fell out of Lakisha’s eyes. “You’re coming with us, right, daddy? You’re not going to leave us like mom did… right? What happens if I can’t breathe? What if I need you?”
Edward looked at Officer Mai wearily, “can I speak to my daughter alone for a minute?” Mai’s face shifted to discomfort as she looked around the room. “Please?” Edward begged.
“I’ll… I’ll be right outside the door. I really… really shouldn’t.” Mai stressed.

“Thank you.” Edward whispered to her gratefully. Mai stepped outside the door and Edward walked over to his children. Lakisha’s tears were accompanied by ragged breathing and Maybel was wiggling and wailing. He put his hands on Lakisha's shoulders and pulled her into a hug with Maybel held between them. “Everything will be ok, baby girl. I’ll be right behind you. Ok? We’re going to get this mess sorted out and we’ll be back in time for your concert.” He rubbed her back softly and reached in to kiss Maybel’s head. “Just breathe normally, Lala. Breathe with me. In… and out… think about all the good things that happened today and focus on your breathing. Everything will be ok, baby.” Maybel reached and tugged on one of Edward’s dreadlocks as she sniffled and calmed by being near him. Edward smiled sadly and hugged them tighter to him.
Mary watched them as her heart was breaking. Nothing had gone right for anyone since moving to this town. Everything was in shambles.
Officer Mai poked her head back in then. “We really need to get going; Rachelle has been collected from the school.”
Edward looked at her while still hugging Lakisha and Maybel close to him. “Can I see her before she goes?”
Mai’s face looked pained and she slowly shook her head. “I’m sorry… Edward… I’m really giving you more than I’m allowed to already…”
Edward closed his eyes and nodded. He slowly pulled away from Lakisha who started crying harder while she clutched Mabel. “No… NO! Please! I don’t want to go!” She shook her head and had trouble breathing in and out regularly. Maybel started crying and reaching for Edward from Lakisha’s arms. Lakisha turned her tear stained face to Mai. “Please… please don’t make me go… please…”

Another Officer approached the open doorway and poked their head in. “Officer Mai? We need to get going. Are those the other two girls?”
Officer Mai slowly nodded, and the second Officer came into the room, reaching out to grab Maybel. “We can always have new things bought for them to sustain them until Edward ships the necessities. We need to get them to the airport before the plane takes off.”
Edward was clenching his fists and gritting his teeth. It was taking all of his strength to not fight back. The old Edward wouldn’t have hesitated to punch them out and deal with the consequences later… but he was not that Edward anymore. He was a dad now, and his girls always came first. Maybel was screaming at the top of her little lungs and Lakisha was sobbing as they started to pull her towards the doorway. She looked at Edward with big eyes. “Dad... Daddy! Please... I don’t want to go!”
A tear fell from Edward’s eyes. “I’ll be right behind you baby, I promise! I’ll be right behind you!” Lakisha was ushered out the door and Edward surged forward, “do you have your inhaler, baby?!”

Lakisha’s eyes went big and Edward turned and ran up the stairs as fast as he could muster. He burst into the bathroom and tore through each cabinet until he grabbed the spare one he kept for her there. Just as quickly he took the stairs two at a time down and threw all of his weight on the door. Lakisha sat in the back of the police car, trembling while she held her baby sister. Edward began knocking furiously on the window until Officer Mai rolled it down slowly.
“Edward…” She warned.
Edward quickly stuck his head in and handed Lakisha her inhaler. “Just hold on, ok? I’ll be right behind you. I promise.” He closed her hand around the inhaler and squeezed it. “I promise!” He repeated. “Call me when you get in. Take your medication at night before bed. Don’t panic. Everything will be ok. Remember to breathe like how the doctors taught you. Call me anytime you need to, baby. Everything will be ok-”
“Edward! Please!” Officer Mai gave him a warning look and he slowly backed out of the car.
“I love you both. Tell Elle I love her. I’m right behind you!” He watched the car back out of the drive and disappear around the corner. His whole body ached. He wanted to collapse to the ground and scream, but he held it in. He had to pack.
He would be on the next flight to Bridgeport no matter what it took.

Eveline woke up slowly to the movement of Jupiter next to her. She smiled softly and pressed herself closer to him. They had mostly kept to separate rooms when they had first reestablished their relationship. It hadn’t lasted long before Eveline had Jupiter move his slab into her bedroom. That change lasted all of a few hours the first night. Eveline had stayed up most of the night just talking to him. They went back and forth, and he made her laugh until her sides hurt - just like he had done when they went to Egypt. When they had gotten quiet she had asked if he would let her see his face again. He had. He had new scars, yet his face was still the same face she had always loved. He told her about the markings he got. She always tried to imagine them, but she only ever saw his eyes the night everything fell apart.

He never let her think about it for long. Things were different this time and she could feel it. She had been hesitant to believe him at first, but every inch she gave him he took and never gave back. All the hesitation and anxiety was gone from his actions and words. He took her on dates every, single night she was free and he often would be around to pick her up directly after she got off work, or to go to lunch with her during the day. He had taken up Professional Photography and it gave him a very flexible schedule, and - as he would put it - plenty of excuses to take her out to formal weddings and events. He was so determined to show her - and anyone who would listen - how happy he was to be with her. Despite the happiness she felt with him, she still had to wonder how long it would last this time.
“Good morning.” She whispered to him as she felt a smile pulling on her lips.
Jupiter, whose arms were around her, pulled her closer against him and buried his face into her hair, inhaling deeply. “You’re up early.” He whispered back. “Good morning, beautiful.”
Eveline felt her cheeks turning pink and she swatted at him lightly. “I may not know what time it is, but it’s far too early for you to be making me blush.”

His hand came up and he brushed the hair out of her face. “It’s never too early for that, trust me.” She could hear the grin in his voice before he kissed her cheek and then her jaw. He stopped then and the silence seemed to carry on as she figured out what he was staring at - the vampire bite on her neck. “Does it hurt still?” He whispered as his finger traced the scar lightly.
Eveline shook her head. “Sometimes when I remember that night I’ll feel the cold again, but it certainly doesn’t hurt me.”
He rested his forehead against her head then and sighed. “I’m so sorry, Eveline.”
“You gave up your cure for me, Jupiter. Why are you sorry?” Eveline twisted in his grip to face more towards him. She reached her hands forward to touch his face. She could feel the sadness and worry in his expression.
“That whole night never should have happened. It makes me angry to know what he did to you.” Anger wasn’t the only thing he felt though, and that was the worst part of it. He wanted to pretend he was angry about it, but in reality that wasn’t it at all. Eveline now had the mark of Lucien on her neck. Not his mark, but Lucien’s.
It was a symbol of ownership in the vampire community, and he had only ever become more attuned to the customs since his transition into a Vampire Lord rather than less. Everything in the world was owned by something - it was part of what his enhanced vision told him. Eveline was not his, and it enraged the beast that he kept chained inside himself.
It was a reminder of what a monster he was - that his only primal need was to possess her as much as he possibly could. As dark as it was, it was still better than having to resist draining every last drop of blood from her. He wanted to bite her and drink her blood - that was for sure, but not for the sake of hunger this time, but possessiveness. Jupiter had to wonder if there was any irony to the situation.

“Is that really what it is?” Eveline’s face scrunched with curiosity. He had a small obsession with the bite mark on her neck and she was beginning to wonder if it was really upset about her being attacked or if there was more to the puzzle. This also wasn’t the first time he had asked if it still hurt her. A thought passed through her mind idly. “Do you want to drink my blood?” She was trying to piece it together.
His grip had tightened on her and he cleared his throat suddenly. “No, not at all. Why?” His mind was screaming yes and he could feel the monster in himself yanking on the walls of the cage. Her gentle pulse, the magic that radiated in her. She could be his. She would only ever be his.
Eveline’s brow furrowed together but she smiled. “You’re lying!” She teased.
Jupiter gritted his teeth silently. “I’m a vampire, Eveline.” He tried to shake it off. “Just because I was upgraded doesn’t mean the urge isn’t still there.” He said quickly.
She pursed her lips, not sure if she believed him or not but eventually she shrugged. “You’re welcome to have it.”
He resisted tightening his grip on her again, fearing he would hurt her accidentally. “Have… have what?” He swallowed slowly. Is she giving him permission? No. She can’t. Even if she did, he can’t. He would never hurt her in that way. He always told himself that.
Eveline made a face at him. “My pancakes.” She laughed and then shook her head. “My blood, silly.”
“I don’t want to hurt you.” He whispered, his eyes lingering on her neck.
Eveline let out a breathy laugh. “You won’t. Don’t you remember what you told me a while ago? It’s supposed to feel good for both participants when done right… isn’t it?”

Jupiter sucked in his lips. He didn’t need convincing. He needed more convincing not to. “It… does…” He started. “But it also has the chance of turning the… victim-” As that’s what she would be - a victim of him. The word was a careful reminder to himself of why he needed to stay firm in his resolve. “-into a thrall, and that’s not something I could be ok with when it comes to you, Eveline.”
“A thrall?” She pursed her lips. “What’s so bad about that? Doesn’t that just mean I would be obsessed with you? I already am.” She teased.
He frowned. “It’s more than that, Eveline.” He brushed her cheek with a fingertip. “Thralls are people who lose their free will in favor of the Vampire who controls them. I could never do that to you. You mean far, far too much to me.”
“Do you become a thrall from just one bite?” She was curious now. “I thought it took more than that.”
“It does… I just…” He sighed. “It can be addictive. I can’t… I can’t begin to describe it.”
“Addictive for you… or addictive for me?” Eveline snuggled up closer to him.
“Both.” Jupiter swallowed. “That’s the trouble.”
Eveline smiled deviously and tipped her head into the bed, further exposing her neck to him. “Trouble, huh?”

Jupiter rolled his eyes and took in a deep breath, inhaling her scent. He desired it, yes, but it wasn’t going to break him. “You’re trouble. You know that?” He mumbled as he took in another deep breath.
Eveline pouted then and pulled away enough to cross her arms slightly. “I am not.”
He chuckled and pulled her back to him. “Are too.” He let out a calm breath. “I love every minute of it.”
Her pout slowly turned into a smile and they rested in the quiet.
“Eveline?” Jupiter broke their silence after a minute.
“Would you… go somewhere with me?” He asked slowly.
Eveline smiled big, “somewhere? With you? Gee, I don’t know, Jupiter. I only go places with you every day.” She paused only briefly. “Where would you like to go?”
“Somewhere… farther away than usual.” He looked at her with a bit of anxiety. “If that’s ok with you?”
Eveline pursed her lips but smiled brightly. “Oh? Where would we be going?”
Jupiter sucked in his lips. “Secret.”
“Super secret?” Eveline looked at him curious, contemplating. “How long would we be gone to this… ‘farther away, secret’ place?”

“As long as I can steal you for. How much time can you get off?” He worried she wouldn’t get any time off with a potential red out coming any day now. The month had been free of them thus far, but everyone was holding their breaths as they waited for one to strike.
“I can call in sick for a long weekend, would that be enough time?” Eveline asked hopefully.
Jupiter nodded then, “I think that should be just enough time.”
Eveline squealed and hugged him. “When do we leave?!”
Jupiter smiled. “As soon as you’re ready?”
Eveline threw herself out of bed suddenly and ran for the dresser to gather her things. Jupiter grinned at her and propped himself up on the bed. She started to talk over her shoulder. “Are we flying there? I’ll tell Seema to cover for me! How hot will it be? No! Don’t tell me, I’ll just pack everything…”
Jupiter chuckled under his breath as he watched her scrambling to grab everything. He had called in a few favors, and she wouldn’t need anything.
He just hoped she’d say ‘yes.’

Offline oshizu

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Re: Reaper's Genetic Legacy Experiment: Too Little, Too Late
« Reply #942 on: June 22, 2016, 11:24:53 PM »
Ohhh, what sad chapters!

Poor Alex--I really don't want the son of Majnun and Anne to come to an unhappy ending. I want him to live the joy that Anne so deserved!
Mary, please, let him tell you what's been happening with him! (because we still don't know...)

I also feel very bad for Edward and his girls. How could a mother who throws out her daughter's inhaler succeed in obtaining custody?

Wel, at least Eveline and Jupiter are back in love! Can't wait to learn where this very secret location is!

Offline LivvieLove

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Re: Reaper's Genetic Legacy Experiment: Too Little, Too Late
« Reply #943 on: June 23, 2016, 12:32:30 AM »
Ohhh, what sad chapters!

Poor Alex--I really don't want the son of Majnun and Anne to come to an unhappy ending. I want him to live the joy that Anne so deserved!
Mary, please, let him tell you what's been happening with him! (because we still don't know...)

I also feel very bad for Edward and his girls. How could a mother who throws out her daughter's inhaler succeed in obtaining custody?

Wel, at least Eveline and Jupiter are back in love! Can't wait to learn where this very secret location is!
I know, I've had quite a few sadder chapters in a row lately. I'm sorry if this seems a little much! There should be some lighter chapters coming soon. I'm also trying my best to balance out the dark with a few happier moments sparsed out in between.
As for Alec, I feel bad for him and I don't at the same time. I'm mostly cheering on Mary in that gorgeous makeover as she tells him to get himself together!
On the other hand, he really did break a little bit when he realized Mary wasn't home. (Shrugs)

Johanna is a piece of work. I just... I don't know what else to say. I love Lala though. Oh Lala is such a gem! She reminds me so much of Anne. Johanna is one of those "you don't need medication to get better" kinds of parents and Lala needs her inhaler. Johanna shouldn't have gotten custody, but she has friends in high places (ahem, coughcough she-slept-with-them-and-cheated-on-Edward-with-them >:( coughcough) which can make Edward's life very difficult. On the plus side, however - Edward also has friends in high places. That will still make for one long custody battle...

<3 Eveline and Jupiter! Whoop, whoop! Their mush always brightens my chapters up.

Offline PeregrineTook

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Re: Reaper's Genetic Legacy Experiment: Too Little, Too Late
« Reply #944 on: June 23, 2016, 10:03:40 AM »
Lala walked in and was instantly adorable and glorious and then we got kicked in the souls.  Sigh.
Eveline's pancake comment was lovely!  Nice bit of comic relief after the seriousness of the chapter.

Offline KRae

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Re: Reaper's Genetic Legacy Experiment: Too Little, Too Late
« Reply #945 on: June 23, 2016, 06:29:24 PM »
I'm hoping to see more of Lala and sweet little Maybel soon. It's so heartbreaking. A toddler just couldn't understand that Daddy wasn't abandoning her.

Offline LivvieLove

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Re: Reaper's Genetic Legacy Experiment: Too Little, Too Late
« Reply #946 on: June 24, 2016, 08:22:26 PM »
Lala walked in and was instantly adorable and glorious and then we got kicked in the souls.  Sigh.
Eveline's pancake comment was lovely!  Nice bit of comic relief after the seriousness of the chapter.
Kicked in the souls? Hahah I love it! I mean, I don't love kicking people in the souls, but I've just never heard that before... I do love Lala. She's super sweet and always so cheerful. This won't be the last time we see her.
Majnun has a massive slight obsession with pancakes. Eveline takes after he does. ::) I'm glad there was a bit of comic relief there. I'll hopefully have a few brighter chapters incoming.
Hopefully. These characters write themselves sometimes.

I'm hoping to see more of Lala and sweet little Maybel soon. It's so heartbreaking. A toddler just couldn't understand that Daddy wasn't abandoning her.
Wish granted! I have a chapter coming up with her in it. =) She's far too adorable to leave alone. I feel bad for Rachelle, but she's just not... pretty. In more ways than just appearances. She's just mean most of the time and she takes after her mom in a lot of ways...
Lala though? She's something else. I adore her. Maybel is so cute too! Ugh, Edward has such beautiful kids. He'd do anything for them.

Offline LivvieLove

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Re: Reaper's Genetic Legacy Experiment: The Pirate and the Siren
« Reply #947 on: June 25, 2016, 01:06:36 AM »
This chapter is another collaboration with the fabulous @mpart! We thought, hey! Edward could use a friend and then... things never work out the way we intend for them to. Ah well... Johanna who?
Anyways, mpart is responsible for all the dialogue belonging to Gwen Labelle and she's also responsible for all the lovely pictures! Find Gwen's version of events HERE!

The Pirate and the Siren
Bridgeport: Present Day
Edward sighed as he stood in front of the police building in downtown Bridgeport. The sun had set and rain had started to come down. It matched his mood for the evening. Today was supposed to be a day full of victories but he only felt hollow. He had the initial custody hearing - the one that would hold them over for the big fight. He had the whole town and his friends on his side - he couldn't possibly lose.
Yet in a way, he had.
Maybel wasn't his.
The words echoed in his ears. His little girl wasn't his. He couldn't believe it. He wouldn't believe it. Yet Johanna had proof. One home DNA test revealed Maybel was not a match to him. The courts took a DNA sample and intend to do a real test soon, but he already knew the answer. Maybel looked nothing like him. She would always be his little girl, but she looked nothing like him.
They wouldn't let him take Maybel home with him until they had confirmation that she was his child; however, he did get to take the twins home with him. Lala had nearly broken down into an asthma attack when she saw him, and Elle seemed to have grown bitter and angry with him - giving him more attitude than she usually did.
Being back in Bridgeport was almost eerie to Edward. He called in a favor from Jonathon, an old buddy of his who owned a diner out in the outskirts of the town, and managed to grab a rental house to stay in for the time being. Looking at the fight ahead, they could be here a while.
Johanna started calling his phone again now and Edward grimaced and sent it to voicemail. He was not going to put up with her tonight. He just couldn't. She flipped like a switch and it drove him insane.
"Let's get back together."
"You were never good enough for me."
"I'm so sorry, Edward... if you had just been there for me, then I wouldn't have gone to someone else!"
"It's always been MARY this and MARY that! Don't you ever care about anyone else?!"
"I've only ever been good to you, you know that?"
"Did you ever love me?"

Edward shook his head and thought about chucking his phone across the street and into the mud, but he resisted. Instead he stood and let the rain soak him to the bone, yet it didn't make him feel any less numb.

Edward found himself wandering down a familiar road to one of his old haunts. Davy could make one hell of a drink when you were down, and Edward found himself in desperate need for one. He opened the door to the bar and stepped inside.
It was quiet in there, a little too quiet. All the people in the room were speaking in hushed voices. Edward's brow became knitted together in confusion as to why, then he remembered he didn't care. He shrugged his shoulder lightly. All that mattered was he got something to drink - something strong. He slowly sauntered to his regular spot at the bar, where a woman with bright neon hair sat smirking and looking like she was about to kill someone. Edward looked at her briefly before reminding himself his universal truth: he just didn't care.

Slowly Edward laid a bill on the counter and signaled to Davy. "Hit me with a rum and coke, minus the coke." He gritted his teeth and felt his phone going off in his pocket again. He couldn't take it any longer. He just couldn't take it. He pulled his phone out and sure enough: "Wicked Witch" popped up on his phone. He was fully aware how much of a child he was, and at the same time he didn't care. He turned back to Davy and sighed, "and a glass of water, please?" He watched Davy give the woman next to him a glare before grabbing a glass and filling the order for water first. The water glass was set down and Edward wasted no time taking his phone and sinking it into the ice water. He watched the phone slowly die with satisfaction. "That's better."
He would need to call Lala from the bar phone and get a new phone tomorrow... yet at the same time he just couldn't bring himself to care. The woman next to him watched with a strange look on her face before reaching for his water glass, yanking his phone out and shoving her own phone in it. She sighed with relief and slowly lowered her head into her hands. "Maybe he'll shut up now." She mumbled. Edward watched her with sympathy. He knew the 'just-divorced' look better than anyone else at the bar right now. She then turned to a man who was staring at her with awe and fear in his eyes and spoke with confidence. "Get my shoes from outside."
The man mumbled something back to her, but she wasn't having any of it. "Now." She commanded. Edward resisted smiling. The woman certainly did know how to control a crowd. Were all the people here cowering away from her?
Edward wasn't good at the whole "magic" and stuff that Mary was, but he could tell when someone was different and this woman was certainly different.
The woman stared at her glass now, slowly mumbling under her breath. "I should have sold that stupid car and that ring."
Edward couldn't stop the smile that pulled on his face. She was cute and amusing. He stared at her a little longer and realized he was mistaken. She was powerful and beautiful, strikingly so. How could he have missed that the first time? She gave him a glare as she realized he was smiling at her. He decided to break the ice in the best way he knew how. "I don't know about you, but I would've kept the car regardless." He shrugged lightly. "I sold my baby for my ex. Worst decision I ever made." He winced, remembering how he sold his motorcycle to appease Johanna. It hadn't been enough. Nothing was ever enough for her.
She sighed lightly, seeming to resist rolling her eyes at him. “It was a beautiful model and I drove it into the ocean with the rest of ex’s stuff. I should have killed him before I killed the car.” She frowned. “Getting married was one of the worse decisions of my life. I thought it would fix everything but instead, it just added to the chaos.” Her phone started to ring again from within the glass of water and her eyes widened slightly. “He bought me a waterproof phone. You have got to be kidding me.”

Edward stared at the glass of water with annoyance. Divorcees were supposed to be dealing with silence, not with begging exes. He reached into the glass and pulled the ringing phone out before yanking the back off. The phone immediately silenced as he pulled the battery from its nook and placed the phone down on the counter. He looked at her levelly. "What a sad end. At least your car went out nobly. My poor baby got left in someone else's grubby hands." He pinched the bridge of his nose then and drank down the rest of his drink. "Perhaps... the only more noble death for such a fine beast would be to tie your ex up inside the car before driving it into the water."
The woman laughed then, and Edward noted that she had a beautiful laugh. Her voice in general seemed magical to listen to. He would have to ask Mary about it sometime... if he remembered, that was. The whole point about tonight was to not remember.
“Thank you.” She frowned. “Maybe I ov-” She paused and her brow furrowed with concentration. The rain outside seemed to increase and made a hollow sound that echoed in the bar. There was something very off about this woman... beautifully off. Edward was fascinated by her confidence. "He should have been driving the car off a cliff and then told us to move on.” She shook her head. “I don’t know whether to hate him or love him.” She looked at him with suspicion in her eyes as she really studied him this time. He studied her back equally; her eyes, her face, her lips. Well, he was single now, and she was gorgeous. He didn't need the mess that came with trying to date someone... but she seemed so different. “Who are you?” She finally brought herself to ask.
Johanna's eyes were cold and harsh, but this woman seemed to have a gentleness to her face. Her eyes weren't harsh and cold, but sad and bitter. He wondered how they would look if they weren't sad and bitter. She would be breathtaking then, he imagined. The world sucks the joy out of everything it seems.
Everything she had said struck a chord with him and he frowned. "You do both." He paused. "You hate and love them because it's all you can be capable of doing. Doesn't matter who else they sleep with, or how much they ask you to give up... you can never just hate them - but after all they've put you through, you can't just love them anymore either. Then, once you've established that," he pointed to her glass then. "You take a huge drink and you pretend you're ok, because people need you to carry on even when you're falling apart." He let out a long breath and raised his glass in a light way to ask the bartender for another. He looked back at the woman and held out his hand. "Name's Edward." He smiled warmly at her. "Most call me Ed, but you can really call me whatever you'd like."

She smiled at him slightly. “Nice to meet you Ed.” She took his hand in hers and shook it. “I’m infamous for falling apart... I think I messed up badly this time though and that is a lot coming from me I guess.” She frowned as she stared at the counter then. “I have known you for roughly five minutes and I already like you more than some people I have known for years. That woman, whatever she did, was an idiot.” Her eyes came back up to meet his levelly.
Edward chuckled. "Was it my irresistible charm or my natural good looks?" He joked but shook his head. "You have a name, stranger?"
Her face soured. “Probably because you had a glass of water nearby and figured out how to turn off my phone.” She snapped, yet after a short minute the anger diffused from her face and she pursed her lips slightly. "Gwen."
He was very good at pushing his luck with women, he found. Gwen was no exception. "Hey, I'll take what I can get." He gave her a good-natured grin. "For what it's worth, Gwen, it sounds to me like you're better off without your ex, much like I'm better off without mine." He looked down at his phone and sighed. "Unfortunately, my ex refuses to let me be free. That witch is going to drag me under and suffocate me." He pursed his own lips slightly as he stared at his waterlogged phone.
“I’m not sure I am.” She laughed and her eyes narrowed. “Is she a Siren?”
Edward stared at her and his brow furrowed. "A who-ha?" He chuckled. "If you mean like the kind that makes noise, then yes. She makes a lot of noise - none of it pleasant, and it often leaves me alarmed." He gave her a wily grin. "I'm pretty sure that's not the kind you meant."

She laughed now and Edward could see real joy in her eyes. “I will show you.” She mumbled something incoherent under her breath and the downpour of rain suddenly stopped. Mary certainly couldn't do that. Edward raised his eyebrows and made a face of minor fascination.  She ordered one of the men staring at her to come to her before he shuffled over with adoration in his eyes.
“What can I do for you?” He asked, seemingly slightly dazed from the spell he had been put under.
Gwen pointed at Edward then. “Tell him what you think of me.”
The stranger looked at Edward, still somewhat dazed. "Our goddess is the most beautiful in the realm. Bowing to her will is a gift itself and some say you can even hear her-"
Gwen held up her hand. "That's enough. I release you." She turned and smirked at Edward. “There.”
The man seemed stunned as he got his will and abilities to move back before he took off running out of the bar, full speed. Edward's eyes bounced around the room with interest. This was definitely not his area of expertise - but there was something really attractive about a woman who could control a room.
Most people would usually be alarmed by the sheer power this woman had, but what else was new in Edward's life? His father was raised from the dead, his sister was trained by their great-great grandmother in magic before she ran off and married the son of a god of some kind... what's one more magical thing in his life? He shrugged lightly. "My ex was definitely not a Siren then... but she did have the ability to nag me into doing anything. Does that count for anything?"
Gwen laughed a little and then sighed. "That just means she was a highly manipulative woman." She frowned. "I never thought anyone saw me as a goddess. The more you learn." She shrugged.

Edward knew these tricks. He resisted the internal struggle in his head. Was she looking for a compliment? Would she slap him for it? Did he care enough to filter himself? The answer was no. He didn't care. "This is one of those traps isn't it? Hm, I'll bite." He nodded then, giving her a grin. "You're beautiful, witty, powerful, determined... yeah, that's arguably a goddess." He took a sip from his drink. "You can hit me now. I'm ready for it." It would be worth it. Beautiful women should know that they're beautiful. Powerful women should know they're powerful. He had no trouble telling Gwen that she was both.
She sighed and he knew she didn't take him seriously. It nearly floored him. This woman had the entire bar captivated and she didn't believe in her own power. "It wasn't a trap, at least it wasn't SUPPOSE to be a trap. You created a trap all by yourself and walked into it. I can do a little magic trick. That doesn't make me special. You have just seem to meet me on one of the days I'm actually nearly a decent being." She looked at him hesitantly then and seemed to be scrutinizing him.
"Well drat." He shrugged then. "Ah well, I was never the brains in the family." That was all Mary - always Mary. "Also, Gwen-" He paused on her name, sounding it out. "You're far too hard on yourself. Clearly you're more than just a decent person. You've been letting a stranger talk to you for half the night - and you didn't even hit him when he made a trap and walked into it all by himself."
"You are right. I made it through half of the night without killing you. I deserve a reward." Gwen sighed. "I kill every decent person I meet or I cause their destruction somehow. Right now, I should be at a hotel with my kids and I'm sitting here, torturing a bartender for nothing but pure enjoyment."

This hit Edward and he knew exactly what she meant. He should be home with Lala and Elle - his girls, but he also couldn't do that to them. He needed to get himself together. He wouldn't become his own mother. He wouldn't fall apart on his girls. He remembered Palmira as she fell apart every morning over Noten's grave. She tried so hard, but she just couldn't do it all. She couldn't grieve and parent, and she never stopped grieving. "I should be out trying to get my kids back from their crazy mother, yet... here I am too. If you're such a bad person, what does that make me?" He paused then and held up his hand - "wait... no. Don't answer that." He smiled and laughed a bit. "We can't take care of our kids if we're falling apart ourselves, Gwen. I'm a firm believer in that you shouldn't set yourself on fire to keep other people warm." It was true. He should be building an airtight case against Johanna but he couldn't do that when he was falling apart.
"My aunt is a very firm believer that you need to set yourself on fire." Gwen shared her head. "She is something else." She stared at the counter and spoke softly. "No Ed, you aren't a bad person. A bad person is someone running away from their son after they just saw what maybe the remains of their daughter."
"She sounds like an interesting lady." Edward paused and then frowned harshly before his eyes fell onto her seriously. He bit his cheek and looked at the bar counter. "Did... did I hear you right... that your ex ran off after seeing the remains of your daughter?" He couldn't have possibly heard that right. No father in his right mind would be anything other than broken at the death of his own daughter. He thought about Lala in her hospital bed and felt his whole body go numb. He would snap in half if he thought about losing her. Just thinking about it broke him. Rachelle... Maybel... Lakisha. They were his world. He just couldn't be without them.

Gwen seemed to get emotional as she contemplated what she would share with him. "We were driving and my daughter was missing when we saw a car that was ours that was surrounded by blood and showed signs of a fire. So much blood, I just, lost it. He stood there telling us to move forward so I tossed my ring at him and stole his car."
Edward had been attempting to take a drink when he spit it out suddenly and nearly choked as he had inhaled some of the liquid. He nearly slammed his glass down on the counter in fury. "You’re… you’re joking, right?" He turned his fury onto Gwen. "What kind of monster sees evidence of his kid's death and does nothing?" He shook his head. "You tossed your ring at him? You should've tossed a broken bottle." He gritted his teeth and then sighed. "'Move forward? "I'm sorry. I know it's not my place to judge, but... you have to understand. I have... I have three girls - and if any one of them... watcher, any ONE of their friends... I just couldn't..." He gripped his glass and frowned. He couldn't even articulate it. It was more than he could handle. It was just more than he could believe.
She frowned as she thought. "I thought I was being the foolish one. I was always doing something wrong. There was a girl in my house acting as if she was my daughter and my ex told me how terrible I was for wanting to get information out of her. Then my son acts as if he cares more about his little 'girlfriend' than his sister but hey, who am I to judge because I wasn't around for the majority of my children's life? Now I'm here when I should be at a hotel with my three children that are somehow still alive and I'm doing nothing but drowning in self-pity."
Edward felt his heart pounding and it reminded him so much of his own mother. He turned and looked at her very seriously, giving her every bit of his attention. "Gwen." He spoke her name until she turned to look at him. "Don't buy into it." He shook his head vigorously and his voice softened. "Don't buy into the crap that you're not a good mom, or that you're not doing things right because you're not doing what everyone else is doing. We all do things our own way - and there's no such thing as a perfect parent." He paused and realized it was story time, he let out a sigh.
"My wife-" He stopped suddenly and cleared his throat awkwardly. "My ex wife." He corrected. "Walked all over me, cheated on me with two men, and then broke up with me in a screaming match in front of our girls. I did a million things wrong in that relationship, but I'm only human." He looked at her intensely. "You have to take care of yourself before you can take care of someone else. You know who taught me that? My mom. You know how?" He looked at her and she shook her head slightly. "My dad died when I was five. Shot in the back." He gestured with his thumb and gritted his teeth. "My mom fell apart. She fell apart but tried to pretend that everything was ok... and in the end she couldn't keep it up. She melted down and wasn't there any longer."
Edward almost couldn't take remembering that day he sat on the beach waiting for his dad to come home. He had waited and waited and eventually Noten did come home... wrapped in a bloody sheet on Matteo's boat. "My mom is a great lady - Gwen - she really is... but she never took that time to heal for herself and my sister and I suffered for it. Don't ever feel guilty for taking time to heal yourself - because as I've learned... no one else is going to take care of you once you're an adult. You've got to look out for yourself as much as everyone else around you. If you have to break - then break. Pick yourself back up and put yourself back together before trying to carry someone else though, otherwise they're just going to watch you break over and over again and struggle to even help yourself." He looked at her with sadness in his eyes. "You've got so much strength left in you Gwen... I can see it, but take it from me - your kids will be happier if you're taking the time you need for you."
She stared at him for a long minute, her eyes slightly glassy and her chest slowly heaving in deep breaths. The silence carried on as her mind processed what he just said, but in the end she surprised him. She reached over, gripping his shirt and pulling him to her as she pressed her lips gently to his. His eyes went wide as he slowly registered her kissing him. Should he be letting this happen? They were two broken people, both getting out of divorces and they both had children to think about and...

He didn't care. When had he ever? He shrugged lightly and let himself melt into her kiss. He could feel the magic she wielded just underneath his skin. It made him feel alive. He couldn't recall a time he had ever felt this alive kissing someone. He didn't care about Johanna, or the custody battle, or the fact that he would need to pick up a new phone in the near future... He usually didn't care about many things, but this was something he certainly did care about.
Slowly Gwen pulled away and Edward kept his eyes closed from the breathtaking kiss she left him. A Siren, eh? Apparently Siren means great-kisser.

He slowly let his eyes open and she was staring at him with her gorgeous eyes filled with hesitation. He felt a wide smile pull on his lips. "Wow." It was all he could manage. He chuckled lightly. "Can't say I saw that one coming." He certainly didn't, but he definitely wasn't mad. "I'm not sure what I said that caused that, but could you fill me in so I can say it again?"
She sighed lightly. "You are making it VERY hard not to kiss you again." Yet she smiled and Edward knew he was a goner then. "Maybe it is because you are thoughtful, kind, and you are willing to actually listen. I feel sorry for the stupid woman that gave you up. She clearly had no idea what she was missing."
Darn straight, Edward thought; yet he stood grinning like a fool at her. Where did his smooth responses go? He scrambled in his head to find something to say and quick. The last thing he wanted was for her to walk away without at least pressing his luck for one more kiss - just one. She could destroy a world and rebuild it with just the curve of her lips. He stumbled on words. "Well... I mean... I certainly wouldn't object to another kiss." He used to be good at this. Is that what having kids does to you? Kill your moves? He struggled to not frown at himself, though he didn't think he could after a kiss like that. "Of course, I would never push a lady for one." He wiggled his eyebrows at her and suddenly his charm was returning to him. "If I didn't already know your ex was a psychotic monster, I would tell you that he was a fool too." He paused then. "Nope, he's definitely a fool. The way you kiss..." He leaned in and looked at her with teasing in his eyes. "Are you sure this guy had more than one braincell?"
She rolled her eyes at Edward then. "What have I done?" Yet she smiled at him genuinely. "Thank you. That means a lot... I never knew I was a good kisser." She shrugged.
"What have you done?" Edward could do this. He could be smooth; keep pushing your luck, his ego urged. He had to try for another kiss. "Well, you told me some of the problems you were struggling with and then you gave me a dizzying," He raised his eyebrows and grinned, "wonderful kiss and now we're sitting at a bar and I'm really pressing my luck to see if you'll kiss me again." He smiled sheepishly. "Is it working?"
Gwen's eyes briefly fluttered around the bar but a slow smile creeped onto her lips. "Yes." She pressed her lips again to his in another, dizzying kiss. He let his fingers run through her short, curly hair - the neon hair and blue-grey eyes that would be forever burned into his skull. In one night Gwen Labelle had left such a mark on Edward Reaper that he would likely never see straight again.

He had once heard stories of the sirens who would lure pirates into the deepest part of the water to have their way with them or kill them. Edward didn't need to be lured.
No, he had abandoned ship head-first into the deep, and that was ok.
He didn't care about anything else anymore.

Offline mpart

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Re: Reaper's Genetic Legacy Experiment: The Pirate and the Siren
« Reply #948 on: June 25, 2016, 01:44:57 AM »
Awwwww. Ed! What happened here? We thought they both needed a friend..they disagreed it seems. What should we name their child? Ugh, I HATE the baboon.  >:( Why Johanna, why? Thanks for allowing my siren to have some happiness. It doesn't happen a lot in my story so my characters seem to always react in ways I don't expect them to.  :)

Offline oshizu

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Re: Reaper's Genetic Legacy Experiment: The Pirate and the Siren
« Reply #949 on: June 25, 2016, 12:30:16 PM »
Wow, I wasn't expecting this chapter but I'm very happy that Edward has found a kindred spirit!
And Gwen is as gorgeous as Ed is handsome. Gwen is absolutely, positively gorgeous!
I'd never noticed before that his eyes are violet.

Didn't take Ed long to get his game back! I hope she can help build the confidence Ed needs to win ALL his children back!