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The Mad Bomber
The city of Zion, an industrial city located at the centre of vast plains, is seemingly peaceful and tranquil with it`s streets being patrolled by well armed patrols. Yet despite that every single citizen knows better than that and locks their doors in order to stay safe, not from thieves or burglars mind you. As of late the city has been shaken by nightly battles between unknown participants, no one knows who they are or what they want, but one thing that is certain is that they do not like each others. The situation seems to be spiraling out of control and the governor of the city seems to be buried with various complaints as it seems alarmingly apparent that no one is safe from this unknown plight.

Yet where there is chaos, there is also opportunity, at least for those who are powerful enough to grasp it.

Speaking of opportunity.... in an obscure corner of the city known as the Red District, is an old run down building. It was once some sort of social club judging by the looks of it, but it seems to have been recently renovated by the new propioter of the building. Above the heavy, oaken twin doors hangs a large sign with the word `Chaos` written on it, a name that might have befit some kind of occult club of somesort. Upon entering, you find yourself in a small lounge with a couch, a desk and a chair. The couch is empty and judging by the dust it has gathered does not seem to be in frequent use, the desk on the other hand seems to be polished so that one can see their own image upon the wooden surface. Neatly bundled on the desk lays a red book and a pen, nothing out of the ordinary it seems. The walls are painted dark green and most of the furniture is either wooden or red coloured, creating a somewhat cosy athmosphere. On the other side of the room is yet another set of twin doors and judging by the scribling sound resonating from within someone is feverously writing something down.

Upon entering the room you find yourself being stared down by a lanky figure standing right next to you. He simply examines you from head to toe before returning to whence he came, sitting down behind a desk directly facing the entrance, some five meters away from the door. Looking around at the room you find it to be surprisingly spacious with a staircase to your left, the desk in front of you and a whole lounge exending to the right. The lounge is fully accomodated with luxurious couches, chairs, an antique table in the middle, a fireplace and even a pool table at the end of the room near two windows that allow to keep an eye on the only street providing entrance to the building.

The lanky man, who has continued writing something down begins to speak with a calm tone and invites you to sit across him. You move without a second thought and nervously glance around, feeling as tough there was someone else in the room besides you and the apparent owner of the business. You glance about the room nervously, trying to find the words to describe the problem you and that you had heard that the owner might be able to help in return for a fee. Before you manage to say anything the owner speaks one word only.

Yes

You are no doubt confused and begin to inquire what he meant by that. The owner bluntly admits that his operation might seem rather obscure yet he continues to explain that only the those, who are ignorant of what is going on in the city do not know about his work. The lanky man stops writing and leans back in his chair as he confirms that he is indeed in the business of eradicating, expelling the occult elements that plague the city. Starting from demons to their angelic counter parts and other supernatural beings that bother the common folk. He goes onto warn that his fee is quite high as he his associates are quite a greedy bunch, but without a doubt they could get the job done.

You are either relieved that you have found the solution to your problems or terrified that your worst fears have come true, but whatever the case you go onto describe what is plaguing you and what you want done about it. The lanky man seems to be listening keenly and at the same time his pen scribbles down every little detail. After having described the problem the man insists to be paid in advance, which you are luckily prepared for and hand over the savings you had withdrawn from the bank earlier that day. The man counts the money with a shark-like smile and you swear that those teeth are not human, or at least that`s what your mind keep telling you.

After placing the money aside the propertior informs you that as soon as they are able, either he or one of his associates will deal with the situation. Without a word you get up from the chair, simply wanting to leave the building as soon as possible. Yet as you open the first twin doors you gaze at the lounge behind you, you see shadowy figures appearing on the couches and then when you look again at the entrance lounge there is someone sitting in the chair, that was certainly empty the entire time you were there. These figures, you know that they are not human and that you had just hired the owner to get rid of one akin to them. You slowly turn to look at the owner of the store, who simply smirks at you with a set of decaying teeth.

"Ignorance is bliss eh?"

The man laughs as you charge out of the building and quickly pace away from the building, putting as much distance between yourself and beings within.

-----------

Basicly Zion is plagued by supernaturals running rampant and battling each others or simply disturbing the common peace. Chaos is an agency formed by my character, that deals with situations involving the supernatural. Chaos employs humans with abilities, demons etc, whatever you can think kinda. They aren`t really good or evil, simply being looking to make a profit out of other people`s misfortune. The techology is around 1800 so guns exist, but they are flintlocks, muskets etc. Early industrialism is beginning with railroads being fairly new, but existing, The common populance is usually taught to believe is reasoning and logical thinking, which relates to the whole events.

Common people are unable to see demons or other beings because they do not basicly `believe`, that they exist, ignorance is bliss basicly. People with powers and some people, who might be very religious are actually able to see the supernatural because they do not `ignore` their existance. The basic idea here is that, the human brain basicly tells the human that something isn`t possible and that is why they simply cannot see what really is. Supernaturals can appear to humans as human beings to fool and even live amongst them, making it the perfect cover, but there is the risk that some humans might be able to see through the `disguise`.

Everyone is free to join and you can take any role you want to. You can be part of Chaos (at least one besides me hopefully), a unaffiliated supernatural, independent demon hunter(just an example), or a normal human, who discovers the supernatural. These are some examples, I basicly give you full freedom on this. If your character is apart of Chaos, you can either have them be a member from the start(and we`ll put together a bit of a history between our characters naturally) or you can have them join up, how you ask? Posters, yes, I said posters. Chaos is sorely lacking in personnel, forcing the owner to spread posters around his corner of the city, hoping that some desperate supernatural would catch onto the chance to make some cash etc.

Characters:

Name: Pierce
Race: Poltergeist posessing a dead human.
Age: 22 Apparently
Gender: Male
Job: The Manager Of Chaos
Personality: Opportunistic, mellow, lazy.
Strong points: Able to stay calm in danger and read his enemies in order to exploit their weakness.
Weak points: Overconfident, unwilling to make initiatives.
Weapons: A pair of steel reinforced fighting gloves
Abilities: Pierce is able creating illusions in order to manipulate people, possible even demons and other beings. His body is able to take an unprecedented amount of punishment and simply continue moving as it is already dead, broken bones and bloodvessels mean nothing to him. He also possess superhuman strength, tough he rarely exhibits this ability as he chooses to avoid hand-to-hand battles, if he can.
Appearance:Tall, lanky. Dark hair, hazy greenish eyes.
History: Pierce, as he is now known, has excelled in his new supernatural form so well that he has actually come to enjoy the state of undeath. By possessing a human body he can almost live as a normal human, but as a side effect he seems to have completely forgotten his former identity and the very reason, why he still exists on earth as a poltergeist. Needless to say he seems to have simply chosen to continue living like a human albeit in supernatural conditions and with his abilities is able to even compete with the demons in battle tough he prefers to use diplomacy as his first weapon.
Picture:

MaiShadowAlchemist
O-O I'm in!!! (Just give me some time to come up with something good XDXD)
Razzy
I'll join too. biggrin.gif

Name: Thomas “Tom” Walker
Age: appears to be about 24
Gender: Male
Status: already a member of Chaos (and has been there for quite a while)
Race: Human
Appearance: http://raccoon-chan.deviantart.com/art/Tom-183058431
(In addition, he wears black pants and black dress shoes. The fashion might be a bit off for 1800s. But whatever.)
Ability: Tom has the ability to control and “speak” to shadows. It is easiest for him to control his own shadow, since it is his own shadow with which he can channel the most power/strength. However, he can control other shadows, though this is kind of useless (unless in a real desperate situation), since it is more difficult for him to do, and does not get a sufficient amount of control over them. Basically, he can “talk” to shadows; all shadows have a dormant spirit/mind that only people like Tom can “awaken”, and, with some skill, control. But it is difficult, because shadows often have the habit of trying to manipulate humans that try to control them. Tom is aware of this, so he tries to treat his shadow like a business partner, of sorts, like they are both an equal part of what they do. Though, truthfully, Tom is usually in control. Shadows can make physical contact with humans (and any other physical objects, etc.) through their shadows, but humans can’t make contact with/do harm to shadows. Tom’s shadow is very sensitive to Tom’s emotional state, and will usually act accordingly; it is most aggressive/violent when Tom is angry or sad. His shadow can increase exponentially in strength or size at will. Although Tom has been doing this since as long as he can remember, there are still times when his shadow seems to take over his mind. (Sorry if I’m being confusing… if it’s unclear, watch this video (it’s nothing inappropriate; it’s from a rated G Disney movie, lol) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6yw2SmG674 starting from 1:10 until 1:25. It’s kinda like that.) So his shadows can attack people, with just as much physical power than a normal person can (though Tom is skilled at this, so his shadow is way more powerful than a normal human). Also, Tom can vanish into shadows, and travel through them.
Personality: Tom is talkative and outgoing. He has an annoying habit of sneaking up on people (through their shadows). He seems deceptive (partly because he always sneaks around in an unsettling way). When his shadow takes over his mind (in which case Tom's eyes will turn black), he seems to have ulterior motives, wanting to steal everything and stab his friends in the back. He is usually very calm.
Strengths: Will follow orders. Usually goes along with whatever his superiors tell him, unless, for some reason, he just doesn’t feel like it. Can sneak up on people easily.
Weaknesses: Not incredibly strong (physically). His powers are useless in total darkness. Has a short temper. Is unpredictable.
History: Unknown.
Family: Unknown.
MaiShadowAlchemist
(Sorry for being so late! T-T I know it sucks but I was dying under a pile of homework and my brain wasnt working anymore)

Name: Mara
Race: Demon (Half-Breed)
(These creatures are semi-angels or semi-demons, responsible for influencing mortals, but not directly interfering in their actions. They appear as normal humans, unless they come in contact with holy instruments. Because of their partly mortal nature, they are the only demons allowed to exist in the Earth plane: they corrupt human souls, making them commit evil and sin, and then kill them by turning their greatest pleasure into their worst nightmare)
Age: Unknown (Looks 21)
Gender: Female
Appearance:

Status: Current Member Of Chaos
Personality:
Even when working with Chaos, Mara has really no interest in hunting nor in protecting humans. Infact, being a demon with a sick sense of humor, she takes pleasure in seeing others suffer. The more pain—mostly psychological pain—she causes, the happier she is. But even with an attitute that stands as a daily threat, her lack of attatchment towards any species makes Mara a perfect hunter since she sees no difference between those she has to kill. It has yet to be proved, but her only goal seems to be to satisfy the thirst of revenge and anger she constantly feels.
Strong points:
Able to control and predict other people's action, deceptive, sly and cold-blooded.
Weak points:
No regard for right and wrong, impetuous, usually looses track of her real objective in a mission.
Weapons:

Abilities:
Being a half-breed, her powers arent those of a full-fledged demon:
-For a short amount of time -due to the energy that's needed- she can to control and alter visual reality around others making them see what they DONT want to see.
-If focusing deeply she can alter or induce thoughts into others, leading them to the action she chooses.
-She has presented super-human agility (making up for the physical strenght she lacks)
History:
Unknown
The Mad Bomber
(I am starting this one, people can still join in, if they want to, but I think the three of us are able to spin a story well enough.)

The Red District, Chaos

Pierce sloped down in his luxurious armchair as the customer rushed out of the building, in order to make a convincing first expression he was forced to act all stiff and a bit menacing to drive the point across to his would be customers. He was not one for hard work so sometimes even putting on an act seemed rather bothersome, even unpleasant, not that he ever regretted intimidating mortals, but it seemed almost pointless from time to time. Reaching into his drawers, Pierce drew a cigarette and lit it with a match. Breathing in a cloud smoke with his rotting lungs, he could feel a slightly coughing sensation, but that was all there was. It was all he felt, his body was rotting away at a slowed paste, which was all thanks to his powers keeping the bod corrosion in check. The further the rot spread, the less he could carry on acting like a human, which meant that sooner or later he would need to change bodies.

It wasn`t that it was too hard to find a dead corpse and inhabit it, but finding a body that suited his needs was a troublesome task, not to mention the various bribes he was forced to pay out. Yet even, if the the body`s condition was top-quality and the grave-keepers satisfied, there was the matter of witnesses. One time a woman recognized him as her late husband and mind you the common people need not know, that there are corpses walking about and cashing in for dealing with supernatural elements.

Yet when it came to the supernatural Pierce had to admit, that he was the least extraordinary creature amongst his agency. Thomas Walker, a shady type at best and quite literally as well, a human with he ability to control shadows to do his biding tough the man seemed to prefer to treat his own shadow as a partner of sorts. Not that Pierce had anything to complain as Tom was an exemplary worker, but still Pierce had a slight distrust towards anyone capable to such feats.

Then there was Mara, a demon, a half-breed mind you. Pure demons remained on their plane of existence and rarely bothered with the mortal plane save to torment mortals or spread their own kind, of which Mara was living proof of. Cold-blooded, merciless and sinister, Mara was no doubt the one amongst them, who was least motivated by the momentary rewards they cashed in. It was a wonder, that Mara had chosen to join his little group yet Pierce believed that it sufficed to her, that they actually knew what they were up against. Whatever Mara wanted to toy with, Pierce had no arguments, she was free to conduct any type of behaviour she wished to. Pierce would have found it overwhelmingly bothersome to act as someone`s self-consciousness and too wasn`t on the moral bandwagon either, besides as long as business was good Mara could go out and hunt humans for her pleasure as long as she did not drag back a full-compliment of police officers.

Pierce sluggishly paced to the lounge and sat down on one of the couches, spreading his arms wide on the back of the couch followed by a heavy sigh. If there was one thing he never was good at dealing with, it was stress and he could not believe, that he could actually feel stressed when he was dead. If he had a job, he would go out and do it, get it over with. Yet when there were problems, that had no long term solution all he could do is wait, he was frustrated out of his mind. Pierce slowly glanced around the lounge, things had quieted down, the few customers had left, either awaiting results or left disappointed. There was no point in returning once the job was done.

Yet the night was still young and Pierce could only wait for either the next customer or the return of one of his associates.
Razzy
“I suppose I should head back now,” Tom muttered to himself. His shadow, which rested in its proper place on the wall, though, at that moment, was fluttering with an unexplained eagerness, seemed to agree.

Tom had just successfully finished his most recent job. It was like the many he had done before and would do in the future, so this was a very normal, and –in Tom’s completely honest opinion- even a bit boring, night. Though he was fine with doing this; it was not as if he had anything else to do- More like, it was not as if he had anything else more productive to do.

Assured that he was alone (save for the dark figures whose company he had grown so accustomed to), Tom sunk back into the shadows in a dark alleyway. In less than a second, he was already at his destination. Tom emerged out of the smoky shadows that suddenly rose (and quickly sank back into their normal forms) from the darkness behind the couch.

He noticed Pierce and simply said with a half-friendly smile, “Hello.” And he walked around to sit on the other side of the couch.

“Any customers drop by while I was gone? Any more jobs for me to do?” Tom started with an honest tone, though ended a bit jokingly, as though he was expecting Pierce to not answer the first questions in the affirmative:

“Or is there nothing to do?”
MaiShadowAlchemist
"I'll have to disagree with the second" A voice sneered behind them. Mara was calmly sitting in the window rail, looking at them in pure amusement "It's sort of amazing how fast this world can go from bad to total sh¡t storm" She mumbled as she shruged "So my guess is that we have some work to do right?" She asked as she turned around toward Pierce.
The Mad Bomber
Pierce sighed heavily, rubbing his sore neck with tired expression on his face. These two certainly were a handful, but in order to keep his operation running properly he needed at least two agents on the field while he took care of the finances and contracts. Did they have work? Hell yes and the newest one would be troublesome. Pierce reached into his vest pocket and placed two photographs on the table for his associates to examine. He leaned forward and leaned his elbows against his knees as he spoke with a troubled tone, obviously this one wasn`t as easy as the menial tasks they were usually set out to do.

"These photos were taken at the local morgue a few days ago, apparently a patrol picked these up after they had gone to investigate a racket."

The pictures depicted two dead corpses, both seemingly normal human beings with no superficial wounds. Their clothes seemed somewhat outlandish and they both shared the same short hair cut. More notably they both had a visible tattoo, that resembled a ring of thorns that around their necks. It appeared as tough they had been choked to death or killed through means, that did not leave any trauma on the outside.

"Check out the tattoo.... Seem familiar? I reckon it should be.... they were part of Malphas` gang."

Needless to say that anyone, who hadn`t heard of Malphas and his gang on The Red District were either stupid, out of town or ignorant. They were the undisputed rulers of The Red District and on their arrival had drowned the place in a tide of blood, oh and most of them were half-breed demons. Pierce had established a good relationship with the gang when he had set up shop on the district, at first he had to crack a few skulls of those, who had very little meaning to the gang and then set things straight with the higher up`s. Whenever there was a problem requiring finess, the gang came to them and Chaos dealt with it in return for a fee, albeit there was a discount included.

Pierce was clearly annoyed by the recent development as where he knew that Mara was overjoyed, that her dubious prediction had hit the bullseye. The problem with this case wasn`t that it was from Malphas, but that someone actually had the stones to kill two of Malphas` men and leave their bodies out so that the city patrols could pick them up. Pierce killed his cigarette with a grin on his face, his yellowish teeth creating an evermore grimacing appearance.

"First Malphas wants us to get rid of the bodies, we can`t have the autopsy revealing the true nature of the gang. I can`t even imagine what would follow, if the police would manage to put two and two together about their true nature. Also as we dispose of the bodies, we are to conduct an investigation on the killer, whoever he or she is, Malphas wants their head on a spike. All we need to do is find the culprit and point the bloodhounds in the right direction. Tough there is no guarentee, that pack of hounds won`t find the killer before we do, they are already tearing the district apart and shaking down every supernatural element living here."

Pierce explained with a certain degree of steel in his eyes as this was not a laughing matter, he was somewhat laidback, but the idea of his whole operation being ruined by some twat with a grudge against gangsters, did not leave his any room to relax.
Razzy
Tom did not expect to hear of an assignment such as this, and his smile showed that he was pleasantly surprised.

"Maybe I could ask my 'friends' if they've seen anything," he suggested. It was incredibly useful to have eyes and ears all over the city. Tom had discovered a long time ago that shadows, since they were almost everywhere, could hear and see almost everything, and were always eager to reveal the apparently interesting secrets of humans. Tom found it absolutely entertaining to hear the whispers move along the shadows, like a wave on the ocean; it was as if the shadows competed, trying to see which among them could spill the most intriguing secrets. Gossip always spread like wildfire.

Though Tom's shadow was the most generous in this department; it was never hesitant to tell Tom anything that might be useful to him. However, Tom frowned, realizing that if a murder, a big secret like this, had happened, he would have heard of it by now.

He turned to his shadow, as if demanding an answer. It shrunk back timidly, though there seemed to be some kind of exchange between them before Tom spoke in a confused tone:

"Give me some time and I'll get some information..." He was perplexed, and a bit frustrated, as to how he was not being told this information. He was not used to this. Surely shadows could not be intimidated by a murderer?

"I'm assuming we're leaving soon?" Tom asked; he seemed abnormally restless that night.
The Mad Bomber
"Yes, all three of us."

Pierce confirmed with a frank expression on his face, they would need all their rescources to quickly deal with this killers, supernatural or not, taking down two of Malphas`s gang members was no small feat. Tough the gangs reputation may have helped to create such an image, but perhaps killing them wasn`t that hard, only dealing with the aftermath was another thing completely. You reap what you sow and whoever had sown these seeds of hatred had to be either incredibly brave or stupid, maybe even both. Pierce pushed himself up from the couch and gazed at Tom with a sneer as he was seemingly having problems with his shadow, troublesome beings.

"Tom, you come along and try to contact any shadow with a clue as to what might have happened, but go around asking from what the police or armed patrols might know of this. Mara, we`ll dispose of the bodies and see what kind of evidence the police managed to extract from the bodies. Hopefully nothing unusual has been noticed and we can cover the killers tracks without any hassle, the last thing we need is the police aware of our intentions or the armed patrols looking for the killer at the same time. As far as they should know this reeks of a deal gone bad or gang warfare."

Pierce instructed as he paced to the far wall where his trench-coat, which had seen better days, was hanging. The undead man pulled he coat on and glanced at his associates without saying a word, but his eyes told another tale, in a long time he was annoyed by something, even angered by it. This killer seeking to upset the languid setting he had created for himself here.
MaiShadowAlchemist
Mara couldnt help but snicker softly "I knew it...the scent of blood was all over the air" She mumbled happily to herself, apparently not giving a damn about the fact that the two rotting corpses now laying in the morgue, had once been of her own kind. "But as amusing as this might be...you have to admit there's something wrong with this whole business...it's not like I'm saying those f*!@faces didnt deserve it, but how can we be sure that this wasnt just an inside job, and the big bosses are just uninformed? It wouldnt be strange coming up from them..." She said, mumbling the last part.
Razzy
"I'd think it's safe to say that there is something strange about this," Tom agreed, taking into consideration his shadow's lack of cooperation.

"But then again, when is anything we do on a day-to-day basis not strange?"

He thought for a moment, looking around. "I'm sure I'll get some, if not all, of the information we need." Shadows were fickle things, and Tom had learned, over years, how to properly deal with them.

He quickly stood up, ready to go. Though his shadow seemed slightly less eager.
The Mad Bomber
Pierce motioned for them to follow as he began walking away, he passed through the twin doors and stepped outside with a ponderous face. True enough, who better to know and take out two members of Malphas`s gang than one of their numbers. Yet even, if it was inside politics Pierce had a feeling that the higher-ups would be aware, one way or another, and would not send their men to tear down the district in search of a non-existent killer. Besides these two kills did not match any of the ways, in which the gang usually dispatched of their foes and he did not think they would be so sloppy as to compromise the gang as a whole. Pierce reached into his vest pocket and drew a simple key as his associates exited, he turned the key in the lock and dropped it whence it came from.

He glanced at the two with a shrug at their earlier theories, as soon as Pierce had been making decisions on his own, he had found best to simply go along things and play his part in things. That way he would usually walk out on top, he only did what he was hired to do and left any moral or otherwise troublesome questions unanswered, that was what kept Malphas happy anyway.

"There`s no point in guessing and even, if it was one of their number then we might as well track him down. We are getting paid anyway so either way, for us this is a win."

Pierce said as began slowly pacing down the street. After turning the corner they arrived to the main street of the district, that branched into various sideroads and so forth. The agency was located almost at the very back of the district, but still in a fairly visible location overall. Down the street they would find a variety of nefarious operations, ranging from gambling halls to an actual hanging platform, a relic of a bygone era yet surprisingly frequently used every since the arrival of Malphas. Every once in a while some poor bastard ended up hanging at the end of a noose, for a very good reason naturally, mainly they were rival gang members from other districts of the city. The bodies remained there until the locals either grew sick of the sight or when all the dust had settled and the city guard had regained some guts to retrieve the body from up there.

Poor humans did not have a clue of what they were up against, not the other gangs nor the city guard or the police force. Pierce considered most humans lucky, that Malphas simply content to having what he had tough in that aspect Pierce was similiar to the gang leader, no need to upset the status quo. Yet this bastard, this killer was trying his best do just that and thus far he had succeeded briliantly. Starting from the very beginning what kind of a person would do this? Gender had no part, race might have something to do with how the victims were killed, age was inconsequential, but what of the motive? A grudge or maybe this was some idiotic crusader for justice? Maybe both.

Pierce was locked deep in thought as he paced down the street, but glared at Mara with a moments of suspicion in his eyes. She was intuitive to say the least, but it wouldn`t surprise him, if she knew more than she was letting on. If these killings were conducted two days ago, the killer had plenty of time to produce more so either this was an isolated incident or the killer was calculative another to keep himself in check.

"Say Mara, how come you never thought of joining up with Malphas and his people?" Pierce asked out of the bloom as tough he did not have a care in the world. "You would have fit right in, I`d assume or am I not too far off to guess, that you find their methods crude?"

Pierce rarely incited conversation unless necessary, but occasionally it did not hurt to know the people he had hired to his agency and they had not been in business for too long.
MaiShadowAlchemist
"Ohh...that's sort of racist dont you think?" She said as she chuckled happily, looking more amused than offended. "I'll make it short for you...apparently I dont go with the prototype of member they want...APPARENTLY having a nice chat with someone, and then randomly slitting his troath and ripping out his heart is too much for them" She mumbled, at first darkly but then looking happily nostalgic, as for a momment it was impossible to know if she was kidding or if she was serious.
"Anyway, now I guess you can imagine why my relationship with them has never been exactly friendly. But hey, I'm pretty comfy in here...if you ask me, they are just a bunch of p*!@$%s that call themselfs demons" She grumbled "And whatever is coming to them...they sure as hell deserve it" She announced as her lips curved into a pleased smile.
Razzy
While Pierce and Mara were making conversation, Tom trailed behind them and tried to make conversation with his shadow, which he talked to in low whispers. Tom found it very irritating, and his voice showed it.

However, by whatever means, he was certain he would get what he needed out of his less-than-reliable companion. Though, at the moment, his shadow was still trying to get around the interrogation, hoping that Tom was daft enough to believe that the little information it was spilling out was actually useful.

Tom stared ahead, while talking quietly in a stern tone. “Look, I’m sure the police can tell us where they found the bodies. If you honestly think that bit of information is what I’m asking of you, you must take me for an idiot-”

Hesitantly, his shadow whispered something back, to which Tom replied, his patience wearing thin:

“I don’t see how that information would help, either; we know what the victims look like. I swear, you’re getting on my nerves-”

Yet still, his shadow shrank away, wishing to disappear fully into the ground like a dog who had just disobeyed its master. Tom sighed. He did not know what was making it act this way; all he knew what that this (like the very few arguments they had had over the years) was going nowhere. And it was not like the random shadows on the streets- who also seemed to be behaving in a similar way- would be any more faithful to Tom than his own shadow was.

Tom scratched his head and frowned. There was no way to knock sense into such beings. There was no way to threaten them (at least, for a human to threaten them), and almost no way to motivate them; they neither needed nor wished for material possessions or money.

However. There were a few ways to bargain with them, but Tom was only capable of one specific way.

Tom changed to a lighter, more casual tone, while still talking quietly. “How about this, my friend… You give me all of the information I need, and you can… Well, I will allow you to come and go as you please; take over my body for a bit, whenever you want; stretch your legs and wander away from your 2-dimensional floors and walls. How about it?”

His shadow thought for a moment, seeming to eye Tom suspiciously. Taking over its human’s body was probably the most fun a shadow could have, to experience movement in the third dimension, to eat, to sleep, to gamble, what have you. Unfortunately, Tom’s shadow hadn’t been able to do that as often as it would like, ever since Tom had learned to defend himself from such invasions.

It weighed its options; whatever it was that kept it from speaking up earlier, this deal was worth the risk. It asked Tom for how long, while trying to bargain.

“Just this night… No, not a fortnight!… Not even four nights. How about two nights?… Three?… Alright, three. But you have to hold up your end of the deal.” Tom was not too thrilled about this, since he was fearful of his shadow cooperating only when Tom offered what it wanted, now that it knew Tom would provide it. But Tom had to do what he could for such a job.

His shadow returned to its normal size, nodding enthusiastically. It spoke something to Tom, who then replied, in his voice’s normal volume, clearly satisfied at what he had heard, “Is that so? Well thank you for confirming our suspicions. Remember, come and go as you please, but I may need to question you at any given time, so be alert.”

Now he addressed his co-workers:

“Well, my shadow confirms- from its source of information- that it was another member of Malphas’s gang. Therefore, a half-breed. Male. Around five feet, seven inches tall. He fled to the north section of the city after the murder, and apparently he is still in the city.

I hope that was helpful.” He turned to Pierce, “Though if you need more information, I can still get some more out of my friend here, who eagerly made a deal with me.” He almost chuckled at the thought.
The Mad Bomber
Pierce stared at Mara for a brief moment, if there was any emotion registering on his face, it would have been surprise. Without a moments notice Pierce chuckled briefly and shook his head in amusement.

"So wait... These gang members, who usually break necks and cutthroats with virtual impunity were sissies compared to you? You must have some potent lineage, if these guys look like old grannies next to you yet then again what would that make me? Which makes me wonder why you even bothered joining up with me in the first place?"

He inquired with a teasing tone of voice, he tried to keep the conversation somewhat lighthearted whilst poking around about her background, which was no doubt shrouded in mystery much like his own. Having forgotten Tom, Pierce glared at him with momentary suspicion being reflected in his eyes. He knew that the shadows were a great source of information as they covered almost every corner of existence, but he had realized early on that relying on their information alone was foolish. These creatures were not mindless servants as far as he had figured and those long conversations Tom had with his shadow seemed to be extensive for a simple slave-master relationship.

Thinking through what Tom had just said, Pierce grinned slightly because, if that information was correct and it was an inside job, it was odd that they had not mentioned this third fellow to him. Maybe they were not sure and wanted to keep it under wraps until they figured out the truth themselves? No, Malphas had to know of Tom`s abilities by now and know that the shadows would find out about the killings, one way or another. Needless to say, that he could not draw any hasty conclusions with all this information flying around and the investigation in the very beginning. They would need to get rid of the bodies first in any case and along the way see what other clues they could uncover.

"No kidding, that should make our job a lot easier, but unless we have something to show for it we are hardly making any progress. These gangsters are boneheaded to the bitter end and won`t believe an outsider unless we have irrefutable evidence. Mind you it`s not that the leadership would not take my word for it, but they won`t go telling their members that they know this because a shadow supposedly saw the murders. Too early to make anything out of this mess yet... Tom, try to pinpoint this thug for us and after disposing the bodies, we will go and have a chat with him."

Pierce said with a carefree voice as he tilted his head to the left as they arrived at the hanging platform, which stood at the very beginning of the district. There was a body hanging at the end of a noose and the crows were all over it, pecking it to pieces and revealing the gruesome insides. Pierce stopped to stare at the sight, it was nothing out of the ordinary really, but thinking of grudges it might a good idea to check the names of the people, who had been hanged here. You never knew about these things and he had to check every trail. Snapping back to the present, Pierce continued walking forward. They would cross the border of the red and central districts in a moment where the morgue was conveniently located.
Razzy
Tom noticed that his shadow seemed dismal as it passed the hanged body; it seemed to pity the unfortunate shadow doomed to be attached to that cadaver until its host fully decomposed, crumbled to dust, and ceased to exist.

Tom was fine with continuing his investigation. The night was young and he was happy to take a stroll around the city. However, his shadow seemed less than pleased when Pierce expressed his incredulity about the shadow's knowledge, and showed it by shoving Pierce's shadow, which, in turn, pushed Pierce. Tom, who had, as of late, given his shadow more freedom, immediately tightened the reins, so to speak. He glanced at it threateningly, annoyed.

"Sorry about that," Tom said to Pierce, though he knew that this would not be tolerated. He cleared his throat nervously, then assured, clearly irritated by his shadow's actions, "Won't happen again."
MaiShadowAlchemist
Mara just turned around to look at the hanged body, blankly ignoring to the question and clicking her tongue like she always did when pondering something. "So we have a turncoat...which means this will get interesting and most likely bloody" She mumbled cheerfully, as she looked at the gruesome display infront of her with a morbid curiosity and even sneer.
The Mad Bomber
They arrived at the morgue after a few more minutes of walking and upon arrival Pierce noticed one shadowy type standing across the street, eyeing the building. One of Malphas`s men, no doubt, he had told that there was always a pair of eyes on the morgue in case they decided the move the bodies. Pierce pushed open the door into a fairly messy entrance hall and immidiately began descending the stairs located left to the entrance. Pierce had knew the place like the back of his hand, he had visited the place so many times it was like he was a regular customer here. Of course it always helped when the guy in charge of the night shift was bloodsucker by the name of Orson.

Pierce skipped down the stairs with light-step and stopped at the last step. There was an officer from the city guard standing at the door leading to the actual morgue where the bodies were being held. Someone was talking behind the door the guard stood in front of. Pierce glanced at Mara with grin, it was time to let her work her magic tough he hoped, that she would splatter the guards guts all over the walls tough the man wouldn`t have a long trip to the morticians.

"Distract the guard while I go inside and see whose making such a racket at this time of the night, oh and for pity`s sake, don`t kill him in any fashion..."

He said with a slightly pleading tone, but didn`t want to appear too desperate tough he wanted to avoid trouble.
MaiShadowAlchemist
Mara's smirk of delight vanished as Pierce basically told her not to make a mess...which was pretty much taking all the fun out of it. "Fine...I'll knock him out or something..." She grumbled softly before she started walking down the stairs, purposely making noise so that the guard turned around...which he did. From Pierce and Tom's perspective they would just see Mara slightly turning around to look at the guard. But from the opposite perspective, you would see Mara's green eyes changing to a sharp yellow as for a second her true face was revealed, a face no sane human would want to see again.
There was no exchange of words...all the words she had needed, she had already whispered them in his mind. The guard's tense stand seemed to relax, till he was just following her with a blank expression. Mara turned around to look at Pierce and Tom "I promise I wont hurt him...much" She whispered teasingly before they dissapeard in the shadows, where seconds after, a soft crash and a muffled scream were heard.
Razzy
Tom sighed slowly, as though dreadfully bored.

“Well, if you two can handle hiding a couple of bodies, with the occasional cheap thrill of finding a guard or two to kill off - which I’m more than certain that you are capable of doing- I will be leaving to find our suspect.”

Before melding into the shadows on the nearest wall, he gave a tepid attempt at a warning, “I won’t be long. Though if I seem a bit odd when I return, just disregard my strange behavior.” He didn’t bother to mention that his ‘strange behavior’ would be due to the fact that his shadow would be in charge of his mind and body; somehow he didn’t think it was necessary to mention.

Now Tom appeared in a dark alley, looking up at the sky and taking a deep breath. He preferred the fresh air to the stuffy atmosphere of the morgue.

“Alright, my friend. Where is he?”

His shadow replied with a grin, and gave Tom an address, where it was certain that the suspect could be found talking to two other individuals.

“Do you know exactly what they’re saying to each other?”

His shadow nodded, grinning as though pleased with the information it had gathered, despite the protest of the other shadows of the city.

“Then, as we go, tell me what they’re saying,” Tom ordered. But his shadow sneered, demanding to know when it would get its end of the deal.

“…Fine, fine. Lead us there.”

The shadow was more than glad to take over its host’s body. It disappeared from sight as it invaded Tom's mind. Tom knew it was incredibly difficult to get his shadow out of his mind once it had entered. But he trusted - which was perhaps, Tom noted, a foolish thing to do- that it would give Tom back control willingly.

So the now shadow-less body of a man strode toward the north end of the city, humming some strange tune as it walked.
The Mad Bomber
Pierce barged into the room with the two bodies lying on the tables, on the side of the table stood the mortician and a police officer. The officer threw a surprised and annoyed glance at Pierce, who responded with a mellow look as he walked up to the tables. An odd silence crept into the room as Pierce slowly paced to the table and leaned over the other body to examine it closer, he gave somewhat of a nod to the mortician as a greeting. The officer besides the pale and bald mortician seemed like he was straight out of school, a young man with an unshaved beard and a well tailored suit.

"Who the hell are you?!" The officer demanded to know, Pierce glanced up from the bodies and at the officer. Pierced smirked at the man with slight amusement on his face.

"Pierce Cunningham, an investigator, if you will." Pierced introduced himself slyly.

"Oh god, don`t tell me your one of those ama..." The man began with a heavy sigh.

"I am afraid not." Pierce interrupted the officer and smiled wryly, but suddenly the officer seemed somewhat disturbed by Pierce`s appearance. Pierce`s stopped smiling and raised an eyebrow. The officer blinked and seemed as tough everything was back to normal, but the look in his eyes was frightened as if he had just witnessed something horrifying. The look disappeared as the officer rubbed his eyes and without a word turned to leave.

"Too much work?"

Pierce inquired, but the officer seemed to be already walking away. The man stopped and looked back at the two standing by the table, the mortician grinned widely as the officer turned to walk away again. Pierce glanced at the bodies, then at the mortician.

"Who the hell was that?" Pierce inquired as he began to inspect the bodies for anything unusual.

"Detective Bradley, a new transfer, supposedly made quite a reputation for himself in the northern district for busting a smuggling ring and catching a few serial killers. A regular police hero, every now and then, of course. Whenever he busts the next big crook, the press is all over it and his name is made evermore famous, gives the cops a good image of getting the job done. Guess he`s after this one as are you, but damn, I reckon this crook is one he won`t be catching or well... the crook might just catch him instead." The mortician explained as he glanced after the detective.

"Yeah, idiot doesn`t have a clue as to what he is dealing with, but that abrupt leaving there... I reckon he`s starting to see through the veil, he`s no doubt seen many things, that haven`t made sense and he`s started to think that there is more to it than what his mind is capable of comprehending. Guess he`s lucky that you are relatively human by your appearance. So... the police have already gotten the report, a shame, but I guess we can still salvage things a few things here. Malphas wants these bodies gone and a copy of the report." Pierce mused as he picked up a ledger off the table near him and began flipping through what was a report on the bodies, luckily these were not cut open so their nature was concealed, but the police had been able to grasp a few straws about this case already. More trouble for Pierce and his friends.

"I imagine he does, but it`s not so fun for me when the police keep busting my balls for disappearing corpses and other pieces of evidence." The mortician replied with a chilling tone, clearly discontent with Malphas bullying any supernatural living on his turf.

"And Malphas would hang you and leave you at the end of a noose until sunrise." Pierce retorted with a frown on his face as he read through the report.

"I know... Damn thug, can`t see how you manage to deal with him on a regular basis." The vampire continued to lament.

"Well... let`s just say there`s a person, who matches Malphas`s bloodlust and that person works with me. Needless to say Malphas is a rather minor complication in comparison." Pierce retorted with a lowered voice. "Have you checked the toxicology on these?" Pierced inquired with a somewhat worried look over his face.

".... Actually yes... tough there are no physical marks of any sort of poisoning, I took the liberty of draining these bodies, it`s not like they are going to need that blood anymore and I can fill my blood supply. You know it`s pretty rare to acquire, that stuff anywhere...." The vampire admitted, but threw a hesitant gaze at Pierce, hoping he wouldn`t say a word about that to Malphas. Malphas had a wicked habbit of making a debacle out of something completely pointless for his sheer amusement.

"Great, get me those results as soon as possible and don`t tell anyone else... Tell the bodies went missing before you could take samples...or something like that..."

Pierce instructed before raising both of his arms above the bodies with his palms facing the bodies. Invoking his abilities brought back the memory of burnt flesh, screaming and agony. In the blink of an eye flames and fully engulfed the bodies, the flames consumed the bodies at an unprecedented rate and in a matter of a minute the bodies had been reduced to ashes. Pierce lit a cigarette in the dying flames and walked out of the room, leaving the vampiric mortician to clear the bodies before anyone else came around. Pierce stood at the entrance to the mortuary and glanced to the shadows where Mara had disappeared.

"Done?"

Pierce inquired with a mellow expression on his face.
MaiShadowAlchemist
(I'm alive!!)

Mara stepped out of the shadows, merrily wipping some blood stains off her hands "Well that was fun..." She announced happily as she looked at him "And by the smell I would say we're finished" She mumbled as she sniffed the air around them, just to cringe softly afterwards. "What did we find out?...Aside the fact that some demons can actually stink as badly as that" She said "...someone must have shot up those poor bastards or something"
The Mad Bomber
Pierce quietly stared at her, if there would have been any degree of disgust he felt anymore towards anything then he might have expressed it now, but his face did not even twitch. He was unable to comprehend what drove her to do the things she did, he knew demon-kind were violent and brutal on occasion, but she was head and shoulders above the rest. Not to mention there was that I-don`t-give-a-damn attitude of hers, which often lead the undead to suspect that she would no doubt betray him when it served her purposes. Strange how demonic she was even tough she was a half-breed, Pierce could only fathom that even as a human she had a few loose screws.

"Really? I couldn`t tell yet then again I am no expert when it comes to personal hygiene." Pierce said nonchalantly and even chucked a bit. To avoid endless prattle or an angry retbuttal Pierce hurried to continue. "But honestly? Either there is someone in the city, who can kill you with some kind of power, that leaves absolutely no physical evidence or more likely someone poisoned them. Now the problem with that is how? Considering they have no wounds or even fresh scars, the only way to poison these demons would have been through their....."

Pierce suddenly stopped talking as he glanced at Mara`s bloodstained hands and began muttering with a concern look over his face.

"Come to think of it... Malphas`s gang occasionally tends to get a little wild and they have a tendency for canni... well.. I guess you can`t really call it that, but in any case some of them eat their victims... So either somebody dangerous is walking around the city or there is some clever bastard, who figured out how to poison the victims of the gang evenbefore they struck...."

Pierce reasoned with sneer on his face as he did not like either of these scenarios, having to deal with a strong foe often meant collateral damage and unwanted attention as where finding a clever poisoner would turn out to be a pain in the arse. Pierce glanced around, looking for Tom and then snapping back at Mara.

"Where the hell did the creep run off to?"

He inquired with a sense of urgency, assuming she had actually concentrated on something else than playing or whatever she did with the guard.
MaiShadowAlchemist
"You know...there IS a way of poisoning a demon without leaving any marks...it dosent require any science nor any special ingredients" She mumbled. "BUT for us demons it's easy to detect it, too easy infact...it has this smell that just burns your nostrills and eyes. You have to be some kind of moron to actually get it in your body without noticing it, UNLESS of course you mix it with another substance...powerful in smell, dense in composition and alluring for us...dont you think blood would do the trick?" She whispered softly, her expression being one of utter amusement.
She turned around to look at Pierce "So...Mr. Pierce, now the million dollar question...have you ever seen what can Holy Water do to a demon?" She asked as her lips curved into a sly smirk "Imagine that innocent yet deadly substance running through your veins...burning everything it touches" She whispered as she leaned toward him in mocking secrecy, to just step back happily again. "But who knows? That's just a theory! I mean, we demons arent ALL "nasty-human meat-eating" freaks. And to think someone would actually manage to get Holy Water into massives quantities into a human, and then making a demon ACTUALLY eat it without noticing...it's just crazy" She said as she chuckled happily and waved her hand around, almost as if pushing the idea aside. "I'm sure Tom will be back in no time...by now rumors are spreading everywhere...if shadows cant find out anything, then no one can" She stated happily as she sat down in a nearby chair to wait.
Razzy
Tom’s shadow led him to- what appeared to be- a standard apartment building on the north side of the city. His mouth seemed to utter schizophrenic conversations.

“So, where is-? … Hm, I see… That room down there?... Alright.”

Tom was able to find the suspect in a room on the basement floor, conversing- as his shadow had told him- with two other individuals.

Traveling through the shadows, he had snuck into the room and tried to identify them. He did not want to linger too long; of course Malphas’s gang was aware of Tom’s abilities. He was sure any of their half-breeds could detect (in whatever way half-breeds did it; Tom wasn’t interested) Tom’s presence soon enough. Besides, it seemed these three were getting ready to leave soon; which would make sense, for anyone eager to flee the scene of a crime.

The original suspect, the half-breed from Malphas’s gang, was male, dark-haired, with a large frame. Though most of his features were hidden by layers of clothing.

Another was also male, a bit shorter, pale complexion, with white eyes, and white hair that was strange for someone who seemed to be somewhat young. Tom could not determine his species.

The last was… difficult for Tom to see. Whatever species this last person was, Tom, while in the shadows, could not completely see him or her or it; it appeared as a hazy figure. This was not uncommon for Tom; on some occasions he came across certain powerful species that he could only fully see while he was walking around on solid ground. This included certain kinds of vampires and full-fledged demons, among some others. Tom's interested was piqued, though he knew he should be careful around such dangeous beings.

And so, before Tom would give the enemy a chance to catch him, he decided it was about time to go back to the morgue. Besides, shadows had apparently heard that Mara and Pierce were expecting him back. Shadows liked to make things bigger than they needed to be, so by the time the news had reached Tom, they were all in a frenzy about Pierce calling Tom “the creep”. Tom could only laugh at their petty gossip. ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if they told me things that I actually need to know, rather than their useless gossip?

He emerged out of Pierce’s shadow, announcing jokingly, “The creep was out finding our so-called suspect. But the creep is here now, so don't worry your pretty little heads.”

He was neither amused nor offended by the name, considering it was one of the least harsh names he had been called in his life. This included being called a ‘soul-less devil’ by his own family for years, who believed his interactions with his shadow were reason for regular house calls by doctors and exorcisms by priests.

He sighed and said, “Well, I’ve found our so-called suspect. I’m assuming he’s not working alone, since I found him making preparations to leave the city, while conversing in a rather suspicious tone with two other individuals.”

He glanced at them, seeming almost bored, before continuing. “I know one of them is a half-breed, a member of Malphas’s gang. The other two, I can only guess who or what they are. I’m not an expert on the classification of freaks, Pierce, as you are. One has white eyes, white hair. Does that mean anything to you? Well, anyway, the last is most likely a dangerous enemy. I couldn’t see him, and, as you know already, from the shadows I’m unable to see the most powerful kinds of demons and vampires.

I know exactly where they are right now, but we should hurry if we want to catch them before they leave. Then again, even if they do leave, I’ll have friends to help me locate them.”
The Mad Bomber
Pierce did not even sacrifice a thought as Mara blabbered about her own cute little theories and sadistic thoughts, which obviously were too much for even her own head to contain so that she had to go and spread them around, usually it seemed to be in a more physical apparation than this and for some reason Pierce realized that he actually prefered it that way. A dead body once a day wasn`t so bad compared to the endless tirade of yapping, luckily Tom arrived to save him from further comments and Pierce merely ignored his witty comments, waiting to hear what he wanted to hear. Once the news emerged and Pierce could start drawing some conclusions, he began grinning slightly.

"See this is why I hired you two, to your individual opinions about whatever we are doing instead of doing what you are supposed to do, so nice to have employees, who stick to their part of the bargain.

And as to what you discovered Tom... have your friends tail the other two, we are going after the gang member. We wait until he`s alone and corner him, clearly he has some bits and pieces of information, that should help unrawel this whole mess, but to think he has actually someone helping him makes me a bit uneasy... Oh well... Guess things aren`t always as easy as they could or should be hmh?"

Pierce`s voice was charged with sarcasm and his facial expression followed accordingly, but all kidding aside they had little time to waste. This gang member was clearly hired by someone or something, thus it lead Pierce to conclude that looking around for further clues was pointless when they had an actual lead, which they could squueze the information out of, that was where Mara`s sadistic nature often came in handy tough not that Pierce would ever admit it.

-------------

Northern district of Zion

Tom led them straight to their prey as the man was exiting the building with a hurry, glancing around suspiciously. Pierce stood at the corner of the building, glancing at the man, who clearly was hesitant to look back and eyed Pierce suspiciously. There was no trace of the others at the meeting, but Tom`s shadow friends were onto their whereabouts yet Pierce did want to confront them unless had some info on those two. Pierce had lit a cigarette and kept it entrenched between his teeth as he glared at the man, who began walking away as quietly as possible. Pierce had sent the others to move around the exits from the streets in order to corner their prey.

With sluggish steps the undead followed and kept on the man`s trail as he turned to an alleyway. On the alleyway Pierce suddenly snapped his fingers and an explosion of fire blocked off the entrance behind him. Startled by the sound the thug turned around as Pierce stood quietly eyeing the man, who had supposedly killed his two comrades and run off, plausible, but it just didn`t seem likely, too simple or maybe he had his killer and once turning this scum to Malphas he could receive his payment.

"Mara, Tom.... No need t..."

Without a moments notice the man had already moved and struck, Pierce was flung against the alleywall with great velocity and the snapping of bones could be heard as he collided against the wall. Pierce didn`t even flinch as he dropped against the ground and ended up sitting against the wall with a slightly dumbfounded look as the giant towered over him.

"Oh, ouch.... " Pierce muttered with a gloomy voice as he stared at his left, which had twisted into an unnatural angle yet kept moving as, if there was nothing wrong with it to begin with. "That was fast... ah... man... I really thought you were just another punk for me to slap around, but guess your not. Demon-....-head failed to mention that."

Pierce said mourned with an apathetic voice as he blew out a cloud of smoke and attempted to feebly snap his leg back into the right angle. Meanwhile the thug would no doubt be occupied elsewhere as Mara and Tom had blocked off the other exit to the alleyway.
Razzy
Tom was never fond of combat, considering he was never very good at it. But while his body's meager frame was a flaw in battle, his shadow's assistance could make up for that- as long as Tom managed to keep a safe distance between himself and his enemy.

His shadow swelled to cover the height of the alley walls, then pushed their enemy to the ground, trying to hold him there. However, the man was able to break free with little difficulty.

Tom saw, with a slightly dreadful feeling, that there was a hint of realization (and amusement) in his enemy's expression once he got a quick look at Tom; Tom could only imagine that the man's thoughts might have been along the lines of 'It's just a human; how easy it would be to kill this one.'

Oh, it was certainly true that Tom, the human, stood out against his undead boss and his half-demon co-worker. What an easy target.

He could barely think before the man attacked. Tom was fortunate that the man had only grazed his side, possibly breaking a rib; his shadow had, on its own, pushed the man to the ground again. Tom was never sure why his shadow chose to save his hide on occassion. Their relationship was rocky, though, perhaps it was really trying to be protective. Or it simply had ulterior motives. He never knew, and would probably never know.

As soon as he had composed himself, Tom made his shadow pin the man to the ground.

"Now- if either of you would like to attack, you're more than welcome to," he said to Mara and Pierce.

Although he was unsure of how long he could hold the man there, his shadow seemed to be far more invigorated after that attack, and more eager to fight.
MaiShadowAlchemist
"Oh my...a turncoat...I cant help but feel shocked at this unforseen turn of events" Mara mumbled sarcastically as she walked toward the struggling duo, her heels rhythmically hitting the concrete. "You know, maybe this isnt the right time but...what the f*!@ is wrong with you? You cant just come here playing the wiseguy, charm everybody's pants off and actually expect you can get away with it...we're all wiseguys in here Sonny" She hissed softly as she crouched next to him, her amusement masked by a somber look in her face. "So before everybody starts killing eachother, just let me ask....what exactly made you betray Malphas? Whatever it was, it had to be worth it...right?" She asked, the greed sparkling in her eyes, almost as if oblivious to the fact that in any second the demon could get up and attack again....clearly taking the demon down was one of Mara's last concerns.
The Mad Bomber
The man remained stoic and only glared murderously at her before ripping himself free of the shadows control. As the giant prepared to attack Tom, who stood closest, a sudden explosion threw everyone off their feets and the giants clothes had caught on fire. When the giant managed to force himself back on all-fours he found Pierce still sitting against the wall with a cigarette entrenched between his teeth. Pierce sighed and scratched his hair with a bothered expression.

"Since you`ve chosen to get violent and unhelpful, it`s going to be a pain in the arse to take you alive. I HATE that, I really do." Pierce explained in his usual mellow disposition, but there was a changed in his eyes, as if a fire had been lit. "So in order to avoid a pro-longed fight and a pointless interrogation I am going to kill you. Now I know it wasn`t you, who killed those two and when I know that it`s not your head, that Malphas wants cut off, what good are you going to do for me?"

Pierce said with a hint of disgust in his voice as he climbed to his feet and snapped his fingers as the giant attempted to attack him again. In that split-second the flames across the alleyway flooded onto the giant, swarming him and burning the flesh off his bones, almost literally. The half-demon continued struggling for a whole minute, trashing about the alleyway, wailing in horrid agony. He might have been trying to run away, too bad his pupils had melted a few seconds ago. Pierce stared at the spectacle with icy calm, smoking his cigarette as, if the sight something he had gone through daily. For a normal human the sight might have been incomprehensible, but Pierce had his fair share of killing people in this way and that was the very reason he was stuck in this world, incapable of moving on.

As the man finally stopped struggling and his lungs seemed incapable of drawing anymore breath for his screams, Pierce glanced at Tom quietly.

"Tom?"

He asked with a nonchanlant tone as the flames died out as quickly as they had appeared. Suspected number one dealt with, time to check the two others. Pierce had found out quickly, that loose ends had a habbit of spreading rumours and caused him further headache, thus it was his policy to kill anyone, who simply knew too much, provided he was not influental or important in any way. It was painfully obvious, that this thug, this pawn had merely lured the victims to the killer and extracting information from him was not worth the effort. Tough this made Pierce ill at ease because apparently the pawn feared the killer more than the pursuers, needless to say this was going to be a bothersome case.
Razzy
Tom had been absentmindedly poking at his side, which was bleeding a bit and still painful (however, he seemed more upset over his vest being ripped and blood-stained, and therefore ruined.)

He did this in an attempt to ignore the fire as much as possible; as a young adult he had developed a small, but bizarre, pyrophobia. The screaming did not help, but Tom realized, Ah, c'est la vie; at least they were done with that one.

"What?" Tom asked, staring back at Pierce. His tone was almost careful, as though he suspected that he was in some kind of trouble.
The Mad Bomber
Pierce stared blankly at Tom as, if he had taken for granted that he wanted the location of the others, who had participated in that shadowy meeting with the recently departed.

"The two others, where are they now?"

Pierce asked with a tense tone of voice, he wondered whether the two had any means of keeping track of thugs whereabouts or state. There were many more individuals in this world than Tom and his shadow friends, who posessed the capabality to spy on almost any corner of the city at any given time. Pierce merely hoped, that they had not stumbled on one in the process, but then again if they had at least the reaction to the death of the thug should prove useful. No doubt he would immidiately warn the other member of that meeting and Pierce could easily go about reacting to their next move. At least the killer might realize, that someone was on his trail.

Pierce wasn`t particularry planning on a chase, not him, but Malphas and his gang might be more than happy to help with that.
Razzy
Tom turned to his shadow, waiting for an answer. His shadow seemed to look around, as though unsure where its sources of information were. It still seemed as though the other shadows were trying to avoid spilling the information. Tom was sure now that they were afraid of something within the suspects' gang, who would surely not be pleased with shadows giving out their whereabouts to those chasing them down.

But his shadow, always astute, quickly discerned the helpful shadows from the useless ones. There was an exchange between it and Tom, then Tom spoke up again:

"They seem to be at the train station still further north of here. I'd think our best bet is to get to the station post-haste, and follow them onto whichever train they're getting ready to board. I believe we could get there just in time to board."

He thought for a moment, then continued,

"We could keep an eye on them and wait until the train stops to attack, obviously to avoid drawing attention to ourselves from outsiders. Or we can create a panic and start a fight during the train ride. I'm sure, Mara, you wouldn't mind that." Tom laughed a little. "But Pierce is in charge, so whatever floats your boat, sir."
The Mad Bomber
Pierce`s seemed disgruntled all of the sudden as, if he had been insulted by someone. It was as, if he had been expecting a game of intellect, but instead his opponent decided to turn his back and run away.

"Ah what a bother..."

Pierce muttered in his usual relaxed style and drew a pocketwatch out of his vest pocket. For a few seconds he seemed to be staring at the clock before smothering his cigarette with a grin on his face. He glanced at the others with a tranquil face.

"Okay... here`s the game plan. Tom inform Malphas`s gang of what`s happening and have them surround the train station. They may not be eager to listen to you, but you should be able to sway them by telling that the killer they are looking for is aboard that train. Mara I want you in that train and to track down our runaways, but don`t let them catch onto you....

Meanwhile I´ll make certain, that there will be a... technical malfunction. After everyone has done their parts, we meet up at the train station and watch the show unfold."

Pierce instructed his employee`s with a calm, but decisive tone of voice. Tough they didn`t seem to have difficult tasks, time was of the essence and they couldn`t afford to waste a second further.
Razzy
“Aye aye, sir.” Tom gave a mock salute and then merged into the shadows.

Tom had paid enough visits to Malphas’s gang to figure out where their center of operations, so to speak, was located. Tom –who seldom planned ahead- saw no problems in trying to convince the gang. But his shadow thought otherwise, and tried to tell Tom so.

“You’re acting neurotic,” Tom hissed as he stood in the alleyway between Malphas’s building and another decrepit building. By this point he was completely annoyed by his shadow’s behavior. It always acted up whenever the gang of half-breeds was mentioned.

It hissed back, in a voice that only Tom could hear, They won’t listen to you. They won’t listen.

“And why is that?”

It’s not like you’re the dead man or the half-breed girl. You’re a human.

“And?”

I simply have a feeling they won’t listen to you.

“Simply a feeling? Oh, come now. What nonsense is that? They’ve seen my face before. They know who and what I work for.”

Well, do as you please. But I think I should take my end of the bargain now, and while I’m at it, I can help you with the talking. You’re not very good at persuasion.

Tom shrugged, not caring either way. “Fine. But wait until we get inside.”

It was Pierce who usually got Tom and Mara into the building, so Tom was unsure how to let himself in, other than by sneaking in. Though that was really not a smart idea. So he simply walked to one of the back doors and knocked, hoping he would be recognized by whoever was inside.
MaiShadowAlchemist
For a second Mara stood there in silence, almost as if doubting, but after a heartbeat she opened her mouth to mumble a soft "Alright" and then turn around to dissapear in the shadows. *Let's just wait...* She thought patiently...an uncommon trait in her.
The Mad Bomber
Pierce glanced at Mara with contempt on his face as, if she had said something out of turn.

"It`s not our job to do anything else, that is asked of us."

He said with an evasive tone before turning on his heels and skipping towards the train station via another route than Mara.

------------

The door swung open with a rugged looking gangster staring down on Tom, clearly the man was not pleased by what he saw and neither was Tom probably. The thug grabbed Tom by the collar and pulled him inside before slamming the door. Another man appeared with a curious look on his face, they stood in a large hallway with very little space to move about.

"It`s that ghouls whipping boy ain`t he?"

The one, who had pulled Tom inside, growled with a frustrated tone. Clearly their search had yielded very little results and these two seemed to be on the brink of beating someone to death, all they needed was an excuse. The other half-breed drew closer, suspiciously glaring at Tom.

"Well, what`s your business here?"

He demanded.
Razzy
Tom, whose shadow could sense that its host was quite uncomfortable in this situation, gladly let his shadow take over. It took only an instant for his eyes to change from red to black, and his shadow disappeared from sight. Now his shadow was in control of everything- body and mind. The human’s demeanor was significantly calmer as “Tom” then said with a strange smile:

“I’ve been sent by the dead ma- er,… Pierce. We’ve got your killer and his accomplice located. They’re presently ready to board a train at the station in the north section of the city.

“However, we’ve only got the three of us, and we would greatly appreciate your help to catch this killer that you’re all so desperate to find.”
MaiShadowAlchemist
Mara walked down the train hallway, on one hand being careful not to make her shoes clink against the metal, while on the other being oblivious enough to show she didnt really care that much. She softly tapped her nail against the glass as she looked around, once in a while stopping infront of different compartment doors.
The Mad Bomber
The duo glanced at each others with suspicion gleaming in their eyes, ecspecially after Tom`s sudden transformation, which they found rather unnerving or annoying to say the least. The other man let go of Tom, but as he was about to open his mouth a new arrival cut him off. This third man was far older than the duo, his face was scarred and his arms were covered in tattoos. The duo respectfully stepped aside as the man stepped in front of Tom.

"About damn time you people got something our perp, you two, round up the a few of our boys and then we will head on over to the station en masse."

The old man said with a surprisingly co-operative and eager tone, he did not seem to share the suspicion of these two, which probably meant he knew more and was higher ranking than these two.

"But he`s being controlled by a shadow, there`s no telling what that rotter is up to." The first man protested and even took a step towards Tom in order to grab him, but received a painful blow to his ribs from the lieutenant of the gang. The old liutenant grinned with a certain degree of satisfaction on his face as the man whelped and held his ribs before falling to his knee. The other brute chose to disappear and carry out his orders in that instant. In the gang power was everything, when someone had a dispute, they would settle it by bashing in each others heads. Usually no one died in these fights, merely had their pride hurt, but sometimes deaths did occur and even then no one cared.

They were a pack of hungry wolves, always bickering amongst one another yet managing to retain their senses and common goals, that if nothing made for one hellish opponent.

And that very same pack was about to descend upon the two suspects.

(Razzy, you can describe Tom leading the gang to the station)

----------

Pierce stood at the side of the train, examining the traffic on the pier and making mental notes of anyone, who seemed suspicious. He didn`t know what their suspects looked like per se, but he had a clue and that might be enough. Yet then again he had other, far more pressing concerns such as how to stop the trains from leaving. There were only ten minutes on the clock and the gang would never make it in time at this rate tough they were probably on their way. Pierce paced down the pier to the beginning of the train and sneaked past a few guardsmen at the station, he slipped from shadow to shadow and for once actually hoped that he had Tom`s abilities at hand.

Yet he had to make due without them as he approached the train itself, he quickly leaped to the train and gazed around at the machinery with a grin. He had caught the driver alone with his back turned and procceeded to knock him unconcious with a shovel, conveniently placed at his feet. The thud was loud and caught the attention of the guards, which meant that Pierce had to move fast. He summoned and left it hovering in the air inside the train, near the driving machinery. As the guards approached he leapt onto the other side and merely at the snap of his fingers the train burst into flames along with the driver. Pierce smirked eerily as the guards rushed to investigate, granting him enough time to escape into the shadows in the commotion.
Razzy
‘Tom’ could only laugh at the gangsters' obvious suspicions. Of course they were right to be suspicious, as shadows had a terrible habit of deceit -and Tom's was no exception. As he spoke his eyes wandered around the room as though inspecting it.

"Oh, come now. Don't be so mistrusting. I’m certain you’d rather be following me than that host of mine.” –here he scoffed- “I’m the reason we even found your suspects. Tom has given me the great privilege of standing before you now, for my incredibly helpful contributions to this mission. However, I might allow you to talk to him, if you eventually want to…”

It could sense Tom was already regretting making their deal. Their relationship was rather strange, and very inconsistent (much like the shapes of shadows). Although they had been able to cooperate for the past couple of years, it was Tom’s shadow who, lately, made it harder for them to work together. Tom, tired of fighting, was always giving in to his shadow’s ridiculous behavior, seeing as how they were –quite literally- stuck together anyway.

Now he turned, and led the gangsters outside and started toward the station.

“It’s quite a long walk. Though I’m sure you all can handle it.” Tom’s shadow, in this form, could not travel by shadows as Tom could. It was always confused by this; it was an unexpected inconvenience. But it supposed it could always give Tom his body back if faster travel was needed.

(Sorry, at the moment I have massive writer’s block. Or something.)
The Mad Bomber
(Eh dunno whether anyone else is still around, but do feel free to post if you are around... I´ve been very busy as of late, but I`ll give this another go.)


In a matter of minutes the station was filled with inquisitive people, who were not there to merely travel, but had been drawn in from nearby, attracted by the racket. Like moths to a flame it seemed, but luckily for Pierce the officials began to obstruct the entrances until the matter could be solved. Obviously they seemed to suspect that whoever caused all this ruckus, as well as possibly killed a man, was still about all tough there was no actual proof that any crime had been commited. Pierce sat on the sidelines, attempting to remain inconspicous. His gaze scoured the crowed for anything out of the ordinary or anyone attempting to flee that station with haste.

However like a god send, before he managed to dwell on picking a suspect out of the crowd, a mob busted through the officials quarentine and shoved a number of people to the ground as they made their way to the centre of the stations platform. Pierce glanced at them with a disappointed expression albeit he was pleased to see the gang arrive.

"About time..."

Pierce glanced at Tom, who had arrived along with the gang, and he had a feeling that `Tom` wasn`t actually Tom.

"So shadow, since Mara hasn`t returned you`ll have to find the suspects and point these guys in the right direction. Then our part is done with..."
Razzy
(Hi, The Mad Bomber! Nice to see you post again. biggrin.gif As for the posting, I’m active, and I usually see Mai log in often. Though you guys may be busy (you’re obviously busy, as you said before), so I understand that it takes a while to post.)

‘Tom’ was less than eager to follow Pierce’s orders; at the moment, the shadow was much more interested in gallivanting around the city than carrying out its host’s errands. Eventually, after staring at Pierce with a glare like that of a spoiled adolescent who did not want to obey his parents, it answered, “I thought his only job was to fetch these thugs-” and pointed a thumb at the two following behind. "Let the half-breed girl do it." It made no further argument, but did not move either.

Tom deeply wished that his shadow would learn to filter what it said, but then again, who would expect a being like that to be tactful? Tom also wished that his shadow would not be a total a** about the ordeal, since time was of the essence…
The Mad Bomber
Pierce seemed unphased by the talk back of the shadow now in posession of Tom`s body. He glanced at the thugs, who were now joined by more than ten other gang members, before addressing the troublesome shadow.

"Well obviously you have been misinformed, but if you wish to disobey me over such a meager task then please go ahead by all means.... tough I should give you are a word of warning. Should we lose these guys now, there is going to be outrage and some of that will be pointed at me. Now, despite how casual I might appear, I cope terribly with all kinds of problems outside my influence. Needless to point out this would affect our business and consequently poor ol Tom`s schedule.

Also in case you have not noticed, there are about a dozen of bloodthirsty half-demons standing rightbehind you and you mean to deny them their revenge. Mr. shadow, I don`t think that poor ol Tom would appriciate all that abuse he suffers while your steering the ship. Get it?"

Pierce explained the viable consequences of failure on this case and that he had very little time for idle chit-chat as the longer they dragged this on, the more likely their targets were to escape.
MaiShadowAlchemist
(*glomps* The rp is alive again! XD These days I've been too busy to even breath, but I'll manage XDXD)

"The "half-breed girl" has a name" Mara's cold voice hissed behind them. "AND the half-breed did her job" She whispered, for a second forgetting about Tom's comments and smirking proudly. "No offense, but setting fire to the whole damn place wasnt exactly the "best" move. They dispersed like rats..." She was saying to Pierce when her eyes casually went from his face to his back...where she spotted Malphas gang. And almost like if a thunder had struck her, her words died out, and her expression went from one of alarm to one of anger.
Razzy
(Why is it that I'm the only one who's never busy? It's kind of pathetic on my part... laugh.gif)

The shadow really was not concerned for Tom whatsoever, but knew that this would somehow come back to be an inconvenience. If the half-breeds were to possibly rip apart the body the shadow was currently in, the shadow wanted nothing to do with that; it knew that pain was not a pleasant experience.

After glaring at Pierce for a long enough time, the shadow sighed, ready to give up its control; it was hesitant, but willing (given the circumstances), to risk having to wait until God-knows-when to be given control of the human body again.

But luck must have been on the shadow’s side, as Mara showed up. 'Tom' could not help but throw a smirk in Pierce’s direction.
The Mad Bomber
As Mara`s attention turned elsewhere, mainly at the gang members, Pierce grinned at the anger glimering in her eyes. He clapped his hands together to get everyone`s attention, he realized that it was best to defuse the situation and that the shadow had another task coming up. True enough he could have been subtle with his delay tactic, but it was the best could do on the top of his head and the best thing about it was, that now the train schedules would get messed up and prevented the two escapees leaving the city. They had at least bought enough time and if they acted quickly they could be on their tracks in a heartbeat.

"And it never crossed your mind to follow them?"

Pierce inquired bluntly as he stood up and glanced back at Tom with calm yet firm look in his eyes.

"Find them, NOW."

He commanded, he was not about to suffer anymore talkback neither were these thugs as they seemed to be getting more and more anxious by the minute.

MaiShadowAlchemist
Mara just stood there, as Pierce's words hardly seemed to reach her, but when the order was given to Tom she finally seemed to react. She looked at Pierce for a second, a sly smirk in her lips, before she turned around and started walking away...something quite strange considering she normally wouldnt follow orders so easily, not to mention orders for others.
Razzy
(Sorry for the late post. I was sick over the weekend. ^^U)

Finally giving in (but not without an agitated sigh), the shadow headed down the station, where it thought it might spot the suspects. In this body, it was more difficult to gain the same kind of infinite knowledge that was continuously whispered into Tom's ears; it seemed to be more advantageous to relinquish power back to Tom, but the shadow would not have that.

Still, it was not a complete burden. Although its comrades would not help out the shadow, it could still look for the suspects by itself; it just needed to find them through some kind of channeling, by "looking" through the shadows.

'Tom' then announced to Mara and the thugs while heading back toward the city, "They're moving in this direction. They suspect something, so they're moving quickly, and they're trying to hide by moving in the crowd..." The shadow laughed at the suspects' futile effort, and led the others in their direction.
The Mad Bomber
(Mai, you can post about Mara joining the fray, if she wants or her reaction to the events. Same with Razzy, but since you came up with he descriptions for these characters, dare I assume you had something in mind for them? You can rp as the duo, if you want.)

The group bolted after `Tom`, who led them after their prey. The gang members made it efficient in clearing the way as most commoners realized to stand aside as they saw a group of heavy muscled thug rushing towards them. The crowd at the station seemed to split as they realized, that something was going on and no one seemed to want to take part in it. The duo, that had disappeared into the crowd, came into view and Pierce managed to get a good look at the culprits. The pale, white haired young man and the cloaked figure were only mere ten meters before them. However after having seen them once Pierce had an uneasy feeling, that the duo was not going to come quietly and they could hardly afford a public scene.

Pierce suddenly grabbed `Tom` by the sleeve and slowed down the entire group behind him with a venomous glance. There was momentary anger and confusion written all over the gangsters faces as they saw the duo slip out of the crowd at the entrance of the station. Pierce kept walking towards the entrance, delaying his group a little bit longer allowing the duo some space to breathe and allowing them to think they had shaken their tail. After a moment the Chaos members and the gangsters emerged out of the train station with Pierce eyeing the streets with icy calm.

"We need not make this a public debacle when we can settle this somewhere with less prying eyes. I think Malphas would appriciate not drawing anymore unnecessary attention than he already has from local authorities. You, shadow, lead on. Now we can at least deal with them in peace."

The group seemed to pick up the phase they had before Pierce had abruptly told them to slow down. The shadow Tom, lead the group in the alleyways where the duo had slipped in order to avoid detection. Pierce had no idea where they would head next, but most likely they would seek out any kind of transportation to depart from the city because a fire had been lit up under their asses. The duo seemed to be heading in single direction without making any turns and the gang liutenant ordered his pack to spread out, covering parallel alleyways in order to make sure they did not miss them and so that they could surround their prey. Pierce could vividly imagine a pack of wolves hunting for their prey with a glee of bloodlust in their eyes.

Upon crossing into the western district of the city, they sighted the runaways, who had apparently chosen to slow down as running around the alleyways might have been rather suspicious, if they had been spotted. Clearly these two wanted to avoid any kind of attention, either for good or ill. Before Pierce could react the wolf pack of gangsters had moved in around the duo, seeking to surround them from the alleyways. Finally the duo realized, that they had been found out yet again and they broke into a feverous sprint for the opening ahead, but to no avail. Slowly, but surely, overcoming the speed of the escapees the wolf pack closed in around the duo after a few street blocks. They stood at a dark dank, intersection of alleyways as bloodlust filled eyes glimmered in the darkness around them. The duo stood back to back, not saying a word and seemingly remained defiant.

Pierce the overbearing silence and glaring was broken by a heavy, weary sigh from Pierce, who had placed cigarette between his teeth. The duo seemed to realize, that he was not one of the pack and seemed ever more cautious. Pierce sluggishly drew out his matches and lit his cigarette before tossing the match away with a bit of theathrical flare.

"Now.... I know, that I really don`t have a grudge against you two or nothing, but I´ve got to hand it to you. You managed to stir up the hornet`s nest pretty well and you`ve got to have talent to get underneath Malphas`s skin...."

"And now your gonna pay for it, me and the boys here are going to administer our retribution, slowly and painfully. At the end of it all we are going to drag your half-dead asses to the gallows and set yet another fine example." The lieutenant cut Pierce off before he could finish and stepped before Pierce, administering his authority and in an attempt to show his superiority over Pierce to the duo.

"Well....that is a fine sentiment..."

Pierce said with an over-dramatic tone in his voice before the first gang member fell down dead on the ground. Pierce had a feeling, that this prey when cornered would prove that much dangerous than most members of the pack. One, eager member of the pack had jumped the gun and wanted to get the first crack at their prey. He died in one strike, Pierce`s heart would have skipped a beat, if it had been functioning. Tough it was never his heart to begin with.
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