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 Gotham Nights - Spellbound

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PostSubject: Gotham Nights - Spellbound   Sun May 31, 2015 5:04 am



The night was mature in Gotham Village; the fog rolling in off of the river just slightly in a way that shimmered gold from the lamp posts set on the doorways of the high-class homes. The sound of cruisers whipping by in the wind was the only sound other than the babbling of the water. Against a door frame, a young couple hung off of each other in embrace. The man, a larger frame with dark hair, looked down lovingly into the eyes of his girlfriend.

"You sure you don't want me to walk you home?"

With a playful scoff, the smaller blonde girl wrapped her arms around his neck. "It's three houses away, Rick. Besides, Daddy's probably home from gun practice by now."

"Uhhh...you're right," Rick surrendered, "nothing ever happens around here anyway. I'll see you tomorrow?"

The couple came in for a tender kiss before slowly releasing from the hug to a hand hold, and finally releasing palms. The blonde offered as smile as she walked down the front steps and onto the walkway, her heels clacking on the concrete. She gave a small wave to Rick before setting on her way.

As she walked, the wind picked up. The breeze was chilling to the bone, and the blonde held herself in an attempt to stave back the cold. She paused as the fog rolled in thicker, observing her surroundings. Something wasn't as it seemed. She thought that it could possibly be her imagination. That is, until the silhouette of a human in the fog stepped closer to her. She gasped.

"Don't be afraid," his voice, while calm and inviting, vibrated with a mystical echo. As he came into the open, his appearance was just as strange as his voice. From head to toe, he was clothed in a tight, spandex suit of orange and with black spirals.


"I don't bite." The orange and black clad man held out his hand, and when opened, a bright light set forth from it. The blonde looked closer in, and as she did, she could make something out floating in the light. She had to get closer to see, but as she did, she confirmed what she thought it was: an eye.

"What's that?" she asked.

The orange and black man answered with enthusiasm, "an invention!"

The eye flashed once in the blonde's eyes. It was beautiful, but she had to get on her way, and the jungle was just so dense. The birds sang their song in the dense of the trees, and the monkeys were far more playful than usual. She removed the machete from her back and hacked into the brush, pushing forward.

The man in the orange watched as the teen swung her hairbrush wildly through the air, heading up the stairs to her home, but she had no time to pay him attention. The temple awaited her. She pushed through the vines and brush of her living her, her Father at his desk with his newspaper paying her no mind, before arriving at the temple wall. She pushed away some of the growth from the stone slabs, and beneath found a stone face whose eyes ignited in blue light. She smiled in the excitement and grabbed the sculpture by the mouth, turning it sideways.

He watched from the window as she entered her parent's bedroom. She could not see him in the vast temple room, her focus locked on the jaws of a carved stone creature and the pedestal that housed the stone idol on top. She picked up the statue from the desk, and turned. The man in orange and black motioned to her from the mouth of the temple, and she made her way to follow him.

She entered back out into the breezy living section, and followed the man up the spine of a rocky ledge. They were at the bank of the water, but in her eyes, the lava gleamed. She could feel the steam, the burn from the heat even from the distance she was at. The man in orange and black motioned down to the lava, and she knew what to do. She hurled the idol down into the fiery lava, the stone sinking into the molten red.

"Chelsea?" Her Father ran up from behind her, "Chelsea? What're you doin'?"

As he grabbed her, Chelsea stared at her Father blankly. She scratched her head, looking around as if she had just arrived there. "Mmmm, hmmmm, Dad?"

"What's wrong with you?" Her Dad held his arms out at his sides, "That was a Foley original! It cost my eighty grand!" He took his daughter by the shoulder, "Get back in the house!"

"What happened? What did I do?"

"Don't play games with me, young lady! Move!"

As the two entered into their hair, something rose from the fog on the river. On a yellow, probe-like vehicle, the man in orange and black rose into the air. In his hand, the $80,000 Foley original statue. He tossed the statue lightly in his hand, before flying off into the distance.
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PostSubject: Re: Gotham Nights - Spellbound   Tue Jun 02, 2015 2:30 am

"Hughie's been getting better."

The late hour found Gem and her da in their family room, with the latter sprawled across the couch and the former carefully perched on its arm. Their night was over, classes and dinner both done, and the father-daughter duo was lazing about before bed. 

It'd been a good day, Gem reflected. School had been blessedly easy, and the weather had been nice and cool for the walk home from it. Marisol had finally gotten Seisan down, Nelly had won her first sparring match, and there had been no accidents or injuries or even close calls of them all day. She'd played with Dinah, gotten a shiny penny as a gift from one of the crows that hung around on the roof, brushed up on her Russian and made progress on her Hebrew, and they'd had pasta for dinner. And now she was hearing that Hughie was getting better. It was probably the best day she'd had in weeks.

Gem just hoped it'd be a good night as well.

She heard her da shift to face her, but kept her own gaze on the dog napping at his feet as she answered him. "He's on the upturn again? I'm glad. This one hit him really hard."

"Yeah. He was all about 'third time's the charm' but then BAM, recurrence number four. That boy has awful luck and we can't even blame Murphy for it."

Gem hummed in agreement. "Think we'll be seeing him Saturday?"

"Might be. Hard to tell at this point. But if not, we could go visit him on Sunday instead."

"I'd like that."

"So would he."

Gem couldn't help but smile, because that was an understatement. Hughie would be thrilled. "Think we should get flowers?"

There was a pause before Gem's da sat up and inched away, and if that wasn't ominous then Gem didn't know the meaning of the word. He only ever moved away from her like that when he was about to deliver unpleasant news. 

Sure enough, his next sentence began with "Well..."

Gem twisted in her seat to come as close as she ever could to looking her da in the eye. "What is it."

"Weeeeeeeeell, I didn't want to say during classes, but Mrs. Sanchez came up to me in the middle of a break aaaaaaaaand toldmetherent'sbeingraisedagain?"

With the last part of the second being rushed and turned into a sort of question, it took Gem a moment to sort out what her da had said. When she did, she wasn't happy. "Again?! Seriously?! But she just raised it at the start of the month!"

"I know, I know," Her da soothed, making a placating gesture as he did. "But with her son in the hospital she needs the extra money right now. She promised it would go back to normal as soon as possible. It's not her fault."

"I know, I know." Gem echoed, closing her eyes and pinching the bridge of her nose as she tried to keep her frustration in. They were tight enough on money as it was this month, what with replacing the parallel bars, and a rise in rent wasn't helpful at all. "We'll have to look over the numbers tomorrow, but yeah, no flowers this time. We skipping lunch this week too?"

"Yeah. Sorry, precious."

"I don't mind. Every bit helps." Gem slid off the arm of the couch and onto the floor, and was quickly suckered into petting the dog who had woken up at some point. It calmed her down pretty fast. "Speaking of food, did you feed the animals? It was your turn tonight, wasn't it?"

"Yes it was and yes I did. I fed the dog, the cat, and put more seed in the birdfeeder, so that's all of them. Unless you've adopted any other animals since yesterday?" The raised eyebrow and smirk were both obvious even without being able to see them.

Gem rolled her eyes. "I'm rolling my eyes at you." 

"But you don't deny your tendency to adopt animals. Or maybe they adopt you. Like the kids do. Because you're actually a Disney princess and they all can't help but flock to you and love you."

"I'm not a Disney princess." Gem denied, mentally cringing at the unintentional accusation. It wasn't like she made the kids or the animals like her or anything. They just showed up and stuck around for no reason that she could divine. They were the weird ones, not her.

Oh, if only that were true.

Her da went on, oblivious to his daughter's thoughts. "Disney Princess Ériu. Has a nice ring, doesn't it?"

"I'm still rolling my eyes at you."

That sent the man cackling, and Gem gave him to the count of ten before she grabbed a pillow off the couch and whacked him with it. Unfortunately, that only fueled the fire.

It also unfortunately didn't take her brain off the path it'd been set on with the reminder of her powers. Gem knew that she hadn't been manipulating the children to like her. She hadn't even so much as calmed them down in weeks. Whatever they felt for her was genuine, now more than ever. And the animals? Her powers didn't even work on animals. There was no way to manipulate them into liking her, and she wouldn't even if she could. And she hadn't, for either the animals or the children. Gem knew that.

Except that she didn't know anything anymore, did she? 

Ever since the night she'd first seen Cheshire, her powers hadn't been right. She should have been able to tell that the freaking robot was a freaking robot, but instead it had escaped her that the body was hollow. Then there was Cheshire themself, who had shrugged off her powers when she'd tried to stop them from shooting the freaking robot. That on its own wouldn't have been too weird, human behavior somewhat erratic even knowing and controlling their emotions, but combined with the first? Alarm bells should have been going off.

And then there was...

A face full of dog slobber cut the thoughts off before they went any farther, but the damage was done. Thinking of the powers she couldn't trust anymore set her on edge, and she fidgeted as she wiped her face. "Hey, Da? I think I'm gonna stay up a while longer. Go downstairs and practice some more, you know?"

Try as she might, Gem couldn't help but feel her da's worry following those words. He was always so worried about her these days. "...Alright. Don't stay up late, it's a school night."

Gem didn't reply to that, because she couldn't. Any sort of agreement to that request would not be true, because she was absolutely going to stay up late that night, and she didn't lie to her da. Ever. It was their golden rule, the one they built everything on, their lives and love and trust between them. She didn't lie to him, and he didn't lie to her. There was no falsehoods, no manipulation, just pure, simple honesty.

It was just a little more difficult for Gem not to manipulate than her da.

Her da huffed a laugh, understanding her like he always did. "Yeah, yeah, that was silly of me. How about try not to stay up too late, it's a school night?"

"I'll try my best." His daughter agreed, because she could be honest with that. Already she was picking her brain for brutal routines that would exhaust her faster than the normal ones. She stood up. "C'mon, Cuckoo, wanna join me? Wanna go play?"

At the word play, Cúchulainn got to his feet and stuck his butt in the air, wagging his tail hard enough to whistle. Gem took that as a yes.

Her da stood up as well, and Gem turned to face him and ducked her head so he could place a kiss on top of it. He did so, and then ruffled her hair, careful and fond. "Goodnight, Ériu. I love you."

"I love you too." Gem replied, and then started down the stairs with the dog on her heels so she could have a chance at a dreamless sleep that night.

She already knew it'd be an effort in vain.




("Friendly reminder that speaking in italics like this means it's being said in Irish.")
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PostSubject: Re: Gotham Nights - Spellbound   Sat Jun 06, 2015 5:28 am

There's something about a high school classroom that defies the workings of the human body. At the ungodly early hours, it's hard to move at all, but those sleepless students become restless when their body touches down on the desk seat. This was the case in first period Geometry in Gotham High as the students gossiped and slap fought and other things kids who know everything and nothing at the same time tend to do.

One student in the middle of the class gazed out of the class through the door in a half-stare, half-daydream. He counted sheep between the faces that past by. Mirram. Howard and Sanchez. McGinnis and one of his friends he didn't know. It was the normal routine, until two faces he didn't think belonged in that hall passed by: Commissioner Barbara Gordon and an officer of the GCPD.

"What's Gordon doin' here?" the student asked.

"Must be Chelsea", a classmate behind him replied, "you didn't hear?"

The student turned to his classmate and scratched his head, "naw".

"Zoned out on her old man last night", the classmate continued, "she bugged and tossed some priceless swag of his in a river."

"Thought she was Daddy's little girl," the student continued, slipping a hand into his pants pocket, "I mean she had a little temper but Chels never had a tantrum problem."

"Diego," the student snapped back to Earth faster than a falling satellite and crashed right back in his desk. The teacher stared at Diego without a hint of amusement, "I'm sure your conversation is of the utmost importance, but do you think you could actually try paying attention?"

"Yes, Ms. Applewood. Sorry, Ms. Applewood", Diego hurried to apologize, but slipped a gaze back out of the door. He slipped from his seat, almost jogging out of the room, "right after a bathroom run!"

Ms. Applewood failed to see the humor.
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PostSubject: Re: Gotham Nights - Spellbound   Sat Jun 06, 2015 5:53 am

From her spot in the corner Gem only half-listened to the explanation for why the GCPD were at the school, more concerned with the fact that they were there at all. More specifically, with the fact that Commissioner Gordon was apparently there. Gem didn't know if the woman would do anything if she saw her, as unlikely as seeing her was, but the mere thought was almost enough to send her into a panic. It was certainly enough to bring up memories she didn't want to think about.

She did her best to reign in her emotions before they started leaking out, and by some luck succeeded. Less successful was the attempt to clear her mind, but even that was by some miracle shorter than usual, only lasting about a minute. Gem let out a soundless sigh when she realized that her zoning out had caused her to miss part of an explanation about a new type of equation they were doing. Great. She'd have to do some extra self-study for that later. A lot, she realized after a few moments, because the memories had wrecked her focus and given her jitters. She'd have to do a LOT of self-study later. Even better.

With another silent sigh, Gem resisted the urge to fidget and did her best to pay attention anyway.
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PostSubject: Re: Gotham Nights - Spellbound   Mon Jun 08, 2015 2:53 am

He made it about seven steps before the bathroom act had dropped. Diego casually slipped down the hall, trailing Commissioner Gordon and her officer through the school for another turn before they stopped at an office at the end of the hall. He turned away, fidgeting with the keypad-lock on a locker just as the Officer glanced over his shoulder. He eyed the hall a moment before shrugging and entering into the office. The door closed, and Diego read the name on the glass: "Ira Billings: Psychologist".

Diego took one step closer to the door, but was halted once again by the entry of another; this time a student. Diego examined the young man now nudging the door open just a crack, from the brown jacket to his black hair.

"McGinnis?"

 It was true. Of all people, Terry McGinnis of all people had stepped up to eavesdrop on the Commissioner. It didn't make much sense at first, though after thought it tied together. Who other than a guy with a past like McGinnis would want to get a leg up on the cops? He couldn't get closer, but there's a certain level of intrigue that refuses to let go. As McGinnis turned his ear to the opening, Diego swirled his index finger.

"Era Royu"

A small gleam followed his finger before he placed it to his ear. As if holding a seashell to his ear, Diego began to hear something that was no next to him. He heard the conversation through McGinnins' ears.

"We wouldn't even look into this mysterious man story but the girl's father has influence. He asked us to check it out," Gordon asked, "I wanted your opinion first."

The man who sat across the desk seemed less-than-shocked to receive this news. In fact, he seemed to be prepared for it, as Dr. Billings responded with the quick analysis that had put his name on the contract. "To be frank, this is Chelsea's pattern." His glasses slid down his face as he bent his elbows and placed them on the table, hands folded. "She commits these destructive acts for attention and then claimed they weren't her fault. Unfortunately by humoring her stories, her father encourages her behavior."

"In other words," Gordon stood, "she made it up."

"That would be my opinion," the psychologist stood as well, "I'm sorry you wasted your time, Commissioner."

They shook hands, but as they moved to the door, Diego dropped his hand. He move toward his classroom as McGinnis left the same.

So Chelsea was just looking for attention?
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PostSubject: Re: Gotham Nights - Spellbound   Mon Jun 08, 2015 4:41 am

Lunchtime later that day found Gem hanging out in the nurse's office, as she always did. One of the nurses, Mrs. Daniels, was a very close family friend, and Gem had special permission to hang out with her in the office and avoid the crowd. She got there a little early that day, and there was a student who looked paler than they should have been and reeked of vomit, so Gem went to the back room to wait for Mrs. Daniels to finish up.

It was maybe fifteen minutes later that the woman came back with her lunch. Gem could feel herself being looked over before Mrs. Daniels shook her lunch bag. "Want any?"

Her pride flared at the charity, but Gem kept it from leaking. She hoped. "No thanks."

"You sure?"

Gem nodded. Her da wouldn't be eating any lunch today, so neither would she.

"Suit yourself." Mrs. Daniels replied, pulling a sandwich out of the bag as she sat one chair down from Gem. "And in English, dear. We're at school."

"B-But this is a p-private c-conversation." Gem whined with a sigh, nonetheless switching back to English. "I-It's j-just us t-talking and there's n-no one else e-even in the r-room!"

"Rules are rules."

"Those r-rules w-were made in element-tary school."

"Are you finally going to give up the rules, then?" Mrs. Daniels asked, and laughed when Gem heaved another sigh, because the answer was no, most definitely not, never never never, and they both knew it. "How are you, dear?"

"I-It's one of those d-days." Gem told her, eyes roaming to the ceiling. "I c-can't c-concertrate on anything, and I j-just really, r-really want to go h-home. At l-least n-now I'm halfway th-there."

"Whoa, livin' on a prayer." The nurse sang, and then paused.

Gem knew that pause. "You g-gonna psychology m-minor me ag-gain?"

Mrs. Daniels laughed. "Yeah, maybe." She said, and then paused again, before continuing more quietly, gently. "How are you really, Ériu?"

Gem turned her gaze closer to the woman. "Hmm?"

"You've been having a lot of 'those days' lately." Mrs. Daniels continued, too soft, too careful. "About every other day is one of 'those days', at this point. I can tell you haven't been sleeping well, either. Ciabhán says you're having nightmares almost every night, and that you work yourself into exhaustion trying not to. He also says you've stopped roofrunning, which would be worrying even without all the rest, but the rest is there. And there's still more. You're on edge all the time, like hypervigilant on edge, and you seem distant with students, with your students. Heck, you seem distant even with us. And all this has been going on for over a month now..." She shook her head worriedly. "It's like you have PTSD again."

"I d-don't." Gem shot back instantly, because Mrs. Daniels wasn't her da and there was no rule against lying to her, no risk in risking one. "I'm f-fine."

There was a longer pause than the first, and then a quiet sigh. "Alright. But if you're not, we're here for you. All of us. We just want you to be okay, to be okay and happy. You know that, right?"

"Yes." Gem answered, and she wasn't sure if that was a lie either.

The school bell rang, announcing the end of lunch for Gem. She pulled her hoodie back on and hoisted her backpack over one shoulder, glad for the opportunity to escape. "T-Time to go. Say hi t-to Hughie for m-me p-please?"

Mrs. Daniels smiled, but still radiated worry. "I will, and you should be seeing him Saturday if nothing happens."

"L-Looking forward to it." Gem replied with a smile of her own, small but probably her most genuine one the whole conversation, even as she took off for class trying desperately not to get lost in the memories their talk dug up.
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PostSubject: Re: Gotham Nights - Spellbound   Thu Jun 11, 2015 1:14 am

Diego Cruz walked around up until that point like he was being watch and for good reason: he was. There's a small corner of the eye that one can't see from, and from that corner Terry McGinnis watched Diego's moves. Diego had believed he snuck through his little spy moment unseen, or at least barely noticed, but there's no escaping the eyes of the bat. He had always known Diego was there, though remained unaware of the invasive levels Diego had gone in return. McGinnis narrowed his eyes as Diego stepped into his English class. Terry slipped down the hall.

He would have to keep an eye on that kid.

Diego plopped down in his seat near the middle of the room, still feeling the stares from all sides that weren't even there. He thought about what he had heard, or rather what McGinnis had heard, and had come to a conclusion: he was going to stay out of it.
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PostSubject: Re: Gotham Nights - Spellbound   Thu Jun 11, 2015 3:25 am

The rest of the day passed in a blur for Gem after that, from school classes to gymnastics classes to now, but it was sure to be another long and restless night.

Normally karate nights were the bad ones  maybe the fighting triggered her subconscious or whatever Brighid would say  but between the Commissioner and the talk at lunch, Gem would be surprised if she were able to sleep at all. One day had unintentionally brought up two of the worst in her life, within the span of a couple hours, even. Honestly, it'd be a miracle if she were able to sleep at all for the rest of the week.

Gem wasn't much for believing in anything, anymore, let alone miracles.

She finished her improved floor routine and went to Cúchulainn, who was once again keeping her company while she practiced and currently guarding the radio in exchange for affection. She rubbed the hound's belly with one hand as she turned down the volume of the radio with the other, not wanting the ads to blast out her eardrums while she waited for the station to return to music. In the meantime she let her breath come back to her, and kept petting the dog as she did. Cúchulainn was a whiner if he didn't get attention when he wanted it.  

As was always the case when she was idle these late nights, Gem's mind began to wander down dark roads, well-travelled and unloved. She dug her mental heels in, tried to force her mind to less painful thoughts, but it didn't work. It hardly ever worked, and she was so sick of it. She'd done this song and dance before, the betrayal, the pain, the guilt, the mourning, and she was so, so sick of it. Sick of being careful, sick of being afraid, sick of being nothing because she couldn't even let herself feel, not truly, not deeply, and she just, she just-

She just wanted to sleep. She just wanted to see Hughie. She just wanted to-

The ads ended and the radio switched back to playing music. Gem turned up the volume again and gave Cúchulainn one final pat before pushing herself to her feet, her mind already mapping out what to do for the new song.

Out of the corner of her eye, Gem saw Cúchulainn perk up his head. She paused to watch as he got to his feet and shot off like a rocket, heading towards the stairs, from which came the sound of descending footsteps. Gem hastily pulled her hair out of its high ponytail and into a low one. Her da didn't like seeing the scars on her ears any more than she did.

"I don't feel like sleeping right now either." The man announced when he reached the bottom step, one gloved hand reaching down to pet the dog, the other lingering on the rail. "Wanna spar?"

"Yes yes yes yeeeees!" Gem responded excitedly, bouncing on her toes with glee. It might have been a gymnastics night, and she might have been exhausted in every possible way, but like she was ever going to pass up sparring with her da.

Ciabhán laughed at his daughter's obvious joy, a far too rare occurrence in his eyes. "Go get your gear, I have mine already."

Gem didn't need to be told twice.
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PostSubject: Re: Gotham Nights - Spellbound   Fri Jun 12, 2015 4:13 am

"I don't buy it," Terry McGinnis said, arms folded as he leaned back against one of many bookshelves in the Wayne Manor library.The conversation had started by the fireplace in the furthest wing of the manor, but Bruce Wayne wasn't about to sit there and listen to his substitute Batman talk about his classmates forever. He climbed one of the small ladders connected to the shelves as Terry, obviously beside himself, continued.

"I mean Chelsea's flaky but she's not stupid," he said, "She's not going to make up some goofy guy with a magic eyeball. It's too crazy not to be true."

"Leave it alone," Bruce responded, the old man examining the ace of a hardcover book which had seen better days; the purple of the cover all but faded, "She's just a troubled kid lashing out at daddy. Nothing for you to get involved with."

"Guess you're the expert on troubled kids," Terry arched an eyebrow, "you collect them, right?"

While his tongue was sharp, the stern glare that Wayne crushed Terry with fell with the weight of a twelve-ton hammer. Terry sunk down just a little bit, but decided against saying anything further. Maybe Bruce and Dr. Billings were right? Maybe Chelsea was just lashing out, but even in his short time behind the cowl, Terry knew better than to rule anything out without proof. He'd keep this mystery man in-mind, but for now, he would head home.

It was getting late and his mother had to be worried.....but he had one more stop in-mind.

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

The doorbell rang.

Heels clicked across the wooden floors, past the desk, fireplace, and television, until the door slid open and from behind it, the excited face of the young blonde girl was revealed.

"Rick?!" Chelsea exclaimed, only to come back down to solid ground when she saw that no, once again, the doorbell ringer was not her boyfriend Rick. Just as t hadn't been for the last...twenty-seven times? She had lost count.

However, there was a young man on the other side of the door. Dressed in a dark blue hoody, he brought out the folder of papers he had stored under his arm.

"Hi Chelsea. Mr. Grant wanted me to drop off your Biology homework," he laughed lightly, "honestly he wanted to check in on you. He was worried. A lot of us are."

Chelsea stared at the young man who she figured must be a student. Why else would he have her homework? Still, she surveyed him, trying to match the face to a name.

"Oh right, sorry. I'm Terry. Terry McGinnis. I sit behind you," Terry smiled as "non-attacker" as he could, "so how are you?"


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PostSubject: Re: Gotham Nights - Spellbound   Mon Jun 15, 2015 5:00 am

"Traditional or free-for-all?" Ciabhán asked when his daughter returned with her sparring gear, like he even had to ask to know the answer to that question.

"Free-for-all." Gem responded immediately and predictably as she double-checked her gloves, because seriously, why would she pick the other option?

Normally there'd be refs during a spar, to catch the hits and keep the score and watch for danger, but that wasn't how the family sparred when they were alone and against each other. They knew their limits, and they knew each other well enough to fight without any significant risk. Neither of them really cared about the score. Once they had both warmed up and triple-checked all their gear, Cúchulainn off to the side and watching the proceedings with the enthusiasm dogs had for everything, the father-daughter duo got into position and bowed to each other, ready to begin. 

Karate was self-defense, only to be used as a last resort to protect oneself and escape a dangerous situation, but someone always had to throw the first punch in sparring. Even with practically all her life spent learning martial arts, Gem wasn't comfortable attacking someone outright, and even less nowadays than ever before. Her da had no such issues, so he was the one to always start on the offensive when they fought. He began with a back hand, slow and choreographed, and Gem blocked it with an easy side of head block. Ciabhán tried a front leg round kick next, followed by a front kick, which his daughter stopped with a down block and then another. They kept up the simple moves to begin with, just getting used to the flow and the movements. Upper cut, head block, straight punch, side block, back leg round kick, step back and scoop block, lunge punch, open hand block, low side kick, down block, it went on and on like that, gradually speeding up as time passed.   

It was maybe three minutes before Gem upped the ante.

Ciabhán threw another punch and instead of trying to block this time Gem dodged and countered, finally switching to the offensive with a squat kick. Her da whooped a laugh as he jumped back to dodge, and then jumped forward to try a back leg round kick, which Gem ducked under. Before she could think of attacking her da he aimed a kick at her chest, and Gem had to roll backwards to avoid getting hit. 

By the time she straightened up Ciabhán was in front of her again, aiming another kick, this one at her face. She caught it this time and pulled, unbalancing him and using her leg to sweep his other foot out from under him. She was entirely unable to stop a laugh at the ridiculous squawking noise her da made as he fell to the ground.

Gem tried to stomp kick his chest before he recovered, but Ciabhán was faster, rolling out of the way and kicking out a leg in an attempt to send his daughter to the ground like she'd done to him. She managed to flip out of the way just in time, but her landing was off and she ended up on one knee. It took her a second to get her head back, and when she did a glance at one of the mirrors lining the walls told her that her da was about to try to drop kick her head. That gave Gem the sense to block instead of dodging on instinct, and she crossed her forearms to stop the blow. Standing and pushing up, she offset her da and forced him back, but it didn't force him to the ground.

She followed up with three punches, high, low, middle, but all of them were deflected. Ciabhán threw a punch of his own, but it was a feint, and left Gem open to his second strike to her ribs. The strength of it pushed her back a few steps, and she used them to her advantage by getting a small start for a jump kick. Unfortunately, Ciabhán ducked, and his daughter had to dance out of the way before a back kick connected.

She spun around and tried a kick of her own, but in a move that Gem still had trouble understanding let alone replicating, her da kicked his own leg and wrapped it around hers, pulling them both to the ground and putting Gem in an awkward stance. But it also put her in close proximity to her opponent, and she used that to her advantage to lean forward and strike his gut with enough force to push him back. 

Ciabhán managed to untangle his leg and do a back handspring rather than fall into ungraceful heap on the floor. Gem did the same. Both fighters took a moment to recover before they were at it again, the former charging like a bull as the latter waited for him to get close enough. Once he did Gem used her da's lowered shoulders to flip over him and do a back kick that sent him stumbling. She pressed the advantage, getting close and aiming a kick at his side, but he must have seen it in a mirror because he caught it without looking, using it to throw her to the ground. By the time her mind caught up with her body, her da had a foot on her back and a grin on his face, according to the mirrors.

"Aw, man." Gem whined, and her da couldn't help but laugh as he helped her up.
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PostSubject: Re: Gotham Nights - Spellbound   Tue Jun 16, 2015 4:23 pm

Cemeteries in Gotham City are not just a place to remember the dead. Since the founding of the city, the cemeteries in Gotham have been works of art; each tombstone crafted by an expert hand in the Gothic-style that coursed through the cities veins. Even in 2040, while Neo-Gotham thrives, the ceremonies that preserve the dead are kept the same: stone monuments in an age of steel and electricity.

There are two tombstones in a cemetery on the outskirts of the city. Basic, but their carving was fresh. On each tombstone is the same name: "Walker". In front of those stones stand two people. In the day, their attire would be immediately met with hostile police response, but right now at night the two children known as Ten and Jack could mourn their loss in peace.

"It's just..." Ten spoke through a subdued sob, "It's not fair." Her demeanor shifted to anger, "I want him. Whoever did this, I want him."

"Then why don't we take him?" The voice was not her brother. The remaining Royal Flush Gang members turned to a large stone, carved into an incredible cross, where a new face stood....or rather, was hidden behind the orange and black swirl of his mask.

"Who the hell are you?" Jack said.

"A friend," the man in orange and black slid from the stone and calmly approached the duo, his aura like that of an old friend they haven't met yet, "A friend who wants people to get what they deserve. I think we can do that together."

"How?"

"With my invention."

As the man in the orange and black held out his hand, and the eyeball hovered up from his palm in radiant light, Ten and Jack couldn't look away. They were drawn to the eye, unflinching, until in a moment the eye blinked and flashed!

"And a little imagination."

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

That morning, Gotham High was as active as ever; which is to say not very much at all. The students slugged along to their first classes of the day, save for the few students with the odd reserve of energy that jog to every class.

Terry McGinnis was not one of those students. With a yawn, he passed down the hall with hands slipped into his jacket pockets. He hadn't slept much last night. His conversation with Chelsea, while short, didn't help shake his belief in her "mystery man". She couldn't recall all of the events. In fact, she barely remembered the two brief flashes of the man in orange and black.

He stepped into his class, paying no real mind to his surroundings...except for one particular girl. He didn't give her more than a glance, but it was hard to block out the memories of combat. Terry was certain of one thing: Gem needed to wear a mask. As he sat down, he casually turned to one of his classmates.

"Hey, you know anything about the twitchy girl over there?"
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PostSubject: Re: Gotham Nights - Spellbound   Thu Jun 18, 2015 5:20 am

Terry's classmate, a girl who had been engaged in conversation with friends before, cut off her story to look at him questioningly before following his gaze. When it landed on Gem, her face lit up with unholy glee. Terry had (debatably) lucked out with who he'd asked about the girl, because the girl sitting next to him was not only one of the biggest gossips in the school, but was also the leading authority on the oddity that was Gem O'Malley.

One of the friends she'd been talking to groaned. "You HAD to bring up Gem, didn't you? Gem, of all people, to JADE, of all people. Now she's never going to shut up."

"Oh, c'mon, Amy, she's not that bad." The other girl spoke up.

Amy turned to the girl and raised an eyebrow, her voice as deadpan as her expression. "Madison."

"...Well, okay, maybe she can be a little overenthusiastic." Madison surrendered, holding up her hands to show it.

"You both are very rude people." Jade told them, then turned back to Terry. "But they're not wrong, and you quite literally asked for it, so you might as well settle in for the long haul. Or until class starts."

Jade took a deep breath before she began speaking at a fast but steady pace. "So. Gem O'Malley. Her first name's Crystal but she clearly hates it, and I've heard her dad and one of the nurses here call her something that sounded like Ay-roo before. Might've misheard it, their accents made it tough, but whatever it was it sure seems like she has a lot of names. She's seventeen years old and was born on August 27th. Irish descent, obviously, between the red hair and the accent and the hoodie I don't know how anyone could think otherwise, but Gotham born and raised. Pretty sure she's never left the city more than once in her life, either, and that the one time was in freshman year to visit her grandparents in, wouldn't you know it, Ireland. She lives in Oldtown-"

Oldtown was an area of Gotham on its southern edge, so nicknamed for the fact that all the buildings were still the same way they'd been fifty plus years ago, brick and stone and concrete, though in worse condition than their glory days. It was also infamous for its all but nonexistent crime rate, reason being that there was no one worth hurting and nothing to steal, as it was one of the poorest areas in all of Gotham. Another less-than-affectionate nickname for the place was Deadtown, but whether it was for the high number of cemeteries within it or for the fact that so few who lived there ever went anywhere in life, no one could pinpoint.

"-on the second floor of a gym she and her dad run called Gem's Gym, which makes you wonder which came first, the Gem or the gym? Probably the gym. But that tells you a lot about their financial situation on its own, which, not good. She doesn't even own a laptop, has to go to a library near her home. I know, I did a project with her. Maybe her mom doesn't pay child support? Oh, right, duh, her parents are divorced. Probably should have mentioned that earlier. She lives with her dad, and I'm pretty sure it wasn't a happy parting because the few times I've heard her mom get mentioned she just got really...she gave off a weird vibe, man, I don't know how to explain it. But yeah, divorced when she was pretty young and it apparently wasn't pretty. Her dad's name is something like Key-uh-vaughn, by the way, think he sometimes just goes by Vaughn? Or, well, Mr. O'Malley. But anyway, getting off track. Going back to the gym thing, they teach karate and gymnastics there, as well as having, well, an actual gym. Pretty sure Gem's an expert at both of them, because you can't tell with her clothes but the girl is ripped. Like, we had gym together freshman and junior year, and let me tell you, WOW."

"Uh, Jade, that's probably a little TMI."

Jade shrugged at Madison's interjection, finally taking a breath before jumping right back into it. "So that covers the background, or at least as much as I can probably get away with before class starts, so let's move on. Everyone knows that Gem is ommetaphobic and haphephobic  eeeeexcept maybe you, actually, considering you're asking about her. Why are you asking about her? But anyway, if you don't know what those mean it's that she has phobias of eyes and touching, respectively. Eye contact and skin contact 'specially for her. It's...bad. Really bad. Did you know Adam Wright in freshman year? Tall, brown hair, blue eyes, absolute scum of the earth? You might not have known him directly, he wasn't even here a month, but he left a pretty big impression for most of us. He was a bully, plain and simple, and he decided his target was Gem. At the beginning of freshman year Gem was even smaller and quieter than she is now, and clearly had a chip on her shoulder the size of the city itself. All of which is seriously saying something. Adam went after her like a bloodhound, shoving her around, threats, name-calling, you think of it and he probably did it. But he was smart about it, never did anything that could be traced, until one day..."

Her voice trailed off, and it took a few tries before Jade could speak again. "One day Gem said something to him. I still don't know what, I don't think anyone does except for her and Adam, but whatever it was it made him snap. He shoved her against the lockers between classes, in plain sight for everyone to watch and said...well, I can't say exactly what he said because Maddie's here, but essentially he told her to look him in the eyes and say it again. And then...well, and then he made her. Grabbed her face and forced her to look straight at him and then..."

There was another pause before she went on. "It was awful. I didn't get there until part of the way through it, but when I did she was seizing. Actually seizing, a grand freaking mal in the middle of the hallway. She was seizing and screaming, blood pouring out the back of her head from slamming it against the lockers, choking on vomit and more blood between those stupid screams and God, it was awful. They had to take her to the hospital and everything, because yes, seizures are bad and you need the hospital for them, but they're supposed to be short, right? Even grand mals only last like five minutes. But it didn't. It took twenty minutes for her to get into the ambulance and she was still seizing, still screaming, and I've heard it didn't stop until over an hour even after that, and...there's literally nothing I can call it but awful."

"I saw all of it, from the beginning." Amy admitted, quiet and solemn. "It was...probably the worst thing I've ever seen in my life. The feeling I got watching..." She shook her head, unable to continue.

Jade nodded. "Adam got expelled for it, good riddance. His family had to pay for the hospital bills too, which, also good. But man, can you imagine going through that? Living your life in constant fear of going through that? Awful."

Madison made a small noise of agreement. Amy only nodded.

Jade pulled in a deep breath and exhaled loudly. "But anyway! That's enough about that. Let's move on to...well, I can't exactly say happier topics, because there's honestly not much about Gem that's happy. Well, there's gotta be something that's at least not mega depressing...oh, she really likes animals! She smiles whenever she sees one. It's adorable. Um, her favorite color's green, favorite food is pasta, and her favorite season is fall, thank you, awkward first day of class icebreakers. She's also a polyglot. Like seriously, she takes all advanced foreign language classes for her extracurriculars  which, why would she do that to herself, seriously, why  and I've heard her speak ones that definitely aren't in any classes here. So that's Irish or whatever it's actually called, English, Spanish, French, and German that I recognized that I heard, as well as what might have been Italian, Russian, and Japanese...so that's what, eight? And that's just what I've heard. Seriously, that's crazy. Especially for a girl who never talks to anyone."

"She also never stutters in any of those languages. Only in English." Amy offered up.

Jade stared at her friend. "I did not know that. Why did you never tell me that?!"

"You never asked."

Madison giggled at Jade's strangled noise of frustration.

"Let's move on." Jade said when she was finally done making sound effects. "Some things that Gem doesn't like are hostile, emotional people, which really, can you blame her? But yeah, them, loud noises, gunshots in movies, cold weather, hot weather too if her clothes are anything to go by, the ocean, talking, people in general, actually, and hospitals, which, again, can't really blame her. Uh, what am I forgetting?"

"Rumors?" Madison suggested.

"Not what I meant, but sure, that works." Jade said. "Well, there's a bunch about that Davey kid that still haven't settled after all this time. Gem actually talked to the guy, which is basically unheard of-"

"Aside from your interrogations."

"-aside from my INNOCENT INQUIRIES and project partners and teachers and other school staff. I've heard everything from those two were in cahoots to they were dating to they were long-lost siblings, and those aren't even the most ridiculous ones. But the rumor mill hasn't decided exactly what the deal is with those two yet, so there's too much to list in the time limit we have. Besides, there's really only one rumor that anyone talks about involving her."

Jade leaned in a little closer. "So Gem lives in Oldtown, right? That's on the edge of the city. There's no way she'd ever get into this school considering how far away it is from where she lives. So I did a little digging and wouldn't you know it, she's a transfer. Got in on a favor of one of the nurses here, Mrs. Daniels, if you know her. The school closest to where Gem lives isn't any better or worse than ours, so there was no reason to transfer on account of education. So if it's not anything logical like location or education, you gotta figure it's something else. Like all that angst Gem carries around, maybe. And that's where the rumor starts. I heard from a friend of a friend's friend  which I know that's a shaky source, believe me I know  that his dad's a cop and he was called in one night, in the summer before we all started high school, because someone was reported dead. And when he gets there, who does he find on the scene? Wouldn't you know it, it's Gem, blood on her hands and everything. I haven't been able to find any more information about this for the life of me, but the rumor goes that the reason Gem goes to school here..." Jade smiled, wide and enthused, and leaned in closer still, "...is because she killed someone in Oldtown."

"You are such a weirdo."

Jade reached back and shoved Amy's shoulder. "Am not."

"Are too. You seriously know way too much about the girl and are way too invested in her."

"Am not! And it's not like I even believe that rumor. All this is just preparing me for my job someday."

"What, being a professional stalker?"

"Ugh, no! A reporter or a journalist or something. I'm not going to be a stalker."

"So you're not denying that you're a stalker now."

"I'm not a stalker! Geez! I just think she's interesting!"

Amy gave her a look.

"...And hot. Really, really hot. Hot like burning, but also somehow adorable."

"Only you, Jade, only you."

Gem, luckily for their sakes as well as her own, was not paying any of them any attention. Her attention and effort went to staying awake, occasionally straying to the thought of taking a nap at lunch, as well as going over in her head what they'd gone over the other day in class while she waited for it to start.
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PostSubject: Re: Gotham Nights - Spellbound   Sun Jun 21, 2015 4:45 am

If every question he asked could be answered in such quick...and disturbing detail, his job would be so much easier. Terry listened to the never-ending lecture about the girl named Gem and absorbed every detail. He had heard about the murder they mentioned, but that girl....it would make sense, the reaction to the gunshots. Still, she seemed struck with grief....or guilt. He couldn't tell which, at least not right now.

"You know your stuff," Terry told Jade with one of those classic, McGinnis grins that he'd practice to throw off his melancholic thought process, "should look into more people like that. You have a knack for it."

With that, he turned as the class began.
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PostSubject: Re: Gotham Nights - Spellbound   Sun Jun 21, 2015 5:27 am

The day passed quickly for Gem after that (especially with the nap, though she wished Mrs. Daniels hadn't let her sleep through two whole classes), and before she knew it night had fallen and her da had gone up to bed, leaving her with only the company of the dog, and weirdly, that night, the cat. Dinah usually remained on the roof, for all that she was theirs by now, but some nights she decided to grace the rest of the family with her presence, and apparently this was one of them. Gem figured it might have had something to do with the fact that they'd had fish-sticks for dinner that night, but there was no way to tell.

She finished up her last set with the punching bag before going over to grab her bo staff. Even with the nap earlier that day, Gem was exhausted, and couldn't see herself staying up for that much longer. It'd been a karate night, so nightmares were more likely, but she was hopeful that at this point she'd be drained enough to have a dreamless sleep for once. Either way, it was time to start winding down, so she'd do a kata or two and then ten count before calling it a night.

Gem took a deep breath, bowed, and began.
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PostSubject: Re: Gotham Nights - Spellbound   Sun Jun 21, 2015 11:58 pm

As Gem worked through her kata, her mind, heart, and very being were flooded by fear. Fear and anger. Fear, anger, and sorrow. They welled up, surged through her entire body like uncontrolled lightning that clung to her electric rod bones. The feeling would on its own be sign for alarm, especially so sudden, but it didn't help that the emotion did not being in her own body.

It was coming from outside.

It was far, or close, or...for some reason, there was no way to set a fix on the location. The only certains were the intensity, like the grinding of stones against the inside walls of her skull, and the direction. North. Everything about it said north, toward the mushroom cloud of rage, misery, and fear.
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PostSubject: Re: Gotham Nights - Spellbound   Mon Jun 22, 2015 2:04 am

Gem gasped and dropped to her knees, bo falling uselessly to the side as she wrapped her arms around herself, as if that would help protect her from the sudden onslaught of emotions. Fear and rage and sorrow, so unexpected, so strong for being so far away. Or were they close? Where was it coming from? Gem couldn't tell, couldn't think, couldn't breathe with the overwhelming feelings in the air, it was too much, too much and-

-and there was a low whine coming from in front of her, something soft being pressed against her face. Gem lifted her head and opened her eyes  when had she closed them?  to find Cúchulainn staring back at her, a blanket in his mouth. It was a silly thing, a relic of her childhood, used when she was little to fend off nightmares, or to don as a cape when she saved the day in one of her games of pretend, gifted to her by the woman who'd given birth to her. It was so old it was threadbare, worn by time and overuse alike, the soft material a pale and faded yellow color. Between her memories and her mum, it was something that brought Gem a lot of mixed feelings.

More importantly, however, it was something that brought her none at all, and it was exactly what Gem needed at that moment.

"Good boy." She told the dog as she took the blanket, wrapping it around herself and pulling an edge over her head. Instantly the world narrowed down to only her own emotions, and the relief was so intense Gem nearly sobbed with it. Except she did sob, eyes growing wet as she bit her lip to keep the sound from escaping. She was just so tired, so very, very tired, and all she wanted to do was rest. But she couldn't even do that, could she? There was always something, something to set her back on the edge, something that kept her from having even the tentative illusion of peace. It was always going to be like this. She was always going to be tired and careful and a freak, and she hated it. She hated it, and she hated how she couldn't even hate it, and she was so, so tired. Tired of everything and nothing and being, and just so very tired.

Without thinking, Gem had at some point reached out to pet Cúchulainn, maybe to subconsciously thank him or to calm herself down. Whatever the reason, Dinah decided at that moment that she was jealous, and charged the dog with a yowl, which sent him skittering back with a yelp. The sight of the massive Irish Wolfhound being intimidated by the tiny tortoiseshell cat startled a laugh out of Gem, and her mood lifted slightly in spite of everything.

"Come on, you two. I have two hands, I can pet you both at the same time." She told them, and then did just that.
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PostSubject: Re: Gotham Nights - Spellbound   Mon Jun 22, 2015 3:55 am

Gotham in the mid-day was something else entirely. It seemed like in the world of perpetual night, there would never be room for pure sunlight: just glimpses amongst the shadows. In the sunlight, the massive monoliths of glass and steel of the mega city shimmer and remind the citizens of just how far society has come since the dawn, but at the same time, the gothic architecture and decoration of Oldtown reminds those same people of where they've come from.

While the Oldtown residents weren't much in the realm of money, but in personality they've grown into something all of their own. The neighborhood was, if anything, alive, and this day was of no exception.
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PostSubject: Re: Gotham Nights - Spellbound   Mon Jun 22, 2015 5:11 am

Gem adjusted her hood, trying as best she could to keep the sun out of her eyes. It was an effort largely in vain, but the little help it did was enough to let her view her way clearly enough to not run any risks. The path was one she'd tread enough to walk blindfolded (or nearly blinded as she was), but pedestrians and traffic couldn't be accounted for like that, so use her eyes she did.

She hadn't gotten much of any sleep the night before, surprise surprise, and she'd suffered earlier in school for it, not paying attention and even dozing off in English, of all places. Somehow she hadn't gotten called out on it, but the fact remained it had caused her to miss a lot of stuff, and because of that she had to make up for it on her own time. So off to the library Gem went, to study up on everything and do some of the homework that required computers, hopefully all before gymnastics classes started that evening.

She also went to return her old language books and maybe get some new ones, but that was obvious.

Gem paused at a corner, realizing she'd never told her da that she was headed to the library straight after school. She fired off a quick text telling him so, then readjusted her backpack and picked up the pace. She was going to need as much time as possible if she didn't want to be late for classes.
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PostSubject: Re: Gotham Nights - Spellbound   Tue Jun 23, 2015 2:33 am

The sidewalks weren't exactly the streams of humanity that one would find in the inner-city section of Neo-Gotham, but still the faces passing Gem by were numerous. At least, the faces that she could not see with her eyes avoiding them so. Needless to say, keeping your eyes to the ground did not make for easy maneuverability in the streets.

Gem was jarred by a sudden impact. A shoulder, slightly broader than her own. A man with his hands in his pockets moved past, slightly hurried, but nothing out of the usual. He turned to pass a quick look over his shoulder,

"Sorry 'bout that."

He kept on his way, though Gem's pocket seemed all the lighter.

That, and an increasing sense of anxiety moving away from her.
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PostSubject: Re: Gotham Nights - Spellbound   Tue Jun 23, 2015 3:11 am

The contact made her shudder, and Gem bit her lip as she shook it off, not responding to the stranger. It was only ever bad when she touched someone's skin, but that didn't stop the fear and unpleasantness whenever someone did something similar, or even got too close to her. Living in a city may have made such things inevitable, but that never stopped the feeling. Still, Gem had learned to live with it as best she could, so she shoved her hands into her pockets-

Her empty pockets.

Well, that would explain the small spike in emotion she'd felt. She'd thought the guy had just been embarrassed. 

Normally Gem didn't even bring her wallet with her at all, because why would she? It wasn't like she ever spent money on anything. But today she had, because she kept her library card in there, and because of that she had gotten pickpocketed. While the area was known for its low crime rate, that didn't mean crimes never happened. Gem would know. The gym had gotten four attempted robberies in her lifetime alone, and she wasn't even going to count the times she'd gotten cornered in an alley for some reason or another, in Oldtown or otherwise. Gotham was a city, and all cities had crime, and now Gem was the victim of one.

Impulse had her reaching out with her abilities, trying to stop the man in his tracks that way, make him give back her wallet peacefully under as much of his own power as possible, but Gem reined that urge in before it even fully formed. She couldn't trust her powers. Not anymore, not after the robot and Cheshire and everything else. It was bad enough that she couldn't turn them off fully, that she couldn't completely ignore the emotional impressions she got from everyone. Actually trying to use them? That was asking for disaster. She was going to have to get her wallet back the old-fashioned way.

Regretting everything already, Gem spun on her heel and ran after the thief.
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PostSubject: Re: Gotham Nights - Spellbound   Tue Jun 23, 2015 3:55 am

The man kept up his brisk pace, keeping his focus straight ahead as he continued. Very casually, he looked over his shoulder once more, spying the girl following him in pursuit, and continued his push forward now at a step below a jog. He swerved between people walking in the opposite direction, still not exhibiting any signs of guilt but of a man trying to catch a bus or get to a meeting on-time.
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PostSubject: Re: Gotham Nights - Spellbound   Tue Jun 23, 2015 4:17 am

She had just barely started the chase but already Gem wanted to just stop, to quit and go home and apologize to her da. Much as she would have liked to do that, though, it wasn't an option. There wasn't even much money in her wallet, maybe fifteen dollars tops, but every bit was important, especially now with the raise in rent and the new equipment they'd had to buy. Not to mention there were other things she'd be sad to lose, her library card and the photos she'd tucked away inside her wallet. Nice as it would have been to give up, she had to get it back.

Dodging around other strangers, Gem kept in pursuit of the pickpocket.
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PostSubject: Re: Gotham Nights - Spellbound   Tue Jun 23, 2015 4:32 am

He didn't look back. He didn't need to. It was obvious that she was in pursuit now, and the pickpocket just needed to find the right way out. Which way would it be, now? As he looked across the street he spotted the way out: an alleyway. He stopped all facades, moving into a full-out sprint across the old street where the few cars that still remained on the ground resided, and disappearing between the buildings.
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PostSubject: Re: Gotham Nights - Spellbound   Tue Jun 23, 2015 4:43 am

"Th-This is such a b-bad id-dea."

Regardless of her words and her certainty of them, Gem kept after the thief, following him into the alley and picking up speed now that there was no risk of running into anyone. That gave her hope, at least, because even with her backpack Gem knew she could outrun most people no problem, and more than likely keep up with those she couldn't. Maybe she'd catch up with the guy and get her wallet back easy after all.

She knew better than to believe that, but a girl could dream, couldn't she?

Gem ran even faster.
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PostSubject: Re: Gotham Nights - Spellbound   Tue Jun 23, 2015 5:12 am

The man was so much further down the alley, but Gem's speed was in her favor. The blip that was the pickpocket grew larger and larger as she grew closer. The alley grew out into a larger back lot as the two charged closer. The pickpocket ran into the opening...and then he stopped. He stood exactly still, not even bothering to look back at Gem as she grew even closer and entered into the opening as well.

BLAM!

A blast launched from the sky down, just missing Gem and connecting with the ground with a slight explosion. Something descended from the sky, unclear from the way the sun caught it, but becoming clearer and clearer as it lowered. When the glare left, it could all be seen: a card. A floating card, and atop that card stood a figure in white and black, red eyes glaring down in hatred at Gem.

"How many are there?" Ten asked, though to no answer. The man turned, his white face and black beard matching that of his sister. Jack opened his jacket, removing from it a sword that looked straight from a card's face.

Ten pulled up her weapon: a plasma rifle, metallic though pulsing shades of red. She took aim once more.

"ANSWER ME! HOW MANY OF YOU ARE THERE?! HOW MANY DO WE HAVE TO KILL!?"

It was obvious the girl she yelled at knew nothing about what she spoke of, but in Ten's eyes, she saw no girl. No worried looks or determination to get her money back. What she saw was that grin. That damn grin that had haunted her every night. The grin that had taken her parents that night.

The grin of the Cheshire cat.
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