a leaky house can't fool the rain

It's Point Grey! There are many places in it, and you go here to RP in them.

a leaky house can't fool the rain

Zea Mazuo
Advanced Member
Zea Mazuo
Advanced Member
Joined: 18 Jan 2010, 04:30

07 Feb 2011, 08:31 #1

In the basement, Zea had wedged a tall plank of sanded-down wood between the floor and the ceiling. This round centerpole had clearly taken some effort to install, begging the question of just what Zea had been doing in that week when Scott told her to be trying out non-pharmaceutical solutions to her Gift problem.

On the concrete floor she'd scraped with a rock to leave white marks, elaborate filigreed designs that meant a great deal to her and to her patrons, but probably little to her new lab assistant. It didn't matter. They two should be the only ones down here. On one end of the room was a table bearing a couple of notebooks, a pile of candles, and a dufflebag full of small plastic vials. There was also a pair of leg irons, the manacles resting on the long chain which connected them.

The other side of the room was piled with blankets and pillows, along with a couple of buckets and a stack of books. Several pencils. Another notebook.

Doctor Mazuo was barefoot, with her hair pulled back and her clothing loose and comfortable.

"Well, Mikhail. I'm going to stay over there," she said, extending one arm toward the pile of blankets. "And if I become a problem, you can cuff me around the center pole here. It's got a ritual function that's important to me, but the powers that be are not going to take it personally if I need it for this. They know how I get."

She approached the table and rolled up one sleeve. She swabbed the inside of her arm with alcohol, doing her best to keep things clean in this extra-non-sterile-sketchy-basement-type lab. "We start with the necromancy Gift serum. I can do that. You're probably going to just... sort of... be my trip-sitter." She drew the amount she needed up into the syringe, and checked for air bubbles. "If I say anything interesting, go ahead and write it down, because I may not remember." Then she paused, waiting for confirmation that he was ready for her to start. "Any last questions or comments?"
Reply
Like

Comrade
Advanced Member
Comrade
Advanced Member
Joined: 07 Nov 2010, 01:20

07 Feb 2011, 08:52 #2

Mikhail sniffed the air gingerly, sort of expecting to smell something different. Something dead. He supposed that was sort of a silly thing, but well...this whole thing was silly. This woman was supposedly about to start talking to the dead. Barefoot. Practically in pajamas. He almost wished she had hello kitty on them, just to cement the absurdity here.

He wondered how many bad movies had started like this. An exotic, dark-skinned woman in a basement of a university, with symbols chalked out on the ground beneath her bear feet, and a slightly estranged older gentleman watching her. He was just waiting for the lines to glow and for some demon to start raping her before she grew a cock and started fucking him.

Man, he really did not miss the internet.

"No, I'm good. Go ahead."
Reply
Like

Zea Mazuo
Advanced Member
Zea Mazuo
Advanced Member
Joined: 18 Jan 2010, 04:30

07 Feb 2011, 09:01 #3

Zea shrugged, and slid the needle in. She'd have to start finding other veins soon, just as a precaution, but this was fine to start. Her fingers pressed down on the plunger, and that was it.

A little anticlimactic.

Wasn't it supposed to-- oh, wait. Was it--

Little whispers. It could have been coming from the floors above, except that there shouldn't have been anybody just now. She thought she could pick out occasional words, but it was mostly just vowel noises.

Whose Gift was this, anyway? Was this how it felt to Griffin Lowell? Was this his?

She'd expected the campus to be in a greater uproar, but maybe they had quieted down. Maybe they didn't remember. The attention span of ghosts for events which didn't concern them was tragically brief. What Zea needed was a ghost who was concerned.

"John?" she said aloud. Briefly she felt self-conscious, but she and Mikhail were just going to have to get used to this. "High John the Conqueror, you come here to me now," she said sternly, tugging on that familiar bond which had welded them together almost as one creature for almost as long as she could remember.

Silence. Where was he?

She clenched her hand tightly, fingernails digging into her palm. Where was he?

"Damn you, John. Over my shoulder and under my skin my whole life, and where are you when I need you? Mikhail, feel free to take a seat somewhere. This may take a while."
Reply
Like

Comrade
Advanced Member
Comrade
Advanced Member
Joined: 07 Nov 2010, 01:20

07 Feb 2011, 09:13 #4

Mikhail did not sit. Yet. He was too curious about this whole thing. John. That was her...what did she call it? Her familiar. Like a witch. Well that wasn't very nice to say. But that was what they called their cats right. Probably. Oh, that was a good movie. The one with the three witch-sisters(why did witches always come in threes, for that matter. he should look that up when he next visited the library) and the kid who got turned into a cat. And the nice zombie with the stitched up mouth. One day, no one will have heard of that movie. That was sad.

Mikhail pulled out his cigarettes and lit one up as he watched her talk, seemingly to the empty air. Well, he had seen people talk to themselves before. You should see some of the drugs they tested back in Russia, trying to find truth serums. This one poor bastard's optic nerves had melted and his eyes fell out of his head. It was kind of crazy. He hoped Zea didn't lose her eyes. They were kind of pretty, if you liked that whole dark thing. Mikhail was a sucker for blue eyes, though. They were so pure looking. Like snow. Or gold. Or ice water. Just...pure.

He watched Zea, waiting.
Reply
Like

Joined: 19 Jan 2010, 05:07

07 Feb 2011, 09:30 #5

Whatever Caleb had been doing, it wasn't really important now. (Things really had mostly quieted down, after this long. Zea was right about the attention span of ghosts when things don't apply to their obsessions.)

Caleb was still pissed about the attack, and he had been genuinely freaked out by what Zea did in the days after it.

...He had taken a small amount of vicious pleasure in John's confusion and panic, but that was neither here nor there, really.

Of course, it meant that when Caleb practically tripped over the ghosts of the Vanguard, he didn't really have anybody to tell about it. Not anybody who cared, anyway. Caleb didn't really like talking to Griff unless necessary. It depressed him, and it made Griff sad as well.

Caleb lifted his head, almost seeming to scent the nonexistent air in his ethereal nose.

There was a new taste of Necromancy in Point Grey. Time to check things out.

----

One small thing Caleb missed about being alive was pushing doors open in a huff with his cane. It was rather satisfying, actually, having a cane to do things with. It didn't make up for the fact that his leg was practically useless, but it was still nice to have an excuse to carry something to trip people with, pull things toward you, open things, etcetera.

But, oh well. Spilled milk, and all that.

Caleb followed the small but growing mass of ghosts and spirits to the basement of Vanier. Oh look, there was John. Caleb waved at him. Asshole.

There was... the big russian guy. Honestly, Caleb forgot his name. A lot. Wasn't pack, wasn't connected, wasn't important. There was something that he was sure he should have remembered about the guy, something somehow pretty relevant, but it really didn't matter enough to remember.

Oh well.

Hey, look, that's Zea.

That was weird, this Necromancy didn't feel like Zea. It was weaker, it was... Well, considering how much time Caleb had spent in her regional vicinity, both during times of strength and suppression, he had gotten a rather familiar handle on what "Zea" felt like. Her power, anyway. Which was the only thing that really mattered to ghosts.

It just wasn't Zea's power.

That's okay, it meant she could hear him! And hoo boy did he have things to say to her.

Caleb poked Zea with the cane, with rather more imagined force than necessary. Had to make sure she felt it. :D

"The hell did you do, Doctor Mazuo? Shit's been all kinds of fucked up since you pulled that little stunt. I can't sleep but even if I could I wouldn't have been able to for a fucking week with all the screaming everything around here did. You pissed them off something good."
Reply
Like

Zea Mazuo
Advanced Member
Zea Mazuo
Advanced Member
Joined: 18 Jan 2010, 04:30

07 Feb 2011, 09:43 #6

If Caleb needed more proof that Zea's Gift wasn't Zea's Gift, his cane phased right through her. Something had happened to the necromancer whose familiar could stroke her face and fix her hair and... well...

The details weren't important.

Because she didn't feel the prod with his cane, Zea didn't realize who had found her until she heard his voice.

Caleb. Shit. Wait, Caleb! Oh! Oh, wait, this was actually really good. He loved this campus and he hated her, and those ties might be strong enough for this to be absolutely optimal. She'd apologize to John later.

She listened to his inquiries with an uncharacteristically impatient expression. She could... more or less see him to... well... some degree. It was the voice, though, that made his identity obvious. "I overexerted myself and blew out my Gift," she answered hurriedly. "I'm artificially inducing so I may not have long this time. I need to track down the people who invaded campus. I would ask John, but I can't find him and I know damn well you care more about this place than he does, anyway. You'll have better focus."

A plea for aid was not going to work. Caleb wouldn't say yes to anything she wanted, simply because telling her no would make him feel powerful. Well, Zea needed to give him an alternate way to feel it.

"I need you to use me to help the Kahlites find out what happened, because there's no way we can ask Griffin Lowell to take the risk. Have you encountered any of those ghosts?"
Reply
Like

Joined: 19 Jan 2010, 05:07

19 Feb 2011, 02:42 #7

Ha, ha, fucking ha.

Fuck you, high and mighty John the Conqueror, Caleb won. The great Doctor Mazuo fucked up and her almighty familiar who was a complete and total creepo dickweed couldn't do anything because he couldn't hear her but Caleb could and there were things that Caleb could do to help his pack and his territory and he was BETTER and Caleb won.

Knowing that Zea fucked up and she needed his help and she was desperately jabbing shit into her veins made it all the sweeter. Too bad she wasn't in a cage because of instability or something or other. That would have been even better.

Wait, there was a job. Zea needed something, it had to do with the Kahlites, and Point Grey, and keeping Scott and Kepler safe. Right. Caleb needed to focus, and help.

The ghosts.

Right. The Vanguard guys.

"Yes. Damn well tripping over them, really. Annoying as fuck. Are all new ghosts like that?"
Reply
Like

Zea Mazuo
Advanced Member
Zea Mazuo
Advanced Member
Joined: 18 Jan 2010, 04:30

19 Feb 2011, 03:25 #8

"Yes. With proper postmortem counseling they honestly tend to pass on pretty quickly, but I've been out of commission. The reasons why couldn't possibly be relevant to you so I won't waste time."

Would Caleb care about her mother? No. Did Caleb care that she'd never gone all werewolf berserker mode before? Obviously he wouldn't. If Caleb were even able to properly keep track of details like 'Quinn Simon exists' it would be something of a surprise.

"I don't know how often I'll be able to get in contact with you, so interrogating them may occasionally fall to you until I've got my dosages right."

It was funny. Looking at him like this... Zea wondered how she could ever have mistaken a ghost for a living person. It was like there was no texture to him at all, or rather... it was all the same texture, like his hair and his clothes and his skin and his cane were all made of the same stuff--which of course they were, now. They were all just made of Caleb.

"I need to ask you a personal question."
Reply
Like

Joined: 19 Jan 2010, 05:07

19 Feb 2011, 04:34 #9

Yeah yeah, okay, whatever. Caleb's interest wandered right at the beginning of the first real sentence.

The idea of pushing around the new ghosts on his territory, on the other hand, did interest him.

"Eh. Yeah, what."

It wasn't really like it mattered anymore, did it? He was dead. She couldn't use any personal information against him, particularly when keeping in mind her promise that she would tell no one of his continued presence at Point Grey.
Reply
Like

Zea Mazuo
Advanced Member
Zea Mazuo
Advanced Member
Joined: 18 Jan 2010, 04:30

19 Feb 2011, 04:40 #10

"I apologize in advance. This question upsets a lot of people in your position, so I hate asking, but we need to know each other's capabilities or we can't help the Kahlites protect themselves."

Here it came. Sometimes they didn't know the answer; they couldn't tell. Sometimes it hadn't occurred to them until she asked, and that was what she was really afraid of. That was what really upset them.

Well, best to be quick about it. Zea didn't know Caleb well--at least, what was left of him--but she didn't think he'd thank her for beating around the bush.

"I don't know how long you've been dead, and some ghosts hang together better than others. Everybody inevitably forgets some things, and gets pared down to the essentials of their personality, however they personally define that." Do it, Zea, for God's sake. "What specifically are you attached to here?"

For a ghost, it was as personal a question as asking about his Calling. Perhaps more so, since eventually it would be all that was left. For all Zea knew, Caleb was mostly gone already... but maybe not. Maybe he wasn't. Maybe he didn't need power from her, but if he did... if he did, she needed to know.
Reply
Like