Forging New Paths

CanaryCry

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Name: Evelyn Kohl
Age: 26
Superpowers: Evelyn has what is referred to in her universe as Sight with a capital S (known as elemental scrying by the superpowers wiki). If she is touching water, she can then see into areas she isn't physically present in through any other source of still water. This creates a very small, faint glow of blue light in whatever source of water she is looking through, and a more pronounced blue glow in her own eyes.
On top of this, she also has what she refers to as Insight (also known as claircognizance), wherein she gains knowledge of facts she's never learned on her own, most often without her consent or control (i.e. when she first meets a person she can get no insight whatsoever, or she can tell that they're about to get divorced, or thinking of starting a new job, or other such things). Touching an object someone else has touched can give her glimpses into what happened around it.
In some iterations, she also has a weak technopathy, enough to send untraceable messages or work simple electronics. In others, she simply has a friend/contact much stronger in ability that helps her out.
History/Storyline: Evelyn grew up simply, in a family neither rich nor poor. After being used by supposed friends and boyfriends as a party trick and, in black corners of her life, a tool, she moved far away from home to start a new life. In this new city, she used the combination of her abilities to become known simply as The Informant. If someone wanted information on their enemies, business partners or opponents, and knew the right people to get in touch with, they would contact her. As her messages can't be traced, no one knew her identity.
One day, she noticed someone using Sight just like hers to look at her in her home, and out of curiosity she decided to communicate with them. When she was finally able to follow the source with her own Sight, she found an exhausted looking young man in a dark, somewhat bare room, and after days of communicating in writing and simple yes or no questions, discovered he was being kept against his will and had been for a long time. Her Insight eventually told her how many people he had killed, but she knew something was wrong and set about finding someone to free him. She revealed her identity to this person and part of the organization they worked for, and was able to reveal the fact that the killer (Luca) was under the mental control of the man keeping him and not truly responsible for all the deaths in time to have the right person taken down. Since then, she's spent a great deal of her time trying to take care of Luca and help him re-enter the world.
Personality: Calm. Evelyn generally seems rather content and under control. With strangers she is rather stiff and resistant, but for known entities she will relax. Friends are treated softly, but having been taken advantage of before she treads lightly around anyone that asks too many favors.
Other: As a defining visual trait, Evelyn always walks with an umbrella or parasol. Rain makes her Sight difficult and temperamental, and on sunny days she burns easily.





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Name: Luca
Age: 21
Superpowers: Luca has the same Sight as Evelyn (Elemental scrying via water), as well as the ability to form energy constructs which he refers to as The Shadow. The Shadow will sometimes act on its own should he come under attack and not react in time. He forms black energy into walls, ropes, or sharp tendrils that can crush most wood and stone, but cant cut straight through metal - bash and dent it, yes, but not cut through. This energy has mainly been developed for brute force, slamming or slicing through human opponents, and not for anything that requires more care or precision. Luca has learned to be a battering ram, and is still working on more gentle ways to use to his strength.
History/Storyline: Since he was a small child, around 10, Luca has been kept by a man who kept him compliant through mind control, sedation, and psychological manipulation. His parents were first, to make sure no one was looking for him, and after the few years it took to make Luca give up and stop fighting the man used his power to slaughter countless people. As Luca was always dressed in a full face motorcycle helmet and leather jacket - both to hide his identity and mask his young age before he grew up - and his powers left no evidence behind, authorities had been scrambling to find him before Evelyn did. Trapped as he was, he often used his Sight to take random glimpses of the outside world, and she was the first not to panic at his Sight's presence, to calmly invite him to stay instead. When she eventually found him and got someone to save him from the man that controlled him, he refused to speak to anyone until he could see her again, and trusts no one more than her, and the person that physically freed him.
Personality: Quiet. With very little experience with people Luca is confused by most social interaction and highly naive. He'll go along with most anything without questioning whether it's normal or not, and doesn't appear to care what's happening to or around him as long as he isn't being attacked or otherwise hurt. After so long living in captivity like he did, Luca is a confusing mix of touch-starved and uncomfortable with people. He will let people he trusts do just about anything as long as they'll be in physical contact with him somehow.
Other: Afraid of sleeping alone in the dark
 

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For weeks after initial contact, Evelyn had been leaving a bowl of water on the ottoman in her living room, waiting for the moments Luca was alone long enough to visit her. She had taken to keeping a large notebook and marker nearby to ask yes or no questions, or to tell him something she thought might cheer him up. He was always so tired, always so distant, and only a handful of times had he tried to mime anything at her to ask anything back. After a while, he had taken to drawing hesitant letters in the air, and she did her best to decipher them and answer. In the end, she had all the information she needed: Luca was being kept. Trapped. Used. She had to help him.

Despite a long streak of stubborn independence, she knew she was in over her head. Not only were her physical fighting skills sorely lacking, she didn't know what kind of gift could possibly keep someone as strong as Luca so thoroughly contained. Surely if it held him, it would have no trouble with her. Out of necessity, she spent another painfully long week gathering as much information as she could on prospective candidates, finding someone she was relatively certain was the perfect man for the job - strong, experienced, as virtuous as one could perceivably be while also tending to act as a lone wolf, and with a gift that would completely nullify the threat of both Luca and the man holding him. It was an added bonus that he had been fighting to dismantle the Lombardi family for longer than most had managed without being bought off or killed. He would jump at the prospect of taking away their biggest gun.

As one would expect from any private detective who actually wanted clients, the man's office was easy enough to find. All she had to do was walk past the front doors while he was inside, a casual stroll but with a short enough distance between them for her technopathy to make contact with his cell phone. Later on, in the middle of an otherwise average morning, she sent the detective a message with no source, a known trademark amongst any locals that had ever used her services, or any who heard from those who had.

I have information for you about your Ghost. It read. I'd like to meet in person. Come alone to Grand Bell Park, 12:30, and have a seat. I'll find you.

If mention of the Ghost Killer wasn't enough, she was sure the added lure of being the only one to meet the mysterious Informant in person would draw him in, and as long as he was alone she would let him. For a camouflage, of sorts, she dressed in business attire, a brown plaid skirt, a black blouse, a deep purple sweater, black tights and small heels. Disarmingly similar to the number of office workers who often took walks through the park for their lunch, if not for the black and purple parasol perched above her head. Still, "Umbrella Girl" was a somewhat known figure to some of the more observant, long-time locals, and seen as harmlessly eclectic, largely ignored. Like a magician's misdirecting hands, the moniker drew attention to all the wrong places.

The detective was sitting on a bench, as instructed, and she walked down the paved path in his direction with eyes that wandered, looking up into the trees as she went, as if she hadn't noticed him at all. They drifted to a mother and child sitting on a blanket in the grass as she took a seat on the opposite end of his bench, settled in with crossed legs and began casually scrolling through art on her phone to pass the time. She let him stew in annoyance at her presence a little while, surely thinking she would scare off The Informant and ruin his meeting. Finally, before he could choose another bench, and without so much as touching her screen, she sent him another message.

On your left.

"Hello, detective." She said aloud once he'd had time to read it, and when he turned to see her more clearly she gave him a small smile, not quite mocking enough to be called a smirk. "I know. Not quite what you expected. Everyone seems to think I'll be a man, and much older. They would sooner guess you, rather than me."

Truly, she was sure this older, tougher man was what all of her clients pictured when dealing with her. She was taking a risk by letting even this one learn her face, but it couldn't matter enough to stop her, not when Luca was still suffering.

"I'll get right to business. You've been chasing the Ghost for a long time." She didn't make it a question. It was her reputation and her business to know things, not guess them. "I can give him to you. But only if you're willing to accept my words as truth, above all else. Do you think you can do that, Detective?"

If she was going to keep Luca safe, this man was going to have to believe her when she said that all the death and destruction wasn't his fault, and that he deserved to be freed rather than imprisoned. If he wouldn't believe her reputation for complete and total accuracy, it wasn't going to work, and she was going to have to find out how to walk away after telling him she had the information he wanted most.
 

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Name: (Detective) Garrett Jones Shiver
Age: 27
Powers: Nullifying powers; they work on contact so nothing can touch him, and if he touches someone their powers turn off while they are in contact.
History/Storyline: At the age of twelve, Detective Shiver lost both his parents to a member of the Lombardi family; unknown to him, it was a case of mistaken identity that was never resolved. He lived with his grandmother until his twenties when she passed away, at which point he took on a brief job as a custodian at an office. But as he started picking up on various details and overhearing different conversations on the street, he began to realize many other people had been affected by the Lombardi family as well. He went into the detective business primarily to dismantle their family and solve related cases, but he has since picked up several small unrelated cases. He currently lives in an apartment that's been built into part of an abandoned underground subway station.
Personality: Detective Shiver has a deep concern for the safety and well-being of those around him, to the point he does his best not to let anyone get close emotionally because of his dangerous line of work. He is also observant, patient, and is fairly easy to get along with - although anyone associated with the Lombardi family, he treats with a healthy amount of suspicion. He's also fairly paranoid about personal information and assumes most others are as well.
 
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Detective Shiver been working on small cases on and off for months, but there was always the looming threat of the Lombardi family at his heels. They were involved in everything, it seemed. Every time he managed to solve a case or find a clue, there'd be a Lombardi attached to it. The convenience store manager, the elderly woman with missing earrings, the runaway teen. Each of them had been kind enough in their own way. But Shiver knew that they, like the rest of the city, were under the mafia family's iron grip.

He'd been working tirelessly between cases to try and piece together who the mafia's leaders were - the head of the family, as well as the underlings and anyone who would pose a risk if the head of the family was gone. He had an entire cork board dedicated to the pursuit, hidden in a closet and covered with a poster so it wasn't easily visible. Not many people even knew he was attempting to dismantle the Lombardi family.

In fact, the less people who knew, the better.

The only solid lead - and solid was a generous word - he'd had was the Ghost Killer. He knew they were linked to the Lombardis in some way only through rumors. It was frustrating that that was all he had to go off of. Rumors.

But one morning his luck changed. His cell phone gave a soft ding, and he received a text from none other than the Informant. Detective Shiver's eyes widened, and he gripped the phone tightly in his hands. Maybe he could at last find some solid links, some information. Any information was better than what he currently had.

It wasn't hard to appear at the park alone.

He was almost always alone. It was safer that way, both for him and his clients, especially with him digging into the Lombardis.

He wore his usual attire to the park - an inconspicuous but well kept casual suit, with an earpiece that was broken. But he often talked into it anyway, in the hopes of driving off nearby people. It usually worked.

Except for now, when a girl with an umbrella sat down beside him.

Really? Out of all the park benches in the park, most of which were empty, she was going to sit near the loudly talking man with an ear piece? But it didn't take him long to realize that maybe she'd sat by him for the same reason he wore the earpiece in the first place. Maybe she needed to drive someone off.

He stopped his fake conversation and was just about to lean over and ask if she needed help, when his phone buzzed again. He blinked for a moment, and then regarded the girl with surprise. She was the Informant?

The pieces fell together as quickly as they were set in front of him. Of course. This was the Umbrella Girl, who was often seen just about everywhere, all over town. No one ever took much notice of her. And going unnoticed in the midst of a city was the perfect cover for learning information. Heck, that was the way he often went about gathering info himself. But the Informant was clearly far better at it.

Detective Shiver held out a hand to shake and nodded. "I can," he said at once, meeting the girl's eyes. "It's an honor to meet you, Informant. I hear a lot about you." He carefully scanned the nearby area. There weren't a lot of people, but the chance that a Lombardi could be listening in was too high. "Would you like to meet in my office?"
 
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CanaryCry

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For a moment, Evelyn paused as if she might refuse his hand, refuse to let him nullify her gifts which didn’t work on him anyway, but eventually she did reach over and accept the greeting. His praise of her was even less welcome. She was just one person, and besides, she didn’t want him thinking so highly of her that he wished to share his experience with colleagues. But they would come to that matter later. Now, Luca was most important.

"I’d rather stay here, if it’s all the same to you," she murmured quietly, calm as she waited for a couple of joggers to pass them by and leave their little corner of park empty once more. It wasn't as if she could have expected anything different. Detectives were, generally speaking, deliberately careful people; she didnt need her Insight to tell her that, though the fact that she wasn't getting anything at all from him was both frustrating and reassuring. Careful, experienced, and immune to other's gifts were what made the man perfect for the job.

"One can never know where prying ears are," she said finally once there were no longer passersby within earshot, looking straight ahead as if not speaking to him at all, "and I don’t think the mother of two is going to care." A woman with two small children playing in the grass was the only soul close enough to hear them, and if they kept their voices down even she would be none the wiser. If Evelyn followed him back to his office, there would be no witnesses, and she would have to sweep the place for bugs as well. It was safer, staying here. For now, she would have to rely on her Insight to tell her if anyone was, for some reason, listening in from a distance.

"I hope that you will listen with an open mind." Not one to waste time, she gave a little shrug and a careful breathe, and dove right in. "The Ghost is being hunted as a killer, as a monster, but I've learned otherwise. The helmeted figure you know from blurry snapshots and bad security footage is only a puppet, with the real killer pulling his strings. I haven't found out yet just what kind of puppet master he is, but he must be very strong, to keep the Ghost's strength under control." She hoped, at least, to gain a bit of trust by admitting what she didn't know, rather than insisting on knowing everything.

"What I want from you is simple." She continued, fingers curled tight around the handle of her parasol, doing her best to remain calm and breathe steadily, speak slowly, as this was the most important part and she knew there was a chance the man would say no and she would have to leave and start all over again with someone less qualified. "When you have taken the real killer away and left the family without its strongest weapon, I want you to leave the stringless puppet with me."

She paused then, let the idea sink in for a second or two, then turned her head to look at him fully. "You know as well as I that I deal in information, not violence. He'll be safe with me. An unloaded weapon, with no more targets. . . He -" There was a pause there, a catch of emotion in her voice that she hated instantly and stomped down on as best she could, turning her eyes down to her lap where her fingers were curled white-knuckled around her phone. "He is a friend of mine. I'll take care of him."

The word 'friend' was a desperate bid for sympathy that she hoped would lend her words sincerity, one she had planned to use simply because it was true, but the emotion it brought was no less difficult for her. Luca was her friend, she thought, and she would never use him like he was being used now. She would take good care of him. If the Detective said no to letting Luca be in her care, she would at least have to bargain for the right to visit him, and ensure he ended up somewhere safe.
 

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For his part, Detective Shiver didn't even know the Informant had powers. Not until he shook her hand and felt his own power work a bit through his fingertips. There was something, then. But he couldn't place for sure what her powers were; the contact was so brief.

No matter. If the Informant felt safer out in the open, then there must be a good reason for it. He nodded to her and, when she pointed out the mother and children nearby, he cast a small smile their way. True, a mother of two might not care about their conversation. But there were too many what ifs to count. If she was a Lombardi, if she was an informant herself, if she was a spy -

But the Informant was right, she was far enough away that their conversation wouldn't reach her. As long as she didn't have extra sensitive hearing. But Detective Shiver could tell from looking at her briefly that she was indeed far more invested in her children than their conversation, and gradually he came to the same conclusion that the Informant did.

He put himself at ease and put most of his focus on the Informant's words; anything else was reserved for scanning the area around them to make sure it stayed safe. But it wasn't long before the Informant had his full attention.

The Ghost wasn't acting on his own. Of course. Of course not! No wonder so many of the deaths he'd caused seemed random or unrelated at times, despite being linked to the Lombardis. He wasn't acting of his own free will.

Detective Shiver reminded himself to put a pin on a certain spot on the cork board later.

His dark, chocolate brown eyes flicked up to meet the Informant's gaze when she asked that he leave the Ghost with her. It was a heartfelt request. He knew that much. And he was after the Lombardis, not the Ghost - especially if the Ghost wasn't the true cause of the kills.

There was only one worry he had.

Detective Shiver ran a hand across his beard, studying the Informant's expression carefully. "I have no problem leaving the Ghost in your hands," he said at last. "But will you both be safe enough on your own? They're not going to let such a price as the Ghost go easily. And the Lombardis have connections throughout this entire city."
 
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CanaryCry

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It was interesting, noticing the moment that he looked at her rather than their surroundings. Perhaps he'd had inklings that the infamous Ghost wasn’t the one planning his attacks, or perhaps he'd known nothing at all and simply thought of him as a contract killer for anyone that asked. It didn’t matter, so much, why his targets were chosen, not to Evelyn. It was more important that he was being used like a weapon, and wasn't hurting anyone because he wanted to.

"I acknowledge that there are risks," she said, with a little nod and a careful breath to try and relax, to press forward with the assurance that the man sitting with her was on her side. "But how would you like to meet a lion outside of its cage, or a bear roaming free in the woods? Rabid dogs are kept on tight leashes for a reason. Their handlers are just as afraid of them as you are. The key is the puppet master - if we can be rid of him, how do you imagine they would get control of their Ghost again?"

Luca was being controlled very strictly, of that much she was sure. If there was no one left to keep him leashed, he wouldn't be forced to hurt anyone anymore. Even if they came for him, or for her, how would they ever get past the power they had trained into a deadly weapon themselves? As much as she wanted Luca to never have to hurt anyone again, she would stop him from defending himself.

"I'm sure there are some incriminating things in the home he’s being kept in," she continued. "You have only to find them, and put him in jail. Even if there is nothing, keeping another person captive should be a sufficient enough crime, shouldn’t it?"

After a pause, Evelyn looked down at her phone and silently sent two pictures to Shiver's for him to look at. "I’ve seen the Ghost," she said softly, "Now you can see him too."

They were only sketches, but it would have to do. It wasn't as if she could use a camera through her Sight, and for exactly that reason she had been learning to draw portraits and landscapes for most of her life. They were life-like enough, one simply an image of Luca from the shoulders up, facing forward for identification purposes, the other a more candid depiction of him lying curled up on his side in bed, an arm dangling to the ground to touch a glass of water. He looked tired, but that was how she always saw him. More importantly, he looked very young. Back when his first kills were recorded, he couldn't have been older than 15 or 16.

"His name is Luca. And he is suffering." She swallowed down the instinctive anxiety at having revealed any of the cards in her hand when she would usually hold them close to her chest. Even coming to this place and exposing her identity to this one man was a struggle. "I've already risked a lot for him. I am prepared to risk more for him, and all of those who would be his future victims. . . Are you?"
 

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". . . I don't imagine they'd be able to gain control of him again," Detective Shiver admitted. "Now that you've said so - no, I think they'd try to kill him. He's far too dangerous to them." He let out a breath and pushed a hand through his brown hair. "Hm."

He was still a bit caught up on the Ghost and Informant trying to fend for themselves. Of course they were powerful. But so were the Lombardis in sheer number, and he was worried for the pair.

He pulled in a breath to get himself back on track. "Imprisoning someone is certainly enough of a criminal charge, yes. And I imagine there'll be plenty of forensic evidence to recover, too."

His phone buzzed then, and he held it up to view the sketches. His eyes softened, and he held a hand over his mouth. The Ghost looked exhausted. Worn beyond his years. And, in Detective Shiver's eyes, somewhat despondent. If his decision hadn't already been made before, it was now; he nodded sharply to himself and looked up at the Informant again.

"I am," he said at once. He broke his gaze only to reach for a paper and pen in his pocket. "I normally wouldn't give this to anyone, not even my clients," he began. He wrote something down before holding it out to the Informant. "This is my home address. If for some reason your home becomes unsafe, for whatever reason, you and the Ghost are welcome to stay with me. You can't let anyone else know this information."

The address started out fairly normal. But there were additional notes.

Beneath what looks like a subway station. Third hallway on the left. Knock three times at the green door.
 

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"A Ghost can't be killed," Evelyn said with a little shrug, not committing to the idea that they would be safe any more fully than that they would be in grave danger. Truthfully, she didn’t know what would happen, but she did know that no one had ever found DNA from the Ghost because no bullets, weapons, or abilities had ever reached him, at least not enough to make him shed blood. As far as she knew, Luca was strong enough to keep himself safe, and perhaps shield her at the same time. That would all be discovered in time.

When Shiver held out a piece of paper, she took it carefully and contained her surprise upon looking it over. Beneath a subway station? She would truly have to be desperate to visit someone who lived in a place that radiated serial killer so thoroughly, but she would keep it in mind just in case.

"I’ll be sure to keep it somewhere safe," she assured, folding the paper and tucking it carefully into her purse. After a pause, Shiver's phone buzzed again. When he looked at it, he had been sent a new contact, her actual phone number with her first and last name attached, rather than just an untraceable signal. "If you find yourself needing to share the source of your information for any reason, tell them the truth. You were approached by a young lady by the name of Evelyn Kohl, who was visited by the Ghost through Sight, and has been communicating with him for weeks. There’s no need for them to know about my extracurriculars."

She gave him a sidelong look, as if daring him to disobey, or making sure he wouldn’t, then finally shifted her weight forward to stand and leave. "I'll give you some time to think over your decision, and the next time Luca contacts me, I’ll make sure he’s ready. When I’ve decided it’s time I’ll share with you his exact location. If you have any other questions, you can contact me with that number. . . Have a good day, Detective."
 

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The detective gave the Informant a small smile. Sharing the source of his information - not that he was going to - would require him to have someone to share information with. He worked alone, save for his clients on occasion. Besides, the Informant had trusted him with so many personal details. He wouldn't break that trust with a client. "I don't share my information sources," he said truthfully. "But I'll keep that in mind, should the need ever arise."

All at once, the Umbrella Girl pushed herself off the bench and stood up. He nodded to her and stood up himself. "I'll make sure I'm prepared. Thank you for your time, Ms. Kohl." His smile brightened a bit when she told him to have a good day. "And you have a good day, too. Enjoy the warm weather."

He waved with one hand and set off on a leisurely walk. It was a beautiful day out. As long as he was already outside, he might as well take the opportunity to breathe some fresh air and make a few observations in the city. There were a few hot spots he often frequented, with one or two other informants he checked in with frequently.

The next few days were spent in a similar fashion. He'd check his phone throughout the day, take a walk through the city, check in with his informants, and update his cork board when possible. Late in the evenings he'd often review his notes over a cup of hot chocolate.

On one particular evening, it was raining hard. Shiver was at the office again. Water pattered against the windows as he poured over a few case notes, his eyes narrowed in concentration. His cell phone lay quietly in view nearby.
 

CanaryCry

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In the next couple of days after their meeting, Evelyn spent every second that Luca could reach out to her preparing him, trying to reassure him that someone would come for him. She didnt know what would happen after that for sure, and she told him as much, but at the very least he would be out of that place, and she would be doing her very best to get to him. She showed him pictures of Shiver’s face to memorize, told him that this was the man who would free him, that once Luca was out, if they were separated, he should only answer questions that came from that man. It was difficult, working with very little response back, but she had to believe he was taking it all in and would be ready.

Three days after her meeting with Shiver, Luca proved it to her. The little light that signaled his presence bobbed eagerly up and down atop the bowl of water sitting on her coffee table, and when she rushed to follow it he had risked having a notebook of his own, finally, and the door to his bedroom kept closed. He had a message written out for her to read that struck her with hope and panic all at once.

Even while she waited for Luca to write more, she was sending the exact location of the house to Shiver’s phone, and when she'd given him a pause to see it she called him.

"It has to be today." She said the second she heard his voice, doing her best to stay calm even as she rushed through words without giving him a chance to respond. "He's going to be alone with only one man soon, the one who controls him. They make him sleep, and lock him up, but now is our best chance, and it won't come again for who knows how long."

She hated the thought of rushing, was the type to prefer to plan her moves three steps ahead before doing anything, but what choice did they have? There would likely never be another opportunity like this one. She was trying to brace herself for Shiver to say no, that it wasn't enough time, and it made dread curl tight around the back of her neck. Luca's last note said only one thing.

What do I do?

"Can you be ready?" She asked, and if the nerves made her voice shake she would likely deny it. "I'm with him now. What should I tell him? If you need me to disable the cameras, only tell me where to meet you." She was trying her best not to sound desperate or panicked but it was difficult with Luca there, waiting, glancing towards his door every once in a while as if worried someone would come in. "They'll make him sleep soon. If you want me to tell him something it has to be now."
 

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Shiver jumped when his phone buzzed, knocking over his mug of hot chocolate in a frenzy to pick it up. It was Evelyn, as he'd hoped, with a location that had been texted to him. He was about to call her when she called first.

He caught his breath and tried to mop up the spilled drink with a few nearby napkins, but his focus was on the phone. He forgot all about the napkins when she gave him the news. "Today?" he echoed. He glanced out the windows again and sighed in relief. They wouldn't get a better chance than this. In addition to there only being one man to possibly fight, it was raining. All of their scents and tire tracks would be washed out in minutes.

Shiver leapt to his feet and grabbed his brown outer coat and hat. "I'm ready right now. I'll go and double check my car's emergency supplies." He tried to keep his voice calm, and free of worry. It was a simple mission on the surface. But he had to be prepared for anything. "Tell him to act as normally as possible. We don't want him to arouse suspicion. And tell him if all goes well, he'll be waking up in a safe place."

He grabbed his car keys and umbrella and headed out to his car, ducking inside to check the supplies he packed. "If you can disable the cameras, I'd appreciate the extra help. I'll drive to the address around 10pm tonight, and text you the moment I'm there. Where should I drive the Ghost to once I've got him?"

He would worry about capturing and arresting the Lombardi later; that could be accomplished with the help of police. The most critical thing tonight was making sure the Ghost was out of harm's way.
 
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CanaryCry

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Evelyn was fighting the urge to tap her leg up and down, taking slow, calming breaths to remain in control. As Ben talked she was writing, in as little words as possible telling Luca that they would come for him tonight, that he didn’t need to worry and to just let everything happen as he normally would. It was clear that he had been heavily sedated before, though she didn’t know how often, given that he was fully expectant of it happening. It was all right for him to sleep, and they would wake him when they came.

"I’ll tell him," She said even as she wrote, "but remember that he isn't in control. The other man is likely armed, and if they use Luca against you, you must be careful." No matter how Shiver nullified the younger man's deadly abilities, it could still be dangerous.

"I'll mark a point on the road where we should meet and send it to you," she continued, turning the notebook around for Luca to see and touching the bowl of water sitting at her side with her free hand so she could see him again, using an earbud to continue the conversation. ". . . It may be best to keep you near him for a day or two, to be safe. If you don’t mind having guests, I'll stay with him as well."

The conversation ended quickly, so they could both get ready for what had to be done. The moment Luca put his notebook away and stopped looking for her, she was on her feet and rushing to prepare, packing a bag for both him and herself. She dressed in dark jeans, a black jacket, a plain t-shirt, and a pair of boots to make it look as if she were simply taking a short hike near her true destination and had gotten caught in the rain. When she had found a good place on a satellite image of the road, she marked a small turnout not far from the house and sent it along to Shiver, along with a top-down image of the house with markings where cameras were and a brief description. It was just a normal, single story house, with cameras but no bars on the windows, and a basement though Luca was kept above ground. They were so confident in their control, and in his ability to fend off attackers, she assumed, they hadn’t bothered with anything else.

When the time came, she drove to the turnout she’d marked on the map and didn’t have to wait long for her partner to appear. This was it, she thought as she watched his car approach from further down the road, and fought a tremor in her hands. They would go together, and the second he was ready, she would start knocking out cameras. When he had stopped, she got out of her car and waited beneath her umbrella, anxious but in control of herself.

"I can take out the cameras from the edge of the property," she explained without preamble. "I'll stay out of the way, and out of the line of fire. Don't worry about me."

Luca was waiting for him. He mattered more than she did, and she would stay behind the brick wall that surrounded the property so as not to be seen by the cameras around the house. She just had to hope that Shiver was good enough to get the job done on his own.
 
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The detective was a little surprised - if not honored - to hear that the Ghost and maybe even the Informant would be staying at his home for a day or two after all. That made things even easier; he knew about twenty different routes to get home by, nearly all of them secretive and somewhat hidden.

And he was no stranger to going up against armed enemies. Luca would be difficult but manageable to subdue if he could get ahold of him; the hardest part would be making sure the armed puppet master couldn't use his gun.

So when Detective Shiver arrived at the unassuming house at the edge of the city, he came with a gun in his pocket as well as a small first-aid kit. He hopped out of his car and nodded to the Informant as she started off right away with plan details. He appreciated how forward and quick to get to the point she was; it made her that much easier to work with in such a dangerous environment.

"Good," he said, shortly but politely. "I'm not worried. I've heard plenty of stories about you that prove you can handle yourself in these kinds of situations." He took a breath and left his car open and running. Then he headed for the house. "Wish me luck."

The fact that the house barely appeared to be guarded was either an illusion, or a testament to how sure the Lombardis were of their control over the Ghost. He hoped it was the latter. Shiver spent a few moments picking the lock of the house's front door. Then, with one hand on his gun, he quietly pulled the door open and stepped inside.
 

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From outside, Evelyn switched cameras on and off as Shiver passed through their view, and even managed to end a silent alarm from the door as it opened, unprepared but with a quick, panicked reflex when she sensed it. On and off were simple enough commands that even she could manage them, but once he was past the door there wasn’t much she could do but wait. In the quiet house there were only two souls: Luca, and a man named Davis. He was, by sight, not overtly threatening. An average-sized man in average clothing, walking calmly from the kitchen with a tablet in hand and muttering to himself about the weather damaging the cameras - but the moment he noticed motion from the corner of his eye, he dropped the tablet and drew his gun from behind his back with a startled swear. He got off two rounds to make Shiver duck for cover, then turned to make a mad dash down the hall.


GET UP. TARGET HERE.

Instructions came to Luca like a sledgehammer against his brain, jarring him from sleep and driving him to his feet before he knew what was going on. Through the fog, he listened to gunshots, the sound strangely clear without his helmet, and strained to get away from the bed. There was a target, and the Shadow was ready to obey. It slammed down and, with the sound of rending metal, collapsed the corner of the bed when trying to pull away had caused him pain. All that mattered was getting free, and following orders.

In the middle of fleeing from Shiver, Davis banged a hand repeatedly against a bedroom door, shouting for someone to wake up even as he unlocked it - then suddenly made a desperate dive further down the hall. Almost before his body was out of the way a black wall burst through with the sound of splintering wood, slamming the door into and through drywall on the opposite side of the hallway.

Luca stepped through the opening at a slow, wobbling pace, black energy writhing around his arms and chest like a rabid animal just waiting to be released, and turned to face the man his handler had labeled a target. As recently as he had been sedated, It had taken too long for the mental direction to get him up and moving, thus the puppet master's desperate flight down the hall to wake him. He was upright and moving, advancing toward Shiver, but his expression was blank and his eyes far away. There was blood visibly dripping down his hand from beneath what was clearly a handcuff, pulled on desperately in order to follow orders before being broken by his gift when the directions became clearer, the mental control more persistent.

Despite presenting a less intimidating figure in sleep pants and a tshirt than he did in leather jacket and opaque helmet, Luca was no less destructive. When he swept a hand across the space in front of him, a long tendril of black energy slammed sideways through the building, destroying a chunk of wall as it left the hallway, and promptly broke in half as it reached the man he'd been aiming for. The wall behind Shiver still broke and bent outwards in places with the force, but the middle portion that touched him had simply disappeared. There was no pause for confusion, only another attack which broke into pieces and faded away just like the first, harmless the moment it came into contact with him.

Luca was just beginning to problem-solve through the fog as Shiver got closer, raising his hands up into the air to make a ring of large spikes, intent on driving them into the floor beneath the man's feet and dropping him into the basement - but when Shiver's hand closed around his wrist, everything went quiet. The black miasma around his body faded instantly away, as well as the jagged spikes hanging in the air, and Luca blinked slowly once. Twice. Wobbled as he regained fuzzy consciousness and realized there was someone staring him in the face from inches away.

"You came. . ." Was all he said, in a voice quiet and weak from disuse. She had told him someone was coming for him, and someone had actually come.

"What are you waiting for?" The man that kept him shouted from down the hall, furious and desperate. "Get rid of him!"

Luca cringed away from the sound even as the man's influence pushed against his thoughts, but it was so quiet without the Shadow's power thrumming constantly through his bones, quiet enough to feel the instructions as if they were only shouted at him from afar and not pushed directly into his mind. Not wanting to be impelled to move forward, Luca sunk to his knees with his arm still held up in Shiver's grasp, without so much as trying to get it back. He was so tired his legs didn't want to hold him, and all of his energy was devoted to solving the puzzle twisting tighter around his brain, figuring out what was him and what was not.

"Be good, be good," he muttered to himself, bloody hand pressed to his head even as he shook it back and forth to try and get it to clear. She'd told him to be good, to say No, to fight back. If he could fight the voice in his head and not hurt anyone, he would be able to see her soon. He just had to be good.
 

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Shiver jolted as two gunshots rang out right near him, pinging against the wall behind him and ricocheting off a vase that subsequently smashed and fell to the floor in a spray of glass. He barely had time to catch his breath. The mission had nearly ended before it started, but he was alive, and he had to keep moving.

He carefully peered around the corner, being cautious not to get shot at again. Then he heard footsteps slamming against the hardwood floor as someone bolted away. In some ways that was good; that meant whoever the puppet master was was no longer shooting at him.

In other ways it was very bad news. Especially when all at once a bedroom door flew open and was promptly removed from its hinges and slammed into another wall by a black mass. Shiver swallowed and took a small step back, his eyes widening.

Up until now, he'd always used his powers through physical contact. He had to get close to his targets, he thought. And getting close to the Ghost would be extra difficult.

His heart dropped into his stomach when an entire chunk of wall flew towards him like an oncoming semi. He yelled and braced himself, shielding his body with his forearms - only for the wall to snap inches from his face and collide off to the sides. He blinked and stood up with a slight tremble. Interesting. So he had at least a small berth around him where his powers could impact others.

But there wasn't much time to think on that. He'd seen an opening, when the Ghost raised his hands in the air. Shiver scrambled forward and nearly tripped on a broken floorboard, stumbling before he finally managed to grip one of the Ghost's arms.

And with a soft whisper the young man was suddenly sinking against him to his knees, with his shackled wrist still in Shiver's hand. The Detective let out a brief sigh of relief. "Yes. Of course," he whispered back. ". . . You poor guy." Shiver knew he only had seconds to act before the puppet master fired his gun. So he scooped the Ghost into his arms - he was alarmingly light for his size - and tore off down the hallway.

Then he kicked the door open and bolted outside. "All right, I've got him!" he yelled into the air. He knew Evelyn would hear. "Let's go! Drive!"

In a panic to get away from the armed man in the house, he hurriedly put Luca in the back seat of his car, praying he wouldn't try and use his powers and not even having a chance to buckle him in. Then he leapt in the front seat and slammed the doors shut. With a squeal of the tires, his car tore off away from the house.

Shiver's heart still hadn't returned from his stomach.

"Are - are you okay back there?" he called to the Ghost as he careened down a side alley with a sharp left turn. "Don't worry! We're almost home free! Just gotta shake this guy," he added through gritted teeth.
 
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CanaryCry

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Luca made a faint sound upon being thrown over Shiver's shoulders, but didn’t truly protest. As dim as the world around him felt through the sedatives, even the strange rush of something new happening wasn’t enough to get through to him. Davis, though he swore loudly behind them and shouted after them, only fired his gun in their direction once. When Luca's shield didn’t automatically raise at the near miss, he realized he couldn’t risk firing again with the boy in the way, not with his power clearly malfunctioning somehow. If he killed the family's strongest weapon rather than recover him, it was going to be his own head on the line. It was going to be his head on the line anyway, but in the moment of panic he had to decide how to act and held his fire.

In the car, Luca flopped limply onto the seat and rolled with the fast turns until he slid off the seat to fold his legs up in the footwell in front of it, torso draped over the seat itself. It might have looked uncomfortable, if it was even possible for anyone to see him anymore, but as groggy as he was it didn’t matter. Not even the lurching of the moving car could stop him from falling unconscious again once he was down where he couldn’t be thrown around so much anymore.

Evelyn, despite wanting to stay, to let Luca see her and reassure him everything was all right, closed her umbrella and ran the moment Shiver told her to. Rather than immediately take off after him, though, she ducked down where no one could see her and waited for a car to rush off the property in pursuit. When it was gone she dialed Shiver's number and rolled the window down enough to stick her hand out into the rain, eyes glowing blue as she activated her Sight.

Seeing in the rain had always been difficult for her, and a headache pounded behind her eyes immediately but she pressed on, trying to focus, trying to see through the shifting, changing pattern of falling rain. It was taking too long, but as difficult as it was, if she could manage it, it would let her follow after Shiver with just her Sight, without risking tipping off his tail. It was, perhaps, even more difficult sending a signal that forced his phone to pick up the call without his input at the same time.

"Turn left." She said firmly the moment the line clicked over, forcing his cell into speakerphone so he could hear her voice without having to touch it. "Lose him at the light." The fact that it turned red behind Shiver would make the man hesitate, she was sure, though of course he wouldn’t fully stop. There was blurry traffic still despite the late hour, and the vehicles crossing in front of him would force him to swerve, to slow down, to add some more distance between them.

"Take a right here," she continued, doing her best to watch, to direct, to focus despite the building pain in her skull. "Park quickly, kill your lights, and duck." There aren’t many cars moving on the road, but there was someone speeding up ahead, driving too fast for the rain, and the darkness and weather itself would obscure the view. If he was fast enough, the man in pursuit would drive right past him in a panic, and Shiver could quietly pull away once he was gone.

"Tell me where to meet you," She said finally when it seemed as if the plan had worked, holding back a pained breath as she rolled up the window and pressed a damp hand to her eyes. "I’m leaving now."
 

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His cell phone didn't normally malfunction, but when he heard Evelyn's voice on the line, he knew at once she'd called him on purpose. He followed her instructions without hesitation. While he was fairly experienced in losing a tail, he knew the Informant's sight would give her an added advantage, and he trusted her.

Shiver pulled the car back into traffic a few minutes later after his tail had indeed driven past him in a panic. He let out a huge sigh of relief, and then proceeded to drive home normally. "I think our most recent plan was to meet at my home for a day or two. But I'm willing to change that if you have other ideas. Do you still have my address?" he added.

He was very nearly home as it was, and continued driving there until he'd parked in his hidden garage. "I've just arrived myself. Uh - the garage only has room for one car, though. Are you able to park on the street?" As he turned his engine off, he slipped his phone into his pocket, but left it on speaker mode in case Evelyn needed to talk to him.

Then he headed for the backseat and very gingerly lifted Luca out. "Good, you're sleeping. Let's get you inside and patched up a bit. Come on," he added gently. He carried the man into his home and headed for his guest room. He only had one master bedroom and a guest room; he was planning on giving Evelyn the master, if she wanted it, and then he would sleep in the living room. But for now he had to attend to Luca.

Thankfully his clothes were already fairly dry, so Shiver opted to leave those on. But the shackle on his wrist had to be the first thing to go. The detective laid him on the bed and sat beside him, swiftly pulling on gloves before picking the lock and throwing the bloody shackle into an evidence bag; he'd label it later.

He wandered off for a moment to fetch his first-aid kit, and then sat down again to start cleaning Lucas' wrist. "This may sting a bit," he told him, even though he was unconscious, "But we don't want that getting infected." He glanced briefly at the phone in his pocket. "Let me know when you're here, Ms. Kohl. I'll meet you at the green door."
 

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"I have the address," Evelyn said as she started her car, gingerly giving her head a little shake and refocusing her vision from just her eyes before pulling away from where she’d parked. "So long as I can find the entrance, parking on the street won’t be a problem." It was probably best her car stay a bit away, in any case, lest someone somehow determine it was involved in the escape and not just a random vehicle parked nearby.

"I’ll be there soon," she said with a deep sigh, daring to begin to relax as she drove. ". . . Take care of him."

As anxious as she was to be by Luca's side, she drove carefully the whole way there. It wouldn’t do to be pulled over as she tried to reach them, after all. It was late, but she kept both pepper spray and a collapsible baton in her purse, and her Insight generally gave her comfort even in the dark by herself. The city was beginning to quiet, in the area near where Shiver lived, with attention focused more on bars and other late night events. It was easy enough to find a place to park, as close to where she believed the entrance was as she could.

When she found her way to the green door, a duffel bag of clothing and a few other supplies for herself and Luca hanging from one shoulder, she sent Shiver a simple I'm here and waited for him to come and retrieve her.

"How is he?" She asked immediately, following after him without hesitation. "Still sedated?" Even if the location was, frankly, somewhere she would expect to be mugged and left for dead, she was sure she could believe that Shiver wasn’t going to try and hurt her. Even if she had thought he would, Luca was here and needed her. She couldn’t leave him.
 

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Shiver was at the door in moments and led Evelyn inside, locking it behind them so they wouldn't have any surprise guests. Then he brought her straight to Luca's side. "He's still sedated," he told her. "I expect between that and everything else, he'll be sleeping pretty late tomorrow. Just as well."

Luca had been carefully tucked into bed, with extra pillows for comfort and his wrist bandaged.

The room around him, while it was meant to be a guest room, had several cardboard boxes of storage, file folders and notes scattered on the table, and one or two photos tacked on the wall. Old cases that Shiver hadn't gotten around to sorting yet.

"Can I get you anything to drink? Water or hot chocolate, maybe?" Shiver asked, heading off into the other room. He was slowly but surely starting to relax for the night. It was late, and his tiredness was beginning to set in. And being in his own home, he knew they were somewhere safe, and he felt very at ease. "Oh. And also, I've got another room for you if you'd like it. Unless you'd rather stay with the Ghost."

He stifled a yawn as he began making himself a cup of cocoa in the nearby room. "Thank you, by the way, for your driving instructions. They were very helpful. Probably saved me a good hour of driving."