Shadow Runners

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Original poster
Bria walked through the door causing the bell to ring as it opened. She silently cursed herself for forgetting about it. N would have a fit if he realized that she had been wandering around on her own. But it wasn't really her fault. Ever since the attack, Bria had felt the urge to just go out and run. It helped her clear her mind. Though it didn't help erase the events that happened about a week ago, it helped her figure out how to move on in her new life.

She looked around the deserted restaurant. It wasn't really a restaurant; it was just their cover so that nobody knew what really happened at 755 New York Ave in Brooklyn. In truth, the restaurant was the front of the headquarters for the New York City Shadow Runners. The little group prided themselves in being the only Runner group in the Big Apple. They were a mixed bunch but she liked them. And although the way she got into the group wasn't really that pleasant, she often found herself reliving it.

She had just walked in the door from school and was turning to lock the door behind her when she had heard a noise. It was sort of a thump and the a slither. Immediately, her senses went on high alert. She had whirled around and looked for the source of the noise. Everything about it had screamed of danger and she had been right. As she turned, she saw a very large, very snake-like thing standing in the hallway. Surprisingly, Bria didn't scream. She immediately turned and ran into the kitchen grabbing the first knife she saw as if she had done this all her life. As soon as the knife was in her hand, she felt like she knew exactly what to do with it. The rest of the "battle" had gone black but she did remember waking up looking at very big brown eyes.

She didn't know it then but that was Drake. Since the attack they hadn't really talked much but he had told her that she had killed the thing in her house which he had explained was a Sephet Demon, one of the more dangerous kinds of demons. He had said that he found her standing over the body of the Sephet and was continuously stabbing it even after it was long since dead. He didn't tell her what it had looked like and she imagined that after repeated stabbings it was probably very messed up.

Bria was snapped out of her mind when she heard a click coming from the door behind her. She groaned and squeezed her eyes shut before turning around to face whoever had caught her. She just prayed it wasn't N or Conners. She would never hear the end of it if one of them caught her sneaking back in at 1 in the morning.
N scowled at his young charge. Even though he was in his usual 16-years old skinny boy's body his glare still look intimidating. Oh, the shape-shifter understood Bria's uneasiness. Still, it wasn't an excuse to wander around at night. What if she meet another demon? Or worst, a horny teenage boy. N shudder at the thought. "Hello Bria." N said, trying to keep his voice calm and collected. "Where have you been?"
Bria grimaced and swore under her breath. She looked at N. Even though he was only 16, his glare packed power behind it from years of experience. She smiled as calmly as she could. "Hi N!" She inwardly grimaced at her overly cheerful tone. She cleared her throat. "I was just out for a run. Ya know, taking in the night air. It's good for you I've heard. People say that the best time to run is at night. As long as you know the neighborhood. And they say that the night is the time where you can see the most interesting things. So I decided to see what they meant. And boy, N, you have to try it! I mean, it's awesome! And... stuff..." She was mentally smacking her head against the wall. She could tell that N wasn't very amused by her blabbering.
N sighed and massaged his temple. Something that looked unusual for a teenager to do. But N wasn't a teenager anymore, and dammit he was getting too old for this. "Bria... do you want to talk?" He said, trying to use the understanding father approach.
Just after N asked the question, the little bell on the door rang again.
With a his smooth ways, Fabius entered, and as he made his way to the back of the shop, he answered,

''She was with me. Out for a bit of a walk. The more at ease she feels at night, the better.''

It was, partially, a lie. Fabius, as a half-vampire (or dhampyr as he said sometimes) had been out from that evening. Staying inside the takeaway shop for all day was incredibly boring and, besides, he needed time for himself. Time to roam the big city, and time to feed. As Fabius came back from one of his feeding trips, he caught sight of Bria, and followed her, unnoticed.

He didn't like the way N overreacted when Bria wandered out on her own. Not that he was against N for any reason, but Fabius really appreciated silence, and despised all pointless arguments. She had been out. Well, she was back. No big deal. Or perhaps his empathy came from the fact that he understood someone's need to be alone, to wander off.

He walked past her, nodded at N, and entered the room at the back. The 'office' as they called it.
Bria, who had originally just stared at Fabius as he spun the lie, now turned back to N. "I- uh- what he said...." She looked at him with what she hoped was a neutral expression. She also hoped N didn't think anything was going on between her and Fabius. That would make things a tad bit awkward. She waited for N to come down on her for making on of the other members lie for her. She hoped that he bought what Fabius said though, she didn't want N to punish her again. She absolutely hated doing the dishes.
N stared impassively at the office door. He knew that Fabius wasn't the type to lie, but he had a feeling that the damphyr did not tell the whole truth. "Right, of course..." N turned to face Bria, his cool facade was now replaced with a tired expression. "Don't do that again, unless you want to do dishes for a whole month." The shape-shifter walked back to his room. Determined to get some sleep and ease his stress.
The moment that N closed his door, there was repeated thumping that suggested tumbling coming from the stairs. "Ow.... Ow! Damn thing!" The voice was Conners O'Brien, the chief of the front and the bodyguard to the younger members. And where Conners was... "Rhea! I got another of your damn snakes! Ow! Stop biteing damn it!"

Conners was brushing himself off, a snake hanging onto his hand by its teeth. "That leaves, what? One more?" He did looked ticked and he was talking up the stairs, oblivious to anyone who had come over to look at what was going on.
A loud noise followed by a louder noise, the heavy metal steps of MotorHead following Conners up the stairs, combined with the mechanical noises of the motors and gears grinding that makes the mechanical creature live or function.
"I got it Mr Conners."
The machine says in it's unexpressive mechanical voice as it grabs the snake biting Conners hand.
"Sorry Conners!" Rhea shouted from up the stairs, sounding more amused than apologetic.
Bria watched as Conners appeared with a snake attached to his hand. She covered her mouth with her hand to muffle her laughter but it was just too much. She let out a loud tinkling laugh as she looked up at Conners. He looked just a little bit annoyed and she knew he would not like it that she was laughing at him. She smiled at him and waved.

"Hi Conners." She winked at him as she walked towards the back office. "By the way, love the new snake skin accessory. It's so Vogue chic." She laughed again and paused at the door. Suddenly, something happened to her vision. She tensed as the outer corners of her line of sight turned red and everything in the middle became clearer and in more focus than she had ever seen. But the feeling soon passed. Bria still stood there at the door with all of her muscles tensed. She turned around quickly trying to get through the door but fumbling with the lock. She hoped that nobody had seen what had just happened.
[will there be a posting order?]

Xu Cheng, or as his teammates called him, XC was the last one to enter the shop. He was dressed in an orange tank top and a pair of khaki cargo pants. Sweat glistened along every piece of exposed skin on him - It ran down his muscled arms, made the skin on his neck shine, soaked through his shirt entirely. XC was the kind of man that trained and exercised fanatically. To him, it was as natural as the need to sleep, the need to eat and etcetera. Running a hand through his dark, violet mohawk XC pushed open the door and strode into the shop, though he had to redo his stride as the bulky blade that he carried on his back was too wide for the door frame the first time.

Once he was inside, he glanced around at the people in the room. A smile almost broke out. He was terribly amused at the comical sight that was before him. Connor nursed a snake bite, which he assumed came from the snake that was in Motorhead's hands and Bria, he managed to guess had just been reprimanded by N. After all, he had seen all of them enter from his training spot, which was the rooftop of an adjacent building.

"Let me guess, Connor and Motörhead are training to go on Animal Planet, and Bria has to wash dishes for a month?"
Silently Drake aproched the room he was looking tired and sleepy, he was wearing an old shirt and boxers, his hair was quite a mess.
No one noticed him till he entered the room and shouted - "What's with all that noise I'm trying to sleep!"
"I apolagise Mr Drake." MotorHead answered turning back and retiring to where it rests.
"Sorry Drake." Rhea grinned awkwardly and put her last snake into a box. Being around Drake made her nervous. The wizard apprentice had this intimidating aura around him. Rhea didn't hate him though. He was part of her 'Secret Family' after all. Speaking of family, her grandma would surely had a heart attack if she knew that her granddaughter still kept those snakes.
"Get a freaking cage for them! A better one! We don't have any mice around here so do it!" The snake hissed at Motorhead and lashed at it a few times while Conners grumbled at his little "sister". "Thats... Five... And that was the viper... Hey Rhea. Don't you have one more? Didn't we not find the-"

A large anaconda like snake slithered on the wall, literally on the wall, above the door as Bira fumbled with the lock. It flicked its long human-like tounge at it and it seemed to have set after set of fangs like a human.

"-Chimera snake. Where the hell did that large one go off to?"
Fabius had only had enough time to take of his boots, and the strap of his sword, to slouch in his old-styled large chair, when he heard yelling and movement upstairs. Humans. They just can't appreciate true peace and quietness, he thought, as he sighed.

But soon something rattled his senses awake.
His Runner instinct.

Something was wrong. He grabbed his shortsword, strapping it on, and went upstairs where everybody else was.


The demon finally had found a way to get in. Snakes were so easily possessed... The vile creature was slithering above a door frame, hoping it would pass as just another pet.
But its intentions were not.
Rhea frowned at the chimera snake. Even though she wore her headphones and wasn't able to exactly hear its thought, but she could sense something was off with it. "You are not Josephine."


N jolted awake, sensing a demon inside the building. Following his Runner instinct, the leader grabbed his dagger and went upstairs.


When he arrived, he saw Rhea trying to shot one of her snake, which no doubt being possessed by the demon right now. He could see hesitation on her eyes. Obviously she didn't want to hurt her pet. N gripped his dagger tightly, hoping that Rhea wouldn't mope around if they had to kill her Josephine.
Bria watched with a look of annoyance as the group members started quarreling. This was not the time to complain about stupid things. She leaned against the door frame. Her annoyance quickly turned to horror, however, when she realized why her vision had changed like that. It was warning her of a demon. It was a new thing that had developed after she had joined the Runners and she wasn't quite sure what happened. All she knew was that there was a demon in the room. She slowly began to sense what was amiss. First she heard the slithering noise above her head. She looked up and her eyes widened. Suddenly, there was a loud bang. It was Rhea firing her gun at the snake. She realized then what it was a went into action, grabbing the short sword that was always hidden in her tall boots. Her mind went blank as her body went on autopilot. Quick as a whip, her sword arced backwards and then swung forwards, hitting it's mark with a sickening thud. The snake's head fell to the floor followed closely by it's body.

She turned back towards the group, her sword still in her hands. Her mind finally registered what she had just done. "I... That... I...." She turned towards Rhea. "I'm sorry. It was a demon and I didn't know what to do so I just... I took.... I...." She slid down the wall and buried her head in her hands. She hated looking so weak but she said a muffled "I'm sorry!" through her hands. She didn't know who she was saying it to; the snake or the group. She didn't like killing things and demons were only a little bit different. She felt less bad about killing them only because she knew that if she didn't, the would kill her. Still, it didn't explain why she was breaking down like this. She felt the hot tears sliding down her face.
The body of the snake was still squirming, bumping wildly against things, it's head detached from the body.
But the head caught a good glimpse of Bria's face before the demonic presence faded away, like smoke in the air. Now they knew... they knew how to recongize her.

Fabius relaxed his grip on the sword, seeing he arrived too late.
Apparently, the girls knew how to take care of themselves. And N was there, and had obviously been awakened. Fabius turned around and left, back to his place.
XC proceeded to a wall in the room and leaned his back against it, wielding the hefty blade that he always used in his hands. He was ignored - Something that always happened in the hustle and bustle of things. He wasn't about to take part in the slaying of this demon. The current amount of "firepower" present was definitely more than enough to take it down. Furthermore, he had little knowledge of demonology. As the saying goes, too many cooks spoil the broth.

When the snake's head was severed and the Bria broke down crying, the Chinese Mage fighter spoke in his usual deep, powerful tone of voice.

"If I may interject. My knowledge of demonology is modest but I believe destroying the host of the demon does not mean that its essence was destroyed. Anyone wish to shed more light on this matter?"