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Sep. 7th, 2011


To Us (Angels and Demons)

There is an invitation. The envelope it's in is made of a very thick, almost cardboard. Decorated with a design that looks like a mixture of feathers and flames. There is a seal on it, deep red wax, in the center, just a swirl. The paper is thinner, but no less well made. It's almost like touching cloth. The words upon it are done in a very beautiful script:

You are hereby invited to take part in a meeting in which you should discover very great things about what is around you.

Even if you choose to not accept this invitation, your daily movement around the City brings you to a building. There is only one door. The door is a very heavy, dark wood. It looks as if it might take a giant to open it, but it pulls free easily for you. When it shuts, it sounds almost as if a latch has clicked into place.

The room you are standing in is an odd shape. Triangular. The widest part is where the door is set in, and the other two walls meet opposite it to make the point. There is nothing in this room. No chairs, no table. No mirrors. No sign that anybody else will be able to get in here with you at all.

You will wait a while. When the last participant shows up, the walls in the center of the room will raise into the ceiling. From the floor will come a great table, laden with food and drink. Chairs will scoot out from where they were tucked away under it.

There are other people in this room with you.

Read more... )

Aug. 6th, 2011


Sanctuary. (OPEN)

With the sudden outbreak of animals loose in the City, Raven had turned the Magic Box into something of a sanctuary. Granted, she didn't actually know any magic, but she had guts and keys to the store and a willingness to extend business hours. She kept the coffee pot on in the evening and sold cups of fresh-brewed Joe for a quarter. People could read or chat while they waited for the City bus in the relative safety and shelter of the shop.

(She hadn't been billing Mr. Rabbit for her overtime. It didn't seem right, since she hadn't exactly asked him if she could keep the place open late. If he wasn't losing anything on the deal, perhaps he wouldn't be angry?)

The number of customers varied. This was a quiet night - only the little demon girl and a handful of regulars who'd holed up in the corner to argue the merits of crystal-magic versus herb-magic. Darkness had fallen and Raven had locked the door, but a sign in the window instructed would-be patrons to 'Knock for Entry.'

Feb. 9th, 2011


An old demon, a young demon, and some ducks. (Crowley)

It was funny how a few little things could change a person's perspective.

When Raven had first come into the City, she'd been sad and lost. Lonely. It had been a natural reaction to the loss of everything she'd known, but time and perspective had done a lot for her. Now she had a job - real responsibility and real trust from an owner who barely knew her. She'd been to a nightclub that welcomed everyone, demon and human alike. While dangerous things still happened, none of them were specifically about her. No one wanted her dead. No one cared what sort of blood was running through her veins.

She felt normal, and she'd discovered that normal? Was kind of amazing. It didn't make up for the lack of her loved ones, but she'd have been lying if she'd said that she missed the constant attacks and manipulations of the darker Powers.

Today, for example. She was having lunch in the park. There was a nice little bench that she'd claimed for herself. Her turkey sandwich was delicious. Somewhere out on the lake, ducks quacked.

No violence. No trouble. Just food and people-watching.

Feb. 6th, 2011


Wild goose chase. (Log, Gabriel/Doctor with cameos from many others. Complete.)

It had not been a good few weeks for the Doctor. It was exceptionally rare that something managed to get one over on him; it happened, but infrequently enough that the occurrence was a surprise every time. He was worried - about Pond and Rory trapped on a strange planet (just imagine the trouble Pond could get herself into), about Lyra and Fred and Sherlock Holmes, trapped as he was in this strange place, about the designs behind the abductions. Things like this didn’t just happen. They took effort and knowledge and planning.

So? He’d paced about like a madman. The Doctor didn’t sit still easily, and exploring the City made him feel productive. Perhaps he could find where his crafty Urban Overlord had hidden the TARDIS. Perhaps he’d meet someone with some answers - or at least someone interesting.

He’d give the City one bit of credit: it had provided him with a suitable wardrobe. Tweed, ties, proper comfortable shoes for running about, and even a whole shelf of headgear. Now he could choose among fedoras, bowlers, a Stetson, three different takes on the fez, and what could only have been a Phillip Treacy original. It was in zebra print and had little ears on the sides.

The Doctor chose a broad-brimmed tartan fedora. It felt jaunty. It felt dashing and heroic, like Indiana Jones mixed with the Scottish Highlands. )

Feb. 3rd, 2011


99 problems// grand opening (OPEN TO ALL)

Lorne had looked at the Fangtasia flier, silently loved the pun and hated the name of the place, and sighed aloud. Vampire-friendly? Caritas was totally vampire friendly! Who was this Fangtasia person?

"Well, it doesn't matter," the demon mused. "This place is still gonna happen. Every night and technically twice on Saturdays."

When the opening night crowd rolled in at 9, a kid at the door handed out a special opening night menu with $5 drink specials and happy hour food, including the Best Wings in The City.

There was a good turnout, mostly human, from what Lorne could gather from the singers. The place wasn't packed to the walls, but seats were at a premium. There was a lot of laughing, a lot of singing, and a lot of free-flowing liquor. Lorne was happy; he wished someone from back home could see this. Caritas as it was meant to be.

Also not on fire.

At 9:30, Lorne was onstage, mic in his hand, extra snazzy royal blue suit on, and a big grin on his face.

"Hey there, City dwellers. I'm your Host, and this.... is Caritas." Lorne's eyes sparkled as he said it. The place, in all its incarnations, had always made him so happy. "Caritas is a little different from places you might be used to," he began. He nodded to the piano player off to his right, and a slight, slow strain of accompaniment began.

"Y'see, folks, Caritas is a sanctuary. I'll invite you once again to take a gander at the House Rules over there," he said, gesturing to the large poster on the wall. "...and realize that I'm very serious when I say everyone is welcome here, everyone should get to feel good here, and we do mean business of the seriously fun kind."

The crowd applauded, and Lorne nodded. "I'm so glad to be opening up another set of doors for this purpose, that, well, I just feel like I need to sing about it."

He nodded at the piano player, closed his eyes, and felt completely happy--and an awful lot of happy coming out of his patrons, too. "This is a song I've been loving a lot lately, and tonight it goes out to the guy in the back. In the hat."

Lorne started to sing. The song was jazzier than the original version, full of vibrato, and had the audience laughing and clapping along in less than 30 seconds. )


The Magic Box reopens. (Trickster.)

Upon her release from Arkham, Raven had gone back to the Magic Box to find it locked and dark. Well. That was disappointing; perhaps they'd all been herded off to the asylum, too? Or perhaps the morning manager had simply had a lie-in. You could never tell, really. Raven considered the possibilities as she dug through her satchel for the keys. She found the right one, turned it in the lock, and then shoved the door with her hip so that she could use her hands to flip the window sign from 'Closed' to 'Open.' Lights went on. The store was back in business.

Inside, product was lying about everywhere. Raven scowled, dropped her bag unceremoniously behind the counter, and went straight into cleaning up. Had they been dragged to Arkham kicking and screaming? Had leprechauns invaded again? Or was the evening clerk simply lazy? It didn't matter. Good natured or not, Raven grumbled in irritation under her breath as she stacked the books that had been left out on tables.

"Right, because Miss Archer will pick it up. Leave it for Raven, she gets an extra three-fifty an hour."

Soon, the stack of books was almost taller than the girl who heaved them across the room and to the bookcases, where she set about refiling them. No. Wait. If she was going to have to do tedious clean-up, she wanted music. Raven changed her mind and set the books on the ground, where the stack teetered ominously and threatened to overturn itself.

Raven disappeared behind the counter, where she squatted and started fumbling with the sound system. Hmm. Imogen Heap? Regina Spektor? Not Poe. It didn't matter if the woman sang well - the name put the little demon girl right off.

Mar. 13th, 2010


Growing up. (OPEN)

Graduation. It was supposed to be a special day, spent with friends and family. It was supposed to be a celebration of achievements, a transition into another stage of life. It was supposed to be an adventure.

A year ago, graduation had been an adventure that Raven had really wanted to embark upon. No danger, no loss. She could have gotten on-board with the idea of going to college, or taking a trip with Mac and Mal. A little normalcy, a break after several long years of fighting and fear.

Then she'd come to the City. )

May. 20th, 2009


An honest mistake. (Charlie)

The City wasn't so bad, but Raven really, really missed her home. She'd been doing everything she could to be brave, to distract herself, but lately the faces of her friends and family had been surfacing in her dreams. Nothing bad; nothing like some of the nightmares she'd had in her time. These were just dreams of happier days.

It was starting to wear on her. Her loved ones were constantly on the edge of her subconscious, so when she turned the corner, it was easy for her mind to play tricks on her. A teenaged girl with pigtails and an impish gait looked a little like Mac from a distance, and that was all it took for Raven's brain to fill in the details. The girl turned the corner; Raven's heart gave a great heave of excitement, and she broke into a run to try to catch up.

"HEY!" She exclaimed, feet pounding hard against the sidewalk. "Hey, Mackenzie, wait u--"

Raven tore around a corner only to find herself in the direct path of someone else. She let out a startled yelp, her reddish eyes going wide with surprise and fear, and she began windmilling her arms in an attempt to stop without falling over.

Yeah, good luck with that, kid.

Apr. 8th, 2009


The samples are free. [Matthew]

Wally's Ice Cream World was having a taste test. This was a frequent occurrence; after inflicting new flavor concoctions on his staff, the proprietor sent the least vile creations out for public consumption. Sometimes the options were tasty, but more often they were a bit odd.

Afternoon was headed on to evening, and one of Wally's cashiers was standing in front of the shop. She was short, petite, and a paper hat reminiscent of the soda-fountain days of yore sat perched atop her head. It was too small, and kept threatening to blow away when the breeze picked up. The tray of sample cups, complete with little pink plastic spoons, balanced precariously in her right hand as she reached up to secure her cap with her left. "Potato Chip," the tray label read. "Try one."

Judging by the number of cups on the tray, the teenager hadn't been able to entice many takers.

"Ice cream!" Raven called, a pleading edge to her voice. "The samples are free."

Feb. 20th, 2009


Take cover! The uruk-hai are coming! [Jack S., Challenge]

It had been a very strange morning. Raven had stepped out onto the street and found chaos; a huge increase in new couples (she recognized the signs - she'd lived through the early days of Gabe and Poe's courtship) and the occasional winged creature swooping overhead. To be honest, she wasn't sure what to make of it all, but several people had warned her that the City was a downright odd place to live, so she hadn't let the insanity keep her inside.

She'd made it halfway to school when a hoard of giggling children pulled her off the street. "Come on," one little girl said, wrapping both hands around Raven's wrist and tugging her towards the fort that had been haphazardly constructed of leftover liquor boxes. "Come on, they're storming the castle."

Raven turned a perplexed stare on the child. "What?"

"The uruk-hai." A bespectacled older boy announced, as if it should be obvious. "They have archers. We need reinforcements."

That made sense; Raven had never read The Lord of the Rings, but she'd seen the movies. And, well, if the kids needed an elven defender, so be it. Raven had the pointed ears to go with the part.

"Legolas to the rescue," she announced, and gestured towards an open door. "But don't you think we should move to a real castle with walls?"

"We can't go in there." One of the children said, "We tried and the guy at the door kicked us out."

Raven glanced back over her shoulder, and only then spotted the wooden sign hanging over the entrance: 'Hog's Head Pub.' Oh.

Feb. 1st, 2009


Clearing the mind. (OPEN)

After the visit to Angel, Inc., Raven had tried to take the detectives' advice. She wasn't happy with the idea of being stuck in the City, but if it was likely that no one at home had even noticed that she was gone, there was really no point in moping. Her family and friends were fine, she was fine, and now she had to move on.

It was easier said than done.

She'd started going to class, and last night she'd taken in a movie. Distractions weren't helping; it was her first time being completely alone, and the solitude was starting to wear on her. So, she'd taken up jogging. There was no sense in planning a route, given the streets' propensity for changing without warning, so she usually just set out aimlessly and trusted that the City would get her home when she started to get tired. Lately, she'd been pretty successful at wearing herself out, which made sleeping much easier. Raven knew that ignoring her problems was a short-term solution at best, but she was willing to give it a go.

She came to a stop on a street corner and pulled the ear-buds from her exposed, pointed ears (Wesley had said that people weren't likely to care what she looked like, and she was taking him at his word), her breathing short and shallow. She was winded; she had no idea how far she'd gone, but she was guessing that John would be giving her a hard time if he could see her. 'That's it, kid?' Raven gulped in some air and looked around. Hrm. Where was she?

Jan. 10th, 2009


Is there a detective in the house? (Angel, anyone who might be at Angel Investigations)

Raven was not the sort of girl who sat helplessly, waiting for someone else to solve her problems for her. She'd done some digging, but after about a week and a half in the City, she had yet to come across an answer that satisfied her. She’d somehow been transported out of her bed and into a strange place. There were no exits, and no one knew exactly how it had happened. Everyone she’d met had blamed the place itself, or had been without an answer altogether. It was weird. And, while Raven had a lot of experience with weird, she just couldn’t get behind the idea of a sentient, all-powerful geographic location. )

Jan. 3rd, 2009


Teacher/Student conferences (Open to teachers and students)

The City wasn't too up to speed on a lot of things that humans required in their daily lives. It liked order, and it liked rules. It also liked bending things around to fit whatever it wanted it to that particular day. But one thing that it was very sure of was that kids needed to go to school. In order for kids to go to school, they had to have teachers.

The concept of parent/teacher conferences was something that it had come across recently. It didn't quite grasp the idea that the parents were supposed to talk to the teachers and find out what their kids were doing, and if they were passing or having problems. It just thought that it was a time to get everyone in one room. Thus, it thought, it could be the same thing to have student/teacher conferences and accomplish the same thing.

It sent out a flier to all the school-aged kids that it had brought in as well as the adults he knew did teaching things within the City's walls. It hadn't previously realized how many of them it had collected, seeing the list of names, it became a little excited. Not to mention a little bit proud of itself. It was furthering the education of the youths!

There was absolutely no consideration to the fact that it was snowing very hard outside, and very few if any of these people had a vehicle. All it cared about was getting them all in the same room.


Dec. 26th, 2008


Creamer towers as a cure for anxiety. (Open)

It was so early in the morning that most people weren't even out, but the diner was open. Its neon sign declared that it was a twenty-four hour establishment, which is part of what attracted Raven. The other part was the heater; she'd gone to bed in a slightly warmer climate, and when she'd woken up in a strange place she'd gone out to explore dressed for the weather at home.

It had been a mistake. She should've taken a heavier jacket, but it was too late. She wasn't sure she could find her way back - nothing was familiar here - and she needed a little shelter and warmth before she tried to backtrack and retrace her steps.

She was nursing a cup of coffee and a stack of pancakes that was far too large for her to eat by herself. She'd intended to box it; if she could ever get back to the place where she'd woken up, she was pretty sure she'd find a refrigerator. Two little creamers sat empty on the table, and three others had been inverted and stacked in a pyramid shape. The food sat half eaten to her side, so that she could concentrate her energy on her triumph of engineering and architecture. She was busy trying to balance a sugar packet on top, like a roof. Raven's hands shook a little, and the right was lightly bandaged, but she wore a look of intense concentration. She was going to build her creamer-and-sugar house. It would distract her from the fear and uncertainty she was feeling as a result of waking up alone in a strange place.