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Bad Fish

 
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Mist Gul
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:51 am    Post subject: Bad Fish Reply with quote

"Listen to me very carefully, Lewyn," Mist spoke clear and crisp, the warm gold of his gaze stern as he regarded a woebegone young male, "Anyone who knows you're a fae and insists on putting a decorative chain of iron bells around your waist is not your friend."

"But she was really smoking hot," the youth protested weakly.

"So are these burns," Mist retorted, flicking the bandaged wounds smartly. Lewyn groaned and tipped over, clinging to himself. His mother nodded in approval as she watched her idiot son.

"He'll be all right, Mrs. Conar. Just keep it clean, use the silver salve... here, you can take this jar home with you, but you can get it at any drug store or apothecary," Mist continued, picking up a cloth shopping bag and packing it neatly with bandages and other supplies. He paused and peered at the young man.

"You are the fifth boy I've seen in the past two weeks with these burns. Just who is this smoking hot girl that you're so willing to let damn near kill you?"

Lewyn gaped at Mist in horror.

"...She... I... But. No. Mom!" he stammered, and she exhaled, pressing fingertips to her brow.

"I have told you and told you and told you. You are fae, we are fae, cold iron can kill us. Particularly when it's made into bells and wrapped around your body."

"But that's stupid, Mom!" Lewyn complained, white faced.

"So is trying to ignore it and ending up in the emergency room and being very very lucky that they happened to have a mage on staff," his mother snapped, her features stressed and haggard despite her irritation. Lewyn hunkered, wings wilted down, and finally sighed.

"M'sorry Mom," he mumbled, "Uhm. I dunno. It's just this girl, she's really hot, she's a fae, too, so... I don't know what's going on."

"A fae girl is doing this?" Mist pressed, just as Mrs. Conar did, both regarding the boy oddly. He nodded, miserable. After a moment, he pulled out his phone and showed them a photo.

Mist drew back, brows knit, upper lip snagged. The hot fae girl in the photo was a hideous creature, lank and slick skinned, lamp like eyes, wide and yellowish, in a head lacking a nose and lips. Her mouth was open, hagfish jaws filled with needle like teeth and dripping slime.

She wore a 'Juicy' t-shirt over emaciated and filthy body.

Lewyn yelped and nearly threw the phone when he glanced to the image, horrified.

"Lewyn..." Mrs. Conar sighed, taking the phone from him and eying the terrible visage depicted.

"She was hot! She was so gorgeous! She had blue hair and purple eyes and … not... this..."

"She's an unsidhe of some sort. Probably a river undine. An amoral fae, one of the darkness," Mrs. Conar explained, "And you didn't bother looking past her glamour, and here we are."

"Why would she be doing this to other fae?" Mist asked, frowning faintly. He took Lewyn's phone and ran his fingertips over the screen, too lightly to flick the image away.

"Why do humans do horrible things to each other?" Mrs. Conar replied, shaking her head, her shoulders lifting in a shrug, "Where did you see this girl last, Lewyn?"

"The skate park where the ambulance picked me up," he responded glumly. Mist nodded, thoughtful, before handing back the phone.

"You are grounded, young man, until you can prove to your father and I that you won't happily stick your head into a noose just because a pretty girl is holding it, not to mention spending much more time on glamours," Mrs. Conar scolded, though she hugged the boy tightly, struggling to keep from weeping. She did not like thinking how close she'd come to losing him.

"If you could get it around the other parents and children that this is happening, and talk to the local police..." Mist offered, finishing off the paperwork to release Lewyn, "I have a bad feeling about this. I am going to call the other boys that were attacked."

"Thank you," Mrs. Conar told him, earnest and quiet. Mist simply smiled and dipped his head, elegant and quiet before slipping from the room.
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Mist Gul
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Jacob Henderson Memorial Skatepark took up about a quarter of a city block, a masterwork of concrete, plywood, and steel sculpted into a shredder's paradise. Everything from the absolute novice to the radical aerialist found representation. Picnic tables, sun shades, a small multipurpose building with snack and parts shop, equipment rooms, and restrooms completed the space.

Teens flocked to the park weekends and after school, many anxiously waiting for the park caretaker to open up and loan out tools. Just as many swooped through the bowls and pipes and steps, practicing their moves or showing them off. It was lively and filled with teenage drama.

In point of fact, as Mist walked quietly for the park, a pretty little elf girl abruptly snatched up her books from a picnic table, woebegone, blue eyes limned in tears, lips pursed up and quivering. A toss of brown hair, and she whirled from the scene. She was sobbing by the time she got to Mist, and collided with him.

Mist crouched to pick up the scattered books, and suddenly had his arms full of woe and misery. A brow quirked as he continued to pick up the books, deftly shifting the girl to his side, then simply lifting her as if she was a little child.

She really was, he mused, head tilting as he took time to inspect the girl. Thirteen, fourteen, he could remember being that relative age. It wasn't that long ago. Not for him. A gentle finger brushed away a tear.

The girl bubbled out her troubles, clinging blindly to Mist, great gulping sobs punctuating her words. She so loved Isador, and everyone knew it and that new girl even said how cute Isador would be with her and she meant her and not her, and now the new girl had Isador just staring at her...

"What is her name?" Mist asked, lifting his gaze and looking the park over. The girl sniffled, wiping her face with her sleeve.

"Uhm. Beatrice. Maybe. She's said she's Mona, too." Spite stabbed through her voice for a moment.

"What does she look like?"

The girl started to speak, but paused, frowning.

"...I don't know. I... I thought she had red hair and brown skin and orange eyes but... I... I... We're not supposed to use glamor around friends and stuff, and not at school and... But..."

"Has she been going to your school?"

The girl's head shook slowly, her brows knitting.

"Aren't you taught to look through glamors?" Mist inquired, smiling faintly as the girl abruptly realized that she'd been picked up by a stranger. A very tall, very handsome, very gentle stranger, but still.

"Uhm... yes...?" she responded in a sheepish squeak, wincing. She stared fixedly at Mist's face, the glow of the runes and his eyes. The thick, long blond hair and tan skin. Isadore was suddenly a dim memory. She began construction of a whole new cloud castle, featuring this stranger.

"And are you usually running away in tears so thick you don't realize whom you..." Mist continued, only to stop, and swore softly under his breath in fluid Sindari.

"...I don't...?" she responded, doleful, utterly enchanted by this random prince charming. Mist's lips pressed together, silently casting a spell in a wide radius around himself and the girl. It rushed off of him in a silent, invisible wave of energy in a widening radius.

Several pings answered the questing. Three sobbing girls had run that way in the past several days, each abruptly ceasing their woe within forty feet. Mist turned a slow circle, head tilted.

Nothing worth attention came to his mind, but that stopped him. There should be much worth attention, there had been magic done near that spot at least thrice. Mist closed his eyes for a heart's beat, then looked once more.

A spindly creature leaned, overlong arms folded over sunken chest, to a light pole outside of the park perimeter. Mist tipped his gaze back to the girl, who still gazed at him in adoration.

"This girl, Beatrice, Mona, was she your friend? Close to you? A few girls, perhaps?" he asked thoughtfully. The girl nodded, shrugging. That all was ceasing to matter at all to her.

"Yeah, but ...you know we just met her, it's not like she's my best friend or anything."

"Are some of your girlfriends missing?"

She startled faintly.

"...Yeah, Asphodel and Mimi and Sarita, but it's no big deal, they're just um. Uhm. I mean their parents are all freaked out but..."

Mist frowned faintly, taking out his phone. He quickly found the stories, but they were buried and unimportant. Asphodel Winiree disappeared after school, her friends were all certain she had willingly left with her estranged father. Mimi Gateson had run off to be with her internet boyfriend, and had sent a message saying she hated her abusive parents. Sarita Rosaree simply abandoned the group home where she lived. She had a record of running away.

"Ye's Mist Silhaeven?"

Mist startled faintly and turned to regard a dark haired and skinned woman, finding himself pinned by argent eyes as bright as his own. The girl squeaked faintly and stared, as well.

"...Yes, I am," he responded slowly, taking the woman in. Half elf, half human, he was certain, but of what breed, he hadn't a clue. She was five and half feet in height, and seemed taller. Her hair was a river of bone straight black taken up in an untidy ponytail.

"I be Halcyon Waterspout, actin' detective for th' Guard. T'were told ye'd sent word o' a few lads burnt by a rogue fae. And bein' as ye's about the only other'n concern't about this other than the families o' the boys, I be thinkin' I'd best be speakin' with ye."

Mist stared at the woman as the girl did, wide eyed and not terrifically comprehending of the woman's accent.

Halcyon regarded them flatly.

"Tell me what you know about the boys burned by the rogue fae please, I am an officer of the Guard," she repeated, slowly and clearly. A moment later, irritation flashed across her impassive features. She withdrew a small leather case and displayed both identification and a badge. Mist glanced to it, then nodded.

"...I haven't heard an accent like yours in a long while," he apologized lamely, "And I was afraid of that. A fae, I am told probably a river undine, evil or amoral, has been attacking young fae boys and girls."

"Ye mean the three missing girls," Halcyon asked, a frown fleeting over her features. While Mist nodded, the girl sputtered, flushing, and desperately trying to take Mist's attention from the paladin.

"No, no, it's not that, I mean, they're all okay, they just... ran away."

"This one would have been next," Mist spoke softly, turning to cast a gaze upon the lanky creature leaning to a light pole nearby. Halcyon glanced to the being as well, absent as if she hadn't seen it, but turned a nearly imperceptible nod to Mist.

"The female doing this seems to have an immense power of glamor," he added a moment later, "Even these children, who have been taught to deal with glamor, are blind to what she is until they see a photo of her."

"Which means we has plenty of witnesses, and nay one that can say what happened," Halcyon murmured, "And I already be in trouble for reducin' the population o' *****."

"The glamor must be removed," Mist decided with a slight shrug. He finally set the girl down onto her feet, but held onto her arm, pushing her a step towards Halcyon.

"Keep hold on her, she was supposed to go running into the loving arms of a beautiful young man who would take her away from all this, and he is still standing there waiting."

"Nay, she has done that arready, ye silly git," Halcyon chuckled softly. Mist paused and stared at the woman in dismay, only to look again at the girl. He groaned, dropping his face into his hand, shoulders slumping.

"Bah, I'd think ye'd be used to it, ye's pretty enough," Halcyon noted, amused. The girl huffed at her, outraged.

"It's not glamor, I'd know if it was, we all know how to deal with glamor!"

"Mmhm. Meantime, m'lass, I shall be takin' ye home. What be ye name?"

The girl pulled at Halcyon's grip to find it was steel under a gentle seeming.

"...Freesia Humblebee."

"Freesia. Ye has a choice. Ye may walk away with me dignified like a lady, or, unconscious over me shoulder. Which shall it be?" Halcyon queried, polite. Freesia gaped at the woman. After a moment's thought, gauging the steel in the silver, Freesia sighed and nodded. She would walk like a lady.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mist paced the perimeter of the skate park, silent, thoughtful, unobserved. Despite how flashy a blond he was, how beautiful, how bright the runes on his face and body were, he had ways to dim his appearance.

There were layers on layers of spells and wards on the park, preventing injury, abduction, violence, which explained well enough why the girls were sent running away from the park. They couldn't be taken from the park. It was why the boys were enticed to put the chains on themselves. Teenaged drama was free to run rampant in within the confines of the boundaries.

A pleasant featured fae man oversaw the small community center and shop housed within a comfortable and plain rectangular building. He loaned out tools, sold parts, drinks and snacks. He gave mechanical advice and kept the bathrooms clean. He rented out the various picnic areas and the community center for parties, he hired kids on to help out.

A freezing rain began to fall as Mist walked. He changed course and cut through the park, stopping in the shelter of one of the picnic areas to watch the group of kids vying for Beatrice's attention. At first, they huddled together. Then, one by one, the kids fled for their homes.

Except for her. Beatrice, Mona, whatever she called herself. Mist watched her coolly.

"Oh, look, Trampzilla's admiration society abandoned her."

Mist quirked a brow and picked out a pair of young troll girls walking, their pace determined, through the icy rain. One sneered, tossing fashionably fat curls of raging purple hair over her shoulders.

"I can't even tell what they see in her, she's nasty scrawny and she's so ugly, not even an orc boy would look at her."

"Glamour," the pair chorused, disgusted, the first one snorting "Lame" a moment later.

"My brother nearly yanked her head off the other day, said she was doing this freak dance around his band mate, Lew, and next thing he knows, Lew's all wound up in iron and junk, and screaming in pain, so he had to help Lew and let the trash ho go," the purpled haired girl sniffed, tossing her head once more.

"We should bash in her head. Cept we'd get trash ho brains all over us, and euw."

"Yeah, and worse, we'd get kicked out of the park. Like when Mazy tried to punch that skeezy bitch last year."

"Actually, all we have to do is wait, she'll slither down her little scum hole since there's no one here to fawn over her, and then plug up the drain," the other pointed out reasonably.

"O-M-G, Ygra, you're a genius," the purple haired girl hissed, widening cobalt eyes.

Mist's brows knit as he ease dropped on the girls. His gaze flicked over to Beatrice once more. She was obviously in an ill temper. She got to her feet and waved at the male being leaning to the post, and he responded with a shrug. She stared at him, and he shrugged again.

Agitated, Beatrice shook her fists at the male, and he simply shook his head and walked across the street, vanishing into an alleyway. Beatrice turned, aggravation clear in every movement, and walked to a low spot in the grass.

It had been a drain, Mist could tell, but a small artesian well had overcome it, creating a muddy, stagnant puddle around the original drain pipe. As he watched, Beatrice slithered down into the pipe. Moments later, the pair of troll girls hurried over to the drain.

Ygra cheerfully clamped the iron pipe closed with a grip of her hand and push of shoe to the side of the metal.

"Say, this is iron. Why doesn't it bother her?" the other girl wondered, "And she was carrying that chain around, too?"

"Duh, Heidi. Not all fae are affected by the same things," Ygra scoffed, "But she sure knows what hurts our fae. But the moment I say anything about sweet lovely beautiful speshul snowflake Mimi, or whatever her name is today, they all get huffy and pissy and we're racist and crap."

"Ugh, I know. And what is it with her and names?" Heidi shuddered. Ygra started to speak, then paused, narrowing her bright orange eyes.

"That's probably her thing. Her name. Like some of the old gods, if you know their right name in the right place, they have to obey you."

"Then maybe we should get together with Recktal and Blaise and have a little chat with Tramperella once the fae have gone home," Heidi purred, cracking her knuckles slowly and carefully.

"Yeah, but I don't want our friends hating on us because they can't help but to see her as pretty polly perfect," Ygra exhaled, "It's just like Darlene and her baby. If you don't help Darlene out of her stupidity, the baby suffers, and no one wants to call CPS on her."

"Who's going to believe us, anyhow? The cops don't care. Their parents care right up until they lay eyes on her, then we're just mean, spiteful little troll girls," Heidi exhaled, sagging, "Come on, let's get home, I'm freezing."

Mist tilted his head and slowly paced after the girls. He stopped at the drain and knelt, holding his hand over the morass and newly clamped pipe.

A pair of pale and filthy arms reached up out of the mud in a splattering of ice and muck, seizing Mist's hand. It yanked him under, into the puddle, with scarcely a yelp of protest.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It wasn't easy to take Mist off guard when he was on guard, and he almost respected his assailant for managing that. Almost. He found himself falling, and hit the moss and slime slick concrete sewer caisson under the defunct drain.

He was up in an instant, runes flaring brilliantly, but the words of a dark banishment poised on his lips fell still as he found himself staring at the most miserable creature he could remember seeing outside of his own mirror.

About three feet in height, twisted, misshapen, broken. It was a humanoid of some sort, with ratted dreadlocks, an eye squeezed shut with infection, red and angry. Its legs were bowed bizarrely and wrapped closely in rags. An old chain leash was embedded in the flesh around its waist, the other end fastened to a padlock on an iron bar of the ladder leading down into the caisson.

"Please please not be mad, please please, help Doofy," it appealed, prostrating itself before the tall elf. Mist straightened, and found his head knocking to the roof of the concrete vault. He frowned and dropped to a crouch, inspecting the strange little being.

"Why did you bring me here?" he asked quietly, glancing up as his voice echoed. Oddly, Doofy's voice did not.

"To help, please, please, please!" Doofy entreated, hands knotted into fists, curled close to its chest. Tears spilled over its one good eye. Mist nodded, looking around once more.

"Explain why you're here, and we'll see what can be done," he responded. Doofy exhaled, half in resignation, half in dim hope.

"This not my place. Not my woods, not my home, not nothing. They made Doofy come do work for them, for years and years and years. Doofy wants to go home. Doofy was foolish, Doofy agreed to pretty shiny lady and look. Look. Broken and sick and starving."

"What work are you doing?" Mist asked, head tilting as he gauged the strange creature. It pointed upwards.

"Silly troll girls think She goes through drain. No. Drain is only marking place for me. I make the waters come there. And She goes through the waters."

"Who is She?"

Doofy shook its head, miserably rubbing at its swollen eye. It shrugged its shoulders.

"Don't know. Blah blah blah big words and important things and Doofy is just water nix. Fae should be fae, fae should be fae, and Doofy just wants to go home."

Mist grimaced faintly, regarding the nix.

"Where is home?"

After a moment, an exhalation all but collapsing its chest, Doofy shook its head.

"Don't know. Don't remember. Whole other life, Doofy was happy singing swimming and sporting in clean clear water. Now, dirty sewage filth and pain."

Mist considered for a long while, silent and still. He couldn't leave the wretched creature there. He couldn't pass by its pain. Yet this was the one place where he knew he could find the unsidhe girl.

He glanced to the roof of the caisson. It was cracked through, the concrete colonized fully with mold and lichen. There must have always been an artesian well there, particularly since a full sized drainage vault had been sunk to contain it.

"Come on. I can't leave you here," Mist admitted with a wry flicker of smile. Doofy stared at him, biting on its lower lip. It flicked its gaze sidewise.

It was enough. Mist reacted, snarling out an aversion spell, the words somehow sounding elegant from his lips.

The results were hardly pretty. A cacophony of sound echoed relentlessly through the caisson, diesel powered howling, a madding siren. Heat etched itself into the cement, crisping the lichen, broiling away everything organic, accompanied by blinding strobes of ugly yellow and pink light.

Mist snatched up the nix, breaking the chain in a single movement, and vanished.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Halcyon examined the mess the next day. The night before, a few hours worth of screaming, hysterical … eel-like humanoids had come swarming out of the street drains when she led a small crew of likely sorts to find Mist.

The mage was supposed to have met her to discuss the kidnappings and attacks, but he'd never shown. He'd sent her a message saying he would be there after a walk through the skate park. That was the first place to look, clearly.

Trish was a young, eager young lass who inevitably reminded Halcyon of Kirha, minus the overpowered machinery and weapons. There was a charming naivety to her smile and movements, which nearly completely hid the competence and skills underlaying.

Icer was a well meaning but ditzy haus frau of a dragon, but one could not dismiss the dragon part of the equation. She came along intending to find her friend. Halcyon was entirely fine with that.

Roni arrived, joining up with the small group as she wandered towards the inn. Once she heard they were looking for Mist, she was all in. She was a small and intense thing to Halcyon's eye, likely much more ferocious in defending her loved ones than herself.

In all, it pleased Halcyon to have such a group. She always had wanted her very own squad of Amazons.

Icer and Trish had spotted the mage, laying unconscious in a mess of rubble and icy muck some twenty feet from a blown open sewer drain. Splattered around him in various states of cohesion were dark, oily creatures, foul smelling and somewhat humanoid.

Mist had with him, protecting it, it seemed like, a small fae in horrible shape. Icer and Trish quickly worked to free the elf and fae from the wreckage, well aware of dozens of huge hot eyes glaring at them from the open sewers.

Halcyon waited with Stupid and Roni, watching several more of the eerie creatures, attenuated and gleaming with slime, pulled from the drains to shamble for them. They couldn't attack from the park, but getting trapped in a little bit of enchanted land in the middle of a pack of unseelie was not Halcyon's cup of joe.

In any case, she didn't earn the title of Paladin because she looked damn good in silver armor. She called out a challenge, and nodded faintly when it was ignored. So Be It.

Trish swore to herself as she saw the arriving eel-people. Using Stupid for some cover, she changed forms, from laughing twenty something human to a furred, fanged fury of a big cat. Icer lashed out viciously as she struggled to get Mist to Stupid's wide back, then Roni dashed in, more dextrous with her hands. She stared at the oncoming horrors, drawing her own pistol rather than to take the one Halcyon offered.

Once the elf and little fae were aboard, Stupid surged back to his hooves, and began a ponderous march right through the ranks of the eel people. The attack was quick and brutal. The eel-people hadn't expected any sort of resistance, perhaps a few bored paramedics, and instead faced a small group of warriors who had no intention of backing down.

The creatures looked like they belonged in some foggy upstate inn, quietly draining their sanity to sleeping gods. Trish eyed one as Halcyon offered some belated introductions around.

Roni, Stupid, Icer, Halcyon, Mist, unknown fae, and … Kitten McCatface.

Trish could only stare at the Paladin. Kitten. McCatface.

Halcyon shrugged slightly. She knew enough weres to know that most were fairly protective of their furry alter egos. Trish sighed. Kitten McCatface it was, then.

As they walked away, returning to the inn while Halcyon lugged Mist and the little fae off to the Emergency room, the eel-people began to erode. They dissolved slowly into black puddles of ooze which the morning sun burned away.


(Adapted from live play with Roni, Trish Cromwell, Mist Gul, and Icer1976 because I am too lazy to transcribe the log. Thank you all!)
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When Halcyon had told Trish that Larkspur was going to 'dream her sister back', she almost hadn't believed the paladin. There were more things in Rhydin, it seemed, that were dreamt of in Trish's philosophy. No puns intended.

It had been sheer luck for her to catch up with Mist and Roni later in the week--not that they hadn't planned a spaghetti night, but this preceded that, and information was what she needed. Of course, underlying everything was the burning need to protect her student! At the Red Dragon, they sat and compared notes. Not that Trish liked any of it.

"Wait. The girl's a dream dancer?" Roni asked as Trish mentioned it. Curiosity burned in her drowning black eyes, as she waved for Mist to join them. The elf made graceful movements through the others gathered, and joined them at the bar. The fae continued.

"Do you think her mother would talk to another dream dancer about it?" Up go both brows, and the question was followed by a sip of cocoa. "I'd be willing to help if it mean finding a child. I kinda find people for a living." She paused. "Or I could step in and try to find her so the girl doesn't.

For the moment, Mist eavesdropped shamelessly, though he had greeted both Trish and Roni, and Icer as well. Really, the dragon was eavesdropping too, to judge by how she stayed close by. Roni handed Trish a card. "You're a P.I., too? That might help, the Winirees seem to think I don't have much cause to be sticking my nose into this." Trish snorted a little at that. "But dream dancing out of a five year old has 'bad idea' written all over it.

"Dream?"

"Trish's student is a dream dancer. But she's not trained," Roni explained to Mist. The corners of the elf's mouth turned down, and concern entered his usually cheerful golden eyes. "Oh dear," he said. "Hopefully her mother will speak to Roni..."

"Yeah, that's what I'm hoping," Trish said, groaning. "And she could help find the others, perhaps," the elf added.

"Other girls?" Icer asked.

"There are three girls missing." Mist glanced over at Trish, then. "Hopefully they will let you. Children are stubborn, she'll keep trying until something happens."

"You're telling me," muttered Trish.

"Three? You mean includin' the case that came to me last week?" Roni asked, now, looking between the others.

"Another case came to you? I've got... Uhm. Just a moment." he leaned lightly to the bar and withdrew his phone, flicking through the screens. "Asphodel Wineree, supposedly left with her father. She hates her father. Mimi Gateson ran away to be with her internet boyfriend, who doesn't seem to exist. And Sarita Rosaree who ran away from her group home despite a pending adoption." He shrugged a bit to Icer. "It was in the newspapers, but few seem interested in it."

Trish shook her head, then. "I don't know the others, but Asphodel would never have left with her dad. We've got a no-contact order on file for him with Larkspur. He's not her actual biological father, but her mom wanted it, just in case." Because the guy was a sicko. A scientific bent, sure, but when it extended to his own kids...or any kids, even. Sometimes that sort of thing was fine, when it was needed and all above board, but...suffice it to say, it hadn't been.

"I could check when I return to patrolling, " Icer said.

"Those are the same girls," he nodded to Trish, then exhaled softly, frowning. "I have -- yes, cult, more or less," A nod to Alea, "Actually, terrorists. From what I could understand from Doofy, the ondine that had enslaved him wants fae to remain pure blooded fae, and those who are not should die, and those who do not agree with her should also die. All of the boys she's tried to kill, each of them was pure blooded, but they all are friendly or more with kids who aren't fae."

"Like some of the girls you named, too." Another mutter. There were more and more twists and turns, but something Mist said made Trish scowl again, thinking of something that Larkspur had said. "Mist, Lark said that she dreamt of Asphodel being excited about being married, but that Lark couldn't see a groom. You mentioned a cult..." It turned her stomach. "Do you think she might be a sacrifice to something?"

Also, the fact that this whackjob ondine had named that poor water nix 'Doofy' made Trish pretty mad, too.

"We're trying to find a safe space for him," Mist said. "And think up a better name, too." Which mollified her, a little.

"You could use my help," Roni offered. Not that anyone seemed likely to turn her down, either.

"The kids line up at 8:30, school starts at 9. I can loiter outside and try to get her mom to talk to you, assuming they don't send Sunny to bring Larkspur to school." Sunny was Larkspur's older brother. Middle child, between her and Asphodel. He often frequented the skate park, too. Who knew what the ondine thought about him?

"Okay," Roni said, nodding in agreement. "I'll be there and do my best to talk to 'em." Trish nodded. With that, the discussion turned to other things.

Trish wasn't sure how much success Roni had had with either Mrs. Winiree herself, or Larkspur, so when the administration day rolled around, Trish made her way to their brownstone to chat with Lark once again. She was more than a little concerned--she knew how precocious Lark was. She was seriously trying to keep her student out of trouble! Not that Trish didn't understand, deeply, how much Larkspur cared for her sister and wanted to help her.

She'd never had a sibling, herself, but Trish imagined that it was a hell of a lot like what she felt for each and every student of hers, past, present, and future.

The little blue-and-purple-haired girl kept rubbing chubby fists in her eyes, and stamping her feet--prelude to another tantrum, probably--but Trish had her phone out. She showed Larkspur Roni's picture again, the one attached to the detective's phone number, and leaned down to look in Larkspur's vivid golden eyes. She tousled the girl's hair a little, and smiled. "Listen. I'm not saying don't do it at all. You remember Miss Macaroni? I told her to help you. I just don't want anything bad to happen to you, just like you don't want to have anything bad happen to Asphodel, okay?"

It didn't surprise Trish at all that her five-year-old student gave her a hard, narrowed-eyed look before she spoke in piping tones and nodded. "Okay. Yeah, I remember. I know. You're helping. No one else wants to!" Which...wasn't entirely accurate, Trish knew, but try telling that to a kid. Lark stomped a foot again, but Trish reached out to give her a hug, trying not to show how upset she was, too. There were already tears threatening from Lark herself. Ones that turned into fat droplets that wet the teaching assistant's shoulder.
"I know, baby. I'm doing everything I can, just like I promised you."

The girl's mother poked her head out of their door. "I'd like her to come in, now, Miss Cromwell. Thank you for all your help, though." It was fairly clear that despite everything, the fae woman didn't trust Trish nearly as much as her daughter did. That was life, though. There was some reluctance on both their parts to disengage, but "You know I'll see you tomorrow at school, Lark." A pause. "Well, if we have school, that storm hasn't shown yet, but it might. We'll see what happens." Tousling those naturally ombre curls, and releasing the child to her mother as she stood.

She'd have to get in touch with Halcyon again. The sooner the better.


(With thanks to Mist Gul, The Halcyon, Roni, and Icer1978, and an honorable mention to Alea!)
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