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 From which we fell...

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Ren Kaidou

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PostSubject: From which we fell...   Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:14 pm

The long corridors of the New York Institute were not like the corridors of the Tokyo Institute. They were dark, but not for lack of lighting, simply dark in color and cold in aura. Sunlight pierced through the narrow hallway windows, but the rays were concentrated and seemed only to paint streaks of light across the slate interior, rather than reflect and fill the hall with the warmth the sun had to offer.

The library was no different. Particles of dust floated through rays of spotlighted sun here and there along the center table where books were left sprawled open. Books were never left open in her own institute, and the sun was let it from wide windows so that one could read in the natural light until dusk. This library was empty, a state that did not surprise Ren. After all, it seemed the majority of the residents were young adults, and reading was an art nearly forgotten by most that age. Not her, of course.

Though she was the only soul who stirred in the mahogany athenaeum, she took her steps lightly, as if careful not to disturb the open books. Leaning only to glimpse at the foreign words scribed onto the pages, Ren kept her hands laced behind her back as her steps traced the rounded center table. It was a shame, she thought, that she was surrounded by so many books she’d never find at home, and yet she could read none of them. Still, whatever language they were written in, they were still books. The familiar smell of the paper pages reminded her that while she was thousands of miles from home, the New York Institute was not completely dissimilar. However, she was sure she would never grow used to keeping her outdoor shoes on while inside. The practice made her oddly self conscious of her feet and where they were placed. Naturally, she stepped lightly, but now she placed extra care in her tred, as if walking upon glass.

Just as Ren began to worry about her shoes once again, she felt the muted thud of her foot brushing against something below the table. She drew her feet beside one another, looking down to see what it was she’d grazed. The light was dim beneath the table, but she wore that she saw something long, and dark. Slowly, she lowered herself into a crouch, nearly disappearing below the table. With one hand atop her knees draw up against her, she reached forward with the other, gently grasping the end of it.

Hane…? ” Ren whispered to herself as she lifted the impossibly long black feather from its hiding place beneath the shadow of the table. She drew it back like a delicate blade, setting it gently across the tops of her knees in her other hand. She’d never seen a feather this size before. In awe she stroked the soft black edge, as if to feel for herself that it was real and not just a decoration. Even in the dim light, the feather glimmered like a raven’s would.

She raised slowly, sweeping her gaze about the library, as if she’d see where this feather had come from. Still, she was alone, and there was no sign of the bird giant enough to leave it behind. With no where else to look, Ren lifted her chin, her gaze turning upwards to the tall library ceiling. From where had this feather fallen?
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Rose
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PostSubject: Re: From which we fell...   Sun Jan 26, 2014 1:00 am

Derek made the appropriate turns and soon found his feet in front of the Institute's library. The door was slightly ajar, light from the many candles within shining forth. He couldn't see anyone through the crack, the only occupants seeming to be the millions of books that populated the tall, mahogany bookshelves. Hiding his drawn dagger up his sleeve, Derek slowly pushed open the door. Screeching with old age, the door revealed the rest of the room. A great fireplace made up one of the four walls, alive with flames that effectively chased away the morning chill. The tables were littered with half read tomes. And, it was next to one of these tables that Derek finally spotted one of the newcomers. The girl was quite small, so discerning her age was presently impossible. She was definitely of Aisian descent, her attire very loose. But, what was most interesting out of everything he saw, was the direction of her gaze. She was staring very intently up at the beams of the ceiling, a questioning look painting her face.
"Excuse me." Derek tried to keep his voice as friendly as possible; he didn't wanted to scare the fragile creature. "I don't think we've met. I'm Derek Grey."
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Ren Kaidou

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PostSubject: Re: From which we fell...   Sun Jan 26, 2014 6:32 pm

The voice may have startled her if it wasn’t for the creaking door announcing the library’s newest visitor. By the time Derek had made his introduction, Ren had already let gravity pull her attention back down, and her impossibly dark brown eyes were already appraising the owner of the friendly voice. Just like his voice, earnest friendliness was what she could take from his relaxed face, and while his words were not completely clear to her, the meaning behind them was.

Ren stirred, turning herself slightly to face the native shadow hunter, though she still carefully held the long raven feather in her hands. Whatever she meant to say caught itself before it ever left her mouth. Ren had expected this since the moment she’d made the decision to pursue the demon overseas, but it didn’t prepare anymore for the blank she drew as she searched for her words in English. With a thoughtful tilt of her head, Ren tried again.

“ I am Kaidou, Ren,” Her accent was impossible to ignore, and heavy enough to make discerning whether her name was Ren or Len difficult. As much as she wanted to explain what she was doing here, the task was daunting. As far as explaining that the Tokyo Institute had sent a message earlier in the week regarding her arrival, she could manage, but as to why she’d wandered about on her own only to stumble across this peculiar feather…

“ I am from Tokyo Institute. I hope my message is arrived,” part of her knew that nothing leaving her mouth carried the same hard sounds as this Derek Grey, but there was pride none the less for what English she could produce. She prepared to listen closely to his reply in hopes to catch some familiar words, but in case she didn’t, Ren studied his expression to supplement what would most likely be lost in translation.
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Logan Reese

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PostSubject: Re: From which we fell...   Mon Jan 27, 2014 8:08 pm

Striking at a measured even rate against the smooth, cool marble of the institute's hallways, the soles of Logan's riding boots sent out a steady refrain of percussion, and he took a vain sort of pleasure in the sound; holding it as an undeniable acknowledgement of his own presence.  As long as he could hear that, and only that, he could pretend he was alone in the building, and more importantly that he wouldn't have to deal with any of the Nephilim.

He'd been lucky so far today.  One of the attendants had possessed sufficient foresight to have the door left open a crack for him, and once he'd been safely ensconced in the library, the morning had passed swiftly.  The first few hours had mostly been filled by creating the ritual space, performing his diagnostics, and then the lengthy process of cleaning the entire mess up.  He'd had a lesson with a Chinese warlock once who'd insisted that using magic to clean up after a working could influence the success of the spell, and despite a rather damning lack of evidence, he'd stuck with that, even when it meant an extra half hour of effort, and the rather involved process of wandering the hallways until he could find a broom.

Taking a moment off for lunch after tidying had seemed a fine way to break up the undertaking, and while he was at least moderately sure the kitchen staff would let him use the facilities, a respite from the constant, near-subconscious buzz of the enchantment's that layered this place was almost as welcome as the food.  Not that Starbucks was known for its nutritional value, but as it always seemed to do, a day's worth of spellwork left him wanting caffeine more than substance.  

Hefting his satchel up a little higher on his shoulder, only the slightest of winces showing on his face as it bumped against his bound wings, he took a sip of the dwindling remains of his matcha latte, and slowed to a stop a ways off from the open library door.  'Did I leave it like that…?'  the young warlock mused, knowing for a fact that he hadn't.  He distinctly remembered the tortured screech it'd let out when he dragged it closed on his way out.  For a moment he hesitated, wavering between the desire to leave unmolested, and the knowledge that he still had to finish the basic renewal spells.  

Sighing out a breath that was meant to be steadying, but ended up a little more on the shaky side, Logan took another gulp of his tea, and checked that his coat was draped correctly, wondering even as he did how long he could stand to keep it on in the fire-lit library.  If he rushed things he could be done the rite in…twenty minutes?  Maybe fifteen if he sprinted through it, but that was likely to cause more harm than doing nothing at all.  Muffling another sigh, the young warlock moved closer, stopping when he noticed the man standing just beyond the doorway.  "Oh.  Umm...hello."  He tried, leaning to the side to look deeper into the library.  "Err...Sorry to disturb you, but I have a little more work to do in there…"
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PostSubject: Re: From which we fell...   Mon Jan 27, 2014 10:48 pm

Derek waited patiently for the girl to reply. She had turned immediately at hearing his voice, but now seemed to be in deep concentration. Derek was slightly confused, but nonetheless played the welcoming host in Godric and Olivia's absence.
“ I am Kaidou, Ren,” Ren replied, her accent giving the normally familiar words a slight twist.“ I am from Tokyo Institute. I hope my message is arrived.”  
Derek now realized why the girl had taken so long to reply. English was obviously not her native tongue, a fact that slightly intimidated Derek. He was usually a pro at communicating with others, getting them to feel comfortable and at home. But, how was he supposed to do the same with a newcomer who was obviously far from home, and probably saw everything else as horribly foreign? Still, he had to try.
"It's great to meet you...Ren, is it? I've actually always wanted to meet a representative from the Tokyo Institute. I'd love to hear all about your experiences there, while you're here. That is, if you can stand all the questions I'll probably annoy you with," Derek chuckled, trying to get a smile out of Ren.
"Oh, and you said you sent a message ahead of you, right? Well, we've been a little recently, and Godric, our Head of this Institute is actually out right now. I'm sure he just forgot to let us know you were coming."
Derek was just about to offer to introduce her to the others, when he sensed movement behind him. With that also came a sense of just who exactly was behind him. What was a warlock doing in the Institute?
"Oh.  Umm...hello." Derek turned to face the warlock, paranoia making him once again aware of the dagger up his sleeve. Derek had heard nothing about any potential warlock visits. His confusion only deepened, as the warlock continued speaking
"Err...Sorry to disturb you, but I have a little more work to do in there…," the male warlock continued, seeming most uncomfortable. He was obviously intent to get back to working on what he had left. But, what exactly was he working on in the Institute? Then, Derek remembered. Shortly before the arrival of the others, when Derek had been the only trainee at the Institute, Godric had mentioned a young warlock of great power. This specific warlock was doing them a service by fixing the Institute's portal. It had slipped his mind completely until this very moment, the events of the past few days having taken up most of his attention.
"I'm the one who should apologize. It's been really hectic around here, and I completely forgot that our portal even needed looking at," Derek said, chuckling again and extending his hand to the warlock. "I'm Derek Grey, by the way."
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Ren Kaidou

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PostSubject: Re: From which we fell...   Tue Jan 28, 2014 7:35 pm

If she tried to hide it, it was in vain. The conversation was quickly diving into a flaming ball of wreckage as far as Ren’s comprehension went, and it showed on her face. Her brows knotted up in a tangle of concern, like she was being left behind and very quickly. At the same time, her lips pursed together as if trying to hold onto whatever words she could pick out as they passed her by. He was chuckling, but why? Ren could do little more than smile hesitantly along with Derek’s amiable behavior. She wondered how she, a Nephilim who had come toe to toe with a demon, could feel so utterly helpless in the face of words. It was worth grimacing over, but she never had the chance.

To her surprise, and relief, the door creaked yet again. If Ren couldn’t handle one English speaker, she knew she would certainly not be able to manage two, but at least they could speak between one another. That could help alleviate some of her conversational obligation, right? Ren looked on, somewhat hopeful, to see who it was on the other side of the tall American nephilim. There was shuffling, and by the tone of things, Ren could tell this arrival was unexpected, and a stranger. After hearing the name for a second time, Ren had it committed to memory.

With a light and silent step, Ren moved into view of the doorway to satisfy her curiosity. She’d expected a similar figure, a tall blonde and broad shouldered American nephilim, to be greeting Derek with hard ‘R’s and friendly smiles, but that was not what she found. Perhaps subconsciously, Ren tilted her head in mild curiosity as she appraised the two side by side. The newest arrival was not the same, for some obvious reasons… and some not so much. He was clearly smaller than Derek, but something about the way he carried himself shrank him even more, like those who would prefer to go unnoticed. However, it would be impossible not to notice a face like his. In fact, while Ren was no expert on American definitions of beauty, she was sure he was qualified universally. At the same time, as graced by a beautiful arrangement of genetics as he was, there was a veil of something that draped itself onto his features until they were a mystery. And then there was the matter of his jacket…

With a start, Ren shifted her weight between her feet until she stood with them side by side again, dipping her gaze slightly. She closed her fingers gently around the feather she still held in both hands, wondering at what point it would be appropriate to ask if they kept large birds at this institute.
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Logan Reese

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PostSubject: Re: From which we fell...   Tue Jan 28, 2014 10:27 pm

"Logan Reese."  The warlock replied after half a beat, reaching out to take the shadowhunter's proffered hand.  The guy was big, though as impressive as the definition on those arms might be, he'd been told many times that the coal black marks burned into his skin would allow even the smallest of Nephilim to crush him like a bug.  Even so, the ritual interaction was calming in a way.  The old standby of 'my right hand is busy and therefore not going for a weapon' lending him at least a little assurance that he wasn't about to be killed for trespassing.  The young man's words, and his instant recognition of the warlock's purpose went even further.  "It's…well I'm really just doing a little upkeep."  Logan murmured, a faint smile tugging at his lips as his thoughts turned to the elderly device.  "Whoever set up the original working did a good job.  I imagine it'd have run just fine on its own for another century or so."  he continued, voice strengthening as he turned to a topic he knew.  

There was something invigorating to working with the portal, really there was a certain thrill to working with any magic.  As much as he might complain about the background noise, he kind of liked the way a good working buzzed against his skin, a gentle sort of sensation that made the hair at the nape of his neck tingle even as it sent chill tendrils through his bones.  He'd never quite gotten why mortals hated the cold.  For him it had always seemed enlivening, and the feel of a dimensional effect, that weird subcutaneous vibration that permeated everything around them?  Nothing like it.  

Turning slightly to include the girl who'd walked up behind Derek, Logan nodded toward her and opened his mouth to introduce himself again before his gaze was drawn down to her hands.  "Hel…."  he managed, his mouth falling open and staying that way as he recognised one of his own feathers.  For a moment he tried to pretend it was just a random one, maybe from one of the corvids that nested on the tower, but it was too large, and his vanity noted too well kept, to be anything but his.  It was kind of gross actually.  "You umm…you shouldn't…"  the warlock tried, working to find some way to get her to drop it without actually saying why.  "Feathers are…well some…you shouldn't play with that."
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Ren Kaidou

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PostSubject: Re: From which we fell...   Sun Feb 02, 2014 12:16 pm

Ren was at a loss, as she had been for the better part of the last few minutes. She glanced at Derek, as if he would be any easier to understand. Whatever Logan was saying, Ren couldn’t quite get a bead on the meaning behind it. Clearly, he was surprised… no, unsettled? Without a doubt, the source of the discomfort was the feather. Ren couldn’t ignore the way his demeanor had stiffened the second he laid eyes on it. As if to cross reference the theory, Ren looked at Derek again- to see if the other boy was put at unease. He seemed fine. If she were committing some social taboo of the western world, it looked like only Logan was bothered. Still, it wasn’t the kind of first impression she would have liked to make.

“ I am sorry,” Ren dipped her head into a shadow, apologetic bow. She wasn’t sure what about the feather bothered Logan, but the best she could guess was it was something of his and he’d like it back. Lifting the feather, pinched in one hand, she offered it to Logan with an amiable but slight smile. “ This is very pretty.” Ren hoped at the very least if it was some accessory of his her peace offering would be enough to sweep this awkward interaction under the rug.
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King Oliver

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PostSubject: Re: From which we fell...   Wed Feb 05, 2014 6:41 pm

Godric watched as the ink from his pen pooled uselessly on the paper underneath it as he held the tip unmoving, unable to form the words he needed to write. He had been seated at his desk for almost two days, trying desperately to find the words to explain what had happened in the institute over the past few weeks. Every letter started the same, with Christopher’s return, Jaspers almost fatal injuries, the arrival of the Ravenscar siblings, but it was what came next that he couldn’t manage to get down on paper. How could he possibly document his failure as head of the Institute? But more painfully, how could he possibly put Jasper’s death into words? Into a simple sentence that would make the brutal truth a reality. The life of a shadowhunter was a violent, often short one; they all grew up knowing that. Every day that they stepped outside was a day they risked their lives for the angels cause, but in the Institute, their sanctuaries, they were supposed to be safe. A young Nephilim wasn’t supposed to be murdered in its halls and especially not by his own kind. It was all so wrong.

With a strangled cry, Godric swept his arm across his desk, sending the contents crashing to the floor. Cups of untouched tea and plates of uneaten toast fell to the floor with a crash to join the sea of crumpled up balls of paper that already littered the filthy floor. Running his hands through his unwashed hair, the man let his shoulders sag in defeat as the heavy truth of his failure weighed him down. Olivia had given up trying to comfort him, deciding it was better to just give him his time, her only appearance being when she quietly slipped into his office to deliver tea or plates of food that he never touched. In the back of his mind, he knew he needed to leave his office, needed to look after his other charges, the ones that remained anyway. The institute had been so quiet since that night, Jasper was dead and the siblings had fled. Then Oliver and Egan had disappeared and Mikki had been nearly killed. It was all too much to take in and he felt himself growing more and more tired. He knew what he needed to do, knew what he needed to write to put an end to the weight he felt crushing him. He would have to resign his place as Head of the Institute, but much like his report of Jaspers death, he just couldn’t find the words to put it into writing.

Shoving his chair away from the desk with a sigh, the man got to his feet before trudging through the cluttered floor to slip out of his office for the first time in days. The halls were quiet, the silence of it oppressive as he slowly made his way through the stone corridors. He wasn’t sure where he planned to go but anywhere seemed better than his office and the blank paper that was staring him in the face.
Nearing the library, the first sound of voices floated through the hall, Making Godric freeze mid step. He knew how he looked; unwashed hair and scraggly, unshaven beard beginning to cover his usually clean shaven face. Still in the clothing he had worn three days ago, he imagined he looked much more like a homeless mundane rather than the head of the New York Institute. Godric considered turning around the way he came and hiding himself away once more but the familiar form that stood just outside of the library doors made him sigh. How could he have forgotten? His life may have come to a screeching halt but the running of the Institute seemed to be continuing on without him. Doing his best to straighten himself out, running his hands through his hair and smoothing down his wrinkled shirt, he crossed the rest of the way to the Library doors.
“Logan, I’m so sorry I wasn’t here to greet you. I was well… occupied. I trust everything is going smoothly? Is there anything you need?” His gaze moved past the warlock to Derek and a wave of guilt crashed over him, it wasn’t the boys duty to manage the happenings of the Institute, he should have been here… Before he could lose himself to grief again, his gaze moved on past Derek to an unfamiliar face standing deeper into the library.
“Ah, and who’s this?” Glancing from the girl to Derek once more, he tried to give the boy what he hoped was an apologetic smile, doing his best to put on his usual air of authority though he knew he was coming up somewhat short.
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Logan Reese

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PostSubject: Re: From which we fell...   Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:18 pm

"Oh…uh that's alright."  Logan managed, imitating the girl's bow more from confusion than any actual feelings of remorse.  Was she apologising for finding his feather?  For holding it?  He rather hoped not, as he hadn't meant to make her feel bad, but then it was hard not to be grossed out that she was just playing with a piece of him.  Fumbling slightly as he tried to juggle his empty cup out of the way, the warlock reached out to pluck the feather from her hands with a little sigh of relief.  Though that ease didn't last long, as the words that accompanied her offering very nearly made him flinch.  She was wrong, but hopefully she would never learn how much so.  

"Thank you miss."  the warlock added, hesitating for a moment as he tried to decide exactly what to do with the feather now that he had it.  Usually he just destroyed the ones that fell out, it was safer than throwing them in the trash where some mundane might find them, but doing that in front of everyone might raise uncomfortable questions, not to mention that calling hell-fire next to one of the Nephilim didn't seem very prudent.  Settling for tucking the inky pinion into the top of his satchel, Logan nodded to the girl, repeating his thanks before letting his attention wander back to the library.  The silent Nephilim watching over the exchange only made things worse really, and at this point he'd really rather get his work done and go.  Preparing to announce just that, the warlock was silenced before he could even get the first syllable out by the appearance of a tramp.  

Or at least that's what he assumed the rather wild looking man to be until he spoke and Logan actually recognised him.  'Godric?'  the warlock wondered, knowing something terrible must have happened to render the surprisingly pleasant head of the institute to this state of disarray.  Despite himself, Logan found a spark of pity surging through him along with the more natural worry as he looked on the other man.  Despite his position, the fatherly shadowhunter had always been kind, far more so than the warlock had been led to believe such people could be, and to see him like this was both startling and somewhat painful.  "Um…that's alright Mr. Hailstar.  I'm nearly done actually." he tried, taking a shuffling half step toward the library door.  The urge to flee into its depths and the far more familiar complexities of his work was strong, but he was caught.  Running off on the head of the institute didn't seem the best way to maintain his employment, so instead he was reduced to hovering uncomfortably at the edge of the conversation, wondering if he should even be listening.
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Ren Kaidou

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PostSubject: Re: From which we fell...   Mon Feb 17, 2014 6:05 pm

As the feather left her hand, returning to its rightful owner, a realization replaced it. There were signs, the hands free of Nephilim markings, the way the others regarded him as a visitor, and most of all- the fumbling. It wasn’t that Ren was watching closely, but for someone from a world of trained and skilled warriors, coordination was an expectation noticed when it was missing. Her gaze lifted from his hands, briefly studying his face before a fourth joined the cluster crowding the library’s doorway. Instinctively, Ren assessed the new arrival, but her thoughts did not leave the possibilities of who and what Logan could be.

There was no doubt that Godric was asking for Ren to introduce herself. The inquiry was simple and she could tell by the way he carried himself he held authority here. However, Ren knew what strain looked like, no matter the language that masked it. Stress? Worry? Ren couldn’t say, but it was there despite his efforts to put it aside. It was an effort Ren could respect.

“ I am Kaidou, Ren,” Her natural reaction was too strong to overcome. No handshake was offered, simply a bow that was suited for someone she owed respect to. As she lifted herself from the bow, she glanced at Derek, wondering if she should go on to explain what exactly she was doing here. It was better safe than sorry, right?

“ I am from the Tokyo Institute,” she explained in a paced tone, assuming that if the message that announced her had arrived this would all make sense.
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PostSubject: Re: From which we fell...   Sat Jun 20, 2015 8:54 pm

"Do you want to fight each other or practice on the dummies?" Abby asks her sparring partner.
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