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2.08 A Night Off

Posted: February 12, 2011 by neilcamcork in Mage: The Awakening, Michael
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Michael sat down.

He liked his new life. The world was a better, brighter place, now. It was also much darker than he had ever realised. He thought of his old life often, who he had been, the hurt he had caused. He understood now that he had added to that darkness. He had a mission now – to bring the Light of Truth to the world, to make it ready for the time when everyone’s eyes would open.

It had been about six months since the day he had first seen the Truth. The day he had been stabbed. His old life was now behind him, abandoned. Everything about it was gone – shed the way a snake got rid of its skin. He had a new name now, a better name. It fitted in a way the old name never had. He rarely even thought of himself as that person anymore.

He had spent the time since his eyes had opened to the true world training and learning, wanting to shove everything he could into his thick skull. His teachers had decided had he had been training too hard and needed some time to unwind. They had sent him off for a night of fun on the town.

He sat in the bar, wondering what he should do. It was the type of place he would never have been seen in before – very upmarket, swanky even. It was so long since he had been out that he was nervous.

He looked around the bar. It was filled with twenty somethings enjoying their new affluence. He reached out with his new senses, focusing on his newly acquired skill in Life. He saw a man helping a woman up from where she was sitting. On the surface of it, she was very drunk, but…

He looked closer. She was drugged. That cunt must have slipped something into her drink. As they were passing near his table, he sent out a blast of air at their feet, tripping them up. Michael jumped off his seat and went to help the girl up, focusing his Art as he gripped her arm to clear her system of the drug.

“Are you okay?” he asked the girl. “I think you may have had one too many.”

She stood up, looking confused and a little alarmed. “Uh, thanks, yeah.” She turned to look at the other man, “Pete, I’m not feeling so great; I’m going to head home… Maybe I’ll call you some time…”

She headed towards the door. The man, Pete, was following her, saying that he’d walk her to the taxi rank. Michael stayed close behind them. When they got to the door, Michael used his understanding of Forces to whisper in Pete’s ear: “I know that you drugged her.”

Pete stopped, shocked, allowing the girl to escape. Michael stepped up behind him, grabbing him by the arm. “Hey Pete, maybe we should go somewhere else and talk about your drinking habits”, Michael said, smiling, as he lead Pete through the door. He could see that the girl had gone left, towards the taxi rank, so he went right.

“What the fuck, man”, Pete said as he tried to get away, but he couldn’t shift the mass of muscle that was Michael. Michael dragged him down an alley and shoved him against the wall. “What the fuck”, Pete said again, this time more panicked. Michael shoved him to the ground.

“I saw what you tried to do”, Michael said quietly, “and I’m going to teach you a lesson so that you never try it again.”

He didn’t need magic for this. This piece of shit wasn’t worth it. He didn’t deserve to feel the power of Heaven, even in punishment. This was going to be pure physical punishment. Michael started beating the cretin. He kept an eye on Pete’s vital signs to make sure he didn’t kill the shit. He beat him carefully; causing the most pain he could to enforce the lesson. When Pete faded into unconsciousness, he reached into his pocket and took out his wallet. He read Pete’s address from the magnetic strips of his cards and then healed the bastard back to consciousness by slapping him across the face a few times. He threw the wallet onto Pete’s chest and said, “I know who you are now, Pete. I know where you live. If I ever even think that you are pulling this shit again, I will visit you in the night and murder you as slowly as I can.”

Michael kicked him once more for good measure and then walked out of the alley. He looked around to see if anyone had spotted what had just happened and spotted Onyx leaning against a wall nearby, smoking a cigarette.

Michael walked over to him and said, in a dejected tone, “I am sorry, teacher. Tonight I started a fight with a Sleeper and left him bleeding on the ground”.

Onyx took a long drag on the cigarette. “I saw what happened, kid. You intervened, because you saw something bad was about to happen. You took care of it and you took care not to risk the Veil. You could have ripped that guy apart with magic. Hell, you could have even not gotten involved at all and let them walk out of there. But, you did get involved. You saw that something was not right and you fixed it. You have nothing to be sorry about.”

Michael looked up, meeting Onyx’s eyes for the first time. “You’re not angry?”

“No, kid, I’m proud of you”, Onyx said with a rare smile. “Tell me, what do you think of the Arrows…?”

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2.04: The End

Posted: February 10, 2011 by neilcamcork in Mage: The Awakening, Michael
Tags: ,

The knife slid easily between his ribs.

The fight was still going on. His boys had spotted Dicko’s gang coming into the estate and had jumped into action. The boys had been rounded up and it was time to smash some heads.

The feud had been going on for a while. No one could remember how it had started – drugs or women seemed the most likely cause. There had been casualties on both sides – he had killed Dicko’s cousin a few months ago and Dicko had retaliated by killing Davey.

The sound of sirens interrupted the fight. The cops rarely came here, they were too afraid, but this was all out war.

He staggered away, clutching his side where the knife was still protruding from him. He needed to get to a doctor – he wasn’t going to let those bastards kill him.

He started to feel light headed. Strange visions swam past the edge of his vision. Blood bubbled at the corners of his mouth when he coughed. He stumbled and almost fell.

I must go on.

There was a safe house not too far away. If he could get there, they would call the doctor and he would be okay.

He staggered forward and realised that he did not know where he was. He was on a broad avenue; ahead of him was a mountain. The buildings on either side burned with a strange blue and green light, yet they were not consumed.

Where am I?

The doctor… was on the mountain?

I must get to the mountain.

He knew death was close, dogging at his heels. No, he thought, I won’t die. I won’t allow it! He thought of Cathy and his unborn child. Of all his plans, his ambitions. He was moving up in the world. He was a street boss now; it wouldn’t be long until he had a bigger voice in the organisation.

Not going to DIE!

He was climbing the mountain. The flames were coursing over him, into the wound, within him. He climbed the mountain with renewed vigour.

I will NOT die!

His mind began to slip away; all that was left was the goal, the top. He would get there, he would not fail. It was almost within his grasp.

Nothing will stop me.

He could see the top. Golden light streamed out, burning away everything that he was, leaving only a husk of pure will. Determination and belief were all that he had left. Before him stood the Tower, behind him, the Lie that was the world he had once inhabited. He understood it all and wept tears of fire for what had been done to the world. He came to the Golden Tower and saw the Names of the Righteous, the Chosen Few written there, dancing before him. With a cry, he reached inside his wound and drew forth his blood. He carved his name into the Tower and sank to his knees. He fell back, onto the ground, his eyes fixed upon the Sun.

Where he saw the Face of God.

__________________________________________________________________________________

He woke up. The world was different now. Or he was. His eyes were open – he could see all the details he had never noticed. Who he was, what he had been, was gone. That shadow of a life was over. The past was a dream from which he had now awakened.

A man stood over him, power emanating from him.

“Relax. We have you now.”