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Paranoia
The background story for Theron, as well as what happens next!
I stood with my arms crossed in front of my chest while watching the dance floor, nobody paying any close attention to me whatsoever. Allan had come out of his office upon hearing one of his favorite songs playing and signaled for the people to clear a space for him. Once in a while, he would ask for volunteers for a dance-off, and this happened to be one of those occasions. This was usually an amusing event when someone was foolish enough to accept, as no one could match his skill and enthusiasm when it came to a such a contest and quite embarrassing for the ones who lost. No one went for it this time. While I only danced once in a while, usually after-hours when no one was looking, I surprised myself by volunteering. I don't know what had come over me, since spontaneity was not one of my usual traits, but I found myself striding to the middle of the floor with complete confidence to shake hands with my boss. This was the agreed tradition to show goodwill beforehand so that there were no sore feelings later. Allan's narrow eyes opened further in surprise as he shook hands with me. "Are you sure you want to do this? You've got a reputation to keep you know!" He winked at me and began to dance.

As requested, the DJ ran three songs at random, so as to keep the moves impromptu, and I carefully watched Allan move to the music, getting the feel of it for when my turn came. He made decent use of the flashing lights to give the illusion of disappearing and then reappearing a second later. His timing was impeccable, and his rhythm matched the music perfectly. The first round would be fairly easy, at least until both of us had gotten the feel for what the other was capable of. The spectators gasped as Allan pulled off a few moves that would have taken more coordination than most people normally had. Thank God, I was not at all short of such a quality. I emulated the same moves but added my own style to it. This pattern continued until the third song, which being from the disco era was more suited to my talents than his. Suddenly, I knew Allan wouldn't know how to properly dance to it. I had to give him credit where it was due though, he gave it an excellent effort, and when my turn came I performed the dance as it was intended with the flare of days from whence it came. I tore off my coat and tossed it to the side for the effect as well as maneuverability. In return, Allan did the same with his shirt and vest, showing off a rather impressive albeit thin physique. The song ended just as I was really getting into the mood, and the DJ announced the winner. I had won, much to my surprise, but that seemed to be the direction in which this evening was going. Allan and I bowed as a courtesy to the crowd. However, as I went back to my usual post to survey again, I noticed a rather fidgety woman with blonde hair and a long red coat accompanied Allan back toward his office. There was something about her presence that bothered me, although I couldn't place her right away and had no memory of ever seeing her in my lifetime.

A few minutes later, the fluorescent lights in the office upstairs turned off as I scanned the room, hoping to see our infamous owner's shocking purple hair over the sea of people dancing and enjoying themselves. Finally, out of the corner of my eye I saw what I was looking for and followed him to the back door of the establishment. I had to ask about the blonde haired woman he had been talking to, she seemed so familiar, and yet... she wasn't anyone I knew, or so I thought. I made it to the door, and he was there waiting for me. He had a battle-ready posture and seemed to be more than pissed off at me. As to why, I had no idea. I barely had any time to take in Allan's odd appearance when I sensed the heat of the flames before seeing them. A blast of bright violet fire came rushing at me and of course, the blast missed its target. Still, it was a much closer miss than I was accustomed to and he was faster than any previous enemy I had ever encountered.

I landed on top of the wall behind the dumpster in order to study him more carefully, and there was no way on earth what I saw was real... Vampires were a fictional construct, or so I had thought, yet that was the description that best described his current attitude and appearance. He was 6 ft. 2 in. tall and relatively good looking to begin with. Unusual as it was, his long black hair was varied in length with the front always dyed purple since it was his favorite color. His face was angular with handsome features while his eyes were narrow and somewhat exotic looking, almost always teasing in their way. There was never an opportunity missed to joke with someone, particularly of the female persuasion, and despite being a bit arrogant, he was still somehow extremely charismatic and easy to like. Now, however, there was an unmistakeable rage toward me and instead of grinning that devious grin he usually had, his teeth were bared at me. The sharp canine teeth were extended down past his lower lip while the rest remained relatively normal. Eyes that had been blue-green were now a silver grey that had become almost entrancing. And, while normally the man's hands were long fingered and elegant, they were now enhanced by grayish claws that were long enough to be a woman's false nails. I had no doubt in my mind that they were not false. In fact, I would be trying to avoid those as much as possible.

The Voice gave me further information and I finally understood. The woman he had seemed to be talking to, she was the one I'd seen flashes of so many times before and after each attack. The only proper conclusion was that she was somehow sending close family or friends unknowingly to their deaths. How she was accomplishing this was still unclear, but judging by the changes of both character and outward physical appearances, it wasn't by persuasion alone. Allan reached behind him and in one sweeping motion of yet more violet flames, he conjured what appeared to be some sort of demonic claymore. Now that the adrenaline had kicked in, so had my powers of observation increased and my body more ready for battle. The claymore, upon closer inspection, was iridescent black, with teeth along the middle and a roving scarlet eye that was seemingly alive. Allan leapt straight off of the ground and swung at me with the ancient sword. It came within an inch of missing me and I ducked at the last second. While I had expected him to land on the other side of the wall, he twisted in midair to land on the structure itself.

That's just great… I thought sarcastically to myself. This was going to be difficult. Not that I couldn't handle it, but this left out options of evasion and I really didn't want to have to attack Allan if I didn't have to. Killing my employer would make life afterward extremely messy and complicated, same goes for merely wounding him in any significant way. I didn't have much time to consider this before Allan started to attack me again, swinging in left to right and right to left sweeping motions with the giant blade. I backed up calmly and swiftly until I had run out of wall space and in one fluid motion I flipped over him to land on my feet, still on the wall, on the other side of him. I was hoping to make the chances of successful attacks more limited and tougher for him to maneuver. I hadn't counted on the fact that he seemed to be extremely familiar with his power, despite having only gained them less than five minutes ago. He turned and sent more flames in my direction, this time missing my body but catching my coat on fire. Ugh, Damn it! I would have to repair it again.

I frowned slightly, casting off my burning overcoat and leaving my upper body bare. And while I was somewhat perturbed at having another jacket destroyed, it was actually easier to fight him without it. Allan made a gesture that caused two more jets of fire to rush me, and this time I had to leave the wall entirely or be horrendously cooked. I scurried off of it and rolled over the top of the dumpster. He wasn't too far behind me with the claymore aiming to cut me off at the ankles, maliciously grinning as he neared his target. Now he was making me angry where before I had merely been annoyed. Obviously just defending myself without my powers wasn't going to get me out of this mess or even keep me from being injured.

"You want to fight dirty… then fine, I will play your game," I growled as I lowered my head and glared at his oncoming form. I backed away a few feet before taking a defensive stance and warming the air around my hands, preparing to reconstruct and reorganize the elements in my vicinity. The effect was a plasmatic blue aura, and Allan was by no means threatened by it. He leapt at me with even more pyrogenic displays. I threw up an invisible shield, using the air to make a powerful thrust and the carbon to harden it momentarily. It was effective, and it was repetitive… in this case it very well had to be! He didn't look like he would be relenting anytime soon. After a few dozen attempts, Allan seemed to think the claymore would be more effective on this and desisted with the purple flames routine. The nature of the mammoth sword was revealed in its entirety as the teeth opened much like a pair of jaws and penetrated the shield I had been using. Enough was enough, I was beginning to get extremely tired of this and just wanted the whole ordeal to be over with. I could be patient to a certain point but even that was wearing thin. My hands once again appeared bright blue with the electricity from the following conversion as the metal concealed in the nearby ground gathered and formed an ornate blue scythe, my weapon of choice.

Now it would be his turn to defend. I still wasn't intent on killing him but maybe getting the s**t beat out of him would bring him to his senses… I leapt over him, somersaulting in midair to land a good distance from him. It had given me enough time and space to begin my own attack. I used this to my advantage and began twirling the scythe in my hands while forming a spherical barrier as I went. It was both an offensive and defensive maneuver, and somewhat complicated to handle. Allan rushed at me again.

The blade of the scythe unexpectedly and miraculously nicked the eye of the claymore. The crimson eye exploded in a shower of brilliant sparks and there was an outward blast of air along with a feeling of mental clarity. Allan was sent sliding backward by the force, and when it was all over he just stood there. He finally snapped out of it, completely unaware of what had possessed him and of his own bizarre appearance. He dropped the giant claymore, its eye now turned black and lifeless. He seemed confused and appeared to be looking at me with an expression of deep dismay.

Here it comes… I thought to myself, he is either going to go into shock or beg me to kill him... The chances of avoiding the latter were slim to none, and I desperately prayed that it wouldn't come to that.

My first guess was closer. Allan completely lost his composure and in this moment, his reaction forever changed what I thought of him as a person. He no longer seemed like the collected relaxed individual he had always portrayed as the panic and shock opened his eyes to my world. He dropped to his knees, let out a yell, and as he went to put his face into his hands, finally noticed something was more than wrong with them.

"W-what the.. what the hell?!" he stammered, silver grey eyes open as far as they would go as he studied his fingers. "How the hell do I have claws?" His breathing became more audible and deeper as he became more panicked. I couldn't help but chuckle a little. Allan finally stopped what he was doing long enough to look up and truly see that I was standing there.

"Theron? What're you doing here?"

I just couldn't help myself, between the relief and the overall amusement, I started laughing.

"What's so funny?" He was deeply dismayed at my laughter, on top of already being quite confused.

"You," I replied. "Would you like a mirror?"

"Why, what else is wrong with me?" He demanded.

"I'm not sure if you're aware of this, but you look like a vampire… or at least that's what I would assume you are?" I smiled slightly and pulled a mirror from the pocket in my leather pants while offering it to him. He took it, staring intently at it before dropping it and backing away as if it were diseased.

"Holy s**t!" He covered his mouth with one of his clawed hands. "I can't see myself at all! Its like I don't exist!"

"What? That's odd," I remarked, retrieving the mirror and turning it various directions to try to see his reflection. Sure enough, he couldn't be seen, as if he wasn't even there.

I tilted my head and contemplated how to best explain his appearance so that he would believe me. Finally, there was no other way about it other than to hope for him to go along with what I was about to ask him to do.

"Do yourself a favor and feel your teeth, but don't bite down."

He did so and his level of shock increased.

"Oh my... are these as long as I think they are?"

"Well, I don't know how long you think they are, but they show past your lip. Your eyes have changed color as well but not enough to really be noticed."

Allan sank to the ground and began to panic even more. "How am I supposed to run the club looking like this?" His voice was getting louder and higher pitched. "No one is going to want to be there with a freak running it, I'll be ruined!"

I chuckled again. "Most likely the same way I manage. Many people assume my wearing the mask at all times must be just a personal quirk and they don't bother questioning it. Maybe you could sell the vampire characteristics as your own unique style." He glared at me, which would have been funny if he hadn't recently shown me his capabilities in battle. I sighed, knowing I would have to reveal my secret in order to bring him back to his usual state. The Voice seemed to agree and whispered into my mind that yes, now was the time to tell the truth. At least this time there was no killing to be done, merciful or otherwise. "I have a confession to make and I will explain as much as I can," I began collecting the materials I would need to repair my coat and explaining things as I understood them.

After a somewhat detailed narrative of my past and how Allan himself had changed, he finally started to ease out of his shock and getting used to the idea that he was more or less stuck with his appearance on a permanent basis. I showed him how my powers worked and informed him that for every use of magic or just because one has it, there was usually a restitution. Mine was the damage of my skin if I were to go too long without my gloves and the inability to ever remove my mask. Our educated guess was that his weakness would be sensitivity to daylight at the very least, if he didn't outright catch on fire from it. Although we weren't too thrilled about the idea of testing it, he did find that he had the typical vampire's craving for blood...

We finished out the night without much further event. Against his own judgement, Allan decided to take my suggestion and sold his image quite well. The dancers seemed to find it even more attractive if anything and as he got used to it, his confidence came back. I rode with him as he drove his way home in order to make sure he wouldn't get carried away in he newfound abilities and caught in the oncoming daylight. On my way back to my apartment however, I was attacked again. This time was quite pathetic though, since I was overtaken by a mere tomcat pissed off that I was in his territory. I scruffed the hissing feline and threw him into the nearby garbage can. I had thrown him hard enough that he was momentarily knocked senseless and I continued on my way. And again, I saw the swash of red cloth around the corner ahead of me. Once I had gotten there, she was gone and there was no way of immediately finding her, although I could hear soft giggling for a few seconds after. I was too tired to bother. If I really wanted to search for her and get the answers I so needed, I would have to do that another time. Right now I had only the energy to go home and sleep, if I could do so without the damned recurring nightmares.

Theron Shadows
Community Member
Theron Shadows
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  • [06/12/13 11:27pm]



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