#1 Posted by Arik (86 posts) - - Show Bio
Canon comic cover

Vine City could be the busiest place in the country with more lights and people than Vegas, it even held on to a few more morals. However, you could still find a dark alley and a crime in progress. Some of them would be stopped, some would be ignored but one thing could be guaranteed: it would happen. Billow was out in human form, the cool air after a rain had coaxed him into walking the streets with his hood pushed back. After his recent business in Germany he felt very good, a whole ring of smuggling had finally been stopped and brought to justice. Never mind that the weapons were just a small part of the smuggling, humans could only handle a small taste of the evil that actually existed in the world so he made sure they only knew about the gun smuggling ring. Afterall, it wouldn't do for people to be questioning the black market on humans and their souls, would they honestly believe in a ring of dark occultists and werewolves? Not for a good many more years.

He ran a hand through his blonde hair. That scene was over for now, he could turn his attention to less dangerous jobs for now. Billow preferred to work one on one or one against a small organization instead of trying to tip toe around a large secret that might through a whole country into chaos.

Something flickered in the corner of his vision.

Ten after midnight in the city should mean that everyone sane and innocent was off the street, except for ghosts of course but he wasn't counting himself among the sane. He pointed at the hood and it instantly flew over his head, his hands found his pockets and he turned into the alleyway at a careful walk. He stopped at a intersection of alleys and watched as some sort of mugging was playing out, a young man was about to lose his wallet but something was off. Two men and a woman were holding him up but the one pinning him against the wall was the girl who didn't look old enough to be a college freshmen, her eyes had a yellow light in them. After a moment he heard a low growl of consensus among the group that sounded more animal than human.

Billow had judged what they were and he took no chances with a human's life on the line. His body filled the alleyway with dark smoke like a firework gone bad, the transformation into his wraith body was instant. Suddenly he was among them, a being of darkness and magic. His hands shot out, covered in surges of dark electricity. Billow had no more than tagged the two males and they bolted, howling and fleeing as they shifted into their true lycan forms but the female stood her ground.

She dropped the human male to swing wide and fast. It caught Billow and threw him up against the opposite wall, shattering the brick as she followed up tried to kick him all the way through the building.

He blocked her foot, rising up like smoke from a chimney to catch her second try before bounding up like a leaf on the breeze. With her in tow he launched himself up a full story and ran along the wall, dragging her and creating a ditch in the brick. They reached the edge of the building and he threw her out into the street, hard, before disappearing in a puff of smoke. The woman landed perfectly, for a wolf, on all fours a moment before she rose with elongated teeth and growing claws.

Billow had shifted into his human form again as soon as he re-appeared on the sidewalk. He threw his hood back, a scowl covering his face as he stretched out his hand toward her. It sparked and began to glow with white energy.

"Leave."

He jerked forward a step to drive his point home and she flinched, leaving him with a final and disdainful hiss before she too bolted down the dark streets. Billow watched her take off and slowly lowered his hand, once again standing on a quiet street but a little relieved that his night hadn't been nearly as dull as it started.

#2 Edited by josiah (82 posts) - - Show Bio

josiah was in an outrageously foul mood. The sweatshop he'd been working in to earn some money had just been raided, before he'd been paid for that day's work. His last fifteen dollars was sitting in his wallet, and would have to last him the rest of the week. That would work out to about one can of vienna sausages a day foodwise. He shuddered involuntarily at the thought.

On the way home, he decided to take a few shortcuts down dark alleys. "Maybe I'll get lucky and I can whale on some muggers," he mused. Halfway down one alley, his prayers were answered when he heard footsteps behind him.

josiah braced himself to respond to the attack, but was surprised when it came sooner than he'd expected. Whatever the people really were, they were faster and stronger than he'd thought and they quickly had him up against a wall. A surprisingly young looking female was holding him with one hand and glaring dangerously into his eyes. Looking back into the female's eyes, josiah could see the faint light in the alley reflecting back, making them appear to glow. It was the sort of effect he'd only seen on animals before, and helped him figure out what he was dealing with. Werewolves. While he had only read about them before, he knew enough to realize he was in for an enjoyable fight.

"Don't try to resist, human," the female warned, "you can't even comprehend what we are." "Well," josiah replied, sniffing theatrically, "judging by the smell, I'd guess you're either werewolves or you clean up roadkill for a living." The werewolves stiffened, then growled angrily. josiah was about to bend the female's thumb back to begin his attack, when the alley seemed to explode with dark light and smoke. josiah heard the sound of wolf like howls of fear and pain, and the female dropped him. Seconds later, shattered bricks fell all around him.

Stunned, josiah leapt to his feet and ran after the noise of a desperate fight, grabbing a brick along the way. Rounding the corner to the street, josiah slid to a stop behind a man in a black cloak. On the other side of the man, josiah saw a wolf frantically running away. "Long, black cloak," josiah concluded, "no way is this a good guy." As he brought the brick down towards the man's skull, josiah wondered absently if this was some kind of vampires vs. werewolves thing he'd gotten involved in.

#3 Edited by Arik (86 posts) - - Show Bio

Billow had only just lowered his hand when something solid connected with his skull. The brick to the head trick wasn't lethal to someone like him but it was a bit distracting when he hadn't even properly dispersed the spell yet. His hand went wild and he discharged a Soinneáin bán randomly into the ground beside his feet where it collided with some sort of water pipe, no doubt it fed a local fire hydrant. A fountain of water sprayed up, the pressure enough to reach over twenty feet high until the initial blast died down and left a hole in the ground, deep enough to feed the pipe into the sewer systems.

The cloaked man held his hands on top of his head for a moment and spun around, a few short steps brought him out into the middle of the street while he tried to size his new opponent up. It was the man that he had just saved, the thought crossed his mind that he might have just saved a vampire but that seemed ridiculous given the appearance of his new opponent. From a glance he didn't appear to be anything more than human. He had to be human, gutsy but human and in need of a fight for some reason. Billow finally stopped holding his head, it was done throbbing but his head was matted with blood now; he'd have to heal that eventually if he didn't want to walk around like a corpse.

"Some thanks guy."

His gauntlet clinked as he made a fist with his right hand out in front of his chest and held his left back by his side, open palmed. Billow was still unsure if this new enemy was really an enemy at all or even a threat but he obviously couldn't just turn his back, that move might have been underhanded but it took some nerve to pull off. Marx Wilder was once like that and it still surfaced now and again, the ambition to bite off a little more than he could chew and refuse to let go when his teeth sunk in. The green eyes grew sharper, tempered with intent.

He moved.

The same speed that would outrun bullets at close range moved him directly in front of the man and then he jabbed with his right, not so hard that he'd kill his opponent but hard enough to knock him back. Billow had to gauge both the physical ability of his opponent as well as the mentality, because if he was with a potential ally then teaching him would be of more benefit that bruising him.

Even if he knuckles didn't connect the strike wouldn't linger, he'd jerk his hand back immediately as it reached full extension and prepare to slam his waiting palm into whatever target he had. Plans didn't always work but having a contingency was never a bad idea, after all he could be in the presence of a powerful magician or mutant. Vine City didn't have a reputation for having a John Doe sort of population.

#4 Posted by josiah (82 posts) - - Show Bio

josiah felt a solid thunk when he connected with the man's skull. There was a sudden burst of light and an explosion of water, but the man seemed barely fazed. He clapped his hands over his head and stalked off to the middle of the street, then gave josiah an appraising look. "Some thanks guy," the man's voice called.

josiah wasn't sure what the man was talking about, what was he supposed to thank him for? Then he realized the man had thought josiah needed help and he was trying to save him. "Oh, great," josiah whispered, "I have got to start thinking before I attack." josiah had been in fights with other heroes before and he wasn't eager for another, but the man in the cloak didn't look like he was ready to listen, especially with a bloody wound on his head. A bloody wound he barely seemed to notice.

The man appeared to be getting ready to attack, with one fist held in front of him. His eyes suddenly changed, and josiah knew exactly what was coming. He swung the brick a fraction of a second before the man moved, and barely had it in position before a steel-gauntleted fist smashed it to smithereens.

josiah felt slivers of the brick cutting into his skin, and realized the man had pulled his fist back into position nearly faster than josiah could see. The force of the blow knocked josiah on his back, and he stared up at the man in awe. Then, he clenched his jaw with grim determination. "Everyone's got some weakness," he thought, "and I'm gonna find yours."

He twisted up to a crouch, then shot one leg out in a kick. A kick aimed right at the man's crotch.

#5 Posted by Arik (86 posts) - - Show Bio

The brick exploded but the human was back on his feet almost instantly. If anything this man had a good connection with that spark of life that drove the truly motivated mortals on. Billow's left hand that had waited as a striking palm acted, a slight bend to his knees as he thrust it out to connect with Josiah's foot and block the kick. However, he left it at that and pushed himself a step back so that he could give the human some room to get up. This wasn't a confrontation that called for life or death, at least not on the surface, so it would treat it in good nature and mayhaps the kid wouldn't go around slamming bricks into people's heads.

A thought crossed his mind.

"What's your name?"

He called out and jerked his palm back to his side, waiting for what the human might say. He hadn't moved with enough force to harm him so he half expected that the hooded vigilante would try and jump him, no doubt he'd get a chance to add to that wonderful head injury. Though the thought that came to him was to see just how friendly the opponent was, if he really was hopelessly outmatched then Billow might just slip him a secret ace. White magic could be used to bolster not only your own ability but that of anyone around you as long as they had a living, beating heart. Beyond having a bit of fun it would definitely narrow down his race.

Billow straightened his knees out almost completely again and relaxed somewhat, the intent all but gone from his eyes. A light smile present now.