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 The Imagined City

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PostSubject: The Imagined City   Sat Jun 13, 2015 9:14 am

He was dying. Again. He sucked in the air through his teeth, coughing on the blood at the back of his throat. His lungs were on fire. Greystone had been through this enough times to know that he didn't have long to go. What a stupid way to die.

He'd been investigating one of decrepit buildings on the edge of his city. It was by the river, where it frequently flooded and where the cheapest housing was located. The original site of the building was Tudor (1579, exactly), but nothing of that original structure remained. It was Victorian, by and large, but regular flooding had irreparably damaged it. Greystone had been on the second floor when the floor fell through, taking him and a good portion of the heavy wooden supports with it.

He was laid on the flagstone floor of the building's kitchen, underneath large pieces of debris from the collapsed floor above, and had been for several minutes. The pain from various broken bones, a concussion and what (in his less than professional opinion) was probably a punctured lung was agonizing. Greystone could only hope that it would stop soon, and with him struggling to maintain consciousness, his wish was close to being granted.
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PostSubject: Re: The Imagined City   Mon Jun 29, 2015 2:56 pm

Working cases had always been a dream, and this murder case had brought her to a strange and yet strangely welcoming town. The murder was odd, but that didn't matter right now. Neo had been called to go investigate a building falling in on the edge of town, encase anyone was stuck inside or if it had to do with the strings of murders.

For such a quaint town, it sure did have some interesting murders. She was walking toward the building when she pulled her gun out of it's holster on her hip. She adjusted her coat on her shoulders before pushing through the shattered doorway into the collapsed building. Streaming sunlight light up the dust particle heavy air and looked over the debris. The second floor had caved inward. She sure hoped no one had fallen through or been stuck in this mess. She sighed, walking carefully into the house, gun in front of her encase of trouble.

In the silence of a fallen building, she heard labored breathing and she froze, eyes pin pointing onto the position of the man on the ground in what used to be a kitchen. She holstered her gun and quickly ran to him, jumping over the debris. The stench of blood immediately hit her nose and she bit down on her lip and quickly pulled out her radio. "Hello? Yes I need an ambulance at the house immediately. Their is a casualty." She heard the affirmative and the faint sirens in the background.

"I'm going to get you out of here, I promise. Just.. Hang in there. Focus on me. What's your name?" Neo asked as she began to asses the damage and move the debris that weren't punctured into his flesh off of his body.
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PostSubject: Re: The Imagined City   Sun Jul 05, 2015 7:38 am

The pain was fading, it was a dull ache at the back of his mind. Disappearing in the wake of the darkness he was about to fall into, if only for a few moments. He would live as long as the city lived, so long as Penhallick carried on, so would he. When the city was damaged, it showed on him. He had the scars to prove it.

Then, he heard footsteps and a voice saying something he struggled to make out. Greystone shifted and immediately regretted it. He hissed in pain, the sound whistling through his teeth. The person stood above him didn't seem to be panicking. Whoever they were... they were trained? Probably? It could get messy if they saw what was inevitably going to follow.

Where were the City Guard when you needed them?

He tried to clear his lungs to speak and the only sound was a faint rattle. Fuck. "I... Don't need help." he managed, his voice cracked and unconvincing.
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PostSubject: Re: The Imagined City   Sun Jul 05, 2015 5:06 pm

Neo seemed less than amused when her patient said he didn't need help. "Like hell you don't need help," She said, though she was relieved that he was talking to her. At least he hadn't lost consciousness quiet yet, which was good. She looked over her shoulder to see if she could see the lights of the ambulances as they fast approached. She bit her lip, looking over the man.

She had taken a few classes on first aid, and she was almost one hundred percent sure that this man was going to die and also she shouldn't move him. She bit her lip. She hated being in situations like this where she just felt so helpless and the man in front of her was probably going to die. It was part of the business though. She would stay by his side as long as she could, even if he was a bit of an ass hole, and then she'd see if the damage was an explosion or not. Perfect emotional mask. She wouldn't let this effect her. It happens.
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PostSubject: Re: The Imagined City   Sun Jul 05, 2015 5:28 pm

Grey closed his eyes, biting back a reply he wasn't sure he could even enunciate. It was a bit of a moot point, anyway. His breaths became even shallower, and without much ceremony, Greystone died.

He was like that for a moment. Pale, and vulnerable looking.

Then he started to heal. The splinters and beams that had pierced his skin turned to dust and the wounds they'd caused closed up. There was an audible crack as the bones that had been broken righted themselves and fixed themselves in place. Finally, his chest rose and he coughed. "Ugh. Fuck. Shit. Ugh."

He was still trapped under the mess of wooden beams and plaster, just uninjured. He looked up at Neo, trying to gauge her reaction. Sirens getting closer. "Don't suppose there's any chance you didn't see that, right?"
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PostSubject: Re: The Imagined City   Sun Jul 05, 2015 6:40 pm

Neo watched as the predicted happened. The man suddenly turned pale and lifeless as Neo looked at her watch to mentally mark down the time. She was ever prepared to do her job, no matter how morbid or how sad it was. She was about to stand up and dust the dirt off her pants when things started to move and change before her eyes. The crack brought with it a strong wave of nausea to Neo, which she held down as est she could.

"What the fuck? What the fuck?!?" Neo stated as the man before her began to talk, swearing as Neo got to her feet and pointed a gun to the mans head. What the hell was going on? He acted so nonchalantly as if this was an everyday ordeal. Her hands were shaking a little bit which Neo hated to see as she steeled herself and steadied her gun.

"What the hell are you?!" She demanded.
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PostSubject: Re: The Imagined City   Sun Jul 05, 2015 6:52 pm

"Guess not." Greystone said, sighing slightly as Neo shouted and the gun was pointed at his head. He'd been hoping for something of a calmer response. He really could have done without all of this today.

"Okay, calm down. The ambulance will be here soon, and what will the paramedics think when they see you pointing a gun at my head? Secondly, if I've obviously just come back from the dead it's highly unlikely that shooting me is going to help anything. Besides, I'm trapped anyway, it's not like I can do anything to you." Grey hoped that he was making sense, he didn't want the woman to panic anymore than she already was. It wouldn't be fair on her if she got reprimanded or suspended or something because she'd seen something she couldn't explain.

"My name is Oliver Greystone. Greystone is the rough translation of what the Celts, the Brigantes tribe actually, used to call this area. I'm a genius loci, a spirit of place. I grew up with this city from it being a settlement on the edge of a river. I live so long as the city lives."
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PostSubject: Re: The Imagined City   Sun Jul 05, 2015 7:01 pm

Neo was slightly, ok more than slightly, baffled as the man just told her what he was and was making more sense then her brain was which was running itself in circles and confusing itself even more. She blinked a few times before she slowly put her gun back in it's holster. It didn't make sense. Nothing made sense. Then again, a lot of things hadn't made sense since she had gotten to this city so there was that too.

"R-right. The ambulance." Neo said before her shakey hands grabbed the radio on her hip and she told the ambulances to stand down. Despite the protesting she just hardened her voice. She knew she wasn't going to get away with that, but what the hell else was she supposed to say to explain the mess in front of her? She'd figure something out. She always did.

"So you're telling me, you're basically this town?" Neo asked, beginning to regain her perspective and what the hell was going on in this crazy ass town.
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PostSubject: Re: The Imagined City   Sun Jul 05, 2015 7:13 pm

He watched her call the ambulance off, perhaps wondering if it was best course of action all things considered. He was still stuck under this rubbish, so unless the woman in front of him could lend him a hand he was going to be stuck under it for awhile.

"Uh. Yeah. That's the short version." he agreed.

It was quiet for a moment, the awkwardness settling over Grey like a fine layer of dust.

"Um... You don't feel like giving me a hand, do you?"

He would have to speak with her properly, discuss her options. It was important for normalcy to be maintained, but equally, Greystone wanted to sort this out himself. If he could avoid getting the City Guard involved, he would.
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PostSubject: Re: The Imagined City   Sun Jul 05, 2015 7:19 pm

Neo nodded, attempting to grasp everything and then sized up the man infront of her stuck int he rubbish. Yeah calling off that ambulance wasn't the best idea. She sighed. "Damnit brain work," She mumbled rubbing her temple before setting off to pull the debris off from around the man.

They weren't that hard to jostle out of place as Neo was rather strong, though her image wouldn't portray that that easily. She pushed the heavier debris off before giving Greystone her hand to pull him out the rest of the way. "Neo, by the way. Neo Verum."
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PostSubject: Re: The Imagined City   Mon Jul 06, 2015 2:14 am

He took her hand, pulling himself up and dusting himself off. He gave himself a quick once over to check for injuries, more of a habit than anything else. Greystone knew he wouldn't find anything. Whatever magic controlled his immortality did a thorough job. Even non-life threatening injuries were healed. He was a little worse for wear and covered in dust, but otherwise, perfectly all right.

"Thanks." he nodded. "Nice to meet you, Neo." A strange name, he thought, but in his time Greystone had heard stranger.

He frowned, suddenly, as a thought came to him. "If you don't mind the question, what are you doing here?" How odd it was for a normal human to end up exactly where Greystone was, relatively vulnerable after today's events. Unless someone had heard the crash and called the police, which was possible, but all the same. Greystone had enemies, anyone who'd been alive for as long as he had would have, and although he was finally free of the wreckage after the hours spent trapped beneath it, he didn't have the energy left to fight. It was a golden opportunity for anyone with a grudge.
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PostSubject: Re: The Imagined City   Mon Jul 06, 2015 4:27 am

Neo watched as Greystone looked over his injuries as if they were there. It was bizarre really. Then again, she should be used to the strange and the bizarre by now, right? She sighed softly to herself. Everything was complicated and it made Neo annoyed. Why did everything have to just keep getting complicated too? "Nice to meet you too Greystone," Neo said in reply to the man before her.

The question of why she was there struck her as odd. An entire building collapsed underneath him and made a fairly large sound, so you would think someone would come looking. "I'm a detective here on a case. The building collapsed and someone called it in so I went to investigate to see if the two were linked. Do you think the building collapsing could be sabotage of any sort?" She asked, regaining her professional tall stature as she pulled out a small notebook and a pen from her coat pocket in order to take notes on what the man would say. She would investigate further before leaving, obviously, regardless if the place still smelled like blood and dust.
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PostSubject: Re: The Imagined City   Mon Jul 06, 2015 7:35 am

That explanation seemed simple enough; Grey couldn't be sure she was telling the truth, of course. The only thing he could do on that score was wait and see if her behavior gave her away. It seemed most likely, however, that Neo was exactly what she said she was. Speaking of which... "What investigation is it? I know of most things that go on around here, for the most part anyway. I could probably help you." It was the least he could do, all things considered after scaring her like that.

"I was out here checking on some of the water damaged buildings, if any of them had any particular significance I was going to let my people know so they could get a preservation order or something. The buildings around here are generally pretty empty, and for good reason. If it was sabotage they picked a damn weird place." That, and most of these buildings were ready to fall down anyway. Years of regular flooding had reduced them to rotten hulls of their former selves. Grey would have to check out the rest of them at some point, but definitely not today.

"Would you like to go outside? Even if you're not finished checking this place over, I honestly wouldn't like to risk staying here for much longer."
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PostSubject: Re: The Imagined City   Mon Jul 06, 2015 8:52 am

Neo looked over the man, her eyes narrowing. She was uncomfortable giving away information on a topic that was kept pretty secret from the people. Well, it had been getting out as local newspapers began to spill the beans that, yes, there were murders going on and yes that was why there was a weird detective wandering around who has a messed up right eye with a gnarly scar to match. She had read those papers and had walked away rather annoyed. Just because her eyesight was impaired in one eye did not mean she was any less of a detective. "I'm investigating the murders. You've probably heard about it and about me if you are what you say you are," She said. Though she didn't really believe the man. It was all very confusing.

Neo listened very intently, nodding every once and a while as she took down notes on her paper. It wouldn't make sense for the killer to be out here anyways. It just didn't add up with how the murderer did murder. People suddenly drowned miles away from where there was even an ocean. It was a tricky case, but she doubted this had anything to do with it.

"Yeah let's go outside. I'm not to fond of the smell of dust and blood. I doubt this has anything to do with the investigation anyways," Neo said, scratching her chin slightly.
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PostSubject: Re: The Imagined City   Mon Jul 06, 2015 9:25 am

"I know about the murders. Well... To some extent. My..." he sighed. "I've been advised to keep away from these things by my people, the City Guard. They feel it's best that I don't have too much influence. I believe their holding an investigation of their own. Not that I'm supposed to tell you about that. Hah." Greystone looked hesitant, almost sheepish. He knew he really wasn't supposed to be talking about this with her, but then again, she was talking about things she should be telling him.

He looked up at her. She was about an inch taller than he was, but it wasn't much. She was a distinctive character, and Greystone was the opposite. He had a few freckles across his nose, wide brown-grey eyes, and ashy brown hair to match. It had been cut short, but had since grown and become a little bit shaggy. "I don't know everything that happens in the city. Sometimes I can find things, bring out the echoes of things that have happened. It's not exactly precise. But I do know you're not a citizen here, you haven't been here before, nor have you stayed here for very long. You don't feel at home here."

He moved outside, drawing his bloodstained and dust covered cardigan a little tighter around him. There was a cool wind here beside the river.

"It goes without saying that you can't mention anything you've seen to anyone else, Neo." The intimacy of using her first name sounded strange to him. He hadn't had much contact with people lately. "Keeping normalcy and all of that stuff." He was disinterested in this spiel, but obligation prevented him from skipping over it.
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PostSubject: Re: The Imagined City   Mon Jul 06, 2015 6:13 pm

"I guess that makes sense. Wouldn't want the actual city getting into it or something," Neo said with a slight chuckle. It seemed odd that he was so sheepish, though she was sure that he wasn't supposed to be telling her these things. Just like she had been advised against telling anyone of the situation at hand, no matter how pestery and annoying the reporters were. It was a two way street though, and she knew better than to ask more questions.

Neo looked at the man before her for the first time and sized him up. He was rather plain, she thought, though his thick hair was a bit adorable if she had thought about it for too long. She wore a long black trench coat, (very cliche but she loved the pocket space) her dark brown hair pulled into a tight high pony tail on her head. Her scar racked her right eye and hindered her vision. Her piercing gold eyes made her stand out even more in a crowd despite her scar. Greystones description of her was a bit eerily spot on. It could have been easily guessed but something about the way he said it made her shiver slightly. It was a bit odd to say the least. She didn't need reply as she was sure her expression did that for her as she followed the man out of the shattered house.

Neo pulled in her trench coat to fight the river breeze. It didn't bug her too much, but it did bring security with it. "Considering you're not part of my case, I'm not going to mention it to anyone. Regardless, if you do become part of my case that's a different story," Neo said with a smug smile. Regardless of if he was part of her case or not, she didn't want to push the police of this town to far, or whatever they were. Greystones regeneration abilities were none of her concern. She was here for a murder case and nothing else.
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PostSubject: Re: The Imagined City   Tue Jul 07, 2015 7:07 am

Grey shrugged. "I think they just prefer me to keep a low profile. It's easier if I stay out of trouble." The City Guard couldn't actually stop Grey from doing what he wanted, they had once been his own personal force and their origins stemmed from as far back as the Roman occupation of the site. Over the years, Greystone had become more of a symbolic figure than their leader, but that wasn't to say he didn't have any real power with in it. More often than not, he was content to leave the current leader to do their job and only check in when necessary. The guard was always busy, keeping the magical population of the city in check, and so he was left to his own devices.

That being said, between occasionally helping out the guard and renewing the wards on his city... Oliver Greystone had become bored. His life was a monotonous mix of bureaucracy and routine with little relief from anything else. But this golden-eyed woman seemed to be presenting him with an end to this. Damn the guard, he couldn't live his life hiding, especially when his citizens were being murdered.

Greystone met her eyes. "Is that an offer?"
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PostSubject: Re: The Imagined City   Thu Jul 16, 2015 4:58 pm

Neo nodded. It made sense. If this guy was who he really said he was, then it might be a problem if he was sticking his nose places where it didn't belong. She was used to that by now though. Came with the business. A loved one, trying desperately to find out details that were not allowed to be given. A mayor or a town official demanding to know what was going on in their town when the info could not be disclosed. She was used to disappointing people. But regardless, something about this man made her excited and thrilled for the chase, whatever it was.

Neo met Grey's eyes steadily, her nearly blind eye looking very lifeless compared to her shining perfect gold eye. A smug smile crept it's way onto her face. "It might very well be. Are you up to putting your life on the line for an investigation Oliver Greystone?"
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PostSubject: Re: The Imagined City   Mon Jul 27, 2015 5:19 pm

Greystone made a noncommittal gesture. "You realize I'm immortal anyway, right?" He realized that probably wasn't the answer Neo was looking for and became a little more serious. "But nonetheless, I'm willing to risk dying in numerous awful ways." It sure beat hanging around the old city, occasionally checking in with the city guard, but otherwise doing very little. Despite the fact that at one time he'd been their leader, and was even now the figurehead of the organization, Greystone sometimes wondered if he was more of an inconvenience to them than anything else. He knew, to some extent, that it wasn't entirely true, his opinion still carried a lot of weight, and in matters to do with the bricks and mortar of the city Grey was unchallenged. (Who would be stupid enough, after all, to challenge a genius loci about the place they guarded? The place they were?) But, as of late, they'd been determined to keep him out of the firing line as far as it pertained to the other matters of the city.

"Where do we start?"
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PostSubject: Re: The Imagined City   Fri Jul 31, 2015 4:31 pm

Neo's ears burned a little as she realized, that yes, this man was immortal, and yes, she did just ask if we was willing to risk his life. She just favored the dramatic to much. She smiled regardless at his positive reply, happy that he was willing to die multiple times in the name of justice. Neo stood taller, puffing her chest out with confidence. She was ready to start the investigation with a partner. It was like all her favorite crime shows as a kid. The attractive women with the male sidekick. However, all of those ended in relationships and Neo wasn't much for that. Her last relationship left her with a partially working eye.

Neo smiled brightly at Grey. "The last location of the murder was in an abandoned apartment building in the middle of town. Let's head back there and see if theirs any more clues I can find since I was interrupted by coming here to see if their was any casualties that would cause permanent death," Neo said with a smug smile. She turned on her heel and began walking toward the direction of the murder. "Onward subordinate!" Neo stated with a finger in the air as she began to march away.
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PostSubject: Re: The Imagined City   Sat Oct 31, 2015 7:31 am

Grey was quite happy to take the lesser role in this investigation, it wasn't as if he'd really done any of this before in a professional way. In his years, he had been involved with a few investigations, but nothing like this. Though, "subordinate" was perhaps pushing it a little far. He couldn't help but be amused by Neo's manner, she was unlike anyone he'd ever met before. So much larger than life. "Sure," he said, but she'd already marched ahead. Unwilling to be left behind, Grey ran after her.

The apartment building was close to the Old City, and Grey was surprised he hadn't noticed before now. Perhaps he was looking his touch in his old age? That was the problem with cities, the older they were, the more people came, it became more and more difficult to pick out specific people from the crowd. Maybe, one hundred, two hundred years ago he'd have been precisely aware of the murder. Greystone had always been close to his citizens. The thought of becoming so impersonal was something of a worry to him. He decided to store it away for now, he could worry about that later. "So, here we are," he said, after a moment or two. "Lead on, Boss." He was humoring her, perhaps she'd miss his slightly wry tone of voice.
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