Name: Vladimir Samuels Age: 42/appears 19 Species: Dhampir (vampire/human) Particularities: Always hungry, can't be sated by human blood or food. Hates daylight. Perpetually sleepy. An expert at dealing with vampires. His body derives power by feeding on itself, so if he uses his strength recklessly, he'll collapse of low blood pressure/anemia. Job: Delivery boy...??? /Melee specialist Personality: Tired, mostly. Always irritated because he's hungry. Slacks off during the day but looks forward to the night parts of the job. Thoughts on society: It's still too early to say if it worked out or not. Backstory: Hates his mom for giving him such a stupid vampire name. His dad wasn't in the picture, but he got the man's surname regardless. Has no particular grudge aginst vampires, but because he's genetically predisposed to killing them, prefers missions involving them. Uninterested in finding out about his dad but 100% prepared to kill him on sight. Mother was a vampire, father was a human.
Name: Tag Hopper Age: 21 Species: roof-jumper Particularities: Roof-jumpers can't walk on the ground , so they hop from scenery to scenery. Can hop very far. Strong, strong taboo against harming children . Job: Pizza chef /courier Personality: Cheerful, thrill-seeking. Loves chases, driving, going fast in general. Doesn't take much seriously unless a kid or friend is involved. Thoughts on society: Excellent, primo idea. He looks just like a human except for how he moves, so he's reaping all the benefits. Backstory: Tag was basically spoiled rotten by his family, as roof-jumpers can't stand to see any harm come to a kid. Now that he's an adult he's fairly immature and sheltered because of it. His complicated family tends to swing in and out of trouble with the law for various shit like stalking and trespassing and assault, so as a kid his house was a kaleidoscope of rotating guardians. Out of that chaos, he's trying self-sufficiency for the first time, and revelling in all the dangerous stuff he can now do without his hovering extended so-and-sos over his shoulder.
Name: Anfisa Ambrosia Age: 105 Species: dryad Particularities: Can't travel too far from her tree. Needs sunlight. Most powerful during the day, but can stock up energy through photosynthesis to attack at night. Job: Supplier /Shop protector Personality: Shy, somewhat withdrawn. Warms up slowly to people she's unfamiliar with. Often actively avoids customers and new workers due to shyness. Thoughts on society: Humans should respect the natural world more now that they know about the species that require pristine environments to survive. Dislikes humans and any supernatural creatures that pollute the environment. Backstory: Lives in the oak tree planted in the sidewalk out front of the pizza shop. Once upon a time, she lived in a forest where the shopping mall now is. Brought over from Greece as a seed, she knew none of her species growing up, and matured in isolation. She was only visited when she was young by the old man who planted her until she was ten, at which point he died. As such, she's shy and can be sheepish, and sometimes comes off as naieve or stupid due to being raised in such isolation. Holds something of a grudge against humans for razing her forest to put a shopping mall up.
Name: Mallory Obed Age: 23 Species: bouda (werehyena) Particularities: Generally, she can control her transformations, but strong emotions can still get the better of her. Can eat anything, but is primarily a carnivore, and has to eat a lot of pork to stave off human-corpse hunger pangs. Job: Cashier/enforcer Personality: Terse and in-charge. Very arrogant alpha type, but in a quiet intimidating way more than a yelling way. Doesn't seem to actually enjoy anything so much as tolerate things . Thoughts on society: God no. What the hell was anyone thinking. Now she has to pretend to give a crap about humans' feelings or whatever. They're just such milquetoast nothings compared to literally any other species, she doesn't want to waste time on them. Backstory: She left home when she turned 18, and as soon as her sister did, she came to live with Mallory, too. Now it's Mallory, her sister, and Mallory's one-night-stand two-year-old son . She's just kind of doing whatever she can to make money to get by.
Name: Takshaka Renard Raja-Weber Age: 18 Species: Nix/Naga Particularities: Can shapeshift into a half-snake and command snakes. Really good at seducing people. Excellent swimmer. Job: Cashier, cook, dishwasher... whatever needs doing / magic specialist Personality: Loves people, just loves them. Maybe a little too much. Very friendly, flirty with absolutely anyone. Pulls pranks and doesn't seem to take much seriously. Thoughts on society: Well, if it wasn't like this, his parents wouldn't have ever met, so he can't hate it, right? Backstory: His parents met through an online matchmaking site while both were pretending to be human. It was only after about a month into dating when his mom walked in on his dad in snake-form that it got out that they were both creatures. Takshaka was born only a few months after their marriage, and has several little siblings. Home life is very noisy for him. His parents are embarrasingly in love. He prefers to stay at the pizza place as long as possible just to get a little peace and quiet, and will take on odd jobs or hang around playing on his phone and chatting with the staff. A poor student, though his parents are pushing him to go to college and shape up.
Name: Ivy Tsering Age: 17 Species: Human magic practitioner Particularities: Her powers are psychokinetic in nature, and require concentration and rigorous mental discipline. As such, she tends to ritualize even mundane activities. Her greatest power is the creation of a tulpa -- an independently sentient person who manifests outside of Ivy's body. Ivy can control the tulpa's appearance to her will , but can't command the tulpa's actions magically aside from willing it in or out of her body. Job: delivery girl/information specialist Personality: Level-headed and rational, in general. A peacekeeper who tends a little towards rigidity and control-freak behavior. Dislikes mess, physical and emotional, as well as violence. Thoughts on society: It's the only decision that made any sense but obviously brings with it serious dangers that need to be planned for and guarded against. Though overall correct, it's a decision that brings a lot of mess with it. Backstory: Ivy was adopted as a child by a strictly religious (Buddhist) couple, who taught her to control her then-out-of-control magic through discipline. She's not sure who her biological parents are, what species they are, or why they gave her up, though she's long assumed that part was due to the power incontinence. Even once her powers were under control, she was lonely and anxious until she first manifested her tulpa at age 12, and has ever since been inseperable from it. She's far more likely to turn it into a mouse to keep on her shoulder than to take it back into herself, in any circumstance. It's really only compounded her difficulty in making friends.
Roleplay Reply. Do not chat here. (50 character limit.)
She jumped as Anfisa came up alongside her, even though she'd summoned the dryad herself. Something about her just didn't register with Mallory the way other people did. Like she really was just... a tree. A piece of the background. She glanced over at Anfisa and nodded, taking her in at a glance; attractive in that otherworldly way she was oh-too-familiar with, wispy and thin as though she could be blown over on the gentlest breeze. Today, though, she looked drawn, paler than usual. Not that Mallory cared. As long as she was good enough to kick some ass, that was all that mattered.
"Pixie dust. There's some idiots selling it right around the corner, in the damn middle of our territory." She wrinkled her nose at the very thought. "Bossman wants us to take them out. But I figure, why stop at the dealers? So I brought you along. You're, like, almost a pixie, right? Can you... sense where they are?"
She wouldn't be surprised if Annie couldn't. Even she couldn't smell the pixies. It wasn't [i her] fault. The city was just so damn smelly. It reeked to high hell of humans and all their stupid human activities and, now that they weren't bothering to cover their asses, creatures of all descriptions and varieties, too. She just stayed away from bridges, now. Trolls were... well. It wasn't a pleasant olfactory experience at the best of times.
"Or should we just scare the literal shit out of the dealers, huh?" Mallory suggested with a savage grin, as they rounded the corner. She was totally up for that if Annie was, though Annie, being the hippie-dippy type, usually wasn't. "Ask them where they get their shit?"
The city sprawled around them, as gross as usual. Mallory wrinkled her nose and reached for a cigarette. Anything to mask the damn stench. How humans could live like this was beyond her.
Just as she was raising the cigarette to her lips, she smelled it--the sharp, tingly scent of pixie dust. Head swiveling, she searched for them, nostrils flaring. "They're close," she warned Annie, moving slowly towards the scent. It drew her closer to a dark alley; she glanced down it from the edge. Two men, dark coats, shifty eyes. She pulled back. "Two of 'em. You ready to go, Annie?" She grinned. Always liked forcing Annie into situations like this, just to see how she'd react. "On three. One. Two."
Mallory charged towards the men before she counted to three. They jumped; one reached for something under his coat, while the other bolted. She grinned, eyes turning a little more savage, mouth bulging just a little further from her face. This was what she lived for!
A little bird hopped along a branch, head tilting rapidly from one side to the other. He flared his tail, bobbed down, let out a few inquisitive cheeps. An identical brown bird on a thin twig at the end of the branch looked determinedly in the other direction. The twitchy one hopped closer, cheeped more. At last, the silent bird opened her wings and flitted up to a higher branch. Undeterred, the noisy one followed, circling overhead in tight little zips rather than landing again. The silent one ducked, bolted away, pursued. Together, they wove a quick series of loops around the oak tree’s branches, rattling leaves and making a tiny, squeaky racket. At last, the silent bird pulled away, looping around behind the nearby building’s roof, becoming a speck in the distance in a matter of seconds. The noisy bird perched on a branch silently now, staring after her.
It's okay, Anfisa whispered through her leaves in a gentle, natural rustle. She wasn’t the one. You’re the biggest, most boldly-marked sparrow around. You’ll find someone soon.
Even after a hundred years, she wasn’t sure if birds truly understood tree-speech. She, after all, didn’t understand bird-speech, except as one highly familiar with avian body language. This one pecked desultorily around her twigs for another few seconds, before dropping to her roots to hunt crickets. He looked so disappointed. This was the last of the sparrows from last year’s nest. He’d inherited the territory that included Anfisa after his parents had died, the biggest and most aggressive of his siblings. She’d watched him from the moment he’d hatched. He’d learned to fly by branching in the cradle of her arms. She was almost as disappointed as he was to see a female reject him like this. She couldn’t wait to watch his children grow up in her arms like he had. She missed the peep of baby birds amongst her leaves.
A group of middle schoolers passed noisily by on the sidewalk, wheeling their bicycles beside them. One saw the sparrow pecking around in the grass. The sparrow looked up at them, inches away, unafraid. He was well used to noisy people passing by in and out of Special Delivery. Most didn’t pay any attention to a sparrow, and posed no danger.
One of these boys saw the sparrow. Without any buildup, he lunged, stomping right at the bird. The sparrow flinched, rolled, but not fast enough. There was no sound loud enough to be heard over the thump of rubber on dirt.
The whole group of boys flinched back, shouting, as Anfisa peeled herself out of the oak tree trunk. Her humanoid body only had to take two steps before she was shoving the boy back frantically, sending him stumbling. The group scattered, shouting, including the one who’d stomped the sparrow. Anfisa didn’t bother trying to go after them. She was falling to her knees, scooping the bird up in her hands. He didn’t struggle. To most animals, there was very little difference between Anfisa’s humanoid body and her tree one. Even like this, she didn’t register as ‘human’ to them; she was perched on quite often by all species of birds, and constantly beset by squirrels. She was able to inspect the little bird’s rapidly-pulsing body without struggle.
His poor little foot… It must not have moved in time. The rest of him was fine, but his tiny claw was broken. Tears welled in Anfisa’s eyes. How could someone do this? He hadn’t been bothering anybody at all! She petted the top of his head with her fingertips, cradling him carefully as she rose.
Anfisa was on the roof of Special Delivery when Mallory came by, settling the sparrow into his new cardboard box recovery room, with towel, water, and heat pad. The important thing was staving off shock. Once that danger was past, his foot would heal. She’d seen plenty of club-footed birds who did just fine. He’d be okay, she told herself, as she stepped lightly across the gutter and onto her branches. A quick two-step across that, and she was melting down through the trunk, emerging at the base. Mallory had gone right past without pausing. Anfisa had to hurry to keep up. “Um, did you say why? I didn’t hear, sorry,” she said, once she’d caught up. Mallory was an intimidating person. It was hard to look at her face when she talked, even though Anfisa was taller .
It smelled like garbage. Rotting tomatoes and dough, sticky sweet and thick with putrid meat. Mallory breathed out, acrid smoke for a moment replacing the sweet stench of rot. It reeked, but this was the only place she could catch a moment of silence and rest for a second in the middle of keeping a bunch of idiot teenagers in line. She raised the cigarette to her lips again and sighed out the smoke. There was something comforting in watching the smoke spiral away. Hypnotizing, almost.
The cigarette burned out, and she snubbed it on the stair, then threw it in the old can with all the others. Annie would kill her for it, but who gave a damn? Annie got so touchy about everything. Couldn't shit without Annie crying about the damn rivers.
Slowly, she pushed herself to a stand, joints creaking. Her age was catching up to her. She really ought to find a real job, quit this moonlighting bullshit. With a sigh, she rubbed her neck. But it was such a pain in the ass, having to suck up to idiot human men, of all things. At least here she had free reign, even if the pay was shit and overtime pay wasn't reliable. Yeah, like her own little castle. She didn't mind that at all.
Mallory pushed the door open and stepped inside. Tag was squatting on the edge of the counter and busily rolling out dough; she smacked him on the shoulder as she walked by. "No feet on the counter!" she snapped. There was a stool for a reason, a nice high one they'd bought just for him. Honestly.
Ivy moved out of her way as Mallory stomped past; slow hour, huh? Must be, if Ivy was here. She stepped past the curtain into the front of the shop. The kitschy decorations still pissed her off--like anyone cared what a damn pizza delivery shop looked like. Vlad was curled up on the benches by the window--the benches [i meant] for customers, and not a lazy delivery boy. She picked up one of the coasters to peg at him on instinct, but set it down when she realized; there were customers in the shop.
"And what can I get you lovely ladies?" Tak asked, leaning so far forward over the desk that he was almost falling over it. The girls grinned back, sharing shy glances with each other; Tak winked and threw his dark hair back, broad smile showing teeth that looked extra white against his a-shade-darker-than-tanned skin. "Take your time."
Mallory swallowed the urge to retch. "Tak," she snarled, "the hell are you doing at the register? I thought Tag was teaching you how to cook."
"I was covering for you while you were on break," he said earnestly, eyes Disney-princess big, tilting his head like a puppy, and for a second even Mallory thought he was cute--too cute. Disgustingly so.
"Well, I'm off it. So shoo," she snapped. Tak pouted at her, and the girls' faces fell at the same time, but she crossed her arms and stared him down until he pushed reluctantly away from the register and headed into the back. The girls watched him until he disappeared, then stared after him, eyes vacant and mouths agape, until Mallory got sick of that and cleared her throat. "What can I do for ya?" she asked.
The girls jumped a bit, as though they'd forgotten she was in the room, then blinked and stared quickly down at their menus. Mallory crossed her arms and waited impatiently. Humans. Always so slow about everything! Though she understood taking their time with ordering pizzas, since pizza was amazing, did they really have to take so much of it?
Just as the girls finished ordering, the phone rang. Mallory nodded as she handed over a receipt and pressed the phone to her ear. "Hello, Special Delivery Pizza, what can I do ya?"
The voice on the other end was familiar; her nose wrinkled in instinctive disgust. "I've got a job for you," the man said, voice deep, colored with the kind of whiskey-gravel that made her picture tweed, overstuffed chairs, and family portraits on the wall.
She faked a smile just to get the girls to scamper, then growled into the phone, "Spit it out, old man."
The man paused; she could hear ice clicking against glass, and didn't need much imagination to picture the single-malt, aged-beyond-common-sense whiskey he was sipping. He took his time drinking it, and with every moment, Mallory's frustration rose, her lips unconsciously curling away from her teeth. This man--! She swore he did it on purpose.
"Pixie dust," he said at last, and Mallory's frustration turned straight to anger, pure and undiluted. Humans! It'd been a mistake, mixing with them, a mistake from the start! All they did was pervert and take advantage of everything they could get their grubby little hands on. Even the annoying little pixies didn't deserve to get treated like that, exploited just so some idiot humans could get high!
"Where?" she said, only just suppressing her anger enough to spit the word.
"They're selling it just around the block," the man said evenly. "The nerve! The utter lack of respect! We can't let this go. But--hmm, I think it's better if the children don't see this?"
Mallory nodded tersely. She understood.
The line went dead, and Mallory slammed the phone down and grabbed her coat from the rack. "Tak, cover for me!" she shouted, even as she stormed out the door. She looked up at the old oak tree that spread its limbs over the front of the shop, then nodded. "Let's go, Annie." They had a job to do.