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Eight Minutes to Sunrise (IC)

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November 30, 2012

4:32 a.m.

The sound of feral howling was all but deafening. It cascaded throughout the woods, or at least it seemed that way to Arcturus ran, zig-zagging his way through the trees as quickly as his legs would take him. He couldn't risk stopping. He didn't bother looking back to see if they were keeping up; he could still smell them. The scent of decay was rather hard to miss, especially out here in the middle of the woods, and the sound of a pack of rabid and outright angry wolves was a difficult thing to miss when one spent as much time outdoors as Marcus did.

How the hell do I keep getting into these things anyway?!

It was mostly a rhetorical question. He knew exactly how it happened this time. Note to self. Stop helping the old ladies.

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12 hours earlier...

"Wow. Smells like someone died in there."

Arcturus watched the crime scene investigators as they combed the scene. He knew that no one was really dead inside that building, or at least no one that had died recently. Zombies were always tough to deal with, but he managed to mostly restrain himself. A couple of scorch marks from flaming fists weren't going to hamper the police from their investigation, after all. He sat on the hood of the police car until the officer in charge came to speak to him. That's when he showed him the gem.

"You sure it's safe to be touchin' that, son?"

It was a fair question. The deep purple gem was emitting a strange black smoke in his palm, thin and just barely visible. Arcturus could smell the magic pouring off of it; it smelled of ash and dry leaves somehow. "Probably not. It's called a nightstone... Some old lady shoved this in my hands like an hour ago, looking all panicked, and then she ran off. Then those cadavers came out of nowhere. It's fine though... I've got a good place to contain this thing."

"Where's the old woman now?"

"Not sure... I lost track of her during the fight. I hope she's okay though... Apparently somebody wants this rock really badly."

"Any idea why?"

"Nightstones are part of a lot of really ugly rituals. Supposedly, you can blot out the sun with one of these. Legends though. No reason to believe that's true."

If nothing else, Arcturus had been made a believer.

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  • 2 weeks later...

November 30, 2012

4:45 am

How far had he gone? A mile? Two miles? Arcturus whirled around, and he could still smell their scent. He could just climb a tree and wait the pack of wolves out, but that wasn't guaranteed to work. These weren't ordinary wolves. He snarled, breath vaporizing against the chilled night air. The last time he'd tried to fight off a pack of adversaries, he'd landed in the hospital for a week. He really didn't have a choice now, though. Arcturus guessed he was at least 12 miles from where he'd started. There was no way he was going to run THAT far, even with magic.

The cold vapor that had been his breath began to emanate from his hands as the Frost Rune covered the back of them. He concentrated as hard as he could, even as the barking and snarling grew louder around him. He knew what a risk using 'active' magic was, especially since it took time AND he could never do it with consistency. Three times was as good as it was going to get, less if he was already exhausted. Anything more than that... he didn't want to think about.

"Alright, mutts... come get some."

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November 30, 2012

5:02 pm

Arcturus panted heavily, arms hanging loosely at his sides. The wolves had stopped coming, but he could still smell a significant of magic in the air. It couldn't be helped, really; the nightstone's power was bleeding everywhere. It was somewhat contained, far enough away from the city that it wouldn't reach as far as Ashton and Lantern Hill, but he was still within its sphere of influence.

Within his sphere of influence.

His best shot, he realized, was to make a stand until sunrise. It seemed like a thoroughly difficult thing to do alone, but having already thwarted the crazy vampire's plan to use the stone to make a haven for himself and his brood within the forest, there was very little reason not to confront the menace head-on. Already he could smell necromancy in the air, the sharp magical scent of dead leaves and ash made him nauseous the first time he'd caught it's scent in human form. He crouched as he waited for the malevolence to draw closer, not bothering to hide from it.

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