katyafeline: (Default)
Katya has acquired herself a feast. Pelmini, black bread spread with thick with soft cheese, a pyramid of tangerines, and sbiten made with wine...

Maybe her eyes were bigger than her stomach.

Maybe she can be convinced to share.
katyafeline: (Dark - Battle mage)
 There's trouble brewing.  Katya can feel it roiling, an uneasy prickly feeling like a lightening storm about to break.  She stalks the halls, trying to ignore it, trying to work it off  There's so many here, most not under her purview, most not wanting or needing her help anyway - most likely this has nothing to do with her.

Doesn't keep her from her rounds.  It's a long-ingrained habit, she's given up hope that she'll ever be able to shed it.

She's down near the staff quarters, almost ready to call it a night with a bottle of vodka when the tension breaks, unrolling in a long wave and the crack of a thrown punch breaking bone.  Rolling her shoulders, Katya meanders into the gym to investigate.  

What she finds is infuriating.   There's a heavily muscled man - trained, American, military by his tattoos and his posture, practically alight with his unreasoning hatred.  There's a lighter-framed man, with a dancer's build and a bloodied nose sprawled across the gym mats, gingerly curling in on himself in self-defense.  Not that the lack of severe resistance seems to be doing much to defuse the soldier, no - if anything, it seems to be angering him further.  With the mood in the room, there's going to be a murder tonight.

That's just... something she can't abide, here.  It's still not her purview, this is not a fight between Light and Dark, just a sordid and uneven brawl between humans.  

But she does have an interest in who wins.  One man she doesn't know other than in passing, with no interest in knowing further.  The other... the other, despite a history that should make him anathema to a creature such as herself has proven himself to be a safe harbor, someone she can have at her back without worrying about him putting a knife there.

The lights go out in the gym, to the the accompaniment of a low, vicious growl.  

She'll give the soldier credit.  He doesn't panic when the lights die, he doesn't lose his head, and he even manages to get in a blow when she sacrifices closing safely for closing quickly.  She isn't interested in a long fight, or in playing fair, a diving lunge turning in to a clawed swipe halfway through, tearing through clothes and flesh alike.  Katya has never been one to go for half-measures.

The lights come back on with a flicker, and the situation is changed.  Now two men are on the floor, but one is bleeding profusely.  Katya flicks blood off her fingers, then reaches down to pull Tahno back to his feet, draping his arm over her shoulders and twining her arm around his waist.

"Come on, ребенок выдра ,it is now my turn to be the caregiver." She informs him a wry grin, the waitrats that came in the commotion skittering away from her path.  They can take care of the soldier - she has other concerns.
katyafeline: (Dark - Silly Human)
 Katya grins  as she stands, her movements smooth and unguarded again.  

"In that, you are right."  There are only four who could reasonably command her, and she's only seen one of them in the last year.  "Come, let me make you feel good, and you can ensure I do not disappear off to some disastrous end, mmm?"
katyafeline: (Dark - Battle mage)
Katya has gradually become used to the idea of calling Milliways a home, of sorts - and now her room reflects that.  The anonymously boring bedsheets and blankets have been replaced by ones with riotous colors and textures - silks and velvets and thick wool.  Bookshelves have slowly crept their way in, filled with second-hand books in a veritable United Nations-worth of languages, all rubbing elbows together with no sense of general organization, interspersed with various trinkets - a long white feather, two floppy-eared cloth rabbit dolls with shiny black button eyes, a slightly chipped china teacup with a delicate design in blue and gold.

And of course the swords - several swords, of various ages and descriptions, hung up on the walls.  Her old collection is now long lost, but no one said she couldn't start again.

Of course, Katya isn't much in the mood for giving a tour and explanation at the moment.


Sep. 7th, 2014 05:22 pm
katyafeline: (Dark - Battle mage)
He's furious.

This place is a shock after so long trapped in the unending grind of war. It's so... clean. And quiet. And it makes him unreasonably furious that no one here seems to know, seems to care that they have it so good. Autor slumps into one of the booths, using the shadows there as a shield to keep from having to socialize with anyone.

The world greys out. Shock, he self-diagnoses. He should have gotten food, or water, or... something. He doesn't feel shocky, but what else...

"The Gloom." He's been through too much to flail now, and if the witch-woman is missing his once-common reaction, she doesn't show any signs of it. She's sitting across from him, her usual bangles gone in place of a clean white linen suit. "And you've seen it at least once before."

"What are you talking about?" He queries peevishly, curling into himself as the temperature slowly drops.

"You are not ill, you are in the Gloom." He looks away, intent on ignoring her, but she makes a sharp sound that demands his attention. "And you will die here if you do not return to the normal world. You did it yourself by instinct, I suspect, the first time. Most do."

He bristles at the implied threat, but the temperature is continuing to drop, the space around them becoming darker.

"No, it isn't. But your shields are... well. We'll work on that. But not now - you are tired and drained, and you need to step out of the Gloom." He gives her a sharp look, but she only grins, a sharp look that somehow looks more inhuman in the half-light. "Up. Now. Get up." Her voice drops into a growl more felt than heard, one that gets his legs moving without further input from his brain. Autor turns to ask what she means by this, but suddenly the light and sound of the bar has returned, and Katya, in her habitual jeans coat and bangles, is shaking her head.

"Stubborn. Welcome to the Light, Autor."
katyafeline: (Dark - curious)
Katya's room is almost in direct contrast to the woman who keeps it - where she's wearing enough bangles and earrings and necklaces to be just on barely on the tasteful side of gaudy, her room is practically militaristic. A few things break up the clean, blank lines - a hefty old-fashioned radio set in the corner, a rack of swords along one wall (each one different, each one immaculately well-kept), a heavy and battered leather duster left abandoned over the back of an armchair.

The radio must be on a motion sensor - when Katya pushes Jay into the room, it splutters to life, Freddy Mercury's voice on low filling the empty spaces.
katyafeline: (Default)
Somehow he always gets these oh-so-glamorous jobs. Clint stares at himself in the mirror of one of the most ridiculously over-the-top bathrooms he's ever seen. Seriously, this guy is compensating for something. This was supposed to be a nice, quick, 'while you're in town, Barton' sort of mission - a local crime-slash-drug boss was evidently thinking about going big-time, and needed a quiet talking-to. The meeting had been set up, he'd shown up at the appropriately swank address in the dead of night, and... well, now he'd been cooling his heels for an hour. He's not sure if 'unexpected meeting' means some sort of actual business problem, or the boss was too high on his own product to talk sense. At this rate, he might be done in time for breakfast - most likely, it'll be a late brunch.
Frank D'Amico does not strike him as a particularly savvy businessman, or a particularly great threat. His men are very minimally trained, and he spends money like it's going out of style. Take the bathroom he's in for example - even the toilet seat is heated. It's all a little bit ridiculous - he's met Hollywood executives with a greater sense of viciousness. One hour more, he decides. One more hour, and then he's out of here - some other agent can introduce this guy to the idea that being a big fish in a small pond just makes you a fat meal when you jump in to the ocean.
And then the gunshot rings out. Just one, down the hallway by the sound of it. Most likely from one of the guards by the elevator, the ones in the suits that looked sharp but would probably prove to be shabby in the presence of real money. Seconds tick by without a retort, and he cautiously retreats further into the room, making sure that there's solid furniture between himself and the door (not hard - there's enough wardrobes and chairs and ornate bits of decoration in here to fortify himself for days).
"Hawkeye to backup, shot fired, what's the story?" He murmurs, trusting the throat mike to pick up his voice.
"No information - some kid went into the lobby a while ago, no motion since."
Well, no kid is going to be up here, so that's singularly unhelpful.
"The elevator is not an option - alternate routes out?" He has no idea what they've decided to shoot themselves up about, but he isn't about to get in the middle of it.
"There's a..." The rest is drowned out in a fusillade of gunfire - multiple calibers, multiple skill levels - some people out there are firing with a somewhat trained calm, but others are acting like the whole aim is to fill the air with as much hot lead as possible in the shortest amount of time. Clint gets low, fast, sprawling against the gold-ingrained tile.
"Exit, now!"
"Out the window, there's a rain spout that is five feet away from a fire escape. If you can get into the hall you..."
"Hell no. I'm taking that one, get someone to cover me." The number of guns firing is whittling down rapidly, and he really doesn't want to be around when whoever wins decides to see who else is up here. The window isn't designed to open, but shatters under vigorous application of a chair.
Escaping a skyscraper from the outside is not fun, but it has the benefit of not including bullets - evidently whoever was lighting up the place either didn't know he was there, or didn't care. Once he navigates the tricky space between drain spout and fire escape the rest is relatively easy, if tedious, and has him muttering unkind things about pick-up jobs he didn't want in the first place as he rounds the corner towards the front of the building, to get to the waiting van.
And that's when the machine-gun fire echos overhead. The source is easy to find - there's a kid in an honest to God rocket pack firing two Gatling-guns into the apartment he so recently left. The kid sprays the entire side of the building - where the kitchen was, if he remembers the layout correctly. Some day, he's going to write a book, and it's going to be titled 'How to not look like an idiot when firing a gun', and the first chapter will be 'Aim'. Actually, that might be the whole book right there.
"Enjoy hearing loss, kid." He mutters as he jogs across the street to the waiting van. Both of the SHIELD agents serving as his backup are working, one - Hamilton- on his cell phone while pulling up files on the mobsters above, the other - Lang - reviewing surveillance video.
"What's the story?" Clint asks once he gets himself settled, snatching one of the bottles of water from storage. "What's with Rambo up there?"
"Ever see the Kick-Ass video?" He's asked in return by Hamilton, and is treated (this being a highly dubious description of events) to a video filmed on what was obviously a cell phone of a young man getting his ass kicked by three gang members while protecting a fourth. It's all very inspiring, he's sure, but something big has happened to launch this kid from there to attacking a mobster in his own home.
"There's more where that came from." Lang adds in, and pulls up a link to the 'Kick-Ass Unmasked' video, which is... educational, to say the least. From this video, he can surmise three things - Big Daddy is most assuredly dead or wishing he was, Kick-Ass is nothing much more than a very frightened kid in over his head, and that girl is possibly more crazy and deadly than her dad.
He has a sneaking suspicion he knows who started the light show upstairs.
"You said a little girl went into the building? Let me see." He hovers over Lang's shoulder until the video comes up, and there she is - same skirt, same economy of movement even when rocking pigtails and a rolling suitcase instead of a cape and a gun. He watches as she taps on the door insistently, and evidently made convincing enough sad faces to be allowed inside.
"Well, the doormen are dead too." Clint announces - three bright flashes reflect off the door glass. Most likely she was using a silencer at that point, or the sound would have been audible to the agents here in the van, and he would have gotten a warning a whole heck of a lot earlier.
"Shit, what is she, ten?" Lang sounds aghast - probably thinking about his own little girl, who can't be much younger than this kid.
"Maybe a small eleven or twelve." Clint agrees.
"Shit, we've got to, shit," Lang's half out of his seat with his sidearm already out of its holster before Clint shoves him back into place.
"From what I heard, she's treating everyone up there as a hostile, and she's good. You won't get two steps inside that apartment. On the plus side, I don't think anyone needs to worry about this D'Amico character." He grabs another bottle of water, and his P30 he had stashed away. "I'm going to see what I can see from up high - I'm sure someone's going to want to know what's going on."
He understands, sometime, why Coulson likes to be the one in the suit and the official identification - the doorman can't seem to open the door fast enough for him once the guy gets a look at Clint's ID - never mind it's the faked FBI one for his current cover, not his real SHIELD ID. The office he breaks into is quiet this time of night... morning, he realizes - it's getting on late enough that soon the sun is going to rise. He's just settled in with good line-of-sight to the window he knows is D'Amico's office when the next act of this crazy three-ring circus kicks off. A heavily-built man in a suit (D'Amico he identifies, from staring so long at the man's file) explodes out of his own office window, sailing out over the street below... and then literally explodes. The swearing he can hear over his comm unit lets him know that at least he isn't hallucinating. That helps, because not five minutes later two kids (one the now-deaf teenager, the other one the girl, bloodied and looking decidedly worse for wear) lift off with that rocket pack, heading north.

Well. Coulson's going to love this.
katyafeline: (Dark - Silly Human)

A tiny girl, with light delicate steps, slips into the bar.

And immediately disappears into the shadows, wary and watchful. She isn't sure how she got here, but she isn't about to surrender this rare chance to spend some time away from her trainers.
katyafeline: (Default)
Skellig has gotten himself worked into a fine state over a creature in their newest city (lots of good food, still not cold enough to have a proper winter). She's prowling through the Gloom tonight, both mapping the unfamiliar town and looking for any clues as to what is upsetting Skellig so.

She is distracted, momentarily, by a trio of cats scrapping down an alley way, visible even two levels deep in the Gloom, all three turning to hiss at her once she is close enough. She laughs at their ire, then frowns.

There are gouges here, cut deep into the buildings. The signs of a fight in close quarters, a no-holds-barred brawl like she used to get into on a regular basis. Her delicate fingers trace the outline of the scars, cut deep into the brickwork. Odd. Very odd. It is almost as if...

There is a shout, in the distance. Not a shout, a battlecry, and she isn't even thinking as she races through the streets, her furred paws tearing into the ground to gain traction. She isn't thinking when ahead, she can see the flash and flare of spells being loosed, illuminating a knot of men and women in white, surrounded by creatures foul. She isn't thinking when she catches their attention with a low guttural roar, catching a lizard in leathers across the throat and bearing it down under her weight.

It's the silence that brings her head up, a paw still heavy over her prey's chest to keep it pinned. They're staring at her - the people in white, the creatures (though most of the latter are taking this moment to get the heck out of Dodge). They're staring, with varying expressions of grief, shock, horror, and fury.

"Katya?" The smallest asks soft and low, and Katya blinks because she knows that shock of dirty blonde hair, cut short and dyed at the ends despite her mentor's best attempts at monitoring her. But it's quickly hidden from sight as the others close rank ahead of the child, defenses to the fore. She can feel the menace hidden in the hands of the man with the intellectual face (Garik, drinking and arguing fiercely in her library while they hid from the summer heat), she can see naked fury on the face of the man built like a male model (Ignat, exclaiming in despair over the state of her hair), she can feel the burn from the curses leveled at her from the stocky man in the center (Seymon, laughing uproariously as she went toe-to-toe with him, all frizz and spark and not older than fourteen, trying to defend her chosen street name and failing horribly).

The fur melts away and she rises, suddenly realizing that the buildings around her are as familiar as her bangles, which she knows better than her hands (back or front) - her hands change, her bangles never have. Home. She's home, she's home, these are her people, her watch, she's home. She takes a step forward, beaming, and is knocked fiercely back on her ass by a wall of cold, summoned by Seymon's abrupt gesture. She opens her mouth to protest, but he's too quick, cutting her off.

"Begone, shade of the past - you are not called or summoned, and have no cause here." The words cut, his expression crushes. There is no welcome there, no hope, no joy. She scrambles to find her feet again, because she will not be sent away so easily, they may doubt but she will take her rightful place back.

Or, at least, that was her plan... before all three gesture, and she recognizes it a second too late, the icy-cold breath of the Gloom suddenly cutting through her protection, the buildings wavering through watering eyes. She shields herself without thought, her hands and arms raised in front of her face in a quick sweeping gesture.

And when she lowers her arms, she is alone. Alone, in the center of an unfamiliar square, staring at signs in English and the trappings of American culture. When she returns to the abandoned loft they have nested in, she brings with her vodka and pastries that are just a little too sweet for her tastes and a little too dry for his, and when she does not explain, he is still there, more real than the memories she cannot explain.
katyafeline: (Dark - Battle mage)
She makes her way home from the bar through the Gloom, slipping through the shadows of the trees in the lane and the spaces between streetlights. She doesn't feel like going through the trouble of undoing her locks on the door one level into the Gloom, so she dips a bit further, letting the top level of light and humanity slip a little further away to where the door isn't locked, and she can come inside without trouble.

There are icy footprints leading from the front door to the kitchen, slowly melting in the heat of the building.

Kind of like how her hair is doing the same as she studies the pantry in bare feet and a dark cloud of unbound hair.
katyafeline: (Tiger - naptime)
The room is entirely too big.

The bathroom is ridiculous.

But the bed?

That's just big enough, as she demonstrates - one tiger who's sprawling takes up quite a lot of square footage.
katyafeline: (Dark - curious)
Bizarrely, despite months of being a night owl in the bar, Katya has almost resumed a 'normal' human sleep cycle. Still, she wakes up in the early morning hours most days before the sun has bothered to show up, and spends the hours watching the sleepy peaceful world through the window.

One of those mornings, she feels that with a new world, and a new (and possibly, scarily Watchless) reality, she needs... a little more newness.

One hopes that Skellig isn't too easily spooked.

006: Bound

Mar. 14th, 2011 01:52 am
katyafeline: (bring it)
There is only one way to truly disarm a mage, it is said - you must control the hands. Some take this rule literally, chopping off limbs when faced with a powerful opponent, but sometimes that just doesn't work.

Like when the rite you're hoping to accomplish requires the sacrifice of a whole Light Other. Or, rather, two.

Ironically, they hadn't invited trouble this time. She and Bear, partnered once more, had completed their rounds, and sat in on a meeting with the boss as the sun rose. The heat in Moscow was blistering in the summer - even with all of the windows open and the fans working as hard as they could, the meeting room was stifling, and the full heat of the day hadn't yet come. You could tell who was patrolling and who was currently not on active duty, who was a young Other and who had been at this for quite some time - she nearly fell asleep on Bear's shoulder, and Anton was clearly snoozing in the corner, while Seymon was fresh as a daisy and the newly re-instated Olya talked tactics with the boss. The meeting had just ended, everyone was packing up (she surreptitiously kicked Anton under the table to wake him up) when the boss did the unthinkable:

He gave them all the long weekend off.

He then withdrew into the Twilight, far beyond where she could easily see him, and left them to blink at each other in stunned disbelief. This... doesn't happen. It never happens.

It just happened.

"Party at my house!" She crowed without thinking about it - it would be cooler there, and she had ample supplies and room for all those in the Watch she knew (and more than a few others, come to think of it). Seymon had taken that torch and ran with it, organizing food, travel arrangements, with a brutal efficiency that was somewhat frightening. Bear had laughed at her expression and took her off to get some coffee before they went on ahead to get the house ready (and pen up her dogs). It was a long road from Moscow to her house in the country, a trip she didn't get to make too often. They took turns along the road - each driving for a few hours before shifting, alternately talking or singing along with the radio or catching a catnap as the world slipped by outside.

By mutual consent, they stopped at one of the roadside stands, looking for a bite to eat and something cool to drink. She had been right, it was cooler outside the city, but the summer heat hadn't abated that much. They hadn't been looking for trouble. They hadn't even realized they were in trouble until, as they headed back to the car, he stumbled as if blind drunk, a movement akin to a mountain slide starting. She had darted forward to catch him... or at least, she had meant to. The world tilted alarmingly, and she felt the sharp bite of rocks digging into her knees before she realized she had fallen. Gulping unhappily as the world reeled like the deck of a ship in a storm, she crawled to Bear's side. Poison, drugs, something in the food... whatever the reason, one of them needed to be awake and functioning, and while he seemed the worst off, flat on the ground and worryingly motionless, she was strong enough to still try to clear him of the toxin.
"Bear... Bear? Bear, look at me... look..." She shook him, or tried too, but his eyes were rolled back in his head, and he didn't listen to his partner's call. Her head was swimming away, far far away, maybe if she just laid down for a second, got her wits back around her, she could get them out of this...


She woke after he did - she came back to her senses hearing his muttered curses, and feeling the bite of the rope in her skin.

And to someone she didn't know standing over her, a flashlight in his hand, grinning nastily.
"Looks like you didn't kill this one after all! I thought you were supposed to be powerful, eh?" He was a short, whip-thin figure of a man, and his fingers were cold as he traced them along her cheekbone. She snarled at him, and her head snapped back when he backhanded her sharply.

"Easy, Viktor." A second male voice, but he stood out of her range of vision, and as tightly bound as she was, she couldn't shift to see him. "If she lives, it would hardly due to change that before the proper time." She heard footsteps, soft - patent leather shoes, costly and somewhat ridiculous, in her opinion. His shoes came into view first, and she was right, sumptuous leather that must have cost a pretty penny. Then he crouched, and she could see the rest - a middle-aged man, slightly gone to pot, in a fancy suit and tie, looking startlingly normal in this bizarre situation.

"You see, my dear, you are special, you and your friend. I'm sure you knew that. You have what I want, and with the rite tonight, I will be like you, powerful, with long life and no limits to what I can do. You won't be there to see it, of course, but rest assured, I won't waste it." His voice, so urbane, so human, showed no trace of the madman bent on killing two strangers. She didn't answer, because this was lunacy - no rite, no amount of killing (whether the victims be Other or no) could turn a normal human into an Other. Not when there was no hope of it happening without intervention.

Their captors had left, leaving them in the dark of what was either a very large closet or a very small, windowless room. There was nothing to be done, though - neither of them could move more than a fraction of an inch in any direction, and both were still feeling the effects of whatever had taken them down - too much movement, and the world felt as if it were lurching unnaturally. Time dragged on, and they alternately encouraged and snapped at each other as they tried everything they could think of to get free. It was unnatural, being unable to access the power they usually had, but with their hands immobilized (she couldn't even feel hers anymore) and the both of them pinioned in place like sheep ready for slaughter, there ws precious little they could do, other than wait.

She was trying to get the world to stop moving again when she noticed it - the thick, sweet and smoky smell of turkish cigarettes. She had switched to a pipe with the latest fad, many of them had, but a few Others stuck with the cigarettes.

"You know, when you said party, this is not what I thought." She had the nerve to sound amused, and when the cigarette flared, Katya glared in Olga's direction fiercely. Katya would never mistake that voice, not in a million years. Warm hands, small and firm, framed her face. Olga muttered something under her breath, and it was as if a plug at the back of her head had been yanked out, and all of the swilling toxins had drained out, leaving her suddenly, almost uncomfortably suddenly, clearheaded once again. Another soft mutter around the cigarette and the ropes holding Katya fell away, and she felt Olga rise and head over to her partner. She had a bit of a rough time, working circulation back into her fingers, but once done, she grinned sharply in the dark.

There's always a problem in caging a tiger. The tiger doesn't take too kindly to it, and carries a grudge, if it gets out.

Later that day, three Others returned to the road and hurried off to get the house in order. Back in an abandoned hut, two men awaited for the local constabulary... and an ambulance. It would be better, Katya had decided, if men like this were denied the option of reproducing. Ever. Let them get out of that bind, if they can.
katyafeline: (bring it)
The first time was fairly early in their partnership.

The second day, actually. She was thirteen. He... very much wasn't. She was just out of training. He... wasn't. She was vivacious and loud and talkative and a live wire. He... was not. But Bear was a talented shape-shifter, and Katya was slated to become the Moscow Night Watch's next great battle mage. There was, literally, no one better in Moscow for her to learn practical skills from... possibly no one better in Russia. The first day (or rather, night) of their partnership was spent driving around Moscow, with her talking, and him not. The longer the silence from him, the more desperate and babbling her chatter got.

He tried to get Boris Ivanovich to give the girl to some other watch member, any other watch member, as soon as they had gotten back to headquarters. The request was denied categorically. Katya had heard every word of the conversation. The second patrol started with five hours of complete silence, the discomfort between the two Light Others a nearly palpable thing. If things had continued as they started, most likely there would have been many awkward conversations with the boss, and the eventual dissolution of the ill-fated pair.

But, at a loss for anything else to do, he had pulled over to get them both some food, telling her gruffly to stay put and stay out of trouble. She managed neither. Almost as soon as he was gone, she heard a scream. She was good, she didn't immediately go chasing after it... but then she heard people talking about a beast, saw the Dark flare in the Twilight, watching from the shadow of her own eyelids. She'd darted out of the car, and paused, undecided on the pavement. Go get Bear, or go see if she could help?

The second scream, this one more gurgled, decided her. She'd never find him and convince him in time. So off she hared, tracing the patterns of causality through the Twilight, desperately trying to remember anything she could about fighting she'd picked up from various teachers. The apartments near the river were probably swanky at one point, but age and overcrowding had reduced them to just another mediocre place to live, and tonight they were a deathtrap. Werewolves, an entire pack of them, all shifted, looked up at her when she barreled through the doorway, all long coltish limbs and awkwardness.

"...um. This is the Night Watch! Step out of the Twilight!" She called, rallying, after a long moment of her staring a them (the blood dripping off their jaws, the crazed eyes, the Darkness oozing through them) and them staring at her (wild stance, panicked eyes, no cohesive power to speak of). It was only after she said it that she realized not a one of the werewolves were in the Twilight at the moment, and now they knew that she didn't know what she was doing. It was then decided, through pack mentality or some latent telepathy or just plain group dynamics that she made a much more interesting dinner than the humans they had been terrorizing. Four shadowy, shaggy creatures advanced on her, and she gulped, realizing she was an awful long ways away from headquarters, and she had no idea where Bear (or anyone else) was.

She ran.

She ran up the stairs, panic and her half-learned shifting skills letting her take flights half at a time, gaining precious seconds as she fled from the howling, slavering pack. If they had been thinking clearer they could have simply slipped into the Twilight and gotten to the top of the stairwell ahead of her, blocked her every exit, but where she was nearly mindless with fear, they were too far gone with bloodlust. All that existed was the hunt, the kill. She burst onto the rooftop, gulping the air made rank by the garbage floating in that once-beautiful river, and sprinted towards the edge, expecting a nearby rooftop.

There was none. The building to one side was much taller than the one she was on, the walls worn nearly sheer as they climbed up and away from her. The building to the other side was a wreak, the roof long-since having caved in. The third side went straight down to the street below, and the last... into the river.

A growl sounded behind her. A low, dangerous sound that crawled up her spine and set a knot of horror in her brain. Slowly she turned around, and knew she was lost. Four healthy, angry, hungry werewolves were stalking towards her, slowly decreasing the space she had to run. She backed away towards the river side of the building, but she had no ideas, no plan. She wasn't supposed to be fighting, not yet. Her job was to observe, to learn.

Or, it seemed, to die. Oh why hadn't she learned to shift into an eagle?

Out of options, she went on the offensive, scooping up a rusting metal pipe and swinging it at the werewolves with an accuracy born of desperation. She actually connected solidly a couple of times, driving back the wolves, changing some of those growls to cries of pain. Then one of the larger wolves caught the bar in his teeth, and yanked it away.

The next wolf was on her and had its teeth sunk into her shoulder before she could blink, and after that...

She barely heard the roar from Bear when he caught up with her, only distantly realized that someone was flinging werewolves around like rag dolls. She just remembered dazedly trying to stand, and looking up only to see a crazed wolf racing towards her before it's weight slammed into her chest, and they both tumbled off of the roof, towards the river far below.

"Number twelve, Bank street!" There was a fire nearby, she thought, groggily. She could hear it crackling, see the crazy flickering light it painted on the wall, feel its reassuring warmth. There was also someone growling very crankily. She thought about these things for what seemed for a long while, and then added another fact to her list - she was alive. Definitely alive - for if she were dead, it shouldn't hurt to breathe, and it did, in a way she'd never felt before, like her lungs were heavy as lead inside the cage of her ribs. This new fact occupied her for a while. Then she realized that she was lying down, on something soft, and while she was mostly dry, she could feel small rivulets of water snaking past her ears and pooling against her neck from her hair. She explored that idea for a while, but couldn't make much of it. Various places began to throb in a distracting fashion, with a sense that while they hurt now, it was only a small preview of what was awaiting her when she was a bit more awake.

Then she realized something very, very important. She was lying on something soft, there was something soft on top of her... but not a one of those things were clothing. There was, in fact, no clothing. At all. There were what felt like tight bandages (almost tourniquets) in some places, but... no, nothing registered as clothes. There were drafts where there shouldn't be any. Squeaking, she tried to sit up, was summarily confronted with the whole of her injuries at once, and passed out cold. Bear, who had been trying to give more coherent directions to the rescue teams who were coming after them, managed just barely to catch her before she smacked her head into the ground.

She learned, quite a while later, that after she'd been bitten she'd actually fallen back on some of her training, pulling off a few defensive spells (the flare of which had guided Bear to where she'd been cornered). But after she'd hit the river, she'd stopped fighting, and nearly drowned. Bear had fished her out again, pumped the river out of her, and then stripped her down to get her out of the frigidly cold clothing and bind the worst of the damage before she could bleed out, which would have been a bit anticlimactic after the daring river rescue. The first day she had been released from the healers, he had appeared, lead her to the one of the vast training halls, and hadn't let her leave until she could, at least half of the time, shield herself from a full frontal assault from a fully trained mage... at least for a little while. Long enough to get away.

They never spoke of the incident again.
katyafeline: (oooh shiny things)
"So... what do you do?" She peers down the bridge of her nose through glasses her eyes have been charmed to need for the time being (much to her extreme annoyance). The questioner doesn't appear at all impressed with her posturing, a thick-set man in the oppressive uniform of Soviet Russia in all of its officialdom. She knows she doesn't present much of an impressive figure in a tweedy suit and conservative up-do... though, thanks to Ignat her hair is actually smooth and sleek for once.

She had french-kissed him for that, earning the teasing, jeers, and cheers of most of the Nightwatch as she'd done so.

She knows, without having to look, that Boris Ivanovich is not so far away, dealing with this man's boss. In a gathering of Others, she might be (rightfully) seen as the boss's honorary bodyguard, if one can claim to guard someone of his caliber. In this setting, it is slightly different. She is the boss's 'girl'. The one with the paperwork, with the filing, with the tight pencil skirt and the unforgiving shoes. Never has she been so glad to not be human. Boris Ivanovich is here today to fulfill the part of the Light's cover story about running the electric company that actually requires some face time - paying proper due to the human powers that be to keep the myth alive. He couldn't go alone, an official of his stature wouldn't go alone, so she'd been summarily ordered to make herself presentable.

Without Ignat, in this case, she would have been lost. The Light Incubus had been in seventh heaven, given free reign to mold the Watch's signature hoyden. The dress and the shoes (oh hell, the shoes) she could gleefully murder him for, the realism with the glasses she feels is a step too far, but the hair might redeem it all. It is beautiful, and the boss had to remind her repeatedly not to pet it on their drive through the city.

She smiles at him, forcing herself to produce a demure little smile to match her image, a small city girl amongst all these powerful men. (Never mind that only one person in this room could stand up to her in a fight. Bah.)
"I am minding my boss's business." Katya replies, unarguably meek, but indefinably defiant in her answer and in the spark in her eyes. The boss finishes with his interview before her flabbergasted minor official can decide whether or not he should take offense, and together they sweep out of the office and into the gathering gloom of night.

The hair doesn't last the night, turning into its usual frizzed mess after an all-out brawl against a crew of country werewolves who thought they'd entertain themselves painting Moscow a new shade of red.
katyafeline: (wary)
She thought about throwing herself on Olga's mercy. Truly she did. Planned on it, for at least the first half of the trek back to the bar. Maybe it was the ache in her head, or the desire to go un-lectured, but instead of dragging herself to the heavily warded flat she could find blindfolded and concussed, she found herself outside her own door.

Home. Her lip curls at the thought while she fumbles at the lock. She has to lean heavily on the door to keep her balance, and once she manages to open the door she has to waste more time removing the blood, old habits dying even harder than stubborn battle mages.

Finally she could flop on the anonymous hotel bed, curling in on herself protectively. She doesn't bother with the lights - who cares? She doesn't need light to drop herself into a trance and start trying to heal the damage she's taken. Doing so distracts her from how much of an idiot she feels.
katyafeline: (bring it)
"To the left!" She almost felt rather than heard the roar behind her, and the grit under her paws dug in and she dived, obligingly, the rather nasty spells aimed for her head sailing harmlessly away to her right. Her snarl now a rumbling laugh she charged, teeth and claws and rending fire destroying the Dark Other given unto her as prey.

This one didn't register with the Watches, thought in a city so large, no one would notice him killing one here, one there. But the fool chose her section of Moscow to do it in, and she noticed. Simple, miss-able things, like the Twilight's moss growing deeper and healthier around first this complex, then this other one. Like suddenly realizing the old man she'd watched for years perform the same routine every Saturday night was doing something new - still shopping, but no vegetables, no sweets for his now-wrinkled sweetheart, just cheap alcohol and bread. She'd followed him home, only to discover the haunting chill of Dark energy seeping into the very fabric of reality around his now bachelor existence.

The warlock screamed - no longer defiance, just pain, as her own defenses canceled his out and her teeth sunk into his shoulder. She shook him like a misbehaving kitten, or a dog's toy, sending him sprawling across the roof's tarmac. She followed on silent feet, her breath huffing roughly in the cold night air. She would tear out his heart for the pain he brought her city.

Suddenly arms, thick and strong and as furred as her own wrapped around her chest, holding her back. Holding her well - she couldn't turn to strike, though she tried. Distantly she noted Seymon and Ilya racing forward to arrest the Dark warlock, and she snarled - he didn't deserve a trial! He certainly didn't give one to the people he killed! But her captor held her fast, and her compatriots ignored her protests.
She shifted, and so did her captor - they ended both as human, him holding her from behind, his arms crossed across her chest and his hands holding her wrists firmly. Waiting for her to calm down. Waiting for her to surrender.

It didn't come easily. There's a slash down one arm she didn't remember getting, but the oozing blood didn't loosen his grip one iota. She watched it flow for a time, listening to the traffic far below, the sounds of life going on around them.

"You can let me go." She finally said, and stepped out of his embrace to turn and study her partner. Bear didn't look so hot himself - somewhere in there he earned a fine set of bruises that darkened the left side of his head, swelling his eye shut and re-arranging the set of his mouth. From the way he held himself she knew there were other injuries under the clothing, and she sighed. Boris Ivanovitch was not going to be pleased. Perhaps today would be one of the increasingly rare days the owl was awake, and could plead on her behalf. Not likely, but possible - sometimes she thought the owl took her side just to be contrary to the boss.

"Let's get you back home." They both said, echos of each other, and the inherent violence of their postures vanished in that moment as they laughed at each others predictability. She slipped beside him to offer support while not aggravating his wounds, he grumbled about not needing help from a mere slip of a girl like herself, and together they took themselves off to go face the well-intentioned wrath and healing of their boss.
katyafeline: (bring it)
Her life, her world, is one of paradoxes.

The Dark Other who regularly sends money home to her parents to help support them after retirement.

The Light Other who drains the happiness out of an entire crowd to gain some infinitesimal win for a 'just' cause.

The vampire that drinks only from cows and works at a blood donation bank to help keep humans alive.

The Light mage who keeps his beloved in a shoebox, except for one hour a day.

As is true for most people, Katya survives by excepting rather than attempting to explain the paradoxes. That Dark Other got that money by tricking some other poor couple into a bad investment deal. That Light Other was trying to save the world. That vampire isn't old enough yet to feel the true bite of the hunger it has been designed to feel. That mage... No one questions that mage. Her life is its own paradox, the girl given to healing but trained to be a ruthless fighter, the vivacious and gregarious charmer who trains her dogs to attack human and Other alike if they get too close to the house. It doesn't need explaining. It just is.

Sometimes, when very drunk (or not nearly enough), after a long patrol (or after too long on vacation) they will talk about the oddity that is their world. What is good, what is evil. Why aren't they the same as Light and Dark? The newer ones will argue that they are exactly the same, of course they are, but the young will do that. She did that, once. Before she had to walk away the first time a vampire proved he had a license to hunt the woman he was draining, one signed by the Night Watch. Before she wiped the cheer clean out of the mind of a little boy to use to strengthen her attack on a rampaging Dark witch. Before she'd spent forty-five minutes of that precious hour raging at the only person besides Boris Ivanovitch who would listen to her rage after she discovered the werewolf they were after was only trying to defend its children, and was responded to only with sad blinking.

Because there's nothing to say.

Light is not good. Dark is not evil. But they tend to align along those lines, on the whole. And the cases where they don't?

It is what it is.
katyafeline: (Default)
When she first learned of it, she used it and abused it like any other unexpected weapon that comes to hand in the unending struggle against the Dark. Momentary breaks to catch her breath would become full recoveries. Catnaps became lazy sprawls enjoying the morning light creeping up the wall and fading into afternoon. Snagged mouthfuls of food became full, satisfying meals.

Then comes her last few patrols. She doesn't know, then that they're the last. She doesn't do anything special. She's training a cocky boy who is new to patrols. Silly thing wants to become a battle mage. Stuff and nonsense, he doesn't have the spine for it. But Boris Ivanovitch says to train him, so she does. She has some meals with Yulia. She plays basketball with a few bored analysts. She crashes in Bear's flat once, interrupting his re-watching and criticizing old vampire thrillers. They watch them together, and agree the vampires are ridiculous.

She doesn't like the new Dark Other in town. He's too innocent. Too present. But he isn't doing anything wrong.

Until he is. Until she is, driven to switch from capture to war in self-defense. Until she isn't, set adrift and in agony.

It is still there. She hears about it, now tells other about it. 'It's alright, you know' they say, all blase charm and disregard for the normal laws of physics. 'Time stops'.

She hopes it does. She has to believe it does. So that when she finds the way back, and she will find the way back, she won't have lost any time. She can still train Yulia, tease Bear, harass Anton, have tea and cakes with Gesar, drink with Seymon, go shopping with Ignat, and go on serving the Light.

Sometimes that thought alone is the anchorline that keeps her from walking back into the Twilight and letting the shadows wash her away.
katyafeline: (Default)
001.Millitime. 002.Paradox. 003.Violence. 004.Business. 005.Nudity. 006.Bound.
007.Plot. 008.Crack. 009.Woe. 010.Doom. 011.Glitter. 012.Tea.
013.Coffee. 014.Waffles. 015.Kitten. 016.Future. 017.Past. 018.Young.
019.Old. 020.Security. 021.Tending. 022.Waiting. 023.Kitchen. 024.Lake.
025.Landlord. 026.Wedding. 027.Rats. 028.Evil. 029.Curse. 030.Gunslinger.
031.Endless. 032.Dead. 033.Undead 034.Alive.
035.Immortal. 036.Human.
037.Party. 038.Dreaming. 039.Garden. 040.Magic. 041.Bar. 042.Fucking Milliways.
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