| It's a cold, gusty evening near Cowgate in Olde Towne. The old, tall buildings wind close
together down narrow roads and alleys. A light cold spray of drizzle blows steadily down the street. At a
corner in this dismal, rather run-down part of the old immigrant area sits a small petrol station.
It only has a handful of pumps, under a half-collapsed old canopy. The name at the top of the canopy
reads "Fordel Filling Station." Or at least, it might've once. Now all that's left of the letters look
something like "For.e1 illin* s ation" A clerk sits inside, comfortably outside of the weather behind
a barred window, receiving payment from one of his two current customers - a dark, eastern man who is
returning to his old run down pickup. Parked at another pump is a blue Honda Civic from the late 90s.
Out steps a young man, wearing a gray hoodie.
Meanwhile, foisting off the rain in a blue windbreaker with the hood thrown up, a heavy-duty sock hat
covering his hair, the Mariner has decided to take cover in the rain and see if he can purchase a
snack on this unfortuitous sojourn out to Edinburgh. One hand in front of his face, squinting forward,
he makes his way towards the station door.
The man behind the glass appears to be some Czech, or other east European. He glowers at the Mariner
through the glass. Inside the station, there are a few bags of potato crisps, candy bars, and other
edibles lined up on a counter beside the clerk, albethey covered in dust. Behind Mariner, Taliesin walks
up, cash in hand, hunched over to keep the light rain and cold wind at bay. He moves a little closer,
and mutters loudly, "Crappy day to be out, friend."
Pulling back his hood, the Mariner turns when he hears a familiar voice. A faint smile graces his lips,
and he shoves a hand forward to shake his compatriot's congenially. "Well, well. I'm always running into
fine friends when I come out to this part of town." His eyes are squinted, but they twinkle. The conversation
allows him to stay distracted from the unappealing dust covered confections for just a little longer.
"How do you do?
Taliesin smiles, and returns the grasp. "Oh, alright considering. Weather's bollocks here, though."
A sudden, howling gust of wind comes down the street, nearly knocking everyone off balance. It is chilling
to the bone, and alltogether unnatural in its sudden strike.
The Mariner was used to these types of gusts out on the sea, but inland? He pulls himself up and turns
toward the direction of the wind, putting his hand out on the side of the building to steady himself. His
lip curls a little. "You're telling me," he says finally, to Taliesin. He turns a little and tries to trade
a look with the druid, his frown evident.
Taliesin gasps as the wind takes him, nearly tossing his arse to the ground. He manages to regain his
balance and tough it out, stabilizing at last. That's about the time when he looks down to his empty fist,
newly cleaned of a 20L bill. "Fuck!"
The Mariner reaches out and puts a hand on Taliesin's shoulder, his face falling as he watches the money
(he didn't catch the value of it) fly away on the wind, far faster than one could even begin to chase it.
Being the paranoid sort, he licks his lips and decides to cast a spell, pulling out a discrete compass, which
he clutches in his hand. Taliesin will no doubt feel the telltale signs of alert that come with it.
Taliesin gives a quick glance to the man behind the glass. After dismissing him, he closes his eyes. He places
both hands firmly in front of his chest, quickly extending all ten digits, as if flexing them for just a second.
He then opens his eyes and hungrily looks about.
The Mariner gestures with a head-tilt towards the window for Taliesin, indicating they're not necessarily alone.
He starts to walk around the front of the building instead while the two of them get weird looks from the Czech
purveyor of goods.
A moment after Mariner's fellow willworker makes his mudra, the wind stops blowing for just one moment. Low and
behold, the note is caught up in a piece of rebar blocking off a storm sewer drain a ways down the street. But,
how long until the next gust?
The Mariner hustles forward a little towards the storm drain, throwing up his hood again. This action was unsolicited,
but cash is cash and his upbringing wouldn't really allow it if the chance passed. It was easy to get awash in
magical spells in a situation like this, but Wisdom demanded that he not mess around too much, so he lurched forward
instead, with his hand outstretched towards the gutter for the 20L.
Taliesin is not far behind, making large splashes as he runs. However, the Mariner had a notable headstart, and manages
to snag up the note without the wind tampering further. Taliesin catches him up, and smiles to him. "Fine day for a jog, eh?"
Wiping the rain out of his face, the Mariner smiles, and hands the soggy, dirty bill back to him. "It just doesn't feel
right, you know? Something just feels amiss. I don't see anything notable, but...you felt that, didn't you?"
Taliesin graciously takes the disgusting bill back in hand, stuffing it firmly in his hoodie pocket. "Thank you, Mariner.
I can see you're definitely more suited to this weather than I. Yeah, something about that definitely didn't seem right."
Taliesin begins to reach out as he speaks, to feel the weight of the world in each of its truest facets, searching for
the web of destiny made out of every being, place, and thing.
The Mariner knows when to talk and when to listen. Normally, he'd take a compliment like that in stride and send it back
towards Taliesin, but his mustache ruffles - he knows better than to distract Taliesin while he's doing that. He watches
his face, his lips a thin line, and waits for an answer.
Taliesin shrugs. "Maybe we're just spooked. Everything feels normal enough, at a glance anyway."
After a long moment of intense study, Mariner feels a small ripple in the flow of the space in the area. Then, slowly, the
ripple begins to throb. Something... not quite tangible. He swallows, looking out into the petrol station. He glances at
Taliesin. "No - no, there's something here, mate."
The young man in the hoodie mutters, "Where?" He meets Mariner's gaze, his normally bright eyes seeming somewhat pale.
He begins to glance around, searching.
The Mariner elbows Taliesin lightly in the arm and points in the general direction he is feeling the intangible flow.
"There, look there. I can hardly make out what it would be though."
Taliesin furrows his brow a bit. "Something... ephermal, I think. Something in Twi-" he is cut short. Suddenly, the wind
picks up again, and this time in the howling, one can certainly make out a woman's voice, as if composed of the wind itself.
It is both tortured, and melodious; luring, and mournful, all at the same time.
In the ensuing relative silence, besides the blowing wind: "Christ. Outside of my purview, mate. Never been much for
hauntings - it's out a my depth," the Mariner remarks, folding his arms across his chest and planting his foot behind him.
Taliesin, taken off guard once already, is not about to play the fool again. He stands firmly into the wind. "Join the club.
Where's a bloody Moros when you need one." The windsong continues, and it begins to play on the duo, gently caressing at their
thoughts. "We ought to get out of here, and we ought to help that poor bloke in the station out, too. C'mon!" He grabs at the
other mage's arm, and begins lurching into the wind.
The Mariner follows with a stumble, reaching again for his compass, swallowing in anxiety as they head into the gusts. He
shakes his head to clear his thoughts and, clutches the compass as if for good luck, he fortifies his own mind against outside
intrusions. Or so he hopes. "We need plausible reason to be muckin' around, innit? Don't just tell him there's ghosts!" As if
Taliesin needed to be reminded.
Taliesin nods, as the intreprid pair lurch forward. They are now only a few yards away from the small building the clerk resides
in. The poor man seems to be frozen in place, staring in terror out the window at nothing. "I've got an idea." About then,
Taliesin freezes in place, as the wind's so-called song rises into a ruckus, nothing short of a series of painful shrieks. Terror
and sorrow begin to flow through both willworkers.
The sailor's breath hitched in his throat, as well, seized by an inexplicable fear that sent a shiver up his spine. His mouth hung
open, as his fingers clutched into claws at his sides. He could hardly move.
Taliesin stands there, shuddering, drizzle pouring down his face. And then a few moments later, he takes a deep, gasping, desperate
breath, trying to shake it off. "Bloody...! Alright, here goes, we may not have much time! Get ready to get 'em into the car!"
Taliesin blindly reaches his enlightened will into the area in the store in front of him. He desperately tries to rile up any and
all insect critters into a panic. Then a few moments later, the man inside the filling station leaps up from his seat, screaming
loud enough to be heard through the bullet-proof glass. He begins jumping about and fidgeting, and moves to one side of the room.
Meanwhile, the Mariner rushes up to the door. It's one of those brushed nickel affairs, worn with use, but pretty well locked.
He places his finger on the lock panel, and traces his finger along it as if to chart a course through the inner workings of the
device. A click signals its unlocking. He waves Taliesin over.
Taliesin runs over to meet him by the door, his look intense. "Let's get him, and more importantly us, out O here." All the while,
the wind is not dying down, even if the screams do seem to be dying back down into their normal, agonizing, enchanting song.
"Bloody buggerin' sheet-wearin' ghoulie ponce tosser lily-livered..." the Mariner mutters under his breath in quiet fury as he
opens the door handle and lets Taliesin in. He surges forward and puts a hand on the man's shoulder. "It's some sort a pestilence
bringin' out the critters, mate, c'mon! Let's get out of here!" he urges on the Czech petrol operator, trying to shake him out of
Taliesin stands aside as the door flies open. (He knows what's in there, he isn't stepping foot!) "C'mon boys. I'll get the car
started!" Meanwhile, the clerk nods, and leaps past a horde of cockroaches, possibly numbering in the thousands, that now occupy
the chair he previously did. He slams the door shut behind him. Taliesin has made good on his promise. He is firmly planted in the
drivers seat of the car, turning it over.
The Mariner quickly guides the bewildered gas station attendant to the front seat, and jumps in after Taliesin in the back seat.
Presuming it's a four door. Otherwise it's a little more awkward. He looks over his shoulder one final time at the gas station,
his jaw jutted out in frustration. Inside the car, he's panting through his nose, chest rising and falling. It isn't just rain
running down his face, it's sweat, and he doesn't like it.
Taliesin wastes no time waiting for niceties, like seat belts, or doors being closed, before he guns the car forward. Before long,
the small filling station is left behind. "Wow, mate. Wow. You need us to drop you off somewhere in particular?" The man nods,
and speaks out a nearby address in a heavy accent.
The Mariner lets the guy get dropped off in his unsurprising daze, before he speaks again, this time to Taliesin in the car.
"I can't stand fucking ghosts," he seethes in a dour voice, wiping his face free of moisture.
Taliesin nods his head slowly with approval, waiting for Mariner to switch up to the front seat. "Yeah. That's the shittiest day
I've had in awhile. Can't a man even get a tank of good non-haunted petrol around this forsaken city?"
"They're crawling over this town like a god damned blight," says the Mastigos, climbing into the front seat with a grunt and
clicking the belt tight. He smooths back his hair and replaces his hat, looking out of the passenger window in consternation.
"I don't care what it'd do to "ye delicate thanosphere" or whatever you want to call it, I'd drop a ghoulie bomb on this town
if it were the last I'd ever saw of fucking /spectres/!"
Taliesin throws down his hood, and shakes his hair free of some of the excess rain. He then proceeds to rub one sleeve across his
face. He takes his eyes off the road just long enough to glance in your direction. His eyes are once again glittering their icey blue.
"I'll drink to that. Nearest pub? My treat."