Status

Recent Statuses

2 yrs ago
Current I heard Lord Wraith does off-brand car commercials in Japan.
5 likes
5 yrs ago
Vanjie......Vaaaanjie. VAAAAANNNJIE!
2 likes
6 yrs ago
Silly me silly me, for tuttling like we could make something beautifully. And the hands of my man, dusted in bedlam and false promises --while I delved in with love abundances
7 yrs ago
Ooops....where did the time go and it's the Holidays?
7 yrs ago
Surprise bitches, betcha thought you'd seen the last of me

Bio

I think I'll come back to this relatively soon...but then again, knowing me, I probably won't.

I guess the main point of this is to say: damn, I was gone for over a year from this place. I spent a good bit of inconsistent time on Iwaku, but I kinda missed my roots and the place I originally called home.

Most Recent Posts

F E R A L
F E R A L
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"A Maverick, at their core, is someone who thinks freely. Thinks against the tide for the other. One who’s bucked against fate and decided on their own. Once you become a Maverick, you’re hard pressed to stop being one."

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C H A R A C T E R P O R T R A I T
C H A R A C T E R P O R T R A I T
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C H A R A C T E R S U M M A R Y
C H A R A C T E R S U M M A R Y
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Makarios "Maki" Acayo Lillis-Webb
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July 27th, 1993 | 29 | African-American/Greek
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Single? | | Homosexual
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New Lilith | New Hampshire | United States of America

P H Y S I C A L P R O F I L E
P H Y S I C A L P R O F I L E
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C H A R A C T E R M O T I V A T I O N S & G O A L S
C H A R A C T E R M O T I V A T I O N S & G O A L S
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C H A R A C T E R N O T E S
C H A R A C T E R N O T E S
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K N O W N A L I A S (E S)
K N O W N A L I A S (E S)
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New Lilith's Beast
Panther
Hellhound
Jeremiah Jones
Alphonso Buckings
Feral
The Wandering Sage
Shepherd
The Prowler Maverick
The Black Claw
C H A R A C T E R S Y N O P S I S
C H A R A C T E R S Y N O P S I S
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A B I L I T I E S, L I M I T A T I O N S, & W E A K N E S S E S
A B I L I T I E S, L I M I T A T I O N S, & W E A K N E S S E S
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H Y P E R H U M A N A B I L I T Y || B E S T I A L - E C H O K I N E S I S
__PRIMARY CLASSIFICATION || INTERNAL
__SECONDARY CLASSIFICATION || TBD
__POWER SCALE || 04
__THREAT CLASSIFICATION || Δ
E X T R A H U M A N A B I L I T Y || M A G N I E N E R G Y C O N T R O L (M A G I C)
__PRIMARY CLASSIFICATION || INTERNAL/EXTERNAL
__SECONDARY CLASSIFICATION || DYNAMIC
__POWER SCALE || UNKNOWN
__THREAT CLASSIFICATION || Δ

At it’s core, Makarios’ Hype ability is rather simple. He can encode and retrieve information and abilities of any animal that he has ingested pure genetic material of. At baseline, Makarios would be able to feel the presence of the particular animal, as well as a rough understanding of the animal impulses, desires and feelings. With enough pure code to work from, Makarios would be able to replicate the abilities of the animal—to an extent. His hype ability is contingent on a variety of factors:
  • 1.) The genetic code has to be pure. Processed meat, eggs, dairy—none of them are viable to Makarios’ ability. Some hair from a particular animal would give him baseline access. Increased contact and familiarity would grant him access to his enhanced abilities. Alternatively, Makarios can ingest more hair (or more of the animal). And of course, blood (or brain matter) from the animal provides Makarios the strongest initial connection.
  • 2.) He is unable to communicate with all cats after ingesting the genetic material of one. It would take prolonged contact with other cats after establishing a baseline. The baseline genetic code is somewhat rooted to the specific animal. Ingesting a corgi’s fur will give him some enhanced agility, but not to the extent that an Australian Shepherd and prolonged contact would.
  • 3.) Makarios’ hype ability is limited in the extent to which it can replicate features of an animal without requiring physical mutations to his body. His reaction time could be heightened to above peak human levels, but he would not be able to run as fast as a cheetah and exhibit the same break-neck agility without mutating his muscles. Similarly, he can increase his air intake to an extent, but could not develop gills or the musculature necessary for flight.
Put simply, Makarios’ Hype connects him to the genes and minds of animals. By itself, the ability is not enough to make Makarios a Δ level threat.


“My initial understanding of my abilities were as a curse, steeped in magic that was passed down through my mother’s blood. A malignant force placed in me that I had to subdue that only I could subdue. My first approach: aggressive, exerting constant control and vigilance. Doubting the self at all times, and taming this thing that seemed to sit so closely to the rage I harbored.”
Makarios “Feral” Lillis (Session 14). Provided by Dr. Hummel et. al.


It is the intersection of Makarios’ Magni and Hype genetics that serve as the foundation of his overall power. While his Hyperhuman ability allows him to tap into the body and mind of an animal, his Magni ability serves a catalyst, an unknown agent that brings a third component—the soul. It is this that Makarios has tapped into.

“I laugh now, looking at that…I guess, westernized mindset. Not realizing this force I called malignant. This beast I sought to control and command, to assert that it had not claim over me, was effectively the spirit and soul of the Animal Kingdom itself. Me, a solitary man, against something older and more wise than I could know—gods, my arrogance.
Makarios “Feral” Lillis (Session 14-2). Provided by Dr. Hummel et. al.


L I M I T A T I O N S || G A E A ' S C O N T R A C T

I’ll expand more on this later, but here are the bones in tl;dr fashion Makarios, after learning what the entity he was tapping into really was, sought to understand it. That understanding took him on journeys across the globe to remote areas. In the end, garnering more understanding, he is still not at his apex of integrating the halves of him: Magni and Hype. To further this end, outside of the training he has undergone, Makarios has stuck a pact with the Animal Kingdom. This contract limits his use of magic or his use of his hyperhuman abilities, for window of time. There are other conditions that may fall into contract periods. For instance, Makarios has had to sit with the Soul of Alligator for 75 days, continuously. These types of periods effectively help him fully immerse himself into that particular area of Soul in the Animal Kingdom. The Kingdom calls completing these periods successfully a phase of Singularity or Oneness. [more later]

W E A K N E S S E S || T B D

Lound sounds, chemically altered smells, a breach in Gaea's Contrac [More later]. Nullam tincidunt at nunc vel auctor. Donec venenatis, nisl nec fringilla varius, massa quam porttitor turpis, sed bibendum purus sem id risus. Nullam scelerisque lectus eget diam gravida malesuada. Maecenas consectetur est ac sollicitudin congue. Maecenas interdum erat dignissim lectus sodales, nec ultrices neque egestas. Integer convallis lacus at consequat volutpat.
S U P P O R T I N G C A S T
S U P P O R T I N G C A S T
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C A M P B E L L, T H O M A S C A S E Y
aka Angel

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* M I C H A E L S, C H A R L E S L O R N E
aka IllAdvised

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B E S T I A L S I N G U L A R I T Y, T H E
aka The Animal Kingdom

It’s a collective consciousness, the spirit—so to speak—of all animals on Earth. It is one and it is many, speaking as a singular or a group of perspectives. The Singularity, as Makarios is able to interact with it, exists in an in-between plane. A manifestation of the earthly consciousness. “The Earth, she lives—but she slumbers. That realm, it runs akin to her subconscious.” Maecenas consectetur est ac sollicitudin congue. Maecenas interdum erat dignissim lectus sodales, nec ultrices neque egestas. Integer convallis lacus at consequat volutpat.


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* B R I N D L E Y, N A T H A N B R O C K
aka Gecko - Deceased

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M A N N, A D A M D.
aka A.T.O.M - Deceased

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W E N, X A N D E R L I A M
aka Vanguard - Deceased

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C A R L S O N, A N N E – M A R I E M A Y B E L L E

Though Makarios knows her as ‘Claire Richards’, caseworker and financial advisor for his scholarship fund while in school, in actuality she is his paternal grandmother. Anne-Marie has only known of Makarios since the funeral of his mother. She didn’t make herself known at the funeral, ashamed of herself and of her son. But she was a well-connected woman. Retired, twice married and now a widow (the wrong husband died, if you ask her)— and after she learned of Makarios’ of emancipation from his stepfather, she used her connections to set up a fake grant fund for him, as the least she could in that moment, until she found the courage to approach her grandson. However, before the disbandment of the Mavericks, she was starting to piece together the man behind the rising vigilante, Feral.

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S U R N A M E, N A M E

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Vivamus at mi mi. In imperdiet porta dolor, at fermentum nulla commodo eu. Suspendisse volutpat et ex tempor suscipit. Nullam tincidunt at nunc vel auctor. Donec venenatis, nisl nec fringilla varius, massa quam porttitor turpis, sed bibendum purus sem id risus. Nullam scelerisque lectus eget diam gravida malesuada. Maecenas consectetur est ac sollicitudin congue. Maecenas interdum erat dignissim lectus sodales, nec ultrices neque egestas. Integer convallis lacus at consequat volutpat.

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L I L L I S, L Y S S A N D R A T E H ‘ L A N I
Deceased

A song given human form to echo along and bless the Earth, Maki's late mother was a strong-willed woman who hid the depth of her strength behind the volumes for which she cared to help others. Nullam tincidunt at nunc vel auctor. Donec venenatis, nisl nec fringilla varius, massa quam porttitor turpis, sed bibendum purus sem id risus. Nullam scelerisque lectus eget diam gravida malesuada. Maecenas consectetur est ac sollicitudin congue. Maecenas interdum erat dignissim lectus sodales, nec ultrices neque egestas. Integer convallis lacus at consequat volutpat.

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C A R L S O N, T E R R A N C E R O B E R T
Deceased?

Makarios' biological father. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Vivamus at mi mi. In imperdiet porta dolor, at fermentum nulla commodo eu. Suspendisse volutpat et ex tempor suscipit. Nullam tincidunt at nunc vel auctor. Donec venenatis, nisl nec fringilla varius, massa quam porttitor turpis, sed bibendum purus sem id risus. Nullam scelerisque lectus eget diam gravida malesuada. Maecenas consectetur est ac sollicitudin congue. Maecenas interdum erat dignissim lectus sodales, nec ultrices neque egestas. Integer convallis lacus at consequat volutpat.
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E D W A R D S, A L Y S S A

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S U R N A M E, N A M E

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* S U R N A M E, N A M E

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S U R N A M E, N A M E

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N ‘ W A N G A, O B I

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W E N, X A N D E R L I A M
aka Vanguard

It began how all things damned begin—suddenly and with entropy, tension that reveals itself as passion. Stolen moments crammed into the space of a heart until it could no longer contain.... And so it bloomed flares, a sight to behold. Until it exploded in love so fervent it meant sacrifice. Screams and pleas from one, and tearful smiles from another—trying to hold back that energy of love. Save it for the explosion, contain that explosion—all for love. (I’ll probably write this in layman terms later, but honestly this form just kinda hit me out of nowhere, and it was the fastest, most condensed way I could say everything that’s important about their relationship.)

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H U M M E L, S A R K S
aka Magnus or The Creator

Technically, more of a prolonged tryst than an actual relationship, Maki still keeps in touch with Sarks, though he has absolutely no romantic interest in the man anymore. Though, the amount of magic power Sarks has is frightening even to Maki, he doesn’t believe Sarks when he claims to be “effectively immortal” by the smoother-talker's own words. Nullam scelerisque lectus eget diam gravida malesuada. Maecenas consectetur est ac sollicitudin congue. Maecenas interdum erat dignissim lectus sodales, nec ultrices neque egestas. Integer convallis lacus at consequat volutpat.
Fuck this shit
I've been fiddling around with this CS for too long.
Fuck yo' intricate CS layouts that are visually appealing, Wraith


The Mavericks

We Always Come Home: A Return to New Lilith--
We Left the Front Door Open and the Demons Got In - Pt. 3



Makarios made his way to the exit of the H.E.L.P. base, keeping a level pace and gentle smile with each individual he passed. Coming across Tabitha, he stopped and shook her hand, thanking her for everything she’d done up until now to get him back to the city. As he left her—a small, folded note now in the palm of her hand—he quickened his pace slightly.

Exiting, he turned a few blocks down before entering into a coffee shop. Amidst a scrolling phone, macchiato scents and the gentle clacking of keys and chatter, the Maverick ensured he wasn’t being tailed before leaving the café and heading down a side-alley.

If Chuck was angry with him, Makarios was properly screwed for the time being. Loving Chuck meant being realistic of the trust issues and the survival instinct to sever ties the Maverick leader had to develop to protect himself. There was the chance Makarios was cut off. And Makarios wouldn’t fully be able to blame him. Alone, in this city? It had a way of bringing out the worst in the person. But Maki had hope in his little brother as he rounded the last corner, and finally pulled the small, almost translucent earpiece from his coat.

He leaned against an oblong metal crate at the end of the alley. Placing the Maverick-encoded device in his ear, he cleared his throat. A pause, and there it was. That familiar hum vibrated his ear for a moment as the comm-link came to life. “Input sync: Makarios Lillis. Test one. Test two. Test three.” The comm-link analyzed his vocal register, and an automated voice came back.

“Vocal synchronization confirmed.” He still had access! Now— “Please indicate command.”

Makarios began. “Command: Safehouse armory access, zone F, designation…” Makarios rolled his eyes before speaking his passcode, Thomas’ heartfelt moniker for him “—designation ‘The Savage Force—Hunter loadout’.” The metal crate hissed behind him and a panel slid out, trace clouds of nitrogen escaping the sealed chamber before revealing his Maverick suit.

Less than a minute later, reflexively, Feral stood in the streets of New Lilith once more. This suit, primarily black with burnt orange under-armor paneling accenting it’s sleek look, lent itself to his more agile abilities. He pressed his old cowl to his face, blinking three times to activate the HUD and sync to his comm. It was only seconds before a familiar voice chimed his ear.

“I could question the reliability of my security verification and ask ‘Is this an error in my system?’ Maki smiled to himself, resisting the urge to laugh on his deep inhale “But come on, it’s me. We both know there’s no questioning my systems.” He exhaled, the wisp of the Antelope chilling his breath. “So the next logical question is: Makarios…how the hell have you been?”

Maki took a few steps, then a bound, kicking off the alley wall to the adjacent wall. Planting both feet on the wall, strength and tension surged his legs before he sprung into the air, clearing the rooftops. Landing, he answered “Well I’ve gotta say, a lot better now that I hear your voice. You miss me?”

“Like a machine functioning without a root command. It’s good to hear your voice, Feral.”

“Same, Glitch.” Maki was bounding across rooftops now, sprinting through his—Feral’s—natural habitat. “I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t always a part of me searching for a sign to come back.” He came to the edge of a building and launched himself, curling into a forward tuck. 6 stories down, he landed in a roll, gathering energy to spring himself into a blurred spring down a side street. He tense-flexed his fingers, and synthetic diamond-tipped alloy claws sprung from the tips of his suit gloves and padded feet. “Let’s be real, some things don’t change.” He scaled the wall with a swiftness and vaulted over the ledge. “There’s a portion of each of us that will always love the chaos and madness.”

“Well, on the subject of things not changing…”

“Jesus, Glitch. Where is he, and what’s he done this time?”

“Would your spiked prefrontal cortex activity be calmed if I told you he wasn’t currently strung up in a warehouse or trying to solo a mob of drug-enhanced Hypes this time?”

“Not in the slightest. Ping me his location, my love.”

“Already on your HUB, hun. From my most recent stats, I put your traversal time at approximately 3 minutes.”

Maki smirked, turning toward the direction of blinking dot on his HUD. “Let’s see if I can update those stats.”

--

137 seconds and a dip into the darkness under the Panther later, and Feral was slinking up the wall of a nondescript building that sat across from gaudy Grecian inspired building telling Glitch, "Go ahead and put that in my stat block, Glitch." He blended into the shadows, lithely vaulting himself over the rooftop without a whisper of sound.

”…them to me.”

Maki tensed. That voice didn’t sound right—and yet, a familiar undertone. He hunched down and approached, each step perfectly in tune with the ambient sound from the city. There was a figure hunched in front of him. And though the outfit was drastically different,—’Really? We’re still doing the pointy-accented look? Thought we grew out of that phase.’— the signature flow and patterns told Feral exactly who he was looking at.

“There are no gods in New Lilith,” the figure said while standing. However, Maki honed in on the slight tension dedicated to one side, placating a limp—’And of course he’s out here while injured.’ He stepped closer. ”Only a demon.”

“For the love of Gaea, did this fool--?” Makarios muttered behind Chuck, and placed his hand to his head with a groan. “So this is what you do when we’re not home?” Maki shifted his weight to one side, hand on his hips. “What's this limp I'm seeing? You been doing the stretches I taught you? And really? The voice modulator to give you a growl? 5edgy, bruh. 5-fucking-edgy.”


The Mavericks

We Always Come Home: A Return to New Lilith--
We Left the Front Door Open and the Demons Got In - Pt. 2


1 Hour Later


’97 minutes.’

That’s how long it had been since Makarios and Tabitha had touched down in an underground hangar. 78 of those minutes though, had been spent with him being “briefed” on the situation. But by being briefed, he was effectively being told 1 piece of actual information and 8 pieces of information on how it would impact the H.E.L.P. organization if this information and situation were not handled discretely and quickly. And now he sat the head of table, in another sleek-sterile white modern room. An overlap of chattering voices, “—and according to our metrics, the public support will…”, all with the same bureaucratic undertone. “But, you’ll have to be wary of—” Only one voice that didn’t drip with snake oil, “From a legal standpoint, we can’t have you—” and she’d only spoken once. “And you know about our policy of—"

Makarios Lillis slammed his palms down on the table, leaving a small dent without exerting much force. His head went down to meet his hands, but he spoke still. “Let’s end the posturing. I am not here for you. I’m here for this city. For my brothers. And put bluntly, we don’t need you. You need us. Why do I state it that way?” Maki brought his head from his hands, his eyes tired. “Because everyone in here needs to understand that I don’t give a fuck about your personal interests. And I’m the nicest out of the three. We will do no press. We are not allying ourselves with H.E.L.P. or your corpo-capes. No planned interviews or ops. And you” He pointed to the The Unnamed One, “you even try to run with a ‘counter-culture’ hero gang angle, and I’ll make sure your right leg thinks of me every time it’s about to rain, understood?”

Makarios stood up, his bearing more ridged. “I can get the other two on board under two non-negotiable conditions: 1:” He looked at Angela and gestured to the rest. “Cut the fat. You’re the only person who could speak straight when I asked a question. I.A. will only listen to the experts and Angel might break a table to shut down any bureaucratic bickering.”

“2: You’ll show us all footage relating to the incident and everything you have discovered stemming from it. No more of this bullshit with whatever you think that pod is.”

“It’s an egg, sir—”

“Shut up, Not-Chuck. If Ill even thinks you’re holding vital intel back, I won’t waste a breath to stop him from taking a peek into your database for himself.” Makarios leaned against the wall, “Oh and 3: I know he’s the head of intel gathering, but he definitely can’t be here.” Makarios pointed to Special Agent ‘Chuck.’ He looked back to Angela. “Do we have a deal?”

The other directors were ushered from the room with an almost cheerfully pointed gusto from Angela, before she turned to Makarios with a deep sigh. “Bitch?”

“Bitch.”

She burst into a violent fit of giggles before finally looking up at him again. “God, I was afraid you wouldn’t recognize me with the hair and me going by my middle name.”

Alyssa “Angela” Edwards, the southern Belle Makarios hadn’t seen since high school. But reminiscing would have to wait. “Of course I did. You still use the same fragrance I put you on to.”

“Oh shut.up. I was going to the perfume store that day anyway. You just happened to see it the weekend before.”

“Okay, Angie

Angie rolled her eyes. “I hate that guy. Anyway, business. What do you need from me?”

“Who’s your fastest Hype with a bit of an inflammatory attitude? Speedster or teleporter. I need them to deliver a message to Thomas for me. I don’t care if they just walk up to his door, or try to get his attention another way. But no harming anyone, period. The hype just needs to tell Thomas this, word-for-word: ‘The fog is thick with smoke and the beast cannot breathe.’

Thomas would know that message meant there was a serios threat in New Lilith and that Feral particularly was calling for him. Years ago, they’d each made up their own distress signals. That was Maki’s unique distress call.

“And there’s a woman I need to speak with regarding Chuck. She’ll know where he is and frankly, I miss my little bro.”

“A woman? That’s vague, Maki, even for you. That’s not much for me to go on.”

“Don’t worry—she’s an old friend. Once I go topside, I’ll be able to get in touch with her.”


The Mavericks

We Always Come Home: A Return to New Lilith--
We Left the Front Door Open and the Demons Got In - Pt. 1



-14 Hours Later–


Makarios brought the scarf— a cross of sunset burnt orange, black-gray ombre with a yellow streak down the center—to his nose and inhaled as the pilot of the H.I.T. jet announced their nearing descent. It smelled of sand, air and a sweet argon oil; Obi’s favorite scent.

“Shepherd--Makarios,” Obi placed his hands on Maki’s shoulders, “are you sure?”

“Not at all. I don’t trust that agency at all. But,” he gestured to Tabitha, leaning against the aircraft, barely staying with them in the waking world, “I trust her. So do you. Especially after what she did.”

Obi brought his lips halfway to Maki’s. Maki hungrily met him the rest of the way for a few seconds. Obi broke away. “You may have given Tabi-cat your word, but that does not mean I cannot join you. You know you take my heart with you regardless. So please, take the man as well.”

Maki rested his forehead against Obi’s, breathing in deeply. “I want to, but I can’t risk it. Not just yet. I need to know what I’m walking into first.” Maki brought his head up, blinking rapidly, his brow furrowing. “I can’t…I don’—won’t let that city take—”

Obi cut him off by bringing the hero in against his chest. “Shh. Do not let those memories get caught in your throat. No tears, Shepherd. I will be here.”

“And once I get a better sense of what they actually want, I’ll let you know.”

“Be sure that you do, Shepherd. Don’t make this wolf hunt you down,” Obi gave him a final forehead kiss before pulling something from his satchel—a burnt orange scarf, and handing it to Makarios. “Be safe. Try not to die, you are much prettier this way. And make sure she drinks a liter of water every 3 hours for at least a day. What is that sweet, child’s water you use the morning after you cannot keep up with me at the bar? You should give her that. Petalite?”

“Pedialyte, you bastard.”


Makarios looked down at the now lightly snoring figure beside him. Curled up, rested against the window, she almost looked like a tabby cat. In the low lighting of the sleek and sterile cabin, Maki caught the glint of her gauze eyepatch, a still-regenerating eye underneath. She did specialized work for H.I.T., but she wasn’t a H.I.T. special agent—not in the area that mattered.

There had been a third wave, the actual real force, of slaver marauders. They crested the hill, using the tracks of Maki and crew to find the actual tribal group location. The first two waves had been part of the plan all along. In stopping them—this time with no mercy—before they could harm a tribesperson and affect the upcoming ritual, Tabitha had taken a shot to the eye. She still fought, though. Maybe that had been what really swayed him. That fierce resilience and stubbornness—it was both Chuck and Thomas-like. Pure, unbridled resistance to the idea of “fate.”

Maki’s decision to step onto the plane was ultimately in his realization that he was off ever since Tabitha had mentioned New Lilith. It was why he didn’t catch the scent or sound of the last wave of slavers. Why they got as close as they did. Something in Makarios missed more than his brothers…it missed the city.

After the ritual, when she told Makarios the request, the details she could and the fear in her voice, something about it was almost fresh, it gave Makarios the excuse he needed to justify plunging back into the grime that came with New Lilith.

Tabitha stirred. “Mm? Did you--? Hmm?...”

“Still groggy?” The sound of his voice seemed to help rouse the agent to the land of the waking fully. Blinking around, she instinctively began to reach for her eyepatch before Maki gently intercepted her hand. “Remember, let it heal untouched like Mama Nogu said.” With a sigh, she nodded.

Tabitha checked the flight tracker screen on the wall in front of them. “We’re this close? I really was out.” Actually, Maki was surprised she was this coherent. The first time experiencing the ritual was cathartic but still draining for most people. The over-stimulation the euphoria and connection. But Tabitha had been a focus of the ritual and that demanded even more of the body. She looked at him eyeing the window, “Bring back memories?”

Looking out the window, finally glimpsing that imposing, piercing skyline of New Lilith—an air of murky darkness even as her lights shone bright—Maki’s mind kept resting on Chuck. He always loved the imposing juxtaposition of the skyline, though he never quite put it in words. “You know, there was this stint of time where we had a hover platform from battling a tech-extremist group. Angel could fly, of course. And Ill and I would ride the platform up.” During those times, Maki noticed a particular silence fall over Chuck.

“It was one of the few times IllAdvised was still and composed, focused and relaxed.” The rare moments where Makarios could see the slightest undercurrent of awe or wonder, maybe even understanding, in Chuck’s eyes. The innocence he still allowed himself to keep, against the rigid and painful reality dealt to him by the same city he’d convinced Thomas and Makarios to help him protect, all those years ago. “Those are some of the moments that sit with you. Not the fights, but the rare breaths of peace.”

Tabitha was about to comment, but was interrupted by the announcement of the pilot that they would be “officially touching down on New Lilith ground momentarily.” Makarios rolled his eyes at the wordplay. But still—he was back.

‘My dear New Lilith, did you miss me?’


The Mavericks

We Always Come Home: A Return to New Lilith--
Sahara Politics and Pistols - Pt. 4



˧Tabitha



Tabitha made her way to the pair, pulling her scarf up against the uptake in desert wind. They were standing downwind now, and the sound roared in her ears. As the two men parted from their kiss, she checked her pistol.

“While you two are adorable, we can’t celebrate yet. We’ve got more on the horizon.”

Obi let go of Makarios with a chuckle. “Of course, American-girl. They always use the same tactics. The second group usually shows up a quarter of the hour after the first group, trying to sneak up—”

“Looks like they updated the playbook a bit,” Tabitha interrupted, cocking her gun and staring ahead.

“Hmm?” Obi asked, and looked over toward Feral. “Is this true?”

˧Makarios



Makarios took a deep inhale, trying to pick up on the familiar oil-sweat scent he’d come to tie to these slavers. He shook his head.

“Sorry, I can’t tell. We’re downwind”

“Well, I can,” Tabitha spoke up. “And they’re coming at us from our 11, 100 meters out.”

Obi raised an eyebrow, ready to inquire more, but Makarios put a hand on his shoulder. He had been right, after all. As Tabitha turned toward them again, Makarios saw fading lines leaving her eyes.

There was a din in the wind for just a moment. Feral could here a faint ripping hum—a vehicle. And then the wind was back. “She’s right.” And they were even closer now.

“So, what’s the plan, Mister Defender?” Obi asked, squaring up his shoulders.

“I’ll dash to the side as they get closer. Once they ramp the last dune over there you take your fiel—”

“Actually,” Tabitha cut in. She brandished her pistol. “Mind if I step in for a couple?”

“Uh, sure? But is that all you have?”

˧Tabitha



“Don’t worry, it’s all I need,” Tabitha told him and pulled a magazine clip from her boot. “Oh, and this.” The clip clicked back into the pistol.

Tabi thought back to her grandma’s saying – ‘Always prepared, stay aware; never scared. This is the black girl’s prayer.’ She needed to listen to Grandma more.

She needed to enter her state of flow.

“-tsh.”

An intake of air.

In the first breath, her surroundings pulsed slower. Eyes dilated; her vision rippled with energy. She exhaled a small wisp, and comfort overtook her posture. Yet, it hardened into a perfect stance as she lifted the pistol. By the next breath, Tabitha could feel the pressure of wind, its ebbs and knew its buffets in her exhale. She aimed. The third breath, the bikes were approaching 30 meters away and Tabitha could see their speed, the quiver in control. The fifth breath— Tabitha squeezed, lightly flicking her wrist as the pistol fired twice.

Exhale and fire three shots to the left because she still didn’t trust in herself.

The first shots found their home in the front axle of the nearest motor bike as it crested the last hill. The second shots pierced through the front tire of the next bike. The first bike slowed, but still careened into the nearest dune.

The second bike swerved into the last, sending both riders into a convoluted mess against the side of another dune.

She aimed for the encroaching buggy, trailing behind the bikes, but Obi stepped in front of her.

˧Obi



“Ah, see? The American-girl is impressive, Makarios. I like her more and more.” Obi looked back at her, easily towering over Tabi.

“But, I am sorry. These last two belong to me.” He grinned and turned back before darting forward a few paces, only to propel himself into a forward crescent kick, before landing in a crouch and a snap of both his fingers pointed at the buggy.

2 blue orbs shot from his fingertips, expanding in size until as they sailed toward the heads of the two buggy riders, enveloping them. The buggy careened, but Obi laced his hands together and the bubbles expanded to each other before it overtook the entire buggy.

With a quick beckon, Obi brought the orb toward him. The trapped slavers raised their guns from within. He held up his other hand. “I would not advise firing this time. Those bullets will only find a home in you. No, this time—” he straightened himself and his voice lost any levity “you will listen closely.”

Obi paced, “Tell your employer, boss, warlord—whatever title you have given him—that he will find nothing in this endeavor of his. Nothing but lost time and lost men. We have only incapacitated before because someone wanted to be generous.” He stopped, “But we are no longer generous. Next time you come here looking for those you have no business searching for, there will be blood. And none of it will be ours. Good-bye.”

Obi slammed his front foot down, knocking the orb in the air a couple meters. He gathered his form and coiled his hand for a palm thrust as the orb came down. The resulting wave of energy blew a new cloud of dust and the orb launched at an angle into the distance. Obi turned to Maki, his usual smile back.

“That was the correct direction, yeah?” He grinned at Makarios.

“…How do you ask that after you’ve already—?” Maki shook his head and walked off.

˧Tabitha



“Shepherd?” Obi waved his hand. “Shepherd? Where are you going? Awwww, come on!” Obi chased after, and Tabitha bounded to catch up.

“Where are we going, now?” She asked.

“Well, the tribe is ready— and we only have a limited amount of time. Now that we don’t have to worry about the slavers and you didn’t press your pesky little spy-button, we can do the ritual.”

“Okay,” Tabitha threw her hands up as they neared the crest of their dune. “Will somebody please tell me where this group of tribespeople is? Because either I’m struck stupid or—"

They crested the hill and Tabitha caught her words in a cough. There, below her was group of [15-30] people, decked in a range of beads and intricate garbs all laughing and beginning to huddle.

Obi turned to her, “Not ‘struck stupid’, give yourself more credit, American-girl. Just ignorant.” And once again, Obi was off. Gesturing on his way to a woman who looked to be a matriarch of some sort, before Tabitha could ask a question. She found Maki.

“Uh, so….what is…this ritual ab—”

“It’s a bit hard to explain, and have you believe it. You have to experience it. But—” Maki looked over at the woman that Obi was speaking to, “that’ll be up to her. You saw those slavers. These people have every right to be wary of you.”



The Mavericks

We Always Come Home: A Return to New Lilith--
Sahara Politics and Pistols - Pt. 3



˧Obi


It was never a good sign when Nana was vague like that. Obi furrowed as he walked back. Almost like he was getting ready for classes again, Obi tightened the belt around his cargo pants. Flexed his toes in his boots. Was the something the girl? He had a good feeling about her, but was she actually a threat? As Obi neared the tent, Tabitha came running out of it, gun in hand. Looking around.

’Damn his feelings!’ Obi’s first instinct lit his finger up, ready to envelope her. But when Tabitha spotted him, she looked relieved?

“Obi! Maki just took off.”

Obi sighed in relief. His finger dulled again.

“What’s the status?” She asked. “He said to follow the way the sandstorm came? Are there hostiles?...Why are you smiling?”

“Because this is good! Well…not good. Terrible timing for the tribe group. But great for me. And great because I worried I would have to kill you.”

“What?”

He shrugged “I know, eh? That would have 'like totally sucked.' I quite like you, American-girl. You seem funny.” Obi stripped off his fatigued jacket, showing gray tank-top and muscled torso wrapped in rings of tattoos. “I will be right back. You wait here!”

˧Tabitha



It wasn’t until Obi crested the 2nd hill that he noticed Tabitha running next to him. He began to speak up before she cut him off.

“Absolutely not,” she stated simply. “I’m tactically trained, and a better shot than anybody on this continent. Period. And plus,” she drew her weapon mid-run, checking it. “Mr. Lillis said they tailed me. Who is they? And I have a duty to help if I’m part of the problem, sir.”

“Oh very fun, I am ‘sir’, now! Okay, I like this.” As they ran up the next hill, wind picking up, Tabitha could still see the remnants of Makarios’ footprints. They were getting closer. “The “they” are slavers we have been dealing with. Nasty little bugs, yeah. There is a discussion we need to finish with them.”

“Slavers? Sweet, I’m cleared for hostiles in that Cat. No paperwork.”

On top of the last dune, they looked down to see a lone Makarios—20 meters away— walking toward a group of hooded and scarfed men with guns and a dune buggy. The slavers. Makarios had his hands raised, and Tabitha could hear the ebbs of his voice over the wind, but no specifics. But training told her to keep her hand poised.

Soon after there was a gunshot from one of the men. Tabitha instinctively raised her gun, but Obi’s hand blocked it. “Oh no, let him have this one.”

Feral was a blur heading toward the group as soon Tabitha felt the wind touch her cheek.

˧Makarios



Airborne at 5 meters away. His hands met the shoulders of one poacher and finished in a handstand above the man for a breath. With a quick twist of his inverted body and clench of his fists, the first poacher slumped. Smooth in his movement the same way a jellyfish sails through water, he contorted his body as the first poacher fell and swung his foot in a wide arc. It connected with the chin of the second poacher. Completing the spin, Feral pushed and launched himself into the air again.

An ebb of movement again, Feral flowed into a backward tuck and landed on his hands—in the midst of the last 3 slavers. Following through the movement, Feral lowered himself and tensed, gathering energy for a split second. He launched feet-first into the chest of the slaver behind him. Sprung from the crumpling figure and landed on the shoulders of the second slaver. Leaning back, Feral once again caught himself on his hands, legs still wrapped around the slaver. He carried and flung the slaver into the last one and both men tumbled, untangling themselves just in time to meet a quick flash of Feral’s dusted boot across their jaws.

˧Obi


Obi brought his thumb and forefinger to his mouth, blowing a piercing whistle.

“YEAH! That is our Shepherd!” he yelled through cupped hands, “Keep those wolves at bay! You know that we 'loooove to see it', huh!?”

Obi turned to Tabitha and shrugged. “He’s just showing off and flexing because his contract is finally up. To show why he is a savage force'" He said in dramatic air quotes. "So I figure, why not give him a cheerleader. You know how his ego is, both of you being Americans,” he teased. He headed over to Maki quickly. He actually hadn’t meant to mention Maki’s contract to the girl. But it was almost as if she were part of their group already.

"Oh well, it’s his problem now." Obi neared Makarios.

"What?" Makarios asked, wiping a bead of sweat from his brow.

"Nothing, Shepherd." He pulled Maki in for a kiss. "You got to show off every time we got company, eh?"


The Mavericks

We Always Come Home: A Return to New Lilith--
Sahara Politics and Pistols - Pt. 2



˧Makarios


For her credit, Makarios was impressed with how relaxed the woman’s body posture became as she sipped the tea before giving her cover story. It was natural, almost imperceptible.

“Oh, my name is Tabitha McCoy. Freelance agent, a bit of a snoop and—I’ve kinda always been a fan” her brown skin reddened, and she looked at the gold molding of the white teacup. Well, that last part was true at least.

“I’m flattered, but—Tabitha the freelance agent,” he held up her gun, “I’ve got a feeling this is a little too top-grade for that line of work.” He tossed the gun back to her. She caught it with a jut and spin of her finger. Memory, like a drummer would treat his drumstick.

“And I can smell your synthetic-weave under-armor suit. Military-quality at least. Your boots have been polished recently, though you’ve been in the area a while. That’s habit. Training,” Maki moved from the pole and spoke almost absentmindedly while walking. “Speaking of training, the way you caught that gun. Not only an ease, a comfort with it.”

Makarios sat on the folding stool, legs crossed. He sipped his tea. “I’m going to take a guess and say…. H.E.L.P agent, advanced operations or higher. I don’t know if you remember, but yours was the group that had a rather vested interest in the diminishment of my team’s presence in New Lilith.”

Tabitha eyed him warily. “Don’t worry, Tabitha the freelance agent. If I sensed active malicious intent, I wouldn’t have given you back your gun. Not that it would have mattered.”

˧Tabitha


“And. You’re a Hype.” It wasn't a question. It was a statement.

Tabitha froze, hand instinctively going to the gun before catching herself. However, Makarios hadn’t even broken from sipping his tea.

“That’s a leap in logic, Mr. Lillis. Just because I work for H.E—”

Maki chuckled, holding up a hand. “Trust me, it’s not because you work for H.E.L.P.” He tapped his nose, winking at her. “Though that isn’t a bad thing. It does make you more of an unknown variable.”

Tabitha ripped through her mind, calculating angles to work him from. She was the first agent to actually sit down with the infamous Feral. And he didn’t seem to hate her. But she needed him to trust her…the world might need him to trust her.

With a stretch, the hero stood. “Put simply: I will listen to your request, but not now or in this immediate area. I’m supposed to protect the tribe’s group for a while. It’s nothing short of an honor for me to do so, they’re magnificent people I’ve grown to love. So I will be ever vigilant in ensuring their safety against dangerous or….well, unknown variables. I don’t know where your interest or motives lie.”

Tabitha could only nod. She understood his position….except for the tribe part. It was all in line with her training in the academy. But, she knew she didn’t have time for a standard route. H.E.L.P. wanted results, and for such a secret organization, they had no tact. Tabitha felt if she failed, they might actually try to threaten the former Maverick. Tabitha knew how that would go.

“You have no reason to trust me, I understand that.”

“It’s not you I don’t trust. It’s your organization. I don’t want them around here.”

“Then just listen to me. Like you probably know at this point, we need your help. And the org is getting pretty desperate to the point where…”

Makarios held a stiff hand up. His posture straightened. Nostrils flared. After a second he turned toward her, and Tabitha swore she saw the tinges of yellow fading from his eyes. “Desperate, you said?”

'No!' “Wait, no they wouldn’t—I didn’t—” There’s no way they’d been tailing her just to ruin her catch right before she reeled. H.E.L.P. couldn’t be that dull-headed, could they? “Please, Mr. Lillis. Believe me. I have no knowledge of any operation to—”

“Actually no—not you. But they followed you here.” The hero pounded his fist into his hand. “That’s why we hadn’t seen them in so long. They noticed you.”

This day wasn’t going to get any better was it? “Shit.”

“No,” Makarios looked at her and grinned, “Perfect timing. Ceremony hasn’t started.”

And then he was off. A smooth launch of strides out the tent and a lingering “Tell Obi to head the way the sandstorm came!”



The Mavericks

We Always Come Home: A Return to New Lilith--
Sahara Politics and Pistols - Pt. 1



˧Makarios


Makarios turned to Obi. “I want to see what she knows about everything. But, I think it’s about time for them. Would you—?"

“Yeah, yeah-yeah,” Obi waved the rest of Makarios’ sentence away. “’Go check on the tribe’, no?” Obi downed the rest of his tea. Tabitha was about to ask Makarios what tribe—she hadn’t noticed other people or tents—but Obi looked at her. “Don’t worry about him, he’s all bark. He still may growl a bit, but I got him house-trained, ya know?” He winked at her and was through the flaps of the tent before she could stop laughing.

She looked at Makarios, who suddenly seemed a little more human—his brow furrowed the way it was. A flush of red just touching through his dusty-hazel skin. “You have to admit…he is pretty charming.”

“Don’t you just hate it?” But Feral’s words couldn’t carry to the smirk on his face.

˧Obi


The vein of Obi that wanted those slavers to come back was starting to flare again. He wondered if it lined his forehead, pulsing with slighted memories. The previous encounters with the slavers, among other dunes but always with the same blaring sun and rampant wind, —’Always with the wind,’ he thought— had left the slavers incapacitated, but all their limbs intact.

Obi neared the ceremonial group. He still couldn’t unclench fist. So much so that the tattooed bands circling his fingers and arms—a silvery gray contrasting against his deep tones—glowed slightly. ’Look at how they are happy and smiling. Building their joy for the ritual, to give back to She who has given us all.’ Only wanting to help in the way they know. And these slavers—ignorant in all regards—hold to their audacity of continual treachery. Obi didn’t want to kill them—only to break a few bones and show them the importance of respecting that of which they had no frame to comprehend.

“Obi-boulder!” the raspy voice startled him. “Your mind clouds before the skies have a chance to think themselves wisps.” He didn’t realize he was standing, arms folded, looking at his tribe. “What troubles you, little boulder?” Obi turned to see one of the elders and mystic matriarchs, Nane’bondo—his great aunt standing beside him. He knew that look. He knew what came next.

A stern finger poked his chest twice. “Stop that. You are too good for that.” Even standing at 6’4”, his barely 5’ great aunt made him feel like he was looking up to him. “That anger that stokes in your heart stinks its acrid smoke. You know what we are here for.”

“Yes, Nana (nahnah).”

His aunt turned to overlook the group with him. “You do us proud, you know this. You always do." She looked at him again. "You shine bright and rich --the depth of an ore, when you are with him, you feel this. You should remember that feeling more.” She waved her hand “Now go on-go on, little boulder. We are in the hour, and we are finally ready. But you—” she paused, “you have one last thing to take care of. Go-go now.”
<Snipped quote by Stein>

I'm bitches.


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