All the vampires walking through the valley

Magic Hollow 
He wasn't wondering.

It wasn't uncommon in this line of work to be deeply disillusioned by people very quickly. You could hope for the best all you wanted, but in the end a good number of them were just going to dumbfound and disappoint you. Case in point...

The news of psychics wasn't really news at all, and Dakila was glad in that moment to already be aware of this. Hovering over the man, his gaze remained stony and darkened somewhat as the vampire went on--hoping privately that Morgan wasn't particularly good of hearing.

Quietly in return, hoping to keep this from reaching the women, he replied swiftly, "Look, whatever your reasons, you gave that woman enough reason to fear for her life. I can't just let you go. If you can come quietly with me, I promise you weren't not about go and expose you to daylight and I'd love to hear you out someplace a little more secure."

Really... he had his feelings on how this was going to go, but he could say with confidence that Squall would love a chance to talk to this... mostly harmless vampire. As much as they could ever be called such. But arresting someone was significantly more difficult when they were capable of inhuman things.

Pavement under feet, Morgan stalked closer to her partner and the suspect, thankfully still on the ground. Remaining out of earshot for the majority of the exchange, the expressions and body language made Morgan tense. She edged closer, catching the tail end of what Tomas' said to the suspect.

No fuss. No resisting arrest. Unsure the words that passed between them, Morgan had only intuition and experience to go from. The fact the suspect wasn't face down on the pavement with a knee in his back said a lot. Tomas hadn't requested any help either, so the detective believed the situation was under control.

"Ready over here?" She asked Tomas at her approach and kept an eye on the suspect, eschewing eye contact.

This was not going well. The other officer was moving closer, the other woman was still free, and the shifter was now telling him that they needed to go someplace more secure. Sayed knew well enough what that meant, and there was no way in hell he was going to willingly get into a car with the police and go to some police station. He'd need to get away. More importantly, he'd need some sort of distraction to get their attention off of him.

First, start talking. Stall. He wiggled his fingers around, and was glad he could touch the ground. "I was asking her for directions. Being that it's night and she was alone on a trail, I'm sure she was a little on edge." He made sure to keep his eyes down, pretending that he was doing so to show he was't going to suggest anyone do anything, but in actuality, he was digging his fingers into the dirt to coax the grass and other plants around them to suddenly start growing with incredible speed. "Maybe I stepped a little too close to her for comfort, but she attacked me. She tried to punch me and then tried to pepper spray me. It caught me off guard, so I knocked her down and was leaving when she sang a song and knocked me out."

The earth around him gave a little shake as the grass suddenly started growing tall- several centimeters in mere seconds. "So, she was probably scared, but it was a misunderstanding, and I think it would be better-" he paused as the grass was starting to wrap around his legs. He moved his fingers out of the ground and gave a millisecond for his eyes to change back before he looked back at Alma with a panicked look on his face. "What is she doing?!" he yelled, hopeful that it would cause both cops to turn to look to her.

Whether they did so or not, Sayed was quickly to his feet and was taking off down the path as fast as he could go, heading for the cover of trees and bushes. His hands were still cuffed behind his back, simply because he hadn't wanted to waste any time with the handcuffs during his initial sprint.

Alma watched with her hands clasped at her chest, pacing in short steps as she kept her eyes trained on the situation. There was no telling what was to come, as the officers cornered the man, as they spoke in low and urgent tones. What could he be saying? What lie was he spewing? What was keeping them from dragging his ass into a car? Conversation like this was for later.

Feeling powerless here, and still incredibly shaken by the slip of her ability, she could do nothing but wait. She'd pulled her phone out to start on a shaky message to Janine. That's when she noticed the movement out of the corner of her eye. At first, it was hard to wrap her head around. The grass was growing, clawing its way up from the dirt, wrapping at the man's legs. Her eyes widened beneath stitched brows, her hand clutching the phone dropping to her side as she took a step back. What was she doing? What was he doing??

And in a flash, he was up, and running toward the trees. Alma gasped sharply, and took another stumbling step away in preparation to find somewhere to flee to if things escalated.

There was a real possibility here that there had been a misunderstanding that had sparked this situation. It was also possible that this was all bullshit. That was why he really needed to take him in--as the woman wasn't terribly hurt it was unlikely there would be charges to press, but you never knew. On top of that, this man was more than met the eye, so either the psychic woman had figured that out or the task force needed some answers one way or another.

How to get them, though... that was easier on paper than it would ever be in reality.

Vampire or not, though, approaching an uncomfortable woman in the dark to ask for directions or anything at all was colossally stupid. No fault would be placed on a woman defending herself in this day and age. Rightfully so, at that.

But what to do next was taken from Dakila's hands as something odd began to happen and he stepped back a pace in reflex as the man yelled about the grass that had taken on a life of its own. And though the werewolf didn't turn to look at the psychic behind, too focused forward, it was still a split moment where the vampire was just too fast and attention just divided enough that the creature slipped his grasp.

Sayed was already several strides ahead of him after the initial lunge, and the wolf surged to the forefront--but not to chase. The wolf was too aware of watching eyes, cautious and restrained. But still, to keep the dutiful cop from doing something stupid like keeping pace with a vampire, the lines got muddied immediately.

Dakila didn't make it more than two steps before a crack in his foot sent him gasping to one knee, taking away the breath that he might have used to tell Morgan to go after the suspect in his place. Battling back the willful wolf, his fingers curled into the overgrown grass.

The suspect babbled and Morgan caught a frantic edge to his words. This felt different from his earlier shouts in her direction. Lips pressed into a thin and unsympathetic line, she caught the repeat performance of earlier assertions. He was only asking directions. The woman was the aggressor. Though the part about singing a song to knock him out… Morgan wasn't sure what to make of that. Tomas didn't react. Old news then?

Morgan jerked back as terror gripped the suspect. The grass was consuming him. Her eyes bulged, breath hitched in her throat, and shotgun snapped up to cover the suspect as he screamed about the woman. Never had Morgan seen such a sight and her finger covered the trigger. Gripped with inaction, she gaped. It took a second to process what the suspect said.

Seconds collapsed upon one another as her focus split. In that moment the suspect was sprinting down the path. While she stood dumbfounded and sluggish to react, Tomas lurched for the man, almost getting a hand on his jacket. A smothered snap and Tomas stumbled to the ground. Torn between the fleeing suspect and her partner, Morgan reached for the man, supporting hand leaving the Mossberg's pump, ignorant to the battle waging within.

Tomas waved her forward, urging Morgan towards the suspect. She took a step forward, reluctant to leave her partner. Far behind them, she spared Alma a glance. Morgan cursed as the suspect dashed away.

Morgan found her voice. "Stop!" Her cry fell dead in the cold night's air. Growling another curse, she took after the fleeing suspect.

The man fled at the speed of light. Or what seemed like it. The male officer lurched for him, grabbing and missing. Then he felt, seemingly in pain, and officer Morgan shouted for the man as she took off after him. Alma stared, her hands coming to her mouth as she watched the blur of movement that was the cuffed man pull out of view. She glanced, horrified, at the man on the ground. Had the suspect stuck him? Was something the matter with him? Alma took another few steps away.

The sprint wasn't as fast as it could've been because of the location of his arms, but it was definitely fast enough. Sayed heard the pitiful Stop! from off in the distance, and he stopped briefly to try to deal with the handcuffs. He needed his arms free, partially to help him run, but also to finally text Beauregard and try to get some help. The cuffs already felt tight on his wrists, and no doubt breaking them was likely going to hurt a bit. Taking in a deep breath he didn't need to actually take, Sayed quickly jerked his hands apart and... the handcuffs still held.

"For fuck's sake," he growled out as his wrists now felt even worse for wear. He could do this. He had to. He squared his shoulders and hips the best he could, took another deep breath, and yanked his hands apart again. This time, the chain between the cuffs finally broke. Sayed brought his hands back to his front to look at the cuffs. They were still painfully tight around his wrists, but it would have to do for now. He thought he could hear the officer off in the distance still searching for him, and so he ducked behind a bush for the time being and quickly pulled out his cell to send a quick message. As much as he didn't want to text the entire clutch, he felt that maybe it would be best in case anyone else was in the area.

Dakila assumed, as he sank panting into the grass, that Sayed was going to be long gone in about ten seconds. Morgan, for all she was a fine cop, could not hope to keep up. Maybe this was for the best, but it was good she went after him anyway. It gave the werewolf a second to start to get his brain back together.

Difficult, though, as the wolf struggled to assert. It was a powerful monster--more powerful than before, but at the same time, becoming easier to deal with. But with adrenaline spiked, a vampire in the mix, and uncertainty throughout, perhaps this struggled had been inevitable.

With Morgan's footsteps disappearing ahead, the victim of this situation somewhere still behind--her heart pounding, and he was too aware of that--he focused on his breathing. But he cursed under his breath as the wolf pushed a little harder rather than backing off. Hands balled in his lap, head bowed, he could feel claws pushing into his palms and he knew, at least for the moment, that there was not going to be any help for Morgan.

Don't add to the problem. Don't you dare. And so while the wolf wanted to call the shots, the shift was at a tenuous standstill while the reality of their situation was in play.

Boots hit hard against pavement as Morgan tore after the suspect. Mossberg held in two hands as she ran, Morgan coughed a curse as a flick of motion zipped into the tree line. Fuck… he was fast. Breathing hard, she reached the tree line a full minute after their suspect disappeared into the underbrush. The cold night air stung her lungs and the left side of her chest ached with each breath.

Morgan spared a glance back and picked out something she assumed was Tomas. She got on the radio and called in her position and situation, hopeful for backup soon. Back to the tree line, the beam of her flashlight skipped amongst the branches, bushes, and tree trunks. Eerie quiet, she stilled her breath and listened closely for any sound of fleeing. A chill wind was her only reply, rustling the tall branches overhead.

Forlorn memories of Wonderland looped through her mind. She shook, partially from the cold. "Fucking Christ…" Morgan scowled and made herself enter the trees in pursuit. She moved purposely, light and shotgun moving in tandem amongst the realm of shifting shadow and dead leaves.

The sound of his phone was off, but Sayed watched as the messages came in. People were coming to help. The best thing to do would probably be to try to get closer to the border of Lavender Heights- that way he could maybe intercept Edvin, and if not, he could at least cross over to the clutch territory and be safer there than in Magic Hollow. It was still a far distance, even with fast vampire running.

The cop was definitely in the woods, and maybe if he wasn't already in enough shit, he'd stand his ground. But he had no idea what exactly she could do with her powers or with the gun she carried. It was bad enough that he was fleeing from police who knew his actual name, but attempted murder, or just straight up murder, would just make everything worse.

Deciding to not wait any longer for the cop to get closer to him, Sayed pulled up his compass app on his phone and then shot off east towards Lavender Heights.


Something was happening to the officer on the ground. He grunted in pain, as Morgan took off after the suspected. Alma watched, breath held, for a few moments as the man reeled with something she could not see from this distance. There were two choices; stay where she was like a sitting duck, or get closer to the officer and see what was wrong. In the very least, even if he was hurt, he had a gun. If the man came back, he could use it. So with feet that felt like a hundred pounds, Alma forced herself toward the man. "Are you alright?" She called cautiously.

God, but it was a battle of wills. Thankfully, it was one that got fractionally easier each second as nothing further happened to provoke the beast. It would have been significantly easier with someone to talk him down, but the only person present was someone he couldn't explain his trial to. Still, he felt the claws recede and the grind of bones in his right leg seemed to still.

Then he realized the psychic was getting closer, and as her words broke through his consciousness, he reasserted some more control. A heavy breath out, and while it would be a minute until he was back in regular format--his teeth were feeling a little sharp for comfort--he was confident that this was going to be better.

Hopefully the vampire didn't circle back around or anything.

Letting some of the tension out of his shoulders, he groaned and rolled down onto his back and looked skyward. "Gimme a minute," he said to the woman, a little hoarse. Continued to steady his breathing, bring down his heart rate, wincing as pulling back from a shift was actually worse than giving into one.

Morgan spent the next ten minutes pacing through the tree line. Sounds played tricks on her, making her snap from one shadow to the next. Leaves crunched underfoot and Morgan paused at intervals to listen for movement. Soon all she heard was the sound of her own breath and her heart beating in her ears. The stark outline of trees and shrubs all looked the same. Her radio squawked, drawing her into the now.

She leant into the receiver and called in her position. More units inbound. Morgan huffed in the darkness, breath misting in the cool night's air. The suspect was long gone by now and she headed back to check on Tomas.

She could do that. Alma nodded absently, and moved to stagger toward... well, there were no benches. So she chose a spot nearby to settle onto, and braced her arms over her knees as she eyed the man cautiously. He seemed in a lot of pain, but was some how coming down from it. Maybe the vampire had struck him in the flurry, and broken something.

Officer Morgan was not returning, and that put her more on edge than she already was. Maybe she was just searching for the runaway, but given all that had happened, Alma could not help but jump to worse conclusions.

It took a bit, but the wolf receded reluctantly, though the detective's eyes remained light green as he listened. Nothing. No screams in the distance, no movement of anything coming back this way. Maybe Sayed had done the smart-dumb thing and really had just run away. Resisting arrest... that was going to be one certain ping against him, no matter the truth of anything else.

Sitting up finally, the pain was gone, but the exhaustion was real. Casting his gaze around for the woman who had obediently given him some time and space, he felt apologetic but currently uncertain how to address it. Making sure she was okay, he instead reached for his radio as he slowly found his feet, knowing they had reinforcements incoming but there was more to it than that.

It took only a minute to request the APB be sent out: Sayed's name, general description, last known location, that he was fleeing on foot... And last but not least:

"Suspect is a confirmed vampire, exercise appropriate caution."

This offered with a sigh as he was certain Morgan was on her way back and they had more officers inbound--for all it would matter. If Sayed had any sense, he was about to disappear.

Turning wearily to find the psychic, he asked her, "You alright, ma'am? The grass growing wasn't you, was it?" He didn't think so, but as she clearly had some other power under her belt, he had to ask. Even if it was... he didn't think he would blame her, much.

Far overhead, a bat soared, keen eyes on the lookout for anyone familiar to her.

Alas. It seemed as though Sayed was successfully gone, and she was left with two unfamiliar to her, and nothing of interest at the moment. She did manage to catch some radio-ing of police, and it was tempting to sneak into human form and suffocate en masse here.

She decided against any of that, flying somewhat lower so she might pick up more details of their faces — passing, incomplete as it might be from this angle, but what she could catch was sharpened supernaturally by vampiric vision — and she flew onwards to see if she might find Edvin or Sayed along the way.

end cameo or whatever


Morgan trudged back up the path beneath the warm sporadic glow of incandescent park lighting. Shotgun under one arm, her sweat prickled beneath the layers, and each breath was labored. The left side of her chest ached and each intake of cold air stung. Tomas' voice cut through across the radio, momentarily distracting Morgan.

The APB stung almost as much as her lungs did. There was only so much she could do, but if she had been faster or quicker to react, maybe this could have been avoided. Morgan winced as she rubbed at the shoulder and pressed against her clavicle. Wonderland flit through her mind; tonight could have gone far worse.

Maybe for the first time Morgan realized how foolhardy her pursuit was. She shivered and not from the cold. If anything, she was too warm and burning up. Having stared down the barrel of her mortality once before, it felt only a matter of time before the hammer struck. Breaths came ragged and her head swam. Each step felt like slogging through sand. Morgan lurched to a stop and hunched forward, bracing hands against her knees.

She just needed a moment. Eyes closed, she swallowed hard. Panic slid like a knife through the ribs. Morgan felt herself slipping and ran through exercises to control her breathing and calm her heart. Wonderland claimed too much real estate in her mind. It dominated the vista, always visible and a constant reminder.

Cursing, Morgan righted herself. Her eyes glistened in the gloom. This wasn't who she was… she was fucking stronger than this. Drawing in a long breath of cold night's air, she held it until it hurt. Shotgun gripped in both hands to keep her hands from shaking, Morgan marched on.

Tomas and Alma came into view and Morgan picked up the pace.

When the cop rose, so did she. Her arms crossed across her hips, and he waited as he spoke into her radio. Her gut twisted at the confirmation that this man was, in fact, a vampire. As if she needed any more from seeing him break his cuffs and run too quickly to make out details. The male Officer; she spotted his badge now. Tomas. Officer Tomas approached then, checking if she was alright, confirming that whatever that was with the grass... "No, it wasn't me. I don't know what that was. I was," She gestured some yards away, to where she was standing. "I don't know." She said firmly, and sought his eye as she spotted Officer Morgan approaching.

"Am I being detained? I think I'm alright without being checked by an EMT. I need to go home, so, if I am free to..." Unless they were going to detain her, they could not keep her here. She had only stayed to avoid suspicion. But the was exhausted, in pain, and needed to hug her babies. And maybe have a few glasses of wine and a nice bath.

As he'd suspected--and was inclined to believe--the grass wasn't her doing. Whatever power she sported that had been interrupted by Morgan's presence seemed only to do with knocking the vampire out. Handy, and curious, but hardly the most pressing right now. Nodding to her explanation by way of accepting it, Dakila glanced back to find Morgan arriving and was genuinely relieved to see her in one piece.

Turning back to the woman, he shook his had. "No, ma'am, you're not being detained, but I think we would all feel a lot better if you would let us escort you back to your home--or at least your vehicle."

He wouldn't say it, but you never knew in a situation like this if someone was going to follow her there. After that runner, he didn't trust Sayed much at all.

Morgan caught the tail edge of their conversation upon approach. Tired of it all and wanting nothing more than to put the park in her rear-view mirror, she huffed a relived sigh that Tomas saw fit to let Alma go without charges. Only the guilty ran. Morgan regard the other woman and felt that familiar chill. Things could have gone very differently tonight. Alma had kids waiting at home and thank fuck she wouldn't need to break any bad news to them.

Tomas seemed to have recovered from whatever the vampire did and while Morgan wasn't about to ask in front of a civilian, she gave him an appraising nod. And while she admitted nothing in front of Alma, the lack of a suspect in her custody said it all. Her attacker was still at large. Morgan would all but insist on making sure Alma made it home safe if for some reason she refused Tomas' offer.

So kind, and certainly needed. She had a feeling she would have been constantly looking in the rear-view mirror the whole drive home without it. "That would be great. Thank you. Really, for everything." She made a point to ensure both officers received a meaningful look, and if there was nothing else, she would let herself be lead to her car. Her body did hurt, but she thanked God it was only that. She had been kept safe from anything worse, and she would get to see her babies tonight. That was all she could ask for.

/can fade

There was a brief moment where he met Morgan's eye. He knew that something odd had happened back there--something he couldn't really explain to her. If she asked what took him down, he'd blame it vaguely on Sayed--not sure what the vampire had done, but he vampire had certainly done something. Hated to lie, hated that he needed to, but telling her the truth right about now was perhaps worse. At least--and for this he was unbelievably grateful--they weren't also chasing a white wolf through the woods right about now.

Though maybe he could have caught Sayed that way.

Still, attention returned to the primary victim of tonight, and he was genuinely glad to have her agreement. "Come on, then, we'll get you home to your girls and if we find out anything else later on, we'll be sure to let you know."

Least they could do, with her assailant still at large.

A hollow sort of victory.

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