Mustafa Centre Mall

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Mustafa Centre Mall

Post by Emiya on Wed Nov 19, 2014 9:52 pm

Gisela promptly made her way to Central Singapore after getting changed into more suitable winter clothing.  She wore a beige set of clothes consisting of a one-piece dress and a dark brown cropped jacket.  For extra warmth she put on a pair of tan detached sleeves, black thigh-highs, and a beige beanie.  Still not exactly winter attire, but she was very much used to the cold and didn't like wearing heavy clothing until much colder conditions.  As she checked out at the front and left the hotel, she could still see her breath as she exhaled into her hands, briefly warming them for a moment.  All she could hear was her own footsteps and the distant sound of vehicles and light chatter.  She put her hands in her pockets and temporarily enjoyed the solace.  It was cold, yet somehow beautiful.

Luckily for her, the Mustafa Centre Mall was not a far walking distance from her hotel, and after a short walk and a few rounded corners, she could see the mall in the distance.  The large building looked almost western in its construction, and the exterior would not have been too out of place in London or Bern.  Notably, the glass windows above the large pair of doors at the front of the mall were dark blue and looked almost Gothic, reminding her of the window panes that would be seen in larger, more expensive churches.  She mused on the idea that this mall was intentionally set-up to appeal to foreigners - not a bad idea, considering its proximity to the hotel which probably wasn't usually occupied by natives.

Instead of approaching through the front, Gisela made her way around the building to the outside.  The back, as she expected, wasn't very spacious like the outlet malls back home, and even the area where trucks would unload goods was relatively cramped.  After a moment of looking around, she spotted a faucet.  After a quick glance around to make sure no one else was around, she took out a small plastic tube and filled it with water.  She put a makeshift cap on the top and shook the vial for a few moments, then took a long look at the water - at least to the naked eye, nothing was out of place.  

Gisela closed her eyes and focused her attention on the vial in her hand.  Her innate mana began to flow outward and into the glass she was holding, and although her eyes were closed, she could still "see" the water in her mind.  The water in the tube began to fluctuate and boil suddenly, despite no movement or apparent change in heat.  It was a magic known as transmutation, primarily used by alchemists.  Transmutation had many uses, but in this case she was merely testing the contents of the water.  

'Trace amounts of chloride and too much copper from the pipes.  There's something else though...'  Gisela frowned to herself as she opened her eyes once again.  Whatever it was, it did not have traces of magical residue, and it wasn't an element she had ever encountered.  It was unnatural, and somewhat of a shock to her.  She expected this mission to be nothing out of the ordinary - perhaps a mage gone a little overboard in experiments or something of that nature.

However, the 'unnatural' wouldn't stop Gisela from probing a little deeper.

She stowed the vial of water back into her pocket.  Although she could not identify whatever it was in the water, she could still detect its existence - which meant she could trace it to a source.  Her magic circuits began to glow slightly as she shot mana into the ground from her feet, not causing damage, but acting as a system of detection.  The mana shot back into her magic circuits after sweeping the surrounding area, and the brain quickly analyzed and processed the information.  As a high-level and gifted alchemist, she was very much accustomed to what was a 'natural' element, which is why she was picked for this job.  Even trace amounts of this unnatural substance could be detected.

To her surprise, there were trace amounts of 'it' all over the ground, yet not in concentrated amounts.  Whatever the source, it was not here.  Gisela frowned once again, stumped. 

 'What could it be?'

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Re: Mustafa Centre Mall

Post by The GM on Sun Dec 14, 2014 10:27 pm

Igna walked out the taxi cab and slammed the door shut.  She then twirled around and made her way to the main entrance of the mall.  Even at this hour, there were a multitude of people wandering about and shopping.  Yet still, it was better now than later, as it would get crammed with people into the evening.  She quietly snuck her way past the glass doorway and into the giant mall.

The air was warmer inside the mall, and was buzzing with idle chatter of crowds and music.  Teenagers walked by with their large shopping bags and kids zoomed around the public furniture as sleepy-eyed parents tried to get a hold of them.  There was a seemingly endless number of stores that spiraled upward into top of the building, each glistening with lights and advertisement banners.  This mall was Igna's least favorite place, as it usually had the most people.  This is why she decided to put this place first on her list of patrol duties, just so she could get it out of the way quickly.  She sucked in a great amount of air, and then bravely marched forward towards her key locations.

...

Igna stepped inside one of the empty public bathrooms and quickly went over to the stall with the tiny manhole covering.  She locked the door behind her, and then leaned over to press her hand against the grimy metal grate.  "Come on now, your mission is almost complete." she thought to herself.  She wasn't just speaking to herself however, another creature shifting through the pipes heard her thoughts and quickly scurried to her calls.  A moment later, small vines wrapped themselves around the grate and then popped off the cover.  A small, ugly plant-like creature emerged from the hole.  It was covered in murky water and had features that were animal like, but had no obvious traits such as eyes or distinguishing limbs.  It was certainly animated, but seemed to be aloof and slowly dying.  She scooped it into her hand and brought it close to her.  The creature seemed to understand her motives, and sunk down into her soft embrace.  She then clasped her hands tightly and felt the small creature slowly disintegrate.

When she opened her palm, bits of what seemed like crushed leaves fell onto the ground and scattered.  All that remained was a tiny, black cube.  She pinched the device into her hands and snapped off a pin.  It was a small, modified listening device - capable of recording at least two hours of sound in high quality.  A tiny chip dropped into her open hand and she stuffed it into her bag.  Afterwards, she grabbed a new - empty chip from a different compartment of the bag and re-inserted it into the cube.

Then, Igna pulled out a small vial from her coat pocket.  It was a simple glass vial filled with seeds of different varieties.  She popped open the plastic cap and dropped one into her had like a pill.  She took the cube and the seed, and clasped them together.  A particular warmth gathered in her hand as she closed her eyes and meditated.  After a few seconds, Igna re-opened her hands to reveal another small creature.  The device was embedded into its "chest", and it looked up at her like a child would it's mother.  She let her hand down into the covering.  The creature scurried from her protection, full of energy.  It took one last look at its creator - interpreting her thoughts as orders.  With a soft cry, the creature sped down the hole and whipped a few extra appendages into the air to grab the grate covering - pulling it back over the hole.  Igna sighed, and then exited the bathroom.

Igna had a few more checkpoints to gather data from, then she could finally get the hell out of here.  Making her way towards the opposite side of the mall, she couldn't help feeling like someone was following her.  She chalked it up to nervousness, and kept on.

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Re: Mustafa Centre Mall

Post by Emiya on Wed Dec 17, 2014 6:54 am

Gisela sighed to herself as she closed the lid on her magic, momentarily shutting off the detection spell which had been sweeping the area around her.  It was clear to her that she was close to an answer as to what the bizarre substance was, but she still needed some kind of concrete evidence to confirm anything substantial.  Regardless, it was obvious that she wouldn't find the answer she was looking for out here.  It was a frustrating feeling - to know she was so close, yet just out of reach of what she was looking for. 

A light yet sharp breeze swept through the area, causing Gisela  to reactively shiver in response.  One thing was obvious - she needed to start searching inside the mall rather than out here in the cold.  She passed by a large truck and rounded the corner of the mall once again, heading to the front, where she immediately spotted a group of people entering the mall.  Apparently it had just opened for the day, and people were already eager to start their morning.  The presence of people probably wouldn't interfere with her search so she didn't mind at all, and she suddenly had the thought of getting some coffee.  Perhaps there'd be a cafe inside?

Upon entering the front door-way, Gisela smiled to herself as she gazed around at the considerable size and selection of the stores.  It reminded her of being back home - or more accurately, of the malls she rarely had the chance to go to before.  Despite the outside of the mall appearing compact, there were many stories of floors, with some stores occupying more than one story.  Each story seemed to have a roof above its head and enclosed that section of the mall, so she couldn't quite tell how many floors there were, but she guessed around 5.  Surprisingly, quite a crowd had already gathered despite it being so early, and Gisela had to maneuver quite strategically to find a nearby cafe.

Gisela inhaled the fresh smell of coffee as she approached the cafe.  She chose a seat in the corner near the restrooms and waved down one of the associates.
"Just a medium coffee please." The barista seemed confused for a moment, but eventually seemed to register her request and began making the drink.  After a moment, Gisela had a hot coffee in front of her, and enough packets of cream and sugar to properly function.

'Alright, alright, so the plan now...  Check the water in the restroom...  See if any of that residue is concentrated anywhere...  And find the source.'

As she thought this, Gisela noticed a nearby kid drop a coin, causing it to roll on the circumference and eventually plop down into a narrow sewer grate.  The kid looked abashed for a moment as she realized what had happened, then hopelessly kneeled down and eyed the grate as if to spot the long-lost coin.  Before Gisela knew it, she was already walking towards the kid and crouched down with her as if to join the kid in her little search.  The kid nodded at Gisela in appreciation of the help, and fruitlessly looked into what was essentially a black pit too narrow to fit a hand through.

"Looks like its gone." Gisela merely pointed out the obvious, and although the kid didn't understand Gisela's language, the kid still nodded in response as if understanding.  Gisela promptly tapped the kid on the shoulder and handed her a few coins in replacement - it wasn't much at all, a trivial amount to be sure, yet the kid made an excited expression and happily took it.  "Just be more careful, alright?"

At that moment, she spotted something peculiar in the grate.  It was something someone would not normally be able to see without good eyes and a flashlight, but Gisela's brain wasn't quite ordinary either.  Heavily enhanced with magecraft, even cognitive functions were above what could be considered normal.  The peculiarity was a green...  Creature of some sort, that had already scampered out of her vision.  

Quickly, Gisela activated her previous spell to scan the area, but extended the range to cover the sewer system below and above.  Instantly, she detected the creature a few feet away inside the pipes.  Although she could not technically "see" the creature with her own eyes, the detection was almost like activating another sense, and she therefore knew the creatures precise location.  Unfortuantely for the creature, there was a constant flow of water beneath it, and Gisela wasted no time in activating another spell - she placed her right hand on the floor, closed her eyes, and channeled magic into the ground.  The water immediately beneath the creature fluctuated then changed shape into a spike, finally turning to ice before driving into the middle of the creature, slicing it in half.

'Got you.'

Gisela waved to the kid, then used a simple magic to alter the flow of water to bring the corpse of the creature along one of the pipes leading back to the cafe restroom, where she would be able to retrieve and examine the creature.  As she made her way to the restroom, still focusing on her magecraft and excited about the recent event, she bumped shoulders with another woman leaving the bathroom.  She was a lady with long black hair and red eyes, and seemed to have some of the unknown substance on her hands.  Odd, but Gisela paid it no mind.

"Sorry about that.  In a bit of a rush."  Gisela quickly apologized to the woman, although she wasn't sure why considering the natives probably didn't speak her language.  Upon further examination, the woman was clearly a westerner like herself.  Regardless, Gisela opened the door to the bathroom and went to a nearby stall, waiting for the creatures corpse to arrive.

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Re: Mustafa Centre Mall

Post by The GM on Sun Dec 21, 2014 10:37 pm

Igna Petrov was in a panicked state.  She clumsily bumped into a shopper while running out of the restroom.  She was on high alert, and at the same time couldn't come to grasp with what had just happened.  She continued onward towards the point of impact as she calculated where her security measures would have failed.

Just moments ago, Igna felt a tug at her soul as one of her familiars were suddenly and swiftly executed.  Being so close to the familiar helped pinpoint the exact location of death.  She no longer had a "link" with the creature since it died, so it was going to be difficult to track the killer.  Even still, Igna knew she needed to spot the attacker in order to assess the threat level.  At  this point, she assumed the CIS had somehow tracked her down and had dispatched agents to neutralize her.  If she still had a chance to escape, it was only a matter of minutes before the area would be totally locked-down.  She desperately wanted to make an escape now, but she needed vision of her target so she could choose the best exit strategy.  She kept walking a brisk pace, weaving around people and recklessly looking suspicious.

At the same time, Igna called upon her familiars to retreat.  She had a planned centralized location and areas for her familiars to spot possible threats while they made their way to the rendezvous.  The creatures slid, slithered, and crawled there way around the sewers and air ducts as they headed towards the back exit.

Finally, Igna closed in on the area where the familiar died.  She stopped a short distance from where the event took place, then hid behind a storefront wall.  Quickly, she peeked over the edge and into the plaza.  The steel grate sat undisturbed and no one seemed suspicious.  She hadn't seen anyone or been attacked by anything for over a minute either.  Slowly, Igna became more brave and began to wonder what would be hunting her if not the CIS.  She was confident that the crime syndicate she was spying on had no idea they were being watched.

Suddenly, Igna felt another pulse.  Her veins seemed to be strained of blood in that instance and with almost a wince of pain she heard one of her familiars called out.  It had apparently found the culprit and decided to attack.  It's signal was strong at first, and then grew cold.  Whatever had just killed the first familiar had just slain this one.  It came from the restroom she had just entered.

Without a second thought, Igna raced towards the restroom and stopped short of the door.  "Why are they on the defensive?" she thought to herself.  She reached into her black overcoat, and felt the cold steel of a handgun.  With her other arm, she swung open the door.

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Re: Mustafa Centre Mall

Post by Emiya on Mon Dec 29, 2014 11:59 pm

As she entered the bathroom, Gisela quickly checked each stall to make sure no one else was inside.  It was a medium-sized bathroom with 5 stalls, and considering the size of the mall it would be no surprise if it were packed, yet thankfully she detected no one else in there with her.  Anxiously, she threw open the door to the last stall and waited for the corpse of the familiar from earlier to plop up the pipe.  After a moment, a green plant-like creature emerged from the toilet, split cleanly in half from the bottom up.  Noticeably, the creature had teeth of some sort and did not seem to have any eyes, so it somewhat resembled a plant worm.  Its corpse had no discernible trace of organs or blood, almost as if it didn't have any need for the instruments most creatures needed to survive.   

She made a disgusted face as she realized she'd have to retrieve the familiar with her hands.  She momentarily considered using magic to pump it out of the toilet completely, but reasoned that it would have been a severe waste of mana to do so.  Eventually, she meticulously and carefully retrieved it using two fingers and plopped it on the floor so she could examine it further.  She shuddered as she quickly wiped her hands off, and then once again turned to examine the creatures corpse.  For one, it contained no trace of mana like a mages familiar would - meaning it was not created, subjugated, or otherwise controlled with mana.  In other words, these creatures had nothing to do with any mages.  She frowned slightly to herself.  The only other possibility was that this was a superhumans doing - but for what reason would a superhuman have to be so reckless, especially one not bound by the CIS?

As she thought this, the sound of moving water came from the toilet, and another similar yet different creature jumped out of the toilet as if to strike.  Almost out of reaction, Gisela snapped her fingers, and the water that covered the creature immediately froze, causing the creature to harmlessly fall to the ground beside her.  

It was clearly trying to attack her.  As Gisela realized this, she quickly picked up the corpse and the now frozen creature and put them back into the toilet, flushing them both down.  If the familiar was attacking her, it was possible that the owner was after her as well - depending on how connected these familiars were to the creator - which meant she needed to leave.  Although confident in her abilities, she had no interest in interfering with the affairs of a superhuman.  This was quickly turning into a case outside of her jurisdiction and outside of her specialty.

'But I should have time. Its only been a few minutes, and if I leave now -'

The door to the bathroom slammed open.  Gisela looked around to see if there were any other escape route.  From the stall, there was no way out other than the door.  Not even a window.  Although she couldn't be sure that this was the superhuman, she could feel the presence of the person who entered lingering around the entryway, presumably waiting for her.  She contemplated hiding for a moment, but this too would have been useless, considering the familiar that attacked her had clearly located her.

"Hello?" She called out to the person who was still waiting at the door. "My name is Gisela Amstutz."  She pondered the idea of revealing her job, but decided against it lest she be wrong about the identity of this person.  Slowly, she opened the stall door and exited, turning to face the person.  The other woman was a westerner with long black hair and - no, Gisela quickly recognized that this was the woman from earlier...  And she was holding a gun, pointed directly at Gisela. 


----------------------------------------------

Intermission



Thought Acceleration.  A practice performed by mages since before the beginning of the Mages Association in England.

It is said that mages have been around since the beginning of human history, although it is hard to judge due to the lack of writing.  In tribes, these mages were called shamans, and these people spent their entire lives studying what they could 'see' but no one else could - mana.  An ever-flowing construct that was everywhere, yet did not directly interact with anything.  These shamans learned to interact with this entity.  Sometimes it could perform miracles, other times it would only lead to disaster or false hope.

Fast-forward thousands of years.  The rarity of the disease enabling one to see mana was far too rare for magecraft to establish any kind of presence in human society beyond the vague shamans and witches, many of whom were fake themselves.  A convention of sorts was held in Mesopotamia, the center of enlightenment of the time.  The mages explored a way to infuse mana into the brain itself so that one could tangibly bend mana without even needing to see it.  

Thus, the initial application of Thought Acceleration was born.  Morphing the infant human brain so that it could register the concept of mana even if the eyes themselves couldn't see it.  From these successful applications, an 'elite' group was born that would form the mages of the future.  Thought Acceleration was furthered so that the very processes of the brain could be enhanced, and Mages could achieve even greater results with their magecraft.  Children of Mages possessed brains that were inherently infused with mana, and thus could be enhanced to an even greater extent.  Family lines became a real advantage in the Mage world, and those of pure Mage birth were inherently more gifted than those not.  It could be said that fundamentally, Mages became less human as their brains, although physically the same, operated much differently than normal.

Fast-forward thousands of years.  A marriage between two Mage families, both wanting the strongest heir possible.  Gisela Amstutz was born with a lineage that came from these Mages and that of a homonculus - an artificial human that was literally half mana and half human.  It is only natural that Thought Acceleration would perform so well with her...


Intermission Over

----------------------------------------------

Gisela held her hands up slightly, yet her brain flared up in response to the threat of the weapon.  Her instincts were telling her, demanding, that she act first.  She had never been shot at before, and although she could potentially avoid the first shot, she wasn't so sure she could avoid the second or if she even had the reaction to cast magic in time to save herself in the first place.  Could she react in time?  Probably, but she wasn't so eager to try it.  Her brain was operating so fast it felt like her head was burning, yet she suddenly felt a little bit of fear.  What if she was just shot here?  She considered her options.  Agitation replaced her fear.

"Excuse me, I would appreciate you lowering your weapon.  If you'd please.  As I said, I am Gisela Amstutz, a Mage from the Association in England, here to investigate the water contamination in the area."  She spoke confidently, though she could feel herself shaking slightly.  "Your...  Familiars, or abominations or what-have-you, have been contaminating the water, but I have no business with you if you are not a Mage."

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Re: Mustafa Centre Mall

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