The Alchemists

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    emeraldeyes
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    Re: The Alchemists

    Post  emeraldeyes on Sun Jun 24, 2012 10:42 pm

    "Thanks for the lovely visit." Neil said sarcastically, happy to get Halcyon out of his hair. It wasn't that he hated her, nor did he dislike her exactly. He just always preferred to be alone. One couldn't be wary of someone who wasn't there, right?

    ----------

    Ophira's stomach was in knots as she searched the streets for a pay-phone. She needed to call Andreas as soon as possible. She needed to tell him what had happened. Even though that one Alchemist seemed to be a bit scatter-brained, he was still knew about Caldwell, and he knew about her.

    She pulled up the hood of her sweatshirt to block the rain from her hair and face. She was about to breathe a sigh of relief when she finally found what she was looking for, but then she noticed how the phone booth was currently occupied by a tall man dressed completely in different shades of grey. At his side was a slightly shorter woman dressed in similar colors.

    Just as Ophira was turning to leave to find another pay-phone the man called out to her. "Wait!"

    "Yes?" She asked him.

    "Are you Ophira Alves?"

    She sucked in a breath. She wasn't about to give out her name to some random stanger. "Who are you?" Her voice was colder than the rain drenching her to her core.

    The man in grey hung up the phone and smiled over at his companion. "You could say we have a mutual friend, by the name of Professor Caldwell."

    Slowly, Ophira began to back away from the two strangers. "I'm sorry." She laughed nervously. "I'm afraid I don't know who you are. Professor Caldwell never told me about you two, I'm afraid."

    The woman at his side grinned. "But he's told us so much about you."
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    Re: The Alchemists

    Post  crazycreator on Sun Jun 24, 2012 11:11 pm

    Andreas, once he was in the main Market area, felt glad to have escaped relatively unscathed, but vulnerable too, as if every eye cast upon him knew something it shouldn't. But how can eyes know? They're just instruments for vision, images skewed to a biased perception. He wondered vaguely, was he biased?

    Andreas stopped at a dusty stall that had an array of ancient artifacts and documents a garage's yard sale vomit might resemble if it were that of an old heiress. Rifling through to keep busy, he let his mind wander, keeping an eye out for Ven.




    Once Halcyon left the campus, she hailed another taxi and headed back to the apartment, hoping she had no new assignments.
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    Re: The Alchemists

    Post  emeraldeyes on Sun Jun 24, 2012 11:25 pm

    "What do you mean?" Ophira had the intense urge to run and run and never stop. These people wanted to hurt her; she could just feel their hatred and cruelty.

    "You would be surprised how easily one talks when given the proper...encouragement." The woman said with a laugh.

    The man took a few steps closer to her. "If you would be so kind, Ms. Alves, we would appeciate it very much if you came with us. You don't want to make a scene, do you?" He said something else, but Ophira didn't catch it. She was running too quickly to hear anything.

    Her mind was blank as she took off. Her body was acting on nothing but instinct and the fight-or-flight response. Raw adrenaline was pulsating so quickly through her body that she wasn't even feeling tired after sprinting a considerable distance. She couldn't stop. Even though it had been a while since she left them back at the pay-phone she knew that they were following her.

    She ripped her cellphone from the pocket of her jeans. She dialled Andreas' number as fast as her fingers could and held the phone up to her ear, never slowing down for a moment. "Please pick up..."
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    Re: The Alchemists

    Post  crazycreator on Sun Jun 24, 2012 11:38 pm

    Andreas was rifling through some old cassette records when he heard his phone ring. Quickly, to avoid too much notice, he snatched it from its buttoned pocket and picked up on the second ring.

    "Kostopolous," he answered, too anxious to wait for caller ID to recognize the number.
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    Re: The Alchemists

    Post  emeraldeyes on Sun Jun 24, 2012 11:46 pm

    "Andreas?" Why was she suddenly out of breath? She slowed down just a bit. "I need your help. Now." Ophira usually wasn't the most demanding person, but when being chased by two possible torture-artists one's personality tends to shift. "There are these people after me. Caldwell told them about me. Please, I really need some help."

    Her legs were hurting from all of the running she had been doing. She slowed more until she reached a complete stop. Praying, she hoped that she had lost the duo for at least a little while. "Please hurry; they're Alchemists and I don't know what to do."
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    Re: The Alchemists

    Post  crazycreator on Sun Jun 24, 2012 11:57 pm

    His first urge was to swear. The second was to punch something. Someone. Anything. But he stayed stock-stiff.

    If Caldwell had spilled, he knew it implied torture. "O-..Miss Alves, don't let them catch you," he whispered urgently. "If they catch you... Lose yourself in a crowd if you can, where there are others. Alchemists don't like to draw public attention. Where are you now?"

    Andreas had already begun weaving his way back through the Market. This could be a disaster. He was such an idiot to think she'd be safe on her own. There was no way the Society wouldn't have found out eventually. Stupid, stupid, stupid. He never messed up like this. Still on the phone, he bolted up the passageway behind a portrait of a famous queen, back up to the church and onto the streets.
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    Re: The Alchemists

    Post  emeraldeyes on Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:10 am

    "I'm about two blocks away from Carnaby Street." She began running again, but this time she kept it at a gentle jog. The popular shopping street would be filled with people and if what Andreas said was true, then they wouldn't be able to touch her there.

    Once she finally reached her destination she collasped on one of the many benches set up and gave herself a moment to relax. To the average on-looker she was nothing more than a woman who went out for a jog and was just taking a little break. She appreciated that fact, for no one was staring at her strangely. She was extremely on edge and wouldn't be able to handle it.

    "I'm sorry." She said, even though she wasn't sure what she was apologizing for.
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    Re: The Alchemists

    Post  crazycreator on Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:26 am

    "I'm on my way." Carnaby Street. "Meet me in Piccadilly Circus if you can." He was already sprinting towards the Wesminster tube station. Screw Pretense. When he heard her apology, he laughed brusquely. "Why are you sorry? This is my fault." He clenched his jaw, trapping any more words. Why was he in such a God-awful panic mode? "We're going to have to work out a more extensive plan. A little more bullet-proof."

    He was on the tube station now, and he stood, tapping a foot impatiently, glaring at the people who got on at the stops, slowing him down.
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    Re: The Alchemists

    Post  emeraldeyes on Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:40 am

    She was already on her feet before Andreas could finish speaking his first sentence and began to power-walk to her next destination. Her eyes flashed around the street, making sure she didn't see the pair dressed in grey.

    When she finally reached Piccadilly Circus the adrenalin was completely gone. She leaned against the side of a building and gave into her fatigue. She kept glancing around the circular area, trying to see if she could find Andreas.
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    Re: The Alchemists

    Post  crazycreator on Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:49 am

    It seemed like it took a half an hour to get to the Piccadilly circus stop. It was probably about twenty minutes. He didn't hang up the phone, though he didn't say much. He nearly jumped off the train, and ended up shoving his way through the crowd with polite 'excuse me's that were nevertheless rushed. He probably looked like a criminal running from the police, pulling his collar up around face as he left the station at a near-run.

    He walked about for a bit, trying to locate her, when he finally did, he hung up the phone and exhaled a sigh of relief. There she was, leaning against the building, an indecipherable look on her face.
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    Re: The Alchemists

    Post  emeraldeyes on Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:59 am

    When Ophira finally saw Andreas she couldn't prevent the smile growing on her face. She began to walk over to him carefully, to not seem suspicous to the people around her.

    "Thank you so, so much!" She threw her arms around the taller man in an embrace once she finally closed the distance between them. Tears prickled up in the corners of her eyes. She wasn't sure if it was due to fear or happiness that it was over. Well, as 'over' as it could be. Ophira pulled away from him and smiled again but this time it vanished quickly. "So what are we going to do about this? I can't keep going on with my life constantly worrying that people are going to come after me."
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    Re: The Alchemists

    Post  crazycreator on Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:05 am

    "You're welc--?" His words caught in his throat, expelled with a shocked gasp. So taken off guard was he that he could only stand in mute shock as she hugged him. "Well...that is... I think it would be best..." He grew silent for a moment, regarding her in silence, eyes wide, mouth quirked at an odd angle. "Um." He glanced around, then grabbed her hand without a second thought. "This way, please."
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    Re: The Alchemists

    Post  emeraldeyes on Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:16 am

    A smile ghosted across her lips. Andreas' hand was warm as it held hers. Ophira was happy to have Andreas with her. She hated the feeling she felt when facing everything alone.

    She followed after him, allowing herself to glance around just a bit. All of the people were going about their normal lives normally. For some reason it struck Ophira as being very odd. She couldn't remember what it was like to have a normal life.

    "Where are we going?" She asked him.
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    Re: The Alchemists

    Post  crazycreator on Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:22 am

    Andreas tried not to draw attention to their little getaway as they walked at a steady pace along the streets, up Lexington, towards his apartment.

    "My apartment is close by. That is... I'm taking you, er." He cleared his throat. "We're going to my home." He chuckled nervously. "I guess I wouldn't call it home, though. It's safe enough, usually. We'll just have to take a roundabout way to get there, so we make sure we've lose our tail. You don't see them anywhere do you, the people who confronted you?"
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    Re: The Alchemists

    Post  emeraldeyes on Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:31 am

    She glanced around the street. Whenever she'd see a flash of grey her heart would skip a beat, but she didn't see the couple that had chased her. "No, I don't see them anywhere. I think I lost them when I ran..." Her voice died out as she replayed those moments in her mind again. She shivered and not because of the rain.

    She picked up her pace so that she stood next to Andreas instead of behind him. "And since we're probably going to be spending more time together I think it would be appropriate for you to call me 'Ophira' and not 'Miss Alves,' okay?" She gave him a playful grin.
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    Re: The Alchemists

    Post  crazycreator on Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:38 am

    Andreas frowned as he led Ophira down an alley that cut through to another street. "I suppose...Ophira, that indeed we will be spending much time together. And I will need a lot of time to get used to that." Opening the door of what looked like an abandoned movie theater, he led the way into a darkened lobby that smelled of buttered popcorn and stale candy, much too sickly sweet. In the light of an old flickering bulb, he smirked at her.
    "This way." He directed Ophira up a flight of stairs.
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    Re: The Alchemists

    Post  emeraldeyes on Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:46 am

    Her nose wrinkled at the pungent smells that filled the space. "You live here?" She asked, glancing around the unconventional space. The stairs creaked noisily under her feet as she followed after Andreas.

    She blinked quickly in order for her eyes to adjust to the dim lighting. Is it even legal to live in an abandoned theater? She thought to herself but didn't ask aloud.
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    Re: The Alchemists

    Post  JustTheNarrator on Mon Jun 25, 2012 5:03 pm

    Ven wandered the delightfully labyrinthine alleyways of the market, completing the woman's and his own list simultaneously. She had him hunting: Chinese peony, desert rose, eucalyptus leaves, ginkgo stem, sorrel, verbena, fennel, a hawthorn sapling, and a three-inch copper spoon, among a few other odds and ends. For all he knew, she could be making tea or brewing an elixir. Due to his path of travel, he made a quick stop by the meeting place, and when finding Andreas had not settled there yet, decided to deliver the supplies before picking up lunch. He did mention that it would be a rather late sup, after all.
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    Re: The Alchemists

    Post  crazycreator on Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:50 pm

    Andreas chuckled lowly, treading slowly up the creaking steps. "No, I don't live here. This is just a shortcut." Finally, they made it up to a small concrete landing, a narrow hallway extending before them into darkness. "Don't let go," he murmured, clenching her smaller hand tightly in his own.

    With sure footing, he walked further into the pitch-black and opened the second door on the left. It was an ancient footage room, with piles of movie reels and a few chairs scattered about. There was a maintenance closet wedged into the corner, and he pulled her inside. "Almost there... well, not really." He shut the door behind them, plunging them into absolute darkness.
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    Re: The Alchemists

    Post  emeraldeyes on Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:15 pm

    Ophira's eyes desperately tried to adjust to the darkness but with no success. "Some shortcut..." She muttered to herself darkly. She squeezed Andreas' hand just a bit. She made sure to keep her strides shorter than normal just to make sure she didn't trip over anything in the darkness. A few times her knees almost buckled beneath her, her hesitant steps making it difficult to walk.

    "Where exactly do you live?" She gave a nervous laugh. And was it just her or was it oddly chilly? Bizarre shapes danced in her blacked-out vision, her imagination playing tricks on her. She knew they were nothing but illusions but they were unnerving all the same. "Do we really have to go this way?"
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    Re: The Alchemists

    Post  crazycreator on Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:32 pm

    "Just a precaution," Andreas assured her. "Don't be alarmed." Bending over, he shuffled through the piles of boxes in the back of the closet and pulled out a heavy one. Climbing atop, he began banging into the ceiling, grateful for his natural bulk. Three or four heavy blows with his shoulder and the trapdoor onto the roof opened. "Here, let me give you a hand." Without thinking, he reached down to grab her waist and give her a boost up.
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    Re: The Alchemists

    Post  emeraldeyes on Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:43 pm

    "I can do it!" Ophira squeaked out quickly. Well, she wasn't chilly anymore. Her face radiated heat and for once she was happy that it was dark. "But thank you for trying to help anyway." She added on.

    Awkwardly she went to climb up on top of the box Andreas was standing on. Even though she insisted that she didn't need any help, she did end up grasping hold of Andreas' forearm for support.
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    Re: The Alchemists

    Post  crazycreator on Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:56 pm

    Andreas cleared his throat awkwardly, offering his hands as a step up to the roof. He wanted to slither away from her touch and hide under a rock. Because this wasn't the time or place. Because... he cleared his throat.

    "Miss Alves, er, Ophira?"
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    Re: The Alchemists

    Post  emeraldeyes on Mon Jun 25, 2012 11:12 pm

    "Thanks." She said, using Andreas' hands to boost herself up. She placed her hands on either side of the trap door and used her arm strength to prop herself up. Wobbling slightly, she brought one knee up and then the other until she was kneeling up on the roof. She stood slowly and brushed some dirt off of her jeans.

    "Yes?" She called down once she heard her name being called.
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    Re: The Alchemists

    Post  crazycreator on Mon Jun 25, 2012 11:45 pm

    Hauling himself up next to her, Andreas carefully closed the wooden door. The roof was a paring of rough cement, with a raised half-wall around the edges. Nearest them, three wooden planks connected the top of the movie theatre's roof to the porch off his apartment, the one he rarely ever used.

    "I hope you're not afraid of heights," he said, leaping onto the half-wall and beginning to walk the planks, tight-rope style.

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