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Leylathiriel: Short Stories & Other Writings


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((OOC: Self-contained short story.))


The ride within the elevator was especially quiet today. There was a tense feeling in the air that she couldn’t help but notice as the woman besides her stared ahead with a focused, but exhausted expression marking her face. This wasn’t her first time in this same elevator, with this same person, so she was surprised she hadn’t initiated a bit of small-talk, as she used to do. So, Leylathiriel, a snow-white demoness with curled horns, decided to kick things off.


“You okay, Madelyn? You’re quiet.” Her voice came with the husky tone of somebody that had just woken up. And given that she is a Demon of Sloth, it made sense that she’d sound that way. An unhurried pace to her words and care in pronunciation added a bit of warmth of her voice.


Madelyn Jackobs shrugged, shoulders seemingly sagging further than had been afterwards. “Nothing I want to discuss until we’ve reached my office, Leyla. Though…” She side eyed the demoness, roughly at chest-level with her. “You could’ve worn something else than this for a business meeting.”


Leyla couldn’t help but blink, and she looked down at herself quizzically. She was wearing a grey hoodie, unzipped, over a worn Motörhead t-shirt that seemed to be a bit small for all of her 6’2” brickhouse self. Aside from that, she also wore faded blue jeans, and black slip on sneakers. Her tail flicked, and her diminutive wings shifted under her hoodie.


“Considering that just a moment ago I was still wearing my pajamas, I think that’s an upgrade.” Countered the demoness.


Madelyn huffed quietly. “I know you have formal attires, Leyla.” She tugged lightly on her excellently cut light grey two-buttons blazer. Complete with same-colored dress pants, heeled shoes, and her black, no-nonsense shoes, the bespectacled and short-haired woman was an apt representation of professionalism. “I even bought you one of your blouses.”


Ding. The elevator’s doors slid open, and both of them walked side-by-side as they made their way to Madelyn’s office within the space dedicated to the MAGI’s employees. Things were busy today, almost like an all-hands-on-deck situation, but not quite. Phone calls were going off here and there, and after dodging other employees passing by them, Leyla decided to fall in steps behind Madelyn instead of beside her. Something was decidedly afoot.


“Madelyn, what’s going on? Looks like a hive of angry bees in here…” She asks, as she looked around. She noted the presence of other supernatural beings currently with their respective handlers.


“Well, that’s a convenient way to escape from the topic outfits appropriate for an office environment." Madelyn reached her office space and opened the door for Leyla, who entered and sat down in front of her desk without saying anything else. The little room was shared with another MAGI employee, and the divide between Madelyn’s desk and Bertrand’s workspace was very obvious.


On one side, everything was orderly. Positively drenched in a respect for regulations and minimally decorated, to a point where one might confused it for an unoccupied desk. If it wasn’t for the nameplate on her desk, it would look quite deserted. Then, on the flipside, there was Bertrand. The old druid had crowded his space with every plant that he could fit inside the windowed room. The big man himself, in fact, was fast asleep in his chair, reclined with his thickly bearded chin against his chest. He must’ve been there for a while, since some plants had begun to attach to his person in order to get more sunlight. He was, or so they were told, communing with nature while he slept. Supposedly.


Madelyn took place in her chair across from Leyla. “Now we can get into it.” She steepled her fingers in her desk, and sustained a serious expression as she stared insistently into the demoness’ eyes. “The Circle of Thorns attacked one of our secured locations and destroyed a variety of assets, including all the wards we had in place, a number of useful artifacts, and the reason for our meeting today, pacts we have established with supernatural beings in order to push forward the Guild’s investigative mission. Among these was yours. The loss of life is, however, the most tragic effect of this attack.”


Leylathiriel leaned back into her chair, slowly. Her expression was best described as suddenly awake, but also surprised and confused. “… How many?”


“Every single person that was staffed in said vaults and related offices of the 13th floor have been killed,” stated the handler without any detours. “Security staff, mages, paper pushers. You name it. I’m not allowed to give you the full details of the ongoing investigation, but suffice to say that we’re doing our best to keep this on the down low. Only individuals directly affected by this are to be made aware, and thus you and I are included. Which brings me to today’s bit of business. First of which…” She pulled open a drawer, and retrieved some paperwork, setting them on the desk, as well as a pen. “A confidentiality agreement, seeing as we can’t just have people talk about this. It could very much cause panic in Paragon City if something like this gets out.”


Leylathiriel picked up the document and gave it a brief read while she spoke; “… Yeah, no kidding. I agree. Besides, what I am gonna tell people since you’re not even allowed to tell me much more than that right here? Also, I’m going to guess the latter has to do with the destruction of my contract. Right?” She shook her head and signed the NDA with her name. “I did feel an odd snapping sensation recently. I imagine that was the binding magic failing.”


“Correct,” she responded while reaching into her drawers once more, though this time for more esoteric items; an enchanted sheet of vellum, a vial of specially prepared ink, as well as a fountain pen to go with it. The only normal item was a photocopy of Leyla’s previous pact with Madelyn and MAGI. “This brings me to the next point on the list. Creating a replacement pact. We’ll be using the old one as a template for—“


“No, thank you,” interrupted Leyla while setting down the NDA and regular pen.


Madelyn raised an eyebrow, peering at the demoness from over the rim of her glasses for a sustained, quiet moment. “Come again?”


“I said, no, thank you.” She offered a small shrug. “No offense, Madelyn. We’ve had good times together, but… I am technically a retiree. I don’t really want to be an on-call consultant and operative for MAGI, anymore. I have enough income from selling magical stuff on my website that I don’t feel like I need to stipend offered by MAGI anymore. There are enough people on Primal Earth that have trouble sleeping that my products are fairly popular. Or, well, enough for me to live comfortably, anyway. Not to mention that despite what happened, fighting the Circle is best left to heroes.”


For a moment, Madelyn didn’t seem to know how to respond, but after a beat or two, she said: “What of the partial human rights you wanted? You approached us in late 2019 and entered this pact willingly in order to had said legal rights. Become a citizen. Are you… Fine with not being legally considered a citizen anymore? It is, after all, dependant on being under a pact with us.”


Leyla picked up the photocopy of her old pact and turned it around so it would face Madelyn. Without looking at it, she recited; “The signatory of this present contract shall be granted the limited rights following this clause, as well as become a legal citizen of the United States of America, residing in Rhode Island, Paragon City. The signatory shall also be compelled to inform MAGI should they intend to move to another city and state within the USA of Primal Earth, and wait for approval—You get the jist, Mads. Legally speaking I still have the rights and citizenship I was granted, since it was reliant on the signing of that particular pact, and not reliant on having a pact with MAGI. And as you know, I did sign that pact before it was destroyed.”


Madelyn hummed quietly, and re-read that particular passage on the photocopied version of the magical paperwork. After doing so, she turned to her computer and navigated to consult Leyla’s profile. “… You’re correct. My apologies, Leyla, been a long 72 hours.”


The demoness winced heavily. “You’ve been awake for three days? Holy crap, Mads, get some sleep.” She thumbs across to Bertrand. “He’s got the right idea here. I get that you’re the diligent sort’ve person, but that’s just not healthy. Like, sure, FBSA employee of the month and all, but that’s a bit much, isn’t it?”


Madelyn smirked briefly and nodded without a word. A silent acquiescence to a fair point. Unlike some members of MAGI, she needed her sleep. “... It’s going to be weird not having you on the roster anymore, Leyla. Hope you know that.”


Leyla waved it off. “I’m sure you’ll be fine. On the plus side, I just avoided you a bunch of occult paperwork.”


“Fittingly enough, meeting with you was the last urgent matter I had to get to. I’ll be able to follow your advice and nap.”


Leylathiriel spread her hands as though she were some kind of Godsent response to the problems plaguing the mage before her, featuring a wide, if sleepy grin. The demoness always looked a bit tired. “You’re welcome.”


Madelyn chuckled quietly, and reached her hands up to remove her glasses and massage her temples. “Right. Well, you know the exit. Be well, Leyla.”


She stood from her chair and went to exit the office, but stopped by the door, looking back. “You still have my cellphone number though. Y’know, unofficially, if you think you really need my help. Just don’t overwork yourself, Henry doesn’t like that.”


And with that, she walked back to the elevator, and vanished from sight. Madelyn sighed as her eyes turned to the single framed picture on her desk. Henry, her son. One of the reasons why she learned to trust the demon that just left her office was due to the fact she save the ten years old boy. A disgruntled ex-MAGI employee took every opportunity he could get away with to hurt the FBSA as well as their employees. And that day, if the demoness hadn’t been there…


But she had been there. That’s what matters. Turning to her computer, she archived Leylathiriel’s profile from the MAGI’s active consultants, with a few clicks and confirmations, then set about writing a couple of e-mails before she could finally return home to her family. She felt exhausted, and sad that many coworkers won't be able to do the same.

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(( Self-contained (very) short story. ))


December 7th, 2020.

The shaky cameraman of Paragon City’s local news station did his best to keep the camera centered on the villainous arsonist while flames roared ominously in the background of the city streets, slowly consuming car tyres, the contents of mailboxes, trees, and other objects susceptible to flames. The arsonist himself was a tall and toned Hellion gang member, his face covered in a red bandana and goggles over his eyes. He wore a long jacket, opened, letting the viewers see the crude pentagram and other such iconography.


With the end of his twisted staff, resembling a burnt and petrified branch, he guided the camera to the trio of captured heroes tied up in ropes and surrounded in a fiery circle.


“Ladies and gents of Paragon City! Welcome to today’s little show! And boy do I have a surprise for you all… You’ll be seeing live how truly ineffective your precious protectors truly are! As it turns out, spandex isn’t exactly the best protection against the Hellish flames I wield.”


He forcefully slammed down his staff which caused the staff to briefly burst in raging flames, but dissipating as quickly. The cameraman flinched, the image losing focus for a moment before centering anew on the empowered Hellion.


“My demands, should the lives of these three matter to you, are simple… Firstly, the PPD of Atlas Park are to collect their weapons and equipment, load them in a van, drive it here, and leave it here. Once they are disarmed…”


The old druid, Bertrand, took a sip from his tea with calm, unperturbed expression while he watched the live feed from his computer. His big mustache partially soaked in the aromatic beverage while he hummed in a deep tone that came from his chest. Leylathiriel, who was leaning on his shoulder while watching the feed, frowned.


“He’s on a monologue, now,” noted the demoness, sounding frustrated.


“That he is.” Bertrand’s response was simple and unhurried, dipping a biscuit in his tea that looked quite tiny in his big, if wrinkled hand. It disappeared behind his mustache and beard.


“I hate monologues.”


“That you do.”


“Tsk—Ahkay, I’m just gonna…” Leylathiriel leaned off Bertrand and took a couple of long strides to the office’s windows, and pulled them opened. And, without ceremony, jumped out and flew off.


Bertrand only offered a quiet “Mhmm,” when Leyla jumped out the window. Just another day at MAGI.


“… shall feel the burn that they so rightly deserve for their actions, for they are nothing but false icons that should be burned away, to reveal the truth!” The Hellion made use of his conviction to project his voice, the fire he had conjured depicting the image of Paragon City’s heroic statues crumbling down. “And that truth is—“


FWOMP. There was a white and black blur of motion the cameraman was startled by the sudden appearance of a tall demoness in a crumpled business casual attire came down belly-flopping right atop the Hellion. The staff got knocked out from his hand, flipping and clattering on the ground. A lot of the flames died down as a result.


The camera moved to focus on the scene anew, with a dazed and confused Hellion underneath the demoness that now shifted to lay on her side, pressing her elbow on the gangbanger’s head and her palm against her cheek, supporting her own head. Completely ignoring the three heroes in the background that were looking at all of this with befuddled expression, Leylathiriel asked the cameraman a simple question:



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