Fast Hands

Milo grins as they stand back up. Blood is dripping down their death as they grin.
“I didn’t hear a goddamned bell!” They laugh, hands forming signs and channeling magic faster than thought. Dimly in the back of their mind a cautious voice warns them of the anacrusis, but there’s no time. A n anacrusis beast is tromping around the woods hurting people, and if their body isn’t going to move correctly on its own then they’re going to wrap the damn thing in strings of magic and puppet it like a fucking marionette.
The spells wash over them, strengthening their body, reducing the swelling in their joints, numbing the pain. It was temporary, they knew. Barely a hairs breadth from being psychosomatic. But they had a job to do.

Milo sat at a table with their wife and a few vecatrans. They resisted the urge to sneer. These fucking tree worshippers were barely more than screeching monkeys, throwing their shit around and calling it power. Why were they even talking to these things? It’s not like they had any good ideas, or like they could recognize a good idea if it was waving a banana in front of their stupid faces.
They feel their mouth open to say something, but their hands were faster. In less time than it took for them to breath in, their hands had woven the sign for Seal. With the final motion, they felt clarity come over them.
Empathy returned. The vecatrans were scared. Worried. A Mage had come to town and nearly killed their whole pantheon on accident. They felt unseen, they felt threatened. Milo could empathize.

They frowned, eyebrows furrowing. Such an acute and targeted lack of empathy. Their studies in psychology, both mundane and arcane, had warned of this as a side effect of Anacrusis resolution. They’d had quite a bit channeled out of them just last market. It had probably amplified their feelings of general annoyance at the vecatrans into a perceived lack of humanity. Not difficult. The disgusting creatures wanted so much to live like animals then why shouldn’t Milo treat them like-
Faster than thought, another handsign. Clarity returned.
They’d have to talk to Cadence about that later.

Milo stood quietly, bathed in darkness. Chiropolers lungs were horrifying, yes, but honestly no worse than the rest of him. Eventually it stopped being gross and just became What This Place Is Like.
Milo fidgeted nervously with a pebble they’d plucked from their boot. Their father had come again. Appeared in spectral form to remind them that they were a danger. But they were strong this time. They knew what they were worth.
“My body will be a prison for disease. The place they go to die.” They’d said. The word had leapt unbidden to their lips in the moment, but they were true. Milo was a natural at magic. They could manipulate disease like it was second nature. They’d already killed several just that market, pulling them from others and then locking them away until Sophie could burn them up. They weren’t a danger any more. The only thing they’d ever been good at was killing, and now they could even kill disease.
With a casual toss the pebble flew from their hands, guided not by magic but by their dexterity. It clattered against the far stone wall, knocking some loos rock from it and making a terrible clatter. The Anacrusis Beast stalking them from the darkness turned towards the sound and charged, buying their group a little extra time

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