Kickoff written by Jolan.H.

A rich engagement

A magical creature hunter gets trapped on TV show

Lance are you listening.", Whispers impatient voice came through the blue tooth earpiece.

I was busy strapping the heavy armor on, "Yes I am listening, she sounds nice.", I was annoyed, "We came here to do the job not talk about my love life.", I tightened the straps on the vest. It fits snugly on my toned form.

Whisper frequently tried to set me up, usually just before I went into battle. I was of the mind she should know better because she used to do the job.

"Don't you wish you had someone to come home to?", she had taken a motherly tone, "I don't want you to look back and regret how things turned out."

I slid the chrome Desert Eagle fifty calibers into the shoulder holsters, "The only thing I regret is letting Vasher take the job. We wouldn't be here if he had finished.", it was the truth, "How did he become an Arcane Seeker anyway?"

I could hear Whisper rolling her eyes, "The same thing that happened to you. Magic returned, a bunch of people died because they couldn't control
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the powers they gained. The government trained the orphans to fight magical threats..."

I grabbed the custom made armored gloves, "I should have asked, how Vasher still has a job.", honestly, some threats cannot be left alone. "Speaking of which, what are we chasing here?"

Whisper clicked on the keys in the background, "The report says six women dead, all of them raped, all witnesses report seeing a beast-like humanoid fleeing the scene."

The information was somewhat helpful, "What do we have in the magical entity database?". The first rule of being an arcane seeker is to know what you are chasing or at least have a good idea.

Once more the clicking of keys could be heard in the background, "We have ourselves a tikbalang, you know the half horse, half man.", Whispers tone was somewhat angry.

In mythology, werehorses or tikbalang, are primarily tricksters. They enjoy confusing people and leading them astray in the woods. Most are fine as long as announce your presence in their
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territory. The darker variety of the tikbalangs rape their victims to reproduce.

I ran my hands through my short black hair and traced the three jagged scars across my once handsome face. They are a painful reminder of what happens when you stop paying attention. I placed the tactical helmet on and walked to the door of the motel room.

"Okay, where was it last seen?". I walked outside the morning rays were dulled by the colored lenses of the helmet. I could hear the birds making the usual racket as they fluttered about. I could smell the salty ocean and took a deep breath.

"The Shellburg Memorial Park trails, it's a popular spot with the local joggers and visitors. It is about a kilometer away from your location. Have you been practicing?". Whisper believed in a daily training routine, and she made damn sure all of her trainees adopted this habit.

"Yes, Whisper I have been practicing daily as per your instructions."

"Good, you are an Arcani practice for you is a must.", Whispers
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tone sounded critical.

"Yes, mom.", in many ways Whisper was like my mother as well as my mentor and teacher. I took the Fostech Origin shotgun out of the bag and used magical energy to hold it in place on my back.

Arcani control pure magical energy. I can form weapons, add force to my strikes, shield myself, or add effects with a complimentary skill called grafting. For instance, if I wanted to subdue a target and not kill it, I could graft a stun charge to the weapon. The effect only works on contact, and I don't do projectiles. Projectiles drain my strength and I have to stay focused on the target until the damn thing hits.

I started walking down the littered street towards the trails. I loved small towns. My prey had fewer places to hide and strangers stuck out like sore thumbs causing the locals to gossip. Small towns can also be a pain because I stick out like a sore thumb.

I checked the time on my watch and it was only seven a.m.. No shops were open,
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