So I just came to a conclusion that I'm going to rewrite Cursed chapter by chapter. I think it'll be easier if I just restart to the beginning… like a drug addict getting over crack? I dunno. Its 6AM and I'm usually not sane at this hour, so if I say anything weird please take no account to it.
I'm going to post the new Cursed as a new story and name it... Jinxed. Eh heh.
The lustful smell of coffee drifted through the library, the source coming from a tray which held about four mugs, all of them ranging in size, style, and condition. One was purple with flowers hand painted on the front, shaped more like a bowl than a cup. Two were standard issued mugs from the kitchens, completely white with the American Branch's logo on the front. Save for a few chips at the top, they looked rather professional. The last was completely black with a kitten (yes, a cat) with its tongue hanging out, eyes wide and shiny. This last cup shouldn't have belonged to a general, but it did. I still can't believe that someone who looked like a grizzly bear and had a voice like sand paper to match liked cats a little too much. In his room he had at least a colony, all of them rescued from missions that we had here in the states. The American Branch of the Black Order was located in the East Coast in the one city that echoed through most of the world: New York. It was the main gateway into the United States and with such a large population on a little island, there were a lot of akuma outbreaks. The American Branch had their offices located not in a building (there wasn't enough room) but underground where there was enough space for its three hundred man occupants. The only way to get in was to either go through an intricate line of sewers, or to just go through a condemned building which was on the streets of New York. It was hard work for us exorcists over here in the states to cover, well… all of these goddamn states. We only had about two generals and ten exorcists at our disposal. About four of those ten exorcists were new and their synchronization rates were below thirty percent at the moment.
With the Panic of 1893 there was a thick depression going on through the country. The akuma births were on the rise, so the eight of us exorcists (including the generals) who could function were being sent out at all hours. The longest any of us stayed in HQ was three to five hours. In that time frame we got checkups as well as our Innocence and uniforms. After that we got our mission briefings and left before anyone would welcome us 'home'. Sometimes when we were out in the west coast we didn't have the luxury of getting our things fixed. We usually traveled with just a finder since there were so many missions to go around. I guess I can say we're a tough bunch of cookies but I don't want to go bragging now.
"Hey, tomcat. Stop staring at the ceiling like you're lost and give me my coffee!"
I blinked, my blurred vision focusing on the chandelier hanging from the tall ceiling. I didn't realize that I had dazed off. I guess I needed more than three hours of sleep. My eyes rested on the grizzly bear and a firm frown plastered onto my face. "Take your goddamn coffee!" I said, slamming the mug on his desk, coffee bouncing out from the slam and landing on his papers.
"HEY! I don't want to hear those foul words coming from my student!" He barked, wiping the papers so hard that they tore a little.
I merely rolled my eyes and delivered the coffee to the three others in the room. Two of them were from the science department and the other was one of our nurses. They all thanked me, taking no notice to the little outburst. They were all too busy to bother with me and my teachers love hate relationship. I leaned the tray against my stomach, walking lazily back over to my teachers desk. He ignored me, back facing me as he looked at a book and scribbled something down on the coffee stained paper. I sighed and tucked a loose strand of hair behind my ear, hand running down the loose ponytail in the back. It was a thing I always had to do. When I touched my hair at all I also had to check on my ponytail. My lips twitched as silence thickened in the study room again. "What are you doing?" I asked, squinting down at the papers.
"Nothing." He said, slamming the book shut with the papers inside so that I couldn't see. Why was he being all secretive? It was probably a research paper on cats or something stupider. My teacher stood from his seat, towering over me like an old oak tree. I hated being only 5'7"; almost everyone was taller than me. He scratched his short salt and pepper colored hair and began to walk towards the door. I figured I should follow, so I did like a good little student. We left the study hall and right outside in the corridor my teacher stopped so I ended up slamming face first into his back.
"Selene, you're going to be shipped out soon." He said.
I rubbed my nose which was irritated from being slammed against a hard surface. "Yea, so? I always get shipped out. Why are you telling me the obvious?" I asked, feeling that there was going to be a little surprised as to where I was being shipped. What, did Canada need something now?
"Come on, walk and talk with me." My teacher merely replied, starting back up on his walking. He didn't say anything for a while until he had taken exactly fifteen steps forward, "You know the Black Order is the main hub for all of our operations, right?"
"Well, we need a representative over there and you know our branch leader Renee can't go out now. She's too busy and since you're one of our best exorcists we want you to go to the Black Order and represent us."
My eyes widened, and the tray nearly slipped out of my hands. I had to bend down a few times to catch it with my sweaty hands. "W-what?!" I stuttered, "I can't do that! I need to stay here and help out!" I protested.
My teacher shook his head, "No. The akuma reports have gone down so we can spare you."
"That's General Michael to you." He said with a huff. He always got that way when someone left out 'General' while addressing him.
I merely rolled my eyes. Michael should've known by now that I would probably always forget to call him a General. We walked in silence for a little while before I opened my mouth, "So… when am I leaving?"
"Hm." He scratched his chin and twisted his wrist to glance at the watch strapped there by leather. "In about two hours."
"WHAT?" I screamed. It took me a good hour just to pack, and there were other things to do… goddamn Michael! That blasted man always told me things at the last minute! I shoved the tray violently into his arms and took off down the hall, running as fast as I possibly could. The laughs from my teacher echoed down the hallway after me, and I could hear him say "Good luck!" right before I turned a corner.
It was a messy office. A very, very messy office. The walls were covered in book cases that reached up to the ceiling and more books covered the desk centered in the middle of the room. On the floor, mounds of paper covered the black tile which was hard to see at all since it was hidden by the mess. A Chinese man sat in a comfortable, cushioned chair behind the desk, face buried in his arms. A snore escaped from him and he leaned to the side, knocking a pile of books onto the floor.
I sat at the couch sitting in front of the desk, face blank as I stared at the apparent Science Department Supervisor. I had just traveled for a good week just to get to bloody Britain, and here I was waiting for the supervisor to wake up from a nap. What kind of greeting was this? I was expecting something better… not a red carpet welcome, but at least a hand shake would do fine. An Australian man shuffled past me, picking up the books previously dropped on the floor up before setting them back on the cluttered desk. He had bags drooping under his eyes and it was obvious to tell that he hadn't slept in a good week. The spiky brown haired man hunched over Komui, whispering something inaudible to me in his ear. I nearly jumped as the Chinese man sprung to life, screaming at the top of his lungs.
"LENALEEEE! WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL BIG BROTHER YOU WERE GETTING MARRIED?"
My eyes were wide and round as the older male wept on his desk. I was trying hard not to stare but it was rather difficult. The brown haired male sighed heavily and started rolling up maps that were hung up behind the supervisor. The Chinese man rubbed his eyes, squinting as he closed his line of vision onto me. He quickly rubbed his face and stood up from his chair, nearly tipping it over. "Hello!" He said, walking over to me in slippers, "My name is Komui Li, I am the Science Department Supervisor. I take it that you're-"
"Selene Lok." I finished for him, folding my hands in my lap. I didn't want to sit here and have any idle chat; I wanted to get straight down to business. "So what will I be doing here?"
Komui picked up an over turned coffee mug, staring inside of it like it would automatically refill itself. He held the mug tightly in his hand as he pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose. "Well, you are here to represent the American Branch for now until Renee can come out. Until then we will have you working here like you would over there. We will send you out on missions… you know. The usual." He said, waving the coffee mug in front of the Australian man, "Reever! Coffee!" He commanded.
Reever gave Komui a scowl and snatched the cup out of the man's hands, mumbling as he walked out of the room to get the supervisor more coffee. The Chinese man smiled and crossed his arms against his chest, "Actually we have a mission for you right now."
"Really?" I asked, blinking. That sure was quick.
"Yes. It's in France near the Italian border! How lovely!" Komui sighed happily, wishing he could go. The Chinese man walked back over to the maps, pulling one of France down. He tapped a finger at a black dot on the map, "There is a town called Grenoble in the south-eastern part of France. There has been a report that some type of shield is covering the entire town and it is not permitting original residents to leave. People who were not born in Grenoble can come and go as they please, but for some reason people who were raised there can't. We've had our finders scout out the area and they believe that innocence is at work here."
I nodded my head, taking in everything he said like a sponge did water. "Alright, so when do I leave?" I asked, ready and set to go.
Komui smiled, "Well, aren't you an enthusiastic one!" He said, rolling the map back up, "You'll be leaving tomorrow morning at four am. Just come by here before you leave, alright?" He said, sitting back down in his chair, "You should head down to the dining hall now. It's almost eight… so everyone should be down there eating. Get acquainted with the other exorcists!"
"Alright." I said, standing up and brushing off the gray pants I was wearing. I turned towards the door, and headed out of his office, not sure just where the dining hall was.