A/N: After finishing "Hostage", I was PM'd by bossybossninja asking if I was interested in collaborating on a combined fandom story. Opening each fandom to something new. I was immediately interested because it's a challenge to be writing something familiar and unfamiliar at the same time. This is a combination of Castle and Magic: The Gathering. I hope you enjoy it! :)
I wasn't like this, a long time ago. Or, at least I think it was a long time. My mind, I cannot think, I can only search for the planeswalker who did this to me. I hate what I have become, but I cannot resist. Fear proceeds me, death follows in my wake. I came, following a trail I thought was the one who cursed me, but that one has still eluded me. My search has brought me to a new plane, one who's name I would care about, but now all that fills my mind is the burning anger that drives me to find the planeswalker that did this.
"Please, man! I have no idea what you're talking about!" This planeswalker had not been hard to find, my tracking magic easily able to seek my quarry. "I have money, here, take it!" What is this? He thrust out his hand, and held out an object, made of some kind of fake leather. I didn't care about what he gave me, he was the one! I stepped forward, and the man tried to run, but I blocked the entire alleyway. With a single swing of my greataxe, I cleaved his stomach open. As he lay dying, I pressed my hand to his face, driven by some unknown instinct, and tendrils, reaching out from my veins crept forward, and touched the man. I felt the energy flow into my body as his turned into a shriveled husk.
He wasn't the one. My anger burned inside, I had to find this person. I walked through the alley that the stone towers made. This city never sleeps. Even though it was the dead of night, lights were everywhere. Whatever magic fueled them, I couldn't care less, I needed to find the one who had cursed me.
"Lanie, what have we got?"
Kate Beckett knelt beside her friend.
The medical examiner shook her head.
"I'm not entirely sure," she answered, pulling the sheet from the face of the body. The canvas was pulled over to reveal a face, utterly lifeless, desiccated and black. The smell of decay hit Kate like someone had shoved a pigsty up her nose.
"Oh my God!" exclaimed Kate, "Is that a mummy?"
"Looks like it," replied Lanie, "but I don't think it was stolen from the museum."
"I want to get to the lab before I say anything officially, but off the record… I just don't know."
"Well, that's cryptic," Kate mentioned; frowning as she stood. A few people passing by were taking photos, sure to share the event and attract at least at least a small news crew.
Esposito walked up.
"Yo." He pointed to a man behind him huddled and rocking on the ground. "We got one witness so far, but he's gotta be on acid or something."
"He's going on about this freakishly tall dude wearing some sort of armor and a huge ass axe. He thought it was gonna be a mugging, until the guy swung the axe and nearly cut the vic in two."
Kate rolled her eyes. This was turning out to be a wonderful turn of events.
"Just what we need, a whacked-out witness. Castle's going to be so mad he was stuck in meetings all day."
"Oh, it gets better. The perp touches the victim, our guy didn't want to get a closer look – didn't want to get drawn in, can't say I blame him – but he says the victim just kind of withered. Until it looked like…" he pointed to the body.
Beckett shook her head.
"All right. Get uniforms to canvass the area. Hopefully they can find a more coherent witness. Talk to the business owners around, maybe they have security cameras. Get street cams as well, and find out if any of these gawkers saw anything to do with this. If not, get rid of them. I want to get the body out before the press gets here, and without pictures showing up on the internet."
"On it." Esposito walked off with a purpose in his step.
Kevin Ryan jogged up holding a wallet.
"Found this lying over there," he pointed. "It could be the vic's wallet."
He looked down at the body, which Lanie hadn't re-covered.
"Or – a wallet."
He looked back to Kate, and opened it.
"Belongs to a Robert Starkey. Couple hundred bucks, two credit cards. Doesn't look like a robbery."
Beckett looked to the witness still rocking back and forth on the ground, then to the victim.
"Find out if it belongs to our… hopefully stoned witness," she rolled her eyes. "I can't believe I said that."
"If it's not his, find Starkey or his next of kin and find out what you can about him. I'm inclined to believe the wallet is connected."
"You don't think it could have just fallen out of the guy's pocket?"
"Clear back here? And even if it was just lost there's no way two hundred dollars would still be in it, to say nothing of the credit cards."
Ryan nodded and jogged over to the witness to ask his questions.
Kate knelt at the body again. She pulled the sheet down to the waist. Sure enough, a visible gap from what looked convincingly like a giant axe easily separated the upper half of the man's sternum, even in his desiccated, blackened state.
"Lanie, what could do this?"
Lanie turned almost frightened eyes to her.
"I'm almost afraid to find out."
"He's definitely here, he hasn't left this plane yet." The pair had just planeswalked onto the top of a skyscraper, entering the plane with hardly a sound.
"Uh, where is here, Jace?" The pair looked around, and walked up to the edge of the building. They peered down over the side, looking at the city. Dazzling lights, hundreds of people, and strange metal things that moved could be seen far below.
"Kind of reminds me of Ravnica, just a little, but without things in the air."
"Yeah, that's what I thought too but… Whoa. Stop looking around you, but instead, feel around you." They closed their eyes for a moment, but the one called Jace immediately felt what the other man was saying.
"You're right. The mana here is old, like it hasn't been used in a really long time."
"Do you think they use magic at all?"
"From what I can see, no."
"How is that possible? A city this size can only be run with the aid of magic. It's never been seen before."
"Do you even see any law magic, Gideon? Even the most anti-magic towns have spellcasters to control other people who won't listen to the law."
"Maybe they don't use magic whatsoever." That was a scary and curious thought, and both knew it was likely the truth.
"Let's go down there, to see what happens at the ground level." Jace put his hand on Gideon's shoulder, and they both vanished with a flash of blue light. They materialized several hundred feet below, in an alley only dimly by the lights outside.
"What the-" A voice, then a crash of glass, followed by the sounds of feet stumbling away were all that the men heard.
"From what I can tell, yes, magic is a touchy subject here. Good thing he was drunk, he won't tell anyone." Jace examined the large glass bottle the man had been drinking out of. "I've never seen markings like that before. Looks like we will need a language-spell" Jace thought for a moment, he hadn't had one prepared. "Here we are." with a flick of his fingers, the text seemed to take a new shape for the two. "Aha, we can read it now. Oh, and speak it too. It's wine, though I've never heard of this kind before. More examples of how this place is different."
"All right, no magic for now. What about the way we dress, will that matter?" Neither of them had seen any of the local's apparel clearly, but they both could guess it would be different. They came out of the shadows, watching for people, drawn to an area lit up brightly even though it was the dead of night.
"There. Wow, that's a little different from what we're wearing." Jace cast a simple illusion over both of them, and they were dressed in the same strange apparel as the people he picked out. They slept lightly, because they had no roof under their heads, and only the hard ground to sleep on.
The next morning after a terribly sleepless sleep, they went further into the city. Signs with bright colors were everywhere, red blue and one with a giant yellow M, but neither of the two could guess what it was for. Different kinds of people milled around, different kinds of smells wafted through the air, and similar sounds of a city could be heard all around them.
"How many signs do these people need? The buildings around here are covered in them!"
"They look like they're for things, or people." They were bewildered by the volume of words and lights and… everything. "They stood there for a few minutes, taking in the sights and sensations of wonder and awe at so many things.
"All right. Something smells good, and I want to eat. Let's figure out how to get some currency and get food. Jace, how do people get stuff they want here?" Jace sat down at a bench, Gideon next to him. He stared off into the distance.
"Money. Dollars, or bucks, or cash. That is the name of currency here. From what I can hear, it is casually called bucks, though I have no idea why, but a more formal term is dollars. It is usually referred to in a group as cash. Oh, and it's made out of paper."
"Paper money? Why not coins? Paper could be printed by anyone, or it could get wet or something!"
"Whatever. The problem is, we need a way to get it."
"How are we supposed to do that?"
"I have a few ideas, but they all involve less than lawful activities."
"Maybe we could be professional bounty hunters, most places have money on criminal's heads."
"Now there's an idea, we could get money, and look for Garruk!"
They spent a few minutes asking for directions, but eventually they found their way to a large building, with blue and white glass windows, and the large letters NYPD on the front wall.