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侯心 Hou Xin

Last Login:
September 12th, 2023

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Gender: Male
Age: 40
Sign: Capricorn
Country: China

Signup Date:
March 19, 2020

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01/25/2023 05:11 PM 

Drabble: Street Signs
Category: Stories

I just recently picked a random setting promt for modern fantasy as my muse source for another drabble (to get back into writing shape and character and explore some modern setting ideas besides all the tradition Wuxai and LotR settings Hou Xin is part of)
So here is the prompt and the result:
Setting-Prompt, Modern Fantasy:
Street Signs
: After a young man is killed as an innocent bystander in the cross-fires of gang violence, a mysterious symbol appears on the side of a building.

 

The rhythmical, constant tapping of rain against the high windows accompanied by the frequent noises of clicking and typing of someone working at a PC filled the room. – This very someone came in shape of a rather juvenile looking Asian male, sitting behind an ancient looking wooden desk, shoulder-length, ebony, slightly ruffled hair tugged loosely behind his ears which were covered by headphones, his angular features faintly strained with focus.
On first glance his whole appearance tended to invoke the impression of him being one of the current disciples at the Agency, yet indeed the sign outside, next to the door announced him as one of the most renowned Agents. As a matter of fact, he was one of the leading authorities when it came to practical fieldwork and disciple training in martial arts and the mastery of Qi-Powers. Remarkable achievements considering his young age and yet another fact, noticeable by his unfocused glance that was not directed towards the screen in front of him, but him taking in the information displayed there by headphones and his fingers running quickly across a constantly changing Braille-display connected to the PC-set.
In his function as ambassador of their Chinese/Asian branch Hou Xin, as this was the name the young Qi-Warrior and Warden of the Jade Court, the Agency´s official title in his homeland, had been sent to temporarily aid the North American section. Besides assisting in the training of new disciples the main reason for his presence was to investigate the recently growing numbers of reports of strange occurrences in the proximity of China town NY and a few rich Chinese families. This demanded subtle and in terms of cultural habits appropriate handling and thus was calling for an insider in order to avoid a social and political faux pas among the “no-mag” but also the magical society.

Hesitant knocking eventually dragged him away from his studies, made him pause his lecture and remove the headset and directed his attention towards the open door.
“Shí? (Yes?)”, while he was well able to determine that someone, someone human at that, was lingering within the doorframe, there was not much more information for him to utilize in order to identify the person – there was nothing familiar to him about the person lingering there. So he only could assume that it was one of the newly admitted students.
“Sir, are you Master Hou Xin, Sir?”, an unknown, young, male voice hardened this assumption, and the insecurity and slight discomfort resounding in the words made him get up with a, as he hoped, reassuring smile. Also remembering that the other probably was not able to understand any Chinese he promptly switched back to English, noticeably lined with a foreign accent though.
“Yes, I am Hou Xin…. forget about the Master or the Sir…  –  Hǎo ba (Well), who are you and how can I help you?”, he confirmed his own identity and beckoned the disciple to enter and take a seat.

Settling back into his own chair Hou Xin silently waited a few moments with tilted head, taking in his very own impression of the student and also allowing the obviously rather nervous youngster a moment to collect himself, and maybe even state his matter.
“Thank you, Si… - uhm, I am David Caster – the Agency recruited me only last week… uhm…”.
So his assumption was confirmed. Hou Xin nodded slightly, “Huānyíng (Welcome), David. That explains why we have not met yet – Suǒyǐ (so), how can I help you?”
“Here, I was told you might be the one to be able to help me with this?” faint scraping across the desk announce that something was slid in Hou Xin´s direction – a something that felt like some sort of smartphone to him, upon briefly running his fingers across the flat surface.
Once he´d finished his examination Hou Xin´s unfocused glance went back towards his visitor, “I might need your help with this, David – Whatever is on this screen, I need you to describe it to me, hǎo ma (please).”

A slight gasp gave away David´s surprise upon finally recognizing what was the reason behind this unusual request.
“I… uhm.. of course, Mas… Sir, uhm Hou Xin, Sir…”, his uneasiness about the whole situation was almost tangible and made Hou Xin get up and come round his desk.
Placing himself next to the young man and one reassuring hand on his shoulder he pulled the device closer towards the two of them.
“It´s alright, David – nothing to feel anxious about – so, what is it you are trying to show me on there?”
“Ok… ok…. – I…well, I recorded something with my phone this morning… I will explain it while playing the video, would that be ok for you, Sir?”
“Of course it would, David – go ahead, and, again, hǎo ma (please), no Sir.” Hou Xin tried to sound as reassuring and calming as possible. Indeed, this was not the first time he´d experienced a reaction like this once people realized his… situation. Especially students and new fellow agents tended to feel somewhat uneasy regarding how to deal with him – probably as their idea of a field-agent and even training instructor did not include sightlessness.
After a few seconds of David fumbling with the mobile phone a video started to play – initially, without context nothing Hou Xin heard really made sense: the screaming of people, sirens, and suddenly some of the people part of whatever scene was going down seemed to be surprised by something….
“Ok, what you see here... uhm... I mean… I… anyway, what I recorded on my way to the Agency early this morning is the aftermath what seems to be the cruel, accidental death of a young man, apparently in way of a sudden gang shootout – it was more like a drive by, or so it looked like in the beginning – however as terrible as the whole incident was, what happened after the goons were gone and the guy was dead, is what I wanted to show you – you still can hear the people call out in shock and the first sirens approaching, yet the moment when among the shocked screams the expressions of astonishment and surprise erupted, that is when at the wall behind the shootout victim, rather high up a strange, glowing sign appeared – nothing I have ever seen, and when I showed it to Agent Booker he told me to show it to you… it looks kinda Asian?”
The implied question in the end made Hou Xin shrug slightly, “Well, on first glance there is not much I could tell you about it,” he deadpanned, once again in an attempt to break the ice – this time it seemed to work as a suppresses chuckle came as response… finally! 
“Dànshì (However), …”, he went on, again back to being serious, “… if you describe it to me the best you can, I am sure the two of us will be able to solve this puzzle. – Suǒyǐ (so), tell me every detail you are able to remember and you can make out on this video of yours.”




 

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