Approved Wren; Archangel

Wren Azula






Wren is wiry, a build of lean muscle with crisp blue eyes and a mess of eyebrow length black hair. He’s quick with a smile that never quite seems to reach his eyes.

Wren is the sort of man who attaches his dreams to other people, and once he has pinned that goal he is relentless in seeing it through to the end. If it bothers him any, or if he notices that his companion doesn’t share in his vision, it’s never anything that he particularly seems to express. The dream is something they must share, it is something they must want, because it is something he wishes for them. In this way Wren can justify all manner of things to himself because his actions are selfless are they not?

Wren is obsessive and possessive over that which he believes to be his own and what should be his to own. He has few scruples when it comes to taking what he believes he should take, or defending that which is his to defend. It’s hard to say how much he really cares for those who become his companions, though he’s never truly too far behind them whenever they slip between his fingers.


At the very core, Wren’s powers are based around the ability to detect, interpret, and intercept electric signals. This ranges from the skittering of signals sent from the brain to the muscles, and the muscles back to the brain, to the flow of electricity into machinery.

Easily the simplest of his powers, Wren can control the flow and function of electricity and machinery around himself. He can overload circuitry, cause a sputtering car to finally ignite, clot the flow of electricity into a hungry machine or cause it to work with increased efficiency.

Unlike machines, Wren cannot simply turn off the signals sent by the brain to the muscles, nor can he interfere in anyway with primal functions of the brain, simply meaning that he cannot stop your heart from beating or lungs from drawing breath. He can however feel how others move, so long as he is aware of their presence and able to draw their individual electrical signals from the background hum. However, he can intercept and interject tactile, optical, and auditory signals allowing him to create illusions. These are often simple in nature, as contradictions usually cause the illusion to be seen through.

If he touches a person, or is touched, he is able to toy with memories, and insert false thoughts into the target. It is by no means surefire, and more often than not the false memory is discarded by the mind and simply fades away like a dream. But, through trial and error Wren has found two different means of interjecting memories with a higher success rate. The first, and easiest way is to maintain physical contact with the target for as long as possible, giving time for the false memory to grow roots and fester. Ingrain itself in such a way that is hard to simply shrug off as a thought of something that never was.

The most successful means of implanting a memory however uses constant, short taps. The theory is simple. Plant a seed that the mind might overlook, place himself, or some object into a situation it was not in, but in a tertiary position. Then, over time, allow the role of the implanted object to grow in importance. Turn a random face on the street, to a mild acquaintance. Turn that acquaintance into a friend. Grow the importance of the friend, expand the role. Make the target question if they had ever lived without that person. The longer the seed grows, the harder the memory is to remove, the more permanent it becomes, before the mind accepts it as true.

And then, you are his forever.


An M1911, with an elegant floral pattern etched into the barrel which has been inlaid with gold. The grip of the gun is a richly lacquered wood which shines like amber. He keeps the handgun holstered on his right thigh.

Four magazines of ammunition, each carrying seven rounds of .45 ammunition each. Wren often has one or two loose bullets on his person, to use in a pinch.

A knife, roughly three inches long and an inch thick, which he keeps attached to his left calf.

A pair of gloves, with the top joint of the right index finger removed. The gloves are reinforced by a metallic mesh which makes them resistant to being cut, with hard padding over the knuckles and first joint of the fingers to protect the hand, and deliver more damage when punching.


“Someday, I’ll own that building.” The girl stretched her arm out, her slender fingers strained, quivered, as they reached towards the horizon. Wren leaned to his left as his eyes raked the skyline, attempting to decide which building was the object of the girl’s desire. Finding one building within the skyline was like trying to pick a single blade of grass out from an overgrown field. A horizon swallowed by a city, a cracked, jagged line which blazed the red-orange of rust in the dwindling light of the sun. A reflection of sunlight off distant glass, his father had told him once, before he had vanished into the backstreets of rusted buildings of South Side's slums.

The longer he watched the distant city, the more his skin began to prickle. If he focused, it was almost like he could feel the city breathing, churning. Building towards… something. But, he was unsure of what exactly it was climbing towards. Something beautiful.

“What do you think it’s like?” The girl asked, pulling Wren’s attention away from the distant city. She sat next to him, knees drawn to her chest, her mellow brown eyes captivated by the horizon. The breeze toyed with her chestnut bangs, and her thin, pink lips were drawn apart by awe.

“Noisy.” Wren answered.

Tanith’s head turned, their eyes caught, held. A silent moment filttered between them, and a bird chirped from a nearby branch. Then, they both smiled and began to giggle, the way children always do.


“Why did we have to be born here?” The ancient chair creaked as Tanith fell back into it. Wood threatening to break, before finally relenting to another day of use. For the poor, everything in South Side was on its final gasp. Belv controlled the product, controlled the prices and distribution of merchandise. Belv decided how much you had to pay, and Belve decided how you left the slums.

Sell a child, eat for a year.

South Side was an unkind place to a pretty face.

Wren longed for the city which claimed the horizon, the one he could practically taste at night. Belv might own the slums, but if he had the cash he could leave them, that much he knew. The old chair groaned as Wren leaned forward, he could feel the flimsy wood bend under his shifting weight.

“We’ll leave this place.” His voice was oddly certain.

Tanith shook her head. “How? Belv would never forgive your debts.”

The thought creeped forward, one that plagued sleepless nights when the city beyond droned incessantly. Nights he needed to leave, breath in the city’s electromagnetic haze. “I’ll sell him my father’s gun. That should be enough.” The two locked eyes. Tanith opened her mouth to protest. Wren shook his head. “We stay here, and Belv will strip from us what little we have remaining. We can be free in the city.” Tanith’s eyes skittered around the room. Four walls so thin they couldn’t keep the wind at bay.

She nodded. Wren stood.


Even the poor had heirlooms. Little treasures they clung to, desperately refused to detach with even as the pains of hunger clawed at their flesh. Beautiful relics from an era long detached, and only remembered through a cloudy half-myth. Maintained, treated with a reverence that even the lesser gods of yore would envy.

Today, Wren held his in an outstretched hand.

Beautifully crafted, etchwork along the barrel laced with gold, a grip of polished wood that glittered like amber. His father had told him that the weapon was an M1911, and had drifted through the family lines in an unbroken chain that had lead directly to him.

Today, Wren planned to give it away.

The large man had a certain sway to his movements, ones that Wren found aggravating. He yanked the pistol from Wren’s hand, gruff. Unceremonious. Uncaring of the history. Wren hated the man. The fat which gripped his chin, clung to his waist, concealed the twist of his muscle.

“You didn’t load it, yeah?” The man asked, his grip loose. Uncaring.

“No.” Wren lied. The man’s brow furrowed, he released the magazine. Wren felt his breath catch, forced himself to concentrate. He tasted it, in the air between them, the man’s nervous system. Thousands of signals, flowing throughout the body. Wren isolated the signal flowing from the wretch's eyes which skittered to his brain. Tanith tensed. The man caught the magazine in a fat hand. Eyes scanning the magazine, staring directly at the slugs, saw nothing. Satisfied, the man roughly shoved the magazine back into grip. He tossed the gun to Wren, which the boy caught with a sheepish grin, Tanith released a held breath.

“Don’t you bother the lord none. If he don’t want the piece, he don’t care none about your story.” The fat guard placed a hand against an opulent door and pushed.

The room was something from a romantic fantasy. Grand paintings of heroic knights rescuing the princess clung to the walls. Heavy velvet curtains blocked all light from the word beyond. A polished, wooden desk sat below a buzzing electric light. Wren shuffled uncertainty to the center of the room, Tanith followed him. Belv scarcely looked up as he scratched a pen across a piece of paper. Wren was surprised the brute knew how to write.

“Well urchins, what do you want?” He didn’t look up. The pudgy guard stepped in from the reception room.

“To pay my debts.” It took a concerted effort to keep his voice level. Belv sneered, yellowed eyes looked up from his letter. Eyes shifted from Wren to Tanith, lingered upon the girl. Returned to Wren.

“What're you offering?” Eyes returned to Tanith. Greasy. Wren felt his grip on his gun tighten.

“This heirloom.” He stepped forward, angled his body in front of Tanith. Held up the gun. Belv looked disappointed. Yellowed eyes squinted, trying to look past him. The man’s signals tasted of char.

“A gun for several grand? Better be good.” Wren stopped on the other side of the desk, offered the gun. Blev took it, with a lighter touch. Yellowed eyes searching for a flaw. A mar to lessen the value. With subtle pressures, Wren made certain the man found none. Such tricks were harder when he was a child, now it was almost like breathing. Almost. He still had to focus to keep reality from reasserting itself. Belv also inspected the magazine. Found the loaded gun, empty. Passed it back. “Good piece kid, not enough. But I’ll give you half a year for it.”

Half a year of food. Wren’s heart dropped. It wasn’t enough. He opened his mouth to protest, plead his case. Belv was faster.

“Sell the girl and I'll forgive your debts, even’ll throw in an comfortable house.” A toothy grin, yellow teeth, rotting gums. Tanith tensed. Wren scowled. “Good deal.”

“No.” He spat. Belv’s brow furrowed, eye narrowed. A man not use to being denied.

“Then, she will be your payment for wasting my time. Rez, take the girl and the gun. Then see our friend out." The fat man moved, Wren could feel his muscles firing, feel his fingers curling around Tanith’s arm.

“Wren!” The girl jerked to the right, attempting to squirm free of the grasp. Unsuccessful. Wren’s arm snapped up, he pointed the barrel directly between the man’s eyes. Belv sneered, he knew the gun was no threat.

“Threatening me with an empty gun, urchin? That’s pretty pathe-”

Wren grit his teeth. His finger tensed, pulled. The trigger slid back. With a sharp, metallic crack the 1911 came to life. Belv’s head jerked. Lips twitched, failed to form words. His arms scrabbled feebly against the armrests, as if he were attempting to stand. Then, the man’s head lulled to the left and he was still.

Wren was surprised. Disappointed. He had expected more. Sixteen years, sixteen years he had been terrorized by this man, now Belv was dead.

Wren thought it should’ve been harder.

He turned, Rez was frozen, his flushed face turned ashen. Wren smiled. The man had just seen a magic trick, an empty gun fire. There was fear there, in his ugly eyes. Wren’s smile broadened.

“Tanith, let's go to the city.” Wren held his right hand out, and Tanith took it. Rez allowed the girl slip from his grasp without a fight.


“Wren, ready?”

Pregnant droplets splattered against his hood, gathered into rancid puddles within the patchwork holes of the decaying concrete. The ember glow of a cigarette followed a flat arc as the woman flicked it away. Only half burnt, she was nervous. It was too late to back out now. Not after all the work it had taken to draw Lark out.

Tonight, the last of Belv’s officers would die.

Before the sun rose the next day, the slums, and Belv’s sliver of the city would be theirs. Those men made themselves fat selling drugs and strangling the slums, now it would be their turn. They would build from there. Make themselves known. Make themselves feared. Tanith would get her spire within the inner-city.

With an easy movement, Wren extracted his sidearm, and began to give the handgun a final inspection. Safety locked, hammer drawn back, magazine secured, round chambered. All in order. Wren slid the gun back into the holster on his right thigh. He half-drew the knife on his left calf next, just far enough he was certain nothing would slow him in a tense moment. He glanced up as Tanith finished fiddling with her own equipment. He gave her a nod, she drew up her hood. Together, they stepped from the grimy alley, into the bright neons of the city proper.

They shared few words as they unhurriedly strolled northword. The rain splattered against the street, congesting the struggling drainage system further. They passed only a middle-aged man who had been caught unprepared by the downfall. Without needing to ask, Wren knew what Tanith was thinking. Calculations, the probability of failure. A constant playthrough of every step they would take, every minor detail that could be the slim difference between victory and a shallow grave.

Tanith had always been the studious one.

Times like this, Wren could never quite force his mind to focus. He breathed in the city. The electric hum of lights, the ripple of crowds. Intoxicating. And, he knew, so long as they were together, things would work out. They slowed. They had reached the meetinghouse, a large building with little charm. Like they had carved a corner away from a warehouse, and given it a new function. The two stopped.

“Wren.” He was surprised, Tanith almost never spoke in these final moments of peace. Wren shifted, looked to her. Her thin, pink lips were drawn tight, jaw set, brow lowered. He knew that look, Tanith had come to a decision of some sort.

“Yeah?” He asked. Their gazes met, touched. Wren felt the skin on the back of his neck prickle.

“Thank you, for everything.” She smiled. Something rueful, melancholy, searching. Wren blinked, taken aback.

“Don’t worry about it.” He murmured, a half-felt platitude. He never knew what to do with thanks.

“Be careful Wren.” There was something there, in her mellow-brown eyes that Wren couldn’t place.

“Yeah, same to you.”

Her lips parted, then a moment’s hesitation. An emotion akin to sadness crossed her face, then she turned walked into a side alley. Her body churned, evaporated as the shadows swallowed her. Wren remained still for a long moment. Eyes flickering through the shadows, senses straining, trying to detect movement, though he knew she was long long. Finally, Wren came to the decision that he could ask her about it later, and turned back to the meetinghouse.

The interior of the building was the same industrial drab as the outside. Rooms set at neat intervals. The plan drifted through his mind. He would appear at the meeting, distract Lark and his guards, Tanith would slide through the wall and take them by surprise. Simple. Even so, a feeling of dread squirmed in his gut. End of the hall. Draw their attention. Wait for Tanith. Wren placed a hand on the door, pushed. Old hinges groaned from disuse.


Behind him, a door croaked open. Wren could taste someone’s arm raising. He cursed. There was a sharp pain, his vision turned white.

His temple throbbed. His mouth tasted of iron. Senses returned. He was sitting, man behind him, arms pulled through the uncomfortable latticework of the chair. Something coarse ensnared his wrists, shifted. The knot wasn’t finished. Eyes focused. He gave a low groan, theatrical, lulled his head back. The back of his skull stuck something hard. His vision swam, another flash of white. The man tying the knot cursed The man stopped, shoved Wren’s head forward, Wren forced a stray memory through the contact, the tactile feeling of finishing a knot, the false knowledge of it having been completed. A pause, worth three heartbeats. The sound of shuffling, the man stood. Brushed off his hands.

“He won’t be getting out of that.” The rope shifted, began to unravel. Wren lulled his head to the side, five men, three women. Four armed, one obvious meta, two fat men behind a desk, a mound of muscle. Vision sharpened. Where was Tanith?

The fat men he recognized, the one behind the desk was Lark, the other was Rez. The years hadn’t been kind to Rez, he looked seventy pounds heavier, his flushed face now a tone of purple. Small girl on the left, nervous, poor fighting stance, too young to be here. Kept looking at him as if he were the boogieman. Wren liked her.

“Where’s the witch?” Lark spoke, a question addressed to Wren. There was a feeling of relief, she hadn’t been captured. But where was she? Had she broken off when she saw the ambush? Why hadn’t she warned him? Wren felt himself draw a sudden breath, realization finally clicked. Not pre-combat jitters on the street, a goodbye. She had left.

His skull thudded, Wren hefted his head up. His handgun rested on the table. Close. An idea. A grin curled his lips, teeth beared. He looked to the nervous girl.

“Hey Songbird, want to see a magic trick?” She flinched, pointed to herself, glanced to the men on either side of her. Wren drew a breath in, he could taste the overhead light. It flickered. Rez’s eyes bugged. “I just need you to count to ten.” The girl nodded, confused.

“Look at me!”

“By the time you say ten, I’ll be free of my bindings and everyone in this room will be dead. Ok?” Color drained from Rez’s face, the girl’s mouth slid open. “Ready? On the signal now.”

“Jel! Break his jaw!” Lark screeched. The muscled man nodded, started to step around the table. The rope began to slip. With a sudden ‘pop’ the light overhead went dark.

“One.” Her voice quivered. Uncertain. Wren jerked his hands, the rough rope fell away, scratching his skin. The scrape of wood against wood as Wren pushed forward, his hands slipping through the back of the chair.

“Two.” He could feel the twitch of Lark’s muscles, the man reached for the handgun. Wren was faster. Fingers curled around the smooth grip, a familiar weight. He squeezed the trigger as he turned, Lark’s muscles spasmed.

“Three.” A fluid turn, not enough light to see the large man, Wren aimed for the vague buzz of muscles shifting, pulled the trigger. Not a perfect shot. Wren continued his spin.

“Four.” The girl’s voice cracked. Next was the man to the girl’s right. The obvious mage. Magic crackled around him, illuminated his face. Easy shot.

“Five.” Next shot was memory. Woman who stood next to Lark, she had looked vaguely competent. She released a faint ‘umph’ as the round connected. Wren continued his turn, skipping Rez.

“Six.” Street light trickled through the window. Man on the far left was fumbling with his rifle. Woman on the right was frozen in place. The man in the middle fired. Wren heard the shot go wide, he squeezed the trigger.

“Seven.” The man in the middle crumpled, two more pulls of the trigger. The other two joined him.

“Eight.” The light overhead flickered on. Rez had a weapon half drawn, frozen by terror. Skin pale, perspiration clung to his brow. Wren grinned. Rounded back on the fat man.

“Nine.” Wren held the 1911 perfectly between the man’s eyes. Rez opened his mouth, and Wren pulled the trigger. The slide slid back and remained so as the final round was ejected. The man’s lips fumbled, legs wabbled, then he crumpled. Wren looked back to the girl. Blood hung to her cheek, spray from the crumpled man next to her leg.

“Ten.” Her eyes were unfocused, voice held the quality of a dream. Soothing. Detached. Wren held a hand out for her.

“Hey Songbird, want to join me? It’ll be fun.” Her listless eyes slid to him, slowly moved about the room before returning to him. They widened, her focus returned. She opened her mouth and screamed.

Wren’s smiled shifted to a grin.

She didn’t say no.