A Walk on the Dead Side

Evelyn, also known as Phantasm, is charged with locating the elusive Shroud

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My name is Evelyn. I’m sixteen years old.

Oh, and I’m dead.

I don’t remember how I died. I don’t remember where I lived. I don’t remember if I had a boyfriend. I don’t even remember my mom’s face. The first thing I remember is – I guess I can call it waking up – floating above Renaissance Center in Millennium City.

No one could see me. Not even the super people flying around. Actually, that’s not true. Some of them can see me though usually just as a faint image. A few can actually hear me and talk to me.

They call me Phantasm.

Arcana & Phantasm
Arcana and me at the Scrying Pool, whatever THAT is.

Ever since I woke up, I’ve tried to find out more about my former life and why I haven’t “moved on“. I mean, that’s what all the movies say happen when you die: you “move on” – except that really scary kid from that movie The Ring.

So, I was floating around Westside the other day – you’d be surprised how much time ghosts spend floating around – when I heard a voice in my head summon me to the Foundry, a place where lots of magicians hang out chanting and stuff.

It was Arcana of the Squadron Supreme. I’d heard about her but this was the first I had ever met her. She asked me to locate a friend of hers – Jennifer Jones – who she couldn’t find herself for some reason.

OK, I really didn’t have anything better to do so I headed to the roof of the Champions’ building – that’s where Arcana said I’d find her. Arcana told me to look at her aura – that’s an energy field that surrounds all living things – and if her aura looked funny – she called it a taint – I should come right back to her.

Glowing Shroud
The Shroud’s all kinds of creepy!

Finding Jones, also known as the Shroud, was easy – not many folks hang out on the roof of a skyscraper in the middle of the night. Her weirdo aura helped out a lot too. It glowed and flashed with red light bright as a searchlight.

Most “normals” don’t see me. Most don’t even get “chills” or anything – Hollywood screwed up again. Imagine my surprise when this chick LOOKS STRAIGHT AT ME.

If I had a spine, I’m sure I would’ve got a shiver up it. Then, the Shroud points to me all casual like and says “I see you, little spy“.

At that point, I heard Arcana scream in my mind to get out of there as fast as possible. Didn’t have to tell me twice.

When I got back to the Foundry, I told the witchy-woman what I’d seen. I expected her to be relieved or even upset but she seemed more confused than ever. She thanked me and said that she had to “meditate on the significance of this latest piece of the puzzle“.

Really, who talks like that?

Anyway, I kind of felt like a used tissue but I could tell she needed space. I also kind of felt sorry for her – she looked like she was carrying the weight of the world on those skinny shoulders.

I hope Arcana doesn’t call on me again, especially if it’s got anything to do with the Shroud. That’s one scary bitch.

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