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  • Writer's pictureHenry Cavanaugh

Now Leaving Nocturne City

Updated: Dec 15, 2018

This story is part of a collaboration with @southern-god1. You can find his side of the story over on his blog!

Jack was a country boy through and through and he was darn proud of that! Nocturne City had been his home for as long as he could possibly remember and as far as he was concerned there was no better place to be raised. It was through his experiences in Nocturne that he became a man - an Alpha, confident and sure of his dominance in society over those weaker than himself. His father was his idol and he’d done everything he possibly could to make his old man proud, something that he was pleased to say that he did. He was no pansy and never let anybody walk over him.


His weekend begun the same way it always did, namely outside the city hunting some wildlife with his trusty rifle. His pops had gifted it to him years back and it had been his go-to hunting rifle ever since, scoring him some decent game. A deer had just appeared in Jack’s sights and he began to prepare himself to take the shot to get it down cleanly in one go when he heard the unmistakable sound of a man clearing his throat nearby.


Glancing up from his rifle, he inspected the man who had seemingly appeared out of nowhere. Jack was pretty proud of his senses and he hadn’t heard the man approach at all but there he was, right by the tree that Jack had stationed himself at. The man was tall and handsome but there was something in his eyes that made the southern stud wary. “Can I help you?” he asked, keeping his tone sharp and eyes narrowed. It wasn’t like folks to be wandering around in these parts, after all.

“Indeed you can,” the man confirmed, a bright smile decorating his face. “You see, I need you to make a little exchange for me.” The words were said in a pleasant enough manner but that still didn’t make them sit right for Jack. His grip on the hunting rifle tightened and he knew that he wouldn’t hesitate to turn the gun towards the new arrival should he pose any threat.

“What kinda exchange, huh?” he grunted in response, eyebrows furrowing and lips curling into a small frown. “And what the hell are you doing out in these parts? It can get dangerous out here.”

“Quite. Shall we go somewhere safer?” Then, with speed that should have been impossible, the man reached out and tapped Jack on the forehead before he could even move his rifle an inch. His whole body was incredibly tense to the point of being frozen and all Jack could move was his head. Glancing down, he was stunned to find that his trusty rifle was no longer in his hands - and as he looked up, he discovered that he was now in a crowded bar in the middle of a city! It wasn’t establishment he recognized either - was he still in Nocturne?

The tall man smiled and it was enough to send a shiver down Jack’s spine. He knew this wasn’t over but he wasn’t so sure he wanted to discover what else the man had in store for him. “Wh- what are you going to do to me?” he asked, sounding uncharacteristically vulnerable for once. With his body immobilized there was little he could do as the man pressed a finger to his forehead once more and a chill spread throughout Jack’s body.


Still only able to move his head, Jack looked down at himself and grit his teeth together to stop himself from yelling out in surprise. He was incredibly hesitant to show any sign of fear, even if the body he’d known and loved his whole life had been replaced by something far less visibly pleasing. The slender frame was severely lacking in muscles and none of his tattoos - or indeed any - were to be seen anywhere. Jack felt weak and it was seriously disorientating.


“Oh Jack, you’ve been a great help,” the man declared, only the words sounded as if they were being hissed by many hushed voices all at once. Genuine fear rushed through Jack as he began to understand that he was messing with more than some simple magician. His army training had prepared him for a number of threats but this… this was something new. “More so than you might realize, but independent thought was never your strong point, was it? You’ve always preferred to be given orders and let others do the thinking for you.”

“Fuck you,” Jack growled in response, bitterly angry and caught of guard by the British twang to his words. What had happened to his voice? He had a goddamn fairy accent! Try as he might, Jack still couldn’t move his body and the creature masquerading as a man was clearly bemused by his struggles. “I’m gonna break your goddamn neck!” There was no calming Jack’s temper, that was for sure. He was trained to fight and it didn’t matter what body he was in as long as he still had his mind.

“I admire your spirit, I really do, but that simply won’t be happening.” The creature was enjoying every moment of this and the smug smirk on his face only intensified the rage Jack felt. “In just a few moments you’ll forget why you were angry. Indeed, you’ll forget everything about the life you used to live in Nocturne.” No! There was no way he could do that, was there? It was a pointless thought, everything he had already done had proved he was entirely capable of doing it. “You’ve helped me sort out a little trade and it’s not as if Gavin Free can just cease existing, is it?”

“Gavin… Free?” Jack asked, flinching at the unfamiliar voice. Even as he asked the question, the answer became apparent to him. His body was no longer his own and the man had promised that soon his mind wouldn’t be either. He was to become this Gavin, whoever he was, and lose himself entirely. That defiant Southern attitude was difficult to crush though and Jack remained content to struggle against his unseen bonds.

The final barriers in Jack’s mind eventually crumbled as the other’s hand pressed against his cheek and within seconds his memories began to fade away into nothingness. His life in Nocturne City was gone in an instant, all of the experiences that had made him such a proud alpha male completely forgotten. Even his own father’s face escaped his mind and his days playing football at high school seemed like something he’d once dreamed of - a dream that was becoming hazier with every second.


Instead of leaving his brain hollow, new memories and thoughts began to populate it and quickly came to dominate. A childhood in Oxfordshire, meeting his best friend Dan and starting up a successful YouTube channel with him… Each and every memory was as clear as day in Jack’s mind, leaving him no doubt that they were the truth. He could just as easily remember first watching Red Vs. Blue and getting in contact with the folks at Rooster Teeth, plus his first day on set of the Lazer Team movie. 


Those memories couldn’t possibly belong to anyone else, Gavin realized. They were his and he wasn’t sure why he’d been so damn confused about it. “Must be this damn heat,” he muttered to himself, wiping the sweat from his brow and taking another sip from the beer he’d been bought before grimacing. What the hell was this stuff? He’d never understand these Texans and their love of beer. Then again, Gavin wasn’t sure he’d ever understand Texans - or Americans, for that matter - but as a resident of Austin, he was at least getting used to them.


Maybe a trip back home to the UK soon was in order though. It was getting a little tiring feeling so isolated among all these big and burly Southern men, not that he’d ever admit it. The last thing he’d want was for anyone to think that he wanted to be a dumb country hick like them…

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