It started as the intro to a sort of character fic.. I made the girl up for #Maverick_Hunter_HQ on one of my furtive visits, but I only used her once or twice before abandoning the RP. Her name's Layne, since I think I forgot to mention it in the fic.

The Girl with the Iron Wing

Night was settled heavily on the cold, night city, and a dusky breeze wound its whispering way through its silent, war-battered streets. Here and there, a mangy dog barked, boasting its defiance to the unblinking moon before a sound or movement, real or imagined, sent it scurrying into the shadows. Once, a garbage lid clanged, and the cat who dislodged it was a flash of darkness under a flickering streetlamp, frightened away before it could claim its prize. Nothing else made a sound in the night, unless one of the rare and furtive passers-by could here the sound, echoed in the blackly crumbling buildings, of a city quietly dying.

The moon observed its passing with unblinking indifference, even as dark clouds rolled across her pale countenance to obscure her blighted vision with a promise of rain.

It was in this overcast half-light that she appeared, a flicker of light silhouetted against the concrete facade of an aging high school. She hovered there for a moment, figure coalescing into solidity, and a twisted wing of dirty white stretched out as if to catch the whispering breeze and hover there forever. Mirroring it, another wing stretched to her right, this one barely a dark shadow against the gray stone of the building. She hung there, eyes half open, for what might have been eternity, or a passage of seconds, and then she fell.

The white wing arched back, folding clumsily against her, while the darker, half-unseen one slid hard against her back with an unnatural hiss. She struck the ground and rolled, leaving a long scraping mark in the sidewalk, and a clang echoed in the empty streets. She stretched to her feet. If the landing had pained her in the least, she gave no sign, but looked around the street in silence, expression unreadable and eyes dim.

"It hasn't changed much, has it?" she remarked finally, to no one in particular, then turned her head to inspect the wings. She could feel several scrapes flaring into life along the white wing, but none so serious as to draw blood. The dark wing, similarly, was undamaged, and she stretched it out experimentally, revealing a skeletal mockery that gleamed in the flickering streetlamp, a construct of metal and wire.

Satisifed that all was in working order, the girl with wings turned, pushing a lock of pale hair out of her face.

"It hasn't changed at all."

She strode swiftly forward, footsteps echoing in the quiet, her destination as firmly ingrained in her mind as the urgent call that had brought her. A dingy, white feather fluttered softly to the ground behind her, and the sound of her step was soon matched by the patter of rain in the street.