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Old 07/13/2010   #91
Baldy
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-IDRIS SAVAGE; Jettison's Nightclub, Osea, Emma's and Terra's Apartment-


Idris Savage hardly knew what was going on anymore. When the rest of the Destrillians had seen Fiona, it had been Thetis, Thetis, who had rushed forward to the fire Destrillian’s aid.
Not many of the Destrillians liked Fiona. Most of them quite decidedly disliked her. Idris, for her part, had always had something of a mutual respect with the woman – the two never bothered to get to know each other, but they had worked well enough together in Viola.
But Thetis. Idris could practically feel her face switch, in an instant, from genuine shock to the mildly amused surprise that she used as a mask to hide her greater surprises with. Thetis and Fiona were like… well, like water and fire. They just didn’t get along. To see them there, with Thetis’ pale, bloodied hands cradling Fiona in such a tender manner…

More than shocking, it was a downright blow. Even Thetis and Fiona, two of the most antisocial Destrillians, had managed to forge a bond in the four years since their escape, and Idris still had nobody.
It was beginning to feel humiliating, almost.

But of course, Fiona’s words wiped that out temporarily.
Baldy. Of course.
Why wouldn’t she. Idris spared a grin for the flame-haired girl and the reference back to older, simpler times.

She was about to call something snarky back, to follow up on the ritual, when an incredibly tall, dark man up and more or less exploded through the door from the nightclub. He was speaking to the grimy girl before Idris and how it was time to “hustle.” Idris and the rest of the Destrillians had just been about to leave themselves, by themselves, and now all of a sudden—by the sound of the girl’s “All of us” from earlier, and from this new man’s words—it seemed as if their captors and torturers were coming with them.

“WAKEY WAKEY, EGGS AND BACEY, BOYS AND GIRLS!” roared the newcomer, hefting the limp-legged Terra and (much to Idris’ brief amusement,) a cursing Kram up into his unnaturally strong grip.
…wait. Kram?
Idris cocked her head, slitting her eyes, trying to figure out where she’d got that name. The suited-up Destrillian had never told her any name other than The Dark Rider, so where had…?
Ah. Yes. Idris had underestimated her ability to process background information again - in all the commotion, her ears and her brain had somehow picked up on the fact that the Destrillian who had been sitting in the corner earlier, had been talking with The Dark Rider. Among whatever conversation they had had – which, now that Idris was thinking back to it, had sounded awfully familiar with itself – she had heard the boy’s real name.

So this newcomer with his stark white hair and his cesspool green eyes knew… Kram, then, did he?
Two blows in one instant.
She laughed a soft, hollow laugh, lost beneath the strongly voiced words of "What, you only just figured out how pretty I am? C'mon, time to hustle!"

As the ragtag group, comprised of Destrillians and humans alike, began to exit through the newly-formed hole that this man had made, Idris held back for a moment to watch them all go.
Here they all were.
Emma and Terra. Kerr and Thetis and Fiona. Kram, and the green-eyed newcomer. This scrawny, ragged girl and her huge, dark-skinned accomplice. And and and. All of them, tied together somehow, whether by hatred or friendship or just plain business.

There was a small explosion from the nightclub, which caused the pale woman to decide now was the right time to sweep aside her thoughts, clamber through the hole, and catch up with her comrades.
But she couldn’t help but wonder.


Who was she tied to?

Where was her and?

Idris Savage ran through the inch of grime on the sewer’s concrete walkways, pulling a grimace as she felt the slime squidge through her toes. She had been barefoot this whole time, after all, and her poor feet were going to need a LOT of care after this.
She ran past burning oil drums and leering faces and scattering gang members who must have been running back to whatever bases they called home. In no time at all she was at the back of the pack of Destrillians and their new company – she exchanged a look with the white-haired Destrillian who Kram had been talking too (“Lokka,” her brain informed her, from the same dark, mechanical depths from which it had pulled Kram’s name,) a glance which said all it needed to say.

You and I will have words later.

She leapt on.
Idris weaved her way around the other Destrillians who were going slower, such was her pace – all things considered, the blonde woman figured she had been let off extremely easily compared to some of the others. Fiona and Thetis both were bleeding—
“I SAID I’M FINE,” came the enraged voice of Fiona herself, from behind Idris, startling her into an extra long gallop of a step. Talk about timing. She threw a look over her shoulder and saw from the intense looks on Thetis and Fiona’s faces that they were most likely talking to one another. Again, that odd companionship. She forced the empty feeling in her down, and turned back to face forward.
There was Fiona and Thetis, and Kerr was looking run down as well, as much as his cold pride tried to make up for it. Terra wasn’t any worse off than she had been in the beginning… which was still pretty bad. And so on.
If it weren’t for the bullet wound in her foot she would have surely been at the front of the group – as it were, there was a slight limp in her usually gazelle-like gait, and besides, she had absolutely no idea where she was going. That was up to the two sewer-dwelling people who, through all this chaos, had somehow decided to stick with the Destrillians.

As soon as she thought this, they stopped a few yards in front of her. She, and the rest of the Destrillians, skidded to halts of varying degrees of grace while the black man put down Terra (who was practically gibbering from the over-excitement and the fear of such a wild ride) and Kram (who was dusting himself off all indignant-like) to climb up the ladder welded into the concrete wall and punch the manhole right out of its snug little place in the ground, up into the air above. A hot blast of air rushed down to meet them – it seemed that the area they were in was close enough to the motel that the heat from the laser earlier hadn’t completely dissipated.

The man hoisted Terra back onto one shoulder and climbed up the ladder, quickly followed by the girl with, Idris could see now, dirty blonde hair. One or two of the others made it up as well, and then it was Idris’ turn and she shimmied up that ladder like a little cat and popped her head up into the surface world, breathing in the air that was much, much cleaner.
Comparatively, anyway.
They hadn’t left the Orange Zone just yet.

There was a quick moment of a breather, in which all the people gathered there basically leaned against things and gasped for air a lot. Idris was just thinking that that wasn’t particularly safe, when a guard – most likely the beginning of waves to be sent in and survey the disaster area further into the Orange Zone – spotted them.
It happened in an instant. He let out a cry and was able to shoot precisely two bullets, which Idris caught, before Kerr was there and in the blink of an eye, the man was dead. Neck snapped. Dropped to the floor.
“We really should keep moving.” Spoken like a true monologuer, and then fullstop was back. Idris agreed whole-heartedly regardless.

So poor, squealing Terra was put back on the black man’s shoulder, and the Destrillians and company headed full-tilt out of the Orange Zone.
Now a Destrillian is a marvellous sight to behold when fighting. They are strong and agile and their powers are formidable. But the very same is to be said about a Destrillian when they are running away.
Rocketing would be an adequate word.

The group knew how fast they could go and they used it to their advantage – to Idris’ quiet surprise, both the grimy girl, and her huge accomplice were able to keep up. Stolz, as well, although Idris had expected it more from them. They did, after all, have a Destrillian’s powers…
…and Eve’s.
Silly thoughts. Always cropping up when you don’t need them.


Idris pushed that one into the very back of her mind and pushed her own legs harder, following Kerr in front of her. Behind her, she could feel each person’s signature like a burst of colour and sound and taste: Stolz right behind her, followed by the two sewer-dwellers and Terra; Thetis and Fiona (who had just picked Thetis up to pick up the pace, much to the water Destrillian’s apparent embarrassed outrage,) Emma’s leafy greenness, and finally… Lokka and Kram. She squinted into the blaring orange streetlights ahead of her, thinking that those names were ones she would do well to remember, and their lifesigns as well.

Eventually, over the sounds of Thetis’ angry cries of “PUT ME DOWN” and Fiona’s cruel, almost-laughing replies of “NO,” Idris could hear somebody’s voice asking a rather poignant question.
“Where are we even going to?”
It was her own voice. Her question was a good one and it caused a ripple of faltering to run through the group as they all considered the question. Really, it was hard to think of a good answer when you were booking it at over thirty miles an hour.

But Terra, who wasn’t running anywhere, and who was scared as anything, and who just wanted to go home already and forget this whole mess ever happened, was eagerly ready for the chance to get her way. Bouncing up and down on the shoulder she was raised upon, she twisted her neck most uncomfortably around to see where they were.
They had just only begun to be outside of what could be called the Orange Zone. As they bounded along, a sign whipped past her, and even Terra in her unhelpful position could see, with her Destrillian’s eyesight, what it said.

Piper St.

She was near home.
Terra screwed her face up to concentrate and shouted out to everybody who could hear her:

Left! Wii need 2 go left 2 get hohm! Wii can stay thar 4 a bit.

Every Destrillian heard her, not a single one had an objection with this plan, and, having trained for many years to work as a team under silent, telepathic command, every Destrillian swerved sharply to the left, like a school of brightly-coloured, blood-spattered fish.

Every Destrillian except for Kerr. The blond man, who could no longer hear his kin’s psychic messages, had not gotten the memo and rushed right on straight. So too did the girl and her accomplice—with Terra on his shoulder.
This was not what she’d had in mind.
The poor thing flailed around on his shoulder, trying to point to the left where the last whisper of the cloth of the white-haired Destrillian’s trench coat could be seen disappearing around the corner.

Nonononono rong wai!

Idris, who was paying close attention to the group, realized that she no longer had Kerr in front of her. She paused, swirling on one ankle to get out of the way of the Destrillians running past her – now following Emma, who had shouted that she could show the way – to peer back behind them.
The sewer-dwellers had gone the wrong way, it seemed. Tutting, she ran back to the corner and shouted at them: “Where are you GOING? It’s this way! We can’t very well just wait around while you non-telepaths strut your way around the world trying to find us! And you!” to Kerr, who had spun around with something that could almost be surprise, and almost be irritation. “SHAME. For somebody who’s so desperate to run away, you don’t seem to be paying much attention!”

Okay, that had been a little harsh, but Idris’ typical good-naturedness had been used up a while ago. It had been lost somewhere in between the tanks and the VTOLs and the bullet wound in her foot and the sewers and the stink and the hurling accusations and the nightclub and the nightmares and now THIS.
Not to mention, she had been woken up by Thetis and Kerr’s fighting in the first place.

She watched with a stern eye as they came back and took off after the line of Destrillians in the distance, and then went with them, inhaling the deepest breath she had so far and overtaking them to run between the two parts of the group.
The wind threw the disproportionately perky words of a certain gender-ambiguous person back to her: “I’m hungry!”
And then, “We can eat at my place! Don’t worry, I’ve got friends who can bring in food for us all – I’ll call them once we get to the apartment.” That Emma, always handy in a crisis. Idris and the people behind her caught up and merged back into the main group just as they all turned a sharp right and there was the apartment, an old relic of happier, richer, cleaner times in this part of Osea.

Only when they had all stormed the lobby did the group feel safe enough to slow down. Emma, her red hair swinging wildly behind her, made quick to the elevator, and the rest of them followed suit. One, two, three—all of the Destrillians streaked through those sliding double doors like their lives depended on it. The end result was a very crammed an unsafe elevator, and a bunch of even more crammed Destrillians.

The last one to the lift, Lokka, slowed and stopped in front of it. He took a moment to just LOOK, at the sight—which Idris, in her position squished between Fiona’s elbow and Kram’s plated armor, figured must have been amusing indeed.
He surveyed them all calmly with his dayglo eyes and then, just as calmly, spoke.
“No thanks, I think I’ll take the stairs.”

Beside her, Kram spoke with that same overly-warm conviction that he used for every waking word. “I’ll be with them on this one. You can track me in the building—just like old times, right Lokka? See you there!”
The Destrillian named Lokka tried to say something back to that, but the elevator doors clanged shut before they could hear anything.

And then there was silence.
And then there was elevator music.

Open your eyes, I see—your eyes are open.
Wear no disguise, for me—come into the open.

They stood there, squashed together like sardines in a can. Emma reached between the heads of Thetis and the girl with dirty blond hair to press the button for the second floor. With an agonizing slowness, the elevator began to creak upwards.

When it's cold outside, am I here in vain?

Hold on to the night, there will be no shame.

Nobody spoke. Everybody tried to stay still, so they didn’t disturb anybody else around them. The elevator’s music was mushy and peppy and terribly out of whack with the situation.
Somebody coughed.

Always, I wanna beeee with you, and make belieeeeve with you, and live in harmony harmony ohhh love.
Always, I wanna beeee with you, and make belieeeeve with you, and live in harmony harmony ohhh love.


Idris could see why Lokka had taken the stairs.

Melting the ice, for me—jump into the ocean.

Hold back the tide, I see—your love in motion.


They waited one minute. The elevator hadn’t yet reached its destination.


"...Sorry,"said Emma, in an awkward sort of sweetness. “The elevator is really slow. Should have warned you all.”
There were one or two mumbled agreements, and then there was silence throughout the group once more.

When it's cold outside, am I here in vain?

Hold on to the night, there will be no shame.

That music really wasn’t helping with the tension in the lift—neither were the people in it, for that matter. Thetis looked around herself in an uncomfortable sort of way; Terra cleared her throat, which was odd, because she hadn’t spoken once in the first place. Even Stolz was cowed into awkward silence.
Slowly, Kram started to sway.

Always, I wanna beeee with you, and make belieeeeve with you, and live in harmony harmony ohhh love.
Always, I wanna beeee with you, and make belieeeeve with you, and live in harmony harmony ohhh love.


“Erasure… ah, I know this band. And this song… Tao would’ve loved it,” he said, mostly to himself, and then followed up with a giggle that just about perfectly matched the… atmosphere, of the song’s instrumental bridge.

There was another pause.

And then to just about everybody’s—and nobody’s—astonishment, Kerr spoke up.
“Hey. You. Kram, right?”
Kram nodded, still almost bouncing to the tune. There was a long, long wait until the follow-up sentence.

“…shut the fuck up.”

When it's cold outside, am I here in vain?

Hold on to the night, there will be no shame.

A fly buzzed in a corner of the elevator. The large black man carrying Terra squashed it. After another pause, even more (if possible) awkward than the last, Fiona tried to save the day:

“Yeah, who the fuck invited this freak?”
"Nobody, really,"said Stolz, with as much of their perk as they could muster in this situation. “We just came along.”
Murmured agreement. Silence.

Always, I wanna beeee with you, and make belieeeeve with you, and live in harmony harmony ohhh love.
Always, I wanna beeee with you, and make belieeeeve with you, and live in harmony harmony ohhh love.

Idris could really see why Lokka had taken the stairs.

Finally, with sweet, sweet mercy, the doors clanged open and the Destrillians practically fell out of it in their haste to be rid of what was probably the crowning moment of mutual embarrassment for them all. Emma walked to a door, took out a key, and opened it – she ushered them all in, where they collapsed on chairs and sofas and floor. Idris herself perched precariously on the edge of the armrest of the chair Terra had been dropped into. Emma had rushed to the phone the moment the last Destrillian had come through the door and it had closed – now, her muted voice could be heard in the other room, speaking to a friend. With her acute hearing, the metal Destrillian heard the words “twenty five minutes” tossed around, along with the shout on the other end of the line: HOW MUCH FOOD?"

Eventually, Emma returned and told them all that her two friends, Chris and Riese, would be there soon with food for them all. Kram, still fully-suited up, leapt to his feet and loudly proclaimed that some of the Destrillians (he hadn’t asked any of them, of course, but he always seemed to speak for all of them regardless) were too hungry to wait, and that he would make a salad for them all while they waited. He sprang to the kitchen, completely unharmed by Emma’s “Wait—” and was seen no more.

There was another, slightly less awkward pause, helped somewhat by the fact that there was no music in the background.
All these people in their pairs, and their bonds, resting together in an almost-companionable silence.

Idris, by her lonesome, decided that it was her turn to break it.

“So, then,” she began, her eyes roving along all the Destrillians and finally settling on Fiona.
“What brings you here, Sparky?”
__________________

Disappear with the stars and come back alive.

Last edited by Baldy; 07/15/2010 at 08:11 AM.
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Old 07/13/2010   #92
Joe
Default

Lokka Kayne - The Apartment Block (of doom)

The doors slid shut before Lokka was able to reply to Kram. The darkness Destrillian was unaware of the battle which Lokka took part in back at The Mirage; because of this, his level of telepathy wasn't at its greatest, and he hadn't been with Kram long enough yet to identify his signature. He regretted not speaking up before and asking for the room number.
He shrugged it off. The building hadn't looked too big from the outside—it shouldn't have taken long to find the others.

He'd seen the set of stairs, adjacent to the elevator on the right side. Sweeping his coat behind him, he began taking steps up the stairs. A little time alone would be good to assess the situation he was now in. He hadn't taken all of the information in at first, what with the battle and then the confusing events that followed. Now that he looked back, Lokka realised that a lot of what he'd been aiming for, for the last 2 years, had come together right in front of him. There were seven other Destrillians here. Six of them hailed from the other facility, and Kram he already knew from his time at his own facility.
Then there were the other few. Jettison was the girl that managed to incapacitate all seven of the others, for reasons unknown. Lokka could assume that Jettison had also had the help of the other stranger, Nova. The large man had been responsible for distracting their attackers in the club. Lastly there was Stolz. The child had an air of oddity about them that Lokka couldn't really decipher. He then remembered Idris, the metal Destrillian, and the way she had acted toward Lokka during his brief time with the group. He made it a priority then to explain himself to her, rather than the others, when he reached the apartment.

Lokka reached the first floor. He assumed by the fact they'd taken the elevator, that the apartment was further up than this. Acting on his judgment he continued up the stairs.

Water, Fire, Earth, Nature, Metal, Gravity.

These were the elements that had gathered from Viola's first facility. From his brief time with them, they seemed like an odd group that should, by all rights, be socially incompatible. On the other hand, Lokka had spent time with Kram back at Viola. Despite opposite personalities, they both seemed to get along fine.

___________________________________________________________________________

With a fair amount of haste, the white-haired Destrillian reached the second floor. As his foot touched the flooring of the corridor, he heard a door slam shut a few meters down to the left.
This could easily have been the group arriving. Pacing down the hallway past a couple of doors, he faced the one which he presumed had just shut.

Knock Knock.

...

...

...


No answer. He couldn't hear any talking or movement inside so he moved one door along, sure that his estimations couldn't be far off.

Knock Knock.

...


There was a scuffle behind the door, and then the handle twisted. A skinny, white male with long, dark dreadlocks was on the other side of the opening door. He stared at Lokka for a moment. This man clearly hadn't been part of the group.

"Sorry," Lokka grunted as he turned away, not wanting to make much more conversation with a human in this circumstance.

"Woah..!" the man exclaimed after looking at Lokka.

The Destrillian turned his head back slightly to view the man again.

"Hey..dude.." The man reached out and put his right palm on Lokka's opposite shoulder. "Your eyes man...You gotta come in here! Hey Rick, check out this guy’s face!"

"Let go. I apologize; I have the wrong room," he tried to explain, but not before being pulled into the room by the clearly stoned man. The man's friend, Rick, soon appeared, a slightly smaller chap with long hair.

"Hey dude—WHOAH! Your eyes are AWESOME man!" he shouted with an enthusiastic joy that Lokka considered reserved for acts of a more 'intimate' nature. Worrying about the direction of the conversation, he tried to head out of the door again but the new guy grabbed him by his coat. "C'mon man we need you in here more than the world needs you out there! Here try some of this—SHIT! What the FUCK man?!"

Where the man had tugged on the coat, the holstered revolver on Lokka's belt had come plainly into view. The men recoiled in child-like fear as the Destrillian looked at them both in the eye, with a more serious demeanor. Making no attempt to explain, Lokka left the room. He decided to move up to the next floor, leaving the stoned louts to whatever activities they got up to in their own time.

Returning to the stairs, he began his pace upward once more. The extra length steps were a lot more taxing on his body after his fight in the club.

I really should have got a room number or something. It’s not much just to ask for a room number.

___________________________________________________________________________

He made his way onto the third floor. There were five rooms up here, and no hints as to whether or not the group was inside any of them. With only one real way to solve this, Lokka begun systematically knocking on each one.

Knock Knock

....

....


"Erm, Sorry. Wrong floor."


Next.

Knock Knock

....

....


"Sorry. I'm looking for someone."


Next.

Knock Knock

....

....


"Sorry. Wrong floor."


Next.

Knock Knock

....

....


"Sorry."


Last one.

Knock Knock

....

"Hello?"


At first, Lokka mistook the small individual that answered the door as Stolz. A short-lived feeling of relief swept over him until he realised that this young girl was wearing pajamas and had dark hair. He smiled awkwardly as she stared up at him, just standing there.

"Oh sorry miss. I have the wrong house it seems."

She continued to look up at him for a few more moments, her eyes fixed in a gaze at his face. All of a sudden the motionless girl's eyes widened a little more.

"AHHHHHHH!!!"

Oh Crap.


"AHHH! DADDY DADDY!"

Lokka didn't have time to deal with this. As the girl ran inside her home, still shouting for her father, Lokka sprinted to the stairs again. He made his ascent to the next floor a lot swifter this, fearing that he'd have to restrain an angry father if he stayed close for much longer.

___________________________________________________________________________

An exhausted Lokka Kayne almost fell onto the fourth floor.

I swear this place looked smaller from the outside.

It was at this point Lokka realised he hadn't actually slept for about two days now. Taking a quick glimpse around, he deduced that this was the last floor. Holding himself up with the wall, he walked down the familiar looking corridor again. Only four rooms up here. Clearly not having learned his lesson from last time, Lokka took the same systematic approach from before.

The first two rooms had no answer.

The third door was answered by an attractive female in her late 20's, wearing a towel around her body and hair. Still wet from the shower she just got out of, she gave Lokka a look of promiscuity. Lokka simply smiled, shook his head and headed to the next door.

By what he hoped was mere coincidence, the fourth door was answered by a similar individual. However this person was male, and definitely not happy about being interrupted in the shower. Again, Lokka smiled, shook his head and walked away.

He made it over to the elevator at the end of the hallway. His patience had completely run out now. Lokka's mind began to wander to possibilities such as alternate universes and magic elevators. It was crazy. He knew he'd checked all of floors three and four. He'd ruled out floor one as a possibility, due to the use of the elevator. There was only one thing for it. He'd need to check floor two again, trying to avoid the unwanted attention of the stoners. He dragged his battered, achy body back to the stairs and began descending. He felt as though he would pass out, and even missed a step a few times. As he passed by floor three again, he kept a keen eye out for any angry fathers that may be roaming the halls. Deciding he was in the clear, he carried on drifting down the stairs, as if each step was beating his already broken body with a large mace.

___________________________________________________________________________

Floor two. They had to be here somewhere. Avoiding the first two doors he tried before, he focused on the other three. Knowing that his earlier systematic approach had not benefitted him well, he decided to knock on the furthest door first; hoping for a quick release from the endless labyrinth that this building had become.


Knock Knock

...

...

...


Lokka was sure this was the right door. Actually it was less certainty, and more wishful thinking. Making sure he tried thoroughly, he knocked again.

KNOCK KNOCK

...

...


The door creaked open. An elderly man adjusting his spectacles was the sight that Lokka found on the other side.

"Oh come on!"

As he begun to walk away, more frustrated now than ever before, he felt a crack on his head. It hurt a lot and Lokka winced in pain. He spun around and saw the man holding his walking cane like a baton, arm shaking as he tried to balance.

"You hippies and your goddamn drugs! I thought I told you two to keep the goddamn music down eh? You got a lotta nerve knocking on my door at this time o' night. Look at yourself you inebriated goon. You look ill!"


Lokka stood astounded as he took in the old man’s words. He'd been mistaken for one of the stoner men, which was surprising considering the lack of resemblance. He shook his head and wandered down the corridor. The elderly man behind him muttered some more under his breath before slamming his door shut.

Losing the will the stand up, Lokka held himself up against the wall and knocked on the next door along in the same fashion. As he waited for the answer, he felt himself falling unconscious. He had to push himself off the wall just to make sure his body didn't get too comfortable. Lokka felt like crying when a large, black woman answered the door. She looked right at him, already knowing that he was looking for someone else’s room.

"Who are you looking for, honey?"


Lokka struggled getting out words, still breathing heavily from the trip back down the stairs.

"A…couple of...girls…"


"Mmhmm, aren't we all. They live next door sweetheart. Get some sleep though, don’t let them keep you up all night."

Lokka couldn't even comprehend what the woman had meant by that. He silently nodded in thanks and dragged himself to the last door. He knocked, barely even able to lift his arms now. A familiar face, even those of the people he had only just met, was all he wanted right now. Somebody that didn't want to hit him, or drug him, or sleep with him. Just somebody like him that he could relate to.

The door opened. Lokka's body gave up completely when he saw the man in front of him was completely unfamiliar and definitely wasn't a Destrillian. The man looked just as surprised to see Lokka, as Lokka did him. Without a moment’s notice, Lokka let go of the wall he was leaning on and fell flat onto the ground in front of the resident.

Lokka just managed to briefly open his eyes on the ground to a few strange faces, and one very weird metallic bug man. He fell unconscious and drifted into a five minute nap, legs still stretching out into the corridor.

The other Destrillians watched him enter, twenty minutes late, and fall to the ground.

"It's about fucking time ghost-boy finally found the place."
__________________

Reject common sense to make the impossible possible!

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Old 07/14/2010   #93
Bex
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THETIS - Sewers, Osea and Emma & Terra's Apartment


The walls were a blur of moss and lichen as the motley crew of Destrillians sprinted past them, away from the chaos that tore the nightclub asunder behind them. Thetis didn’t know what to think of the fact that she was quite sure half of the party had no idea what they were running from. She also didn’t know what to think of the huge dark-skinned man who had run off with Terra under one arm and Kram under the other, the man in the dark trench coat, who looked as if he belonged in some kind of low budget crime thriller, or even the gender ambiguous child that seemed to be keeping pace with them; not in a breakneck sprint; but a skip that completely belied the fact that they were running for their lives. Thetis did know, however, that she was very, very tired, Fiona was definitely not okay, and that the group’s structural integrity was about as stable as a donkey on a trampoline.


The muted emergency lighting made Thetis feel drowsy. As the group bolted through the labyrinth of murky, bottle green tunnels, Thetis was beginning to flag behind. It only seconds until Fiona darted past her without a second look. They weren’t exactly in the environment to be intimate, Thetis thought angrily as she sped up to meet her roommate, but Fiona could have at least acknowledged her. At this point, Thetis’ expression reflected all the frustration of someone who was well aware of the situation and the futility of complaint, but still felt like tearing a scream from their lungs none the less. Thetis sped ahead, knowing that her reluctance would be used against her in some future, more lucid, less critical moment if she didn’t.

Are you okay? You look really hurt.

Telepathy seemed to be the only fitting form of communication, judging by the stagnant silence that seemed to follow the motley band of Destrillians wherever they went. Thetis wasn’t surprised by the flippancy with which Fiona brushed off her concern.

Some tag-team jackasses tried to take me on. It was nothing serious.

It doesn't looks that way to me.

I'm fine.

But you're bleeding! Even through telepathy, the water Destrillian was finding it incredibly difficult to restrain herself from raising her voice.

I SAID THAT I'M FINE! Fiona’s voice boomed through the decaying stone tunnels, eliciting a number of confused backward glances. Sometimes this happened. Little bursts of emotion that seemed to slip the frequency.

There was another long silence before Thetis piped up again.

That still doesn't explain why you were even down here in the first place! There wasn’t a word to describe how she said it. Tenderly, but a shade bitterly. Miserably, almost unwillingly. Thetis knew why Fiona was down there. She just wasn’t quite ready to admit it yet.

I asked that first. And what the hell happened to you?

The water Destrillian’s hesitation was telling. As much as Thetis would enjoy the sight of Kerr’s face collapsing under Fiona’s fist, the unity of the group was paramount. First the motel, then the nightclub, and now this? If they didn’t stick together, they’d be the ones floating face-down in sewer water. Thetis shuddered. She had been down here too long.

I just got into some trouble on the way to work.

Pause.

That's all.

My ass.

Who was it?

It doesn’t matter. Thetis didn’t know telepathy made it so difficult to lie.

Just some guys.

Some fucking guys don't do that to a Destrillian.

Then why are you so beat up?

Another unconvincing pause.

Answer me.

You answer me first!

No.

Fine.

Who?

I’ve already told you!

Silence.

Whatever, Thetis.

Anger and humiliation and hopelessness and frustration and disappointment hit Thetis like a punch in the stomach. The water Destrillian fell to the back of the group with her heart in her mouth and a lump in her throat. Seconds passed like minutes, and minutes like days. The sewers were bare, which made it even harder for Thetis not to reflect on everything that had just happened. The water prototype hated that, how she would always think about one thing when her mind ought to be on another. Like running for her life.
Exhaustion was beginning to catch up with her.


Relief wasn’t the word to describe how Thetis felt as she clambered upward into the halogenated haze of orange zone. Muffled murmuring, hearts pounding, each Destrillian was bent-double in some sort of winded, breathless salaam. Thetis shot a look to Fiona. Except her. Then to Kerr. Or him. Knuckles turned white as they gripped the denim of torn jeans. It wasn’t the time for that. The water Destrillian ground her teeth, nostrils flaring and chest heaving as she gulped oxygen in ragged breaths. At least the air wasn’t filled with the smell of-


Thetis’ chain of thought was interrupted by two gunshots and the sound of a corpse hitting the floor. It seemed not even Destrillians had the luxury of a brief respite. It couldn’t have been two seconds before they had darted off again, weaving their way through the dank alleyways and chartered streets of The Orange Zone.


Every turn was now a drama, every straight an unimaginable stretch that never seemed to end, and all the seriousness and fury of their escape from the sewers returned like a bludgeon to the back of the head. Though that might have just been her migraine returning. Most sentient beings, Destrillians and humans and animals alike, value some form of independent dignity. The same was true for Thetis, who, despite all injury, continued to soldier on at a lesser, albeit acceptable pace at the back of the group. So when Fiona, in an act of misguided ‘consideration’ (if one could even call it that), ran full circle to the tail of the group and threw Thetis over her shoulder in a fireman’s lift, the water Destrillian was furious to say the least.


There were cries of “PUT ME DOWN!” which each time were put down by a singular “NO!”, but otherwise, the Destrillians were silent. Directions to Emma and Terra’s apartment (for that seemed to be their destination) were relayed via telepathy, and there was little for Thetis to do other than glare at vacuous, punch-drunk passers-by. It was either them or insect man, and even Thetis knew which one she preferred. Today just seemed to be one humiliation after the other, and each time the side of her face slammed against Fiona’s spine, her falling pulse rose – a moment’s sudden anger like an extra heartbeat, an unhelpful stab of arrhythmia that only made things worse. It was uncomfortable, awkward, and most of all – embarrassing.


By the time they skidded to a halt outside the apartment block (which was in decidedly better condition than Flat 3a on 57th street), Thetis was just about ready to snap. There are clouds now, obscuring the moonlight with a grey-green smog of pollution. The air was cold and damp. When Fiona finally let Thetis down in the lobby of the building, the Destrillian was hardly in the mood for talking, especially when she had to squeeze into a tiny elevator next to that girl who had only 30 minutes prior trapped them in a world of their worst nightmares.


The less said about the elevator ride, the better.


As the Destrillians burst through the door of Emma and Terra’s apartment, there was no time for pleasantries as each member of the group made a beeline for the cluster of furniture in the living room. Thetis fell awkwardly into the nearest couch, limbs sprawled as she finally had chance to relax, while Fiona sank into the comfortable cushioning next to her, resting her arms on the backing. The head wound Fiona had gained continued to throb irritatingly and it wasn't helped by the remark Idris threw at her.


"So then...What brings you here, Sparky?" The fire Destrillian’s mirthless smile met Idris’ sympathetic half one as her hands clenched into fists. Thetis took the tightening of Fiona’s jaw as the perfect opportunity to begin rummaging through Emma’s drawers. She had experienced enough confrontations today to last a lifetime.

"I'm here for shits and giggles. All of us in one spot after 4 years can only mean something fucked up is gonna go down."
Neither Destrillian spoke, though everyone in the room could feel their stares cutting daggers into each other. Then there was another stilted silence, filled only with the sound of Thetis digging through piles of take-out menus, phone directories and dead batteries.


Three emptied drawers later, the water Destrillian found what she was looking for; two needles and various reels of multi-coloured thread in a small plastic pouch. Leaving the other Destrillians to stew in the living room, Thetis wandered over to Emma, who was nervously surveying the scene from the safety of the kitchen door.

“Hi.” There was a moment’s silence before Thetis opened her mouth. “Where’s the washroom?” She pointed down a narrow corridor before smiling with a familiar earthbound calm that the water Destrillian found so reassuring.


As the bathroom door closed behind her, Thetis exhaled deeply before peeling off her shirt, the fabric clinging to her skin in an unpleasant mix of blood and sweat. She still hadn’t quite shaken the sense of urgency that seemed to linger in the back of her mind like a splinter, telling her that of all the places in Osea, she shouldn’t be here. But then, today had only proven something in her nature, something which she had forgotten. She was a Destrillian. The water Prototype stared at the reflection of her body in the mirror. Her ribs stuck out awkwardly, as if someone had draped a piece of cellophane over a broken xylophone, while her navel clenched with the shock of the cold air. Her skin was near translucent and ashen with blood loss. Thetis had never worn any type of bra, mainly because Fiona had laughed off her constant questioning of the matter, because apparently, there was nothing to support if there wasn’t anything there.


Thetis glanced at her wounds. The deep gash on her was still bleeding; flaps of skin pulling open the laceration in a particularly grotesque manner. Even a Destrillian had to heal the human way. A quick once over with her power, and the grime and blood had vanished in a pool of dirty water. She unravelled a length of black thread, tying it off before threading it with surgical precision through the eye of a needle. Thetis took a deep breath and spun to face the door.

What’s wrong? Thetis shielded her chest as the door swung open and Fiona strode in. She look decidedly unimpressed. In all fairness, Thetis thought to herself as she closed the door behind her roommate, Fiona didn’t like places like this. The air was ripe with a mix of lavender and rosemary, and each windowsill was adorned with a plant pot or five.

I'm bored. The water Destrillian turned her back on Fiona as she brought her arm around to the mirror. She grimaced as the point of the needle passed through her flesh, fingers trembling as blood bubbled around the first stitch.
I need a couple of minutes. Fiona watched as Thetis passed the needle and thread between the healthy skin around her wound with an excruciating slowness. More seconds passed and the water Destrillian barely had a second stitch in. That was it.


Give that thing to me. Fiona took hold of Thetis' arm and stretched her other hand out in front of her. Obediently, but with an air of defiance, the water prototype dropped the bloody needle in Fiona’s palm. Thetis had lost count of what number humiliation this was. Seven? Eight? Her musings were interrupted as Fiona jabbed the needle in and out of her flesh with blunt expertise.

“OUCH!” Thetis whined. She shot a venomous glare at Fiona, who didn’t even grace her with a second glance.

Suck it up! The fire Destrillian was stitching with all the finesse of a maniac armed with a meat cleaver.

Couldn’t you, y’know, be a bit gentler? It kinda- Her message was interrupted by another yelp as Fiona stabbed the needle through. HURTS!

If we did it your way, those freaks from The Mirage would be able to find, torture and kill us.


There was a sullen and sober silence as Fiona finished tying off the final few stitches. There was still the entry wound to sew up, but Fiona had injuries too. Thetis admired the amateur surgery in the mirror. It was crude, uneven and messy, but it did the job. She pulled a towel from the chrome rail by the bathtub and ran it under warm water before approaching the fire Destrillian.

Stay still. Thetis reached round Fiona’s neck, methodically dabbing away the blood that marred the back of her head. After a few touches of the wet cloth on her heated skin, the fire Destrillian rested her forehead on Thetis' shoulder. After that fight and strange dream, this steady rhythm and aura that the water Destrillian was administering was all too soothing for the fiery spirit. She deeply inhaled and started to nuzzle her face into the crook of Thetis' neck. Her hands had been at her sides, but she was compelled to place one on her counterpart's side. Fiona started to leave a small trail of kisses up her jugular and jaw.


Thetis sighed and planted a single kiss on the fire Destrillian’s cheek before resuming her routine.
I’m not sure now’s the best time.

I'm sure it is. Fiona lifted her head and looked into a pair of conflicted yellow orbs. Fiona tilted her head ever so slightly and pressed her lips against Thetis', who sank into the kiss with an inaudible murmur of protest. Fiona always got her way. One hand crept down the fire Destrillian’s back and while the other gripped her neck as their lips smashed together. Fiona’s weight pressed Thetis against the pristine white tiles, and the cool porcelain against her naked back sent shivers up her spine.

What about Emma and Terra?

What about them? Fiona shot her tongue into Thetis' mouth.

This is their bathroom. Pale fingers pulled Fiona’s vest from her shoulders before trailing over the lines of each arm.

They invited us in. They should be ready for the consequences.
Fiona's hand gripped Thetis' breast as she greedily pressed their mouths together even more, and Thetis pulled her closer, closer, hands running over cheeks, over the curves of her shoulders, the dip of her waist. Tongues slid over each other with a hunger that only the pair of Destrillians could satisfy, and sharp yellow eyes opened to-


The sight of Idris hunched over the sink.


“I-IDRIS!” Thetis pushed the fire Destrillian away with such force that she stumbled backwards. As if the elevator hadn’t been awkward enough. Fiona glanced at Idris and immediately caught herself, standing upright.

"SHIT!" She quickly shrugged her vest back into place. "Don't you know how to fucking KNOCK?!"

"I doubt you would have heard me anyway." Idris didn’t turn around to see Thetis’ cheeks flush scarlet. Both parties fell back into silence as Idris attempted to dislodge sewage from under her toenails while Fiona pulled Thetis’ arm forward, sewing up the entry wound in the same primitive fashion of before.


The pause that followed seemed to last for an eternity.


"Emma's apartment is..." Thetis struggled for words, apparently too engaged with a bathmat to be concentrate on anything else “...nice.”

"Yeah. Nice and flowery."

"Nicer than ours. Right, Fiona?"

”Yeah, sure, whatever. The smell makes me want to vomit.”

"That might just be the sewer smell."

"No, it's the smell of pretty shit." Thetis rolled her eyes.

"There aren't many flowers in Orange Zone, are there?"

"And for good reason."

"So... you two."

"We live together."

“What about it?”

"Oh nothing. Just glad to see you two getting along is all..."
There was a sigh from Thetis as Fiona shot the metal Destrillian a foul look, who returned to picking out pieces of algae from between her toes.


"So Idris,” Stern orange orbs landed on the metal Prototype "Do you know what happened to Thetis?"

Don’ttellherdon’ttellherdon’ttellher

"What, with those ghastly stab wounds?" Idris’ storm grey eyes passed over Thetis before landing back on Fiona.

”Yes.”

Not a word, hon.

"I already told you, Fiona, it was nothing"

"Bull-fucking-shit." This time the needle stabbed violently enough to elicit a whimper.

"THIS IS NOT 'NOTHING'." Her voice made Thetis flinch, and there was a thoughtful pause from Idris.

"Why do you care?"

"I don't. Whatever."

One last stitch, a knot and a severing of the thread, and Fiona was gone, door rattling on its hinges as it slammed behind her. Her words left an icy feeling on Thetis’ skin. She’d been staring at the floor all the time they had been talking, but something had made her look up, see those words float in the open and pass between them. Almost like a physical touch. Reaffirming everything. Thetis shook off the words that stuck to her like snowflakes, and pulled a first aid kit out of the bathroom cabinet.


"...Just like old times, huh?" Thetis’ tone of stoicism was getting harder to sustain, that concocted expression on her face beginning to flicker and fade with each passing moment. She wrapped a length of starched linen around the bulging crimson welt on her arm.

"Yeah. Just about."

"Yeah."

There was a silence as Idris dried her feet and Thetis stuck a couple of oversized band-aids on her forehead.

"...So you really care about her then, hm?"

"We're just roommates, that's all."

"Roommates."

"Yeah."

"....roommates."

"Mmhmm."

"I don't think SHE sees it that way, do you?"

“Who knows.”

"Who indeed." Idris stood up. "I'm done here now. Good luck with those wounds, Thetis."

"Bye." The water Destrillian barely whispered as she caught a glimpse of Idris’ kind smile in the mirror.

"See you in a bit."


The door closed with a click, and Thetis was alone. She kept having thoughts today. Selfish thoughts. Lonely thoughts. Angry thoughts. Hopeless thoughts. That’s what it was though, wasn’t it? All of this? Hopeless. Should she even care?

No.

There was Fiona’s voice in her head. Again. That was the voice. Without it, Thetis would only hear what she wanted to hear. Like she was cheating. Blurring reality. She felt the corners of her lips tremble. How human. To lie to yourself. Prototype Six closed her eyes before taking one last glance at the mirror. She didn’t know what she was supposed to be looking at. With a calmness that belied the churning tempest of self doubt within her, Thetis walked out of the washroom.


It was quiet outside.


The corridor was empty. Thetis caught a glimpse of one of Nova’s meaty arms and the Jettison girl beside him in the living room. She frowned. Hadn’t they left yet? Thetis tiptoed further down the corridor like a child playing grandma’s footsteps. She hooked her head around the doorframe at the end of the corridor. There were flowers. Lots of flowers. She had to be in Emma’s room. Much to her relief, there were an array of shirts, tees and tanks littering the floor. Someone had already been shopping through Emma’s own personal collection. She crouched to pick up what looked like a man’s red and green plaid shirt, similar to the one Fiona had bought her a couple of months ago. Similar, she thought, as she pulled on one of Emma’s plain white tank tops, but not the same. Never the same. Thetis wondered if Fiona would notice.


She shrugged on the shirt and walked back to the living room.
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Last edited by Bex; 07/15/2010 at 12:21 PM.
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Old 07/15/2010   #94
Baldy
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KRAM – Elevator and Emma’s Apartment


“I’ll be with them on this one. You can track me in the building—just like old times, right Lokka? See you there!” he assured him with the most optimistic tone he could muster with the suit he was in.
The long journey towards Emma’s house was a slow one, mostly contributed by everyone’s weight within the elevator. He could see that everyone piled on each other but prevented themselves from being locked in a compromising state. It was a tedious long 2 minutes due to the speed of the elevator.

Another minute gone by and they still had not reached their destination. Emma apologized and explained to them that it was quite slow. It brought a little frustration to Kram as he tried to keep the tiny Idris and Fiona at bay while the large black man kept to his side.

And then the elevator music played.

A happy and bright tune that lifted the tension and made Kram a little more patient and at ease; it had not occurred to him that they were all tired, weary, and that even Terra and Idris were wounded. He felt like he needed to do something to ease the tension a little more, in hopes that the party would calm down after their escape.

Everyone was silent on the way up, he looked around with whatever his vision would allow him to. The music was already getting to his head, it made him think of Tao and how he longed to see her again. To her absence, he started swaying his head a little and began singing with the music. He realized that only now he recognized the song.

“Erasure… ah, I know this band. And this song… Tao would’ve loved it,” he said as he giggled at the song’s comforting instrumental bridge. For a moment, he could see her sad eyes but smiling face which made him ecstatic.

“Hey. You. Kram, right?”Kerr said as he nodded while enjoying the beat. His next words made Kram turn to him in surprise.

“…shut the fuck up.”

Well excuse me for trying to lift the foul atmosphere, your highness.

He merely growled at Kerr in contempt and kept his silence for the remainder of the journey towards Emma’s flat. Followed by Fiona’s questioning as to why he joined the group in the elevator, it was Stolz who defended him briefly. He had the urge to pat the little… guy or girl that was before him in thanks but he’d save it for later.

Once it was done, everyone collapsed at the floor where it would lead to Emma’s house, he included. He got up and dusted himself while trying to help pick up his comrades and the two humans who came along with them.

“Easy, big guy,” Kram said as he helped him up while trying to aid Terra as well, finally finding the initiative to do so for the sake of getting to this place.

Everyone poured into Emma’s house, with Kram being last to enter as he darted his gaze left and right. Lokka had not appeared to where he was at the moment; it troubled him briefly before he dismissed the worry, knowing full well that Lokka would make it eventually.

Once inside, he slumped against the wall while his comrades took rest at the living room, everyone positioning themselves to stretch or rest from the tedious journey.

He observed Emma reaching for the phone; using his Dark Sense and the shadows of the room where she was staying, he eavesdropped as to what she was talking about. It turned out to be a discussion with her and friends about bringing burgers and the sort. He shook his head by the end of the conversation in regards to ‘twenty five minutes’. There was no time to wait like that. He thought of a quick recipe that could be done in the span of 5 or 6 minutes to sate his comrades.

Kram saw Emma come out from the kitchen. Standing up from his slouch, he walked towards her. “Excuse me, Miss Emma. Sorry I couldn’t help but overhear what you were discussing…”

He said those words as if it were a serious matter.

“Twenty five minutes is too long, Miss. Most of us are probably starving; I will use your kitchen to make a quick something, if you don’t mind. I’m a professional chef—I can manage. Excuse me,” he said politely, raising his hand and walking past Emma before he could hear any objection from the girl.

He had to find a way to get out of the group for now, he was still stressed and tired from the experience at the Mirage. He didn’t show his weakness to them; being a relatively new Destrillian to their eyes, he wanted to make a proper impression.

He headed towards the kitchen.

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-IDRIS SAVAGE; Emma's and Terra's Apartment-


Fiona and Thetis.
Kissing.
It was the strangest thing she’d seen to date.

Idris had won the staring contest that Fiona had initiated when the flame-haired Destrillian had broken eye contact to follow Thetis to the washroom.

We’ll finish this later, Baldy, Fiona’s self-confident tone had come in her head. Far from having being pleased with herself – not many people won anything against Fiona, after all – the pale woman had been reminded of her own need for a washroom. Or rather a bathtub. Or just a sink, even.
Because as she had been running, the impromptu metal bandage that Idris had slapped on her own foot earlier had fallen off. And while she had looked at her wound, she'd realized something with full, painful clarity: she had been barefoot this whole time.

This whole time.

And that meant through the sewers as well.

Idris really hadn't wanted to look at her feet, but she'd forced herself to assess the damage. The green, sludgy, crusting, stinky damage. Having barely suppressed a noise of disgust, she had decided that she really, really needed to wash her feet.
The conundrum of walking on dirty feet to a washroom to clean said feet had not been lost on her.
The metal Destrillian had scouted the room with her eyes, looking for some way to get to the bathroom without sludging Terra and Emma’s apartment floor. She wouldn’t've dared ask anybody to carry her—it just wasn’t going to happen. She could try walking on her hands but that could have disastrous results… not to mention the looks she might get. Nimble or not, Destrillians did not make a habit of doing things THAT strange.
Then she'd seen the coat hanger.

It had been one of those good, solid old-fashioned types, with the decorative top that you hung your coats and hats on top of. It had also been entirely made of metal.
Idris had looked left. The couch was full of resting Destrillians, none looking her way.
She had looked right. Kram had been saying something to a protesting Emma, and the armchair in the corner that had had Terra in it was empty—the earth Destrillian had probably gone off to change her clothes or something.

So she'd gone for it.
I’ll put it back later anyway, it’s not like she’ll miss it for… oh, ten minutes.
Leaning over, keeping balance in an almost feline way, the small woman had gotten one hand around the decorative, metal-made top of the coat hanger… and then with a yank and a tingle at the back of her head, she had wrenched a good half of the top part off.

Looking around surreptitiously, Idris had hunched over her piece of material and broke it in half.
It ought to be enough, she'd thought, as she had deftly begun coaxing the metal into thick wire-like shapes. After a few minutes of quiet work, her job had been done. She'd slipped her feet into the barest, most minimal pair of sandals she had ever seen, and then she'd calmly got off her perch on the arm rest of the chair where Kram had been sitting earlier, making her way with as much dignity as she could with slime in-between her toes.
Yuck.

And now here she was, standing in the doorway watching…
Well. Love, she supposed. Fiona and Thetis were against the wall opposite the door, arms wrapped tight around one another, lips glued together with a fervent need that Idris found a little shocking. It was odd enough knowing that the two were on friendly terms, but this was looking a little more than just friendly.
Idris stared for a moment.
She blinked. And thought for a second.
And then she got over it.

She just quietly went over to the sink, sat on the counter there, and stuck one foot in the basin while turning the water on softly, so as not to disturb them and their… moment. With gritted teeth, she began to pick away at the thick layer of grime, like picking away a scab.

It took a while, but eventually, under the running water, the slime softened again and it became easier to siphon it off—
“I-IDRIS!”
…until Thetis saw her.

Idris looked up calmly from where she sat, one foot still stuck in the sink, at the two Destrillians. Thetis was bright as Fiona’s hair; Fiona herself swore loudly a few times while hastily shrugging her vest back on.
“Don’t you know how to fucking KNOCK?”

A little smile appeared on Idris’ lips as she went back to scrubbing her foot. “I doubt you would have heard me anyway.” She could practically feel Thetis’ blush, or maybe that was just the heat that Fiona naturally radiated. There was a terse silence.
After a while, a tittering Thetis broke it.

"Emma's apartment is… nice.”

"Yeah. Nice and flowery,” Idris replied. The words sounded easy enough but she knew how much of a non-sequitur they could be. Fortunately, Thetis seemed determined to keep up the flow of words—maybe so that the silence wouldn’t swallow her up, in her apparent embarrassment.

"It’s nicer than ours. Right, Fiona?"

”Yeah, sure, whatever. The smell makes me want to vomit.”

"That might just be the sewer smell."

"No, it's the smell of pretty shit,” countered the fire Destrillian, much to Thetis’ chagrin. Idris just kept on working on her foot – it was getting to the point where she could actually see the bottom of her foot again, peeking out stark-white against the unnatural green that covered it.

Fiona and Thetis exchanged a few more words, and then the three lapsed into silence.
Eventually, she had to ask.

"So... you two."

"We live together,” replied Thetis, a tad too hastily to be taken as just a comment.

“And what about it?”

"Oh nothing,” the metal Destrillian said airily, beginning to work on the gunk between her toes. “Just glad to see you two getting along is all..."

Of course it was more than that. Idris’ emotions were on the battlefield in that moment – genuine happiness that the two most unlikely Destrillians had founded such a strong bond, and yet bitter resentment at the same time. Bitter jealousy.
But of course she couldn’t tell them that, and it was ridiculous anyway, so it was “just glad to see you two getting along.”

"So.” Fiona’s stare bore right into her, practically forced her to look up and meet the orange gaze. “Idris. Do you know what happened to Thetis?"

Do I know what happened to Thetis? Do I KNOW? Of course I know, it’s their fault that I got into this in the first—
Don’ttellherdon’ttellherdon’ttellher.

Idris paused the most minuscule of pauses as Thetis’ voice rushed into her head like a floodgate being released.

"What, with those ghastly stab wounds?" Idris questioned, looking Thetis up and down to buy herself some time to think. It makes sense, I suppose – Fiona would punch Kerr into a bloody pulp and we hardly need that right now. She’s just looking out for us all, I guess.

A lot like me, in a way.

”Yes.”

Idris made up her mind.
Not a word, hon.

She shook her head no.
"I already told you, Fiona, it was nothing,” Thetis said, trying to soothe the fire Destrillian’s wrath. But Fiona would not be soothed. She cursed and wove her needle with far more malice and harshness than was needed, making the poor girl wince in pain.

"THIS IS NOT 'NOTHING'.”


"And why do you care?" It almost surprised her, that those words had come from her mouth – looking at it in hindsight, though, Idris saw that there hadn’t been any trace of malevolence in those words. It was just a question. A real, honest question, and that was probably what had thrown Fiona in the first place.

Because Fiona obviously didn’t want to give the honest answer.

"I don't. Whatever."


And she was gone. Slammed the door almost off its hinges and all. Poor Thetis looked about to cry, stoic though she tried to remain. “Just like old times, huh?” she said, with that same dark edge to it that she had had in the motel parking lot. That edge to her voice didn’t sound real – it sounded like it had been forced there, lashed down to her words in some sort of effort to…
To what? To look tough? To impress the toughest of them all? Idris had no idea. So she just smiled her little half-smile and switched feet.

"Yeah. Just about."

"Yeah."

Another semi-awkward silence. This apartment building seemed to be rife with them. But Idris, to a point, was determined to get some sort of answer from Thetis—some sort of secret, the secret to actually bonding with somebody so closely. And so she opened her mouth again: "...So you really care about her then, hm?"

Thetis looked like she’d just been called out on a murder—except worse, because murder was nothing to be shocked at for a Destrillian. "We're just roommates, that's all."

"Roommates." Idris felt the need for repetition.

"Yeah."

"....roommates." It was all she really needed to get the point across. Looking over her knee for a second at the blue-haired Destrillian, who wasn’t quite as flushed anymore. Instead, she looked rather pale.

"Mmhmm."

A moment’s pause while she considered what to say. Thetis was looking surprisingly downtrodden - she reminded Idris of the Thetis before the escape, the one who was shy and scared and who would wallow in the smallest of negative comments. And what Fiona had said, was apparently negative enough for even this new, tough Thetis. "I don't think SHE sees it that way, do you?"

“Who knows.”

"Who indeed." Idris stood up, her feet clean and dry. The bullet wound had been patched over with a real bandaid, and apart from being tired, and frustrated with the world and what it was throwing at her, Idris was good as new. "I'm done here now. Good luck with those wounds, Thetis."

"Bye." She heard it just as she was exiting the washroom. And it made her pause, that little whisper of a farewell. It just sounded so… final. Like if Idris left, then she might not get to see Thetis as Idris knew the girl ever again.

The Gunmetal Glint decided to stop taking out her own frustration on somebody who already had their own problems.

"See you in a bit,” she said, and she smiled at Thetis through the mirror.

She turned again and left the washroom, sitting this time on one end of the couch. It seemed that the puzzle of Destrillians and sewer-dwellers had shifted since she’d last been in the room. The metal Destrillian removed her handmade sandals, carefully fashioned them back into—roughly—the shape of the coat hanger hook, and then reattached it to the hanger. Then, like this was perfectly normal, she sat back down and tried to think of thinks other than bullets and frantic escapes and sudden, nagging loneliness.

___________________________________________________

KRAM – Elevator and Emma’s Apartment


Kram found, upon entering the kitchen, that it was relatively small, but had a large storage room that kept the other day-to-day tools or utensils Emma and her friends would use. Turning back to see that no one was looking or passing by the kitchen, he deactivated the suit.

"Deactivating DT Riotrooper System: Shutting down Torso Unit,"the HUD said. The upper portion of his suit easily disengaged and he manually removed it and set it aside, exposing his white shirt. Looking around, he spotted Emma’s (or her friend’s?) pink apron. Left with no choice, he sighed and took it, determined to fulfil his chef’s courtesy of keeping himself clean; wrapping it around himself, he took the vegetables and chicken with meat that would be part of his salad recipe.

It was easy and quick to prepare it for a little frying; he estimated the amount in Emma’s storage would feed 12 people, and without haste, he started grabbing ingredients.

Chopping with precision, he managed to prepare the first parts of the salad. He placed them in the available clean pan to fry a little, putting it on low fire to survey what he would do with the meat. Getting another pan, he placed the meat and chicken within it and hastily stir-fried it to be added to the salad. A minute or two and it would be ready.

Realizing it would be faster to get things done with a partner, he briefly turned back, as sweat poured down from inside the helmet—it was getting a little hot in the kitchen, and he coughed a little before he decided to call somebody to help.

“Anyone out there? If it’s not much a bother, can you come to the kitchen? I could use a little assistance if you don’t mind,” he asked politely; it was ironic that he was the one who wanted to feed them, and had to rely on another helping hand.

After thinking long and hard about it, he figured he might as well remove his helmet. It wasn’t like they would remember him anyway; once this is all over he would try his best to distance himself from them all to not attract any attention. Without any further objection, he opened the clips that held the helmet to his head.

As he removed his helmet while leaving the HUD on, he felt a tingle from the side of his face, as if something dropped down. He looked down and dove to caught what had fallen. His eyes widened, almost forgetting he had placed this beautiful piece of picture in his helmet before everything began to spiral down to chaos.

It was her again. Tao Hong, a fellow Destrillian and his lover. Her picture displayed her sad eyes vividly. He could tell she was trying to give the camera a warm smile, but those eyes hadn’t seen happiness in a long time. It was the picture he took the other night with her in bed, the same one he used to desperately find her in The Orange Zone to no avail.

The very same eyes he had seen in the dream, filled with determination but choosing to sacrifice herself for his safety and drown herself in the depths of pain and suffering.

His failure loomed upon him once again. It hit him as hard as Kerr’s attack had done prior – only this time it was heavier, the burden of regaining all of his memories, even the bitter ones, lingered upon him. It was his second failure to actually protect the woman he loved.

You failed, Kram… Despite gaining something from that experience, you’ve accomplished nothing: you couldn't save Tao from sacrificing herself. You failed to dissuade her. If you can’t convince her to stray away from the path of pain and misery, then you’ve already lost her to oblivion… he thought long and hard to himself all alone in the kitchen. It felt as if that time was standing still.

Ignoring the vegetables, chicken and meat that was brewing, he went over to the large storage room just at the side of the kitchen. Everything had calmed down now: the fast escape, the struggles they all went through, his own struggles with trying to comprehend as to what was happening around him now and how things changed in a blink of an eye. Those weighed heavier than most. His heroic spirit was breaking further than he had anticipated before coming to the horrific revelation that scarred him even further: he was afraid of experiencing loss.

Fear filled his heart, Fear of loss, and his regret for not being able to stop Tao from making such a devastating choice. He looked down, dejected, with the picture tenderly perched in his right hand. His breathing was slightly heavy for some reason. He smiled at her picture to calm himself.

“You’re as beautiful as always…” he said peacefully to her picture, as he tried to hold his composure. He dare not show his sensitivity within range of the eyes and ears of his kin, lest he be ousted further. He was still breath taken by her beauty and by her compassionate personality, it brought fond memories when they were together in Viola and at the same time bitter and sad events that would shape him to be the man he is today.

Without noticing it, his vision was getting blurry. He blinked the forming tears from his eyes as he gritted his teeth to try and hold them back. He didn’t realize that even he had his own limits to what he could handle emotionally, now that he had a compassionate understanding of the human race, as she did.

“Gotta hold it together. Can’t show weakness. Get a hold of yourself, Kram…” he muttered to himself quietly as tears continually formed around his eyes; with every blink he tried to fight his own emotions.

But before he knew it, a tear drop was rolling down his cheek. His struggles to contain them were showing, his shoulders shaking slightly to struggle keeping it all in. He breathed a sigh of defeat.

“I don't want you to keep living like that, Tao--you need to start thinking about yourself, you can't keep making those sacrifices… I still care for you deeply… ” he said as the second tear drop fell. He brushed his long hair aside, continuing to look at the picture, gazing at her magnificent magenta eyes.

“Please be alive still… and be safe, please.”

___________________________________________________

-IDRIS SAVAGE; Emma's and Terra's Apartment-


“Anyone out there? If it’s not much a bother, can you come to the kitchen? I could use a little assistance if you don’t mind!”

Idris looked around. Surely somebody would help Kram, even if he was a little bit on the theatrical side. Kindly Emma, maybe, or Terra—but Terra was nowhere to be seen, and a little immobile to boot. Emma was sitting on a chair, petting her mouse. And of course, there wasn’t a single other Destrillian around who would go in there and help the Dark Rider without ripping his head off in the process.
She waited a minute to see if Emma was going to stop with the mouse any time soon. She wasn’t.
Idris sighed. It was a very heavy, martyr-ish sigh. And then, throwing the entire room one sweeping, tired, reproachful look, she made her way silently to Emma and Terra’s kitchen.

When she got there, she couldn’t see anybody immediately. She cast an eye about the half-chopped ingredients, wondering where the boy could’ve gone off too—

“Please be alive still… and be safe, please.”

Or he could just be curled in a convenient corner. That works as well.

Quiet as anything, Idris padded up behind the armored man. She noticed, with brief surprise, that the insect-like helmet was gone and the human beneath it looked quite… well, human. Destrillian, even. For the first time, Idris Savage wondered whether she ought to begin taking Kram seriously, if only a little. Even if he was wearing a pink apron over his high-tech suit.

Then she saw his shaking shoulders and figured the reason why he was in a corner in the first place. With another sigh, and a throwaway thought that she seemed to be doing a lot of this in the past day, Idris leaned over a little to see what he was cradling in his hand.
It was a photograph. Crumpled, but new; a smiling girl peered out from the little square at the two of them. She had long, silver-white hair, and even Idris could make out that her eyes had the unnatural sort of colour that only belonged to her kind.

“Erasure… ah, I know this band. And this song… Tao would’ve loved it.”
So there was a girl.
It made enough sense.

Idris took another step closer, and then – with no regard to how much of a surprise this might be to Kram – leaned down to see the photo properly. Right smack in his peripheral vision.
“So this girl.”

The boy jolted, having been startled, and then he looked up and saw who it was. With something like a cringe of pity, almost, Idris saw a tear roll off the side of his face. “When… when did you…?”

He’s worse than Thetis just was. She quirked an eyebrow. Absolutely absurd, through and through. What with the strain in his voice making it go all high and weird-sounding, and the long black hair which he now tied into a rough ponytail, Kram was for all intents and purposes more feminine than Idris was. “Oh, just now. I guess I’m just quiet is all.” She looked back over his shoulder at the picture again. “She’s quite pretty.”

Something of a smile crept onto Kram’s face. "She's a Destrillian... Tao Hong, from my branch. She was my… girlfriend, I guess, before they tried to kill her.” The almost-smile vanished, replaced with a look of grim resentment. “I fought back, but they sent me to a state of cryogenic sleep and wiped my memories. I actually recovered most of them today,” he continued, scratching his head in a bit of an awkward manner, “but it's taking a toll on my head. And I'm really... I'm really worried about her. She left me yesterday to go back to Xi Qin—it’s stuck in the middle of this huge war, and I'm scared that… I'll lose her again."

The Gunmetal Glint looked at the photo, and then back to Kram’s insistent face. Then with one pale, callused hand, she patted him on the shoulder. Just one pat – firm, reassuring. “I’m sure she’s doing just fine,” she said. And then after a meaningful pause: “She is a Destrillian, after all.”

Kram looked up at her, considering. For a moment it looked like he almost believed her.
But his face fell and he turned to gaze forlornly at the ground. “She is, but she wasn't molded to be a warrior like all of us. She's soft, and she’s sensitive, and she acts way more human than we do.”Something about the way he said it made it sound almost accusatory—at least, to Idris and her thoughts it did. “And that's why I fear for her safety. That nightmare in the club showed me that; Tao isn’t the type to ‘be just fine.’ She tends to make decisions that would only hurt her more, and I don't want that. I don't know why she would choose a path that would lead to more pain and suffering over her wellbeing.”
He took a deep breath – whether it was to calm him, or from all the talking, Idris didn’t know. “Idris, I don't want her to suffer through something like Viola again."


Well that had certainly been an infodump. Idris stepped back a bit, giving her physical as well as metaphorical room to think. She stood up properly again and shook her hair from her eyes; those eyes stared into the millions of things she could say, right there and then, and tried to pick out the one that would actually work.
“I don’t think you’re giving her enough credit,” she began slowly. Something in her mind, some innate instinct, told her that she was more or less on the right track, so she continued. Trust me when I say that a Destrillian can hold their own, no matter how... human, they act."
And then she looked straight down into his red eyes and said what she figured they’d all wanted to say for a while.

"It's time you stopped trying to save absolutely everything."

The reply was less than satisfactory. "You're right. Maybe it would be for the best... But I still worry about her. I can’t not worry about her." Kram stood up, and being much taller than Idris, this had the desired effect of adding an extra punch to the next few words.
"I can't. If I see my friends and family suffering, I can’t just do nothing. I'd hate myself for it. So I will do everything in my power to ensure that everyone and everything I love stays safe." He smiled down at her, and for once it wasn’t a smirk. "Thank you for reminding me of the harshness of reality, Idris. But where there's a will, there’s way. And I know in my heart that even if I can't save everything, I'll try. Because there has to be someone in this world who does."

She couldn’t help but smile at the childish determination. "You and your speeches.” She shook her head, blond hair flicking all over the place. “Well, if that's what you think is right, then I won't stop you.
“But you will suffer for it.” Her smile had faded to nothing more than a ghost, the lingering remnants of times that maybe she, too, had tried to save one too many people, and suffered for it.

He looked at her long and hard. She stared back.
And then as one entity, both Destrillians turned back to the rest of the kitchen and got to work.

The room was quiet for a while, except for the sounds of Kram’s skilled hands – and Idris’ slightly less – preparing the ingredients for the salad. The chicken got thrown on the stove to cook a little, and the baby spinach that Kram had found in a little windowside garden got mixed in with the lettuce they had found in the refrigerator, for flavour.
As the first gigantic bowl of salad was set aside, and they began to work on the second, Idris broke the semi-companionable silence. "You look better without the helmet, y’know. You shouldn't wear the stupid suit all the time."

Kram laughed pretty hard at that one – Idris had a feeling that a little bit of it was forced, but she heard some genuine tones in there, which was a good sign. “Hahaha! Boy, that sure makes me feel better. You should tell that to gramps!"He laughed again, this time more controlled, before sobering up as he threw the second pan of chicken on the fire. "I need this suit to bring down Fabrizzio and his goons, though. I'm not getting shot like the cops, that’s for sure."

Idris sighed – she’d done that a lot in the past while. "For someone who's just regained all his memories as a Destrillian, you really don't know what it means to be one, do you?"
She threw him a look. "We don't GET shot, Kram. Generally we're faster than that; if anything, it's holding you back. But again, I can't stop you - if you think you need it, then use it.” She allowed a tiny smirk to grace her lips. “However wrong you just might be."

“Who knows, you may be right. I think you could be – I might have to ask gramps to modify the suit. You know, to make it lighter, for speed.”

“And less clunky for aerial combat.”

“And to do something about the helmet.”

“Maybe just get rid of it entirely?” Idris asked, finding that, surprisingly (although it was like talking with an annoying younger cousin or some such thing) she was enjoying the banter.

“Maybe not that far. But we’ll find a better theme for it than bugs," Kram said, chuckling. Idris laughed as well, and – maybe because he couldn’t tell whether she was laughing with him or at him – the boy flicked a spattering of salad dressing at her face.
The look on her face made him laugh harder. So she wiped it off on her hand, and then on his hair.

There was a brief scuffle in which the darkness Destrillian attempted to get her back, but Idris helpfully pointed out that they were wasting time that could be used salad-making, and they resumed their task.
"Duly noted though, Idris-Xia,”Kram said after another moment’s pause, making her start.
Shi-ah? What in the world…?

She let it be. Whatever crazy names the boy wanted to call her, he could do just that. Sparing a glance over at the dark-haired boy, she realized something that she hadn’t earlier, having been too caught up in all the emotional talk.
“Hey… wait.”
She’d seen him before.
“Were you that guy…” Idris began carefully, squinting at him. When he turned to face her with a quizzical look, the memory only strengthened. She took a step back, almost as if to look at him properly. An almost disbelieving smile began creeping up onto her face. "That guy who ran into all those touristy people yesterday?"

“Uhhh…” Oh he remembered alright. Idris watched as the look on his face went from confused, to concentrated, to questioning, and then finally settled on that odd sort of look that’s impossible to describe; the one where you know you’ve done something stupid, like charging through a group of Osean tourists, screaming somebody’s name at the top of your lungs, and you just don’t want to admit it. That kind.

He whistled as he turned back to getting the chicken off the stove. He couldn’t be more guilty.
“I've no idea what you're talking about, Idris."

Smile.
"That's what I thought you'd say."
Pause.
"By the way, your salad's on fire."

And then Idris Savage walked out of the room, leaving a frantic Kram to his rapidly burning bowl of salad, and tossing an amused glance over at Fiona, who had only just put her snapping fingers back in their cocky position behind her head.
__________________

Disappear with the stars and come back alive.

Last edited by Baldy; 07/15/2010 at 04:54 PM.
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Old 07/15/2010   #95
Alessa Gillespie
Default

Terra really needed a bath. Whether or not there was chaos going on around here, whether or not Thetis and Fiona decided to run off to the bathroom to do something dirty, whether or not the new guy decided to kidnap more people and take them away to more destroyed motels, none of that mattered. She just needed a bath.

An attempt was made to not cover the floor in muck, and to her luck, the sewage on her feet had mostly hardened. Which was disgusting, but at least no one had to clean up after her. She shuffled her way to the bathroom with the only bathtub in it and drew herself a lukewarm bath. The dirty clothes were quickly shucked off and tossed into a pile in the corner. She took off her glasses and set them on the sink, though she could see perfectly fine without them, and slipped into the tub. The brunette scrubbed the scum off of her feet and attempted to clean her hair, though she almost felt a need to let the gunk wash down the drain first. Something like this was nice, comforting. One of the normal things she had gotten used to and enjoyed doing. Even though Emma was far superior at being normal than she, having a human boyfriend, human friends, not needing to dye her hair every couple of months so that her weird green shade of hair doesn’t grow out (Terra supposed she was probably the only Destrillian who made an effort to cover up her bizarre hair color), things like having an apartment to sleep in, a bath to get herself clean in, even having clothes that she mostly liked, it made her feel happy. Normal.

But in the dream she had shared with Idris and Emma, she was still a freak. Able to control the soil around her, able to turn herself into some great earthen beast, normal humans did not have this ability. Normal humans also generally weren’t crippled, unless old. The invalid were generally disregarded by normal people. The invalid who could also somehow control the dirt around her and somehow take many more blows than she should have? Well that was just freakish.

On second thought, she hated taking baths. All of the introspection and thinking involved gave her a headache. She wondered though, if those soldiers were going to realize that they hadn’t finished the job. Were they going to bust down the door to the apartment and take them by force? She’d rather not get taken without clothes, assuming this was their plan. She frowned and pushed herself out of the tub and pulled the plug to drain all the muck out. Hopefully it wouldn’t clog or something, and hopefully she would still be living in this apartment by tomorrow. Hopefully she hadn’t worn her last clean dress today, since she really needed to do her laundry. She tied a towel around her and placed her glasses back on her nose, hobbling back out to her room.

There had to be a pile of clean stuff somewhere in here… ah, there! She wrestled with a long green dress for what felt like ten minutes before she had the damn thing on. Over that, she pulled on a black sweater, and she flopped onto the mattress in the middle of her room. If she had gotten home those many hours ago, than this would have been the result: her flopping onto the mattress and taking a quiet nap. She curled up to her lumpy pillow, and realizing how very tired she was, she fell asleep.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“You’re late!” A mouse in a tophat informed her. A white mouse in a tophat informed her…Squeak? “You’re very late! Oh well, I suppose we best go anyways.”

Squeak hefted her over his shoulder and dragged her flailing and confused self to a sewer grate, hopping down with her in tow. She screamed as she fell for almost a minute, before she realized she still hadn’t hit the ground. Lovely, she’d always wanted to be a smelly corpse in a sewer. Squeak did not seem disconcerted by the fall in the least, and had even grabbed an old gossip magazine on the way down. “A-aren’t we going to die?” Terra asked, panicked. At this speed, if they hit the ground, surely they would be splattered into a million bits.

“Don’t be silly, you still have to meet the Hatter and his guests,” Squeak explained, snapping his fingers (claws?) and stopping them just above the ground. He hurried along some path with water flowing on both sides, and Terra followed him, if only to figure out what was going on. He arrived at some place with a man covered in facial hair wearing another top hat, a gentleman with a Mohawk and dark skin as well as a monocle that seemed out of place, and some pale kid with messy hair and a bow tie. “Hello, Mr. Locke Hatter!”

“How the fuck are you, White Mouse? Have some of this leaf water shit, it tastes like donkey piss,” He said in a voice that Terra supposed was meant to be cordial, despite how vulgar the man was. He threw his cup over his shoulder with a laugh, while the guy with a Mohawk made room for Squeak.

“Feel free to take a seat, Alice Michaels, there’s enough room for everyone,” He said, gesturing to a seat on the other side of the table.

“My name’s not Alice,” The brunette grumbled, pouring herself a cup of tea and finding that the Hatter’s assessment of it wasn’t that far off.

“She said she’s Notalice, that’s an unusual name,” The kid in the bow tie remarked, “I think I’ve only known one Notalice, and she’s the one sitting at the table.”

“Her name isn’t Notalice, Teakettle Lioncourt, she was simply remarking that her name was not in fact Alice. What is your name, by the way?” He asked, chewing on a rather dry-looking scone.

“Terra,” She said to the table, though Locke Hatter rolled his eyes and looked like he chewed on one of those unpleasant looking scones.

“That name is fucking awful, you shoulda stuck with Alice,” He said, standing up and moving to a seat next to Squeak, who got up and moved into a seat next to where the Hatter had sat, which made the Teakettle man get up and sit in the middle of the table, and the dark skinned man took his former seat. “Don’t tell me you’re a retard as well as a gimp. Even March Miara knows what he’s doing. Move your fucking ass to a new seat.” The Hatter said, throwing scones at her until she stood up and took a seat near Emma’s mouse. “Alright, so I hereby nominate a new discussion. Who votes we see if Miss Cripple explodes as nicely as our last Alice?”

Terra got to her feet quickly as the Hatter and the boy in the middle of the table voted to do it, though the boy seemed more interested in what exactly he meant this time. She didn’t wait to see how Squeak and that March Miara were going to vote.

She continued down the path to a crossroads when a girl with white hair and cat ears appeared. The girl had a large, toothy grin, though her pinkish eyes seemed slightly sad. She was wearing some outfit with a cat tail, and with the rest of the disturbing world she was in, it seemed rather like she was wearing some sort of fetish outfit. It was rather creepy, to say the least. She lifted her arms slowly, pointing to either path, and said, “One way leads to the palace, the other leads to the caterpillar. The caterpillar is a nice person but she’s that way!”

She floated slightly above the path and pointed in a direction neither path seemed to lead to. But if the caterpillar was nicer than the Hatter and his crazy bunch, perhaps she needed to pay a visit. Nothing had shown her that this person would be wrong in anyway, so her advice sounded like it made enough sense. “Thank you…erm…”

“Cheshire. Cheshire Hong,” She said with the same toothy grin before she faded out of view, leaving behind only a moment of her smile. It was slightly disturbing, and she thought to touch it for a moment before it faded away as well. Terra hurried along the path until she reached a large clearing with a strange, grey woman.

The girl raised an eyebrow before she asked something. “Are you the caterpillar?”

“Caterpillar. Flutwelle. Fluterweller. Doesn’t matter. I am no longer Halvey Caterpillar.” She said before falling back onto the blue mushroom she laid on. She looked at Terra with dead eyes, and Terra felt uncomfortable looking at her for long. It was like staring at a corpse. “If you eat the mushroom I’m laying on, you can become like me. Not a care in the world.” She laughed in a way that was so obviously forced it made Terra uncomfortable. Lifting herself up, she grabbed a chunk of the mushroom she laid on and slipped down it. “You should try some,” She took slow, deliberate steps forward, and Terra had to force her legs to move out of the terror induced paralysis they were placed in to leave. “Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiii stiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiill seeeeeeeeeeeeee youuuuuuuuuuuu…”

She heard the voice as she burst out of the clearing and back onto the path she’d been walking before. What the hell was wrong with this place? She needed to leave. Knowing that going back would only lead to the Hatters and the huge sewage pipe she’d fallen down, she decided to continue forward. The brunette walked and walked until she reached a great blankness in the world. Beyond it was nothing, nothing but blankness, not even a path to continue forward on.“You should keep going. Come to the ball, you can dance with Us. We would love if you came,” a great, hollow voice spoke, and out of nowhere, a giant, delicate hand appeared, as if wanting to guide her out of this place.

“Why can’t I see you?” She asked, frowning. A great chuckle echoed all around her before the voice spoke again.

“Everyone but Us has lied to you. We will actually help, we know the way out of here. For you are dreaming, Alice, and We know this. Considering you’ve listened to everyone but Us, perhaps We would not be as bad of a choice as you believe.” So this was a dream? That explained why everything was so bizarre. Perhaps she could help wake her up from this weird nightmare she was having. And really, with everyone else being as unhelpful as they were, maybe it wouldn’t be bad for her to trust this person.

“If you can help me, I’ll trust you,” She said, stepping forward onto one of the fingers. Another hand appeared and nudged her forward, so she continued walking until she reached the palm of the hand.

“Excellent,” The voice said, the other hand lowering to her head. What was she doing? Her hands delicately pinched her head, as if to carry her by it. They tightened and tightened until Terra was certain her head was going to pop, and she let out a scream, as she was certain she was going to die.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
She woke up with a corner of her lumpy pillow in her mouth and her glasses pressing hard into the bridge of her nose. The earth Destrillian had one of the worst headaches she’d ever experienced throbbing in her brain, and her eyes felt teary. Terra thought she remembered pieces of her dream, but it was slipping away like sand in an hourglass, and soon she could only remember that she had dreamed something. She took off her glasses and looked into a piece of reflective glass, seeing that bridge of her nose had nasty indents from her glasses pressed into it and that one side of her face carried a dent from her frames.

Ema whar r tha pain pillz. She asked, forgetting about the other people in the apartment. If they were still there, that was.
__________________

is daddy still a good man?
like a shotgun needs an outcome

don't trust the ones who shake with their left hand

ACKY: IM NOT A TURIAN I CANT MAEK BABBIES WITH GARRUS

Joe: NOT WITH THAT ATTITUDE


can you fight a legendary creature?


i was a TEENAGE CLAIRVOYANT

Last edited by Alessa Gillespie; 07/15/2010 at 05:32 PM.
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Old 07/16/2010   #96
Tennyo
Default

==== EMMA'S POV, from the pod room to the apartment ====

As darkness closed in all around Emma the feelings of guilt and pain she had felt only intensified. She hugged herself tightly as she floated weightless in the darkness, letting out a shrill cry of anguish for lack of any alternative to make her feel better.

It just could not be happening. Everything they had all done didn’t matter one bit, did it? Eve was still dead, Natasha was still missing (and that had been an old wound long since healed, now ripped open once again), and Terra couldn’t really walk or talk again, could she?

Then there was the matter of the horrible things she had done in the dream. “Not real,” she told herself, attempting to will her own mind to believe. She would never actually do anything like that in real life, would she? She would never kill anyone in cold blood, and she knew for a fact she could not manipulate anything other than plants.

“I would never do anything like that even if I could! How horrible…”

But what of Terra and Idris? Had they really been there to witness such a horrible act as what she’d just done to the man in black? Had they seen the wicked grin on her face or seen how much she’d enjoyed it? Had they heard his accusations against her? What would they think of her now?

“It was only a dream!” she told herself once more. It certainly had felt real, and it had certainly felt like her friends really were there, sharing in her experience. But dreams were deceptive, and for all she knew she had made the whole thing up.

None of this made her feel any better, however, and she continued to be racked with sobs until she finally couldn’t take it anymore and lashed out with her arms. The act momentarily shocked her, for her arms had hit glass. The girl opened her eyes and sure enough, she was no longer suspended in black nothingness, but instead was trapped inside of some sort of pod.

Immediately memories of Viola came to the surface of her mind and she panicked. Emma began to pound violently on the glass, sobbing uncontrollably, the vicious faces of scientists and aids seemingly floating above her outside the pod.

There came a tiny moment of realization as she placed her hands over her eyes and told herself to breathe. She lay there silently for a minute, trying her best to calm down.

“It’s okay. This isn’t Viola. There’s an explanation for this, surely, right?”

The destrillian slowly pulled her hands away from her eyes and peered out into the darkness of the room. She was laying on her back facing up, and she could just barely make out the outlines of pipes running along the ceiling. Wiping her eyes yet feeling far more calm than before, Emma tried her best to relax her muscles as she reached out into the room with her powers.

There were other people in the room with her. A couple she didn’t recognize as anyone she knew, but the rest were all her fellow Violan subjects, plus that Dark Rider guy who had been with them. They all seemed safe and sound, albeit groggy after having just woken up, or even still asleep as was the case for a couple of them, but they all seemed be okay.

In the corner of her eye Emma saw the lid on the pod to her left fly off and into the air, only to come crashing down. Out emerged a familiar blonde head, and Emma couldn’t help but want to smile. Idris made her way over to where Emma lay and with relative ease was able to take the lid off of the pod. Emma sat up, relieved to be out of the pod, and she flashed Idris a smile in thanks for the help.

Wow, this really is like being back at Viola, she thought to herself.

As Idris went to release everyone else Emma swung her legs out over the side of the pod, but she did not get out yet. Her thoughts kept creeping back to the dream she had just had, and how every time she ran over the events that occurred in her mind she became more and more frightened of what it could mean.

Just a dream, it’s just a dream, she reassured herself once more.

It was then that it occurred to her that something about her outfit was wrong, or rather, missing.

“Oh! My bag!” Emma declared, looking eagerly around for any sign of it. She spotted it laying in a heap in the corner of the room, and she dashed over to it as quickly as possible. As she got near it, however, she realized there were no signs of life inside. Giving a small cry of dismay, she quickly threw open the flap, only to slump over forward with a sigh of relief.

Squeak was not inside, so at least that made her feel a little better. In her survey of the room ealier she had only been focusing on the stronger energy signatures of people, not a weaker one like that of a mouse. She did now, however, and turned to pace where her small companion was.

A ways across the room stood Stolz, excitedly chatting away at how happy they were that everyone was awake now and coming out of the pods. And there, clambering out of Stolz’ pocket and squealing with excitement was a tiny white mouse.

Emma cried out in delight and bolted for Stolz, taking the small animal into her hands and nearly singing with happiness as Stolz prattled on.

“Is that your mouse? I like your mouse,” the child said, but Emma really only half heard them.

Looking around the room, Emma wanted to almost smile to herself at the site of all her comrades up and awake again, even Kerr. Idris had done well freeing them all, and now only Fiona remained to be broken from her pod.

It was then that Emma gave a start. She had been so preoccupied with thinking of other things that it hadn’t really occurred to her that Fiona should not have been there when she had felt her presence a few minutes ago.

Emma turned in the direction of the fire Destrillian’s pod. Idris was already standing there, facing off with what looked like the girl in the strange room from before they all went to sleep. So that part hadn’t been a dream after all. Emma had been so out of it then that she hadn’t gotten a good read on the girl.

“I think it’s time you stopped playing games. Let Fiona go, please,” Idris said.

Everyone was gathering on that end of the room now, and Emma made her way over as well, just in time to get a glimpse of Thetis accosting the girl and demanding to know what had been going on.

Emma had to admit, this new Thetis was quite a refreshing site. She had always been a bit more on the timid side back during their time in Viola, and to see her this way almost made her want to smile.

Good for Thetis, she thought. People really could change after all.

And change Thetis had, for at that moment she dropped the strange girl from before and rushed to the waking Fiona’s side, cradling her and tending to her wounds an begging for her to wake up.

It was a rather rude thing to do, really, but Emma couldn’t help but just stand there and stare. The entire group of Violan Destrillians was at this uncharacteristic display of affection for who was arguably the most vicious of their number. Fiona had always been most vicious to Thetis out of all of them, and Thetis had always been terrified of her.

I thought Thetis hated Fiona...

But there was no time for any of that now, and Emma scolded herself for being so openly rude instead of offering assistance. Idris and the strange girl before them had a brief exchanged, followed by a loud slam as a very large man entered the room.

"Girl, we gotta hustle. Our business bros got twitchy and it's time to get the fuck out."

“Business bros?” Emma asked, but no one was paying any attention to her. The strange girl was running around the room dismantling various equipment as the new arrival to the foray walked over to them, his booming voice and overly exuberant demeanor immediately taking center stage.

It was, however, apparent that they were all to leave immediately. Emma made to walk over to Terra, prepared to help the girl limp out, when the burly newcomer picked both her and a startled Dark Rider up into his arms.

“Hey!” Emma cried out, but again she was ignored. These people were starting to irritate her.

"Fuck them firecrackers, that shit got nothin' on a supernova, baby!" he said, and with that, he ran headlong straight through the wall.

Emma let out a scream of terror and covered her eyes from the dust, looking up in time for the man to spout off another one-liner and take off again. They were meant to follow, and she didn’t need telling twice, considering the large fellow had an angry Terra over his shoulder.

Without looking back Emma sprinted after him into the sewers. She fixed him with a stern look as she caught up and was able to look him in the face.

“Just WHAT do you think you’re doing? Put Terra down!” she demanded, fixating him with the sternest look she could muster.

“Just savin’ our asses, darlin’. You wanna carry your gimp friend here?” he gestured by way of slightly raising the shoulder over which Terra was slumped and radiating more anger than Emma had ever felt come from her before. “Or you want me to do it?”

“Gimp?” she asked, raising an eyebrow. “How rude!” Her comment only made him chuckle.

However, he did have a point. If they really were all fleeing a common enemy then it would be easier for him to carry Terra since he seemed to be able to do so with relative ease. Emma looked back to see that everyone else was following close behind, so she decided to let it stay.

“Fine, but if you harm one hair on her head I’ll…”

Emma was cut off as the big burly man laughed heartily.

“I mean it!”

“Whatev’s, babe.”

The redhead stayed close to the large man as they made their way through the sewers, never once allowing her attention to stray away from the man or his female accomplice. They eventually came to ladder that lead up

“You know, you could put the other guy down. I think he can run on his own,” Emma said after a few minutes of running through the sewer.

“Oh yeah,” the man replied, and almost as if complying with her words he stopped and placed both of the Destrillians he was carrying down.

However, compliance was not his reason for doing so, as he then climbed up nearby ladder and punched at a manhole cover, lodging if from it’s position to provide a way out.

Before Emma could think to do anything the man reached back down and hastily grabbed Terra and flung her back over his shoulder.

Terra, please don’t be mad at me, Emma communicated via telepathy.

The events that took place up on the street seemed a blur as Emma almost collapsed with exhaustion from the events that had all taken place within the last few hours. Without warning there came a shout and the sound of a gun firing, followed by the familiar sting of life energy quickly being drained from the body as a guard just walking on the street fell dead.

“We really should keep moving.” Said Kerr.

The group trudged on until they came across Piper Street. Terra had pointed out where they were via telepathy, suggesting that they all go to where she and Emma lived. Emma, who really wanted nothing more than to go home anyway, didn’t think much of it and offered to lead everyone there.

“I’m hungry!” Stolz piped up beside her, looking almost expectant. It made her think of a baby bird.

“We can eat at my place. Don’t worry, I’ve got friends who can bring in food for us all – I’ll call them once we get to the apartment.” She replied, not having noticed that the two newcomers and Kerr had almost missed the turn with Terra in tow. Emma was starting to become too tired to think straight.

They all went down a few blocks, turned right, ran a few blocks more, and there it was, home. Emma could almost cry she was so happy to see it. The closer the group came to the building the quicker were her steps.

Home, home, home! My bed, my bed, my bed! Emma thought.

They all burst into the lobby of the apartment building, everyone finally showing signs of sluggishness and it suddenly felt a bit safer to do so. Emma dragged her feet toward the stairs when she stopped in front of the elevator. The out of order sign was gone now. Could it be fixed? She pushed the button tentatively, only for the elevator to make the usual scraping as it moved. It took a very long time to come down. She had decided that someone had probably just stolen the sign as a prank and that the elevator was still not fixed when the doors open and she found herself swept inside by the people in the lobby.

Not what I had in mind, but looks like we have to deal with it.

She reached over as best she could and pressed the button for her floor, and then the ride began. Two agonizing minutes up to the second floor, and Emma found herself banging her head against the entire time.

"...Sorry," she said, in an awkward sort of sweetness. “The elevator is really slow. Should have warned you all.”

Shouldn’t have pressed the button to begin with. Now’s not really the time to test such things, Emma! She berated herself for her stupidity.

Eventually the ride was over, and out into the hallway of the second floor they spilled. Emma hastily took out her keys and they all rushed into the apartment, everyone collapsing all over.

“Just…make yourselves at home,” she said, mostly to herself in sarcasm, as no one made any indication that they had heard her. After kicking off her boots, she carefully hung up her rain jacket and messenger bag in the closet, taking out her pet mouse and placing him inside his cage for his food and water.

Remembering how everyone (or at least Stolz) was hungry, Emma quickly picked up the phone and went into the kitchen for silence as she dialed a familiar number.

The phone only rang once. “CHRISSY?” a voice shouted on the other end.

“Hey, Riese,” she replied.

“HOLY CRAP where the hell you been? Chris has got me all freaked out saying you were in the Orange Zone for the terrorist attack and no one knew where you were and…”

“No, no, I’m fine, Riese. Where are you right now?”

“I’m at Slide Burger. I just got off work.”

“Great. I need you to do me a huge favor. I promise I will pay you back.”

“What do you need?”

“First, promise me that you won’t tell Chris.”

“What?”

“The last thing I need right now is for him to get involved and get all upset, okay?”

“Well, uh…”

“Promise me, Riese.”

“I…uh…promise…” Riese cleared her throat on the other end.

“Okay, I need…” Emma mentally listed off everyone in her apartment, counting on her fingers to make sure she got everyone. “I need eleven burgers, and maybe small fries as well.”

“HOW MUCH FOOD?” the girl on the other end of the phone shouted.

“Please, Riese. And be quick! This is important!”

This time there was no answer, and Emma could hear muffled voices arguing on the other end.

“Riese?” she asked, tentatively.

Again there was no answer. Emma was feeling a bit freaked out. What if all of her problems from earlier were spilling out of the Orange Zone and into her friends’ lives as well?

“RIESE! Please answer me!”

There was more muffled arguing, followed by something rubbing on the phone at the other end, and then Riese’s voice.

“Uh…Chrissy?”

“Riese? What is it?”

There came more muffled sounds on the phone, and the sound of Riese shouting, “Hey!”, and then came a voice Emma had been hoping not to hear.

“Tina! What the hell is going on?”

“Ugh, Chris, I can explain…” Kind of. Maybe…

“Explain what? Are you okay? Did you find Tabitha?”

“Chris I need you to please not freak out. Please?”

“I’m coming over!”

“No, Chris, just let Riese bring the burgers. I’ll explain everything to you both later.”

“No, she can’t carry them all alone anyway. I’m coming over!”

“Chris…”

“Later!”

“Fine!”

And in her anger, Emma hung up.

She stormed out of the kitchen and slammed the phone back down on the receiver. Calling for food had probably been a bad idea in hindsight, but how was she to know Riese wasn’t alone?

The nature Destrillian then turned to all the others in the living room and announced that food was on it’s way, if they were all still hungry. What then surprised her was that at that moment the Dark Rider approached and addressed her in a very odd, and formal, manner.

“Excuse me, Miss Emma. Sorry I couldn’t help but overhear what you were discussing…”

Emma could only stare at him not thinking of a single word to say, so frazzled as she was from the night’s events.

“Twenty five minutes is too long, Miss. Most of us are probably starving; I will use your kitchen to make a quick something, if you don’t mind. I’m a professional chef—I can manage. Excuse me.”

“Wait,” Emma began to say, but he was already past her and bustling into the kitchen.

“Hi,” came an almost timid sounding voice from behind her. Emma turned to find herself faced with Thetis, who had somehow gotten her hands on Emma’s suing kit. “Where’s the washroom?”

Emma gestured down the hallway and flashed Thetis a smile trying her best to appear calm and focused to her friends. It seemed to have worked, for Thetis’s energy patterns seemed to suggest as much, even though deep down inside Emma just wanted to scream. And maybe kicked them all out. Bringing them all to her home may not have been the best idea.

They are my friends, mostly, and they did need help. We are all in this together, Destrillians need to watch out for each other, like a family… she reminded herself.

After Thetis found her way to the bathroom Emma meandered over to an empty chair in the living room and sat down. Her body almost sang with joy at the prospect of finally sitting down. She rested an elbow on one of the armrests and had her head I her hand, her fingers rubbing her temple. In the corner of her eye she saw something small and white climb up the side of the chair and into her lap.

Squeak had crawled out of his cage just to come and check up on her. He could always climb out of the cage, as it was really only there for show when other people came over as no one was to know of Squeaks true nature. He always had free reign of the apartment.

Emma smiled and reached down to stroke his white fur, beginning to doze off as she did. She never heard Kram calling for help from the kitchen, nor picked up on the brief moment of passion in the bathroom between Thetis and Fiona. She slumped completely in the chair and dozed off to sleep.

A short while later, Emma didn’t know how much, she was awoken by someone calling out her name. There was a shrill buzzing in the apartment. It was incessant and quite annoying. Emma sprang to her feet and pressed the button for the intercom down at the front door.

“Who is it?”

“It’s Chris! Let me up!”

“I’m here, too?” came the voice of Riese.

“Okay,” Emma replied, still half asleep. “Don’t use the elevator it’s still broken and slow.” She pressed the button to allow them in the door.

She then turned to address the others. “My…friends are here. Just… act natural.”

She tried her best to ignore the laughs and snide remarks that followed. “Depends on you and how obvious you want your welcome sign for the military to be I guess,” she countered. Not that they had to worry about these two. Did they?

“Oh, and by the way,” she said, “My name is Christina. And Terra is Tabitha.”

Someone began to ask, but she cut them off short. “Don’t ask, just remember it.”

There was a frantic knock on the door, and Emma opened it to let the two normal humans in. First came in Riese, literally throwing herself on her friend and declaring how worried she had been, and then in came Chris holding all of the burgers by himself. As soon as the door was closed, however, all of the burgers were dropped on the floor as he rushed in and scooped his girl up for a tight embrace.

“Chris, I..”

“Tina I’ve been so worried about you! What’s going on?”

“It’s complicated. Very complicated,” she said, still pressed up tightly against him. Emma could feel all eyes on her, and she hastily pulled away. Most likely a big mistake, as now that she was at a proper distance the human boy bent down and kissed her.

This was met with a murmur of surprise from everyone else. She did neglect to mention the fact that Chris was her boyfriend, after all, and Terra had been too preoccupied with other things to bother clarifying the notion.

However, she didn’t feel comfortable displaying such affection with someone in front of the other Viola Destrillians. She had been hoping to avoid it, but now it was too late. She’d just have to take their chagrin and deal with it.

She turned to the group, reaching down to pick up the burgers. “Tina, it was so weird. I was watching the news and there was a girl on there who looked a lot like Tabitha. They said she was involved.

Emma stopped dead in her tracks as everyone passed about the paper bags full of burgers. She turned to look at Chris. “What?”

“Yeah! Some terrorist chick! Looked just like her, and…”

He also stopped dead in his tracks as his eyes fell upon Idris. They grew wide as he openly gaped at her, make the girl visibly uncomfortable. “Tina!”

“Chris, what are you doing?”

“I… SHE WAS ON THE TV!”

“What?” everyone in the room was shocked at this.

“Is this what you’re doing? Tina are you mixed up in this?”

“Chris, calm down, it probably just looks like her, it isn’t…”

“No, it was her!”

Chris was starting to freak out. Emma did not need this.

“Chris, calm down, I can explain everything.”

It was at this moment that Kerr decided to appear before them all. Chris’s eyes fell upon him and he began to really loose his temper.

“AND YOU!” he yelled. Kerr looked almost dumbstruck, being pointed at by a human. “I SAW YOU, TOO! AND…” he paused, surveying the blond Destrillian before him up and down, “Are you wearing my clothes?”

It was the first time Emma had noticed it herself. Kerr must have gone digging through her room. She would deal with the issue later, but right now she needed to calm Chris down.

“Chris, please.”

“AND HER!” Chris shouted, pointing an accusatory finger at a harassed looking Thetis. “She was there, too, AND IS THAT MY SHIRT?”

“Chris, I really don’t need this right now!” Emma said rather sternly.

“Don’t need what? You ditch me…”

“I didn’t ditch you!”

“…and run off to hang out with criminals!”

“No, it’s not like that.”

“They’re terrorists!”

“No they’re not!”

“Tina what are you doing hanging out with people like this! They could hurt you!”

“No, Chris, they won’t. I don’t need you always rushing in and playing the chivalrous white knight who always save my day. I can take care of myself!”

“So how did you get mixed up with this?”

“They’re my friends!”

“You’ve never mentioned them before!”

“Well I never thought I’d see them again.”

“What?”

“We grew up together!”

“You grew up with terrorists?”

“No, Chris…”

“Terrorists who you let wear my clothes!”

“I didn’t!”

“I let you keep that shirt for good luck!”

“I know, but I…”

On and on the argument continued, much to the amusement, (or much to the awkwardness) of everyone in the room.

Not being able to take it anymore, Riese picked up an extra burger and went and sat down next to Kram.

“’Sup. I’m Riese,” she said, extending a hand. Kram took it and they shook.

“Nice to meet you,” he replied.

“I’m Chrissy’s friend, if you didn’t catch that.”

“Yeah I think I got that.”

Riese surveyed his armor and helmet for a moment. “You that Dark Rider dude I’ve seen on the news?”

“That’s me.”

“Cool,” she nodded, turning back to watch her friends verbally duke it out. “These two never get old,” she chuckled.

“And you tell Riese to not tell me. To not bring me along. Why?”

“Hey leave me out of it!” Riese piped up.

“Because I knew you’d freak out, Chris!” Emma replied.

“Well can you blame me? Especially when THAT is all over the news?” he gestured toward the TV and some images that were on the screen. Someone had turned on the news while she was asleep.

But there, plane as day for everyone to see, were the images of Idris, Thetis, Kerr, and Terra.

“No…” Emma whispered.

Not Terra. Not Terra!!

Emma now knew that their cover was blown. If Terra had been identified, then it was only a matter of time before they came for them here.

There came a sudden knock on the door, and Chris glared at it as if the very thing had offended him. “And who’s this? Another terrorist?”

“Keep your voice down!” Emma scolded.

Chris turned and made his way for the door.

“Chris wait!” she called, but it was too late. The human male threw the door open, and there, standing before him, was the other Destrillian who had followed them all into the building but had opted to take the stairs. Emma had forgotten completely about him, and his presence took her by surprise.

“Another one?” Chris asked, furious.

“Well you said it, not me!” Emma glared back. “Would you quit staring and help me?”

Together the two of them pulled Lokka into the apartment and hastily shut the door.
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Old 07/17/2010   #97
Alex
Default

=KERR, IN EMMA'S APPARTMENT=


“Just...make yourself at home”


Kerr raised his eyebrows at the odd statement. Home? This place looked like no home for a Destrillian that he had ever seen before. Everything from the wallpaper to the soft comfortable looking armchairs and sofas was wrong. Felt wrong. Felt human. His face twisted into a dark contemptuous scowl. Is this what his kin had been reduced to? Disgusting creatures clinging to pretensions of humanity, no thought or consideration for the fact that they were the most highly trained killing machines on the planet, and all their power gone to waste.


He watched as the assembled motley group filed through the door around him. This bizarre collection of his old companions, new Destrillians and the two humans that they had collected from the nightclub; the girl dressed in rags and her enormous dark-skinned friend. It was a small wonder they had only encountered a one man patrol. Kerr hadn’t even thought twice about killing him and eliminating the threat to the group. The act came as swift and natural to him as breathing. He at least remembered the fact that his body was a living weapon, more deadly and perfect than any other that humans had made throughout the course of history. Which was more than could be said for any of his contemporaries. Most of them in dead silence, after all what was there to say, they were all strangers and they were all only all here together because the events of today had thrown them together. Moreover, they were only staying here together because leaving the group now was suicide, if the strength of the security outside was any indication.


Ignoring the others for now Kerr moved quickly through the packed room, roving black eyes scanning the layout of the apartment. It was standard procedure, analyse the room, know your surroundings for you would be far less likely to be taken by surprise. It appeared to be the standard human apartment, not quite the high end luxury of the city centre, but definitely a far cry from the slummy Orange Zone abodes that he had so frequented. Not wasting any time, he watched as Thetis emerged from one room asking Emma if it was alright if she used her sewing kit. So, that room was Emma’s?


He moved into the room, none of the Destrillians had seen him.


Without even thinking, Kerr fell face forwards onto the large bed in the middle of the room. He wasn’t sure whether or not it was his legs that had finally given out from so much strenuous exertion today, or whether it was just the very act of seeing a place to rest spread out in front of him that caused him to fall.


Where Kerr had spent most of his nights whenever he had passed through Osea he had been sleeping on a bare, moth-eaten, worn and flattened. The softness of Emma’s bed came as an almost unnatural comfort, beyond anything he could remember experiencing before. Though he knew it was only, and could only ever be a fleeting feeling. Almost as soon as he had closed his eyes to welcome the comfortable reprieve from the toil of getting to the apartment to begin with, he opened them again and leapt off the bed. There was still too much to think about and too much to do, this apartment could be little more than a temporary refuge, that much was immediately apparent. The whole of the Artolian military would be descending upon Osea, and it would not take long for them to be uncovered. Getting out of the city was their only option, but the ‘how’ and the ‘where to’ of that plan still eluded him.


For now however, Kerr put those thoughts out of his head. They still had some time, for all he knew the government might have already suspected that the Destrillians had escaped the city and were widening their search. This would give them more room to manoeuvre, at least in the short term. He did the calculations in his head as he opened the room’s wardrobe. They probably had a few days to come up with a decent plan, there was no immediate rush. He plucked the first garment from it, a man’s t-shirt and instantly pressed it to the side of his head to apply pressure to the deep cut caused by the earlier battle with Thetis. He grunted at the brief flash of pain that danced across his senses, but continued to dab away at the wound. Mopping up the copious amount of blood that had spilled down his face until only the driest blood refused to be swabbed away.


Dropping the t-shirt on the floor, he quickly turned his attention to the clothes he was currently wearing. The grey shirt has now so deeply stained with dirt and covered in rips and holes that it was barely fit to be called a rag. He quickly pulled it off and let it fall to the floor, his similarly ragged and dirty pants and t-shirt soon followed. Kerr didn’t care whatsoever that he was standing here, pale and naked save for his underwear in a stranger’s apartment. He did not even feel embarrassed, embarrassment was a human emotion and moreover it wasn’t as though all of the Destrillians hadn’t seen each other naked hundreds of time before during their Viola training.


There seemed to be some boys clothes in the wardrobe, oddly enough. Though he doubted that Emma was above entertaining male companions, she had always seemed so desperate to fit in with the humans. Even though he suspected the clothes would be slightly too big he pulled out some that would be suitable. Dark clothes, ones that did not attract attention or draw the eye when you moved about, they were always the most practical. He slipped on a pair of dark blue jeans and followed it up pulling on a black hoodie and a dark jacket. The clothes felt alien, too comfortable, too unfamiliar, and regardless though they would do.


Kerr re-entered the room, it seemed more full now than it had been before, it didn’t take long to find out why. Two more humans had entered the room, one of them was engaging in a fierce argument with Emma by the door. The other members of the group, Destrillian and stranger alike were torn between watching this spectacle unfold and watching a rehash of images from the brawl at the motel earlier in the day. Personally, Kerr didn’t see the appeal of having to watch one of their kind lower themselves to having to explain themselves to a human. To one of them.


“AND YOU I SAW YOU TOO!” Kerr cocked an eyebrow and curled his lip into a look of utter contempt. The human appeared to be addressing him. “I SAW YOU TOO! AND...are you wearing my clothes?”


Kerr was rescued from the trouble of launching himself across the room to crack his neck by Emma turning to grovel at him. He paid them no more attention, instead turning to focus on the scenes playing on the television. He leant back against the wall and watched intently as he saw his own face, followed by Thetis’, Idris’ and finally Terra’s appear on the television. The shouting from the doorway intensified as he watched Lokka enter the apartment, apparently flustered. Who knew what had taken him this long to get here. He turned his attention back to the news, the need to know what the military and civilian response to the events of today were was paramount to him.


“And now in a repeat of our top story, “Once children, they were kidnapped from their homes and transformed into human weapons. Trained by Viola Corporation and held for over ten years, through advances in genetic engineering these ‘Prototypes’ have been granted super-human strength and the ability to communicate via thought. They can even manipulate the very elements around them. During today’s trial, files detailing the ‘Destrillian Project’ were presented as evidence at the trial of Jason Spencer.”
The news anchor read out in the same tone of faux concern that seemed as genuinely believable as

The pit of Kerr’s stomach began to knot, the very idea of the human public becoming so aware of the capabilities that these Destrillians possessed did not sit well with him at all. The surprise was an enormous advantage in any fight. Having the humans know exactly what they could do meant that any hope they could have of overwhelming them with sheer raw power in a moment of surprise would be significantly diminished.


“In related news, military officials have declined to comment about whether or not the skirmish with armed forces in the Orange Zone was related in any way to the attack on the Osean Acropolis this evening.”
The news reporter began to reel off the next article and Kerr’s interest immediately piqued.

“Everyone be quiet!” he barked loudly, his rough voice, unused to such volume was easily distinguished amongst the sounds of bickering and arguing in the small apartment. “Listen!” he shouted. Noticing to his annoyance that not everyone had stopped talking on his command, he stretched out his power ever so slightly and caused the remote to fall from the television set through the air straight into his hand. The dull headache it caused him from using his power was much more manageable now, but it still caused him to flinch slightly. It was still too soon to be using his power actively.


Noticing that all heads had turned to him, he glued his finger till the television was playing at its maximum volume.


“What officials are claiming to be a carefully planned rescue attempt by one or more of these Destrillians to rescue former Viola President Jason Spencer. The siege of the Osean Acropolis has left more than fifty dead, including the entirety of the Artolian Supreme Court.”


The room was deadly silent now.


“In a response to the threat posed by the Destrillians, top military intelligence has decided to place the city of Osea under martial law and place roadblocks on every entrance in and out of the city. Civilians need not be alarmed by the increased military presence on the steets, but are advised to stay in their homes until the Destrillian menace has been exterminated.”


“Exterminated? That’s a pretty funny fucking word coming out of a human mouth!”
Fiona shouted over the deafening volume, which Kerr took the opportunity to decrease now that the main story was over. Kerr’s brow furrowed in concentration, things had just gotten that much worse.


“Menace indeed “
Idris said quietly, looking around at the collected group of tired, beaten and just plain confused collection of strangers huddling around a room that was far too small for them. “So the city has told us we’ve overstayed our welcome – and no wonder. I guess it’s time to go.”


But go where? Nobody seemed to be asking the question out loud, but it was painfully obvious that they were all thinking it. Kerr looked to Nova and Jettison, sitting quietly and sharing a comically undersized armchair. Back to the sewers? It was always going to be an option. But the military would find them eventually, it would be impossible to hide forever down there, even for this group. Maybe, especially for this group.

The silence was then interrupted by the continuing News report on the TV.


"In other news, medical organizations from around the stable nations of the continent will be gathering next week in Villnore, the capitol city of Audoula, for the Alvyssian Health Summit which is expected to showcase a number of new technologies and research in the field of medicine. Amongst the many companies that will be present, the spotlight seems fixed on the Limnades corporation, who is hosting the event at their Head office. In a press conference earlier today, Limnades CEO, The Viscount Maruca Avidez made the following announcement."


"It is with great pride that the Limnades corporation holds host to this year's Alvyssian Health Summit. I personally am very eager to unveil the latest advancements my company has to offer, which I assure, will revolutionize the medical profession as we know it."


"Officials predict massive turnouts for the summit, which will last over 2 days with an additional formal evening event hosted by the Viscount at his personal residence.


And now to take a look at the seven day forecast we can see light rain in store for-“
The group collectively seemed to lose interest

"That girl then. I knew her."


Lokka had been watching the television closely after Kerr had turned up the volume. Whilst Avidez, the CEO of Limnades, had been making his announcement, Lokka had noticed a familiar face by his side.

"Her name is Mileina, the one wearing the glasses and white top. She's a...Destrillian."

As he contemplated the possible consequences of staying in Osea, Lokka decided to put forward a suggestion. The rag tag group of Destrillians and others would all have their own opinion at this point, but we were running out of options, and out of time.

"May I suggest we go to her. We can ask her for shelter at the very least while we wait for our publicity to die down."


The suggestion drew some startled looks from the rest of the group, some looked suspicious, and others looked confused. Kerr didn’t blame them, it was news enough that there were other Destrillians besides the original ones he had grown up with. Now, yet another one had shown up on television, another stranger they didn’t know, and yet still one of their kin. That much was apparent just from her appearance. Destrillians never exactly blended into the crowds, whether it was their outlandish hair or the look of boredom or contempt that they had on their face. You really could just tell.

“You’re suggesting we go down to Audoula?”
Kerr asked in his monotone, determined not to give away whether or not he thought it was a good idea until he got some confirmation from Lokka one way or the other.

"Inconveniant as it may be, it seems like it is one of our best options at this point."
Lokka replied, knowing that a man such as Kerr would see the situation for what it was.


"Unless you can think of any other options?"


“We both know there aren’t any”
Kerr concluded with a nod, saying what was on everyones mind. “Getting out of the country and going off the grid might be our best chance of survival” Nobody seemed to object to this claim. All eyes had turned to him now, even those of the humans and the formerly bickering Destrillians. Even the normally boisterous Fiona kept herself quiet as they waited for Kerr to continue speaking, however she had raised her eyebrows in a ‘How do you expect to manage that?’ way.

“With the military presence being what it is in the city right now, I expect that the only way we’re going to be able to get out of here is in disguise.”
Still no objections. “We’re going to have to steal one of their vehicles, and some of their uniforms too. We should be able to bluff our way past the road block. Hopefully by the time we figure out where we aren’t in the city then we’ll already be in Audoula.”

It was the best plan that he could come up with, the best way to transport their fairly substantial group out of the city in one piece. He hadn’t even occurred to him that he was making plans for the safety of others and not just himself. However not every face in the room looked as convinced, some even looked outright disbelieving or sceptical.

“Look! I am getting out of this city tonight, so is he”
Kerr pointed at Lokka. “You are all welcome to join us or to stay here and die for all I care, but if we’re going to get out then this is the way we are going to do it. I can get a truck round to this house in six hours time, if you want to come with us then be here for then. If you don’t then don’t bother coming back.”
__________________

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Old 07/23/2010   #98
Tennyo
Default

Emma was watching the TV in horror, the realization that the life she had been building for the past four years was about to come crashing down. She had been crouching down near Lokka, making sure he was all right when he had mentioned knowing the girl on TV. Chris stood behind her, finally silent, first watching Kerr as his made his speech, then, she could see from the corner of her eyes, he looked down at her.

No one said a word. Emma knew that Chris was waiting for her to return demanding look to give an answer, but she wasn’t sure she knew how. She turned her eyes down to the floor, not really looking at anything, and very flatly stated, “You’re right.”

She could feel everyone turn to look at her as she pressed on. “We need to get out of here, and this is probably the only way.”

Next to her she could see Chris’ legs move, as he turned to look at everyone in the room making indecipherable mumbling sounds in his surprise.

“We? As in you? What? You’re actually thinking about going with them? What the hell is going on, Tina?”

“Chris, I’m sorry.” Emma could feel her throat catch at the thought.

“Sorry? Sorry? I don’t even know what’s going on! You’re going with them? You’re leaving me? You can’t do that!”

Very slowly she stood and turned to face him, blinking back tears that seemed desperate to spill out of her eyes. “I have to.”

“Wha…?”
Chris through his arms up and started to pace, running his hands through his hair in frustration. “What is this I don’t… it makes no sense! You can’t go!”
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Old 07/23/2010   #99
Joe
Default

=Lokka Kayne - Emma & Terra's Apartment=

Lokka came back around only a few minutes later. A lot had been going on since he'd entered the room. Emma was kneeling down to him on the ground, offering him her support. He thanked her and stood up. He noticed that Kram was in the kitchen; oddly enough he was making food at an important time like this, and in an odd apron no less. The group became quieter and the television louder; Kerr had raised the volume on the channel showing the current and very relevant news.

Osea was under martial law. The military were closing in on them.

We dont even have time to lick our wounds.


The news piece ended shortly after this declaration. The Destrillians around Lokka soaked in the information and began thinking about what to do. While this was happening the next article began on the television, concerning the Alvyssian Health Summit. Lokka kept his attention focused on the TV, not adding anything to the hollow discussion regarding the disturbing events. Whilst Avidez gave his speech concerning the summit, Lokka noticed a familiar face standing just next to him. It had been Mileina, a girl from his own Viola facility. The group around him hadn't noticed her, not that they would, and had lost interest in the television. Making a quick decision, he put an idea to the group.


"That girl then. I knew her." He said, fulling addressing everyone in the room. "Her name is Mileina, the one wearing the glasses and white top. She's a...Destrillian."

Her appearance had almost come as a sign. At the very least, she had the luxury of not worrying about the military.

"May I suggest we go to her. We can ask her for shelter at the very least while we wait for our publicity to die down."

Kerr had been the first to respond, obviously already thinking about the next step for himself or the group.


“You’re suggesting we go down to Audoula?”

"Inconveniant as it may be, it seems like it is one of our best options at this point. Unless you can think of any other options?"

“We both know there aren’t any”

Kerr had deduced the same thing as Lokka. An escape at this point was our only option. Everyone was now aware that our time here was very limited, and they would all soon be closed in on. As powerful as they all might be together, they needed to get out. The dark-eyed Destrillian stepped up to the plate.


“Getting out of the country and going off the grid might be our best chance of survival. With the military presence being what it is in the city right now, I expect that the only way we’re going to be able to get out of here is in disguise. We’re going to have to steal one of their vehicles, and some of their uniforms too. We should be able to bluff our way past the road block. Hopefully by the time we figure out where we aren’t in the city then we’ll already be in Audoula.”

It wasn't the detailed kind of plan that Lokka was used to, but given the circumstance it was the best they could afford at this point. They'd been off of the streets for a while now and the situation outside must have made a more drastic change.

“Look! I am getting out of this city tonight, so is he.” Kerr pointed at Lokka. “You are all welcome to join us or to stay here and die for all I care, but if we’re going to get out then this is the way we are going to do it. I can get a truck round to this house in six hours time, if you want to come with us then be here for then. If you don’t then don’t bother coming back.”

And there it was. The plan of action was set. The Destrillians had only to hope that it would go the way it was said. Lokka did not know much about Audola, having spent all of his time studying and researching the current area, but he could safely presume that it was nowhere near as dangerous as Osea was right about now.

Lokka wanted all of the Destrillians to stay together. It was an extremely rare event for them all to be gathered together and, although trouble had been caused in relation to this, they could not pass up this opportunity. But this decision was to be made by them. At the very least, Lokka wished that Kram and Idris saw the sense in Kerr's plan. He figured the three of them were important in his own way, and especially not wanting to lose them.

Lokka took out his device and looked at the time, planning out the rest of the evening's events in his head in preparation.
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Old 07/24/2010   #100
Sheva Alomar
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Fiona - Emma's Apartment

“SHUT UP, CHRIS! DESTRILLIANS ARE TALKING!”

The fire prototype move forward and slammed her foot hard enough into the floor that it left a distinct impression. This human was the last thing she needed after the all that went on tonight. Fiona was nice enough to even let the cretin go on shouting as long as he did (ten trains of thought is quite a lot!), especially after the encounter with those powerful strangers that came from nowhere and the shitty (and sometimes amausing) sequence of events leading up to this very point.

Waking up in a different room of the club with her kin present plus a few new faces was one thing, but what really got her was the fresh blow to her head that she could feel the blood flowing from. Just where did it come from? And she would never tell anyone about the fucked up dream she experienced. So many faces…Fiona still wondered just who that little girl in her head was. Better not to think about it. The episode in the bathroom with Thetis was a chore on many levels, no thanks to Idris barging in on some precious quality time with her roommate. Acknowledging and spending time in the same space as that utterly bizarre bug man was a test of its own, as well. Who were these new people in their little dysfunctional bunch anyway? The others seemed to be more familiar with them, but the fire Destrillian didn’t really care to know them unless they were to be useful in some way.

There was a short reprieve as Fiona distracted herself with going through almost everything down the corridor until she returned to the motley crew sitting around in the living room. Nothing interesting was going on with this bunch, aside from some annoying bickering that was of no value to her whatsoever, so the prospect of spicing things up was too tempting to pass up. She leaned up against a cleared area of wall with her hands propped behind her head and surveyed the apartment. The moment she caught sight of the poor salad the insect freak was making, Fiona took advantage. The fire prototype brought one of her hands forward and snapped her fingers together. A moment later the strange newcomer speaking to Idris began to freak out as her metal counterpart tipped him off. The reaction was enough to amuse Fiona as she slipped her hand back behind her head.

Humans prattling on the TV came into focus as Fiona caught sight of Thetis’ face plastered onto the screen in front of her. Just what the hell happened? Her wounds and this news report were getting her worked up again. The pasty new guy fell through the doorway, but the fire Destrillian was trained on more important things, now. Speaking of Thetis, it seemed that she was on the other side of the room as Fiona shot a glance at her.

“And now in a repeat of our top story: Once children, they were kidnapped from their homes and transformed into human weapons. Trained by Viola Corporation and held for over ten years, through advances in genetic engineering these ‘Prototypes’ have been granted super-human strength and the ability to communicate via thought. They can even manipulate the very elements around them. During today’s trial, files detailing the ‘Destrillian Project’ were presented as evidence at the trial of Jason Spencer.”

Humans are in on this shit now?! Fuck!

“In related news, military officials have declined to comment about whether or not the skirmish with armed forces in the Orange Zone was related in any way to the attack on the Osean Acropolis this evening.”

Ideas swam around her head. Thetis must have--

“Everyone be quiet! Listen!” Of all people, Kerr was shouting. The punkass that lacked real eyes and a personality was shouting. This was serious.

Fiona intently listened and watched the report. When it was over, the last line bugged her too much to not say something. “Exterminated? That’s a pretty funny fucking word coming out of a human mouth!”

Then, the metal Destrillian threw in her two cents. “Menace indeed. So the city has told us we’ve overstayed our welcome – and no wonder. I guess it’s time to go.”

Four years of radio silence from the other Destrillians, and now all of thisthis? Everything was going to hell in a handbasket faster than Idris losing all of her hair. Truthfully, Fiona reveled in all of the action being thrown at her simultaneously. Still, it was something else that an extremely intense chain of events was taking place all too quickly. Fiona’s attention went back to the television, waiting for more information to pop up.

“In other news, medical organizations from around the stable nations of the continent will be gathering next week in Villnore, the capitol city of Audoula, for the Alvyssian Health Summit which is expected to showcase a number of new technologies and research in the field of medicine. Amongst the many companies that will be present, the spotlight seems fixed on the Limnades corporation, who is hosting the event at their Head office. In a press conference earlier today, Limnades CEO, The Viscount Maruca Avidez made the following announcement.”


“It is with great pride that the Limnades corporation holds host to this year's Alvyssian Health Summit. I personally am very eager to unveil the latest advancements my company has to offer, which I assure, will revolutionize the medical profession as we know it.”


“Officials predict massive turnouts for the summit, which will last over 2 days with an additional formal evening event hosted by the Viscount at his personal residence.


“And now to take a look at the seven day forecast we can see light rain in store for—”
The accurate forecast for this bunch was one heavy shitstorm with a chance of scattered clusterfucks.

The report yielded nothing else of importance until the ghostly man spoke.

“That girl then, I knew her. Her name is Mileina, the one wearing the glasses and white top. She's a...Destrillian. May I suggest we go to her. We can ask her for shelter at the very least while we wait for our publicity to die down.”

Kerr seemed to reply, speaking for all of them. “You’re suggesting we go down to Audoula?”

“Inconvenient as it may be, it seems like it is one of our best options at this point. Unless you can think of any other options?”


“We both know there aren’t any. Getting out of the country and going off the grid might be our best chance of survival. With the military presence being what it is in the city right now, I expect that the only way we’re going to be able to get out of here is in disguise. We’re going to have to steal one of their vehicles, and some of their uniforms too. We should be able to bluff our way past the road block. Hopefully by the time we figure out where we aren’t in the city then we’ll already be in Audoula.”

It sounded like the best idea, but even so, the scenarios running through Fiona’s head made her chuckle to herself. Disguises? Who would wear them? Most of the group stood out like sore thumbs, especially the fire prototype. Her hair and eyes were always greeted with strange looks when she took the time to grace the groveling masses with her presence. The vehicle stealing did catch her attention, though. It sounded like fun and not something to pass up.

“Look! I am getting out of this city tonight, so is he.” Kerr motioned to the pale one. “You are all welcome to join us or to stay here and die for all I care, but if we’re going to get out then this is the way we are going to do it. I can get a truck round to this house in six hours time, if you want to come with us then be here for then. If you don’t then don’t bother coming back.”

That’s when Emma chimed in and the human parasite opened his maw too much.

”I don’t care who you are out there,” Fiona pointed harshly at the door. “but in here you’re a little shit that I’d rather skin alive and beat to a pulp! Now take a seat before I get really angry and I’m forced to rip your tongue out and feed it back to you extra crispy!”

Her head snapped to face Kerr. “I’m in. Let’s get the fuck out of here.”
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Old 07/24/2010   #101
Alessa Gillespie
Default

Emma and Terra’s Apartment

Terra stumbled to her feet, head still throbbing and not having heard a response from Emma. The brunette rubbed at the dents her glasses had left on the bridge of her nose and decided to leave them on top of the pillow in her room. She stumbled into the living room and saw the other Destrillians as well as some people Emma probably knew and some weirdo in the kitchen, wearing an apron. And tending to something burning in a bowl. She half wondered if it was too late to turn around and go back to sleep. The TV was on the news, and she gave it a lazy glance before she realized that something was wrong. “…top military intelligence has decided to place the city of Osea under martial law and place roadblocks on every entrance in and out of the city. Civilians need not be alarmed by the increased military presence on the streets, but are advised to stay in their homes until the Destrillian menace has been exterminated.”

Terra’s heart skipped a beat when she realized they weren’t just watching some everyday news cast. She took one rapid breath followed by another, faintly listening to the others talk around her. “You’re suggesting we go down to Audoula?”

"Inconveniant as it may be, it seems like it is one of our best options at this point." Someone else said who she didn’t exactly recognize. Her legs felt weak as she realized they’d need to leave the apartment and all of the people they’d met. She was more concerned about Emma than she was for herself, since she knew that she’d made several human friends who she liked and cared about. It’d need to be like in the past, with only her and Terra to support her again. She’d be lying if she could say she wasn’t scared that Emma might stay here and get caught, all because of her friends at Osea. She knew the red-head loved her and wanted her to be safe, she just didn’t know to what extent it would be. Was she going to see her off and stay here so that she could be with Chris and her friends?
She stumbled across the apartment floor, reaching Emma with eyes that were threatening to tear up. She gave her the tightest hug she’d ever given. She tried to communicate privately with Emma’s mind.

Ema eye kno u luv chris and u luv yor friends 2 but no 1 wants 2 see u die. Wii need 2 go 2 audoula to be safe, and eye hope u want 2 come wif. Eye… really don’ wan 2 be without u.

The green-eyed girl wasn’t the type to cry for no reason, but the threat of losing Emma, the one person who had wanted to keep her safe those long years, prevented her from keeping a dry eye as she clung to her. It was selfish, she knew, to want Emma to be with her when they had to run away. But deep down, she just wanted her to be safe… just like she’d always wanted for her, right?

Eye will come with 2, She communicated to the other Destrillians, at least the ones who were able to hear her communicate. Pulling away from Emma, she wiped the tears that were left on her face. If it is safer in audoula eye wan 2 go 2.
__________________

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like a shotgun needs an outcome

don't trust the ones who shake with their left hand

ACKY: IM NOT A TURIAN I CANT MAEK BABBIES WITH GARRUS

Joe: NOT WITH THAT ATTITUDE


can you fight a legendary creature?


i was a TEENAGE CLAIRVOYANT
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Old 07/27/2010   #102
Rumpelstiltskin
Default

You ever have that feeling that you know your in a dream?
Where everything around you is just a work of your imagination?
Well what happens when your dream seems to last forever and there is no escape from the monsters of your mind?
Would you stand and fight or run away from your own mind?
Now what happens when the dreams you have are reality and the nightmares merely “procedure” when the monsters under your bes wear long white coats and poke and prod you with needles every waking moment of everyday. Where killing and maiming others inspires rewards, where children fight not only for survival but against their very nature.
This is my nightmare, one I can never seem to escape.

.:Crawsus:.
:The outlander club, Basement Level:

The nightmare was ending, it felt like an age but Castiel could finally his own body. His eyes opening to dazzling light, blinding him temporarily. Voices muffled outside and the sound of music were all that Castiel could make out, but where in the facility did they allow music to be played?
Groggy as if sleeping far too long Castiel blinked trying to clear his vision, stray hairs covered his eyes obstructing his view to the outside world with a casual blow from his mouth he tried to move it from his vision. When that didn’t work he tried raising his hands to his face but couldn’t, in fact he couldn’t move anything.

With the realisation that he hadn’t just been asleep Castiel’s mind began recalling the events that led up to now, playing with the other Destrillians in the pen. His vision becoming cloudy, his head throbbing as a headache crippled him then….then waking up to all the blood covering his handler. The guards pinning him to the ground as his friends were removed from him as if he was a danger to them all….

“Wha…what happened?”

His voice sounded different, no longer the high pitched tone that he knew it should be. Instead his throat hurt when he spoke as if extremely parched and his voice itself somewhat deeper like that of the scientists that used to train him. With this realisation however Castiel had overlooked the other detail that didn’t make sense, his hair was covering his eyes? How could that be, it was always kept short by his handler telling him that long hair would hinder his view in a battle.
Remembering everything that he could Castiel struggled against his restraints, looking down it down it took him a full minute for him to realise what he was looking at.

“My body….it’s changed”

His childish body was no more, in it’s place was the body of a man. His muscles defined, his height subsequently changed from what he remembered even his skin tone was different it seemed paler than it had giving him the image of a ghost.
“Maybe that’s what happened…maybe I died and this is hell” His thoughts immediately interrupted as a loud thud shook his body, the noise deafening him. The frosted glass in front of him seemed different now, lines covered it’s entirety stretching out from a point near his face. Castiel’s ears echoed as yet again he tried to break free of his restraints, the movements outside the glass distorted to the point where he could tell the people were not scientists.

“Hey Joe, I think I see something moving in this thing!”

“Your right, the ice seems to be melting a bit more. Give it another whack with the baseball bat and lets see what’s inside this giant freezer.”

Although muffled, Castiel had heard enough to know he needed to get out of there right now before his face was destroyed before he knew what it would look like.
Focusing to recall his training within the facility the pain in his head started to build until the point he felt he would pass out, opening his mouth he let a powerful blast escape….more powerful than he had intended.
The blast hit the glass and shattered it instantly, the metal frame holding it in place dislodged and was thrown directly into the face of the nearest human.
Castiel watched as the room shook with the impact of his blast on the concrete structure, the screams of the men filling the room as Castiel struggled for consciousness his vision clouding like it had the last time he remembered the facility. As the door burst open and Castiel watched as more men came storming in his headache increased, he was losing control and he knew what would happen next.

Laughter filled Castiel’s ears, uncontrollable laughter emanating from somewhere close so close infact that his body was shaking.
Opening his eyes Castiel found himself on the floor of the room, scattered bodies lay around him all dead from extreme blood loss. The laughter was no more, as if his awakening had stifled whoever had been doing it.
The sight was disgusting, the two men who had been in the room when Castiel had unleashed his pulse were the only two dead that didn’t have blood seeping from their eyes and ears.

“Just what is going on?”

He wondered to himself, how did he get out of his restraints and why had he blacked out? Standing to his full height Castiel marvelled at just how much his body had changed, he was no longer a small runt but instead seemed to have the body of an adult with a height he surmised around 6ft.
The blood from the bodies around him clung to his naked body, if anyone were to come in and look at him he surmised they would think him more monster than man….not far from the truth given present circumstance.

Scrounging through the bodies of the dead Castiel knew he had to get out of wherever he was and find safety before more men or worse yet the scientists found him.
His attempt to dress himself became a mismatched hell; picking clothing that seemed somewhat ok in comparison to some of the blood stained clothing that clung to the bodies of many. The end result was comical, Castiel stood with a long sleeved t-shirt with a black skull on the front, marred only with a few specks of blood on the sleeves.
His bottom half had been the awkward part, most of the trousers and jeans of the men surrounding him were smeared with blood, opting for originality Castiel opted to use a tartan blanket that lay at the opposite side of the room and fastening it in place with a belt from one of the larger of the dead men. The belt containing multiple satchels which he could store things if he needed, flicking through them Castiel found what seemed to be money although what currency it was was unknown to him.
Large black boots and thick socks were the last things to be found in his ensemble and when he looked himself over he deemed himself of feasible quality he opened the door that he had seen the last lot of men enter from.

The sound was the first thing to hit him, inside the room the low thud of a bass drum was all that could be determined but outside the door the scene changed dramatically. A staircase covered in darkness led up to a building filled to the brim with young humans, Castiel couldn’t feel the presence of any other Destrillian here and thought it best to air caution and escape as quick as possible.
Reaching the final rung Castiel checked to see if anyone was watching the staircase, luckily no-one paid him any heed and he immersed himself into the throws of the countless youths all gyrating to some strange type of noise Castiel could only associate as music.

“I know a place where the grass is really greener warm, wet and wild there must be something in the water sippin' gin and juice laying underneath the palm trees the boys break their necks try'na to creep a little sneak peek”

Castiel screwed up his face as the music blared out at a deafening level, trying his hardest to make his way to what seemed to be an exit he was continually touching and bumping into humans “God if I can just get out of here everything will be ok” he thought to himself.

“Oh-My-God what are you wearing?” Castiel watched as a young female wearing a belt for a top made her way into his direct path.

“Um excuse me please”

“What’s the rush? I haven’t seen you here before. My names Candy, what’s yours?”

Trying to reply Castiel soon seen that the girl didn’t actually care for a response.

“Wow I mean wow, you look so cool. Who did your hair? And your eyes oh my god are those contacts because I know a friend who totally went blind because of coloured contacts”

“Umm excuse me I really need to go”

“Oh ok well you know my name, how about I give you my number and you call me sometime?”

“Ummm what would you like to call you?”

The girl just stared at Castiel, his human interaction skills didn’t include busty women who never shut up.

“Hahahaha your soooo funny, here’s my number give me a call when you aren’t too busy and we can chat kay, right see you soon beautiful bye”

As easily as she had enetered the conversation Candy left it, Castiel left holding a folded napkin with a list of numbers on it.
With a dismissive shake of the head Castiel made his way out the club and into the quiet of the main street.

Bending over to catch his breathe Castiel revelled in the fresh air as the last notes of the music range out behind him.

“Thank god.”

He thought to himself, humans had strange habits but that was just ridiculous. Pocketing the napkin in his belt in case the numbers meant something Castiel walked down the street towards the lights ahead. Rounding a corner it was only then that he realised the light wasn’t from the sun but in fact from goliath structures. Building reaching the very skies themselves bathed the area in light and the whole city in fact seemed to glow amidst the night sky.
Castiel had often dreamed of the outside world away from the facility but this was too much.
A car horn woke him from his momentary pause and as he made his way from the middle of the street Castiel knew he had to get out of the open like this and somehow change his appearance before his handler arrived and the scientists forced him back to the facility.
With a pang of remorse he wondered why he came to be in the club and where his friends were now.



The sun had begin to appear on the horizon, Castiel had been walking through the streets of Crawsus for little more than 4 hours now. His stomach turned with hunger his throat dry with dehydration, the use of his powers had only aggravated the pain in his throat and he found it hard to even talk now.
Searching the pockets of the belt he had taken from the rather portly dead man he found the money and set out to find sustenance.

“Hello welcome to Mel’s fried chicken how can I help you?”


The woman in the fast food restaurant stared at the boy with the weird hair and clothes, her immediate thought being he was another drugged up teen with the munchies.

“Umm id like some food and water if you don’t mind?”


The woman used to dealing with these types of teens quickly set about preparing a chicken platter and a large water for the kid.

“There you go hun, there are condiments in the corner”

Smiling at the boy she watched as Castiel made his way outside with the tray and as if protecting his food began devouring the chicken almost ravenously.

“Poor thing, maybe he isn’t quite all there”




The food had been delicious, he had complemented the woman at Mel’s repeatedly thanking her and offering her more than what the meal was worth.
Although appearing happy she had declined his offer of the money and told him to merely take care of himself, the remark sinking deeper than she may have intended.
Asking her one last question Castiel queried the art that the human youths at the club had across their bodies, the woman had told him they were tattoo’s and that they were common among youths of today if you had the money.
Thanking her again Castiel left the restaurant and set out with one thing in mind.

“I want one.”

It didn’t take long till Castiel found what he was looking for, in such a large city, as Crawsus there were shops everywhere stretching from the mundane to the outright weird. A signed shop gave the name of “Joh’s tattoo’s” with a neon sign with a design that Castiel admired.
The shop seemed closed but just when Castiel thought his chances at having a new appearance were gone a man covered in the same kind of art he wanted shouted behind him.

“Hey kid, im just about to open”


Castiel turned to see a man about similar height walk towards him, his skin dark between his tattoo’s and his face kind with a smile that made Castiel felt instantly at ease.
The man walked with what seemed a slight limp but Castiel didn’t care, his plan would go through and soon even his handler wouldn’t be able to distinguish him from a normal human youth.

“Just give me a second to open up, it’s unusual to have a kid waiting on me to open up..infact its weird having a kid wait on me at all hahahaha”

The man’s laugh was lous and filled with joy, Castiel knew the man was exactly who he was looking for.

“So what you got in mind kid? A dragon? Some tribal?”

“I want something that will make me look different!”

“So a cock and balls on your forehead huh? Hahahahahahahahahaha, im kidding with you kid. You better give me a better idea than that though a tattoo isnt just something you slap on for the weekend remember this is something that has to say something about the person attached to it, something that shows you to everyone in the world without you ever having to say a word.”

The passion in which he spoke touched Castiel, he had never felt that strongly about anything other than his friendships and even then he never wore his feelings on his sleeve like Joh.

“I-well im not entirely sure what expresses me.”

Joh sighed as he clicked the final lock of the shop, turning to the youth he stared intently at his face and knew he was different than the usual punks that came around for their gang tattoos and thinking they were the shit.

“Come inside, il put on the kettle and we can go through the books”


Castiel smiled and followed Joh into his shop, the man holding the door open for him wasn’t like those at the club giving Castiel hope that humanity wasn’t all like Candy.



.:Crawsus:.
.:Joh’s tattoo shop:.

Castiel had been in Joh’s shop for a little more than an hour now, the man quickly going through all the styles he offered until he showed Castiel what he called his “Celtic motif” watching the eyes of the boy Castiel knew this was what would work.
Expecting simple work Joh queried the boy as to the position of the tattoo, Castiels reply being the entire right hand side of his body from foot to neck and including a sleeve.

“Shit boy, you know how long that’s going to take? I mean that’s at least 6 different sittings and around 2000 bucks to boot”

“No I need it done today and all at once!”


The urgency in the boys voice told Joh that the kid was in trouble, there were two reasons why people got art as extensive as this the first was a love for the individual style and the second being that they were on the run and needed to change their appearance quickly.

“Listen kid if your in trouble I can help we can go to the cops together and sort whatever it is out I mean there is alwa-“

“NO! No police, please!”

Joh sighed and rubbed his two fingers against his temples, he liked the kid there was something innocent about him that he couldn’t imagine being corrupt or in with the local gangs.

Castiel reached into the satchel that contained the money and handed the entire wad to Joh.

“Please I need this!”


Joh looked at the money, there had to be at least 5k in his hand. Buissiness had been down as of late and this could go a long way to helping his little girl get the medicine she needed from the local doctor with the strange hair.

“Ok kid, lets do this. Give me an hour to draw the design on your body then we will get to work.”

With that it was settled, Joh working hard and closing the shop to another other admissions while he worked on Castiel’s full body tattoo.
The boy never wincing in pain or complaining when he went over the sensitive areas that caused most seasoned professionals to swear out loud.



“Right kid that’s you done”


Rising to his feet Joh looked physically and mentally drained, it had been 6 hours since the tattoist had started working on Castiel and the concentration needed for his work had taken a lot out of him. Standing back though he admired his work, the boy seemed a little more prone to the pain than he had to begin with and as Joh admired the work he knew he would never do another tattoo like this again.

“Owww, I mean thanks Joh”

“Aint no need for gratitude kid im just doing my job, let me give you a sec to check it out. There’s a mirror in the corner give me a holler if you need any help moving around you took more than I expected from a kid your age.”

Castiel grinned back happily and watched as Joh exited the room, hobbling to the mirror Castiel felt the heat from his skin where Joh had worked, the pain only minor continued to rub as his thigh moved against his other leg.
Standing in front of the mirror Castiel’s face beamed with admiration, the designs were beautiful and intricate they encompassed everything Joh had described and he knew they would do the job of hiding him in plain sight in case his handler was still looking for him.

Clothing himself fully he winced slightly as his makeshift kilt rubbed against his tender thigh and side.

“Ok Joh im decent again.”

The door creaked open, Joh looking a bit better for the break walked in smiling once more.

“Well kid you have officially tired this old man out, but im damn proud of the work you got there. Just remember that those tattoos are now a part of you and you better not go to anyone else for anymore ink but me comprende”

“Tch no problem Joh, I wouldn’t trust anyone else to do as good a job as you have here anyway.”

Joh merely smiled at the boy and wondered what would happen to him now.

“Well if you don’t mind I have to get going, I need to find out some things and now that I have this work of art on my body I feel comfortable enough to go back to the club.”

Joh’s eyebrows raised as the boy talked in riddles.

“What clubs that kid?”

“The Outlander club I think.”

Joh’s normal full coloured face began to drain to white, looking more sickly now as if the name of the club had made him fall ill.

“Listen kid that club is bad news, you don’t want to get involved with anyone there.”

“I can handle myself if that’s what your worried about Joh.”

Funnily enough Joh knew the kid could handle himself, he seemed odd when he had first met him but even after a few hours he could tell that Castiel wasn’t quite like normal people.

They bid farewell and Castiel promised Joh that he would take care of his lovely work and not ruin it by getting himself killed. The old tattooist smiled his usual warm smile and bid Castiel adieu.




.:Crawsus:.
.:The Outlander club:.

Castiel had managed to backtrack his way through Crawsus stopping only to refuel at Mels chicken again before making his way to the club, he needed to know why he had awoken there and where the rest of his friends were. The only place he knew the answers would lie was the outlander club.

It had began to rain as he stood in the long line of youths, many of them talking among each other, Castiel merely content that he did not see Candy.
One by one the bouncer let each of the youths into the club, Castiel noticed several armed guards around the inside of the club this time. It was too much to hope for that no-one had noticed what occurred the previous night.

“OH MY GAWWWWWDD!!!”


Castiel grimaced instantly when hearing the voice, without even turning he knew who would be there.

“Errrr hi Candy”

“HI CANDY!!! HI CANDY IS THAT ALL YOU HAVE TO SAY? HI CANDY”

Candy appeared in front of Castiel, a large crowd looking at her as she screamed over the music. Her face red with anger and Castiel’s face giving back little more than a look of annoyance.

“I WAITED ALL DAY ON YOU TO CALL!!”


Reaching into his belt Castiel unfolded the number she had given him the night previous.

“I don’t own a phone and I was busy all through the day”

“You were busy?”

Noticing his neck and arm she immediately shut up, her fingertips tracing the lines lightly over his hand and neck.

“Wow that’s some pretty intense work, you got that all in one night?”


“Yeah a guy named Joh helped me out”

Candy’s face relaxed no longer seeming angry.

“That’s cool! Well I have told ALL my friends about you and I cant wait to show them my new boo”

“Your what?”

“My boo silly, you! The moment I saw you I knew we were solemates”


“Umm im really sorry Candy but I don’t quite follow, if you don’t mind im kinda busy and need to talk to the guys who own this place."

Candy merely grinned back, not the look Castiel had expected to see from the scantily clad girl.

“Well that’s easy, my dad owns this entire place”




.:Crawsus:.
.:Back office:.

“Daddy this is the boy I told you about, his name is…..umm Mike yeah Mike.”

“Castiel actually”

Candy had been an opportunity Castiel wasn’t willing to overlook, her father was the owner of the club meaning he knew why he had awoken in the basement.

“Nice to meet you sir, I was wondering if I could ask you a few questions?”


The room was that of a mafia wannabe, the entire office reeked of a small shot trying to make it look like he had more money than he really did.
Standing to attention the man who Candy referred to as “Daddy” stood a whole head shorter than Castiel, going bald and wearing an awful grey suit that made him look like more of a circus announcer than any sort of boss.

“Well if you’re the flavour of the week then I guess I cant help but indulge my little girls wishes, now what can I help you with….Castiel was it?”

“Yes sir, thank you. I was wondering if you can tell me what exactly you do in the basement of this club”

The atmosphere immediately shifted within the room, Candy looking more bored than anything and her father appearing like he would have a heart attack at any moment. His goons stepped in front of the only entrance which meant the only exit was also blocked.

“Well as you can see we have a large bar downstairs so the basement is where we keep the alchohol.”

“Im boooooored now!”

Candy interrupted yet again and Castiel had enough of the girl, ignoring her outright he decided to go straight to the point.

“I mean why did I wake up last night inside a Violan cryo-unit only to be attacked by who I assume are your hired goons?”

Candy immediately shut up, obviously she had enough common sense to know that Castiel wasn’t just playing nice to daddy.
Her father on the other hand went pale, he obviously knew the truth and possibly even saw the results of Castiels awakening and seemed like he would vomit in recollection.

“Candy, get out!”


Candy stared at her father slack jawed only to change it into a smile towards Castiel, kissing him on the cheek she sauntered from the office and out of the line of fire.
The moment the door clicked shut the goons were on Castiel, he knew something like this would happen and as they came at him from behind he turned mid punch and caught the first guard in the gut knocking the wind from him. The second removed a knife from jacket and attacked Castiel, still dealing with the first human Castiel merely turned and opened his mouth aiming directly at the guard as he lunged towards him.
With a blast at only half his power it was still enough to send the goon sailing across the office and slamming hard enough to knock him out against the wall.
Castiels vision started to become blurry again, the first goon had managed to wrangle from his grip and was now scrambling around the floor.
The rippling headache was much more intense than last time, Castiel grabbed his skull and watched helpelessly as the goon picked up his friends knife and lunged at his right side.
Instead of moving out of the way Castiel’s thoughts immediately remembered the promise to Joh. Sliding his body to the side he felt the goon sink the knife into his left side, the headache ceased immediately, clarity and pain racked Castiels brain and without thinking he moved his mouth to the goons ear and let rip the short wave pulse that would kill the goon within seconds.

Castiel watched as blood began oozing from the mans extremities, trying to cover his ears it was a useless act but Castiel made sure the goon felt every second of pain before he collapsed body twitching on the floor.
Pulling the knife from his side he used his right hand to cover the wound trying to staunch the bleeding as much as possible. Castiel’s eyes scoured the room until he found what he was looking for, Candy’s father was cowering in the corner, a pool of piss under him as he shook in fear.

“TELL ME WHAT I WANT TO KNOW!”


“I-I-I-I don’t know! We just killed some military goons and brought that thing back with us, I had no idea anything was in it let alone anyone!”

Castiel staggered forward the pain causing him to wince as he inhaled.

“What else! WHAT MILITARY!”


“IIIIIIII Don’t know! I swear, shit god please don’t kill me! Think of my baby girl you like her and im sure I can like you! we can make a deal you know take her and spare me.”

Castiel heard enough to know the man was of no use to him, raising both hands he watched as the bleeding sped up from the lack of pressure. His hands found the mans throat and with little more than a twist the body fell to the floor dead.



.:Crawsus:.
.:City Streets:.

Castiel had made it out of the club with no trouble, Candy obviously no longer interested in her “boo” had made her way to the other side of the club amidst multiple men who looked like they gave a damn giving Castiel enough diversion to hobble out the club and down a side street.
The wound was bad, what little first aid he remembered from his training he knew he had to find a hospital soon or suture the wound. The hospital although a novel idea was totally out of the question, the latter option seemed to be the only option. His body had been moving on it’s own for several minutes now, he seemed to be moving somewhere as if pulled. His mind was becoming foggy and his movments slower by the second.

“Shit I need to find somewhere now”

His body stopped, the nagging feeling at the back of his mind had led him to a building with no visible entrance. “Must be the back of someones house or a shop” Castiel murmured to himself. Looking for somewhere to enter he thought breaking and entering would suffice if he could attend to his wound in time.

A window was propped open near the left hand side of the building as if calling out to Castiel.
His steps were becoming more and more laboured, he could no longer feel his toes and as he pulled himself through the window Castiels vision began to cloud.
Falling to the floor Castiel began to black out yet again, the last thing he seen before passing out was a door opening and someone standing in the doorway and the sound of a chair breaking as his body fell atop of it.

Raising his head Castiel merely muttered out.

“Pl-ease…Help me.”
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Old 07/27/2010   #103
NoenGaruth
Default

----------------------------------------------------
Osea, Eastern Suburbs - Yesterday, 6am
----------------------------------------------------


Jelanda awoke to an unfamiliar sight, a room she didn't know. It shortly dawned on her where she was - the spare room in Major Matsuya's apartment. There wasn't anything particularly interesting in the room, it was clear that her superior had no sense of decor, which wasn't surprising given her personality. A more imminent thought then came to her mind as she was rather uncomfortable from lying on one side all night, and so as she rolled over in the bed, Jelanda found herself face to face with a black and white cat that stared at her for a moment before letting out a loud "Meow!"

At this point she was a little startled, and then confused as the cat bunted her on the head with it's. Jelanda sat up and looked down at the cat, who proceeded to flop onto it's side and stretch out. She never expected Majo- Kijo to be a cat person, or least she hoped it was her cat, otherwise something was definitely off. She once again surveyed the scenery, noticing that light was emitting from the edges of the closed curtains in the room, signifying it was morning at some point, and so got up from the bed and walked over to the door before opening it and leaning out into the hallway. Upon checking both directions and the lack of noise it seemed like Kijo was not awake, and not wishing to disturb her, Jelanda quietly creeped down the hallway towards where she beleived was the kitchen. After reaching her destination, she was greeted by the sight of Kijo sitting at a table, in full uniform, casually eating some kind of oat product in a bowl, and reading the newspaper with an unimpressed look on her face. After standing there for a moment unsure what to do, Kijo looked up at her over her glasses and flatly said.

"Ohayou Gozaimasu".

The words left Jelanda dumbfounded. Had she done something wrong? Was it an insult? She wondered if she should say something in response, and so just quickly blurted.

"Therewasacatonthebed!"

Kijo just gave her a long stare with the same unamused expression she always had, then calmy replied. "Yes that would be Mr. Nyargington, my cat. Do not ask about the name, my mother is to thank for that".

"Oh I see Ma'am...umm I mean Kijo". She said in an awkward tone. The other woman responded by standing up and stating.

"I got a call from Commander Farant not long ago. The city has been placed in a state of martial law, therefore we need to get to HQ, so please get yourself ready as soon as possible."

Martial law? Had things with the destrillians gotten that bad? Wait a minute the Major is staring at me still for some reason, and not amused. Oh that's right! I'm supposed to go get ready!

"Yes M'am right away!"
She called out then hurried back down the hall. Kijo simply sighed and looked back at the newspaper on the table. The headline read "DESTRILLIANS ON THE RAMPAGE?" Followed by an summary about multiple killings taking place last night where both cases involved horribly mutilated victims. Seemed like the call for Martial Law was a justified one after all...


-------------------------------------------------------
IRIN Command Ship, Osea airspace - Present time
-------------------------------------------------------


"Sir, we have a priority signal from Vanaheimr."
Called one of the operators on Solde-1's command bridge. "It appears there's a security breach on Headquarters's server network."

Vargas stood at the main observation window of the bridge, looking down on the city. They had barely arrived in Osea and already Vanaheimr is calling with bad news. He then sighed before turning to the operator and replying in an unamused tone "Well isn't that just grand. Is it another half-assed attempt by the A.L.M. to peer into our research?"

"No sir, the Server's watchdog AI is not detecting any of the usual tactics of the A.L.M."


Vargas' attention was then peaked. Who could be trying to infiltrate their systems now, or more accurately, who could be foolish enough to even try?

"Is that so? Interesting to say the least...." He paused and contemplated for a moment, before asking "Where is the origin of this intruder?"

"According to the backtrack, it's coming from somewhere here in Osea. Currently the precise location is still being calculated."

"Osea? This is the best news I've heard all day!" Vargas exclaimed in an excited manner. He then leaned over to the console in front of him, brought up a view screen and tapped one of the buttons on the display, followed by shouting into it "Everybody get in here!". The next couple of minutes Vargas stood silently on the bridge waiting, while the command crew just sat at their stations silently (and awkwardly) waiting for something to happen. Shortly after, the rear doors of the bridge opened, followed by Circe walking through, with Sophalla and Janus in tail. Their entrance caused Vargas to spring to life again.

"Ah good you're all here! It seems we've had an intruder in the Vanaheimr server."

Circe responded with a surprised "But how can that be possible Sir?" To which he quickly responded with "No not that one Circe, the network one..."

Janus then butted into the conversation by adding "So if some jackass hacked in I'm assuming a backtrack was run then? Which begs the question of....where's it lead to?" And ended by turning to the operator to the group's left.

"We've just finished zeroing in on the location, it appears to be a store known as 'Faiz Mechanics' belonging to a one 'Joseph Faiz'". The words generated a reaction from Circe, although Vagas on the other hand gave a dull expressions and said "Who?"

Circe gave him an odd look, which generated the reply "No really, who?"

"Joe Faiz. That man who you had kicked out of Viola."

Vargas then snapped his fingers at the words and loudly responded.

"AH YES FAIZ! Rather talented fellow actually, however he had the design capabilities of a 3 year old....honestly the look of some of things he actually wanted to build...

At this moment Sophalla cheerfully chirped in.

"So what's the plan dear Vargas? Standard crush kill destroy?"


Vargas paused for a moment at the words and contemplated. A large grin then formed on his face and he slyly replied.

"No I think 'ol Faiz deserves a different treatment..."
And turned to face Circe before adding.

"Prepare the girls for deployment."

In another section of the ship, currently in complete darkness, various small lights began to come to life on the machines in the room, and at the center of the room amongst the stillness, a pair of eyes opened on a darkened figure, followed by another set on a second figure, revealing the pair's glowing gold and silver pupils with lines of electric currents all around the Iris'.

They had been awoken and their orders received, which caused Zwei to smirk in delight.


------------------------------------
Osea, Emma's Apartment
-----------------------------------

"Boring....Boring....Seen it....Boring.....I'm pretty sure that right there is considered bestiality.....boring....original was better.....Oh No! Televangelists!"

"Will you just pick something! Your constant channel flicking is giving me a headache...and I technically don't even have an actual head!" Virtue complained as Stolz randomly flicked through the channels on the TV set, hoping to find something flashy and entertaining to keep their mind off the powder keg that was brewing in the room.

"But it's all borrriiinnggg...." Stolz murmured under their breath. They then flicked it onto the news channel and left it there hoping there would be a story about an explosion...or two explosions...or a Tiger. Stolz was then reminded about the circus and how they had always wanted to go to one, and see all the animals and performers.....but not the clowns - Stolz disliked clowns. There was something about them that just seemed unnatural, surely anyone born with a big red nose and giant feet couldn't be trusted....

"You're off on a tangent again aren't you?" Virtue said calmly, then added "I can tell because you have that vacant look on your face that says 'I haven't been paying attention to my surroundings and just missed some very important things that were said' ". The sudden interruption caught Stolz by surprise, who then panicked that they'd missed something important, so instantly jumped up and shouted the first thing that came to mind

"Hey who wants to come home with me?!"


Virtue just placed her face in her hand and turned away from the spectacle. Just ignore it. Just ignore it. Just ignore it....


--------------------------------------------------
Osea, City Streets
--------------------------------------------------


The streets of Osea were deserted at the late hour, all thanks to the Military's declaration of martial law, otherwise this area would be active with those who would partake in Osea's colourful nightlife. The only activity now was a pair of figures casually strolling down the side of the street, occasionally being lit by the streetlamps as they passed them by. The duo were clearly not civilians, as stated by their uniforms which signified combat attire of the IRIN Secret Service - meaning there were very unlikely to be disturbed by military patrols wandering the city.

After a long period of silence and walking, the shorter of the two, who had strawberry blond hair which was worn in a pair of high ponytails on each side of her head, suddenly spoke up.

"Senior Zwei? Whilst I understand the actions required for us to undertake as per our orders, I do not understand the exact motive."

Zwei, who had been walking with her arms folded behind her head, looked aside at the girl in amusement, then replied.

"I'm surprised you're asking a question like that Drei, seems you've been bitten by the curiosity bug."

Zwei, unlike her subordinate, had Auburn brown hair, which she wore done up at the back. She was honestly more interested in taking in her surroundings then paying much attention to Drei, however since the other one was still in a learning phase, she supposed she would humor her.

"On a simplistic level, a person not in association by any means with IRIN International has performed an unauthorized intrusion onto our company's network in order to gain access to the Vanaheimr server and then proceeded to download specific classified information. Under Artolian law, this act is considered cyber crime and they must be punished. However, according to the IRIN command, it is considered an unforgivable act and they must be exterminated".


Drei contemplated the information, then slowly repeated.

"Exterminated? As in being deleted?"


"Similar. However to humans the correct term is Dying".

"Dying?"


"Yes, Dying. To die, to sleep no more – and by a sleep to say we end the heartache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to".
Zwei responded in a melodramatic tone.

"Senior Zwei?" Drei said, confused once again.

"Don't mind me, I'm just reciting in a manner like that downgrade would....but to stay on topic, Death is an important part of all living things, for it is what they all must face one day, weather it be sooner or later. Most humans spend their entire lifetimes contemplating when and where it will happen, while some attempt to slow or cease the process entirely - fruitless efforts of course, for all humans must face the sweet embrace of death...." She then stopped and looked across the street, staring right at the location they had been seeking out. Turning to Drei, she smiled and added.

"...and one particular human's time has just run out."
__________________



Hey who wants to come home with me?!
Ok that wasn't very smart but totally worth it!

Last edited by NoenGaruth; 07/27/2010 at 03:29 PM.
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Old 07/27/2010   #104
Mantichorus
Default

VANAHEIMR -- NATE REYNOLDS, AKA DONOVAN EARLY

It had become obvious within a few minutes that he couldn’t just drive his van straight up to the doors of IRIN International. The reason was simple: there weren’t any civilian use roads leading to the sector of the city the IRIN kept their headquarters in.

It put Early in mind of the ruins of castles that littered some parts of Damascus. Immediately inside the castle was a trading town open to anyone. The actual ruler of the castle lived in the keep, which was separated from the rest of the castle interior by high walls and possibly an secondary moat.

However, like all arms manufacturers, the IRIN liked to put across a friendly public image. So, there were regular high-speed shuttle trains from the commercial and residential parts of town into the sector most overtly controlled by the IRIN. A few friendly enquiries on Early’s part had pointed him to the nearest such terminal.

After he parked his van, Early had to fight to keep his cool. The Keris was by far the oldest vehicle in the parking lot, and the most utilitarian. No doubt that would attract some attention by itself. Still, he followed all of the instructions, paying for the highest time allocation available and displayed the ticket in the front window.

Although this area looked savoury enough, Early still made sure he locked the doors behind him. He always wished there was some way to record the attempts of people who tried to break into it. He’d chosen a Keris because of how rugged they were, and a side-effect of this was that they were almost impossible to break into. In fact, Early had only ever heard one credible report of a Keris being broken into, and the gang responsible were carrying a blowtorch around for some reason.

Early took a brief moment to check his appearance in a side mirror. The wig he wore as Nate was still sitting quite inconspicuously on his scalp. It always did, but he always felt paranoid as hell when he wore a rug. Still, the few times a wig he wore had been dislodged was always marked by silent embarrassment from any onlookers. He guessed they assumed he’d had some medical complaint that was responsible for the loss of his hair.

Satisfied with his reflection, Early straightened the collar of his coat and began to trace his way to the shuttle station.

====

As the shuttle train hurtled between the skyscrapers of Vanaheimr’s civilian districts, Early had to suppress a smile. He could easily imagine a resident of any of the big cities of Damascus being confused for a country hick if they ever visited here.

The towering structures were on a completely different scale to the buildings of Damascus. A long history of battles, both domestic and foreign, had created a paranoia that meant the majority of buildings in Damascus never reached over five storeys tall, for fear of creating an easy target.

The only supposed exceptions to that were the skyscrapers of Hephaestus, which from the pictures he’d seen of them Early suspected might put a couple of these giants to shame, and some of the manufacturing plants in Ymir. However, he hadn’t seen either styles of architecture in Damascus firsthand, so he would take the info with a pinch of salt.

Still, Early didn’t doubt the ability of these buildings to defend themselves, despite their apparent opulence. And even if the civilian buildings were relatively undefended, he was sure that the IRIN owned skyscrapers would be packing the latest defensive weaponry, or some experimental force field.

The shuttle train hurtled across the greyish river that flowed through Vanaheimr, on to IRIN International’s headquarters.

====

As he reached the public archives building, Early had to begrudgingly admit to himself that the IRIN was either really public friendly or very good at pretending to be. It could just be that whoever had designed the city had an incredibly tidy mind. Whatever the cause, there were useful sign posts every few hundred yards or so, pointing the way to various buildings.

Again, after a few polite questions, Early had found out which building he needed. After that, it had been child’s play finding his way. His spine felt incredibly tense, though. That usually meant trouble of some sort.

He saw another security camera confidently in view above the main doors, and smiled tightly to himself. That was probably the source of his unease - with all these surveillance devices around, both overt and covert, someone somewhere was probably watching him, even if he moved from one person’s jurisdiction to another.

Early let himself into the building through the door conscientiously marked ENTRANCE. As he did so, he wondered which sort of bureaucrat he’d meet at the desk. There were generally two sorts, in his experience: the rake thin men who looked down at everyone who asked for their assistance because they could finally look down on somebody, or the short, stout old women who busied themselves at their job because they had very little else to fuss over.

“Can I help you?”

The imperious feminine voice that Early always thought of as the “old dame” tone answered his unspoken query.

“I hope so, ma’am,” he said, walking over to the desk with an easy smile on his face. As he did so, he made note of the unobtrusive IRIN guard by the little gate that no doubt lead into the archive proper. “I’m investigating a spate of murders in Osea - you’ve probably heard about them on the news? - and I couldn’t get any further info there short of joining the police force myself.”

The woman behind the desk fixed a steely glare at him. “You aren’t a journalist, are you?” The look and the tone of voice suggested she might be forced into saying some unladylike things if he was.

“Ha, no!” he said, a deliberately surprised smile on his face. “No, nothing as well paid, I’m afraid. I’m a private investigator, hired by one of the families involved.” As he said this, he pulled out the ID card he’d shown at the city entrance and showed it to her. He did so with deliberate slow ease. Waving it around wouldn’t impress her, and just flashing it at her would only get her irritated.

She took the card fastidiously and peered down her nose at it. “Well, Mr Reynolds, the picture doesn’t really do you justice,” she said at length, a frosty smile on her face. Early smiled boyishly like he thought it was a compliment. She sighed, obviously coming to the conclusion Early hoped she would. He knew from experience some people were just immune to sarcasm and lampooning, either because they were too patient, or, more usually, too dense to realise you were putting them down.

“Very well,” she said, quiet enough that Early wondered if she was saying it to herself more than him. She reached under the desk and pulled out a pile of papers. “You’ll need to complete these first, I’m afraid.”

Early couldn’t help it. His face fell in disbelief. “All of them?!”

The guard coughed in concealed amusement behind him. A brief, triumphant smile flashed across the face of the woman in front of him. “Indeed.”

Early started just browsing through the paperwork, his brow creasing slightly. This wasn’t good. Some of the information he had to input here had been formulated for use in Damascus, where it was inoffensive enough, even if it was used in a different province. Here, it would raise questions, about why someone with so many immediate links to Damascus would be taking a job in Artolia…

“Ms Hayle? I’m sure form 2140/B would be sufficient for a one-off access pass.”

Early turned, as Ms Hayle glared over his shoulder. The somewhat muffled voice was that of a cheerful young woman - Early would guess late teens, early twenties - and appeared to have issued from a pile of clothing. Early could just about make out two eyes peering from below a tight-fitting Fedora and above a tightly wrapped scarf. Over her body was an extensive long coat that put Early’s to shame in proportionate length.

Ms Hayle’s face was one of confused disdain, and no doubt she would have made a snide remark at the younger woman, if her expression hadn’t abruptly turned into disbelief. The young woman had just pulled an ID card from her pocket after a brief moment of apparent confusion over the necessity of it. At the sight of it, the guard had snapped to full attention and let her through the gate.

Hmph. Quite so,” Ms Hayle sniffed, torn between indignation and nervousness. Early guessed the latter was because she’d almost torn a strip from one of her employers. She took the forms from in front of Early, and shuffled them compulsively before putting them away. She turned and walked across to a series of cubbyholes, before selecting a single sheet from one of them. She put it before Early with a hint of defiance.

Early flicked an eye over it. This was more like what he had been expecting. The sheet asked for his name, date of birth, contact details, and the nature of his inquiry. With a friendly smile at Ms Hayle, he bent over the desk, picking up the pen chained to the desk to fill out Nate’s details on the form.

He quickly glanced across at the gate towards the young woman who’d helped him, but she’d already disappeared into the stacks.
__________________
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I break my body, but that's all right
Cos it'll take all my mind and all my might
To keep one step ahead of you
L.E. Modesitt, Jr wrote: Sometimes cynicism is the last refuge of the idealist.
As soon as you saw people as things to be measured, they didn't measure up.
You think water moves fast? You should see ice. It moves like it has a mind. Like it knows it killed the world once and got a taste for murder.
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Last edited by Mantichorus; 07/31/2010 at 12:23 PM.
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Old 08/01/2010   #105
Tennyo
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Emma’s head felt like it was about to explode. Not from a headache or one of the normal migraines from using her powers too much, but from all the frustration the events of this night had been causing. Fiona deciding to get into Chris’s face after hearing his objections made her really want to throw something very badly. She didn’t even care what, just that she could throw something.

But she had to keep calm. The last thing any of them need right now was even more freaking out to ensue. They’d be lucky if one of the neighbors didn’t call the police to file a noise complaint if the group kept up all this shouting.

Wouldn’t that be wonderful? She thought to herself.

Oh, quite.

But now was the time to start preparing for the inevitable. It was apparent that her and Terra would have to leave. Emma would have to leave behind the life she had built here in Osea, She would have to leave Chris and Riese, and the flower shop. Oh poor old Mrs. Nolan, Chris’s grandmother. Who would help her with her shop now?

Then there was the matter of her second job at the fast food restaurant. However, when she really thought about it, Emma didn’t think she’d actually miss that job much, if at all. Cranky crabby customers, all stuffing themselves full of grease; it was something Emma could certainly live without. She never would be able to figure out how a Destrillian’s stomach could churn at the mere thought of one of their quarter-pound double-deckers with all the trimmings and yet the average human could actually eat one without becoming violently ill. It was a feat Emma herself had never been able to master. The regular plain burgers off the cheap menu were enough.

All of this reminiscing would not help them, and it was probably best to not even think about it, as it would just make everything harder.

Once again Emma found herself pleading with Chris to calm down, trying to stop him from saying what she herself wouldn’t mind saying to Fiona a lot of the time. But she knew it would be a mistake, especially for a normal human, to piss off someone like Fiona. It’s a wonder she didn’t rip him apart already.

If that wasn’t bad enough, she could sense Riese standing directly behind her, staring. Emma turned to face her, and a bit more angrily than she would have liked, she said, in a very demanding tone, ”What?”

“You’re leaving us?”
she asked simply.

The way Riese asked this question was much different than the way Chris had been flying off the handle with his own. It seemed sad, and slightly hurt, yet at the same time almost understanding.

“Riese, I…”

“This is a lot of intense shit going on, I don’t even know how to process this. But damn, they got Tabby on the TV, and…”


As if on cue, Terra had entered the room and stumbled across the best she could and wrapped her arms tightly around Emma’s midsection, pulling her close for a tight embrace. She then spoke to Emma in her mind, in the jumbled way that Terra always spoke, her fear and sadness at the situation seeming very apparent.

Ema eye kno u luv chris and u luv yor friends 2 but no 1 wants 2 see u die. Wii need 2 go 2 audoula to be safe, and eye hope u want 2 come wif. Eye… really don’ wan 2 be without u.

Emma could have burst into tears then, at this desperate plea from the one person who had meant the most to her these past four years. Sure, Emma had friends, and an actual relationship with a wonderful guy, but Terra was, and always would be, her top priority.

The redhead wrapped her arms tightly around the smaller girl and responded telepathically.

Of course, Terra. I would never leave you. Ever. It’s you and me forever.

Even if that means leaving everything else behind,
she added to herself, not projecting this last thought to the brunette in her arms.

The two pulled apart, and Emma turned to face her fellows, ready to participate in the planning of their escape. Terra did as well, broadcasting to everyone, except those who were not Destrillian, Eye will come with 2. If it is safer in audoula eye wan 2 go 2.

And then an almost excited sounding voice piped up from near the TV.

"Hey who wants to come home with me?!"

Emma gave Stolz and incredulous look, wondering just what they were talking about.

Stolz really was a strange kid.
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