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ORPG Original and detailed RPs for the experienced and ambitious RPer.

 
 
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Old 02/14/2010   #31
Alessa Gillespie
Default

---TWENTY FOUR HOURS PRIOR---

If there was one thing that Brent Michaels had felt proud of, it was the fact that he’d joined the army. Though every day since her disappearance, he’d felt guilt over the disappearance of his sister, when he finally appeared old enough to join, he was finally able to enter, he could make enough money for his siblings, he was able to actually buy a house for them. Moreover, without the army, he wouldn’t have been able to find his wife, Jeorgia. Hell, he’d even been promoted to sergeant. What hadn’t he been able to achieve with it?

When he was called by his superior, he thought very little of it at the time. Certainly, he was on leave with his wife from the job for her maternity, but perhaps there was something they needed to ask that only he could answer, such as who was in charge of latrine duty that had managed to muck it up so terribly(clearly Reynolds). He hoped his wife would be okay without him coming along to the doctor’s. She of all people should have understood how demanding commanding officers could be. Hell, maybe if it didn’t take too long, he’d be able to show up at the tail end of it.

He approached the office of his superior, taking a deep breath. He liked him well enough, he was a good man, but being called to ask questions always made him feel like a school child called up by the principal. When he’d get in there, he’d probably just give him his typical smile and start chatting him up about Jeorgia. Finally mustering the courage, he opened the door, where he saw his superior sitting and apparently reading a report. “Commander, you called?” Brent asked dully.

Johnson looked up from his report and motioned to a chair across from his desk. “Sit. No need to look so uneasy. I just wanted to ask about your family.” He assumed that he meant his wife and their growing child. Although surprised he’d be concerned about them, he was more than excited to tell him how they’d been, how he was building a crib for their child, and all of that. But this apparently was not the case. “How many brothers and sisters did you say you had?”

“Oh. Well, two, sir. Is something wrong with them?” He asked, his eyebrows shooting to the ceiling. He hadn’t heard from either of them in a week, but that was normal, they were grown with families and business all their own. He was planning on calling them today, in fact.

The Commander shook his head. “No, no, nothing like what you’re assuming. What did you say their names were again?”

“Glen and Carey. Glen Michaels and Carey Peppers, now, I believe,” He wasn’t certain why Fred Johnson was asking him, he should have had that sort of information on his files. Certainly not something he’d call him away from his vacation for. Something was off about the situation, although he couldn’t say exactly what it was. It seemed like his superior was trying to trip him up, or spill some information, but that didn’t make any sense. What would he know that the other man wouldn’t?

He shifted in his chair a little, leaning forward. His eyes seemed especially piercing as he asked him a question. “Would the name ‘Terra Michaels’ mean anything to you?”

His breath caught in his throat, and Brent brought up a hand to run through his sandy buzzcut. He knew about the sister he’d kicked out, the sister that he’d been pretending didn’t exist for the longest time. But they couldn’t punish him for getting mad at her and kicking her out, right? He’d only been 13 at the time, and he was so frustrated with how she’d been acting. He’d assumed she was going to come straight back home after a good cry, and was shocked and horrified when she hadn’t. Though, his sister’s name wasn’t pronounced like that, she was the only one who would have called herself that. The girl he’d accidentally let die was ‘Tara Michaels’ not ‘Terra Michaels’. Did this mean they had found her? Was she okay, then? His heart started to pound in his chest. He did the only thing he could in that situation, he told the truth. Well, most of it, anyways. “I had a sister by the name Tara, yeah. B-but she ran off into the desert as a child and I always assumed she died.”

This was apparently information the Commander had been looking for. Something in his eyes flashed, and he looked like a wolf on the attack. “Are you certain? You are her brother, after all. You wouldn’t happen to be keeping her with your wife and your baby, correct? Because you know as well as I do how dangerous such a situation would be.”

His eyebrows knotted in confusion. Brent had just told him that his sister had died as far as he was aware. Why would it matter if she wasn’t dead and he happened to give her shelter for a moment? Had she become a dangerous criminal while he was trying to keep the family afloat? Finally, he asked, “Why would she have been a danger? Isn’t she dead? There’s no way someone could have survived the desert for such a long while.”

Johnson visibly frowned. Apparently, he had not answered his question in a manner that he’d hoped for. His eyes flicked back to the papers in his hand, then went back to staring intensely at the young sergeant. “Your sister, this ‘Tara Michaels’ as you called her? Is a very dangerous criminal to the government of Artolia. I think if you ever happened to come in contact with her, it’d be best to inform either myself or even General-Brigadeer Ross. Am I clear?”

This was a lot to take in within the span of a few seconds. His sister was not only alive, but she was some sort of dangerous criminal? That pipsqueak was now somehow someone not to be messed with, someone who’d somehow harmed Artolia? But he didn’t want to seem suspicious for not responding either. Certainly, he wasn’t planning on helping someone who might harm Jeorgie, especially since she was now carrying their child. He nodded to his commander, blinking his dark brown eyes while he said, “Crystal, sir.”

His expression softened. Now, he was returning to that kind, old commander that Brent was used to. “Good. I’m glad we had this little chat, and good to know you’re on our side, Michaels. Tell Jeorgie I can’t wait to see your kid.” Brent relaxed slightly and nodded. At least this had managed to get all cleared up. “Well, dismissed, soldier.”

Brent left the room in a daze. His sister was still alive, he hadn’t killed her after all. It was unlikely that she was particularly happy with him, but she was alive, and he’d never harmed her in any way. It was a relief to know that his burden had suddenly been lifted, after all of those years of guilt. His mobile phone started to ring in his pocket, and he hurried to grab it. “H-hello? This is Brent Michaels speaking.”

“The hell did you go, dear? I already finished with the exam and I was hoping you’d actually be there,” The voice of his agitated wife demanded over the telephone. The pregnancy had already left her emotions at the end of a very thin thread, and this seemed to be burning the last of it merrily away until she reached total breakdown.

He frowned, mumbling his apologies to his wife, finally offering her an explanation as to why he’d been missing. “Sorry, Commander Johnson called me in. I’m so sorry I missed your appointment.”

The sound of her sucking in a breath was audible even over the phone. She’d been called in a couple of times, and for her, neither of them had ended up well. The first time, she'd nearly gotten a demerit, and the second time lead to her nearly getting kicked out of the army. “Anything up? Shit, if I’d known, I would have asked Dr. Valencia to put it off an hour or two.”

“No, no, everything went fine. Nothing to worry about at all. He just had some information on some family I haven’t talked to for a while and he wanted to tell me about what he’d come across in person rather than over the phone,” She didn’t need the extra stress of knowing that that family member was the little sister he’d been convinced he’d let die and that she was apparently some sort of psychopath who might kill without a moment’s notice. After all, they had a kid that they needed to keep in mind, and he wanted to keep her as relaxed as was possible.

“Alright. That’s sort of surprising; normally he doesn’t care too much what he says over the phone. But we can talk more about it when you get home. My feet are horrifically sore.” She said, not-so-subtly hinting at a foot rub. Though he knew she couldn’t see it, he smiled. He adored her, even when she was upset like this.

“Promise. I’ll see you in a bit, Jeorgie. Love you,”

“Love you too, you absolute dork.” She hung up on him and he sighed. At least nothing too eventful had occurred, and he’d still be able to make his wife at least a little happy. He got into his car and turned the key, her beautiful smile carved into his mind.
__________________

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
Alessa Gillespie is offline  
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Old 02/14/2010   #32
Bex
Default

MEANWHILE, TWELVE YEARS IN THE PAST (???)
----------------------------
Alison Perkins knew today was going to be a bad day.
For starters, she had stubbed her toe on the wheel of her car, forgotten her glasses and was wearing odd socks. She had also been assigned a new role in the company today, namely a supervisor in the Destrillian Project that everyone in the genetic engineering department had been raving about.
Today the Destrillians would awaken from their induced sleep of two years, fully functional and imbued with revolutionary abilities.
And Alison Perkins hadn’t even had her coffee yet.

From what the Doctor had seen from the file of Prototype #006 (she had been told to call her that), the child appeared to be thoroughly unremarkable. Waiflike. Rosy-cheeked. A gap-toothed smile. Sapphire eyes that shone with secrets. The subject’s uncanny likeness to the poster children of the Osean government had been a constant source of darkly ironic humour to the project’s scientists, as had her original name. Thetis Lucina Alcesteos. Alison Perkins rolled the name around on her tongue like boiled candy. As she could control water, #006’s name seemed to have been prudently contrived. Typically Violan- the Doctor had thought- always attempting to pin significance onto something entirely coincidental. It was dizzying to think of this girl’s potential, the mutation they had created in her DNA had had been successfully welded to the existing structure. She had unmatched strength, she could communicate through her mind, and she had the ability to control water. There had been no hitches.
Well, in prototype #006’s case, at least.

She was a little bit nervous. The tapping of heels on the industrial steel floor echoed as she was escorted through basement level two by a pair of Kevlar clad security guards. They halted outside a consultation room. Room 22. The head of the memory modification unit had advised Alison Perkins not to be taken aback when she met the prototype. It would be, he had warned, slightly surreal. She would be entirely responsible for the development of this child; this weapon. If #006’s growth fell short of expectations, the consequences would be severe. The doctor remembered how he had stressed that word. Severe. Alison Perkins steeled herself as the door was pushed open.

The girl seemed to blend into her surroundings.
#006 was sat on a Plexiglas chair in the centre of the room. Her shaking knees and knobbly ankles were clamped tightly together, her pale face fixed on her toes, which curled under the intense scrutiny. Bony fingers picked at the seams of a simple white hospital gown, while her left arm hung quite lifelessly by the arm-rest of the chair, riddled with needles attached by sparse pieces of surgical tape. Her hair was unpalatable in the context of her surroundings. It had not yet been cut, and reached the small of her back, while her white fringe hung around her face like curtain. It’s far too blue, Alison Perkins had thought. She was right – the colour bled into the bland decor like a flower sprouting through a blanket of snow. The prototype’s mouth opened and closed, her lips mouthing soundless words as yellow eyes roved the floor, searching for answers to questions that she would never understand. The Doctor felt a pang of guilt. #006 was just a husk, a shell that had no idea how valuable she was. The Destrillians were vessels that housed the next step of evolution.

Disembodied words floated through Alison Perkins’ subconscious.
Am I dead? So heavy... Where am I? Here. I don’t like it. I don’t like it here.
I don’t like it here.
I don’t like it here.

These dribbles of thought, ghostly whispers in dead silence echoed in the back of the Doctor’s mind. She knew of the Destrillian’s telepathy, but it didn’t seem as if #006 had even realised she possessed such a gift.
“Number Six!” The doctor felt a small sense of satisfaction as the child flinched at her words, and no sooner had the prototype’s saucepan eyes met her hardened green ones did the voices stop. The child’s mouth lolled into a gut-wrenchingly innocent smile as her eyes welled with tears.
“Nhuum-bur Si-cksssss?” The prototype’s voice faltered with gratitude. “Isthatmyname?” She spoke quickly, as if she was worried her voice would die as it floated through the silence. Dr. Perkins’ original apprehension had been replaced by a feeling of empowerment. The head of department was right. Prototype Six been surrendered to her entirely.

The fevered whispering returned.
Number Six. Number six. Number Six.
It carried on like a broken record that was stuck on repeat. For the next step in human evolution, the Water Destrillian certainly was pathetic. It was beginning to get on the Doctor’s nerves. Perhaps it had been ill-advised to use children as prototype models. After all, children were just too... difficult.

An outburst from the blue-haired experiment brought Alison Perkins plummeting back to earth.
“What-is-your-name? What-is-your-name? What-is-your-name?” Each syllable was punctuated with vigour, each word smeared together in an oddly lyrical fashion, an echo of a nursery rhyme she had been forced to forget.

“You will call me Dr. Perkins,” A single curt response, and #006’s enthusiasm was dead in the water. She hung her head and returned to fiddling with one of the IV needles in her arm. The Doctor sighed indignantly, and the pair of security guards shuffled awkwardly beside her. #006 was 10 years old – too immature to be an asset, yet too valuable to terminate. She wondered if the other Destrillians were behaving in the same way.
Probably.

Alison Perkins walked towards her subject, firmly plucking the experiment’s grip from the seam of the hospital gown before taking a pulse. The prototype’s veins swelled through her translucent skin, which was as uncomfortably clammy to the touch, as was the persistent throbbing of her pulse. Upon closer inspection, her right arm was patched with bruises from the various apparatus which had been implanted into her flesh.
“How are you feeling, Number Six?” The doctor spoke coolly as she withdrew her fingers from the prototype’s wrist, bending her knees so she could lock her steely gaze on the prototype in order to fully affirm her authority. #006’s eyes darted from left to right, as if she were trying to make sense of a jigsaw puzzle with no pieces. It made the Doctor feel distinctly nervous.

“L-L-L,”Her brow furrowed as she searched for the words. “L-L-LLLLLLLLLLLL.....L-Like. Like. Like....” The girl shook her head furiously and began to chew on her bottom lip. The head of memory modification had told the young doctor about this. The memory wipe process wasn’t fussy or selective. It would sometimes take away other things at random. In this case, it had caused decay in #006’s lexical ability. It could be fixed of course, and like everything else, it would be in time.

Alison Perkins glared and rose to her feet. She glanced at her watch, before once again looking at the pitiable child. The girl began to cry, taking great gulps of air as mucus dribbled from her nose.
“Well. I am disappointed,” Her words stung like winter frost. If the prototype couldn’t understand her vocabulary, she would definitely recognise the tone.

“I. DON’T LIKE, IT. HERE.” Prototype #006’s voice was shrill, and her speech fractured. The plastic chair screeched across the floor as the experiment attempted to stand up – only for her legs to instantly give way. To her credit, the subject hadn’t used them in two years. As #006 crashed to the ground, the pair of security guards instantly trained their weapons on the Doctor’s charge. It was almost embarrassing how she was so desperate for acceptance, Dr. Perkins thought as anger rose in her chest. She felt humiliated by this public revolt in her area of jurisdiction. Kneeling by the prototype’s crumpled frame, Alison Perkins placed her slender finger under #006’s chin, lifting the tear-stained face to hers. The Doctor smiled wryly, sickly sweet words flowing through her lips like poison.
“Why wouldn’t you like it? This is your home, after all.”

-----------------
MEANWHILE, IN THE PRESENT
-----------------

Alison Perkins was woken from her nap by the swoosh of sliding doors. The evening commute was the perfect time for reminiscing. She did miss them, the glory days, the ten years during which she was on the vanguard of scientific progress. Maybe Viola had been a little misguided in their actions. They had broken the rules. They had crossed into forbidden territory. They had broken the laws that made humans human. Such transgressions were sometimes necessary, however. It had always been exciting, always fulfilling. The Doctor had thoroughly enjoyed her position, and, despite her charge being slightly subpar, Alison Perkins was proud of her achievements. The light from the plasma screens in the subway car made her squint.
'We interrupt your current transmission to bring you this urgent development in the trial of former Viola Corporation CEO, Jason Spencer...'
‘You reap what you sow,’ the Doctor muttered under her breath, as if she had nothing to do with the sowing and the reaping. The woman on the television shuffled her papers as she prepared to give the report in her trim-suit-reading-aloud voice. A montage of familiar mug shots scrolled across the screen, and Alison Perkins’ mouth crinkled into a smile

“They are called Destrillians,” The newsreader’s voice rang with a tinge of urgency through the carriage, which had fallen silent. “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. Containing records of heinous experiments, violation of medical ethics, as well as several counts of murder, this last minute discovery represents the final nail in the coffin for the former Violan CEO. He has now been found guilty on charges of crimes against humanity, and will be executed via lethal injection at a later date. When questioned upon the reasoning behind the project, Mr. Spencer was reported to simply state, “Because we could.””

“It is furthered believed,”
the voice continued “that the surviving Destrillian prototypes have links with terrorist groups throughout Artolia, and are responsible for the incident at St. Raphael’s Hospital, amongst various others. Recent images imply that a number of Destrillian prototypes are currently involved in the attack on an orange zone motel, with UAV images providing near perfect matches to several Prototype images revealed in today’s files. Identified prototypes are as follows...” Images and text flashed up on the screen, each prototype profiled with a pair of photographs – their original file mug shot and a blurred image taken from the wreckage of the motel. Alison Perkins named them all in her head as their pictures glared from the screen. #011... #009... #003... A vigilante playing dress up...? The Doctor frowned, before a new picture slid onto the screen. The corners of her lips curled into dry smile as the mug shot of a terrified blue-haired teenager stared from the television, paired with another of a much older girl crushing a car with a wave of water.
“Number Six.”
She had sewn her seeds well.
__________________

Last edited by Bex; 02/14/2010 at 08:37 PM.
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Old 02/17/2010   #33
Tennyo
Default

A cell phone, that’s what she needed to get. No, two cell phones. Cheap ones, of course, on some sort of family plan. Maybe even a couple of those pay-as-you-go type phones, since Terra really wouldn’t be using hers much, if at all. Emma had been debating the idea for a while, but didn’t quite know how she’d be able to budget her money to pay for all of it. However she new it would make her feel just a tiny bit better knowing that Terra would have a more reliable method of communication with her other than telepathy.

She found herself trying to make a deal with some unseen force in her head. I’ll go without buy any clothes for a year. I’ll stop buying cookies! I won’t buy any annuals, only perennials so that they last longer. In fact I’ll just stop buying plants; I already have enough! The fact that bargaining how to pay for a cell phone would not solve the situation at hand didn’t even register as an option in Emma’s head.

Oh Terra. Terra where are you? Please be okay…


The frantic girl could have taken a bus, or hailed a cab, but neither of those ideas ever came to mind. All she could do was run as fast as she could in the direction of all the commotion; military machines flying over hear head in the same direction. It’s sure getting crowded over there.

She turned down one street, running a few blocks over. She had to get to Terra, and all she could think of was something that had come to her as she ran, yet she wasn’t sure if it was real or if she had dreamt it on the train: “.E…ma. Trapt on piper street. Hlp.”

Piper Street; that was Emma’s destination. Terra was there, she just knew it. The Destrillian reached out with her powers and yes, somewhere a few blocks ahead of her was the girl she had come to think of as a little sister these past four years, despite the fact that Terra was actually the older of the two. Emma also knew that there were more of her kind in the area and could even sense who a few of them were, but for now she would concentrate all of her energy on getting to Terra. Nothing else mattered other than that. If she could get to her before the government, they might still have a chance to get out of harms way and remain safe and hidden.

As Emma got closer a sudden sense of dread began to wash over her. Unless she was mistaken, Terra was moving. Yes, moving at a fast pace. At a fast pace toward all the commotion and military action.

“NO!” Emma cried, stopping at a street corner to get her bearings. The street was empty, no doubt everyone in the area had fled, and it had also at least stopped raining for the present. That would hopefully make things easier. But Emma felt herself wanting to panic as she came to realize her and Terra’s cover was probably about to be blown. Worse than that, they could be recaptured and placed back into test tubes, or killed on sight.

She felt the tiniest tickle of soft fur and tiny claws on her cheek as Squeak pressed his paws and face into her skin. She reached up and picked him off her shoulder, then held him in front of her face to look at.

“Oh Squeak, I’m so sorry, I was in such a hurry I didn’t think to put you down. You should be back in the apartment where you would be safe.”
The mouse replied with a little high pitched noise, then wrapped his front legs around her thumb and hugged it, as if communicating that back in the apartment is not where he wanted to be.

Emma smiled. “Thank you, Squeak. Although, I think it would be safer if you were in here,” she said, placing the rodent into her shoulder bag. He peaked his head out from under the flap and squealed happily.

“You hold on tight now, and don’t leave the bag unless you absolutely have to. This is going to get pretty bad, I think.”
Squeak gave a tiny nod, and then ducked out of sight into the bag.

A gentle breeze blew, tousling the long red hair of the young woman standing on the street corner. It gave a bit of a chill, for Emma wasn’t dressed very appropriately. A nice green sweater on under her yellow raincoat, but a pleated skirt and bare legs. I picked a heck of a day to wear a skirt, she though. At least she had sense to wear small socks with her galoshes. It all seemed oddly out of place for what was about to take place.

The Destrillian reached out over the few blocks toward all the commotion, and there she picked up on Terra again. Was she crying? Emma felt her heart tighten.

Terra wasn’t alone, though. There were other Destrillians in the area. She picked up on Thetis and Idris, and also another Destrillian she didn’t know. Then she picked upon Kerr. He was bad knews. Emma didn’t know him very well, only well enough to know she didn’t want to, but his presence was enough to give her goosebumps. She quickly decided on the route she felt would get her there the fastest, then she started running.

Emma left her abilities wide open so as to gauge the situation at hand, but it wasn’t very easy. There was a lot of fear, a lot of anger, and some sadness, but mostly death. A lot of people were dieing. It was always highly unpleasant to feel death, but Emma would need to brace herself to deal with it if she were to save Terra, and perhaps the others.

If there was one thing the escape from Viola had taught her it was that death was unavoidable. She had felt horrified when she discovered that her comrades had been the cause of all the death she had felt while trapped in her cryo tube, yet as she thought about it she realized that sometimes, people just had to die. There was no right side or wrong side, there was just people trying to get out on top and survive. It was a difficult notion to come to terms with, and she still didn’t entirely like it, but she had learned to accept it. It was the way of nature, after all. Animals killed each other all the time in the name of survival.

As she ran Emma quickly pushed her hair back and pulled her hood up to cover her face. She also buttoned up her coat to try to hide as much of her as she could. She didn’t want to risk anyone seeing or identifying her.

There also came a bit of a change in the flow of energy and movement in the area. The flying war machines were turning and leaving the vicinity, and going by on a cross street was a tank. What was happening? Emma then felt an intense rush of excitement, a few hundred people strong at least, and she looked up into the sky. There, descending from the clouds was the largest airship she had ever seen. Emma remembered hearing about such a thing on the news once. Owned by a company called IRIN, which had been founded by former members of Viola's weapons development unit from back in the day. Squeak gave out a terrified squeal as he peered up from under the flap of the shoulder bag.

Now, IRIN dominated everything, or so the newscaster had said. They often over exaggerated facts for the sake of ratings and making their stories more interesting she had come to find out. It made her wish she could feel emotions through the TV, just out of curiosity.

“Hey! You there!” a male voice called out to her.

Emma quickly looked and saw, to her horror, a small group of soldiers approaching. She had been so preoccupied with everything else she must have confused their energy signatures for basically everything else.

“What are you doing here? Everyone is to clear the area.” Emma could only stare blankly at the man. Maybe if I just play dumb…

“Hello, you home? Turn and go the other way. This area is off limits.”


“Um, sorry, I got an errand to run,”
she said sweetly, then made to cross the street in a diagonal to get around them.

“HEY!" The man shouted again, this time reaching out and grabbing Emma by the arm. “You mental or something? I said clear the area.”

Emma yanked her arm away. “Let go of me! I heard you. Just leave me alone.”

Then it happened. “I bet she’s one of them, sir!” another of the soldiers cried, pointing his rifle at the girl.

She put up her hands and feigned a frightened demeanor, which really wasn’t that hard. “What are you talking about? What do you want?”

“You know what, Carlson? I bet you’re right,” the first man said, lifting his rifle as well. The others followed suit, until there were seven guns pointing at the red head.

Again, Emma put on a façade. “What is this? What do you want? Please don’t hurt me I’ll do anything!”

“Come with us, then. If you’re not who we think you are we’ll let you go.”[/COLOR]

“I…I can’t. I need to find my sister.”

“Too bad, you’re coming with us.”


The man Emma assumed to be the leader motioned for another soldier to detain her. When the man reached out and grabbed her by the arm, however, she reached up with her free hand and grabbed his.

“Don’t touch me,” she said in a low voice.

In one quick fluid movement Emma was behind the soldier, twisting his arm painfully until she heard a sickening snap as it broke. A rush of pained emotion surged through her as the man cried out in anguish. She somehow managed to keep her composure and with all her might threw the injured human at a coupe of his unit mates. She then gracefully moved in to the leader and pushed the barrel of his gun away from her as he fired. A few of the bullets hit his subordinates and at least two of them died instantly, followed by their leader and Emma thrashed her palm up into the man’s nose, crushing his face and sending bits of his skull into his brain.

Emma stumbled at the feeling of three close-proximity deaths all at once. She really hadn’t meant to kill anybody. She only wanted to cripple them so that they couldn’t chase her, but now she had really overdone it.

“Shit! I’m out of here! I ain’t gonna die today!”
one of the men yelled out, then turned heal and ran. One of the other soldiers followed.

“You fuckin’ cowards!” another yelled, doubled over and holding a bullet wound on his shoulder. There were only two left now.

“Hey man, you seen what those other ones can do. We can’t kill ‘em. Come on, let’s just get out of here,” the other remaining soldier said, still pointing his gun. Emma stood staring at the two of them, trying her best to look menacing. She was sure glad she had hid her hair under her hood and that it was after sunset. These men shouldn’t be able to ID her later so long as she ditched the clothes.

The two men eased their way around the Destrillian, then backed away a few feet before turning around and sprinting off. Emma turned in the direction of her fellow prototypes before collapsing against a burnt out street lamp. She screwed up her face and fought to regain her composure. She was far too opened up to her surroundings than what was good for her, and now three men were dead. It was all so quick.

A faint squeak emitted from her bag as the small animal within peered up at her with concern. All Emma could do was reach down a finger and gently scratch him between the ears, then push herself off of the pole and keep going.

Terra, I have to find Terra. That’s the only thing that matters right now.

She glanced up at the large airship in the sky. “So what is it that you’re gonna do?” she asked, as if the ship could answer.

Whatever it is, it couldn’t be good. Emma quickened her pace, trying to keep tabs on everyone’s location. Eventually she found her way there. A couple buildings stood between her and her goal. However, when she got to the end and was about to turn the corner, she stopped. There, not far off ahead, were two soldiers. One was severely wounded, the other not as much, and he was angry. They were hiding behind what looked like a crushed tank not too far up ahead. Emma strained to listen to what they were saying.

“Fuck this man. This is too much!”
one whispered to the other.

The more injured of the two struggled to speak. “Y…you need t…to go. They ordered an evac.”

“I’m not leaving you, man. I’m gonna kill these fuckers is what I’m gonna do.”

“IR…IRIN will do it. Dude, just go.”


So that’s why the military seemed to be pulling out. That massive airship had something big hidden up their sleeves. Emma had to come up with a plan, not only to block her comrades from the soldiers, but also the airship. She needed to provide some cover in case they were able to watch. She looked around from behind the building and there, near what looked to be the remains of a building, was a torn up, charged tree. But deep inside it contained a tiny pulse of life. Not much, but it would do.

Emma reached out with her power toward the tree, and everything around her intensified. She could feel the irritation and paranoia of her fellows, the anger and the pain of the soldiers, and to an extent many other people who didn’t even seem to be in the vicinity. She would have to completely open herself up to everything if this were to get done.

The plant manipulator reached out a hand in the direction of the tree, then the other. She pulled on invisible strings and the it lurched, a creaking noise gradually building in volume as everything began to shift and grow.

The concrete around it began to crack as the trunk widened and the roots grew. The branches began to grow thick and spread out from the base. It was a slow process as first but Emma really began to push harder, using more and more power, and opening herself up even more. Eventually the tree lurched, then everything sprang to life. Large oversized branches extended down and smashed into the street to act as support for the rest of the tree.

“What the hell?!” the uninjured soldier yelled. He stood up from behind the tank in disbelief at the site of the tree growing. He then lifted his gun and began to fire. A branch extended out and came down near the tank where the two men were hiding.

“DUDE! You have to go!”

The other man bent down and lifted his friend. “Not without you!”

Emma pulled on her invisible strings again to bring the now enormous tree in her direction. The branches extended out to keep the two men from being able to see her or move in her direction. It consumed the tank, but she could still feel the lives of the men on the other side. They must have gotten away. Not good, in that now there were witness, but maybe they wouldn’t make it out anyway if that airship was really going to be causing some damage. She then walked forward, hands still outstretched, and directed part of the tree to split off and form a canopy over the street.

There, just beyond the building, she could see Idris and Terra. She had to shield them as best she could, and so massagive branches came down around them to support the huge trunk that now curved over them.

When Emma felt satisfied by her progress she stopped and made her way toward where the other two Destrillians stood. She walked slowly at first, stumbling and feeling fatigued and with a headache slowly building in size in her head. But she quickened her pace and eventually began running, not stopping until she had flung her arms about the young woman with glasses.

“Terra! Or Terra you’re okay! I was so worried! I’m so sorry it took me so long to find you. I’m so, so, so sorry! I’ll never leave you again, ever! I swear!”

Emma then looked up at the other girl next to them. “Idris,” she smiled, still holding the earth Destrillian tightly. “Thank you so much for looking after Terra.”

After a bit, she asked, “What’s going on here?”
__________________

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Old 02/21/2010   #34
Alex
Default

No matter how many times Kerr delved into the sewers beneath Osea, the smell was something he reckoned that he would ever get used to. Especially beneath the Orange Zone, where maintenance was unreliable at its best and non-existant at worst, and there was no doubt that some stretches of the cavernous sewer system had never been seen to since their original construction. The section of tunnel that he, Kram and the unconscious Thetis were hiding in seemed to fall under that category from what Kerr could discern of the environment, aided by the dim ceiling light that was now so covered in grime that everything it illuminated was coloured in sickly shades of washed out green or jaundiced yellow.

The three of them were waiting in silence on the raised platform that ran down either side of the tunnel, the sickening canal of filth flowed down the centre. Kerr tried to put the oppressive environment out of his mind for now, a task that was proving more difficult with every step sticking to the foulness that caked the concrete floor beneath them and the dizzying stench of the sewer water and exacerbating the dizzying sensation that had come about as a consequence of his over-exertion and blood loss from the deep gash on his head from his less than spectacular performance against a speeding fire hydrant.

Predictably, it was Kram who broke the silence first.

“Personally Everything I have right now… It’s not Viola technology. My old man would never work for those fuckheads…” he said, apparently expecting some kind of acknowledgement from the eleventh Destrillian. Whatever signs he was expecting, Kerr gave him neither, instead just fixing him with the same unfeeling stare from his coal black eyes. The information he imparted could have been the truth or it could have been a lie but neither would have directly changed their present situation, and information that did not lead to their successful escape was information not worth dwelling on at this stage.

“And I don’t work for anyone for that matter. I’m a freelance vigilante.”the stranger turned away from Kerr’s unblinking stare to continue with his monologue. “But the armour kept calling you all and myself…a Destrillian. What are we? Other than Blue Hair spouting water like a damned tsunami, or Genevieve controlling metal like some comic book supervillain and that brown haired girl who… looks just weird but has some psychic powers... What are we? And you…”he paused melodramatically for effect “What’s with you? Mistreating Blue Hair like that? She’s a lady god’s sake! What’s wrong with us trying to blend in society? From what I heard you’ve been trying to kill us all. What the hell”

Kerr couldn’t help but snort, failing to hide his contempt for the startling display of ignorance on the part of the armoured man. It was awfully noble of him to leap to the defence of Thetis as though she was a damsel in distress, he hadn’t even seen them fight and he automatically took the woman’s side. Knowing Thetis like he did, Kerr knew that she would absolutely love the fact that she had a big strong man in her corner to back her up.

“You've committed so many sins in this city, I’m surprised no one has found you yet. Those murders you’ve caused, Even though they’re scum…They didn’t have to die. They would’ve gone to jail anyway”
he growled at Kerr, and for the briefest of moments a tiny smile danced across the blood stained features of the tired Destrillian.

“Do you make a habit of making assumptions of people you’ve never met before and don’t know a thing about?”he spoke up for the first time. There was no way that this man of all people could have known about his personal war against the other Destrillians, or the other lives lost. He had never once been identified as the attacker, not even by the military. No mugshot of Kerr had ever found its way to the mass media, and he had remained relatively anonymous given the amount of carnage he had wrought over the past couple of years. This idiot didn’t know what he was talking about or anything about him, simply determined to play the part of the hero.

“Shit! I’m going up to check on the girls, I know this doesn’t seem like your kind of task but do take care of Blue Hair.”
Kram arrogantly rattled off the instructions. This was a man who clearly always got his own way. “I’m counting on you”he said, as though this display of trust would be in any way, shape or form endearing to Kerr, who simply watched stoically as the armoured stranger placed Thetis down against the curved wall of the sewer and hurried back off down the passage in the direction of the ladder.

For a moment Kerr didn’t quite believe what he was seeing. After this man’s rant at him about his murderous intentions towards ‘Blue Hair’, was he seriously just about to leave him alone to guard her. Surely he knew that she would probably be safer on her own unconscious in the sewer than down here with him...

...No apparently that hadn’t crossed his mind, Kerr thought with disbelief as he watched Kram’s figure disappear up the ladder and out of sight.

He instantly turned his attention back towards Thetis, barely over an hour ago this had been the young woman he had literally been fighting for his life against. A truly formidable opponent that had lasted longer in single combat against him than any Destrillian had done before. But now? Now she was a pathetic sight. Completely defenceless, her breathing was rasping and faint and pale as ash from blood loss. She had left herself too weak, it had been so foolish of her. Desperate and needy, determined to show off, and this was the result. Defeat.

Then again, it could have just been a ruse. Thetis had always been pegged as being one of the more cunning Destrillians, or if not cunning then just spiteful. He wouldn’t put it past her to feign this whole passing out ordeal just for this opportunity to get Kerr alone to strike back at him for his prior assault.

He nudged her with his foot to check, her body was limp and unresponsive. If it hadn’t been for the gentle rising and falling of her chest then it could have been possible to pass her off for a corpse. She opportunity was far too good to be true, to murder her now whilst she was helpless and then disappear off into the sewers of Osea. It served her right after all, trying to first beat him in combat and then try to show off in front of the others.

He walked crouched over her body, imagining how easy it would be to just slit her throat now. He even felt his arm subconsciously grope his ankle, just to double check that his small combat knife had actually been knocked free during the prior battle. It was gone, and this was probably the best outcome because the mounting pressure to murder this reminder of the Violan facility was nearly overwhelming.



====MEANWHILE, SIX YEARS AGO====




“Are you coming with me or not?”

“Not.”

“Come on Kerr. We agreed!”

“They’ll kill us if we do”

“They’ll only kill us if we get caught!”

Kerr folded his arms and turned away, trying to hide an uncomfortable feeling that had absolutely nothing to do with how cold the Viola Recreation Room was.

“We’ll get caught” he mumbled.

The girl who was standing at his side with arms folded and scowling in frustration, rolled her eyes. Today of all days, Kerr Nordstrom lost his confidence. How typical.

“What the hell is going on with you Kerr? What are you hiding?”
she demanded impatiently.

Kerr said nothing at first, pretending to be momentarily transfixed with Ronin Maverick doing some press-ups at the far side of the room. “I’m not hiding anything Ariel. I just don’t think it would be a good ide-“ the sentence was interrupted by the hard slap to the back of his head. He might have deserved that, Kerr thought unhappily as he pushed the collar length dull silver hair out of his face so that he could turn and face his impatient companion with coal black eyes that revealed nothing.

“Kerr. You were the only one who agreed to escape with me. The only one”
Ariel Regan, the twelfth Destrillian matched his gaze with her own vividly piercing lilac coloured eyes. “Why have you changed your mind?” her tone was softer now, less angry, less hurt. Just confused.

Kerr paused before answering, trying his best to make sure that his face betrayed nothing of what he was feeling. He gave a resigned sigh and asked his next question carefully. “Would you try to leave, even if I said I wouldn’t go?”

“Absolutely”
she answered immediately, though the expression on her face looked slightly more than disappointed in his reply.

Kerr gave an almost pained nod, “Okay, I’ll come”

Instantly a wide smile spread across her pale, round face and all trace of her impatience with her stubborn, grim-faced friend. Kerr tried not to look.
“I knew you’d come around” she said happily. “Now keep your chin up yeah? You know we’ll make it. We can run rings around these idiots in uniforms. You know that.” Kerr didn’t say anything, she was mistaking his reluctance for a lack of confidence in his own abilities. Out of all the Destrillians developed in this facility she was the one who had retained the most of her humanity.

“Yeah.” He said simply.

“You remember the plan?”


“Yeah.” This reply was more sullen than the last.

“Good.” She smiled again, “Just think, by tomorrow morning we’ll be so far away from here that even the sky will look different” she said with a confidence that she did not entirely feel, purely for the benefit of her friend who looked far more worried than he should be.

===
[COLOR="DarkOrange][/COLOR]
“You remember the plan?”[/COLOR]


Yes Doctor Malcolm. Kerr replied telepathically from inside his stasis tube, looking up at the familiar shadowy shape in the glass viewing room above him.

“Good boy. You know we can’t have dissenters among our ranks. Not even ones as skilled and powerful as your friend Ariel."


Kerr said nothing, for some reason the emphasis on the end of Malcolm’s sentence had made the Doctor’s presence even more unwelcome than it had been before.

Malcolm immediately seemed to sense his reluctance. “Having second thoughts Number Eleven?”

No. Kerr replied, perhaps a little too forcefully to be entirely convincing.

“Remember that you’re a soldier Number Eleven. You act on the orders of your superiors, not on the orders of your friends.”
No response. “This is the only way to make you stronger boy. The only way.” Malcolm said softly, appealing to a different facet of Kerr’s personality. “Do this for us, and you know we can make you more powerful. We can make it so that all your guilt can vanish. You know we can do that for you Number Eleven.” No response, but Malcolm was sure by now that he had gotten Kerr’s attention.

“Why don’t you reply to me Number Eleven?”


Because I have a name, not a number.


From behind the bullet proof glass, Doctor Malcolm Abaddon smirked. “Was it Ariel that told you that?” Kerr remained silent. “You know as well as I do that she causes all the trouble around here, Kerr. Starting those fights with the guards and killing those doctors. How are we ever going to help better this world if our soldiers are too busy killing their own side to follow orders? You do remember that thats what you were all made for don’t you? You were made to be soldiers of peace."

What if I don’t want to be.

“Don’t lie Kerr. Just think about your options, just think about what really needs to be done.”
From inside his pod, Kerr felt Malcolm’s presence leave the viewing room above and quickly go out of range. Leaving him alone to carefully consider the crossroads that lay before him.

===

His eyes snapped open to the stop-start sound of gunfire.

Well that was a stupid mistake on their part, it was almost like handing Ariel ammunition. Ariel, the Destrillian of sound, able to vibrate apart matter itself.

She was inside the room with him, working on the control panel that freed open his stasis tube. She was less than six foot tall, but still taller than he was. Her short, straight hair and choppy fringe that covered up her vibrant eyes when she looked down was black, but liberally streaked with white, resembling the keys of a piano.

She saw he was awake and flashed a hurried grin, giving him a thumbs up as the door to his pod eased open and a silmy Kerr pulled himself free of the confining viscous fluid.

“I brought you some clothes”
she said merrily, throwing him what was unmistakably the black jacket and pants of a security guard. “Sorry about the bullet hole though”

Kerr did his best to force a smile at the joke and quickly pulled on the deceased guards attire.

“Now we match” she said with a smile, doing a small spin on the spot to show off her guard’s uniform that was easily too big for her slender frame. Kerr made a quick note to himself that this was more happy than he had seen any Destrillian be, ever. “Also take this. You’re a better shot with one of these things than I am” she threw him a standard issue pistol, which he deftly snatched out of the air.

Wasting no time the two Destrillians escaped from Kerr’s room and out into the eerily deserted corridors, passing only a few deceased guards (now only clad in their underwear and socks) outside of Ariel’s old room.

“It’s much too quiet”
she observed grimly.

“I’m sure it’s nothing” Kerr lied. Had Malcolm deliberately ordered the guards to evacuate this level to further ensure that he would be the one to kill his rebellious friend? Was it all part of the test? It certainly added up, and Kerr could only gulp nervously. Trying hard to fight off the extreme uneasiness that came about when your head and your heart were telling you to do two completely different things.

On the one hand, he and Ariel were more than capable of escaping from this facility. She was the oldest of the Destrillians, easily one of the most powerful, most level-headed. Able to adapt and overcome any obstacle that the Violan Corporation had thrown at her on the training courses better than any of the others had. If there was any among them that was capable of getting out of here alive, then it would have been her. But perversely that was exactly the reason why she had been deemed to risky to keep around, coupled with her wild independent nature and popularity amongst the others. She had all the ingredients of a leader, and one that was poised on the brink of revolution against her creators.

But freedom was so appealing. To be free, free from all the regulations and free to be happy and independent and to no longer to answer to any authority or any superior, the thought was nearly unimaginable. But it was so exciting, he couldn’t remember anything of the outside world other than the tactical military briefings of various sites where they might be deployed to help turn the tide of a battle. To be free with his friend to experience and see all the sights that the company would have never gotten around to showing them, it made him happy. The alien emotion had taken him by such surprise that it had taken a good while to even recognise what he was.

On the other hand, what would happen to the world they wanted so desperately to escape to if they weren’t fighting to make better if they weren’t the front lines making sure that it did indeed change for the better? Was it worth it? It wasn’t as though he was unhappy here after all. He enjoyed the training, he enjoyed the feeling of power and the self confidence in his own abilities. Was it worth giving all that up for the uncomfortable uncertainty of the wild world outside of these cold grey walls?

“Shit, the elevator’s been locked down” Ariel muttered in exasperation, trying in vain to prise her fingers inbetween the steel doors. “When you finish daydreaming, reckon you can come over here and help? Because that would be lovely”

Why did Kerr want to escape so badly if he was so comfortable here? Why did he want to leave here so badly in the first place? Maybe Malcolm was right. Maybe Ariel really was just out of control, and he was the fool for being sucked into her chaotic fantasy.

“Kerr? What’s wrong? Don’t wimp out on me.”


“It’s nothing.” Kerr said solemnly. Flexing his power, and taking his mental frustration out on the stubborn elevator doors. Watching with satisfaction as they crumbled like paper beneath his manipulation of gravity

With a satisfied look on her face Ariel clapped her hands together and instantly the doors fell inwards into the elevator shaft, forced backwards by the sonic blast generated by the noise. She leapt into the shaft and looked around anxiously. “We can get up here Kerr! There’s a service ladder that should take us up to the next flo-“

The gunshot cut her off mid sentence.

They were soldiers.

Malcolm was right. They shouldn’t do this. This was wrong.

Ariel spoke no more. The bullet caught her in the upper left quarter of her back, there was the rushed sound of the air being forced from her lungs by the force of the bullet and she fell forward onto her front and was still. It was over, just like that. Taking a life was every bit as quick as Malcolm had promised him that it would have been. But it was not as painless as he had been told.

Kerr threw the gun onto the floor and hopped down into the shaft where the body of his best friend was lying. He did his best not to look at her surprisingly peaceful face as he picked her up and carried her out into the corridor to meet the squad of five security personnel that had seemingly materialised out of nowhere whilst he had been lost in thought. He focused on them, their equipment, weapons, faces. Anything, anything that he could fill his mind with to take away from the growing feeling of loss that was threatening to breach through the previously unmoving dam of his stoic exterior.

“Dr. Malcolm wants to see you” one of them grunted at him.

“I don’t care” Kerr snapped back. Whipping round to face the one who had addressed him “What are you going to do with her body?” he demanded.

“Dr. Caithness wants to examine her body in the morgue first, apparently some of the big wigs want to be in attendance.” The guard replied with a voice that sounded like a gravel blender.

“The big wigs?”


“I thought you didn’t care” the lead guard replied mockingly.
Kerr just laughed, a bitter, mirthless laugh as the gravity of the room pulled the five guards with sickening force into the far wall “If you personally, don’t make sure that nothing happens to her. Then I will kill you and your entire family, do you understand me?” every ounce of hate that seemed to be filling his being poured out in that sentence as he subconsciously increased the pressure to the point where he could nearly hear the guards brittle bones splinter under the remorseless pressure.
He let them down, as he turned his back on them to return to his room.

They made sure no harm came to Ariel’s body.

Two of the guards died from their injuries later that week.

===

“ Congratulations Kerr”
Dr. Malcolm Abaddon greeted him with a warm, friendly smile as Kerr stalked back into the room. “You’ve done this company and this nation a great service.”

“Shut up” Kerr snarled. Malcolm was far too calm, too friendly. He didn’t even look like a scientist. A man in his early thirties, with stylishly trimmed shaggy hair and handsome, tanned features, he would have probably looked more at home in a trendy vodka bar than he would in a labcoat, spending his days pouring over research statistics and notes.

“Kerr. You’re crying.” Malcolm said understandingly.

Kerr hadn’t noticed.

“I know what you’ve just been through has been has been hard. But you know that it was for the best.”

“You said you can make how I’m feeling go away” Kerr snapped back, nearly shouting over the top of Malcolm’s smooth, knowing voice. “Can you do that now?”

“Absolutely. The drugs will be added to your treatment for tonight.”
Malcolm said as he headed for the door. “I’ll leave you alone with your thoughts.”

Kerr was still crying and it was making him feel awkward.

“Keep your chin up Number Eleven”
he muttered off-handedly as he hurried out of the room.

“That’s not my name” Kerr said venomously inbetween sobs that he was no longer bothering to try and suppress, as he pressed his back to the wall and sank to the floor.

Doing what was best for the world had never made the young Destrillian feel any worse.



===================MEANWHILE, BACK IN THE PRESENT=====================



It was the second time in his life Kerr had had a defenceless Destrillian at his mercy, and the relevance was not lost to him. Suppressing the white hot feeling of hate in his stomach and exercising the self control he had been teaching himself since that day, he bowed his head. The decision made.

Turning and sitting against the wall next to her he breathed a long and drawn out sigh. “I’m not going to kill you Thetis” the words had fallen out of his mouth before he could stop himself.

To think, he had just criticised her own weakness a few moments before.
__________________

Last edited by Alex; 03/03/2010 at 12:35 AM.
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Old 02/23/2010   #35
Baldy
Default

Out of absolutely nowhere, something began to happen.

The earth beneath her feet began to tremble; the brittle concrete, already having taken such a beating from the battle and just about ready to throw in the towel, was cracking. Idris Savage held Terra fast and widened her footing to prevent her own fall, all the while looking around for the source of it all – it couldn't be the girl she had her arm wrapped around, surely not. She was barely standing up, let alone in control enough to cause such a powerful rumble in the earth.

Then Idris saw it. A… tree? A tree was growing at incredible speed, straight through the meager shelter it had been hidden with, swelling with life and shielding the two from the sky. The thing grew ten, twenty, thirty feet tall and still higher—and then the Gunmetal Glint knew. She knew who was here to save the day.

It was Emma.

Idris' grin could have lit up the street beneath the tree like the sun lit the sky above it. Of all the people she'd expected, Emma had been the best case scenario; not only was she powerful, and on their side, but she was a personal favourite. A friend. And so very kind. She shifted Terra's weight on her arm a little as the two stepped semi-awkwardly out of the way of an enormous tree branch, which crashed down beside them to support the ever-growing organism; it was both beautiful and terrible, to see something this fierce and natural in such a synthetic setting. The metal Destrillian found it refreshing, and of course, it was also very helpful.

Idris was confident that they had at least a little more time than they'd just had previously, if nothing else than from the shock factor it would deliver to those upon the warship. Emma's head popped up from between two gigantic roots, her red hair tucked safely beneath her yellow raincoat's hood, and the freckled girl began to make her way towards the two female Destrillians. First walking, then a little faster, and then full-out running towards… Terra.

The earth Destrillian was swept from Idris' arm faster than she could see it coming; it left her arm feeling empty, almost, with all the air suddenly surrounding the skin where warmth had just been. She shook it absent-mindedly to get rid of the feeling.

"Terra! Oh Terra, you're okay; I was so worried!" Emma said while enveloping the girl in a crushing hug. The joy was definitely there, and so was the relief. And for some strange, incomprehensible reason, it made Idris sigh on the inside. "I'm so sorry it took me so long to find you, I'm so, so sorry! I'll never leave you again, ever—I swear!"
At last, she turned her face up from where it had been buried against Terra's brown hair, and faced Idris—who managed to slap her smile back on just in time.
"Idris, thank you so much for looking after Terra."

"All in a day's work," she replied easily. With Emma here, getting Terra to the sewers wouldn't be a problem anymore. They could lift her up together and carry her down—

…just like last time. Idris glanced down at the bracelet she wore and remembered the last time she and Emma had worked together to move a comrade to safety. The circumstances had been a bit different then: namely, the comrade in question had been a corpse. The safety bit had never changed – they'd always been running from Viola, after all. But Idris had felt some of the most intense feelings in her life that moment when Eve had died. Anger, grief, regret—all of it and more. The trinkets she and Emma wore were made of the bullets Eve had been killed with, and to Idris it served as a reminder of both her friend, and of what seemed to be the only goal she had left. To protect the other Destrillians with everything she had.

"What's going on here?" Emma's voice broke through Idris' reverie; the small woman had just enough time to look back up before somebody else replied.
The Dark Rider had gotten impatient, it seemed.

"Nothing but big trouble, miss." Emma's face when she noticed him was almost worth the irritation of having the situation explained by somebody who only barely knew what was going on. Almost. "We gotta head underground fast, the big cheese up there is gonna fry us any minute. I suggest we move now. Come on, I got to go back down there."
The plates of armour the Dark Rider wore clinked just a bit as he turned his head back to face the three. "Everyone. Let's go." And he jumped back down into the sewers just like that.

Idris sighed for real this time. She looked at Emma, who still seemed a little confused as to who the newcomer was. Idris didn't blame her.

She tried her best to clarify in an objective manner.
"That's the Dark Rider, so he calls himself. Thinks he's some sort of vigilante, cleaning up the city one crook at a time – I'd make sure nothing happens to me if I were you, or else you'll have him slinging you over his shoulder and giving melodramatic speeches and injecting you with fast-tracking serums." So much for objectivity. The woman checked herself and continued. "In truth he's a Destrillian – not from where we came from, I think, and he's got absolutely no idea about anything so do forgive his bravery. It's only ignorance in disguise. I know you, you're patient, but I'm waiting for someone else to finally snap at him. It should be interesting to say the least."

She looked at Terra, still held in Emma's arms, and then back up to the vibrant girl who could control nature. "Well, in any case, he's right. We've got to get down there or else it's curtains for us – as a heads up, Kerr and Thetis are down there too. It's like one big family reunion, eh?" She did her best to laugh even though oddly enough her stomach had gone a little hollow.

Emma did smile back a bit, though, and that made Idris ignore the feeling in favour of helping Emma with Terra. Together the two balanced the third girl's weight and they made their way to the manhole.

"On three?" Idris suggested. Emma nodded and Terra was ready to help break her own fall, so Idris turned and faced down into the sewers.
"One…"
She could see the Dark Rider pacing around, anxious as usual to go and save somebody's day. A little further into the darkness the girl could see Kerr, sitting against the wall near Thetis with an expression most peculiar. It was a moment before she realized that it was the fact he wore an expression at all that was peculiar in the first place.
"Two…"
The air was filling with tension. Surely that warship was about to unleash hell and high water upon the decimated parking lot, and even this wonderful tree of Emma's couldn't hold back the barrage they were about to receive. Terra's arm tightened on Idris in preparation and a strange pang went through her.
"Three."

They jumped together and Idris realized what this small but insistently clawing feeling was.

Regret.

Regret that when she left the ruins of Viola, she hadn't gone with somebody—that she hadn't stuck with a Destrillian or two for company's sake. Regret that while Thetis and Kerr had some strange sort of rivalry going on, and while Emma and Terra were so enviably close, and while Kram had anybody he goddamn wanted because he made it their business to be his business… Idris had nobody, really. And for the first time in a long while, she really felt the loneliness that that brought with it.

They hit the sewer floor with a wet, squelching splat, all three of them. Terra kept her footing and Idris lingered a moment longer than she needed to before letting the girl go; the metal Destrillian turned to face the manhole above and flicked her hand, and the metal piping along the wall melded over the hole to block the street above. There was darkness so total that even with all their superhuman eyes, it was still a little difficult to see.

She stood on the concrete walkway on the edge of the sewers, a little apart from the group that had formed, and stared up at her handiwork; then, she took a big breath, exhaled it, turned, and walked to the group to take her place.

"Okay, so who do we have here? Roll-call would be nice, seeing as we have newbies and besides… it's been a while. Nice to see everyone again," she said, and she meant it. "As a start, we've got Idris Savage, the Gunmetal Glint here, ready to help protect against whatever hell comes our way."

She had always been a little lonely, hadn't she.
__________________

Disappear with the stars and come back alive.

Last edited by Baldy; 02/23/2010 at 09:41 PM.
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Old 02/27/2010   #36
NoenGaruth
Default

Any moment now....any moment....or not.

Leaning forward in her chair, Sophalla gazed out the front window of the command bridge for a solid minute with a look of puzzlement, looking for the massive beam of death to come streaming from the underside of the ship. Then after realizing nothing was going to happen she slowly turned to face the controller on her left and with a smile and a slight tilt of her head to the side, calmly asked. "Am I missing something or isn't there meant to be a large display of destruction right about now?". The controller was checking displays on the console in front of him for a moment then replied "Uhh...it seems ma'am that there's a malfunction in fire control, we're attempting to cut in the axillary."

Even after all our technological advancements we still haven't ironed out all the bugs, but I guess it's expected considering the particle cannon is a brand new piece of weaponry... Sophalla's inner monologue thought to herself as she casually sat back in the chair waiting for her personnel to correct the problem.

Five minutes had passed and during this time Sophalla's attention had drifted off into thoughts about what Vargas would do now that there are Destrillians around once again, however she was then interrupted by the sound of success as the computers all started buzzing with activity as the Particle cannon systems all began to come back online.

"All checks are green, Particle cannon is now online, proceeding to fire at the target area now Ma'am" The controller reported. Sophalla lit up with excitement once again and watched eagerly for the imminent stream of destruction that would annihilate those who she hated with such sincere passion. The underside of the airship began to make loud humming noises as the insides of the cannon started spinning, faster and faster. The speed and sounds kept growing until that which Sophalla was waiting for finally blasted out with such great force that it shook the vessel and lit up the area with it's powerfully bright blue beam. A few seconds later and the beam impacted onto the motel area and expanded into a giant blue ball of energy that vaporized everything within it's radius. The large tree that had mysteriously appeared withing a short time frame burst into flames and was quickly incinerated, steel supports from the buildings melted under the heat, the concrete cracked and broke apart, and what remained of the ground troops and abandoned tanks left in the area were all erased in the blink of an eye. The bright ball made the entire city of Osea glow blue for a good 30 seconds then quickly began to fade away and before you knew it was gone, leaving a large crater with nothing more than molten pieces of steel and scattered blocks of concrete all along it's surface. Electromagnetic radiation from the beam knocked out the power for blocks around the area and now, save for the hum of the Airship's engines, everything was silent.

Back on the command bridge, Sophalla sat perched back in her chair with a sinister look of satisfaction on her face, the cannon couldn't have performed more perfectly in it's display of terror and destruction. Without moving the slightest bit she spoke to her command staff.

"The operation is now completed ladies and gentlemen, good work!. Inform the Artolian command that they can move in to cordon off the area..." She then paused for a moment and added. "...also send down some of our personnel to confirm the targets were destroyed, I won't be pleased if any escaped..."


___________________________________________________

===A MASSIVE POORLY LIT ROOM, UNKNOWN LOCATION=====

A frail looking man stood in the center of the room, completely still, and hooked up to a wide assortment of machines and apparatuses. He was surrounded by video monitors which displayed all sorts of footage from around the world. Televisions shows from Artolia, news from a wide assortment of nations, scenes of the violence still erupting in the central continents. Yet the man was not focused on any of the images, instead, he was looking down at the floor.

"Humans...even though that is what they are, they wish for the freedom of birds. These mere beings know not that it is an unreachable dream. One could best describe such desire with a recalled saying 'It is the lowly who aspire to reach a higher place'....however, in this changing world it would appear as if humans are not the only ones foolish enough to seek such an impossible goal, such arrogance and disregard to the order of things simply cannot be tolerated..."

The man then looked up to the wide array of monitors and continued. "...Isn't that right, Solaris?"



=====CHANGE LOCATION, SEWERS UNDERNEATH OSEA ORANGE ZONE=====

A young person, mid teens, walked...more like skipped happily along the poorly lit tunnel in the dank sewer. They had short, messy ash-blonde hair, a top that had the sleeves rolled up with a leather vest which looked as if it was some piece of an ancient military uniform, blue cargo shorts and black boots with high socks. Additionally they also wore blue fingerless gloves and a pair of goggles on their forehead.

This person was rather peculiar, aside from the fact that no sane person would be wandering around the sewers period, it was the fact about the ambiguity of their gender. Anyone who looked at them couldn't tell if they were a girl or an really pretty boy, and it didn't help that their voice also sounded like they could be either, nevertheless, this person enjoyed keeping people confused on such a topic - as a mysterious person is always a far more interesting one.

Without any regard to who or what was down there, they skipped along, and sang in a rather nonrhythmic manner about what they were doing.

"~Down here in the sew-er! Minding my own businesssss! Looking for noth-ing in particularrrr! Oh look a it's rotting corpse! And it's drifting down the riv-errr!~"


Their unusual singing was then grinded to a halt and a look of alertness was on their face. They quietly spoke to themself "What's this? I sense people....multiple people nearby, and they're coming this way...but something's different about them, there's a feeling....as if they're like..."

They then ducked into a side passage on the tunnel and waited to see who these new people were. The footsteps were getting real close now and they could hear voices, unclear what they were saying, kinda sounded like arguing about being lost...or at least the word lost was heard, then again maybe they were talking about a television show? But this was no place to be talking about such things, it's dark, wet and dangerous. They should save their discussion of popular entertainment mediums for more pleasant scenery's, like a park...filled with dinosaurs, a Jurassic park if you will. They then realized that their mind was wandering again and had stopped paying attention to the approaching group of people who were practically on top of them now. Fortunately, the group seemed to have stopped due to their arguing about location and thus weren't paying attention to their surroundings. The person hiding around the corner saw their opportunity, so pulled their goggles down over their eyes and stepped out into the middle of the tunnel where they could see the group of people about 20 meters away. They then knew it was time to execute their monumental plan which had just been thought up during the last 3 seconds and so, with the biggest smile on their face, called out the group of people...

"Hiya! Fancy running into a bunch of people down in thi-"
They then stopped dead in the middle of their sentence and fixed both of their eyes on one of the people in the group who was wearing some really bizarre getup. They weren't exactly sure what they were seeing, but it made them burst out into laughter and blurted out. "Hahahahaha! Oh my god when did the circus get into town?! Ahahahahaha!" They then continued for laugh for a long extent at the hilarious sight before them while the group just looked at them with puzzlement. Finally they were able to compose themself and once again address the group.

"Sorry, sorry, I couldn't help myself, anyway my name's Stolz, pleased to meetcha!"


Their introduction seemed to have mixed feelings from the group, one or two felt as though they were gonna attack so Stolz quickly spoke up again.

"Woaaaaa now, don't get hasty here! I'm not wanting to get in any trouble now."

Stolz then raised their hand and snapped their fingers expressing they had a great idea "Hey how would you guys like to see something cool?" and then Stolz's arm swung around towards a pipe that was leaking water, extended their hand towards it and suddenly the water began to freeze and in a few seconds the leaking water was now a series of ice shards. Stolz then looked back at the group an remarked "I can freeze things and fling them around as I please, pretty cool huh?" They then added."Say, considering you people look pretty lost, how bout we team up?"

One of the girls in the group then replied "Well actually we're not really sure where we are so could use the help, do you happen know a way out?"

Stolz paused for a moment, then cheerfully replied "Nope." The group of people's expression was mixed between sudden surprise and general annoyance. Stolz then placed one their hands on the back of their head and embarrassingly said "Well, to be honest I have no idea where we are, usually I just keep wandering around and eventually I'll stumble on an exit. But not to worry, I'm sure there's one around here somewhere, so let's go!" And pointed towards the darkness of the long tunnel in a confident manner.
__________________



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

Last edited by NoenGaruth; 03/01/2010 at 04:10 AM.
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Old 03/05/2010   #37
Alessa Gillespie
Default

Maintaining a constant thought of holding the dirt in the air to support her bad leg was surprisingly exhausting. Moreover, her walking was still too slow for the other, able-bodied Destrillians, and she was left behind with Idris, that kind but strong girl from Viola. It was clear her ineptitude was not going to be any good for those around her, and with those soldiers coming they were certainly going to die. The brunette had thought that regaining the ability to walk would be able to help her, allow her to save her friends from danger. But yet again, she was nothing but a useless lump, and she was going to die along with the other Destrillian.

And yet suddenly, they were gone. Also there was a large tree in the middle of the ground that most certainly wasn’t there before, but the soldiers were gone as well. This could have only meant one thing. "Terra! Oh Terra, you're okay; I was so worried!" And suddenly, everything was alright now. Emma had come, she’d found her, and she’d saved her and Idris with some sort of plant. A bit odd, she would have supposed if this were any other point in time, but right now weird was welcome. The redhead hugged Terra, who gave out a contented sigh, even though she was starting to feel like her ribs were being crushed.

"I'm so sorry it took me so long to find you, I'm so, so sorry! I'll never leave you again, ever—I swear!" The apology didn’t mean much to the brown-haired girl, if only because she hadn’t held anything against Emma for not coming to help her. She was far more occupied with suddenly being kidnapped by a weird guy in armor, attempting to not be killed by soldiers and other Destrillians than to care terribly about not making her way home that day.

But now, with Emma’s help, the metal conductor made a suggestion, "Well, in any case, he's right. We've got to get down there or else it's curtains for us – as a heads up, Kerr and Thetis are down there too. It's like one big family reunion, eh?"

It was definitely time for everyone to go down to the sewers, the both of them holding onto her to carry her down. Terra quickly pushed her glasses back up her nose and held onto the girls as they prepared for the jump. As Idris counted down, Terra tightened her grip on the girls carrying her. On three, they jumped into the hole and the crippled girl held onto both of her friends just enough to stay up. The sewer floor was squishy, and to be entirely honest, she didn’t want to know what it was squishy with. Idris suggested that they introduce themselves. An introduction was going to be rather difficult, considering Terra’s condition, but she tried to give it a shot.


Eye am Terra Mikeals. Eye can control earth, and eye cant talk b/c eye hurt my brain whin we wer escaping Viola.

A strange intro, to be certain, but it was the best she had. As she spoke, she could feel something shift in the ground under her feet. It was odd, something she rarely noticed or paid attention to, but the earth seemed to be changing under her feet. She couldn’t interpret it properly, but something was wrong. Something was definitely wrong. Earth felt like it was bracing itself, becoming hot and charged, oh god, what the hell was going on?

Ohgodohgodohgodohgodohgod

Like a rat, she got the urge to bury them all, deep underground, to keep all of them safe. The stone walls of the sewer would work, though she hadn’t moved stone since the day she’d destroyed Viola. Mentally, she forced the rock to move, to hold them all safe and sound inside of this dark drainage pipe. Even though it was giving her a fierce migraine, and she probably looked ridiculous with all of her pushing motions, the stone started to groan near the manhole cover, folding and shifting into something like a stone origami box top. Holding her arms up, forcing the stone to hold in place and not crumble down, she felt an incredible impact bear down on the rock. It almost felt like she was holding it up with her own shoulders, the weight of…well, the weight of whatever was boring down upon it was so intense. Though she knew it was only momentary, it felt like it took forever. The weight let up, and the stone relaxed, a shower of dust hitting Terra’s face. She coughed and sputtered, but at least there was one thing she knew. It was over. Whatever had struck the ground had been done, and they’d been safe within their little bomb shelter.

She let out a tired, relieved sigh, falling back into the sludge on the floor of the sewer. It was unpleasant, to say the least, but she’d managed to keep everyone safe from whatever the hell was happening on the ground above them. Certainly, whatever was trying to kill them wasn’t going to stop with that. They were going to come down to the sewers, find their corpses, or be horrified when they didn’t fine them. Then they would get their guns loaded and shoot them… assuming that they saw them. It was clear that they needed to get moving, even if Terra’s head was throbbing.

Every1, eye thnk we need 2 get movin or we may dye. Ema do u have n e thing that u culd use 2 splint mai leg?

As soon as she sent the message out, she was prepared to move. She pushed herself back to her feet, holding onto the wall and using her good leg for support. If she could get her splint on, she’d be fine to move on her own, even if she wasn’t going to be fast. The most important thing at the moment was making sure that they all made it out of the sewers, hopefully to safety. If nothing else, it at least kept them from the soldiers that were surely going to come for their dead bodies.
__________________

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
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Old 03/07/2010   #38
Hisako
Default

spitting that shit out I’ll smash them Y-you bitch Oh man this is so disgusting squishy I say we cut our losses we get you out of here, hmm you’re going the wrong way I WILL set your ass on FIRE will k-k-kill me I thought you might like it so vulnerable, so naked without it get I-I love you we take the fifth exit don’t stay back or the turd gets it get The top floor ”this is the point of no return, isn’t it why won’t you all just die I will see you all maybe later wait, something’s wrong pathetic little nuisance what are you DOING a later time we’re not going to make it going to make it make it don’t look back, close your eyes NOW Hey you.


Silence


Aw come on talk to me


Silence

What’s wrong, rough day today

Silence

Oh and hey I finally got the sneakers I wanted the ones I mentioned to you earlier on the last time I talked to you about it

Nice.

Huh what

Must have been nice.

Yeah I haven’t had those sneakers since I was a little girl, you know and ohmygod they even still had the flashing lights

Flashing lights?

Yeah um they had little flashing lights they put on the shoes when you step on them they flash all these pretty lights

Good on you.

Wow you sound like you’re really in the dumps today Is it boy troubles Girl troubles

You care?

Um I guess I mean you’re one of the only people I really know although I don’t know your name, I’ve always meant to talk to you about that and ask

Sorry to disappoint.

Um okay But hey so what is it Boy or girl troubles

You could say a little bit of both

Hah well you can tell me all about it you know

Can’t say I can.

Oh well But anyway today I had some bubblegum and it was like soooo good

Silence

And then I got high-score on my simulation for the second time of the day, total wipe-out and then my boss went all rage on me and gave me a ton of crap but that guy can go fuck himse-

Your boss?

Yeah, he’s basically just some old dude who runs Denann and he gets money for sitting on his ass and ordering people around all day

I thought you did that.

Yeah but I’m like, I make that stuff fun Plus I have bubblegum that is very important. So where do you live

What?

Well I was just wondering cuz you know, we’re like buddies and I wanna meet you some time plus I need to figure out how we talk like this

I will get back to you on that.

But we’re like buddies right hey wait hello hello oh what don’t shut me out like this hon pretty please can you hear me how bout now or now can you hear me yet

“Brand!”

Jettison woke with a start. Daniel was sitting a few meters away from her, staring at her intently.

“Yo girl, we gotta make the meet. Sharkey says that there’s some shit goin’ on up on the Aboveground. He wants us watchin’ his ass. His goddamn multi-million ass. Motherfuckin’ rip-off don’t pay us a dime. One of these days I’ma gonna make that bitch cough up his fuckin’ title deeds for all the shit we’ve had to handle.”

Jettison nodded, dusting herself off as she sat up from her mattress. On occasion that she made conversation she made it clear that this was her ‘lair’, a haven that only she could be in and for others to enter at their own peril. She wasn’t feeling particularly hospitable today, but she wasn’t in any particular mindset to be killing any people today.
She walked out, bending two grate bars back into shape once she had walked through it. The rest of the gang was lazing about as usual, most back from their oddjobs on the Aboveground, sweeping trash and selling roadside flowers.
“We’re moving, boys and girls.” Jettison grabbed her quarterstaff, which came out of nowhere. The rest of the gang sprang into action and in ten minutes the den was completely empty and virtually unrecognizable from the rest of the sewers.

None of the gang spoke, a good twenty of them walking in dead silence. They were for all intents and purposes invisible to anything, but they were cautious nonetheless.
The sewer pipes were endless in all directions, threads in a spiderweb. But like the spider, Jettison knew practically every dusty and muck-ridden inch of it. So when she heard clattering noises at an estimate of less than a hundred feet away, Jettison instantly recognized it as a sewer hatch being opened and instinctively tensed up like a wild animal. The others followed, a tried and tested reflex that saved the lives of the gang countless times since the very beginning.
The first thing to do was to take a path around. Murphy’s Law was a good law and Jettison valued her numbers. There weren’t enough gang members for any of them to be expendable.
The second was to know what they were here for. A minute of listening to conversation and footfall told her there were about five people, maybe six, some in various states of injury and others in various states of armament.

Jettison closed her eyes, listening to her heartbeat pounding a notch above its normal snail’s pace. She formed her plan three beats later and opened her eyes.
“Nova.”

“Yeah, girl?”

***

“Deck-thirty-one, twenty-one-one, Peseta Dyson Bank on Fort Street, commercial district. 2 gunmen. Unknown number of civilians, presumably hostages. Any units respond. If you want.” A tired sigh drifted over the cracked microphone in the van. “Guys?”

“Deck-sixty-nine, Housekeeper, we’re on it.”

“Deck-forty, give it to ‘em, Wolf One.”

Arctos briefly fumbled with the small two-way receiver before roughly shoving it back in the slot on the dashboard. “Let’s move it Teddy.”

“On it, boss.” Ted Payton hurriedly ran over his tangled hair with a haircomb one last time before stuffing it into his jacket pocket and turned the key of their armored van, giving it a futile kick before it coughed into a guttural rumble half a minute later. “What’s the plan, sir?”

FONT=Verdana]“What do you think, genius? Two guys go into a bank, wanna rob the place. We keep them from offing everyone, try and get the civs out and then take them down clean and quick. Do it by the book. You do the sweet-talk, the rest of us find a back door and hit them if they get touchy with the hostages. Get geared up, guys.”
“We’re ready on your say-so, boss.” Arisa was already in her combat gear, repeatedly pulling out and putting in a magazine into her submachine gun, in her typical psyched state of dealing out justice and every other heroic cliché they had in store for the criminals. Madison ground the stub of her cigarette under her boot, and Luis slipped his handheld console into a magazine pouch for good measure.[/FONT

“Oy, Teddy.”

“What’s it this time, Maddy?”

“Don’t fuck up.”

“Yessuh, ma.”

“Stop with the attitude. And don’t fuck up. If you cause shit that the boss, me, and Arisa have to clean up after, I swear on your early grave I will be cleaning up the locker rooms with a bar of soap and your face.”

“What about me, Matron?”

“Luis, dear boy, if you actually have to shoot anything today it means we’ll all have fucked up, and that’s not going to happen. So go find a visible rooftop, put your clay-shooter up and pretend to look dangerous. Play your Playbox or something. Your lucky hour.”

“As you wish, Matron.”

They pulled up to the battered roadblock hastily propped up in the middle of the road and Ted barely turned the key before the van went still, giving out a cough from its engine as if to punctuate its pathetic life with a verbal fullstop.

The team began to file out onto the street, and the first thing they noticed was that they could feel tiny tremors rippling under their feet periodically, which they instantly picked out to have the familiar characteristics of –

“Explosions.”

“How far off?”

“I’d say pretty far. Probably would guess even the other side of this city. At least.” Ted snatched up the two-way receiver just before he was about to shut the door.
“Deck-twenty-three Housekeeper, but what’s the word on the wire? Something big going down in residential?”

“That’s a yes Wolf Four, but IRIN called in. We’ll handle it later.”
“Deck-forty. Keep us posted, Housekeeper.” Putting the receiver back on the dashboard of the van, Ted pulled out two large plastic bags from under the seat, filled with what looked like takeaway boxes of food. Noticing the strange looks in his direction, he shrugged.

“Southside Takeaway is the best peace offering. Gets my nieces and nephews to sit down an’ shut up every time.”

“Just get it done, Wolf Four. We’ll find a back entrance, Wolf Five is on communications and tech, bring sniper cover as Plan C. Wolf Two and Three on me.”

In minutes, Luis was on a rooftop opposite the bank, looking bored with a suitcase full of surveillance and communications equipment, Madison was shearing through cable sheathing in a service tunnel to fix a transmitter, Arctos and Arisa were sitting by the fire stairs testing their headsets and Ted was slowly approaching two gunmen with nothing but a headset and two bags of Southside Takeaway.
The wind picked up a notch and raised its whistle a semitone.

“You got me, Wolf Five?”

“Airwaves are clear, Wolf Four. How is the progress going, Wolf Three?”

“Twenty seconds until I get this fixed, keep yer pants on Wolf Five.”

“In twenty seconds I’ll be held by gunpoint by the perps, we need surveillance and floor plans asap.” Ted slowly walked towards the huge glass surface of the bank entrance, hands raised in the air. The doors slid open silently and let out the noises from a hostage situation he had heard so many times before.

“Open the fucking safe, or I will put one in your other leg, ya fucking old coot!”

“I-I-I d-d-”

Before any of the scene could get any worse, Ted gulped and broke the tension for a fraction of a second with an ‘ahem’ that in hindsight was a ridiculous noise to make in such a situation.

“The fuck? Don’t you take another step closer, shitface!”

Even before the bank robbers had turned towards him to train their guns at his chest, Ted had drawn a profile in his mind. Facts and inferences flew through his mind and painted the details he needed to relay. Dropping his voice, he kneeled in an offer of submission, and thumbed his earpiece in one swift movement as he raised his hands.
“Wolf One, I have eyes on the prize. Fifteen hostages gathered around the columns, one needs medical attention. Two perps are armed with a nine-millimeter long and a ten-millimeter short. Needle tracks indicate probably -”

“Aw man, he’s a frickin’ cop! I knew this was a bad idea!”
“Dude, shut the fuck up and keep an eye on him! What’s in the bag, punk?”

“Woah, woah, take it easy, man. It’s just takeaway, I thought some of you guys might be hungry and I brought some along.”

“Put them on the – the ground! Yeah, that’s it – now step the fuck away. Go check the goods, Boxcars.”
“W-what? I-I’m not checking no fucking cop’s bags! No way!”

“That wasn’t a fuckin’ suggestion, mofo, do it!”

While the bickering flared up, Ted scanned their appearances a bit more closely. They appeared to be in their early twenties, although heavy drug use had added a few errant years to their age and had given them the tell-tale signs of homelessness and the traits of small-timer criminals. Malnourishment had had its toll on their faces, gaunt-like, pale and sweaty with nervousness, fear, and (as far as Ted could assume) withdrawal symptoms. Tattered clothes, perhaps stolen as he could see a price tag still hanging off a few, seemed to be thrown onto themselves rather than worn, and in many layers. They were probably all the clothes they had, further causing the stink of sweat in even such a perfectly air-conditioned and well-ventilated area like this.

As the psychologist of the team Ted rationalized them into their constituents, took them apart and put them back together in his head. Neuroticism, extroversion, non-openness, antagonism, undirectedness, all in different scales. While the gunmen weren’t professional bank robbers and more along the profiles of small-timers looking for a quick fix, the fact that they were so spontaneous and suffering from withdrawals made handling them as easy as handling old dynamite with a hot poker.

The man referred to as ‘Boxcars’ finished rifling through the bags, his expression shifting from twisted and fearful to twisted and somewhat less panicked.
“I-it’s food. It’s Southside Takeaway!”

Behind the cautious, narrowed eyes, Ted could detect the slightest hint of approval.

“W-what do we do now Hearts?”

“Give some to the other guys.”

“What, why?”

“To make sure they’re not pulling anything funny, like poison or whatever, dumbfuck!”

Boxcars rapidly nodded, sweat droplets trickling down his face as he pulled out a warm takeaway box filled with rice and sweet and sour prawns, and slid it across the floor towards one of the frightened hostages, who flinched as it struck them in the foot.

“E-eat it! Fuckin’ eat it!” The woman squealed in terror as Boxcars frantically waved his gun at her. As she quickly tore the lid off, Hearts looked Ted up and down with bloodshot eyes.

“And why the hell should we let you live, cop? Why not I just shoot you in the face and get it over with?”

The robbers flinched as Ted began to stand up.
“I’m the negotiator.”

“Well here’s something to negotiate – you get us a fucking truck, we leave with the money through the back door. You don’t follow us. How bout that, dipshit?”

Ted ran his left hand through the tangles in his hair, and let free a shadow of a smile. “Uh, well, you see, I’m not so sure that the rest of the cops out there would like that. Now, before you say anything -” He raised a hand before Hearts could yammer out another phrase with the word ‘fuck’ in it –
“I’d like to tell you right now that I would like to see this end without anyone getting hurt more than they already are. Now I don’t know if you can see them, but one of my buddies out there is on a rooftop looking at you guys down the scope of a rifle, and the rest of my team out there really want to finish their rounds so they can go home. Especially my friend up on the rooftop. He’s dying to get some of the action and it’s taken me all of my talk not to put two in your heads.”

“Uh, yes, of course. That’s right. The action. Yes.” Luis flicked a casual glance over the shoulder of his rifle as he nonchalantly twiddled on his console.

Hearts and Boxcars, as Ted was concerned, was nearing the breaking point, and he knew unless they wrapped it up soon, there was going to be a world of hurt breaking out in the bank. “So I guess the cops are all over the place, huh? W-well we’ve still got the hostages! They won’t frickin’ touch us with a body in between us!” Ted’s eyes lit up in alarm as Hearts pulled a quivering lump of a man to his feet, pressing the muzzle of his small rifle to the back of his head.
“Keep fuckin’ standing!”

“Mate, that’s another thing. Now I want to help you out, but you gotta help me as well. The man over there by the safe, that leg looks real nasty, and I need to give the cops waiting to bust all the doors and windows in this place some sort of faith so that they don’t turn this place into a shooting gallery. I need you to let that man and maybe one or two of the others go.”

“The fuck? Why would I send anyone else out?”

“You don’t expect that guy to walk out of here by himself, do you? If anyone dies now, this all screws up and I don’t know what’ll happen. Hell, anything can happen. I can’t guarantee you’ll get away with it, but if no-one else gets hurt, we can try and lessen whatever you land with.” Ted absently thought about how much it was a lie, and he knew anyone who had tried a stick-up in a bank and shot someone in the leg wasn’t going to get away easy anytime soon.

Ted’s earpiece crackled as the rest of the team began to get ready.

“Wolf Four, we’ve analysed the floor plans Wolf Three hacked for us. Wolf Five will hack security feeds as a precaution, and break in through the 2nd floor. We’ll move in on your say-so. From what we’re hearing I don’t think these guys are going to back down fast enough.”
“Okay Number Two.” He looked up as Hearts’ bottom lip quivered in nervousness and he snapped at the injured man and two other hostages to leave.

[COLCOLOR=red] “Go on, get the fuck out!” Almost immediately two of them took the man and hobbled out the front door as fast as possible.
“Now what happens?”
“Now we can talk about how you’re going to get out of here. If the cops break in, I need you guys to drop your guns. That way we can end this without anyone getting hurt.”

“Now we can talk about how you’re going to get out of here. If the cops break in, I need you guys to drop your guns. That way we can end this without anyone getting hurt.”

“Fuck man, we ain’t going without some juice for the boss! He’ll whack us dead if he finds out we’ve been caught!”

Ted frowned at the remark. As ridiculous as it sounded, there always was the possibility that gang members in custody would be silently killed off by police officers under a gang’s payroll. The risk obviously depended on how much they knew about the gang’s activities.
Although from Ted’s profiling, he didn’t particularly see the two quivering lumps posing as bank robbers as being very high on the chain of command, but at the moment he had bigger problems to worry about.

The withdrawn faculties of the robbers had overridden their need for self-preservation. In short, in his head, they were going to snap very soon, and sure enough, they broke the fragile balance of peace with a wavering outcry and the pointing of guns at Ted’s face.

“I’m not goin’ to jail jus’ to get offed by the boss, ya fuckin’ cop!”

Well, that does it. “We’re green, Wolf One!”
No sooner than Ted dropped to the floor, a door slammed open and a canister was dropped from the overhanging balcony. Even with his face on the ground, his eyes squeezed shut and his fists in his ears, he could hear the deafening bang ring through his head and catch the flash of light behind his eyelids, as everyone else on the ground floor screamed, clapped their hands over their eyes and ears, or both. In an instant afterwards, a second canister hit the floor and started billowing out a thick plume of smoke that was cut through by three figures promtly roping off the balcony.

Even through the pain in his eyes and ears, one of the men fired aimlessly upwards, fear in his cries of anger cut short by the distinctive snap-clack of a shotgun and a multitude of swearing. The other, dropping his gun, had a short scuffle with one of the team before being floored by a solid punch to the cheek, only letting out a strained groan afterwards as Ted stood up, coughing lightly.

“The first one’s rubber, boy, but the rest are the real thing. I wouldn’t try anything if I were you.”
The sound of handcuffs brought Ted down to earth and in minutes the hostage rescue was over.

Ted walked up to Arctos, who leaned on the front grille of their armored truck, nursing his bandaged right hand.
“That was a nice right hook, boss. Aren’t you worried about the jaw he got you on?”

Arctos would have sneered if he was bothered enough.

“A face isn’t any good if it can’t take a few hits. How’s the manager doing?”
“He bled out enough to pass out when they put him back on the ground, but Luis has him stabilized enough to survive the night in a hospital. He’ll live.”

Arctos took a few deep breaths, and pushed himself off the front of the truck, and opening the driver’s door grabbed the receiver, while the rest of the team finished packing their gear away.
“Deck-sixty-eight, Housekeeper, Deck-ninety-two and good for drop-off. We’re deck-forty-two.”
“Deck-forty Wolf One, good job. See you back home.”

***

Arctos pulled up his sedan on the grass, trying to keep the engine as quiet as possible when he noticed the other car already parked in the driveway. The neighborhood, despite the uncomfortable distance to the Orange Zone, was silent save for the night-time cicadas and the faint breeze that rattled various small loose things and whistled through the trees. Tranquility at its best, and Arctos knew every night that ended like this was a better night than most.
Even the evident thumps of explosions and rattles of gunfire (that would have been very audible in this part of the residential zone) were now gone.

Evidently, the engine wasn’t quiet enough.

As soon as he reached the metal grate front door, a single, low snuffling bark came from behind the doors and Arctos rolled his eyes as scratching noises followed. He almost stepped back as the massive bear of a dog stood on its hind legs and pawed at Arcto’s stomach.
“Dog...” Arctos tried to push it back down onto the floor, but the giant dog held fast, forcing him to shuffle to the side of the doorway and in a semi-circle so he could walk past.
“Dog, stop it. Heel, Dog.”

“Aw, he’s been nervous the whole day, he’s been pining for you pretty much the entire afternoon. Don’t be so surprised.” The voice that cut through the snuffling and Arctos’ grunting put a smile to his face and softened the furrows in his brow even as he tripped over and collapsed on the couch.

Although nearing her mid-forties, Lynn Wolfe didn’t look even ten years as old. The only lines on her face deepened at the dimples of her smile, and the only wrinkles present were a complement to the twinkle in her eyes. With a slender beauty in her figure and her face, she had aged as gracefully as humanly possible and to the extent that she was envied by her friends.

And by Arctos’ friends as well.

“Dog, come here.” Attracted by the smell of a chunk of a treat in Lynn’s hand, the dog immediately got off Arctos and ran in a bumbling gallop across the living room floor, tongue lolling out from a mouth almost completely hidden by the mass of fur enveloping his body. “Oh, you like them don’t you?” she grinned even wider and giggled as Dog snuffled in reply and snatched the treat from the tips of her fingers.

Arctos wrinkled his nose as he took off his coat and unbuttoned his shirt.
“It must have been the takeaway that Ted took with him today. That stuff smells something nasty.”

“Well, your shirt always ‘smells something nasty’, it’s no wonder he recognizes you a mile off. If my nose was any better, so would I.” She firmly pressed the fridge door closed as Arctos began to open it.
“And no drinking tonight. I want you showered and ready for bed.”

“Huh?” Ten years ago, Arctos would have clearly construed a meaning from those words and woul have gone upstairs with a whoop and a holler, but now he was too troubled by alcoholism to think about it.

Lynn’s tone of voice softened.
“Today was horrible. Lana ran home today, she was almost in tears. I left work early and found her on the front doorstep, trying to break into our own house. After a bit of coaxing, she told me that she’d been hanging out with her friends, at Targus Alley.”

“What!?” Arctos’ eyes instantly flared up, and he almost forgot about the throbbing pain he had in his knuckles.
“That’s only half a mile from the Orange Zone! What the hell was she think-”

“That’s not the point right now.”Lynn’s even voice and her ‘shushing finger’ (as she so affectionately called it) cut him off short.
“She described crazy things to me, she seemed to be in complete shock. She said she saw giant trees, an army there, fighting a giant tree and water flying in strange shapes. If she wasn’t afraid of the Orange Zone, she sure is now.”

“Good.” Arctos grumbled as he dropped his hands to his sides.
“I still gotta have a word with her though.”

“You won’t tonight, I put her to bed early. We can talk about it tomorrow.” She cupped Arctos’ chin in her hands with a tenderness that softened his expression again.
“The fact is, the noises scared the hell out of me too. I asked around what was happening, but no-one seems to know. They’ve cordoned the area.”

Arctos murmured. “They asked me and my team to go and comb through the place tomorrow. I’m sorry I couldn’t get here earlier, hon. We had this hostage situation that the higher-ups couldn’t ignore for once.” He vaguely recalled the conversation they had back at the headquarters and in the locker room. They were to go and look at the scene tomorrow morning, and come back with an evaluation of damages and determine a public statement that would appease the people.
An evaluation. Arctos mentally rolled his eyes. In better days, the police would have investigated the matter right down to the last detail and made some arrests. But, as Madison had reminded him, “We aren’t in better days any more.”

“Did anyone get hurt?”
“One guy got shot in the leg, he’s fine though. I busted my hand a bit knocking someone out.”

“Oh my god!” in a flash, she was fidgeting with his right hand, blushing at the fact that she hadn’t noticed it before.
“Is it serious?”

“Uh, I can’t honestly say. I can go to work tomorrow, that’s for sure.”
Lynn shook her head.
“You’re not young anymore, Archie. You got to stop getting yourself beat up like this.”

“Well, look at you, you’re still young.” Arctos let loose a lopsided smile as the remark only deepened Lynn’s blush. He thumbed her chin with a callused hand.
“We both know that every time -”

“Oh stop it.”
She giggled and batted away his hand with her own.
“But seriously, do take care of yourself tomorrow. And find out what the hell’s going on. You watch the news, right?”

“Do I ever.” Viola was, for all intents and purposes, old news, but the recent turn of events had put their remains back in the limelight as rumours fed into television networks and turned into sellable current affairs. Both Lynn and Arctos knew the gut feelings they had on the issue weren’t unfounded. The investigation, like all others, made in the AED’s jurisdiction was cut off, but the documents that had been discovered, the wreckage that had been recovered, and the interviews – interrogations, rather – that had been done, had blown the mystery wide open and left a den of unexplored secrets to explore.

“So I want you with me tonight. I don’t want you lost in your own black hole anymore. I can only do so much for Lana, she needs a strong guiding hand like yours. And I need one too.” The pleading in her eyes was like a knife in his heart, making it ache so tangibly. It wouldn’t take away his alcoholism, but it was a look that made him hate himself for what he had become.

The snuffling of Dog at Arctos’ heel broke the sadness around them, but the atmosphere of tenderness remained. “I’ll do my best, hon.”

“Good. Now let’s get you both cleaned up and ready for bed.”

***

“Ohoy, Jettison, I’m glad yer here! Some of the guys an’ gals down in The Mirage are gettin’ nervous with all that shit goin’ on down at the Border.” The man trying to keep up with her in the nightclub crowd was less than a few inches shorter than her, yet her presence dwarfed everyone in the pit. He gave a lecherous laugh, driven more by nervousness than anything, and held onto the fat cigar between his pudgy, ring-encased fingers like it was a security blanket.
“Maybe perhaps you could put in a little extra to keep them, ya know, at ease an’ everything.”

Jettison hardly acknowledged his presence as she sauntered the familiar path to the innermost enclosed room in the building. The man didn’t know it, but she hated it when people called her by her first name.

It was all about emphasis, and the word itself was an emphasis on decrepitude. The word revealed the meaning of her life, and the path that it had taken. It was anathema to all that she had been working for her entire lifespan that wasn’t riddled with pockets of amnesia. Although she had chosen the name herself, over time she wore it less and less as a badge of pride and felt it as more and more of a mockery, of a self-constructed taunt that deprecated her status as a gang leader.
And deprecated her abilities as a stealth killing machine.

As she neared the velvet-lined door, the man pressed on, more emphatic than before. “I mean, I know you’re doing high-class stuff for me, I’m not baggin’ yer skill, but if you don’t get some new ideas, all the boys an’ girls on the floor are gonna feel we’re gettin’ stale, ya know? And when that happens, kapoof!” he flicked open his fists out in front of her, making her stop before she turned the handle of the door. “Where yer gonna get a job?”

Jettison whirled around and in a fraction of a second had the dwarf-like, pudgy man dangling a foot above the ground against a wall – by the neck.
“And when are you going to pay us for the protection, King? If that is your real name, you wannabe fuck?”

She could imagine King’s mind going over his possibilities, and mentally smiled as his options dwindled like his oxygen supply. She tightened her grip just a tiny bit to quicken the pace.

“Orright… jus’ … lemme -”

She let him drop in a crumpled heap, choking and gasping for breath, where she left him there. She waved her hand at her following gang members, and turned to open the door. “Thought you might say so.”

She walked into her other lair, and worked her magic.

***

The Destrillians – or more accurately now, the motley travelling party - in the sewer felt like the air was closing in on them. For most, there was no outward reaction to it, but with animal-like instincts they knew things could go very wrong down here. The Orange Zone could be a death-trap for the unprepared.
They didn’t walk much further, when an animal growl ahead in a particularly dark section of the sewers put them on alert. It was generally rule of thumb that anything larger than a small feral cat would find it nigh impossible to survive down in the Underground, so when a massive, man-size leopard-like beast with glistening fur like illuminated snow padded out of the darkness, some of the Destrillians didn’t know what to think and Kram was somewhat surprised that he couldn’t differentiate it from the rest of the darkness.

In fact, a moment’s of probing gave the travelling party the impression that the animal’s mind was completely opaque and unreadable, something which put them on edge further. A wave crested through the animal’s fur as it growled again, padding away from them but stopping as the fur seemed to become a light source.

Now, it illuminated the path of the sewers for them, the faint glow adding soft light to a harsh environment. It looked back at them, and gave a sort of low bark, as if, mysteriously, asking them to follow it, the mysterious feeling it gave off weighing heavily on their shoulders.
__________________
死の果までも追い掛けます、 探し出し
奪われた物全て取り返して見せる

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Don't believe your eyes? Don't be surprised.





Last edited by Hisako; 03/19/2010 at 07:36 AM.
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Old 03/22/2010   #39
Bex
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For a second, Thetis had forgotten everything – who she was, where she was, and why she was there.
The smell of the sewer soon brought her crashing down to earth. Her mouth was dry, her eyelids felt heavy, her body ached – though not as badly as she expected. Although it wasn’t too uncomfortable, Thetis was becoming increasingly irritated by her torso continually colliding with someone’s back. Some moments later, Thetis realised she had been slung over someone’s shoulder. How charming, she thought, as her forehead rhythmically banged into her saviour’s spine. Sculpted plates of metal bit into her hips as she was carried along the decaying walkway.
By the Dark Rider.

Whether it was because of the stench of sewage, the unbearable humidity or the humiliation of being carried by an over-zealous vigilante, she didn’t know, but Thetis felt nauseous. Any relief she may have had regarding their escape had quickly dissipated as she listened to fast paced footfalls squelching in the inches of slime and dirt which covered the sewer walkway.

Even if Thetis hated living undercover, she hated running from Viola even more. It never seemed to end, even after 4 years, even after Viola had fallen – now the army was chasing them, and if the army failed, they would call in IRIN. It was hopeless. They didn’t have anywhere to run anymore, and if the media had caught any surveillance of those involved during the motel incident, there was no returning to Orange Zone. #006’s fringe, now grey with dust, fell over her eyes as she squinted at those who trailed behind the Dark Rider. It was pitch black, and Thetis could barely make out the figures of Idris, Terra, and much to her dismay, Kerr. However, there was another girl walking by Terra’s side. She had hardly changed at all.

“Emma!”

This abrupt interruption of the silence surprised even Thetis, who immediately felt awkward in the face of her comrades. She wriggled and clawed her way free of the Dark Rider’s grip before pulling Emma into a hug. Thetis felt embarrassed, but as Idris would say, in these situations – family comes first. It had been such a long time since they had all been together like this, and for the first time in four years, despite everything that had happened, Thetis felt like she was at home.

Then there was Kerr. As soon as she caught glimpse of those pitiless eyes, she fell silent and sullen. Thetis didn’t think that there was anyone who could kill her mood faster. She folded her arms, the calmness of her voice belying the sheer fury that she felt.

“What is he doing here?”

Thetis’ elation disappeared as quickly as it had come. She was wary at the ease with which Kerr had infiltrated their group and how the others had so blindly accepted his intrusion. They just didn’t seem to understand. With him around, they would always be looking over their shoulders. It had started with Ariel, then the others. If it wasn’t for the timely arrival of the Destrillians, Thetis would probably be buried under the rubble of the motel, or thrown in a ditch somewhere. His presence infuriated her almost as much as the party’s inability to sense the threat he posed. Thetis knew there was safety in numbers, but Kerr was like a splinter under a nail, slowly festering away, infecting the group with all manners of malevolence. #006 couldn’t tell if she was shaking due to anger or loss of blood, but it felt as if all the frustration she had suppressed while they fought the army had suddenly reared its ugly head. Thetis rounded on Kerr. The others needed to know, regardless of the consequences.

He’s the only reason we’re down here, you know,”

Thetis violently kicked a chunk of moss into the stagnant green water before jabbing a finger at #011.

“If he hadn’t tried to kill me in that motel, we wouldn’t be in this situation,”

Thetis was spitting venom. She didn’t want to divide the Destrillians, but the words had spilled out of her mouth before she could stop them. She felt a bit sorry for the three girls, but that was soon quashed by an overwhelming sense of vindication. If the party agreed to kick Kerr out, she was confident that things could only get better. One error of judgement could easily be countered and remedied, Thetis thought. Before she could be caught up in an argument, #006 turned heel and stormed ahead. She was feeling quite drained and hated arguments- especially with Kerr- whose monotone only seemed to rile her up the wrong way.

Some might have called her behaviour childish, but to Thetis, it was quite cathartic. She wasn’t just angry at Kerr, but also at the others, and herself. Despite everything she’d been through, Thetis still had feeling of paranoia regarding everything Violan – Destrillians included. For them to let Kerr stay with them, after what he’d done – it felt like a betrayal. Thetis felt stupid for even thinking it; Idris, Emma and Terra were her friends. But not even her friends had always taken her seriously. Ever since she could remember, she had always been the weak one. Too afraid to speak her mind, too afraid to stand up for herself, always being protected by everyone else. And then they escaped Viola, and they were all free to live life on their own terms. Living with Fiona, and suffering so many failures working towards her goal had taught Thetis all she needed to know. How to act, how to treat other people and most importantly, how to be strong. However, even that wasn’t enough to get them out of this mess. They were lost in a maze of dank tunnels with no destination. She needed time to plan ahead. Thetis took a deep breath, which she instantly regretted - the smell of sewage making her sick to the stomach. The tunnels of the sewers must have been built before the war. The brick was rotting, moss and roots creeping through cracks in the cement, algae stuck to the banks that ran parallel to the river of sewage, rippling and winding for miles like a murky grey scarf.

After the red haze of anger, Thetis still hadn’t fully evaluated her physical condition. Her arm and nose had stopped bleeding, though the former still hung by her side like a dead-weight. It would heal with rest, though she grimaced at the thought of stitching the wound. Her clothes were still wet, which made her outfit even more uncomfortable in the sweltering heat of the sewer. What surprised her most was the lack of a pounding migraine, which, by the absence of the strange pink vials in her back pocket, meant that Thetis would begrudgingly have to thank the Dark Rider. #006 peered ahead, scouring the darkness for any sign of the strange masked man. As she passed him, Thetis awkwardly patted his shoulder before moving ahead. As Thetis walked forward, she caught view of someone else illuminated by an extremely dim light in the distance.

From behind, Thetis couldn’t tell if it was a boy of girl, but they were dressed almost as oddly as the resident vigilante. She had probably missed introductions, and if the others were following a stranger, it was likely this person had an escape plan. However, the stranger made Thetis feel a little uneasy. She didn’t recognise his energy signature as human, nor as Destrillian. Then again, she was exhausted, had been unconscious for a while and was in no fit state to use her powers – telepathic or not.

As Thetis approached the stranger, she had already reached her conclusion- short hair, shorts, boots, high socks equals boy. Thetis walked as briskly as she could to reach the stranger’s side. Catching a glimpse of his face only made her feel more uncertain, his eyes were hidden by goggles, and his face was quite girlish. Unaware of how awkward she may or may not have been making the boy feel, #006 continued to stare at him, as if she could construe some answer about his gender from this increasingly awkward scenario. After forming the opinion that the stranger was ‘odd’, ‘unfamiliar’ and possibly ‘dangerous’, Thetis leaned backwards and spoke coolly.

“Watch your back,”

She wasn’t sure if she was trying to be intimidating, or just being rude. It was most likely that he was like the Dark Rider, or just some human gang member, high on gold-dust or some other drug. Either way, as soon as they escaped the sewers, he wouldn’t be hanging around, especially if they got into a fight underground. If the motel was anything to go by, humans weren’t very receptive to Destrillian abilities. Thetis was wary of catching the stranger’s eye again, just in case she would all of a sudden change her mind about his gender. After the string of events that constituted the last few hours, Thetis didn’t need any more confusion. She picked at the folds of her t-shirt to distract herself from the newcomer. #006 hadn’t realised how filthy her clothes were until she’d seen them in the light. The light? Thetis raised her eyebrows.

Did I hit my head?

If there was any doubt before, now Thetis was sure that she had a concussion. The light source was like something she’d seen out of one of the B-movies IBC showed in the early hours. It was some kind of over-sized cat, she couldn’t tell if it was some form of leopard or not, but it was glowing with this almost ethereal light. Thetis’ mouth hung open in disbelief – things never seemed to be simple when it came to the Destrillians. But if TV was to be believed, any form of intangible light was usually a good thing. Well, in one movie she’d seen it had been a symbol of death, but still. TV had taught her that light was good - even if it was in the form of some furry leopard cat...thing. Thetis didn’t question why she was more willing to trust a gender confused junkie and a glowing animal more than she was willing to trust Kerr, but it was probably because a light imbued leopard had never tried to stab her in the back before. It was probably the concussion. Most of all, it was because #006 had absolutely no idea what had happened since she blacked-out. Could the others even see this thing? No matter. What choice did they have? Spinning on her heels, Thetis turned to face the party, pointing over her shoulder to the dimly lit corridor.

“Let’s go.”
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Old 03/23/2010   #40
Alex
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The dull, wet and awkward splash made by the sound of three or four people hitting the floor wasn’t quite enough for Kerr to pull himself out of the overpowering sense of nostalgia that had momentarily ensnared his senses.

He gently closed his eyes, trying to discern each individual Destrillian from the echoing sound made by their footsteps as they headed towards the position where Kerr and Thetis had been left. Kram was the easiest to discern, his footsteps were loud and forceful. Idris was the next one he could tell, even on the soft wet ground of the sewer floor her footsteps were barely audible. Her figure was so slight and her movements so precise that she barely made any noise at all. Terra came next, awkward and shuffling and curiously supported by another Destrillian, one who his advanced sensory perception hadn’t even detected during his moment of reminiscence.

What a foolish moment of weakness. He couldn’t trust any one of these Violan refugees. The second he lost his focus again like that then there was a good chance he would any one of his newfound ‘companions’ would stab him in the back.

His alert coal black eyes snapped open and he swivelled his head to get a look at this latest arrival to the party. Oh but of course, it wouldn’t be a reunion if at least one more member of their old team hadn’t showed up, and of course it would have had to have been Emma. He immediately recognised her from the trademark long red hair and the fact she was supporting Terra’s weight as the two made their way towards the rest of the group. Emma always had been far too caring and humane about those Destrillians she counted as ‘friends’, it was too bizarre, too alien to him. It wasn’t at all a shock then to find her so friendly with the one person from the group who was most in need of a hand to hold to stop herself from falling over.


"Okay, so who do we have here? Roll-call would be nice, seeing as we have newbies and besides… it's been a while. Nice to see everyone again.” Idris said taking a position in the centre of the group that was forming. Kerr didn’t even stand up, the people of this group were more strangers to him now than they had been when they had first met years ago. Their separate experiences in the outside world ever since they escaped from Viola had changed them all so fundamentally that he barely recognised them. Idris was so confident now, and Thetis had been so angry and bitter. They were all so human and emotional that they bore little more than superficial resemblance to the crude creatures they had been before, too confused by a life raised in stasis pods and battle simulations to ever make sense of their hormones and emotions.

“As a start we have Idris Savage, the Gunmetal Glint here, ready to protect against whatever the hell comes our way!”


He wasn’t feeling in the mood to introduce himself, everyone here knew him already, whether by their own recollection or by his reputation. He avoided Idris’s lingering gaze, instead occupying himself with watching Terra intently bobbing her head up and down, presumably trying to communicate psychically. He couldn’t hear a word of it, that part of his psychic abilities had long since withered away to nothingness, his brain was incapable of registering psychic thoughts as coherent words or even sounds. Instead of her words registering as words in his brain all he could hear was an indistinct white noise. It was comforting. Much like this sewer, the quiet was a refreshing change of pace following the frantic action that they’d just left behind them.

They all felt it at once as the sewer shook violently, showering them with dust from the old brickwork of the sewer. The military must be deploying whatever nightmare machine that the Destrillians had been so determined to escape from. Terra’s response was immediate, using the earth that the very sewer was built in to seal up and reinforce the entrance to the sewer. The shockwave that followed was even more violent, without Terra’s aid Kerr reckoned that there was a good chance that whatever weapon the military had just deployed would have burst through the already weakened sewer walls and killed them all.

Not wasting any time on thanks Kerr pulled himself to his tired feet, wincing at the severe aching in his muscles. He quickly assessed that there was no lasting damage to the nerves or muscles, they were just sore and tired. It had been a long time since he had been forced to tap his reserves of power this extensively.

The group was silent. A vast, yawning silence in the wake of the destruction that had been wrought to the battlefield they had just been fighting on. Nobody was quite sure what to say, it was awkward. Even though some of the Destrillians had remained friends they had never expected to all be thrown together like this, and they’d certainly never even dreamed of being reunited like this. In the same violence and chaos that they had wrought upon Viola when they had fought to break free and escape out into the real world.

It was Kram who broke the silence with a dogged sigh. “Now what?” he asked. Saying what they were all thinking.

Kerr said nothing, thinking too much at this point was beginning to be a chore. He hadn’t felt this tired since their great escape from the Viola facility. When he momentarily closed his eyes it felt as though he was beginning to drift off to comforting embrace of sleep, he was barely even listening to Kram’s instructions, telling the group to move on before the infantry figured out that their big expensive blast hadn’t killed anyone.

Then as quick as he was to welcome the chance to drift off he remembered the group he was with, and reminded himself what he had told himself before. He couldn’t trust a single one of them to watch his back.

Then something rather unusual happened.

A young man, even smaller and skinnier than Kerr was had appeared a short way down the sewer and was strolling towards them with a confidence mimicked by the broad smile on his face. Kerr couldn’t tell what was more shocking, the apparent emergence of this random interlude following their harrowing escape from an overwhelming military force, or the fact he could not tell whether or not this man was a boy or girl. From a distance it had appeared to be a man, but on closer inspection, the clothes seemed baggy enough to hide any hint of cleavage, and his facial features seemed soft and delicate. He would have been able to tell more from his eyes, however they were hidden behind a pair of dark, thick goggles.

Why the hell was this random person down here in Osea’s sewers.

"Hiya! Fancy running into a bunch of people down in thi-"

More importantly, why had it taken him so short a period of time to accidently stumble upon the Destrillians.

"Hahahahaha! Oh my god when did the circus get into town?! Ahahahahaha!"

As little as Kerr cared for this individual’s eccentric behaviour the feelings of suspicion were a far more serious concern. Kram on the other hand, had already drawn his baton at the new arrival and activated the flashlights on his damaged armour. For the first time since they met only a short while ago, Kerr couldn’t help but agree with Kram’s choice of action. Either this man was an idiot, in which case killing him would weigh on his conscience in the same way that making a sandwich would. Or he was deliberately searching for them, in which case killing him would be removing one more obstacle in the way of the party.


"Sorry, sorry, I couldn't help myself, anyway my name's Stolz, pleased to meetcha!”

Kerr said nothing but crossed his arms defensively, already coming to the conclusion that this person needed to die. Only a lingering sense of curiosity over whether or not he was an enemy or not was preventing a swift, trachea-crushing, elbow to the stranger’s throat.


“Woaaaaa now, don't get hasty here! I'm not wanting to get in any trouble now.”


Kerr would have suspected mind reading if it wasn’t for Kram thrusting his baton at the stranger. He risked a cautious glance back towards the girls, Terra, Emma and Idris all seemed to sharing the mutual expressions of shock and confusion that he was feeling. Were they getting the same bad feeling about the appearance of this random human that he was? Were they sharing his suspicion? There had already been far too many coincidences today.

“Hey would you guys want to see something cool”


“Actually, I’d just want to see us get moving thanks” Momentarily shocked that he had broken his customary barrier of intimidating silence, he cast a nervous eye over the rest of the Destrillians, wondering if any of the others had caught his moment of weakness.

However what happened next made him forget all about that brief moment of self-consciousness. He watched as Stolz spun on the spot to turn the water leaking from one of the burst pipes on the wall into a shower of sharp, freezing iciles that hung from the rusty pipe like a fountain of intricate crystal. Stolz certainly looked impressed with himself, Kerr however looked dumbfounded. It was bad enough that they’d run into Armour-Man, armed to the teeth with technology that wouldn’t have looked uncommon amongst the ranks of a Violan run private military company, and now there was this bizarrely dressed, inappropriately chirpy young individual who seemingly had the power to control ice.

Yet another new Destrillian? No. Kerr came to the conclusion instinctively. His energy signature did not read like the other Destrillians’. His psychic perception was perhaps the most highly trained of anyone else’s here. Even if he had just been through a long and tiring battle, his senses wern’t dulled enough to let the realization that whoever this false Destrillian was. He was not one of them.

"Say, considering you people look pretty lost, how bout we team up?"


So you can lure us into a trap? No thanks. Was all Kerr could think about. The sewer gangs of Osea were nothing that this party of Destrillians would be unable to handle on their own. However with their backs turned, this new arrival could probably wipe most, if not all of them out in a matter of minutes if they were caught off guard. On the other hand though, Kerr had no intention of spending the next few hours blindly wandering around a section of Osea’s sewers that he wasn’t familiar with.

"Well actually we're not really sure where we are so could use the help, do you happen know a way out?"
Idris spoke up, voicing Kerr’s concerns but devoid of any of his maddening suspicion and cynicism. It was infuriating, he had stayed alive as long as he had by being more so paranoid and so cautious. Emma seemed so normal that she was practically another human, none of it made sense.

Then again absolutely nothing else about today made much sense either.

"Well, to be honest I have no idea where we are, usually I just keep wandering around and eventually I'll stumble on an exit. But not to worry, I'm sure there's one around here somewhere, so let's go!" Fantastic, Kerr though tiredly, as he watched their new ‘guide’ march on ahead into the sewer’s enigmatic darkness.

“Emma!” The apparent silence of their march into the rotting heart of the sewers was broken by the most unexpected voice. Kerr hadn’t thought it was possible for Thetis to recover that fast, it looked like Kram’s medicine was at the least medicially useful, regardless of whatever dangerous side-effects there might be.

Instinctively he felt his hands curl into fists as he turned around to glare at his rival, who had freed herself from Kram’s grip and leapt to embrace her friend. Their eyes met mere moments later, and no matter how tattered, bruised and bloody they had were now, the instense spark of hatred ignited in their gaze signalled that they were ready to start round 2 right here in the sewer in front of their new companions and old friends.

“What is he doing here?” she spoke venomously, withdrawing herself from Emma in order to devote her full attention, and animosity, on Kerr.

This is going to get tedious, Kerr sighed. Resigning himself to silence in preparation for the vicious onslaught on his presence with the group.

“He’s the only reason we’re down here, you know. If he hadn’t tried to kill me in that motel, we wouldn’t be in this situation”
she snarled at him. Angry and feral, like a wild dog, she was absolutely determined to split Kerr off from the rest of the group. Ordinarily Kerr would have loved nothing more to detach himself from this bizarre collection of individuals, but in his weakened state and the apparent sense of the enormous odds against him made him less inclined to split up from the rest of the party, at least for now.

“Are you finished whining?” he spat at her back contemptuously. Infuriated by the fact she’d awoken so soon, Kerr gritted his teeth and fell behind the rest of the group. Watching one by one as they proceeded to follow Stolz down the walkway, Kram was in second place, followed by Thetis, who seemed determined to put as much space between herself and Kerr as humanly possible. Kerr wasn’t complaining. The trio of girls followed next, Emma and Terra walking as a couplet, the former apparently nervous about the condition of the splint she’d just applied to Terra’s leg. Idris however, ever universally sceptical looked as though she didn’t know who to trust amongst all the new faces, and Kerr.

“You.”
He spoke to her quietly, falling in line at the rear of the column of wandering misfits. “I’m not going to ask you to trust me” he continued whispering, now that he’d gotten Idris’ attention he didn’t want to alert the others. “I’m asking you not to trust this Stolz. You must have felt it too. His energy signature, it wasn’t like ours. The others trust you, make sure that if they’re not watching their own backs, then you’re watching them for them.” They had more chance of surviving a double cross if more people were aware, it wasn’t as though they would listen to him afterall. It was still a concern, his inclusion in this group was balancing on the head of a pin, and he was nowhere near strong enough on his own right now to cope with the military presence directed towards the Destrillians after the incident in the Orange Zone. His best chance of survival meant sticking with the group, and the best way to stick with the group was to prove that he was actually useful to them.

Suddenly the tunnel up ahead was illuminated with a bright light, it was brilliant in its radiance against the grimy walls of the sewer and Kerr’s instincts immediately readied himself for another fight. But then suddenly, the light began to fade away and the group began to hurry on after it. Kerr cursed his short height and the fact he had been at the back of the group, he hadn’t even seen what the source of this light had been.

“Let’s go!”
he heard Thetis call out from the front of the group, spurring the group on to follow what appeared to be n illuminated trail on the sewer floor.

At least it couldn’t have been anything crazier than anything else that had happened to him today.

Right?
__________________

Last edited by Alex; 03/23/2010 at 02:42 AM.
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Old 03/24/2010   #41
NoenGaruth
Default

First Impressions.....first impressions....did not go as well as planned. Honestly I thought someone might like me....I mean I was friendly and showed them the ice thing, what more do these people want? Maybe if I keep up the niceness they'll warm up to me....except the black eyed one, I suspect he doesn't like me very much and will probably stay that way...

Lost in their thoughts, Stolz was standing still with a vacant expression on their face. The group was at a stop as the one of them who'd been previously unconscious had woken up, a blue haired girl, with a white fringe, it was rather pretty actually, reminded Stolz of a split ice cream, you know, the ones that are an popsicle with an ice cream centre, only blue...

....except I don't think there is a blue flavour, tho I wish there was as I could really go for one right about now...

Once again Stolz had drifted off subject, so much that they failed to notice the blue haired girl was now standing right beside them, sussing them out. Stolz stared back, although the goggles hid their eyes, and after a second tilted their head to the side and smiled at the girl. However the response from the blue haired stranger was not as friendly, as she simply leaned backwards and said.

"Watch your back"

Stolz paused for a second, then realised that those words could be constructed as a form of warning or threat....which while hurtful, wasn't actually that surprising considering this girl had just woken up to find someone as unusual as Stolz suddenly there. So they decided to just smile once again at the girl and stand patiently until the party would decide to move again...or would have if not distracted by a faint light in the darkness ahead. Stolz however was less amused upon discovering the light source to be some kind of large animal and not something more interesting like a vampire. Nevertheless it seemed this thing was wanting the group to follow it, probably back to it's lair so it could feast on the young people....

"Let's go" Called out the popsicle girl to everyone before heading in the direction of the creature, and it seemed everyone else was following suit, so Stolz thought 'sure why not?' and began striding merrily in the same direction.


___________________________________________________
IRIN International Headquarters, Vanaheimr
___________________________________________________


At night , The city of Vanaheimr was truly a spectacle to see. A large spanse of tall buildings and other beautiful structures rose above the skyline, all lit systems and highways spiralled in and around the buildings leading to practically every part of the metropolis. The streets were full of fancy high tech vehicles and various robotic units that performed all sorts of public service duties from garbage collection to law enforcement patrols. Yes indeed this city was the pinnacle of technological advancements, because after all, it was owned by IRIN, a fact made so obviously clear by it's main office being built into the side of the cliff face that overlooked the entire city. IRIN Headquarters was a monumental piece of architecture, a fortress made of steel and concrete, with massive neon letters at the top of the central building that spelled out in two rows 'IRIN' and 'International'.

On the main heliport a row of soldiers stood at attention as a VTOL transport gently set down. The vehicles side doors opened and out of it emerged Lieutenant General Maya Circe, looking as serious as ever. The last four years had seen little change for Circe physically, save for her attire which was that of a IRIN general, a dark green jacket with gold buttons and 3 gold stars on either side of her shoulders, matching coloured pants and shiny black boots. Her hair was still the same shade of brown, only change in her style was that the right side of her fringe hung down a little more, covering half of her eye.

Now when It came to personality, she couldn't be more different. On the outside she seemed pretty normal for someone in a military role, however underneath her dark persona which was just beginning to surface during the time of Viola was now completely developed, resulting in a chillingly cold persona just waiting to crush anyone who crossed her.

Circe stepped off the stairs of the helipad and strode past the group of soldiers who saluted her as she passed. One of them quickly stepped from the group and walked alongside her, then spoke up.

"Ma'am, everyone else is arriving as we speak, General Vargas has requested that all senior staff proceed to the main conference hall as soon as possible".

Circe's eyes darted in the direction of the soldier without moving her head, then as quickly looked forwards again. What could possibly have set off Vargas that would cause him to recall every high ranking IRIN officer back to Vanaheimr for an emergency meeting. Couldn't be the insurgents in Damascus, the Artolians have military patrols all over the border, not to mention the company wouldn't care much anyway as such lowly militants would never dare pick a fight with IRIN. No it was be something else...but what? It would seem she was about to find out, for as the doors to the heliport's elevator opened, the figure of a man wearing mirrored aviators stood waiting for her - Founder and CEO of IRIN International Seth Vargas.

"Circe, my dear.....I just heard some old friends are back in town". Vargas said to her then grinned in a sinister manner.


________________________________________________
Orange Zone, Osea
________________________________________________


The site of the motel was a completely in ruins, or to be more precise, completely non-existent. Kijo stood at the edge of the crater and looked down into it with disbelief.

So this is the power of IRIN....horrifying, however did it do the job?


A number of IRIN technicians in protective clothing were down in the crater with various pieces of equipment, searching for something. Apparently they had a means to determining if the targets had been eliminated...the targets - Destrillains. It was a word that was all over the city now, thanks to the trial of Jason Spencer. More or less Kijo was very unhappy that such information had been released to the public, as the last thing the government needed was people panicking over a group of bio-engineered super humans wandering around the city. However what's done is done, and soon the entire country will know, and even the neighbouring nations, so now she just hoped that these beings had perished in IRIN's particle beam. Then at least all those soldier's deaths will have at least had some meaning. Kijo then heard footsteps behind her and turned around to see Commander Farant walking towards her.

"Major, good evening." He said to her in a calm manner, although the look in his eyes could tell that he too was distraught.

"Commander....I am assuming you also have heard the news?" She replied.

"Yes indeed I have Major, now everyone knows. Viola's darkest secret has finally surfaced...." He then walked over to the craters edge and peered over before adding "....the question now is, have we seen the last of them?"

Kijo narrowed her eyes at the notion. If even one of those things was still out there then there's no telling what might happen next. It's possible that they might even start going berserker at the news of the others death....assuming these creatures have any kind of association to one another, as it was clear that at least two of them were fighting with one another when the UAV first arrived at the motel. She then looked towards Farant and asked.

"Sir....these Destrillians....how many did Viola create?"

Her question made the commander sigh before bluntly replying "To be honest Major, we simply don't know. Records have listed at least eleven, although we have no idea if any perished during the initial escape, or if Viola had more at any of their secondary facilities - which I might add haven't all been located. Personally I prefer not to think about it." He then stepped away from the crater and turned back towards Kijo.

"In any event, I believe I've seen all there is to here, all we can do now is wait and see what the IRIN personnel find. In the meantime you should really go home and rest, it's been a hell of a day and you've already been on duty far longer than you should be."


Kijo then immediately protested to her superior. "But sir, I can not just leave without knowing if all we did today even accomplished anything!". She looked very determined, however also very tried. Farant then placed his hand on her shoulder and calmly said.

"Matsuya, don't make me order you. Seriously you look as though you're about to collapse, you can't keep overdoing it all the time."


Kijo finally gave in and nodded to him, Farant then signalled over Jelanda who was waiting by a jeep.

"Lieutenant, I know this isn't part of your regular duty, but could you please take the Major home? All the personnel here are still busy cleaning up the mess."

Jelanda saluted Farant and quickly replied "Yes sir, it's no trouble at all sir!" To which farant gave a nod to both her and Kijo, then walked past them towards the collection of officers standing by a mobile command centre.

Jelanda then peered over to the Major and asked "Well Ma'am, shall we go?" Kijo paused for a moment, looked over her shoulder back towards the crater, then replied. "Yeah..."


__________________________________________________
Somewhere in the Orange Zone, not far from the crater
__________________________________________________


The city was quiet, more so than usual. The overall lack of noise was due to the spectacle IRIN put on only a few hours earlier. Power was still out in the areas surrounding the impact site, and no one dared to be outdoors.....that is save for two individuals sitting on the roof of an apartment building. The darkness of night shrouded most of their appearance, and they both barely moved, just sitting there, peering out towards the large hole in the ground, watching, waiting for something.

After a few minutes finally one of them moved, a female, about mid 20's, with shoulder length dark cherry coloured hair and some kind of visor covering her eyes. The woman raised a type of fancy looking binoculars to her visor and glanced into it. She analysed whatever she was looking at for a moment then lowered the device and looked over to her companion and spoke.

"Still nothing, just a bunch of IRIN techs sniffing for traces of roasted imitations..."

The person next to her leaned forward, however the shadow casting from part of the building still hid most of their features. It was a male, mid 20's tho seemed a bit younger than the woman.

He had short hair but in this light it was impossible to determine what colour it was. His outfit seemed to be something a military grunt would wear, and additionally he seemed to have some kind of small storage tank slung on his back aswell as a gas mask. The man closed his eyes and with a sly smile replied.

"If those jackasses are hoping to find anything then they're going to be there for a long time, in all likelihood their little light show probably didn't get a single one."


The woman softly chuckled at his words.

"Well, well Vollerei, now aren't you giving those lowly creatures too much credit? "

Vollerei opened his eyes and looked up towards the sky, then over to his companion.

"Not the slightest, Inveja, because even tho they're the type of scum I wouldn't even let grace the bottom of my boots, they've done some insane shit in the past, and probably pulled something as crazy and retarded to make their escape today."

The woman grinned and placed her hand above her head, then tapped it twice with two fingers.

"So little Voller is thinking today, I guess that means you're not drunk..." To which Vollerei responded to buy pulling a bottle full of unknown contents from beside him and unscrewed the cap.

"Not yet, but I'm getting there....tho being drunk still isn't as fun as it used to be, seems almost like the effects lessen every day..."
He said with a tone of disappointment.

"That's to be expected of us, most substances have little effect on our bodies as time goes by, it blows but that's how it rolls, so you'll just have to learn to deal with it." And stuck her middle finger out at him.

Vollerei scoffed at her words and abruptly responded with a "Fuck you, bitch" To which a voiced from one of the apartments underneath them came the shouting of some man complaining about the noise, and Vollerei shouted back "AND FUCK YOU TOO!"

"Now what's all this then? Are the children fighting again?" Came a voiced from the other side of the rooftop. A female figure covered by a dark green cape with beautiful long orange hair came walking towards the two people who did little more than gaze in the newcomer's direction.

"Who are you calling children? You're younger than either of us, so shut the hell up."
Inveja snarked at the other girl who simply giggled.

"Oh Veya, you don't look as pretty when you're mad....I on the other hand look good no matter what mood I'm in, because I'm so youthful and gorgeous..." She said in such a self glorifying manner, even so much as to stretch her arms out above her head and follow into a sexy pose before continuing. "...whereas you have the outwards appearance similar to that large crater over there".

At this point Inveja looked like she was about to kill someone, probably because she would if given the chance. The girl in front of her was Vanagloria, or Vana for short. A person who, as Inveja liked to refer to sometime as, 'someone who has a hard-on for one's self' and also with a more commonly used phrase 'Vana you are a filthy whore and I hate you. Please fuck off and die'.

Despite rather enjoying this confrontation, Vollerei knew he'd be the one to cop it if these two killed each other so decided to intervene.

"If you two are done playing stare down, we still have a job to do ya know...and 'he' is going to be really ticked unless we find out where the knock-offs went".

Vollerie's words seemed to have calmed the two girls down, although unexpectedly all their bickering had irritated someone from downstairs so much they were now standing at the doorway of the stairwell with a shotgun pointed at the trio.

"I told you fucking brats to shut the fuck up, and if I have to pop the lot of you to get some peace and quiet, I fucking will."

What the man had just said to these three was so very, very unwise. And the man seemed to have started to get that feeling as the people in front of him all became to quietly laugh in a sinister fashion. He then heard one speak.

"What's this? It would seem some kind of insect has wandered up here...." Veya said to the fool of a man.

"Why yes, you are right Veya, it's walked right into our web..." Remarked Voller

"And the spiders are oh so hungry tonight, what luck this one is so fat..." Vana added, then all 3 of them slowly turned towards the now terrified man, still aiming his shotgun.

"Oh look it has a weapon, but that won't save it now..." Veja snickered, and at that moment all 3 looked directly at him, and suddenly their eyes were glowing red eyes which made the man feel as though their gazes were piercing his soul. He was now petrified, so much that he couldn't even pull the trigger of his shotgun even if he wanted to, all he could do was stand there. The three people in front of him then proceeded to draw weapons from behind them. Veya unsheathed her Katana which had been hanging on her belt, Voller pulled out a combat knife, and Vana withdrew a pair of steel fighting fans from under her cape. They then closed in on the man, their sinister laughter echoing off the rooftops, followed by multiple sounds of flesh and bones being torn apart...
__________________



Hey who wants to come home with me?!
Ok that wasn't very smart but totally worth it!
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Old 03/24/2010   #42
Tennyo
Default

It was a wet, dreary day on the campus of the Osea Community and Technical College. Students were coming and going under raincoat hoods and umbrellas as the daylight slowly faded away into night. There was an intense feeling of excitement permeating from the student body as they rushed about, anxiously chatting about current events.

Such excitement was lost on at least one person on the campus, however. Dr. Jeffery Thomas sat silently at the desk in his office grading papers, frowning at the complete and total ineptitude of his students. He would fail them all if only it wouldn’t make him look so bad. But oh, how he fantasized about it. The looks on their faces as they saw their grade point average shatter, crumbling like dirt in his hand.

“Hey Jeff, you watchin’ the news?” a man in his early forties, only slightly older than Dr. Thomas himself, asked as he waltzed in the room.

“No, Charles, I’m grading papers. You know, actually doing my job, unlike some people around here.”

“Geez, what’s your problem today?” the other man asked. His name was Charles Peterson, one of the other teachers in the science department. He taught chemistry where as Dr. Thomas was in charge of biology. The former Viola scientist despised everything about him; his toned muscles, his perfect hair, the fact that Charles looked much younger despite actually being the older of the two. All this piled on top of an annoying habit of always wanting to strike up a conversation.

“Unnecessary interruptions,”
was the biology teacher’s eventual reply, which was only a half-truth. In fact, Dr. Thomas had been under tremendous stress lately. Agents involved in the investigation of Viola’s secret goings on had paid him a visit the other day, and everywhere he went the scientist could swear he was being followed.

Then there was the disconcerting phone call he had received the other day from his old friend Carlton Dempsey, former member of Viola’s board of directors. “Some agents came to see me today, Thomas. I don’t think I’m the only one they’ve talked to, either. They certainly asked some interesting questions. I suspect they’re finally starting to put all of the pieces together.”

Dempsey was already serving his prison sentence after working out a plea bargain. Ten years is what he was slammed with. It might as well have been a life sentence; by the time he would get out he would be nearly 80

“They’ve been to see me, too. I think I’m being watched.”

“Be careful. I would hate to see you go the same way as your father.”

“It’s probably too late for that.”


It was most likely true, too. Dr. Thomas knew it. He knew the time would come once the truth about the Destrillian project was finally uncovered. He would soon be indicted, and then his life would most likely be over. He thought about fleeing the country, but where would he go? How would he get there? He’d never be allowed to leave now.

The younger man was soon snapped from his reverie.

“Just thought I’d let you know,” Charles began, “There’s been a terrorist attack in the Orange Zone.”

“The Orange Zone?” Dr. Thomas asked incredulously, removing his glasses and tossing them onto his desk in frustration. “And why should I give a damn about what happens in the Orange Zone?”

“Hey man, just thought you should know.”

“Hah!” Jeffery laughed, for the first time in days. “Good! Let them blow up the Orange Zone. You ask me the world would be a better place if that entire part of the city were wiped clean off the map. The Orange Zone, and everyone in it. Just get rid of ‘em all.”

“That’s pretty harsh, Jeff,” Charles laughed, walking over to his desk.

“Truth hurts,” was his reply.

“Hey, also, wasn’t the trial for the president of Viola today?”

“I don’t know,” he lied.

“Didn’t you used to work for them, Jeff?”

“A long time ago.”

“You know, it’s interesting,” the chemist smirked, twisting the tip of a pencil into his desk, “A couple agents came by to talk to me the other day. They talked to Mary, too.”

Dr. Thomas stiffened, but kept his composure. “Oh?”

“They asked about you.”

“No consequence. Given the history of the company I’m sure they’re talking to every former employee, even the people they consort with. Just normal procedure.”

At that moment, whether by luck or bad karma, for Dr. Thomas was thankful for the excuse to end the conversation yet hated having another distraction, a female teacher by the name of Mary Evans, also from the science department, quickly ran into the room.

“Mind if I turn on the news? I want to hear more about the terrorist attack,”
she said, turning on a small TV that sat high atop a filing cabinet.

“That’s it, I’m out,”
Dr. Thomas said, tossing his hands into the air. He then stood up and began collecting everything he was working on into a pile and sticking it into his briefcase.

“There have been some new developments in the Orange Zone. Aren’t you the least bit curious, Jeff?” the woman asked.

“Can’t say that I am,” he replied, closing his briefcase and throwing random objects into one of his desk drawers. “The Orange Zone can implode in on itself for all I care.”

“You know, a lot of your students commute here from the Orange Zone. Do you realize how long of a train ride that is?”

“Considering the high percentage rate of failure in their classes I am not surprised in the slightest that we have a lot of students from the Orange Zone.”


“You’re a prick, Jeff, you know that?”
the female teacher spat.

“I’m honest,”
he replied.

“A lot of these kids are the first in their families to go college!”

“And they’ll probably be the last.”


The woman scoffed. “Can you believe this, Chuck?”

Charles swiveled away from them in his chair to better look at the TV. “Not getting involved.”

“Mary, your faith in humanity is a nice sentiment, but I think it’s time you opened your eyes,” Jeffery said as he turned to walk out the door.

Every day he had to deal with crap from these two, and every day he found himself pondering more and more whether or not to just go hang himself. He was working in a community college for crying out loud! The very notion was simply inconceivable, and yet here he was. The great Doctor Jeffery Thomas, who graduated high school with honors at the age of sixteen, was recruited by Viola straight out of college, was able to get his PHD at an early age, and gave years of loyalty to the company that was on top of the world and had promised him everything.

It had all been a waste. The Destrillian project is what had ended him. If only those brats had just stayed in their tubes and behaved like they were supposed to. He had still been in his twenties when he was assigned to work under Dr. Nedews, and within five years was head of the team (thanks in part to his betrayal of his superior but still). He was the youngest scientist in the company to head a team of his own; as such he knew he was destined for greatness.

But now he was nearing forty no company would touch him with a ten-foot pole. Not after the collapse of Viola. Sure, he figured he could go work for IRIN, but pride stopped him. Give Vargas the satisfaction? Dr. Thomas could almost see the man's smug grin. He hated the man more than anyone else he could think of. He was the only person who never saw Dr. Thomas for what he was: a genius.

He had even applied for a few top-notch universities where he could at least get funding for experiments, but they wouldn’t touch him either. So now he was trapped trying to teach the un-teachable for less than half the salary he had made before.

It was all thinks to them, those Destrillians.

“They are called Destrillians.”


Dr. Thomas froze in his tracks just outside the office door in the hallway.

There was the sound of a stomped foot and Mary’s angry voice. “Ugh! He pisses me off so much!”

Then Charles’ laid back drawl. “Like you said, he’s a prick. Don’t let him get to you.”

Underneath both of them though, was the sound of the voice of the news anchor currently on TV.

“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. Containing records of heinous experiments, violation of medical ethics, as well as several counts of murder, this last minute discovery represents the final nail in the coffin for the former Violan CEO. He has now been found guilty on charges of crimes against humanity, and will be executed via lethal injection at a later date. When questioned upon the reasoning behind the project, Mr. Spencer was reported to simply state, “Because we could.”

Dr. Thomas slowly walked back into the room and toward the TV, not realizing the look of horror on his own face.

“It is furthered believed that the surviving Destrillian prototypes have links with terrorist groups throughout Artolia, and are responsible for the incident at St. Raphael’s Hospital, amongst various others. Recent images imply that a number of Destrillian prototypes are currently involved in the attack on an orange zone motel, with UAV images providing near perfect matches to several Prototype images revealed in today’s files. Identified prototypes are as follows...”

Dr. Thomas was now standing directly in front of the TV, blocking the screen from the view of his coworkers, both of whom were giving each other quizzical looks in response to the biology teacher’s strange behavior.

A few images of faces he knew all two well were flashed on the screen. All were images of the apparent terrorists who were ripping up the Orange Zone. There were prototypes eleven, nine, three, and six, along with someone in a strange suit that he didn’t recognize.

Destrillians.

The jig was up.
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Last edited by Tennyo; 03/26/2010 at 04:58 AM.
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Old 03/29/2010   #43
Alex
Default

========================MEANWHILE, OSEAN COURTHOUSE JAIL========================

"Who's that?" The security guard whispered to the warden, both of whom were looking at the smartly dressed woman who had just entered the prison complex. She was somewhere around 30, quite good looking, long dark red hair and a neat fringe with a few curls in it. She wore a black business suit jacket and matching skirt with a red dress shirt underneath and red high heels. The woman walked with a confident stride, paying no mind to the guards and administration workers all gazing in her direction.

"You don't know?" The Warden responded, then after thinking for a moment, continued. "Well I guess it's not surprising you're not aware of who Resal Demonio is. Publicly she's not well known, however she's actually one of the leading players over at the IBC television company. Most people don't know it, however my nephew works there and told me all about how Ms. Demonio is really the one calling the shots with their productions, including that long running Cherry Honey show" The guard was baffled by what he just heard from his boss.

"But sir, if this woman has been running the joint, how come no one's heard of her..." He then looked down in ashamed for the next words that came out of his mouth. "..and to be honest sir, I'm quite a fan of Cherry Honey, yet I've never seen a Resal Demonio in the credits".

The warden chuckled at the words "I thought someone like you would be too old for a show like that, but yes, it's true her name doesn't show up in the credits, however as my nephew says 'Ms. Demonio insists her name never appear in any of IBC's programs, no exceptions' then goes on that the woman apparently doesn't want her private life disturbed by the media or fans of the various shows." The guard digested the information, then after a minute asked another question that was on his mind.

"So then, sir. If she's some important TV executive, why is she here visiting a monster like Jason Spencer?"

The Warden contemplated those words, and wasn't quite sure himself, the request came from high levels in the Artolian government, meaning Ms. Demonio was well connected, and it's probable she knows Spencer in some way, however considering IBC is sponsored by IRIN International, they're probably not friendly acquaintances. He then decided to inform the man next to him with his best guess.

"Well lad I can't be sure, but my best guess is since Spencer's days are numbered, she's probably just here to gloat." The warden continued to follow her with his eyes until she reached the end of the corridor and walked through the door to her destination.

"My my, you've seen better days....prison hasn't been too kind to your image now has it Spencer?" The woman grinned at the former Violan President. She then added "It's been awhile my friend..."

The tiny cell was barely lit, the only light shining through from the outside corridor to illuminate the dank interior. The space inside was barely large enough to contain its undersized single bed and rusty metal toilet, Spencer had long since gotten used to the foul smell and the overwhelming claustrophobia of the cell but the first human contact with somebody that wasn’t either a lawyer or security guard was something that he had nearly quite forgotten.

So needless to say, when Resal Demonio appeared silhouetted against the pale yellow light of the outside hallway his face distorted into one of shocked disbelief. Standing up slowly from the bed, as though he was unsure that the figure before him truly existed, it had been so long since the two of them had seen face to face after all.

Clasping the bars to his cell, he shrugged his powerful shoulders confidently,[COLOR="SeaGreen"] “I thought a beard would be a nice change. It has been a while hasn’t it?”[/COLOR] lips spreading into a warm smile at the sight of his old colleague, his eyes however remained masked and unreadable beneath the deep, shadows of the cell.

“Did you know that I’m to be executed in three hours time? I know. I’m as shocked as you are” he spoke with mock disbelief, the very thought of the execution actually being a threat to a man in his position. Then the smile vanished and his voice took on a much more sour tone, “I was beginning to think that I wouldn’t get a visit. Glad to see you still have the capacity to prove me wrong”

Resal's face turned to a more serious expression. "Come now Spencer, you know an appearance from anyone earlier would have aroused suspicion, luckily we're at a point where it doesn't matter anymore..."

“Lucky for me then” Spencer said with a mirthless smile. The very thought of his impending execution still seemed more outrageous to him than it had any right to be.

She then raised her arms in a gesture to their surroundings. "And about all this, I'm sure you're not too pleased with it, however this outcome was expected in such a scenario. If they hadn't caught you then they might have started sticking their noses where they don't belong, and uncovering more important things that are best left alone" she then paused for a moment and flicked back her hair sitting on her shoulder before continuing. "The only unforeseen factor was the government drawing out your trial for an excessively long amount of time."

Spencer shrugged non-responsively, his scarred and weathered face was cold and unreadable. Something had indeed been drawn out for an excessive amount of time, but it certainly wasn’t the several years he had spent imprisoned in government institutions. They had seemed like a luxury compared to the very real imprisonment he had felt in his lifetime.

“I’m sure that our glorious leader has found the time to turn this ‘unforeseen factor’ to his advantage” he commented sarcastically. Not even bothering to hide the bitterness he felt in his voice. But on the bright side, at least Resal’s appearance meant that this imprisonment was at an end. Freedom, for the first time in recent memory felt so close that he could almost taste it.

“I’m sorry. I don’t mean to sound so bitter” he said with his head bowed. “This whole experience hasn’t been too pleasant for me” if only she knew. “It is truly good to see you old friend” he remembered when she used to look up at him as a superior. Now those were the good old days. Everything had gone to hell since then.

Resal smiled at the words from her colleague. Spencer was a treat to deal with as opposed to the others - savages the lot of them. And Avidez, while sane was too obsessed with his work and all that expensive crap he fills his home with.


“So what’s the plan for getting me out of here?”
there was a hunger in his voice and in his deep green eyes. He was so close now, that the ordinary man would find no trace of the patient, knowingly smirking man from the court room in his ravenous features.

"Well for starters that whole debacle with the Destrillians has stirred up some confusion, and get this - A bunch of them appeared out of nowhere and started something with the army somewhere in the Orange Zone. I hear it got so bad that IRIN was called in, and that nut-case Sophalla vaporised an entire city block!" Resal laughed at her own words, then composed herself and addressed Spencer again.

He kept his face as unreadable as he could, but the fact that his mind was racing with ideas meant it was difficult. His missing Destrillians had shown up again? Now of all times? If he believed in a higher power then he would certainly be inclined to believe that today this being was working in his favour. It was relieving to hear that freedom hadn’t softened the Destrillians up at all, if they had caused enough damage to provoke the itchy trigger fingers of IRIN then they were still operating at their expected capacity.

"But lucky for you my friend, this mess has everyone's eye's looking elsewhere. And thus will be unable to react in time."
She then reached into her jacket, withdrew a cell phone and held it up next to her.

"I'm pretty sure it's customary here that every prisoner is entitled to one phone call" Then slipped the device through the bars, although as Spencer went to take it she held her grip and her face changed to a serious expression and whispered softly. "Heed caution in where you go from here Jason, the old man might be a walking corpse, but that woman is always there, always watching... and even worse than before. She has been entirely consumed..." She then released her grip of the phone.

Spencer nodded slowly as he caught the delicate looking phone without the need to look at it. He wasn’t so blinded by the desire for freedom that he could ignore Resal’s warning or the all too knowing tone in her voice. She knew that it had been a long time since Spencer had a face to face meeting with what she considered his superiors, but what he had once seen as his equals.

“I’ve known your boss for more years than you’ve been alive Resal. I know how he thinks”
he said in a low voice, considering his words carefully. “He is an old friend afterall” he kept his tone neutral, unreadable. “But I appreciate the warning, especially about her. That creepy bitch has been losing her grip for years”

Resal let out what sounded like a muffled laugh, then remarked "Losing implies one had something to begin with..."

Spencer turned the phone over in his hands, smiling a little to himself when he instantly recognised the sleek yet functional design. “A Viola brand phone? How very apt. Your sense of humour has always been one of your best qualities Resal”

Her face then returned to a smile and said "Well then, that should be everything you need..." Resal stood up and turned towards the exit, but paused for a moment before adding. "By the way, Avidez said to pay him a visit, he's in Audoula now. Over the last 4 years there's been a lot of impressive advancements in our work..."

He flipped open the phone and instantly moved to the phone book, inside was a lengthy list of numbers attached to very familiar names. He let the smile creep back over his features as he scrolled through the list.

“Avidez can wait his turn. Audoula is quite out of the way and I’m going to be a very busy man over the next week.”

More importantly, I’m going to be a free man.

“I’ll be in touch”
he told her quietly, turning his back to her and raising the phone to his ear, he knew that she would just see herself out. It was time to call in the cavalry. The phone on the other end of the line kept ringing and Spencer furrowed his brow. There would be big trouble if his partner didn’t pick up the phone right now.

“Salem Locke, professional well-paid plot device speaking. How may I help you Mr. Spencer?”
he breathed a sigh of relief at hearing the sarcastic drawl from the other end of the line.

“You took your time answering the phone. Don’t do it again”
Spencer growled. “Or have your abilities gotten sloppy”

“No way boss. Don’t worry, you don’t need to provoke me into being angry enough to try harder. I’m always on the top of my game”
the voice laughed from the other end of the line.

Spencer silently conceded that point, but would damned if he would ever admit that. Salem’s ego was a dangerous liability at the best of times. “You’d better be boy. I suppose you’ve seen the news about the Destrillians being back?”

“Not really. Was busy. Sounds fun though”


Spencer rolled his eyes, almost absolutely sure that busy meant ‘asleep’. Chances are that he was telling the truth here, unfortunately. “Right. I need you to come get me from prison. They’re going to execute me in a few hours and I’d rather that not happen.”

“Was wondering when you were going to ask me Boss. I thought you were cutting it a bit close”

“Good. Come ASAP.” Salem gave the order. He had seen enough prison walls to last him a lifetime.

“I’m getting in the car as we speak”

“And Salem?”

“Yeah?”

“There’s no need to be subtle about this job. Send them a message”


He could tell Salem was grinning. He had just made his day.
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Old 04/06/2010   #44
Hisako
Default

The longer they followed the iridescent beast around, the more the travelling company thought they were being led around in circles.

It wasn’t the fact that they were. In fact, most of them with enough cognitive power to keep the little nooks and crannies of their surroundings in their short-term memory would have known, with a bit of logic, that they were going deeper and deeper into the Orange Zone.

The issue was that not many of them were keeping track, and not many of them had a clue about the layout of the Orange Zone, let alone the sewers. That was also one of the reasons that they hadn’t stopped following the cat-like thing – backtracking to the border would take too long.

The sewers slowly changed as they went further and further down them. Typical stink and stench of sewage gave way to other waste; errant food scraps, wrappings and plastic bags, beer cans telling the tale between the poverty-stricken affluence of the gangs and the new world Artolia was trying to usher in. Soon enough, burning oil drums began to frequent the tunnels, giving off enough light to lessen the eyestrain the Destrillians had from staring at the man-sized animal ahead of them. They passed other small bands of gang members, too drunk or tired to start a fight, staggering back to the rat-holes they crawled from.

Eventually they could feel the ground rhythmically thumping under their feet. What were originally thoughts of an earthquake, or maybe they had been found again, soon turned back to rationalization.

It was the rhythmic, synthetic kick of a bass drum. A thumping bass guitar.
To some of them, the thought of a nightclub brought them back to the feeling of civilization. Checking the time, they had only spent a little more than an hour traipsing through the pipes, but to a lot of them it was an hour too long.

The entrance was most obviously the back door, but were it not for the (pad-locked and broken) metal door that had ‘MAINTENANCE’ painted on the surface with extremely faded letters, it may as well have been the front entrance. A painted-red rope masquerading as a poor excuse for a velvet rope hung off the doorknob. Various people sat outside, on piles of rubbish or milk crates, smoking or drowning themselves in beer. Two well-built bouncers holstering handguns and pipes welded as makeshift tonfa stood on the sides of the door, keeping an eye out for the more undesirable elements.

And, when the Destrillian party approached, they kept an eye on them.

The tense silence was suddenly broken as two people were hurled down the stairs and out the maintenance door, one of the bouncers lifting up the rope nonchalantly as they stumbled into the tepid trickle of the sewerage, dusting themselves off. The bouncer who threw them out stood at the bottom of the stairs leading up to the nightclub.

“That’s yer second strike, boys! Next time we kick you the fuck out, you stay the fuck out!”

“Yeah, fuck you too!” One of the two men gave the bouncer the finger, and then noticed the group staring at them, and gave a lecherous smile, mainly directed at Thetis, Emma and Idris. “Well, looks like we got us some pretty-kitties here to play with, don’t we, Sammy?”

“Sure do. Gawsh, lookit them.” The other let off a greedy laugh like a drug addict in a pharmacy, fidgeting with the shiny plastic rings on his fingers. “Bitches, them’s what’s for dinner.”

At the smartassery, Kram stepped forward slowly, cracking his knuckles under his gloves, ready to crack some low-life heads, and the two men turned their attention to the rest of the group.

“The fuck you looking at, you… wait, what the fuck is this? This ain’t the costume party, bug-face.”

“I think he’s in the wrong place, Willums.” The other one named ‘Sammy’ took out a switchblade, the other following suit.

“Yeah, you know what? This’ll be a sweet end to my day. Waste a couple’a shitheads, bang a few holes, and I might’a even be in a good enough mood to not cut the bitches’ necks.” They stepped forward, and the Destrillians prepared themselves for a short, quick fight –

The initial spray of blood coated the ceiling and then descended into a crimson trickle, catching Kram on the visor and Thetis on the face and her clothes as the severed heads smashed into the sewer wall with enough force to leave a second coating of blood on the floor. The bodies dropped to the ground as the leopard-like monster retracted its claws and shook the blood off its fur.

No-one had even seen the thing move – one moment it was standing at the side of the tunnel, growling, the next instant it was standing between two decapitated bodies with inch-long claws for paws.

The bouncer at the bottom of the stairs gave a tired smile. “Don’t worry, we’ll clean up the mess. Mistress is waiting, and from what I heard it’s taking you a little longer than she liked.”

From the direction she was talking, she wasn’t entirely addressing the Destrillians, although they didn’t say a word as they stepped over the massacre to follow the cat-beast and the bouncer up the stairs.

The moment they passed the doorway, their senses were completely assaulted by the sounds, sights and smells of the nightclub. If the massive shimmering beast in front of them was strange to them, by now it was nothing compared to what they were in.

They were knee-deep in iridescent fog that shimmered and formed shapes of things in their imprints. Faces appeared from the ground, screaming, moaning in ecstasy. Snakes slithered around their feet, and up the walls, disappearing into a liquid black ceiling. Blood seemed to run from cracks and pores in the walls, and sensual sighing and moaning reverberated to the music. The walls themselves seemed to move – body shapes imprinted themselves from the dark-green, dark red, dark blue, dark brown wallpaper – an arm flailed, a leg gripped the back of another, torsos ground together to the rhythm of a wailing chant.

No-one dared touch the walls. Bodies imprinted themselves and disappeared under the peak and valley of another.

In my own reflection
I hear you in the wind that passes through me


The dance floor was upside down, shifting to the left, to the right, dividing in a crevasse down the middle and opening and closing to the beat. A sigh passed through the dancing crowd as they twisted and rubbed against each other, held in rhythm by the synth that blurred the walls of the room.

you’re haunting my ambition
beautifully destructive attraction


There were dancers on the ceiling, wailing to the beat in a low, sensual scream that crescendoed and diminuendoed. They were naked, covered in the red of wine that dripped and evaporated before they reached the ground, covering the room in a haze that shifted shape – into the female figures that slowly reformed and touched the ground on the ceiling. As they ground against each other, liquid chocolate ran down from the spaces between their bodies and from their long snaking hair, dripping off onto the dancers above on the ground, tasteless and touchless.

now falling like a rock
drugged and digitized you inside a dream


It was difficult for the Destrillian group to focus on one particular thing.
The air seemed to shimmer in front of Thetis’ eyes as hair floated upward in the writhing pit of dancers. The walls and the people grinding around them appeared to be made of liquid mirrors in Idris’ point of view. The unfamiliar smell of port wine mixed with plant sap and mouse blood lingered in Emma’s nostrils. Muddied, vestigial arms and mouths and tongues angrily lashed out at Terra’s ankles, attempting to grope at her legs. The floor under Kerr’s feet seemed to turn into a black-holed void, seeping honeyed blood which evaporated into the floating figure of a woman with a familiar face, sighing as she intangibly wrapped herself around his neck and condensed back into blood which dripped from holes in her back and in her eye sockets.

Smisurate e infinite ormai
Vivi, nei miei pensieri


They were led up another flight of pulsating stairs, and they reached another door, this one made of black leather, the imprint of a male and female torso fused together. The bouncer turned the handle to the door, and it opened silently. She gestured into the blackness of the room, barely audible amongst the overwhelming sounds reverberating through their very heads.

“Mistress is waiting.” And the bouncer left, stepping down the heaving flight of stairs as if it were nothing more than a simple elevator. The leopard hustled past the group, padding off into the darkness. Its fur dimmed until it could be hardly be seen in the cloying blackness, and it all but disappeared from everyone’s sight.

The darkness here literally felt penetrative. There was nothing inside but absolute blackness, as if they had found an event horizon just a few feet ahead of them. Kram saw simply a dark, bubbled void which made absolutely no sense for a room – and it may have been a trick of the eyes, but something was very, very wrong.
__________________
死の果までも追い掛けます、 探し出し
奪われた物全て取り返して見せる

RIP in peace old sig lolol 04/2015




Don't believe your eyes? Don't be surprised.




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Old 04/07/2010   #45
Tennyo
Default

Emma held on to Terra tightly, relishing in the positive energy that radiated off of the girl in her arms. She was so relieved to have finally found her, and safely in the care of friends. Now to just get out of here.

She looked up at Idris and asked, “What’s going on here?”

Before the Gunmetal Glint had a chance to answer, however, someone else spoke up in her stead. “Nothing but big trouble, miss. We gotta head underground fast, the big cheese up there is gonna fry us any minute. I suggest we move now. Come on, I got to go back down there.”

It was the man Emma didn’t recognize. His energy definitely read off as something she would associate with being a Destrillian, however, as an individual, she didn’t think she had ever met him before. Another Destrillian she didn’t know? Had Viola been conducting their experiments elsewhere?

But as much as the idea of a new Destrillian made her feel uneasy, it was the man’s outfit that really grabbed her attention; and she almost laughed. Emma shot a glance over at Idris and mouthed, “Who is that?”

To which the now-blonde-again Destrillian replied, "That's the Dark Rider, so he calls himself. Thinks he's some sort of vigilante, cleaning up the city one crook at a time – I'd make sure nothing happens to me if I were you, or else you'll have him slinging you over his shoulder and giving melodramatic speeches and injecting you with fast-tracking serums."

This time Emma did give off a chuckled at the explanation she received. She wasn’t sure if it was the man or the situation or just the way Idris said it. It was a welcome feeling after how stressed she had just been to get here.

Idris went on, "In truth he's a Destrillian – not from where we came from, I think, and he's got absolutely no idea about anything so do forgive his bravery. It's only ignorance in disguise. I know you, you're patient, but I'm waiting for someone else to finally snap at him. It should be interesting to say the least."

“Yeah I’ll say,” said the red head as she rolled her eyes.

"Well, in any case, he's right. We've got to get down there or else it's curtains for us – as a heads up, Kerr and Thetis are down there too. It's like one big family reunion, eh?"

Idris gave an odd sort of laugh then, and Emma could tell it was more out of irony than anything else. Even a bit forced.

Emma looked down at Terra and smiled, and then her eyes moved down to the shorter girl’s legs.

Is that mud? Is she using her powers to splint them?


Emma was about to ask when Idris came up to Terra’s side and looped an arm through hers. Thinking quickly, Emma turned reached around to her other side and broke a branch off of the tree. It would come in handy when they had time for Emma to take a closer look, perhaps. She then wrapped her arm around Terra and the two of them each took one of Terra’s legs in their arms.

"On three?" Idris suggested. Emma gave a nod and Terra tightened her grip on the two of them in anticipation.

The two girls counted, and on three the trio jumped in through the oversized hole in the ground. They landed with a splash on the squishy floor of the sewer. The slick sludge made Emma crinkle her face in disgust as well as feel thankful that she was wearing galoshes.

It was then that Idris let go of Terra and turned to face the manhole cover. With a flick of her hand some of the metal piping sprang forth and closed the manhole cover, sheltering them from the world above. The metal Destrillian than turned to face the group and said, "Okay, so who do we have here? Roll call would be nice, seeing as we have newbies and besides… it's been a while. Nice to see everyone again. As a start, we've got Idris Savage, the Gunmetal Glint here, ready to help protect against whatever hell comes our way."

It was then that Emma noticed something about Idris that she hadn’t been paying much attention to since her arrival just a couple minutes before. Her emotions were affecting her energy signature, just as was the case with all human being. It was a bit odd, for at first Emma didn’t know what to think of it, but she felt that was mainly because Idris just didn’t seem the type to feel this way. But here it was, the mixing emotion of loneliness, panged with a slight hint of jealousy. At least, that was how Emma interpreted it. She would have to make a mental note of talking to the girl later when the situation allowed them to.

However, there was another pressing matter at hand. Beside her, Terra used her mind voice to speak. Eye am Terra Mikeals. Eye can control earth, and eye cant talk b/c eye hurt my brain whin we wer escaping Viola.

Emma smiled at Terra’s words. The red head had no problem communicating telepathically in such close proximity, especially with physical contact.

Even still, she supposed she should introduce herself as well.

“And I’m Emma. I can…”

Before she could finish her sentence there came a low rumble as the entire sewer began to shake violently. The air seemed almost electrically charged as the thought occurred to her; the airship must be firing its main weapon at them. She could feel the heightened sense of fear and panic as she wrapped her arms tightly around her charge, the Earth Destrillian’s frightened telepathic voice ringing in her head. But the girl did not falter. On the contrary, Emma could feel a surge of energy coming from the girl that she hadn’t felt in years.

Terra was using her powers.

The violent quake intensified at what Emma imagined must be the dirt and rocks around the sewer and up above moving over them to provide cover. She slipped her arm’s around Terra’s waist and did her best to help her remain standing as she saved all of their lives just as she had done four years previously.

Emma looked up and noticed for the first time that the concrete and stone of the very sewer walls themselves were what Terra was moving, folding in on themselves to lock into place with each other and keep whatever the weapon was from getting to them underground. The small girl had turned within Emma’s grasp and her very arms were held up as if she were holding a great weight with only her physical strength to aid her.

Suddenly it was over, and the sewer settled into place. The violent shaking was over.

Terra had saved them.

The earth Destrillian coughed at all the dust that had settled on the party and slumped in her caretaker’s arms with a sigh. Emma placed her down on the small walkway on the side of the sewer and sat down beside her, holding her.

Terra spoke again with her mind.

Every1, eye thnk we need 2 get movin or we may dye.

A good point. Who knew if IRIN would fire that weapon again.

Ema do u have n e thing that u culd use 2 splint mai leg?


It was then she remembered the branch in her hand that she had broken off of the tree up above. No doubt the thing was fried to a crisp, but that couldn’t be helped.

“Yes, sweetie, I do. Can you stand?”


Terra pushed herself up to her feet and teetered; yet somehow remained up. Emma knelt down beside her bad leg and pressed the branch up against it. The good thing about plants is that even if you broke a piece off there was still a residual trace of life energy that remained behind; just enough for Emma to exploit. She focused in on every intricate pulse as the very composition of the branch exposed itself to her. The branch grew, spreading from her upper thighs all the way down to her feet. Smaller offshoots grew out and around, locking it in place.

As an added precaution, Emma lifted the flap of her bag and peered inside. The site of a frightened mouse cowering in the corner greeted her.

“Aw, don’t worry Squeak, we’re safe now,” she said, reaching down and stroking the rodent on the head. “I need the clematis seeds. Can you get them for me?”

The mouse quickly climbed up the side of the bag and unzipped one of the side pockets in the messenger bag. It then reached in the flipped through the different packets of seed, eventually pulling one out.

“No not that one.”
Squeak quickly dropped the packet and pulled out another.

“That’s the one! Thanks!”

The little rodent gave off a squeal of welcome as Emma closed the flap of the bag. Opening the small packet, she pulled out a couple different seeds and placed then into the dirt around Terra’s legs. She then focused her power on them and caused them to grow, green vines sprouting out and wrapping around the tree branch, further reinforcing it. She was careful not to allow any blossoms to grow, as right now she only needed function, not show.

As she worked, the new Destrillian spoke from somewhere behind her.

“She’s right,” he said, obviously meaning Terra, “They won’t believe the blast killed us until they find our bodies burnt to a crisp. We better get moving.”

It was then that Emma suddenly realized something was off. There was another presence down in the sewer. She had been too preoccupied with helping Terra to notice, but now that she was done, it was abundantly clear. However, the energy it gave off was strange, unlike anything she had ever felt before. It felt like life, but was it human?

At that instant her questions were answered.

“Hiya! Fancy running into a bunch of people down in thi-“


Emma turned her head to see the silhouette of a humanoid figure standing just a small ways off in the tunnel. The stranger then laughed, obviously at this Dark Rider fellow. “Hahahahaha! Oh my god when did the circus get into town?! Ahahahahaha!”

The Rider turned on some lights on his helmet to better illuminate the new arrival. It was an odd-looking boy child, or perhaps a teenage girl? Emma couldn’t tell, and immediately the prospect made her feel uneasy. Telling someone’s gender based upon the energy they gave off was the most basic of the basics, yet for some reason she couldn’t. She couldn’t even tell if this kid was human or not, despite her eyes confirming that it was.

She stood up for a better look as the stranger and the Dark Rider exchanged words, revealing his/her/its name to be Stolz. She looped her arms with Terra’s to help the girl stand. She tried to focus in on this child standing before them. She felt a small pull of nerves in her stomach as she realized she couldn’t make any sense of this new person, yet at the same time had a strange sense of déjà vu. For some reason, this new person almost felt like…

They feel like…me…

“Hey how would you guys like to see something cool?”


“Actually, I’d just want to see us get moving thanks,” Emma heard Kerr say from between the stranger and herself.

The stranger turned their attention to some water dripping out of a nearby pipe and instantly it formed into a long shard of ice.

"I can freeze things and fling them around as I please, pretty cool huh?"


Another tug in her stomach, but this time for another reason. Emma shot a glance at Idris, wondering what kind of reaction she should be having to this.

Eve. They have the same powers as Eve…

"Say, considering you people look pretty lost, how bout we team up?"


Before anyone could answer, the Dark Rider spoke yet again, picking Thetis up off of the sewer floor. “Why not? I’ve no problems with that.”

And then Idris spoke up as well. "Well actually, we're not really sure where we are so could use the help, do you happen to know a way out?"

Not faltering on pep for an instant, the kid replied, "Well, to be honest I have no idea where we are. Usually I just keep wandering around and eventually I'll stumble on an exit. But not to worry, I'm sure there's one around here somewhere, so let's go!"

“I don’t know about this…” Emma said silently, not knowing if anyone had heard her or not.

She had no time to think however, as there came a strange glow from further on down the tunnel. Everyone in the group saw it, and their curiosity was piqued by it. Emma reached out her powers tentatively to see what it was, but again she found herself confronted with something she did not recognize at all.

Before it came fully into view, however, Emma was pulled out of concentration by a shifting of the energy pattern given off by one of her fellows, followed by a loud shout when the girl in question saw her.

“EMMA!”


Thetis had finally woken up and she wriggled her way out of the Dark Rider’s arms before launching herself at the plant manipulator. Emma quickly let go of Terra so as not to pull her over, hoping the girl would be able to stand now, and hugged Thetis back.

“Thetis! I’m glad you’re okay! What happened to you?”

But it seemed as though Emma was going to have to wait yet again for an answer as to what was going on, for it was then that Thetis noticed Kerr and shot him a look that could almost kill.

“What is he doing here?”

“I don’t know. He was already down here when I arrived. I have no clue what has been going on.”

Kerr sighed as Thetis went on. “He’s the only reason we’re down here, you know. If he hadn’t tried to kill me in that motel, we wouldn’t be in this situation”

“What?” Emma asked, looking back and forth between the two.

“Are you finished whining?” Kerr spat back.

Thetis turned and stomped away down the tunnel, stopping when she noticed Stolz. The two of them stared each other down, and Stolz gave a mischievous grin.

“Watch your back,” Thetis called. Emma wasn’t sure if she meant Stolz or if she was still talking about Kerr. The water Destrillian was nothing but all kinds of rage right at that moment.

It was then that the source of light finally came into view, slicing through the tension caused by Thetis’ anger like a knife through butter. None of them could believe what they were seeing. It was large cat, like the ones that Emma had seen in the city zoo. It was odd enough that it was down here, strange still that it was what was glowing. Emma gaped openly and forgot their situation for a moment at the site. When she came to her senses she reached out her power and sure enough, this is what she had sensed before, and just like Stolz, she couldn’t make any sense of it.

“Let’s go.” Thetis ordered, following the large cat as it walked off down the tunnel.

“Well, we can’t stay here anyway so what choice do we have?” Emma murmured, once again looping her arms with Terra’s to help her walk.

She then thought of Chris and the concert they could have gone to tonight. Oh how she wished she could get out of this loony bin and go there instead. She had just gotten here and already she had had enough.

Emma turned around to see that Kerr had fallen to the back and was whispering to Idris, and she remember what Thetis had just said. Was this all really Kerr’s doing?

Emma decided to try to reach out with her mind and peak to Kerr and only Kerr. Sure she always had a hard time with the standard telepathic powers of the Destrillians, but being this close it should be easier.

Hey Kerr! What is Thetis talking about when she says it’s your fault? Did you really try to kill her?

But there was no response.

Hey Kerr!

It was odd, but Emma could swear it almost felt like he wasn’t getting the message. Either that or he was ignoring her. She found herself getting annoyed, what with trying to communicate with him while also trying to watch where she was going. It was an irrational feeling at that time, yet somehow she wasn’t sure if she cared just then.

Even still, he didn’t show any signs of a shift in emotion. Perhaps he couldn’t hear her. Was she really that bad at telepathy?

“Hey!” she whispered, trying to get his attention while Thetis, Stolz, the Rider, and Terra were all transfixed on the large beast leading the way. “Hey Kerr! What is Thetis talking about when she says it’s your fault?”

She had never liked him. One bit. Ever. She had never quite been able to trust him, either. His reaction to her question didn’t help her mood one bit.

She looked forward again, feeling even more annoyed and trying to calm herself. She then looked back again and said, “When we get out of here later we ARE talking about this!”

Emma then turned her face forward and tried to focus on other things.

She couldn’t help but feel angry. Her and Terra’s quiet life could be over because of him, and if that was the case, she would get her answers, and she didn’t care what she had to do to get them.
__________________

Last edited by Tennyo; 04/07/2010 at 04:51 AM.
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