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Hidden 8 mos ago Post by ERode
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The scene that greeted him above was one of devastation, the stench of the sea so much weaker than it was in the claustrophobic tunnels and the might of the Amigos so much clearer in the light of day. Seaweed clung to one side of the lighthouse, which had stood strong despite the spiderweb fractures that indicated something larger had been smashed against its sides. The forest had been all but demolished, flame, rot, and tidal waves clearing it all away.

It was just soil now, soaked with sea salt and brine, an unfortunate fish flapping about. Poor things, caught up in a conflict greater than what their piscine minds could comprehend. Brent wondered where those flippity floppity bastards were when he had gone fishing, but ultimately, he kicked the resilient bastard back into the waters. It survived whatever the hell the Amigos did, after all. Would be a shame to die of suffocation after that. Musing over pointless trash like that, the arbiter flicked out his phone and laughed at the results. Angelic, still DISCONNECTED on the other side of the island. Gregory, still DISCONNECTED only a short distance away from the estate. And everyone else moving on and on andโ€ฆ

Christ, he didnโ€™t give a fuck.

Once the adrenaline had faded, once the immediate threat of death had gone, once no one he knew was in the process of getting horribly mauled to death, once the storm had stopped hammering down on the world before, the only thing left was the lingering aftertaste of disappointment. He looked at his hands, closed it, and grasped nothing. He looked around him, blinked, and saw nothing. And with nothing to do, nothing to see, nothing he wanted to think, Brent naturally turned towards Siena.

His mouth opened and then closed.

And Brent smiled instead, turning and walking off into the devastated remains of the forest, towards the direction of the estate that had been such a waste of time those past weeks.
Hidden 8 mos ago Post by Lasrever
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Zoe Fletcher



๐•Ž๐•–๐••: ๐•†๐•”๐•ฅ. ๐ŸŸ, ๐Ÿš๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿš๐Ÿ˜ / / ๐”น๐•’๐•๐•• โ„๐•–๐•’๐•• ๐•€๐•ค๐•๐•’๐•Ÿ๐•• / / ๐•‹๐• ๐•จ๐•Ÿ / / ~๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿž๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜


Upon catching sight of the motel lights, Zoe had quickened her pace slightly - glancing warily back at her teammates to check that they weren't taking the action as hostile. Figuring they probably had better things to do than worry about her deciding to speedwalk, she pressed on. Whoever was in there, they had a chance of being hostile, and like hell was she taking a chance on that. If opening the door meant some kind of energy blast to the face, she'd more than earned it by now.

Of course, there was some practical merit to the decision beyond her guilty conscience. Buildings meant close quarters, and she was more capable of handling herself in that situation than most, so having her take the lead made sense. Best case scenario, it wouldn't matter, and the building would provide some much needed shelter for the exhausted, injured, and outright traumatised. Whatever her reasoning, she'd managed to pull ahead of the others slightly, knocking firmly on the door.

"You from the town?" She was tense as she called out, as prepared to defend herself as she was to make conversation. "We're friendly."

"That's debatable."

Murmurs and shuffling could be heard behind the door before it swung open. Andrew raised an eyebrow at the soggy state of the student's clothes. Behind him, a small crowd of Arbiters stared out, suspicion and fear clear in their expressions. They looked disheveled, clearly just hurried out of bed by the news of invaders on the island. A quick glance back from the cafe owner hushed them.

Zoe didn't even have a snappy comeback for that one, considering her recent actions. Instead, she sighed, resignation clear on her face.

"...the others are better. Just need some shelter to figure stuff out - it's been one hell of a rough morning." It had surprised her slightly to see Andrew, even if it made sense for him to be taking shelter with everyone else; she'd almost completely forgotten about the guy. So she paused, glancing back towards her classmates, the gears turning in her head for a few moments. Information. He gathered information, saw things that were miles away. And considering the situation... appearing to come to some sort of decision, she nodded to herself.

"And I need to talk to you, alone." Realising she wasn't exactly trustworthy, she continued. "Without my classmates, at least. If you want someone to point a gun at me, I get it."

Andrew shared a puzzled look with the pony-tailed woman.

She shrugged, her fingers tapping restlessly on the pistol on her belt. "Stranger's out of my range. Should be somewhat safe now. Joey, stay put with the others."

The blue-eyed man nodded, watching with a grim frown as the town's co-leaders headed out. The location of choice was a half-floored hallway, drenched carpets leading to what was planned to be the kitchen area. Mary and Andrew kept their distance from Zoe.

"So," Andrew said, "What do you need?"

Looking at the pair, Zoe spoke casually.

"Couple of questions, that's all. Don't know how your power works, exactly, so you might not be able to answer them." She shrugged, fairly relaxed in the absence of any murderous urge - her Stigma more than sated after recent events. The need for privacy was less out of a desire to be vague or mysterious, and more that she'd rather think up a plan without fifteen people whining in her ear. Better to control the situation and make choices from there.

"First, I wanna know if there are any Amigos left on the island, and what they're doing. A bunch of 'em escaped, but I know there were some further inland. Killed one of us, and I don't know what happened after that." Her expression brightened ever-so-slightly at that, before she grimaced. "Don't think anyone else is coming for us, but I'm not happy leaving any of them wandering around town either."

A sideways glance at Mary and Andrew shook his head, though the motion didn't seem in response to Zoe's questions. "Here's how my power works, since you seem to be under some impression that I'm an all-knowing seer. I see and hear snippets, fragments--maybe entire little episodes if I'm lucky. And only of information that I'm not currently seeking. So the moment you ask me anything? It's off the table. If I were that useful you think Zhang would leave me here?"

"There was a stranger some moments before you arrived. Moved huge distances instantly. Out of my detection range now, but there's one you might want to keep an eye out for," Mary cut in, watching Zoe carefully. She was sure any mage under Zhang's careful eye was capable of immense powers. The woman rarely let the useless fester under her.

"Great." Zoe sighed. It made sense that he wasn't that powerful, but she'd hoped. "It was worth a try, at least, but scrap the next couple questions. Thanks anyway." She'd been ready to turn and leave, but Mary's addition gave her pause. She turned to the woman with a vicious-looking grin as a new idea sprung into her head. Looked like she might get some of her answers after all, one way or another.

"This stranger... were they alone?"

The prim woman narrowed her eyes at Zoe's look. She considered shooing the girl out, but decided it was better to let Zhang's rabid animals run wild at someone else, especially if they happened to be the Amigos.

"As alone as I could tell. My limit's roughly the town's edge."

Zoe nodded to herself. Perfect. "Town's edge. Got it." It'd be a pain to try and catch a teleporter, but all she needed to do was get close enough to start the effect and killing them would be simple. That wasn't what she cared about, though - that her opponent was alone, without backup, meant there would be one more possibility. One that brought a smile to her face and a spring to her step.

Because if they were alone, she could take them alive. Make them tell her what all this was about. And that brought with it so many possibilities. Trying, and failing, to ignore the slight anticipation that came with the idea, she gave the pair an appreciative look. Despite her behaviour being a little off, the relative lack of bloodlust meant she could be calm about this. The idea ultimately being a logical decision, if ruthless.

"Thanks for the help." With that, she took her cue to leave, beginning to make her way back outside before a thought struck her and she called out over her shoulder. "And do me a favour; don't tell the others any of that. I'd rather most of them stay out of my way."

A rough grunt answered her as Andrew blinked, eyes fading into that silhouette of his power again. โ€ โ€˜Itโ€™s not physical. Something more,โ€™ โ€œ he repeated the words as if reciting lines. Another blink and he clicked his tongue. โ€œI get curious and there it goes. Now Iโ€™m watching a frog hop towardsโ€”โ€œ

He closed his eyes, opening them back to normal.

โ€Kid youโ€™re looking for is hiding somewhere on the north end of town. Couldnโ€™t catch the location details, but I know the general look of the place. And they got one of yours. Sheโ€™s in pieces but sheโ€™s alive.โ€

At Andrew's final statement, Zoe froze for a brief second. One of theirs, a she, and missing - there was only one person that description could possibly fit. In pieces, taken by the Amigos, but alive.

Angel was alive.

And suddenly, things seemed to make a little more sense. They'd killed Gregory - tried to kill everyone else, too, but taken her alive. So they'd come here for her, and they'd succeeded. A kidnapping. Suddenly, their failure to stop the Amigos' escape stung a whole lot worse. If she'd made another move, been a little smarter or faster, a little more in control...

"Guess that's my other question answered. I'll figure out the rest." A small nod, mostly to herself. On some level, she knew she couldn't tell the others any of this. At least not until there was something to do about it. Until she had some idea where the Amigos were going, what they wanted, it would only leave the others chasing a hopeless dream. Better to let them believe the singer was dead for now. Maybe that choice made her a cruel person, but it was for their own good.

They'd know when it mattered, when Zoe had figured out enough. And the first step in doing that was to head north and find the last one of the fuckers that did this. One way or another, she'd find out why they'd taken her, why all of this had happened - no matter what that ended up taking. There was no reason for her to waste time. With a last nod of acknowledgement to the pair, Zoe walked away, quiet fury burning in her gaze.

Whoever this teleporter turned out to be, she was going to make them wish they'd never been born.
Hidden 8 mos ago 8 mos ago Post by Chasers115
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Bad Idea




Siena | Brent | Ernie
Emma | Marcus

A Collab by @Papitan @ERode @Diggerton and @Chasers115


๐•Ž๐•–๐••: ๐•†๐•”๐•ฅ. ๐ŸŸ, ๐Ÿš๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿš๐Ÿ˜ / / ๐”น๐•’๐•๐•• โ„๐•–๐•’๐•• ๐•€๐•ค๐•๐•’๐•Ÿ๐•• / / ๏ฟฝ๏ฟฝ๐•š๐•˜๐•™๐•ฅ๐•™๐• ๐•ฆ๐•ค๐•– / / ~๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ



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Hidden 7 mos ago 7 mos ago Post by Piercing Light
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Piercing Light ...

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Callan Kusari Allison


Step. Step. Step. Kusari looked borderline shell shocked as she walked along, the only thing on her mind being the rhythmic patter of her feet on the ground. She didn't know what she was supposed to do, what any of them were meant to do. As she was zoned out she flinched as she heard Callan speak to her. She hadn't even noticed her walk up to her. She was carrying Allison in her arms, when did she pick her up? She really was out of it.

"Are you okay?" Callan asked, her tone seeming as if she wasn't sure now was the time to speak. At least that's what Kusari took from the hesitation in her voice.

"Ah..." Kusari opened her mouth but hadn't thought of anything to say back. There was a lot she wanted to convey, but she felt words wouldn't suffice. She slowly shook her head. Would anyone be okay after what had happened to her?

"Are... are you... Okay?" She asked, feeling as if the question was just as obvious. They both knew the answer, but it was the act of asking that mattered, at least she thought so.

Callan seemed caught off guard by the question at first. Up until she realized how tightly she was gripping Allison. Not enough to hurt her, but it was obvious she was still tense. "I'm fine," she said finally, a sharpness to her tone as she averted her eyes. She could hear Zoe walking a ways behind them. Even as she'd approached Kusari, she hadn't let herself lose track.

"I... I just want to know if you're okay," she said, her voice softening. Amethyst eyes looked her up and down. She winced. "It... it doesn't still hurt, does it?"

Kusari turned her head form Callan for a moment, a quivering hodgepodge of a smirk and a frown on her face. Callan was still Callan, it seemed like she'd maintained the charming empathy that made her so attractive to Kusari. "It um, it doesn't hurt anymore." She said, straightening her face back to neutral and facing Callan. It was technically true, but the pressure in her chest was still there, the type of wound that couldn't just be magically healed away. She wanted to mentioned what had happened to her, how she'd seen her own still corpse from above. Perhaps if she could be alone with her.

"Thanks, I'm... You know, glad you're here." She mumbled, not quite sure what implication she was going for, but she knew it was true.

"I'm glad you're here, too," Callan said, freely oblivious to any implications from either side, "For a second there, I seriously thought you might be... well... " She went quiet, turning her eyes forward again as they walked. Her expression was despondent. Kusari was glad she was here? She hadn't done anything. She wasn't able to stop Zoe before it happened. Didn't help any of the staff that had tried to protect them. Didn't save anyone in D.C. Definitely couldn't save Sav....

She pushed the thoughts aside. Now wasn't the time. Kusari had just gone through hell. She recalled again the last time they'd spoken. Back in La Plata. Her invitation to stay at her room. She glanced down at Allison, who still had yet to move. Remembering the awkward encounter, her face turned a shade pinker. "Anyway, it's a good thing you're both okay, right?" she smiled.

"Y- yeah..." Kusari let out a cough and averted her eyed from Callan's smile, instead glancing at Allison. Having her there made things a little awkward, but it wasn't as much of a bother as she thought it would be. She told herself she wouldn't regret that night, that hadn't changed. Besides, at this point she was sure her chances with Callan were firmly at zero.

"But what do we do now? Wherever we go I have a feeling things will turn into a disaster. I can't believe I'd miss the regimen at that farce of a school..."

Callan noted the lack of response. She still wasn't sure about what was going on between Allison and Kusari. And even less sure about why she was so curious to find out. Kusari's business was her own. Same for Allison. Besides, she had plenty of other things to worry about.

Callan shrugged, careful not to jostle Allison. "We just need more training," she offered, trying to be optimistic, "And less surprise attacks...." She muttered the last part as if the thought had just occured to her. "Can't help but wonder what the Director plans to do with us... I mean... I guess we weren't even supposed to even be in this fight, right? Or the one in D.C. But... I couldn't just leave."

Kusari clenched her teeth and balled her hands into tight fists. "That primped up bitch, she plans to keep using us until none of us are left, or until we end up like Unit A. I wouldn't be surprised if she already has backup plans for a Unit C." Kusari's breathing was becoming heavier, she was growing more upset by the second and she wasn't sure why. "Sending kids to their death and acting as if it's just fine as long as it's for the greater good. This is her fault, her and the bastards she answers to." She let out a frustrated groan. "Why should we have to take this?... I can't, I can't do this anymore Callan I..." She caught herself, realizing that she was a moment away from losing it. She relaxed her body and pointed her eyes at the ground.

Alarmed, Callan felt her own breath catch in her throat. "Wh-wha...? She's not sending us to our deaths," an uncomfortable smile formed on her lips, accompanied by a small. incredulous laugh, "W-we're... we're not..." She didn't know how to respond. She found herself hugging Allison a little closer to her chest. Like some sort of barrier between herself and what Kusari was trying to say.

The memory of an old conversation that had ended before it began.

"Were you in Unit A?" she asked suddenly. "Mr. Francisco said it... 'fell through'?"

"Shane's unit?" Callan could immediately recognized the shift in Lawrence's tone.

"That was reserved for the best of the best, and I wouldn't have been considered in a hundred years- I'm not even sure why I'm on this one. I knew someone who wanted to be on that team though, and threw their life away because of it. Let's drop the subject."


She stared up at the pale arbiter, eyes wide and searching.

Kusari let out a sigh, Callan's optimism could be a double-edged sword. "Think about it, what did we go through as soon as we got to the school? We were sent out against a horde of monsters with no proper training and little in the way of equipment. And has Zhang ever looked even a little remorseful to you? She doesn't care about us any more than you would a pawn in a game of chess."

Callan frowned. She certainly had thought about it. She thought about Padma's death often. And all the bodies in Wisford and D.C. Bodies of citizens and military workers. Mothers, fathers, friends, and children.... People without power.

"W-well we lasted a lot longer than those soldiers!" Callan argued. She could feel herself getting defensive. Frustrated. Reaching for what accomplishments she could-- the ones she tried to remember whenever she felt especially discouraged. " And what about all the people who died in Wisford? The whole town would've been dead without us! Besides-- what kind of hero just gives up and sits on the sidelines?"

She'd stopped walking, too invested in the debate. She had her share of complaints about their first day at USARILN. The kids who she saw die that day would haunt her memory forever. They never got a chance. But she still had hers. She wasn't in a position to control that, anyway. She had to follow orders for now. Director Zhang was in many ways cruel... but she did let all those staff members stay in her mansion. Tucked away from danger-- supposedly safe until today. Not at all like the life Callan wanted.

She had to save people. That was why she was here-- she was certain of it. No other reason made sense in her mind.

Kusari stopped walking along with Callan. Her words... stung a bit. It felt as if she were digging her finger into her. She wasn't always this easily rattled. Kusari avoided looking Callan in the eye, she gripped her arm close to herself. She didn't like seeing her like this, she understood why she wanted to believe Zhang and the government had their best interests at heart. The alternative was hard to accept after all.

"You're a good person Callan, but you're no-" Kusari shook her head, choosing to rephrase. "You didn't choose to do this, to be shackled and forced into battle. You're a tool. We've fought in multiple battles but not once have I felt I was where I belonged. Killing disgusting monsters didn't make me any better a person, being sent into Wisford under the threat of death or worse didn't make me any more noble. Heroes have a choice, and it's choosing to do the right thing when a way out is behind them that makes them special."

Kusari bit her lip as she remembered what happened in D.C. "Those people in D.C wanted us dead the moment things got bad, I had to... Had to kill people just to keep them away from Sophia. But that's just an excuse, a hero would have found another way. All this time we've been thrown into chaos and made to deal with it. We have wills of our own but in the end it doesn't matter. Weather you're drugged up like Hazel and just following orders, or playing along just to stay alive it's all the same in the end." Kusari looked at Callan, her crimson eyes not angry or upset, but sad and tired.

"Tell me Callan, do you feel like a hero?"

'A tool.' Callan flinched. 'Heroes have a choice.'

A choice... she had a choice. She'd made choices. She chose to turn herself in. She chose to stay and fight in D.C. They'd told her to stay, but she went. She chose to try and save those staff members. She'd tried. She chose. She failed. She failed over and over again, but she still chose to try. But nevertheless, there was some truth to Kusari's words; it was the inalienable fact that somewhere along the line, something chose her and no amount of kicking or screaming would have done any good.

Her train of thought came crashing to a halt. 'Had to kill people'...? The news hadn't said anything about that. If Kusari had killed people-- people who weren't monsters or mages-- it would have been on the news. What was she talking about? Her mind was whirling a million miles a minute, her expression complete and utter shock. Kusari wouldn't do that. She was an arbiter. She had no reason to.... She barely registered the question for a moment, staring at Kusari like she'd grown a second head. A very gross and evil second head.

She exhaled a shaky breath.

"No," she answered finally, a slight quiver to her voice, as she stepped forward, "But I'm gonna be."

She looked like she was about to cry. And she was. Her stomach felt sick and something inside her was beginning to panic. What the hell had happened in D.C.?

"Better than you've been anyway," she hissed before pushing back the tears and continuing on her way, content to leave Kusari behind for all she cared.

She should have kept her mouth shut, but that was basically the story of her life. Kusari felt her throat gulp as she watched Callan start to walk away. The way she looked at her, it was as if she were a monster. Not you please. Don't look at me like that. Not you. Kusari suddenly felt cold, as if she had been placed inside a dark freezing cave. She didn't want to lose Callan as a friend, she didn't have anyone else she could be comfortable with after all.

"Y-you're right!" She stammered out, a bit louder than intended. she caught up to Callan. "I'm not a hero, but watching you I felt like I could at least pretend to be. But after D.C I... I can't be that kind of person. But you can! Which is why it's so painful seeing you used like this. Sooner or later they're going to turn you into something that you don't want to be, and I don't want to see that." Kusari's voice was uncharacteristically pleading, maybe she felt desperate. "I'm. I'm sorry.
Don't hate me, please."


The moment Kusari shouted, Callan slowed. She couldn't help it. She was frustrated-- disgusted even-- but... she was her teammate. They all were. Even Zoe, for all her imperfections. When Kusari crossed her path, Callan looked away, but listened. She sighed heavily. "I don't hate you," she grumbled, still feeling queasy.

Looking up into Kusari's eyes, her voice became more firm, "I won't pretend to understand why you killed those people. And I don't want to know the details.... But you've got to know-- I chose to be here. I'm sorry if that wasn't the case for you, but... I'm just making the most of what life's given me. What's the alternative? Life on the run? Joining people like the Amigos? Living on an island for the rest of my life?"

She shook her head, smiling sadly, "Heh, I can't do that, Kusari. I want to make a difference-- make things better. And if... if I gotta follow orders from someone like Director Zhang to do it, then that's what I'm gonna do. I don't know what you think I'm gonna become, but have a little faith in me." Her gaze fell from Kusari's eyes to her elbow.

Please." Even as she spoke, Callan was clearly more distant than before-- still recovering from Kusari's revelation and somewhat perturbed by the implications of everything else she'd said. Sander had mentioned she was dangerous... was he right? Or was she justified? She hadn't been there. She didn't know what happened. But at the same time, she didn't want to hear about it. Didn't want to even think about it. Chalk it up to a freak accident and move on. But it was hard.

"Let's just go," she said defeatedly.

"Yeah... I get it." Kusari said, following after Callan. If she really did want to make a difference, then turning herself in really did seem like the best of the worst options. She herself had been running before she was caught and lived in terrible conditions because of it. It wasn't fair, but what could they do?

"I'm going to consider that a promise then, that you won't let anything change you for the worse."
She said. Maybe she wasn't giving Callan enough credit, just because she was a terrible person didn't mean Callan was. She didn't say anything else, it was obvious that Callan didn't think very much of her at the moment. If she said anything else she'd just make it worse.

She gave Kusari a hopeless look. "Sure," Callan said simply, "It's a promise then."

Callan continued the walk in silence. Somewhere along the line, she realized she'd lost track of Zoe, but she didn't care. Her stomach grumbled. She was hungry, but entirely without appetite. The exhaustion was catching up to her, too. She always felt this way after using her ability in excess, but their conversation seemed like it had added a good deal of extra weight. Even the sky seemed a little darker...

What else didn't she know?

But Callan didn't dare ask. She'd heard enough for now.



A scream erupted from the body in Callan's arm. It failed to make any movements other than forcing the shriek from it's vocal cords. The wail of pain and sorrow pulled Allison from darkness. She was being carried. She half remembered various portions of a conversation, as if she had heard part of it whilst floating in a terrible nightmare. Her own scream still buried itself in her ears, mingling with those long since ended.

Some part of her mind still lingered in the far past, another portion pulling apart the fragments of that conversation between Callan and... Kusari, it was probably Kusari. Allison didn't move her head to check. Though, as reality pushed itself back into her mind, her priority returned to her mind in full force.

...Then Allison realized she was still screaming. The noise came to an abrupt end, her hoarse voice forcing out an urgent question.

"Wh-where is Angel?" Her memory answered her own question. "We need to save Angel! Where are we going?" Her voice increased in volume, ripping at her throat. If she was in a reasonable state a mind, she might have felt bad for the girls who's ears she was likely destroying.

Callan jumped as Allison started to scream, heart pounding wildly when it didn't immediately end. Wh-what the hell was wrong with her? Didn't Christmas heal everybody? She grimaced at the noise, leaning her face away and wincing as through Allison had suddenly turned into a raging fireball in her arms. Geez, she really wasn't holding back, was she? Nightmare or night terrors?

"Allison!" she tried shouting over the noise, but one couldn't so easily compete with such a desperately loud sound.

Just when she was beginning to consider the idea of clapping a hand over the girl's mouth, it stopped.

Where was Angel? Probably dead.

"We still don't know," Callan replied, exasperated. She glanced around for any sign of movement. Her voice lowered as she continued, her tone a cocktail of concern and exhaustion, "There are still Amigos around though. So no more screaming, okay? We're regrouping in town. Can you walk?"

Kusari flinched as Allison screamed, she awkwardly reached out with her hands wondering what to do, eventually having to just wait for her to stop herself. A Nightmare? It had to be, she had every reason to be disturbed right now. Kusari hung her head as Allison as where Angel was. She was gone, it didn't matter if she had died earlier or if the Amigos had taken her. Either way she wasn't coming back. Callan answered her, Kusari didn't have anything to add. She could say she was sorry, but what good would that do? She kept quiet and continued walking.

Allison made some attempt to keep herself calm. Of course she needed to do something about Angel, but there wasn't much she could do right now. It wasn't likely that she'd get much help from everyone else, either. Still, she couldn't just let Angel die. She wasn't dead. She couldn't be. Allison would need to make a move as soon as she was capable of it.

"Probably. Put me down please," The aberration clearly strained to keep her tone reasonable, though her voice now seemed barely above a whisper. It felt as if she was only half registering the world around her, most of her mind still lost in a haze, screaming at nothing. Her limbs still felt like lead, though she was able to at least seem capable of walking when Callan put her down. Allison's walk was little more than the uncomfortable shuffle of a half-awake zombie, barely aware of those around her.

"Uh," Callan exchanged a look with Kusari, expecting her to do something. "Do you need help?" she asked, eyeing Allison warily with her hands tentaively outstrethced.

Kusari saw Callan look to her, as if she knew what to do right now. She just shook her head and looked away. "Our way off the island is gone, there's nothing we can do but try not to get killed."

Callan leered over Allison's head, back up at Kusari with a scolding expression. Allison was clearly upset and that news wasn't at all helpful. "Nah, don't worry. We'll be fine. I'm sure the worst of it's over," she offered reassuringly, doing her best to force the fatigue out of her voice.

"I'll be fine," Allison half-muttered. The lie was obvious, but it was better to stumble than burden Callan any more than she already had, though a reminder that things existed outside of the feezing dampness that pierced every fragment of her being might be nice. The exhausted girl ignored Kusari's remark, though she wasn't really wrong in what she said. She was less wrong than Callan, at least. The worst hadn't even begun yet.

Allison let silence hang for a few moments before conducting the excercise in futility that was filling empty air with empty words, speaking to no one in particular. "Sorry about the screaming. Did I interrupt a conversation?"

"No, you didn't." Kusari simply said, noticing that Callan wasn't speaking up. They were close to a motel now, one of the few buildings that seemed fit for refuge. "I just want to get some rest, you can do what you want." She said, speaking to the both of them. She felt entirely useless at the moment, she didn't get physically exhausted, but she wasn't exactly in the best shape mentally.

Callan was quiet, chewing the inside of her cheek uncomfortably until she realized they were nearing what looked like a good place to stop. Sander and Christmas were a ways ahead of them. And Zoe.... She looked every which way, eyes searching in alarm. She thought to say something, but ultimately decided against it, figuring she'd radio her after they found shelter.

"Let's try that motel," Callan suggested, again trying to mask her voice. She wasn't happy about she and Kusari's conversation. She didn't like her attitude, she didn't like hearing that she'd killed people without powers, and she didn't like the idea of Kusari going off to sleep when there was still work to be done. Hopeless as it seemed, she'd help Allison look for Angel if she wanted. It was worth a try. She might even still be on the island somewhere, right?

She sighed, wiping at some half-dried sand on her cheek. One thing at a time.
Hidden 7 mos ago 7 mos ago Post by January
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January The Slug

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๐•Ž๐•–๐••: ๐•†๐•”๐•ฅ. ๐ŸŸ, ๐Ÿš๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿš๐Ÿ˜ / / ๐”น๐•’๐•๐•• โ„๐•–๐•’๐•• ๐•€๐•ค๐•๐•’๐•Ÿ๐•• / / ๐”พ๐•–๐•Ÿ๐•–๐•ฃ๐•’๐• ๐”ธ๐•ฃ๐•–๐•’ / / ~๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿž๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ


The storm had finally passed through the area and by then Zhangโ€™s private military forces had long been dispatched, a special squadron kept under direct communication with Kardos and entirely separate from both the government forces assigned to USARILN East and the bolstering additions of hired PMCs. Three tandem-rotor helicopters received supplies, weapons, and a ten-man team before lifting off from their base in Nassau and flying along the coastline over the waters of the Bermuda.

Their arrival was, as expected, too late after the storm and the escaped Amigos had long vanished from sight, skirting the abandoned Fort Caswell nearby and untraceable in the Intracoastal Waterway that easily expedited their path to a safe house. Too many rivers and exit points branched from the Waterway to check and the soldiers had no interest in hunting the Amigos at the moment regardless. They were more interested in securing the island and the estate, in particular the students still alive.


๐•Ž๐•–๐••: ๐•†๐•”๐•ฅ. ๐ŸŸ, ๐Ÿš๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿš๐Ÿ˜ / / ๐”น๐•’๐•๐•• โ„๐•–๐•’๐•• ๐•€๐•ค๐•๐•’๐•Ÿ๐•• / / โ„•๐• ๐•ฃ๐•ฅ๐•™ ๐”ผ๐•Ÿ๐•• ๐• ๐•— ๐•‹๐• ๐•จ๐•Ÿ / / ~๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿž๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ


In a half-destroyed house at the edge of the subnatural settlement, a flash of blue-streaked hair ended when the teenage boy collapsed into a chair, breaths coming in desperate and ragged. Of all people, he should have been able to escape first, but by now the other Amigos were either gone or dead, though the wall of water he had seen earlier was enough indication that Nathaniel at least was alive.

And he had seen Isabelle die with his own eyes. Few people liked herโ€”and they were justified. Half-crazy and doped up on drugs nearly all the time, Isabelle wasnโ€™t anyoneโ€™s first choice for company. But she hadnโ€™t minded when Chuck stayed in her hovel of a home, the tiny townhouse bare minimum lodgings provided by the Father when it became clear there was no point granting Isabelle luxuries. All she cared for was her drugs and the soothing high that accompanied them. At first it had been curiosityโ€”one of their better subnaturals living like a dogโ€”but it became clear enough when Isabelle spent nearly all her free time wreaking havoc in her home or dazed on the sofa, lost in chemical dreams.

But she had her lucid moments, rare though they were between the rage of her crashes and the insanity of her highs.

โ€œChuck, was it?โ€

He remembered bruised legs hanging off the bed while her arms drew nonsense in the air, the scatter of heroin injections like small patches of freckles on her pasty skin. He hadnโ€™t answered, sitting at the unbalanced dining table nearby because Isabelle had sliced away one of the tableโ€™s legs and Chuck had tried to duct tape it back together, only to have her kick at that same leg later.

โ€œWhyโ€™re you always around here, moleque? It smells here. โ€˜Cuz I donโ€™t wash anything. And itโ€™s gross. โ€˜Cuz I donโ€™t clean anything.โ€

He remembered telling her he didnโ€™t know and knowing it wasnโ€™t true.

โ€œMaybe I like the company, too,โ€ she had answered, guessing the reason. โ€œMaybe Iโ€™ll dye your boring hair sometime.โ€

He remembered thinking she was lucid when she told him to run.

The scent of blood still clung to him, lingering even though the splatters on his windbreaker had dried. He didnโ€™t know if the person behind the drugs and the psychosis was worth it, but he missed her all the same.

They knew what their ends had to inevitably be, but Isabelle had been unpredictable to the last. The group looked down on her. Hated her, even, for various reasons, but none of them would have told him to run. In a sudden burst of fear and anxiety that he had been holding back since their first encounter with the soldiers, the teenager finally felt the shudders of dry sobs wracking his body. Alone, without even Isabelle, he was almost defenseless. That should have been the worst part. But against all logic his heaviest emotions sprang from the grief of her death.

He had asked her once why she used so many drugs.

โ€œGod helps those who help themselves, Chuck. And amen.โ€

โ€โ€ฆAmen, Isabelle,โ€ he whispered, sitting up and pressing fingers to his eyes. He didnโ€™t know what she would say to him like thisโ€”ever impossible to guessโ€”but she wouldnโ€™t be resting any more than absolutely necessary.

He needed to find transportation. Or at least a place to hide until he could figure out a way off the island. The collapsed caves they had chased the generator mage into came to mind and he decided to let his fatigue recover first before making the jumps there.

The sound of helicopters caught his attention first and he didnโ€™t need to be Thi to put two and two together. He crouched low, watching the specks in the sky turn into his ticket off the island. His small pocket knife had been useless the entire time, but now he wondered if he could put it to good use. It was a reckless plan, but with the ferry gone he had no way of knowing when any future transportation would arrive, especially since the islandโ€™s inhabitants never seemed to travel.

His palm ached with the pressure of the knifeโ€™s handle.

โ€โ€ฆAmen.โ€


๐•Ž๐•–๐••: ๐•†๐•”๐•ฅ. ๐ŸŸ, ๐Ÿš๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿš๐Ÿ˜ / / ๐”น๐•’๐•๐•• โ„๐•–๐•’๐•• ๐•€๐•ค๐•๐•’๐•Ÿ๐•• / / โ„ค๐•™๐•’๐•Ÿ๐•˜'๐•ค ๐”ผ๐•ค๐•ฅ๐•’๐•ฅ๐•– / / ~๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿž๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ


Aldrich had finished checking the bodies of the dead subnaturals by the time Zhangโ€™s reinforcements arrived proper, the helicopters touching down in the large clearing around the estate. A tall, brutish woman with short black hair swept back across her head stepped out in black body armor ahead of the other nine soldiers, pausing at the sight of Aldrich. She scowled, the piercing at the right corner of her lips accentuating her distaste. An angry scar marred the left side of her jaw, running ragged to her nose while an old, vicious burn across her left temple ruined the remaining skin on that half of her face.

โ€œMargot,โ€ the older man greeted, though his face remained carefully neutral.

โ€And here I thought Iโ€™d finally find you in pieces,โ€ she growled back, voice coarse from years of chain smoking.

โ€If youโ€™re looking for the students, theyโ€™re in town. Safe, I assume. We lost one.โ€

โ€Not my business. Iโ€™m just here to retrieve whatโ€™s left.โ€ She gestured to the other nine soldiers to remain at the estate, heading into town alone. A hand scratched at the mark on her neck, scraping the rough fabric of the uniformโ€™s collar against her skin. It was just an old habit now. That infernal itch had long ago vanished.



Hidden 7 mos ago Post by Lasrever
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Nonviolent Solutions


Zoe


๐•Ž๐•–๐••: ๐•†๐•”๐•ฅ. ๐ŸŸ, ๐Ÿš๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿš๐Ÿ˜ / / ๐”น๐•’๐•๐•• โ„๐•–๐•’๐•• ๐•€๐•ค๐•๐•’๐•Ÿ๐•• / / โ„•๐• ๐•ฃ๐•ฅ๐•™ ๐”ผ๐•Ÿ๐•• ๐• ๐•— ๐•‹๐• ๐•จ๐•Ÿ / / ~๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿž๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ



Hidden 7 mos ago Post by GreenGoat
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Hazel Baker

Lightless green eyes stared at the ceiling, unfocused and unseeing. Cold. It was cold, almost freezing, yet she felt not the slightest bit of discomfort. She felt like โ€” claws crunching past bone, tearing apart flesh, biting through โ€” weariness was setting in her very bones. The way her clothes clung to her bare skin, her wet hair clumping together; none of it seemed to bother her anymore.

"That was pathetic. You're useless. We must become stronger."
"I understand."

"Its no use getting stronger. They never liked you, they fear you, they will kill you. We must escape."
"I understand."
"Things ain't looking up old gal. Ain't time to be sleeping around, what with a friend of ours being taken away."
"I understand."

Words she had used over and over again, but what had she truly understood so far? Hazel tried to roll over to her side, to get up, and walk, but all she managed to achieve was somehow magnify that feeling of lethargy, that tiredness that pulls at her consciousness. Exhaling softly, she closed her eyes again, letting the tendrils of darkness pull her consciousness deep down into that empty void.
Hidden 7 mos ago 7 mos ago Post by Baklava
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Kusari | Callan | Allison


๐•Ž๐•–๐••: ๐•†๐•”๐•ฅ. ๐ŸŸ, ๐Ÿš๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿš๐Ÿ˜ / / ๐”น๐•’๐•๐•• โ„๐•–๐•’๐•• ๐•€๐•ค๐•๐•’๐•Ÿ๐•• / / โ„•๐• ๐•ฃ๐•ฅ๐•™ ๐”ผ๐•Ÿ๐•• ๐• ๐•— ๐•‹๐• ๐•จ๐•Ÿ / / ~๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿž๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ



Hidden 7 mos ago 7 mos ago Post by Chasers115
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Bad Idea?




Siena | Brent | Ernie
Emma | Marcus | Chris

A Collab by @Papitan @ERode @Diggerton @Chasers115 @Dragonmancer


๐•Ž๐•–๐••: ๐•†๐•”๐•ฅ. ๐ŸŸ, ๐Ÿš๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿš๐Ÿ˜ / / ๐”น๐•’๐•๐•• โ„๐•–๐•’๐•• ๐•€๐•ค๐•๐•’๐•Ÿ๐•• / / ๏ฟฝ๏ฟฝ๐•š๐•˜๐•™๐•ฅ๐•™๐• ๐•ฆ๐•ค๐•– / / ~๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ



Hidden 7 mos ago 7 mos ago Post by Lasrever
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Keeping Secrets


Zoe


๐•Ž๐•–๐••: ๐•†๐•”๐•ฅ. ๐ŸŸ, ๐Ÿš๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿš๐Ÿ˜ / / ๐”น๐•’๐•๐•• โ„๐•–๐•’๐•• ๐•€๐•ค๐•๐•’๐•Ÿ๐•• / / โ„•๐• ๐•ฃ๐•ฅ๐•™ ๐”ผ๐•Ÿ๐•• ๐• ๐•— ๐•‹๐• ๐•จ๐•Ÿ / / ~๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿž๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ



Hidden 7 mos ago Post by VampireOracle
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Sophia Lemane


๐•†๐•”๐•ฅ. ๐ŸŸ, ๐Ÿš๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿš๐Ÿ˜ / / ๐”น๐•’๐•๐•• โ„๐•–๐•’๐•• ๐•€๐•ค๐•๐•’๐•Ÿ๐•• / / ~๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿž๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ
Step, step, and another step. Sophia's gaze remained on the ground close to her feet, with frequent glances into the bird cage which she still encircled with both arms. The guitar was gone, but she couldn't bring herself to give up on the bird, not when there was still a chance it might live. That wasn't the only worry that occupied Sophia's thoughts, though. She still wasn't sure what they were going to do once they reached townโ€”they were heading to town, right? That was what she thought the conclusion had been. Then there was Angรฉlique, and Gregory, and she was still cold, and she hadโ€”

The sound of helicopters cut into her thoughts, and her thoughts spiraled down that path instead until an exclamation from Ernie jolted her out to see... wait a moment. How had sheโ€”what had sheโ€”she'd missed the arrival of someone like that? But with the sudden reactions of the others around her, it made her think that it was something... different. Sophia tried her best to listen through her exhaustion, catching what was said about them returning to the estate. We're going back there? It seems like it's been so long... A steady surrounding sounded welcoming, though. Not having to wonder when they would leave again or anything like that.

"Transmit. I'm gonna need a healer in town as soon as possible. Over."

Huh? That was, Zoe? She wasn't in the group... a glance around told Sophia that a few seemed to be missing too. Pay attention, pay attention, she scolded herself.

There was wariness but fascination as well in her eyes as she watched the woman flicker and speak. Definitely not a regular human. But the conversation that was being held... Amigos... straggler... hurting... lost an arm... bleed out...

Her heart rate sped up, and the next conversation after the woman had left didn't help. Chris and Brent and Marcus. This had happened before, right? There had been something during the beach party. Something tense. But why now? It made her so nervous, it just wasn't the time.

"Could be 'Lovely weather today' for all I know."

Schรถnes Wetter heute, nicht wahr? The phrase popped into her head, unbidden, and then another one began. ไปŠๅคฉโ€”

Sophia began to shake her head roughly, but stopped the moment she realized it jolted the cage a bit. What was wrong with her? She needed to be here, not stuck up in her head. Presence of mind. Something like that. Her jaw clenched and she started walking again. Step, step, an abrupt halt and an attempt to shield her ears with one arm as a dragon roared. A few blinks as her ears rang, the feeling too familiar.

Then: a step and a step and another.
Hidden 7 mos ago 7 mos ago Post by January
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๐•Ž๐•–๐••: ๐•†๐•”๐•ฅ. ๐ŸŸ, ๐Ÿš๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿš๐Ÿ˜ / / โ„•๐• ๐•ฃ๐•ฅ๐•™ โ„‚๐•’๐•ฃ๐• ๐•๐•š๐•Ÿ๐•’ / / ๐•Š๐• ๐•ฆ๐•ฅ๐•™๐•ก๐• ๐•ฃ๐•ฅ / / ~๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿž๐Ÿ›๐Ÿ˜


There was a safehouse for the remaining Amigos in one of the many storage buildings of the Oak Island Fishing Charters, the location set up prior to their deployment. They abandoned the ferry near the waterway intersection at Pinner Point and walked from there, Nathaniel carrying the mutilated Angel in a large duffel bag they found on the ferry that had once carried various fishing tools and basic supplies. He was countering the otherwise unwieldy weight with his telekinesis, recovered just slightly from the effects of Teitelโ€™s weapons. Once the power had finally released after the tidal wave, Nathaniel had dropped unconscious and at the mercy of his fellow gang members who, to his surprise, did not slit his throat then and there. Perhaps because they realized without him they had no real firepower.

He had awoken inside the ferryโ€™s only cabin, beside the unconscious girlโ€™s upper body. No words had been exchanged then, but he knew an owed favor when he saw one. Thi had worked her surgical magic once more and now he was running on an overdose of adrenaline and heightened senses. Just enough to reach the safe house awake and without needing support to walk.

It was unfortunate for the girl, who had simply been in the wrong place at the wrong time while they had secondary orders as well. But fortunate for them. Whatever else they failed to do, this alternative mission required one of Zhangโ€™s pets brought back alive, even if barely living was all they could manage.

And it had all worked out, more or less, and the slow crunching of gravel underneath his boots kept him focused and awake on the end fringes of his stamina, their chosen path hooking and weaving through many abandoned charter stations until they reached a large, wooden building, no different from the rest of the drab and dreary types lining the waterway. But it was the safehouse. A place to wait for a long-range teleporter to come get them. Or for more conventional methods of travel, if one couldnโ€™t spare the time.

A different group had been there first to supply them with sleeping rolls and basic nonperishables hidden in cardboard boxes along the wall. Small flashlights and a first-aid kit lay under a ragged tarp in the corner, along with various sets of warm clothes that loosely fit them and would have been far too large for someone like Isabelle or Chuck. Moth-eaten sofas lay scattered around the room, their presence from decades past.

Nathanielโ€™s thoughts refused to linger on the lost teammates, focusing instead on the partial human inside his bag.

โ€Thi, fix herโ€”just enough.โ€ He threw the bag near the womanโ€™s feet, dropping into a nearby sofa that coughed up a plume of dust in response to his presence. He pushed the particles away in a spray of telekinetic irritation, laying down to gather as much rest as he could while Thi set to work revamping the functions of Angelโ€™s organs and tapping into the bodyโ€™s reserve storage of energy, stimulating usage of the girlโ€™s fat during their wait period while numbing her nerves and sense of hunger. She triggered the bodyโ€™s natural sedatives, too, finishing for the moment with a perfect, but ghastly suture across the vertical of the torso, the line nestled between the amputated breasts.

No teleporter came for them that time. Instead a lone van drove up several hours later and parked by the near roadside while the hooded men in nondescript clothing that all covered their necks stepped out and knocked carefully on the door of the storage house. Thi answered first, scalpels in hand and her frightening glove of needle-like feelers prepared to tear through the throats of any enemies. But the gesture of running a finger from the center of their forehead to the tip of their nose was enough to identify whose loyalties were present.

Ian stopped playing with the bits of sand and dirt in the room, the swirling miniature sandstorm falling away as he shook Nathaniel awake and picked up Angel by the handle that Thi had carved and attached onto the girlโ€™s upper back from sections of hip bone.

Unaccustomed to Thiโ€™s methods, their transport stared at the limbless girl until a weary and cranky Nathaniel shoved past them to the car. It was time to deliver at last and he was ready to be done with the half-botched mission.


๐•Ž๐•–๐••: ๐•†๐•”๐•ฅ. ๐ŸŸ, ๐Ÿš๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿš๐Ÿ˜ / / ๐”น๐•’๐•๐•• โ„๐•–๐•’๐•• ๐•€๐•ค๐•๐•’๐•Ÿ๐•• / / โ„ค๐•™๐•’๐•Ÿ๐•˜'๐•ค ๐”ผ๐•ค๐•ฅ๐•’๐•ฅ๐•– / / ~๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ›๐Ÿ˜


The island suffered its share of harried activity in the aftermath with Margotโ€™s various copies scouring every corner of the small landspace for more enemies and finding only a skulking Aubrey in his quite literal man cave within the underground tunnels of the island. Chuck, meanwhile, had been handily cuffed with enough suppressors to render him little more than a late teenage boy who had made some awful decisions. He was packed into a separate helicopter by three Margots while another attached a new cuff to Kusariโ€™s neck, the silver band with its translucent coating sealing together seamlesslyโ€”an upgraded version from their original cuffs.

โ€Not sure what happened, but Iโ€™m gonna take a while guess and say youโ€™re probably not looking to lose your head any time soon.โ€

True to her word, the mercenary had notified Zhang the moment she received Zoeโ€™s information, one of her many selves relaying the news once a good connection was established. Silence had met her on the other end and then a termination of the message channel. It would have been easy chalking it all up to the woman being a royal bitch but Margot knew better. It more more likely that Zhang was in a panic and coping with it the only way the woman knew howโ€”by tackling every task as efficiently and robotically as possible until she found a way to settle events within her reasonable control again.

While preparations and restoration went on, Margotโ€™s personal squad took up defensive positions around the estate and her own replicas ushered the two groups of students onto one of the helicopters.

The flight was muffled within the helicopterโ€™s cabin and the trip clocked in a little over three hours of flight with a brief refueling stop while clouds and open land slid past the view below them. Crimen Culpae 1 came into view as the helicopter neared its final destination. Dipping lower, signs of a battle on the schoolโ€™s grounds became immediately apparent with central buildings still in the process of slow, magical reconstruction while outcroppings of shattered edifices relied on more mundane means of contractors and scaffolding. Large piles of debris had been carefully swept off the Institute grounds while a distant, gargantuan Miranda slowly prowled the city outskirts, movements so slow that continuous viewing could barely discern any progress.

The schoolโ€™s central buildings remained intact and a worried Rosa stood near the helicopter landing pad situated on the roof of a research building, waiting to see the state of the students. Before they even landed, however, she was already leaving, a call on her phone sending her sprinting to the nearest elevator. She managed a quick wave at the approaching helicopter, but nothing more.

On landing the Instituteโ€™s soldiers resumed their careful chaperoning, nudging the students into the main hallway and down a different elevator, before leading them out of the buildingโ€™s lobby and setting them loose with a quick gesture to leave.

A researcher in a blue lab coat with her blonde hair twisted into a loose bun behind her head passed by the group on their way out and looked at them oddly, but resumed her business after a glare from one of the soldiers, hurrying into the building to get out of sight.

Aside from the small encounter and the remnants of devastation surrounding them, they were, apparently, home sweet home.


?????? / / ?????? / / ?????? / / ??????


โ€โ€ฆmakes them special?โ€

โ€โ€ฆpossible toโ€ฆand repurpose forโ€ฆโ€

โ€โ€”not sure this is related toโ€”โ€

โ€Washingtonโ€™s attack wasnโ€™t Fractureโ€™s plan eitherโ€”โ€

โ€Do you think Dreamcatcherโ€ฆnotice thatโ€ฆโ€

โ€โ€ฆis it awake?โ€

Snippets of conversation in unfamiliar voices faded in and out for Angel, lost in a haze of drugs and supernatural surgery, until she awoke limbless and artfully attached by metallic spokes to a freestanding cube frame of iron and steel isolated in a windowless cement room that, with all the protruding pipelines, looked like the basement of some commercial building. Four metal poles extended diagonally inward from the boxโ€™s four edges, suspending the amputated torso in the center. At the junction of flesh and steel, the surgeon had grafted bone to metal, making the grotesque framework effectively a part of the girl now. She was naked, though there was little left to see. Breasts had been replaced with more metal girding holding her in place, smaller rungs of iron fastened tightly to her exposed ribcage, the skin and flesh above each incision removed in perfect circles.

What remained of her lower body had been entirely redefined, a large portion of her innards easily visible with metal waste tubes extending from her truncated intestines and draining into an accessible sewer line nearby, the end of the tube bolted into place against the larger pipe. A large container of clear liquid siphoned nutrients and hydration into the partial body, the thin, flexible lines of rubber inserted directly into her stomach and feeding her directly. Other hollow threads redirected excretions from the kidneys into the same waste tube and further threads kept the intestines neatly packed under her ribs.

The room was empty when she woke up. A single bulb of light on the ceiling provided sufficient illumination, but there was no mistaking what had become of her body. As if in cruel jest, a tall mirror had been placed on the wall across from her, the polished look of it out of place in the dismal room.

And if she screamed, she would hear no sound.



Hidden 7 mos ago Post by Riffus Maximus
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?????? / / ?????? / / ?????? / / ??????



Ironically, thanks to the drugs administered to Angรฉlique and the numbing side-effects of Thiโ€™s magic, the dismembered ex-rockstar was so far out of her mind that she did not know what was happening around her, or to her body. She could hear voices casually talking of things Angel could not piece together in her clouded mind. As a matter of fact, she was drifting between consciousness and blacking out. She felt no pain at all, but couldnโ€™t also have any coherent thought, which was probably a good thing in her current state.

For an undetermined amount of timeโ€”time that the poor girl could not grasp in her hazy state of mindโ€”the raven-haired girl slowly started returning to her senses. There was no voice, at least none that she wasnโ€™t familiar with beside the ones she constantly kept hearing in her head. She was all alone, with enough lighting to discern what was surrounding her.

At first, the waking young woman was confused. Eyes not yet open, she swore she couldnโ€™t feel anything. The only thing she could feel was a slight itching in her throat. An itching she wanted to scratch badly. And yet, she couldnโ€™t. Why couldnโ€™t she relieve herself of this itching? Where was the feeling of her hands gone to?

Trying to bring her hands up to her neck, sinister memories slowly began creeping into her mind.

The searing bite of a sawโ€™s teeth digging into flesh and bone.

It hurtsโ€ฆ

A hand digging into her stomach to remove most of her organs.

No moreโ€ฆ

A scalpel to slice away her fat, breasts and hair.

Please โ€ฆ let me dieโ€ฆ

Those memories, accompanied by the lack of sensation throughout her body, made Angelโ€™s heartbeat steadily increase. Adrenaline began pumping through her as her mind was clearing, remembering every little detail of that sordid morning. The pain, it was unbearable. Even as numb as she was, the reminder of the pain she suffered not long ago was still fresh in her mind. Why wasnโ€™t she dead yet?

Then, Angel slowly opened her eyes, afraid of what she will find out. At first, there was nothing but haze. She could do nothing but wait for it to subside as she couldnโ€™t bring a hand to clear her eyes. But when her sight became clearer, she noticed she was standing upright, just as if she was standing. Standing without feeling anything of her body. Glancing around, what she saw only made her situation worse.

Rods of metal.

A metal frame surrounding her.

Tubes of all kinds inserted in her body.

The polished mirror in front of herโ€ฆ

What the fuck is that โ€ฆ no โ€ฆ it canโ€™t beโ€ฆ

Angel closed her eyes reflexively. She suddenly felt sick. She thought sheโ€™d throw up right at this moment, but nothing would come out of her mouth. Angel simply retched air out from her throat for a good moment. Even if it was but a hazy silhouette, she could recognize a dismembered corpse when she saw one. She saw enough of those back in Wisford and Washington.

Why was she here? What did they do to her? Whose corpse was this?

Angel could feel her heart beating at an inhuman pace. It slightly hurt even. Her mind was pacing back and forth to that morning and the moments she spent unconscious.

Daring to open her eyes once more, Angรฉlique stared into the mirror again. Despite the heaving sensation building up in her throat again, she kept going, as if some strange force, a morbid curiosity to learn the truth, drove her into looking at what was standing before her.

The mutilated torso of a human being, held up by rods of metal fused to its bone and flesh and attached to a large square metal frame. Lower body missing so much that the ribcage was exposed. Its innards were removed, replaced by a complex assembly of tubes that was pumping stuff inside and outside its body. Scars running across the torso, as if the body had been thoroughly opened then sewed back.

Angelโ€™s heartbeat grew even quicker.

The black X mark on its neck, unaltered despite the stitches on the corpseโ€™s neck.

Her breathing was accelerating to an alarming rate.

The cropped locks of sand and mud-stained black hair.

A plaintive shadow of a wail formed on her lips.

Those glassy emerald eyes and the tears that had started to trail down its cheeks.

Noโ€ฆ

Her chest was hurting. She swore she could see the corpseโ€™s heart beating so quickly, she could see it through the corpseโ€™s inhumanely slim torso. She swore her heart was ready to explode from her chest cavity. It hurt so damn much.

This canโ€™t beโ€ฆ

As to match her heartโ€™s erratic beats, her breathing also grew so quick and shallow, Angel thought for an instant every breath she took was not enough. She could feel herself choke from her own breathing, Angel was starting to suffocate, exhaling more oxygen than her intake.

Itโ€™s impossibleโ€ฆ

But despite her panic attack, neither her heart, lungs or brain faltered. Even if her heart was beating in a pace that would usually be dangerous to a normal human being, it simply kept on pumping more blood through the distressed young woman. Even if she was hyperventilating, the Aberrationโ€™s system seemed to handle itself well enough to stay alive. Even if the shock of seeing her own corpse hanging out on this metal frame would usually be so intense as it would make Angรฉlique go unconscious, she remained fully awake, unable to die or avert her mind away from this living nightmare.

This was no corpse. This was a mirror. It was a reflection of her. This was what remained of Angรฉlique Lachance.

Her lips formed a wide O. Air pushed from her lungs so violently that, despite her lack of vocal chords, the sound of a faint wheeze out from what should have been a scream of denial could be heard.

But as much as she tried to scream, no one would hear her. No one would come to her rescue.

If this was what hell looked like, then Angel sure was buckled alright for a maddening descent to the inferno.
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Diggerton

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guess i'm back home... is this place 'home'?
10/7


10/8


10/9

Moving to... Room 203. I wonder who was here before me?




10/10




10/11


10/12


10/13

I wanted to throw Siena a birthday party, but I don't think she was interested. Maybe I'll just drop off a cake?


10/14








???











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Helicopter Highlight




Siena | Callan


๐•Ž๐•–๐••: ๐•†๐•”๐•ฅ. ๐ŸŸ, ๐Ÿš๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿš๐Ÿ˜ / / โ„•๐• ๐•ฃ๐•ฅ๐•™ โ„‚๐•’๐•ฃ๐• ๐•๐•š๐•Ÿ๐•’ / / ๐•Š๐• ๐•ฆ๐•ฅ๐•™๐•ก๐• ๐•ฃ๐•ฅ / / ~๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿž๐Ÿ›๐Ÿ˜

Collab with @PapiTan & @Baklava


The sound of the outside world passing by and of steady rhythm of the helicopter's blades were muffled from their place in the transport. Siena didn't bother trying to distract herself by listening more intently to the white noise when her head was already filled with too much of it. Distance, intensity, too much and too little, but everything circled back to regret. So much that it overflowed, filling narrow chasms, overwhelming everything once Siena had managed, to some degree, to pull herself apart from what Victor left behind--no, from what he took away.

Her eyes had been dutifully turned away from Emma, memories of their conversation before Wisford coming to surface. Siena wondered, briefly, why she had admit at all what it cost her to use the names most familiar to her then. Hope that someone would understand? No...she knew that was far from what she had wanted. The Arbiter stared at the thin crack on her phone's screen, amazed that through the hell it had gone through, the crack starting to split and spread was the worst that had happened.

'A phone is more durable than I am. How pathetic.'

But that too was a distraction, wasn't it?

Quietly, Siena raised her gaze, glanced at the girl beside her, and felt something that might have been a mixture of guilt and remorse start to build as two distinct mindsets waged war against each other. The first reasoned out that while it had been a failure, using Vale's ability had been a necessary attempt to keep Cal from charging in headfirst, the second shot back that even if it had been necessary, it was still...wrong? Not quite the word. Cruel. That was more appropriate. It didn't take long for a clear victor to be decided. Softly, Siena released a breath she failed to realize she'd been holding.

"Callan...?" The name came tentative, and it was all that Siena could do not to drown in the image of her roommate refusing to acknowledge her. Harder still to try and control herself at the idea of having trampled another relationship because it was the logical thing to do. A cold voice mocked her for the sentiment--still so attached. Stupid of her, really.

Too late. Callan sat back in her seat, looking outside the window with lips pressed against the back of her knuckles. Her brow furrowed but her eyes glazed over, lost in thought. Why did it always seem like there wasn't enough time? Her gaze went in and out of focus, every so often beginning to sweep over the damaged island landscape below, as if some miracle might draw her attention somewhere important. She couldn't save anyone. Again. They never got a chance to look for Angelique. That Gregory kid was dead. She couldn't even help those staff members who tried to protect them. They were right there. What... what was the problem? Why couldn't she do this?

A familiar voice saying her name quickly pulled her from directionless thoughts. Callan lowered her hand and turned to look at Siena, memories immediately resurfacing. He expression shifted into something more guarded, though she was somewhat surprised to find that she wasn't very upset at her. What was a weird tickle in the arm compared to melting teammates and murdering defenseless civilians anyway?

"Yeah?" she replied, keeping her tone casual while looking away.

Somewhere, Siena felt a twinge of relief. At least the worst of the scenarios hadn't become a reality. Grey eyes swept over Callan again before quickly averting their gaze to her hands. It took most of the brunette's efforts not to start pulling at her hair, her efforts instead focused on her fingers twisting and pinching the skin of her hands. Nervous energy, she'd once heard Maya call it, but Siena wasn't certain that was the best way to describe it. Pain was just...easier to understand than trying to push through a thousand thoughts of anxiety-generated images.

"...it's probably not worth much, but I'm...sorry. For earlier." Words that were at least moderately honest. She was sorry, but if the situation presented itself again, Siena had little to no doubt that she would have taken the same course of action. "There were probably more politic ways to handle the situation."

Callan immediately scoffed, "It's fine. Siena. I was just...." The frustration was so overwhelming. She of course didn't like it when her teammates used their abilities on each other, but-- Why couldn't she do this?

"Tell me Callan, do you feel like a hero?"

The corner of her mouth twitched for a moment, deciding between a frown and a smile while hidden behind her hand as she lightly scratched her cheek. Finally, she grinned, forcing half a laugh for good measure. "You were just trying to keep everybody safe," she said, her voice noticably more chipper. Things will get better. Just focus. Focus. "Didn't really matter in the end anyway," she chuckled, tone slightly faltering. It was impossible for the somber meaning behind the words to be entirely hidden within the open book that was Callan. But she tried anyway. Trying in vain. The theme of her existence, it seemed.

There was only a moment's pause before she added, "I'd rather we just forget about the whole thing."

For Siena, raised around people that were experts at hiding their intentions, it was harder to ignore the thinly veiled sentiments. Harder still when she was still feeling, still reeling from the events that had transpired, but she quieted the cold, rational voice that demanded more, choosing to heed the quiet whisper that told her accept it at face value, even if she knew it was a mistake.

It might have shown in the weak attempt of a smile that Siena returned to her roommate. Still hollow, still tired. A near flawless imitation of what she was trying for, if one didn't notice exactly how stilted it was. Trying to ease the action did nothing to make it feel more natural, and the faintest traces of fear fluttered into her stomach. Had she gone too far there too?

"If...if that's what you'd prefer, then I won't bring it up again." But she knew she wouldn't forget it. Siena held back the torrent, kept in check the fact that the night's events, the mistakes she made, the things she should have done wouldn't stop their infinite loop until something else forced it out. Pale digits twisted the skin on her hand until it flared red before letting go again, the sharp sting doing little to ground the bookworm in the moment. "But...for what it's worth I--" A thousand ways to finish the sentence came to mind, but Siena didn't have an answer to which one was the correct way. "--think you were trying to do the right thing. I admire that."

Because Siena knew she never would.

Siena's fidgeting didn't go unnoticed by Callan, recalling her roommate's nervous mannerisms from before. She'd almost forgotten, yet it was still familiar enough not to phase her. A look of surprise crossed Callan's face at Siena's final remark. A second passed before her expression began to form, muscles moving involuntarily. She smiled and it was nauseatingly genuine the way she felt her eyebrows knit together and the slightest trace of moisture made her amethyst eyes twinkle for just a moment before she ultimately laughed at herself. "Thanks," Callan looked back down at her soggy tennis shoes, trying to force the smile off her face before her cheeks inevitably cramped, "I really needed to hear that."

The smile that broke across Callan's face was...relieving, somehow. No, it wasn't a matter of somehow, Siena knew why it was. A dark, bitter part of the girl reminded her that this was all she was good for, but it didn't manage to surface for long. The Arbiter quickly pushed the ominous thought aside, allowing herself to widen her smile. Still felt hollow, but surely she could explain that as exhaustion. It was more important that she take in the moment. It was probably the first thing she'd done right since surrendering herself.

In the wake of everything that had happened, Siena felt almost selfish for taking some amount of pleasure from a genuine smile. Even if she couldn't return the breadth of the gesture, Siena did her best to provide one that didn't feel quite so worn.

"Then it was worth saying."
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โ„‚๐• ๐•๐•๐•’๐•“๐• ๐•ฃ๐•’๐•ฅ๐•š๐• ๐•Ÿ โ„™๐• ๐•ค๐•ฅ / / @Baklava@Chasers115


๐•‹๐•™๐•ฆ๐•ฃ๐•ค: ๐•†๐•”๐•ฅ. ๐Ÿ , ๐Ÿš๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿš๐Ÿ˜ / / ๐•Œ๐•Š๐”ธโ„๐•€๐•ƒโ„• ๐”ผ๐•’๐•ค๐•ฅ / / ๐•Š๐•ฆ๐•š๐•ฅ๐•– ๐Ÿœ๐Ÿ›๐Ÿ˜ / / ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜






โ„‚๐• ๐•๐•๐•’๐•“๐• ๐•ฃ๐•’๐•ฅ๐•š๐• ๐•Ÿ โ„™๐• ๐•ค๐•ฅ / / @Baklava@banjoanjo


๐•‹๐•™๐•ฆ๐•ฃ๐•ค: ๐•†๐•”๐•ฅ. ๐Ÿ , ๐Ÿš๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿš๐Ÿ˜ / / ๐•Œ๐•Š๐”ธโ„๐•€๐•ƒโ„• ๐”ผ๐•’๐•ค๐•ฅ / / ๐”ธ๐••๐•ž๐•š๐•Ÿ๐•š๐•ค๐•ฅ๐•ฃ๐•’๐•ฅ๐•š๐• ๐•Ÿ ๐•†๐•—๐•—๐•š๐•”๐•– / / ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿš๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜






โ„‚๐• ๐•๐•๐•’๐•“๐• ๐•ฃ๐•’๐•ฅ๐•š๐• ๐•Ÿ โ„™๐• ๐•ค๐•ฅ / / @banjoanjo@Baklava


๐•‹๐•™๐•ฆ๐•ฃ๐•ค: ๐•†๐•”๐•ฅ. ๐Ÿ , ๐Ÿš๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿš๐Ÿ˜ / / ๐•Œ๐•Š๐”ธโ„๐•€๐•ƒโ„• ๐”ผ๐•’๐•ค๐•ฅ / / ๐”ธ๐••๐•ž๐•š๐•Ÿ๐•š๐•ค๐•ฅ๐•ฃ๐•’๐•ฅ๐•š๐• ๐•Ÿ ๐•†๐•—๐•—๐•š๐•”๐•– / / ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿš๐Ÿ›๐Ÿ˜






โ„‚๐• ๐•๐•๐•’๐•“๐• ๐•ฃ๐•’๐•ฅ๐•š๐• ๐•Ÿ โ„™๐• ๐•ค๐•ฅ / / @ERode@Baklava


๐•‹๐•™๐•ฆ๐•ฃ๐•ค: ๐•†๐•”๐•ฅ. ๐Ÿ , ๐Ÿš๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿš๐Ÿ˜ / / ๐•Œ๐•Š๐”ธโ„๐•€๐•ƒโ„• ๐”ผ๐•’๐•ค๐•ฅ / / ๐•†๐•ฆ๐•ฅ ๐•’๐•Ÿ๐•• ๐”ธ๐•“๐• ๐•ฆ๐•ฅ / / ๐Ÿ™๐ŸŸ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜






โ„‚๐• ๐•๐•๐•’๐•“๐• ๐•ฃ๐•’๐•ฅ๐•š๐• ๐•Ÿ โ„™๐• ๐•ค๐•ฅ / / @Piercing Light@Baklava


๐•‹๐•™๐•ฆ๐•ฃ๐•ค: ๐•†๐•”๐•ฅ. ๐Ÿ , ๐Ÿš๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿš๐Ÿ˜ / / ๐•Œ๐•Š๐”ธโ„๐•€๐•ƒโ„• ๐”ผ๐•’๐•ค๐•ฅ / / ๐•‹๐•™๐•– ๐•‹๐•ฃ๐•’๐•”๐•œ / / ๐Ÿš๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ›๐Ÿ˜








๐•‹๐•™๐•ฆ๐•ฃ๐•ค: ๐•†๐•”๐•ฅ. ๐Ÿ , ๐Ÿš๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿš๐Ÿ˜ / / ๐•Œ๐•Š๐”ธโ„๐•€๐•ƒโ„• ๐”ผ๐•’๐•ค๐•ฅ / / ๐”พ๐•ฃ๐• ๐•ฆ๐•Ÿ๐•• โ„ค๐•–๐•ฃ๐•  / / ๐Ÿš๐Ÿ›๐Ÿœ๐Ÿ




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Baklava geeettttt dunked on!!!

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โ„‚๐• ๐•๐•๐•’๐•“๐• ๐•ฃ๐•’๐•ฅ๐•š๐• ๐•Ÿ โ„™๐• ๐•ค๐•ฅ / / @Baklava@Diggerton


๐•‹๐•™๐•ฆ๐•ฃ๐•ค: ๐•†๐•”๐•ฅ. ๐Ÿ , ๐Ÿš๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿš๐Ÿ˜ / / ๐•Œ๐•Š๐”ธโ„๐•€๐•ƒโ„• ๐”ผ๐•’๐•ค๐•ฅ / / ๐•„๐•š๐•Ÿ๐•š ๐”พ๐• ๐•๐•— โ„‚๐• ๐•ฆ๐•ฃ๐•ค๐•– / / ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜




It had been a slow day. A slow week, really. Emma had gotten out a little, but...

"Dude. Check this." Determination said, tossing Emma's own phone back at her. It was a video of a golden retriever trying to carry a stick that was way too big through a narrow hallway, and that pretty much summed up Emma's day besides her chat with Ernie, a small trip to Crimen Culpae, and fruitless attempts to fix her scarf. "Cute as hell, right? Why don't we get a dog too?"

A slow day.

She did, however, see something in Crimen Clulpae that piqued her interest: a mini golf course. It was the kind of stupid thing her and Riley used to do all the time... but it felt weird hanging out with the faux-Riley that always followed her around. Instead, she knew just the person to ask out.

"I'm gonna go out, kay?"

"Ooooo, can I come?"

"Not today. Give Spartacus a bath while I'm gone, that'll keep you busy."

"Ugh. Fiiiine. Seeya."

Emma nodded, waving as she left. She grabbed her phone, as she set off down the hallway opening up her messages and finding Callan.

Awake yet? I got a hot tip that there's a pretty good mini golf course in CC.

:0 that sounds awesome. Im down. What time?

Is it good if I come now? I kinda already left


Callan groaned, holding her phone up as she rolled over in her bed. It wasn't that she didn't want to hang out with Emma, but her sleeping schedule was in dire of fixing.... No, it would be fine. Still had plenty of energy drinks left.

Sure! Cya




Emma's new walk from Building B to Building A wasn't a long one- it only took but a minute for her to end up at the door of Suite 430. She gave it a quick knock, quietly hoping that Cal wasn't still in bed.

Callan answered relatively quickly. Quicker than she had the day before, at least. Though the effort of her attire was the same as always, she seemed ready to go.

"You ready to lose?" she smirked, hoisting a small cinch bag over her shoulder.

"Pfffft, not a chance in hell, Webb. I'll have you know that I have smashed every minigolf course in NYC. Like, I'm a certified minigolf pro, so don't take it too hard when you lose."

"Oh boy," Callan's confident smile only wavered for a second, "It's gonna be really embarrassing when you lose to a total noob like me."

"Here I was thinking I would go easy, seeing as there's not a chance that you're good as me. Looks like someone is gonna have to be put in her place, though."

"I ain't scared of you, Party Queen."

The afternoon went by as pleasantly as Callan felt it could have, sleep deprivation aside. Her muscles were sore, but thankfully she wasn't required to do anything too strenuous. Not that doing so would have helped in a game like minigolf-- as she quickly found out. Emma's self proclaimed title of 'minigolf pro' turned out to be nothing to sneer while Callan's ability turned out to be a major hindrance for such a green player. It was frustrating to lose, but the casual chatter and good company was enough to soften the blow.




Even through all the smack talk and smiles, however, Callan couldn't help but notice that Emma seemed tired. And after that lecture the other day about taking care of yourself, too. She made a mental note to try and do something extra nice for her soon. Not that she felt Emma needed it. What with someone like Marcus around. The Riley situation had to be stressful; she could only imagine. And while she would have loved to help Emma find an escape from both Riley and the secret she was keeping from her boyfriend, Callan desperately needed a full day's sleep tomorrow.

The night ended casually. No intense discussions. Minimal Marcus references. Callan was surprised to hear that Emma had moved to her own room, though it made sense. Not a big deal considering how she didn't seem especially close to either of her roommates, though Callan couldn't help but think she might get a little lonely. A stupid idea. She supposed it made hanging out with Emma a lot easier if she could convince herself, even for a few hours, that she and Marcus weren't together. But things always came full circle.

Nonetheless, she wished Emma goodnight, promised to kick her ass next time, and headed home to prepare for another tiring night of training at Ground Zero.



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banjoanjo Still likes pistachios

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Back to School pt. 1



๐•Œ๐•Š๐”ธโ„๐•€๐•ƒโ„• ๐”ผ๐•’๐•ค๐•ฅ


October 8








October 9




October 10










GZ Funtimes


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Back to School pt. 2



๐•Œ๐•Š๐”ธโ„๐•€๐•ƒโ„• ๐”ผ๐•’๐•ค๐•ฅ


October 12








October 13








October 14


1x Like Like
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Chasers115 The FatCat

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โ„‚๐• ๐•๐•๐•’๐•“๐• ๐•ฃ๐•’๐•ฅ๐•š๐• ๐•Ÿ โ„™๐• ๐•ค๐•ฅ / / @Chasers115@PapiTan@Baklava


๐•Š๐•ฆ๐•Ÿ: ๐•†๐•”๐•ฅ. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™, ๐Ÿš๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿš๐Ÿ˜ / / ๐•Œ๐•Š๐”ธโ„๐•€๐•ƒโ„• ๐”ผ๐•’๐•ค๐•ฅ / / ๐•Š๐•ฆ๐•š๐•ฅ๐•– ๐Ÿœ๐Ÿ›๐Ÿ˜ / / ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿš๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜




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