Azure City, Streets
Interactions - Collaboration
Despite the passing of two days, one would forgive the inhabitants of Azure City for maintaining a paranoid state of mind, and being quick to act. Any suspicious activity was immediately reported to the MSU, FBI or ACPD, the Azure City Police Department. Among the agents investigating recent atrocities was Milo, now dressed in little more than an unzipped sweater, along with a tank top and cargo pants. Far from what an agent would wear, truly. Like a kitten, considering this boy a threat was laughable, at best, his scrawny nature more prevalent than ever within baggy and loose fabric.
However, it was a foolish endeavor to attempt stealth in the urban jungle when dressing like MSU's finest. With his hands in his pockets, the boy made his way towards a recent call, where he had been dispatched. No matter the desperate chase at hand, one could not rush this procedure. It was delicate, to say the least, and no one was knowledgeable of who had initiated the attack on Azure Park. Another scenario which was worthy of note, would turn one's attention towards the Bio-Organic Institute. Several of their resources had been stolen, and considering the explosive chaos which had left everyone on edge, this went unnoticed.
Stepping into an alley, Milo's dark eyes traced a path along its shape, seeing how there were two individuals present. Thugs, as others would label them, Replicant could clearly establish that these downtrodden men couldn't possibly be behind what had come to pass.
Two days since the chaos at the Festival, yet Maksim's life hadn't really changed. He spent those last two days searching for a meal, as usual, after his gifted ration bar had been consumed quickly. There wasn't much different in the city, aside from the police department and MSU having a bigger presence than before. Because of this, the young boy had to be more careful when attempting to nab another meal, he didn't want to draw any further attention to himself than was caused.
Maks could sense the uneasiness that filled Azure City. Everyone was on edge, and because of this he had to pick and choose which people he tried to steal from. This also proved difficult, as it seemed the streets were less crowded, it seemed as though more people were staying home because of the threat at the park.
So after most of the morning had passed and Maks was empty-handed, he fell back into the alleyways closer to the main streets, deciding to wait a little while before going back out again.
After wandering those alleyways for awhile, the boy found himself attempting to stalk a couple thugs her were loitering around. He didn't usually steal from other people living on the streets. For one, they were in the same position as he was, so it didn't make sense to the boy to steal from someone who also needed help. But Maks also understood that not all people living on the streets were of the pleasant sort, and he needed to be careful. These thugs definitely didn't seem to be the kind to mess with, but Maks figured if he could get in and get out quickly, without being caught, he could easily lose their trail.
So the young boy was opposite Milo in the alleyway, using old, rusty trash cans and thrown out furniture as cover as he attempted to get closer to the thugs. Being so focused on his thieving attempt, he failed to even notice Milo.
Closing the distance between himself and the alley dwellers, Milo's fingers were gently wrapped around the grip of his pistol, which in turn remained positioned within his hoodie pocket. Hopefully, this did not require violence. Milo merely wanted to ask a few questions. "Excuse me,"
came the boy's voice, soft and innocent in its nature. Merely a moment passed before two sets of eyes were turned to him, attention fixed on the artificial creature.
"Mutant, huh?" A dweller returned, raising his brow. Indeed, it was clear from Milo's porcelain skin and unnatural presence that humanity would not consider him one of theirs. "Whaddya' want?" The man, large and imposing, continued."Would it be a bother to answer a few questions?
Milo tried. His social prowess was nothing notable, other than, perhaps, in a negative light.
"Y'know..," the remaining man spoke, sighing as he turned from his friend, his attention now entirely stolen by Milo's entrance. "That's gonna' cost you, right?""I do not have any money,"
Replicant offered, shrugging his shoulders before hearing the two men laughing at his response.
"You're kinda' dumb, aintcha'?" The dweller who had first spoken entered the conversation once more. "Round' here, you want something, you gotta' have something to give." He scratched his chin, for a moment. Desperation, it brought people into a corner they would rather not visit if fate were more merciful. "You would fetch a nice price, though. Bet lotsa' fine folk want to dress that doll-face up."
Tightening his grip around the pistol obfuscated by his shirt pocket, Milo narrowed his eyes, as the two men began approaching him.
As Maks got closer to the thugs, he heard a voice speak from the opposite end of the alleyway. Something about it seemed vaguely familiar, but he couldn't quite see past the thugs to get a look at the strange figure. He stood quietly, huddled behind a soggy pile of cardboard boxes as he listened to the thugs and the figure speak. Who would want to openly approach these thugs like that figure was? Didn't he know how dangerous they could be?
Maks frowned a little, watching the thugs walk away from a few items they had placed on an an old tv-tray in the alleyway.
From what the boy could see, it was a take-out box of what smelled like Chinese food, and a couple cans of soda! Jackpot!
While the thugs approached the figure, Maks walked up as quietly as he could, grabbing one of the cans that was unopened, and then carefully grabbing the styrofoam take-out box, trying his best not to let the material squeak as the box moved with the weight of the food.
If he could get away with this jackpot, Maks could assure himself he wouldn't go to sleep hungry tonight, as had been the case for the last week or so. The boy wasn't sure how much longer he could go without a substantial meal to keep his strength up.
Reaching for a knife in his pocket, the alley dweller gently tapped it against his opposite palm, in a most threatening manner, indeed. "Don't wanna' ruin that pretty face of yours, ya'? Would fuck up the price tag, for sure." He explained, "but, y'know, damaged goods is better than no goods at all." "Continued hostility will force retaliation,"
Replicant returned, taking a step back from the approaching men.
"Th'fuck does he talk like that, for?" Came a question, followed by a roll of the thug's eyes, "whatever, just nab him." The time for talk was, unfortunately, over. Additionally, Milo had noted a presence behind the two, granted his line of sight. Was it yet another thug? No, it was a shade sneaking onto the scene, someone who desired to remain hidden. "Forceful approach, authorized,"
Replicant frowned, drawing his gun with impressive speed, before firing a shot into the mass of a target's torso. Though the otherwise loud warcry of a gun was minuscule, considering the technological advances of MSU's equipment, the outcome surely wasn't. As the sleek, black pistol made itself visible in the boy's unnaturally dainty hands, it left one of the thugs stunned, paralyzed as he hit the hard, concrete ground beneath. Shifting his aim towards the remaining man who wasted no time in charging the boy, Milo quickly maneuvered to the side, before firing two subsequent bullets.
The first connected with the alley dweller's leg, sending him to a knee as the appendage was rendered paralyzed. The remaining projectile dissipated as it made impact with his temple, ending the threat. "You will be able to move again, in five hours. Take this time to consider your actions.
Despite a most adrenaline inducing moment passing him by, Milo appeared unphased by the circumstance, his usual and most certainly apathetic approach remaining clear.
As he slipped the pistol into a shoulder holster hidden beneath his unzipped sweater, Milo's eyes widened as he looked towards the newly arrived visitor. "It's.., you..,"
he tried, inhaling a sharp breath.
The sound of a gun was not something Maks was expecting, nor was the scramble of the thugs and their ultimate collapse on the floor of the alley. The sudden commotion caused Maks to falter. He dropped the box of take-out food, hitting the edge of the tv-tray and causing that to tumble as well. The opened can of soda spilled, spreading out into the cracks of the stone that made up the floor of the alley, while the other landed next to Maksim, still sealed.
When everything had settled, the young boy was looking into the eyes of, what felt like, someone very familiar. Maks was frozen as he watched the figure slip the pistol back into his sweater, the sight of the weapon drawing out the boy's fear and making him unable to move.
Maks breathing was quick as, after a few quick moments, the young boy regained himself. Maks stood quickly, but didn't run. No, something about this figure was different. The young boy could make out the obvious differences from a normal human being, the pale skin, his eyes. Something else made Maks pause, something about the figure's demeanor towards his young self. It wasn't the usual human, feeling either sorry for Maks, or disgusted by his appearance.
So Maks stayed, holding his ground where he stood and watching the strange figure, somewhat curious as to what he had to say, and tempted to ask something in return.
Unsure of how to proceed, Milo was certain that this boy was the exact same individual he had seen two days prior. The same person who had prompted the young, artificial agent to disobey direct orders. On the ground, two people who Milo had grown used to, and jaded towards, laid motionless. However, in front of him stood a boy, someone who possessed an age similar to Replicant's own. "I..,"
Milo tried, with futile results. One could consider the scene endearing, in a way, but for the two involved, there was an undeniable conflict presented. They did not know how to approach the situation. "I was..,"
Milo attempted for a second time, "I was under the impression that.., children lived with parents."
An incredibly inept sentence to utter, for anyone with social knowledge. "I mean..,"
Replicant caught the notion, and tried again. "Are you alone?"
A better question, if nothing else.
Lowering his eyes to the food and soda now spilled on the floor, Milo managed a soft frown. If the artificial creature possessed food of his own, he would have offered it, like last time. Alas, everything the boy owned, was located in the MSU headquarters.
Maks remained silent as the other boy attempted to speak. Watching the figure closely, Maksim backed up a few steps, just to put some distance in between him and the stranger.
It took a few moments, but the figure finally asked something Maks was interested in, if he was alone.
The young boy didn't respond for a few moments, before finally nodding slowly, his eyes still trained on Milo. He didn't know what to say besides nodding, but Maks knew he wanted to say something. "Are you?"
The young boy thought on his words for a few moments, hoping they made sense since he didn't really speak much aside from chatting with himself. He took a deep breath. For the last two years Maks had kept interactions with people to a minimum, on purpose. It was clear that the boy trusted no one, and wanted no help from anyone who approached him. Yet something swayed his opinions on this figure. Something about how the figure acted towards him, his demeanor and how he seemed to be having as much trouble speaking to Maks, as Maks would to him.
The young boy took another deep breath, "Do you-,"
His attempt at speaking was cut short however, as for a brief moment, Maks stopped, listening to the world around him. Not another second went by as the boy suddenly felt a stinging sensation in his neck, his body suddenly failing him as he collapsed on the floor of the alleyway.
Another second would go by and Milo would feel the same sensation, before his muscles would fail and the world in his eyes, would go black.