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You are more than welcome to come play with any of my girls, Liseran! Though you prolly dun wanna play with Zoë she's a bit evil


Oi, she can't be that evil, Everett's a nice guy and he'll probably get suckered in by her cause hook, line and sinker so ya know.


Detroit, Downtown, abandoned construction site
11:48pm, July 6th


The young man sneered, the cold evening breeze having stung his eyes a little. He reached up with thin, dusty fingers to wipe it away, but winced as a trace of the ruins lingered behind. Only the glow of a small trash fire illuminated the area around him, the disorientation making the shadows in the peripheral all the worst.

In theory he should have grown used to them over these last few days, but in practice it was painfully difficult.

This place was not his home after all, but it was his residence for now. A blasted ruin of human failing, an image of an image, a shell within a shell. Twenty stories worth of what-could-have-been, collapsed by debt to the point where only those judged could hope to stay, away from the eyes of any who would hurt them.

Mansa, can you hear them? whispered the spider, Here, in the darkness. Your hiding place has been disturbed.

"I told you not to call me that-"

One cannot deny one's truth. Your hands hold the balance of ruin and prosperity. You are the Mansa, you mus-.


His stomach grumbling caught the spider off-guard, "Finally," and turned his attention to more immediate matters. He reached into the bag he had with him, pulling out a small peanut bar. Its aging orange wrapper was pristine by comparison to even the air surrounding it. It wasn't much, but after the first couple of bites he tried to chew more slowly, to linger on it. The sweetness of the chocolate, the saltiness on his tongue.

As he chewed, focusing his mind on every aspect of its texture, its colour, even things as inane as the history of the brand or the specific ingredients. Anything to get away from the ramblings of that damn spider.

Or the past. Or the future...

"...or the present."

He sniffed, the peanut catching in his throat a little as his body quivered, the taunting demons ever just out of reach, lingering in the darkness. He felt the pain begin to leave his body, running down the sides of his face, the quivering changing to jolts, the unfinished candy falling from his fingers as he lent his face into his knees.

But hope would not vanish forever, as a small piece of paper drifted on the wind, and found its way to the edge of the light...
Euuuugggghhhh

Sorry about my lack of activity guys, just caught up with the OOC section and need to catch up with the current IC situation as well.

Since my ideas for 'lone story arcs' for Everett seem to have been hijacked by my brain into becoming independent stories outside of the RP, I'm going to try and get involved with more collab stuff for Everett and have him involved in other player's story arcs, if they so wish.

Is there anyone in particular who would be interested in collabing, or any specific side plots that could work well if Everett was to show up and join?
Hey guys,

I'm really sorry about this, but I think it's probably best for me to drop out of this.
Every time I try to sit down and do a bobbling post I just get this big creative blank space and nothing really seems to be shifting it.
Well, I finally got out of hospital but have been reeling since I started suffering from a lot of the same symptoms again, so I've been feeling exhausted - mentally and physically - a lot of the time and have made little progress on my creative projects, Helium Frightful included.

I dunno how long it's gonna take me to recover from this and get back into the normal swing of things, honestly ):
My apologies for lack of posts, I have been extremely ill the last few days and am now in hospital expecting an operation soon. It's nothing dangerous, but I'm sure y'all can appreciate my creativity has taken something of a hit right now, dehydration and medication are a fun combination.

I will post once I'm back home with laptop access and feeling a little better. ^_^
Sorry about the lack of posting, I have caught up with what's going on but have been very I'll with severe stomach problems and currently stuck in hospital, so I haven't been in a very creative mindset :/

I will try to post in a few days time, assuming I have access to my my laptop and feel a little better.


New York; one day before the Hounds attack

Bronx - Dreaming Whisky apartments


Far from home, whispered the spider, none of the beds in this city are familiar, are they? Even after two months.

... How could he answer that? A simple 'no' wouldn't suffice.

"I could afford something better," he whispered back, and imperceptibly the golden spider shook its head.

Selfish stupidity is not your nature, Mansa. I know that. You know that.

Of course he nodded along, the darkness cool and relaxing. In the weeks since his escape to the Bronx, he'd been spending a lot of time sleeping, thinking. Lying low gave him that opportunity, at least, but the aching in his bones was continuous.

This particular apartment had been 'home' for five weeks now, and mainly he had been keeping an eye on the British news. His own headlines had dropped, of course, though the theories on conspiracy sites were rampant.

"Protests in Parliament, 2 dead." they read now, the latest in a more brutal crackdown.

"Metas are human too," read one of the protestor's signs in the video, a black clad police officer striking the woman almost as soon as she stepped forward.

"Was it right to escape?" he asked the spider, "Shouldn't I be there to help?"

Your path is your own, Mansa, but your purpose is clear. If the world's wounds are better healed here, that is your choice... and you cannot heal anything from within a prison cell.

A murmur, a gentle pain in his chest, and the silence of his dreams starts to give way to the sights and smells and noises of the big city - the universals of trash and smog and fast cars, of grey upon grey.

But right now your path is hunger for... food, correct? That sandwich place, uh...

"Lil Pickles,"

Yes, that one. We enjoyed that one, right?

"Right, yeah..."

He rose up, bed still unmade, and placed the thin spectacles onto his nose, the soft yellow metal narrowing into the ridges of his nose from a lifetime of short-sightedness. He dressed in familiar attire, the universal attire of a man blending in - old (but not filthy) jeans and red t-shirt, a cheap and padded dark blue coat, a simple blue cap on his head, the brim just long enough to obscure his eyes without seeming suspicious.

But as he made his way from the apartment, door locked tight behind him, unseen eyes turned to glance at the radio in their hands.

"Target is on the move. Appears to be heading for his usual spot."

"Good to hear, you know what to do."

...

Lil Pickles


A humble sandwich joint, little known to most save those on the local few blocks, Lil Pickles had become a popular hotspot for those at the bottom of the Bronx.

The slightly smudged glass door, covered in cheaply printed or decade old adverts gave way to the humble tinkle of a doorbell as Everett pushed it open. He got a few glances here or there from patrons who had been eating there for years, and the black haired cutie - Aiko? Hikari? he wondered - behind the counter looked up from her phone to give him a warm smile. Though, something was... off.

What is it?

But the unease quickly passed.

Her smile had quickly become a familiar comfort so far from home. It wasn't a forced smile, the fixed and practised smile of corporate staff, but the subtle and good-natured welcome of someone who genuinely liked to see people's faces, whether familiar or not.

"Hey, Eddie, how're ya? You want the usual?"

He couldn't help but nervously smile at her greeting. Sure enough, she'd remembered the name he'd given her and had already picked up on his tea drinking habits, but for the life of him he couldn't seem to remember the specifics of anything she gave him.

"Yeah, uh, yes please, chamomile and a cheese toastie-"

He caught himself mid-sentence, but too late all the same.

"-you mean a grilled cheese 'n' onions?" she smirked.

With silent resignation he just nodded, hands opened and palms against the counter as he took a seat by the bar. He reached into his wallet and pulled out a 10 dollar note - the usual for the usual.

"HEY BENNY," she shouted over her shoulder to the kitchen beyond, "GRILLED CHEESE AND ONIONS FOR EDDIE THE BRIT!"

"OKAY!" he shouted back.

He twiddled his thumbs, glancing over to the newspaper on the counter, and it occurred to him that it was a different sort of "bad news" to what he'd been reading online from British sources. Less "the government is turning into a dictatorship" and more "city life sucks and people are scared of metas; in related news, hell is still hot and pigs still don't fly".

"Sooo," she said, the familiar, comforting smell of cheap instant tea starting to waft as she poured in the water, "Still outta luck on the job front? 'Spensive and risky movin' so far with still nothin' for it."

He gave a small smile.

The irony kills me. I'm actually going to die.

"Well, you know. The land of opportunity, some times you've just got to go with it. Sometimes there's not much to stay for, you know? Double or nothing."

She nodded.

"Dad was just the same - there's a guts to it, I respect that."

What was her dad's name? She's told you before.

"But you know," she whispered, leaning in a little as she pushed the tea over to him, "I don't blame you."

Her voice was barely perceptible, and the hair on his back went dead straight.

"Your name isn't Eddie, is it? And I know why you've still got enough money to live here when you haven't had a job yet."

She backed off a little, smirking as he gave her the weakest, palest grin he could muster, his hunger suddenly replaced by a sinking feeling. This was further worsened when the guy next to him at the counter nudged up to him with the barrel of a handgun buried in his coat.

"You're really bad at keeping a low profile, you know that? Mansa, right?"
EDIT: Thanks to [@LegionX51] for recommendations regarding edits to the wider political and social context of Everett's situation

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