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In APEX 12 days ago Forum: 1x1 Roleplay
Kieran’s eyes locked onto Aura’s dark eyes, watching as she slowly unraveled.

He felt sorry for her, really.

And it wasn’t pitying he felt; in some way, it was similar to how he had been before he was a runner. Scavenging with the other port boys. Looked at as less of a human and more of a pest to be chased off when AA came around.

Now, he was the one empowered. And thinking of going back scared the shit out of him.

He loosened, somewhat, as he watched Aura run for air. He felt bad, in a strange way, for being so cold—for intimidating him. Which was particularly strange, as he found himself the captor in this situation. It was either empathy or a survival instinct that softened him somewhat, but regardless, he tried to relax. Well, as best he could.

”I won’t kill you,” she said between breaths. He made a sort of scoffing noise without thinking, more so out of incredulousness. It really was that tense of a situation, wasn’t it?

He eyed her quizzically, as she explained that this might have been a fun evening under different circumstances. For all of his experience and quick analyzing, he wasn’t able to get much of a read on her here.

As she continued, he found himself grimacing at her conflation between running and being an enforcer. It was true, in a way—and similarly, it disgusted him. The longer this went on, the worse he felt. His survival instincts were wearing off and he realized he had walked into a skirmish far more complex than he was giving it credit for. He had assumed a monolith of the rebels; and now he could see that really wasn’t the case.

If it was, he’d already be dead by now. The necessary killing of law enforcement to further the cause.

But here she was—lifting a pail to him. He drank deeply, as long as she allowed, and thanked her. She sat across from him, and the momentary silence between them was deafening.

She explained her position and asked him for advice, and he froze for a moment; considering all of his options.

The more he thought, the less he liked how he had started his meeting. Or this evening, for that matter.

With Aura—fuck it—he needed at least one person truly in his corner if he was to infiltrate this group. Might as well be as honest as he could be.

“If I were you, which I’m not,” Kieran started, thinking aloud, “and I were working with a sort of rebellion, which I’m not even sure if you are or not…and I captured me? Someone with authority in Apex? Shit…”

He didn’t finish the thought. He figured she could read his morose expression.

“I won’t report you,” Kieran admitted. Truthful. “I mean—you don’t know me, and I could be lying through my teeth, but for what it’s worth, I won’t. And I get the sense that you haven’t killed anyone before…” his voice wavered. A flood of memories hit him and he physically shook his head to try not to go down that path. “And believe me as much as you can, you don’t want to do that.”

Kieran sighed and paused—giving him one last out to avoid being honest. But that moment wasn’t very long.

He would give her some very good reasons not to trust him.

“I’ll come right out with it. I’m here to scout. To find people likely similar to those who had you in the streets tonight. I don’t know much. Some locations. Some names. Del. Gregor. Those sorts of things. I don’t know how well you know these people or how involved you are, but if I can convince AA I helped root out a rebellion, well…” He paused. “Well I’d be out of the docks, that’s for sure.”

He thought for a moment, then continued. “So, maybe we can build some trust. You know this area; you know the problem people. I figure the fewer instigators there are, the more likely they’ll leave Atlantic well enough alone and life in all of F will be better for everyone. There are more enforcers here than I’ve seen anywhere else in Apex and I think maybe fewer enforcer shootings would help reduce that number.”

He couldn’t read her face, but something told him suggesting taking down the rebellion she was clearly sympathetic towards wasn’t coming across well. Hopefully being honest didn’t fuck him over this time...

“Aura...” he continued. “I’m not pro or anti either side here. My loyalty to Apex only extends to my ability to survive. I’d like to see fewer killings and convince AA I helped do their dirty work, so I’m all ears on any suggestions that’ll lead me to that end. Because if I don’t do this for them...well you may as well shoot me now.”
In APEX 15 days ago Forum: 1x1 Roleplay
Kieran continued to be accosted as he was held at gunpoint and continued to be pushed further and further from the town square. As she pushed him, Kieran made a note of every building, every street, and every inch of the area—until of course, she tossed a sweater over her head.

“Fucking really,” Kieran muttered, unsure and uncaring if she had heard the comment. Luckily, the smell wasn’t so bad, if it weren’t for the sweat that had already been dripping down his face. He continued to trudge forward through the humid, muddy night. He tried to keep some sense of his bearings and figured they had gone maybe a ten or so blocks before he heard her bang thrice on a door.

He listened intently to the conversation Aura shared with a third voice. This one gruff, uncaring but…rather familiar. He figured this could be a close friend, or possibly a relative. He was unsure and would be sure to figure that one out later. As for now he ran through the facts.

This was Aura; likely associated with the same group the others were. She was armed. He had heard gunshots. Likely this all would have been enough to get her arrested (assuming he survived the night) but that wasn’t his mission, was it?

He hated himself in some small way for thinking this way. He wasn’t a spy, for fuck’s sake—he was a runner, and his business was passing along shit and keeping a low profile.

Nothing about all of this seemed right. Apex Authority were no heroes. These so-called freedom fighters broke a strange peace and got others killed in their wake. The more he thought, the less he felt like picking any side in this horrid mess.

He expected blinding light when she removed the sweater from his head, but the dimness of the room was a simple sight to be acclimated to.

He locked eyes with her—looking down, of course, as she was several inches to a foot shorter—and could immediately spot something he was familiar with.

Fear.

He didn’t see a fearless terrorist. He saw someone terrified out of their fucking mind about what was going on. Which immediately lowered his guard and put him at ease. If he played his cards right, he might not be the real hostage here.

As she tossed clothes in his hands, she took his bag and was sure to kick it hard away from them—which immediately put him at ease. He had been particularly careful to burn all evidence of the current mission and keep the Black Seal on his person rather than in an easily-stolen bag. In there wasn’t much other than the usual ID papers and runner’s stamp.

He gave he a cold look; wondering if she was going to watch him change. He watched her eyes dart to the floor, before removing his clothes. He was glad to be out of them, really. What a sweaty mess he was at this point. He made a point to turn his back to her and straighten out his underwear—ensuring Aura’s eyes stayed away—and slipped the Black Seal from his trousers to his underwear. Uncomfortable indeed. He figured he would bet on her holding back on asking him to be completely naked. If she didn’t he figured he’d have to find a good way to lie.

He placed the rest of the clothes on him and was tied promptly to a pole. He looked away as Aura changed, and watched her dig through his things.

”So,” she sighed, crouching down in front of him. “A runner, huh? Why are you in F? What’s your name?”

He figured he’d tackle her questions one at a time. He made sure to make clear eye contact through the sweat dripping down his face. Fuck, it was hot in here.

“Yeah, a runner,” he said simply. “3B149, feel free to verify that on the sheet.” He straightened up against the pole; trying to ward off a pain growing his back. “I have a couple of clients take me this far and was back in town to collect. Sure, I’m not supposed to be in F, but hey; what were you up to after curfew?”

He always laughed the last half of his sentence; breaking into a smile. His captor was looking increasingly shaky and tense; not great when she was two guns on her. He figured he could lean into his recent deal with Teegan and Cale and could get them to verify his story to Aura if need be.

“I’m Kieran,” he smiled. “And I’m very much not looking to die tonight, so if we could work something out, I’m all ears.”

While he was miles from trusting Aura, particularly now, he was certainly hoping to make an ally of her, after all. He wasn't exactly sure of the benefits of the alternative, but it certainly wouldn't be good for him, would it?
In APEX 21 days ago Forum: 1x1 Roleplay
Kieran’s eyes widened to some sort of large, granite surface.

Stone—polished by millions of years of erosion—bore some sort of strange, jagged shape upon it. As if carvings once etched into these walls had been torn and scarred by some great weapon.

Kieran found himself standing in a field, just about a half mile from this massive stone surface, and could scarely see the top of the massive mountain. As he looked to see where the foggy evening sky ended and the summit began, he could hear terrible noises from behind him.

He turned to see scores of men, women, and children—clawing and crawling their way towards him, or rather, towards the mountain itself. They pulled and pulled at the dirt between them, Kieran, and the mountain, but found it softer and softer in texture, until it resembled more of a muddy, crimson tide.

Kieran moved forward towards them, but found his boot was ankle-deep in the same red muck. The more he fought, the more he sank, and soon still did he stop moving.

But the people did not stop. They pulled and clawed and sunk deeper into the mud, until the last of them had sank beneath the crimson tide.


Only then did Kieran wake up.

***


The images in Kieran’s dreams stayed with him long after he had risen and traveled to meet Honeyman for his morning assignments. Red-stained faces. The mountain. The etchings.

He wasn’t a particularly religious or even symbolic man, and yet he still couldn’t shake an almost prophetic since from the images he saw. Everything about this week wasn’t adding up. Aura. The man shot dead in the street. The unrest growing in Atlantic. He had seen and done so many repugnant things but for some strange reason, thing had seemed to hit a turning point.

Honeyman’s stark tone at their meeting did little to assuage his feelings.

“You’ve been given a Recurring,” he nearly spat at Kieran at the onset of their meeting. He hadn’t even given him a warning. “I figure we shouldn’t drag this out longer than it needs to be.”

To say it was bad news to be given a Recurring would be a gross understatement. To the Runners, a Recurring task was one that often came right from the top; Apex Authority would often have some bone to pick with some revenant soul in some far away district that would need ‘silencing,’ or worse; espionage.

Recurrings, as they were called, deeply eroded the strange and fragile trust held between the Runners and the people they served. Recurrings where when the Runners were taken from their politically neutral positions and placed right into the thick of an ongoing and often existential crisis.

Fail to complete your Recurring, and disbarment was not out of the question. It wasn’t uncommon for one failed task such as this to sink a Runner back into the muck of the lower classes. And it wasn’t that Kieran or other Runners looked down towards those in Atlantic, or any of those subjugated by AA.

It was that being a Runner was the only way that most could find a way above the fray.

Still, there were benefits for completing these questionable tasks.

“I’ll open with the good news,” Honeyman continued. “At the end of this recurring you’ll be bumped to Subsection A.”

“Holy shit.”

“I know,” he continued. “I don’t even have full clearances for A. You lucky bastard.”

“Alright then,” Kieran anxiously cut in. “The bad news.”

Honeyman took a deep breath.

“…you need to embed yourself in an organization. Terrorist group, specifically. Out in Atlantic.”

Of. Fucking. Course.

Honeyman slipped over a dossier. “You’ll be in deep, as deep as you can be. AE officers in Atlantic won’t be briefed. Make the wrong moves and you’ll be killed with the rest of them. Which is why you’re being given this.”

Kieran looked down to see Honeyman slip a mahogany box across the table. He already knew what he would find inside; but that didn’t keep him from the smallest of gasps when he opened the box to see a Black Seal.

The Black Seal was the holy grail of immunity. Each seal was numbed, and should you show your seal and correctly state your number and a passcode, it could be verified by a ledger given to AE members each morning. The intricate seal was carved from wood unlike any that grew in the region. It was an elegant system to verify that your actions were official AA business.

Having a Black Seal meant no curfews. It meant immediate AE immunity. Access to government buildings, to records, to vehicles…there were few upper limits to what a Black Seal could get you into.

“I’m only authorized to say this one time, so be sure you hear me, K.” Honeyman said. “Your passcode is ’monacle.’

Monacle, Kieran repeated in his head a few times. He was sure to remember it.

“You won’t be seeing me at our usual meetings anymore,” Honeyman said. “In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if you never see me again. Once you accomplish your mission and give up this organization, you’ll go straight to AA to inform them. From there, you’ll be transferred to Subsection A.”

“What if I don’t complete the Recurring?” Kieran asked.

“…goodbye, Kieran.”

***


That morning found Kieran studying every inch of his dossier.

In his makeshift living space, he held a small lantern up to bring illumination into his small storage container home. He sat on his bed, a musky mix of old tarps and string, and read each name closely.

From what he could gather, Apex Authority didn’t have a name for this organization, but only a list of locations and names ranked from most likely to least likely to be involved in foul play.

Locations he wasn’t familiar with, like a tavern or a slanted cottage on the edge of town. Names too, such as Miranda. Del. Gregor. All ranked on a spectrum of likely to be involved, with a few marked as possible leaders.

He studied for hours and hours, writing down short notes on his own sheet of paper, before finally feeling as if he had memorized all that he could.

Then, he walked outside, set the dossier into the lantern, and watched it burn.

For a mission as secretive as this, this paper was nothing but trouble.

He moved next to load his messenger bag with the essentials. A change of clothes. Money. A pistol and a dagger, in case he needed them.

He went to tell one of the dock boys to watch his shit in case he didn’t return that evening, and departed for Atlantic.

***


He arrived in the evening, as he had intended.

He had taken the long way to Atlantic, maneuvering north and nearly into the downtown district, before taking a train down into the main station within the subsection.

He ran though who he was over, and over, and over again. His name was Kieran. He was a Runner. These elements were true.

He was low on clients. He wanted to branch out and thought it was worth infringing on another Runner’s territory. That was the lie.

Telling Aura or any others this element would give them a sense of power over Kieran. It would hopefully lead them to trust him as they could easily betray him in turn. In reality, any Runner coming to accuse Kieran of invading their territory could easily be paid off by way of the Black Seal.

It wasn’t a perfect plan, or really much of a plan at all. But it was what he had.

He wandered his way through the streets, taking note of the street names and building names. This was the boring element of the job. Taking stock. Preparing. Learning. He would need to find an inn for the night, but for now, it was going to be a long night of walking.

As curfew approached, Kieran found himself stopped once or twice by AE officers. For them, he used his Runner’s stamp and talked his way out of their grasp. The fewer people he showed the Black Seal, the better. It was a last resort, as anyone looking in his direction may spot him with it. Who knows that they may do to him should they see it.

But as he continued to pace down the district as the final curfew tolled, he couldn’t help but begin to think on the day.

He had, without much hesitation at all, agreed to spy on these people. He would be asking for names. Bribing people. Likely sentencing people to their deaths.

He thought of the man crumpled in the street. He thought of his dream, and the men and women crawling in the muck. He thought of Aura.

If he had gotten this group captured and arrived in subsection A, what would he do?

He would be there—alone—doing what had always done. Survived.

Was that all he would ever do?

CRASH!

His thoughts were interrupted as he was thrown clean off his feet and down to the ground. He had been so engrossed in thought and in his paces, he hadn’t paying much attention to the loud pops that had echoed in the nights. Sounds that were clearly gunshots.

Nor did he notice the black figure sprinting towards him. Until, of course, it was already too late.

”FUCK!” He cried out as his side smashed into the asphalt. Luckily for him, his bag had stayed shut. His eyes moved next to the woman next to him.

“You shouldn’t go down there,” the woman huffed and puffed, “the officers…”

Wait—

“Aura?”

As he stood and recognized Aura, he briefly thought to his dossier. Her name hadn’t been on it, as far as he could remember.

But all too quickly, she pressed a gun into his stomach, and any doubts about her involvement dissipated.

He sprinted along, following her orders, sitting when she ordered him to sit. All the while, he tried to think of the person she had spoken to in the tavern the night before. Were they involved too?

Her actions had pushed him right back into his survival instincts, which now told him to follow her lead, learn more about whatever organization she’s a part of, and stab her in the back as soon as he could. Figuratively, if things played out well. Literally, if they didn’t. Now wasn’t the time for dream analysis and second-guessing the mission.

She had him stand again and led them away from the pursuing AE officers in the area. Only then did he decide to speak up.

“Aura, right?” he asked rhetorically. “I’m a Runner. I have a stamp. We can run and hide all night or you can let me tell the nearest guard you’re with me and I can take you wherever you need to go.”

He figured she wouldn’t take him up on his offer, of course. But trust had to start somewhere, and he hoped she would remember the incident with the man yesterday and believe his story.

And in his defense, he really was going to honor his word, if she would take that fucking pistol off of him.
In APEX 2 mos ago Forum: 1x1 Roleplay
Kieran leaned in closely—watching this Aura as she made her way through what seemed to be a somewhat stilted lesson in the game of darts. And if he was being honest, he found it a little hard to focus.

He had remembered that he hadn’t eaten today; something he did rather often during the course of a shift of work. There was so much to do; so much to accomplish, that food had become almost a luxury to him.

But no—not a luxury. That would imply he enjoyed it. Rather, Kieran spent most of his evenings approaching food like one would approach an animal in a hunt. Something to be dealt with quickly as to not prolong the event any longer than was necessary.

All of this came to mind to Kieran as blood rushed to his extremities and his face grew blush. He had drank too much, too quickly, and with too empty a stomach—and was remiss as to admit, at least to himself, that he was a bit of a lightweight. He would have blushed regardless of his sobriety, downed the rest of his glass of rum, and continued to watch.

Aura had a bit of a calm demeanor to her; something disquieting about her approach. She was obvious, of course. But perhaps intentionally. Kieran had grown so used to seeking out people that would have otherwise become a threat to him that he was confident Aura wasn’t trying to be particularly coy. And, now with the drink in him, Kieran thought to himself that perhaps not everything was a game. Perhaps this was just a game of darts. And for a moment, he tried to turn his fight-or-flight reflex off and just enjoy a game of darts.

Kieran watched closely and spoke as little as possible as Aura threw the darts ahead. Fuck, she’s good, he couldn’t help but think, as he watched her effortlessly nail her targets. It was a good amount of precision, and Kieran was sure he would be fucking it up here shortly.

Aura placed the dart into his hand and set him towards the target. He was able to throw two that hit the board—each in places where Kieran was unsure whether or not they counted as earned points—and one which would strike the weakened timber that lined the walls of the tavern.

“Well, shit,” Kieran thought and spoke, essentially simultaneously. He listened to her make the clear observation that he wasn’t from subsection F, and thought for a moment the best way to approach.

“I’m not usually around here, yeah,” he admitted, but dropped the matter entirely as she spoke about the AE enforcer. Soren. He noted the name.

“I wouldn’t call him a friend,” he admitted. He thought again about how much to reveal, in what order, and to what depth.

As fate would have it, though, he wouldn’t need to worry long.

A man burst through the bustling crowd and pulled Aura close to him. They spoke in frightened whispers, and before he knew it, Aura wished him farewell and bolted from the scene as the curfew sirens blared.

Kieran felt less than enthused about the entire evening. He had been exhausted—caught off-guard by this Aura character, now sufficiently buzzed, and left over-analyzing the situation. Everything about today had been off-kilter; wrong from his typical day.

So he quickly moved back into the streets and made his way back to his home. It was only an hour and a half walk, and despite being stopped by AE members a few times, he was able to get past with the flick of his runner’s stamp and general aloofness.

It was near-midnight by the time the thick smell of saltwater and sulfur once again filled his nostrils. He had returned to Port Apex; tired, weak, and ready for some sleep.

His home, or so he thought of it as, was little more than a few shipping containers he was able to pawn off from the port boys some time ago. However, over the years, he had made quite a few modifications to them.

He approached the edge of the port and slipped down the usual causeway that lead to a small isthmus on the edge of the port’s shores. Here, his four shipping containers; arranged in a two-by-two pattern, stood just five feet from the murky waters on two sides.

He unlatched the door and moved inside; locking it quickly behind him.

He thought to himself in the dark momentarily, considering what options the evening had really presented him with.

His first instinct was to drop Atlantic—pay it no mind and refuse any task that crossed its borders. He would lose work, sure, but until he could be sure the time would pass where his appearance drew heads, that could be a good option.

His second thought was a bit more cruel than the first. He could approach this Soren that Aura had spoken of. Ask for more information. But perhaps that would result in yet another summary execution.

And further still did he think about the man he talked to in the tavern today. His instincts driving him to survive. How useless his life had been in the end. Collapsed like a sack of bricks in the street.

Apex was a cruel place. And Kieran could understand disliking it. Rebelling, even. But—

No, he thought to himself. Don’t go down that road.

Kieran headed to bed immediately and had no trouble sleeping this evening. But his last thought was on the man in the street. On Aura. And whether or not he would keep his commitment to stay out of Atlantic for the time being.

Something within him, subconscious or otherwise, knew he wouldn’t be gone for long.
In APEX 2 mos ago Forum: 1x1 Roleplay
Kieran couldn’t get out of Atlantic soon enough.

He had moved into a full-fledged march from the scene of the murder, moving quickly and as seamlessly as possible. He had indeed hoped that the AE officer he had paid off wouldn’t have been so trigger-happy, but what could he expect?

Atlantic, or Unity, or subsection F, or however anyone wanted to refer to it was a shithole. And he knew people would look down on him for thinking so, but it was simply what he thought.

There were three types of subsections in Kieran’s minds. The first was the wealthy—the upper class of Apex, who conflated the rest of the city with cockroaches, which made sense, seeing as how they disposed of their hired help with about as much decency as you would show a rotting trash pile. Any time Kieran spent in the more wealthy subsections made him want to vomit. He distinctly remembered one trade he had made in subsection A.

A particularly well-off real estate developer, who specialized in the renovation of retrograde homes, had paid Kieran well to hand off a bribe to local squatters in a property he was hoping to renovate. After Kieran had done so, he could distinctly remember the real estate developed wiping his hands after handing Kieran payment. Even as an official worker, he was seen as scum.

The next type of subsection were subsections like B, which minded their own business. These subsections weren’t always impoverished, but they were filled with people focused on survival over grand ideations of freedom. These people flourished within an unfair system by focusing on doing everything necessary to keep AA out of their business. In essence, Kieran’s people.

Then you had places like Atlantic. Places where people were focused on escaping the system, bucking the government, stuff like that. And while a small part of Kieran respected such a strict focus to ideals, the result of that focus was tyranny. AA and AE officers would flood the place with killings in the street, strict rules on travel and work, anything to keep the whispers of rebellion squashed.

The net result was a place Kieran disliked being in most of all. Because they weren’t shitholes because they were dirty, no, it was because the endless skirmishes between citizens and officials left the subsections more like warzones than homes, with eyes everywhere and Kieran’s type of work impossible to perform.

As Kieran made his way out, he locked eyes with a woman that looked roughly his age.

She was frail, perhaps not starving but simply lighter than she probably ought to be. Her eyes held a beauty to them, which shone through darkened rings that Kieran couldn’t identify as makeup or lethargy. She clutched a litter grabber in her hand. But what made her notable wasn’t that she had locked eyes with him.

She seemed to note him. Size him up from the moment they saw each other. And that alone was enough to make him anxious.

He broke eye contact and made his way to the closest train station he could. As he had thought earlier, he intended never to enter Atlantic again.

***


The rest of the day saw a mostly routine operation. Kieran headed back into subsection B, first stopping in Port Apex since the noon shipment would have long since arrived. The waifish port boys handed Kieran a few packages marked for him.

Inside, he found the usual contraband. Large, ornate swords that a client near the center of Apex had ordered to hang in his home. A few pieces of jewelry likely picked from the corpses of former aristocrats buried on Vashon Island, where Apex sent all of the dead. A disc, likely containing either old movies or pornography, ordered by a particularly neurotic boy in The Square.

He packed up the things and went out to make a few deliveries.

Over the next few hours, Kieran did what he did best; dropping off products, picking up payments, and taking new orders from those who knew and stopped him. By the evening, he had likely racked up a few hundred dollars all to himself. Perhaps this day was going his way after all.

As he was making his way to Port Apex to take a shower and finally sleep, he was stopped by a familiar face; a repeat customer of his that went by Cale.

“Yo, Key!” He called out to Kieran. When he turned, he saw the younger man approach. Cale had been a port boy up until about a year ago when he enlisted as an AE junior officer. Or, in other words, an informant.

“What’s up, Cale?” Kieran asked. “I was just heading back home.” He hoped Cale would take his polite hint and leave him be.

He did not.

“I’ve got a really easy job for you. Pays as well as I can manage, but…it has to be done now.”

“Sorry, Cale,” Kieran apologized, already turning away from the young man, “I’m done for the day. But tomorrow—”

“This can’t wait,” Cale interrupted, his tone sharper than before, which stopped Kieran flat.

“I’m sorry, I just—” Cale started, then stopped. His words came in short, pained bursts. “Just one message, delivered verbally, tonight.” He pulled a sizable sum from his pocket. “I’ll pay you three hundred, flat, right now.”

“Excuse me?” Kieran asked. He tried to stop himself, but he simply couldn’t. Cale was offering to double his nightly income. There had to be a catch.

“You just gotta head to a tavern out in Atlantic for me.”

…and there’s the catch.

“Shit,” Kieran muttered. “What’s the message?”

Cale straightened up. “You gotta promise to deliver it, and tell no one else, okay? Then I’ll tell you.”

Kieran rolled his eyes. “I’m a Runner, Cale. I’m not going to go around spilling your secrets.”

“…and promise not to laugh.”

“Okay,” Kieran said. “I promise. On my life, sure, just tell me!”

Cale took a moment, then leaned in. “You’ll head to the tavern on Bayview and Rainier. Look for a bartender by the name of Teegan. Make sure it’s her, then tell her…” Cale’s cheeks turned beet red. “Tell her Cale needs his leather next time we play.

Now Kieran’s cheeked turned red.

“You swore you wouldn’t laugh,” Cale muttered.

Kieran stifled himself as best he could. “Cale, buddy, You couldn’t have told her yourself?”

“We don’t see each other often, okay?” Cale defended. He started to walk away.

“Hey, I’m not judging,” Kieran started, “You guys can do whatever you’d like together. I’m just saying—”

“Just go, okay!” Cale called back as he left. “Atlantic has a curfew, you know!”

***


Sitting in the corner of the train to Atlantic, Kieran couldn’t help but think about the lunacy of today.

He had started out contributing to a man’s murder, swearing off Atlantic and thinking he’d never return…only to be back before the end of the day. Passing on what was no doubt some sexual request between two lovers. Or what was assumedly two lovers. Kieran couldn’t help but wonder the specifics there.

Still, money was money, and money didn’t discriminate or dabble in morality, and by extension, neither did Kieran.

He found the tavern with little incident, asking for directions once or twice. He was much calmer this time around, as he had left his bag home and could easily pretend he was out for pleasure, not business. While the Runners in this subsection may not like it, he was free to travel as he pleased.

And, once he found this Teegan person and he was sure no one suspected a thing, he could discreetly pass along the message, have a drink, and head home on the last train before curfew—quite a simple task.

Inside, Kieran found a different size of Atlantic than he had seen before. Here, people played darts and board games on desks along the walls. They talked and joked and laughed. There was even a guitarist and vocalist in the corner, adding to the cacophony of noise being generated inside.

Kieran had hoped this was a part of town a lot more like subsection B than the rest of Atlantic. A place where people lived, played, and mostly avoided confrontation.

He picked a spot at the end of the bar, ensuring to nod to the people he had eye contact with. For a visit such as this, he needed to blend in by being just another friendly patron.

As the bartender approached, Kieran waved her down.

“Rum and simple syrup if you don’t mind,” he asked her. Before he turned, he continued. “And do you know if Teegan is on shift today?”

“You’re speaking to her,” Teegan replied.

“Awesome,” he casually continued. He tried to think of a polite way to phrase the message but wasn’t sure if it were even possible. “I’ve got a friend that wants you to bring leather next time you guys meet. Goes by Cale? Any of that ring a bell?”

Teegan straightened up a bit and blushed. She nodded, momentarily speechless.

“And I really do want that drink, by the way,” he said. She snapped out of her momentary embarrassment and nodded.

“Thanks for the, uh…message,” she managed to say. “I’ll get you that drink.”

And with that, Kieran turned to face the center of the tavern and leaned with his back to the bar. An easy job. Kieran might have even thought the day had ended perfectly if it hadn’t been for the ale that just splashed at his side and front.

“Wow, I am so sorry,” a voice came.

“Woah, shit,” Kieran let out. “You’re good. You just caught me off-guard. You okay--?”

His question was stopped suddenly as he saw who had spilled the drink.

Those same eyes, that same frame. It was the girl from earlier.

Fuck.

His mind raced to think of his options as she hastily apologized and tried to clean his shirt. But before he could come up with something, she continued.

”I saw you earlier! At the other tavern. I’m Aura.”

Kieran thought hard about if he had met any Aura’s before, but he drew a blank in this moment. He had been caught completely off-guard, completely expecting to have the evening to himself. Now he had to figure out what this Aura girl wanted, why she had so clearly sought him out, and what it all meant. God, he hoped she wasn’t another Runner. He didn’t need another dispute on his hands.

“You like darts?”

‘Real subtle,’ Kieran thought to himself. He thought for a moment, then saw Teegan return with his drink. He slipped out a few dollars (plus a tip for her embarrassment) and handed it to her.

“I haven’t played much,” Kieran answered truthfully. He was no doubt going to have to lie over the course of this conversation, so the more truth he gave her, the easier it would be for him to remember. He took and shook her hand briefly. “And yeah, I did see you earlier.”

If this Aura person was hoping he would volunteer precisely why Kieran had been in town and involved in that shooting or even his name, she had another thing coming. She was going to have to ask for herself. And he was going to have to figure out how to handle this situation, and fast.

“I am down to learn, though,” he continued, hoping to be invited to a game. A game meant he could easily think. Easily focus. And hopefully stall until curfew, when Aura would likely have to head home, and Kieran could easily travel freely with his Runner’s Stamp and ID.

He took a large swig of the rum he had ordered, downing almost half of it at once. He figured he’d need it.
In APEX 2 mos ago Forum: 1x1 Roleplay
Kieran followed his contacts instructions carefully, which led him toward the edge of the subsection—a particularly seedy part of Apex known as The Stacks.

This section of town used to be a sprawling roadway network; connecting hundreds of vehicles heading into town from all directions. It was said that the average citizen usually had their own car; taking these vast concrete networks for hundreds or thousands of miles.

These days, The Stacks look much more like labyrinth than a network.

Appearing as a garbled concrete mess, with half destroyed and collapsed bridges littering the ground, the only vehicles using the network ahead (or rather, what as left of it) were AA and AE vehicles. Underneath, the space between the ground and the concrete above was filled with vast stacks of shipping containers, old vehicles, garbage, and whatever else others could get their hands on.

His entire subsection was nowhere near wealthy, but this might have been the most desolate of all of the neighborhoods he frequented. On the other side of these stacks was Atlantic, so he was thankful for this journey leading towards his destination rather than away from it.

He went through the information he had in his head concerning the day’s orders. His mark was named Aren Wrey. He had a sister named Anna. Anna lived in the stacks. Aren was wanted for Suspected Public Endangerment—the AE’s blanket-term for troublemakers. Anna would likely not cooperate easily.

Kieran hated himself on some small level for having to enact the bidding of the AE. Runners strived for neutrality; working as an equally uninterested and uncaring aspect of the battle between the lower classes and the upper echelons of society itself. Runners worked in this manor because they knew if they didn’t tow the line, they would just as easily be replaced, subjugated, or much worse.

Many of the poorer subsections in town worked on a “three-times forgiveness” system. It ensured the illusion of mercy was stronger in the lower classes. Runners didn’t have such luxuries. If Kieran was caught even so much as associated with suspected rebel leaders, it was an instant execution.

Still, while this remained public knowledge, it didn’t stop the animosity many people had towards Runners. There would always be conflict, and frankly, Kieran was used to leveraging his position to keep moving forward.

It wasn’t about kindness. Not in Apex. It was always about survival.

Kieran wandered the dark, damp bottom floor of The Stacks in search of his contact; a waifish boy no older than fourteen. He didn’t charge much for being a Runner Contact, but he certainly made it clear he took no joy in assisting Runners. Not that it mattered to Kieran. This was survival, and it was never personal.

“Behind you,” the contact called out in a high, echoey voice. Kieran turned to see the boy protruding from the side of a residence. As with most people in The Stacks, the boys legs were matted up with gray mud from the knees down. No amount of washing would get rid of the color.

“I’ll make it quick,” Kieran said.

“Please do,” the contact replied, “I can’t promise people like seeing your lot around here these days.”

“Oh?” Kieran asked. “So I take it you don’t have any new work for me?”

The contact shook his head. “Runners are always trouble in The Stacks. Speaking of, what trouble do you have for me?”

Kieran leaned in. “Looking for an Anna Wrey,” he said, quieter now. The contact seemed to have no reaction to the name, which was good in Kieran’s mind. The boy pointed a bony finger to a deep green shipping container about five floors off the ground.

“You arresting her?” The boy asked.

“No,” Kieran replied, already moving away. “Not her at least.”

--

Kieran knocked three times on the door, and rattled off the usual required summons: “Anna Wrey? This is Transportation Technician #3B149. As per the authority invested in me by Apex Enforcement, I am requesting entry to ask you a few questions—”

The door opened before Kieran could get the last few words out. From the darkness, a voice:

“Make it quick.”

Kieran nodded, and entered the home.

In here, the only light that seemed to come through was a small gash in the top of the shipping container. The asymmetric light lit up the back-left of the container, which contained a small, dusty bed. Trash and debris seemed to cover the rest of the area, and Anna-or whom he assumed to be Anna-had made her way back to a small patch of bare floor on which she had been sitting.

“I was expecting a Runner sooner or later,” she spoke, face angled downward so as to keep what remained of her identity a secret. All that Kieran could tell at this point was her age—which seemed to be somewhere in the mid-40s. He kept himself next to the door in case a quick escape was needed.

“You want Aren, I know.”

Kieran cleared his throat. “He’s been requested for questioning, and I’ve been asked to locate him.” He figured being honest may be the best move here.

“He’s on his second strike, you know,” Anna said, eyes still to the floor. “Something tells me they have more than questions for him.”

“I would not know,” Kieran said, keeping his cards ever-closer to his chest. In actually, yes; the phrasing on Aren’s summons was standard for a summary execution. His body would likely be tossed on top of the other bodies on Mercer Island by the end of the week.

“Do you know where I can find him?”

“Unity,” Anna said, using the unofficial and banned name for the Atlantic subsection. Not that Kieran was interested in correcting her. “Look for a tavern in the innermost square, ran by a couple a bit older than me. He told me he’d be there this morning if I wanted to come by.”

“This morning?” Kieran asked. When’d he tell you this?

“A month, maybe,” Anna said. She coughed twice, then took a swig from a nearby bottle. “Said it’d be the last opportunity for us to meet before he skipped down.”

“So why aren’t you there now?” Kieran asked. Normally he wouldn’t, but considering the strange circumstances here, he was curious.

“The same reason I’m ratting him out to you,” Anna replied. “He took every dollar we had with him when he left. All because he was out fucking around and making a bad rap for himself.” She stood and leaned in closer to Kieran. “Whatever comes his way, he deserves it.”

Kieran thought for a moment. On one hand, this meeting had gone smoothly. Too smoothly. Yet on the other, these situations weren’t entirely uncommon. Dire financial situations often meant family sharing resources to survive. Mix money and family, and these sorts of things could happen easily.

These were some of the few moments that Kieran found himself thankful for his lack of ties. No family and very few friends meant no enemies. Kieran remained invisible; invulnerable to the sorts of familial betrayal he had found himself a part of on this day.

Kieran thanked her for the information, handed her a small payment for the trouble, and set off once more. He was thankful this mission just got a whole lot easier; in fact, he likely wouldn’t even need to find a Runner for Atlantic. To pay off. From here, it was just a simple payment to the AE officer in the area to write down a different subsection, and it was smooth sailing from there in out. Hell, he might even have time for his other goals for the day after all.

--

Kieran crossed into Atlantic without too much trouble.

Subsections often had checkpoints to keep track of the people heading into and out of certain areas. This was often stated as a means to keep people safe, but more often than not, it made it much easier for AA to track down whoever they needed to.

As a Runner, these crossing simply involved showing the officers on guard his paperwork and Runner’s Stamp. During today’s crossing, he essentially breezed past the checkpoint.

Atlantic was one of the many subsections to have an assigned work schedule. Most people here woke up, received their orders, and went about their day. As such, Kieran kept a low profile and slipped past the Sanitation and Maintenance workers that were making their daily routes.

He slipped his bag onto a clip on his back and covered it with a longer jacket. It was his hope that most people saw him more as a random stranger than a Runner. God knew the trouble he’d be in if other Runners knew what he was up to.

Kieran observed the street clean up crews carefully. A boy here. A older man there. A thin woman about his age down a side street. These were often the silent watchers of Atlantic, and all of Apex for that matter. The people out all day; seeing passers-by, taking mental notes. Kieran knew he was walking into one of the most antagonistic subsections against Apex Authority today, and by proxy, antagonistic towards himself. Antagonism that had only grown worse since the recent shortages had began.

Looking up once more from his thoughts, he spotted the old tavern Anna had told him about a few buildings down from where he was. He was just about to head that way when a large arm blocked his path.

“Finished with your daily duties already, are ya?” the boorish AE officer said. He shoved Kieran for good measure. “I haven’t seen your type around here. You’re dressed too well for this.”

Kieran didn’t hide his distain. He had no time for this. “Runner #3B149, official business, so do you mind?”

The officer gave Kieran an incredulous look, as if he had been offended by Kieran’s tone. “Yeah, I don’t think so,” he muttered out. “In case you haven’t noticed, you’re in 3F, not 3B.”

“Yeah, I’m well aware,” Kieran said. His eyes looked to the left and the right. This was not the sort of conversation he wanted to have in public. “And if you leave me alone I can make that discrepancy worth your while.”

The officer frowned. “Show me your stamp and papers then, Runner boy.”

Kieran had just about had it with this officer. He angled himself against a wall, as to ensure no one but this asshole would see his paperwork. He handed the stamp and papers to the officer, who gawked up and down at them before throwing them back at Kieran. “Shit,” he said, “Guess you are a Runner.”

“Yeah, no shit,” Kieran snapped back. AE officers liked to talk a big game, but AA looked at the officers and the Runners as equal under their jurisdiction. And as much as it probably pissed off this particular officer, Kieran was sure the brute in front of him now knew that and wouldn’t push too hard at Kieran’s rudeness. Disputes between AE workers were often resolved by the cleanliness of one’s record, and Kieran’s was spotless. “So do you want to make some money today or not?”

The officer grunted, “just hurry it up, would you?” and stepped out of the way.

As he did, Kieran couldn’t help but notice the three or four street cleaners in the area that had seen the altercation and how easily Kieran had got the officer to stand down. And judging by their looks, he was sure he had already made too much of a reputation for himself here already.

“If a man runs out of the tavern I’m about to enter,” Kieran said in a low voice to the officer, “do me a favor and arrest him. Alive, preferably.” Kieran waited for the officer’s nod of understanding, and walked off.

Making a mental note never to come back to Atlantic after today, he stepped into the tavern.

Inside, aside from the couple behind the counter, there was only one man; sullen and looking downward at his drink. He looked up quickly after hearing Kieran approach, but quickly looked down again.

Expecting to see Anna, no doubt.

Kieran took a seat next to the man. He hated this part particularly. He shot a glance up to the couple behind the counter which screamed ‘you don’t want to see this.’

They seemed to take a hint, and slipped away.

“Aren, I presume,” Kieran said to the man, looking forward instead of at him.

“Please,” Aren stammered. “I have money, I have information. There was a woman here a short while ago. She said something about a meeting tonight. Maybe that could—”

“Aren,” Kieran said again, and the dire tone he struck seemed to shut Aren up. “This isn’t something you can talk your way out of.”

“Please man,” Aren continued. Kieran could hear his voice quiver as he spoke. “I didn’t do anything wrong.”

“Did you take all of Anna’s money?” Kieran asked. The man’s silence answered his question, and cleared Kieran’s revolve of the situation. At least Kieran could sleep better at night knowing at the very least, this guy had stolen money.

Finally, the man spoke. “That money wasn’t just hers, you know.” He looked to Kieran. “It was mine, too.”

“This is how this is going to go,” Kieran said, changing the subject. “I’m going to leave, and the officer outside is going to bring you in for questioning.”

“Bullshit,” Aren shot back. “They’ll shoot me in some back alley for my third strike.”

“Or,” Kieran said, continuing his earlier thought, “You can run, in which case, they’ll shoot you right here in the center of town.”

“My own sister,” Aren said to himself. “Fucking bitch.”

Any empathy Kieran had for this man was gone by this point. “Which way are we doing this, Aren?”

Judging by the glass smacked into Kieran’s head the next second, it seemed like this was going to go the hard way.

Aren had bolted from the tavern before Kieran had hit the ground. His head rung with pain immediately, but judging by the fact that the bottle Aren had hit him with remained intact, he was immediately sure the worst injury he had sustained was a mild concussion. Not so bad.

As for Aren? He took three steps outside the taven before the AE officer blew his brains out right there in the streets.

Kieran was more than finished with this task. He stepped outside and approached the officer—slipping him a hundred dollar bill.

“You will write this incident as occurring in #3B, not #3F. Understand?”

The officer looked to the money, then to Kieran, then nodded.

With that, Kieran marched away from Aren’s still-bleeding corpse, hoping to be out of Atlantic within the hour.

He wasn’t sure who or what had marked him, but he was sure he was a marked man by this point. And he didn’t care to stick around and find out the consequences of that.
In APEX 3 mos ago Forum: 1x1 Roleplay
It wasn’t particularly easy for Kieran to pay attention during his daily AE briefing. Particularly when his daily task was a low-stakes sting operation like the one Honeyman was delivering this morning.

Well, the hangover didn’t help either.

Honeyman slipped the crude, jagged-edged orders across his desk towards Kieran with his usual flourish. The page would flip and twirl out in the air as he passed it on. It was as if Honeyman was Kieran’s student; turning in an assignment he was particularly proud of completing.

Kieran probably took a full second before slowly dragging his eyes from Honeyman’s thick, spindly eyebrows down to the page. The words SUSPECTED PUBLIC ENDANGERMENT and REQUESTED FOR QUESTIONING rang out in thick bureaucratic ink on the page. Code for ‘this one is rocking the boat, and we’re going to fix it.’

“…shouldn’t be too hard, now,” Honeyman continued. Goddamn, those eyebrows nearly connect to his hairline. “Right, Key?”

Kieran gave a slow nod as if to say, 'Hey, fuckface, I’ve done this daily for the past decade. Do you really need my positive reinforcement right now?' However, not wanting to stir the pot and listen to the man drone on another twenty minutes about mutual respect, Kieran conceded. “It’s not a problem.”

“You really need to lay off that stuff, Key,” Honeyman said. He had really picked up on calling him ‘Key,’ recently, hadn’t he? He’d heard the port boys call him that one time about a month ago on the way up for the daily briefing, and now he couldn’t go three sentences without inserting it in there. “You can see it in your eyes. At least drink some water.”

“Water’s bad here, you know that,” Kieran replied. Which really wasn’t a lie. Trying to get anything decent in Port Apex in terms of water was a shitshow. He usually had to travel upwards to The Square to get some and cart it back like a mule. An unpleasant task he reserved for the day of the week Honeyman left him the fuck alone.

Honeyman nodded. A rotund man of who-knows-how-old, he had always acted as paternally as he could during these meetings. Like a jaunty, filthy Santa Claus, or so Kieran figured. All he knew about that character was through the decaying kid's books the port boys had given him as a child.

In any case, Honeyman had been his AE rep for as long as he could remember. Retired from working the sectors, Honeyman had set himself up a cushy, warm desk job only interrupted by his routine visits to the Runners. So far as Kieran knew, there was him, some older gentleman who needed to retire soon before snapping his back mid-route, and a new girl Kieran hadn’t gotten to meet yet. Whenever the older Runner finally gave up the ghost, Honeyman would have to find a new Runner to fill his required three slots. Though Kieran was sure Honeyman would be perfectly fit to find a way to lie to his own bosses.

That’s typically the way it went with the Runner system. Good old Apex Enforcement would send a representative out into the field six times a week to meet with the three appointed Runners for the subsection. Traditionally, these AE reps would give whatever tasks came in from their higher-ups, the Runners would finish the jobs, plus whatever work they could scrounge up themselves, and the reps would collect a flat twenty percent of the profits.

But Honeyman didn’t like doing it that way. Instead, he and Kieran devised a system that better suited them both. Honeyman came in for his daily briefing as 8am sharp. He’d give whatever tasks came down from the higher-ups off, and send Kieran on his way. Kieran would complete the task and all of the work he could find otherwise, and the next day, hand over the entire amount from the tasks given to him by Honeyman. That way, Kieran kept all of his profits from the non-AE work, Honeyman would skim off some for himself, and the remaining amount still looked like twenty percent of a hard day’s work for Kieran. On paper, and according to AE management, Kieran was one of the fastest runners in the city. In reality…well, he was still pretty damn good.

Honeyman (or Mike, as Kieran saw his boss call him once) liked to run this racket with all of his Runners, and to be fair to him, Kieran really preferred this method. He got to keep eyes off of Honeyman, keep eyes off of himself, and make more than he could have otherwise. The only real problem was Honeyman’s incessant nice-guy approach to Kieran. Any empathy Honeyman showed to Kieran was fake, and both of them knew it.

“Maybe I can talk to my guys in Public Works,” Honeyman continued. Kieran's eyes darted from his hairy face to the puff of curls poking out of his shirt. God, did the man own shears? “Water’s pretty short, but if I pitch it as a necessity for the port boys, then maybe it’ll pan out.”

“Yeah, we’d certainly appreciate it,” Kieran said, barely hiding his disinterest. “So just the one?” he asked, looking down to the standard Suspected Public Endangerment notice.

“Yup,” Honeyman said, clipped and short. He clearly wanted to discuss water infrastructure further, for some reason. “They told me he was a tricky ‘un to get, so be careful on your hunt, ya know?”

“Yeah, I will be,” Kieran said. He snagged the paper and rose, perhaps a bit too quickly, and smashed his head pretty hard on the low ceiling. Shit, he wondered to himself, 'Am I still drunk?'

“Take care, Key,” Honeyman said. He rose slowly and offered a hand. Kieran grabbed it and offered a curt shake. He then led Honeyman out of the room. He was sure the others needed it.

As a makeshift office, Kieran and the port boys turned one of the old rotting shipping containers into a glorified meeting space. There were basic lights, a desk, some chairs, and even a massive barrel of some terrible substance one could easily get drunk on. Typically the space was needed for important business planning for Port Apex. Or, in other words, a place for the boys to get drunk secretly, and without pissing off the random patrollers in AE.

As predicted, Kieran saw two teenage boys hanging out on the perimeter, patiently awaiting their turn. Kieran gave a slight nod, which instantly triggered the boys into a full-on sprint to the shipping container.

It was still weird, to see people younger than him looking up at him as an authority figure. Just a few years ago, Kieran was like them—a wandering boy, hanging around the port, looking to feed off scraps and make a decent buck helping get the shipments in town.

Thank god he became a Runner and got past that life.

--

It took Kieran a solid hour to cross town on foot from Port Apex to The Square, where his mark lived. The pathway was rough, but not exactly hard to traverse. Straight roads went from muddy to dirty over the course of the walk, as Kieran slowly shook the mud off his boots from Port Apex and managed to cross into civilization. He had once heard that Port Apex, long ago, was built on top of landfill taken from hills destroyed in the main hub of the city. Funny, Kieran though, how things must have been back then.

Entering The Square, Kieran was always surprised at the number of original buildings still standing. ‘Retrograde Construction,’ was what Apex Authority often used to refer to the buildings built before the Blight. Most people just called them retrograde buildings.

Regardless, Apex Authority was slowly were working their way through each; either attempting to fix up the dilapidated buildings or condemn them. There weren’t many working machines big enough to take the buildings down, so condemned retrograde buildings usually became a hive for illicit activity.

In other words, became promising prospects.

Kieran knew a good contact to start with for finding his mark this morning; a butcher on the street corner of 2nd and Main. He was glad his mark was in The Square, which was one of the few areas in his subsection with street names. The others were often so dense and so crowded, the buildings would rise on one side of the street and connect overhead to the other. Giving proper direction to a shop you have to climb through a building like a fucking labyrinth to get to is not exactly feasible. And his subsection was considered one of the nicer ones.

“Hey, a surfperch needs a hole in its fin,” Kieran said next to his contact. Recognizing the coded message, his contact gave him a curt nod before turning back to the customers. He was particularly busy today.

Once he cleared out the crowd of people, the contact turned to him.

“Hey, Key, long time no see.”

“Don’t act happy to see me,” Kieran shot back, to the bemusement of the contact. Kieran knew his name, but it was easier to think of him as a means to an end. Neutrality was crucial when working as a Runner. Gangs, factions…each wanted loyalty, but a Runners to work above the fray. Pick no side. Simply continue to work for both.

“What can I do you for?” the contact said.

Kieran slipped the paper Honeyman gave him over to the contact, who glanced over it for a moment.

“Yeah,” the contact muttered, “I know this one. Lives over in Atlantic.”

”Atlantic?!”

Atlantic was a real piece of work. Lots of feuding families, fighting to be King of the Hill. What made it wore was Atlantic wasn’t in his subsection. Which was a big fucking problem for him.

“Yeah, just moved last month,” the contact continued. “Said AE was hot on his tail.”

“They are,” Kieran noted. “Know what he was up to?”

The contact shrugged. “Beats me. Be bought a five-pound trout every week for years. Came up a month ago, mentioned I wouldn’t be seeing him anymore, and then scattered off. I found out he moved to Atlantic from his sister. She’s the one buying the trout now.”

“Where does she live?”

The contact rattled off the directions, and Kieran nodded. He slipped twenty dollars to the man and made way for the sister.

He scrambled his brain to remember which Runners ran that subsection, but he couldn’t recall. But in reality, it didn’t really matter. Runners were fiercely territorial, and if he got caught operating in that subsection, the Runners there would wage war. Most likely, Kieran would need to find one of the Runners in that subsection and cut them a part of the profit for completing the task. He couldn’t (or wouldn’t) tell Honeyman, and he’d had to pay off the AE he tipped off for the pickup to report it as District B, Subsection 3, instead of whatever district Atlantic was in.

Essentially, this job just got more complicated, would pay less, and would probably take all morning. Which really pissed Kieran off, because he had a lot of jobs lined up for today; some of them paying better than he’s made in the past month. Most of them delivering smaller contraband items fresh off the boats, too. Easy transports that sat waiting in his satchel, ready for delivery.

It may have been morning, and Kieran may have still been hungover, but he snagged a drink on the way to the sister’s home anyway.

Lord knew he needed it.
In APEX 3 mos ago Forum: 1x1 Roleplay
KIERAN




Nickname(s)

“Key,” mostly, in work. Sometimes “K.” In the eyes of Apex Authority, he is known as “Transportation Technician #3B149,” which is the closest thing he has had to a legal name. He is mononymous.

Age

25 (Estimated)

Appearance

Physically athletic and fairly intimidating at six foot-two, Kieran is a little on the leaner side. Both his hair and his beard have a tendency to go on the fritz, as work overtakes time for him to take shears to them. He has several scars on both legs and arms from moving in and out of tight, sometimes sharp spots throughout Apex. He’s often dressed in a very simple, muted color palette, and almost always has a satchel with him—containing various documents and necessary paperwork.

Job Duty

Kieran works as a Runner. Technically a “transportation technician,” Runners work with the approval of Apex Authority to facilitate a wide variety of essential tasks. While Apex Authority often uses the service themselves, the service is primarily utilized by the middle and lower classes of Apex. Runners facilitate transit for letters, legal documents, cargo, and even people. Off-the-record, runners are also notoriously paid to pass verbal messages between factions, or from Apex Authority to others within Apex. Runners enjoy a few benefits of working for Apex Authority, such as their Runner’s Stamp for official messages (which operates as a sort of notary service), and general protection. That is, Apex Enforcement members (“AEs”) will investigate the disappearance/murder of a Runner. It is more than AEs offer to regular citizens, but more often than not, Runners that disappear are never recovered.

Faction Information

Runners often keep a distance from each other—working in agreed-upon sectors to keep competition light—so Kieran is more often than not, alone. He lives in District 3, subsection B, and associates most often with Port Apex. While officially, grains, produce, and other materials are brought in from nearby fields via these vessels, unofficially, a host of contraband makes its way to the shores of Apex. This contraband, ordered by the higher and lower classes alike, constitutes most of Kieran’s work.

History

Kieran was found aboard one of the many farming ships that travel to Port Apex as an infant. As an unclaimed child, it was suspected that his parents were farmers who either could not afford to keep him or did not want to. Otherwise, he was passed from port worker to port worker until he finally earned his stamp at around age 15, and has been living on his own and working as a runner ever since. His age is self-given, and an estimate.

In APEX 3 mos ago Forum: 1x1 Roleplay
APEX





AN UNKNOWN PATHOGEN RISES FROM THE GLOBAL WATER SUPPLY

HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS, THIS PATHOGEN CRIPPLES HUMANITY TO THE BRINK OF EXTINCTION

FROM THE ASHES, HIGHLY DENSE CITY-STATES ARISE FROM THE IMMUNE

ONE SUCH CITY DRAINS LIFE FROM THE SURROUNDING EARTH, MAINTAINING A FIERCE AND CRUEL PLUTOCRACY

AS THE FIELDS AND LIVESTOCK BEGIN TO ATROPHY, THOSE BENEATH THE HEEL OF TYRANNY ARE PUSHED TO THE BRINK

AND THE WHISPERS OF REBELLION HAVE ALREADY BEGUN
In APEX 3 mos ago Forum: 1x1 Roleplay
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