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4 days ago
Current Why do plane tickets have to be so expensive? Having separate continents was a bad idea. Like if you miss pangea.
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7 days ago
The probability of being attacked by a gorilla at any time is very low... but never zero.
6 likes
9 days ago
Now kiss
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14 days ago
It takes a big man to admit their mistake. It takes an even bigger man to shave a giraffe.
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15 days ago
Sometimes I think about how Coca-Cola is only 31 years younger than Italy.
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Most Recent Posts

2.0 I'll Keep Coming
  • A week has passed since the cafeteria skirmish. Our cast have gone their separate ways, but as night falls the cast discovers the body of a man whom some recognized. The cast fought one another over what to do, ultimately driving them apart when they were brought in for question. Then, without warning an entire segment of the rehabilitation facility was released. Some ran, some screamed, and some died. The Promise is changing once more.


Archie


The reptile lashed out suddenly and with impossible speed as Natalie approached, a single preternaturally powerful and fast leap covered the distance between himself and Natalie between Lynn finishing her last word and her mouth closing. The monster swung with almost surgical precision, its enormous hard wrapping into a fist and colliding with Natalie’s entire upper body in a downward arch that cracked the concrete beneath their feet.

She crumpled instantly, the giants single powerful strike being enough to send her already heavily taxed body over the edge. Instantly the reptile’s body language shifted, its enormous body slinking around Natalie’s as if to put an impossibly large wall of muscle and scale between her and the outside world. The enormous lizard regards Lynn like a mother lion, with a snarl. Wild and impulsive.

Not exactly softly but not brutally either, Archie pulled Natalie’s comparatively tiny body into his arms, cradling her like a baby. It was amazing what control he suddenly had. The great beast roared, as though having determined that it was the medicine for all of Natalie’s pain. He does so a few times, but the behemoth seemed to know when to acknowledge a failure. A low, drawn out moan rumbled from its throat, not angry or rage addled as the noises it made normally were, but like a wounded animal in total agony. It’s head snapped upwards in the direction of the restaurant they had come from, which was emitting some sort of low hissing sound. It grew in volume, to the point where it sounded like a hot kettle, and then further into some sort of scream. It sounded like a person, but not at the same time. His thoughts were cut short when the restaurant exploded. An enormous wall of plasmatic fire blew the front half of the building away, almost instantly turning several people that were unfortunate enough to be within a few dozen feet of the storefront to ash. The wall of fire petered out as is reached the edge of the road, and stopped entirely after a second or so. Man versus nature type parahumans oftentimes exploded when they withered. The process had continued postmortem.

Archie shielded Natalie from the blast, although it was more on instinct than it was for any other reason. They were well clear of the blast. Archie rocked Natalie is his enormous arms, he rocked her until ribs cracked and his arms stopped responding. He rocked her until he couldn't see anymore, and it’s so uncomfortably hot that he cant bear to stay still. A seam on the great lizard’s spine cracks open, releasing him from the sarcophagus of muscle and bone that had been his previous body. He felt raw and pruned, as if he had spent the past several hours underwater or a sauna. He pushes against the body’s mass, muscles and tendons snapping away from his eyes and allowing him to see once again.

Archie gasped, breathing in the cool outside air and sliding out of the husk of his old body for the first time ever. He had never been conscious at the end of a transformation before, at least until now. He fell out of the giant’s torso, naked and surprisingly cold. He felt like he was in a haze, as if he was drunk but... not. Everything felt slower and faster than normal at the same time. He tumbled back until his back hit the wall, and he looked up to the broken window of a pillaged Dillards outlet. It had seemed that it had been mostly ransacked, with clothing strewn around everywhere and knocked over mannequins. His body seemed to register a pair of trousers before his mind did, reaching across the broken glass barrier and yanking them off of a plastic dummy before he even fully gathered what he was doing.

He didn’t normally steal, but he was willing to make an exception. He pulled them onto himself, his eyes flashing to Lynn and then very quickly looking away when he realized that she wasn’t wearing pants. He circled around the body of the beast, and slid Natalie out of the rapidly disintegrating body’s arms. “Nat?” He said, wiping a few strands of hair away from her now rather flushed and inflamed face. God, her neck looked bad. Purple and punctured like one giant bruise rather than her normally cream colored skin. “I gotcha. You’re okay.” He babbled on, unsure if she could even hear him but not entirely caring. “I won’t let them hurt you again.”

As if the flood gates opened, security began pouring into The Promise’s ring. They were methodical with their work, instantly on students and warding off and capturing inmates. Two had come to assist Archie and Natalie, and another for Lynn. Keaton would no doubt be found and processed herself, soon. One of the security agents, a woman, had appeared with a big, warm woolen blanket at hand. She wrapped it around his shoulders and attempted to coax Natalie out of his arms to give her the chance to receive medical treatment. He didn’t budge, and the woman elected not to separate them for the time being, instead forcing them both up and onto the step of one of the security cruisers. The same that had been used to capture Freaky-D. The blanket served as a barrier, in Archie’s mind. From the danger that was the outside world.

The Promise hospitals were busy. The security force was busy. The whole administration was busy. The Promise was a beehive of activity. Their world had changed when they were brought aboard The Promise, and in the wake of the carnage and destruction their world was going to change again.
T H E P R O M I S E



Salamandra was left reeling and coughing from the massive object that had come out of seemingly nowhere and floored her. Her head spinning, she couldn’t move her arm so her defenses were crippled, and most of all she felt tired.

Throughout her life, Salamandra had lost track of how many times she'd been struck, cut, maimed, or shot. But this was different. She had never felt this type of tired before, and was starting to lose consciousness when the voices of several people distantly reached his ears. She felt like she was just on the edge of dark oblivion.

She could feel herself bleeding from numerous gashes left by broken glass. Her battered body screamed in protest as she rolled onto her side to see Lynn approaching. Salamandra’s body flared, heating up further. Normally that felt good to release energy like that, but it almost felt like it drained her more. She groaned, pushing herself up by her good arm. Working through the pain, she expended more of the heat she had, desperately trying to bring herself back from the edge.

Salamandra wasn’t going to take this win in her state and she knew it. She was out of shape from prison, crippled, and any more energy and she didn’t know what would happen. She looked to her left, and the restaurant was destroyed. She looked across the floor and the boy she had taken a liking to had disappeared. She looked back up to Lynn and raised her hand, open and flat, towards her advancing adversary. “Stop!”

Sally breathed, a labored breath in and another labored breath out. “Jus’, jus’ leave me be. The man’ll come get me soon enough.” She sagged against the wall of the building, searing through the wall with her heat until she met a steel beam, which seemed to hold her for the time being. She was beaten, and she didn’t want to die.




Archie



Deep down, the beast wasn’t actually sure why it was doing what it was doing. Just that it should be doing it. It wasn’t often that it came out, but it never had some prime directive in mind before. Usually it chose to stretch its legs or protect itself.

As an entity it was separate from Archie. A fragmented part of the man’s psyche that had manifested itself in the world, that hd repressed itself so wholly that it could not be found under normal circumstances. It was why Archie was so positive despite his mistreatment and adolescence. It was why the scars were not seen, and why he was not jaded. The beast existed as a survival mechanism made real. It existed to protect the boy from the world, to act as an outlet for rage and frustration that he did not have the tools or knowledge necessary to process.

So why did it seek to protect something new? It was only distantly aware of Archie, but knew that it existed for him. The girl that smelt of chemical and adrenaline was some external factor that it didn’t need to care about. Yet, it did. Perhaps it identified with that rage. The soul shattering, unyielding will to resist and desire to satisfy the fear and sorrow. They were both savage roars of unimaginable ferocity shaking the heavens themselves. Maybe they weren't so different, and that was why it cared. Archie knew what it was like to be unmade. He knew what it was like to have a monster inside, lurking in the shadows, waiting for a chance to escape and destroy everything you held dear. To be a thing of pure emotion, a caged animal striking out at his handlers, not understanding that they didn't want to hurt him, unable to distinguish friend from foe.

It followed the screams. All bodily fluids and blood had their own individual scents, and hers was no different. The giant followed its nose and tongue, which led it quickly to the body Death Head. Just the body. The great lizard lowered its head, taking in the metallic smell that emanated from it, and the person he was here for wasn’t far away. It could see her. It could smell her. It didn’t know how it knew that this small, blood covered woman was the one.

It just knew.

It was like the gears clicked into place. The reptile's abruptly dizzy and it world tilts dangerously, the sound of screaming and running and indiscriminate destruction blurring into a whirling ambience and it's like tunnel vision, it can't see anything but her, can't feel anything but when her hands wrapped around his own when he apologized to her, the memory anchoring it and uprooting it all at once, and suddenly everything is comets and supernovas again, breathtaking and terrible, it's you, it's you, it's—

It pulled itself together, trembling and shaken in its own mind. She was covered in blood, her blood. She was scared and hurt and it had failed her. It understood in that moment why it cared. It slammed the ground with two titanic fists, roaring like a pained yet determined animal. It would make this right. It would stop her before she got hurt again. Or hurt herself again.

In the end, its not sure who exactly it is making that promise to, but given everything: him, her, them— it's well worth a shot to find out.
Listen here you slippery bitch I didnt accept you yet

*fortnite dance*

Accepted. I’d SAY to move yerself into the tab but you’re a go-getter.
T H E P R O M I S E



Death Head’s charge was stopped in its tracks by Natalie’s well timed grab, but his own weight carried him forward, causing him to fall over and on top of Natalie as she threw his legs up. He didn’t even register the fact that his ankles were broken, as he was focused more on the life giving liquid that was flowing out of Natalie’s whole body like fountain. He pulled at her blood again, and basically being on top of her now, the bleeding increased substantially further.

Her blood flowed into was sweet. Almost entrancingly so. Death Head wanted more. Like some unfeeling, unyielding terminator he sprung into action. With an enormous hand he pushed himself onto his rear, and grabbed Natalie’s hair once again, yanking her head to the left side while simultaneously pushing her right shoulder down with his other hand. Natalie’s hands were on his legs, and despite her strength she was disadvantaged by his superior leverage. As if she was a great lever, he crossed her up and then leaned forward, driving his red maw into her shoulder and exposed neck.

The veins that whipped around his skeletal face drove themselves into Natalie’s body, thankfully without much care as to where they landed. Like harpoons they drove into her skin and began siphoning blood out of her body directly, his mighty jaws anchoring him in place.




Sally had seen a lot in her day. She watched a lot of people get shot, she’d seen baseball bats, crowbars, construction equipment, but never once in all her years had she seen someone vomit on the other person. She’d seen people throw up blood and whatever they ate for lunch after taking a few mean punches or strikes, sure, but she had never seen it be used as a weapon. It was disgusting, and clever. Despite herself, Salamandra felt an inkling of begrudging respect for Lynn as she was covered in vomit.

She had always heard that when small people fight, they fight to survive. This little girl was the embodiment of pure unadulterated spirit in that way. She was brash, confused, and more than a little bit stupid, but she had the spunk. Salamandra could fuck with that. In another lifetime, in another world, Sally supposed that they could’ve been great friends.

But this was this world, and in this lifetime she was being vomited on. This vomit was the temperature of the earth’s mantle. She screamed, more in surprise and indignation than she did in pain, and threw Lynn back. She stumbled, falling onto her ass as her hands instinctually came up to her face in a desperate attempt to wipe away the refuse. The surprise was rapidly wearing away, and was equally rapidly being replaced with rage that she hadn’t felt in a long time. Salamandra’s whole body lit up, as if someone flipped the light switch on in her body. She grew an angry red, then bright yellow, and then into a deep blue and purple hue as her whole body took in and released the pent up energy she had been absorbing throughout the skirmish. Her clothes, the vomit, the water that came within eight inches of her body all seemed to evaporate as the heat radiating off of her intensified and spread through her whole body. Plasmatic electricity arched off of her feet and into the molten floor below her as the heat rolling off of her body ionized the materials around her. The temperature of the room was becoming unbearable now.

She was terrifying. A living elemental. She pulled her hands away from her face, revealing eyes that were so bright that they were painful to look at for long. “I’ll kill you!” She roared, lunging for Lynn with a molten arm cocked backwards with what was most definitely not polite intent of expressing her frustration with the woman.

Archie



Salamandra only made it about a step before an entire fridge close-lined her from the side, melting partially as it got close and touched her but still flooring the woman as it sailed through the air. It continued on its flight path, having done little more than a glancing blow on the woman. The fridge careened through the store and shattered the window, releasing a great deal of heat and steam from their previously enclosed location. It touched down in the street, rolling a few times and coming to its final resting place.

The floor vibrated when the titan’s fists pounded the floor in an ape like display of strength. He was so big now that his scutes and spikes were scraping against the ceiling. It surveyed its surroundings, taking note of the prone forms of Lynn and Salamandra. The latter was almost definitely the one that was brightest, but the heat of their bodies were substantially hotter than anything else in the room. This made them both shining thermal eyesores in his vision.

”Glowing. Skull.”

He craned his neck, scales scraping against metal and drywall. The scent of blood was heavy in the air outside. He could see bodies. He could hear struggling. He felt hazy, but he felt the familiarity of one smell. It was female, he knew that much. She smelt of her own brand of blood as all did, but she smelt like adrenaline and fear, too. He could sense the urea in her sweat and the rage in her soul.

”I think we should look out for each other from now on. Help each other stay under control and stuff."

He turned his enormous head to Lynn, who smelt like what rage against the machine would probably smell like if they were a smell instead of a band. She seemed woozy but alive, no doubt further disoriented by the rapid pressure and temperature change in the room. Better than Salamandra at least, whom had received a badly dislocated shoulder from the object he had thrown. She too was slowly making her way to her feet again, but was fixated and glaring daggers at the smaller woman even still. The enormous being decided to pay them no mind for the moment, huffing instead at them and stepping outside. The other drew him in more, and the great reptile knew that it would have a job to do. Natalie was likely losing it in her own mind, and he knew that Lynn’s was tied up enough at the moment. He would likely be the only one capable of bringing Natalie back down again.

That is if she didn’t kill him, too.
T H E P R O M I S E



It hurt.

It had been a long time since he had experienced pain like this. It was a wet, crunchy feeling that was distinctly uncomfortable. Feeling shards of one’s sternum being damaged would do that to you.

Blood of different viscosities and shades of red flowed from the wound, and that was perhaps the biggest shame of all. He could feel himself becoming weaker from the strike. He was still alright, though. His internals were... kinda messy? Mixed around, having stuff that’s unrecognizable, but the standard organs were still hanging around. His unnatural and abnormal setup had spared him being fatally injured.

Death Head looked down at her and shifted his weight backwards. If he had flesh to make expressions, Death Head would probably be grimacing and royally pissed off. The giant grabbed Natalie by her face and by her arm and tore her from his body. He screeched again, unconsciously pulling at her blood once more. At such close range, Natalie would undoubtedly feel him literally tugging the life force out of her body.

He wasn’t as physically strong as her, but she was small and light. He pulled her up in the air by he head and drove her into the concrete face first. He released her for but a moment, only to wail on her body once with a closed fist, finishing by grabbing Natalie by her hair and throwing her away from him. He did not let up for a moment, charging in the direction he had thrown her. His simple mind deciding that he would kill her.

Or die trying.




The sprinklers were not something Salamandra was unused to. Her heat usually generated fire, which in turn meant smoke, which set off the sprinklers. You get the idea- so those didn’t particularly bother her. What did surprise her though, was the smoke that the girl had thrown right into her face. Most of the time she could get used to it, and simply burn it out before it even reached her if she was burning hot enough, but this had come out of seemingly nowhere. This girl had no problems with fighting naked as the day she was born. Salamandra could respect that.

Her foot came down, but Lynn had shifted to take advantage of Salamandra’s disorientation. Her eyes stung, and as she rubbed at them she left herself wide open for Lynn’s sucker-punch to the groin.

“Sonnova bitch!” She shouted, stumbling back a few paces, her hands instinctively losing their heat and pressing on her groin. She herself wad not above punching below the belt, but that didn’t make her feel any less slighted when it happened to her. Pain addled, frustrated, and with her pride damaged, Salamandra swore she was going to make this bitch suffer before she died. She turned, her own eyes going stark white as they had before. “C’mere!”

Salamandra half stumbled, half lunged forward, grabbing Lynn by what was left of her clothing and her shoulders, and pulled her in while also driving her forehead towards Lynn’s nose.

Archie



Archie’s heart was beating incredibly fast now. But it had not just speed, but power too. It pounded hard against his chest as it swelled in size to support his rapidly growing body. It was as if a war drum had taken the organ’s place, the intensity was so high it was audible.

“Archie, if you can hear me, go for Salamandra—glowing hands. Her hands are glowing. Or the skull—blood-headed guy outside. He’s big,”

Archie could feel Keaton’s heat next to him. He could smell her fear. In a brief moment of perfect clarity, something profoundly sad entered his eyes, his head cocking to one side as he met Keaton’s gaze. And then there was only pain, and an icy-cold rage that sent his jowls curling in a snarl and a growl through his chest. But his eyes? They stayed the same, holding Keaton’s stare for a few more seconds until they shifted into the milky luminescence of the beast.

There was water falling on him. It felt good, soothing even. It was cool, which eased his newly formed but sore muscles. It reminded him of rain. The sound of rain against the deck of the boat had always been his favorite sound growing up. His back arched upwards as his muscles contracted further, spasming his body like he was having a seizure. Archie fell onto one side, rolling onto his stomach and in his rapid and jerky motions he managed to kick himself into the kitchen.

The smell of smoke and piss and blood filled his sense senses. The smells were familiar, all but two that is. Like dry heat, like chemical and machinery, like ink and graphite. The great being couldn’t place them, but it knew they weren’t outright harmful. The other two smelt of napalm and blood.

”Glowing hands. Skull.”

It would be moments now before the process was complete. The guttural, primordial growls emanating from the kitchen were already reverberating through the entire restaurant.
In case anyone missed it in the Discord, I unfortunately have to close down this roleplay due to overwhelming circumstances plaguing my personal life. I enjoyed getting to know all the new faces here and always enjoy reuniting with those familiar and from the past.

Hopefully one day I'll get to have another shot at this story but sadly for the time being it won't be possible.

Thank you everyone for your patience and participation.


Does that mean we can nuke this RP like Santa Celia?
T H E P R O M I S E


It had been a long time since Death Head had a meal like this. He had subsisted off of pig’s blood and the bare minimum required to keep him going for the longest time. This? This was heaven.

The hulk dropped his latest exsanguinate victim- and continued on his hunt. The bodies were never particularly useful to satiating his hunger. He couldn’t see well, but his dark world was complimented bu red auras of beings that he could hunt. If he was capable of seeing other things, he had never tried. Nothing else mattered, frankly.

The soft cries acquired his attention, and he wheeled around, finding a small red shape that had curled in on itself against a wall. A screech tore from his throat, and he pulled at her. Pulling people was a talent he had discovered some time ago. It had helped him consume by tearing blood from their bodies at a distance. Anywhere he couldn’t reach, he would simply pull.

But when he pulled, that red aura did not disappear. He didn’t feel that sense of satisfaction or pleasure at another meal being consumed. No, the shape simply stayed where it was. If it was affected at all, Death Head could not see it. It didn’t matter to him, though. He couldn’t eat her like this. Primordial anger drove him now, frustrated and confused that his prey wasn’t simply dying. Another screech shattered the air and he hurdled like a runaway train towards her. This time, intent on getting his meal the old fashioned way.



"Square up."

Salamandra leaned back on one leg, one arm crossed under her breast and her chin resting on the other at Lynn’s little show, clearly unafraid of Lynn’s display. Her eyes flashed down to Lynn’s rapidly disintegrating clothing and then back up to her eyes.

“Well ain’t thatta bitch?” She said, not even dignifying Lynn’s demand with a proper response. That had happened to her a lot, too. It was why she tried to keep the heat to her extremities. Salamandra shook her head, more amused than anything else. She had tried to get everyone out peacefully, she really had. Any evaluators would probably be questioning her about this for the next several months. They’d go on about how all of her progress was wasted and how she made their job so much harder. But fuck it, she was on the clock.

She gave Lynn a smile that was all teeth, and her left hand, the one that had been cradling her chin flashed forwards and grabbed Lynn’s right. She felt the influx of energy at this, even more so than she had earlier, and her smile widened. She didn’t know how Lynn felt, but she probably had never been grabbed in this state. If she was surprised or not mattered little to her, though. She pulled Lynn forward and closer to her, almost pulling her off the ground as she did so, and stepped forward. People instinctively resisted being pulled in a direction, and this was what Salamandra was counting on. She placed her leg behind Lynn’s now off balance gait, and drove her right elbow into Lynn’s jaw. The force pushed Lynn, and she careened over Salamandra’s leg. The whole maneuver was fluid, taking less than two seconds for Lynn to go from standing to on the floor. The concept of directional reversal in judo was something Salamandra was very familiar with, despite not having any formal training in martial arts. She preferred fighting dirty and efficiently compared to all of those well practiced and incredibly useless katas. She had learned what worked on people through the best means possible- getting her ass kicked. Having abilities that made her so hot that she could melt through people’s skulls just by touching them long enough? Gravy.

Salmandra was not one to leave a job unfinished, though. That was just rude, and this little girl had asked for this after all. She had continued a pace or so past Lynn after dropping her, and simply turned around, lifting her leg and intent on driving her heel down into Lynn’s head or throat. It didn’t matter to her, really.

Archie


Now, Archie would love to give you a completely detailed account of Lynn being turned into a smear on the floor. He really would. This was the first time he had ever witnessed an honest to god fight like something out of TV, but he was finding it increasingly hard to focus. There were tearing noises, an a shit-load of pain. He wasn’t sure if that was him or Lynn being torn apart or the creature outside going to town on someone outside. It sure felt like it was him though, but it was hazy.

Pain, a snap, it occurred to him that he was lying on my back. He probably would’ve been stumbling around if his leg didn’t feel like it had been bent the wrong way. A small part of him realized how weird it was that he could tell which pain was there before he started turning. Archie was getting bigger, taller, bulkier. His skin stretched in weird ways as the bones beneath cracked and popped. His muscles bulging and warping as they changed shape and location.

He managed to get a glimpse of his hand, which looked like some abstract sculpture made by a hack artist. His finger nails were falling off, and the part of him that came to the weird realization earlier reminded him that fingers nails falling off probably wasn’t normal. Ever helpful, that voice was. It was weird, though. Pins and needles ran up his arms. Normally he fought it, and it hurt the whole time. At least, until he blacked out. Given the circumstances he found himself wanting to turn. It was like a switch had been flipped now and his body was dulling the pain. He wasn’t resisting it and it felt good. It felt really good. Not like sex good, but like he had been plugged into a power plant. He felt strong, and the bigger he got, the stronger he was. He felt like he could outrun a horse. Fuck, he could lift a car if he wanted.

He was distantly aware of the twisting and snapping of his muscles and bones, but was honestly more concerned about clothes tearing apart. How fucked was that? He couldn’t even feel himself break, so his mind fixated on his clothing. He’d laugh at that if he could. While he hardly seemed to register pain, his senses were on overdrive. Archie felt like he was taking the world in at a hundred times the intensity that he normally did. He could hear what people were saying across the street, what was happening through through the window down with perfect clarity, was Natalie crying? He’d have to make sure she was alright. He had promised that they would look out for each other after all.

He could hear the steady tap-tapping of feet on the sidewalk. He realized that he could see through the dark just as easily as he could anything illuminated by the lights above, like something had muted all of the shadows. Most of all though, he could smell, and a powerful acrid scent burnt his nostrils. The smell of sweat, burning, and food. He could taste the metallic signature of blood in the air. As if he was sucking on a coin.

The process was far from over, but it was well on its way now and seemed to be progressing faster than it had before. The living time bomb’s clock was ticking.
T H E P R O M I S E


"Salamandra,"

The woman's eyes shot to the girl, a small and pale thing with technicolor hair. She had some semblance of authority in her voice, and she admired the gusto if nothing else. Perhaps the fact that the little squirt knew her nickname eased her mood- five years off the streets and they remembered her name.

"Some of us are here under the needle too. Maybe we want in if there's something going on, if we know what it is."

Salamandra's good mood began to falter, what the fuck was this candle talking about? Being under the needle? If she was allowed to walk around freely, then she certainly wasn't under the needle. Sally had been behind bars for years now and hadn't been put down yet, and she was thoroughly convinced that she had done far, far worse than anything this one had done in her life. Under the needle her ass. Oh, she was showing her tattoos. If one could call them that. There was a skull on her forearm and- and was that?

"Is-" Salamandra began, a wicked smile breaking out on her face. One of her hands came up to cover her mouth out of instinct. "Is that Mike fuckin' Tyson or Tyler The Creator?" The tattoo was bad. It was really fucking bad. Tears were beginning to well up in her eyes now and she was unable to stifle her laughter. Did this stupid bitch think a few scars, a skull tattoo that looked like Goofy, and a Mike Tyson tattoo? Theriouthly?

"So if you're looking for company, maybe I'll buy dinner."

That did it. Salamandra doubled over, howling with laughter now. She carried on for a few more seconds before she regained her composure. "I dannae what the fuck you're on abou'." she said, catching her breath. "Aint no gettin' off this ship. One way ticket n' all. They wanted ta kill ya, they'da done it already." she said, standing back up. Movement caught her eyes below her, and the young man she had thrown to the floor in front of her. He was attempting to crawl away, and she admired his commitment to getting the fuck out of dodge. Unfortunately, her instructions to the rest of the cafe had not applied to him. "Ya really trynnae stand a girl up? Shame on ya." She said, lifting her food and driving her heel down into the back of his knee. Archie howled, instinctively pulling his leg up to cradle it against his upper body. "We have a date."

Salamandra looked up from Archie's prone form and back to the incredibly stupid but infinitely entertaining girl. "I like you, yae dumb enough to be fun." she explained, her forearms began glowing a dangerous red color, as if they were made out of hot metal. Her eyes took on a dangerous gleam to them. She looked between Lynn and Keaton- whom had the stones to meet her gaze. "I'm just lookin' for good food and a good lay before the man comes n' puts me back in me pen. Until 'en? Fuck off before I change my mind, or I'll kill you all."

Some of the more wise had already left the premises, electing to take their chances with the beast of the streets outside than the monster in the sheets in the restaurant.
T H E P R O M I S E



The stage had been set.

Weeks of planning were paying off, and slowly but surely the pieces were falling into place on her not so little game of chess. Setting a trap to capture the king was much easier to manage when the other side couldn't see your pieces. But, as with anything she was up against an entire organization. Industrialized education and rehabilitation. Down below she was legion, an army of one. Here in this little fishbowl that careened thought the ink darkness of space however, there was a distinct absence of manpower available to her.

Being invisible to the opponent was was a powerful tool, but it was nearly worthless if she could only make one move at a time. So she had set about solving this problem. The man she had abducted, Arthur Coleman, had been... somewhat useful to her. He hadn't known much, but enough to set her on the right trail. As if he had given a vulture the scent of rot. His security credentials had been taken and used, but she was smart enough to know that the powers that be would catch onto her meddling quickly if she did not continue to change the game. Maintaining her unseen advantage was imperative to her operation. She had set her trap while he was declared missing, tampering with seals, disabling some alarms, arming others, and most importantly- figuring out who would be added to her game. The man might be many, but if she could spread The Promise' power thin? Then she could really get to work.

When she dumped the corpse, she dumped his access card with it as to not rouse suspicion. There was no reason to search for something that wasn't missing, after all. She was counting on this fact, because her usages of his credentials could be tracked if someone were to look into them. The damage had already been done, though. All she needed to do was wait for her last confounding variable to be dealt with. See, a young woman had seen her when she was, erm... on the clock. She had kept tabs on this girl, and by extension the group that she fraternized with. A few other women, and a young man whom had all caused quite a mess on their first day. Her heart probably would've hummed at how similar they were to her- but she no longer had the anatomy. To her elation, they had been the unlucky to find the body she had dumped, and the girl that had seen her had yet to be released from Gennedy's questioning. She cracked a wicked smile in her mind's eye. Things were going swimmingly.

It was time for the games to begin. From her little hidey hole she chewed through her final set of wiring. She had done this several times over the past week, slowly lowering the resistance over several points. This, at least based upon her many hours spent reading electrician textbooks, would be enough to pop the breakers and disconnect the power that this particular branch of the tree powered- the penitentiary cell doors. When the carnage first began, a guard had pulled the emergency alarm- which instead sound in an entirely separate penitentiary facility. Guards would no doubt begin flocking to the entirely wrong section of The Promise- where she intended to seal them there so she could further her mission. They would eventually free themselves, and stop the escapees of course, but that was the plan from the beginning. Sometimes you had to sacrifice a few pawns to gain the absolute advantage- and in this case, the pawns being sacrificed weren't even hers to begin with. Now that is a sacrifice she is willing to make.

She could see the red caution light flashes of the lock below her as they released. Her plan finally falling into motion.

Game.

Set.

Match.

Archie



"Wouldn't give me a lawyer and bent a table in half to prove a point. You know. The way you're supposed to treat kids. Because they have nobody to fucking defend them... Gennedy. What a fuckin' traitor."

“My interview went fine. I went last, so they already had a narrative in mind when they asked me questions. I mostly just agreed to whatever they were saying, and I recommended that they look at their files on me if they wanted more information,”

Archie shifted some, making a face at Lynn's comment about Gennedy's behavior. "Shit, that sounds a lot like how dad used to be. Sorry you had to deal with that. At least the power was coolish, right?" His comment about the power was meant to be disarming, in that there was some sort of entertaining silver lining, but it probably came off as moronic more than it did anything else. Desperate to avoid Lynn's smoldering gaze, he shifted his eyes to Keaton and smiled a bit at the first part of her comment. "Well, I guess that makes your life easier, having the story already told and all. The files thing makes sense- hope my incident on the first day isn't too much of a red mark. Worst I've had up until now on any kind of record was a detention in 10th grade."

The waitress comes back at that moment to take his menu, and Archie's almost grateful for the distraction; unwillingly, they have arrived to a disconnect, and the momentary rift has left an awkward emptiness in his gut. His chest stirred, and his eyes wandered to the window for a moment. Archie shook his head and sighed. "I didn't, uh, say anything. Aside from that I saw it. Cause I dont know if-" the memory of Lynn's threats flashed in his mind's eye, and the rapidly warming tea in his hands reminded him that he would have to tread carefully. "Cause I don't know if you all saw it. Was dark and all and-"

Mercifully, the waitress returned once more. Archie let the words die in his throat and as the woman began to set the table with cute little dishes of food. Desperately trying to fill the awkward gap, Archie snatches a slice of pork stuffed dumplings while at the same time pushes a plate of sugar-coated fried dough in Keaton's direction. For the next few minutes, they stuff the silence with the sounds of their chewing and tinkling cutlery.

It was quaint, in that time. But something in Archie felt wrong, like he was standing in the low pressure eye of a hurricane. Dark and looming over him. It twisted his gut, and he would’ve dismissed the discomfort had another person not loudly busted into the restaurant. She was tall, wearing blue scrubs, and was built like a barn for a woman, sporting broad shoulders and a grizzled exterior. In a way she reminded him of Lynn, except this Lynn was brunette had just come back from a five year long gym session. Something about her wild eyes immediately put him on edge. He pushed away from the table, the chair scraping loudly and aggressively against the floor as he did so. He did not know who she was, but anyone with any knowledge of the crime world in the past ten years might recognize her as Salamandra- the figurehead of the infamous Los Angeles Fire Worms gang. The gang had long since lost their mascot, but Prison had made her no less infamous in her own right.

“Fuckin’ finally!” the woman singsonged with a harsh South African accent to her words. “Heard so fuckin’ much about this place from the guards.”

Archie turned his head to the window. There was screaming outside. A woman was being attacked by- god, he didn’t even know what it was. Some tall, shirtless figure, clad in an unreasonable amount of musculature, as if parts of him were fit to burst. His skin was obsidian, with the faintest hint of a metallic, navy blue gloss. But his head - there was the striking part. No skin, no meat, just a skull. Somehow a dull red, like a dimmed light. The skin around his neck seemed to fade as it went upward.

He grabbed the woman by her head with both of his hands, picking her up and slamming her against the window in freakish, brutal fashion. And he did it again, and several times more, until blood splattered over the cracks, and the woman fell quiet and limp. He then proceeded to raise her body above his head, as if wringing out a rag, opening his exposed jaw to let the woman’s blood drip into it. As he did, his skull began to brighten, shaking violently, veins detaching from it and floating freely. Once it had reached a great, crimson glow, he tossed the woman’s body aside like a rag doll. And he shrieked, like some unholy wraith.

“Oh for fuck’s sake!” the woman shouted, “We get the day off, and he only thinks about ‘emself. I’m tryna get a meal too!” she hollered. In the distance Archie could see there were emergency lights. People were running. Archie’s flight instinct took over and he ran, his legs trying to take him away from here. He didn’t know where- just not here.

“Where do ya think you’re goin’?” the woman said, reaching forward and grabbing Archie by his pants collar and almost effortlessly pulling him back- sending him onto his ass but otherwise unharmed. His chest was on fire now. The woman cracked her knuckles against one another. “I dont plan to eat alone, and you look good enough ta eat.”

She turned her gaze to the rest of the room, her forearms super-heating as she did so. The very air around her arms contorted and waved off, and she looked down at them questionably, but did not seem to dwell on it for long. “I’m feelin’ a bit shy, so why dont you lot run off before the show starts.” she smiled and turned her head to address the occupants in every area of the room. “Cause you’ll fair better out there, with them, than in here with me.”
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