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2 mos ago
Current Welcome to Lemons' fourth year on RPGuild. PRAISE BE!
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10 mos ago
They will look for him from the white tower...but he will not return, from mountains or from sea...
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12 mos ago
RIDE WITH ME, MY FRIENDS! WE DO NOT STOP 'TIL VALHALLA!
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1 yr ago
Thirty four.
1 like
2 yrs ago
Never eat the lemons alone. My friend? He at the lemons alone. I had to put him down once he started to salivate.

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I'm in a similar boat as tundra; I posted fairly recently, so I want to hold off on posting more.

Also, unrelated, I will be without internet for the entire month of July, so don't expect too much from me.
Not at all.


Mal growled faintly at Flick. "To hell with being sneaky, I'm hungry. Too hungry for this shit." And with brief prelude, totally ignoring the principles of intelligence, she dug her fingers into a bag's tense, plasticky skin and ripped the whole thing open.

The smell was heavenly. She thought she might faint as she looked down at piles of food that looked—to her eyes, at least—and smelled perfectly good. Sure, there were some fragments of broken ceramic and glass here, a bent fork or a blunted knife there, and a mass of unpleasant-smelling black pulp that she would later find out were coffee grounds, but most of it was just...food. Right there, behind that restaurant, she abandoned all pretense of civility or restraint and began shoveling food straight from the bag into her mouth.

Oh my God this is the best thing I have ever put into my mouth. That wasn't really saying much, as other than the past few days of raw food and poorly-cooked rodent, her only sustenance had been the tasteless mush that Chimera had served, but still. Best thing she'd ever eaten in her entire life, and there was SO MUCH OF IT in front of her. She really didn't care about the fact that she looked pretty grotesque. That was rather low on her list, compared to the particularly nice food she was piling into her face. Biscuits and gravy, she would've discovered had she looked at the menu, was her current casualty. Sausages, pancakes, waffles, nothing was safe from her ravenous maw. She tried her best to keep most of the food off of her face, but she still looked like there was a little something (a lot of something) on her lips.

All of that happened over the span of only a few seconds, interestingly enough. And at the end of those few seconds was when the metal door in front of her clicked open and she looked up, startled, only to meet the surprised, then vindictive, face of a man who was holding another of the great big black goodie bags.

"Yo!" he shouted, advancing on the quintet of kids, "the fuck do you think you're doin'?"
Sorry I haven't posted at all, I think I'll have to drop out of this RP, at least for the moment. IRL has indeed gotten busy. Feel free to use Gaius as you wish. I may come back later, but if not, happy trails.


"You look like a homeless bum, Crash. We all do." Mal's shaky smile turned into something more genuine, and she raised an eyebrow at him. "Then again, you are homeless, and we are bums. So yeah, you look somethin' like normal."

Stretching her arms behind her head and cracking her knuckles, she groaned and popped her formerly-cold joints as she began to warm up. Now that she'd forced herself to calm down, she was thinking straight, and one thought was screaming through her. Well, less of a thought, really, and more an urge, something only solidified by Dizzy's cry from the alleyway and the pain that scrunched through her abdomen. Her eyes bugged out slightly and she grit her teeth together.

Food. Food right now, or else I'm gonna fall over. And she really felt like she was. Flying burned through energy like nothing else, and starting the morning with a flight was a surefire way to really, really want something to get in you, asap. The clenching, hollow pain only intensified, and she cradled her empty stomach tenderly.

And that was when she was graced with—nay, assaulted by—the best thing she had ever smelled. She had no idea what it was, but it immediately made the pain in her stomach worse, and it made her mouth start to run like a fire sprinkler. She had swallow to stop drool from actually leaking from the corner of her lips when she talked. It looked like Flick had nosed it out as well, because he had a look on his face that was quite familiar to Mal: it was pretty much the same one that she was wearing. She homed in on him like a missile, barely restraining herself from breaking into a full-on superhuman sprint in her lust for food.

"Hey Flick, Flick, Flick," she spouted, her burgeoning hunger making it very difficult for her to exercise any level of self-control on her mouth, "all the scientists' names—they were different from our names, the ones we gave ourselves. The people in this city will have names like the scientists, right? Will we have to use fake names?" And immediately afterwards, face contorting into an aggressive frown, "I don't care what happens, I'm not using a fake name. I spent too long getting this one instead of 34C-490B."


Once her bruised pride had recovered, she yanked her wings in, doing her best to hide them under the thin, flimsy hospital gown. She shivered, despite herself; it was early enough in the morning to be cold, and now that she wasn't in rigorous physical activity anymore, she was starting to feel it. Her teeth chattered together for a few moments before she forcibly stilled them, and she clenched her elbows against herself. She was ninety percent sure that a few feathers of her wings were visible from outside the gown, but at the moment, she was more occupied with the need to get warm.

Luckily, the green area—Mal frowned, weren't there supposed to be less trees in cities?—was drop-dead deserted, and it looked like so was everything else. She tailed after Flick, trusting the older, more knowledgeable boy to lead her somewhere she could stop freezing. She looked at the road with fascination as she walked over it. She'd never seen one up close before, and wondered how they made something like that. She briefly realized that all of the tangential thoughts she was having were a coping mechanism, and that she was desperately trying to distract herself from two things: the aforementioned cold, and the fact that she was about ten seconds away from going absolutely ballistic with claustrophobia. She'd never really considered before what might happen if she got out; despite her fighting, she never really had any hope for leaving. So now that she was being inserted once again into a relatively closed area, she was starting to feel the blood boil in her brain, and was overtaken with the primal urge to leave, get out, oh god oh god oh god. It wasn't so much being closed in that made her tense up, but a lack of sight; the buildings were blocking her sight line entirely in a quite unnatural way, and it was taking a toll on her.

Somehow, she managed to hold onto it until Rook popped the donations box open, and a cascade of black bags poured out. Ignoring any warning, outside or inside, she shredded into them, searching out underwear (the thermal kind, since she was still really cold), pants, a long-sleeve shirt, socks, and some ratty sneakers, hastily stripping and tossing them on at record speed with no care for privacy.

Once the clothing was on, she felt much more comfortable, less exposed, and slightly less like she was about to vomit her guts out. Still, though, she was shaking, and she didn't know whether it was from the cold or because she felt like she might faint any second now. Food. Food, and then out. The spires of the buildings around her were oppressively tall to her eyes, and she could feel her heart pulsing in her ears. It was a wonder, she thought, that nobody could hear her heartbeat racing at mach speed. If anything, the lack of gashes in the back of her new clothing only made her feel more constricted, and she found herself desperately wishing for a knife. For a multitude of reasons.

She shut her eyes tight, willing herself to calm down. Everyone else is just as lost as you are, and you aren't gonna do much when you're freaking out. Pull it together. She stopped shaking, and her heartrate and breathing slowed enough that she didn't think she would lose it. Opening her eyes, she took a single ragged, deep breath, and gave a shaky smile.

"So, how do I look?"


It was a good flight; for the first time since their escape, Mal could feel the sun soaking into her feathers, and the dark wings sucked up the sunlight like a pair of solar panels. She made a little game out of scanning the ground below her: what was the best color of car she saw? To her disappointment, most of them were shades of gray; black, silver, white, red. Boring colors. She saw a few nicer ones, but most of them were samey. She grumbled something indistinct, snapping her eyes back up to the horizon and resuming her horizon watch.

Then, of course, the city loomed ahead of them. It really was big; she had no idea how many people were living there, but she began to wonder if it was a bad idea to come here. Just imagining being around all of those people in a tight, enclosed space was starting to make her skin crawl, and regret seeded into her mind for a moment before she shook her head a little bit, teeth clenched up. Dig your heels in and don't back down, Mal, she growled to herself, flapping her wings a few time to surge forwards and draw just behind Flick.

And then...then...

Flick showed them where they should land, and she swore. Loudly. And excessively. As far as she could tell, there weren't any large clearings that didn't look like they were inhabited by something or other, and she didn't want to take the risk of landing outside of the trees and walking into them. Too conspicuous. So in the end, her enormous wings were going to have to find a gap to slip between trees. And that was going to be less than fun for a number of reasons.

Following Flick, she yanked her wings nearly all the way in, pulling into a steep dive, and cussed all the way down to the treeline.

She tried to slide in all graceful like Flick. She really did. But her wings were just too big. As she turned in, she caught a tree with her wing and yelped before she could control herself, spiralling down the remaining twenty or so feet to the ground. After a moment, she stood up, spitting out leaves, and glared at the tree. She wasn't hurt. Her pride was the real casualty here.


Mal reached out to Rook midflight, ruffling his hair while still moving in a startling feat of coordination that she knew already she'd be unable to replicate ever again. "Thanks, Rook. Means a lot." She rolled her eyes. "'Course, if you hadn't decided that goin' hunting was a good idea, maybe Crash wouldn't'a gone off on me, but eh. Baby steps, I guess."

Speak of the winged young man, Mal's ears rang unpleasantly as Crash blew past her, screaming like a hawk. She narrowed her eyes, but didn't rise to the bait at first, instead giving two heavy beats of her wings and doing her best to draw level with him as he circled round, at which point she whapped him on the head with a downstroke of her heavy wing. Just on the edge feathers; not enough to really hurt, but enough to rebuke the older boy. Despite that, she couldn't help but grin a little bit. It was a shaky grin, to be sure; she hadn't used it too much before the past day and a half or so. But still, it was definitely there. And despite her belligerency, Mal wasn't above an apology

"Sorry about hijackin' your hunting, Crash. I'm just nervous, is all. I bet we'll stand out even with our wings tucked, so I'm just trying to get stuff done as fast as we can so we can maybe find somewhere to hide."

"And also," she added, almost as an afterthought, "I'm really sick of rabbit."

After the apology, she continued her broad, gliding circles, steadily catching thermals and climbing higher into the air until the trees were like toothpicks below her. Maybe a thousand, two thousand feet up. Her wings gleamed dully in the bright light of the sun, and in the distance, she could see the city. Her breath caught in her throat. It was...

"Huge," she breathed, finishing her own thought. There was no other way to describe it. She looked down at the Flock below her, calling to them with an uncharacteristically excited voice. "Hey, you can see the city from up here!"

With her acute vision, she could see that Flick was still on the ground, but Dizzy had taken off, quickly moving through the air towards those that she'd left behind her. She frowned. She was worried about Flick; after he'd come back from a 'live testing experiment,' as the scientists had put it—or, well, war, as Flick had put it—he'd been closed up and brooding. Sure, they'd butted heads before (at least when they had the opportunity to be anywhere near each other), but Mal had appreciated the competition. Now he was just...she paused for a moment, trying to figure out exactly what the word she was looking for was and failing.

Doing her best to put the thought out of her mind, she continued circling, this time scanning the horizon. She'd seen the helicopters at Chimera's facility going out every time they thought something had gone wrong. Now they had gone wrong, and it was only a matter of time.


Mal hissed through her teeth. "No, no, no. You all want to go off and waste time and energy trying to hunt when we could get over to that city when Flick just said that we should get there early? Come on, have at least some sense. I know you got it in you." She stepped fully clear of the cave and splayed her enormous wings. She rolled her shoulders, relishing the unfamiliar sensation of being able to stretch her wings whenever she wanted. "We gotta get there as soon as we can, and I don't think it'd be a good idea to split up, not so soon and not so close to..." she shivered slightly, then cleared her throat.

She could see where the rest of the flock was coming from, she really could. Hell, she was pretty scared herself. It had been a rough three days, and she certainly didn't want it to get any rougher. Still, though, as much as she loved the freedom of living in the woods (which she really did), she was hungry, sore from sleeping on rocks, and beginning to chafe from the hospital gown. If she didn't get something new to wear and something filling to eat (and from what she'd been shown on the food count, people tended to throw a lot of stuff out), she was going to break something. Someone. Whatever, it didn't matter, she was going to get mad and probably punch the rock for about fifteen minutes, or until she couldn't feel her fists anymore.

"Anyway. If I really hafta, though, I'll head out to the city alone. Call me a scouting party. I'm goin' in maybe ten minutes. If anyone wants to come, I think it'd be the best idea, but hey," she shrugged, "what do I know?"

With that, she leapt in the air and pushed her wings downward, slowly beating her way into the sky, where she peered down at the ground below her with a laserlike gaze, gliding in broad, swooping circles. She inhaled the crisp, chill morning air, focusing on calming her rapidly fraying nerves.

"Idiots," she muttered, words snatched away by the wind. "I'm sick of rabbits and nuts."


Three nights ago

Mal clung to the rock, gulping in breath after harsh, ragged breath. The pounding rains left the stones slick with rainwater, and her palms grasped onto the wet surface as though it was the only thing keeping her alive. Her eyes were clenched tightly shut. She thought she might be sick, a thought followed all-too-abruptly by her retching, vomiting up bile and whatever was left of her last malnutritious meal at the Chimera facility.

She didn't think she could hear anything following them, but her ears remained strained, desperately trying to make some kind of sense out of every sound that made it to her through the storm. Was that just the wind bashing rain into the rocks? Or was it a helicopter in the distance? Was that faint distant light the headlights of a passing car, or a search party, already beginning to track them down? She was going out of her mind with fear and worry. Pressing her face into the stone, she screwed her eyes shut even tighter and pressed against whatever was left of a 'dry' surface under the shallow cavelike indentation.

Her wings were sopping wet, stretching out uncomfortably onto the rocks behind her, and yet she wasn't in the right enough mind to pull them back in. So they simply lay there.

"Please," she found herself whispering, and hating herself for it, "someone help me."

When she eventually fell asleep, it was as she was crying.

Present

Mal groaned as the early dawn light hit her in the face like a freight train, and she reflexively tossed an arm up over her head. "Go 'way," she moaned. The sun, however, did not go away, and was irritatingly persistent. Eventually, she accepted the fact that she probably wasn't going to be able to sleep anymore and lifted the arm, peering out from under it at the sun. "Nice to see you," she yawned, grinning a little. It had been a very...very...long time since she'd seen the sun. In person, not in a video or a simulation or a hallucination or something.

Her malaise had largely slackened off; she didn't have time to worry about what had happened, or what might happen, when she was busy trying to keep herself and her family alive. As she sat up, yawning and stretching her wings out just a bit, she heard Dizzy talking to Flick from a bit away, and stumbled over to them, trying to rub the sleep from her eyes and miserably failing. She was still wearing the dirty, torn hospital gown, simply because she had nothing else to wear, and she pulled at it in irritation. It certainly wasn't comfortable, though the massive jagged rips in the back to let her wings out had gone some way towards alleviating that issue. She flopped an arm and Rook in a halfhearted attempt at a wave as she walked.

"I think..." she paused, heaving a colossal yawn, "...I think we should head into that city. Just to a junkyard or something. All the videos and classes said that people have a lot of different kinds of clothes they wear. These," she plucked at the sleeve of the gown, this time not as angrily, to demonstrate, "won't cut it, I don't think."

"Also," she added (mostly towards Dizzy) as she suddenly felt the void in her stomach, "there's prob'ly food there. And I don't know about you, Flick, but I need it. The berries and things aren't enough."
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