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In APEX 13 days ago Forum: 1x1 Roleplay
What happened next felt both like a whirlwind and a blur, and Aura focused all of her energy on taking Kieran’s lead… well that, and trying not to puke. Though it wasn’t the first time she killed someone, it had never been so close, and especially by hand. When the cause shot their guns from strategic positions on rooftops, Aura convinced herself it was a game. That none of it was real. The shock from this time, however, left her skin tingling, her eyes teary, and her stomach twisting.

Once in the basement, the warm, moist air allowed a moment of relief although short-lived. Feeling useless, all Aura could do was watch as the man, seemingly a guard, and Kieran tussled, eventually leading to the guard’s skull to split. Better his than Kieran’s.

Without a word, she followed him down a corridor and through another door, every so often checking behind her to make sure no one else had followed them. The foot the globe fell on began to throb with every step, but there was no time to complain.

”In here.”

With a deep breath and a nod, Aura followed him into what appeared to be a network of tunnels under Loor’s house illuminated by dim lights dotted along the ceiling. At this point, she ditched the heels one of Pogo’s girls had lent her and held them tightly, picking up speed behind Kieran who seemed to already know the tunnel system like the back of his hand. ”How?”

Once it felt safe, Aura - through ragged breath - began to explain. “I killed him,” she whispered. “Loor.” Another few breaths. “He was gonna kill me...I-I panicked.” More breathing. “I can’t go back to Unity. The AA will execute me. I -”

They approached a door at the end of the tunnel, one with a circular handle and a small, round window that protruded outward like a fish eye. A hatch. Her faith in Kieran and getting her to safety was growing by the second.

Once opening it, they were out on the beach. The wet sand sunk between her toes, and the wind whipped her hair and dress around, and for a second, memories of the beach with her mother flashed through her.

”Aura, watch out for the rocks!” her mother called from up on the sand. “I only half a ten minute break, and I can’t bring you back to Mrs. Ruther’s all bloody.”

An eleven year old Aura waded through the water, the pants that were a few sizes too large bunched up in her hands. The sun shined brightly, and the warm feeling made her wonder if that’s what the bread felt like in the community kitchen as it baked over the fire.

“Let’s go, Aura!’

“Aw, five more minutes?” Aura pleaded, swiveling around abruptly to give her mother a pathetic expression.

Chuckling, she nodded. “Five more minutes.”


The memory made tears begin to trickle down Aura’s cheeks, which she quickly swept away while Kieran was looking the other direction. It had been years since she saw the ocean, but she never imagined it would happen like this.

Not a minute later, they were traveling down a dilapidated boardwalk, testing each step with their toes before trusting the wooden planks beneath them. Aura looked back to see small figures in black swarming around Loor’s house, scanning the backyard before they presumably searched the shore.

“They’re looking, Kieran,” she whispered, moving as quickly she could. “Where are we going?”

That’s when she saw the boats through a large hole in the boardwalk that had collapsed with age. “That’s where we’re going?”
x
In APEX 2 mos ago Forum: 1x1 Roleplay
”Any eyes on Loor?”

Kieran’s question immediately caused the flirtation mood to dissipate, reminding Aura why they were there in the first place. It wasn’t a magical night in a fairytale world - there was shit to do.

“Not yet,” she sighed as she took a step back from him and peered around the room, cheeks flushed.

Aura desperately wanted to discuss their plan both to solidify what would happen and to give her a sense of security, but it’d be stupid to go into detail now. “Should be any second now.” she whispered sternly, her eyes meeting his once more. “The girls get to come down and enjoy the party once they’re done. I shouldn’t be more than an hour.”

Before they could continue further, the crowd of people began to cheer as Loor came down the enormous, curved staircase with his arms extended towards his party. Once reaching the bottom, the round, red-faced man began greeting his guests as he worked his way towards the bar, and them. Aura shot a look to Kieran briefly before she felt a large hang grip her frail arm.

“And who are you?” Loor seemed to growl, swiveling Aura’s body to face him. “Are you one of Pogo’s girls? Here for the party?”

Aura gulped and nodded. “Y-yes, sir. I’m Sada.”

“Good,” he chuckled, his eyes glowing. “You’ll be with me tonight.”

No matter how much Aura had started to hate Gregor, she’d have to admit. The man was always right.

Loor dragged her with him to the bar, and as Aura watched him down his first beverage, she mumbled a brief prayer that whatever the bartender spiked his drink with would be strong enough to knock him out cold.

***


After being dragged about for half an hour acting as Loor’s arm candy, the man finally grew impatient, and he led Aura up that same staircase, down a winding hallway. It seemed as though Loor could sense her hesitation, as he’d pull her harder each time her pace slowed. The only thing she could hear over the pounding of her heartbeat in her ears was his heavy breathing and the occasional giggle from the rooms they passed.

After some fidgeting, Loor got his door unlocked and revealed a spacious, dark room, complete with the biggest bed Aura had ever seen, a desk in the corner, and on it, the laptop closed in its center. You’re so close.

“Alright, now,” Loor grunted as he plopped down at the edge of his bed, loosening his tie as his eyes remained on her. “Take if off, Sada.”

Aura froze in her tracks, and her knees trembled.

“Are you deaf? Now,” he instructed again, this time the boom of his voice causing her to flinch.

As slowly as she could to buy time, Aura approached him. Her hand then went up to one of the straps of her dress and let it fall down her shoulder. Then, the next. Why isn’t he out yet? She took another step forward and let the dress fall down her body and pool around her feet, her eyes remaining on the floor .

“Ahhh,” Loor sighed. “Beautiful. Pogo hasn’t fed you much yet I see.” Once again, he grabbed Aura’s arm and pulled her closer, his hot breath bouncing off her skin. Aura wanted to scream.

“You’re going to do exactly what I… you’re going… exactly…”

Perking up, she looked up at the man whose eyes were now rolling to the back of his head. Frozen, Aura watched as the man fell back into the bed, refusing to move until she heard a snore escape him.

“Fuck,” she whispered to herself sharply after taking her first deep breath in minutes. It worked. All she had to do now was grab the laptop, shove it in her dress, and sneak back downstairs like nothing ever happened.

Aura, still naked, darted to the desk and scanned its contents. The laptop, paperwork skewed about, a stone globe on the corner, and some candies in a round, glass dish. She reached a hand out and let it settle on the laptop, it’s cold exterior sending a chill through her. After working up some courage, Aura lifted it from the desk, but a wire that was attached to it wrapped around the stone globe, causing it to tip off the desk and onto her foot.

It took all her strength not to scream out, and instead, she squeezed her eyes shut and waited in the dark, silent room. No sound from the other side of the room. A look behind her confirmed that Loor was still on his back. After leaning down and putting the globe back on the desk, her focus turned back to the laptop, which she grabbed with both hands tightly and turned around to -

“What the fuck do you think your doing?” Loor grumbled, swaying in front of her.

“I-I-”

Loor grabbed her throat and threw her to the ground, her body hitting the wooden floor with a thump. As she was scrambling to get up, he wove her fingers through her hair and yanked her up.

“Put down the computer.”

Reluctantly, Aura set the laptop down on the desk behind her, and her body shook violently. There were many times before where she thought she may die, but they all paled in comparison to now. Her chances of getting out of this without being killed by either the AA or Loor himself were dwindling by the second.

“Please -”

Smack. His hand connected with her cheek, and she yelped.

“You’re gonna pay for this.”

His other hand now moved to her throat, and Loor squeezed ferociously, keeping any blood or breath to pass through. This was it. Aura was going to die in this pig’s room, cremated by the AA and forgotten by the next season. Everything had been for nothing.

As she felt herself grow weaker, her desperation to survive began to kick in, adrenaline making up for the oxygen she was lacking. The globe.

Loor, only paying attention to her face as she turned purple, failed to see her arm reach behind her, and within moments, he was on the floor, his lifeless eyes wide open and blood pouring from the side of his head.

Aura collapsed, gasping for air and making sense of what just happened. If she was going to get away, she’d need to go now.

Once dressed with the laptop secure between her legs, Aura slipped out of the room and closed the door behind her. The hallway was still clear, and she didn’t hesitate to sprint down it until she reached the top of the staircase, where she straightened her dress and positioned her hair around her neck which was undoubtedly bruised and red.

Being as poised as she could, she descended the staircase and searched frantically for Kieran’s face. It was only a minute before he was spotted, right where she said to wait, unaware of how bad she had just fucked up.

“We need to go now.
bump for myself pls dont mind me
bump. pls PM me here or on discord if interested :—)
back at it again! looking for just one [maybe two] advanced partners who are chill. DM me if you're interested.
In APEX 4 mos ago Forum: 1x1 Roleplay
As Kieran began to respond, Aura felt each muscle steadily contract, and while she already had an inkling, it was becoming more and more apparent that she had read the man all wrong. It might as well been fucking Soren in front of her.

”Maybe once that’s done we can see about creating something better.”

Her eyes involuntarily rolled to the back of her skull as a scoff escaped her. “You’re just like the rest of them.”

As to not linger on it longer, Aura pushed herself from the chair and rummaged through the drawers of the room until she found a pencil and a small, leather notebook.

“So, this is all from hearsay over the years but…” she started, getting on her knees and dragging a small end table between them. She then drew a square in the center of a page in the book. “It’s a big fucking place. Huge. I heard once he had at least twenty from Service & Housekeeping there around the clock. Eyes everywhere.”

Aura then drew a long, bending line out to the edge of the paper. “He’s on the water. Backyard to the sea, front of the covered in trees with a long driveway. Like I said, it’s all hearsay. Loor’s house has been quite the topic in the past.”

Once satisfied, Aura handed Kieran the book so he could review the page, and she lifted her head up so that she could meet his eyes. “I don’t know how long it’s gonna take for him to knock out, if he knocks out. I can kill time, but only for so long. And I’m sure Gregor won’t let me get too far from the house if I do get the laptop. My guess is he’ll have someone in the trees to get me. If anything goes south, I’m running for the water.”

With a grunt, Aura got up from the floor and stood in front of him. “Please, just make sure I don’t have to fuck that rich pig. Detain me and take me somewhere if you have to. Anything.”

Not a second later, a familiar siren wailed, echoing throughout the tunnel outside of the room. 11:00 PM

“I’ve got to get going. Get me past the creeps at the entrance, and I’ll be fine from there.” At a point in time, Aura wasn’t so scared of men and the consequences of defending herself, but as time went on, more strikes were collected against her, and any assault - even warranted - would probably not work in her favor.

The walk through the tunnel was silent, but as they approached the guards, their sneering began again.

“Ah, the lovers are back so soon,” one chuckled, jabbing another in the ribs to get his attention.

Aura shot a glare at Kieran before faking a smile to the trio and pushing past them. After the door buzzed, the lock was released and she quickly ascended the steps halfway, swiveling around to face Kieran.

“I’ll see you tomorrow night,” she nodded, sticking out a hand to shake his. And without another word, Aura jogged up the stairs into the black, humid night, and kept a quick pace for the rest of the journey back to her building.

***


It was 6:00 PM when Aura returned to her room from the showers, sighing deeply as she shut the heavy door behind her. Her nerves were growing by the minute, but worrying about what would happen wasn’t doing her any favors.

Aura started with coal around her eyes, using a shaky finger to blend it to her liking. The scratched mirror she held with the other she had traded a basket for at the Sunday markets. Next, she pushed the comb through her long, black hair, working feverishly at the knots at the ends of her strands until they had all been undone. Then, the plugs her ears came out and went in the drawer. Then finally, Aura took a plum colored wax and swept it across her lips, which covered up the scab quite nicely.

Now, she waited. A runner was promised to come retrieve her when it was time and take her to Pogo and the rest of the girls. Aura nervously fidgeted with a few trinkets and other items when she came across the pink pebble Joss gave her years ago.

Joss. Tall, blonde, brave. Funny, too. Aura had grown up with her, and it was perfect when they both joined the cause together. Their agreement was basically unspoken; where you go, I go. A true friend. Always so in sync, that they were able to communicate without words most of the time.

Well… they had obviously fallen out of sync at some point.

It was about three years ago when a rumor had spread around that she’d been sleeping with an officer, something she never bothered to tell Aura. It only took Gregor four hours to break her into telling the truth, that it was all true and that she loved him. It all made sense, especially as it seemed that the AE had learned so much about the cause in such a quick amount of time. It all led back to Joss.

It was a day later when she was in the pit, a large, circular hole dug out of the earth in the middle of the woods, and the rest of the group surrounded her at ground level. “Can I say goodbye to her? Please?” Aura whimpered as she tugged on Gregor’s sleeve.

“One minute,” he grumbled, not taking his eyes off of Joss below him.

Aura tumbled down into the hole and crawled to Joss, who was oddly calm. It was like she’d cried all she could and now accepted what was to come.

“I’m so sorry,” Aura sobbed as her trembling hands moved the blonde strands from her friend’s face.

“It’s my fault,” Joss sighed, squeezing Aura’s hand. “I never mentioned you, I swear.”

“I know you wouldn’t.”

“Time’s up,” Gregor barked, signalling with a hand for Aura to get out.

“I love you, Joss.” Aura kissed her friend on the forehead and climbed out of the pit, grabbing on to Gregor’s arm.

“Stones up!” Gregor commanded. “You, too, Aura. She’s a traitor.”

Aura’s weeping broke the silence that took over the rest of the crowd as she leaned down and picked up a baseball-sized rock from the ground. Joss met her eyes and nodded knowingly as if to say that it was going to be fine.

“And...go!”


The memory made Aura’s stomach flip, and she immediately shot up, falling out of her chair, then crawled to the corner of her room where she threw up into a basket. “Fuck.”

If Joss got death by the stones for what she’d done, it was hard to imagine what Gregor would have in store for her if he found out. But, there was no turning back now.

After wiping her mouth and reapplying the wax to her lips, Aura slipped the floor length black dress, which had two high slits up to the thigh, a plunging neckline, and thin straps that crossed her back. She familiarized herself with the pocket Mae had sown in between her legs and practiced walking with something in it so that she wouldn’ t waddle.

Bang. Bang.

Aura opened the door to the runner. “Hey, Wallace.”

***


After the initial wave of questions about where Aura came from and if she was new to the trade, the carriage ride consisted of the girls fixing each other's make up, trading jewelry, and passing around a bottle of rum. They were kind and warm, not at all what she expected, and it temporarily suppressed the anxiety that bubbled back up in her throat as they reached the end of Loor’s driveway.

It was just as it was described. A castle out of a story book, with intricate stone walls and tall, bowing trees surrounding it like a wall. Pogo - a muscular, dark-skinned man with a handsome face and piercing eyes - hopped out first and helped each woman down until they were all gathered in a semi-circle around him.

“You ladies know what to do, go on.”

The girls giggled and hollered. A gig like this would pay them all handsomely.

“Aura,” Pogo addressed her quietly, closing the gap between them. “Loor usually starts having his fun about an hour into the party. Don’t talk to any men before that for too long, or they’ll snatch you for themselves. The bartender knows to spike his drink at about 9:30, then he should be out by 10:15pm. Once you get what you came for, come back to one of the carriages and tell the driver, ‘The crow cries at red skies.”’

Aura cocked her head to the side at the phrase, and Pogo chuckled.

“It’s code. He’ll take you back into F after that. Gregor wants you at Mae’s to deliver as soon as you get back. Got it?”

She nodded as she fidgeted with her dress. “Yes, sir.”

“You look fine, honey. Go ahead.”

Walking into the house felt like a dream. The walls were either painted gold, or had intricate patterns and murals painted on them. A harpist sat in a corner playing music, a heavenly sound that made Aura’s skin tingle for a moment. About a hundred people laughed and danced in the hall, and she smiled politely at those who cared to look at her as she made her way to the bar she spotted in the back.

It pained her to realize, but she hadn’t stopped looking for Kieran since the moment she arrived, and she started to lose hope the longer and longer it took for her to spot him.

Aura finally arrived at the bar at the back of the house, but she froze in her tracks once she spotted the crashing waves out the window. The beach. It was all Aura had dreamed about for years. A fantasy of her splashing in the water, the salt on her skin, the warm sun -

“Are you Aura?” The bartender asked, snapping her back into reality.

“Yes.”

He winked back at her, letting her know that he’d be the one spiking Loor’s drink. “What are you having?”

“Rum, please.”

“You want ice?”

Aura was taken aback at the question. It had been years since she had ice in a drink. Her eyes widened with excitement. “Yes, please.”

He smirked and slid the drink towards her, and Aura thanked him for the drink, and the service he’d provide later in the night.

As Aura turned around, she collided with a body, and some of her rum spilled onto the person’s shirt. Great. She was dead already.

“I’m so sorry,” she groaned, but as she looked up, she saw the face she’d been waiting for. “Kieran, I…why do we always meet like this?” A smirk tugged at her lips as she dabbed his shirt with the napkin the bartender gave her, her eyes swiveling around to make sure no one was taking note of their interaction.

“Hate to say it, but you clean up nice."
In APEX 4 mos ago Forum: 1x1 Roleplay
“You’ll...you’ll go?”

Aura took a deep breath. The news wasn’t much relief, especially if anyone saw him assisting her, she’d be beaten to death before the sun rose. However, the glimmer of hope that Kieran’s offer gave her was enough to calm her nerves temporarily.

“Anything you could do to make sure I get out of there, I’d be thankful.” Allowing her muscles to relax, she leaned forward with her hands folded, meeting his eyes. “I don’t know what time I’m going, or when the party even starts. Pogo usually has his girls arrive on a carriage. Should be ten to fifteen of us.”

Picking at her nails, Aura tried to think of anything else to let Kieran know of. Unfortunately, she wasn’t given much information himself.

“They sewed a dress for me, one that I can put the laptop in when I leave. I know the girls aren’t allowed to bring bags or any other belongings.”

Knowing Gregor, he probably didn’t bank too much on her making it out. If anything, she’d be caught and either meet the AA executioner in the morning or be thrown in a cell. But while he hated her actions, Aura was never a rat, and in his mind, could never be one. If only he could fucking see her now.

Countless nights given to The Cause. Countless beatings by the AE and her own people. Grueling “exercises” to prove her worth, her undying loyalty. The constant reminder that she was fighting for a better tomorrow for F, when she and the rest went days without a full meal.

And although the doubt in her mind had been growing like an invasive weed for months, Kieran was the sign she was hoping for from the gods. Her golden ticket. The only way out. There had been rumors of witness protection within the subsections, but then, there were also the rumors of life outside of Apex - the more dangerous option.

“I have a question for you, Kieran.” Aura groaned as she leaned back in her chair. “Don’t you get tired of it? All the bureaucratic bullshit?” She paused and giggled quietly. “I learned that word from a book. But really. Everything we all do - all of us - is always for ’the greater good of Apex,’ no matter what side you’re on. The farmers feed Apex. Sanitation keeps the roads safe for Apex. You run information for Apex. It’s all for Apex, for Apex, fo fucking Apex. You know, my dad told me that people used to have jobs that weren’t for the fucking city? They made music. They made art. They made games for the rest of us to enjoy.”

Aura paused for a moment, eyes scanning the man’s face before her. He was just as stone cold as always. She imagined her words bouncing off of him and falling to the ground.

“Do you ever wonder what life would be like if Apex wasn’t the center of the universe?”
In APEX 4 mos ago Forum: 1x1 Roleplay
“Del is…”

It felt so wrong. The memory of him pleading to her not to get him involved replayed in her mind more vivid than any movie they’d shown in the town square.

”They'll take me in for interrogation. Take my family in. They can’t handle that. They’re quiet, Aura. They’re dishwashers. They can’t take that shit.”

At this point though, it was only to clear his name. There was no other option.

“He’s my next door neighbor. My friend. My only friend.” Aura sighed and leaned forward, rubbing her temples. “He just covers for me. He doesn’t know what we do, what I do. The runners we work with only tell him what he needs to know. The cause doesn’t even know.”

Shooting up from her chair, she darted for the refrigerator and grabbed another one of the bottles Kieran brought and plopped back down. While Aura had been involved in enough nefarious shit, being a rat felt the worst on her conscious so far. Whether it was the impending feeling of punishment from the cause for what she was doing or the fact she was turning her back on all she knew, it felt like shit. At least she had enough ale to stave off the feeling until the next morning.

“Gregor…” a deep breath and a sip was needed before continuing, “he’s been our shot caller since Santo died a couple years back. He’s organized every major event since.”

Subconsciously, a hand lifted to her face to press on the scab on her bottom lip, wincing as the scab separated under pressure.

“There’s a… party or something in Sub A. Loor’s house.”

Another deep breath was taken, this time shaky in its exhale.

“I’m going undercover with a group of prostitutes. I have to take a folding computer, I forget the name.”

Aura took a few gulps from the brown bottle, and this time, politely set it down on the table next to her.

“If I fail to grab it and get out, and if his drink doesn’t knock him out in time, I’ll have to fuck him, then leave in the morning with the rest of the girls. Gregor wants the information on it. Something about more restrictions in F.”

For the first time in a few minutes, Aura lifted her head and looked at Kieran. “I don’t wanna do it. But this is my punishment from running away from the fight. This is his retribution. He coulda easily paid one of the other girls to do it.”

A hand ran through her hair as she took a moment to let the wave of anger run through her, then she returned her attention to Kieran.

“What else?”
In APEX 5 mos ago Forum: 1x1 Roleplay
Was he trying to be...nice?

No, he’s here for information. You’re here for freedom.

Aura adjusted in her chair until finding a comfortable position, somewhere between criss-cross and fetal, cradling the bottle in her hand. Maybe this wasn’t so bad of a set up. She spills a little information, and a full meal and bottle was the payout. It was probably the best deal she’d made thus far. Fuck Gregor, fuck the cause. They just stole and stole from her, telling her she was doing the most trustworthy thing, until she became the shell of a person that was sitting in front of Kieran.

”You took me to a family member’s house last night.”

The reality of what the cause was, how it could drag the most innocent of people down with you, felt like a blow to the ches. Her eyes mimicked that feeling, windening into orbs as she completely tensed in the chair, unsure of her next move.

Could she lie? Of course she could. Aura could dance her way through a fabricated story without a second thought.

But, paranoia crept in. He wouldn’t have asked if he didn’t already know, right? And lying to the man who caught her in an apparent act of treason against the AA would be a strike one. She was in way too deep, and everything leading up to this point felt like a cinder block tied to her ankles. She was fucked.

Lifting the ale to her mouth with a shaky hand, Aura took a swig of the ale.

It wasn’t two seconds before she slammed her feet on the ground, elbows on her knees. “Look. They have nothing to do with it. Del either. They just deal with it. The cause.”

Aura launched from the chair and began pacing, the bottle clutched in her left arm. It took a few strides around the small apartment, but she gained the courage to look Kieran in the eyes again, her own spitting fire.

“I work alone. No one I love is involved. And I only do this so I can leave this shit hole one day.”

The ale she’d finished was tossed across the room, not quite hitting the wall and shattering like she’d hoped, but instead rolling across the carpet. In embarrassment, she crumbled in the same seat she began in, clawing at her arm through the hoodie she wore.

“If you’re gonna have me here, move faster. Don’t bullshit.”
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