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3 mos ago
Current I sang a folk cover of Blue by Eiffel 65: youtu.be/kYZwgsBZnC4
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hi guys.

officially + indefinitely, I am stepping away from writing with the exception of my current story with hangyoursecrets. I’m sorry if I’ve left you hanging recently. Life has changed a lot since the beginning of the year, and while fortunately things are so much better, I have less and less time to write.

thanks for understanding 🖤

Most Recent Posts

NAME: Jane ‘J’ Malloy

AGE: 32

FAVORITE SONG: Lust Queen by Red Desert

APPEARANCE:

When Jane and the rest of In Bloom came back from their tour ten years ago, she was lost. They had loads of cash, success and fame, everything that she’d dreamt of as a young girl – but it didn’t fill the void. Nothing did. Andy was gone, and her and Rob could get back to normal life and relationship. But, with more and more pressure from management, labels, producers, and the rest of the world, Jane crumbled.

Her partying led her to rock bottom in less than a year of returning home. Booze throughout the day which was leveled out by the blow, going out and taking whatever was given to her, coming home angry, confused. The number of incidents in front of paparazzi was growing by the week.

That was around when it happened.

It – whatever it fucking was – was the cataclysmic event that took place between her and Rob. Jane had tried for the past nine years to remember what the hell happened that night, what she’d said to make him pack up his things and leave the following morning. What she did remember was waking up halfway on the couch to a half empty loft. Only a few tee shirts, a drumstick, and a photobooth strip of the two of them were all she had left of Rob, found in the back of their closet.

About a year later, Jane was rushed to the hospital by Austin, who found her foaming at the mouth with a syringe in her arm on her bed. She’d just started overdosing, and the only memory she had of that were flashing lights and people in white rushing around her. A nurse called her a junkie.

That led to the first stint in rehab. Jane was anything but receptive at first, remaining closed off to the doctors, therapists, and those around her. She had 30 days in a luxury facility that she spent either by the pool or in the room [if she wasn’t mandated to be elsewhere.]

The second round, a year later, was the one that began to stick. Her therapist cracked her wide open – Jane was talking about the death of her mother, the tour, what happened between her and best friend, and how fucking lonely she had been since it all.

Her newfound sobriety had her lusting for life again, and more importantly to her, surfing again. That’s where she’d met Nico. It was a bit of a whirlwind, her still being vulnerable and him just getting out of a relationship. They lasted a year, but it turned sour much sooner, as they both brought out the anger issues in each other. Too like an event in the past, Nico grabbed the few things he had in her loft and left.

The third round in rehab, 5 years ago, was truly the one that stuck. It’d been nearly exactly that long since she’d touched a drop of alcohol or done any substance [besides weed, which she keeps hidden her sponsor]. It had also been five years since Jane had a partner, a friend, or had really left her property she had purchased in the mountains since. The media wasn’t kind to her in the past – Jane couldn’t blame them – but the constant berating wore her down, so confined to her home she remained. A private IG account was created so that she could put out some acoustic songs when she wanted, and about 500 fans followed that. The rest of the world - she hoped - could forget who she was until the money ran out.

And the money was running out.

When Jane first got the call, it sounded to her like she’d be working alone in an AirBnB, able to record at her leisure. And, getting paid a lot of money to do it all. A fantasy for someone who loved to make music but also wanted to be left alone. It wasn’t until the day before the trip that it was made clear that it wasn’t just her. There’d be others there. And not just any others, the others. They’d not gotten in contact with Sam or Austin yet, but they did get in contact with one.

Jane’s biggest fear. The only one she’d refused to confront all these years.

Rob.
In APEX 3 mos ago Forum: 1x1 Roleplay
Before she was even lucid, Aura could feel the aches in her bones that were in contact with the hard floor beneath her. Ugh, then the headache. Where was she? With what felt like all her might, her eyes struggled to open.

”Good morning.”

In an instant, Aura was ready to defend her case. Why she left. Why she took the laptop. That she had to be out of Apex sooner than later and that she’d be leaving with or without him. But, for once, the mystery man all too readable, mainly because he looked exactly like she felt.

Tired, out of options. But behind the worries that seemed to present in the lines in his face, a calm that reminded Aura of a lighthouse in a storm sat in his eyes. And it was then, in the sweet, thick silence that hung between them, that she knew that she trusted Kieran no longer just because she had too.

”…I think it’s time we left Apex. For good.”

Aura opened her mouth to speak, but only a soft croak came out. There were so many questions, and she was unable to verbalize one. Next, she saw the bags and knew that he meant what he said. He always meant what he said.
She stood up, Kieran’s blanket crumbling around her feet and the hoody sinking down to just above her knees, her large brown eyes glossy with tears. She had never felt so helpless, weak. All of this was impossible without him, and they both knew it. But Kieran, whether it was because the AA was closing in on them or that he truly wanted to leave with her, he was leaving all he had behind too. All because she ran into him on the street.

And with her eyes on the ground, Aura closed the gap between them and embraced him tightly, his heartbeat in her ear as she carried on squeezing him. Once the silence became deafening, she was unsure of how much time had passed and stepped back abruptly, using her sleeves to dab her eyes.

“I, um, I’m gonna get ready, I –“ She halted as her fingers ran through her hair, which now just barely brushed her shoulders. “My fucking hair,” she mumbled. “I’ll explain everything on the way…” Her cheeks flushed red, and her eyes darted to the doorknob, which no longer held the present she left behind.

In embarrassment, she grabbed a pail filled with water and waved a hand as nonchalantly as she could to Kieran, as if the past five minutes had not taken place. “Just gonna wash up. I’ll be ready in ten.”

But as soon as she disappeared out of his vision, Aura stopped and leaned on the wall, a smile tugging mercilessly on the corners of her lips. It was not a time for happiness, but she savored the feeling for a moment before shaking herself out of it. They had an escape to plan.
In APEX 3 mos ago Forum: 1x1 Roleplay
”I hope I don’t regret this,” Aura thought as she closed Kieran’s door until it lightly clicked shut. In one hand, she held a dagger and a bucket mixed with a chemical that smelt so strong her eyes burned. In the other, a lantern and a piece of bread, which Aura was now shoving in her mouth as she crept around Kieran’s house and darted to a corner covered with trees and some scrap metal.

Aura knelt down into the wet earth and began taking deep breaths as she stripped off the black hoodie she’d borrowed from her host’s wardrobe - which now was holding the laptop - making sure to keep it away from the bucket sitting in front of her. After one or two more seconds of hesitation, the dagger was now in her possession, little flecks of moon light bouncing off of it as it twirled. No longer delaying the inevitable any further.

The sound alone of the blade ripping through the black strands was enough to make her stomach flip, but Aura kept her eyes tightly shut as she continued working the rusted dagger through her hair, eventually flipping to the other side and repeating. Then, her hands grabbed onto what was left, which settled around her shoulders, and she used her sense of touch to gauge the evenness of both sides. Close enough.

Aura grabbed a thick group of strands and nimbly braided them together before shoving it in the pocket of the pants he’d loaned her. Now, it was time for the bucket of bleach. Her fingers pinched her nose shut as she reluctantly lowered her head down into the bucket until she could feel the cool surface of the water reach her forehead. Now to wait.

In her moments of solitude, her mind went a few places. Kieran first. What his reaction would be to her leaving. To her taking the computer. He’d understand, right? There was no sense in having both the AE and the cause after her at the same time. This would serve as her peace offering, and hopefully, a graceful exit.

Secondly, she thought of her brother. Her dad. Her mother, who was becoming less and less real by the day. Aura was almost glad she wasn’t around to see her like this. Working with terrorists. Working with the AA. Her and her father’s MO was to lay low and stay out of the way, ”that will keep you out of trouble and eating.” They always acted so unbothered when Aura and Ion were growing up. Rations growing smaller? Dad needed to lose some weight anyway. Crops dying? This is time to try something new. The AA owning everything they grew? At least they were employed.

It sickened Aura, and now Ion was taking it a step further by becoming an enforcer himself. If she didn’t get out soon, would she be at the end of his club one day?

Time was up, and Aura removed her head from the bucket, allowing it to drip into the dirt and wringing her hair with her hands. She couldn’t believe how short it felt in her hands, she hadn’t cut her hair since she was a child. For a moment, she wondered what Kieran would think of it, but she shook it off, making sure her hair was no longer dripping wet as she slid the jacket back on and tucking the laptop underneath it.
Before continuing, Aura ran back around to the front of Kieran’s house, leaving the strand of braided hair around his door knob. It was folklore from the old days, but she remembered hearing a story as a child about a woman leaving her lover to go meet with the gods, and left a strand of her hair behind to be remembered by.

It might seem cliche now, but she wanted to leave something behind for him in case she didn’t come back, something better to remember her by than just a hangover.

Now, it was time to get back to Unity.

Aura walked as hastily as she could without looking suspicious until she could stares leading down to the tunnels. With shaky breath, Aura practiced his number out loud over and over again, but stopped once she saw the figures standing at the gate. Two out of three guards who she’d met her previous time in the tunnels were there, and she couldn’t believe that she was relieved to see them.

“Wow, a blonde now huh,” the stocky one piped up first, pulling the waist of his pants up with eagerness. “And it’s so short..”

“He, uh, likes it that way.” If they were going to assume, she was going to use it to her advantage.

The tall and slender one chuckled. “Your boyfriend, the tall one. Well if you’re with him, why are you trying to go back to F?”

The question took Aura by surprise, and the gears in her mind turned rapidly for an excuse. “We’re moving in! I mean, I’m moving in. We’re gonna live together.” Alright, maybe a bit much.

Both sets of eyes widened, waiting for the rest of her story.

“So, I wanted to get an early start and grab my, uh, stuff. Curfew is up at four in the mornings in F, which should be -”

“Fifteen minutes.”

“Yes,” Aura nodded. “I’ll walk slowly.”

“Alright, well good luck to you kids,” the shorter one said, flashing a smile that was both devious and sincere, before opening the door and motioning into the tunnel. “Emok’s working the other end, he’ll love the new hair.”

“Thanks,” Aura got out through gritted teeth as she squeezed between the two and entered the tunnel, which turned into a silent vacuum once the door closed behind her.

This was good, she thought. She knows the guards, she has a story. Maybe this trip wasn’t the deathwish her anxiety convinced her it was.

Aura waited at the other end of the tunnel, just out of view of the door, until she heard the 4:00 AM sirens go off, 3 short blasts to notify the subsection that the day was beginning. The only people up that early are usually the fishermen and farmers, and it’d allow Aura to slip in and out before the rest of the workforce began to stir.

She put her hood over her head and rounded the corner to see who she now knew was Emok and another guard who had his had slid down over his eyes.

“The girlfriend! She’s back.”

“Hi,” Aura said weakly. “The guard’s back there said-”

“It’s okay, I remember you. Just be back before 6. That’s when we switch shifts.”

Surprised by his kindness, it took her a moment to nod and smile before thanking him.

Twenty minutes later, Aura was deep in a corn field, using her memory to guide her to Gregor’s cabin. Just like his father before him, he farmed corn - both enjoyed the privacy its stalks provided.

A warm glow began to peak through the top of the green whisps, letting Aura know she was getting closer, and with each step she crouched further and further until she reached the clearing that allowed her full view of the home. Two guards stood out front, and candles flickered inside, illuminating the few windows that faced her.

There was no looking back now.

Aura stood, raising her hands in the air, and it only took three seconds before both guns were trained on her.

“G-Guys, it’s Aura. It’s me.”

“You’re alive?” One replied, and as he got closer, she could see it was Coda along with his friend Ben.

“Long story. What’s the odds I leave the cabin alive?”

The two looked at each other, then down. “Come with us,” Coda grumbled, signalling towards the cabin.

Adrenaline flooded her veins, but her feet did the work for her, and she followed behind the men until the warm light hit her face, and her eyes squinted shut in resistance.

“Where the fuck have you been?”

Aura forced her eyes open to focus, and she was met with Gregor, rocking in a chair and drinking what looked like ale.

“I haven’t slept yet because Pogo said you bailed the party.”

She knew it wasn’t her time to speak yet, and she stood paralyzed as Gregor rose to his feet, circling her like a shark.

“Oh, and fucking Loor’s dead, Aura!” As his voice got louder, his fingers dug deeper and deeper into her shoulders until she fell to the floor, the laptop tumbling next to her.

“At least you did something right.” Gregor reached for the laptop and handed it to Coda, who put it into a bag and immediately left the cabin. Ben went to the front door, leaving the two alone.

“Look, he tried to kill me, Gregor,” Aura explained, her voice wavering. “He woke up, he saw me trying to take it. I had to run until I could get this to you.”

He squatted down next to her, moving a strand of yellow hair from her face. “Is this your disguise?” he asked in a whisper, but his voice still made her flinch in anticipation. “What have you done?”

“No, Gre-” was all she could get out. Gregor scooped her up into his arms and propped her up in the rocking chair. It might have well been the chair in the back of Mae’s.

“You know I don’t talk.”

“I don’t know anything, Aura. Like where you’ve been.” Gregor’s hands were resting on the arms of the chair, his face only a few inches from her. “And where you think you’re going after this. The AE is already on the hunt for a petite brunette with long hair. You’ve got that taken care of for now, but you know someone’s going to remember that face.” His hand moved to her jaw, and he gripped her forcefully, turning her face so he could drink it in. “I know I will.”

“Gregor, I swear,” her tone turned deeper, as if she was begging from the bottom of her stomach, “I brought you the laptop. I’ve done everything you’ve ever wanted me to do.”

“If you were doing what I wanted you to be doing, we wouldn’t be talking right now.”

Aura’s eyes only rolled halfway before impact caused her head to dart to the side. Her cheek stung, and warmth rushed down the side of her face.
“You used to be such a good girl. The cause was everything.” Gregor was now speaking sweetly again, using his hand to roughly wipe the blood away from her face and onto his pants.

“I want out.”

“Oh, and where are you gonna fuckin’ go, Aura? Space?”

“I’m leaving Apex.”

Unable to contain his laughter, Gregor stumbled around, doubling over in laughter. Tears began to prick her eyes. Catching the sight, his expression changed to one of fake sympathy. “You’ll be dead before you get over the wall.”

Aura stood up, rage bubbling inside her. “Let me leave in peace. You’ll never hear from me again, whether I die for trying to escape, or making it over that wall. But please, let me go.”

The silence between them felt like minutes. The only sound was the fire crackling and Aura’s heartbeat in her eyes. His face was unreadable.

“Please,” she barely got out.

“It’s a death wish.”

“I know, but I’d rather be dead than live like an animal anymore.”

This must have struck a chord with Gregor, because he moved to the fireplace, sticking a cast iron stick into the fire. “You know about the brand?”

“Y-Yeah.”

“If I find out that you -”

“I know, Gregor.”

His eyes met hers for a few seconds, they looked as if they were begging her to change her mind. Her expression didn’t budge. Aura removed the hoodie once again, now nude from the waist up and approached Gregor, her back now facing him. It was nothing he hadn’t seen before.

“I’m ready,” she sighed, telling herself more than him.

Gregor grabbed the stick from the fire, which held a big X at the end, around 4” by 4”.

“Do you want me to count down?”

“No, I don’t want you- FUCK!” Aura tensed every muscle she had in order to stay still as Gregor pressed the brand into her back, right between her shoulder blades.

“Good girl,” Gregor whispered, a phrase Aura would be glad to never hear again, as he removed the X from her skin and tossed it down onto the stone that surrounded the fireplace.

Before Aura could move, a cold liquid poured down her spine, causing her to hiss at the pain, then the sound of his footsteps shuffled away to the kitchen. “I usually don’t boil wool for strangers, but I’m making an exception for you.”

“How kind,” Aura replied in a mocking tone, but her eyes were sincere. Gregor couldn’t kill her, no matter how much he wanted to, and for that, Aura was thankful.

Once her wound was dressed along with the slit on her cheek cleaned and glued together, Aura redressed and was walked to the door by Gregor, who stopped on the threshold and crossed his arms. “I’m gonna give you a three day head start before the rest of the cause gets word. But, after that, you’re a sitting duck.”

“I’m hoping I’m gone by then.”

“I hope you are too, Aura.”

Gregor kissed him, and Aura let him, before he took her into a tight embrace. “I always thought you’d be around.”

Aura broke their hug and nodded at him, a true and heavy sadness beginning to overcome her. Saying goodbye to Gregor was saying goodbye to everything she had worked towards for the past decade. All the plans. All the failures. All the cuts and bruises. But, she accepted, she’d always been fighting for a freedom that would never come. It was up to her, and her only now.

“Thank you, Gregor. You’ll never hear of me again.”

“That’s bittersweet. Good luck out there, Holland.”

***


Aura had run to her father’s house to find it empty; both him and Ion must have gone into town early or had a delivery to make. With no time to spare, she opted to go inside and write a note.

Dad and Ion,

I came to tell you that I’ll be leaving Apex shortly, and I hope I can trust you to keep this a secret until I have some time to get on my feet. I did something stupid, well, a lot of things, and soon they’ll all be looking for me.
Ion, you know I hate the enforcers, and they hate me, but I know whatever you put your mind to, you’ll be great at. Thanks for being the good kid. Our parents deserve it. Keep them safe and make us proud. I hope I’ll see you on the other side one day.

Dad, I’m so sorry. I always thought I was doing the right thing, but the truth is, there was never a chance of freedom in Apex. There never will be. They’ll work you and the rest of F to the bone until you’re too old, then...you know. I can’t stick around to watch that happen. I want a chance at life where my rations don’t have ants in them, where the air is clear, where there is music and art. I know it’s out there, like in the fables you used to tell us.

And whether I find that over the wall, or in death, I’ll be happier than I could ever be in Apex.

When you see mom again, tell her I love her. And that missing her is a pain that will never go away. Missing all of you will be one of the hardest things I have to do.

I have nothing to leave you but this letter and my love. I’m not traveling alone and will stay as safe as possible. Again, please give me some time.

With all of my love,
Aura.


***


Aura’s final stop was to her apartment to gather her things and say bye to Del. It was much too early for anyone to be bustling around the hallways, so making it to her door was a breeze.

Some clothes, a blanket with roses that she’d had since birth, a picture of her family, and a drawing Del had done of her when they’d gone to the lake to clean. All of this was shoved into a small, worn duffle bag. After surveying her items, only a few more small things were packed before Aura shut the door behind her. Next, she lightly knocked on Del’s door in a pattern only she’d used.

Del answered and yanked her inside. “What are you doing here?” His expression was panicked.

“I came to get some stuff and say bye, I’m leaving.”

“Good,” Del huffed, “two enforcers came here in the middle of the night to see if you were here. A couple hours after curfew.

Aura’s eyes widened in disbelief. How would they know so quickly?

“Don’t worry, I covered, but the sooner you go the better.” Del hugged her tightly, causing a few pops in her back, he faced her, squeezing her shoulders. “Wherever you end up, oh my god, your hair is yellow.”

Although tears were streaming down her face, a chuckle erupted from her. “I’ll miss you, Del.”

“I’ll miss you too, kid. Don’t forget me.”

***


Aura was back two and a half hours later, and the sky was just beginning to lighten to a royal blue. From a distance, she could see the strand of her hair was removed from the doorknob, and her teeth clenched.

Kieran knew she left. And even worse, she’d have to face him.

Aura opened the door slowly, its creak echoing back at her, to show an empty home. “Hey, are you here?”

Silence.

Thank god. Delaying a confrontation sounded much better, especially if she could nap off some of the headache that was now pounding thanks to drinking the night before. Aura lowered herself lazily to the floor, crawling back into the cocoon she had left behind, now with a pile of her belongings next to it. Aura only got a line or two into humming a song she had wrote before her eyes fluttered shut for the last time, and she drifted back to sleep, as if she’d never left Kieran in the first place.
In APEX 5 mos ago Forum: 1x1 Roleplay
Aura’s expression at first was amused, excited to get a peak behind the walls that Kieran probably built up years ago. But, as he continued to open up, her smile started to fade. Had the room gotten colder? Her arms wrapped around her cup clutched to her chest, her lazy gaze switching from his eyes to his mouth and back.

Why would his parents just leave him here? Why wouldn’t they take him outside too? And why would he keep serving a society that's failed him so many times?

Her head was swimming with what it all meant, and how Kieran had survived. Aura released her grip around herself and straightened her posture. The alcohol was clearly in effect; when she looked to Kieran she nearly saw double.

“Now that’s fucked up.” The words practically tumbled out. “Sorry,” she sighed, throwing her head side to side in disapproval. “I’m not great at stuff like this. I never know what to say.” Aura looked up to him and nodded. “But I’m sorry. I’m glad you turned out okay. A lot of us wouldn’t.”

Too soon to ask about his parents leaving Apex?

Aura cocked her head in thought as she studied his face.

Yeah, too soon.

Though that wasn’t the only thing Aura was holding back that night. Aura never intended for them to try to get into the laptop. She’d be bringing it in the middle of the night to Gregor. A peace offering to the cause before she went back in hiding. She knew Kieran would never would go for it, and if Gregor saw them together, she’d be dead before she could hit the ground.

She would need to wait until he went to sleep.

“My family is pretty average. Ma, my father, my kid brother Ion and I.” Aura knocked back the rest of her drink before continuing. “Ma left a couple years back to work as a live-in servant. Somewhere in A by the beach.”

Her fingers kept finding their way to her hair, letting the long, dark strands weave around them in mindless movements. It was most likely the fact that she’d be cutting it all off that night.

“My, uh, evil lair I took you to the night you were my hostage was my dad’s farm. Ion’s turning eighteen soon and will probably be joining the AE for enforcement training.” This took a big sigh out of Aura. “His mother’s gone. He thinks his big sister’s a criminal. My dad probably does too at this point.”

Realizing the conversation was turning dark, Aura scrambled to change the topic.

“I turn twenty five next week,” she admitted, grinning from ear to ear. “Gregor and them were gonna have a party at Mae’s. They promised to find a way to get me some chocolate. Chocolate’s my favorite, especially the -”

It wasn’t happening now. What was the point of talking about it anymore? It wasn’t like Kieran cared.

“It was gonna be after a meeting. Next week in the corn fields, a hundred paces north from the gate, three hundred west. If you get close enough, you can listen in.”

That’s what he cared about. Taking down the cause and getting a gold star from the AA. That’s all this was.

“I think I’m gonna turn in soon. I’m taking the floor.”

Aura grabbed a blanket in the corner and wrapped herself up in a cocoon before tumbling down to the floor. “That’s quite the strong drink in your cupboard, Kieran.”

She writhed around as the worked the blanket up around her neck, holding a nail she had picked up early enough in the palm of her hand. If all went well, the nail would jab her hand at some point and wake her up so that she could slip out of the house.

Once comfortable, with sleepy eyes, Aura glanced back to Kieran and smiled lazily. “Do you plan on being a runner forever? Do you ever want a family of your own to take care of?”
Like many of us who knew Poly, she made an impact on me and I’ll never forget her. She was strong, incredibly smart, and a kind soul that constantly looked out for those she cared about, even when she wasn’t feeling well herself.

We were all lucky to know her, and while I’m devastated, I’m also happy she’s no longer in pain and at peace.

I’d like to share a quote Poly sent me during one of our last conversations that shows just the type of person she was.

“I want everyone to have the happiest, healthiest, and safest lives they can, if they want to. I already have everything I need, and I like to make a positive difference... I know a lot of people would just focus on themselves if they were in my shoes, and they'd have every right to. I've been told my prognosis is not very good, and my family was told I only have a few months left. But, I don't want to spend the rest of my days being so selfish as to only focus on me. I want to do as much as I can for as many people as I can before I'm gone, because I feel like it's the right thing to do. And it makes me happy.”

Rest easy, Pol. 🖤
In APEX 6 mos ago Forum: 1x1 Roleplay
Aura choked on her first gulp from the cup, the liquid burning her throat, but once getting it down she giggled. “Fuck, that’s bad,” she said before taking another swig and placing it down on the floor next to her feet. Next, she tugged on the long sleeve thermal shirt that Kieran had placed folded on the bed and let the dress shimmy down to her waste. Then, the pants, which she slid underneath the bottom of the dress until she could take off the dress entirely.

Now that she was comfortable, Aura grabbed her cup and curled herself up into a comfortable position, stretching out and analyzing Kieran’s words: ”Whatever gets us out of here.”

The phrase threw her off entirely, and she shifted again on the mattress as she contemplated how to begin.

“Well,” she sighed, rubbing a hand over her face. “As you probably know, Unity was a clan that emerged from…the pathogen.” The stories she’d heard from the old days, before places like Apex existed, scarred her early in her childhood. Everyone growing ill and dying. Bodies piling along streets. The stench of death that spread over miles. Aura shook herself out of the momentary funk and looked up to Kierans with a nod. “Unity had 3 founders: John Morgan, Amari Jefferson, and Leonard Hutchins. It’s said they traveled hundred of miles with one hundred and fifty others until settling into what’s now known as Apex. More specifically, what Subsection F is now.”

Aura took another sip of the cup, the alcohol beginning to creep over her slowly, warming her stomach.

“For a while they thrived off the land and kept to themselves, but more and more stragglers began to join the settlement. Supposedly, the land around here used to be lush. It had a way of making you forget all that you’d gone through, you know? Then, the invasion happened. A group of two or three hundred arrived, and it was only weeks later until the fences went up. Next, they began to divide up the land into our subsections. Unity was shoved furthest away from the coast with promise that the crops would be theirs to tend and feed the lot of them.”

Another sip. Another deep breath.

“The original three didn’t like that. They knew what exactly was happening. They watched A and B get more food, more resources. D and F slowly began to fall behind. Blah blah blah, and now we’re here.”

In a drunken manner, Aura rose from the bed and pointed a finger to Kieran. “The cause was born to fight the caste system. To crumble the borders and let people come and go as they plead. They were told that this was happening everywhere and that they’d need to get used to it. Radio signals stopped working outside of the fences that were littered with the new guard, the AE. But the cause said no. Unity would rise again and escape the grasp of the AA.”

Aura tilted back into the mattress, deflated.
“Over the past hundred years, the cause has turned into a sham. Gregor is bloodthirsty and only wants revenge. I brought up leaving Apex once, and he spit in my face. The original three would be ashamed of what we’ve become.”

After finishing the last of her drink, Aura scurried tipsily to grab the bottle, topping off Kieran before filling her cup halfway.

“I think if we get into the computer, figure out what Gregor really needed, we can stop whatever attack they’re planning next. I need to send it off before he thinks I’ve failed or have been arrested. The guys inside will have the news that I’m not in prison in about two days. Your hilarious and insanely attractive confidential informant and you can take credit for the bust, and we could have tickets to wherever we wanna go.”

If she got on the good side of the AA and didn’t remain anonymous, it’d make her escape that much easier. She didn’t bother mentioning that part to Kieran. Not yet.

“Well then. How about you?” Aura grinned, a spark of excitement flickering in her eyes. “I know you’re Mystery Man and all, but we’re partners in this now whether we like it or not. Why don’t you tell me literally anything about yourself. Your childhood, your parents...anything.”
In APEX 6 mos ago Forum: 1x1 Roleplay
After offering a nod of gratitude at Kieran for accepting her plea, their impromptu boat ride began and remained in silence for its duration. Kieran, as he should, kept his focus on operating the vessel, allowing Aura a few glances at him in between taking in the scenery - a vast, black sky, peppered generously with twinkling stars and a crescent moon matching the contrast in the white ridges of cresting waves - and pausing to close her eyes and lick the salt spray from her lips.

And what she saw in Kieran both made her feel safe...and terrified.

Since they had met, from Aura kidnapping him to him rescuing her from Loor’s party not a half an hour before, Kieran always remained unreadable. Calm. His confidence in each situation gave off the notion that he was already two steps ahead in his mind, even if his words said otherwise. She could see it in his eyes each time she looked at him.

And Aura’s freedom, her life, was now in his hands.

“My Dad told me once that our family had come from the other side of those mountains.”

Aura’s head snapped to his direction once she’d registered Kieran’s admission, jaw probably hanging. So he’s heard stories of the outside too.

”I wonder what’s there now.”

For the first time in quite a while, a spark of hope arose from deep inside of her, warm in her stomach, and a faint smile tugged at the corners of her lips. It was decided then that, before their agreement came to an end, that she would try to convince him to leave Apex. But, that definitely wasn’t a discussion for an eventful evening like this.

***


Seeing Kieran play caretaker and host kept a playful smile plastered on her face as she looked around his home, her fingers dancing along the walls as she limped around the place. Before getting too far, he helped her to his bed, and Aura watched in amusement as he bustled around the house to start the fire and bring her water.

As he settled on the floor across from her, Aura worked under her dress until the laptop slid out, and she quickly set it on a table out of her line of vision. She didn’t even want to look at the damn thing.

“A change of clothes sounds lovely,” Aura nodded, her throat hoarse from the evening. “The whole place is, really. I live in F, remember? Relax.” Her eyes found the courage to meet his, but as hot tears began to well back up, she shot her head down to stare into the cup of water instead. “Thank you...for everything.” A shaky breath caused her to pause for just a moment. “He woke up. Saw everything. It was me or him. I didn’t -”

Aura shuddered as the scene replayed in her head.

“Maybe it’s best if I don’t talk about it tonight, then.” Removing a strand of hair from her face, she looked up again to Kieran, this time with a weak smile. “I’m gonna need to find a way to get one of the paid runners to meet me somewhere out here to get this laptop. A-and, I’ll handle my hair tomorrow so I can slip under the radar until we figure out what to do from here. And if I can get Del to get me some of my stuff before they clear out my room.”

Getting an idea, Aura popped up from slouching and shot a devious look to Kieran.

“I am still obligated to hold up my end of the deal. If you have any ale, I’d gladly spill whatever you want to know about the cause. I’m as good as dead to them for now anyway.”

She downed the rest of her water and waved her empty cup above her head.

“What do ya say, mystery man? I don’t think I’ll be falling asleep anytime soon.”
In APEX 8 mos ago Forum: 1x1 Roleplay
"I'm not sure what we do from here."

Getting lost in thought looking around the boat, Aura was snapped back to reality with his statement.

"Bring me to your place. I'll, uh, I'll get a runner to bring the laptop to Gregor. Last thing I need is the AA and the cause looking for me." She began to pace around the boat, every now and then stumbling from the small waves beneath them lapping against the dock. "All they knew at the party was that I was a girl named Sada with long, black hair. I'll...I'll cut it. Bleach it with some cleaner and..."

Aura looked to Kieran, obviously desperate and reeling from the events that had just taken place.

"Please, if you could just hide me for a bit, we could figure it out from there. I'll lay low. No one will ever know I'm there, just...please." Her voice shook which pissed her off more than anything. She was stronger than this. Smarter than this. She should have just let Loor do what he wanted and told Gregor that she couldn't get the lap top. Now, she was at the mercy of Kieran, who could easily turn her in to the AA without a second thought.

Aura plopped down on a cushion and let her foot rest above her, already able to see the black bruise and blood pooling on the top of it. Tears came again, but she held her head down and quickly wiped them with her hands, but it only mixed with Loor's blood dried on her hands.

"Fuck," she mumbled before throwing herself to the side of the boat and puked. Once done, Aura caught a reflection of herself in the metallic trim, and in its warped picture, she could see Loor's blood was now smeared across her cheeks. "No, no," she whispered sharply, running to the other side of the boat, leaning over its edge until it was only her legs inside, and dunked her head into the icy water, scrubbing her face and arms vigorously until she was sure no blood was lingering. With a gasp, she brought herself back over the edge and into the boat, and searched the cabinets until she found a scratchy blanket to wrap around herself. Once situated back onto the cushion, Aura brought a finger to her face again, relieved to only see the running black coal that she'd lined her eyes with.

"So, what do you say? It'd only be for a few days."
In APEX 9 mos 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?”
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