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Caiden McKay

Date/Time: November 11th, 2022; 6:08 PM
Location(s): Redline, PRT Headquarters

As the others smothered Rachel in compliments and thanks, Caiden’s gaze shifted slightly as a feminine voice pulled at his attention. With that same easy smile on his lips, the teen’s demeanor no less relaxed in costume than it had been out of it, Caiden glanced Aaliyah’s way. A single eyebrow raised as he gave her a once over before his gaze shifted to some of his other teammates. He liked what he was seeing as, despite the fact that some of their costumes had clearly had more thought put into them than others, none of them were something he’d find himself embarrassed to stand alongside. Furthermore, they were all eminently flattering, a fact that made itself clearer as Aaliyah spoke up again, this time deliberately pulling his attention towards her. This time he kept his eyes firmly fixed on her face as he took in her words, processing the interest in her tone. “I’m glad you think so,” he replied, his tone containing the same degree of subtle emotion, conveying that he found her words flattering.

“It’ll be nice when we’ve got the time to share,” he said, his features slipping into a slightly more coy smile as he leaned his head back slightly and let out a small laugh. However, before curly-haired Aaliyah could engage him further, the sound of something weighty made itself known. Raising an eyebrow, Caiden turned his gaze to the entrance to the girl’s changing rooms where a veritable mech was emerging. His brows raising, he found himself momentarily speechless even as the others responded to Jane’s arrival. Reading the room, and taking in a few of the other costumes in greater detail he noted that their other tinker had outfitted herself with a quite formidable quantity of pouches and holsters, clearly in preparation for any number of gadgets she might possess in the future–near and far. If he was being entirely honest, he enjoyed Bev, Aaliyah, and Jane’s choices the most, though he found Will’s costume had solid presentation as well.

Then he heard the sound of something falling and immediately took several steps in that direction. However, before he could do anything, Will had–surprisingly–reached out to help the falling Bev, who appeared to have rather suddenly fainted. Caiden’s mouth opened slightly as his expression shifted from serious and back to one of faintly startled amusement. It seemed that some of them had been significantly more impressed by Jane’s rig than others. As with other tidbits he’d picked up over the last ten or so minutes, he filed that bit of information away for later.

With Fashionista quickly moving to help the younger boy, Caiden decided that things were well in hand and so turned his attention back to Jane’s mech for a moment. After a brief inspection, he nodded his head, satisfied, before he moved to follow after Fashionista, having processed her brief explanation of their costumes. All the details matched what she’d more or less told him when they’d been working on the outline for it a week or so back. Donning his mask well before they ended up amongst the other PRT employees, Caiden filed in alongside the others as they crowded around the Director for their briefing of the situation.

By now, given the seriousness he’d detected in the mannerisms of their two superiors–along with the fact that they’d all suited up–Caiden had surmised that his earlier assessment had almost certainly been wrong: This was serious. That fact excited him far more than anything else, as despite the worry for himself and his teammates’ wellbeing he just couldn’t wait to let loose for once.

So it was that his thoughts were confirmed as the Director’s words washed over all of them. As the man went back to his work, Caiden found himself grinning slightly even as he tilted his head to the right and gave Aaliyah a sidelong glance. “Well Gress,” he began, a sort of pleased mischief in his tone, “ looks like it’s time to dish eh?”

With that said, Caiden let his mind flash through his surroundings as he’d seen them in the previous moments before he focused his intent on the space some feet above his person. A coiling prismatic luminescence spiraled into existence in that spot before it expanded into the shape of a blade and then solidified. “The short of it, is that I can manifest these blade projectiles near myself and then launch them with a certain range of specific properties.”

The blade, still hovering in the air where it had formed around 3 feet above his head, began to spin slowly. He met Aaliyah’s gaze–or attempted to at least–and continued. “I can dictate their durability, speed, and the nature of their trajectory. Ah…and before launching them I can control them telekinetically, as you can see.” He laughed slightly before snapping, the blade vanishing into thin air as he did so.

“If I’ve got multiple blades already fired, I can use them to create fields of pressure to damage or restrict the movement of anything within. So there’s that to watch out for as well. What about you?” He aimed the question at Gress, curious of the precise nature of her power–especially given her keen interest earlier.
@LostDestiny ooh nice sheet! I'm curious, we're you intending to him to be a Ward or did you have other plans?
Caiden McKay

Date/Time: November 11th, 2022; 6:08 PM
Location(s): Redline, PRT Headquarters

With his attention split between the Director and his fellow Wards, Caiden found himself more than a bit surprised when a wall folded in on itself to reveal a rather attractive woman that he’d already had the pleasure of meeting once. ‘Ah, Rachel,’ he thought as Fukuda’s lack of explanation was suddenly explained by the Vice Director’s presence. He chuckled slightly to himself as–totally within his expectations for the woman–Fashionista completely dominated the room’s attention. Caiden didn’t feel to catch the look she’d given Fukuda, and he took a sort of personal pleasure in seeing the man shy away from her gaze. Then came the obligatory introduction of course, markedly more enjoyable than such an awkward thing would typically be given the situation, all owing to the sheer charisma the woman brought to the table.

He really did enjoy Rachel’s company, in fact, he found that he’d adopted a more honest smile as he watched her work the room and then guide them from the Wards’ central control room. As he followed he took note of the fascinating security measures. Eventually, they made their way into what he guessed was a changing room–which he swiftly found confirmed as Fashionista passed out access cards and explained their purpose. The place was rather utilitarian, but it wasn’t as if they’d be spending much time there, so that made a certain amount of sense.

As he received his access card from Rachel, Caiden gave her a bright smile, laying on a bit of the charm before he let his eyes drift down to the card. Of course, given that they were clearly about to get their first feel for what being in costume would be like, Caiden reevaluated his earlier ideas about the nature of the interruption. No, things were almost certainly much more severe if both the Director and Fashionista were on edge–especially combined with the fact that they were being told to get in costume. As Will–‘Wilbur’, he thought with a slight chuckle as he moved to retrieve his costume and go get changed–had feared, this was almost certainly ‘cape shit’ as the young man had so eloquently put it.

While many of the others seemed…unnerved by the turn of events–at least going based on their initial reactions–Caiden found he was rather looking forward to having an excuse to use his power. He’d been itching to properly use it ever since he’d gotten his first taste of its true capabilities back during–...he cut off the thought as images of pools of blood flashed behind his eyes.

Focusing for a moment as he changed, Caiden found that the get-up was even better than he’d expected. It fit perfectly, neither restrictive of his movement nor did it leave him with any discomfort at all. It was honestly incredible, even clothes he’d gotten custom made before hadn’t fit him like this. Caiden supposed it was the benefit of having a clothing tinker on hand.

Once he’d finished getting in costume, Caiden stepped out from the men’s changing room and let his gaze fall directly on Fashionista.

“Honestly Rachel, I’m more than impressed,” he praised, his smile as relaxed as it was honest.

“Comfortable, unbelievably breathable and…” he paused, glancing to make sure he wasn’t particularly close to anyone before he snapped his fingers and a mass of prismatic energy flashed into existence. The energy rapidly coalesced into the silhouette of a blade. Then, in the space of a second or less a full blade had manifested just to Caiden’s right, its tip aimed at the ground.

Casually, Caiden grabbed the grip of the blade and poked at some of the draping cloth of his costume. It didn’t cut it at all, though he could tell it would part if he truly used his power properly. Still, it was impressive.

He looked back to Rachel, the blade vanishing into a spray of quickly dispersing particles as he finished “...surprisingly durable. Excuse the turn of phrase, but it’s honestly good shit.” He said it all with incredible casualness, each word coming out as if he’d said them a thousand times–yet at once like they weren’t practiced. Moving on without comment on his brief use of his power, Caiden lifted the mask he’d kept in his left hand up to look at.

It was just as good as the rest of the costume. He honestly wasn’t sure if he could be happier with her work. With his own testing done, he glanced elsewhere, waiting for the others to emerge from the changing rooms, eminently curious as to what their choices had been.


Date/Time: November 11th, 2022; 6:13 PM
Location(s): Redline, Guardian Mobile Fortress

Never one to be caught unprepared–and especially not one to ever waste time–Kari had been experimenting with her power while she sat on a comfortable sofa for the greater length of the day. She’d gone on patrol before Trump Card for a few hours, and that had helped take off the edge that something was up. So, with an uncounted number of forcefields arranging and rearranging themselves in the air in front of her, Kari didn’t find herself even remotely surprised when the Director called them with bad news.

Instantly, as it became apparent they’d need to deploy, Kari let a series of forcefields align with her mask, forming a tiara-like formation before she complexified the arrangement to add a sort of transparent shielding for her eyes. With that done, she rose to her feet, a small amount of tension easing rather than growing as she heard the news. Though she didn’t approach the screen, instead listening from halfway across the room, Presidio oddly found herself relieved that her instincts hadn’t been off. She was equally glad that she’d kept some of her more common constructs properly maintained for the duration of the day.

When the Director signed off and Risen spoke up, Kari considered things for only a moment before Siren pitched in. Glancing at the stern woman, Kari felt herself slip into her role almost effortlessly–she’d been practicing.

As Siren finished, Presidio let her array of shields arrange themselves at her back and sides before she spoke up in reply, her tone resolute.

“I’m going with Siren. There’s too high a chance that these things will be equally dangerous.” She glanced up at Risen and Blaster, regarding Fenris as well for a moment before turning her attention back to their leader. “If anything you three and Trump Card are more than sufficiently equipped to protect the Mayor, especially in tangent with the PRT and the Mayor’s personal guard. Even if things get bad on his end, I can rest assured that you can handle yourselves. The Wards however…” she trailed off, frowning slightly.

“...well, even with me being the newest to the group, I’ve still got drastically more experience than almost any of them, perhaps with our local speedster excluded. Besides, I’d say that I’m probably the best-equipped power-wise to protect them.” At that she gave Risen a confident smile, her eyes glittering slightly even as the pair of shields at her sides unfurled into larger concave formations reminiscent of buckler shields, but about as wide as a person was tall. In Kari’s case, they dwarfed her own 5’3 frame.

Satisfied she’d made her point, the constructs retracted into themselves, swiveling down into slots deeper inside another series of interlocking forcefields. At her back another array of forcefields were popping into existence and rapidly assembling into a construct she’d already had the pleasure of using on several occasions since she’d joined the Redline Guardians. It would be much like a spool of thick cord, or chains, made from intricately intertwined and interlocked forcefields. It’d take her quite some time to make it properly, but they had some time before things would push off–at least it seemed that way, there was no way to truly be sure with thinkers.

“Any complaints?”

Her hazel eyes briefly flicked between Risen and Siren.

She hoped not.

Caiden McKay

Date/Time: November 11th, 2022; 6:08 PM
Location(s): Redline, PRT Headquarters

Man, he’d thought the Wards were likely to be a colorful bunch, and well, it turned out he was even more correct than he’d thought. Still, it wasn’t all good as the Director tried to pass off his irritation as an accident by giving Caiden a false apology for his toss. For his part, Caiden shrugged it off and donned the headphones. As far as he was concerned, this was a win in his book, after all, he’d wanted to get under the Director’s skin and he’d managed that quite well. “Not a problem,” he replied, meeting Fukuda’s eyes with a knowing grin. Letting the expression fade to a relaxed amusement, Caiden turned his gaze around the room casually taking in the expressions and body language of his peers–young though some of them might be. Most only took stock of him for an instant, but some lingered.

One, the older boy with blue eyes, seemed to be taking his measure before dismissing him. Another, a girl with red eyes and long hair spilling over her shoulders–the one with confetti still clinging to her clothes–seemed to lean away from him ever-so-subtly, before her eyes moved away. Chuckling under his breath he turned his attention to the kid who sat far-too-obviously next to the Director.

Leaning back into his chair as he regarded the young man, Caiden made an assessment, then turned to watch the power demonstration of one of the girls. Short red-brown hair and a quiet, almost hesitant, demeanor. Clothes were unassuming, or at least tried to be. To Caiden however something was obvious, she was using them to hide, like a barrier against the world. A wall between herself and others. Shy perhaps? Worried about what people thought? Self-conscious or just overly cautious?

As he considered her bearing, he almost missed the demonstration, but as he processed the details of such he found himself raising an eyebrow.

‘Well that’s interesting’ he thought, even as the gears of his mind unconsciously turned every one of her sentences, her tone, her body language, and the details of her power over and over. In a moment he made a hypothesis, she wasn’t shy, but guarded instead. Something about how she was opening up to the group by degrees, but simultaneously remaining conservative with her social energy just tipped off that instinct in him. He decided then and there that he wouldn’t push her. Then the crimson-eyed girl spoke up, a look of rapt attention turning to awe and fascination as she quickly gave her thoughts on the demonstration.

‘Biokinesis,’ he thought to himself, ‘...that could be useful…if–’ the thought cut off as he realized that it simply wouldn’t be wise to jump to conclusions. He didn’t know these people yet, as interesting and–to an extent–well-intentioned as they seemed. Besides, considering the concerns that the tinker–he just had a feeling based on her demeanor–and the quick-to-assume blue-eyed fellow brought up it would be worth knowing more about the power before even considering its usefulness to the team.

As he mulled that over he tuned out Fukuda’s lame attempts to redirect attention as if that could ever be truly effective. Fortunately for the Director, several other things happened as he spoke. An exceptionally young girl exited the elevator, and greeted them, before she promptly hid on a couch in the corner. As everyone’s attention refocused, the other tinker–this one obvious because of the roughshod mechanical arm–asked a rather important question. Of course, Caiden paid more attention to the delivery, even as he deliberately kept his eyes from drifting over to the girl on the couch even as the tall tinker and the so-called healer joined her in the corner.

He wanted to shake his head as more than a few of the Wards tried to make the girl feel welcome. ‘Too much attention, and for the wrong reasons,’ he thought even as he let his gaze dart to–ah Carmen. Her body language was clear: Discomfort, frustration, anxiety. The lack of those emotions on her face was just a testament to Carmen’s desire to be polite. It was a kindness that he wasn’t sure the others deserved, unthinking as they had been how their actions might impact their youngest member.

All at once a voice he hadn’t heard up until that moment broke the relative silence, proclaiming that Overclock–oh so that’s who the blue-eyed judge was–should be their leader. At this, Caiden’s eyes seemed to flash with amusement even as placed his hands behind his head and settled in to watch the spectacle.

For much of the time while the Director’s ‘pet’ replied, stumbling over his words for an instant, Caiden just stared straight into Fukuda’s face with a practiced smile. It was simultaneously piercing, smug, and satisfied all at once. As if to say ‘hilarious that you signed up for this.’ At the same time he considered the cyborg tinker’s words, before discarding them. It didn’t really matter why they were all here. After all, for those like him who had been forced in one way or another, they’d simply want to leave those reasons behind. On the other hand, those who had volunteered wouldn’t necessarily want to make anyone else feel like they were implying that they were better than them by revealing that fact.

It was honestly a funny little quirk of how society conditioned people to interact with one another. Besides, Overclock was right, it would’ve bee impossible to get his mom to sign off on the Wards program without–....

For an instant there was a flash of email logs in his mind’s eye, and then red and silver flashes. Caiden’s smile vanished, his eyes closed, and for a moment his relaxed air faltered completely as tension contorted his muscles subtly. Taking a deep, quiet breath he let the feelings and memories pass and then focused in on the events going on around him. The past didn’t matter, it was the present that was important.

As he tuned back in, he word Overclock dismiss the idea of being a leader–or even picking one so early on. Caiden nodded his approval, a more serious expression having settled onto his features, though he had again relaxed. Of course, Overclock wasn’t done holding the floor it seemed as the once solo hero stood up and properly introduced himself.

‘Sean huh,’ he thought, stowing away the name for future use along with ‘Wilbur’–aka Will–Beverly, and Carmen. So too did he stow away the subtle dig that Sean had aimed at the PRT as an organization. That was something he could certainly get behind. Once Sean had finished, Director Fukuda finally managed to get a proper word in edge-wise. It was all pretty standard shit, nothing terribly unexpected or interesting. Still, the notes about a leader, and the way Fukuda presented each piece of information was something that Caiden kept a close eye on because, if he were being honest he might be the only person in the room who ought to fit into that role.

Everyone else was either too set in their ways, too in their own head, or just not at all suited to that kind of role–and that was without considering that Will was a master who could certainly not be trusted with the position. Not that he disliked the kid. Further, Caiden noticed how the Director’s eyes grazed over a few specific individuals as he brushed off the issue of why they’d been chosen.

‘I see, really playing your hand there aren’t you Mr. Fukuda,’ Caiden thought, his relaxed smile returning. Of course, before the Director could go on to explain the precise purpose of their first gathering, his phone rang. Based on the man’s expressions and the annoyance he displayed, it appeared that whoever was calling wasn’t someone he could ignore.

Caiden leaned forward in his seat, his gaze following the Director as he stood and began to argue over the phone. At the same time he let his attention wander slightly, taking in Fukuda’s words even as he made note of how the others were responding. Partially mirroring their worry, as well as finding himself somewhat disappointed, Caiden’s expression naturally shifted into a frown. Then the second call, the abject yelling over the phone, the clear frustration and exasperation in the Director’s every move.

Apparently this was all very last minute and exceptionally troublesome. Finally, Fukuda hung up and gave them a series of rather vague comments. How professional. Caiden let out a solitary chuckle and then rose from his seat and stretched. Before he’d said anything, Carmen unexpectedly spoke up. All the while, Caiden darted his eyes briefly at the dark-skinned girl with the afro. She’d been silent throughout and he couldn’t help but be particularly curious as to why. Perhaps she was like him in a way and liked to get a feel for things before interjecting, honestly, he doubted it. He found it far more likely that she just hadn’t felt a need to speak up and so had been relegated to the role of an observer if a temporary one.

Turning his gaze back to Carmen in almost the same instant he gave her a small smile before shifting his attention back to Fukuda. It was only then that he spoke up, putting his hands in his pockets as he leaned against the chair behind him.

“Seems like you’ve got quite the first day in store for us. Care to share, Director?”

As he met Fukuda’s gaze, Caiden’s expression, his demeanor, smile–and even that maddening look in his eyes–practically screamed ‘it’s rude not to share.’ At the same time, he somehow seemed to be daring the Director to call him out when all the attention was on Fukuda himself–especially considering that much of that attention was filled with nervous energy borne of uncertainty.

Caiden had to admit, the best part about this gig might just be keeping the Director perpetually on the defensive.

Caiden McKay

Date/Time: November 11th, 2022; 5:45 PM → 6:05 PM
Location(s): Redline, near HQ → Redline, PRT Headquarters.

Laying in his room on his back, three swords spun lazily through the air several feet above him. With unfocused eyes and a habitual half-grin, he watched them as power, like beads on an abacus, was distributed behind his eyes.

A gentle knock on his door caused the turning blades to pause for barely an instant. Caiden didn’t respond, yet the door tried to open, only to catch on another set of blades that had manifested a moment before. “It’s locked,” he called out without energy, hearing a huff from beyond the sealed gateway. He chuckled. “Oh hold on, I’m coming,” he said, dismissing the three blades overhead with a flick of his wrist as he pushed into a seated position. Fixing his hair, the young man glanced across the room at the closet door and the mirror on it. Turning from it he looked at the door and then gestured–all while knowing full well that his mom knew he didn’t have a lock. He wasn’t allowed to actually, not anymore. Granted, that didn’t really stop him from barring her entrance anymore, something she tolerated only because she had no choice.

Pushing the door open, his mother gave him a look that might flay someone else alive, before she managed to collect herself with a few practiced breaths. She always had been into that kind of thing, eastern mambo jumbo or whatever.

Giving his mother a small wave before she could begin, Caiden used the motion to check his wristwatch, noting the time, before he pushed to his feet in a swift motion and took her into a hug. Caught entirely off guard by the display of apparent affection, she was entirely unprepared when he easily spun her around 180 degrees so his back was to the door, and hers to the far wall. He pulled away, gave her a peck on the cheek, snatched his backpack from beside the door, and then in a single motion was out the door of his room.

By the time he was three-fourths of the way down the stairs, she’d fully recovered and was stalking after him. He knew those heavy footfalls, now she had her hackles up. Claws out, she started to speak. “Now, wait just a min–”

“Love you mom!” He interrupted, flashing her a brilliant smile, before he whisked his way out the door, coat falling into place. “See you at dinner!~”

Then he was running, the action taking the breath that he otherwise would have used to laugh. Sure, there’d be hell to pay later when he got home, but his mother’s temper had always been a fickle thing, cooling faster than she’d like. Besides, this way he’d gotten what he wanted: He was late to the Wards meeting.

Rolling his eyes as he turned the corner, just barely hearing the muffled sound of his home’s front door crunching open against the snow, Caiden slowed down. Chuckling to himself, not even winded from the short run, he began making his way towards the PRT headquarters. After all, he was interested in the program, he just resented the fact that he’d been forced to participate.

Now the only problem was the fact that he didn’t exactly have a car to arrive all the faster, granted it wasn’t as if being extra late was much worse than being a little late. “Pfft,” he laughed slightly, shaking his head as he broke into a slow jog, he lived close to the building anyway. It had been convenient, and as a natural consequence, the surrounding neighborhoods were exceptionally safe. Frequent patrols made for a low crime rate it seemed. Go figure. So it was that after about fifteen minutes of his pace he found himself a few blocks from the building.

Slowing down, Caiden removed his gloves and shoved them–and his hands–in his pockets. With a roll of his eyes he mouthed the passphrase he’d been told to use to verify himself at the front desk. After he was satisfied with the accuracy of his performance and recollection, he picked up his pace slightly, though not so much that he might be perceived as particularly eager to get somewhere.

Still, in spite of his efforts there was a purposeful–if relaxed–manner to him as he moved. Passing through the threshold without issue, Caiden gave the receptionist a half-wave in greeting, his grin reaching his eyes as she addressed him.

“How can I help you, young man?” The woman said, giving him a brief once over, her posture shifting subtly as she did. He couldn’t quite tell if she was more relaxed or less so. It didn’t really matter, but it would be nice to know. Leaning forward and bringing his left arm up to rest against the high front desk, Caiden glanced once to the side and then back to her, with a conspiratorial look about him. “Would you believe me if I said that you’d caught my eye through the window and I just had to come in?”

Caiden’s gaze didn’t even dart down as he caught the memory of her name tag in his mind’s eye. She pursed her lips and a stern politeness pulled at the edges of her eyes slightly upwards. One corner of her lips twitched downwards, but she smiled performatively instead. “While that’s very flattering–” she lied, “–I’m afraid I can’t help you unless you have some business with the PRT…Mr…” She trailed off with an implied question and Caiden could tell that she was used to dealing with flirtation and unwanted attention.

“Caiden Mckay,” he offered with a winning smile, straightening slightly, giving her more space, as if he were backing off. Still, looking not the least bit put off or chastised, he pressed on. “My apologies, I should have led with my name Ms. Rodriguez,” her shoulders relaxed slightly, “...and please excuse my forwardness, I only meant that you looked like you could use a pick me up. Morning shifts are always so tiring, no matter the job.” Her hands shifted, head tilting slightly and an almost unreadable look flickered across her face. A series of barely noticeable microexpressions.

Caiden rose back to his full height, removing his arm from the desk in the process and returning it to his pocket. At the same time, his right hand emerged. He placed his palm flat against the desk. Caiden noticed her eyes dart down, then meet his again. There was curiosity there, and perhaps a seed of interest. Still, that could just as easily become annoyance instead. He laughed slightly, it just felt right even though he wasn’t quite sure why he’d done it. Sliding his hand away, he revealed a piece of card paper, roughly the size of a business card. Facedown as it was, it would be impossible to tell if there was anything written on it. “Of course, I’d hate to waste your time, so I do have some business with your organization.”

Ms. Rodriguez gave him another appraising look before she reached out, her lips twitching upwards slightly from the pleasant–if largely unreadable mask she’d affected. Her fingers, splayed, gained purchase on the small card, then Caiden’s hand–reflex-fast, was on the paper too, two fingers pressing it down so she couldn’t take it fully.

“Naturally, I do expect the utmost discretion in these matters, if you please, miss.”

There it was, a flash of suspicion, intrigue, then as he quirked one side of his lips upwards he saw her smile finally touch her eyes. Could that be…amusement?

“Naturally,” she drawled out, the faintest of accents slipping into her voice as she relaxed fully. Nodding, he withdrew his fingers, letting his hand come to rest once more palm down on the desk in a relaxed position.

“Besides, it’s only best that such matters be handled by the most cut-throat, high influence observers in the field.”

Finally, she flashed him a small, if genuine, smile as she flipped the card and read the other half of his passphrase. Eying him once more she typed in a code on her phone, before lifting the phone for two seconds, and then hanging up.

“Of course Mr. McKay. We wouldn’t want this sort of thing getting out, now would we” It wasn’t really a question, but as an official-looking man in uniform approached, he answered anyways.

“Certainly not, Ms. Rodriguez.”

She gave him a smile and for an instant he saw her catch herself as he gave her a slight wink and followed the gentlemen towards the elevator. In a tone that registered to Caiden as forced-casual, she replied. “Be careful in the field Mr. McKay.”

He didn’t miss a beat though, quipping back in an instant, “...careful of the hounds at your heals, Miss. Do give me a call if you ever need someone to handle them. I’m great with animals.” He waited a three count and then glanced back her way with a smile.

She was looking, but caught herself, gave him a courteous–too-polite–smile, before quickly turning away. ‘Filthy cougar’ he thought to himself, affectionately as the elevator doors closed behind them.

A few moments of silence passed in the elevator as they descended. Caiden took no mind of the floors, not particularly caring how deep they were going into the complex. However, the officer didn’t seem satisfied with just silence, as Caiden noticed the man eyeing him with an almost hostile glare. As they exited the elevator on the prison floor–Caiden glancing around idly–the man decided to break what had, for him, likely been a tense moment. “You better not be giving Camile any trouble, boy,” the officer said in his gravely voice.

Caiden found the surprisingly honest hostility in the threat rather refreshing, but he didn’t respond, only giving the man a lazy smile. The man bristled slightly, narrowing his eyes before turning his gaze to the oncoming wall, where they stopped. Tilting his head curiously, Caiden watched as a scanner went over the officer’s eye. A moment later the wall folded away to reveal a second elevator. He had to admit that was pretty cool, still he didn’t show much of a reaction, merely stepping into the chamber before turning back to the officer before the doors closed.

“Don’t give me a reason to, sir,” he replied. The officer’s eyes widened fractionally before an expression bordering on a sneer began to form. The man almost stepped into the elevator before the doors shut, but a large 3-foot-long blade flashed into being from a shimmering haze of prismatic light, stopping his advance. While it was harmless–its flat facing the man–it still served well enough, before vanishing the moment the elevator was closed.

Caiden chuckled to himself lightly and turned again, facing the elevator’s other door. People were so fun, hopefully, his team would be at least half as amusing as the receptionist and her would-be man.

When the door opened to reveal what were presumably all the other Wards–and the Director, naturally–already present and accounted for, Caiden just cleared his throat slightly and gave a wave as he entered the control room fully.

“Nice digs, Team, Director. Sorry I’m late, had some trouble with the family.” Sitting down directly across from Mr. Fukuda, Caiden noted the headphones everyone was wearing and gestured. “Mind sliding me a pair, boss,” he said, the word ‘boss’ somehow coming off as mocking despite the fact that he’d hardly put any emphasis or particular inflection on it. When the Director complied–as he surely would–Caiden would put the devices in his ears with practiced ease, the motions as relaxed and fluid as the rest of his mannerisms. Shrugging off his poofy coat in the warmth of the room, Caiden revealed the colorfully stylish hoodie beneath, which served to further accent his white hair and blue eyes.

“I’m Caiden McKay by the by,” he said in introduction once he was situated, his every word coming easily. It was clear immediately that he was someone used to talking, but not someone who talked too much. Similarly, there was a general air of ease about him, as if he could be utterly relaxed in any situation or in any group of people, like it was all the same to him. He smiled slightly, the expression lighting up his eyes with a subtle playfulness as he regarded his fellow Wards.

“I’ll be Crosspoint, in costume, but Caiden is fine otherwise. I hope we can get along.”

He left it at that, not even seeming to mind the not-inconsiderable amount of confetti that now occupied the room or the girl with the hodgepodge mechanical arm. Instead, he remained quiet and relaxed, just soaking up the atmosphere; reading the room.

Just on looks alone, it seemed the Wards might just turn out to be an interesting lot after all.


"Hey man, no worries. After all, I'm sure you'll make it up to me."

"Hey man, no worries. After all, I'm sure you'll make it up to me."

"Hey man, no worries. After all, I'm sure you'll make it up to me."
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