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Charlotte

"I've got all the time in the world."

245 views · last seen in The Earth, 2017
a character in “A Tale of Seven Children//Rebirth”, as played by AtlasAtrium

Description

Image~ Physical Profile ~

Name: Charlotte (Variable)
Physical Age: 17 (Variable)
True Age: 4
Gender: Female (Variable)
Race: Invidiata

~ Psychological Profile ~

Personality: To describe Charlotte's personality is difficult - while she is in control of her own thoughts and emotions, the various minds she's collected have some influence on her thought processes. She does, however, make sure that it does not become chaos, adopting a primary sense of self that she has deemed to be the most 'efficient.' After all, someone who is too nice or too reckless will have a difficult time feeding on helpless victims and then covering it up.

Likes:
+Manipulating others
+Making plans

Dislikes:
-Revealing her true self
-Nosy people


Strengths: If you can name it, she's probably got it.

Fears: Charlotte has adopted many fears from the people she's consumed and is putting forth an active effort to suppress those feelings. Some unfortunate fears she's received to varying degrees include:

Men | Confined Spaces | Heights | Drowning | Gore | Germs | Public Speaking | Spiders

Hobbies: Charlotte has learned to enjoy almost all aspects in life. She can bide her time reading books, meditating, working out, playing sports, holding philosophical debates, browsing the web, sewing, solving math problems, the list goes on and on and on.

Secrets: Charlotte does not like to reveal the fact that she is an Invidiata demon.

Outlook on Life: "If you want something, take it by force."

Affiliation: Belphegor's Servant

Moral Alignment: Lawful Evil (?)



~ Combat Profile ~

Major Abilities:

+? ? ?: This ability has been sealed by Belphegor's contract.

+? ? ?: This ability has been sealed by Belphegor's contract.

+? ? ?: This ability has been sealed by Belphegor's contract.

Minor Abilities:

-? ? ?: This ability has been sealed by Belphegor's contract.

-Mind Eater: While most Invidiata are known to steal physical traits from the creatures that they consume, Charlotte is a strange case that primarily steals one’s intellect instead. As a result, she’s grown a distaste for a majority of animals and started to devour beings of higher sentience instead - after years of consuming mostly humans and some non-humans, her disguise is completely infallible. Not only that, but rather than only having near-human intelligence, her ability to adapt, gather intelligence, and master things quickly has far exceeded that of a normal human.

As a side-effect of this, reading and controlling her mind and heart is incredibly difficult - they would not be dealing with just one mind, but hundreds upon hundreds of them, all swarming and clashing together raising a million thoughts in tandem. However, since they are unified in her own peculiar way, she may simply come off as unreadable, though highly potent magic may uncover the truth.

-Changeling: Improving upon the mutation ability of Invidiatas, Charlotte is able to change her appearance, voice, and even internal organs and thought processes to anybody she has devoured. Her ability to change into others that she has seen before is often spot on as well, though it's not to the same level of detail. Other than that, she can generate an original guise of her choosing if she likes, often to create disposable personas. Her attempt at mimicking more animalistic creatures is rather poor, though.

Special Ability:
>? ? ?: This ability has been sealed by Belphegor's contract.

Equipment:

[Miscellaneous] Pocket Knife | Lighter | Brass Knuckles | Phone | Wallet | Keys

Skills:

[Master of All Trades] Upon assimilating one’s intelligence, Charlotte retains everything from their past experiences, including learned foreign languages, useless 90’s movie trivia, and even muscle memory. This knowledge has expanded well into the territory of demons and the WDL's inner workings.

[Evolved Mind] An ordinary person would certainly go mad from the sheer volume of memories consumed, but to Charlotte’s expanded demonic mind, she is able to organize all of these thoughts and processes quite easily. As a byproduct of this constant machine-like micromanagement, she is extremely good at multitasking, and distracting or deceiving her is next to impossible.

[Hard to Kill] As an Invidiata demon, Charlotte is very hard to put down for good. She can remain standing after taking major blows and regenerates from the most devastating of wounds. Not only that, but the fact that human biology now constitutes a major portion of her form makes exorcism arts less potent against her.



~ Faction Profile ~


Faction: N/A
Rank: D
Class: Rogue Demon
Title: Mind Eater
Loyalty Level: -1 | Charlotte has been forced into a soul contract by the demon Belphegor.

~ Miscellaneous ~

Biography: Even for a hellspawn, Charlotte reached a high level of maturity and intelligence extremely quickly. Its first victim was, of course, a student named Charlotte. She was a hard working girl that has studied well beyond her years, skipping years of school and jumping straight into college. She wasn't the most popular girl, but she was happy with her life - she was received as a prodigy by her peers and was well loved by her family and friends. Now, she has been reduced to part of the biological makeup of a being that merely calls itself 'Charlotte.'

'Charlotte' continued to feed on lesser organisms, rapidly growing in intelligence until it has far exceeded the capabilities of its prey in practically all regards. There is always more information to be gained, however, and this thirst for flesh at some point was warped into an undying thirst for knowledge. She gives in to her primal desire to feed, but over time has learned to do so in moderation. She has managed her identity by devouring Charlotte's parents and impersonating them as well, preparing various documents for them that describe their permanent 'vacation' overseas.

However, she overstepped her boundaries after her encounter with one of Belphegor's lackeys, a prominent demon lord that does not appreciate collateral damage to his property. After she was captured, he has since forced her into a soul contract, sealing away much of her power and taking it for himself. She is expected to serve his needs when called for, but Charlotte has much bigger plans than following the orders of a talking buffalo. . .

So begins...

Charlotte's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Helena Kingsley Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Vistra Mauve Character Portrait: Sister Rianne Character Portrait: Charlotte

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Rianne's Dorm

For once, there wasn't a trace of smoke to be found inside. Instead, an even heavier air hung about the space that Rianne knew as her dorm room. Sitting on the bed, her foot tapped against the floor, one hand balled into the other as she shifted her entire weight onto her knees. The covers were strewn haphazardly across the floor and the trash bin was overflowing with balled up tissues. Her eyes were red and sore, but she brushed away at them anyway with her sleeve, sniffling as she glanced up at the clock.

About ten hours left until midnight.

Her gaze fell down toward the carpet again, where it had last been. In the corner of her eye, she would be able to see an electronic bracelet strapped to her ankle - if she were to leave the room without permission or tamper with it, an alert would go off and staff members would track her down to send her back. Not only that, but her things had been taken away as well. Her exorcist equipment, her cell phone, even her internet was disconnected. Briefly, she thought of Kane and his appointment with her. Would he even be allowed in here? Would he think less of her now?

Why was she even having such thoughts? There was a much more pressing matter at hand and the only thing she could do was stress out about it until her hair fell out. It hadn't even been an hour yet and she was already growing tired of this waiting game. If it came to it, she'd try her best to slip away. But for now, she'd wait.

Capelli D'angelo

Charlotte sipped on her coffee. There was a light chime as a young man stepped through the front door with six others in tow - the devil's children, presumably - most of them were of a similar age and only one of them seemed to be acquainted with the compound, as evident by his armband. That must mean that the one leading them was 'Rick.' As they followed him inside, she surveyed each of their faces with an absent-minded stare, committing them to memory behind those indifferent eyes. Now that she knew what they looked like, she could probably form decent impersonations of them, though it would be better to wait and find out more.

She was a new arrival herself, but she'd learned much during her brief time here so far.

The leader of the pack appeared to be Lower 2nd Class upon inspection of his armband. The way he carried himself was professional and decisive - he spoke with confidence and carried himself with composure, but knew how to be polite at the same time. He's quite observant, I imagine, but doesn't look like the prying type. He probably won't be too much trouble.

Clinging on to him was a girl with long, silvery hair. For a moment, Charlotte's eyes narrowed just a little. She couldn't get a clear read on her, like she wasn't even there. Her posture, her expression - she was still, like a doll. Fascinating, in a way, but ultimately there was nothing of importance to her. I think I can write that one out for now. Doesn't look like she's going to do anything of note any time soon.

Shifting one over, there was another young man with messy brown hair and a nasty look in his eye. Charlotte blinked. No, that wasn't quite it. He just had a bad squint, was all. Curiously, he had a glove on his right hand but not one on his left. She wondered if it was some kind of fashion statement, but from the way he dressed it didn't look like he was too picky about what exactly he was wearing. Might be hiding something. I'll have to make note of that.

Next in line was tall, dark, and moody. She looked perturbed by a couple of things, but didn't neglect to put on her sour face. Whatever was on her mind, it didn't look like anything important. She wore a mix of emotions, but they were all as clear as daylight - this one seemed like the type of person to be easily swayed by her emotions and, by extension, easily manipulated.
I'll see if I can get a rise out of her some other time.

Then, there was the girl in the red scarf. Awfully chipper, this one. There was a genuine nature about her and the smile on her face certainly attested to that. The way she presented herself reminded her of a child. Definitely naive. Moving on.

Perhaps the first thing drawn to her eye was the stuffed toy. If the other one was not unlike a child, what did that make this specimen? The look on her face clearly showed that she was very uncertain, very confused, and very impressionable. If she were to find a comfort zone in this frightening and unfamiliar place (me) then perhaps she may be of use. Interesting. I'll have to look into her case further to see what I can gain from this.

The final, seventh member in their group was in a similar boat, though not to the same degree. She did seem perplexed, but as far as she was aware, not too bothered. This one was taking things at her own pace. Impressionable? Probably. It was hard to describe her as anything other than 'normal,' but she supposed that being a spawn of the devil didn't necessarily mean that you have to stand out.

Charlotte took another sip of her coffee. I think I can work with this.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Helena Kingsley Character Portrait: Caius Grady Character Portrait: 'Illusion' Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Kane O'Reilly Character Portrait: Vistra Mauve Character Portrait: Sister Rianne Character Portrait: Rinne Lucalia Character Portrait: Angel Lucius D'Brightaine Character Portrait: Charlotte

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#, as written by zody
| Jonathan |


Jojo snapped out of his daze, his thoughts having really been about whether he should decline lunch and go and hunt down some place to get dinner. He looked back over as a few people crowded around the newcomer. Noticing Illusion's name listing, he figured she must've been the one called Helena. He noticed Vistra, Dawn, Rick and Vesper all chime in with assistance or introductions, and he leaned against his doorframe as he closed the door, smiling warmly. If they were gonna be family, then they might as well enjoy being family, right? He looked down as Rick helped Helena up, and nodded. "These guys seem pretty alright. I think I'll be staying for quite a while, actually. Seems like a pretty chill place, as long as I get my hands on a sword or two as well.." Jojo's inner monologue was cut short as he looked up, Rick showing the others to their respective rooms. He heard the slam of a door and noticed Caius was missing, and he shook his head. He hadn't changed at all- although he wasn't in the middle of getting his face beaten in, so that was an improvement. Jojo chuckled to himself softly, pushing off the doorway to begin moving after the others.

His eyebrow raised softly as he noticed Vesper cling to Rick's arm. A small smile crossed his face. "Well, I'm glad she's found someone to be close with. I was a bit worried after.." Jojo sighed a little hard, he'd had enough of the depressing thoughts, so he hopped in place once and grinned. Fake it 'til ya make it was his motto in times like these, and if anyone had noticed his mood dampen slightly before his little bunny hop, they'd also notice it had evaporated as soon as his feet had touched the ground. "Okay, alright. Let's have a good day, and a good lunch, I'm starving!" His dialogue was mostly to himself, but anyone near him would've heard it. He eagerly followed the others, his face set in a kind of permanent half-smirk.

"I'm gonna treat my new family like the best darn people in the world."






| Illusion |


Illusion smiled as the others took over for her, stepping back, but leaving the bucket on the floor. A small smirk lit her features as she crossed gazes with Dawn, her grin widening slightly as she turned away. Everyone was finally, finally in one place. Her job was done, and she could never see them again if she wanted. Honestly, she really just wanted to go and have some nice, warm blo- Rick broke through her thoughts, reminding her of both her meeting and Angel. A small groan escaped her lips, and she put her hands on her hips. "Psh, Angel is a meanie anyways! But I gotsta go." A long, over-exaggerated sigh followed the sentence, and the lolita crossed her arms. "Party pooper, Rick. Party poopah~" Her lips formed a pout before she took a step backwards, saluted cutely, and tumbled into one of her broken-mirror portal things.

As she fell through the shattered space, she crossed her arms, hovering midair in the empty darkness. A sigh left her lips as she closed the portal behind her, floating upside down in the shadow-filled abyss. She closed her eyes, opening them only when one of her portals opened and another voice filtered into her private darkness.

"So, they're all there?"

"Yup, Lusy promised and Lusy provided~"

"And?"

"And what, ya old fart? I did what you asked, and somehow that Helena girl turned up outta nowhere, so that's that. Can I go home now?"

"Do you mean your region in Hell, or your quarters in the Warriors of Divine Light?"


Illusion chuckled, rotating midair to look down at the reddish-golden swirl that floated below her.

"Tsk. No answer? Boring. I'll be off now. I'll have a little request for you later on."

"Of course you will," her eyes flashed, a smirk playing across the corners of her mouth. "You know I'm the only one you can trust. Not even your wife could be trusted with something like this, am I right?"
A long, hard sigh came from the swirling light, before it slowly began to recede into the crack it had come from. "You're expected back here for a meeting, too." With that, it was forced out of her dimension, and Illusion was alone once more, She raised her hands, a small piece of glass moving just before her outstretched palms. It contained Arthur, waiting in a chair in a board room, several members striding inside- noticeably missing was one Angel D'Brightaine. Illusion shook her head, pushing the fragment away and turning around.

There were thousands- millions, even- of fragments. She giggled softly, before pulling the fragment from before open and sliding through it to plop down onto a chair right beside Arthur. She giggled again, looking around the room. "Heya, guys~!"






| Angel |


A soft knocking on Rianne's door would've gotten her attention- unless she was too busy crying more. After a few moments, another few knocks hit the doorframe- a bit louder and more forceful this time.

"Door's open."
The door slowly opened, and in stepped one Angel D'Brightaine. He looked around the room, eyebrow raised, before his eyes fell onto Rianne. Compared to his sneer from before, his face actually fell a little. "I, uh, seem to have caught you at a bad time. I won't be here long." Rianne didn't look up, but acknowledged his presence with a small grunt. She shrugged. "What happened to your big boy attitude? Go on, it's not like I can cry anymore."

Angel strode over to her, a sigh escaping his lips. "I actually came to apologise, Ms Rianne. And, well, it seems like my apology couldn't have come sooner." Once he was nearby her, he knelt down, and pulled a key from his pocket. He slid it into the tracker around her ankle, causing it to pop off and fall to the floor. "Consider your house arrest lifted- your items.." He stood up, and left the room briefly before returning and dropping a duffel bag on her bed. ".. Are also back in your possession. Consider this my apology for being so crude earlier." He bowed at the waist slightly, expression somewhat stoic.

Her eyes followed his movements - although she appeared to be totally exhausted, she was attentive enough to catch the fact that he had just snapped open the lock on her ankle bracelet. The words that came afterwards could not have been more heart-lifting, though that wasn't to say that Rianne was going to immediately be on friendly terms with Angel. But someone like him... well, certainly he must have expected as much. "Apology not accepted," she said, kicking the stupid tracker away, causing it to fly toward the back of the room until it hit a wall. She zipped open the bag and procured her things, giving another side glance to the blonde haired man with a scowl. "Not yet, anyway. I'll give it some more thought and see if I'm still mad tomorrow morning."

Angel chuckled. "As expected, but you should take the tracker and give it back to Isaiah yourself- I'm sure you'd love giving him the finger to his face." He gave Rianne, a nod. "By the way, contrary to what I said earlier, you're quite the proficient exorcist. That Kane boy chose a good person to follow- despite her smoking habit." A wry smirk spread across his features as he left the room. "Take care, Sister." And the door shut behind him.






| Rinne |


Rinne watched from a distance as Kane and the new girl entered the dorm together. A sly smirk crept across her face as she observed them. "Wow, Candy, you're doing such a good job at keeping an eye on him. Really good. He's being seduced by a cute girl as I speak." With a sigh, Rinne went to go over to the dormitory, but she paused. "Ah, this is gonna be super suspicious. Which is precisely why.."

Rinne quickly ditched her gear on the top of the roof she was on, pulling open a duffel bag and changing into its contents. Within a few seconds, she'd effectively changed into a copy of the WDL's uniform- ironically, it was given to her for the very mission they'd asked her to undergo on their behalf, for the explicit reason of infiltrating their own compound to gather data- they'd not exactly wanted to have their affiliation with her organisation known if things went sour, so the sly cat had offered an excuse. Admittedly, it would've been much funner to meet Candy using the uniform and cornering her in an alleyway and-

Rinne coughed, narrowing her eyes as she adjusted the cap on her head. It'd been a while since she'd seen the boy.. would he recognise her? Did she look older? Did she get some weird wrinkles on her face? "Ha, seriously, c'mon." Rinne chuckled softly to herself, leaving the duffel bag on the roof. She shifted into her feline form, leaping down to the ground floor and sneaking in as a pair of students went through the door. They barely noticed her, and she moved over to the stairwell and began to move up it. Her intuition lead her to Kane's floor, alongside the fact that he wore the exact same deodorant he'd always worn, and Rinne would be damned if she couldn't recognise the scent.

A few moments later, Rinne in her human form with her uniform tucked in all proper and her hat covering her cat ears, happily knocked on Kane's door. She briefly paused, then knocked on the door loudly. If Kane remembered, it was a fairly specific three-knock pattern. Hopefully that girl wasn't there- and if she was, if she answered the door, that'd be a problem.

Rinne prepared her cutest smile just in case.






| Jonathan |


Jojo entered the room behind the others, idly following them as Rick lead the to a table for the group of them. Jonathan paused slightly, looking around the room. He'd gotten this odd chill down his spine a few moments ago, and he looked around the room for the cause. His eyes landed on a fellow academy student for a brief moment, before her looked away. Eventually, he shrugged, and followed the others to the table. He sat down at it, quite eagerly grabbing a menu. As Rick offered to pay for anything, Jojo chuckled. Part of him wanted to abuse Rick's offer, but he knew that'd just be plain rude. He eyed the menu, choosing a good old combo of spaghetti and meatballs- can't go wrong with that, right? He nodded to himself as he chose his meal, putting his menu down with a warm smile.

Once the others had settled down, he spoke. "So, uh, how's everyone doing so far? What a day, am I right?" He grinned warmly, leaning back into his seat. On the bottom of the menu was an advertisement for a stage play- Jojo didn't bother reading much more than the name, actually. He had much bigger priorities right now. Though, the name of the play stuck with him for some reason..

A Tale of Seven Children was quite the odd title for a play, after all.






The machine beeped softly in the background. A white room, with the blinds drawn. It was almost completely black inside, the sunlight barely reaching inside.
In the hospital bed lay a pale-skinned man, not moving an inch, nor very visibly breathing, but his heart rate was fine.
A few moments later, a nurse came into the room, carrying flowers. She placed them into the vase, looking over at the man, before checking the machinery beside him.
Everything seemed to be fine, and the man stayed sleeping peacefully. The nurse, nodding to herself in satisfaction, left the room.

She didn't notice his finger twitching.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Helena Kingsley Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Kane O'Reilly Character Portrait: Vistra Mauve Character Portrait: Sister Rianne Character Portrait: Angel Lucius D'Brightaine Character Portrait: Charlotte

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Rianne's Dorm

Bastard, showing up to my place like that trying to be all friendly, Rianne thought to herself as she put the rest of her things away. Her hand hovered her phone, one of the things that had been confiscated from her - her gaze drifted back to the tracker she had kicked away and she felt her expression souring again. Twice on the same day. She cried twice on the same day and she couldn't feel more humiliated. She could hardly even remember the last time she genuinely bawled her eyes out, what was it about today? Those children all showing up at once. . . it was like a bad omen. Even Melody got caught up in this mess somehow, but she couldn't quite gather why.

Rianne shook her head and picked up her phone, flipping it open to see if anything new came up. It seemed like there was - some unknown number left a message on her cell. More spam? Man, I'm getting real tired of deleting all this crap- Her finger froze over the button. On second thought, maybe I shouldn't ignore it. Could be Melody calling from somewhere else, or that motherfucker that arranged our midnight date.

To her surprise, it was not Melody, nor was it the motherfucker. Instead, it was Kane's voice that greeted her on the other end. What the? How did he even get this number? she thought to herself for a moment. Whatever, I'll pester him about it later. Change of plans, huh? Well, Yohan definitely wasn't going to show up and she didn't feel like moping around in her room for the rest of the day so she grabbed her bag and left. I'll deal with Isaiah later, I don't feel like looking at his stupid mug today.
She sent Kane a quick text on her way over.

[Rianne: johanns busy im coming over early]

-

When she arrived at his doorstep some untold minutes later, there was no knock. Rather, she threw the door wide open and let herself in. There was no sense in locking a door if you were expecting guests, but she didn't expect another guest to already be here. Not that she minded, anyway. In fact, she looked to be one of the newer recruits, Erica.

"'Sup." Rianne grinned. "Didn't know your girlfriend was gonna be over."

Capelli D'angelo

With a few blinks, the girl sipping coffee seemed to suddenly become aware of her surroundings, like she had just woken up from a long daydream. Her mouth opened as if to speak, but it closed for a second before she was able to formulate any words. "Hey! Um. . . is there some kind of orientation I missed?" Charlotte called from her table, her eyes lighting up as she mustered the courage to speak up to the group of seven. "Y-You're all new recruits here, aren't you?" she asked sheepishly, scratching the back of her neck. "I'm pretty new here myself so I'm not too familiar with how everything works. . ."

Nervously, the girl stood up and tried to look somewhat presentable, flattening out the folds in her clothes as her eyes shifted from the group to the floor a couple of times.

"Sorry if I'm being a bother to you guys, I guess I just wanted to say that I haven't made any friends here yet. . . and I was wondering. . . if I could at least sit with you all and have lunch together. . ."

Charlotte's hands trembled a little and she maintained an anxious smile throughout - it was hard to call it acting, because her body naturally reacted this way when speaking to more than a few people, no thanks to some of the unsavory quirks she picked up from the miserable people she'd devoured. All the better to sell her performance with.

That should suffice, with any luck. If not, I suppose I'll find something else to check off my list.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Helena Kingsley Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Vistra Mauve Character Portrait: Charlotte

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Image This was the most amazing restaurant Vistra had ever been to. She and her father had never been rich, most of their money going into the Church where they lived. At the most she and her father only went out to eat two or three times a year. And this place was the fanciest she'd seen. Not to mention the most expensive.

'Rick.' She said, speaking up after Dawn and Ash. 'I have to agree with Dawn. Let me pay you back when we get to our rooms again. Do you take Canadian money?' By now the waiter had come to her side and she smiled once at Rick before turning her attention to the worker. Her order was simple, as to save money and because she had no idea what half the things were on the menu. She ordered a water to top it off, never being a big soda fan and still too young to drink alcohol.

With that out of the way she finally found a chance to respond to Jojo. 'It's been a strange day, that's for sure. But I'm actually very excited to start all of this. I really think we can make a difference here!'

Behind her, another voice came. Vistra turned round in her chair to see an anxious looking girl wanting to sit with them. Now Vistra was no stranger to feeling lonely so it was no suprise that she immediately stood, and offered the girl her chair. 'Of course! You can sit here, I'll bring up another chair. It'll be a tight fit, but the more the merrier right?'

Vistra moved to the side and grabbed an extra chair from an empty table. It was shoved next to her old one. Before sitting down Vistra offered a hand to the newcomer. 'My name is Vistra, it's nice to meet you.'

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Notable NPCs Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Helena Kingsley Character Portrait: Brenhin Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: ORIN Character Portrait: Vistra Mauve Character Portrait: Yohan Character Portrait: Rinne Lucalia Character Portrait: Angel Lucius D'Brightaine Character Portrait: Charlotte

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Helena was not exactly overjoyed by the situation. She'd followed along, mostly feeling too sick and unsure of the situation to formulate any other plan, and was rather regretting it. As she'd walked the events leading up to her arrival had become more clear to her. The men, the van, the people holding a gun to her father's head..

As the group settled down Miss Kingsley sat hunched up in her seat, casting her eyes round the room and trying to work out some way to escape from this horribly unexpected situation. She considered the possibility of writing instructions to call the police surreptitiously on a napkin and seeing is she could slip it to a waiter without attracting suspicion... but soon came to the realisation that everyone was speaking Italian..a language she had very little grasp of.

Would it get to someone who could read it before anyone noticed what she was up to? Seemed unlikely.

"I don't want anything." she murmured, before good old British social conditioning kicked in to some extent.
"Still don't feel so good, I mean...thanks anyway."

It wasn't as if they seemed like horrible people on the surface. The young man who seemed to be leading things had helped her to her feet, and she was still clasping the vial the silvery-haired girl had given her, unsure if she should try it.

There was at least one person, a dark-haired woman, who was being quite rude, and this prompted a mildly disapproving look from Helena beneath her hair in response to being glared at, but she had far more pressing things on her mind at the time.

They seemed friendly enough.. although from what she could tell many were in a similar situation to her. Yet she appeared to be the only one noticeably panicked by the development. She was happy to admit she'd lived a pretty sheltered life in rural England, but she didn't think that being captured and taken hundreds of miles away was something you ever became indifferent to. Was this some sort of cult?

The appearance of someone who was both outside the immediate group, and appeared to be an English speaker, caused Helena's gaze to snap up rather pleadingly in her direction. Maybe she could slip something to this woman and get her to call the police? Her father must have reported her missing by now...if he was safe.. who could even say. Regardless at least through that she might be able to get away from this madness. She didn't want to 'learn how to defend' herself. She'd never had any need to until someone had decided to kidnap her. Mostly Helena Kingsley just wanted to go home.





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By all accounts it had been quite an eventful morning. The first intruder had been swiftly dealt with and escorted down to detainment. You couldn't simply stroll up to the HQ and begin snooping around without expecting retaliation.

The 'special' new trainees appeared to, for the most part, be a bunch of entitled children, so perhaps their title was appropriate. If it was up to her these creatures would be nowhere near the place, but it was made pretty unequivocal in discussions that it was not up to her. Until, at least, they gave her some reason to react.

Leaning back in her chair, ORIN moved her attention to more routine duties, the reboot. In order to properly maintain the system, she needed to update fundamental parts on a regular basis. In order to do that, she needed to restart everything, even her own internal components.

The software update generally happened only once a month and in itself only took a minute or so. For most people it would have been imperceptible. Some of the remote terminal screens could be seen to restart themselves, and network connections appeared out of action momentarily. Within the control room ORIN was sat silently, eyes shut, waiting for the restart. Most people might have been disconcerted as having to shut off large sections of their own mind in order to restart them whilst being completely aware of it, but she had extensive experience of it. Sit still, eyes shut, empty mind..

And it was back up.

She took a few moments to review all the files, make sure things were all in order...

It seemed off.

She was almost certain the file pattern was different. They were all legitimate files though. Metadata indicated they’d all been around a while.

ORIN frowned. Something about it bothered her.


Quickly though, her attention was taken with far more immediate problems, first they appeared to have another unexpected guest. ORIN homed in on Rinne and ran her data through the check. WDL contract, it appeared. Worth keeping an eye on, but nothing that needed immediate attention.

What she discovered next however, did,
as heat sensors in the lower levels indicated something very unwelcome.

Almost instantly ORIN snapped onto the surveillance system for the detainment level in order to catch sight of the demonic manifestation attacking the guards on the monitor. Almost immediately she had flagged the area and opened a communication line with any high level personnel and exorcists in the complex at the time.

Demon sighted in Detainment. Deploying standard protocol and awaiting permission to terminate.” she announced, switching to the feed inside the cell, as she brought the heavy reinforced barrier hissing down across its front, the airtight seal shutting with a slight puff of air.

It would not, in theory, take too long to douse the whole room in holy water. The loss of the prisoner was a very minor concern as far as ORIN saw it. It was the job of other people to pontificate over matters (and she was aware if the irony there), it was her job to act upon these matters.

A demon had infiltrated the bases in broad daylight and was, it appeared, making an effort to possess the newly imprisoned intruder. This was exactly the sort of situation she was designed to counteract. ORIN's eyes narrowed as she poised over defence activation codes.

People were always so painfully slow to respond.

Awaiting permission.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Helena Kingsley Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Vistra Mauve Character Portrait: Charlotte

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Throughout the tour, Vesper did not leave Rick's side. She, however, did glance towards Jonathan from time to time. There was the tint of something sharp in her chest, but it would disappear every time she would avert her focus and instead grasped on the sleeve she held on tightly. Having Rick, it was comforting to her world which seemed to be pricked surgically. "Thank you, Rick." She said towards the older boy beside her as the tour progressed and soon ended with seven, excluding the brown tall guy (Caius), of them eating out for lunch at the Capelli D'angelo. She was familiar with the establishment through name and reputation, but never took on those invitations. Thus, it was basically her first time here.

The seat she took was the one besides Rick even though, she had a moment desire to take the one beside Jonathan. The desire was overtaken with her reason of not being selfish and words that it was unbecoming of a lady. It seemed that her actions had seemingly been interpreted by others as her and Rick being a pair, but that was a matter which was unknown to her at the moment. At the present time, she had already released the sleeve as her hands were now on her lap. For the remainder, she had been quiet and unresponsive. She did not have any opinions towards the conversations being thrown around the table, except when Jonathan queried about how everyone was doing in his friendly way. It was nostalgic and she responded without hesitation.

"It is an important day indeed." There was a lace of warmth beneath her distant yet soft voice while her eyes gazed at Jonathan with an appeal just for a second before it returned to its empty visage and her focus was transferred to the menu handed by the waiter. She was silent once more. Though, she did notice that the new addition of the red-haired girl (Helena) was somewhat uncomfortable. If she would assume, the girl's concern was not the same about Dawn or Vistra's which was about having Rick pay for the meal.

As for girl who had darkness as her cloak (Ashley), she found her beautiful even with the words that could be characterized as rude or the action where she was pulled away from Jonathan earlier were all thrown out the window in favor of her liking the color black. It seemed the concern of being treated was not a problem as a round of order was started. She looked at Rick. "Rick." Her voice was not overly loud and had been wrapped in a gentle tone. "Helena is confused. She has not been oriented, I believe." It was a fact that she knew that Rick was pretty observant, but, she felt there was a need to say something about it.

Then, another individual a girl with who introduced herself as a new recruit wanted to have lunch with them. She does not care particularly and Vistra welcomed the new addition. Her head gave a small yet graceful nod as a sign of a greeting and acknowledgment. She then proceeded to reading the menu. "Avrò un'insalata di rucola e Acqua Panna, grazie." It was spoken in fluent Italian. She had a few troubles before when she first came here and decided to learn the language out of convenience. Soon enough, she was able to communicate without much of a hassle. Although, she never had a need to speak to others except with Illusion and Rick. After that, she handed back the menu to the awaiting waiter who smiled at her. She felt there was something more behind it, but she did not think any of it and looked at the people present. Actually, this would be her first time having it with company after a long while. It was... odd yet, it wasn't a terrible thing, so, it must be good, right?


Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Helena Kingsley Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Vistra Mauve Character Portrait: Charlotte

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#, as written by Zalgo
Rick Brackwall

As they sat down the expected motions of any group gathering began.

“No, no, it’s fine, I’ll, uh. I can pay for myself. It’s the least I could do. I’ve been saving up to go out like this, anyway.”

"Rick I have to agree with Dawn. Let me pay you back when we get to our rooms again. Do you take Canadian money?"

Thankfully for Rick he never needed to look at the menu as, by simply touching it, he already knew every item on their list. Not that it was overly necessary as he was already mostly aware of the general dishes they serve and had a fair idea of his order already at mind. It left him with ample time to address conversation pieces and concerns like those of Dawn and Vistra.

"Perhaps you may wish to visit an onsite bank after the meal is concluded and have your money converted to euros. It would be some benefit for day to day local purchases."


With a small sigh his dominant hand went from resting on the menu to running it's index finger along the rim of the wine glass. He looked down from them, breaking eye contact briefly as he spoke, still friendly but somewhat reserved.

"I do not mean to impose but I simply cannot allow myself to take advantage of such generous people as yourselves. As you've just arrived you all will likely be needing a number of things. Furnishings to make your rooms more accommodating, more equipment to better serve you in the various duties available and funds to bank and keep in store for your future. It would injurious to my sense of decency to deprive you of such funds over something as minor as lunch."

He looked up to Dawn, meeting her eyes with his own. He was still somewhat serious but with a small smile, lightening the mood with a dash of positivity.

"If you do wish to repay me in some form tomorrow is the date we are setting out for your first operation, the aptly named Boot Camp. If you strive to perform your best and follow my command without issue during that time I'll consider any perceived debts well repaid."


With that said he looked over to Jonathan who was attempting to spark some conversation of his own.

"I imagine it must be a fairly strange day for everyone here. Usually we only see one of our unique circumstances arrive here once if we're lucky."

That was no lie. He alone had been the first among his kind to arrive and quite frankly he hadn't anticipated seeing more like him arrive at the base in his lifetime, let alone six. Vesper was a great surprise but nothing was remarkably sinister about her arrival. The other's circumstances were nothing if not uncanny.


"I don't want anything. Still don't feel so good, I mean...thanks anyway."

He looked over and nodded understandingly to Helena, respecting her wishes as she seemed to still be under the weather.

"Rick"

He turned his attention to Vesper, soft-spoken as ever.

"Helena is confused. She has not been oriented, I believe."


"Ah, of course."

He looked back to Helena, calm yet open and inviting in posture and tone.

"I do apologize if you've had little explanation regarding the WDL. As I've yet to be made aware of both Vistra's and your situation's I'm unaware of what you might already of been told regarding our order. Do know that if you have any concerns or questions I'd be happy to answer them."


Before he could hear her out somebody he did not recognize spoke up from another table.

"Hey! Um. . . is there some kind of orientation I missed?"

Looking over he spotted the owner of the voice, a recruit he hadn't seen before.

"Y-You're all new recruits here, aren't you? I'm pretty new here myself so I'm not too familiar with how everything works. . . Sorry if I'm being a bother to you guys, I guess I just wanted to say that I haven't made any friends here yet. . . and I was wondering. . . if I could at least sit with you all and have lunch together. . ."

From first appearances she seemed rather awkward, shy and good bit self-conscious. If she was a new recruit there he had yet to meet her. He'd need to check her records later. Before he could respond it seemed Vistra beat him to the punch.


"Of course! You can sit here, I'll bring up another chair. It'll be a tight fit, but the more the merrier right?"

He watched as Vistra stood up, offering her chair to the recruit and finding herself another. Already his mind was full of questions regarding this new recruit that had chosen to sit with them.

How is she so new that she hasn't heard the gossip regarding the newly arrived children of the devil and yet specifically ask to sit with the exact seven who are being spoken of? What is a recruit doing eating at a place this expensive to begin with and not eating at some of the locales recruits frequent more commonly? Why is it that she looks so uncomfortable around company yet is compelled to sit with us and dine despite seemingly not having a very outgoing personality?

Those were just a few of his questions.


Naturally, as Ash so kindly brought up, the waiter had come and was taking their orders and she was impatient in getting their orders through so she didn't have to wait.

"Avrò il risotto al nero di seppia con un bicchiere di Lambrusco favore."

He passed his order on to the waiter, taking a moment to look about his company before returning his attention to the waiter.

"And an appetizer platter of bruschetta."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Helena Kingsley Character Portrait: Kane O'Reilly Character Portrait: Vistra Mauve Character Portrait: Sister Rianne Character Portrait: Charlotte

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Kane's Dorm

Rianne was quite certain that she'd been called here for dinner, not a comedy routine. With a raised brow, she watched unamused as Kane fumbled over his words, the new girl spinning him around in circles with her teasing. The scent of food, however, was entirely welcome and already started to improve her mood. She made her way to the couch and climbed onto it, kicking her legs up on the opposite armrest.

"What was that about me being old?" she added with a wry grin. It was hard not to take a jab at him for that comment, at the very least. Not that she really cared about how youthful she looked. She tossed her bag onto the coffee table and leaned up a little so she could get a better look at the pair. "So, how are you kids enjoying your stay at the compound so far? Everything you wanted? Totally blows?"

Capelli D'angelo

"Ah, thank you!" Charlotte readily took Vistra's hand and shook it gently, returning it with a warm smile. "You really didn't have to give me your chair, I wouldn't have minded pulling one up myself. My name's Charlotte, nice to meet you too!" Looks like this Vistra girl did half of her work for her, which was more or less within her range of expectations. The silver-haired girl acknowledged her presence with a nod, to which Charlotte responded with a tiny wave. She laughed a bit to herself, adding, "You know, I was so ready to just. . . finally get out there and talk to somebody for once, but I kind of lost my cool as soon as I stood up. Super awkward, I know, but I'm glad you turned out to be so nice!"

Off to the side, the rabbit-toting young lady was giving her an awfully worried look, like she wanted to say something but couldn't. In any case, she didn't have the means to privately communicate at a packed table of eight, so Charlotte simply passed a confused, quizzical look in her direction as if to say, 'Is something wrong?' Perhaps she would ask if she was safe here, or if her family would be safe. She might ask where she was and what was going on, or maybe she'd simply state that she was brought here against her will and needed help.

Whatever the case, she didn't have any proper answers to give her as an inattentive 'recruit' of the WDL, let alone any solutions to her problems. However, this did give her an excuse to work with her longer if she accepted her willingness to help and, by extension, more steadily develop a sense of trust. The devil's children. . . they appeared to be quite weak right now, unawakened. But they will prove to be a great asset if she could turn them away from the WDL - there was great potential in them as demons and that was not something she was going to let slip past her.

While the waiter was still there, she tacked on her own order in Italian as well: The second-most expensive thing on the menu.

Turning around to face the man that had been leading the group, Charlotte said, "O-Oh, uh, sorry. I'm not expecting you to pay for my meal or anything, that'd be awfully rude, haha. . ." Although she'd attained quite the mass of wealth by devouring a handful of pompous rich folk, she didn't funnel it all straight to her bank account or the account of her parents - after all, a sudden and mysterious influx of wealth was rather suspicious. Of course, Charlotte's parents were quite well as off as they were, but for the plans she had in mind, it would be nowhere near enough. For now, she was content with splurging on her 'expensive tastes.'

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Helena Kingsley Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Vistra Mauve Character Portrait: Charlotte

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For all of the man’s reservations, Rick’s status as leader was understandable. There was a structure to his words and actions that hinted at experience- a necessity, given the fact that it appeared Dawn and Jojo were not the only newcomers among their group. After a moment of pause, she clicked her wallet shut- she had taken it out sometime while the others were talking- and slipped it back into her purse. There was still a trace of hesitance on her face, as if a protest was right on her lips, but none came. No point in pressing such a small matter, after all.

“If you’re sure,” Dawn said. One hand returned to her lap, while the other lifted the menu, allowing her to better see the contents. “I really do appreciate it, though. I’ll make sure to give the camp my best shot when we get there.” She pursed her lips for a moment. Boot Camp. So they would be training them immediately, then. Before she could get too deep into thought, however, one of the group- Ash, if she recalled correctly- spoke up, prompting an almost amused smile from Dawn.

Upon hearing Jojo’s comment, the grin became more noticeable. “It’s been something.” She wound the chains of her necklace idly around her fingers, tightening them. “Definitely exciting, at any rate.” It was at this point that she noticed that the server had moved on, and was now waiting expectantly for her to order. Smiling apologetically, she quickly rattled off her order- a chicken parmesan sandwich with ginger ale, one of the cheaper options on the menu- in clean Italian, thanked the waiter, and turned back towards her company. Helena still appeared quite ill from the looks of it, and in the time that she had been distracted, another person had joined the table. A girl, who seemed like she wanted nothing more than to sprint away to the safety of her old seat. Dawn looked up at the stranger, blinked, and then beamed.

“I think it’s fine. I mean, I don’t really mind, at least.” She brushed a few stray locks of hair out of her eyes, tucking them behind her ear. “It’s good to meet you, Charlotte. I’m Dawn. You don’t have to be nervous or anything- I think most of us are kind of new here.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Helena Kingsley Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: ORIN Character Portrait: Vistra Mauve Character Portrait: Rinne Lucalia Character Portrait: Angel Lucius D'Brightaine Character Portrait: Charlotte

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#, as written by zody
| Jonathan |


Jojo eagerly listened to everyone's replies, smiling warmly as he looked at them each as they spoke. He noted Vesper breaking her stoic attitude to reply to him immediately, and he grinned extra wide as she did so- he'd missed his little sister after all. Waiting for everyone to respond, he was interrupted by the girl he'd caught in his sight beforehand joining their table. He didn't exactly mind, but he noticed Rick focus on her for a little more than just a regular gaze, and Jojo wondered what was wrong. He looked down for a moment, then shook his head- sure, he'd conveniently locked onto her when he'd looked around earlier, and Rick could've been thinking about anything, so that didn't mean she was automatically suspicious. Jojo smirked to himself slightly, imagining Rick in chibi form obsessing over Italian food. It'd be a funny sight if this were an anime.

Jojo was brought out of his thoughts as Angsty McBroodsalot spoke, and rudely called over the waiter. Jojo sighed under his breath at Ash's comment about him; this was the second time she'd called him out by name in the same day. He wasn't the type to get irked, but it seemed like she had something against him personally- besides, his 'prattling' was nothing but light conversation- she might be happy to sit around in antisocial, angst-ridden silence, but Jojo wasn't going to let this opportunity to chat go to waste. He wouldn't say anything to her about it, however, and he was much more preoccupied now with staring at the menu that was almost a complete mess of gibberish in front of him. He grumbled softly. "Yeah, right, I finally found a reason to have taken those Italian lessons I was offered. Fuck me for saying no, right?" Jojo put his chin in his palm and idly stared over it, before looking around the table again. He looked over at Helena, and decided to speak. "Hey, um, Helena, was it? You feeling better now? I mean, like, not wanting to throw up everywhere?" He gave her a warm grin as he continued. "Don't worry about it- I'm sure if any of us got shoved through that portal we'd get pretty messed up, too." He paused, looking around the table again. "You look super worried about something. Did they toss you in the back of a van, too?" Jojo chuckled softly. "They did that to me, too. Although I'd rather they'd have done that than let me get e-" He stopped himself, memories of the spider lady hitting him and causing him to frown slightly. "Anyway, uh, if there's anything you need, lemme know, alright? We're siblings, apparently, so it's kind of my job to help you out." He grinned again, before noticing the waiter and deflating a little.

He turned to the waiter and gave his order; simple spaghetti and meatballs with- Jojo paused noticeably. Rick had offered to pay, and they were selling alcohol here. His silence went on just a tad too long, and he coughed softly before turning back to the waiter and confidently asking for a glass of apple juice.

"I.. should've learned Italian. I would like something fancy, but all I know is 'spaghetti', really, so.. I'll just cook dinner for Rick some time later on as repayment for not getting something cheaper. And maybe start learning Italian, heh.." He looked around the room, and realised that Dawn, unlike him, was fluent in Italian- and so was Vesper. He tried not to sink into his chair a little deeper.






The girl sighed and sat in her chair inside the Capelli D'Angelo. Ironic for her to be there, despite her the core of her being. From this angle, she could just barely see the group of Seven chatting and socialising, and she eagerly eyed all of them. With a soft chuckle, she leaned forward and sipped from her glass. Noticing the nervous girl approaching them, her eyes flashed a little, and she subconsciously licked her lips as she stared at Charlotte- a Demon always knows another Demon, and the girl loved Demons. She chuckled softly as she stood up, watching the waiter leave with their orders and having seen all she'd needed to see. Her reconnaissance complete, she stood up and shrugged on her jacket before striding past the Seven as she exited the room. She, in the span of a moment, eyed them all and flashed a small grin that played across her features as she slid on her sunglasses and left the restaurant. Her eyes lingered on those mismatched orbs that belonged to one Rick Brackwall before she put her sunglasses on, however, and she paused a moment. Something flickered within her memory, and her smile became just a tad wider as she gave him a wink and finished sliding on her sunglasses. That action was enough to inspire their interest, although her objectives had changed slightly in the last moment.

In a few seconds, the girl stood on the steps of the restaurant, and giggled to herself softly.
Asmodeus didn't stay long, however, as she had some very important things to do before she was found out.






| Angel |


Angel stopped in his tracks as the voice of ORIN entered his thoughts. He groaned audibly, listening in to her announcement. Yes, there was a Demon in the facility- and Angel had just locked it up. Honestly, he sometimes wondered if ORIN had turned defunct over the years. With a loud sigh, he spoke quite loudly despite being patched directly into ORIN. "Request denied, ORIN. It's in the cell, and we want answers. Thank you for your assistance in the matter. That Demon is already in the cell, and has been for a while. You're welcome." Angel figured she meant that the boy he'd nabbed was a Demon- he couldn't have possibly known that an actual Demon had appeared and practically taken up residence in his body. Besides, Angel was late enough to the meeting as is, and he knew that a certain vampire would have some choice words for him in the form of insults if he were any later. In fact, she was already planning them in her head right now, and he knew it.






| Rinne |


Her ear was pressed against her mobile, and her expression was set in stone. She was currently receiving information about an attack on a hospital over in Istanbul. Electricity was cut, and then a few moments later the staff started screaming. Minutes after that, the entire hospital had gone down in flames- hundreds were injured, and even more were killed. Most patients were killed in the attack. Rinne swore under her breath, leaning hard against the wall, her bag of gear clutched tightly in her hand. "We've notified the two of the attack, and we're already here investigating before the WDL arrive to close it down." As Rinne stood there, she saw a helicopter take off and fly away. Seems they'd already began their movements.

Rinne closed her eyes, leaning against the wall and placing down her bag. She had eyes specifically on that hospital for exactly this reason, and they'd been killed before they could relay any information aside from 'something's going on'. Rinne, however, knew exactly the cause. The power had been shut down not on purpose, but because the energy had been drained and the resulting blackout was simply a result of that drainage. She opened her eyes again, grabbing her bag as she hung up the phone and marched back towards his apartment. For now, she'd enjoy her time with Kane. With this next case, she might not come back alive- her opposition wasn't some oblivious mook, after all.

Her opponent was a monster, and a smart one, at that.
And he was probably already heading here to act on his plans.






He dug his fingers into the wound, gritting his teeth as he pulled the thread through the skin and continued stitching his wound closed. The guard had gotten a good shot off, and as he sewed the gunshot wound shut, he dug in with his other hand and slowly, painfully, pulled the bullet out of the hole and yet did not flinch. Electricity crackled from his fingertips, keeping the bullet magnetised to his finger before he held it up. He flicked it, electricity crackling loudly as the already fired bullet became ammo for a human railgun and vanished into the sky. The man slowly stood up, golden eyes glowing unnaturally in the darkness. He yanked hard on the thread, clenching his wound shut with a messy-sounding wet noise before he bit the thread and cut it with his teeth. He tied a rather large knot at the end of the threat to prevent it from coming undone as he grabbed his shirt and put it back on.

He had one stop before he began his movements. He had twenty years of waiting on his belt, and he sure wasn't going to have that number get any higher. He put his hat on his head, a low chuckle leaving his lips as he touched a nearby shadow, silencing his laughter prematurely as he strode through the alley and left it behind.

The guard who had shot him lay in the middle of said alley, bleeding from the mouth, yet his body seemed perfectly untouched.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Helena Kingsley Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Vistra Mauve Character Portrait: Asmodeus Character Portrait: Charlotte

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#, as written by Zalgo
Rick Brackwall

With their orders the waiter left to deliver the instructions to the chef.

Rick himself looked over to the newcomer, the nervous girl who had placed her order while sitting at their table. It was interesting, her expensive tastes must of cost her quite a bit. The best explanation would be that she had a well stocked bank account, likely left over from her former guardians.

On an overall note it was going quite well. With only the absence of Caius the rest were at least talking in a friendly enough manner. Ash was still Ash and Helena still seemed concerned but overall the mood of the table was a friendly one. This at least gave them all a chance to meet each other outside of less pleasant circumstances such as the event they were to undertake tomorrow. It would not be easy but with his guidance it shouldn't be too hard either. The biggest difficulty would be the surprises the WDL had in store since no boot camp is prepared the same.


Out from the corner of his eye he gleamed a lady passing their table. Not an exceptional event save for a few small differences. He didn't recognize her, something he'd definitely remember since she neither looks Italian nor is there anything particularly plain about her. Her style of dress left little to the imagination, not that he was going to undress her in his mind. His thoughts were more occupied with other concerns.

... Until their eyes met. It was strange, really. She seemed to look at him for a bit of a drawn out moment, their eyes connected for that seemingly long period of time which was really no longer than a couple of seconds at most. She gave him a wink and a bit of a broad grin, something he didn't really understand. Having enough questions on his mind already the implications of what she was trying to indicate were many and it bogged down Rick's already worked mind further.


Was that wink flirtatious? Knowing? Did she see something in this conversation I and the others are having that I let slip? What am I missing here!?

As she turned and left Rick rested his arms, placing his fingertips together as he gently put his fingertips together in a slight arch whilst breathing out gently. He emptied his mind, silencing the storm of thoughts in his brain altogether. He felt a brief moment of reprieve from this over-calculation would sooth the stress starting to build in his head.

His hands folded onto his lap and he was now centered in the moment. Letting that go did him well, leaving him to peacefully watch over the proceedings of the lunch table at his own leisure.


Before long the waiter returned, their food resting atop the platter he carried. With relative grace the man set each of their dishes before them, each with it's own intoxicating aroma. In the middle of the table was the platter of bruschetta that Rick had ordered, a large plate with several pieces for the taking. It was a dish for everyone, along with the food everyone already received.

He gently hooked his glass of wine between his fingers, lifting it with measured delicacy.

"Enjoy." He took a light sip from his glass.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Helena Kingsley Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Kane O'Reilly Character Portrait: Vistra Mauve Character Portrait: Asmodeus Character Portrait: Sister Rianne Character Portrait: Rinne Lucalia Character Portrait: Charlotte

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#, as written by Tanman
Ashley “Ash” “Soot” Clade
Image

When the new girl approached and made an introduction for herself, Ashley gave an audible groan. With a visible look of disdain, she shrugged in resignation as the party of individuals let shy and stupid join the table. Eh, whatever. What would it matter if ANOTHER dweeb joined their group? She already hated group dynamics, and one more wasn’t gonna make it any more or less tolerable to her. Seeing everyone make a fuss over her and Helena, Ash didn’t see any need to interject. In fact, she didn’t normally function too well in situations like this. Instead, she made snarky looks with her eyes as Rick gave another one of those all too familiar but ever annoying spiels about getting their support at boot camp. Heh, yeah right.

Charlotte finally got her seat, and the group got in their orders soon enough. The table descended into small-talk and chatter as the group started to get to know one another, and Ash shifted mildly uncomfortably. She hadn’t been around this many people in a social setting like this in quite some time. The closest memory she could find was with her family, and they most certainly didn’t count as a good guide to this sort of situation. Thankfully, her drink arrived fairly quickly, and she amused herself with that, remaining clear of whatever idiotic topics they were discussing. She would’ve much preferred somewhere like a pub or the like, at least then there’d be a pool table or darts or something to distract her. There was nothing for her to do but make conversation with these people, and she had more than a few reservations about that.

Seeing as she wasn’t participating in the chatter, she was a bit more aware of their surroundings, and the odd sensation of being watched. Glancing about the room casually, she noticed another girl walking over in their general direction and began mentally preparing her complaint that they were somehow grabbing another tag-along. What was it about their group that seemed to attract so many weirdos? As she briefly stopped in front of them, meeting eyes with each before lingering on Rick, Ash honestly thought she was about to make some flashy introduction. Instead, with little more than a wink in their ‘leader’s’ direction, she made her way out the door and left. Huh. Maybe Dick had an admirer? She didn’t look nearly as much of a wreck as Charlotte, so somehow, Ashley doubted that a floozy like her would have the reservation not to just act on those feelings. Whatever the case, that hassle was already out of their hair, and better still, Ash could see the waiter making a return with several platters.

All grouchiness was forgotten as the intoxicating aroma reached her nose, the full spread of pizzas on display before her. “Now this is what I’m talking about!” She declared with probably the most enthusiasm anyone had heard from her. Without hesitating, she quickly reached to grab a slice, but quickly had to drop it back to the plate as the heat was still a bit too much. Blowing on her fingers a moment, she instead decided to take a different tactic, reaching over to the platter containing the bread. Lifting it, she shifted it over in front of her, taking out a piece to snack on without offering anyone else the appetiser. Food did her soul (and stomach) so much good, and best of all, everyone would hopefully shut up while they ate. Maybe she could have used some cutlery to make a start on her pizza, but she wasn’t that refined. Soon enough however, she began half juggling a slice between her hands before latching down on a large mouthful. Mmm… Okay, maybe she could get used to fancy restaurants like this if the food was this good. Happily munching away, she continued to watch and vaguely listen to the group, though it was clear the majority of her focus was on her meal.

Kane O’ReillyImage

Kane was happy to put some sugar into Rianne’s tea, lightening it up a little with some milk before sharing it her way. After Rianne inquired whether she could smoke, Kane realised a little late that any protests he may have had were a little bit overdue as the click of her lighter signified she had already made her decision, taking in a steady draught of smoke. Well, if she was going to be his master, he supposed he’d have to get used to it. Everyone had their vices. Moving to take his own seat, Kane was excited to talk about his apprenticeship under Rianne, what sorts of things she had planned and when they could start. At her mention she had some other things to deal with before really going into it, Kane nodded enthusiastically. That was reasonable, someone as tough as Rianne likely had a lot of important business to attend to.

Then… The conversation shifted. Listening to Rianne do her best to douse his hopes was painful, and Kane wasn’t quite sure how to take it as his eyes shifted downcast. Had he already done something to upset her? Further clarification came in that maybe he’d misinterpreted things, and that made him feel even worse. Here he was pressuring Rianne into these things, and she’d never intended on any of it – at this point, was she just being polite with him? It was a worrying thought, but Kane could sense that she was genuinely trying to look out for his best interests. Throughout her explanation, Kane began to pick up on bits and pieces of things. The way she regarded herself and her teaching ability, along with the barrier that presented. He’d always seen Rianne as a strong and talented individual, one that could compete with the best. Perhaps that wasn’t how she saw it.

Still not sure how to take Rianne’s rejection, Kane idly moved the conversation to Yohan, but that didn’t seem to bring about much of a talk. Still, that small moment allowed him to clear his thoughts some and mull over what Rianne has said. He was certain at this point that her rejection of him was less about Kane’s own capabilities, but Sister Rianne’s lack of faith in her own competence to teach him. The question was, what could he do about that? How could he help her help him? Squeezing his hands together tightly and scrunching his pants a little, he finally decided to speak his mind on it all.

“Sister…” He paused, thinking how best to say it. “I’m sorry but, I can’t accept that. I’ve made up my mind, and your own humility only serves to kindle my desire to be your apprentice. I know you’re busy, and I know you think that I’m making a mistake asking for your guidance, but…” He stopped again, sitting up. “Shouldn’t that be something I decide on? How can you say that you’re a poor teacher if you haven’t even tried? Let me be the one to prove to you that you have the potential to be a great instructor; and if not, well…” He sighed a little, settling back into his seat. “Well, I’ll have to let this go at that point.” Shaking his head, Kane met Rianne’s gaze again. “But I know that it won’t come to that.” He affirmed, smiling before looking to the side in confusion as Erica sat up.

“Well, I’ll let you two work all this out. I think I heard someone.” Erica excused herself, though Kane honestly hadn’t noticed anything. Still, he could hear her make conversation with a certain Aunty just outside the door, though he couldn’t quite hear what it was about. Regardless, his focus was on Rianne now. This had turned into a battle of conviction, she was testing his devotion. He’d prove right here and now he would not falter!

Ding.

Kane politely excused himself to the kitchen in order to turn some of the food over before returning.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Helena Kingsley Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Vistra Mauve Character Portrait: Charlotte

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Listen. That is all what Vesper did throughout the waiting period of this lunch. She has nothing that was of notable interest or query that she should speak of. Well, she was rather pleased before when Jonathan smiled at her answer to his simple sentence to start light chatter. It had been truly a while since she had seen that expression. Bygone days returned to her mind like an entangled torrent and it was discomforting as to why her happiness towards Jonathan's grin was not clearly seen. Instead, she plunged herself into her realm of serenity where she remained indefinitely. However, it would be a mistake to declare that she was not attentive to her surroundings as her eyes would look towards the person who would share some words around the table from time to time denoting her regard to her companions.

Their new addition introduced herself as Charlotte. Dawn had voiced her hospitality while introducing herself much like how Vistra did before. That was only proper and she did the same, breaking her silence for a moment. "Good afternoon, Charlotte. I am Vesper Himemiya." Her voice was like the gentle yet fleeting breeze as her eyes landed on the said girl before giving a more formal bow of the head, a sign of politeness and manners. After that, she returned to her passive nature while she contemplated something that Jonathan had spoken to Helena afterwards. It seemed his arrival had been similar to a kidnapping. She then recalled hers and was probably different as she was not tossed at the back of a van.

But, that was not that truly captured her thoughts. It was, "We're siblings, apparently," That was also something that Vistra stated earlier while being denied by that brown tall guy (Caius). The notion of having a familial bond was an entertaining idea, but its consequences was rather dire in her experience. Then again, that was not the main concern. That meant, they can call Jonathan 'Big Brother' or even 'Onii-chan'. Somehow, that was disconcerting to her. She doesn't like that possibility which she was not certain why. After all, other people are free to call him whatever they pleased as long as the man in question does not go against it. That was certainly odd and she continued with that line of thought.

She was only taken back to the current world when the scent of their ordered meal were placed upon their table. Although, there was that peculiar scent that wafted just very briefly as if it was just an illusion. She looked over her shoulder in a precise yet elegant manner, completely missing the woman who winked at Rick. In truth, she did not notice her even once as she was in deep thought. Well, that was not the matter which pricked her interest. Instead, at the corner of her eyes, she caught the fluttering color of blue. Was it a cloak? Or something else? She could not say, but as quick as dust vanishing, it was gone. She blinked her eyes, but that was the reality. There was no one there, but an empty corner and that faint scent was just a memory.

Her presence returned to her companions when Ashley declared agreeably about the food. The enthusiasm propelled the said girl to reach for the pizza rather early which was apparently still a bit hot to the touch. She must be hungry. If that was so, she would not have a slice or the bread that was already grasped by Ashley. She was already satisfied with her arugula salad that was placed before her with the water by the waiter. She expressed her gratitude then looked at Rick who told them to 'enjoy'. "Rick, thank you." After saying that, she reached for her spoon and clasped it with both hands as if in prayer. "Itadakimasu." And so, she buried that odd blue and scent at the box inside her head to eat.

ImageImageImageOn the other hand, a certain man who is known as Hiro chose not to eat the dinner prepared for him. He was looking blankly at the documents in front of him as the confrontation he had with his son and wife earlier replayed in his head despite his internal decision to not think about it. Then, there was a knock at the door to his study. That was a welcomed intervention as a calm yet sturdy voice spoke, "Excuse me, Hiro-sama." He dropped the pen on the table and straightened his posture which had slack before. "Come in." The door opened and a handsome man who appeared to be in the mid twenties to early thirties clad in a formal swallow-tail coat entered with a tea cart being pushed in. "Pardon my intrusion, but I believe a break would be required."

Hiro's expression lightened and leaned on his chair as if in relief. "Thank you, Zeke." Hearing the gratitude of his master, Zeke humbly bowed his head with his right hand placed over his heart. "I prepared some Valerian Tea." It was efficiently prepared and soon presented to Hiro in a diligent and elegant manner. But, there was a hint of disappointment in Hiro's eyes. "I believe sweets are not good as you shall soon retire to bed." This was answered with a notable sigh. "You're too strict." Hiro muttered under his breath while Zeke simply gave a small smile, before proceeding to properly clean the desk. "The package for Vesper-sama had already been sent."

Looking into his cup, he nodded his head as confirmation that he heard what Zeke said. "Where did I go wrong, Zeke?" His voice carried sadness and the heavy weariness. That was inevitable in Zeke's opinion as he was indeed aware what his master was talking about. "You did nothing wrong, Hiro-sama." This was answered with a self-depreciating laugh. "If you're comforting me, it's not working." Hiro drank his tea, emptying its content as if he wanted to wash away something inside of him. "My wife forgot her own daughter and look at me with contempt. My daughter taken for reasons too high for my comprehension. My son became someone I no longer recognize." He shook his head and looked at Zeke with eyes of a defeated man. "He's right. I can't protect, not at all."

Zeke poured Hiro another cup of tea. "It is too early to say that. At the same time, no one can ever determine the capacity of a person's desire to protect as well the capability to make that real." He then finished cleaning up Hiro's desk and looked at his master who was clearly beaten mentally and emotionally in the events that transpired months ago. "As long as Hiro-sama's desire remains true, the snow-petaled path you are walking upon will clear." There was a warm smile upon Zeke's face and which made Hiro's eyes widened a bit before lightly chuckling this time, it was in amusement. "You do have a way with words, Zeke."

"As long as it pleases you, I find that as my special skill." Hiro shook his head in mirth before taking another sip of his tea and speaking again. "I guess I need to step it up. No hesitations, correct?" Zeke gave a nod of affirmation. "I will be by your side, even if you burn or you shatter. No matter the destination." Hiro finally finished his tea and had a smile on his face. "That's quite a pledge. You won't betray me at all, huh?" Hiro's vision darkened and he fell to the floor with the sound of broken porcelain. "Never, Hiro-sama."


Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Helena Kingsley Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Vistra Mauve Character Portrait: Charlotte

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Image When the meal arrived Vistra could hardly stop herself from digging in. With the severe lack of money due to homelessness, she never had the chance to splurge on a meal like this. It looked great and smelled greater. Vistra glanced up at Rick. 'This place is great Rick! I'll have to bring my Papa here when he can come visit.'

After tucking a napkin around her lap she began to eat. It was prehaps a bit fast, but Vistra couldn't help herself. It was an amazing meal. Warm, but not hot enough to burn her.

She managed to eat about half of it before she remembered her manners. 'So, um. Charlotte. Maybe we can take a look around here together? I'm new her also. I've been here maybe an hour.'

Since they sat so close together Vistra had to be very careful when she cut her food. She shifted again and smiled kindly at Helena. 'Are you feeling any better now? If you're still feeling bad when we get back maybe I can get you come Ginger Tea? My Papa always said it helps.'

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Helena Kingsley Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Vistra Mauve Character Portrait: Charlotte

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#, as written by Tanman
Ashley “Ash” “Soot” Clade
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Lunch went smoothly for Ash. Even when Helena made a rude comment about Ash hogging the bread, the black haired biker didn’t say anything truly antagonistic. “What? Yeah, I know that. You want some, come get it. No one else was making a move for it.” Waving the bread in her hand around and spilling crumbs about the table, Ash simply shrugged off the comment, and made no effort to pass the plate to anyone else. As far as she knew, this was just normal table banter. Growing up with so many siblings, any family meal was usually a messy affair. If you wanted something, you got it yourself and that was just how it was.

As JoJo swiftly snatched up a piece for himself, Ash didn’t even bat an eyelid. He had the right idea; just take what you wanted if it was for everyone. Just as Ash had hoped, conversation died down, she got to enjoy most of her food (The remainder of which she had prepared to take away for dinner that night), and shortly after finishing, it seemed everyone was splitting up to do their own thing. First Rick excused himself, then JoJo, leaving just Ash and all the other girls. Looking over her company, it quickly became apparent how out of place she was in comparison. Neat and fancy dresses. Polite, meek, shy and pleasant individuals. She couldn’t have picked people more different even if she tried. Almost immediately, the four of them were launched into chatter, centering mainly around Helena and Charlotte. It reminded her of… Ashley subconsciously clenched her hands to fists.

With a sudden and somewhat audible slam of the table, she stood up, breaking up whatever nonsense they were talking about. “I’m out. Later losers.” Striding away, it would have looked slightly more cool and intimidating if she didn’t have to briefly take a few steps back and pick up her boxed pizzas. The second time she made her leave, Ash stuck her nose in the air with a bit of a sneer. She’d had enough sitting out and being the odd-girl out with her family. She wasn’t going to have a redux here; she had better things to do than that.

Exiting the restaurant, Ash narrowed her eyes as she looked around for her bike, only to be disappointed. For whatever reason, despite Ash trying to summon it here and now, the vehicle was nowhere in sight. Grumbling to herself, Ashley took the long walk back to the dorm alone, with nothing more than her thoughts for company. She’d probably jumped to conclusions a little early, but the situation had felt uncanny, especially after reliving that memory moments before the lunch. Whatever, she had all of the rest of her stay here to get to know those dweebs. For now, there was a tenseness that she just couldn’t seem to shake.

Ashley didn’t stay at her dorm long. Tossing the pizza in the fridge for later, looking about her room, there was nothing to do, nor anything to occupy her mind with. She needed to do something. Kicking the door open and storming out of the dorm, hair whipping behind her from the pace of her motion, Ashley strode about the complex, trying to clear her head. She’d considered going to Rick or one of the staff to ask her questions, but knew she wasn’t in the mood for that just yet. Instead…

Coming to a stop outside the sports courts, Ash glanced about the area as she headed in, not noticing a single soul around. Heh, maybe she was right. Maybe she really was different to everyone else. Throwing open doors until she found the supply closet, Ash rummaged about until she found a suitable ball, spinning it once in her hand before bouncing it a couple of times. Seemed it was in pretty good nick. This’d do. Striding out onto the basketball court, Ash tugged her collar once, and then changed her mind about removing her jacket. She’d lose it if she warmed up some; for now, it was still kind of cold.

Dribbling the basketball a bit, Ash played with the ball, weaving it from side to side of her body, between her legs, finishing off with a quick jump shot. With a thunk, the ball bounced off the rim, off to the side, which Ashley quickly moved to claim the rebound. Bouncing it once, she spun and made a fade away shot, but again, all she managed was to hit the backboard and send it bounding over to the opposite side of the court. Grumbling as she moved a bit slower to collect it, Ashley stopped to focus this time, bouncing it once in front of her, then twice, before she took a simple standing shot. This time, she was greeted with the refreshing sound of rope sliding along the synthetic material, a clean goal with nothing but net. Whenever her mind was getting mixed up, something simple like this always made her feel better.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Helena Kingsley Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Vistra Mauve Character Portrait: Charlotte

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Mechanically with the hint of grace, Vesper continued on her meal. She did not join in any conversation as there was nothing that required of her opinion or more specifically, her interest had not sparked. Time passed quietly for her and she was able to finish her plate and drank her water. Then, she lightly wiped her lips with the prepared napkin. Most of the eyes from the other customers lingered on her for a moment. Well, it wasn't hard since she stands out with her appearance and rather elegant gestures. But, she of course, didn't notice or most likely she had chose to ignore it.

In any case, Rick had already settled the bill and bid them goodbye. "Rick." Instinctively, she reached for him, but her hand settled itself in the air. It seemed she caught herself from doing something unnecessary. There was a moment of silence as if her actions had gone ahead before her words were formed. "Take care." She eventually decided on that as her hand returned to her lap. Rick was returning to his work. He was actively participating unlike her. Their instructors in classes had noted Rick's curious mind. At the same time, they also noted about her rather impassive notion in it all.

They were model students in a sense they learned quickly, but their difference would be the passion they have. Rick was ready to apply it while, she was not. The result, she was left on her own. Though, she wondered if Rick was also taking in responsibilities that would normally be placed on her. She never asked, but perhaps in another day, she would, she definitely need to. What mostly brought this on was her speculation before, where she seek him as a pillar of security. She should do something in recompense of that and it was further because of JoJo's noted comment about chaperoning.

Then again, it was set aside when he began to address her as Sis. Unconsciously, her rather stiff expression loosened while her purple eyes sparkle in a past delight. Her beauty enhanced further. "Ah, yes..." Without pulling back, a smile was present on her face. It was sincere and innocent like that of a child. That's why others who were lingering around who had known her reputation as being emotionless were surprised and even blushing. "Hai, Onii-chan!" Her eyes crinkled in happiness and unknowingly she reverted to her mother language. But, she eventually remembered herself when she saw JoJo touching Dawn's shoulder. That's right... her place.

Her expression returned to its usual indifference and her manners placed back in its proper course. She watched as JoJo left them and was soon followed by Ashley. It seemed that Vistra was very cordial to Helena and Charlotte. There was also Dawn. She has no place her, anymore. "I would also excuse myself as well." She stood from her seat with an inherent grace and lowered her head in politeness. "Until we meet again." With those parting words, she left them as she decided to return to the greenhouse where she left in haste. Her daily chore was yet to be completed. When she arrived, the watering can was still on the ground but the puddle from before was now gone. She picked it up and refilled it at the nearby faucet. But, she stopped in the middle of the said activity as the water overflowed from its container. "It's full." The water stopped flowing as she looked behind her in a trance, but there was no one as reality returned to her eyes. She then looked at the watering can, her hands trembling a bit. "The story never ends..." as her grip tightened on the watering can.


Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Helena Kingsley Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Vistra Mauve Character Portrait: Charlotte

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The restaurant had excellent service, that was for sure- not long after they had ordered, a waiter came bustling back out again, handing them all their own drinks and plates. Dawn smiled and gave a soft thanks in response, although her attention was elsewhere for the most part. It seemed as if Jojo hadn’t been the only one taken so...suddenly. Kidnapped, really. Even in this situation, it was still kidnapping, and Helena’s story certainly reflected that. If the circumstances were different, Dawn might have tried to call the police on their behalf, but...

Hearing Vistra’s offer of tea, Dawn sat up, then gently pushed her still-untouched cup over to Helena’s place at the table. “Here, you can take this,” she said. “It’s ginger ale, not tea, but, I think it’s still good for upset stomachs. Tastes great either way, though.” Helena’s lack of order indicated that she didn’t have much of an appetite, but her sitting with nothing in front of her stood out like a sore thumb in the face of everyone else. If Dawn needed a drink with her meal for whatever reason, it wouldn’t be too much trouble to just order herself a water or the like.

Pulling her sandwich closer, she smiled, looking up at their benefactor again. “And thank you again for the food, Rick. This was very nice of you to do.” She had just taken a bite when she noticed Ash dragging the bruschetta away from the table, showing no sign of returning it and snapping when this was pointed out. Dawn, swallowing her mouthful, frowned slightly.

“It’s a bit harder to reach now that it’s at the edge of the table,” she said, mildly, before returning to her sandwich. It really was an excellent sandwich, cheese still warm and chicken falling apart at the slightest touch. She’d have to come here at another time. Get something from the breakfast menu, perhaps- she had seen that they offered biscotti while searching for something to order. Perhaps. Dawn took another bite.

Once the plates had been- for the most part- cleared, Rick dismissed himself, off to take care of WDL business, apparently. Dawn smiled. “Thank you,” she said. “I’ll make sure to keep that in mind.” The next to leave was Jojo, who she gave a slight wave to as he moved to leave, then Ash, then Vesper. Dawn made the note to give her and Jojo some space to catch up with one another- she had the impression she was intruding on whatever Vesper had with him, and the last thing she wanted was to cause animosity. With that said, however…

“I think I’ll go ahead and leave, myself,” Dawn announced. “Need to go buy a few things. It’s been nice meeting you all.” Brushing a few crumbs from her clothes, she left the restaurant, heading in a random direction before stopping in front of a salon of some kind. Fishing her phone from her purse, she leaned against the building’s brick, tapped out a few numbers, and waited for a response.

Unsurprisingly, Dawn ended up having to dial three times before she got a response- Rita was notorious for taking her time on things, and phone calls were no exception. Upon hearing the woman’s voice on the other end, she smiled warmly.

“Hello. It’s Dawn again. Just wanted to check and see how Iggy was doing.”



“That’s good. Glad he isn’t making too much trouble. How is Minnie, by the way?”



“Minnie.”



“Minnie. The person living under your roof?”



Dawn laughed. “Not surprised. I’d say that you should get her into training for that, but...well, you know.” Her other hand moved to join the first against the phone. “Hey, do you think you could bring Iggy there, by any chance? Looks like I’ll be staying after all.”



“Thank you for the support, Rita,” she said pleasantly. After a moment, Dawn shook her head, brushing a bit of hair out of her face before continuing. “You know I can’t, though. Not anymore. I appreciate the thought, though.”



“It was nice talking to you, too. See you soon.”

The phone clicked back into silence. Tucking it into her pocket, Dawn stepped away from the wall, then went on her way. Needed to see about where to buy an air mattress.

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