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Valentine Knight

"I have half the world running from me, and the other half desperately hunting me. I am the closest thing to God mankind has ever encountered. Do not make an enemy of me."

458 views · last seen in Unknown (world-wide, but mostly USA)
a character in “Hunt, Capture, and Kill”, as played by Zero Reaper

Description

Valentine Knight, also known as 'The Sword of Damocles'

Image


Nickname(s): Known to the greater public as the Sword of Damocles; has dozens of false identities he uses for airports and such, however.
Age: 27
Gender: Male
Role: 'Wild Card'


Appearance


Image


Eye Color: Blue
Hair Color: Black
Height: 6'4"; and well-built at that, although not overly heavily.
Clothing: Usually wears a long leather duster, with a rather high collar (refer to picture); the coat is actually inter-weaved with 'Dragon Skin' ceramic plates, rendering it almost bulletproof to anything up to standard-size rifle rounds. Underneath this, he usually wears heavy-duty ceramic combat armour, which covers nearly his whole body, and underneath that, light cotton pants and a dress shirt (for breathability) or a warm jumper (if he's expecting cold weather). He will typically wear a balaclava that covers his face up to the bridge of his nose, and matte-black anti-flash sunglasses, as well as leather combat gloves and 'jump-boots'. Jump boots are usually seen used by the Russian Spetsnaz, and combine the best aspects of a running shoe and a combat boot; the soles are wrapped in layers of tough cloth, rendering it nearly silent, and it is done up with many clasps and buckles; it is light enough to be run in, but solid and heavy enough to shatter a man's leg or ribcage with a solid kick.
Weapon(s): Switches regularly depending on what he's doing, but always utilises military-grade equipment, and expresses a preference for assassination using anti-materiel weaponry (typically in .50 BMG, 14.5mm or 20mm). He also notably always carries a twelve-inch combat knife, wickedly curved, with a dip in one side of the blade, and his signature weapon for close quarters use is a .500-calibre Smith and Wesson revolver. Lastly, he is also an astoundingly skilled hand-to-hand combatant, utilising the Russian 'Systema' style, and rumour has it that he was once trained in it by the infamous 'Spetsnaz' special forces unit.
Other: Is incredibly experienced in the art of explosives, responsible for several major terrorist attacks in the last few years; he is also well-trained in the areas of deception, manufacturing of false identities and manipulation of those around him. Do NOT put him at the wheel of a vehicle, however, unless you wish for its occupants to suffer the same fate as his enemies.


Personality


A complex, if not divided man, Valentine has spent years fighting and killing, and knows almost nothing but the horrors of war. It is not known when he started what he is now doing, or how, or why; it is unclear when his pattern of murders, assassinations and terrorist attacks began, but it is clear that it has been going for at least eight years, and possibly well longer. He has an incredibly strong sense of justice and what is right, his morals made clear to the world for a long time; he has, in an odd statement sent to news agencies around the world, stated that 'There is nothing inherently wrong with evil, for it can be stopped by the law - and nothing inherently wrong with power, for those with power are necessary to the running of our world. But those who combine the two, those who the law will not stop, those are who I hunt, and they are who I will strike down like the beasts they are.' He has almost no moral qualms in the pursuit of his goal, and once killed four hundred civilians in a bomb attack to wipe out a corrupt CEO who had been bribing the government to continue business; indeed, Valentine seems to apply perhaps a 'profit/loss' system to this, believing that if the number of lives saved or greatly improved exceeds the number of innocent lives taken, he is still righteous. In the very, very few interviews he has ever given, mostly to independent journalists at undisclosed locations, he almost gives hints at being psychologically damaged, likely a consequence of almost a decade of warfare, as well as perhaps the beginnings of his sanity cracking. He occasionally refers to 'others', believed to be once companions of his; in his early days, he was reported to be operating with the assistance of other individuals, although for at least five years, he has operated exclusively independently. Half the world seems to view him as an insane madman, and the other half views him as a righteous hero - but just who he believes he is, remains to be seen...


Hobbies: Does enjoy writing poetry, philosophy and short stories in what little free time he has, although this is understandably usually dark and twisted. Other than that, he has effectively no time to himself.
Favorite Color: Usually seen wearing steel grey or black; he likes to consider himself above such personal preference, however.
Fears: He does not fear death, and to some extent, treats it as a relief; what he fears is dying for nothing, as it would mean that his great quest for righteousness and absolution had ended for nothing. Deep down, he also fears falling in love; it has happened before, and he knows that, at this stage, it would inevitably mean the death of his loved one.
Weaknesses: His great ruthlessness turns many against him, as his 'profit/loss' system of morality and seeming lack of empathy makes him look just as evil, if not more so, than those he kills - and, moreover, this is quite possibly accurate. He is also incredibly infamous, his steel-grey armour and black duster the personification of death in the eyes of many; his appearance in a location is sure to have the police of at least half a dozen nations crawling over it before long.

History: Almost nothing is known of the Sword of Damocles; indeed, nobody but his closest associates even knows his true name. What is known, and extremely publicized, is his service record; he has, to date, destabilised the governments of three third-world nations, brought down several multinational corporations, assassinated major political figures in America, Japan, China and Britain, and possesses a kill count believed to stand at over two thousand individuals, approximately half of which consists of civilians or medical professionals caught in the crossfire or assigned as 'collateral damage'. It is still unclear whether all this is the actions of a single individual, or multiple individuals operating under the same name and using the same techniques; but what is clear is his intentions, and the change his actions have brought...


Excerpt




Two thousand, six hundred and thirty-eight.

That was how many people dead at his hands, Valentine mused, as he sat in the back of the car. The lights of the city rushed past, a dark blur, like stars in an empty sky, but far too numerous; they were glaring, and it seemed cold, hostile, aggressive. But he did not dwell on this; he had to think, had to focus.

Had to kill.

His hands moved on instinct, with a skill born of years of practice. He clicked a magazine into his rifle, pulled back softly on the bolt, then released it, hearing the satisfying, metallic 'thunk' of a bullet being chambered. It was a .50 BMG round, 'Raufoss'-model, a hybrid armour-piercing incendiary type. He'd seen one literally rip a man limb from limb with the force of an impact, and he knew full well that it could tear through a metre of concrete without changing course and while maintaining enough force to kill. He knew this round well; he had fired hundreds like it in his lifetime. But today, only one more addition would be made. It would only take one shot.

He was not in the business of missing.

He stepped out of the car, nodding to the driver; the car left him immediately. The driver was unimportant. The driver had been paid; the driver knew nothing except where to drop him off. From there, he walked.

First things first, he checked his gear. His armour was all in place, securely affixed; it felt heavy, but not too heavy. His coat was the same; it barely obstructed his movement, the latticework of plates completely bulletproof. His weapons were clean and ready to go; his knife was sheathed across his chest, his revolver in a holster upon his abdomen. His backup 9mm Glock was strapped to his right ankle. He had four magazines of .50 BMG rounds across his chest; always better to be prepared. He'd made the mistake of not being prepared too many times, lost too much to that mistake, to come unprepared. One shot was what he wanted. He did not always get what he wanted.

He jogged through a side-street, slinked through the shadows of a busy street, and then cut through another alleyway to a construction site. In a few weeks' time, it would become a towering high-rise apartment building, filled with thousands of smiling families. But for the moment, it was completely empty. For the moment, he would be alone, and that was what he needed.

He walked up its stairs with trepidation; his boots made no sound, the Barrett M107 in his hands only clinking slightly when he accidentally bumped it against a hanging chain. He froze at the noise, snapping up the huge weapon and scanning around; but he saw nothing, and realised what had happened. So he continued, until he reached its twelfth floor, just as he'd planned.

He lay down on his stomach, checking his watch. He was two minutes early. For most, that would be a good thing; it would give them time to set up, to prepare, to rest. Not so for him. Every second he lay still, the CIA of America, the DGSE of France, the GRU of Russia, and a dozen other ruthless intelligence organisations came closer to finding him, to killing him. He would not, could not, allow that to happen.

He checked his weapon, flicking off the safety with a soft 'click' that echoed in the empty space. The wall of this section of the building was not yet in place; he had a clear view out to the hotel on the other side of the road to the apartment building. A table lay set, laden with dozens of expensive dishes; it was unattended, for the moment. In a few minutes, his target would enter, and sit at the thirty-fourth seat. He would stand for a toast to the hotel owner's daughter, who was soon to be married; this toast would occur between thirty seconds and a minute after his target's entrance. His target's heart was his target; he needed a pacemaker, and a shot anywhere near it would shut down the pacemaker on account of electrostatic shock, driving the heart into fibrillation and ensuring no chance of survival. With a direct hit to center mass, the target would be dead in roughly three and a half seconds; with a hit anywhere else, the target would be dead within fourteen. Every detail here was meticulously planned, as always. There was no margin for error.

The target entered, right on schedule. Valentine exhaled softly, his finger curling around the trigger of his rifle; its bipod was unfolded, and it was balanced perfectly. He caught the target in his scope's crosshairs, leveling it at center mass; he knew the ideal time to take the shot, but he would take it immediately if deviations to the course occurred. As he lay there, weapon in his hands, cold metal against his leather gloves, his mind wandered, to those he'd lost over the ten years he'd fought for.

Leo; the closest thing he'd ever had to a brother, dead to save him, making a last stand so that he could escape.

Nina; his ally from the very beginning, he'd been forced to execute her, to put a bullet through her head, after she'd had a change of heart.

Monica; his oldest friend, abandoned him in fear, hating him now, helping the world's governments to hunt him down, her innocence of heart taken by those he'd forced her to kill in his name.

Stephanie. His heart caught at the thought of her name. Of that pale skin, of those beautiful, youthful features, of the warmth of her lips and the comfort of her skin. Of her light, soft laugh, more a girlish giggle than anything. Of her face soaked in blood as she cut a man's heart out to save his life. Of the look of horror upon her face as she realised what she'd done. Of the look of pleading at him to save her in her last moments.

The look of pure, unrelenting terror on her face as she died.

He closed his eyes, and when he re-opened them, all such thoughts were banished from his mind, replaced with a quiet emptiness. He saw his target stand, saw him raise his glass in a toast. He saw the smile on the man's face. A stark contrast with all those that man had killed, Valentine mused icily.

He pulled the trigger.

Two thousand, six hundred and thirty-nine.

So begins...

Valentine Knight's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Blue Jay Character Portrait: Valentine Knight
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INK

After three days, it had finally paid off.

Valentine had followed the assassin for seventy-two hours; he knew that this assassin had been called in on this case. The man was in his mid-thirties, was of African descent, and was armed with a very intimidating-looking machete and an Israeli-produced 'Uzi' submachine gun. Valentine had run across this man before; during an operation in Africa. The man was brutal, violent; formerly a professional torturer. After Valentine had killed the nation's entire government in a missile strike, the man had disappeared into the ether; and now he worked as an assassin. They called him 'The Zulu'.

Valentine stared down for a moment at the tiny fragments of bone in the palm of his open hand. Five of them. Each razor-sharp; sharpened to a point by his knife. One from each of the people in his life who had been lost to facilitate his mission. One of them was this man's fault. The gash in it was a dark proof of the fact. Interestingly, that bone was the only one of those who had been lost who was still actually alive. But she was lost all the same to him.

He slid the bones back into the tiny pouch on the back of his glove, and breathed out softly, dismounting the rented motorbike and putting down its kickstand. He slid on his face mask, and walked into the building. He'd taken a side-entrance; therefore, nobody was around to question the black-clad figure. Everyone who saw him knew him; it was just what he'd worked so long to achieve. It was what had allowed him to shape the world for the better.

He unhooked a bag from the side of the bike, and from it, withdrew his weapon of choice for that operation; a suppressed M4A1 Carbine, US Military-issue. He'd spent more time with one in his hands than he had with a book, and he was an avid reader. They could be found in nearly every part of the world, courtesy of the US Government's constant meddling in places where they had no business. Slamming a twenty-round magazine into it, he racked the bolt and walked over to the door, slipping inside soundlessly.

He knew that he had a tiny window of opportunity. He had to confirm that the girl was here, which he'd know when the Zulu located the girl. Unfortunately, he had to then proceed to kill the Zulu before the Zulu killed the girl, which, knowing that man, was about half a second. He couldn't afford to fail, not at that stage. So he soundlessly crept through the house, following the dirty prints on the floor made by the Zulu's boots. He rounded a corner, went up a flight of stairs; he brushed his gloved hand along the banister, and the leather came away dusty. Nobody had lived in this house for some time.

Which, if he wasn't wrong, was exactly why the girl was hiding there.

He'd read a lot about her, and every time he did, he only became more confounded. She was, he knew, incredibly intelligent for her age, and had the capacity to read minds - and even control them. Yet she was still, he'd observed, prone to childlike mood swings. However, he knew that she wasn't invulnerable; able to read minds or not, she had to do it consciously, and if she wasn't 'looking' for anyone, she was no different to any other unaware human. He was also aware of the goals of the project that had created her - to create a perfect soldier. He almost laughed at the thought.

If they wanted the perfect soldier, they were clearly looking in the wrong place.

He heard the click of a weapon's safety, and he moved like a flash, the large gaps in his armour offering him total freedom of movement; he crossed the few short metres in an instant. He assessed the situation quickly; the man was standing there, Uzi levelled at the girl. She was a tad tall for her age, and had long red-brown hair; she looked so perfectly innocent. What monster would have tried to weaponise her?

He acted almost on instinct, hands practised with years of training and experience; he first delivered a short, sharp burst of automatic gunfire into the Zulu's back, hitting centre mass perfectly, cutting him down in the space of an instant. He covered the remaining two metres quickly, knife flashing into his hands, and slammed it upwards into the back of the Zulu's skull, severing the spinal cord and slicing through into his brain. The dark-skinned man fell like a sack of rocks.

Valentine wondered if he should feel relief, but none came. He took no joy, no relief in killing the man that had tortured his friend. An odd sensation, perhaps; the lack of feeling. The man was just a number, another target, another name. Too many blasted names, Valentine mused.

He turned to the girl, shaking the blood of his knife. He wondered how he must have looked to her; a knight in gunmetal armour, black coat flowing behind him, dark plastic-composite mask obscuring the bottom half of his face, matte sunglasses concealing his eyes. A blood-soaked knife in one hand and a smoking automatic rifle in the other.

"Now," he said; his voice was a little deep, but also calm, and rather emotionless. "I don't know exactly who you are, but I know what's been done to you, kid. I know that a lot of bad people want to kill you; you and I both know that this man isn't the first, and he sure won't be the last. Don't ask who I am. But if you want to live, you'd better follow me."

((What I'm thinking for is that, about now, every assassin makes a simultaneous play for the girl at once; some to protect her, some to capture or kill her. Big epic crossfire scene to kick off the RP. Thoughts? Also, if this disrupts anyone's plans, please tell me!))

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Blue Jay Character Portrait: Aryanna Hollace Character Portrait: Connor Davenport Character Portrait: Valentine Knight
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INK

Little Red


Aryanna made sure she had everything ready one last time, then pulled her red hood up, and slipped out the door. Carefully slinking down a side alley, she made her way toward the apartment building ahead. It was pathetic. Going to school. She only had one more year, though. One more year of writing papers, doing homework, and having to wake up early to ride on a yellow bus. She was tempted to kill one of her teachers. She dismissed the thought. Focus. Finally, she made it to the apartment. Silently, she climbed the stairs, carefully avoiding people. Walking down a hallway, she approached a door.

Carefully, she pulled a pin from her hair, letting it fall down around her shoulders. She slipped the pin into the lock, twiddled it around, then heard the faintest click. Sliding the pin out, she opened the door slowly, quietly. Before entering, she pulled the two daggers from her boots. Tiptoeing across the threshold, the silently raises her daggers, heading towards someone sitting at a computer. In one last noise-less step, she pulled her daggers in front of the man's throat, criss-crossing them. Aryanna smiled in triumph, the cold blades lightly pressing against the man's skin.

"Guess who?" she asked, a grin creeping across her face.

---------------------------------------

Blue Jay


Blue Jay made her way back to her "home." Really it was just an abandoned building, but not many people knew about it. She fluttered open her wings, smiling as she stretched them out, flapping a little. It felt good to not have them pulled tight against her back. It seemed like she was always on the run. it felt good to be free from the lab though. Not stuck in a cage. She shuddered at the thought, then shoved a roll of bread in her mouth that she had bought. Suddenly she froze, hearing a sound. She turned around, silently, but no one was there. She let out a breath. Probably just a bird. Bang! Blue Jay whipped around,wincing as one of her wings slammed into the side of the wall.

A man was there, two men, actually. One was dead on the floor. Her jaw dropped for a second, but she closed it, looking at the man standing over the body. He looked...scary? not quite the right word. Intimidating was more like it. Threatening. Had she seen him before? Immediately, she tried to take hold of his mind. Drop the gun, she thought, pushing the thought into his mind. Although, something odd happened. he didn't. His hand quivered a little, and she could see it in his eyes that he wanted too, but he didn't. She frowned slightly, stretching her wings out a little more, ready to take off if necessary. She opened her mouth to ask who he was, but closed it when he spoke. "I don't know exactly who you are, but I know what's been done to you, kid. I know that a lot of bad people want to kill you; you and I both know that this man isn't the first, and he sure won't be the last. Don't ask who I am. But if you want to live, you'd better follow me."

"How do I know I can trust you?" She asked, really wanting to ask who he was, but didn't.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Blue Jay Character Portrait: Valentine Knight
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INK

Valentine felt her tendrils of thought entering his mind, looking for cracks, looking for a way to break him, to make him obey. He would not obey this child; he had spent too long fighting, too long refusing to take orders from anyone, to obey her now. So he clenched his right fist around the grip of his rifle, and the left around the handle of his combat knife. He closed his eyes, clinging to the emotions, to the memories he'd long known; to the feeling of horror after his first-ever kill, the feeling of shock at seeing hundreds, no, thousands of people fall before him in Africa as he used his trump card, the feeling of love he felt when looking into Stephanie's eyes. Nothing could take those memories away; even if he wanted to forget emotion, even if he barely allowed himself to feel it any more, he would still use those memories to his advantage. They were a part of him, as much as the scars on his chest or the fragmented bones in his wrist - they were nearly tangible. To forget those memories was to let himself die again.

He was finished dying.

When he re-opened his eyes, she'd stopped trying to invade his mind, and questioned him. How could she trust him? He barely trusted himself. But then again, who knew if anyone else would try to help her? Over his twenty-seven years, he'd learnt that if you wanted something done, you did it yourself. Hell, that was why he'd begun this in the first place, ten years ago. There was no guarantee that anyone would help her, so he'd help her. Besides, he'd been looking to take a holiday from political assassinations for a while. Running around killing high-value targets was an effective means of changing the world, but it really took it out of a guy. So he'd take a holiday, help this girl for a while, and once she was safe, he could go back to what he was doing. Besides, he'd have to learn to stop dealing with 'the big people' in life and at least occasionally do tiny little good things, to keep himself sane.

"You can't," he answered her. "But if I wanted you dead, I'd have shot you along with this man." Then, coming to a realisation, he pulled out his iPhone - he switched through them approximately once per week to avoid being traced - and loaded up a newspaper article he had saved on it, before tossing it to her. The article's title read 'Fear Of "Sword Of Damocles" Causes Iran To Revise Nuclear Policy'. The main picture was a blurry cell-phone image of him, standing in front of a smoke plume rising from a building, rifle in his hands. He remembered that day; it had been in Asia. After he'd taken out the government of a nation, with the assistance of a band of revolutionaries, someone had taken a photograph of him. The incident had cemented his status as a world icon, and scared whole nations into submission - Iran included.

"That's me," he said. "Read through the article and you might get some idea of who I am." He turned to face the doorway, however, levelling his rifle at the stairwell. "Read fast, though. I don't know how long with have until local law enforcement turns up - or worse, reinforcements."

Setting

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Character Portrait: Blue Jay Character Portrait: Valentine Knight
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INK

Valentine felt her tendrils of thought entering his mind, looking for cracks, looking for a way to break him, to make him obey. He would not obey this child; he had spent too long fighting, too long refusing to take orders from anyone, to obey her now. So he clenched his right fist around the grip of his rifle, and the left around the handle of his combat knife. He closed his eyes, clinging to the emotions, to the memories he'd long known; to the feeling of horror after his first-ever kill, the feeling of shock at seeing hundreds, no, thousands of people fall before him in Africa as he used his trump card, the feeling of love he felt when looking into Stephanie's eyes. Nothing could take those memories away; even if he wanted to forget emotion, even if he barely allowed himself to feel it any more, he would still use those memories to his advantage. They were a part of him, as much as the scars on his chest or the fragmented bones in his wrist - they were nearly tangible. To forget those memories was to let himself die again.

He was finished dying.

When he re-opened his eyes, she'd stopped trying to invade his mind, and questioned him. How could she trust him? He barely trusted himself. But then again, who knew if anyone else would try to help her? Over his twenty-seven years, he'd learnt that if you wanted something done, you did it yourself. Hell, that was why he'd begun this in the first place, ten years ago. There was no guarantee that anyone would help her, so he'd help her. Besides, he'd been looking to take a holiday from political assassinations for a while. Running around killing high-value targets was an effective means of changing the world, but it really took it out of a guy. So he'd take a holiday, help this girl for a while, and once she was safe, he could go back to what he was doing. Besides, he'd have to learn to stop dealing with 'the big people' in life and at least occasionally do tiny little good things, to keep himself sane.

"You can't," he answered her. "But if I wanted you dead, I'd have shot you along with this man." Then, coming to a realisation, he pulled out his iPhone - he switched through them approximately once per week to avoid being traced - and loaded up a newspaper article he had saved on it, before tossing it to her. The article's title read 'Fear Of "Sword Of Damocles" Causes Iran To Revise Nuclear Policy'. The main picture was a blurry cell-phone image of him, standing in front of a smoke plume rising from a building, rifle in his hands. He remembered that day; it had been in Asia. After he'd taken out the government of a nation, with the assistance of a band of revolutionaries, someone had taken a photograph of him. The incident had cemented his status as a world icon, and scared whole nations into submission - Iran included.

"That's me," he said. "Read through the article and you might get some idea of who I am." He turned to face the doorway, however, levelling his rifle at the stairwell. "Read fast, though. I don't know how long with have until local law enforcement turns up - or worse, reinforcements."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Blue Jay Character Portrait: Aryanna Hollace Character Portrait: Connor Davenport Character Portrait: Valentine Knight
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INK

Little Red


Aryanna smiled then put away her blades before making her way to the kitchen. She grabbed a slice of cold pizza then pulled a chair up next to Conner. "Sooo. Who will we be killing today?" She asked, trying to make sense of what he was typing into the computer. "Wait, what's that?" she asked, pointing to a pop-up that looked like an e-mail. She skimmed over it. "A scientist? Hm...and he wants us to kill a six year old? That just seems cruel. Though it says he will pay us a lot. But really? A six year old? here click on it. It might give us more details." she said before taking another bite of her pizza.

Why would a scientist need a six year old killed? Normally they weren't the 'hired' type. They would kill the corrupt, or the evil. Or even killing other assassins who killed the wrong people. Sort of ironic.

Blue Jay


Blue Jay took the iPhone in her hands, reading the article. She wasn't much of a reader, but she knew what 'assassination' and 'fear' meant. She read the title of the article. 'Fear Of "Sword Of Damocles" Causes Iran To Revise Nuclear Policy' She looked up at the man. "You're the Sword of Damocles?" She asked. She had heard of this man before. She was intrigued. She gave the iPhone back to him. She followed after him, preferring to just jump out the window, but she didn't. She kept her distance though. She never liked guns. the fact that he could kill her in less than a second.....she shuddered. She didn't have many good experiences at all.

She fluttered up the stairs, her wings pulled in so they didn't snap against the walls. At the top, she looked around, and concentrated, making sure there wasn't anybody in the building. she looked back down the steps. "So why are you helping me?" she asked

Setting

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Character Portrait: Blue Jay Character Portrait: Valentine Knight
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INK

Valentine checked his weapon, racking the bolt and watching a round fall out, glinting in the dull light before clattering to the ground. Always better to check that your weapon was loaded and functional; he knew that much. And he had enough ammunition on him to tackle a small army if he had to. One round was a small price to pay for a weapon that was guaranteed to function.

"Indeed I am," he said, watching as she left the room and went up the stairs, flying over the corpse Valentine had left. Blood was leaking onto the floor, around Valentine's boots. He didn't care; it had happened a thousand times before, and he had no concern for men such as this. The Zulu had been given no right to live; Valentine's killing of him was no different to crushing an insect. He stepped over his opponent's corpse, his heavy boot squelching against the man's back. As he stepped out into the corridor, he swept left and right, checking for any possible threat, but seeing nothing. They were, for the moment, alone.

He watched her wings in a kind of awe. It was incredible, the way they possessed a beauty; no human was ever meant to have them, and she looked as though an angel come to Earth to inform such lesser mortals of the right way to live. They seemed so innocent, even though he knew full well the original intention of her having been given them.

He sprinted up the stairs, rifle pressed to his shoulder but lowered, and as he reached the girl, he said, "I'm helping you because I can. Political and corporate assassinations get boring after you've done them for too long, and I'm looking to take a holiday. So, for the next little while, I'm going to be helping you out; once you're safe, I'll go back to what I was doing. My motivation here, though, I assume was made clear by that article. You don't deserve to die, and a lot of people are trying to kill you. Therefore, it's my responsibility to keep you alive for the moment."

He looked around; they'd head off the top floor, double back to his motorbike, and then he could get her to a safe location. After a rest, they could get out of the country. Assuming that everything went according to plan.

Probably the biggest lesson he'd learnt over the last ten years was that nothing ever, ever went according to plan.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Blue Jay Character Portrait: Aryanna Hollace Character Portrait: Connor Davenport Character Portrait: Valentine Knight
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INK

Blue Jay


Blue Jay nodded. Head off the top floor, double back to his motorbike, and then he could get her to a safe location. After a rest, they could get out of the country. Assuming that everything went according to plan. She tried to dismiss the 'nothing ever goes as planned'. It was truthful though. Blue Jay tried not to think back to her escape. She had made it out, but her sister did not fare so well. She shook her head. best not to think about what they are doing to her right now.

"I don't see why you need to go off the top floor. Head down to your motorbike...I'll follow overhead," she said, extending her wings a little. "I'll go up to the roof," she said. Turning, she went up another flight of stairs. Pushing open a door, she breathed in the cool air. Perfect for flying. Opening her wings fully, she looked around, her eyes narrowing on every little detail. Approaching the edge of the roof, she climbed up onto the ledge, then leapt off, her wings catching the wind like sails. She grinned happily, the breeze pulling her hair back in tangles.

Her wings worked powerfully to push her higher into the sky. Then she started circling, her vision focusing on the motorbike below, waiting for him to get on it. Another figure caught in her vision. More than one figure. She looked closer. Law enforcement. There were at least three black vans, filled with people geared up and holding various guns. Crap. How could she tell him in time? She focused her energy on his mind. You need to get out of there now! She thought, either trying to control him, or just get her message across. It wasn't looking pretty.

Little Red


Aryanna shrugged. Guess it wouldn't hurt. She was sort of leery about it. Come on, a six year old? It just seemed heartless. She shoved the rest of the pizza in her mouth then made sure she did have all her gear. The location isn't that far from here. It was worth a look-see. "yeah. I'm ready," she said, pulling up her hood and making her way to the door.

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"Copy," Valentine said; he could barely speak these days without using military lingo. Yes, he was a soldier, through and through; too many years on the battlefield had left him estranged, unable to think normally, unable to behave like an ordinary human being. Not that it mattered to him. Military speech was efficient; and he didn't need to be human any more. He'd already surpassed that, hadn't he? Musing on that sentiment, he exited the front door and swept the alleyway for targets, but saw nothing, and thusly, walked over to start it.

That was when he heard the sound of boots slamming against the ground.

"LAPD! Hands up!" the first of the officers shouted, and Valentine didn't pause; he'd been here a thousand times before. Those words did little but amuse him now. Did they not understand who he was, just what he did?

He snapped up his carbine, loosing a burst of automatic fire into the first police officer's chest, and before the second of the pair could open fire with his Glock handgun, two 5.56mm rounds were planted in his skull. Both of the men fell like rocks. Unlike what you see in the movies, people don't fly back when they get shot; they just stumble a bit, look surprised, and then fall to the ground. Well, the latter didn't exactly have time to look surprised. Headshots, as Valentine had learnt all too often, weren't the cleanest way of killing people.

He jumped on his bike, starting it quickly and firing his M4A1 one-handed; he saw no targets and wouldn't have hit anything anyway, but as long as he was shooting out the exit to the alleyway, they weren't about to try and mess with him. Most of the rounds he'd ever fired were suppressive fire; same as with any professional soldier. That was the way warfare worked, these days.

He accelerated as hard as he could, streaking out the alleyway into the street; but he barely made it a few metres before he heard the distinctive ping of bullets off his vehicle, and after perhaps five seconds, his steering column suddenly went very loose, and the vehicle rolled violently along the ground. He knew that it was done for and ditched it, leaping off it and rolling along the ground, his ceramic armour making an odd scraping sound as he moved. He managed to roll into a kneeling position and snapped up his rifle, emptying off what was left of the magazine before reloading and delivering another heavy burst of automatic fire. Two, three, then four black-clad officers fell before they could react to him, and he stood up and ran behind a car; he needed some cover, or else he was as good as dead.

He felt a few bullets slam into his armour, but they failed to punch through, and he managed to make it behind a heavy pickup truck. Reloading his rifle again, he pulled the pin on a hand grenade and lobbed it towards one of the huge, ominous police vans. The satisfying, echoing slam of an explosion and a slight increase in temperature for a second indicated that he'd made a good throw. Knowing what the logical next move was, he ran towards the destroyed van, ducking slightly at the repeated crack-crack-crack of pistol fire, now mixed in with the tinny rattle of SWAT-issue M16 assault rifles. He dived behind the burning truck, slamming his combat knife into the ribs of a SWAT officer; it punched through the thin, outdated Kevlar vest and then through flesh and bone. He whipped around, finishing off another pair of wounded police and clearing around himself a small space. He saw a flashing shape on the other side of the van and vaulted on top of it, flames licking around his legs, discharging a sharp burst into the officer trying to bring his pistol to bear. Only then did Valentine realise that he was silhouetted against the flames, and his coat flowing behind him, he heard voices coming from the other vans.

"The Sword of Damocles!"

"Backup, backup, now!"

The terrified shouts of the already-dead as they realised just who they were dealing with. He smirked slightly; it warmed his heart to know that people knew him. It meant that what he was doing was working, that all his sacrifices had been worth it. He couldn't exactly stay there, though, so he jumped back behind the van, slamming a fresh magazine into his weapon and wondering how the hell he was going to make it out of this one without getting killed by the inevitable reinforcements.

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Blue Jay looked down below her. She felt like she needed to help in some way, but how? She couldn't control that many minds at once. She could, however, scare the crap out of them. Plus, she had to get him out of there. All the minds down there were practically screaming 'backup!' With that, she tucked in her wings, angled downward, and drew in a deep breath. She streaked through the sky like a bullet, the ground coming up fast. Diving bombing a shooter, she spread her wings out at the last second, whamming into him at about 200 miles per hour. He flew back several feet and the gun smashed against a wall and skittered to the ground. She leapt into the air again, her wings working fast, keeping low to the ground and tucked in slightly so she could go faster.

She heard bullets zing past her and ping off buildings. She smashed into another guy and he launched forward, hitting his head off a concrete wall. Ouch. She zig-zagged up and down and around, a couple feet off the ground. she had to find 'The Sword of Damocles'. She finally spotted him behind a van. She looked around. His motorbike was wrecked. Could she carry him while flying? Doubtful. Sure she was genetically engineered, but she wasn't that strong, being six and all. Not stopping in her low-flying frenzy, she aimed herself towards him.

"Brace yourself!" She screamed out, before scooping him up in her arms. Bad idea. She practically dropped like a rock. What was he made of? Bricks? She felt something hard. Armor? She pushed down with her wings, trying to get some loft. She managed to get about 3 feet of the ground. She winced as she heard his boot scrape the ground. Still, she pushed down again, still angling herself forward, still going fairly fast. She pushed down hard again, trying to open her wings out at the proper length so she wouldn't fall flat on her face, but wouldn't slow down to much, all the while frantically flapping to get in the air.

Finally, she managed to get in the air a little, about 10 feet off the ground. She tried to get a better grip on him, dropping him not really on her agenda. A couple more downstrokes and they were fifty feet off the ground. She breathed a heavy sigh of relief. But they weren't safe yet. Not in the least. For one thing, she couldn't carry him forever. She was having a tough enough time as it is. Five more minutes, give or take. She strained a couple more strokes, trying to rise higher, fearing snipers. She looked below her, not seeing anything.

"I hope your not afraid of heights," she said. By now they were two or three miles away, which was ok, I guess. She tried shifting his weight again, but this time, her finger slipped. She gasped and tightened her grip, dropping several feet and straining to get back up. She flapped hard, trying to stay aloft, seeing the ground rush up beneath them. She tried to move so she wouldn't be crushed by his weight, and his armor, still flapping frantically. The landing impact jolting her, and her breath left her in a woosh. She felt pressure in her wing, and it twisted grotesquely, and she cried out in pain. She landed hard on her right foot, but it didn't break. She coughed, staggering up, looking around. The were in a fairly grassy meadow. She spit out blood before turning to 'the Sword of Damocles'. "You ok? it doesn't look like they are following us."

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Valentine landed hard, rolling along the ground a few metres; his armour, thankfully, took most of the impact, but it still felt like, you know, he'd just fallen from twenty feet in the air. Which was entirely fair under the circumstances, he decided. He found himself lying in soft grass, and for a few seconds, simply lay there, thinking. Stephanie would have loved this sort of place...

Then he remembered just where, when and who he was, and he rolled to his feet, drawing his revolver and levelling it, crouching low; but nothing moved in the meadow, so he removed his left hand from the grip and lowered the weapon to his side. He then heard a voice asking for him, and turned; the girl was staggering from left to right, as though she'd been shot, one wing kinked slightly out of shape. His left hand unconsciously tightened; he was cold and ruthless, but seeing a child in pain like this wasn't normal for him. He didn't deal with kids; he never had. He was no good at them. On operations, he generally just ignored them. Hardly an option now, though...

He dashed over to her, the revolver's safety off; who knew who could be watching them here? "I'm alright; I've had worse landings," he said, before glancing towards the city. They must have flown miles! "Well," he said with a slight grin, "That's a hell of a way to get evac. Thanks."

He'd been careless earlier, charging the enemy. He'd forgotten that he was only human, and thusly, could be killed. He was well-trained and well-armoured, but he couldn't dodge bullets and wasn't invincible. He needed to be more careful from now on; he was in America, and the police here were better-trained and -armed than they were in most places.

"They're following us, trust me," he said, his mind turning to business. "But we've got a solid twenty-minute lead on them. If we hoof it to a car and then start driving, they'll never catch us."

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Character Portrait: Blue Jay Character Portrait: Aryanna Hollace Character Portrait: Connor Davenport Character Portrait: Valentine Knight
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Blue Jay dizzly nodded, trying to stretch her wing out, but then wincing as her left wing shot her with bouts of pain. She gritted her teeth, and pulled it in toward her back. "Right...car. My wing is hurt. I don't think I'l be able to fly until they heal and rest a bit." she said, trying to sound determined like him. Him...She really wanted to know what his real name was. not many people thought about their name all the time, so normally a person's name takes some digging. But she really didn't want to dig through his mind. Especially of so many people he has...killed.

She fumbled her way over too him, then looked around, a street wasn't far off. They would need to find a car. She didn't try to show it, but her wing really hurt. She stretched it out again, trying to work the kink out, and sucked in a breath, trying not to pass out from the pain. "yeah. Car." She said, pulling in her wings again, and starting toward the street. She turned back around though. "What is your real name?" She finally asked. It was the oldest trick in her book. The easiest way to learn things from people is to get them thinking about it.
------
Aryanna looked at the yellow flowers in front of her, sticking out from orange caverns. "This is it?" She asked, taking the paper with the address and direction on it from Conner. She looked at the directions, then at what was in front of her. Seemed right. She tapped a rock with the toe of her boot. Suddenly, as if from thin air, an elevator appeared. She jumped back, then regained herself. She turned to look at Conner and raised her eyebrows, stepping in.

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Valentine wondered how to answer as they walked. The question wasn't nearly as simple as she made it out to be. After all, just who was he? He'd spent years fighting and killing; he was more a shadow of a human than anything. Yet he still had feelings, still had weaknesses and personal prejudices, as much as he tried to rid himself of them. He seemed to be a thousand people. The damnable, feared, legendary figure of the Sword of Damocles, cutting swathes through mankind, murdering thousands in pursuit of an abstract goal; feared by half the world and worshipped by the rest. The heroic, idealised figure Stephanie had made him out to be, a messianic individual, come to save mankind - the pursuit of serving that figure had driven her mad, even. All he was, all he could ever be, was what people expected him to be. Or perhaps...

"My name," he said cautiously, yet warmly; he tried to make it sound like he was trying to be nice, to make friends with her, "is Valentine Knight. At least, that the name my parents gave me. I have a lot of fake names. I haven't used my real name for years and years. But..."

Could he trust her? Probably. She was extremely manipulative, not to mention a psychic, and clearly far more intelligent than any child of her age should have been. But on the other hand, he could kill her if he had to, he told himself; he was disgusted by his own thought, but accepted that it might well be necessary. He'd killed a lot of people just to save himself; even Nina had fallen under that category. But could he kill a child? She wouldn't be the first, after all - twelve children had been killed in the Sarin Gas attack in Africa, and another seven when he'd set off close to a quarter of a ton of C4 in the middle of New York. He'd called them collateral damage and moved on; he'd done more good with those hits than harm, as he'd sworn to himself so many times.

But doing it intentionally, in cold blood, was a different matter. It would be easy; at this range, he could draw his revolver and put a round through the back of her head in a split-second. She'd be dead before she could react. But if he killed her, that would be the final straw, wouldn't it? It'd be the last line he had to cross before he became a true monster.

He couldn't let that happen.

So he had no choice but to trust her.

"...You can call me by it, if you like. I like my name; it makes me sad that I can't really use it. My friends used to call me by it, so you can too, okay?"

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Valentine Knight. What a glorious name. She would want to be called Valentine Knight. She tried to think back to her old name: Bella Juaray. It was an average name, not very interesting. She preferred Blue Jay. In fact, only her sister knew her real name, and was the one to give her her nickname. Her wings weren't actually that blue. Her downy feathers had a blueish tint to them, with a couple speckles of blue on the tips of her stronger feathers. She recalled what they had actually spliced her genes with, a pale chanting goshawk. ((as seen below))

Image

Blue Jay froze, her eyes widening at Valentine. She tried to dismiss his thoughts, even backing up a step. Kill her? She bit her lip. If he could stop her from controlling his mind before....he could very well kill her. Almost instinctively, she tensed herself, ready for battle. Could she even fly right now, with her wing all bent out of shape? But then the killing thoughts subsided...and he trusted her. But it left her shaken up, staring at him in fright. But it made sense, right? He was an assassin after all. Her child mind tried to grasp the concept. Instead, she just finally spoke. "I like the name Valentine," she said simply, before turning back around and heading for the street. She saw a car coming up. She focused her mind.

Stop. Pull over. She thought to the driver. The car slowed down, and eventually pulled to a stop next to her. The man rolled down his window, looking awfully confused. "Hi," she said sweetly. "We really need this car. Please let us use it," she said, persuasion dripping from her words. The man nodded, in a daze. He parked the car and pulled out the keys, handing them to her. She smiled to him. "Thank you," she said, and the man got out of the car, zombie-like. She tossed the keys to Valentine then got into the passenger seat.

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Valentine watched as the man stepped from the car, staggering onto the street and stumbling into a wall, where he turned around and sat, hunched on the ground against a building. It was pitiful, in a way; but at the same time, utterly terrifying. That damnable girl had just turned a perfectly ordinary man into a staggering vegetable with a single sentence. He'd managed to resist her before - but it was possible that she hadn't used the full extent of his power. He couldn't afford for her to start controlling him, start using him to protect her - it was his intention for a while, but eventually, he'd need to go back to what he was doing. He'd realised long ago that to stop was to let the world slide back to its previous state.

He slid into the driver's seat, shutting the door and checking the car's controls; he'd always preferred right-hand-drive, after all. Stupid Americans driving on the wrong side of the road. But he managed to get it rolling, and immediately accelerated hard, barely remembering to stop when he hit the speed limit; he threw the vehicle around a corner without breaking, causing the tires to squeal and smoke along the ground and forcing him back into his seat.

He wondered what everyone watching would think. He was, admittedly, driving like a complete nutcase; he'd never learnt to drive properly, after all. His training had been for 'offensive driving', and he'd spent far more time behind the wheels of 'borrowed' Humvees and 'Technicals' (utes with machine-guns crudely bolted into the tray, favoured in the third world) than he had driving 'normal' cars like this. Vlad, unfortunately, had never taught him to drive; he could parachute, fast-rope from a helicopter and rig up explosives to bring down a building without squashing anyone standing next to it, but he couldn't drive.

Suffice to say, his skills were a little unbalanced.

"Please, slow down," the SatNav stated in its typical monotone voice. "Please, slow down. Please, slow dow-"

Valentine slammed his combat knife into the small computer, silencing it quickly. "Much better," he said to himself, continuing to drive. He knew the address of where he was headed; he'd been there many times before, after all. Hell, more than ten years ago, during his first-ever real assassination against a pair of American senators, he'd located the place and hidden there. Somehow, the police still hadn't found it.

He choked slightly at the memory. So much had changed since then. Back then, it had all been so fast, so dream-like, alternating between laughing and joking with Leo and Nina and cutting down those who stood against him. The stark contrasts of war. Now, it was only the darkest, he found; there was no light in his life, no good. He was a servant of mankind, culling away its evil. He had no right to be happy, and he would never be.

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Character Portrait: Blue Jay Character Portrait: Aryanna Hollace Character Portrait: Connor Davenport Character Portrait: Schroeder Kreinstein Character Portrait: Valentine Knight
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Aryanna shifted her feet uncomfortably. What would await them at the bottom of the elevator? Why was the place hidden in the middle of nowhere? And why was her stomach all a flutter? Must be the elevator. She hated elevators. They always kind of creeped her out. The fact that with one cable snap, you could take the drop of doom to your immediate death. She shivered. But then the door opened, awaiting them was to armed guards. She had the urge to roll sideways, snap kick guard number one's hand, making him release the gun, then use the gun to ram guard number two's head, rendering them both unconscious. But she didn't. She had to remember they were a guest here, checking things out about assassinating a six year old. It still made her sick to her stomach, the thought. Unless this six year old was a psychopath killer on the loose, she probably wouldn't take the job. Not enough money can pay for the guilt of killing a small child.

"Hello, I am..." she debated giving them her real name, then quickly decided against it. "I'm Little Red. This is Robin Hood. We were given this e-mail, told to come here," She said, pulling out a slip of paper with the email on it. The guards inspected it, then them. One said something under his breath, touching his ear. They must all be wired I guess. He nodded, then turned back to us. "right this way please. Dr. Schroeder will be with you shortly."
------
Blue Jay held on to a handle as the car shifted back and forth. She wasn't really used to being in a car. In fact, she didn't really recall being in one. The inside made her claustrophobic, her hurt wing was pressing uncomfortably against the seat, they were going way to fast, and all the while a headache nagged at the back of her mind. She didn't complain though. He trusted her and so she trusted him. Well...it was pretty hard not to trust someone who's mind you could read....besides the brief thing about killing her. She quickly pushed that away.

She nearly jumped out of her seat as she heard a loud crunching noise. She looked over to find what appeared to be some sort of computer radio type thing smashed to bits. A couple drivers around them why wondering why they were going so fast. Honestly, she was wondering the same thing. Sure, it would get them there quicker but it was rather conspicuous and she didn't even hear police....A faint siren, only detectable by her enhanced senses, picked up in her ears. Scratch that. Driving fast is good. "So where are we going?" She asked.

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"An old safehouse of mine," Valentine said, swinging the car violently around another corner and missing a truck by mere inches. He considered how much he should tell her, but simply discarded the topic by realising that she could read his mind if she wanted to. Every single thought, every single memory he had was hers for the taking; his methods, his false identities, his safehouses, the nature of his funds, his accomplishments in the past - even the truth about Stephanie. He hoped that she didn't come across that. That knowledge, all the memories, all the pain and fear and hatred associated with that truth... it might destroy her. She certainly wouldn't look upon him the same way afterwards.

Shunting those thoughts out of his mind, he continued, "It's an arms dealership, run by a couple of old friends of mine. They're reliable, if a bit quirky." He smiled at the memories of long nights spent playing chess, discussing everything from tactics and explosives to philosophy and girls. Back when everyone had been alive, when every new day had been an adventure, filled with adrenaline and excitement. Before he'd realised just what the word 'war' meant, just what the realities of his job were. Before he walked through ground zero of a nuclear blast, watched the screaming wounded as they begged for death, the thousands of bodies, the spectres of twisted metal and cracked latticework of concrete.

After only a few minutes, he made it to his destination; a house in an LA suburb, completely indiscernible from the hundreds of thousands like it all over the city. He parked outside, and two men ran out; both were in their late twenties, with the athletic builds and tanned skin of surfers. The slight bulge of kevlar vests was slightly visible under their shirts. Both broke out into a grin as they saw Valentine stepping out of the car.

"I was under the quite firm impression that you were dead by now," the taller of them said.

"Great to see you too, Quentin," he said, nodding, before turning to the shorter of the two. "And you're actually in shape, Eric. It must have been a while!"

"You're not looking too bad yourself," Eric said, with a suggestively raised eyebrow.

"Stop hitting on our guest, dammit Eric," Quentin said, smiling. "Anyway, what can we do for you?"

Valentine handed Quentin the car keys. "Junkyard it and torch it. Use thermite for the seats, and make sure there are no feathers in the wreckage, got it?"

"Feathers?" Quentin said, raising an eyebrow as he stepped into the garage to collect a black bag of tools. "What, you collect birds now?" However, as he saw the girl step out of the car, the other eyebrow joined it. "Or little girls?"

Eric suddenly burst out laughing, and Valentine looked at him curiously. "What's so funny?"

"Wait a second. You and Stephanie... you didn't, did you? No. Way. Really?" Eric said, voice fragmented by laughter.

Valentine shook his head. "No, no, nothing like that. I only met her about half an hour ago. This situation's a hell of a lot more complicated than it looks, and I'm not half-sure what I've actually gotten myself into here."

Eric shrugged, inviting them towards the door. "Well, where're the others?"

Valentine's smile disappeared. "Leo, KIA in North Africa against local militia. Monica, MIA; haven't seen her for years. Nina, KIA after she decided that I was better off dead. Stephanie, KIA after..." he paused for a second, his eyes downcast, before he resumed by saying, "Well, KIA. That's what matters."

Eric sighed. "I'm so sorry-"

"Doesn't matter," Valentine stated evenly. "Let's get inside. Now."

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Character Portrait: Blue Jay Character Portrait: Aryanna Hollace Character Portrait: Connor Davenport Character Portrait: Schroeder Kreinstein Character Portrait: Valentine Knight
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Blue Jay winced as another riveting turn jolted her hurt wing into the side of the car. She would extend it further (it would be much more comfortable that way) but the car wasn't nearly big enough and the seat belt she had been sensible to put on would cut against her wing. But soon enough, they stopped, with the sirens only a faint murmur in the distance. She fumbled with her seat belt and carefully examined her wing as Valentine started to talk with to men. Carefully, she listened in on their thoughts. Could she trust them enough with showing them her wing? Surely they would see them at some point. After all, she really needed to examine it. If she moved her wing at all, it hurt like crap and she could feels something wet and stick and her feathers. Never a good sign. She finally made up her mind. If Valentine trusted them, she trusted them. Besides...none of their thoughts were to threatening. She puzzled over the thoughts about Stefanie. All of them seemed to be masking something about Stefanie. She furrowed her brow slightly and shook her head, opening the door and stepping out.

"Yeah. Really complicated," she says, unfolding her wings a bit, especially her hurt one. She winced painfully, and sudden rushes agony seared through her wing, through her back. She gasped in pain and slumped to the ground. Why did it hurt much worse now? She looked at her wing and her eyes widened with shock. The very top of her wing, along where the major bone was, was red and bloody. She felt the tip of her wing. No holes, but she moaned in pain as her fingers brushed the bloody mess. The bullet must have scraped the bone. Sniper? She looked around, her hawk-like eyes scanning the area, her mind trying to pinpoint whispers of thought. There! She saw (and heard) a man peek through a scope again, shift the gun a little. She followed the line of fire. She could hear thoughts of frustration. He was now pointing at Valentine. Acting on instinct, she quickly dove forward, plowing into Zachary and flattening him to the ground, not a second to late. She heard a bullet ping off the ground where Valentine had just been.

And then she passed out.

----------

Aryanna narrowed her eyes at the man sitting at the desk across from them. She looked over to Conner who was sitting beside her. This man practically reeked of evil lunatic. Why should she help him? She wasn't one who normally went for money, she was more on moral values. Sure, killing people was bad, but she was doing it for right reasons, for a purpose. Plus, she was good at it. Killing a six year old? Not on her list of top priorities. She crossed her arms, waiting for him to speak.

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Audra

Audra started walking, thinking it be best to keep herself moving so as not to steal the purses and wallets that were practically calling out for her to steal. So, what better place to go then around the block? She was sipping her hot chocolate ignoring the scalding heat slipping through her throat when a car blazed by and parked nearly crashing into another vehicle. A man jumped out of the vehicle and ran into some sort of store - a gun store. Her thoughts strayed toward the man in rush, but movement inside the van captured her attention. Knowing she could pretend to be window shopping she walked by but stopped when a girl burst out of the van. And it wasn't just any girl. It was the girl, the one whose picture was on her computer in her house. At the top of her kill list.

Audra was about the say something when a bullet rang out and her finely tuned ears realized that it had been close. Too close. Instinctively, she pulled away and imediately took cover behind the van hoping the sniper would not see her. Her hands clenched and unclenched into fists as if grabbing invisible swords that she longed to have. Of course she could just take out her twin katanas, but it would be worthless. The sniper was, of course, too far for her to slice his head off.

Audra turned her attention to the girl. Large feathered appendages stuck out from her back, blood freely falling from the top of one of her wings. Apparently the girl had tackled someone and some other things were happening too fast for her to realize.

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"Sniper!" Valentine roared at the top of his lungs, realising what had just happened. His body moved automatically; he'd been in this situation a thousand times. He was already on the ground and out of the sniper's immediate line of fire; the fact that the sniper had missed, even with Blue Jay tackling him, meant that he wasn't dealing with a professional. So he snapped up his assault rifle, loosing three bursts of automatic gunfire towards the sniper's position, riveting the building with bullets.

That would keep the sniper's head down for a minute, so he turned to Eric and shouted, "Get the girl out of here! No questions!"

He'd lost people before to snipers; even if his opponent wasn't a professional, that hole in the ground was big enough to have been caused by a .338 Lapua round, which would cause some serious damage to his armour and maybe even kill him with a centre-mass shot. Unarmoured humans would have no chance. So he emptied the rest of his magazine up towards the sniper, and as he ran towards the building, he saw the glint of a blade; spinning around, he saw a young woman. What the hell was she doing just goddamned standing there in the middle of a combat zone?!

He shoved her into the side of the building, and thusly, out of the sniper's line of fire. Pressing his shoulder against the wall and jamming a fresh magazine into his rifle, noting that he only had two left in reserve, he demanded, "Who the hell are you?!"

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Character Portrait: Audra Hathaway Character Portrait: Valentine Knight
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Audra

Audra didn't try to resist Valentine's shove out of the sniper's sight, but she did slap him across the face right after he asked her for her name. It was different to try and save her, but it was a different thing to ask her for her name very harshly. It didn't matter if he might have saved her life, all she knew was that he had down this before due the guns in his hands and the way he had reacted to the gunfire. "Shut up and shoot!" She snarled back at him, her glare practically shooting daggers at him. She clearly didn't have the right tools to take care of a sniper and the old one who did was this stranger who apparently cared more about useless explanations than their survival.

(Sorry if it's short, kind of flooded with homework.)

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Character Portrait: Blue Jay Character Portrait: Aryanna Hollace Character Portrait: Connor Davenport Character Portrait: Audra Hathaway Character Portrait: Schroeder Kreinstein Character Portrait: Valentine Knight
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Little Red simply raised an eyebrow, a look of boredom crossing her face. She held up one hand lazily to Conner as if to say 'don't kill him, but I'm not going to stop you if you want to'. "So what you are saying....is that you do horrible experiments on little kids that could possibly make them dangerous, are stupid enough to not keep the child contained, have stupid enough guards that can't manage this on their own, and think that I'm going to go fix your mistake by bringing the child back here so you can do more horrible experiments on it?" she said, her eyes sending daggers toward him, each word laced with ice cold resentment and hate. She uncrossed her arms, her hand itching to reach her daggers. Instead she recrossed her arms again. Her eyes narrowed again, which would probably scare even a grown man witless. Anyone who knew her would probably run away in fear if she gave you that look. If she gave you that look your life was about to be hell.

"And all you can think about right now, is not the child's safety, but the hopes that someone else hasn't found her and is taking your work." Her eyes stared into his, her jaw set and her hand gripping her daggers tightly. "Of course, you don't want to go to prison either." She took in a heavy breath. "I'm not going to do this, no matter how much money you offer. This is your mistake, a horrible one. Fix it yourself." She got up from her seat and turned toward the door, taking a sip from the coffee Jared had brought. "If you will excuse me, I will be leaving now." The guards immediately moved, about for of them, in front of the door. She could see down the hall the four more tensed, ready for some action.

She sighed, boredom still lingering on her face. A guard stepped forward. Something inside her snapped. In one motion, she flung the cup forward, but keeping hold of the handle. The hot liquid sprayed out and sloshed the man in the face. He cried out in pain, grasping his face. Aryanna flung the cup hard at his face, and it shattered, sending shards into his soft flesh. He fell to the ground, unconscious. Another guard rushed her and she practically laughed. Using the man's momentum, she grabbed his jacket and flung him toward the desk. His momentum kept him from slowing and her crashed into the desk, and didn't get up.

"HANDS UP!" The remaining guards screamed, guns held up high. "shit," she muttered under her breath, but she wasn't stupid. She held her hands up, hoping to god Conner would do the same. She reached her hands toward her head, toward her back. Most of the guards lowered their weapons exempt for two. Aryanna inched her fingertips a little farther down her back. She felt the leather hilt of her blades. She smiled, and there was a moment of silence. "Now!" she yelled, hoping Conner would assume that meant to run or attack. She pulled the blades from her back, one in each hand. She ducked low, and heard a ping of a bullet off a desk. She lunged forward, slicing the man that shot at her. He fell to the ground and she leapt over him. "Come on! lets go!" she said, shouting to Conner, hoping he was behind her.
-------
The world was fuzzy, a black mass of blobs and colors dancing across her eyes. Sounds barely entered her ears. She tried to open her eyes, but her eyelids seemed to heavy. She heard a low groan, but then realized it was her. She felt something cold dab at her wing. One of her eyes slowly opened, then the other. She saw a blurry image of a man above her. The image sharpened and the world came into focus. Someone who she recognized as Eric stood over her, a wet and bloody washcloth in hand. He dabbed at the injury on her wing with the washcloth again. She winced, but didn't say anything. In fact, she stretched out her wing a little bit so he could reach it better. Pain seared up her wing but she dismissed it. She had to be strong. Eric handed her a glass of water. "Drink this," he said, and she downed it in seconds.

Blue Jay could already see the wound getting better. The bleeding had stopped but it was a nasty mess, she could see a little bone. Trying to be helpful, she stuck her finger in her mouth. Eric looked at her funny, and she frowned. "I'm not a sticky little kid!" she said to him, and his eyes widened, turning back to his work. She brushed his hand away, and took her finger out of her mouth, wet with saliva. She pressed the finger to her wound, wincing slightly. "No! don't do that! You'll infect the wound," Eric said, trying to push her finger away. "No, look," she said, pulling her finger away. You could literally see the muscle around her bone grow back, and some of the skin grow back. It still hurt like crap, and wasn't completely healed, but at least it was better than it was. Eric looked like he had just seen a ghost. "You are one special little kid," he said.

((sorry it is long, and sorry for the delay, I was away for a while and I didn't know I was going to be so I couldn't warn you guys))

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Character Portrait: Audra Hathaway Character Portrait: Valentine Knight
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Valentine simply sighed; kids were so... insubordinate these days. Nonetheless, she had a solid point, so he laid down another few bursts of suppressing fire with his rifle held one-handed; it was nearly impossible to hit anything like that, but it seemed to be working, because the sniper had stopped shooting. He dragged the young woman along by the wrist to the door of the sniper's building, kicking down the door, ready to shoot; but nobody was guarding the entrance. Evidently, the sniper was working alone.

He turned back to the woman, releasing her wrist and switching his weapon back to a two-handed grip. "Now you tell me your name," he said, curious as to whether she'd recognise him or not. If she did, she might try and kill him; half the world's governments had multi-million-dollar bounties on his head. If she did, he'd gun her down in an instant. Just like everyone else who tried to stop him. Even her...

He shut the thoughts out, checking the stairwell. He could hear footsteps; perhaps the sniper wasn't as alone as he'd thought. "Speak quickly," he stated. "We don't have much time, and I want some damned answers before I decide to shoot you where you stand."

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Audra

Audra trailed behind Valentine, letting him be the one in control for the moment. When he he did let her wrist go and... He was practically standing on her right side, imediately setting her into a defensive stance. She blinked a couple times trying to remain calm with the fact that she can't actually see him. Stupid blindside, she thought before noticing that he didn't exactly ask her for her name. Not exactly a gentleman, another thought that was starting to increase her curiosity. "-shoot you where you stand." She came back into the real world at the sound of those words and really tried to focus on his face. She couldn't exactly read him due to being part blind, but she could tell he was serious, and... Annoyed? Afraid? Maybe the look of someone expecting her to know on sight? She couldn't tell but she pulled away, dropping her guitar case and taking out her Katanas.

Slow, not as effective, and baggage were why she should decide on a new casual way to hide her swords to carry her swords differently. Practically feeling like a turtle she stood up and answered Valentine giving him a very stony look before nodding toward the stairwell. "Name's Cupcake." Of course, she was lying and having some fun, but not much because of the human statue here beside her. Other then not having fun she was bored and was hoping to at least get in some kills before the sun set.

Audra was looking at the staircase ignoring Valentine. If he shot her, he shot her, but she wouldn't go without a fight, and she was thinking about which limb to cut off, or maybe just a straight out attempt at ending his life by stabbing him in the chest? The thoughts suddenly giving her something new and fun to look forward to.

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Character Portrait: Blue Jay Character Portrait: Audra Hathaway Character Portrait: Valentine Knight
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Blue Jay stood up. She felt weak, but that was probably from lack of food. She had eaten a piece of bread only a minute ago, but not many people understood how much she really needed to eat to stay full. Most people also didn't understand why a little girl, after being shot in the wing, would be up and walking around. Clearly, Quentin didn't. His eyes practically bulged out of his head. "What are you doing? You need to rest, your...wing.... it could get an infection," he said. Blue Jay simply shrugged. "I'm hungry," she said. Hungry? But she just ate... This kid is weird. If I were just shot I would be in bed for hours. Children are undisciplined. Doesn't she know her wound could get infected? Blue Jay gave him a glare and stuck her thumb in her mouth, ready to do some more healing. The wound was still a mess, and it still hurt to extend her wing. Occasionally, the wound would start to bleed again.

Quentin shook his head disapprovingly. Blue Jay rubbed her now wet thumb on her wound, watching the muscle grow back, the skin close over top of the wound. Now it was just hurting like crap and really sore. She grabbed herself another piece of bread, an apple, a large glass of milk, crackers and cheese, a bagel, and a large turkey sandwich. She wolfed down her piece of bread and turned around to sit at a table. Quentin, and now also Eric, stood though, mouthes hanging open, shock evident on their faces. Blue Jay took a bite of her bagel, then realized they were looking at her. "Wha?" she said, her mouth full. She swallowed, took another bite, took a swig of milk and sat down at the table, already shoving the rest of the bagel in her mouth. Blue Jay had learned from experience that whenever you have access to food, you eat as much as you can whenever you can before you do anything. Quentin and Eric slowly sat down at the table too, watching her methodically place two pieces of cheese on a cracker, then shove the whole thing in her mouth. She really hadn't been taught proper table manners.

Blue Jay sighed. Their thoughts were annoying. "The reason I have to eat so much is because being...me...takes energy. Energy requires food and sleep. Normally, I need between 3,000 and 4,000 calories a day. However, normally I only get about 1,000 calories. That is why I am stuffing my face. There are a lot of things you don't know about me," She said, shoving another cracker into her mouth, then moving to grab the sandwich. She finished the sandwich, and ate the apple, and then downed the milk. Trying to dismiss the still confused thoughts coming from Eric and Quentin. She applied another layer of her 'magic saliva' and the injury was nothing more than a scrape on the skin. Her muscle was completely healed.

Blue Jay naturally has quicker healing. Something that takes 48 hours to heal is more like...four hours for her. That combined with her saliva being able to stimulate the healing speed to drastic amounts made the wound so much better. She would be flying in no time. Also, it only scraped her bone, it never fully made a hole in her. She stood up, stretched out her wings. The injured one was sore, and still hurt, but she could work the kinks out. "I'm going to go out and get some air," she said. Quentin frowned, then got up. "out? Like, flying? Sorry, but not right now. The bad guys might still be out there," he said. As if that would stop her. Blue Jay crossed her arms. "I'm sure the sniper is gone by now. My wing is perfectly fine. I'd be flying to high for a sniper to even get to me anyway." You might be able to tell that Blue Jay wasn't one to respect authority.

"I can't let you do that," Eric said, standing up also. Blue Jay didn't want to have to persuade them. After all, they were only trying to protect her. "I'm going out," said, stepping forward. Eric and Quentin stepped in front of her. Blue Jay was faster than most, could outrun a full grown man, and probably take one down with her mutated strength and altered reflexes. She was designed to be a weapon. Getting in her way wasn't a good idea. She sighed, then in one fast motion, grabbed Eric's arm, twisted it severely, then flipped him over. He landed with a thud on the ground, coughing slightly and looking baffled. "Sorry," she said, before pushing past Quentin. The flapped her wings, raising high into the sky. She winced, trying to work through the healed but sore wound. She circled higher and higher, till everything on the ground was a speck. It felt good to fly. Free, open. But were was Valentine?

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Character Portrait: Audra Hathaway Character Portrait: Valentine Knight
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"Sure, why not..." Valentine said, realising that he wasn't about to get any answers out of this girl. However, he became a tad more alarmed when he saw her draw a pair of katanas, and it hit him that this wasn't exactly an ordinary girl. A million questions whirled through him - who she was, why she was here, what she'd do if she thought he was a threat. Fortunately, his armour was designed for taking .30-06 incendiary rounds, which he'd personally seen blow an unarmoured human in two; even his duster could resist penetration from full-calibre hollow-point rifle bullets. Her blade would never cut through his coat, let alone the ceramic plate armour underneath. Of course, if she removed the coat and went for the gaps in his armour - around the joints and near the abdomen - she'd pose him a serious threat. It'd be nigh-impossible to aim her cuts that precisely, at least not at first; but he'd need to get rid of her fast, because even a shallow cut could prove lethal if he didn't have time to perform first-aid.

He raced up the stairs, and saw an open door on the right of one of the landings. He checked inside, but pushed himself back against the wall as a .338-calibre round slammed through the doorframe, nearly hitting him. He pressed himself to the side of the doorway, firing blindly into the room until his weapon clicked; after that, he drew his sidearm and entered the room, sweeping for targets. The sniper lay collapsed on the ground, semi-automatic U.S. Army-issue sniper rifle beside him. Bullets riddled his chest. He wouldn't be standing back up.

He turned back to the girl who'd called herself 'cupcake', while picking the rifle up off the floor; guns like that were expensive, not to mention rare. He could use every bit of military-grade equipment he could lay his hands on. He levelled the huge rifle at her; .338 Lapua rounds were capable of killing anyone with a centre-mass shot, having originally been designed for dealing with light vehicles before their effectiveness against infantry was discovered.

"Now, 'Cupcake', I want some answers," he said. "First things first. Who are you, and why do you have a pair of katanas? Make no mistake, I will kill you if I think you're a threat to me or to my charge."