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April Rosevolt

"Sometimes its best to fight fire with fire."

197 views · last seen in Artamus
a character in “Kindles of War”, as played by AceofSpade

Description




April Rosevolt





Image
Name: April Rosevolt

Age: 24

Race: Human

Appearance: Although appearing delicate and charming amongst her peers, April's attitude is often far removed from the suggested warmth and integrity that her looks mistakenly suggest. Hard blue eyes sit perfectly encased within her effeminate features and are often the sources of masculine attention. April is a soldier however, and to such ends her face is modestly kept and manifests itself in a clean, yet valiant visage, just enough to advocate her power without compromising virility. The prominence of her head belongs to a mixture of braided and bunned up blonde hair, which cascades just beyond her shoulders if left to fall. She stands at 5'8", made up of curvaceous proportions and sinuous muscle fostered over a life of demanding physical activity.

On duty she's always found to be wearing a colourful half-suit of armour. Spiked shoulder pauldrons offer the protective plate of a semi-neck guard, shielding the sides of her neck from sweeping strikes. Her forearms and shins remain covered with armour, and the helmet is optional depending on environments, but her inner body tends to remain oddly exposed. Leather padding guarding her chest and waist is wrapped beneath the military uniform of her people, undermining her protection but granting her the necessary manoeuvrability to efficiently swing her weapons. Her uniform proudly displays the striped golden heraldry of her country, intermingled with portions of royal blue. Upon her left shoulder guard is a striped crest denoting her rank as a Lieutenant as well as highlighting her as a veteran of numerous conflicts.

Personality: Though often regarded as the dutiful soldier, at heart April is your average civilian trying to get by. She is the type of kind and caring soul inwardly, yet has grown to become ever so slightly jaded by society's shortcomings and constant wars. The result is a morally conflicted individual. The human cities are always in a near constant state of overpopulation. This leaves little room for incompetence or mercy. Competition is high and the prospect of falling into poverty is very real. April makes no attempts to explore the wider philosophies of existing societies, feeling that human society holds enough issues to fulfil a lifetime. At times she can be completely apathetic to the suffering around her, particularly if it stands in the way of her goals. That said, April does not enjoy killing, particularly needless killing. Somewhat of an introvert, April prefers to keep to herself in the hopes of preventing the already strenuous pressures of life from rising. April's negligence is often mistaken as callousness, and perhaps this is true as she makes no efforts to correct this. As a leader and figurehead, April's duty is often administrative first and managing the troops second. Filling the lower rung of command's structure, April's position is such that she still has to answer to pompous generals and deal with the dredges of military personnel. Despite this, April maintains an amiable relationship with the soldiers beneath her command. Not afraid to lead from the front, April is well regarded for sharing and enduring many of the hardships alongside of her soldiers. She is a prolific drinker, a habit inherited from her father who incurred a great amount of debt and fell out of favour, which tends to leave her voice husky and dry.

The recent emergence of the Therians has thrust the human military into high alert. With the rising prospect of conflicts, April's company has been pushed to the forefront alongside hundreds of others, an undesirable outcome for someone who desires to escape the conflict.

Abilities: April is a successful brawler and air mage. She makes no attempts to match a man on equal terms in strength and instead relies on her intelligence and natural agility. The result of this a cunning and utterly cut throat fighting style. April likes to prepare for any likely scenarios and to this extent, frequently employs trapping magic. The ability to imbue certain objects with her air magic and discharge it upon contact allows April to dislodge the balance of unwary individuals with miniature air blasts. It is a tactic which she uses most often alongside her cross bolts. Alternatively she can use her air magic to enhance her bolts and weapons, increasing its precision and penetrative power.

Equipment:
Crossbow
Combat knife
Mace
Short sword
Sleeve gun

Strengths:
Taciturn
Cut throat
Nimble

Weaknesses:
Physical prowess
Endurance

History: Something of a young war hero, April has served in the army for almost half of her life time. Following the footsteps of her late mother, a decorated war general, initially April's purpose was to work off the debt earned by her father. Strangely, April remained in the army even after the debts were accounted for, knowing no other course of lifestyle. Currently tied with the 57th Legion, April is the acting Lieutenant of D Company, a motley band of militia and archers. Though lightly armed, D company acts as the forward scouts for the 57th Legion, adapt at scouring the landscape ahead for potential threats. April's rise through the ranks started when she was 21. A simple sergeant then, the humans were waging a vicious war against local beastmen. The beastmen inhabited the Great Forests east to the capital city, a treacherous, dark and sinister place that was often mentioned in tales to frighten the children. Encroaching warbands had begun to raid the countryside, slaughtering livestock and farmers on an organised scale which had never before been seen. Before locals could respond, the beastmen would always retreat, melting back into the forests to evade their wrath. Even a few casualties was of little significance, the attacks would only stop if the mastermind could be killed.

The army was reluctant to commit entire forces without more knowledge of the surrounding area. The risk of ambushes and local suspicions plagued the armed forces, demoralizing the soldiers. Exploration fell to the 57th Legion. Labelled as expendable due to generally lower class of its infantry, the 57th were ordered to locate the chieftain and assassinate him. The task was a brutal suicide mission. With no shortage of manpower in the cities, the 57th Legion could just as quickly be re-established should the entirety of its current members be wiped out. Their future looked incredibly bleak given the options. Become labelled as traitors or fight and die. They chose to fight, foolish as it may have seemed. The battle which followed was nothing short of bloody. The beastmen were feral creatures, half-man, half-animal. They possessed the intelligence of humans and the raw ferocity of otherworldly creatures. One on one, few men could ever hope to match the raging creatures on equal terms.

The 57th were ambushed within five kilometers of the borderline. Arrows rained from the tree tops as throngs of hideous monsters charged out of the fog. Though they lacked the true organisation of serried ranks and standard protocol, their chaotic behaviour added an element of randomness which was hard to anticipate. Dozens died within seconds of the engagement, without even being able to retaliate. Eventually the two armies clashed, and beneath the mottled veil of darkest green, man and beast fought for supremacy. Amidst the confusion, several dark figures swooped down from the branches, landing on top of the Legion's command squad. The tallest of them was the largest beastman witnessed to date, a veritable giant of sinuous muscle and shaggy hide. The leader of the warband had finally decided to show himself, his intentions to end life of the Legion's commander. A single sweep of his war axe disemboweled several members of the command unit, scything through them like wheat. Yet upon closing in on the Captain, something triggered beneath its hooves. Smart as they maybe, the beastmen only respected leaders of power, which now and again allowed their actions to be predicted. The trap had been April's suggestion and was in actual fact a flame trap. April's unit swept as per plan and a duel between the chieftain's closest entourage and D company ensued. Even on fire, the chieftain presented a dangerous foe. April finally flew the beast by pumping its skull with cross bolts, earning the 57th Legion their victory and survival.

Following their surprising victory, the 57th Legion has since been at the forefront of ever more treacherous engagements.

So begins...

April Rosevolt's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: April Rosevolt Character Portrait: Touya Khan
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“Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Faceless terrorists strike at the heart of Altheim! Governor Bailey ups his anti-faceless regime!”

“Apples! Get your scrumptious apples cheap!”

“Well, well, well, look’ it what we’ave ere?” snorted a man, a distinctive country accent filling his sentence with mispronunciations.

“It would seem to me, Jerry, that this one here is one of em’ Faceless folk,” responded another, answering the man apparently named Jerry’s question as though it were not rhetorical.

A brief silence interjected, followed by the harsh clap of leather on flesh and a whimper. “That’s Sir Jerry to ya Private! And I don’t need ya pointing out the obvious Cantus! Ya think I can’t see that this is a Faceless for myself?” shouted Jerry, his colourful accent once again filling the alleyway.

“Sorry Sir!”

“Now the question is, what we’d oughta do with this terrorist,” Jerry continued, his voice growing slightly in distance as he looked away, turning his face to address Cantus.

“I dunno Sir,” Cantus mumbled.

Another harsh slap echoed throughout the alleyway before quickly disintegrating amidst the loud thrumming to daily traffic. “Ya think I was asking you Cantus? Damn smartarse….” slurred Jerry, closing in to get a closer inspection. A loud sniff preceded his scrutiny as the stench of iron wrinkled his nose. Ignorant of the stranger’s obvious plight, Jerry poked and prodded with the hilt of his discipline cane, ensuring the Therian was no longer lucid. After receiving a satisfactory lack of response, he leaned back and sighed.

“Damn scumbags. Should never trust a Faceless, Cantus. These demons can dress up as anyone ya’know. They’ll stab ya the moment you turn your back. Orders are to turn these Faceless in and hand em over to Headquarters, but I don’t think they’ll miss one itty bitty Faceless like this. Besides, he won’t survive the twenty-kilometer walk to HQ, and no doctor would be willing ta treat im'. We’re doing him a favour honestly,” Jerry’s smirk was followed by a small wisp of a blade being withdrawn from its sheathe.

Abruptly, a new voice interrupted the fray as a hooded man directed a woman into the scene, “Madam! I saw the suspicious men run this way!”

“Sergeant?! What’s going on here?” boomed loud yet commanding tone. Heels snapped together in the idiosyncratic fashion of standing to attention as brisk footfalls indicated someone was approaching down the alleyway.

“Lieutenant Rosevolt!” stammered Jerry, his sword falling back into its holster with noticeable clink. The sergeant’s hands went to his sides as he stood with his chest out and back ram-rod straight. “We’ve apprehended one of those Fallen terrorists mam! He was trying to infiltrate the city!”

The woman’s footsteps ended just short of the duo, her measured gaze sweeping over the crime scene. Hard eyes of bluest azure switched between the local militia and the Therian, analysing god knows what. Steel grated together as her gauntleted arms crossed over, a small huff escaping her lips at the obvious lie. The woman’s head tilted quizzically, cascading her braids just below her shoulder. “You two managed to subdue a Therian, just by yourselves? With what? Your cane? What exactly were you planning to do afterwards Sergeant?” she mocked, amusement creeping into her tone.

The sergeant’s stifled silence suggested he had taken the hint. Lying to a commander officer was a grave offense, punishable by the whip. No point in digger a deeper hole for yourself.

“Your cuffs Sergeant,” the woman demanded, holding her hand out.

Sergeant Jerry acquiesced without protest and unbuckled the metal cuffs by his waist before passing it to her.

“Thank you, Jerry,” the woman smiled sweetly. She allowed the militiamen to scurry aside; forcing literal in-takes of breath as they carefully manoeuvred their considerable frames around to make space for her.

April gave a slight shake of her head as she rounded on the Therian. “It hardly seems like you’re in a position to move, let alone fight, but allow me to warn you again Therian. Do not move. At the slightest sign of danger I will order these men to kill you, and though idiots they maybe, even an idiot can swing weapon,” April said without a shred of sympathy. To ensure he understood, she then crouched in front of him and made a series of hand gestures. First pointing to Jerry and Cantus, then pointing to both her eyes with two fingers, followed up with a point of her index finger at the Therian. Basically, they’re watching you.

After giving the Therian a moment to process the information, she stood up again and stepped around him. Pushing his back off the wall, she gathered his hands together, only to discover an unpleasant revelation. Upon tugging the metal which clung to his wrists, she felt disturbed by the complete and utter lack of movement. What she realised was the absence of friction was actually due to the fact that this Therian’s armour was a part of his flesh. Hiding her discomfort beneath a stubborn mask, April hoisted the Therian’s hands together and locked the cuffs securely around his wrists.

“Sergeant! I want you and your private to carry this Therian into the building across the street from here, 23rd St Kilda street,” April said after stepping away.

“Mam?” Jerry queried, raising a questioning eyebrow.

“Well? What are you waiting for?” April barked.

The two men hurried forwards, wrapping their arms around the Therian’s legs and shoulders before hoisting him up. They hauled him all of the way across the bustling streetscape before dumping the incapacitated Therian onto a cottage bed inside of the house. The house in actual fact belong to April, a dingy apartment that looked frightfully old. Flower motifs decorated the wall paper, or at least the scant portions of it that still remained. The interior itself was spartan and ill-kept, suggesting the place was barely inhabited. Dust was sprinkled over the floorboards in splotches of white, only disturbed by the occasional footprint. Every now and then a solitary piece of furniture marked the room, none of which possessed theme or sense. April took the liberty of binding the Therian’s limbs to the bed posts.

“You can return to your patrols men, I’ll be escorting Mr Therian into Headquarters as soon as he’s capable of travel. I just need you for one more job,” April said, hastily scribbling something down on a notepad. She tore off the page and then handed the note to Jerry, “Deliver this to Corporal Reginald for me, ASAP. He'll be at the barracks along 34th Amber street.”

“Yes mam,” chorused both of them before exiting.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: April Rosevolt Character Portrait: Touya Khan
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Touya Khan


The sound of steel being drawn brought him back from his unconscious state. He cracked open his eyes feeling much worse than he'd felt when he had first pushed himself up against the wall. His body burned, a dull ache pulsing through his body as if he'd been hit a couple times during his sleep. Touya groaned softly, his head lulling off to the side as voices pierced through his haze. Slowly he looked up to see who it was that spoke. His heart jumped to his throat then, his chest tightening as he caught sight of the cities guards surrounding him.

A woman was berating a couple of the men, her stern voice rough. She must have held some power over them because the men backed down from her. She didn't look like someone to be messed with either. Touya figured that it was definitely the end for him then as he sat there, unable to much else but watch and listen. His voice wouldn't be strong enough to reach them as they stood much to far away. Soon enough though, the woman grabbed a pair of hand cuffs from one of the men and came to kneel down next to him.

“It hardly seems like you’re in a position to move, let alone fight, but allow me to warn you again Therian. Do not move. At the slightest sign of danger I will order these men to kill you, and though idiots they maybe, even an idiot can swing weapon,” she told him, then proceeded to do some strange hand gestures towards him. Touya raised an eyebrow as his eyes narrowed at her. Did she not think him capable of understanding her the first time?

"I understood you," he answered slowly, his own voice barely coming from his throat. She stood then and came behind him. He twisted his head to see where she'd gone but only turned back around in pain as she pushed him off the wall, and none-too gently either. Grinding his teeth he managed to keep his pain to himself, but he wasn't sure how long that would last. His breath panted in and out of his chest as he leaned forward.

Touya tried to move to do as she wished which was obviously to get to his feet, but failed to do so, instead he was entirely at her mercy as she took hold of his hands and began clamping the metal around his wrists. He fought to stay conscious, feeling the darkness threatening to take him again. Touya collapsed backwards once again just as he felt arms around his lithe frame, lifting him off the ground.

When he woke again he was in a strange room and the woman who had cuffed him was finishing tying an arm to the bed post he found himself sprawled on. Taking a deep breath to try to speak to her resulted in a sharp cry of pain, his other arm having been lifted upwards was the cause. It pulled the deep wound along his side, just under the arm causing him a lot of discomfort. He peeled one eye opened to look at her while his teeth ground together, hissing his breath in and out.

She turned to her comrades and sent them out on some errand that Touya didn't understand, “You can return to your patrols men, I’ll be escorting Mr Therian into Headquarters as soon as he’s capable of travel. I just need you for one more job. Deliver this to Corporal Reginald for me, ASAP. He'll be at the barracks along 34th Amber street,” she finished scribbling on a piece of paper and the two men left the room quickly.

Touya tested the ties that held his arms up, but the movement wasn't much and the amount of effort it took made him dizzy. He relaxed his body, closed his eyes and focused on slowing his breathe so that he would not aggravate the wound anymore than it already was. His lips turned into a frown as he lay there. How was it that he was still alive to begin with? Ah, yes, his kinsmen had told Touya that he was showing Touya mercy. Mercy, how ironic.

"Why did you not let me die in the street?" He asked softly, his voice low, burned by the discomfort of his battered body. He wondered for a moment what she would give as an answer, but only decided it wasn't worth knowing really. He was still bleeding and if it continued for much longer he wouldn't have to worry about too much more.

Setting

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Character Portrait: April Rosevolt Character Portrait: Touya Khan
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April waited until the duo slammed the door shut behind them, extracting a stuttered creak from its rusty joints. Muttering something incomprehensible under her breath, she returned to the tiny room that now housed her curious guest. From a glance she could tell that his wounds were serious. Flecks of dried blood caked the side of his face and hands, a dirty contrast compared to the youth's slick veneer. Who how long he was forced to endure his wounds, wandering the busy streets of this town. Unbuckling her short sword and mace, she plopped them down on a nearby table before pausing suddenly.

"Why did you not let me die in the street?"

The voice, a barely uttered croak, had come from the Therian. She looked down at him, raising her eyebrow to disguise her astonishment. Of course, she had noticed him speaking before, but whatever had been said in the alleyway was instantly lost to the general buzz of activity. Now stuck within the quiet confines of her home, uninterrupted and filtered from the constant wailing outside, she could understand him perfectly. How could they speak the common tongue? Her words hovered over her lips with trepidation, uncertainty filling her mind. Relinquishing the mace still in her hand, she decided to entertain his enquiry after regarding his bindings once more. It was a fair question that anyone in a similar situation would have asked.

“It wasn’t out of the kindness of my heart if that’s what you’re hoping for. Save your energy sweety, or all that blood my mattress is so generously soaking up will be for naught,” April stated candidly.

She stepped out of the room without explanation before swiftly returning with a bucket and towel in hand. Still dressed in her uniform, April’s polished armour looked especially pristine in juxtaposition to the decrepit state of her home. She pulled a squeaky chair over, leaving drag marks across the dusty floorboards as she dispersed piles of grime with the movement.

“Besides, I haven’t exactly saved you yet. I’m probably the farthest you'll get from a qualified field medic,” she continued with a shrug. Planting the bucket down alongside the bed, water sloshed all along the confines of its container, some of it inevitably escaping over the rim and soaking the floor.

“Sorry about the state of this place,” she continued, more out of simple courtesy than any real compassion. The realization incited her own chastisement as April dipped the tower into the bucket and then wrenched it dry. What did this Therian know of human etiquette? “But all things considered, this is still a luxury by most human’s standards.”

Of course, April was referring to the crippling overpopulation that many of the human’s cities currently suffered. Space was now a commodity, even aligned with such fundamentals as jobs, food and water. Were once human’s generally owned more space than they knew what to do with, the sudden baby boom in recent years had rapidly turned into an unsustainable situation. Looking down at the Therian, April suffered a small pang of anger at the perceivable threat this new race presented. We can barely sustain ourselves and they still want to terrorise us?

“In any case,” said April, pressing the towel against the worst of his wounds to halt the bleeding, “Don’t get all teary eyed on me yet. Once I deliver you to HQ, who knows what they’ll do to you.”

Reaching forwards within her seat caused the chair to squeak again, but thankfully it seemed stable enough to sustain her shifting weight. “I’m sure you knew what to expect when you walked into this city though,” she frowned.

Several knocks rattled the door frame then, prompting April to stand up. Once again the chair whined, though this time it almost seemed like a gasp of relief. Disappearing from view, the bustling outside noises filtered back into the apartment. After a short moment, the door closed again and the sound of April’s boots could be heard. Another had joined her approach, more heavy and weighted then April’s own dainty taps.

A gruff looking individual materialized by the entrance. Standing a head above April, he looked to be about in his mid-twenties also. A case sat firmly within his grasps, white and decorated with a symbolic first-aid cross.

“He’s all yours Reginald. Patch him up for me will ya?” April said, more for the sake of informing the Therian.

“Man, this is one dingy house you’ve got here mam. You owe me Lieutenant, this is meant to be my day off after all,” Reginald said in a disgruntled manner bordering on insubordination, at least to the unfamiliar eye. A smile finally broke across his face, illuminating his weathered beaten features. “Anyway, lemmi look at the poor sod. I’ll need you on stand-by mam, in case I need assistance.”

“Of course,” April murmured.

"Oh, one more thing," Reginald added.

"What?"

"You'll need to undo his bindings, I can't treat him properly like this," Reginald said, pointedly looking at the restraints.

"What?! I'm not going to put us all at risk," April responded, matching his stern expression with equal skepticism.

"Do you really think he's in a position to threaten us?" Reginald reasoned.

April frowned at the field medic before relenting to his instructions with a deep sigh. "Fine, but I'm not fetching another medic if he hurts you," the woman grimaced.

"Yes mam." Opening his med-kit, Reginald stepped forwards with a broadening grin, "Alright faceless, still alive there? Why don't you first start by telling me your name."

Setting

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Character Portrait: April Rosevolt Character Portrait: Touya Khan Character Portrait: Damea Reese
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Touya Khan


“It wasn’t out of the kindness of my heart if that’s what you’re hoping for. Save your energy sweety, or all that blood my mattress is so generously soaking up will be for naught,” The woman answered him. Well it wasn't what he was hoping for, but it would suffice at least. He didn't answer her, of course he didn't have the chance to either as she left the room for a few moments.

While she was gone he twisted as best he could to see that indeed his blood was staining the bed that he was laid up on. A grimace pulled his features as he slowly settled back to the original position as the woman commander returned to the room. She held a bucket and a cloth then and sat down next to him. Touya watched her warily, unsure of what it was she wanted to do.

“Besides, I haven’t exactly saved you yet. I’m probably the farthest you'll get from a qualified field medic. Sorry about the state of this place. But all things considered, this is still a luxury by most human’s standards.” She dropped the towel into the bucket and then proceeded to wring it out, water falling back into the bucket and splashing around. Touya watched her carefully still, an eyebrow arching as she seemed to be rambling. Why was she apologizing for the state of her home? Sure it was dirty and dark, but it was better than what his kind were subject to at the moment. The Therian's still lived out of their caves that they'd woken from, un-welcomed in the cities.

"It's fine," he answered her, turning his head away and staring up at the ceiling. He didn't tell her the rest of what he was thinking. Touya had never been in a house before, of course his experience of it right then wasn't the best either.

“In any case. Don’t get all teary eyed on me yet. Once I deliver you to HQ, who knows what they’ll do to you,” she leaned forward and pressed the towel against his wound. He winced, sucking in a sharp breath at the sudden pressure. The ties that held him down shuddered as his muscles tightened. Touya opened his eyes once he was used to the feeling of her holding the wet cloth down against his side.

"I’m sure you knew what to expect when you walked into this city though.”

"I expected to die," he retorted with a bit of acid in his tone. Anger at how all the Therian's were treated coursed through him then, but he pushed it aside. There was only one group to blame for that and he had already failed at trying to stop them. Now he was at a dead end once again. With her leaders taking hold of him, he was sure to die. He closed his eyes, a sharp sound hissing between his teeth as he ground them and turned his head off to the side. Could nothing go right for once? A loud sound caught his attention and his head swiveled back around, his whole frame tight with his anxiety, on the defensive again. The woman disappeared and came back with another man.

They exchanged words for a bit before the man sat next to him and requested that the woman untie Touya. For a mere second, Touya thought that once he was free he would make his escape. He sighed right after though, he hadn't the strength to get very far and it wouldn't do to put the woman on edge anymore than she already was. He had to show her that Therian's were not the threat that everyone put them out as. So he relaxed his body as his ties were undone. The only thing he did was move his arm where the gash along his side was, bringing it down slowly to ease the pain there.

"Fine, but I'm not fetching another medic if he hurts you," she ground out.

"I won't hurt you," he said, trying to ease the tension, though he wasn't sure if they were listening to him anyway.

"Yes mam. Alright faceless, still alive there? Why don't you first start by telling me your name."

Touya frowned at the man but didn't move, only lay there stone still. He contemplated not answering, especially after having been called a 'faceless'. How derogatory, ruthless. Human's knew nothing of the Therian's. He turned his head off to the side, his long silver hair catching along his armored shoulder.

"I am Therian, not faceless," he started, a sharpness to his tone, "I'm called Touya Khan. Why... 'patch'.. me up when your leaders will only kill me?" He asked, his sharp pale blue eyes flashing as he turned to look at both of them. Then he sighed and looked away, "Not that it matters. I've already failed once," Touya thought for a moment. How could he get himself out of the situation he found himself in? Would they even believe him if he told them about his kinsmen?

"Seems it doesn't matter either way. You think we're terrorists to your people. You're wrong. There are a handful of us, yes that are after your technology. This is why I'm like this," he nodded his head to his battered body, "I tried to talk sense into the leader of that group, but he would not listen. He could have killed me, but I suppose he wanted to show me mercy. Or maybe he wanted to show me just how ignorant you people are. To take the word of a Therian? I guess that would be too much to ask," he glared up at the ceiling. Why had he bothered in the first place?

Damea Reese






The sell sword entered the city in the middle of the day. He'd been traveling from city to city, looking for work and had found nothing at all. He was hungry, broke, and tired. Raising a hand, Damea looked up towards the blazing sun and frowned. Why was it he always found himself in such a situation? Work was becoming scarcer and it was harder than ever to find lodging. He heaved a heavy sigh as he worked his way through the throng of people.

A commotion off to the side of the road caught his attention and he peered over the heads of the people that wandered around. Several soldiers were in an alleyway and it seemed that there was a person on the ground, the source of their attention. Was there a murder? Damea quickly made his way over to the building right next to the alleyway and pressed his back against the stone. He caught the last portion of the conversation and heard the men hoist up whoever it was that had gained the cities guards attention.

He turned away quickly as they passed him, leaning his shoulder against the wall and paying no mind to them at all, or seemingly to. It looked as if things were going to get interesting for him. With a quick glance back over his shoulder, he noted that they were a good distance away from him and he followed. Damea soon found himself in an area of the city far from the gates, mostly houses. One such place was where the men who carried the Therian into. Damea could tell he was Therian by his armor, no one had armor like a Therian. Long silver hair trailed along his shoulder and fell down the men's arms that held him. He wasn't awake and it was probably due to how much blood he was loosing. The trail was easy to follow...

Damea let them enter the house and waited a long while before approaching the house. Of course, as he approached, he had to turn back around and hide in an alleyway because the two men that had entered, left the house. Leaning out into the street, he watched the guards make their way down the street. With a sigh of relief, he started towards the house. He wasn't looking for a way in, but a place where he could hear what was going on. It took him a moment, but he found a portion of the wall that was weak enough to hear the voices beyond. The woman's voice was louder than the Therian's, but Damea could make it out just enough.

He listened to their conversation, at least until he saw someone coming down the street towards him. Quickly he ducked behind some boxes and hid there until he figured it was safe enough to come out again. By the time he made it back to the wall, he'd heard the Therian's explanation of his name and how he'd gotten injured. So, there was a group of Therian's out to take the technology the world was creating. It also sounded like not all the Therian's were in on this either. Damea wondered who the leader was, then wondered if he could get a job for such a thing as well. Surely taking out a leader of a rebel group of Therian's would be something worth selling his swords for, right?

"Hey! You there! What are you doing?"

Damea was startled from his thinking as he leaned against the house. Without thinking, he shot straight up, hitting the wall of the home and winced inwardly. Raising his hands up, he offered a smile to the guards that walked towards him.

"I.. Hi. I was just curious about the Therian that's inside is all," he offered. No use lying really. Damea was a terrible lier anyway.

"This is Lieutenant Rosevolt's place of residence," one growled, "What are you after?"

"Nothing.. nothing, just.. well--" Damea couldn't finish as he was grabbed roughly and brought to the door of the house. He sighed heavily, "Damnit..."

One of the men knocked on the door heavily as he held Damea's arm tightly. Well, things could have been worse. They could have thrown him in cuffs and sent him straight to jail for stalking after a guardsmen. Of course, he wondered if that would have been better than facing what wrath he might get inside that house...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: April Rosevolt Character Portrait: Touya Khan Character Portrait: Damea Reese
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"I am Therian, not faceless," the man snapped, taking obvious offense to the derogatory term. Reginald released a chuckle as he proceeded to work, apparently pleased by the Therian’s vigour. Strapping a set of gloves on with a loud snap, he then procured a suture needle and driver from his toolbox. "I'm called Touya Khan. Why... 'patch'.. me up when your leaders will only kill me? Not that it matters. I've already failed once."

“Ah, certainly they may kill you faceless,” Reginald mused, though the medic’s concentration was entirely focused on patching up his patient. Ignoring that fact that he had learned the name of his patient, Reginald whispered a hymn. Magic levitated the water, defying gravity as it rose in the air and rolled over the afflicted areas, soaking up blood. He controlled the rippling body of water, manipulating it expertly until it returned to its bucket. “Lieutenant! Help keep this wound here clean! Over here!”

April responded by walking over, her armoured plates clanking against the silence. She had removed her gauntlets in the process, anticipating her required support. “I suggest you don’t go fraternizing with the enemy, Corporal,” she grimaced, lamenting her subordinate’s congeniality.

Ignoring her, Reginald swiftly prepared the wounds for stitching. His hand worked with the practiced ease of having dealt with similar wounds his entire career, and in no time at all he had started the sewing. “Aye, certainly they may kill you faceless,” Reginald murmured, readdressing Touya, “But right here, right now, I have a duty of aiding you.”

"Seems it doesn't matter either way. You think we're terrorists to your people. You're wrong. There are a handful of us, yes that are after your technology. This is why I'm like this,” Touya admitted, having obviously grown tired of their persistent ignorance. In aggravation, the Therian nodded towards his ravaged body by way of example.

“I tried to talk sense into the leader of that group, but he would not listen. He could have killed me, but I suppose he wanted to show me mercy. Or maybe he wanted to show me just how ignorant you people are. To take the word of a Therian? I guess that would be too much to ask," Touya huffed, venting his fury at having been so unjustly mistreated. Silver pearls looked up in cold regard to the ceiling, growing slightly distant.

April refused to grant him the chance to relax however. His words were like a finger pulling the trigger of a gun. In a sudden burst of movement, a hand shot forwards, strangling the neck of Touya. The hand was followed by the swift point of a blade as April withdrew her combat knife. Boiling with fury, her blue eyes narrowed down at the Therian, a firm grip keeping Touya’s frantic struggles in check.

“Lieutenant!” Reginald shouted in protest. April’s sudden assault had knocked him backwards, but he rose swiftly to oppose his superior.

“You know the terrorist’s leader? Tell me where he is Therian!” she snarled.

“Lieutenant! Stop!” Reginald demanded. He extended his hand out, gripping the woman’s shoulder pauldrons to restrain her, “You’re going to kill him!”

At first, his words didn’t seem to reach her. April remained silent for a while, maintain her threatening position whilst glaring at Touya. Only after she felt Reginald’s constraining arm did her vice-like grip ease, slowly resigning herself from the situation.

“I think you should step out Lieutenant,” Reginald sighed, “In fact I insist. Why don’t you get some air? I can handle things from here.”

“I think your right, Corporal,” April murmured, “I expect the Therian to be healthy enough for transportation by the time I return.” Collecting her belongings, she promptly exited the room.

Remerging into a tiny hallway, April approached her front door and twisted the door knob. The door opened in front of her, revealing the bustling streetscape and colourful food stalls that line the walkways.

“I need a drink…” April breathed, sucking air through her teeth.

“Lieutenant!”

Answering to her rank, April’s head whipped around, displaying mild surprise. More militia? What now? The two guardsmen that appeared before her carried a man between them. They held him firmly, restraining his arms in a fashion that suggested he was an apprehended criminal of some kind. She looked at him, noting the bright composition of fabric and twin swords tied to his hip. The most captivating of his features lay within his mismatched eyes, one red and one green.

“We caught this man watching your premises, mam,” the more flustered of the duo explained. April realised she’d interrupted them before they had a chance to knock on her door.

“Cuff him, and bring him inside for the moment,” April said, frowning despite herself. If he was spying on them, there was every possibility that the man was in league with the Therian inside.

She sanctioned the two guardsmen’s passage, stepping aside to provide enough space for them to pass into the main hallway. With it the corridor being claustrophobically small, the two guardsmen had to walk diagonally until they reached a vacant room. They roughly forced the man down on a chair, cuffing his hands together behind the back rest. April was the last to enter the room, a space which served as her kitchen and living room, the only other room in her house besides the bedroom and ensuite.

“Take his weapons,” she ordered.

A thorough search produced a coin purse, dagger and two swords. April inspected one that was handed to her, partially unsheathing it to view the blade. She returned it to the table once done; piling it on top of the rest of the stranger’s belongings. “I don’t like having to many people inside, you can leave for now guardsmen.”

“So, who are you?” April said after some moments, resting her mace suggestively between her palms.

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Character Portrait: April Rosevolt Character Portrait: Touya Khan Character Portrait: Damea Reese
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Touya Khan


The moment he'd spoken the woman lunged at him. His words of trying to talk down the leader of the Therian's threatening the humans and elves obviously set her off. Her strong grip wrapped around his throat, startling Touya. His sharp pale blue eyes widened in shock as he stared up at her. Breath was cut off from him and he struggled to breathe passed her crushing grip. A weapon was shoved in his face then and her voice commanded him to tell her of the man who led the terrorist group.

“You know the terrorist’s leader? Tell me where he is Therian!”

Without thinking, Touya acted purely on instinct. One hand gripped her wrist that held him down tightly, the other one reached up to her shoulder to relieve some of her weight from his throat. An eyebrow came down as his eyes narrowed, wincing in pain as he moved to block her as best he could, however most of the pain came from her handling him the way she was. The hands that clutched her wrist and shoulder tightened and the metal that covered the back of his hand extended to cover his fingers. The claw like pieces of metal reached out over his knuckles on both hands and curved downwards to encase his fingers.

Along his forearms, the metal snapped, making a loud sharp sound like steel scrapping across a sharpening stone. Three razor sharp curves extended outwards, curving backwards to face Touya's prone body. He didn't move to put the weapons towards her, but figured that the show was enough to say that he still had enough energy to put up a fight if she wished to kill him right there. However, his body shuddered as she gripped him, his vision dimming slightly from the lack of air. He fought to stay conscious and keep his weapons up.

Next to him the doctor had gotten to his feet and was yelling at her, telling her to release him, “Lieutenant! Stop! You’re going to kill him!”

Finally she released him and Touya's arms fell down to the bed, losing all strength. He coughed hard, getting air back into his lungs. Rolling off to his side, he could feel that what had been stitched up had pulled apart slightly from the struggle. He winced as he slowly rolled back to his original position. His hand curled up around the area across his side, gripping it tightly as it burned. With his chest heaving, he watched as the woman left the room, her body rigid as she was utterly enraged. Touya reached up with his other arm and gently rubbed his throat, glaring at the door that shut behind her.

He let his metal armor fold back to the way it was before, flattening out completely and molding back to his body. It looked like it had before, much like large bracers that covered his forearms and tops of his hands. Touya took several deep breathes to calm his racing heart and settle his pounding adrenaline. His angry gaze shot over to the doctor that had tended to him. Pushing himself upwards he glowered at the man, at the ends of his patience with the humans who were treating him.

"Don't bother," he hissed, "I can heal myself later. Unless you would like to make this less of a hassle than it already is?" His sour tone bit the air, a bad taste filling the back of his mouth. Reaching back he pulled his folded weapon from its sheath and with a flick of his wrist snapped it outwards. The sword uncurled and straightened into its elongated shape, sharp and ready for use.

Touya handed the pommel out towards the man, "Why not get it over with right now? Since you all think that we're here to terrorize you. Apparently we are all evil and are not meant to share this land with you. You want to know where that man is? The one who turned on his own?!" His voice was climbing in his anger, he leaned forward shoving the weapon towards the man, offering it up so that the doctor could run him through with it and get it over with. Touya's anger did nothing for his condition however and just as he opened his mouth to speak further, his head grew dizzy and he lost his balance as he’d been leaning forward. The weapon fell from his hand and he toppled forward, coming off the bed. His body did not respond to his wishes, and he soon fell back into darkness.

Damea Reese


Damea offered a smile to the woman that met them outside the house. He was trying to be as inconspicuous as possible. The less she felt threatened by him the better. He was soon shoved into her house and down into a chair where his hands were cuffed behind him. Damea didn't struggle, knowing that would only make things worse. So, he let them take his weapons and coin purse -which was empty- and kept his smile on his face. She dismissed the men who'd brought him inside after looking at one of his swords.

“So, who are you?” She asked, holding her large weapon in her hands and leaning against it.

"Damea Reese, at your service. A sell sword, my lady. I must apologize, I saw the Therian and could not help but be interested to see what kind of job I could find with someone such as himself. I overheard some of the conversation, something about his knowing the leader of the Therian's that keep raiding us? I wish to offer my services in helping you detain -or kill which ever you wish for- the man who's been giving us so much hardship. I know that at the moment, it's probably a bit hard to believe me," Damea smiled innocently and shrugged, giving his wrists a twist to make the cuffs jingle slightly, "But, I'm honest and true to my word, my lady. I do apologize sincerely for eavesdropping, I should have just come and knocked on the door."

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Character Portrait: April Rosevolt Character Portrait: Touya Khan Character Portrait: Damea Reese
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Dean ‘Havok’ Reginald





Corporal Reginald watched the back of his superior disappear along the hallway and winced as the door shut sharply behind her. Reminding himself of his duties, he smiled at the Therian, sheepishly scratching the back of his head. “Apologies on behalf of my superior…”

His voice trailed off as he watched intricate spectacle being performed in front of him. Silver bracers clicked and whirred like an automated machine, shifting and folding into self-compressed layers to conceal the blades that the Therian had used in self-defence. They fell into place, seamlessly integrated into the tops of his wrists. How interesting, how phenomenal! The medic could hardly contain his enthusiasm, his eyes lighting up like he had just stumbled upon a revolutionary discovery. He stepped forwards to complete his treatment, only to halt at Touya’s resentful glare.

"Don't bother," snapped Touya, "I can heal myself later. Unless you would like to make this less of a hassle than it already is?"

Reginald knew a desperate man when he saw one. He had dealt with all sorts throughout his life time, and often the most dangerous were simple folk who had been pushed too far. Gauging the situation, Reginald withheld his approach, maintaining his distance to calm the Therian.

His alarm increased as Touya reached for his weapon, the sharp blade unravelling in the Therian’s hand. Reginald raised his palms to show he was unarmed, keeping his eyes level with Touya’s. He almost wished April was still in the room. As much as he wanted to yell for her aid however, he forced his own silence. Doing so would certainly lead to this Therian’s death, April would take no chances. Pressing his lips together, Reginald adopted a small, trying to make it as soothing as possible.

“Look lad, calm down. I know you’re distressed, but at the rate your going, you’re not going to last past the next few hours,” he cautioned.

Abruptly, the blade spun in the Therian’s hand spun. The motion disarmed Reginald, but not as much as Touya’s next statement. "Why not get it over with right now? Since you all think that we're here to terrorize you. Apparently we are all evil and are not meant to share this land with you. You want to know where that man is? The one who turned on his own?!"

His righteous anger practically shook the foundations, driving Reginald to finally step forwards. The Therian had reached his boiling point. Exasperation pounded Touya’s agile frame, discolouring his soft features with an unhealthy shade of white. Reginald needed to put an end to this before the situation got worse.

“Sorry mate, but I swore an oath not to kill. Now I need you to quiet down a little, or the Lieutenant really will kill you this time.”

Reginald was set to pounce when the Therian finally gave out to exhaustion. Nonetheless, he was well prepared for the young man’s inevitable fall. Touya collapsed in an awkward manner, tumbling bodily into the ground. Reginald caught the man before he could drop completely, using his outstretched arms as a brace to support the Therian’s deadweight. Grunting with effort, he pushed Touya gently back onto the bed.

“Well, at least he’ll be easier to patch up this way. Quieter also…”





April Rosevolt





April watched the man prop himself upright with barely a sound except for the characteristic squeak of her antiquated chairs. Not even a grunt of protest came when the guards meticulously probed his being for weapons. Afterwards, the man allowed himself to ease back into his chair, apparently comfortable with his position. Offering her a sweetly smile, April reciprocated his courtesy with a withering look. Was he underestimating her? Or was he just ignorant of the situation?

"Damea Reese, at your service. A sell sword, my lady. I must apologize, I saw the Therian and could not help but be interested to see what kind of job I could find with someone such as himself. I overheard some of the conversation, something about his knowing the leader of the Therian's that keep raiding us? I wish to offer my services in helping you detain -or kill which ever you wish for- the man who's been giving us so much hardship. I know that at the moment, it's probably a bit hard to believe me…"

An incredulous snort managed to escape its way past her lips, but Damea did not seem to take offence to it. Quite the contrary, it only spurred his insistent sincerity. "But, I'm honest and true to my word, my lady. I do apologize sincerely for eavesdropping, I should have just come and knocked on the door."

April toyed with the mace in her hands, making a show of contemplating her answer. Regardless of his civility, she could tell he was still eager to resolve the misunderstanding. She had to give credit where it was due though. It took extraordinary composure just not to submit to panic. The situation was as skirting perilously close to something of an interrogation. April exhaled a deep huff and once again buckled her mace. The mace was of a short, single-handed design. Not too heavy to swing, but still functioning as a highly capable blunt weapon, ideal for a light-weight person such as her. Its bulbous head was decorated with flanges, ensuring its effectiveness against armour. She certainly did not doubt its effectiveness against an unarmoured and restrained human.

“A mercenary,” she said despondently, “Well Mr Reese, I’m sorry to inform you that the human army generally has more hands than it can arm, what makes you think that you can be of any help?”

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Character Portrait: April Rosevolt Character Portrait: Damea Reese
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Damea Reese


It was obvious that she didn't believe him, the look on her face said that clear enough. Damea sat still in the chair, trying to keep a smile on his lips as she played with her intimidating mace. The weapons wasn't large, but it looked deadly enough and the sell sword had no doubt that she had more than enough practice with it. Seeing as how he was without a bit of good protective armor, one swing of her mace and he would be done for.

With that in mind, he didn't move as the silence stretched between them. He wondered briefly what it was that she could possibly be thinking about. A couple of things came to mind though, none of which he entertained -or wished to entertain at that-. Damea turned slightly, his eyes roaming about the room, noting the lack of cleaning as there was so much dust clinging to just about everything. His attention was brought back to her swiftly as she spoke finally.

“A mercenary... Well Mr Reese, I’m sorry to inform you that the human army generally has more hands than it can arm, what makes you think that you can be of any help?”

Damea grinned broadly and leaned forward a bit, dropping his voice he answered her, "Because, I'm not looking to be employed by the army. Which, by the way has infuriated some of the recruiting officers. I've skills that very few people have, a pristine fire mage from my family, and what's more. I've met with many Therian's before. I know their ways, I know where they hunt and live. I've been after information regarding this 'rebel leader' of the Therian's, and as I said before, I could not help but become curious when I saw the one you have here."

Ok, well maybe he could have done without the elegance and elaboration, but Damea thought that he might as well earn her interest as best he could. It was his best shot at getting into the situation before him. Impress the person holding the rewards, that's what his father had always said to him. Maybe not in those words, but Damea had gotten the general idea at the time. Leaning backwards in the chair, he settled against it, completely relaxed.

"I figured that if you wanted to go after a Therian, you might want someone who knows them. I would also suggest not taking the one you have to your head quarters. You know as well as I that they'll torment him and then kill him once they've got what they wanted. Unfortunately, we are ruthless to the Therian's," Damea shrugged, choosing his words carefully, "Not that I sympathize with them. They are, after all, trying to steal from us as well as reign terror on the cities. I just don't like killing them out of spite, leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

"What I would suggest doing with the one you've captured is use him to find the rebel leader. Seems he knows quite a bit about the guy whose leading all those raids lately. Did you know that the Therian's are very closely knitted together? They can tell when another Therian is nearby, has something to do with that metal technology they all have on their bodies. Damage the metal and they become useless, and from what I've heard it's quite crippling, very painful," he added with a shake of his head, wincing to add effect.

"Anyway, you'll need help on this if you wish to track down the rebel leader. I'll even work for free for you, out of the goodness of my heart. I don't need anything, but I do want to help you. What do you say my lady? Think you can give me a chance to prove myself to you?"

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Character Portrait: April Rosevolt Character Portrait: Touya Khan Character Portrait: Monday Character Portrait: Damea Reese
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Damea’s smile widened as he rose to the apparent challenge. Leaning forwards to elaborate, his motion elicited further squeaks of protest from his chair. April’s blue eyes rolled in their sockets, expressing her evident skepticism.

“I figured that if you wanted to go after a Therian, you might want someone who knows them. I would also suggest not taking the one you have to your head quarters. You know as well as I that they'll torment him and then kill him once they've got what they wanted. Unfortunately, we are ruthless to the Therian's,” Damea explained. April blinked at the comment. Her instincts screamed at her to put an end the interrogation or silence the dishevelled whelp before her. Did this mercenary know what he was suggesting?

“Not that I sympathize with them. They are, after all, trying to steal from us as well as reign terror on the cities. I just don't like killing them out of spite, leaves a bad taste in your mouth,” Damea added with practiced ease. Try as he might disguise his empathy behind moral codes, April’s spike of contempt had already coloured her judgement. Unconvinced, she rested her arms behind the spine of her back in an unyielding fashion.

“What I would suggest doing with the one you've captured is use him to find the rebel leader. Seems he knows quite a bit about the guy whose leading all those raids lately. Did you know that the Therian's are very closely knitted together? They can tell when another Therian is nearby, has something to do with that metal technology they all have on their bodies. Damage the metal and they become useless, and from what I've heard it's quite crippling, very painful,” Damea resumed without waiting for her response. The reference of organic technology coaxed her mind with images of Touya. Scolding her recklessness, April reflected on her incredible fortune. Losing her composure and attacking the Therian like that was out of character. If the Therian had so wished, he could have killed her earlier with the claw like implements that snapped out of his bracer. No, he should have by all rights. At such close proximity, and given the nature of her uniform, she would have been a lifeless corpse within minutes. Then again, so would he, but if you are desperate enough, anything is possible.

“Anyway, you'll need help on this if you wish to track down the rebel leader. I'll even work for free for you, out of the goodness of my heart. I don't need anything, but I do want to help you. What do you say my lady? Think you can give me a chance to prove myself to you?”

“I’d like to help you Mr Reese…” April spoke at last, withholding the unspoken but. Her eyes scanned Damea again for any signs of betrayal. She would first address his proposition, “But you realise that you’re asking me to break orders, correct?”

April wiped away a braid of yellow hair, rolling it back behind her ear, “You see this as an opportunity to exploit. You’re nothing but a conman. You have no consideration for the effects your little ‘plan’ will have on people like me.”

“Nobody works for nothing Mr Reese, not me, not anyone. So I wonder what exactly is it that you’re after? I have a duty to uphold Mr Reese, not just to the army, but to all of humanity. Headquarters needs this information. We need to stop those terrorists, though the question is whether or not what the Therian says is true. I guess we’ll soon find out,” April finished as soon as a quiet knock came at the door to the living room. Reginald, having sensed that an important conversation was underway, had waited patiently outside for April to reach some form of conclusion.

She turned around as Reginald entered the premises, smiling unequivocally. “I’m not going to assault this one, if that’s what you’re worried about,” April sighed at the intrusion.

“I trust you won’t do anything too brash, mam,” Reginald said, raising a cynical eyebrow at her, “I’ve patched up that faceless. He’s good to go, poor soul. He’s been through a lot.”

“Things will only get worse once for him once we reach HQ,” April murmured.

“It’s the… sensible thing to do,” Reginald said, nodding slightly, “Handing him in that is.”

But not the right one eh? April thought with look towards her medic. He gave her an elusive shrug and then gestured towards the door, “I’ve cuffed the faceless back to the bed for the moment. I’ll be outside when you’re ready.”

“I’m ready now,” said April. She looked towards Damea, unnerved by the discoloured gaze that had so nonchalantly observed her throughout their talk. “Mr Reese, you’ll be coming with us for the moment also. Corporal Reginald, summon the caravan. Let’s move.”




An hour later

High noon struck the city with its light, illuminating the open streetscapes and reflecting of tiled roof tops. April’s soldiers, D company, had assembled around the caravan, acting as guards to the convoy. There were three carriages in total. April had prepared three alternative routes to take and split her soldiers equally amongst them. It was a precautionary measure in case anything happened. Of course, her presence near the second carriage might be a giveaway, but as the assailant you could never know for sure.

They were about half-way into their journey now, riding into the heart of the city. Victorian-esque architecture surrounded them on either side, presenting a hedge row of houses comprised of red brick and brown slate. They stood rigidly, back to back, side to side in identical terraced designs. Bay windows and the occasional coloured brick broke the monotony of chalky red, but no space was wasted.

Their approach blended in for the most part. The constant echoes of clip-clops and coloured uniforms were not entirely distinguishable from the mundane activities of the civilian populace. April kept a cautionary eye out for danger in any case. If the Therian’s story was true, the terrorists were not about to let information of their whereabouts be discovered. Inside of the second carriage Touya had been laid to rest alongside Damea. Of course, they had been careful to restrain both of them. Their weapons and valuables were kept in a locked box.

“Not a bad day, eh Lieutenant?” Reginald commented brightly in an attempt to diffuse the tension. He was now dressed in his full combat gear. A leather armoured tunic and the golden yellow and blue of the national army.

“I would like to get out of the city and go on a holiday,” April mused wistfully, though never neglecting in her control of the carriage’s reigns. Reginald sat beside her, filling the two seater design. Around them were fifteen men from D company, led by Sergeant Dubois.

“Aye, anything to get away from this mutt and grime,” Reginald concurred, “Imagin-”

“Excuse me mam!”

Feeling that someone was attempting to grab her attention, April looked around in reaction. She spotted a tall, gentlemanly man walking briskly to keep pace with the carriage. Oddly, he wore an apron over his formal suit and a green gas mask of some sort. An industrial worker perhaps? Or maybe a vendor of some kind? A box was attached to his chest via some straps that wrapped over his shoulders. Inside were a collection of pretty metal roses, just the petals without a stem.

“Excuse me mam! Would you be interested in trying our new products?”

“No thank you,” April replied, “I’m not interested.”

“Actually, you know what? You look like you’ve had a hectic day. Have one on me,” he winked and then tossed her a flower before she could protest.

Slightly flustered, April caught the thing in her other arm. She considered turfing it after a brief inspection, but that would be violating the council litter rules, so she placed it within her breast pocket for the moment.

“What an odd man,” April remarked.

“Hmmm?” Reginald hummed.

“Nevermind,” April said before frowning as her view returned to the street, “Is it just me, or has the street gotten much quieter?”

Reginald blinked and like a curtain had suddenly been lifted, he too noticed the drastic reduction in populace. “What in the worl-”

Death struck from the rooftops as cross bolts peppered the convoy. Three bolts immediately hit April and she toppled wordlessly before she could even respond, taking two bolts to the arm and one to the chest.

“Defensive positions!” Dubois screamed, “Take cover!”

"Protect the prisoner! The faceless have come for him!" Reginald called, reaching to help April.




Something small and silver flew between the barred opening in the carriage. The object landed on the floor between Damea and Touya as a red haired man passed by outside, revealing itself to be a conventional key, tiny and unassuming.

A moment of silence followed the interruption, and then all hell broke loose.

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Character Portrait: April Rosevolt Character Portrait: Touya Khan Character Portrait: Monday Character Portrait: Damea Reese
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Damea Reese






“I’d like to help you Mr Reese… But you realise that you’re asking me to break orders, correct?”

She eyed him carefully before reaching up and swiping her blond braided hair behind her ear. Damea didn't respond only returned her gaze as he had been the entire time.

“You see this as an opportunity to exploit. You’re nothing but a conman. You have no consideration for the effects your little ‘plan’ will have on people like me.”

“Nobody works for nothing Mr Reese, not me, not anyone. So I wonder what exactly is it that you’re after? I have a duty to uphold Mr Reese, not just to the army, but to all of humanity. Headquarters needs this information. We need to stop those terrorists, though the question is whether or not what the Therian says is true. I guess we’ll soon find out,”


He smiled at her, figuring that she was going to be one that would be hard to win over. Of course he'd lied about not liking the Therian's, if he'd spoken the truth out right she would have never heard the rest of what he wanted to say to her. Either way it seemed that she'd picked up on his lie well enough though, that was suggested by the way she stood facing him. A knock came at the door and she turned to it. A man entered and the two exchanged words about the Therian.

Damea frowned then, it was hard to think that she would still let the Therian be taken to the dirty hands of her superiors. However, as the conversation continued, Damea took notice of the doctors hesitance to allow the Therian to be taken to the higher ups. If he could get the doctor alone perhaps he could talk some sense with him and change this woman's mind. Maybe. It was a long shot, but one Damea was willing to give a shot.

“Mr Reese, you’ll be coming with us for the moment also. Corporal Reginald, summon the caravan. Let’s move.”

Her words shocked him and he grinned up at her. So, she was going to bring him after all. That made things easier. Even if he was being taken to the higher ups as well, at least he'd gotten his foot in the door. That made it much better for him to wiggle his way all the way in. As for what she'd asked of him earlier, what he wanted, he chuckled softly to himself. He didn't want anything to be honest. The one thing he did want, was to see the Therian's rise to the challenge and overcome the wall of prejudice. He wanted to see what this Therian was capable of.


Touya Khan






"What's your name?" The voice of the male who'd been tossed in the carriage with him annoyed him. The human didn't know what the meaning of silence was. Touya was utterly tired and at his wits end. If only he could untie himself he would cut the man apart to put an end to incessant questions.

"Touya," he answered angrily.

"Damea, it's a pleasure to meet you Touya."

The Therian opened one eye and glanced over to the man who was seated across from him. Touya was laid up on a cot in the carriage, still too weak to do much else but rest his body. He'd been gathering his energy since the doctor had patched him up and stopped the bleeding from his side and leg. He could have healed himself, but he didn't see the point in it really. The human across from him was dressed in fine colors that stretched neatly across his frame, light colored hair that dropped over his face and accented his mismatched eyes.

Touya turned away then and closed his eye again. He settled into the cot as best he could aside from the jarring of the carriage that rolled across the dirt road. His body had long since become numb from the sharp movements. He didn't want to talk to the human anymore than was necessary and hoped that his pretending to sleep would deter the man from further conversation.

"How did you get wounded, Touya? I've always pictured your kind to be really strong, stronger than us humans anyway."

Touya heaved a sigh and opened both eyes to stare at the ceiling. He didn't offer an answer to the man only glowered at the top of the carriage cursing his luck to be stuck with a chatter box.

"Hey, I'm sorry if I offended you in anyway. I'm just naturally curious. I enjoy learning about the Therian's you know."

To this Touya turned his head again and watched the man named Damea. What a curious human. Who ever thought that learning about his kin was 'enjoyable'. It was strange to hear those words, too strange really. So much so that Touya grew even more weary of the man and began to think that he was working for the woman who drove the carriage. Had she put him up to it? Told him to act nice and friendly so that Touya might drop his guard and talk randomly? Well, she was completely wrong if she thought that would work. Besides, what could possibly be so damned important that she needed to resort to such measures to get him to talk? The location of the rebel leader of Therian's? He'd gladly give the name, but she would probably kill him just for spit.

"Not really a talker are you..." Damea sighed, leaning his head backwards against the wall, "You know, I'd always found your kind really beautiful. Even more beautiful than the elves and they're a sight to see if you haven't seen them yet. A little mean sometimes if you say the wrong thing, but they're mostly good hearted. You see, I think of the Therian's being the same way. You guys have your faults, we all do. But in the end, you're just human, like us," Damea leaned forward and pulled a cuffed hand forward to look at it, "You bleed just like we do. You breathe the same air, love, laugh, cry. It's all the same. I don't know why we fear you. Maybe it's because we don't know you very well and the technology that you guys have."

"You fear us because of the one who is threatening you," Touya answered coldly.

"He speaks!" Damea shouted out in glee, startling Touya.

"Of course I speak, you idiot!"

"Well, I wasn't sure. I mean you only said your name to me, I didn't think you understood our language."

"Same with her," Touya growled in annoyance, "You humans are so damned ignorant."

Damea laughed heartily at that, "Yeah, that we are. I apologize, I wish I could change that. Unfortunately not all of us are as open minded as I am. For now I guess we'll just have to start changing that hu? How about it Touya? Would you like to be a friend of mine? Who knows, we could change the minds of a lot of people. What could it hurt?"

Touya watched him carefully, staring for a long time. He didn't smile, nor did he respond. His thoughts were deep on what Damea had offered him, a friendship, with a human. How odd. What could it hurt? Well, Touya could think of a lot of things and none of them were all the pleasant. As he was thinking there was a sudden noise outside and the carriage came to a complete halt, jolting Touya harshly.

"Protect the prisoner! The faceless have come for him!"

Touya tried to pull himself up but forgot about the restraints holding him. He tugged on the ties holding him down frantically. He had to get out there, if it was the Therian's, he knew who it was and they weren't after him persay. He pulled and pulled on the cuffs around the corners of the cot. He was so concentrated on trying to free himself that he didn't notice Damea getting up from his spot.

A soft click filled the air next to him and Touya flicked his gaze over to the human. Damea grinned at him and lifted his hands to show them to be free of the cuffs that had held him moments before. Touya stopped struggling and watched in utter amazement as the human reached over and uncuffed him. Slowly Touya sat up once he was free and watched Damea with an eyebrow raised and his eyes narrowed.

"I told you didn't I? I want to be friends with you, not enemies," Damea winked, "I would lose if I were your enemy."

Touya gave a slow nod and pushed himself to his feet. Damea stood a good foot taller than himself, and he had to lift his head to look up at the man. He turned and went to the box that held their weapons and items. He eyed it carefully for a moment before activating his bracer. Once again there was the loud sound of snapping and steel sliding out. Tightening his hand into a fist he leaned over and swiped at the box, cutting open the top of it cleanly.

"Wow, well... I guess that's one way to do it..."

Touya rolled his eyes and retrieved his swords. Once they were sheathed back onto his lower back, he slammed his arm into the door and pulled downwards, cutting around the lock. With a sharp kick he opened the door, splintering wood as he did so. Jumping down into the street, Touya came around the back end of the carriage only to throw himself backwards as several crossbolts rained down at him. He winced slightly at the sudden movement he'd just performed. Hissing to himself, he berated his thoughts on not actually healing himself, now there was no time.

Peering out cautiously he spotted the woman who'd put him into the carriage. She was down in the dirt and from what it seemed, she was injured. He frowned and reached back, drawing his blade. Snapping it outwards, the weapon uncurled and formed the long sword that he favored.

"Hmm, remind me to get one of those when we're threw here," Damea whispered to him. Touya turned and glared at the man without answering. With a slight roll of his eyes, Touya darted out from the cover he'd taken and moved towards April who was too much in the way of the crossbolts. Stepping over her, he dropped down next to her and lifted his blade. He cut through several of the bolts that were aimed right at her, deflecting them from harming her further.

He turned for just a second to assess her and noted the three bolts that afflicted her. With his free hand he reached out and quickly removed them, albeit a bit roughly -he wasn't particularly in the mood for mercy-. Once the bolts were removed he stretched his fingers over the wound in her chest and began healing it with his magic. Golden light expelled from his palm and washed over her chest. Touya was so concentrated on healing her wound that he'd forgotten about the crossbolts, until one hit him.

Knocked sideways from the sharp impact, he lost his balance as he'd been kneeling on one knee. He moved swiftly and caught himself, bracing his body over April's. Wincing, he ground his teeth together and looked to who had shot him. His eyes widened as he caught sight of the man. As he'd figured, it was Val that was attacking them. Why, though, Touya wasn't sure, but then when did what Val planned ever make sense?

Standing, Touya left April to her own devices, figuring that with the worst of her wounds healed, she could handle herself. Drawing his other blade he extended it as well and activated all of his metal along his arms. The three blades uncurled from their hiding spot along his arms and the metal extended to cover his fingers. Fully armored, his power began resonating around him, giving him a slight glow. It was pure energy that revolved around him, making him seem whiter than normal. The unnatural glow grew and a second later, Touya had lunged forward, launching himself at the single man who'd caught his attention.

His sword came up at the last second, crossing with the larger mans. The individual whom he'd engaged with stood just a bit taller than him, definitely bulkier in mass and held a cruel smile upon his lips. Touya pushed hard against the man, but not enough of his strength was behind it to stumble the one in front of him.

"You didn't heal yourself did you, Touya?"

"Val.. what the hell are you doing?"

"Isn't it obvious? Come to rescue you of course. I figured this would happen after I let you go. I wanted to show you how ruthless these human's are. They aren't going to care for you like we will. Therian's keep to their own, Touya. We don't need them around. All we need is their technology so we can survive."

"It is this same logic that destroyed our homeland you know."

"Or so we're told. You can't really believe that can you Touya? None of us remember anyway! We've been asleep for so long. Anything could have happened. Now, why don't you be a good Therian and stop resisting me!"

Val swiped his swords outwards, knocking Touya back, or rather throwing him instead. Touya hit the ground hard, coughed as he lost the air in his lungs and slowly pulled himself back up. His side burned painfully as he stood, but he tried not to show it. Val, on the other hand must have noticed. A flip of his sword and his usual smile was all Touya had as a warning. Steel clashed again, pushing Touya backwards a second time. Val's second sword came at him from the side and cut his other side, though not as deeply as the first.

Touya quickly disengaged and went at it again, this time with more vigor. He drew more energy into his body, the pure magic glowing brightly. His swords moved swiftly as he fought Val. Steel scrapped across steel and sometimes when they hit just right, sparks showered. Touya now used his forearms as well, the deadly curved blades launching out towards Val, forcing the man to go slightly on the defensive.

"Now you're fighting! Show them how deadly we can be, Touya! Come at me!"

Touya ground his teeth and lunged forward, pushing himself to his limits. Every movement was seemingly smooth, though. His swords and curved arm blades moving all at once, each twist and turn gave more momentum for another move. In this fashion both Therian's moved about the street, locked on each other only.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: April Rosevolt Character Portrait: Touya Khan Character Portrait: Damea Reese
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“Incoming!”

April awoke with a gasp, feeling the gushing pain all along her right arm. Her breath faltered at first, hammering into her chest as it struggled to suck the air back into her lungs. She opened her eyes to the scene of battle, shell-shock and confusion riddling her soft features. Before her, the boulevard was littered with arrows, their feathered fletchings raised to the sky in unison. Warmth spread over her right arm, soaking the fabric of her sleeves with moist red liquid. Something about the growing pool was oddly captivating, or maybe it was the effects of blood loss finally starting to show. Two more feathered fletchings protruded from her arm, pinning her down with pain.

“April!” someone shouted.

Barely lucid, she sought out the source of her name and spotted Corporal Reginald. Even as death rained all around he smiled warmly to assuage her fears. “You should thank your lucky stars Lieutenant. That faceless we captured healed you,” he explained hastily, yelling to be heard over the growing din of battle, “More importantly, you’re lucky you had this in your pocket. Otherwise the third bolt would’ve pierced your heart.”

He raised the object held within his hand, showing her the broken rose that had deflected the impact. April winced as she tried to stand, but Reginald forced her to remain still.

“The prisoners?” she asked.

“Escaped,” Reginald said, shrinking behind a shield as the darts relentlessly besieged their position. Each metallic ring caused the medic to flinch instinctively, as if it would help in dodging the arrows. “The faceless is caught up in some kinda dual.”

April spotted Touya amidst the ensuing chaos as he danced with his quarry. She held her breath with astonishment, admiring the fluid grace of every sword swing. How he managed to fight when still in such a condition was an utter mystery to her. Shaking her head, she brought her focus back to reality.

“Fire the signal flares, call for backup,” April ordered, “Sergeant! We need to break the backbone of this ambush!”

“Trying mam!” Dubois hollered, loosing an arrow at their slippery assailants, “But they’ve got our backs pressed firmly against the carriage! We don’t really possess the capability to break away without all turning into pin cushions!”

“At the very least, we need to move. We’re at too much of a disadvantage here!” Marcus called, the marksmen of their squad. His keen eye tracked the movement of a roaming Therian before rewarding him with a death cry.

Their emergency flare erupted then. Soaring up like a rocket, its smoky trail left a mark in the sky until it exploded into a radiating light bulb of green. Good, thought April. With any luck, their reinforcements would be congregating on their position now. They only needed to survive until then. April looked around, angry as she was helpless to assist.

D company was superbly drilled considering their heritage. Most of her company had originated from rural areas or the slums, like her. Going into this mission, they at least had the foresight to equip tower shields, but her men were out of their element. She could see the tension that wracked their composure, generating beads of anxious sweat. They were a scouting force dammit, not a security force. Several were already dead. Abel, Ponting, and Kimble’s bodies lay strewn in the mud as their life blood was greedily devoured by dirt. The rest had managed to form a circle around the convoy. Earth mages swivelled their tower shields in place, each one able to levitate up to two of the massive barricades without issue. Others took up their cross bows and traded fire with the enemy.

It was a tenuous position, a cunning stalemate orchestrated by the enemy. Here April and her company were truly helpless until assistance arrived. Their enemy had the advantage of height and surprise. More than that, they had firepower.

“What’s that?” Reginald pointed with concern.

April followed his index finger and looked around as a greyhound raced towards their defences. An ominous black globe sat tight within its jaw, a lit fuse burning at the end. “Target the dog!” April yelled frantically. Marcus adjusted his aim and nailed the dog in its chest, but it barely seemed to break stride. There was little time to register the danger as the dog shot under the carriage through one end and then exited out of the other.

“Take cover!” April screamed. Her limbs protested in agony as she threw herself as far from the blast radius as possible, shielding the back of her head with her arms.

The blast tore out the underside of the carriage, shredding the dark mahogany like wet paper. The resulting heat wave enveloped them, showering the humans with razor edged shrapnel and wood chips. Fortunately, the wagon had successfully contained the worst of the blast. It did not prevent the dozens of deadly shards that assailed them however. In the wake of the bomb several more of her men died to multiple wounds.

April coughed out the gathered smoke in her lungs. Behind her lay the smouldering wreck of the carriage, live fires still burning from the inside. The bomb had impacted the dirt, inducing a small crater where the explosion had originated. Attempting to recover, the men around her rose, but the Therian’s sensed victory.

They leapt from the roof tops, descending upon their shattered foe with glistening blades. Mechanized weapons snapped out of limbs in an exact reproduction of Touya’s, stretching to their full length. April cursed and scrambled to withdraw her crossbow. They only had to hold out for their reinforcements for a few more minutes at best…

Just then a second flare shot into the sky, followed by a third. Her widening eyes watched in shock as they screeched disruptively overhead, confirming her worst fears. April bit the bottom of her lip as her heart began beating faster. The flares, a call for assistance, meant her first and third squad were also under attack. There would be no reinforcements.

“So, that’s how it’s going to be huh?” April snarled. It was fight or die now, the Therian’s had made certain of that the moment they swung the execution blade. Her trembling arm lifted to support the crossbow and she shot down the first Therian to cross her. The magically charged bolt cut right through the Therian, leaving a neatly hole where his liver had once been. “To me D Company!” April bellowed, crawling up on all fours, “Draw swords!”

Proceeding with trained precision, the remnants of her squad gathered around. Reginald stood beside her, defending himself with a shield. Even here, in the face of death, the medic stubbornly adhered to his oaths. Dubois fired a final bolt before receiving one to the stomach. He toppled over before the blades of their enemies could reach him. Marcus and a man named Reece made a final stand near the ruins of the carriage, standing back to back. They successfully took down a single Therian before dieing to numerous assailants. April crushed the skull of her third Therian, delivering a decisive blow to the man's helmet. She slipped over as a blunt instrument pummeled her from behind and blacked out.

Setting

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Character Portrait: April Rosevolt Character Portrait: Touya Khan Character Portrait: Damea Reese Character Portrait: Val
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Damea Reese


Damea had lost sight of Touya once the Therian had rushed out into the midst of battle. Unsure as to where the youth had gone, Damea was left to his own resources. With a sigh, he reached over and drew both his weapons and stepped out into the fighting. It was then that things got really chaotic for him. Shouting ensued soon after he'd left the safety of the carriage, there was confusion in the battle that mostly came from the men he was fighting alongside, and the constant rain of arrows and attacking Therian's seemed to put everyone at a stand still.

The sell sword unleashed all hell as he made his way through the fighting. He tried his best to help as many as he could, only managing to make it to most in time to watch them fall to the Therian that they'd been fighting. He felt sick to his stomach as he swiped the blade of a Therian aside and ran his other one through the man's stomach. Damea didn't want to kill them, but they were ruthlessly killing the group of humans and it made him absolutely horrified and enraged to watch it. The battle was clearly one sided.

“Fire the signal flares, call for backup,” April's voice rang out over the battle. Damea turned to see where she was and spotted her not to far away from him, but facing the other way. She was on the ground with the doctor right next to her, holding a shield to protect them both from the attack. Damea turned full circle and noted that most if not all of the soldiers were too busy trying to stay alive before firing off a signal.

"Flares, flares... flares," Damea chanted to himself as he rushed back to the carriage. He rummaged about their belongings as quickly as he could, tossing things randomly out into the street. He figured at a time like this it wasn't all that important to be tidy about anything. Finally he got his hands on the flare gun, but no flare... Damn! He searched some more and eventually found the flare that he needed. Popping the flare into the gun he aimed it upwards, at a slight angle and pulled the trigger.

It whistled through the sky, the dark smoke trailing behind it and exploded over head with a brilliant light. Damea would have watched it longer had a hard weapon not hit him in the side. Knocked from his feet, he hit the ground as air left his lungs. With a harsh cough, he managed to breath again and flipped over just in time to see another deadly swing aimed at his body. Damea rolled to the side and missed the attack. Using the sword he still had out he swung the blade much like a bat upwards and off to the side with one arm. The sword cut through the Therian's chest and shoulder, ravaging the man. The Therian dropped and lay still on the ground, bleeding out.

Just as Damea had gotten back to his feet and drew his other sword again, another shout filled the air, this one much more urgent than the last, “Take cover!” He whirled around to see what it was that she'd been yelling about just in time to see a dark streak dart under the carriage he was right next to. His heart pounded in his chest and he turned on his heel and sprinted as far as he could away from the carriage. The force of the explosion threw him from his feet and he hit the dirt sliding. Damea's body rolled a few times before he finally came to a stop. Everything around him rang loudly as his hearing was just about blown.

Rising his head, he ducked back down and covered the back of his skull with his arms as the debris followed him. Curling into a tight ball, he prayed that nothing would hit him, at least not enough to do too much damage. Only splinters rained down on him along with dust and other things. After a minute, he finally looked again and witnessed the destruction of the explosion. Several more of the men were dead, taken out by the explosion others by the debris that had flown.

“To me D Company! Draw swords!”

The call brought him back to the present as he'd been lying there in shock. Turning slowly his gaze was watery as he looked towards April. He couldn't believe what had just happened. His heart was heavier than before and he felt as it his body was lead right then. Damea forced himself to rise, however, and made his way over to her, a slight limp in his step as the explosion had thrown him awkwardly. He raised his swords and leapt out into the fray near her. April's battle cry was strengthening somehow, and Damea found that he could fight again. Pushing aside his own worries, he cut down another Therian, then another. He turned to look at April to see how she was fairing only to watch her take a blow to the back that toppled her. His eyes widened and he once again felt his fear and anguish.

A sharp burn pulsed through his side and he slowly looked down to see what it was. Silver steel gleamed up at him as crimson liquid slowly curled from the wound and stained his clothing. His hand dropped his sword, unable to feel anything anymore from the intense burn on his right side. He looked up to see the Therian who snarled at him. What ever it was, Damea felt something snap in him and his body ignited into fire, pulling from the burning debris nearby. His eyebrows came down in pure rage and he returned the snarl that the Therian had shown him. The fire from the burning carriage exploded a second time and jumped to the other two carriages that had been untouched.

As fast as a wild fire, the flames spread outwards and lunged at the Therian's. Once he'd set one on fire, it would jump to another and then another. Soon nearly half of the Therian's attacking force was up in flames. However, Damea wasn't done yet. He didn't want to stop... no... he couldn't stop. He had no control over it then. He'd lost control the moment his body had ignited. Fear swept him and he dropped to his knees, the Therian before him long since turned to ash. Reaching forward and pulled the sword from his body and let it's red hot steel drop to the dirt. His hands shook as he stared at them, eyes wide. What had he done?

Touya Khan


His glow was dimming as he was loosing the energy to stay upright and continue fighting. Already he'd sustained many more cuts to his body than he'd gotten the first time he'd fought with Val. He was irritated, frustrated that his own kin would dare raise sword against him. He had hoped to talk Val out of his pursue for technology, but it seemed nothing would reach him. So, Touya was taking his frustrations out on Val, making his fighting less than graceful.

Touya slashed outwards with one sword, following the move with the other and came in close to try to catch Val with his elongated blades on his forearm. Val pressed his sword against the one that Touya had swiped at him with and bent back to miss the second blade. Another cut joined the rest along Touya's hip, Val released his own sword and snatched Touya's wrist. Surprised, Touya couldn't get out of the grip fast enough. Wrenched forward he felt his feet taken out from under him and was falling to the earth with Val on top of him.

His other hand was pulled up over his head with the first that was held in Val's grip and he was disarmed. Touya ground his teeth at Val and tried to bring more energy into his body. The glow brightened a second time and he was about to expel it outwards to knock Val off of him when Val pinned his hands via his sword. Touya's eyes widened with shock and pain, his voice screaming out, the sound tearing his throat and making it hoarse right after.

"Your human's that you're fighting with won't come to aid you, Touya. You should just give up now and let me help you. I've got a few healers who can have you fixed up and right back to your original state. We also have some technology that can help to fix your weapons now that I've damaged them. Unless you're still determined to side with them," Val turned the sword slightly as he leaned forward and pressed his clawed hands into the wound that the doctor had patched up earlier.

Touya was dizzy with agony then, not even having the strength to cry out a second time. His voice barely made any sounds at all, breaking as he closed his eyes tightly against the assault. A cough sprayed blood out into the air and across his face as well as Val's who was leaning over him. Val leaned back and lifted his clawed hand, activating the device and causing the claws to lengthen. He glowered at Touya who stared at him warily, hardly able to concentrate.

"Fine then. Die as a human, as a faceless!" Just as he was about to drive his claws into Touya's chest and heart, the Therian's attention was taken by something and his eyes widened in shock. Confused, Touya turned his head slowly to see what had caught Val's attention. Flames roared and raged across the landscape lunging to every Therian that stood in the field. Val stood abruptly and screamed to his comrades. He left Touya still pinned to the ground and unable to move. As Touya's vision dimmed he watched the remaining Therian's take flight from the battlefield as the fires danced, uncontrolled. Soon after, he was unconscious once again.

Setting

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Character Portrait: April Rosevolt Character Portrait: Touya Khan Character Portrait: Damea Reese
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William Benedict





The fire was rapidly spiralling out of control. Even as the 42nd Legion made their approach, they could see the ominous black smoke rising over the roof tops from several streets away. Every man smelt the acrid stench of burnt kindling. Captain Benedict encouraged his men to double time it, leading his troop from the front. What in the world was going on down there?

After turning a second corner they reached the scene of destruction. Benedict took in the utter devastation and grimaced instantly. What could possibly be the cause of such bloodshed? Horrified faces stared around in fear, looking to him for direction.

“Move in! Water mages up front! Deal with the fires!” Benedict barked with a series of swift hand gestures.

“Sir! Contacts at twelve o’clock! Five hundred meters and growing!” Cob, his adjudicate yelled.

Shadows darted ahead, their forms barely distinguishable behind the crackling flames and smothering fumes. Benedict raged, bringing his gaze around to snap out more orders. No one would escape his justice.

“Alpha-four, two and three. Take your men and pursue the culprits! Alpha-one and five, secure the area!”

Chorusing a chain of affirmatives, his officers set out with haste. Benedict followed Alpha-one and five as they embarked upon the scorched wreck of a carriage. Its horses had long since abandoned their post, but the crew remained. Their bodies were scattered over the pavement and road, still warm from the recent action.

“Sir!”

More yelling arose ahead, a resounding commotion. Drawn in by the noise, Benedict followed his men as they circled a man wreathed in flames. The figure stared down at his hands, dread painted over his features.

“We are the Forty-Second Legion! Do not resist! Turn off your flames immediately!”

Mercilessly, they doused the man in water before moving in to restrain him. Others raced around to contain the fires and aid survivors.

“Sir! Some of the dead bodies… They’re Therians!” Cob discovered. Crouched over a body, he indicated the weapon implements so famously apart of their limbs.

“The soldiers?” Benedict

“Fifty-seventh Legion… D Company. Rosevolts rabble…” Cob murmured, kicking another body over.

“Sir! Sir!”

“What now?!” Benedict exclaimed, addressing the exasperate corporal behind him.

“There’s only one survivor!”





Headquarters – Days Later





“April Rosevolt. Stand.”

The court room was a dimly lit theatre. Several lecterns dotted the head of the room, forming an intimidating line of bureaucratic power. Figures of prominence and power dominated a single ambo each. Highlighted by individual spotlights, they measured the gathering audience impassively. April stepped up to the clearing before them, taking position behind the defendant’s lectern that ran opposite to the leaders’. Surprisingly, very few others inhabited the room. April could only see several shadows amongst the prevailing darkness, and only two that she recognised.

Bandages supported her right arm, forming a sling as it wrapped around her shoulder. Adopting an upright posture, she bowed respectfully as was tradition when called to a hearing.

“Lieutenant April Rosevolt, reporting,” she stated.

Holding the attention of everyone, an elderly man named Victor Hawthorn occupied the central pulpit. He was the current General and overarching commander of all military forces. Adjusting the rimless glasses that rested on the bridge of his nose, he leaned forwards to speak.

“Lieutenant. In light of recent reports, we would like to commend your bravery, but the premature death of the prisoner leaves us dissatisfied. Additionally, your negligence cost the lives of ninety-five percent of your company and extensive damages along a civilian center. What do you say?”

“I…no excuse, sir,” she responded.

“Then you are hereby stripped of your rank and summarily discharged,” he announced, “I’m sorry miss Rosevolt.”

April reeled slightly, taking the blow emotionally. She felt nothing except for the faint ring in her head, a mute cry of loss and pain. “Sir!” she affirmed and saluted before stepping down.





April’s Residence – Hours Later





"April, don't you think you're being a little too reckless? I mean, you haven't even fully recovered yet!" Reginald protested. The former medic followed April's brisk pace down the corridor, attempting to halt her. Ignoring him, she stormed into the living room that currently housed her alien guest.

“I’ve held up my end of the bargain!” April said, slamming the door open to get his attention. The frame wobbled profusely with aftershock. His name was Touya, and he was a Therian. An ancient race of supernatural beings that sought asylum on Artamus. They first met over a week ago, yet even now he remained a mystery to her, “Now, I want you to lead me to the Therian who killed my men.”

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Character Portrait: April Rosevolt Character Portrait: Touya Khan
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Touya Khan


He was stretched out across the couch of the small living room that April called home. He'd been there for days, holed up in the house with no place to go and nothing to do. Touya grimaced as he rested there with his arm up over his eyes, the other one resting across his abdomen. He could clearly remember the day that he'd been a prisoner to her, the days after on their trip to the central city where her headquarters was. He was supposed to have been taken to them, put up on trial against the humans and his fate decided right then. Touya would have died had it not been for the strange events that happened.

Val attacked them, and somehow he and a man named Damea managed to escape their confines inside the carriage. Touya had healed April's mortal wound, and then had engaged in battle with Val. That had been a dire mistake on his part. Her entire regime had been wiped out, leaving only herself and the doctor alive. How Touya managed to remain alive was still a mystery even to himself. He barely remembered the one who pulled the sword from his hands, or being taken from the battle ground.

The only thing he could clearly recall was waking once again in April's back room with the doctor, Reginald, leaning over him. For the second time he was 'patched up' and had been laid up in bed for a few days regaining his strength. Touya had regained enough to heal most of his smaller wounds and the holes in his hands. That had been the night before, not even twenty four hours had passed, but he was tired once again. The only wound left that needed his attention was the one in his side, but he figured that the doctors treatment to it would keep it from becoming worse any time soon. It would take him another day to recover enough energy to heal the wound.

As for his hands... the metal across the back of his palms was broken, splintered apart and unusable. He'd tried several times to engage the metal to cover his fingers with the usual claws that most Therian's had. Each time ended in blinding agony and his collapsing from it. Eventually he stopped doing so, especially when Reginald had caught him trying several times before. Touya hadn't thought it possible to feel intimidated by a human, but this doctor was something else entirely, as was April now that he thought about it. Even so, flexing his hand to form a fist or hold a weapon was slightly painful at times as well.

Lifting his arm from his eyes he turned his hand to look at the damaged metal. It wasn't like he was going to be able to get it repaired anytime soon. Even so, he would most likely have to go to a Therian to have it done as the human's technology wasn't nearly far enough advanced for what he needed. Touya's lips turned into a frown and he let the arm fall back over his eyes. It was silent in the room for a long time until he heard voices coming from the hall. Reginald was yelling at April about something and seconds later the door slammed open.

Touya, however didn't budge from the sound as she stormed into the room. Slowly he pulled his arm away from his eyes and looked at her, his face showing no expressions at all. Of course she wanted revenge on what happened to her regime. It was natural to want that, hell, Touya wanted it too. However, they were both injured and not in any condition to do any fighting, especially against Val. He sighed though, how could he deny her that though? After having helped him, though he hadn't asked for it, well not openly anyway. He had asked her for a favor, that much he remembered upon waking on the bed after the fighting that day. Touya, for some delusional reason, had asked April to house him, to keep him there at her house until he was recovered. She, in return, bargained that if she kept him there, he would have to take her to Val once he was ready.

Eitherway, Touya didn't have much a choice in the matter. So, he pulled himself up and eyed her carefully, resting his elbows on his knees and curling his fingers together, "You've my gratitude April," he replied softly, "I'll take you to Val, the leader of the rebel Therian's."

Touya stood and immediately doubled over, his fingers curling around his side where Reginald had stitched the wound. He straightened himself moments after, once the pain was bearable. He frowned at the ground, hating his pitiful state. Since fighting with Val, he'd been weaker than normal. Mostly because he'd lost twice and in the span of a few days at that. Not something too bright really. Touya should have been smarter in his decision making at the time. Had he been at full strength, healed and properly energized... well things would not have gone the way they did. At least, that's what he kept telling himself.

He looked to April and felt a twinge of guilt gnawing at him. Shifting uncomfortably as he was unsure about the human customs regarding such things he looked down at the floor and felt the awkward silence filling the air. After a moment he finally spoke, "I'm sorry, April. Had I... done things differently. You would not have lost as much as you did. When I have my energy back I will heal your wounds. It is the least I can do," Touya offered and moved out of the room. He went to the back bedroom where he had been sleeping for the past few days and retrieved both of his weapons. Sheathing them in their proper places across his lower back, he returned to the living room some moments later.

Touya's gaze was back on his ruined technology on the back of his hand, his lips turned into a grimace as he ran a finger gently around the edges of the jagged metal. He pulled the hand into a fist as best he could, only able to close his hand to the point of holding a sword, but no further. He tried to close it further but only put pain into his nervous system. Quickly, he released the form and wrapped the other hand around the area. Looking up to April and Reginald, he pulled an eyebrow up, reached over and flicked his long silver hair back over his shoulder.

"I do have one question though. What happened to Damea? I'm assuming he was either killed in the fight or restrained. Last I remember before losing consciousness was seeing a lot of fire. If I remember correctly he was a fire mage, yes?" He asked, his curiosity getting the better of him. He'd been thinking about Damea for some time to be truthful. The one and only human to wish to become his friend. It bothered Touya immensely that he could not help the man. It would be least he could do, especially if Damea was in any sort of trouble.

"I wish to help him, if he's still alive. He... was the only human to ask to be a companion," Touya continued from his question before, adding the last part at a near whisper. He stood there and waited for their answer, either way he'd decided that he would go after Damea, even if April didn't wish him to. If all else failed he could threaten her with not leading her to Val unless they found Damea first. However, he didn't wish to resort to that method at all. He hoped that she would at least be willing to help him in his small request to find the man.

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Character Portrait: April Rosevolt Character Portrait: Touya Khan
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Barely any response came from her invasive barging. Lost in his wistful musings, the Therian sat spread out along the cushioned surface of her couch. His posture was neither particularly anxious nor relaxed, more rather it was simply one of progressive acceptance. The culmination of multiple lectures and reprimands. After first offering a placid expression that infuriated her, he swivelled in position to sit partially upright. It was exactly that despondent attitude that she hated about him.

"You've my gratitude April. I'll take you to Val, the leader of the rebel Therian's," Touya said, eliciting a huff of disapproval from her. April had heard him tout the same line repeatedly. Whether he was telling the truth or not still remained to be seen. April bet everything based on the Therian’s risky attempt to eliminate or free Touya. If he was worth the extents of such trouble, Touya must have known something. As if sensing her suspicions, Touya stood up disruptively, only to stumble in haste. Still haunted by the wounds he had received, Touya came off as bad as April, arguably. Staggering impetuously, it took several moments for the Therian to steady himself. During that time, Reginald seized the chance to move forwards and help him, though it proved unnecessary. Deep in contemplating, the Therian’s eyes drooped to the floor as his guilt surfaced, rearing its ugly head.

"I'm sorry, April. Had I... done things differently. You would not have lost as much as you did. When I have my energy back I will heal your wounds. It is the least I can do," he stated, frowning apologetically.

“Nobody’s blaming you son. The fault lies entirely with the culprits. You couldn’t have done anything,” Reginald said, forcing a smirk.

If the Therian was comforted by the Reginald’s condolences he did not show it. Touya strode off into the bedroom then, disappearing beyond the hallway. April deigned to let him rest there after the tragic events, no longer willing to sleep in a bed that had been stained by a Therian. Childish hate had compelled her decision then, and even now it ravished her thoughts with indignant fury. She knew Touya was hardly to blame for the deaths of her men, yet indirectly he had been the target of her anger all this time. Amidst the raging emotions and guilt, prejudice was the easiest thing to latch onto.

Returning to the living room, Touya indicated he was ready to leave with his weapons in place. Cheerlessly, he inspected the damage to his bracers. In the days after their frantic escape from the ambush, Reginald had informed her of the few titbits Touya had shared with him. Discovering he was no longer able to withdraw his claws, Touya’s reaction understandably negative. April concluded it would be beneficial to spend some of her time attempting to research the relevant information. Regrettably, accurate studies of the Therians were frighteningly sparse.

"I do have one question though. What happened to Damea? I'm assuming he was either killed in the fight or restrained. Last I remember before losing consciousness was seeing a lot of fire. If I remember correctly he was a fire mage, yes?" Touya pondered after some moments, caught in the throes of a mental debate.

Blue eyes shot up in a flash as April regarded the Therian coldly.

"I wish to help him, if he's still alive. He... was the only human to ask to be a companion."

“The answer is no,” she stated with stoic finality, “Shit no! Are you kidding me Therian? I’ve lost everything just to keep you out of military grasps! Do you want to waste all of that by placing yourself directly in danger? I should’ve left you to be dissected by their techno-scientists.”

Suspecting the worst, Reginald urgently stepped in between the duo, ready to prevent additional violence from breaking out. “To be fair Rosevolt, that man did save us all. If not for his fire magic, the faceless would’ve surely finished us,” Reginald soothed, attempting to act as the intermediate.

“Tell that to the rest of D Company!” she yelled, outraged. It was fortunate that April had been stripped of her military weapons for she would have surely drawn them otherwise. Instead, her left hand tightened into a trembling fist, displaying the whites of her knuckles.

Reginald shot her a deadly glare, “And considering both your current conditions, doing either of what you’re suggest is practically suicide! What then, Rosevolt?”

April bit down on the bottom of her lip, feeling the bulk of her anger wither beneath his words.

“I understand where you’re coming from. Damn girl, I do! But to be frank, going against those Therians alone is impossible. We need help,” Reginald continued, sensing he was getting through to her.

Easing her shoulders back, April span on her heel and made for the doorway without responding. Like a passing storm, the mood settled somewhat, but the sombre fashion with which she carried herself indicated that she was still very upset. Pausing by the entrance, April shifted her head just barely to address Touya.

“Earlier you said that your people weren’t terrorists. I dare you to claim the same thing to all those families that lost loved ones,” she said, and then promptly exited the room.

Reginald waited until April left before releasing the deep, long breath he had been holding in the entire time. “I guess that means she’s not going to help with the break out,” he hummed, dismissing the issue casually, “We should be able to manage ourselves though. Prisoners are usually kept in Glendale Prison. It’s just west of the city and suffers from overcrowding. Fortunately, you have a former member of D Company with you. Scouting and infiltration is a specialty of ours.”

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Character Portrait: April Rosevolt Character Portrait: Touya Khan
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Dean ‘Havoc’ Reginald





It took the Therian a while to reply to his comments, and by the time he did, tears were on the verge of out breaking.

"She wishes I had died rather then lived. I'm sure she wishes for my death once we find Val as well," Touya remarked dimly, visibly shaken by April’s comment. Reginald frowned on Touya’s behalf.

“Oh don’t be so pessimistic,” the former medic berated, “I think that you two just need to talk this over once things have had the chance to settle down a bit.”

"I can go myself, Touya declared after a few passing seconds. Apparently, the Therian thought it was wise to shoulder the burdens himself. Determination managed to work its way back into his features, renewing the look in his gaze. Ordinarily, it would probably have been a convincing display, but Reginald was far from fooled. This was the refugee who had just spent the last few days sulking in bed, unable to even properly withdraw his signature claws. "Watch over her and see that she heals properly. If I don't return, you can find Val in the forests of Creeid, near the mountains to the east. It was there that we had awoken from our sleep. The main group of Therian's left that area a long time ago and only Val and his rebels remain. I'll go see if Damea still remembers his words of companionship, though I'm beginning to doubt everything that is said to me from a human's lips."

Finished with his explanations, the Therian turned briskly and started towards the exit. Yet before he could escape, a firm grasp locked onto his shoulder. Reginald stood directly behind the Therian, his expression sombre.

“April can manage herself. Judging from past experience, she’s not the kind of person who thrills at reckless behaviour. Makes her a little boring that way, but it also means she won’t put herself in the way of unnecessary harm,” Reginald stated. Smirking to lighten the mood, he released his grip and stood back a bit, still conscious of giving the Therian his space. “Like I said before though, we’re going to need help to get into that rebel base of yours. Sure you’ve told me the location, but we still don’t know the layout or details, just like you don’t know the layout of the prison. Basically, we need to help each other.”

Green eyes looked Touya up and down then, inspecting him. “Besides, you heard me before. I wouldn’t recommend you to do anything at the moment given your sorry state,” said Reginald, adding a healthy level of scepticism into his tone, “That said, I can hardly allow you to walk right into danger without supervision now, can I? That would reflect very badly on my records.”

Without waiting for Touya’s response, Reginald walked up to the door and opened it. Fortunately, April had offered him her spare key for the duration of the week. Albeit, rather reluctantly. To which Reginald responded by saying there was hardly anything worth stealing anyway. Abruptly, the medic paused by the entrance as sunlight filtered into the dusty apartment, gazing at Touya.

“But my dear faceless, are you really okay with handing out your information like that? Surely you must know that whatever April has planned, it probably won’t bode well for your people. Though rebels they maybe, are you really okay with leaving their fates in the hands of a vengeful soldier?”




April Rosevolt





Why had she snapped like that?

April stalked down the narrow alleyway of Little Fitzroy Street, paving a path directly to her favourite bar. A tacky little joint that looked more like a crack between the walls. Not that April had any particular inclination for decrepit appearances, it was just that sometimes, Barney's Counter seemed like the only place in the city where she could escape from crowds. She did not wish to stay in her house after saying something so gravely insulting to Touya. She could barely stand to face him. How unprofessional. How immature.

Happening upon the busted, red door that indicated she had arrived at the desired venue, April pushed open the entrance with her one good arm, frustrated. Irritated at herself and the world, she decided that now was the best opportunity to drink her concerns away. April had kept her alcoholic addiction in check for the sake of her job, but even that hardly seemed to matter anymore. She had lost everything. What would her mother say if she discovered her daughter in such a crippled state? She would have probably disowned her on the spot.

Dumping herself down on a stool, a collection of braided and long, blonde hair fell messily over her features. Her brow rested within her palm, nursing a phantom migraine. "What now?" she murmured. Perhaps an apology was in order. Or maybe not. There was still so little she understood about Touya and the Therians. Sitting up again, April waved the bartender over, ordering the first drink of many.

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Character Portrait: April Rosevolt Character Portrait: Touya Khan
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April Rosevolt





“You going to look after that wound?” Reginald remarked as he passed by the former soldier.

Reclined into the back of her seat, April idly shifted the azure pearls of her gaze and looked up at him without a hint of empathy. Disparate and sloppy, she hardly resembled the disciplined woman he knew a few weeks ago. Free time had been appallingly sparse since their little adventure and it showed in her fraught expression. Even her snide assertions utterly failed to disguise the tension. Blonde strands fell in a disheveled heap across her dignified features, poorly and unevenly cut. Ditching the armor in favor of maneuverability, April now wore a sort of sewn together leather suit that accentuated her curves. Other new additions to her uniform included knee-high boots, a belt and fingerless gloves. The colors were more mundane, consisting of olive greens and brownish reds, although traces of royal blue still remained in some places. Of course the weapons and arm sling still remained. How that woman had successfully accomplished breaking them all out of jail with such a handicap was a still subject of intense mystery to Reginald. At the moment, she was performing her regular weapon maintenance and made it very clear that he was interrupting her with a withering stare.

Plunking down the duo of steaming mugs he carried on top of the table, Reginald settled into his seat with barely a sound and offered her one. The absence of noise was what caught April's attention most. It was perhaps one of the medic’s most cherished skills, his ability to completely nullify his own noise without magic. No air tricks, no magic, just good old training and capabilities. Perhaps it was simply the pacifists way of compensation. The medic sat opposite to her, displaying his own fair share of wounds. Mottled blues still bruised the skin of face, the most distinguished of them being the patch that resided around his eye socket.

“I still managed to get all of you out of there in this state. Perhaps you should take that into consideration. The rest of you need to start showing more concern for yourselves,” April replied impertinently, though she gladly accepted the mug after replacing her toolkit. Pulling on her gloves, she cupped her fingers around the heated container and blew on it.

“Indeed, though I suffered quite a bit as a result of your ‘plan’. Careful, it’s hot,” Reginald said tentatively, raising a questioning eyebrow. Since arriving at the abandoned cottage he had attempted to raise the topic of speaking with Touya at regular intervals, all to no avail. “Well. I hardly expected you to sneak up on me when you did. In fact, I didn’t expect you to be in a rational state of mind after your previous outburst.”

“I can see that perfectly well for myself thank you. And maybe it was because of the alcohol that I thought it was a good idea at the time,” April sighed, visibly contemplating the merits of their conversation. April exhaled another three puffs of air before finally sipping her beverage. The artificially heated liquid still stung the inside of her mouth, extracting a wince from her and chuckle from Reginald who observed with amusement.

“Regardless. It’s lucky you came when you did, and that you came prepared. Now the question is where do we go from here? Any opinions about Damea?” Reginald murmured, staring deep into his mug.

“The government will be upping their campaign. They’ll use the attack on D company and Glendale prison as fuel to the fire,” April said through her teeth. “They know your faces now also. Touya’s and Damea’s especially. Wanted posters and bounties will attract the sort of attention we want to avoid.”

“Heh, it’d be rather ironic don’t you think?”

April glared at him with brows knitted together, though she wore a sort of half-smirk. It was hard to completely deny Reginald’s good humor, “Whatever do you mean?”

“Using a wanted poster to illustrate the identity of a faceless,” Reginald grinned, no doubt picturing the poster mentally. “Oh, I wonder what I’ll look like!”

“Let’s not get sidetracked,” April said, culling his juvenile behavior, “That said, I was hoping to solve this issue before things escalated.”

Abruptly, a soft creak indicated that the door to the bedroom was being pushed aside. Both former soldiers responded by craning their necks over their shoulders and were granted the sight of a recently awoken therian. Placing her mug back down again, April stood up and approached their new arrival. Several days had elapsed since their escape of the perilous institution of Glendale prison and the therian was undoubtedly lost in a state of confusion. Emerging out of the doorway, Touya’s severe injuries left a lasting impression of guilt that forced her frown. Enough bandages wrapped around his lean frame that he could have been mistaken for a mummy, eliminating the need for a shirt.

“You shouldn’t be up,” she stated, physically barring the therian from further exploration with her body. Reginald’s hiss indicated that she was being unnecessarily harsh again. She sighed in response and then softened her gaze at him, “Relax, you’re safe here Touya. If you’re worried about your friend, he’s fine. Doing much better than you in fact. I can call him for you, but we need you to conserve your energy. We’re still too close to the city for my liking and may have to leave soon.”

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Character Portrait: April Rosevolt Character Portrait: Touya Khan Character Portrait: Damea Reese
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The moment he left the room he was met by both Reginald and to his utter surprise, April. The woman got to her feet almost immediately and came quickly to stand in his way. He was too shocked to even tell her to move as he had been looking for Reginald and Damea. Her sharp gaze locked on his and didn't waver as she placed herself directly in front of him.

“You shouldn’t be up,” she began, her voice hard as usual. The same gaze that said she didn't care for him at all still lingered and he was sure that Reginald's having been beaten didn't help his position either. A sharp sound filled the air from the doctor and April sighed heavily before looking at him again. Was it him or did she actually have a different look in her eyes this time? Touya wasn't sure, all he knew was that now he was definitely confused.

“Relax, you’re safe here Touya. If you’re worried about your friend, he’s fine. Doing much better than you in fact. I can call him for you, but we need you to conserve your energy. We’re still too close to the city for my liking and may have to leave soon.”

A different place, outside the city. That's all he got from her. What city, however, still remained unknown to him. It was safe, or so April said. He still wasn't convinced and his body was on edge as he stood there against the door frame, leaning on it for support. Conserve energy? Touya was trying to follow her sudden change in voice tone and how she was looking at him. He wasn't sure if he was dreaming or not. Was it that she had some concern for him?

His eyes narrowed and the brows came down. A frown crossed his lips at the thought. No, there couldn't possibly be any way that she would have concern for a Therian. His eyes dropped down to her arm that was still in the sling. The wounds she'd received from the battle still weren't healed, of course, neither were Touya's. He reached out and hovered his hand over her injured shoulder and arm. Last time he'd been unable to heal the crossbow wounds then, but this time he could. A brilliant gold light filled his palm and forearm. Touya pushed the energy outwards and focused the power along her arm.

The Therian disregarded her earlier comment about reserving his energy and expelled it into her body to heal the wounds. It didn't take much, thankfully, for the wounds were almost healed anyway. However, he'd said that he would heal her once he was able to and he intended to keep his word. Once he was finished, he pulled away and felt a bit light headed. He rested against the frame a bit more than before but was able to stay standing. Another day and he would be able to heal himself completely, well that was if no fighting occurred at all between then and the next day. Touya would also have to sleep most of the time in order to regain more of his power.

None of this he voiced to April, nor had he answered her in regards to Damea. He didn't think she wished to talk to him all that much anyway and didn't want to linger in her presence for much longer. The last words she'd spoken to him before he'd gone to get Damea still lingered in his mind and bit at his conscious. Touya reached up and pushed himself away from the door frame, his other hand reaching to hold tightly to his side.

"There is no need to call for him," he told her his voice soft, but holding no emotion at all, "I'll need more time to regain my power again," Touya turned and started towards the door of the room once more. He wondered why she was there to begin with, also why she was sticking around. She could easily just take Reginald and Damea and leave the Therian to his own devices. The woman was a mystery to him. Touya reached the door and entered the bedroom just as he heard the voice of Damea in the room with April and Reginald.

"Alright, where is he? I swear, if that Therian isn't awake yet I'm going to go in there and force feed him myself!" The sound of the human's heavy steps filled the air, "How long has it been since he last ate? I mean, can't you tell that he hasn't eaten anything in days? I know Therian's are light in color, but isn't he a bit too pale to be healthy? What the hell. How the hell does he get off going around acting all heroic and what not and then doesn't eat? Doesn't he know that he's making us worry... okay, let me rephrase, that... Me, he's making me worry..."

The footsteps stopped and Touya turned slowly to look over his shoulder. Damea's eyes were locked on him with a shocked expression, then relief and then anger. Touya was amazed at how quickly a human's expressions changed. He lifted an eyebrow at the fire mage who held in between his hands a very large bowl of something hot. Damea came down the hall then and motioned towards the bedroom.

"Alright, inside. Who the hell said you could get up? Don't you know you have to be resting! Damn man... then you wonder why you can't regain your power or heal your wounds. Lie down and eat, and drink. You need fluids and food to heal properly."

Touya, confused and unsure of what was going on, found himself hustled into the room and back onto the bed. Damea sat next to him and rearranged the bed so that the Therian was partially propped up. The bowl was shoved at him with a spoon and Touya took both, staring at the swirling broth that steamed at him. Damea glared at him, arms crossed over his chest.

"Eat, or else I'm feeding it to you. What's wrong? Haven't you seen soup before? Well you have to at least taste it! Go on, take a bite, I'm sure you'll like it," the human grinned at him, seemingly very proud of himself. Touya dipped the spoon into the bowl and took a bite of the soup. It was indeed very good to the taste, and having not eaten in quite a long time, he finished the soup within minutes. Afterwards, with a full stomach his body was warmed and he felt very tired. Touya hardly remembered Damea taking the bowl as his eyes shut and he fell fast asleep.

Image


Damea left the room where the Therian had fallen asleep and closed the door gently. He carried the bowl out of the room and into the larger living room of the cottage. He ran a hand through his tousled hair and plopped down in another chair across from the doctor. He leaned his head back and closed his eyes, a frown on his lips.

"Well, he's eaten at least. Sleeping now," a sigh filled the air then, "I hope he heals sooner rather than later. The city is in an uproar, as you've all noticed I'm sure. Trying to get through the streets and get food was a hassle I'll tell you. But at least we have something to eat for today. Also, I found these," Damea leaned forward and dug from his pocket a wad of folded paper. He opened it and tossed it onto the table. Three pages slipped across the table and showed three depicted faces. The first was obviously Touya, the second Damea and the third Reginald, though the last one hardly resembled the doctor at all.

"The army needs new artists," Damea commented with a scoff, "Anyway. They've upped the bounty again. Aside from that, I heard some interesting news. There's been a raid on a small town just south of here. The town of Shaatra. Seem's our Therian friend who tried to kill Touya is behind it. The rebels managed to get their hands on a good amount of technology and burned the town to the ground," Damea shook his head and interlaced his fingers over his lap, leaning into it with a saddened look in his mis matched eyes, "There... were no survivors."

Damea's soft voice was heavy with depression and guilt. He was afraid of what April would think next, especially since she had her opinion's about Therian's already. What would that do for Touya? Probably not a whole lot. He knew that the Therian was trying to show her that his people were not killers or the evil men that the humans and elves painted them as. Of course, the rebel leader wasn't doing anything to help that fact.

He cleared his throat and chanced a glance to April, "With that, town security has been doubled. I doubt that we'll ever be able to enter another city or town without immediately being recognized. Besides, Touya stands out too much. His arms and skin color are too much of a distinction between human and Therian. You're probably not going to like this, but... There is one place we can go to. I spent a long time with them before, it's how I know a lot about Therian's. It's a small clan that travels around constantly, living off the land. We can stay with them, I think that it will help Touya as well. He needs medical attention on those bracers of his, that's something only another Therian can provide for him."

Damea leaned back, "The only problem is finding them. They never stay in one place for too long. The only other thing I can say is that they stay far from villages and towns. That means if we were to go find them, we're going to have to go way out into the wilderness. Not that that's a bad thing, but I don't know how long we'll have to be out there before we even get a trail leading to the clan. Anyway," Damea threw his hands up in the air, his eyes down cast, "It's a thought. Just thought I would put it out there as an option. Maybe our only option..." he added the last part under his breath and looked to April.

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Character Portrait: April Rosevolt Character Portrait: Touya Khan Character Portrait: Damea Reese
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April Rosevolt





Touya was displeased to receive her company, and it was understandable given all that had been said between them. With lips creased into a frown, his blue eyes switched from her face to her arm sling. He reached out slowly but April withdrew a little, wariness tightening her shoulders. Pale fingers paused just out of reach, and from it she felt his magic building.

“What are yo-?”

Her question was answered as the gold light engulfed the sling on her arm. Immediately the aching numbness faded, strength seeping in to replace it. April did not move from her place; she stared at the magic and opened her mouth in astonishment. Was this his form of an apology? Touya propped himself up against the door frame, looking even paler from the exertion.

"There is no need to call for him. I'll need more time to regain my power again," he murmured, cautious of her presence.

“Thank you,” April said at last, undoing the ties of her sling. She tested her right arm sheepishly, extending it out before her and twisting it to assess its recovery. “Though, you need to stop performing these reckless deeds on your own. That’s precisely what got you into your current state.”

Damea burst into the room then, his vocal tone catching everyone’s attention. The noise was deafening as he marched in, bellowing. A steaming bowl accompanied his entrance, which he immediately offered to Touya upon spotting him. April allowed him to pass and usher the therian back into the bedroom.





Damea rejoined them after some time, flaunting his exhaustion as he puckered down in the chair besides her. This was the fire mage that saved them apparently, though April was still skeptical. Dumping the now empty bowl onto the table, his fingers combed through the plume of his hair.

"Well, he's eaten at least. Sleeping now. I hope he heals sooner rather than later. The city is in an uproar, as you've all noticed I'm sure. Trying to get through the streets and get food was a hassle I'll tell you. But at least we have something to eat for today. Also, I found these,” Damea reached into the murky folds of his trousers and produced a trio of papers. They unfurled neatly across the table as he tossed them, revealing sketched depictions of their entourage. Reginald emitted a huff of disapproval while April’s azure eyes narrowed deliberately.

“And this is precisely why I requested you not to go gallivanting around Glendale prison,” she muttered brazenly, ignoring Damea’s presence. April resisted the urge to flip her hands up, though their continued stupidity grated on her temper. “We need to avoid major population centers. If we need any supplies from now on, I’ll be procuring them as they haven’t seen my face yet.”

“Why do I look a ruffian?” Reginald complained.

“The army needs new artists,” Damean stated. Reginald smirked at the comment, that was something they could all agree on. “Anyway. They've upped the bounty again. Aside from that, I heard some interesting news. There's been a raid on a small town just south of here. The town of Shaatra. Seem's our Therian friend who tried to kill Touya is behind it. The rebels managed to get their hands on a good amount of technology and burned the town to the ground. There... were no survivors."

Grieving, Damea’s chin drooped at the tragic news. Reginald’s face was also laden with mourning, though it was far less obvious in the medic’s terms. April suspected she wore a similar expression, one which was neither particularly saddened nor troubled, just a mask of solemnity. It was the same mask she wore at the funerals of her men. War probably had something to do with it. It jaded her to circumstances outside of her own, more so than in Reginald’s case because officers could not afford to show weakness. Doing so risked demoralizing the people under her command.

“All the more reason we should get moving soon,” April responded at last, folding her arms over. “Every moment we spend waiting increases the likelihood of this conflict escalating. If we severe the jugular of this rebellion it will be the lesser of two evils and facilitate an end to the conflict.”

Damea hawked the phlegm in his throat and redirected his mismatched gaze towards her, "With that, town security has been doubled. I doubt that we'll ever be able to enter another city or town without immediately being recognized. Besides, Touya stands out too much. His arms and skin color are too much of a distinction between human and Therian. You're probably not going to like this, but... There is one place we can go to. I spent a long time with them before, it's how I know a lot about Therian's. It's a small clan that travels around constantly, living off the land. We can stay with them, I think that it will help Touya as well. He needs medical attention on those bracers of his, that's something only another Therian can provide for him. The only problem is finding them. They never stay in one place for too long. The only other thing I can say is that they stay far from villages and towns. That means if we were to go find them, we're going to have to go way out into the wilderness. Not that that's a bad thing, but I don't know how long we'll have to be out there before we even get a trail leading to the clan. Anyway, it's a thought. Just thought I would put it out there as an option. Maybe our only option..."

“Hmph. I can see why Touya was desperate to save you now. The answer is no, that’s a bad idea,” April said, processing the information Damea had provided her. The statement was voiced with objective concern rather than any real resentment, but the simple fact was she just did not trust Damea. The sell sword’s lingering presence over the past few days had been a constant source of discomfort for her. “Plus, finding a coat to disguise his bracers is simple. It appalls me the therian himself hasn’t thought of that beforehand. All action, no thought.”

“I understand, you think the faceless will defect to his people given the chance,” Reginald nodded in apparent agreement, though he was merely exploring both points of view. He purposefully avoided notions of treachery with Damea and Touya so close by. “Not entirely implausible, and without a guide, our mission would likely end in failure. But there are still merits. I’ve done what I can for Touya, there’s nothing I can do for his bracers though.”

“I don’t like it. There’s too many variables and you don’t even have an effective method of tracking them. We could be wandering aimlessly in the wilderness indefinitely. I don’t need Touya capable of fighting, I just need him to safely guide us. If he can do that properly, we can finish this sooner and avoid any major scuffles,” April remarked, reclaiming her mug and drinking the last of its contents.

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Character Portrait: April Rosevolt Character Portrait: Damea Reese
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“Hmph. I can see why Touya was desperate to save you now. The answer is no, that’s a bad idea. Plus, finding a coat to disguise his bracers is simple. It appalls me the therian himself hasn’t thought of that beforehand. All action, no thought.”

Damea sighed inwardly, he figured that April would immediately reject the idea, "I really don't think Touya's all that keen on hiding the fact that he's Therian. He seems too proud to do something like that. In fact, all Therian's are like that. They're prideful, April. You can't just ask them to hide who they are. Besides, it would still be hard to keep the fact that he's Therian hidden, what do you wanna do to his skin tone? Paint him?" Damea rolled his eyes, "As for his being so keen on freeing me, yeah it has nothing to do with the fact that I sympathize with the Therian's. If you must know he simply wanted an answer to a stupid question. I mean really... who the hell breaks into a prison to ask a guy a question?"

“I understand, you think the faceless will defect to his people given the chance. Not entirely implausible, and without a guide, our mission would likely end in failure. But there are still merits. I’ve done what I can for Touya, there’s nothing I can do for his bracers though.”

"He's not going to defect," Damea muttered in irritation. Though, at the moment, defecting with the clan he had in mind was starting to look all the more appealing. April was difficult to deal with most times, she didn't trust him at all and he didn't even know what to do to earn her trust. With a sigh he shook his head, defecting would make things worse. If he wanted her to trust him he had to stick around. There had to be some way of getting her to like him.

I don’t like it. There’s too many variables and you don’t even have an effective method of tracking them. We could be wandering aimlessly in the wilderness indefinitely. I don’t need Touya capable of fighting, I just need him to safely guide us. If he can do that properly, we can finish this sooner and avoid any major scuffles,” she continued and reached out to grab her mug of hot liquid.

"Touya can find the clan. All we need to do is get out there and get close enough. He can do the rest. Don't you remember what I told you about Therian's? They can feel each others presence when they are near by," Damea tried again to reason with her, "Why do you not want him able to fight? Are you afraid that he'll turn on you? There's nothing to fear, he's not going to try and kill you the moment he's got all of his power back. Do you really think that just the three of us can take on the rebel leader?

"That guy almost killed Touya and I don't know about you, but, if we fought Touya when he was at full strength I don't think any of us would survive. He's a lot more powerful than all three of us combined. The only reason he's not so right now is because he got his ass beat when he went to face off with the leader. And... then... did it a second time... and well, we all know how that went.

Damea shook his head, bringing his focus back around as he'd lost himself in remembrance on how Touya had almost lost to the Therian leader twice and then nearly got himself killed at the prison, "Look, the point is, if you want a chance at taking out the rebel leader, you're going to need Touya at full strength. That includes having his bracers fixed. Unless you know any human tech smiths that know how to handle Therian technology and are willing, than we've got no other choice."

Damea was leaned forward the entire time he spoke, passionate on trying to get April to change her mind. He also hoped that when Touya woke again and was better that he would have enough sense to listen to the fire mage as well. Damea knew about Touya's promise to April, that once he was well enough he would bring her to the rebel leader. The damn Therian was stubborn to the letter and would follow his promise word for word. He hoped that when Touya woke again, he would be able to persuade the Therian to listen to reason and not go gallivanting around trying to find the man who almost killed him twice.

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Character Portrait: April Rosevolt Character Portrait: Touya Khan Character Portrait: Damea Reese
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April Rosevolt





“I really don't think Touya's all that keen on hiding the fact that he's Therian. He seems too proud to do something like that. In fact, all Therian's are like that. They're prideful, April. You can't just ask them to hide who they are. Besides, it would still be hard to keep the fact that he's Therian hidden, what do you wanna do to his skin tone? Paint him?" Damea rolled his eyes sarcastically, but it was his condescending tone that appalled her. "As for his being so keen on freeing me, yeah it has nothing to do with the fact that I sympathize with the Therian's. If you must know he simply wanted an answer to a stupid question. I mean really... who the hell breaks into a prison to ask a guy a question?"

“I can vouch for that last part also,” Reginald chuckled ruefully, clearly amused by the memory.

“That’s Miss Rosevolt to you! Honestly, do you really want to argue semantics and pride while lives are at stake?” April snapped directly at Damea, her fingers pulling into a tight fist, “Stop kidding yourself Mr Reese. Between staying alive by simply hiding or suffering at the hands of the government, which do you think is more sensible? If that therian is really foolish enough to allow something as petty like pride cloud his judgment then I’ll staple a jacket on myself.”

Narrowing her eyes at the vibrantly dressed mercenary, April inhaled a breath to compose her fitful anger. The irritation was particularly apparent then given her frazzled appearance, or perhaps it just enhanced it. “Look I understand there’s bound to be differences between our cultures, but at the moment they just don’t take precedence. Furthermore, I feel I should warn you. Stay out of my way. As long as you and your ‘sympathizing’ doesn’t unnecessarily intrude, things should work out fine between us.”

"He's not going to defect," Damea murmured with some frustration. On that sentiment April could agree with him. So often had their ideals directly clashed againt one another that often it felt like she was talking to a brick wall. April got the same feeling from her conversations with Touya. Earlier, she was drawn in by the fact that she needed the additional aid in order to defeat the therian rebels. Now after she had the chance to speak to Damea, she would be willing to trade a single man from D Company for a dozen of Damea’s.

After a length of time, Damea seemed to reach a solution to her conundrum. "Touya can find the clan. All we need to do is get out there and get close enough. He can do the rest. Don't you remember what I told you about Therian's? They can feel each others presence when they are near by,” he said, insistent on finding the therian’s clan.

“Rash. Far too rash. You just said you don’t even know where they are. Without a heading and direction, how are we supposed to get ‘close enough’?” April chastised the fault in his logic.

[b]“Why do you not want him able to fight? Are you afraid that he'll turn on you? There's nothing to fear, he's not going to try and kill you the moment he's got all of his power back. Do you really think that just the three of us can take on the rebel leader?"


April shifted uncomfortably beneath her clothes, unwilling to admit how close Damea had come to hitting the mark. Yes she was afraid. There was still so little she knew about Touya and the therians that it was difficult not to feel anxious around them. The truth of the matter was she saw the reflections of those therian rebels in Touya. Dangerous, cunning and more powerful then she could handle alone. April asked herself, wondering if behind the sweet and innocent façade, Touya was the same.

"That guy almost killed Touya and I don't know about you, but, if we fought Touya when he was at full strength I don't think any of us would survive. He's a lot more powerful than all three of us combined. The only reason he's not so right now is because he got his ass beat when he went to face off with the leader. And... then... did it a second time... and well, we all know how that went.”

“So are the beastmen,” April scoffed, “But there are plenty of ways one can eliminate a person without physical conflict.”

"Look, the point is, if you want a chance at taking out the rebel leader, you're going to need Touya at full strength. That includes having his bracers fixed. Unless you know any human tech smiths that know how to handle Therian technology and are willing, than we've got no other choice," Damea added imploringly. It was an effort to appease her better sense of judgment and he looked her earnestly, or at least as earnestly as those mismatched eyes of his allowed.

“Fine, but you have to prove to me first that you at least have coordinates of some kind before I accept an adventure of any sort,” she grimaced, clearly wondering if she was making the correct decision. Wiping the weariness away from her face, April recollected her gear and gloves before standing. “We move first thing in the morning. Get your gear packed in preparation.”





Glendale Prison





“Is this report correct? You’re certain of what you saw?”

Stephan Crow, the warden of Glendale prison nodded in an affirming fashion, “I confirm that sir. The white haired scoundrel was definitely one of those faceless. Blades literally came out of his wrist, though he didn’t use any of the other powers you described.”

The figures presented offered each other ambiguous looks. One was undoubtedly aristocratic by the aloof fashion with which he carried himself. A blond comb over was accompanied by deft chiseled features, good looks that could have disarmed any admirer with simple stares. If not for his reputation, Stephan may have underestimated the beast slayer himself. Miles Riverbend of the house of Cardinal. The famous soldier who slayed the beast king in the last Great War. Perfectly constructed, his stature matched even Stephan’s own in height, though the warden had the upper hand in bulk. Accompanying him was another man, though Stephan was hesitant to call him such for he was evidently far more than that. Each breath came as a filtered wheeze through the grills in his gasmask. Unnerved by the constant hissing, Stephan leaned forwards into his desk, eager to get them out of his office.

“Not that I wish to be rude boys, but I do have a lot of paper work to complete after the fiasco from a few days ago. Are we done here? You’re welcome to keep the report,” Stephan said.

“We just trying to clarify a few last things. The other two that accompanied him, they were…?” Miles asked. The beast slayer had done the bulk of the negotiating, in fact Stephan could not remembered a time when he heard the other man speak once.

“Uncertain. Most likely human,” Stephan shrugged, “There was a fourth one also, but they wore a disguise.”

“Hmm, shame. Well, never fear warden, I’m sure your record will recover, in time,” Miles smirked contemptuously. He clearly knew of the old warden’s sadistic conduct and enjoyed seeing the other man beaten at his own game. “That should be all for now, thank you for your cooperation.”

Stephan grimaced in a parody of a smile. Cocky on top of famous, perfect, he thought. Too annoyed to show them the courtesy escort through the doorway, Stephan remained glued to his seat. Abruptly, the other man paused by the doorway, his breathing labored regardless of whatever activity he was performing.

“Oh, we’ve heard you’re having something of a capacity issue these days warden. Perhaps we could help you with that problem.”

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Character Portrait: April Rosevolt Character Portrait: Touya Khan Character Portrait: Damea Reese
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April Rosevolt





“Here,” April said, appearing in the room almost on cue. Dumping a set of dark rags and armoured plating on the table, she wiped away the beads of sweat that had collected against her forehead. Exertion colored her features, flustering her slightly tanned complexion. Included within the pile were Touya’s twin blades, folded over into intricately compartmentalized gears. April regarded them sourly, sceptical as to how one could ever maintain such elaborate mechanisms.

“Your weapons and armour. I kept them hidden in case you felt the urge to ‘liberate’ any other friends while I wasn’t looking,” she continued, half-frowning at Touya’s shirtless attire. Taking in his pale ivory skin and defined contours of lean muscle, her curiosity piqued. Where all therians so alike, so similar to humans? The uncanny nature of their biology was both chilling and strangely associable. She knew the elves were of a similar nature, or was it the other way around? Perhaps humans were the ones similar to therians. After some moments she tossed a shirt across the room at him nonchalantly, indifferent to his thoughts of her staring. “We got you a new shirt in town. The last one was torn to shreds and unsalvageable. I hope this one fits because it’s all you’re getting. I don’t have enough money to buy multiples.”

Still dressed in her leather suit, April’s size seemed to pale in comparison to Touya’s and Damea’s without the added bulk of her armor. “Reginald will be joining us later at a rendezvous point. I sent the man ahead on an important errand,” April explained, walking into another room that housed their necessary supplies. The cottage had been woefully short on space, but April considered it lucky to have any roof over their heads at all by this stage. Anxious to leave behind the basic comforts society offered, she resigned herself to lodgings in the wilderness for the sake of her mission. Now that their expedition was on the verge of commencing, even she was reluctant to leave the battered confines of the shabby cabin.

“Shall we go?”





Dean ‘Havoc’ Reginald





Reginald walked briskly down the grassy avenue, a letter held between his hands. Rudely awoken earlier by April’s pestering, he had been sent on a personal errand of some sort. The whole affair was rather awkward. April more apprehensive that usual at the time that she came to him, but Reginald assumed it was simply because of the nature of the letter. Whatever it was that was written in it.

“Who exactly lives out in these parts anyway?” Reginald said to himself. He flipped the letter in his hand over and scanned the address once more. According to April’s instructions, the establishment should just be beyond this ridge.

But Reginald saw nothing. Knitting his brows together in confusion, Reginald placed his hands on his hips and gazed at his surroundings. Mentally retracing his steps, he wondered if he had gone the wrong way. Impossible, he had an excellent sense of direction, as did most men from D Company. Perhaps there was an error in coordinates…

“April…” Reginald sighed, unravelling the mystery.

Fitting his finger under the letter’s flap, he pulled across and tore open the letter to reveal its contents. A note lay within, clearly addressed to him. Mortified, he slipped out the paper and unfolded it.

“‘Look after your house’, huh?” he smirked, realising he had been played. “Who will look after you now though?”

She was being selfish again. Or so, that’s what he thought. If that was the case, why could he sense someone behind him then?

“Excuse me sir,” said the stranger.





April Rosevolt





Their journey to the ‘rendezvous point’ took an arbitrary forty five minutes to reach. April wanted to ensure that there was adequate distance between them and the cabin in case Reginald caught wind of her ruse earlier than anticipated. In the same vein, travelling to far would have raised Touya and Damea’s suspicions. To further stack the odds in her favour, she deceived Reginald into travelling in opposite direction of their heading. Not that it matter, she would be informing her intrepid ‘companions’ shortly anyway.

Upon reaching the designated meeting point, April paused momentarily as she leaned against a small outcrop of boulders. Appearing to be resting, she offered a prayer to Reginald’s safety before voicing her betrayal.

“We should keep moving,” she said to the others abruptly, “I regret to inform you that Reginald won’t be joining us… I won’t risk the lives of any more of my men.”

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“Here,” April's voice filled the room as the woman entered and dropped an arm load of armor and weapons onto the couch that was in the center of the room. Her eyes glanced over to Touya who had turned to address her once she'd walked in.

“Your weapons and armour. I kept them hidden in case you felt the urge to ‘liberate’ any other friends while I wasn’t looking,” She stated, her gaze lingering on his frame longer than expected. He frowned at her at her suggestion of his going to free other friends. As far as he was concerned the only one in that room he considered partially a friend was Damea. April tossed a white shirt at him then and he caught it deftly.

“We got you a new shirt in town. The last one was torn to shreds and unsalvageable. I hope this one fits because it’s all you’re getting. I don’t have enough money to buy multiples.”

Touya's eyes examined the cloth in his hands and deemed it large enough to be suitable. Pulling it on over his head, he found that it did indeed fit, albeit a bit tight across his chest and shoulders. Humans tended to be a bit smaller in build than a Therian. Even so, the cloth was long enough to cover his skin from the chaffing of his silver armor. He looked down at the pile of armor that she'd brought it, no doubt all of it having been fairly heavy for her to carry. The silver plates had taken a lot of damage and were in dire need of repair by a Therian. The metal was thin, but heavy duty to withstand a beating. However, the beating that Touya had taken did a lot of denting and tearing across the metal. Therian weapons were meant to cut through their own armor, hence the reason his armor was so severely torn.

Picking up the chest piece he examined it with a deep set frown. The armor would still be useful to him should they get into any fights, but it would only serve him for a little while longer before it went far beyond repairable. Touya pulled the armor on with a dissatisfied sigh. Perhaps Damea was right in going to see the clan. At least then he could have all of his equipment looked at and repaired. He was sure most of it needed something done to it.

“Reginald will be joining us later at a rendezvous point. I sent the man ahead on an important errand,” April continued, disregarding Touya completely.

"Well damn. You should have told me, I could have done it myself. I would have been back by now," Damea replied with a shortness to his tone. Touya glanced up to the fire mage but didn't comment.

“Shall we go?”

"Lead the way," Touya said, his words directed at Damea who was insistent on finding the clan of Therian's.




They had reached the point where they were meant to meet up with Reginald, but when they got there no one was there waiting for them. Touya had already had a bad feeling the moment that April had said that the doctor had gone ahead of them on an errand. Her apprehension was clear to him during that time and the entire time they'd been walking. So, when the woman turned to them some time later after waiting, he wasn't surprised at what she said.

“We should keep moving. I regret to inform you that Reginald won’t be joining us… I won’t risk the lives of any more of my men.”

Touya's lips turned downwards and his eyes narrowed at her. Damea on the other hand voiced his complaints immediately, "What? Why isn't the doctor coming with us? I thought you said he went on an errand. No one just goes on an errand and then suddenly decides they aren't coming. Wait... you knew all along he wasn't coming. Was it something I said? I mean, I know I can ask a lot of questions, but damn he should have just told me to shut up or something. This is a little over board you know-"

Touya raised his hand at Damea, silencing the fire mage as he rambled on, "I figured you were hiding something," Touya leaned forward getting close to April, "It's nice to have my suspicions concluded. Makes it easy when one knows they can't trust someone, ever," he growled.

Pulling away, he started walking down the road. With a heavy sigh he uncrossed his arms and looked back at her, "Instead of tricking him, don't you think it would have been better to tell him that you cared enough about his safety to have him stay behind?" Touya bit his tongue from saying more. He understood why she'd made Reginald leave. She'd lost too much to put another one of her own in danger. It was the lie that bit at him, tore him apart. It was what helped to start solidifying his judgment towards humans. He couldn't trust any of them, nothing that they said was true or caring.

"Damea, lead us to where you were last with that clan. I can do the rest from there, I'm sure they're not far from their last site."




Damea had brought them to where he'd last been with the clan which had been some months ago. As predicted, the group of Therian's had long since left their last spot. According to Damea, the group usually traveled east, keeping far from the cities. It had taken them two days to get to where Damea had last seen them, and another two due east before Touya felt anything that pulled him to the group of Therian's. During those four days of travel, Touya avoided April at all costs and did not speak to her at all. Damea on the other hand couldn't keep his mouth shut and constantly talked asking both of them questions about everything he could think of.

Touya was annoyed with him, but figured that the man didn't do well with silence and so had to fill it somehow. He also thought that maybe the fire mage was trying his best to mend things between April and the Therian, all to no avail of course. So, on the fourth day, Touya led them to the clan and they soon walked into the camp of about fourty Therian's. Children ran about, screaming and laughing, women and men mingled doing their daily duties to feed and cloth their people. Not but a few seconds into their arrival, Damea was swarmed by Therian children.

"Damea!" They screamed and ran right up to him. Damea dropped down and hugged them all, a large smile upon his lips. Touya stood stone still, shocked at what he was witnessing. A human hugging a Therian. It was unheard of. He didn't know what to do. A warm hand took hold of his wrist and lifted his arm, taking his attention. An older Therian woman with her white hair pulled back and braided in may places was examining his hand. Touya's own long hair was braided as well, kept out of his face.

"You're lucky, Havatha."

"Invathi," Touya replied in the same language, his voice softer than usual. He made to bow to her, but the Therian woman slapped his arm lightly, giving him a sour look as if chiding him.

Touya's lips turned upwards in the smallest smile to ever paint his face, "Thank you."

"Do not thank me yet, Havatha. We've no drugs to put you to sleep for this," she warned him, her silver eyes gazing up at him to make certain he understood the implications. At this time, behind the elder woman a small group of Therian's had gathered, some of them reaching out for Damea as they obviously recognized him and welcomed him. The fire mage stood with three children in his arms and two clinging to his legs. He offered Touya a crooked grin and a wink as he moved to mingle with the people.

"I told you this was a good idea," Damea shot back before he was lost to the Therian's who crowded him asking him thousands of questions, and the children who yelled at him to play. Touya shook his head and sighed.

"The woman, who is she?"

Touya glanced over his shoulder at April before he answered the elder in his own tongue, "Not really a friend, but not an enemy either, Invathi."

"I see. She may stay, but be mindful of your actions human. We enjoy your kinds company, but we also know of your hatred," the woman said in the common tongue, turning to address April. After doing so she tugged on Touya's arm and led him through the thinning crowd, "Sheree will help you. She is rare among our people and the only one in this clan to know the ways of our technology. We've gathered enough metal and supplies to help do repairs when such a thing happens, but as I told you, we do not have the drugs to help you with the pain."

"I'll be fine, Invathi."

The woman turned and gave him a credulous look, "So he says now," she scoffed earning yet another smile from Touya and a partial laugh. Another woman met him, this one younger and fairer than the elder. She smiled up at Touya who nodded at her, "Havathii," he said to her.

"What is it you need?" Her eyes alighted upon the hand that the elder lifted and her lips opened into an 'o', "I see. I'm sorry, but I have no place for you to sit as all of our tents and such are used only for sleeping."

"I can stand."

Sheree frowned at him, "Sit upon the ground, Havatha, you won't be able to stand once I get started."

Touya did as he was told and seated himself on the earth while the woman went and got her supplies. What looked normal to him, must have looked strange to Damea and April. The tools that Sheree brought out resemble simple little pieces of metal, some long and curved at the end, others looking to be hollow. They were what the Therian's used to create their weapons and mechanics.

Touya held out his hand to Sheree and she took hold of it carefully. In her other hand she held a thin, long, curved metal tool. It was sharp at the end, so sharp it would cut through the metal on his hand easily. Touya took a deep breath and prepared himself for her work. The metal cutter dragged across the jagged pieces of his wrist and top of his hand, cutting off the ends that were lifted up from having a sword shoved through his hands. Touya's breath sucked in sharply, his other hand slowly curled in the dirt, pulling the earth tightly between his fingers. The metal where Sheree was cutting shimmered, shining a bright silver and looking almost like liquid, as if it were bleeding from being cut.

Once she was finished with that she put the tool down and grabbed another. Her eyes flicked up to him with a slight frown as she prepared to continue with the repair. She needed to work from the inside out, fixing the mechanism that drew the metal across his hands. She pushed the tip of the tool inside the wound and began working it to put the pieces back together. Sometimes she would withdraw and add smaller parts to the inside of his hand. All the while, Touya was fighting to stay upright, his teeth ground together and his eyes shut tight. After some time, Sheree adjusted her grip on his hand and he felt a cold metal plate pressed on top of the open wound.

The sound of something clicking on filled the air and right after a sharp hissing sound. Touya glanced at what she had done and found that she was getting ready to meld the metal to his hand, completing the repair. As soon as the heat touched his hand he lost control and toppled over. Sheree still held his hand tightly to keep him from moving it as he cried out and curled into a kind of ball on the ground. Every so often he would uncurl, his body reacting to the burning across his hand, nearly writhing on the dirt. He grew dizzy and couldn't remember when she finished for it was only blinding pain that filled his thoughts. Even so, it was only one hand done and the other to go.

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Character Portrait: April Rosevolt Character Portrait: Touya Khan Character Portrait: Damea Reese
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April Rosevolt





Touya leaned down, his tone condescending, "It's nice to have my suspicions concluded. Makes it easy when one knows they can't trust someone, ever."

Spoken with vindication, the words coiled inside of her chest and squeezed the air from her lungs. Shocked, April looked up and met his lingering gaze with a staunch expression. She stifled her instinctive response to rebuke his naivety, clenching her hands together. Touya’s cooperation was still vital if she wanted her revenge.

Disgust or regret caused him to falter slightly and turn away from her. April figured something like this would happen, but she did not anticipate such an overwhelmingly negative reaction from Touya. What did he know of duty? Of responsibility? What was she meant to do? Deprive another man of his life? Reginald would have never accepted the offer to step down. In all honestly, she would have fought alone if she could, but the folly of such bravado was clear. "Instead of tricking him, don't you think it would have been better to tell him that you cared enough about his safety to have him stay behind?"

Her mouth opened to reveal a scowl as the last of her patience exhausted. “Don’t you dare presume to patronize me! The world isn’t as black and white as you think it is Touya, the truth doesn’t solve everything,” April snapped in return, “If life so was convenient society wouldn’t be so screwed up.”

Her voice seemed lost to him as he trudged along the dirt path, not that she cared. Petulantly, April kicked the dirt in a fit of anger, hating life at that moment. "Damea, lead us to where you were last with that clan. I can do the rest from there, I'm sure they're not far from their last site."

“Let’s get this over and done with,” she hissed.





Four days travel equated to four days torture for April. Whenever the mercenary was not around to pester her, Touya’s presence would plague her instead. It acted as a painful reminder of everything she had lost. She had purposefully avoided him during the journey, just as he did to her. Nothing particularly obvious, but one could detect the awkward tension surrounding the two. The utter lack in exchange of words except for necessities was the most glaring indicator.

They arrived on the fourth day, successfully locating their quarry after the fruits of so many labors. Even with correct pacing and a liberal sprinkling of rest periods, April’s feet were sore from the tedious hike. It was her first time journeying so far outside the boundaries of human territory. Exasperate by the time of their arrival, April floundered as a flock of therian children was the first thing to greet them.

Within seconds a horde of miniature therians had amassed around Damea. “They seem to love you,” she remarked, watching their carefree expressions with envy before shifting her gaze to the rest of the camp.

Counting the sheets of pastel materials draped over intricate frames, April estimated there were twenty or so tents in total. Less than fifty therians within this community. Admittedly, she was surprised by their primitive establishments. Given the nature of their mechanical body parts, at some point she naturally assumed their civilization would be more advanced.

Trailing behind the rest, April’s focus turned to an elderly woman as she approached to greet Touya. The first thing she did was tug at the therian’s arm roughly, inspecting the damaged bracers. After a moment they shared warm greetings, and for the first time April was certain she caught a genuine smile from Touya.

"I see. She may stay, but be mindful of your actions human. We enjoy your kinds company, but we also know of your hatred," the elder woman spoke, abruptly switching to the human language so that she understood.

“You mistake caution for hatred. I only despise the culprits who destroyed my company,” April replied calmly, “And I’m sure they’re causing their share of problems for you also.”

More was said, but April remained ignorant to it, unable to comprehend their native tongue. She followed wordlessly as Touya was led through the crowds, observing the proceedings with interest. More rather, she was astonished hostile receptions had yet to hail her. Touya in turn was introduced to another woman. Ushered into a nearby shelter, the canvas walls masked their activity from prying eyes. Away the baking sun, April also relished the drop in temperatures. Unfeasible tools lined the walls and racks, tools she assumed would assist in the repairs. There were no beds, nor any sign of sterility. Forced to sit on the ground, Touya’s pained expression was the first indication that something was wrong.

April’s blue eyes narrowed at the scene as her previously crossed arms unfolded and reached for her crossbow. “For someone supposedly receiving aid, he’s in an awful lot of pain,” she growled, alarm inching into her tone. Touya was her only link to the rebels, she would not allow him to die here, “Stop what you’re doing!”

Setting

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Character Portrait: April Rosevolt Character Portrait: Touya Khan Character Portrait: Damea Reese
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“For someone supposedly receiving aid, he’s in an awful lot of pain. Stop what you’re doing!”

Sheree looked up at April, startled at her out burst. She'd finished melding the metal to his hand, covering the hole that had kept him from pulling out his claws. Her fingers loosened on his and Touya flipped over to face April. All in one motion he snatched her hand and brought her down to the ground next to him. He used her as his pillar to pull his body upwards, uncaring if he hurt her or not at that point, though he tried not to. His hand snaked up around her back and locked on the back of her neck, dragging her further down to him. She was crushed against him and his lips growled in her ear.

"Don't you dare draw your weapon," the threat was meant to scare her, but his voice wasn't half as imposing as he'd hoped because he was wincing from the pain in his hand that was locked on her neck. His fingers shook slightly as he'd tried to close them but couldn't do so. He turned back to Sheree and offered her the other hand, with a nod to her he told her, "Continue."

Sheree took his hand and did as he said, starting again with cutting the jagged metal away to make it flat and even again. He shuddered against April, fighting off the feeling. Though his hand held no strength, his arm still curled against her, holding her tightly. His breath was short and quick against her shoulder and as Sheree started to work on the inside of his hand, his face fell slowly down into April's shoulder. He didn't hear Damea come to them right then either as he was too far gone with the pain. However, he did make out what the fire mage said well enough.

"Touya... Don't get mad at the woman, April. She's helping him, don't worry. Think of it like this, if you or I were to be injured in such a way we would need to have a doctor perform some surgery on us right? Say that doctor didn't have any medication for us to stem the pain or anything like that. We would be in a hell of a lot of pain. Well, that's what he's going through, he's feeling everything that she's doing to repair his hand. You have to remember, the metal on their bodies is their body. They have to take care of it just like we take care of our own bodies. I'm amazed he's still conscious."

"Of course... I'm still... conscious... idiot," Touya snapped back, though the threat lost all of its meaning when he was hunched over, clinging to April and his voice cut out with each sharp breath. Sheree was pulling all of the mechanics together again in his hand, replacing some parts and literally piecing him back together. Touya's arm pulsed around April's surprisingly small frame, his muscles contracting in response to each tiny motion that Sheree made in his hand.

"Yeah yeah, that's because you're damned stubborn," Damea responded, his voicing saying that he was grinning at the Therian. A moment later and a metal plate was pushed down into the hole, fashioned to fit perfectly there. Touya winced and bit at his lip as he leaned against the human woman. He hardly registered that he'd been holding her the entire time since pulling her down to keep her from drawing her weapon. That whole reasoning had left him and never returned to his thoughts as the Therian woman clicked on the melding tool once more. The moment the heat touched his hand he jerked forward, his arm squeezing April tightly.

When Sheree finished, Touya's voice was hoarse and he was utterly tired once again. His forehead was resting in the pocket between April's shoulder and collarbone having sunk that far during the melding treatment. Touya's arm slipped from her back and it took a bit of effort to push himself off of her. He was half embarrassed that he'd held onto her in such a fashion and mostly wanted distance between them then. He fell backwards and Sheree caught him instead, his chest heaving from loss of breath. With his eyes closed he listened to Sheree in their own tongue.

"You should rest here for a while. I need to keep an eye on the treatment and make sure that I didn't miss anything. Also, you shouldn't engage your claws, it'll only cause you pain to do so if you manage to get them to work. If you try and they don't work you could possibly damage all of the work I've done for you. Give it a day or two to settle and for the gears to get working again."

"I can't stay here, Havanthii."

"Why is that? You just got here?!"

"I have to take April to see Val."

Sheree froze as she stared at him, her arms wrapped around his upper frame as she held him, "Val... why do you want to go see him?"

"To try to stop him."

"Is that how this happened?" She asked him, nodding to his hands.

He didn't answer her, only looked away. Sheree sighed heavily and took hold of one of his hands. He winced slightly as they still burned, but the pain wasn't as much as it had been moments ago. She examined her handy work and gave a short nod. Taking a deep breath she adjusted her hold on him and looked to April, "Do not allow him to engage his claws. If he does it he can undo all the work I've done for him, not to mention it won't be very pleasant. He should stay here for at least the rest of today so that I can keep an eye on the repairs. If I missed anything we'll know by tonight."

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"I think we can spare a day," Damea answered flashing a smile at Sheree. Touya turned his pale blue gaze up to the fire mage and glared at him, "What!? You really should listen to the doctor of your people, Touya. It's common sense to take some downtime right after getting a surgery done."

"Surgery?"

"Yeah. You need some time to rest."

"I cannot. I must take April to see Val now. We've delayed long enough."

"Val isn't going anywhere, he can wait for the rest of today. If we go after him right now and your hands are like that, there's no chance in hell that we can win against him. Here, I'll prove my point," Damea retorted and drew his sword, "Draw yours."

Touya glared at him and got to his feet slowly. Reaching back he took hold of the handle of his sword and snapped it out in frustration. The blade opened up nicely though his hold on it was tenuous. Damea swung at him, lightly and Touya raised the sword on instinct to block. The moment the steel of each weapon collided, Touya dropped his and was down on his knees clutching his hand. Damea slid his sword back into it's sheathe.

"There, point proven. What about your armor hu? It's ruined from what I can tell."

"My hands will heal on the way and my armor can withstand more than this," Touya fought back.

"Stay here, Havantha. Let us repair you armor and weapons," Sheree interjected, her words back to their language. Touya frowned at Sheree and then glared up at Damea who stood with his hands crossed over his chest. He heaved a sigh and stood again. He didn't say anything but left the three of them there. Sheree stood and yelled out to him, "You may rest in my tent. It is the third one there," her finger pointed outwards and Touya went to it.

"Well, I guess that's finally settled," Damea remarked with an exasperated loosening of breath from his chest. He looked down to April and smiled at her. Reaching his hand out, he offered to help her up, "Hey, I'm sure you're hungry. Let me show you around this little village. Come meet the children, they want to know all about you."