The world leaders have met at a summit to discuss the potential fatal problems of such a vast population. But no agreement could be made on how to marshal the people. Many countries were forced onto the brink of war. The issue was soon dropped and everyone hoped it would soon right itself. However, the leader of Korea had other ideas on the matter...
”We’re not just talking about a small scale culling, here billions will die.”
“We have no choice we are working under His command, there’s nothing we can do”
“I don’t think I can do this...”
“You have to, there are necessary precautions to save the people who are needed. You will certainly be part of that group.”
“What about the innocent people? Mothers and children? How can you justify that?”
“We are working for the greater good, for a better more resilient future. Do you understand the potential of this? We are talking about better people. Stronger people and essentially less people.”
So the act was done, there was no going back. Full scale panic swept across the nation, as the Korean leader announced what had been done. A disease has been released by the Korean scientists. This disease spread like wild fire, wreaking havoc across every country it touched. Starting waterborne it soon evolved to become even more deadly yet. Once it reached the atmosphere there certainly was no way to stop it. Within weeks everybody contracted the awful disease. Some people hung on longer, but never more than a few days. Soon they would die a slow and painful death.
With the exception of just a couple of million people, you are one of the survivors. The future of humanity, sure you suffered, but you’re alive. You felt the pain of the terrible disease but you pulled through. Now you are the future of humanity. Having the disease has somehow altered your DNA. You are the new breed of human.
Designed to not only reduce the population, but also to create something known as a “superhuman”, where common illnesses will no longer have effect, where muscles are stronger and offspring are more powerful than before. The “old” kind of human has been totally eradicated, the next generation will be “superhuman.” Low immunity and illness is nothing but a distant memory...
But something has gone wrong. They had hoped for less free will, humans to be a better workforce than before, but they got more than they bargained for. Your DNA has been altered so much that many have developed “powers.” Not the usual controlling elements or becoming invisible etc.
Can you smell that? That’s the smell of danger...
Can you taste that? That’s the taste of evil...
Can you hear that? That is the sound of a person four miles away...
Not only has the disease made the people stronger, but given them unimaginably acute senses. Most can smell and taste when danger is approaching, or hear things that are miles away. Fewer have individual abilities, such as being able to read some minds or simply being able to tell when something bad is going to happen or even rarer, possible flashes into the near future.
Will you seek fellow survivors and form an alliance to get to the bottom of the deadly secrets? Will ‘tribes’ be formed, or will you wander the now desolate earth alone? Will you become a scavenger, or will your newly found freedom go to your head?
You live in the city of Exodar where the surviving people are in panic, but someone has to take charge. So what exactly are you going to do?
And finally, something scarier is on the horizon...You’re being hunted!!
Family (if you have any):
2) Catherinebutcher is my Co-GM, as we wrote this together! She is in charge as much as I am!
3) Your powers MUST have limits.
4) If you want a power that isn't listed then please consult us in ooc or PM one of us.
5) Please be literate.
6) Also we'd like at least a paragraph per post. And we're not talking three lined paragraphs here!
7) Use the character sheet given! Or else...
8) Post 'turmoil' at the end of your character sheet, just to show us that you've read this.
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These poor, unfortunate souls were once a part of this great world, but have been abandoned. Why don't you consider viewing their profiles and making a decision on whether or not you can roleplay them accurately?
The first thing he would sense upon his way back to lucidity would be an exchange between two voices, one low and slightly raspy with age, one soft and almost musical in cadence. The sensations after that would only be remembered in pieces: something cold trying bravely to do battle with the searing heat of his skin, something hot but soothing making its way down his throat. And something soft- a touch, perhaps. It was hard to tell.
Then there was pain as his wound met air again. He tried to stir, to move away from it, but his body was not yet ready to respond. Instead he was forced to remain still as the pain gradually subsided into blessed relief. He himself might have sunk into sleep once more, but it was then that a voice sounded, closer to him now, and somehow more important.
"There. You have no excuse not to get better now." It was as though the voice had pushed away the final barricade between his mind and his body; he knew at once that he could move again, if he wished. And he did, opening gray eyes hesitantly, but keeping his breathing the same.
Whatever he had expected, she had not been it. A girl sat beside him, pale in just about every aspect of the word, and slight. There was a small smile on her face, though he could not for the life of him discern why. Beside her, on an end table sat a bowl and a pot of water, and suddenly the picture fell into place for him: she'd been the one tending to him earlier.
Jasper waited for her to say something, but she did not. For a moment, he wondered why, but he swiftly realized that the girl wore a piece of black fabric over her eyes. Is she blind? The thought struck him as odd. Why would a blind girl look after him? She couldn't see him, after all, and that had pretty much been the only reason anyone would have done anything nice for him before. His attitude was horrible, after all, and he well knew it. Even the old man from earlier had seemed put-off by it. Well, that was the point.
His confusion was complete enough that he forgot to be rude. "Where am I?" he asked, attempting to sit up only for the room to start swimming around him again. A hand went to his head, and he noted that the bandages on the corresponding arm had been changed. "Did you do this?"
Briskly Mia walked down the path and out on the street. Reaching up, she untied her ponytail, allowing her hair to fall over her shoulders. Her first thought was to go to the chemist to try and get some medicines that might be of use to them. Obviously there would be no-one there, but she'd just have to take them off the shelves herself. But she had to find one first. She walked the streets alone, avoiding any dead bodies, or anything that resembled a dead body. She kept her head down, but she was aware of everything around her. A barking from down a side street startled Mia, causing her to jump. She frowned, intending to carry on, when there was a whimper, followed by a furious bark. Turning towards the side street, she fought with herself about going down there, but a pained yelp decided it for her. She sprinted off down the street, listening for any signs of the dogs that were barking. An extra loud bark to her left told her they were in the garden. She looked for the gate, but when she found it, she discovered it was locked from the inside. Stepping back, she scaled the fence, jumping over to the other side. About three feet away from her, a brown Staffordshire Bull Terrier was backed against the fence, cowering, as a creamy Japanese fighting dog, snapped and snarled at it. It caught hold of the Staffy's scruff, shaking madly. Mia sprung forwards, grabbing the collar of the fighting dog, making it release its hold on the Staffy, who fell to the floor, limp. The fighting dog snarled all the more, attempting to turn on Mia, who held it firmly at arm's length. It snapped at her arm, making contact and holding on. She cried out, letting go of the dog, who still kept its hold.
Another bark from Mia's right caused her to jump, expecting the worst to happen and for the dog to attack her as well. But a blur of black and white went for the other dog instead. She felt the pressure release from her arm, heard a whimper and saw the Japanese fighting dog run for the house, tail between its legs. Looking around, she spotted a large black and white husky padding towards the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Hoisting herself up, cradling her arm, she joined the two dogs. It was clear that the Staffy was dead and the Husky whined gently, poking him with his nose. He looked up at Mia, focusing two eyes on her. One was a brilliant blue and the other a dark brown. She reached out her uninjured arm cautiously to the creature, which sniffed her, equally as cautiously. He licked her hand, causing her to break into a smile, the tension gone. She gently stroked the creature, scratching behind his ears. Reaching down, she took his name tag in her hand, looking for the name. "Storm," She whispered, thinking that it was the right name for such a dog. His ears pricked up at the sound of his name. "How'd you like to get out of here?" His brilliant eyes returned to his doggy companion and he whined again He was pained by the loss, though Mia believed that he'd follow her, should she try to make him. He sat down, looking stubborn, but with soft coaxing from Mia; he gradually made his way to the door, following her. She took him through the house and out of the open door. Why hadn't she noticed that before?
"A dog for a companion would surely be better than a human?" Mia thought to herself, as they walked slowly down the street, the Husky at her side. He was a trusting dog and she had heard bad things about these dogs before, but none of these seemed to apply to this gentle giant. "He won't ask questions, that's for sure." But deep down, Mia knew that their newfound companionship would have to end, she couldn't keep a dog at a time like this. Or could she?
Kit wasn't exactly sure what "this" was in his statement, given that she could not see, but suspected that just about anything different enough for him to be asking about was either her doing or Norman's. "Norman brought you back here," she stated hesitantly, "but I am the one who bandaged your wound, if that is what you mean." Her head tilted slightly to one side as she listened to the sound of his heart. It was stronger than it had been before, though she hoped the sudden change in environment wasn't placing any undue stress on him.
Gently, she placed a palm on his shoulder, urging him to lay back down. "You shouldn't try to move so soon," she insisted quietly. "You almost starved." Even as she spoke the words, she doubted they would be heeded. His vital systems were almost fully-operational again, and with a little more food, he would likely be completely fine. It didn't make any sense, but if this person had survived the disease, than perhaps his immune system was in such a state that such a quick recovery was to be expected.
"I'll be back with some more food," she informed him. "Please try not to strain yourself while I am gone." With that, she stood, making her way out of the room without too much difficulty, though she did have to stop and touch the doorframe, just to be sure. her way back down to the kitchen was punctuate only twice: once when she stopped outside the door to Amunet's room. The sound of two sets of steady breathing could be heard even through the door, and she smiled. It was good that someone as kind and good as Amunet had found the little boy; he would be fine now, she knew.
Norman, it seemed, was also dozing, which almost never happened. She wondered for a moment if she should disturb him, maybe insist that he leave the living room and head back to his own bedroom, but she didn't want to keep him awake with her movement next door. Kit hummed a small tune under her breath as she cooked; it seemed that much like her friend, looking after someone else was putting her in a good place. She found herself hoping that the stranger would enjoy the stir-fry she was making, but she would definitely make enough for everyone in case they woke.
Mia was another concern... She was being regularly sick even though Madeline knew she was trying to conceal it. And whilst Madeline would rather not consider life without Mia it seemed an alarming possibility. Not only was she getting sick, but her sadness was almost a physical being. She was sure Scarlett noticed something. Her wide eyes would not leave Mia, eyes which were almost frightened. What did vulnerable little Scarlett know that Madeline did not? Did she know anything? Sometimes Madeline wondered whether Scarlett even knew where she was half the time. Her eyes would glaze over and she would stop responding to what was being said. The little girl rarely spoke anymore, usually responded just by a nod or shake of her head. She would signal she was afraid just by extending her frail little arms, for a cuddle. Something she had done only a few moments ago. Madeline lifted her easily onto her lap, and encircled her tiny body in her strong arms. Madeline did not know if she could even walk anymore, as she had not seen her stand since the very first time she had spotted her. Madeline held her upright and lowered her gently to the floor, supporting her weight completely. Scarlett’s pretty eyes looked into in her own eyes, curiously. Madeline lessened her support slightly, and Scarlett’s legs immediately buckled, and Madeline caught her just in time. Sweeping her into her arms, she wondered over to the window awaiting Mia’s return.
‘Don’t be worried Scarlett, I survived just fine without my legs. I’ll take care of you I promise, you’re going to be ok. I’m not ever going to let you down. Perhaps we’ll get out of the city, the three of us. We’ll find a cottage, we’ll keep animals. You would like that wouldn’t you? You and Mia could get better. I was stupid, naive before this happened to me. I cared about nothing except myself, but now you’re my world. I barely know you, I know. I never imagined having children. They make a mess, and they’re loud. But you, you’re... I can’t even find the words. Remember when you called me your angel? Well your mine. You saved me. I’m going to find you a doctor, I’ll make him help you. Who could ever resist you anyway? I’d kill for you, and I think Mia would too. Please be ok, please...”
Madeline’s tears streamed down her face, she had never uttered such words before. But they were true. What if Scarlett died? What if Mia died? Where was Mia anyway? Could things get better, or would they only get worse?
"Come on boy," Mia muttered, hurrying back down the street and turning the corner. She hoped that the girls wouldn't disapprove of a dog; after all he had saved her. Storm padded beside her, licking her hand briefly, causing a rare smile to flicker across her red lips. Mia had figured that if she forced a smile then they'd stop worrying as much, but real smiles were coming more freely now. It took her only a few minutes to reach the front door of the flat. She hesitated at the door, hand reaching for the handle. She almost didn't go in. A mental fight erupted in her head, her head was telling her to walk away and get rid of the dog, but her heart screaming that he had saved her. Chewing her bottom lip, she made her decision, pressed down the handle and walked inside, Storm behind her. She noted the grinning face and for a second thought that he looked rather smug with himself, but the thought passed.
"Just me girls!" She called, so not to startle them with her entry. There appeared to be no-one else in this street, but someone might have happened across it by chance and she didn't want to frighten them. "I have a surprise, please don't scream." She made her way through to the front room, where they had been camping from the start. Mia was sleeping on the sofa, but it was comfy enough, so she didn't mind. She was worried about the reaction that this dog was going to bring, but she made herself a promise to keep hold of him. Madeline would be the one to refuse, she was sure of it.
Opening the door, she returned to almost exactly the same scene to which she had left. Except Scarlett was now cradled in Madeline's arms. Storm pushed his nose round Mia's legs, sniffing the air. He spotted the two on the floor and made his way slowly towards them, tail wagging madly. His different coloured eyes were focused on the little girl, intent on getting to her first of all. Mia smiled at the sight of the curious dog making his way to the sick little girl. "Storm, stop." She ordered quickly, just in case the youngster was frightened of dogs. Instantly, the husky stopped in his tracks and obediently sat down, though his eyes never once left the tiny girl in the arms of the older one. Mia held her breath for a second, before joining Madeline. "Is she no better?" She asked, kneeling, and looking sadly at them both.
‘I... I... don’t ... errr, like dogs.’ Madeline tried to sound bold but Scarlett’s hand returned to her cheek, rendering her once more speechless. The thought of Scarlett being bitten made her want to bolt out the door protecting Scarlett. But hadn’t Madeline made a promise to make it ok again for Scarlett. Hadn’t she sworn that Scarlett would get whatever she wanted? But hadn’t she also promised to keep her safe? In the back of her mind she knew she was blowing the situation well out of proportion, but the situation was fragile enough as it was. One little wobble, and Madeline was sure things would fall apart once more.
‘Can I touch him?’ Scarlett’s voice was different to how it had been just days before. It sounded like the note from a harp, a beautiful sound. Madeline could do nothing but stare open mouthed. She had not heard the girl speak since she had first found her. She was not even sure that the little girl still could. Slowly Madeline knelt beside the dog, with Scarlett on her lap. Madeline’s own fears were forgotten by her previous shock, but she was still not sure she could trust the wolf like dog. Scarlett lent forward slightly and threw her spindly arms around the dogs neck, Madeline gasped as the dog began licking her. She fought the urge to snatch Scarlett back, for it was surely tasting her. But Mia seemed perfectly calm almost pleased in fact. Mia herself looked different, the pain was still evident but she seemed slightly less strained. Mia herself knelt down, the closeness calmed Madeline. She knew the dog was going to bring happiness for the other two so she would just have to ignore her own fears. In fact the moment was pretty perfect, even with the dog so close. The three strangers were a family, perhaps more of a family that Madeline’s previous one had ever been.
Scarlett turned to Mia and beckoned for Mia to come closer. The three were now touching; Scarlett reached out towards Mia and touched her stomach. Her beautiful voice rung out once more, and the hypnotising smile returned with the word ‘baby’.
Moving slowly so as not to wake the sleeping boy, Amunet shifted off the bed and on to her feet. Once she was standing, she stretched, enjoying the pull on her muscles, until her body felt as awake as her mind. Feeling rested, Amunet left the room, closing the door quietly behind her and sent out her senses. She heard Norman's steady breath in the living room and guessed he was sleeping, then she heard Kit bustling about in the kitchen. She was about to head there herself when another sound stopped her movement. There was another person upstairs. She heard his breathing and felt suddenly alarmed. Why was their another person in the house? Overwhelmed with curiosity, Amunet momentarily forgot all else and made her way up the stairs, cautious and exceedingly quiet so as not to alert the person of her coming. If it was an intruder, she had to be careful. Once she reached the door, she listened to his movements through the wood for a bit before pushing it open.
When the door swung open, she was surprised to see a male lying in the bed. He was obviously being treated as a patient, judging by the new bandages on his arm. the pail of cooling water to the side of his bed, and the empty bowl that smelled of healthy soup. The fact that he was a patient didn't surprise her too much, because Kit and Norman were quickly becoming the benefactors of the struggling remains of the population. No. What surprised her was the overall familiarity of him. She felt like she knew him, but she didn't truly recognize all of his face. She wondered why he seemed so familiar, and without thinking, she opened her mouth to ask.
"Do I know you?" It left her lips before she could stop it, so all she could do was wait for an answer, staring quizzically at the stranger.
There might have even been a moment in there during which he smiled, but it disappeared as her small delicate hand felt the door frame for reassurance. It would appear that the blindfold was for a purpose after all, and he wondered how exactly someone as fragile-looking as that girl had survived the disease. There was still too the matter of why she or her friend the old man had bothered to help him at all. he had nothing to offer them, and all the usual reasons people considered doing the young man a kindness did not seem to apply here. To put it at its most simple and blunt, he was used to using his looks or his fists to get what he wanted. These people had been coerced by neither of those things, so why did they give a damn at all?
Jasper closed his eyes, bringing one arm to rest across his lids as if to block out the small shreds of light coming in from between the dark curtains. He wondered if they might be persuaded to help him find his brother. Something told him that the girl was one of those altruistic types who would do good for the sheer sake of doing good. He wasn't sure how to feel about that; Jasper did not much enjoy the idea of being pitied. In fact, he hated the very notion. But then, she hadn't seemed like she pitied him, exactly, and he doubted very much that the old man knew what pity was, at least from their limited interaction. It didn't even cross his mind that the girl was just a plain-out good person, since he couldn't recall ever having met one.
He heard movement outside his door, and initially he suspected that it was his caretaker, returned with food, but another second of listening informed him that this was someone who walked differently, with much more self-assurance. The door to his room opened without so much as a knock, and Jasper forced himself to sit up. This new woman was as different form the previous one as night and day, at least in appearance. While the first had been thin, pale, and blond, this one was tall, dark, with more curvature, perhaps. She was also apparently without regard for one's privacy.
"Do I know you?" she asked as if surprised, and a frown creased his face. Unless she had frequented the underground fighting circuit in Exodar, he very much hoped not. His goal in bringing his brother to this place had been to disappear, not gain any attention. A fruitless ambition, perhaps; the two of them collectively seemed always to attract attention.
"I doubt it," he replied coolly, aware that he was not presently in the best of condition. If the old man allowed this woman to wander about the area, it was doubtful she'd do him harm, but sometimes people just seemed to like picking fights. he sorely hoped this was not the case with this particular person. For some reason, he didn't want to start a fight in the girl's house. It felt as though it might be... breaking some kind of trust, which puzzled him. He wasn't the sort of person who trusted, but here he was. Trusting the girl to not poison him, trusting this woman not to attack... maybe he'd be better off leaving. To this effect, he swung around in the bed until his feet touched the floor. He'd been a fool for deciding to remain. There were simply too many people here; too many chances to fall into some kind of trap.
"Yes, of course. My mistake," she said before realizing it may be because of her that he wanted to leave, "Sorry for intruding. I thought you might not, well, that you weren't supposed to be here. I didn't realize we had another guest...Anyway, please don't get up. I'll leave if that's what you want, but I don't want Kit or Norman thinking I scared you off or something, especially when they went through all this trouble to help you." Amunet waved a hand to indicate the stuff around him. With a nod, Amunet turned sharply, her long, black braid whipping around to rest on her shoulder. She meant to leave but hesitated at the door. She was doing all sorts of rude things, wasn't she. Embarrassed by her manners, Amunet turned back just enough to glance at him over her shoulder.
"My name is Amunet, by the way, and welcome." Then, with a polite nod, she closed the door and just stood there. Shaking her head to clear away her confusion, she wondered why she'd gotten so flustered. Sighing, she stepped away, walking back downstairs to meet Kit in the kitchen. It was probably the nap...she thought to herself. I won't be taking anymore of those. Amunet was back on the floor of her bedroom and heading to the first floor when she came across Derris, who was looking around in confusion.
"Awake already?" she asked, causing Derris to spin around.
Derris had been sleeping lightly, not exactly ready for a long nap. He had been tired, but he had too much energy to fall into a deep sleep right away. He was almost there when Amunet's leaving caused him to stir. The sheets beside him were already cool before he woke up all the way, so he sat up and looked around, finding himself completely alone in the big room. Feeling a little nervous, he tiptoed out the door to go find Amunet when she came across him. He spun around at the sound of her voice, a warm smile breaking out across his features. He hadn't thought she had left him, but seeing her made all his nervousness go away and filled him with relief. Amunet, touched at his gladness to see her, bent over and swooped him up into her arms.
"You missed me already, Der-bear?" she asked, surprised at the pet name. It came out of nowhere, but she decided almost immediately that she liked it, "Can I call you Der-bear?" Derris nodded shyly and put his arms around Amunet's neck. Amunet chuckled.
"One of these days, you're going to have to actually say something to me, rascal." Shifting him into a more comfortable position, Amunet carried him down the stairs with her, taking him into the kitchen to where Kit was cooking.
"That smells good," she commented as she walked in.
"It's only vegetables, but I did not think that meat would be good for Derris or..." she paused, realizing that she did not yet know the name of her patient. "We have another guest," she continued by way of explanation. "Norman found him; apparently he has not been eating much either." She bit her lip. If these two had both been starving, perhaps it was possible that even now, many more citizens of Exodar were in the same boat. The thought of so many suffering did little for Kit's own appetite, but she would not forsake her own good fortune should there be people out there without it. To do so would be more inconsiderate than she cared to think about.
"How are you doing, Derris?" she asked the young boy himself. She doubted he was faring badly under Amunet's care, but she was concerned for him all the same. It would do little good for him to miss out on something she could give just because he was afraid to ask. At that moment, she caught the sound of Norman stirring, and directed a thought as to their location at him, knowing that he would be able to hear it. She had discovered this new trait of her guardian's quite by mistake, much as she had discovered her own. For a moment, Kit wondered if perhaps the others had strange abilities like that. Maybe they simply had yet to discover them.
Putting the thought aside for them moment, she took a plate and fork in each hand. "Forgive me; I must go make sure our other new housemate is all right." She nodded solemnly at Norman as he entered, and he patted her shoulder gently before attending to his own food. Instead of carrying it to the dining room, however, he settled into one of the stools on the other side of the kitchen island, guessing that this might be a more comfortable way fro present company to take their meals. The boy was new, but he simply guessed that one of the other of the young ladies had taken him in, and he was not going to protest. While generally logical, Norman was not exactly heartless, and he did have something of a soft spot for children.
"Hello," he greeted kindly, "my name is Norman. I live here, too, and help Miss Katherine."
Upstairs, Kit knocked quietly with an elbow before managing to open the door, pushing it ajar with a foot so that she might step through. She was a bit alarmed to discover that her patient was no longer laying down, but from the sounds of it, sitting up. "Is everything all right?" she asked him with concern, holding out a plate. "I hope you don't mind me taking dinner with you, but..." she was going to say that she wanted to make sure he could stomach it, but somehow doubted that such wording would be appreciated. He would probably infer this much, anyway.
That said, she settled into one of about three chairs arranged around a coffee table in one corner of the room, which was spacious enough to accommodate all this without difficulty. After a few moments of silence, she spoke again. "I'm sorry; I seem to have neglected my manners. My name is Kit Wilson. Might I be able to ask yours?" Perhaps it would be his wish not to say, but she'd leave it to her guest to decide. One could not expect that everyone would be willing to share personal information given the circumstances.
As for herself, Amunet stared hungrily at the stir-fry. The quiche had been so long ago, and now, she was starving. Happy to have something delicious to eat, she dug into her plate, after giving Derris a plate and a fork as well. The food was delicious, and Amunet found herself thanking her lucky stars she had found a roof and regular food and kind people. Living off the streets was easy for her by now, but she did appreciate not having to do so.
Derris smiled shyly at Norman as he ate his food. Just like Amunet and Kit, he got a good feeling from the old man, and he was glad to have met him. Derris wasn't too hungry, because he ate the quiche not too long ago, and he had been used to eating only a little bit a day. The quiche had already been more than he was used to, but the food was yummy, and he ate a few small bites anyway. Even if he didn't finish it, he would save it for later.
"Did you get the supplies you needed, Norman?" Amunet asked of the old man conversationally.
His unease was immediately forgotten as the first girl reentered the room carrying two steaming plates of something that smelled-dare he think it?- delicious. This one most certainly did not have that aura of a street rat. In fact, she seemed positively... the opposite. Her mannerisms smacked of what some people would call "good breeding." Jasper for his part usually preferred to think of it as snobbery, only she herself was making it difficult for him to do so. He wanted deeply to resent her, to push away the help she was offering and assert his own self-reliance once more, but she just seemed so... nice. Like truly, honestly kind. Quite frankly, it baffled him to no end. Rich people weren't supposed to be like that. They were supposed to be self-righteous, egotistical, aggrandizing fools, not nice tiny blind girls with free food.
Speaking of food, he accepted the plate wordlessly, though she did not seem to mind, instead asking if it was okay for her to eat up here as well. "It's your house, isn't it?" he asked rhetorically, shrugging before the lure of the food became too much to resist and he dug in. Watching her settle herself onto a chair, he sighed. He really probably shouldn't be eating on the bed; his mother would have killed him, were she still alive to do so and not long dead and buried. For a moment, he wondered where this girl's parents might be, and decided that it was most likely the disease had gotten them just like most everyone else in the world.
She introduced herself just as he was remembering that Amunet had called her Kit. An odd sort of name, perhaps, but it suited her, after a fashion. Not that she looked like a cat or anything, but... he shook his head. He was making no sense. "Jasper Devereaux," he replied after a moment of hesitation. What was a name, after all? It wasn't as though it would mean anything to her.
He ate in relative silence, glad that she did not seem the type to ask too many unnecessary questions. When they were both done, he stood, taking her plate from her hands wordlessly. "Don't suppose the kitchen's around here somewhere, is it?"
Scarlett had stopped petting Storm and was beckoning to Mia, who frowned. She leant forwards, so that she was closer to the girl. Puzzled, she glanced at Madeline, who looked just as confused as she did. Scarlett put her hands on Mia's stomach, causing a further frown. And then the world froze around Mia.
The word echoed around the room, into an eerie silence. No-one moved. No-one said a thing. The atmosphere was suddenly tense and uneasy. Mia blinked once, her eyes still on the little girl, she couldn't tear them away. Inside she was mentally trying to deny the fact that she had heard that one word, but her heart knew that the word had come from Scarlett's mouth. It didn't make sense. But how could it be true? How could she be pregnant? No, she wasn't, there was no way...Or was there? In the few seconds that passed, Mia tried desperately to grasp what was going on. The fact hadn't yet sunk in and she didn't want it too. She felt numb and cold, as a shiver crept up her back. If the other two were talking, she wasn't hearing it, she blocked everything out. She couldn't believe it. How could have Scarlett deduced that she was pregnant by simply watching Mia? Thinking back, Mia realised that everything fitted perfectly, the symptoms, the moods, the pains. Suddenly it hit her, out of nowhere and like a brick wall. Her blue eyes filled with water, tears cascaded, caressing her pale cheeks. Mia was pregnant. It was true. She could feel her whole body trembling from head to toe. A sick feeling filled her and she took a few shaky breaths to steady herself.
Moving slowly, her hands found her slightly bulged stomach, her eyes gradually looking down as well. A tiny baby was growing inside of her. But she couldn't have a baby? How would they cope? They were barely surviving at the moment. If she was expecting...That made things complicated. She couldn't have this baby. Harry's baby. Fresh tears. Their situation had just gotten increasingly worse. Panic took over as she realised the complications and how this would affect them all. Tearing her hands away from her stomach, she scrambled up and headed for the door, intent on getting out, but something stopped her. "I can't have a baby!" She cried, more tears falling. She turned back to her two new companions, desperately, looking for help. "No! I can't be pregnant. Please, no!" Her hands found her hair and she pulled, looking like a crazed woman. Storm whined painfully, wanting to go to the woman who had offered him love and care. "I can't do this! I can't have a baby! Not now! Oh my....Harry's baby." Sobs shook her body as she fell to her knees, head in hands. "Harry's baby. Harry...."
Madeline knelt once more, she looked away from Mia. Scarlett wondered why she was not trying to help. Scarlett was close enough now to touch Mia, and she did. She mustered her strength and reached out to Mia. Mia held Scarlett close. The hold was familiar, and unfamiliar all at the same time. She did not smell like her mother but she did shake like her mother did. Scarlett felt at a loss, she felt like crying herself but she knew she must be strong. As strong as she had been for her mother. Her mother was gone, but Mia needed her. Just as her mother had needed her. Madeline too lent closer but hesitated before joining the embrace.
The room shimmered, and dimmed. The familiar darkness was returning. The emptiness, she dreams. She struggled, but in her mind the room had disappeared. Her mother’s scent surrounded her, lavender. A calming smell. Scarlett inhaled deeply, sighing happily. She thought her mother would have been pleased to have her little girl back, but she was crying. Shaking violently.
‘Don’t cry, please don’t cry. I’m here mum.’ Scarlett whispered, in her mind it was too her mother, but the words echoed in the living room of the small flat.
She was a bit surprised when her plate left her hands rather unexpectedly after she finished eating, but she had the good grace to recover quickly and smile. It seemed that Jasper was the sort of person who didn't openly express much, but preferred to do things efficiently. She hadn't even noticed his absence of thanks from earlier, and so it did not occur to her that this might be gratitude of some sort. Nevertheless, she was glad of the kindness.
"Yes. I'll take you there, if you'd like..." with that she stood, once again tapping the doorframe as she passed it, just to be sure she was in the right spot. It would be positively horrifying to run into a wall, though she would not pretend it hadn't happened a few times, when she was trying to find her way around without Norman to help her, in those early days of her recovery.
She led Jasper down a few flights of stairs, careful of her speed in case he should prove unsteady. It appeared, however, that she need not have worried at all, for he kept pace easily, as far as she could tell. On the way down, she could not help but wonder at the state of his emotions. The young man seemed to be in some kind of turmoil, though she obviously could not discern the reason, and perhaps asking would be inappropriate to her position. she did not truly know him, after all. Still, she could not help but feel a measure of sympathy. Whatever had happened to him, he seemed to have suffered a great deal, much like she had sensed from Amunet.
Norman smiled a bit at the young child's reticence to speak before he answered the question. "I did, and quite a bit of information, besides, some of which I think you might find useful." His tone, light earlier, had sobered, and he seemed to consider his words carefully. "This is, perhaps, a discussion for later," he continued, glancing meaningfully at Derris.
"Suffice for now to say that I tracked down some old colleagues, and they were possessed of some... most interesting facts." The elderly man grimaced a bit, and he might have elaborated, had Kit and their guest not entered at that point.
"Hello again, everyone," the young woman greeted, taking what appeared to be dishes from the youth and placing them gently in the sink. "Oh. Um.... this is Jasper. Jasper, these are Norman, Amunet, and Derris." She hoped he didn't mind her telling everyone his name, but things might have been a bit awkward without introductions. They couldn't go around referring to each other as "you" all the time, at any rate.
Shaking his head to himself, he followed her retreating back into the kitchen, a rather expansive sort of place currently occupied by what he took to be the entire household. There was Amunet again, and the old man-
Jasper stopped dead in his tracks. He was lucky that Kit had taken the plates from his when she had, for otherwise they would have shattered into a million pieces on the floor beneath him. It took him a second to fully reconcile his sight with his thoughts, and in that time he heard Kit make introductions, but he cut her off before she reached the little boy in between the other two.
"Derris," he croaked out in a harsh whisper. For surely that was his brother. He was skinnier than the last time Jasper had seen him, and his hair was cut differently, but... surely that was him. For a moment he was enraged that his brother should look so skinny and frail in the company of of healthy people, but then he realized that no matter how much he wanted to mistrust them, there was no way they would have allowed that to happen. No way she would, if she was bothering to help his sorry ass. And surely Amunet wouldn't either, knowing what it was like to go without as he suspected she did.
Anger evaporated, Jasper took a step forward, but halted again when he saw no response in his brother's manner, no light of recognition in the gray eyes, the exact same shade as his own. What was going on? Was it possible this was not his brother? Had the disease addled one of them too far to tell? Instead, his arms dropped to his sides. "You're still alive," Jasper continued, voice almost disbelieving. In truth, he didn't know whether or not to laugh or cry. He'd spent weeks on end searching the streets of Exodar, only to be brought here almost involuntarily and find his brother sitting and eating lunch like he'd lived here his entire life. The irony was almost too much, and Jasper didn't quite know what to do.
Unreal... this is just... he couldn't even find the words in his own mind.
"Derris?" she said to him softly, concern coloring her tone.
Derris watched the strange person name him without help. The way he said his name, his face, his words....They all seemed so familiar, like a memory from a dream, but...he couldn't clear the fuzz, the gray covering what made this man seem so familiar. Derris tried to clear the fuzziness away, but the pain he'd become accustomed to pierced into his mind. Scrunching his eyebrows in concentration, Derris tried not to cry out, clutching his head. He didn't even hear Amunet when she said his name. Images flashed across his sight and whispers, like voices on the wind. Derris! I brought dinner. There was that voice again. A face, the boy's but younger, flashed though his mind. Buildings. We'll get better Derris. We're strong and won't stay sick long. Sick? He'd been sick? The pain in Derris's mind sharpened, intensifying by many times over, and Derris couldn't hold back a breathless scream, and at last, he fell with relief into blackened unconsciousness.
"Derris!" Amunet cried out as Derris's unconscious form slumped into her arms. Suddenly terrified, Amunet shifted Derris, so she could feel his forehead. It was cool and slicked with a cold sweat, just like the rest of his frail body. He was breathing, but his breaths were quick and shallow. Still, Amunet sighed in relief when she felt his pulse, and though it was fast, it was strong. Cradling Derris like a baby, she glanced up at Jasper.
"Do you have any idea what just happened?" she asked, more to the whole room, but her eyes remained on Jasper. His eyes, just before Derris had collapsed, had been so lost and bewildered. She wondered if something had happened, because to her, Derris' actions had been like he was living a waking nightmare.
Mia had been clinging to the small girl when those words left her lips. For the second time in minutes she froze where she was, her body tensing. Tears stained her face, her eyes were red and her chest ached from sobbing. But those words made her realise she was frightening the little one. Her voice was frightened and Mia felt the urge to hold her close and whisper that it would be alright, to forget her own problems and concentrate on making Scarlett feel better. But on the other hand, she just wanted to burst into more tears and cry herself to sleep. She did neither. She was so confused that Mia had no idea what to do, so clearing her throat she handed Scarlett to Madeline and got to her feet, turning away from both of them. Wiping furiously at her face she got rid of the salty water and sniffed once more. For the moment she had to be strong. She could worry about this "problem" later. If she pushed it from her mind then maybe it would disappear, or that was her thinking at least. But Mia wasn't thinking straight and deep down she knew this was only going to get worse. But it made her sense to her to ignore the fact that she was pregnant. There was no proof, but the word of an ill little girl, so therefore it couldn't be true. She would distract herself and forget it. Storm whined, he too had joined in with the group hug, but stayed clear of Madeline, for his was aware of her unease. It snapped Mia out of her trance for a second and she made a sudden decision...
"We need to leave," Mia said stiffly, not turning to face them. Instead she gathered up the blankets from the sofa and stuffed them in her already full bag. "It's not safe here. And Scarlett will only get worse with all these dead bodies around." Her voice was detached, like it wasn't the Mia they knew. She was different. "I suggest the country. We can find a house out there." Only then did she turn to face them, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear. She studied the two, before striding around them, heading towards the kitchen. "Pack a bag Madeline. We leave in half an hour." Not waiting for an answer, she began to open kitchen cupboards, bagging the canned food and ignoring the stuff that was already rotting, such as fresh fruit and veg. It wasn't long before it was twice as heavy as it had been before. She swung it over her shoulders, testing the weight. It seemed ok to her, once they were walking it'd be fine. Pressing her forehead against the cupboard door she took a moment for herself, to calm herself. A single tear streaked down her face, before she brushed it away and returned to the two girls. "One of us will have to carry Scarlett at all times, until we can find something to push her in." Although Mia had pushed the fact away, her voice still didn't sound as though it belonged to her.
That did not, however, mean that he was comfortable telling them everything. So far, he'd had no reason to distrust them, but who was to say that wouldn't change. He contemplated grabbing Derris and fleeing, but he would have to get him away from Amunet, and that might cause one or both of them harm, something he did not feel they deserved. Plus, Kit was standing in the way of the door, and there was no way he was going to bowl over a blind girl.
That left him two options: tell them the truth and see what happened, or lie. Something about the last idea made hm feel immeasurably guilty, and besides he doubted the old man was the type to fall for it easily, judging from the sharp way he was taking in everything that happened. Jasper ran a hand down his face before responding.
"He... doesn't remember me." His voice was a bit less steady than he would have liked, but at least it didn't crack. He was certain something must have happened to his brother's memory; there was no other explanation for the complete lack of recognition he'd seen in the gray eyes. "I raised him from the time he was a baby, and he doesn't remember." He met Norman's eyes, then Amunet's. "Derris is... we're brothers, but we're also all the other has. Or at least we were." He shook his head, not allowing himself to appear as distraught as he was. This was all he was going to say on the matter for now; hopefully they would understand that it was all he felt comfortable saying.
Except... "When he wakes up, please don't tell him. He's... happier than he's been in a long time, not knowing. It looks like it hurt him to try." That said, Jasper brushed past Kit, careful not to jostle her. He needed to take a walk, but he wouldn't go far, now that he knew where his brother was.
"Brothers?" she questioned in a voice weak with something not quite disbelief. He hadn't been lying when he said it, she had been able to discern that much. The small girl bit down on her lip, torn between the need to make sure both brothers were going to be okay and Jasper's obvious need to be alone coupled with Amunet's obvious handling of the situation with Derris. She felt useless again, and it was making her angry with herself. Kit hovered in the doorway for a few minutes, trying to decide what to do.
In the end, her posture fell, thin shoulders slumping, and she turned to Norman and Amunet. "I'm... going to go play now," she said in a soft voice. What more could she do anyway? It was not as though she was of any help here. Jasper would have to work through his pain somehow, but she did not know how to help with that. Norman and Amunet were more than capable of helping Derris, and her hovering around like some kind of small bird was not going to help.
Swallowing hard, she let her feet carry her automatically to the grand piano in the salon. Rather than play, though, she closed the cover over the keys and pillowed her head upon her hands with it for support beneath her. She hadn't realized it, but her heart had been racing the whole time, thundering as though she needed to satisfy some base instinct to fight or run. Was that how Jasper had been feeling? Like he was threatened somehow? Was this feeling merely residual in her, and not her own?" She remembered feeling sadness upon Amunet's grief over her sister, and had put it down as being able to sympathize. But what if it was more than that? What if she was really feeling as other people did?
Well, whenever Kit felt that sort of way on her own, this had been where she retreated to. So maybe, her own feelings or not, she still just needed to do what she had always done in these situations. It would help flush the excess emotion from her system, anyway, something she was certain she needed.
And so Kit picked herself up, lifting the cover off the keys and placing her hands on them. Taking a couple of deep breaths, she willed her beating heart to slow, and eased into a familiar melody, her fingers at first not finding purchase as naturally as they had before. She false-started a few times, and almost gave up. But, if she couldn't even do this properly anymore, where would she be? Setting her mouth into a determined line, Kit tried thrice more before realizing her mistake and relaxing. She had forgotten something so simple, so fundamental, it was almost silly. This time, there was no false start, no hesitation, only gentle notes floating out upon the air, and Kit smiled.
Norman, now one of three people remaining in the kitchen, grimaced slightly. He'd caught a few scattered thoughts off each of the now-departed residents, and he could not say he liked the direction either of his insights was pointing. Miss Katherine, he imagined, would come to grips with whatever she was wrestling with in time; she had remarkable emotional resilience for someone of her age and condition, truly.
Jasper, he did not know well enough to say. The young man was clearly deeply conflicted by the revelation that his brother did not remember him, and for a moment, Norman tried to imagine what he would have done if Kitty had not remembered him upon waking from the disease. He supposed he would have been sorely hurt, not that he'd show it in front of her. Even this, though, would not dissuade him from protecting her, and he figured that it was a fairly safe assumption that he and the stubborn youth held at least much this in common. Difficult as it might be for some to believe, Norman had been young once, too, and knew well enough the perils of early adulthood, something that three of his four fellow survivors were dealing with presently.
Turning to Amunet, he answered the question that he supposed she might be inclined to ask. "I imagine they need but some time and space. Now, we should get the young one somewhere he might recover. We could give him his own room, or you might keep him with you, should you think that best." He wasn't personally certain this would be the best course of action, given the complications the brother provided, but he'd trust her judgment, which was saying a lot for him.
"And then, I suspect, there will be more you wish to know about what I discovered today." He offered a helpful smile, and indicated that he would carry Derris if she liked.
"I've got him," she responded to Norman's body language, "And I think, for tonight at least, I will keep him in my room. You can tell by the way he breathes he is wrestling with nightmares, and for a child so young, nightmares are only made worse by waking up alone. As for the future..." Amunet shrugged, a motion to project her easy flow to what the future might hold. She, too, unknowingly had the same thoughts as Norman and believed keeping Derris with her would cause complications to arise, but she couldn't help remembering the times she and her sister had woken in their youth from eerily identical nightmares and only had each other to clutch and wish away the bad shadows of the night. Somehow, she felt that giving comfort to this boy somehow made up for the comfort she never received.
"Anyway," Amunet said, pulling herself out of her haunted memories, "I'll take him upstairs, and then we can, perhaps, adjourn to a room more private?" She did not wait for instructions to a new location, because Amunet was certain she'd be able to use her enhanced senses to find him when she was finished. Amunet just hurriedly took Derris up to her room. Even though she had said she would carry him alone, she did find her arms tiring quickly, unaccustomed to carrying such weight for an extended period of time. It would be a while, though, before the weight became unbearable, and she found the boy's warmth and heaviness strangely comforting. Despite her struggle, she reached their room in no time and tucked Derris carefully into the large bed. When she finished, she watched his sleeping face with soft concern, brushing a few strands of hair from his forehead, before moving to leave, determined she would be back in no time to accompany the boy throughout his frightening dreams. As she predicted, Amunet found Norman with ease once she made use of her senses, and she quickly made off to meet him, once again eager to discuss the things he may have found.
He lay unmoving on an unforgiving stone floor. He didn't know where exactly he was, because he didn't even have the strength to open his eyes. He could only lay there, useless and weak, conscious of nothing but that cold, hard ground beneath his cheek. After an extended moment, Derris realized he could hear, despite his inability to move, and he gratefully used that to his advantage, honing in on the use of his hearing alone. He quickly picked out two sets of erratic breathing. One, he knew, was his own. The other...Jasper. Derris wanted to cry out, to see if his brother was all right, but shuffled footsteps interrupted his despair.
"There's two here," a male voice called. After more shuffling footsteps, Derris realized that another had come to them as well.
"Well, this one's useless. Look at him. He's on death's doorstep, but the boy...." the second man paused, "He will live, and he may have great potential. We'll take him."
"Are you sure we don't want this one. He may possibly live," the second man wheedled, his voice harsh and grating compared to the smooth intelligence of the second man.
"No," the second one objected sternly, "That would require too much on our part to revive him. He's older anyway, and he won't bend as easily to orders."
"All right, then," the first man sniffed, uncaring. Strong arms grabbed Derris and slung him carelessly over a large, muscular shoulder. Derris wanted to struggle, to scream, to fight. Anything. But he could even manage a squeak as he was carried away from his brother, the only home he'd ever known. Jasper!!!
Horrified by the feelings invoked by the dream, Derris pulled back, not enough to wake up but enough to escape the dream. He had a moment of suspended reality where he wasn't quite sure if he was dreaming or awake. Warm, comforting fingers brushed his forehead, and with relief, Derris sunk into a dreamless darkness, pulled far away from the dreams that his mind could be allowed to forget what he just saw. By the time he woke up, everything would be forgotten once again.
“We’re going to need more cloths; I don’t want Scarlett getting cold. I don’t want to keep coming so, I guess you should ermmm... Get some stuff for the b... b...” But she stopped, Mia was not listening, in fact she was packing so frantically that she was afraid she was going to collapse. She clearly still wasn’t well. Madeline realised for the first time in her life she actually cared about someone, not just for personal gain. That was of course other than Scarlett, to whom she could now not imagine life without. For now Madeline was going to have to avoid mentioning the baby, and if she had to, she would have to bottle her fears and try and get some baby supplies in secret.
“Mia, Mia... Slow down. Let me help you...” But Mia would not listen, Madeline could hear her heart beat rising by the minute.
Madeline gradually approached Mia, carefully as though afraid of her. She reached out and touched her arm, and when that did not work, she pulled her round and held her. It felt strange to Madeline to be the one taking charge, in a responsible way. It felt equally as strange to show such an open affection. But it did not feel wrong, in fact it felt more right than she had ever imagined. There were going to be hard times to come, and deep down Madeline knew there would come a time when Madeline would have to take charge, and that meant she had to grow up. Madeline felt bold, now she had come to such a conclusion. She would make Mia teach her how to cook and clean. She would put her spoilt past behind her, there would be no cleaners, and no maids now. Scarlett needed someone responsible and with another baby on the way, she doubted she could always count on Mia. In fact the young woman felt weak in her arms, Madeline knew they had to get away as quick as they could whilst she was strong enough.
‘Mia, we should find a car. I bet this family had one...” Madeline left the embrace and began searching for the keys, all the while having an eye on both Scarlett and Mia...
He'd felt like this only once before: after the accident took their parents. Simple, kind, hardworking people, and the world just snatched them away. Even then, though, he'd known what he had to do: protect Derris, keep what remained of their family together at all costs. He still intended to do that much, but what use would it be if his brother knew nothing of it? Their life had been hard, but they had been through it together. Now, they were both alone, in a way.
The young man would not tell Derris anything. If he began to remember on his own, fine, but maybe this was for the best. Jasper's feet made next to no sound as he strode around the house in circles, reluctant to put too much distance between himself and Derris, for fear of losing him again. His every sense was sharpened, alert, ready. He had discovered quite by accident that he was not the same person he'd been before the disease caught him. the first night he'd been out to search, he'd been approached in a dark alley by several thugs, obviously intent on mugging him, not that he had anything worth stealing, save maybe the gold wedding band hanging from a chain on his neck, a relic from his father. They hadn't seemed to care, though, and the confrontation had become physical, as so many did when Jasper was involved. He'd used to get into fights all the time, when he was younger; people would call him "pretty boy" or someone would be picking on his small brother. Later, he'd started fighting to make a living.
That night, though, one of the thugs had brought a gun, and Jasper had thought he was staring death in the face. There was a shot, and the young man had simply moved. Pure reactionary instinct, and he'd somehow dodged a bullet aimed at close range for his chest. His every nerve ending tingled with the readiness to act, his senses serving to tell him when and how.
It wasn't right, that his body could feel so alive at the same time as he was sure his heart had died. He'd never been a particularly nice person, he knew that. In fact, he'd been downright belligerent most of the time, but it was all to protect Derris, to keep others away. Now, the others appeared to be here to stay, and he found himself without any idea who he was supposed to be. What did one do when nothing was the same anymore?
He shook his head, and might have kept on wearing a track in the grass if a peculiar sound had not reached his ears. Was that... music? Following the noise, he reached the front door of the manor, and recognized it for a piano. He hadn't heard such an instrument too many times before, but his father had once been fond of such music. Classical; the symphonies and sonatas and waltzes. He himself had been too young to appreciate this at the time, but he felt it might make some sense. It was very... soothing, he supposed. Like a color so vibrant that all the others seemed dull in comparison, the movement of the music was enough to draw your mind away from anything else, for a moment.
He wondered who was playing it. Whoever was clearly possessed a good deal of skill, and his initial suspicion was Norman. Jasper was just curious enough to try and find out, so he followed the sound to a room just off the entrance... area, and poked his head in the door. A little rude perhaps, but he was not one for social niceties at the best of times. To his surprise, it was Kit and not Norman who was playing. But she's... blind, he thought, then immediately dismissed the qualification. What did it matter? For as short a time as he'd known them, none of the people in the house had displayed the tendency to let their situations get to them, Kit most impressively of all. Who was to say that a blind girl couldn't play the piano? clearly nobody had bothered to tell her this.
He could detect Amunet and Norman nearby, and Derris as well, though further away. He considered checking on his brother, but ultimately something about the music bid him stay, and he leaned heavily against the doorframe, closing his eyes and tilting his head back to contact the wood. The song ended, and there was a momentary pause. "Don't stop on my account," he said, perhaps sounding a bit more harsh than he'd intended. Softening his tone, he continued, "I'll be fine." She seemed like the sort to worry, as useless as he thought it was feel concern about the likes of him.
He had reassured her that he was fine, but she detected a lie, though not perhaps a malicious one. She wondered if he even knew the truth of the state he was in, and supposed that he might not. She personally had no idea what she would have done if Liz had woken from the disease with no idea who Kit was. But then, even if that was the case... Liz still would have woken from the disease. Surely, painful as it was to be unknown to the person you loved most, it was moreso to be without them entirely, wasn't it?
This and several other topics she was tempted to broach, but she did not, knowing perhaps on instinct that this was not something he would wish to do. So Kit simply played, leaving the young man to his thoughts, whatever they might be, and his feelings, conflicted as they were.
Norman nodded to Amunet, and made his way to the study, a room directly next to, but not part of, the library. From here, the piano's music was audible but muted, though in the space between Amunet's departure and her subsequent arrival, he managed to catch several imperfection in the young woman's playing that troubled him. Clearly, Kitty was distraught about something, and though it eventually ceased and her playing returned to normal, he could not help but wonder what had caused it. He knew she was not particularly happy with the general state of things at the moment, and was likely putting herself in Jasper's shoes.
A beautiful sentiment, perhaps; Kitty was prone to such things. But not a useful one. The youth's problems, while unfortunate, would not be easily solved, and sympathy would only go so far towards helping. Still... he exited this train of thought at the sound of Amunet entering the study. Gesturing for her to sit, he himself settled in a black wingback chair, crossing one ankle over the opposite knee.
Nodding to her, he spoke without preamble. "As I have mentioned, I visited some contacts of mine when we were in Exodar today. As I had long suspected, they were able to confirm that the virus was not an accident. It was, in fact, released intentionally by the Korean government." He paused, allowing this to sink in, then made ready for the next bomb to be dropped. "My former colleagues can agree on only one thing, however: that there was another organization behind this, one responsible for the engineering of the virus, and the subsequent creation of the vaccine, which they were so kind as to not make available to the general public once the disease went out of control." This particular bit was what had hit him the hardest: the disease had been intended as a population control for the planet, but had "worked" far better than expected. Even when population was no longer an issue, the vaccine had remained locked away, available only for the use of certain privileged individuals.
The old man looked, for a moment, every bit his age, the creases on his face seeming to deepen as he delivered the grim tidings, head leaning into his hands, which were propped by his elbows onto the arms of his chair and laced together in the air. It soon smoothed over however, and blue eyes regarded the young woman across from him steadily. It was undoubtedly a lot to take in at once; it certainly had been for him, and he'd been privy to the worst secrets of world governments since the age of twenty-one.
"Did your colleagues have any information or clue about who might have been involved in the creation and eventual turn over to the Korean government?" she asked, her voice a bit shaky but supported by undertones of strength and determination. She tossed the information around in her brain, holding onto her focus with a steel tenacity. She could not allow the malicious nature of their tormentors handicap her ability to reason. If, by chance, Norman's colleagues did not have a single hint as to who was the original culprit, they would have to start with the pathetic creatures in Korea. Actually, regardless, they would probably need to go there. Those worms would not go unpunished for their crimes, and evidence would be solidified there.
Most recent OOC posts in The Greater Good?
So I was just assuming that Jasper was asleep, and from Kiku's post it seems like the others were too. I don't know if you'd rather wait for the others to get a bit further along or move us to the next day. I'm fine either way.
Ex, your character was brilliant, welcome to the roleplay! I know that's a bit late, but still. Please don't be afraid to ask questions! Both me and Cathy are completely open and friendly, or at least we try to be! :) Any problems, let one of us know!
We do have a new rule for you guys and that is about the posting. We're really pleased that you're enjoying it and we hope that this doesn't annoy anyone, but could you just slow it down a tad. We're struggling to keep up ourselves. It may sound like we're moaning (I hope it doesn't, because we aren't!), but we just want it to be available for others to still join and be able to keep up as well.
Again I apologise for abandoning you!
Feel free to shout and scream at us!
Kim~ (Your awfully bad GM)
Kim (Your bad GM!)
but yeah, love this rp so far! hopefully more of our characters can end up meeting each other soon!
Loving how this is working out!
Also, we ended up on the most words per post! How cool is that?!
Well done and keep up the hard work! I think we're averaging about 700 words per post, which is great! :)
Of course you're accepted and I love both of your characters! :D
Looking forwards to your post!
Anyway, I hope my sheets ok and look forward to joining you!
Catherine (co GM)