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Ember

"I'll take your breath away if you're not careful."

351 views · last seen in Sam's Puzzle
a character in “The Human Puzzle”, as played by Shané

Description

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BASICS


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{ AGE }
19 years

{ GENDER }
Female

{ PARTNER }
Damion



ABILITY:


{ Air Manipulation }
She uses the air around her in a variety of ways. Perhaps the most infamous use she has for it comes from her deadly ability to remove the air from a person's lungs. Essentially she has the power to steal someone's breath away effectively killing them swiftly and silently. A much rarer and more complicated use for this ability is the resuscitation of the dead. While a powerful ability the many restrictions on it and the lack of use for it in the facility means Ember has rarely had the opportunity to use it. Her particular air manipulation has also been used to ensure accuracy for thrown items. Using varying currents of air around an object allows her to find her target every time whether it be a knife, arrow or some other form of projectile. Lastly she can project herself a lot faster than usually is humanly possible. In theory she could possibly assist another to move faster as well, though this has not been attempted.

{ Weaknesses }
Ember's seemingly all powerful abilities have many limitations and restrictions. In order to be able to kill someone through her unique form of suffocation she must be very close to the person's head, about 30cm away ideally. This is particularly important when it comes to concentrating on the completion of the act. If she is distracted by something such as pain either her ability fails her completely or simply renders the person temporarily unconscious for around five or so minutes. This being said through the continuous use of this particular ability Ember is struggling to keep it under control at times as it has become a reflex- anyone comes to close and automatically she starts to draw out the air in their lungs.
Her resuscitation is far more limited. It requires her to have recently taken the air from another. Her ability is also not an overly miraculous one as it follows similar patterns to CPR and can only bring someone back from specific deaths such as shock, heart attack, drowning and electrocution. Stab someone and it is well beyond her ability to bring them back for you. For both murder and lifesaving Ember's mouth must be unobstructed.
As for projecting objects and herself, many of its original obstacles have been overcome through training. For example both require a lot of skill and practice, both that have been acquired through repetitious trials in the facility. They also take up a lot more energy than a regular throw or run. Again training has built up her stamina and endurance, though not supernaturally. The final limitation of self-propelling is the reflexes. Narrow corners will quite effectively slow her down lest she wants to run into them.


{ Containment }
Ember has had a metal contraption forced upon her mouth in order to prevent her killing one of the staff. It is only removed once all staff are out of reach in order for her to complete whatever task they want from her. It covers her entire mouth and ends under her lower jaw. It fastens at the back of her neck with a key being the only way to remove it successfully wiring her mouth shut until the guards are safely away. As for her other abilities, obviously she never has access to weaponry unless closely monitored nor does she ever really have the freedom to move and allow her to speed herself away. Lastly, and perhaps the most effective, the promise of torture or death for her partner ensures she remains obedient.



PERSONALITY:



{ Past Personality }
Ember was once a sweet and gentle spirit. She was always considered quiet by most, preferring non-verbal communication to the spoken word. As such she often found it difficult to truly get to know another person. Most know her more by a quiet smile that lights up her eyes than actual knowledge about her personality. She always valued quiet companionship and silent presence rather than intricate conversations. This being said once she began to get to know a person she slowly began to reveal a little more about herself. It was often in small, simple sentences expressing a feeling or thought on various things that she believed warranted being bought up. She was a deep thinker, loving nothing better to sit quietly and ponder random aspects of life that were bought to her attention. Music was one of her most influential passions as she found that it spoke more to the soul than the verbal language people had come up with. It was a philosophy she often followed in her character; preferring to show her affection through action and practical help rather than words.

{ Present Personality }
Ember barely has anything left from what she used to be. Now she's cold and uncaring. From the reflective girl she once was now she tries to think only objectively focusing on the now and what is physically present. Her expressions are always harsh and rigid, matching her icy personality. To those around her she appears to have stone-like quality as though she was carved from marble. Unfeeling and detached. The facility workers are always treated with cold disdain, though never disobeyed nor questioned. Aside from the staff, anyone else will be subject to her dry humour and blunt criticism. She no longer shirks from speaking her mind and when everyone fears you or hates you, you might as well express your opinions as it won't hurt your reputation. Aside from her partner, she has no one left she cares about so there is no longer any need for mercy and kindness.
Sam is one of the rare few that have seen the other side of her. How broken and fragile she really is under her jagged exterior. For all the walls she builds up around herself, she can't run from who she really is. Her true self can't cope with the crimes that she commits so it's locked away inside of her. Occasionally it can no longer be contained and for a while no one will hear of the murderess until Sam's forced her to compose herself. But in those times she sinks into deep depression and loneliness, no longer managing to eat or sleep. She becomes merely a wraith and shadow of her former self, a wisp of the gentle girl she once was before her stronger, ruthless self comes to protect her once again.


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{ Passions }
~Classical Music~
She particularly loves Stravinsky's Firebird, Petruschka and The Rite of Spring. She also loves Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet. She finds classical music expresses what words cannot.
~Playing the Piano~
She learnt from a young age how to play the piano. Though she hasn't touched those ivory keys for many years now, she has been seen to mime out the playing of various pieces in her cell when she thinks she is alone.
~Thunderstorms~
She finds the energy within the air at this time electrifying. Somehow storms make it so much easier to manipulate the air around her. The raw power of thunderstorms are both terrifying and exciting.
~Novels~
While spoken words have little interest for Ember, written literature takes on a new form. Books are a form of escape, intrigue and a well of knowledge.
~Edgar Allan Poe's Poetry~
Poetry has never really been of interest to her, however Edgar Allan Poe is an idol of hers from his various quotes to his gothic poetry.



{ Dislikes }
~Noise~
She doesn't cope with noisy, disruptive environments. They are far too distracting and overbearing for her taste
~Recklessness~
She doesn't deal well with people who rush into things without thinking. For her life is no game to be charging on from one thing to the other without carefully considering consequences.
~Science~
It is far too objective for her taste. It tries to explain things which she deems are unexplainable and in the process destroys whatever it touches. How can science possibly explain the intricacies of the way music touches a soul?
~Physical Activity~
Despite her ability, running has no appeal to her. She was never strong, and while her endurance has been forced to improve, the process has not been pleasant and comes across as pointless to Ember.
~People in General~
Aside from her partner, she now only sees the negatives of other human beings. All they seem bent on doing is hurting, hating or using her. So what use are they?


{ Weaknesses }
Firstly physically she's as weak as you can get. Beside her genetics never lending themselves for strength, the lack of food, sunlight and healthy mental capacity has always left Ember at a distinct disadvantage. On a more personal level Ember has never been able to trust people well, and since the facility this has only grown. She will never trust another, aside from perhaps her partner, to do something she can do herself. Her distrust has grown into paranoia always believing that everyone is out to personally attack her.

{ Fears }
Physical Touch
The only people that touch her within the facility are those that are going to hurt her or drag her off to do some detestable task. As such, anyone that reaches out to her is seen as a threat making her either panic and withdraw into herself or she will immediately lash out and attack her perceived enemies.

Mental Abilities
Ember is frightened of anything or anyone that can tamper with her mind. For her it has been her only solace; the only place where she will ever be in complete control. To have someone enter that private fortress has to be one of the worst fates she can think of. To be utterly at the mercy of another is to be to be defenceless to a sadist as she can think of no other reason for someone entering another's sanctuary.

Sam
While it seems fairly obvious, and almost all Anomalies fear him with intensity, Ember's fear of him has escalated to the extreme. She is terrified of him like nothing else and through her terror has mentally endowed him with the power of a god. In her mind there is no foreseeable way to evade him nor hide anything from him. He knows her far too well for her to have any defence against his sudden vehemence.





APPEARANCE:



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Ember has always come across as very fragile and innocent in appearance, no matter what her reputation has put upon her. Despite the adjustment in personality, she still has soft facial features that give the overall impression of being delicate. Her eyes are perhaps the most mesmerising part about Ember. The irises change and adjust to her mental and emotional state. Most of the time her eyes are such a dark brown they appear black. However when sparked with anger they quickly flash red. The other main colour they have changed during the facility time is when they melt away to a light grey whenever she becomes fearful. For the last two years those are the only two that have appeared, though they do adjust to other strong emotions. Mostly Ember's mouth is kept in a hard line, devoid of any kind of emotion. However in better days the tips curled up in a small smile that extended into a warm-green coloured iris.
Her face is framed by her long, black hair. It reaches just under her ribcage and is dead straight. Due to the thickness near the roots it has a bit of volume at the top of her head but thins out as it reaches the ends. She has black bangs covering her forehead which are starting to reach her eyes.
Ember's complexion is white. An unnatural pallor that has been bought about by a mixture of pale skin genes and lack of sunlight. Once she would have been considered quite beautiful, however now she is painfully thin. Her collar bones stick out like knives and her ribs are very prominent. This hasn't been helped by her depressive periods where she refuses to eat. Her scarring is hidden at all times. For his own amusement Sam decided a Gothic feel would further enhance his twisted plans for her as an executioner. As such she is always dressed in black with high neck lined tops hiding the scars on her throat. Full black skirts are also common in the facilities wardrobe for her and she is never seen without gloves covering her wrists. She always goes around barefoot. Ember's posture only adds to her formidable reputation and dark clothing as she carries herself very upright, with a stiff upper back. This is due to deep tissue scarring restricting her movement.


{ Defining Features }
Her wrists are scarred from being put in restraints. From metal cuffs to rope, her attempts to get out of them only resulted in them cutting into her skin serving as a permanent reminder of various punishments. She also has a few very thin scars across her throat.
Far more prominent are the numerous deep scarring on her back. It's laced with criss-crossed patterned whip marks and a few burn scarring. The most obvious is the thick, pink puckered one that stretches from her left shoulder to her right hip. Needless to say her back is a mess. The deeper scarring that can't be seen has also restricted her movement causing her to be stiff-backed and have trouble twisting around.


{ Weight }
35kg

{ Build }
Very slight.




THOUGHTS ON OTHERS:



{ The Rebels }
Ember's first opinion of the two rebels are on their stupidity. She cannot understand their mentality of understanding all too well the consequences of their actions and yet still running headlong into them. She herself has actually had to assist in teaching the pair a lesson. It was not one to be taken lightly. However from the rumours going around it appears that it hasn't fazed them. Beside the fact of what she considers their reckless foolishness, Ember secretly admires them. After all they have done what she and her partner have not- been able refuse the staff. She also knows deep down both are far stronger of will and mind then herself, as she was broken from one session with Sam and they have endured many. They have not allowed their link to one another to become a weakness. Lastly she fears being put with them. They have both the motivation and strength to hurt both herself and her partner. After having a personal hand in reprimanding them for an escape as well as having the blood of many of their kind on their hands, she fears that she and her partner may end up having to defend themselves.

{ The Compliant Ones }
She has a deep-seated hatred for the pair. It's all rooted from jealousy that she won't admit. How can those two have managed to stay together and escape from Sam's continuous punishments while she has had to she has had to give up everything to appease Sam and has ended up with nothing. She can't understand how they can so easily enjoy eachothers company without realising how much pain those surrounding them are in. Even though she has never met them she already fears that they hate and judge her and partner, despite the fact that really they are only doing the same as the other pair; submitting for the sake of the other. Only the cost of her and her partners obedience costs so much more than the compliant ones.




HISTORY:



{ Ability }
Ember was born with her air manipulation, however it remained dormant for many years. When she turned thirteen the air was suddenly a force that could be wielded. Her sudden feeling of a 6th sense scared her and her newly matured irises quickly faded to a light grey. After that the facility forced her to find out about the more specific parts of her ability.

{ Free Life }
Ember was raised by a single mother after her father died when she was very young from untreated throat cancer. Life was relatively normal for her and she was very close to her mother. When her ability final showed itself and her irises faded to grey, it caused her mother to panic. She immediately took Ember to the local GP to investigate the cause. Unfortunately many first Anomaly cases are first found through the health systems with any abnormalities reported to higher levels. Ember's strange irises was immediately reported as per policy to government through documentation. The Genetic Modification Facility was notified and it took only a few weeks for them to fully assess the situation from observing Ember at a distance.
Suddenly a mystery complaint was filed against Ember's mother for child abuse. Ember was taken from her abruptly and forced into the facility. To silence the mother she was taken to an interstate mental health ward. Ember is entirely unaware of what happened to her mother.


{ Facility Life }
Her first day in the facility was filled with basic medical testing, rough handling and overall a nightmare quality that at first seemed like it should vanish like the fog of a dream in the morning. Needless to say it did not. The next morning only came with another day in a barred prison-like cell. Sam visited her that day. He came in the form of a friend- a psychologist required to be there for her by law despite the horrible conditions. Terrified and having not yet heard a friendly word from a soul at the facility Ember slowly began to trust him. He spent many sessions with her counselling and supposedly helping her through the extreme testing routine they began developing for her.
This went on for about four years. During this time she met her partner (?). {Am thinking about having him as her neighbour in the facility so that's how they gradually go to know one another, but depends on person who plays him}
Then everything took another drastic turn for the worst. Up until this point Ember's literal breathtaking abilities had not yet been realised. One of the guards however had become drunk and decided to clock himself in for work. Not entirely in his right mind, against orders, he turned against her and started a beating. In absolute panic she had tried to flee from him, instead causing him to draw her close. It all happened extremely quickly; his head was suddenly too close to her own and then he was lifeless in front of her. It took her a few moments to realise what she had done. She spent the next few hours trembling in the corner of her cell waiting for them to find his body. It didn't take too long and as soon as Sam found out his friendly countenance dropped. He became malicious and sadistic dragging her up to the floor where the most deadly Anomalies were found.
He set up opportunities for her to 'escape' twice, only allowing her to get a few corridors before finding her. This quickly deterred her from attempting again. He used her partner to force her to kill more Anomalies and eventually taught her to torture them as well. There was one incident in what a young girl had begged her to kill her in Sam's absence in order to avoid his torture. After at first refusing, something snapped in Ember and in an instant the girl was lifeless before her. Since the girl had had information on a rebellion in a different facility, Sam was furious.
In response Sam punished her so severely he permanently damaged her back and left her scarred. Not liking the rest of the Anomalies to be able to see the marks of her disobedience and hint that she was not altogether as submissive as he liked to make out, he ensured they were always hidden by her attire. This way no one is aware that her obedience to Sam is forced. In their eyes both her partner and Ember are acting from self-directed obedience and perhaps inherent sadistic personality traits.





OTHER




{ COLOR }
#6A0888

{ THEME SONGS }
Run by Amanda Tenfjord
https://www.musixmatch.com/lyrics/Amanda-Tenfjord-2/Run

Jungle by Emma Louise
http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/emmalouise/jungle.html

So begins...

Ember's Story

Setting

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Character Portrait: Ember
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Pinpricks of light broke into the darkness, and abruptly Ember's eyes flew open as consciousness rushed at her from all sides. With a sudden gasp her small frame was thrown into a seated position her heart pounding violently against her ribcage. For a second a wave of panic roiled over her; the floor was moving and the pressure of gravity became strange. Then memory flooded back in, though it bought no consultation.

She recalled Sam's gleeful revealing of 'long made' plans. Needless to say, they were not plans she wished to be part of, though currently her will didn't matter. Her irises dulled. He had taken great pleasure in revealing the signed document of her so called 'release' from the facility. That was in actual fact her purchase by Sam for his own perverse amusement. To be owned by such a man made her sick to the stomach, but dwelling on the truth was not going to help her survive. She had feigned disinterest in his goading, however as soon as he left she fell into another of her depressive episodes. It was another couple of weeks before he finally acted on his threat and injected her with serum to ensure the transfer would be undertaken without her being consciously able to assess it.

And now she found herself in a small white room, a single bright light shining from the ceiling. To her right, metal doors; the opening of the elevator. For a moment she stared blankly at the cold metallic surface before a furious glare come over her face as though with the anger in her gaze she could burn the doors up. Almost as immediately as the anger had come it melted into despair. Shakily she brushed back her dark bangs and started to climb to her feet.

Sam had promised it would come soon. The motion ceased and the doors slid open to reveal a larger, similarly white room. She spent a moment gathering her strength before padding barefoot out of the elevator. Unconsciously she fiddled with the metallic contraption over her face. In the centre of the room was a cylinder pillar with six archways. Each doorway was glowing red and Ember took that to mean they weren't open.

The elevator started humming from behind her and with dread she realised it was going back down. Sam had warned her of the others that would be sharing the quarters. A cold shiver ran up her spine. She was going to be heavily outnumbered and two had a personal vendetta against her. Her eyes lightened as she recalled her incident with the two rebellious Anomalies. Suffice to say the pair had undoubtedly hated their first encounter with Ember. The thought of Whispers now having the opportunity to enact revenge for what she had done to his accomplice caused her breath to hitch. She stood in sudden fear for a while, her mind filled with graphic images of what he may do to her if she ever failed to defend herself. Then the spell was broken as the humming gradually decreased.

She had limited time before it came back…and then there was her task to worry about. She considered having another meltdown as the enormity of what she was now involved in crashed over her. How on earth was she going to be able to complete Sam's sick 'mission' when she was to be out numbered four to one? Failure could not be an option, she had spent so many years trying to protect Damion and now it appeared it would all go to naught. Her hands trembled as she grappled to get control of herself for his sake. There was an overwhelming sense of fear that she would never see him again now. It seemed far more likely that either Sam or one of the others would kill her here.

At the thought of being killed her expression hardened. If that was going to be the case she'd make it mighty difficult. The hiss of escaping air entered the room, and her eyes flickered to the centre pillar. The middle had depressed much like the lift, slipping below the ground. Her curiosity aroused, she cautiously moved forward to investigate. As she did so she couldn't help wondering what Sam's stupid pets would think about being dumped here. A humourless smile tipped the corners of her mouth up under the metal mask. For the first time they would finally understand what everyone else went through in the facility.

When she refocused her attention on the pillar the centre had begun rising again. There in the centre was something that gave her hope- a key. It seemed she would not be defenceless against the others.


She took it from the strange cylinder just as the humm of the elevator became louder and drew closer. Hastily she swept her hair aside and tried to fit it into the key hole on the back of her neck. Since she was trying to act quickly the key naturally kept hitting the side of the lock and slipping aside. Finally with a small click the key slid home, just as the elevator doors opened.

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Character Portrait: Ember Character Portrait: Damion
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There was darkness, and soon movement. Damion couldn't see but he knew he was moving downwards. To remedy the darkness it simply required the removal of the blindfold he was forced to wear, he found he was in a small elevator, though he had no real idea where he was. They had attempted to drug him, but his powers tended to lessen the effect of drugs and chemicals within his body. Of course physical restraints are all but useless when faced with his acid, leaving physical force as the only effective way of transporting him.

As he moved downwards, he let out a small sigh, the situation Damion found himself in was less than ideal, then again so was most of his life. There was plenty to dislike about his current situation, from his purchase by Sam, to being stuck with other Anomalies. Anomalies that would almost certainly hate him, not that he could blame them. Though how he felt about what was happening didn't matter much, not that it his feelings on things ever mattered that much to begin with inside the facility. He had to deal with it, there was no other choice, though he desperately wished that there was.

Damion's face which was stoic, and motionlessness, only seconds before, soon contorted into a small frown. What lies ahead, was going to be a challenge. Even just surviving the other Anomalies was going to be difficult. He wasn't expecting much of a threat from smarter pair, but Whispers, and Delirium did manage to worry him somewhat. No doubt they held no small amount of anger over the things he's done. They would certainly want revenge for all the times he subjected them to his poison. Then there was the task Sam had given him, it was not a simple one. Though how difficult it was, was irrelevant. He would complete it, because if he didn't Ember would be at risk. Damion could not fail, he wouldn't. Damion steeled himself, a hardened expression on his face. He would keep her safe no matter what.

When the elevator stopped, he saw her. He saw her, and in that moment the lights returned to his eyes, a smile graced his face, for the first time in a long time he felt what must have been joy. He walked out of the elevator toward Ember. He walked slowly, as if he was afraid she was going to disappear if he went any faster. "Ember!" He spoke softly, though the joy, and relief in his voice was clearly evident as he spoke."I was worried about you. I was starting to think that...." He trailed off, he didn't want to finish his sentence, he didn't even want to think about it anymore. They've been separated for quite some time, and going years without seeing her, he was starting to worry that maybe he was lied to. That maybe she was dead, and they kept it secret from him, but seeing Ember here put all of his worries to rest."I'm glad to see you."

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Character Portrait: Ember Character Portrait: Katherine Delirium
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Delirium was used to the dark cloth obscuring her vision. In fact, sometimes, she preferred being in the dark rather than the blinding light. However, when she woke up sleepily and heard no guards around, she didn't hesitate to rip the covering from her eyes, and promptly tucked the cloth into her pant pocket. It was clear even through her still drowsy vision that she was in a moving elevator. It was also clear to her now what the contents of her letter entailed. Honestly, what she had to do wasn't that bad. In fact, the jerk might deserve it. But why would she do something so cruel and evil just because Sam said to? But Stephen...

Delirium frowned and leaned against the wall, her arms crossed. She and Stephen knew that rebelling against the facility could mean death to either or both of them, but now it was staring her in the face. Could she really just stand by and allow him to get hurt just because she refused to do something she had been forced to before, time and time again? Especially now that she seriously cared for him, she realized that she would eventually have to do Sam's task. It wasn't too bad really. At least she didn't have to kill someone, right? But maybe there was another way. Maybe she could fight Sam, or find a way out. Surely there had to be a way out of this without complying to Sam's will

Stephen appeared before her, just a vision, but it made her calm down and take a breath. She hadn't seen him in a while, but judging by the letter he wasn't dead yet. The imaginary Stephen smiled at her, and Delirium smiled faintly before pushing her own visions away. Sometimes it hurt seeing him because she knew it wasn't real. But other times she felt at ease, that even if something happened she'd always be able to make him appear. If only she could make her illusions real. She would make the world a better place... right after brutally murdering Sam and everyone in that god-awful facility.

Delirum worried though, as she wasn't quite sure what she would see when the elevator stopped. She knew that the compliant ones had to be there, but would it just be them and her? Would Stephen be there too? She tensed up, and pushed herself off the wall. She could feel the already slow elevator reduce to a staggering crawl. She steeled her mind, and readied her stance. She firmly planted her feet and readied her arms. For all she knew someone would came tearing at her the minute the doors opened. She had to be prepared for everything. With a set jaw and an icy look in her hey, she tensed as the elevator finally came to a grinding halt. She waited one, two, three seconds before she heard a slight ding and the doors trembled open. However, when they opened, whatever she had been expecting was not this.

"Looks like the puppet came to play,"

Setting

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Character Portrait: Ember Character Portrait: Delirium Character Portrait: Whispers Character Portrait: Damion Character Portrait: Lydia Character Portrait: Rezia
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Rezia groaned lightly as the sedative began to fade from his system. It made him a bit groggy, but nothing he couldn't handle. As he came back to himself, he realized that he was pressed against something cold and the subtle shift he was feeling was the ground vibrating beneath him. Everything was still dark all around him since his eyes were covered by the blindfold the scientists had put on him for the transportation. They hadn't placed the blindfold out of fear that he would use his sight to escape, after all, he hadn't been physically bound or anything. They had placed the blindfold so that he wouldn't accidentally use his healing ability and deter them from traveling quickly.

Was he moving? He did remember the scientists and Sam mentioning that he was going to be moved to another facility since Sam had... purchased him. He still did not know exactly what that entailed but he didn't like the idea of someone 'owning' him. Had he arrived at the lab or was he still in the car? The only thing he heard was a light thrumming of electronics but nothing else. Since he had never been outside of the lab, he didn't know what traffic and travel sounded like, but he assumed it wouldn't be this quite. It couldn't be this quiet. He reached out around him and felt the two walls he was pressed against but no other sound reached his ears. Was he alone?

"...Hello?" he called out.

When he didn't get a response from anyone, he untied the blindfold to reveal his currently amber colored eyes and glanced around quickly. He was in an elevator and it was just about to stop on his floor. He scrambled to his feet, his heart racing. He had to be at the new facility now which meant he would see the other anomalies that had been brought here. From what information he had received, he knew that the Ember, Damian, Delirium, and Whispers were here to. And from his note... his Lydia may be here as well. None of this sat well with him however. He and Lydia had no offensive power. If the other two groups wanted to, they could easily over power him and Lydia.

Just thinking about the letter and the task he had been given set him a bit uneasy. The large hunting knife Sam had given him now felt rather weighty against his chest where it was hidden beneath his clothes. He really didn't want to use it or find himself in the situation that required it. He had never used a weapon before he was sure he'd end up cutting himself while he tried to defend himself or Lydia. Why had Sam done this to them anyway? He and Lydia had complied to all of his demands and tests. They never raised a complaint and the man himself knew that their powers were benign. Why put them in a place where everyone else had reactive and deadly powers? And, he didn't even know what the others thought of him and Lydia but he was sure he'd immediately feel their emotions and he was afraid it would overwhelm him or that they would lung at him the first chance they got. Was Lydia here already? Had they gotten to her?

And just before his imagination could really start to spiral out of control, the elevator door opened and he cautiously walked out of the elevator into a large central room that led to a variety of other rooms. He swallowed hard, immediately feeling the swirling emotions from the people currently in that room. He had never dealt with any of these people before and he really didn't want to stick around and get their attention. Lydia wasn't in this room. Maybe she was in his room? Only one way to find out. He quickly scanned the names above the door looking for his name. When he found it, he ignored everyone else and rushed to it.

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Character Portrait: Ember Character Portrait: Katherine Delirium Character Portrait: Damion
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"Ember!"

Immediately she stiffened as the wire contraption fell from her numb fingers. Her mouth slightly agape in shock, she spun around to see a familiar form coming towards her.

 "Damion?" Her voice was barely audible, and seemed to crack with lack of use.

She could hardly accept he was actually walking in the same room as her. For a moment she was lost in disbelief as his face lit up in a smile, lightening his normally dull blue eyes. Unconsciously she reached out to him, her hand brushing up against his jacket half expecting it to go straight through him like an illusion. When they did not she found herself silently staring up at him; speechless.

"I was worried about you. I was starting to think that...."

"I'm okay." she managed to stammer out, looking at him earnestly.

"I'm okay." she repeated, trying to convince herself of the fact. For a moment the tips of her mouth curled up in one of her rare smiles, her irises starting to deepen into a black-green, before she realised how different he looked. Her smile faded and her eyes went dull again. His face was far more gaunt, and his eyes appeared almost dead. He looked how she felt. There were so many questions that rushed unbidden into her mind, and yet she was certain she didn't want the answers. What had Sam done to him? What had Sam made him do? The thought was almost too much, they were no longer who they were before; they had become killers. A wave of uncharacteristic shame came over her and immediately her eyes became downcast and her gaze remained on the floor.

"I'm glad to see you."

The words bought a full smile to her face, which was partially hidden by her dark bangs. She had been wrong to be ashamed, for without her actions he would no longer be living. And truly that was the only difference, she told herself. Sam would have killed or tortured the ones she had harmed even if she had refused and then Damion would have been killed.

She opened her mouth to say something when she realised the humming had stopped and there was a grating sound as the elevator doors opened. She awkwardly twisted around to see the doors only to have her eyes melt to light grey in fear; Delirium. The scar on the left side of her face gave Ember a head full of memories she'd rather forget.

"Looks like the puppet came to play,"

Immediately Ember's eyes flashed red at the echo of what Delirium had screamed at her at their last meeting.

"It seems you have forgotten what happened the last time you spoke to me in such a way." she managed to hiss between clenched teeth.

She stared the girl down, her eyes remaining an auburn red in her anger at being reminded of the past. She would have preferred to avoid such outbursts until she had more time to properly assess the danger in the room, but she had forgotten herself at Delirium's scathing remark. However for now it appeared she had the upper hand as she had Damion and Delirium's Whispers was conveniently absent. Ember smiled humourlessly at the girl.

"I would be careful what you say when you have no one to back you."

She had no time to elaborate on her threat when the elevator opened once again revealing a young looking male with a less than intimidating build. Ember arched her eyebrows at the newcomer carefully assessing the new threat. She was content that for now it did not seem a problem. Perhaps Sam had hoped the others would tear the compliant pair apart for his own amusement rather than actually consider them contenders of his sadistic game. Seeming to confirm her thoughts he quickly glanced at all the doors before running into one of them. The lights had turned green it seemed while Ember had been dealing with Delirium.

It wasn't long before the sibling showed up. Lydia recalled Ember. If the brother had seemed non-threatening than this girl was joke. Large blue eyes peered at the small group with arms providing a pathetic barrier between them. The bambi-eyed blonde seemed to assess all of them fearfully before following her brothers example and dashing into the room. Ember caught the girls eye as she glanced over her shoulder.


"It doesn't appear we are going to have too much trouble defending ourselves." Ember murmured to Damion without taking her eyes off Delirium. Despite her poorly veiled threat she wasn't giving the girl a chance to attack.

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Character Portrait: Ember Character Portrait: Katherine Delirium Character Portrait: Whispers Character Portrait: Damion Character Portrait: Lydia Character Portrait: Rezia
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Stephen Winters | The Rebel | Neural Disruption | #F70D1A

Go outside a voice seemed to be telling him. Well actually that wasn't true. Whispers knew that he'd likely need to look for Ember before making any actual progress with his mission seeing as no one was entering his room. Sam's purpose for keeping him isolated was unknown, perhaps due to the fact that he'd been given a weapon but how logical was it that the sadist did the same for the others? For all he knew, Whispers was bringing a knife to a gun fight (not that Sam would ever be so stupid as to allow any anomaly a weapon with that much killing potential).

The blade itself only reached a few inches and popped out if he flicked the handle outwards much like those of old mafia movies which made him think that it might have been more sentimental than efficient. It was a relic of the past compared to the knives some of the testing dummies pulled on him and a mockery of an actual weapon. If he wanted to be within stabbing distance he would also be in killing distance of Ember's suffocation bullshit.

Katherine would need to back him up.

He trusted her to jump in as soon as he made the first move, but she didn't know the plan regardless. Neither of the two had telepathy and unless he asked her to perform some illusory work (a bad idea as it would incapacitate both of them) he couldn't tell her. He would need to think of something on the fly.

Dumping the letter behind (but keeping the knife tucked in his pocket) he exited the room and found himself facing four enemies and an ally.

"Surely none of you were waiting for me right?" he asked as he took his place by his partner's side.

He mouthed an "I'm sorry" to the redhead before turning toward the dark ones. He cared little for Damion outside of his annoying power but like every other person they would do anything for their partner. That's why Sam brought them here, to push the extent of each other's partnership and dismantle those feelings of friendship sometimes more with the added benefit of watching everyone squirm. The difference was that where the other two's partnerships rested on survival he and Delirium had principle. They fought for something beyond themselves instead of acting like subservient dogs.

If it weren't for Sam's orders he'd pop their brains and just drop drag them into the elevator shaft.

"So what's the plan Katherine? Screw 'em over now or later?" he whispered with eyes still resting on Ember.

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Character Portrait: Ember Character Portrait: Katherine Delirium Character Portrait: Whispers Character Portrait: Damion
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Delirium bristled as Ember talked down to her like a child, like an underling. Sure, Ember could kill her, but Delirium could do worse. She could twist reality upside down and destroy someone's mental health. She could send someone into a spiraling corner of despair within their own mind. She could do things that would scar you so bad you'd beg for death. She can't actually kill people with her powers, but repeated exposure to her over a long period of time would most likely completely break a person that they'd start harming themselves or in extreme cases, commit suicide. In other words, she was excellent at torture techniques.

"I would be careful what you say when you have no one to back you," Ember said, clearly content with her partner standing next to her. True, they did have an upper hand, but if Delirium distracted Ember, then if things got nasty she'd at least be able to slip into her room before Ember had time to kill her. Delirium practically snarled at Ember, but then spoke strongly, fearlessly.

"You'd be surprised at the things I can do without someone to back me up," she sneered, and in a split second she looked at Ember and created a disturbing vision with such clarity it would appear it was happening right in front of Ember. She created the image of when Ember was punishing her, except the roles were reversed. Ember was cowering before her, crying out in protest, begging for mercy. But then in a second it was gone. Not enough to do damage. A warning, a threat, that if Delirium ever got her alone she would nightmares for the rest of her life.

"And as far as fighting you goes, I have no intentions of killing you. You see, Sam has us here for entertainment, right? So if we just went and killed each other on the first day I don't think he'd be to pleased that all his little pets are dead. He'd probably severely punish whoever did it. Maybe even do something bad to their partner. And I don't think either of us really want that." Delirum raised an eyebrow, almost like asking for a high five for her excellent logic. Right now would not be one of those times that she stubbornly launched herself into a fight without thinking. (Which she did much to often) Not with Stephen's life on the line. Now that the two of them were quote "not as indispensable" she wasn't going to risk as much. Well, unless her anger got the best of her...

Just then, however, Stephen emerged from their room. Delirium's tough girl facade faded for a second when she saw that he was completely unharmed, and here, with her. She couldn't help but smile when he addressed her by her real name.

"So what's the plan Katherine? Screw 'em over now or later?" He whispered to her (Ha, whispered... get it??). Instead of replying out loud she made an illusion for him, so that the other two wouldn't know. She created an image of her saying "I'm not sure if Sam would want them to kill us. But I can't be to certain about that. I hate them as much as you do, but I'm not sure if starting a fight right now will end up with us on the winning side."

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Character Portrait: Ember Character Portrait: Delirium Character Portrait: Whispers Character Portrait: Damion Character Portrait: Lydia Character Portrait: Rezia
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Rezia frowned at first when he saw that Lydia wasn't in their shared room. Where was she? Wasn't she here with him? He glanced around and the only thing he saw in the plain room was the rope that Sam had indicated in his letter. It was resting on the bed but there was nothing else. No other note or anything. The room was untouched. If Lydia wasn't here, where was she? What was Sam doing to her right now? He sighed inwardly and ran a hand through his hair. If she was here, she had to be in the main room or in one of the other rooms. Maybe it would be best to leave the room and find her then and hope the other two pairs didn't try anything with him. Rezia turned around to head towards the door when it suddenly opened.

The young man's eyes widened in surprise when Lydia stood before him. In seconds she rushed into his arms and Rezia hugged her tightly against him. He smiled softly against her and let her settle her face against his neck. Immediately all his fears were washed away by her positivism and her love. She always found a way to anchor him when he felt like he was going to float away with all the other emotions. She was his magnet, his calming stone. His arms tightened around her and he nuzzled her head.

"Lydia... oh Lydia I am so happy you are safe," he murmured into her ear.

When she pulled away from him slightly, Rezia let her pull back but continued to hold onto her arms the way she was holding onto his. He didn't want to lose her and if she was in his arms, she wasn't anywhere else alone and afraid. At her words however, he sighed and reached a hand up to caress her cheek. Her face was so sunken in and she looked so frail. He wished there was something more he could do for her. She looked the worse target and he didn't want the others to try and take advantage of her.

"It is going to be okay. We've survived this long, we'll survive this game. We just have to make sure we do what we are told. Sam gave me a mission to do and he gave you one, right? We can only assume that everyone else here has a mission as well. We don't know which one of them has a mission against us. We'll have to be very wary of being alone with them. We can't let them get the upper-hand or surprise us. My task is going to take a while but it starts right away. We have time. We'll focus on your task mostly first. We need to be as friendly so we don't make any enemies right out of the gate. I feel the emotions of the other two groups and they are very hostile right now," he explained. He glanced at the closed door and shuddered at all the negativity he was feeling just beyond it and in the large central room. That was going to be a challenge in and of itself.

"Listen to me, we need to go out there. If we stay locked up in here, they'll get suspicious. I think we should tell them what our powers are... at least superficially so they know we pose no threat with them and maybe get them on our side a little. Everyone gets injuries; inside and out." The young man hesitated a moment before he reached into his shirt and pulled out the large hunting knife. It wasn't anything special; just a bland blade and handle in an ordinary black sheath. Regardless, it felt awkward and unnatural in his hand. "Sam gave this to me, but I want you to have it. I have ways to protect myself but you... I want you to be able to protect yourself when it comes down to it. Hide it and don't tell anyone you have it, okay?" he asked and kissed her forehead.

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Character Portrait: Ember Character Portrait: Delirium Character Portrait: Whispers Character Portrait: Damion Character Portrait: Lydia Character Portrait: Rezia
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Damion was glad to finally see Ember, when he told her this a smile appeared on her face. It was a beautiful smile really, and seeing it here, well it made everything worth it. Every horrible thing he had done had led to this very moment, the two of them were finally rewarded for all of their efforts. Though he hated himself for all the people he's hurt, and the gruesome way in which many of his victims died, either by succumbing to his toxin, or by the horrible burning of his acid, being around Ember again made everything better.

Ember looked as though she was about to speak, but her words, and their moment of reunion was interrupted by a voice. He looked towards the new arrival, and found it to be none other than Delirium. Though she was alone, and here words seemed to focused primarily on Ember. Though Damion cared little for the stupid rebel, he noticed Ember's red eyes, and the angry, venomous words she spoke. It was clear these two despised each other, and the anger seemed to imply something personal between them. Damion had heard that something had occurred between the two Anomalies, but he was never able to discern the details of what happened between them.

Ember spit clear threats at Delirium, but before Damion could speak or add anything, the elevators opened to reveal yet another player in this sick game. He was a rather weak looking boy, he appeared mostly nonthreatening. This boy didn't worry Damion in the least, he knew his ability was mostly benign, though he didn't really know what exactly that ability was. The boy didn't seem anymore concerned with himself and the others, as he quickly rushed into one of the rooms. It was possible he was trying to stay out of the crossfire of a possible fight.

Soon the boy's sibling arrived at well. She too went into hiding inside of the room, once again leaving Ember, and himself alone with Delirium. She didn't seem anymore dangerous than her brother. Damion had very little information on those two, all he knew was that they were far luckier as they managed to stay together. Something which Damion was deeply jealous of

"It doesn't appear we are going to have too much trouble defending ourselves." Ember made sure not to take her eyes off of Delirium as she spoke, and though Damion gave a small nod he kept his eyes placed on Delirium as well.He was very close to removing his gloves, as an obvious warning for the rebellious girl to back off, though he stopped himself not wanting to instigate an actual fight. Sure for the moment she was outnumbered, and he was sure that it wouldn't be hard to deal with her, but he didn't think it wise to start a fight this soon. Any kind of fight with her would make accomplishing his task much harder. That being said if a fight were to occur he would take part as ruthlessly as possible, while still keeping her alive.

"Surely none of you were waiting for me right?" It was none other than Whispers himself, Delirium's partner, had rather annoyingly decided to make an appearance, coming out from one of the rooms. He didn't show it, his face a stoic calm, but seeing Whispers here now absolutely enraged him. With Whispers' arrival Damion quickly but as subtly as possible removed his gloves. With Delirium's partner at her side a fight seemed inevitable, and he wanted to be ready.

He took a look at the stupid rebel, and noticed that he wasn't wearing his muzzle. That wasn't good, he needed that device. How else was Damion to complete his task? Sam had instructed him to make sure Whispers ended up wearing it again, though it seemed his first task would have to be finding it first. A very difficult task indeed. he had hoped that he would encounter Whispers with the muzzle on his person, that way he could force it back onto the rebel as fast as possible.That however was clearly out of the question.

As the two rebels stood there Damion noticed an opportunity. They had both focused their gaze onto Ember, seemingly seeing her as the most dangerous threat. That would be their mistake, as he took this chance to get closer to them hopefully without them noticing. If Damion could lay a hand on even just one of the rebels, he would be able to incapacitate them with his poison. He doubted that either of them would make a single move if their partner was in danger of being exposed to his acid.

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Character Portrait: Ember Character Portrait: Katherine Delirium Character Portrait: Whispers Character Portrait: Damion Character Portrait: Lydia Character Portrait: Rezia
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Lydia kept her breathing calm as he brushed his hand across her cheek. Her doe eyes shut, and she leaned into the touch for a moment. The familiar motion emboldened her. They had survived this long. They could do this. They were the wild cards here. They were the most valuable pieces on the board, with everything in this place screaming kill, kill, they could heal and fix. They could be valuable tools, and anyone with two braincells to rub together would know not to break the tools that could possibly keep them alive. But they couldn't be free with their abilities. It was the only leverage they had. Especially since any of the four others could be prepared to jump them and do whatever it was Sam bid them to do. Lydia had little care for her own well being, she'd been to hell and back how many times now? But Rezia, she couldn't let them hut Rezia.

"We can do this." She said with a nod, holding his arms tightly still, " We're the best chance anyone in here has of staying alive and not going insane. They'll need us, and we need protection. We can play this like a game of chess if we're careful." She murmured. " We just have to remain ambivalent until they make a move and hope they aren't stupid." She had doubts about that. She didn't trust the two redheads. From what she'd heard, they were reckless, and if she had to team up with one of the groups, while the dark ones scared her, they'd be the more rewarding allies.

When Rezia handed her a knife, Lydia stared at it for a few moments before taking it in her hands. She'd never held a knife before. If it came down to it, could she really stab anyone with it? For Rezia. She wouldn't defend herself, she could handle pain, and she could heal herself if it came down to it, but if someone hurt Rezia, she knew she'd have no hesitation in plunging the now sheathed knife into their flesh. He kissed her forehead and she smiled. Even though they were the same height, it felt like he was much larger, ready to wrap her in his warm protection. A true big brother. She tucked the knife into the pocket that didn't have the container in it, and felt the disconcerting weight of it press against her thigh as she wrapped her arms around Rezia in another hug.

" Let's play this slow, I want to appear as nonthreatening as possible, so they underestimate us, okay? Don't let their hostilities get to you, focus on me, stay calm." Her voice took on a more business-like tone that belied her delicate face. It was her puzzle solving tone. As long as she played this like a game she wouldn't feel too terrified by the whole thing, and her mind would stay cool to make rational decisions. And if her mind was cool, Rezia would have a sticking point to hold on to. Everything would work out fine.

" Let's go out now." She said, wrapping her arms around his, hanging slightly behind him as they exited the room. Despite the timid posture she adopted, which was very familiar to her, she spoke out to cut the tension first. All four looked like dogs with their hackles raised, and she internally rolled her eyes. Both pairs were such hot heads. If they were going to play smart, they wouldn't immediately pick fights without making plans.

"Uh, excuse me?" Her voice was a high and melodic, like quavering bells, a little more breathy than it usually was. Partially because she was trying to play up her timidity, partially because she was very afraid to draw the attention of all four rabid dogs. " Sorry to interrupt, uhh, your conversation, but since we're all here now, shouldn't we introduce ourselves?" She tried to smile, and it mostly worked, though she was shaking a little now, and not because she wanted to be. "My name is Lydia, and I specialize in healing physical wounds." She made a little curtseying motion, flaring out the edge of her white dress. Then knife bumped insistently against her leg. Then she gestured to Rezia with one slim hand. "This is my brother Rezia. He's a psychological healer. It's a pleasure to meet you all."

Her large eyes scanned the room as she clung to her brother's arm. Of course, though she didn't recognize faces, she knew each of them and what their powers were. She remembered hearing about when each of them were brought in. Being friendly with the scientists often rewarded her with interesting fragments of information about the going-ons in other parts of the facility. But revealing that wouldn't mix with the innocent, girlish approach she was trying to achieve. And maybe getting them to talk would diffuse the situation a bit, and give her more of a chance to analyze everyone and their intentions. " What about you all?" she asked after a beat, straining to keep her eyes soft and her knees from knocking together. She was very grateful for Rezia's presence beside her, or she would have fallen over already. Despite the logic and calm in her brain, sometimes her body didn't go along with it, and that was frustrating. But in this case, playing the scared doe was in her favor, so maybe her deep, instinctual fear of these four would work in her favor.

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Character Portrait: Ember Character Portrait: Katherine Delirium Character Portrait: Whispers Character Portrait: Damion Character Portrait: Lydia Character Portrait: Rezia
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Delirium didn't appear to appreciate Ember's warnings and immediately reacted with some scathing words of her own. Ember raised an eyebrow at the girls threat before suddenly the air in front of her warped to reveal a horrific scene. She saw herself crawling away from Delirium who had the upper hand with a knife that only a few months ago she had held. Just as it had happened in reality there was blood on the floor, except this time she watched herself cry out and plead with Delirium to stop.

Horrified Ember backed up, her face draining of colour just as the illusion disappeared. As soon as the vision evaporated her unfeeling mask returned but not quickly enough to hide her sudden pallor and grey irises.

"And as far as fighting you goes, I have no intentions of killing you. You see, Sam has us here for entertainment, right? So if we just went and killed each other on the first day I don't think he'd be to pleased that all his little pets are dead. He'd probably severely punish whoever did it. Maybe even do something bad to their partner. And I don't think either of us really want that."

Her mouth remained clamped shut at Delirium's little commentary of the situation, she tried to hide it, but she was suddenly terrified of what kind of harm Delirium might inflict upon her. After years with Sam, death was no longer the worst form of punishment- being at the hands of an Anomaly with mental abilities was something to be feared far more. Unconsciously she took a step closer to Damion feeling extremely vulnerable. The sadistic female had tampered with her sanctuary and while her expression remained neutral her person was shivering with the shock of having her mind invaded. She shoved her fear aside needing to focus on how to eliminate the threat.

Delirium raised her eyebrow at her, seemingly proud of her assessment. Ember wasn't so sure that Sam wanted them all to survive this. Any form of entertainment pleased him, and a slow death from another Anomaly was surely only going to feed his sick sense of pleasure.

"Surely none of you were waiting for me right?"

She stiffened as she heard Whispers voice. It appeared the situation was not going to get any better as the intimidating red-head took position by Delirium. From the corner of her eye Ember was acutely aware of her partner removing his gloves. It gave her some comfort to know that at least she was not dealing with the pair alone.

Whispers leant over to murmur something to Delirium, all the while his eyes never left her. Her breathing hitched as she endured his gaze and she got the distinct feeling he was sizing her up like a predator would with his prey. She crossed her hands protectively across her chest, sending him an angry glare. Her gaze was rather empty though, as her anger at being shown up was far overcome by her fear. Despite her posture and glare- her eyes remained in their melted grey form as she started to realise how dangerous the situation had become.

"Uh, excuse me?"

An almost musical voice broke the tension. Ember found herself forced to properly turn around to face the newcomer being unable to twist around properly. She was acutely aware of having been forced to turn her back on Whispers and Delirium.

The small doe like female apparently had come out of hiding. Ember raised an eyebrow prompting the girl to continue.

"Sorry to interrupt, uhh, your conversation, but since we're all here now, shouldn't we introduce ourselves?"

A dangerous wry smile came over Ember at the girls rather comical attempt to behave civilly at an increasingly uncivil situation. The girl was evidently nervous. And she should be Ember thought to herself her smile vanishing and being replaced by a grimace of distaste as the girl did some sort of curtsey, showing off her white dress. The motion made Ember sick; that kind of formality belonged to those in the outside world, not anywhere near here.

Her anger mounted at the mention of Lydia's brother. The brat still had family and both of them seemed have the height of good luck having completely passive abilities. For a moment her mind flashed back to the day she had killed the guard incidentally. The past feelings of guilt, terror and panic washed over her in the sudden memory. Her face hardened and she dropped her head down hiding her expression behind a veil of hair. Her hands curling into fists, she couldn't help but feel sudden vehemence against the pair that from her point of view had everything. It would be easy to carry out her task once she had prepared.

No longer feeling like dealing with the others she spun on her heel and started to walk off to her room.

"What about you all?"

Ember paused for a second. Then she turned slowly fixing a furious glare at Lydia.

"The name's Ember. And I happen to 'specialise' at killing people."

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Character Portrait: Ember Character Portrait: Katherine Delirium Character Portrait: Whispers Character Portrait: Damion Character Portrait: Lydia Character Portrait: Rezia
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Stephen Winters | The Rebel | Neural Disruption | #F70D1A

"I'm not sure if Sam would want them to kill us. But I can't be to certain about that. I hate them as much as you do, but I'm not sure if starting a fight right now will end up with us on the winning side."

Don't worry, I'm not so eager to please Sam, he thought with a knowing look.

It seemed that Katherine was more privy to the situation than he was. Sure the Dark Ones (as they were called by other anomalies) weren't invincible but they were killers through and through. He remembered his encounter with Ember vividly as her punishment managed to make one of his greatest fears nearly come alive. The feeling of a stolen breath, a voice unable to escape made his throat hitch. The lack of oxygen heading to his brain steeled his heart. The smug, satisfied look of Sam only served to furrow his brow. How could someone let two people with such evil hearts come together? She might not have been in execution range but the very fact that she was here meant they were at an impasse. Whoever made the first move could easily deal the killing blow.

He hadn't noticed Daimon expose his hand, but that was the price of needing a focused power. He never quite understood the man's power so despite his caution he felt like Ember was more dangerous. Hell, it didn't even occur to him that Daimon wanted to make a move until the sibling of the last pair interrupted them. She asked for introductions of both names and powers before stating that she was a healer named Lydia. Her brother, Reiza, operated more in mental scars but proved just as little of a threat as rumors foretold. The main reason they never had to suffer the same fates that he, Katherine, Ember, or Damion did was due to the passive nature of their abilities and compliance with the facility's measures. They were rational, cowardly people and there would be no changing that. Sure they could have weapons, but they didn't seem like the type who would throw themselves in the beginning of a fight.

Whispers broke his gaze from Ember and observed the change in situation (namely Daimon's departure from Ember's side) before composing himself into a more stoic form. He didn't get Lydia's angle but supposed that she might have been demonstrating her value to the others (typical rat) to save her own skin. Healers could turn the tide of any battle and though her brother wasn't nearly as valuable (everyone was fucked up already) but he doubted that she would heal without him by her side. He didn't like the idea of having someone so shifty on his side and his principles told him that having a traitor was just as bad as being a traitor himself but as Katherine said, starting a fight would not be in their favor. He just needed to sit back and wait for an opportunity to engage.

"Whispers," he shrugged, "I specialize in killing dogs."

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The amount of tension in the air was practically tangible. You could almost taste the anger and resentment flowing across the room. However, before anyone could start throwing punches, a melodic voice interrupted. Delirium looked over to find the compliant ones had finally emerged from their room. Delirium instantly wanted to pick one of them up and shake them vigorously asking why they were such compliant little fools. But she didn't, because they weren't any real threat to her.

"Uh, excuse me?" She said, almost like a little rabbit. One sudden movement and Delirium was convinced she'd go darting back into her room. Delirium chuckled to herself for no reason. She was cruel sometimes. But she didn't care. Life was cruel. As the girl introduced herself and her brother Rezia, Delirium grinned viciously. So this was the one. Rezia. Delirium was curious why Sam wanted her to do it to him and not, say Ember or even Stephen. Wouldn't that be more appealing to his sadistic mind? But Delirium knew she couldn't do it here. Not without everyone turning on her. Sure Ember may not particularly like Rezia or Lydia, but she would probably jump at the chance to hurt Delirium.

Delirium wasn't exactly familiar with either of their powers. She knew they both healed stuff, but she wasn't aware that Rezia could heal mental injuries. She frowned. Would that affect her ability to create visions for him? Could she even complete the task Sam gave her, or would her visions not even affect him at all? Also, having him around would be unfortunate if she ended up seriously mentally damaging Ember, because then Rezia could just fix her. Delirium was beginning to really dislike the silver-haired boy.

On the other hand, having Lydia around would be excellent in case Damion ever used his ability on her. Allying herself with the little cowards could provide useful if she didn't end up strangling both of them. Delirium was surprising herself with the amount of thinking she was doing. Normally she just stormed on ahead, not really caring about her own safety. But this time it wasn't her own safety. It was Stephen's. Another thought struck Delirium. What if they all just rose up against Sam? Surely even he couldn't take all six of them on at the same time. Delirium wasn't exactly paying attention but she did finally speak up.

"I'm Delirium. Ironic name right? Anyway, I can put you into a state of delirium if you get on my bad side." Delirium looked around bored, already over her little spat with Ember. Delirium had to be careful. In all honesty, the girl freaked her out. At any given moment she could kill her. In the first couple of seconds Delirium might be able to respond with some illusions, but it wouldn't take long at all for Ember to cause her to not be able to fight back. The only way she'd be able to come out smelling like a rose in a fight with Ember is if Delirium attacked first. She sighed, suddenly very worried about being a part of this game.

"So, do you think they'll give us food or something anytime soon?"

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As Damion made his way towards the stupid fools his mind turned towards his task, and the whereabouts of Whispers' muzzle. If it was anywhere down here at all it would most likely be somewhere in his room. That presented a problem, as far as he knew Damion had no way of getting in there. Perhaps he could find a way to trick Whispers into bringing it out into the open. Though considering just how much Whispers hated him that would be very difficult, almost impossible even. He couldn't do this alone. If he was going to complete Sam's task he would need help.

AS if on cue a rather timid voice cut through the tension of the situation, stopping Damion from advancing towards the rebels. It was the compliant girl. She began to introduce her brother Reiza, and herself. Apparently they were healers of some kind. It was Lydia the physical healer that intrigued Damion the most. It was clear she would be able to heal physical wounds such as the damage from his acid, but Damion began to wonder if she could heal the effects of his toxin. Was she capable of curing the symptoms of his toxin on someone's body, or even purging it from their system completely? If so she could prove to be a very aggravating obstacle, though she could still have her uses.

Reiza the girl's brother didn't seem like much at first glance, neither of the siblings did. Though they both had their uses. Reiza was a psychological healer, and while to many people that may sound less appealing than the healing of physical wounds, but Damion knew better. As someone who saw, and caused terrible things, images which haunted his mind even now he could recognize the boy's worth. The ability to bring ease to a troubled mind was a valuable thing indeed.

The pair were smart he would give them that, but they were weak. If times turned drastic for them they would be helpless against anyone of the Anomalies currently present in this room. They needed strength, and Damion needed a pair of pawns. He would have to find a way to get some time alone with them so he could propose some kind of alliance, or deal. Or at the very least persuade them to stay out of his way. He could be very persuasive when he wanted to be.

The others began to introduce themselves to the pair. Though Whispers, and Ember's words were thinly veiled threats, Delirium's were filled with much less venom, she almost sounded friendly. He found it highly doubtful that she was being civil simply for the sake of being nice. Damion could only conclude that she had the same idea of allying with them. He would have to make sure he made it to them first.

He walked away from the rebels, with Ember moving to leave, and the appearance of the siblings there would be no fight happening. He walked towards the two to introduce himself. "My name's Damion, and I'm quite poisonous. So be careful."Though his words could easily be interpreted as some kind of threat his pleasant tone made it sound as though it was a genuine warning. He wouldn't want to give Reiza, and Lydia a reason not to ally with him after all. Though he made sure not to give off the full scope of his abilities, only giving the vaguest description of his powers as possible. He wouldn't want to lay all of his cards on the table at once.

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Character Portrait: Ember Character Portrait: Delirium Character Portrait: Whispers Character Portrait: Damion Character Portrait: Lydia Character Portrait: Rezia
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Rezia looked at each anomaly as they answered Lydia's introduction. They got varying degrees of aggression, veiled threats, and friendliness. It was quite the range and it made Rezia almost want to smile. Almost. He wondered what they were thinking. He could easily tell what their emotions were but emotions didn't tell him what the thoughts were. They could be angry or sad at any variety and combinations of things going on around them in that moment. At least the emotions weren't too overwhelming. The only overly strong emotion was wrapped tightly around Ember and she had walked away from them thankfully. And Damion... hm. He couldn't quite pinpoint his emotions. They were more subtle. He had never seen Damion before but he could already tell there was an air of... there was an air of deep, deep pain and sadness. He wasn't even standing next to the guy. The closer the man moved to him an his sister, the horror of Damion's past seemed to reverberate through him.

Rezia's heart softened a little. Damion and Ember were just like him and Lydia. They were forced to do what they did to make sure that their counterpart didn't get hurt. If Damion was this wounded internally, he could only assume Ember was the same way. He felt bad for them. If he and Lydia had more aggressive powers, he was sure that they would be forced to kill and to harm others. But oh, the two didn't realize how wounded they were internally. Just because there were no physical wounds didn't mean there was nothing there. In a way, the internal wound was much more intense than the physical one.

"...You're bleeding..." he blurted in answer to Damion without thinking. He couldn't help it. It was a knee jerk reaction and he hadn't seen anyone with so much... so much agony beneath the surface. That was why Damion was so calm right now. He needed that calm to keep himself together. He started to raise his eyes to catch Damion's gaze to heal him. His amber gaze flickered and started to pale in anticipation of the connection. When he realized what he was doing, he quickly raised the blindfold to cover his eyes to break the eye contact. When he managed to avert his gaze, he stuck the blindfold back in his pocket. He didn't want Damion to think he was trying to invade his privacy or hurt him or something with his power. "I am sorry. I didn't mean to stare, Damion. I am not prying into your emotions. I can see your... your trials regardless of whether or not I want to," he explained, trying to be vague so his weakness wouldn't be found out. He didn't want everyone to know the seat of his power though the blindfold probably gave it away.

Ugh, what was wrong with him? His task revolved around Damion and here he was treating him like a friend. It was kill or be killed here and yet he didn't feel that from Damion. What would have happened if the circumstances were different? What if they had met before all of this? Would they have been friends? He couldn't be thinking of these things. He needed to protect Lydia. He couldn't protect her if he was off wondering about an alternate world. It wasn't realistic. Ah well. If he and Lydia could become friends with Damion and Ember, maybe things could go smoothly, but what happened after this task? Wouldn't Sam just give them a new task to mess with their friendship? Only time would tell. For now, he would just focus on getting close to Damion which didn't seem like too much of a problem.

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Character Portrait: Ember Character Portrait: Katherine Delirium Character Portrait: Whispers Character Portrait: Damion Character Portrait: Lydia Character Portrait: Rezia
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Lydia pressed her cheek against Rezia's shoulder, slightly obscuring her face to hide the calculating look she knew was forming on her features. While she, after all these years in the facility, was very skilled at playing the good little automaton, she still struggled with keeping her face impassive, especially in high stress situations like this. But it didn't stop her from watching and making mental notes on the reactions to her introductions. Ember, who she knew had some kind of air manipulation talent that was quite deadly according to the rumours, seemed the most angry, snapping at her as she stalked off, meeting her eye for a moment as she spat her words out. Lydia was less interested in what she said, and more interested in the way she held her body, the way her gait was stiff and awkward, as if she had a spinal defect. As a healer, Lydia always kept note of the physical ailments of those around her. She wondered how she could use the knowledge to her advantage. She could offer to try and heal her, but that would take several days of exhausting work, and she might not live that long, considering all the enemies she had here. And Ember seemed to loathe her already, so that might not work. But, if they could catch her off guard...Lydia's thoughts were interrupted by the Whisper's voice.

She'd been fairly young when he'd been brought in...she could vaguely remember hearing about a brother and sister pair that had been found, she'd hoped that she and her brother would get to meet them, maybe have some more friends to play with. That was before the real testing had started, the cutting and the bone breaking and the threats and the pain. The innocent days. But she couldn't quite remember what she'd heard of his power. She remembered healing headaches and some of the guards complaining about having to soundproof his room, his ability had to do with sound. She chewed on her lip. Why did they have to act like such smart-alecs? So suave and strong. Everyone in the room was in the same situation, why couldn't they handle themselves with some civility? Everyone here was broken, why aggravate the site of the wounds?

Lydia managed not to roll her eyes as Whispers, instead lifting her eyebrows a slight bit, which gave her an incredulous expression. The other red-head, Delerium, spoke next, and her tone, at least, was a bit more friendly. Lydia examined the scar on the girl's face from the safety of Rezia's shoulder, and smiled, hoping she looked shy enough. As if she desperately didn't want to get on her bad side. As if a state of delirium was that much worse than the life they were already living. Then she inquired about whether they'd be fed soon or not, and Lydia shrugged slightly. Who knew with Sam. Though most of her encounters with him were lackluster, the only way he could rile her up was by threatening to hurt Rezia, and even then she mostly just cried when he did that, she knew that he could be unpredictable. And unfair. There was no use in wondering about him or what he'd do for them...or to them...next.

Then Damion began to speak. He took a few steps towards them, and Lydia straightened slightly, lifting her head and watching him carefully. Instead of shrinking behind Rezia, as she had been doing, she shifted her body, as if preparing to jump in front of her brother, take a knife for him. But she didn't have to. Damion just introduced himself and mentioned that he was quite poisonous. She recalled healing some guards that had suffered acid burns and crying because she didn't have enough power to heal them all, and a few of them had died from the burns before she could help them. She chewed on her lip. Had that been him? If so, then he was potentially the most dangerous one here, because not only could he kill, he could cause great agony before his victims died, especially if she didn't have enough power left to help them when it happened. Lydia turned her face away for a moment, feeling like she was going to be sick as memories surfaced, but when she felt Rezia stiffen beside her, she immediately jumped back to the present. What was wrong? She looked over to him to see him making full eye contact with Damion. She tightened her grasp on his arm anxiously, about to open her mouth to tell him to stop, it was too dangerous to do that here, without asking permission first, but he'd already caught himself and was covering his eyes.

They desperately needed Damion as an ally. Well, Rezia did. She couldn't bear to see him with his flesh eaten away like those guards had been, writing in pain. She ducked her head as Rezia apologized as if she was apologizing too, and tried to give the dark one a shaky smile even though his nearness made her very nervous. She laughed uncomfortably, a sound like small bells tinkling together, and tried to change the subject slightly, taking it away from Rezia's accidental slip into his powers. "We'd love to help everyone, but I don't think Sam would like that very much, so the most logical course of action would be to make trades. Give us something we need, and we can bring you back to top physical and mental condition for as long as you help us." She had slowly relaxed her body, and was now clinging tight to Rezia again, staring at Damion, and she could feel the fear in her eyes. He could probably see it too. She hated it, but what could she do? She didn't blame him for the things he'd done, they were all puppets of the facility, of Sam, but she couldn't help but see the destruction he, the destruction many of them had caused through the years. It was enough to instill fear deep in her heart. She was no killer, she had a hard enough time letting people die because she couldn't possibly save them. What horrors had this anomalies been through to make them so willing to destroy? The very thought of it made Lydia want to vomit, but she had to stay calm, stay strong for Rezia. For Rezia. Anything for Rezia.

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Character Portrait: Ember Character Portrait: Katherine Delirium Character Portrait: Whispers Character Portrait: Damion Character Portrait: Lydia Character Portrait: Rezia
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"Whispers, I specialize in killing dogs."

Ember saw red immediately, if she hadn't been already. Her hands clenched even tighter into fists and her breathing shallowed in the sudden overpowering sensation of pure rage. She kept her head down in an attempt to hide the true extent of her emotions but she was starting to struggle with the pressure of being put with the others. It was too much for her already fractured personality. She hadn't actually had to deal socially with people for a few years. Never had she been at her victims mercy before.

As the others introduced themselves she found herself spiralling into one of her breakdowns. This time however she had a target; Whispers. She felt as though her head was underwater, though she could still hear bits and pieces piercing through the barrier. Damion was evidently trying to get them both allies, but at this point Ember wasn't in her right mind to be thinking about playing it smart. They finally had the chance to see one another and now she was left in this impossible malicious game of Sam's.

While the compliant pair didn't appear to be threats, it was evident Whispers at least was out for her blood from his comments. He was certainly going to hurt herself and Damion if she wasn't careful. His sick comment echoed in her mind again causing her to go rigid. Her ability was beyond her capacity to change and yet he wished to kill. If he had even the slightest clue as to how much her past had cost he wouldn't have dared made such a comment.

She had an abrupt urge to try something she hadn't done before. Gathering her strength she unfurled her hands pushing them straight out in front of her as she spun around to face Whispers. Instantly the air around her followed suit as with her fury she directed it straight at Whispers smashing him straight into the wall behind him with enough force to wind him. Immediately after the room went still.

The drain on her energy was enough to annoy her, but the adrenaline was causing her to ignore it.

"If you dare say anything like that again, I will kill you." Her voice was low as her whole body quivered with rage.

In the back of her mind she knew she was overreacting but at the time the whole situation was just about to push over the edge. Now she was in the process of defending herself in the only way she knew how; attacking out. She turned back to Lydia and Rezia.

"What exactly do you need so desperately that you offer your services?" she said scornfully. "I highly doubt that given the opportunity you would risk healing us. In fact it would be the height of stupidity on your part to assist us back to a place of strength over you both. I don't plan on needing you Lydia and as for you Rezia…"

Her face fell.

"It's a little too late for that."

She caught her partners eye.

"Damion they're just going to use us." Her eyes were wide and fearful.

Surely one of the compliant ones had either herself or Damion on their hit list. Though really she didn't see what the pair could do about it. Lydia looked frightened to death of Damion and how were they possibly going to be able to defend themselves? In the back of her mind Ember was acutely aware that time was ticking away.

If they didn't get a move on their missions soon she had no doubt Sam would start using other methods to turn them all against each other. Frustration came over her at knowing that she was relying on someone acting first before she could begin to attack her target. She wanted desperately to know what Damion needed to do as well- after all both their lives were on the line. If she could just have five minutes alone with him to plan everything would be so much easier. Not for the first time she wished she had the gift of telepathy.

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Character Portrait: Ember Character Portrait: Katherine Delirium Character Portrait: Whispers Character Portrait: Damion Character Portrait: Lydia Character Portrait: Rezia
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Stephen Winters | The Rebel | Neural Disruption | #F70D1A

What a detestable woman. So ready to threaten yet once someone spits venom she flies off the handle. Ember could have made a good rebel if she wasn't so evil. She was the perfect lapdog, acting on her master's behalf to cause damage to the other anomalies (namely him) and threatening to kill them in the process. She was brainwashed, no longer a person so much as a tool for Sam to scare and slay her own kind. Hurting him only made Whispers want to kill her more, but alas he still had a mission and he'd need to either provoke her into make a mistake or lull her into a false sense of security. The first was easy, but unpredictable. The second was better left to the blonde siblings.

"Oh yes I'm so sorry," he said after regaining some of his energy, "I'll make sure to be more aware of your emotional sensitivities in the future."

Goodness even his apologies were sarcastic.

There was a dull throbbing but he felt used to this sort of pain. Unlike the other anomalies, the facility hardened their bodies from years of torture and while most of the time he spent in the cell was for healing he managed to squeeze a few sit ups here and there. He would be fine so long as Daimon didn't follow up with any poison (wherever that came from). His throat still remained undamaged as he'd crossed his arms out in an "X" to protect himself so most of what he sustained were contusions on his back and head. Even if Lydia refused to help him he would just need to be more careful with how he moved.

"This is why you're the brains eh?" he asked Katherine sardonically.

Whispers, despite his name, already made a loud impression as a taunting as an enemy if you weren't friends with him or Katherine and for what? Pushing Ember to blow up?

Sarah would be disappointed in you, a voice resonated in the back of his mind, but she wouldn't have let it go either.

Sarah, or Justicar if she was around long enough for a nickname to stick, had an even more adamant stance that he did but a more nuanced reading of the situation. She would have had a better plan as well as a more "sincere" apology, although he supposed part of that would be her lack of efficacy in the building. There were no insects, bugs, or anything worth controlling in her context so she could have ended up dead first. Hell, in Whispers's eyes she already was. It was up to him and Katherine to escape and carry her wishes out. He would have to temper his mouth and wait for either Ember to collapse before making definitive moves like he already did.

He used to think that Sarah was his only shining light, the only beacon of hope in the less that was his life but that wasn't true anymore. He glanced up at Katherine with a recomposed face.

Whispers had a partner who could back in up, even if he might have been the mouthiest person in the world.

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Character Portrait: Ember Character Portrait: Katherine Delirium Character Portrait: Whispers Character Portrait: Damion Character Portrait: Lydia Character Portrait: Rezia
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When Rezia spoke about how Damion was bleeding he gave him a puzzled look. Sure the situation was somewhat aggressive but it never escalated into violence. Then Rezia seemed to try and make eye contact with him, though he quickly placed a blindfold over his eyes. The boy was acting so strange Damion almost didn't notice the fear and apprehension Lydia seemed to have towards him. It wasn't until Rezia mentioned emotions, and how he could feel his trials, that Damion finally understood. He realized now that the boy could not only heal psychological wounds but it seemed he could also feel the emotions of others.

At this revelation Damion couldn't help but feel a wave of anger wash over him. His eyes went wide, and a scowl formed over his face. Damion's emotions were something only he, and Ember were allowed to know about. He had gone through great pains to keep his emotions buried deep within. Truth be told Damion was just as emotional as he's always been, he's simply gotten better at hiding them. A calm face was all he ever needed to hide his thoughts, feelings, and intentions from others. But now this boy had access to the things he has worked so hard to keep hidden. All of his pain, anger, and hatred was open to him, and this angered Damion a great deal.

Damion opened his mouth to speak, ready to throw threatening words at the siblings,until he heard a crash. It was Whispers, or more accurately it was Whispers being slammed into a wall. Ember had apparently had enough of his mouth, and decided to do something about it. The sight made his lips curl into a small smile. It served him right, that idiot didn't know when to keep his damn mouth shut, but it seemed he still insisted on talking. Damion against his better judgement decided to teach the rebel a lesson. Sure he couldn't kill Whispers but he could certainly cause him a great deal of pain.

He moved towards Whispers in a menacing fashion, but as he did so Ember turned her ire onto Rezia, and Lydia. She spoke scornfully, as if she was lashing out. Damion stopped in his tracks, and looked at his partner with a small amount of concern. Ember soon looked him in the eyes, and spoke."Damion they're just going to use us."She looked scared he could tell, the situation they found themselves in must have been getting to her already. Seeing her like this immediately placed a true look of concerned on his face, he absolutely hated seeing her in this state. He quickly placed everything else in the back of his mind. Whispers could wait, Damion would punish him later, but for now he wanted to stay by Ember.

He walked back over to her side, intent to stay there for the moment."You're probably right." Maybe the siblings were just trying to use them? Maybe they never meant to help at all, hoping to instead somehow trick them into harms way. Hoping to make them reckless by letting them expect a healers aid only to refuse to help them after all. Besides either of them could have their task focused on Damion or Ember. Maybe allying with them would be playing right into their hands.

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Character Portrait: Ember Character Portrait: Katherine Delirium Character Portrait: Whispers Character Portrait: Damion Character Portrait: Lydia Character Portrait: Rezia
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Delirium raised an eyebrow at the idea of "making trades" with Rezia and Lydia. Trade what, exactly? She doubted the trades she had in mind really benefitted the other two much. It all seemed rather weird to Delirium, like something was off, but she figured it was just the fact that they were all in a weird situation. She couldn't but think again that maybe if they all worked to take down Sam, they could all get out of here alive without getting anyone hurt. But she cringed at the idea of working with Ember and Damion.

Rezia and Lydia Delirium sort of felt bad for, pitied even. Of course they couldn't rebel like Delirium and Stephen did because neither of the other two really had an offensive power. In fact, in their standpoint, it would be better for them to just take the punches. However, it still didn't diminish the fact that they'd likely do anything to save their own skins. Selfish, she thought, to do whatever one said just to save yourself. At least Delirium tried to rebel because then maybe others may follow suit. The first time one person truly escapes, more people will try. Like a domino affect. Ember and Damion really had no reason to not rebel other than the fact that they wanted to protect each other. But their powers were so deadly that it frustrated Delirium that neither of them had ever even tried. And by now it was too late, Sam had them at the end of his strings, playing the puppet master.

Suddenly, what seemed like a huge gust of wind slammed Stephen into the far wall. Delirium's body thrummed with adrenaline as she realized she had a very good guess for who had caused the wind. Stephen seemed ok, but Delirium's blood boiled.

"If you dare say anything like that again, I will kill you," Ember said, in a rage. Delirium bit back her retort, but her muscles tensed. She wanted to hit someone, specifically Ember. But Stephen got up and sarcastically apologized.

"That's why you're the brains, eh?" He said, but Delirium was far past being sensible. She didn't think at all as she said in a quite voice, "You shouldn't have done that."

Delirium raised her eyes to Ember's and Delirium's eyes turned blood red. In that instant, to Ember, a horrifying scene unfolded. In the illusion, Damion turned to Ember and transformed into an unnaturally large tiger with beady red eyes and blood dripping from his large fangs. His claws were like butcher's knives and his hackles were raised. The illusion Damion-tiger growled terrifyingly and swished its tail. The entire tiger was enormous, nearly as big as a large car or van, and looked torn up and haggard, with scars, dirt, and bloodstains everywhere. The tiger sprang forward and slashed at Ember. If any of his large claws actually managed to slice skin, she mad it seem like Ember was actually injured, even causing her to feel the pain, even if it drained Delirium's energy. Over course it was all just an illusion and no actual physical injuries were happening, but the pain was still great. The tiger advanced forward, attacking Ember, but Ember also knew that this tiger was Damion. Unless someone intervened, Ember would be screaming for her life.

Delirium smiled.

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Character Portrait: Ember Character Portrait: Katherine Delirium Character Portrait: Whispers Character Portrait: Damion Character Portrait: Lydia Character Portrait: Rezia
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Rezia's eyes widened as he glanced between everyone. Everything had seemed to calm down when they entered the room and now Ember had to go and blew Whispers into a wall. Rezia immediately tensed and pulled his sister behind him. He wasn't about to make Lydia an easy target for the aggressive woman. Delirium was doing something to Ember and it seemed that what he said had put Damion on the offensive as well even though he had apologized. All in all this wasn't turning out well and he wanted nothing more than to shove Lydia back into the safety of their room. They had to find a way to dispel all of this negative energy. He wished he could calm everyone down at once, but his power centered on one person at a time. If he tried that, he'd get into the line of crossfire and once he established a connection, he was vulnerable to everyone else around him.

"Everyone! Stop! Don't you think this is exactly what Sam wants from us? We've only been here for 10 minutes and you are all trying to kill each other! Whether we like it or not, we are stuck here together. Our best option is helping each other out rather then butchering each other," he answered, hoping to make them stall their actions. "He's toying with all of us. You ask what my sister and I want from you. Collaboration," Oh he hoped they wouldn't jump on him for that, but it was true. "My sister and I have passive powers. There is no way we can fend off the four of you, and all of you are going to need healers at one point in time; especially if you keep at this offensive mode."

Before anyone else could do anything, the table in the middle of the room made a gentle 'beep' noise and pulled everyones' attention. Rezia tensed and looked over at the table thing as it began to depress and open to show a large loaf of rye bread. Rezia's eyes widened. Food. That was fast. He glanced quickly at Damion and the others before he hurried to the table, determined to get there first. He swallowed hard, a bit nervous at his next actions since everyone else was reactive in this room. Quickly, he began splitting the bread up into equal portions for everyone and didn't let anyone touch it while he did his work. He then quickly shoved a piece of the bread in his mouth and held a finger up to motion everyone to wait. He chewed the bread slowly. Then he hurriedly spit the bread out and made a coughing noise.

"Don't eat the bread! There is a chemical in it that is supposed to make us weaker and potentially knock us out. When I was brought here I heard the scientists talking about it but wasn't sure if they were going to start this soon. Don't eat any of the food they bring us. It is not going to be safe to eat." he warned.

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Character Portrait: Ember Character Portrait: Katherine Delirium Character Portrait: Whispers Character Portrait: Damion Character Portrait: Lydia Character Portrait: Rezia
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Lydia's brow knitted when Rezia pulled her behind him, but nonetheless she knitted her arms loosely around his shoulders, as if simultaneously clinging to him and pulling him too away from the hostilities going on on the other side of the room. In truth, she had little compassion for Ember at this point. She and her brother had played clean-up crew for these four for years, and now she fully understood why. They were all off the handle, off their rockers, out of their minds. Like slathering dogs, the lot of them. Couldn't discriminate between the enemy and a potential friend. Why the infighting? What was the point. Lydia's brain buzzed. How could she make a steady ally here? She'd definitely need help to complete her task or she could end up with her skull split like an eggshell. Any of the others could easily break her in half. And she really didn't want to hurt anyone anyway, she wasn't sure she had the stomach for it, even if she ever had the opportunity.

She was a healer, she'd been born and raised a healer, to harm was completely against her nature. But these four...did they even have a morsel of humanity left in them? They were feral. Funny, they'd had a life outside the facility, hadn't they? Shouldn't they be the ones who knew what life outside was like? Shouldn't they be the ones who knew how to act properly? She and Rezia should be the animals, the senseless creatures, but it seemed as they were the only ones who had brains in this damned place.

The wraith of a girl felt Rezia speak just as much as she heard him, he felt very tense. Oh, what was this aggression doing to his mind? She bit her lip. They were hurting Rezia. That wasn't fair at all. But he spoke with a gentle harshness, telling them to stop, and she smiled in approval, sending affection and approval his way to strengthen him. She didn't need to be able to read emotions to know that he was just as nervous as she was. She needed to keep her emotions steady.

When the beep sounded, and the food rose on the pedestal, she let Rezia slip away from the protection of her arms and towards the bread. She glided after him, wrapping her heavily scarred arms around her middle, hovering behind him as he split the bread with hasty hands. She stared at him, tension in her belly. When he began to cough, she made a small keening noise of fright, her hands flying to his arms to heal him or catch him--whatever he needed.

"Punishing the greedy? Sounds like Sam. Playing his games." She said, her voice reflective. "But how long can we last without eating, Rezia? I can mitigate hunger pains, but I can't heal starvation." Her face changed to a more stern expression then, and she smacked his arm lightly as she said in a quieter voice, but still audible in the close quarters of the room. "You need to stop being so reckless, Rezia, it's dangerous. You scared me." She stared hard at him for a moment, her eyebrows lifted high. Then he shifted on her feet, redirecting her thoughts to where they'd been headed before the food arrived, wondering if now would be a good time to make her proposition for a deal. Maybe not. Maybe it would be best to hold her tongue for a moment, let them quibble about the food situation. Wait for the air to settle, then she could play her hand.

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Character Portrait: Ember Character Portrait: Katherine Delirium Character Portrait: Whispers Character Portrait: Damion Character Portrait: Lydia Character Portrait: Rezia
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Damion was looking at her with concern even as a full meltdown became forthcoming. However he soon came towards her, placing himself at her side. Gradually she began to calm down, and she gave him a grateful smile. She needed to keep his company in mind more often. Every time she felt threatened at the moment she immediately reverted back to her instinct of being alone in the situation. The truth was she was in a much better position than she had ever been in the facility because she had her partner with her.

As she felt herself relax a little more the full extent of her actions became a little more clear. She bit her lip as she considered how quickly she had just flared up everyone's hatred for both herself and Damion. She needed to be more careful in future. Realising fearfully that she had entirely forgotten about Delirium's reaction to her actions, Ember glanced back at the girl. For now it didn’t appear that Delirium was going to react. Satisfied that she hadn't put them both in immediate danger, Ember turned back to Damion.

His whole countenance changed and Ember found herself shrinking back as he turned towards her. That was when everything took on an entirely too real aspect even as the impossible happened. His face warped and in far too short a time a feline beast stood before her. The cold-blooded red eyes of a killer looked straight at her, blood dripping from its maw. Everything that Ember recognised as Damion disappeared as this war-torn tiger stared down at her from a formidable height. The beast let out a dangerous growl, it's huge tail swishing in apparent anger.

"Damion…" Ember managed get out, backing up slowly. Her face drained of all colour and her hands automatically went up protectively in front of her. In the back of her mind her subconscious screamed at her, telling her it wasn't real, but her conscious thought was entirely unaware of the impossibility of the scenario. The whole scene was sickeningly real.

In that moment the tiger leapt at her. She let out a cry of fright, trying to leap out of the way. It was too little too late, his massive paws slid straight down her side leaving bloody gashes along her arm and ribcage. She screamed as the claws hit bone before she managed to stagger away a bit.

"Please, Damion, stop!" Her voice was twisted with pain as she clamped both hands over the gaping wounds.

In the background Rezia was trying to stop any more attacks by yelling at everyone. Ember, so lost in the illusion, assumed he was yelling at Damion for attacking her. The speech didn't appear to make any difference as Damion swung round to face Ember again. This time Ember was sure he was going to kill her.

A small bleep and then the illusion melted away. Ember's eyes widened in shock, her legs giving way leaving her sitting on the floor. Her whole body was trembling from the whole ordeal that apparently only she had been able to see. Still disbelieving she shakily removed her hands from her side finding no tears in clothing nor pain. Frantic she tore off her gloves expecting blood and the gash down her arm. Nothing but pale skin and old scars on her wrists. Breathing heavily she managed to find Damion, returned to his normal self. Almost immediately her gaze sought out Delirium at the back. Ember couldn't even manage a scathing look.

It took her a few more seconds to register where everyone's attention now was. Food. Her stomach clenched painfully. She hadn't eaten for far too many days after Sam had told her she'd be coming her. She hadn't been able to stomach anything and now she regretted it. If she had been any less exhausted from her previous actions and now the illusion Ember surely would have smashed Rezia into a wall as well to get to the food. As it was, all she could manage to do was stare and pray that his rushing forward had nothing to do with taking it all for him and his sister. It appeared the news was worse. No one was going to eat.

Ember looked suspiciously from the remaining bread and Rezia. On one hand there was no way she trusted Rezia. The man certainly appeared to her to be lying. He was nervous and the whole rushing forward had seemed a little pre-planned to her trained eye. By most people's accounts perhaps he came across genuine, but from a person who had seen many lie under interrogation the man did not appear to be truthful.

On the flip side, after the ordeal she had just been through her thoughts weren't exactly at their peak. Nor did there appear to be any motive to deceiving them all. He was withholding a meal from himself and, perhaps more importantly, his sister. Ember frowned. She certainly wouldn't put it past Sam to starve them, but….

"I doubt it will amuse Sam very much watching us all starve." she managed to comment as she got shakily back on her feet avoiding eye contact with Delirium. "To what end would he poison it all?"

She turned her accusing gaze towards Rezia, but she made no move to access the meal. Lydia mentioned it sounded like Sam, and Ember half agreed with her...however she couldn't see him finding them all too weak to fight one another amusing.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ember Character Portrait: Katherine Delirium Character Portrait: Whispers Character Portrait: Damion Character Portrait: Lydia Character Portrait: Rezia
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Stephen Winters | The Rebel | Neural Disruption | #F70D1A

Whispers steeled himself for the retaliation but none came despite Damion's superior position. Instead Katherine, his savior, punished Ember on her own accord. Though he couldn't see the illusion he knew well enough what she was capable of given her twisted little mind. Well really, everyone was twisted in their own way but Katherine had the drive to actually utilize her pain rather than keep it locked away. By her hand, Ember kept backing away with outstretched arms. The black-haired executioner kept shaking and even went so far as to yell at her partner, but that only gave him a hint of what she was thinking.

"You are truly something," he admitted quietly.

It was sickening for sure, to feel so relieved by the pain of another, yet he rationalized it with the notion of justice. She got what she deserved for slamming him into the wall and for inflicting pain on all those other poor anomalies that tried escaping in the past. This attack was a mere fraction of the pain Sarah felt when she died and no one would disagree with him that she was worth much more than the air manipulator. Besides, it wasn't like Katherine killed her. At least not yet.

He very nearly missed Reiza's interruption of the entire attempt to defuse the situation but frowned when Katherine's eyes dulled in color. Of course the two healers would want the least amount of conflict. They didn't want to pick sides. They wanted to play the field and get out with the least amount of scars, yet they were playing it stupidly. The one time they ought to play passive and let the two violent groups have it they instead try to make peace. Unfortunately, Whispers wasn't having any of it.

"Who are you to tell us how to act? Maybe instead of trying to make us all buddy-buddy you ought to pick a side," he asked.

Still, he wouldn't delve into a speech since Sam appeared to have other plans. A beep sounded and a loaf of bread appeared in the middle of the room. It had been a long time since Whispers saw anything tastier than enriched gruel but he could still recognize rye bread when he saw it. Brown, soft, and real. It was real food...and Reiza had the (rightful) gall to grab a bite before trying to "warn" them about the dangers of eating.

"The only evidence you have is word of mouth and it's shaky at that," he started, "you have as much motivation to lie as the rest of us and if we're all sufficiently weak enough you won't have to worry about us killing you. Besides, your sister is a physical healer isn't she? If you get poisoned she could just flush it out before doing any damage."

As much as he hated to admit it, Ember's inquiries made sense and he hadn't known how hungry he was until he saw that tantalizing loaf.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ember Character Portrait: Katherine Delirium Character Portrait: Whispers Character Portrait: Damion Character Portrait: Lydia Character Portrait: Rezia
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"Damion.." He looked at Ember when she spoke his name, and was more than a little worried when he saw her. She was backing away from him, she looked absolutely terrified. The look on her face was one of pure horror, and she threw her arm in front of her face in a protective fashion."E, Ember? Are you all right? What's wrong?"He walked towards her in a worrisome fashion. He wasn't sure what was wrong really, maybe it was the stress of Sam's damn game. All Damion knew was that something was wrong, and he wanted oh so desperately to be able to help her.

"Please, Damion, stop!" He stopped in his tracks when he heard this. If he was concerned before now he was scared, though he tried not to show it on his face. She sounded terrified, even worse she sounded like she was in pain. Was she afraid of him? The very thought was enough to completely destroy Damion if he let it. But he wouldn't. He would never hurt her. He watched her unsure of what to do. He was so focused on Ember that he barely even registered Rezia speak. Then he turned to Delirium. It had to be her. Forcing Ember to see something truly horrible. Whatever it was it centered on Damion himself. Like she was trying to somehow create a rift between himself, and Ember. To Damion something like that was an inexcusable crime. How could the rebels hate them for torturing, and killing others, when they had no choice. Now however Delirium was clearly choosing to torture Ember.

Thankfully Ember's eyes widened, and she seemed to snap out of it. Whatever horrible vision that was plaguing her seemed to vanish, and Damion felt more than relieved. Though he shot Delirium, a hateful gaze, a look of complete scorn. He would not let her get away with this. At this moment Damion resolved to cause her as much pain as possible, not now of course, but when an opportunity comes his way, he will surly take it. Of course Damion would not be sparing Whispers his wraith either, he will give both the rebels more than enough reasons to consider him a threat.

He soon turned his attention towards the food, which had just recently arrived. It wasn't much but it was food, and Damion was fairly hungry. He watched as Rezia divided the bread into pieces, slightly surprised at his willingness to share, and his boldness to reach the food first. Considering how sadistic Sam tended to be he wasn't very surprised when the boy ended up spitting out the food, claiming it was filled with some kind of chemical or poison. Whispers, and Ember both seemed to think he was lying or that Sam otherwise wouldn't want to watch them all starve. Though as Whispers had correctly, and surprisingly stated that the boy was keeping food from both his own mouth, and his sisters. Damion didn't think they were lying.

Damion walked towards the center of the room, and took a piece of bread for himself. The one decent thing about his abilities was the sole fact that he had a resistance to foreign poisons, and chemicals. Though he usually had to be careful when it came to exposing himself to dangerous substances like that, even his resistance had limits, and he wisely decided not to have to much. He had no idea how much was in the bread, but a single piece would do little to actually harm him. If he wanted to survive, if he wanted to protect ember he would need to keep his strength up after all.

He turned to the others, an idea popped into his head. Ember was right, there would be no amusement in solely watching everyone else starve to death, Sam would probably make them work hard for actual food though,and though he could probably survive off of these poisoned scraps, he would still work as hard as possible to insure that Ember was able to actually get edible food. Perhaps, he placed this out simply to find out who was most desperate."Watching everyone starve would be rather boring. Maybe he planes on making us compete, or otherwise earning untainted food? Seems sadistic enough for the likes of Sam."