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Lydia

"Give them an inch and they'll take your smile."

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

Description

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BASICS


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{ AGE }
18

{ GENDER }
Female

{ PARTNER }
Rezia



ABILITY:

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{ Healing }
Lydia has light healing abilities that are primarily time based. She can accelerate the healing process, but her reserves are limited and it takes her about twenty-four hours to regenerate her powers. For full body healing, not focusing on a specific wound, she can speed the healing process by about three days, a bit less depending on the severity and number of wounds. Typically, this power is enough to close most lacerations, and can also reduce swelling and bruising, and leaves and short sensation of good health and happiness around the recipient, due to her ability to balance the body's chemistry, though her power in this area pales greatly in comparison to her brother's power. If she focuses on a single wound, like a broken bone or a deeper wound, she can heal the victim up to one month, but her actions prevent the body from trying to heal the wound on its own, so for serious wounds or broken bones, she requires several sessions to heal the person, or there is a high chance the bone will not set right, or the wound will never heal fully.

Her power level is denoted by her eyes, which at top power are a light violet colour, and as she uses up her power for the day they first lose their red hues, then the cornflower slowly fades into cerulean, then royal blue, then cobalt, then a navy, then grey, then fully black and glassy. She can use her power on more than one recipient, as long as she doesn't fully use her reserve. Things like temporarily balancing body chemistry only take a small amount of power, and cuts and bruises take a bit more, deeper wounds and multiple wounds drain a little more than half her power, and healing internal injuries or broken bones takes her full reserve.

While her power is very limited, she has found that she is more effective on repeat customers, and the calmer she is while exerting her power, the better the results are. She has to have skin to skin contact with the recipient for successful healing, and typically has more success when using her hands and when the site she touches is closer to the site of the wound or in the head or facial region.


{ Weaknesses }
For one thing, Lydia's power is quite limited, and she has only been able to increase her ability a slight amount through practice, so she knows that there is little chance for significant improvement. Also, once her power is completely drained, she becomes more listless and empty, as if a part of her life force has been drained, and the sensation is quite unpleasant for her. She also has to consciously use her power on her own wounds, or they will not heal. Also, once she's drained her power completely, she cannot use it again until she is fully recharged, or it causes her extreme fatigue, nausea, and dizziness, as well as more than halving the effectiveness of her power.

{ Containment }
There has been little reason to prevent Lydia from using her powers, she has no ability to harm anyone, and typically helps anyone who comes to her for healing without hesitation, from her brother to the guards and scientists that she encounters. There are two simple ways to prevent her from using her power to either heal herself, or her brother, other than just asking her not to, because while she would willingly not heal herself to avoid punishment, it would be more difficult for her to restrain herself from healing her brother. The first would be to completely cover her skin so she cannot make contact between herself and the recipient, but that could not prevent her from healing herself. The other is to purposefully cause her or another harm so she drains her power, before she can use it elsewhere.



PERSONALITY:


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Lydia has always been soft and delicate, relying on her brother to look out for her. She is kind and timid, always willing to give a word of encouragement and do everything in her power to help others, even at the point of sacrificing herself. She relies on her brother to keep her grounded and remind her that she needs to take care of herself too. She used to be a happy, innocent girl, carefree and at peace with the world, sure that good would always prevail, and while she was on the shy side, she knew her brother was there for her, and would pick her up if she stumbled, and she could do the same for him.

The more things change in Lydia's mind, the more they stay the same. Living in the facility has warped her mind, and her methods of coping are hurting her more than anything else. She has pinned her existence on her brother, only staying alive because he told her that he needed her, and she'd do anything for him, do anything he told her to do. If she lost him, she'd die, because what other purpose is there in her miserable life.

The innocence that once filled her heart is gone too. While still seemingly sweet and childlike, Lydia has become more like a machine, coldly rational, willing to do anything, manipulate anyone, to protect herself and more importantly, keep her and her brother together. While originally she helped the workers in the facility out of the goodness of her heart, when she was still foolish and young, unaware of the full implications of her stay in the facility, she quickly saw that she could make allies, accrue favors, and use her delicate appearance to keep things turned in her favor. But it meant that she couldn't fight at all, which was okay with her, as long as her brother said it was okay.

At this point, she's okay with the fact that she's barely hanging on to life, that having to use her power to frequently so the scientists can study it is causing massive weight loss and has taken a chunk of her personality with it, leaving her mostly empty, her eyes perpetually dull. The only thing that makes her happy anymore is her brother's attempts to cheer her up. She knows that he is hurting and is hiding it from her, and she does her best to keep his spirits up with her power when she can, but she's lost interest in most everything else, though she's good at putting up the facade when she needs to.

Despite all this, in the core of her being, though her spirit has been broken time and time again, she is still a kind, sweet girl, incapable of holding grudges, and willing to help those who are hurting, and though her motives are more twisted than they once were, she still feels some measure of happiness from healing others, because it validates her existence. But she is very close to only viewing herself as a number, an asset, a power, not an individual, worthless except in what she can offer others. Her brother's reassurance used to help her, but lately she's started to lose whats left of her confidence to the void.


{ Passions }
Rezia
Rezia is the most important thing in her life. He's almost always been there, a steady constant. Even though they've both become more broken as life went on, He's still the reason she continues living. She doesn't know what she'd do without him.

Stories
Fantastical, far away worlds, living in someone else's mind, seeing the world from another perspective, Lydia loves reading books, listening to other people tell stories, and telling her own stories.

Singing
Lydia likes to make up songs, sing little tunes, the lyrics from Rezia's favorite songs, and sing accompaniment to his violin.

Healing
While using her power drains her, there is something cathartic about fixing someone else's wounds. It makes her feel useful, needed, important.

Puzzles
Lydia likes all kinds of little games and puzzles that require her to think through them. They are very logical and predictable, and she enjoys that. They're safe. Logic games and riddles are often a good way to calm her down, especially when separated from Rezia.


{ Dislikes }
Pain
Well, naturally, Lydia is adverse to pain. Though she's become more numb to it as the years passed, she still hates being stabbed and cut for the sake of experiments.

Being Separated from Rezia
While she is easily quieted, she often puts up a fuss when separated from her brother. If he's not in her line of sight she becomes very uneasy.

Darkness
While not fully afraid of the dark, darkness still makes her uncomfortable, and she tends to cling to Rezia when she has to deal with dark environments.

Sadness
Being a kind soul, Lydia wouldn't wish sadness on even her enemies. She hates to see her brother so sad.

Nonsense
Lydia dislikes things or people who don't make sense, don' act rationally, or don't have an innate sense of logic.


{ Weaknesses }
While kind to a fault, Lydia isn't much of a people person, and has a hard time understanding other people. She likes things that are rational, and has a hard time relating to people who she doesn't perceive as rational. Or anyone other than her brother, really. She's also very timid, and doesn't stand up for herself at all, relying on her brother instead. She lives entirely for her brother's sake, and has no real will to live or do anything beside.

{ Fears }
Losing Rezia
She knows she'd die if she lost Rezia, whether through death or him being taken from her.

Losing her Power
Lydia's personality now revolves around the fact that she has a power, and she fears that she'll be worthless, useless to her brother, without it.

Harming People
Lydia, while she would hurt someone if it came down to that, is terrified that it might become a reality, because in truth she doesn't know if she could live with that weighing on her shoulders.





APPEARANCE:


Lydia is a willowy girl, long and slim, standing at about 5 feet 7 inches, though her once smooth figure now shows obvious signs of stress and malnutrition. She looks a bit like a hollowed out doll. She has large bambi eyes that make her look waifish and immaterial, taking up most of her once full face. She has a gentle, heart shaped face with a delicate chin and full lips that always seem to have teethmarks in them from her nervous habit. Her nose is small and looks straight, but if one touches it, they can feel where it's been broken several times and hastily knit back together.

Long blonde hair wreaths the girl's head, spiraling in soft, mussed curls down to the small of her back and shrouding her face in a corn-silk halo. She usually wears her hair like a curtain, dusting over her eyes and close over her shoulders so it can be used to hide her face at a moment's notice. Her hair also hides her collarbone and shoulders, where the bone protrudes from the thin layer of skin stretched over it, making her meduim-light skin an even paler colour. She had never been particularly curvy, but malnutrition has mostly returned her to a child's figure, her chest is small and her hips are narrow, but her waist is painfully thin. Her arms are also long and thin, and her hands are impossibly small, with dainty, thin rounded nails.

Her eyes are her greatest asset, and her greatest tool, it takes little effort on her part to look like a frightened doe, and her face has settled into that fearful/mournful expression so well that it has become her resting face. Other expressions take their manifestation on her face in small ways, her smiles are tiny, and so are the signals of true distress. Her brother is the only one who can truly read her face and know how she's feeling, and he's also the only one who can make her truly smile anymore.

Oftentimes she is dressed in white dresses or in natural earthy colours, or some combination of both, which adds to the innocent look she strives for and is born by it. Despite her frail body, she still moves with a light grace, pretending to be one of the princesses from her childhood. It helps her keep it all together.


{ Defining Features }
Despite her healing ability, Lydia doesn't have much to spare on keeping her body immaculate, so she usually heals herself until she's stopped bleeding, then leaves the scars, which don't heal on their own, and remain angry red tissue until she attends to them again, which is a rare occurrence. She has many lacerations on her body, from cuts on her forearms to sites of stab wounds and roughly administered needle scars on her upper arms and thighs. Her back is also in a similar state, and there is a certain fragility to her body from bones that were hastily and not completely mended. She has little cares about her appearance, and would much rather spend her healing power on her brother than on herself. Most of her wounds are from testing, not from punishment.

{ Weight }
109

{ Build }
Spindly




THOUGHTS ON OTHERS:



{ Pair One }
Lydia fears the dark ones, but she respects that they did what they had to keep each other. She worries what will happen if they are put at odds, because while she would do whatever it took to keep her brother alive and safe, she knows she does not match them in strength by a long shot. But on the same coin, thinking of them makes her grateful for her power, that she cannot kill, that, while she is subjected to painful testing, she does not have to kill for her brother, because while she knows she would, she also knows it would tear her apart and in keeping him, she'd lose herself.

{ Pair Two }
Stupid. Lydia finds them stupid, and their lack of rational thought is unsettling and dangerous. They only bring more punishment to themselves, and for what? The testing happens regardless, she can't see why they wouldn't want to keep each other more than their dignity. But she fears them too, for their obviously unpredictable behavior, and she wants nothing to do with them.




HISTORY:



{ Ability }
Lydia was born with her ability, though her birth was deliberate, part of a project to create more and stronger healers. She didn't start showing signs of her ability until she was about seven, however. Her ability is an amplified version of that of a mother she never knew.

{ Free Life }
Born into the facility, Lydia knows nothing of the outside world but what she's read in books, though even her reading has been carefully monitored by the scientists. She's never shown much interest in the outside world, assuming that it's really just the same as life inside the facility.

{ Facility Life }
Since she and her brother were young, many of the scientists treated them with kindness. Perhaps it was because they knew that her ability could never hurt anyone, or just because she and her brother were sweet, mild mannered children, a set of little blond cherubs running around the gardens and certain supervised portions of the facility. While Lydia never knew her parents, she assumed that the facility as a whole was her family, and Rezia, of course was her brother, and her only friend. So she grew very close to him.

As they grew older and she started exhibiting her power, she became worried that Rezia wasn't doing it too. They were siblings! They did everything together! She didn't want to leave him behind! She started to really dislike the testing, but everyone always promised her that if she misbehaved then she wouldn't get t stay with Rezia, so she tried her best to always be good. But she couldn't help but notice how now she was always getting warm attention from the scientists, especially when she healed them, and Rezia seemed to be getting the cold shoulder.

However, when he finally showed his power, Lydia started to realize what it meant to have a power in the facility. Gone were the days of sunshine and frolicking outside with her brother and scientists occasionally slipping them candies or little toys. While they were still treated fairly favorably, the testing got worse. She was separated from Rezia and promised that she'd never see him again unless she cooperated. So, even though from that point on the experiments became more painful and invasive, she took them with little complaint, as long as Rezia was okay. And of course, the other occasional gifts that they'd received were nice as well, and most of the scientists treated them fairly kindly. What more could she ask for?





OTHER




{ COLOR }
#0E8C3A

{ THEME SONGS }
Keane - Somewhere Only We Know

So begins...

Lydia's Story

Setting

Characters Present

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.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lydia Character Portrait: Rezia
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Lydia woke up arranged neatly on the floor of a little room, rubbing her eyes as her head spun. She remembered holding out her arm to be sedated, and her eyes immediately drew to the little pinprick the needle had left. It was still bleeding, little pearls of blood dribbling down her arm. She sighed, looking at the side of her dress, where a few brownish-red smears were already setting in from the blood she'd been steadily seeping. They always seemed to forget that she needed a bandaid when they put her down, because she didn't heal naturally. In a quick motion she licked away the blood and at the contact, the tiny dot closed up and the bruise faded. Her eyes shifted from a light purple to a light blue, still clear as the sky she remembered from her intermittent trips outside in her youth. It had been so long since she'd seen the outside world.

As the thin blonde rose to her feet, she realized that the tiny room wasn't a room at all, but an elevator traveling with her in it. She hugged her arms, suddenly remembering everything that had transpired. Rezia! And all the others. The puzzle game they had to play. Her hand slid into the pocket in the skirt of her dress and fingered the cylindrical box within. She wasn't sure how she'd be able to overcome her obstacle, but she knew that not only would she have to figure out how to do it as quickly as possible to prevent harm from befalling her brother, she knew too that they both were in danger from the other occupants of her new living space. They all had targets, and she'd have to be careful who to trust. The only one she could trust for certain was Rezia, but hadn't it always been that way?

Logically, perhaps the best move would be to play the innocent. Obviously she had no ability to harm anyone, if anything she could be considered an asset due to her ability to heal. So if she played up her timidity and let them think her innocent, let them underestimate her, perhaps she could mitigate the danger she was in. Of course, that didn't lower her worry for Rezia. If she played innocent, she would definitely not be able to protect him. But then again, he was better equipped to protect both of them, so she could keep her eyes out and analyze the situations more easily. And she did have healing on her side if any of them decided they wanted to hurt her brother.

The blond chewed on her lip, wondering how many of the five others would be there when the doors slid open. She remembered hearing about the others when they first arrived at the facility, especially when she was younger she'd heard a lot of gossip from the scientists about other anomalies in the facility, though she and Rezia were kept separate from them. She'd heard many rumors about the four she'd have to contend with, and none of the rumors were good. A deep fear roiled in her belly, but she couldn't let it get the best of her. She needed to play smart, because that was something both of the other pairs lacked. They didn't have the level of logic she and her brother had, nor the patience. They'd lived their entire lives in the facility, when it came to playing games, they had the most experience.

But could she really fulfill her task? She really didn't want to hurt anyone or make undue enemies, but she had to. For Rezia. She couldn't let him be hurt. He already hurt enough. She sighed. She had no choice but to do what she was told. As long as she played by the rules, everything would turn out fine. Everything always turned out fine when they played by the rules.

When the doors of the elevator finally opened, Lydia stared out with wide, nervous eyes, lifting her hands to her chest as if a barrier between her and the others. Her eyes flicked rapidly, studying the situation. No Rezia. Had he not come down yet? Lydia stepped out of the elevator and warily stared at the others as she circled around to the door that had her and her brother's name on it and quickly darted in, casting a wide eyed stare over her shoulder as she did so. As soon as she entered the room, however, she spotted a familiar figure.

"Rezia!" She cried out, throwing herself at him. She knew that he could feel her emotions, so she tried to stay positive for him, to simulate happiness and optimism for him as she hugged him and pressed her face into the familiar curve of her neck, here she'd hidden her face a million times before. Even though they lived together regularly, being apart from him was nerve wracking. She always worried that she'd not see him again. Which meant that she was only truly calm when he was in her line of sight.

"What are we going to do?" She murmured in a lower voice, pulling back but still clinging to his arms as if she couldn't bear to let go of him, as if he'd float away if she lost contact with him. "We need to come up with a plan or they'll destroy us before we even blink, Rezia." She said earnestly, still trying to make her happiness over being with her brother overcome the other emotions swirling in her brain. She was also very careful not to look into his eyes, they both needed to be at top strength to contend with whatever life would throw at them now.

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

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.

Setting

Characters Present

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.

Setting

Characters Present

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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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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"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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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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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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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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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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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.

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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.

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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."

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Delirium was insane. The vision was consuming her, it was too much and she couldn't stop. She was an idiot to do this in front of everyone. In the back of her mind she vaguely paid attention to their reactions, but she didn't care about them, she cared about the vision she was creating. She reached into the deepest darkest depths of her own mind, things she feared herself, that she could turn on Ember. Delirium was sadistic, she was in control. No, actually she was severely out of control. The thought struck her on the head painfully. She was out of control, and losing energy fast. Normally she didn't add feelings like pain to her illusions, at least not this long. Panic suddenly caught her throat. She couldn't stop, so she would pass out because she couldn't handle this much strain on her mental capabilities. She could feel the world going fuzzy.

She wasn't like this. She hated Ember, because Ember did terrible things. But look at herself, she was no better. The vision blurred for a second, the large tiger momentarily fading, then Delirium blinked, steadied herself, gritted her teeth and forced herself to stop, if not to keep herself from passing out, then to see what the other commotion was about. When Delirium released her vision from Ember, she should have just bolted for her room, because either Ember or Damion could kill her in response, but she was too weak. She slumped slightly, trying with all her might to stay standing. A pain twanged in her head. She could feel a headache coming on.

Useless, she thought. She gets all riled up and now she can't protect herself if she tried. She watched as everyone appraised the bread that had been delivered to them and simmered in her own self loathing. She needed to get a grip on herself or she wouldn't make it out of here alive. Thoughts buzzed around inside her pounding head. Not only had she practically attacked one of the most deadliest people in this place, but she'd also severely weakened herself in the event that Ember decided to retaliate. Delirium just had to assume it was her look that the food had come when it did.

When Rezia announced that the food was poisoned and would make them weak, Delirium sighed unhappily. She didn't know wether he was telling the truth or not, and frankly she didn't care. Surely Sam wouldn't want one of his little entertainers to die as quick and painlessly as eating a piece of poisoned bread? As long as it didn't kill her, she didn't care. She was already weak. She hobbled over to the bread, took her small chunk that Rezia had divided, and hobbled into her room without a word. She shoved the whole thing in her mouth then lay down on her bed. She didn't care what the others had thought of her. Hopefully sleep would claim her and chase her headache away.

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So much hatred and so much distrust. Lydia couldn't fathom why they'd want to fight each other so much, how did they even have the energy to fight against each other and bear the facility's yoke at the same time? Their fighting was tedious. Delirium, juding on the way her eyes turned colours and Ember panicked, had most certainly done something to the dark haired girl, and apparently it left them both spent. Why would they waste their energy? What was the point of it. And then there was Whispers, getting in their face about picking a side. Why did there have to be sides? Why couldn't they play this smart and not give Sam what he wanted, save themselves and their companions the trouble? But these creatures were too hostile, slathering and foaming at the mouth with some rage she couldn't understand, but she very much feared. She felt like she was placing her delicate throat in front of the teeth of wolf in this room.

They argued about the bread, and Lydia could feel her brother's nerves as the quibble broke out. She saw that she needed to intervene. Make her play now, while the air was not yet tainted by whatever violence was sure to unfold. Delirium left in a rushed huff, looking like she was about to vomit, snatching a piece of bread and retreating to her room. Lydia exercised her fingers, and in response to Whispers' tonally antagonistic comment, she murmured, "My powers have their limits. I can't heal that many people at one time. I'd prefer to conserve my power for times of more dire need." Her eyes were foggy now as she gathered her strength. Everything would be okay. Sam couldn't have made any of the tasks murderous, right?

She pulled away from Rezia, folding her bony arms over her chest nervously. "I think now would be a good time for me to, as Whispers put it, 'pick a side.'" She swallowed hard, looking at each of them in turn. Delirium was gone, but if she understood the way Sam had laid the pieces out to play, that wouldn't be a problem for now. "I need protection, and of course, I'm not strong enough to easily perform my task on my own. So to ensure Rezia's safety, and ease my mind, I am willing to make a deal with whomever has a task against me. I will allow you to perform your task without hindrance from either myself of from Rezia," she cast him a hard stare for a moment, "but, you will help me perform my task, either after your task is complete, or before, if you're task incapacitates me somehow. And I'll add in exclusive healing rights if that's what it takes." She ran her fingers over her scar-ridden arms, where the majority of the wounds still looked a week old, despite the time that had passed, due to the repercussions of her ability, reminding herself of the pain she'd endured in the past, she could take whatever Sam had devised for her. She could still feel the weight in both of her pockets, of the container that held the object of her task, and the knife Rezia had given her. Should she give it back now? Would she still have the ability to use it after this was all over and done with? She bit her lip. No, taking it out right now would be a bad move.

"Distrust me if it pleases you," She continued after a moment, smoothing her skirts and sighing nervously as she looked at the three others in the room, one, possibly two of them intending to do her and her brother harm by Sam's word. "But I have no reason to trick you. What's the point? There is no escape." She flexed her fingers again, as if preparing to heal some invisible being before her, and then folded her hands quickly behind her back, glancing around nervously, hoping Rezia wouldn't react ostentatiously and try to dissuade her from her self-made task of getting whatever pain was her due out of the way as quickly as possible. It was for his own good.

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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He felt his heart fluttering against his ribcage like a humming bird's wing against the air. Everything was just happening so fast and everyone had turned quite hostile towards him. He didn't deal well with this stress and the emotions coming directly towards him. It was making him light headed and sick to his stomach. He had to turn his gaze down to the floor to try and get some semblance of control and keep everyone's emotions in check in his head or he'd be overwhelmed by it all. He was truly afraid that everyone in the room would attack him. He was especially nervous about Ember and Delirium. They seemed the ones prone to act on the slightest annoyance. At least the two women had exhausted themselves. Whispers wasn't very friendly either and Damion certainly didn't trust him.

Or maybe it was the anxiety that was starting to eat him up. The bread wasn't really poisoned or had chemicals or anything. It was all a lie to try and complete the task that Sam had given him. Damion couldn't eat anything or else he'd fail the task and Lydia would be punished for his failure. He had thought that saying all the food was tainted would have helped him stay on everyone's good side and not single Damion out and use force like Sam had hinted he would have to. He wasn't a violent person and there was no way he'd be able to stand up to Damion. But oh, if Damion took even a bite of bread... Lydia would be hurt for his failure. And who should grab a piece but his very target? He felt frozen a moment as he stared at the bread in Damion's hand, not carrying that Delirium had grabbed a piece as well and run off. She wasn't his concern after all.

Without truly thinking in his haste, Rezia snatched the piece of bread from Damion's hand and the food dropped to the floor. "Don't eat it," he practically begged. Before he could truly think of what consequences could come from his forward action, his sister stepped up with her proposition. Rezia's eyes widened and he whirled to face her. "Lyida!" he gasped. What was she thinking? She could be seriously hurt! He didn't know what task these others had. He... he wanted to protect Lydia to. She always stepped in to help him and always thought about him first. Because of that, she was covered in scars and he... he didn't have a single scar to tell of the trials he had gone through. Why couldn't he protect Lydia to? It wasn't fair. He was her 'older' brother. He needed to protect her, not the other way around. He always felt so inferior and weak. He wasn't like Whispers who could protect his partner. He couldn't protect anyone.

Rezia dropped his gaze to the tile below their feet, his hands clenched into fists and shaking in his frustration with this damn situation. He and Lydia had done so much for Sam and this is what they got out of it. Task failed or not... they were both going to be hurt anyway. Why hadn't she told him about her thoughts? They could have planned this better. Rezia sighed and lifted his gaze and crossed his arms over his own chest. "Fine. I second her proposition. Whoever has a task against me, I am willing to submit to it if I in turn gain assistance with my task. I hate to admit it, but my sister and I don't have any ability to fight any of you off. In that, you have the advantage. I will also provide healing assistance. I can't heal physical wounds, but I can heal mental and emotional pain and scars. You'd be as good as new after a few sessions with me. Even if you don't have a task against me... I am willing to provide my healing if you offer me or my sister some protection."

He couldn't believe he was offering so much, but at the same time... he and his sister needed protection and Rezia had to face the cold hard truth that he would never be able to protect Lydia the way she needed. He didn't have the physical strength nor the training for it. And he... he hated feeling all of this pain from everyone. It was sickening and just being around them made him want to heal them regardless of the pain he'd get afterward. He was such a damn softy when it came to other people's pain. Especially Damion. It had to be that brief connection he had made with the man earlier that drew him like a fly to honey to the man's pain. Or maybe it was just the vast, hollow ache that permeated him. Ember's pain was also deep and he wanted to help her but with the fire she spat with her tongue, it made Rezia seek distance rather than contact. He didn't trust her.

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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Ember mentally agreed with Whispers sentiment. It did appear Rezia could have motivation if it meant he and Lydia could eat in secret having Lydia simply heal them of the 'poison'. At least Damion wouldn't have a problem, and he perhaps could let her know the truth. She watched warily as he picked a small bit up ready to try it. Delirium, the little witch, didn't seem to care about deliberating about the safety of the food as she snatched up a portion and fled to her room. She appeared thoroughly spent which relieved Ember. If she had too much strength Ember would easily be at her mercy once again. She inwardly shuddered at the thought. While she still feared Whispers, Delirium had proved to be far more dangerous personally to her.

"Don't eat it,"

The desperation coming from Rezia drew her from her thoughts. When she realised that he was preventing Damion from eating a scowl crossed Embers face.

"You realise poison doesn't affect him." she commented, half accusing him as she said it. "Do you want him to starve? Perhaps it is easy for you as I am sure you have been well-fed by your masters. We however haven't eaten for many days."

Before her anger and frustration reached its peak Lydia interrupted. For a second she considered ignoring the girl and continuing to attack Rezia, however it soon became apparent that her little speech held a deal worth considering. Her head cocked to the side slightly as she considered Lydia's proposal. Her dark eyes carefully assessed Lydia trying to decipher whether the girl was lying or hiding anything. Content for the moment she was not, her gaze fell on Rezia as he decided to follow with his own. Since his had no relevance to her, she quickly returned to staring at Lydia. Her eyes looked the girl up and down, weighing up her options.

It would certainly make things easier….however then she would have two tasks to worry about. Then again, she would have Lydia's assistance. The idea of not following through with the deal briefly crossed her mind before being dismissed. Sam had destroyed most of her morality and therefore she clutched at the few straws of it had left with ferocity. She would not go so far as to break a promise. She was about to open her mouth and accept when another thought crossed her mind. She frowned.

What if Lydia's task involved harming Damion? Better make sure she didn't have to deal with that. Any other option would not bother her in the slightest. Harming Whispers would weaken him making him less of a threat and anything involving Delirium would be suitable revenge for the horrific vision she had forced Ember to endure.

Before fully making her decision she watched as Lydia started to rub her arms. Her gaze focused on the numerous scars. Ember's brow knitted with some confusion before looking Lydia in the eye.

"You cannot heal scars?" She questioned, feigning lack of serious interest, however there was a hint of disappointment.

She quickly changed the subject, not wanting to dwell on her thoughts.

"I am considering accepting your offer." She said carefully, her face neutral. "However, you will get nothing from me if Damion is involved in your task."

She stared the girl down, before suddenly seeming to relax, shrugging her shoulders a bit.

"Beside I can't help you just yet. I'm awaiting the presence of a knife."

While she waited for Lydia's reaction Ember considered Rezia's secondary offer once again. Technically she would be helping Lydia a bit…in a backwards sort of way of course. However did she really want to accept his offer of psychological healing? How exactly did his ability work? How could he possibly have the capabilities of reversing what Sam had done to her? She was consciously aware of how scarred she was, but was more fearful of how much more damaged she could be. If Rezia so-called 'healed' her of her various mental scars she would be left with an entirely sound mind that would then have to come to terms with her actions. The thought made her mentally shy away from the thought.

How could Rezia possibly help her without erasing the past which he invariably could not do?