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The Sibling Project

The Sibling Project

To control the population, families can only have one child... But what about the siblings? — 1x1 Scar.- and juliebarnes

1611 readers have visited this universe since Scar.- created it.
Topics: cyberpunk, dystopia, enhanced, human experimentation, original, sci fi, and sibling allocation (Add Tags »)
Requires Approval: Yes

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Introduction

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T H E x S I B L I N G x P R O J E C T x/ // // x // / x/// / // x // /x x // / /// x /


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Year 2173. The world’s population has grown to epidemic levels. The growth of the human race threatens the end of everything. Resources are at an all-time low as influx of people clean the planet dry, threatening to kill our only habitat. Poverty levels are low, population is sky rocketing and the economy barely exists. In a last resort to keep ourselves from killing the only life sustaining planet within reach, the world’s greatest powers came together.

That’s when the Sibling Allocation Act was born.

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"In an effort to sustain life, resources and the planet we live on, reproduction shall be monitored and contained. Each household is restricted to only raising a single child each generation. Perpetrators of this act will be arrested without court hearing or the possibility of parole. All siblings shall be detained and removed. This includes, but is not restricted to, additional children born as twins, triplets, etc. After the birth of said child, the biological parents will mandatorily be sterilized."

The Act was first meant with must disdain and apprehension, but as the decades rolled by, this became the norm. Parenthood became a privilege. The thought and knowledge of siblings slowly slipped from memory as the concept became further from sight. Parents no longer had the right to know gender of their children, or see any sonograms. Mothers mandatorily gave birth in a sedated state via cesarean… Knowledge of what or how many was never divulged. There can’t be an uprising when they never knew how many children they gave birth to. They woke up to one child, and that was enough.

The question no one dared to ask was…

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxWhat happened to the siblings?


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xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxT I E R — 3 xxxImage

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S I B L I N G — 3 7 7 8
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n a m e : vlad
a g e : 29
a b i l i t y : thought compulsion
h e x c o d e : #ACACAC
f c : charlie cox
w r i t e r : Scar.-
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S I B L I N G — 3 0 7 2
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n a m e : novak
a g e : 25
a b i l i t y : pocket dimensions
h e x c o d e : #3B6AA0
f c : karen gillan
w r i t e r : juliebarnes



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xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxT I E R — 2 xxxImage

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S I B L I N G — 2 7 4 6
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n a m e : hawke
a g e : 29
a b i l i t y : telepathy
h e x c o d e : #2B4251
f c : ben barnes
w r i t e r : juliebarnes
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S I B L I N G — 2 6 2 3
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n a m e : ivy
a g e : 27
a b i l i t y : syphon touch
h e x c o d e : #C7B29B
f c : krysten ritter
w r i t e r : Scar.-



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xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxT I E R — 1 xxxImage

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S I B L I N G — 1 1 1 0
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n a m e : specter
a g e : 22
a b i l i t y : intangibility
h e x c o d e : #55ACBF
f c : anton yelchin
w r i t e r : Scar.-
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S I B L I N G — 1 0 3 3
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n a m e : hanne
a g e : 25
a b i l i t y : bio. manipulation
h e x c o d e : #C9AEA3
f c : florrie arnold
w r i t e r : juliebarnes


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Rules

The GM of this roleplay hasn't created any rules! You can do whatever you like!

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Character Portrait: Ivy
Ivy played by Scar.-
Sibling - 2623 : Tier 2
Character Portrait: Vlad
Vlad played by Scar.-
Sibling - 3778 : Tier 3
Character Portrait: Specter
Specter played by Scar.-
Sibling - 1110 : Tier 1
Character Portrait: Hanne
Hanne played by juliebarnes
Character Portrait: Hawke
Hawke played by juliebarnes
Character Portrait: Novak
Novak played by juliebarnes

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These poor, unfortunate souls were once a part of this great world, but have been abandoned. Why don't you consider viewing their profiles and making a decision on whether or not you can roleplay them accurately?


View All »Places in The Sibling Project

S.A.A. Facility

S.A.A. Facility by Scar.-

Sibling Allocation Act Facility

Seoul, South Korea

Seoul, South Korea by Scar.-

The world's technological and economical capital, home to the S.A.A. headquarters.

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Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ivy Character Portrait: Vlad Character Portrait: Specter Character Portrait: Hanne Character Portrait: Hawke Character Portrait: Novak
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Footnotes

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vlad
mind compulsion
outfitx|x#ACACAC

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specter
intangibility
outfitx|x#55ACBF

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ivy
syphon touch
outfitx|x#C7B29B


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What day was it? Wednesday?... No, Thursday? Ivy had kept a tally of the numbers of days she has spent in that particular cell. Since there is never a warning from the guards when they might be moving you, she had no capabilities to count the previous number before they took her from gen pop, and threw her in here. She knew the years, could count out the days with relative success, but there was something about the tallies. She didn't make them large and obnoxious like you'd imagine, but hairline dashes no longer than a centimeter, evenly spaced along the wall. From more than two feet away, they were practically unnoticeable, looking to be no more than the texture of the wall.

But no matter how many tallies she made, that still didn't tell her the day of the week nor the date. They were given the luxury of knowing the date. After all, what could a date do? It didn't divulge the truth about the world outside the facility. It didn't tell them where in the world they were, why they were there and for what purpose. It simply told them how much time was passing as the world outside their walls continued to move forward, while they all remained static.

Ivy sat on the ground in her cell, with her back against the cool concrete. She stared across the small cube at the wall of tallies. The girl sighed softly, as she opened her journal to the page her finger held. The small leather bound book was her life line... Along with the dozens of others laid out chronologically on the shelf by her bed. It had always been hard, holding onto one's sanity inside a place like this. At least in gen pop there is an influx of numerous faces to talk to, or just people watch. But for the past fifteen years it had been the same five faces.

Writing seems to be her escape, much like the others have their own hobbies of choice. Her thoughts could flood out before her as journal entries, poems or even stories of events passed within this facility. Some of the stories within those books could damn the people within the building. That is, if some semblance of a well organized society existed outside of it. Some of the things written on those pages not even her other cellmates would believe. But that didn't matter. It wasn't for them, it was for her. A way to remember everything that had happened to her, to push past it but not forget.

She tapped her pen at the top of the page, where the date was still missing. It had been a couple days since she had written. You tend to lose track once it's more than two, everything blends together in a world without windows or a sense of day and night. Ivy's fingers flipped back to the last page of the journal, looking over her own crude depiction of what she imaged a calendar to look like. With a sigh, she scratched her head before speaking up. "Specter, what's the date?"

Blue eyes looked up from beneath a curly mess of hair. His hand moving an index finger to hold his place in his current read for the day. Specter let his legs slip out from underneath him, dangling over the edge of his bed. His left hand held his place while he brought the book to his breast as he stood. Due to good behavior... Or, better than most of the others anyways. The warden had allowed him a calendar. They figured what harm could knowing the date really cause? Either way, it was a rather basic calendar, pinned up on the wall with a thumbtack. There were no pictures of cute puppies or unrealistic scenery. Just the name of the month, with the chart of the days.

Big red X's crossed out the days past. Specter would have had no clue when one day ended or another began if it weren't for their clocks being set to military time instead of standard. 08 37. Why in the hell were they up at such a disgustingly early hour? It seemed as the years dragged on, the less sleep any of them could actually get. Eventually they stopped trying to fool themselves and just be up together. His right hand rustled his curly hair as his eyes skimmed the calendar. "It's uh... Monday, October 23rd, 2237."

Monday!? For the love of God. Ivy scoffed, raising her left hand to pinch the bridge of her nose. "Thanks, Spec." Even in a place without the knowledge of the standard nine to five work life, Mondays were still dreadful. There were no experiments on the Sundays, only angry guards pissed they had to spend their time at the facility. But during the week? Each one of them had a day. And Mondays? They were Hawke's day.

Ivy sighed as she wrote the date at the top of the page. She then held the pen between her teeth as she tried to make words of her thoughts. After a moment, her hand began to work, ink gliding along the page...



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Monday, October 23rd, 2237
Day : 9,983 9,984


Days flood together like an endless thread, forever being pulled from the spool. A stream of consciousness of reality, harder to catch than the rippling current.

...Where is my mind?

I feel myself overcome by the constant yearning. I long to know the touch.

Would it be soft or callous?

Books tell of the electric touch, a sensation of static electricity that tingles on the skin. A touch of the lips that sends chills down the spine and quivers in your base senses. Is love possible without connection? The intimacy of a touch, a kiss, a caress.

It's a reality out of my grasp, like the world beyond these walls. If I ever know freedom outside of this cage, will it be soar or sweet? Freedom. So final, with endless possibilities. But how savory can it be when you exchange one cage for another. An organ I can't escape...

My skin, a cage...

I need freedom.




Then her hand stopped, ink spilling from her pen as the period grew in size. Ivy slowly looked up from the page, and out through the glass wall towards the other cells. Her eyes scanned those that she could see, Vlad to Novak, then Hawke. She couldn't help the sense of dread that washed over as the day sunk in. It was always hard whenever one of them was taken away. When they return another tiny sliver of them has chipped away. While the experiments make most of them angry, she always felt like it broke Hawke's spirit. She feared for him. He helped everyone else through whatever hurdles came their way, but who was there for him when he needed it? Vlad was as helpful as a lock without a key. And Ivy?... She can't help anyone.

Her gaze lingered on Hawke for a long while, before falling back to her journal. Clenching her jaw, Ivy raised her pen to the page.

I need freedom.
We need freedom.

Specter stood there in his uniform and socks, staring blankly at the calendar. His left hand continuing to hold the book to his chest as his own handwriting glared back at him. Hawke written beneath 'Monday'. He rubbed his eyes with his right hand, before padding back over to his bed, plopping down on the lumpy mattress. They were all long past the point of encouragement before testing. They all knew what was coming. There is no preparation for it and nothing could be said that would make any of it better. The easiest thing, was moving on and acting like everything is normal... Or as normal as it can be.

Specter lifted his legs up, crossing them beneath himself. With a yawn, he opened the book, resting it in his lap. The text was... Well, ancient. The binding was held together by multiple temporary fixes with duct tape. It didn't have any predominant author, or significant title, simply reading 'Theology' along the plain green hardback cover. "There are over 4,200 religions in the world... Or at least there were in-" He flipped to the front of the book, searching for the copy right date. "1985."

"That's not even including ancient mythologies." How in the world could there be that many different religions? Specter couldn't even think of 4,200 names, let alone religions. "And that's just the religions. There are countless... Like millions upon millions of Gods throughout these religions." He sat there, somewhat dumbfounded as he looked between the book, Novak and Hawke.

Specter was an intellect, constantly wanting to soak up more knowledge. Sometimes that involved delving into subjects that were a bit ridiculous, and religion was definitely that for him. "I just don't get it. How can there be that many religions in the world... And every. single. person. sees their God—er Gods—as the proper ones. I feel like that would discredit the whole concept of a higher power all together if every Joe shmoe thought their God was the God."

He let his gaze fall back down to his book, flipping through the thesaurus of Gods, religions and all other unrealistic beliefs. "Evolution... Scientific fact has proved this with fossils, dinosaur bones and Neanderthals. But there isn't a single piece of proof anywhere, in the entire world, that these deities exist." Specter sighs turning the page. "...Unless you count a... Sharon Jackson's encounter with 'her guardian angel speaking to her' and she basically escaped some freak accident because she wasn't where she was supposed to be."

In Specter's mind, religion was a joke. Disregarding all the scientific facts that go against it, or the countless different religions in the world, he couldn't wrap his mind around why any God, that supposedly loved these human beings, would let shitty stuff happen to them. Like, if he was a God, you best believe his ass would zap every single guard in this facility... But then again, he'd never let anything like this happen in the first place. Judgement, a test. Bullshit. What is the purpose of putting anyone through that? It just doesn't make sense in his mind.

He scoffed as he continued to turn pages, skimming the book's contents. "I think I may actually be losing brain cells with this one." He chuckled, looking over at Hawke with a slight smile.

The moment Specter started talking, an internal switch in Vlad's mind shut his voice off. Out of everyone there, the kid just could go on and on and on. What he'd give for permission to say a sentence... Just one, single sentence. Shut the fuck up. It'd be that simple. Afro over there wouldn't be able to say another word until Vlad allowed him to, if he ever did. But no.

Vlad couldn't remember the last time he actually talked, using his own words. Not his brother as some conduit so that he wasn't a complete mute. The experiments and tests are one thing. None of that is free will. If even for a second he goes off script, they'll electrocute him so fast that he couldn't speak for a week, even if he wanted to. Fucking ridiculous. It wasn't like he chose this ability. It didn't work that way. It was like Wade Wilson... in those stupid comic books Specter read when he was fresh in this cellblock. The fuckers that ran this place just kept putting them through hell until something happened to them.

Sometimes he wondered if there was something he could have done to alter the outcome. Maybe if he would have acted differently, or... something, his ability could have been flight... Or super strength. It wasn't even that he hated it. Actually, he quite enjoyed the fact that people had to do whatever he said. It was the lack of freedom that came along with it. God, how he longed to just be able to speak his peace without having to rely on Hawke so heavily. Plus, he hated the way his brother filtered him unless they all were on an open channel mentally with each other.

He looked across the circular cellblock towards his brother. [ Ask Phantom of the Opera over there, if I say I'm Atheist, will he shut the hell up? ] Vlad smiled, although he knew his gag covered the lower half of his face, ear to ear.

Vlad laid back on his bed, reaching his left hand over the edge of the metal frame. He felt around for a minute before his fingers brushed the rough metallic strings of his guitar. He grasped its neck and hoisted it up into his lap. Once situated, he extended his legs up along the wall, crossing them at the ankles. He couldn't see Specter from his cell unless he molested the glass in the right corner. That was too much effort to give one nerd an evil glare.

"The ancient Greeks actually had a God of War. They—"

Vlad's right hand strummed quickly, while his left fingers furiously pressed different strings causing a fast and aggressive tone to reverberate around the cellblock. After Specter's voice faded off and he stopped talking, Vlad allowed his tune to slow to a calming and gentle melody.

When it seemed that Vlad was done, Specter spoke up again. "They literally had a God for everything, even—"

Then Vlad started up again. Specter groaned with frustration, chucking his book at the plexiglass wall that faced out towards the other cells. It hit the glass with a thud, then fell to the ground with a smack.

Pleased with himself, Vlad closed his eyes with a soft sigh. He tapped his crossed foot as he played a soft tune. It sounded something like a springtime lullaby. A gentle hymn that would blow through tall blades of grass as you laid out in a field, watching the clouds roll by overhead. For being such an asshole, Vlad always preferred calming songs. It kept him in a peaceful place, and helped ease tensions between the others. Not that he particularly cared how the others felt, but it made Hawke happy... So, it was one of the very few kind things he did on occasion.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ivy Character Portrait: Vlad Character Portrait: Specter Character Portrait: Hanne Character Portrait: Hawke Character Portrait: Novak
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Footnotes

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novak
pocket dimensions
outfitx|x#3b6aa0

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hanne
bio manipulation
outfitx|x#bda0cb

Image
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hawke
telepathy
outfitx|x#2b4251


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Hawke sat quietly on the floor in a corner of his cell, watching Novak draw through their mind. Though their cells were right next to each other, which meant they couldn't see the other occupant, Novak often opened their senses for Hawke to occupy, knowing that being in someone else's head helped to calm him.

Novak was using charcoal today - the crayons were scattered under the bed, where they couldn't see them. In an uncharacteristically emotional state some days ago, they'd had a minor tantrum after returning from experimentation, set off by the bright colour of the crayons. Three had been broken in the process, and wouldn't be replaced for a while yet. Novak's privileges only extended so far. They hadn't had the heart to get rid of colours completely. Crayon drawings were still taped to the walls, all carefully arranged in an attempt to make something (anything) out of the uniformly white cell.

Novak was on the bed, pushed against the wall so that they could be as close to Hawke as possible (barring the wall between them), lying on their side. Hawke watched as Novak sketched a cylindrical structure, outlining barren land around it. Hawke had seen this before, it was another of Novak's takes on what the facility might look like. Always different structures involving circular shapes, always different landscapes on the outside - once a dense forest, once an island in the middle of the sea, once a platform of clouds in the sky. Personally, Hawke liked the barren field best, in such a place as evil as this it seemed highly unlikely that anything could grow and flourish around it.

It was quiet at first, with only the faint sounds of breathing and paper rustling in the air. Until Ivy's voice rang out, startlingly loud. "Specter, what's the date?"

The reply was softer, but no less jarring. Monday. Even if he weren't telepathic, Hawke could feel the tension radiating from Ivy's direction. They all knew Mondays were the worst, the guards eager to take out their frustrations of the previous day on whoever was lucky enough to attract attention. And they all knew the person who was usually the centre of attention on Mondays.

He could feel Ivy's gaze on him, but chose to ignore it, instead closing his eyes and tipping his head back, as if by pretending that the world didn't exist he could push the inevitable back by a few minutes. He loved Ivy, he really did, but on Mondays he was less inclined to forgive reminders of what was coming. He sank further into Novak's mind. [ So what happens next? ]

[ Wait. ] As Specter talked, Novak added a sky. Out of the sky came a shadow, which took shape under the stick of charcoal, forming a figure towering over the structure. Their hand paused briefly, looking up to glance at Specter reading, meeting his gaze with an ironic smile. "What if there's a God for everyone? And these Gods are all upstairs -" they jabbed the charcoal in the general direction of the ceiling, "fighting over who gets to do what? He was praying to me, no, he was praying to me."

It all bordered on absurdity, of course. People made up Gods the same reason they made up lies; to give themselves purposes and excuses. If there were Gods worrying over who was praying to them then the kids' Gods must have been sleeping the sleep of the dead, to have ignored their charges for all their lives. In here, purpose was false. It was sitting day in, day out, waiting for the pain then waiting for it to subside, learning every square inch of their stupid white cells.

Between Novak's drawing and Specter's reading, another voice popped into Hawke's head. A voice he hadn't actually heard with his own ears in a long time.

[ Ask Phantom of the Opera over there, if I say I'm Atheist, will he shut the hell up? ]

"I doubt it," Hawke responded, both verbally and mentally. Specter was like a spring, irrepressible. Press him down and he just bounces back up again. [ Sorry. ]

So of course Vlad chose to take matters into his own hands. The music was loud and discordant, and made Vlad's feelings clear. Hawke didn't try to stop his brother today. He was plain exhausted. Had they grated like this, forever? Suddenly he couldn't recall what it was like, trying to play mediator between everyone and everyone else.

At the sound of Vlad's guitar, Hanne jerked awake. She'd been curled up tightly under her blanket, sleeping about as well as she could given that everyone else was awake and talking, that is to say, pretty well, since she'd had literal years to adjust to it. She stretched her legs out, looking down at the mice that had been cupped in her hands from when she fell asleep last night practising on them.

Well, she was looking at the mouse that was cupped in her hands.

She bolted upright, glancing around. No sign of its partner anywhere, and there weren't many places it could hide. She placed the mouse on her pillow, poking a dent in its surface so it wouldn't slide off. "Stay there," she hissed, and when she was sure that the mouse had gotten the message she slid off the bed and peered underneath it, trying to see past Vlad's music and the residual blur of sleep. Still no mouse. "Where could...?"

Novak stayed quiet, adding features to the figure. It was becoming clear what they were trying to draw, clearly inspired by Specter's little trip into theology. The high forehead, the sardonic smile, the shadowed jaw... Novak was generally more funny with their words than with their drawings, but this one almost made Hawke laugh. Almost. No one in their right mind except Novak would draw Vlad as a God raining hellfire down on the facility.

Specter eventually gave up on his reading, and Vlad's music settled into something calmer as Novak put the finishing touches on the drawing. Underneath that, Vlad, God of War was written, underscored twice, and underneath that in smaller script, the reckoning. [ Think he'll like it? ]

[ I'm pretty sure he'll love it. ]

"V, peep this," Novak said out loud, at the same time directing Hawke to show his brother the drawing. Hawke concentrated, transferring the image from one brain to another, trying to keep from giggling. No doubt it would become Vlad's ultimate fantasy.

No matter how she looked, Hanne just could not find the stupid mouse. She'd checked the bed, the fence, nothing. "Has anyone seen my mouse?" she asked, still on her hands and knees on the floor. Maybe it'd climbed the fence somehow and gone off exploring in a different cell. Hopefully not Ivy's.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ivy Character Portrait: Vlad Character Portrait: Specter Character Portrait: Hanne Character Portrait: Hawke Character Portrait: Novak
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Footnotes

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vlad
mind compulsion
outfitx|x#ACACAC

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specter
intangibility
outfitx|x#55ACBF

Image
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ivy
syphon touch
outfitx|x#C7B29B


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Specter stared down at the book in his lap, making a crooked face. Ten commandments? Really? He scoffed, rolling his eyes more to himself than anything else. No murdering made sense, for obvious reasons. But where was the commandment 'thou shalt not be an asshole'? That'd be a good one. Hell, he might consider finding religion if that was somewhere within these thousands of ridiculous beliefs. He was having trouble finding which one of these religions seemed the most likely... Or least stupid. Kind of a toss up. Christianity, and any form of mythology was definitely off the table. He figured if he had to sign his soul over that moment, he'd probably be a buddhist. So far into his reading, a buddhist never hurt anyone. Hubble, peaceful, bald dudes.

He sighed, taking a break from the book momentarily, rubbing his forehead. Specter would rather read Finnegan's Wake... again, then this. But knowledge is knowledge. Well, that... And he was running out of books in the facility's shitty library. His hand rand down his face, tugging downward on his cheeks. When Spec opened his eyes, he was met by Novak's gaze, an ironic grin plastered on their face. "What if there's a God for everyone? And these Gods are all upstairs -" They motioned their drawing implement up above them before they continued speaking. "fighting over who gets to do what? He was praying to me, no, he was praying to me."

Specter tilted his head to the side, pursing his lips as he looked up towards the ceiling. "So, like... if there are some powerful dudes up there. Instead of fighting... I just want all of you at once to blast Vlad's cell with glitter... Please." He felt the menacing brunette's gaze through the concrete wall. But, Spec just sat there grinning ear to ear, looking between Novak and Hawke.

After a moment, he tapped to his wrist as if he was wearing a watch, then shrugged his shoulders. "I'm assuming nothing happened since I didn't hear a temper tantrum coming from my right."

Vlad mockingly moved his shoulders like he would if he could give a sarcastic laugh. [ You wouldn't be saying that if there wasn't two layers of bullet proof glass between us. ] He had grown tired of aggressively playing his guitar for the time being. It only worked temporarily with the twig. So, he simply continued arguing a one sided conversation in his mind. [ Because I'd fucking 'temper tantrum' all over your ass. ]

To be honest, Specter was lucky... Very lucky. If he wasn't Hawke's friend, Vlad would have found some way to beat his ass to a pulp years ago. Fuck the repercussions. It'd be worth it to shut him up for a good week... Or you know, forever. But then he'd have to deal with the wrath of his brother. Not that it was all that intimidating, but it wasn't an avenue that he was wanting to explore. Knowing Vlad's luck, there would come a time where he did something beyond forgiveness in his brother's eyes. He'd like to postpone that as much as possible, at least to some circumstance where he could defend his actions. Not shutting up an annoying know it all.

A blur of blonde shot up in the cell across the block from Vlad. He sighed through his nose, not wasting a sideways glance towards the bimbo. Sure, she was smart... Or whatever. But if there was anyone that had the potential to piss him off more than Specter, it was Hanne. At least the nerd had his head screwed on right when it came to the facility. Yeah, he pussed out often, following the rules and played the good prisoner. But Hanne, damn was she a mess.

"Where could...?" Vlad snorted back a laugh as he went back to strumming the calming tune on his guitar. Another day, another lost mouse. Like mother fucking clockwork. Stockholm, spazz, suicidal and whatever the hell Novak was. Somedays Vlad couldn't help but wonder if he wanted out of the facility more for the freedom... Or to be free of these basket cases? It really was a toss up.

"V, peep this," Novak called towards him, causing Vlad to quickly snap out of his own mind ramblings. His hands abruptly stopped playing as he propped himself up on his elbows, quirking his brows. After a moment he felt Hawke step into his mind, projecting an image before him. His dark gaze scanned the drawing of... Himself? He was reigning down all kinds of hell fury on this tartarus pit of a building. He couldn't help but smile underneath his gag, even chuckling slightly at the captions beneath it.

[ I hate to break it to you, Hawke... But, I think I got the better genes. I'm fucking sexy. ] Vlad turned his head towards his brother, raising a brow while nodding his head. [ If I didn't know better, Red, I'd say we've reached a new level in our relationship if you've started drawing me. ] He stretched his arms out, before crossing them under his head as he laid back down. [ The Reckoning. Capital "T". If I'm going to be your muse, I think I deserve some emphasis. ] Vlad teased before moving his hands back to his guitar. It seemed that seeing his own face as the subject of a drawing, as a God no less, put a little pep in his music game. The tune went from somber to almost omnipotent. Yes, it was definitely inflating his ego.

Ivy sat silently in her cell, tracing swirls in the corner of the page of her journal. She might have looked busy, but she heard everything... Well, everything that was said audibly, anyway. Sometimes she couldn't quite tell if she was happy or sad that she didn't seem to click into the group like some of the others. It was her own doing of course. In her mind, being overtly friendly would just make everything harder for her in the end. Making friends, or whatever else is dangerous. One accidental slip up and she could kill anyone she cared about. She'd rather not have friends, than the possibility of that.

She had long been zoning out as stared down at her open journal. Her bare feet extended before her on the cold concrete floor. Ivy only looked up when a small white blur started to move closer to her feet. She quickly glanced over seeing a mouse. The tiny animal moved its nose towards her toe. Ivy inhaled sharply, quickly withdrawing her knees towards her chest.

Ivy stared down at the mouse as it sniffed around the floor of her cell. It was rare, very rare for her to see an animal that wasn't a picture in one of Specter's books. It was tiny, small enough to fit in the palm of her hand. She could only imagine how soft the fur was and the warmth of its body as she held it. She desperately wanted to touch it, just for a second. Her hand slowly slipped from around her shins, falling to rest on the ground beside her. She didn't move, just watched as the curious animal scurried closer and closer to her.

The mouse was only inches away from her hand when she heard Hanne. "Has anyone seen my mouse?"

Ivy jumped up from the ground, hurrying over to the other side of her cell. She pressed her back against the opposite wall, her gaze fixed on the animal. She quickly grabbed her trash can, dumping out its contents on the ground. With a sigh, she carefully placed it over the mouse so that she didn't lose sight of it. [ I'm so sorry little guy. ] Ivy rested her hands on her waist as she took a deep breath trying to calm herself down. She couldn't believe that she almost gave into temptation and touched it.

Her hands raised to rub her eyes before running back through her hair. "Yeah, Hanne. It's here," she said softly as she stared down at the over turned trashcan. What in the hell was she supposed to do now?

After a long moment, Ivy walked over to her small nightstand. She threw open the top drawer, grabbing a pair of thick burlap gloves. She clenched her jaw slightly as she pulled them on, the hem reaching nearly to her elbow. She also put on a pair of socks, just in case. As prepared as she could be, Ivy lifted the trashcan, quickly picking up the mouse before it scurried off. She held her breath simply staring at the life she literally held in her hands. A gut wrenching sensation rose from the pit of her stomach, nearly bringing tears to her eyes. This little dumb animal seemed perfectly content in her hands. The beauty of innocence.

Ivy sniffled, forcing herself out of it. She turned towards the camera in the upper corner of her cell, waving her free hand to get whatever guard that was watching her to pay attention. After a moment or two of waving, she held up the mouse towards the camera, then pointed towards Hanne. Several seconds passed before a loud buzz could be heard. The invisible seam in the glass wall slowly appeared before the door pivoted outwards into the cellblock.

With the mouse in hand, Ivy slowly stepped out in the center of the large circular space. She turned to her left, stepping around the door as she moved towards Hanne's cell. She extended her hands through the open portion of the blonde's poor excuse of a cell door. Ivy didn't dare look up or make eye contact as she waited. "Here." Once the mouse was out of her hands, she added one final comment. "Keep a better eye on them... That one almost touched my foot."

With no more to say, Ivy pivoted on her heels as she pulled off her gloves, one finger at a time. When her gaze fell upon the cellblock door directly across from her, she stood in her place... frozen. It was right there. Nothing standing in her way. She couldn't see a guard on the other side through the window. All she would have to do is absorb a little bit of the energy from the locking mechanism, then run. She twisted the gloves in her hands, her bottom lip quivering slightly. It'd be so easy. Maybe she could even take off the jumpsuit down to her tank top and underwear. The guards wouldn't dare touch her and she'd be gone.

Then the red alarm light in the main area of the cellblock began to flash along with the warning alarm. She knew what it meant. Get back in your cell before the guards arrive. For one last fleeting moment, she contemplated running. That was... Until Ivy looked around the room and her gaze fell on Hawke. She finally breathed, tightly shutting her eyes as she beelined for her cell. Once inside, she shut the door behind her, throwing her gloves on the ground. She climbed onto her bed, crawling back to the corner where he couldn't see her. Her arms wrapped around her legs as she lowered her forehead down onto her knees. Ivy could have made it. She knew she could have. But, she didn't... because it was Hawke's day. If she got out, then he'd pay the price.

Nothing to see here. Move along, 2740136.

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[ I hate to break it to you, Hawke... But, I think I got the better genes. I'm fucking sexy. ] The connection to Novak was still open when Vlad's comments to Hawke went through, so they heard Vlad loud and clear, barely able to stifle their laughter. As it was, they allowed a pleased smile to tug at their lips, though neither brother could see it. [ Sexy, my ass. I have the better jaw. ] Hawke shot back, his mood lightening marginally.

[ If I didn't know better, Red, I'd say we've reached a new level in our relationship if you've started drawing me. ] Vlad went on as if Hawke hadn't said - well, thought - anything. Novak continued to work on the drawing, adding finer details to it. "If it makes you stop being such a noisy jerk, I'll draw you as a different god every day. Of course, this means that Specter's going to have to tell me all about the different religions and their gods." Check, and mate. They turned back to Specter, waving. "No worry, Spec, I got him for you. Read me more later, please?"

The conversation went unheard by Hanne, who was still searching. She'd even checked the bathroom, making sure that the mouse hadn't gone down the drain. No dice, which meant that her fence's weak spot had been her downfall. And not for the first time, either.

"It's here," Ivy's voice called out. Hanne froze, a cold sensation beginning at her temples and spreading outward to encompass her skull. She wasn't afraid of Ivy, but if the researchers found out she'd lost the mouse out of her cell again, and to Ivy of all people, she could be in pretty big trouble. Hopefully the guards wouldn't tell, but it was difficult to gauge their erratic behaviour.

But here came Ivy, cradling the mouse carefully in her gloved hands. Hanne scrambled to her feet, pressing herself to the door of her cell, eyes wide. "Ivy! Thank you so much - I'm so sorry!" She caught the mouse as Ivy tipped it out of her hands, holding it close to her, making a mental note to ask for a little glue so she could fix the fence.

Seeing Ivy freeze a short distance from the door of her cell, Hanne tried to reach out, to maybe place a reassuring hand on her shoulder, but she was just too far away. Hanne's heart ached for Ivy, forced to be isolated, unable to touch any living thing for fear of hurting them. Physical touch should be comforting, calming, not a weapon. But then the siren came on and Ivy moved away, the distance between them growing larger and larger. Hanne pulled back, sitting down on her bed again, looking at the two mice reunited. Too bad they were meant for death anyway.

Hawke, who had fallen silent again, was watching Novak draw. [ Did you mean it? Would you really draw Vlad every day just to shut him up? ]

They hummed thoughtfully, smudging out a cloud with their thumb. [ Why, do you want a drawing every day too? Next thing Specter's gonna want them, then Hanne, then Ivy... and I rarely draw myself. ] They paused, thinking, considering Vlad's face on their drawing pad. [ Not just to shut him up, I guess. If it makes him happy, why not? He could use a little cheering up. ]

[ You know what, I don't think... ] Hawke was cut off by the alarm. He jerked upright from where he was slouched against the wall, and in his mind he saw Novak's hand jerk, gashing a thick, dark line across the paper. Over their panicked mutters of, "No, no, how will I fix this?" he slumped back down again, meeting Ivy's eyes for a moment as she scuttled back into her cell. She looked stunned, and between her facial expression and the klaxon Hawke's heart dropped like a stone down a well.

It wasn't long before the door leading into the cell block opened, and three armed guards stepped through, heading straight for Hawke's cell. His door swung open, and the guards motioned towards him. Sighing heavily, Hawke stood, shoving his hands into his pockets. When the guard closest to him tensed, he turned the pockets inside out, showing that they were empty. "Nothing, okay? Don't shoot me," he snapped irritably. "Don't worry, I'll be back before you know it," he said quietly to Ivy as the guards led him past her cell, not wanting her to worry. "I'll be fine."

The door to the cell block slid closed behind him, his silhouette fading quickly as he headed for the labs.

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Character Portrait: Ivy Character Portrait: Vlad Character Portrait: Specter Character Portrait: Hanne Character Portrait: Hawke Character Portrait: Novak
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Vlad rolled his eyes when he heard the laughter that came from Novak and Hawke. His hands softly strummed at the guitar, more as a way to keep his hands busy rather than rudely tuning anyone out... At least, not yet. [ Sexy, my ass. I have the better jaw. ] Ironically, it was the time old argument between the two. Leave it to twins to argue about who is better looking. Plus, everyone could tell... It was Vlad, obviously.

[ Yes, because that's the first thing chicks notice. 'Oh, look at that jawline. Swoon.' ] Vlad's hands froze and brows furrowed after he spoke. Actually, neither one of them knew what women thought. Aside from Ivy, Hanne and Novak, their exposure to women is quite limited. Their opinions of what makes a guy attractive or not is biased due to the simple fact they've all spent every waking moment together for over a decade.

"If it makes you stop being such a noisy jerk, I'll draw you as a different god every day. Of course, this means that Specter's going to have to tell me all about the different religions and their gods."

Fuck. Vlad pursed his lips behind his gag. Like he did whenever he was frustrated or out done, he grew quiet. His attention moved back to his hands as he played his instrument with more purpose. He should have known better, it was nothing knew. It seemed that most of them were chomping at the bit to put Vlad in his place. Came with the territory. But if he had to put his money on someone, Novak was always the one who gave him the most shit. You'd think it'd be Hawke... But nope, not even close.

"No worry, Spec, I got him for you. Read me more later, please?"

Specter grinned, shooting Novak a finger gun with a mouth click to confirm. "You bet." He couldn't help but find enjoyment at the way Novak liked to bug Vlad. Although Spec couldn't hear the mind linked conversation, he could put two and two together to figure out what Vlad was saying, simply because Novak was kind enough to respond verbally.

When the alarm sounded in their cellblock, Specter's brow furrowed as he pushed up off his bed, shoving the book aside. He hurried to the glass wall that faced out towards the other cell. He had to hug the right corner to catch a glimpse... Ivy somehow was out of her cell, but quickly slipped back into her room. "Huh," he hummed to himself as he slowly pivoted on his heel and headed back towards the bed. It wasn't often that he heard that alarm go off. Usually, it was a type of warning to tell them they were doing something wrong, which he could only assume it was directed at Ivy.

Specter didn't have to be a telepath like Hawke to figure that she probably wanted to attempt another escape. She definitely had the running score. Being outside her cell, half of the battle was over. She was smarter than some people gave her credit for. Spec didn't doubt she was forming some sort of plan in her mind. After all, if she could have found a way out of the cellblock quickly... She could have covered some serious ground before any guards caught up with her. His thoughts were promptly cut off when he heard the door to the cellblock unlock. He spared a glance through the walls out into the hall, gauging the guards. Instead of bombarding Hawke's mind with thoughts of dread and worry... Spec stuck his nose back in his book, barely sparing a glance upwards towards the passing guards.

Ivy heard the door to the cellblock open, causing a knot to grow in her stomach. She quickly pushed off her bed and ran to the glass wall. As if almost forgetting entirely, she instantly thought they were coming for her. She was out of her cell too long... Maybe they wanted to reaffirm that there was no possible way to escape. But they continued right past her cell like she wasn't there. She sucked her bottom lip between her teeth when they stopped before Hawke's cell. She watched quietly as he exited his cell, turning out his pockets for the skittish guards.

They lead Hawke back through the cellblock towards the door. As they passed her cell, she was met by Hawke's gaze. "Don't worry, I'll be back before you know it," he said quietly so only she could hear. "I'll be fine." She nodded her head towards him, watching as he was lead out of the cell block.

After a moment, Ivy's gaze drifted across the block towards Novak who looked like she was still trying to fix her drawing. "Sorry Novak," she said, twiddling her fingers slightly. "Can you fix it?"

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Vlad had lost track of how much time had passed since they came to get Hawke. It felt different that day. He personally didn't have a clock, but it felt longer than normal. On experiment days, whomever was in the labs always missed lunch. But, lunch had come and gone awhile ago. Still no Hawke. His discomfort continued to grow slowly, and came across through his guitar playing. When he heard the cellblock door open, Vlad nearly fell with how quickly he jumped up from his bed and hurried towards the plexiglas wall. A pit instantly grew in his stomach when he saw different guards enter the cellblock without his brother.

He didn't like this. Where was his brother? Vlad crossed his arms, tapping his fingers against his bicep impatiently as the anxiety grew. What in the fuck was going on? What he'd give for his voice right now.

"Time for dinner. You know the drill," one of the guards said towards them.

Specter could sense the animosity and anxiety coming from Vlad. He didn't even have to see it to guess what he was feeling with the absence of Hawke by dinner. That was not normal. Only on the rare occasion had one of them been kept past the standard amount of time. Usually it was either Ivy or Vlad for when they acted out. But, Hawke didn't do anything, so why wasn't he back. Something was off and it didn't sit right with Spec.

With a sigh, he closed his eyes allowing his vision to flow through his eyelids, passing through the walls towards one of the guards that moved over to the keypad beside the entrance. He watched intently as the man's fat fingers typed in a combination... 239763. Then all at once, their cell doors swung open. Specter then slowly opened his eyes, quickly trying to recite the numbers to memory as he stood up from his bed and moved to line up in the center of the cell behind Vlad.

When Ivy heard the guard her heart skipped a beat. What? No? Her hands trembled slightly as she tried to open her bottom nightstand drawer, pulling out her straight jacket. She tried to calm herself as she slid her hands through the sleeves, and moved to stand with her back towards the center of the room. One of the guards moved up behind her, fastening the belts of the jacket. Between the toxicity of her skin and excessive escape attempts, they felt the need that whenever transporting her to keep Ivy in a straitjacket. She hated it. It made her feel like she was some sort of psych patient, unstable and insane. When in reality it was their only solution to keep her hands covered and arms restrained.

As always, the guard stayed behind her with one hand securely holding the back of the jacket, ushering Ivy forward like cattle. "Where's Hawke?" she finally asked. Vlad looked back towards the raven hair girl in silent appreciation of her asking the question he was dying to know the answer to.

"Who?" the guard asked in a monotone as he shoved her forward to follow the procession line towards the cafeteria.

"...Hawke—uhhh, 2746? Where is he?" The guards in the facility were dumb as a bag of rocks most days. They as refused to acknowledge the names they had given each other. Although, under constant observation, how could they not know? It was aggravating. When it was just the group, sometimes they could fool themselves into thinking they were somewhat normal. But, once in front of the guards they felt like cattle being lead to the slaughter. They were locked away in pins, given a number not a name, herded through life on their schedule until their time has come and usefulness spent.

"Classified."

It wasn't long before they reached the tiny cafeteria. They weren't allowed to eat with the others in the facility since they were moved to max. They even outfitted this particular room to hold them similarly to their cells but larger. The walls were charged with electricity so Specter couldn't simply run through them. Each of them had their own table, all of them identical aside from Vlad's. His was inside a small sound proof glass box.

Vlad was the first one into the cafeteria. He moved through the room, opening the door to the small box. Meal time was always the worst for him. He wasn't a fan of tight small places. His cell was big enough that it never really affected him, but sitting in something the size of a refrigerator box was discomforting. He took a deep breath, trying to remain calm as he sat down before the small ledge in the box that held his meal. Once the door shut, the locking mechanism on his gag disengaged, allowing him to remove it.

"What the fuck is this?" he asked himself as he made a distasteful face down at the food on the tray. His voice sounded scratchy and stressed from little use. Vlad always tried to make it a point during meals to talk and exercise his vocal cords, even if he had to talk to himself.

Specter's seat was a typical picnic styled table but made entirely of metal, similar to Novak's. His table was directly hook up to an electrical current that was switched off. But someone not in the room probably had their hand on the trigger, eyes pealed on the security monitors, so the second he moves beyond taking a bite of food they could give him a good zap. Luckily for him this only happened on a couple occasions because of a twitchy guard.

Ivy was lead to her table which had nothing spectacular or special with it. Simply just making her sit alone was plenty. The guard unhooked the straitjacket so that she could remove it. With her hands free, she ringed her fingers together, staring down at the plate of food, another form of torture. Mystery meat with frost bitten peas and... some kind of goop. But she couldn't eat and neither could Vlad or Specter by the look of things. All of them on edge with the absence of Hawke. Ivy's knee bounced nervously as she mindlessly poked at her food with a fork.

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They took him a block further than usual. This wing of the facility seemed relatively unpopulated, even considering that in their wing - or at least on their floor - it was usually just the six of them and a small cavalry. Hawke wouldn't have thought it possible, but here it was even more unwelcoming, the air colder, the walls whiter, every footfall echoing down the same hallways; and all the while the still air wavered uncertainly, as if trying to decide if it should let them through or not. His escorts had curiously blank minds, focusing on nothing more than what was in front of them.

Hawke grew anxious, but he kept his breathing even, his expression blank, moving forward at the same pace as he always did. A vision of him getting tased flickered across one of the guards' minds, a vision charged with so much hate and vindictiveness that it almost made him wince. "In here," one of them said abruptly, the entire party - except Hawke - turning right, into a door that he hadn't noticed.

The room was fairly bare, with a large padded chair with restraints in the centre and drawers lining the far wall. Doctor Pender was standing by the door, scribbling in her notepad. She didn't look up when Hawke was brought in, only gestured at the chair. "In there, please, 2746. No need to worry, just sit down." The guards moved to restrain him, but the doctor waved them off. "That won't be necessary. Leave us, please. I hardly think the presence of four mooks is necessary." This statement was probably not true, given that Hawke was almost a head taller than her, and almost certainly stronger. None of the guards looked all that pleased, but they left the room anyway. Suddenly it seemed much larger than it had been before, and Hawke felt strangely vulnerable, leaning back in the half-reclined chair. He tried to get comfortable, but as soft as the chair was there was no way he could be comfortable, not lying here like a specimen for the doctor's examination. Slender and mousy as she looked, the doctor was much more dangerous than anyone would give her credit for on first sight.

"So. 2746." Pender's voice was mild, betraying no emotion, but Hawke could feel a tenseness humming in the room, barely there. She approached the chair, standing over him. "How have you been? Healthy? Passing your time well?"

She continued talking, not giving Hawke a chance to respond. He had the distinct feeling she was just trying to get what she needed to say to make him feel better over and done with, so she could get to the real reason he was there. "Because, love, I'm not certain if you think all that time alone has been enough time to perfect your craft, or if you think practice with us has been incredibly beneficial, but you're wrong. And a little too confident in yourself." She frowned, refusing to make eye contact with him, instead keeping her eyes fixed on her notepad. "Rather like 3778. But that can't be helped. I suppose it was our fault, not training you well enough, but as it turns out that's helped us to discover your little secret, hm?"

She finally looked up, meeting his eyes sharply. He could only lie there, paralysed with nerves, unsure what she was getting at, although he had a sinking feeling she was going to tell him soon, and then maybe hurt him for it. "You've been poking around places you shouldn't be." She considered him for a moment, as though - hah - trying to read his mind.

"I, uh, no. I haven't," he said, very intelligently. As if refuting his claim, all the memories of what he'd heard and seen came floating back to the surface - all the passcodes, all the classified files, all the snippets of plans he'd pulled from the facility's staff's minds flooding back. It wasn't enough for him to fully understand yet, but he had a very good idea of what was going on. And he didn't like it.

Pender shrugged. "That's okay. You don't have to confirm it with me. I just need you to tell me what you know. And after you tell me, I'll give you a lollipop and you can go back to your friends." She seemed to find that idea very amusing. "No experimenting, no practice today. It's that easy. Just tell me what you found."

He shook his head. "No, Doctor. I don't know what you mean."

Disappointment tinged the air. She shrugged again, sitting down in a chair and wheeling herself to a phone that sat on the counter. "Suit yourself. I'm not a very persuasive person, but I think you'll find Doctor Jelen much more so. Hey, you can come in." This last part was spoken into the phone.

The door swung open almost immediately, and a spindly sort of man came in. His nose was sharp, his eyes sharp, and his fingers were so thin and long and they ended in fairly sharp points. Hawke had never met this doctor before, but he sensed that this was a man he should fear. "Doctor Jelen here is relatively new," Pender explained as she began putting the restraints on Hawke. "So he's not had much experience managing you, but I'm sure he's a quick learner. You're all one and the same, anyway."

Disdain dripped from Pender's voice, but Jelen seemed much more unaffected. He moved quickly, pressing something between Hawke's teeth. "No stranger to this, I hope." Hawke was way too alarmed by the flippant glee coming from Jelen to fight back in time, thrashing against the already-tight restraints. Something cold and slimy was smeared across his temples, and then lightning was blinding him. From somewhere, very far away it seemed, he could hear a woman's voice. [ This is what they called me in today for? What an absolute waste of time. ]

"Still not talking?" A man speaking above his head. The pain, oh god the pain. How long had they been at this? He was trying so hard to manage the pain. [ Compartmentalise it. Put it away elsewhere. I'm not talking. ] Easier said than done. He thought his brain might burst, if he kept trying to shove the pain elsewhere.

"Please. I can't see. Please." He couldn't remember what was happening. He hadn't been able to see anything in a while. He couldn't move his arms. Everything hurt. That sharp face in his mind. But he wouldn't tell. He couldn't tell.

An eternity later. Hands grabbing at him, pulling him upright. "Useless... tomorrow if necessary..." someone was saying. Not him. He couldn't talk. Cold trails down his face, lead in his head. Felt himself being pulled along. When could he sleep?

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It'd been way too long. A pit sat in Novak's stomach, the sounds of Vlad's guitar gnawing at it. They didn't want to tell him to shut up, but it was this close to driving them nuts. If they didn't watch themselves they would snap their charcoal, and that wasn't something they needed. Everyone was just passing time, the way they always did, but somehow today had them more on edge than usual. Hanne had killed and reanimated the mice a half dozen times, watching the way their flesh decayed a little each time, but her hands shook as she patched them up. It had been far too long. As if sensing the wrongness in the room, the mice squeaked loudly, nipping at Hanne's fingers when she tried to pick them up. Blood welled up, staining the stupid mouse's fur, and she snatched her hand back. "Ow!" She dropped them back into their cage - carefully, resisting the urge to use more force than necessary - and hurried to rinse her finger under the tap. No bandages, but she cleaned the wound carefully and sat on her bed, cradling her hand, eyes closed. She saw the wound, pulled her consciousness deeper into the bite, and started fusing cells together, stitching the wound closed mentally.

It had barely closed all the way when the guards returned. "Time for dinner. You know the drill." Hanne stood up, waiting by the door to her cell. Across the way, she saw Novak do the same, holding their hands out in front of them to show that they weren't opening any gateways. A guard entered and grabbed Hanne by the collar, shoving her out to join the line forming in the central cell area. She briefly considered protesting, knowing that it wouldn't work.

"Where's Hawke?" Novak, preoccupied with the tight grip the guard had on their forearm, almost missed the answer. [ Classified, what an entirely unhelpful answer. ] But of course, with Hawke missing, no one could hear them.

That day's food was the same. A slab of overcooked meat, undercooked peas, and...mash? Novak, never in the habit of eating much, pushed their food around, then looked up at the others, who were doing more or less the same, even Hanne, who normally finished everything on her plate. Knowing they'd need a bit of energy if they were going to keep Hawke company after he returned from his weekly ordeal, they tried to take a few bites of the meat. Their throat seemed swollen shut, the food sticking in it going down.

Out of curiosity more than necessity, Hanne stuck her spoon in the pile of - something - and licked it off, trying to figure out what it was. Smooth and slightly salty, which told her nothing. It could have been cement mix with salt thrown in and she would be none the wiser. After the shock and pain of the bite, she didn't feel like eating much. Next to her Specter didn't seem to be eating much either. Something in the air poisoning everyone, and not a kind of ailment she could fix.

On the other end of the room, a door slammed open, and something shuffled through. It took Hanne a moment to realise what she was looking at; Hawke, being shoved along by four guards. They moved as one unit towards Hawke's table, depositing him unceremoniously in his seat. Hawke didn't seem to notice that he was seated weirdly, his posture lopsided. Instead, he just sat there, upper body listing to one side, until the weight carried him forward and he slumped forward, the side of his face pressed against the cold surface of the table, right beside his plate. One arm was resting on the table, but the other was hanging limply in midair, swinging a little.

"Hawke!" Novak called, alarmed, and made to stand from their table. The guard activated their table almost instantly, and a quick jolt shot through Novak's body. Their legs went weak instantly, and they collapsed back into their seat. The sudden surge of adrenaline from fear got them over it quickly enough, and though they remained seated they faced Hawke, trying to get his attention. His eyes were open and he was breathing, but he wasn't responding, instead staring blankly in Ivy's direction.

Hanne swung around, wishing she could hurry to Hawke's side. Instead, after seeing Novak get shocked for their trouble, she turned to the nearest guard. "Please, can I go to him? It won't be long," she pleaded, but he simply shook his head, a final gesture.

Everything felt as if it was coming from very far away. He felt something cold, and he heard yelling, and he could feel the alarm and fear in the air, but it was so very far away. Was he dreaming? He didn't think so, but he couldn't remember how he'd gotten into this situation.

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Character Portrait: Ivy Character Portrait: Vlad Character Portrait: Specter Character Portrait: Hanne Character Portrait: Hawke Character Portrait: Novak
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When the door to the cafeteria slammed open, Vlad nearly jumped out of his seat. He pressed his hands to the glass wall, staring in the direction of the door. The guards shoved Hawke into the cafeteria and he looked closer to a zombie than a human. The guards guided him to his seat, where he sat odd and weak. Then Hawke slumped over, slamming into the surface of the table like a lifeless heap. Vlad slammed his hands against the barricade of his cube, screaming bloody murder... Although not making a sound to the outside world.

"You sons of bitches! What did you do to my brother! I'll fucking kill you for this! I'll kill you all for—" When Vlad went to punch the glass again, the entire box buzzed with electricity. His teeth gritted together while his body held to the walls to keep himself from falling to his knees. "What's wrong with my b-b-brother!?" The electrical current raised in voltage, striking him again. This time not stopping until he fell to his knees, convulsing uncontrollably.

Specter tensed in his seat. His eyes glued to Hawke, much like the others. What in the world did they do to him? He was certain he never saw Hawke like that before in all the years they've been in the same cellblock. Spec nervously twiddled his fingers as he looked between his tray and his zombified friend. What did this all mean? Would this happen to the rest of them this week? He couldn't help but wonder if this was punishment for something, or if they stopped showing signs of improvement. There was no way for him to know because Hawke wasn't giving them anything, not even the blink of an eye.

"Hawke!" Novak stood up from their table before Specter could say anything to stop them. He flinched as their table was activated, sending an electrical current through the metal surface into Novak. What could they do? Nothing. Everyone would have to sit there in an agonizing silence until they were escorted back to their cells. Only then might they be able to get Hawke's attention or something. Specter just tried his best to remain calm, his fork mindlessly stabbing at the food on his tray.

Ivy dropped a spoon full of mashed potatoes in her lap when Novak was electrocuted. Not that she was trying to eat it. Her body had been frozen, just watching Hawke in disbelief since he entered the room with the spoon held before her mouth. She looked down at the mush in her lap for only a moment before she looked back at Hawke. Her heart sank like an anchor. He was looking right towards her but his expression was blank... Almost like he was looking through her instead of actually seeing her.

"Please, can I go to him? It won't be long," Hanne asked the guards. Ivy glanced over her shoulder towards the blonde, hoping the guards would make an exception for once in their lives... But it came to no avail. They shook their heads at Hanne, remaining silent, observing them as they all sat frozen, staring at Hawke.

After a moment, Ivy's hand shot up in the air like asking a question in elementary school. "I need a napkin." She turned her body enough so that the guards could see where the lukewarm mush was already sinking through the fabric and staining her jumpsuit. She waited patiently until one of the guards nodded their head towards her. Ivy pushed off the edge of the table as she stood, and made her way past the other tables. She came to a stop at a small cart against the wall that held extra napkins, utensils and things of that nature.

As she wiped the food from her clothes, Ivy would occasionally peak over her shoulder to gauge where the guards were in relation to Hawke. She didn't quite know what she was doing, but something had to be done. She took a deep breath and chucked the dirtied napkin into the trashcan. Her path back to her own table intentionally lead her right past where Hawke sat. The closest guards were... several feet away. It wasn't much time, but...

Ivy quickly diverted, sitting down beside Hawke. She had an extra napkin cupped in her hand as she lightly placed her palm on the side of his face, being sure her skin didn't touch his. She leaned her head down so that she was at eye level with him, forcing him to make eye contact. "Hawke? Come on, say something." She inhaled sharply, hearing the guards shuffle after her. "Your brother is really—" A hand grabbed the back of Ivy's head, slamming her face down into the metal surface of the table.

She winced, her ears ringing from the hit. The guard's hand held her head down on the table. Ivy could feel a small pool of warm liquid puddling where her forehead hit the surface. She kept her gaze fixed on Hawke as she called back to the guard that held her. "I wasn't trying to hurt him!"

As the man went to grab a fist full of her hair and pull her away, his hand brushed her cheek. He quickly retreated, holding his hand to his chest. The veins started changing to a sickly black, slowly extending out from the point of contact. A deep red rash quickly forming where he touched her. "Fucking bitch!"

Another guard quickly stepped in, putting gloves over his hands. He slammed Ivy's head into the table once more, before using her hair to rip her from her seat and throw her to the ground. "I knew you were always unstable, 2623. But, I never pegged you for a murderer," the guard said before bringing back his leg and landing a heavy kick in her gut.

Ivy gasped, her right hand clawed at the ground while her left held her abdomen. "No." She coughed. "No... I'm not a killer."

The guard kicked her shoulder, causing Ivy to roll over onto her back. He moved to stand over her, then crouched down. His right hand clutched her neck, raising her upper body by his tight hold on her throat. Ivy gasped for air, clawing at the guard's hold on her. The entire time, Ivy continued to repeat the same thing in her head over and over hoping that if Hawke tried to tap in, he'd hear it. [ I'm ok. Don't do anything. ]

Ivy tried to remain as calm as she could so that she didn't hyperventilate and pass out. The guard's free hand tore away one of Ivy's, before he pinned her wrist down under his boot. "Then what is it you think you were doing?" She parted her lips, trying to speak, but as she did so his gripped tightened. "I'm sorry, what?"[/color] He asked, cocking his head to the side as if he was trying to listen. "I can't hear you."

Her voice cracked as she strained through the guard's grasp to speak. "I just... wanted... to help him."

"Oh?" He looked to toward the other guards with a smug expression. "She wanted to help."

Ivy coughed. "What use is he... If he's braindead?" she asked through gasps. The guard's grip loosened if only a fraction. His expression shifting slightly at the realization. "Let Hanne help him..." Then his hold went even tighter, now threatening not to just cut off her breathing but suffocate the life from her. It brought tears to her eyes as she fought through straining breaths. "Vlad... will be useless... without his brother."

Then it truly hit the guard. He didn't release Ivy, but froze where he held her. A quiet murmur was heard coming from the guard's ear piece but she couldn't make it out. After a moment, he groaned, then threw her to the ground forcefully. She coughed and gasped for air, not moving from where she laid.

"1033," the guard said, pointing towards Hanne. "You have two minutes." His attention then turned back towards Ivy as the other guards moved to observe and time keep for Hanne. He crouched down beside her, using his index finger to brush her raven locks back from her face. "And you... I don't like being made a fool of. You have five minutes."

Before Ivy could ask what he meant or brace herself, he back handed her right across the face. She didn't fight back, or say anything. Ivy accepted the punishment in silence. She didn't dare make eye contact with the others, instead focusing her gaze on the ground. The hits were countless and kept coming. Five minutes felt like five hours. She suffered through the punches, kicks and tasing. Her eyes closed as she tried breathe steadily, but after each hit her breaths became more labored and painful.

Specter tensed where he sat. He tried to remain stoic but couldn't help flinching every time he heard another blow hit Ivy. He could hear her rough breathing, gasps and coughs. But, he never heard her beg for them to stop, never heard her cry out or scream. Spec didn't have to watch to know that she was taking it bravely. He had seen many aftermaths of her beatings, but never witnessed it himself... Only once, did he look over his shoulder towards her.

The guard didn't let up or care that she was a woman. He beat her like he would be a man double her size. With each hit, there were more bruises and blood. But, there was never a falter in Ivy. He admired her bravery. Spec could no longer stomach watching, instead silently pushing his tray away. Whatever appetite he may have had, completely gone.

Ivy's ears were ringing and deafened by the pounding of her own blood. Her vision became unfocused and crossed. She didn't notice when it had stopped, not until the guard forced her up on her knees. He said something to her, but it fell on deaf ears. Ivy went to open her eyes, but only the left listened. Her right already beginning to swell shut. Her eye blinked slowly, trying to see through the dizziness. The guard held her straitjacket out before her, waiting impatiently. She raised her arms best she could, allowing him to put it back on her and lock it behind her back.

"Don't you fucking move."

She didn't move. On her knees, Ivy rested her weight back on her feet. Her head was hung low as her raven hair surrounded her face like a black curtain, hiding the others from her view. She winced slightly when her tongue brushed her split lip. She spit the blood from her mouth onto the floor as silent tears ran down her cheeks. Ivy didn't spare a glance towards Hawke to see if anything she did helped. Instead, she stared blankly at the ground. Her mind kept repeating something she heard Specter read over and over again. [ Pain is real. But, so is hope. ]

Vlad watched in utter shock in silence. There were numerous splatters and small puddles of blood on the ground behind Hawke's table. Out of everyone, he never expected Ivy to be the one to step up. She was always the type to run away and keep to herself. But, not that day. She walked right into lion's den. She had to have known what she was getting into just by sitting down beside Hawke, let alone touching him. Vlad always saw Ivy as more black and white... Now, he didn't quite know what he thought about her. He couldn't thank her, even if he wanted to. But, he also wouldn't forget what she did for Hawke. Down the road, whatever it may be, he owed her.

Nothing to see here. Move along, 2741033.

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Character Portrait: Ivy Character Portrait: Vlad Character Portrait: Specter Character Portrait: Hanne Character Portrait: Hawke Character Portrait: Novak
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The moment Ivy's feet turned away from her table Novak knew what was coming. They didn't need to be clairvoyant to see it ending badly. "Ivy, no," they whispered, unable to stop her, cursing the group's dependence on Hawke's abilities to communicate amongst themselves.

Something rough, warm against his face. Where did he know that texture? Might as well... sandpaper... Hanging limply under the table, Hawke's fingers twitched, briefly.

The sound of Ivy's head striking the tabletop startled Hanne badly, her hands flying to her mouth so she wouldn't cry out. She sat immobilised, unable to turn away from Ivy, hating the scene unfolding before her.

Then Ivy spoke her name, and it took all of Hanne's willpower not to jump to her feet. "Let Hanne help him... Vlad... will be useless... without his brother." As far as Hanne's concerns about Hawke went, Vlad was pretty low on that list, but this wasn't time to argue about that. Anyone with a functional pair of eyes could see Hawke needed help.

"1033." The moment the guard spoke her number, Hanne automatically leapt to her feet. Behind her, one guard moved forward at the abrupt movement, placing a heavy hand on her shoulder. "You have two minutes." Instantly she hurried forward, sliding onto the bench next to Hawke, resolutely turning her back on Ivy and the guards forming a sort of barrier around her. There was nothing she could do at that point of time for Ivy, friend or not, and it was better not to waste time or energy worrying about beatings she couldn't stop.

"Hey, Hawke," she whispered, slipping both arms around him. While unresisting, he was heavy, and she settled for resting his head on her shoulder, one arm supporting him from the back, her other hand pressed to his temple. "Come on, talk to me. It's just me. Just Hanne." She continued talking to him in her most soothing voice, but in her mind she was already digging through Hawke's cells, trying to find what needed to be repaired. She didn't even know what they'd done to him. How could she find the damage?

The brain, though... that was easier. She wasn't great with brains, but there was a lot less activity going on in there than there should be. If she connected these here, and reanimated these so they came to life with a zap...

Beneath her hands, Hawke twitched. Just a fraction, but it was enough. It was a reaction. Hanne pushed Hawke off her shoulder and leaned forward, pressing her lips briefly to his forehead. [ Please be okay. ] The guard closest to her, who had been counting down her allotted time, came forward to pull her away. "Wait, just a - just a moment more - I'm almost," was all she managed to gasp before she was bodily hauled out of her seat, pulled past Ivy, and all but thrown back onto her bench. Good behaviour or not, they clearly weren't putting up with any nonsense today, not even from Hanne.

By some miracle, though her hands stopped supporting him, Hawke remained sitting upright, his spine stiffening and holding his frame up of its own accord. His head still remained drooping, chin on his chest, but as they watched, he lifted it slightly, just enough that he was staring at the plate of food still sitting before him. After a moment more, there came, faint though audible, one repeated sentence - [ Pain is real. But, so is hope. ]

That one sentence, over and over, pulling something out of him - some kind of memory - the boy, reading. Fair head bent over a book, speaking out loud to the rest of them. That voice wasn't his, though. Whose...?

Novak remained sitting the entire time, under the watchful eye of the guard still manning the button to activate their table, their hands clasped together in their lap to avoid creating any further confrontation. Their knuckles were white, pressing into the soft flesh of each hand, nails carving crescent moons where they sank in. They could do no more than look down, their entire frame still shaking from a combination of fear and the pain of the shock endured earlier. But then Ivy's voice came through the joint mental connection, weak at first but growing stronger, firmer, and Novak understood.

"Alright. Get moving."

Dinner was over. The guards shepherded them, one by one, back into their line, this time led by a dazed and bleeding Ivy, an unresponsive Hawke bringing up the tail end of the line. Their chaperones were rougher than usual, shoving their charges along whenever they didn't move quickly enough - some nerve they had, Novak thought bitterly, when they were the cause for their inability to hurry after all.

The group returned to their cells with no further event. Though they couldn't see Hawke, they could hear the faint rustling of his clothes as he stumbled in, sagged against the wall, and sank to the floor. Pressed to the corner of their cell that was the closest to Hawke's cell - the corner they shared, if Novak was in that corner nothing bad could happen to Hawke - they tried to get a better hold on the mental connection. It was faint, barely present. [ Hawke? Come on. Please tell me you're okay. ]

The lights shut off abruptly. This was way earlier than usual, Hanne noted dully, crouched on her mattress, hugging her pillow to her chest. Normally they had a few hours after dinner to sit around and stare at the walls. Now they'd have a few hours to sit around and stare at the walls in the dark.

She could hear Novak, which meant the connection was there, but what about the one who had opened the connection in the first place? Tipping her head to the side and closing her eyes, Hanne listened closely. A moment later, there came the message they were waiting for - weak, but there.

[ I'm okay. Don't say anything. ]

Slumped on the floor, his back pressed to a wall that seemed even colder than usual, Hawke slowly lifted his head, surveying the three opposite him. Vlad, a murderous glint in his eye; Specter, pale and drawn; and Ivy. She'd only been trying to help.

A buzz of mental activity came from his left - Novak, but he was still too weak to respond. He raised a hand, a signal to the three that could see him that he was fine. Let me catch my breath first. Likely they didn't need to hear it to understand it.

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Character Portrait: Ivy Character Portrait: Vlad Character Portrait: Specter Character Portrait: Hanne Character Portrait: Hawke Character Portrait: Novak
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Vlad stood in his sound proof box, staring out at the horrors that befell before him. It was torture being helpless. His gaze couldn't decide what to focus on... Hanne as she tried to work her magic and help his brother. Or Ivy, beaten to a bloody silence on the floor. Vlad had seen her brought back to her cell after an escape attempt, yet somehow he felt like this was worse. Much worse. He more than anyone knew what it was like to be on the tail end of the guards, but he was muscular and burly compared to the thin and fragile raven haired woman.

He reluctantly put his gag back on before the guards finally released him from the box. Vlad had to fight the urge to kick the guard in the balls and run to his brother. Maybe if he timed it right, he could get Hawke out of there. Ivy didn't look like she'd be putting up much of a fight, but then again he never saw her fight the guards, just heard the stories. Maybe she had a reserve of energy? Specter had full juice. Novak might be a little spazzed from the electrocution. If he could get help, he could carry Hawke, and—

Vlad was shoved forward, losing his footing, nearly falling to his knees. Silly pipe dreams. No way would something so haphazard be successful. He pick up his footing, not in the mood to have the guards hands all over him, shoving him forward. Vlad was lead toward the front of the line, intentionally keeping Novak, Specter and Hanne between himself and his brother. What did they expect a mute and a half dead man to do?

When they reached the cellblock, something came over Vlad that he wasn't expecting. Before the thought fully overcame him, his right hand extended, lightly brushing Ivy's back. Part of it was his subconscious. Something inside him felt the need to thank her. If anyone was able to do something to help Hawke, it was Hanne... She knew that. She took a beating, and who knew if the guards would even listen to her? Ivy turned her head slightly, brown saucers peered up from beneath the curtain of raven hair.

Vlad held her gaze for only a brief moment, although it felt longer. He couldn't say thank you. Physically and ethically. He had never been the type to show any gratitude or appreciation to anyone. Growing up in a place like this made him cold... Gratitude felt like a foreign emotion. Then, before his hand left her back, he let his fingers subtly loosen a strap on her straitjacket. He'd seen it before where they left her in that dreadful thing for days. It wasn't much... But all he could do before the guards grabbed him by the shoulders and pushed him into his cell.

Ivy's brows furrowed when she felt Vlad's fingers loosen the buckle of her straitjacket. As long as she had known Vlad, he never once showed her a single fraction of a kindness. The brief physical contact was the first non-threatening touch she had experienced in over two years. But it was ripped away as quickly as it happened as she was herd into her cell. Ivy stood in the doorway, with her back toward the guards as she did after every meal, waiting for her jacket to be removed.

Her back was met by the blunt force her cell door being slammed shut on her. The momentum knocked her off balance and sent her to the ground. She fell to her knees and without her hands to catch her, Ivy tipped over, hitting her already sore head on the cold hard concrete. Her eyes tightly shut, as her ears began to ring, but she didn't allow herself to make any noise of discomfort. He didn't deserve the satisfaction.

"Sleep well, 2623. Tomorrow is your day," he said to her in a menacing tone. No doubt he intended on making sure her time with the doctors was extra long and torturous.

Ivy didn't move from where she laid on the ground as the guards filed out of the cellblock. Then the lights shut off, premature by hours. In the safety, privacy and comfort of the dark Ivy let her facade fall. She slowly curled her knees in toward herself, moving into a fetal position as silent tears rolled down her cheeks. What adrenalin that had been coursing through her veins quickly wore off. Her body shook and trembled slightly as her nerves took in the full extent of her pain.

Specter followed orders without a single hitch or contradiction. After all, what was he to do? There isn't much an intangible person could do in a situation like that beside sit by and remain silent. Spec hated that. It wasn't that he was complacent, but the lack of capability to do anything. For all their lives all their decisions have been made for them as they've been groomed... For something. Who knew what that was?

In the darkened silence, Specter paced around his small cell from side to side. He wanted to ask Hawke if he was ok, if he was in there. But, what would that do? Hawke's mind was probably like someone removed the flood gates and all their thoughts were bombarding him like a tsunami all at once. Verbalizing his concerns and worries would be fruitless. If Hawke was ok, he could hear him. And if he wasn't... Specter didn't really want to think about that at the current moment.

The silence of the cellblock was unbearable. Clenching his teeth, Specter ball up his fist and hit the wall. He looked over toward Hawke who was at least sitting up. That had to be something right? That was more than what he did when the guards first brought him back to the cafeteria. Hopefully Hanne was able to do something. Specter didn't want to think about how the group would quickly crumble if something happened to Hawke. He was, without a doubt, the glue that kept them all sane.

Specter's steps slowed as his gaze focused on the dark concrete wall before him. Since the lights when out, he hadn't heard anything from Ivy. Not that she was particularly talkative, but there was nothing. Not the sounds of her footsteps, or the usual rustling of her trying to get out of her straitjacket when the prick guards left it on her. He preferred to give the others their privacy, but he allowed his vision to look past the wall into her cell. Ivy laid unmoving on the ground. Specter took a step toward the wall that separated them, slowly raising his hands, pressing his palms against the smooth surface. He knew there was an electrical currant that ran through the walls, but regards, he had to try.

Specter took a deep breath and closed his eyes. He imaged himself like a cloud of mist. Like all the molecules of his body were fluid like the air, free to travel and traverse anything beyond the physical. He pressed his hands through the wall. Halfway through, he was met with a sharp, alarming zap. He winced and quickly withdrew, cupping his palms together as he ringed his hands. He sighed, closing his eyes.

He couldn't help but break the silence, worried that the guard's heartlessness gave he a concussion. If she had received extensive head trauma and was unconscious... Specter didn't want to think about what he had read in some of the anatomy books. "Ivy?! Are you ok?" After a long moment, he closed his eyes, allowing his forehead to rest against the wall. "Just say something... Please?"

Ivy sniffled back her tears, taking a deep breath. With as much effort as she could muster, she squirmed toward the glass wall that looked out toward the other cells. Using it for support, Ivy managed to sit up somewhat, resting her head back against the glass. She slowly glanced back over her shoulder toward Hawke's cell, seeing him sitting... Or slumped against the wall. It was something. She closed her eyes, sighing softly. Ivy was glad to know at least something came from what she did.

She sniffed once more, before nodding her head in response to Specter. Ivy sighed shortly after at the realization that he couldn't see nor hear a nod. "I'm alive..." her voiced croaked, quiet and barely audible.

"Listen... You have to try and stay awake. You've received extensive head trauma. If... If you fall asleep, you might not wake up."

Ivy didn't respond, or ask for details about what he meant. She recalled something about that in his books that he shared with them all. What was it... A coma? It sounded worse than death, being in your body but unable to function. You could wake up with no brain function twenty years later, or die in your sleep. Luckily for Ivy, the pounding in her head and the ringing in her ears wasn't going to allow her to sleep anytime soon. And worse, the silence in the cellblock was deafening.

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The zap of electricity from Specter's cell served to box him in and remind them all who was in charge - but the sudden sound also helped to pull Hawke back to reality. Sitting against the wall, he blinked slowly, once, twice, slowly taking stock of his surroundings. The dark still scared him a little, a touch too similar to the alternating flashes of dark and bright he'd endured earlier with the doctors earlier.

"Listen... You have to try and stay awake. You've received extensive head trauma. If... If you fall asleep, you might not wake up."

Specter's words got his attention, and he looked across at Ivy and the younger male. Aborting the attempt to create and maintain the group connection for a moment, Hawke pushed through into Ivy's mind, a faint tinge of alarm seeping into her head.

It wasn't just her picking up on his emotions. His headache increased threefold, and the room began to - not spin, exactly, but sway back and forth like a coy lover. Hawke shut his eyes, trying to put Ivy's pain aside.

[ Ivy. ]

Not nearly as strong as he'd hoped. He tried again, struggling to fix the connection. [ Ivy. Don't sleep, please. ]

Much better. Now that she'd undoubtedly heard him, he just needed something to say so that he could occupy her and keep her from succumbing to her injuries.

[ Are you okay? ...No, that's a stupid question to ask. I guess... why'd you do that? You know how they are. I don't know how to make it up to you. ] It was stupid and childish, but there it was. As if there was anything he could do to make up for the beating, or even help her through it. He couldn't even touch her. All he could do was talk - still a difficult task given his own physical trauma, but getting steadily easier. But he knew what he had to tell them - all of them. With some difficulty, he pulled the others into the connection.

Pressed against the wall - any tighter and they'd be squeezing bits of themself through the bricks - Novak uttered a low cry of surprise when they felt the connection come through, stronger than the one that was dropped just a few minutes prior. Knowing it would hurt Hawke, they tried to clamp down on their thoughts, letting the smallest sliver of concern slip through in place of the questions they wanted to ask. Chief of which was - what the hell happened? But they stayed quiet, knowing Hawke would try to explain soon.

Hanne's relief was palpable. If Hawke hadn't recovered - if she hadn't been able to help him - she would have been the failure. And then where would she stand? Any space for failure was space for abandonment. She'd never wished more that she could physically reach Hawke, in the cell next to hers, to help with the pain he was undoubtedly feeling. Ivy too, although she presented more problems than just physical proximity.

There was a pause, waiting for their collective fear and relief to settle, then Hawke spoke hesitantly. [ I need to tell you something, and I can't let anyone else know. You can't tell anyone this. The doctors... there's some kind of plan on place, some sort of long term project. An experiment, and we're the subjects. They're building us, strengthening us for some kind of purpose. I've been looking around, picking up what I could - and they found out. That's why today happened. ]

He hesitated. [ I'm aware that... it might come your turn to come under questioning. And I can't guarantee that they won't do what they did to me again. But I had to tell you. Do you... believe me? ] Somewhere in the back of his head, a migraine wormed its way into his consciousness, worsening the pounding in his head.

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Character Portrait: Ivy Character Portrait: Vlad Character Portrait: Specter Character Portrait: Hanne Character Portrait: Hawke Character Portrait: Novak
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Ivy leaned in the corner of her room where the glass met the concrete, her head cradled by the two walls. Her eyes were closed as she breathed heavily through her nose, not from the pain but from the darkness. The guards and whomever else in the facility knew about her fear of the dark... They knew about everyone's fears. No doubt, her earlier actions warranted the lights going out so early. It wasn't pitch black in their cellblock once she let her eyes get adjusted, which is why she sat their trying to remain calm with her eyes closed.

But then her eyes snapped open when she felt the presence of another mind in her own. It was subtle beyond the pain of her own injuries that seemed to over power her senses, but she felt it. [ Ivy. ] Ivy slowly turned her head to glance over her shoulder toward Hawke, able to vaguely make out his shape in the darkness. [ Ivy. Don't sleep, please. ]

[ I'm not... ] Even in her mine, her mental voice was weak and quiet. She was exhausted, mentally and physically while she tried not to let her fear consumer her.

[ Are you okay? ...No, that's a stupid question to ask. I guess... why'd you do that? You know how they are. I don't know how to make it up to you. ]

Ivy looked down at her hands. As she ran the tip of her thumbs along her fingers she could feel the stickiness of her own dried blood. [ I didn't ask you to make it up to me. ] She sighed, looking over at Hawke, trying her best to make eye contact through the darkness. [ You are the glue that holds us together, Hawke. Do you know what the loss of you would do to us?... To me? ] After a long moment, she glanced down at her hands and continued. [ ...And I was worried. ]

With her eyes adjusted, Ivy carefully pushed off the wall and moved to her feet. She slowly walked over to her sink. She waited for a few moments before raising her head to take in her appearance in the mirror. Even in the darkness, she could see the bruises that had already began taking shape on her face and the trail of dried blood that ran from her nose down over her lips. With a sniffle, she trudged over to the bed and sat down with a sigh. She carefully and slowly tried to wiggle the loosened buckle free.

Vlad held his guitar in his lap but couldn't find the motivation to play, instead seeing the object as a comfort. The moment he felt the gates open in his mind signaling that his brother had connected their minds, Vlad jumped to his feet. He moved to the concrete wall that was closest to Hawke, pressing his forehead against the cold concrete. Just feeling the presence of Hawke in his mind helped him breathe easy, while his anger toward the men at the facility grew. He clenched his fists and punched the wall.

[ I need to tell you something, and I can't let anyone else know. You can't tell anyone this. The doctors... there's some kind of plan on place, some sort of long term project. An experiment, and we're the subjects. They're building us, strengthening us for some kind of purpose. I've been looking around, picking up what I could - and they found out. That's why today happened. ]

Specter froze where he stood... If they know that Hawke has been picking up on what information he could get from them, then what did they know about himself? Of course, his powers weren't detectable like Hawke's were when he was in someone's mind. But, did they know about him memorizing information too? How would they know? But, the thought, none the less worried him. After all, the only people capable of getting any information that the guards didn't want them knowing was himself and Hawke. That definitely put his head in the balance.

[ I'm aware that... it might come your turn to come under questioning. And I can't guarantee that they won't do what they did to me again. But I had to tell you. Do you... believe me? ]

[ It makes sense. For awhile I've been wondering if we were being bread... For weapons. I didn't want to say anything until I had proof. But... Why else would they do this to us? Force us into obedience, experiment on us to makes us more powerful and useful, strengthen our skills. We're their own super soldiers. I mean Ivy, ] He sighed glancing down. [ She is the ultimate weapon along with someone like Vlad... This is why we're here. Why else you think they haven't killed her yet with how many times she's tried to escape? ]

Ivy glanced down at the straight jacket around her torso as Specter's words soaked in. It made sense. Why hadn't they killed her? Honestly, she'd rather be dead than in this place. Maybe, subconsciously, she tried to escape hoping she'd either get out or they'd just kill her. It'd be easier that way. She briefly glanced over her shoulder toward Hawke and Novak. They were all fucked. Plain and simple.

Vlad paced around his cell, scratching his head and ruffling his hair. They could torture him as much as they wanted, but he didn't know any information. Or... Worse, they could use him to get to his brother. That was always the struggle with the both of them in a place like this. When the one didn't cooperate, they would beat the other senseless until they did. He clenched his fists, slamming his knuckles into the concrete wall. [ We need to get the fuck out of here! ]

Specter walked up to the glass wall of his cell, looking across to Vlad. His left hand held his hand as he thought, while he tapped his right index finger against the glass. [ I have been... Memorizing key combinations for... years. ] He clicked his tongue in his mouth as his gaze scanned his cell. [ If it wasn't for the electrical current in the walls... I could get out of here. I could get us out of here. ]

Ivy raised her head slightly, her eyes wide at the comment. She chewed on her bottom lip as she thought over what Specter was saying. Then finally, she let her thoughts flood out to the others quietly. [ A couple months ago I... ] She sighed softly. [ I started to notice that I can syphon the power from the electro shock machine... ] She slowly looked up, meeting Hawke's gaze.

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The emotions filling his head were more than pure worry. There was tension too, and Hawke tried to place the different traces to the group. He wasn't the only one to know something, but who was it? Relief filled him at that revelation - he wasn't the only one to know something.

[ It makes sense. For awhile I've been wondering if we were being bred... For weapons. I didn't want to say anything until I had proof. But... Why else would they do this to us? For us into obedience, experiment on us to make us more powerful and useful, strengthen our skills. ]

A voice piped up, soft and unexpected. [ I know why. ] Hanne made a sudden restless movement, flipping onto her back, feeling the bedsprings press into her spine. After a pause, trying to sort her words out, she continued again. [ They're scared there'll be a war, and they need an advantage. They've been talking about who's ready to be "deployed" - they think I'm almost ready to support... support what, I don't know. Hawke and Vlad, if you're "motivated accordingly". Ivy's a "work in progress". ] There was an awful silence as the implication of her words sank in, even for herself. [ They say things sometimes that they don't think I understand. ] she added lamely.

We need to get the fuck out of here! ] Vlad's outburst made Hanne jump, but only drew Novak further into their slump. Escape had been a pipe dream for many years, but there were just too many variables. Too many factors, and it just needed one to go wrong and they'd all be tossed back in on their asses, and beaten to a pulp besides. Weapons or not, the facility took little chances with them.

Still, they listened, curled up in their corner, as Specter and Ivy took their turns to speak, contributing what they had. And as they spoke, an idea occurred to Hawke. He held Ivy's gaze steadily, unwilling to let hope overtake him, but still just a tiny bit excited, for the first time in an eternity. [ Spec, have you got the codes for this week? And Ivy... if you could do that, do you think you could get through to Specter to get him out? Because if we could all go, we might have a better chance as a group effort... ] He let the thought trail off, looking between Ivy and Specter, unwilling to believe that they had more than just a sliver of a chance. There were still the guards, and the entire facility to get through.

An idea occurred to Novak, and they sat forward, thinking hard. [ I know they take you different routes sometimes. They don't always bring me to the same place for testing. And we know this building is round. If everyone tries to remember every route you've ever taken, I could figure out the layout of this place and move us around. It could at least help with shaking the guards off. But I don't know how far we'll get. ] They faltered. Would a group escape end the same way individual escapes always did?

Hawke knew what it meant if they were caught - the facility would have their confirmation that the group knew things they weren't supposed to, would do worse to force the information out of them. Maybe even separate them for good. But he had to try. They hadn't gone through what he had. The facility meant business, and they had to step up to the challenge. [ I know how it must seem. But we can't sit around waiting for them to pick us off. Look what they did to me - to Ivy. You think they won't do worse to get what they want? They've hurt us before and they'll hurt us again. ] Pushing himself upright, he reached out to each of them, let his desperation leak through clearly, spoke to them as if one entity.

[ Do you trust me? ]

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Character Portrait: Ivy Character Portrait: Vlad Character Portrait: Specter Character Portrait: Hanne Character Portrait: Hawke Character Portrait: Novak
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[ I know why. ] Vlad raised his head slightly. He pushed off his bed and slowly made his way across his cell so that he could look at the blonde as she continued. [ They're scared there'll be a war, and they need an advantage. They've been talking about who's ready to be "deployed" - they think I'm almost ready to support... support what, I don't know. Hawke and Vlad, if you're "motivated accordingly". Ivy's a "work in progress". ] A war?! So, they were weapons. Lab rats kept in a prison their entire lives, experimented on and tortured until they all complied. If this is what his life had in store for him, he’d rather die. At least death is final and once dead, no one could control him. [ They say things sometimes that they don't think I understand. ]

Vlad crossed his arms over his chest as he focused on what Ivy and Specter said. The wheels were beginning to turn in his head. Escape attempts have been tried before. After all, who wouldn’t want to get out of a place like that? Ivy probably held the record for attempts… But there was always one thing that each attempt lacked… numbers. The last time Ivy tried, she got pretty far, or so he heard. After all, it’s hard to stop someone when you can’t touch their skin. But, if they all tried together—

[ Spec, have you got the codes for this week? ] It seemed that Hawke’s mind was on the same track as his own, or maybe he was eavesdropping. Either way, it seemed everyone’s minds seemed to quiet, listening intently. Was this really about to happen? [ And Ivy... if you could do that, do you think you could get through to Specter to get him out? Because if we could all go, we might have a better chance as a group effort... ]

[ …I have all of the codes, ] Specter said slowly as his mind was already devising plans A through Q for escaping. Truth was, he did have all the codes. This facility may be high tech… And the people who run it might be sadistic assholes, but they weren’t the smartest bunch out there. With people like himself and Hawke, how did they expect to keep their secrets secret for long? Plus, it wasn’t difficult to remember codes when half of them are the same and they never change. Something inside him long ago told him to commit them to memory. He knew that it might come in handy… Although, he didn’t quite think it’d be for something like this.

[ I know they take you different routes sometimes. They don't always bring me to the same place for testing. And we know this building is round. If everyone tries to remember every route you've ever taken, I could figure out the layout of this place and move us around. It could at least help with shaking the guards off. But I don't know how far we'll get. ] Novak added their own opinion. Of course, they were more of the realist. In situations like this, too much hope could be dangerous. It could slowly fester and kill them from the inside out if they weren’t careful.

[ If anyone is going to have the most knowledge about the layout of this place, it’d be her, ] Vlad chimed in, pointing his index finger across the cellblock toward the quiet Ivy. The raven haired girl turned her head slightly to glance over her shoulder back at him. She’s ran more of these halls than any of the others combined. He didn’t know if she remembered where she went, but if she even had a sliver of a memory… it’d be something.

Ivy sat there quietly, staring down at her lap as she tried to adjust her arms within the straitjacket. She scratched the far reaches of her memory, trying to catch any glimpse of her escape attempts. But, what she had never told the others is usually her punishment included extensive electroshock torture and then if she fought back… It usually included some sort of blunt head trauma. To be honest, some days it seemed like she could feel her memories slip from her like water between fingers. She blinked her eyes sporadically and shook her head trying to shake the fuzziness from her mind. [ I… I only see glimpses, like a dream. Nothing tangible… I… ] her voice trailed off as she faltered.

[ Actually, ] Specter spoke up. He could feel the dread, confusion and sadness that seeped through the mental connection as Ivy tried to grasp at anything she could remember. He felt a knot grow in his stomach… They all needed to get out of there. They were losing themselves inch by inch, piece by piece. He could feel it in Ivy and it scared her. [ I’ve been practicing… Trying to stretch my powers farther and farther. Some days I can see farther than others, but once… I think I saw stars. ]

[ I know how it must seem. But we can't sit around waiting for them to pick us off. Look what they did to me - to Ivy. You think they won't do worse to get what they want? They've hurt us before and they'll hurt us again. ] When Hawke said her name, Ivy looked over at him. This was the most of a plan they ever had… Ever. They never talked about escaping. And when she tried, it was the spur of a moment thing. She saw an opening and took it. It was dumb and reckless, but part of her hoped it would be the time they’d finally kill her for acting out, just to end her suffering. But, now… there was a chance. Ivy was terrified. [ Do you trust me? ]

Ivy held his gaze as she nodded her head slowly, trying to keep herself calm. She trusted Hawke more than anyone else in there. And she wanted out desperately. But what scared her was… If they were caught, what would the guards do to them. She felt like there wasn’t much left of her and she had no idea how much more she could physically and mentally handle. Ivy didn’t want to become a vegetable, lost in the vastness of her own mind.

[ Ivy… ] Specter stepped toward the wall that separated their cells, tapping the concrete with his index finger as he spoke. [ If you can disrupt the current, for just a second… It should be enough for me to phase through. ]

She sat in silence for a long moment, before nodding her head. [ Ok… But, I need to get out of this. ] Ivy closed her eyes, taking another deep breath before she started to move to her feet. Every moment hurt and ached, but with enough effort she was able to stand. She couldn’t help the overwhelming dread that plagued her mind as she crossed her cell to her bed. Ivy was so weak and beaten… And the last time she did this… She passed out. She prayed the others wouldn’t leave her if this took too much out of her. Her hands began to tremble at the thought of waking up in her cell with all of them gone, left to suffer the punishment for their transgressions while they ran free.

Ivy hooked her right foot under her mattress, and with a quick flick, she tipped it back against the wall, exposing the springs of the bed frame. Luckily, she has mastered the art of getting out of these damned things. Usually it took her the better part of an hour but she was hoping with Vlad’s help it would be faster… She didn’t know how much energy she had left in her.

There was a spring toward the foot of the bed that stood up a little more than the others. After her first stint in a straitjacket, Ivy broke that spring so she’d have it if she were ever to need it again… and she did. She crouched down with her back to the bed and wiggled her torso until the lowest buckle caught onto the spring. With it already being unclasped by Vlad, she was able to slip the strap out rather quickly. One down, two to go. She lowered herself to her knees slowly until the second buckle caught. Ivy grunted and groaned as she twisted and turned her body, trying to shimmy the buckle loose.

Once Specter heard Ivy start working on her straitjacket, he turned his attention back to Novak. [ Could you make some kind of map if Hawke links our minds while I scan as far as I can? ] He looked between them and Hawke. Once he was given the ok, Spec took a couple calming breaths before focusing all his attention and energy to his sight. His vision pushed past his wall, then the door of the cellblock, stretching out farther, foot by foot. The farther out he reached the more focus it took. The more it passed through, he could feel the strain like an instant migraine. His hand reached out to grab the wall to steady himself so he didn’t break focus. When he couldn’t push and farther, he let his vision sweep from right to left, then above and below. Although he wasn’t able to see the entire building, he was able to get a view of one hundred feet in either direction. It was a start… At least they’d know which way to run until he could tell them more as they went.

Ivy winced when the second buckle came unfastened and she stumbled forward, falling on the ground. She closed her eyes, breathing slowly to try and conserve energy. Thankfully, she didn’t need the top buckle undone to get out. She raised her right arm over her head, adjusting and contorting her body to compensate for the tightness of the restraints. She gritted her teeth and popped her shoulder out of socket, allowing her to reach the buckle. With her hand still in the sleeve, it took a moment for her to get the last restraint. But once it was free, she sighed, yanking it off of her.

She pushed off her bed with her left hand and walked over to the sink. Ivy placed her right hand on its edge, and in a quick movement, snapped her shoulder back into place. ”Fuck,” she groaned. She rotated her shoulders as much as possible without hurting her ribs as she walked over toward the wall that separated herself and Specter. Her eyes closed as her fingertips traced the surface feeling for the strongest pulse of energy. When a rhythm like a heart beat flowed from the wall into her fingers, she froze, placing both of her palms against the wall at that point.

[ …I’m ready, ] she said with a brief glance at Hawke.

Specter’s heart skipped a beat when he heard Ivy speak up again. This is really happening? He gulped as he walked toward the plexiglass wall. His hands trembled as he slowly pressed them against the transparent surface. This was their shot. You got this. You got this, he told himself. [ Ok. Go. ]

Ivy focused every ounce of energy she had left in her body toward the power in the walls. It was like her body turned into a battery, absorbing the energy, letting it flow into her and course through her. Every nerve in her body was electrified and heightened. The hairs along her arms stood on end as the wave passed over her. It was like she was rejuvenated. She could sense that her touch was more powerful, but also every neuron in her mind was firing at the same time. Then like blowing a fuse, the overpowered sensation of energy overwhelmed her mind causing her eyes to roll back in her head as she blacked out. Her hands slipped from the wall as she collapsed on the ground.

Once the power was down, Specter quickly phased through the wall out into the center of the cellblock. He froze, looking down at his hands and laughed. It worked! He then quickly turned to look toward Ivy as she collapsed. He nearly ran into her cell to catch her. ”Ivy!” But he then stopped before going through her wall. He had no idea if the power was still down, and if it was, it’d do no good getting himself trapped in her cell. He quickly ran over to the key pad and typed in the code to unlock the cells. 4-7-2-3-3-9

When the locking mechanisms engaged, Specter ran back to Ivy. He quickly threw open the drawers of her nightstand until he found her gloves. She had three pairs so that she was never without. It was always mandatory she wear them. Spec snatched them all up, he quickly put one pair on, slid the second into her pockets and chucked another pair out into the cellblock for one of the others. ”I don’t know what to do! We’ll have to carry her… Or something!”

[ We need to go, ] Vlad thought toward Hawke as he came out of his cell. He worried about how long they had until the guards arrived. The second they saw Specter phase through the walls on the camera, he knew they’d be on their way. They couldn’t have more than sixty seconds… If they were lucky. [ How am I going to get out of this? ] He pointed at the piece of tech that covered the lower half of his face. [ If I can’t talk… I don’t know how far we're going to get. And we don’t have a key! ]

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Character Portrait: Ivy Character Portrait: Vlad Character Portrait: Specter Character Portrait: Hanne Character Portrait: Hawke Character Portrait: Novak
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[ If anyone is going to have the most knowledge about the layout of this place, it'd be her. ] Though they couldn't see who Vlad was indicating, there was absolutely no doubt that he meant Ivy. Novak's head snapped around, eyes fixed on the dark-haired girl. They didn't dare to hope too much, but Vlad was absolutely right, and Ivy's memories could be integral in helping Novak figure out the layout of the building. As Ivy tried to dig through her memory, Novak concentrated along with her, trying to piece together what little she could find. It was patchy, to say the least... there wasn't much to learn. [ I... I only see glimpses, like a dream. Nothing tangible... I... ] Novak exhaled a long breath and sat back, their back pressed against the cold wall. [ That's okay, Ivy. I'll make do. ] They tried not to share Ivy's confusion too much, knowing that it would only cloud their mind at the time when they could afford it least, instead turning their mind inward to put together what they already knew.

[ Actually, I've been practicing... ] Novak lifted their head slowly, turning towards Specter this time. [ Trying to stretch my powers farther and farther. Some days I can see farther than others, but once... I think I saw stars. ] That could help. If they had a way out... [ Specter. Please. I need you to think very carefully and show me what you saw. ]

In the next cell over, Hawke was trying very hard to keep calm. They were making a daring plan, to be sure, but if he as the centre of the telepathic call couldn't keep himself in control, the others would be affected too, and that would help no one. He could sense the fear radiating off of Ivy, which was fully justified given what she'd just experienced half an hour ago, not to mention the punishments she'd bore all those times she tried to escape. But she was there, right across from him, holding his gaze steadily, and he thought for a moment, just for a moment, Maybe we really can do this.

Hanne couldn't quite see most of the action, but she could see the twin fires burning in Vlad and Novak's eyes, right across from her. She hardly dared to breathe herself, hardly dared to believe this was little more than a dream her mind had conjured after going to bed terrified after the events of the evening. She sat beside the cage of mice, absentmindedly reaching in to stroke the soft fur for what must be the last time. She must remember this moment - she might not have another like it, whether they succeeded or not.

[ Could you make some kind of map if Hawke links our minds while I scan as far as I can? ] Novak caught Specter's eye and nodded, biting down hard on their lip in their anxiety. Warm blood spurted into their mouth, but they hardly noticed it, so intent were they on what Specter was sharing. It was only for a little bit, not very far and not for very long, but it was glorious. The outside was barren and dark, but it was an amazing sight, and from the way Hawke's thoughts leapt a little Novak knew he was feeling their excitement, too. Quickly, like putting together a 3D puzzle, they made a little model map of the building, of their section and a little bit beyond. The edges tapered out into flat white, but they could add to that later if it was necessary. They showed Specter the map, making sure that he had it down firmly. As for everyone else, they couldn't help sharing the brief image of the sky outside, just to try to pep them up a little for what was going to happen.

Meanwhile, Hanne sat and waited quietly. Careful not to share her thoughts with the entire group - no doubt Vlad would use it against her later - she looked around at the elements of her cell, committing it to memory. Goodbye. If I never see you again, it will be too soon. I'm sorry.

Before she expected it, though, the door to her cell slid open. She got to her feet shakily, walking into the shared centre of the cell block. Everything seemed slowed down, and she wasn't quite convinced yet that it wasn't a dream. Specter rushed past her to Ivy, and with no real goal in mind she turned too, entering Ivy's cell. She was collapsed on the floor, the recent events clearly having taken a toll on her. [ I have to help her. ] She was the only one who could - even if it was going to hurt like hell.

[ Hanne, no! ] But Hawke's warning came too late. Focusing on both Ivy's body and her own, Hanne rolled up the older girl's sleeve just a little, and paused for a moment before wrapping her hand around Ivy's bare wrist.

The pain was intense, but not unexpected. Hanne winced, continually mending her own cells while she quickly patched Ivy back up, trying to restore her energy. Before the others' eyes, Ivy's bruises faded, like flowers wilting, closing in on themselves. Her cuts knitted together, looking like perhaps a few days had passed between their inflicting and the present.

[ That's enough. We have to move. ] Hanne had never heard Novak sound so authoritative before, and their voice speaking so decisively in her head startled her enough into dropping Ivy's wrist. Quickly Hawke reached over and pulled her sleeve down, moving around Hanne to slip his arms under Ivy. [ Are you okay? You'll have to wait until later. ] His eyes pierced through Hanne, and in that short moment their eyes locked she fancied perhaps there was something different in the way he looked at her. As if he hadn't expected her to walk out of her unlocked cell, much less risk her own safety to heal Ivy, even if the job was slipshod.

Novak didn't wait for the bunch of them crowded around Ivy to move. As soon as Vlad's question to Hawke came through the shared connection, they turned around and strode towards him, reaching for his face. They settled both hands around his jaw, gently. Fuck the weird clasps, they were going to take it off their way.

Closing their eyes, they focused on the weight of the constraint, feeling the familiar spark dart through their fingertips. They didn't need to open the doorway too far, just a tiny one beneath their touch, and... the restraint fell apart, broken where Novak had opened the doorway into its material. "Opening an interdimensional portal into solid matter seriously compromises its structural integrity," they murmured, grinning hard, no longer bothering with the psychic connection now that all of them were out and about. A bright, fierce happiness came into their voice, excitement bubbling like it never had before. "Now go wreak havoc." They removed their hands, and turned to face the entrance to the cell block, where guards would no doubt be bursting through any second.

A quick glance to the side confirmed that Hawke had supported Ivy's weight well enough to help her to her feet, with Hanne still hovering anxiously nearby. Novak reached out and grabbed Specter's arm, pulling him towards them "I'm going to open a portal to two floors down, a little further down the hall," she informed him. "I need you to go ahead in front, keep a lookout for guards. Hawke, you take the girls with you after Specter. Vlad and I will go last," they directed this at the rest. "Don't stop once you're through the first portal, just keep going. If you get lost in there I may never find you. Do you understand?"

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Character Portrait: Ivy Character Portrait: Vlad Character Portrait: Specter Character Portrait: Hanne Character Portrait: Hawke Character Portrait: Novak
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With an extra pair of Ivy's gloves on his hands, Specter tried his best to check her pulse. Of course, he was no doctor but he's read enough anatomy books that he probably should be one. He didn't think the raven-haired woman was dead by any means, but a pulse says a lot about someone's condition. Was she just unconscious? Going into shock? Was she dying? But, no matter what he could have told from her pulse, he couldn't feel it through the fabric. He cursed under his breath as he carefully lifted her head and prepared to try and lift her off the ground. His gaze shifted around toward the others, in particular Vlad and Hawke, hoping one of them would help him. Spec had virtually no muscles, but Vlad could probably carry them all on his back no problem.

He was getting aggravated that no one rushed to help him get her up and Spec was about to shout out to them to help him, but a sheepish voice broke through the chaos in his mind. [ I have to help her. ]

[ Hanne, no! ] Hawke's voice rang through his head.

"Stop, don't!" Specter reached out his hand to stop her, but he wasn't fast enough. The blonde had already raised Ivy's sleeve and wrapped her hand around the unconscious girl's wrist. He sat there in silence, with his hands out expecting to catch Hanne or do... something, although he wasn't sure what. After a moment, his gaze fell to Ivy as her bruises slowly faded away going from rich purple and blue to a faded yellowish green.

[ That's enough. We have to move. ] The words came flying into Ivy's mind like plane passing overhead. It was far and distant before it came crashing in, loud and abrupt. She shot up where she lay, nearly slamming her forehead into Specter's. Her eyes fell when she felt a sensation she wasn't used to. Just as Hanne's grasp on her wrist released, Ivy pulled her arm back quickly out of impulse. Her eyes were wide and breathing heavy as her gaze darted between her wrist, Hanne's hand and her own wounds that weren't entirely healed but felt a world's difference than they did mere moments ago.

Specter let out a sigh of relief when she awoke, even if it was a bit abrupt. As she seemed to be getting her bearings, Spec took the gloves that he shoved in Ivy's pocket and as quickly as he could manage, slid them onto her hands. She looked over at him, a corner of her lip quivering slightly in a very brief smile of thanks.

"Th—" Ivy began to say toward Hanne but was cut off when Hawke quickly lowered himself beside her.

[ Are you okay? You'll have to wait until later. ] Hawke asked Hanne. He then carefully managed to pull her sleeve back down over her wrist before he slipped his arms around her. Ivy's left arm draped across his shoulders carefully while her right reached out and grabbed the discarded pair of gloves that no one picked up. Then with Hawke's help, she got to her feet. Once standing, she leaned on him for support. Although Hanne worked her magic, Ivy's head was still spinning and they didn't have the luxury of letting her rest for five minutes.

Vlad took a step backwards when Novak came at him with their hands outstretched toward his gag. He settled slightly when they did so and watched in silence as they seemed to focus. After a second or two he heard something inside the mouthpiece break before it fell off his face. "Opening an interdimensional portal into solid matter seriously compromises its structural integrity," Novak replied to his silent shock. They seemed all too impressed with themselves, their grinning stretching from ear to ear. "Now go wreak havoc."

His hand rose, rubbing his face where the guard once was. He closed his eyes momentarily as he rubbed and stretched the muscles of his mouth. Vlad almost laughed at the stubble upon his jaw, prickly to the touch. It wouldn't be a surprise to him if he looked like some sort of wolf man without the gag. He rarely got a chance to shave due to that thing being waterproof so he had to literally wear it into the showers. Whenever he behaved well enough they would give him a shave. Of course, men gave them to him with sound canceling headphones that often nicked him more than once. He went to speak, finding his vocal cords weak from little use and his voice dry. Vlad cleared his throat and tried again, "Thanks." Not something the man said often, if at all... But, this was one time he was truly thankful.

With a brief moment as Novak conjured their portal, Ivy's gloved hand reached out to grasp Hanne's shoulder. The blonde hovered cautiously around her, no doubt waiting for her to need assistance again. "Thank you," she said quietly. Ivy half expected to wake up strapped to some cot in the facility, hearing about how the rest of them escaped. She wouldn't have blamed them, and no doubt the torture they would have put her through would have made her a vegetable. Someone who needs help but can't have any skin-to-skin contact is a burden... But they helped her. Hanne, Hawke, all of them. They didn't leave her behind and if they all weren't about to die walking out of those doors, she might have cried.

Specter jumped slightly when his arm was grabbed and he was pulled toward someone. For a brief moment, his heart sank and he thought that they were caught before they even got out of the cellblock, but then he turned to be faced by Novak. He sighed in relief. "I'm going to open a portal to two floors down, a little further down the hall. I need you to go ahead in front, keep a lookout for guards. Hawke, you take the girls with you after Specter. Vlad and I will go last." He nodded his head. It made sense for him to lead, out of everyone, he could see the guards coming. But the weight of their escape on his shoulders and decision-making made him anxious. "Don't stop once you're through the first portal, just keep going. If you get lost in there I may never find you. Do you understand?"

Vlad didn't like the idea of sending his brother through the portal first. Specter and Hanne didn't like they stood much of a chance in a fight, and Ivy... He's heard the stories but she wasn't even able to stand on her own. But he didn't have time to argue and hoped that Spec could keep them out of harms way long enough until he and Novak showed up. He nodded his head toward the others, motioning them onward. "We'll be right behind you." He glanced out the small window on the door out to the hall, as he saw a few guards making their way up the hall, he quickly motioned them onward. "Go! We'll catch up with you." Vlad didn't quite realize he was using his powers, but luckily it wasn't like they could argue at that point, they needed to go.

Just before Specter stepped through the portal, he looked back toward Novak. "If you're not with us in 5 minutes, I'll come find you!" He didn't have any more time to say anything. Part of him wanted to say good-bye, just in case they never crossed paths again. But he wouldn't let that negativity set in, nor would he jinx the moment by voicing such concerns. With no more time to wait, he ran through the portal and continued on toward the opening on the far other side.

Vlad looked over at Novak while the others disappeared. He was rusty. He knew that. After all, those fuckers kept him gagged and silent for most of his life in there. He extended his hand toward them and guided the red head to stand behind him as moved them a few steps back from the door. The few seconds that passed as he waited for the guards to burst through the doors seemed to take age. He allowed his eyes to close as he took deep breaths, in through his nose and out his mouth.

When the door opened, the cylinders shifting in the lock echoed throughout the quiet cellblock. Three guards came bursting through the doors with tasers and batons in hand. Vlad's eyes snapped open as he threw his hands out in a halting motion. "STOP!" He found himself holding his breath, waiting to see if it worked or not. When the guards didn't move, Vlad didn't allow himself to feel at ease. He held his focus, his mind straining to reach out and hold theirs. "Everyone is in their cells, nothing is out of order. Must be a technical glitch. Go turn off the surveillance cameras to try and fix it."

The guards didn't move for a long moment, standing there dumbfounded as they scratched the back of their head. Then one of them spoke up. "That was weird. Something must be wrong with the cameras. Maybe we should go reset the security system?"

"Yeah... That sounds like a good idea," the second guard responded. He then took his walkie-talkie and spoke to someone on the other end. "We're all good here. False alarm due to technical issues."

"What the f—!" a voice shouted from the walkie just before the guard shut it off.

Vlad didn't dare move as he watched and waited for them to scuffle their way out, rambling like someone just smacked them on the head with a baseball bat. Once the door was closed to the cell, he turned around to face Novak. "Let's go!"

Specter was surprised at how long the portal was. It's not like there are many books about pocket dimensions and portals. He understood why Novak warned them about wondering, the place was huge and vast... And empty. It was strange. Words can't describe what it felt like, beyond a sea of darkness and the only light guiding him forward was the opening at the other end.

When he stepped through, he began to scan the surrounding rooms and hallways, allowing his vision to pass through walls and barriers. People were littered in just about every room. No wonder Ivy never succeeded in escaping. That place was a fortress. But he didn't have time to sit around and count heads. The left hallway was temporarily unoccupied and that was good enough. [ This way, ] he said through the mental connection he could only hope Hawke still kept intact. He quickly lead them down the hall to the left, then continued to look onward, steering them through the maze of halls... Until he came to a halt before an intersection of corridors. [ Shit. ] Specter quickly opened a door to his right that opened up to a janitorial closet. He quickly motioned them inside and closed the door.

[ What is it? ] Ivy asked as she adjusted herself against Hawke.

[ They're everywhere. We're close... I can feel it. But, every direction has at least a dozen guards. And once we alert one group, the rest will surely follow. ] Spec found himself wishing Vlad was there, surprisingly enough. He knew the hot head couldn't control all of them, but he was strong. Vlad could throw a couple of them off, then help fight the rest. Specter was by no means strong but he could dodge and divert well enough, everyone knew Ivy could handle herself but she was weak... Hanne didn't look like a fighter and he had no idea about Hawke's fighting prowess. [ And we can't go farther without Novak or Vlad... We can't leave them. ]"

Ivy sighed, looking down as her mind sifted through the different possibilities. There didn't seam to be much, aside from one. She exhaled deeply, shaking her head at herself for what she was about to suggest but they didn't have the time to waste or argue. [ What if we can distract them long enough for you to find Novak and Vlad? ]

Specter's brows furrowed as he thought 'outloud', [ I mean... Yeah, that should work. But— ] His voice trailed off as he watched Ivy.

She gently pulled Hawke's arm from around her. Ivy wasn't at 100% but she was nearly there, not that she had the luxury to wait anyway. She pulled off the gloves she was wearing and handed them over to Hanne. She didn't say anything toward the blonde, simply held her gaze in a gentle warning as a way of saying the girl would need them. Then with a deep breath, Ivy began to unbutton her jumpsuit.

Spec's eyes widened. [ Woah! Woah! Ivy what in the hell are you doing!? ] It didn't take long for him to connect the dots between the idea of a distraction and Ivy removing her clothes. [ Wait, wait. There has to be other ways to distract them? ]

[ Spec, we don't have time. Go! ]

He grunted out of disapproval before he took off running through one of the walls, heading back up toward the cellblock. This time, he paid no mind to any objects in his way, instead allowing himself to remain intangible for a faster and more direct route.

Ivy made sure she stood far enough away from Hanne and Hawke as she finished unbuttoning her jumpsuit. She gave a hesitant glance toward both of them before she let the fabric fall to the ground. Even though she still had on underwear and a holey tank top, she felt utterly naked. She always wore clothes that covered as much of her skin as possible because the guards were scared of her. Now out of that she felt bare… She was self-conscious. As she stood there, more of her was bare than ever before for the others to see. Scars covered her from marks on her wrists and neck, to slashes on her back that were over a decade old. She stepped out of the jumpsuit and picked it up, balling it up in her hands. [ Can you hold this for me?... Please? ] She asked Hawke as she held the clothes out to him.

She carefully moved past them toward the door and rested her hand on the handle. [ Don't take those gloves off... And stay close to me. ] Without hesitation, Ivy opened the door, peaking her head out to make sure the coast was clear before exiting out into the hall. She quietly moved down the corridor. The moment she stepped into the intersection of hallways, guards filed out and quickly surrounded them. Ivy moved forward slightly, putting herself between the guards and the others.

"Stop right there!" one of the guards shouted toward them.

Specter arrived at the cellblock quickly, his hands rested on his knees as he tried to catch his breath. [ We... Need to go, ] he said toward Novak and Vlad as he motioned in the general direction of the others.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Ivy Character Portrait: Vlad Character Portrait: Specter Character Portrait: Hanne Character Portrait: Hawke Character Portrait: Novak
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novak
pocket dimensions
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hanne
bio manipulation
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hawke
telepathy
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A hand landed on Hanne's shoulder and she jumped, looking up into Ivy's dark eyes. Maybe she needed more help - what if Hanne's first effort wasn't enough? But no. "Thank you." Hanne gaped, blinked, unsure how to respond. "You're - welcome." She would have said something more, but a blue glow caught her eye.

It was Novak's portal. Initially just a blue outline in midair, as she watched the outlined space rippled, then twisted abruptly and tore itself open. Beyond it was pure darkness, punctuated only by the occasional undulation, as if she was staring into an endless dark water. A flicker of fear zipped through Hanne, goosebumps dotting her arms, and she drew back. But it wasn't like she had a choice.

"Go! We'll catch up with you." The need to go, move, come on Hanne lodged itself firmly in her mind, and to her dismay she found herself taking a step forward, and then another, moving to Ivy's other side just in case she needed Hanne's help.

The dark was all-encompassing. The moment she stepped through Hanne grew disoriented, and if the warmth of Ivy's body hadn't been pressed against her arm she might have let go and become lost altogether. Something brushed past her, footsteps echoing around them, and she suppressed a scream. The figure moved towards the pinprick of light in the distance, and as they drew closer she realised it was just Specter, moving on so he could scout ahead. She hurried after him, desperate to leave the portal-world behind.

Hawke had been through Novak's portals only once, to test the limits of his abilities, and he'd never forgotten the awful sensation of passing through so much space in such a short period of time. He abruptly sensed Novak and Vlad pulling away, the mental connection snapping like a rubber band stretched thin. At least his proximity to Specter, Ivy, and Hanne meant that the four of them were still in contact, but he didn't like the idea of two of the group missing and unreachable.

Still supporting Ivy, he led her after Specter, taking only a moment to ensure that Hanne was still with them before passing through the exit portal back into the facility. [ This way. ] Only the younger boy had some knowledge on the best way for them to proceed, and as much as Hawke disliked letting him lead - it should have been him in front, him that took the brunt of any assault they might face - he was put to better use helping Ivy along.

Having focused his energy on supporting Ivy, Hawke let Specter lead them, following blindly behind him until he stopped abruptly. [ Shit. ] Hawke's heart almost stopped on the spot, skipping a beat and then thudding so loudly in his chest he thought the guards might it and come running.

[ What? ] he asked, perhaps a little more sharply than he should have. Specter didn't answer instantly, instead pulling open a door and ushering them in. It wasn't a tight space, but four people squeezing in at once was a little chaotic, and as Hawke tried to manoeuvre himself to allow the girls to fit while continuing to support Ivy he found himself uncomfortably close to her, pressed against her body for a moment. [ Sorry. ] He placed a hand on her shoulder, shifting himself closer to the door to give her space.

[ They're everywhere. We're close... I can feel it. But, every direction has at least a dozen guards. And once we alert one group, the rest will surely follow. ]

Hanne sucked in a breath, feeling her fists clench by her sides. This was the furthest she'd ever deviated from the norm, and if it wasn't clear before it was definitely clear now that there was no turning back for her. To have come to close, and then be recaptured... She might as well be dead, if the escape attempt failed.

[ What if we can distract them long enough for you to find Novak and Vlad? ] Ivy's voice cut through Hanne's panicked thoughts, and she looked up. The taller girl's eyes were blazing like she'd had an idea, one that could at least buy them some time to advance further towards the exit. Hanne was almost afraid to find out what it was.

Ivy extricated herself from Hawke's hold, and removed her gloves, holding them out to Hanne. Without thinking, she accepted them, balling them up loosely in one hand, still transfixed by Ivy's gaze. She'd seen the other's determination before when escaping, but now that she was doing it for the sake of their group she seemed different - like she wasn't afraid to lose anything. And what did they have to lose? Only their lives, shrunk to this measure, worth measured only in their capabilities. And it was obvious that it was a life none of them were willing to contend with any longer. She offered Ivy a nod in response, as good as any a confirmation that she understood and had her back.

Hawke only realised what Ivy's idea was when Specter started yelling, and on the heels of that realisation came another - he really, really didn't like her idea. [ Wait, wait. There has to be other ways to distract them? ] Hawke privately agreed, but... it seemed like the only way out. As much as he hated to admit it.

[ Spec, we don't have time. Go! ]

[ Be safe, ] Hawke thought after him, but he was off like a shot, and Hawke could only stare at the spot where he'd disappeared into the wall. Ivy caught his attention again, and before he could really stop himself he had turned to her, barely glimpsing the numerous scars that crisscrossed her skin before averting his gaze. Necessary as it was under the circumstances, the whole situation made him highly uncomfortable. He kept his eyes fixed on the door, resolutely looking away until she held her clothes out to him. [ Can you hold this for me?... Please? ] He turned to her then, looking down into her face as he took the jumpsuit. [ Ivy... I hope you know what you're doing. ]

Looking at the gloves still balled up in her hands, Hanne came to a realisation. If she could do it before, she could it again. Before Ivy could open the door she shoved the gloves into Hawke's free hand. [ Keep these on, you'll need them. Let me go in front of you. ] Hawke pursed his lips, clearly unwilling, but Hanne's intention was obvious, and logical. She was the only one who could make any contact with Ivy, and if the girl needed healing - well, wasn't that what she was built to do?

They headed towards the intersection together, Ivy in the lead, Hanne following behind her with one arm outstretched, almost close enough to touch Ivy's bare skin. Hawke followed directly behind, his gut twisting itself into knots. Being personally privy to the tension in the air was not helping at all. He felt like he might throw up, and not just because of the certain death he was staring down - if they failed it would be his fault for putting them all in the line of danger. The throbbing in his head grew, but he pushed it down for the time being, focused on the task at hand.

"Stop right there!"

The three of them pulled up short, surrounded by guards. Behind her, Hanne sensed Hawke tensing up. The energy that began from him and rippled outward was almost visible, it was that strong, and as it expanded in a radius from where the three of them were clustered Hanne saw a couple of them wince, their hands trembling. She had no doubt that Hawke was putting all the energy he could muster into affecting the group of guards mentally, and it was definitely taking a toll on them. She eyed their stun guns uneasily. If they started getting violent...

As if reading her mind, a guard standing behind Hawke lunged forward, his stun gun extended and buzzing violently. He dodged just in time, leaving Hanne open. The weapon, carried by the guard's momentum, was extended towards her face, and without thinking she reached out, grabbing his exposed wrist right before the prongs made contact with her skin and fried her skin off. The anger and fear that had been writhing beneath the surface ever since she stepped out of that damned cell finally boiled over, and as she stood there staring the guard down her fingertips began to grow warm. A splotch of discolouration appeared on the guard's skin, on his wrist just below Hanne's grasp, and as Hawke watched in fascinated horror more similar spots appeared all at once, swelling and reddening to an angry crimson. The guard hardly seemed aware of what was happening to his skin, until one of the lesions formed on his eyeball and, judging by the sudden red growing just behind the surface of his eyeball, exploded. His legs folded beneath him and he crumpled to the ground, unconscious.

The moment the stun gun stopped buzzing Hanne let go, drawing her hand back suddenly as if burned. She knew what she'd just done, but even after it happened it seemed hard to believe that she was capable of something so violent and terrible to witness. The sound of the guard hitting the floor seemed to jolt the others back into action, and with a roar a few lurched forward, weapons at the ready.

Back in the cell block, Novak watched apprehensively, standing behind Vlad to let him deal with the guards. The portal behind them wavered, its depths beckoning impatiently, but Novak stood firm, resisting the urge to duck in and run away. Only when they were certain that the guards had gone, only when the door had clicked closed, did they turn back to the portal, getting ready to pull Vlad through. "Let's go!'

A person hurrying into the cell block through the wall made them shriek and jump back, the portal shrinking abruptly and almost disappearing as their focus was pulled away from it. Only Specter - but he shouldn't have been there with them. Novak was frozen for a moment, worst case scenarios racing through their mind in that split second that they stood there, staring at Specter. [ We... Need to go. ]

Go. The word jolted Novak into action, and they pulled the portal wide open again, seizing Vlad's hand. "Come on." The three of them leapt through together, feet barely touching the ground beyond before they were on solid concrete again. And judging by the pain that slammed into Novak's skull the moment they stepped out, no doubt Hawke's work, they were right around the corner from the other three. Static exploded before Novak's eyes, practically blinding them, and if they hadn't already been well aware of Hawke's presence they might not have been able to stagger the few steps towards him. Still gripping Vlad's hand, too disoriented to think beyond get to Hawke, they moved around the corner. "Hawke! It's us!"

They had barely a moment to register the pain vanishing abruptly, and Hawke's startled face as he turned back towards them, before the guards rushed both groups.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Ivy Character Portrait: Vlad Character Portrait: Specter Character Portrait: Hanne Character Portrait: Hawke Character Portrait: Novak
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vlad
mind compulsion
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intangibility
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ivy
syphon touch
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[ Ivy... I hope you know what you're doing. ] Funny thing was, Ivy rarely ever knew what she was doing. So many times she had tried to escape and failed. This was their best shot. They’ve already made it farther than she can ever remember getting. Ivy told herself if she ever were to try escaping again… It’d be the last time. She’d make it out or would kill herself. No, dying wasn’t high on her list of priorities, but even in the chance that it helps one of them get out, it would be worth it. And one thing she was certain about was that the guards were scared of her. And that’s all she needed.

For some reason, while the tension and unease from the others seemed to flow from Hawke to them, Ivy felt calm. It was a strange sense of peace and acceptance… Perhaps even optimism? Although she felt fatigue from absorbing the electrical currents in their cells, she also felt charged. It was like the power tingled at the tips of her fingers. She was stronger. Usually the recovery time negated any benefits that could come from absorbing electroshock she received within the facility. But with Hanne’s healing the effects still lingered. She felt deadly… and toxic, far more than normal. 

Ivy took a protective stance before Hawke and Hanne with her arms extended in either direction. Between whatever it was that Hawke was doing and potentially her own presence… They were uneasy and on edge. She could see it in the way their hands twitched near their stun guns. Unfortunately, no matter how much she wished it, Ivy couldn’t protect them from all angles. 

Before she could even attempt to act, a guard made a move for Hawke. Her heart skipped a beat as she turned her head to glance over her shoulder. Luckily he dodged in time, but it opened up Hanne. Ivy prepared to grab the guard’s hand but the blonde’s hand found his wrist first. She found herself staring in shock and awe as Hanne made the man turn into something grotesque. For a brief moment it felt like Ivy was staring into a mirror as she watched the girl. Was this what people saw when they looked at her? Hanne could control herself choosing to heal or deform… while Ivy just destroyed, like acid. In that moment she envied her control.

With her attention distracted, Ivy didn’t notice the guard that rushed her from behind. He grabbed a handful of her hair, pulling her backwards. The force knocked her off balance causing her to fall to the ground. Part of Ivy instantly wanted to panic, thrash about, kick and scream. But before it could overwhelm her, she reached her hands up to grab the guard’s hand that had a hold of her. When her skin touched his he wailed in pain, releasing his grasp of her hair. Her own hold on him did not seize. Instead she spun around on the ground, twisting his arms over one another. Ivy then raised her foot slamming it into his knee causing a loud pop as it snapped backwards and he collapsed on the ground. 

While she was down another guard moved around her, heading for Hanne. As quickly as she could manage, Ivy scurried to her feet after the man. Just as he got his hands on Hanne, she reached him. She pressed her palms to both of his cheeks, standing on her tip toes to reach him. As the man writhed under her touch, Ivy looked over between Hanne and Hawke. She diverted her eyes as the man grew limped, side stepping out of the way as he toppled over. 

Back in the cellblock Vlad jumped when Novak screamed at the very abrupt arrival of Specter. He subconsciously balled his fist and prepared to clock whatever decided to linger in the cell. Even when he saw the younger male he was half tempted to follow through with it, but opted to drop his fist with a groan. Before he had time to react to what Spec said, Novak took his hand. "Come on."

Vlad and Specter kept up with Novak without hesitation. This wasn’t the moment for second thoughts. They were all in this now and there was only one end game that would see them all safe… And that was escape. The second Vlad stepped through the portal behind Novak he felt an overwhelming wave slam into his mind. It seemed as those the red head’s hold on his hand tightened when they rounded the corner presumably closer to Hawke as the pain grew. "Hawke! It's us!"

Like the flip of a switch, their minds cleared. Vlad moved around Novak slightly, using his free hand to grab his brother’s shoulder, looking him over with wide eyes. "Are you ok? Were you hurt?"

Specter ran to meet up with the group just in time to see the unlucky guard between Ivy’s hands turn purple in the face. He became intangible as the guard became a human domino and tipped over right where Specter was standing, falling straight through him and hitting the ground with a thud. There wasn’t time for any of them to exchange battle strategies or to even split up and divert some of the guards. In no time they were surrounded by at least another twenty guards. 

"There’s too many of them," Specter said looking between all the different guards, but was unable to find an opening. It was just a sea of uniforms ready to beat the living shit out of them.

"Stand down, now… And you’ll keep your pathetic excuse of a life," a guard said from behind Ivy. "Except her," he added while pointing toward the raven haired woman as she glanced over her shoulder at him. She knew, deep down, that he was trying to get under her skin… Make her lash out. But it was no surprise that this one in particular wanted to see her dead. The scar on his face the size of her own hand gave reason enough for his anger. It definitely was an old mark, so the man had plenty of time to let his hatred and grudge to grow.

"This bitch has fucked up one too many times. She’s mine," he added as he pointed his stun gun at her.

Ivy’s anger had boiled over causing her to no longer think logically but impulsively. She lunged forward, placing her palm flat on the guard’s face before he could speak anymore. As if he knew exactly what she was going to do, the man had his stun gun ready. Her grip on his face seized when the electrocution struck her in the abdomen. The electric current sifted through her, scorching every nerve in her body. It was like synapses were firing all over her. It vibrated along her skin, spreading out like a wave from the epicenter. The taste of metal and bile flooded her mouth. She fell to her knees as she felt the energy snaking its way through her veins. 

At first the wave of energy and power overwhelmed her, making Ivy fatigued and dizzy. But as it continued to flow through her it charged her like a battery. Her body seemed to move in slow motion as she reached her left hand towards the guard. She took hold of his wrist, letting the power surge from her and into him like a circuit. His face contorted as the combination of the electricity and syphon touch surged through him. His skin practically boiled under her touch causing him to drop the taser and falter to his knees before her.

The guards were taunting them, Vlad knew it. And it didn’t take many words for them to say something that struck Ivy in the right way and she didn’t hesitate to act. But the man was ready for it, pressing his taser to her side. The moment she was distracted the guards jumped into action. Vlad pushed past the others, throwing out his arms in either direction. "FREEZE!"

And for a brief moment every one of the guards froze right where they stood. But Vlad’s hold on them was weak as if diverting a river down dozens of streams. Tendrils of his power extended outward toward them, but the stronger their will the weaker his own hold was. Vlad squinted his eyes as he focused, blood beginning to drip from his nostril. "I can’t hold them forever," he groaned, trying to steady his breathing as much as possible.

Specter didn’t take a moment to hesitate and started to sprint around the room toward the nearest guards. He placed his hands on the man’s shoulders willing him to become intangible. As he did so, Spec pushed downward on his shoulders causing the guard to sink down through the ground. He could have stepped away and broken the physical contact letting the ground slice him in half. But as much as the idea appealed to him, he wasn’t a murderer. He didn’t blame the others for wanting blood, nor would he stand in the way. But the thought of taking another’s life didn’t sit well on his conscious. Instead he applied enough downward force to send the guards flying downward to the floor below. He could only hope landing over a dozen feet below would knock them unconscious.

Ivy grabbed the stun gun from the unconscious… perhaps dead guard. She really didn’t know which, nor did she care. Her bare feet quickly padded along the cool floor back over to the group, holding the weapon out to Hawke. "You may need this."

Specter ran around as fast as he could trying to push more and more guards through the floor. But the more guards he went to, the more they were prepared for him. The next one he approached had pulled a knife and lunged it at the male’s abdomen. Spec was barely able to phase before the blade tried to lodge itself in his chest. As he watched the arm go through him like water, a groan from behind him caught Specter’s attention.

Vlad held the guards back as much as he could, slowing them down or delaying their reaction time. But then, out of no where he felt something sharp pierce him from behind. His eyes blinked furiously as his gaze fell to see the small tip of a blade poking out from the lower right side of his torso. Whatever hold he had on the guards instantly fell as the knife was yanked back out of him, causing him to cough up blood. Vlad’s left hand fell the cup the wound as he glanced over his shoulder past Specter to the guard that stabbed him.

In a fit of rage or maybe adrenalin, Vlad quickly closed the distance to the man. He threw his right elbow into the guard’s jaw, then a gut punch and a kick in a chest that made the him stubble to the ground. Before the guard could get up, Vlad was on top of him, pinning him down. His blood soaked hand took hold of the man’s throat while his right ripped the knife free from the guard’s grasp. Before he could fight back against him, Vlad took the knife stabbing upward right underneath the man’s sternum, twisting and moving the blade.

Once the guard was dead, he rolled off the corpse and slowly moved to his feet. Vlad was losing blood quickly, causing him to become drowsy and dizzy. As he stood, he stumbled over into the wall. He closed his eyes trying to take deep breaths while putting pressure on the wound. Vlad didn’t want to look at it, he could already tell how bad it was. The warm liquid dammed at his hands and seeped through his fingers. As he coughed, spitting up more blood, his gaze drifted over toward his brother. "…Hawke?"

The Sibling Project: Out Of Character (OOC)

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[center][size=120][color=#3b6aa0][b]novak[/b][/color][/size]
[size=95]pocket dimensions
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[center][size=120][color=#c9aea3][b]hanne[/b][/color][/size]
[size=95]bio manipulation
[url=][color=black]outfit[/color][/url][color=transparent]x[/color]|[color=transparent]x[/color]#c9aea3[/size][/center]
[img]http://placehold.it/240x10/c9aea3/c9aea3[/img][/right][center][img]https://i.imgur.com/ASKi9kk.jpg[/img]

[size=120][color=#2b4251][b]hawke[/b][/color][/size]
[size=95]telepathy
[url=][color=black]outfit[/color][/url][color=transparent]x[/color]|[color=transparent]x[/color]#2b4251[/size]

[img]http://placehold.it/240x10/2b4251/2b4251[/img][/center][/font]
[hr][/hr][hr][/hr]
[justify][font=georgia]Then some shit goes down...[/font][/justify]


Re: The Sibling Project

Scar's post header

Code: Select all
[font=georgia][left][img]https://i.imgur.com/PF2J6rX.jpg[/img]

[center][size=120][color=#ACACAC][b]vlad[/b][/color][/size]
[size=95]mind compulsion
[url=][color=black]outfit[/color][/url][color=transparent]x[/color]|[color=transparent]x[/color]#ACACAC[/size][/center]
[img]http://placehold.it/240x10/ACACAC/ACACAC[/img][/left][right][img]https://i.imgur.com/w1ySCh0.jpg[/img]

[center][size=120][color=#55ACBF][b]specter[/b][/color][/size]
[size=95]intangibility
[url=][color=black]outfit[/color][/url][color=transparent]x[/color]|[color=transparent]x[/color]#55ACBF[/size][/center]
[img]http://placehold.it/240x10/55ACBF/55ACBF[/img][/right][center][img]https://i.imgur.com/iVRiNht.jpg[/img]

[size=120][color=#C7B29B][b]ivy[/b][/color][/size]
[size=95]syphon touch
[url=][color=black]outfit[/color][/url][color=transparent]x[/color]|[color=transparent]x[/color]#C7B29B[/size]

[img]http://placehold.it/240x10/C7B29B/C7B29B[/img][/center][/font]
[hr][/hr][hr][/hr]
[justify][font=georgia]Then some shit goes down...[/font][/justify]


The Sibling Project

This is the auto-generated OOC topic for the roleplay "The Sibling Project"

You may edit this first post as you see fit.