Snippet #2803266

located in Cynosure, a part of Aurea Cor, one of the many universes on RPG.

Cynosure

[...]

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Character Portrait: Sirius
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His room existed in a state of constant organized chaos, cluttered with stacks of books and paper and dirty laundry. Some occupants may have even struggled to find their own feet in the denser areas of clutter, but not Sirius. He was the engineer of this mess and although it looked like a bomb had gone off in his living area, he knew precisely where everything was. If a writing utensil were required, for example, you need only look under the third wreath of papers located near the front left leg of his desk.

The apartment he currently stood in was located in the sector of Sol which he resided over as a Tekhne, the Military Science capital city of Ienathera. He had been relocated here a few years back as part of his induction to the role. An inconvenient distance from the market district, the apartment and its locale hadn't been his first, second, or even third choice.

Besides the mess, the place itself was actually rather exquisite in design; with vaulted ceiings, incredibly ornate pillars, and an entire wall of windows that spanned from the floor to the ceiling and faced westwards to provide a partially obscured view of the sunset. Sirius stood in front of these windows now, gazing out at the horizon. The sun seemed to swell where it sat, which meant that it would be setting and approaching dusk in a few hours.

Later that night was a routine public open forum, and Sirius anxieties regarding the event had begun to stir inside of him now. He wasn't much of a public speaker, and it seemed that lately some of the public grew more and more irritable with him. He didn't belong here and they knew it just as well as he did. He could feel the dread tighten in his chest and begin to snake its tendrils down into his stomach. He focused on his breathing, then perhaps too much on his heart beat. Had he miscounted or had that been arrhythmia? The possibility of irregularity only began to upset him more.

After staring out the window for some time more and internally falling down and climbing back up rabbit holes and feedback loops of intrusive thoughts, Sirius had finally managed to begin to tear his gaze from the horizon when he noticed activity in the street below. Had it been earlier in the day and the streets below more occupied, perhaps this activity would have gone unnoticed.

Perhaps it was only fate that on this evening, Sirius was already at the right mixture of paranoia and oblique line of sight. In the streets below several unmarked vehicles began to nestle in front of his apartment and ground themselves. Now that was certainly strange. The passengers which occupied these vehicles began to routinely empty out of them, and Sirius desperately tried to identify any of the men as alarm bells began to ring in the back of his head. Surely he was just being paranoid? Some of the men pointed up at his window and finally a face he did recognize popped out of the final vehicle.

He wasn't being paranoid at all.

With a final glance down at the street, the recognized man and Sirius made a moment of eye contact before Sirius turned and ran. In his haste to escape, he tripped on the way towards the door and felt the sensation and heat of pain shoot up through his right knee. "Argh! Fucking damn it!" he exclaimed, rubbing at his knee and cursing his lack of time to properly observe it as he stood up and began heading for the door again, albeit this time at a somewhat slower pace. His hand reached for the door panel and fingers flurried at the digital interface that popped up, inputting a code that may as well had become genetic information at this point, as it had become so ingrained in him. The door opened, locked behind him, and Sirius exited his apartment for what unbeknownst to him was his final time.

Once in the hallway, he wasted no time and began to head toward the elevator at the end of it. Pain screamed in his knee and he was pretty sure that it would swell eventually but he ignored it. A few floors below he could hear the commotion as Bond, the concierge of the complex, reacted to all these men pooling in. He sounded angry, was told to be quiet, and then in his protests was silenced with what Sirius could only describe as a sickly sound. Now that they had made it to the lobby, Sirius reasoned that the elevator had ceased to be an option along with the stairs. He briefly considered alternatives of escape until finally, his eyes settled on the window at the end of the hallway. His room was located on the third floor, which meant that if he were to take the window then he would have to surmise some way to escape the thirty foot fall relatively unscathed.

As the sounds of the men drew closer, Sirius ceased his mental calculations and once again broke into a run towards the window at the end of the hall. To dive out of it would mean certain death, his best bet would be to open the window as quickly as possible and drop out feet first. If he tucked his chin in, relaxed his legs, bent them at the knees, and rolled into the landing he would be fine. He got to the window, opened it, and did not hesitate to jump. As he was falling he went through all the steps, tucked the chin, relaxed the legs, bent the knees. Only when he hit the ground and his knee once again let out a cry of pain, the part where he was supposed to roll into it was completely forgotten and instead he crumpled.

He stayed there on the ground in a moment of pure shock, but he had made it and he was alive. The pain in his knee screamed once more and it was joined by the backup singer that was the abrasion he had just received on his arm from the street. Hearing commotion and remembering why he had jumped in the first place, Sirius' feet hit street and he began to run once more. The streets this time of day weren't as crowded as they usually were, and his pursuers had vehicles. His first plan of action was to escape the sprawling, open area around him and instead head into the congested alleyways. He was confident that he could lose them in the more residential areas of Ienathera if he could just make it there. But first, he needed to put distance between them and do it fast. Sirius risked stopping for a moment to look around and behind him and what he saw made him smile.

An older Nightfall IX-55 model hover-bike with electro-magnetic repulsor lift technology was parked in stasis nearby. Not only was it a classic model, but it was also in cherry condition. Sirius' heart simultaneously soared and sank, this was a blessing indeed but it was a shame to steal it and bring potential harm to such a beautiful thing. He made a tiny promise then that he'd make up for it should he ever find out its owner. It was a blessing indeed to come across such an older model, as it enabled Sirius to make quick work of hot wiring it. He would have been able to crack a newer model no problem, but it would have surely taken him longer and time was the ultimate factor here. Offering up a final thanks as the sound of shouting picked up behind him, Sirius flashed a grin back at his pursuers before gunning it. As the group of men behind him shrank in size quickly, Sirius watched them disperse in the rear-view camera, presumably to get in vehicles of their own. He had to be quick.

The closer one got to the marketplace in Ienathera, the more residential the surrounding area became. Extravagant and sprawling buildings gave way to homes that were square and flat and made of brick bleached near white by the sun. Some homes used their own roof as an additional living area and on this particular evening some families of three and four could be seen enjoying the sunset, lounging in their chairs and on their blankets. There was little cover but there was advantage in being among numbers and he could easily lose his pursuers in the maze-like alleyways and passages that branched out from the area. As the streets grew smaller and smaller in width, and became more and more populated by people still on foot and buzzing about to finish their last tasks of the day, it came time for Sirius to abandon the bike. An action done with a heavy heart, as the beauty would surely be stolen again from the area or worse yet - scrapped completely. He gave the bike a parting glance and proceeded deeper into the marketplace.

Once he was confident that he was hidden, Sirius watched and waited. There were many entrances into the marketplace since it had a central location, and so he had placed himself in a location where he could observe the most likely, while the unlikely ones were at his back. He was unsure if they would even follow him here, maybe they had decided to call it off. Just when enough time had passed and Sirius had began to think that he had lost them entirely, Sirius arm was grabbed tightly from behind and he felt something hard press roughly into his spine.

"Move and you get twenty miliamps. You're a smart man, Sirius, I don't have to tell you what that would do."

The man was right, he didn't have to tell Sirius anything. He knew that even a few miliamps of electric current had the potential to cause lethal fibrillation if it were directly through the heart. Considering the zap-stick was currently planted in his spine, however, not only would twenty miliamps cause total loss of muscle control, but it may even completely paralyze his respiratory muscles. Wanting neither to be electrocuted or to asphyxiate, Sirius decided to stay right where he was. The pressure currently digging into his spine seemed to relax a little.

"Good. This thing can go all the way up to two amps, so if you want to keep your heart beating you're going to listen to me carefully and not draw any attention to us. If you do, I blow us and everybody around us to kingdom fucking come, and if you think I'm kidding you can just look down and to your left. But do it fucking slowly, you try anything and it's blast off. Kennit?"

Sirius did as he was told and slowly looked down and to his left, where the man's fist had what appeared to be a detonator tightly gripped in it but not any that he recognized. Sirius considered the possibility that this man might be bluffing and tried not to be sick as fear flashed through his brain and nausea built in his stomach. For the time being, they were a little to the side of the crowd at the marketplace, which had slowly begun to dwindle as the sun now made its way further beneath the horizon. Those still there were too preoccupied with their own tasks to notice the two men, but if he wanted to Sirius could certainly draw their attention. If the man really had explosives on him, then he would be endangering all of these people. Even if it was a bluff Sirius didn't think it was worth risking taking lethal electricity through the back over.

His best bet for now was to remain calm and wait for his moment to overpower his present captor.

"Do you know who I am?"

Sirius nodded. He thought he had recognized him earlier outside his apartment.

The man responded with an irritated growl.

"Then you understand why I'm doin' this."

Sirius nodded again, and this time the man brought the fist holding the alleged detonator down on Sirius' head, leaving a bloom of pain.

"Fucking smart-ass, you think you ken everything", the man paused, looking to see if his assault had garnered any attention. When he saw none, he continued. "- well you don't. You don't understand a thing." The man's voice had taken on a venomous tone.

"Now here's what we're going to do, you and I are going to slip out of here. And once we have, we're going t-", a nearby commotion drew pause. Some members of the crowd had accidentally ran into each other, causing one to drop the groceries they had acquired. Now with wide eyes and almost as if it were in slow motion, Sirius watched a fruit that had been dropped roll in his direction and stop just in front of his feet. Sirius' wide eyed glance then leapt up from the fruit to the person that had dropped it, who was now approaching. The pressure in his back tightened once more.

"Fuck. Do not say a thing, just let them pick up their fruit and we'll move on."

As the person approached Sirius did his best to obscure his previously frightened glance, but the stranger gazed at him and the man behind him with a curiosity still. The closer they got the more fearful he became, and as they bent down to collect what was theirs Sirius was all but screaming at them in his head.

Don't recognize me. Don't recognize me. Don't recognize me.

"Sorry!" The stranger said to them both upon picking up the fruit and quickly turned back to rejoin the crowd. Sirius let out a sigh of relief and relaxed.

"Hey!" The stranger that the other had collided with was calling out in their direction now and Sirius' snapped his attention to him.

"Aren't you Sirius, one of our Tekhnes?" Fuck. The one with the fruit spoke up. "I think you're right!" Fuck. More voices joined. His anxiety whirled. Fuck. The pressure in his back grew immense. Fuck. A crowd began to form around the two men. Fuck. The pressure in his back faded. Fu

White light and heat filled the area and everything ceased.

On this evening there was no such thing as a happy ending.

Endings are heartless.

Ending is just another word for goodbye.

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